Firearms, Fake Facts, and Foolishness

In Number 77 of The Penguin Post, this item appeared:

US firearms in Mexico — someone (guess who, see the eleventh paragraph of the article) fiddled the real statistics, so Obama went to Mexico and, following the embarrassing example of Secretary Hillary (“You have a marvelous virgin”) Clinton’s stumblebum diplomacy, quoted the faked figures to the nation of Mexico and the world. The US government is doing just about all it can to make the Mexicans think everybody north of the the border is a babbling ignoramus.

Obama’s concern was that firearms sales in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas were enabling the drug cartel war in Mexico. It was rubbish, but he claims he believes it. So what was needed was an authoritative statement of the truth (that the news media would report widely, objectively informing the public).

Well, this ought to do it:

The myth that legal guns sales in the United States are responsible for Mexican drug cartel violence took another serious blow last week when an ATF official testified in Congress that only eight percent of weapons recovered in Mexico came through licensed U.S. gun dealers.

Read the full story at the link. By the way, had you learned of this testimony from your newspaper, TV, radio or news magazine? Just asking….

Meanwhile, business is excellent in one segment of the otherwise rotten economy, thanks to Obama.

This Devastating Commentary Deserves Wide Availability. The Gore/Obama-Besotted Media Will Certainly Ignore It

The author of this essay, Richard S. Lindzen, is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His contribution to the debate over AGW is essential reading. Selected quotes:

The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations. Such hysteria simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth, and the exploitation of these weaknesses by politicians, environmental promoters, and, after 20 years of media drum beating, many others as well. Climate is always changing.

…there has been no statistically significant net global warming for the last fourteen years.

…inevitably in climate science, when data conflicts with models, a small coterie of scientists can be counted upon to modify the data.

Given that the evidence (and I have noted only a few of many pieces of evidence) strongly implies that anthropogenic warming has been greatly exaggerated, the basis for alarm due to such warming is similarly diminished. However, a really important point is that the case for alarm would still be weak even if anthropogenic global warming were significant.

…ENRON had been one of the most intense lobbyists for Kyoto. It had hoped to become a trading firm dealing in carbon emission rights. This was no small hope. These rights are likely to amount to over a trillion dollars, and the commissions will run into many billions. … It is probably no accident that Gore, himself, is associated with such activities. The sale of indulgences is already in full swing with organizations selling offsets to one’s carbon footprint while sometimes acknowledging that the offsets are irrelevant. The possibilities for corruption are immense.

If you are challenged by an AGW cultist, provide him with the URL that will take him to this excellent essay. The piece will not change his opinions, of course, because his basic orientation is religious rather than scientific. But it may give him a case of the vapors.

This Is Rich, Just Perfectly Rich

You could not ask for a more unintentionally revealing and embarrassing juxtaposition of circumstances, nor could you ask for those circumstances to be phrased as a more tempting target for sarcasm:

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuela’s top prosecutor insisted Thursday that freedom of expression in Venezuela “must be limited” and proposed legislation that would slap additional restrictions on the country’s news media.

The new law would punish the owners of radio stations, television channels and newspapers that have attempted to “cause panic” and “disturb social peace,” Attorney General Luisa Ortega said.

It also would punish media owners who “manipulate the news with the purpose of transmitting a false perception of the facts.”

“Freedom of expression must be limited,” Ortega said.

So a government that is sinking its nation into a collectivist dictatorship is concerned about too much freedom of the press because the media have manipulated facts in an attempt to get the electorate worked up.

So far, so understood. This is what fascism is: censorious, power-hungry and fearful of Liberty. So President Hugo Chavez has decided to talk more like the omnipotent dictator he wants to be.

Meanwhile in the USA, President Barry O would not dream of talking like a dictator — and there is no need to limit freedom of expression as the media practice it, because virtually all the big news outlets are volunteer mouthpieces for the collectivist government. Well, there is one embarrassing exception — talk radio, which is not marching in step with the other media. Therefore it is targeted by the proposed “fairness doctrine,” which is cleverly designed to strangle talk radio financially. See PenPo 40. — Another view here; don’t skip it.

While the US Congress ponders repressive and/or punitive measures to silence the few anti-Obama media outlets, those targets harbor no reciprocal sentiments. No one (including this newsletter) wants to punish people like Mad Mary Mapes or the NY Times for lying and trying to sway the voters at the last minute with fake facts.

In the USA, you can get away with journalistic bias, malice and chicanery, because your freedom of expression is nearly absolute. So lots of people do get away with it.

How odd, then, that the Venezuelan autocrat has no effective control of the press, when that’s what all autocrats have, by definition. Yet the national press is not supporting him nearly as completely as the US press supports The One.

Right: the democratically elected leader of the free world has his nation’s journalists seeing, hearing and speaking no evil, almost as if they were headquartered in Pyongyang.

Yet everybody knows the press in a democracy is supposed to be made up of skeptical watchdogs. Journalists are supposed to have the integrity to put the nation first, not worship the man in the White House.

We live in a crazy era. As the song says, “The sky was yellow and the sun was blue.”

Well, even as Chavez is getting sensuous back rubs from The One, he’s achingly envious of the US president’s ability to make his media pets roll over and play dead. Hugo wants lap dogs, too. How to get them?

Too bad for the people of Venezuela. Hugo’s crude and primitive, and downright dangerous. So the lout will be in power a long time, devastating his nation.

In the USA, things are better, in spite of the lickspittle news media. Obama can be voted out, Jimmy Carter-style. He doesn’t have a chance in a million of pulling the stunt the former president of Honduras just tried, and may yet get away with.

Come to think of it…do you suppose that’s why The One has sided with that Zelaya thug? Does Obama agree with Ronnie Reagan about that pesky twenty-second amendment? What’s Barry O planning? Can we now explain the puzzling absurdity of White House policy on Honduras?

Naah. That’s way too conspiracist.

What we have here is just one neo-Marxist trying to help another out. By keeping him in. (Sigh) Ideology is thicker than blood.

Links

Boy, this has got to sting…if you are the NY Times, or Thomas Friedman, whose stifling ideology is summed up neatly: “‘Environmentalism’ is a government restraint on economic advance and, therefore, social mobility.”

More on the Walpin scandal. What in the world was Obama thinking?

There is no such thing as organic food because there is no such thing as inorganic food. And it does not matter anyway, so stop wasting money on the hoax.

This fascinating fact is either something the AGW cult does not want you to know about, or it’s proof of AGW (because anything at all is always proof of AGW) and we better slap iron-clad controls on everybody.

If you are not young and plan on getting older, read this.

Running from the consequences of a politically correct blunder has never been more difficult.

Michael Yon from Afghanistan.

Now — just to make a violent contrast with the above link — we turn to Walter Cronkite. First, bias and error, then a lack of honor and sincere effort, and finally an assault on the sovereignty of the USA. See also PenPo Nr. 1.

“Henry Waxman has been our greatest gift.” — What? — Oh.

It’s standard statist cant that minimum wage laws work well. It’s wrong.

“Communitarianism.” That’s a collectivist’s neologism that begins with a corrupt ethic and includes an inhumane approach to health “care.” It seems straight out of a dystopian novel, but no: it’s likely to become government policy. Do inform yourself.

Ireland withdraws from contemporary Western Civilization by voiding fundamental Enlightenment values. It’s political correctness, and it reeks.

Dan Rather, of all people, wants to “save” the news media — in order to protect democracy! Ye gods, this from the man who tried tosubvert democracy by swinging an election with fraudulent documents (which he still claims are genuine), and is a poster boy for the media’s lack of objectivity and credibility. Now he wants the public to support his concept of what media should be. Said support would be in the form of involuntary contributions, of course.

A heretic reacts to the orthodoxy: “It’s like a Ponzi scheme.”

Do you have a right to health care? No. End of report.

Tea parties make lots of people uncomfortable, including some in the news media. It’s that dratted video camera. The very idea of a common citizen recording events and reporting them…well (snort).

Beginning with its first number in February of 2008, this newsletter repeatedly assaulted Canada for its abandonment of Enlightenment values. If you paid no attention, you can begin your education in ethical governance by reading a notice regarding the recent publication of an eyewitness account of how the Canadian strain of fascism functions.

Illegal immigrants understand basic economic facts, and respond accordingly.

Some folks take good ol’ Joe too seriously. They think he’s actually pondering deep subjects and issuing cogent statements, so they try tofigure out what he’s saying. Hell, he just wants to shake everybody’s hand and tell you how much he loves you. Oh, and dispense wisdom. Tomorrow he won’t remember any of it. Give that man a refill!

Pity the poor politician. How, he would love to know, are we ever gonna keep people like this nutcase from talking? Constitution, shmonstitution!

The guys in the trenches wanted to prosecute, but the political types told them to stand down. What the heck? — OK, conjure up a fantasy: you go to vote, and find a uniformed guy holding a truncheon blocking your way. Surprised and irritated, you confront him…what happens next? What should happen next? Over to you.

A student loan these days is such a deal. Don’t let the taxpayers know.

Nan-Nan is on a tear again, and sad to say, she left those stunning tights and that cute cape at home this time. Never mind, she’s a vision in whatever chic outfit she hangs on her gaunt frame. Lately her perfect-circle eyes have been flashing at those naughty, naughty insurance companies, and oh, my goodness gracious, how stinging her words can be! Madame SanFranCrony has the gift of garb and gab, heaven knows. Do drop by, it’s just too too delicious to miss!

ACORN, the winner no matter what happens to Obama, is drawing fire again. Unfortunately it draws virtually no attention from the lap dog media. If it did, the public outrage would sweep the community organizing juggernaut into the sea.

Australia tries nuanced, sophisticated diplomacy on China; China reacts utterly predictably. Australia is disappointed, almost shocked. President Obama, please note the futility of cajoling really bad, bad people. — Related item at this link.

AGW hypocrites. Guess who?

This newsletter has never favored “single payer” health care because it’s socialized medicine with a deceitful name, and socialized medicine is not working in at least two English-speaking nations that are credible models for the USA (Canada and the UK). Opposition to Obama’s plans depends on information, much of it available at Betsy McCaughey’s website.

From The Archive

The following two items appeared on the fifteenth of March, 2004, in a pre-Terrapin Gazette mailing.

A Shame And A Disgrace

Spain has brought down its government, and Islamofascist terrorists are convinced that their mass murder in Madrid is responsible.

Whatever the reasons for the vote against the anti-terrorist policies of the former government, the terrorists have their interpretation: kill a lot of people, and you can change the policy of a modern democracy.

Fact: many Spaniards are saying, in effect, “We don’t want to upset the murderers; if we make them angry at us, they will kill some of us. Better to appease than oppose. Bush caused this tragedy.”

A simpler example of moral depravity can hardly be imagined.

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The Argument Abandoned And Then Turned Inside Out

Not long ago, we were hearing all sorts of absurd claims that there was absolutely no link between Saddam and the bin Laden terror network.

Now the European leftist enemies of the current US administration are howling, “See? The bin Laden gang has punished Spain for helping the USA and Britain bring Saddam down. Let that be a lesson to us — Bush is the real villain here! Europe must dissociate itself from the USA’s illegal war on terror.”

Next we have items published on September the thirteenth, 2004, again before the advent of The Penguin Post.

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. (Studies website, ponders its value.) Nope.

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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

Note, added August, 2009: the only source for this quote that the PenPo has been able to locate is a comment on a website that is a bit less than reliable.

– – –

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.