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History & Culture

Tucker: Fauci’s Chutzpah Matches That of Sam Bankman-Fried

Writes Jeffrey A. Tucker in “What Fauci’s Deposition Tells Us About the Man” (The Epoch Times) after reading through 446 pages of Fauci’s deposition:

[Fauci] uses the phrase “I don’t recall” 194 times. In various other formulations, the invocation of his amnesia is closer to 300 over a 7-hour deposition. He continually falls back on just how busy he is managing $6.2 billion in spending plus 6,000 employees. This is why he simply cannot pay attention to the crucial issue being adjudicated: whether he directed agencies under his influence to censor science and other COVID-related matters at social media companies.

To hear him tell it, he knows next to nothing about social media, never really pays attention to Reddit, has barely a passing familiarity with Twitter and Facebook, does not recall any real connection with Google, and condescends repeatedly to the attorneys with dismissive remarks about his own importance compared with their own petty concerns.

[…] Even when confronted with emails he wrote, and references to phone calls he made, his defense is that he reads and sends thousands of emails and cannot be held to any of them. Even on matters related to the Great Barrington Declaration, he pleads that he had no time for such matters.“I’m not 100 percent sure that the meeting of the epidemiologists, authors of the declaration with the Secretary, this was very likely the first time it was brought to my attention, although I can’t say for sure. I would imagine—again, getting back to context, this is not something that I would have been paying a lot of attention to. I was knee deep in trying to do things like develop a vaccine that wound up saving the lives of millions of people. That’s what I was doing at the time. So an email like this may not have necessarily risen to the top of my awareness and interest.”

This is fascinating because in other interviews and testimony, he equally claims that vaccine development is not his area and focus. He is for them but never approved them. That’s for others to do. Same with particular grants such as the many to EcoHealth Alliance that flipped the money over to the Wuhan virus lab that was deploying what any layperson would call gain-of-function research.

[…]There’s a reason why gaslighting is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year. What Fauci is doing here embodies it better than anything else, comparable only to Sam Bankman-Fried’s own interviews.

[…]Similarly, Fauci masquerades as an infectious disease doctor but actually ranks among the most feared of all health bureaucrats in the country. He was lord of billions in grants to scientists. He specialized in rewarding loyalists and punishing enemies. Thus was he surrounded by fake friends for many years, including among media sycophants who for sure knew the history so thoroughly documented in Robert Kennedy, Jr.’s book “The Real Anthony Fauci.” But they went along simply due to his awesome power.

We also know from Fauci’s own schedule what his real job for three years has been: he was a media star, morning until night, daily, and only for friendly outlets. He shilled for lockdowns, school closures, mandatory masking and mandatory vaccines, and trashed anyone and everyone who questioned whether this was really the right way to go about handling infectious disease. Of course when he is confronted about all this, he demures and says he was merely making recommendations.

Very subtly and carefully, however, what’s really happening with Fauci’s bout of amnesia is this: he is preparing a scenario in which he throws everyone else under the bus. All his associates are now aware of this. He is saving his skin and glad to sacrifice everyone else. I was among many thousands who read this transcript with awareness of precisely what he is up to. One can almost hear the screams of fury among the thousands who have dealt with him over the years.”

Niall Ferguson on Zelensky and Fatalism in History

Niall Ferguson on fatalism in history:

Contingency here means a relatively small event or decision. And it doesn’t need to be a decision. It can be something accidental, has very major consequences. And historical causations like that, something relatively small, can have tremendous ramifications. I’ll give you another illustration. This year, most people, including the US government, thought that if Russia invaded Ukraine, the Ukrainian government would quite quickly fold, and it was assumed that Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian president, would bail. He didn’t. He gave his famous response, “I don’t want an air ticket. I want ammunition.” And Zelenskyy’s courage when they were closing in on Kyiv with a high probability that they would assassinate, the Russians turned the course of history in a way that I think is now quite widely understood.

People know Zelenskyy is an important historical figure. He gets a lot of attention because he is a charismatic figure who understands how to use modern media to communicate with an audience. That’s the benefit of having a very seasoned entertainer as your president. But I think what’s really important there is that his courage, particularly the famous video selfie video where he says, “I’m here. The defense minister is here. We’re here.” They’re standing in the streets of Kyiv. The Russians are closing in at that point on the capital. That was a tremendous act of courage. But it emboldened ordinary Ukrainians not to fold, and it also intimidated the collaborators who were ready to help the Russians, not to act. So the contingency there is if Zelenskyy had gone according to our expectation and taken the plane, then Putin would’ve had Kyiv within a matter of days or weeks, and the war would be over.

So I think one of the things that’s exciting about the study of history is you are trying to remind yourself again and again that what happened, that what we know happened, might have gone the other way. That the Cuban Missile Crisis ended in both sides essentially backing down was not predetermined. There was a moment when a Soviet submarine commander gave the order to fire a nuclear torpedo at US naval surface ships. So we came within a hair’s breadth of World War III. These alternate worlds, these histories that didn’t happen, have to be alive in your mind when you are writing history.

The fatal mistake is to write history as if it was bound to happen the way it happened. And this, of course, is the mistake that a great majority of historians make. Forgetting that, we don’t know at the time, at the moment, we didn’t know the morning of the 24th of February that Zelenskyy would stand his ground. Nobody knew that. I wonder if even Zelenskyy at that moment knew what it was that he was going to do.

So I say all this because I think it’s really important to convey to your listeners and viewers how exciting history is and how studying it makes you understand the course of events in your own life better removes that passivity that sometimes people succumb to. If you think great historical forces are going to have inevitable outcomes, if you have a deterministic view of the historical process, it’s very easy to lapse into fatalism. There’s the other trap, which is the conspiracy theories. “Well, the truth of the matter is that actually, Soros and the Rothschilds are orchestrating all this.” Again, you throw up your hands and you abandon the attempt to understand how the historical process works.

Listen to the rest on the Tim Ferris Podcast.

Reparations for Slavery…From Africans

Hilary Fordwich corrects CNN’s Don Lemon on British Empire over slavery during the Queen’s funeral:

Don Lemon: “Some people want to be paid back and members of the public are wondering, ‘Why are we suffering when you are, you have all this vast wealth?’ Those are legitimate concerns…”

Hilary Fordwich: “Well I think you’re right about reparations in terms of – if people want it though, what they need to do is, you always need to go back to the beginning of the supply chain. Where was the beginning of the supply chain? That was in Africa. Across the entire world, when slavery was taking place, which was the first nation in the world that abolished slavery? …the British”

“In Great Britain they abolished slavery. 2,000 naval men died on the high seas trying to stop slavery. Why? Because the African kings were rounding up their own people. They had them [in] cages, waiting in the beaches.”

“I think you’re totally right. If reparations need to be paid, we need to go right back to the beginning of that supply chain and say, ‘Who was rounding up their own people and having them handcuffed in cages. Absolutely, that’s where they should start.”

“Words are Violence” Crowd Sanctions The Attack on Salman Rushdie

“This issue has nothing to do with an oppressed and disadvantaged minority. It has everything to do with the battle against fanatical Islam, which is highly organized, well funded, and which seeks to terrify us all, Muslims as well as non-Muslims, into a cowed silence.” – Salman Rushdie

 

Writes Bari Weiss on the stabbing in the neck of author Salman Rushdie who “has lived half of his life with a bounty on his head—some $3.3 million promised by the Islamic Republic of Iran to anyone who murdered him”:

We live in a culture in which many of the most celebrated people occupying the highest perches believe that words are violence. In this, they have much in common with Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who issued the first fatwa against Salman Rushdie in 1989, and with Hadi Matar, the 24-year-old who, yesterday, appears to have fulfilled his command when he stabbed the author in the neck on a stage in Western New York.

The first group believes they are motivated by inclusion and tolerance—that it’s possible to create something even better than liberalism, a utopian society where no one is ever offended. The second we all recognize as religious fanatics. But it is the indulgence and cowardice of the words are violence crowd that has empowered the second and allowed us to reach this moment, when a fanatic rushes the stage of a literary conference with a knife and plunges it into one of the bravest writers alive.

[…] And yet as shocking as this attack was, it was also 33 years in the making: The Satanic Verses is a book with a very bloody trail.

She goes on to recount the horrific number of murders, stabbings, bookstore bombings and burnings, and anti-Rushdie riots, noting the courage of those defending Rushdie in the 1980s, and how the intellectuals of today condemn Rushdie, and those like him who dare to speak what they believe:

…the difference between civilization and barbarism is that civilization responds to words with words. Not knives or guns or fire. That is the bright line. There can be no excuse for blurring that line—whether out of religious fanaticism or ideological orthodoxy of any other kind.

Today our culture is dominated by those who blur that line—those who lend credence to the idea that words, art, song lyrics, children’s books, and op-eds are the same as violence. We are so used to this worldview and what it requires—apologize, grovel, erase, grovel some more—that we no longer notice. It is why we can count, on one hand—Dave Chappelle; J.K. Rowling—those who show spine.

Another lesson to draw from the attack is made by Daniel Pipes, noting that “Salman Rushdie was never safe“:

Will the rest of us learn from this sad tale? Russia and China are certainly great power foes, but Islamism is an ideological threat. Its practitioners range from the rabid (ISIS) to the totalitarian (the Islamic Republic of Iran) to the mock-friendly (the Turkey of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan). They threaten via propaganda, subversion, and violence. They mobilise not just in the caves of Afghanistan but in idyllic resort towns like Chautauqua, New York.

Related:

Religious Terrorism vs. Free Speech by Leonard Peikoff
Ayatollah Khomeni’s attack on Salman Rushdie and his publishers represents religious terrorism. Americans oppose the Ayatollah’s death-decree, but our government is doing nothing to combat it.

Tribalism: Coming to America

Echoing Ayn Rand’s analysis in her essay “Global Balkanization,” Ayan Hirsi Ali writes in “Tribalism has come to the West” how tribalism destroyed Somalia leading to civil war, and how such a fate may come to America:

While such violence is yet to seize America, all the tribalist ingredients are present. There is a blind commitment to one party or the other; emotions are running high; there is a lack of trust in civic institutions.

[…]

These tribal quirks run deep on both sides of the aisle. Many Republicans continue to dispute the legitimacy of the result of the last presidential election; while on the Left, the woke are eroding the Democratic Party from the inside, as identity politics displace universalist aspirations. Some citizens are viewed as part of oppressive groups, some as part of oppressed groups. A person’s individual actions can generally do little to change the immutable characteristics of the tribe to which they belong.

She continues how America was founded on replacing tribalism (a form of collectivism) with individualism:

The beautiful story of America, the reason so many people around the world still yearn to come here, is to a large extent founded on our rejection of tribalism and our establishment of civic, neutral institutions, based on the fundamental principle of equality before the law.

Read the rest.

 

Bill Maher: “Democracy Dies in Dumbness” @ The Washington Post

In a play on the Washington Post’s banner “Democracy Dies in Darkness”, liberal comedian Bill Maher examines the latest fiasco inside the newsroom at one of America’s leading newspapers, noting “Nothing captures what’s wrong with today’s ‘journalism’ like the sad saga of what happened last week at The Washington Post.”

Understanding Marxism with C. Bradley Thomspon (Video)

Everywhere Marxism has been tried, its left destruction and death in its wake. Yet Marxism lives. From environmentalism with its rejection of free markets to Critical Race Theory which sees white patriarchy as the source of all evil, you’ll find Marxism at its root.

In this three-part series, C. Bradley Thomspon, Professor of Political Science at Clemson University, explores why Marxism has endured — even flourished — in the face of unremitting failure. Author of “The Redneck Intellectual” on Substack, and America’s Revolutionary Mind: A Moral History of the American Revolution and the Declaration that Defined It.

Jamil Jivani: Blacks as “Woke” Tokens

In the first of a five-part series “Even black men can be fired for not being ‘woke’ enough“, a radio talk show canceled by Canada’s Bell Media and iHeartRadio demonstrates how individuals who are black are only useful to “liberals” when they repeat the slogans of their white intellectual masters. Those who do not conform to the “progressive” stereotype are kicked off the plantation.

Writes Jamil Jivani:

Wokeness—a political agenda with a superficial commitment to diversity and inclusion—has become a global ideological movement. And, more than government policy, it’s big corporations pushing this agenda and punishing those who refuse to comply.

Weeks after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis in 2020, Bell Media hired me to be part of the iHeartRadio talk network as a radio host. From my perspective, Bell Media/iHeartRadio recognized that despite its publicized commitment to valuing people from different backgrounds, they had yet to ever hire a fulltime black talk radio host in their Canadian market. What my experience made clear is that the company failed to consider what it would mean to sincerely engage someone from a black community, without expectations that we conform to the pressures of tokenism.

Elite institutions often make assumptions about a person’s political views based on what he looks like or where his parents are from. Soon after being hired, I could see that Bell Media/iHeartRadio erred in making the same assumptions. I felt that they were hoping to have hired a liberal stereotype of a black man who espouses their expected political talking points. Bell Media/iHeartRadio was not prepared for a black man who loves his country, rejects victimhood politics, maintains strong ties to his faith community, and shares heterodox views on a wide range of issues.

Read the rest.

 

 

Does Capitalism Have a Future?

Leftists utterly control American intellectual culture. They hate capitalism, seek to destroy it and replace it with socialism. Indeed they move regressively toward Communism. Does capitalism have a future? Mark Da Cunha, editor and publisher of Capitalism Magazine, joins Andrew Bernstein and Bosch Fawstin to discuss this critical question.

Briley: Andrew Bernstein on The Threat of Race War

Philosopher Aaron Briley interviews Dr. Andrew Bernstein, philosopher and author of Heroes, Legends, Champions: Why Heroism Matters, about the rise of two destructive ideologies, how racism is making a cultural comeback, and what he thinks is the antidote to this ominous trend.

Dr. Bernstein has a four part series on the topic in Capitalism Magazine:

America’s Coming Race War: Capitalism’s Enemies Are Pushing America Toward a Race War (Part 1 of 4)
American collectivists/socialists are pushing the country toward race war.

America’s Coming Race War: The Contemporary American Left Embraces Racism (Part 2 of 4)
The contemporary hatred openly unleashed by the Marxist Left against whites–especially males–is eye-opening.

America’s Coming Race War: Post Modernism’s Monster Children The “Alt-Right” (Part 3 of 4)
Post-Modernism literally gave the most educated members of the generally ignorant white supremacist movement an au courant philosophy to intellectually bolster their racist beliefs.

America’s Coming Race War: Embracing Individualism Can Reverse The Racist Trend (Part 4 of 4)
We, the human race, must recognize the truth of–and embrace–the principle of color-blind individualism.

Is Michael Jordan The G.O.A.T.?

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” —Michael Jordan

Hero worshippers Andrew Bernstein and John Hersey are at it again. This time the target of their admiration is none other than the great basketball player, Michael Jordan. Is Michael Jordan the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All-Time)?

 

June 2021 Book Recommendations by Ed Locke

God Versus Nature: The Conflict Between Religion and Science in History by Frederick Seiler
This brilliant book explores, in essentialized form, the conflict between science and religion. The conflict is based on the primacy of consciousness and mysticism vs the primacy of reason and reality. He traces this issue from the ancient world through the present.

Effective Discipline: The Montessori Way by Charlotte Cushman
This terrific book refutes the touchy-feely (subjectivist, emotionalist) approach to discipline often used today in Montessori Schools based on John Dewey and false views of self-esteem. Cushman defends Maria Montessori’s view which argues that bad behavior requires consequences. In the Montessori system, this requires, for example, “time-outs” (children made to sit, for a time, in the corner). The book is full of great advice to parents about rational methods of discipline.

Unsettled by Steven Koonin
I have read many books on climate. This book stands out in one important respect: the author’s only agenda seems to be respected for the truth which means for what we actually know. vs. what we don’t. Koonin is a genuine expert in science. (He does not get into philosophical issues).

Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom by Patrick Moore
His book has the same theme as Koonin’s. He gives many examples of fears which are not based on facts.