Ideas which have the power to alter the habits of human thought do not act on the conscious mind alone; they seep through to the deeper strata which are indifferent to logical contradictions. They influence not some specific concept, but the total outlook of the mind.
If You Try To Hide It, They Will Spot It, Archive It, And Try To Take It Apart
From here comes information that NSA is both able and permitted to record and
…retain and make use of “inadvertently acquired” domestic communications if they contain usable intelligence, information on criminal activity, threat of harm to people or property, are encrypted, or are believed to contain any information relevant to cybersecurity (emphasis added)….
Yes, that’s all possible without a warrant. On becoming aware of this, some folks will want to drive NSA round the bend, and will start encrypting all their e-mails — frequently sending “messages” that are random jumbles of letters and numbers. They will encourage their correspondents to exchange graphics or audio recordings along with those encrypted texts; the non-text files could and might contain hidden encrypted data (that’s explained here), so NSA will have to try to discover whether photos of bikini models and kittens are hiding nefarious conspiracies. That task will not be easy or quick — it’s impossible to prove that a nonsense message is meaningless — and will cost serious money.
Honest, patriotic citizens of the USA may feel that feeding NSA red herrings is a useful protest against fascist meddlesomeness. That fact alone says a great deal about The Ruling Elite. Here is an interesting, if slanted, report that may prove helpful as you decide whether to irritate the spooks.
Note as well that sometimes surveillance is blatant. Found on a “wingnut” website:
The American Spectator is under the watchful eye of the Obama Administration! Since January 1, 2013, federal government has been on the spectator.org website 81,164 times, with the IRS, Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security leading the way.
Meanwhile…have you considered the implications of Obamacare for government surveillance of the US public? No? Well, give it a try, beginning here!
Then there’s Snowden. Adopting the correct attitude toward him is a challenge; as this newsletter has suggested, he looks a lot like a volunteer spy for some very nasty nations. Consider this:
The genius behind Snowden’s defection, with the help of Greenwald and Poitras, was to frame his revelations in terms of alleging that he was a “whistleblower” who was informing the American people that they were being spied upon. Some prominent conservatives and libertarians fell for the ruse, thinking Obama was using the NSA like the IRS, and that the Fourth Amendment was in jeopardy. They erupted in anger and joined various left-right coalitions to demand that the “spying” stop. On Capitol Hill, their champion was Republican Senator Rand Paul, who joined with the ACLU to announce a lawsuit against the NSA. He treated Snowden as the “whistleblower” he claimed to be and actually filed a bill, The Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013 (S. 1121), based on Snowden’s disclosures. (Source)
The drama has just begun.
President Hillary? After All That? Good Grief
Failure as secretary of state should automatically disqualify one for the office of president. President of pretty much anything. So the female who told General Petraeus he certainly appeared to be lying, the nutty oratrix who put on a disgraceful accent for a black audience, the harridan who exploded when asked hard questions about her mismanagement of her secretariat, and the woman who offended the sensibilities of millions of Mexicans with her ignorant lack of tact will now have to cope with yet more facts about the unnecessary tragedy that cost four US civil servants their lives. One would think Hillary’s burden of guilt would be crippling — but no, the woman who could not place blame where it belonged when betrayed by her eternal adolescent of a faux husband intends to press on. Pity her, pity her daughter, and pity the nation that makes the mistake of following her into the Slough of Despond.
Collectivist Intolerance Of Free Speech
This newsletter never tires of insisting that all Utopians, socialists, “progressives” and related types are primarily interested in gaining and exercising control. That’s the real motive behind most efforts to restrict and regulate the private ownership and use of firearms in the USA — efforts that run afoul of the unequivocal words of the second amendment. And once again, you are requested to notice that the folks who hate the literal interpretation of the second amendment also react badly to the high ethical standard that underlies the first amendment.
Senator Cruz made exactly that point to Senator Feinstein, as you know. The expected and very tired response: no right is absolute; Congress makes the laws, and the Supremes invalidate them, and that’s the way the system works, so shut up, you jerk.
That is to say, the best the public can hope for is that the tiny number of individuals who have power will exercise it with wisdom and restraint.
Feinstein should know that’s why the federal constitution exists. That document is an attempt to make one’s Liberty absolute for speech, the press, religion, and firearms — to shelter the polity, in other words, from the actions of crackpots who might temporarily be in charge of the government. But Feinstein can’t admit the truth about the constitution’s purpose, because if those fundamental rights remain (or become) absolute, the collectivist goal will be a fantasy.
Yes, that means that much existing law is in fact unconstitutional. Pornography, for example, is protected by the constitution; there is no rational basis for insisting otherwise (“I don’t like pornography, so it should be illegal” has all the persuasive force of “Green vegetables taste ucky“). The Congress and the courts are literally misbehaving. Unfortunately there is nothing new about that. (Has the supreme court ever reversed itself? Do all federal courts agree with each other? Are all laws and all court decisions equally wise?)
The insistence that the courts and the legislatures are being naughty is an uncompromising view. In response to it, one might naturally ask about this newsletter’s claim that it would be best to prevent Muslims from being admitted to the USA and naturalized as citizens. The rationale for that radical* opinion is not that the Islamic faith is actionable, but that it is prima facie evidence that Muslims cannot honestly swear allegiance to the USA.
In fact the professed refusal to grant religious Liberty to others is an essential and defining aspect of Islam. Muslims will readily admit that they do not have freedom of religion, and add that those who leave Islam must and probably will be killed by Muslims. That bigotry, along with its consequent imposition of coercion that borders on slavery, disqualifies Muslims as citizens. Sheer common sense also excludes them as dangerous visitors.
The exclusion of Muslims is usually denounced as a violation of their religious Liberty. That is nonsense, for it is obvious that the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion does not allow members of a homicidal cult to murder because their cult commands, suggests or endorses that misbehavior. Faith is not a carte blanche.
To return to the issues involved in the abridgment of the second amendment: Feinstein and her allies honestly believe they serve the public when they fine-tune legislation that specifies in great detail exactly which firearms and accessories are politically correct and which are not. Their arguments are specious, for the Ruling Elite whines about atrocities committed with rifles while ignoring much greater dangers to the populace. As rifle ownership rises and deaths by rifle shot decline (see Number 288 of this newsletter, on line here), goofy politicians like Feinstein babble about dismembered tots. These puffed-up carny barkers qua legislators know the public perceives firearms as presenting a much greater danger than they do. That absence of perspective makes it possible for alarmists to punish an overwhelmingly decent segment of the population for the acts of a handful of deranged freaks — who will not be deterred in the slightest by repressive legislation.
Here are the data, and here is where you check to see that this newsletter did not fake anything.
Selected Causes of Death, Ages 0-19, per 100,000 Population (2007)
Cause Number of Deaths [Mortality Rate]
Natural 36,272 [44.1]
Perinatal Conditions 14,570 [17.7]
Congenital Anomalies 6,896 [8.4]
Neoplasms 2,302 [2.8]
Respiratory Disease 1,442 [1.8]
Circulatory Disease 1,666 [2.0]
Nervous System Disease 1,609 [2.0]
SIDS 2,453 [3.0]
Unintentional Injury 11,560 [14.0]
Motor Vehicle 6,683 [8.1]
Drowning 1,056 [1.3]
Fire/Burn 544 [0.7]
Poisoning 972 [1.2]
Suffocation/Strangulation 1,263 [1.5]
Firearm 138 [0.2]
Homicide 3,345 [4.1]
Firearm 2,186 [2.7]
Suicide 1,665 [2.0]
Firearm 683 [0.8]
Suffocation/Strangulation 739 [0.9]
Poisoning 133 [0.2]
Source: National Center for Health Statistics
Rates based on 20 or fewer deaths may be unstable. Use with caution.
(Note well: the above data apply to people up to the age of nineteen; that age group includes youngsters who are in criminal gangs. The number of homicides by gunshot would be significantly lower if the group were aged 0 to eight years.)
Essentially, Cruz was told, “Because we can prohibit pornography, we can stop you from buying the rifle you want.” How rational is that?
It is rational to those who promote an autocratic Utopia in which virtually every significant human act will be mandated and monitored by the state.
Here is an example: a collectivist attempt to strip some but not all businesses of their freedom of speech. Its backers believe that if the owners of an enterprise have incorporated, anything they make the corporation produce, print, broadcast, distribute or otherwise circulate can be censored, because corporations are not persons. It’s an article of faith in neo-Marxist mythology that granting corporations freedom of speech is a capitalist dirty trick. From the post linked immediately above: a proposed constitutional amendment…
…would authorize Congress, states, and local governments to, for instance, (1) restrict what most newspapers publish, (2) restrict what most advocacy groups, such as the ACLU, the Sierra Club, and the NRA, say, (3) restrict what is said and done by most churches, and (4) seize the property of corporations without just compensation. (It might also allow restrictions on the speech of unions, depending on whether they are seen as “corporate entities.”)
Read it all for the full grim truth, and you will see just how much hatred and fear Liberty inspires in collectivists.
Indeed, the censorious impulse is more than simple authoritarianism — it is literally totalitarian. Because freedom of speech, press, religion and ownership of firearms are fundamental, an attempt to restrict any of these four freedoms is particularly dangerous to all other freedoms. Only the most rabid enemies of Liberty dare to favor such blatantly, insanely repressive legislation.
If you think this horrible example is a rare instance of tyrannical sentiments, you are mistaken. This post contains several more examples of how the “progressive” element of US politics hopes to restrict and control free expression. Things are bad enough now, with the overwhelming majority of the US press in lockstep with Team Obama…so the issues deserve some thought.
As long as the electorate retains effective control of the politicians, it will be possible for voters to insist that Liberty be preserved. The recent federal supreme court ruling that effectively nullified a California ballot initiative (details here) has severely eroded that democratic principle — and undermined the California state constitution. The current federal court is a genuine disappointment.
Finally, recall that all these “progressive” proposals mirror the policies of Stalin, Hitler, Franco, Pol Pot, Mao, Castro and dozens more of history’s most repulsive villains. Those monsters hated freedom of expression, too — for they knew that if it existed, their careers would be in jeopardy.
*Do understand the correct meaning of the word “radical”. It does not mean extreme, excessive, violent, deranged, improvident or irrational. The word is often applied improperly, as when Islamofascist murderers are called “radical Muslims”. A radical seeks to get to the cause of a problem and extract or negate it, rather than reduce the unwanted situation; violence and unethical acts are not implied, while partial solutions and amelioration are necessarily excluded. Late Latin radicalis, from Latin radic, root, giving English “radish”. A circumstance dealt with radically is “rooted out”. Thus, for example, in health care a cure is a radical measure, while treatment and management are not.
Free Choice Is The Greatest Enemy…And The Greatest Treasure
There are degrees of freedom, and, as Aristotle insisted, moderation is not always the best policy (for some behaviors, there is no “Golden Mean”). You should be free to produce and revel in pornography, drink alcohol, say whatever you want (and get sued for libel, slander, and breach of contract if you do something dishonorable), and do other things that many folks consider degenerate. Such as smoke marijuana. Sure, pot is not without risk, but the same is true of playing football…or starting a business. Name your poison, and take the consequences; it’s your life and your choice.
That attitude gets no respect from “progressives”, of course, because they do not believe in economic freedom. “Wingnuts” also object to free choice because they do not endorse personal freedom. (Heavy sigh.)
Then too, it’s a general principle: a ruling class often licenses itself to perform acts that are forbidden to the ruled class — perhaps partly in order to distinguish itself, and partly because the corrupting influence of power can foster hypocrisy.
Well…given this development, what do you suppose the US federal reaction will be, and why will it take that form?
This newsletter suggests just one part of a possible answer: as irrational as the War on Drugs is, and as much harm as it does, the government is not about to admit that the struggle long ago resulted in the defeat and humiliation of law enforcement. And why might that be? Fill in the missing letters: fear of LOSS OF C _ _ _ _ _ L.
The War On Coal Is An Obamoid Jihad
The One’s recent speech on “climate change” and the EPA’s new responsibilities was a horror — and a puzzle. Obama claims to be hammering a huge industry — literally putting it out of business, and damn the consequences for Flyover Country — in an absolutely necessary effort to save the world from warming. That’s insane.
First, any change (up or down) in carbon dioxide output from the USA can’t have any measurable impact on the global atmosphere; the world is big and the USA is small. Second, carbon dioxide levels are not responsible for climate change, as you know from having read the facts reported in this newsletter (the latest and most comprehensive information is “The Clarification of Carbon Dioxide’s Role In Climate”, available here).
What, then, motivates Obama to target an industry for destruction?
Only this much is certain: the real motive will never be disclosed. Instead of being candid, the ideologues in power will only repeat transparent lies about climate. One such insult to your intelligence is the claim that global warming is a concept that has nothing to do with the temperature of the air. Yes, you read that correctly. Having promoted that lunacy, Obamites will push for coal’s eradication. See, for example, this piece in the Washington Post; the linked article is a clever simulation of objectively reported news.
If the autocracy can assassinate a huge US industry, rational folks will be choking on this: “The president’s cheerleaders are quick to remind us that elections have consequences and that since Obama campaigned on these issues, we should not be surprised that he would attempt to govern as he campaigned” (source).
That quote is, of course, more evidence of the dishonesty and extremism of the administration. You know that not one Obama voter in ten thousand supported The One primarily because of his coal policy; you also realize that not one in twenty thousand understood the genuine science that long ago disproved the claims of the warmers. The fact that Mann’s hockey stick graph was bogus was hardly known at all. Obama voters cast their ballots for many other reasons.
(Aside: why did people vote for Obama? Political ideology, meaning neo-Marxist economic theory and a rejection of capitalism; distrust of free markets; solidarity with union activists; hatred of G. W. Bush; the prospect of higher taxes on the rich; Obama’s perceived genetic status as an African-American; a preference for the Democratic party; a positive response to Obama’s rhetorical style; the prospect of free or reduced cost health care; as an act of solidarity with the culture warriors who revile the knuckle-draggers of Flyover Country; the hope that Obama would, as a “progressive”, disarm the public either partially or totally; agreement with Obama’s view of the constitution as grossly inadequate because it guarantees no material benefits. Coal? Very, very far down the list.)
Obama does not owe his constituency any action on coal. He’s not come under pressure. Even if he had, he would have ignored it; after all, he remains blasé about the failure of his economic policy, about his crony capitalism, and about his administration’s lack of transparency. He routinely ignores the hottest issues, for he knows the press will not hold his feet to the fire. Further, given the undisputed temperature records of the past fifteen years, there is no reason for him to target coal. Something else is going on behind the scenes, and it may even be linked to his veto of the Keystone XL pipeline.
If the coal industry has half of the intelligence required to operate a Las Vegas slot machine, it will examine the evidence that refutes anthropogenic global warming, and, as one part of a double attack on the president, present it to the public. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant; it is plant food that is enabling more productive agriculture, supporting the rain forests, and promoting the greening of barren land. There is a strong case to be made for the truth, in other words, and it’s time somebody shoved some facts down Obama’s throat.
The second part of the coal industry’s response to Obama could deal with charges that coal is such a dirty source of power that it must be discarded as unsafe. The industry can make a good case, and it should fight back with facts about air quality in regions that burn coal to generate electricity.
If these steps were taken, eventually many people would begin to ask, “Why, exactly, is Obama doing this? What’s the real reason?”
Whenever those questions are asked, there is the chance that reason might prevail.
Could this be a hoax? One hopes so…. What in the bloody hell are those blockheaded Krauts thinking? How moronically recidivist can a nation be? This is an infuriating outrage! The Saupreissen (well, the government is in Berlin, after all) should get down on their knees and beg the world’s forgiveness. And you, Pilgrims — cancel your orders for those VWs, Mercedes, Audis, Bugattis, Bentleys! Say no to Siemens! Boycott the Neo-Nazis!
The press strikes again: the CIA helped the New York police prevent Islamofascist murder, and the NY Times objects bitterly. Shades of Jamie Gorelick! (For her saga, see this or request a copy of this newsletter, Number 67. Jamie was a holy terror.) For additional information on the relationship between the CIA and FBI, see Number 254 of this newsletter, on line here.
The National Rifle Association of America has produced a “devastating video“. Yes, it is powerful, but will it change any minds?
Many thanks go to JH, the Dean of NTG subscribers, who reminds that the stench of corruption leaves a trail from one administration to another — and in one instance at least, there is a trail that does not lead back to G. W. Bush. The death some weeks ago of Marc Rich prompts the thoughtful to recall (a) Rich’s amazing, repugnant history, (b) Slick Willy’s rueful remarks after being exposed, and (c) the instrumental role played by Eric Holder, whose subsequent career is distinguished by accomplishment liberated from principle. Rascals do cluster and collude, don’t they? This, Pilgrims, is a paradigmatic instance of cynical cronyism. Filthy scoundrels, all. — And: the perceptive will have noticed the role played by some influential (and conveniently not named) Israelis, who saw to Rich’s welfare though the villain had aided, of all people, the Jew-hating Iranian ruling elite. Truly, Rich’s story is a valuable cautionary tale for the naive (cue Lord Acton).
Obama says free markets don’t work, and collectivists of all stripes agree; that’s why Team Obama promotes government bailouts, huge deficits, crippling indebtedness, increased benefits resulting in diminished independence, and punitive levels of taxation for the demonized wealthy. That ideological agenda is stupid and authoritarian. For proof, consider the contrast between Detroit and Pittsburgh. It illustrates just how wretchedly inhumane the collectivist mythology is. Well, politicians can either help people or control them; they can’t do both without causing genuine harm.
Rather than hiss and spit over how happy homosexuals are with the Supremes’ ruling, take a look at a Good Guy who just won one. The story starts with a column in the WaPo, and ends with a lawsuit that will give some officious bureaucrats conniptions.
Why is Islam hammering the West? Because (as this newsletter made clear in its first issue in HTML format) the fanatics smelled lack of resolve; it’s a historical pattern. Now that Obama is in power…certain facts point to a fraught short-term future, as can be explained. Highly recommended.
Related: there’s a new definition for “Briton”– it’s “sniveling, moronic culture-traitor”. Why? Because the idiots have earned it. Western Civilization will be fine without them, just as it managed after the appearance of Vichy France. Societies on which Liberty is wasted do not deserve to survive.
The Dean suggests some thoughtful commentary on banning ideas and firearms — and gets yet another hat tip therefor.
The folks who did this also gave the Tea Party a beating. That’s public service that’s not in the service of the public — which means a thorough reappraisal is in order.
Computer operating systems: there is useful information here; scroll down for the items titled “Samsung tablet runs both Android and Windows” and “Microsoft helps U.S. take advantage of Windows security holes”. Linux users will also be interested in the commentary on the SCO zombie.
Assuming you are in the USA, and a disaster overwhelms you (a flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake), what’s your best source of help?
In the Zimmerman trial, it’s the press versus the facts, yet again. Yes, you know this will not play out well for the journos. Meanwhile, the process continues to the great discredit of the prosecution, with some observers calling for prison time for one or more of Zimmerman’s persecutors/prosecutors. Correct, but the jury might not see things that way.
The best damn show in town: The IRS Follies! A cast of cretins, directed by a dullard and produced by a preening, prevaricating president! How can you go wrong? Special: refunds for the In Crowd (that’s you, fellow Obamite!), while the PICS (Politically Incorrect Capitalists) undergo audits that are guaranteed to pay for everything! Ten-Forty, Good Buddy!
A tip of the hat goes to reader JY, who confides that Hugh Hewett is “The best interviewer on the radio”. Here’s the text of two Hewett interviews of key legislators on immigration. Recommended.
Cynicism (Realpolitik) and wishful thinking combine in the suggestion that the West should passively encourage Islam’s fanatics to fight each other in Syria. This policy would have the advantage of keeping the non-Islamic nations out of a lunatic internecine conflict, but it raises ethical issues. Further, refugees from the struggle will clamor for admission to other nations — and in both the Old and New Worlds, European culture has not resolved to counter the Islamist demographic weapon. While Sunnis and Shias do loathe each other, both pray for the submission of the West to the seventh century’s feral hoax.
Speaking of hoaxes…you are tired of AGW, which is understandable. Here’s a short post by a guy who agrees with you; he’s got some good ideas and good links to go with them. You really ought to give this realistic and well-written commentary a chance to perk you up.
Here’s a bit of information on the Stuxnet project, and who knows — it might even be true.
Readers RC and JY, take note: this new book should appeal to military history buffs. The author, Hanson, is a classical scholar and fine writer.
New ones comin’ as the old ones go
Everything’s movin’ here but much too slowly
Little bit quicker and we might have time to say,
“How to you do?” before we’re left behind
The masthead includes a quote from the works of Arthur Koestler.
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.