Tag: 2020 September Group Writing

If I Were CDC Director…


I would start by taking the various department heads in a room to get my point across:  Professionalism and competence earn respect. At the beginning of the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic, 80% of people in the US trusted the CDC for information on the pandemic. It is now near 50% and falling. If the CDC is not trusted by the American people to provide advice on a pandemic, what is its purpose? (Aside from paying bureaucrats.)

The CDC must be a conservative organization. One of Conquest’s laws of politics is that any organization that is not explicitly conservative will become liberal over time, so the CDC must be conservative. What this means in practice is a presumption against restricting people’s freedom. People need to take risks and determine what is safe. We give them information so that they can make an informed decision. When we practice quarantine and lockdown measures, it should be treated like going to war or invoking martial law – never done lightly.

Bloom Where You’re Planted


I’ve had the dickens of a time coming up with something to say about this month’s group writing topic which, to recapitulate is, “if I was a —, I would —.”

Fortunately, in the midst of expostulating about several unwelcome events in my life right now (like the recent, untimely, and–as it turns out–very expensive demise of my refrigerator only a decade into its young life), I expressed that frustration to a Ricochet friend who made a few suggestions which set me on a different path to those I’d been struggling with (thank you very much). As a result of that, here I still am, and here we go (not quite fully in line with the prescribed structure, but, as with everything else in my life it’s the best I can do, and if it’s not good enough, read no further or–as my dear departed mother would often say–“just do the other thing”).

Here it is: “If I were going there, I wouldn’t start from here.” Perhaps a variant, or just a re-statement of the more common maxim that “you can’t get there from here.”

If I Were the Pope, I’d Deal with China Differently


The Catholic Church, in her long and storied history, has lots of experience dealing with dictatorial powers that see her as a rival.

Throughout much of European history, bishops were a different class of wealthy noblemen. Rulers rightly saw bishops as potential threats. Many kings and princes attempted to control the ability to appoint the bishops within their rule. The response of the Church varied over time and place, but the essential lesson is that the Church should not, can not, cede her power to appoint bishops to the local authorities. When she does, it goes badly.

If I Were…


God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.

I have recited the words above many thousands of times. It often does not work. Somewhere deep inside there lurks an opposite sentiment, an anti-serenity prayer to self. “I hate [insert adverse circumstance/condition/outcome here] and I resent that I do not have the power to change it.” In this formulation, discernment and wisdom have no role.