Best Articles 2021

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The Dozen Best of 2021

There are three main paths in the U.S. today: Talent, Lifer and Mandarin. It's possible to think of American politics as an epic power struggle among the three paths; in this year's presidential campaign, Buchanan is the Talent path's candidate, Dole is the Lifer path's, and Clinton is the Mandarin path's.

The proliferation of counties that resulted concluded a century ago, and counties settled into three regional roles: near irrelevance in the North, default local governments in the West, and instruments of state control in the South.

Just as in the January 6 cases, ABC News reported that those arrested in the Kavanaugh protests engaged in protest behavior in the Rotunda of the Capitol and outside the offices of Senators, they targeted specific Senators with whom they were unhappy, and they even invaded the offices of some Senators.

Never has there been so little diversity within America’s upper crust. Always, in America as elsewhere, some people have been wealthier and more powerful than others. But until our own time America’s upper crust was a mixture of people who had gained prominence in a variety of ways, who drew their money and status from different sources and were not predictably of one mind on any given matter. The Boston Brahmins, the New York financiers, the land barons of California, Texas, and Florida, the industrialists of Pittsburgh, the Southern aristocracy, and the hardscrabble politicians who made it big in Chicago or Memphis had little contact with one another. Few had much contact with government, and “bureaucrat” was a dirty word for all. So was “social engineering.” Nor had the schools and universities that formed yesterday’s upper crust imposed a single orthodoxy about the origins of man, about American history, and about how America should be governed. All that has changed.

It’s hard to say when Mr Trudeau went from international golden boy to punch-line to an unfunny joke: was it the novelty socks? Was it his fancy dress-wearing and terrorist-hosting trip to India? Was it the blackface? Was it his groping of a woman? Was it him dressing down a woman who had said “mankind” instead of “peoplekind”?

And those are only the scandals the rest of the world cared about. For every instance of over-enthusiasm in the makeup and wardrobe department, there was a corresponding ethics scandal, or possible attempt to pervert the course of justice, or political prosecution of a senior military leader, or cover–up of sexual assault, or… you get the idea. Mr Trudeau might come across as a naïf on the international stage, but he is the heir to a Liberal Party whose ruthlessness and ability to distribute the right amount of patronage and pork barrel to the right provinces has made it into one of the Western world’s most successful political organisations.

The Justice Department argues that Stewart Rhodes both substantially organized and activated an imputed plan to use violence, on 1/6, in real-time, through a series of encrypted Signal messages beginning at 1:38 p.m., as Trump concluded his rally speech on the National Mall, and 62 minutes before Oath Keepers lieutenants allegedly formed a “military stack” to rush the Capitol doors.

These facts alone, as alleged, are more than legally sufficient to secure an indictment of Stewart Rhodes. We will walk you through the mountains of direct and circumstantial evidence built on top of these allegations, but readers must understand this: the only reason Stewart Rhodes is not in jail *right now* is because of a deliberate decision by the Justice Department to protect him.

Medics, nurses, physios, medical lab scientists, and clinical scientists all must demonstrate competency to be licensed. There is no such regulation for modellers. Yet their advice, adopted by the Government, affects millions whereas a bad doctor can only harm one patient at a time. ... Examine the graph. Then, USING ONLY DATA AVAILABLE UP TO JULY 1891 (i.e., as far into the 1889-94 pandemic as we presently are with COVID) devise a mathematical model (not a qualitative speculation) to account for the peaks up to that date and to predict the size, timing and duration of the two subsequent peaks. Explain why there were no further peaks after 1894. ... In the meantime, let us have no more talk of lockdowns until modellers can prove their skills and competency by showing how the death waves of a previous pandemic could have been predicted accurately. They will find numerous relevant pre-July 1891 articles in the BMJ and the Lancet among other sources.





Runners Up

"Handy Statistical Lexicon" by Andrew Gelman.

  • Charles Haywood review of Frieden's The Feminine Mystique. "It’s not just women, though—only a tiny segment of men have a job that offers real accomplishment, “the life of mind and spirit,” either. The job does not give them fulfillment; it is a means to their real method of fulfillment, providing for and protecting their family."