Progress, Maybe

Even scientists who still believe in anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are close to admitting that melting polar ice has nothing to do with carbon dioxide. (They don’t want to talk about glaciers that are growing; those ice sheets are not politically correct, which means nobody can get grants to study them.) One climate researcher confesses that “there’s still a lot more that we need to sort out,” which is a greater understatement than he realizes.

Fact: a rise in local temperature does not imply that the global climate has become warmer. All the north polar icebergs could melt even as the climate overall cools, for the earth is too far big to behave according to the simple-minded preconceptions of the AGW cult.

The stubborn problem with the AGW myth is that Al Gore-style ideologues are still terribly dangerous; those nutcases could try to cool the earth by polluting the atmosphere, or more likely impose astronomically costly and counterproductive legislation. Obama in particular must be restrained — he’s naive, impressionable, and easily seduced by crackpot Utopian schemes and drastic solutions to problems no one understands. This overenthusiastic amateur must not be allowed the power to save the world from climate change.

Subsequent development: so far, so good — a bad bill was just defeated in Congress.

With the earth cooling at present, the pressing question is not whether Washington saves the planet from global warming. The pressing question is whether Washington destroys the American economy. Thirty-one Democratic senators just voted to do so. The fact that 26 Democratic Senators crossed party lines to vote against quick passage of cap-and-tax is a very good sign for America’s economic future.

The Road To Hell Is Paved With Secrets

There’s a stubborn streak in US types that is neither understood nor appreciated beyond the borders. It springs from a sense that outmoded alien ideas will corrupt our revolutionary representative democracy and dismantle the Republic, making the USA just another misbegotten, limping political travesty.

For example, outfits like the UN have aroused flyover country’s suspicion for years, with “wingnuts” always fearful that a one-world government would usurp the sovereignty of the nation. Is that paranoia? Well, when the discussion turns to the Bilderberger and the Council on Foreign Relations, there is probably a little insanity present. Sometimes more than a little. Remember Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope, and the fuss some made over the nation-building efforts of Cecil Rhodes? So…

…it’s not exactly shocking to see stuff like this coming from a right-wing weblog

The Europeans have been trying to get their hands on our financial system for decades. It is essential to them that they rein in American free enterprise so that their socialist heaven will not be polluted by vices such as the profit motive. Now, with President Obama’s approval, they have done it.

No, this rhetoric is not to be dismissed lightly. And yes, it does make you think. This newsletter does not sneer at charges that European Socialists would love to have a hands-across-the-sea brotherhood with the USA, for there really is a Socialist dream of bringing down US capitalism. But the USA has stubbornly pushed globalization — international free trade among sovereign states — rather than global homogenization under a collectivist supra-governmental authority.

Yes, some folks do dream of converting the individualist Yanks to a class-conscious proletarian mass. Try to imagine US society struggling to shed its false consciousness and evolve into a workers’ paradise…it’s the US patriot’s nightmare and the European Socialist’s delusion.

That said, Obama is a radical liberal, USA style, and that makes him much more like a European Socialist than a moderate US Democrat. He dreams the dream, and firing the head of General Motors must have been a real thrill for him. Even more than FDR, he’s bound and determined to bring more collectivist policies to the USA, and The One’s plan for a federal security force makes FDR look like a weakling. Obama wants his programs to have real teeth.

That is why this president is scary. He knows that socialism’s inhumane nature makes it dependent on the police power of the state. If the national community is to be organized, collectivism will have to be imposed and upheld by men with guns.

An alarmist view, you say? Then what, pray tell, will be the new federal security force’s mission, and who will be its targets? Why is this new military needed?

Yes, Obama does have the makings of a dictator. That statement reveals this newsletter’s (paranoid?) suspicions; they cluster around the domestic policies of The One. Europe’s socialist visions for the USA are peripheral concerns.

Now of course if the Declaration of Independence has been nullified, there is a problem. It will take drastic measures to solve it, but first we must be sure the problem exists. The claims of the above-linked weblog notwithstanding, the existence of the problem is not verified. Yet.

So there is cause for worry, and there is watchfulness. Meanwhile Israel is second on the PenPo’s list of concerns. With each day, a gap continues to open between the USA and the Jewish state, and that is a very bad sign indeed.

In assessing the gravity of the situation, the PenPo confesses that it resorts to subjective means. That makes conclusions impossible, of course, but it does permit statements of the “It should not surprise anyone if…” variety. The reader is, therefore, asked to tolerate guesswork based on intuitive responses to the president’s manner.

The PenPo suspects that the man is a cynical, close-mouthed Jew-hater. One can just smell it. The Obama that aimed an obscene gesture at Hillary and implied that Sarah Palin is a sow strikes this newsletter as likely to disgrace himself — sooner or later — with a hateful reference to Jews.

Yes, that may be fanciful, and yes, thinking with one’s “gut” is not rational. It may be wise, though. Today, when we watch a film of Adolf Hitler delivering one of his speeches, can we help but wonder how in the world any Europeans (not just the Germans) could put their faith in this man? Could people not just see that he must be ignored? Was it not obvious to the sensitive and perceptive?

So it is with Obama. A highly subjective consideration of the man leaves this newsletter appalled at the public’s choice. The persona is hidden; Obama has secrets. He is utterly expedient, anything but candid, and at base, coldly single-minded and intolerant. His motives are scarcely informed by decent ethics.

Recall that this fellow divided his time between reveling in the histrionics of his loony pastor, and then during the work week instructing people in how to Mau-Mau the establishment. He’s no gentleman; he’s a lout in an expensive suit. He’s not a good enough actor to hide his empty core completely. It is sometimes glimpsed, sometimes felt as it makes his words ring hollow. He has guilty pleasures. He’s capable of saying some astonishingly hateful things.

The One would seem to agree. He knows he must cling to his teleprompter, and that could well be because he will call New York “Hymietown,” or angrily blurt out an even more vile slur, if he does not read his prepared remarks. Expect fewer Q and A sessions with the press, fewer opportunities to give quick responses to unanticipated questions, and fewer exchanges likely to provoke irritated, snap remarks.

And expect Obama to lock horns with Netanyahu. If not publicly, certainly privately. Meanwhile the Iranian mullahs will be rejoicing, a fact that should profoundly anger the US electorate.

It will get worse. A principled government does not go to Iran, hat in hand, begging to negotiate. The Iranians know that, so they will humiliate Obama, reject his pleas to talk — and then ostentatiously give in, only to prove intractable. The world will wonder how the USA could debase itself before homicidal lunatics. Some will assume that Obama is a secret Muslim whose only allegiance is to his faith.

You don’t have to go to those bizarre lengths to explain what is going on. US foreign policy is crumbling because it is unsupported by solid ethics.

A Stellar Indication Of How Far We Have Come

What hath feminism wrought? Well, maybe this, the internet gem that left the PenPo staff helplessly convulsed with hilarity. That advertising slogan — “The nagging stops when the bars slam shut!” — is an instant classic, and the website wins the Penguin Post’s covetedAmbrose Bierce Award for its wry topicality and insight.

Caveat Lector — Verify Before You Accept

It’s not rational to place too much trust in electrons manipulated by morons, as this history of resurrection myths demonstrates. The author gets all the major stuff wrong. All.

Karma in Buddhism holds that the fate of the soul is determined by its karma, its actions. Every act — whether good or bad, no matter how insignificant — will eventually return to the person who does it.

That’s not Buddhism, it’s ignorant bunk. So is this:

…karma says that good (and bad) deeds will be rewarded in a future life, not this one. Furthermore, everything bad that happens to you is your own fault; karma says you deserve every moment of pain, anguish, and terror in your life, as you brought it upon yourself by some evil act in an earlier lifetime.

Sheesh! You can find everything on the internet, from correct to deceitful, from David Hume to Al Gore. Be careful out there.

Links

Two bald eagles in aerial combat. Sorry, it’s not video, but the stills are very good.

Researchers can now explain exactly why chimpanzees are such lousy brain surgeons.

Hey, Abdul, look at this! When people see you carrying around this new magazine that glorifies jihad, you’ll get goats — or girls if you prefer — real easy like, and if that does not work, hey, you can always take the big jump — you know, blow yourself up in a synagogue in Charlotte (wouldn’t you know it, the freaks named it after a female, ukh), North Carolina (another female’s name, may the Prophet keep his lunch down) which is where this magazine is published.

You are getting your regular injection of wit and wisdom from Camille Paglia, aren’t you? If you have missed recent treatments (because the PenPo has not reminded you, perhaps), by all means proceed, and correct the matter. At once.

Hat tip to GB for a report on this gizmo, which may prove as popular with yuppies and greenies as with rural folk in the “developing world.” Too bad that the inventor is not going to make much, if anything, from his idea.

This fellow Koh is attracting a lot of criticism for his view that US law must give way to “transnational” legislation. Examples here and then at this weblog. Both of these links connect to commentary by lawyers.

As always, when the public schools don’t work well, somebody can come along and outperform them. That’s not hard to do. But in ten years, today’s winner will be a loser, and another reformer will displace it. Which won’t be hard to do.

The Obama health care reforms are mostly known already; here’s an overview.

Protest demonstrations, picketing, crowds complaining about government are the exclusive property of the “progressives” and similar groups. Everybody knows that. No plagiarism allowed!!

“Hi, BO, how’s it goin’?” “Well….” “Hey, no problem! We can have the kids sing a song, we’ll all do the Macarena, and –” “WHAAT??” “Oh, yeah, OK. I know, we’ll have a Tea Party! They are very popular with the wingnuts, and I just know our people will flock to one!”

Hold it! What’s that “…financed by Fox News” business? How can the PenPo get in on that? Jane Hamsher said it (she’s in the link immediately above), and she also said some other stuff she evidently did not mean to say, none of which will be reported in the mass media, of course. Same old same-old, as the kids say.

Russian stray dogs display impressive adaptive intelligence — they are commuters who follow a businesslike routine that pays off handsomely. In the morning, they ride the subway into the city center, where the food is, and employ tactics that keep them well-fed. In the evening, they take the train back to the suburbs, where they sleep. It works. They are obviously smarter than most newspaper publishers.

What, again?? Oh, cripes, Joe. You gotta go tea-total. That Old No. 7 is just no good for you. Tea-total from now on, OK? …Joe?

End the USA’s embargo of Cuba, and normalize relations with Fidel’s brother? Some say it would be a mistake, and point to Cuban maliceand some silly, naive members of Congress who are not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier. The PenPo fears that whatever happens, US Cuban policy will be unwise; the arguments on both sides of the issue are goofy. Flip a coin….

Do you remember how to speak Pig Latin? Ure-shay ou-yay o-day. It can be useful at times! Such as when you want to compare European and US values regarding the right/responsibility of self-defense. Ick-clay.

It was inevitable, and, if memory serves, this is not the first time this perfervid, ethically desiccated mockery of democracy has been attempted. It won’t be the last.

If the Universal Caliphate is established, this project will be scrapped. Meanwhile, you might want to take a look at plans to expand the scope of data available on the internet.

Isn’t this advice rather like saying that because some people play Russian roulette, it’s safer to play with fire than it is to take a pistol to a shooting range? — Sure, the analogy is apt. The real issue here is the dangers of witless excess.

From The Archive

The following items are from a pre-Terrapin Gazette message that was circulated on September 13, 2004.

Creativity

How can you become more creative? My view is that you can’t, any more than you can develop your powers of extrasensory perception. That’s because creativity, like irony, does not exist. It’s a term we have for behavior we notice, or for conventions we define. Both irony and creativity are inventions of the human mind that have no reality beyond our conceptions.

Well. I guess that pretty well invalidates the premise of this website, which attempts to provide us with tools we can use to create ideas and…I don’t know what all.

Perhaps you will find a good use for this list. I hope so. But I have to wonder whether it would have helped Beethoven, or Goethe, or Sam Clemens, or Frank Wright.

Nope.

– – –

Get It Right Or You Will Be In Trouble

Yes, a website devoted to the things we say and write that are wrong. Just what you needed, right? You bet you need it, if English is not your mother tongue, and you need it if you care about the impressions you make when you speak and write.

This is a pretty good site. I may have told you about it many moons ago.

– – –

When He Speaks Without Reading From A Teleprompter, We Hardly Know Him

I want to make clear to you, I want to make clear to you if I have not made clear to you, that this story is true, and that more important questions than how we got the story, which is where those who don’t like the story like to put the emphasis, the more important question is what are the answers to the questions raised in the story, which I just gave you earlier.

— Dan Rather in curbside interview 9/10/04

– – –

Political Correctness Is Not New

In 1943 Eric Blair submitted the manuscript of his now-famous Animal Farm to several publishers. The first four rejected it. One agreed to publish it, but, after getting the word from the British government, withdrew. Here is an excerpt from that publisher’s letter to Blair:

I mentioned the reaction I had had from an important official in the Ministry of Information with regard to Animal Farm. I must confess that this expression of opinion has given me seriously to think…I can see now that it might be regarded as something which it was highly ill-advised to publish at the present time. If the fable were addressed generally to dictators and dictatorships at large then publication would be all right, but the fable does follow, as I see now, so completely the progress of the Russian Soviets and their two dictators, that it can apply only to Russia, to the exclusion of the other dictatorships. Another thing: it would be less offensive if the predominant caste in the fable were not pigs. I think the choice of pigs as the ruling caste will no doubt give offence to many people, and particularly to anyone who is a bit touchy, as undoubtedly the Russians are.

From Orwell and Politics, Editor Peter Davison, Penguin, p. 306.

– – –

(Introductory explanation: As this message went out, the CBS scandal involving those fraudulent documents that were intended to swing the presidential election of 2004 was spilling into the public’s collective lap. No, the full story never came out, and probably never will, but CBS was crumbling, Rather was teetering, and Mad Mary Mapes was just about to find the crosshairs on her. This message concerned the media treatment of the facts that were coming to light. Note that at each step, as the truth was made available, media managed to distort the account to the benefit of CBS — which was tantamount to supporting Bush’s political enemies.)

This Is How They Create It And Then Pass It Around: Unethically

A forensics expert named Philip Bouffard complained to a weblogger that he had been misquoted in The Boston Globe regarding the authenticity of the documents CBS used to disgrace Bush. Interviewed by the newspaper on the phone, Bouffard said some things that were ignored and did not say some things that were reported.

When he said, “I got new information about possible Selectric fonts and (Air Force) documents that indicated a Selectric machine could have been available, and I needed to do more analysis and consider it,” he did not mean that he had changed his mind about the documents and now considered them genuine.

After the Globe misrepresented Bouffard’s comments, he had this to say about his continuing work:

But the more information we get and the more my colleagues look at this, we’re more convinced that there are significant differences between the type of the (IBM) Composer that was available and the questionable document.

The (new Selectric) typefaces sent to me invalidated the theory about the foot on the four, but after looking at this more, there are still many more things that say this is bogus.

… there are so many things that are not right; ‘s crossings,’ ‘downstrokes’ …

More things were looked into; more things about IBM options. Even if you bought special (superscripting) keys, it’s not right. There are all kinds of things that say that this is not a typewriter.

Comment from the weblogger who interviewed Bouffard after The Globe reported the man’s original remarks incorrectly:

I have come to the definitive conclusion that the Boston Globe misrepresented their main source’s testimony to stunningly misleading effect.

Whether or not the docs are even forgeries or not is almost secondary in the media narrative at this point. The fact is, Dr. Bouffard was used as the main source to write the following headline in the Boston Globe:

Authenticity backed on Bush documents

Square that headline with the quotes from their source that are listed above.

The above excerpted from this website.

All right: a newspaper got it wrong, misquoted an expert, and claimed he said exactly the opposite of what he said. Result: one hopping mad expert. (“What the Boston Globe did now sort of pisses me off, because now I have people calling me and e-mailing me, and calling me names, saying that I changed my mind. I did not change my mind at all!”)

That should end it.

But no.

CBS picked up the Globe’s inaccurate story and repeated it. (And spelled Bouffard’s name wrong — both his first and last names. Accuracy is the hobgoblin of petty minds and webloggers….)

From this weblog:

The CBS Evening News just repeated the Boston Globe Lie.

I love the mainstream media. One of them lies and the other one swears to it. I should note that this was their sole line of defense tonight and the blogosphere proved it to be a lie hours ago.

Here’s the quote from the CBS news website:

Saturday’s issue of the Boston Globe reports that one document expert, Phillip Broussard, who had expressed suspicions about the documents, said ‘he now believes the documents could have been prepared on an IBM Selectric Composer typewriter available at the time.’

Find it at this URL, assuming CBS has not taken it down by now (I saved a copy of it just in case).

Addendum, April, 2009: And where is the Boston Globe today? It’s shrunken and has been forced to cut staff. For some unfathomable reason, its readership declined.