Christian Academic Incompetence

My words are in bold.

Deneen is one of the brightest Christian scholars in the country. His book, Why Liberalism Failed, was published in 2018 by Yale University Press. It is a very good book. […]

The problem is this: Deneen does not go to the Bible in search of either his analysis or the potential for reconstructing both political theory and political society. In an hour-long speech, he only mentioned the Bible at 56:40. He insisted that the various theories of society that he offered, which do not agree with each other, are also taught in the Bible. He did not offer any specifics. He expected the students to believe him. They should not have believed him. In any case, this is irrelevant if he cannot show which Bible passages affect political theory in what ways. He has not attempted this.

This has been the strategy of Christian scholars for 1800 years. They devote their lives to studying what pagan philosophers and pagan social theorists have taught, and then they offer a few disjointed biblical insights that seem to confirm the worldview of the pagan humanists they have been quoting. They expect faithful Christians to believe them.

Don’t.

The Well-Deserved Inferiority Complex of High-Tuition Christian Colleges
Gary North

Most of what we have had, for 1800 years, are “Christian intellectual leaders” who cringe before the pagans.

The hour-long speech is here, by the way.

I would analyze political theory in terms of the Bible’s five-point covenant structure: sovereignty, authority (representation), law, sanctions (oaths), and succession.

The Well-Deserved Inferiority Complex of High-Tuition Christian Colleges
Gary North

A single sentence from a scholar who takes God seriously offers more hope for God-ordained justice and truth than entire libraries and universities stuffed with pious Christian cant.

The world thinks of Christians as third-rate performers in every field. That is generally a correct assessment. These is no commitment to excellence in the subculture of Christianity. “Shoddy is good enough for Jesus.” When there is a glimmer of desire to produce something marginally superior, they go to humanists to baptize them institutionally. That is why accreditation by their enemies is such a powerful lever of control. This is why Christian scholars have had an inferiority complex for over a century. They deserve it.

There is a reason why Christian colleges will not post all of their lectures on YouTube. The whole world could see how third-rate they are. The schools prefer to charge parents $25,000 to $55,000 a year in tuition, plus $10,000 for textbooks, room, and board. The parents are terminally naïve. They think their children are getting first-rate educations. If Christian colleges believed in academic excellence, they would post their videos online for everybody to see. That is what the best universities do.

The Well-Deserved Inferiority Complex of High-Tuition Christian Colleges
Gary North

A time will come when fourth-rate Christian academic institutions will be openly laughed at and brushed aside.

That will be a good day for the Kingdom of God, even as the Christian “scholars” and “theologians” flee the mocking public eye in shame and failure.

As they should.

Salvation, Extended to Families

We are commanded to teach all that Christ commanded. So, what did Jesus teach? He taught about the validity of God’s law, condemned antinomianism, preached on hell, stressed the doctrines of grace, and touched on the doctrines of the covenant, church discipline, and marriage, etc. In short, Jesus covered the fullness of scriptural teaching. To be faithful to the Great Commission, we must teach everything that Jesus taught — and we must disciple the nations with those truths.

Other Scripture passages stress this comprehensive task. In his closing challenge to the elders at Ephesus, for instance, Paul stresses that he declared to them the “full counsel” of the Word of God. Elsewhere Paul notes the church’s obligation to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ.”

In Acts 16 there is a picture of crisis evangelism. The distraught jailer, preparing to kill himself, asks what he must do to be saved. This was the time, if ever there was one, for a quickie gospel invitation. The response of Paul and Silas was: “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved — you and your household.” In addition to the expected exhortation to faith and salvation, the evangelists slip in a teaching about God’s grace to families.

Years ago I heard a fascinating testimony from a woman in northern Minnesota. She and her husband, Swanny, were unsaved and resisted the gospel, though it was faithfully presented by her brother, John.

“Aren’t you afraid of going to hell?” John asked. “No,” Swanny replied carelessly, “I don’t care if I go to hell.” John pointed to the children in the room and asked, “Do you want your children to go to hell?” At this point the woman’s voice cracked and her eyes grew teary. “You know,” she said, “John had us there. We hadn’t thought about the children… and we didn’t want to gamble with their eternal destiny.”

John used an important element of covenantal evangelism. God gives this promise to Abraham — to be a God to him and to his children after him (Acts 17:7). Peter reemphasized that message at Pentecost reminding the people that the promise was for their children (Ac. 2:39). And God gives this promise to the church — that in Christ our seed is holy (I Cor. 7:14). The apostles evangelized this suicidal man by using the doctrine of the covenant — reminding him that God would save both him and his household. They followed up with a good old-fashioned household baptism. And if that approach was good enough for the apostles, it is good enough for me!

The Comprehensive Gospel: Recovering Biblical Evangelism
By Roger Schultz

Household baptism is a promising, if largely untried, way to extend the Kingdom of God.

We should follow the example of the Apostles, and of Jesus Christ Himself.

The Pointedly Pagan Demand for Tolerance

Almost at once, the early church attracted hostility and soon had pagan philosophers attacking it as a threat and a danger. C. N. Cochrane, in Christianity and Classical Culture, has given us a remarkable analysis of that debate.

Our purpose here is a humbler one. What were some of the simple, practical arguments against Christianity? On this level, we can see the contrast between Christianity and paganism in a dramatic way.

Perhaps the most offensive aspect of Christianity to the Greco-Roman world was its exclusiveness. The Roman Empire was ready to tolerate any new religion as long as it accepted the supremacy and priority of the Roman state. It regularly gave legal status to one new religion and cult after another, always subject to their acceptance of imperial supremacy and emperor worship. The various religions borrowed at times from each other, but, whatever else was done, Roman supremacy was maintained.

The Christian refusal to mix or unite with other faiths was taken as evidence of their ill will and their dangerous exclusiveness. The Jews previously had been disliked for their religious exclusiveness, but, after the Jewish-Roman War, A.D. 66–70, and the subsequent failure of the Bar Kochba revolt, they were not a significant factor. Moreover, the Christian rejection of compromise was so radical that Rome was concerned with this dissident force in its borders.

Syncretism, the blending of various religions, was a way of life for the Romans. It was held, by men like Aurelius Symmachus, that there are many paths to the gods or God, and various peoples find one or another path most to their tastes and aptitudes. Thus, a variety of ways to God is a stimulus to religion, and it opens the doors to God to more people.

This position was essential to the argument. For the pagans, the way to the gods or God depended on human initiative. Given this fact, different men had varying natures, and a variety of religious choices gave men not only more freedom of choice but also a greater opportunity of finding a way suitable to themselves.

The battle over this point was critical. The Christian rejected all attempts by man to find God. The essence of Christian faith is that God finds wayward, sinful man. Man seeks to flee from God, and it is God who arrests man’s flight, and, by His sovereign grace, redeems him. Quite naturally, some of the earliest Christian apologists stressed predestination, God’s absolute initiative in choosing men.

This was a total rejection of every man-made religion. There were not many roads to God. Rather, there was only one, from God to man, and the name of that route is Jesus Christ, the only way (John 14:6). The pagan plea was for toleration; the Christian insistence was on truth, Jesus Christ. If truth is absolute, then there can be no other way. Error can at times be tolerated, but it cannot be accepted.

The Pagan Critiques of Christianity
By R. J. Rushdoony
Chalcedon Position Paper No. 176, June 1994

When Christians don’t kneel to the idols of their enemies, they are hated.

Also, when Christians don’t kneel, they give a living testimony to Christ’s supremacy and His Law-Word.

Lots and lots of Christians – pastors and priests and theologians and laymen – stress the Christian duty to kneel to the idols of the day.

What a bunch of evil, cowardly losers.

Next, Christianity was seen as anti-state. Now the Christians were, as Tertullian and others pointed out, the empire’s most loyal and honest citizens, but they could not worship the emperor. At this point, the debate reversed itself on the matter of tolerance and intolerance. The Christians did not tolerate nor compromise with other gods, religions, or moralities. The Romans did. The Christians, however, while unhappy with a non-Christian state, were obedient to it. But they could only give priority to the triune God. They saw themselves as citizens of the Kingdom of God. They held that Rome was under Christ the King, not the church under Caesar. At this point, Roman intolerance was severe. Every system of life and thought has its areas of intolerance, and, for Rome as for the modern state, the priority of the state is central, and deviations from that are not permitted.

Christianity insisted that for all time, it is the only catholic or universal faith, whereas “eternal Rome” saw itself as the true city of man, and it rejected the ultimacy of God and His Kingdom. In the best sense of the word, both Rome and Christianity were imperial: they had a faith that circumscribed all things. The conflict became
one between the holy faith and the total state.

Michael Grant called attention to the statement of Pliny the Elder: “Chance is our god.” This meant that for the Romans the empire, the state, is the principle of order, not anything beyond the state. In such a view, the state, then, must be determinative: the state is the principle of order.

For the Christians, God and His predestination, not the state, provide order. The state must be instead a minister of God, serving Him (Rom. 13:1ff.). If chance is god, however, then the state must control and predetermine all things. Such a view requires a totalitarian state, then and now. The modern state, like Rome, seeks total control in all spheres. It was not an accident that some of the earliest Christian apologists stressed predestination. Quite logically, too, Cicero stressed the need for the state to use religion to control the people.

The Pagan Critiques of Christianity
By R. J. Rushdoony
Chalcedon Position Paper No. 176, June 1994

The State makes for a poor God.

And I suspect, as the years and decades roll on, an increasingly powerless one.

Africa: Not So Resource-Rich

Quora: Why are countries in Africa the poorest in the world if they have rich resources?

Balaji Viswanathan, CEO of Invento Robotics.

Most of Africa is not as resource rich as it is believed. It is just their scarce few resources were denied access to their local population, and carted off to foreign countries giving an illusion of resource richness.

For instance, the continent’s largest oil producer — Nigeria — produces about 1.5m barrels per day. This sounds a lot, but is just 10% of what US produces and again much less than Russia or Canada. If Nigeria grows its middle class, it won’t have sufficient oil for its own population.

Most of Africa’s population don’t have oil, coal or other key energy access. And nuclear power is nearly absent from most of the continent.

Here is water — the most critical resource for mankind. Most of the continent is either in red or yellow (deserts). The dark blue zone in the center is rainforests and not as suitable for farming. That leaves very few parts of Africa that are suitable for large scale farming.

This leads to this map of farm lands.

And that brings the food production. This chart is a bit old, but the ratio has not changed a lot.

Let’s come to metals. The continent’s largest producer of iron ore — South Africa — produces about 77000 tons/year a third of India’s and less than 10% of Australia’s. And most of rest of Africa have hardly any iron ore mines.

The continent’s largest producer of Aluminium — Mozambique — produces 1/7 of India and 1/70 of China. Most of Africa have hardly any aluminium production. The continent as a whole have very limited Bauxite reserves.

In copper, the continent does a little better — Congo and Zambia have decent copper resources — but a fraction of what a major producer like Chile produces.

People think of diamonds, gold etc as profitable. But, they are not. South Africa and Botswana each export about $2billion a year worth of diamonds and they cost a lot to mine. India and Israel make far more money off these diamonds than the two African producers. Diamond Exports by Country

$2b is not bad, but not world changing either. To put that in context, Norway exports $49b in Oil & Gas and they are fairly cheap to extract too. Whenever you think Africa has gold, diamonds, lithium etc, convert that to dollar terms and you would find it pretty average.

The countries in the continent that have some natural resources — South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana — are also among its richest. And the countries that are pretty poor also tend to be ones without a lot of resources.

So, being a comparatively resource-poor part of the world, the varied African nations and tribes are going to have to funnel their resources into

  • improving cropland,
  • improved water distribution…
  • and improving the lawfulness & self-discipline of her people, a la Japan or Singapore or South Korea.
    • Higher education is no guarantee of excellence, per se. But literacy, numeracy, entrepreneurship, and a respect for other people’s lives and property will go a long way.
    • There’s still something to be said for leveraging internet access for improved education and gaining the needed job-hunting credentials.

And the Africans had better get started. Now.

As the population of the rest of the world is slated to age out and fade away over the next century: no more helping hands from outside.

(Or oppressive/thieving hands, for that matter.)

COVID: An Excuse to Punish the Young

From Tom Woods email: Student writes: my world has become a COVID prison

I received this email from a young person the other day, and all I can say is: I cannot understand how we’ve allowed the deranged lunatics who are doing this to him to claim the moral high ground.

This isn’t pleasant to read, but as you’ll discover, it needs to be read:

I am a college student at a major US university pursuing a degree in STEM. A few years ago I was diagnosed with a very mild form of schizophrenia. I am considered extremely high functioning. I have friends, do well in school, and I am able to hold a part-time job where I get along with everyone.

Ever since the lockdowns began, our school has treated us in a manner that can only be described as abusive. Our online education has essentially meant that we have to teach ourselves, because our instructors won’t. The workload for every single class for everyone I know doubled as soon as we got sent home, since every instructor believes we have all the time in the world now. Homework and exams have been made more difficult in an absurd attempt to prevent “cheating.” (This is their own explanation.) They have given us no resources to work with, and instructors treat us in an almost combative manner.

I am a hard worker, but I can’t do this anymore. Last semester, I was working for about 16 hours every day, seven days a week, with no outside assistance outside of our halfhearted lecture videos. Near the end, I had five weeks in a row where I worked for 48 hours straight with no sleep to try and make deadlines I couldn’t even hit. A friend of mine was falsely accused of an academic integrity violation, given virtually no chance to appeal, and is now on probation for the remainder of his time here.

Our families are paying a fortune for us to teach ourselves through YouTube.


Walking onto campus feels like going to a wake. There is a morose atmosphere in the air, and everywhere is as quiet as a library. There is absolutely no social interaction except amongst friends who already know each other. There are volunteer students who act as the school’s Stasi to enforce covid guidelines.

I myself am reduced to a broken mess. I feel like I have nothing. All my friends are depressed from stress and work. My family cares for me but doesn’t know how to console me. The doctors just want to experiment with a cocktail of medications that have every side effect imaginable, and they aren’t even confident it would help me. I have nobody anymore.

I have always appreciated the work you and others have done to help advance the cause of liberty. I know you were aware of how much of a racket higher education was before all this madness again, but now it feels like a hostage situation. I can’t think of ever starting a family now if my child would have to go through this just to do decently well in life. I needed to write this so I could know that someone out there understands what they are doing to us.


I can’t stress how bad it is, sir. There are freshman killing themselves here. My mental health can’t take this. I fee like my youth has been stolen from me, and turned against me. Life doesn’t feel worth living anymore.

Please never stop fighting against this. This is a horrific institution run by genuinely evil people. The people at these universities are more soulless than anyone in office. People like you are all we have left.

I am truly speechless.

Even before the virus fiasco, we lived in a society in which major institutions treated people like you and me with open contempt.

Things are suddenly far worse.

The K-12 system isn’t exactly our friend, either, needless to say.

The well-known “serenity prayer” is probably the one good thing Reinhold Niebuhr ever did: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

I can’t change the university or K-12 systems.

But I can create parallel institutions, which is what I’ve done with Liberty Classroom, for adult victims for educational malpractice, and I helped create the self-taught Ron Paul Curriculum to give parents a top-notch alternative to the K-12 indoctrination factories.

My own site throws in $160 in free bonuses along with the curriculum, so check it out to see if it’s right for your family:
  http://www.RonPaulHomeschool.com
Tom Woods
Why were the so-called experts wrong yet again?

Remember the admission — which I will never tire of quoting — from White House COVID adviser Andy Slavitt, who, when faced with a comparison between locked-down California (with its young population) and open Florida (with its older, much more vulnerable population), was reduced to saying, “There’s so much of this virus that we think we understand, that we think we can predict, that’s just a little bit beyond our explanation.”

You don’t say.

[…snip…]

Our Betters have smashed up much of society, and destroyed many lives, in some unwarranted and untested and novel exercise in public control and oppression.

What en evil ‘scientific experiment on the masses’ this has turned out to be.

Of course, I don’t expect a gram of sympathy from Our Betters, as they are far to busy posing how superior they are to me and to you.

But the public – especially the poor and the young – would be wise to remember who their contemptuous and mocking enemies are.

“You pay all the costs. I get all the benefits.
And it’s all because of my deep concern for your welfare.”

What a crock of lies.

“Amid COVID-19 pandemic, flu has disappeared in the US”

NEW YORK (AP) — February is usually the peak of flu season, with doctors’ offices and hospitals packed with suffering patients. But not this year.

Flu has virtually disappeared from the U.S., with reports coming in at far lower levels than anything seen in decades.

Experts say that measures put in place to fend off the coronavirus — mask wearing, social distancing and virtual schooling — were a big factor in preventing a “twindemic” of flu and COVID-19. A push to get more people vaccinated against flu probably helped, too, as did fewer people traveling, they say.

Another possible explanation: The coronavirus has essentially muscled aside flu and other bugs that are more common in the fall and winter. Scientists don’t fully understand the mechanism behind that, but it would be consistent with patterns seen when certain flu strains predominate over others, said Dr. Arnold Monto, a flu expert at the University of Michigan.

Nationally, “this is the lowest flu season we’ve had on record,” according to a surveillance system that is about 25 years old, said Lynnette Brammer of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, flu has disappeared in the US
By MIKE STOBBE

Dollars to donuts, the flu has been merely rebranded as COVID to reach certain political goals, “to keep those numbers up”.

The question who benefits is something more people need to start asking. For as a certainty, the general public has not benefited by the impoverishing, disruptive and psychically crippling lockdowns over a disease with a 99.995% survival rate.

Experts say…

I prefer Dr. Philipp Bagus’ viewpoint on the current manufactured medical hysteria, to whatever the carefully selected “experts” say.

One Week or Thirty Years

When the rioters began their push to breach the Capitol Building, lawmakers were forced to shelter in place, before then evacuating to a secure location. For some of them, the day’s events were evidently traumatic. That can be seen in the hyperbolic language that’s been used to describe the storming, like Chuck Schumer likening it to Pearl Harbor. The stormers crossed the threshold of the establishment’s cushy elitism and exposed lawmakers to the real-world ire their actions create. As described in a passage from Cato’s Letters, “The only secret … in forming a free government is to make the interests of the governors and of the governed the same.” Angry populists, who’ve watched federal decrees wreak havoc on their lives, turned around and gave lawmakers a taste of their own medicine.

In the wake of this, the media-government alliance has clamped down against the populist right harder than ever before. Yet, in this vicious pushback, one can sense a prescient hint of panic within establishment ranks that the threads of their dominance may finally be unraveling. Far from playing a domineering role, the establishment politicos find themselves on the defensive in a politically unstable position. Someday—whether it be in one week or thirty years—the US could face a serious period of mass antiestablishment demonstrations; if that day comes, it’ll signal the Washington elite’s ultimate failure.

With no cards left to play, they may be forced to tread lightly on the right-wing populists and avoid violent confrontation as much as possible, for fear of repercussions like those of January 6. This may force their hand into granting the Right some concessions—perhaps some very big ones, like a return to more states’ rights or, better yet, the right of unilateral secession. This would short-circuit the federal order and help restore to America’s overtaxed and overburdened some of their long-withheld freedoms. With everything in view, it looks like the journey down this path may have already begun.

Why the Capitol Riot Terrified the Elite by James Ketler

If I were a betting man, I’d suggest 15 years for the target date for the fall of the Establishment.

In about ten years, there should be no longer any such thing as a “mainstream narrative”.

But the real clincher will be the end of the welfare state – Social Security, yes, but especially Medicare and Medicaid. When those programs get round after round of “temporary restrictions”, “sustainable age limits” and “additional means testing”, the delegitimization of the Progressive Order will accelerate in speed, becoming simply unstoppable.

No more treats for the dogs, to insure obedience and submission.

Aside: note that the above focuses on the end of the welfare state for the masses, which leads to the discrediting and collapse of a century of Progressive Rule.

There is a distinct possibility that the welfare state for the financial institutions and the major corporations will also go belly-up. Should that happen, the collapse of the government of the United States of America (and a majority of the G-20 governments!) becomes a live possibility.

My advice?

Go local. Build your community.

It is those who take responsibility, who pay the price today, who will gain legitimacy as leaders tomorrow.

COVID Restrictions: No Scientific Proof, Vast Political Power

Consensus is the key.

Not evidence.

Cut’n’paste from Mises: Almost a Year Later, There’s Still No Evidence Showing Governments Can Control the Spread of Covid-19 by Anthony Rozmajzl

—<Quote begins>—

As we approach the one-year anniversary of fifteen days to flatten the curve, we have yet to acquire any data suggesting that the past year of life-destroying lockdowns and politicized behavioral mandates has done anything to keep us safe from covid-19. While discussions surrounding the reintroduction of nationwide lockdowns seem to have ceased—it’s impossible to ignore the lockdowns’ disproportionately deadly effects and the numerous studies demonstrating their futility—the media still retain their grip on the narrative that nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as mask mandates, curfews, capacity restrictions, gathering restrictions, and others remain necessary to prevail in our fight against covid-19.

Government officials, in lockstep with big tech and nearly all major news outlets, have controlled the NPI narrative to such an extent that its proponents have simply sidestepped the burden of proof naturally arising from the introduction and continued support of novel virus mitigation strategies, happily pointing to the fact that their ideas enjoy unanimous support from the corporate media and government officials all over the world. This seemingly impenetrable narrative rests, of course, on the critical assumption that NPIs, or behavioral mandates, have protected us from covid-19.

The One Chart That Covid Doomsdayers Can’t Explain

If there is one visualization the reader should become familiar with to highlight the ineffectiveness of a nearly a year’s worth of NPIs, it would be the following chart comparing hospitalizations and deaths per million in Florida with those in New York and California, however we will be focusing solely on the comparison between Florida and California.

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In light of everything our officials have taught us about how this virus spreads, it defies reality that Florida, a fully open and popular travel destination with one of the oldest populations in the country, currently has lower hospitalizations and deaths per million than California, a state with much heavier restrictions and one of the youngest populations in the country. While it is true that, overall, California does slightly better than Florida in deaths per million, simply accounting for California’s much younger population tips the scales in Florida’s favor.

Florida has zero restrictions on bars, breweries, indoor dining, gyms, places of worship, gathering sizes, and almost all schools are offering in-person instruction. California, on the other hand, retains heavy restrictions in each of these areas. At the very least, Florida’s hospitalizations and deaths per million should be substantially worse than California’s. Those who predicted death and destruction as a consequence of Florida’s September reopening simply cannot see these results as anything other than utterly remarkable. Even White House covid advisor Andy Slavitt, much to the establishment’s embarrassment, had no explanation for Florida’s success relative to California. Slavitt was reduced to parroting establishment talking points after admitting that Florida’s surprisingly great numbers were “just a little beyond our explanation.”

Does Compliance Explain the Discrepancy?

Invariably, the above graph will invoke responses pointing to Californians’ supposed lack of compliance relative to Floridians as justification for their poor numbers. On its face, this claim is patently absurd given that Florida has been fully open since September. But if we dig into the data a bit more, we find some relevant metrics that shed light on how frequently Floridians and Californians are engaging in behaviors that allegedly fuel covid-19 transmission. The following survey data—California is shown in blue, Florida in gray—is taken from Carnegie Mellon University’s Delphi Research Group. Beyond the red vertical line, Florida has had consistently lower hospitalizations and deaths per million than California.

Mask Compliance

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Bar Visits

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Traveling

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Restaurant Visits

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We can see that, relative to Floridians, Californians have consistently been doing a better job of avoiding social behaviors that allegedly fuel the spread of covid-19. Moreover, at no point was there a drastic change in behavioral patterns after December 17 indicating that Floridians had suddenly begun avoiding activities purportedly linked to covid transmission.

A quick glance at each state’s “social distancing score” also indicates, yet again, that Californians have been doing a better job avoiding activities meant to facilitate the spread of covid-19. Additionally, Google’s covid mobility reports, as of February 16, 2021, show that Californians partake in fewer retail and recreational visits—restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, theme parks, museums, libraries, and movie theaters—as well as fewer grocery store and pharmacy visits, which include farmers markets, food warehouses, and speciality food shops. Evidently, the whole “noncompliance” schtick is nothing more than a fraudulent excuse for explaining away undesirable trends.

More Metrics Rebutting the Mainstream Covid-19 Narrative

Moving on from the Florida-California comparison, national metrics also highlight the lack of correlation between the intensity of states’ NPIs—methodology for determining this can be found here—and deaths per million.

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In fact, if we visualize case trends across all fifty diverse states, each state having varying levels of restrictions, you’ll quickly notice a pattern that presents itself quite similarly across all fifty states: a bump in cases early to midway through the year followed by a much bigger surge in cases during winter months. The following data was retrieved from Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

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Similar case patterns across fifty states is hardly an indicator of a government capable of influencing the course of the virus. Instead, research published in Evolutionary Bioinformatics shows that case counts and mortality rates are strongly correlated with temperature and latitude, a concept known as “seasonality,” which, once recognized, largely explains the failure of the past year’s NPIs.

Meanwhile, we can look at seasonally congruent regions to see whether or not varying degrees of behavioral mandates have had any noticeable impact on cases. What we find, thanks to seasonality, is that regardless of the timing or existence of mask mandates and other behavioral mandates, similar regions follow similar case growth patterns.

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For the firm believer in NPIs, these simultaneous and nearly identical fluctuations between cities within the same state and states having similar climates are inexplicable. After accepting seasonality as one of the driving factors behind case fluctuations, we can start speaking of “covid season” as pragmatically as we speak of “flu season.” A helpful visual of what covid season might look like, based on the Hope-Simpson seasonality model for influenza, can be found here.

Update on the Holiday Surge and Recent “Superspreaders”

Some of you may be wondering about the “holiday surges” that were supposed to have ravaged our hospitals following Thanksgiving and Christmas. Well, they never happened. Not only did the rate of covid-19 hospitalization growth decline after Thanksgiving, hospitalizations peaked less than two weeks after Christmas and have been sharply plummeting since! At the very least we should have seen a rapid increase in the hospitalization growth rate in the few weeks following Christmas.

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As a bonus for those who like to keep up to date with the latest installments of The Media Who Cried Superspreader, Alabama recently came under heavy fire after thousands of maskless football fans took to the streets to celebrate their team winning the national college football title. FanSided, among others, was quick to label the large celebration as a superspreader event, and health officials were worried that the Alabama superspreader was going to result in a huge case spike. Here’s what really happened.

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Miraculously, cases immediately plummeted after Alabama’s “superspreader” event and continue to plummet to this day. If that wasn’t enough, Mississippi, Alabama’s next-door neighbor, followed a nearly identical case pattern despite hosting no superspreader events.

Finally, in our most recent installment of The Media Who Cried Superspreader, we see that two weeks—two weeks being the establishment’s baseline lag time between superspreaders and their consequences—after millions of people gathered with friends and family to watch Superbowl LV, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to plummet.

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Despite the scary warnings and grim predictions of Superbowl gatherings, we find, yet again, a gaping hole in the mainstream covid-19 narrative. It would appear safe to conclude that the worst of covid season is behind us.

Data show that from the few weeks prior to February 4, cases have fallen 45 percent in the United States—cases are still declining at a rapid pace despite mid-January warnings that the new variant would create a surge in cases—30 percent globally, and hospitalizations have dropped 26 percent since their mid-January peak. Yet there appears to be a general confusion as to how we’ve achieved these numbers. Did populations around the world unanimously begin complying with covid regulations? Did governments finally get serious about enforcing their mandates? These are some explanations we might hear, but only so long as cases and hospitalizations continue to trend downward.

It is very unlikely, however, that health officials will start pointing to seasonality as an alternative explanation for our continually improving numbers. To do so would be a tacit admission that nearly a year’s worth of heavily politicized behavioral mandates, life-destroying lockdowns, and devastating business closures were all for naught. But the data have spoken, and it is abundantly clear that attempting to socially engineer a respiratory virus out of existence is nothing short of a fool’s errand.

Author:

Anthony Rozmajzl

Anthony graduated from Grove City College in 2018 with a B.A. in Economics. He has been a student of the Austrian School of Economics for over 8 years and a champion of Rothbardian libertarianism. During the day, Anthony works as a Software Quality Analyst for an ERP software company.

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Hikikomori: The Hermit as Idolator

Statistics certainly suggest that there’s an underemployment crisis among young people in the United States: The Economic Policy Institute put that rate among recent college graduates at 12.6 percent. Some researchers have suggested that recreational computer use — including increasingly life-consuming video games — accounts for somewhere between 23 and 46 percent of the decrease in young men’s participation in the labor force. (Others regard that finding with skepticism.) One could convincingly argue that NEETdom is a logical response to the fact that the average college graduate in 2016 came out of school about $37,172 in debt — something that may be impossible to pay off with menial labor at, say, a local fast-food place. If you’re slated for a life of crippling debt, and you can get all of your social needs met online, then why even bother working? For his part, Luca thinks: “I refuse to work for $8 at Taco Bell and be another’s lackey when I am my own god.”

[…]

In the meantime, Luca survives off the disability checks his mother — also a “home-staying person” — receives. He hopes that government will develop a treatment plan for American hikikomori as well as social programs to help support them as they transition into the working world.But for now he says that the only things he misses about normalcy is being able to buy his own cigarettes and the panoply of lottery tickets he used to stare at while the cashier rang up his smokes. He’s desperate for companionship, but he says he would rather die homeless than end up serving hamburgers. It’s better, he thinks, to spend his nights surfing Reddit in a Benadryl haze.

“There’s no asshole boss in my room standing at my door going, ‘Wash those walls for six hours, then you can take 15 minute break by laying in your bed,’” he told me. “It’s the opposite of a prison. It is freedom. There’s no one in here but me. I can do whatever, whenever. Going outside is a prison. But this room — this room is clarity.”​

When ‘Going Outside Is Prison’: The World of American Hikikomori
by Allie Conti

A refusal to serve others is a decision to die alone, and impoverished.

It’s also a proclamation of your own godhood… another delusion that leads to the grave.

The illusion of power, interaction, safety, and control that computers provide helps support the mental and spiritual rot that’s going on. Beautiful pleasing lies, as the effect of futility, worthlessness and death tightens its grip on the techno-hermit’s life.

Problems with extreme social withdrawal in Japanese youth first gained attention during the 1990s. This is the period when Japan endured an economic “ice age”, which prevented many young people from achieving their goals.

Many responded by hiding away to conceal the shame they felt. For some, they didn’t re-emerge. The term hikikomori (derived from the verb hiki “to withdraw” and komori “to be inside”) was coined in 1998 by Japanese psychiatrist Professor Tamaki Saito. Saito chose the term to describe the many young people he saw who didn’t fit criteria for mental health diagnosis, but were nonetheless in a state of extreme, distressing withdrawal.

Hikikomori is currently viewed as a sociocultural mental health phenomenon, rather than a distinct mental illness. Given at least 1.2% of the population (around a million people) are affected, hikikomori is a significant social and health problem. Hikikomori is also increasingly being identified in other countries. The term is now used across the world to describe anyone who fits the criteria.

Hikikomori: understanding the people who choose to live in extreme isolation
by Maki Rooksby, Hamish McLeod and Tadaaki Furuhashi

The Way of Death

I have little sympathy for people who destroy themselves because of a refusal to serve, or a fear stemming from their inability to control everything and everyone around them. Both are basically man’s inability to accept that he is not God.

However, I will grant this: the older generation has a basic refusal to permit poor people (and most young people are poor people) the opportunity to build a life, by the older generation’s use of licensing, guilds, regulations, and inflation to strip the young and poor of assets.

This can indeed lead to despair from the young who don’t understand how the system is rigged against them, and don’t know how to fight it.

But the refusal of the young to serve others pours a concrete cap on the hole they have been dumped in.

The Way of Life

In contrast, the willingness to serve, to work, to take the risk, to accept that people may judge you negatively… that is the attitude that will allow an escape from the death trap of the sterile, unproductive techno-hermit hikikomori.

If Christians learn humility, to tolerate the psychological pain of being rejected by others for unjust reasons (including the hatred of our Betters), to take the risk of failure and rejection, to be tough and patient and enduring and determined and productive, to forgive and to learn and to grow, and to reject our own evil when rightfully pointed out, we will indeed inherit the earth.

We will not need to hide in ghettos — or in our mother’s basement — terrified of reality, damned to failure and futility.

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Matthew 16:24-26 English Standard Version

There is no escape from pain.

But accepting the pain we receive from serving God and Man — from doing what is right and good, creative and productive — leads to growth and life, not fear and death.

That pain, we should take up.


Addendum: the lockdowns — which encourage poverty, isolation, fear, and retreat — exist only to serve the old and the powerful, and to further cripple and impoverish the weak, the young, and the poor.

The rise of the isolated, powerless, impoverished hermit is a price Our Aging Betters is happy to let their Inferiors pay, to better secure their own power and comfort.

Japan was the first abortion society, after all.

Remember this.