Made it to Instapundit!

Here’s the link.

MANSON AND THE TOTALITARIAN TEMPTATION: “The potential for entire social movements to end up sympathizing with visibly pathological murderers with swastikas carved in their foreheads is a persistent potential. All you have to do is let down, for a brief moment, your simplest sense of right and wrong, perhaps because you pride yourself on being upset about some social issue….”

Read the whole thing.

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And as always some interesting commentary.

Trump endorses Roy Moore

And the only reason I know that is because the mealy-mouthed Paul Mirengoff at Powerline, a #NeverTrumper at heart, has written Trump Speaks About the Alabama Race which begins:

President Trump made two points today about the Alabama Senate race. First, he called Democrat Doug Jones “terrible on crime, terrible on borders, terrible on the military.” Trump added: “We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat.”

Second, he noted that the alleged sexual misconduct by Roy Moore took place “40 years ago” and that the candidate has insisted “this did not happen.” Trump also said Moore has “totally denied it” and that “you have to listen to him, also.”

Farther than that he cannot go, nor does he have to. Here’s a candidate who has been defamed by women in relation to acts which cannot even in the slightest be verified and the defamation has come from The Washington Post. Subsequent evidence of lying is so massive that you really have to want to see Trump lose in spite of all the harm it would do. This is Mirengoff’s idiotic highly principled position:

Personally, I would not campaign for Moore unless I affirmatively believed he did not do what Corfman and Nelson allege. Though Trump didn’t express this belief today, Politico suggests that he holds it.

OK, on the say so of the media, what’s your view on whether Michelle Field was pulled to the ground by Trump’s Chief of Staff?

People who are not all in for Roy Moore are such disgusting fools I can barely stand having to deal with them. They are cocktail party Republicans who will be the death of the Republic, and the rest of us as well, by the time they are through.

And now I have found the article itself: President Donald Trump all but endorsed embattled Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore on Tuesday.

Trump didn’t explicitly say he was endorsing Moore, but he said with emphasis, “We don’t need a liberal person in there. … We don’t need somebody who’s soft on crime like Jones.”

He also noted that the allegations came from behavior alleged to have happened decades ago.

“Forty years is a long time,” Trump said, questioning why it took so long for Moore’s accusers to come forward.

But senior Republicans, including his daughter, have in fact ended up in the ads being run by the Democrat.

Jones began airing a new ad Monday that features statements made by Sessions, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby and first daughter Ivanka Trump responding to the allegations against Moore.

Shelby, a fellow Republican, said he will “absolutely not” vote for Moore. Ivanka Trump said there’s “a special place in hell” for people who prey on children.

“I’ve yet to see a valid explanation, and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ accounts,” Ivanka Trump told the AP last week.

It really is a swamp. How Trump remains so sure-footed in amongst it is one of the political wonders of the age.

AND THIS WILL COME AS NO SURPRISE: Trump privately doubted Moore’s female accusers. Been there himself and seen the destructive effects on Republican voters who have no idea how to play to win.

President Donald Trump’s near-endorsement of Alabama Republican Roy Moore followed days of behind-the-scenes talks in which he vented about Moore’s accusers and expressed skepticism about their accounts.

During animated conversations with senior Republicans and White House aides, the president said he doubted the stories presented by Moore’s accusers and questioned why they were emerging now, just weeks before the election, according to two White House advisers and two other people familiar with the talks.

The White House advisers said the president drew parallels between Moore’s predicament and the one he faced just over a year ago when, during the final weeks of the 2016 campaign, Trump confronted a long line of women who accused him of harassment. He adamantly denied the claims.

The president’s private sentiments broke into the open Tuesday when Trump all but declared he believed Moore’s denials.

“Let me just tell you, Roy Moore denies it. That’s all I can say. He denies it. And, by the way, he totally denies it,” Trump told reporters. Moore, 70, who has been accused of sexually pursuing — and in some cases assaulting — teenagers or young women when he was in his 30s.

PDT must despair at the people who surround him and on whose support he depends.

The National Security Editor at The Oz speaks out

There are times when I think newspapers are inhabited by clueless clowns and then there are times when I think things are even worse. This is written by the person The Australian has designated as its “National Security Editor”: Tony Abbott’s vacillations leave him at risk of permanent irrelevance. I realise the difficulties of a cabinet government, in which his cabinet contained Malcolm, Julie and Christopher, and the intractability of a hostile Senate, which made impossible passing some of the things the Libs wished to do, are beyond the comprehension of some people, but here we are.

Having presided over the most brutal emasculation of the Westminster system since Federation, Tony Abbott is now busy singing the praises of Western civilisation. . . .

It was Abbott, who along with other conservative MPs, foisted the same-sex marriage plebiscite on this country. Plebiscites are grimy, divisive affairs, beloved by tyrants as a means of mobilising one group in society against another. They are kryptonite to a Westminster democracy, which holds the parliament as the supreme source of moral authority. . . .

Wasn’t it Abbott who fought to the wire for the right of priests and celebrants to refuse to solemnise gay marriages? Indeed it was. But where was Abbott when Pauline Hanson walked into the Senate chamber in a full length burqa? . . .

As for free speech, the sine qua non of all democratic life, Abbott’s record is none too flash. He flirted with the idea of banning Hizb ut Tahrir, a militant Islamic group whose anti-Western bluster is offensive, but otherwise harmless. . . .

He has since called for the entire abolition of the Human Rights Commission, a consequence-free act of political posturing that does nothing to remove one of the country’s most illiberal laws, one his government left encoded in our statutes.

Etc, etc. I’ll pick a couple from the comments. If there was one that supported what he wrote I completely missed it.

An amazing blend of Abbott hatred, SSM enthusiasm and a wilful blindness to the dangers posed to western society by the likes of Hizb ut Tahrir. Gee I am glad you write about security and do not have the job of maintaining it.

I for one support Tony in this. Christianity is a core element of the Western tradition, not Islam. Islam is in fact against the Western tradition in many of its practices. How can the author be so selective in this aspect. It is an Abbott bashing exercise first and foremost and expects us to overlook the disingenuous and fallacious arguments that he cobbles together in a lame attempt to convince the reader that this is more than just a hate-filled diatribe against TA.

Buying the OZ is like voting for the Libs. You wouldn’t do it except that all of the others are worse. Not much worse as this shows, but still worse.

Manson and the totalitarian temptation

Two articles on the very same subject although superficially about entirely different things. There is first this: The Charles Manson Fallacy. The second is: 100 Years. 100 Million Lives. Think Twice.

Here is how the first article ends:

The potential for entire social movements to end up sympathizing with visibly pathological murderers with swastikas carved in their foreheads is a persistent potential. All you have to do is let down, for a brief moment, your simplest sense of right and wrong, perhaps because you pride yourself on being upset about some social issue….

Here is how the second one ends:

The stories of survivors paint a more vivid picture of communism than the textbooks my classmates have read. While we may never fully understand all of the atrocities that occurred under communist regimes, we can desperately try to ensure the world never repeats their mistakes. To that end, we must tell the accounts of survivors and fight the trivialization of communism’s bloody past.

My father left behind his parents, friends, and neighbors in the hope of finding freedom. I know his story because it is my heritage; you now know his story because I have a voice. One hundred million other people were silenced.

One hundred years later, let us not forget the history of the victims who do not have a voice because they did not survive the writing of their tales. Most importantly, let us not be tempted to repeat it.

Read them both, which I took down from Powerline Picks where they appeared separately but at the same time.

TO WHICH WE MAY NOW ADD THIS: Charles Manson’s Radical Chic which comes with this very telling subhead:

Some on the left adored him, before and after the murders.

And this is how the article begins:

The history of the postwar period is the history of the struggle against Communism. What’s sometimes forgotten — conveniently forgotten — is that our victory in that struggle was far from assured, and that a substantial swath of the Western intelligentsia and much of its celebrity culture was on the other side. It wasn’t just Jane Fonda and Noam Chomsky, Walter Duranty and Lincoln Steffens. (“I have been to the future,” Steffens wrote after a visit to the Soviet Union, “and it works.”) Eventually, 100 million people would die under Communism as part of the longest and widest campaign of mass murder in recorded human history. As a phenomenon of specifically nuclear terror, the Cold War lasted from 1949, when the Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb thanks to the help of the American leftists Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, until 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down.

Precisely in the middle of that period came the strange career of Charles Milles Manson, who has just died in a California hospital at the age of 83. Manson’s death, like his life, was wrapped up in the radical politics of the 1960s.

He died of natural causes, his execution having been set aside as part of the temporarily successful progressive campaign against the death penalty in the 1970s. Just as it is easy to forget how pro-Soviet the American Left was at times, it is easy to forget how pro-Manson American radicals were. “First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach. Wild!” That was the assessment of Bernardine Dohrn, the champagne radical who, with her husband, Bill Ayers, participated in a campaign of domestic terrorism, including bombings, and later became cozy with Barack Obama, hosting events for the aspiring politician in her home.

An old question of mine: what do you think of the 1960s – all good? all bad? or a bit of both. I know my answer but I’ll leave that for another time.

You wouldn’t want to be distracted, would you?

There’s this.

Eight women say Charlie Rose sexually harassed them — with nudity, groping and lewd calls

THE WOMEN: MEDIA IGNORED CLINTON ACCUSERS…
FOUR MORE?
What if Ken Starr Was Right?

ANOTHER woman accuses Franken of grabbing…
SILENCE OF THE DEMS…
WHISPERS: NO RESIGNATION, NO OUSTER CALLS COMING…

NYT WHITE HOUSE REPORTER SUSPENDED AFTER SEX HARASSMENT CLAIMS…

And then there’s this.

GREAT AGAIN: USA Growth Forecasts on Rise… 

UNEMPLOYMENT AT 4.1%, lowest since December, 2000.

And not that it matters but there is also this.

UPDATE: Roy Moore Jumps to 15 POINT LEAD in PredictIt Market as Accuser Accusations Fall Apart

For the Dems, on the other hand, the accusations seem to flower and persist.

Donald Trump and economic policy

Just received this very nice note so thought I would say something about the question asked. Here is the note:

I enjoy reading your contributions to Catallaxy on a regular basis. I can’t say I know a lot about economics, but I especially like hearing you arguments to current economic theory. Rational debate is a powerful tool.

Recently, I was at work and a conversation around the lunch room turned to America politics.

Most of my work colleagues are “Never Trumpers”, but when I pointed out the American economy was currently doing very well, with record high stocks and decade low unemployment, one of my colleagues said something thatade me questions Donald Trump’s success. The comment was…

“The current economic success in American has nothing to do with Donald Trump. It wouldn’t matter who was President at the moment. The economy just goes through natural peaks and troughs in a capitalist society.”..

Knowing that the President has now been in place 12 months, and knowing that the Republicans still have not released their tax plan, is the above statement true?

Nothing like magical thinking to make you believe in the tooth fairy.

The parlous state that Obama left the American economy in will require an astonishing amount of luck combined with a great deal of very well constructed policy to move past. You do know that in the entire eight years Obama was president, the US economy on not a singe occasion achieved a growth rate as high as 3%. Trump has now achieved it twice, with more to come. Obama even inherited the recovery phase following the GFC which is almost invariably an economy’s period of strongest growth since part of what happens is the recovery of ground lost during the recession. Instead, there were eight years of low growth and stagnant employment. There is not an economic story to tell to his credit, even with interest rates at near zero and public spending at an all-time high, which in standard economic theory are a good thing. Of course, both are harmful to an economy’s prospects but don’t expect your friend to know it or believe it if you tell him.

But why take my word for it. Here is Conrad Black pointing out that Trump is already the most successful U.S. president since Ronald Reagan. And as you can see from the beginning of this excerpt he is not PDT’s greatest admirer, but even so:

He can be a tiresome and implausible public figure at times, and the reservations widely held about him, in the United States and elsewhere, are understandable and not unfounded. He is, however, the most effective U.S. president since Reagan. In the 20 pre-Trump years there [occurred] the greatest world economic crisis since the 1930s, American GDP per capita growth and capital investment shrunk by 75 per cent, the work force lost over 15 million people, millions of unskilled, illegal migrants were admitted, and the national debt of 233 years of American independence more than doubled in the last seven years of Obama. Those 20 years were the only time of absolute decline in American history, as well as a period of prolonged economic stagnation. Americans, unlike the older great nations of Europe and the Far East, have never experienced such setbacks and stagnation, and don’t like or accept them. It was in these circumstances that this unusual president was elected.

In addition to these American problems, there is the international phenomenon of ever-widening disparity of wealth and income, with no obvious solution — taking money from people who have earned it and giving it to those who haven’t will just drive out the high economic achievers who provide most of the personal income tax revenue already. And there is the problem that, for the first time, higher technology produces unemployment rather than employment, and increased productivity, unlike in the Reagan years, has not, until Trump was elected, led to job creation.

There is more at the link than just the economy but here we will stick to the economic issues.

The political business cycle works like this. The left elects a typically economically ignorant numbskull (voted in by people such as your colleague at work) who think markets don’t matter and public spending plus socialist rhetoric plus charisma are all that is required. The result is economic damage that goes on until finally enough of the socialists in our midst finally decide to get rid of these incompetents and bring in someone who knows what they are doing. Very old story. Whitlam in the 1970s gave way to Fraser, Rudd-Gillard in the 2000s was replaced by Abbott, Jimmy Carter replaced by Reagan, Labour in the UK followed by Thatcher etc. The return to market principles lasts just long enough before another adventure in socialist central direction, which is why we can never rid ourselves of bad economic policy (imagine voting out Howard-Costello for Rudd-Swan!). Most of the time, socialists wreck things followed by conservatives who fix things up (and it is weird that Shorten is being looked at as a better economic manager than Turnbull). Your mate is one of those who cannot bear to recognise that anti-market policies never work and just getting rid of them does work. Had Hillary been elected, the certainty is that no recovery of any kind would have been visible nor probably have ever occurred. Ignorance of the necessities of market-based policies is the rule on the left, and only deep deep pain for a large number of people for a considerable period of time finally get them to turn around. Venezuelans may just be there now, but the entire country invited the problems it has and the cure, if they ever get around to one, will be short-lived because the world is filled with people who believe strong economies are like good weather, just part of the nature of things, and into every economy a bit of rain must fall, etc etc. You won’t convince him, but at least you can see it for yourself.

I will discuss international trade and free markets some other time. In the meantime, here are a few specifics of what Trump has done and is doing from a previous post:

• reducing public spending
• rolling back regulations
• cuts to taxation – business and personal
• interest rate increases although limited
• more room provided for entrepreneurial decision making
• crony-capitalism [Keynesian theory] no longer at the centre of policy

Nothing you can do to convince such people, but it isn’t bad luck that causes leftist governments to wreck things but bad policies. They can’t help it, but at least we can do something by not electing them in the first place.

AND WHILE WE’RE AT IT: Don’t be misled by the title: Why I Have Given Up on Trumpism. Here’s his point but feel free to read it all:

“But just think about these subjects: illegal immigration (down by more the 60 percent), energy (America is now the world’s biggest producer of energy), unemployment (4 and a bit percent), growth (3 percent for two quarters running), the market (up more than 5,000 points since November 2016), regulation (huge progress in turning back the counterproductive regulatory environment that has stymied American business), consumer confidence (the highest it’s been in a generation), the military (revitalized), taxes (a bracing if imperfect plan wending its way through Congress), Iran (declining to recertify a deal that paved the way for Iran to become a nuclear power). Et, need I say, cetera.”

For the #NeverTrumps and the #NoTrumps you waste your breath in saying anything at all. But this is what I say. You may not have preferred PDT to some other as many did. But if you are still banging on about Trump and where he might lead us, rather than starting to think he might in the end be all right, you are simply a partisan fool, utterly clueless about policy, and have no business even pretending you are on the right side of politics.

You have to be a fool to believe unverified allegations that come from the mainstream media

Remember Michelle Fields? Remember how the media were all agreed that Donald Trump’s campaign manager had thrown her to the ground? Remember how the videos soon after appeared proving she was a liar. Even then the media continued but when the evidence became so obvious that nothing had happened, it just stopped. No apology, no owning up that it was made up out of whole cloth. Just nothing said at all, and on they moved.

So move forward to today and we see not hypocrisy but the continuation of their out and out strategy of lying to harm Republicans in flogging issues which if the same is done by a Democrat there is nothing to be said. No sexual predator in politics is in the same league as Bill Clinton but no Democrat ever said a word while he was in a position to advance whatever agenda the left wished to see advanced. Falling for these things is a massive political weakness on the right. So we are now dealing with Roy Moore over what is certainly a series of lies being told about him in comparison with the visual evidence of sexual harassment and worse by Al Franken.

This is to go with the other photo of Franken pawing the breasts of this same woman. This is from the USO show in which Tweeden had said she had turned away from Franken having had his tongue rammed down her throat in the rehearsal he insisted on having. A predator, and unelectable as a Republican, but absolutely re-electable as a Democrat. This below is from The Washington Post via Allahpundit.

So here is the point. If you don’t want to elect sexual predators, never pay attention to the mainstream media. Donald Trump was among the few to finally get past the inanities of the right voting for their enemies because of some unproven and unprovable allegation by various women about what Donald Trump had supposedly done, which oddly, or perhaps not so oddly, these women had never previously mentioned. With Franken, even Tweeden doesn’t want him to leave the Senate. And you may be sure that if Franken had done this once this was not the sole occasion when something like this has happened.

Democrats have no morals to speak of, only appetites and a will to power. If Republican voters are going to continue to fall for these things time and again, we will be at the end of times before you know it and there will be no one there to defend the moral codes Democrats and their media enablers are using against you to kick you and your values to the curb.