In the final minute, US-based Canadian commentator Mark Steyn was summing up the prospects of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the US presidential race. He quipped that Guardian journalist Lenore Taylor might get her wish — a socialist president. The audience burst into spontaneous applause, welcoming the prospect of a socialist president of the US. Steyn was flabbergasted.
"That's not an applause line," he admonished the crowd.
Host Tony Jones suggested it might have been a "laugh" line while a bemused Steyn suggested he might as well get a taxi to the airport. Then the insight of the moment seemed to dawn on Jones: "Well, it wasn't the entire audience," he protested.
Perhaps he was right. Maybe there were a few non-socialists in the ABC audience.
Speaking of Bernie, because of the openly corrupt nominating process in the Democrat Party, he's getting stiffed in the delegate count by the so-called "super-delegates" who are pre-pledged to Hillary. So, even though he tied her in Iowa and whumped her 60-38 in the New Hampshire primary, she's leading with 468 delegates to 53. The slugs who run the party loathe their voters and rig the system to render it a sham. Sporadic reader Bill Tomlinson proposes a solution:
I have been a sporadic fan of yours for years, and I particularly enjoyed your "The March of Trump, and the Feel of Bern".
But here's a thought. Suppose Bernie wins the popular vote for the Democrat nomination, but Hillary leapfrogs him using her super-delegates. Bernie will be mad, but his supporters will be madder still.
Meanwhile, Trump has to choose a running mate, a Veep. Suppose he invites Bernie!!! It is just the sort of maverick thing that Trump loves to do, and it would make sense at several levels.
First, Veep is a meaningless non-job unless the president dies in office. So there is not much to lose.
Second, it would re-inforce the notion that this election is not Left vs Right, but Establishment vs anti-Establishment.
Third, it would pull in all those madder-than-hell Bernie supporters - which could be important if the polls show Hillary leading.
Well, in this election season one would be foolish to rule anything out. But I think this scenario only works if Hillary picks Jeb as her running mate. A wilderness of mirrors, as the CIA types like to say.
Incidentally, Bernie wasn't a Democrat until he entered the primary process, so there would be a certain symmetry in him not being a Republican until he enters the convention. Mind you, his record on gun rights may be a bit much for some of the squishier metropolitan RINOs. On the other hand, this Florida reader is not unwilling to entertain the notion:
I'd like to follow up on reader Jim McFarland's comments on H1-B visas. They are indeed used by and large to replace American workers. I work in the pharmaceuticals industry and have direct knowledge of this. Among the jobs I've seen posted for H1-B applications was a laboratory supervisor's position that paid in excess of $120,000 per year. Apparently that list of jobs that Americans just won't do is pretty extensive.
Beyond hitting the candidates on the H1-B question, I'd like someone to also ask them why your average chicken processing plant in this country looks like a miniature Mogadishu.
I'm a conservative, but I'd vote for Bernie Sanders if I thought he'd shut off the immigration spigot. Whatever wacky socialist ideas he may get past Congress, they can be undone at a later date. As you've observed, what can't be undone is the transformational demographic shifts that result from mass immigration.
Coral Springs, Florida
~For my appearance in Brisbane on Tuesday my old editor at The Australian, Tom Switzer, introduced me, and Dr Jennifer Marohasy, PhD gave the vote of thanks. It was great fun talking to Jennifer about her important field work in Madagascar that led to the bio-control of the rubbervine weed back in Queensland: that's practical science that greatly benefits masses of people. Jennifer also turns up in my book "A Disgrace to the Profession": The World's Scientists ~ In Their Own Words ~ On Michael E Mann, His Hockey Stick And Their Damage To Science:
My key problem with the "the hockey stick" has always been that the upward spike representing runaway global warming in the 20th century was never of the same stuff as the rest of the chart. That is the spike is largely based on the instrumental temperature record - i.e. the thermometer record - while the downward trending line that it was grafted on to is based on proxies, in particular estimates of temperature derived from studies of tree rings.
It has always, for me, been a case of Michael Mann comparing apples and oranges, or to put it another way sticking an apple on the end of a banana... The grafting was necessary because the proxy record, i.e. the tree ring record, shows that global temperatures have declined since about 1960.
Of course we know that global temperature haven't declined since 1960, or thereabout, so there must be something wrong with the proxy record. This is known as "the divergence problem" and it is a problem, because if tree rings are not a good indicator of global temperature after 1960, how can they be a good indicator of global temperature prior to 1960?
This is the hockey stick's double deformity: The shaft used a novel and bizarre formula to re-make the past ...but, if you were to apply the same method to the 20th and 21st century, the result would look nothing like the observed temperature record. In other words, Mann's "reconstruction" method can't accurately reconstruct today's climate.
Which is a bit of a problem. If you haven't yet read "A Disgrace To The Profession" I hope you'll give it a go: It's an interesting glimpse of what real scientists make of Mann.
~Re our Aussie Song of the Week, Dan Hollombe wets their whistle:
I belong to numerous oldies forums on the web (bet you would never have guessed that). Whenever there's a discussion about the best records of the 60s that involve whistling, the usual suspects always emerge: "England Swings", "Save Your Heart For Me", "Only Love Can Break A Heart", etc. Believe it or not, there's a bit of a controversy surrounding "Georgy Girl." Nobody can seem to reach a consensus as to whether or not what you hear at the beginning and during the instrumental break is in fact, whistling that is emanating from human lips, or a plastic slide-whistle. Personally, I think it sounds more like the latter, but if one of the Seekers tells you otherwise, I'll certainly take his or her word for it.
That being said, it really is a great tune. I don't know of any other folky melody that utilizes a sustained-4 chord on the dominants (i.e. the words "clothes" and "run").
Your mentioning of a flop Broadway musical from 1970 caught my eye. George Fischoff is one of the more mysterious and enigmatic figures of 1960s music. Not a whole lot is known about him, other than the fact that along with lyricist Tony Powers, he composed two of the most infectious sunshine pop hits to ever grace the charts, "Lazy Day" and "98.6". His later creations with Carole Bayer were not particularly distinctive (check out THIS early Suzi Quatro effort from 1968 and THIS Jerry Vale snoozer from 1972) but I'd still be interested in hearing some of the music from "Georgy." Too bad it didn't merit a soundtrack album.
~On Wednesday I'll be making my debut appearance at the Post Office Hotel (see photo at top) in Cloncurry, named for Lady Cloncurry of that ilk and deep in the North Queensland outback. I gather from the IPA that at least one person is coming from Townsville, a convenient eight-hour drive. If you start now, you might just make my closing remarks - or at least last orders for a quenching 4X.
On Thursday I'll be joining the above-mentioned Tom Switzer on his radio show Between The Lines. Hope you can tune in.