The New Terrapin Gazette

Number 289
17 January, 2013

…if mere disproof were enough to rid us of ideas, think of the things we’d be free from: the social sciences, group therapy, raising taxes to decrease government spending.

Two Ways To Gain Credibility And Political Influence

The first way: if you are a provider of news and commentary, begin by telling lies and selectively underplaying important stories. Then set up a “fact check” outfit that is claimed to be able to sort fact from fiction impartially and inerrantly. Finally, fiddle the results produced by the “fact check” outfit. A case in point: Politifact.

What is Politifact, anyway, and who’s behind it? More to the point, should you trust it? Why do that, if you don’t trust the mainstream media? Politifact is, after all, the handmaiden of the mainstream media.

The second way is for politicians. Here it is in six easy steps. One: make clear that the US federal constitution has only negative value, as it makes no provision for material benefits for the people; two, mention, to great applause, the “civilian national security force” that will be as well-funded and as lethal as the military; three: wait for a response (in all probability, nothing consequential will develop, so don’t fret); four: get the new “security force” authorized by Congress (it’s in the Obamacare bill, believe it or not — request a copy of this newsletter, Number 140); five, wait for a mass murder with strong emotional overtones (it has arrived); six, impose restrictions and bans that limit the public’s ability to resist a new “national security” force.

If your plan works, you will have pulled off a coup, putting your cabal in control.

Well, this time, it did not work. Obama blinked when opposition to his unconstitutional plans grew so determined that there was a probability of an attempt at impeachment.

When Slick Willy was impeached, the issue was sex and perjury. Some folks felt the sex was inconsequential (everybody knew that Slick the inveterate philanderer was irresistible) and that the perjury was only natural (“…everybody lies about that stuff; so what?”). Hypocrisy piled upon hypocrisy: the feminists who had destroyed Packwood for his “womanizing” endorsed Slick’s licentiousness, so the Democrat-controlled Senate held its nose and refused to convict.

Obama faces serious constitutional questions on firearms, however, and Heller…well, in case you had forgotten, the Supremes voted unanimously that firearms ownership and possession is an individual right.

That may be why Obama backed down.

Sooner or later — and it might not come during this administration — the issue will be joined again. (California continues to send Feinstein back to the Senate.) Bad governments always know that ultimately they can be safe only if their citizens are disarmed, and in a nation like the USA, the very idea of a volunteer military firing on political protesters is scorchingly desperate.

Yes, one might argue that anything is possible, and cite My Lai and the killings at Kent State. Those tragic events are demonstrations of what sometimes happens when badly-led troops are overstressed. In Vietnam and Ohio, the miliary failed because it had no rational plan, preparation or practice.

Compare those events with the Ruby Ridge incident and the destruction of the “Branch Davidian” complex in Texas; those operations were carried out very deliberately by federal law enforcers who were not from the first dealing with emergencies. Yet both situations went wildly off the rails shortly after being initiated; they exemplify unimaginative, impractical and incompetent leadership and go-for-the-throat law enforcement malpractice resulting in homicides. In neither case did anyone have to die.

Perhaps the lesson there is that if a small number of the wrong people are involved, bad results are virtually inevitable. At Ruby Ridge, federal officials were alone and unobserved by the populace. At Waco, the news media were pushed far back as soon as the government realized that the world was watching; the films of the final act of the tragedy were made from miles away. Evil thrives on secrecy; that’s why so much of the Waco story remains locked away.

One can argue that things would be very different if the president told large numbers of citizens to round up their neighbors. Consider what might happen if a large percentage of the US population believed constitutional issues were at stake, and that the sitting government were acting illegally. Many in the Obamoid “civilian national security force” would simply lay down their weapons and walk off.

The counter to that hope is hinted at in this disturbing question: suppose that well over ninety-five percent of all white US voters had cast their ballots for Romney; how would virtually all black people everywhere view that statistic?

One can wonder whether Obama has thought all this through….

Science Tries To Deal With The Concept Of Anthropogenic Global Warming

In July of 2010, Roy Spencer posted a number of questions with his answers at this location on the internet.

His academic and professional qualifications to speak on this issue are outlined at the linked site.

Spencer’s remarks are central to the understanding of claims of anthropogenic global warming. This newsletter has attempted to reduce the science to news the average person can use; for some folks, that is insufficient. Accordingly, a great many URLs have been provided here that take the curious to technical papers that go into detail. Now, in a continuing effort to bridge the gap between voters and scientists, The New Terrapin reproduces, in edited form, the following remarks:

… Aren’t natural CO2 emissions about 20 times the human emissions? Yes, but nature is believed to absorb CO2 at about the same rate it is produced. You can think of the reservoir of atmospheric CO2 as being like a giant container of water, with nature pumping in a steady stream into the bottom of the container (atmosphere) in some places, sucking out about the same amount in other places, and then humans causing a steady drip-drip-drip into the container. Significantly, about 50% of what we produce is sucked out of the atmosphere by nature, mostly through photosynthesis. Nature loves the stuff. CO2 is the elixir of life on Earth. Imagine the howls of protest there would be if we were destroying atmospheric CO2, rather than creating more of it.

Is rising CO2 the cause of recent warming? While this is theoretically possible, I think it is more likely that the warming is mostly natural. At the very least, we have no way of determining what proportion is natural versus human-caused.

Why do most scientists believe CO2 is responsible for the warming? Because (as they have told me) they can’t think of anything else that might have caused it. Significantly, it’s not that there is evidence nature can’t be the cause, but a lack of sufficiently accurate measurements to determine if nature is the cause. This is a hugely important distinction, and one the public and policymakers have been misled on by the IPCC.

If not humans, what could have caused recent warming? This is one of my areas of research. I believe that natural changes in the amount of sunlight being absorbed by the Earth — due to natural changes in cloud cover — are responsible for most of the warming. Whether that is the specific mechanism or not, I advance the minority view that the climate system can change all by itself. Climate change does not require an “external” source of forcing, such as a change in the sun.

When researchers approach a problem, their pre-conceived notions often guide them. It’s not that the IPCC’s claim that humans cause global warming is somehow untenable or impossible, it’s that political and financial pressures have resulted in the IPCC almost totally ignoring alternative explanations for that warming.

How important is “scientific consensus” in climate research? In the case of global warming, it is nearly worthless. The climate system is so complex that the vast majority of climate scientists — usually experts in (a) variety of specialized fields — assume there are more knowledgeable scientists, and they are just supporting the opinions of their colleagues. And among that small group of most knowledgeable experts, there is a considerable element of groupthink, herd mentality, peer pressure, political pressure, support of certain energy policies, and desire to Save the Earth — whether it needs to be saved or not.

The above paragraphs are just a portion of Spencer’s remarks. If this subject interests you, by all means read the entire post.


This commentary refers to a concept first mentioned in Nr. 136 of this newsletter: the logarithmic nature of the warming effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The current claim seems to be that 2013 will be the year in which the truth will become obvious. That is nonsense. Cultists cling to fables and remain immune to truth. The Climate War is not over, and its end is not in sight. Don’t believe it? If the dispute were between the ignorant and the rational, it would have ended years ago, and the exposure of the e-mails that appeared when the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia was cracked open would have sent many “scholars” into retirement. (By the same token, the publication of The Hockey Stick Illusion would have ended the dispute once and for all — it’s all in that book, but the painstaking recitation of facts had virtually no effect.) The public, the press and officialdom remain unconvinced by demonstrable truth. A cult is a religious phenomenon, and religion is not rational. Science cannot impact it.


Perhaps you recall that this newsletter threw several fits over the abuse of tiny tots by the Obamite faithful. The scoundrels are at it again, and some folks have noticed. Historians will have a great deal to say about this horrid administration….

The Soviet Model, Imported and Updated





“Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling,” Pat McQuaid, the president of the International Cycling Union, said…. Correct. And that ends the discussion, now and forever. (Source.)

Consider these facts, and then remember that the rascals do still want to disarm you! Trust the politicians as far as you can trust any liars….

Ruminations on “the deeply unethical relationship between the White House and the Washington press corps”. It keeps the electorate in the dark, makes the executive branch’s incompetent cover-ups utterly effective, and corrodes the democratic process.

Blame G. W. Bush: “The debt is up about 60% since Obama took office.”


The so-called mainstream media that hyperventilated when Romney said he had “binders full of women” would rightly be outraged if Romney or Bush did anything even remotely as reprehensible as what Gore did. They wouldn’t let the story go away.

But with Al Gore they couldn’t muster even a little outrage. By and large all they did was cover the business story — Al Gore sells to Al Jazeera.


While you were gone
these spaces filled with darkness
The obvious was hidden
With nothing to believe in
the compass always points to Terrapin

Sullen wings of fortune beat like rain
You’re back in Terrapin for good or ill again
For good or ill again

The masthead includes a quote from the works of 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.