Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Impeachment: What’s the Message?

Impeachment: What’s the Message? The mantra of the moment is that impeachment is not a trial and shouldn’t be governed by the same rules that apply to a court of law.  True, but that means it’s really a political event, where the verdict matters less than the message. What’s coming through the media reporting is […]

The Oregon Republican Party Issues a Condemnation

The Oregon Republican Party Issues a Condemnation  You have to read it to believe it.  An excerpt: Whereas history tells us that after George Washington appointed Major General Benedict Arnold to command West Point, Arnold conspired to surrender the fort to the British; and Whereas the ten Republican House members, by voting to impeach President Trump, repeated history by […]

Exploiting the Stupids: The Intellectual Foundation of Movement Conservatism

Exploiting the Stupids: The Intellectual Foundation of Movement Conservatism  From about the age of 8-12, I read a lot of sci-fi.  Along the way, I stumbled across Robert Heinlein, in particular his novel The Day After Tomorrow, initially published as The Sixth Column.  It was so crudely racist I avoided from then on anything with Heinlein’s name […]

Getting the Shakespearean Part Right

Getting the Shakespearean Part Right  At his rally before the invasion of the Capitol, Trump said to his minions: And after this, we’re going to walk down and I’ll be there with you. We’re going to walk down– We’re going to walk down. Anyone you want, but I think right here, we’re going to walk […]

Post-Putsch: Why There Should Be Consequences for Enablers of the Capitol Invasion

Post-Putsch: Why There Should Be Consequences for Enablers of the Capitol Invasion  I usually find myself agreeing with Glenn Greenwald, but not today.  GG has posted a heartfelt warning against overreaction to the attempted fur-and-horn putsch at the Capitol Building Wednesday.  He says the mob trampled on symbols of state power but otherwise did little of consequence, […]

Zooming in on the Defects of PowerPoint

Zooming in on the Defects of PowerPoint  I’ve just finished several days of staring, hour after hour, at the year’s economics meetings via Zoom.  What really struck me, beyond the content of the talks, was the way Zoom exacerbates “death by bullet point”. PowerPoint’s capabilities encourage speakers to load up their slides with lots of text and […]

Rolling Out the Vaccine

Rolling Out the Vaccine  This morning’s (Dec. 25) New York Times offers a panel discussion on the question of who should get vaccinated against Covid first.  Broadly speaking, they take a utilitarian position: it’s interesting that none disagreed with the positions taken by panelist Peter Singer, the world’s most prominent utilitarian philosopher.  And I wouldn’t either, except […]

The Failure of the Public Health Establishment

Prof. Peter Dorman of Evergreen College writes at EconoSpeak and portrays Matt Yglesias’s retrospective on how the healthcare establishment failed the public when passing information on facemasks, hand-washing, distancing, etc., and how Covid is transmitted. The direct result of not following these practices or casting doubt upon them is an elevation of Covid cases which […]