A few days ago I gave a talk in Iran — from my office in San Jose. I would rather have given it in Iran, which I visited once a very long time ago, but between geopolitics and plague that isn’t at present a practical option.
Stepping away from the left’s relentless narrative allows one to see with clarity the coup that allowed Democrats to place Joe Biden in the White House.
Reynolds’ First Law
“Subsidizing the markers of status doesn’t produce the character traits that result in that status; it undermines them.”
Reynolds’ Second Law
“The more a government wants to run its citizens’ lives, the worse job it will do at the most basic tasks of government.”
Reynolds’ Third Law
“Whatever politicians’ control, they will use against you to get what they want.”
Reynolds Fourth law
“Longevity of political service does not make a politician more qualified.
It only ensures they are more corrupt.”
Reynolds Fifth Law
“Proposed legislation will fail if there is not enough opportunity for graft or control”
“Matriarchies exist primarily in failed or colonized societies, or in those about to fail or be colonized.”
………………….“Under capitalism, rich people become powerful.
But under socialism, powerful people become rich.”……………………….
“Nothing that’s happened with this pandemic has made me want the government to play a bigger role in health care.”
The Democrats’ January 6 clown show was worse than even I expected. Their hysterical, pearl-clutching, lie-filled response to the events on January 6th, what Democrats are clearly hoping will be their transformative Reichstag moment, is unseemly, phony to its core, and purely and solely political.
We know this because there was no outrage over the leftist rioters who attempted to stop the peaceful transition of power during President Trump’s inauguration. Not only did anti-Trump leftists riot, attack and injure police, set cars and buildings on fire, but they were later rewarded for this attempt to “subvert Democracy” to the tune of $1.6 million in taxpayer money.
Do you know how many Congressional Democrats (or Republicans for that matter) wailed about our “democracy” on the brink? Do you know how many of these inauguration rioters were hunted down by the FBI, arrested, beaten and mistreated, and held as political prisoners for over a year? Do you know how many of them were harboring blueprints of the Capitol building . . . or wait, that was an unconstructed, still boxed, Lego set not a “model” used for terroristic purposes or whatever random lunacy the FBI preened at that time. If you said zero, you’re right on all counts.
And honestly, I think this clear two levels of justice—one for “righteous” protesters, including those who burned, looted, and murdered their way through Democrat-run cities in 2020, and one for J6 “terrorists”—is the reason that Democrats will never amass anything close to majority support for their January 6th witch hunt.
No matter how many deep state darlings like Liz let’s find a country to bomb Cheney they find to bleat about . . . whatever it is she bleats, they will never have the people’s support for treating what happened on January 6 as if it were Pearl Harbor, 9/11, and the Civil War all rolled into one. I mean, really, that’s just crazy—and visibly desperate—hyperbolic verbal vomit.
This failure to convince the American people of their stance is due, in no small part, to their failure to condemn and pursue the criminals guilty of the far worse violence that took place in an attempt to thwart President Trump’s inauguration. Or to condemn and pursue with criminal charges the thousands of local, state, and federal crimes committed by antifa and BLM.
Nor did they condemn the multi-day May, 2020 assault on the White House that left at least 60 Secret Service agents wounded and forced President Trump to be whisked away to a bunker for his personal safety.
The 1619 Project, which originated in the New York Times, is the most outrageous fraud on this nation in 100 years. It is nothing more than a race hustler’s post-modernist rewrite of American history, explicitly intended to stir racial resentment in this nation for political ends. That is evil.
II. Wilentz honestly challenges the 1619 Project’s accuracy.
According to Wilentz, the 1619 Project promotes “a narrow, highly ideological view of the American past, according to which white supremacy has been the nation’s core principle and chief mission ever since its founding.” He explains more in a recent article, The 1619 Project and Living in Truth:
III. Wilentz destroys his article’s integrity with his obsessive need to lob entirely false and dishonest attacks against conservatives who have made the same arguments he is making.
IV. As a general matter, Wilentz is either fatally naïve, completely blind, or dishonestly partisan when it comes to the left’s role in creating an intellectual mindset supporting and promoting the utterly fallacious, but very damaging, 1619 Project.
V. The Times’s response to the five historians’ letter is a perfect distillation of the historic dishonesty and modern political activism behind the 1619 Project and American leftism in general.
VI. In the end, when given a choice between wisdom and blind partisanship—the red pill or the blue—Wilentz chose the blue pill and the consolation of aligning himself with a political movement that exists to destroy America — and which ironically enough, also means destroying much of Wilentz’s life’s work.
[epistemic status: non-expert review of a book on a highly technical subject, sorry. If you are involved in biochemistry or anti-aging, feel free to correct my mistakes]
David Sinclair – Harvard professor, celebrity biologist, and author of Lifespan – thinks solving aging will be easy. “Aging is going to be remarkably easy to tackle. Easier than cancer” are his exact words, which is maybe less encouraging than he thinks.
There are lots of ways that solving aging could be hard. What if humans worked like cars? To restore an old car, you need to fiddle with hundreds of little parts, individually fixing everything from engine parts to chipping paint. Fixing humans to such a standard would be way beyond current technology.
Or what if the DNA damage theory of aging was true? This says that as cells divide (or experience normal wear and tear) they don’t copy their DNA exactly correctly. As you grow older, more and more errors creep in, and your cells become worse and worse at their jobs. If this were true, there’s not much to do either: you’d have to correct the DNA in every cell in the body (using what template? even if you’d saved a copy of your DNA from childhood, how do you get it into all 30 trillion cells?) This is another nonstarter.
Sinclair’s own theory offers a simpler option. He starts with a puzzling observation: babies are very young . If a 70 year old man marries a 40 year old woman and has a baby, that baby will start off at zero years old, just like everyone else. Even more interesting, if you clone a 70 year old man, the clone start at zero years old.
(there were originally some rumors that cloned animals aged faster, but those haven’t been borne out)
This challenges the DNA theory of aging. A 70 year old’s skin cells have undergone seventy years of DNA damage, and sure enough the 70-year-old has weak, wrinkled skin. But if you transfer the skin cell DNA to an egg, inseminate the egg, and turn it into a baby, that baby is just as young as all the other babies. So DNA damage can’t be the whole story.
Source: Book Review: Lifespan
A meme going around states that some number of Nobel laureate economists assert that Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan will improve the lot of everyone. Here’s a thought about why the most brilliant economists might not have gotten that right.
In my most-recent column for AIER, I distinguish one kind of economists from a second kind. The first, as did Adam Smith, spend much of their time debunking fallacies embraced by the man-in-the-street; the second specialize in spinning intricate theoretical justifications to support man-in-the-street superstitions.
Economic reality being complicated, it’s nearly always true that a set of conditions can be imagined under which outcomes that are highly improbable in reality can be shown to be possible. Conditions can be described under which, in reality, it’s possible for protective tariffs or export subsidies to result in greater prosperity in the home country. Yet such conditions are wholly implausible.
Possibility, be aware, is a very weak standard. Almost every outcome that is possible – such as you surviving a fall off of a skyscraper because you luckily land in a huge drift of freshly fallen snow – will never occur. And so just because some outcome is possible doesn’t mean that it’s plausible. Furthermore, just because some outcome is plausible doesn’t mean that it’s probable.
Every undergraduate econ major learns by her junior year how to draw a graph depicting a minimum wage having only positive, and no negative, effects on low-skilled workers. And if well-taught, this econ major also learns that the conditions under which such a graph describes reality are highly implausible. But no matter. Because the public’s desire to believe in the goodness of minimum wages is so intense, the supply is ample of anti-Smithian economists willing to satisfy this desire – willing to assure the man-in-the-street that his utter ignorance of economics is, in fact, economic brilliance.
As we close out 2021, you can find some interesting (and brief) essays about current events at Bari Weiss’s Common Sense. And whether or not I agreed with them in full, they were worth reading. A few excerpts:
From Ayaan Hirsi Ali on liberalism:
Since I left the world I was born into—the world of Somalia, the world of Islam, and all of the strictures that society and religion put on me as a woman—I have always identified as a liberal. I mean that in the most capacious sense of the world: a belief in the rule of law; in individual liberty; in equality between men and women; in due process; and in, yes, a belief that some cultures—namely, liberal and democratic ones—are better than others.
Lately, I worry that liberalism is insufficient. Or to put it another way: that the weak version of liberalism we see across the West cannot compete with muscular ideologies, like Islamism and populism rising on the right and the left across Europe and here in America.
A value-neutral liberalism that insists that all cultures and choices are equally good is liberalism in name only. For liberalism to win, it needs to stand up to its enemies yet again.
Source: For Your Consideration
Since it’s Christmas Eve, let’s use this opportunity for a holiday-themed economics lesson. I did a version of this back in 2012 by sharing a remake of Christmas songs. This year, we’re going to look at A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Let’s start with an analysis of the story from Jacqueline Isaacs. Many communist […]The Economics of Scrooge — International Liberty
Not “drinking bleach”.
CNN’s Don Lemon Rails Against Misinformation About Covid – By Omitting Key Part of Trump Quote. “However, the clip was selectively shortened to exclude the full quote, which showed that Trump, contrary to popular misconception, did not tell people to inject themselves with bleach in response to Covid.”