Odds and Ends — 9 May 2021



Why So Many Voters Want to Be Lied To

Often, people just want to believe the liar. Personality cults increase the leader’s credibility, since they present him as possessed of special powers or ruling with a divine mandate, making him seem infallible. Strongmen also know how to be persuasive, especially if they previously worked as journalists (Mussolini and the Congo’s Mobutu Sese Seko), in television (Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi and Trump) or were professional dissemblers (Putin was a KGB case officer). These practiced liars work hard to seem authentic.
Moreover, once people bond with the leader, they may be inclined to dismiss any evidence that conflicts with his claims, or overlook contradictions in his messages. They believe him because they believe in him. Or, in an interesting twist, they know he is lying, but they decide that they don’t care: better him than his enemy (who, as they have been taught to believe, lies even more). And some people actually approve of all the lying, seeing it as rule-breaking by a rogue they adore.

U.K. Labour Party In Turmoil

The Secret Papers of Lee Atwater, Who Invented the Scurrilous Tactics That Trump Normalized

Biden Administration Defends Trump Leak Probe

It is not surprising that the Trump administration obtained the phone records of reporters during a leak hunt last year. What is surprising is that the Biden Justice Department, in recent letters to the targeted journalists, appears to be defending the action.

Is it really surprising? C’mon, Biden’s a statist.

NOAA’s “new normal” climate report is anything but normal


”California’s population declined in 2020 for the first time in the state’s recorded history due to Covid-19 deaths, federal immigration restrictions and declining births, state officials announced Friday.”

The Underground Railroad review: A remarkable American epic


Badge thanks to @arcange

Meme credit: GenghisTebbit (source)