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.

What’s the difference between a crooked pathological liar and a Democrat politician?

Nothing.

Adam Schiff Tries to Make Impeachment
About ‘Russia Collusion’ Hoax
Posted by earlybird — 1/22/2020 4:40:51 PM Post Reply
Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) led his opening argument in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Wednesday by citing allegations of “Russia collusion” that have been debunked. Schiff tried to argue that the Senate had a duty to remove President Trump from office for allegedly inviting foreign interference by Ukraine in the 2020 presidential election because he supposedly invited Russia to interfere in 2016. (Snip) Schiff was referring to a press conference in July 2016 at which Trump joked about Russia finding the approximately 33,000 emails that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had deleted from her illicit private email server.

Fact Check: Adam Schiff Falsely Claims
Trump Conditioned Meeting, and Aid, on
Investigations
Posted by earlybird — 1/22/2020 4:24:39 PM Post Reply
CLAIM: President Donald Trump withheld a White House meeting, and military aid, from Ukraine until it agreed to announce investigations. VERDICT: False. There is no direct evidence of that in the entire House record. Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) laid out the case against President Trump in opening arguments on Wednesday in the Senate impeachment trial. The core of his claim was that Trump withheld a White House meeting from new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as essential military aid, unless and until Ukraine announced investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and 2016 interference in the U.S. election. Every part of that claim is untrue, and

Breaking Bombshell: Elizabeth Warren’s
Son-in-Law Produced Film Funded by
Iranian Government
Posted by earlybird — 1/22/2020 4:16:56 PM Post Reply
Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) son-in-law, with whom she is close, has troubling ties to the Iranian regime, according to a new book by Peter Schweizer. The book, Profiles in Corruption, reveals progressive leaders’ little-known ties to corrupt businesses and governments and discusses the Massachusetts senator in a chapter. The chapter details the business deals of Warren’s son-in-law, Sushil Tyagi, who is married to her daughter, Amelia. (Snip) Since his marriage into the Warren family, Tyagi “has been involved in a series of curious—even troubling—business ventures around the world,” Schweizer writes.

Book Bombshell: James Biden’s Firm
Got $1.5 Billion in Government Contracts
Despite Zero Experience
Posted by earlybird — 1/22/2020 4:08:19 PM Post Reply
A firm employing James Biden, the younger brother of former Vice President Joe Biden, received more than $1.5 billion in government-backed contracts during the Obama administration. The dovetailing of James Biden’s professional life with his brother’s political influence is extensively detailed in Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite—a new book by Peter Schweizer, (Snip) In 2010, shortly after a disastrous attempt at running a hedge fund with his nephew Hunter, James Biden entered the construction and international development industry. Even though he lacked background in either, James secured a position as executive vice president at the newly formed HillStone International, LLC.

Schiff may have mischaracterized
Parnas evidence, documents show
Posted by earlybird — 1/22/2020 3:17:00 PM Post Reply
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff appears to have mischaracterized a text message exchange between two players in the Ukraine saga, according to documents obtained by POLITICO — a possible error the GOP will likely criticize as another example of the Democrats’ rushed effort to impeach President Donald Trump. The issue arose when Schiff (D-Calif.) sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.)(Snip) summarizing a trove of evidence from Lev Parnas, (Snip). In one section of the letter, Schiff claims that Parnas “continued to try to arrange a meeting with President Zelensky,” citing a specific text message exchange where Parnas tells Giuliani: “trying to get us mr Z.”

Media in Davos confronts Trump on Greta
Thunberg; his answer makes them and
her look foolish
Posted by Imright — 1/22/2020 1:46:07 PM Post Reply
To hear the media tell it, President Donald Trump “slammed” child climate activist Greta Thunberg during a press conference Wednesday at the World Economic Forum, which is taking place in Davos, Switzerland. To that end, the president commented on Thunberg making the cover of Time before him — in a political maneuver, the child activist was named Time Magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ in 2019.In his opening address at the annual meeting, the president warned the assembly about the hysteria over climate change, saying alarmists are “radical socialists,” the Washington Examiner reported.

________

All from Lucianne.com all at around the same time.

Why is Robert Skidelsky speaking at Mont Pelerin??

I’m off to the regional meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society in Palo Alto which is the meeting of the remnants of the last few remaining supporters of market economies not only as the means to prosperity, but also as a necessary element in the preservation of political freedom.

So imagine my astonishment to see this as one of the sessions being on offer:

1:15 pm – 2:30 pm Lessons Learned from History for the Future of Freedom
Gabriel Calzada, Universidad Francisco Marroquín (Chair)
Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution
Amity Shlaes, Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation
Robert Skidelsky, Warwick University

This is from Robert Skidelsky’s Wikipedia page:

In September 2015, Skidelsky endorsed Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign in the Labour Party leadership election, writing in The Guardian: “Corbyn should be praised, not castigated, for bringing to public attention these serious issues concerning the role of the state and the best ways to finance its activities. The fact that he is dismissed for doing so illustrates the dangerous complacency of today’s political elites. Millions in Europe rightly feel that the current economic order fails to serve their interests. What will they do if their protests are simply ignored?”

As a minor matter next to this, but not minor to me, is that he is the most prominent defender of Keynesian economics, along with Paul Krugman, anywhere in the world. There is also a fact virtually unmentioned on his own Wikipedia page but mentioned here in relation to a disgraceful book he published at the start of the GFC: Keynes: The Return of the Master.

Keynes: The Return of the Master is a 2009 book by economic historian Robert Skidelsky. The work discusses the economic theories and philosophy of John Maynard Keynes, and argues about their relevance to the world following the Financial crisis of 2007–2010.

I’m not surprised he is reluctant to have the book mentioned. Want more? From the same source:

Chapter 8 sums up Keynes’s relevance to the current age as of 2009. The author suggests that Keynes would likely advise us to rethink macroeconomic policy, with a greater emphasis on balanced growth and with a somewhat large role for government in ensuring there is a smooth flow of investment to help protect the economy from unpredictable shocks. Macroeconomics should be reformed so that it again recognises the role of uncertainty and so it draws on other areas of knowledge such as history and International political economy, with a less central role for maths. The global savings glut needs to be addressed. Ethics should once again have a role in guiding capitalism, as should Keynes’s vision of harmony, where differences are cherished rather than pressured to conform, as can be the case with current concepts of “social cohesion” and “consensus”.

Why is such an out and out socialist being allowed to speak at Mont Pelerin? And on that minor matter of Keynes, this is the most recent cover description for my next book which I have just sent to the publisher.

Classical Economic Theory and the Modern Economy’

Steven Kates

Economic theory reached its highest level of analytical power and depth in the middle of the nineteenth century among John Stuart Mill and his contemporaries. This book explains classical economics when it was at its height, followed by an analysis of what took place as  a result of the ensuing Marginal and Keynesian Revolutions that have left economists less able to understand how economies operate.

Chapters explore the false mythology that has obscured the arguments of classical economists, clouding to the point of near invisibility the theories they had developed. Kates offers a thorough understanding of the operation of an economy within a classical framework, providing a new perspective for viewing modern economic theory from the outside. This provocative book not only explains the meaning of Say’s Law in an accessible way, but also the origins of the Keynesian revolution and Keynes’s pathway in writing The General Theory. It provides a new look at the classical theory of value at its height that was not based, as so many now wrongly believe, on the labour theory of value.

A crucial read for economic policy-makers seeking to understand the operation of a market economy, this book should also be of keen interest to economists generally as well as scholars in the history of economic thought.

 

Swarbrick [swȯrbrɪk] noun – a believer in cataclysmic anthropogenic climate-change

Reprinted in The Oz from The Economist was an article on how English lags behind in climate change word creation. It’s about how across many linguistic groups but unlike in English new terms are being coined in relation to climate change. There we find this:

Van Dale, a dictionary publisher, lets the Dutch-speaking public vote on its word of the year (in separate contests in Belgium and The Netherlands). For 2019 Belgians chose winkelhieren, or “buying local”. The Dutch went with an imported word that has a good case for being the winner in English, too: “boomer”.

As Chloe Swarbrick, a 25-year-old member of New Zealand’s parliament, was giving an impassioned speech on the impact of climate change on her generation, she coolly dismissed a heckling older MP with a curt “OK, boomer”. The phrase was already an internet meme; Swarbrick made it the talk of the offline world as well.

I’m not sure I can actually think of anyone lower on my list of authorities on anything than “a 25-year-old member of New Zealand’s parliament” but let that be. And myself being one of these baby boomers, whose generation has done so much to lower the collective common sense of the planet, I will remind Ms Swarbrick that what she thinks she knows she learned from us, from us baby-boomers, her teachers and professors at every step along the road of her education.

But what struck me even more in the search for a collective term to describe “a believer in cataclysmic anthropogenic climate-change”, now all so common everywhere, is that in her honour such people should be referred to as a “swarbrick”. It’s the brick part that I find so accurate, as in “thick as a brick”, but also because of how lacking in melody and sweetness the term itself seems to be. You’re just a swarbrick, you climate change ninny. Like Victoria was turned into “Victorian”: we would have swarbrick turned into “swarbrickian” in its adjectival form.

I imagine that Ms Swarbrick would take this usage as a badge of honour.

The consistency of the left

No one can be more consistent than the leaders of a modern left-side party. Policies are irrelevant – they just do or say whatever will lead them to power. Take this for an example: Oppose Iran sanctions, but support BDS against Israel?

Contrary to the claims of some of its apologists, the purpose of BDS is not to pressure Israel’s government to change its policies. As the founders of the movement and its leading advocates in the United States have repeatedly made clear, its goal is to eliminate Israel.

So if you support BDS against Israel but oppose sanctions against Iran—a brutal theocracy that oppresses its own people, seeks to impose its brand of Islamist tyranny on others via terrorism, and is dedicated to the goal of destroying Israel—then you are not merely being hypocritical. Singling out Jews for treatment that you think not even one of the worst governments on earth deserves is a form of bias that is indistinguishable from anti-Semitism.

Then there’s this:

Donald Trump and the mythmakers from Caroline Glick.

For the past 40-odd years, two narratives have guided American Middle East policy. Both were invented by the Carter administration. One relates to Iran. One relates to Israel.

Both narratives reject reality as the basis for foreign policy decision-making in favor of delusion. Over the past two months, President Donald Trump has rejected and disavowed them both. His opponents are apoplectic.

As far as Iran is concerned, as journalist Lee Smith explained in Tablet online magazine this week, when Iranian “students” seized the US Embassy in Tehran in November 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, they placed the Carter administration in a dilemma: If President Jimmy Carter acknowledged that the “students” weren’t students, but soldiers of Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Khomeini, the US would be compelled to fight back. And Carter and his advisers didn’t want to do that.

So rather than admit the truth, Carter accepted the absurd fiction spun by the regime that Khomeini was an innocent bystander who, try as he might, couldn’t get a bunch of “students” in central Tehran to free the hostages.

 At the base of their decision to prefer fantasy to reality in regards to Iran was the hope that Khomeini and his “students” would be satisfied with a pound or two of American flesh and wouldn’t cause Washington too many other problems.

So too, as Smith noted, the Carter administration was propelled by guilt. The worldviews of many members of the administration had been shaped on radical university campuses in the 1960s. They agreed with the Iranian revolutionaries who cursed Americans as imperialists. They perceived Khomeini and his followers as “authentic” Third World actors who were giving the Americans their comeuppance.

Khomeini and his “Death to America” shouting followers got the message. They understood that Washington had given them a green light to attack Americans in moderate and, as Smith put it, “plausibly deniable” doses. it. For the next 40 years, Iran maintained its aggression against America. And from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, every president since Carter accepted and kept faith with Carter’s decision not to hold the Iranian regime responsible for the acts of aggression and war it carried out against America through proxies.

Which continues:

This then brings us to President Trump. Trump’s decision to kill Qassem Soleimani – who as commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force was the head of all of Iran’s regional and global terror apparatuses – destroyed the Carter administration’s Iran narrative.

Soleimani was killed in Baghdad along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the commander of one of the Soleimani-controlled Shiite militias in Iraq. Iraqi protesters, who have been demonstrating against Iran’s control over their government since last October claim that Soleimani was the one who ordered al-Muhandis to kill the demonstrators. More than 500 demonstrators have been killed by those forces in Iraq over the past three months.

By killing the two together, the Americans exposed the big lie at the root of 40 years of American deliberate blindness to the reality of Iranian culpability and responsibility for the acts of terror and aggression its surrogates have carried out against America and its allies.

By killing Soleimani, Trump made clear that the blank check for aggression the previous six presidents gave Tehran is now canceled. From now on, the regime will be held responsible for its actions. From now on US policy towards Iran will be based on reality and not on escapism.

At least from now on until the next post-modernist clown, looking to preserve every possible constituency, takes over, which must happen eventually.

Others like Craig Kelly needed even more than ever

Yesterday I put up a post on Craig Kelly standing up for sense in the face of the climate change idiocies we are forced to endure. I titled the post, More like Craig Kelly needed. I am coming back to it only because it has been brought up again somewhere else.

I hadn’t seen Craig Kelly’s original interview on ITV but Gerard Henderson had: Interview more about ‘look-at-me’ Piers Morgan than Craig Kelly. First the bad news, which I had not known:

Early on, Morgan put this question: “Do you accept the planet is heating up at a dangerous level — yes or no?” To which Kelly replied “yes”.

It’s almost certainly untrue, but during the times in which we live, that is the only answer a politician, other than Donald Trump, is permitted to give. There was then more. The gullible self-harming fools who watch Morning Television on ITV in the UK are not part of Craig’s constituency. So what followed next only matters here in Oz:

Within minutes, [the pommy weather girl] Tobin entered the discussion by accusing Kelly of burying his “head in the sand”. She added: “You’re not a climate sceptic, you’re a climate denier.” This, despite the fact that Kelly had accepted Morgan’s proposition that the planet is heating at a dangerous level.

This would suggest that Tobin was more interested in stating her case than listening to what Kelly had to say.

Of course they’re not interested in listening – we’re talking about the ABC and their like-minded cohorts. They are just part of the liars-squad who for reasons already well-known, are the actual deniers, the ones who deny there is no problem.

Although Henderson thinks there is nothing to be gained by putting the case that global warming “science” is almost entirely fraud, there is, in fact, a great deal to be gained. Someone in a position to actually be interviewed needs to say these things in public or they will never be said where others can hear. Good for Craig Kelly and tough luck for Britain if that is the level of their understanding about climate change.

Of course Uri Geller can bend spoons with the power of his mind, you bloody morons.

International confidence in the American president

Confidence in Trump remains low internationally

I would take a sceptical attitude as reasonable except these parts of the Anglosphere and the former members of the nation states that once comprised Western Civilisation are filled with people who are saturated in ignorance and lacking in common sense. They are impervious to the dangers they were led into by Obama and the left in general, and are fearful of the actions taken by Donald Trump. This  in fact goes beyond mere ignorance into a kind of cultish stupidity that makes no sense on any level.

The ABC, and the media overall, are filled with people whose only stock in trade are their opinions. They support mass murderers who would snuff out their lives without hesitation, and snuff out their culture as well if they could.

If not Donald Trump, who do they think would do better? Hillary? Bernie? Calling them clueless is too good for them.

Here by the way is the source of the chart. And here is the president’s address this morning on Iran.