Monday, January 31, 2022


I hear voices
--Russ Ballard

Well written piece by Glenn Greenwald on the left's escalating impulse to censor. Anything deemed 'disinformation' is worthy of censoring. As Greenwald observes:

"This 'disinformation' term is reserved for those who question liberal pieties, not for those devoted to affirming them. That is the real functional definition of 'disinformation' and of its little cousin, 'misinformation.' It is not possible to disagree with liberals or see the world differently than they see it. The only two choices are unthinking submission to their dogma or acting as an agent of 'disinformation.' Dissent does not exist to them; any deviation from their world view is inherently dangerous - to the point that it cannot be heard."

One question that Greenwald avoids is why? Although, as he notes, people on the right may occasionally be prone to censor, why is the need to squash opposing viewpoints a dominant trait of leftists?

A primary explanation can be gleaned from social identity theory. Social identity theory is grounded in the proposition that people derive self-esteem from belonging to groups, and that this need for affiliation influences behavior of group members. 

It stands to reason that the need for group affiliation is not evenly distributed. We know, for example, that societies vary relative to their collectivistic tendencies.

Leftists, by definition, have a high collectivist preference. Their strong need for belonging and high levels of self-esteem realized from group attachment should motivate behavior that demonstrates loyalty to their group membership and disdain toward nonmembers. 

Consequently, leftists should be likely to go to great lengths to defend group dogma. Members who question dogmatic beliefs are likely to be sanctioned, perhaps even excommunicated. Because members know this, they are likely to remain silent to prevent damage to their self-esteem.

Outsiders present a different problem, however. Because they have lower collectivist preference, outsiders perceive little or no penalty for contesting group dogma. 

Recognizing that sanctioning is likely to prove ineffective against outsiders, leftists must resort to coercive tactics. lest the cognitive dissonance gets too great. Censoring, or forced silencing, is therefore employed in order to preserve group dogma against outside attack.

That's what we're seeing. Censoring may be more widespread today because leftists feel that they control more public and private machinery for silencing dissenting voices.

Whether such a tactic can be effective against a liberty-minded people remains to be seen. In fact, it seems straightforward to hypothesize that the more leftists attempt to silence dissent among freedom lovers, the louder the dissent gets.

Sunday, January 30, 2022


Love is patient. Love is kind.
It is not jealous. It is not pompous.
It is not inflated. It is not rude.
It does not seek its own interests.
It is not quick-tempered.
It does not brood over injury.
It does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.

--1 Cor 13:4-8

Substitute your name in for love in each sentence above. Now how does it read? How to make it read better?

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Picture This

I've been looking so long at these pictures of you
And I almost believe that they're real
I've been living so long with my pictures of you
That I almost believe that these pictures are
All I can feel
--The Cure 

As Alex Berenson reports, approximately 4 billion people have been vaccinated worldwide.

This is what vaccine failure looks like.

Friday, January 28, 2022


There's a storm on the loose
Sirens in my head
Wrapped up in silend
All circuits are dead
--Golden Earring

In addition to providing more perspective on the Fed's dilemma (recently discussed on these pages here, here), this article includes some nice historical perspective on the Fed's approach to managing its monetary policy cycles. The Fed responds to crises by easing rates. Once trouble has passed, the Fed begins to raise rates. 

But because the easing phases invites more risk taking (and leverage), new troubles arise as rates go higher. Consequently, the Fed begins easing again. 

The important thing to understand is that the tightening phase generally does not return rates to their previous levels, resulting in a downward sloping long term trend as denoted by the red dotted line.

It should not be surprising that the secular downtrend in rates has been accompanied by higher asset prices. The graph below shows how the SPX has responded.

This is how the Fed has cornered itself. By failing to raise rates back to previous levels at the end of a monetary policy cycle, it has invited massive risk taking in financial assets. Nearly 40 years of this behavior has hyper financialized the system.

Now, with rates near zero, along with $trillions of balance sheet assets (also known as monetization) to keep the wheels on the wagon with rates at the 'zero bound' for the past decade+, the Fed will find it difficult to engage in any substantial tightening of monetary policy (necessary to fight inflation) without tanking financial markets.

Inflation or asset prices? The answer seems obvious.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Fire and Ice

It's not so pretty 
When it fades away
'Cause it's just an illusion
In this passion play

--Pat Benatar

Morgan Stanley (MS) equity strategist Michael Wilson discusses his 'fire and ice' thesis. The 'fire' part relates to inflation. Inflation has surprised to the upside, causing the Fed to pivot and become committed to taming the inflationary flame (like ZH, these pages disagree with idea that the Fed is now committed to hawkish policy).

The 'ice' part is slowing growth, as the pandemic winds down and extraordinary fiscal and monetary stimulus is retracted. Wilson believes that stocks are sniffing that out.

Nice supporting graphic of the 'ice' part showing the YOY % change in monthly Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) correlated and leading the SPX in this regard. 

Incidently, the commonly held 'line in the sand' w.r.t. the PMI is 50. Lower than 50 suggests contraction of the manufacturing sector. The chart above show where 50ish would fall with continued monthly declines. 

Straightforward to do the math estimating what that means for the SPX.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Every Time

Every time I think of you
It always turns out good
Every time I've held you
I thought you understood

--The Babys

Peter Schiff is correct. Despite some hawkish rhetoric, the Fed can't raise rates significantly nor unwind its QE assets. Doing so would surely collapse the overleveraged, hyper financialized system.

This is, of course, an untenable outcome. 

After decades of recklessness, the Fed appears to have finally painted itself into the inevitable corner. Trillion$ of easy money and credit created to goose asset markets is now spilling into the mainstream economy, jacking prices of goods and services higher.

Fed heads face a decision. Tighten monetary policy to tame inflation but tank financial markets. Or let inflation ride.

When push comes to shove (and it will), the Fed will choose door number two every time.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Holing Out

Oh no, no, no
I'm a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse
Up here alone

--Elton John

Nice stick save by Hoofy's Heroes to pull market out of the abyss yesterday. The short covering rally that began midday reversed a -1000 down day on the Dow and even added the better part of percent.

The rebound leaves a sense of more unfinished downside business pending. Perhaps we're seeing it this am, with the Dow down nearly 800 this am.

Personally, used yesterday's melt to pretty much top off where I wanted to be in the miners. Also picked here and there at small positions and pockets of value. 

Will look to do more of that if prices head lower.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Correction Territory

I'm sick and tired of you setting me up, yeah
Setting me up
Just to knocka, knocka, knocka
Me down

--Bruce Springsteen

Futes melted in the hour or so before the open, leading to a weak open. SPX now in 'correction' territory.

Pretty oversold in near term. Snapper (snapback rally) around here to relieve some selling pressure would be intuitive.

Meanwhile am picking away at pockets of perceived value. Also continue to build miner positions as it feels like opportunities to do so are becoming, uh, precious...

Saturday, January 22, 2022


Dark in the city
Night is a wire
Steam in the subway
Earth is afire

--Duran Duran

Like markets as a whole, the FANG complex has run up alongside central bank balance sheets.

However, in early 2022 this group has sold off hard (above graph precedes the decline), presumably in anticipation of a hawkish Fed. 

Because of their huge market caps, FANG stock weakness is beginning to weigh heavily on the major indexes. The NASDAQ is down more than 10% thus far in January and is poised for its worst annual start since the 2008 credit crisis. 

It's easy to imagine how this situation could snowball. If it does, then prepare for the Fed, beholden to stock market performance, to begin backing off their hawkish stance.

As always.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

English On It

I saw the world
Crashing all around your face
Never really knowing it was always
Mesh and lace

--Modern English

British Prime Minster has scrapped COVID-19 mandates in England. Masks, work-from-home requirements, and vaccine passports will no longer be required in England. The country will begin treating CV19 like the flu, he explained.

"We will trust the judgment of the British people."

Quite the turnaround.

Suddenly, England is freer than the US.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Definitions and Methods

Dean Yeager: Your theories are the worst kind of popular tripe, your methods are sloppy, and your conclusions are highly questionable. You are a poor scientist, Dr Venkman.
Dr Peter Venkman: I see.


When engaged in research, debate, or other endeavors that seek truth, two steps must be taken upfront. One is to define all important terms. And those definitions must be agreed upon by all involved. Progress cannot be made unless meaning is shared. 

Stated differently, participants in the process must speak the same language. If not, or if a faction seeks to hijack the language and bend it toward its interests, then progress toward truth will be impaired.

Similarly, methods used to test rival theories or hypotheses must be explicated. Doing so allows participants to understand degree of measurement error present. Biases that slant results toward a particular interest will also be revealed. 

Understanding measurement processes takes time. Written procedures, flow diagrams, audits, and walkthroughs can be useful. 

The extent to which particular factions balk at working this process indicates motivation to bias outcomes away from truth.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022


"Breathe in through nose, out through mouth. Wax on, wax off. Don't forget to breathe, very important."
--Myagi (The Karate Kid)

Discussion about placing masks over one's nose and mouth to prevent the inhalation of airborne pathogens must be grounded in basic understanding of breathing and respiration. In grade school and high school science class, we learn that respiration is a central process of life. To produce energy, organizations take in oxygen and glucose, and release carbon dioxide and water.

Humans obtain oxygen by inhaling air. Ambient air contains approximately 21% oxygen by volume--more than enough for respiratory function under normal conditions. When we inhale, muscular contraction in the chest area causes the thoracic cavity to expand. Expansion causes air pressure inside the lungs to decrease, which permits outside air to be sucked through the nose and/or mouth down the esophagus and into the lungs. 

Millions of tiny air sacs in the lungs connected to small blood vessels provide a medium for exchange, trading oxygen from the air for carbon dioxide in the blood. Water from surrounding tissue is also partially vaporized in the air sacs.

When we exhale, the chest area muscles work in the opposite direction and expand. The thoracic cavity contracts, causing air pressure inside the lungs to increase, thereby expelling air back out through the esophagus, nose, and mouth into the air. The 'spent' air includes the respiratory bi-products of carbon dioxide and water in addition to leftover oxygen from the inhaled air that did not take part in the exchange.

Several factors influence respiratory efficiency. Chronic physiological conditions related to the blood (e.g., low hemoglobin) or to the lungs (e.g., COPD) can reduce capacity for respiratory exchange. 

Physical exertion can also challenge respiratory capacity, as exertion increases demand for oxygen and produces more carbon dioxide for disposal. To compensate, the cardiopulmonary system ramps up through heavier, more frequent breathing and higher heart rates.

The external environment influences respiratory efficiency as well. Smoke-filled air, for instance, carries less oxygen and more particulate matter, both of which can impair respiratory exchange.

Basic concepts about respiration pertain to the masking context--something we'll discuss in a future post.  

Monday, January 17, 2022

Empty Shelves

Gotta do what you can
Just to keep your love alive
Trying not to confuse it
With what you do to survive
--Jackson Browne

Chronically empty store shelves are frequently associated with socialist regimes and hyperinflation (e.g. Venezuela).

Now that empty shelves are becoming an increasingly common occurrence here, the intuitive inference is ____?

Sunday, January 16, 2022


His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you."
--John 2:5

Today we celebrate Christ's first 'sign' when he transformed water into wine at the wedding in Cana.

Our Lady moved things forward. When Jesus asked her what concern the wine shortage was of his, Mary simply turned to the servants and advised them to do what he says. Jesus knew that it was time. The servants listened and obeyed.

Mary speaks to us in similar fashion. We are the servants. She is telling us to do whatever Christ says. Will we listen and obey?

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Important Chart

There's a room where the lights won't find you
Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down
When they do, I'll be right behind you

--Tears for Fears

Have been looking for an updated version of this chart for a while. Finally found one courtesy of maven Stephanie Pomboy.

The chart continues to tell an important, if not THE, story behind the huge rise in stock prices (as well as other asset prices) since the 2008 credit crisis.

The graph plots balance sheet assets of the Federal Reserve alongside the S&P 500 Index (SPX) from 2009 thru the end of 2021. The correlation between the two series is unmistakable. Increases in the Fed's balance sheet, which has more than quadrupled in size since 2009, correspond to increases in overall stock prices.

What has caused the Fed's balance sheet to increase so dramatically? The primary driver has become known as 'quantitative easing' (QE)--a program designed to, among other things, stimulate economic activity after major calamities such as the 2008 credit collapse. 

When conducting QE operations, the Fed purchases securities (mostly Treasury and agency bonds) from financial institutions that deal in those securities. For instance, the Fed might observe $100 million in Treasuries sitting in J.P. Morgan's (JPM) inventory, and then buy them all by placing a credit of $100 million with JPM in exchange for the bonds. The $100 million in Treasuries is added to the Fed's balance sheet.

Where does the Fed get the $100 million to buy those bonds from JPM? Out of thin air, baby. It creates the money with a few clicks of a mouse. 

The freshly minted cash now in the hands of financial institutions can be used to fund everyday operations, including trading and speculation in financial securities. As implied by the above graph, a sizable fraction of this cash has gone into stocks over the past decade or so.

It should be noted that the relationship works in reverse as well. When the Fed has halted QE operations over the past decade, stocks generally move sideways along with the value of the Fed's balance sheet assets. And, although you have to squint to see it, on the rare occasion that the Fed has attempted to unwind (read: sell) assets from its balance sheet (which has the effect of removing some of that magically printed money from the financial system), stock prices have fallen.

The only time this relationship did not hold was 2018-2019. Despite Fed efforts to curtail QE and even unwind balance sheet assets during this period, stock prices continued to rise. However, as indicated by Stephanie on the graph, this period also corresponds to a time of tax cuts and deregulation that was favorable for stocks. Stated differently, the bullish backdrop essentially overpowered the bearish forces of Fed actions on stock prices.

The relationship quickly got back on track in early 2020 when the Fed embarked on a gargantuan QE program in response to the onset of COVID-19. The Fed's balance sheet has more than doubled since then to over $8 trillion. The value of the SPX has commensurately doubled as well. 

Moving forward, the relationship between QE and stock prices has important policy implications. As inflationary pressures grow, the Fed may be tempted to curtail or perhaps even reverse its bond-buying practices. Although doing so would relieve inflationary pressures that the Fed itself helped to create, stopping or reversing QE is likely to put downward pressure on stock prices. Any policy that tanks the stock market promises to be politically distasteful.

Whatever the Fed and other central banks who have engaged in QE decide to do from here to address the inflation that they themselves brought about, you can bet that they are looking at the same chart we are...

no positions

Friday, January 14, 2022

One for Two

I'm falling down a spiral
Destination unknown
Double crossed messenger
All alone

--Golden Earring

Yesterday the Supreme Court blocked the federal government's vaccine mandate for large employers while upholding the mandate for health care organizations receiving federal funding.

The judges were one for two.

Private employers, i.e., those with no strings attached to government, should be able to set the terms for using their property. If those terms include a requirement for employees to be vaccinated against a particular pathogen, then private employers are within their rights as property owners to do so. 

Stated differently, employers should be allowed to discriminate as to how their property is utilized. They can discriminate between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals--just as they should be able to peacefully discriminate on any other factor--including race and skin color. If this discrimination is ill-advised, then markets will punish their poor decision-making.

It is, of course, completely within worker rights to discriminate as well. Individuals can discriminate against producers with vaccine mandates by not seeking work with these employers, or by resigning when their employers pass distasteful policies. 

While private enterprises can establish their own internal health care mandates, the state has no standing to forcibly impose its own mandates or interfere with the rules governing private labor market transactions. 

Of course, it is questionable whether many 'private' enterprises are truly private anymore. When businesses receive resources from government (e.g., government contracts or subsidies), or are subject to favorable regulatory treatment, then they are by definition receiving government support or sponsorship. The more beholden organizations are to government, the more likely they are to do the bidding of government in exchange for political favor.  

This brings us to the second part of yesterday's ruling. The high court declared that health care facilities that receive federal funding must comply with federal vaccine mandates. Health care organizations that receive federal funding are poster children for organizations that are beholden to the feds.

Because of their dependence on federal government resources, health care organizations are extensions of the federal government acting as de facto government agencies. 

The Bill of Rights gives such federal agencies far less leeway to discriminate compared to private entities. Whereas a private employer can justly create policies that favor particular groups, federal government entities cannot. Doing so would violate individual rights to religion, speech, assembly, association, privacy, et al--all of which are expressly protected from federal government interference under the Constitution.

Thus, a federal mandate that requires vaccination for employees of organizations beholden to the federal government is blatantly illegal and unjust, regardless of what six high court justices claim.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Price Hikes

Are young but getting old
Before our time

--Joe Jackson

The math is simple:

production cutbacks


$trillions in new money creation

at relatively constant demand


higher prices.

ECON 101.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Boosters Shot?

Hardy Jenns: Look, I'm perfectly willing to forget this. Okay? I see no reason in carrying this on any longer. It was a joke. It's gone too far. It's over. Okay?
Keith Nelson: You want the truth? You want the plain truth? You're over."
--Some Kind of Wonderful

Alex Berenson shares emerging data points suggesting that enthusiasm for CV19 vaccines and associated boosters is quickly waning. Pfizer's (PFE) CEO appears to be walking back his push for boosters. 

EU regulators are now warning of potential immune system problems that could arise from ongoing boosters.

In a statement about CV19 vaccines yesterday, the WHO warned that "a vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable.

After what has transpired over the past two years, it is hard to believe that policymakers and vax makers are suddenly waving the white flag of defeat. On the other hand, the evidence continues to pour in on a) the ineffectiveness of the vaccine, particularly in booster form, to prevent CV19 infection, and b) side effects.

Prepare, therefore, for a concerted program of denial to spring forth from vax enthusiasts of all stripes.

no position

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Angels and Agency

And when I think that I'm alone
It seems there's more of us at home
It's a multitude of angels
And they're playing with my heart


In Federalist 51, James Madison famously introduces his 'angels' analogy when considering the agency problem inherent to government.

"But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controuls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to controul the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to controul itself. A dependence on the people is no doubt the primary controul on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions."

Madison's solution to the agency problem was a government design that separated powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches as well as diversifying the source and timing of choosing government officials in order to make consensus difficult.

Fine ideas to be sure. However, unlike the anti-federalists, Madison clearly did not foresee the extent to which the non-angels would seek to circumvent the framers' design to achieve their interests. 

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Constitution 101

Benjamin Martin: May I sit with you?
Charlotte Selton: It's a free country. Or at least it will be.

--The Patriot

I just began my first of, I suspect, many online courses at Hillsdale College: Constitution 101. It is fantastic. 

I began an earlier version of this course a few years ago but I'm glad that I didn't complete it then as Hillsdale's online content has become even more polished over time.

All of Hillsdale's online courses are free of charge. As such, this great institution is truly providing an invaluable service to US citizens.

Use it.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Great Reset

V: To whom, might I ask, am I speaking?
Eve Hammond: I'm Evey.
V: Evey? E-V. Of course you are.
Eve Hammond: What does that mean?
V: It means that I, like God, do not play with dice and do not believe in coincidence.

--V for Vendetta

Last summer we discussed the 'Great Reset' as a grand motivator behind the pandemic madness. Since then, the Build Back Better motto associated with the Great Reset concept has become mainstream terminology and a label for the current administration's spending proposals.

This piece provides a nice chronology of the Great Reset's conceptual development. The centrality of Klaus Schwab and his World Economic Forum (WEF) in advancing the concept is unmistakable.

The article also offers further support for the hypothesis that the WEF played a central, premeditated role in engineering Great Reset-oriented policy responses to the CV19 pandemic. In 2018 and 2019, the WEF co-sponsored two simulations of pandemic policy responses. The 2018 CLADE X exercise simulated a breakout of a novel parainfluenza virus in the US. The 2019 Event 201 exercise, conducted two months before the CV19 pandemic began, considered a worldwide outbreak of a novel coronavirus.

Supreme coincidence? Doubtful.

Both simulations anticipated nearly all policy responses and consequences that we have unfortunately become all-too-familiar with. Large-scale lockdowns. Widespread business collapse. Adoption of biometric surveillance technologies. Emphasis on social media censorship to combat 'misinformation.' Mass unemployment.

All of this works toward achievement of Great Reset goals. Reduction of fragmented markets and free enterprise and increase in concentrated, corporatist-state dyads (read fascism). Fear-based compliance with government mandates. Supply chain disruptions and shortages. Reduction of production activities in the name of climate control. Reduced localized government in favor of global rule. Et al.

Further reduces doubt that what is going has been orchestrated from the beginning.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Last Stand

Is this the value of our existence
Should we proclaim with such persistance
Our destiny relies on conscience
Red or blue, what's the difference

--The Fixx

Great snippet from a 1964 speech by Ronald Reagan. He noted that the US was the 'last stand' for those seeking freedom and liberty. It is still true today.

He also suggests that the choice is not left or right, it is up or down. Up toward the dream of liberty and self-governance, or down toward totalitarianism. The latter would amount to abandoning the idea of liberty and settling for a band of 'intellectual elites' planning and determining how all should live.

"And regardless of their sincerity and their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course."

Still so very true.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Institutional Environments

Art Thomas: How old are you Mister, uh, Mister...
Brantley Foster: Whitfield.
Art Thomas: Yes.
Brantley Foster: Twenty-four.
Art Thomas: Well, I think you should keep quiet until you're at least 25.
Davis: If I may, I don't think Mr. Whitfield's age should be an issue here.
Art Thomas: No one is interested in your opinion, Davis.

--The Secret of My Success

The institutional environment can be seen as the rules and norms that define acceptable behavior in a particular society along with the structures that shape and transmit those rules and norms to societal members.

In some societies, institutional environments are strong and exert significant 'isomorphic' pressure on its members for conformance and sameness. In other societies, institutional environments exert little influence on people's behavior, with individuals consequently 'doing their own thing.'

At least two factors affect the strength of institutional environments. One is preference among individuals for legitimacy. Legitimacy in this sense is viewed as social recognition or acceptance. Those with a high preference for legitimacy seek a 'permission slip' of sorts from others in society to engage in behavior that is broadly condoned, or to shun behavior that is broadly discouraged. Those with a low preference for legitimacy don't care what others think and, instead, act on their own accord.

All else equal, the higher the preference for legitimacy among societal members, the more influential an institutional environment will be.

The other factor that governs the strength of institutional environments also involves the notion of legitimacy, but in this case pertains to the legitimacy accorded institutions themselves. To what extent do societal members recognize the validity of rule-making entities and processes? For instance, norms that have been around for long periods of time tend to be seen as more legitimate than newer ones. 

All else equal, the greater the perceived legitimacy of institutions and institutional structures in a society, the more influential an institutional environment will be.

What 'subfactors' shape these forms of legitimacy? We'll discuss in a future post.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Open Heart

I think that you're afraid
To look in my eyes
You look a little sad, boy
I wonder why


Large research study indicating increased risk of myocarditis in vaxxed men under 40 yrs old. For the Pfizer vaccine, risk doubled with each shot, meaning that after 2 originals plus 1 booster, risk was 8x normal (i.e., no vax). The Moderna mRNA was about double that.

Alex Berenson wonders why, in the face of this evidence, colleges and universities are requiring students to get a booster prior to returning for the spring term.

The larger question, of course, is why have policymakers of all stripes been ignoring evidence since the beginning of the pandemic period.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Compliance From Data Control

"You claim responsibility for one thing. Deny it for another. Nobody believes you anymore."
--Jack Ryan (Patriot Games)

Statists understand that controlling language helps their cause. By manipulating words to influence what people think, the cost of obtaining compliance goes down. If done cleverly, language control might cause people to submit to authoritarian rule willingly.

Similarly, statists understand that they need to control important data series. Commonly, this is done by taking control of measurement and reporting processes. By doing so, statists can slant results in their favor to make themselves look good.

For years, this has been readily apparent with metrics related to GDP, unemployment, inflation, and other measures of economic performance. Without exception, 'fudge factors' have been incorporated that abet the handiwork of bureaucrats.

People are now becoming aware that data control by the state extends into the public health realm. Case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths have all been subject to mischief. In each case, the direction of the schemes benefits those in charge.

By controlling the data, statists believe that they can lower the cost of achieving compliance by even more than what is possible by language control alone.

My question is this. At what point, if any, does manipulation of data become so blatant that it works against statist objectives--causing increasing number of people to revolt rather than comply?

Monday, January 3, 2022

Traction History

Seven, that's the time we leave, at seven
I'll be waiting up for heaven
Counting every mile of railroad track
That takes me back

--Doris Day

Great repository here on the history of railroads in Cincinnati. Info and pictures document large railroads, medium interurban rails, as well as streetcars. Fabulous map too.

Amazing how long these rails were in existence and growing before change, and then how quickly most of them disappeared with the advent of highways/cars.

Lots of the infrastructure is still there, although sometimes you have to squint to see it.

Provides perspective on just how far we've come, and all of the people that advanced progress along the way.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Rose Peddling

Now that your rose is in bloom
A light hits the gloom
On the gray 

While waiting for the early Bowl games to start yesterday, I caught the end of the Rose Bowl parade on TV. I rarely watch the networks anymore except for sporting events. The parade coverage reminded me why.

It was infested with leftist slant. But it went beyond the media. Floats and parade walkers conveyed political messages as well. One float had a giant image of nurse, fully masked, holding a syringe surrounded by people, also duly masked, encouraging people to vax up.

I began to wonder whether messages like this were being sent my way when I was a youngster but too naive to recognize overt propaganda. 

Probably. But the style of the peddlers has evolved. 

Subtle has given way to lurid.