The New Terrapin Gazette

Number 300
9 April, 2013

…if Darwin proposed a blind watchmaker who tinkered without foreknowledge of the prospective significance of each mutation, I suspect that much of technological evolution results from tinkering with little real understanding ahead of time of the consequences. We think; biological evolution does not. But when problems are very hard, thinking may not help that much. We may all be relatively blind watchmakers.

What Is North Korea Up To, Anyway?

It’s stupefying: the brat (nominally) running the gigantic gulag that is North Korea is howling about reducing New York to radioactive ash, babbling about how North and South Korea are at war (everybody knew that, Stupid), and whining that the USA is plotting to commit a suicidal invasion of the People’s Lunatic Republic of Korea. Is this kid insane? How worried should Uncle Sam be?

As complex and bizarre as the situation is, some solid facts are available, and there is no reason to panic. Begin your assessment of the mess with “wingnut” commentary on the relationship between North Korea and Iran. Then consider this newsletter’s more sophisticated interpretation.

The first thing to understand is that the imbecilic juvenile who inherited power is just a tool. He’s being manipulated — not controlled, exactly, but used — by relatives. This is a family affair as greedy and lethal as anything the Borgias ever hoped to create. The kid acts as if he’s in charge, but that’s all staged; in fact, he’s being hoodwinked. Yes, at some level, this cretin probably does grasp the fact that if he does not go along, he will spend the rest of his life chained to the plumbing. That does not mean he will ever attempt to break free, for he has no allies, only minders and boot-lickers. Very clever, these Orientals.

No, North Korea won’t lunge across the demarcation line and try to exterminate South Korea. Nor will it send missiles to cleanse New York. In time, the propaganda will fade, and a new theme will be announced.

Second, note the fundamental difference between North Korea and Iran. According to Iranian policy, which is for the most part a mix of comprehension of the will of Allah and the grim facts of power, North Korea is no friend of Iran. Iran intends to provoke a worldwide conflagration that will summon the Twelfth Imam from wherever he is. North Korea is an utterly alien and totally expendable tool to be used in the execution of that plan; in fact the mullahs could not possibly care less what happens to both Koreas. Remember, these fanatics hope to see millions of Iranians perish in an Israeli nuclear strike.

North Korean technology, however, is another matter entirely. As this newsletter has suggested, it could be the case that the degree of cooperation between both powers has already grown to a point that should alarm the West. Is it true that a plane bound for Iran was carrying a nuclear bomb trigger that the North Koreans were sending to the Iranians for inspection and possible improvement? The story, while unreported in the press, may be known to the US intelligence services. The Israelis appear to hope so. (See Number 284 of this newsletter.)

What, then, is the challenge to the West?

In the short term, it’s simply this: getting Obama and Kerry to understand the facts.

Whether these two men have between them the mental horsepower to appreciate and cope with the international situation is genuinely to be doubted.

This newsletter has been at pains to clarify the deficiencies of both of these iconic members of the Bicoastal Elite; that process has continued over several years. Kerry is a liar and rascal whose greatest talent is blending in with whatever crowd he considers to be of expedient value to him at the moment. He is anything but a principled, consistent champion of Liberty; his commitment to his nation is self-serving, conditional and inspires no rational trust. Obama is worse, and evidence of that is to be found in the many commentaries and factual entries in this newsletter’s past issues.

First things first. Don’t worry about Iran and North Korea, Pilgrims. Worry about the hollow men who are supposed to see to the USA’s business.

Second things next: none of the above commentary deals with the specific reasons for the North Korean bluster. The best explanation is that North Korea wants something from the West, and has been spoiled by past concessions and gifts. When in 2007 Bush (very unwisely) dropped financial sanctions against the outlaw regime, North Korea responded by breaking its promises. It has good reason to take all Western leaders for gullible marks. It quite understandably plans to repeat its characteristic cycle; it will threaten, talk, be rewarded, and ignore its pledges.

Low-candlepower ideologues like Obama and Kerry could well be taken in. Like Franklin Roosevelt, both men egotistically overrate their ability to talk anybody into anything.

The North Korean government understands the Obama administration; the US electorate does not.

Anthropogenic Global Warming, Briefly This Time

1. It’s good to see that one or two other people agree with this newsletter’s view of knowledge and understanding (as elucidated in “Science And Certainty” in Number 280; request a copy if you missed it the first time around). From a post that is well worth your time:

This quote from the great H.L. Mencken captures perfectly the religious nature of those in the climate cult: “The essence of science is that it is always willing to abandon a given idea, however fundamental it may seem to be, for a better one; the essence of theology is that it holds its truths to be eternal and immutable.”

That comes from an article on Freeman Dyson, of whom you may have heard.

2. How and where temperatures are measured makes a huge difference. Urban sprawl can make it seem as if the climate is getting hotter, for example. This is a good primer for those who are just starting to realize that anthropogenic global warming is a lot like the Y2K alarm. You do remember that silliness, don’t you?

3. You know that rumors of impending doom always make good headlines. That fact explains how charlatans can abuse the media to promote lucrative hoaxes.

If the time is ripe, the scams will succeed. In the case of anthropogenic global warming (with its absurd carbon offsets), the time was perfect. A mindset already rooted in unrecognized, undiagnosed and untreated self-hatred began the cycle of exaggeration, deceit, and faked research. Bad science exploited public gullibility and guilt (“Mankind is a polluting parasite”); that in turn provoked copycat phobic intemperance and hysteria/panic, leading to irrational governance.

The result: cultic figures basked in the admiration of scientific illiterates, and people like Al Gore made millions.

The Muddle East

Obama went to Israel, and exactly what happened is unclear, as one might expect. Meanwhile a US Jewish organization, Israel Policy Forum, has done what it feels appropriate to aid the cause of peace. Commentary has published a critical reaction to the IPF’s statement that will interest those who worry about the centuries-old friction between Jews and Muslims.

…in spite of the signals from Obama that the ball is in the Palestinians’ court as far as resuming talks, the IPF’s signees are still reflexively attempting to put the onus on Netanyahu.

Well. Many Jewish US voters, the overwhelming majority of whom are Democrats, are trying to pressure an Israeli politician who is to their right, while ignoring what Obama has said recently. There is scant logic in that approach.

This newsletter believes that two points, one of them fundamental, have been overlooked. The first is the impracticality of a two-state solution to the feud. As long as Israel and whatever the “Palestinians” might want to call their nation are side by side, there will be violence, provocations, the perpetuation of bitter enmity, and no hope for peace. Proponents of this insane solution seem to be out of touch with reality; the new state would be different in name only, and the religious fanaticism would probably increase. One cannot expect nationhood would do anything more than reward and encourage the bigotry and hatred that are so dear to “Palestinians”. Their aim is not at all their own nation, but the destruction of Israel and the murder of as many Jews — whether Israelis or citizens of other nations — as possible. Forgetting that is a primal blunder.

The second overlooked point is that no one can trust Obama and his minions. Perhaps the IPF dimly grasps that truth; by targeting Netanyahu, perhaps these US Jews tacitly indicate they should try to influence the man who really matters. It’s impossible to know how accurate that guess is, of course.

Meanwhile, there’s Kerry. This fellow has a lot to learn, and his past misbehavior suggests he’s unlikely to learn much at all. From this article come these frank comments:

That Kerry is inaugurating his tenure at the State Department by conducting two visits that give him no opportunity to succeed is bad enough. But it does more than illustrate how out of touch he is with reality. By diving into problems that he can’t fix but can make worse by raising expectations of American pressure on Israel, this will not only bode ill for his tenure in his new post but also offers him opportunities to create mischief where none need have been found.

In order to flesh out this newsletter’s brief summation, those interested in Israel’s welfare should read both pieces from Commentary. Note in particular this simple truth:

…the overwhelming majority of Israeli voters understand what happened after Oslo and the withdrawal from Gaza and have no interest in repeating these experiments in the West Bank, let alone Jerusalem.

Amen to that!

It’s tragic that the most powerful non-“Palestinian” and non-Israeli politicians and diplomats trying to promote peace are not more intelligent and principled. Well, one does the best one can, working with what is available. If somehow events can be kept relatively benign for a few years, Obama may be gone, and perhaps new attitudes will make prudent diplomacy possible.

War By Unconventional Means Is Still War

The USA is under attack. You don’t see it, you can pretend it does not exist, and your government can both ignore it and stumble all over itself in trying to cope with it, but the attack is (a) real, (b) bitterly hostile, (c) very harmful, (d) difficult to deal with, and (e) determined. It must be blocked.

You need to read this brief post on the internet.

Once you have the facts, please consider this commentary:

Both US industry and government have been stupid and slow. Putting all that valuable information on networks that can be accessed over international telephone lines was idiotic negligence (firewalls or no firewalls). Now it seems nobody knows how to rectify the situation. Yet high school pupils could see what must be done and draft a rational plan that would defend the nation, leaving it to the experts to craft the technical details.

The current situation is infuriating. Voters don’t know about it, don’t know whom to throw out of office because this mess has been allowed to unfold and persist, do not have any champions in government who are howling about the need for reform and action, and in many cases can’t believe that the government and business community are actually outclassed by the villains.

What to do? This newsletter despairs of arousing outrage and action among the elected representatives of the people. The nation can only hope that its intelligence apparatus, its military, and its business community are up to the challenge. If the federal DHS is a bellwether, the future looks grim.

That Obama has not made this an urgent priority for action tells you a great deal about his intellect and judgment. He frets about the “Palestinians” and the Israelis, when the greatest dangers to world peace almost certainly lie elsewhere, and the proximate threat of internet sabotage is a virtual dagger at the nation’s throat. He considers domestic firearms control an urgent necessity? His priorities are literally insane.

If you did not click on the hyperlink above, do it now, and read the post.


“For the first time since 1995, the U.S. will produce more oil than it imports, but the benefits of all that cheap domestic crude still haven’t shown up at the one place it matters most: the gas station.” Why ever? Oh, so that’s what’s going on…well, that can be fixed. Provided the government is smart enough to take care of it. — Oops….

Firearms legislation: rifle magazines are explained in this excellent post.

US Physicians are hard-hit by the tough economic times (which are due to bad governmental policy). Meanwhile this newsletter’s suggestion for how health care might be organized remains ignored (curious? Ask for Number 53). If it remains ignored, the second-best solution has two phases: encourage free markets (which Obama says do not work), and kill Obamacare. Nothing is perfect, but what exists now is horrid. That’s an egregious situation, for the current system mocks the sophistication of medical technology.

Two charmers take on Obama: first, on a state’s goofy firearms legislation, and then on the economy. The only problem: mere males might be distracted and miss the very solid, intellectually appealing content of the messages. Katie Pavlich, by the way, wrote a book this newsletter found very helpful: Fast and Furious, ISBN 978-1-59698-321-2.

A tale of a one-party state: New York. Amazing. Very depressing.

“…the Marketplace Fairness Act would turn online retailers into tax collectors regardless of whether or not they have a physical presence in the state of the consumer. Jim DeMint calls this a form of ‘taxation without representation’ — and he’s right.” (From here.) This newsletter doubts that reasoning will convince federal judges.

Be a good citizen: actively support privacy by using the patriot’s choice in communications hardware.

Peter Wehner at Commentary notes that “…there is a current of opinion within conservatism that believes political moderation is a vice, a safe harbor for the unprincipled.” Well, yes…he’s right. He then reviews a new book that he pronounces a superb diagnosis of and treatment for the ailment. NTG is pleased to see that the volume is addressed not just to traditional US conservatives, but to their occasionally bumptious libertarian second cousins as well.

Here’s a recent measure of the popularity of Obamacare. Obama cares not.

The fact is, in spite of things like this, if Obama were forced to run for re-election today, he would win. The press quasi-embargo on news that does not serve the administration is one of two major reasons for that. The other reason is race.

Moderate Muslims“.

Lessons not learned: cars and homes.

“Wingnut” propagandists scold the press for its politically correct selectivity. Who knew?

There are no US Army tanks in Germany now. The last one departed in March. Why didn’t this happen twenty years ago?

Life and strife in fantasy-land: the greens squabble over their mythology. Advisory: this is a peek into a seldom-visited fringe area; don’t give money to anyone you encounter there.

I will never get out in one piece
Those aren’t the terms of my release
Since that’s the case, I’ve thought it through
And decided to leave a piece for you

A piece of my vision, a piece of my brain
To fight your battles once I am slain
A piece of my heart I never touched
A piece of my soul, though I can’t spare much

The masthead includes a quote from the works of Stuart Kauffman.

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.