The common sense of fifty years ago has evaporated

Here is a post picked up at a site where I think of myself among friends that continues my sense that near enough nobody gets it at this “elite” level. Nazi-Hunting Fantasies Have Unhinged The Left. So this is what he says about the reactions the left make about PDT:

As applied to Trump, they are a bit exaggerated, but close enough to be plausible.

And what are the causes of these plausible but exaggerated reactions?

The problem with their reaction to Donald Trump is that he seems to so totally vindicate all of their political prejudices that he justifies an even more vicious vilification of anyone who opposes their agenda. Everyone who supports free market capitalism is a rich jerk who looks down on poor people? Check. Anyone who complains about political correctness just wants to be a sexist boor? Check. Anyone who talks hawkishly about Islamic terrorism must be driven by a neurotic need to prove his masculinity? Check. Anyone who doesn’t sign up for the latest iteration of the “diversity” agenda must harbor some kind of implicit sympathy for white nationalists? Yeah, well, check.

His problem is that it is because Trump is like the left’s fantasy view of the right that we are being discredited and will be unable to open a dialogue with the left. But if he actually thinks he has properly characterised the beliefs and attitudes of Donald Trump, then he is as bad as the rest. The common sense of fifty years ago must now have evaporated. So far as Trump’s belief system goes, it looks very similar to the value system of JFK which is, to me all these years later, pretty well where I am still at. Democrats were once sane. Now, even among the supposed right side of politics, insanity at the elite level is common.

Don’t go away it’s still Law of Markets but with a new look

We are coming up to our fifth birthday and the theme of the blog, that is, it’s format and look, has been retired and a new theme has had to be adopted. It was also one of the things I learned as part of my study of shopping centres, that the entire inside of each of the shops had to be completely redone every five years. I find this a bit cheerier and I think it is as clear to read if not a touch better. Anyway, we will stick with this for a bit. The “search” button is a nice new feature but most things are still there that were there before. The blog now has a larger reach than in the past and has even on occasion had more than 5000 hits in a single day, which is pretty good for a site without allowing comments on the posts. No longer just a means to communicate with family and friends, but it still is that as well. Hi Joshi, and hello to everyone else as well.

It must be made illegal on “social media” to deny service to people who say things that are not illegal to say

I have been meaning to get into this for a while because I keep hearing the same mantra that since these social media platforms are privately owned they can do as they like. Well speaking for myself, I don’t think that at all. People don’t sign up for Facebook or Twitter, or open a blog post on some commercial website, building up their own profile based on knowing the political ideology of the people who set the platform up. They are therefore in danger of having quite a bit of the value they have created stolen from them because of some political preference harboured by the people who run the platform. Once these forms of social communication are established and individuals are asked to join and build their own online presence on these platforms, the law must do as I say in the title, it must make it illegal to suspend or deny service to people because they say things the proprietors of such platforms disagree with but which are not in themselves illegal to say.

So let me choose a couple of recent examples of how things are working out. The Rebel is a Canadian online broadcasting website that entirely devotes its resources to defending conservative positions in the media. Quite large in Canada, and now with a presence in Australia, but hardly at the level of the government-funded CBC. But this was in the news just this week: The Rebel disrupted as it loses its domain provider. The story is from The National Post:

The ultra-conservative online Canadian media outlet The Rebel reportedly went dark in some parts of the world Monday after a technology company stopped directing traffic to its site.

Rebel proprietor Ezra Levant told Reuters he was given 24 hours notice of — but no explanation for — the move.

“If this was a political censorship decision, it is terrifying — like a phone company telling you it is cancelling your phone number on 24 hours notice because it doesn’t like your conversations,” Levant told Reuters. He did not identify the company.

It is terrifying, and if and when they come back online, you may be sure they will be more circumspect thereafter. The voices on our side are being thinned down while those on the other are amplified at every turn.

Then there’s Facebook. People go onto Facebook to keep up with family and friends, and some of those people think and say things that your standard issue modern lefty doesn’t like to hear said. Things that are perfectly legal and legitimate to say, but which many of those on the left do not approve of. Here is the principle that needs to apply: If you can say it on a published printed page you must be able to say it on Facebook, and if others don’t like it, they don’t have to read it. Meanwhile Zuckerberg is angling to run for president in 2020 as a Democrat.

This is from Facebook’s Community Standard on Hate Speech:

Facebook removes hate speech, which includes content that directly attacks people based on their:

race,
ethnicity,
national origin,
religious affiliation,
sexual orientation,
sex, gender or gender identity, or
serious disabilities or diseases.

Organisations and people dedicated to promoting hatred against these protected groups are not allowed a presence on Facebook. As with all of our standards, we rely on our community to report this content to us.

What is an “attack”? And who judges? Each and every time, the adjudicators are from a left, if not a far-left perspective. Two things should therefore happen. First, these tech providers must be open to being sued for suspending and forcibly closing accounts unless the company can prove in court that what was being said could not be legally said in public. Second, these are now part of modern social infrastructure in the same way as banks and hospitals. They must be compelled by law to accept and maintain on an equal basis anyone who wishes to participate in their services. This is not something the market can or will fix. There can be only one Facebook. It only works if everyone can join. If the proprietors of Facebook don’t want to work within the new rules, then they can sell up to someone else who does.

So let’s see how this sort of thing works at the moment. This is from Instapundit today. And note the author of the post self-describes himself in this way:

#Republican candidate for US Senate. Radical philosopher & social critic. Captain, lawyer, agitator, rebel. The most dangerous #Libertarian in America.

That is, a prime candidate to end up banned at Facebook. This is what did it.

Just got banned from for posting this to my campaign page. Not politically motivated at all …

Do you not see a problem that needs to be fixed? Then keep your head in the sand. I’m not sure it can be fixed, but to think the market will self-correct is just a form of self-delusion.

And then there was this: After Charlottesville, Even Dating Apps Are Cracking Down on Hate. From which:

The Silicon Valley companies that make money off social media and online services have started to enact strong measures against extremism, barring white nationalists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis and others who follow creeds they deem racist and hateful.

Facebook and Twitter have developed tools to allow users to report hate speech and harassment. PayPal has blocked hate groups from using its financial services, and the ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft have urged drivers to report unacceptable customers. Airbnb took steps to stop white nationalists from renting rooms through its app before their gathering in Charlottesville, Va.

Most remarkably, perhaps, the efforts have even spread to the free-wheeling world of dating apps, where users have for years been welcome to screen potential lovers based on everything from height to religious beliefs.

And to be more specific OkCupid Banned Me for Supporting Our President by Cassandra Fairbanks.

While on vacation in Florida, I was informed by other Twitter users that my OkCupid account — which is largely inactive — has been suspended. This was presumably due to my open support for President Donald Trump.

On the weekend following the disastrous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, I had been scheduled to speak at a rally in support of free speech in Boston. Despite many of the speakers being people of color, and the most exciting speaker of the day being Va Shiva from India who addressed the crowd while standing in front of signs that read “Black Lives Do Matter,” the rally was falsely labeled a “white supremacist” rally by the liberal media and the city’s joke of a mayor, Marty Walsh.

Threats and accusations immediately rolled in, from hundreds of people who just blindly follow whatever the mainstream media tells them — and suddenly I was branded a “Nazi” for daring to agree to speak at a rally supporting our most important right. It was exactly what Trump supporters had worried would happen following the “punch a Nazi” meme. All it takes to now be tarred as “literally Hitler,” no matter the color of your skin or actual political beliefs, is support for our president. . . .

I have reached out to OkCupid to confirm that my ban was due to supporting the president — as obviously they will be unable to provide a shred of evidence that I am racist or belong to a “hate group.” The company had not responded by press time.

She then adds at the end what I think is the biggest mistake we make: “I personally believe that companies have a right to deny service to anyone they want.”

Well I do not. Is it illegal to say what these people say? Then you just have to put up with the possibility that if you go on a dating site, you might end up paired with a Democrat. After the interview date you can work out whether you are compatible or not. This categorisation of others by people who are politically and morally clueless in every way is a serious problem and should not be permitted. If you open this kind of service, open to any and all, no discrimination should be permitted by law based on race, religion, creed etc etc or on one’s personal beliefs however repellent they may be to you or to the proprietors of these “social” media platforms.

The laws should be just like the laws that apply to renting out your house.

The “far right” is actually just the far left

Here’s an article you would think is on our side, even coming with the cartoon you see above: The First Step in Fighting Barbarity is to Speak Out. But there, right near the end, we find this:

Well, I oppose the far right in whatever form they take, be it that of extreme ethnic nationalism or Islamo-fascism.

Militant Islam is on the right! Left-right has in many ways lost its meaning but that is ridiculous. The “far right” are invariably socialist and collectivist – see National Socialist Workers Party as just one example of many – and are thus part of the left in every way that counts. The difference between the National Socialists and the communists was in the word “national”. The communist version is characterised by the phrase, “workers of the world unite”, a presumption that was shattered for all time in 1914 when the workers in every country of Europe lined up with their own national governments as they marched off to war. The only difference between these ideological soul mates is whether they pretend they are seizing power for the good of the people of the world or only for the people of their own nation state. All the rest – in fact even that, especially that – are just lies and deceit. Radical Islamic Terrorists exactly fit the mould.

So let me assert one very simple way to tell left from right which is the John Stuart Mill On Liberty test. This is Mill’s own test and if you accept his “very simple principle” then we are comrades in arms on the right side of the political divide. If you do not, then you are part of the left, and the farther from this very simple principle your beliefs happen to be, then you are to that extent a member of the far left, which naturally includes communists, Nazis, Antifa and most of the media.

The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to some one else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

I gave a copy to each of the children of my cousins back home, with no real hope that any of them will read the book but just so they will actually have heard the name. Meantime, almost everyone I know, if it came to the crunch, is more like to line up with Antifa than the Mises Institute. This is the great danger of our age, that ignorance not only of what is needed to preserve our freedoms but what these freedoms even are. And if you haven’t read On Liberty, or haven’t read it recently, you really do owe it to yourself to at least go through Chapter One.

AND NOW ALSO THIS TODAY: From J.J. Sefton at Ace of Spades with the same message: How Can There Be “Right Wing Extremists” If the Right Believes in Individual Liberty and Freedom, OR Why the Left-Center-Right Paradigm Is a Myth. Read the lot, but here is a sample:

THERE IS NO LEFT/RIGHT PARADIGM. There are only those who believe in freedom and liberty and those who do not; or more precisely, those who are willing to take advantage of the good nature and gullibility of all too many to seize control and to tear down America as founded, Judeo-Christianity, the Scottish Enlightenment, free market capitalism and every other aspect of real human progress the aforementioned have fostered over the past 2,000 years of history.

We cannot allow the left to get away with its moral equivalency argument, which is one of their techniques for hiding their own hideous past, and the first place to start is to recognise no such equivalency exists. Keeping the blood soaked history of the left in constant view – which includes National Socialism – must become an absolute standard part of the political debate from our side of the divide.

The Google memo

I tried finding James Damore’s memo and it is already three quarters of the way down the memory hole so I thought I’d put it up in case anyone else wanted to read what he wrote. Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber. These are the conclusions.

Suggestions

I hope it’s clear that I’m not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn’t try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the majority. My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don’t fit a certain ideology. ​I’m also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I’m advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another
member of their group (tribalism).

My concrete suggestions are to:

● De-moralize diversity.
○ As soon as we start to ​moralize an issue​, we stop thinking about it in terms of costs and benefits, dismiss anyone that disagrees as immoral, and harshly punish those we see as villains to protect the “victims.”

● Stop ​alienating conservatives​.
○ Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity and political orientation is one of the most fundamental and significant ways in which people view things differently.
○ In highly progressive environments, conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to ​stay in the closet to avoid open hostility​. We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselves.
○ Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because ​conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness​, which is required for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company.

● Confront Google’s biases.
○ I’ve mostly concentrated on how our biases cloud our thinking about diversity and inclusion, but our moral biases are farther reaching than that.
○ I would start by breaking down Googlegeist scores by political orientation and personality to give a fuller picture into how our biases are affecting our culture.

● Stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races.
○ These discriminatory practices are both unfair and divisive. Instead focus on some of the non-discriminatory practices I outlined. Have an open and honest discussion about the costs and benefits of our diversity programs.
○ Discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech is as misguided and biased as mandating increases for women’s representation in the homeless, work-related and violent deaths, prisons, and school dropouts.
○ There’s currently very little transparency into the extent of our diversity programs which keeps it immune to criticism from those outside its ideological echo chamber.
○ These programs are highly politicized which further alienates non-progressives.
○ I realize that some of our programs may be precautions against government accusations of discrimination, but that can easily backfire since they incentivize illegal discrimination. Focus on psychological safety, not just race/gender diversity.
○ We should focus on psychological safety, which has shown positive effects and should (hopefully) not lead to unfair discrimination.
○ We need psychological safety and shared values to gain the benefits of diversity.
○ Having representative viewpoints is important for those designing and testing our products, but the benefits are less clear for those more removed from UX. De-emphasize empathy.
○ I’ve heard several calls for increased empathy on diversity issues. While I strongly support trying to understand how and why people think the way they do, relying on affective empathy—feeling another’s pain—causes us to focus on anecdotes, favor individuals similar to us, and harbor other ​irrational and dangerous biases​. Being emotionally unengaged helps us better reason about the facts.

● Prioritize intention.
○ Our focus on microaggressions and other unintentional transgressions increases our sensitivity, which is not universally positive: sensitivity increases both our tendency to take offence and our self censorship, leading to authoritarian policies. Speaking up without the fear of being harshly judged is central to psychological safety, but these practices can remove that safety by judging unintentional transgressions.
○ Microaggression training ​incorrectly and dangerously equates speech with violence​ ​and ​isn’t backed by evidence​. Be open about the science of human nature.
○ Once we acknowledge that not all differences are socially constructed or due to discrimination, we open our eyes to a more accurate view of the human condition which is necessary if we actually want to solve problems. Reconsider making Unconscious Bias training mandatory for promo committees.
○ We haven’t been able to measure any effect of our Unconscious Bias training and it has the potential for overcorrecting or backlash, especially if made mandatory.
○ Some of the suggested methods of the current training (v2.3) are likely useful, but the political bias of the presentation is clear from the factual inaccuracies and the examples shown.
○ Spend more time on the ​many other types of biases​ ​besides stereotypes.
○ Stereotypes are much more ​accurate and responsive to new information​ ​than the training suggests (I’m not advocating for using stereotypes, I just pointing out the factual inaccuracy of what’s said in the training).

And in case that link goes cold, here is another which comes with Google’s reply via its Diversity Officer. And here is another with the diagrams included.

And here’s another interview.

And here is one more link to the memo.

My letter to The Economist on Say’s Law

Let me not deny that I am disappointed that The Economist did not print my letter to the editor in response to its article on Say’s Law but I am not in the least surprised. To even admit that there is a case for Say’s Law would discredit the whole of mainstream macro for the past three quarters of a century. It would also almost entirely remove the case for non-productive public spending as a stimulus to growth both during recessions or any other time as well. Here’s the letter which I will annotate as I go along

To the editor

It is very pleasing to see you dealing with the question of Say’s Law which has been virtually exiled from mainstream economic discourse since the publication of Keynes’s General Theory in 1936.

And having been for many years attempting to explain why understanding this principle is crucial if economic policy is not to continually ruin our economies through various stimulus packages, I am more than aware how difficult making sense of Say’s Law is if you start from modern economic presuppositions.

The Economist actually noted two of them which they instantly breached proving how difficult it is to keep modern presuppositions out of our reading of the classics. First the article correctly said this:

To grasp Say’s point requires two intellectual jumps. The first is to see past money, which can obscure what is really going on in an economy. The second is to jump from micro to macro, from a worm’s eye view of individual plants and specific customers to a panoramic view of the economy as a whole.

Don’t initially think about the operation of an economy using money which will only cloud your understanding. Money can only be brought in at the end after we have understood what is going on in the real economy. Then, not only should you bring in money but it is essential if you are to understand how the existence of money distorts economic relationships. And if we are discussing Say’s Law, the entire economy has to be in view, not just individual firms and industries. But with The Economist having noted you need to leave out money and ignore the micro side in discussing Say’s Law, the very next para reads:

Firms, like coal plants and cotton mills, sell their products for money. But in order to obtain that money, their customers must themselves have previously sold something of value. Thus, before they can become a source of demand, customers must themselves have been a source of supply.

Micro not macro, and immediately introduces money. A modern economist finds the conceptual structure of classical theory almost impossible. This is, moreover, not trivial. In the view of the classics, you will never get even the most basic stuff right if you break these rules. So let me go on with my letter.

So if I may, let me try this tack. First let me point out that the term “Say’s” Law was invented by the American economist, Fred Taylor, and popularised in his introductory text, published in 1921. Say neither invented the concept nor was he its best defender.

Second, the phrase “supply creates its own demand” is not classical in origin but was first used in print by another American economist, Harlan McCracken, in his Value Theory and Business Cycles and published in 1933 – a text Keynes is known to have read while writing the General Theory.

No Keynesian even tries to deny this, and I have brought this up with everyone. All they can do is ignore these facts which has so far worked very well for them. But the point I am making, which they understand all too well, is that the standard mythological story how Keynes came to write The General Theory is wildly incomplete. Taylor and McCracken are included in no one’s versions but my own. But their influence is undeniable. And it also turns Keynes from that honest broker thinking through these various issues into a less than fully honest scholar who was taking in other people’s material without acknowledgement. Now back to the letter.

The actual meaning of Say’s Law was described by Keynes as “Ricardo’s doctrine” [GT page 32] with its meaning clearly stated: “that it was impossible for effective demand to be deficient”.

But to argue that recessions do not occur because of a deficiency of demand does not in any way imply there are not many other potential reasons why an economy might end up in recession with high rates of involuntary unemployment.

Of course, Keynes’s great lie was to argue that classical economists had no theory to explain involuntary unemployment. But it was on the basis of this utterly fantastic untruth that he sold his theory to economists and political leaders, when the reality was that demand deficiency was, among classical economists, the single most discredited fallacy in the whole of economic theory even while they were discussing many other reasons for recessions and why they occurred. Modern macro is a classical fallacy. Why does no one know this? Because there is almost not a single economist you know who could tell you what the classical theory of the cycle and involuntary unemployment was. Try your luck. All economists are still taught classical economists had no such theory. It is possible that Keynes was only an ignoramus but that is the same to me. He knew nothing about the theory of the cycle and he has passed that ignorance onto everyone else. Back to the letter.

The article uses this as an example of the problems caused by demand deficiency: “In Britain government spending was cut by 40% after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Some 300,000 discharged soldiers and sailors were forced to seek alternative employment.”

Let me therefore point out that at the end of World War II there were even larger reductions in employment across the armed forces as well as massive cuts to armaments expenditure, with the budget immediately balanced in the United States as soon as the war had ended. The consequence was the most sustained period of rapid growth in world history.

They love to point out that it was only World War II that pulled our economies out of the Great Depression, but the dates of the Depression are 1929-1933. World War II starts in 1939. It is only in the US with its Keynesian New Deal that the Depression continued until 1940 when the War did finally pull the US out of the Depression. The great counter-example is, however, what happened when the war came to an end. Get a Keynesian to explain that without the magic words “pent-up demand”. Demand was no more “pent up” in 1945 than it had been in 1935. To the letter again.

There is always demand if producers supply what others wish to buy. That is not a truism. It is not only the basis for explaining why economies enter recessions since producers don’t always supply what buyers want, it is also an attempt to explain what Say’s Law means and why modern macroeconomic theory is misguided.

A brief statement of the classical theory of the cycle. Which leads to the conclusion.

A debate on Say’s Law is long overdue which I hope your article will help to provoke.

The Economist, along with almost the whole of mainstream economics, have not an answer to any of it other than to walk on by. By we are going to be plunged into poverty because of this bizarre belief fostered in every macroeconomics text, that spending is what makes an economy grow.

IN REPLY TO COMMENTS: Rob queried whether Say’s Law is not a truism, so I wrote the following which, I think, helps see the point at issue.

A Keynesian says that an economy can go into recession for lack of demand. It is not a truism because Keynesians specifically deny that “there is always demand if producers supply what others wish to buy”. If they said people have stopped spending because they have become alarmed by external events which had caused business confidence to fall, they would be repeating the classical theory of the cycle. But what Keynes did was argue that demand just falls off because due to the Marginal Propensity to Consume, as incomes grow, proportionately less output is bought and proportionally more is saved. Meanwhile, because of a falling Marginal Efficiency of Capital, investment does not rise fast enough to soak up all those now excess savings. Utterly idiotic, I know, but that’s the theory. And I apologise to our non-economist readers for the jargon.

My point is that Say’s Law is true but hardly obvious. Therefore, not a truism. That the general glut debate lasted as long as it did [according to Sowell from 1820 till 1848] shows how hard it can be to see the point. Meanwhile, Say’s Law has always appeared obvious beyond argument to me, but only since I learned what it meant by reading Mill. There is also no doubt it is far from obvious to most of the people I deal with. If you see it, you are definitely not your average ordinary everyday economist. I would never argue that Mill gets everything right, but I would argue that if he is wrong, he is wrong for very deep and abstract reasons that would take a lot of effort to see past.

The left are ignorant, hate-filled and destructive

The modern left have nothing positive to contribute. It is completely wrong to say they are well-meaning but mis-informed. They are savages who have nothing to teach us other than to inform us of who the enemies of civilisation are. They have a right to free speech as do we all. They have no right to riotous assembly. They are what our police forces are there to protect us from.

Is anyone even aware that the Lincoln Memorial was vandalized with explicit, as in vulgar, graffiti just this week.

This is as repulsive as it is possible to be, and the news has been all but obliterated by a media that is as repulsive as the people on whom they do not report.

The Taliban of the modern American left

The American Civil War ended a long long time ago, but the American left has now decided to refight the war when slavery has vanished and racist attitudes in the US are at an all-time low, of course absolutely forgetting that it was only Democrats who were members of the KKK when the KKK was a force to be reckoned with. World War II ended in 1945, but the American left seeks to refight this war as well in its march against fascism which disappeared seventy years ago only to re-emerge during the 1960s among the New Left. The Cold War against Russian communism ended at the end of the 1980s, but the American left has decided to refight the war against Russia now that it is no longer a communist state. And, not to be forgotten is that the slave states were all Democrat, that the left was utterly opposed to entering the second World War until communist Russia itself was attacked by the National Socialist Workers Party of Germany, and that during the Cold War the greatest defenders of mutual coexistence with Russia – that is, appeasement – were Democrats. Now they are revisiting these ancient long-settled issues in the midst of our present battles conveniently forgetting which side they were on when these issues were actually current. And what is the big issue of our time right now? Radical Islam. And who are its friends. Why, once again, it is the self-same Democrats who have been the perennial enemies of freedom, as they most certainly are again.

In the whole of the United States at the present time, there would hardly be as many as 100,000 “Nazis” or members of the Klan, who would have about as much political clout as a modern prohibitionist. Their sole value in today’s world are as background props for Democrats to parade themselves as soldiers of virtue, when they are actually America’s greatest danger. Here is an interesting take on it all, from a source who knows, truly knows, where the enemies of today really are. From Criticism grows over Netanyahu’s response to US neo-Nazism.

Criticism grew Thursday over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s limited response to a US white supremacist rally and President Donald Trump’s controversial remarks about it, with calls for him to speak out against anti-Semitism. . . .

So far, Netanyahu’s only response to the weekend white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that ended in bloodshed was a tweet on Tuesday that many saw as vague.

“Outraged by expressions of anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism and racism. Everyone should oppose this hatred,” Netanyahu posted in English.

A Facebook post by Netanyahu’s son Yair further raised eyebrows.

He denounced “neo-Nazi scum,” but added that they were “dying out” and seemed to suggest left-wing counter-protesters “who hate my country” were a growing threat.

So where are we now? To show how anti-whatever they are, Next on Liberal’s List for Destruction- Confederate Carvings at Stone Mountain Memorial. Which reminds me of the same deranged mentality displayed by the Taliban in destroying the Buddhist statues of Bamiyan. Sickening vandalism but ruthless displays of an arrogant disregard for anything other than their own will to power.

Who are the actual fascists, the actual brown shirts, the actual Nazis of the moment? They are by close analogy the Democrats and their violent “Antifa” allies. And there are millions who will take their path as they are guided on their stupefied way by our ignorant and historically illiterate modern journalists whose vacuous writings are little different in their truth content and direction than the average weekly postings of Der Stürmer had been in the 1920s.

I knew they were out to lunch …

… but had no idea how truly out of it they are. From the front page of today’s AFR.

Liberal MPs despairing at the mounting crises plaguing the government are starting to question the political judgment of the Prime Minister’s office and whether the Coalition can win the next election.

They must live in the tightest, most self-contained bubble ever constructed.

PDT reveals his soul

I wrote a while ago about being in need of some urgent advice in regard to a high school friend who I was then about to visit who continually sends me anti-Trump material from CNN etc. He is a two-times-over legal migrant, first from the Hungarian workers’ paradise to Canada in 1956, and then second from the Canadian workers’ paradise to not just the workers’ paradise of California, but to Silicon Valley itself in the early 1970s. There he ran his own business enterprise where he would sack willy nilly any excess staff at the mere hint of a downturn in demand but has been successful enough to end up in a $US5 million dollar home, his and hers Mercedes, a Mercedes van so that he can take his sailboard to the coast, not to mention his Porsche which he didn’t actually register for a number of years so that he could evade speed limits on the highways as he powered his way down the road. That is, he is an average and utterly normal member of the Democratic Party. And now he has sent me this which I will share with you in full with no edits: A Trump meltdown for the ages. From CNN, of course, from which everything below the line is found and with nothing left out.

_____

It was like watching a human Twitter feed.

A combative and unrestrained President Donald Trump opened his authentic political soul, in possibly the most memorable news conference in presidential history, that is certain to become a defining moment of his administration.
It was supposed to be a routine event at Trump Tower in New York to tout the President’s infrastructure plan.
But the session quickly veered off course into one of the most surreal political moments in years as Trump unloaded about the fallout from the weekend’s protests by “alt-right” activists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Virginia.
Gesticulating with his right hand, Trump blasted what he called the “alt-left,” protested that he had already condemned neo-Nazis and parroted far-right talking points on the Confederacy.
On the substance, it was a performance that quickly emboldened white nationalist groups and appeared certain to heighten racial tensions and fear in the country.
There’s no chance that Trump’s political team can finesse this one, or walk it back.
But the tone and the spectacle of Trump’s unchained performance was equally stunning.
The unapologetic, stream-of-consciousness style of delivery left no doubt at all: This was the real Trump, not the scripted version who appeared in the White House on Monday and tried to clean up his initial failure to condemn white supremacists after the death of a counter-protester in Charlottesville.
His anger emerged in a torrent, as he obliterated any benefit of the doubt he earned on Monday, thought piling on thought, in a style the nation has become accustomed to from his Twitter feed.
In the most incredible moment, as he stood at a podium bearing the seal of the President of the United States, Trump tore at the nation’s racial fault lines by appearing to offer a pass to a racist and neo-Nazi movement.
“I think there is blame on both sides,” Trump said, returning to his original position about the protest in Charlottesville, saying that an extreme right demonstration in which marchers held torches and Swastikas and chanted racist and anti-Semitic slogans contained some “bad people …. but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.”
Trump accused counter-demonstrators of being as violent as the white supremacists.
“What about the fact they came charging — that they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do,” he said.
“I think there is blame on both sides,” Trump said.
The President’s fury was first sparked when he was challenged by reporters on his handling of Charlottesville, evidence of how Trump’s extreme sensitivity to personal slights sometimes leads him into politically self-destructive behavior.
It was a display that will renew questions about the suitability of Trump’s temperament for the presidency, and at a time of increasing tensions around the world that will exacerbate fears he will be unable to control his emotions at a time of crisis as commander-in-chief.
Trump also condemned efforts to take down statues in southern states dedicated to heroes of the Civil War Confederacy.
“This week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?”
“You’re changing history. You’re changing culture. And you had people, and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists.”
It did not take long for key figures in the extreme right movement to take comfort in Trump’s remarks, after the news conference appeared to nudge the President closer to an isolated spot on the far right of US politics.
“Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/Antifa, wrote David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, on Twitter.
Some of Trump’s fellow Republicans were quick to condemn him.
“If you are showing up to a Klan rally you are probably a racist or a bigot,” Texas Rep Will Hurd said on CNN’s “The Situation Room.” “I think the outrage across the political spectrum about this is maybe the thing that ultimately unites us.”
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was also quick to rebuke Trump.
“Mr. President,you can’t allow #WhiteSupremacists to share only part of blame. They support idea which cost nation & world so much pain,” Rubio said on Twitter.
“These groups today use SAME symbols & same arguments of #Nazi & #KKK, groups responsible for some of worst crimes against humanity ever.”

The overall impression of Trump’s performance was of a president out of control, who is captive to his whims and instincts and defies any attempt to manage him — including by his new Chief of Staff John Kelly.
“That was all him — this wasn’t our plan,” a senior White House official told CNN’s Jeff Zeleny.
One person who has spent time with Trump over the past 24 hours describes the President as “distracted” and “irritable” in his interactions with top aides. Trump felt pressured into the Monday statement by staff members, the person said. As he went about his day Tuesday, Trump was upset and repeatedly returned to the topic, the person said, culminating in the lobby press conference.
CNN senior political analyst David Axelrod compared Trump to a “runaway truck, there are no brakes, there is no reverse.”
Axelrod also questioned why Kelly and other Trump aides even allowed the President to appear before reporters on Tuesday, given their presumed knowledge of the state of his mood over the Charlottesville coverage.
But ultimately, Tuesday’s stunning appearance will be remembered for the sentiments that passed the lips of a President of the United States.
In the long and tortured history of a nation still trying to work through its complicated story on race, Trump’s meltdown will stand out, as a moment ripped from the darkest pages of history and transposed into the 21st Century.
In the process, he appears to have abdicated any claim to the traditional presidential role as a moral voice for the nation and the world.

 

THE VIDEO OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE: Prompted by OldOzzie, here is the press conference so you can see it for yourself.

His infrastructure statement is pretty good as well!