With the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, renewed restrictions on liberty or calls for their reinstatement have broken out around the world. The new wave is probably only beginning, and with it will surely come sermons on how we must face trade-offs between liberty and safety. This seems to be the new normal.
People seek to minimize the punishment of what they like, and maximize the punishment of what they dislike. If they like it, they fret, “Even the slightest punishment puts it in mortal danger.” If they dislike it, they gloat, “With vigorous punishment, we can wipe this off the face of the Earth.”
The best deregulation lacks popular appeal. Deregulation of immigration is unpopular. Deregulation of housing is unpopular. Deregulation of labor markets is unpopular. But when the stars align, specific forms of deregulation become potentially popular. All you need is close the deal is some brash populists to enthusiastically tell the masses what they’re ready to enthusiastically hear. […]
I’ve reported how Facebook censors me. Now I’ve learned that they also censor environmentalist Michael Shellenberger, statistician Bjorn Lomborg, and former New York Times columnist John Tierney.
The Kyle Rittenhouse trial may have served as a canary in the coal mine. That’s how I saw it.
“Join me,” US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) tweeted on November 29, “in demanding the #GhislaineMaxwellTrial be public.” In reply, attorney (and former Libertarian National Committee chair) Nicholas Sarwark tweeted “Is the Congresswoman unaware that all Federal criminal trials are public, as required by our Constitution?” Mr. Sarwark is correct, but Congresswoman Greene has a point.
My own view, though, is that the tech industry’s leftism is largely sincere. They aren’t pretending to have left-wing sympathies; they really do. Unfortunately for them, leftist thinking brands even the most sincerely left-wing billionaire as an arrogant sinner in need of humbling. And at the same time, rightist thinking brands even the most productive left-wing billionaire as a leftist in need of immiseration.
Some neighbors of mine, who “own” around 370 acres of land, are finding it necessary (like many others here in Vermont) to have portions of their property timbered off by loggers in order to raise the necessary capital to pay the property taxes imposed by government – lest that same government should seize their property by force.
Cruelty is the main emotion that politicians pander to. And cruelty is what every politician strives to deliver. They don’t want to make everyone happy. They want to make their friends happy by making their enemies suffer. Which requires them to not only identify enemies, but create an endless queue of enemies lest they run out.
Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — and the mainstream media’s favorite administration flack/hack/quack — gleefully announced an intention to do “anything and everything” in the name of combating Omicron, but seemed crestfallen that it’s still “too early to say” whether new lockdowns or mandates are in the offing.