Donald Trump jokes

I’ve just finished a quite interesting book on jokes from behind the Iron Curtain: Hammer And Tickle: A History Of Communism Told Through Communist Jokes. It looks at the jokes themselves; the evolution of these jokes as communism aged and new leaders took over; it looks at the different kinds of jokes told in different communist countries; it examines the fate of those who told such jokes and the difference in the fate of those who made such jokes depending on who was the leader of the Party; it asks whether such jokes helped the communists consolidate power or whether they helped bring communism down; it looks into the difference between telling anti-Nazi jokes in Nazi Germany versus telling anti-communist jokes in communist countries; it asks about the psychology of those who told such jokes and whether they helped relieve tensions; and much else. But I will say this, some of I found really funny. This is my favourite.

Khrushchev is walking through the Kremlin, getting worked up about the Soviet Union’s problems, and spits on the carpet in a gesture of disgust.

“Behave yourself, Nikita Sergeyevich,” admonishes the aide. “Remember that the great Lenin walked through these halls!”

“Shut up,” responds Khrushchev. “I can spit all I like here; the Queen of England gave me permission!’

“The Queen of England?”

“Yes! I spat on her carpet in Buckingham Palace too, and she said, ‘Mr Khrushchev, you can do that all you like in the Kremlin if you wish, but you can’t behave like this here …'”

Easy to see this one added to the Donald Trump canon and now that I have pointed it out, I expect it to be.

I therefore thought I might have a look at what passes for Donald Trump jokes. And google all you like, there really is not much although there was this: Donald Trump Jokes. None were funny but I did like this:

Where’s Donald Trump’s favorite place to shop?


Mere pun though it is, it seems appropriate. At least it’s policy-related and almost entirely a joke that could only be told about Trump. The rest are re-treads, never specifically about anything related to Trump himself and his policies, but are almost entirely forms of insult than anything with any associated wit or insight. The most interesting part to me about the communist jokes was that the ones that became acceptable were those directed at the failures of communism relative to the promises that had originally been made. Lots like that. The way to end up in the gulag was to tell jokes about actual party leaders, especially Lenin and Stalin. Very few like that.

As for Trump jokes, there was also this from Quora: What’s the best Donald Trump joke you ever heard? I don’t know if you can link from here but I read through as many as I could bear – there are at the present 2566 of them. For myself, I found them unbelievably tedious, almost entirely retreads from other contexts and other politicians. Not witty and not fun. Might help Democrats and other socialists relieve their tension but not funny. See for yourself if you can bear it. And because it’s Quora, there was not a single pro-Trump joke I came across.

It would be mind-numbing to go through the lot but this one had 12.1k upvotes. It is an old joke which I actually quite like which I heard long before and about someone else, not sure it wasn’t an Irish joke to begin with. I won’t put it down in full. It’s a shaggy dog story in which the President secludes himself from everyone and as the Secretary of this or the Secretary of that comes to see him to deal with some emergency he sends them packing because he is so busy. Finally:

Sanders open the door slowly and finds a disheveled unshaven Trump sitting at his desk with a big grin on his face. On top of his desk is a completed 30-piece puzzle of the New York skyline.

Sanders doesn’t know what to make of it.

Trump leans back triumphantly in his chair and says. “I’ve got something for your next press conference…” Sarah takes out her notebook.

“You see that puzzle?” Trump asks pointing at his desk. “Well, the box says ‘3 to 7 years’ and me, I finished it in JUST 6 DAYS!”

I would be interested if anyone has a really good Donald Trump joke, either for him or against him. Meanwhile there are lots of jokes about the Democrats I do find funny. E.g.

Maybe I’m just not looking in the right place.

An actuary looks at record temperatures and random chance

# records days Probability
0 10.1%
1 23.3%
2 26.7%
3 20.3%
4 11.5%
5+ 8.1%

I have asked an actuary to look more closely at the data I put up on Record temperatures and random chance. Based on a few assumptions, the probability that in any year a weather station will not produce a single record event is 10.1% so that the probability there will be at least one is 89.9%. What is therefore very unlikely is that there will be no such event in any year, and that is with weather stations that have been around for more than a hundred years. The more recent a station has been set up, the more likely there will be a record event in any given year. Given how many stations there are, there will be thousands of such record events in any given year, and for many of those stations, there will be more than one such event. In 8.1% of stations there may be five or more.

Record events happen all the time. There is ZERO information about whether the planet is heating by noting that a record high temperature has occurred in some place or another. If this were Uri Geller bending spoons with the power of his mind, it wouldn’t matter. A few dummies get conned and that would be the end of it. That we are dismantling and refusing to build coal-fired power-generating installations is a form of insanity that is making some very undeserving people very wealthy while threatening the future prosperity and living standards of many many others.

An outline of my economic beliefs in an email to an American colleague

A letter I sent to an American economist who had sent me two books to read. This is my reply.

I read the books you sent with great interest, one which I thought was part of the problem as I see it and the other of sublime excellence, better even than the authors know. But to help you understand where I am at, I will put in the cover note for this next book of mine that I have written but not yet submitted to the publisher [ie the book’s been submitted but not my version of the cover text]. I have highlighted the part of what I do that puts me outside the norm even among we on the free market side of things.

‘Classical Economic Theory and the Modern Economy’

The book starts with two premises: First, that economic theory reached its deepest level of understanding in the writings of John Stuart Mill and the classical economists of his time, and then, secondly, the author of this book has understood Mill and has accurately explained what the classical school of the late nineteenth century wrote. From these premises, this then follows.

If you are to have any hope of understanding how an economy works, and how modern economic theory became the dead end it has become, you will need to read this book.

The classical economists, and John Stuart Mill in particular, lived through the Industrial Revolution, saw its astonishing economic transformation before their eyes, and explained, so others could understand for themselves, how their prosperity had been created through the emergence of the market economy.

Mill, the greatest utilitarian philosopher of his age, refused to use utility as part of his theory of value. Mill explicitly and emphatically denied any role for aggregate demand in the creation of employment. In reaching these conclusions, there was no disagreement among the entire mainstream economics community of his time.

First through the Marginal Revolution of the 1870s, and then through the Keynesian Revolution of the 1930s, the entire edifice of classical theory has been obliterated. From a classical perspective, modern economic theory is Mercantilist trash. If you are interested in how economic theory became the wasteland it has become, and wish to understand the classical theory no one any longer has the slightest clue about, this is the book you must read.

I think of the Marginal Revolution in much the same way I think of the Keynesian Revolution. It shifted focus to the demand side of the economy, lost touch with actual measurable quantities, and replaced an utterly meaningless concept – utility – for what had mattered to the classicals, production costs relative to demand. They have rendered much of economics into a series of abstraction with little concrete to examine. So to the books.

The one I didn’t especially like was Economics and Free Markets which I won’t go much into. Starts with marginal analysis and then goes through supply and demand omitting the single most important element, which everyone else omits as well: no seller ever knows the position or shape of the demand curve for any product they are selling. Demand curves are not concrete entities but are nevertheless treated as if they represent known matters. In reality, everyone in an economy travels blind and has to guess their way into profitability. Some parts of the book were all right, but really, to my mind part of the problem.

On the other hand, I thought Applied Mainline Economics was excellent and even better than the authors themselves understood, which I hope they will forgive me for saying. And what they have done is put together a classical text without knowing it which they describe as “mainline economic thinking”. I wrote a blog post to myself on it which I hope will be sufficiently clear to see what I’m saying.

This is an astonishingly excellent text which understands a great deal but misses the most important part. This is the text: Applied Mainline Economics: Bridging the Gap between Theory and Public Policy by Matthew D. Mitchell and Peter Boettke. And there we find (pp. 2-3):

And though mainline concepts are constantly evolving, they draw their inspiration from, and are intimately connected with the enduring lessons of early economic thinkers. A line connects the contemporary variants of these ideas to insightes of Thomas Aquinas of the 13th century; the Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, such as Adam Smith of the 18th century; and the Neoclassical school of the early 20th century. Thinkers in the last few decades have extended this line of inquiry, including Nobel laureates F.A Hayek, James Buchanan, Ronald Coase, Douglass North, Vernon Smith, and Elinor Ostrom.

Let’s see who’s included which adds in those mentioned in ftn 5 of Chapter 2:

  • Thomas Aquinas of the 13th century;
  • fifteenth and sixteenth century scholastics;
  • the Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, such as Adam Smith of the 18th century;
  • 19th century French liberals Jean Baptiste Say and Frédéric Bastiat;
  • the Neoclassical school of the early 20th century
  • thinkers in the last few decades, including Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, F.A Hayek, James Buchanan, Ronald Coase, Douglass North, Vernon Smith, and Elinor Ostrom

Now let’s see who is missing? Who is missing in particular is the English Classical School of the mid-19th century and especially John Stuart Mill.

And then there is a list of characteristics that have been suggested over the years that breed strong economies which include everything discussed by Mill and the his contemporary classical economists:

  • specialisation and the division of labour
  • institutional structures
  • natural endowments
  • geographical advantages
  • capital accumulation and growth
  • cultural inheritance
  • personal traits such as attitudes to thrift and hard work
  • technological sensibilities
  • individual liberty
  • social attitudes to commercial activity

And yet it is Mill and the Classical School whose perspective is the perspective most congruous with these characteristics which is left out. And you know why that is? Because no one has any idea what they said. There is a gap between Ricardo, who died in 1821 and the coming of the Marginal Revolution in 1870 that is almost entirely unknown to economists today.

My specialty is that gap. That is what my books are about and especially my textbook which is Mill’s Principles for the twenty-first century. I will leave you with the bits that I included in my Christmas letters to friends who are economists; no one else would be even slightly interested while my economist friends are slightly interested, mainly to see just how absurd my economic views have become, although I am happy to say some of my friends even agree with me. Hopefully you will also see my point.

I have finally submitted the full text of my next book in the proper format which is very nice but took a month of fiddling to get it exactly right and ready for publication, and that was after the two years it took to write. This is what it’s about via the blurb they put together:

“Economic theory reached its highest level of analytical power and depth of understanding in the middle of the nineteenth century among John Stuart Mill and his contemporaries. This book explains what took place in the ensuing Marginal Revolution and Keynesian Revolution that left economists less able to understand how economies operate. It explores the false mythology that has obscured the arguments of classical economists, providing a pathway into the theory they developed.”

There is also the second book I have been finishing off which I finally completed today. It is a near-definitive collection of all of the anti-Keynesian articles and excerpts from every anti-Keynesian book of any importance ever written.

Not entirely best-seller material, but fascinating to me. Since the basis for everything I believe about an economy is based on John Stuart Mill’s Principles of Political Economy which was the most used text in English from 1848 till around 1890 and remained as a major text used everywhere until around 1920 I am following along after someone who ought to have a few street creds you might think. But then classical theory went out of fashion and then there was the Keynesian Revolution and then economics became mathematical and then diagrams infested economic texts page after page and then economic students became illiterate and beyond that, reading nineteenth century prose became impossible to almost everyone, specially economists and even then Mill is beyond just trying to read Trollope and Dickens and even then Mill, who wrote his 1000-page text in around 18 months so his is not exactly a polished account filled as it is with 100-150 word sentences and worse, often going off on tangents to explain what he is getting at using examples that can go on for five pages where if you don’t already know what he is getting at cannot be followed. But I love what he says and how he says it. It is pure common sense to me – highest IQ of the nineteenth century; fifth highest of all times if you take these things seriously – and since nothing about how an economy works has changed all that much at a theoretical level since around 1776, I remain possibly the only economist, even among historians of economics, who understands not just what Mill was getting at, but also agree with virtually everything he says. So while my projections and forecasts have never been wrong, no one pays any attention to me because my reasoning is so foreign to everything an economist thinks, or is supposed to think. Since in my books it is not just Keynesian macro but also marginalist micro that I throw onto the dust bin of history, there is not much of “that modernist stuff gone sour and silly” left around by the time I am through with it – the quote, btw, is from Keynes in 1946 looking at what had become of The General Theory by the time it got into the hands of Joan Robinson.

If you are still with me, I will leave you this which was published this year as a tenth anniversary reminiscence following an article I wrote in 2009:

It starts with a quote from an Australian Senator who was querying me during some Committee meeting in 2009 about my opposition to the stimulus which really does capture where I am:

Why have the IMF, the OECD, the ILO, the treasuries of every advanced economy, the Treasury in Australia, the business economists around the world, why have they got it so wrong and yet you in your ivory tower at RMIT have got it so right?
—Question to Steven Kates from Senator Doug Cameron, Senate Economic References Committee, September 21, 2009

Funny to me but no one pays any attention. To be right too soon makes everyone think you are wrong in principle. All they remember is that they disagreed with you about something, but what it was they never remember.

My aim is that eventually, around fifty years from now, when economics returns to where it once was, that someone will discover my book and say, look, this guy Steve Kates, he got it nearly right fifty years ago. “Nearly” because everything is always a little off centre and no two economists ever think about anything in exactly the same way. On the other hand, by then every economy in the world may be like Venezuela is today and no one will even be able to understand a word, just as no one can understand Mill today.

“Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe” we were told 20 years ago

From Report Hyped by Climate Alarmists Warned of Million of Deaths, Nuclear War, Sunken Major Cities by 2020.

According to experts, climate change will result in “millions” of deaths, major European cities being sunken, nuclear war and global environmental riots…all within the next 5 days.

That’s because they made the prediction back in 2004 and said all that would happen by 2020, which is just 5 days away.

“Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters,” reported left-wing newspaper the Guardian on February 22, 2004.

“A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world,” the report added.

The alarmist document went on to claim that nations would resort to using nuclear weapons to protect dwindling food supplies, a situation that would “bring the planet to the edge of anarchy.”

All from The Ministry of Truth as the clock strikes thirteen.

But they’re nicer so why complain?

From Males Are Faring Much Worse Than Females: Busting the Myth of Male Privilege in a Single Chart.

The chart originates here. These are listed in the post:

4. There are hundreds of single-sex, girl-only summer (and other) STEM programs at universities all over the country that illegally discriminate against boys in violation of Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination, including sex discrimination against males. More than 70 of those programs are currently being challenged for violating Title IX and more than 30 programs are now subject to federal investigations for civil rights violations. At least six of those programs have either been discontinued, supplemented with boy-only programs, or converted to co-ed programs open to students of all gender identities.

5. Multiple single-sex, girl-only computer science and STEM organizations that exclude boys including Girls Who CodeLatina Girls CodeBlack Girls CodeTechbridge Girls, and Project Scientist. Some of those programs are currently being legally challenged with complaints to the Office for Civil Rights when those programs are hosted on the campus of a university that receives federal financial assistance and is therefore required to enforce Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination.

6. There are Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE and similar names) departments or units at most major universities like the University of MichiganRochester Institute of TechnologySyracuse University. and Georgia Tech. There isn’t a single “Men in Science and Engineering” program in the country, and there are no “Men in Nursing” or “Men in Education” programs that address the under-representation of men in those academic fields.

Of course, there’s this as well: Why do women feel horrible about feminism? which comes with the sub-heading: “How did a movement that has achieved so much become so absurd and so vicious?” Here is one of the achievements which will help you gauge where this article is coming from.Greta Thunberg speaks during the UN Climate Action Summit in September. Picture: AFP

This month Time magazine named a 16-year-old girl as its Person of the Year. Again, you don’t have to like her. You may think her misguided. But Greta Thunberg is captain of a movement that seeks to change the whole world. She did not, as many expected, receive the Nobel Peace Prize, but Malala Yousafzai did in 2014 for standing up for girls’ education; and Nadia Murad did last year for her campaign against sexual violence.

Her final para is definitive:

Maybe we disagree now, as women, about the way forward, but do we really? Forward is the way forward. It has ­always been that way.

What could be clearer than that?

Australia in the news

From Trump Rids Major U.S. Container Port of Chinese Communist Control:

It all started with a 40-year container terminal lease between the Port of Long Beach in southern California and Hong Kong. The Obama administration proudly signed the agreement in 2012 giving China control of America’s second-largest container port behind the nearby Port of Los Angeles. One of the Trump administration’s first big moves was to get the Communists out of the Port of Long Beach. After a national security review and federal intervention, the Long Beach terminal business, which handles millions of containers annually, is finally being sold to an Australian company called Macquarie Infrastructure Partners. That essentially kills China’s decades-long contract with the Obama administration.

Democrats do not deserve to live in a democracy

They want to be taken care of, not to run their own lives. They want others to feed them, clothe them and house them, not to produce and earn these things for themselves. They believe that they can remain personally free where they are dependent on others for much of what they receive. But the issue is much much more than just their ignorance.

Donald Trump was elected president and is president based on the rules of the democratic game. The Democrats are using every means they can devise – legal and illegal – to overturn that election. Their media conspirators are in it up to the hilt, lying at every turn and ignoring any news that shows a positive picture of America that can be attributed to the president. They lie and cheat at every turn. They are corrupt and dishonest. And on their side there is no disgust or shame in what they are doing. There are no higher principles they are defending.

Is Home Alone a Christmas movie?

Apparently most of it but not all: CBC Cuts Donald Trump’s ‘Home Alone 2’ Cameo Out of Broadcast. It’s the CBC who apparently cannot bear even six positive seconds of Donald Trump. They’re like the ABC and no doubt the BBC along with every one of the traditional non-Fox networks in the US. They will filter out anything that does not fit the story they want their viewer to believe. Are people really content with such obvious and continuous efforts to shape their opinions? The left are wilfully happy to become Manchurian Candidates. It is spooky to see it before our eyes.

And on the same day there was this as well: Soldier Asks Donald Trump About Cameo in Hit Christmas Movie ‘Home Alone 2’.

“It was an honor to do it. It turned out to be a very big hit, obviously. It’s a big Christmas hit, one of the biggest,” Trump said. “It’s an honor to be involved in something like that.”

It’s almost unimaginable how small-minded and petty the media are.

An example why Quora will provide you with nothing worth knowing

Did I ever mention that Quora deleted my answer to the one time I put something up on The difference between Keynesian and classical economics? One day it was there and the next time I looked it was not. Obviously offended someone, but I thought the point was to have all perspectives there so that others could think things through.

This was a Quora answer that has just been forwarded to me that is unlikely ever to come down. How would anyone know any better if they didn’t actually already know any better? Is there another answer somewhere on Hitler of a similar calibre? The more information we have, the less it is we seem to know.


  1. Stalin was kicked out of seminary for passing out Marxist literature.
  2. Some people talk about socialism but don’t do anything. Not Stalin, he helped the Bolsheviks rob banks to get the necessary funds to continue their efforts.
  3. Stalin had the resolve to commit to the 5 Year Plan. Without this the USSR, which was 100 years behind the West in industrialization, would have certainly fallen to Hitler. And this would not have meant just being conquered. Hitler believed Slavs were inferior to Aryans, so he would have done more extermination. Jews, communists, gypsies, all sorts of people would have been exterminated.
  4. Armchair historians, knowing what happened after the fact, like to judge Stalin. But we must consider he lived during a time of great turmoil. There were many plots against the Soviet Union, both from within and from without. Lenin had been shot three times and ultimately died from his wounds. Stalin would eventually be poisoned. The purpose of the purges was to protect against these threats. Later historians that had access to documents not available until after the fall of the Soviet Union concluded that Stalin was as much reacting to events as causing them. His power was not quite as consolidated as imagined. Many officials below him were engaging in acts on their own, apart from Stalin’s command.
  5. There were also many lies perpetuated against Stalin for political purposes. The Holomodor was a result of drought, the peasants intentionally destroying their harvests, a population boom, and the increased urbanization (needed to fulfill the industrialization to be prepared against German attack). The Nazis perpetuated lies about the famine being intentional to increase Ukrainian nationalism because they were later to attack. This information was spread by the Nazi supporting newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. The major historians, such as Conquest and Pipes, were anti-communists. The Cold War also perpetuated anti-Stalin propaganda. Kruschev ruled after the death of Stalin. He hated Stalin because Stalin refused to intervene when his son was on trial for murder. Kruschev gave a devastating speech after Stalin’s death, accusing him of many lies. Subsequent fact checkers disproved those lies.
  6. The gulags were necessary. There were some who refused to live under communism. They were actively seeking to destroy the society all were attempting to build. The gulags served as a prison. But only 5% of those in the gulags were political prisoners. And these were not extermination camps. Most people came home. The death rate was 6%. Most were violent criminals.
  7. Revolutions are bloody. It was bloody for Lenin, too.
  8. There are some that say that leaders after Stalin could maintain order without engaging in purges, gulags, etc. But it is impossible to say this for certain because you cannot go back in time and test that hypothesis. We do know that Lenin also faced horrible resistance from imperialist nations and former Tsarists upset about their land being taken, as well as kulaks that refused to share their grain.

Seriously, is this a parody joke reply or is it meant to be taken as a genuine answer?

Record temperatures and random chance

This is something I have been thinking about for a while but has been brought to a head by this article: Extreme weather in 2019 broke over 120,000 records in US: report.

Extreme weather incidents in 2019 set more than 120,000 daily records across the U.S. according to data from the National Centers for Environmental Information.

The 122,055 records set include record daily high and low temperatures as well as record rain and snow.

CNN reported on the record events, noting heat waves that hit Alaska and raised temps to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, a winter storm that brought snow to Hawaii, and rain that flooded the Midwest and hurt crops.

The report comes after a year of devastating climate events, from Hurricane Dorian to record melting of ice sheets. Other countries also saw record-breaking heat and cold, and raging fires severely damaged the Amazon rainforest.

Note that these records are not just about heat, as in global warming, but about cold, and rain and other climate events that ended up breaking whatever had been the previous record. My quesion therefore is this, and I will stick to just record high temperatures.

If there are 365 days in a year, and a weather station has been in existence somewhere for say 120 years, how many days during any normal year will turn out to produce a record high temperature just by random chance?

As far as I can tell, there should be approximately three such record temperatures a year for each and every weather station. And if the station has only been running for 60 years say, then there should be around six days during the year that should produce a record high temperature. A new station should have 365 records a year and after a year 183.

This looks obvious to me. So is this right or wrong, and if it’s wrong, why is it wrong?

And of course, if it is right, then these weather cranks should shut up every time some record is broken somewhere since a new record is in itself meaningless.