“The book is a collection of my (mostly) unpublished essays and op-eds on the nature and meaning of America. The audience for this monograph is thoughtful and patriotic Americans who are looking for some inspiration and motivation to continue the never-ending fight to defend the United States of America from its critics on the postmodern Left and Right.”
Here is the table of contents:
Part One: What America Is
Chapter 1 The Moral Logic of the American Revolution
Chapter 2 What America Is
Part Two: What America Ought to Be
Chapter 3 Equality and the American Dream
Chapter 4 Independence Forever!
Chapter 5 America Seen from the Eyes of a Child
Chapter 6 Americanism, or America’s Last Best Hope
Chapter 7 Restoring the Vital Center
Appendix 1 Self-Made Men
Appendix 2 The Declaration of Independence
Appendix 3 The Constitution of the United States of America
Appendix 4 Bill of Rights
Appendix 5 The Gettysburg Address
About the Author
Here’s the Preface:
We live in an exciting new age of technological innovation and intellectual entrepreneurship. Writer platforms such as Substack and Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) have democratized publishing in exciting new ways. This means of course that a lot of second- and third-rate material is published (which, by the way, is little different from much of what is published by some prestigious academic presses), but it also means that the old publishing monopoly held by elite magazine, journal, and book publishers is slowly coming to an end. This also means that aspiring, non-credentialed, new writers (both young and old) can go around the establishment press and publish their own books and articles, and sometimes even get paid rather handsomely for their efforts.
The new publishing landscape does not represent a Gutenberg Revolution in publishing, at least not quite yet, but it is signaling a radically new publishing environment in which certain ideas—particularly ideas that challenge the current cultural hegemony—can be shared with ever more people. This book is therefore a small experiment to test whether certain old ideas—ideas once considered to be self-evidently true—can be communicated to large audiences outside the extant publishing and educational monopoly of ideas.
Fortunately, I’m at that point in my career (i.e., as a tenured full professor) where I don’t really need to publish more academic books (though I have several more in the pipeline). I now have the luxury of experimenting and seeking news platforms to publish my thoughts on the things I care about or on matters important to the general public.
My goal here is not to write for an academic audience. Instead, I am using my new venture, Loco-Foco Press, to publish books for ordinary Americans who care about the future of their country.
I had no plan to do anything like this until my friend Mark Da Cunha insisted that I collect some of my (mostly) unpublished essays on America and publish them to celebrate July 4th. Well, one thing led to another, and I realized that not only did I have one book’s worth of material based on unpublished essays and speeches but several books. Readers should know that I write regularly at Substack under the nom de plume, The Redneck Intellectual. I currently have enough of my Substack essays to publish three or four books. It then occurred to me that I should start a “press,” or at least an imprint, to publish my “overflow” essays or those more appropriate for a general audience. And thus was born Loco-Foco Press.
Some of you might be curious to know the origin of the word Loco-Foco. The term refers to a rump faction of radical Democrats in the 1830s and 1840s, who broke from the main party and formed a small, splinter party in 1835 known as the Equal Rights Party. The self-designated Loco-Focos took their name from a brand of friction matches that they used to illuminate the darkened hall of their first meeting. The Loco-Focos were the most principled and dedicated proponents of a free society of any political party in American history. Loco-Foco Press hopes to carry on the principles and politics of the Loco-Focos into the twenty-first century.
What America Is: The Moral Logic of the American Revolution and Other Essays is the perfect gift for this July 4th. Order your copy here.
“It wasn’t just the friendliness of the people, who exude the confidence and openness of men and women living, worshiping, and loving as they please. It was the sense of excitement, of dynamism, a certain electricity in the air and in personal interactions. These were clearly the descendants, I thought, of those who overturned imperialism and slavery, defeated fascism and communism, invented motion pictures and jazz, eliminated diseases, created the internet, and landed on the moon. I knew then that I wanted to live with them, to call them my friends and family—even, if I could, to be one of them.” – Yeonmi Park
“lockdowns were a failed promise. They had negligible health effects but disastrous economic, social and political costs to society”
A new systematic review and meta-analysis published by the Institute of Economic Affairs finds that Covid lockdowns failed to significantly reduce deaths
The Herby-Jonung-Hanke meta-analysis found that lockdowns, as reported in studies based on stringency indices in the spring of 2020, reduced mortality by 3.2 per cent when compared to less strict lockdown policies adopted by the likes of Sweden
This means lockdowns prevented 1,700 deaths in England and Wales, 6,000 deaths across Europe, and 4,000 deaths in the United States.
Lockdowns prevented relatively few deaths compared to a typical flu season – in England and Wales, 18,500–24,800 flu deaths occur, in Europe 72,000 flu deaths occur, and in the United States 38,000 flu deaths occur in a typical flu season
These results pale in comparison to the Imperial College of London’s modelling exercises (March 2020), which predicted that lockdowns would save over 400,000 lives in the United Kingdom and over 2 million lives in the United States
Herby, Jonung, and Hanke conclude that voluntary changes in behaviour, such as social distancing, played a significant role in mitigating the pandemic – but harsher restrictions, like stay-at-home rules and school closures, generated very high costs but produced only negligible health benefits
COVID-19 lockdowns were “a global policy failure of gigantic proportions,” according to this peer-reviewed new academic study. The draconian policy failed to significantly reduce deaths while imposing substantial social, cultural, and economic costs.
“This study is the first all-encompassing evaluation of the research on the effectiveness of mandatory restrictions on mortality,” according to one of the study’s co-authors, Dr. Lars Jonung, professor emeritus at the Knut Wicksell Centre for Financial Studies at Sweden’s Lund University, “It demonstrates that lockdowns were a failed promise. They had negligible health effects but disastrous economic, social and political costs to society. Most likely lockdowns represent the biggest policy mistake in modern times.”
The comprehensive 220-page book, published today by the London-based think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, began with a systematic review of 19,646 potentially relevant studies. For their meta-analysis, the authors’ screening resulted in the choice of 22 studies that are based on actual, measured mortality data, not on results derived from modelling exercises. A meta-analysis is considered the ‘gold-standard’ for evidence, as it combines comparable, independent studies to determine overall trends.
The authors, including Professor Steve H. Hanke of the Johns Hopkins University, also consider a range of studies that determined the impact of individual lockdown restrictions, including stay at-home rules to school closures and travel restrictions.
In each case, the restrictions did little to reduce COVID-19 mortality:
Shelter-in-place (stay at home) orders in Europe and the United States reduced COVID mortality by between 1.4 and 4.1 per cent;
Business closures reduced mortality by 7.5 per cent;
Gathering limits likely increased COVID mortality by almost six per cent;
Mask mandates, which most countries avoided in Spring 2020, reduced mortality by 18.7 per cent, particularly mandates in workplaces; and
School closures resulted in a between 2.5 per cent and 6.2 per cent mortality reduction.
A second approach employed by the authors to estimate the effects of lockdowns on mortality combined studies that looked at specific lockdown measures (such as school closures, mask wearing, etc.) on how single non-pharmaceutical interventions were actually used in Europe and the United States. Using this approach, the authors estimate that lockdowns reduced mortality by 10.7 per cent in the spring of 2020 – significantly less than estimates produced by epidemiological modelling.
The study compares the effect of lockdown measures against the effect of ‘doing the least,’ rather than doing nothing at all. Sweden’s response to COVID was among the least stringent in Europe, but still imposed some legal restrictions and included an extensive public information campaign.
Voluntary measures, like social distancing and the reduction of person-to-person contact, effectively reduced COVID mortality in Sweden, a country that did not impose draconian legal restrictions. This is consistent with evidence early in the pandemic that voluntary action began reducing transmission before lockdowns.
The authors also conclude that legal mandates only limited a relatively small set of potential contagious contacts, and could in some cases have backfired by encouraging people to stay indoors in less safe environments.
If voluntary action, minor legal changes, and proactive information campaigns effectively reduced the transmission of COVID, lockdowns were unwarranted from a public health point of view. This negative conclusion is amplified by the significant economic and social costs associated with lockdowns, which include:
stunted economic growth;
large increases in public debt;
damage to children’s education and health;
reduced health-related quality of life;
damage to mental health;
increased crime; and
threats to democracy and loss of freedom.
The research concludes that, unless substantial alternative evidence emerges, lockdowns should be ‘rejected out of hand’ to control future pandemics.
Jonas Herby, co-author of the study and special adviser at the Center for Political Studies (CEPOS), an independent classical liberal think tank based in Copenhagen, Denmark, said:
“Numerous misleading studies, driven by subjective models and overlooking significant factors like voluntary behaviour changes, heavily influenced the initial perception of lockdowns as highly effective measures. Our meta-analysis suggests that when researchers account for additional variables, such as voluntary behaviour, the impact of lockdowns becomes negligible.”
Professor Steve H. Hanke, co-author and professor of applied economics and co-director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise at Johns Hopkins University:
“When it comes to COVID, epidemiological models have many things in common: dubious assumptions, hair-raising predictions of disaster that miss the mark, and few lessons learned. The science of lockdowns is clear; the data are in: the lives saved were a drop in the bucket compared to the staggering collateral costs imposed.”
The American Conservative has an important article on the banned book, “Why ‘When Harry Became Sally’ Matters” and the politicization of the treatment for those who suffer from gender dysphoria:
…In short, a dearth of definitive data exists to support using surgery and hormones for all gender dysphoric patients. If this alone were the case, it would be enough to approach such aggressive interventions with hesitancy. But there are other elements to the clinical situation which should give one even more pause.
If gender depends on the subjective feeling of the patient, it is not static but fluid. Thus, even after hormones and surgery, patients change their minds only to confront the irreversibility of some of the treatments. In the most powerful chapter of his book, Ryan Anderson gives voice to those who “detransitioned” back to their biological gender. Anderson quotes Cari Stella, a detransitioned 22-year-old woman: “When I was transitioning, no one in the medical or psychological field ever tried to dissuade me, to offer other options, to do really anything to stop me besides tell me I should wait till I was 18.” In an extensive and thorough essay for The Atlantic, Jesse Singal documented some of the same thoughtless pressure from medical professionals: “Many of these so-called detransitioners argue that their dysphoria was caused…by mental health problems, trauma…They say they were nudged toward physical interventions of hormones or surgery by peer pressure or by clinicians who overlooked other potential explanations for their distress.”
This societal pressure primarily harms patients; but it also harms and all too often attempts to silence the frank and productive debate necessary to evaluate any medical intervention. As Anderson documents, in October 2017, “the governor of California signed a new law that could send health-care workers to jail for failing to use a person’s chosen pronouns.” In February, 2018, the New York Timespublished a column by Jennifer Finney Boylan, claiming Ryan Anderson’s book “suggests that transgender people are crazy, and that what we deserve at every turn is scorn, contempt and belittlement.” No passage in the book even remotely implies this. Only a few years ago, Dr. Kenneth Zucker, a world-renowned psychological expert on gender dysphoria and gender identity development, was fired from the Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic in Toronto, likely for taking a somewhat conservative approach to pre-pubescent children expressing gender dysphoria. His concern, that young patients might change their minds, led him to recommend a watchful and cautious approach rather than an aggressive medical approach to transition patients immediately. He was unceremoniously dismissed.
In this Aporia Institute video, Andrew Bernstein demonstrates the history, philosophy, and economics behind capitalism. He also addresses the false arguments that connect capitalism with slavery and imperialism.
Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, named by readers in 1991 as the most influential book after the Bible, is a novelized warning about the allure and evils of socialism. What happens when the most productive members in society give up? How much can be asked of them before they do? Who is left to support the rest? Michael Knowles and Eric Daniels take you through Rand’s prophetic masterpiece.