The worst premier in Australian history

Daniel Andrews is good at wasting money on over-priced infrastructure projects. He had already bankrupted the State even before the Chinese Flu came along. But here is the psychology of what then occurred. Although he is quite stupid, he thinks of himself as a genius. And what he has found out is that his stupidity is now recognised by all, other than the dwindling number of our fellow citizens caught up in the toxic virus of the Melbourne Syndrome. And along with his low grade intelligence, he has a ridiculously high level of self-regard. As a result, the incessant level of bungling has led to his refusing to admit that even a single one of his decisions has been at the centre of the problems in dealing with Covid. Look at this from The Oz today:

Josh Frydenberg, the nation’s most senior Victorian federal minister, has pleaded with Daniel ­Andrews to free Victorians from “devastating’’ coronavirus restrictions, warning that businesses are losing hope and the state now has 40 per cent of the nation’s effective unemployed.

The Treasurer sparked a bitter political row with the Victorian Premier on Monday when he ­accused Mr Andrews of “callous indifference” towards economic hardship in the state after restrictions on many businesses were ­extended for two weeks.

A dismissive Mr Andrews hit back, accusing Mr Frydenberg of playing politics when Victorians wanted their families kept safe so the state could reopen safely.

More psychology here, this time a bit of projection when he accuses The Treasurer of “playing politics”.

Face it, he’s a political moron and even worse economic manager. But he has had some psychological wire tripped and he is now going to show us how it is done properly.

He was elected because he promised to get rid of rail crossings and even he found it too expensive and hasn’t done it. Now he is in charge of dealing with the Covid where we once again discover how massively out of his depth he is.

And there is this which has just cropped up. I wonder who Mr Stupid will blame: Hotel quarantine guests at risk of HIV and other viruses after testing blunder.More than 200 people who were in Victoria’s hotel quarantine program are being urged to get tested for HIV and other viruses after a testing mix-up.`State health authorities have announced that 243 people are being advised to undergo testing for Hepatitis B and C and HIV after it was revealed that single-use blood glucose testing kits were used multiple times.

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Dan really has to go. Worst Premier in Australian history.

There has never been a government with such a high approval-to-incompetence ratio

Guess who that is? And guess what it’s about. The first two minutes should make you sick. Do not watch too much more since it will be bad for your health. Much more dangerous than CV-1984.

So this is where we are with Mr Stupid: Andrews threatens border closures over Kiwi arrivals. There has never been a government with such a high approval-to-incompetence ratio. Bumbling fools comes nowhere near covering it. Twenty-one years of almost continuous Labor Party management have brought community expectations for their governments to the lowest level in history.

Mr Andrews said he had previously told the federal government Victoria was not part of the travel bubble and blamed federal authorities for the arrivals, saying he did not know they were coming and they should have been stopped before they boarded flights to Melbourne. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian made it clear her government would not prevent passengers travelling to Victoria, with a spokeswoman saying the issue was a matter for the southern state. Victoria’s borders are not closed to NSW…. Victorian authorities spent much of yesterday trying to track down the travellers, with Mr Andrews conceding the state’s health department had no power to stop passengers, detain them or force them into quarantine if they had arrived from interstate, rather than overseas.

They arrive from places where there are no cases of the Corona Virus, so what’s the problem? And if you want more evidence just how incompetent these people are, try this although there is much much more:

A spokeswoman for the federal Department of Health confirmed Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton was present at a meeting on October 12 when the matter of onwards travel of New Zealanders from Sydney to Melbourne was discussed. Mr Tudge also tweeted that Professor Sutton “did not raise any concerns” in the discussions. It also emerged Mr Andrews’ own department had given one of the arrivals from NZ the green light two weeks ago to travel onward to Victoria although the advice, from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, was issued before Mr Andrews had officially declared his state was not joining the travel bubble. The Age has also seen an email from the Premier’s Department, sent on October 12 in response to a query about travel from NZ via Sydney, that clearly advised that Victoria’s borders were open and that the traveller was free to arrive in the southern state.

I can only think Dan is still there because the rest of his cabinet has joined Michael O’Brien (the unknown leader of the Liberal Party) in not wanting to become Premier until the present Victorian mess is limited to the level of “Ongoing Catastrophe” from its present level of “Major Calamity”.

A reply to Spud

Dear M. Patate

It was not as if  in writing this I had gone through the comments at the Oz, found one I liked, copied it into the post and then closed up shop. I read them all through, many that came after yours, and still only really like the one you wrote. And what I liked and what is missing in so much of the pro-Trump things I read, are policy details. It is what I complain about in the Biden stuff as you know. Why should one vote for Joe? No one else seems to think policy detail matters. Actually everyone does but very few seem to think it’s worth discussing. It’s perfectly clear that the Dems are all in for green new deal; “free” healthcare; unlimited rights to abortion right through to the ninth (tenth) month; open borders; ending of our European cultural and political tradition; the confiscation of guns; and socialism. But other than in narrow and infrequent moments of clarity, none of this is ever said just like that since it kills off votes, since to be for any one or two of these will alert people who are against any of the others. And vice versa from our side.

We are, in contrast, in favour of:

  • a comprehensive public health care system in which costs nevertheless constrain access (as it must always do but which is kept as a secret)
  • legislated rights to abortion with the limitations specified
  • limits to welfare with an emphasis on earning one’s own way in the world
  • climate change scepticism but with full-on over genuine conservation (we are conservatives)
  • border protection
  • Western civic tradition as our guide to political legitimacy;
  • a defence of Israel and Taiwan, plus a few others (which hopefully includes Australia)
  • the second amendment right to bear arms, and
  • capitalism and the free market.

Other than the first two, the ending of the rest must over time put an end to our way of life. But this list, which is shared between us, is many steps too far to many others who might accept some but not all. It’s depressing.

If Hitler hadn’t started the war and if he had merely expelled the Jews, the Nazis would still be there, and an inspiration to many others in the West most of whom now vote for the Dems.

In the middle of this there is an old guy with his head in his hands. That old guy is us.

The Oz is the New York Times of Australia

For myself, there is no insult I could make that is greater than that, but so it seems. Having discussed here  just this morning how bizarrely anti-Trump The Australian is, I now come across this from The NYT. A series of vague general statements with a complete absence of policy issues over which they might prefer Joe Biden instead.

Donald Trump’s re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.

Mr. Trump’s ruinous tenure already has gravely damaged the United States at home and around the world. He has abused the power of his office and denied the legitimacy of his political opponents, shattering the norms that have bound the nation together for generations. He has subsumed the public interest to the profitability of his business and political interests. He has shown a breathtaking disregard for the lives and liberties of Americans. He is a man unworthy of the office he holds.

The editorial board does not lightly indict a duly elected president. During Mr. Trump’s term, we have called out his racism and his xenophobia. We have critiqued his vandalism of the postwar consensus, a system of alliances and relationships around the globe that cost a great many lives to establish and maintain. We have, again and again, deplored his divisive rhetoric and his malicious attacks on fellow Americans. Yet when the Senate refused to convict the president for obvious abuses of power and obstruction, we counseled his political opponents to focus their outrage on defeating him at the ballot box.

Nov. 3 can be a turning point. This is an election about the country’s future, and what path its citizens wish to choose.

The newspaper of broken-record disseminates the lies for every shallow nitwit across the world to repeat ad nauseum. Let me just return to the comments section on Van Onselen,  and pluck just this from the hundreds of criticisms of his sophisms listed according to “Best”. This is from “Spud”; obviously from his aristocratic name a well-known and highly regarded non-deplorable:

“Trump’s poor performance”
He’s led the US into no new wars
He’s routed ISIS (remember them?)
He’s rebuilt the US military (you know, the military we depend upon)
He’s stood up against China’s rapacious trade policies
He’s forced NATO countries to front up more for their own defence
He’s relocated the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem (long promised, never delivered until Trump) and recognised the Golan heights as being part of Israel (a must-have for Israel’s defence)
He’s brokered peace deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain (Nobel Peace Prize 2021?)
He’s curbed illegal immigration, including with a wall (OK, the Mexicans didn’t pay for it)
He’s replaced NAFTA with an improved trade deal with Mexico and Canada
He reduced regulations and taxes, producing US energy independence and, before COVID hit, the lowest Black and Hispanic unemployment on record; combined with an upsurge in real wage growth
He’s brought back manufacturing jobs when Obama and those in the know said it couldn’t be done
He’s promoted and signed the First Step Act to lessen the over-incarceration of black offenders
He’s established business opportunity zones in the inner cities to help minorities escape despair
He’s supported school choice and charter schools for disadvantaged children
He’s promoted and signed a bill to provide permanent funding for traditionally black colleges.
He’s appointed objective federal judges and Supreme Court justices to defend the constitution, as distinct from politically motivated activists.

It turns my stomach how straight-out ignorant our supposedly educated class actually is.

In academia who would self-report anything else?

I have just received a note from a journal that my article will not be included in a forthcoming overview of one of the world’s great economists (now sadly deceased).

I am sorry to inform you that your proposal has not been selected for inclusion in the special issue. There were many excellent proposals, including some with significant overlap with yours. We have decided to go with a few more historically oriented pieces by young scholars.

The probability that someone else will be writing on Say’s Law approaches nil, but I suspect this is a form-letter sent out to everyone whose proposals were rejected. Nothing new here for me. I mention it really only to draw attention to the above chart. Economics is in the blue columns on the right, but they’re all more or less the same no matter what the discipline (although economics is a bit better than the others). These are the social sciences where you would expect this kind of outcome, but I wonder how different it would look for physics and chemistry.

The chart is from THE GEEK IN PICTURES at Powerline which has a number of equally interesting charts about the world we inhabit.

Proving by the absence of a contrary argument why Donald Trump should be re-elected

These independent columnists at The Oz are for the most part a pretty shallow lot when it comes to discussing American politics. There are not one but two anti-Trump articles today. I read all such articles religiously wherever they show up, since I am in an ongoing pursuit of the contra case which has been utterly invisible up until now. There is, of course, no case for Biden, But after four years of his presidency, there must be an anti-Trump case somewhere. But if there is, you won’t find it in The Australian.

This is Peter Van Onselen’s take, who, he writes, “seriously toyed with renouncing his [American] citizenship four years ago when Trump won”. I’ll bet. Just like all the folks who threatened to move to Canada. From what he has written today, he is obviously unable to have learned anything since 2016. Here’s what he has to say four years later: US election 2020: For decency’s sake, Trump must not be returned. Why then is that?

“The damage four more years of Trump would do to American society, its standing in the world, the Republican Party and conservatism as an ideology isn’t worth thinking about…. His mocking of people’s looks, gender, sexual orientation and those with a disability makes him unfit to run a corner shop much less a country…. The cause of conservatives will continue to drift further from what conservatism is supposed to represent: a defence of institutions and respect for process and good governance.

“[There is] his ongoing (near endless) personal abuse of anyone who challenges him. His profound mishandling of the COVID crisis. Despite the way Trump threatens to tear down institutions and denigrate the fourth estate at every opportunity. All the while bringing American democracy into disrepute….

“[There is also] Trump’s flippant attitude towards the dangers COVID-19….

“Trump has never been about anything other than his own aggrandisement. But the way so-called conservative commenta­tors and politicians have abided Trump, even spruiked for him, is much harder to forgive. Doing so exposed how shallow their collective beliefs and ideological understanding really is.

There it is. That’s the case. If anyone can find anything else, they are welcome to add it in. Especially absurd is his telling conservatives what to believe as if he has even an inkling of a notion what conservatism is. How do people like that get paid real money to write such trash?

There is then the equally dense Troy Bramston in his US election 2020: Voters are tired of Trump’s catastrophic presidency. Same challenge, to find anything of substance from one end of the column to the other. Not that there is much effort made to make such  case. The entire article is about polling and how Trump is almost certain to lose which he may well do, in large part because of the full court press all across the media. These are, in full, his reasons why he ought to lose.

Trump has been a catastrophic president….

The most important election issue is COVID-19. Trump’s handling of the pandemic has been disastrous.

Both are an embarrassment to The Australian and to journalism. The Murdoch Press is gung ho in opposing Trump’s re-election. Their columnists have apparently followed the boss’s orders in trying to make the invisible case for voting for Joe Biden instead. What their writings show beyond anything else is that no such case exists because if it did, someone would be able to make it.

In every generation they rise up against us, even in this one

This article by Bari Weiss is mainly addressed to Jews about the dangers the Jewish community faces from the new factions of the left within the politics of the West. I’ll come to the Jewish element at the end of this post, but first I wish to note how accurately she has outlined the liberal traditions that developed over the past two hundred years that is now almost entirely the ideology of the conservative right. She naturally takes sideswipes at Donald Trump since otherwise no one in her intended audience would listen to her, and for all I know that is what she actually believes. But what she outlines is what I believe, and she outlines the dangers that now confront all of us as well. She is a very brave woman, and brilliantly articulate. First she pretends there is a danger from we conservatives, but then she goes on to make her genuine point.

There is another danger, this one from the left. And unlike Trump, this one has attained cultural dominance, capturing America’s elites and our most powerful institutions. In the event of a Biden victory, it is hard to imagine it meeting resistance. So let me make my purpose perfectly clear: I am here to ring the alarm. I’m here to say: Do not be shocked anymore. Stop saying, can you believe. It’s time to accept reality, if we want to have any hope of fixing it.

To understand the enormity of the change we are now living through, take a moment to understand America as the overwhelming majority of its Jews believed it was—and perhaps as we always assumed it would be.

It was liberal.

Not liberal in the narrow, partisan sense, but liberal in the most capacious and distinctly American sense of that word: the belief that everyone is equal because everyone is created in the image of God. The belief in the sacredness of the individual over the group or the tribe. The belief that the rule of law—and equality under that law—is the foundation of a free society. The belief that due process and the presumption of innocence are good and that mob violence is bad. The belief that pluralism is a source of our strength; that tolerance is a reason for pride; and that liberty of thought, faith, and speech are the bedrocks of democracy.

The liberal worldview was one that recognized that there were things—indeed, the most important things—in life that were located outside of the realm of politics: friendships, art, music, family, love. This was a world in which Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg could be close friends. Because, as Scalia once said, some things are more important than votes.

Crucially, this liberalism relied on the view that the Enlightenment tools of reason and the scientific method might have been designed by dead white guys, but they belonged to everyone, and they were the best tools for human progress that have ever been devised.

Racism was evil because it contradicted the foundations of this worldview, since it judged people not based on the content of their character, but on the color of their skin. And while America’s founders were guilty of undeniable hypocrisy, their own moral failings did not invalidate their transformational project. The founding documents were not evil to the core but “magnificent,” as Martin Luther King Jr. put it, because they were “a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.” In other words: The founders themselves planted the seeds of slavery’s destruction. And our second founding fathers—abolitionists like Frederick Douglass—made it so. America would never be perfect, but we could always strive toward building a more perfect union.

I didn’t even know that this worldview had a name because it was baked into everything I came into contact with—my parents’ worldviews, the schools they sent me to, the synagogues we attended, the magazines and newspapers we read, and so on.

I was among many millions of Americans cosseted by these ideals. Since World War II, American intellectual and cultural life has been produced and protected by a set of institutions—universities, newspapers, magazines, record companies, professional associations, labor unions, cultural venues, publishing houses, Hollywood studios, think tanks, historical museums, art museums—that aligned, broadly, with those principles. As such, they had incredible power—power that demanded our respect because they held up the liberal order.

No longer. American liberalism is under siege. There is a new ideology vying to replace it.

And here in describing what is replacing the liberal world order, she gets it unfortunately exactly right.

No one has yet decided on the name for the force that has come to unseat liberalism. Some say it’s “Social Justice.” The author Rod Dreher has called it “therapeutic totalitarianism.” The writer Wesley Yang refers to it as “the successor ideology”—as in, the successor to liberalism.

At some point, it will have a formal name, one that properly describes its mixture of postmodernism, postcolonialism, identity politics, neo-Marxism, critical race theory, intersectionality, and the therapeutic mentality. Until then, it is up to each of us to see it plainly. We need to look past the hashtags and slogans and the jargon to assess it honestly—and then to explain it to others.

The new creed’s premise goes something like this: We are in a war in which the forces of justice and progress are arrayed against the forces of backwardness and oppression. And in a war, the normal rules of the game—due process; political compromise; the presumption of innocence; free speech; even reason itself—must be suspended. Indeed, those rules themselves were corrupt to begin with—designed, as they were, by dead white males in order to uphold their own power.

“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house,” as the writer Audre Lorde put it. And the master’s house must be dismantled—because the house is rotted at its foundation.

The beating heart of this new ideology is critical race theory. The legal scholar Angela Harris put it concisely in her foreword to Critical Race Theory: An Introduction:

“Unlike traditional civil rights discourse, which stresses incrementalism and step-by-step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.”

Critical race theory says there is no such thing as neutrality, not even in the law, which is why the very notion of colorblindness—the Kingian dream of judging people not based on the color of their skin but by the content of their character—must itself be deemed racist. Racism is no longer about individual discrimination. It is about systems that allow for disparate outcomes among racial groups. If everyone doesn’t finish the race at the same time, then the course must have been flawed and should be dismantled.

Thus the efforts to do away with the SAT, or the admissions test for elite public schools like Stuyvesant and Lowell—for decades, the engines of American meritocracy that allowed children of poor and working-class families to advance on their merits, regardless of race. Or the argument made recently by The New York Times’ classical music critic to do away with blind auditions for orchestras.

In fact, any feature of human existence that creates disparity of outcomes must be eradicated: The nuclear family, politeness, even rationality itself can be defined as inherently racist or evidence of white supremacy, as a Smithsonian institution suggested this summer. The KIPP charter schools recently eliminated the phrase “work hard” from its famous motto “Work Hard. Be Nice.” because the idea of working hard “supports the illusion of meritocracy.” Denise Young Smith, one of the first Black people to reach Apple’s executive team, left her job in the wake of asserting that skin color wasn’t the only legitimate marker of diversity—the victim of a “diversity culture” that, as the writer Zaid Jilani has noted, is spreading “across the entire corporate world and is enforced by a highly educated activist class.”

The most powerful exponent of this worldview is Ibram X. Kendi. His book “How to Be an Antiracist” is on the top of every bestseller list; his photograph graces GQ; he is on Time’s most influential people of the year; and his outfit at Boston University was recently awarded $10 million from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

According to Kendi, we are all either racist or anti-racist. To be a Good Person and not a Bad Person, you must be an “anti-racist.” There is no neutrality, no such thing as “not racist.” Indeed, Kendi wants to ban those words from the dictionary.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous speech would not meet Kendi’s definition of anti-racism, nor would the one Barack Obama made about there being too many fatherless Black families. Indeed, nearly everything that Americans have been taught about how to be anti-racist for the past several decades is, according to Kendi’s explicit definition, racist.

It’s a rhetorically brilliant strategy. Racism is the gravest sin in American life. Who would ever want to be anything other than an anti-racist? And so under the guise of a righteous effort to achieve overdue justice and equality of opportunity for Black Americans, Kendi and his ideological allies are presenting Americans with a zero-sum choice: conform to their worldview or be indistinguishable from the likes of Richard Spencer.

And just in case moral suasion is ineffective, Kendi has backup: Use the power of the federal government to make it so. “To fix the original sin of racism,” he wrote in Politico, “Americans should pass an anti-racist amendment to the U.S. Constitution that enshrines two guiding anti-racist principals [sic]: Racial inequity is evidence of racist policy and the different racial groups are equals.” To back up the amendment, he proposes a Department of Anti-Racism. This department would have the power to investigate not just local governments but private businesses and would punish those “who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas.” Imagine how such a department would view a Jewish day school, which suggests that the Jews are God’s chosen people, let alone one that teaches Zionism.

Kendi—who, it should be noted, now holds Elie Wiesel’s old chair at Boston University—believes that “to be antiracist is to see all cultures in their differences as on the same level, as equals.” He writes: “When we see cultural difference we are seeing cultural difference—nothing more, nothing less.” It’s hard to imagine that anyone could believe that cultures that condone honor killings of unchaste young women are “nothing more, nothing less” than culturally different from our own. But whether he believes it or not, it’s obvious that embracing such relativism is a highly effective tool for ascension and seizing power.

The rest of her article is about the dangers all of this poses for Jews. Go to the link for the rest, but this is the first para of that next section.

It should go without saying that, for Jews, an ideology that contends that there are no meaningful differences between cultures is not simply ridiculous—we have an obviously distinct history, tradition and religion that has been the source of both enormous tragedy as well as boundless gifts—but is also, as history has shown, lethal.

She knows there are all too many Jews who will be unable to see it or understand it, but what is invisible to the older generation of post-War Jews is all too obvious to younger Jews today who wish to live a Jewish life. Go to the link to read all this and make your own assessment. I will here add in this to supplement the same points made above. This is from an article titled, Orthodox Jewish Rabbis Sue Cuomo for ‘Blatantly Anti-Semitic’ COVID Order. Here is the issue, and we are discussing New York, New York.

According to the lawsuit, Cuomo’s October 6 executive order “is blatantly anti-Semitic, creating religious-observance based color coded ‘hot-spot’ zones directed towards particular Jewish communities.”

The order “not only flagantly flies in the face of scientific evidence and the Soos Injunction” — a legal injunction preventing New York from subjecting religious services to extra restrictions over secular gatherings — but it also “specifically singles out the orthodox Jewish community in what has proven to be the latest extension of Governor Cuomo’s streak of anti-Semitic discrimination.”

And then there was also this today: New York’s beleaguered Jews strike back against Governor Cuomo. More of the same and where you should least expect it. “Governor Andrew Cuomo has gone full medieval, accusing Jews of spreading the Wuhan virus and attacking them with all of his political power.” It’s on the radar, at least for some.

It can’t happen here, maybe. Better to believe it could and then do what can be done to make sure it doesn’t. This may be where to start: How to Fight Anti-Semitism by that same Bari Weiss.

I’m sure Bruce will like things on Manus Island

Talk about undesirable migrants: ‘I’ll see you on the next plane’: Bruce Springsteen says he’ll ‘move to Australia’ if Donald Trump is re-elected – after accusing the president of ‘dividing’ America.

He made the remark – which wasn’t intended to be taken seriously – after sharing his thoughts on Trump’s re-election campaign and its chances of success.

Pop stars now share the same ideology as leading academics, virtually the whole of the public service and most of the media. Lowest common denominator among the generally unproductive, I suppose.