Category: Current Affairs

The Left’s Slow Shift on COVID

“Idiocy”

The Left’s dogma on COVID is slowly—oh so slowly—changing.

Governor Whitmer last week held a press conference to address Michigan’s surging COVID numbers. She said she wouldn’t impose more restrictions because they’re not working. Here’s her actual quote:

“Michigan still has some of the strongest protocols in place — capacity restrictions, we’ve still got a mask mandate. Other states have dropped all of these things. We still have them in Michigan, and yet, we have high positivity.”

Welcome to the reality, Governor. Tom Woods has been preaching for at least eight months that COVID is going to attack whoever it wants, regardless of restrictions. There’s been zero correlation between restrictions and COVID cases.

And then yesterday, Slate (!) ran an essay by a senior editor that suggested that wearing masks outside isn’t necessary.

When it comes to coronavirus spread, evidence shows that being outdoors is very, very safe. A paper published in Indoor Air looked at 1,245 cases in China and found just one instance of outdoor transmission, which involved people having a conversation, which means they had to be close to one another for some period of time and face to face. According to data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, shared earlier this month with the Irish Times, of 232,164 cases in Ireland, just 262 were associated with “locations which are primarily associated with outdoor activities.” That is, about 0.1 percent. A meta-analysis published online in November in the Journal of Infectious Diseases suggests it’s possible the upper bound of cases potentially contracted outdoors is higher; it estimates that the total is less than 10 percent. 

Again, welcome to reality. Rogan has been pointing this out since last summer. My son’s wedding reception was held outdoors. One of my best friends, an extremely COVID-conscious … Read the rest

Cryptocurrency isn’t in a Bubble

It might be terribly overvalued, but it’s not in a bubble

The cryptocurrency market was a lot of fun this week. The Coinbase IPO drove interest and prices to all-time highs. The leader: Dogecoin, which went from six cents to 50 cents in a wild frenzy (it has since settled in the upper 20s).

Dogecoin isn’t sustainable. Its creators have minted over 100 billion coins, they mint millions more every year, and they aren’t committed to capping it. It’s like the Federal Reserve.

Bitcoin, however, is different. It’s capped. Supply will run out. Other than land, it’s the only asset that can claim such a thing.


I hear two vigorous objections to Bitcoin:

1. “Each coin is worth $60,000. How are you supposed to buy a pack of gum with a $60,000 coin?”
2. “Bitcoin is in a bubble.”

Both of these objections, I believe, are bunk. I think there are other valid objections, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Bitcoin is extraordinarily overvalued, but those two objections don’t cut it.

1. Look at the edge of your coins. You notice the serrated edges? That’s a holdover from the days when the king had the right to take chunks off coins (or “criminals” did it), in order to create sub-specie that could be used to buy small items (or melted down with others “bits” and recoined). I don’t know of any reason Bitcoin couldn’t be used like that. In fact, right now, I own Bitcoin: about 5% of one Bitcoin. My account breaks it down to the seventh decimal. Call me crazy, but I suspect these newfangled computers could break it down to the 100th decimal, then reconvert the whole thing into a new sub-species currency (“Sub BTC”), like our dollars are broken down into quarters, dimes, nickels, and … Read the rest

The Other Side of Vegas is on This Side of Vegas

Aches in my head, bugs in my bed
Pants so old that they shine
Out on the street, tell the people I meet
Won’ch buy me a bottle of wine

The Fireballs

So, my post yesterday definitely signals that I’m enthusiastic about Las Vegas.

But let me offer a few caveats.

First, the trash. I’ve been reading a lot of Dorothy Day lately, so I realize I shouldn’t refer to “the poor” as “trash,” but I can’t deny that the term repeatedly bopped into my head. There are a lot of bums on the street downtown. It’s not at California levels by any stretch, but it might be on its way. I don’t think I saw any bums during my last trip in November 2019. But this trip? They’re all over the place in the downtown district.

On top of that, no one seems to care. They’re crashed throughout the downtown district, and the attitude seems to be, “What can we do?” One guy was sleeping in one of the Golden Nugget’s outdoor planters on top of the plants with no objection from the Nugget. It’s almost like they’re sacred cows.

Second, the trash. You don’t have to be passed out on the street to qualify as trash. You can just be disturbingly large yet wear revealing clothes, be inconsiderate of everyone around you, and use the “f word” in lieu of all other verbal modifiers. These folks are all over the place in the downtown district, with quite a few on the Strip as well.

I have an old high school friend who lives in Vegas. He told me the Strip started to experience crime during COVID because the casino resorts were offering such cheap room rentals in order to draw somebody, anybody, to stay there and generate revenue. … Read the rest

Blowing Away Fascist Resentment

The redemption of Philip Johnson

photography of roadway during dusk
Photo by Jiarong Deng on Pexels.com

Cancel culture comes at another dead white male. But this time, it’s a dead white homosexual male: Philip Johnson, Ohioan, architect, and Nazi. But msn.com doesn’t like it. It understands it. “White supremacy,” it says, is “the west’s original sin,” so it’s no surprise that Johnson fell for it in one of its worst forms (Fascism), but he changed his views, employed black men, and banged dudes, so he ought to be forgiven.

I gotta say, that last redeeming trait gives me the biggest motivation of all not to be perceived as a racist. “Well, Eric, you applied a toxic blanket characterization to an entire race of people. You can either die a scourge of society, with your children spending the rest of their lives apologizing for your indiscretion, or you can let Franz the Trans bed you publicly. Your call.”

It’s interesting that Johnson is now being attacked. When he died back in 2005, no one said anything about his embrace of Fascism. Here’s Richard John Neuhaus writing in 2005:… Read the rest

Satan Speaks

The Hoover Institution’s Scott Atlas recently spoke at the Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Phoenix, Arizona. Atlas worked for Trump and has been widely derided by the MSM for questioning things like, you know, killing our youth with COVID restrictions. His remarks are the basis for the current issue of Imprimis.

He starts out by pointing out something that Michael Malice said on Joe Rogan. Malice said COVID has given a lot of very bad people very valuable information about how much they can abuse their power. Scott Atlas’ angle:

First, I have been shocked at the unprecedented exertion of power by the government since last March—issuing unilateral decrees, ordering the closure of businesses, churches, and schools, restricting personal movement, mandating behavior, and suspending indefinitely basic freedoms. Second, I was and remain stunned—almost frightened—at the acquiescence of the American people to such destructive, arbitrary, and wholly unscientific rules, restrictions, and mandates.

The entire piece is well-worth reading, even if he spends much of it defending himself (which I “get,” given the level of abuse he has unjustifiable received from the MSM).

(Click title to read the rest.)… Read the rest

We’ll Tell You What to Think. Just Don’t Worry Your Pretty Little Head About It

I’m starting a new tag for TDE blog posts: Great Reset Watch.

When I read an article, op-ed, or essay that proposes something that smells like it’s part of the insidious Great Reset idea, I’ll post it here with, of course, with as much vituperative commentary I can muster while still claiming to be spreading the love incumbent on a Catholic.

The most-recent story I saw that triggered this idea? An op-ed in New York Times that urged people not to use critical thinking and, instead, rely on the experts. The writer apparently argues that, in this age of short and captive attention, the unwashed simply don’t have the time or mental acuity to form valid opinions, so instead of thinking about information fed to them by the experts, they should just accept the experts’ opinions, then move on to the next NASCAR race.

I’m not kidding.

My favorite Jewish anti-Semite, David Cole, wrote about it just yesterday.

“In ‘Don’t Go Down the Rabbit Hole‘ BuzzFeed technology writer Charlie Warzel argues that ‘critical thinking, as we’re taught to do it, isn’t helping in the fight against misinformation.’ Relying on the work of Professor Michael Caulfield of Washington State University, Warzel declares that the traditional belief that people should be ‘taught to evaluate and think critically about information’ is ‘fundamentally flawed.’

“Caulfield insists that people should not be encouraged to ‘use reasoning,’ because ‘that strategy can completely backfire.’ Go by the source, not the information. Good source? Accept the info. Wikipedia-unapproved source? Reject the info. But don’t think about the info.

“‘People learn to think critically by focusing on something and contemplating it deeply—to follow the information’s logic and the inconsistencies. That natural human mind-set is a liability in an attention economy,’ Warzel argues. So don’t do … Read the rest

How to Take a Stance without Taking a Stance

In this age of uncertainty, you need beliefs and practices but not dogmas and preaching

“Let me tell you about COVID, the COVID vaccine, and Bitcoin.”

If any person starts telling me about those things, I write them off.

All three of those things are new and huge. As a result, they occupy a weird spot in the world of opinion: Everyone needs to have a stance on them and nobody’s stance is worth anything.

It’s difficult to reconcile such a paradox, but here’s one way: Take your stance, be prepared to shift it, and keep it to yourself.

Beliefs and practices, yes. Dogmas and preaching, no.


A wealthy client of mine recently asked a well-known financial guru for his stance on Bitcoin. I was a bit surprised the guru replied to the email, but I wasn’t surprised to see him take a strong stance: Bitcoin, he assured my client in all caps, is another Tulip Mania.

How can he know that? Bitcoin isn’t like the tulip in 17th-century Holland. It might be in a bubble like tulips were, but it’s not a known thing like tulips. Bitcoin is brand new. At best, we can analogize Bitcoin to tulips.

Analogy is a great thing. It allows us to see things that are similar. The problem is, it first requires that the things be different.

That’s why the Tulip Mania reference is so compelling yet not. Bitcoin is not an instance of “This time it will be different,” which is the mantra of every person riding an inflated stock market, only to crash when it comes down. Bitcoin is an instance of “This time is the first time.”

A reference to a crashing stock market doesn’t need analogy. We’ve seen it crash many times. Bitcoin needs analogy because we’ve … Read the rest

Tattletale Journalism to Apple’s Rumored Purchase of Bitcoin

A Tuesday Round-up of Worthy Articles

The Rise of Tattletale Journalism. There is a whole new genre of journalism out there: “Journalists” telling on people who don’t think correctly.

Glenn Greenwald ain’t havin’ it . . . and neither should we.

A new and rapidly growing journalistic “beat” has arisen over the last several years that can best be described as an unholy mix of junior high hall-monitor tattling and Stasi-like citizen surveillance. It is half adolescent and half malevolent. Its primary objectives are control, censorship, and the destruction of reputations for fun and power. Though its epicenter is the largest corporate media outlets, it is the very antithesis of journalism.

I’ve written before about one particularly toxic strain of this authoritarian “reporting.” Teams of journalists at three of the most influential corporate media outlets — CNN’s “media reporters” (Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy), NBC’s “disinformation space unit” (Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny), and the tech reporters of The New York Times (Mike Isaac, Kevin Roose, Sheera Frenkel) — devote the bulk of their “journalism” to searching for online spaces where they believe speech and conduct rules are being violated, flagging them, and then pleading that punitive action be taken (banning, censorship, content regulation, after-school detention). These hall-monitor reporters are a major factor explaining why tech monopolies, which (for reasons of self-interest and ideology) never wanted the responsibility to censor, now do so with abandon and seemingly arbitrary blunt force: they are shamed by the world’s loudest media companies when they do not.


Matt Taibbi follows suit, pointing out that we’ve reached a point where personal privacy is dangerous, official secrecy is not.

These people believe bad-think, left unaddressed, results in Donald Trump being elected. Therefore, as Chen and Roose put it in a chat last week, it’s “
Read the rest