A Noted Physician Advocates COVID Civil Disobedience

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Famously, at the start of his 1849 essay, “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience,” Henry David Thoreau observed, “That government is best which governs least.”

Few policymakers or politicians during COVID were influenced by Thoreau, who also pointed out that “government never furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got of its way.”  Did government mandates and lockdowns make us safer or less safe during COVID? Healthier or less healthy?

Thoreau defined the “right of revolution” as “the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.”

Dr. Vinay Prasad is a practicing oncologist and a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. He is one of the foremost practitioners of evidence-based medicine in the world. He believes the time has come to “refuse allegiance” and “resist” the COVID bureaucracy, which resorts to lies

To those who justify irrational policies such as masking a toddler, Prasad writes, “Just because things are bad, or the disease is worse than the intervention, doesn’t mean the intervention helps, or should be done.” Prasad is bringing Frédéric Bastiat’s classic idea to medicine: Do not ignore consequences.

Prasad has become increasingly disturbed at policies made for political, not medical, reasons. Recently, responding to a report that N-95 masks are being mandated for children enrolled at a Montgomery County school, in Maryland (a suburb of DC), Prasad wrote, “Only non-violent resistance can halt irrational public health actors.” At this point, note that the original title of Thoreau’s essay was “Resistance to Civil Government.”

The following are the forms of non-violent resistance Prasad recommends: Even if you or your child are sick, do not test for COVID. Send your child back to school when he is well enough. “Stop reporting these illnesses” to schools and employers. “Complain to your employer about any mandates.”  “Decline any further COVID-19 vaccination, unless RCTs [randomized controlled trials] show benefit in your age group.”

In short, ignore authorities; they don’t have your best interests in mind. Prasad adds that this resistance “is the only logical course left… It’s time to go dark with all COVID data. If enough people don’t participate, the irrationality will stop. Eventually.”

If Prasad had advocated this in 2020 or 2021, he may have found his board certification subject to disciplinary hearings. But this is 2023, and despite censorship, evidence is mounting, and the intellectual climate is changing.

Isn’t all medicine evidence-based medicine? Dr Prasad would answer, if only. In 2015, with his colleague Dr. Adam Cifu, Prasad wrote Ending Medical Reversal. Prasad and Cifu observed:

Medicine is the application of science. When a scientific theory is disproved, it should happen in a lab or in the equivalent place in clinical science, the controlled clinical trial. It should not be disproved in the world of clinical medicine, where millions of people may have already been exposed to an ineffective, or perhaps even harmful, treatment.

In their book, Prasad and Cifu wrote, “Each of us recalls moments when we realized that what we had told our patients, or did for them, was wrong: We had promoted an accepted practice that was, at best, ineffective.” Notice the use of the qualifier “at best,” as often interventions are harmful.

Prasad and Cifu estimated “as much as 40 percent of the things doctors do are ineffective.” They give many examples, such as estrogen replacement for postmenopausal women and medical procedures such as “stenting open coronary lesions in people with stable angina.”

If you watch television, you have probably seen the incessant Pfizer ads promoting their COVID treatment drug, Paxlovid. Yet, Dr. Prasad tells us, that despite the Biden administration’s pushing and subsidizing the drug, there is little evidence that the drug works.

Even without cronyism showing the way, ineffective and dangerous drugs are not uncommon in the annals of medicine. Until 1992, the drug flecainide was part of the standard of care to stabilize patients with irregular heart rhythms. Prasad and Cifu reported, “a large study called the Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial (or CAST trial) showed that flecainide, as well as a similar drug, decreased PVCs as expected but also increased patients’ chance of dying.” (emphasis added.)

Prasad and Cifu drew the essential conclusion that “even the most careful reasoning and the best scientific models do not guarantee an effective clinical treatment. What works in the lab, or on a computer, or in the head of the smartest researcher does not always work in a patient.” 

Yet Prasad and Cifu acknowledge, “this is a lesson that many physicians and leading researchers still have not really learned.” Lack of learning contributed mightily to the devastating policy errors during COVID. 

Writing years before COVID, Prasad and Cifu observed, “What has happened in medicine is that the hypothesized treatment is often instituted in millions of people, and billions of dollars are spent, before adequate research is done.” During the pandemic, necessary economic tripwires were disabled when vaccine manufacturers were indemnified from liability for harm caused by their products.

Prasad and Cifu provide timeless insights into why ineffective and dangerous treatments persist without “a strong evidence base.” They observe, “The weak evidence base is often ignored because of doctors’ faith in mechanistic explanations or studies that were designed to be deceptive by industry.”

Prasad and Cifu described the “act now, data later” mindset so common in medicine and in life today: “We have a problem; we need a solution. We hear the mantra every day. We need to solve this problem now. Ten minutes ago. Yesterday. It is not just in medicine but everywhere.”  This mindset, adopted by millions of Americans, is behind every ill-conceived practice instituted during COVID and also behind the increasingly destructive rush to “green energy.”

Reversing errors is not easy. Prasad and Cifu explained,

It is very hard to accept evidence that something you have done for patients, something that you truly believed was beneficial, is not useful. The evidence is even harder to accept when you have been well compensated for your work. Because of this, acceptance of medical reversals is never easy and opposition to them is usually passionate.

Thus, the medical administrative state won’t easily change. Yet, Thoreau asserted, government “can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it.” We have conceded too much. With our concessions, we have lost our humanity. In Thoreau’s words,

The mass of men serve the state… not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies… In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs.

We can regain our medical freedom by being more than “straw or a lump of dirt.” We can expand our comfort zone to go against the herd. The time is now to resist pressure from friends and family and to stop obeying authorities. Non-violent resistance is a viable recourse.


This article was published by AIER, The American Institute for Economic Research, and is reproduced with permission.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Here’s How Biden Admin Destroyed Our Immigration Law

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Since early 2021 we have witnessed somewhere between 7 million and 8 million illegal entries across the now-nonexistent southern border of the U.S.

The more the border vanished, the more federal immigration law was rendered inert, and the more Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas spun fantasies that the “border is secure.” He is now written off as a veritable “Baghdad Bob” propagandist.

But how and why did the Biden administration destroy immigration law as we knew it?

The Trump administration’s initial efforts to close the border had been continually obstructed in Congress, sabotaged by the administrative state, and stymied in the courts. Nonetheless, it finally had secured the border by early 2020.

Yet almost all of the Trump administration’s successful initiatives were immediately overturned in 2021.

Construction of the wall was abruptly stopped, and its projected trajectory was canceled. The disastrous Obama-era “catch and release” policy of immigration nonenforcement was resurrected.

Prior successful pressure on Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to stop the deliberate export of his own citizens northward ceased.

Federal Border Patrol officers were forced to stand down.

New federal subsidies were granted to entice and then support illegal arrivals.

No one in the Democratic Party objected to the destruction of the border or the subversion of immigration law.

However, things changed somewhat once swamped southern border states began to bus or fly a few thousand of their illegal immigrants northward to sanctuary city jurisdictions—especially to New York and Chicago, and even Martha’s Vineyard.

The sanctuary-city “humanists” there who had greenlighted illegal immigration into the southern states suddenly shrieked. They were irate after experiencing the concrete consequences of their own prior abstract border agendas. After all, their nihilism was always supposed to fall upon distant and ridiculed others.

New York Mayor Eric Adams went from celebrating a few dozen illegal immigrants bused into Manhattan to blasting his own party for allowing tens of thousands to swamp his now bankrupt city.

But why did the Biden administration deliberately unleash the largest influx across the southern border in U.S. history?

The ethnic chauvinists and Democratic Party elites needed new constituents, given their increasingly unpopular agendas.

They feared that the more legal Latino immigrants assimilated and integrated into American society, the less happy they became with left-wing radical abortion, racial, transgender, crime, and green fixations.

Democratic grandees always had bragged that illegal immigration would create what they called “The New Democratic Majority” in “Demography Is Destiny” fashion. Now they slander critics as “racists” who object to left-wing efforts to use illegal immigration to turn southwestern red states blue.

Mexico now cannot survive as a modern state without some $60 billion in annual remittances sent by its expatriates in America. However many illegal immigrants rely on American state and federal entitlements to free up cash to send home.

Mexico also encourages its own abject poor and often indigenous people from southern Mexico to head north as a safety valve of sorts. The Mexican government sees these mass exodus northward as preferable to the oppressed marching on Mexico City to address grievances of poverty and racism.

The criminal cartels now de facto run Mexico. An open border allows them to ship fentanyl northward, earn billions in profits—and kill nearly 100,000 Americans a year. Illegal immigrants pay cartels additional billions to facilitate their border crossings.

Don’t forget American corporate employers. Record labor nonparticipation followed the COVID-19 lockdown. In reaction to the dearth of American workers, the hospitality, meat packing, social service, health care, and farming industries were desperate to hire new—and far cheaper—labor.

Human rights activists insist that the borders themselves are 19th-century relics. And the global poor and oppressed thus have a human right to enter the affluent West by any means necessary.

Many in the tony suburbs and in universities do not live anywhere near the southern border. So they pontificate on the assurance that thousands of unaudited illegal immigrants will never enter their own enclaves or campuses.

The result is elite-bottled piety—but not firsthand experience with the natural consequences of millions chaotically fleeing one of the poorest countries in the world to pour into the wealthiest. Without background checks, vaccinations, and health audits, legality, high school diplomas, English facility skill sets, or capital, the result is an abject catastrophe.

Polls continue to show that the American people support measured, diverse, legal, and meritocratic immigration as much as they oppose mass illegal immigration into their country and the subsequent loss of American sovereignty on the border.

They understand what the Biden administration does not: No nation in history has survived once its borders were destroyed, once its citizenship was rendered no different from mere residence, and once its neighbors with impunity undermined its sovereignty.

Ending illegal immigration now depends solely on the American people overriding the corrupt special interests and leaders who profit from the current chaos and human misery.


This article was published by Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Top Pro-Life Leaders Slam Trump for Calling Heartbeat Protections for Unborn ‘Terrible’

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Former President Donald Trump is drawing fire from pro-life leaders for describing Florida’s heartbeat protections for the unborn as “terrible.”

“I think what he did is a terrible thing and a terrible mistake,” Trump told NBC’s new “Meet the Press” host, Kristen Welker, in an interview that aired Sunday. The former president was referring to Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signing state legislation banning the abortions of babies after a heartbeat has been detected.

Georgia, Ohio, South Carolina, and Iowa all have passed similar laws, though Ohio’s and Iowa’s laws are held up in court. Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia have almost completely banned abortion with limited exceptions, such as for preserving the life of the mother.

And to the chagrin of top pro-life groups, Trump also would not say whether he would support protections for babies after 15 weeks of gestation, suggesting that he would seek solutions to the abortion debate that both Republicans and Democrats could embrace.

“What’s going to happen is, you’re going to come up with a number of weeks or months,” Trump said. “You’re going to come up with a number that’s going to make people happy.”

While Trump’s recent remarks have provoked concerns from pro-life groups that he does not support strong legislation protecting life, he has previously been heralded as the most pro-life president in American history—and he will always have the lasting legacy of appointing three of the Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade.

Trump also made history as the first president to attend the national March for Life in person, for appointing a slew of pro-life federal judges throughout his four years as president, for signing an executive order protecting infants born alive through botched abortions, and for significantly cutting Planned Parenthood’s federal funding.

But his newest comments sparked a strong response from pro-life leaders.

“Laws protecting the unborn are not a ‘terrible mistake,’” Alliance Defending Freedom CEO and President Kristen Waggoner said Sunday. “They are the hallmark of a just and moral society. Governors who protect life should be applauded, not attacked. And while we’re at it, men can’t become women. This is also based on a simple biological reality and one necessary for a just and moral society.”

Live Action’s founder and president, Lila Rose, decried Trump’s remarks as “pathetic and unacceptable” in a Sunday post on social media.

“Trump is actively attacking the very pro-life laws made possible by Roe’s overturning. Heartbeat laws have saved thousands of babies,” she said. “But Trump wants to compromise on babies’ lives so pro-abort Dems ‘like him.’ Trump should not be the GOP nominee.”

The pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America called for “every single candidate” to be “clear on how they plan to” save “the lives of children and serving mothers in need.”

“It begins with focusing on the extremes of the other side, and ambition and common sense on our own,” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said. “Anything later than a 15-week protection for babies in the womb (when science proves they can feel pain) as a national minimum standard makes no sense.”

CatholicVote President Brian Burch said that the former president’s remarks have “sparked concerns among Catholics over whether he is committed to leading on this issue in the way he did during his first term.”

“Pro-life Catholic voters helped deliver him the White House in 2016, and a record number of votes in 2020,” Burch warned. “He cannot expect to win again without these same voters. Any Republican presidential hopeful must draw a clear contrast to the extreme, taxpayer-funded, unlimited abortion agenda of [President] Joe Biden.”

Some, like American Principles Project’s Terry Schilling, pushed for conservatives to hold their fire and wait to hear what type of protections for the unborn that Trump supports.

“Let’s at least see what national limit he backs before the hysterical takes,” Schilling said in a tweet pointing out that Trump had appointed three of the Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade.

Daily Wire host Michael Knowles similarly suggested that Trump has “been extremely pro-life (e.g., Dobbs, 1st POTUS to speak at March For Life)” and has “proved himself capable of winning at least 1 general election.”

“Doesn’t excuse bad answers, but actions speak louder than words,” Knowles said.

Bob Vander Plaats, a prominent pro-life activist and president and CEO of The Family Leader, argued that “when a leader doesn’t have convictions on the most basic right of all, the right to #life, this is what you get.”

“Ugh,” he continued. “The ‘let’s make a deal’ message isn’t a win for babies, and it won’t win the #POTUS.”

The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh described Trump’s remark as “an awful answer from a moral perspective” and also “stupid politically.”

“You can’t win over Democrats by going squishy on this issue,” Walsh said. “Republicans have tried that brilliant strategy for decades and accomplished exactly nothing by it. Defend life clearly powerfully and unequivocally. That’s the only way.”

Trump did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Daily Signal. His former vice president, Mike Pence, told The New York Times on Sunday: “Donald Trump continues to walk away from the pro-life legacy of our administration.”

“There’s no negotiating when it comes to the life of the unborn,” Pence said. “We will not rest, we will not relent, until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in the nation.”

And DeSantis responded to Trump’s remarks in an interview Monday with Radio Iowa.

“Donald Trump may think it’s terrible. I think protecting babies with heartbeats is noble and just and I’m proud to have signed the heartbeat bill in Florida and I know Iowa has similar legislation,” the Florida governor said.

“I don’t know how you can even make the claim that you’re somehow pro-life if you’re criticizing states for enacting protections for babies that have heartbeats,” he added.


This article was published by Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

Weekend Read: Populism, Politics, and Markets

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Markets function within a complex framework of regulatory and central bank influence.  This regulatory and monetary backdrop is not the benign rule of “experts”  supposed by regulatory advocates in college textbooks, but rather often the product of raw entrenched political power.  Success is getting in sync with the flow of money and political power.  The “imperial city” in Washington is the lodestar, not open competition in the marketplace.

The influence of political power has several dimensions.  It is both internal political changes and external political changes that can influence markets.

In terms of domestic politics,  the old “spoils system” which existed prior to 19th-century civil service reform, was superior in the sense that when an administration came into power, it brought its friends and supporters, many of whom were not particularly talented.  When a particular party was turned out of office, the old bureaucratic friends had to leave as well and the new administration was able to bring in their own team.  And then, over time, they too would be removed and the cycle would begin again.

Getting a new team from time to time brought in new ideas and it allowed the administration to function without the hostility of entrenched interests held over from political opponents, who would use their administrative power to block new directions.  In a sense, it was more democratic.  When things changed at the polls, things changed in the bureaucracy.

The unintended consequence of professional bureaucrats is they can stay in place as political parties ebb and flow, giving birth to a permanent bureaucracy almost impervious to change.  This is further complicated when opposing political parties basically agree to the same regulatory philosophy.

But the world changes whether bureaucrats do or don’t change, thus political change does still seep through and has the potential to change the way markets have operated.

One of the aspects of the way things have run over the past several decades has been a close economic alliance with China.  US industry poured billions into Chinese development, based on the theory that as they grew rich, they would become more “liberal”.  Authoritarianism would wane, and having too great of a stake in the world economy, China would not become belligerent.

As China took over more and more manufacturing jobs, the US commensurately lost key knowledge and skills and has become overly dependent on China.  We agreed to give up our jobs and they agreed to buy our debt.

It has proven to be a very bad political and economic bet.  The US has become dependent on China and reshoring efforts are proving difficult.   China is massively building and modernizing its military and has moved into an alliance of sorts with US rival Russia.

Moreover, as the Wall Street Journal recently reported, US business confidence in China has fallen to a 24-year low.  Clearly, a major political shift is on with China, with MAGA Republicans initiating the change.

Meanwhile, Mexico has replaced China as the greatest exporter to the US, and China is steadily reducing its holdings of US Treasury debt.  Additionally alarming,  Mexico is descending deeper into the corruption of a narco-state.  Bilateral trade seems to be taking over from globalist pretensions.

This shift from China will be disruptive to the US and to China itself.  And when the two largest economies in the world are disrupted, the world economy will feel the change.

China has many problems, both political and demographic.  One of the most immediate is the ongoing unwinding of their massive real estate bubble.  After wobbling for two years, Ever Grande, a giant real estate development company has filed for bankruptcy.  More companies, though, are in trouble.  This is all part of the top-down, authoritarian model imposed by Chairman Xi as he moved his nation away from the market model back to the socialist model.  Additionally, it was not just central planning of the worst sort, it was central planning juiced with a giant debt bubble.

So among the political changes likely to influence markets, the troubles in China are likely to be significant.

In terms of domestic politics, we have had our own flirtation with top-down central planning. Since Obama, elites have sought to change the healthcare system and fight “global warming”. The adoption of Modern Monetary Theory by the Biden Administration, and its record acceleration of Federal debt to pay for all these schemes, has caused a spike in interest rates, which itself runs the risk of destabilizing our own domestic and international debt bubble.

The supply of bonds is rising sharply, but the FED has become a seller rather than a buyer, Social Security is a seller, and China has become a net seller.  Lower bond prices have meant higher rates, even as the FED attempts a “pause.”

Democrat policies of supply restriction and cost escalation,  have all but destroyed the dream of owning a house for many young people.  The ability to afford a new car also is fading.  The destruction of the American middle class is already creating an enormous political backlash with significant risk for Democrats.

A strategic realignment has occurred with supporters of small businesses, farmers, and nongovernment labor-tending Republicans. while Big Business, wealthy elites, and Rainbow members now favor the Democrats.

We recently completed two trips to rural Pennsylvania and rural Montana.  Trump signs are everywhere. It is fair to say, these people feel ignored.  They rightly or wrongly do not feel the current system is working for them.

Big business and the regulatory state have cross-captured each other.  Many business leaders would rather get a subsidy or loan guarantees than fight for profits against talented rivals. Those who benefit from the Green New Deal include car companies, power companies, and favored technologies.  Democrats are busy building cartels in healthcare, pharma, technology, and power generation and have turned their backs on small businesses.

As the government increasingly picks winners and losers, those picked as “winners” by the government can get a nasty surprise when they discover customers don’t agree.  We are seeing this play out among many of the EV companies.  We don’t want a car that is expensive, has little range, and is prone to spontaneously catch fire.

Democrat political enemies include traditional farming, ranching, timber cutting, mining, coal, and petroleum industries.  Tech companies are heavily favored by Democrats and often willingly become their political pawns.  Democrats hate private medicine.

No wonder there is a huge divergence between small-town America and the Big Blue cities that reliably elect Democrats.

The rise of multiple monopolies has birthed a new variant of “populism”, which does not look much like its 19th-century cousin, which had a socialistic slant to it.  Today’s populism could be described as formerly business-supporting conservatives joining forces with blue-collar workers turning against the policies favoring China and the crony capitalism cabal of the Green New Deal. 

Small business and labor traditionally frowned on monopolies.   Traditional free market advocates suggested it is only with government favors that monopolies can be maintained. That is still likely true.  However, now that industrial cartels have government favor, how do you change that?

Exactly how does one try to get market share from Google?

Oppressive regulation is increasing costs and very often, the government-sanctioned products are inferior and of poor quality.  The government now wishes to tell you how to wash your clothes, your dishes, and even how to cook your meals.  In the name of “global warming” the government creates dishwashers that run for a half day and don’t clean dishes.  If you can buy one that lasts five years, you are lucky.

The business community itself has further alienated the public with its constant panderings to ESG and woke culture.  In so doing, they have alienated natural free market allies and will soon discover that state-planning socialists are not the best partners for business prosperity.  Conservatives remain in favor of free enterprise but they no longer feel much loyalty to the current American form of crony capitalism,  especially large corporations.

As strikes spread throughout Hollywood and Detroit, conservatives yawn and suppose these “woke” corporations are getting what they deserve.

This change in politics likely means the end of an era for American business.  For the past 25 years or so, it has been a profitable joyride in China, a profitable alignment with the government, generous benefits of ultra-cheap money and low-interest rates, bailouts, and a record rise in corporate profits.  Great benefits have accrued to capital and less to labor.

The middle class feels it is getting screwed.  Loud minorities demand state reparations, increased benefits, and exemption from criminal activities.  It may have started with Brexit and Trump, but populist movements are ascendant in Italy and rising even in socialist Argentina.

Schools don’t work, public safety is collapsing, and the system seems to favor the racially aggrieved, and the sexually confused, while the whole thrust of government is one of constant interference in our difficult daily lives with institutional lying now the norm rather than the exception.

Populism reflects that the middle class does not feel the current system is working for them nor are the elites pushing such policies either concerned or aware of these problems.  Utopians have seized the reigns of power and want to change the climate of the earth, the relations between men and women, between families and the government, all while keeping as many people as medicated as possible.

Populists don’t trust the legal system, the medical establishment, the school system, the press,  and the universities.  They think the popular culture is often hostile to raising families.

Even the reputation of the military is falling, which explains recruiting woes. What happens when a large swath of the population becomes alienated from basic institutions?

One wonders if all the marijuana shops are there primarily to keep young, aggressive men in a haze of self-induced contentment and oblivious ignorance.

Above all that, the frequent bailouts and interventions to save various industries have lost considerable political support.  The next credit crisis will find much less support for bailouts and besides, given the current state of deficit spending, big huge new bailouts are financially out of the question.

All these megatrends are moving in different directions than they were previously and markets will have to go about adjusting to the new reality.  Republicans are no longer reliably “pro-business” while Democrats remain reliably anti-free market.  The Chamber of Commerce is out of touch.

Today’s “populism” is more than a revolt against the administrative state and the commercial cartels it generates.  It is a combination of economic frustrations and cultural alienation. It flips the 1960s on its head.  The middle class is now revolting against the “Establishment run by the elites.”

This revolt is likely to grow, and politicians, in the end, are more than anything opportunists. Markets will have to adapt.


The Acceleration of Inflation in the Second Half Has Begun, “Disinflation” Honeymoon Terminated

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Month-to-month CPI spikes, core CPI and core services CPI accelerate, despite ongoing massive health insurance adjustments.


The Consumer Price Index (CPI) jumped by 0.63% in August from July, the biggest month-to-month increase since June 2022. Annualized, this amounts to a red-hot 7.8%.

This jump comes despite the still ongoing ridiculous monthly adjustment to the health insurance CPI that caused it to collapse by 33.6% year-over-year. The September CPI, to be released in October, will be the last month with that adjustment; with the October CPI, to be released in November, it will flip, which will add upward momentum to the CPI readings. CPI, core CPI, and core services CPI have been understated significantly since October last year, when the monthly health insurance adjustment started, one of the biggest data distortions coming out of the pandemic (more in a moment).

With this month-to-month spike, the year-over-year CPI rate accelerated to 3.7%, the second year-over-year acceleration since June 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics today (green in the chart below). July had already marked the end of the period of “disinflation” when the year-over-year inflation rate accelerated for the first time since June 2022.

The “Core” CPI, which attempts to track underlying inflation by excluding the volatile food and energy products, rose by a still-hot 4.3% in August, compared to a year ago (red in the chart).

Given the narrower focus of core CPI, and the therefore proportionally bigger weight of health insurance in it, core CPI was even more distorted than overall CPI by the 33.6% collapse of the health insurance CPI.

Core CPI, month-to-month, was held down by the collapse of the health insurance CPI, and yet, it still accelerated to 0.28% in August from July.

Fuel prices will push CPI up further, even core CPI.

Starting with April, the year-over-year plunge in energy prices at the time, particularly gasoline, pushed the overall CPI increases below those of core CPI.

But on a month-to-month basis, gasoline prices have been surging all year – they jumped 10.6% in August from July – thereby whittling away at the year-over-year plunge as we went. In August, gasoline CPI was still down by 3.3% from August 2022.

Given how the gasoline CPI plunged in late 2022, we know that on a year-over-year basis, gasoline CPI will turn sharply positive later this year. The green line in the chart connects August 2023 and August 2022:

Gasoline accounts for about half of the total energy CPI. Note that gasoline, and energy overall, are still negative year-over-year, despite the sharp month-to-month increases. They will flip to positive, and become bigger drivers of CPI inflation over the coming months:

CPI for Energy, by Category MoM YoY
Overall Energy CPI 5.6% -3.6%
Gasoline 10.6% -3.3%
Utility natural gas to home 0.1% -16.5%
Electricity service 0.2% 2.1%
Heating oil, propane, kerosene, firewood -12.4% 8.4%

How fuel prices filter into “core” CPI.

Diesel has also been surging this year on a month-to-month basis. The price of diesel over time filters into the prices of consumer products that are shipped by truck and rail, as are nearly all consumer products. Jet fuel has been surging similarly, and that filters into products that are shipped by air, and into services via air fares. These products and services are reflected in core CPI, which is how core CPI reacts indirectly to rising energy costs.

The tougher second half has started.

We’ve been warning here about this for months while the media was touting the story that inflation was “vanquished” or whatever. We knew CPI would worsen dramatically in the second half for at least three reasons:

  • Energy prices won’t plunge forever, and in fact, gasoline prices began surging again.
  • The “base effect,” which pushed down year-over-year CPI in the first half, is finished.
  • The ridiculous “health insurance adjustment” that started with October 2022, will swing the other way, starting with the October CPI, to be released in November. More in a moment.

The collapse of the health insurance CPI.

The monthly adjustments to the health insurance CPI, which started with the October CPI last year, will swing the other way with the October CPI this year, to be released in November (I discussed the details a month ago here).

The adjustment pushed down the health insurance CPI every month on a month-to-month basis by 3.4%-4.3%, which has now caused the year-to-year health insurance CPI to collapse by 33.6%, despite maddening price increases of health insurance in the real world. I’ve called these monthly adjustments “odious” and “ridiculous” because that’s what they are. They’re one of the worst data distortions that came out of the pandemic…..


Continue reading this article at Wolf Street.


The FDA Has Gone Rogue

Estimated Reading Time: 12 minutes

Many of us knew this day would come, and now here it is. As of Monday, September 11, 2023, the FDA has provided “Emergency Use Authorization” for the SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine boosters. But there is no public health emergency at this time. And the “boosters” being “Emergency Use Authorized” are designed to provide protection against the Omicron variant called “Kraken.” Which is on its way to becoming extinct, outcompeted by newer variants like Eris which have evolved even further to escape the antibody pressure elicited by the globally deployed leaky “vaccines.”

Prior versions of which boosters, by the way, have been shown to have been adulterated with high levels of plasmid DNA incorporating SV40 virus promoter/enhancer sequences. Which adulteration the FDA continues to ignore.

“Vaccination remains critical to public health and continued protection against serious consequences of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “The public can be assured that these updated vaccines have met the agency’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality. We very much encourage those who are eligible to consider getting vaccinated.”

But Biden, under congressional pressure, had decided and certified that the COVID crisis “national emergency” and ended on May 11, 2023, right? Sort of.

The administrative class at the FDA decided that they have the authority to interpret this in their own special way. Despite clear Congressional intent and the Presidential decision, the FDA responded with a series of delaying tactics. These are summarized in an “action notice” in the Federal Register titled “Guidance Documents Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), A Notice by the Food and Drug Administration on 03/13/2023”. At the time of the Presidential declaration, the FDA had 72 COVID-19-related guidance documents currently in effect. These are not law, they are administrative guidance, but often function and are enforced as if they are law. If you are seeking an example of administrative state overreach, this would be a good place to start. So, what is an agency to do? Issue an action notice in the federal register laying out new rules, functionally guidance on guidances.

So here are the new rules, as unilaterally determined by FDA administrators. They took those 72 COVID-19 related guidances and divided them into four tables, and determined what they would mandate for the guidances in each table.

Table 1 were those that would expire when the public health emergency (PHE) would expire.
Table 2 were those that would be revised to continue in effect for 180 days after the PHE declaration expires, then will no longer be in effect on November 07, 2023 (Tuesday).
Table 3 were those to be revised to continue in effect for 180 days after the PHE declaration expires, during which time FDA plans to further revise these guidances .
Table 4 lists COVID-19-related guidance documents whose intended duration is not tied to the COVID-19 PHE and that will remain in effect when the COVID-19 PHE declaration expires. In other words, by administrative fiat, those guidances listed in Table 4 will remain in place for as long as the FDA administrators wish them to remain in place.
And at the top of Table 3 (the ones that they will revise as they see fit and continue as long as they think necessary) is the following:

Did they actually revise FDA-2020-D-1137 between then and now? Did they do the work that they said they would do? In short, no. The guidance remains unrevised since March 2022.

What congressional law and language determines when FDA can issue EUAs?

From the FDA’s own website regarding Emergency Use Authorization–

Under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), when the Secretary of HHS declares that an emergency use authorization is appropriate, FDA may authorize unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions caused by CBRN threat agents when certain criteria are met, including there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.

So, basically, the FDA administrative bureaucracy self-determined that they could continue to bypass their normal (already lax) procedures for evaluating vaccine purity (including lack of adulteration), potency, safety and efficacy pretty much for as long as their hearts desire, at least until November 07, 2023. And that is the administrative basis used to enable the September 11, 2023 “Emergency Use Authorization” for the SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine boosters. Will that authorization sunset on November 07, 2023? I very much doubt it.

Meanwhile, back at the Capitol dome, the leadership of the congressional gerontocracy continued to snooze, raise funds for the next election, and almost daily demonstrate to the world (during rare public appearances) their quite literal mental incompetence (in a strictly medical sense of the term).

The data clearly demonstrate that there is no longer a COVID public health emergency, and there are no human data demonstrating safety and effectiveness of these mismatched “vaccine booster” products.

World data:

What do the current CDC data show in the USA (total deaths)?

271 deaths per week, 38 deaths per day WITH COVID. In contrast, we lose 200 – 300 mostly young people per day to Fentanyl and other opiates. That is 1,400 deaths per week from drug overdoses. As if one 737 full of young US citizens crashed and killed all passengers per week. Five times the COVID deaths. If opioid deaths are not a public health emergency, then why is COVID an emergency?

The obvious answer is that it is not.

Hospitalization data:

Hospitalized cases are up in the USA. But deaths are down. Not surprising, as the majority of currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 virus are more highly evolved Omicron variants. Typically more infectious, less pathogenic, and better adapted to evade the narrow antibody-based anti-Spike immune responses elicited by these leaky vaccines.

Who are the ones that are being hospitalized? More of them are the ones that have received a Moderna or Pfizer Emergency Use Authorized mRNA “vaccine” product than have not. That is a fact long known by the US Government but hidden until internal government discussions about this were recently documented by FOIA request.

I infer that the real crisis here is that the data from all over the world are clearly demonstrating that some period of time after receiving a mRNA “Booster vaccine,” recipients are developing “negative effectiveness.”

What the heck is “negative effectiveness,” you may well ask? The term means that those who have received the product are more likely to develop COVID than those who have not been injected. And there are suggestions in the data that the period of time between injection and “negative effectiveness” is getting shorter.

Even if the “vaccine” products have zero rather than negative effectiveness, they certainly have toxicity risks, so why would anyone be willing to receive these products if they knew this?

The “vaccinated” are at higher risk for developing COVID than the unvaccinated. So the “vaccinated” need more “vaccines.” So they can become at yet higher risk for COVID (and other infectious diseases)? Somehow the Joseph Heller WW-II book Catch-22 comes to mind.

And why would the FDA provide “emergency use authorization” and the CDC recommend these clearly toxic products for children?

While speaking at a Thursday news conference for Gov. Ron DeSantis in Jacksonville, Florida, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, that state’s surgeon general, advised people to steer clear of the updated booster vaccine for COVID-19.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved the new vaccine — which is reportedly designed to protect against the BA.2.86 omicron subvariant.

“There’s a new vaccine that’s coming around the corner, a new mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, and there’s essentially no evidence for it,” Ladapo said during the news conference, according to local news outlets.

“There’s been no clinical trial done in human beings showing that it benefits people” he said.

“There’s been no clinical trial showing that it is a safe product for people — and not only that, but then there are a lot of red flags.”

In terms of specific concerns, Ladapo warned that the updated vaccines “actually cause cardiac injury in many people.”

The state surgeon general urged Floridians to make their own decisions based on their particular “resonance of truth,” rather than on “very educated people telling you what you should think.”

“When they try to convince you to be comfortable and agree with things that don’t feel comfortable, [that] don’t feel like things you should agree with, that is a sign, right? That’s a gift,” he said.

Instead of relying on the new vaccines, Ladapo urged people to adopt healthy nutrition habits.

Just for the record, I completely agree with Dr. Ladapo. But I also recommend checking your vitamin D levels, and taking vitamin D together with Zinc supplements in alignment with your personal physician’s recommendations. And get outside. And don’t forget that stress and fear are immunosuppressive.

Maybe you should think about following John Prine’s advice and blow up your TV. The fearporn being promoted on television and corporate media is hazardous to both your health and your ability to make rational health decisions for yourself and your family.

Let’s discuss the data that the FDA cites. Here is their statement:
The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines approved and authorized today are supported by the FDA’s evaluation of manufacturing data to support the change to the 2023-2024 formula and non-clinical immune response data on the updated formulations including the XBB.1.5 component.

OK, what does that mean? Non-clinical immune response data? What it means is that they administered the XBB.1.5 (that would be Kraken) variant vaccine products to mice, drew blood, and tested the mouse antibody responses to the XBB.1.5 as well as EG.5 (Eris) and BA.2.86 (that would be Pirola, previously discussed here) viral variants to see if the mouse serum would stop the ability of these viruses to infect cultured cells. Neither of these viral variants (XBB.1.5, EG.5, or BA.2.86) presents much of a health risk. And they assert that they found that the mouse antibodies cross-reacted against Eris and Pirola in a virus neutralization test. However they did not bother to share those data with the public, so we have no idea of how convincing or even how rigorously controlled those studies were. But we are to trust that the FDA finds these studies involving mouse model testing using a method that has not been demonstrated to predict protection against infection, replication, or spread of this virus in humans. But the corporate media thinks sounds very sciency and so they breathlessly repeat the FDA and Pfizer statements about mouse neutralization assays as if they demonstrate that these “boosters” will be effective. But it is all a lie, a sleight of hand. This is not how modern immunological science is done. This is propaganda and marketing. And the willingness of the FDA to make the above statement clearly demonstrates that they are either 1) completely incompetent, 2) barking mad, or 3) completely captured. Or come a combination of all three.

Note that nothing in the FDA justification addresses the risk to human health posed by these viral variants. The FDA has completely avoided any justification for the use of the emergency use authorization pathway, rather than a more standard, traditional testing and evaluation process. Because they do not think that they need to. This provides yet another example of the arrogance of the current administrative leviathan.

Once again – VIRUS NEUTRALIZATION IS NOT A PROVEN CORRELATE OF PROTECTION. Back in the day, before 2020, if a vaccine company were so bold as to assert that a mouse virus neutralization assay (or any other lab test) predicted vaccine protection in humans without having proven that the assay actually predicted whether or not the vaccine would protect humans, they would be sued and blocked from making such false unsupported claims. But since 2020, this type of claim has become routine. The FDA has gone completely rogue. They completely disregard what was previously well-established global regulatory standards on this subject.

The updated mRNA vaccines are manufactured using a similar process as previous formulations. In studies that have been recently conducted, the extent of neutralization observed by the updated vaccines against currently circulating viral variants causing COVID-19, including EG.5 and BA.2.86, appears to be of a similar magnitude to the extent of neutralization observed with prior versions of the vaccines against corresponding prior variants against which they had been developed to provide protection. This suggests that the vaccines are a good match for protecting against the currently circulating COVID-19 variants.

Lies and falsehoods on top of lies and falsehoods. There is clear evidence that the manufacturing process is poorly controlled, lots are highly variable, and this poorly controlled process has resulted in significant adulteration of the products.

Furthermore, mouse-based viral neutralization assays do not predict effectiveness in “protecting against the currently circulating COVID-19 variants.” There is no evidence to support that claim. This is yet another case of substituting hope for actual scientific proof. There is no evidence that these mismatched boosters will prevent infection, replication, or spread of currently circulating COVID-19 variants. A “suggestion” is not a rational basis for “Emergency Use” regulatory authorization of these products.

The benefit-risk profile of previously authorized and approved mRNA COVID-19 vaccines is well understood as these vaccines have been administered to hundreds of millions of people in the United States.

That is a highly controversial statement. I disagree, Dr. Joe Ladapo disagrees, and regulatory oversight agencies from an increasing number of countries all over the world disagree. Just because the government and manufacturers have colluded to force hundreds of millions of people to accept these products (without informed consent) does not prove anything. Repeatedly stating a lie does not make it true. This is clearly propaganda.

The data demonstrate otherwise. The benefit-risk ratio is upside down. Little or no benefit, many well-documented risks. And immune imprinting. And negative effectiveness. And they DO NOT PREVENT infection, replication, and transmission of the virus to others. Herd immunity can never be achieved with these leaky vaccines. That was yet another Fauci (and Biden) lie.

And then there are the many analytical flaws in the cited data analyses. Which always seem to be biased in favor of vaccine effectiveness. For a deep dive into that, I recommend the following:

“The imprinting effect of covid-19 vaccines: an expected selection bias in observational studies” (Response)
BMJ2023;381doi:https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2022-074404(Published 07 June 2023)Cite this as:BMJ2023;381:e074404 (article)

We need proper explanations for apparent COVID-19 vaccine negative effectiveness.

Dear Editor

A striking phenomenon regarding COVID-19 vaccines, referred to as ‘immune imprinting’ or the more specific ‘negative effectiveness,’ has been recently discussed here in The BMJ. 1 Referring to Chemaitelly et al., which indicated that those with 3 doses of vaccine were more likely to be infected than those with 2, 2 Monge et al. hypothesize that “the increased risk of reinfection in individuals vaccinated with a booster compared with no booster is the result” of a selection bias wherein those receiving the booster are those “more susceptible to reinfection;” a sort of counter to the hypothesized ‘healthy vaccinee bias.’ Apart from the article’s inconclusive conclusion that this phenomenon “may be fully explained by selection bias,” this hypothesis would not apply to all such studies.

For example, while it could be reasonable to suppose that people opting for dose 3 and beyond would tend to be at higher risk of COVID-19, and thus more prone to reinfection, it is not obvious that this would apply to the recent study on healthcare workers presented by Shrestha et al.3 This study reveals an even greater problem. The phenomenon is not limited to boosters but is also found when comparing those receiving 2 doses to those receiving 0. In fact, Shrestha et al. indicate that each dose up to 3+ resulted in increased infections. And there are many other studies showing this phenomenon, also with regards to hospitalizations and deaths, in addition to the now widely accepted rapid waning of effectiveness, when comparing the double-dosed to the unvaccinated, including another study with Chemaitelly as lead author.4 5 Several recently published papers also explain how counting window issues likely led to exaggerated effectiveness and safety estimates in both observational studies and clinical trials.6 7 8

The explanation offered up by Monge et al. fails. What we need is a proper explanation for perceived COVID-19 vaccine negative effectiveness, by the vaccine manufacturers or drug regulators. We need to know if this has always been the case or only since Omicron, if the effect is dose-dependent, if certain groups are more at risk, etc. Otherwise, the notion that the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines outweighs the risks is under threat. If the vaccines truly are negatively effective, it appears that the benefits do not outweigh the risks; there would be no benefits, and we simply add risks upon risks.

1. Monge S, Pastor-Barriuso R, Hernán MA. The imprinting effect of covid-19 vaccines: an expected selection bias in observational studies. BMJ. 2023;381:e074404. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2022-074404.
2. Chemaitelly H, Ayoub HH, Tang P, et al. Long-term COVID-19 booster effectiveness by infection history and clinical vulnerability and immune imprinting: a retrospective population-based cohort study. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2023;23:816-27. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(23)00058-0.
3. Shrestha NK, Burke PC, Nowacki AS, et al. Effectiveness of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Bivalent Vaccine. Open Forum Infectious Diseases. 2023;10:ofad209. https://doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofad209.
4. Goldberg Y, Mandel M, Bar-On YM, et al. Protection and Waning of Natural and Hybrid Immunity to SARS-CoV-2. New England Journal of Medicine. 2022;386:2201-12. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2118946.
5. Chemaitelly H, Ayoub H, AlMukdad S, et al. Protection from previous natural infection compared with mRNA vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe COVID-19 in Qatar: a retrospective cohort study. The Lancet Microbe. 2022;3:e944-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2666-5247(22)00287-7.
6. Fung K, Jones M, Doshi P. Sources of bias in observational studies of covid-19 vaccine effectiveness. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. 2023;1-7. https://doi.org/10.1111/jep.13839.
7. Lataster R. Reply to Fung et al. on COVID-19 vaccine case-counting window biases overstating vaccine effectiveness. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. 2023;1-4. https://doi.org/10.1111/jep.13892.
8. Doshi P, Fung K. How the case counting window affected vaccine efficacy calculations in randomized trials of COVID-19 vaccines. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. 2023;1-2. https://doi.org/10.1111/jep.13900.

“Long-term COVID-19 booster effectiveness by infection history and clinical vulnerability and immune imprinting: a retrospective population-based cohort study”
Lancet Infectious Diseases VOLUME 23, ISSUE 7, P816-827, JULY 2023

In the seventh month and thereafter, coincident with BA.4/BA.5 and BA.2·75* subvariant incidence, effectiveness was progressively negative albeit with wide CIs. Similar patterns of protection were observed irrespective of previous infection status, clinical vulnerability, or type of vaccine (BNT162b2 vs mRNA-1273).

Protection against Omicron infection waned after the booster and eventually suggested a possibility for negative immune imprinting.


Protection against Omicron infection waned after the booster and eventually suggested a possibility for negative immune imprinting. However, boosters substantially reduced infection and severe COVID-19, particularly among individuals who were clinically vulnerable, affirming the public health value of booster vaccination.

Sources of bias in observational studies of covid-19 vaccine effectiveness
Kaiser Fung MPhil, MBA, Mark Jones PhD, Peter Doshi PhD

In late 2020, messenger RNA (mRNA) covid-19 vaccines gained emergency authorization on the back of clinical trials reporting vaccine efficacy of around 95 percent,1, 2 kicking off mass vaccination campaigns around the world. Within 6 months, observational studies reporting vaccine effectiveness in the “real world” at above 90 percent, similar to trial results,3–6 became the trusted source of evidence upholding these campaigns. While the contemporary conversation about vaccine effectiveness has turned to waning protection, virus variants, and boosters, there has (with rare exception7) been surprisingly little discussion of the limitations of the methodologies of these early observational studies.

The lack of critical discussion is notable, for even highly effective vaccinations could only partially explain the drop in rates of covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths by mid-2021. For example, by March 2021, cases in the UK and the United States had dropped roughly fourfold from the January peak, when the “fully vaccinated” population only reached 20 percent and 5 percent, respectively. At the same time, in Israel, cases took longer to drop despite a substantially faster vaccine rollout (Figure 1). The vaccination campaigns in these countries can thus only be part of the story.

“There’s been no clinical trial done in human beings showing that it benefits people… There’s been no clinical trial showing that it is a safe product for people — and not only that but then there are a lot of red flags.” ~ Surgeon General of Florida, Dr. Joe Ladapo


This article was published by The Brownstone Institute and is reproduced with permission.

AAPS Study Says Government Mask Mandates Failed and Caused Harm

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, which represents independent doctors, has issued a new and important study.

Based in Tucson, the most recent study came out on September 12th and concluded that masks not only did not work, but their required use by health bureaucrats was actually additionally harmful.

Here is a partial rendering of their findings:

“Government recommendations and mandates regarding face coverings have been contradictory, provided to the public as authoritative without evidence, are in conflict with the available data, and neglect to mention any potential harm from the use of coverings or masks.

Concerning efficacy, in addition to the indisputable failure of mask mandates to prevent outbreaks of COVID, the Cochrane systematic review of available empirical evidence concluded that studies “did not show a clear reduction in respiratory viral infection with the use of medical/surgical masks,” and  “[t]here were no clear differences between the use of medical/surgical masks compared with N95/P2 respirators in healthcare workers when used in routine care to reduce respiratory viral infection.”

Concerning the potential for harm, there are at least 60 studies and reports that illuminate the downsides of masking and face-coverings in different scenarios and among varied patient groups. Examples of harm found in the peer-reviewed literature, include:

  • Prolonged use of masks is not a neutral event and in fact, can cause harm. “Prolonged use of N95 and surgical masks by healthcare professionals during COVID-19 has caused adverse effects such as headaches, rash, acne, skin breakdown, and impaired cognition in the majority of those surveyed.”
  • Findings indicate that wearing the N95 mask for 14 hours significantly affected the physiological, biochemical, and perception parameters in a negative fashion.
  • The possibility that masks hinder the acquisition of speech and language in children exists. “Overall, the research to date demonstrates that the visible articulations that babies normally see when others are talking play a key role in their acquisition of communication skills. Research also shows that babies who lip-read more have better language skills when they’re older. If so, this suggests that masks probably hinder babies’ acquisition of speech and language.”
  • Experimental data has shown “carbon dioxide content in inhaled air rises on average to 13,000 to 13,750 ppm no matter whether children wear a surgical or an FFP2 mask. This is far beyond the level of 2,000 ppm considered the limit of acceptability and beyond the 1,000 ppm that are normal for air in closed rooms. This estimate is rather on the low side, as we only measured this after a short time without physical exertion.”
  • Society requires facial recognition as a most basic component of interaction and communication. Studies in individuals with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have shown that “Poor face perception in AMD is an important domain contributing to impaired social interactions and quality of life”.  Voluntary masking with no gain contributes to societal alienation.”

This most recent study comes at a time when mask-wearing is seeing a surge in use as Covid once again is becoming more frequent.

At The Prickly Pear we feel if a person wishes to wear a mask, even as an amulet to ward off evil spirits, that is up to the individual.  They are only harming themselves. However,  the scientific data does not warrant government-enforced mandates or compulsions imposed by private parties.

Although we feel mask-wearing should be permitted, it still is not recommended because the negative trade-offs are not offset by effective protection.

Mask mandates are a prime example of the reason people have lost faith in both government officials and the medical establishment which abandoned science, the Hippocratic Oath, and common sense, all for the approval and funding of the government.


The Unconscionable Surge At The Border Must End

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The immigration crisis is crushing New York City. According to ABC7 news, last week alone 2900 new “asylum seekers” entered one of the city’s 200 new emergency shelters.

Mayor Eric Adams says the city spends $383 per day per family on food, shelter and other expenses, which are deemed the migrants’ right to receive for no charge or obligation because well…just because.

The formerly elegant Roosevelt Hotel has been designated the nerve center for services to accommodate the 120,000 illegal immigrants now in the city. Mayor Adams estimates the city will incur a $12 billion deficit as a result of the influx, meaning that “every service in the city is going to be impacted”.  Fifteen percent across-the-board budget cuts are seriously looming.

Yet the expenditures are not adequate to address the surge. Immigrants are occupying the sidewalks in front of the Roosevelt, locals are fuming over the takeover of schools, parks, and other public facilities while reports of subway crime are beginning to pop up. Maybe the sanctuary status the Mayor pressed for, when the costs were borne elsewhere, isn’t such a great idea after all.

Mayor Adams correctly points out that since border law is a federal matter, the feds should help alleviate the distress they are causing. What we’re getting instead is outrageous gaslighting.  White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insists that President Biden has actually done a great job of protecting the border “and you have seen him do that.”

We have? This is the president who unilaterally eliminated policies like Remain in Mexico and Title 42, which effectively reduced the number of illegal border crossings. The result has been a surge of approximately 2.7 million people on Biden’s watch, 260,00 this August alone.  That doesn’t include the “getaways”, who are uncountable, but estimated to number at least 1.5 million during the Biden administration.

It’s no wonder Americans are starting to feel the strains in social services, healthcare, schools, and prisons. Their advocates claim illegal immigrants are an economic boon, but if that were so, why do leftist enclaves complain bitterly about receiving them instead of requesting more?

Truth check: immigrants cost taxpayers $150 billion annually and growing. Even worse is the humanitarian crisis caused by cartels victimizing women and children vulnerable to “human trafficking“.

Illegal immigrants are often erroneously referred to in the popular press as “asylum seekers“. That’s a lie.  Imaginary asylum-seeking is the (very successful) strategy used to circumvent lawful border enforcement. Immigrants not otherwise eligible for entry are coached to say “I feel unsafe” to border agents. That automatically entitles them to an asylum hearing, which, because of the crowding at the border, is scheduled years in the future.

It’s a farce. They pretend to be seeking asylum and we pretend to believe them. Fewer than 10 percent are eligible for legitimate asylum.  Most never show up for their hearing.

Democrats also like to pretend there is nothing they can do about the ongoing border invasion because Republicans once voted against a bill that included additional border funding. But if Republicans were willing to discuss comprehensive immigration reform, maybe we could talk…

That gives away their game. “Comprehensive” reform is a euphemism for citizenship. The Biden administration willingly pays a high price politically for their devastating border policies.  The hardships caused by unlimited immigration are causing widespread resentment. An election looms.

Yet they soldier on, refusing to consider even the most reasonable measures to reduce the ongoing surge. There’s only one possible explanation: they are playing the long game, taking hits now to achieve future political domination.

They see the 20 million or so foreign nationals now living here as future Democrats, who they will relentlessly portray as victims if not eventually granted citizenship. The gambit  will work again. The American political landscape will be changed forever.

There is a way out. It’s not more money. It’s not more laws.  It’s not even a wall.  We must simply follow the example of decent self-respecting nations throughout history and employ the lawful force of government to maintain our sovereign borders.

Follow the Law.  It’s doable, it’s moral and it’s necessary to protect legal immigrants, American citizens, and America’s future.

Scottsdale Officials Grilled Over Homeless-To-Hotel Program

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Emotions ran high at a community meeting in Scottsdale discussing the city’s placement of homeless people in local hotel rooms.

Rep. Matt Gress, R-Phoenix, led a packed community hearing in Scottsdale on Wednesday to hear from experts and gather public comments in his capacity as chairman of the state House Appropriations Subcommittee on Budgetary Funding Formulas. The hearing featured Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega, Gospel Rescue Mission in Tucson CEO Lisa Chastain, Cicero Institute Senior Advisor Jared Meyer and San Fransico-based journalist Erica Sandberg in addition to community comments.

Gress raised concern in early August about a Scottsdale hotel having some rooms used by the Arizona Department of Housing to shelter what the city describes as migrants and others from the “Zone” — a large homeless encampment in downtown Phoenix that is slowly being cleared.

ADOH eventually said they would make sure funds from the contract between the state and Scottsdale would not be used on former Zone residents and illegal immigrants. 

“While we stand by the validity of the Contract, we have confirmed with the City that the shelter beds and services provided pursuant to the Contract have not and will not serve those individuals impacted by the Zone and Title 42,” Department of Housing Director Joan Serviss wrote on Aug. 18, The Center Square reported.

Scottsdale received a $940,000 grant to support its ongoing program this summer, part of it being the controversial hotel placements. 

Gress emphasized that resident safety comes first at the hearing on Wednesday.

“Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis, but it’s also a public safety crisis,” Gress said, repeatedly referencing California’s homeless crisis.

“Treatment first is the way forward,” he added, criticizing “housing first” as not solving the root cause of addiction many homeless people face.

Rep. Judy Schwiebert, D-Phoenix, said that housing first is a better approach and pointed out affordable housing in her opening statement as a root cause of homelessness in the area.

“No one with a full-time job should have to live in their car or on the street,” Schwiebert said.

She said it is “fiscally irresponsible” to place homeless individuals in jails or other public spaces instead of using housing-first programs involving locations like hotels.

“We need to work together, not politicize this,” Schwiebert added.

Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega defended the city’s homelessness strategies.

“Scottsdale has been very successful…in a very deliberate manner before this funding came. We have never taken Title 42 clients, and we have not taken ‘Zone’ clients,” he said, saying that people benefitting from Scottsdale’s homelessness programs are “double-vetted.”

“But those 10 rooms are being used tonight and keeping people off the streets, and they’re looking for meaningful employment,” Ortega said.

The city might not have housed illegal foreign nationals but federal authorities informed them in 2021 of a contract with the owners of a shuttered hotel on Scottsdale Rd. to hold migrants with the capability to house 1,200 people. The contract drew the ire of local and state officials in addition to protests outside the property.

“We are flooded by them, and we want to take care of our own,” Ortega said Wednesday, frequently repeating the sentiment that the city is busy taking care of Scottsdale residents rather than Title 42 and “Zone” individuals.

Ngyuen questioned Ortega about how the city defined success, as there was a floating 84% success rate statistic with their program with unclear criteria.

“The question is how do you track these people,” Nguyen said at one point. Ortega could not explain how the city concludes a case as successful.

Sanberg offered some insight from California, which has poured billions of dollars into housing and caring for the state’s massive homeless population.

“I feel like I’m a ghost from Christmas future,” Sandberg said in her opening statement as a witness.

Chastain encouraged the importance of nonprofits like hers.

“Simply pouring more money into the current system is not working,” she said.


This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

Weekend Read: How Abortion Hurts Women

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Each year, almost three million American women face an unplanned pregnancy. When a pregnancy is unwanted and those involved are not ready, willing or able to parent, that is a dilemma for which there is no ideal solution.

The obvious options for one facing an unplanned pregnancy are abortion, parenting and adoption, but few among us know much about the pro’s and con’s of those three options. Let’s explore.

How Abortion Hurts Women

Abortion is presented as a safe, quick, painless answer. And we dupe women into believing that by withholding the rest of the story. During the last fifty years of unfettered abortion access in this country, we’ve learned what abortion does to the female body. We’ve been able to observe and study the side effects over time among large groups. Those findings reveal significant risks to women’s health.

Yet we don’t hear about the side effects of abortion from those who are selling them. Society tells us that there’s no downside to abortion. That is simply not true.

Elective abortions can exact an immense physical and emotional toll on women. Most women who undergo abortion procedures are not made aware of the long-term effects, but numerous studies have documented them in three categories—compromised mental health, preterm births, and increased risk of breast cancer.

Compromised Mental Health

Hundreds of US studies have examined the association between abortion and mental health. The most comprehensive source is the research done by Dr. David C Reardon, Dr. Priscilla Coleman, and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, known as AAPLOG.

AAPLOG, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. AAPLOG ‘s mission is to encourage and equip its members and other concerned medical practitioners to defend the lives of both the pregnant mother and her pre-born child.

Both pro-life and pro-choice researchers agree that “the abortion experience directly contributes to mental health problems.” Large studies done with nationally representative samples and a variety of controls for personal and situational factors indicate abortion significantly increases risk for the following mental health problems:

• Depression
• Anxiety
• Substance abuse
• Suicide ideation and behavior

Suicide, specifically, is a serious risk, based on the much-studied correlation. Young women, under 18 years old, account for 15–30% of abortions and have a significantly higher suicide rate than their peers: compared with women who delivered, women were 6.5 times more likely to die by suicide during the year after an induced abortion. AAPLOG says that another large study found a 155% increase in suicidal behavior post-abortion.

“Literally every large scale study of the abortion and mental health link has revealed higher rates of mental illness among women.”

For many women who’ve chosen abortion, reconciling with the decision is a life-long endeavor. Dr. Coleman notes in a 2015 interview that about 50% of women who have abortions do believe that they are “terminating the life of a human being,” and that belief tends to make the aftermath more traumatic. As ultrasound technology improves, we’re able to clearly see the human formation even earlier.

About 80% of Americans view biologists as the group most qualified to determine when a human’s life begins. A recent survey of 5577 biologists from 1,058 academic institutions around the world showed a consensus: 96% of those experts in biology agree that human life begins at fertilization. That makes it increasingly difficult for a pregnant women to deny that she is carrying a human life, a dissonance which can lead to compromised mental health issues and even PTSD-like trauma.

The trauma is undeniable.

I saw this firsthand at a Rachel’s Vineyard (abortion recovery) retreat: it was attended by 19 women, ranging in age from their 20s to their 80s. It made a lasting impression on me that women in their 70s and 80s sobbed as they shared their stories. They were still grieving their abortions, many decades later. These care programs and support groups give women a place to talk with others and share their experience, process their grief and forgive themselves. With this assistance, post-abortive women can finally get closure, heal and move on with their lives.

Preterm Births

Abortion increases the risk of very preterm births—that is babies born between 22 and 26 weeks, at the edge of life—for any future pregnancy.

As of November 2021, 168 studies have been published on the association between abortion and preterm birth (PTB). These tiny babies require neonatal intensive care support to survive, and many of the 22–24 week-old babies don’t survive. Very premature births of post-abortive women result in over three million infant deaths worldwide each year.

AAPLOG writes on their findings :

  • First trimester induced abortion is one of the top three risk factors for preterm births.
  • Surgical abortions are associated with a “dose effect,” meaning an increased number of abortions confer increasing risk of PTB (because the cervix is weakened with each subsequent procedure).
  • Two or more abortions increase a woman’s risk of future preterm birth by up to 93%, and her risk of VERY preterm birth by more than 200%.
  • Preterm births can have health risks for a baby. Vital organs have not had enough time to fully develop.
  • Also, preterm birth leads to an increased risk for short and long term complications such as cerebral palsy, impaired vision and/or hearing and impaired cognitive development.

The Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (RCOG) acknowledges the association of surgical abortion and PTB, as does the AAPLOG. Despite the evidence presented in these 168 peer-reviewed science-based studies, the largest providers of abortions in the US do not inform patients of the association between surgical abortion and later preterm births. AAPLOG recommends that information about the increased risk of preterm births after surgical abortion should be included in informed consent practices prior to surgical abortion.

Increased Risk of Breast Cancer

In their Committee Opinion 8: Abortion and Breast Cancer, AAPLOG states:

“The protective effect of a full-term pregnancy on breast cancer risk has been known since the Middle Ages when it was noted that nuns had a higher risk of breast cancer than women with children. Medical authorities agree that a full-term pregnancy lowers a woman’s risk of breast cancer. . . . These facts are not controversial and are acknowledged by all medical organizations.”

An abortion-breast cancer link passes every one of the standard criteria which determine if causation can be deduced. These same criteria were used in 1964 by the U.S. Surgeon General to determine causality of cigarettes in lung cancer promotion. Today they prove causation of the link between abortion and breast cancer.

America was not content to blindly follow when the tobacco industry denied a link between tobacco and lung cancer, based on its own studies. AAPLOG suggests applying the same wisdom here.
There is a scientific, biologically plausible mechanism for breast cancer promotion caused by electively terminating a normal pregnancy. Here’s that explanation in a nutshell:

Over the course of a woman’s life, her breast tissue will develop into four different types of lobules. All women are born with Type 1 lobules, which mature into Type 2 lobules at puberty. The lobules type is important to note because 99% of all breast cancers arise in Types 1 & 2 lobules. Types 3 & 4 lobules are resistant to breast cancer.

During the first half of pregnancy, she will see a sharp increase in Type 2 lobules. Beginning at 20 weeks, her Type 2 lobules will begin to mature into Type 4 lobules. As pregnancy continues beyond 32 weeks, 70-90% of her breast tissue has matured into Type 4 lobules by week 40, and the risk of future breast cancer is reduced. There is a 90% risk reduction when she carries a pregnancy to term compared to if she remained childless.

After lactation ceases, the breast forms Type 3 lobules. After menopause, these Type 3 lobules regress to Type 1 lobules, but the protection gained from earlier term pregnancies is permanent and provides lifelong protection to these Type 1 lobules.

What’s the Risk?

Ending a pregnancy before 32 weeks stops the Type 2 lobules from developing into Type 4 lobules. That is, ending a pregnancy early stops breast development at a time when there is an increased amount of cancer-vulnerable Type 2 lobules. The longer a woman maintains Types 1 and/or 2 lobules, the higher her risk of breast cancer.

Ethical medical practice obligates a physician to counsel a woman considering abortion that this decision may increase the risk of breast cancer later in life

Chemical abortion

In 2000 the FDA approved the two-drug “abortion pill,” and women have been able to perform their own early abortions—up to 10 weeks of gestation—without leaving their homes.

First, the woman takes the mifepristone pill, or RU-486. Then, 24 to 48 hours later, the woman takes misoprostol or Cytotec. Together, these drugs induce delivery.

In 2021, the FDA made it easier to get a chemical abortions by phone: the “in-person dispensing requirement” — stating that mifepristone be given only in health-care settings such as clinics, medical offices, and hospitals — was removed.

Verifying that a pharmacy is certified does not replace in-person medical care. If the procedure is done at home, without a medical exam and without an ultrasound, then:

• The viability of her pregnancy cannot be confirmed. If the pregnancy is ectopic (in the fallopian tube), she’ll need specialized medical care.
• The stage of her pregnancy is not confirmed. In practice, women are often unsure how far along they are. If she’s past that ten-week maximum, attempting a chemical abortion at home can be dangerous.
• Taking these pills alone at home, she may be far from emergency medical care when it’s needed, which is often.

Intense pain, bleeding, and contractions may last for days and necessitate intervention: “Seventeen states maintain records of state Medicaid reimbursements for abortions and subsequent emergency room (“ER”) treatment within 30 days of the abortion. Based on this data, in 2015, the rate of ER visits per 1,000 women who underwent a chemical abortion in the past 30 days was an astonishing 354.8.” Thirty-five percent go to the ER after attempting an abortion at home. Women taking these drugs at home alone, without medical supervision or access to a doctor, may be risking their health. And at-home, chemical abortions are growing quickly as requests for mail-order abortion pills surged after the Roe reversal. They now account for over half of the abortions in the US.

Summary: Let’s Be Honest about Abortion

The short-term and long-term effects on women from induced abortion—compromised mental health, increased risk of preterm births, and increased risk of breast cancer—are not well known. The dangers of at-home chemical abortions are also not well known. But they should be. Medical professionals are obligated to provide relevant information about the effects of abortion on women prior to any procedure as a matter of “informed consent.” In the area of abortion, they simply don’t.

We don’t do women any favors by suggesting that abortion is a quick, easy solution without negative, lasting effects on the women we love.


Terri Marcroft is an adoptive Mom to her 24-year old daughter, Founder and Executive Director of Unplanned Good, an organization dedicated to promoting the idea of open adoption for women facing unplanned pregnancy. For more information, please see unplannedgood.org/. The article above is a condensed excerpt from her book Pro-Choice Pro-Adoption: It’s Time for a Loving, Positive Response to Unplanned Pregnancy published in 2022.


Supporting References

National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6207970/
Article: The abortion and mental health controversy: A comprehensive literature review of common ground agreements, disagreements, actionable recommendations, and research opportunities by David C Reardon

AAPLOG Practice Bulletin No. 7, Abortion and Mental Health, December 30, 2019. FINAL-Abortion-Mental-Health-PB7.pdf (aaplog.org)

Reardon, David C., et al. “Deaths associated with pregnancy outcome: a record linkage study of low income women.” Southern Medical Journal, vol. 95, no. 8, Aug. 2002, pp. 834+. Gale Academic OneFile. Accessed 26 Oct. 2022.

Reardon DC, Craver C. Effects of Pregnancy Loss on Subsequent Postpartum Mental Health: A Prospective Longitudinal Cohort Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(4):2179. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042179

Jacobs, Steven and Jacobs, Steven, The Scientific Consensus on When a Human’s Life Begins (November 29, 2021). Jacobs, S.A., The Scientific Consensus on When a Human’s Life Begins, Issues in Law & Medicine, Volume 36, Number 2, 2021., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3973608