The New Terrapin Gazette

Number 244

20 April, 2012

The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.


How Romney Could Beat Obama

The president has the press, his core constituency, the Bicoastal Elite, government employees at all levels, union members, self-identified victims and the anticapitalist fringe; Romney has the Mormon vote. One can hardly imagine a winning strategy for the challenger. But because The One has no firm grip on the centrist, undecided independents, a brilliant campaign might allow the GOP to take the White House back. So far, this newsletter has seen nothing more promising than Barry Rubin’s dream of a Mitt-takes-no-prisoners strategy. Here is a highly compressed and rearranged version made up of the best ideas in the original. (Note: as this text was being proofread, it was noticed that the link takes one to a web page that is not responding as it usually does. To read the Rubin’s piece, scroll down a bit and click on the entry titled “Romney’s Road”. Perhaps by the time you receive this, the display will have been restored to its customary format.)

Romney needs to wage an old-fashioned anti-Washington campaign against big government, high taxes, and excessive regulation, and against a swollen government full of waste, fraud, and abuse. …show the waste and corruption involved in funding crony capitalism…. …institutions like the departments of Energy, Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others are counterproductive.

If he pulls punches and tries to be too restrained, he will repeat the mistake of John McCain…. Against Obama, negative campaigning makes sense…(he should focus) on the administration’s terrible record. The way to win over independents and dissident liberals is to show them how Obamaism is alien to their beliefs and interests. (Romney must show that he is) the mainstream candidate while the Obama Administration is out of step with historic, successful American practice.

Romney should not try to get the media or the statist-oriented elite to like him…. Nothing Romney can do…will get the media to say anything nice about him. (The mass media created) the impression that this (Romney’s speech to the National Rifle Association convention) was a speech about guns that merely pandered to his audience’s main interest. That’s not true — only about five percent of it was devoted to that issue. Here’s the full text.

(There is a) small but critical constituency of conservative Republicans and libertarians who claim there is no difference between Obama and Romney. If they stay home or vote for a third party candidate, these purists may irreparably damage America’s future.

Now that’s pretty interesting. Rubin is not suggesting that Romney start shooting his mouth off, but that he get very serious and very rigorous. Whether he can seems, to this newsletter, a question hardly worth asking — he’s just not the type. But who knows? Perhaps Romney is not in this fight so he can enjoy the prestige and power of the presidency. He might signal his serious, selfless intent by hiring Rubin.


The Cruelty Of False Impressions

Read this paragraph carefully:

“We believe that this study lays the groundwork for the potential use of this type of an approach in combating HIV infection in infected individuals, in hopes of eradicating the virus from the body,” Kitchen said. “We believe that this is the first step in developing a more aggressive approach in correcting the defects in the human T cell responses that allow HIV to persist in infected people.”

The report from which the above paragraph was taken says two different things, depending on your outlook: to many, it expresses hope that progress will continue, and the feeling that a cure may be much closer than anyone thought even a month ago. To this newsletter, the careful words of the researcher emphasize the improbability that this approach will slay the dragon. “Groundwork” is early, fundamental labor that hardly counts as construction; “potential” is always laced with doubt; “an approach” implies that this may be a relatively ineffective treatment to be used in combination with others; “in hopes” sounds desperate; “the first step” reiterates the unevolved status of the concept; “a more aggressive approach” is at best neutral, and suggests that it will work only occasionally; finally, genetic defects are to be targeted — which means viral particles are not to be directly destroyed by a chemical in the new medication. So…where in this text is the basis for the impression that science is on the verge of defeating AIDS? Answer: in the exaggerated, breathless hype that has characterized the reporting of countless research projects. Journalism simply does not know how to deal with biomedical research; the subject is too objective, the research proceeds too slowly, and the drama is occult. It has to be jazzed up. The results: bad reporting, which in turn raises hopes too high and devastates millions who pray for another penicillin or polio vaccine. The ethical reporting of research is a much more difficult task than is commonly realized.


The Climate-Changers (More Correctly Called The Global Warming Cultists) Get Stranger And Stranger

Penguins are dying, or will soon be, or something, because of anthropogenic global warming!

But scientists are concerned about emperor populations in northern Antarctica, where warmer spring temperatures are melting the sea ice on which the birds depend. Southern emperor penguin colonies, meanwhile, will likely not be affected by global warming, because the sea ice there is predicted to remain stable.

Horrors, such cute birds, and we are all responsible because we drive and turn the lights on after dark and did not revolt when The Supremes invalidated the popular choice, His Solar Radiance Al Gore!

Yeah, right; the zombie that is pseudoscience cannot be laid to rest. Notice how the author of this article manages to present the news so that the facts are negated by sheer speculation. Look: the melting of antarctic ice has been observed before, and it was matched by the freezing of sea water on the other side of the continent. How to explain the sudden explosion of concern, then? For some folks, any news is bad news. The AGW cult has a vested interest in pessimism, gloom and doom, so that’s how the loons see just about everydarnthing. Here’s a more objective report on the penguin census.

Just how rational is it to assume that the small changes in climate that have been taking place forever are, when they occur today, proof that a catastrophe is thundering down on humanity? Isn’t it just plain stupid to insist that the way things were some number of years ago is “normal”, and that any slight deviation from that is “abnormal” — and therefore to be feared?

The reporting and commentary produced by AGW-friendly mainstream media display a fundamentally alarmist orientation, in other words. The LA Times, for example, strikes a course somewhere in the middle of that bias:

Biologists are concerned that climate change will cause Antarctic sea ice to melt. That could shrink the emperor penguins’ territory and drastically reduce the number of birds, LaRue said. If so, the effects would ripple throughout the entire ecosystem.

That’s not exactly kinetic concern bordering on hysteria — it’s more in the nature of a nod to the officials who mandate What You Should Worry About. You should, if the truth were known, worry about missionary Islam and the Iranian nuclear bomb and EMP weapons, but if you want to worry about AGW, well, it’s a free country. At the moment.

Sorry. Back to the topic. Look at the penguin population puzzle as pragmatically as possible, putting puissant propaganda in its proper place:

Imagine if you read about the murder rate declining by forty percent, and the article concluded with the statement that, “The rate could climb dramatically, if people don’t learn how to get along, or if alcohol consumption goes up dramatically, or if there is a gang war. So this recent decline in murders is not even really news.” That would be less deceitful than the reporting you are given, and to which you are supposed to respond with zealous activism.

Your best defense against the sophisticated propaganda of the AGW cult is your native common sense.


Apple’s Problems, And Computer Security In General

You doubtless recall that this newsletter suggested Apple computer products as a safe alternative to Microsoft’s software (you should not go on the internet with Microsoft). That suggestion is in need of modification. Apple’s corporate policy has made the OS X operating system monolithic and insufficiently responsive to the efforts of criminals — which is to say, the BSD-based software is no longer as safe as it once was, and it is not as safe as it could be. For recent Apple-related information, see this post.

For informed opinions on how to minimize your risk, do a Google search, and refine your search terms as you go. You will find opinions that vary from largely inaccurate to informative for beginners. Eventually you will realize that this important fact cannot be disputed: the folks who work hardest at cracking into the Linux operating system are the Linux developers. They fix potential problems before the bad guys discover them, and they distribute those fixes free to all Linux users (often within hours of the discovery of a chink in Linux’s armor). Linux is not only more difficult to crack by virtue of its fundamental design, it is also the most adaptive and fastest-responding operating system available. It’s not perfect — it is just the best.


What In The World Is “Social Darwinism”, Anyway?

Obama speaks! And before good friends, the folks at the Associated Press. So he felt comfortable with strong and scholarly language.

The New York Times hailed the “thunderclap of a speech” in an editorial titled “Calling Radicalism by Its Name”. You can tell those idiots don’t know the meaning of the word “radicalism”, because they imply it’s something bad. You know, like extremism. It’s very unfortunate that the unrelated concept of “extreme” was grafted onto the word “radical”, because a radical solution to a problem goes to the root of the matter; it does not burn the house down to kill the termites (that would be extreme), it poisons the termites and their eggs (typical political solutions tax the adult termites). From Latin radix, “root”, and giving us “radish”.

So back to the speech (text here).

The One set out to prove that he’s a jan-u-wine intellectual (you know he is, ‘cuz when he was in San Francisco, he analyzed the social milieu — intellectual word, there — of the yokels with that “guns ‘n religion” stuff, right?). When stroking his lapdogs, Obama tossed off the term “thinly veiled social Darwinism” as if it were a typical lunchtime topic at the White House, and then drove home the coda of the piece by uttering the word “radical”. He means to kick butt and take names!

Yeah, sure. A thorough look at this speech would be burdensome, time-consuming, boring, and just plain unhelpful. So focus on just two things: first, Obama’s pre-election discussion with Joe the Plumber, and second, this quote from his speech the other day: “What drags down our entire economy is when there’s an ever-widening chasm between the ultra-rich and everybody else.”

That “ever-widening chasm” hints at the culture war that Obama plans to unleash, for he ignores the fact that taxing the “ultra-rich” into penury would come nowhere near dealing with one-tenth of the nation’s financial and economic woes. It also suggests that Obama has a very strange notion of what rich people do with their money; he seems to believe they destroy it. He claims “trickle-down” economics does not work, but he really means it does not work to his satisfaction (maybe the folks who provide luxury goods and services need to get organized). Obama’s plans for a better tomorrow are grand indeed, and of course the nation will never get there simply by imposing confiscatory taxation on anybody.

What about Joe? Obama’s stunning ignorance of economics is once again on display, for if you recall correctly, The One told Joe that the government should take Joe’s money — just some of it, mind you — and “spread it around” to do some good. What did Obama think Joe planned to do with his own money, for crying out loud?

Obama is a man devoted to his idiosyncratic concept of fairness. Those rich people need to pay their fair share, and that means we have to have a higher capital gains tax so we can punish investors for not working hard for their money — even though time and again, it has been shown that higher capital gains tax rates reduce revenues to the government, and that lower ones raise revenues, and stimulate economic growth. Obamite fairness comes with a high price tag in the form of reduced opportunities for the lower economic strata.

Watch for the twin horrors: class warfare tinged with retributive taxation. If you think this collectivist Utopianism is going to help you, you have been co-opted by rascals.

And social Darwinism? It’s a theme that wanders through the observations above, but it you want to pin it down and examine it, you should start with a good article on the subject. You may conclude that The One is trying to promote some kind of pollution, or possibly dilution, of the cultural gene pool, to apply a clumsy metaphor. How about this: people like Obama are more concerned about control issues than they are about anything else. To these petty fascists, an organized community is a community that marches in lockstep, so as to attain its goals. You are familiar with the concept. Now what are you going to do about it?


Nobody’s Perfect

Have you considered that the mistake made by Limbaugh is a mistake Romney might make, as well?

So far, this assault has been based around three themes. First, Obama has manufactured the idea that the Republican Party and Romney have launched a “War on Women” — all because they oppose federal funding for abortions and don’t think the government should be able to force religious institutions to violate their consciences when providing employee benefits. Second, he is scaring seniors into believing that Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and by extension Romney, is going to take away their Medicare benefits.

Third, Obama has launched a class warfare campaign based on misleading voters into believing that our fiscal and economic problems stem from income inequality. The best example of this is his tireless promotion of the so-called Buffett Rule surtax on millionaires, a political gimmick that would improve neither the nation’s economy nor the government’s fiscal outlook.

These are all examples of “recycling stale scare tactics” in the absence of “any fresh ideas.”

If Romney is going to win in November, he cannot fall into Obama’s trap. When he argues that Obama is the one who is bad for women, or that Obama slashed Medicare benefits in his health care law, Romney is fighting on Obama’s turf. Instead, at every opportunity, Romney should remind Americans that Obama’s entire campaign is one endless attempt to distract voters from his disastrous record and lack of a real plan to address the nation’s most pressing problems.




Romney will be attacked for using language that Hillary Clinton used: “vast right-wing conspiracy” (of course you have to swap “left” for “right”, but you get the point). It will hardly be noted that what she said seriously, Romney said facetiously. Meanwhile, what the presumptive GOP candidate failed to note is that the real problem is at least twofold: it’s not just that the US economy is in trouble, but that the nation is literally endangered by the bloated and still expanding federal establishment. That is a greater problem than the economic distress of high unemployment and a poor business climate. Romney needs to identify the total problem and blame the people who are causing it.

Penguins good, polar bears nasty? No! Save the polar bears from AGW! Make Al Gore King of the World! — Well, maybe the polar bears don’t need Al’s help. Just sayin’.

At a little over two minutes, this video neatly explains why “scientific consensus” and “peer review” are such powerful weapons in the hands of the AGW cult. For more on this issue, go to and enter the search terms “cato patrick michaels climate”.

“It’s easy to weave the Titanic into a seductive tale of hubris, social stratification and capitalist excess. But the disaster’s chroniclers tend to put their moral narrative ahead of their historical one.”


Sherlock Holmes has evidently been reincarnated.

You intellectuals will respond like a dog rolling in roadkill to this: it’s a discussion of the coming culture war. Wow! — The only problem: how are you going to be a peacenik in a situation where the “progressive” has already co-opted the press? How, in other words, can you possibly make the mouth-breathers in Flyover Country appear socially acceptable? Well, give it a try. This newsletter is behind you, insisting that the Bicoastal Elite is essentially Peronist.

According to this publication, “…as many as 25% of breast cancers and, by some estimates, 60% of prostate cancers could be left untreated and merely monitored….”

The concept of the “hate crime” is wrong, but if these are not “hate crimes”, what are? Then one must ask why there have been no arrests and indictments….

A mature social-welfare (collectivist) nation is above the petty hatreds and distinctions of states that do not nurture their people with enlightened policies, right? Wrong, and very much so. The guides to Utopia are usually bigoted authoritarians, and its denizens are almost always narrow-minded and spoiled rotten.

The oldest difficulties are old because they are so hard to dispense with. “We talk of black accusations of racism, but they are earning a counter-response that is equally scary, with some irate and others wearied to the point of quietism and isolation.” Source.

For the masochists among you: here is a long, detailed article that attempts to explain all the previously unknown stuff in the scandal that eventually became known as “Rathergate”. The article may interest W-haters, but when it tries to deal with the proof that the Killian memos were fakes, it is blatantly short on facts — and loose with reason and the truth. The result is a gaping hole plugged with an individual’s vague recollection that there probably were typewriters back then that could have been used to write the memos. That, Pilgrims, is rank unprofessional journalism. What a shock….

The Zimmerman case revisited: the Dershowitz interview (mentioned in the last number of this newsletter) was hard to find on MSNBC, but eventually it was dredged up. Here’s another opinion on the nature of the affidavit of probable cause. It adds up to a very difficult prosecution and a defense that will probably be very aggressive.

This is a bigger problem than almost anyone in this age of cell phone lunacy realizes. The lady is right. Highly recommended for all “connected” trend-followers.

Belgium loses touch with the cultural superiority of Western Civilization. Highest recommendation, and a big tip of the hat to long-time subscriber JH for the link.

The art of distraction works for close-up magicians and politicians who have something they want everyone to forget about.

Credit the Washington DC Post for allowing this to be published under the paper’s masthead — and then note the disarray in Team Obama’s response to questions regarding the economy. Romney’s people should use Axelrod’s blunder in TV ads for the GOP candidate. After all, “the road we are on” is Obama’s, not Romney’s.

Race and culture in Los Angeles county, California. Why can’t these people just get along?

Mark Steyn explains to us how The One is going to get the nation out of trouble. You begin with the understanding that you are a total idiot, see, and….

Taking a closer look at a recent headline: “The Left’s problem with Ann Romney is that she represents the triumph of the individual. No wonder they hate her so much.” Do they, really? Isn’t it easier to explain? Consider, for example, that as Team Obama sharpens its knives for the coming battle, Ann Romney just happened to get in the way of a random, hostile, vacuous thought uttered by a dullard of a hired gun who was probably not even listening to the words she was uttering. Why credit the attacker with any sense?

A lot of people have no idea what the unique music of the USA is because the mass market for music has been warped by ignorant followers and simian tastes. The restorative response is growing: try this video. It exemplifies a tradition that towers above the crass fabrications of nearly all currently popular “musicians”. That devastating singer is Meschiya Lake; she definitely gets it, and she delivers. Those who know what real music is have been waiting for someone with her talent and insight to recivilize this deprived, depraved art. — Can you dance to the music Meschiya makes? Well, no, you can’t, but these guys can. — One can ask whether this is a rebirth of something long-ignored, or just a flash in the pan. Perhaps the answer is to be inferred from the fact that Meschiya and her band have competition, some of which is available for inspection on the internet. What matters is that music conceived this tastefully has not been this abundant, and this appreciated, for a long time. Fortunately the market for it is growing, in spite of the dominant ignorance.

Ultimately, it’s a matter of the Liberty of the individual, but no one except libertarians is comfortable putting it that way. “Drug policy is an ideological live wire: it’s not even certain that Latin American leaders will achieve anything other than a mealy-mouthed agreement to discuss the possibility of a discussion. But it will be a start.”

A Breitbart operative walked into a polling place and was handed a ballot for “Eric Holder”. Now the Breitbart team is reporting further proof that fraud at the polls is so easy, it would be insanity to assume it won’t be massive. Which is the way a lot of politicians like it. Have you ever felt less connected to the people who rule you?


Though I could not caution all
I still might warn a few:
Don’t lend your hand to raise no flag Atop no ship of fools

The masthead includes a quote from the works of Milton Friedman.

The staff of The New Terrapin Gazette expresses its sincere gratitude to the many people who have gifted the world with Arch Linux, Emacs, and Firefox.

Publisher:The Eagle Wing Palace of The Queen Chinee.