As Americans are repeatedly warned about a spike in coronavirus cases just as state governments have begun to allow us leave our homes and venture out (and yes, I mean “allow” us) I can’t help but wonder if they are gearing up for another round of stay-at-home and close-your-business orders. “It’s for our own good because we can’t be trusted,” they tell us as they broadcast photos of people being bad, usually at beaches. And I wonder if the people of this country will blindly let them do it again, even though it is really the politicians, the experts, and the media that cannot be trusted.
My father’s Aunt Clara was 18 years old in 1918, living in Cresbard, South Dakota, and tracking her days in a journal. The difference is that in 1918, the world was in the middle of the Spanish Flu pandemic. And I happen to have a copy of that journal. Entries are filled with the names of her peers who succumbed to the flu, including her 20-year-old sweetheart. It is heartbreaking to read.
It is also a fascinating study on just how little people have changed. Clara stays out late with her friends, she doesn’t like algebra, she practices her piano, and she eats too much candy.
Also unchanged is how we deal with a global pandemic.
Two lesser known pandemics took place between the 1918 influenza and the 2020 Covid-19 outbreak: the 1957 Asian flu and the 1968 Hong Kong flu. Both highly contagious and deadly – the world witnessed over a million deaths each in an era when the global population was...
Read Article : Epidemics, Then & Now: A Family Perspective
The lockdowners probably had no idea what they were about to unleash. On paper, their plans all seemed fine. Keep people apart. Make them stay home. Only essential workers should go to work. Government can do the rest. Church, theaters, sports, bars, schools – everything has to give way to rule by disease mitigators.
Let the kids play computer games. Let the offices operate through Zoom. A bit of time off never hurt anyone, and, besides, there is Netflix. We’ll beat this virus by hiding from it, and then it’ll get bored and go back where it came from. The model builders will be heroes. We only need to demonstrate the power of computers over even the awesome and previously uncontrollable forces of nature. The virus will relent in the face of our intelligence, power, and resources.
What they did not expect were riots in the streets, toppled statues, secession movements, the rise of political extremism on all sides, the fueling of race conflict, and the spread of nihilism. What’s happening all over the world feels like revolution.
Once you lock down a population by executive fiat, based on obvious ignorance and fear, you send a signal that nothing much matters anymore. Nothing is true, permanent, right, wrong. Might as well tear it all down. You literally unleash Hell.
There is plenty of historical precedent for this but one episode has long intrigued me. It concerns the rise of Brutalist architecture after World War II....
Read Article : The Return of Brutalism
Editor’s Note: A long-time supporter of The Atlas Society, Dr. Kyle Ver Steeg shared with Senior Editor Marilyn Moore how Objectivist ethics helped him during medical school and throughout his successful career as a surgeon in private practice. He received his B.S. in Pharmacy at the University of Iowa and his Doctor of Medicine degree at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, Illinois. His internship and residency in general surgery were done at the University of Iowa in Iowa City and Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas. Recently retired from 40 years as a general and bariatric surgeon in private practice, he lives with his wife and family on a 40-acre tree farm outside a small community in north central Iowa. Except for his educational requirements, he has been an Iowan all of his life.
MM: After you retired, you wrote a book about maintaining your independence as a surgeon in private practice. You give a lot of credit to Ayn Rand. In the book, The Making of a Cowboy Doctor, you mention reading Atlas Shrugged for the first time during your junior year in college. Can you tell me how it happened? What or who triggered your interest in the novel?
KVS: My first wife. I wasn't much of a reader then, but she recommended Atlas Shrugged. She never recommended a book before, but she thought I'd like it. I thought, well that's curious. So I went ahead and started reading it. And the more I read it, the more my attitude...
Read Article : Member Spotlight: Kyle Ver Steeg, M.D.
“You shouldn’t wear that lipstick, it makes you look older,” Jeffrey Epstein told me.
I was 27, and wasn’t thinking about how to make myself look younger -- particularly not when dating a man 13 years my senior. At the time it didn’t strike me as a particularly odd thing to say. Mostly what I remember is feeling hurt, embarrassed, and second guessing myself -- not just in my choice of frosted pink lipstick, but in my choice to fly down to Palm Beach to visit Jeffrey in the first place.
My experiences with Jeffrey had mostly lapsed into the murk of memory, where they would likely have remained, unexamined, were it not for the original Netflix series “Filthy Rich” documenting his serial abuse of young women, and most disturbingly, minors. But watching the series prompted me to reflect upon and write about those experiences, primarily to share strength and hope with young people who might be vulnerable to people like Jeffrey.
It was June 17, 1994. I remember the date not because of the significance of the lipstick remark, or anything traumatic that happened between me and Jeffrey that weekend, but because like 95 other million people, we were glued to the television watching the infamous Bronco police chase, which resulted in the ultimate arrest of OJ Simpson.
While not glued to the television in his kitchen watching the unfolding Simpson saga, Jeffrey and I lounged in his pool. I remember what I was wearing -- a beige crochet bikini -- and what he was not:...
Read Article : My Time with Jeffrey Epstein
Editor’s Note: Daoly’s 2018 autobiographical novel In the Pursuit of Truth, published by Liberty Hill Press, is part of The Writers Series, our popular series that showcases novels influenced by or reminiscent of Ayn Rand. The book summarizes the author’s philosophical view and how it formed through his personal experience. Like Ayn Rand’sWe the Living, it dramatizes the personal struggle of the individual against the state. The following excerpt, from chapter 8, shows some of the tedium, cruelty, and absurdity of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, now in its tenth year, from the point of view of the protagonist, DR, now a young adult.
During the decade of Cultural Revolution, people experienced horrific events that made their blood boil and eyes tear. People’s suffering, like DR’s father in the hands of the political hooligans, was heartbreaking. Yet in those long and dark years, what people had to bear ceaselessly was boredom –– the same boring, stereotyped, and inflated language repeated by the media and the bureaucrats.
Lin Biao’s monotonous and dragging voice on Tiananmen at the beginning of the Red Guard movement echoed in Chinese people’s ears for years. “Chairman Mao is our great teacher, great leader, great commander in...
Read Article : Boredom