Since Islam has global ambitions, we are all in danger, and we should stand with every nation and with every people that is threatened by jihad. This includes Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. We should recognize that the Israelis’ conflict with the Palestinians is not about land; it is an ideological conflict between freedom and tyranny.
She will never be forgotten.
Snippets From The Not-So-Divine Comedy That Is The USA’s Political Arena
1. An example of how the USA’s income tax collector, the Internal Revenue Service, operates is available; it makes for unpleasant reading. Notice that the thugs have not been called to account; so far, Congress seems literally incapable of accomplishing anything resembling a proper response to egregious misbehavior that should be punished with prison time. And why is the IRS above the law? Because it acted in the service of the current federal administration. Yes, that’s not justice; of course it isn’t. But…notice who heads the Department of Justice, and how that has played out.
2. This is very clever. The lawyers in the Justice Department may be unprincipled, but they aren’t stupid. The best solution to this mess is the legalization of all recreational chemicals…which, as this newsletter has said, would cause some problems while eliminating many more.
Kerry and Obama are idiots. US foreign policy on Iran threatens to precipitate events causing the deaths of millions of people. Consider:
Contrary to the administration’s public stance, sanctions relief was never about rewarding the regime with relatively small sums of money in exchange for steep concessions on the nuclear program. The plan rather was to get Iranian president Hassan Rouhani lots of cash, the more the better. The White House’s idea is that once Rouhani understands how much easier his life is with lots of money pouring into the economy, it will be in his interest to petition Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for more concessions on the nuclear file. The problem with the strategy is that it shows how badly the White House has misunderstood not only the regime’s behavior, but also Rouhani’s role and how sanctions affect it. (Source.)
The problem: the theology and ethics of the Twelver sect of Shia Islam (adhered to by Iran’s rulers and the majority of the nation’s population) are not widely known and understood. If you trust this newsletter, you can refer to commentary published in 2011. If you prefer to depend on a scholarly source of information on the Twelver insanity, you can do no better than Robert Spencer. He is much hated by Muslims, and is scorned by many “progressives” and collectivists for his willingness to point out just how dangerous “the religion of peace” actually is. Like all rational commentators on Islam, he proves his contentions by quoting the relevant texts.
That automatically leads to the second contemporary objection to the argument that the Twelvers are horrifyingly dangerous: many in the West simply cannot credit the contention that large numbers of people actually believe the fantasies of the Twelvers. To many “progressives”, the lunacy must be a thin veneer of mythology that overlies but does not characterize the real faith beneath. Such persons are often nominal Christians or Jews. They typically ignore the specifics of their holy scriptures, dismissing them as “subject to interpretation”. That leads to the unconscious assumption that all reasonable people do the same to their professed faiths, however bizarre those religions might appear to the outsider.
That childishly naive error might be called the fallacy of the ignored literalism.
Those deluded by that fallacy are likely to depend on the obsolete doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction. No Iranian mullah fears and wishes to prevent his death and the deaths of most of his countrymen. The failure/refusal to understand and believe that simple (but for some, incomprehensible) fact renders an individual unqualified to make policy for Western nations.
The above explanation clarifies the ability of some shallow poseurs to say such inane things as, “Well, we can live with a nuclear Iran. After all, we lived with the USSR and China. Now we live with India and Pakistan as nuclear powers, don’t we?”
Dispatches From A Tramp Abroad
Be they parliamentarians, senators, congress(wo)men or whatever you want to call them, they all seem to have similar behaviors.
A collection of color films that documents the air war over Europe in WWII is available on line. It’s gripping stuff. Parenthetically, I wondered whether aerial dogfights are really a thing of the past. Even in today’s “limited” wars, one rarely if ever hears of them. That topic is discussed in this video that clarifies the differences between the US and Russian mindsets regarding air power.
I don’t know whether you have ever had any dealings with the USA’s Veterans’ Affairs bureaucracy, but a lot of my friends and acquaintances have. Most of them are extremely dissatisfied with the poor service they have received. Well, things are looking up now.
Consider: how about a personal e-Vehicle for zipping around town? I believe that in the next five to ten years we are going to make enormous advances in developing not only electric cars, but also smaller electric-powered vehicles (two- and three-wheeled), which will be used mostly for urban transport.
The proverbial shit is starting to hit the fan in Turkey. During my most recent trip there, a good friend of mine remarked to me that Turks have “a memory like a fish”, so about two or three weeks before the upcoming municipal elections we could expect some very remarkable things to be exposed. I guess this telephone conversation is one of them. I would not be surprised if more damning phone calls or even videos are released on YouTube. We might even see the PM giving an executive order to the Turkish Telecommunication Authority to block YouTube again. You might recall that for a couple of years YouTube access was blocked in Turkey; only about two years ago was the ban lifted.
This article about the absence of press freedom in Turkey is right on. I see no exaggeration at all. Even the mainstream press (such as the cited Hurriyet Daily News), through its columnists, report on and complain about this all the time. Actually, it did not start with the RTE administration (regime); in fact, the Turkish media have never had a free hand, at least as long as I have been following what is going on there. However, without a doubt, the media have suffered much more since RTE came to power.
If half of the twelve year old (7th graders) in the USA were just half as clever and motivated as this young man, the USA would be a lot better off. I am sure we cannot only thank his teachers for cultivating his curiosity and eagerness to learn; his parents surely deserve a lot of credit.
I just hope these measures are not too little, too late.
Defense Secretary Hagel And The Size Of The US Military
First things first
The armed forces of the USA may be bloated, but one thing is sure: if they are too big, deciding where to trim them is a task for a genius who is also incredibly wise — and able to see the future in complete detail.
Hagel could do a pretty good job, in other words, and still get it all wrong. An example: an army general named Short did a pretty good job of overseeing the introduction of radar in Hawaii back in the early 1940’s, but failed utterly when he trained his troops to run the new gadgets. He ignored what the operators were to do if they saw that incoming flight of Imperial Japanese planes that swooped down on Oahu on December 7. No alarm was sounded, in spite of the flawless operation of the radar. Short, like MacArthur, somehow managed to avoid the judgment of history; those two generals were the real bunglers, though, and they, not Kimmel, should have been sacked.
History might exonerate Hagel, in spite of the fact that he might be making terrible mistakes. In all probability, that would mean overlooking relatively obvious fatal omissions.
Well, it seems to this newsletter that the real cuts should be made in the civilian budget. But no; Obama and his familiars are dead-set on presiding over an administration kept in power by dependent, obedient, and unarmed drones whose class-consciousness makes them hate the innovators and pioneers.
And don’t forget Big Sis Napolitano’s reminder that people who were in the military are prime candidates as domestic terrorists. After all, Oklahoma City, and all that. Tim McVeigh was a vet, and that proves the point! (Hagel’s a vet, too — a decorated former sergeant who saw combat.)
Some Jews and other supporters of Israel have worried that Hagel’s reference to “the Jewish lobby” indicated bigotry and bias. It could be true, of course. But this newsletter has long had a nagging feeling that some day a frustrated and tired Obama is going to make a vile remark about Jews; could that be correct? Possibly. In fact, neither example of suspicion cites evidence of bigotry, and neither is rational. There’s a discussion of Hagel’s mindset here, in case you want to pursue the subject.
The presumption seems to be that the USA can defend itself adequately by using small teams of highly-trained “special forces”. The problems with that are two: it won’t work against Iran, and the nation’s enemies would be advised to resort to tactics that cannot be countered by knife-between-the-teeth superheroes. One cannot predict with confidence that tanks and especially ships will never be required in large numbers. Remember: the USA has to worry about Iranian ships that could launch missiles over the USA. That takes a versatile, well-equipped and relatively large navy. If the mullahs learn that Uncle Sam has no such force, an attack can be expected. That’s not a guess.
Yes, indeed: what about China? No one knows, and that probably includes the Chinese leadership. Then there’s North Korea…and what if Indonesia decides to do what Australia has long feared? Would — no, could — Uncle Sam help to turn back the tsunami of fanatics?
Reliable prophets do not exist. One can only hope that Hagel has gotten the balance right. This newsletter would prefer to have too much military capability rather than too many benefits for the unemployable voters who keep “progressives” in office.
What the US public thinks, as far as can be ascertained
From United Liberty (which organization is introduced in the next item):
Gallup poll shows divide on defense spending: The poll found that 37% of Americans believe the United States spends too much on defense, while 28% say Washington spends too little. Gallup’s poll comes on the heels of the Obama administration’s plan to trim the size of the military. “[A]s the U.S. begins once again to decrease military spending, the public’s attitudes are divided,” Gallup notes. “Given these cuts, it would not be unusual if at some point the public once again began to say military spending had dropped too low, potentially making military preparedness a 2016 presidential campaign issue.”
Hoping for the best might not be necessary
Footnote for aircraft lovers: the video linked immediately above claims the A-10 has a “thirty caliber” gun. Not true; it’s a thirty millimeter gun, and there’s a world of difference. Then — the sound of the A-10’s gun is mentioned in the video, but no effort was made to let you hear it. Try this video. The gun is heard at seven seconds. Smoke from the gun is seen at about fourteen to fifteen seconds, followed by the sound at seventeen seconds.
An Organization That Might Be Of Interest To Folks In The USA
United Liberty is one of the political groups that advertise libertarian concepts. Whether you want to know what the mouth-breathers in Flyover Country are up to now, or you’d like to liberate humanity from all tyrannies egregious and petty, United Liberty is of note. Herewith a pair of commentaries from a recent UL e-mailing:
Hawkish Republicans not happy about defense cuts: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who has never heard of a war he doesn’t like, is leading the charge to block proposed reductions to the size of the military. “It’s dead on arrival”, Graham told his Republican colleagues, according to the Washington Examiner, later adding that the “…army at the level envisioned is completely inadequate to meet the threats we are faced with”. Now, Graham isn’t the only Republican unhappy with the effort to make the military more efficient — he’s just going to be the loudest — despite defense spending being one of the most bloated, wasteful areas of the federal budget.
Atheist group booted from CPAC: If you were on Twitter early yesterday afternoon, you’ve already heard the story. CNN ran a story early yesterday morning on American Atheists and the booth that they had purchased at CPAC, the largest annual gathering of conservatives. By late morning, however, CPAC had rescinded its decision to allow American Atheists to have a booth, claiming that the group had “misrepresented itself about their willingness to engage in positive dialogue and work together to promote limited government”. Atheists aren’t welcome at CPAC, or at least that’s the narrative now, and neither are gays, sort of. Thanks, conservative outrage machine, you guys are doing a great job of expanding the audience willing to listen to you!
There’s an excellent article on anthropogenic global warming available. If you want a comprehensive update on the subject, or if you know someone who needs a clear introduction to the AGW hoax, you can’t do better than this.
This is what good people who live in a collectivist, controlling environment have to do to protect themselves. More’s the pity and the shame. Highly recommended.
Scientific illiteracy fosters cults. Consider, for example, food. Really! Click and be enlightened.
“Wingnuts” discuss the political impact of Senator Ted Cruz.
It’s “… impossible to distinguish between anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism”. Yes. Read why that’s a fact. Recommended.
Is a corporation a person? Does it have legal rights? How about freedom of speech and religion? Some thoughts….
You say you are all for Obamacare, which you consider wonderful. Do you recall that old slogan, “What if they gave a war, and nobody came?” Well….
The One is hell-bent.
Foiled for the moment, the surveillance state will return, and secretly. Control freaks are just as recidivistic as heroin junkies. Give government too much power, and that power will be abused.
If you have a professional or serious interest in higher education in the English-speaking world, you might find this commentary very upsetting.
Does being an elected member of the US House of Representatives make a person stupid? In this case, maybe it has.
OK, look: thish iss verry ineresing. Less drink to it!
Think it over: so the famous eminent domain case that was so badly decided by the Supremes (Kelo) is pronounced “Key-low”? No, it should be “Kay-low”, because a major infraction of the law (felony) is not pronounced “feel-uh-nee”, and the criminal is a felon, not a “fee-lun”. It’s the difference between met and meet, now isn’t it? G. B. Shaw was right: the spelling of English is a train wreck. Pity those who have to learn it as a second language.
Ukraine and so on: sure, it’s complex and dangerous, but don’t worry — Kerry’s on it. Oh, ye gods that be, succor us who are innocent…..
The work of Eric Laithwaite is an example of the struggle between “scientific” consensus and truth (does that sound familiar?). Highly recommended. If you would like some insight into Laithwaite the man, call up this website, and scroll down to the video titled Interview with Professor Eric Laithwaite 1980.
A tip: if you like scanning the Links section of this newsletter for interesting things, do stop by this website. You might prefer it to Drudge.
The masthead includes a quote from the works of Geert Wilders.
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.