Whatever Happened to the Boy Scouts?

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

It was once an honor to earn a merit badge in the Boy Scouts. Becoming a Star Scout was a privilege, a Life Scout was something fantastic, and an Eagle Scout was the very tip of the apex. Few achieved that pinnacle, and those who did treasured it for their entire lives. But even those who didn’t attain these levels were still enriched by the Boy Scouts via lessons in life skills and teamwork.

Sadly, the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 18, 2020. First formed in 1910, this organization was once one of the most popular institutions in the entire country. Why its demise?

The simple answer is that the Boy Scouts succumbed to the threats of political correctness and wokesterism, particularly through the acceptance of homosexuality and feminism.

There were more than 92,000 cases filed against the Boy Scouts for sexual abuse. Like the Catholic Church, which dealt with priests abusing young boys, the Boy Scouts found themselves infiltrated by homosexual Scout leaders who did the same to their young charges.

One wonders why homosexual scoutmasters were welcomed into the ranks of scouting in the first place. Fifty years ago the idea of a gay scoutmaster would have been anathema. The Scout Oath itself—“On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight”—precludes homosexual behavior. But again, political correctness got the upper hand.

It was deemed impermissible to not welcome queer Boy Scout leaders into the organization. In the view of the Boy Scouts, gays were entirely within their “rights” to insist on taking leadership roles working with young boys. They are, after all, one of the demographics explicitly and specifically legally protected against discrimination in the United States. But parents of impressionable 13-year-old boys were not exactly thrilled with this prospect. They pulled their sons out of the organization in droves, leading to its drastic decline.

And then the feminists demanded that girls be allowed to join. This is more than passing curious given that there was a perfectly good and very similar organization, the Girl Scouts, for the feminine sex. Would boys have been welcomed into that organization? Don’t be silly. That’s an offensive, sexist suggestion! But the obverse is not only allowed in the social justice philosophy, but actually required.

Yet the demise of the Boy Scouts may not properly be fully laid at the doors of the feminists and the queer communities. These groups were only accessing what the law of the land offered them. No, the Boy Scouts went under due to laws that weakened the more basic human right of free association: that no innocent person may properly be compelled to associate with anyone else—no exceptions here—against his will.

Of course, homosexuals themselves violate this legislation. They rule out half the human race as bed partners and romantic love interests. As do the heterosexuals. They are guilty of the exact same “crime”—of discrimination! Only bisexuals are innocent of this “discriminatory practice.” So there we have it: the logic of anti-discrimination laws lead to compulsory bisexuality.

The counterargument to the foregoing is that anti-discrimination laws should and do apply, only to commercial, and not personal, interactions. But why should we accept so facile a distinction? Surely, if it is wrong to discriminate against women, gays, and members of certain ethnic groups, this should apply to all realms of human interaction, the personal as well as the business and employment world. Otherwise, we are faced with the anomaly that the personal is relatively unimportant and only commerce is important.

Perish the thought that this could be possible.

*****

Walter Block is an economics professor at Loyola University and a Mises Institute senior fellow. He is the author of several classic books on libertarian ethics, includingDefending the Undefendable (1976), and was named one of the 100 most influential philosophers in the world by AcademicInfluence.com.
This article was published on December 29, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from Chronicles Magazine.

 

 

BREAKING: Feds Finally Admit to Running Secretive DOJ “Commandos” at Jan. 6 Trump Protests

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Department of Justice admitted this week to running secretive DOJ “commandos” at the January 6 protests in Washington DC.

Four Trump supporters died that day including two women who were killed by Capitol Hill Police.
A third woman was nearly killed but was rescued by Green Beret Jeremy Brown.

The DOJ Commandos were given “shoot to kill” orders.

Now they’re admitting the government did in fact have commandos at the capitol on Jan. 6.

After nearly a year this information is finally coming out.
And they accused this website and others of being conspiracy nuts for reporting on the feds in the crowd that day.

We will likely never know how many feds were working that day to sabotage the peaceful protests.

Newsweek reported:

On Sunday, January 3, the heads of a half-dozen elite government special operations teams met in Quantico, Virginia, to go over potential threats, contingencies, and plans for the upcoming Joint Session of Congress. The meeting, and the subsequent deployment of these shadowy commandos on January 6, has never before been revealed.

Right after the New Year, Jeffrey A. Rosen, the acting Attorney General on January 6, approved implementation of long-standing contingency plans dealing with the most extreme possibilities: an attack on President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence, a terrorist attack involving a weapon of mass destruction, and a declaration of measures to implement continuity of government, requiring protection and movement of presidential successors.

Rosen made a unilateral decision to take the preparatory steps to deploy Justice Department and so-called “national” forces. There was no formal request from the U.S. Capitol Police, the Secret Service, or the Metropolitan Police Department—in fact, no external request from any agency. The leadership in Justice and the FBI anticipated the worst and decided to act independently, the special operations forces lurking behind the scenes….

 

*****

Continue reading this article, published January 3, 2022 at Gateway Pundit.

DEI Initiatives Create Environment Where ‘inclusion does not apply to Jewish students on campus’

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

A study published by Heritage Foundation showed a spike of anti-Semitic incidents occurring on college campuses at the same time DEI faculty continue being hostile to supporters of Israel.

 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs have become popular on campus to expand student comfort and inclusivity on college campuses. These centers serve as a space for students to connect and feel appreciated among their fellow peers, guided by experts and academics at the highest level.

But what happens when a specific group of students is left out of the mix?

It is not a question that college campuses and universities are not always the safe space for academic freedom and self-expression that they claim to be. Repeatedly, students with a specific point of view are criticized and intimidated to maintain a quiet disposition during their four-year journey through higher education. 

Who are these students? Those that are Jewish or are supporters of Israel.

DEI programs cannot fix the prejudices embedded in the swamp that is higher education; in some cases, these initiatives actually compound the discrimination already present.

244 anti-Semitic incidents were reported during the 2020-2021 school year, according to the Heritage Foundation’s report this month.

That number represents a 34.8% increase from the previous academic year. 

But how – or perhaps why – did that dramatic rise occur during a school year largely shunted to virtual attendance during COVID-19?

As Campus Reform has reported, Jewish students and supporters of Israel face intimidation and discrimination whether online or on campus. Incidents this year such as the chancellor at Rutgers University issuing an apology for condemning a “resurgence of anti-Semitism” does not help matters.

One University of Michigan student told Campus Reform in July that “[i]t is scary to be a Jew in America right now.”

In August, a person at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville desecrated the Star of David by eating a sticker depicting the Jewish symbol to protest the state of Israel.

Heritage Foundation’s December 2021 report, “Inclusion Delusion: The Antisemitism of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Staff at Universities,” strongly suggests that DEI staff’s pretense to inclusivity actually makes campuses less tolerant environments for Jewish students and non-Jewish supporters of Israel. 

“What we found in our most recent paper is that higher education diversity bureaucrats—who are paid to promote inclusion—have a strange way of showing it on Twitter. DEI staffers tweet so inordinately and hyperbolically about Israel, relative to China, that they cross the line into antisemitism,” James Paul, a doctoral fellow at the University of Arkansas and the report’s co-author, told Campus Reform.

“Apparently ‘inclusion’ does not apply to Jewish students on campus,” Paul added. 

Heritage analyzed the Twitter feeds of 741 DEI faculty representing 65 universities to determine any favorability when it came to discussions surrounding Israel. The same analysis was conducted for China, in comparison.

Of the tweets, 96% expressed criticism of Israel, while a stark 62% were expressed positive opinions about China. 

“The overwhelming pattern is that DEI staff at universities pay a disproportionately high amount of attention to Israel and nearly always attack Israel,” the report states.

At the average university, Heritage finds that there is an average of 45 DEI staff tasked with the responsibility of creating an inclusive environment. The industry has become extremely profitable for these staffers, as well, and at the expense of the college community.

Ohio State University, for example, pays $10,097,051 to employ 131 diversity administrators.

Thirty of those employees earn more than $100,000 per year, and of the 99 salaried employees, the average salary calculates to $89,168.

Statements made about Israel included accusations of “genocide, apartheid, settler colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and other extreme crimes,” according to Heritage.

These phrases were non-existent in the language used to refer to China, spare for the favorable use of the word “colonialism.”

Though the Heritage study did find minimal criticism of China for its human rights violations against Uighur Muslims and African residents, it also found that such critiques were less severely worded than language reserved for anti-Israel posts.

[RELATED: POLL: 50% of Jewish students feel they ‘need to hide their identity’ on campus]

“It would be impossible to review the inordinate attention that DEI staff pay to Israel relative to China, the nearly universal attacks on Israel and China without concluding that DEI staff have an obsessive and irrational animus toward the Jewish state,” the study states.

Paul told Campus Reform that the findings only support the claim that DEI staffers are not committed to fostering a true inclusive environment.

Jay P. Greene, a senior research fellow at Heritage and the report’s lead author, agreed with Paul’s assessment.

“After publishing three reports on DEI bureaucracy in K-12 and higher education, we find little evidence that DEI promotes inclusive environments or closes achievement gaps,” Greene told Campus Reform.

The bottom line is that students have a right to feel safe and secure on the campus of their choosing. They should not be subjected to pressure to hide or conform their worldviews to meet the standards of those claiming to provide an inclusive experience.

The prevalence of DEI staff and facilities on American campuses cannot and should not be a vehicle for the woke, liberal mob to continue their suppression of viewpoint diversity under the false banner of inclusivity.

The tweets featured throughout the study bear witness to the biased discrimination being waged on college campuses, and it is hindering students’ abilities to pursue an education in a truly free academic space.

*****

This article was published on December 19, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from Campus Reform.

Hillsdale’s Imprimis: The Way Out

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

The following is adapted from a speech delivered at a Hillsdale College reception in Overland Park, Kansas, on November 18, 2021.

 

Here are two questions pertinent to our times: (1) How would you reduce the greatest free republic in history to despotism in a short time? and (2) How would you stop that from happening? The answer to the first question has been provided in these last two disastrous years. The answer to the second has begun to emerge in recent months. Both are worthy of study.

Reducing a Great Republic to Despotism

To establish despotism in a nation like ours, you might begin, if you were smart, by building a bureaucracy of great complexity that commands a large percentage of the resources of the nation. You might give it rule-making powers, distributed across many agencies and centers inside the cabinet departments of government, as well as in 20 or more “independent” agencies—meaning independent of elected officials, and thus independent of the people.

This much has been done. It would require a doctoral thesis to list all the ways that rules are made in our federal government today, which would make for boring reading. The truth is that very few people not directly involved know how all this works. Although civics education is practically banned in America, most people still know what the Congress is and how its members are elected. But how many know how the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) came to be, under what authority it operates, and who is its head? Here is a clue: it is not Anthony Fauci.

Admittedly, this new kind of bureaucratic government would take—has taken—decades to erect, especially in the face of the resistance of the Constitution of the United States, which its very existence violates. But once it has been erected, things can happen very fast.

What, for example, if a new virus proliferates around the world? There have been procedures for dealing with such viruses for a long time. They begin with isolating the sick and protecting the vulnerable. But suddenly we have new procedures that attempt to isolate everybody. This is commanded by the CDC, an element of this bureaucratic structure, and by a maze of federal and state authorities, all of which see the benefit to themselves in getting involved. The result is that large sections of our economy were closed for months at a time, and citizens placed under the equivalent of house arrest. This has not happened before. The cost of it, and not just in monetary terms, is beyond calculation.

To set up a despotism capable of pulling this off you would need the media’s help. Those controlling the media today are trained in the same universities that invented the bureaucratic state, the same universities the senior bureaucrats attended. The media would need to be willing to suppress, for example, the fact that 50,000 doctors, scientists, and medical researchers signed the Great Barrington Declaration. That document reminds people that you cannot suppress a widely disseminated contagious virus through shutdowns and mass isolation, and that if you try, you will work immeasurable destruction of new kinds—unemployment, bankruptcy, depression, suicide, multiplying public debt, broken supply chains, and increases of other serious health problems. Some of the signatories to this Declaration come from the most distinguished universities in the world, but never mind: their views do not fit the narrative propagated by the powerful. They have been effectively cancelled, ignored by the media and suppressed by Big Tech.

You would need some help from business, too. As far as influence is concerned, “business” is dominated by large institutions—those comprising big business—whose leaders are also educated in the same universities that conceived bureaucratic government and trained the bureaucrats and media heads. This provides a ground of agreement between big business and the bureaucratic state. Anyway, agree or not, businesses are vulnerable to regulation, and to mitigate the risk of regulatory harm they play the game: they send lobbyists to Washington, make political contributions, hire armies of lawyers. If you are big enough to play the game, there are plenty of advantages to be won. If you are not big enough to play the game—well, in that case you are on your own.

Amidst the unprecedented lockdowns, imagine there comes an election, a time for the people to say if they approve of the new way of governing and of this vast, unprecedented intrusion into their lives. Then let us say that in several states the election rules and practices are altered by their executive branches—the people in charge of enforcing the law—on their own, without approval by their legislatures. Say this brazen violation of the separation of powers takes place in the name of the pandemic. One does not need to know what percentage of votes in the final tally were affected to see that this is fishy. No sensible person would place control of the election process in one party—any party—or in one branch—any branch—of the government, alone. In some crucial states, that was done.

Finally, to sustain this new kind of government, you would need to work on education. You might build a system of centralized influence, if not control, over every classroom in the land. You might require certification of the teachers with a bias toward the schools of education that train them in the approved way. These schools, poor but obedient cousins of the elite universities, are always up on the latest methods of “delivery” of instruction (we do not call it teaching anymore). These new methods do not require much actual knowledge, which can be supplied from above.

As far as content, you might set up a system of textbook adoption that guarantees to publishers a massive and captive market but requires them to submit proposed books to committees of “experts,” subject of course to political pressures. You might build a standard approved curriculum on the assumption that everything changes—even history, even principles. You might use this curriculum to lay the ground for holding everything old, everything previously thought high and noble, in contempt.

Doing this, incidentally, deprives the student of the motive to learn anything out of fashion today. It is a preparation not for a life of knowing and thinking, but for a life of compliance and conformity.

This is by no means an exhaustive account of what it would take to build a thoroughgoing tyranny—for further instruction, read Book Five of Aristotle’s Politics or George Orwell’s 1984. But it gives an idea of a mighty system, a system that seems unassailable, a system combining the powers of government and commerce, of education and communication. Money and power in such a system would accrue to the same hands. The people who benefit from the system would be the ruling class. Others would be frustrated. And such a system would tend to get worse, because the exercise of unchecked power does not bring out the best in people.

Any elaborate system of government must have a justification, and the justification of this one cannot simply be that those in the ruling class are entitled on the basis of their superiority. That argument went away with the divine right of kings. No, for the current ruling class, the justification is science. The claim of bureaucratic rule is a claim of expertise—of technical or scientific knowledge about everything. Listen to Fauci on Face the Nation, dismissing his critics in Congress as backward reactionaries. When those critics disagree with him, Fauci said recently, “They’re really criticizing science because I represent science. That’s dangerous.”

The problem with this kind of thinking was pointed out by a young Winston Churchill in a letter to the writer H.G. Wells in 1901. Churchill wrote:

Nothing would be more fatal than for the government of states to get into the hands of the experts. Expert knowledge is limited knowledge: and the unlimited ignorance of the plain man who knows only what hurts is a safer guide, than any vigorous direction of a specialised character. Why should you assume that all except doctors, engineers, etc. are drones or worse? . . . If the Ruler is to be an expert in anything he should be an expert in everything; and that is plainly impossible.

Churchill goes on to argue that practical judgment is the capacity necessary to making decisions. And practical judgment, he writes in many places, is something that everyone is capable of to varying degrees. Everyone, then, is equipped to guide his own life in the things that concern mainly himself.

Another thing about the experts is that they are not really engaged in the search for truth. Instead, the powerful among them suppress the obvious fact that there is wide disagreement among the experts. There always is.

God save us from falling completely into the hands of experts. But God has given us the wherewithal to save ourselves from that. So let us move to the second question posed above.

How to Defeat a Rising Despotism

In answering the second question, I will tell two stories that are suggestive…..

*****

Continue reading this article from Hillsdale College at Imprimis.

Larry P. Arnn is the twelfth president of Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. from Arkansas State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from the Claremont Graduate School. From 1977 to 1980, he also studied at the London School of Economics and at Worcester College, Oxford University, where he served as director of research for Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill. From 1985 until his appointment as president of Hillsdale College in 2000, he was president of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy. From October 2020 to January 2021, he served as co-chair of the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission. He is the author of several books, including The Founders’ Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and Churchill’s Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government.

 

 

Inflation: A Catastrophe Designed by Our Leaders

Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

“One of the biggest taxes is one that is not even called a tax–inflation. When the government spends money that it creates, it is transferring part of the value of your money to themselves.”  Thomas Sowell

“The cure for inflation is simple to state but hard to implement.  Just as an excessive increase in the quantity of money is the one and only important cause of inflation, so a reduction in the rate of monetary growth is the one and only cure for inflation… The problem is having the political will to take the necessary measures.” Milton Friedman

“Milton Friedman is no longer running the show anymore.” President Joe Biden

The politics of deficit hysteria, embraced by both sides for decades, served as an even bigger impediment.  ….This book aims to drive the number of people who believe the deficit is a problem closer to zero.” Stephanie Kelton, Advisor to Senate Democrats, Bernie Sanders, and the author of The Deficit Myth.

“To overcome its policy mistake, the Fed has to detail how it got the call wrong on inflation for so long, and then quickly wind down asset purchases.” Market Watch

US inflation jumps 6.8% in November — fastest rate in 39 years- Yahoo Finance.

We read the headlines just like you do. But does the CPI really measure inflation for most of us? Here is a different take from economist Vince Ginn, with the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Our government likes to “adjust” inflation for quality differences so-called hedonic adjustments. What is interesting about this list is its clarity. There is no real “qualitative” difference in say uncooked beef roasts, or gasoline over time. Beef is not that different from last year nor is gasoline.

  • Food: 6.1%
  • Flour: 6.2%
  • Uncooked beef roasts: 26.4%
  • Bacon: 21.0%
  • Chicken parts: 10.7%
  • Eggs: 8.0%
  • Pork roasts, steaks, ribs: 22.9%
  • Whole milk: 6.6%
  • Apples: 7.4%
  • Canned vegetables: 6.5%
  • Dried beans, peas, lentils: 8.6%
  • Coffee: 7.5%
  • Peanut butter: 6.8%
  • Baby food: 6.7%

Home:

  • Utility gas service (natural gas)  25.1%
  • Home heating oil  59.3%
  • Furniture and bedding: 11.8%
  • Laundry appliances: 9.2%

Travel:

  • Tires: 11.1%
  • Energy: 33.3%
  • Gasoline: 58.1%
  • Used vehicles: 31.4%
  • Hotels: 25.5%
  • Rental vehicle: 37.2%

Other:

  • Clothing: 5.0%
  • Tobacco and smoking products: 8.9%
  • Banking services: 9.9%

Some would suggest some of this is caused by supply chain issues. OK, who screwed up the supply chain by shutting the economy down, thinking they could throw a switch and turn it back on? And which political party has been most eager to shut the economy down? Any difference between Florida and New York?

Those who follow the news about the economy and finance are no doubt aware just a year or so ago, the “authorities” were worried about disinflation. They were worried that bad demographics (little growth in the population), too much debt, and disruptive new technologies like the internet and globalization, had the world locked in a deflationary spiral. Or, so they believed. Because of that fear, we have run a long regime of zero interest rates and very large budget deficits. Then along came the Chinese virus, and the government responded by shutting down the economy, quarantining the healthy, and jamming the vulnerable elderly into crowded nursing homes, where they died like flies.

The economy tanked so the government poured on more stimulus. As the economy started to recover, the government poured on more stimulus.

Their policy response was huge spending and gigantic deficits all while, they held interest rates near zero and pumped trillions into the system by the FED buying treasury bonds and mortgages and adding them to the FED’s balance sheet. Where did the FED get the money to buy all the government debt? They created it out of thin air.

The theory was that much of this newly created money would stay largely within the financial system, inflating the value of financial assets.

Then came along Covid relief policies, that sent checks directly to consumers, making a monetary end-run around the constipated banks. As a result, the M2 money supply grew in the first half of the year around 25%, and has now backed off to around 12-14%, still way above the rate of economic growth.

The Federal Reserve said it would respond to the threat of disinflation, by actually promoting inflation, with a target of exceeding 2%. Critics at the time pointed out that such policies are like “being a little bit pregnant.”  You can’t start an inflationary spiral and be certain you can control the whole process. We now have inflation at more than three times that rate and the FED is now only rhetorically stirring itself, but terribly worried about “tapering” or reducing the FED’s balance sheet lest we repeat the stock meltdown of 2018. You might recall that in late 2018, the FED started to unwind its balance sheet and raise rates only to abort quickly after the stock market sold off 20%. They have not attempted a “taper ” since.

As inflation has increased, the FED publicly stated that it was “transitory”, although they never defined what transitory meant in the real world, nor did they explain why a high rate of inflation is good, even if it be temporary.

Meanwhile, politicians noticed they were able to run huge deficits, have them financed by the FED, and there was seemingly little inflation. Critics pointed out there was inflation, but that it was largely confined to asset prices (stocks, bonds, real estate) and the new ways hedonic accounting was used to hide the real inflation rate in the inflation indices. But Congress wanted to take advantage of the virus crisis to advance its goals of socializing the economy and destroying fossil fuels.

Moreover, politicians felt new principles were at work. As President Biden bragged, “Milton Friedman is not in charge”. That was another way of saying the growth of deficits, debt, and money supply, would not create inflation. And they had the new ideas of Modern Monetary Theory to assure them of this new benign relationship. They could run up monstrous deficits, increase bank reserves, and increase the money supply, and unlike previous eras, inflation would not interrupt their plans to convert the United States to a socialist system.

Well, it hasn’t worked out all that well, has it. Inflation is now at a forty-year high. But unlike the 1970s, we have much higher debt in the Federal Government, state and local governments, and among corporations and individuals. The one thing that is dramatically lower, is interest rates. By shoving rates down, they shoved bond values to the ionosphere. Bonds move opposite of the interest rate. Thus, rates near zero create by mathematical law, a bubble in bond prices.

Meanwhile, with no yield in bonds or bank deposits, the public has stormed into stocks as the only alternative. Already this year, the flow of money into equities exceeds the combined total of the past 12 years!

Certainly, in the US, and in other countries, aggressive central banks have facilitated wild spending by their respective legislatures. Central banks have enthusiastically enabled at every turn, the legislative monetary drunks that want to binge on more spending.

Many believe central banks are at fault. Yes, they are. However, they would not be monetizing a lot of debt if the government was running a balanced budget. Central banks carry “independence” largely as a fig leaf. In the end, they are very political and often do what their legislative masters or the President want them to do. Our point though is this:  you can’t monetize excessive debt if there isn’t any. Debt is a creation of Congress, not the FED. The FED just makes it easy so Congress can continue wild spending.

So, we are left with inflation raging, central bank balance sheets bloated to record levels, high levels of debt in government and society, and negative interest rates.

If Professor Friedman is correct, the ONLY way to tame inflation is to reduce money growth, which will require substantially higher interest rates, as we saw with Reagan and Volker in the early 1980s. But like Reagan and Volker, that takes political courage. Does the current crop of politicians look like they have both the understanding and the courage to act?

It would be hard to emphasize how dangerous this policy conundrum has now become. We literally have little choice to either let inflation rage on the one hand or take the painful steps to cut it off. However, increasing interest rates against a financial asset bubble comes with huge risks. For example, margin debt in stock lending is at all-time highs, and that does not even include “security-based lending”, which has become all the rage at brokerage houses. This is an extension of loans for non-stock purposes (typically to buy real estate, cars, and large ticket items) using your stock account as collateral.

Do you see a problem? If rising rates were to prick the asset bubble, both stocks and those things financed by stocks could fall in value, risking that they will fall below the value of the loans they collateralize, triggering a system-wide call to pay down the loans. If you read any of the better histories of financial crashes, financial leverage achieved through excessive lending, has always been a feature of financial crashes.

That is only one area of debt excess. It is present in housing and in government and corporate finance. It will take a genius and incredible luck to guide us to a soft landing with the debt and valuation extremes in so many markets.

Yet to do nothing about raging inflation contains its own serious risk. Inflation is particularly hard on those of lower incomes because they can’t afford big stock portfolios or real estate holdings. While bemoaning economic inequality, progressive economic policies exacerbate economic inequality because inflation helps the rich and hurts the poor. Many people are on fixed incomes in retirement, and others live on wages that typically lag inflation.

It not only directly hurts people but also distorts accounting rules and causes a huge misallocation of capital. Inflation often causes booms that go well beyond their economic justification, resulting in a corrective phase called a bust. Inflation pushes people into higher tax brackets, even though they are not really making any more money in real terms than before. It blows up the strategy of deferring taxes, so popular with the public in IRAs and 401Ks. Instead of deferring taxes to a lower tax rate upon retirement, you may well be deferring to a higher bracket.

Serious inflations have often been associated with political and social upheaval and there are many historical examples. Perhaps the most graphic was the wiping out of the German middle class in the great inflation of the 1920s, paving the way for the National Socialists and Adolph Hitler.

Who put us into such a box where there are only dangerous and painful alternatives? Remember their names.

It would not be fair to single out only Democrats, although they bear the majority of the blame. But many Republicans that don’t believe anymore in sound money and limited government also deserve our condemnation.  They have either played along, offered a feeble defence of limited government, or have been bought by special interests that favour big government.

They have created a situation of elevated systemic financial risk. That leaves us all vulnerable to a policy error, a lack of policy action, a foreign policy event, an overreaction to a pandemic; all of which could play a role as a possible triggering event sending us into a financial maelstrom.

And to some extent, the American people are to blame. They have elected people who told them there is a free lunch,  that the government can give you everything you want, and it won’t cost anything. It is delusional to believe that, but sadly it seems attractive to many people.

Knowing when this precarious situation will start to shift is almost impossible to know and thus to time.

If inflation is left to rage, or definitive steps are taken to put out the fire before it becomes an uncontrollable conflagration, there will be hell to pay in either case.

We all in our hearts know there is no free lunch and that you can’t borrow or print your way to prosperity. If that were true, then Argentina would be the world’s dominant economic power.

We need to remember what leaders and which party maneuvered us into a situation where there are no good alternatives. These are the people that injected huge monetary stimulus while simultaneously constraining supply through pandemic lockdowns. That gave us a lot of money chasing a diminished supply of goods.

The only true way to stop inflation is to so thoroughly trounce at the polls those that advocate inflation, that the memory of their demise lasts several generations. And then, we need to put in institutional safeguards so that we don’t face this no-win situation again.

 

 

 

Jussie Smollett Guilty

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Oh happy day! That creep Jussie Smollett, who claimed that he was attacked in a gay-bashing, was convicted today by a Chicago jury of five of six counts of lying about it:

Actor Jussie Smollett has been found guilty on five of six felony counts of disorderly conduct for making a false report to Chicago police that he was the victim of a hate crime in January 2019, an attack prosecutors said he staged.
The jury of six men and six women deliberated for more than nine hours over Wednesday and Thursday.
A disorderly conduct charge for a false crime report is a Class 4 felony and punishable by up to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Cook County Judge James Linn will have discretion in imposing a concurrent or consecutive sentence for each count at a later date.
In 2019, when this all first happened, Facebook would not allow people to say what that Chicago jury found today was true. Facebook blocked people posting a commentary from me calling Smollett’s claims a hate hoax:

Let’s revisit some of what was said back in 2019 about the Smollett claim that he was brutalized by gay-bashers screaming, “This is MAGA country!”:

Here’s one from Nancy Pelosi; she deleted the original, but I captured the text on my 2019 post:

Don’t forget this one:

 

Washington Post reporter Eugene Scott wrote at the time not about Smollett’s “alleged” experience, but about the thing as if it were established fact:

Smollett’s experience is far too common for black gay men, particularly those who speak out against racism and sexism. As activist Preston Mitchum wrote:

“Everyday our multiple marginalized identities increase our chances of facing racist, homophobic vitriol — and this fact has only intensified under the Trump administration with their dog whistle politics. So as we wait to see if justice is served for Smollett, we as Black queer people wait to see if America will finally see our lives as worth protecting. Because history has rarely been on the side of Black queer folk.”

Because no black, gay man could possibly lie about being beaten up by thugs yelling, “This is MAGA country!”

Earlier this week, Black Lives Matter released the following statement:

The below is a statement from Dr. Melina Abdullah, Director of BLM Grassroots and Co-Founder of BLM Los Angeles, regarding the ongoing trial of Jussie Smollett:

As abolitionists, we approach situations of injustice with love and align ourselves with our community. Because we got us. So let’s be clear: we love everybody in our community. It’s not about a trial or a verdict decided in a white supremacist charade, it’s about how we treat our community when corrupt systems are working to devalue their lives. In an abolitionist society, this trial would not be taking place, and our communities would not have to fight and suffer to prove our worth. Instead, we find ourselves, once again, being forced to put our lives and our value in the hands of judges and juries operating in a system that is designed to oppress us, while continuing to face a corrupt and violent police department, which has proven time and again to have no respect for our lives.

In our commitment to abolition, we can never believe police, especially the Chicago Police Department (CPD) over Jussie Smollett, a Black man who has been courageously present, visible, and vocal in the struggle for Black freedom. While policing at-large is an irredeemable institution, CPD is notorious for its long and deep history of corruption, racism, and brutality. From the murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, to the Burge tortures, to the murder of Laquan McDonald and subsequent cover-up, to the hundreds of others killed by Chicago police over the years and the thousands who survived abuse, Chicago police consistently demonstrate that they are among the worst of the worst. Police lie and Chicago police lie especially.

Black Lives Matter will continue to work towards the abolition of police and every unjust system. We will continue to love and protect one another, and wrap our arms around those who do the work to usher in Black freedom and, by extension, freedom for everyone else.

Frauds! Clowns! You BLM racists care nothing about the truth, only about loyalty to a narrative. Anybody who gives BLM money after this deserves to be laughed at as a fool.

While it is delightful to watch that faker get his comeuppance, we should not forget that hate hoaxes like this are designed to boost the hoaxer at the expense of making people believe that our society is full of violent bigots, and in turn causing more social mistrust and fear. I hope that in sentencing, the judge throws the book at this meat-beating fabulist:

What a lowlife. And now, a convicted felon.

UPDATE: Chef’s kiss to Ben Shapiro!

 

Oh, and this, from back in the day:

UPDATE.2: They keep coming!

 

*****

This article was published on December 9, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The American Conservative.

Daily News Roundup

Estimated Reading Time: 13 minutes

NOTABLE QUOTES

Archbishop Viganò  calls for unity, courage, strength and faith to  create an anti-globalist alliance to free people from totalitarian regimes: “This Anti-Globalist Alliance will have to bring together the Nations that intend to escape the infernal yoke of tyranny and affirm their own sovereignty, forming agreements of mutual collaboration with Nations and peoples who share their principles and the common yearning for freedom, justice, and goodness. It will have to denounce the crimes of the elite, identify those responsible, denounce them to international tribunals, and limit their excessive power and harmful influence. It will have to prevent the action of the lobbies, above all by fighting against the corruption of state officials and those who work in the information industry, and by freezing the capital used to destabilize the social order.”

Andrea Widburg contributor to American Thinker questions why Biden is sending America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves to Asia:  As far as I can tell, the administration has not explained why, with Americans struggling to keep up with rising fuel prices, it’s shipping our SPR to Asia. During the virtual meeting between Biden and Xi Jinping, the two men allegedly discussed releasing oil from both countries’ petroleum reserves but made no mention of the sales to Asia that already took place.

Victor Davis Hanson contributor to American Greatness: For its own moral and practical survival, the FBI should be given one last chance at redemption by moving to the nation’s heartland—perhaps Kansas—far away from the political and media tentacles that have so deeply squeezed and corrupted it.

Peter D’Abrosca contributor to American Greatness: It couldn’t be clearer. If you’re politically on the Right in America, you can no longer count on equal justice under the law. If you’re on the Left, you can count on politicians, nonprofits, and the criminal justice system itself to do everything in its power to keep you out of jail.

Aaron Siri Substack blogger and civil litigator including civil rights involving mandated medicine: The FDA has asked a federal judge to make the public wait until the year 2076 to disclose all of the data and information it relied upon to license Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Chris Stigall contributor to Townhall: The American people are being torn apart and vilified, rejected and isolated, discriminated against and mocked.  All for a shot barely a year old that – by definition – can’t even be called a vaccine any longer.  It’s madness.

Larry Sand contributor to American Greatness: American students have been and continue to be egregiously short-changed due to a hysterical response to COVID, agenda-driven learning, the lowering of standards, and greed. Collectively, we all will suffer greatly for this dysfunctional state unless changes are made in a hurry. If not, our country will be unrecognizable in the not-too-distant future.

Bill Maher slams CRT: The history of racism in America is NOT the same as teaching that ‘racism is the essence of America’.

A CALL TO STAND  AGAINST TOTALITARIAN REGIMES

Hoft: HUGE EXCLUSIVE: Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò Calls on People of Faith to Unite in a Worldwide Anti-Globalist Alliance to Free Humanity from the Totalitarian Regime (VIDEO)
Archbishop Viganò shared this moving text and video with us on Wednesday.  The video and text are an international call for the creation of an anti-globalist alliance to defeat the evil elites who wish to enslave free men and women and promote a “Religion of Humanity that cancels Faith in Christ.” […]  The whole pandemic issue is instrumental to the Great Reset, and it is the latter that we must fight. I think that, at this moment, it is most appropriate to create a movement of the people that calls together, in an Anti-globalist Alliance, Catholics, Christians, and people of goodwill.  This is the first appeal I make to that effect. …If the attack is global.  The defense must also be global.
Read more/ Watch Archbishop’s 10:55 minute appeal to form an anti-globalist alliance at The Gateway Pundit.

PRESIDENT TRUMP

Wong: Trump Calls on Pulitzer Prize Board to Rescind Awards to Washington Post, New York Times
Former President Donald Trump is calling on the Pulitzer Prize Board to rescind awards given in 2018 to the staffs of the New York Times and the Washington Post for their reporting that fueled the hoax that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election.
In a letter dated September 30 but released Tuesday afternoon, Trump wrote to Pulitzer Prize interim administration Bud Kliment: . . .
Read more at Breitbart.

DEEP STATE

VDH: Can the FBI Be Salvaged?
The Washington, D.C.-based Federal Bureau of Investigation has lost all credibility as a disinterested investigatory agency. Now we learn from a whistleblower that the agency was allegedly investigating moms and dads worried about the teaching of critical race theory in their kids’ schools. In truth, since 2015, the FBI has been constantly in the news—and mostly in a negative and constitutionally disturbing light.
Read more at American Greatness.

GOP

White: Youngkin Will Allow Virginia Counties, Cities, K-12 Public Schools To Mandate COVID-19 Vaccines And Masks
Virginia Republican Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin will reportedly allow local mask and vaccine mandates to be implemented, including in K-12 public schools. Glenn Youngkin, the Republican Governor-elect of Virginia, will be allowing localities in the state – including cities, counties, and public school systems – to implement mask and vaccine mandates, but says he will not impose a mandate at the state level. This differs from Republican governors in stronghold states like Florida, which have banned the practice of mandating vaccines outright. While Youngkin insists that he will not mandate masks or vaccines, he is not going to block localities and K-12 public schools from implementing them on their own, breaking away from actions taken by other Republican governors who have attempted to block localities from implementing mandates their respective states.
Read more at National File.

Zuckerman: House censures Rep. Paul Gosar for posting video with his face pasted on cartoon character
Paul Gosar, DDS, a Republican member of Congress from Arizona, has officially been censured by House Democrats plus GOP turncoats Cheney and Kinzinger. He has also been stripped of his committee assignments by the Democrats plus the two turncoats The vote was 223 to 207, one member voting present and three not voting at all. […]  Did the video in question threaten violence against AOC and the president so as not to be tolerated by the speaker of the House? Stated differently, was the video a harbinger of harm or a picayune prank?  Apparently, it all depends whose ox is gored — or which party is depicted.  The rabid Democrats see Dr. Gosar as a possible violent threat; the Republicans, at worst, see him as a silly prankster. Does either party gain from maximizing Dr. Gosar’s behavior into an intolerable threat, and if so, which one?  That is to say, which party, today, has a vested interest in depicting Dr. Gosar as nasty villain, tying AOC to train tracks and waiting behind the White House bushes to assault the president? At present, it seems all that is needed for an excuse to censure Republicans is a slight Democrat majority in the House.  It is more likely than not that both Rep. Gosar and Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene will be restored to committee assignments (Ms. Greene lost her committee seats to Democrat votes in February) should the Republicans regain a House majority a year from now.  And now that the Democrats have established a precedent on censure and loss of committee seats by party-line vote, they had better mind their Ps and Qs, or they will find themselves “gosared” come January 3, 2023.
Read more at American Thinker.

Elkind: Kevin McCarthy says Democrats Ilhan Omar, Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters could ALL lose committee assignments if Republicans retake the House in attack on Gosar’s censure vote that proves there are ‘rules for thee but not for me’
In his speech ahead of the vote this afternoon McCarthy listed off five outspoken Democrats – including Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Reps. Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff of California – whose committee assignments could be on the chopping block if his party takes back the House in 2022.
McCarthy said of Democrats’ tenure in the majority, ‘What they have started cannot easily be undone. Their actions today and the past have forever changed the way the House operates.’ ‘It means that the minority rights that have served this body as well are the things of the past. And furthermore, it means that under the Pelosi precedent, all of the members that I have mentioned earlier will need the approval of a majority to keep those positions in the future,’ he hinted. ‘The old definition of abuse of power- rules for thee but not for me. That’s exactly what’s happening here today,’ McCarthy began.
Read more at Daily Mail.

LaMahieu: ‘Pelosi Did Not Have The Democratic Votes’: Sinema Credits House Republicans With Passage of Infrastructure Bill
“The 13 Republicans who voted yes on that bill in the House, and many of whom are now receiving death threats, they deserve a much greater share of thanks than they received,” Sinema said according to Politico. “Speaker Pelosi did not have the Democratic votes to pass that bill on a one party vote.” […]  Sinema also gave a lot of credit to the Congressional Black Caucus for pushing for the bill, saying they “did a lot of heavy lifting to get that bill across the finish line in the House.”
Read more at The Daily Wire.

ELECTION NEWS

Hoft: BREAKING VIDEO: Whistleblower Releases Video of Delaware County Pennsylvania Election Officials Destroying Evidence and Ballots in Backroom (VIDEO)
The videos show election officials admitting their actions were illegal, even “a felony”, but decided to destroy the election evidence anyway. In one video James Allen, the Director of Elections Operations, is seen in a backroom telling officials to destroy evidence knowing it was a felony.
In another video, Tom Gallager, a lawyer for Delaware County, is seen destroying election tapes — a felony.
Read more/Watch the three short video at The Gateway Pundit.

BIDEN’S UNCONSTITUTIONAL VACCINE MANDATE

Van Brugen: OSHA Suspends Enforcement of Vaccine Mandate After Court Block
The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has suspended the enforcement of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private businesses. The announcement came shortly after a U.S. appeals court rejected a challenge by the Biden administration on Nov. 12 and reaffirmed its decision to put on hold OSHA’s mandate, which requires that businesses with 100 employees or more ensure that workers either be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4, 2022, or be tested weekly and wear a mask.
Read more at Conservative Voices USA.

Siri: FDA Asks Federal Judge to Grant it Until the Year 2076 to Fully Release Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Data
The fed gov’t shields Pfizer from liability. Gives it billions of dollars. Makes Americans take its product. But won’t let you see the data supporting its safety/efficacy. Who does the gov’t work for? The FDA has asked a federal judge to make the public wait until the year 2076 to disclose all of the data and information it relied upon to license Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.   That is not a typo.   It wants 55 years to produce this information to the public.  As explained in a prior article, the FDA repeatedly promised “full transparency” with regard to Covid-19 vaccines, including reaffirming “the FDA’s commitment to transparency” when licensing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. With that promise in mind, in August and immediately following approval of the vaccine, more than 30 academics, professors, and scientists from this country’s most prestigious universities requested the data and information submitted to the FDA by Pfizer to license its COVID-19 vaccine.
Read more at Aaron Siri/Substack.

BIDEN/HARRIS/OBAMA REGIME: TRANSFORMING FOREIGN POLICY

Spencer: Group Biden Removed From Terror List Storms U.S. Embassy in Yemen, Takes Hostages
Isn’t great that America is back and the adults are back in charge? America is back, all right: all the way back to 1979, the last time we had a president so weak that enemies of the United States stormed one of our embassies and took hostages. On Thursday, the Yemeni media outlet Al-Masdar Online reported that Houthi jihadis in Yemen, which are backed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, stormed our embassy in Sana’a, seizing “large quantities of equipment and materials.” Just days before that, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), they “kidnapped three Yemeni nationals affiliated with the U.S. Embassy.” Biden’s team promised America would be back, but didn’t say anything about Jimmy Carter coming around again as well. A State Department spokesman confirmed the Yemeni report, saying: “The United States has been unceasing in its diplomatic efforts to secure their release.
Read more at FrontPage Mag.

BIDEN/HARRIS/OBAMA REGIME: TRANSFORMING AMERICA

Emma: Dems weigh pre-Christmas shutdown cliff to prod dug-in Republicans
Democrats are floating another short-term spending patch that kicks the next shutdown threat closer to the holidays, hoping to needle Republicans into talks over a sweeping government funding deal. As they approach the Dec. 3 deadline, top Democrats are considering a stopgap further into December as their leading option — potentially Dec. 17 or even closer to Christmas — rather than a longer continuing resolution that pushes the deadline into the new year. While nothing has been decided, support for another fast fix is building as Democrats steadily berate Republicans for refusing to engage in bipartisan talks on annual spending bills, while GOP leaders mull a yearlong patch that would stick Democrats with funding levels set when Donald Trump was president. […]  A possible shutdown deadline of Dec. 17 would run up against a new Dec. 15 deadline when the Treasury Department could run out of money to pay the government’s bills on time, adding to Democrats’ legislative pileup as they work to pass President Joe Biden’s sprawling social safety net package before Christmas.
Read more at Politico.

Thaler & Elkind: REVEALED: Biden’s Soviet-born comptroller of currency pick was arrested in 1995 for stealing four pairs of shoes, two bottles of cologne and socks worth $214 from T.J. Maxx: White House stands by nominee ahead of Senate grilling
President Joe Biden‘s nominee to oversee the to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency was arrested for stealing four pairs of shoes, two bottles of cologne, two belts and socks worth $214 from TJ Maxx in 1995, it was revealed on Wednesday. Since the White House announced it was tapping Cornell University professor Saule Omarova, 55, to lead the agency overseeing the country’s largest banks, revelations about the Soviet-born academic’s radical views have surfaced. Omarova reportedly placed the hodgepodge of stolen items, including  four pairs of shoes, two bottles of cologne and socks worth $214, into a large purse and hid them by covering the bag with other clothing items. [NOTE: Ahead of the hearing,  Omarova continues to ignore the Senate Banking Committee’s request to give the committee a copy of her Karl Marx thesis.]
Read more at Daily Mail.

THE DEMOCRAT LED WAR ON PARENTS

Tietz: Virginia School Board Decides To Put Sexually Explicit Books Back Into School Libraries
The Spotsylvania County School Board voted 5 to 2 to reverse its Nov. 8 unanimous decision to remove contested books and audit the district’s libraries following complaints from parents, the Post reported. Board members Kirk Twigg and Rabih Abuismail opposed the reversing decision. […]  At Monday’s meeting, high school students showed up to protest the removal of the books, holding signs that said “Books Not Bonfires” and “Don’t Sensor My Sexuality,” . . .
Read more at Daily Caller.

Reynolds: Without Notifying Parents, Loudoun High School Asked Students If They Are Transgender And How Much They Have Sex
According to state rules, schools are required to notify parents at least 30 days before administering the survey to students, giving parents ample time to choose to opt out, but Loudoun Valley High failed to do so. […] The survey also probed students about their parents and home life, including whether students had ever lived with anyone with depression or mental illness, alcohol or drug problems, or if a student’s parents had ever been taken to prison. These questions were accompanied by vague queries such as “During your life, how often has a parent or other adult in your home sworn at you, insulted you, or put you down?” — a question that could easily be answered in the affirmative by a teenager feuding with parents over something trivial. […]  Surveys like this one have been promulgated in the aftermath of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, signed into law by President Obama. ESSA required the evaluation of schools in part based on “non-academic factors,” leading to “school climate” surveys that often gather personal information about students’ lives.
Read more at The Federalist.

Starr: Florida Parents Sue School for Secretly ‘Transitioning’ 13-Year-Old Daughter
Parents of a 13-year-old daughter have filed a federal lawsuit against a Florida school district after officials at Deerlake Middle School secretly “transitioned” her into a “transgender male,” or a biological girl who says she wants to live as a boy, including allowing her to use male spaces like bathrooms and choosing pronouns. Jeffrey and January Littlejohn’s daughter, who is referred to as A.G. in court filings, did talk about her gender confusion with her mother, who holds a master’s degree in counseling from Florida State University. January spoke at a gathering of the Florida Family Policy Council about the school withholding from her and her husband what the school did without their knowledge or permission: . . . […]  “This lawsuit is really about protecting the rights of parents to raise their children without the interference of government officials,” Broyles said. “But it’s also about protecting and championing the vulnerable children that are at the center of these situations.” The case is Littlejohn v. School Board of Leon County, 4:21-cv-00415 before the United States District Court for the Northern District Court of Florida.
Read more/Watch the 11:57 minute video at Breitbart.

THE DEMOCRAT LED WAR ON CHILDREN

Mion: NY State High School Teacher’s Presentation Alleges America Is More Racist Now Than 200 Years Ago
According to screenshots obtained by nonprofit parent group Parents Defending Education, a Powerpoint shown to students at Great Neck North High School featured a number of slides on race that appeared to portray the U.S. as a systemically racist country that has not progressed since its founding, and claimed that every white person is racist based solely on their skin color. One slide asserted that racism in America is “systemic,” “as old as America itself,” “no better today than it was 200 years ago” and “changing and evolving in more subtly sinister ways.” It went on to allege that “White people benefit from this system, intentionally or unintentionally, which makes us all (technically) racist*, including myself,” suggesting that the teacher showing the presentation was white.
Read more at Townhall.

Sand: The Dumbing Of America
So, the question becomes, what can we do to right the ship? Sadly, those in charge are clueless, have a political agenda, are greedy, or all the above. One cohort wants to change the way we grade. Joe Feldman, a former teacher and administrator, and now an “educational grading consultant” has written “Grading for Equity.” In the book, Feldman asserts, “Our traditional grading practices have always harmed our traditionally underserved students.” He adds, “But now because the number of students being harmed was so much greater, it got people more aware of it and ready to tackle this issue.”
In other words, we need to grade on factors other than achievement. On cue, this has been picked up by the Los Angeles Unified School District, where guidance now says “academic grades should not be based on attendance, including unexcused absences, late work, engagement or behavior, which can be reflected in separate ‘citizenship’ or ‘work habits’ marks that do not count toward a student’s GPA.” […]  Perhaps the most glaring area for reform attempts is in math, and California is leading the way. In the proposed 2022 draft revision of the California Department of Education’s “Mathematics Framework,” the chapter on “Teaching for Equity and Engagement” includes this language: “Empowering students with mathematics also includes removing the high stakes of errors and sending the message that learning is always unfinished and that it is safe to take mathematical risks. This mind-set creates the conditions for students to develop a sense of ownership over their mathematical thinking and their right to belong to the discipline of mathematics.” The draft also suggests that math should not be colorblind, and that teachers should use lessons to explore social justice issues—by looking out for gender stereotypes in word problems, applying math concepts to topics like immigration, inequality, etc.
Read more at American Greatness.

OTHER NEWS

Mosley: EXCLUSIVE: Students behind viral ASU video face Code of Conduct charges. Faculty say that is racist.
Faculty members are pushing back against Arizona State University for charging Code of Conduct violations against the female students who attempted to kick out two White men from the school’s Multicultural Community of Excellence Center earlier this year. […]  Leah Sarat, an associate professor of Religious Studies, sent the mass email, which was co-signed by 11 other individuals, on Nov. 2. The students face the following two violations, according to the email: . . . Sarat attached the letter of request, which stated that the White students’ “display of symbols” including “Police Lives Matter sticker, a Chik-fil-A cup, and a shirt with the slogan ‘Did not vote for Biden’” were “linked to systemic racism and discrimination in America can only be seen as provocative microaggressions when perpetrated by members of a privileged majority in a space meant to provide security and safety for members of marginalized groups.” One of the recipients of Sarat’s email told Campus Reform, “I vehemently object to the [School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies] email list being used as a platform from which to advocate an agenda.”
Read more/ Watch the 2:20 minute video that went viral at Campus Reform.

Shaheen: US recorded more than 100,000 drug overdose deaths in the first year of Covid lockdowns – a nearly 30% increase over the previous year, CDC report finds
The U.S.’s national drug problem has reached a harrowing mark. From April 2020 to April 2021, the first full year of the COVID-19 pandemic, a total of 100,306 Americans died of drug overdoses, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is the first time that more than 100,000 overdose deaths were reported over a 12-month period.  This is also a 28.5 percent increase from the 78,056 overdose deaths recorded between April 2019 and April 2020. Drug abuse, and specifically opioid abuse, has long been an issue in America, and the pandemic proved to be a setback in the nation’s battle against overdoses. In a statement on Tuesday, President Joe Biden called the figured a ‘tragic milestone.’
Read more at Daily Mail.

The Homeless are More Important Than We Are

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

A simple situation of trying to attend a concert at the Hollywood Bowl turned into a series of lies and deceit by the Los Angeles County government. All of this was in an apparent attempt to hide that the County has chosen to sacrifice its residents’ needs to a group of people they have neglected for years.

We have a Park-n-Ride near our home that has been in place for over 30 years to transit people to the Hollywood Bowl. The Bowl has a seating capacity of about 17,500 with parking for a fraction of that. The system of busing people has compensated for the lack of parking for many years and works extremely well. While attending a recent Van Morrison concert it appeared our local lot was shut down — a lot that is always filled to maximum capacity for any event at the Bowl.

When I called the Bowl to find out why the lot was not open, I was told that the Traffic and Safety Dept. of LA County had not renewed the contract. They offered me two lots as a replacement, both of which are out of the way. I obtained the telephone number of the person responsible at the Traffic division for the lot. When I told him what the people at the Bowl stated to me, he told me it was the Bowl that canceled the contract. After a bit of a heated conversation,  he said, she said finger-pointing, it became clear the people at the Bowl were not truthful and there was a budget fight between two LA County departments (the Bowl is owned by the County).

I returned my inquiries to the Bowl with a request to find out who had made the decision to close the lot. If you look up the word “obfuscate” in the dictionary, you will see pictures of both Bowl and LA County employees. Getting a straight answer was not in the cards. Neither party took responsibility.

The head of community relations at the Bowl contacted me and tried to shovel garbage onto the pile of lies I had been told. She finally capitulated and had the local director for Board of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s office contact me (yes, the same villain from a prior column).

After a brief discussion, all the lies about who and why the decision was made faded away. The County cut the lot off for transit because there were homeless encampments on the lot. She then cited a CDC recommendation (we have heard this story before) that the homeless should not be relocated to mitigate the further spread of COVID.

First, I thought why was the CDC opining on the homeless? Why are they expanding their domain when they are struggling to cover the area for which they are responsible? I went on the CDC website and read the expansive commentary and could not find any prohibition against moving any homeless people. The woman from Kuehl’s office sent me a paragraph stating the people on the lot should not be dispersed because of the possible spread of COVID.

That brought up lots of thoughts. Homeless have been known to carry any of six other communicable diseases including Hepatitis A, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis C. The County moved homeless before COVID, and those diseases do not have easy cures. Then I made a logical, simple suggestion – quarantine the people on the lot, vaccinate them and then move them. Issue solved. No response to that one. I suggested that since you are requiring Sheriff Deputies to get a vaccination or be fired, why can’t you require the same for these people? Then I told her that a group of homeless had been moved from a site very close to the Studio City lot. Her answer was that site is in the City of Los Angeles, but the lot is in the County. A discussion ensued on that point (to state the obvious).

Then I went to the site, and this is what I wrote to Kuehl’s office director. “I was at the site yesterday morning to which it appears no one is tending. When did it become a motor home park because there are four on-site? No toilets: these people are ‘going’ somewhere but not in facilities. That is creating a dangerous situation for everyone. I saw piles of trash and I did see syringes in the trash pile I drove by. There must be rats running around all that. And do you think the county is treating this humanely by leaving them there? Quarantine them, get them COVID shots and move them. Do your jobs and stop telling me who you are working with because their efforts are worthless. ”

She informed me of the efforts she and an alphabet soup of agencies and NGOs were making to “rehouse” these people. Isn’t it nice how governmental wonks produce new nomenclature to cover situations? I instructed her that to rehouse them they would have had to be in houses in the first place. They have been living in tents.

Before anyone jumps to the conclusion I am insensitive to the needs of these people, let me tell you what I tell everyone. When you walk by one of these people you should think “there but for the grace of God go I.” Having read extensively about this situation we should stop referring to them as “homeless.” Virtually every person on the street has a drug problem, a mental illness problem, or both. Putting them in a $500,000 unit (yes, that is what they are building in LA) will solve nothing. They need proper drug counseling and medical care. Once that is achieved there is some hope of rehabilitation and getting them back to a normal life. It has been achieved by many people.

Playing namby-pamby with them is doing us and them no good. The population does not seem to go down. They are a danger to themselves and often to us. There are regular reports in my community of attacks on residents and intrusions into homes. Living on a County lot without proper facilities and a means to obtain daily nutrition is inhumane.

Using the excuse of COVID for allowing them to remain on county property is not confronting the situation at hand. Kuehl and the other Supervisors are just kicking the can down the road.

*****

This article was published on November 7, 2021, in FlashReport and is reproduced with permission from the author.

US Federal Appeals Court Freezes Biden’s Medically Coercive Vaccine Mandate

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

A federal appeals court blocked the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate on Saturday, just two days after the administration issued the law through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The rule requires employees at companies with 100 or more workers to get the jab by Jan. 4 or be tested for the virus weekly to avoid getting fired or racking up massive fines.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay, freezing President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 mandate. The court’s decision came in response to a joint petition from entities in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Utah.

“Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate, the Mandate is hereby stayed pending further action by this court,” the judges wrote.

The ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit comes after at least two dozen state attorneys general threatened to sue the administration for federal overreach.

“Courts are skeptical because the law demands it,” the attorneys general wrote in a letter to Biden in September. “To justify an emergency temporary standard, OSHA must determine that ‘employees are exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards…’ and it must conclude that ‘such emergency standard is necessary to protect employees from such danger.’ You cannot plausibly meet the high burden of showing that employees in general are in grave danger.”

Although the Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda said the Labor Department was “confident in its legal authority” to issue the OSHA-enforced vaccine mandate, Republican-led groups have been questioning and denying its legality since it was implemented on Nov. 4.

“The Occupational Safety and Health Act explicitly gives OSHA the authority to act quickly in an emergency where the agency finds that workers are subjected to a grave danger and a new standard is necessary to protect them,” Nanda said in a statement. “We are fully prepared to defend this standard in court.”

The ruling is the first win against OSHA, but many Republicans are also fighting the mandate in court, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“The federal government can’t just unilaterally impose medical policy under the guise of workplace regulation,” DeSantis said on Thursday.

The mandate applies to more than 80 million workers who face coerced compliance or unemployment. An estimated 31.7 million of those workers are unvaccinated and will be forced to choose the jab or their jobs come January. Millions of health care workers participating in Medicare and Medicaid are required to get their shots by January with no option for weekly testing. Private businesses that don’t comply with OSHA’s controversial rule could face a fine of over $130,000.

*****

This article was published on November 6, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Federalist.

Supreme Court to Consider Major Gun Rights Case This Week

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The U.S. Supreme court will hear oral arguments in a major gun rights case this week that could have significant implications for Second Amendment rights nationwide.

The high court will hear arguments Wednesday in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, a case involving New York state’s strict laws around carrying firearms. Several states have joined the case in defense of Second Amendment rights.

In the case in question, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch applied to receive concealed carry licenses, but their request was denied.

Under the New York law, state officials say concealed carry permits may only be granted when the applicants establish “proper cause” beyond a “nonspeculative need for self-defense.” According to officials, the men did not meet that threshold.

Nash pointed to several robberies near his home in an appeal to the denial. A New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association has partnered with the two gun owners to file their legal challenge, which is now before the Supreme Court.

They argue New York residents should be allowed to carry a weapon without being forced to meet the state’s high and arbitrary standard.

“A law that flatly prohibits ordinary law-abiding citizens from carrying a handgun for self-defense outside the home cannot be reconciled with the Court’s affirmation of the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” the challengers said in their filing. “The Second Amendment does not exist to protect only the rights of the happy few who distinguish themselves from the body of ‘the people’ through some ‘proper cause.’ To the contrary, the Second Amendment exists to protect the rights of all the people.”

District of Columbia v. Heller, a landmark gun rights case in 2008 that discussed “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” was a major win for Second Amendment advocates. The court’s affirmation of that right to self-defense paved the way for citizens to push for having guns in the home even when local governments forbid it.

Now, the court will consider how that right to carry a weapon for self-defense continues outside the home.

“New York prohibits its ordinary law-abiding citizens from carrying a handgun outside the home without a license, and it denies licenses to every citizen who fails to convince the state that he or she has ‘proper cause’ to carry a firearm,” the challengers wrote in a court filing.

The Heller case could become the crux of the legal challenge.

“It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon,” the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the Heller opinion. “Handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid.”

Several states have weighed in on the case, filing a joint brief in defense of Second Amendment rights. Those states include Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

“Citizens that receive permits are significantly more law-abiding than the public at large, and studies link objective-issue regimes with decreased murder rates and no rise in other violent crimes,” the brief reads. “Public safety is also increased at the individual level when citizens carry for self-defense and respond to a criminal attack with a firearm; these defensive gun uses leave the intended victim unharmed more frequently than any other option and almost never require firing a shot.”

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This article was published on November 1, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Center Square.

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