Helping Or Hurting The Economy?

NewsMax reported yesterday that according to Morning Consult’s latest poll, an estimated 1.84 million Americans turned down work to stay on the Biden administration’s jobless bonus payroll.

The article reports:

About one-third of unemployment benefit recipients have turned down job offers during the pandemic, including 45% of those who cited the unemployment benefits as a major factor in turning down the job and 13% who said unemployment benefits were the direct reason they turned down the job.

The article continues:

The national average of statewide unemployment payers was $387, so the average jobless American collecting the $300 bonus was netting $687 a week, which would equate to $17.17 hourly wage to remain out of work. That is more than double the current federal minimum wage and even higher than progressive Democrats’ plan to impose a $15 minimum wage nationwide.

The governors of 26 states nationwide have opted out of the Biden bonus early, shortening the duration from 12 weeks to five and excluding gig workers and independent contractors, according to Morning Consult.

The ending of the Biden bonus is a motivator for the unemployed to get back to work sooner, though, according to the poll.

Not only do 35% of all unemployment recipients feel a lot of pressure to find work, those who know their bonus is expiring soon are more likely to be feeling the pressure to find work. The difference is 20 percentage points as 45% whose benefits expired with a month feel pressure to find work, while just 25% over three months into the future said they feel pressure to get back to work, the poll found.

I don’t claim to be a rocket scientist, but it seems to me that if people can earn more by not working than by working, their choice is rather obvious. The extra unemployment benefits need to end quickly to get America back to work.

When What He Says Does Not Match What He Does

Hot Air posted an article yesterday about a statement that President Joe Biden made on his first day in office. President Biden stated that there would be a ‘pause’ on drilling permits on public lands or for offshore sites. Obviously this was not good news for the oil and gas industries. However, things were not what they appeared to be.

The article reports:

Many of us who follow the energy industry closely had a sinking feeling because that “pause” could easily turn into a de facto ban. But not long after that, a strange thing happened. Permits began to quietly be approved again. Unless I missed it, I never saw an official announcement from the White House declaring an end to the pause, but business seemed to be returning to normal in the oil and gas industry. (Or as close to normal as anything gets these days.) And now, in news that will likely come as a shocking disappointment to many of Biden’s most ardent supporters in the environmental movement, the total number of permits issued since Joe Biden was sworn in has grown to record levels not seen since George W. Bush was in office. (Associated Press)

The article concludes:

So what’s going on behind the scenes? That’s not too difficult to figure out. Joe Biden is getting a lot of pushback, not just from Republican elected officials, but from the voters. They’ve already watched tens of thousands of good jobs disappear when Biden canceled construction on the Keystone XL pipeline. If he significantly slashes the amount of oil and gas exploration going on, even more jobs will go away.

On top of that, gas prices have been spiking ever since Biden took office. If they continue to rise and he’s seen as having squeezed the supply, he’ll be the one taking the blame for it. It’s simply not practical to basically shut down the oil and gas industry in this country and it would be political suicide to try it. That one industry impacts and supports many others and touches on far more aspects of voters’ lives than just the cost they pay at the pump or the heating bill they receive at the end of the month.

In other words, both Biden and Haaland (Interior Secretary Deb Haaland) talked a good game on the campaign trail and the Sunday morning shows. But when the time came for actual action, calculations were made and some campaign promises no longer were practical to keep.

The fact that the campaign promise was broken is good for America. It means that the cost of driving our cars and heating our homes will not go through the roof. It would be nice if we could continue to be energy independent–for both economic and security reasons.

Things That Make Democrats Very Nervous

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about Tuesday’s special election in Georgia.

The article reports:

Georgia Republicans got a big win over Democrats in a special election for a state House seat on Tuesday night. Republican Devan Seabaugh defeated Democrat Priscilla Smith in the election for House District 34 with 63 percent of the vote.

Former Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), who recently launched a nonprofit organization aimed at registering and reaching voters, Greater Georgia, celebrated the GOP’s win. Loeffler’s group played a major role in turning out Republican votes.

The article concludes:

While Republicans saw major turnout and success, failed 2018 gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and her organization, Fair Fight, were handed a loss on Tuesday night.

The 63 percent of the vote is consistent with the 2016 election in that district, when Republican Bert Reeves defeated Democrat Justin Holsomback with a percentage of 63.71 percent to 36.29 percent.

As much as 63 percent is a great percentage, it seems to me that the election simply prevented Stacey Abrams and her organizers from gaining ground.

A Dark Prediction

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about some of the plans that will impact America’s currency.

The article reports:

A controversial plan to boost global liquidity means the days of the U.S. dollar being the undisputed king of the international monetary system may be coming to a close, experts told The Epoch Times.

Losing that status could contribute to a serious crisis for the United States involving a dramatic loss of economic purchasing power, a geopolitical realignment and everything associated with those shocks.

The Biden administration-backed International Monetary Fund (IMF) proposal to issue an unprecedented $650 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of new “Special Drawing Rights” (SDRs) this year alone will also help re-shape the international financial system.

That is more than twice the total amount of SDRs created by the IMF throughout its entire history.

The SDR is a sort of proto-global currency, based on a basket of leading currencies, dubbed an “international reserve asset” by the IMF. Each government receives an amount of SDRs proportional to its stake in the international organization.

The unprecedented new issuance, which has the support of both Beijing and Washington, will contribute to sidelining the U.S. dollar’s role as the global reserve currency, analysts warned. The Chinese Communist Party is expected to be a leading beneficiary.

It’s time to take another look at the end goal of Cloward-Piven. A website called “James 4 America‘ explains:

First proposed in 1966 and named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, the “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Inspired by the August 1965 riots in the black district of Watts in Los Angeles (which erupted after police had used batons to subdue a black man suspected of drunk driving), Cloward and Piven published an article titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty” in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation. Following its publication, The Nation sold an unprecedented 30,000 reprints. Activists were abuzz over the so-called “crisis strategy” or “Cloward-Piven Strategy,” as it came to be called. Many were eager to put it into effect.

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when “the rest of society is afraid of them,” Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would “the rest of society” accept their demands.

America’s role as the global reserve currency is what has kept us afloat during the runaway spending Congress had undertaken during the past sixty years. There was never any thought given to the amount of debt they were creating and who would eventually have to pay that debt off. Eventually the chickens were bound to come home to roost. It looks like eventually is getting very close.

 

 

Does Anyone Support This?

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about a comment recently made by former Obama administration Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The article reports:

Former Obama administration Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday on CNN’s “OutFront” that Americans who have not received a coronavirus vaccine should not be allowed to work or have access to children and be limited on where they are allowed to go.

Sebelius said, “We’re in a situation where we have a wildly effective vaccine, multiple choices, lots available, free of charge, and we have folks who are just saying I won’t do it. I think that it’s time to say to those folks, it’s fine if you don’t choose to get vaccinated. You may not come to work. You may not have access to a situation where you’re going to put my grandchildren in jeopardy. Where you might kill them, or you might put them in a situation where they’re going to carry the virus to someone in a high-risk position.”

If they vaccine is so effective, why do we need to be concerned about those who are not vaccinated–it seems to me that the vaccine should protect those vaccinated from any risk from the unvaccinated.

The article concludes:

She continued, “That’s, I think the point where we are, is freedom is one thing, but freedom when you harm others like secondhand smoke and issues that we’ve dealt with very clearly in the past you can’t drive drunk. You can drink, but you can’t drive drunk because you can injure other people. You can’t smoke inside of a public place where you can give cancer to someone else in spite of their never having been a smoker.”

Sebelius added, “So I think we’re reaching that point in the United States where those of us who are vaccinated, I want to take off my mask. I want to be able to live my life with vaccination, and right now, I’m being impinged on by people who say I don’t want to get vaccinated. It’s fine. I want them to maybe have a limitation on where they can go and who they can possibly infect.”

She is assuming that unvaccinated people will automatically infect vaccinated people. Then what good is the vaccine? What about those of us who have antibodies because we have had covid-19? Shouldn’t we count as vaccinated?

The drive to vaccinate everyone makes me very suspicious. Who is making money from the vaccine? Notice that any liability claims against the manufacturers are not allowed. The vaccine is only approved for emergency use. There are too many things that just don’t add up here. Meanwhile, our freedoms are slowly going away

Something I Never Would Have Believed Could Happen In America

On Friday, PJ Media reported the following:

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the egregious miscarriages of justice. The Blaze reported Wednesday that Collin County, Texas, District Judge Andrea Thompson “effectively denied a U.S. citizen,” a Muslim woman named Mariam Ayad, “her constitutionally protected due process rights, choosing instead to order her to appear before an Islamic tribunal where her testimony is considered inferior. And when her lawyers sounded the alarm — the judge doubled down.” Islamic law, Sharia, taking precedence over U.S. law — in Texas? Celebrate diversity!

Ayad was trying to get a divorce from her husband, Ayad Hashim Latif. Sharia stipulates that while a man can divorce his wife simply by telling her three times that he is divorcing her, a woman has to seek the permission of Muslim clerics and make her case for a divorce before them. There is, of course, no such provision in U.S. law, but when Ayad told Latif that she was going to seek a divorce, he told her that she had signed an Islamic prenuptial agreement that stated the marriage, and any possible divorce, would proceed according to Sharia provisions.

Mariam Ayad contends now that she was tricked into signing this agreement, and thought that what she was signing was something else altogether. Her lawyers state that American law should supersede it in any case. Thompson, however, ruled that the prenuptial agreement was binding, and thus Ayad will have to go through the Islamic Association of North Texas to get permission to divorce. According to The Blaze, this decision was in “complete disregard of both federal and state law.”

This case isn’t over: Ayad is appealing at the Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas….

The article goes on to list some of the aspects of Sharia Law that contradict the U.S. Constitution–the Qur’an declares that a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man, the Qur’an teaches that men are superior to women and should beat those from whom they “fear disobedience”, the Qur’an also allows men to marry up to four wives, and have sex with slave girls, the Qur’an rules that a son’s inheritance should be twice the size of that of a daughter. You get the idea. These ideas have no place in America.

The article concludes:

Non-Muslims in several states a few years ago tried to outlaw the elements of Sharia that interfere with Constitutionally protected freedoms, not Islam as an individual religious practice. These anti-Sharia measures were aimed at political Islam, an authoritarian ideology at variance with the Constitution in numerous particulars: Sharia denies the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law. That is what people wanted to restrict, and the elements of Sharia that contradict Constitutional freedoms were all they want to restrict. But of course these efforts met furious opposition and were denounced as “Islamophobic.”

Meanwhile, Sharia really does deny equality of rights to women. But to oppose that is “racist.” So Mariam Ayad just has to suffer, you see, for diversity.

It’s interesting that the court was willing to embrace Islamic Law, which is in conflict with the U.S. Constitution while at the same time many of our courts are pushing Judeo-Christian laws and values, which are the basis of our Constitution, out of the public square.

This Is So Disappointing

I have always wanted to believe that the good guys in our government outnumbered the bad guys. By the good guys, I mean the people who want to do what was right and expose and deal with corruption when it appears. Unfortunately, I may have been very wrong. It is doubly disappointing when someone you believe might have some integrity turns out to be simply another swamp creature.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted a letter written by US Attorney William M McSwain to President Trump on June 9, 2021, about the irregularities in the Pennsylvania presidential election and how those irregularities were handled.

Here is the letter:

The article notes:

In previous comments attributed to AG Bill Barr,  he claimed to have seen no evidence of election fraud.  The Atlantic Article cites Bill Barr stating to an AP journalist December 1st 2020: ” To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” and then the article covers the fallout with the White House from that AP interview.

There’s a big difference between not seeing election fraud and purposefully blocking a United States Attorney from investigating allegations of fraud with a motive not to see it.

Are there any honest men left in Washington?

Has Anyone In Washington Read The U.S. Constitution?

On Sunday, The Western Journal reported the following:

Attorneys for individuals facing charges for their alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion say their clients are being kept in solitary confinement and subjected to third-world conditions while detained ahead of trial.

Lawyers John Pierce and Steven Metcalf II say that at least one of the people arrested on charges related to the events of that day is being held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and has inadequate access to clean water and legal counsel.

The attorneys told the EpochTV program “The Nation Speaks” that these conditions are “blatantly unconstitutional” and “violate every single basic human right.”

Of the nearly 500 people who have been arrested on charges relating to the Capitol incursion, Pierce said there “are about 50, plus or minus, that are being detained, that have been in prison for months and will likely remain in prison for many more months until their day in court.”

He explained that these accused individuals are being held under the pretense of the 1984 Bail Reform Act, which authorizes the pretrial detention of those deemed a flight risk or threat to the public.

…“The conditions in the D.C. jail in particular are getting to a point of not only being unconstitutional and violating every single basic human right, but they’re getting to a point where people have to speak out, and they have to know about what’s going on,” Metcalf said, adding that prisoners are being instilled with a “level of fear.”

“They are being retaliated against for various different reasons. … Anything that they do, or if anybody speaks up on their behalf, all of a sudden they get targeted even further and then get put into a dangerous, unsanitary condition,” Metcalf said.

The article concludes:

It goes without saying that while those accused of participating in the Jan. 6 incursion have been doggedly pursued by law enforcement and reportedly subjected to inhumane conditions in prison, those involved in the 2020 riots have been handled with kid gloves and even glorified by the left.

The overwhelming majority of Americans denounced the actions of the rioters who breached the Capitol on Jan. 6. But the George Floyd “protests” of last summer were widely supported and the violence and destruction defended by left-wing politicians — to the extent that now-Vice President Kamala Harris promoted a fund to bail “protesters” out of jail.

A Republican would no doubt be crucified were he to promote any legal efforts to free Jake Lang or protect his constitutional rights.

Yet can you even imagine the outrage if a single one of the Black Lives Matter or antifa contingent was kept in the same conditions as the Jan. 6 “insurrectionists”?

The hypocrisy is sickening. It seems we can no longer expect the equal legal treatment of people on either end of the political spectrum.

This is frightening.

Creating Further Division In America

On June 16th, I posted an article about Biden administration’s plan “to create ways for Americans to report radicalized friends and family to the government, in an effort to fight domestic terrorism.” I am sure that the idea that your family and neighbors (or children for that matter) could report you for anything you say will help bring Americans together ((note sarcasm).

Well, it’s getting worse.

Yesterday The Daily Caller reported the following:

The FBI took to Twitter Sunday to encourage families to watch out for “homegrown violent extremism.”

“Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence. Help prevent homegrown violent extremism,” the FBI’s tweet read in part.

Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence. Help prevent homegrown violent extremism. Visit https://t.co/bql36iSbig to learn how to spot suspicious behaviors and report them to the #FBI.

This is the tweet:

The article continues:

The link included in the tweet takes readers to the 2019 edition of the Homegrown Violent Extremism Mobilization Indicators report.

The report separates extremism into three groups based on whether the action is highly, moderately, or minimally diagnostic on its own.

Behaviors that are considered highly diagnostic include taping a martyrdom video or last will, preparing travel in order to join a terrorist group, or “communicating intent to engage in violent extremist activity,” especially on social media. (RELATED: DOJ Considering New Domestic Terrorism Laws Aimed At Violent Domestic Extremism)

In June, Attorney General Merrick Garland said white supremacy was the greatest “domestic violent extremist threat” facing the U.S. as he announced President Joe Biden’s National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism.

This is frightening. We currently have an open southern border allowing members of MS-13 and other violent gangs to enter America and the FBI is worried about politically incorrect opinions being expressed on social media. Wow.

I realize that a lot of this is a reaction to what happened on January 6th, when some unarmed people forced their way into the Capitol. However, I firmly believe that January 6th is being used as an excuse to shut down any opposition to the current administration–on social media or elsewhere. We have watched the media censor news they didn’t like (Hunter’s laptop, election fraud, coronavirus deaths in nursing homes in various states, etc.). What is being proposed here is the next step to creating a one-party government which punishes political dissent.

Yesterday The Epoch Times noted:

Richard Grenell, a former acting director of national intelligence, wrote that the FBI’s tweet “is outrageous” because the agency “has a growing credibility problem and this type of sinister snitching is clearly unhelpful.” Several Republican lawmakers also criticized the tweet, saying the FBI is encouraging Americans’ family members to spy on one another.

“In both Cuba & China, they also ask children to spy on their parents,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote.

Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Texas) wrote: “These people protected Hillary, abused NSA surveillance databases against Americans, used known, unreliable DNC-funded propaganda to spy on Trump, perpetuated the Russia hoax, & lied to the FISC repeatedly. And now they tell you that you should spy on your family.”

It’s not clear if the FBI posted the tweet in reference to the Biden administration’s campaign against “domestic violent extremists” or the longstanding intelligence operations against Islamist terror groups. Officials at the agency didn’t respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment by press time.

 

Is The Department Of Justice Capable Of Telling The Truth?

Yesterday Breitbart reported the following:

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has withdrawn its claim that a Capitol riot suspect was found to be in possession of a “fully constructed” LEGO set depicting the U.S. Capitol; the LEGO set was still contained in a box, the DOJ said Friday.

The article continues:

Robert Morss, a substitute social studies teacher, allegedly engaged in violent behavior during the riot, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette …

In court documents filed July 2, as the Department of Justice pushed for Morss to be detained until trial, the federal government noted:

During his arrest, law enforcement recovered some clothing and other items that appear to match those he carried with him on the 6th – including a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, a neck gaiter, a military utility bag, a black tourniquet, and military fatigues. (Law enforcement also recoverd a fully constructed U.S. Capitol Lego set.) In addition, MORSS had three different firearms including a handgun, a shotgun, and a rifle….

The Capitol set is one of the most sought-after and most expensive LEGO sets, currently priced at $266.95 at Amazon.com.

The last line of the article states:

The DOJ is seeking to ensure that Morss remains in custody, pending trial.

What we are watching is the criminalization of any political views that differ with those in the White House. There is no reason for Mr. Morss to remain in custody. He is a threat to no one. He is a political prisoner of the Biden administration.

The New Face Of War

A website called “Partially Politics” posted an article on July 7th about a new weapon Israel has been using against terrorists.

The article reports:

In a massive step forward into a new world of future warfare, Israel has become the first nation to use AI (artificial intelligence) drones in battle against Hamas terrorists. With no human input after mission orders have been set, a drone swarm team has been utilized to seek out targets. The drones link together and use artificial intelligence to map out geography and locate targets, making mission decisions on their own. The drone swarm continues the mission until completion, even if some of the drones are destroyed in the process. A human operator sends out mission details as the machines gather information data to move forward from satellites, air vehicles, ground troops and other recon drones.

Unit 8200 of the Israeli Defense Force Intelligence Corps has developed and implemented the new technology. Algorithms by the IDF use signal data, geographical information and human intelligence together to build a framework of how to execute the desired mission. Artificial Intelligence and supercomputers locate targets and plan strikes to remove any strategic forces that could give opposing forces any advantage, while machine learning technology improves the capabilities of the system itself through action.

The article concludes:

Israel isn’t the only country getting involved in the new technological advances. The United States, Britain, Russia and China have all been developing artificial intelligence technologies designed for autonomous warfare. Concerns around the world here are that there is a vast potential for a new arms race. But that idea has been a reality in motion since the dawn of the potential for the technology was created. Whether you like it or not, that is the truth of the matter. This is only the beginning of what the future of modern warfare is going to look like. And whoever has the best technology will be the most secure. The idea of peace through strength comes to mind here. And the United States and its allies should be investing heavily on creating the best possible technology to protect our freedoms and to help stand for our way of life.

In a recent interview, retired U.S. Navy officer and author Jocko Willink said while talking to artificial intelligence podcaster Lex Fridman that he approved of the new technology despite some human concern around the world. Jocko said, “… if they could make a machine that could do more surgical attacks on enemy individuals, would I be for it? Yes, I would be for it”.

If you are interested in hearing the full interview, check out the new podcast. It is one of the best talks on autonomous war technology, leadership and human nature of recent times.

Although I am glad to see Israel gaining more ways to defend itself, I don’t think this is good news.

Walls And Fences Work

It’s amazing no one shouted this earlier, but an article at a website called ‘check your fact‘ posted in October of 2018 has some very interesting information about the success of border walls and fences. The article deals with a barrier put up at the border of Hungary.

The article reports:

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk claimed on Twitter that illegal immigration in Hungary decreased by 99 percent after the country built a border wall.

“Hungary built a wall and illegal immigration collapsed by 99%” he said Oct. 22.

Verdict: True 

The article includes the following graph:

The article then goes on to note that there were some policy changes in immigration that also could have also impacted the above numbers.

The article notes:

From 2015 to 2017, however, there was also a 98 percent drop in crossings through the Western Balkan route that leads to Hungary, according to Frontex, the European Union’s (EU) border control agency. It’s therefore difficult to assess how much the drop in illegal border crossings can be attributed to increased border security versus the drop in overall migration levels, as both played a role.

The EU and Turkey reached an agreement in March 2016 where migrants who had traveled from Turkey to Greece would be sent back. Around the same time, Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia closed off their borders, largely stemming the flow of migrants heading north.

Sending people back also limits illegal immigration.

The article includes the following graph:

The point I am attempting to make in this article is simple–we have known for years what works in terms of securing national borders. President Trump implemented many of the policies that have been proven to be successful. It is unfortunate that the Biden administration has made a conscious decision to leave our southern border unsecured. Either it is a conscious decision or they are really ignorant.

 

The Insanity Continues

Legal Insurrection posted an article today a new school curriculum in Ontario, Canada.

The article reports:

A new curriculum in Ontario, Canada is seeking to ‘decolonialize’ math and will teach that the subject is subjective. This is just the latest example of the left’s attempt to inject social justice into a subject that should never be politicized.

It’s not only crazy, it’s completely unfair to the students.

The Toronto Sun reports:

Ontario’s new Grade 9 curriculum preaches ‘subjective’ nature of mathematics

It’s apparently about more than just the numbers.

Changes to Ontario’s math curriculum announced last year by Education Minister Stephen Lecce will include a ‘subjective’ and ‘decolonial’ approach to mathematics, according to documents posted on the ministry’s website.

…Math, it continues, has been “used to normalize racism and marginalization of non-Eurocentric mathematical knowledges,” and explains that taking a “decolonial” and “anti-racist approach” to teaching math will outline its “historical roots and social constructions” to students.

“The Ontario Grade 9 mathematics curriculum emphasizes the need to recognize and challenge systems of power and privilege, both inside and outside the classroom, in order to eliminate systemic barriers and to serve students belonging to groups that have been historically disadvantaged and underserved in mathematics education,” the brief continues.

Are you willing to drive over a bridge built by people who believe that mathematics is subjective?

Science Fiction Is Coming True

We have all watched various rockets take off with astronauts, and we have all watched those astronauts returned to earth, but most of what we watched was paid for by the American taxpayer. We are entering a new era of space exploration where successful businessmen can venture into space.

NewsMax reported the following today:

British billionaire Richard Branson on Sunday soared more than 50 miles above the New Mexico desert aboard his Virgin Galactic rocket plane and safely returned in the vehicle’s first fully crewed test flight to space, a symbolic milestone for a venture he started 17 years ago.

Branson, one of six Virgin Galactic Holding Inc employees strapped in for the ride, has touted the mission as a precursor to a new era of space tourism, with the company he founded in 2004 poised to begin commercial operations next year.

The success of the flight also gave the flamboyant entrepreneur bragging rights in a highly publicized rivalry with fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos, the Amazon online retail mogul who had hoped to fly into space first aboard his own space company’s rocket.

Sunday’s launch of the VSS Unity passenger rocket plane marked the company’s 22nd test flight of its SpaceShipTwo system, and its fourth crewed mission beyond Earth’s atmosphere. It was also the first to carry a full complement of space travelers – two pilots and four “mission specialists,” Branson among them.

The article continues:

Virgin has said it plans at least two further test flights of the spaceplane in the months ahead before beginning regular commercial operation in 2022.

This is no discount travel service. But demand is apparently strong, with several hundred wealthy would-be citizen astronauts already having booked reservations, priced at around $250,000 per ticket.

The Swiss-based investment bank UBS has estimated the potential value of the space tourism market reaching $3 billion annually by 2030.

Proving rocket travel safe for the public is key, given the inherent dangers of spaceflight.

The article concludes with a bit of a food-fight over the accomplishment:

Blue Origin has disparaged Virgin Galactic as falling short of a true spaceflight experience, saying that unlike Unity, Bezos’s New Shepard tops the 62-mile-high-mark (100 km), called the Kármán line, set by an international aeronautics body as defining the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space.

“New Shepard was designed to fly above the Kármán line so none of our astronauts have an asterisk next to their name,” Blue Origin said in a series of Twitter posts on Friday.

However, U.S. space agency NASA and the U.S. Air Force both define an astronaut as anyone who has flown higher than 50 miles (80 km).

A third player in the space race, Musk’s SpaceX, plans to send its first all-civilian crew (without Musk) into orbit in September, after having already launched numerous cargo payloads and astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA.

Branson’s official role in Sunday’s test flight was to “evaluate the private astronaut experience,” according to Virgin’s press materials.

The spaceplane’s two pilots, Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci, were tasked with controlling the ignition and shutoff of the ship’s rocket, activating the vehicle’s “feathered” tail maneuver for re-entry and steering the ship back to Earth.

The three other mission specialists were Beth Moses, the company’s chief astronaut instructor; Virgin Galactic’s lead operations engineer Colin Bennett; and Sirisha Bandla, a research operations and government affairs vice president.

At any rate, private space flight is a step forward. This is amazing.

Leadership Matters

The New York Sun posted an article today by Larry Kudlow about the contrast between California and Florida.

The article reports:

Call it the Tale of Two States — the best of times and the worst of times. Apologies to Charles Dickens, but there’s no better way to glimpse the fight for the soul of our great country than to compare the ultra-blue state of California with the ultra-red state of Florida. They are completely different cultures and policies.

You could also think of it as Donald Trump versus Kamala Harris — or maybe we should think of it as Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi versus Donald Trump. I don’t mean to shortchange, or disrespect, President Biden by choosing his veep, but I see his political future as late afternoon or well into the evening.

Or you could think of it as a presidential race between Florida’s governor, Ron Desantis, and California’s governor, Gavin Newsom. The current California governor and former San Francisco mayor first has to survive a gubernatorial recall.

Kudos to New York Post columnist Kyle Smith who laid out the battle between California and Florida in a compelling way.

“Those differences,” Kyle writes, “are growing into a chasm of philosophical and practical contrasts between two basic models for the American future. Call them the California way and the Florida way.”

Kyle highlights the extraordinary differences and contrasts between the two states: California public schools teach critical race theory, Florida does not; California hates fossil fuels and worships at the shrine of global warming, with sky-high gas prices. Florida does not; California had some of the harshest Covid lockdown measures, while Florida was among one of the first states to reopen, way back in May of 2020.

It should be noted that Florida has one of the highest percentages of elderly in the nation. The elderly were the people most vulnerable to the coronavirus. As of July 11th, there were 2,406,727 coronavirus cases in Florida, 38,157 deaths, and 2,240,417 people who recovered. In contrast, California had 3,724,833 cases and 63,376 deaths. In Florida 20.1 percent of the population is over 65 years of age. In California 14 percent of the population is over 65 years of age (According to Consumer Affairs). Obviously, Florida did a better job of handling the coronavirus.

The article also notes:

California’s economy has an unemployment rate of 7.9%, Florida is below 5%. California has a 13.3% top income tax rate, while Florida does not have an income tax. California has only 12% of America’s population and a quarter of America’s homeless.

That includes sanctioned encampments that are tax-payer funded. Los Angeles spends $2,700 a tent — a month. California pays homeless people to put up the tents and provide other services. So it’s kind of a cottage industry there. California has the second highest income tax rate in the country, bowing only to New York

The article concludes:

Florida is an example of how legal immigration can be successfully assimilated into community and business life. California is an example of the failure of woke ideology implemented by massively big government and state central planning. Florida is an example of traditional values supported by frugal government and free enterprise.

Miami is the cultural business and financial center of Latin America and South America. It’s not far-fetched to imagine that Miami and South Florida will replace New York as the financial center of the country. Not only does Florida love traditional values, but Florida loves business — and the people businesses employ.

In everything it does, California now opposes traditional values. With massive over-regulation and tax burdens on businesses, it is likely to lose its tech supremacy. Joe Biden wants to take California nationwide. But Florida works. California does not.

Leadership matters.

 

 

 

Why Economics Needs To Be Taught In School

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article about some comments recently made on mainstream media about inflation. The comments indicated that economics is not universally taught in our colleges.

The article notes:

Did CNBC get its understanding of economics from the back of a cereal box? The outlet is arguing that the silver lining to skyrocketing inflation is — “rising wages.”

The liberal outlet noted how “[a]s the economy picks up in the wake of the Covid pandemic, concerns about inflation are also gaining steam.” After conceding that prices of goods are rising, CNBC took a nosedive into ineptitude: “Companies facing a labor shortage are also paying more to get workers to walk in the door.” Did CNBC even consider that rising prices of goods are eating into American pay? Bloomberg News just reported that American pay boosts “are failing to keep pace with surging prices for everyday goods.” CNBC seemed to only figure that out after the story was originally published. Its original headline was “The upside to inflation: rising wages.” The headline has since been changed to alter the entire context of the story: “It’s not certain rising wages will be enough to outpace inflation.”

Rising wages are a good thing when they are part of a strong economy.

On November 2, 2020, The Federalist reported:

Many on the left refuse to admit President Trump’s populist policies have provided massive benefits to working-class Americans. Matthew Yglesias argued at Vox that Trump’s refusal to endorse a federal $15 per hour minimum wage proves Trump has abandoned populist ideals. Progressives claim the Trump economy helps billionaires, not workers, and snidely dismiss his outreach to minorities.

Yet, during the first three years of the Trump presidency, wage growth was off the charts, especially for low-income workers and African Americans. The third-quarter economic data released Thursday confirm once again that Trump is on the job for U.S. workers.

The Biden campaign has tried to tie COVID-linked economic devastation to Trump’s leadership. The new third-quarter economic data once again shows that’s wrong. The total number of U.S. wage earners increased more than 5 percent in that period, and the third-quarter rebound for African Americans occurred at a 17 percent faster rate than for wage earners as a whole.

During the Trump administration, inflation remained at about 2 percent.

On May 18, 2021, The Post Millennial reported:

It’s not just anecdotal evidence, the Consumer Price Index released last week shows that prices are up across the board by .8 percent for April. That’s after a .3 increase for January, .4 increase for February, and a .6 increase for March. In contrast, the last few months of the Trump administration had increases as well, albeit much lower. October showed a .1 percent increase, while November and December both showed increases of .2 percent.

Newsbusters also notes:

CNBC’s “Key Points” section also contradicted itself by admitting that prices of goods were increasing while lauding how pay was increasing at the same time. Newsflash, CNBC: rising costs of living takes away from the benefit of a pay increase.

    • “Although consumers may be paying more for everyday items, it’s not all bad news.”
    • “As inflation takes hold, wages may increase, too.”

CNBC must have realized this contradiction and changed its “Key Points” section to reflect new points entirely:

    • “As inflation takes hold, wages may increase, too.”
    • “The question is, will it be enough to outpace the rise in prices.”

CNBC couldn’t stop contradicting its points. It even warned that economists were saying rapid increase in wages could in fact cause inflation, further undercutting the entire story:

And still, some economists fear a too-rapid increase in wages could prompt companies to raise prices and create the very phenomenon of inflation, causing more harm than good.

No kidding. Elections have consequences, but at least President Biden doesn’t do mean tweets.

When Parents Had A Chance To See What Their Children Were Learning

The past school year was a challenge in many ways. Many school districts were closed to in-classroom learning totally or had a mixture of on-line and in-classroom learning. Parents had to make arrangements to work and teach their children at the same time. It was challenging. However, there was one benefit–many parents got a good look at what their children were learning. Many parents didn’t like what they saw.

Don Surber posted an article on his blog yesterday about the consequences of the educational events of last year.

The article reports:

The Epoch Times reported, “Homeschool Applications Double In California.”

The story said, “The number of home school applications submitted to the California Department of Education soared during the 2020-2021 school year, state data indicates.

“There were 34,715 private school affidavits (PSAs) for five children or less submitted during the most recent curricular year. In California, homeschools are recognized as private schools, and homeschooling families are required to submit an affidavit to the DOE annually.

…The numbers are minuscule in a state of 40 million or so people.

However, the rest of the nation is in rebellion against public schools.

The story said, “Between spring and fall of 2020, the percentage of homeschoolers nationwide more than doubled, jumping from 5.4% to 11.1% in less than four months.”

The parents of 1 in 9 students believe public schools are so terrible that they would rather keep the kids home and teach them themselves.

The article notes a statistic that must be chilling to Democrats and Teachers’ Unions:

“In African American households, the proportion of homeschooling quintupled from 3.3% in spring 2020, to 16.1% in fall 2020.

“In Hispanic households, the number of homeschooling households doubled in the same time, from 6.2% to 12.1%.”

You can be darned sure parents aren’t teaching their kids CRT. Why, some may even be reading The Bible.

The article concludes:

PBS reported, “If schools fail to secure the trust of parents, advocates and educators worry that the public education system could see a falloff in enrollment, particularly among families of color. Some advocates also fear that schools faced with a larger proportion of students who are struggling or frequently absent will respond with overly punitive approaches, worsening racial inequality.”

Translation: Black parents must sacrifice their children for the sake of the community, comrade.

The covid push to homeschool is interesting. Black families are more likely to homeschool now than Hispanic families who are more likely than whites who are more likely than Asians.

That is the reverse of academic performance.

My guess is black schools are losing their best students. My guess is that those students will perform better. And my third guess is they won’t be liberal.

When I posted this article on Facebook, I got some very negative comments about children who were home schooled. I found that interesting since the children I know that are a product of home schooling have done very well–one is a Marine Corps veteran, one has a photography business, one is a successful computer programmer, one has a landscaping business, one has a power-washing business, one is a successful model, one owns a restaurant, and others have done equally well. Many of them continued their education in college and were successful in obtaining four-year degrees. I also find it interesting that many of the home-schooled children I know have started their own businesses.

 

Ethics?

ABC News is reporting today that all sales of Hunter Biden’s artwork will be handled through an art gallery that will set prices independently and keep the identities of buyers confidential, including from the president and administration officials. Yeah, right.

The article reports:

White House officials were involved in creating the arrangement, according to the source, as a way to avoid any suggestion of preferential treatment or conflict of interest.

According to the Washington Post, which first reported the story, Berges has said Hunter Biden’s artwork could be priced anywhere from $75,000 to $500,000.

But ethics experts are raising concerns about the agreement.

“This arrangement is problematic. The best disinfectant, in this case, would have been to have a publicly open process. The public could see who the purchasers are, and then it would be incumbent upon the Bidens to bear the burden of saying why it isn’t a conflict,” said Meredith McGehee, executive director of Issue One, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing the influence of money in politics.

“The White House went the absolute opposite way they should have gone. The only people, in the end, who won’t know who the buyers are is the public. By going the shadow direction, this raises more questions than answers,” she said.

Based on the past history of Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family, could we have expected anything less? This is almost as good as the finances of the Clinton Foundation. I am sure that it was simply an incredible coincidence that when Hillary Clinton no longer had power and influence in Washington, the donations to the Clinton Foundation dried up. Likewise, I suspect that the demand for Hunter Biden’s artwork will shrink drastically when Joe Biden is no longer President.

Big Brother Is Watching

On Thursday, The Washington Examiner posted an article about a recent statement by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

The article reports:

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra argued that the federal government is entitled to know who in the United States has been vaccinated, responding to anger from GOP House members who say the Biden administration is infringing on personal liberty.

“Perhaps we should point out that the federal government has had to spend trillions of dollars to try to keep Americans alive during this pandemic, so it is absolutely the government’s business. It is taxpayers’ business if we have to continue to spend money to try to keep people from contracting COVID and helping reopen the economy,” Becerra said on CNN Thursday.

Unfortunately, there is a clause in the HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) law that allows the government to collect this information.

According to the CDC:

The Privacy Rule allows for the existing practice of sharing PHI with public health authorities that are authorized by law to collect or receive such information to aid them in their mission of protecting the health of the public.

So essentially all the government has to do is say that it is necessary for them to have your personal information regarding the Covid-19 vaccine in order to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic.

The article concludes:

Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs tweeted Wednesday, “In 2021, the nine most terrifying words in the English language: ‘I’m from the government, have you been vaccinated yet?’” Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert, meanwhile, tweeted Tuesday, “Door to door to vaccinate Americans this year… door to door to confiscate guns next year?”

To date, more than 67% of U.S. adults have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Roughly 58% of adults have been fully vaccinated.

And how many Americans have natural immunity because they have had the disease? When I had my antibodies checked seven months after having Covid-19, I still had antibodies. Why would I want to get the shot to do the same thing?

Can My Pencil Be Held Responsible For Failing A Math Test?

On Wednesday, The Western Journal reported that New York Governor Cuomo has signed into law a measure that allows guns to be considered a public nuisance and opens the floodgates for lawsuits against gun manufacturers. Holding gun manufacturers responsible for gun violence makes about as much sense as holding car manufacturers responsible for drunk driving.

The article reports:

“The only industry in the United States of America immune from lawsuits are the gun manufacturers, but we will not stand for that any longer, Cuomo said in a news release.

According to NBC News, the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 carved out immunity for gun manufacturers if individuals misuse their products in a criminal manner.

Governor Cuomo issued a press release about the bill:

…“Under this new legislation, gun manufacturers cannot endanger the safety and health of the public through the sale, manufacturing, importing or marketing of the products they sell. The products can be considered a public nuisance even if the gun manufacturer did not purposely cause harm to the public,” the release said.

The release explained that anyone, from members of the public to corporations to the state attorney general, can now fire away at “bad actor gun manufacturers.”

Cuomo’s release said federal protection of the firearms sector “has created a perfect storm of lax controls and inability to hold bad actors to account.”

This is beyond ridiculous. The problem is not the guns–the problem is criminals. Suing every gun manufacturer you can think of won’t do any good as long as your no-bail laws keep letting criminals out of jail to commit more crimes.

Some Good News

NewsMax is reporting today that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reversed its position on granting tax-exempt status to a group called “Christians Engaged.”

The article reports:

The action came after numerous Republican lawmakers rebuked the agency for overt political bias last month after it had first denied the status to Christians Engaged.

“The IRS has granted tax exempt status to Christians Engaged, a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers Christians to pray for our nation and elected officials, vote, and be civically engaged,” the conservative legal group First Liberty Institute announced in a statement.

“The reversal comes after a national backlash against the IRS’s initial rejection of Christians Engaged’s nonprofit status because, the IRS claimed, “[B]ible teachings are typically affiliated with the [Republican] party and candidates.”

Lea Patterson, counsel for the First Liberty Institute, applauded the move.

“This is truly great news for our client, as well as religious organizations and churches across America. We are grateful the IRS changed course to bring its decision into line with the Constitution and its own regulations,” she said.

Christians Engaged had appealed the IRS’ initial ruling with help from the First Liberty Institute.

When the IRS denied the tax-exempt status, they claimed that because the group followed Biblical teachings, it was too closely aligned with the Republican party. It is not the fault of any religious group that the Democrat platform does not align with Biblical teachings! The Bible is apolitical–it is God’s guide to a better life. The fact that the principles in the Bible work and may align more closely with one particular political party is totally irrelevant!

When Our Justice System Is Unjust

The Epoch Times posted an article today about the treatment of some of the people who entered the Capitol Building on January 6th.

The article reports:

A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld the pretrial detention of a Capitol breach suspect largely on the basis of his past history of “violent language” though he did not commit acts of violence, potentially making it harder for other defendants accused in connection with the Jan. 6 incident to secure release ahead of their trials.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C Circuit on July 7 upheld a lower court ruling ordering the pretrial detention of Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, who faces both felony and misdemeanor charges in connection with the Jan. 6 incident, including for allegedly entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct, though he is not accused of committing violent acts.

In an opinion (pdf), Judge Robert Wilkins said that the appeals court concluded that the non-violent nature of Hale-Cusanelli’s alleged offenses weighed “just slightly” in favor of release, as did his lack of criminal history, but that this was outweighed by factors including “overwhelming” evidence against him in the case, as well as a “well-documented history of racist and violent language” and that he “has been generally engaged in hateful conduct, if not necessarily violent conduct.”

Note that the Judge considers ‘hateful conduct’ a reason to deny the pretrial release request. The man has no criminal history and was not accused of committing violence. He is essentially being held for ‘thought crimes.’ Contrast this with the dismissal of the cases against most of the people who were burning down major American cities last summer. Something is very wrong here.

The article concludes:

It is unclear how the district court’s new ruling might affect other Capitol breach defendants, with several dozen remaining in pretrial custody of the more than 535 arrested and charged in connection with the incident.

It comes as former President Donald Trump on Wednesday spoke at a press conference at his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey, criticizing how Capitol breach defendants were being treated.

“People are being treated unbelievably unfairly,” Trump said. “When you look at people in prison and nothing happens to Antifa and they burned down cities and killed people,” he said, referring to last summer’s unrest in the wake of the police-custody death of George Floyd.

“There were no guns at the Capitol,” Trump said, “except for the gun that shot Ashli Babbitt,” referring to the military veteran shot and killed by a Capitol police officer during the Jan. 6 incident.

At the same time, two high-profile conservative legal activists are claiming the Department of Justice (DOJ) is using a double standard in its treatment of Capitol breach suspects, compared to those who were arrested during last summer’s riots.

When You Are Over The Target, The Flak Increases

Just the News is reporting today that a Washington, D.C., court has suspended the law license of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The article reports:

A District of Columbia court has suspended the law license of former New York City Mayor and President Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, following a similar move by a New York court.

The suspension was announced Wednesday by the D.C. Court of Appeals, which cited the two-page decision last month by the New York court. 

“On consideration of a certified copy of an order of the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Judicial Department, suspending respondent from the practice of law pending further disciplinary proceedings in that state, it is ORDERED pursuant to D.C. Bar Rule XI, 11(d), that the respondent is suspended from the practice of law in the District of Columbia pending final disposition of this proceeding, effective on the date of entry of this order,” the court order reads.

The suspension (of course) is due to statements Mayor Giuliani made following the 2020 presidential election. The Mayor claimed that there had been widespread fraud that needed to be investigated.

The article also notes:

Giuliani’s New York residence and office were raided in the effort to gather evidence. His lawyers called the New York court decision “unprecedented” and said they believed their client will eventually be reinstated.

If what Mayor Giuliani said was false, why was it necessary to raid his residence and his office? If there was no real evidence as was claimed, what were they looking for?