Why you must side with Donald Trump on impeachment

Since I was asked in a recent post about why we have been avoiding the impeachment story, let me say for myself that there is no there there to discuss. The Democrats and their enablers in the media are apparently willing to destroy the American system of government for some short-term gain in the right to formulate policy, which will ruin the balance of forces that maintain stability. I spent enough years in a political environment to see how things are done, and they are done behind closed doors where agreements are reached with the shake of a hand and then everyone else plays their part in allowing the agreed outcome to come about. There is nothing necessarily corrupt or dishonest about politics.

The one thing that is absolutely necessary is for the representatives of the various interests to be led by strong-willed people who know what they want to achieve and understand when they have gone as far as they can go, given the state of play. No decision I have ever been party to was constructed out of corrupt motives, although there has been quite a lot of political profiteering that has gone on.

Among the reasons I dislike Keynesian economics so much is that it turns governments into dispensers of wealth. Rather than producing value-adding goods and services, people can become very wealthy by being on the receiving end of public funds. There may seldom have been a gravy train as thick as the moneys being lashed out to supposedly prevent global warming, but that is how things are done. Windmills and solar panels, for all their waste and harm, are what the population really seems to want. Self-interest is the soul of politics and it’s not always enlightened.

But the Democrats’ relentless attacks on Donald Trump have gone beyond anything anyone has seen before. None of this is in dispute so far as I am concerned:

  • Barack Obama was at the centre of a cabal of insiders who did all they could by using various government institutions (such as the FBI) to undermine the electoral process to stop Donald Trump from becoming president;
  • There has been a continuous process to prevent and inhibit the Republicans from governing through illegal and unconstitutional actions;
  • Hillary Clinton was the most corrupt and stunningly incompetent politician ever to run for President – the Clinton Foundation was an open non-secret;
  • Joe Biden specifically admitted that he had forced the Ukrainian government from investigating his son who was for reasons unrelated to his knowledge and abilities on the board of a Ukrainian business, receiving millions of dollars, solely because his father, Joe Biden, was the Vice-President;
  • When Mueller could not find any evidence that the 2016 election had been tipped towards Trump by some kind of Russian interference, the Democrats turned on a dime to invent an absurd story about Trump applying pressure on the Ukrainian political system as a means to subvert Joe Biden’s run for the presidency;
  • The media are deranged in their fanatically biased distortions of the events of the day. There is virtually never a positive story in regard to Donald Trump. The ABC is a sewer of lies and distortions, but still remains better than any of the mainstream networks in the US.

And on it goes. Politics is a hard business and often very hard on those who get involved, but also often very lucrative. But the impeachment has reached a new and stunningly high-grade level of corruption. If the Democrats are allowed to succeed in what is essentially a coup, the United States will enter some form of socialist one-party state – not like the Soviet Union, more like Argentina – in which “the will of the people” will be an utterly meaningless expression with no actual reality on the ground.

If this does not worry you to the very depths, then you have no idea what democracy is and why in trying to preserve our way of life you must side with Donald Trump.

Donald Trump will speak on behalf of Delta House

This was picked up from Steve Hayward at Powerline: TRUMP VERSUS DEAN WORMER. He writes:

Trump as head of Delta House is actually a lot more accurate than the people who did this parody may realize. And I expect his second inaugural parade might resemble the Animal House version, too, as he ramrods the Deep State lined up on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue.

A bit too premature for me to be picking the result of the election in November, but why not be an optimist? And if you are not familiar with this scene from the greatest movie of my generation (well not quite), here it is.

Irving Fisher on Utility

Posted on the Shoe list on 27 January 2020.

Is “Utility” the Most Suitable Term for the Concept It is Used to Denote?

by Irving Fisher

American Economic Review, volume 8 (1918), pp. 335-7.

In all sciences, and particularly in one like economics, which appeals to the general public and which uses concepts and terms already at least partially familiar, it is a matter of some practical importance to select a suitable terminology.

The concept called “final degree of utility” by Jevon’s, “effective utility”, “specific utility”, and “marginal efficiency” by J. B. Clark, “marginal utility” and “marginal desirability” by Marshall, Gide and others, “Grenznutzen” by the Austrians, “Werth der letzten Atome” by Gossen, “rareté” by Walras, and “ophélimité” by Pareto, seem still in need of really satisfactory terms by which to express it.

Marshall improved greatly upon Jevons’ phrase when he substituted the term “marginal” for “final degree of”, and this improvement has been very generally recognized and accepted.

But, as yet, no generally accepted substitute for “utility” has been found. The term is a heritage of Bentham and his utilitarian philosophy. It is misleading to every beginner in economics and to the great untutored and naïve public who find it hard to call an overcoat no more truly useful than a necklace, or a grindstone than a roulette wheel. Economists cannot with impunity override the popular distinction between useful and ornamental, much less that between useful and useless, without confusing and repelling the man in the street.

In the last few years a new source of confusion has arisen from the use, in a special sense, of the phrase “public utilities.” This phrase must itself be used by economists who now find themselves discussing the marginal utility of a public utility! — and distinguishing between the marginal utility “in the economic sense” representing the esteem of the political ring or other powers that be for that public utility (which marginal utility imparts economic value to said public utility), and utility “in the popular sense” representing the real social serviceableness of that public utility!

Genuine utility for social service must, as Pareto says, be more and more studied by economists as they fulfill their task of working out plans for economic and social betterments. He therefore suggested that we should not abandon the term utility but reserve it to express the genuine article and employ in its place in price analysis the term “ophelimity” — as it has been anglicised — to express the value-making quality.

It is true that coined words have the great advantage of breaking away from the misleading associations which cling to terms already in popular use. But the difficulty has been with “ophelimity” as with most coined words, that, just because it has no association to introduce it, it would not and could not dispossess the old term.

The term “desirability” comes very near the required mark and I have used it in most of my books; but, unfortunately, like utility it carries with it to some extent an ethical connotation. Usage seems to imply that a desirable object is one which ought to be desired, rather than one which simply has the potentiality of being desired. We are force to call the most undesirable articles and services, such as whiskey and prostitution, economically “desirable” in price analysis.

It has occurred to me that the term really needed may be built on the good old economic term “want”. Long before the days of “marginal utility” economists spoke of “human wants”. Wants include wants for purposes of ornamentation as well as for purposes of real utility; wants for what is trivial or useless as well as for what s important, useful and desirable; wants for evil as well as for good purposes. So far as the influence on price is concerned the essential fact is that an object is actually wanted, or rather that it is capable of being actually wanted under stated circumstances. Whether it ought to be wanted, or whether it is wanted for a proper purpose is immaterial. It must merely have the capacity for being wanted, it must be wantable, it must have wantability. Ordinarily the short term “want” will suffice. We can speak of a marginal want for whiskey, and if we prefer a phrase in which “of” replaces the “for”, we can speak of the marginal “wantability” of whiskey. The two terms “want” and “wantability” might well be used alternatively, affording welcome variety in expression.

The more technical term of the two, “wantability”, is only half coined. It is sufficiently coined to serve notice on the reader that he must learn, not assume, its meaning; while the association of ideas it carries, leads the mind along the right path without paradox, contradiction or confusion. It is readily recognized when seen and easily recalled when wanted. In short, it bears its meaning on its face. As hinted above, it could be piloted into use by speaking of “the marginal want for” as an alternative to “the marginal wantability of.”

Another advantage is that these terms afford the means for coining an expression, to me at least much needed, for a unit of “wantability”. Such a unit might be called a “wantab”. In this case we have a free field for a coined word and no term in use to dispute possession. If, as I anticipate, the science of measuring human wants is to be developed in the future a convenient term for this unit will be needed.

No equally suitable term for a unit of “desirability” or “utility” or “ophelimity” seems available; although in my doctor’s thesis of 1891 on “mathematical investigations in the theory of value and prices” I made an attempt. The appearance last year of a French translation of this little essay has renewed my interest in a better terminology and, together with the opportunity to secure the necessary data which the war seems to promise, has led me to hope for a statistical measurement of marginal “wantability”.

Before attempting to launch any new terms for this concept, I should be glad to receive expressions of approval or disapproval from other economists.

This was David Colander’s comment on posting the article:

To SHOE

Many early neoclassical economists followed classical thought and distinguished between theoretical discussions and ethical policy discussion. Policy involved ethical judgements, which they were quite willing to make, and scientific theory related to what they could potentially measure. This led them to distinguish the measurable desirableness of a product (along revealed preference lines–a concept Pareto called ophelimity and which Fisher wanted to call “wantabes”) from a different and broader concept of utility in which value judgements entered in. Individuals maximized wantabes, not the utility that was relevant for public policy. The goal of public policy was to maximize utility, not to maximize ophelimity, which was what was potentially measurable. The distinction was never fully developed, but I think it sheds some light on Colin’s question.

Below is a short piece the Fisher wrote to drum up support for his concept of utility. It demonstrates how he uses the distinction to blend his social policy into his scientific analysis. That distinguish between ophelimity and utility approach lost favor in part because the ethical judgements Fisher made were questionable, as they involved support of eugenics among other things. In my book with Craig Freedman on Where Economics Went Wrong, I argued it should be brought back, and policy analysis should be distinguished from scientific analysis more than it currently is.

Not confusing just self-hatred

Depressing stuff, found at Instapundit.

SULTAN KNISH ON WHAT’S LEFT OF ENGLAND:

Muslim sex grooming gangs, like drugs or prostitution, are too widespread to be enforced out of existence because, like college students and pot, the culture doesn’t accept that they are wrong.

The police did nothing because these were not isolated crimes by criminals, but clashes of morals and values between two communities, one of which does not believe that child rape is wrong because its sacred texts tell it that Mohammed married Aisha and consummated his marriage when she was 9.

There are nearly 2 million child marriages in Pakistan. The notion that a woman’s consent to sexual relations matters is an utterly foreign concept in a culture where unaccompanied women are fair game.

The child rapists did not believe that their actions were wrong under Islamic law. And they weren’t.

The Manchester City Council and the GMP just accepted this reality as they have accepted it so often. They buried the minutes, shut down the investigation, and walked away from the screams of the girls.

They did it for multiculturalism, integration, and community relations. They did it for social justice.

We know that no real action was taken because the girls were troubled. They didn’t matter. And their bodies and lives could be sacrificed for the greater good.

The real tragedy is not that the rapists didn’t understand it was wrong. It’s that the UK no longer does.
Indeed.

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These were found in the comments.

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Plus this:

It’s impossible to do anything as a lone parent (some tried, and were prosecuted for it). It’s also impossible to organize (because any self-conscious collective organization by White British is prevented by the State, and lambasted by the media as low status). There is literally nothing anyone can do until and unless either our traitorous elites and ruling class have a change of heart, or there’s a revolution (which will only happen if and when this sort of thing actually touches everyone’s life, which will be the case probably by about 2100, when Whites are minorities in Western Europe, the States, etc.).

Look to what’s happening in the States: there’s already a low-key race war been going on between Blacks and Whites in the US (e.g., whites are about 200 times more likely to be attacked by blacks than blacks by whites), and nobody does anything about it. There’s as much of a code of omerta about it in the States (and as much massaging of facts and statistics by politicians and the media) as there has been about the Muslim child rape scandal in the UK.

“Our difficulties come from an unwarrantable mood of self-abasement into which we have been cast by a powerful section of our own intellectuals”

“The worst difficulties from which we suffer do not come from without. They come from within.

“They come from a peculiar type of brainy people always found in our country, who, if they add something to its culture, take much from its strength.

“Our difficulties come from an unwarrantable mood of self-abasement into which we have been cast by a powerful section of our own intellectuals.

“They come from the acceptance of defeatist doctrines by a large proportion of our politicians.

“But what have they to offer but vague internationalism, a squalid materialism, and the promise of impossible Utopias.

“Nothing can save Our Country if she will not save herself.”

Winston Churchill, St George’s Day 1933

The China syndrome

This is a full reprint of John Hinderaker’s post today at Powerline: THE CHINA MYTH EXPOSED. It’s not the Chinese that is the problem but the country. Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore are Chinese and free, the latter two having been colonies of England. They have both freedom and prosperity. China has neither, and never will.

From early in our nation’s history, America’s intellectuals have mostly looked down on their own country and yearned for it to be like someplace else–someplace more sophisticated, and more in tune with “modern” intellectual currents, whatever they might be at the moment. That is a long history, which I will skip over. In our own time, American intellectuals have claimed that Soviet Russia, Germany and Japan were harbingers of the future that the U.S. needed to imitate. In each case, the point was that we had to shed our archaic freedoms and enter the brave new world of central planning under the control–benign, of course!–of intellectuals and bureaucrats. Strangely, however, American free enterprise has managed to outlast and surpass all of those supposedly more advanced challengers.

Most recently, China has been the favored nation of the future. It has the advantage over Germany and Japan of being straightforwardly authoritarian (if no longer exactly Communist), which endeared it to anti-democratic liberals like Tom Friedman. Thus, liberals have eagerly calculated the future time when China’s GDP–or alleged GDP, as dictatorships have always been better at producing statistics than goods and services–would surpass ours. Given that China has three times our population, that would not seem to be a signal accomplishment. Nevertheless, liberals looked forward to it.

There was always something a little half-hearted about China adulation, however. When I was a kid, China was synonymous with poverty. Mothers really did say: “Eat your brussels sprouts! There are lots of starving children in China who would love to have them.” In 1979, China opened itself to foreign investment, and thousands of American companies built factories there over the succeeding decades, drawn mainly by the lure of cheap labor.

Cheap labor, of course, wasn’t always effective labor. One of the major cases of the later stage of my career as a lawyer arose out of the construction of a professional sports facility in the Midwest. A Japanese company won the contract to fabricate and erect the stadium’s roof, and in order to save money, subcontracted the fabrication to a Chinese factory that, in later testimony, was described as “medieval.” The result was a disaster. The quality of the fabrication was so poor that the Japanese company eventually spent more money correcting fabrication errors in the U.S.–for a while, you couldn’t find a welder in the Midwestern states who wasn’t working on the repair project–than it had paid for the fabrication in the first place. But there was no recourse, as China essentially did not have a legal system.

Then, too, Americans who visited China did not report that it was an incipient paradise. (Unlike liberals who visited the Soviet Union in the 1930s.) For one thing, in most of the country there was no such thing as what we call a bathroom. That made the environment a little hard to romanticize.

Still, China was viewed as a major geopolitical player, and American administrations kowtowed to it. The Chinese engaged in wholesale theft of American and European intellectual property, without compunction. The country’s trade practices were denounced as illegal and unfair, but nothing came of it. Only when Donald Trump became president did our country begin to assert its rights and interests against the Chinese dictatorship.

Which brings us to the current coronavirus outbreak. Once again, China is the source of a rather bizarre viral illness. It arose, apparently, in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The source of the virus is believed to be either bats or snakes that were bought for consumption in the Wuhan market in a “warm” state–that is, freshly slaughtered. The virus apparently mutated and jumped from bats or snakes to humans.

In China, not only snakes and bats, but also rats and bugs–e.g., scorpions–are frequently eaten. Being no cultural relativist, I assume that no one eats snakes, bats, rats or scorpions if he or she has a better alternative. In Venezuela, for instance, no one dreamed of hunting rats for food until that country’s socialist government destroyed Venezuela’s economy and reduced the citizenry to penury. So China’s continuing poverty has now created a world-wide public health problem.

I could be wrong; it has happened once or twice. But I suspect that the current public health crisis spells the end of China envy among American intellectuals. The context, of course, is the Trump administration’s standing up to China’s dictators. Like Toto, Trump has pulled back the curtain on the Chinese fraud. To coin a phrase, one might say that China’s economic “juggernaut” is in fact a paper tiger.

Someday, China may be a free country with a free economy. Until that day comes, the only lesson we can learn from the Chinese government is what to avoid.

Coronavirus

OUTBREAK SPREADS
56 MILLION QUARANTINED
CASE IN CHICAGO
22 STATES ON ALERT
EUROPE HIT

VIRUS: RACE TO BUILD HOSPITAL…
‘THIS TIME I’M SCARED’…
DOCTORS COLLAPSE…
Nurse says quarantine failing…
Video shows dead bodies in halls…
MCDONALD’S SHUTS… DISNEYLAND SHUTS…
Military Deployed…
Pandemic Simulation Predicts 65 Million Could Die…
BUG ESCAPED FROM LAB?

Coronavirus: 4 cases confirmed in Australia, Scott Morrison says they had been anticipated

A disinfection worker wearing protective gears spray antiseptic solution in an train amid rising public concerns over the spread of China's Wuhan Coronavirus. Picture: Getty Images
A disinfection worker wearing protective gears spray antiseptic solution in an train amid rising public concerns over the spread of China’s Wuhan Coronavirus. Picture: Getty Images

Four cases of the deadly coronavirus have been confirmed in Australia, as authorities scramble to contact passengers who shared flights from China with the patients.

Three men tested positive to the respiratory condition in NSW on Saturday, state health authorities confirmed.

The men, aged 35, 43 and 53, have been isolated in hospital to prevent the virus spreading further.

As if The Life of Bryan could be made today

From Terry Jones: Python and Renaissance man.

First and foremost, Jones will be remembered as a Python, with his directorial tour de forceLife of Brian (1979), the pinnacle of his achievements. At the time, the film – which told the story of a man, born on the same day, and next door to, Jesus Christ, who finds himself mistaken for the Messiah – won plenty of plaudits, but also plenty of opprobrium, particularly from the Christian right. Thirty-nine local authorities refused to screen it. Those cinemas that did were picketed by evangelical groups.

The images of crucifixion, in particular, were considered exciting and groundbreaking, or sacrilegious and beyond the pale, depending on your viewpoint. The scandal came to a head in a TV debate – still worth watching – in which Palin and Cleese effortlessly deconstructed Catholic journalist and satirist Malcolm Muggeridge and the Bishop of Southwark, Mervyn Stockwood.