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

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

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.”

*****

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

A U.S. Wealth Tax Would Force Wealth Out of the U.S.

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

In Amazon’s first twenty years as a public company, its stock went on a wild ride. During seventeen of those twenty years, Amazon’s shares corrected downward to the tune of 20 percent at least once a year.

Please think about the volatility of Amazon in concert with the recent wealth-tax proposal rolled out by Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, but that is really the brainchild of Bernie Sanders and our 46th president, Joe Biden. Wyden, Sanders, and Biden would like to see billionaire wealth annually taxed at the long-term capital gains rate of 20 percent. This tax would fall on unrealized capital gains.

Please stop and think about if this levy had been around in the year 2000. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was already a billionaire on paper by then, but a big believer that he was and is in his creation, he largely held on to his shares. So imagine an implementation of the tax as the 21st century began. If so, Bezos would have handed over hundreds of millions (at the low end) to the IRS. All well and good? Billionaire fleeced? Well, not so fast.

Indeed, while the price per share of the Seattle online retailer soared to over $100 in 2000, by the fall of 2001 Amazon’s price per share was back down to the single digits. Again, we’re talking about a company whose value has been a wildly moving target for much of its existence. Big moves upward combined with big moves downward.

In Bezos’s case, he would have paid hundreds of millions in “wealth” taxes in 2000, only to see his net worth plummet the following year. Would the IRS have then owed taxes paid back to Bezos to reflect his reduced condition?

The answer to the above question is arguably moot, and for obvious reasons that extend well beyond the obvious impracticality of the Wyden proposal, not to mention its constitutionality. To see why, consider what’s being proposed: the Democrats would pay for their long wish list of federal programs by taxing the liquid assets held by billionaires. Think stocks, bonds, and cash. The question is moot simply because no billionaire would reasonably hold liquid assets if the unrealized gains of same could be so easily confiscated.

Looked at in the present, someone like Bezos would logically set in motion Amazon’s going private as a way of shielding hundreds of billions of unrealized gains from the tax man. Elon Musk and countless others would do the same. The losers under such a scenario would be non-billionaires eager to build their savings, along with the U.S. economy more broadly.

To see why, consider the rewards enjoyed by buy-and-hold investors (realistically mimicking the genius of billionaire investor Warren Buffett) who’ve stuck it out with Amazon, Apple, Tesla and other successful companies. Barring that, simply consider the gains enjoyed by the typical investor merely exposed to indexes that include market-cap-weighted exposure to the U.S.’s most highly regarded businesses. If all companies were private, opportunities for the typical saver to amass wealth would be greatly reduced.

As for the U.S. economy, public markets make it possible for shareholders to conduct daily referenda on corporations. Stock markets at their core are information-processing machines, and as processors of news, stock markets rapidly inform corporations when they’re on or off track. Except that with a wealth tax, no business would expose so much of its precious wealth to confiscation. A wealth tax would to varying degrees blind CEOs.

Regarding the entrepreneurs of tomorrow whose innovations will eventually render Amazon, Apple, and Tesla yesterday’s news (wait, you actually thought these three and others like them would reign supreme forever?), does anyone seriously think they would keep their talents stateside in order to eventually have the proceeds of their genius fleeced? Please think again. It’s not happening, and this is true regardless of the political leanings of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.

That’s the case because there are quite simply no entrepreneurs without capital. Translated for those a tad slow on the uptake, in order for an energetic visionary to bring life to a commercial idea, this person must first attract rather intrepid investment; intrepid because most start-ups fail. No reasonable person would expose copious sums to what will likely go bankrupt as is, but that if it does take off, will be met with high levels of taxation with each uncertain step upward.

Capital migrates to where it’s treated well. It’s as basic as that. And since no other developed country taxes wealth in the aggressive way that the Democrats are proposing, the passage of their proposed tax would result in a massive flight of human and financial capital out of the United States. In other words, a wealth tax would result in a mass exodus of the people and investments that make wealth creation possible in the first place.

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This article was published on November 1, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from AIER, American Institute for Economic Research.

A Mad Rush for Coal As India and China Suspend Climate Correctness

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Editors’ Note:  Conservatives are generally split into two camps regarding global warming. Some feel that man’s activities have little or nothing to do with natural changes. Others feel we are contributing but feel money is better spent addressing specific problems with targeted solutions (sea walls, more air conditioning, nuclear power, water desalinization, water storage, modern forestry, etc.) rather than attempting the dubious and incredibly expensive quest to change the entire climate of the earth. All feel it is stupid to rely on the “international community”, which predictably is pulling in more directions than John Kerry can spin lies. The contradictions in policies are nonsensical. For example, why is China given the status of a “developing country” when they have modern infrastructure, nuclear missiles, hypersonic nuclear missiles, and the most modern factories in the world? As this article clearly points out, the U.S. can sacrifice its prosperity on the altar of environmental religion, but if the rest of the world keeps burning coal (which it is), it is not only a useless undertaking, it really is a suicidal energy policy.

 

During the first week of October 2021, both India and China made desperate attempts to buy the stranded Australian coal shipments in China’s port warehouses.

The coal shipments, which were originally intended to be imported into China, were left stranded at the port after China banned the import of Australian coal last year.

Despite this ban, China has now unloaded some of the shipments due to the unprecedented demand for coal and electricity in the country. India’s industries too have made a dash to secure some of these stranded shipments as a severe coal shortage has gripped India.

So, what can we learn from this mad rush for coal?

Power Demand and Coal Shortage of Unprecedented Levels

China has been experiencing severe power shortages for the past month, while India is on the brink of running out of coal for its power plants.

China has already asked its industries in some provinces to shut down owing to power shortage and asked residents to use as much natural light as possible. China’s power crisis has now evolved into a global supply chain headache, as the country’s manufacturing industry—which supplies products worldwide—is disrupted and may take months to recover.

India’s coal power plants had just 4 days of coal left in their inventories last week and the situation is set to become more challenging in the coming weeks. A government minister was questioned if rolling blackouts are on the cards for the country’s 1.3 billion population.

As a result, the demand for coal is at unprecedented levels in Asia.

Coal is Still the King

Coal is still the King of energy sector. China, which originally banned the import of Australian coal, has now allowed it to be imported. Indian companies have purchased approximately 2 million tons of stranded Australian thermal coal from the Chinese warehouses.

Much of the present energy chaos in Asia could have been avoided if China and India protected their domestic energy interests against the climate politics from the West. Both countries are part of the Paris climate agreement and have embarked on some of the world’s largest solar power projects worth billions of dollars.

Instead of spending their precious resources on renewable technology, Beijing and New Delhi could have diverted those resources for expanding their fossil fuel fleet. Even worse, China had occasionally placed limitations on coal use, before the severe Winter energy crisis forced them to retract the ban.

Coal already provides the majority of electricity demand in both countries (above 60% in China and above 70% in India). If these two nations want to avoid a repeat of 2021, then they must look back at the past and invest heavily in the coal sector without compromising.

This is because both Solar and Wind are unreliable forms of energy sources that are more expensive and do not provide excess electricity when its needed the most. The current backup solutions like battery storage are incapable of powering huge power demand from cities or industries. So, when the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining, life must literally come to a grinding halt – affecting everyday life and an immediate hit on the economy.

So, what are they waiting for? Why do they have to sacrifice their own citizen’s well-being for the sake of a global climate pact-like the Paris agreement—that seldom cares about affordable energy access in poor countries?

If there is one positive takeaway from the ongoing energy crisis in Asia, it is this: 2021 was a good lesson on how not to frame energy policy.

Coal—the most affordable, abundant, and reliable energy source—must be utilized to serve the best interests of 3 billion people in Asia and the remaining in the world. Both India and China are within their rights to ditch climate correctness and increase coal dependency.

*****

This article was published on October 14, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from CFACT, Committee for A Constructive Tomorrow.

Our Dangerous Civic Dualism

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

The growing divide between the reality we know and the facade we maintain in public is tearing apart our civil society.

“The growing influence of the doctrine on my way of thinking came up against the resistance of my whole nature,” writes Nobel laureate Czeslaw Miłosz in The Captive Mind, of his experience in post-war Stalinist Poland of bureaucratically driven tyranny. That also well describes the feeling many Americans have—Miłosz describes it as something originating in the stomach—when confronted with the ever-growing list of irrational behaviors demanded of us by the progressivist pandemic regime.

Like the Eastern Bloc, our culture is one in which our public behavior bears increasingly little resemblance to what we know to actually be the case. Such a dualistic, dissociative identity disorder is not a recipe for civic health.

In countless scenarios acted out every day, Americans are expected to engage in various performative gestures that we know are incoherent—if not absurd—and yet, for the sake of conformity and a very real concern that we will be professionally or personally penalized, we assent to them. In the process, our real self becomes disconnected from our public self, and we slowly become cynical and disillusioned. When citizens no longer believe laws, rules, and cultural norms are coherent or ordered to their good, they lose faith in their society and its governing institutions.

Perhaps the most salient example of play-acting is America’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted in what comedian Jim Breuer describes as an endless game of “Simon Says.” As Breuer explains: “Simon Says: ‘Put your mask on when you go into a restaurant.’ Simon Says: ‘Sit down and take it off.’” If we get up to use the restroom, the mask must go back on; as long as we are periodically sipping our beer or water, the mask can stay off. At our jobs, our cafeterias are filled with maskless coworkers talking, laughing, eating, spreading their germs all over the place, but we are mandated to keep ours on as we walk past them. We know this doesn’t make any sense, but we play along anyway, often out of a sense of exhaustion or fear of retribution.

But it’s not just pandemic-related health directives. The technocratic regime commands us to respect the ever-expanding list of preferred pronouns and gender identities of our fellow citizens or risk accusations of “gendered violence” or “deadnaming”—crimes that until recently no one even knew existed. Our employers urge us to affirm and celebrate coworkers who spend company time organizing events and writing corporate emails declaring their sexual preferences and lifestyles, while we silently wonder how these people’s fetishes have anything to do with, well, work. And though it remains illegal for an employer to make decisions about job assignments and promotions based on race, recruiters and managers are explicitly or implicitly coerced to diversify their offices and ensure the “right people” are promoted for the sake of diversity and inclusion.

There are two likely reactions to a public order that citizens perceive as arbitrary, disjointed, and favorable to certain classes or identities. The first is apathy, which results in a decline in civic participation based on our distrust of the system stemming from a feeling of disempowerment. Perceiving the public order as complicated play-acting, we mentally and civically check out, understanding our participation in performative gestures not as good or even true, but simply the means by which we preserve ourselves and our families. The atomizing tendencies of our digital age are also exacerbated, as we present a version of ourselves to the world that doesn’t actually correlate with reality. The public square in turn becomes a forum not for the practice of virtue, but ever-more elaborate dances to deceive our fellow citizens.

The second is an antagonism that becomes more aggressive as we experience (and resent) the pressure to conform. As the tension rises, the likelihood of confrontation and even violence escalates. We’ve seen plenty of this with the drama over masks and social distancing. Even when people make an honest mistake and forget to wear one, they are greeted by tattling, censure, and punishment. My wife recently neglected to wear a mask when she dropped our eldest daughter off for her dance class. Another mother became hysterical, weeping and claiming that it was because of people like my wife that her friend had died of Covid-19.

Obviously, neither apathy nor antagonism is conducive to civic health and the common good. We like to think the various things expected of us on a daily basis have some alignment with rationality and predictability that are ordered to our welfare. We know that driving the speed limit, paying our bills, and filing our taxes does not necessarily mean we won’t still suffer some injustice at the hands of the state. But we know that the likelihood of such things happening is far lower because we understand that speed limits, bills, and taxes make societies function and that the state thus has an incentive for avoiding being erratic in its enforcement of them.

But when the state and other dominant cultural institutions act capriciously and vindictively—whether in regards to mask mandates, gender identities, or how to understand racial identity—it strains our credulity that public life makes any sense. Simon says social distance! Simon says gather in protest! Simon says get your booster shot or you’re a monster who is refusing to stop the spread! Simon says pay your woke tax or risk cancellation!

“There is an internal longing for harmony and happiness that lies deeper than ordinary fear or the desire to escape misery or physical destruction,” writes Miłosz. That desire is perhaps America’s best chance of overcoming the madness of this cultural and political regime. We have been tempted to go along with the risible dictums of our technocratic taskmasters for our own well-being and sanity. But how long would you put up with a game whose rules kept changing—and which seemed obviously stacked in certain players’ favor—before you declare “enough!”?

All of us want to avoid misery and physical harm. Nevertheless, we are willing to endure those things when our lives, and the life of our nation, make sense and are ordered to some higher, noble purpose. Can that be said for all of the pandemic health mandates or the complex codes of gender, sexual, and racial identitarianism impressed upon us and our children? How many more times will we perform obeisance to what Simon says before we, individually and collectively, cry “enough”? The future of our nation’s civic health depends on the answer.

*****

This article was published on October 18, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The American Conservative.

New Reasons to Dislike Hate Crimes

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Hate crimes always seemed like a stupid idea to me. If you are a Jew and your family member is murdered, do you really care that the murderer is a Jew-hater? It goes the same for Blacks, Gays, or any other group. Personally, I would not care what the murderer’s motivation was; I would want them dead regardless. It is not a stretch to understand that people would use the law to expand the notion of a hate crime. That has once again been proposed making it an even better idea to junk the statute.

Hate crime legislation was first proposed in the 99th Congress which lasted from 1985 through 1986. It finally passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives in the 101st Congress in 1989 and then did the same in the U.S. Senate that year. George Bush, the elder, signed it into law that year. Just because it was passed with such large numbers and signed by a Republican president did not make it a smart idea.

It was initially passed to collect and publish data on crimes of race, religion, or ethnicity. In 1997, the categories of sexual orientation, gender or disability were introduced as additional categories. They passed and became law in 2009.

The question of motivation is always open to interpretation. As you may remember, a person went into some facilities that were deemed to have sex workers in them, mostly of Asian heritage. Of course, you must believe all Asians are exactly alike even though they could be in the U.S. from more than a dozen countries. When it became evident that the murderer was more interested in their employment orientation than the native heritage of the people he murdered, the press adjusted their storyline to question whether there was now a new category of hate crimes — against sex workers.

“Hate crime legislation has never been about punishing people for their beliefs or speech. Rather, it is about punishing people for their criminal actions.” That is a quote from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) website. Of course, it is about punishing people for their thoughts or words; otherwise, there would not be enhanced penalties for violent crimes because it is perceived that the person who perpetrated the crime does not like Jews or Blacks, or Gays. The hate comes specifically from what they said or what they have been shown to believe. Very few hate crimes have people writing on the chest of the victim that the only good Jew (Black or Gay) is a dead Jew (Black or Gay).

“There is a troubling new expansion of antiscience aggression in the United States. It’s arising from far-right extremism, including some elected members of the US Congress and conservative news outlets that target prominent biological scientists fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.”

That statement by Peter Hotez, MD, Ph.D., Dean National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor University, was made in an article in the Public Library of Science Biology Journal. He calls for hate crime protection for scientists — especially Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Though the article does not cite any physical threats made against various scientists, it does cite where people have questioned their decisions and findings. With the Left, including President Biden, constantly telling us we must listen to the scientists and criticizing anyone who dares to question the advice of the anointed, it does seem it was the logical next step to make it illegal to question “scientific authorities.”

To further justify the rationale of his lofty argument, Professor Hotez compares the people who denounce scientists to you guessed it — Nazis. For good stead, he not only names Hitler, but Mussolini, and throws in Marxists to be inclusive. But there is no mention of the erratic and inconsistent advice offered by the scientists for the past two years; just that one is evil for questioning them.

You are saying to yourself that this idea is from one person in one journal. Don’t bet against the proposal moving forward. This is how Critical Race Theory, ballot harvesting, and other harebrained ideas have moved forward into the mainstream and adopted as the gospel by the Left. After all, that is how we got the idea of hate crimes in the first place. On many college campuses today one can be accused of spewing hate speech by skipping over trigger warnings.

Jumping on the hate crime bandwagon is the National School Boards Association. The organization sent a letter to President Biden asking for federalizing enforcement against parents protesting the actions of school boards across the country. That is despite little to no acts of physical violence against school board members and certainly no cases of parents protesting outside of elected school board members’ homes or following them into bathroom stalls. In the letter they stated, “As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.” It had to come, parents protesting policies regarding the education of their children taken by school boards at public schools is now proposed to be a hate crime.

Is it far behind to consider it a hate crime to criticize the President? Unless, of course, the President is a Republican.

*****

This article was published on October 10, 2021, in FlashReport, and is reproduced with permission from the author.

Sorry, World Bank and Mainstream Media, Climate Change Not Driving Immigration

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

A Google news search today of the term “climate change” turns up dozens of stories carried by the mainstream media claiming a study from the World Bank shows climate change could force more than 200 million people to migrate within the borders of their own countries from farms to cities. Like previous predictions made about climate change forced immigration, this is wrong. The claims are based on simulations from flawed computer models. Real-world data paints a quite different story, showing crop production is increasing.

The Associated Press, The Hill, NBC News, Reuters, and Voice of America, were among the dozens of mainstream media outlets and news services publicizing a new report from the World Bank, titled “Groundswell.”

“Climate change is a powerful driver of internal migration because of its impacts on people’s livelihoods and loss of livability in highly exposed locations,” writes the World Bank. “[C]limate change, an increasingly potent driver of migration, could force 216 million people across six world regions to move within their countries by 2050.”

The main driver of internal migration, according to the World Bank, is that climate change will make farming increasingly difficult, forcing millions of people, mostly in agrarian developing countries, off their farms and into cities unprepared to handle the influx.

Had the media outlets hyping the Groundswell report bothered to examine existing data, they would have found the World Bank’s claims were unfounded. The World Bank’s immigration projections are based solely on computer models which the U.N. has recently admitted are flawed.

For example, CBS News’ coverage of the World Bank report highlights the purported likely internal migration of tens of millions of people within Algeria, Bangladesh, and Tunisia as a result of climate change.

Wheat and barley are the two most important crops in Algeria and Tunisia. Between 2000 and 2019, a period the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has referred to as the warmest two decades on record, crop production data from the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) show:

Wheat production in Algeria increased by more than 409 percent and barley production increased by more than 909 percent.

Wheat production in Tunisia increased by more than 71 percent and barley production increased by more than 289 percent.

Rice is Bangladesh’s top crop by a large margin. Between 2000 and 2019, FAO data show rice production in Bangladesh increased by more than 45 percent, setting new production records 13 of the past 19 years.

What’s true of Algeria, Bangladesh, and Tunisia is true for every region studied by the World Bank. As explained in Climate at a Glance: Crop Production, almost every nation on Earth is benefiting from steadily increasing crop yields as the Earth modestly warms. And as documented by the United Nations, the number of climate-related disasters has been declining this century.

It is a shame the mainstream media seems to have swallowed the World Bank’s bogus climate-induced migration claims hook, line, and sinker. Journalists should be more skeptical, especially since international agencies have made similar false predictions repeatedly in the past two decades only to have their prognostications prove untrue. For example, as detailed in Climate at a Glance: Climate Refugees, in 1989, a senior U.N. environmental official claimed, “entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.” Also, in 2005, the U.N. claimed, “Rising sea levels…will create up to 50 million environmental refugees by the end of the decade.”

Neither of these predictions, both based entirely on computer model projections, came true. The latter projection became such an embarrassment for the U.N. it tried to “disappear” the claim.

Climate change may provide an impetus for migration from farms to cities, but for good reasons, not bad. As crop yields improve, fewer people are needed on farms to raise crops. As nutrition improves and incomes increase, the history of development in developed countries shows, increasing numbers of people demand greater access to education and over time migrate to cities to take non-farm-related industrial, commercial, and white-collar jobs.

Surely the World Bank and the mainstream media can’t disapprove of economic development and the poor in developing countries raising themselves out of poverty previously so intractable that generation after generation of people are farm laborers out of necessity rather than choice.

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This article was published on September 13, 2021, in Climate Realism and is reproduced with permission from the Heartland Institute.

“Shortages” Aren’t Causing Inflation. Money Creation Is

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

For central bankers and mainstream analysts, the recent inflation outburst is only a transitory phenomenon that has nothing or very little to do with the massive monetary and fiscal stimuli unleashed during the pandemic. Although the Fed has recently conceded that price pressures are persisting longer than expected, the surge of inflation is allegedly due to supply bottlenecks caused by the pandemic. This superficial diagnosis serves as a convenient excuse for politicians to keep in place damaging growth stimuli and draconian public health measures.

Inflation Is Not Driven by a Shortage of Supply

Mainstream economists define inflation as an increase in consumer prices which occurs when the growth of money supply outpaces economic growth.1 In other words, too much money is chasing too few goods. If the recent surge in inflation were driven by a shortage of goods rather than an increase in the money supply, then aggregate output would be shrinking. But this is not the case, because global economic output is projected by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to grow by 5.7 percent in 2021 after having dropped by 3.4 percent in 2020. This year, the output lost during the pandemic is expected to be recovered in both advanced and emerging economies, including in the US (graph 1). As a matter of fact, inflation was accelerating this year at the same time that industrial production was recovering to prepandemic levels in both the US and the EU (graph 2). The alleged shortage of supply at an aggregate level appears to be a myth.

Graph 1: Real GDP growth

Real GDP growth
Source: IMF World Economic Outlook.

Graph 2: Inflation and industrial production

Inflation and Industrial Production
Source: FRED and Eurostat.

The invoked shortage of supply is primarily based on anecdotal evidence about unmet demand and rising prices in specific economic sectors, such as semiconductors, cars, furniture, and energy. But those who claim that supply is insufficient do not bother to analyze whether the squeeze of supply chains is due to chronic shortage of production or to excess demand. Moreover, even if supply were short for certain goods due to production lockdowns, changes in consumer schedules, or environmental greening policies, a surge in the aggregate price level would not take place if the money supply and aggregate demand remained broadly unchanged. The squeeze on some individual supply chains would be compensated for by lower demand for other goods and services, and only relative prices would change in the economy.

Let us have a closer look at specific cases of widely perceived supply bottlenecks. The shortage of shipping containers and logistic problems at several ports in the US and Asian countries seems central to many other supply chain bottlenecks. Shipping costs have soared indeed, but shipped volumes have increased as well (graph 3).2 This does not indicate a lack of supply, but rather buoyant demand for international transport. Experts from leading shipping groups report that major US ports, container groups, and logistics companies can barely handle the surge in international trade. This is not surprising given that both US imports and its trade deficit surged by more than 20 percent year on year in the first seven months of 2021, as consumers rushed to spend their stimulus checks. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development experts claim that the global demand for manufactured consumer goods increased throughout the pandemic, boosting the demand for container shipping and raising transportation costs. The surge in global demand has not only rearranged international trade flows to the advantage of China and other Asian economies, but has also pushed international trade volumes to new highs (graph 4).

Graph 3: Global TEU shipping volume and price index

Global TEU Shipping Volume
Source: Container Trades Statistics.

Graph 4: Global volume of trade

Global Volume of Trade
Source: World Trade Organization.

The shortage of semiconductors, which affects car production, is also blamed on the inability of chip manufacturers to deal with an order backlog swollen by covid-19 and shipping disruptions. But the global semiconductor market expanded by 7 percent in 2020 and is projected to grow by another 20 percent this year (graph 5) and almost double in size by 2028. So, again, the shortage is being caused by a relatively rigid supply which cannot accommodate buoyant demand. The latter has increased not only from the automotive sector, in particular as electric vehicles use more chips, but also from manufacturers of computers and other consumer electronics, the consumption of which has surged during the pandemic.

Graph 5: Global market for semiconductors

Global Market for Semiconductors
Source: Statista 2021.

The recent rally in energy prices, with coal and European gas hitting record highs and crude oil pushing above $80 a barrel, is also attributed to a constrained supply and perceived as a threat to the economic recovery. But the global supply has not shrunk; on the contrary, the world production of energy has been on a steady upward trend (graph 6). After growing by about 2.4 percent per year for the past three years, energy production fell by 3.5 percent in 2020 due to the lockdowns, but is expected to rebound by 4.1 percent in 2021.

Graph 6: World energy production

World Energy Production
Source: Enerdata.

The global energy supply would have been much higher and better balanced among sources and across regions had it not been for government-mandated green policies and carbon emission targets. In Europe, coal plants have been gradually phased out, as have nuclear power plants in Germany. They have been replaced by wind turbines and other renewable energy sources which underperformed recently due to adverse weather conditions. Together with lower gas deliveries from Russia, this has created a perfect storm in the European energy market. At the same time, China’s strict emissions targets and rising coal prices have also generated a power crunch, disrupting factory activity.

In the same way that green government policies have undermined the production of energy, the lockdowns and stimulus paychecks generously handed out during the pandemic have created an artificial shortage of labor that is likely to exacerbate further inflationary pressures. Due to forced business closures, the US economy lost about 20 million jobs by April of last year. Despite the economic recovery, some 5 million jobs have not yet been filled, as millions of Americans have been paid to stay home or have left the labor force altogether. In Europe, trade unions are already asking for pay increases while surveys show that inflation expectations are rising.

Excessive Demand Stimulus and Money Creation Are the Real Culprit

The growth stimuli applied during the pandemic have been truly unprecedented in size and outreach. Massive government support and budget deficits monetized by central banks have been poured over economies weakened by recurrent lockdowns. Despite the loss of jobs and market incomes, US household wealth has increased by a staggering $32 trillion since the beginning of the pandemic, fueling consumer spending and aggregate demand. Together with an increase in the broad money supply by more than a third over the same period (graph 7), this indicates that the inflation is actually driven by too much money rather than too few goods.

Graph 7: Money supply

Money Supply
Source: FRED.

The rapid rise in inflation is also raising inflation expectations.3 Inflation depends not only on the mechanical outcome of changes in the supplies of money and goods, but also on the demand for money. If the public realizes that its cash holdings are being eaten away by significant price increases, it will move away from cash. In this case, inflation would accelerate beyond the pace of money creation, which is obviously the nightmare of all central bankers.

Conclusions

The current surge in inflation is neither due to a shortage of supply nor transitory, as central banks want us to believe. It is primarily due to soaring consumer demand fueled by excessive growth stimuli and monetary creation. Government-imposed lockdowns and clean energy policies constraining output have exacerbated price increases. We are witnessing a consumption boom and persistent distortions in the structure of production, all bearing a striking resemblance to the boom that preceded the Great Recession.

 

1.This definition is disputed by Austrian economists because price inflation lumps together monetary and nonmonetary causal factors, which have different consequences for the structure of production, incomes, and individual wealth. Therefore, Austrian economists define inflation as an increase in the supply of money beyond an increase in specie, i.e., commodity money such as gold or silver.

2.According to the Financial Times, it costs more than $20,000 to ship a standard container from China to the East Coast of the US today, up from less than $3,000 two years ago.

3.In the US, Consumer Price Index inflation advanced by 5.3 percent in August, housing prices grew by almost 20 percent year on year as of July, and the S&P 500 Index was up by almost 29 percent year on year at the end of September.

*****

This article was published on October 7, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from the Ludwig von Mises Institute.