Americans See the Raging Mania: “Bad Time to Buy a Home” & “Good Time to Sell a Home” Sentiments Spike to WTF Record

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

If these sentiments become reality over time, it’s going to be a sea change for demand and supply at these crazy prices.

So just briefly: This explains some of the dynamics we have seen in the housing market recently, with mortgage applications, sales of existing homes, and sales of new single-family houses dropping for months even as investors have piled into the market and as inventories have started to rise.

Fannie Mae has been conducting its National Housing Survey monthly since 2010, one of the data collection efforts to come out of the Housing Bust. The survey covers a range of housing-related topics. And in its survey for June – conducted between June 1 and June 24 and released on Wednesday – there are record trend changes in consumers attitudes about whether it’s “a good time to buy a home,” or “a bad time to buy a home,” or “good time to sell a home,” or “a bad time to sell a home.” And you know what’s coming.

The percentage who said that it was a “bad time to buy a home” spiked over the past three months from record to record and in June hit 64%. Consumers cited home prices as the predominant reason.

A record-low 32% of the respondents said that it was still a good time to buy a home, while the percentage of fence-sitters who didn’t know dropped to 4%.

“While all surveyed segments have expressed greater negativity toward homebuying over the last few months, renters who say they are planning to buy a home in the next few years have demonstrated an even steeper decline in homebuying sentiment than homeowners,” according to Fannie Mae’s press release.

“It’s likely that affordability concerns are more greatly affecting those who aspire to be first-time homeowners than other consumer segments who have already established homeownership,” the report said.

But it’s a great time to sell a home…..

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Continue reading this article at Wolf Street.

Modern-Day Martyr: Meet The Self-Made Billionaire Who Is Sacrificing It All For God

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

In Western universities and board rooms, souls are cheap. But Jimmy Lai’s is not.

 

In Hong Kong right now, Jimmy Lai is sacrificing all — his fortune and possibly his life — for his God, his fellow man, and for freedom.

Lai is a billionaire, although he wasn’t always one. Born two years before the Communists defeated the nationalists in China’s civil war, his father fled and his mother was sent to a labor camp when he was a young child. Carrying bags for train passengers and getting by as a street vendor, he first tasted freedom when a man from British Hong Kong gave him a bar of chocolate.

Lai is a British citizen, although he wasn’t always one. Having seen a glimpse of prosperity and freedom, he chased it to the then-free British island colony, stowing away aboard a ship when he was just 12 years old and working on the floor of a clothing factory.

Lai is a Catholic, although he wasn’t always one. He met the faith through his wife, a pious woman he accompanied to church, where he heard the homilies of Cardinal Joseph Zen and in 1997 was baptized into the church by the same great man.

Today Lai is in a prison cell in Hong Kong, and the Communist dictatorship has once again seized one of his life’s works, shutting down his newspaper. But of all that has changed since he was a young boy, persecution by the communists has remained a constant. If you stand by your faith, in China there’s no way around it. “I have a soul,” he said in early 2019, and so the truth lives in him.

“No one can say we didn’t fight… Prison life is the pinnacle of my life. I am completely at peace.”

Lai’s path to success in Hong Kong began on the floor of a garment factory. He rose quickly, eventually joining management. He saved his money, invested in the stock market, and used the profits to buy a factory and start making clothing for middle-class consumers.

After the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen Square massacre, where peaceful pro-democracy protesters were trapped, shrouded in darkness, and run over and gunned down by tanks, Lai sacrificed his stake in his mainland business by printing and selling pro-democracy shirts and starting a tabloid magazine that covered scandal and corruption in the party.

Undeterred by his loss, and still a very wealthy man, Lai channeled his time and fortune toward fighting their evil, enduring arrest, persecution, fire bombings, car attacks, and intimidation for it. Last week he was arrested again, and his and his company’s finances seized under the auspices of China’s new “national security law.”

Stories of his self-made riches and pro-democracy bravery dot corporate media, but unless you dig into the columns of those who’d met him, or read Christian news sources, you might miss what actually drives and fortifies him in the face of a vast and relentless enemy. You’d miss why a serial entrepreneur who has spent his life building and creating is willing to give it all, and you’d miss the truth behind why.

“The Communists,” he told Economic Strategy Institute President Clyde Berkowitz, “think they can buy and or intimidate everyone off, create their own reality, and write their own history. Effectively, they assume the role of God. They are kind of a religion or an anti-religion.”

‘They have initiation into the party as a kind of baptism. They have self-criticism as a kind of confession of sins, re-education as a kind of penance, and elevation to hero of the party as a kind of sainthood. And, of course, at least Mao [Zedong] has a kind of everlasting life as a photo smiling down on Tiananmen Square and as an embalmed corpse in a casket in the square.’

‘But the party and its members do not have souls. In fact, they are dead men walking, because the truth is not in them.’

“Life,” he told the Catholic Napa Institute in an October interview, “is more than just bread; life has a greater meaning.”

He’s right, and a lot of Christians understand this on its face, but what makes Lai different from a lot of us is while it’s easy to nod and to agree, it’s entirely another to act. We read Christ’s command to sell all of our possessions and follow him, and a lot of us give of our time and our money, some very generously, but how many give it all?

We know that the martyrs and saints suffered and for their courage on earth are saved. We might hope and pray to have their courage if ever put to the test, but until we are we never truly know if we will — so many don’t. We know that suffering has a purpose, that it sharpens and tests our characters, and that it should be offered up to God, but have you ever tried? It can be done, but it is very, very difficult to lift up your heart while your body and mind drag you back down to the temporal things torturing them.

“Here is my body, take it!” the Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen preached on Good Friday, 1979. “Here is my soul, my will, my energy, my strength, my poverty, my wealth — all that I have. It is yours, take it! Consecrate it! Offer it! Offer it to the Heavenly Father with yourself, in order that he, looking down on this great sacrifice, may see only you, his beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased. Transmute the poor bread of my life into your life; thrill the wine of my wasted life into your divine Spirit; unite my broken heart with your Heart; change my cross into a crucifix.”

“If you believe in the Lord,” Lai told the Napa Institute, “if you believe that all suffering has a reason, and the Lord is suffering with me, it will definitely define the person I am becoming so I am at peace with it.”

“I am what I am. I am what I believe. I cannot change it. And if I can’t change it, I have to accept my fate with praise.”

But how many actually do? How many American leaders, how many corporate businessmen, do just that? How many executives at Disney and Nike, the NBA and Blizzard Entertainment, in Apple and Hollywood do just that? Maybe no other alive.

Instead, how many of them bow before a thieving, lying, murderous godless slave state in exchange for access to growing markets? How many colleges and universities bow to that state’s every wish and every spy in exchange for paying full tuition into their already bloated coffers? How much do they make? “What is and should be,” Prestowitz asks, “the price of these souls?”

In Western universities and board rooms, souls are cheap. But Lai’s is not. “What separates Jimmy Lai,” a friend in corporate consulting wrote me, “from many of this era’s modern-day princes is that he deeply cares about something beyond his own money, power and status.”

“This is just living my life,” he told the BBC this spring, sitting in his mansion in northern Hong Kong. “But if I’m in jail I’m living my life meaningfully.”

“But you must fear some things,” reporter Danny Vincent asked. “For your family, for Hong Kong, for your loved ones.”

“Yes,” he replied, shuddering, his lip quivering and tears suddenly in his eyes. “You’re right. I do have fear.”

As with courage, sacrifice, and pain, it’s easy to say we have what it will take. Going to church on Sunday or giving what amounts to a rounding error to some social justice cause is fine, but is it enough? Is it remotely enough? How many of our Western elites know in their hearts that if they died in their sleep tonight, no one could say they gave it all for God?

So a lot of media accounts weren’t wrong, they just got it half right. Jimmy Lai, a man born in poverty, who became a billionaire, who became a Christian, who became a Catholic, who became a freedom fighter, might die this time, next time, or the time after that, imprisoned and penniless. But when he is weighed and measured, he will not be found wanting. And for that, when Jimmy Lai dies he will die a very wealthy man indeed.

*****

This article was published on July 1, 2021 and is reprinted with permission from The Federalist.

CDC Data Shows COVID-19 was Pandemic for the Elderly

Estimated Reading Time: < 1 minute

Data published recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conclusively shows that COVID-19 primarily infected and caused the deaths of elderly people.

In deaths where the SARS-CoV2 virus was the underlying cause of death, 377,883 people died. The virus took the biggest toll on people over the age of 75 with at least 635.8 deaths per 100,000. Those under the age of 14, school children who were unable to attend school for most of 2020, suffered the least, with 0.2 deaths per 100,000.

“The disruption of children’s education and socialization will haunt us for years to come in terms of earning potential and mental health,” wrote Marilyn Singleton, M.D., J.D. on the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons website. “The central planners punished children for months although the mortality in children from COVID-19 is roughly equivalent to that of influenza year to year.

“How many lives could have been saved if we had protected the vulnerable (the elderly and the sick)?” the Committee to Unleash Prosperity asked on its hotline.

COVID-19, however, was not the biggest killer in 2020. Heart disease took 690,882 lives, followed by cancer at 598,932. Overall, there were 3,358,814 deaths in 2020, with a little less than one-third of deaths being people age 85 or older.

*****

This article was published on June 28, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from the Heartland Institute.

Teachers Union Agrees To Promote Critical Race Theory, Debate Mandatory Vaccination For Students

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

One of the nation’s top labor and teachers unions is debating whether to call for the mandatory vaccination of all children before returning to school. The organization already this week has agreed to support and lead campaigns to advance critical race theory.

The National Education Association, the largest labor union in the country with 3 million members, is holding its annual meeting this week. One of the most controversial topics up for debate is whether the organization will demand that all students be vaccinated before returning to school this fall.

According to the group’s meeting agenda, up for debate is whether “the NEA will call for mandatory safe and effective COVID-19 vaccinations and testing for all students and staff before returning to face-to-face instruction in the fall, subject to medical exceptions in accordance with existing law, and will widely publicize this position via social media. We will further call for and publicize that safety measures such as social distancing, masking, and proper ventilation be mandatory for all.”

The agenda item was submitted by 50 delegates for debate to “increase educator voice, influence, and professional authority” and “enhance organizational capacity.”

“COVID-19 has already killed over 600,000 people,” the agenda says. “Black and Latinx communities have suffered twice the deaths, and this inequality will deepen as variants spread. The pandemic respects no boundaries. We must fight for a policy that puts human life first.”

News of the potential stance sparked a backlash among critics.

“At this point, in terms of the science and the medical aspect it’s not appropriate,” said Edmund Haislmaier, a health care policy expert at the Heritage Foundation. “We don’t have vaccines approved even under emergency use authorization for children under 12. In terms of people being at risk of the illness, [children are] about as low on the priority list as you can get. This is clearly a case where, at the moment at least, any potential risk from being vaccinated is greater than the risk of serious complications from contracting the illness.”

Haislmaier pointed to health complications many are having from the vaccine and said people should be asked to consult their physician, not submit to “blanket mandates.”

“Until such time as they sort that out there are people who are at low risk of having a severe event if they contract the virus, and therefore the risk of some kind of severe event caused by something in the vaccine would suggest that those people are better off not getting vaccinated at the moment until that is cleared up,” he said.

The NEA has already adopted new provisions that support critical race theory, a controversial school of thought that emphasizes racism in American history and maintains that it is systemic in U.S. law and institutions.

According to the NEA measure, the organization has now agreed to lead and support campaigns that “result in increasing the implementation of culturally responsive education, critical race theory, and ethnic (Native people, Asian, Black, Latin(o/a/x), Middle Eastern, North African, and Pacific Islander) Studies curriculum in pre- K-12 and higher education.”

Teachers’ unions in the U.S. have taken fire for their handling of the COVID pandemic, especially around their advocacy for delaying the reopening of schools. They grabbed headlines earlier this year after reports that teachers’ unions gave millions to Democratic causes in the 2020 election before advising the Biden administration on CDC guidance for schools.

Both the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers donated to Democratic-tied causes before emails surfaced showing their heavy involvement in CDC guidance around schools reopening.

AFT President Randi Weingarten defended the unions’ actions after the controversy surfaced.

“The AFT represents 1.7 million educators, healthcare professionals, and public employees who spent the last 14 months serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Weingarten said. “So naturally, we have been in regular touch with the agencies setting policy that affects their work and lives, including the CDC. We appreciate that under Dr. Walensky’s leadership, the CDC welcomes stakeholder feedback, as opposed to ignoring it.”

The NEA also plans to debate gender identity provisions this week, including a proposal “to codify current practice that the Association not deny membership to individuals on the basis of gender identity/ expression.”

*****

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

What Makes Them Elite?

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

There is a constant discussion in the public arena about the “Elites.” While recently reading the thoughts of Thomas Sowell, I had a clear analysis session on what makes these people Elite. What qualifies someone as such, and why do we even refer to anyone in the American society as such?

Everything begins somewhere and the Elite began with a professor of sociology at Columbia University named C. Wright Mills. Professor Mills wrote a book, The Power Elite, which first defined the term which became shortened to the one-word definition for conversational convenience. The book describes the responsibilities of certain individuals in post-World War II America. He defines the relationships among the political, military, and economic elite suggesting that they share a common world view. He states power rests in the hands of the elites of American society.

The idea of Elites has evolved immensely since 1956 when Mills first defined the concept. So much so that if he were alive today, I doubt he would recognize his theory as defined within American society.

For example, the educational elite. In 1956, there was a small group of people that achieved the status of having a PhD. Even so Mills did not include educational elites in his original definition, but today though achieving PhD status has been dumbed down, there are now many people referred to as Elites among the largely over-educated class.

As the proliferation of doctorate degrees at even “Elite” universities has become commonplace, somehow the individuals who obtain these degrees are described as part of the Elite. As opposed to the rigors of obtaining a PhD in what we have come to call STEM studies, we now have degrees handed out in university departments where the value of the degree is only to perpetuate the studies within the narrowly defined educational departments which offer the degrees. Which means you do not have to display a particularly high level of scholarship to obtain the doctorate; you just must show a willingness to preserve the limited scope of education being defined by the existing establishment. Then you write some diatribes for publications that are dedicated to sustaining the existence of this meaningless pursuit, and you are now pronounced as part of the Elite. An award by some falsely important but highly slanted organization is soon to follow to further validate your worthiness.

Hollywood Elites are another part of this faction that is often referred to by the media. This is a fascinating element of the current Elite. These celebrities are in fact the more successful actors by having made a greater amount of money and thus can write checks. So, what exactly makes them Elite? Many in Hollywood today have no qualms with sounding off on their political views. Since the in-vogue position to take for almost everyone in Hollywood is lurching Left to be as Woke as possible, who is listening to these people?

Then there is the question of who among these people are stars that can put people in the seats? How many are Cary Grants and Audrey Hepburns? Tom Cruise is still a legit movie star and Chadwick Boseman seemed to on the cusp of being one until his untimely death. Today in Hollywood we have the “Chrises” – Pine, Pratt, Hemsworth and Evans. All worthy in their own right but tell me which movies each one made without confusing them. These people are not worthy of being referred to as Elite except among the MSM who are even more to the Left than these Hollywood players.

Another part of what are considered the Elite are politicians. How did we come to this point where our elected officials have become part of a “superior” class? There is a wide berth between respecting our elected officials and thanking them for their service and them becoming Elites who are exempt from our day-to-day obligations and treated as a special stratified class.

Our elected officials have made themselves into a protected Elite group. A few years back (Los Angeles Mayor) Eric Garcetti was visiting our synagogue for High Holiday services. We have had a multitude of politicians join us for services over the years including Gray Davis who has attended before, during and after his Governorship. Each elected official entered through the main entrance and acted as a normal person while attending services. Garcetti had an entire security team that insisted he enter through a back way as if anyone really cared he was there. This was before he destroyed the streets of the city with homeless people littering every freeway underpass.

Many of our elected officials now act as if they are a special class of citizen. Few act as if they are people of the people. The more they act as if they are Elite, the less they are thought of as Elite.

The Elite — as described by Professor Mills — earned their level of respect. Today the Elite are granted such by an adoring media because those Elite validate their Left-wing values.

This is America where all citizens are created equal and remain equal. We should remember that on this most cherished of our days as free Americans. Again think of people who were truly Elite; Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Franklin, Madison, Hamilton and others.

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This article was published on July 4, 2021 at  FlashReport  and is reproduced with permission of the author.

Life Inside A Woke Corporation

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

I had a conference call on Sunday night with two guys back in the US. Both are young conservative Christian friends who worked for the same major American media company (one still does, but the other quit a few months back). They are white males. They reached out to me via a mutual friend after my book Live Not By Lies had an impact on them. They agreed to talk to me for the record if I consented to keeping their details private. What follows is my record of our conversation, revised to honor their concerns. I sent the draft version of this post to them both to make sure I had written down our conversation accurately, and that I had protected them both. The one who still works for this company (I’ll call it ACME) has a family to support, and can’t afford to lose his job.

I will call these men Rick and Charlie. Their real names aren’t even close to this. I hate that I have to write like this, but these are the stakes. People are scared to death for their careers – and they have reason to be.

ACME has become increasingly woke, and this has caused big demoralization within the corporation among those who dissent from its progressive line. After one particular high-profile incident a year or so ago involving a public figure who worked for the company being fired for an extremely minor social media post, Rick said that “all of the conservatives I know at ACME were like, I’m keeping my mouth shut.”

Rick had a significant amount of responsibility inside ACME, working on a marketing team.

He loved his job, and loved the company. After the George Floyd killing, ACME went into internal panic mode. They had lots of Zoom discussions about race. “The white people could talk, but none of us did,” says Rick. “The assumption was that we didn’t have anything to say, so none of us did.”

Rick says that in these endless strings of meetings, ACME executives would give black people an opportunity to voice their frustrations and anger, and to talk about their “lived experiences” with racism, or what they perceived to be racism.

Some of these things really were racism,” says Rick. “Others weren’t specific to race, but were everybody’s lived experience. Everybody gets treated badly in the same way at some point. But you couldn’t say that out loud. I sat through countless hours of that kind of meeting.”

Then the team in Rick’s division started talking about hiring.

“That was an interesting conundrum. There were a lot of questions for us for producers. What is the legality of us calling agencies and saying, ‘We’re looking to hire directors, but only black directors’? ACME partnered with outside firms that would promise us we can get you, women, we can get you, black directors, we can get you around any sticky problems like that. I didn’t explore the legality of it, but it felt pretty weird.”

Rick said that in his division, the quality and effectiveness of the work they were doing took a back seat to identity politics. “It became our total motivation: hiring x number of female directors, and x number of black directors.”

There was one case in which the team had the budget to make a hire, and considered taking on a freelancer who had done superb work for them in the past, under budget. The problem: he was a white male.

“Someone present in the hiring meeting said, ‘White people had it good for 400 years – it’s about time they felt the sting,’” says Rick. “None of the people leading the meeting said a word about that.”

There was another case in which a team was carrying out an expensive shoot in an environment in which a black actor hired for the shoot decided on the set that they didn’t want to subject themself to a minor inconvenience that was part of the contract. After the shoot ended, ACME offices were filled with lamentations over how racially insensitive ACME was to expect a black person to do something they didn’t want to do — even though the request was extremely minor, and the actor had signed on for it. As Rick put it, expecting a black actor to honor a professional commitment was considered intolerably racist by ACME staff.

As a conservative Christian, Rick says he felt uncomfortable having to promote LGBT in his work for the company. At one point, he was asked to cast non-binary children in one project. He did as he was told, but as a Christian, thought, “How did I let this get away from me?”

What’s more, he realized that he did not have a voice inside the company, which is a vast enterprise with billions in annual revenue.

“There are internal teams for all voices. They’ll check out content with the various teams to see if it’s accurate or offensive. There’s nothing for Christians. Stuff like that was starting to bother me.”

Rick is also a conservative, and was a supporter of Donald Trump. “On set, I would hear people dogging Trump supporters and Christians. I didn’t say anything. This made friendships so hollow. You just knew that if these people knew this little thing about you [your politics or religion], they probably wouldn’t want to be friends anymore.”

Charlie, who still works at ACME, and who was silent during most of our call, chimed in. He recalled being present when a senior executive of the corporation, in a private session, said that “since we’re all friends here” – meaning by this because I’m confident that we all agree – and then tore into political conservatives.

“I think most of the people at ACME who are on the left have no idea that there might be anybody in the workplace who is a conservative,” Charlie says. “They see the world as divided between good people and bad people. The people we work with are good people, so there couldn’t be any conservatives here.”

Rick says he would speak to the one other believer he knew within ACME, and they would talk quietly about what their last straw was going to be. When he made the decision to quit, Rick’s star was on the rise there [I looked him up online at the ACME website, and he seems to have been a rising start at the company]. But he was torn up inside.

“I realized I was using my God-given talents to promote this company where I no longer have a voice, and to promote values I don’t believe in,” Rick recalls. “I kept coming back to the Solzhenitsyn quote you cite in Live Not By Lies: ‘Let the lie exist, but not through me.’”

Now Rick has changed careers totally. He is training to start his own business. For him, as a Christian conservative, it’s worth it. He says, “I just want to work at a place where I’m not beholden to someone else’s ideas.”

Still, Rick wishes he had been bolder in the workplace, especially from the beginning. He wishes he had challenged co-workers’ opinions of whites, males, conservatives, and Christians. “If you start by being vocal, and being your true self – as clichéd as that sounds – and insisting that I have value, even if you don’t think I do – I wish I had done that.”

Charlie says:

It’s important to have a community where you can vent. That’s been incredibly helpful to me. Eventually you can sniff out the fellow conservatives within the organization – people with whom you can have a gut check and say, ‘Am I crazy, or is this wrong’? It doesn’t have to be within the company. The bottling it up is soul-crushing. You have to constantly be on so you don’t say something that could get you fired.

Charlie says he has been trying to help the Evangelical congregation of which he’s a part learn more about the principles of wokeness and critical theory. He says people there seem to be grateful that someone – even a layman like Charlie – is giving them guidance about this confusing stuff.

“Churches need to step up and recognize where we’re at, and start preparing people,” Charlie says. “You’re going to have church members who are going to lose their jobs. We have to start building safety nets. People we’re in community with, we need to step up and help people know that their church members have their backs. I would like to see more pastors read Live Not By Lies and understand what’s happening now, and what’s coming. We need to prepare.”

I told Rick and Charlie that it’s so discouraging to me to hear good-willed, intelligent conservative churchmen try to temporize on this stuff, to avoid having to take a controversial stand. Too often the people who recognize this evil for what it is are those who are so far out there ideologically that you don’t want to be associated with them.

Charlie agreed, saying, “It’s going to be reasonable people having the courage to speak up, saying that you don’t have to be on the crazy far right to see that this is wrong.”

*****

This article was published on June 28, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The American Conservative.

Arizona Resident: ‘As Much as Biden Is Letting Us Down, He Is Letting Illegal Immigrants Down as Well’

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Biden administration and its allies promote the narrative that Americans who support border security are racist, xenophobic, or uncompassionate, at best. But after six long months living with the U.S.-Mexico border crisis, border residents are frustrated and angry over the blatant disregard the administration has demonstrated—not only for the security and well-being of its own citizens, but also for the illegal immigrants for whom it purports to have compassion.

“[The Biden administration] is giving a lot of false hope,” Arizona resident Stephanie Hubbell told me in an interview. “[President Joe] Biden invited [illegal immigrants] over and they are sleeping in the streets in Gila Bend because facilities are all full. They bring them from Phoenix, dropping them off [by] the busloads. What they think they’re getting [doesn’t happen] and what they’ve been falsely promised by the Biden administration isn’t what is happening.”

On the morning of April 3, Hubbell arrived at her clothing boutique in the small town of Sonoita, Arizona, to find that traffickers of illegal immigrants had broken in, stolen money and merchandise, and left used drug paraphernalia behind.

The traffickers had been recently released from a nearby jail and into the community—a regular, new occurrence since Biden took office.

“For a small business like me, this was a hard hit,” Hubbell told me.

Hubbell and her family have lived near the Arizona border for 17 years. Yet, she said that she has never seen a border crisis like the one created by Biden—the high level of criminality, the stark lack of law enforcement, and the large number of illegal immigrants pouring into her community with no place to go or food to eat.

“I try to tell people the Border Patrol stations are full,” Hubbell explained. “They are buying hotel rooms for them now with our tax dollars, they’re giving them money, plane tickets—but there are a lot who don’t get anything.”

According to Hubbell, many illegal immigrants come believing Biden has promised them food, health care, and lodging.

“A lot has been promised,” she said. “If [the administration] were actually compassionate about them, then they would have a better plan for them when they are over here. It wouldn’t be like, ‘You made it, but now you’re on your own.’”

According to Arizona rancher Jay Whetten, busloads of illegal immigrants have been “dumped” in front of local stores like Safeway and Walmart and in the communities where he and his family live. Whetten expressed concern, saying:

These people don’t have any relatives in the U.S., they have no money, they dump them out … what are those people going to do? … They’ve got to steal to be able to eat.

Like Hubbell and Whetten, many border residents exasperated by the circumstances feel compassion for the illegal immigrants left stranded. As Whetten told me, “A lot of [illegal immigrants] are getting assistance from church groups, religious groups, people trying to help … I do know several [charity] organizations that try to help and get them relocated.”

The fact that illegal immigrants must gain authorization from Mexican cartels to cross the border, and pay huge fees to be trafficked, exacerbates their situation. Those who cannot pay in full remain indebted to cartels—which are brutal, dangerous, criminal enterprises.

Hubbell comments that after arriving in the U.S., illegal immigrants who cannot pay in full often wear colored bracelets to indicate they are still in debt to a Mexican cartel. Families left behind in Mexico or other Central American countries are pressured to pay the debt.

“Who knows how they get out of it?” she said. “Are they truly escaping the bad circumstances they were in or are they just trading it for something else terrible? If you’re indebted to the cartel for 20 years, is that better?”

When asked about the narrative that Americans who want border security are uncompassionate, Hubbell’s voice raised. “[The administration] would love for that agenda to apply, but it really doesn’t … If they can get the bleeding hearts to think we’re racists, they’ve created fear.”

She continued: “Just because I think we need border security doesn’t mean I am not for people coming into America. But I am for them coming the right way.”

According to Hubbell, leftist media and the current administration paint a rosy picture of illegal immigrants seeking a better life, but the reality is “so much criminal activity” and the exploitation of vulnerable people.

“As much as the Biden administration is letting us down, they’re letting [the illegal immigrants] down as well,” Hubbell declared. “In Gila Bend, they’re sleeping out in the parks. So, where are their fruit baskets, their little apartment key that Biden has promised them all? ‘Come over here, we’ll take care of you,’ he says, but there are too many to take care of.”

*****

This article was published on June 30, 2021 and reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Fires Doctor Who Accused Israel Of ‘Cannibalism’

Estimated Reading Time: < 1 minute

In a social media post, Fidaa Wishah, a Palestinian-American pediatric radiologist, also warned the Jewish state, ‘your end is coming sooner than you think’.

A Palestinian-American pediatric radiologist has been fired from her position at Phoenix Children’s Hospital after her social media post accusing Israel of “cannibalism” was called out by an antisemitism watchdog.

On Monday, the Twitter account @StopAntisemites shared a screenshot of a May 26 Facebook post by Dr. Fidaa Wishah, in which Wishah wrote “We will expose the #massacre and #genocide you Zionists are proud of.”

“We will uncover your thirst to kill our Palestinian children… A state based on atrocity, inhumanity, racism and cannibalism never lasts long!” she wrote. “Hey #israel… your end is coming sooner than you think.”

The message was retweeted hundreds of times. Two days later, Phoenix Children’s replied to the tweet that Wishah had been fired.

“After a thorough review of the facts related to this matter, this individual is no longer providing care at Phoenix Children’s,” the hospital’s tweet said.

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Continue reading this article at The Times of Israel.

Climate Models: Worse Than Nothing?

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

“Climate modeling is central to climate science….” (Stephen Koonin, below)

 

When the history of climate modeling comes to be written in some distant future, the major story may well be how the easy, computable answer turned out to be the wrong one, resulting in overestimated warming and false scares from the enhanced (man-made) greenhouse effect. 

Meanwhile, empirical and theoretical evidence is mounting toward this game-changing verdict despite the best efforts of the establishment to look the other way.

Consider a press release this month from the University of Colorado Boulder, “Warmer Clouds, Cooler Planet,” subtitled “precipitation-related ‘feedback’ cycle means models may overestimate warming.”

“Today’s climate models are showing more warmth than their predecessors,” the announcement begins.

But a paper published this week highlights how models may err on the side of too much warming: Earth’s warming clouds cool the surface more than anticipated, the German-led team reported in Nature Climate Change.

“Our work shows that the increase in climate sensitivity from the last generation of climate models should be taken with a huge grain of salt,” said CIRES Fellow Jennifer Kay, an associate professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at CU Boulder and co-author on the paper.

The press release goes on to state how incorporating this negative feedback will improve next-generation climate models, something that is of the utmost importance given the upcoming Sixth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But will conflicted modelers and the politicized IPCC be upfront with the elephant in the room?

Background

Strong positive feedbacks from the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other manmade greenhouse gases (GHG) are what turn a modest and even positive warming into the opposite. The assumption has been that increased evaporation in a warmer world (from oceans, primarily) causes a strongly positive feedback, doubling or even tripling the primary warming.

In technical terms, water molecules trap heat, and clouds or vapor in the upper tropical troposphere – where the air is extremely dry – trap substantially more heat, thickening the greenhouse. How water inhabits this upper layer (≈30,000–50,000 feet) to either block (magnify) or release (diminish) the heat is in debate, leaving the sign of the externality unknown for climate economics. And it is the upper troposphere where climate models are data-confounding.

Assuming fixed relative atmospheric humidity allows modelers to invoke ceteris paribus against altered physical processes that might well negate the secondary warming. This controversial assumption opens the door for hyper-modeling that is at odds with reality. (For economists, the analogy would be assuming “perfect competition” to unleash hyper theorizing.)

For decades, model critics have questioned the simplified treatment of complexity. Meanwhile, climate models have predicted much more warming than has transpired.

Theoreticians have long been at odds with model technicians. MIT’s Richard Lindzen, author of Dynamics in Atmospheric Physics, has advanced different hypotheses about why water-vapor feedback is much less than modeled. Judith Curry, whose blog Climate Etc. is a leading source to follow physical-science and related developments, is another critic of high-sensitivity models.

“There’s a range of credible perspectives that I try to consider,” she states. “It’s a very complex problem, and we don’t have the answers yet.”

And now we have way too much confidence in some very dubious climate models and inadequate data sets. And we’re not really framing the problem broadly enough to … make credible projections about the range of things that we could possibly see in the 21st century.

Mainstream Recognition

Climate scientists know that climate models are extremely complicated and fragile. In What We Know About Climate Change (2018, p. 30), Kerry Emanuel of MIT explains:

Computer modeling of global climate is perhaps the most complex endeavor ever undertaken by humankind. A typical climate model consists of millions of lines of computer instructions designed to simulate an enormous range of physical phenomena….

Although the equations representing the physical and chemical processes in the climate system are well known, they cannot be solved exactly. …. The problem here is that many important processes happen at much smaller scales.

The parameterization problem is akin to the fallacies of macroeconomics, where the crucial causality of individual action is ignored. Microphysics is the driver of climate change, yet the equations are unsettled and sub-grid scale. Like macroeconomics, macro-climatology should have been highly qualified and demoted long ago.

My mentor Gerald North, former head of the climatology department at Texas A&M, had a number of observations about the crude, overrated nature of climate models back in 1998–99 that are still relevant today.

We do not know much about modeling climate. It is as though we are modeling a human being. Models are in position at last to tell us the creature has two arms and two legs, but we are being asked to cure cancer.

There is a good reason for a lack of consensus on the science. It is simply too early. The problem is difficult, and there are pitifully few ways to test climate models.

One has to fill in what goes on between 5 km and the surface. The standard way is through atmospheric models. I cannot make a better excuse.

The different models couple to the oceans differently. There is quite a bit of slack here (undetermined fudge factors). If a model is too sensitive, one can just couple in a little more ocean to make it agree with the record. This is why models with different sensitivities all seem to mock the record about equally well. (Modelers would be insulted by my explanation, but I think it is correct.)

[Model results] could also be sociological: getting the socially acceptable answer.

The IPCC 5th assessment (2013), the “official” or mainstream report, recognizes fundamental uncertainty while accepting model methodology and results at face value. “The complexity of models,” it is stated (p. 824), “has increased substantially since the IPCC First Assessment Report in 1990….”

However, every bit of added complexity, while intended to improve some aspect of simulated climate, also introduces new sources of possible error (e.g., via uncertain parameters) and new interactions between model components that may, if only temporarily, degrade a model’s simulation of other aspects of the climate system. Furthermore, despite the progress that has been made, scientific uncertainty regarding the details of many processes remains.

The humbling nature of climate modeling was publicized by The Economist in 2019. “Predicting the Climate Future is Riddled with Uncertainty” explained:

[Climate modeling] is a complicated process. A model’s code has to represent everything from the laws of thermodynamics to the intricacies of how air molecules interact with one another. Running it means performing quadrillions of mathematical operations a second—hence the need for supercomputers.

[S]uch models are crude. Millions of grid cells might sound a lot, but it means that an individual cell’s area, seen from above, is about 10,000 square kilometres, while an air or ocean cell may have a volume of as much as 100,000km3. Treating these enormous areas and volumes as points misses much detail.

Clouds, for instance, present a particular challenge to modellers. Depending on how they form and where, they can either warm or cool the climate. But a cloud is far smaller than even the smallest grid-cells, so its individual effect cannot be captured. The same is true of regional effects caused by things like topographic features or islands.

Building models is also made hard by lack of knowledge about the ways that carbon—the central atom in molecules of carbon dioxide and methane, the main heat-capturing greenhouse gases other than water vapour—moves through the environment.

“But researchers are doing the best they can,” The Economist concluded.

Climate models, in fact, are significantly overestimating warming, even by one-half. And the gap is widening as a coolish 2021 is well underway. And as for the future, anthropogenic warming is constrained by the logarithmic rather than linear effect of GHG forcing. The saturation effect means that as the atmosphere contains more CO2, the warming increase becomes less and less. The warming from a doubling of CO2, in other words, does not reoccur at a tripling but a quadrupling.

The mitigation window is rapidly closing, in other words, explaining the shrill language from prominent politicians. But it is the underlying climate models, not the climate itself, that is running out of time.

“Unsettled” Goes Mainstream

The crude methodology and false conclusions of climate modeling is emerging from the shadows. Physicist and computer expert Steven Koonin, in his influential Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What it Doesn’t, and Why It Matters (chapter 4) explains:

Climate modeling is central to climate science…. Yet many important phenomena occur on scales smaller than the 100 km (60 mile) grid size (such as mountains, clouds, and thunderstorms), and so researchers must make “subgrid” assumptions to build a complete model….

Since the results generally don’t much look like the climate system we observe, modelers then adjust (“tune”) these parameters to get a better match with some features of the real climate system.

Undertuning leaves the model unrealistic, but overturning “risks cooking the books—that is, predetermining the answer,” adds Koonin. He then quotes from a paper co-authored by 15 world-class modelers:

… tuning is often seen as an unavoidable but dirty part of climate modeling, more engineering than science, an act of tinkering that does not merit recording in the scientific literature…. Tuning may be seen indeed as an unspeakable way to compensate for model errors.

Conclusion

Climate modeling has arguably been worse than nothing because false information has been presented as true and “consensus.” Alarmism and disruptive policy activism (forced substitution of inferior energies; challenges to lifestyle norms) have taken on a life of their own. Fire, ready, aim has substituted for prudence, from science to public policy.

Data continue to confound naïve climate models. Very difficult theory is slowly but surely explaining why. The climate debate is back to the physical science, where it never should have left.

*****

This article was published on June 23, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from AIER, The American Institute for Economic Research.

ProPublica’s Disgusting Attack on America

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Last week, members of Congress applauded the acts of a significant journalistic operation for their “responsible” reporting of stolen information. President Biden was silent regarding an attack on his government’s taxing agency. All of this was done to advance a policy goal of the Left.

ProPublica is a nonprofit that states it is a “newsroom that aims to produce investigative journalism in the public interest.” As they stated, “ProPublica has obtained a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns on thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people, covering more than 15 years.” This is a misleading statement as what they have is personal information on specifically identified American taxpayers. They stated they received this information from an anonymous source. They consider this a journalistic coup.

This is not the Pentagon Papers or even the information published by Wikileaks. There was great debate whether those releases of information were legitimate. There should be no debate whether this was legitimate. This is the individual tax information for many people. Our government, in the hands of the Internal Revenue Service, has made a solemn promise to the American people to protect the privacy of every person filing a return.

ProPublica had a journalistic right to publish this information, but it is a disgusting act by a publishing entity. Upon being contacted by this “anonymous source,” they should have immediately contacted the Treasury Dept. and set up a sting operation to capture the criminal that stole this information. No American should cheer what these people did because this could have been your tax file being released in public. The authors and every American should think about what they would say if it were their information being bantered across multiple news sources.

Yet, the Left (ProPublica is a Left-wing publication) can always justify their actions because their cause is right. In the first of many articles they will publish on this matter, they stated “One of the billionaires mentioned in this article objected, arguing that publishing personal tax information is a violation of privacy. We have concluded that the public interest in knowing this information at this pivotal moment outweighs that legitimate concern.” It is always nice when you know your cause is just even if it is illegal.

Their cause became quite clear in the first few pages of this 31-page article. The authors want a wealth tax which is unconstitutional and believes we will never have a fair tax system until we tax people’s wealth. That is why they justify in their minds this disgusting attack on our freedom. While our government is railing against hacks on companies like Colonial Pipeline, there is barely a peep about this theft of our tax agency’s files.

If you do not believe me on this believe Senator Warren, a true ideologue. She linked the article in a tweet and stated “We all knew the tax system was rigged for the ultra-rich – the ProPublica numbers just mashed it in everyone’s faces. It is time for those at the top to pay a fair share so we can build an America that works for everybody. That’s why we need a #WealthTax.” That is a sitting U.S. Senator applauding the theft of IRS tax files for her political purposes. And she wanted to be president. If elected as such she would have likely released all our tax files in her “just cause.”

And the reason they are harping on the wealth tax other than being a political goal is they cannot argue that any of the people cited in the column did not comply with the tax laws. In fact, there are no claims of anyone not complying. It is that these individuals, just like you and I, accumulated wealth without paying an annual tax on that wealth.

They started by focusing on four people — Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Michael Bloomberg, and Warren Buffett. Three of these people are committed Democrats; Musk is not. It is always fascinating to see people like this supporting Democrats. It was only a matter of time before the Left came after them. Democrats, in general, believe one could only accumulate this much wealth through some type of wrongdoing. That is why they are driving the idea of a wealth tax.

One of these victims is a 90-year-old man and ProPublica cites him as the worst offender as he paid the least tax despite arguing for higher taxes on successful people. This is a man who lives in the same home he purchased in 1958 which is worth far south of $1 million. He takes the same annual salary he did 40 years ago and lives off of the appreciation of his stock which benefits his investors – he does not make money unless they make money. You can bet if he did take a major salary the argument would be made it was excessive because the level of salary was some unacceptable multiple of his employees. Additionally, he has already donated a substantial amount of his fortune to charity and most of the remainder will go to charity when he dies. You cannot win with these people who have contempt for successful people and can find any justification for taxing away their “ill-gotten” profits.

ProPublica stated these success stories are gaming the system. ProPublica even devised their own system of determining how they gamed the system. They concocted a contrived calculation that has zero basis in any reality other than their alternative universe. They determined the growth in each taxpayer’s wealth over a four-year period from 2014 through 2018 from Forbes magazine annual surveys. Then they added in the taxable reported income for each taxpayer and told us the amount of tax they paid. ProPublica calculated the tax as a percentage of each taxpayer’s taxable income and wealth increase and came up with what ProPublica determined their “true” rate of tax. This came in below 1% under their devised system that has nothing to do with the current tax system or their dreamed of a system where wealth is taxed. Talk about cooking the books. The mafia could use them as consultants.

Yet they argue their demented system is the only true way to tell how much tax is being paid and that these Americans are not paying their fair share. According to the Tax Policy Center based on IRS statistics, the top 1% of earners paid an average tax rate of 30.2% in 2019. The middle 20% paid an average rate of 12.4% and over 50% of taxpayers pay no federal income taxes.

There is no length the people like the staff of ProPublica will go to punish successful people and lie about them not paying their “fair share.” In this case, they went so far as to work with criminals to manipulate facts to convince people that the “rich” need to pay even more. When you hate Capitalism and want to punish anyone who succeeds from the fruits of their labors, it is time to invoke Cole Porter from nearly a century ago – Anything Goes.

*****

This article was published in FlashReport on June 20, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from the author.