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Month: May 2012

Number 251

The New Terrapin Gazette Number 251 26 May, 2012 I am predicting that the first guy who uses a Second Amendment weapon to bring a drone down that’s been hovering over his house is going to be a folk hero in this country.   The Abuse Of Polling The last time this newsletter took issue with a poll of Muslims was in February of 2008. Number 3 included a long analysis of attitudes toward suicide bombing, and the Pew organization was found badly wanting. (Copies on request.) That dismal attempt to explain and clarify by asking questions and then reporting the statistics was surpassed by what could well be the most egregious abuse of polling ever: the Gallup organization’s research into Muslim opinions and 2009 report of its results. Regrettably, the linked documentary has only now come to this newsletter’s attention. Without doubt, the documentary is the articulation of a clearly discernible theme that Gallup hoped would dominate Western attempts to understand and interpret Islam. (Note that the Gallup organization may try to distinguish between the formal, scholarly report of its poll and the documentary at the above hyperlink. As the public is not invited to obtain the former, but is expected to be satisfied with the latter, that distinction may have little cogency. But even if it does, there is no excuse for the format and content of...

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Number 250

The New Terrapin Gazette Number 250 21 May, 2012 We fully regard civil wars, i.e., wars waged by the oppressed class against the oppressing class, slaves against slave-owners, serfs against land-owners, and wage-workers against the bourgeoisie, as legitimate, progressive and necessary. — In the army of the workers there must be discipline; there must be comradeship, there must be unity; you are the officers of this army, you are the leaders.   An Unresolved Issue Revisited And Brought Up To Date Some readers may recall that in November of 2008, this newsletter published a report on one of the things then candidate Obama said publicly. Virtually everyone has forgotten the quote and the issue it raised. It’s time to take another look, and see how events have unfolded. Here is the relevant item — in its entirety — from Number 140: Almost Totally Unnoticed And Certainly Unreported In The Major Media, That Powerful And Enigmatic “Civilian National Security Force” Proposed By Candidate Obama Has Been Authorized. Be Concerned Issue 39 of this newsletter (then called The Penguin Post) was published in November of 2008. It included this: Obama speaks: We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded. See and hear...

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Number 249

The New Terrapin Gazette Number 249 19 May, 2012 The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.   Anthropogenic Global Warming: Is This IT For The Bogus Science? I This newsletter first attacked AGW almost exactly four years ago — it was the 16th of May, 2008, when the then Penguin Post denounced the concept as false and assured readers that the predicted warming was nothing to worry about. The science was so bad from the first that there was no doubt that a cadre of nuts had founded a new religious cult. Over the next four years, dozens of items on AGW appeared here, and time and again, it was emphasized that the claims made by the climate hysterics were not hard facts, but guesses, miscues committed by computer models, and outright fabrications. Before long, the word “hoax” appeared in items published in this newsletter; the people behind the push for carbon offsets were accused here of deliberate fakery in pursuit of, in the case of Al Gore, riches, and in the case of others, a vandalism of reason that rewarded its perpetrators with prestige and control. Today, one can finally purchase a book that covers the hoax in detail. The volume, The Hockey Stick Illusion, Climategate and the Corruption of Science, by A. W. Montford, ISBN 978-1-906768-35-5, spells out...

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Number 248

The New Terrapin Gazette Number 248 15 May, 2012 What about the role of government? Well, in the abstract, coming from my time and background, I thought it was a rather good thing, but tallying up the ledger in those things which affect me and in those things I observe, I am hard-pressed to see an instance where the intervention of the government led to much beyond sorrow.   What Happened To The Genuine Issues? It’s obvious that the mismanagement of the nation is what matters in the coming presidential election: the economy leads the list of discontents, closely followed by energy policy, tax policy, a Senate that flatly refuses to do its job, that army of alien mercenaries occupying a huge part of Arizona, the outrageous misbehavior of the Department of Justice, and the unfolding culture war. Lesser issues exist, but for now, they should be postponed while the electorate issues its verdict on the performance of Team Obama. The gravity of these big issues led this newsletter to overlook yet another point of contention — and, as the commentary at the link makes clear, the unfolding dispute certainly could lead to Obama’s defeat. (A recent article reads the tea leaves of opinion polls and agrees that Obama has alienated more voters in the key states than he has pleased.) Why, you should ask, did NTG miss what...

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Number 247

The New Terrapin Gazette Number 247 11 May, 2012 Mr. Madison wished to relieve the sufferers, but was afraid of establishing a dangerous precedent, which might hereafter be perverted to the countenance of purposes very different from those of charity. He acknowledged, for his own part, that he could not undertake to lay his finger on that article in the Federal Constitution which granted a right of Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents. Squaw Make Bad Medicine, You Betchum Her name is Elizabeth Warren, she’s a law professor at Harvard, she has claimed to be a Native American, she’s running for the US Senate, she’s a committed collectivist and culture warrior, and she really, really gets the GOP’s goat. First, see what she’s got to say about tax policy and business in the USA — and note how she says it. Yes, she’s a believer in “fair” taxation, which tends to draw a bit of comment. She also thinks she’s got the upper hand when dealing with Congress, and even the NY Times could not put enough spin in its report of her scrape with a Congressional committee to hide her high-handedness. She has never managed to dream up a credible explanation for listing herself as a Native American (she said she wanted to meet people), and Harvard cited her presence on its...

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