Insubstantial, frivolous

In this weekend’s WSJ, Peggy Noonan sums up Kamala’s ‘shtick’ perfectly:

….For her part, vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is, when on the trail, giddy. She’s dancing with drum lines and beginning rallies with “Wassup, Florida!” She’s throwing her head back and laughing a loud laugh, especially when nobody said anything funny. She’s the younger candidate going for the younger vote, and she’s going for a Happy Warrior vibe, but she’s coming across as insubstantial, frivolous. When she started to dance in the rain onstage, in Jacksonville, Fla., to Mary J. Blige’s “Work That,” it was embarrassing.

Apparently you’re not allowed to say these things because she’s a woman, and she’s doubling down on giddy because you’re not allowed to say them. I, however, take Ms. Blige’s advice to heart: I will not sweat it, I will be myself. Kamala Harris is running for vice president of the United States in an era of heightened and unending crisis. The world, which doubts our strength, our character and our class, is watching. If you can’t imitate gravity, could you at least try for seriousness?….

We shall soon see how much any of that matters.


This is from

Kamala Harris Gets Giddy When Asked About Her ‘Socialist Perspective’

The Victorian State Library at Ace of Spades

Sunday Morning Book Thread 10-25-2020



State Library of Victoria Melbourne AU 03.jpg

State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

Good morning to all you ‘rons, ‘ettes, lurkers, and lurkettes, wine moms, frat bros, crétins sans pantalon (who are technically breaking the rules), ghoulis, zombies, banshees, mummies, and the rest of you out there doing the ‘monster mash’. Welcome once again to the stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread, a weekly compendium of reviews, observations, snark, witty repartee, hilarious bon mots, and a continuing conversation on books, reading, spending way too much money on books, writing books, and publishing books by escaped oafs and oafettes who follow words with their fingers and whose lips move as they read. Unlike other AoSHQ comment threads, the Sunday Morning Book Thread is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Even if it’s these pants, worn by this guy I hired as a babysitter after I saw his advertisement on Craigslist. Says he loves kids. Seems OK.

Pic Note:

It’s bigger than I thought:

The State Library Victoria is the main library of the Australian state of Victoria. Located in Melbourne, it was established in 1854 as the Melbourne Public Library, making it Australia’s oldest public library and one of the first free libraries in the world. It is also Australia’s busiest library and, as of 2018, the fourth most-visited library in the world.

The library’s vast collection includes over two million books and 350,000 photographs, manuscripts, maps and newspapers, with a special focus on material from Victoria, including the diaries of the city’s founders, John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner, the folios of Captain James Cook, and the armour of Ned Kelly.

So it’s kind of like a museum, then.

This Ned Kelly fellow sounds interesting. Not only was he played by Mick Jagger in an eponymous 1970 movie, but a number of books have been written about him and his gang, including Ned Kelly by [name redacted]:

Love him or loathe him, Ned Kelly has been at the heart of Australian culture and identity since he and his gang were tracked down in bushland by the Victorian police and came out fighting, dressed in bulletproof iron armour made from farmers’ ploughs.

Historians still disagree over virtually every aspect of the eldest Kelly boy’s brushes with the law. Did he or did he not shoot Constable Fitzpatrick at their family home? Was he a lawless thug or a noble Robin Hood, a remorseless killer or a crusader against oppression and discrimination? Was he even a political revolutionary, an Australian republican channelling the spirit of Eureka?

…From Kelly’s early days in Beveridge, Victoria, in the mid-1800s, to the Felons’ Apprehension Act, which made it possible for anyone to shoot the Kelly gang, to Ned’s appearance in his now-famous armour, prompting the shocked and bewildered police to exclaim ‘He is the devil!’ and ‘He is the bunyip!’, FitzSimons brings the history of Ned Kelly and his gang exuberantly to life, weighing in on all of the myths, legends and controversies generated by this compelling and divisive Irish-Australian rebel.

This book is almost 900(!) pages long, so for the $12.99 asking price, you’re getting a lot of reading.

Let me [LoM] just add in this. The picture above is the Library as it now is with no one around and the pic below is from the time before Insanity descended.

From Ace of Spades

In Politics Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus

From Men and Women Have Never Been More Politically Divided:

It would be a mistake to attribute this year’s gender gap entirely to Trump’s personal attributes. After all, women have been trending left, as men trend right, for decades now. And this development is not unique to the United States — rather, it is present across nearly all advanced democracies. Viewed in this context, Trump looks as much like a product of the gender gap as he does like a cause: It’s quite plausible that Trump would not have won the 2016 GOP nomination if the Republican coalition hadn’t already grown heavily male (in multiple state primaries, Trump performed significantly better among men than women).

The most astonishing moment of the debate was over the 550 missing children at the border. Anyone who would make that even the faintest criterion for selecting president should be denied the vote.

There is truth, barefaced lies and then there is the media

This is the chap who was Hunter Biden’s business partner in China. It is virtually impossible to get any of the major media organisations to discuss almost any of it. And then there’s this.

And here is PDT’s own release of the full interview with Leslie Stahl at the American 60 Minutes.

You can also read a thorough discussion at Ace of Spades. The media bias is unbelievable. BTW Trump did not walk out.

Unconscionable. You want to see PDT walking out on an interview, this is Donald Trump walking out on an interview.

Even in retelling the story Baron Cohen tells only lies. The actual version and his version are a prefiguring of Leslie Stahl at 60 Minutes. These people are relentless liars.

Bjorn Lomborg is not a sceptic

For me, climate skepticism is only part of the way towards where we need to get. Until there is actual evidence that the climate is warming because of how we heat our homes and generate electricity, I will remain as I am, completely unconvinced that the whole of this green new deal enterprise is anything other than a scam and a hoax. Bjorn Lomborg signed up early as the “rational” sceptic, but from everything he has ever written and said, his pretending to be on the fence is one hundred percent a pose. No one should pay attention to a word he says. So there he was in The Oz today with this: Throwing trillions at climate policies is sheer folly. I am more into believing that throwing ten cents at climate policies, as in climate change policies, is the folly. This is what Lomborg actually believes:

During the Paris climate summit in 2015, former US president Barack Obama and many other global leaders promised to double global green R&D spending by 2020. Unfortunately, actual spending has barely budged. But Biden’s plan could change all that. He laudably suggests spending $US75bn a year on green R&D, which would increase fourfold what the rich world is spending each year. While waste and mismanagement from such a drastic ramp-up are possibilities, Biden’s direction is precisely right.

What a repulsive scoundrel. He’s probably not quite as wealthy as Al Gore, but he has no doubt made his own little pile taking the line he does which allows him to pose as an undecided to gather in those fools who are only half way there under the pretence that they are being properly sceptical.

And let me add in my own two cents worth on The Amazing Randi who really was amazing. His thing was Uri Geller and I learned much from Randi as he exposed Geller for the charlatan he was. What was especially important to me was to find out that there is big money in deceiving the gullible. This is the essence of scepticism, and Randi was the real thing.

If you want to see another climate fraud, let me introduce you to Michael Shermer.

Michael Brant Shermer (born September 8, 1954) is an American science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and editor-in-chief of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating pseudoscientific and supernatural claims. The Skeptics Society currently has over 55,000 members. Shermer engages in debates on topics pertaining to pseudoscience and religion in which he emphasizes scientific skepticism.

Shermer, as it says, is the founding editor of Skeptic to which I once subscribed and the very first issue I received was devoted to explaining Climate Change is a genuine problem that needs to be dealt with. I, of course, cancelled my sub on the spot and have never paid the slightest attention to him ever since although he is everywhere. This is what he believes: Why Climate Skeptics Are Wrong.

Is there a consensus on AGW? There is. The tens of thousands of scientists who belong to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Medical Association, the American Meteorological Society, the American Physical Society, the Geological Society of America, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and, most notably, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change all concur that AGW is in fact real. Why? … There is a convergence of evidence from multiple lines of inquiry—pollen, tree rings, ice cores, corals, glacial and polar ice-cap melt, sea-level rise, ecological shifts, carbon dioxide increases, the unprecedented rate of temperature increase—that all converge to a singular conclusion. AGW doubters point to the occasional anomaly in a particular data set, as if one incongruity gainsays all the other lines of evidence. But that is not how consilience science works. For AGW skeptics to overturn the consensus, they would need to find flaws with all the lines of supportive evidence and show a consistent convergence of evidence toward a different theory that explains the data.

Some sceptic! That Randi, who like Houdini was a magician and able to see through the tricks that Geller and other magicians had devised to fool the public, was not able to see through all this is just how it goes. You can learn a great deal about fraud from his writings. As Randi said, you need a magician to expose a magician.

As for climate change fraud, you need a climate scientist who is willing to take these villains on. Such people are very rare. There is hardly a dollar in it. My only advice, which I learned from Randi and others like him, is to make it your aim in any controversy to investigate the other side. Don’t just read one climate scientist and then read another on the same side. Seek out, as a matter of principle, those who disagree and read carefully what they write. If you don’t do that, they will pick your pocket. With climate change, they will raise the cost of heating and lighting your homes, and while they will become rich building windmills and solar panels, you will become poor. You need not only be sceptical, but to know how to be sceptical.

It’s only when you have read the text above should you then look at the video below: “Michael Shermer with Bjorn Lomborg — How Climate Change Panic Costs Trillions, Fails to Fix Planet”. Both start from the premise there is a problem to be fixed. Once you’ve seen through that, only when you have seen through that, will you be at beginning of being able to think through these issues. You may never be able to do a thing about it, but at least you will understand the world in which you live.

As he says at the end, “where is the best place to send my money?” (1:19:25). That is just exactly what it’s all about.

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.

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.

Apropos of something this being Woody Allen

I have just finished Woody Allen’s autobiography, Apropos of Nothing. There have been a number of constants in my life and so far, a love for his movies and his comedy generally has been one of the foremost.

He identifies with the left, but he is a conservative at heart. Everything about his films is representative of the core morality of Western Civilisation. His humour is founded on our Biblical morality. You cannot find anything funny in what he says or writes unless you begin from a solid basis in Biblical morality and the ethics of the West.

I could not recommend his autobiography more.

Australians watching American politics according to The Oz

This really is one of the creepiest stories I have come across in the papers in quite a while: Public safety becomes a casualty to the culture wars. It’s by Katrina Grace Kelly and it’s in The Australian.

Confession: it is easy to laugh when on the other side of the world, I suppose, but Donald Trump has been a source of great amusement for many years. However, as the mind-boggling events unfolded this week, the smile was wiped from my dial.

Telling people not to be afraid of COVID-19, which he has contracted — although when and where remains a secret — the President checked out of hospital and returned to the White House.

A day or so later, as the US death toll reached 211,532, reports on television claimed Trump was symptom free and had declared his infection a “blessing in disguise”.

This is her central point:

If the leader of any country has only one job, it is to keep their citizens out of harm’s way. Despite any other previous policy triumphs, if a leader doesn’t do everything to keep their people alive in the face of avoidable death, they won’t be appreciated.

I don’t want to get into just how inane I think this is. If you don’t see it yourself, I can do nothing to help you. But it was the sentence that followed that makes it clear just how much, in Jane Fonda’s words, “Covid is God’s gift to the Left”. Here we have, in The Oz:

Polls often are wrong but they have Trump on track to lose the election. If he does, it will be because of his COVID-19 response.

And it will be just because of this safety-first inanity from people of the left such as herself. Save me, she begs, save me. No one is any longer dying, there are other issues that also matter, and many that are much more important. But so far as she is concerned, that is the first priority with everything else a long way distant behind. Here are the first five comments under “Best Liked” and then a few others after that.

“Voters expect politicians to do everything to keep them safe”. No, we expect them to provide information so we can decide for ourselves how “safe” we want to be. It’s time we recaptured the notion of individual responsibility. The thought of big government nursing me from cradle to grave has me more worried than the virus.

Used to like reading your columns Katrina now they are better suited to the Guardian.

Keeping the population safe includes the responsibility of not destroying the economy.

KGK over the last couple of her articles, has shown herself to be a Dan lover and Trump/right hater/disliker. It’s always good to know the perspective from which the authors come. One thing though for KGK, as a person who will relentlessly defend Dan Andrews and his draconian lockdowns, can she please explain how my child in France was in the very same class with another child who was confirmed to have Covid. The Covid positive child stayed away from school for a few weeks and the rest of the class went on as normal with no one else (nor the teacher) getting Covid (and their classrooms is really, really small and packed with students). Compare this with Victoria where there are very very few diagnosed cases (certainly in comparison to France) but no kids going to school for 6 entire months. KGK, can you see why some people may see that there has been a bit of an over reaction by your man Dan? I think KGK ought to check her bias.

A very simple response Katrina. You’re so very, very wrong in your thinking.

“Telling people not to be afraid of COVID-19, which he has contracted.” Am I the only person in the world who understood his words to be along the lines of not letting yourself become too afraid to live and to still find joy in the world despite the times we are living in; but to take care and be responsible. The man has his faults but for just once could anyone report on his utterances with just a small degree of objectivity?

It is the perpetually terrified who have urged politicians to bring us to our knees. Governments cannot keep us safe. In the ultimate scenario it is they that send troops to die to achieve economic and moral objectives. Safety is am illusion. Live under the doona for as long as you like Katrina but the rest of us want to live life.

This is what gets my back up. People who are so quick to blame Trump for the deaths from corona but yet give a free pass to Dan Andrews. Seriously?? The same bloke who let 10000 BLM protesters run amuck thru Melbourne because apparently they couldn’t be policed but yet dragged a pregnant mother out of her home for supporting a Fb post about a protest. What a joke.

Sorry, but most of this is a string of nonsense cliches.

We can’t hide under the bed forever. I think it is eminently sensible advice to say ‘don’t let this virus rule our lives, we must learn to live with it’.

I swear people still peddling this fear campaign must live under a rock.