Some advice about life to someone too young to understand

I have written another children’s book as my two youngest grandchildren turned one. This is the note I therefore wrote to the artist who did the pictures for Economics for infants.

If I haven’t told you this already, what I liked most about your artistry for Economics for Infants is that you got the point exactly right in each of the drawings. There were no end of concepts I have a serious problem explaining to students who study economics with me. But you, who only read the primitive text with no outside explanation, got it exactly right. I now use some of your drawings in my class.

So now I am attaching another children’s book, which I have titled, My First Book of Economics. And while it’s also designed as a “children’s” book, it is as much for adults as anyone. It is about the basics of how a modern economy works, with people exchanging what they produce – such as a series of drawings – for money, and then how the money is used to buy things the artist wants for himself – such as a ticket to the movies. We are all both producers and buyers, and the only reason most of us can become buyers is we were producers first. That is the story, and the book is attached which I am hoping you will also illustrate as you did the first.

I will also add this which you may not appreciate since you are still young but I only too well understand since I am no longer young. And that is you never know what will eventually have made your life extraordinary to yourself when you yourself are old. But the fact that you have this amazing artistic talent is something that ought to give you pleasure in itself, but also is something for which others will recognise you for, and from which you can gain an infinite amount of life satisfaction. There are people whose names are only known today because they illustrated children’s books a hundred years ago. You should look up the name John Tenniel as an example of what I mean. I am not Lewis Carroll but you might well be a modern Tenniel. I can only hope you take up this commission and find the time to illustrate this book, and I can only hope you are as inspired this time as you were last time.

BTW Economics for Infants would make a very good Christmas present for like-minded friends not to mention for those who are not. And it’s not really for the children anyway. But you will have to wait till next year for My First Book of Economics and that will depend on whether I can get someone to do the pictures.

Hillary’s profound moral sickness infests the entire party she represents

Bill Clinton is a rapist and Hillary Clinton is a psychopathic liar. This is from Slate in 1999: Is Juanita Broaddrick Telling the Truth? From which:

The Details

Broaddrick did not remember the date of the rape, though she did supply the name of the hotel (Camelot) and the reason she was visiting Little Rock (a nursing home seminar). She also says that Clinton pointed to a ramshackle prison outside the hotel room window before he raped her and said he planned to renovate it. NBC News found a date when a nursing home seminar was held in the Camelot Hotel and records show that Broaddrick attended. Newspaper reports suggest that Clinton was in the area and had no official commitments in the early morning, when the rape is supposed to have occurred. There was a prison outside the hotel window.

Clinton Is Innocent: It is hard to believe that a raped woman would forget the date. The fact that Clinton was in Little Rock is hardly remarkable.

Clinton is Guilty: The detail about wanting to spruce up the prison sounds “very, very much like our Bill” (Kelly).

Meanwhile, Hillary’s level of derangement is possibly unprecedented: Hillary Clinton falsely claims Donald Trump is an ‘admitted sex assaulter’ as she compares him to Harvey Weinstein – but claims allegations against Bill are ‘clearly in the past’.

  • Hillary Clinton, who received campaign funding from Weinstein, called rape and sexual assault allegations facing the movie mogul ‘heartbreaking’
  • Clinton was apparently referring to the tape leaked during the campaign where Donald Trump was heard boasting about ‘grabbing women by the p****y’
  • In fact he has never ‘admitted’ a sexual assault and apologized for ‘locker room talk’
  • She told the BBC’s Andrew Marr: ‘I really commend the women who have been willing to step forward now and tell their stories’
  • In another interview with Channel 4 she said her campaign would hand back donations from Weinstein but had still to do so
  • That changed her first claim that she would give from her personal income – which would have earned her a tax break

There is a deep and repellant moral sickness across the entire Democratic Party where they will deny any evil in their pursuit of personal political power. And not only at the top, but throughout their ranks who go beyond arguing that Clinton is a flawed human being, but must deny even to themselves that he is the person he so obviously is.

The right not to be murdered by religious fanatics

Although forty-plus years an Australian, Canadian born and North American to the last so spent the first part of my life next to the US. And while one of those extremely nice Canadians, I have an enormous admiration for the US and its way of life. Been there often and always feel I am perfectly at home, no matter where I am. Once on the left – I actually attended the very first gay marriage in San Francisco sometime in 1972 – now on the other side but that is merely because the left has gone insane. I’m not sure that I have changed my political views on most things since JFK. I’m not even sure I was ever actually against the Vietnam War; I even remember mentioning to a draft dodger friend that if I had been an American I would have gone off and been drafted. And I remember the conversation so well because it astonished me when I realised that I had said just what I believed. But I was a Canadian so who really knows?

On guns, let me merely direct you to Kurt Slichter who says more or less what I think myself: Nothing Makes Liberals Angrier Than Us Normals Insisting On Our Rights. His opening, which leaves nothing to misunderstand:

I don’t agree with liberals often, because I’m not an idiot and because I love America, but when they once again say, “We must have a conversation about guns!” I still couldn’t agree more. And, since all we’ve heard is you leftists shrieking at us all week, I’ll start it off.

You don’t ever get to disarm us. Not ever.

And here is the thing. I have been to the US often, from when I was under ten and then again in July, and even spent much of the time in Las Vegas. It has never crossed my mind on any trip to the US that I was ever in the slightest danger of being shot. Didn’t like being in New York in the pre-Giuliani years, but that aside I have been in approximately 40 of the 50 states with never a thought on my mind about the American constitutional right to bear arms. It’s how they do things, and it is how the US is. And it is part of what has made the US the astonishingly great country that it is. Different from every other country on earth.

But this I do think about, and in the US more than anywhere, and that is the trouble and hassle it takes to get on an airplane. And why all this trouble and hassle? Because there are people in the world who would, for their own insane political ends, blow up any planes they could. I wish someone would do something about that, but even if they can’t, I wish they would put up in large print on every airport metal detector across the world, signs that explain just why it is being done. Never mind the American constitutional right to bear arms. How about the human right not to be blown up by religious fanatics?

Some thoughts on Las Vegas

Watching the dismal story coming out of Las Vegas does bring many thoughts to mind, not least because we had just been there in July. In no particular order:

Whether or not they are responsible, ISIS is happy to say it was their doing. Ethical rules of war are not exactly their longest suit. They are just murderous swine whose only war aims, if we could can use the term, are essentially unknown. Psychopathic killers with no discernible outcome in mind other than to become modern versions of Tamerlaine and create their own piles of skulls.

The first item of news we heard about the killer is that he was someone who had lost a tonne of money at the casinos and had perhaps gone round the bend. But we have now heard he had just sent $100,000 to the Philippines the day before. Not exactly bankrupt, was he? Where did the money come from? There is a story there but will we ever find out?

Most importantly, was he really a one-man show, able to get such a complex logistical process exactly right on his very first attempt with no outside help? It’s possible, but so are alternative versions of how it happened.

He cannot have been a registered Republican because if he were we would have known already, and then some. We shall see whether this can be attached to the right, and then we will never hear the end of it, or attached to the left – like the shooting of Steve Scalise (who?) – and it will disappear into the mists of time like everything else of its kind.

Donald Trump’s response was on a human level, describing these killings as evil. Hillary, along with the left in general, responded on a political level – not willing to let any crisis go to waste – immediately associating these deaths with the need for gun control.

Tribalism is the darkest most unrelenting province of the left. On the right we actually like the idea of an open society where anyone can come live among us by following the rules: tolerance, hard work, self-direction, independence. The left are filled with envy and hatreds that only every so often come to the surface in a way that normal people on this side of the fence can recognise for themselves. The left’s chosen enemy is the Judeo-Christian culture of the West. We are barely able to understand how truly foreign their views are because we don’t think that way at all.

Will you still love me tomorrow?

I came from an era in which casual sex never happened. The pill changed it all, but so too did “The Playboy Philosophy”. Written in the early 1960s, it is Hugh Hefner’s contribution to the decadence of our own time. It has been the twentieth century’s most important contribution to philosophy and culture. The one and only rule about sexual relations is that other than monitoring the ages of those who are involved, there are no rules. There was a time when people knew what was wrong with the Playboy Philosophy – we read it in the same spirit that we read Abbie Hoffman’s Steal this Book – but those times are long gone. Sex without responsibility and attachment is a kind of adolescent boy’s dream come true. But as we have since discovered, sexual anarchy is the worst of all possible worlds. So to the song:

As the story goes, it was first offered to Johnny Mathis; Columbia Records boss Mitch Miller is said to have blackballed the song, claiming it was immoral. Dawn Eden might think ol’ Mitch may have been on to something:

Like many songs from that more innocent era, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” expresses feelings that most people would be too embarrassed to verbalize. There’s something painful about the way its vulnerable narrator leaves herself wide open. Yet, even though her asking the song’s title question implies a certain amount of courage, it’s clear that she’s ready to accept a positive answer without questioning it — which is not surprising, given the lyrics’ description of how the evening has progressed. By the time one is worrying about how the other person will feel tomorrow, it is usually too late.

For most unattached single women in New York City, and I would imagine much of the rest of the country as well, casual sex is the norm. It’s encouraged by all the women’s magazines and television shows from “Oprah” on down, as well as films, music, and the culture in general. And while “love” is celebrated, women are told that they should not demand to be loved tomorrow — only respected.

If it’s encouraged for women, it’s almost mandatory for men; a woman who is not sexually active is pitied, while a man who is not sexually active is mocked and ridiculed. (Which may be one reason why very few men — Frankie Valli is one who did — ever recorded this song.) “Tell me now, and I won’t ask again” turns out to be a variation on a theme by Scarlett O’Hara: “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

This is a song from the 1960s written by Carole King but is the lament of many a woman of our own times. The way the song is presented in the video above by the Shirelles, who sang it originally, you would not know it is the saddest imaginable song with a sadder still message. Perhaps the Amy Winehouse version is truer to its meaning if for no other reason than that she herself had the saddest life. Here are the words with a message that can hardly even be registered by many inside our own decaying culture.

“Will You Love Me Tomorrow”

Tonight you’re mine completely
You give your love so sweetly
Tonight the light of love is in your eyes
But will you love me tomorrow

Is this a lasting treasure
Or just a moment’s pleasure
Can I believe the magic of your sighs
Will you still love me tomorrow

Tonight with words unspoken
You say that I’m the only one
But will my heart be broken
When the night meets the morning sun

I’d like to know that your love
Is love I can be sure of
So tell me now and I won’t ask again
Will you still love me tomorrow
Will you still love me tomorrow
Will you still love me tomorrow
Will you still love me tomorrow

Pick-up artists and the hook-up culture are the way of the world. A friend of mine’s nineteen year old daughter just put Tinder onto her phone. My friend is hopeful that it will be all right, but if it will be, it will only be by the greatest good fortune since the culture will no longer look after her daughter nor give her sound advice. The best that can be hoped for is to get through your twenties with no major disasters. How it can be done today is to me an unknown.

Hugh Hefner has now gone to God at age 91. Of most interest to me is that although surrounded by the most beautiful women through the whole of his adult life, he lamented at the end that though surrounded by one “playmate” after another, he never found his soulmate. His question was the opposite from that found in the song, his question was will I still love you tomorrow, and that, my friend, is the only question worth asking.

[The basic theme is from The Other McCain where the link is found.]

The twentieth century’s most influential philosopher has passed away

The twentieth century’s most influential philosopher has passed away at 91. I remember when The Playboy Philosophy was being serialised in the magazine. I especially recall passing one of the many episodes around maths class, all of us thinking if only a world like this could come to pass. And you know what, it did come to pass and more comprehensively than anyone could have imagined, but by then I was no longer 14 years old. It has done endless harm to both men and women, making the stability of the family now all but unachievable, and added a new dimension to human unhappiness. It has now come down to where the only freedom for many is sexual freedom, but that apparently is good enough for them.

For those of us who only read the mag for the articles, let me bring this to your attention if you haven’t read it before: Donald Trump’s Playboy Interview. You can see why he’s president while also seeing that he, too, is from that era long ago before the Playboy Philosophy became the foundation and point of origin for Third Wave Feminism.

Capitalism and ignorance

From Three wild speculations from amateur quantitative macrohistory but there is nothing wild about the diagram other than how ignorant most people are about what it shows.

In How big a deal was the Industrial Revolution?, I looked for measures (or proxy measures) of human well-being / empowerment for which we have “decent” scholarly estimates of the global average going back thousands of years. For reasons elaborated at some length in the full report, I ended up going with:

Physical health, as measured by life expectancy at birth.

Economic well-being, as measured by GDP per capita (PPP) and percent of people living in extreme poverty.

Energy capture, in kilocalories per person per day.

Technological empowerment, as measured by war-making capacity.

Political freedom to live the kind of life one wants to live, as measured by percent of people living in a democracy.

Two million years of “human” history where the only tools were made of stone, and then a bronze age, iron age, industrial revolution and now us.

We now have morons [who call themselves “progressives”!] trying to take us back in time to just where I don’t know, perhaps 1890, maybe 1920, but certainly to a time of greater poverty and fewer chances in life. The diagram is only for us because most of those trying to kill off our carbon-based energy sources would be too thick to understand any of it since the basis for their entire ideological view of the world is a hatred for the capitalist system that has transformed the human race.