Conservatives are everywhere

Another completely dense article from Janet Albrechtsen, this time on Where have all the conservatives gone? Her first half sentence: “It is premature to read the last rites to Australian conservatism”. As if she’d know. Oddly, just the other day this same issue came up in a letter I was writing, in which I wrote in reply to someone else:

“Conservative” is not a list of policies but a state of mind that values the past and wishes to preserve what we have learned by heart so that it can be passed on to future generations. Border protection is the single most conservative policy of the present day. Lose on that, and everything else disappears. Zero tariffs is not a “conservative” policy in any sense I can think of.

So here is Janet going on about the same thing, but with hardly a sense of what that elusive thing called conservatism is. I will come to the comments in a minute, but first will take you to her last para:

Just as Ronald Reagan was once described as an optimist in a party that had acquired a habit of pessimism, Australian conservatives need a good dose of optimism before they can man up for a long battle over ideas that still matter today.

Missing entirely in her empty screed is mention of Donald Trump, the most conservative political leader of the past thirty years anywhere in the world, and a living example of what a conservative looks like and does. And then these, from the top down, in comments on her article at The Oz.

Mandy6 hours ago
For a prime ministership cut short by Turnbull, the Labor way, Abbott’s legacy is impressive :

stopping the boats, beginning budget repair (getting regulations & spending down), completing beneficial trade deals with Japan, South Korea and China, scrapping the mining and carbon taxes, agreeing to a second Sydney airport, ending wasteful corporate welfare, reducing the public service by 12,000, and abolishing hundreds of unnecessary government boards and agencies.

And, he has said he’s sorry for reneging on the pledge to repeal 18C. He’s acknowledged the wall of opposition he faced at the time – within the parliament and the lobby groups outside of it.He’s said he’s sorry for reneging, what more do you want?

Cultural leadership, no other contemporary parliamentarian can top this -Abbott’s memorable speech, self-penned, for the 2015 dawn service at Gallipoli. A snippet, “So much has changed in one hundred years but not the things that really matter. Duty, selflessness, moral courage: always these remain the mark of a decent human being. They did their duty; now, let us do ours.They gave us an example; now, let us be worthy of it. They were as good as they could be in their time; now, let us be as good as we can be in ours”.

And he’s still providing leadership to this day.From the backbench.Raising the parliamentary bar with contributions via interviews, self penned newspaper articles and speeches such as the Sydney Institute speech on immigration levels (and energy) and his “Daring to Doubt” speech for Global Warming Policy Foundation in London. And the toxic Turnbull and his Team’s reaction to Abbott speaking the truth? They attempt to shoot-the-messenger Abbott, because as Richo has noted, many resent the man they have already knifed, Tony Abbott, because he dares to demonstrate, day after day after day, that the man they chose to replace him as prime minister is a political dud.

sue14 hours ago
We had Abbott and you Janet worked against him in favour of Turnbull. If you have done some research and changed your mind, how about you say so.

Susan12 hours ago
Abbott did not walk meekly away from reforming Free Speech. You omit to tell what we all now know and that it was voted down multiple times in the Liberal Partyroom by your mate Malcolm and his Black hand gang. It was just another little game out of their long planned play book to undermine their PM (Abbott). You still refuse to give any credit to Abbott but it sticks in your craw Janet that Turnbull turned out to be such a vindictive dud, however had he not screwed you over in regards to the position on the Board over one article where you didn’t act as his cheer squad , I wonder if we would be hearing as much criticism of Turnbull from you as we do now?

I’m surprised you too are not making excuses and blaming Abbott, BJ and everyone and everything else for Turnbull’s bad polling. Fact is the man has no Political Judgement, has well and truly alienated what was once the Liberal (Now Turnbull Party) base and seems comfortable and happy for being responsible for driving up power prices, on steroids, now out of the reach of many struggling Families. Young kids and their parents in Australia, not a third world Country (yet), Australia in 2018 who are living without electricity thanks to Malcolm, Bishop, Frydenberg et al’s signing/ratifying the UN Paris agreement.

This is what happens when both Major Parties in Australia are left of centre and it is NOT in the best interest of Australia and its citizens.

Jon13 hours ago
Well Janet it looks like your push to depose Abbot has backfired. I’m pleased you have the grace to cover Turnbull as he is now and not as you hoped he’d be.

Unfortunately Abbot has been trashed so badly it is difficult for him to make a comeback. Who will you anoint this time?

Brian6 hours ago
Cory Bernardi obviously concluded, fighting for Conservative/Christian values within the LP was a pointless exercise.Without conviction at the top, nothing can be achieved. While Turnbull remains, nothing will change. I have concluded that unless a messiah appears on the horizon, (to lead us out of the moral & political wilderness) the abyss is beckoning for Australia

Glencoe12 hours ago
As everyone knows Tony Abbott is the best fighter the Conservatives in the Liberal Party has but Turnbull is too hateful and paranoid to let him loose and people like you, Savva, Van Oneselen and media have hounded him to death each time he starts a topic or comments on poor government policy. If let loose he would be eating Shorten and the Unions but making Turnbull look weak and we cannot have that.

Michael6 hours ago
I attended Jordan Peterson’s excellent event in Sydney last night. We oldies were well and truly outnumbered by young people, particularly young men. When he made a joke about ‘safe spaces’ at universities, the kids erupted with applause. There is hope yet, Janet.

Free trade and the modern left

From a note I wrote to a friend.

I have had two articles of mine put up at Powerline Picks, one I have done on tariffs and the other on Jordan Peterson, which Peterson himself tweeted a link to. My reason for mentioning them is that by concentrating on all of this, I have had a penny drop that I discussed in a note I wrote to someone else, which might interest you since we are both forever trying to unravel the latest scams and tactics of the left. These were the articles: Economic theory is all right in theory which dealt with tariffs and my Quadrant review of Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life.

Mulling the issues over, thinking of tariffs in the context of Peterson, it has very strongly come to mind that oddly, but almost with certainty, the left are now the big free traders because it is the most certain means they have at their disposal to bring our economies down and Western Civilisation along with it. They are no more pro-market than they have ever been, and in no sense are supporters of entrepreneurial capitalism, but with open borders structured to allow Chinese goods to undermine American manufacturing, especially when accompanied by mass immigration from third world hordes lacking any marketable skills, there has never been a better opportunity to bring the West down, and to do it with the connivance of large elements of the right. I don’t think PDT will have seen things as a coordinated set of actions, and perhaps it is just an uncoordinated series of policies that in sum all end up working in the same direction. Perhaps for him it was merely intuitive, in the same way it has been for me, in recognising what must be done to beat back the left without appreciating what the left is up to. But wherever his approach has arisen from, his actions are all necessary as part of a program to maintain the American economic system and its historical constitutional form of government in place even in the face of the kinds of challenges not even the Soviet Union could mount.

There is no need for a central committee of the left to work this out, but once various elements fall into place and their destructive value is recognised, their aim is to keep them where they are. The madness is that these are parody versions of the traditional policies of the right, which has led to an ocean of opposition from those who would normally be expected to support him. Will need to think these things through some more.

I have had some flack on my shared right-of-centre blog over supporting PDT on tariffs, but the flack really comes from the alliance of the Wall Street Journal and the governments of China, Mexico, Canada and Australia. I don’t know whether Trump sees these things as I now do, or he is just working things through one policy at a time, but I don’t know how this can be fought off. The single most important personal characteristic in looking at Trump may be his personal wealth since he cannot be bribed in the way the entire American Congress is at constant risk of being. If classical economic theory – which he is applying although he may not know that either – were not so accurate in creating wealth and jobs, it would truly be the end of the game for us in the West. It may be anyway, but here we are at least being given something of a respite and an opportunity to fight again another day.

Jordan Peterson in Australia

Sounds just like JBP everywhere else. And here he is talking to Bettina Arndt.

And if you are just looking for the highlights.

And with Leigh Sales on the ABC.

And on a supposed comedy interview.

This is how this last interview is described.

Controversial Canadian psychologist Dr Jordan Peterson explains to Tom why keeping his room clean is important, why identity politics suck, and why the ABC should be less Marxist.

And the heading is absolutely right: “Jordan Peterson DESTROYS Tom Ballard.”

And this is the audio from his presentation in Melbourne.

Jordan Peterson with Mark Steyn

From June 2017. About Free Speech. You might even wonder whether this conversation could happen today, never mind a decade from now.

Some quotes from JBP but you need to watch it all for yourself. And there is also Mark Steyn!

I’ve studied the development of totalitarianism for a very long time and one of the things I know is the issue of ceding control over language, and the Government has carelessly made a precedent and the precedent is compelled speech essentially.”

“I think I am a classical liberal in the old school sense. I am an individualist.”

In reference on the form of sex and gender education that is happening in schools, “people have no idea it is happening. . . . The average person has no idea that it is happening.”

“We take free speech for granted, we actually take our whole civilisation for granted and we don’t understand that it rests on certain foundation blocks and if you remove those blocks all hell will break loose. And I think our civilisation is a whole lot more fragile that people understand and it is also in a lot more peril than people understand.”

“We’re also in a situation right now where your right to say anything about religious beliefs, unless they’re Christian, is seriously in danger, and that’s so dangerous that it’s almost beyond comprehension. It puts us back in Mediaeval times.”

“The patriarchy is just Western Civilisation. Patriarchy is just a code word for that. Governed by their Marxist dogma and post-Marxist dogma, they think it needs to be re-tooled from the bottom up. It makes them natural allies of any other system that opposes our system.”

“Jacques Derrida may be is the most dangerous person of the last forty years.” His writings are the basis for “an all out assault on Western categories of thought. . . . Categorisation is the basis of cognition. And so he has basically made the claim that thought itself is an agent of oppression.”

“As the politically correct movement inches forward. . . . [The Social Justice Warrior types] find a hypothetically vulnerable group – it doesn’t matter what it is – and then they use them as a protective shield while they move incrementally forward and so if you object you are targeted as if you are picking on the poor vulnerable people.”

Why I had stood out was not that I was speaking in generalities but that “I had said there was something I would not do and so had drawn a line so it was the combination of generalities with specificity that made the issue real for people.”

“Many of the kids on the left equate argument for free speech with racism.”

“Why I took these issues on now is because I believe it will be worse later.”

While the world reeled

I was going to keep away from this for a while, but having watched the above last night and then found this in The Oz today, I’m afraid that it’s once more unto the breach dear friends:

“While the world reeled after ­Donald Trump signed off on his trade tariffs …”

Meanwhile, on the editorial page of the very same edition of the very same paper we have: Steel tariffs show Australia isn’t fair dinkum when it comes to fair trade, where we find:

In January an anti-dumping investigation concerning steel ­reinforcing bars imported from Greece, Spain, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan concluded that anti-dumping duties ranging from 4 per cent to 42 per cent would be required. They came into effect last Wednesday.

I will leave it then with this. Is it at all conceivable that a country might do something so unfair that another country would then justifiably put on a tariff, or increase an existing tariff, as a means to limit some potential harm? No? OK. Yes? Then when might that be?

And just for added irony, in 1778, Adam Smith, yes that Adam Smith, was appointed as commissioner of customs in Scotland.

How to deal with an Alpha dog

The last three of 34 from The Art of the Deal on the International Stage. It’s about the US and Chinese relations.

32. Facing a Red Dragon who wears a Panda mask is a challenging enterprise. ONLY, for this U.S. administration, President Trump has dealt with this level of Beijing *cultural thinking* before.

33. When it comes to the use of economic leverage to create U.S. national security outcomes, well, we are learning at the knee of an economic master player. The media will now do everything they can to stop people from realizing how effective President Trump is…

34. End


The sharpest statement on Russian collusion in the American election

An article you only need to read if you aren’t the slightest bit interested in reading what it says. From Diana West: Is it a surprise to find a Stalin apologist at the center of the Steele dossier scandal? This gets to the very core:

I asked a retired (Cold War vintage), extremely experienced intelligence professional what he thought of the news of the day (which is still the news of the day): that the Russians “hacked” the DNC, and therefore “hacked” the election. He replied that the Russians were more than good enough to mask any such activity if they wanted to; further, they were more than good enough not to mask such activity if they wanted to.

Russian collusion in American elections runs through ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, the NYT and Washington Post. False flag ops to their very core. Willing stooges on behalf of the enemies of Western civilisation. Seriously, is there anyone more objectively on the side of Russian interests than Rachel Maddow? So let me quote from the end of the article:

Isn’t it at least conceivable that the Putin-wants-Trump line contradicts sensible Kremlin strategy? To me, Putin-wants-Trump (who wants next-generation nuclear anything he can get) sounds like a classic Moscow influence operation, another iteration of “fake newski” to manipulate the ignorant West. From Lenin is a capitalist, to “Uncle Joe” supports religious freedom, to Andropov likes jazz, to Putin (ruthlessness incarnate) is a devout Christian: We fall for it every single time.

If I am correct, where does that leave this Russian-American disinformation campaign, paid for by the DNC/Clinton campaign, assisted in still-mysterious ways by Stalin apologist Ohr, now developing the rigor mortis of Washington conventional wisdom? Four legs good; two legs bad. Putin loves Trump, Putin hates Hillary — and here’s the “dossier” to prove it and “collusion,” too.

Which is worse: to be a traitor or stupid and ignorant? Morally the answer is obvious, but in practical terms, it doesn’t mean a thing?

Pandering to ignorance

“Just woke up—anything bad happen yet?”

This is from the Financial Times, sent to me by my Porsche-driving California-based Silicon Valley high school friend who finds it his mission in life to complete my day with the worst of Donald Trump. The certainty is that if I returned the favour, my email account would be instantly blocked, but I let it continue for its interest. He is a perfect representation of the anti-Trump madness and is highly instructive. The cartoon is from him as well, and truly puts you in mind of the mindset. The story today is from the Financial Times in London, comes with the heading, “Trump, Kushner and the businessman fallacy” and this is how it starts.

When Warren Harding was 19, in 1884, he bought a small Ohio newspaper, probably for $450. By the time he ran for president in 1920, it had made him rich. Harding campaigned as an entrepreneur, promising “less government in business and more business in government”. He is often described as the worst US president, until now.

C’mon, we’ve had Carter and Obama since that time, but as with all media, for the past hundred years the best Republican is automatically ranked lower than the worse Democrat. But as it happens Harding was among the best, and it was his handling of the recession of 1920-21 for which he is best remembered, or by the likes of my mate and the Financial Times, best forgotten. Try this instead: How Government Inaction Ended the Depression of 1921.

Warren Harding was philosophically inclined to oppose government intervention and believed a downturn of this kind would work itself out if no obstacles were placed in its path. He declared in his acceptance speech at the 1920 Republican convention:

We will attempt intelligent and courageous deflation, and strike at government borrowing which enlarges the evil, and we will attack high cost of government with every energy and facility which attend Republican capacity. We promise that relief which will attend the halting of waste and extravagance, and the renewal of the practice of public economy, not alone because it will relieve tax burdens but because it will be an example to stimulate thrift and economy in private life.

Let us call to all the people for thrift and economy, for denial and sacrifice if need be, for a nationwide drive against extravagance and luxury, to a recommittal to simplicity of living, to that prudent and normal plan of life which is the health of the republic. There hasn’t been a recovery from the waste and abnormalities of war since the story of mankind was first written, except through work and saving, through industry and denial, while needless spending and heedless extravagance have marked every decay in the history of nations.

Harding, that least fashionable of American presidents, was likewise able to look at falling prices soberly and without today’s hysteria. He insisted that the commodity price deflation was unavoidable, and perhaps even salutary. “We hold that the shrinkage which has taken place is somewhat analogous to that which occurs when a balloon is punctured and the air escapes.” Moreover, said Harding, depressions followed inflation “just as surely as the tides ebb and flow,” but spending taxpayer money was no way to deal with the situation. “The excess of stimulation from that source is to be reckoned a cause of trouble rather than a source of cure.”

You know the Roaring Twenties. With PDT as president, we may end up with our own version. Harding died in 1923 so this period of prosperity is attributed to Coolidge, but it was Harding who set the prosperity in place. As for the Financial Times, like with my Californian mate, ignorance gives them peace of mind, but hopefully is not contagious.