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Wall Street Journal columnist Allysia Finley imagines the reaction of a Californian who just awoke from a coma that he entered on New Year’s Eve 2019. A slice:

Yesterday, his wife, Jess, took him shopping at Target. Toothpaste, deodorant and paper towels were locked up. She said stores did this to keep shoplifters from clearing out the shelves. He nearly had a coronary when he looked at the prices. Twelve bucks for a pack of cotton socks? Three dollars for a half-gallon of milk?

They were spending Christmas Eve with family in Riverside. Four years ago, his sister Rachel and her husband, Steve, had bought a three-bedroom tract home for $400,000. Homes in her neighborhood were now fetching close to $700,000. You might as well be living in Texas where the weather is the same and everything costs half as much.

They had thought about moving closer to the coast but couldn’t afford to at current prices and mortgage interest rates at 7%. Last time he could recall rates being this high was around 9/11. In any case, homeless people were now everywhere. There was no escaping them, unless you moved out of state.

That’s what his brother James’s family did when California went into “lockdown” in March 2020. Lockdowns, Jess explained, were why his barbershop and favorite Mexican restaurant were no longer around. That a democratic government could order businesses and schools to close for months on end dumbfounded him.

Will Sellers writes about the failure of the Pilgrims’ first Christmas.

Whites Only’ is (truly) racist and regressive and a reflection of ignorance. But ‘Blacks Only’ is (or so many people today suppose) not only not racist, but is oh so progressive and a reflection of enlightenment.

George Leef:

Perhaps we should be happy that Harvard is determined to keep Claudine Gay as its president. Nothing could do more to focus attention on the institutional rot the university has been suffering for many years.

Professor William Jacobson contemplates here the harm that has been done to the “Harvard brand.”

He notes that Claudine Gay is a non-scholar whose academic publications wouldn’t get her tenure at a low-level college. Ah, but Harvard no longer cares about scholarship — it is clearly concerned only about having a leader who will push the “diversity” agenda full throttle. In that regard, she was in on the nasty attack on Professor Roland Fryer because he (a scholar of repute) wrote a paper that undermined the leftist narrative about race. He also writes that she plagiarized the work of (among others) Professor Carol Swain.

Jacobson writes, “Gay is a child of privilege who learned how to play the game among other elites — she stole from Swain and shut down Fryer on her path to the presidency.”

Bob Graboyes for the holidays.

Juliette Sellgren talks with Brent Orrell about dignity and work.

Freddie Sayers shares some pandemic lessons from Anders Tegnell. A slice:

Tegnell, both revered and reviled as the architect of Sweden’s more laissez-faire Covid response, begins by restating the fundamentals in answer to a series of written questions. What was Sweden’s approach to lockdowns? “No formal lockdown used.” What about so-called “circuit-breaker” mini lockdowns? “None used.” And what was the overall result in terms of excess deaths, or the number of people who died as a result of the Covid period? “Excess mortality differs slightly depending on the method but Sweden is at the same level as the Nordic countries and sometimes lower. The UK has a considerably higher excess mortality.” Ouch.

Frankly, Dr Tegnell needn’t have said anything else. The combination of these two datapoints alone — that the only country in Europe to avoid lockdowns entirely emerged with the lowest excess death count of the whole continent — should be enough for any fair-minded evaluation of the evidence to conclude that lockdowns were a mistake. The minimum evidential threshold for a policy experiment so radical and so destructive to society must surely be that it definitely saved lives; this threshold was not met, and in fact the Swedish example suggests that the policy may well have cost lives in the longer term.

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