The New Terrapin Gazette
10 April, 2012
If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical sixty years ago, a liberal thirty years ago, and a racist today.
Whatever Your Politics, Don’t Skip This
Here’s a brief video you should see — if you…
…are wondering why anybody opposes the re-election of this visionary president…or…
…if you don’t like Obama much, but you know you won’t vote for Romney because (a) he’s a Mormon, or because (b) your vote will not count…or…
…if you are a “progressive” who expects Obama to win. Hey, don’t get overconfident! Sure, Obama is unlikely to lose, but you don’t want to run any unnecessary risks, now do you? Here’s an opportunity to see what the racist low-sloping foreheads are going to say. Use that information to prepare your devastating refutations and brilliant rejoinders, so you can keep the USA on the Road to Utopia.
Yes, the folks not mentioned above will benefit from this video, as well.
Does Obama Know He’s Not Telling The Truth, Or Is He Simply Ignorant?
Team Obama knows high prices for gasoline and Diesel fuel will cost the president some votes, so there is an attempt under way to insinuate into the popular wisdom the understanding that no president can lower those prices. That’s why Obama said recently, “Right now the key thing that is driving higher gas prices is actually the world’s oil markets and uncertainty about what’s going on in Iran and the Middle East, and that’s adding a twenty or thirty dollar premium to oil prices.”
That’s not just sloppy rhetoric; the ideas it tries to convey are simply not true. Once you have worked out what the president means, don’t believe him.
The price of oil on the international market is responsive to only a few major factors. Among those are the growth of the world’s economies, the expectations for future economic growth, stock prices, and the current demand for energy and chemicals derived from oil. Study after study has shown that the price of crude tracks the price of equities quite closely.
The Obama administration asserts that worry about war in the Middle East has made gasoline expensive. This claim is false, and that makes its promotion unethical. It takes little insight to see that in fact Obama is blaming Israel for making everyone pay more to drive their cars. If somehow all the political and religious disputes in the world were resolved tomorrow, petroleum prices months later would remain at today’s levels. In the short to medium term, only more drilling and the construction of more refineries can help the consumer; in the medium and long term, as this newsletter has already said, the development of cheaper ways of generating electricity will help — especially if research in the technology of batteries is fruitful.
Meanwhile Obama refuses to promote exploration, drilling, and refining. He claims there is no need to modify his policies; that might be true if high prices were immune to the impact of greater supply.
Then there is Joe Biden, whose babble regarding oil prices stuns knowledgeable observers (and should open your eyes). Joe thinks oil sellers and buyers are tossing lots of money around because Iran might “take out the Saudi oil fields and Bahraini oil fields”. He frets about Libya, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, and “chaos in Russia” (what?). Yes, you were told that if you voted for McCain, the nation would have a goofy know-nothing as vice president, and that prediction was unfortunately accurate.
If you want some rather challenging background on what determines oil prices, this post might help. It has some nifty graphs, and it’s on target. Then there’s another view, but it places too much emphasis on the market’s (virtually non-existent) ability to estimate and factor in risk (an effort the market does not in fact make), so don’t take it as Holy Writ; its value lies in its discussion of how oil is delivered to various refineries, and the limitations of the imperfect distribution network for crude.
For now, think of the issue as nothing more complex than this: high prices are a sign that there is not enough of something, and they provide a motive for coming up with more of it. When government interferes with those truths, prosperity suffers.
Obama was wrong to nix the pipeline, is wrong to hold up more drilling in the USA and in its adjacent oceans, and is wrong to imply that algae and other fanciful fuels can help any time soon. The One is not telling the nation the truth because he is the wrong man for the job.
Birther Claims And The Simple Truth
Odd, isn’t it, that nobody cares to research Sheriff Joe’s claims about the .pdf file that the White House says is a legitimate copy of Obama’s long form birth certificate? Surely a few genuine experts could be assembled to test the claims Joe’s people have made. It’s a technical question involving the capabilities of computer software, and it should be possible to settle the matter with an objective analysis of the facts.
Don’t get the wrong idea: this newsletter has never credited the “birther” paranoia. It seems only rational to assume, or believe, that Obama was born in Hawaii and is indeed constitutionally qualified to be president.
That suggests the mainstream media are ignoring a stupendous opportunity: they can score heavily with their core constituency, which loathes Sheriff Joe. All they have to do is prove Obama is not lying.
So come on, all you collectivist journalists — take Joe on, prove him wrong, and destroy his credibility! Go to it! When the indisputable evidence is available, rub his nose in it and reduce him to a pathetic laughingstock!
….If you can.
History is not the past — it’s what historians say about the past. Too often those commentaries imply that events unfolded with an inevitability or propriety that did not exist; in fact virtually every battle changed the course of the future, and catastrophic blunders are quite common, though they are seldom identified as such. Historians often lack the insight to see how earlier events influence later developments — which is to say that implications may be ignored.
Perhaps no recent event has more unremarked implications than the withdrawal of US armed forces from the Republic of Vietnam. Of course the ideological characterization of the catastrophic war drowns out the facts of the tactical and strategic circumstances, so discussion of what happened and what it all means today is likely to be almost impossible. Nevertheless, some folks are determined to view the communist victory from a more comprehensive and objective perspective. This example warrants your attention. Even if you already know all you need to know about the conflict, you should take a few minutes to read this brief commentary.
To those heartfelt words this newsletter proposes to add a modest postscript. The implications — the consequences — of the US effort in Southeast Asia remain largely unnoticed, and it is time to remedy that. You have already read here that the USSR was profoundly impressed by the persistence of the USA in a region Moscow considered of no strategic interest to Washington; “If they will fight that long, and pay that high a price in blood and money, for that worthless backwater, imagine what they will do if we move into Western Europe.”
That realization must have chilled the zeal of the imperialists in the Kremlin. Who in Washington suspected that would be the case, and what salutary effect did that have? One can only speculate, but it is possible that a great good was unwittingly accomplished.
That optimistic view must be qualified by the fact that US resolve eventually evaporated. That implies that the implications of the US withdrawal may seem to be restricted to the ethical issues surrounding the abandonment of the free Vietnamese to communist tyranny, but…there is Islam to consider.
Yes, that’s a jarring leap. Reserve judgment for a moment, and allow the thesis to unfold.
It is useful to ask, “Why would militant, expansionist Islam attack now?” And it may be possible to answer.
First note that Islamist missionaries venture forth only when they perceive soft targets. Over the centuries, the advances and retreats of Islam betray this simple and effective strategy.
Then consider that the path to the truth may be found in events that began over a half century ago. The Korean conflict told the world that the USA — formerly a power that demanded its enemies surrender unconditionally — was now willing to settle for stalemate. Then, in Vietnam, stalemate was dropped in favor of defeat and the betrayal of allies.
The dimmest imbecile could discern the facts: the modern USA fights until the struggle becomes painful, and then withdraws.
This generalization is part observation, part prediction. As a prediction, it has a hoary history. The Imperial Japanese army made the mistake of believing in US timidity in 1941; Tojo’s fantasy was that the USA, with its fleet crippled, would pull back and leave Asia to Japanese conquest and control. Japan would extract oil and other resources from the Dutch East Indies, and the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere would be the master of the Orient.
Those were not the predictions of the Imperial Navy, of course, and many in Japan believed that once aroused, the USA would prove a determined foe, but the army, not the navy, was leading Japan to war.
The world, and especially the communist part of it, noted the US policy during WWII, and sensibly did not challenge Washington directly. Later testing of US resolve indicated that the outraged warrior had become a whining peacenik; Hungary proved the point in 1956. It was clear that Washington’s promises of support for those who were willing to fight and die for Liberty were empty, unconscionable babble.
Then Vietnam reiterated the point that the USA was no longer a resolute ally of the victims of tyranny. Everyone could see that if well and truly bloodied, the hated Yanks would inevitably slip away, ignoring their disgrace — even if, as was the case in Vietnam, they won. The mightiest nation on the earth could be driven off by any army that simply refused to quit.
Listen closely to what the Islamists are saying when they preach jihad. The constant theme is that the West will at first resist and then recoil in cowardly terror. The evil infidels are uninspired by Allah, and only appear strong. Jihad will prevail, for the Jews and the unbelievers do not have the righteousness to endure hardship.
The jihadis observed and understood what they saw. Now they are behaving in ways a rational observer can understand — and could have predicted.
US policy in Vietnam ended in madness; that madness is perceived by religious fanatics as proceeding from weakness. It is demonstrable, solid evidence that Islam can dispirit and dismiss the unbelievers.
The implications of the Vietnam enormity contribute to the horror of today’s reality.
That is proving to be a crippling legacy for the USA. Who, after all, would want an ally with the moral stamina of Washington? Ask the Israelis….
The Federal Department Of Justice Is Scarcely Involved With Justice
Eric Holder has insisted that if voters must produce official identification that includes a photo — such as a driver’s license, state identity card, or passport — certain minority groups will be partially disenfranchised; he went on to say that positive identification of voters is not needed. When a recent primary election was held in The District of Columbia, a Breitbart operative went to the polling place and requested a ballot for “Eric Holder”. He got it. Here’s proof.
All right, Holder will deal with it as dismissively as he has dealt with Congressional demands for intra-office e-mail messages and demands that he explain how Fast and Furious remained unknown to him. He’s as tough as a Mafioso and as unapologetic as a Nazi. What is the proper response to a civil servant who tells a Congressional committee that he simply will not provide what the law says he must?
If you want to try to catch up with the scoundrels, here are some links that can provide you with more disgusting information than the sturdiest stomach can tolerate. The most recent material is at the top.
Current: This is a good website for information on the progress of the House investigation.
April 9: Here’s a good chronological list of posts on internet.
April 9: An update on the stonewalled investigation.
April 9: The White House blocks access to a crucial witness.
March 30: The White House stonewalls on Fast and Furious.
March 22: Rep. Issa “moving” to issue contempt citation.
February 27: The Department of Justice stonewalls.
February 15: Rep. Issa takes a step toward citing Holder for contempt.
January 31 to February 1: Here are several reports on Rep. Issa threatening Holder with a citation for contempt of Congress.
Everybody Hates Those Addlepated Justices
Obama has been grumbling about the federal supreme court. He implies that the justices are fractious rascals who think they are more important/powerful than he is, and they might do something “unprecedented”. He’s out of his mind, right? Well, yes, he sure is, and then it gets hugely bizarre: it was up to Holder (of all people) to explain that nobody on Team Obama really believes any of that tommyrot, honest Injun; but…it’s pretty clear that The One gets mighty upset if anybody presumes to oppose him, and nobody with any sense believes Holder any more.
Cripes. Well, this newsletter suggests you relax with a diverting puzzle. What follows are quotes, and honest paraphrases of statements, delivered by a well-known person. Based entirely on his/her words and sentiments, can you figure out who the mystery person is?
A decision by The Supremes was “a fundamental assault on our liberties…” and “factually and historically false”. Courts are “forcing us into a constitutional crisis because of their arrogant overreach,” and are guilty of “elitist opinion”. “The courts have become grotesquely dictatorial”, and Congress should defund or abolish courts whose decisions are wrong. That involves impeaching and removing judges as needed. “Do we really believe that the intricate systems that we have created should come down to one lawyer?” Further, “should the Supreme Court issue decisions during a (presumably proper) administration that unconstitutionally empower federal judges with certain national security responsibilities, such decisions will be ignored.”
To this newsletter, that sure sounds like The One talking. Notice the (ahem) earmarks: no respect at all for the tradition, established in 1803, of judicial review; no tolerance for opposing views; a punitive attitude toward all judges who mess with the people who know what they are doing.
So who’s the Mystery Idiot who strung all those words into ignorant, intemperate and snotty nonsense? The answer is in the Links section below.
(Federal) General Services Administration director Martha Johnson resigned very shortly after firing two of her deputies for “excessive” spending and “wasteful” trips. Her employees had a huge laugh at the expense of their bosses before the tornado hit. Wow, those madcap government bureaucrats are hilarious, aren’t they….
Will Israel attack Iran soon? Maybe not soon, but….
This link is intended to scare you. It is a glimpse of what will be, once private insurance is dispensed with and the real Obamacare is in place.
Indeed, the USA is exceptional. Consider Denmark. You don’t want to live there.
Here’s the answer to the quiz. Bet you thought it was Obama! Well…click and see.
What is Obama’s strategy for victory? This newsletter says it should be, “Keep your temper in check, spend money, promise everybody whatever you have to, and don’t lose your temper. Your core constituency will deliver. Oh, and remember to stay calm, cool, and collected.” Here’s a different view.
AGW update: Hansen continues to pollute the subject. Bizarre fellow. The linked article is the work of an AGW believer, by the way; don’t worry, all that “science” is just the cult hissing and spitting. Don’t read so fast at the beginning that you miss that junk about slavery; it’s choice.
Related: a close look at how, exactly, the NY Times has “reported” the killing of Trayvon Martin. You “progressives” need to read this. — And then there’s this: “Trayvon’s sad fate clearly sent a quiver of perverse happiness all across America’s civil rights establishment, and throughout the mainstream media as well.” Huh? Read it all. — This just in: the UN might get involved in the case. Good…grief.
The black-throated wind, whispering sin
And speaking of life that passes like dew
It’s led me to see if you want to be free
Have your way with each day as it’s granted to you
The masthead includes a quote from the works of Thomas Sowell.
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