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Month: March 2013

Number 299

The New Terrapin Gazette Number 299 30 March, 2013 …teleological behavior directed towards a final state or goal is not something off limits for natural science and an anthropomorphic misconception of processes which, in themselves, are undirected and accidental. Rather it is a form of behavior which can be well defined in scientific terms and for which the necessary conditions and possible mechanisms can be indicated. Sloganeering In The Attack On Freedom Of The Press No regime that lusts to control the populace can live peacefully with unfettered journalism, as was demonstrated by Senators Reid and Schumer and Pelosi who — along with many other “progressives” — pushed for the “Fairness Doctrine”. That was, you will recall from Numbers 40, 93 and 185 of this newsletter, a failed attempt to limit the number of “wingnut” radio broadcasts. Now the British are looking quite seriously at even more draconian censorship for their entire press. It’s called a “royal charter”. For information on it, begin with this brief weblog post. You can also proceed to the linked commentary in (of course) The Guardian. It’s appalling: the British ought to be ashamed of themselves — the people who resisted Hitler with grim determination seem to consider the defense of Liberty too tiresome to be sustained. Cynics might respond that the home of the Webbs and the Labor Party is realizing one of...

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Number 298

The New Terrapin Gazette Number 298 20 March, 2013 The Wahhabi aristocrats of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates have become experts at deceiving the West. The worldview of these men, like that of Khomeini, is stuck in the seventh century, yet when necessary they talk Western, act Western, dress Western, and worm their way into Western society. The Unease Of Not Being Able To Know How is it that a teenager in Pakistan can connect his computer to a telephone line and start working his way into some of the most critically important computers and control systems the USA has? Begin here, and do read it all. Thanks go to reader GB, who passed along this report of troubling developments.   Now consider whether intelligent people would allow circumstances like those to arise. The point: when trying to protect the lives of millions of people, a competent security team never gives the other side targets to hit and puzzles to solve. If it made that mistake, the Bad Guys would hit the targets and solve the puzzles. So what’s the best security? Instead of guaranteeing failure, capable defenders act rationally: they cut the enemy off so he has no link, no path, no connection, no avenue of approach to the vital systems. When he launches a hostile probe over the internet, he is fed exciting lies. Stringing him...

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Number 297

The New Terrapin Gazette Number 297 13 March, 2013 Unless predestination alone were to account for everything, making further inquiry into the Book of Nature pointless, it was only logical to assume that man’s condition and fate were determined by the same celestial motions which determine the weather and the seasons, the quality of the harvest, the fertility of animal and plant. In a word, astrological determinism, to a scientific mind like Kepler’s, was the forerunner of biological psychological determinism. A New Pope First, here is how the election of the next pontiff will be conducted. Second, The New Terrapin Gazette’s expert on the Vatican has responded to questions regarding future developments, both probable and hoped-for. Asked whether there would be any changes in teaching regarding the use of condoms to prevent disease and whether the Vatican might declare militant opposition to Islamic colonialism, he responded to both questions in the negative. “…the church leaders are generally pacifistic to the point of naivete”. While declining to predict where the next pope will be from and whether Mother Teresa will be made a saint, he expressed these hopes: he “… would like to see a tougher stance against defiant clergy, particularly the Jesuits.” He rates this book as required reading, and adds that he “…would like the next Pope to kick some ass in the Vatican. The Curia needs disinfecting....

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Number 296

The New Terrapin Gazette Number 296 8 March, 2013 It is, as history attests, a grave error to conclude that because our vices are social rather than natural, they will be easier to cure; but radicals have thought just that for the past two hundred years. Bias From here comes a cold, hard fact: …it would appear until further notice that we’ll have to rely on the center-right blogosphere and its social media, its pundits, and its few friends in the establishment press to expose anything the Obama administration would rather the world not see or know, and then figure out how to get it out there for low-information voters to see. This commentary explains why that’s true. When a journalist says this: “…(the White House is) undercutting the First Amendment — it’s state-run media”, you know there’s a problem. Firearms Legislation There are very real social problems that contribute to differences in murder rates. If gun availability is one of those contributors, it must be a very unimportant part of that contribution. Perhaps those focused on gun control as a method of saving lives might be better off concentrating on the social problems that really matter. See how the author of the above assertion arrived at his opinion. The NRA adds to its advocates. It’s your turn: you provide the sentence that makes folks want to read the...

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