LRC Blog

Lying with Statistics

Watching the Ron Paul Liberty Report a couple of days ago, I was struck by one statistic that Ron and Daniel discussed:  In Texas, scores of deaths attributed to COVID from April and May were not reported until July, causing a supposed “spike” in July “deaths.”  Is this going on everywhere?  How could it not be on purpose in light of all the Fauci & Co. warnings months ago of “a second wave”?

The real picture in Texas would seem to be that April and May were worse than we thought, and the present is infinitely better than is being reported.

11:14 am on July 14, 2020

re: Democratic States Have the Worst COVID-19 Death Rates

Mike,

Trump-hating Larry Hogan, governor of Maryland, is a Republican in name only, a far-left Democrat in reality.  Therefore, in terms of political ideology I would say that all twelve of the worst states are run by Democrats and not eleven out of twelve.

11:09 am on July 14, 2020

The Obsolete Man

Because of the stifling intolerance and willful ignorance of “cancel culture” raging across the planet, this classic episode of The Twilight Zone is particularly appropriate to view again.

You walk into this room at your own risk. Because it leads to the future.

Not a future that will be, but one that might be.

This is not a new world. It is simply an extension of what began in the old one.

It has patterned itself after every dictator who has ever planted the ripping imprint of a boot on the pages of history since the beginning of time.

It has refinements. Technological advances and a more sophisticated approach to the destruction of human freedom. But like every one of the super states that preceded it, it has one iron rule — “Logic is an enemy and truth is a menace.”

This is Mr Romney Wordsworth. In his last 48 hours on Earth. He is a citizen of the state, but will soon have to be eliminated because he is built out of flesh and because he has a mind. Mr Romney Wordsworth who will draw his last breaths in The Twilight Zone

10:43 am on July 14, 2020

Democratic States Have The Worst COVID-19 Death Rates

Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governor, wants to deflect criticism for his own responsibility in sending COVID-19 patients into nursing homes. He is making a new false claim in the attempt to shift the blame elsewhere.

I select one statement of his to fact-check: “The facts are in. The numbers are in. Look at the number of bodies. Look at the infection rate. New York’s numbers have declined while the nation is going up.”

Yes, let’s look at the number of dead. This is no comfort whatsoever to the people who have had to face the death of loved ones. Few of us have been left untouched by such personal knowledge or by related anxiety over this illness and how it’s been addressed by politicians and public health leaders. But the number of dead does provide critical information, even though deaths attributed to COVID-19 are data that are noisy. They are corrupted by which deaths are assigned to COVID-19. To use these data, until and unless they can be cleaned up, we have to assume that the degree of miscounting is more or less equivalent across all the states.

The obvious way to examine the truth or falsity of Cuomo’s boasting is to look at per capita COVID-19 deaths across the states. That gives us a snapshot as of now as to New York’s standing. Maybe we’ll have a different snapshot 3 months or 6 months from now, but that will be then, not now. And right now, is Cuomo telling us the truth or is he making it up like a 5-year old denying he was playing with matches?

Cuomo is telling a bald-faced lie. He’s misleading everyone on purpose, both to save his skin, to criticize Trump, and to enhance his own standing. Deaths per capita across states and territories can be found at this web site. These data are very recent, dated July 13, 2020.

New Jersey has the highest (worst) COVID-19 death rate which is 175 per 100,000 population. New York is second at 166. So much for Andrew Cuomo’s credibility.

But let us go further into this matter and examine a political variable’s association with COVID-19 deaths.

The 12 worst COVID-19 states/territories and their political leadership are listed next. We find that 11 of the 12 worst states by death rates have Democratic leadership:

1. New Jersey, 175, DEMOCRATIC
2. New York, 166, DEMOCRATIC
3. Connecticut, 122, DEMOCRATIC
4. Massachusetts, 121, DEMOCRATIC
5. Rhode Island, 92, DEMOCRATIC
6. District of Columbia, 80, DEMOCRATIC
7. Louisiana, 73, DEMOCRATIC
8. Michigan, 63, DEMOCRATIC
9. Illinois, 58, DEMOCRATIC
10. Maryland, 55, REPUBLICAN
11. Pennsylvania, 54, DEMOCRATIC
12. Delaware, 53, DEMOCRATIC

This is an astonishing finding. The odds against this occurring by chance are enormous. This will pass a statistical test at a high level of confidence. It means that something systematic, something or things non-random, have occurred in Democratic-governed states; and that factor or factors have caused a higher COVID-19 death rate in those states.
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10:34 am on July 14, 2020

Uh-Oh: A Dispute About Figures

Daniel takes issue with 6 Feet—Or 6 Feet 6.6 Inches?

the definition of an inch since the 1960s is 25.4 mm, and by that definition, 2 m is very slightly more than 6′ 6.74″.

Folks, I’m staying out of this one. I was the last kid in my fourth-grade class to understand long division, and it’s been downhill from there. Numbers baffle and bore me; I’ve posted Daniel’s point solely in the interests of accuracy. Please don’t deluge me with studies on this topic and your brilliant analysis thereof: the good Lord didn’t bless me with a mathematical brain, so I cannot appreciate your genius.

10:08 am on July 14, 2020

“Public Authorities [Have Turned] the Precautionary Principle on Its Head”

Masks and respirators do not work” begins the excellent “review of science relevant to COVID-19 social policy” that James Nellis forwarded to me. The author has surveyed the “extensive randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies, and meta-analysis reviews of RCT studies” to find they “all show that masks and respirators do not work to prevent respiratory influenza-like illnesses, or respiratory illnesses believed to be transmitted by droplets and aerosol particles.” Even better, he excoriates Our Rulers for their demonic insistence that we muzzle ourselves: “The present paper about masks illustrates the degree to which governments, the mainstream media, and institutional propagandists can decide to operate in a science vacuum, or select only incomplete science that serves their interests. Such recklessness is also certainly the case with the current global lockdown of over 1 billion people, an unprecedented experiment in medical and political history.”

This analysis is invaluable, not only because the writer, “Denis G. Rancourt, PhD Researcher, Ontario Civil Liberties Association,” proves the harm masks do us but also for his “endnotes” directing us to his sources.

Which brings up an intriguing point: where has the American Civil Liberties Union been during these months of masks, lockdowns, quarantines and other horrific violations of “civil” liberties? Yeah, the silence has been deafening. And even the one or two regional offices that “protested” Our Rulers’ decrees might as well not have bothered.

Once again, the ACLU proves it has never been about freedom but always about centralizing power.

9:34 am on July 14, 2020

Why There’s Such a Huge Spike in Violence in New York City

This is probably an obvious point but the problem is that Mayor DeBlasio hasn’t painted enough Black Lives Matter logos on city streets.  Come on, Mayor.  Painting one in front of Trump Tower was a good start, but you’ve got a lot of work to do!  Especially since you let 2,500 felons out of Rikers because the poor babies might have caught a cold virus there; your state did away with bail; and you took hundreds of cops off the streets and ordered the rest to stand down during riots.

9:15 pm on July 13, 2020

The Washington Social Justice Cupcakes

That’s my preferred new name for the Washington Redskins.  From a strictly business perspective I realize that this might not fit on a t-shirt, so I would settle for The Washington Cupcakes.  They could put different colored cupcakes on the helmets every week (no white ones, though, for obvious reasons).

9:05 pm on July 13, 2020

Brion McClanahan: Redefining a Karen


More penetrating common sense cultural analysis from Dr. Brion McClanahan:

We’ve all seen the term “Karen” used to describe a modern busybody. But is that the proper term to use? No. “Karens” are a byproduct of a particular type of American culture. I’ll give you a hint. It begins with Y and ends with E. I discuss it in this episode of the Brion McClanahan Show.

Intellectual resources that touch on this crucial issue:

Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America — the book by David Hackett Fischer

The Yankee Problem in America — the article by Clyde N. Wilson

The Yankee Problem: An American Dilemma — the book by Clyde N. Wilson

The Yankee Problem in America — the Amazon book list

In Dixie Land, I’ll Take my Stand — the Amazon book list

Lies My Teacher Told Me: The True History of the War for Southern Independence, — the book by Clyde N. Wilson

The American Counter-Revolution in Favor of Liberty: How Americans Resisted Modern State, 1765–1850,  — the book by Ivan Jankovic

6:28 pm on July 13, 2020

Libertarian Book Recommendations for Kids

Yesterday, I sent out this request for help, given my ignorance of the question posed to me.

Today, I’ve had quite a response. I thank all who have helped me out on this. But, please, “no mas!” I think we have now amassed enough suggestions, some of it a bit repetitive, but thanks again. I’m sure Alvin and his kids will greatly benefit.

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4:54 pm on July 13, 2020

Leviathan, the Farmer

Jerome Barber suggests that the “sheeple” should really be called “mushrooms.”

Why?

Because all the government does is feed us manure and keep us in the dark.

2:31 pm on July 13, 2020

Sunbelt Covid ‘Spike’ – Just A Lot Of Hot Air?

1:12 pm on July 13, 2020

What the Masked Morons Are Advertising

Bill earlier reported on the COVIDiocy in North Carolina; he also sent this link to a funny but hard-hitting article, “Wearing a Mask is Just Advertising You’re an Awful Person”: 

If you wear a mask because you genuinely think it’s a sign of empathy with the afflicted and that it somehow in a magical way helps coronavirus victims, you’re just awful.

If you wear a face mask because you’re incapable of reading the scientific data for yourself, you’re just awful.

If you wear a face mask because you live in constant fear of a virus you probably won’t even notice you have, you’re just awful.

If you cover your face just because the government tells you to, there’s apparently no limit to your slave-like servility and you’re just awful.

Enjoy!

 

12:12 pm on July 13, 2020

An Interview With Pat Buchanan

I had the great opportunity to interview Pat Buchanan last week. We discussed a wide range of topics including:

-Henry Kissinger

-The Geneva Summit

-Neoconservatism and Bill Kristol

-Ayn Rand and individualism

-The Culture War

Before publishing the interview in full in a couple of weeks, I plan on sending out some pieces of the interview via my libertarian/ conservative newsletter. Make sure to subscribe through the link below. You don’t want to miss this!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe6NL4XwyqCyxTy2XpjQG748tPZa_4ZOqsWiuSrEk8k-WxZmw/viewform

11:53 am on July 13, 2020

I Need Help In Answering This Query

Usually, silver-tongued devil that I am, I can answer virtually all questions put to me. But, this one’s got me stumped. I admit it. I need some help answering it. So, please, if you can, share your thoughts on this with me. I’ll put together a bibliography on this and send it to Alvin.

I’ve got twin boy grandchildren, aged 5. So, soon (in about 5 years?) I’ll be able to use this information myself.

Thanks,

Walter

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11:48 am on July 13, 2020

6 Feet—Or 6 Feet 6.6 Inches?

Ian from British Columbia contributes more evidence that the plandemic is demonic. He cites Revelation 13:18, “Here is Wisdom; let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six,” and then adds, 

Interestingly, outside of the US, “social distancing protocols” (excuse me,  I need a minute to stop laughing) consist of a “two meter distance.” In old money, two metres is exactly  6 feet 6.6 inches. An in-joke, perhaps?

Is that chortling I hear coming from Down Under?

He also recommends The Abolition of Man by CS Lewis:  

[Lewis] describes in that slim volume exactly what is happening in the world today,  particularly in the third chapter with his description of the people he terms  “the Conditioners.” It’s almost eerily prescient. But his insight into the motivations of such creatures may give normal people a way to fight back against their depredations. 

11:02 am on July 13, 2020

Pro Bono Defense of the Great Unmasked

You may have heard that the illegal and unconstitutional “orders” forcing serfs to muzzle themselves are unenforceable. Some of these diktats state outright that there are no penalties; others are so poorly or vaguely written that they have no teeth. Meanwhile, recall that the Marxists and their demonstrations have so undermined cops’ morale (hmmm: do you suppose we can sic BLM on the TSA?) that many of their departments are refusing to administer ordinary laws, let alone these nonsensical decrees

However, tyranny is always arbitrary. You could encounter an eager-beaver busybody who either fines or arrests you for refusing to comply with COVIDiocy. In that case, a number of lawyers across the country are offering their services for free to all such victims. As one of them puts it, “Our Constitutional rights are more important than pandering to fear.” And if you don’t see an attorney in your area at the link, many of those listed will refer you to a local colleague.

Many thanks to Ms. Anonymous for this stellar tip! She sent these intriguing links as well, including this from a high-spirited friend of freedom that made me laugh aloud! If any of you Twitter, please encourage this gal.

10:22 am on July 13, 2020

Social Utility — MSR-5

Walter wants explanation in his latest blog. He questions that the premise of my analysis, which is to suppose that a society has a foundational law against theft, bypasses the unanimity problem. The latter problem, unanimity, is that we are unable as outside observers to sum up utilities or “happineses” of people, and therefore we cannot say that some measure or law or action adds or subtracts from general happiness (social welfare, the common good) unless it affects everyone in the same direction. And since we hardly ever find unanimity, we as outsiders or observers, can’t definitely say that any measure is good or bad for the people we are observing.

Walter and I have some common ground here, except that he cannot get by the premise, which as I’ve explained before is a supposition, something supposed, an hypothesis, namely, SUPPOSE that society has adopted a basic law which is a prohibition against theft, like “Thou shalt not steal”. This is certainly feasible. Not only is it feasible, it’s common across societies; but the empirical reality of it is a separate matter. To prove a theorem with this as a supposition, we do not have to show that societies really embed this prohibition. We need only inquire what happens if they do this. What does it imply if they subsequently violate it by a law that compels a theft? Clearly, if the prohibition is a social good, it benefits everyone or nearly so. Then, if the society violates this prohibition by allowing thievery to go unpunished, it is hurting itself and diminishing the social good.

Walter objects “But society has lots of laws, not only just ones against theft.” Yes, society does have many laws and some involve the very theft that it prohibits. But these laws are not all for the common good.

Let’s first dispose of Walter’s problem with seeing that the anti-theft law bypasses the unanimity challenge. A law against theft, I argued in 2007, is a social good. It benefits nearly everyone except the class of thieves. Such a law is foundational. A society can’t be founded on systematic thievery. There has to be production and production won’t occur if thievery is allowable. A law against theft is about as close to being endorsed unanimously as any measure one might posit. Furthermore, by being a basic social good with wide and critically important benefits, society has demonstrated its composite preference, its social preference. That is, unlike many other laws and practices that benefit only some and harm others, showing that they are not clearly social goods, the prohibition against theft is supposed, in my analysis, to be an unambiguous social good. That’s why it may be considered to be supported unanimously, or nearly so, recognizing that the thieves who object are overruled. One cannot form a functioning productive and peaceful society without overruling them. One can form a band of pirates and raiders and thieves, a society of thieves, but it’s not productive.
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9:15 am on July 13, 2020

Mike Rozeff Commits the Fallacy of Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility, Part 4

In his latest missive on the ICU issue, Mike says this:

“By recognizing that a society has a law against theft, we bypass the unanimity problem.”

Try as I might, I just don’t see my way clear to agreeing with this. But society has lots of laws, not only just ones against theft. There are also laws compelling us to pay taxes, mandating the employers pay minimum wages. The Nazis had laws vitiating against Jews, gays, homosexuals, blacks, Romany and other non Ayrans. I don’t see how this in the slightest allows us to say that when A steals from B, social utility decreases. Social utility consists of the economic welfare of both of them. But A benefits (he wouldn’t steal was this not true, at least not ex ante), while B loses (he prefers to keep his own money; did he not, he would have voluntarily made a donation of it to A). How we can add them up and declare that B’s loss is greater than A’s benefit is simply beyond me.

Suppose that Nazi Germany had a law stipulating that it is alright for Ayrans to compel the “inferiors” mentioned above to give them money, against the will of the latter. By Mike’s reasoning, could we then conclude the very opposite: that the victim’s loss is now less than the perpetrator’s gain? That seems to be where his logic is taking him. But this is equally false, unless we support ICU, which allows us to make such comparisons in the first place. But where is Mike’s defense of ICU?

Austrians support ordinal utility. I like apples better than bananas and bananas better than carrots. I just purchased a shirt for $20. I prefer this clothing more than the money, and the person who sold it to me made the opposite ranking. So far, so good. But praxeologists take a dim view of cardinal utility. We take the position that to say apples give me 20 utils of pleasure, bananas 10, and carrots 5, and that therefore I like apples twice as much as bananas and four times as much as carrots, it nonsensical. But ICU is an aspect of cardinal, not ordinal, utility. It allows us to say that Mike likes shoes at the rate of 100 utils, while Walter likes bicycles a the rate of 50 utils, and that therefore Mike lies footwear twice as much as Walter likes bikes. Does Mike really want to support this?

I enjoy a good debate. But, unless Mike says something new, I’ll not be contributing any more to this one. I’m too busy with other writing commitments.

But I must end with a compliment to him. As far as I’m concerned, his position is roughly the equivalent of 2+2=5, or the earth is flat, or voluntary trade is not mutually beneficial ex ante, or man doesn’t act. Yet, brilliant scholar that he is, he has been able to give me a good run for my money in defending ICU. I wouldn’t have thought that possible before running into him on this. My hat is off to him.

3:49 am on July 13, 2020

The Brilliant Paul Craig Roberts


In his latest brilliant article, The Woke Revolution, Paul Craig Roberts, with the exacting skill of a surgeon, diagnoses, defines and elucidates upon the formidable civilization-destroying threat at work in our land. I have seen no other writer state more clearly the serious nature of this threat. Almost two years ago at LRC I composed a similar piece, warning in the strongest, most emphatic  terms, the eminent danger we face. That threat is NIHILISM. We see it being played out and savagely actualized daily from coast to coast, in our cities, on our streets, our classrooms, on television and computer screens, and on social media.

Free speech is no longer a value.  Free speech is an ally of oppression because it permits charges against Western civilization and the white racist oppressors to be answered, and facts are not welcome.  The purpose of the woke revolution is to overthrow a liberal society and impose conformity with wokeness in its place.  Whiteness has been declared evil. There is nothing to debate.

The signatories do not understand that today there is only one side.  In place of debate there is denunciation, the purpose of which is to impose ideological conformity.  It is pointless to search for truth when truth has been revealed: Western civilization and all its works are a white racist construct and must be destroyed.  There is nothing to debate. . .

The “oppressed” and “marginalized” voices of woke revolutionaries, who have imposed tyranny in universities, the work place, and via social media, are the ones that now control explanations. No one is permitted to disagree with them.

Lining up on the woke side are CNN, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Slate, and other presstitute organizations desperately trying to remain relevant. Everyone of these institutions quickly took the side of the woke revolution against facts and free speech.

See hereherehere and here.

The revolution is over unless the guillotine is next. Academic freedom no longer exists. Free speech no longer exists. The media is a propaganda ministry. Without free speech there can be no answer to denunciation.  White people are guilty. Period.

1:40 am on July 13, 2020

Social Utility — MSR-4

This is a reply to the latest from Walter Block.

Walter says that I do not “show” that I’ve read Rothbard’s article on utility and welfare economics. But what Walter’s accusation shows is that he didn’t read my article. As a matter of fact, the article I wrote in 2007 on the subject refers to Rothbard’s paper, provides a link to it, characterizes it correctly, and explains my effort as an attempt to bypass the dead end which our inability to make interpersonal utility comparisons erects. And, by the way, that also shows that another of Walter’s accusations is wide of the mark, for he keeps claiming that I view interpersonal utility comparisons as not being invalid. Here’s what I wrote 13 years ago about Rothbard and interpersonal utility comparisons:

“Rothbard in his reconstruction paper pointed out that when government officials gain utility from an official act that restricts A and B ‘As economists, we can therefore say nothing about social utility in this case, since some individuals have demonstrably gained and some demonstrably lost in utility from the governmental action.’ The problem here and elsewhere in the economics of social utility is that when there is not unanimity, the economist is stymied. I have shown that we can say something when a society has a law against theft; and most societies do, even as they break it. By recognizing that a society has a law against theft, we bypass the unanimity problem.”

I didn’t assail or disagree with Rothbard’s statement and I still don’t. I did view the limitation it presents as something we might be able to overcome. This would, if true, strengthen the libertarian position, and that is what the article aimed to accomplish. I wanted to find a way of saying definitively that a government act of coercion lowered social utility; and that paper makes an argument as to what condition insures that that happens. And that condition is that the society has a foundational prohibition against theft. This prohibition is assumed to be the demonstrated preference of the society. That’s a critical premise of my analysis. That’s an “if” condition. That premise can’t be questioned. It’s not an empirical premise. It’s a hypothetical, like saying “If I strike a match and it lights”, then several consequences follow like a local rise in temperature, other things equal. If a society has a demonstrated preference against theft, then what follows if it passes a statute that compels a wealth transfer? I argue that it causes society to occupy a less-preferred position. In equivalent language, social utility declines.
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8:46 pm on July 12, 2020

A Cure for Low Blood Pressure

Mr. Anonymous sent me this extract from his church’s latest newsletter, warning, “I am so mad, for many reasons.” Yep, this one’s calculated to raise the ol’ pulse-rate: 

Grace and mercy be with you from the Board of Elders. The board has heard the many petitions to resume in-person services,

Aha! “…many petitions…”! So we’re not the only ones clamoring for Christ’s body to meet, for pity’s sake, and act like the conquerors He’s made us instead of scared little rabbits.

and we too, are desiring to worship as the gathered body of Christ. That being said, we also have to be mindful of our vulnerable brothers and sisters.

Oh, please. Again with this nonsense. The sick can stay home while the rest of us worship, as we’ve done for 2000 years.

The board has had considerable discussion on this issue and… has decided that due to the size of our congregation that beginning in-person services with fewer than 30 people is logistically onerous…

Onerous”???? Buddy, you ever carried a patibulum to Golgotha on your back after Roman whips studded with bone and metal ripped your flesh open? Don’t talk to me about “onerous.”

… We are hopeful that current trends will continue and that the next phase of the governor’s plan will be implemented soon.

Oh, indeed. Far be it from the Lord’s Bride to obey Him rather than atheistic politicians.

… We pray that God would soon bring an end to this crisis…

Parson Goat, how dare you blame God for this “crisis”? The Satanic State you idolize ginned it up; your craven credulity immensely aided and abetted its creation. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Anonymous mourns, “If they ever do purge these idiotic and fear-filled additions to the liturgy,  how can I attend without having a bad attitude and being angry about how they did this?”

That’s the $64 question. Home church, anyone?

6:37 pm on July 12, 2020

Best Intro Books for Libertarianism

From: Advik Trivedi

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Libertarianism

Hey,

I was getting interested in libertarianism and I was wondering if you had any books you could recommend to me to get started.

-Advik Trivedi

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3:13 pm on July 12, 2020

Mike Rozeff Commits the Fallacy of Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility, Part 3

I can’t comment on each and every voluminous word of my friend Mike’s on this Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility debate we’re having. I’ve got too many other commitments. Let me confine myself, then, to just this little bit. He writes

“The answer to this is that ‘we’ are not making an interpersonal utility comparison. Society has already made that comparison implicitly when it prohibited theft, and we can infer that it has decided that it’s better off with that prohibition than without it.”

As a libertarian, I of course agree with Mike. The prohibition of theft is entirely justified. But we are now not discussing libertarianism. Rather, what is at issue between us is the Austrian claim, which he continually denies, that interpersonal comparisons of utility (ICU) are invalid.

“Society” as such, made no such determination to the effect that laws against theft are justified. Rather, only the overwhelming majority supported it. But, suppose that the minority of thieves, who oppose laws prohibiting theft, lost more utility from this legislation than the rest of us gained? Is this impossible? Not for the neoclassical economist who’s side Mike is now taking.

I suggested to Mike that he read this:

Rothbard. Murray N. 1997 [1956]. “Toward a Reconstruction of Utility and Welfare Economics.” reprinted in “The Logic of Action” Vol. I. Lyme, NH: Edward Elgar. pp. 211-254; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/toward.pdf

He shows no evidence of having done so. I really don’t think we can get to the bottom of this issue until and unless he does, and demonstrates why Murray was wrong on the ICU issue.

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

3:11 pm on July 12, 2020

An 18 Part Discussion of Covid and Libertarian Theory

Letter 1

From: Bubba Shaffer

To: Tom Woods <tom@tomwoods.com>

Subject: RE: The bastards won’t let us live

Tom,

I am happy to see this email.  I cannot agree with you more.  I have never slowed my business activities nor my personal ones.  I believe the government response is a giant overreach.   I have respected everybody who wants to keep their distance away from me. (freedom of association as we Libertarians call it).

In my HVAC service business its funny how welcoming these folks are that normally would not have me near them all the sudden welcome me into their home or business.

If only I could find a barber.  I haven’t had hair like this since the high school in the late 70s.

Take care, and keep up the good work.

Bubba Shaffer

General Manager

Orlando, FL

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3:10 pm on July 12, 2020

A Hardware Reset

Joey Bolz from the SOT (Satanically Occupied Territory) of Kansas forwarded a letter he wrote to Ace Hardware after he “lost my cool in the place and cussed a bunch of them out.”

Dear Folks–

I do my best to not shop at [your store] as [the city is] gouging extra on sales tax.  I’ve heard the lame excuse from the witless … city manager already. So, you can spare me the repetition.  Tonight I got in a tight [spot] and was forced to shop at your store. Usually I would go to the one in [Kansas City] or better yet somewhere outside this crooked democrat county.

Anyhow, Corporate Ace, Kansas Ace, or whoever Ace has knuckled under to the COVID Nazi’s.  I am not going to argue over the benefits of wearing a mask and am not interested in whatever bland canned answer you can regurgitate.  

The masks are a drill to see how much authoritarian bull [droppings] Big Brother can get folks to cow tow. 

Oh, glorious pun after the reference to bovine excrement! 

You, Ace are cowards!  Un American. And, I hope your stock holders throw you under the bus.  Hell is going to be crowded.

Home Depot, Lowe’s, still have some [courage] but I’m not holding my breath.  This puts you close to the vangaurd of sycophantic shills for fascist America.  And btw, since you are probably victims of US public education Antifa has no clue what the definition of fascism actually is.  So don’t lump me in that lot.

Also, I kinda lost my cool with your barely educated children staffing the store tonight.  I am sorry for that as they are but babes raised with no guidance, proper education, or courage.  They were just doing what they are told like obedient little serfs should.  For that I am sorry but it is my sincere hope there is a hell for your corporate masters.

Joey Bolz

American 

Yeah, re-read it and savor every line! Then use it as a template for the corporate overlords eviscerating the market’s freedom and fun in your locale.

 

12:47 pm on July 12, 2020

COVIDiocy: A Deadlier and More Widespread Contagion Than Flu

Bill reports,

I am writing to let you know that the infection is spreading, and it may be terminal. I am referring, of course, to the stupidity infection sweeping the nation. I returned from a trip to Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina yesterday. I was camping with my family in an area near the small town of Brevard. My family would not wear masks anywhere. Here are my observations:

  1. Going into an Ingles for food resupply, we were among maybe 10 people in the entire store not wearing masks. We received reproving stares from many of the people there, but no comments, which would have allowed me to respond. I closely observed the people wearing masks and I saw this:

– 90% of them were wearing their masks incorrectly, which negates the supposed purpose.

– At least 25% of them were using bandannas, neck gaiters, homemade contraptions, etc, which are useless…unless they were there to rob the place.

– People were touching everything, and many of them were reaching under their masks to touch their face, completely negating the supposed purpose.

– The cashiers would pull their masks down to talk, if someone could not understand them. The customers would pull their masks down to respond.

  1. The rash of lone drivers wearing masks while traveling down the road seems to be increasing.
  2. I went to Sliding Rock, which is a natural rock slide on a mountain stream. There were people wearing masks…while swimming (no kidding). …a woman there … was wearing a mask and a face shield. She had the face shield up and the mask pulled aside, while she smoked.
  3. I went to an ice cream shop, where every employee had the mask down below their nose. However, one of them wanted to remind us to distance ourselves 6 feet apart. I asked where the science was to back up this admonition. He looked stricken, then said he didn’t care, that is what the governor said to do.

Yesterday I packed up, left the campground, and came home. I could no longer enjoy myself there. A man, walking alone, was wearing a mask outside in broad daylight. He moved to the other side of the road when I came along on my bike, and said I needed to maintain better distancing. I stopped, looked at him, and said, “Sir, ultraviolet light dissembles SARS-CoV-2 in less than 5 seconds. The wind is blowing. There is a nearly ZERO chance you will catch something out here. Therefore, unless you are allergic to the outside air, in which case you need to go inside, you are clinically insane.”

I went back to the campsite and told my wife and children we were leaving. We packed up and went home. This was a tragically wasted vacation (or at least a very hard to enjoy one), but a chance to observe Boobus Americanus in his natural environment.

Finishing on a positive note, I went by a used sporting goods store in Brevard. The owner was not wearing a mask, nor was his lone employee. He stated that he has never worn one, and he would not start. He and I talked about my time in DC wasting the taxpayer’s money, and he told me about his sister who works in a hospital. Her take was that this was some sort of evil scam.

Boy, that’s one perspicacious sister!

12:21 pm on July 12, 2020

Social Utility – MSR-3

My initial article set out a goal: “I will prove that any law that compels theft lowers social utility.” (Ceteris paribus is assumed.) The transaction I examined therein was not person A robbing person B in isolation. The article intentionally bypassed comparing the utility of a single thief and that of his victim. That way is a dead end. I proposed to work around such a comparison by using society’s revealed preference. I examined what happens to the social good when society compels a theft after the same society has previously committed to a law against theft.

The situation analyzed begins with society having created a social good via its prohibition of theft. If, for example, a society adopted the non-aggression principle (NAP), this would entail a prohibition of theft. This adoption would be for the common or social good. Thieves would not regard it as good for them, but society would have overruled the thieves. “We” wouldn’t have to make any interpersonal utility calculations; the social rule against theft would already impound such assessments and value judgments. We might explain why such a rule was instituted, and we might express our explanations in terms of the welfare of many individuals; but such explanations would not be necessary or central to the case. They’d only be illustrative of why society adopted such a prohibition.

Are we to deny that there are social goods or the general good? That position is untenable. Consider language, letters, grammar and words. As Thomas Hobbes observed

“Again, though some one man, of how excellent a wit soever, should spend all his time partly in reasoning, and partly in inventing marks for the help of his memory, and advancing himself in learning; who sees not that the benefit he reaps to himself will not be much, and to others not at all? For unless he communicate his notes with others, his science will perish with him. But if the same notes be made common to many, and so one man’s inventions be taught to others, sciences will thereby be increased to the general good of mankind.” [Vol. 1, Collected Works, p. 14.]
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10:37 am on July 12, 2020

Guerrilla Warfare on Masked Morons

Jim Wetzel notified me of the following tactic a blogger proposes:

Force me to wear a mask, I will make it out of cheesecloth to force you to form a committee to decide legal threadcount.

The bloggers says she

posted this on Facebook.

I mean it.

I have plenty of cheesecloth.

I will do it.

I will force stores and government officials to begin nitpicking further to define what is an acceptable mask, maybe perform some actual legit studies on mask efficacy in the proces [sic], but ultimately anger more people in doing so. …

Meanwhile, a gentleman writes from a state forcing serfs to muzzle themselves,

I paste the following from one of your posts today as prologue to my tale of the day.

“Health privacy norms and laws make it difficult, if not impossible, for store managers to question whether, or how, customers might have a medical reason for not wearing a mask…”

This afternoon, I purposefully ventured out for the first time since the local county-wide and cities-wide mask ordinances went into effect, earlier this week. I put a paper “procedure” mask in my shirt pocket, out of sight. I went bare-faced into three businesses in two mask-mandating cities.

  1. At the book store (front window plastered with wear-a-mask posters), I went to the front desk, asked for my book on hold, paid for it and left without undue word or incident.
  2. At the gun store (only sign: Please do not enter if you are sick), I made a simple purchase from one of the five unmasked employees.
  3. At the liquor store (one mask sign, on door), I walked in, chose my poison, paid for it and left.

I am a large person, and have sometimes been told that I can look mean or scary without intending to. I did my best to look benign. I had a simple line prepared for any official (i.e. proprietor’s) challenge: “It’s OK; medical exemption” (delivered low-key and with a smile). I was also prepared for possible escalation. Turned out to be three nothing burgers.

I hope all of us likewise languishing under totalitarianism and the promotion of the occult will take courage from Mr. A’s example. Can I promise you’ll suffer no more adversity for your civil disobedience than he did for his? No: in addition to all its other charms, totalitarianism is arbitrary.  But defying these despots is the only way to win this war, short of an actual shooting one.

Numbers ensure success when flouting authority. Ergo, recall the “flash mobs” from a few years ago (here’s my favorite in this genre!). Those of you on social media might want to try raising one of unmasked folks to descend on a grocery store at the same time—or any other establishment you wish to patronize. And we who eschew Facebook et al probably have friends or family who don’t: ask their assistance in recruiting like-minded shoppers.

Never give in! Your naked face inspires others who long to move about as God made them but lack the courage to do so—until they see you. Most Americans wholeheartedly reject masks: hence, these ludicrous, illegal “orders.” But we’re more effective en masse. A hundred dissidents descending on a single mall is more potent than single individuals scattering to 100 malls.

8:40 am on July 12, 2020

Mike Rozeff Commits the Fallacy of Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility, Part 2

From: Daniel Ward

Subject: Mike Rozeff does not Swallow the Fallacy of Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility

Dear Walter,

Maybe he does, maybe not; but I suspect he is more concerned with the primordial moral stance of Austrian Economics (per Mises) than the primordial insight, namely:  “Do not give in to evil”  Theft, whether individual or by state agents, fails here.  Anything that fails the moral test, in my view, ultimately decreases social utility. This is ultimately why the state fails in its mission of enhancing social utility: it relies on immoral means.

Daniel C. Ward

P.S. Sorry if my greeting seems overly familiar. That’s just me. I’m the guy who gave you a big unexpected hug after a talk you gave in Bellingham WA some decades ago.

Dear Daniel:

Not at all overly familiar!

Theft is evil. Agreed. But, doesn’t the thief gain (assuming he doesn’t get caught)? Is he no longer part of “society”? If he still is, and I don’t see why he isn’t, then we have to take into account his welfare too. Thus, we cannot unambiguously say that theft reduces social welfare. Yes, it reduces the social welfare of the victim, but the thief gains! Isn’t it a basic insight of Austrian economics that we cannot make interpersonal comparisons of utility?

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3:00 am on July 12, 2020