The New Terrapin Gazette

Number 263
14 August, 2012

Victory over Japan came three and one-half years after Pearl Harbor. But we are still in an unending war.

Who Will Win?

Romney could evict Obama; Ryan may convince enough undecided voters in the states teetering back and forth that responsible governance is preferable to fiscal madness. Yet this newsletter believes Obama is the way to bet.

So, with apologies to readers who either cannot or do not wish to vote in the forthcoming US election, The New Terrapin suggests a closer look at the situation.

Two distinct strategies for defeating Obama

Charles Krauthammer is tolerated by the WaPo because he is that newspaper’s way of demonstrating that it is not the collectivist propaganda organ that it is; he’s a “wingnut”, and a very articulate, observant and wise one, at that. In a valuable column you really should read Krauthammer explains that the argument from personal competency is a loser, while ideology is more important. In other words, Mitt can’t say, “I know what I’m doing, because I was a governor and businessman, and as a capitalist, I can put the economy right.” Far better if the Republican tells the voters that his political/economic values and aims are quintessentially American and solidly based in ethics, while Obama’s ideals are utterly alien. “I can do the job” will fail for Romney, while success will be his if he recounts all the nonsense, the misconceptions, the incompetence and the neo-Marxist quackery of Obama. For example, the president complains that the federal constitution provides no benefits, and merely upholds the Liberty of the people; on this issue alone, Obama is vulnerable. If Romney savages Obama as a fraud who despises and rejects the nation’s unique values — and proves his points with specifics — the Republican will have a chance.

Krauthammer is right, of course, but he assumes that the electorate is (a) adequately educated, and (b) open to reason. Neither is true. The electorate is for the most part made up of two stubborn groups: people who are ignorant/unconcerned, and people who are firmly ideologically committed. Commitment can be to collectivism, racial prejudice, hatred of Jews, batty environmentalism, individualism, quintessential “wingnut” concerns, libertarian hopes, conspiracist interpretations of history, and so on. Then too, some important segments of the electorate have overriding concerns, such as immigration, firearms legislation, and abortion.

That’s one tough audience.

If you want to counter the ideology and mindset of Team Obama and its many allies, you must start by understanding the opposition. Perhaps no better guide exists than this masterful forensic examination of the origins and full implications of the Obamite world view. A tip of the NTG’s hat goes to loyal reader JY for pointing to it.

Now, having read the post linked above, consider whether Romney can use any of that information to expose Obama and his USA-hating supporters.

A few specifics that may clarify the probabilities

You say the polls show Romney gaining, and ahead in some key states? Skepticism is in order. Pollsters are infinitely gullible, especially when they think they are speaking to a voter who intends to vote (which polls require respondents to prove they are qualified voters?). Very few folks remain totally unflattered when you request their opinions, which means you can’t quite trust the responses you get. It’s the “Guru Syndrome”: if you treat somebody as if he were wise and respectable, he will try to play the role, confabulating as need be to live up to your obvious expectations. And of course some malcontents (like the editor of this newsletter) will lie to pollsters, in order to mess them up as much as possible.

Not convinced? Consider this: no poll can tally the opinions of all the dead Democrats who will be voting.

What matters, then? Well, there are several facts pointing to an Obama victory. First, many voters are delighted to see a black face in the White House, and they intend to keep it there. This newsletter shares their joy and pride; this is a signal event every US citizen should be happy about. It’s too bad how it worked out, but still….

Next you have what this newsletter characterizes as a frozen polarization of economic understandings. Greenfield’s brilliant analysis (linked above) is different in emphasis from the view of this newsletter, which deals more with the almost mechanical functioning of the electorate. Note first that over there (on the “left”) you have the Class Warriors and Economic Centralists; they traffic in envy and preach confiscatory, punitive taxation — or they promote less draconian policies that still demand the central government wield extraordinary control over each person in the nation. The slogan of these Utopians is “Fairness!” Their patron saint is Keynes, and their high priestess is Fauxcahantas Warren. They honestly believe stocks and bonds are talismans wielded by indolent parasites, and that Flyover Country probably harbors more undiscovered species than do all the Earth’s oceans. Their idea of team sports is the Occupy mobs trying to provoke the cops into doing something stupid (which is not all that hard, so no credit goes to the new breed of Birkenstock Brigadiers). According to the rioters, the government is the wellspring of prosperity, and Republicans want everyone except the upper strata of the GOP to be poor. The vandals are shock troops in the service of fascists who crave control of the masses whose welfare they pretend to advance, even as they sneer at them. Snobbery, Thy name is Bicoastal Elite.

And their opponents on the “right”? A mixed bag of folks, including economic literates, original thinkers, and people who are scared silly. Along the edges of the crowd you may find some conspiracy theorists as well as the occasional agent provocateur who’s hoping to write an article for The New Yorker.

The question, then, is which of the two camps is the larger. Nobody knows, but if you depend on the news media, you will eventually get the idea that the Tea Party is a bunch of simpletons who cater to racists and nutjobs, while “progressives” are a lot better educated — you know, like Rachel Maddow (check this “wingnut” site, as well) — and understand how government works. That’s not good news for Romney.

There are only a few voters who don’t know yet how they will vote. That implies you can look forward to one of the most useless, crooked and goofy campaigns of the new century.

The press…ah, yes, the press. The less said about the Fourth Mistake, the better, but here’s a quick summary.

For many folks, avoiding the “news” will be best, and it’s pretty safe to say that almost everyone who is likely to pay attention to the deluge of propaganda made up his mind long, long ago; the press is mostly talking to people who don’t need talking to.

Overall, the press will confirm the sentiments of Obama supporters and imply cleverly that there is something screwy about Romney and Ryan.

Accordingly, when Romney says something important or effective, it will be skillfully underreported, and the public will be unaware of the sabotage. As this newsletter has repeatedly asserted, reporters and editors can make geniuses look like fools and lend seeming credibility to nonsense. Subtle bias is often hard to detect and its roots in malice can be impossible to demonstrate.

Most people will vote according to how they feel the government should deal with the nation’s problems, which means planning for the long haul will be a relatively rare phenomenon. Like the Greeks and virtually everybody else in Europe, most US types believe that a government must deliver prosperity, and will if it is supported — which is to say, if it is given enough control.

Does any of the above suggest a Romney victory?

The necessarily hard road ahead

All right; Obama wins, and the country goes to hell in a handbasket. That could be good, because it would teach a lot of people some necessary lessons.

If Obama rubs the citizens’ noses in the mess — if he savages the economy with yet more crony capitalism, stacking failure on collapse and debt on unsurvivable debt — the number of people who can learn from experience and who desire to make a good future for their grandchildren may increase. Then, if the GOP is taken in hand by the right people — meaning, of course, Bobby Jindal’s crew — there will be a good chance of reform and revival.

That means Romney is too early. The nation is not ready for a change of direction. If it attempts one now, the reform will fail for lack of popular support. The voters who crave dependency on a munificent government and cannot comprehend the consequences of too much debt are still numerous enough to abort the efforts of good leaders.

Under Obama, the government will expand and seek more and more control over every aspect of the citizenry until reform is provoked and tolerated.

The principle was clearly enunciated by Taylor Caldwell in her dystopian novel, The Devil’s Advocate; see whether you can locate a copy (hers is not the only book with that title) and read it, for her insights are seminal and seismic. By the way, virtually everyone who uses the term “the devil’s advocate” uses it ignorantly, as Caldwell explains.

Today’s USA is not ready for and cannot sustain meaningful reform. The people need more time to see Obama for what he is, and handing over one-sixth of the US economy (that’s what Obamacare amounts to, as you will recall) to this fake and his dangerous sycophants ought to enlighten a lot of folks. Proof that the electorate has not yet learned its lesson is easy to come by: Obama is, after all his nonsense, the likely winner in November.

Four more years — harder, more cruel and frustrating years than the past four — will produce a stiflingly repressive government. The Liberty Obama disparages when he criticizes the constitution as misguided and unhelpful will be weakened by Washington’s growing power. The coming war will add to the misery.

These ordeals are necessary.

Technology Review

Reader JKH reports he’s not disappointed with the performance of a new gadget:

We were visiting our good friends the other night when I asked if I could borrow a newspaper. “This is the 21st century, old man,” he said. “We don’t waste money on newspapers. Here, you can borrow my iPad.”

I can tell you, that bloody fly never knew what hit it.


This is how Team Obama operates. Why would these deplorable, ethically empty practices be likely to work?

Sikhs in the USA express an opinion on firearms control.

So you petition the White House regarding what you consider a problem with federal law enforcement, and… …just who the hell do you think you are, Citizen? That’s Hopeandchange in action…. You express the hope, and they pull the change on you.

Here’s a new book on the morphology of the US electorate that may shed additional light on the matters discussed above.

Not that this newsletter is trying to spoil your day, you understand, but…have a look at Egypt. Oh, cripes.

Elites that aren’t. Caution: Very High Voltage.

This moronic bungling is the result of militarizing the cops and getting them jacked up with a lot of hoo-rah that has no place in law enforcement. The consequences of this abuse of the public should be very high indeed, so the word from here is, “Sue the bastards!” When communities simply can’t afford the bang-bang games played by testosterone junkies and superannuated children, they will take the toys away.

Learn why this newsletter is glad there is an Israel, and why none of Israel’s neighbors share that feeling.

There is a lot of whining on the internet about how the major news media have immediately stuck their knives in Ryan (he’s the guy who wants to put Ol’ Joe The Faux Dipso out of work); targets of “wingnut” complaints include the New York Times, and the Usual Suspects. You don’t need a lot of hyperlinks; you know how it is. So here is a solitary example of partisan bias that actually amounts to censorship.

A brief article on Israeli computer warriors suggests that Stuxnet and Flame were not the most powerful examples of the software the Israelis have used or currently use against their enemies. That must be driving the folks at Kaspersky crazy.

What is the future of jihadi “terrorism”? That’s an easy question to answer. Take a look.

A possibly biased “fact-check” outfit (biased in favor of Democrats generally, and against Republicans for the most part) says, regarding an anti-Romney TV ad, “There’s so much deceit here we hardly know where to start.” Just establishing bona fides? There is no way to tell, but in this case, the ad is so rotten that anyone pretending to be objective has simply got to howl — or discredit himself disastrously.

Loyal reader JY suggests a book for your consideration. His recommendations have been excellent in the past, and this one looks particularly interesting.

Buy plain popcorn, pop it, and then pour real melted butter over it. Don’t buy microwave popcorn with “butter” in the bag.

In the unlikely event you wish to see what this newsletter has had to say about the GOP vice-presidential candidate-to-be, look in Numbers 163, 196, 198, 199, and 244.

When I awoke the Dire Wolf
Six hundred pounds of sin
Was grinning at my window
All I said was “Come on in”

The wolf came in, I got my cards
We sat down for a game
I cut my deck to the queen of spades
But the cards were all the same

The masthead includes a quote from the works of Herbert Hoover.

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

Publisher: The Eagle Wing Palace of The Queen Chinee.