“Illogical, irrational and ­patently bizarre”

From The Australian today: QUT students demand apology from Human Rights Commission in race case.

Two students accused the Human Rights Commission yesterday of “recklessly” breaching their human rights in a row stemming from a $250,000 damages claim brought by a worker who barred white students from a room at the Queensland University of Technology.

Jackson Powell and Calum Thwaites, who lodged separate complaints with the commission, are seeking a formal apology and compensation for their costs in defending racial hatred claims.

They say the commission has treated them with “flagrant indifference” because they are “white Anglo-Saxon heterosexual citizens who maintain a male gender identity”, have no criminal rec­ord, no outspoken political opinions and no record of participation in trade unions or religious sects.

Their lawyer, Tony Morris QC, said the commission’s conduct in managing the case had been “illogical, irrational and ­patently bizarre”, leading to gross unfairness to Mr Powell, Mr Thwaites and other students.

More at the link.

But how does the accepted consensus get formed?

This is satire but so close to reality as almost not to matter: Students, Faculty Invited To Freely Express Single Viewpoint. This really does feel how the left operates.

Saying that such a dialogue was essential to the college’s academic mission, Trescott University president Kevin Abrams confirmed Monday that the school encourages a lively exchange of one idea. “As an institution of higher learning, we recognize that it’s inevitable that certain contentious topics will come up from time to time, and when they do, we want to create an atmosphere where both students and faculty feel comfortable voicing a single homogeneous opinion,” said Abrams, adding that no matter the subject, anyone on campus is always welcome to add their support to the accepted consensus. “Whether it’s a discussion of a national political issue or a concern here on campus, an open forum in which one argument is uniformly reinforced is crucial for maintaining the exceptional learning environment we have cultivated here.” Abrams told reporters that counseling resources were available for any student made uncomfortable by the viewpoint.

It is nevertheless worth asking how consensus is arrived at, and how it might be changed in the future. The role of free discussion is never at an end.

[From Instapundit]

What is needed for free institutions to work

make america mexico again

As I noted in a post yesterday, John Stuart Mill once observed that democracy could work only among a unified homogeneous people. This ominous passage is from Chapter XVI of his Considerations on Representative Government:

“Free institutions are next to impossible in a country made up of different nationalities. Among a people without fellow-feeling, especially if they read and speak different languages, the united public opinion, necessary to the working of representative government, cannot exist. The influences which form opinions and decide political acts are different in the different sections of the country. An altogether different set of leaders have the confidence of one part of the country and of another. The same books, newspapers, pamphlets, speeches, do not reach them. One section does not know what opinions, or what instigations, are circulating in another. […] For the preceding reasons, it is in general a necessary condition of free institutions that the boundaries of governments should coincide in the main with those of nationalities.” (Mill [1861] 1991*: 291-294).

There is nothing there we do not see at every turn across the world today. What a dark future there must be if he was actually right. Even if you’re not partial to his economics, he is the man who wrote On Liberty.

On this note, we bring news from the election in the United States.

VIDEO: rump Forced To Hop Fence After Protesters Form Human Chain, Block Entrance To San Fran Hotel…T
‘It Felt Like I Was Crossing The Border’…
Rioters rage outside Trump rally in SO CAL…
Smash police car, hurl rocks at motorists…
Hundreds waving Mexican flags…
Cops outnumbered…
Video…
‘He’s gonna build a wall in our land’…
‘Everybody is scared right now because they know change coming’…
Rush to naturalize immigrant voters before election…

Where in the world is Mill shown not to be right. The Declaration of the Rights of Man – not the rights of a Frenchman or an Englishman – will be the death of our civilisation, which we may be witnessing before our eyes.

______
* Mill, John Stuart. [1861] 1991. Considerations on Representative Government, In J. Gray (ed.) On Liberty and Other Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 203-467.

A reflection on the hatred of Jews

The author, Stephen Pollard, is the editor of The Jewish Chronicle in the UK. He writes, The Left’s hatred of Jews chills me to the bone.

And it’s not the terrorists. They threaten me, of course, as they threaten us all. Yet to me, the real chill comes from their fellow travelers – the useful idiots of the terrorists and Jew-murderers who say they do not have a racist bone in their body, but when it comes to Jews, a blind spot emerges. The likes, to be blunt, of the now suspended Ken Livingstone, who claims never to have come across a single example of Anti-semitism in the Labour Party. He clearly has never looked in the mirror. Much has been written – especially by the brilliant Nick Cohen – on the “Red/Green Alliance”; the phenomenon by which a swathe of the Left has linked up with radical Islam, leading to the bizarre spectacle of Leftist feminists supporting Islamists who would cut off the hands of women who read books.

With “anti-Western-imperialism” as part of the glue binding the alliance, everything else falls into place. So Hamas and Hezbollah might have as their defining goal the elimination of an entire people from the face of the earth, but that unfortunate consequence for Jews is by the by, because Hamas and Hezbollah are freedom fighters.

And because Israel is part of the Western imperium, as well as a key target for Islamists, it is also enemy number one for progressives. So an obsessive preoccupation with the Jewish state becomes the default position of the Left. China, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia – pah! The focus must be on Israel and Israel alone. From that springs an entire worldview that encompasses “Zionist” control of the media, of business, of everything. And we can’t be accused of targeting Jews because we don’t use the word. We say Zionist, not Jew.

So deep does this warping of what it means to be Left and progressive now run that it is almost prosaic to assert Zionist control. But now, to cap it, we have a Labour leader whose entire political career has been in this milieu – feeding it, growing it and pushing it.

For months now, week by week, examples have been emerging of cut and dried anti-Semitism – most dressed up, oh so cleverly, as anti-Zionism, but much not even bothering to hide it. And the Labour leader’s response to the criticism that he is soft on anti-Semitism and that it’s his political mindset that has fuelled its rise is not to get hard on anti-Semitism. It’s to get irritated.

This is not some academic exercise or interesting political theory. This is reality – the reality that the Labour Party is now run by a cadre for whom anti-Semitism really is ok, so long as it is dressed up as anti-Zionism. Because Zionism is the enemy of all good people.

Anti-Semitism is also far from being the preserve of the Left, but is a universal hatred from which almost no part of the political spectrum appears immune.

AND ALSO PUBLISHED TODAY: There is obviously something going on in the UK for this to be published as well. From The Spectator: Labour’s anti-Semitism problem stems from its grassroots.

Now everybody is talking about the Jews and Labour’s anti-Semitism problem. Yet they still refuse to get to the point. Because it is not as though anti-Semitism is simply transferred in the water-supply. Of course there are anti-Semitic tendencies in every strain of politics. I could point to a strain within the Conservative tradition. But in the Conservative tradition it is dying. The problem for Labour is that anti-Semitism in their party is a growth industry. And the simple reason for that is a demographic one.

And this is why it is seen as a particular problem of the left:

Why did that happen? The simple reason is, as Mehdi Hasan once said, that anti-Semitism among Britain’s Muslim communities is ‘routine and commonplace.’ It is, as Mehdi said, the ‘dirty little secret’ of Britain’s Muslims. Numerous polls have shown a glimpse of the same thing. And that, right there, is Labour’s problem: the more Muslims you have, the more anti-Semitism you have. Of course the party will not admit this. Not least because it goes directly against New Labour’s policy of mass immigration. The architects of that grand policy in the late 1990s thought that the more people you brought into Britain the more ‘diverse’, ‘vibrant’ and ‘tolerant’ our society would become. Instead they have imported, among other things, a new generation of racists.

John Stuart Mill once observed that democracy could work only among a unified homogeneous people. This ominous passage is from Chapter XVI of his Considerations on Representative Government:

“Free institutions are next to impossible in a country made up of different nationalities. Among a people without fellow-feeling, especially if they read and speak different languages, the united public opinion, necessary to the working of representative government, cannot exist. The influences which form opinions and decide political acts are different in the different sections of the country. An altogether different set of leaders have the confidence of one part of the country and of another. The same books, newspapers, pamphlets, speeches, do not reach them. One section does not know what opinions, or what instigations, are circulating in another. […] For the preceding reasons, it is in general a necessary condition of free institutions that the boundaries of governments should coincide in the main with those of nationalities.” (Mill [1861] 1991*: 291-294).

There is nothing there we do not see at every turn. What a dark future there must be if this is actually right.

______
* Mill, John Stuart. [1861] 1991. Considerations on Representative Government, In J. Gray (ed.) On Liberty and Other Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 203-467.

Which wall is it, by the way, that you want torn down?

trump protest sign

There is something so perfect about this sign, so exact, so preciously inane, so rhetorically empty yet jargon-filled that it deserves to be memorialised as almost the perfect caricature of the left. From the anti-Trump rally held in California today, by illegal migrants protesting on behalf of their assumed right to illegally migrate into the United States. But whatever they know or don’t know, however American they are or are not, they have the idiom down to its vacuous perfection.

At the other extreme, we find this from the pages of The New York Times. Trump and the Madness of Crowds. It never seems to occur to him that each of the people who end up at a Trump rally has done so deliberately with conscious intention while on their own, at their home or wherever they were before setting out to hear a political leader. And it is not they who are the mob. Each is an individual in their own right coming to listen to a political speech. The question that dominates is why do people keep voting for him when – don’t they know – he can never win the election in the fall?

Since last fall Republican voters have consistently told pollsters that they think Trump is the candidate most likely to win in November. So the party’s voters are choosing electability — as they see it — over ideology; they’re just in the grip of a strong delusion about Trump’s actual chances against Hillary Clinton.

The reason for this delusion might be the key unresolved question of Trump’s strange ascent.

Nothing to do with policy. Nothing to do with stopping a rot that many of had thought was unstoppable. Nothing to do with trying to save the United States in the form that these voters had once known. Not that at all. Trump is only popular because these voters think he is more likely to win than any other candidate. There may be a madness of crowds, but there is another version that besets political writers when they sit by themselves writing columns for other like-minded people to read.

Colossally out of his depth – no idea at all what is going on

obama clueless

The first-quarter number presented a political and PR problem for the White House, coming just as President Obama appeared to be trying to burnish his own legacy overseeing the economy since the global financial crisis of 2008.

Two stories of Keynesian ignorance and the consequences, one in America and the other in Australia.

First the US. Obama will look long and hard for a positive legacy but the only one I can think of is how good it will feel when he leaves office so that we can finally stop knocking our heads against the wall. An incompetent narcissist means he screws things up but believes he’s a policy genius. Which now comes to this: White House struggles to explain weak economy as Obama boasts of job growth.

The White House labored Thursday to explain a first-quarter economic report showing the weakest growth in two years, even as President Obama was trumpeting his mastery of the economy in a New York Times Magazine interview.

The Department of Commerce reported that U.S. gross domestic product rose 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2016, the third straight sluggish start to a year. Consumer spending and business purchases both fell, continuing trends that could have ominous implications for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as she tries to claim the mantle as Mr. Obama’s successor.

But this at the end is really the pièce de résistance:

The president told a group of college journalists Thursday that his record on the economy is among his proudest achievements.

Delusional beyond imagination. No one, absolutely no one, will defend Obama’s economic management, least of all any Democrat who wishes to hold onto their office or Hillary in trying to become his successor. If you want more on his pathetic efforts to get others to see the world in the same deluded way you can try this.

And then there’s the Australian story, told today in The Oz. Treasury forecasts have been complete nonsense for years on end, because they are made by Keynesian who really believe, bless their naive souls, that public spending leads to faster growth and increased employment even though it never has. From the story:

In May 2011, the economy had emerged from the global financial crisis growing rapidly.

Commodity prices had surpassed pre-crisis levels and were on their way to new highs, while investment in the resource sector was rising rapidly.

Treasury predicted in that year’s budget that the economy would expand by 24.5 per cent over the next four years, or by almost $350bn. Had it done so, by now there would be massive surpluses with enough left over for big tax cuts.

In reality, the economy has grown by only 14.1 per cent or $200bn, with about a third of that flowing to the government as tax.

They, of course, believe that the part of the rise in GDP between 2009 and 2011 caused by stimulus spending is the same as economic growth. Can’t be helped; that’s how they think. But they are WRONG and the damage they are doing will be immense and lasting. But they will never understand why because they will never understand the pre-Keynesian theory of the cycle.

Trump and the realignment of the parties

Anyone who believes Hillary will defeat Trump must have zero faith in democratic processes. Hillary has never achieved a single political purpose in her entire life that did not benefit herself personally. She has no ideas and no track record. She is corrupt to an extent possibly unprecedented even in the American politicians-for-hire system of government. She should be going to jail, not running for president. Her one achievement occurred at birth (conception?) and since then she has added nothing of value to her résumé. It ought to make you sick to realise how close she is to accomplishing her goals. And if she does, the line that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others may have to be amended. There are circumstances in which democracy clearly does not work, and the Hillary story is the case study.

We however have this: Democratic Strategist: Trump Will Beat Hillary Like ‘A Baby Seal’. He may not be right, but at least he has broken ranks to say what needs to be true:

Democratic strategist Dave “Mudcat” Saunders believes Donald Trump will beat Hillary Clinton like a “baby seal,” and that working class whites who haven’t already left the Democratic Party for cultural reasons will do so now for economic ones.

“I know a ton of Democrats — male, female, black and white — here [in southern Virginia] who are going to vote for Trump. It’s all because of economic reasons. It’s because of his populist message,” Mudcat told The Daily Caller Wednesday.

Saunders has experience working with Jim Webb, helping getting him elected to the U.S Senate in 2006 and advised his failed bid for the presidency in 2016. Saunders was also an advisor to John Edwards in his 2008 presidential bid. The Democrat strategist is renowned for connecting politicians to “Bubbas” — white, working class Southerners.

“Working class whites in the South have already departed the Democratic Party for cultural reasons. Well the working class whites in the North are now deserting the Democrats because of economic reasons,” Mudcat told TheDC. He added, “this is the new age of economic populism, man. This is about survival for a lot of people.”

If it is down to survival and people will still vote against their interests, then there will be a new system coming and it won’t be the one we have been used to in the past.

Australia has the world’s best central banker

The headline reads, RBA’s Stevens says it’s time for government to step up on growth and this is the point:

Stevens says central banks have done all they can to boost economic growth and, eight years after the global financial crisis, it is time for governments to do more.

And if you missed the message, here’s a bit more:

In a speech in New York last week, he said central bank intervention was effective at heading off a potential catastrophe after the Lehman collapse but always­ had limited ability to accelerate the recovery. Rate cuts bring only a short-term boost to activity. He said the fall in global interest rates, which has been under way since 2007, reflected more than the actions of central banks.

Nothing left for central banks to do. And here is a bit of financial artistry that sets out the central point:

Financial assets are just paper claims on the flow of real returns from business investments or, in the case of government bonds, on the ability to tax those real returns. “If the real economy can’t perform to provide real returns to capital, there is nothing to back higher yields on financial assets.” Stevens says the lack of profit in the real world is the cause of the global stagnation, and central banks are powerless to change that. The growth potential around the world has fallen, he says.

That is so exactly right and I don’t think you can hear it said anywhere else. We are in a fiscal mess which cannot be fixed by adjusting interest rates up or down, although pushing them up would at least do some good. And even when he shifts onto the fiscal side, he is precisely right but you have to pay attention to the words he uses.

Stevens acknowledged that years of slow growth were jeopardising the “social compact” in many parts of the world. He urged government­ to take advantage of record low interest rates to embark on infrastructure projects that would raise construction activity­ and lift productivity. The critical issue was good governance to ensure the right projects were built and managed to add value, he said, not lack of money.

Projects that add value are, unfortunately, almost never the projects chosen by governments since there is no profit and loss statement nor any serious means to ensure more value is created than is used up. But at least he understands what needs to be done, but has much more faith than I ever will in the decision making processes of government to get that kind of result

The Daily Bolt

This is quite worth watching, and the thing is that I imagine there will be many similar excerpts from The Daily Bolt that will be worth watching day after day right through to the election. Not being among those who take pleasure in seeing the Libs crash and burn with Malcolm at the helm, this editorial comment on Turnbull v Abbott fills me with great foreboding. But for a change, there is the kind of feedback being run at those narrow-cast Members of Parliament who took their lead from the ABC while ignoring the people who actually wished to see the Coalition succeed. I fear there will be a good deal of repenting in leisure among the 54.

2500

It is astonishing to find that this will be my 2500th post. It was mostly begun as a scrapbook and a chance to say things to the very small number of people who I would mention its existence to. Now I am amazed to find that others come round, since there are some things that are almost invisible elsewhere, two of which being economics from a classical John Stuart Mill perspective, and a political perspective that you can draw a line through from Margaret Thatcher to Ronald Reagan to Sarah Palin to Mitt Romney and now through to Donald Trump. I am a Gladstonian Liberal although what label to use in the modern world escapes me. But I know what repels me and I know who is on the other side of what I am against. These are difficult fights and I am always thrilled to find there is actually someone willing to take on these Herculean tasks.

But even with the larger number who visit, and whose comments I read but never allow to be published, this is still, as it began, a way to communicate with my son up in Sydney who, bless him, took on a new job just today. Another start-up. He loves the adventure of the private sector and the world of new and discovery. Hi Joshi. And, in fact, both my sons are entrenched in the private sector, with the older one having left a cushy public sector job because it lacked genuine grit and risk. I love and admire them both, so hi to Benji as well.