…whenever you create some kind of Utopia, you find something ugly working beneath it.
Facile “facts”Consider two : first, that “…ninety-seven percent of the world’s scientists tell us this is urgent”, and “…ninety-seven percent of scientists agree”, and “…ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree…”. Agree on what? The scientists assert that anthropogenic global warming is real, causing catastrophic change, and that it can be halted.
Second, some observers of US politics insist that opposition to Obama and Obamoid policies is essentially racist: only thirty-nine percent of white voters supported him.
Those are the sorts of claims that a politician can toss off as truth — without having to substantiate them or put them into context. Do take a closer look.
It’s a lieNo one demands proof of the wild claims that the overwhelming majority of scientists claim anthropogenic global warming is a fact. If you ask for references, you will be furnished with repetitions of the 97% claim. Where is the survey? When was the poll taken, and by whom? Some will point to the work of one Naomi Oakes, who in 2003 (or later) said she had surveyed 928 published papers and found that 75% of them agreed that AGW was real — though not necessarily a “danger”. She excluded from her survey the work of scientists who do not promote AGW. Then in 2009 a master’s thesis reported that 97% of climate scientists agreed with a simple (two-question!) survey’s statement that “humans have significantly contributed to rising global temperatures”. The respondents were seventy-nine in number. That makes this survey an instance of horrible sampling and sloppy logic.
Racist voting helped ObamaThe best estimates known to this newsletter indicate that over 93% of black voters voted for Obama in the last election, while 39% of white voters cast their votes for The One. Consider this fact: “John Kerry, the last candidate of the (Democratic) party’s pre-Obama era, received 88% of the black vote, 53% of Hispanics, 56% of Asians and 54% of those who identified themselves who identified themselves as ‘other’. With those margins in 2012, Obama would have lost the popular vote”. This means that Obama benefited from the racist solidarity exhibited by black voters.
For more information on these two topics, use your Google search engine; enter the search terms “myth climate change bast spencer wall street journal may 27 2014” and “2016 voter calculus medved wall street journal may 27 2016”.
The US Internal Revenue Service Versus Free Speech And Press
The attempt to persecute — that is, cripple — the Tea Party by taxing it illegally was, as this newsletter has insisted, a policy pursued by control-hungry bureaucrats who are in thrall to Obamite collectivism. Of course the real word for the mentality of repressive regulators and tax collectors is fascist, but few observers are bold enough to apply it.
Well, the consequences of this attempt to curtail political freedom could turn out badly for the Obama administration. A recent court decision suggests a sea change: the frustration and helplessness of the beleaguered Tea Party have met with what appears at first glance to be relief. Obamites will be maneuvering behind the scenes to abort jurisprudential developments, of course, but perhaps justice will prevail.
The media define the scandalsThe fuss between the Tea Party and the IRS is hugely important. However…
…it has been granted less exposure on the “news” than it deserves.
A hat tip goes to Mark Steyn for asking and answering a seminal question: why is the Veterans’ Affairs scandal so much more popular with the news media than any other? Because the scandals that compete with it for coverage include the Benghazi scandal, the Obamacare scandal, the scandalously incompetent attempt to deal with the Iranian nuclear program, and the IRS scandal. Three of those four originate in the highest levels of the Obama administration, and the fourth, the IRS assault on Tea Party groups, was known to and tacitly approved by Team Obama. By sharp contrast, the VA debacle originates in the incompetent lower levels of a huge bureaucracy. That tends to insulate Obama from blame for thedisgraceful abuse of veterans.
So Obama gets a pass? No. Obama knew about the VA long ago, and he considered it the model for a single-payer scheme that would eventually replace Obamacare. Read this. The problem is not that the man at the top is a callous, deceitful ideologue, but that government medicine always tends to authoritarian disregard.
That slipshod approach to administration tolerated the VA’s institutional ineptitude and deceit. (A tip of the hat goes to reader JY, who kindly reminds that the partisan press ignored some disturbing facts about the VA featherbedders’ misbehavior.) Shinseki was effectively the phlegmatic captain of a vessel manned by a pampered and lubberly crew, and his recent resignation is just a symbolic political event that was wrapped in lies before being revealed to the public.
(For an understanding of just what ails the VA, enter these terms in Google’s search engine: “big labor’s va choke hold wall street journal may 30 2014”. That will give you an accurate cached copy of useful commentary you can read without having to pay.)
It’s a matter of ideology and zealAll Utopian regimes, however glibly humanitarian, define some people as their natural enemies. You know that Obamites have considered returning veterans to be potential “terrorists”; then the “progressives” stopped being candid about their partisan hatred. Today’s actual attitudes and policies of the FBI and Homeland Security are virtually impossible to discern.
Because the IRS scandal goes directly to the ideology of the White House, the lapdog press has been reluctant to expose and clarify the issues involved. No, the problem does not begin and end with Lois Lerner. She was just a spear-carrier in Team Obama’s production of Utopia, Limited. Taxation, don’t forget, is Obama’s beloved means of reforming, shaping, improving, and controlling society; it’s how The One plans to achieve fairness. The IRS is the cutting edge of a tool for Change.
The court decision that leads this item is, therefore, a bigger threat to Obamoid policy than it might at first appear. Its potential ability to breathe new life into a tired scandal will, of course, be muted by the lapdog press. That makes things difficult for decent folk. The Tea Partiers should be quick to publicize events — which means howling bloody murder, and pressing relentlessly for justice.
Yes, justice is a hard commodity to come by, given the current Department of Justice. The Tea Party will have to accept that fact, and create opportunities to score points with undecided voters and convince Hillary that she cannot abuse the IRS as Obama has.
This newsletter’s “Tramp Abroad” writes via e-mail from somewhere exotic:
Elif Bilgin is a 16 year-old Turkish girl from Istanbul who won the international Science in Action contest sponsored by Scientific American magazine. She’s smart and pretty to boot. She invented a new plastic that can be manufactured from discarded banana skins; listen to her account of her work here (click on the Right Arrow). It’s too bad that in the USA we don’t strive to teach kids to be as fluent in any foreign language as Elif is in English.
By the way, in Turkish “bilgin” means “scholar”. I guess this girl had something going for her even before she was born.
Incidentally, I also just read that Mehmet Emre, the 23 year-old son of Abdullah Gül, current President of Turkey, graduated in late May from Harvard. Abdullah and his wife, Hayrünnisa, traveled to Harvard at their own expense to be present at the ceremony.
Dispatches From A Tramp Abroad
No PC-ness here. Endlich, ein Aussenminister mit Mumm! (“Finally, an intrepid foreign minister!”)
Duh? Surprise, surprise, surprise….(Recommended. — Editor.)
Note: The Chinese are suspected to have launched a cyber attack on the German Space Research Center in Cologne.
(Editor’s note: You do read German, don’t you?) Berlin, kurz nach dem Mauerfall, noch vor der Wende.Merkel (in English). Regarding which: this and then this. Next, “No, you can’t!” Yet more, thencommentary on Merkel, and finally this.
May parents legally prevent their children from obtaining and reading a book?
(In German, but a photo needs no translation.) Extreme right US White Aryan leader commits political suicide by hugging an African woman.
Is music for the birds? No, I think birds are for music!
Do craft breweries really need to be forced to use established distribution channels? I think not; thisSenate Bill is just another encroachment on the freedom to do business as the business(wo)man sees fit. There is already more than enough federal and state regulation of the brewing industry.
Does the GOP really need to suffer another presidential election loss? (Can’t read the entire article? Enter search terms “rand paul for president bret stephens wall street journal april 14 2014” in Google and try the links listed. — Editor)
Has Snowden done irreparable harm to the United States and its Allies? If nothing illegal has been exposed, what did he accomplish? And why did he take refuge in Russia, a state not particularly known for its freedom of speech and civil liberties? (Can’t read the entire article? Enter search terms “snowden and his accomplices liam fox wall street journal april 14 2014” in Google search and try the links listed. — Editor)
Does the end justify the means? Are civil liberties being invaded by far-reaching programs such as PRISM that far outweigh the benefit their developers thought would be possible? The evidence that has, to date, come to public light does not show that these digital surveillance programs have prevented any major terrorist attack. But, perhaps most of the benefits are still secret….
Using the democratic system to undermine democracy in Turkey. Semih hits the the nail on the head. This is exactly what RTE is aiming to accomplish: using “the system” to turn the system around 180 degrees.
Obama slipped on his promise to speed up the presidential pardon process, especially for non-violent drug crimes.
If you think that you are paying too much in taxes, then consider moving.
Obituary for a Romanian poet who lived in exile in the USA.
Holy Cow! What are those Russian planes doing up there?
Falcon resting in a tree. A truly breath-taking picture of nature.
Here are some absolutely amazing landscapes, both above ground and underground.
The Turkish Brain Drain: when pariah nations have a relatively high level of education (globally speaking, that is), those who have completed their university studies, either at home or abroad, are often tempted to remain away from home for some time.
Spain’s Democracy Man: one always hears of the role that King Juan Carlos played in the democratization of Spain after the death of Franco. However, as this obituary explains…. (Editor’s comment: this link is highly recommended.)
I, too, have always wondered why able-bodied actors play the parts of handicapped people. (The editor comments again: the Tramp slipped up. He did not tell you that this is one terrific video. Don’t skip it!)
Thailand: when the police in countries like Turkey, Russia and even the USA realize that the government is also trying to control them as well, perhaps we will see more of this. (So mote it be! — Editor.)
I wonder about the validity of this study. I simply can’t believe that kids doing well (or not) in school has nothing to do with whether they are helped with the homework. Help could mean just ensuring that the kid does the homework. Asian parents, who may not know English as well as their children, surely would not be able to help with the content of a given homework assignment, but they could sure as hell ensure that the kid did the assignment.
The next thing you know, scientists are going to clone Einstein, Mozart or maybe Mussolini or Hitler. Seriously, though, I do not think we really want to have any Aptosauri running around in Central Park.
The Office of the Turkish Foreign Minister was bugged, and a recording of sensitive discussion leaked: links…. One, Two, and Three. It was reported that the room in which the conversation took place has jamming devices installed to counter traditional bugs or interception from outside the room. It is more likely that someone who was in the room during the conversation carried a recording device on his person.
And they let these people be school principals? The principal of this school obviously does not have the capacity to assess an emergency situation properly and interpret the rules in the best interest of those involved. Send her back to MacDonald’s to work at the register and sweep the floor. The cops, too….
Here’s an in-depth report on attacks on the energy sector of the economy.
More on the medical benefits of cannabis.
Global push to fix power plant code: the discovery of bugs in software used to run oil rigs, refineries and power plants has prompted a push to patch the widely used control system.
The growing federal police force: rather than create one large new force, why not just embed many units in hundreds of federal agencies? Clever, those feds.
Tiny Thoughts About A Journalistic Giant
This newsletter has long considered the New York Times simply a biased effort. One can make a marginally rational case that the newspaper has been a watered-down Völkischer Beobachter, Pravda,Muhammad Speaks (now Muslim Journal), or The Watchtower. Each of those publications was (or still is) a guide to strict ideological conformity. There is nothing wrong with that as long as the propaganda organs exist within the context of press freedom, though of course some ideologies are worse than others.
Has the NY Times been evil? No, though it has been incautious, somewhat dishonest, overly partisan, lacking in candor, and not unfriendly to repressive political agendas. Accordingly, the following opinion was received here with some shock:
The paper’s model is obsolete, but even worse than the model has been the paper’s lack of interest in the truth. As the US empire has grown more out of control, more dangerous, and more insane, the NYT has functioned as a fourth branch of government, a gatekeeper for a totalitarian world a la 1984 or Brave New World. But the gig is up. The world knows NYT’s complicity in erecting a sick and deranged world, and unless the paper breaks major news stories and outs itself as an undeniable friend of freedom, it will continue to lose revenue. No more can NYT expect to serve the elite and its bottom line at the same time. In the age of the internet, what David Rockefeller was once grateful for is no longer possible:
“We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years…It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries.” Source.
Well, now. That’s a bitter denunciation, and a sweeping indictment. At a stroke, it presupposes a genuine conspiracy, posits a plot to advance it, and damns a very influential newspaper as a confederate in a scheme that, if exposed, would have inspired outraged opposition.
Whether those accusations even deserve to be considered can be debated. That debate is beginning, as the “wingnut” groups intensify their attacks on the United Nations. One is reminded of the propaganda distributed by the John Birch Society when John Kennedy was the US president. Today, the targets are “Agenda 21” and the “Core” paradigm that is said to be imposed on the US educational system. If this smells like crackpot paranoia, that could be because it drifted away from reality some time ago.
Of course Utopian fantasies are hardly new. After World War I, Germany shuddered through a civil war in which a variety of lunatic neo-Marxist groups mandated not just political reform, but insisted that all houses would henceforth be built with the same floor plan. That nonsense gave way to Adolf Hitler, who was yet another Utopian.
The pattern is not unusual. Visionaries advertise all manner of programs to save humanity from itself: The World Federalists and the teachings that inspired the young Barack Obama are examples of this yearning for perfection. It’s a variety of religious faith.
Of course it’s dangerous.
That does not mean that the New York Times building should be burned to the ground. This newsletter considers it more sensible for the worried US citizen to look at the Tea Party and consider supporting its programs and candidates. The Utopian overtones of that movement are mild; that’s always the case when the activists’ emphasis is on free markets and individual Liberty.
As conspiracist fantasies appear, they can be opposed by remarking on their paranoia. Common sense has obvious benefits, and pointing that out is not always hopeless, so if some Tea Partiers seem to have lost their bearings, one can respond to credulity with logic and reason. That won’t always convince everybody, but is that your goal?
Finally, yes, the Times has been to some degree unprincipled, gullibly sloppy, bigoted, likely to under-report important news, deceitfully partisan, and even ideologically goofy. That’s the entirely affordable price of freedom of the press.
A Proposal That Will Keep The Lights Burning Late At NSA
The Libertarian party has announced its approval of “Reset The Net”, a program that will attempt to lock intelligence agencies out of routine, ordinary internet communications used by virtually everyone. It’s at least interesting, and possibly essential to the survival of Liberty.
A coalition of thousands of Internet users, companies and organizations launched a campaign for a day of action to “Reset The Net” on June 5, 2014, the anniversary of the first NSA surveillance story revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Tens of thousands of internet activists, companies and organizations committed to preserving free speech and basic rights on the Internet by taking steps to shutting off the government’s mass surveillance capabilities.
Read more here.
Will it work? This initial effort is just that — the beginning of a hugely popular program that ultimatelycan only succeed.
The Reset The Net folks do sound a bit naive, though. NSA has little trouble reading secret messages created with most popular encryption systems. How long will it take the feds to crack even the heavy-duty stuff? A week or two, probably.
That’s no reason to be pessimistic. Defeating NSA’s effort to scoop up and read simply everything should include not only encrypting data, but hiding them. That could force the spooks to waste tens of thousands of man-hours excavating every conceivable hidey-hole.
Then there’s what might be the most effective way to counter NSA’s snooping: creating large quantities of “smoke”. That’s slang for “fake messages that, because they can’t possibly be proved to be fake, have to be treated as if they were genuine and vitally important”.
The rationale behind creating “smoke” is simple: it is known that NSA considers encrypted messages to be attractive targets for archiving and “cracking” (breaking the encryption so the message is in clear, which means perfectly comprehensible).
Accordingly, one sets up servers that transmit trillions of multiply-encrypted messages, all of them junk. Minimal computer skills would be required to automate the process. Pictures, songs, and videos — all of them containing hidden gibberish texts — can be e-mailed back and forth in astronomical numbers while the administrator of the “smokestack” sleeps. NSA could never be sure that it had cracked a given message as long as the result of a successful decryption was a clutter of randomly-generated characters. That means the eavesdroppers could waste infinite amounts of time trying to read literally meaningless messages.
To make matters incalculably worse for NSA, something like Tor could be used to scatter the bogus messages, so their nature would not be betrayed by their origin.
As huge and voracious as NSA is, it could easily be overwhelmed with messages it could not even categorize. Government surveillance of internet traffic would fail on every level — though of course that collapse would not be reported to the public.
Related: here’s the link to NBC’s interview of Snowden. If you have not seen the hour-long broadcast, by all means remedy that. Then there is a brief video that presents a libertarian viewpoint that is mild compared to the sentiments of most of the Libertarian Party’s leaders.
The Decline Of The Tea Party
The majority of the news media explain recent developments as proof that the Republican party has beaten back the crazies. Those recent developments are the results of primaries that saw Tea Party candidates defeated. The extreme “wingnuts” are irrelevant — or so it is reported.
It’s not true. Republican voters rejected the Tea Partiers because they saw them as sure to lose in the all-important elections. That was a correct perception.
Replacing collaborationist moderates with true proponents of constitutional government is not easy.
If the Tea Party wants to survive and eventually make a significant difference in US politics, it must do these things:
1. Convince Republican and undecided voters to dump the collectivist thugs. Tea Partiers should target the most egregious authoritarians among the Democrats, and go after them with stubborn determination. That will mean working with and for “RINOS” (Republicans In Name Only). That is to insist that the really obnoxious people must be cleaned out and replaced with inadequate people who can win elections. That goes against the grain, but it’s important. It reduces the harm that will be done by “progressives”.
2. Pressure must be exerted on the lukewarm “wingnuts” who remain in office. The drones and sluggards must be prodded, and very publicly.
3. The public must be bombarded with arguments promoting the Liberty of the individual, the benefits of constitutional government, and the need for reform that restores time-honored political (not sexual) ethics. This means books like Levin’s The Liberty Amendments must be promoted, and a continuing debate on the merits of free markets must be instituted. Call it education if you wish, but in truth, it’s propaganda. Like religion and diets, propaganda can be good or bad.
Though the Tea Party’s views on government are correct, the movement is naive and lacking in determination. The promotion of Liberty is sure to encounter more failures than successes. Only patience and stubborn determination can roll back the gargantuan apparatus that lusts to reduce the individual’s options.
Concluding verity: the collectivists really hate “wingnuts”.
A Hot Item From Your Gracious Overlord
Anthropogenic Global Warming strikes again: the latest bulletin from Cult Central is an assurance that though everything is all right, it’s really a total disaster. Here’s the press release (drastically and unabashedly edited to enhance clarity):
Look, everybody, you have to understand that when we climate experts construct models to run on our computers so we can predict rising sea levels and other catastrophes, no one should expect that what those models tell us will, like, actually happen, y’know? That is to say, the models are not supposed to be accurate; they are supposed to be, well, scary. Sure, it would be nice if actual measured temperatures and so on would match what the models predict, but don’t be silly — after all, models don’t, er, that is — well, they are not exact or very often even real close to what you find if you go around measuring things like a ninny. Don’t worry about it! Just pay attention to what you have to do in order to prevent the climate from ever changing. Buy Al’s carbon offsets, support higher taxes on all petroleum products, and in general go along with your government when it, you know, like, shuts industries down and does other neat stuff like that.
Yes, the cultists assume you are all drooling morons. For more information on that misanthropic mindset, along with proof of guilt, see this.
Meanwhile, this is important, so do click on the hyperlink in this paragraph. You have been told that the “deniers” are wrong, that science is conducted by consensus, and that the scientific community supports the concept of anthropogenic global warming. Here’s a website that will add some perspective to your view. (May 21: 31,487 – 9,029)
It seems as if more folks are signing up as skeptics these days. Here’s a colorful example of sentiments that are becoming more common on the internet.
What are the facts about polar ice? You have been told it’s melting; is that true? For an objective report on the arctic and the antarctic, see the first minute and forty-five seconds of this video.
Next, there’s a very rational prediction that can now be made: the weather phenomenon known as El Niñois due, and that will warm up much of North America. So yes, it’s going to get hot and stay hot for some months, maybe a year; because the mechanism of this warming is not well understood, one can only guess how long the heat will last. Please remember this prediction, and when the braying asses point to the temperature, tell them it’s not due to carbon dioxide, it’s a recurring pattern that would still exist if everybody stopped breathing. Don’t repeat yourself. A wise adage advises: “when arguing with a fool, remember that the fool is similarly engaged”.
Then everybody (except the Gore-Hansen cult) can go back to preparing for the coming little ice age.
“…history will not treat them kindly….” Indeed.
The IPCC Follies — a continuing disgrace. To see what’s happening, you need watch only the first four minutes of this video.
Then there are the actual data. Temperatures over the last twenty years, for example, are to be foundhere. Don’t forget that it will get warmer because of El Niño!
Can You In The USA Bear The Wait To Be Governed By The Clintons Again?
Aah, those halcyon days…wondering when the next pneumatically-structured female would emerge from the shadows and whine (or brag) about how somebody had been naughty…watching the freewheeling investments and the chop suey fundraising…following the madcap adventures of the Rose Law Firm and the White House travel agent types…waiting with bated breath for the announcement of Hillarycare (never mind, Hill, ‘cuz at least you had the sense to admit it could not be done)…wondering whether Vince Foster, well, you know. Gee, it was more fun than watching Mickey Cohen cut up at the Kefauver hearings.
Well, nostalgia ain’t what it used to be. Unfortunately some soreheads refuse to wax adoring and eager. Those ingrates in Haiti, for example (using the Google search engine, enter the search terms “bill, hillary and the haiti debacle wall street journal”). Imagine! Somebody even made a politically incorrectmovie…well, never mind, it’s only in French and German, so all the right people will ignore it. –Eh? You say it might be in English, as well? Pish! Who gives a fig? And what’s this quote about? “I really cannot understand how you could raise so much money, put a former US president in charge, and get this outcome”. Oh, never mind….
Watch this. Highest possible recommendation.
The continuing revolution in cosmology: gamma ray bursts that can’t be.
To gain perspective on the Benghazi scandal, see one of the ways in which “progressives” have responded — and what was omitted from the response.
Fourteen years in prison — for playing with a toy? Yes.
Snowden has tied the US intelligence services in a huge knot. The implications are literally beyond comprehension, and many of them raise questions that cannot be answered. It appears that NSA was, because of its structure and activities, long overdue for the train wreck.
Some folks claim the USA is becoming a police state; certainly the militarization of law enforcement is a serious concern, as this newsletter has repeatedly insisted (see Number 332 for an important book review). Unfortunately, one must also worry about forfeiture laws. If you know nothing about those statutes — and how they allow local, state and federal agencies to enrich themselves by confiscating the property of people who have been convicted of no crimes — you should inform yourself.
This is provocative commentary, and, like the best provocation, it’s brief. Recommended.
Science and politics collide in an interesting report that might lead you to do some more clicking; links therefor are provided. Recommended.
China’s “one child” policy has resulted in (1) many abortions and instances of infanticide, and (2) a demographic imbalance: there are many young men and few young women. The results of these tragedies are — surprise! — tragic (give the web page a moment to move the blocking advertisement aside and allow access to the text). Chinese fascism might prove to be so socially disruptive to China that it could even lead to a massive war in Asia.
Some “wingnuts” are upset about a US federal program that does appear to have sinister overtones. It’s a weapon aimed at free markets.
“California is the only state without a statewide voter registration list, as mandated by the Help America Vote Act.” That’s just the way the politicians in a single-party state like it. More.
Guess which US federal agency is purchasing pistol ammunition now! You probably can’t imagine….