Category Archives: Coronavirus

True federalism would have prevented Covid lockdowns; Americans cannot afford Russia sanctions on top of them

In one sense, the Covid-19 era revitalized American federalism. While every U.S. state except South Dakota at first followed the advice of the federal government’s various national public health agencies and their spokesman, Anthony Fauci, M.D., eventually more and more diversity began to emerge in the way individual states responded to the virus.

In September of 2020, after televising a roundtable of non-government scientists from Harvard and Stanford, Governor Ron DeSantis reopened Florida completely and banned local jurisdictions from fining people for noncompliance with mask mandates.

Observing the political gains DeSantis enjoyed from lifting restrictions and the absence of disaster predicted by all opposed to DeSantis politically, Iowa’s governor lifted all restrictions in February 2021, followed closely by Gov. Abbot of Texas the following month.

While states with Republican governors trumpet their states as “free states” due to generally less severe and shorter-lived lockdowns, and proponents of decentralization from across the political spectrum point to this as a triumph of local government, federalism completely failed in the most important respect. Every United States citizen, regardless of the decisions of their state and local elected leaders, is being forced to pay for lockdowns equally.

Although Covid relief was federally funded, it wasn’t paid for with higher taxes. It would have been impossible to collect more taxes from a society producing considerably less wealth. Instead, the money was created by the Federal Reserve and handed out through programs created by the CARES Act and subsequent legislation.

We are feeling the effects of that money creation combined with decreased production now. Although his Republican critics would like to blame President Biden for rising prices today (and he has certainly contributed to them, especially energy prices), the majority of the spending authorized and new money created occurred while Trump was still in office.

M1 showed the supply of dollars at $4 trillion in February 2020. It was $16 trillion by May 2020 and $18 trillion when Trump left office in January 2021. It was just over $20 trillion as of January 2022.

President Biden, on the other hand, has largely failed to get most of the spending he wanted beyond an early Covid relief bill similar in size to the CARES Act. However, due to the mechanics of the way money gets spent by the federal government after it is appropriated by Congress, even much of the money appropriated in 2020 wasn’t spent until 2021.

That and the general lag between new money creation and the resulting rise in consumer prices is why price inflation only began in earnest in 2021. But this is not to lay the blame at Trump’s or Biden’s doorstep. Rather, it was the very bipartisan departure from reality, including by most the American public, that a large percentage of the economy could be turned off while people went on consuming as they did before.

Many otherwise “fiscally conservative” people threw up their hands and justified Covid bailouts on the grounds that those ordered to close their businesses or stay home from their jobs weren’t “at fault,” and therefore were entitled to bailouts.

It doesn’t matter who was at fault for lockdowns. Goods that are not produced cannot be consumed. One cannot consume more than one produces unless someone else provides the difference. Scarcity does not make exceptions for assignment of blame, political theories, or feelings. Even if lockdowns significantly reduced Covid deaths, which they didn’t, one still had to face the reality that producing enough to survive takes priority over avoiding the virus.

The truly “federalist” approach to Covid-19 would have been to allow each state to decide and pay for the policies it chose to implement in response to the virus. Politicians spoke in absolutes, saying lockdowns were “necessary.” Well, producing enough to survive was more necessary. This would have been true even if the virus had turned out to be as deadly as it was originally touted.

Had governors been forced to face reality and decide how to respond to lockdowns without external bailout money, there may not have been any lockdowns at all. If there were, they would have been fewer, of less severity, and of shorter duration.

This would not have made a bit of difference overall in the number of Covid deaths, as the retrospective comparisons of “open” vs. “locked down” states so clearly show.

Like TARP in 2008 and every other bailout, profits have been privatized and costs socialized. People who elected governors who took a more realistic approach to Covid and who themselves balanced the personal risk of contracting the disease more realistically with the responsibility of supporting themselves are paying the same cost in runaway inflation as those whose governors closed their economies completely and kept them closed for much longer periods of time.

Today, Americans are being asked to again support a departure from reality. The U.S. government, the most prolific invader of foreign nations in the past seventy years, has proclaimed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine beyond the pale and imposed drastic sanctions in response. President Biden has acknowledged this will have a cost to American citizens, although he has vastly understated the cost.

The president and others have tried to shift the blame for present economic pain onto Putin. This is dishonest for two reasons. One, it is not Putin’s invasion but the sanctions in response to the that will cause economic hardship, just as it wasn’t “Covid” but the government response to the virus that caused the economic fallout we’re experiencing now.

Most importantly, the economic consequences of Biden’s Russia sanctions have not even begun to be felt by American consumers. They are just now suffering the effects of Covid lockdowns. The Russia sanctions could have far more onerous economic consequences, especially if they result in a new world economic order where a significant portion of the global population no longer uses the U.S. dollar as its reserve currency. That is a reality Americans are not ready to face.

Regardless of whether Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was justified, America may not be able to afford the combined cost of Biden’s sanctions and the Covid lockdowns. Ignoring that reality may have fatal consequences for both America’s economy its political order.

Tom Mullen is the author of It’s the Fed, Stupid and Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness?

Why is Fauci suddenly acknowledging B cell and T cell immunity?

Since early in the pandemic, Americans have been led to believe immunity to Covid-19 acquired from previous infection – to the extent natural immunity has been acknowledged at all – fades after three or four months. Why? Because after that time period, antibodies to the virus are no longer detected in the blood.

That was an immediate red flag for me because that’s not how the immune system works. Antibodies don’t stay in the blood indefinitely after infection or vaccination for any virus. If they did, your blood “would be thick as molasses,” as Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease specialist at University of California San Francisco, put it.

Rather, after natural infection or an effective vaccine, your body “remembers” the infection. B cells produce new antibodies upon encountering the same or a similar enough virus again and T cells kill virus-infected cells directly.

Having done my undergraduate and graduate work in English, I’m not sure where I acquired this knowledge. Perhaps it was a high school biology or health class, but the first time I heard Anthony Fauci or another “expert” imply immunity went away with antibodies I knew it was wrong.

I had the same experience when I went to my own physician after testing positive for SARS_COV-2 antibodies in January 2021, following an infection the previous December. The physician’s assistant made the casual statement that I should have antibodies for at least three months and left it there. I had to challenge the statement with, “but that doesn’t mean I no longer have immunity to the disease, right?

How many Americans have simply accepted that immunity goes away with the antibodies produced from the infection?

But in an interview with Martha Raddatz of ABC on Sunday, Fauci acknowledged that immunity does not go away simply because antibodies are no longer detected in the blood. He now says it is “quite natural” that antibodies go down after a few months (which it is) but that:

“There is an element of the immune response, B cell memory and T cell responses, where even though you see a diminution of antibody levels, it is quite conceivable, and I hope it’s true, that the third shot boost will give a much greater durability of protection. We’re following that very closely.”

I’m not sure why Fauci believes more durable immunity will be provided by a third shot that was not provided by the first two. He did not elaborate.

We have known since July 2020 that prior infection likely does elicit durable immunity, based on a study published on the NIH website (Fauci’s own agency). That study found that even people infected with the original SARS virus in 2003 had a strong T cell response to SARS_COV_2 seventeen years later. So, there is every reason to believe immunity from natural infection with SARS_COV_2 itself confers the long lasting, durable immunity Fauci hopes a second booster will produce.

So, why the sudden acknowledgment of the way the human immune system really works? We can only speculate. Perhaps Fauci is uncomfortable recommending a fourth dose of mRNA given the light shed on risk by high profile figures like Robert Kennedy and Dr. Robert Malone. He can certainly scoff at them in public and know they’re right in private. Or maybe he’s just reading the room politically and knows Americans are losing patience with the booster shots (and mandates).

Since more people get infected every day (although I’m not sure Omicron infection is relevant here), acknowledging B cell and T cell immunity and hoping to connect them to the vaccines rather than prior infection could be a way out once the Omicron wave is over.

Whatever his motives for telling at least half the truth, no one should listen to this man about anything ever again. Yet, I cringe when I imagine the way historians will treat him and this pandemic. The same schools presently teaching your children the government ended child labor, protected us from “robber barons” and their “monopolies,” or ended segregation – all falsehoods adopted as articles of faith in the progressive religion – will someday teach future children Dr. Fauci and the Covid Regime saved America from a deadly virus.

Strike a blow for freedom. Get your kids out of the school system.

Tom Mullen is the author of It’s the Fed, Stupid and Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness?

Don’t Believe the Government Over Your Own Eyes and Ears

I ran across a very powerful clip from George Orwell’s last interview. He’s visibly struggling to catch his breath (he died of tuberculosis later the same year) and looks into the camera to say, “The moral to be drawn from this dangerous, nightmare situation is a simple one. Don’t let it happen. It depends on you.”

The passage Orwell reads, which includes the famous “boot stamping on a human face forever” line, occurs while the government is torturing Smith for the purpose of making him say what his own eyes tells him is untrue.

Even worse, when O’Brien holds up four fingers, it isn’t sufficient that Smith tell him he sees five. He must believe it.

What a terrifying parallel to the Covid Regime today.

“The vaccines are safe and effective.” “Lockdowns and mask mandates slow the spread of Covid.”

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

If you haven’t read Orwell’s classic, I implore you to do so. There are actually four books I’d recommend that I was required to read in high school but have a feeling aren’t being assigned anymore:

1984 by George Orwell

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Read them yourself and if you have teenage children, have them read them as well (some violence and adult material in some of these). Don’t let school thwart your children’s education.

Don’t forget my new e-book, It’s the Fed, Stupid, is also available in paperback here. It’ll cost you less than a sawbuck and is a great way to introduce friends to our ideas.

Tom Mullen is the author of It’s the Fed, Stupid and Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One 

The Night Before New Normal Christmas (from An Anti-State Christmas by Tom Mullen)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the town

Not a creature was stirring, all were safely locked down;

The masks were all hung by the chimney with care

In hopes that St. Fauci soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of booster shots invaded their heads;

And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,

Lay six feet apart for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what did my wondering eyes see arrive,

But a government agent, walking straight up my drive,

As bureaucrats go, he was lively and quick,

And I despaired in a moment of avoiding the prick.

More rapid than eagles had the variants come,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called one by one:

“Now, Alpha! now, Beta! now, Gamma and Delta!

On, Eta! on, Epsilon! Kappa and Lambda!

I have the new shot; there’s no reason to stall.

I’ve got the jab that will dash away all!”

He was dressed very badly, from his head to his toe,

It was hard to imagine a girl dating this schmo;

A bundle of needles he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

He was chubby and plump, from his tax-derived pelf,

And I cringed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

The dim look in his eye and small size of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had plenty to dread;

He spoke not a word, but tried straight away,

To stab all our arms with the new mRNA,

But laying a finger on each side of his nose,

I gave it a squeeze and got him up on his toes;

He sprang to his car as my boot hit his rear,

And away did he drive almost too fast to steer.

To the neighbors I shouted, ere he drove out of sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

Get a FREE copy of An Anti-State Christmas here!

A Dispatch from Behind the Iron Curtain (New York State)

I thought everyone outside New York State, especially those in free states like Florida or Iowa, would be interested in a little news from behind the Iron Curtain.

As I’ve said on several interviews over the past two weeks, New York State is a microcosm of the United States as a whole. This electoral map probably says it better than the proverbial thousand words. 

That blue patch on the far left (western end of the state) is Erie County, which includes the city of my birth, Buffalo. I live in Niagara County, directly north of Erie. Two counties to the east of mine, Monroe County, includes Rochester, N.Y.

My point here is that New York is not all one homogenous blob of politically likeminded people. Like much of America, the densely populated urban centers vote Democrat and the rest – rural and small-town America – vote Republican.

Obviously, voting Republican doesn’t by any means mean Ancapistan. But let’s face it, as far as the last two years are concerned, your only chance for a relatively free existence was living in a “red state.”

Or was it?

I can tell you firsthand that living in Niagara County, N.Y. in December 2021 is for all intents and purposes no different than living in Niagara County, N.Y. in December 2019. The only difference in 2021 is the extreme minority of the population voluntarily wearing masks.

However, if the Erie County Executive had his way, Erie County would be right back to April 2020. He mandated masks indoors for all indoor “public” spaces (I’ll let calling private property “public” go for now). But even inside blue Erie County there is political diversity.

On Monday, I’ll have my interview with Gary Dickson, Republican Town Supervisor of West Seneca, N.Y., who is one of two town supervisors in Erie County who have spoken out against the mask mandates. While their opposition was hysterically exaggerated by the news media, at least Dickson’s stance shows just how toothless these mandates are when they don’t have the consent of the populace.

In the meantime, I could use your help on one thing. In order to get my new podcast visibility, I need to get some “social proof” of its popularity among listeners. I would very much appreciate you taking the time to post a review on the podcast app (Apple, Stitcher, Google, etc.) you use to listen or right on my website at

I know the Apple podcast app doesn’t make this easy – you have to go to the show page, scroll down to the Ratings and Review section, and click the star farthest to the right (wink, wink). Then, you can leave a review.

On my website, you have to go to one of the individual show pages. Nothing can be easy, right? But if you can help me out on this, although there won’t be any money, when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness. 

Don’t forget my new e-book, An Anti-State Christmas, is also available in paperback here. It’ll cost you less than a fiver and makes a great stocking stuffer!

Get a few copies for friends or family who need deprogramming – or even just a few laughs.

Like the music on Tom Mullen Talks Freedom? You can hear more at!

Don’t Confuse the Scientists with Science: Thomas Kuhn and the Covid Cult

“Attacks on me are, quite frankly, attacks on science,” said Anthony Fauci to widespread ridicule or approval, depending upon which side you are on. If you doubt his judgment personally, he’d have you believe, you must not believe in “the science.” Fauci went on to claim that all of the “things he’s talked about” were “fundamentally based on science.”

Let’s put the weasel words aside and recognize that what he wants you to believe – that all his official policy recommendations (“all the things I’ve talked about”) were firmly proven effective through application of the scientific method – is demonstrably false. The most rigorous, most scientific studies show precisely the opposite.

Fauci was a proponent of what has become to be known as “lockdowns,” the widespread closure of businesses and/or stay-at-home orders for the general population. Dozens of studies show this had no demonstrable effect on the spread of Covid-19. As one after another came out, Fauci went on talking about lockdowns as if this evidence did not exist.

Now, there are studies being conducted every day on this or that aspect of Covid-19 and I’m sure Fauci and his supporters can produce links to some that support lockdowns. While there are no absolutes, here is a general observation: the most scientific studies – the randomized controlled trial studies with large sample sizes measuring results in the real world – tend to point towards inefficacy of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). NPIs include (anti)social distancing, masks, and lockdowns.

Less scientific studies – those with small sample sizes or based on laboratory experiments rather than experience in the real world – tend to point towards efficacy. Remember the experiment on mannequins wearing masks? You get the picture.

Let’s not forget that early in 2020 Fauci said a study based on a single case of asymptomatic spread of Covid-19 “lays the question to rest.” And guess what? It turned out the patient documented in the case had never been asked if she had symptoms. When it turned out she was symptomatic at the time of transmission, the study was unpublished. Subsequent studies failed to prove asymptomatic spread was significant. A December 2020 study looking at secondary attack rates within the same household – published right on the NIH (Fauci’s agency) website – says it’s miniscule if it exists at all.

Yet, Fauci goes on talking as if this study doesn’t exist. He has no choice. Without asymptomatic spread, there is no justification for lockdowns or mandating masks for asymptomatic people.

On a rare occasion where the largely useless national media confronted Fauci with a question about how Texas could be doing so well four weeks after abandoning all Covid restrictions, he had no answer. “Maybe they’re doing more outside,” he mused. Then, he went on recommending the same policies as if the question had never been posed.

Fauci wasn’t alone. When White House coronavirus advisor Anthony Slavitt was asked why locked down and masked California and restriction-free Florida were having similar results in terms of Covid spread, he began his answer with perhaps the only honest words that have escaped a public health official’s mouth: “There is so much of this virus that we think we understand, that we think we can predict, that is just a little bit beyond our explanation.” But then, in literally the same breath, he said we do know masking and social distancing work.

Now, you don’t have to be a trained journalist for the obvious follow-up question to occur to you: “No, Mr. Slavitt, the question I just posed to you suggests we don’t know masking and social distancing work because we are seeing equivalent results in states that are and are not following those policies.”

Of course, that follow-up was not put to Slavitt. And you really have to ask yourself why.

The failure of scientists to be scientific is not a new phenomenon. Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) dealt directly with the tendency of scientists to reject evidence that contradicts the prevailing theory or “paradigm.”

“Part of the answer, as obvious as it is important,” wrote Kuhn, “can be discovered by noting first what scientists never do when confronted by even severe and prolonged anomalies. Though they may begin to lose faith and then to consider alternatives, they do not renounce the paradigm that has led them into crisis.”

Kuhn’s overall thesis challenged the prevailing understanding at the time that science proceeds in a linear fashion, with new discoveries incrementally adding to the accumulated knowledge that preceded them. Instead, argued Kuhn, science throughout history has featured a series of revolutions, where paradigms like the geocentric theory of the solar system or Newtonian physics collapsed under the weight of “anomalies” (evidence which contradicted the theory) and made way for new paradigms like the heliocentric theory of the solar system and Einsteinian physics.

There is much nuance in Kuhn’s argument which his critics have tended to ignore, but one takeaway that we’re seeing proved in real time is that these scientific revolutions are only revolutionary because of the tendency for scientists to cling to a theory regardless of evidence that refutes it. Kuhn argues that scientists will not abandon a disproven theory until a new theory is presented that they are convinced explains the evidence better than the old.

What makes the New Normal so strange is that a scientific revolution occurred with no anomalies. It was firmly established by a century of scientific research that nonpharmaceutical interventions weren’t effective in combatting the spread of respiratory viruses. Indeed, Fauci himself initially repeated the established scientific consensus that lockdowns and mask mandates were not effective policy responses. He even discouraged people from voluntarily wearing masks.

Then, he and the rest of the government scientists did a complete about face. There was no new evidence that motivated this. They simply abandoned the prevailing scientific consensus based on a desire to do something – even though the scientific evidence before, during, and after the outbreak of Covid-19 said what they wanted to do wouldn’t work. As a result, there is now a New Normal paradigm based on…nothing.

It should be noted that there were plenty of non-government scientists protesting vehemently right from the beginning. The authors of the Great Barrington Declaration were already loudly protesting lockdowns as early as April 2020. Others contested asymptomatic spread, the mortality rate initially reported (they were right), and the efficacy of masks.

Here is the problem. This New Normal paradigm can’t collapse in the face of anomalies, no matter how numerous they are, because the anomalies are now simply ignored. Anyone who calls attention to them, no matter how credentialed or qualified, is systematically discredited.

In such an environment, scientifically disproven assertions like “Covid-19 spreads asymptomatically” and “lockdowns and mask mandates work” continue to form the basis of policy. The same goes for vaccine mandates.

It’s not that evidence against New Normal science can no longer be found. Much of it is available right on the websites of the government agencies denying it. It is simply a matter of saying “no” when governments and media demand you refuse to believe you’re lying eyes and obey.

Obedience has a price. We will be feeling the economic effects of lockdowns for many years. An entire generation of children will suffer psychological damage from being forced to wear masks during their most formative years. The damage to society as a whole from lockdowns, mask mandates, and (anti)social distancing policies may be immeasurable.

Neither can you simply go along to get along until things “get back to normal.” If and when the Covid Crisis finally ends, there is a Climate Crisis already teed up to begin as surely as night follows day. It will feature the same breathless media propaganda and ignoring of contrary evidence as did the Covid Crisis. The cost this time will be a significantly and permanently lower standard of living for you and your children.

That’s the price of obedience.

Are you willing to pay it?

Tom Mullen is the author oWhere Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.

Will the federal courts stumble into a good decision on vaccine mandates?

I’ve been writing about the awful consequences of the New Deal lately, particularly the widespread delegation of legislative power to the executive, something the Constitution clearly prohibits Congress from doing.Of course I’m talking about the various regulatory agencies created during the New Deal which can not only “write regulations” (i.e., “legislate”) and execute them, but in some cases even judge disputes in their own administrative courts.

We used to refer to an executive who made laws by decree and enforced them himself a “dictator,” but I guess the cigarette holder and the fake, Mid-Atlantic accent (which occurs naturally nowhere in the world) made it ok for FDR.OSHA wasn’t created until 1971, but it is built upon the same blueprint as the New Deal agencies. And it was OSHA that issued the regulation (passed a law Congress never voted on) requiring employers with 100 employees or more to require proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative test every week (the non-vaccinated would also have to wear facemasks indefinitely).

I had the good fortune to have Kevin Gutzman on Tom Mullen Talks Freedom’s very first episode to explain to us 1. How it came to be the executive branch acquired the legislative power and 2. How anything occurring at a single workplace could possibly be “interstate commerce.”

The federal government is only allowed to regulate interstate commerce, meaning commerce that crosses state lines.

If you haven’t heard this one yet, I encourage you to listen to it because the story is about to get even more interesting with what is going on in the courts.

Kevin referred to the constitutional prohibition on Congress delegating its legislative power to another branch “the nondelegation doctrine,” adding that it and the idea the federal government’s regulatory power should be limited to interstate commerce are both long dead and buried. And, of course, he’s right. Check out his Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution if you want to experience the long, painful death first hand.

Well, lawsuits were brought against President Biden’s tyrannical mandate arguing the very issues we discussed – nondelegation and the Commerce Clause – and the courts have issued a stay on enforcement of the mandate with language indicating they might just shoot this down. We don’t have a decision yet, but the stay order contains the following language:

“It was not—and likely could not be, under the Commerce Clause and nondelegation doctrine8—intended to authorize a workplace safety administration in the deep recesses of the federal bureaucracy to make sweeping pronouncements on matters of public health affecting every member of society in the profoundest of ways.

“Well, whaddya know? The courts suddenly believe there is some limit to what the executive branch can do in terms of writing its own laws without Congress. But based on what? Why would OSHA writing a regulation requiring hard hats on construction sites not be legislating while requiring vaccines would be?

Why would the hard hat rule be interstate commerce but the vaccine rule not be?
Folks, if you’re looking for sound reasoning from the federal courts, I will again direct you to Kevin’s book. Don’t let the pomp and circumstance of the Supreme Court fool you – the black robed high priests often engage in reasoning that rivals this.

So, we may just have to take the W on this and move on. We’ll see.

Some good news that does make sense: If you haven’t already, you can download a free copy of my new e-book, An Anti-State Christmas, at

It’s also available in paperback here. It’ll cost you less than a fiver and makes a great stocking stuffer!

Like the music on Tom Mullen Talks Freedom? You can hear more at!

Tom Mullen is the author of Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.

No, freedom isn’t “selfish”

First it was “staying home saves lives.” Then, it was masks. Now it’s the Covid vaccines. Over and over, we’re told we need to obey public health bureaucrats without question for the good of other people. Conversely, to disobey their “guidance” and exercise our inalienable right to liberty is “selfish.”

Charles Barkley, who is often refreshingly independent-minded, is the latest to parrot this mantra.

Memories are short these days. In early 2020, the use of tents for hospital overflow was breathlessly reported as if it were unprecedented, when tents had been put up for precisely the same reason just two years before, during a heavy flu season.

In April 2020, no one remembered this. Instead, it was, “OMG, tents!”

It’s much the same story with lockdowns, masks, and the vaccines. Every one of these was first presented to the public as protecting oneself. Then, when significant people resisted, the narrative changed to “you’re doing it for others.” Forget two years, most of the public didn’t remember the previous narrative two days later.

It’s like a nightmare.

At the center of the “freedom is selfish” allegation is a misunderstanding, deliberate or not, of liberty and legitimate power. The right to liberty, like the rights to life, acquiring possessions, and pursuing happiness, rests upon an understanding of what legitimate powers one person can exercise over another. And those powers are very few.

The right to life isn’t the right not to die under any circumstances. When someone drowns to death or gets struck by lightning, we don’t say his right to life was violated. No, the right to life is specifically the right to not be killed by another person other than in self-defense.

The right to life is rooted in the proposition that no one person has any legitimate power to deliberately deprive another of life. The right to liberty similarly rests upon the proposition no one has any legitimate power to deprive another of liberty.

If no individual has these powers, then they cannot delegate them to a government. I didn’t just make that up; it is a bedrock concept in the essay Thomas Jefferson said represented “the general principles of liberty and the rights of man, in nature and in society” generally approved by the citizens of both his state of Virginia and the United States generally.

“Inalienable” means cannot be taken away, not even by majority vote. That’s the reason for all the so-called “checks and balances” in our system. It’s the reason we have Bills of Rights in our federal and state constitutions. All these protections are there to ensure democratically elected officials don’t violate these inalienable rights, regardless of what majorities think or want.

Politicians, bureaucrats, and the useful midwits who blindly follow them will be quick to point out that “with rights come responsibilities.” That’s true. But the corresponding responsibility to a right is not to immediately surrender the right. That would be absurd. No, the corresponding responsibility to the right to liberty, for example, is to respect the right to liberty of others.

In other words, you can choose to take a vaccine or not to take it, and live with the consequences, as long as you do not infringe upon the rights of others to make the same decision for themselves. This is the very essence of “a free country.”

“But there are limits to liberty,” say the statists. That’s also true, but those limits are very narrow. “No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him,” said Jefferson in an 1816 letter. Similarly, he said the government should “restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free” in his first inaugural.

The government and its minions weren’t completely unaware of this concept. That’s what made Covid-19 oh-so convenient. With just a small false equivalency, it seemed to check all the boxes necessary to restrain liberty on a massive scale.

First, we were told the disease was much deadlier than it turned out to be. Even then, the sensible approach would have been for people with symptoms to stay home. That’s why it had to spread asymptomatically, an article of faith among the Covid Cult that the evidence shows is virtually unfounded.

A December 2020 study found that even for people living in the same household, the “secondary attack rate” (rate at which an infected member of the household transmits to another member) was .7% for asymptomatic cases, as opposed to 18% for symptomatic cases.

.7%. In case you’re having trouble reading, that’s less than 1%. And this is for people living in the same household. How much smaller would the risk be for mere passersby on the street or even fellow diners in the same indoor restaurant?

Yet, without significant asymptomatic spread, there was no need for lockdowns or mask mandates. That’s why minions of the regime go on talking about asymptomatic spread as if it were a fact when the most rigorous studies say it’s miniscule, if it occurs at all.

The “studies” offered to refute this usually assume that because a large percentage of people in a defined group tested positive and are asymptomatic, that asymptomatic people must be spreading it, which clearly does not follow for a highly virulent pathogen.

But let’s say that asymptomatic spread is significant, evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. Does that give anyone the power to forcibly confine others to their homes or force them to wear masks? No.

The limit on the right to liberty is the prohibition on aggression or injury, both of which mean deliberate harm. That you may pose a risk to others does not equate to aggression. Society is impossible without accepting the risks posed by others. There are too many. They are all preventable to some extent with sufficient oppression, but then you no longer have a society at all, much less a free one.

Everyone has the right to stay home themselves to avoid the risk of viruses. But to claim a right to confine everyone else to their homes until that risk disappears is the truly selfish position, not to mention insane.

The same reasoning applies to the vaccines. There is a good amount of gaslighting regarding their effectiveness in preventing transmission of the disease, even after the CDC Director herself said they don’t. But whether they prevent infection and transmission or merely lessen the severity of the symptoms, there is no case for vaccine mandates.

If they prevent infection and transmission, then those who choose to be vaccinated are safe from those who don’t. If they merely lessen the symptoms, but don’t prevent transmission, as the CDC Director said, then declining the vaccine harms no one but oneself.

If they don’t do either, as increasing anecdotal and some clinical evidence suggests, then there isn’t much reason for anyone to take them at all, much less mandate them.

No one honest with himself can possibly believe governments and the media are being honest about Covid-19. But even holding their statements in the most charitable light possible does not justify any of the measures we’ve endured over the past 19 months. And none of it would be possible without support from at least a significant minority of the people.

All those not only tacitly accepting but championing the governments’ closing businesses, locking people in their homes, mandating masks, or forcibly requiring anyone to take a drug, no matter how effective, all for the purpose of marginally reducing risk to themselves from a virus with a 99.5% survival rate, is monstrously selfish. Shame on them.

Tom Mullen is the author oWhere Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.

Why Do Americans Believe the Same Government That Failed Colossally in Afghanistan Is Competent at Fighting Covid-19?

The memes say it all. But if you want more “official” confirmation, a recent poll found that only 35% of Americans believe the 20-year war in Afghanistan was worth fighting. It’s hard to believe the number is even that high.

It’s not just that the very same Islamic fundamentalist group Washington went to war with twenty years ago is now running the country. The war also failed to reduce terrorism. Major terrorist attacks in the U.S. were at their highest post-2001 when the war on terror was at its height and dropped to virtually zero during the cease fire with the Taliban negotiated by former President Trump.

Just like Washington’s wars on drugs, the war on terrorism gave us a lot more of what it was at war with. This shouldn’t be a surprise. The government fails at every major initiative it undertakes. This is the organization that managed to interrupt a 200-year trend of falling poverty rates just a few decades after declaring war on poverty in the 1960s.

But Afghanistan was especially jolting. Not many people look at the incriminating data on the war on poverty, but everyone saw the chaotic withdrawal from Kabul. In the ensuing days, reality began to sink in. The U.S. had wasted 20 years, trillions of dollars, thousands of U.S. military lives, and hundreds of thousands of lives overall, for nothing.

All. For. Nothing.

Yet, as shocking as that reality is to most Americans, they still somehow believe this same government, the one that ran that 20-year debacle, suddenly becomes highly competent when fighting an airborne respiratory virus.

Washington’s War on Covid has been no more successful than its war against the Taliban. The proof isn’t hard to find. This article collated 35 studies showing the enormously destructive Covid “lockdowns” had no effect on slowing the spread or reducing hospitalizations or deaths from Covid-19.

The best studies – the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) – suggest that masks aren’t particularly effective, either. But the federal and state governments continue to mandate them.

Then, there are the vaccines. The goalposts for evaluating them have moved significantly over the course of this year. We were originally told the vaccines would provide long-lasting immunity from the SARS-COV-2 virus. Now, we’re told the vaccines will merely lessen the severity of symptoms. The CDC director confirmed this months ago and the latest data seem to indicate that vaccination rates are not affecting the spread of Covid-19.

There is some evidence the vaccines are preventing hospitalization and death from Covid-19, but the latest study from the UK indicates fully vaccinated people made up 64% of all Covid deaths since February 2021. When you count partially vaccinated people, that number rises to 70%.

Even if vaccines are preventing hospitalizations or deaths those who choose to remain unvaccinated do not pose an increased risk to others if the vaccines aren’t preventing spread of the virus. But governments are still mandating the vaccines, just as they continued to mandate indoor smoking bans after the evidence was in that doing so didn’t improve health outcomes.

Unfortunately, there is long precedent for Americans continuing to have faith in disastrous government interventions even well after they are obvious failures. Americans still believed the New Deal was helping even after the stock market crashed a second time and unemployment started to rise again in 1937. They still believed it after FDR’s own Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, told the House Ways and Means Committee in 1939,

“We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work…I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started… And an enormous debt to boot!”

They still believe it to this day no matter how many times it is debunked.

There was enormous hope in 1974 that faith in government was finally broken after President Nixon resigned in disgrace, especially among members of the new Libertarian Party. But Americans went on believing.

Keynesian economics was pronounced dead for a few years after stagflation in the 1970s – considered impossible in the Keynesian framework – but it quickly resurrected to dominate fiscal and monetary policy without a peep from the public.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton declared, “the era of big government is over.” But today it is bigger and more destructive than ever. Yet, no one in his right mind would say the war on drugs has been a success. Nor can it be argued the Department of Education has done anything but massive harm.

We have a whole generation of college graduates living in their parents’ basements, working low-paying and part time jobs, and trying to pay off massive student loans after being incentivized by easy money and government guaranteed loans to pursue college degrees with no ROI. Meanwhile, there is a crisis-level shortage of skilled tradespeople who could be on a path to upper middle-class incomes had they not been conned into college.

The harm done to young people in general pales in comparison to what the government has done to the African American community. What two hundred years of slavery and another one hundred years of institutional discrimination couldn’t do, the government accomplished in just fifty years “trying to help.”

Devastation is the only word appropriate to describe the African American community in 2021. And anyone familiar with the work of Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams knows this is not something intrinsic to their race or culture. The government did that to them and it doesn’t intend to stop.

The Afghanistan War debacle was shocking to most Americans, but it was really just one more in a long line of government failures, not all of which made such compelling TV. Nevertheless, a significant percentage of the American public not only complies with but zealously defends Covid-19 policies that will look no better than Afghanistan in the rearview mirror.

What will it take to break this religious faith in government?

Tom Mullen is the author oWhere Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.

Why is freedom always the problem?

Publication1 croppedOne year after Americans were ordered to close down society for “two weeks to flatten the curve,” Bloomberg columnist Andreas Kluth warned, “We Must Start Planning for a Permanent Pandemic.” Because new variants of SARS-COV-2 are impervious to existing vaccines, says Kluth, and pharmaceutical companies will never be able to develop new vaccines fast enough to keep up, we will never be able to get “back to normal.”

“Get back to normal” means recovering the relative liberty we had in our already overregulated, pre-Covid lives. This is just the latest in a long series of crises that always seem to lead our wise rulers to the same conclusion: we just cannot afford freedom anymore.

Covid-19 certainly wasn’t the beginning. Americans were told “the world changed” after 9/11/2001. Basic pillars of the American system, like the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, were too antiquated to deal with the “new threat of terrorism.” Warrantless surveillance of our phone, e-mail, and financial records and physical searches of our persons without probable cause of a crime became the norm. A few principled civil libertarians dissented, but the public largely complied without protest. “Keep us safe,” they told the government, no matter the cost in dollars or liberty.

Perhaps seeing how willingly the public rolled over for the political right during the “war on terror,” authoritarians on the left turbocharged their own war on “climate change.” Previously interested in merely significantly raising taxes and heavily regulating industry, they now wish to ban all sorts of things, including air travel, driving a car, and even eating meat.

Since Covid-19, however, even the freedom to assemble and see each other’s faces may be permanently banned to help the government “keep us safe.”

Assaulting our liberty isn’t the only characteristic these crisis narratives have in common. They share at least two others: dire predictions that turn out to be false and proposed solutions that turn out to be ineffective.

George W. Bush warned Saddam Hussein had “weapons of mass destruction” capable of hitting New York City within 45 minutes. He created the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA to prevent, among other things, a “mushroom cloud” over a major American city.

Twenty years later, we know there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the terrorist threat was grossly exaggerated, and the TSA has still never caught a terrorist, not even the two mental midgets who tried to set off explosives concealed in their shoes and underwear, respectively.

The only effective deterrent of terrorism so far has been the relatively calmer foreign policy during the four years of the Trump administration, during which regime change operations ceased and major terrorist attacks in the United States virtually disappeared.

Predictions of environmental catastrophe have similarly proven false. Younger people may not remember that in the early 1970s, long before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born, environmentalists were predicting worldwide disasters that subsequently failed to materialize. In 1989, the Associated Press reported, “A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.” The same official predicted the Earth’s temperature would rise 1 to 7 degrees in the next 30 years.

Ocasio-Cortez is famous for predicting in 2019, “The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” But Al Gore had warned in 2006 that “unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return.” So, isn’t it too late anyway?

As with the war on terrorism, the war on climate change asks us to give up our freedom for solutions that don’t work. Assuming climate change proponents have diagnosed the problem correctly and haven’t exaggerated the threat – huge assumptions by themselves – implementing their proposed solution won’t solve the problem, even by their own standards.

Its proponents know this. The U.S. has already led the world in reducing carbon emissions without the draconian provisions of the Green New Deal. If you listen to them carefully, the Green New Deal’s proponents propose the U.S. give up what freedom and prosperity remain to them merely as an example to developing nations, whom they assume will forego the benefits of industrialization already enjoyed by developed countries because of the shining example of an America in chains and brought to its economic knees to “save the earth.”

Fat chance, that.

The latest remake of this horror movie is Covid-19. While undeniably a serious pathogen that has likely killed more people than even the worst flu epidemics of the past several decades (although this is hard to confirm since public health officials changed the methodology for determining a virus-caused death), the government and its minions have still managed to grossly exaggerate this threat.

Gone is any sense of proportion when discussing Covid-19. Yes, it is certainly possible to spread the virus after one has been vaccinated or acquired natural immunity. But how likely is it? Is it any more likely than spreading other pathogens after immunity?

If not, then why are we treating people with immunity differently than we have during more dangerous pandemics in the past? Similarly, it is likely possible for asymptomatic people to spread the virus – a key pillar of the lockdown argument – but again, how likely is it?

The theory Covid-19 could be spread by asymptomatic people was originally based on the case of a single woman who supposedly infected four other people while experiencing no symptoms. Anthony Fauci said this case “lays the question to rest.”

The only problem was no one had asked the woman in question if she had symptoms at the time. When it turned out she did, the study on her was retracted. A subsequent study “did not link any COVID-19 cases to asymptomatic carriers,” and yet another after that concluded transmission of the disease by asymptomatic carriers “is not a major driver of spread.” Yet, policies based on this falsehood, like lockdowns and forcing asymptomatic people to wear masks, remain in place.

Most importantly, none of the government-mandated Covid-19 mitigation policies work. No retrospective review conducted with any semblance of the scientific method has found a relationship between lockdowns, mask mandates, or social distancing and the spread of Covid-19. In fact, the most recent study suggests lockdowns may have increased Covid-19 infections, in addition to all the non-Covid excess deaths they caused.

Over and over, authoritarians overhype crises to scare the living daylights out of the public and propose solutions that have two things in common: they demand more of our freedom and they don’t work. It’s always all pain and no gain. One wonders how many repetitions of this crisis drill it will take before the citizens of the so-called “land of the free” finally think to ask:

Why is freedom always the problem?

Tom Mullen is the author of Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.