COVID Lockdown = Global War on the Poor.

Fr. Boniface Screenshot. ThumbnailSo, we are all having a tough time from the COVID lockdown and restrictions.  What if we had to leave our homes each day to collect water from a common well, and carry it back home, on foot? What if we had to gather sticks for firewood, in order to cook our food? No electricity means no refrigeration, means leaving home each day, just to purchase something to eat. What does “slowing down the economy” mean in a country where the average income is less than $5 per day?

Listen to my interview with Fr. Boniface from Uganda. He doesn’t complain. He just explains. People are starving. Continue reading “COVID Lockdown = Global War on the Poor.”

Ruth Institute July 9 statement re Louisiana COVID restrictions

JRM Blue jacket Mary Sweetened thumbnailRuth Institute reacts to LA Governor’sJuly 8, 2020statement: We congratulate Gov Edwards on his wise and judicious approach to the coronavirus.

Yesterday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards gave a press conference about the coronavirus in our state. We at the Ruth institute listened closely since we are planning a live event in 10 days. We would like to thank and congratulate Governor Edwards for his wise and judicious leadership.

He reported up to date information about the state of the disease in Louisiana. He noted that some requirements, such as wearing masks, are not governed by state law, but by local law at the city or parish level. He announced no new state-wide restrictions. He told us the facts and urged everyone to do their part.

His position is in tune with the sensibilities of the people, and respectful of our constitutional rights. He is treating us like adult citizens, not like children or subjects. He recognizes that the people have spiritual, economic, social and emotional needs, as well as medical needs. We need a balanced approach that is sustainable over the long-haul. That is better than short bursts of extraordinary effort that cannot be maintained. A lot of people get up in the morning swearing they will never leave the house again. By noon, they’re ready to go to a party. That’s what we’re dealing with. We need to have strategies that are sustainable, for the long haul. Continue reading “Ruth Institute July 9 statement re Louisiana COVID restrictions”

Conservatives Keep Losing: so what CAN we do?

JRM Blue jacket Mary Sweetened thumbnailNo RINOs CINOs or Conservative Inc.

I recently wrote an article called “Ideas Don’t Have Consequences.” The subtitle was “Why Conservatives Keep Losing.”  My point was that ideas by themselves, don’t do a darn thing. Someone has to take action to implement those ideas, to fight for those ideas and to build a society around those ideas.

A lot of you guys liked the article. But they have been asking me, “what can we do? We know that we are doing isn’t working. What can we do? What should we do?” Continue reading “Conservatives Keep Losing: so what CAN we do?”

Detecting Totalitarian Ideologies on Independence Day 2020

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“Soft power” systems to justify the accumulation of hard power, disarming victims and providing cover for abusers.

 Today is July 4th, 2020, Independence Day in the United States. I’m going to a cook-out today as soon as I finish this video, so I’m dressed in my picnic clothes. America is on edge today. We are seeing increasing restrictions to try to control the coronavirus. We are seeing rioting in the streets and the destruction of monuments.

We don’t feel like “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Independence Day is a good day to reflect on totalitarian ideologies. How can we tell the difference between the government making legitimate use of its power to protect the common good, and the arbitrary illegitimate use of that power? How can we distinguish calls for reform and calls for revolution? These are not theoretical academic questions. The future of our way of life depends on getting this right. Continue reading “Detecting Totalitarian Ideologies on Independence Day 2020”

Be not afraid. Put on a mask and go out and about.

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Being afraid adds nothing to your health or safety. Worrying doesn’t protect other people.

Those of you who are familiar with the Ruth Institute may be surprised by what I’m about to say. I’m going to make the case for wearing masks.

The public health authorities have asked us to wear masks and to keep 6 feet away from other people. These simple measures make sense. But because of the highly charged, ideological times in which we now live, even simple things raise a lot of questions. Do these measures work? How fearful should we be? Will it be my fault if someone I love gets sick?

Those questions kick off another whole round of questions and anxieties. Should we do even more than we are asked to do? Should we comply under duress or fear and complain all the while? Should we flat out defy the public health authorities? Every time we leave the house, these questions and anxieties can plague our minds. And a big decision like whether to get on an airplane? That decision can paralyze us.

That is, unless we have a sensible decision-making rule of thumb. Continue reading “Be not afraid. Put on a mask and go out and about.”

Ideas Don’t Have Consequences: Why Conservatives Keep Losing (video version)

JRM Blue jacket Mary Sweetened thumbnailWaiting around for the Apocalypse is not an honorable option. Text of a Chat recorded on Facebook Live on June 25, 2020. 

“Ideas Have Consequences.” How many times have you heard that from conservative intellectuals and professionals? Alas, this cliché is a half-truth at best, with the missing “half” being by far the more important.

The true half of the half-truth is this. Getting the ideas right is important.

When I was a young academic free market libertarian economist, I imagined I would contribute to advancing the Big Ideas of liberty. I was mentored by several think tanks that help young academics succeed in their careers. I attended many seminars and colloquia. I can honestly report: never once did I hear anyone say, “You know, we really need to start attending the Faculty Senate meetings. We should at least keep track of what our opponents are doing in our institution.”

We have no right to whine and complain about the “Left’s Long March Through the Institutions.” They marched largely unopposed. We lost a game we never even showed up to play. Continue reading “Ideas Don’t Have Consequences: Why Conservatives Keep Losing (video version)”

Ugandan Catholics: Who is really helping whom?  

JRM Blue jacket Mary Sweetened thumbnailCountering our tired clichés about race

As I watch my own country tear itself apart over race, I keep thinking about my trip to Uganda. The people I met in Uganda have a sense of the sacred, which we have largely lost in the West. We have almost convinced ourselves that only the material world is real. If we cannot touch it or measure it, it doesn’t exist.

Yet, in our cultural past, we too once had a sense of the sacred. The Greeks had it. The Romans had it. The great civilizations of Asia had it. In fact, I cannot think of any civilization that has tried to completely wipe out the idea that there is something larger than man and the material world.

Here is a story of something that happened while my son and I were in Uganda. I gave my talk to the 5,000 young people at the Ugandan National Catholic Youth Conference. I told them that the Ancient Christian teachings on marriage, family and human sexuality are more correct than the “modern” nonsense that the United Nations is trying to foist on them. Continue reading “Ugandan Catholics: Who is really helping whom?  “

Hitting the “reset” button on race, with the help of the Ugandan Martyrs.

JRM Blue jacket Mary Sweetened thumbnailI’m recording this on June 2, 2020. The United States is gripped by racial tension, including protests, riots, and lots of arguments. We’re kind of losing our minds.

When race is involved, I feel like we Americans are on a hamster wheel, running in place, going nowhere. That, or we are on a movie set of a very dark version of Ground Hog Day, doomed to experience the same day over and over until we get it right.

And let’s be clear. Race is one issue that America has never gotten right. We’ve never come close to getting it right. I realize that each person believes passionately that their own views are correct. But America as a whole? As a country, we are nowhere near getting race right. I hope we can all agree on that sad fact. Continue reading “Hitting the “reset” button on race, with the help of the Ugandan Martyrs.”

Memo to Ukraine and Anderson Cooper: What’s wrong with surrogacy

Surrogacy has certainly been in the news lately. Anderson Cooper took delivery of a newborn baby. Commissioning parents are unable to take delivery of babies in Ukraine. I must say, we at the Ruth institute have never seen so much interest in this topic in all the years we have been talking about it. I sense that people are ready to come to grips with the evils of surrogacy, in a way they have not been before. So, let me go straight to the heart of the matter and explain: what exactly is wrong with surrogacy?

It does not matter how much the commissioning parents want the baby. It does not matter how much the surrogate mother or the egg provider need the money. Their motives are not the issue. The issue is: what is owed to the child?

Why I keep bringing up Jeffrey Epstein

I have been doing these little daily chats for a few weeks now. You may have wondered why I bring up Jeffrey Epstein every day. Today, I will tell you.

Jeffry Epstein did not kill himself. This fact, which no serious person denies, marks a new era in the unfolding of the Sexual Revolution. For years, we have been told that the Sexual Revolution was part of the March of History into a glorious day of progress, peace and pleasure for everyone.

The Sexual Revolutionary ideology has insinuated itself into virtually every sector of society: law, business, medicine, academia, the media, sports and entertainment. The evidence is now overwhelming. Some highly-placed advocates of the Sexual Revolution just want to get laid. 

Memo to Sexual Revolutionary Elites: We don’t believe Jeffrey Epstein killed himself. We believe you, the Elite Ruling Class, are using the power structures of society to embolden sexual predators and disarm victims.