Hallelujah

Christmas at an Irish school for kids with severe autism…. the primary singer could barely converse when she started at the school. And then this:

There are people even there who have never heard choral singing beyond three guitars and a drum.

A Christmas coral

Peter Ridd writing in The Oz today: Coral can take the heat, unlike experts crying wolf. But before we go on, we should note how he is described in the paper:

Peter Ridd was, until fired this year, a physicist at James Cook University’s marine geophysical laboratory.

With this caution noted, and bearing in mind that in regard to climate change, the science is settled and the last word has been written, we find this:

The science institutions deny there is a problem and fail to correct erroneous work. When Piers Larcombe and I submitted an article to a scientific journal suggesting we needed a little additional checking of Great Barrier Reef science, the response from many very eminent scientists was that there was no need. Everything was fine. I am not sure if this is blind optimism or wilful negligence, but why would anybody object to a little more checking? It would cost only a few million dollars — just a tiny fraction of what governments will be spending on the reef.

I know what he means. Keynesians have around 90-plus percent of the macroeconomic positions in the world and have been systematically dragging our economies down with their wilfully wasteful public spending. But that’s the way it has always been. I have just been reading about William Harvey who discovered the circulation of blood which contradicted the view that has been held for around 1500 years whose opinion on these matters was set in the second century AD. Before Harvey, there had actually been people burned at the stake for holding a different opinion, so Peter is coming off relatively lightly in our more enlightened times.

And a Happy Christmas to you all

Of all things, there I was sitting in my favourite cafe and what do they play but the world’s most notorious Christmas song, Baby it’s Cold Outside. But let’s face it, that might work in America but it just won’t do for us here in Australia. I have therefore adjusted the words to suit. And if climate change becomes a reality, perhaps this is what they’ll have to sing everywhere.

Baby it’s Hot Outside

I really can’t stay (Baby it’s hot outside)
I gotta go away (Baby it’s hot outside)
This evening has been (Been hoping that you’d dropped in)
You do inspire (I’ll hold your hands they’re just like fire)
My mother will start to worry (Beautiful what’s your hurry?)
My father will be pacing the floor (Listen to the air conditioner roar)
So really I’d better scurry (Beautiful please don’t hurry)
Well maybe just a half a drink more (I’ll put some music on while I pour)
The neighbors might think (Baby it’s bad out there)
Say what’s in this drink? (No cabs to be had out there)
I wish I knew how (Your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell (I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell) (Why thank you)
I ought to say no, no, no sir (Mind if move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?)
I really can’t stay (Baby don’t hold out)
Baby it’s hot outside

Ah, you’re very pushy you know?
I like to think of it as opportunistic
I simply must go (Baby it’s hot outside)
The answer is no (But baby it’s hot outside)
The welcome has been (How lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and cool (why don’t you try the pool)
My sister will be suspicious (Gosh your lips look delicious!)
My brother will be there at the door (Waves upon a tropical shore)
My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious (Gosh your lips are delicious!)
Well maybe just a cigarette more (Never such a heat wave before) (And I don’t even smoke)

I’ve got to get home (Baby it’s 40 degrees out there!)
You’ve really been grand, (I feel when I touch your hand)
But don’t you see? (How can you do this thing to me?)
There’s bound to be talk tomorrow (Think of my life long sorrow!)
At least there will be plenty implied (If you had heat stroke and died!)
I really can’t stay (Get over that old out)
Baby it’s hot
Baby it’s hot outside

Okay fine, just another drink then
That took a lot of convincing!

And in case you are unsure of the tune, I am providing two more traditional versions so that you can sing along with the lyrics found above.

And in case you are worrying about the politically incorrect implications, of the song, there is also this.

And if I don’t make it back to the keyboard today, may you have a peaceful and happy Christmas shared with those you love and who love you.

Mandatory free speech

Ontario government’s free speech policy for schools a good first step. This should be the easiest law ever to obey since it should be happening automatically and already.

Call it another promise made, promise kept by the Ford government. Although it’s sad the promise ever had to be made.

I’m talking about the pledge to have every university and college across the province adopt a free speech policy by Jan. 1, 2019.

“Colleges and universities should be places where students exchange different ideas and opinions in open and respectful debate,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in August when he gave the schools the deadline.

The premier is right, that is what colleges and universities should be, unfortunately too many have been willing to shut out ideas they don’t like. Mostly conservative ones.

So far the schools, all 20 publicly funded universities and 24 colleges, appear to be on track for meeting the deadline.

Baby, it’s Hot Outside

Of all things, just been sitting in my favourite cafe and what do they play but the world’s most notorious Christmas song, Baby it’s Cold Outside. But let’s face it, that might work in America but it just won’t do for us here in Australia. I have therefore adjusted the words to suit. And if climate change becomes a reality, perhaps this is what they’ll have to sing everywhere.

Baby it’s Hot Outside

I really can’t stay (Baby it’s hot outside)
I gotta go away (Baby it’s hot outside)
This evening has been (Been hoping that you’d dropped in)
You do inspire (I’ll hold your hands they’re just like fire)
My mother will start to worry (Beautiful what’s your hurry?)
My father will be pacing the floor (Listen to the air conditioner roar)
So really I’d better scurry (Beautiful please don’t hurry)
Well maybe just a half a drink more (I’ll put some music on while I pour)
The neighbors might think (Baby it’s bad out there)
Say what’s in this drink? (No cabs to be had out there)
I wish I knew how (Your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell (I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell) (Why thank you)
I ought to say no, no, no sir (Mind if move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?)
I really can’t stay (Baby don’t hold out)
Baby it’s hot outside

Ah, you’re very pushy you know?
I like to think of it as opportunistic
I simply must go (Baby it’s hot outside)
The answer is no (But baby it’s hot outside)
The welcome has been (How lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and cool (why don’t you try the pool)
My sister will be suspicious (Gosh your lips look delicious!)
My brother will be there at the door (Waves upon a tropical shore)
My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious (Gosh your lips are delicious!)
Well maybe just a cigarette more (Never such a heat wave before) (And I don’t even smoke)

I’ve got to get home (Baby it’s 40 degrees out there!)
You’ve really been grand, (I feel when I touch your hand)
But don’t you see? (How can you do this thing to me?)
There’s bound to be talk tomorrow (Think of my life long sorrow!)
At least there will be plenty implied (If you caught heat stroke and died!)
I really can’t stay (Get over that old out)
Baby it’s hot
Baby it’s hot outside

Okay fine, just another drink then
That took a lot of convincing!

And in case you are unsure of the tune, I am providing two more traditional versions so that you can sing along with the lyrics found above.

And in case you are worrying about the politically incorrect implications, of the song, there is also this.

The parties of the left are now the parties of the wealthy

The ideological differences across the world were never better displayed than here: Financial Times Person of the Year: George Soros. And just to make sure it’s not a backhanded award because of his creepy and harmful influence, here are the FT’s own words:

The Financial Times’s choice of Person of the Year is usually a reflection of their achievements. In the case of Mr Soros this year, his selection is also about the values he represents.

He is the standard bearer of liberal democracy and open society. These are the ideas which triumphed in the cold war. Today, they are under siege from all sides, from Vladimir Putin’s Russia to Donald Trump’s America.

And if you have any doubts about which side of the fence the FT is on, then go through this at CNN: George Soros: Billionaire philanthropist the far right loves to hate.

Hatred never enters into it but fear does. The parties of the left are now the parties of the wealthy and super-wealthy. They have the money, the media and the Marxism, a formidable combination, but for the moment at least they do not have the momentum. For a different perspective from the FT, there is this: Soros an enemy of democracy. From which:

His ideological zeal to push for an open society that seeks to undermine national sovereignty and run roughshod over the will of the citizens knows no boundaries.

And he’s hardly the only one of his kind. The pages of the Financial Times are filled with them.

Putting down a mad dog was the right thing to do

You have to trust someone’s judgement on issues one knows near nothing about, and David Archibald is one of my go-to people on foreign policy. He has now written this article, Mattis was no good, which begins like this.

American Thinker readers were warned about General Mattis over a year ago in this article.  Briefly, Mattis was and remains a supporter of global warming.

The issue of global warming continues to be a reliable and simple litmus test.  If someone believes in global warming, then you can be sure he is a globalist who loathes Western civilization.

Then there was his support for the Islamist Anne Patterson, loathed by the Egyptian people for her support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Then there was the matter of allowing one of his underlings to throw Fox Company, of Task Force Spartan in Afghanistan in 2007, under a bus so he could advance his own career.

And on it continues. He had me at global warming, the surest dye marker for incompetence and a sell-out for our Western way of life. The rest just adds more detail and substance. A great name “Mad Dog”, but past that happy to see him on his way.

The one certainty is that there is no certainty

With the Deep State found at every turn, it is hard to know where to look for sense on PDT’s pull-out of American forces from Syria. The one person whose views I therefore most wished to hear were those of Caroline Glick at The Jerusalem Post. She has now published this, which the headline writer described as: TRUMP’S DECISION TO PULL FORCES OUT OF SYRIA HAS UPSIDES. In the article itself, she is more positive, with this her conclusion which she links to Nikki Haley’s speech to the UN last week:

By abandoning the anti-Israel fake “peace process” and striking out on a new path based on reality, and by walking away from Obama’s pro-Iran policies in Syria and Lebanon and backing Israel in its efforts to defeat its enemies, the Trump administration is demonstrating what pro-Israel really means. So long as it is true to its word, Israel is safer and stronger for it.

OK. But there are two sides to this as she makes clear.

For the past two years, the Trump administration has continued implementing Obama’s pro-Iran policy in Syria. Efforts to change the US mission have failed, largely due to Pentagon opposition. During his visit to Israel in August, National Security Advisor John Bolton said that the mission of US forces had been expanded to block Iran from asserting control over Syria. But since the administration didn’t request a new mandate from Congress, the mission remained officially what it has been since 2014.

It is true that on the ground, the US forces in Syria do far more than fight ISIS. They block Iran from controlling the Syrian border with Iraq and so prevent Iran from controlling a land route from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea.

US forces also have blocked Turkey from taking over Syrian Kurdistan and have prevented Turkish President Recep Erdogan from carrying out his pledge to destroy the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces. If the US chooses not to arm and supply the SDF, once the Americans leave, Syria’s Kurds – America’s only loyal allies there – will either have to cut a deal with Russia and Iran or face Turkey alone.

US forces in Syria also block Russia from taking over Syria’s oil fields. On February 7, forty US Special Forces troops blocked hundreds of Russian mercenaries from seizing the Conoco oil field on the eastern side of the Euphrates.

Finally, US forces in Syria act as a deterrent against Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah aggression against Israel. With US forces on the ground, they fear that provoking a war with Israel will be tantamount to going to war against America. With US forces out of Syria, their fear of attacking Israel will diminish.

Nevertheless, she still sees the positives, and it is quite striking that the Israeli reaction generally has been so quiet. It is the same people who oppose a border wall in the US who are also the ones most critical of Trump’s decision. The one certainty is that there is no certainty, no matter what you do.

FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS: There is an apparent assumption that PDT just does what he does with no groundwork and preparation. However, as noted by Baa Humbug in the comments: Saudi Crown Prince MbS Sends Replacement Troops To Defend Kurds in Syria…. There is also this to dwell on if it doesn’t turn your stomach: THE NEW YORK TIMES WAS AGAINST WAR IN SYRIA BEFORE IT WAS FOR IT.

Almost a year ago, on Jan. 19, 2018, that same editorial board raked the president over the coals for even daring to continue America’s policy of military adventurism. The Times expressed concern that more American troops beyond the 2,000 initially deployed could soon be sent overseas in a mission without any clear goals. “Syria is a complex problem. But this plan seems poorly conceived, too dependent on military action and fueled by wishful thinking,” The Times said.

Who would depend on these people to protect our way of life?

The political economy of interest rate adjustments

Interest rate adjustments are a dangerous economic tool, both when they go down too far and when they are raised too high. Central bank interest rate policies, drenched as they are in the incompetent conclusions from Keynesian macro, are about as sensible as the rest of Keynesian theory, but in any case the underlying policy seems more political than economically driven. As, for example, the Fed is raising rates right now in the midst of a bear market.

Even so, I cannot say that the effect won’t ultimately be positive, in the same way that Volker’s vast increases in rates in the first years of the Reagan presidency set up the economic recovery that followed. That may well have not been his intent, but it was the consequence. But whatever else may be the case, you may be sure that is not the intent of those whose hands are on the levers of interest rate policy at the moment. With this in mind, let me draw to your attention the following sent to me by a mate whose daily bread is earned from paying very close attention to these kinds of things.

Context, mainstream economic theory – which the fed conducts policy by – directly predicts (and it is the outright stated purpose of the policy) that raising rates is intended to slow the economy down (say, for the purpose of “combating inflation”).

Since 1981 onwards (from Reagan), there have been 62 federal reserve decisions to raise rates (i.e a deliberate policy attempt to slow the economy down), in aggregate raising rates by 46.5%.

Of those, 47 of the decisions (75.8%) were under Republican presidents, only 15 (24.1%) under Democrat. That is a ratio of ~3x more likely to be rate rises (i.e 3x more likely a deliberate policy attempt to slow the economy down) under a Republican than a Democrat.

By value terms (noting larger moves are expected to have greater impact than small moves), 82.1% of all rate rises by aggregate value have occurred under Republican presidents. That is more to 5x relative headwind/ negative policy impact (in the direction of policy intent to slow the economy down) for Republicans than what Democrats have faced.

Potential reason 1: The economy is generally stronger under Republicans due to (relative to Democrats) more pro growth policy stances. Due to that stronger underlying economy, the fed has to raise rates to slow down the growth and “control inflation” (etc etc).

Potential Reason 2: Conspiracy theory-esque political bias from the Deep State (of which the Fed is central). At one level it is just about harming electoral prospects of Republicans. At a deeper level of a deep state theory, it would be about not letting the public see the full benefits of the (relatively) freer market.

Potential Reason 3: ??? It is hard to manufacture any reason (using mainstream theory as the assumed driver of the rate rise decision) from this pattern of rate rise decisions that makes the Republicans look bad/ Democrats look good in any way…..

Note – analysis is by the rate rises only, doesn’t consider the cuts side. There has been a general bias to cuts over all presidents (except Trump).

If you would like to see a classical discussion of interest rates, you can either go back to the nineteenth century literature or you could go through Chapters 17 and 18 of the third edition of my Free Market Economics.