All About Me

After a while of doing this, you get to see the patterns. Certain times of the year have high traffic to the site, more comments and so on. Other times of the year it goes the other way, sometimes in the extreme. Most years, the week leading up to Memorial Day in the United States is one of the slowest weeks. Independence Day is another dead period for the site. It makes sense and is encouraging. People are thinking about outside stuff, so they don’t have time for politics.

This year has not been much different, despite the fact everyone has been stuck at home for going on two months. Around here, people would normally be headed to the beach or off to the woods for camping and hiking. The locals would be looking forward to a long weekend of shooting at one another. The lock down has been lifted by the state, but local government continues to keep the policies in place, so the beach and camping are closed. Gun play is still possible.

Still, traffic has ticked down, so I thought it would be a good week to catch up on the mail bag, but the mail has gotten away from me again. I sat down last night to clean out the inbox and the task was too much. I did notice a lot of familiar questions from unfamiliar correspondents. That spawned the brilliant idea of doing a show on the most common questions I get from readers and listeners. All of them are about me in some way, hence the title of the show this week.

I have to say that I did not like how it came out. I’m not a fan of talking about myself, as I’m not that interesting. It’s not false modesty. It is reality. No one is really that interesting when you think about it. You can do interesting things or have interesting experiences, but those things are not dependent upon you to be interesting. Throw Fred from accounting into the middle of a street riot and Fred will have some fun stories for the next office party. Fred, however, is still a boring guy.

That said, I have been studying live streaming for the last couple of months, as I have been contemplating that avenue. One of the things I’ve noticed is all of the popular streamers are highly personal in their presentation. They talk about themselves endlessly on their shows. That may be the appeal. For the people watching these shows, it’s like having the streamer in the home. Even TV chat show hosts are not as personal in their presentation as the live streamer.

What that means is if you wish to be a modern media star these days, you will have to endlessly talk about yourself. That’s probably why the space is so heavy with women and gay men. That’s the other thing I’ve noticed about the live stream world. It has a lot of girls and gay guys. At least I think they are girls and gays. You never can tell for sure, as some of them may be a man dressed as a woman claiming to be deer. Some claim to be hundreds of people trapped in a girl’s body.

This is a familiar topic, but there has to be consequences to having the public space dominated by lunatics. Even assuming they are harmless lunatics, like the guy in drag claiming to be Bambi. It is impossible to have a serious conversation with someone in that condition. Why would you? It is impossible to be mature and thoughtful in the presence of someone claiming to be a deer. It means all serious conversation about serious issues will be crowded out by the lunatics.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. I am now on Deezer, for our European haters and Stitcher for the weirdos. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


This Week’s Show

To All My Friends

  • Alaska Chaga (Link)
  • Mighty White Soap (Link)
  • Ammo.com (Link)
  • Libertas Bella (Link)

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Three Plagues

The original plan for the show this week was to talk about the fact that many people seem to be enjoying the panic over the virus. This is a wide-ranging phenomenon that includes people on this side of the great divide. Greg Johnson, for example, thinks the lock downs should continue until forever. Presumably he knows immortality is not in the cards, so he is happy to keep the lock downs in place forever. He’s in good company, as lots of people seem to agree with him and want this to continue.

The lock down camp is not monolithic. Some people are simply enjoying the new lifestyle that has arisen in the last two months. Working at home, home schooling and the simple life has been a revelation to many people. One thing that has been revealed in all of this is that many Americans detest the office life. They hate it with the intensity of a thousand suns. If it means playing along with the virus charade in order to avoid going back to the cubicle farm, they are happy to do it.

There’s also a wing that is genuinely frightened. Here in Lagos, there is a couple that has not been outside since the local tyrant issued the lock down order. They have groceries delivered to them. There have been other deliveries, presumably other supplies they would normally buy at a store. The delivery people leave the items on the porch and when he has retreated to safety, they retrieve the items. Otherwise, they have not been outside in over six weeks now.

Of course, the fear is spread through the media. Something I’ve noticed about the people in the fear camp is they tend to be very left-wing. The couple in hiding are Bernie Bro types. Others are deep into the anti-Trump stuff. This makes some sense as left-wing people tend to be intensely on-line and very trusting of the media. They also have a faith in government that defies reason. They are sure all corporations are evil, but they have a child-like faith in the government.

This is something that normal people are picking up now. Much of what is driving the panic is the anti-Trump lunacy. We forget that these same people were sure that Trump was going to declare himself dictator. They are still sure he is secretly plotting with Boris and Natasha to “undermine our democracy!” Maybe they think the virus is part of the secret plot or some form of divine retribution, but they have conflated their response to Trump with their reaction to the virus.

On this side of the great divide, there is a wing that is driven by their reaction to the people demanding the economy open up. Like all reactionaries, they allow their enemies do all the thinking. If Paul Ramsey is in favor of something, these people will oppose it without giving it much thought. They better hope he does not do a video opposing suicide anytime soon. That is the cost of a negative identity. You put a leash around your neck and hand the other end to those you hate.

Right now, at least, the sum of these various tribes is a majority. Here in Lagos, the local tyrant will end the lock down this weekend. There will be plenty of restrictions, but business can begin to open again. The city and county officials, however, are fighting him and will issue their own orders to continue the lock down. Presumably they are doing this because they think it is popular. For now, at least, most people want to keep the pandemic charade going for the rest of the month.

That’s another element to this. Most people really do think the people in charge will figure out how to pay their bills and keep the food supply going. It really is just a live action role play for them. This is not everyone and maybe no longer a majority, but at some point, reality is going to return to the scene. You cannot shut down the economy like this without real consequences. How will the lock down fans respond when they are suddenly faced with the reality of this thing?

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. I am now on Deezer, for our European haters and Stitcher for the weirdos. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


This Week’s Show

Contents

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Full Show On Spreaker

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Anger Management

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am finding that my patience is running thin with everything that is going on with the virus. I’ve never been much of a television watcher, but I still catch Tucker’s monologue a few times a week. I’ve stopped that this week as I cannot take another ad from a corporation telling me how much they care and how hard they are working on my behalf. I can’t take anymore nonsense about hero nurses and doctors. In fact, I’m starting to become a nursist.

Going outside has now become a depressing reminder that we now live in an explicitly authoritarian society. It used to be a very soft, passive-aggressive authoritarianism that you could ignore while enjoying your life. Now it is an in-your-face corporate authoritarianism that is impossible to ignore. On a trip to get supplies, it is a constant reminder of Theodore Dalrymple’s famous quote about communism. Not even the quiet revenge fantasy on the commute eases the burden.

When this started, my sense was the panic would peak around Easter and then begin to decline as the obvious became obvious. The politicians would see the damage they were causing and panic in the other direction. The public would quickly figure out that a disease with a 99% survival rate was a risk worth taking in order to put food on the table and a roof over their head. By now we would be a in mad dash to talk ourselves into believing everything would get back to normal.

I was wrong about that. Some states are trying to break loose from the spell, but most seem to like what’s happening. They are feverishly looking around for reasons to extend these restrictions into the summer. Not only that, they are dreaming up new torments in the name of “keeping us safe.” A local grocer here in Lagos now takes everyone’s temperature before they enter. They also limit the number of people in the store at any one time, which means there is a block long line to enter.

It is tempting to think that people will finally have enough and put an end to this madness, but that is a fantasy. The few brave souls taking a stand are getting support, for sure, but the bulk of the public is happy to be treated like children. You can be sure the majority oppose the protests at state capitals. Until the food runs out and the machine breaks, people will accept unlimited torment. That means we are left to hope for the end times if we want to escape this madness.

Of course, being wrong about the track of the panic means I could be wrong about people’s attitudes right now. Maybe the bulk of the public is quietly seething. It’s hard to know since everyone is locked inside, but it is possible. The support for that hairdresser in Texas suggests some people have had enough. Maybe a few more abuses like that are what it will take to get people angry enough to stop caring about the rules. That’s what it takes in these times. People need to get mad as Hell.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. I am now on Deezer, for our European haters and Stitcher for the weirdos. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: Unreasonable People (Link) (Link)
  • 17:00: The Gathering Darkness (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link)
  • 32:00: Hate Them Back (Link)
  • 42:00: Hitler’s Revenge (Link)
  • 47:00: Boomtown Rats (Link)
  • 52:00: Public Piety (Link)
  • 57:00: Closing (Link) (Link)

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Salty And Savory

“Workers of the World, Unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains!”

It is May Day, which used to be a pagan feast day, but was co-opted first by Christians and then by Socialists and Communists in the 19th century. In Europe it is associated with labor, as well as the politics of labor, but in the United States it is mostly associated with sandal-wearing goofballs from the local state university. There will be no labor celebrations this year due to the virus lock downs. Like labor movements all over the West, we have been successfully atomized and isolated.

This week’s show is not about labor or the labor movements, as I did not think of it until I was flipping my calendar over this morning. Maybe next year I’ll do a podcast on Marx to coincide with the holiday, assuming we are allowed to have podcasts. Given what we are seeing happen in America at the moment, it is not unreasonable to think that Chinese-style censorship will be the norm here very soon. The beautiful people certainly think it is a good idea and they tend to get their way.

I’m getting a little salty about what is going on, but I’m trying hard to maintain my reasonableness. There are plenty of people ready to go onto the public stage and scream like banshees. These protesters in Michigan are a good example, although one has to wonder if they were hired to play the part. That is a tried and true tactic of the American political class. It was first used on the Left, but then the Left borrowed it and now uses it on everyone.

This is why political organizers have to maintain high standards. it’s hard for outsider movements to do it, as they are programmed to recruit anyone interested, but that;’s how the people in charge subvert the opposition. These organic protests will be subverted by lunatics, many of whom are on the payroll of state actors. Their job is to provide the bad optics, so the mass media can then tarnish the protests with images of lunatics in the among the protesters. it’s an old game, but it works.

You can’t help but wonder if what we are seeing is just a dry run for something more permanent in the future. I don’t think this was premeditated. It is just a good example of how events can take on a life of their own. One things leads to another and before long the best of intentions results in a madness consuming the people who set of the chain of events with their good intentions. Like the radicals of the French Revolution, our rulers are now captive to events they set in motion.

Like many people I’m losing my patience for this ridiculous charade. As the evidence stacks up it is clear the lock downs were a terrible idea. It is time to go back to our normal routines, but the people in charge have the whiff of authoritarianism in their nostrils and like a rutting beast they can think of nothing else. They are now busy dreaming up more insane restrictions just to humiliate people. It is increasingly difficult to remain a reasonable person. I’m getting a little salty.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. I am now on Deezer, for our European haters and Stitcher for the weirdos. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: Reaching The Limit
  • 12:00: Libertarians (Link)
  • 22:00: The Pirate’s Cove (Link) (Link) (Link)
  • 32:00: Xirl Science (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link)
  • 42:00: Republicans Being Republicans (Link)
  • 47:00: The Conservative Case For… (Link)
  • 52:00: The Bank Of Nook (Link)
  • 57:00: Closing

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Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On YouTube

The Lock Down Blues

Since the pandemic crackdown started, the question was when would people start to realize that this was a huge blunder. In the first weeks, people were both scared and excited about what they were being told was coming. On the one hand you had the rush for supplies in order to camp at home for weeks. On the other hand, you had the excitement for an unplanned holiday at home. A month ago, most everyone was ready for a couple of weeks of curve bending and movie watching at home.

We are at the other end of this thing now. People have done all of the fun stuff they can do at home. It’s just tedium now. For many the fear of not having an income is beginning to take center stage. Small business is getting to the point where many will have to close up shop for good. Fear of the virus has now subsided for all but the most hysterical and fear of ruination is now beginning to fill the void. People are getting antsy and want to go back to their lives now. This is not fun anymore.

The streets are starting to get more crowded now. A week ago, you could ride around Lagos and not see a soul walking or driving. The weather has improved, so many more people are outside. More cars are on the streets. Most business is now thinking hard about going back to near-normal in the near-term. They don’t want to be too far ahead of the government’s crackdown orders, for fear of lawsuits, but they are pushing to end the madness and return to something close to normal.

That’s the thing that no one has considered. There will be real economic hardship this summer due to the crackdown. People will also be sharing their crackdown stories with friends and co-workers over the coming months. People will certainly notice that they don’t know anyone who knows anyone that got the virus. As these antibody tests confirm that the fatality rate was much lower than advertised, people will begin to wonder if this was worth the consequences.

Adolf Hitler said, “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” We are seeing a real-time test of that aphorism. For a while now, our rulers have fooled most everyone with the virus panic. Some people, like the curve-benders, will remain convinced the virus panic was necessary. They have no choice now. The question is will the bulk of the public conclude they were fooled into the Great Flu Panic?

This is where the aphorism breaks down. People seem to be quite happy being fooled on a regular basis. The rulers and the media have to mix things up, but being fooled into believing in some great threat to “who we are” is a feature, not a bug. Then again, prior hoaxes and panics have been cost free. People could enjoy them from the comfort of home and still go outside and keep their job. This time, there will be a real cost to this elaborate morality tale. Maybe this time is different.

Either way, we are about to move into a new phase of this madness. What will be the short- and long-term consequences of the crackdown? The stock market seems to think the V-shaped recession is the way to bet. The political class is hoping for devastation, as they think they will rid them of Trump. Economist can’t seem to agree on what comes next, as this has never been tried. There’s lots of red lights flashing in the debt markets and the supply chain. The next months will be interesting.

Maybe that will be how everyone forgets about this month of living like lepers and treating everyone like they stink. Before people can start to think about why they were locked in their homes, they will be directed to the next drama, the financial and economic panic of 2020. Perhaps the lesson here is the circus part of our bread and circuses is the government creating increasingly reckless panics seeing if they can blow it all up. Maybe this is all for their entertainment.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. I am now on Deezer, for our European haters and Stitcher for the weirdos. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: The Rich Get Richer (Link) (Link)
  • 12:00: The Debt Bomb (Link) (Link)
  • 22:00: The Food Chain (Link) (Link) (Link)
  • 32:00: We Don’t Know Nothin’ (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link)
  • 42:00: Rule By Corporate Pirate (Link)
  • 47:00: Paranoid Weirdos (Link)
  • 52:00: A Post From The Others (Link)
  • 57:00: Closing (Link)

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Russell Kirk

The habit of rewriting history to fit current narratives is generally associated with the far-Left, but the so-called conservatives do their share of it as well. The early history of Buckley conservatism, for example, has been deliberately forgotten. More important, the people associated with the alternatives to Buckley’s individualistic brand of conservatism have been forgotten. The current narrative says the only alternative to coercive collectivism was the lonely individualism of Bill Buckley.

As a result, Russell Kirk gets little mention from modern conservatives. He has been written out of the history of their movement, in the same way Stalin would have former allies airbrushed out of photographs. He was never purged from the movement, like the paleocons, but he has largely been forgotten. No one in the National Review scene bothers to reexamine the rivalry between Frank Meyer and Russell Kirk, as to do so would raise uncomfortable questions about their cult leader, Bill Buckley.

It is a funny thing about Buckley conservatism. The truly brilliant people associated with the movement were eventually purged or abandoned. Joe Sobran, Sam Francis and Pat Buchanan are examples of men purged from the movement, because they dared challenge the cult of Bill Buckley. Kirk, on the other hand, was forgotten, a bad reminder of what should have been. There’s at least one good book on the people Buckley finked on during his long career as leader of the conservative movement.

How relevant Russell Kirk is to our current age is debatable. In fact, European conservatism in general may have little salience in the demographic age. The defense of the Occident against the demographic tsunami is not served by a steadfast refusal to consider innovation or a rethinking of the current order. Not only has too much been lost for conservatism to make sense, the challenges we face are entirely different from anything imagined in the past by conservative thinkers.

Even so, Russell Kirk was a brilliant political observer and analyst. He has a lot to tell us about what went wrong with the Right and the fight against radicalism. Given that the people we associate with the Left will keep trying to pull the roof down on Western civilization until they are stopped, there is a lot to be learned from the failed efforts by the Buckleyites in the last century. The old guys of traditionalism can tell us much about what not to do when forming up an alternative.

The other value in going back and reading the old school conservatives from the last century is that it shows how the old political spectrum was mostly about keeping the interested parties on the Left and Right in charge of the debate. Any challenge to Buckley on the Right was classed as beyond the pale. Any challenge from the Left was classed as a Bolshevism. The bad uncles of the 20th century become the two poles, slowly narrowing the field until we arrived at neo-liberalism.

The old bipolar way of imagining the political universe may have had its uses in various times and places, but it is not a universal. Russell Kirk would have thought fascism just as reckless and immoral as communism. That’s true of the paleocons, who were accused of being fascists as they were hooted out of the movement. The way forward for modern dissidents starts with abandoning the old bipolar political spectrum as a relic of a bygone era. There is no Right and Left, just the great divide.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. I am now on Deezer, for our European haters and Stitcher for the weirdos. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening (Link) (Link)
  • 02:00: Russell Kirk
  • 07:00: Moral Order
  • 12:00: Custom And Continuity
  • 17:00: Prescription
  • 22:00: Prudence
  • 27:00: Variety
  • 32:00: Imperfectability
  • 37:00: Property
  • 42:00: Community
  • 47:00: Prudent Restraint
  • 52:00: Permanence And Change
  • 57:00: Closing

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Letters From Lock Down

It used to be that Good Friday was my first non-office day of the year. By that I mean it was the first non-work day of the year. It was the first break since the holidays. I’d rent a skiff and go fishing, waiting for a passing knight to heel me. Some years I’d go to the range or, depending upon the weather, I’d go for a ride. When I still went to mass, I’d go to the evening service, but I have not done that in years.

In the lock down, the normal routine no longer holds. Like everyone else I have been sheltering in place the last several weeks. Fishing is banned here now. The ranges are all closed. I can still go outside for a ride, as they are not arresting people for being outside without a hall pass. They are arresting people for violating social distancing rules, so that means I’ll need to avoid people while out and about today.

For the first couple of weeks of the lock down I tried to maintain my normal schedule, as much as possible, but that did not really work. It was like a vacation in which I was not allowed to have any fun. That and client work started to slow up as they shifted from going into lock down to adjusting for the coming depression. This week my work was probably the slowest in a decade, not counting real vacations.

As a result, I capitulated to reality and decided to use the time to take care of some small projects, like catching up with the correspondence. Like the comment section, the in-box has been hopping during the great panic. It really bugs me when I fall behind in replying to readers and listeners, but there are only so many hours in a day. It is just one of those things I have had to accept as a part of doing this thing.

I also decided to upgrade the computer I use for recording each week. The hard drive was getting full, so that meant installing a new drive and reloading all the program I use for various things. I was still on Windows 8, so it was long overdue for an upgrade, but it is a huge hassle that I really hate. Strangely, the microphone I use is much more sensitive in the new system, so the sound this week may be a little off.

All-in-all, I’m growing weary of the lock down. I’m thinking about breaking contain and going back to the office next week. I have several “letters of transit” now from clients that declare I am an essential person. Even though the building is technically closed, I have keys and the utilities are still on, I think. Perhaps I can be an example to others and this madness will come to an end sooner rather than later.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. I am now on Deezer, for our European haters and Stitcher for the weirdos. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00 Opening
  • 03:00 Dissident Direction
  • 12:00 Fatherhood & Economics
  • 16:30 China
  • 25:30 Universal Basic Idiocy
  • 35:00 Durham Investigation
  • 42:00 Binary Thinking
  • 47:00 Health Care
  • 50:00 Liberty & Welfare
  • 55:00 Thank You

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Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On YouTube

The Great Plagues

The great role of pathogens in human affairs is one of those things that had largely been forgotten, at least by the general public. In the West, it has been a couple of generations since a pestilence gave us a good scare. The Hong Kong flu was the last time people really worried about the invisible death. Even that was pretty mild, compared to past pandemics. You have to go back to the 1950’s to find an invisible killer that got the attention of the public. That’s almost three generations ago.

The fact is though, the invisible killer has been a part of the human story since there has been a human story. People suddenly coming down with some unknown ailment and dying in volume is as much of the human story as anything. A fair bit of our superstitions have probably been driven by such events. If you cannot come up with a natural explanation to events, you come up with a supernatural explanation. That fear of the supernatural got constant exercise throughout human history.

That may be what we are seeing with The Great Madness. It is that old fear of the unknown, not exercised for several generations, suddenly being turned on by the threat of the Chines flu. In the past, people knew how to control this fear and rulers knew the danger of succumbing to it. Modern people are now like teenagers discovering the opposite sex. Our fear hormones are in overdrive and we have no ability to control and channel them. Hence the great panic we see today.

There’s also the fact that we have conquered nature, for the most part. Even things like hurricanes and earthquakes are not much of a threat. Sure, a hurricane can knockout New Orleans, but everyone understands what was really going on there. That disaster was due to man not respecting that nature does distribute her gifts equally. Natural disasters may knock down some buildings, but they are quickly rebuilt. Increasingly, our buildings are resistant to the best Mother Nature can throw at us.

Even when it comes to pestilence, humans have been taking the fight to Mother Nature in a big way. We are probably a generation away from conquering diseases like cancer, at least the most common forms. Genetics could very well allow us to overcome lots of other natural disorders that shorten our lifespans and diminish our lives. The lack of great plagues seems like proof that the days of such things are numbered. Maybe this virus is a reminder that Mother Nature has plenty of fight left in her.

That said, this pandemic is a piker compared to the past. The Swine flu, which hardly anyone remembers, despite happening just a decade ago, had twice the body count of the Chinese flu in the United States. There’s still time, but in the grand scheme of things, this pandemic is never going to be on the list of great plagues. The best chance of it being remembered is if the economic fallout is such that people remember for generations that we tried shutting down the world over a virus.

That’s probably the most interesting aspect of pandemics. They often leave their mark in how they shape human events. How different would our world be if Athens never suffered a plague and went on to defeat the Peloponnesian League? How about if Justinian was able to reconstitute the Roman Empire? It’s impossible to know, but most likely we are what we are because of these plagues. They not only alter the timeline, but they cull the herd in ways that are felt for many generations.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. I am now on Deezer, for our European haters and Stitcher for the weirdos. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: The Plague Of Athens
  • 12:00: The Antonine Plague
  • 22:00: Plague of Justinian
  • 32:00: The Black Death
  • 42:00: Modern Pandemics
  • 57:00: Closing

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Money Matters

A favorite expression is “pressure reveals character.” Anyone who has played sports has probably used the expression. It is one of those truths of life that turns up all over, but is most obvious in sports. Guys can look like heroes in practice when everyone is loose and there is nothing on the line. In the game, they perform poorly, unable to perform under pressure. It’s why the military performs live fire exercises. It’s a way to see how men will perform under the extreme pressure of combat.

A public crisis like the current panic over the virus is where we see how people operate under pressure. More than a few people, who we thought to be steely-eyed cynics, have been revealed to be hysterical ninnies. Nassim Taleb, who really likes to tell everyone he is a man’s man, has gone so far as to post a one page paper explaining how best to throw your dress over your head and run around shrieking like a girl. He brings to mind this classic scene from the movie Airplane!

This graph gets to something else that has been revealed during this crisis. Those inclined to left-wing politics are more easily frightened than those attracted to more sober minded approaches to public policy. It is something to keep in mind when looking at how our guys have reacted to this crisis. For example, many of the old alt-right people now sound like one of the girls from the Huffington Post. It is a good reminder that there is a left-right axis within dissident politics.

Another thing the pressure of the moment has revealed, something I touch on in the show, is that many of our guys are wholly ignorant of economics. Given that the rejection of the neoliberal economic order is one commonality on this side of the great divide, it is a bit surprising that many of our guys do not have the first clue about how the system actually works. More than a few of our guys have taken to sounding like one of the girls from the Democratic Socialist camp.

Of course, much of this is the result of people living outside the system that most people take for granted. The typical college professor, for example, spends his life in the adult daycare center we call the college campus. He lives in a fantasy world. Eventually, his understanding of reality is warped by that fantasy world. It’s easy to demand we pull out all the stops against this virus when you feel as if you are immune to the consequences of pulling out all the stops. It’s easy to be generous in behalf of others.

Similarly, people completely invested in politics can also become divorced from the daily reality of life. It is surprising just how many well-known figures in dissident politics don’t have jobs and never had jobs. Maybe they kicked around the publishing world or the academy, but that’s not real work. In the world of political theory, staking out an extreme position has no cost. In fact, it is often the point. In the real world where people live, staking out the extreme position has a cost, a big one.

This is why the stimulus bills that get passed during each crisis get bigger. There’s no benefit to prudence, so no one considers it. There is a benefit to showering favored constituents with cash, so everyone tries to be the most generous. It’s also why these efforts never amount to much. The people crafting them don’t have the slightest clue how the retail economy works. Small business is as alien to them as everything else about the people over whom they rule.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. I am now on Deezer, for our European haters and Stitcher for the weirdos. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: Economics
  • 07:00: The Human Costs
  • 17:00: Markets Versus Main Street
  • 27:00: Economic Illiteracy
  • 37:00: Middle Man Leverage
  • 47:00: The Good Stuff
  • 57:00: Closing

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I Am Legend

The lock-down, at least around here, really got going on Monday and has accelerated through the week. The weekend saw the hoarding, as public officials started acting hysterically in front of the cameras. On Monday, businesses started to wind down, sending people home if they were not needed or could work from home. The parking lot at my office was very light on Monday, but there were still people in the building. By Thursday the parking lot was just about empty of all cars.

There’s some traffic on the roads, but it like a Sunday morning, rather than a weekday or even a weekend afternoon. People are staying home, for the most part. Not happy with their work, the government is talking about a nationwide quarantine. They are talking about grounding all passenger air traffic for up to 30 days, halting stock trading on Wall Street, and imposing a shelter-in-place rule. Presumably, if one more person gets sick after that, they will begin bombing American cities.

Yesterday I realized that I had not had a face-face conversation with another human in a couple of days. I’ve spoken to people by phone and had e-mail exchanges, but I’ve not talked to anyone in person for a while. For whatever reason, I was reminded of the old Vincent Price movie The Last Man on Earth. There was an old Twilight Zone episode of a similar nature. Of course, there was the crappy Will Smith version on this theme, in which you end up rooting for the monsters to get him.

In my fortress of solitude, I started thinking about another science fiction classic, The Mote in God’s Eye. In the book, humans finally meet an alien species for the first time and discover something called the Crazy Eddie. This is a mythical character the aliens use to explain the inevitability of repeated cycles of collapse of the alien civilization and the pointlessness of trying to prevent them. Anyone who thinks they can solve the inherent defect in their society is called Crazy Eddie.

That’s the thing that does not get addressed in the tales of apocalypse like I Am Legend or the many movies that spring from it. The plague movies usually have a story line where the good guys can stop the plague or maybe come up with a miracle cure for it afterward. In the post-plague stories, after society has collapsed, the characters never think much about how they got to that place. It’s just bad luck. The collapse itself has no meaning other than as a devise to drive the plot of the story.

Maybe what we are seeing here is the inevitable end of all human society. From the perspective of time, the end point looks like a fizzling out of a dying people, but to those in it, it looks like mass insanity. Maybe this is what it looked like for those living in the late Roman Empire or even the late days of the Republic. Then, as now, the people speaking out against the gathering madness were dismissed as madmen, as everyone set about pulling the roof down on civilization.

On the other hand, one has to consider the possibility that it is not the world going mad, but you are the one going mad. It’s possible. There are a lot of people looking around and wondering why we are doing this, but maybe all of us are suffering from madness and the rest of the world is acting sober minded. It’s possible, but that would mean they have a secret way to feed people in a nationwide 30-day lock-down. Maybe turning America into a hermit kingdom is the path to the Promised Land.

For the curious, if they can get past however they are responding to the what’s happening right now, this is an amazing time. We will see things that no one could have imagined seeing just a few weeks ago. No one can know what follows a 30-day quarantine of a continent sized country. No one really knows what will follow just this one week halt to the global economy. No one knows what happens if the plague fears are wildly overblown, which seems inevitable at this point.

Regardless of what follows, we are living in a time without precedent. A century ago, we had a real plague, but the world did not stop. The stock market collapse in the 1920’s did bring a closure, but it was not for a month. The bank run that happened in 1933  resulted in a week-long bank holiday, but the rest of society kept going. The past provides some samples but nothing close to what is being contemplated. Heck, we are already into uncharted territory with the one-week lock-down.

Maybe I am the crazy one, but crazy or not, messing with big complicated things always has unanticipated results. This is an iron law of systems. Even if the response is appropriate to the danger, taking a sledge hammer to the very complex system that is American society will have consequences that no one can anticipate. Another rule of complex systems is you need to understand the iron law of systems before you are allowed to even tinker with the system. That rule has been violated.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. I am now on Deezer, for our European haters and Stitcher for the weirdos. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: Cochran & Sailer
  • 12:00: Permanent Crisis
  • 19:00: The Boomer Question
  • 25:00: The RV Community
  • 30:00: The Truth Still Counts
  • 46:00: Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect
  • 49:00: Economics
  • 56:00: Leaving A Record

Direct DownloadThe iTunesGoogle PlayiHeart Radio, RSS Feed, Bitchute

Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On YouTube