Author Archives

Archive of the posts written by author : Henry Oliner.

Thought on the Election Message 2020 11 22

The mark of an intelligent mind is to hold two conflicting thoughts in your head at the same time. The voters said that character matters but not at all costs. They rejected Trump’s character but also rejected the extreme policy elements of his opposition. It became possible to reject Trump and still reject the woke zealotry of the left. A vote against Trump was not a vote for socialistic policies, defunding the police, or acceptance of America as permanently morally scarred by its past.

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An Objective Moral Order

“To atheists like Mr. Dawkins, Sacks applied a beloved aphorism, adapted from an Oxford don: On the surface he’s profound, but deep down he’s superficial.”

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Reality Based Reporting

“It turns out that the only place that blue wave existed was on Twitter or in a poll — never once in an experience or an interview.”

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The Post Covid Economy

When the vaccine is implemented and the pandemic is behind us, there will a powerhouse of pent up demand that will propel a booming recovery. Tax revenues will grow accordingly even without a tax rate increase, but there is a downside.

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More Political Thoughts 2020 11 08

We remain a divided nation with two competing and incompatible narratives. One says we are irredeemably morally flawed and the other says we remain the land of opportunity and freedom, even if we are an unfinished and imperfect work. Trump may have lost but the latter vision remains intact.

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Election Night Thoughts and Observation 2020 11 04

At least half of America is not buying the woke zealot narrative. They may remain quiet due to the cancel culture, but you have not persuaded  someone because you have silenced them.

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Temperamental vs Classical Conservatism

“One of the paradoxes of American conservatism is that one of the things American conservatives seek to conserve is American liberalism, which is rooted in the Anglo–Protestant liberalism of Locke, Smith, et al. “

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The Ignorance of Experts

Science begins with guessing and then proceeds to proof.
Scientists is a susceptible to cognitive biases as any human and must work to overcome them.
Separating the cranks from the visionaries requires judgment and patience.
“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”
Politics can and often do pollute science.

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The Journalistic Malfeasance of the 1619 Project

The 1619 Project is shoddy history and shoddy journalism, debasing an honest accounting of slavery and racism in America; rewriting history to support a narrative rather than illuminating a problem. As we have progressed in racial understanding we seek to slay smaller and smaller dragons. Magnifying these dragons does not make them larger; it only appears so.

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The Political Immune System

“Our nation has a strong immune system against threats of the sort Trump presents. It has a very weak immune system against threats of the sort Harris presents. “

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Woke Book Burning

Banning books is no different than burning them.  Tolerating this nonsense is how tyrannical minorities assume power.

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Federalism and Health Care

Healthcare does more to illuminate the divide in political ideology than any other issue. It merges the ideological and pragmatic limits of central power;  the dispersal of interests (and thus the difficulty of consensus) and the dispersal of knowledge, the ‘fatal conceit’ that any central power can know how to manage complex markets for a vast and diversified nation.  Health care challenges the authority and the competence of central power.

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A Limited Democracy

“When the Supreme Court said for the umpteenth time that Congress cannot impose censorship on political critics, even if it calls that censorship “campaign finance reform,” Reid led an effort — supported by every single Democrat in the Senate — to repeal the First Amendment. Of course, he didn’t say that’s what he was doing, but a First Amendment that doesn’t protect political speech from government control is not a First Amendment.”

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If Trump Wins

The illiberal politically correct, identity politics, cancel culture was behind his first success and these forces only seem to have become worse. You do not persuade just because you have silenced someone, and the voting booth is the ultimate safe space. Political power requires the building of coalitions; identity politics is the opposite.

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Is It Time for Judicial Term Limits?

“A simple and modest start would be to end the issuing of nationwide injunctions by federal district courts. District court judges are judicial masters of their districts, not temporary Supreme Court justices, issuing rulings binding on an entire, vast republic. It would be a small but important way to hand more power back to elected officials.”

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The Rise of Neo Progressives

Political power comes from building coalitions; identity politics is the opposite. It will get support from the woke left as long as it serves their interest or until they exhaust themselves. The left can take a legitimate cause and squander potential support with the exercise of radical means. Their only hope is to embrace the liberal traditions of our political culture.

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Zealots by Another Name

“Both ideologies aim to tear down the existing system and replace it with utopias that always turn out to be hellish anarchies: Islamic State in Raqqa, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle. Both are collectivist: Group identity trumps the individual. Both tolerate—and often glorify—violence carried out by zealots.”

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Economic and Political Freedom

Just as a slight difference in the angle at it origin can dramatically change the direction and distance of a trajectory, a seemingly slight change in a definition can dramatically change the the outcome from from the use of a commonly used term or idea.

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Atlantic Journalistic Malpractice

Yes, it could be true, but that is poor grounds for a reporter.  The more outrageous an accusation the greater care should be taken to prove it.  If they are unwilling to go on the record and there is contrary evidence it should be shelved.  Rage makes you stupid.

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Free Speech Revisited

“Such cases show what happens when our heightened eagerness to take offense meets institutions’ innate desire to avoid trouble. If hearing a contrary opinion feels like a personal assault, then any potentially controversial statement is equivalent to shouting fire in a crowded theater. It’s much easier for a business or a school to avoid trouble, and potential liability, by shutting down discussion altogether.”

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