The New Terrapin Gazette

Number 248

15 May, 2012


What about the role of government? Well, in the abstract, coming from my time and background, I thought it was a rather good thing, but tallying up the ledger in those things which affect me and in those things I observe, I am hard-pressed to see an instance where the intervention of the government led to much beyond sorrow.


 

What Happened To The Genuine Issues?

It’s obvious that the mismanagement of the nation is what matters in the coming presidential election: the economy leads the list of discontents, closely followed by energy policy, tax policy, a Senate that flatly refuses to do its job, that army of alien mercenaries occupying a huge part of Arizona, the outrageous misbehavior of the Department of Justice, and the unfolding culture war. Lesser issues exist, but for now, they should be postponed while the electorate issues its verdict on the performance of Team Obama.

The gravity of these big issues led this newsletter to overlook yet another point of contention — and, as the commentary at the link makes clear, the unfolding dispute certainly could lead to Obama’s defeat. (A recent article reads the tea leaves of opinion polls and agrees that Obama has alienated more voters in the key states than he has pleased.)

Why, you should ask, did NTG miss what could turn out to be the punch that knocks Obama out? Because of an unwarranted assumption: surely few voters are profoundly animated by an issue as peripheral as whether homosexuals should be allowed to marry, now are they? Whatever your view, the debate is not even interesting! In fact, the topic is just plain boring…isn’t it? And it’s a state issue, not a federal matter, so Obama’s and Romney’s views are gloriously irrelevant — which should be obvious to everyone.

Wrong. Badly off target, and in all particulars. There’s no weaseling out of this one: this newsletter erred, and badly.

The New Terrapin Gazette’s focus on rational discussions of economics and the dangers of Peronist collectivism made it oblivious to the emotional preoccupations of significant blocs in the electorate. Add to that the dismaying amorality of demagogic politicians, and the result was a bad call.

So the election may be decided by a phony issue. Yes, of course Team Obama is trying to distract the voters. In spite of the commentary found at the first link in this item, that dirty trick might possibly work.

That means because Obama can’t deliver a stem-winding speech in which he says, “You don’t want to vote for this Mormon, because his religion makes him hate our homosexual and lesbian brothers and sisters,” he will make safer, more abstract announcements that “Civil rights must include the right to marry the person you love”.

Some folks feel that won’t fool enough voters to hand Obama victory. According to an item in Commentary: “Once we strip away the political cynicism from the president’s statement what we find is an unbalanced approach that will, in the hands of all-powerful government agencies that Obama and the Democrats seek to make even more unaccountable, launch a new wave of discrimination against those who cannot for religious reasons accept gay marriage on these terms.” No, one cannot count on the emergence of a backlash that complicated. It’s more likely that folks disgusted by the very idea of homosexuals marrying will give this issue little thought, and simply go to the polls hoping to push Obama out of the White House. Indeed, it appears Team Obama is caught in a vise of its own making.

Then too, NTG was misled by its naive assumption that the electorate would let all non-federal issues go. This newsletter forgot that foes and proponents of abortion on demand have been trying to make federal cases of their causes for decades. Now homosexuals are following suit.

Whatever side you are on, if you seek to resolve your highly subjective complaints at the national level, you create a victory for collectivism — and that victory allows a distressingly authoritarian exercise of power. True democrats don’t want that. Legislative and regulatory matters that should be resolved at the state level do not belong in a presidential election, and that is doubly true for all disputes which involve the application of religious values to political questions. All governments should avoid such disputes whenever possible, and the states should resolve them by initiative or referendum.

And why is homosexual marriage not a civil right, along with the rights sheltered from federal abuse by the first ten amendments to the federal constitution? Because the populace cannot today agree on an issue that did not exist when those amendments were written. In fact the ethical consensus will change in the future, and homosexuals may not like the direction change takes. What they forget is that if the electorate is not free to shift toward a rejection of marriage for all regardless of sexual preference, it cannot be genuinely free to shift toward institutionalizing homosexual marriage.

Accordingly, nothing so obviously based in mutable values should be carved into the stone of the constitution. That’s reserved for the foundational values, such as freedom of speech. Marriage regulations are rather like building codes.

For an imperfect parallel in case law and the public perception of ethical forms of marriage, consider the history of polygyny in the USA. The internet has a lot on the subject, and that information may provide insight into current developments.

 

It’s A Biasblizzard!

Cripes, what is going on? Have the journolistas scored ten keys of coke, or is the Silly Season in hyperdrive because of global warm…oops, sorry, Climate Change? Whatever is behind it, it’s unusual to see so many “wingnuts” scolding the wordsmiths for what is probably just The Same Old Same Old. Anyhow, to spare you “progressives” the irritation of stumbling over speed bumps all the way through this Number, all the whining has been swept up and deposited in this item.

Yes, it has started a bit early, and that means the rascals will intensify it when the campaign starts officially. The lies and distortions and nonsense will increase, and even if they are withdrawn or repudiated or corrected by their perpetrators (in small items tucked away where few readers venture), the harm will have been done and the press will have helped their man retain power. Now of course this is not what “freedom of the press” is supposed to mean, but that is not to say the first amendment should be suspended in order to impose genuine ethics on the journalists. Far from it. So, with that assertion that the scoundrels need to be exposed, not locked up, NTG presents a sample of the latest fabrications and other offenses against reason. Hang on, Pilgrims, because your tour of Bedlam is replete with lead balloons, squared circles, gospel lies and fireproof matches.

They write for a living, so they know how to use words, and they know what the words mean. Don’t they? Cripes, maybe not!

For you fans of the WaPo, here’s more grist for the mill. And: One, Two, Three.

Then there’s this, also regarding the WaPo. Busy little rascals, aren’t they? Ben Bradley would be proud.

Breitbart lives; some voters don’t. And, more journalism that is not being done by the major media. Can’t imagine why that is!

A genuine plethora of examples is available. Don’t pass it by. “Wingnuts” will love this, while “progressives” will continue to insist that, in spite of overwhelming evidence, the major media are not Obamite propagandists.

WaPo defends anti-Romney “news” item; PJ Media says, “The Post’s ombudsman thinks we’re stupid”.

This is the guy who, on hearing Obama speak, proclaimed that a thrill ran up his leg. Now he tells a black preacher that he hopes the pastor evolves. Imbecilic bigot….

Back a collectivist newspaper into a corner and hammer it for a while, and what do you get? A variation on the Bart Simpson mantra, “I didn’t do it, nobody saw me do it, you can’t prove a thing!”

A book, the rotten media, an incredibly brave man, and a fine writer. Thereby hangs a tale that should make many hang their heads in shame.

 

“Good As Gold”? Well….

It was inevitable: as the economy worsened and then threatened to collapse completely, gold and silver prices rose steeply. And rascals moved in. The graphs tell the story: the sharp dips are the results of manipulation, and they suggest that a lot of investments in precious metals are actually like those derivatives based on home mortgages: worthless. Look, if ideological babble from Rep. Waters could achieve solidarity with incompetence and greed (Frank, Gorelick, Raines, and many many others) to do that much damage in finance, similar ethical/intellectual failings can mess up your attempt to preserve your capital.

…hundreds of contracts are dumped in minutes, without regard for price, show sharp “v’s” and illustrate the practice of ‘spoof’ paper contracts that are never intended to be sold but ARE intended to suppress and cap market action in spot prices. ….the market has been heavily ‘manipulated’ and distorted for many months now, and this is increasing in frequency and violence as the fraudulent manipulators are nearing the end game and collapse. … Note: GLD and SLV are paper settling on the COMEX now. These paper trading vehicles do NOT have any beneficial physical bullion behind them, and on a collapse you will not be able to recover your investments in them.

valley
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Don’t strain your eyes trying to read the graphs: the main point is those precipitous, lightning-fast changes. Do the gold and silver markets remind you of the market in home mortgages? Remember that Raines was touting his (hollow) derivatives as virtually risk-free investments that paid off like insanely prodigal slot machines. Look at the source of these graphs and the above quote and then think again about what to do with your money. Some survival preparedness might be one consideration.

 

The Unrecognized Consequence Of Being Overweight

No, this is not yet another spittle-spraying rant by a Nutri-Nazi; nobody needs or deserves that. It’s an attempt to bring to your attention the political implications of just one aspect of health care. Read this quote taken from an item posted on a “progressive” website:

As complex as the obesity crisis may be, we need to face the reality that it is becoming a devastating “new normal” in America, posing one of the most serious and urgent threats to our health, economy, and way of life. To reverse the prevalence of obesity and bring the nation to a healthier weight, we need to change more than ourselves. We need to transform our entire society.

You can see where this is going, can’t you? If you are overweight, you are a threat to the economy; you harm the collective. That’s because your health is a matter of concern to the government, which pays your medical bills. Therefore, you must conform to regulations regarding what you eat, how much you eat, and how much exercise you get.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the feds won’t try to figure ways to impose all manner of rules on you — ultimately, Obamacare and all the other collectivist schemes concerning the activities of the individual are control issues. The more the government can control you, the less troublesome you will be.

Is this a tempest in a teapot? Absolutely not. What aspect of your life, what in your behavior, does not affect other people? As long as you commit an act that makes any impact at all on society, you provide a collectivist government with the rationale and motive to control you in the commission of that act. The exercise of Liberty — voluntarism, free choice — is the enemy of Obamite politics.

The primary difference between “wingnuts” and “progressives” is the degree of governmental control each is willing to tolerate or eager to impose on others; the secondary difference between the warring factions is the categories of behavior (sexual, financial, religious, and so on) that are to be subject to regulations, requirements and proscriptions. Finally, note that both left and right have authoritarian streaks. Not many folks are genuine “live and let live” types.

If you would like to lose weight, you should visit this website, because it’s maintained by a physician who explains clearly and bluntly the facts about foods, diets, and weight gain/loss. Highly recommended.

 

This Item Is A Waste Of Your Eyesight, So Skip It

Regarding the trial of former senator John Edwards, this quote seems to go to the heart of the matter:

“If [Edwards] had done a campaign finance violation that didn’t involve an affair while his wife was dying, we wouldn’t be here.”

Sorry, not understood. Is the following scenario correct?

The defendant had a mistress who was costing him a great deal of money. He received money from people who wanted him to remain in office, and he spent those funds on keeping his doxy out of the public eye and pleased to remain silent. He paid no income tax on that money, but considered it part of the donations to his campaign for re-election to public office. Has no crime been committed? True, he may be on trial for the wrong offense, and also true, his sexual/marital ethics are not at all within the purview of the USA’s jurisprudential process, but he does seem to have enhanced his financial status illegally. After all, if he were an extraordinarily wealthy private citizen, the money to placate and care for his mistress would have come from his holdings, would it not?

Either Edwards spent campaign donations on personal matters, or he did not declare gifts as income. Finally, if the money went directly from Edwards’s supporters to the mistress, she should have declared it as income; if she did not, she should be in tax court.

If that interpretation is correct, then all this talk of a Clintonian defense is misdirection, and that’s naughty.

Years of investigations, millions of dollars wasted, an obvious excess of zeal with hidden roots…! Somebody Up There is settling scores, plunging a knife into an old foe (who may deserve it). No wonder there is a cynical belief that the electorate responds best to simple-minded slogans; decent people naturally shy away from the complex feuds conducted by the egotists on the political stage.

 

The Correct Politically Incorrect Correctness

Some folks have it all wrong, and to make sure you are not one of those chowderheads, check your understanding of things against this list. It’s seven major contentions that are factually wrong, and in the event that you think one or more of them is correct, you might want to discover the error of your ways (there’s a link at the bottom of this item that takes you to the reasons why each claim is false). The list:

1. Killing terrorists — jihadis — only turns them into martyrs, boosting their cause. So military action is ultimately useless, or even counterproductive.

2. We can’t kill our way out of this; we have to find an alternative to violence.

3. Terrorists have rights; they are human beings and those rights inhere in everyone.

4. Formal trials will show them the superiority of our system of justice.

5. The only path to peace is negotiations.

6. The current violence is not provoked by religious issues.

7. Jihadis are responding to US policies and practices (especially capitalism); in that sense, the USA’s arrogance, bigotry and exploitive ways caused the current strife.

The author of the commentary makes his case at this website. He does not put everything quite the way this newsletter would, obviously, and his points are very brief (which means they might not be complete enough to satisfy everyone’s requirements), but he’s close enough to the bullseye that you would do well to sample his reasoning.

 

Links

Guess which nation has the greatest untapped resources of fossil fuel. No, make that the most oil, since fossil fuel includes coal — and since nobody really, really knows whether oil is a true fossil fuel. Go ahead, guess, but before you do, know that the Number One rank is held by a nation that has more oil in the ground than is known to exist in all the other nations in the world. Then look at the answer. No, you aren’t finished yet: next, ask why the price of gasoline is so high, and finally, ask who might do something about that — so the world could have more petrochemicals for medicines, plastics, lubricants, pesticides, fertilizers, and power (and a zillion other things made from oil). Ask whether government might play a role in increasing the prosperity of everybody on the Earth (except, of course, for the people living in North Korea and Iran and other places where people don’t matter but politics and religion do). If this makes you wonder whether you matter, so much the better. Discontent can be helpful. This is an election year.

Funny, funny video.

Sweden, the model socialist state? Only for those who have not kept up with the news. The Swedes are too practical to have pressed on with collectivist fervor. Would you believe tax reduction, less regulation of the economy, and lower welfare spending? Probably not…but look at the facts, and the results.

Those with an interest in psychiatry/psychology may find this post interesting; those who recall how many clinical cases Freud used as the foundation for what he claimed was an entirely new “science” will not be in the least bit surprised by the commentary at the link; those who depend on cocaine for inspiration will try to think of a way to defend their high priest Siggy; those familiar with the works of Thomas Szasz will remind that the alienists long ago abandoned reason for therapeutic fascism.

Watch this video. The last time something like this slipped out, it was The One talking to that Russian, assuring him that once the voters have given his administration carte blanche, the US can be “flexible” with Russia; before the election, no, because the citizens are watching, and will end the administration now if it does unsavory things. This is the second time the Obama administration has unintentionally expressed its eagerness to be free of the restraints imposed by an alert and powerful electorate. Can one conclude that for Team Obama, democracy is a noisome hindrance?

According to a news item, “On (MSNBC program) Morning Joe…former Obama ‘car czar’ Steve Rattner denounced a new campaign ad that attacks Mitt Romney for business decisions he made during his tenure at Bain Capital”. “I do think to pick out an example of somebody who lost their (sic) job unfortunately, this is part of capitalism, this is part of life. And I don’t think there’s anything Bain Capital did that they need to be embarrassed about”. It’s odd that Rattner does not understand that under the Obama ethic, the natural function of capitalism to monitor and adjust the use of land, labor and capital is immoral. Business, in Obama’s view, is not commerce, finance, and the maximization of efficiency in the production of goods and services; its paramount task is the provision of benefits to the populace, without regard for productivity.

You either take this seriously, or you ignore it. There’s no refuting it.

There are some folks in Washington DC who badly need to read Katie Pavich’s book. It’s very informative. She explains why Eric Holder should be in prison (though that may not be her idea of the man’s just deserts).

“…America’s cowboy capitalism was long ago disarmed by a democratic process increasingly dominated by powerful groups with economic interests antithetical to competitors and consumers.” What? A federal judge said that? Yes, and she also said she is unhappy about “…the political temptation to exploit the public appetite for other people’s money — either by buying consent with broad-based entitlements or selling subsidies, licensing restrictions, tariffs, or price fixing regimes to benefit narrow special interests.” Well, now….

Attention, Cher fans: watch this. (It’s also for anyone interested in The Tea Party Movement.)

This newsletter has been harping on this…for how long?

In case you know someone who wants to study the entire subject of health care reform and the government, suggest this evaluation of a good starting point.

Fido figures fortune favors the fleet of foot: “Lemmie outta here!”

Put a little excitement into your life: get on The One’s Enemies List! It has done amazing things for Mr. VanderSloot, and it can energize your every waking moment, as well. The entire staff of the NTG is doing all it can to provoke prying, vilification and harassment, but so far, Team Obama has shown no interest. This newsletter simply does not have the cash or the clout to provoke so much as a sneaky background check.

More on Squaw Liz. Ugh.

Israel’s possible attack on Iran: yet more unhelpful speculation on whether, when, how, and so on.

So how’s Iraq doing, as regards oil production?

More distraction from an administration in trouble. Never mind; Romney’s not going to win.

 


Did he doubt or did he try?
Answers aplenty in the bye and bye
Talk about your plenty, talk about your ills
One man gathers what another man spills


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