The New Terrapin Gazette
There can be no truly moral choice unless that choice is made in freedom; similarly, there can be no really firmly grounded and consistent defense of freedom unless that defense is rooted in moral principle. In concentrating on the ends of choice, the conservative, by neglecting the conditions of choice, loses that very morality of conduct with which he is so concerned. And the libertarian, by concentrating only on the means, or conditions, of choice and ignoring the ends, throws away an essential moral defense of his own position.
This Is Of Paramount Importance
You have read it here repeatedly: if a US law enforcement officer asks you a seemingly harmless question regarding a crime, do not reply — unless it is to say simply, “I’ll make no statements.” Well, here’s something you have not read yet: in this tragic instance, a boy responded sarcastically to a policeman, and regretted his words for over twenty years. Though there was proof of his innocence, his unwise response to a badgering police officer was a horrible mistake.
Inform yourself by watching these two videos: One and then Two; next read this brief report. Finally, learn about (or review the facts concerning) a federal law that is a vicious snare for the innocent but unwary. Here’s a summary of valuable guidelines:
The absolutely essential thing to keep in mind is to say nothing of substance about the matter under investigation. It is preferable to do this by politely declining to be interviewed in the absence of counsel. If the agent asks “why do you need an attorney?” or “what do you have to hide?” do not take his bait and directly respond to such questions. (Do not even say that you have nothing to hide.) Simply state that you will not discuss the matter at all without first consulting counsel and that counsel will be in touch with him.
Long-time readers of this newsletter will recognize most of the above references. This information is of incalculable importance to all law-abiding persons in the USA, so in time, it will appear here again. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring it. If you viewed the videos some time ago, it would be a good idea to refresh the concepts in your mind now.
From a Westerner who is often in Asia and who has links to the expatriate community in Thailand:
The dams, the newspapers in Bangkok say, are full, and the same newspapers report that the government has advised the farmers not to plant a first crop because the authorities will not release water from the dams for irrigation. The minister of the interior is threatening to get rid of the governor of Bangkok. And, in general, the Thais to whom my contacts in Bangkok talk feel that the government plans to inundate totally and destroy Bangkok this coming wet season.
The intelligentsia say that April will be the deciding factor — the semi-annual military reshuffle. Either enough military cohesion arises to force change (with or without a coup), or Bangkok is destroyed and a chaotic authoritarian regime leads the country into the classic Burmese-Khmer status. Meanwhile there is increasing talk coming from the Northeast of the country that Westerners there are being told apologetically that they have done much good and are appreciated, so the locals will really be sorry to see them have to leave Thailand — that is, be removed forcefully — when Blockhead (hostile sobriquet for Thaksin Shinawatra, former prime minister and current fugitive from justice whose sister is the prime minister) takes over. The expulsion will apply only to Caucasians — Japanese, Chinese and other Asians will be allowed to remain.
The GOP is making headlines with its barroom brawl. The Tea Party/Right Wing faction is trying to get rid of Romney, and the center of the party is trying to convince the “wingnuts” not to abandon the GOP if Romney is the candidate. Meanwhile, a “wingnut” columnist/author/blogger reveals her choice for president in November. But could he win? Well, since Romney very probably can’t, then that question is irrelevant, isn’t it?
Unless, of course, Romney is electable. Imagine that!
And here’s a different view from another weblogger who takes “wingnut” ideas seriously.
Reminders: what matters most is what happens to Congress after the votes have been counted. Yes, it would be nice to be free of Obama, but liberation is unlikely. That may not matter, because ultimately, the government is run by the people who draft the laws and can, if they constitute an overwhelming majority in Congress, overrule the president. The president, for all his power under the constitution, can’t impose his will on the legislators.
The End Is Not In Sight
On the sixteenth of May in 2008, this newsletter published its first attack on the colossal hoax that is anthropogenic global warming (AGW). By then, though sufficient information was already available to prove that AGW was a malignant chimera, the concept was generating widespread alarm. Some scientists protested the trendy nonsense, and the squabble got under way. After taking a good look, The Penguin Post (which was later re-named the NTG) declared flatly, “This is a religious dispute”.
Now if that is true, science cannot settle the disagreement; like all quarrels between sects or faiths, it will simply have to fade away. Today, of course, the controversy is raging. “Warmers” are bitterly accusing the “skeptics” of lying, whoring themselves out to greedy industrial polluters, being just like those who deny the existence of Nazi death camps, raping the planet and watering down the whiskey. Those who demonstrate the falsity of AGW are furious that science is perverted by rascals like Al Gore and Jim Hansen, and they express their anger freely.
So, when a writer proclaims in 2012 that now the world has “…global warming’s death certificate, signed by an international group of scientists who could not be disputed…”, those who understand the situation must express some surprise. After all, ideologues can always dispute genuine scientists, and of course many scientists are ideologues who have faith in the existence and threat of AGW — in spite of the evidence. Truly, articles of faith can never be utterly dismissed by science.
Moreover, rational folks will be convinced by facts and logic, not by appeals to authority. When it comes to religious disputes, facts and logic are often either in short supply, or are themselves the targets of scoundrels.
Tragically, AGW is alive and well — as a concept, a motive for change, a prediction of disaster, and a cry of alarm. It is also a rationale for the imposition of greater control of industry, business and the individual, which means it serves the purposes of a parasitic class. Yes, it is known that AGW is in fact the greatest scientific hoax of all time (greater even than Piltdown Man), but that means nothing to zealots and charlatans.
You have the facts, because they have been reported or linked to in this newsletter. If you believe in anthropogenic global warming, you choose not to understand, and no amount of proof will ever dissuade you.
That points to the puzzle at the core of the AGW concept: why do people who have been offered all the facts still cling to absurdities? Is the AGW myth an artifact of self-loathing, of a sense of sinfulness and shame? Is it an expression of a twisted need to mortify one’s flesh and then extend the suffering to others? Could it proceed from a yearning for a totalitarian Utopia that shelters the individual from the risks inherent in his own pleasures and aspirations?
Seeking the answers would require new insights into the psychology of faith, beginning with an inquiry into man’s needs. Perhaps the work of Susanne Langer could be a starting point, for Langer suggests (in her Philosophy in a New Key) that certain exclusively human behaviors are essential, yet lead to continual error and failure:
If a savage in his ignorance of physics tries to make a mountain open its caverns by dancing round it, we must admit with shame that no rat in a psychologist’s maze would try such patently ineffectual methods of opening a door. Nor should such experiments be carried on, in the face of failure, for thousands of years; even morons should learn more quickly than that.
If our viscera made as many mistakes in sleep as the brain, we should all die of indigestion after our first nursing.
Speculation about the psychological predispositions and error-prone nature of human mentation is interesting, but for now, it can be set aside in favor of a brief review of solid facts.
For example: yes, the climate changes. To identify the causes of the flux is incredibly difficult at present, because (a) atmospheric physics is more observational than experimental, and (b) climate science is not sufficiently developed to avoid the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. “It’s warmer, so that proves that mankind caused it” is the attribution of a false cause. If the climate grows warmer, which it just might, the UN’s IPCC might as logically blame the change on spam e-mail as blame it on technology.
If anything is known with certainty, it must be this: climate is never static, and its swings can be devastating. Further, it is absolutely clear that neither The Little Ice Age nor The Medieval Warming Period were caused by technology, yet they took place. If gullible humans must impose fanciful nonsense on the natural ups and downs of climate, then they will do so; rational and informed people, however, know two things that matter: first, they realize that computer models are unrealistic to some always unknown extent, and second, they know that mountebanks are an eternal danger.
Related: an AGW believer takes Burt Rutan to task, and gets an earful. Recommended.
The NY Times takes a look at Apple, and raises questions about the harm the company does. It’s all a question of motives, isn’t it?
Michael Yon has been reporting on how the US Army conducts the evacuation of wounded soldiers from the battlefield to surgical facilities. His commentary has alienated and enraged the military, and he will be leaving Afghanistan soon, if he has not left already. The full story is a heartbreaking scandal that you should investigate; unfortunately, catching up with all the developments will take a considerable amount of your time. If you are concerned — and every US taxpayer should be — begin here and keep clicking on the links, looking for more background. Highly recommended.
From the NTG’s A Crop of Nuts the Year Round file: Worries about Iran and the Strait of Hormuz have provoked conspiracy theorists to speculate on how evil powers — that is, the USA and Israel — would start a war. For a little harmful fun, see the video. For more details, complete with historical examples (some of which are correct, by the way), listen to this rant. The best way to counter this nonsense: mention that Obama and Hillary would never go along with it. How will the loonies get around that? The Lyndon LaRouche freaks say, “By removing President Obama, you pull the plug on the British plan for thermonuclear war.” Oh.
“Pa, Pa, where’s my Ma?” “Gone to who knows where, ha, ha, ha!”
Some “progressives” will probably be able to blame this on the graphics printed on a “wingnut” website. You know, little target-like things that appear over the words, “Retire Obama”.
Here’s a compact and helpful view of the USA’s federal financial situation. The video makes it possible for one to understand the background against which all the legislative and political maneuvering is taking place.
How’s the recovery going? What role does housing play in the recovery?
This is why they call Good Ol’ Joe “Barry’s Insurance Policy”.
Will Israel attack Iran? The NY Times takes on the question and works it all out for you. When historians look back on this in fifty years, they will tell a different story.
If epigenetics and human evolution interest you, by all means see what this man has to say. It’s astounding, though von Bertalanffy would not be surprised by any of it.
Here’s yet more evidence that The One is not what he wanted the electorate to think he is. It should come as no shock to anyone who has kept up with the campaign he waged to get into the White House and what he has done since achieving his goal. Obama supporters, face the fact: you did not know this man, and you still don’t. Genuine Utopian collectivists — which is what Obama is — are primarily concerned about power, and that makes them very, very dangerous.
Set to be Romney’s running mate?? Poor guy….
The editor of a US newspaper published for a Jewish readership suggested that one way to deal with Iran could begin with the Mossad assassinating Obama. Insane? Well, people who are preoccupied with a genuine threat to their survival do not always remain calm and rational. If there were no precedent for an attempt to murder all the Jews on the face of the earth, this desperate proposal would make no sense at all. Before you condemn this distraught editor, please remember that the threat posed by the Twelvers in Iran is real; those fanatics are suicidally determined to exterminate Israel and provoke a nuclear catastrophe. It’s hard to grasp that truth, and even harder to deal with it wisely once you understand that the danger is imminent.
Here it is, Mitt; now make use of it.
You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Sure. (And this.) Holder and Co. were not involved in, or even aware of, Fast and Furious (what??). Yes, Holder has to go. As the notion sinks in some folks are signing on.
Related: Eric Holder, He Who Must Go: liar? Well, probably, and as this is written, he’s likely to be cited for contempt of Congress. Why? Because when told to hand over some important documents, he said flatly, “There are e-mails, materials that we have not and will not produce.” (More here and here.) Yes, it’s a mess, and Holder will regret having made it.
Ye Gods, there’s more! For Holder and his madcap DOJ, the future looks grim. It could not happen to a more deserving bunch.
The entitled class — folks who (a) own their jobs and (b) demand that the public be coerced into enriching them — are striking back. The implications are monumental.
This female is dangerous.
Government is always, to some extent at least, collectivist, and a society without governance — some mechanism of control, however informal and loose — is not possible. That does not mean that governments must have monopolistic power over all the control systems of the polity. The implications of that assertion are interesting.
Free markets and free (not “fair”) trade mean savings for the consumer. Here’s another example.
Politicians who break the law had better watch out, because journalists will be all over them…if the malefactors are Republicans. Democrats, well, that’s different….
Part Two of the economics lesson you are studying (you saw Part One in the last number of this newsletter).
The “religion of peace”: Mohammad is God’s Messenger. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another. (Koran, 48:29) The word “Islam” means “submission”.
I won’t slave for beggar’s pay
Likewise gold and jewels
But I would slave to learn the way
To sink your ship of fools
The masthead includes a quote from the works of Murray Rothbard.
The staff of The New Terrapin Gazette expresses its sincere gratitude to the many people who have gifted the world with Arch Linux, Emacs, and Firefox.