Face Masks and VIP Status

Recently, at a hardware store that I called ahead of time, asking for recognition of a face mask exemption, the manager notified all employees that a customer would be coming in unmasked.

I did so, true to my word.

When an employee then got after me about the face mask, he was quickly reprimanded by that same manager and not once but twice sought me out and offered sincere and lengthy apologies for giving me a hard time.

As part of my political consulting work, I have advanced presidential candidates, senators, and congressmen. I go ahead of them and make sure all appropriate accommodations are in place and that they receive frictionless, white glove treatment in all of the usual spots where regular people encounter friction.

It has always amazed me how willing people are to make accommodation when simply asked. Just asking really goes a long way.

Face Masks: If You Announce Your VIP Status To The World, The World Will Accommodate Your VIP Status by Allan Stevo

Since face masks are mainly a status marker to differentiate the Right Sort from the Wrong Sort, why not take some simple steps to get yourself into the correct circle?

For full details, read the full article.

Incorrect Questions

A Nice Professor in a Hard Place

Increasingly in the hard sciences, it’s about group membership, not competence.

Snowball Earth prof attacked by Cancel Culture, from Uncommon Descent.

—<Quote begins>—

U Chicago Geophysical Sciences prof Dorian Abbot dissented from some propaganda exercise at the university, perhaps a bit like Bret Weinstein and with the same sort of result:

Grad Student Demand Letter seeks to strip him of access, resources, and teaching responsibilities for advocating “against … setting up systems where group membership is a primary aspect of a candidate’s evaluation. I believe we should avoid discriminating against anyone for any reason.”

I don’t know Prof. Abbot personally, but in researching him, there’s nothing to suggest he’s a particularly political person, at least not publicly. He strikes me as a nerd, in the good sense:

Dorian Abbot uses mathematics and computational models to study climate, habitability, ice, and exoplanets. His research includes both studying ancient climates on Earth as well as climates and life on planets beyond the solar system.

His resume and body of research are impressive, and that’s putting it mildly. It’s also pretty interesting. One of his subjects of interest is “snowball Earth“:

“IF THE CLOUDS WERE TO STOP DOING THEIR WARMING, THEN WE WOULD BE A SNOWBALL EARTH.”

I’m sure I’m totally oversimplifying and distorting the subject matter, but if there is even a small chance the Earth could turn into a big snowball, I’d like to know about it.

William A. Jacobson, “Cancel Mob Attacks U Chicago Geophysicist Dorian Abbot For Questioning Diversity Hiring Dogma” at Legal Insurrection

Jacobson warns, “What is so disturbing is the large number of graduate and post-doctoral students who signed the list of demands. I warned in 2017 that STEM would not be immune to the social justice (and racial) warfare tearing through universities.”

A friend points to the fourth slide a slide show Abbott produced, where he defends a Christian student who is being Canceled.

One real advantage of belonging to Cancel Culture is that, if a student plays the cards right, the question of actual performance will seldom or never come up. Everything will be about screaming, crying, sign-waving, and demands. Their real troubles won’t begin until they try getting a job.

See also: Iceball Earth is back

and

Cancel Culture tries to get a Nature Communications paper retracted We are informed that all science Twitter is in a ghastly rage over an open access paper in Nature Communications which seems to show that female scientists benefit more from male mentors than from female mentors. To a layperson with some life experience, that wouldn’t be a surprising outcome at all. In a system that has been male-dominated since forever, more guys would be higher up on the pole. And if you want to get ahead, it pays to know Top People… But, of course, the Outrage Mob is sharpening the guillotine. Their final enemy is, after all, reality in any of its forms.

—<Quote ends>—

So as we all are increasingly aware of — from the first paragraph to the last — the only legitimate science is science that tows the Party Line, not science that reflects reality.

It should be noted that the slid show Abbot made does not merely defend Christian students, but Asian ones as well.

and judge for yourself if he is a decent man, a ho-hum prof, or a wicked bigot.

Summary

Christians had better roll up their sleeves, and get ready to get a ton of actual science done, without the fat grants of the increasingly-delusional, intensely ideological university system.

Time to flee the burning temples.

The Consequences of COVID-19 Stimulus

From Gary North, Worldwide COVID-19 Stimuli
originally taken from
John Mauldin’s November 28 letter, which reprinted two charts from Grant Williams.

Both Democrats and Republicans believe that Deficits Don’t Matter.

Clearly, the the rest of the world agrees.

The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives

– Psalm 37:21, English Standard Version

This money will never be paid back. Which means that, some time in the future, there will be mass (10-20%) or hyperinflation (20%+) for a few years, to shake out the weak hands.

Mass and hyperinflation never solves the problem: the government’s financial obligations are inflation-indexed, so eventually the inflation ends. But why not impoverish the poor, those who live paycheck-to-paycheck, and those without hard assets first, before finally cutting back on spending?

The wicked are going to behave wickedly, and those who have nothing but contempt for God and His Law are going to behave just as you’d expect.

Twilight of the Media Elites: Useful Tidbits

Antonio Garcia-Martinez, in his article Twilight of the Media Elites, points out just how much Internet-fueled economics is powering today’s media changes.

“As the price declines, more of it is produced.”

The customer always gets what they want: In the case of an ads-driven business model where the advertiser is the true customer, that’s balanced political news alongside frivolous lifestyle stories as a canvas for ads. In the case of subscribers, it’s being flattered by having their own worldviews echoed back at themselves in more articulate form. Nobody actually pays for news, unless your livelihood depends on it, which is why outlets like The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg will still flourish, but nothing vaguely resembling news will otherwise remain in a subscription-driven world.

Now, that’s the truth!

Something Live Science understands well.

Ideology is like body odor: someone else’s absolutely reeks if strong enough, but you can’t even notice your own. If you remain convinced, in the year 2020 AD, that this or that national outlet remains the megaphone of disinterested chroniclers and selfless truth-seekers, then the BO in question is surely your own. But don’t expect everyone else to put up with the stink.

If I can occasionally get us Christian Reconstructionists to occasionally break out of our bubble, I will have done fairly well.

Fortunately, this blog is not financially tied to the need to flatter the reader.

This blog is free too, as I can’t uncover/extract high-value information at the rate Gary North can. *shrug*

The Times will triumph financially, dramatically so, and utterly fail as an intellectual institution, at least by its former standards. Sure, the Times staff, like fourth-century Roman emperors intoning the half-remembered tropes of the Roman republic, will speak of ‘objectivity’ and ‘the first draft of history’. But only they and their subscribers will actually believe it. The editorial branding will be august pronouncements about ‘the paper of record’, but the business model is pure Netflix: All The News Fit To Binge.

Well, at least the money is coming in and the bills are being paid.

Even after the Great Default — when hundreds of thousands millions of comfortably-paid bureaucrats will be tossed out the window — there will still be a market for the Opinions of the Right Sort.

Just a rather smaller market. With far less influence over the lives of others.

Bankrupt and busted governments, coupled with rapidly shrinking bureaucracies and budgets, have that effect on people.

Something for them to weep over.

And for you to rejoice in.

Key to understanding the flare-up in journo-on-journo violence is the political backdrop of the Great Awokening, where an entire passel of ever-changing social-justice views are rapidly replacing the Protestantism-infused social progressivism of decades past. This isn’t the same tired generational story of idealistic whipper-snappers cooking up unworkable utopias and fractious ‘Communes’ while the old farts manage the financially-viable business models: the economics are on the side of the revolutionaries! If subscribers want the views of a sitting US senator squelched, but wish to read the blatant propaganda from the mouthpiece of an expansionary regime that operates labor camps, for the low, low price of $14/month, they can get it.

Which guarantees the revolutionaries’ eventual victory. The dinosaurs just don’t realize what’s about to hit them yet. Or they do, but they’re lighting novena candles to Edward R. Murrow and hoping they won’t get purged before their kids are out of Penn or NYU. But defenestrated they will be, with the bravest among them (such as Weiss) shouting idealistic rallying cries before smacking pavement.

A liberal such as Weiss — who happily signed on with all the latest Progressive fads “Separating Us from Them” except the latest and greatest one — will soon be just an historical artifact.

Their day is done.

Your day, Christian, is just beginning.

If — and only if — you are willing to put in the time and hard labour to master your tools, and gain dominion over your patch of the battlefield.

Be it an excellent handyman, or an excellent mother, or an excellent scientist, or an excellent preacher <gasp!>.

Pay the price to master your patch of reality, using the Bible as your map and the Mind of Christ as your model, and gain the victory.

“It’s not about Power.
It’s about Service.”

“It’s not about Making Others Obey You,
but Upholding the Law of God.
Yourself first of all, then family and church and business,
and in time the courts too!”

Taking the Counsel of the Holy Spirit is what you need to do. Bring Him into your thoughts, and listen to His wisdom, and you’ll do very well indeed.

Shoddy Propaganda? Nah, Just Tribal Signalling

Gaining Warmth From the Approval of the Authorities

From God Delusion, or Atheist Delusion? by David F. Coppedge

—<Quote begins>—

“Live Science” lets a so-called “expert” equate all religion with psychological delusions. The tables should be turned on atheists.

At Live Science, Ryan McKay and Robert Ross used a “science news” platform to ridicule religion, equating it to clearly pathological psychological delusions. With the suggestive title, “Is belief in God a delusion?” they give faint flattery to sincere religious people, but quickly overwhelm them with ridicule.

Our aim here is neither to demonize, nor to defend, religious belief. While religion is a source of solace and comfort for millions, particular religious beliefs can be “malignant” in Pinker’s sense – devaluing and damaging mortal lives. And, unfortunately, malignant beliefs that are shared by the many are far more dangerous than those shared by the few.

The article fails as a scholarly analysis of religion for several reasons.

  • The article gives prominence to atheists Stephen Pinker and Richard Dawkins, well-known atheists.
  • Atheism is portrayed as a control group that presumably is free of delusions.
  • The field of psychology has enough problems of its own to be considered reliable (22 May 2014). Remember the “replication crisis” that still plagues it (6 Oct 2019), and the history of fraud and misconduct?
  • The authors refer favorably to the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” the so-called “bible” of psychiatry. This manual has been criticized heavily. (10 May 2013)
  • Their choice of examples includes a ridicule of Donald Trump, revealing their political biases.
  • The article mentions delusional beliefs that have nothing to do with religion.
  • The article fails to mention delusions of atheism, such as the belief that the Stuff Happens Law explains their minds.
  • Atheism has no category for terms like delusion, malignant, and pathological. In atheism, stuff just happens.
  • Atheism is delusional itself on the grounds that it is self-refuting. It claims there is no supernatural, but appeals to matters of truth and morality that are immaterial.

Surely some religions, such as Islamic extremism, are capable of “devaluing and damaging mortal lives.” But how about atheism? Many of the most horrendous mass murders and genocides were committed for the cause of atheism, spurred on by Darwinian evolution (see 9 Jan 2019 and 30 Nov 2005, for example).


An article that careless and biased cannot be taken seriously. Any loving, upright-living and dedicated pastor who spends his life caring for the weak and suffering should wag his head in disbelief that claims of this sort are being promoted on a “science” site.

Live Science tries to absolve itself from the mess with the ending disclaimer, “The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.” But aren’t they calling this article part of a series on “Expert Voices”? If this has to do with scientific voices and debates, why is there no opportunity for the other side to share its voice and rebuttal? For shame!

—<Quote ends>—

What is Live Science’s goal with this article?

It is certainly not science, “an objective, unbiased investigation to determine the nature of reality.”

It isn’t even really propaganda, “information selected to persuade others.”

This is just signalling, “comforting tales to reassure your listeners of their Innate Superiority over the Inferiors.”

Telling your readers how smart they are helps with boosting their comfort level, and thus repeated views and sales.

“Evolution is not about truth. It’s about survival.”

And if pleasing, flattering lies get the profits your publication needs to survive a tough business climate, then you know the path that Darwin recommends.

Shun the Cocoon, Leave the Ghetto.
Gain Dominion in the Real World.

Neither Christian laymen nor Christian scientists are permitted to wrap a comforting cocoon of lies around themselves, sheltering them from the hard world of the Real, certain of their righteousness.

Christians must connect with reality, see things as they are, and understand how they fall short of being what God wants us to be.

Recognizing the existence of objective reality — crafted in the mind of God, not Properly Credentialed Men (however powerful and however many) — is essential to gaining dominion in the Real World.

And Christians are to earn the right to lead in the Real World, and not in dying social cliques and isolated, self-flattering power pyramids. Regardless of how well-funded and legally/socially protected those cliques and pyramids are at the moment.

Only when you know where and how and to what degree you are falling short of the mark, can you begin to grow and learn and improve, and rise to the level God expects of you.

Therefore, Christians must connect to Reality, in order to overcome their weaknesses and gain more and more skills to master the outer world.

Fortunately, believers have the Mind of Christ, and so can better understand both their own flaws, and how to slowly but surely grow past those flaws.

Forget the way of Power and Pride.
Follow the way of Humble Service.”

Believers actually know that they can fail. They have an objective standard to measure themselves with, so they can turn from the graveyard and toward success and victory.

As opposed to just redefining “success” and “failure” to suit your emotional and social needs, recloaked with Intimidating & Impressive — but still self-serving — Scientific Jargon.

There is a Way That Seems Right to a Man…

Those who hate God are busy playing social games, so they can prove their Superiority… and so, no longer need to ever admit they are wrong. Ever.

That is, they are fleeing Reality, and jumping into the Stability and Safety that graveyards always promise.

Christians would be wise to embrace correction, admit their flaws, repent of their failures, and hew even closer to the Word of Objective Reality and Truth.

We must follow the Standard that is above us, guiding us, directing us from sterile prideful lies to fruitful humble truths.

And so, gain life – even the victorious life! – for ourselves and our people.

And thus please God Most High, gaining blessings now, as well as the unearned gift of eternal life.

Summary

Gaining Dominion over Creation means paying the price.

They won’t do it: and so, full of pride and thirsting for power over others, wrapped up in flattering illusions, they will lose.

We should do it: and so, as humble servants to God and men, paying the price an apprentice must to gain mastery in the real world, we will win.

COVID Complacency Fades Away

Adamson Barbecue owner Adam Skelly has been arrested after opening his restaurant in direct defiance of lockdown orders in Toronto, with a crowd of BBQ lovers shouting ‘shame!’ as officers dragged him away.

The barbecue restaurant and Skelly himself became the center of controversy this week after he announced in an Instagram video on Tuesday that he was opening his doors. He also questioned lockdown orders and whether Covid-19 cases were being inflated.

‘This is Canada, not North Korea!’ WATCH Toronto BBQ owner get dragged away in handcuffs for breaching Covid-19 rules.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Gyms, barber shops and salons were just some of the businesses forced to close a second time during the pandemic. 

That’s after parts of Erie County and Niagara county were deemed orange zones.

Owners tell 2 On Your Side they just don’t understand why they were forced to close and where the data suggests that they should have in the first place.

“They said they have empirical evidence. We want to see the evidence, we want to see the science, we want to see the numbers,” said Michael Zanghi, the owner of Joey’s Barber Room in Depew.

He hasn’t had a single case of coronavirus, which seems to be a trend among several barber shops and salons across Western New York who are a part a private Facebook group called “Buffalo Salons – Reopening.”

Closed business owners: show us the COVID data to support it

Astonishing.

It looks like people don’t like it, having their livelihoods and businesses destroyed as a pure show of power by The Right Sort.

Especially when there isn’t a shred of evidence to support the claim that the diseases spreads among businesses in contrast to, say, old age homes and hospitals.

“Well, they can suck it up. We have a pandemic to fight!”

The little people pay the price, while The Caring Authorities — secure in their tax-funded salaries, impossible-to-fire positions, and secured pension plans — boast about their Love for the People.

While looking for new ways to exercise their power on the Inferiors… without any need to justify a single thing.

But now, even the ever-submissive, polite, and compliant Canadians starting to revolt, here and there.

Interesting.

As we all know, the Left will continue to back the lockdowns 100%.
“Power justifies all things,” as any Marxist would quickly point out, “so Shut Up and Obey.”
(Did you really expect them to say anything else?)

But I’m curious to know what the Right is going to do about it.

Is there even a dime’s worth of difference between them?

Let’s find out!

Human Sacrifice Among the Romans

After reading Nine Corrupt Pillars of Classical Greece, I decided to look for a few more publications of Lord Acton’s essay “Human Sacrifice”. I managed to find one at the Internet Archive, in addition to the original work.

There are a few related online essays on the subject, including Human sacrifice in Ancient Rome by M. Horatius Piscinus, and a quick survey of 25 ancient cultures who were into cultic murder, mainly to appease their gods (read: demons.)

The State: God’s Hangman?

Not Just a Hangman

Last week we saw that according to scripture the state is more than God’s hangman. The state has a prophetic office, the protection of life. The expression the state is God’s hangman of course comes from Luther. But, it has been very commonly taken out of context. The Lutheran church in using it as it’s doctrine of the state has not been true to Luther. As a matter of fact Luther saw the state as far far more than God’s hangman, rather as God’s prophet and servant.

Sixth Commandment: To Make Alive by R.J. Rushdoony

True enough, if you are talking about, say, safety requirements in building codes (Deuteronomy 22:8). But even here, there is no ban of roofs without railings, there are no licensing codes involved. Instead, if someone falls and is injured/dies of it, the building owner is liable for it, with a penalty up to and including execution.

The Christian Prince, The Christian Scholar

We tend to think of Lutheran as churchman and as ecclesiastical in it’s emphasis. And of course the Lutheran clergy has made a very pious and strong church man out of Luther who worked to reestablish a new church.

This is radically twisting the facts. Luther was primarily a professor! And we cannot properly understand his career unless we understand what he was. Indeed, he was concerned about the faith, but his main concern was with Christendom and the whole society of church, state, and schools! And as a professor, as a scholar, he was concerned with the revitalization of all of society by means of Christian scholarship. And so he saw as the two central agencies in that revitalization of Christian society, the Christian prince and the Christian scholar.

Sixth Commandment: To Make Alive by R.J. Rushdoony

Certainly, as political authority devolves, there will be a need for local Christian leadership in the courts and the executive.

I am doubtful of the purpose of a legislature, if you assume that the only legitimate laws are Divine Laws. Also, you don’t give power to human legislators if you don’t want to be quickly swamped by an ever-expanding pile of poorly-considered laws that nobody even reads.

(See: What Makes You Think We Read The Bills? 2nd Edition by Senator H.L. Richardson

right before you read Confrontational Politics: How to Effectively Practice the Politics of Principle 4th Edition by H. L. Richardson)

These two worked together to revitalize society, so that it was not so much church and state in Luther’s thinking, nor how the Lutheran clergy today read it, the church, but it was the Christian ruler and the Christian thinker. And this is why the universities in Germany came to have a tremendous fire and vitality for centuries after Luther. In fact, until our day, almost, the German university had a import that no university elsewhere in the world had! And until a generation ago, their supremacy was marked. And even today the language to learn if you are interested in scholarship is German, because the great scholarly works that are not in English are predominantly in German.

And all this because of Luther’s emphasis on scholarship. Christian scholarship. We might add parenthetically here that Luther had during his lifetime 20,000 pupils, and those 20,000 had an important position in revitalizing the face of Europe! So that Luther’s position was not that the state was just God’s hangman. It had a positive, a prophetic function. To speak for God, to declare the law word of God in the domain of justice. Now God specifically declares that as he deals with the world his principle of operation which he ask human authorities to follow is this. See now that I, even I, am He. And there is no God with me. I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal. Neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

Sixth Commandment: To Make Alive by R.J. Rushdoony

The faster Christians return to producing high-grade scholastic works — outside of the Academy, which today values conformity and obedience far more than truth and logic — the better.

Every Sphere of Life Carries a Sword

So that God as he faces the sinful world proceeds then to kill and to make alive. To destroy that which is evil and to prosper that which is good. And as he faces any law order that fails to fulfil this calling which he delegates to them, to kill and to make alive, he exacts vengeance upon them. I set my glittering sword, mine hand takes hold of judgement. I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward –that is, with judgement– them that hate me.

God as the supreme law giver has this function. And he delegates to human authorities. All human authorities in every sphere have this function. Not only the church, but the state and every calling: To inhibit, to injure, to kill out that which is evil, that which is destructive, that which harms. And to further that which protects and furthers life, under God. In the church it is the binding and the forgiving of sins. In other areas it varies in terms of their function. And so the scripture sees everything that man has and man must do in terms of this function of killing and making alive.

It surprises us when we realize the extent of this, but when we examine the book of psalms for example we see that music also has this function! To make alive. Conversely we can say that bad music certainly kills. That’s the way I respond to a great deal of music today. It has a very depressing, killing effect, so far as I’m concerned. But good music makes alive! And this was the function of the psalms, of music in worship.

Sixth Commandment: To Make Alive by R.J. Rushdoony

Not just church and state, but family too.

Wicked children can — and should! — be disinherited, while godly children are to be strengthed and receive the inheritance. Just as Esau is to be kicked out, and all the great goods are to be placed in Jacob’s hands – just as God expects, and regardless of the will of their father Issac.

Old Science, New Science

First, a snippet from Quora: What aspects of life in middle ages Europe do movies always get wrong?

Jesse Nicolaas Dijk, BSc Animal Science, Wageningen University and Research Centre (2017)

[…snip…]

3. Clergy

The clergy is usually being depicted as cruel, ruthless, dumb, selfish and idiocratic. And yes, most of them were selfish or dumb, but isn’t every human being (or animals for that matter)?

Anyway, these same persons, believe it or not, were the backbone of society, research, literature, exploration and recording at the time of the Middle Ages.

The things that happened in Rome, the Seat of Saint Peter didn’t differ from the intrigues at any given court and arguably didn’t contribute a lot to scientific progress, but what happened inside the everyday abbey or church did.

The gruesome things you probably think about only started to happen at the end of the Middle Ages, or the Renaissance. Don’t forget, a priest is also a human, and no (sensible) human loves to see his neighbours being burned.

Note that it wasn’t the Vatican that was much interested in science, but the local abby and church acrually did push the wheels of science forward.

Much better than today’s superstition-ridden Christian, worried about the Rapture and the Mark of the Beast, and with no interest in better understand the Creation all around him, or even leveraging some math and physics to help his fellowman!

And…. about that math and physics… there’s something odd going on in the universities, as Tom Woods points out:

—<Quote begins>—

It turns out that feminists don’t like quantitative research — you know, the kind where you gather and assess objective data.

A fine gentleman in my private group brought to my attention a gem from a textbook called Social Research Methods.

Here are excerpts from the section called “Feminism and Quantitative Research,” followed by my commentary on each.

“Quantitative research suppresses the voices of women either by ignoring them or submerging them in a torrent of facts and statistics.”

My commentary: This is insane.

“The criteria of valid knowledge associated with quantitative research are ones that turn women, when they are the focus of research, into objects. This means that women are again subjected to exploitation, in that knowledge and experience are extracted from them with nothing in return.”

My commentary: This is insane.

“The emphasis on controlling variables exacerbates this last problem, and indeed the very idea of control is viewed as a masculine approach.”

My commentary: This is insane.

“The use of predetermined categories in quantitative research results in an emphasis on what is already known and consequently in ‘the silencing of women’s own voices.'”

My commentary: This is insane.

This kind of gobbledygook is actually taught in real-live universities.

—<Quote ends>—

Any Darwininan worth his salt – most certainly including the feminists! – will insist that the human mind exists to ensure survival, not gain truth.

And the best way to survive is to get the power. If that means that math and science — or objective reality, for that matter — must be corrupted and destroyed so that you get your way, so be it.

In contrast, Christians are to focus on The Way, The Truth, and The Light.

(Jesus had no interest in claiming to be Power Incarnate, even though He was the Son of God, and thus truly omnipotent. Interesting, don’t you think? It’s as if there are more important things to do than fighting to control other people, and insure your own Protected Status.)

Christians are quite likely to spend the days moaning and bleating, instead of capitalizing on the compounding failures and errors of their increasingly-mindless, delusional and profoundly incompetent foes. For example, yanking every child in the Church out of the public schools, and homeschooling them (I like the idea of mutually-supporting homeschooling groups myself) would be a great start to building a better culture today.

Best to make sure that a good slice of the kids with the required aptitude and interest get a strong grip on math, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, and the rest of the sciences.

A sound understanding of objective reality is surprisingly useful for scientific research. Something that the certified delusional running the universities have no interest in.

If Christians want to win,in time and on earth — not immediately, but inevitably, within two generations or less — the road is wide open.

(Points to the Ron Paul Curriculum as my go-to model for homeschooling. But note that for pure science, The Robinson Curriculum is actually better: the RPC is more for history, IT, and the business-minded family.

Both are light-years ahead of the public schools: but as we all know, that’s a rather low bar.)

Go Move to Somalia!

The main point from Tom Woods’s recent letter replies to the common rebuke against “libertarian Somalia” is made with the numbers: extracted, quoted and bolded for emphasis:

…if we’re going to get a picture that’s worth anything of life in Somalia without the state, the correct comparison to make is not between Somalia and the United States (the comparison most writers like this are implicitly making), but between Somalia and comparable African countries.

And on that front, Somalia during its stateless period comes out pretty darn well. In most metrics of living standards it held steady or improved.

In the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization in 2008, Professor Benjamin Powell and his colleagues wrote:

“This paper’s main contribution to the literature has been to compare Somalia’s living standards to those of 41 other sub-Saharan African countries both before and after the collapse of the national government. We find that Somalia’s living standards have generally improved and that they compare relatively favorably with many existing African states. Importantly, we find that Somali living standards have often improved, not just in absolute terms, but also relative to other African countries since the collapse of the Somali central government.”

Economist Peter Leeson, in Anarchy Unbound (Cambridge University Press), reports similar findings — yes, Somalia ranked low in some categories during the stateless period, but that’s where it ranked before statelessness, too, and if anything it actually made progress in those categories (life expectancy was up, for instance, and infant mortality was down).

Quite interesting!

I like the emphasis on measurable, objective facts: this is rather important if we are going to measure and compare living standards across nations.

Meanwhile, in Mogadishu: