The New Terrapin Gazette

Number 269
28 September, 2012

According to international practice, the status of “refugee” or “displaced person” only applies to first-generation refugees — in other words, to a person who himself is actually displaced — but the United Nations makes an exception for Palestinians, who are defined as refugees even if they are descendants of refugees.

The Speech

Herewith some quotes from the speech recently delivered at Turtle Bay by Obama, along with observations on the utterances. (The quotes come from this source.)

…we believe that freedom and self-determination are not unique to one culture. These are not simply American values or Western values — they are universal values.

Absolutely not so. Western Civilization is unique in this respect.

In every country, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening; in every culture, those who love freedom for themselves must ask how much they are willing to tolerate freedom for others.

Correct, and the beginning of a decent argument against the above claim.

Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. Moreover, as President of our country, and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so.

Manifest nonsense, and a deliberate lie. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff personally tried to intervene with Google to remove a video from YouTube. In view of the fact that the nation’s highest-ranking warrior is directly subject to the president’s authority, Obama’s claim to be an uncompromising defender of free speech must be taken with a grain of salt. Question: why is the general still in uniform? Answer: because he has not offended the president.

…the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech — the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.

Rubbish. This sentiment does not prevail among the ruling elites, and it is routinely dismissed as messy and unworkable by many who oppose Western values as too individualistic. Consider the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Consider many of the USA’s Muslims, and try to explain it to much of the US academic community, where political correctness still reigns. On the political “left”, among many Obama supporters and in the mass media, free speech is a slogan, not a practice. And just what does the UN secretary general think of free speech? You should not have to ask.

I know that not all countries in this body share this understanding of the protection of free speech.

Then the notion of free speech is not at all universal, as Obama claimed in the first of the statements quoted above. What remains of Obama’s credibility has little cachet.

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied. Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims, and Shiite pilgrims.

This is weak, imprecise language that is ambiguous enough to allow Muslims of all stripes to interpret it as they wish. Those to whom the future does not belong may, according to this language, be restricted or punished (the specifics are deliberately omitted) in order to prevent them from — what? Expressing their views, or preventing others from publishing refutations of them? This is the kind of language diplomats typically employ, and it is inappropriate because it is vague and unfocused. It is the language of the undisciplined and uncommitted, and it signals to fanatics of all types that their activities may be repressed, even in the USA. That is hardly a resounding defense of free speech. Further, Obama almost seems to be calling for a world in which everyone is free to damn everyone else, when what the president should be calling for is a world in which speech is so free and thought so tolerant that calls for repression and reprisals against blasphemers are simply ignored (see the item, “Soviet Emigres In The USA”, below).

Islam is by divine command at perpetual war with the infidel, which is why Huntington refers to those “bloody borders”. Thus has it ever been, and thus will it be until the foundational commandments of Allah are ignored by all Muslims. Meanwhile the war slows when the non-Islamic world demonstrates firm resolve. The weakness of the infidels invites attack, and bin Laden judged correctly when he noted the Korean war (which continues, unresolved) and the Vietnam war (lost by the USA). He knew the West would not be able to cope with jihadist attacks because it lacked the will to do so, and he was right: a decade later, the end is not in sight, and there is no plan for victory; instead, the president apologizes to Muslims, reaches out to them, asks them to adopt utterly alien principles to which he and his supporters pay hypocritical lip service, and alienates the USA’s oldest and best allies. It’s gut-wrenchingly nauseating.

Consider: Obama tells the world that while the USA cherishes free speech, all right-thinking people must condemn those who insult Mohammed, and do nothing to silence them. What would your opinion of that pronouncement be, if you were a Koran-believing loyal soldier of Allah? Wouldn’t you conclude that the West is degenerate, dishonorable, and hardly resolute in its puny hopes for peace and love and chocolate chip cookies for everybody? How could you respect a man who asks you to consider those who desecrate Christian churches to be the same sorts of fellows as those who desecrate holy Muslim sites and mosques and madrasas?

The only rational option for those who honestly hold the values of Western Civilization is to act so as to render futile the actions and plans of all religious fanatics.

Obama should have made that clear, rather than contradict his own words.

He also falsely implied that the violence in Libya was entirely due to the film Google made available to the world. That was absolutely not the case, and the State Department is guilty of promoting a lie; that is becoming increasingly obvious even to Democrats. Confused, incompetent, unable to mount firm opposition to the enemies of Liberty, the diplomats in Foggy Bottom are floundering. Their missteps in Latin America are notorious, and the relations between the USA and its former allies Great Britain and Israel are in tatters. The world can see that when Obama proclaims his firm determination to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, he literally cannot be trusted. Having alienated Great Britain because of that nation’s colonial past, Obama and Hillary have weakened the West to the point where nothing is certain; every jihadi knows that his chances of success are therefore improved.

(Charles Krauthammer’s remarks on Obama’s irrational prevarications provide insightful political perspective. Highly recommended.)

This vague, ill-conceived and self-contradictory speech at the UN should never have been given; instead, Obama should have met with the Iranian ambassador and told him bluntly that his nation was advancing toward a war the USA intends to win, whatever the cost. That would have taken five minutes, and would have done far more good in advancing the cause of peace. The reason: assured that war was inevitable without a change in Iranian policy, Tehran might have backed down — as Gaddafi did. Without a fierce declaration of intent to wreak destruction on Iran, the mullahs remain encouraged; they are convinced the USA is a “paper tiger”, and Obama’s faulty assignment of blame in the murder of the US ambassador only validates that opinion.

Perceived weak and stupid, the USA moves toward war; if perceived angry and resolute, the nation would be far safer. Obama does not understand that. His apologetic attitude toward Islam invites hostilities, and that is a disgraceful abuse of the power of the office of president. Obama’s mindset has just made life more dangerous for all Westerners, and the president should be held accountable for that.

The problem with this understanding of the situation is that the Twelvers may, for literally insane religious reasons, welcome an attack on Iran that results in catastrophic loss of life. If that is the case, US threats will prove useless as attempts to preserve the peace, for Iran has already chosen a strategy that leads inevitably to war. It could be that nothing hangs in the balance — that it is all predetermined.

While Obama’s dangerously irrational words at the UN do not amount to treason, his toleration of that alien army of mercenaries in Arizona is exactly that. He deserves to be impeached and removed for refusing to carry out his oath of office. His replacement just might understand that a very different posture is required in order to make plain that the founding values of the USA are not only endorsed, but literally defended.

Then too, removing the invading force from Arizona (well, better to destroy it in place) would send a signal to the world, and particularly to the jihadis. Words will tell them nothing other than that their enemies are weak and vulnerable.

This newsletter has predicted war, and soon. Obama’s speech at the UN validates that opinion. The incompetent president’s leadership has failed.

Prepare, Pilgrims.

Typical Journalistic Malpractice

The Los Angeles Times reports on page AA 2 of its September 19, 2012 issue that

Arizona police can begin enforcing the state’s “show me your papers” provision immediately, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, marking another milestone in the two-year battle between Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and the Obama administration over a controversial anti-immigration law.

This is both a lie and a dishonestly incomplete report. Take the dishonesty first: a number of states — not all of them — have long had constitutional laws that require anyone stopped by the police to produce valid identification; Arizona is not unique in that respect. As for the law upheld by the judge, it a lie to refer to it as “anti-immigration” legislation. It allows the police to determine whether persons in custody are legally present in the USA. It does not make immigration illegal.

So…what you see here is just a couple of trivial errors that crept into an unimportant report? No. This is a story which, though brief, is significant enough to rate a byline — that of one John M. Glionna. That implies that the story was not just proofread, but reviewed and approved by an editor.

Fundamentals Matter

What’s wrong with Obama? Many things, but the fundamental flaw is his perception of the entire world. From a short commentary that you ought to read in full:

We (in the USA) cannot save cultures that will not adapt to modernity. At best we can prevent their decline from hurting us. But Obama’s identification with the Third World, and the Muslim world in particular, is pre-rational; it is not an idea he learned in school, but an existential commitment. He will accommodate its irrationality and self-destructiveness to the point of absurdity, no matter what the cost to American security. He is no Jimmy Carter, who belatedly took a hard line against the Soviets after the December 1979 Afghanistan invasion. He has done more to undermine America’s standing in the world than any president in history, and the consequences of his re-election are horrible to imagine.

Soviet Emigres In The USA

Back in the Bad Old Days, when the Soviet Union was still a huge worry, the Reds were very concerned about freedom of speech. They wanted to stamp it out and prevent it from rising from the dead. So even copy machines had to be registered with the government, lest they be used for samizdats, the publication of tracts and commentary that were critical of The Powers That Were. A lot of Soviet dissidents chafed under surveillance, and hoped to decamp to the West. Eventually, sick and tired of the renegades, Soviet officialdom allowed many to depart, and that stimulated the growth of Brighton Beach, New York.

At first, the emigres were tremendously relieved and exhilarated. They began writing furiously, publishing all manner of books in both Russian and English, spreading their political ideas and complaints…well, trying to spread them. But who wanted to read these tales of repression and constant surveillance by shadowy KGB types and informers? The books and periodicals sold poorly. For all their value — and they were heartfelt portrayals of the horrors of tyranny — the now-permitted diatribes and autobiographical accounts were of almost no interest to the public.

That led one emigre to complain that, “In the Soviet Union, the police read everything we wrote. Here, nobody does. At least back home, somebody was paying attention to us.”

That’s a consequence of free speech and a free market. The dissidents and the radicals and the nonconformists often find themselves either ignored or speaking to small clusters of like-minded people. (This newsletter is well aware of that phenomenon.) This has nothing to do with the quality of the material offered to the public; it’s a matter of whether the buyers are interested.

Islam has attracted a surprising number of converts in the USA, and at some point, interest will wane, and the mosques will lose some of their new members. In a climate of free speech, you have to have a gimmick; you have to have an e-meter and a free personality test, or you might link up with groups that already have constituencies. It’s a matter of relevance: you need to satisfy a demand, meet a need. Movements such as the Anti-Masonic Party and the KKK and The Odd Fellows begin, expand, mature, and may fade into the background. Do you remember the Free Society Association? Probably not. What happened to The John Birch Society?

Movements, associations, fraternal groups, civic organizations that exist in a free market atmosphere have to deliver…or decline. In a fascist environment such as an Islamic nation, they can sustain themselves because they have control, but where Liberty prevails, they can flounder.

It’s tough. Perhaps you recall the whining of the dancers who felt betrayed when the government declined to give them a generous grant: “Without that, we can’t put on our programs!” Yes, and that’s because those programs were simply not attractive enough to command fees that could sustain the troupe. The “art” was not appreciated. All such groups need to be told, “Don’t insist on confiscating funds from the public to maintain a literally worthless activity!”

Eventually, given true free speech and individual freedom, Islam in the USA would stabilize at a level commensurate with its appeal. No Muslim cleric wants that.

An SA For The USA?

How many times does this make now? Right…this newsletter has repeatedly called to your attention this quote from a speech read from a teleprompter by Obama before he was elected:

We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that 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.

You will find the source for the quote here.

Now consider whether this item is somehow related; it might not be, but….

Lapdog Bites Daddy Where It Hurts, Creating Interesting Possibilities

CNN gets a scolding for reporting on the contents of a diary. (Read the text at the hyperlink now, so this newsletter’s commentary makes sense to you.) According to the furious folks in Foggy Bottom, CNN could report on nothing in that diary without the express, specific permission of the family of the deceased; that’s an arguable point, and especially so since CNN reported on nothing personal or shameful about the murdered diplomat, and in no way harmed the man’s family. The report dealt with facts the public should know.

Some will claim those items are not fit subjects for news media to report, while others will see this episode as having changed from attempts to tell the world what, how and why it happened to State doing its intimidating best to scold the press into censoring the news the next time around.

CNN just might no longer be the news organization it once was. Do you recall when Wolf Blitzer was in Baghdad only because CNN promised Saddam there would be no reporting on the Iraqi dictator’s crimes? That was an undeniably definitive violation of essential journalistic ethics.

Do you also recall Eason Jordan’s offhanded remarks (he was at the time the head of CNN’s news division) that CNN staffers assumed the US military in Iraq was murdering journalists for reporting on US atrocities? A clearer case of bias prompted by baseless paranoia simply does not exist.

There is no doubt: CNN has been an astoundingly rotten outfit — putrid to the core, and above nothing.

So the real question here is not whether State is correct in its outrage, or even whether CNN was justified in spilling the beans. Instead one must ask whatever might have prodded CNN into changing its mindset, even if just a little.

Well, how about exposure, honest reporting (mostly on the internet) of what CNN was up to, and commentary that pointed out the news network’s unethical/extremist/simpleminded biases and heinous sins?

It could be.

Now, mirabile dictu, State finds itself similarly exposed and criticized…by an outfit Obamites considered “safe”; hence, the histrionic outrage. Excellent.

The catch: State won’t change until the boss is sent packing, and when Hillary leaves — as she is expected to after the election — she will be replaced by another True Believer.

Wait for 2016, Pilgrims; that’s when those wet hens will feel free to come home to roost.

Meanwhile, kudos to CNN for having grown some ethics and a pair. If this trend continues, the network won’t be just for sleepy people in airports.

Links

Keeping up with Fast and Furious: here are two items you may have missed. One and then Two. Fun, huh?

For some years, the editor of this newsletter has been very skeptical of claims that salt is the cause of hypertension. He claims to have read a scholarly metastudy that shows he’s correct, but he’s an opinionated jerk. Now it turns out that this opinionated jerk may know what he’s been talking about. Maybe. His comment: “If you don’t get enough salt, you will have high blood pressure. People who eat too much salt — way too much — almost always eat way too much food, which can boost blood pressure. It’s much more complicated than the docs know, and they won’t admit that. Fully one-third of modern health care will be denounced as ignorant and primitive, if not as outright quackery, in twenty years.” Jerk.

Background information on the coming conflict (well, the coming war).

Here’s a relevant piece for those gathering facts and opinions on the US news media. Partisans both collectivist and individualist may be surprised by its contents….

Yes, there is something creepy about the Obamites. See whether you agree.

A notoriously biased newspaper works Romney over but good and predicts a win for Obama. No surprises there, but some — maybe a lot — of what this piece contains is on target. (It’s grasping at straws to mention how this rag dealt with the Watergate scandal and that its treatment of Fast and Furious has been, in sharp contrast, a horrid disgrace…even though those are pretty big straws.) Read the propaganda, Republicans, and pack your bags for your banishment to Gehenna.

Related: oops! This lady has no intentions of going into exile with the rest of the GOP. What’s her name again? Make a mental note, Pilgrims. She’s something.

Everybody knows — don’t they? — that only evil fascist dictators toss people into secret prisons without due process or good cause, and on suspicion alone, and keep them there without access to habeas corpus. So don’t you dare accuse The One of being a, a — bully! Unless, of course, you have proof. And how are you going to get that, when the people Obama is said to have locked up can’t communicate with the outside world? See? That proves Obama’s no monster!

Ugh! Squaw no got-um tepee, use-um office at Harvard. Save heap wampum, you bet-chum. Palefaces no care; vote-um squaw anyway. What squaw do when in Big Pow-Wow? You wait, you see! Ugh. And: this just in.

Holder, the real problem, proves elusive. Again.

Obama says flatly that free markets do not work. He’s wrong. You care; he doesn’t. He knows he can say just about any damned thing, no matter how ignorant or stupid, and still win.

 

Embassies and consulates; Hillary and Barack; secrets; and finally, the Guardians of Truth and Understanding, The US News Media! Are you proud, citizens?

The Obamites tell the world exactly what they think of free speech. Their opinion stinks.

Gee, Michelle, why so upset? — Oh. — Well, everybody should know about that, so: will all you NTG readers kindly click on the hyperlink?

 

Related: all right, that’s fascinating, but of course all these, er demonstrations, which remind of the Occupy kiddies in the States, were spontaneous and could not have been pre– what? How’s that again? …. Yeah, Michelle did cover that at the hyperlink just above, that’s right…she did. Unh, well, maybe…that is, you never know. Well, maybe sometimes you would know, but nobody tells you the full story. Now why would anybody keep news like that from you? And what was this “make it a Romney issue” thing again?

From the NTG None Dare Call It Rank Hypocrisy file: How is it that the Obamites get a pass on things like this? If W had done it — Katie, bar the door!

News the mass media and most politicians do not want you to have: the amount of ice on and around Antarctica. If you want to worry about “climate change” — which is very much like worrying about the phases of the moon — worry about global cooling. Unless, of course, you believe that all slightly unusual climatic phenomena, including cold spells and wet and dry and windy and quiet weather, are all rock-solid evidence of global warming.

True: “If not for the mainstream media, Obama himself would be a laughing stock at this point.” Source.

A journalist offers a few thoughts on why his occupation is not widely trusted. Interesting.

Those bloody Muslims are rioting again over a cartoon of Moh– what? Oh. Never mind.

If you have lots of money, power-hungry collectivists will accuse you of keeping it — somehow taking it out of the economy — if you don’t spend it exactly as they believe you should. This is more than economic ignorance; it’s fascism.

Let my inspiration flow
in token rhyme suggesting rhythm
that will not forsake me
till my tale is told and done

While the firelight’s aglow
strange shadows from the flames will grow
till things we’ve never seen
will seem familiar

The masthead includes a quote from the works of Geert Wilders.

The staff of The New Terrapin Gazette expresses its sincere gratitude to the many people who have gifted the world with Fedora Linux, Emacs, and Firefox.

Publisher: The Eagle Wing Palace of The Queen Chinee.