The New Terrapin Gazette

Number 288
14 January, 2013

Lowly, semicomic diarrhea kills 2,866,000 people a year worldwide, 2,474,000 of them children under the age of five. This is ten times the number of people who die from AIDS. But no one is wearing a brown ribbon on his tuxedo lapel at the Academy Awards or marching up the Mall in Washington carrying a sign reading DIARRHEA — IT CAN BE CONTAINED.

Firearms Legislation In Context

This video is what you need to see — in fact, it’s all you need to see, in order to understand what is going on and what should be going on. It gets NTG’s highest recommendation. Don’t skip it!

In the event you want more, you might like to see CNN’s Piers Morgan get clobbered by Ben Shapiro here. How that could happen is the question, and there are two explanations: first, Morgan is a vulgar propagandist masquerading as a journalist; second, the facts do not support his opinions. In fact Morgan literally does not know what he is talking about. If you wish to read some commentary on the Morgan-Shapiro exchange, you can go here and then read this or some terse and trenchant remarks by the erudite Roger Kimball. Please don’t misunderstand: this newsletter respects its readership, and knows that everyone can see that Alex Jones is no Ben Shapiro.


Now of course there may be a better way to describe how rifles are used in firearms violence. So here is a chart that describes the trend more cogently:



What’s the difference between the two graphs?

Between 1991 and 2011, civilian rifle ownership increased from an estimated 74 million to 112 million (51% growth). During that same period, the number of rifle homicide victims declined 57% (see the first graph). Examining rates better compares growth in both gun ownership and population. The following graph compares the rate of victims shot with rifles (per 100,000 population) versus the rate of civilian rifle ownership (per 1,000 population for a more usable number). The rifle ownership rate increased 22% between 1991 and 2011, while the rifle homicide rate decreased 65%.

These graphs depict not just violence committed with “assault” rifles (copies of military models), but for all rifles of whatever type used in the commission of violent crimes. That inflation biases the graphs so as to lend unwarranted force to the arguments of those who wish to ban only “assault” rifles.

The Obama administration wishes to enact what can only be called emergency legislation to deal with what it claims is a pressing national problem. That might be appropriate if the graphs showed that things are getting worse.

A rational consideration of the hard facts suggests that absent a deteriorating situation, the motive for anti-firearms legislation is hidden. If the Obamites were candid, what would they say? The reasonable voter deserves an answer, and it is increasingly obvious that he will never get a candid one from Team Obama or the “progressive” establishment.

An administration that wishes to protect the public from suffering and early death should begin with a survey of the causes of those tragic outcomes, considering them in sequence from most to least common.

Putting things in that reasonable perspective would produce a seismic alteration of the current controversy. This newsletter has not done exhaustive research into what might be called improper deaths in the USA, but here are a few facts gleaned from a hasty look at what is available on the internet:

Consider what a five percent reduction in these figures would amount to (note that the table is undated; the first reference it cites is from 1998). Is there literally nothing the US government can do, or should try to do, to reduce this huge total?

Here are figures for residential drownings of children in the USA (not drownings that occur on vacations, or as the result of crime). A US government publication titled “Unintentional Injury Deaths Among Persons Aged 0 – 19 Years” does not even mention firearms as an “injury mechanism”. Perhaps you would like to explore the issue yourself…Google away!

It appears that government action has reduced fatalities from auto accidents by as much as twenty percent in the last decade (from a high of 43,443 in 2005 to 32,367 in 2011; source). That suggests it might be possible to reduce other major causes of premature death. The question remains: why not deal with the worst first?

Then there is one final consideration that journalists around the world are carefully ignoring and/or trivializing: the tragic deaths of less than fifty people have produced a rush to draconian legislation that will impact only law-abiding citizens, while the deliberate incompetence and malfeasance of a number of US officials resulted in the deaths of over three hundred people — and have been covered up by a highly improper presidential refusal to release the full facts of the matter. The president and his henchmen committed a massively lethal infraction of ethics that makes Watergate look laughably trivial, and they have all gotten away with it.

The nation has its news media to thank for that.

At What Point Does Deceit Become Outright Lying?

As noted in Nr. 287 of this newsletter, the various news media reported that 2012 was the hottest year in the USA since…well, it was the hottest. Yes, you also were provided with two corrective sources that explained the truth, but by then, the lie had done its vile work. Once again, the journalists and cultists had spread their distortions and absurd claims, in this case reporting false information by implying that (a) human technology was responsible for the claimed increase in temperature, and (b) that the warmth was a precursor of catastrophe unless some laws were passed and enforced.

Now take a look at the facts.

From a column by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., in The Wall Street Journal of Jan. 12-13, 2013, page A13:

(It was not mentioned) that 2008, in the contiguous US, was two degrees cooler than 2006. Or that 2000, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 were all cooler than 1998 by a larger margin than 2012 was hotter than 1998.

Are you getting the picture? None of this was mentioned because it makes a mockery of using trends in the Lower 48 as a proxy for global warming, the misguided intent that permeated media coverage of the NOAA revelation.

(Clarification: NOAA had claimed that “2012 was the hottest year on record in the contiguous United States.”)

The contiguous United States isn’t the globe. It isn’t even the United States, omitting Alaska and Hawaii. The Lower 48 represent just 1.58% of the total surface of the Earth. The law of large numbers is at work here: The smaller the sample, the more volatile its patterns compared to a larger sample. And the fact remains, in all the authoritative studies, the warmest year on record globally is still 1998 and no trend has been apparent globally since then.

This newsletter now repeats itself: the world will get warmer, and the world will get cooler. That is its habit, as revealed in hundreds of thousands of years of its history; the world does what it does, and mankind does not drive those changes. The Medieval Warming, some four hundred years of extraordinary heat, was omitted by Mike Mann and his friends from the original hockey stick graph because that prolonged hot spell clearly demonstrated the truth. The AGW cult has lied to you, continues to lie to you, and will lie to you in the future.

If and when warming or cooling occurs, there will be no way to show that either of those changes was caused by technology.

Climate alarmism is literal insanity. It would be laughable if it were not a cultic bid for political and economic power.

You might be able to read the entire WSJ column here or at this site, but there is an indication that the newspaper has placed the complete text behind a subscription barrier.

Gratuitous eye candy


Reports like this disgust and repel a lot of folks, driving them away from political issues. Sometimes it seems politics itself is inherently filthy. That can make it easier for the dirty politicians to stay in office, and stay, and stay….

Who discovered The New World? Well, unlike the loons behind this absurd claim, rational folks know who didn’t.

The mainstream news media distinguish themselves yet again, dutifully not reporting on Egypt and Islamist pronouncements. With these non-journalists on the job, the US population must depend on news outlets like Breitbart. The major media’s blackout cannot be due to errors, or incompetence, or a dearth of communications. One can only look to the gatekeepers, and ask why they make the deliberate decisions they do.

This video is utterly hilarious. You are welcome.

How do you feel about this type of law enforcement? If you do it, you get arrested and tried and almost certainly convicted. If a journalist (however defined) does it, nothing happens. And the prosecutors are proud of that.

A good idea: non-nuclear EMP weapons. Until the Iranians and North Koreans get them, of course. Meanwhile the real challenge that Obama probably knows nothing about: the next Carrington event.

Save the children! — What’s that? Children of a certain age deserve saving, while others do not? What does age have to do with it? And you say Obama won’t like this…. So what? The video is clever, makes a point, and will provoke comment. That’s good, as far as it goes; the rest is up to you.

The extraordinarily unlikely is not just rare — it’s inevitable. That means all sorts of interesting things.

The absurdity that is the gun-free zone is an abomination imposed on the polity by boneheaded politicians. Thanks go to reader JY for the tip.

A weblogger asks, “Why don’t we recognize the language of the Left as expressions of prejudice?” Short answer: because, like fascism, prejudice is a monopoly of the Right; or so the most shameless of bigots and fascists say.

Shock assertion of the month: Slick Willy is a liar.

An academic who maintains a weblog reports that he has found an “amazingly accurate” article on the National Rifle Association of America in The Washington Post.

Hitler the example: a Hungarian reaction to economic hard times exposes recidivist insanity that draws no public rebuke.

Begging your pardon
But I don’t think that I can stay
This particular garden
Ain’t never seen the light of day
Even so — talkin’ and touch and go
Even so — hey but I don’t know, I don’t know
Even so
No, no, oh no no, oh no no, oh no no, oh
no no

The masthead includes a quote from a 1994 work by P. J. O’Rourke.

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

Publisher: The Eagle Wing Palace of The Queen Chinee.