Ancient truths

A series of quotes from George Washington found at The George Washington Society webpage. Reading these through, it is clear he could not be elected president today. I have placed in bold those quotes that seem particularly relevant today.

Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God.

By the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability and expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, altho’ death was levelling my companions on every side.

Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions.

Your love of liberty – your respect for the laws – your habits of industry – and your practice of the moral and religious obligations, are the strongest claims to national and individual happiness.

A good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.

The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institution may be abused by human depravity; and that they may even, in some instances be made subservient to the vilest purposes.

It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors.

I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field, and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that

Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristicks of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.

May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us in all our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.

Let the poor, the needy and oppressed of the Earth, and those who want Land, resort to the fertile plains of our western country, the second land of Promise, and there dwell in peace, fulfilling the first and great commandment.

The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.

The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indespensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pilliars of human happiness.

I have often expressed my sentiments, that every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience.

The liberty enjoyed by the people of these states of worshiping Almighty God agreeably to their conscience, is not only among the choicest of their blessings, but also of their rights.

We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition, and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart. In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man’s religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States.

No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.

The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.

You do well to wish to learn our arts and our ways of life and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ.

Without an humble imitation of the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, we can never hope to be a happy nation.

Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.

To contract new debts is not the way to pay old ones.

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company.

A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master.

The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it.

I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education which I received from my mother.

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

To be prepared for War is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.

Mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government.

There is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness.

Refrain from drink which is the source of all evil–and the ruin of half the workmen in this Country.

The determinations of Providence are always wise, often inscrutable; and, though its decrees appear to bear hard upon us at times, is nevertheless meant for gracious purposes.

I am sure that never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a Divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States: and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency, that was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them.

I die hard but am not afraid to go.

The editors feel that your paper is too specific for our readers

An exchange of letters with the editors of a journal that has rejected my paper on “Classical Criticisms of Keynesian Economics”. This is what they wrote to me:

After having carefully evaluated your manuscript, the editors came to the conclusion that your paper is not suitable for publication in our journal. Our rejection need not imply any judgment of the quality of your work. Rather, the editors feel that your paper is too specific for our readers. We think that a specialized journal on the history of economic thought would probably appreciate your contribution the most.

So this is what I wrote to them.

I am, of course, not arguing the toss with you, but I have to say that if you think a paper about how the entire universe of mainstream economists understood the nature of recession and unemployment prior to the Keynesian Revolution is “too specific” for your readers, then your approach is far too narrow. As I said in my covering note, this is not history of economics, it is economics. It is about how to understand why recessions occur, why public spending will never drive an economy into recovery and why our economies right now are not just experiencing slow growth, but are actually enduring a fall in living standards. John Stuart Mill would have been able to tell you. He would even have told you in advance that it would be certain to occur, just as I was able to do in 2008.

I will also say that if you reject a paper because it is “history of economics”, then you are cutting yourselves off from a very important vein of economic discussion. Mainstream journals now routinely do this, although why that is I am not entirely certain about.

I am disappointed in your response, but I cannot say I am exceptionally surprised.

“Do not follow our lead in terms of politics and do not follow our lead in terms of the fourth estate”

Why is that? “Because we are losing morality and courage in covering and holding politicians accountable.”

She is the former political director at CNN [!], on Q&A yesterday. She describes a corrupt political system drenched in money. To which she adds: “The problem is this. Over the course of the last eight years, that we have government officials threatening journalists, that we have journalists not doing their jobs in terms of coverage”. What happened eight years ago that changed all that, do you think? Listen to it all.

Via Andrew Bolt

Political idiots

decius-mus

LIQ is not the only Roman with a view on this election. This is by Publius Decius Mus and the people he describes are everywhere to be seen:

To be a conservative or a Republican and to sit it out, or to criticize Trump, is in this circumstance to favor Hillary. That’s just a fact. Trump is the underdog and needs all the help he can get. Every defection or abandonment hurts him and makes it more likely that she will win. If she wins, she will be a disaster for the right and for the country—on precisely the terms that many others have always said she would. I therefore find it mind boggling that they could do anything, however slight, that might help her win.

These people are idiots, disgusting low-life political morons. It really is impossible to describe the imbecilic pomposity of anyone who takes an even-handed weighing up of both sides in the election this year, never mind those sunshine conservatives who are all-in for Hillary. Are they really that stupid, that out of it? If Hillary wins, there is no coming back.

Is there nothing these people don’t corrupt?

In this case, we are talking about polling. The aim is to get people voting for Republicans not to bother since it’s all over. This is from Zero Hedge: New Podesta Email Exposes Dem Playbook For Rigging Polls Through “Oversamples”.

Now, for all of you out there who still aren’t convinced that the polls are “adjusted”, we present to you the following Podesta email, leaked earlier today, that conveniently spells out, in detail, exactly how to “manufacture” the desired data. The email starts out with a request for recommendations on “oversamples for polling” in order to “maximize what we get out of our media polling.”

I also want to get your Atlas folks to recommend oversamples for our polling before we start in February. By market, regions, etc. I want to get this all compiled into one set of recommendations so we can maximize what we get out of our media polling.

The email even includes a handy, 37-page guide with the following poll-rigging recommendations. In Arizona, over sampling of Hispanics and Native Americans is highly recommended:

Research, microtargeting & polling projects

– Over-sample Hispanics

– Use Spanish language interviewing. (Monolingual Spanish-speaking voters are among the lowest turnout Democratic targets)

– Over-sample the Native American population

For Florida, the report recommends “consistently monitoring” samples to makes sure they’re “not too old” and “has enough African American and Hispanic voters.” Meanwhile, “independent” voters in Tampa and Orlando are apparently more dem friendly so the report suggests filling up independent quotas in those cities first.

– Consistently monitor the sample to ensure it is not too old, and that it has enough African American and Hispanic voters to reflect the state.

– On Independents: Tampa and Orlando are better persuasion targets than north or south Florida (check your polls before concluding this). If there are budget questions or oversamples, make sure that Tampa and Orlando are included first.

Meanwhile, it’s suggested that national polls over sample “key districts / regions” and “ethnic” groups “as needed.”

– General election benchmark, 800 sample, with potential over samples in key districts/regions

– Benchmark polling in targeted races, with ethnic over samples as needed

– Targeting tracking polls in key races, with ethnic over samples as needed

The aim is to have the poll record as closely as possible the outcome they are intending to rig on the day. And what may be the most astonishing part is that were it not for the leaked emails, no one would have heard a thing about any of this even though hundreds of people must be in on the scam.

“The ‘most substantial threat’ to press freedom in his five decades”

facial-discrimination-act

I will start with this from the papers today: Bill Leak cartoon probe biggest threat to press freedom.

Media proprietor Kerry Stokes has launched a blistering attack on a controversial ­investigation by the Australian Human Rights Commission over a cartoon by The Australian’s Bill Leak portraying an Aboriginal father and son.

Mr Stokes, the Seven Group executive chairman, said the probe was the “most substantial threat” to press freedom in his five decades of owning and running media businesses.

And then there is John Spooner, himself a cartoonist, asking why should a satirist like Bill Leak be forced to explain himself?. His advice:

Rather than argue against the government’s right to interfere with our freedom (they can legitimately do so in cases of criminal conspiracy for example) Leak should defend himself if possible with satire.

He should force everyone to focus on the dangerous overreach of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. After all the right to offend and insult are, in part, necessary ingredients of serious argument. How else can we combat racism? And don’t tell me about exemptions in 18D. The overall intent of the act is intimidatory. You need an expensive lawyer to rid yourself of the stigma of prosecution. Look at history. Read Ben Wilson’s The Laughter of Triumph, a life of William Hone, friend of William Hazlitt, publisher of the great cartoonist George Cruikshank, and admired by Charles Dickens.

Hone should be famous. In 1817 he courageously defended himself against charges of blasphemy and seditious libel; over a satire that offended and insulted many people. He wrote a parody of the Book of Common Prayer and the Athanasian Creed. He also libelled the Prince Regent and his corrupt government for good measure. A jury acquitted him to great public acclaim.

And to add to the defence, Mark Steyn has also again weighed in on our Human (Last) Rites Commission: Punching Back Twice as Hard (Oz version).

I’m glad to see, following the latest attempt to use Australia’s disgraceful Section 18C to throttle freedom of speech Down Under, that The Australian’s Bill Leak is introducing the concept to the Antipodes. His latest cartoon (above) features Tim Soutphommasane, the totalitarian hack who trousers a third of a million a year as Oz’s “Racial Discrimination” Commissar. Mr Leak invites Commissar Tim Jong-Un to sue him for “facial discrimination”.

Free speech should mean you can say anything you want short of incitement to violence – or, if you like, shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre – without the full weight of the law falling on your head, in fact without even the most minimal weight of the law falling on your head. According to the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, under the entry Freedom of Speech, there is a lengthy discussion of the Andrew Bolt case and human rights in Australia. And in spite of Spooner’s advice, I will mention this since it seems important. According to the entry, in Australia, apparently 18C is delimited by 18D, which states:

Section 18C does not render unlawful anything said or done reasonably and in good faith: (a) in the performance, exhibition or distribution of an artistic work; or (b) in the course of any statement, publication, discussion or debate made or held for any genuine academic, artistic or scientific purpose or any other genuine purpose in the public interest; or (c) in the making or publishing: (i) a fair and accurate report of any event or matter of public interest; or (ii) a fair comment on any matter of public interest if the comment is an expression of a genuine belief held by the person making the comment.

This attack on Bill Leak really does look like an underemployed HRC Commissioner trying to find some purpose in life, as discussed in August in The Oz: Tim Soutphommasane may be drumming up work as race hate cases fall.

When it comes to discrimination, context is everything. Words that might appear completely innocent can take on a very different character when the full context is understood.

Which brings me to the words of Tim Soutphommasane, the Race Discrimination Commissioner who encouraged people to complain about a cartoon by Bill Leak that appeared in this newspaper.

The commissioner advised the public that complaints should be directed to the organisation where he works, the Australian Human Rights Commission.

His attempt to drum up work for the commission was followed by a torrent of abuse against Leak, whose cartoon depicted an Aboriginal policeman returning a delinquent Aboriginal youth to his equally delinquent father. On Soutphommasane’s Facebook page, the commissioner reproduced Leak’s cartoon and invoked the heads of liability in section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act: “If there are Aboriginal Australians who have been racially ­offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated, they can consider lodging a complaint under the ­Racial Discrimination Act with the commission.”

He had seemingly prejudged those complaints, which raises doubts about whether the commission itself can now deal fairly with this affair.

It appears to be his job to be offended on behalf of the community. If no one else will take offence, then he will just have to do it himself. But to be quite frank, when it comes to being offended by what other people write and say, I would rather do it myself. I don’t need or want some government agency to do it on my behalf.

WILLIAM HONE ADDITION: From areff in the comments who guides us to this book on Hone: The Triumph of Laughter. This is the description of the book at Amazon and perfectly parallel to our own situation, except that this is the supposedly more enlightened 2016 and that was back in the Dark Ages of 1817.

William Hone is the forgotten hero of the British Press. In 1817 he was compelled to defend himself against a government determined to enforce censorship. His fellow journalists, opposition MPs and the ministers believed that a verdict against Hone would silence all critical voices. It was a show trial, and Hone – a self-educated and obscure Fleet Street journalist who had to defend himself against the Lord Chief Justice and the Attorney General and in front of a jury hand-picked by the ministry – was the underdog, a supposedly easy victim for the state. Hone’s crime was ridiculing the government. He was a noted satirist, who used laughter as a weapon to destroy censorship. His humour captured the imagination of the public; his satires sold in the hundreds of thousands. They were symbols of resistance for an angry public and were genuinely feared by his enemies. The Laughter of Triumph looks at the history of the struggle for free expression against repressive laws through the life of William Hone. Could the state push the law so far that humour was a crime? Or was it the only way to subvert censorship? As Hone implored his jury on the second day of his trials, ‘Is a laugh treason? Surely not.’

What do we have in common anymore?

I stopped reading Jonah Goldberg’s pseudo-conservative nonsense ages ago – it’s been literally a decade – and have thought of him as irrelevant to anything that matters for a long long time. He has nothing to teach me about anything I think of as important. But here is something that begins with an attack on JG, but which has a much more important message. It’s titled, Seven Degrees of Jonah Goldberg, but is dealing with an entire disease, not the particular carrier who’s named in the article title. It is by the highly insightful Publius Decius Mus who has been cited here twice before. You can find his other articles referenced at the link. Here is the problem that the official conservative battalions have failed to achieve.

We failed to preserve a true understanding the principles of the Declaration of Independence. We failed to preserve the proper working order of the Constitution. We failed to protect and nurture that virtue in the people necessary to sustain the Constitution. We failed to defend the family from relentless assault. We failed to maintain any semblance of a shared public morality. We allowed—through a combination of active cheering and ineffective opposition—demographic and cultural replacement. We lent a great deal of our talent to serve rapacious interests in the name of “economic freedom.” All the things we were supposed to conserve—the nation, its people, its way of life, its governing structure—we have not conserved.

This all seems irrefutably clear to me [and me]. Yet official conservatism says I am insane for saying so. So I ask: what do we have in common anymore?

PDM then repeats the exact words he previously wrote, which is again a complete mirror of what I think myself:

If Hillary wins, there will still be a country, in the sense of a geographic territory with a people, a government, and various institutions. Things will mostly look the same, just as—outwardly—Rome changed little on the ascension of Augustus. It will not be tyranny or Caesarism—not yet. But it will represent, in my view, an irreversible triumph for the administrative state. Consider that no president has been denied reelection since 1992. If we can’t beat the Democrats now, what makes anyone think we could in 2020, when they will have all the advantages of incumbency plus four more years of demographic change in their favor? And if we can’t win in 2016 or 2020, what reason is there to hope for 2024? Will the electorate be more Republican? More conservative? Will constitutional norms be stronger?

And to the #NeverTrumpers, he says this, which I agree with more than with all the rest:

To be a conservative or a Republican and to sit it out, or to criticize Trump, is in this circumstance to favor Hillary. That’s just a fact. Trump is the underdog and needs all the help he can get. Every defection or abandonment hurts him and makes it more likely that she will win. If she wins, she will be a disaster for the right and for the country—on precisely the terms that Goldberg and so many others have always said she would. I therefore find it mind boggling that they could do anything, however slight, that might help her win.

It is self-defeating to stress the negatives that Trump brings with him, whatever they may be. So far, there is nothing that has come to my notice for which Hillary is actually superior, not a thing. If your aim is not to see Hillary lose, even if that means that Trump wins, then you are just as much the enemy as Obama himself.

The glacial discrimination act

facial-discrimination-act

Mark Steyn has again weighed in on our Human (Last) Rites Commission: Punching Back Twice as Hard (Oz version).

I’m glad to see, following the latest attempt to use Australia’s disgraceful Section 18C to throttle freedom of speech Down Under, that The Australian’s Bill Leak is introducing the concept to the Antipodes. His latest cartoon (above) features Tim Soutphommasane, the totalitarian hack who trousers a third of a million a year as Oz’s “Racial Discrimination” Commissar. Mr Leak invites Commissar Tim Jong-Un to sue him for “facial discrimination”.

Free speech should mean you can say anything you want short of incitement to violence – or, if you like, shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre – without the full weight of the law falling on your head, in fact without even the most minimal weight of the law falling on your head. According to the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, under the entry Freedom of Speech, in Australia, apparently 18C is delimited by 18D, which states:

Section 18C does not render unlawful anything said or done reasonably and in good faith: (a) in the performance, exhibition or distribution of an artistic work; or (b) in the course of any statement, publication, discussion or debate made or held for any genuine academic, artistic or scientific purpose or any other genuine purpose in the public interest; or (c) in the making or publishing: (i) a fair and accurate report of any event or matter of public interest; or (ii) a fair comment on any matter of public interest if the comment is an expression of a genuine belief held by the person making the comment.

This attack on Bill Leak really does look like an underemployed HRC Commissioner trying to find some purpose in life, as discussed in August in The Oz: Tim Soutphommasane may be drumming up work as race hate cases fall.

When it comes to discrimination, context is everything. Words that might appear completely innocent can take on a very different character when the full context is understood.

Which brings me to the words of Tim Soutphommasane, the Race Discrimination Commissioner who encouraged people to complain about a cartoon by Bill Leak that appeared in this newspaper.

The commissioner advised the public that complaints should be directed to the organisation where he works, the Australian Human Rights Commission.

His attempt to drum up work for the commission was followed by a torrent of abuse against Leak, whose cartoon depicted an Aboriginal policeman returning a delinquent Aboriginal youth to his equally delinquent father. On Soutphommasane’s Facebook page, the commissioner reproduced Leak’s cartoon and invoked the heads of liability in section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act: “If there are Aboriginal Australians who have been racially ­offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated, they can consider lodging a complaint under the ­Racial Discrimination Act with the commission.”

He had seemingly prejudged those complaints, which raises doubts about whether the commission itself can now deal fairly with this affair.

It appears to be his job to be offended on behalf of the community. If no one else will take offence, then he will just have to do it himself.