Aggravating The Supply Chain Problem

On Saturday, The Blaze posted an article about a California law that would seriously impact the ability of independent truckers to work in the state.

The article reports:

A California law threatens to unleash more supply chain misery and inflation on residents of the Golden State by forcing independent truckers out of the workforce.

California Assembly Bill 5 was introduced by former state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a Democrat, and signed into law in September 2019 by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

AB5 called for “a person providing labor or services for remuneration shall be considered an employee rather than an independent contractor unless the hiring entity demonstrates that the person is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, the person performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business, and the person is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business.”

Certain professions were exempt from AB5, including insurance agents, health care professionals, investment advisers, realtors, barbers, and fishermen. However, truckers were not exempt from AB5.

It is interesting that companies like Uber, Lyft, and Postmates were exempted from AB5 after Proposition 22 was passed in November 2020. Unfortunately truck drivers were not exempted.

The article notes:

The trucking industry has been fighting the law ever since it went into effect, and secured an injunction that prevented AB5 from including independent truckers in January 2020.

The Epoch Times notes:

“It’s unclear at this point how it will affect owner-operators that don’t live in the state of California,” Bradley told The Epoch Times.

“We are evaluating and looking at it closely, but putting 70,000 people out of work is not the thing to do when we have raging inflation and supply chain issues

The article concludes:

Lorena Gonzalez – who authored AB5 and resigned from the state assembly in January – had no sympathy for the truckers.

“They’ve known for the last two and a half years that it was equally possible that this injunction would not hold,” Gonzalez said. “This is not a shock.”

“The fact that trucking companies will have to abide by basic labor laws in CA takes us one step closer to rebuilding the middle class that was almost deregulated out of existence,” tweeted Gonzalez – who now heads the California Labor Federation.

On Wednesday, California Republican lawmakers implored Democratic Gov. Newsom to either delay the implementation of the law or exempt truckers from AB5.

Laws such as this may be one of many reasons people are leaving California and moving to states where they are free to start their own business and work for themselves.

 

Who Is Responsible For The Price Of Gas?

On Friday, The Blaze posted an article about the high price of gasoline at at the pump. Recently, Democrats have accused oil companies of profiteering–making excessive profits on the backs of American consumers. Well, that charge does not hold water.

The Blaze reports:

Economists at the Federal Reserve of Dallas published analysis this week debunking a popular claim that Democrats make against oil companies.

…Next week, the House is even voting on legislation promoted by Democrats to combat the oil industry’s alleged exploitation of consumers.

The article lists the real cause of the problem:

Garrett Golding and Lutz Kilian, senior economic analysts at the Federal Reserve of Dallas, explained that profiteering and price gouging are not contributing to the staggering price of gas.

Two facts in particular disprove this myth. Golding and Kilian explained:

  • Gas station operators set prices: “Gas station operators set retail prices based on their expected acquisition cost for the next delivery of fuel from the local distributor, federal and state tax rates, and a markup that covers operating expenses, such as rent, delivery charges and credit card fees.”
  • Nearly every gas station is owned by a company that does not produce oil: “Since only 1 percent of service stations in the U.S. are owned by companies that also produce oil, U.S. oil producers are in no position to control retail gasoline prices.”

The article explains the rise and fall of gasoline prices:

The economists also addressed asymmetric nature of gas price changes.

[T]he asymmetry of the response of retail gasoline prices need not be evidence of price gouging. One potential explanation is that station operators are recapturing margins lost during the upswing, when gas stations were initially slow to increase pump prices. The reluctance to lower retail prices also likely reflects concerns that oil prices—and, hence, wholesale gasoline prices—may quickly rebound, eating into station profit margins.

Another possible reason for this asymmetry is consumers’ tendency to more intensively search for lower pump prices as gasoline prices rise than when they decline. This diminished search effort provides further pricing power to gas stations, causing prices to fall more slowly than they rose. This has prompted researchers to liken the response of gasoline prices to higher oil prices to a rocket—and the response to lower oil prices to a feather.

It is not noted in the article, but making America energy independent once again might be a big step in the right direction to bring gasoline prices down.

Is This Even Legal?

Yesterday Trending Politics reported that the U.S. government paid media outlets to convince Americans to be pro-vaccine. I suppose this is no different than other public health campaigns, but the fact that this campaign was being waged while any information on negative effects of vaccines was being censored seems a little unfair. Why was the government pushing a vaccine that had not been in existence long enough to go through a rigorous testing protocol?

The article notes:

The government documents describing the media relations program were reported by The Blaze in an “exclusive.”

“In response to a FOIA request filed by TheBlaze, HHS revealed that it purchased advertising from major news networks including ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as cable TV news stations Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, legacy media publications including the New York Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post, digital media companies like BuzzFeed News and Newsmax, and hundreds of local newspapers and TV stations,” The Blaze’s story notes. “These outlets were collectively responsible for publishing countless articles and video segments regarding the vaccine that were nearly uniformly positive about the vaccine in terms of both its efficacy and safety.”

“Hundreds of news organizations were paid by the federal government to advertise for the vaccines as part of a ‘comprehensive media campaign,’” according to documents TheBlaze obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services. “The Biden administration purchased ads on TV, radio, in print, and on social media to build vaccine confidence, timing this effort with the increasing availability of the vaccines. The government also relied on earned media featuring “influencers” from ‘communities hit hard by COVID-19’ and ‘experts’ like White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and other academics to be interviewed and promote vaccination in the news.”

When you know that our media can be bought, does it change your opinion about what to believe?

Things That Just Don’t Add Up

In an article posted Monday, WND reported:

The head of a $100 billion insurance company says all-cause deaths have spiked an astonishing 40% among people ages 18-64 compared to pre-pandemic levels.

It’s an unprecedented rate that is four times higher than a once-in-200-year catastrophe, said Scott Davison, CEO of Indianapolis-based OneAmerica, during an online news conference last Thursday reported by the news site Center Square.

…Meanwhile, the daily number of deaths from COVID-19, according to the state dashboard, is less than half of what it was a year ago.

…However, Dr. Robert Malone, who has three decades of experience at the highest levels of vaccine development, said in an interview Monday morning that the insurance CEO’s statistics point to vaccine injuries.

Davison, Malone told Steve Bannon on “War Room,” is talking about a working population of people “who are likely to be highly jabbed because they’ve been under employer mandates.”

“And what you need to do is compare that event rate that he is reporting to the event rate of death and COVID-related death in the general population,” Malone said.

Malone noted that the reported COVID death rate in Indiana was lower than the death rate for people with employee-based insurance.

“This suggests that these people that are under the insurance mandate, are highly jabbed, have an enormously increased mortality rate compared to the general population,” Malone said.

He cautioned that a causative relationship can only be inferred, but “there is no question that the federal policies are an abject failure.”

On Monday, Daniel Horowitz at The Blaze reported the following:

1) 96% of all Omicron cases in Germany among vaccinated

2) Omicron among vaccinated outpacing unvaccinated by 28% in Ontario

3) In Denmark, 89.7% of all Omicron cases were among fully vaccinated

4) Just 25% of the Omicron hospitalizations in the U.K. are unvaccinated

5) 33 of 34 hospitalizations in Delhi hospital were vaccinated

6) Vaccinated exponentially more likely to get re-infected with COVID

Please follow the link above to read the details. Either scientists know a whole lot more about the coronavirus than they are telling us, or they have no idea how the coronavirus works. Either way, I wouldn’t recommend rushing out to get your vaccine or booster real soon.

Global Warming Did Not Cause The Tornadoes

Before I write this article, I would like to ask anyone who feels as if they would like to help the victims of the awful tornadoes that ripped through our country this weekend to consider donating to either Samaritan’s Purse or Operation Blessing. Both of those organizations have very low administrative costs and will stay on the scene as long as necessary. When hurricane Florence hit New Bern, both organizations were staged outside the range of the hurricane in preparation, arrived on the scene almost immediately, and stayed long after other organizations had left. I strongly recommend both of them.

On Monday, The Blaze posted an article about the tornadoes. The article features the research of Meteorologist Joe Bastardi. One of the things that I truly appreciate about Mr. Bastardi is that he views weather in the context of cycles. Because of that, his long-range weather predictions tend to be much more accurate than most of what you see on television.

The article reports:

When a reporter asked Biden on Saturday whether climate change contributed to the deadly tornadoes, Biden pointed to climate change allegedly increasing the intensity of storms.

“All I know is that the intensity of the weather across the board has some impacts as a consequence of the warming of the planet and climate change,” Biden said. “The specific impact on these specific storms, I can’t say at this point.”

“I’m going to be asking the EPA and others to take a look at that,” Biden continued. “But the fact is that we all know everything is more intense when the climate is warming. Everything. And obviously, it has some impact here, but I can’t give you a quantitative read on that.”

The reason he can’t give us a quantitative read is that what he is saying is simply not true.

The article continues:

How did Bastardi respond?

The famed meteorologist accused Biden of weaponizing tornados and shared data showing that severe weather this year has not been as severe compared to previous years.

“Clueless Joe Biden In action again with his weaponization of Tornados. 1) Violent tornadoes not increasing. 2) this year tornados, hail and wind all together near-record low,” Bastardi said. “Mindless media should do their dang job and call him on it, I called Trump out on Dorian jibberish.”

The data Bastardi included, coming from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, directly contradicts claims from Biden and Criswell that severe weather is more intense because of climate change.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. Mr. Bastardi includes graphs and further information to make his point.

The article notes:

Climate change hawks love to exploit isolated weather events to promote a certain narrative about the climate. However, climate, by its very definition, describes observable patterns of weather over long periods of time — not isolated events.

Thus, if climate change were truly driving more intense weather, such a phenomenon would be observable over a substantial period of time. But as Colorado University professor Roger Pielke Jr. pointed out on Sunday, the U.S. government’s own data shows that tornados, for example, are becoming less common in the U.S.

“According to data from the U.S. National Weather Service from 2000 to 2020 only four of the strongest category of tornadoes were observed (which are labelled as F/EF5 tornadoes) In comparison, from 1954 to 1974 36 (!) such powerful tornadoes were observed,” Pielke explained. “Our research on tornado damage in the United States over many decades shows a decline that is suggestive of an actual decline in tornado incidence.”

Pielke also highlighted an important point to consider when politicians and those with an agenda begin blaming climate change for weather disasters.

Fear paves the way for more government control. If we have learned nothing else in the past two years, we should have learned that.

When The Numbers Do Not Align With The Words

On Sunday, The Blaze posted an article about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. At the time the tax cut was passed, Democrats loudly professed that the bill was only ‘tax cuts for the rich.’ The article illustrates the fallacy of that claim by reporting actual numbers. You can follow the link above to the article to read some of the ridiculous claims made by Democrat leaders.

After detailing some of the claims made by leading Democrats, the article reports:

However, new analysis shows the Republicans’ 2017 tax cuts benefited middle-income and working-class Americans the most. The Heartland Institute — a free-market think tank — analyzed data from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The analysis declared that assertions made by Democrats about the GOP’s tax cut law were incorrect.

The Heartland Institute examined IRS data from 2017 to 2018, the first year the tax cuts went into effect.

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced average effective income tax rates for filers in every one of the IRS’s income brackets, with the largest benefits going to lower- and middle-income households,” the report stated.

“For example, after accounting for all tax deductions and credits, filers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $40,000 to $50,000 received an average tax cut of 18.2 percent,” the Heartland Institute said.

“The IRS data further show that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act appeared to have a strong upward effect on economic mobility,” the report noted. “The number of filers with an adjusted gross income of $1 to $25,000 decreased by more than 2 million in just one year, while the number of households reporting incomes higher than $25,000 increased in every income bracket.”

The article concludes:

The Heartland Institute concluded, “The available evidence is clear: Based on tax data from 2017 and 2018, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced taxes for the vast majority of filers, led to substantial improvements in upward economic mobility, and disproportionately benefited working- and middle-class households, many of which experienced tax cuts topping 18 percent to 20 percent.”

Contrast the above with one of the provisions in The Build Back Better Bill. That bill will raise the SALT (state and local tax) deduction to $80,000. That means that you can deduct up to $80,000 in state and local taxes from your federal income tax. The tax plan instituted under President Trump limited that deduction to $10,000. Do you honestly know any middle class Americans who pay $80,000 in state and local taxes? Raising the SALT tax limit to $80,000 is indeed a tax cut for the rich.

When The Surveillance State Comes For Ordinary People

On Thursday, The Blaze reported that parents in the Scottsdale Unified School District have discovered that a school board member was collecting information on those parents who opposed the teaching of critical race theory. (If the schools are not teaching critical race theory as many on the political left are claiming, why are they compiling information on those who oppose it?)

The article reports:

The dossier was compiled on Google Drive and contained a list of parents who objected to teachings about CRT; it included photographs of both the parents and their children.

Parents who had been calling for the recall of Governing Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg are now demanding he resign over the secret dossier, to which he had access.

“I am calling for the immediate resignation of our board president Jann-Michael Greenburg,” said Amy Carney, a mother of six, who is now running for a seat on the Scottsdale Governing Board.

“We cannot allow anyone in a leadership position to secretly compile personal documents and information on moms and dads who have dared speak out publicly or on social media about their grievances with the district,” she added.

The existence of the files was accidentally discovered by a parent:

The dossier was discovered when Greenburg sent a screenshot of his desktop to a parent that displayed the address of the link to the Google Drive.

Amanda Wray told KTVK-TV that she saw photographs of her children on the dossier and was horrified.

“When I first saw the contents of the Google Drive and I saw my 8- and 10-year-old’s photos, that was terrifying. And like, what’s he doing?” said Wray.

“But he has pictures of my vacation home, property records,” she added. “I’m not a political opponent, I’m an involved parent and that is threatening to me and it makes me wonder why and what he was planning to do with those photos.”

The district said in the letter that Greenburg could only be removed if he was recalled, if he resigned, or if he was voted out in the next election.

Attorney Alexander Kolodin told the Arizona Free News that Greenburg and his father could face criminal charges related to intimidation.

This is not appropriate in America. Unfortunately there are those who believe that any political opposition to the political left’s agenda needs to be countered in any and every way possible. There needs to be room for dissenting opinions in America. The school committee member keeping the dossiers needs to be punished severely for his activities.

 

The Real Numbers On The Vaccines

Yesterday The Blaze posted an article with the following title, “Horowitz: The data is in, and we are now worse off than before the experimental shots.”

The article reports:

In October 2018, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health published a report that, if one didn’t know better, might make readers think the authors were involved in the gain-of-function research that likely created this virus. The report, titled “Technologies to Address Global Catastrophic Biological Risks,” offers novel social control and mRNA vaccination ideas to deal with emerging pandemics “whether naturally emerging or reemerging, deliberately created and released, or laboratory engineered and escaped—that could lead to sudden, extraordinary, widespread disaster beyond the collective capability of national and international organizations and the private sector to control.”

One of the many bone-chilling sections in this publication (pp. 45-47) provides a blueprint for “self-spreading vaccines,” described as vaccines “genetically engineered to move through populations in the same way as communicable diseases, but rather than causing disease, they confer protection.”

…Whether this vaccine actually sheds the spike protein onto other people is still not yet proven (although Pfizer seems to indicate it can spread through skin-to-skin contact in “inhalation“), but the principle of mass vaccination with a faulty vaccine making a virus both more transmissible and more virulent is something that is hard to deny at this point. The reality is that more people have died from COVID-19 in 2021, with most adults vaccinated (and nearly all seniors), than in 2020 when nobody was vaccinated. Something is not adding up, and perhaps those who have been dabbling in gain-of-function research in recent years have the answer.

The article includes the following chart:

I’m not a doctor, and I don’t claim to understand this, but what is will say is that we need more information before the government demands that everyone take the vaccine.

The article concludes:

  • A study prepared by Humetrix for the Department of Defense called “Project Salus” monitored 20 million Medicare beneficiaries from January to Aug. 21 and found that the vaccinated share of the COVID hospitalizations rose steadily with both vaccines after three to four months and sharply after six months (as the Israelis found). By late July, 71% of all cases and 61% of all hospitalizations were among the vaccinated individuals. While over 80% of seniors are vaccinated, the percentage of hospitalized COVID patients over 65 today who are vaccinated is likely a lot closer to their share of the population, given the accelerated waning every week. Also, like any other study, these data include those who have one shot or are within two weeks of the second shot to be “unvaccinated,” even though that is the most vulnerable period to catch the virus.
  • In an email to the Vermont Daily Chronicle, the Vermont Department of Health conceded that 76% of deaths in the state during September were among the vaccinated. They tried to excuse the number by noting that this is a very old population that was nearly universally vaccinated, but this is still a huge failure, for it was these people who needed the protection more than anyone else.
  • A new large study in the New England Journal of Medicine by Weil Cornell Medicine-Qatar found that the Pfizer vaccine waned very quickly after four months. By seven months, when adjusted for those in Qatar who already had prior infection, the Pfizer shot was -4% effective against transmission and just 44.1% effective against severe illness. Also, effectiveness against asymptomatic infection was -33% after seven months, which suggests that it is the vaccinated who have become the superspreaders. By now, many people have been vaccinated nine to ten months ago.

If we are going to lose our freedoms and suspend democracy over a shot made by a greedy private company, can we at least do so for one that works?

Legal Or Ethical?

President Biden has now instituted the vaccine mandates he said he would not put in place. Are vaccine mandates legal or ethical? One Canadian professor of ethics has gone public with her opinion on vaccine mandates after she was fired for not getting the vaccine.

Yesterday The Blaze reported:

An ethics professor in Canada gave what could be her final lesson at the university she has been employed at for the past 20 years. The lesson was regarding vaccine mandates. The professor’s employer has implemented mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations, which she believes is unethical.

Dr. Julie Ponesse is an ethics professor at Ontario’s Huron University College, which is affiliated with Western University. Ponesse, who holds a Ph.D. in ethics, delivered an emotional message about vaccine mandates in a video that has since gone viral.

“Today, I’m going to teach you a short lesson on a universally accepted ethics of coercing people into medical procedures,” Ponesse said into the camera. “I’ll be the example.”

“My employer has just mandated that I must get a vaccine for COVID-19,” the professor said. “If I want to keep working at my job as a professor, I have to take this vaccine.”

“Here’s my conundrum. My school employs me to be an authority on the subject of ethics. I hold a Ph.D. in ethics and ancient philosophy and I’m here to tell you, it’s ethically wrong to coerce someone to take a vaccine,” she said. “If it happens to you, you don’t have to do it. If you don’t want a COVID vaccine, don’t take one. End of discussion. It’s your own business.”

“But that’s not the approach of the University of Western Ontario, which has suddenly required that I be vaccinated immediately, or not report for work,” she continued.

“I am facing imminent dismissal after 20 years on the job,” Ponesse said for not wanting to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The professor explained that she is not an anti-vaxxer, and that she has had “plenty of vaccines in my life.”

Ponesse noted she doesn’t work in a “high-risk environment.”

“I’m a teacher. I’m a university professor. My job is to teach how to think critically; to ask questions that might expose a false argument,” she stated.

Ponesse questioned the effectiveness of the vaccines, “Nobody is promising that I won’t get COVID, or transmit COVID if I get the vaccine.”

“I’m entitled to make choices about what does and what does not enter my body regardless of my reasons,” she said.

“This is my first and potentially my last lesson of the year,” Ponesse said as her voice cracked after getting emotional. “In the spirit of Socrates, who was executed for asking questions, this lesson will consist of only one question.”

The professor asked her students, “When a person has done the same job to the satisfaction of her employer for 20 years, is it right, or is it wrong to suddenly demand that they submit to an unnecessary medical procedure in order to keep their job?”

Please follow the link to read the rest of the article. The real danger in the vaccine mandate is that government power always increases and never increases. Are we going to be like China where couples were forced to abort their second child? Are we going to demand that anyone who does not follow the government mandate du jour be somehow excluded from society? This is a dangerous path.

Actions Have Consequences

The Blaze reported the following today:

The Biden administration is searching for answers on how to handle the current border crisis, which has seen the highest number of illegal immigrants at the U.S. southern border in the last 20 years, according to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and a senior official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. President Joe Biden nullified many of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, but Mexican officials say that the previous administration’s tough stance on illegal immigration helped curb migrants from Central and South America from making the journey north.

Our southern border is in crisis. We are being overwhelmed with unaccompanied children, many of whom will be sold to sex traffickers and other unsavory characters. We simply do not have the facilities to shelter all of the people trying to get into the country. We are not able to test all of the people coming in, and we are releasing some who test positive for the coronavirus into the country. This is a recipe for disaster, and it was totally avoidable.

The article notes:

On his first day in the White House, President Biden stopped all construction on the border wall.

Biden created a task force to reunite children who were separated from their parents during the Trump administration.

Biden signed an executive action that “will direct the State Department, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to review guidelines and policies implemented under Trump to determine whether they are in line with the government’s desire to promote ‘integration and inclusion,'” according to NBC News.

The Biden administration reinstituted the Central American minors program, an Obama-era immigration policy that allowed parents who are lawfully present in the U.S. to request refugee status for their children who are living in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The Trump administration ended the program in 2017.

The Biden administration announced last month that it would phase out Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy.

“Beginning on February 19, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin phase one of a program to restore safe and orderly processing at the southwest border,” the Department of Homeland Security said. “DHS will begin processing people who had been forced to ‘remain in Mexico’ under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Approximately 25,000 individuals in MPP continue to have active cases.” The Trump administration made an agreement with the Mexican government that allowed U.S. border officials to send back more than 70,000 migrants to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols.

Biden’s proposed “groundbreaking” immigration reform plan is expected to provide a pathway to citizenship to the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants residing in the United States.

Unless the Biden administration realizes the mess it has created and begins to change its policy, the situation at the border is only going to get worse. There is currently an order preventing reporters from doing ‘ride alongs’ with the border patrol and a gag order on the border patrol speaking to reporters. Because of the lack of transparency, many Americans are not aware of how miserable the conditions at our southern border are. We need transparency, and we need a change of policy.

Finally A Congresswoman Who Has Read The U.S. Constitution

Yesterday Red State posted an article about Lauren Boebert, the newly elected representative from Colorado’s third district.

The article reports:

As we all know, one of the very first things that Scranton Joe Biden was told to sign on the dotted line with a BIG X next to it on Day One was to reenter the Paris “accord.” What that monstrosity actually is in layman’s terms in the United States Consitution would be called a treaty. This is why Donald Trump had the U.S removed from its clutches, being as the Senate never voted on it. You would think that someone like Joe Biden who took up space in the upper chamber would know the rules on how this works and not reenter an agreement without the Senate’s approval.

Maybe he just simply forgot.

The article quotes The Blaze:

In one of Biden’s first actions in office, he rejoined the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Boebert’s bill would prevent the United States from spending any money on the Paris Agreement until the treaty is ratified by the Senate.

“Joe Biden took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. If he wants to keep it, he must transmit the job-killing Paris Agreement to the U.S. Senate for ratification,” Boebert said in a statement. “Unilaterally entering the Paris Agreement was wrong in 2016 and it’s wrong now. Responsible energy production supports more than 230,000 Colorado jobs. The Paris Agreement puts these jobs at risk and will increase energy costs.”

Reentering the Paris agreement will end America’s energy independence. It will return us to the days when we depended on people who didn’t necessarily like us or have our best interests at heart to supply our energy. It is possible that many of the people supporting the reentry of this agreement are simply too young to remember the gas lines of the 1970’s.

Even if the Paris agreement is not called a treaty, it will have such a profound negative impact on the American economy that our elected officials need to go on record as having supported or opposed it. Elected officials have to be held accountable for the laws that are passed in this country. We have had too many bad laws and regulations passed by unelected bureaucrats that cannot be held accountable by the voters.

This Is Not The America I Know

Yesterday The Blaze reported that Governor Cuomo in New York has limited indoor Thanksgiving gatherings to 10 people. When did any state government acquire the right to tell you how many people you can invite for Thanksgiving in your own house? People are very capable of evaluating the risk and making their own decisions. Remember, this is the same man who sent coronavirus patients into nursing homes. I don’t understand why he has any credibility on any policy dealing with the virus.

The article reports:

Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, the governor announced Wednesday that all indoor gatherings would be limited to 10 people.

These are not just indoor gatherings at facilities open to the public.

According to Gov. Cuomo’s tweeted announcement, the state is focused on limiting indoor gatherings at private homes to 10 people, a significant drop from the 50-person limit that has been in place, the Ithaca Voice reported.

The article concludes:

“These measures are appropriate at this point in time in anticipation of what we see as potential spread,” Cuomo told reporters, WCBS-AM said. “If these measures are not sufficient to slow the spread, we will … turn the valve more, and part of that would be reducing the number of people in indoor dining.”

“It’s tough on bars and restaurants, it’s tough on gyms, it’s tough on everyone. I would say we are within sight of the finish line, the vaccine has been discovered, it has to be perfected, it has to be operationalized, but we see the finish line,” Cuomo added, according to WCBS.

The New York Post said the governor did not indicate how the new order would be enforced, but he did say it would be up to local governments.

“You can make rules, rules are only as good as enforcement, period,” Cuomo said. “I need the local governments to enforce.”

Aren’t laws supposed to have some constitutional basis?

I Am Hoping This Will Never Happen

Yesterday The Blaze posted an article about former Vice-President Joe Biden’s plans for executive orders should he become President.

The article reports:

Former Vice President Joe Biden plans to roll out at least four executive orders should he ultimately be sworn in as president on Jan. 20, undoing the work of President Donald Trump, his campaign said this week.

A spokesperson for the Biden campaign on Monday told Fox News that the former vice president plans to rejoin both the Paris climate agreement and the World Health Organization and also plans to reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — or DACA — and repeal the president’s so-called travel ban on certain Muslim countries.

Biden has also previously vowed to repeal Trump’s tax cuts and reverse the Mexico City Policy, which bans foreign aid from going to nongovernmental organizations that promote or pay for abortions.

“Other abortion-related policies and those weakening the Affordable Care Act will likely be on the chopping block in a Biden-Harris administration as well,” the outlet noted.

All of these policies will not help America move forward. Repealing the tax cuts will slow economic growth, ending the travel ban will make Americans less safe, and rejoining the Paris climate agreement will cripple the American economy while not impacting economic rival China. Just for the record, America has cut its carbon emissions despite not being part of the agreement; China continues to build coal-generated electric plants, increasing its carbon emissions. It is also unfortunate that the Democrats are so beholden to their Planned Parenthood donors that they find it necessary to use taxpayer dollars to fund abortions overseas.

A Biden administration will be a continuation of the anemic growth we experienced in the Obama administration.

The Democrats Will Do Anything To Delay The Nomination Process Of Amy Coney Barrett

Yesterday The Blaze posted an article about some of the actions being taken in Congress to delay the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

The article reports:

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), the ranking member on the House Committee on House Administration has been urging Pelosi to implement “a comprehensive health monitoring system and testing program for our Capitol Hill campus in order to help us do our part to stop the spread of coronavirus.”

But she has so far refused to take action, Scalise (House Minority Whip Steve Scalise) explained on “Fox and Friends.”

“I mean these protocols have been out there and the testing capabilities have been out there for a long time. They were offered to the speaker and she turned it down,” Scalise said. “I think it’s something that should have been in Congress for a few weeks now. But ultimately that’s what the speaker decided to do.”

The article continues:

In a joint statement on Friday, Schumer and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said “this already illegitimate process will become a dangerous one” if Barrett’s confirmation hearings are not temporarily delayed.

“It’s critical that Chairman [Lindsey] Graham put the health of senators, the nominee, and staff first — and ensure a full and fair hearing that is not rushed, not truncated, and not virtual,” Schumer and Feinstein said.

However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Saturday that Barrett’s confirmation hearings will proceed as scheduled.

In a statement, McConnell said he would seek “consent agreement for the Senate to meet in pro forma sessions for the next two weeks.” If Democrats agree, Senate floor activity would be halted until at least Oct. 19.

But, McConnell said, Barrett’s confirmation process would be unaffected by any delay.

It is amazing that many Americans have been working from home for months using electronics for meetings and discussions and Congress is somehow not smart enough to do that.

What Was Said Before It Become Political

On September 10th, The Blaze posted an article about masks. For whatever reason, mask wearing has become political, so the article went back to see what the scientific opinion was before politics entered the picture.

The article reports:

On April 3, already several weeks into the unprecedented lockdown over coronavirus, but before the big media push for universal masking, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued guidance for respiratory protection for workers exposed to people with the virus. It stated clearly what governments had said all along about other forms of airborne contamination, such as smoke inhalation — “Surgical masks and eye protection (e.g., face shields, goggles) were provided as an interim measure to protect against splashes and large droplets (note: surgical masks are not respirators and do not provide protection against aerosol-generating procedures).”

In other words, they knew that because the virions of coronavirus are roughly 100 nanometers, 1/1000 the width of a hair and 1/30 the size of surgical mask filtrations (about 3.0 microns or 3,000 nanometers), surgical masks (not to mention cloth ones) do not help. This would explain why experience has shown that all of the places with universal mask orders in place for months, such as Japan, Hong Kong, Israel, France, Peru, Philippines, Hawaii, California, and Miami, failed to stave off the spread of the infection. Surgical masks could possibly stop large droplets from those coughing with very evident symptoms, but would not stop the flow of aerosolized airborne particles, certainly not from asymptomatic individuals.

Scientific studies do not seem to back up the requirement to wear a mask:

Our own U.S. government has failed to produce new evidence that counters years’ worth of evidence that masks don’t work in stopping respiratory viruses and is still producing evidence to the contrary. In June, HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funded a systemic review of all relevant randomized clinical trials (RCTs) on the effectiveness of mask-wearing in stopping respiratory infections and published the findings in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The conclusion was as clear as it is jarring to the current cult-like devotion to mask-wearing. “Review of RCTs indicates that N95 respirators and surgical masks are probably associated with similar risk for influenza-like illness and laboratory-confirmed viral infections in high- and low-risk settings.” The study noted that only one trial did show “a small decrease in risk” for infection when doctors wore N95s in high-risk settings, but even that evidence was scant.

The study looked at eight trials with 6,510 participants that “evaluated use of surgical masks within households with an influenza or influenza-like illness index case (child or adult). Compared with no masks, surgical masks were not associated with decreased risk for clinical respiratory illness, influenza-like illness, or laboratory-confirmed viral illness in household contacts when masks were worn by household contacts, index cases, or both.” Remember, Dr. Deborah Birx, the Coronavirus Task Force coordinator, is now saying people should wear masks even at home?

It’s time we all asked ourselves, “Why are we wearing masks?”

Sad News From New England

Yesterday The Blaze reported that longtime conservative political operative, civics connoisseur, and radio personality Jay Severin has passed away. I first listened to Jay Severin during the 2000 election recount. He was a voice of common sense, logic, and critical thinking during that time. He periodically pushed the limits of talk radio and at various times was taken off the radio for a few days because of risque remarks. However, he was one of the best news analysts around. After leaving New England talk radio, he hosted a show on The Blaze radio network.

The article reports:

Severin became a giant force in political talk in New England before spending years as a host on TheBlaze Radio Network’s national platform.

“Jay was one of the rare talents that could not only see beyond the headline, but had the empathy to understand how it affected the listener,” Glenn Beck told TheBlaze. “He was a good man, and I’m a better one for having known him.”

Tom Shattuck, podcaster and senior editor of the Lowell Sun, paid tribute to Severin after news broke of his death on Thursday, calling him “the Boston talk titan.”

“This was a guy who liked free speech and was not afraid to push the boundaries,” Shattuck said of Severin, adding, “He made a difference…he was powerful, he was loud, he was poetic in the way he spoke, and he’s going to be missed.”

The article concludes:

Michael Graham, a colleague of Severin’s from WTTK-FM, said of the late host, “What’s fascinating to me is the number of people who say, ‘I became a conservative because of Jay Severin'” surrounded by the liberal environment in Boston. He added, “That’s his legacy—his civics lesson on the air, that nobody can take away from him.”

Jay Severin was famous for saying, “Excelsior!” meaning, “higher” or “upward.” From all of us at TheBlaze, Jay: Excelsior.

We have lost a strong voice for conservatism (although I believe Jay was a libertarian).

News The Mainstream Media Is Likely To Overlook

On Monday, The Blaze posted an article about a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the death rate of the coronavirus.

The article reports:

The CDC just came out with a report that should be earth-shattering to the narrative of the political class, yet it will go into the thick pile of vital data and information about the virus that is not getting out to the public. For the first time, the CDC has attempted to offer a real estimate of the overall death rate for COVID-19, and under its most likely scenario, the number is 0.26%. Officials estimate a 0.4% fatality rate among those who are symptomatic and project a 35% rate of asymptomatic cases among those infected, which drops the overall infection fatality rate (IFR) to just 0.26% — almost exactly where Stanford researchers pegged it a month ago.

The article includes the following chart:

…Plus, ultimately we might find out that the IFR is even lower because numerous studies and hard counts of confined populations have shown a much higher percentage of asymptomatic cases. Simply adjusting for a 50% asymptomatic rate would drop their fatality rate to 0.2% – exactly the rate of fatality Dr. John Ionnidis of Stanford University projected.

More importantly, as I mentioned before, the overall death rate is meaningless because the numbers are so lopsided. Given that at least half of the deaths were in nursing homes, a back-of-the-envelope estimate would show that the infection fatality rate for non-nursing home residents would only be 0.1% or 1 in 1,000. And that includes people of all ages and all health statuses outside of nursing homes. Since nearly all of the deaths are those with comorbidities.

The CDC estimates the death rate from COVID-19 for those under 50 is 1 in 5,000 for those with symptoms, which would be 1 in 6,725 overall, but again, almost all those who die have specific comorbidities or underlying conditions. Those without them are more likely to die in a car accident. And schoolchildren, whose lives, mental health, and education we are destroying, are more likely to get struck by lightning.

The article concludes:

Four infectious disease doctors in Canada estimate that the individual rate of death from COVID-19 for people under 65 years of age is six per million people, or 0.0006 per cent – 1 in 166,666, which is “roughly equivalent to the risk of dying from a motor vehicle accident during the same time period.” These numbers are for Canada, which did have fewer deaths per capita than the U.S.; however, if you take New York City and its surrounding counties out of the equation, the two countries are pretty much the same. Also, remember, so much of the death is associated with the suicidal political decisions of certain states and countries to place COVID-19 patients in nursing homes. An astounding 62 percent of all COVID-19 deaths were in the six states confirmed to have done this, even though they only compose 18 percent of the national population.

We destroyed our entire country and suspended democracy all for a lie, and these people perpetrated the unscientific degree of panic. Will they ever admit the grave consequences of their error?

We have been scammed. It’s time to end the scam and open up the country.

 

The First Amendment

The First Amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Yesterday The Blaze posted an article about a drive-in church service in Mississippi that resulted in those present receiving tickets for $500 for attending. Just for the record, the cars had their windows closed and were following social distancing guidelines.

The article reports:

Temple Baptist members were staying in their vehicles with the windows rolled up to listen to Pastor Arthur Scott’s sermon on the radio, the paper said.

Lee Gordon — a 23-year member of the church as well as a representative for the Washington County Board of Supervisors — told the Democrat-Times the church has been using a low-power FM frequency to broadcast sermons in the parking lot for the last three weeks.

“The preacher is in the church at the pulpit, and we are streaming the service live as well,” Gordon added to the paper. “But a lot of our membership is elderly and [lacks access to streaming technology].”

Gordon told the Democrat-Times he and his wife were among those gathered in the church parking lot — and figured they all were abiding by the coronavirus social distancing guidelines given they were in their cars with the windows rolled up.

But that wasn’t the case — and they paid for it.

Gordon told the paper he and his wife were both issued $500 tickets.

“I think somebody called the police,” he added to the Democrat-Times. “And we were just doing the same thing we’ve been doing the last three weeks.”

Gordon noted to the paper that the police “were respectful and just doing their job. They asked us to leave first, and those who stayed got a ticket.”

This is not acceptable behavior. I might be a little more forgiving if the people had been packed inside the church, but they were in their cars following social distancing guidelines. There is no way the city had the right to shut that down. Unfortunately, that may happen in my city tomorrow as some churches are planning to do drive-in services.

Again, if the people are in their cars with the windows rolled up, how is that a problem? This is an obvious violation of the First Amendment and it is good news that court cases will follow.

The article concludes:

And as it happens, First Liberty Institute — which is representing Hamilton and his church — sent a letter to Simmons (Democratic Mayor of Greenville Errick Simmons) urging him to withdraw his executive order, WJTV-TV reported.

“Protecting religious liberty is essential, even during a pandemic,” Jeremy Dys, special counsel for litigation and communications at First Liberty, told the station. “Americans can tolerate a lot, if it means demonstrating love for their fellow man, but they will not — nor should not — tolerate churchgoers being ticketed by the police for following CDC guidelines at church. This has to stop now.”

This is not acceptable. I wonder how long it will be before we get our First Amendment rights back.

Why The Census Is An Issue For The Democrat Party

The Democrats have been pursuing two paths regarding the 2020 Census and its impact on the 2020 election–the first is to eliminate the Electoral College and the second is the refusing to distinguish between American citizens and non-citizens during the census. Eliminating the Electoral College will put Los Angeles and New York City in charge of our country’s government (those two cities have not really mastered good government with fiscal responsibility) and counting non-citizens in the census will give more Electoral College delegates to the Democrat states.

On January 5th, The Blaze reported the following:

Population estimates show reliably Democratic states, like New York, California, and Illinois will each lose at least one congressional district and representation in the Electoral College. Conversely, states that tend to vote for Republicans—such as Texas, Florida, and Montana—are expected to increase their presence.

“This is looking to benefit Republicans only because of how the landscape has changed,” said Jenna Ellis, senior legal analyst for the Trump 2020 campaign, according to radio station KTRH.

Ellis also noted that Democrats’ anticipated losses is why they mobilized so strongly to oppose the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question on the Census.

“They’re not interested in laws,” she said. “They’re not interested in sound reasoning or fair and accurate representation of every American. They are only interested in concentrating their own political power by any means necessary.”

Most Americans have the option of voting with their feet. That is why California is rapidly losing citizen residents and Texas is gaining them.

The article lists the states gaining and losing population:

Among GOP strongholds expected to lose an electoral vote are: Alabama, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Among the blue states are California, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and Rhode Island. That’s an even minus five for both parties from the 2016 election night map, according to an analysis by NBC News.

However, when analysts looked at states expected to gain seats, the GOP comes out on top. Three Republican states that went for Trump in 2016—Montana, Arizona, and North Carolina—are likely to pick-up one seat after the Census. On the Democratic side of the ledger, two states (Oregon and Colorado) will each add a seat, resulting in a net gain of one Electoral College seat for Republicans.

The big problem for the Left is that forecasts show Florida and Texas—both of which voted for Trump in 2016—picking up a combined five seats (two for Florida, three for Texas). Thus, if the estimates hold, Republicans will pick-up six Electoral College votes. Of course, this assumes that both the GOP maintains control of the Lone Star and Sunshine States, but that’s a topic for a different day.

The only hope for the Democrats is that the people moving to Republican states bring their big government ideas with them and overwhelm the population. As someone who lives in one of those states, I am hoping that doesn’t happen.

How You Word The Question Is Important

On Tuesday, YouTube posted a video of Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono speaking at a pro-abortion rally in Washington, D.C. The Blaze posted some of her remarks.

The article reports:

Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono used her time in front of the crowd to fire up the protesters with a tale of school kids in Hawaii who are worried about their abortion rights and to brag about how she rallied those children.

“I just left 60 eighth-graders from a public school in Hawaii, and I told them I was coming to a rally in front of the Supreme Court, and they said, ‘Why?'” Hirono said. “I said it’s because we are — we have to fight for abortion rights, and they knew all about it.”

…”I asked the girls in that group of eighth graders: How many of you girls think that government should be telling us, women, when and if we want to have babies? Not a single one of them raised their hands,” she continued.

Getting kids to love abortion is apparently pretty popular with the protesters because they cheered wildly at this.

“And then, the boys who were there among the 60, I told them, you know, it’s kind of hard for a woman to get pregnant without you guys,” she said, and the crowd laughed. “They got it.”

Lots of gender assumptions and cis-hetero posturing there, but we’ll move on.

She said she asked the male students, “How many of you boys think that government should be telling girls and women when and if we’re going to have babies? And not a single one of them raised their hand,” again to great excitement from the gathered abortion enthusiasts.

First of all, most eighth graders respond to peer pressure. I would not call this a reliable poll.  Second of all, it’s all in how you word the question. The government is not telling women when to have babies–the government is attempting to protect the lives of the unborn. The government is not telling women to engage in activities that might result in pregnancy–that is a choice women make.

It offends me that the Senator took it upon herself to talk to eighth graders about abortion. This is a subject that the children should discuss with their parents. There was no consideration given to children whose parents have raised them in religious settings where abortion is considered immoral. I think the Senator was totally out of line in talking to the eighth graders and then using them to promote something that is not universally supported.

The video is up at YouTube and included in the article at The Blaze. I chose not to post it here.

Al Gore’s Current TV Has Been Sold to Al Jazeera

There are three sources for this article–an article posted at the Daily Caller today, an article posted at The Blaze yesterday, and an article posted at the New York Times yesterday.

There are a few interesting aspects of this story. One is that Al Gore refused to sell Current TV to Glenn Beck, stating that “the legacy of who the network goes to is important to us and we are sensitive to networks not aligned with our point of view.” I am really sorry to hear that Al Jazeera is more in line with Current TV than Glenn Beck’s The Blaze.

The Daily Caller reported that Al Gore had hoped to sell the station before the end of the year to avoid the new 2013 tax rates, but was unable to complete the sale until Wednesday.

The New York Times reports:

Distributors can sometimes wiggle out of their carriage deals when channels change hands. Most consented to the sale, but Time Warner Cable did not, Mr. Hyatt told employees.

Time Warner Cable had previously warned that it might drop Current because of its low ratings. It took advantage of a change-in-ownership clause and said in a terse statement Wednesday night, “We are removing the service as quickly as possible.”

The New York Times also reports:

For Al Jazeera, which is financed by the government of Qatar, the acquisition is a coming of age moment. A decade ago, Al Jazeera’s flagship Arabic-language channel was reviled by American politicians for showing videotapes from Al Qaeda members and sympathizers. Now the news operation is buying an American channel, having convinced Mr. Gore and the other owners of Current that it has the journalistic muscle and the money to compete head-to-head with CNN and other news channels in the United States.

America and the media market in America allow free speech. However, I do not see the attempted mainstreaming of Al Jazeera as a good thing. However, people are free to watch what they choose, and they are responsible for the decisions they make. If Al Jazeera plans to function as an unbiased news source, it will do well. If it is used primarily to dispense propaganda, the pressure of the marketplace will remove it from the market.

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