Category Archives: Government

Position Statement, by James Howard Kunstler

How much of the Covid-19 news is a hoax? How much of Joe Biden’s alleged polling lead on Donald Trump is a hoax? In both cases the answer probably is: a lot. From James Howard Kunstler  at kunstler.com:

Nothing moves and nothing wants to move, or even think about moving, under the punishing heat-dome. For the moment, the sore beset nation stews in a dreadful stillness. The mysterious consensus of the BLM mob has hit the “pause” button on street tantrums, though plenty of damage has been done to businesses, personal lives, undefended monuments, and the public interest. Each day is another frightful step in the creep toward mass default as rents, mortgages, car loans, insurance premiums, electric bills, business debts, and other common obligations go unpaid. It’s like one of those eerie interludes on a battlefield when forces stop to gather their wounded and reassess their positions.

Perhaps you, like me, are skeptical of the news reports about the surge in Covid-19 cases — or, more to the point, what it actually means. Cases may be surging, but deaths are way down. Media megaphones such as CNN and The New York Times eagerly retail maximum hysteria to provoke renewed business lock-downs, ensuring further destruction to the old service economy and, more importantly, to disparage Mr. Trump. I wonder if the virus is, in fact, close to burning itself out and the surge in cases signifies that it will soon run out of new victims. How many asymptomatic carriers are out there?  We just don’t know, but by August we’ll have an idea.

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Why You Should Be Optimistic About Trump Winning, by Kurt Schlichter

If you’re focusing on the polls as an indication of the election, remember 2016, when they had Hillary winning. There are a lot of reasons why polls no longer have much predictive power. From Kurt Schlichter at theburningplatform.com:

Why You Should Be Optimistic About Trump Winning

When there is something that I really want to be true and things are leading me to believe that it is true, the lawyer and soldier in me both compel me to look for why I might be wrong. After all, confirmation bias exists – you want to believe that what you want is what actually is. Just look at Twitter. It’s a veritable orgy of liberal confirmation bias, though a gross, icky orgy like you might have seen at an after-party on a Bulwark cruise.

I really want President Donald Trump to be reelected. There are a lot of reasons, including my liking the Constitution, enjoying economic prosperity, and not wanting to be ruled by the sinister leftist Geppettos who are holding the strings that make their gropey, weird old Pinocchio dance. And I think Trump will win.

This is what makes me redouble my efforts to see if I am deluding myself, to see if I am skipping over unhelpful realities and emphasizing non-indicating indicators in order to wring out the result I want – another flood of tears issuing from the eyes of hordes of Democrat saps seeing their dream of a Nuevo Venezuela here in America pushed back a minimum of four more years.

I can’t convince myself I am wrong. I’ve tried. And I keep coming back to the same place. If I were a betting man, I’d put my money down on The Donald again.

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Why The Left Fears The Right, by John Wilder

Guns and numbers. From John Wilder at theburningplatform.com:

Guest post from John Wilder at Wilder Wealthy Wise.

“Oh, haven’t you noticed?  We’ve been sharing our culture with you all morning.” – 300

TRUTH

When I was a five or so, my parents had horses.  One of the horses had a foal (baby horse for you city folk), and Pa Wilder brought the foal and the mare (momma horse) into the barn – it was brutally cold, and the barn was much warmer.  They brought me down to see the foal.  It was young and awkward as new horses are.

Inside the stall was a series of closely spaced rails in a square, about four feet by six feet.

I asked, “What’s that for, Pa?”

“Well, when the foal is in here, he’ll find that he can’t walk across the bars.  His hooves won’t quite fit.  That will train him so he won’t do that when he gets older.”

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What Economists Can Teach Epidemiologists, by Peter C. Earle

“For any model of a complex phenomenon—the weather, the climate, financial markets, or the progression of a disease—substitute “our best guess” for the word “model” and you have a better understanding of what the model actually is.” SLL, “Truth Irrelevancy Project Update,” July 1, 2020.  Peter C. Earle takes a lot longer to say it, but nothing in this article contradicts the above statement. From Earle at aier.org:

brain computer

As data accrues on both a national and state-by-state basis, the parameters of COVID-19’s lethality is firming up. Two new papers from Dr. John Ioannidis point to the growing shortfall between apocalyptic pandemic predictions and the vastly more destructive policies implemented in observance of them.

The first, entitled “Population-level COVID-19 mortality risk for non-elderly individuals overall and for non-elderly individuals without underlying diseases in pandemic epicenters” offers more evidence supporting the assertion that the government reaction to the virus has been vastly overwrought.

Using data from 11 European countries, 12 US states, and Canada, Ioannidis and his team show that the infection rate is much higher than previously thought, which suggests that both the incidence of asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic cases is higher than thought, and the fatality rate much lower than previously estimated.

As regards the age of victims,

People [under] 65 years old have very small risks of COVID-19 death even in pandemic epicenters and deaths for people [under] 65 years without underlying predisposing conditions are remarkably uncommon. Strategies focusing specifically on protecting high-risk elderly individuals should be considered in managing the pandemic.

In the other paper, “Forecasting for COVID-19 has failed,” Ioanndis and co-authors take aim at the reasons for which the predictions were so incredibly inaccurate. Early predictions included that New York needed up to 140,000 hospital beds for stricken COVID-19 victims; the total number of individuals hospitalized was 18,569.

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The new deal is a bad old deal, by Alasdair Macleod

The Internet’s best economist explains why the New Deal was a huge mistake, and why we’re about to repeat it, except this time only huger. From Alasdair Macleod at goldmoney.com:

So far, the current economic situation, together with the response by major governments, compares with the run-in to the depression of the 1930s. Yet to come in the repetitious credit cycle is the collapse in financial asset values and a banking crisis.

When the scale of the banking crisis is known the scale of monetary inflation involved will become more obvious. But in the politics of it, Trump is being set up as the equivalent of Herbert Hoover, and presumably Joe Biden, if he is well advised, will soon campaign as a latter-day Roosevelt. In Britain, Boris Johnson has already called for a modern “new deal”, and in his “Hundred Days” his Chancellor is delivering it.

In the thirties, prices fell, only offset by the dollar’s devaluation in January 1934. This time, monetary inflation knows no limit. The wealth destruction through monetary inflation will be an added burden to contend with compared with the situation ninety years ago.

Introduction

Boris Johnson recently compared his reconstruction plan with Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal. Such is the myth of FDR and his new deal that even libertarian Boris now invokes them. Unless he is just being political, he shows he knows little about the economic situation that led to the depression.

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Why the Marxist Left Loves Lincoln, by Thomas DiLorenzo

It’s not just that Marxists would approve of many of Lincoln’s policies, but Lincoln had an actual affinity for the work of Karl Marx. From Thomas DiLorenzo at lewrockwell.com:

“No leader of a powerful nation” should allow such a thing as “the dismemberment of the Soviet Union.”

–Marxist “Civil War” historian Eric Foner, The Nation, Feb. 11, 1991

A July 27, 2019 article in the Washington Post by Gillian Brockell was headlined, “You Know Who Was into Karl Marx?  No, not AOC.  Abraham Lincoln.”  Following up on the New York Times’ 2017 weeks-long celebration of the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the Post was doing its part to celebrate and promote Marxian socialism by crowing that “the first Republican president . . . was surrounded by socialists and looked to them for counsel.”  The message being conveyed by the Post was that this is what all American presidents should do.  They should listen to and obey the Washington Post, in other words.

Much of Lincoln’s socialilstic “counsel” came from Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune, described by the Post as “the newspaper largely responsible for transmitting the ideals and ideas that formed the Republican Party in 1854,” many of which were “overtly socialist.”

It is little wonder that the ideas promulgated by the New York Tribune, the mouthpiece of the Republican Party, were overtly socialist:  Karl Marx himself was a twice-weekly columnist for the paper from 1852 to 1862, contributing over 500 articles.  An April 1957 article in American Heritage magazine entitled “When Marx Worked for Horace Greeley” spoke of how “the organ of . . . the new Republican party, sustained Karl Marx over the years when he was mapping out his crowning tract of overthrow, Das Kapital . . . The Tribune was not only Marx’s meal ticket but his experimental outlet for agitation and ideas during the most creative period of his life.”  Without this financial support, “there might possibly – who knows?—have been no Das Kapital” and maybe even no “Lenin and a Stalin as the master’s disciples . . .”   Much of what was written in The New York Tribune by Karl Marx “went bodily into Das Kapital.”

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Safety First is a Bad Ideology, by Diana W. Thomas

At what point do the costs of preventing or ameliorating a risk outweigh the benefits of doing so, and does it matter if someone else is bearing the costs? From Diana W. Thomas at aier.org:

bubble wrap

When you walk out of your house, or enter the public street, you are on shared ground, a community space. During the pandemic of 2020, community spaces that are private venues, like Disney, have closed down just as often as community spaces that are public venues, like schools and playgrounds.

Public and private distinctions do not make a difference. Risk is the key factor to understanding why common spaces are closed and likely to remain so, at least in the way we were used to. In what is called the asymmetric loss function, a decision maker’s cost of a mistake in one direction is many times greater than the cost of error in the other direction.

Individuals with asymmetric loss functions are extremely risk averse when it comes to potential losses. Individuals often employ asymmetric loss functions in everyday life. For most people being 30 minutes early for a flight, for example, is much less costly than being 30 minutes late.

But, because people are different, individuals decide for themselves how late they can arrive and risk missing a flight. Things get trickier when decisions regarding risk tolerance are made for common spaces and groups, because one size doesn’t always fit all. Weighing downside risks too heavily can be socially costly, because some valuable private activities are prohibited.

Historically and across cultures, individual risk-taking is associated with growth and prosperity while minimizing risk and emphasizing potential social losses is not. In the last several decades, public tolerance of risk has shifted towards lower socially acceptable levels of risk-taking and in the long run, these changes may leave us all worse off.

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Does the Next Presidential Election Even Matter? by the Saker

Whoever wins, the US empire will continue its deep decline, both domestically and internationally. From the Saker at unz.com:

Just by asking the question of whether the next Presidential election matters, I am obviously suggesting that it might not. To explain my reasons for this opinion, I need to reset the upcoming election in the context of the previous one. So let’s begin here.

The 2016 election of Donald Trump

The first thing which, I believe, ought to be self-evident to all by now is that there was no secret operation by any deep state, not even a Zionist controlled one, to put Donald Trump in power. I would even argue that the election of Donald Trump was the biggest slap in the face of US deep state and of the covert transnational ruling elites this deep state serves. Ever. My evidence? Simple, look what these ruling “elites” did both before and after Trump’s election: before, they ridiculed the very idea of “President Trump” as both utterly impossible and utterly evil.

As somebody who has had years of experience reading the Soviet press or, in another style, the French press, I can honestly say that I have never seen a more ridiculously outlandish hate campaign against anybody that would come even close to the kind of total hate campaign which Trump was subjected to. Then, as soon as he was elected, the US neo-liberals (who are not liberals at all!) declared that Trump was “not their President”, that Trump was put into power by Putin and that he was a “Russian asset” (using pseudo-professional jargon is what journos typically do to conceal their abject ignorance of a complex topic) and, finally, that he was a White racist and misogynist who will deeply divide the country (thereby dividing the country themselves by making such claims).

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American collusion: Weaponizing media, Big Tech and government, by James Grundvig

They’re pulling out all the stops to see that President Trump is not reelected. From James Grundvig at wnd.com:

The planners quickly deployed the “insurance policy” after Donald J. Trump won the presidential election in 2016. Like an annuity, the payments to the policyholders would be small and steady at first, then lead, they hoped, to a much bigger payoff: the removal of President Trump from office.

At least that was the plan. Three and a half years later, the big day never arrived.

From the unsubstantiated Steele dossier, the discredited Russiagate investigation, to the FISA court abuses, the potholed-strewn road to impeachment circled back to the Mueller Report, which was supposed to clinch the deal. Without a smoking gun on the president, the Mueller team reached and then overreached, picking off a few Trump confidants, in an attempt to tighten the noose. The results were half-baked. That’s usually what the FBI perjury trap produces. Plea deals; no evidence of collusion.

Sure, Robert Mueller collected a few big scalps in Gen. Michael Flynn and Roger Stone. But now that Flynn’s indictment unraveled, the insurance claim has turned into a liability for the policyholders. Trump is still president. And now the investigation into collusion has moved in the other direction focusing on the planners of the insurance policy.

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Return of the Archons, by Eric Peters

Once upon a time people were free to assume risks if they wanted to, and they had no recourse if things didn’t work out. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

When one joins a gym one generally signs a waiver of responsibility document that says you agree it’s not the gym’s fault if you have a heart attack while working out – and so on.

Basically, you agree to assume the risk of working out there in exchange for being able to work out there.

If you do have a heart attack, it’s a tragedy. But the gym doesn’t get the bill – and none of the other members are required to submit to a cardiovascular exam before being allowed to hit the weights. Everyone isn’t presumed to be a heart-attack-in-the-making. Everyone is presumed to be healthy – and treated accordingly.

Another example that was once common was the sign at a pool that read: No Lifeguard on Duty – Swim at Your Own Risk.

And people did.

Why can’t they again – so to speak?

At gyms – at bars and restaurants. Everywhere.

Worried you might get sick? Then don’t go inside. Worried someone else might get sick? That’s their business.

Mind your own.

No one’s forcing you to work out or eat or shop among the unDiapered. And the Undiapered aren’t forcing you to take off your Diaper, either.

Those who go inside agree – on the record – that they’re not worried about getting sick and that they’re willing to assume the risk of working out or eating or having a cup of coffee with friends, unDiapered.

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