The New Terrapin Gazette

Number 220

10 July, 2011

Time is everything or nothing.


“You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

Here’s more on the huge but virtually invisible scandal of the BATFE, DOJ, FBI and DEA that has resulted from the Fast and Furious program. That’s the abomination that armed violent criminal cartels in Mexico.

Begin with the role played by Team Obama’s Stimulus in funding the disgrace. Then read some commentary on Eric Holder. Next you need to understand why one can say that the BATFE director was at fault, and that the degree of his gastric distress is irrelevant to that fact.

That’s all pretty nasty stuff, but the explosive question is this: did the higher-ups know what was happening? Yes, the DOJ did know all about the disgrace. That should drive some nails in a lot of political coffins. It certainly would, if the news media were overwhelmingly ethical.

And that’s what is so infuriating about this scandal: you expect the bureaucrats and swaggering law enforcers to commit excesses, but the news media are supposed to be staffed by intellectuals who are on the side of the angels. These worthies are to report the sins of the nation’s servants, and provide wise counsel to the voters.

So far, the overwhelming impression this newsletter gets is that F/F (really it should be called “Gunrunner”) is more ignored than investigated, and more downplayed than reported. As facts are learned, they are given little exposure to the public, which means they do not pass from one outlet to all the others; they are not repeated, and they are all too briefly and narrowly available to the majority of the electorate.

Worse, a proportionate sense of outrage is missing. How angry should the press be? To repeat: in Watergate, nobody died. Gunrunner involves over a hundred deaths, and its tentacles reach into all the major federal law enforcement agencies except the Secret Service. Culpability is extensive. So the press should be hammering this with repeated, complete exposure of the known facts and apoplectic, scalding editorials. It should be Item One on virtually all news broadcasts, and it should be on page one and above the fold of every paper in the nation.

Gunrunner has not rated that status because it’s Obamoid.

That reeks, and it should disgrace a majority of the journalistic community of the USA. It does not, for these are the brass-bound ideologues who accused Sarah Palin of fomenting violence with her crosshairs icons. These are the loons who consider The Tea Party a “fringe” more dangerous than a bizarre federal bureaucratic ochlocracy that is complicit in an unknown number of murders. Shame!

The nation is not just ill-served by most of its journalists; it is betrayed by them. Reporters and editors are far too often (and certainly preponderantly) unprincipled partisans and bigots, and the public must realize that.

It is essential to the common weal that the citizens know that they have been misled, cheated, abused, uninformed, underinformed and mocked by unethical propagandists who claim special privileges under the US constitution.

To that end, this newsletter has devoted considerable effort to documenting the bias — a task which has been fairly recently set aside as too burdensome. The volume of evidence is simply overwhelming. Nevertheless, readers are advised that a new feature, “The Dance of the Low, Sloping Foreheads“, will appear here as circumstances warrant.

Now a few words must be directed to the “progressives” in the electorate.

You can see what a wreck Team Obama has made of the justice system. Your political ideology is utterly incapable of excusing or refuting the facts of the scandal.

Further: recognize the nature of the problem that troubles the federal bureaucracy, and root it out. Badly led, any agency can blunder; your task is clear.

Do not stop there. You should abandon this confederacy of rascals that mismanages the executive branch, and seek out today’s equivalent of Adlai Stevenson. Give your opponents an antagonist they can respect.

Finally, realize that your myopic political zeal has helped to shape a press derelict in its responsibilities to the Republic. It is too gentle with scoundrels and irrationally hostile to the respectable aspirations of the citizenry; it has lost many of its connections to foundational values, and is increasingly unable and unwilling to appraise and report wisely the doings of government. It is not just biased, it is bigoted. It is elitist. It stereotypes people. It abets class warriors who mock and slander fine citizens. It places an empty abstraction, society, over the demonstrably real individual; yet the individual is the sole repository of rights. You have allowed — even encouraged — the press to lose its moral bearings.

These are all issues that can be resolved only by decent men.


This Is An Issue You Will Hear More About Because Its Proposed Solution May Cramp Your Style

You can download freely all sorts of stuff from the internet, and that bothers the folks who think you are supposed to pay them for the privilege of downloading that stuff. So a remedy has been proposed.

Well, it won’t work properly. It’s easy to imagine that most ISPs will be unable to determine who is violating copyright law, and that there will be a lot of mistakes that degrade service to law-abiding customers.

As to the claim that over three hundred thousand jobs were lost due to copyright infractions, is there proof? Further, when jobs are lost because some people obtain goods or services they do not pay for, isn’t it the case that money not spent on those goods and services is spent on other things, benefiting other workers and enterprises? Isn’t this an argument over a zero-sum transfer of resources? (Yes.) So isn’t the argument from economic consequences irrelevant? (Yes, it certainly is — though there are ethical aspects that the economic argument does not address; those concerns need to be examined.)

Internet piracy is not at all a simple issue. Its negative effects are extraordinarily hard to quantify, and its overall impact may be far less than claimed. Further, its ethical implications have been cogently denied. It may be much harder to arrive at a just solution to this dispute than is commonly realized.

For libertarians, it’s a thorny issue. Some oppose the very idea of copyrights. Others assert the concept of intellectual property, and grant authors control over their works.

This newsletter generally agrees with copyright law as it currently exists, even as it admits to both ignorance of the issue and a relative lack of interest in it. This dispute involving the proper role of ISPs in protecting intellectual property indicates just how unsatisfactory that know-nothing position is.



Here’s a brief video of comments from a politician who understands what Obama means. Make a mental note, and from time to time as the months go by, check where this guy is and what he is up to.

Collectivist educational policy is often ineffective, and especially so when its practitioners consider it a carte blanche. That temptation is frequently overwhelming. And obnoxious: “178 public educators in Atlanta should be in prison…The cycle of intimidation, corruption, fraud, and reward was at play for the better part of ten years.” Holy smoke. Click and read.

Is it media bias, or just the manipulation of news by politically radical censors masquerading as journalists?

Of the police in his municipality, the mayor says: “People in town are scared to death of them. It’s just a clear pattern of harassment and intimidation by this government. These people have run this town like they owned it. It’s got to be fixed and I’m not going to quit until I see them in jail.” Yes, Your Honor, that’s how authoritarians behave — if they can. The lesson is there for all to learn, if they will but pay attention.

Related: “With a judge like that, there is simply no expectation of justice in his courtroom.” Now why would anybody say that? Because of this. …Oh, OK. So by what title shall we call an account of this revolting event, The Indiscreet Malice of the Judiciary? Look, Pilgrims, you have to watch the people who run things, or those bastards will run things right over you.

Israelis have a crazy sense of humor. See whether you find this funny. Oh, and notice the music — the simple little melody here would have to be dressed up and civilized a bit, but you could imagine it used as maybe background music in the local Starbucks, or possibly a jingle advertising liquid soap.

Pat Buchanan (remember him?) waxes feisty over the attempts of Team Obama to raise taxes, raise the limit on borrowing, and carry on with its management of the economy. Pat is not this newsletter’s idea of a political sage, but he has a viewpoint that is worth considering. Proceed with judicious attentiveness, Pilgrims.

Senior citizens beware. Hit that hyperlink and then vote accordingly.

Here you have some cogent information explaining the economy (sort of). Collectivists will hiss and spit if they see this, but then so will everybody else, because it’s ugly stuff. Some folks would even say it’s facts you are not supposed to report. Well, here is the whole shootin’ match, and you “progressives” can pretend it’s not here. Meanwhile most of the subscribers to this newsletter will pretend this nightmare will end in 2012. The worst case scenario: everybody is dreaming. Sheesh, who wants to live in a nightmare? Unh, yeah. And how.

It’s the president’s job to defend the USA. He’s not doing it properly.

Trying to estimate the degree of self-censorship of the press and the nature of the bias behind it involves dealing with very hard questions. Here’s an example: did Obama do this? Probably. At least Team Obama almost certainly did. Dirty? Yeah, sure. Now it was reported by Reuters, so did you see it in your local paper, or learn of it on TV or radio? And if you knew nothing of it until you read this newsletter, what does that mean, if anything?

The masthead includes a quote from the works of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. The quote that is the headline of the first item is from the remarks of an iconic “progressive” hero, Joseph Welch; he was addressing then Senator Joe McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings.


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 Chromium.

Publisher:    The Eagle Wing Palace of The Queen Chinee