Did I Miss Stratego?

Funny-because-true offering from the genius video team of Bragg and Heaton. Everything Is Political: Board Games.

I could well have missed Stratego. It's very fast-paced.

Briefly noted:

  • I'm not a card-carrying member of… At Liberty Unyielding, the poster "Thersites"—an apparent nom de plume which I'm not even sure how to pronounce—looks at a party with a shrinking tent. Libertarian Party head attacks vaccines; Lefty former LP head advocates trillions in welfare spending.

    The Libertarian Party is America’s third-largest political party. It is also shrinking, even though polls show the likely major party candidates in the 2024 election, Joe Biden and Donald Trump, are both very unpopular. The Boston Herald reports that most Americans wish they had a choice other than Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

    Logically, this should be a golden age for the Libertarian Party, which could pick up voters fleeing the Democratic and Republican Parties. But the Libertarian Party chose to drive those voters away, by first pushing “woke” left-wing positions, then pushing anti-vax, Pro-Russian propaganda. So people are fleeing the Libertarian Party instead.

    On April 21, the current head of the Libertarian Party, Angela McArdle, praised the decline in child vaccinations worldwide, which will result in the deaths of thousands of children (not vaccinations for COVID, which virtually never kills children, but for the childhood diseases that have historically killed millions of children worldwide). UNICEF had lamented on Twitter that “We’re facing the largest continuous decline in childhood vaccinations in 30 years….millions of children’s futures are at risk.” McArdle had responded to the tweet by saying, “We are winning.”

    I can't claim to be "fleeing" the LP, since I'm not a registered LP voter, and I've successfully avoided sending them money. But I have often voted for the LP candidates in elections. That seems unlikely in the near, or even the far, future.

    Back in 2021, I listened to a Soho Forum Debate between Angela McArdle and Free State Project board member Jeremy Kauffman. McArdle chortled over an apparent purge of previous LP leadership for their insufficiently pure reaction to Covid policies: "Those people are gone and they're not coming back."

    Guess what, Angela? I'm gone, and I'm not coming back. At least not under current leadership.

  • Boy, this headline sounds as if it could be another LP purity test: Which Side Are You On? But it's Kevin D. Williamson, belonging to no party that would have him as a member. Just a slice from the middle:

    The energy sector isn’t waiting on federal infrastructure subsidies to make big investments—firms across that industry are ready to spend their own money on necessary work that will have the welcome effect of creating a lot of new job opportunities for American workers. But they can’t—either the government stops them outright, as with Biden and Keystone XL, or endless activist-led lawsuits and reviews make projects economically unviable.

    That’s why Westinghouse is building a new nuclear power plant in Poland instead of Texas, Florida, or California. The Biden administration spent months complaining about high gasoline prices, but U.S. refining capacity has been dropping in recent years while refineries are booming in Asia and the Middle East. U.S. producers could be doing a lot more to help our European allies replace Russian natural gas—doing well while doing good—but U.S. gas liquefaction facilities are already operating at or near capacity. While there is a lot of investment happening there right now, that new capacity won’t come fully online for some time, and, when it does, it will rely on those troubled ports to get where it is going. Expanding U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) will require big investments in port infrastructure—and the environmentalists who so often have the Biden administration’s ear bitterly oppose these.

    And that’s the Biden administration’s double-bind: The country needs a great deal of real investment in energy and transportation, two critical areas that can be mutually reinforcing but that also impose their vulnerabilities on one another. On the other side, we have union bosses willing to hold key transit hubs hostage and utopian environmentalists who believe that the economy can be run on happy thoughts and good intentions—two interest groups whose economic interests may not always match up exactly but who share a political vehicle.

    I guess I could vote for a candidate who would come out against people freezing to death in the dark. I could see that.

  • I still have my National Review "Don't let THEM Immanentize the Eschaton!" button somewhere. Nowadays the NR editors have more modest goals: Don’t Let Them Rewrite the Pandemic.

    The Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the elderly and the sick in this country. It inspired or terrified us into huge social, governmental, and economic experiments. “Lockdown” stopped being just prison jargon. We have long since entered an appropriate period of reflection and investigation. Fights about masks, social-distancing, quarantines, and closures of churches, parks, and other amenities disfigured the normal rhythm of human life, marring funerals and delaying weddings. We are now uncovering years of learning loss and missed developmental milestones in children who were deprived of needed socialization, structured play, and face-to-face learning for speech development.

    These particular maladies and the way America was an outlier in them are at the feet of our institutions and their leaders. Which is why they are lying so much about their records.

    This week in his interview with the New York Times, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of NIAID and the most prominent member of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, gave his latest assessment of the efficacy of masks. “From a broad public-health standpoint, at the population level, masks work at the margins — maybe 10 percent,” he explained. “But for an individual who religiously wears a mask, a well-fitted KN95 or N95, it’s not at the margin. It really does work.”

    Also nained by the editors for lying about her role: Randi Weingarten. In addition to their (relatively) short-term damage to the country during Covid, both Fauci and Weingarten probably did long term damage to the credibility of the institutions they were trying to protect.