I need some urgent advice

I am heading off to California and while I am at Stanford for a couple of days I expect I will see the person who I have known longer than anyone else in the whole of my life. But he is now from California and has all the political blindness that comes not just from being on the left coast, but from being right in the heart of Silicon Valley. He knows my political views, but is too obtuse to leave off. And although we are an ocean apart, he never lets up from sending me political junk mail, with the latest torrents about Donald Trump and the disaster he supposedly is. Here are the latest few:

Economic dynamism falls across the US

Donald Trump’s epic betrayal of America’s middle class

Donald Trump’s unpredictability is destabilising the world

Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation

One a day, sometimes two and today three. I don’t think you can open the first three, but he thoughtfully includes the entire article in the body of the emails for me to read. But you can see from their titles what I mean.

As those who read my posts will know, I am an easy going person, highly tolerant of different opinions, and especially welcome the views of leftist ideologues and economic ignoramuses. Nevertheless, I worry that I might inadvertently say something on this last time we may meet, along the lines of you are the stupidest, dumbest nit-f’n-wit I have ever met in my life, which might mean we sever this lifelong friendship. We managed to make it through eight years of George Bush Jr, eight years of Obama, including the 2008 election where his wife asked, but surely you don’t support Sarah Palin (addressed to my wife, of all things, who is the hardliner in the family). But this time it’s different, specially having written a book and all (Melbourne launch at 12:00 noon on June 6) which I have naturally never mentioned to him. Nor does he even know I blog.

Other than major trancs and a crash course in Zen, is there any advice on what I should do to get through these days?

An economic wasteland

Do economists actually have anything of value to contribute to the economic debate? The quotes are from an article from Breitbart
looking at the opinions of the left’s favourite economic advisors. But among all of the quotes, this is truly the most bizarre. Eight years of Obama during which for the first time in history there was not a single year of growth above 3 percent, we find this:

Former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Alice Rivlin argued that Trump’s budget is “optimistic.”

“They are very optimistic,” she said. “We haven’t seen 3 percent growth for a long time.”

Yet it never occurs to her she has been massively wrong in all of her judgements. But after Alice, there is then this from Larry Summers:

Apparently, the budget forecasts that U.S. economic growth will rise to 3.0 percent because of the administration’s policies — largely its tax cuts and perhaps also its regulatory policies. Fair enough if you believe in tooth fairies and ludicrous supply-side economics.

I know it hasn’t been tried since the 1980s in the US not since, you know, the Reagan administration, but it did seem to work then. Meanwhile all this Keynesian stimulus stuff has run the American economy, along with everyone else’s, into the ground. Do they ever wonder?

Trump does well media go silent

Why Trump has been out of the news today: Trump’s Middle East Trip Was a Big, Surprising Success—and the Iranian Regime is Nervous. A few excerpts for the record:

So how is Trump’s first foreign trip as president playing out? Suddenly, the scandal-mired President seems like a plausible world leader. He is certainly a more welcome guest in the capitols of America’s traditional allies than his predecessor, President Barack Obama. In addition to enjoying the show, viewers at home—the ones who voted for Trump last fall—likely appreciate the $110 billion arms deal Trump struck with Saudi Arabia. With another $350 billion to come over the next decade, those contracts will certainly help put assembly-line Americans back to work. . . .

The Iranian regime isn’t very happy. Trump’s photo ops stole the entire foreign policy news cycle from an Iranian regime that wanted a few days of good press after its rigged presidential elections last Friday. The message that Tehran received from the presidential pomp and circumstance in Riyadh is that things are different now.

The Obama administration moved quietly behind the scenes to reorient American policy toward Iran, while it pulled the rug out from under traditional American allies. Among other things, the Obama White House leaked Israeli strikes against Hezbollah convoys, it coordinated operations with Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, and it stood aside as Bashar al-Assad waged a genocidal campaign in Syria so as not to affect the prospects of the nuclear deal with Iran.

The Iranians know how much they owe the Obama administration—whether it was air support for Qassem Soleimani in Tikrit, legitimization of Iranian interests in Yemen, deterring Israel from striking their nuclear facilities, turning a blind eye as they built a highway from Tehran to Baghdad to Damascus to Beirut.

Now the Americans are dancing with the Arabs and praying with the Jews, and Iran is on its own again.

Sounds good to me. Why not to everyone? Meanwhile a few extras from Drudge to remind ourselves there is more going on than the sacking of the FBI Director:

Whistleblower: Obama knowingly let in MS-13 gang…
Trump moves to deport…

US warship challenges Beijing’s claims in South China Sea…


Manchester Bomber Fought in Libya, ‘Wanted Revenge’…
Father, brother arrested…
Al Qaeda-link…
PAPER: Bomb maker at large and could strike again…

What if a politician slammed a journalist to the floor?

Fascinating story. This is how it begins.

The Republican candidate for Montana’s congressional seat slammed a Guardian reporter to the floor on the eve of the state’s special election, breaking his glasses and shouting, “Get the hell out of here.”

This is how it continues:

A statement by campaign spokesman Shane Scanlon blamed Jacobs for the altercation, saying that he “entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face, and began asking badgering questions”.

“Jacobs was asked to leave,” the statement reads. “After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground.

“It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.”

How about a forward lash before we start worrying about a backlash

That is, why don’t we first concentrate on what we can do to prevent young girls, or anyone else for that matter, from being blown to bits by 22-year-old theologians. From Nothing to see here, folks — really?.

So here was MSNBC, with Comrade Chris Matthews speaking over a live video feed from the blood-spattered Ariana Grande concert, the live screams of the terrified young girls in the background, as he says with disinterest:

“We’ll get the latest on that in a minute” — more screams — “but first, the shocking news in Washington tonight, the Washington Post reports that — ”

More fake news! . . .

Stephanopoulos: “This is also likely to inflame anti-Islamic sentiment across Britain, across Europe.”

Martha Raddatz, whose wedding Barack Obama attended, agreed: “It will likely create backlash.”

These people are insane, lacking any semblance of human feeling to advance a sick and decadent agenda. As here, in this Q&A:

Question: Why is there never a warning about Backlash before the suspect is named?

Answer: Because if the suspect turns out to be one of the few the media can claim are “right wing” (Nazis, etc.), then the media does not warn against backlash, but actively crusades in favor of it.

The cartoon above is from Quadrant Online whose website, for reasons unknown, now takes about thirty seconds to open.

Keynesian internationalism is the new communism

A fascinating column by Paul Kelly this morning and how often can you say that? It is about how the Chinese are trying to set up an international system of masters and serfs with the Chinese leading the way. Its title is a bit inscrutable but the advice to be cautious is dead on: One Belt, One Road: Australia needs to bide its time. In essence, the Chinese are seeking to lead an international movement in which government spending and direction are at the centre. Private sector activity may then follows at the periphery but the government takes the lead. Malcolm is a sucker for just such a vision, a vision he continues to advance domestically to our immense cost. Here is the essence of the plan:

Ten days ago 29 national leaders and delegates from 110 nations including Australia came to Beijing in response to a “summons” — an invitation, of course — to honour a Chinese dream and become participants in Xi’s vision to re-create the ancient Silk Road and jointly build the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road.

It is an idea so big and sprawling that it is hard to grasp, a sign of weakness as well as ambition. It extends into Asia, Africa, Europe and the Pacific.

It is the next stage in China’s projection as a global and regional power and constitutes a fusion of two of China’s immense skills, infrastructure construction and financial backing. . . .

Building influence through infrastructure and financial power is the essence of Xi’s strategy, and hyperbole about Belt and Road seems limitless. . . . But the extent to which China’s balance sheet can be leveraged for infrastructure projects in other countries, often of dubious financial viability, remains unknown.

Malcolm is, of course, a past master at leveraging infrastructure projects of dubious financial viability. Bad ideas are his forte. Stay tuned.

To which we may now add: China credit rating downgraded by Moody’s which begins:

China’s credit rating has been cut one notch by Moody’s due to the rising debt needed to keep the economy growing.

Non-productive spending will do it every time. If you don’t produce what can then be sold eventually you cannot repay your debts.

“Sick and unhinged” comments about the ABC

The Quadrant article in full: The Manchester Bomber’s ABC Pals

Junketeering warmist Lawrence Krauss last night explained on Q&A why refrigerators are more dangerous than Islamic terror, an obscene absurdity compere Tony Jones allowed to go unchallenged. That was last night. This morning, with nary a fridge in sight, the slaughter in Manchester

Did you endure Q&A, stick with Monday’s show until near the very end? It’s always difficult, what with Tony Jones’ tactical interruptions and the inevitable stacking of panel and audience – although last night’s presentation didn’t even bother with the pretense of ‘balance’. Unless you count The Australian’s Niki Savva as a PR operative for Malcolm Turnbull, which you should, every invited voice was a smug simper straight from the green-left heart of ABC luvviedom: the imminent peril of climate change, Australia’s vile racism, nuclear war, the cretinous absurdity of religious belief, Donald Trump as an evil four-year-old, puppetmaster Putin and his White House marionette ….

Even by Q&A’s standards it was a full-court press of approved opinions, which is why Jones needed to interrupt only a handful of times. With no conservative on the panel, the compere could relax, dig the vibe, bask in likeminded company, allow the flow of virtuous clichés to proceed without the disruptions he brings to bear whenever an ideologically unsound guest is poised to make a salient point.

So cosy was Q&A‘s groupthink gathering that, with just a few minutes to go, compere and guests felt emboldened to address Islamic terror without the de rigeur qualifications that customarily follow every latest scraping of body parts off footpaths and buses — or, this very morning, mopping the blood and flesh off the concourse of a Manchester concert venue where at least 19 blameless humans have been shredded. According to preliminary reports many of the victims were teenage girls no older than Aisha, Mohammad’s beloved child bride.

Jones would have needed to stick his bib in had there been a conservative on hand, someone prepared to hazard the audience’s jeers by saying, ‘Look, as a political system dressed as a religion, Islam blows up infidels because, one way or another – breeding or bombs – its adherents are fully confident their system will subsume ours.” Instead, untroubled by the annoyance of a naysaying voice, the panel did what luvvies do best: traded the noxious nostrums that are their craven stock-in-trade, the rationales and “explanations” that demonstrate, at least to their own satisfaction, why they are so much sharper than those who regard dismembered 13-year-olds as cause for concern.

Here’s the Guardian’s Mona Chalabi. If you can stomach the video, she flings her faux pearls before the Islamophobes and swinish hoi polloi at the show’s 56-minute mark (emphasis added):

…actually, the threat of Islamic fundamentalism, if you want to view it in terms of number of dead bodies, which, as awful as it sounds, is the way to kind of make sense of some threat, actually, really, isn’t that present…

… the chance of being killed by a foreign-born terrorist is one in 3.6 million … but all of our perception of threat has been distorted because of the way that risk is presented to us by politicians.

A smug stick insect and tireless self-promoter, fellow guest Lawrence Krauss, the warmist shill who has the gall to present himself as a man of science, couldn’t resist the temptation to demonstrate a nuanced acuity. Below are his actual words, reproduced verbatim. Try not to throw up.

You’re more likely to be killed by a refrigerator, in the United States, falling on you.

If you need to read this loathsome creature’s glib sophistry once more, just to grasp the full breadth of its breathtaking brazenness, brace yourself and do so.

Tumbling refrigerators are a bigger hazard than Islamic terrorism? God Almighty but that Krauss is a filthy liar.

What, Kelvinators killed more people than died in San Bernadino, where a Muslim couple turned on workmates who had just thrown them a baby shower, gunning them down at their desks?

What, falling Frigidaires claimed more lives than a Muslim gunman methodically executing homosexuals in an Orlando nightclub?

This was a moment when Jones really should have interrupted, asked Krauss if he lies about everything, not just when reality and circumstance intrude on favoured pieties.

But of course Jones was silent. It’s a monstrously absurd and obscene self-evident untruth to claim that refrigerators are more dangerous than terrorists, but it fits with the approved narrative, so not a peep from the man who is paid by the national broadcaster to promote fair, free, frank and factual debate on matters of national importance.

This morning, mere hours after Jones’ guests pocketed their ABC taxi vouchers and repaired to hotel rooms paid for with taxpayer dollars processed through the Sydney Writers Festival, mere children were torn to pieces on the other side of the world.

Life isn’t fair and death less so. What if that blast had detonated in an Ultimo TV studio? Unlike those young girls in Manchester, their lives snuffed out before they could begin, none of the panel’s likely casualties would have represented the slightest reduction in humanity’s intelligence, decency, empathy or honesty.

Mind you, as Krauss felt his body being penetrated by the Prophet’s shrapnel of nuts, bolts and nails, those goitered eyes might in their last glimmering have caught a glimpse of vindication.

A blast of Manchester dimensions must surely knock over the studio’s lunchroom refrigerator. Allah only knows how many innocent lives that shocking incident might claim.

And the response: ABC boss Michelle Guthrie demands apology from Quadrant. This is the full story from The Oz.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has blasted Quadrant for its “sick and unhinged” comments about the ABC after an opinion piece suggested it would have been better off if the Manchester terrorist attack took place in the public broadcaster’s Sydney headquarters.

Senator Fifield told a budget estimates hearing that as the minister responsible for the ABC he wanted to make it clear the article “constitutes a new low in Australian public debate”.

CHRIS KENNY: Quadrant went too far in wishing violence upon the ABC. But that does not excuse the national broadcaster of its greatest failing.

ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has demanded an apology and the removal of the article from the Quadrant website saying how it would have been better if the Manchester bombing took place in the Q&A studio.

“The managing director of the ABC has written to the editor of Quadrant, John O’Sullivan and the editor of Quadrant online, Roger Franklin, making clear her views on behalf of the organisation,” Senator Fifield said. “And in the letter to Quadrant she says and I quote “I ask that this letter be posted prominently on the Quadrant website, but I also ask that the article, which continues to contain entirely inappropriate comments about possible bombings at the ABC be removed and apologised for.”

READ MORE ABC in jihad denialism CHRIS KENNY: Quadrant went too far, but ABC’s jihad denialism cannot be excused

“I am certain that I speak on behalf of all my colleagues here at the Committee in condemning what Quadrant has posted online. We can all disagree with what particular media outlets do and say. That is appropriate in a democracy. But the comments by Quadrant are sick and unhinged.”

In an opinion piece posted on the conservative publication’s website last night, online editor Roger Franklin wrote “had there been a shred of justice’’ the Manchester bomber would have blown up Monday’s night’s Q&A panel.

“This morning, mere hours after (host Tony) Jones’ guests pocketed their ABC taxi vouchers and repaired to hotel rooms paid for with taxpayer dollars processed through the Sydney Writers’ Festival, mere children were torn to pieces on the other side of the world,” Franklin wrote.

“Life isn’t fair and death less so. Had there been a shred of justice, that blast would have detonated in an Ultimo TV studio. Unlike those young girls in Manchester, their lives snuffed out before they could begin, none of the panel’s likely casualties would have represented the slightest reduction in humanity’s intelligence, decency, empathy or honesty.’’

An amended version of the paragraph now appears on the website saying: “Life isn’t fair and death less so. What if that blast had detonated in an Ultimo TV studio? …’’

In a statement this morning, Ms Guthire condemned Quadrant describing the article as “vicious and offensive’’.

“Quadrant promotes itself as ‘the leading general intellectual journal of ideas’. Those words ring hollow in the wake of last night’s vicious and offensive attack on the ABC, its staff and its program guests,’’ said Ms Guthrie.

“To take issue with our programming and our content is one thing. But to express the wish that, if there were any justice, the horrific terrorist bombing in Manchester would have taken place in the ABC’s Ultimo studio and killed those assembled there is a new low in Australian public debate.’’

Ms Guthrie said Franklin’s “subsequent attempt to make amends by changing some of the wording (without acknowledging or apologising for the original article) has done little to undo the damage’’.

“The article continues to state that if a blast occurred in one of our studios, none of the likely casualties ‘would have represented the slightest reduction in humanity’s intelligence, decency, empathy or honesty’.

“Like many others, I am appalled at your willingness to turn an act of terrorism in the United Kingdom into a means of making a political point against those you disagree with. One of the immediate results of this behaviour is that while our staff both here and in Manchester were working long hours to provide extensive coverage of this unfolding tragedy, we were also forced to reassure worried staff who had read your article and call in our own security experts to assess any possible impact flowing from your inflammatory words.

“I ask that this response be posted prominently on the Quadrant website, and I also ask that the article, which continues to contain entirely inappropriate comments about possible bombings at the ABC, be removed and apologised for.’’

Eight years is a long time in politics

As they all too well know, if Trump succeeds where they have failed, their destination is the scrap-heap of history. So where are we in the Middle East? From Drudge.




And for good measure: The Transcript of Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia.

Also a brief reminder: Andrew Bolt to launch Art of the Impossible in Melbourne @ 12:00 noon on June 6

Andrew Bolt to launch Art of the Impossible in Melbourne on June 6 @ 12:00 noon

We’re only a few weeks into Donald Trump’s miracle tenure as president and the efforts by what has been called “the deep state” to bring his presidency to a premature end are evident at every turn. Andrew Bolt has very kindly agreed to launch my book, The Art of the Impossible, in Melbourne on June 6. The details of when and where are found here.

And as much as I think of the book as an important and valuable record of why and how Trump won the election, I now think of it as even more important as we try to keep our bearings in the face of the unprecedented manic and deceitful efforts by those who have been removed from the levers of power to overturn the result. Others are welcome to disagree, but to me this is a battle for the preservation of Western Civilisation against barbarous hordes of ignorant and dangerous fools, many of whom are already within the gates. This is what will be discussed on the day.

Andrew Bolt needs no introduction. I can only say how extraordinarily pleased and honoured I am that he has agreed to launch the book, which is a far cry from saying that he agrees with any or all of it. Come along on the day to hear his views and mine on Donald Trump, his election and his prospects. As it says at the link:

Join Tim Wilms from The Unshackled who will act as chair and moderator followed by two important speakers, Andrew Bolt from the Herald Sun and Steven Kates, author of The Art of the Impossible: A Blog History of the Election of Donald J. Trump as President. Both will discuss the topic of Dr Kates’ book, the lead up to the election of Donald Trump and what has happened since. Patrons can order themselves lunch at an affordable price while listening to the speakers discuss a very important and enjoyable topic. There will be also an opportunity to purchase The Art of the Impossible and have it signed after the event.

The launch is on Tuesday June 6 from 12:00 noon – 1:45. The venue:

Il Gambero
166 Lygon Street
Carlton, VIC 3053

You will also need to pre-purchase a ticket for the nominal price of $6.22 which you can use towards the purchase of the book.

And for good measure, you will also be able to buy copies of Economics for Infants on the day as well.

Making sense of Say’s Law

The video has been sent to me as a comment by Kevin Reider which is sincerely appreciated. I will mention that this blog does not publish comments but I do read them all.

I will only briefly comment myself, that the video uses Keynes’s definition which is “supply creates its own demand”, which is similar to the classical “demand is constituted by supply”. But the real point of it all is this: “there is no such thing as deficiency of demand”, or in the words of the classics, “there is no such thing as a general glut”. Exchange is relatively easy to understand. Why public spending in recession will not bring about recovery is almost impossible, but that is the challenge.