Once a jolly swagman

I have given each of my grandchildren an instrument that was bought on the day of their birth so that in eighty years’ time, when someone says to them, grandma, where did you get that banjo, each will be able to say that it was bought for them by their long-departed grandfather on the day they were born. Of the two instruments I own, a banjo and a concertina, I am less worse on the banjo which I have been playing since my hippy days living among the flower children of Vancouver during the early 1970s. So when I came to Australia, also back in the 70s, I learned every Australian folk song I could find. Coming from Canada which has no folk song tradition, it was astonishing just how many extraordinary folk songs there are, and I had already learned Waltzing Matilda and Click Go the Shears as a kid even before I arrived. All this being prelude to a quite instructive article by Mark Steyn, whose interest before getting into the politics of Western cultural suicide, had been popular music. His most recent Song of the Week is titled, Waltzing Matilda, which, like everything else Mark writes, is worth a close read. But with the Australian folk song tradition now almost invisible, it is worth reminding ourselves what we may be about to lose. I will quote a small bit just as a starter, but do yourself a favour and read it all. Banjo Paterson may have taken the tune from elsewhere – why not? we were a penal colony – but there was also quite a bit of value add as well, as Mark writes.

“Waltzing Matilda” is a splendid improvement on the original. If you’re a non-Australian who learned the song as a child, chances are you loved singing it long before you had a clue what the hell was going on. What’s a swagman? What’s a billabong? Why’s it under a coolibah tree? Who cares? It’s one of the most euphonious songs ever written, and the fact that the euphonies are all explicitly Australian and the words recur in no other well known song is all the more reason why “Matilda” should have been upgraded to official anthem status.

BTW my eldest grandchild is named “Matilda”. Pure coincidence, but she’s also the one I bought the banjo for.


A female Malcolm clone

The Libs have a handful of candidates who represent me – conservative, free market, and repulsed by the global warming con that is ruining Australia among other things. By a last minute Prime Ministerial throw of the die, Craig Kelly will run again in Hughes. But it was in the face of the nitwit wing of the party trying to do Kelly over. Now they are after Tony Abbott.

So who is it this time? Young. Female. Sports star. Legal beagle. Another Julia Banks in the making, although here running as an independent but an obvious stalking-horse for the Turnbull Wing: Four-time Olympian Zali Steggall launches bid to topple Tony Abbott in Warringah.

“I am in this to win it,” Ms Steggall told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. “I want to beat Tony Abbott, who has been a handbrake on Australian progress on many fronts but particularly effective action on climate change.[How many other power stations does she want blown up?]

“I know what I am getting into but I am not a wallflower – I am tough. [Incredible that she thinks being tough is the opposite of being a wallflower!] I learnt from sport that you have to put the work in, and can’t just turn up on the day hoping for the result. [What a deep and original example to us all about the need to learn from experience.] I will do the work for this, just as I did the work for sport and law.” …

The barrister wants federal Parliament to do more on climate change and [folks, prepare yourself] has been consulting former Australian of the Year, Professor Tim Flannery on policy options. She said an emissions trading scheme model had been “overtaken” by private sector investment in renewables [any government subsidies here, Ms Steggall, or don’t they matter?] but unlike Mr Abbott is not opposed to a mechanism that ties the economy to emissions reductions.

“It needs to be a multi-faceted strategy. It’s not a quick fix, it won’t be a quick solution. it has taken years to get into this mess and will take time to get ourselves out of it.” …

The former prime minister, who has fought and won nine elections in Warringah, faces a Melbourne Cup field of candidates at the election and has previously described independent aspirants as “Labor in disguise” [although in this case not all that much of a disguise].

“That actually shows how out of touch he is,” Ms Steggall said. “A broad part of my support base is the extremely dissatisfied, long-term, moderate Liberal voters who are looking for [unspecified] sensible financial policies [MMT perhaps?] but progressive social attitudes.

“Tony Abbott does not represent me, or the views of most of the people I know in this electorate [she really should get out more often], and I want to replace him.” …

“Winning the seat is not enough. I want to do something with the position. I would like to be part of coming up with solutions for climate change, so I can look my children in the eye [as they shiver freezing in the dark].”

I can see her point: where would the Winter Olympics be if there were no snow? I can also see that with her specialty in downhill, that she would be quite an asset for the direction a Labor government will take us. But if the Libs really truly wish to drive people like me away, propping candidates like her up is a surefire way to do it. Meanwhile, in the non-surprise of the week, Labor considers preferencing independent Warringah candidate Zali Steggall.

Virtually every major racist in the modern world comes with the label “socialist”

Q: What proportion of the Ku Klux Klan were Democrats?
A: 100%

If you don’t know that you cannot even begin to understand the racial divide in the United States. Which brings me to this, from Instapundit.

WELL, SURE. ANTISEMITES ARE A CORE CONSTITUENCY FOR THEM NOW. Democrats Ducking Vote on Rejecting Anti-Semitism.

Democratic leaders are remaining quiet about a new congressional measure that rejects anti-Semitism and chides a new class of Democratic congressional members for the open embrace of notorious anti-Semites and anti-Israel causes, according to the leading Republican author of that new measure.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R., N.Y.), one of just two Jewish Republicans in Congress, has introduced a new congressional resolution in the House that categorically rejects anti-Semitism in all its forms and calls out some newly elected Democratic members who have ridden a popular wave into Congress on the backs of anti-Semitic leaders and causes, Zeldin told the Washington Free Beacon in a wide-ranging interview.

While a similar House resolution condemning white supremacy sailed to a nearly unanimous vote several weeks ago, Zeldin’s amendment, focused directly on anti-Semitism, has put Democratic leaders in a precarious position as they are forced to reject the views of popular new freshman colleagues.

“It’s up to the Democrats to decide whether or not they are actually going to confront this head on,” Zeldin told the Free Beacon. “I’m wiling to work with any Democratic colleague on any idea he or she has to crush anti-Semitism in any form. But I can’t do that for them.” . . .

While Democratic leaders like Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and House Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) have been vocal in the past about their opposition to BDS and similar anti-Semitic movements, they are now dealing with a new cast of young Democrats such as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), and Ilhan Omar (Minn.), all of whom have embraced at one point or another anti-Semitic leaders and their causes.

Weirdly like what happened to Labour in Britain after it made immigration a core component of its strategy.

The left knows it’s wrong to be anti-semitic which is why they pretend they aren’t. But they are. A dark and foreboding future beckons.


That’s MMT, Modern Monetary Theory. I am just following behind a thread at Instapundit: NASSIM TALEB IS NOT PUTTING UP WITH YOUR BULLSHIT: which began with this:

It’s this Stephanie Kelton who is the focus here, another economic tragedy in the making. Never heard of her, but the comments thread quickly brought out everything you need to know.

Stephanie Kelton is the proponent of Modern Monetary Theory (TL; DR: we can just print more money and tax it all back if inflation gets to high.) Even Paul Krugman thinks it’s off the wall, leftist, la la land thinking that could completely screw us all.

She’s a Professor. People actually pay her

She’s a fancy professor at Stonybrook. LOLOL. That’s like young adult day care – not a college.

Not just a professor, but a professor of economics. And economic advisor to Congressional Dimocrats.

She’s Bernie Sanders Chief Economics adviser. Of course. He’s the dumbest man in America

This is even more enjoyable when you click through to find out who he is pwning. Kelton is someone who ought to know better but makes a living pretending she does not: Prf. of Economics & Public Policy @stonybrooku.

Was Chief Economist for the Dems on U.S. Senate Budget Committee.I have an old video clip of her making the case that the government can never go broke because it is the source of money and thus can print all it needs. The Weimar Republic could not be reached for comment.

She said “you take it from your workers.” The exact opposite is true.

Somehow she missed the lesson on mutually beneficial exchange. And yet she is ‘Chief economist for the Dems.’ Go figure.

She is actually probably slightly above average in intelligence. That’s the kind of person who becomes a lefty. People significantly less intelligent than average are suspicious of clever ideas, because they think (quite rightly, as it turns out) that nobody would propose them if they weren’t more advantage to the proposer than the proposee. They’ve been snookered plenty by bright people and clever schemes, so they have a basic enhanced animal wariness. People significantly more intelligent than average are deeply skeptical of any social enterprise, because they expect it to be executed incompetently (by their own standards) and degenerate into parasitism and failure. The people who love social schemes are just smart enough to dream them up, smart enough to be dissatisfied with the status quo, but not smart enough to be wary of the unknown unknowns, the unanticipated side-effects, the limits of the ability of plain smarts to accurately predict the future.

Being educated doesn’t mean you’re not stupid. It means you’re not ignorant in the things you were told to repeat to get passing marks in class.

Well, our cultural values are kind of screwed up that way. We value raw intelligence far more than we should, and value character far less than we should. The world doesn’t need that many Einsteins, and having a surplus of them won’t do anyone much good. But it has an endless need for men and women of good character.

There’s no creationists running biology departments.
There’s no flat earthers running geography departments
So why are there marxists running economics departments?

I thank her for writing the most succinct summary of the socialist fallacy that I’ve ever seen.

That last one is from “Aussie Pundit” (not me).

Defining deviance up

From Cut & Paste at The Oz: Once a jolly polly offered an apollygy, and other neologisms to celebrate Australia Day.

From the cool cats at Catallaxy Files during the past two years:

Abbariginal: Fair-skinned blonde claiming Aboriginality for money, money, money

Acadumbic: Professor who dumbs down students

Accusuals: Usual accusers

Alt-Racist: Reactionary throwback who believes man should be judged by content of character not colour of skin

ATMs: Australian Taxpaying Machines, ie taxpayers that pollies raid

Apollygy: Apology made by a hopeless PM about something they had no involvement in to seem more virtuous than the previous PM

Balance of poorer: Control votes in Senargy so prosperity never realised

Bolshie Ballet: Choreographed routine when crimes of socialism are brought up, such as “but that wasn’t real communism”, “but Scandinavia”. “but outside forces”

Bloodger: One who uses race to suck from the taxpayer’s teat

Canoebaya: Imaginary state in which all parties are in the same boat

Climatocracy: Upper echelons of climate science and activist fraternity, made wealthy as dauphins by immeasurable government largesse

Dimwitterati: Energy policy masters

Disasterati: Airhead commentariat that thrills about latest research proving catastrophic impact of climate change will end world as we know it

Dodgeridoo: Fake Aboriginal artefact

Foregasm: Wonderful feeling when Treasury forecasts balanced budget some time in next 20 years

Flannery: Unit of rain. “We’ve had over 75 ‘Flannerys’ in the past week”. one Flannery being 50 gigalitres

Fragilista: One who fights by whining for rights of snowflakes everywhere

Fauxphobia: 1. Pretending that sticking “phobia” on to a randomly chosen word is meaningful. 2. Fear of people who create meaningless words

Fleffers: Far-left activists who routinely stack audiences at ABC TV shows such as Q&A in order to whoop, cheer and vigorously applaud their ideology and its espousers

Fridgicide: Thanks to a US intellectual we know this, not Islamic, terrorism is the real threat to Western civilisation

Gendercide: Destruction of bio­logical gender as we know it

Gendercreep: Public education on just how many ways to have sex

Gorebulls: Utterances of Al Gore

Insulterati: (see Offendopotamus)

Intaxication: Wonderful feeling when government spends $ on you but you know a headache is coming

Islamofauxbia: Pretence that being wary of homicidal jihadists is somehow irrational

Leftwaffe: Mechanical formations that carpet-bomb social media with hashtags and believe they are superior to all others

Marxist Stream Media: … formerly known as mainstream media

Neo-Apartheid: Progressive, compassionate policy … (of) locking sections of community into non-Western culture (which) magically result in improved standards of living

Offendopotamus/offendopotami: Full-time offense taker

Phallinked: Person associated with “Safe Schools” child grooming

Pollicock: Political correctness

Pollycy: Policy for political purposes

Preposterist: One who expects others to believe their preposterous views

Rearviewergy: Rear view energy. Politicians in cahoots with crony capitalists who decide way forward is to fix sight in rear view mirror, ie windmills

Slacktivist: Someone who only ­attends demos after midday

Socialislam: Unofficial alliance ­between the Left and Islam

Social license: Inalienable right of those who don’t produce anything to hector and humbug those that do

Spitcoin: Currency, the more spitcoins one accumulates, the higher on the virtue ladder one is elevated and the more deplorables one can spit on

UNuchs: Fawning obsequiousness at international diplomatic gatherings

Woking Class: Demographic educated just sufficiently to assign relative degrees of morality to every member of the population except themselves

Hitting the wall

The nub of the issue is this: in a “negotiation” to get Congressional funding for the wall, there is nothing the president has that the Democrats want, other than his resignation. It is not a lack of will to get the wall funded, it is a lack of cards to play in the negotiation. He thought there might be something in some kind of exchange over DACA, but the Democrats think eventually they will get everything they want so there was no reason for them to parley.

If it is the popular will of the majority of Americans that it maintains an open border with Mexico, so that anyone who wishes can come and camp and settle in the United States, then that is what will ultimately prevail. A madness on stilts.

Lots of critics around this morning, but not a single practical solution. It is only a three-week lull in the shutdown, but how things will be different three weeks who can say. The President says he has “a very powerful alternative” but that we shall see.

Oppression 101

This is the start to an article titled, Critical Theory Quotes:

Critical theory is an ideology that divides the world into oppressed groups and oppressor groups and seeks to liberate the oppressed. It is currently the reigning theoretical paradigm in academic disciplines like gender studies, critical pedagogy, critical race theory, anthropology, and queer theory, and forms the ideological foundation for large segments of the secular social justice movement. In my speaking and writing, I’ve characterized critical theory according to several basic premises held by proponents of critical theory. Listed below are quotes which illustrates each of these basic premises.

Premise #1: Individual identity is inseparable from group identity as ‘oppressed’ or ‘oppressor’

Premise #2: Oppressor groups subjugate oppressed groups through the exercise of hegemonic power

Premise #3: Our fundamental moral duty is freeing groups from oppression

Premise #4: ‘Lived experience’ is more important than objective evidence in understanding oppression

Premise #5: Oppressor groups hide their oppression under the guise of objectivity

Premise #6: Individuals at the intersection of different oppressed groups experience oppression in a unique way

Just click on each link and you will get to the list of associated quotes. Here is the first quote from the first premise:

Premise #1: Individual identity is inseparable from group identity as ‘oppressed’ or ‘oppressor’

My schooling gave me no training in seeing myself as an oppressor… I was taught [wrongly] to see myself as an individual whose moral state depended on her individual moral will” – Peggy McIntosh, “White Privilege and Male Privilege,” in Andersen and Collins, Race, Class, and Gender: An Anthology, p. 72

By the time you are through, you will see yourself as an oppressor of everyone else because you thoughtlessly just went ahead and lived your life without noticing all the harm you had caused to others. But they noticed, even though almost all their disadvantage might well have arisen because of who they were and not what you did.

The dogs that didn’t bark in the night

Yesterday I asked What is the Democrat response to the Venezuelan counter-revolution?. Today we have the answer: That weird silence from Democrats over Venezuela’s massive rejection of socialism . “Weird” is not the word I would use, more something along the lines of “repulsive” and “terrifying”. These people are not disgusted with the outcome in Venezuela nor to they see any reason to support those who are trying to get rid of its vile socialist regime.

What we can conclude from this is three things: That the collapse of socialism is an embarrassing topic for Democrats who are trying to sell it here. That supporting Maduro, as is this inclination, automatically puts them in the same camp as Vladimir Putin, the man they claim President Trump is in bed with. And three, it suggests that they’ll do anything to oppose and undermine President Trump, even if that means throwing Venezuelans under the bus. No wonder they’re too petrified to say anything. Here they could be scarfing up Venezuelan and Latino good will by siding with President Trump against the clown dictatorship in Caracas, and they just can’t bring themselves to do it, not even for the Latino vote.

And what about Miss Ocasio-Cortez as we also asked yesterday:

Now let’s turn to openly socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is she ignoring it, too? Where is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on this massive popular rejection of socialism in Venezuela? The gabby congresswoman is opining a lot about … herself on her Twitter feed and the government shutdown. But then there just this one little tweet that just came out: Amazingly, she signaled support for Putin’s stance, saying Maduro is the legitimate leader of Venezuela and Trump shouldn’t be supporting the crowds calling for change or the leader who was just sworn in under the rules of Venezuela’s Chavista constitution. She used the fig leaf of the Vatican’s and Mexico’s outlier support for Maduro to encourage Maduro to stay in power under the guise of ‘dialogue.’ … Her past claims on 60 Minutes to not envisioning anything like Venezuela in her socialist scheme of things now rings hollow. She’s effectively endorsed Putin and Maduro even as the regime collapses.

This is the kind of thing that should tell you everything you need to know about the modern left.

Where can one go to find out the facts?

From Instapundit but as usual, the greater interest is in the comments. This is the post:

THEY ARE DESTROYING THEMSELVES WITH TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME, AND EVEN THE ATLANTIC HAS NOTICED:The Media Botched the Covington Catholic Story. And the damage to their credibility will be lasting. “The full video reveals that these kids had wandered into a Tom Wolfe novel and had no idea how to get out of it.”

As have we all. Well, I have some idea.

And below are a pair of comments which are right on the money. The first comment goes with the video.

“He said that SM was designed to reward pathological behavior. The longer people are conditioned to produce tweets or posts that generate likes, the lower they go and eventually can never recover from the dissonance of the real world versus the matrix. He estimated that 1 billion are as good as lost in the matrix. I wonder how many of that billion are right here in the US. The dilemma is how does one treat “conditioned” depression – – treating addictions is easy compared to treating the brainwashed narcissist.”

The leftist in the media believe they are telling the truth. They saw 30 seconds to 2 minutes of the Covington tape. The subjects were young men, white, from a private Catholic High School protesting for life and wearing MAGA hats! 100% pure hated deplorables. Their truth, these kids are 100% monsters. They were confronted in pure leftist agitprop, by a Native American activist, banging a drum. 100% loved by leftist media. Nothing more to write. Jurnolists are indoctrinated leftists, the only truth is their own, nothing to do with context or facts. Their audience, the same people who watch Colbert, the other members on their social and work groups. They work for liberal executives and get ad spend from most firms in deep blue America. They never get protest, they get favorable press coverage. Their behavior won’t change, not without ramifications.