A thief walks into a store

Here is a question from Quora I have slightly changed which I leave for you to work out for yourself:

A thief walks into a store and steals $350. The thief then buys $350 worth of goods at the store. In the end, did the store lose any money and if so, how much?

To help you along, let me add in this quote from John Stuart Mill’s 1844 Essay, “Of the Influence of Production on Consumption”.

“The man who steals money out of a shop, provided he expends it all again at the same shop, is a benefactor to the tradesman whom he robs, and that the same operation, repeated sufficiently often, would make the tradesman’s fortune.”

I need hardly add that Mill thought he was being fantastically ironic. But there is then this, the third iteration.

A government who taxes you to the hilt but then spends the money it took from you on whatever the government chooses to buy, provides a benefit to you and everyone else since it adds to the level of demand and therefore helps maintain full employment.

This is modern economic theory and practice to the back teeth. In looking at this third iteration, bear in mind the money spent on all of the various unproductive forms of stimulus spending that occurred following the GFC.

[My thanks to Tony for bringing this Quora question to my attention.]

“One of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency” = Hillary and the Obama “Justice” Department

Here’s what all this means. Obama with 100% certainty knew that Hillary was using an unsecured server to send him emails which is in complete violation of the Espionage Act of the United States. Now read on.

From Ace of Spades:

The big story is, despite the Democrat-Left-Media Complex’s shrill shrieking about impeaching President Trump, the focus is at long last starting to shift towards the real culprits in the entire Russia-Gate Collusion Hoax, Coverup and Attempted Coup (still ongoing) who just happen to be heavily implicated in the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal – what US District Judge Royce Lamberth’s court described as “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”

“…In addition to the Executive Office of the President [Obama], [former assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division, Bill] Priestap also named “Clinton aides Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, Jacob Sullivan, and Justin Cooper; former Clinton information technology staffer Bryan Pagliano, the State Department, Secret Service, and Washington-based law firm Williams and Connolly…”

According to [Judicial Watch], Priestap also testified that nearly 49,000 Clinton server emails were reviewed as a result of a search warrant for her material on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Weiner was then the wayward husband of Huma Abedin, the vice chair of Clinton’s 2016 campaign for president.

“This astonishing confirmation, made under oath by the FBI, shows that the Obama FBI had to go to President Obama’s White House office to find emails that Hillary Clinton tried to destroy or hide from the American people,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “No wonder Hillary Clinton has thus far skated – – Barack Obama is implicated in her email scheme…”

Or then there’s the Instapundit version:

JUDICIAL WATCH: JW announced today that a senior FBI official admitted, in writing and under oath, that the agency found Clinton email records in the Obama White House, specifically, the Executive Office of the President.

“Far right” is the new term for being sane

From Arthur Chrenkoff, Everything I don’t like is far-right, via Powerline where they note he is an Aussie blogger:

“The Washington Post” (“Democracy Dies in Darkness”) spends the whole article discussing how various “far-right” figures and forces, from France’s Marine Le Pen to Germany’s Alternative for Germany, got angry at the coordinated Islamist terrorist attacks that targeted churches among other locations and killed some 300 people. When I was growing up and well into my adulthood, “far right” was a description for neo-Nazi skinheads; nowadays it’s being used for those who might merely be Eurosceptics or don’t believe in open borders. But never mind the ever-creeping redefinition – just what exactly is the message of the article? That only “far-right” is angry about attacks on Christians? Or that if you are angry about attacks on Christians you must be “far right” yourself? Is Christianity now to be considered a white supremacist dog whistle? And if you are concerned about Islamist terrorism and/or terrorism against Christians world-wide are you now supposed to keep it down lest you somehow give succor to the far right or actually risk becoming associated with the far right in the eyes of the sophisticates who feast on Bezos’s fish wrapper? Maybe all of the above.

The article ends even more disingenuously than it starts, by advising readers not to jump to conclusions because no one has yet claimed responsibility for the Sri Lankan attacks (unlike in the clear cut case of the Christchurch terror attack), and reminding everyone that the bloody civil war in the country’s past was an ethno-nationalist affair rather than a religious one. Sure, it was the Tamils and the Sinhalese and Buddhist against Hindus, with the Marxist Tamil Tigers being quite big on suicide bombing, but is the WaPo suggesting – hoping? – that the recent outrages were a return to that old conflict rather than an instance of Islamist terrorism? Quite possibly, because we are lastly reminded that “Although Christian minorities are targeted around the world, analysts say that the vast majority of terrorism victims globally are Muslims.” Omitted is any mention that the vast majority of these Muslim victims of terrorism are murdered by the Muslim perpetrators. Can we be angry about that or is that also some sort of a far-right trait?

“Far left” meanwhile is the name for the suicide cult of Western civilisation.

Henry Arthur Jones

Henry Arthur Jones (1851-1929) has not entirely faded into history as is attested to by the existence of his Wikipedia entry. A prolific playwright from the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, about whom Oscar Wilde said this:

“There are three rules for writing plays. The first rule is not to write like Henry Arthur Jones; the second and third rules are the same.”

My acquaintance with Mr Jones has come through my just having finished reading his wondrous 1921 political tract, My Dear Wells: A Manual for the Haters of England, whose perspective is perhaps better displayed by its subtitle, “Being a Series of Letters Upon Bolshevism, Collectivism, Internationalism, and the Distribution of Wealth Addressed to Mr H.G. Wells”. So whatever rules there may be about writing plays, the three rules for writing political tracts might be summarised as: the first rule is to write like Henry Arthur Jones; the second and third rules would then be the same.

What is particularly wondrous is that the book could have come off the press this morning, how up-to-date he is in singling out the fools on the left who seem not to have learned a thing in the hundred years since then. Mr Jones was infuriated by Wells’s support for Lenin and the Revolution which had just then taken place in Russia. I had not been aware that the horrors that were visited upon the Russian people had been immediately recognised for what they were and discussed across the world. Jones’ replies to Wells’s own writings highlights the cruel indifference typically shown by the left, seen today in how the horrors in Venezuela are being downplayed by the media and the socialists amongst us. Other people’s tragedies must never be allowed to impede progressives in their will to visit the same tragedies on us as well. The left were vile then and are equally vile now. Here is a bit to see just how contemporary it all is:

Make a list of the richest and most powerful men in Western European and American civilization. Quite a large number of them are men who have made themselves rich and powerful, not by intercepting the wealth and influence that other men have created for mankind, but by their own conspicuous ability, by severe self-denial, by thrift, by constant strain of hard thought and hard work. By these means many of them have created vast quantities of wealth for others, and have eased the conditions of living for large populations of workers, and have otherwise conferred lasting benefits on their fellows. I do not say that some of these rich and powerful men may not have received larger rewards than were justly their due, I do not say that some of them may not have gained some of their wealth by dishonest means. There is no possible way of adjusting any scale of measurement. The thing for you to notice is that in your Collectivist State you are not likely to have many of these benefactors, for in denying them the rewards of money, power, honour and influence, you take away from them all incentive to train their natural ability, to practise thrift and self-denial, to scorn base trivial delights, and to spend themselves in constant thought and labour. Notice the result in Russia of suppressing and persecuting out of existence this enterprising type. (Jones 1921: 183)

Socialists never change. Grasping, greedy and envious to the end, ignorant even of the basics on how wealth is created so that what is produced may be shared out amongst us. These socialists are the curse of the earth.

LET ME ADD THIS: Via Instapundit this morning: Your Socialism Is Bad and You Should Feel Bad. The promise of free stuff plus “equality” has a powerful attraction many find hard to resist. Now we also add in containing climate change as one more part of the socialist magic act. Just vote us in and we will tax and spend our way to stopping the seas from rising.

More than a great cathedral has now been lost to us all

Today we merely saw a metaphor played out before us. What we have lost we have been in the process of losing for quite some time. The rest of this post is taken from here. And you should watch at least the first two minutes of Kenneth Clark’s opening.

There is no way to replace what Paris, what France, what Christendom, and indeed what humanity, has lost today. It is irreplaceable. For example, we literally cannot recreate the windows, which date from the time of Dante. We do not know how to do it. As a friend said to me, “You can rebuild the World Trade Center. You cannot rebuild Notre Dame de Paris.”

Embedded video

Kenneth Clark’s monologue opening his great 1969 TV series Civilisation (all of which is available on YouTube). Standing in front of the Notre Dame cathedral, Clark asks, “What is civilization?” He says he can’t define it in abstract terms, “but I think I can recognize it when I see it.” He then turns to the cathedral, and says, “I’m looking at it right now.” Watch:

Tactile nuclear weapons

Is this really funny? She is one of two Senators from New York and is running for President. This should truly frighten you, as much for the lack of attention this has received from the media as for her outright ignorance and stupidity. All this supposed concern with Presidents having their finger on the nuclear button, but then this: John Bolton ridicules Kirsten Gillibrand’s talk of ‘tactile nuclear weapons’.

“The presidential campaign is underway. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ventured into strategic matters at a town hall in Dover,” Hewitt said, introducing the clip.

“When you say you want to develop low-yield nuclear weapons that are tactile, what you’re saying is you want to use them. Now, the military will make an argument to say, ‘Oh, this is just again to make, we have to have an equal threat. And this, if it’s usable, then it’s a better threat.’ I just found that is not believable,” Gillibrand said. “So I opposed the entire defense bill because of that one provision. So if I am president, I am going to make sure we unwind that completely, and I don’t think we should be trying to create tactile nuclear weapons.”

Bolton burst into laughter. “Tactile nuclear weapons?” he spluttered. “Well, I was unfamiliar with the concept, Mr. Ambassador,” Hewitt said. A mirthful Bolton responded, “I have to say, I was unfamiliar with it as well. I wonder what Sen. Gillibrand knows that I don’t.”

Sure it’s funny in a macabre kind of way, but if this does not terrify you about our future, what would? Her aim is to be the leader of the West in our defence of our way of life against others who would destroy it in a heartbeat if they could. Beyond this, what else does she know nothing about since her ignorance seems to be deep and vast.

How ignorant would a Democrat have to be for the media to start spreading cautious words about whether they should be elected? From the evidence we have, no such level of ignorance exists.

Some people said something


And from Omar’s colleague: Rashida Tlaib On Omar’s Disgusting 9/11 Remarks: She’s Just Speaking Truth.

They provide a major public service in alerting those who are capable of being alerted to the kinds of ideas that are harboured among the left. We either learn from it, or help them steamroll through our culture and civilisation and replace what we have with one of their own devising.

 

Why does the so-called right pay any attention to the left

From Mark Steyn: The Craven Pile-On of Hollow Conservatives.

The real problem, in America, Britain, Canada, Oz, NZ, is not the left, who know what they want and are serious about getting it, but the pansy right. It’s easy to mock AOC and Justin and Jacinta Ardern, but all they’re doing is sailing full steam ahead for their desired utopia. The right, who profess to disdain the final destination, nevertheless follow along, albeit at a more desultory rate of knots.

We see this routinely in their urge to “distance” themselves: In Washington, as I mentioned the other day, House Republicans ostentatiously distanced themselves from their colleague Steve King, because in an ill-advised interview with The New York Times he appeared to endorse “white supremacist” concepts such as “western civilization”. For some of us, it’s hard to see the point of a conservatism that distances itself from western civilization.

The same fate has now befallen the most thoughtful and serious of living conservative philosophers, Roger Scruton. I have a modest acquaintance with Sir Roger, both personal (he’s married to a friend of a friend) and professional: We once appeared in a debate moderated by none other than Margaret Thatcher. Mrs T obviously adored Roger and reckoned I was there just for the cheap laughs.

But that was then, and this is Theresa May’s Tory Party. So Roger Scruton gave an interview to The New Statesman, which is left-wing but once employed him as its wine critic. But that was then, etc. At the new New Statesman he fell into the hands of one of those lefties whose goal in the interview is to talk to you for two hours and then pluck three partial quotes uttered twenty-five minutes apart that destroy your career and get you banished from public life. In this case, it was various Scrutonisms on China, Islam, Hungary and homosexuality, all of which are worth thinking about seriously.

But, as I say, that’s the leftie hack’s objective, and you can’t blame him for achieving it. Douglas Murray, quite rightly, is more disgusted by the craven pile-on of so-called conservatives:

Within four hours of Eaton tweeting out his misquotations of Britain’s most prominent living philosopher, the housing minister (James Brokenshire) announced that Scruton had been dismissed with immediate effect from his role as Chairman of the ‘Building Better Building Beautiful Commission’. The sacking from this unpaid, advisory position came because of these ‘unacceptable comments’.

What’s the point of James Brokenshire? He is the so-called “Communities Secretary” and was formerly a most undistinguished Northern Ireland Secretary. But, more importantly, what’s the point of the Conservative government in which he sits? Roger Scruton is a humane and decent person: He wrote a novel about the girls of Rotherham, which none of the more fashionable literary types could be bothered with. He thinks seriously about everything from “Islamophobia” to social dancing. If there is “no place for the likes of Scruton” in public life, then there is no place for conservatism either. Douglas Murray again:

Even today the chances are that when you show up at any institution which has a position in the gift of the government the person still in charge there will be someone who used to write press releases for Tony Blair some two decades ago. And in nine years what have the Conservatives managed? Nothing. Or almost nothing. They pat themselves on the back for their heroism in a single successful appointment, only then – as Brokenshire showed today – to reverse and retreat when a left-wing magazine pumps inaccurate quotes onto social media.

There are many reasons to feel contempt for the modern Conservative party. Personally I can see no reason, after the fiasco they have made of Brexit, to ever vote for them again.

Indeed. I wish Douglas were correct that in nine years the Tories have managed merely to accomplish nothing. On everything from Brexit to Scruton to their new Internet clampdown they are making things worse.

And in case there is any curiosity about how it is done, there is this from Instapundit to remind you:

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD. OKAY, MAYBE THREE TIMES AS HARD. Candace Owens clip becomes most watched C-SPAN Twitter video from a House hearing.

And in case you missed what she said and how she said it, here it is again.

Is this the greatest political scandal in American history?

Is a scandal still a scandal if it’s not reported in the press? If not, what is it? Seems pretty bad. Start with this from Ace of Spades.

Thursday and the big story is the reaction to Attorney General William Barr’s unvarnished, unapologetic and clinical declaration that yes indeed, there was spying (or bugging or eavesdropping or espionage or whatever Hawaiian Senator Brian Schatz-n-giggles can understand it) being perpetrated against the Trump presidential campaign. After more than two years of a steady diet of Trump and Russia colluded to steal the 2016 election and the anticipation that Robert Mueller’s persecution of the President and his allies would eject him from office, the one-two punch in the gut and boot to the groin of first the Mueller deception dissolving into thin air and AG Barr openly stating the plain hard truth was a marvel to behold. And without missing a beat, Barr announced that his office was going to at long last launch an investigation to uncover how the whole thing started and who was behind it. Frankly, there’s really not much to investigate since we know the machinations of the phony Steele dossier being used as a pretext to abuse the FISA courts to spy on the campaign and then use that as propaganda to insinuate Trump was a Russian spy or dupe. The real question is was this done with the knowledge of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama or was it done directly on their orders?

No matter what, this entire thing is without doubt the greatest political scandal in American history.

What if the Obama White House really was spying on the Trump campaign during the election? Sounds bad, if true. So a couple more from Lucianne before the story completely disappears.

Barr is right, spying on Trump
campaign did occur
Washington Examiner, by Byron York    Original Article
Democrats and some in the media expressed shock and outrage when Attorney General William Barr said Wednesday that “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. Barr “must retract his statement immediately or produce specific evidence to back it up,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said. “Perpetuating conspiracy theories is beneath the office of the attorney general.” Barr has gone “off the rails,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “The attorney general must retract his unfounded, irresponsible claim,” said Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal. Cable news commentators called Barr´s statement “stunning” and appeared baffled that th

 

Barr Confirms Multiple Intel Agencies
Implicated In Anti-Trump Spy Operation
The Federalist, by Mollie Hemingway    Original Article
 
“Spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Attorney General William Barr told a Senate committee on Wednesday morning. Barr’s comments came in the context of potential Justice Department reviews of the Trump-Russia investigation and how it began in 2016. While it is important that the top law enforcement in the United States publicly acknowledged that the Obama administration and its intelligence agencies surveilled its domestic political opponents during the heat of a presidential election, it is what he said next that was most startling: that the CIA and other federal agencies

Add one more from Powerline.

Democrats cannot handle the truth. We saw this yesterday in their uniform reaction to Attorney General Barr’s acknowledgment that “Spying did occur” on the Trump presidential campaign. The link is to today’s Wall Street Journal editorial (by Kim Strassel, I am quite sure, and behind the Journal’s paywall.

Somewhere near the top of this post, however, I want to quote a sentence from Mollie Hemingway’s Federalist column on the Barr confirmation of the discomfiting truth sentient observers have pieced together over the past two years: “This is a scandal of epic proportions. It is one that threatens the foundations of constitutional government. It is a direct attack on American democracy.”

She puts it bluntly this way: “The fact of the matter is that federal intelligence agencies spied on a rival political campaign. They illegally leaked information about that surveillance. They abused their authority to at best undermine the duly elected president and at worst to attempt a soft coup against him. They did so with the near-total cooperation of the American media establishment.”

It’s clearly only those over-reacting fanatics who worry about such things.