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Saturday, March 13, 2021

To be honest, an honest appraisal of Covid will take at least twenty years...

 --and that's assuming the historians haven't fully become an arm of the state/establishment.  But that's a concern for another day.  

Is Covid Almost Over? (Powerline.com):

All of that said, the Wuhan bug has in fact increased the number of Americans who have died over the past year. The best index of covid’s impact is, I think, the number of excess deaths over a demographically predicted norm. I have little faith in the CDC, a thoroughly politicized organization, but I assume they can aggregate local death statistics with reasonable accuracy, and this is what they report. The chart shows deaths from all causes. 









Contrary to what some have suggested, covid has actually led to a substantial number of excess deaths compared to a demographic norm over the past year. But what is notable about this chart is that the number of excess deaths is sinking like a stone. What will be interesting to follow over the coming months is whether the total number of deaths declines below the demographic norm.  
Why might this happen? Because most covid victims are people who were likely to die soon in any event, but whose death may have been accelerated by the Wuhan flu. I suspect that most Wuhan victims would have died a few months later, or perhaps a year or two later, regardless of covid.

If that hypothesis is correct, over the next year or two we should see overall mortality falling below the currently predicted norm.

In a completely detached world, I compare this to "Cash-for-Clunkers" where new car sales accelerated, only to be met by a(n unanticipated-by-everyone-but-rational-economists) extended slump in the months following the end of the program. 

Covid is not a hoax, and I have lost friends to this virus.  But never lose sight of the long-term, particularly with the arguments in mind made by Robert Higgs (see previous Mojo Bison Range's entry).


Thursday, March 4, 2021

What Rothbard's Defense of Religion Teaches Us about Resisting the Covid State

 ...the notion that our traditions and culture are both glorious and under attack is not obvious to even some Rothbardians, although it is true. If that goes ignored, then the long-term optimism Rothbard personified will become vacuous.

Individual resistance is great, and it can even be brave and heroic in the covid era, but it should not be the essence of any long-term strategy for libertarian victory. Institutional resistance, on the other hand, ought to take precedence. 

...

Rothbard would’ve turned ninety-five this week. As we look back on his treasure trove of work, let’s pay special attention to his insights that most ring true for a new libertarian strategy going forward.

That may call for us thrusting ourselves into the institutions that have deteriorated over the last century or more but whose fires are not out yet. Free-thinking individuals with an appreciation for institution formation can be the oxygen to fuel their embers. 


 Yeah, but I'm getting tired of being the Lone Ranger.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

This, This, Ten Thousand Times This!

Why didn’t more professors oppose the Gramscian march or at least stick up for free speech? (NewNeo)

(4) For the most part, professors are people who have done well in school and never left it, staying to take on more power and prestige within that setting. Therefore I don’t think they are selected for courage, or for even necessarily for thinking for themselves (with exceptions, of course). For the most part, they have been very good at taking in information and then giving it back again, perhaps with a small advancement on current knowledge in a very circumscribed field. So there may be more people in academia who are selected for conformity, and they are less likely to buck the prevailing winds. 

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my world.  It all ultimately goes back to my assertion years ago that the intellectuals are still having a hissy-fit that the Age of Reason did not end with them becoming philosopher-kings, but with the rise of industrialists.  Of course, now that they are moving to control the institutions, they are becoming the very aristocracy (complete with birthrights!) their ancestors wanted gone.  If they're lucky, they will realize their mistake before the Montagnards show up. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

My Eventual Future: Dissident

 

We need to awaken to the reality that we are not a majority. We are not a vocal minority with the same rights as the majority. We are now dissidents. We do not have the same voice as our ever-strengthening oppressors, and we do not have the same rights that they enjoy.  (NB don't just read this quote; go click the link and see all of it)

I have increasingly few illusions about my long-term prospects.  At some point, there will be a version of a loyalty test instituted for academics (it's already being contested at some schools), and failure to swear allegiance will mean non-renewal.  And the very historians who tut-tut the whole McCarthy era will be the ones who flock most readily to it and be willing to denounce their neighbors as subversives. 

No, they're not the ones who distress me.  I had their number years ago.  It's the ones of you who privately tell me that you have reservations but do not speak and do not act, relying upon me to use my abilities to fight the fight.  

It is no longer enough.  Either I will go to my tent like Achilles, or into exile like Yoda.   I am fortunate in that I do have the ability to walk away and reinvent myself.  I've done it before, I can do it again.  But most of you don't have that luxury.  

And do not assume the revolution will not come for you.  The Montagnards always come for the Girondists.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Posted without further comment

 

Why It Pays to Be Grumpy and Bad-Tempered

Being bad-tempered and pessimistic helps you to earn more, live longer and enjoy a healthier marriage. It’s almost enough to put a smile on the dourest of faces.

I've always enjoyed the Peter Principle and hated experts

When the Experts Fail, Everyone Else Pays the Price  -- David Mamet (WSJ)

 The virus here is government—or at least the incompetents who advise our rulers and cannot admit the legitimacy of dissension. Absent intervention, this virus may eventually kill the host organism. 

God, I love Mamet!  It's a pity he's mostly Out Of Favor nowadays.  This article speaks to so much of what I have seen in government and academia.  But Mamet curiously omits any mention of the Peter Principle: in any organization, individuals tend to rise to their level of incompetence.  So it is with government agencies.  Dr. Fauci comes to mind.  The Right is not immune to this sort of thing, but since the Right is currently out of power, we will ignore them for now.  

Sunday, January 31, 2021

As Tom Brady Reaches His 10th Super Bowl, Does Inequality Still Bother You? (AIER)

As Tom Brady Reaches His 10th Super Bowl, Does Inequality Still Bother You?: "The unequal elevate those around them. Does anyone think the Patriots would have missed the playoffs had Brady stayed? Does anyone think the Buccaneers would be in the Super Bowl without Brady? Let’s be serious." ~ John Tamny

 Ya know, a similar thread popped up this morning whilst shoveling soil (Mrs. Mojo was admitting she liked it when I did "manly work") and we somehow got off onto G/T education and equity.   The bottom line is that when you are way out on a distribution tail, it's tougher than it looks.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

The co-optation of the media by the Left goes much further back

 

The Sordid History of the Fairness Doctrine --Reason.com


"Despite its evocative name, the Fairness Doctrine was primarily a tool wielded by established political interests to suppress unwelcome speech."

This is a useful read, but it is only one part of the entire picture.  While we can argue about press manipulation going back to McKinley and even Lincoln during the war, it would be the Progressives who would take it to the next level.  FDR, of course, would set the gold standard for how to shape and control the media.  Kennedy wasn't all that far behind, either.  The genius of Reagan and (!?) Trump was that they used media in spite of the engrained opposition and not with its tacit support.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

On this day, we remember the Shoah.

 אבל: יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא. [קהל: אמן]

בְּעָלְמָא דִּי בְרָא כִרְעוּתֵהּ וְיַמְלִיךְ מַלְכוּתֵהּ בְּחַיֵּיכון וּבְיומֵיכון וּבְחַיֵּי דְכָל בֵּית יִשרָאֵל בַּעֲגָלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב, וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: [קהל: אמן]
קהל ואבל: יְהֵא שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא:
אבל: יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח וְיִתְפָּאַר וְיִתְרומַם וְיִתְנַשּא וְיִתְהַדָּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלָּל שְׁמֵהּ דְּקֻדְשָׁא. בְּרִיךְ הוּא. [קהל: בריך הוא:]
לְעֵלָּא מִן כָּל בִּרְכָתָא בעשי”ת: לְעֵלָּא לְעֵלָּא מִכָּל וְשִׁירָתָא תֻּשְׁבְּחָתָא וְנֶחֱמָתָא דַּאֲמִירָן בְּעָלְמָא. וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: [קהל: אמן]
יְהֵא שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא וְחַיִּים עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשרָאֵל. וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: [קהל:אמן]
עושה שָׁלום בעשי”ת: הַשָּׁלום בִּמְרומָיו הוּא יַעֲשה שָׁלום עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשרָאֵל וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: [קהל: אמן]

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Eventually, I will be required to endorse the paralogic or lose my job.

 Psychopathy and the Origins of Totalitarianism.  This is a very long read, and many of my colleagues will immediately ignore the plank in their own eyes and say OMG THIS IS ABOUT TRUMP.  If you cannot see these things on the Left, I cannot tell you if it is willful blindness or not.   What I CAN tell you is that when the paradigm shifts again, it will not be pretty.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Why, yes, I DO teach this interpretation of Lochner when I do the Progressives



Unlike the rest of the Bakeshop Act, which properly and legitimately regulated "washrooms and closets," the height of ceilings, floor conditions, and "drainage, plumbing, and painting," Peckham wrote, the limit on hours involved "neither the safety, the morals, nor the welfare, of the public" and was thus "not, within any fair meaning of the term, a health law." He concluded that the provision also violated liberty of contract, a constitutional right secured against state infringement by the 14th Amendment.

Most of the history textbooks still have the old interpretation of this being a law opposed by big businesses because it would increase their costs --and they are completely incorrect.  Big bakers supported the Bakeshop Act enthusiastically, precisely BECAUSE it would increase the costs of hundreds of smaller bakers at the same time, most of whom would be forced out of business.  

I'll make a long rant short: the historical profession is still paying the price for the Beards, Richard Hofstadter, and a host of other so-called intellectuals.  Most historians are too high on their own sense of superiority to know any better, though.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Vaccines: no huge surprise I'm not the only one who sees it coming (UPDATED)


You want the vaccines distributed widely and efficiently?  Let Walmart or Amazon do it.


UPDATE: no sooner than I thusly spake, when lo!


NB Allahpundit is no fan of Trump, but he thinks sometimes along similar lines to me.  It certainly is convenient that with Trump gone, suddenly a lot of things aren't so bad, but for the oddest reasons...

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A NEW RECORD!

 Today is the official first day of our semester, and the first student assignment was submitted this morning at 5:15AM local time.  That is a new record by a half-hour.   I don't think the student was ready for it to be graded within twenty minutes, however.  You have to get up fairly early to beat Professor Mojo at the Early Morning Game...

Mrs. Mojo was glad to see me awake, "because if you're vertical, you can be folding clothes."  I liked her better when she was riding at this time of pre-dawn.  Myself, I am waiting for the pre-workout to kick fully in before I head to the gym.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sunday morning with Rachmaninoff

Yes, the FANGed monster is real and evil, but occasionally produces things I enjoy.  

Example: I like to occasionally tune everyone else (the hell) out and get my classical groove on.  This morning, it's Rachmaninoff:


I do regret that my brain, in all its OCD-style glory, cannot doing more than one hand at a time on a piano keyboard.  I would probably be more popular at gatherings if I could play, and sing, and give everyone a bit of wit:





But I digress...

I have several friends who would agree with me that it's not merely enough to remove toxins from your life once you recognize them.  You must fill the void with what is true, what is noble, what is right -- Philippians 4:8, in other words.