The New Terrapin Gazette

Number 255

28 June, 2012

The use of all right, or inability to see that there is anything wrong with alright, reveals one’s background, upbringing, education, etc., perhaps as much as any word in the language.


Roberts May Have Gotten The Message

(Commentary written before the verdict was announced) The day before the announcement of the verdict, a “wingnut” website said, “…President Obama and his partisans on the left and in the media will effectively declare war on the third co-equal branch of government and seek, in every possible way, to undermine the legitimacy of the Court. … the ferociousness of the attacks will be like nothing we’ve ever seen. …the left is willing to destroy the credibility of the Supreme Court in order to defend their policy failure.” (Source)

Well, ferocity would have been a better word than (shudder) ferociousness, according to this newsletter’s Assistant Editor. He also notes that the commentary quoted above seems a bit overwrought. Give the “wingnuts” a pass, though, for it’s a hot topic, and…when the court tweaked FDR’s nose, he reacted with outrage, and the justices realized they were in serious trouble; the result was a distinct change in their decisions that favored the New Deal. Too, many years earlier, there was the disaster of the Indian Removal Act: President Jackson simply told the nation’s highest court to go to hell. Obama has his precedents. It will be interesting to see how far he goes in punishing the court, if….

(Commentary written following the announcement of the court’s decision) The verdict may, therefore, mean that the chief justice got the message and responded to it by siding with the four justices who are, to use this newsletter’s designation, “collectivists”. Of course it will never be known whether Roberts felt he was defending the court against a totally unpredictable political crisis. In any event, some interesting aspects of the decision stand out:

1. The abuse of the commerce clause of the federal constitution appears to have been recognized, and an attempt has been made to end it. That is perhaps the least reported aspect of this decision, and it is an event that should inspire some hope.

2. That the penalty for not purchasing health insurance is a tax, is, however, a genuine worry. The full implications of this designation are hard to predict, but they certainly do not place effective restrictions on authoritarian, even totalitarian, governance. It seems the court has given Congress a free hand to control the populace, and levy confiscatory taxation on those who refuse to bend their knees to bad, impractical, economically crippling legislation. That can only encourage collectivists to step up their legislative activism, while the justice system places few or no ethical constraints on it. The power to tax is indeed the power to destroy, and now the court says the power to punish and coerce is the power to tax. Big, big mistake.

3. It is interesting to note that under this decision, the people in the USA who will have the greatest degree of Liberty will be those illegally present. They, as they are neither citizens nor holders of residency permits, will not have to pay the penalty “tax” if they are uninsured. Now since the federal constitution prohibits national and state governments from denying all “persons” due process of the law, non-resident non-citizens are included; justice must be extended to them, and they are expected to pay taxes (on purchases, property, and income). No one is exempt, in other words — but now, thanks to this sloppy decision, illegals are a privileged class. How this bizarre circumstance arose and what it implies do not seem to have occurred to the court. The error will probably be blithely ignored.

Well, what’s next? You can expect:

Romney to stand revealed as the candidate least qualified by background to carry the flag for the Republicans, as he can properly be accused of being the “godfather” of Obamacare. That’s a huge plus for Obama, who will probably be re-elected.

Fireworks. The Tea Party Movement may rise up in fury, while the Democrats are almost certain to be energized to defeat the recidivist GOP.

A very dirty election. Hundreds of thousands of dead people, illegal aliens, and non-citizens will be voting (which is to say, the Democrats know how to win). Clearly, decent citizens should band together to watch the process carefully, and try to expose and prevent massive fraud. That will be very difficult, given the corruption that infests the federal Department of Justice. Law enforcement at the voting places will be spotty, to say the least.

Perhaps the best one can say about the near future is that it will be, as the ancient Chinese curse puts it, an interesting time.


This Newsletter Does Not Adhere To The Standards Of The Major Media

You may wonder whether that segment directly above is honest commentary. When, exactly, was it written? The truth is, the “Before” and “After” segments of “Roberts May Have Gotten The Message” were composed as claimed, before and then after the decision was announced, and the “Before” segment was totally unchanged after the announcement. Nothing was omitted from it or added to it. The New Terrapin Gazette is not bound by common journalistic practices; it is honestly and ethically written and edited.

Team Obama’s pre-decision threats were noted and remarked on yesterday (the 27th; this is being written on the 28th) as possibly significant. It could be just coincidence that Roberts voted the way he did. He might not have been influenced by the loaded and cocked shotgun aimed at the court.


The Triumph Of The Absurd

Some observers believe that Nixon’s Watergate cover-up is the ultimate scandal, and that Fast and Furious does not match it, because “…Obama’s operation is subtly different.” That claim is a demonstrable, undeniable lie. There is nothing subtle about the differences between Nixon’s defensive blunder and Fast and Furious. The latter is a monstrosity, not at all another Watergate — it is an order of magnitude worse. The fact that the news media have underplayed it indicts them as morally bankrupt.

Here’s an assortment of news items and comments that should make you very angry….

…entirely about principle.” Reporters laugh. And Holder did not end F&F as soon as he heard about it. Lies. Contempt for rule of law, cover-up. And for reporters who ask too many (or the wrong kind of) questions, rage.

Trey Gowdy (R-SC) on F&F: on fire.

The astounding Rachel Maddow: the female is simply evil. Do watch and read it all.

Facts to remember:

1. Contrary to what Maddow said (“Fast and Furious refers to a law enforcement strategy that started during the George W. Bush administration….”), the Bush program, called Wide Receiver, was a concept distinct from Fast and Furious in two definitive ways: under Bush, tracking devices were hidden in the firearms, so their locations could be known, and the government of Mexico was consulted and its approval was obtained. Wide Receiver and the later Fast and Furious were radically distinct.

2. Maddow went on to say, “The idea was born in the George W. Bush administration, it was ultimately viewed as a failure, the Obama administration shut it down.” She unambiguously implies that the two programs, Wide Receiver and Fast and Furious, were the same “idea”; they were not. Further, it was the Bush administration, not Team Obama, that shut WR down. Later, under the Obama administration, someone (the White House wants to say it was somebody very low in the chain of command) started Fast and Furious — in spite of the fact that Wide Receiver had underperformed and threatened to cause serious trouble. F&F did lurch disastrously out of control, but was ended only after several BATFE agents, unable to conscience the insanity, blew the proverbial whistle. Maddow mentions none of those crucial facts.

3. Maddow emphasizes the conspiracy theory that Team Obama wanted to prove a large number of firearms purchased in the USA were killing people in Mexico, and used Fast and Furious to do that. She does not mention the incorrect — almost certainly fraudulent — statistics quoted by the Obama administration for firearms that originated in the USA and were seized by Mexican authorities in Mexico. When the facts were cited, the administration stopped making bogus claims. For reports and commentary on these issues when they first arose, see — at a minimum — this newsletter’s Numbers 77, 99, 101, 213 and 224; they will be sent to you upon request.

4. Next consider Maddow’s claim that a goofy conspiracist interpretation of F&F is at the core of the case made against the BATFE and Department of Justice. It’s neither goofy nor conspiracist to insist that Team Obama wanted to prove the Mexican gangs had a large number of firearms that had been bought in the USA. Let a Democrat make the case plainly. Maddow’s heavily-edited, partisan explanation is exemplary propaganda.

5. Maddow is reporting and commenting on only part of the story; she does not mention Obama’s comment to Sarah Brady, whose abiding personal interest in banning firearms led her to ask The One what he could do for the cause. He replied that his team’s efforts would have to be conducted “under the radar”. What can that possibly mean, other than the obvious? Yes, the Obama administration is going to push for firearms restrictions, regardless of the Heller decision, and regardless of Congress, and do all that without attracting more attention than necessary. As the now-canceled ad said, if he’s re-elected, “It’s on!”

By the way…Maddow began her fact-challenged outburst with the story of Shirley Sherrod, whom the conservatives portrayed as a racist, according to Maddow. At the time that story broke, this newsletter was most interested — and reported and commented on developments. It’s all in Number 156, and a copy is yours for the asking. Suffice it to say that Maddow would not be happy if you were to inform yourself. That’s Maddow’s job. As she would put it if she thought she could speak plainly, “Don’t interfere when your betters are telling you what to think.”

Speaking of the professional newscrafters, David Brooks is a NY Times columnist. He was interviewed on TV the other day, and for some unimaginable reason he had some useful things to say about Fast and Furious, and Team Obama’s attempt to protect Holder and others from the consequences of the disaster. Do click on the hyperlink and scroll down to the last two paragraphs, where you will see Brooks (remember, he works for the NYT) said, “…it hasn’t really registered with the country yet, what the government has done. When — if — it gets out: ‘Wait, they were sending guns to Mexico?’ — I think it’s such a thing that will startle people.” What? Mirabile dictu, that’s a media type admitting, pointing out, that the media let the nation down by under-reporting F&F!

The rhetorical question is why the news providers would let the public go under-informed about the implication of the US federal government in the deaths of some three hundred people. Yes, Holder and Obama are villains — incompetent, immoral and stupid — but they are not alone. They can call on a lot of help.

Speaking of help: as if to make this newsletter’s point about the media not reporting F&F, The Atlantic magazine has a primer for its readers — the overwhelming majority of whom it assumes are literally ignorant of the scandal. The magazine is almost certainly correct, for its readers are mostly supporters of the current administration. If you read the primer, you will see that is not detailed; there is, for example, no mention of the deaths, no comparison of Bush’s Wide Receiver with Obama’s F&F, no discussion of how each program ended — yet those facts are essential. Atlantic readers may be forgiven for ignorantly concluding that F&F was no big deal. Why are those crazy “wingnuts” upset?

Perhaps a tiny minority of Atlantic readers will look into F&F by going beyond the politically correct media. If they do, they may even realize that the primer is doubly significant: it concedes the fact that the major media have been remiss, and its omission of essential facts is yet another undeniable instance of journalistic bias.

Small victories like Brooks’s candor only emphasize the fact that few people know there is a wall of self-imposed censorship protecting collectivist politicians. Breaching that wall is exceedingly difficult.


Damage And Sons, Ltd.

Do you agree with this statement? “As for the Islamic fundamentalists, they fall into two categories: private actors who are dangerous but small (al Qaeda) and state actors who are dangerous but middleweight (Iran). They pose threats. They may view America as the enemy. But they are not big enough or organized enough to warrant organizing America’s entire foreign policy around them as the country did during the so-called ‘Global War on Terror.’ The true damage they might inflict on the United States, while serious, is limited.” (It’s from this article in the journal Foreign Policy. FP publishes seven issues a year and is considered required reading for specialists.)

By definition, any damage to a nation that leaves any part of it standing is limited. Yes, that means that after two nuclear bombs, catastrophic fire-bombings and the loss of countless soldiers and sailors, the Empire of Japan suffered limited damage. Was that nothing to be afraid of, nothing to try to prevent…because it was limited?

Surely anyone who would sneer at limited damage as nothing to get upset about would consider what happened to the folks in Hawaii on December 7, 1941 trivial. After all, twice as many people were killed in Pennsylvania, Washington and New York on September 11, 2001. “Limited” is a word that describes the damage done by both attacks. It also applies to London, Hamburg, Dresden and Berlin in World War II. So…when do you fight, and fight not just to drive the enemy off, but to demand and impose unconditional surrender? Ever?

As you read the article, ask yourself what assumptions the author is making but not stating, and what you think his overall point is — though he may not tell you explicitly what he would secretly like to see. Is it safe to deal with a danger or a threat according to the size of the attacking group, or is asymmetrical warfare a development that requires redefinitions of combat, attack, and defense? Is national defense sufficient if it can prevent the total obliteration of its society?



It’s time to stop taking EMP weapons lightly, and note that the Iranians take them very seriously.

Is the Airbus 320 a safe plane, or should you make sure you are flying in a Boeing? Perhaps there will be a follow-up to this story. If it appears on the internet and this newsletter misses it, a tip would be appreciated. — Update: some 24 hours or so of trying, and this newsletter cannot get a response from the NTSB server. (Sarcastic comment deleted….)

It’s State National Bank of Big Springs and others v. Timothy Geithner and others. It seeks the overturn of Dodd-Frank, a law you have read about in this newsletter. Time will tell….

REASON magazine tries to disabuse Obamites. It won’t work.

“Whenever the head of Tibetan Buddhism visits Japan he is asked how the country can improve. His devotees expect an answer along the lines of deeper spiritual contemplation or a stronger commitment to peace. …the Dalai Lama consistently deflates his audience with the practical admonition: ‘Learn English.'” Source.

Oops. Another of those things this newsletter missed when it happened: a competition for the best weblogs on the internet was held earlier this year, and the winners in various categories were announced in March. Anthropogenic global warming lost big. Yes, it’s true — before passing the results on to you, the NTG staff checked and verified them.

There’s a weblog that bills itself as “The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news”. Read its summary of the case against George Zimmerman. You will recall that Zimmerman killed a young man to whom Obama referred by saying, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon”. Highly recommended.

If this does not get your attention, nothing will: the headline reads, “CO2 levels were 12 times higher than the present throughout an entire ice age”. That little bombshell is to be found on a wonderful weblog, The Hockey Schtick. You are welcome.

If you like horses, you will probably enjoy this.

It’s frustrating. Mention to some folks that AGW is a mistaken concept, and you get disbelief: “I’d have to see evidence for that claim.” Provide the facts and figures and references, and the AGW true believers won’t look at them. Or this: when “greens” complain about carbon dioxide and/or pollution, try mentioning fracking — and you will get cries of horror; fracking is a Frankenstein’s monster. Yet the simple truth is that fracking is exactly the energy-producing, carbon dioxide reducing process “green” eco-freaks should celebrate and encourage. There’s no reasoning with some people…. Well, they are cultists, aren’t they?

You may have seen the video of some kids trying to outdo each other in taunting a woman on a school bus. The kids are guttersnipes, a never-rare species, and the woman was unlucky. The NY Times thought this incident was worth a comment, so, dipping deeply into its well of wisdom, the paper announced that the brats were… acting like Republicans.

Politicians have a mindset that obsesses on power, money, control, and connections. That means politicians insist they will not tolerate being ignored by the rich, powerful and connected people in the business world. This toxic brew of greed and arrogance is the main reason free markets are so rare.

If you have a little spare time, have a look at this interesting and revelatory weblog. It’s full of opinion and facts about Saipan, a part of the United States of America that virtually no folks in the fifty states know anything about. Products made there can be marked “Made in USA”, though Saipan is about as “American” as, say, Nigeria. Saipan is an anomalous entity the USA should abandon to its well-deserved fate, but the political realities (that’s code for “corruption and cronyism so deeply entrenched that nobody can do anything about the stinking mess”) are all against it. Do stop by the weblog, spend a half hour learning something, and then — don’t plan a vacation on Saipan!

Faith is dangerous. It can be the inspiration for unspeakable acts of murder by torture, political despotism, and crippling hate. It drives the anthropogenic global warming cult, it sends children off to clear minefields by running over the mines and detonating them, it causes people to make decisions based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever, and it enslaves the minds of otherwise intelligent individuals. Well…is it always dangerous? No. By all means delve deeper into the issue. Highly recommended.

AGW update! The Department of Justice has announced that Attorney General Eric Holder is planning to arrest somebody for civil rights violations, the NY Tymes reports in a front-page feature article that is above the fold, no less. “It’s been all white, pure white, there for a long, long time, and it really gives me the heebie-jeebies,” Holder said. In response to a reporter’s question, Holder said several things that made no sense, and then added, “Well, we have had people on that thingy, you know, that antarctic ice shelf, for years now, freezing their equipment, and doing federal work and like that, and all that pure white stuff was supposed to get melted, pronto, and so far we just have not had any cooperation. That’s right: it’s not melting. It’s still there, all white and stuff. I’m not only gonna do something about it, I’m gonna deputize Al Gore to go down there and write his name in the snow!”

PJ Media has a new team member. He does not write — he delivers thunderbolts.


These are the horns of the dilemma
What truth is proof against all lies?
When sacred fails before profane
The wisest man is deemed insane
Even the purest of romantics compromise

The masthead includes a quote from the works of Robert Burchfield.

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.