The New Terrapin Gazette
Number 190 27 February, 2011
Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.
The Koch Brothers
“Progressives” loathe the Koch brothers (it’s a long story; for the latest tip of the iceberg, first turn off AdBlockPlus if you are using it on Firefox, and then see this weblog post). In fact it turns out that just about everyone hates the Brothers Koch, for if you dig a little, you will find these two very rich guys have funded somebody you fear. Yep, Dave and Chuck are always giving money to the wrong people.
The result: a video hit piece from the Russians, and the skulduggery of the brothers is exposed in a damning revelation, and so on and on…you can find all sorts of rabid rants about the Kochs on the internet. It appears these two Machiavellian wizards belong in the innermost circle of hell.
While a lot of the brothers’ activities inspire conspiracist fantasies, a sober and all-inclusive report on where they put their money might surprise those of you who want to eat the rich. It has to do with the PATRIOT Act.
Now The New Terrapin pleads guilty to having ignored this legislation, in spite of the fact that the law’s name has become a cussword. Some folks insist that PATRIOT totally abolished the fourth amendment to the US federal constitution, and a claim like that should not go unexamined. Yet this newsletter did not look into it. That lapse was partly due to what seemed at the time to be more pressing matters, as well as to the complexities of legal and ideological arguments: the evaluation of PATRIOT looked too time-consuming and (frankly) boring to undertake. Too, The New Terrapin assumed, perhaps wrongly, that in time the courts would trim off the excesses and make PATRIOT fit within established precedents. All would be well.
That was partly true — some aspects of PATRIOT have been declared unconstitutional — and partly in error. The new law deserved scrutiny and comment that it never got in these pages.
Thus it is that The New Terrapin is now reviewing PATRIOT. It’s not fun. Disagreement is common, the issues are complex and technical, and wisdom is in short supply. PATRIOT is more a shibboleth than a concept. If you mention it and then spit, you identify yourself to friend and foe. If you utter the word as if it were any other, you suggest tacitly that you approve of PATRIOT’s policies. Well, that may not be bad in itself, but it appears that few who have strong opinions can state them without misrepresenting the law.
The New Terrapin hopes to have more to say on this topic before long, but don’t expect (a) anything that will change your mind about PATRIOT, for everybody already seems to know what to think; (b) a quick report, as there is too much to wade through before saying anything; or (c) effectual analysis, for what will be, will be — meaning the courts and the Congress will do whatever they do, without studying this newsletter’s opinions on PATRIOT. (Obama has just allowed an unamended version of PATRIOT to exist for another year; his decision is driving some of his supporters crazy. You Obamites should have read this newsletter a little over two years ago, and followed the logic where it led; your man is and always has been an empty suit. His promises are so much smoke in the wind. That’s why he never defined Hopeandchange.)
But back to the Koch brothers.
“Progressives” see Dave and Chuck as quintessential neoconservatives, evil puppet-masters plotting social sabotage in pursuit of ever-greater profits. It might surprise everyone to learn that the Kochs donated twenty million dollars to the ACLU to try to invalidate key elements of PATRIOT in the courts. Yes, it’s true. The linked article, all of which you should read, points out: “…that $20 million appears to be substantially more than the Kochs have contributed to all political candidates combined for at least the last 15 years.” The Kochs hate PATRIOT, and they fought it much more effectively than did any collectivist organization. Crippling PATRIOT was not a matter of marching or boycotting or writing screeds to be read by virtually nobody; it was a matter of legal action, and the ACLU was able to do its work because it had the money to do it.
When Dave ran for vice-president of the US, his platform included abolition of the FBI and CIA, and the legalization of prostitution.
So maybe the Kochs are not utter villains after all. Maybe collectivists and individualists can agree on some issues. Who knows….
A thrill ran up Chris Matthews’s leg when he listened to Obama speak. Yes, that should have tipped everybody off that this guy is a squirrel; after all, Obama the orator is pretty boring and transparent. Now Matthews is literally making things up. Yes, he’s lying to viewers who can not be expected to confirm or debunk whatever the man says. Scoundrels like Matthews have utterly debased the integrity of the former giants in TV news. Cripes, it’s no wonder Fox has grown. Unfortunately that growth is not an indication that a segment of the news media is healthy, professional, principled and trustworthy. Fox got where it is by presenting the news from its distinct bias, and that’s a lukewarm recommendation at best. Being anti is not always the same as being correct. Overall, the news consumer is not well served these days. It takes a lot of work to get the facts, and trust is always an issue.
Related: with things like this going on, one can understand why the news consumer might refuse to believe anything and anybody. There are times when the only rational response is cynicism.
To make a short story even shorter, when Tea Party-style legislation was proposed in Wisconsin, Obamite pro-SEIU legislators balked and left the state. Next on the voters’ agenda: recalls.
This is extremely odd, coming as it does from the LA Times. It appears that the article was not published in the newspaper’s print edition, but was only on the internet. Still it suggests that the paper either suffered a lapse or had a change of heart. A cynic would say a change of heart in a publisher is not to be trusted. But who knows what a dying newspaper might do in an attempt to save itself? (The New Terrapin especially likes the author’s parting shot: the Obamite cadre of apparatchiki has not announced that it will have uniforms, a flag, and a salute.)
Related: some — including this publication — would say that the mentality behind the recruiting of True Believers as Obamatroopers exploits lies.
This one is for JY, who would ask you to read it, please.
How valuable is the United Nations? It has fostered unparalleled corruption and imposed enormities on helpless people. It is not at all what its founders envisioned. It cannot be reformed. It should be ignored.
This is the meaning of what happened in Wisconsin.
It’s impossible to know how much of this report is exaggeration. In any event, it provides some interesting information on the conflict in Afghanistan.
It would be interesting to know what Obama would think of this critique of Raul’s Cuba. — By the way, “critique” does not mean negative appraisal. And the word is not a verb.
Everybody knows Sarah Palin does not have enough intelligence to heat water in a microwave oven, so her suggestion of what should be done to Libya must be risible. Compare her idea with what the world is doing/not doing, and think it through.
The New Terrapin can’t view the video on this site, but you should give it a try. It might be heart-warming.
The joke’s on TSA employees, evidently, for it seems their job descriptions and five bucks won’t get them a cup of coffee.
At a critical time, just when the public needs a lot of relevant and accurate information, the news media impose partisan censorship. Unethical. Unprofessional. Typical.
The abuse of the constitution’s commerce clause continues. Thoughts are now actions, and can be regulated by the federal legislative body. Oh, good grief…! This naked judicial Obamite partisanship transcends sanity and insanity.
Says a weblogger: “I’m glad to see that so many Tea Party folks are turning out all over the country even though — unlike the union folks — they’re not protecting their place at the public trough. As Greece demonstrates, it’s easy to get people to march for their right to suck, unmolested, at the government teat. Getting taxpayers to resist seems to be an American thing.” (He means “US,” not “American.”) He links to this report. Reminder: the newspaper referenced is owned by a church, and that could produce biased journalism.
Freedom of speech has no place in Islam, but is exploited and abused by Islamist propagandists in the USA. There’s a shock!
Well, of course.
The point is apt, and damning: if Palin were president and did what Obama is doing, the “progressives” would have her head on a pike. But The One gets away with it. Still, a rational observer might ask whether a chief executive cannot properly decide how to proceed and whether to proceed. As well, it seems there is a clear distinction between not defending a law in court and refusing to defend the territory of the nation against armed, occupying alien invaders. Obama is guilty of the second offense, which The New Terrapin considers a violation of his oath of office — by not protecting the nation from invaders currently within the USA’s borders, he is refusing to defend the constitution. — Later: there’s more to be found here.
The “new media” flex their muscles (two instances thereof, One and Two), and if you think the legacy media like it, you are a day late and several dollars short. The fact that the issues this time are Arizona and US foreign policy makes it all the more embarrassing and irritating for the federal administration. Don’t the videos have a distinctive amateur look about them? That’s because this is genuine grassroots reporting that has grown up a bit. Yes, it’s propaganda — it’s commentary and reporting that express the values of Flyover Country. This is the diverse political middle and its allies questioning Team Obama’s official line.
Aha! Now there’s proof that the mainstream news media do not censor news by omitting things that are unflattering to collectivists and progressives. Yes, here it is, so read it and weep, you goofy wingnuts! — Huh? Well, yes, but…like…unh…hey, we can take that out later. Right? Yeah, take it out. Snip snip, you know.
Well, now. Here’s an idea that makes sense. Read the final paragraph, where the weblogger suggests something that would help — and predicts how the public would react to it.
From the Eternal Frustrations Committee in the Political Ethics Department of the Institute of Good Intentions comes this report on Maxine Waters, Barney Frank, and the toothless Freedom of Information Act. Those with high blood pressure are advised not to click on the hyperlink.
Here’s a story that some hard-nosed types have called “tragic.” Heck, it’s not tragic at all, actually, as long as you understand that some people are entitled. Right. They can be given a pass or three because they are, like, put upon, see? So when they get a little upset, well, it’s no big deal. If you disagree, let’s step out in the back and have a little talk about your negative attitude, Bunky….
The masthead includes a quote from the works of Franz Kafka.
The staff of The New Terrapin Gazette expresses its sincere gratitude to the many people who have gifted the world with Arch Linux, Emacs, Screen, and Firefox Namoroka.
Publisher: The Eagle Wing Palace of The Queen Chinee