Receiving Found Money

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

During my morning routine prior to work, I was taking a break when the phone rang. At the other end was a gentleman telling me he had found money for me. From there my day changed.

I sat up and listened. Who wouldn’t? I am getting free legal money not handed out by a loathsome politician acting like it was theirs in the first place. Of course, it was my money, but it was still a find.

The call was from Bernstein, a private wealth management firm. I left there about five years ago when my financial advisor departed unannounced. I promptly moved my accounts elsewhere. It certainly was possible that some earnings/dividends might have been transferred to them after my departure. At any rate, it was nice to hear they had some of my moola.

The young man then proudly told me they were sending me a check for 11 cents. Yes, you read that correctly. They had contacted me because they were holding 11 cents of my money to be deposited into my IRA account. He wanted to know if he should send it to me or to my new investment advisor.

Then I started to harangue him. “You didn’t really contact me about 11 cents, did you? No, you are not going to send me a check for 11 cents. This is amazingly stupid.” Then it hit me – this is our government at work one more time.

You may remember I wrote a column a while back about the Unclaimed Property Program that California runs. There are similar programs in other states. The Controller’s office operates this program which started in 1959. Recently, the controller’s office has stepped up the pursuit of finding these unclaimed assets. They have sent threatening letters to businesses telling them to hand over these unclaimed assets. Starting this year, businesses must answer a question on their California tax returns about whether they have complied with the law. As always, there are penalties for noncompliance. There are always penalties.

People do find assets that they abandoned. No question about it. And the assets are supposedly held into perpetuity. Yet somehow in 2018 California state government had swept $378 million into the general fund and in 2017 $399 million from unclaimed assets. Obviously, the state is not running this program benevolently.

After realizing the evil force behind this call, I stopped berating the young man. I realized his bosses were forcing him to do this because financial firms are heavily regulated and they want to be in compliance with state law even if it is moronic.

Why do I say it is moronic? Because there is obviously no level of asset held or check uncashed that does not need to be turned over by the rules of this program. Bernstein was spending valuable assets to locate people like me, produce a check, and then mail it to me (they sent it FedEx). All for 11 cents.

If the legislators had anything but contempt for their constituents, they would have added a de minimis clause into the statute to handle this matter. Since half of these people are failed lawyers, they know the de minimis means small, minor, or insignificant. That would stop this folly from continuing. Let’s put it at $100 because that is the cost of labor and fees to search out these items and return them to their rightful owners. It is even disrespectful to the people of the state as they most likely are not going to chase after a $47 amount owed to them because of the extensive paperwork to get it back and then the significant labor on the part of the state employees to return the asset.

In the meantime, Bernstein has spent meaningful resources and out-of-pocket costs to get me the check for 11 cents. I then must put a stamp on the envelope costing 60 cents to send to my investment advisor. My investment advisor has to then process the check.

I thought about putting the check in my drawer with the other “meaningful” checks I have received from those class action suits. Then I realized the entire cycle would start all over again.

And our elected officials wonder why they are so reviled.


This article was published by FlashReport and is reproduced with permission from the author.

A DEI Meeting You’ll Never See

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Would the discussion leader be applauded or booed for citing uncomfortable facts about DEI?


TUCSON – A nonprofit foundation recently held a national conference at an expensive resort near my house.  Since the foundation is headquartered on the East Coast, this means that the attendees flew across the country to attend the conference.

One of the agenda items was a breakout meeting of the foundation’s DEI committee.  No surprise.  Just about every organization of every type and size has to pay homage today to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Judging by the superficiality and groupthink demonstrated across the land on the subject of DEI, it’s a safe bet that the DEI meeting was rife with platitudes, pieties, pabulum, posturing, and parroting.  For sure, the discussion leader didn’t open the meeting with the following remarks:

“Thank you for your interest in this important subject.  I’m going to set the stage and then turn the meeting over to you for discussion and action planning.

As with DEI initiatives in general, our mission is to address the issue of so-called underrepresented groups.  These are groups that are deemed as underrepresented in highly paid professions, in management and executive positions, and on boards of directors.  The idea is to do whatever it takes and do it very quickly, to get more people from these groups into lucrative and influential positions.

Of the hundreds of unique ethnocultural groups in the nation, scores of them are underrepresented.  But as we will discuss, DEI focuses on only a couple of them.  The rest are excluded from DEI initiatives, either officially or in reality.

One of the excluded groups is the ethnocultural group of poor and poorly educated Scots-Irish Whites in the backwoods and hollows of Appalachia, where their forebears were impoverished woodsmen, tenant farmers, and coal miners.

Also excluded are people like the Kalash, who hails from the impoverished Kafiristan area of northwestern Pakistan.  The smallest ethnic minority in Pakistan, many are fair-skinned and blue-eyed, the result of Indo-Aryan immigrants and invaders over millennia.  For any Kalash who have immigrated to the United States, they are not only excluded from DEI but are demeaned and stereotyped in some quarters as privileged and racist, based solely on their whitish appearance.

Incidentally, south of Kafiristan is Peshawar, near the Khyber Pass, which is the pass between Pakistan and Afghanistan.  And southeast of Peshawar, on the eastern side of Pakistan, is Lahore, the city on the border between Pakistan and India.  As with most other parts of the world, this stretch of geography has a tragic history of oppression, persecution, and bloodshed, due to being at the intersection of different tribes, clans, colors, races, religions, ideologies, and nationalities.

This is what happens when people are seen as members of a group instead of as individuals.  It was the thinking behind slavery in the Americas and throughout the world.

An endless cycle of injustice is often the result.  When the victims end up in power, they invariably turn the tables on their former victimizers and seek revenge.  Meanwhile, those of us who see ourselves as enlightened and sophisticated keep the cycle going by encouraging group identities and identity politics.

Well, I’m not going to stand athwart history and stick up for individuals instead of groups. In the name of DEI, I can be just as hypocritical as the next phony.

Therefore, in keeping with the standard DEI practice in America, the focus of this meeting is on groups, not individuals.  And, in keeping once again with standard practice, the focus is not on all underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and socioeconomic classes.  The focus is much narrower.  It is on Blacks and non-White Hispanics. 

The core belief of DEI is that the target groups should hold highly paid jobs in the same proportion as their percentage of the U.S. population.  If they don’t, this is considered prima facie evidence of discrimination and racism.  Under that belief, given that Blacks are about 13 percent of the population, they should hold 13 percent of board positions, executive positions, management positions, and professional positions, including professions such as lawyers, accountants, physicians, engineers, chemists, and so on.  The goal is 19% for non-White Hispanics.

As many of you know, I have decades of experience at the vanguard of equal opportunity, equal rights, affirmative action, outreach, diversity, and anti-racism training.  Those decades have seen marked improvements in equal rights, equal opportunity, advancement, and pay for so-called disadvantaged people.  But the cold reality is that further progress is limited by the pipeline problem.

The pipeline problem is particularly acute for Blacks and Hispanics.  Too many are graduating from high school without the requisite knowledge to succeed in college, especially in difficult majors.

For example, according to the American College Testing Organization, only 10 percent of Black high school seniors are rated as college-ready, based on combined scores for math, general science, and reading.  Tragically, on a similar note, two-thirds of Black seniors are unable to demonstrate such basic math skills as performing arithmetical calculations or recognizing a linear function on a graph.

White seniors are five times as likely to be college-ready as Black seniors.  It is not known what percent of Kalash students and Appalachian students are college-ready, because there is no breakdown of scores for each of the many sub-groups lumped together as White.  It is known, though, that over 30 million Whites live in poverty.

The situation is less severe for Hispanics than for Blacks, but their test scores, on average, are well below what is needed for college success, especially those whose second language is English.  It was a similar situation for my poor emigrant grandparents from Italy, except that their children had the option of attending parochial schools, which were affordable back then, even on their meager income.

The possible causes of the pipeline problem are many and complex.  The possibilities include poverty, the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow, poorly designed welfare programs that create dependency and absent fathers, the public education monopoly in poor neighborhoods, the stranglehold of teacher unions, negative cultural influences, slowness in assimilating, and families without positive male role models.

Whatever the root causes, it is counterproductive to lower standards or do away with standards completely for admission to college or entry into the professions in order to meet DEI goals.  This just delays the inevitable reckoning from not addressing the pipeline problem. 

It also leads to highly qualified and educated Blacks and Hispanics being seen as getting ahead through preferential treatment instead of through personal achievement and merit.  Ironically, they are in such high demand that they don’t need our paternalism, tokenism, pandering, and virtue signaling.

In conclusion, it would seem that our time, energy, and money would be better spent on addressing the pipeline problem.

Okay, it’s now time to turn the meeting over to you.”

If the discussion leader had made the foregoing remarks to the DEI committee—or to any DEI committee for that matter—what do you think the reaction would have been?  Would the person have been applauded or booed?


Mr. Cantoni is a retired author, activist, and executive who was at the vanguard of equal opportunity, equal rights, affirmative action, outreach, diversity, and anti-racism training.

Joe Biden Just Committed His Most Impeachable Offense Yet

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Where are the Republicans with Demands Answers letters? Where are the hearings? Where are the NFL superstars kneeling in protest?

It’s often said that politics stops at the water’s edge, but no one told Joe Biden that. When he went to Ireland this week, he disgraced America more than Phil Mickelson did when he took Saudi blood money. “I’d rather have my children playing rugby now for health reasons than I would have them playing football,” Sleepy Joe said to his fellow tater-munchers.

Bald eagles are plummeting from the sky. Drunken Little League dads are punching the air. If Tom Brady’s tear ducts weren’t destroyed by plastic surgery I’m sure he’d be weeping too.

Joe Biden has got to go. The botched Afghanistan withdrawal, Hunter’s Chinese business deals, and open borders are child’s play compared to this.

Let me educate the president, because no one else has stepped up to the plate. Like many great American products, we took a middling European version and made it better. Hamburgers? Originated in Germany. Golf? Originated in Scotland. America? Originated in England.

The first organized American football game was played in 1869, between Rutgers and Princeton. The working-class public school kids won 6-4 (Scorigami alert). Britcels claim that football originated from Rugby, but I have yet to see a shred of compelling evidence on the matter. What everyone except Joe Biden knows, however, is that rugby is a lower-grade substitute for football. The Mr. Pibb to Coca-Cola. The Samsung to Apple. The OAN to Newsmax.

Article Two of the Constitution is quite clear on this: “The President… shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” If bashing our national sport in a country that has exactly zero Super Bowls and zero SEC championships is not treason, I don’t know what is. Congress can finally do something useful. It can impeach and remove Joe Biden.

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

A Board Game to Steal an Election? Can you Win?

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Once in a while, something comes along that cheers our progress toward liberty. In this age of cultural discouragement, it is good to see a product that not only entertains but educates about how elections may be stolen, manipulated, or purchased… you pick the term that suits your sensibilities.

Unlike watching a movie, or listening to a podcast, the board game just introduced called Fraud-U is based on many factors discovered during the 2016 and 2020 elections. It covers the full gamut from mass ballot drops, the use of mules, and circumstances created by embedded electronic fraud.

As described to us, this is a fast-paced game, utilizing a similar layout to monopoly. As a dice-based game, it is fraught with chance. In addition, the game is heavily biased toward a certain political party. If a player chooses to take on a Republican role, he must be prepared to sweat.

The game begins with a dice roll to determine party affiliation, if not voluntarily chosen, and an initial board position that establishes a candidate’s volunteer base and funding. As the game progresses, a dice roll will tell the player what space to next occupy. That space is accompanied by instructions that correspond to the six numbers on the die. The player may gain or lose funds, votes, or volunteers. The financial aspects of campaigning are not ignored. Contestants enter the results of these moves on a Score Pad that can be examined by any other player. The final objective of the White House is achieved after all players have cleared the yellow brick road and all votes are tallied.

The game is designed for 2 to 6 players and can be completed in about 40 minutes. There are many laugh lines in the instruction cards that will bring a chuckle to anyone who is even slightly to the right of the political center. The company producing this is called Ezekiel’s Games.

Interested readers can go to the social media crowd-funding site IndieGoGo, the link for which is provided below, or use the optical scanner code below. Anyone with a smartphone can simply photograph the code and get to the site.  Once at that site, click on the red options button and you can either purchase the game at a discount or you can participate in crowdfunding, raising capital to produce and distribute the game.

The Prickly Pear has no financial connection with the firm that produced this board game although anything that makes people more aware of election integrity is something we can endorse.  We think it is a clever idea and we suspect they won’t be getting financing from any large media company. We at The Prickly Pear believe in building new citizen-driven institutions and platforms similar to our own citizen journalistic enterprise.

If you would enjoy a game of bare-knuckle politics  that can interest your family and friends, remember the tagline, ” Give me liberty or give me Fraud-U for Christmas or Hanukkah.”


Link for the purchase of the game of Fraud-U:

Here is the Optical Scanner Code:

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Carbon Lifestyles of the Rich, Famous and Hypocritical

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

If global warming is truly an existential threat, then the nation’s elites are a threat and should be dealt with accordingly.


Of all the varieties of hypocrites, carbon hypocrites are among the worse, because they harm poor people the most.

You’ve heard about the two-faced archetypes: Uber-wealthy and powerful, they say that global warming is an existential threat while they own multiple mansions, fly around the world in private jets, and drive electric cars that go from zero to 60 in four seconds, powered by massive battery packs full of mined materials and recharged with carbon-generated electricity. The vehicles are green only if they come in that color. 

As will be discussed shortly, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is one of the carbon hypocrites.

He and his ilk display their hyper-hypocrisy while looking down on the proles, bitter clingers, deplorables, Walmart shoppers, and clodhoppers. Then, even with their prep school and Ivy League pedigrees, they can’t figure out why the hoi polloi are attracted to Donald Trump.

Many of the hypocrites live in New York City, where Trump became a national name because the city’s sophisticates enabled him by bending zoning regulations for him, by living in Trump Tower along with Arab and Russian petro plutocrats and giving him constant publicity, including his own TV show.

I lived in metro New York for ten years and knew more of them than I wanted to know, as a result of heading an influential environmental group in the metro area. I told my board of directors and members to stick with facts and not engage in hyperbole, misinformation, or disinformation—although it would have been easy to get the media, politicians, and the public to swallow such baloney, given that environmentalism is one of those issues that plays more to emotions than to reason. (Other issues in this vein are poverty, inequality, equity, and racism.)

New Yorkers tend to believe that the city is an energy miser because it is densely populated, has extensive mass transit, has short commutes for city dwellers, has tiny apartments that don’t use much energy for heating and cooling, and has a corresponding lifestyle that makes it possible to get by without owning a car. Left out of the energy calculus, however, is the city’s “offshoring” of carbon burning to New Jersey, to other parts of the US, and to the world. 

Refineries, factories, warehouses, and fleets of trucks that service Manhattan line miles and miles of the New Jersey Turnpike. Commuters travel to and from the city not only on the turnpike but also on I-78 and I-80, including from as far away as Pennsylvania. Others commute from suburbs in Long Island and Connecticut. Tens of thousands of cars and trucks sit in massive traffic jams during rush hours. Thousands of trucks descend on Manhattan during the night to deliver food and goods, with their diesel engines running as they double-park to unload. Much of the food served in five-star restaurants is grown in the heartland with fertilizer produced from fossil fuels. Trash is either incinerated or put on trains and trucks to be shipped to landfills in other states. Squadrons of private jets fly in and out of Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, and commercial jets en route to LaGuardia, JFK and Newark airports circle for a half-hour or more in bad weather, burning petro and spewing pollution and noise over large swaths of the metro area.

On weekends and holidays, many of the city’s movers and shakers escape to their mansions on the north shore of Long Island and elsewhere. Of course, the mansions are heated and cooled when they aren’t there. No doubt, many of them are heated with oil, which is delivered by truck.

It’s lunacy to think that all of this carbon use can be converted to so-called clean energy in a couple of decades, that industrialized nations can survive without fossil fuels, that poor countries can end poverty without fossil fuels, that less burning of fossil fuels in one nation won’t result in more burning in other nations, and that global warming is existential and not just another serious problem that will be overcome. On the other hand, it is not lunacy to believe that wealthy elites, unlike common folks, have the money and political power to survive and prosper under draconian reductions in fossil fuels.   

This brings the discussion back to Michael Bloomberg.

The billionaire has launched a campaign called Beyond Petrochemicals to end the production of petrochemicals. The initial funding of $85 million will be spent on stopping 120 planned petrochemical projects in the US. 

It is not known if any of his targets are petrochemical plants that produce ammonia for fertilizer for feeding the world. But Bloomberg probably thinks that a little starvation would be good for humanity.  After all, when he was mayor, he wanted to lower the consumption of soda through higher taxes on the product, ostensibly to reduce obesity.

It’s telling that he went after soda but not Starbucks, even though the chain sells high-calorie milkshakes masquerading as coffee. Soda tends to be the drink of choice of those wearing blue collars while Starbucks tends to be the drink of choice of those wearing white collars.

I’d like to throw a Big Gulp in Bloomberg’s smug face, given his environmental hypocrisy. If memory serves, he owns several mansions, including a house in Bermuda. Does he travel there by rowboat or sail there with Greta Thunberg?

And how about the Bloomberg publishing industry and thousands of Bloomberg computer terminals? How are they powered?

If Bloomberg really believes that the world is going to end from global warming, then it is a moral imperative that he reduce his carbon footprint by selling his mansions and living in an efficiency apartment.

Speaking of mansions, the real estate section of the Wall Street Journal is geared to Bloomberg’s social class and fellow hypocrites. Below are excerpted descriptions of six homes recently featured in the section. I’ve edited the descriptions for brevity. They’ll give you a sense of the carbon lifestyles of the rich, famous and hypocritical.   

I’ve never been one to have class envy or begrudge the wealthy, but the hypocrisy of the nation’s elites makes me want to overthrow them, or at least force them to live like they want everyone else to live.

* * *

Excerpt One:  A 17-foot-long pool is a cherry on top of a $39.995 million Manhattan townhouse. The brick-and-limestone Tribeca home is about 23½ feet wide and approximately 10,600 square feet. The sellers are commercial real-estate investor Lucky Bhalla and his wife, Laura Bhalla, who purchased the property for $1.5 million in 2003, property records show. Mr. Bhalla founded the Manhattan investment firm Ascot Properties NYC.

Excerpt Two: A London-based businessman paid $50 million cash for a Gilded Age mansion in New York.  The buyer, who plans to use it as a pied-à-terre, never stepped foot in the building before buying it. Everything was done through his representatives.

Excerpt Three: An 18-Acre waterfront compound on Cape Cod is listed for $15.995 million. The property on Red Brook Harbor includes two houses, a boat house, a tennis court, a 20-foot-long dock, and a private sandy beach. A husband and wife named Bisson own the compound.  They enjoyed using the property for boating to locations such as Bassetts Island and Martha’s Vineyard. Mr. Bisson is currently a commercial real estate investor, and the Bissons own a restaurant called Wicked Craft in Boston.

Excerpt Four: An Aspen mansion has sold for $69 million in one of Aspen’s priciest-ever deals. Known as Silver Lining Ranch, the estate has a roughly 18,000-square-foot, three-story house with 10 bedrooms, according to Meriwether. The sellers were John and Elizabeth Burgess, records show. Mr. Burgess is a co-founder of BC Partners, a British private-equity firm.

Excerpt Five:  A Manhattan apartment long owned by the late pharmaceutical executive Martin Howard Solomon is coming to market for $55 million. Mr. Solomon and his wife, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon, paid $25 million for the Upper East Side home in 2004, according to property records. The neo-Italian Renaissance-style building, a co-op on the edge of Central Park, was designed by prominent architect J.E.R. Carpenter around 1920. The boutique building has drawn power players such as the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The five-bedroom apartment has views over Central Park and the city, said Serena Boardman of Sotheby’s International Realty, one of the listing agents. With 11 rooms, it has large entertaining spaces, multiple wood-burning fireplaces, and a dining room that can seat close to 30 people, she said. Ms. Boardman declined to specify the unit’s square footage.

Excerpt Six: In 2016, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos paid $23 million for two side-by-side historic mansions in Washington, D.C. The sprawling early-1900s houses had been a museum, but Mr. Bezos converted them into a massive home, where he has since thrown glittering parties attended by the likes of Bill Gates and Ivanka Trump. Now another one of the city’s grand historic mansions is hoping to follow suit. Jewett House, a circa-1905 Georgian Revival mansion that has been used for decades as the headquarters of the progressive Bauman Foundation, is listing for $14.5 million. Spanning about 16,500 square feet, the property is the most expensive home on the market in the city. “This house would be a perfect one for Bezos,” said John Landrum Bryant, vice president of the Bauman Foundation. Or, since Mr. Bezos already has a residence in D.C., an ideal buyer would be the mogul’s ex-wife, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, he said. Mr. Bryant knows a thing or two about the housing preferences of the elite. Aside from being married to real-estate heiress Patricia Bauman, whose father launched the Bauman Foundation, he carries the title of prince of Monteagudo, a town in Spain, and goes by Prince John.

Drag Queens Are the New Black Face

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

It is easy to find on YouTube numerous videos of parents dragging their own children to drag queen shows where the children are encouraged to touch the genital areas of the performers or stuff dollar bills into the same geography. Or they will haul their children to a place of learning, usually a library or school, where they can see strange men dressed up as women.

The ostensible reason for this is the holy cause of “diversity” and the acceptance of gay men.

One area to explore is the danger this is to children. The other less explored area is the danger this is to women.

Recently, a woman on Twitter made the comment that drag queens are the new black face. As is typical with Twitter, she had space only for the floating thought, that was left undeveloped. If I could remember who she was, I would be glad to give her complete credit for an eye-opening observation.

That more women are not speaking frankly about this cultural rot is a source for another essay. A few are, but they are still largely silent. Likely, they feel some sort of sympathy. Having struggled as women, they empathize with people struggling to be gay.

Suffice it to say, this man will attempt his own development of this passing observation. We won’t stay silent. It is time for men, who really love and honor women, to speak up. I hope many more women will follow.

For a man to assume the persona of a woman, is a degrading form of cultural appropriation. Having not held down a job and raised children, and been a good wife, all difficult and exhausting tasks; this man has the temerity to put on garish makeup and clothes for a few minutes and pretend to be a woman.

We are supposed to honor his pretensions and celebrate his kinkiness.

The woman he portrays, of course, is not a woman who has endured labor several times and gotten up to nurse and change diapers at 2 am in the morning and then went on to an 8- or 10-hour job. No, he sees a woman through his own sexual desires and designs a highly stylized version of female entertainment for men. Almost always there is makeup applied with a trowel, garish in color, fingernails that could shred a buffalo, a flamboyant dress, huge eyelashes, and enormous artificial breasts. All this is usually in the cause of “pride”, that is to say, his sexuality trumps the normal.

In this “art form”, women are sexual objects for men, projected by a man pretending to be that sexy woman.

This is deeply offensive to all the courageous and caring women around us. I think of my mother, who found in her the energy to love and raise me, even though I was one of eight. I think of my wife of more than 40 years, who trained as a special education teacher, and wound up with an autistic son. She raised two normal girls, wrote three books, acquired credentials as a life coach, and still cares for our 38-year-old son. He needs 24-hour one-on-one care. She has done all this, and still had time for me. What a woman. I think of my sisters, struggling with their lives and yet accomplished in their fields. I think of both of my daughters, strong and accomplished women, who are above all, really good people. I burst with pride when I think of them. I think of my business associate of 15 years, who helped make my success with her hard work and dedication, all done while raising a young family. I think of the female doctors and nurses who have helped me when I was in pain and physical danger. My personal doctor is a woman, my eye doctor is a woman, heck, my veterinarian is a woman.

These were all women of great courage, compassion, intelligence, perseverance…all noble qualities in a man, and equally so in women.

Does this get reduced to stage porn? A man dressed as a woman cavorting provocatively in heavy makeup and plastic boobs? This usually is all promoted by people who tell us women should be more than sexual objects!

Come to think of it, this is degrading even for legitimately sexy women who entertain men. They at least are real women, who know they are titillating men. They are not a man titillating himself.

What was so offensive about blackface?  It was mostly men dressing up as black people without having their difficult “lived experience” and sort of saying, you are inferior to me, but I like the way you can dance and sing, so I will put on makeup and clothes and pretend I am black.  Because it is insulting to black people, the rubes I entertain will find it funny. I will fake the talent you have and express my art because it benefits me, and not you. And, for the black person who may see my display of fake talent, enjoy the show and the mockery I am making of your difficult experience.

So, to the point made by the woman on Twitter, what really is the difference?

We live in the time of “presentism”, a perverse form of historical analysis that judges the action of people and events in history, through the prism of today’s morality and sensibilities. It is almost always selective and dishonest analysis because it assumes that those we criticize from centuries ago have the knowledge we have today. Ironically, the harsh judgments they make about our forefathers are constantly made by people who say we should not be judgmental!

Well, why is making fun of and degrading women by men, gay or not, acceptable? We say this not judging people from the past, but people in the present, by the standards of the present, who lecture the rest of us on being sensitive to others’ “lived experience.” Why is this acceptable to progressive women?  Why is this display of disrespect something we should take our children to see? Why are female librarians and school officials promoting this crap?

It is fascinating to see that progressives, who are big advocates of presentism and critics of “cultural appropriation”, and who pretend to champion women are the very people promoting drag queens and transgenderism in general.

Now it is true drag shows are not new. But previously, they were limited to specialized clubs and other narrow venues of entertainment where ID was checked or the clients controlled. Now, however, activists want these shows for children. What happened to safe spaces for students?

As they say, the word irony just is not sufficient to convey the level of contradiction and hypocrisy we see on display by our cultural elites. How about storybook time, in blackface with dramatic readings from Little Black Sambo?  How would that go down? Well, that is what you are doing to women. Why should the denigration of women be inflicted on children while blackface is banned?

For men who truly love and respect women, we should simply say, you fake sick fools, you are not even a pale shadow of the women I know. Keep your fetish at home. It is not suitable for children and it is degrading and insulting to the brave and inspiring women all around us.

Which History and Whose History is the True History?

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

True history certainly isn’t the cherry-picked history told by the intelligentsia at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


The Wall Street Journal recently published a letter to the editor by Kenneth Weine, the chief communications officer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Judging by what Mr. Weine wrote, his job title could just as well be “propaganda minister”—or, better yet, “platitude minister.”

Mr. Weine’s letter was in response to a Journal op-ed that claimed that the Met and other art museums had sacrificed art on the altar of wokeness. The op-ed gave an example of the Met placing an interpretive sign next to an exhibit, explaining that the former benefactor who had donated the collection on display had benefited from slavery and the slave-based sugar industry.

In defending the sign, the platitude minister parroted platitudes about the museum having a mission of understanding “mankind” (his word, not mine), as well as examining the “uncomfortable truths about our history.”

Not surprisingly, as is the case with so many esteemed members of America’s white overclass, Mr. Weine went on to reveal an obsession with skin color, lamenting that “half of the museum boards have only white trustees.” He did not specify which of the hundred or so unique ethnic groups in America and the world with whitish skin are represented on the boards. Thus we don’t know if Iranians or Kurds or Turks or Armenians or impoverished Scots-Irish Appalachians or other white minorities are board members.

If you believe that it is overwrought to refer to Mr. Weine et al. as an “overclass,” click on the following link to see the photos and bios of the top leadership of the Met.

Although Mr. Weine isn’t in top leadership, he fits the mold:

With their advanced degrees, mostly from the Ivy League, one would think that they would understand the folly of reducing to a sign an understanding of mankind and the uncomfortable truths about our history. 

A full understanding of mankind requires a knowledge of history beyond one fact or point in time, a history that includes the uncomfortable truths about not only American history and white history but also the uncomfortable truths about all the other nationalities, races, skin shades, civilizations, and tribes.

But it is not the agenda of the Met’s woke leaders to tell balanced history. Their agenda is to negatively portray America and people they deem as white, a group that includes themselves. Why aren’t they honest about that?

Mr. Weine should know better. As a vice president of the New York Public Library for four years, he had access to stacks and stacks of history books. He could’ve learned in just several shelves that human nature is universal—that it is both good and evil, that it transcends race and geography, and that all peoples have both good and evil in their history.

That’s a very different but accurate message to convey to museum patrons than the shopworn, unoriginal, copycat woke message that the Met wants to convey.

Mr. Weine is welcome to borrow books from my personal library, which includes books that detail the good and bad of the United States and its founding Anglo-Saxon Protestants. But it also includes books that detail the good and bad of other nations, ethnocultural groups, and skin shades.

One of the books is a history of Cuba and the horrors of the sugar industry on the island: Cuba: An American History, by Ada Ferrer. It will have you rooting for Cuban revolutionaries, including Fidel Castro—or at least his early years before he turned communist.

There is a big problem with the book, though, at least from the perspective of the Met: It goes against woke dogma by also telling the truth about “Hispanics,” which is a catchall name given to anyone in the Americas whose full or partial ancestry goes back to Spain or Portugal. It is a grab-bag of a category that includes widely diverse nationalities, races, mixed races, ethnicities, skin shades, and socioeconomic classes.

According to woke mythology and diversity and inclusion initiatives, Hispanics are considered a disadvantaged minority, although Americans so categorized far outnumber scores of ethnic groups that are considered to be in the majority. For example, Americans of Mexican ancestry alone number about 36 million, or six times more than the number of Americans of Italian ancestry, an ancestry that Anglo Saxons didn’t see as white in the early twentieth century, leading them to pass the Immigration Act of 1924 to restrict the immigration of Italians and other southern Europeans.

The truth is that Hispanics were heavily engaged in the sordid sugar industry, where they brutalized not only indigenous peoples and African slaves but also mestizos, who in turn brutalized other mestizos. Moreover, Hispanics engaged in the slave trade decades before 1619 and enslaved considerably more Africans than the English and Dutch did.

Crooked and authoritarian Hispanics ran Cuba for decades, with the backing of the United States. Cuba President Gerardo Machado was one of them. In August 1933, in the face of being deposed by a public that hated him, he and a few loyal companions carried bags of gold to the airport in the middle of the night and escaped on an airplane. One of the loyalists was Desi Arnaz Sr., the former mayor of Santiago and father of Desi Arnaz Jr., who would become the male lead in the popular long-running TV series, “I Love Lucy.”

Using the Met’s standards, any reruns of the show should come with a prefatory warning about Desi’s tarnished family history.

In terms of my heritage, Frank Sinatra’s records and movies also should come with a warning. Why? Because he was connected to the Italian mob, which was connected to the crooked Batista regime. As dramatized in the “Godfather” movie, the major US mob families held a meeting in Havana, in December 1946. Not only did Sinatra perform for the mobsters, but, as rumor had it, he had carried $2 million in cash on his trip to Havana for delivery to Lucky Luciano.

For sure, the Met shouldn’t take any donations from Citibank, do business with Citibank, or have any members who work for Citibank. An excerpt from the book Cuba explains why:

A much greater percentage of sugar profits, however, were invested in US industries such as coal, iron, manufacturing, railroads, banking, and so on. Moses Taylor, a New York sugar broker, made his early fortune in what everyone called “the Cuba trade” and then invested it in banking and industry. Within a few decades, he was president of the National City Bank of New York, a precursor to Citibank. When he died in 1882, his estate was worth at least $35 million, the equivalent of perhaps $1.3 billion in 2020.

Phew! Think of the number of interpretive signs it would take to adequately cover the history of just Cuba. Given that the aforementioned book with the eponymous name is 630 pages, it would take at least that number of signs.

Come to think of it, the Met should move out of Manhattan or plaster it with interpretive signs, considering the history of the island.     

An outstanding history of early Manhattan is the book, The Island in the Center of the World, by Russell Shorto. It is balanced history, which is a foreign concept to the woke bigwigs at the Met, or anywhere else for that matter.

The book tells the story of the Dutch founding of Manhattan and its surrounding area. It is based on seventeenth-century records and correspondence that had been lost until recent times and then went untranslated for many years because few scholars knew the old Dutch language.

Under Dutch rule, Manhattan was highly tolerant and multicultural, with the Dutch living mostly in harmony with other Europeans, other faiths, Native Americans, and free blacks. The Dutch were much more tolerant than the Pilgrims and Puritans and didn’t share their religious zealotry. In the context of seventeenth-century mores, they were quite progressive, in spite of engaging in the slave trade. Russell Shorto makes a compelling case in his book that America’s humanism, pluralism, democratic republicanism, and free trade stem more from the Dutch than the English.

One indication that Shorto wrote a balanced book is his coverage of relations between the Dutch and Native Americans. Shorto is not reticent in detailing the atrocities committed by the Dutch when their otherwise good relations with Native Americans went awry and resulted in bloodshed. But at the same time, he’s not reticent in detailing the atrocities committed by Native Americans, not only against the Dutch but also against competing Native-American tribes.

In other words, Shorto follows history, wherever it takes him and whomever it might offend. That’s not the path that the Met and other woke institutions take. They think in black and white, not greys; they think in terms of modern sensibilities, not in historic contexts and nuances; and they cherry-pick history to advance a political agenda.

In any event, the Met is going to be busy trying to erase the stain of Dutch history from New York City and its environs. After all, Brooklyn got its name from the Dutch Breuckelen; the Bronx is named after Jonas Bronck, a Dutch farmer; Yonkers is named after a Dutchman who was known as “the Jonker” and whose property was called “Jonker’s land”; and Long Island got its name from the Dutch Lange Eylandt.

Given all of the reminders of Dutch evil and white evil in New York, it would be easier for the Met to move to a part of the world where there is no history of evil.  Sure, a move would be expensive, but the museum would not have to spend money on interpretive signs explaining uncomfortable truths, as there would be no uncomfortable truths in their newfound utopia.



Panem et Circenses ad Nauseum

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

College football and professional golf exemplify the nauseating money-grubbing of today’s sports.

In the early second century C.E., the Roman poet Juvenal wrote:  “. . . nam qui dabat olim imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat, panem et circenses.”

Loosely translated, it meant that the Roman people had been seduced by cheap food and circuses provided by politicians.

In an updated version, Americans have been snookered by politicians, sold cheap pizza made with government-subsidized cheese, and seduced with ever-increasing commercialization of sports.

The commercialization is marked by hyper hype, breathless commentary, more inane commercials per hour than the minutes in an hour, more logos on display than even all of the tacky billboards in Houston, pre-game shows more interminable than a speech by Joe Biden, and contrived playoffs, where, like grade inflation in schools, mediocre teams make the grade.

The two seemingly different sports of college football and professional golf exemplify commercialization and money-grubbing.

Let’s start with football.

Unless you’ve been in a coma induced by a speech from the Oval Office, you know that the college football playoff will be extended to 12 teams by 2026; that the Pac-12 Conference, formerly known as the Pacific Coast Conference, has lost the California schools of USC and UCLA to a conference far removed from the Pacific Ocean; and that players can now make money off their name, thus confirming what everyone already knew:  that college football was amateur in name only and was actually a minor league for professional football.

This is being written in Tucson, which is my adopted home, the home of the University of Arizona, and a third-tier city with a tiny media market.  With the exit of USC and UCLA from the Pac-12, the University of Arizona Wildcats will have an even tougher time competing for talent and a TV audience.

You might be asking, So what?  Good question.

Some would say that higher education and semi-pro football don’t go together, especially considering that most football programs lose money and most players would flunk out if it were not for academic standards being lowered for them.  Others would say that because college football is a longtime American tradition, the two will never be separated.   Both are right.

I say that there is something unseemly about the state of the marriage between the two today.  In the case of the Wildcats, the team’s huge stadium and swank training facilities are on the edge of a poor barrio, in a city with a poverty rate that is near twice the national average, with a lot of poorly performing K-12 schools, and with a large homeless population.

Yet the football coach makes 75 times more than the average annual pay in the city.  But that’s peanuts compared to the $95 million that former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly will be paid over 10 years at Louisiana State, which of course is in Louisiana, a state with the second-highest poverty rate in the US and with abysmal K-12 test scores.

Then there is the fact that much of this extravagance is subsidized by tuition, and much of the tuition is paid with student loans, which have enabled colleges to be insensitive to cost, which in turn has driven up tuition, in an unvirtuous circle.

Such inherent contradictions have triggered cognitive dissonance among football fans on the left and right.

Those on the left in Tucson claim to care about the poor but don’t demand that the Wildcats football program be folded and the money spent on making college more affordable for the poor—or turning the Wildcats stadium into a homeless encampment, where at least the homeless would have restrooms, would have some protection from crime and the elements, and wouldn’t be blighting parks and other public places.

Those on the right rant about the tuition loan scam and the ever-rising cost of college but don’t rant about football being one of the causes.

Professional golf is ridden with just as many contradictions and as much cognitive dissonance.

Confession: I’m somewhat jaundiced about golf.  This stems from working as a teen in my hometown of St. Louis at a country club that excluded Italians, Catholics, Jews, and African-Americans from joining as members.  I was the only non-black on an otherwise all-black clubhouse staff of janitors, porters, cooks, and waiters.  The club members treated me as black, however, because Italians weren’t seen as white back then.  Now seen as white, we’re stereotyped in some quarters as being racist, fragile, and privileged.

Anyway, several years ago, the PGA embarked on public relations campaign to change the image of golf from being a sport for upper-crust whites to being a sport that embraced diversity, inclusion and social justice—or at least embraced clichés and platitudes on these subjects.

Among the initiatives to change the image, the PGA established a program called the First Tee, which marketed golf as a way for kids, especially so-called minority kids, to learn responsibility, hard work, and manners.  Or was it a cynical ploy to get America’s youth to take up golf in order to stem the decline in the number of Americans playing golf?

The PGA also gives airtime to CEOs of companies sponsoring tournaments to tout everything they are doing to “give back to the community,” as if they had stolen something from the community—and as if they were personally paying for the giving back out of their own pockets instead of the pockets of shareholders and the wages of employees.  In terms of message, speaking style, and mannerisms, all of them come across as having attended the same media training program.

Players also come across in interviews as having attended the same program.

Until recently, the size of purses for golf tournaments was rarely talked about on the air, thus leaving the impression that players were playing primarily for the love of the game.  The new Saudi Arabian LIV tour changed that.  Players have left the PGA to play for the Saudis expressly for the money.  In response, to show that it can compete monetarily with the Saudis, the PGA has increased purses and now cites their size many times during broadcasts, as well as saying how much the winner will take home.  (Rory McIlroy took home $18 million for winning the recent Tour Championship.)

Of course, athletes, sports organizations, and sponsors have a right to make all they can, as long as they’re not taking public money, such as the public funding of sports stadiums.  Likewise, fans have a right to spend all they want on watching sports and gambling on sports.

I just wish they’d stop all of the hype, hypocrisy, hokum, and hogwash.

If Conservatives are the New Punks, are Progressives the New Puritans?

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Conservatives, particularly those linked with the Moral Majority, have typically been viewed as the fun police. Every week, right-wing radio hosts and TV talking heads objected to the abundance of sex, violence, drugs, and decadence in the lives of Americans. Dungeons & Dragons weren’t just a kid’s game but rather a gateway to Satanism. Rock music wasn’t just fun to dance to but promoted free love and endorsed drug use. Violent movies weren’t just entertaining stories but were responsible for violent crimes. Whether it was on TV, at the movies, being played on the radio, or being sold in the stores, there always seemed to be something prudish conservative critics could point out that millions of normal Americans enjoyed, highlighting the moral decline of the United States. But for some, the days of Glenn Beck condemning the lyrics of My Chemical Romance and Cooper Lawrence decrying the sex scenes in the videogame Mass Effect on Fox News seem like a distant memory.

Today, it is rightwing personalities like The Daily Wire’s Michael J. Knowles, comedian and Fox News host Kat Timpf, Mary Katharine Ham and Vic Matus on the Getting Hammered Podcast, and Twitter sensation “Comfortably Smug,” who seem to be having all the fun. Shows featuring online shock jocks like Louder with Crowder and PragerU revel in entertaining their audiences by trolling liberals and mocking the bizarre beliefs held by extreme progressives. Between the copious amounts of Bang Energy drinks, the irreverent speeches, and the presence of adult film stars, companies like Turning Point USA have conferences that can almost resemble a rock concert. Further, compared to the straight-laced image of former Republican presidents, Donald Trump’s opulent lifestyle, crude demeanor, and ridiculous memeablity seem to have been attractions, not drawbacks, for many voters. All of this has led some commentators to declare conservatism the new “punk rock,” a sentiment that has been echoed and embraced across much of the MAGA right.

In turn, the left—once the bastion of people eager to “stick it to the man” and preachers of anti-conformity—has become the home of “the new Puritans,” according to Commentary’s Noah Rothman in his new book. While moral panics have been constant fixtures of the post-New Left university campus, as Rothman highlights, they have now begun to manifest in parts of the food industry, the entertainment business, and the publishing world, just to name a few. As Rothman’s subtitle denotes, a “war on fun” is being raged by energized activists and nothing the average American enjoys can escape it. From the entertainment we watch, to the comedy we laugh at, to the clothing we wear, to even the food we consume, a new kind of fun policing has emerged over recent years to take issue with all of it. So many of the things Americans take for granted as sources of enjoyment, entertainment, and escapism are now deemed “problematic,” precisely because they remain avenues for fun. As evident from so many online outrages, those willing to dissent and criticize these everchanging progressive orthodoxies might soon find themselves at the wrong end of the Twitter mob and quickly jobless. But for Rothman, this isn’t just a kind of puritanical progressivism, but rather, a new manifestation of Puritanism itself.

Though The Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum and plenty of others have likewise compared this anxiety wrought by social media’s call-out and cancel culture to a new kind of puritanism, Rothman’s assessment is distinctive in that he argues that “woke progressivism” isn’t just analogous with Puritanism, but rather has direct historical ties to it. Indebted to George McKenna’s The Puritan Origins of American Patriotism (2008), Rothman argues that far beyond the colonial period, the United States owes much of its cultural norms and traditions, on the left and the right, to the legacy of the Puritans, and the country has been continually shaped by their spiritual descendants. From evangelicals eager to Christianize 19th-century America to crusading efforts of the temperance movement to prohibit alcohol in the early 20th century, the United States has repeatedly seen the rise and fall of various Puritanisms.

Rothman’s analysis in many ways complements John McWhorter’s assessment that “wokeism” (loosely defined) has become a new religion for those on the left eager to force conversions, crush infidels, and punish heretics. But while McWhorter and Rothman agree that this intense zealotry has a religious component, Rothman does not go so far as to say “wokeism” is a new religion per se, due to the lack of a deity/deities (or “superhuman powers” as the University of Notre Dame’s Christian Smith would describe them). Even so, for Rothman, its ideological adherents manifest an enthusiasm that can only be compared to religious zealotry. While the new Puritans may not share the intense Protestant ethos of their 17th-century counterparts, what they do share according to Rothman is a commitment to “waging war on decadence, frivolity, and pleasure for its own sake” as well as a “seriousness” that “looks more to the uncommitted observer like fanaticism.”

Examples of this new Puritanism offered by Rothman are as frightening as they are funny, and troublingly frequent. The New Puritans recounts sagas of outrage and spectacles of progressives, from the fate that befell former host of The Bachelor Chris Harrison, the N.F.L. playing two national anthems (“the Star-Spangled Banner” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing”) to display its commitment to anti-racism, the championing of anti-comic Hannah Gadsby, as well as the rise and fall of the restaurant Holy Land. Though many of Rothman’s case studies are extreme, one does not have to go far to find similar instances of people being branded with a scarlet letter for bucking any given trend in activism.

Throughout the book, Rothman offers readers comparative case studies between the 17th-century Puritanism and today’s so-called new Puritans. Both dislike how sports distracted audiences from the more important subjects, namely the Gospel for the old and the work of antiracism for the new. Both held strong moralistic approaches to the consumption of food and alcohol, critical of those who would enjoy food for its own sake rather than devote their diets to higher ends. Also, both hold apocalyptic world views about the imminence of the end of days, with the new Puritans constantly warning about the fast-approaching dangers of climate danger rather than the Second Coming of Christ. In Rothman’s view, one would be hard pressed to see much of a difference between the dour op-eds stemming from BuzzFeed, The Guardian, and The New Yorker and the theological indictments of Cotton Mather, Benjamin Coleman, and Jeremiah Burroughs.

Many of Rothman’s comparative attempts between 17th-century Puritans and modern progressives, while interesting and at times humorous, do not go beyond surface level similarities.

But in attempting to directly link today’s progressives with historic Puritanism, Rothman’s arguments suffer from many of the same problems McKenna’s do. Rothman repeatedly labels almost every reformist movement from the 19th century onwards as “puritan” inspired or “puritanical” in effect, despite their dramatically different theologies and contexts. Many of Rothman’s comparative attempts between 17th-century Puritans and modern progressives, while interesting and at times humorous, do not go beyond surface-level similarities due to a rich and complex historical context that one cannot grasp in a book like this.

In doing so, the term “Puritan” is continually stretched well beyond its historical meaning and context which makes it difficult to keep the throughlines of Rothman’s argument straight. What is apparent throughout The New Puritans is Rothman’s familiarity with the excellent scholarship of Michael Winship, and Rothman does an exemplary job at dispelling many of the myths surrounding Puritans. But despite these attempts, one cannot help but see H. L. Mencken’s uncharitable view that Puritanism, at its core, is “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy” underlying much of Rothman’s presentation.

Early on, Rothman confesses that he is preaching to the choir, acknowledging that his book will be most readily consumed by those already mindful of these intense cultural war actors. Because of this, it is doubtful that his warnings will reach those who probably should heed them the most. Though this complaint could be leveled at any number of conservative thinkers and commentators, Rothman’s goal is to apply an intellectual framework to an observable phenomenon, offering conservatives a means for analysis. Likewise, as with so many books designed for a culturally engaged conservative audience, terms like “the left,” “progressives,” and “liberals” quickly become unwieldy.

Because almost all these controversies (or non-controversies) begin on social media, particularly Facebook or Twitter, one quickly gets the impression that this phenomenon is reserved, for the most part, for the “very online.” We all might “live on campus now” as Andrew Sullivan puts it, but certainly not to the same degree or intensity as those hyper-engaged on certain corners of the internet. While The New Puritans is rich with anecdotes, it is short of hard data to comprehend how widespread and how encouraged this kind of “anti-fun progressivism” is. Even so, if Rothman is correct, most ordinary citizens will not be touched by the intensity of the so-called new puritans, but rather the subtle but creeping efforts of like-minded reformists. Furthermore, given the steady diet of online outrage being dished from the right, for example the decrying of LGBT representation in animated Disney movies like Lightyear or the lyrics such as Cardi B’s W.A.P., there is still plenty of conservative puritanism to go around.

Regardless of the gaps in Rothman’s thesis, his antidote, like other critics of online shaming is well taken: Log off (or even delete your accounts) and have fun in the real world with real friends and family. But for those braver, Rothman charges readers to mock the new Puritans into irrelevancy, the tried and true (though equally perilous) tactic used against the Puritans of yesteryears. Much like the scope, influence, and power of this new kind of puritanism, how many people will be willing to risk scarlet letters is an open question.


This article was published by Law & Liberty and is reproduced with permission.

Biden Paying Off Loans for Gas Guzzling Cars

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

In an announcement that shocked many, the Biden Administration has announced they will be paying off all car loans and leases for people who have internal combustion engine cars. This is their biggest move yet to migrate Americans from their gas guzzlers to EVs.

President Biden made the announcement saying “We had to take this bold move to achieve our goal of getting my fellow Americans to transition to electric vehicles. As long as these people are burdened by these financial obligations, they will be blocked from making the decision they want to make – a clean, energy-efficient vehicle. We are unleashing the power of the American economy.”

An immediate response of overwhelming joy came from the environmental community. The President of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Ray Bradbury, applauded the move. He said, “With this stroke of bold leadership we will remove millions of those environment-destroying vehicles from our highways.” Rachel Carson, the Sierra Club spokesperson stated, “We can’t imagine a better move by the current administration to eliminate destructive CO2 gases and save our forests.”

“This is going to change the lives of a lot of people,” said Mark Huelsman, director of policy and advocacy director of the Hope Center, a higher education think tank. When a reporter pointed out that is the exact same statement, he made about student loan relief Mr. Huelsman blurted “Yes, but I really mean it this time.”

Congressional allies of Biden loved the move. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called Biden and told him “It’s the right thing to do morally and economically.” He expressed how he was personally pleased that his own car loan will be alleviated by the government action. He spoke of getting an EV because of the program and how that would improve the world.

Speaker Pelosi had previously stated that it was unconstitutional as this action was outside the rights of the executive branch. She was now thrilled that her husband’s Porsche was not burdened by the debt he had on it when caught drinking and driving.

The response was not nearly as favorable from the Republicans. Congressional Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy said he was stunned by the announcement. “Does Biden think he is a dictator? Where does he think he gets the authority to do this? What is next: credit card debt and home mortgages?” Steve Scalise, Minority Whip, jumped in and grabbed the microphone yelling “Please don’t give him any ideas.”

The authorization for this debt relief as stated by the Biden Administration is the Heroes Act of 2003, the same act that was used for waiving college loans. The Biden Administration stated they were doing this due to the current status of it being a national emergency. When asked what aspect of this was a national emergency a spokesperson for the Biden Administration stated, “Every part of our administration is a national emergency.”

Many people are concerned about the inflationary effect of this debt relief. Economists were highly concerned that the $300 billion or more of college loan debt that will be absorbed by the federal government was a big inflation stimulant. One of the people who had expressed concern after the student loan debt relief was Jason Furman, chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. When asked about this announced debt relief Furman was very succinct in his answer, “We’re screwed, we are all screwed, you can’t believe how screwed we are.”

Reporters asked the president’s press secretary what the financial effect of this policy will be. In her answer Karine Jean-Pierre stated, ah we don’t know exactly what she stated, we are analyzing her response and we will circle back to you on that once we figure it out.

There are a lot of unanswered questions yet. People are trying to figure out if they get the auto loan relief will they still be able to get the $7,500 credit off their taxes for buying an EV. Jared Bernstein, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers, observed that elements of the programs have to be flushed out yet. He should know what he is talking about since he has a music degree and plays the standup bass. Mr. Bernstein noted he was instrumental in the Biden Administration decision. He said he also consulted Herbie Hancock.

It is unclear how this entire program will check out. The Biden Administration could not quantify exactly how much debt would be piled on the existing debt of the government. It is estimated the outstanding auto loans are in the $1.5 trillion range. They have no clue of how much the cost of relieving auto leases will be and whether they will be paying off the residual on the vehicles also. There are many unanswered questions.

It is clear that President Joe Biden will be a transformational president. When asked how he will be perceived in the pantheon of presidents, Biden said “I told you I could change this country more than that Obama guy.”


This article was published by Flash Report and is reprinted with permission from the author.