The New Terrapin Gazette

Number 293
13 February, 2013

Cults do not simply fill the mind with error, but fundamentally transform the manner in which the brain processes information.

The Inevitable

This newsletter first complained, in March of 2009, that The Powers That Be remain unconcerned about a Carrington event. Every so often, the facts make the news — but probably only as filler.

The problem with Carrington events is that they are inevitable, which means that even John Kerry can’t talk Mother Nature into holding off. The good thing about Carrington events is that they can be mitigated by preparedness. The bad thing about that is that it will require a national effort to avoid catastrophe, and this newsletter is convinced that no current or prospective national leadership has the intelligence and wisdom required to decide on and then carry out effective measures. Perhaps in twenty years a government will take steps to protect the USA against a huge solar flare, but as things stand now, the federal government is much more concerned about getting the national community organized — that is, under control.

Sleight Of Mind: Obamoid Policies Boost The Stock Market

Obama is finally doing something right: thanks to his enlightened policies — which are taking hold now — the stock market is up, way up, and the future suddenly looks brighter. Everyone knows that when the stock market is sharply up, the entire economy is doing better and a higher standard of living is in store for everyone.

Sorry, Pilgrims, but if you believe the statements in the paragraph above, you need help.

You might like to know what a genuine rise in the stock market looks like. An accurate view of Wall Street’s health requires some information about how investments other than stocks are doing.

From summer of 1982 to early in 2000, the US stock market, as measured by Standard and Poor’s list of five hundred stocks, rose 1,194%. If you invested in silver over the same period, you lost 17% of your money; gold would have cost you 35% of your investment, and oil would have left you 23% poorer.

Those facts characterize a real rise in the stock market.

Under Obama, stocks have gone up 88%; that would be good, if they had not started from a dismal low. Since March of 2009, the S&P 500 has risen 124%, which looks nice — but it managed that percentage increase mostly because it pulled out of a deep hole that formed just after Obama began his first term. During the same period, gold went up 88%, oil went up 106% and silver rose 167%.

 

Those figures illustrate the difference between so-so performance and genuine increases in the value of stocks. Obama’s statistics look good only if you ignore the changes in gold, silver, and oil. Take those three commodities into account, and the improved stock market fails to thrill.

These figures reveal a simple truth: to invest wisely, one must see one’s cash grow faster than the price of some common goods or services, and faster than what one could earn from competing investments.

The fly in the Obama snake oil is the weaker dollar. When Reagan, the first President Bush and later Slick Willy were in the White House, the dollar was much stronger, and stocks were the best investment. Commodities (gold, silver, oil) fell behind. Those days are over.

That dismal fact is mirrored in economic growth. When Reagan and Bush and Slick were in office, US domestic growth averaged 3.6% each year. Today, it’s less than half that.

The Federal Reserve, taking its cue from The One’s dogmatic refusal to cut insane spending, is determined to weaken the US dollar further. That will hit you very hard, for the cost of virtually everything will go up, in spite of the boost a weaker dollar will give to exports. Prices will go up faster than wages. You might call that the Collectivist Tax.

Science And Superstition

In Number 290, this newsletter published its review of a wonderful book by Raymond Tallis. The author dismantles what he calls “scientism” and “Darwinitis”. As Tallis is an atheist, those accomplishments are of note. Folks interested in the topic will recall that Christian apologist C. S. Lewis attacked the same nonsense years ago. Lewis feared that science was bidding to infect and weaken the only correct religion. This video clarifies that fear and sets out principles that many contemporary Christians consider fundamental.

Lewis had things backwards. “Scientism” was not trying to pollute faith with science; the effort was to adulterate science with blind faith. (That is exactly what these technically sophisticated frauds do when they point to a flash on a monitor and say, “That’s a thought”, or “You are looking at regret”.)

A good example of this perverse practice is to be found in the unwarranted assertions of “Warmers”, the proponents of anthropogenic global warming. AGW was from the first denounced by NTG as a religious doctrine, for it was based not on facts and the scientific method but on credulity, a rejection of reason and evidence, and emotional commitment to a variety of self-hatred. Accordingly this newsletter referred to “the AGW cult”. Gore and Hansen are the high priests of the cabal, and the theology of the cult is fantasy costumed to look scientific.

The problem is not that science wishes to displace faith, but that scientists too often wish to push reason aside and preach toxic dogma.

Android Is Sexy

This newsletter’s staff has little positive experience with cell phones, eyepads, or whatever the devices are called these days. There is, however, one aspect of the subject that impresses: the operating system called Android. A correspondent has found a way to put this software on his HP TouchPad, which he describes as very good hardware. Here are the relevant instructions: First Step, Second Step, and then Third Step. His subsequent comment: “In a word, WOW! It runs circles around WebOS!” You are welcome.

Good Nazis

It’s an odd term — an oxymoron rather like “saintly demon”. It refers to political fanatics who obey the demands of a dictatorial and immoral leader. Good Nazis carried on for many months after the collapse of Nazi Germany, fighting Allied occupying troops. The good Nazis fought hardest and sacrificed the most in service to their leader, and that often meant slaughtering innocent civilians.

Committed Nazis did kill their countrymen when ordered to, but would members of the armed services of the USA kill US citizens and residents on command?

The accusation has been made that the Obama administration is asking high-ranking military officers whether they would order troops under their command to fire on the US public. If true, this suggests that there is some concern in the White House that putting down a popular rebellion may be necessary.

That is a distressing claim, and one must immediately consider it likely to be a hoax.

Two questions should be asked: first, what is the evidence for this assertion, and second, how would it be possible to research the issue? Clearly, rascals are able to start rumors of all sorts, and the average person — even if he is a journalist — would find it extraordinarily difficult to compile evidence to confirm or discredit the rumor.

Obama proposed, and got, a “national civilian security force” (see Numbers 148, 169, 170, 173, 186 of NTG) that probably would not fire on political protesters who are behaving peacefully. That could change if The One’s troopers were afraid of being injured by a crowd.

It is a certainty that US Marines and Army units would indeed fire on any armed persons who appear to pose a threat.

That opinion is based on two events: the time spent by TNG’s editor as a member of the Army National Guard during the Watts riot of 1965, and the events that took place at the “Branch Davidian” compound near Waco, Texas in 1993.

Soldiers and Marines are not cops. That means the military will kill you if you do not conduct yourself politely, and it will do so with overwhelming firepower. (The killings at Kent State in 1970 were extraordinary, and are not consonant with the assumptions made by the current rumor.)

It seems absurd to poll military officers on whether they will shoot back if US citizens shoot at them. The armed services are not getting ready to put down a rebellion; they are already prepared — in every way — to do exactly that.

If, however, you wish to learn more about this rumor (it is a bit titillating — until you think it through, that is), you can watch a video that attempts to indict Team Obama as preparing for a civil war.

There is, of course, no doubt that Obama has what he considers a good opportunity to limit civilian access to some weapons that are not suitable for paramilitary action; his proposals are, in this newsletter’s view, unconstitutional and grounds for impeachment. Whether he would be so stupid as to ask serving officers of the US military, “Would you fire on US citizens if so ordered?” is extremely doubtful. The mass murder of those children in Sandy Hook is indeed an opportunity for the president to try to disarm the public, at least a bit, but it is probable that a great many citizens will see the transparent dishonesty of that attempt, and reject it.

The real danger to the public as regards the second amendment to the US federal constitution is yet to come: Obama will be able to appoint at least one, and possibly two, justices to the supreme court.

Good Muslims

The Wall Street Journal for the eleventh of February, 2013, carried a news item headlined, “Muslim Insurgents Widen Thailand Attacks”. The editor of this newsletter is saddened to read this report because he lived in Thailand for many years and considers the Islamic threat to that nation severe. Particularly troubling is the comment that this horrible conflict, which has already claimed more than five thousand lives, appears to have no links whatsoever to Islamic groups outside the region (there are doubtless Muslims who cross the porous border with Malaysia frequently). What is going on in Thailand is not the work of Al Qaeda. It is the work of Islam.

And thus it is wherever Muslims relocate, make babies, and bring them up. In Great Britain, perfectly peaceful Pakistani immigrants saw their children graduate from medical school and become bombers bent on mass murder. The motive: the Koran.

The holy book of Islam is the word of the divine creator of the universe and man, given to the Archangel Gabriel and transmitted to the prophet Mohammed. Accordingly, all Muslims, whether they are peaceful shopkeepers or goatherds or professors of engineering believe in the Koran. None will deny it. All revere it. They rear their children to trust and obey it.

Yet the Koran is a bloody-minded hoax that preaches hatred, mass murder, suicidal violence, totalitarian oppression and mind-destroying faith in nonsense. Truly, it is far more dangerous than Mein Kampf and it should be banned if Hitler’s book is properly proscribed. If you doubt the fell influence of this wicked fraud, read it.

Or you might read this commentary, which approaches the problem of the “moderate Muslim” from a very open-minded and clear-eyed viewpoint.

In any event, do inform yourself. Islamic colonization of non-Islamic nations is literally a matter of life and death.

The Republican Faithful Try To Control The Idealists In Their Party

The Republicans are transmuting into losers. They can’t reclaim the Senate, they can’t effectively use their majority in the House, the White House seems beyond their grasp, the media are overwhelmingly arrayed against them, and the academy rejects their fundamental values. The current Powers That Be can roll right over the constitutional guarantees of the first and second amendment provisions protecting the public from tyranny. The debate over the RINO concept (“Republican In Name Only”) refuses to die, and there is bitter intraparty disagreement on virtually every significant issue.

In sharp contrast to the Republicans, the Democrats seem able to embrace virtually everyone, however malodorous, who loathes both the knuckle-draggers in Flyover Country and the wingnuts who want to return the nation to constitutional governance. Republican appeals to common sense regarding taxation, financial policy and social engineering fall on deaf ears, in spite of solid information that proves the nation is recklessly chasing a will-o’-the-wisp.

Perhaps no better example of GOP disunity exists than the burgeoning struggle between Karl Rove and what might be called the fundamentalist faction of the party. It bids fair to be a spectacular barroom brawl.

What’s best for the nation? In truth, the urgent need is for two things: first and most important, an unbiased press, and second, voters who ignore race. Neither is available, and both can scarcely be imagined.

Accordingly, this newsletter finds Rove’s comments hilarious. He says he wants to find candidates who can win, and he appears willing to ignore the ideas and proposals they offer to the voters. That’s manifest cynicism.

Others will note that Rove is a recent loser whose last winner was a president who was successfully, lethally targeted by the media and the Democrats. Whether the party can succeed if it accepts the guidance of a strategist like Rove seems extraordinarily dubious.

If the GOP wants to win, it should base its program on prudential financial policy and strict adherence to the federal constitution. End of report.

Should Sexual Adventurism Be A Federal Matter? Maybe Not Always

All right: Petraeus, for all his brilliance, let his gonads do his thinking for him, and that disgraced him. There is no point in recalling bitterly that Slick Willy got away with a hundred times more hedonistic deviltry, and that a president who is sexually obsessive-compulsive poses a gigantic security risk, as did Petraeus. The difference: Slick was and remains shameless, and therefore impossible to blackmail. In fact the publicity has only enhanced his, er, non-legislative congressional opportunities.

Unfortunately spooks and Secret Service agents and US Senators can be blackmailed, and somebody really ought to do some serious thinking about that — after all, men are not going to stop being men just because some of them have made spectacles of themselves.

So it might be a good idea to draft a new policy.

What if the federal government were to make its guidelines and codes of ethical conduct clear and very public, saying, in effect, “All federal officials, both appointed and elected, are private persons who have the right to conduct their lives, including their intimate relationships, as they see fit, provided they break no US laws. Extramarital affairs, for example, are personal matters that cannot reflect on the careers of those who engage in them. The spouses of federal employees and appointees should be aware that marital infidelity is not a crime.”

Now imagine that a government official goes on TV and says this to all civil servants and their families: “What you and your mate do is neither the government’s business nor its problem. Bad publicity? Reporters and TV cameras all over your front lawn? Talk to your spouse about that now, before it happens. Don’t expect he/she will be punished with loss of employment if something embarrassing happens, and if you are hit with bad publicity, deal with the disappointment. Now look: prostitution is illegal in the USA, but if your partner is caught paying for sex in a country where it’s legal, don’t expect legal or job-related consequences. The quality and durability of your marriage is up to you, not to the government, so if you think your partner will be intimidated into not straying, you can be disappointed. If you are working for Uncle Sam and you break your marriage vows, tell anyone who wants to blackmail you to go ahead and blow the whistle on you; then walk away, laughing. That will probably prevent any revelations, but if it does not, keep laughing, and tell everyone who asks that it’s none of their business. Remember: it’s none of ours. The government needs clever people, and it won’t demand that they be paragons of sexual virtue”.

Now push this fantasy to the next level: imagine Washington publishing a list of approved bordellos for the use of both male and female civil servants who travel to nations that do not make prostitution illegal.

This policy might not make blackmail totally impossible in all cases, but it would drastically reduce dangers posed by the Honey Pot.

Well, back to reality. Some folks can get away with just about anything; remember J. Edgar Hoover? It all seems to depend on whether the adventuresome individual avoids alienating people. John Kennedy and his kin were pretty good at making sure those who might stab them in the back had no desire to. Petraeus, however, seems to have felt that he was the boss, and that was all there was to it. The military mindset? Whatever it was, it was A Big Mistake.

Now: if half of what’s in this book is true, some serious housecleaning is in order. The way things stand, sexual behavior gives conspirators an opportunity to torpedo the career of an unpopular individual. That militates against reformers, doesn’t it? Then too, the thoughtful citizen will wonder how much previous CIA directors got away with as they indulged their preferences.

Links

Media scrutiny of the NY Times.

This is stunning technology with a million possible uses. Do take a look.

Truth.

The USA is in decline, and you should know what that means.

Here’s a good question: “Who would have ever thought there would be talk of armed militias in an overwhelmingly blue state like New York?”

The major news media again…. They never learn.

Benghazi: straightforward questions — and evasive non-answers.

Well, that did not take long: John Kerry said just the other day, “China is cooperating with us now on Iran.” No, really. Amazing. But not actually surprising….

The Tea Party is headed straight for a confrontation with the GOP. Some Republicans feel the Tea Partiers are in the pocket of the ruling elite. Big mistake.

What happened? Rebels fought for Liberty, and secured it. Since then, rascals have schemed and politicians stopped being patriots. Now the USA is in the hands of collectivist fanatics who plan to eviscerate what was the best government in human history.

The “It’s on!” video used to be here. Does anybody know where there might be a copy?

Regarding Obama’s pronouncements on firearms: “…if you actually listen to what he says, it makes no sense at all“.

A Sandy Hook dad speaks his mind.

Does “Enough” mean that you should have some? Sunny provides perspective while others provide politically correct inanity.

The US news media: lapdogs, not watchdogs. Credit The One for his skill, and pity the citizenry, for all, even Obama’s hoodwinked faithful, will ultimately lose.

The dirty open secret of US representative democracy: “methods for Congress to escape accountability“.

Political correctness has given illegitimate birth to “cultural insularity“.

Government as threat.

Whack, right in the teeth: “This is a good example of why we don’t trust you.”

Since it cost a lot to win
and even more to lose
You and me bound to spend some time
wondering what to choose

The masthead includes a quote from the works of Jeanette Pryor.

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.