Thursday, June 17, 2021

P&D Today

By Rich Kozlovich
Life is all about tides. There are those who catch the tide and those who row against the tide. Those rowing against the tide will always go in that direction no matter which way the tide is moving. The rest have no direction and will simply follow the tide. Those who row against the tide are in better shape than those who go with the tide. Not only physically, but intellectually, emotionally and psychologically! When the tide changes direction, and it will, guess who will be in the lead? Thomas Sowell



In the Asian Flu of 1957-58, They Rejected Lockdowns

Jeffrey A. Tucker  – January 12, 2021 @ American Institute for Economic Research

 


The Asian flu of 1957-58 was a deadly pandemic with a broader reach for severe outcomes than Covid-19 of 2020. It killed between 1 and 4 million people worldwide, and 116,000 in the US in a time with half the population. It was a leading contributor to a year in which the US saw 62,000 excess deaths. 

Globally, it might have been five times as deadly as Covid-19, as measured by deaths per capita. It was unusually lethal for younger people: 40 percent of deaths had occurred among people younger than 65, whereas the average age of death Covid-19 is 80 with only 10-20% of deaths under the age of 65. 

What’s striking is how public health officials handled the pandemic. It had a diametrically opposite response than policymakers pursued in 2020. One might assume that this was due to negligence and a lack of sophistication in understanding the need to lockdown. Surely they didn’t know 65 years ago what we know today! 

Actually, this is completely false. Public health experts did in fact consider school closures, business closures, and a ban of public events but the entire ethos of the profession rejected them. There were two grounds for this rejection: lockdowns would be too disruptive, disabling the capacity of medical professionals to deal competently with the crisis, and also because such policies would be futile because the virus was already here and spreading. 

Whereas lockdowns in the Covid-19 case might have contributed to a lengthening of the crisis by delaying herd immunity, the period in which the Asian flu had the most severe consequences was only three months. Newspapers barely covered it and most people did not notice it. Histories of the period hardly mention it whereas the early history of 2020 will talk primarily about the virus and the lockdowns. This is due not to the pandemic but to the brutal pandemic policy response. 

The best single article on the 1957-58 Asian flu policy response is “Public Health and Medical Responses to the 1957-58 Influenza Pandemic” by the great epidemiologist Donald A. Henderson and others among his colleagues at Johns Hopkins. It appeared in 2009 in the journal Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. It is embedded at the end of this article. 

The article is crucially important because it proves that not locking down was a deliberate decision, not some kind of failure. The refusal to disrupt society and constrain freedom in the presence of a pathogen was an achievement of modern ideas of public health. From the ancient world through the 19th century, the typical response to disease was to attribute it to corrupt air and to run away while demonizing and excluding the sick. Modern medical advances – with the discovery of viruses and bacteria, antibiotics, antiviral therapeutics, and the workings of the human immune system – counseled community calm and doctor-patient relationships. 

The most influential public health body at the time was the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers (ASTHO). They met on August 27, 1957. They concluded that they should recommend home care as much as possible to keep the hospitals from overcrowding. They would instruct people to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe. 

Otherwise, ASTHO concluded as follows: ‘‘there is no practical advantage in the closing of schools or the curtailment of public gatherings as it relates to the spread of this disease.’’

In particular, schools were not closed because public health experts observed that the children would just pick up the virus elsewhere. “The Nassau County Health Commissioner in New York,” observes Henderson, “stated that ‘public schools should stay open even in an epidemic’ and that ‘children would get sick just as easily out of school.’” 

We’ve heard incessantly that Covid-19 necessitated lockdowns because it is a new strain for which there was not a vaccine. Well, the Asian flu was already new and there was no vaccine either. By the time one came along, it was only 60% effective and not widely used. Henderson comments: “it is apparent that vaccine had no appreciable effect on the trend of the pandemic.”

Perhaps we had to lock down due to asymptomatic cases? Not true. Henderson notes of the Asian flu: “Attack rates in the schools ranged from 40% to 60%. Serological surveys revealed that half of those reporting no influenza illness showed serological evidence of infection.” 

To be sure there were disruptions. They happened not by force but by necessity due to absenteeism. They were short-lived. The millions of people exposed to the virus developed antibodies and moved on. This was true of schoolchildren in particular: 

“School absenteeism reached its maximum with 280,000 absences on October 7. This amounted to 29% of all school attendees. The highest rate was registered for Manhattan schools, which had an overall 43% absentee rate. That day, 4,642 teachers (11%) did not report to work due to being sick. Business establishments, however, reported no significant increase in absenteeism. Within 2 weeks after the peak, school absentee rates were almost back to normal—around 7%.” 

Newspaper reports at the time offer no record of widespread public event cancellations much less forced closures. Sometimes college and high school football games were postponed due to illness absences. Some conventions were cancelled by organizers. But that is all. 

The New York Times’s single editorial on the Asian flu reflected public health wisdom: “Let us all keep a cool head about Asian influenza as the statistics on the spread and the virulence of the disease begin to accumulate.” 

Henderson concludes as follows: 

The 1957-58 pandemic was such a rapidly spreading disease that it became quickly apparent to U.S. health officials that efforts to stop or slow its spread were futile. Thus, no efforts were made to quarantine individuals or groups, and a deliberate decision was made not to cancel or postpone large meetings such as conferences, church gatherings, or athletic events for the purpose of reducing transmission. 

No attempt was made to limit travel or to otherwise screen travelers. Emphasis was placed on providing medical care to those who were afflicted and on sustaining the continued functioning of community and health services. The febrile, respiratory illness brought large numbers of patients to clinics, doctors’ offices, and emergency rooms, but a relatively small percentage of those infected required hospitalization.

School absenteeism due to influenza was high, but schools were not closed unless the number of students or teachers fell to sufficiently low numbers to warrant closure. However, the course of the outbreak in schools was relatively brief, and many could readily return to activities within 3 to 5 days. A significant number of healthcare workers were said to have been afflicted with influenza, but reports indicate that hospitals were able to adjust appropriately to cope with the patient loads. 

Available data on industrial absenteeism indicate that the rates were low and that there was no interruption of essential services or production. The overall impact on GDP was negligible and likely within the range of normal economic variation.

Health officers had hopes that significant supplies of vaccine might become available in due time, and special efforts were made to speed the production of vaccine, but the quantities that became available were too late to affect the impact of the epidemic. The national spread of the disease was so rapid that within 3 months it had swept throughout the country and had largely disappeared.

One reads this detailed account of how public health responded then compared to now and the response is to weep. How could this have happened to us? We knew for sure that lockdowns were terrible public health. We’ve known it for 100 years. 

Shutting down an economy flatly contradicts a founding principle of the World Health Organization: “Economic development and public health are inseparable and complementary… the social, cultural and economic development of a community, and its state of health, are interdependent.” 

In 1957-58, public health officials took that observation seriously. This very serious flu came and went with minimal social and economic disruption. Immune systems in the US and around the world adapted to the new strain of the flu. 

Then ten years later, a new mutation of this flu arrived. Public health responded the same way, with wisdom, calm, and no interventions in people’s rights and liberties. Social and economic functioning were rightly seen as crucial to a comprehensive view of public health. 

Lockdowns were ruled out in the past precisely so that the damage of a pandemic would be minimized and we could get through it more quickly. This was the science. This was the science all the way through the spring of 2020, when everything changed. Suddenly the “science” favored forgetting everything we’ve learned from the past and replacing it with brutal policies that wrecked the economy and people’s lives, while achieving nothing in terms of minimizing pandemic damage. 

We had foisted on us an entirely new vocabulary designed to disguise what was being done to us. We weren’t under house arrest, our businesses smashed, the schools shuttered, live arts and sports abolished, our travel plans wrecked, and forcibly separated from loved ones. No, we were merely experiencing “disease mitigation” through “targeted layered containment,” “nonpharmaceutical interventions,” and “social distancing.” 

This is all Orwellian with traditional public health wisdom having been tossed down the memory hole. The actual science did not change. Traditional public health implores us to consider not just one pathogen but all variables that impact health, not just in the short run but in the long run too. So it was and so it is today. 

Public Health and Medical Responses to the 1957 - 1958 Influenza Pandemic Page 1 / 10 Zoom 100%      (Editor's Note: Go to the original post to see this as I can't reproduce it. RK)
 

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey A. Tucker is an independent editorial consultant who served as Editorial Director for the American Institute for Economic Research. He is the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and eight books in 5 languages, most recently Liberty or Lockdown. He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.

Jeffrey is available for speaking and interviews via his email. Tw | FB | LinkedIn

Books by Jeffrey A. Tucker


Progressives against Civil Rights

As activists trade equality for “equity,” they jettison the principles of the civil rights movement.

Charles Love March 17, 2021 @ City Journal 

A new generation of “antiracist” intellectuals and activists is rewriting rules, canceling nonconformists, and making a grand attempt to rid America of what they consider its systemic racism. With the support of academia, media, and many major corporations, they seem well positioned to achieve their goals. They even have support in in the White House, as President Joe Biden stated in a press conference last month that he will make “racial equity” a priority for the “whole of government.” Yet these efforts may encounter a surprising obstacle: the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Civil Rights Act was passed to end decades of overt discrimination and disenfranchisement against blacks. It was the seminal step in moving the country toward the equality that civil rights leaders had spent years fighting to achieve, a realization of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream that his children be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. It seemed to be what the nation needed, what those fighting for equal rights wanted, and what the founding principles of the country demanded—however imperfectly they had been implemented over the years. But that was long ago.

Today’s advocates see things differently. What America needs now, they say, is not equality, but equity: a concept that trades the old notion of colorblindness for an obsessive focus on racial bean-counting and requires the race-conscious redistribution of power from whites to underrepresented minorities.

The two concepts are contradictory. Careful examination of progressive demands juxtaposed with the language of the Civil Rights Act leads to the conclusion that those demanding equity should demand the law’s repudiation.

Consider the actions of government officials during the Covid-19 pandemic. As the rollout of the vaccine unfolds, nearly half of U.S. states have stated openly that they want to prioritize the delivery of vaccines to “black and brown communities.” New York governor Andrew Cuomo chastised the federal government for not having a provision for outreach to minorities. Meantime, when civil rights leaders demanded that funding be allocated explicitly to black businesses, Oregon answered the call, establishing a fund that set aside $62 million in federal money for “black relief + resiliency.” All of this appears to violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which states that no person on the ground of race, color, or national origin can be “denied the benefits of, or be subjected to, discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Recently, New York mayor Bill de Blasio took steps to correct what he saw as systemic inequalities in the city’s selective-enrollment schools. Because the student body at these schools did not reflect the city’s racial makeup, de Blasio changed the admissions requirements from grades, attendance, and test scores to a lottery to increase the enrollment percentage of minority students. The move was heralded by equity advocates, with seemingly no regard for the provision in the Civil Rights Act that states, “desegregation shall not mean the assignment of students to public schools in order to overcome racial imbalance.”

Some “antiracists” have advocated the formation of racially segregated spaces—from black dorms and segregated graduations to the forcible reversal of gentrification in traditionally black neighborhoods—apparently unaware that Title II of the Civil Rights Act bans discrimination in public accommodations.

In the business world, progressives aim explicitly to elevate minorities at the expense of whites. Companies across the country have paid huge sums to “diversity trainers,” such as Robin DiAngelo, who ostensibly work to counteract bias in the workplace but actually further it by vilifying whites. Recently, a Coca-Cola employee leaked slides of a company diversity training session where employees were told to “be less white.” Yet Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bans attempts “to limit, segregate, or classify his employees in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”

Few employees are willing to risk pushing back against such treatment, and those who do can face additional discrimination. When Jodi Shaw, a former Smith College librarian, filed a complaint with the school’s institutional compliance officer over its mandatory diversity trainings and alleged hostile treatment, she was rebuffed—for a strange reason. In the words of the office of equity and inclusion representative, “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was created to protect traditionally marginalized people.”

In fact, the Civil Rights Act protects all Americans from racial discrimination, a fact too many contemporary progressives have forgotten. How else to explain law professor Brandon Hasbrouck’s call for “vote reparations,” according to which the votes of black Americans should count twice? No matter how far-fetched Hasbrouck’s idea, it is telling that a law professor would advance a proposal so at odds with the law’s mandate that “no person shall apply any standard, practice, or procedure different from the standards, practices, or procedures applied under such law or laws to other individuals.”

Those demanding what I call “adjective justice”—social, racial, and so on—do not want equality. They justify discrimination on the basis of helping the oppressed. This approach lies at the heart of what I call progressive racism, a sort of kinder, gentler racism. Regardless of their intent, such an approach is irreconcilable with the letter of civil rights laws and the principles of the movement that led to their passage. If “antiracists” truly believe in their cause, it is only a matter of time before they decide that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is an obstacle to the equity they seek and must be repealed for the greater good.

 

Saving America From the Counterrevolution

Ethan Yang Ethan Yang  – June 14, 2021 @ American Institute for Economic Research 

 Counter-revolution cover

When barbarians sacked the city of Rome, it was because the Roman Empire had already sacked itself. Of course, the Romans may have been outmaneuvered and outgunned by their enemies, but their civilization had already been subdued long before the first building in Rome burned. Rome’s productive culture had decayed, complacency and decadence plagued its society, its military was bloated and overstretched in pointless conflicts, corruption was widespread amongst its government, and all while its rivals continued to grow in power. 

The founder of the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), Colonel Edward C. Harwood, wrote a little-known manifesto titled The Counterrevolution, which recounts this lesson not just for America but for the entirety of Western Civilization and its allies. The book may have been written in 1951, but it is just as relevant today, if not more so given where we are. During Harwood’s time, he saw a world greatly coming undone. Communism and Fascism were on the rise in Europe. Here at home, he observed a much milder but still highly troubling embrace of authoritarianism and reckless economics. It was obvious after reading Harwood’s book that he founded AIER to be the vanguard of not only sound economics and good government but ultimately a free and open society. 

One does not need to work at or even have commitments to AIER to get value from this book. If you treasure prosperity, freedom, and dignity not just for Western civilization but for all of humanity, this book is part of your heritage. 

The Great Revolution and the Counterrevolution 

The term counterrevolutionary describes people who wish to thwart or overturn a revolution. Harwood terms the revolution he supports as the “great revolution,” which refers to the path of Western Civilization from a pack of feudal states living in poverty and conflict, to the prosperous powerhouse of wealth and culture it is today. In particular, he cites freedom and individual rights as two of the key components of the great revolution. Prior to the widespread adoption of enlightenment ideas regarding liberty and dignity, Harwood noted, 

“Only the more fortunate who had been granted dominion over the earth and the fruits thereof, seemingly by an inscrutable providence, could live much differently than did the beast of burden in that almost-forgotten age.”

Indeed for much of human history, the authority and rule of the few over the many was the norm. Stagnation, conflict, and misery were the standard for thousands of years, each generation living just as poorly if not worse than the next. 

The counterrevolution is the rebellion against the ideals of a free and open society that has made Western Civilization and its ideological allies prosperous. It is fundamentally a lack of confidence if not outright disdain for the freedoms and rights we enjoy today. The counterrevolution does not subscribe to any one ideology, but you know it when you see it. In Harwood’s day, he notes,

“The struggle against Communism is a crucial one for the survival of Western Civilization. Whether the struggle will mark the decline and fall of Western Civilization or will set the stage for a new, great advance comparable to that of recent centuries remains to be seen.”

As we have seen, Communism rejected the ideas of the great revolution and returned countless people to the days of crippling poverty and suffering. That should serve as a proof of concept, as Harwood was keen in his assessment of the threats to society posed by the counterrevolution. When Communism was defeated, the world did in fact undergo an explosion of increasing prosperity and peace. 

Today we can certainly see new counterrevolutionaries and metaphorical armies at the gates. The rise of China is of course the most obvious. More formidable than Communist Russia, but just as adversarial, if not more, to the ideals of freedom and prosperity. Here in the United States, we see the internal forces of the counterrevolution he warned of back in 1951. Harwood wrote,

“Because they believed that the Great Revolution had brought to men more evil than good, the Socialist urged a retreat from the troubles of partial freedom in the arms of an all-powerful state…The Socialist state was to be a beneficent despot rather than a capricious tyrant…However, the Socialists overlooked the principles of economics, those patterns of economic behavior that seem like the “natural laws” of physics.”

The socialists are very much still around today and their influence is growing. There is also the far-right and the new-right that seem to have abandoned the traditional Conservative commitment to the Constitution as well as free markets. On the left, you have the aforementioned socialists but also the emergence of intersectionality and critical race theory that combine economic ignorance with an utter disregard for individual dignity. Harwood explains that counterrevolutionary ideologies are based on legitimate complaints about society but have terrible solutions. 

The best way to deal with them is to eliminate the problems that give them strength, whether it be providing economic opportunities for the marginalized or ensuring communities that were left behind can modernize. This, of course, requires more economic and civil freedom, not less. Harwood would recommend beating back the regulatory state, restoring the constitutional order, continuing to foster inclusive values pertaining to individuality, and reinvigorating our faith in private enterprise. They helped Western Civilization get this far; embracing these ideas again will certainly take it farther. 

Foreign Policy

Harwood correctly notes that the danger of the counterrevolution comes from abroad and at home, much like how Rome fell not just from invaders but from internal decay. His views on foreign policy, although primarily applied to the Cold War, are eerily relevant today. He wrote about the dangers of a reckless foreign policy that was overly expansive and interventionist. Not only does this stretch our forces thin and waste resources, but the upkeep of what is essentially an empire has negative ramifications domestically. Harwood was not a total noninterventionist and understood that war was necessary, but only when it served clear goals such as stopping Communism. He would likely not approve of today’s status quo of attempting to find a problem in every corner of the world. 

When writing about the Soviet Union, he noted that many Americans had doubts about the power of free markets and civil liberties. We see that today as intellectuals and politicians cast a disdainful eye on traditional American values and hint at their admiration for the state planning inherent to the Chinese model. However, as Harwood explains about the Soviet Union and as any detailed analysis of China shows, state planning on paper and in practice cannot even begin to compete with a market economy. Harwood wrote,

“Russian industrial capacity has not been, is not at present, and in the near future will not be comparable to the industrial power of the United States.”

He then makes an even more important point that the only way that Russian output will surpass the United States is if we moved in the direction of state planning and Socialism. The same is exactly true when it comes to the Chinese, especially in terms of per capita output.

Harwood also stresses the necessity of setting a good global example of freedom. This is intuitive not only because doing so will restore faith in the values of Western Civilization abroad, but also because we cannot win if we do not truly believe in our own way of life. Harwood has a particularly eloquent line about the necessity to assess our own domestic policies when he wrote,

“Unless something like this is done, we greatly fear that the statue in New York Harbor of the goddess of liberty enlightening the world will no longer be an appropriate symbol of United States policy at home and abroad…We shall gain nothing but a little temporary security and shall lose all that we treasure highly as the United States declines and falls with the rest of Western Civilization, a victim of the counterrevolution.”

Prudency and purpose in our policymaking must replace the current regime of complacency and decadence if we are ever going to survive. 

Key Takeaways

Defenders of the great revolution of enlightenment values and modernity have our work cut out for us. Harwood’s book is just as relevant today as it was in 1951 and at less than 100 pages, it is a manifesto for those who are up to the task of standing watch over the well-being of our society. Those who wish to dismantle the institutions of liberty that have made the West and its affiliates the richest and most advanced in human history pose a real threat. Abroad they must be held back with bayonets and sound foreign policy. Domestically they must be defeated in the realm of ideas and thoroughly discredited by addressing our shortcomings that give them credibility. Ultimately, this all requires restoring confidence in our civilization. That is because long before any rival power declares victory over the West, the West will have already given up on itself. 

Ethan Yang

Ethan Yang

Ethan Yang is an Adjunct Research Fellow at AIER as well as the host of the AIER Authors Corner Podcast.

He holds a BA in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations with minors in legal studies and formal organizations from Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut. He is currently pursuing a JD from the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.

Ethan also serves as the director of the Mark Twain Center for the Study of Human Freedom at Trinity College and is also involved with Students for Liberty. He has also held research positions at the Cato Institute, the Connecticut State Senate, Cause of Action Institute and other organizations.

Ethan is currently based in Washington D.C and is a recipient of the 13th Annual International Vernon Smith Prize from the European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation. His work has been featured and cited in a variety of outlets from online media to radio broadcast.

Get notified of new articles from Ethan Yang and AIER. 
 
 
 

Climate czar John Kerry wrong again: SD wind turbine plant to shut doors, 300 jobs lost

June 14, 2021 | Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

A major wind blade manufacturing plant is closing its doors in Aberdeen, South Dakota despite Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry claiming there would be plentiful jobs in the solar and wind turbine industries.

Kerry made those claims just months ago as the Keystone Pipeline was nixed by President Joe Biden and many jobs were lost in the coal and hydraulic fracturing markets.

The Molded Fiber Glass company will shut its doors permanently in less than two months and roughly 300 jobs will be lost. The plant, open since 2007, produces wind turbine blades. It will remain in operation until August 6, fulfilling existing orders here in the United States. ...........To Read More...

 

More peculiarities about Fulton County's audit timeline

June 15, 2021 By John Cleer

Real Clear Investigations published an excellent article on Wednesday, reviewing circumstances around the pending vote audit in Fulton County, Georgia.  In it, they quote poll workers who suspect batches of counterfeit, machine-bubbled ballots were counted in the 2020 presidential election. 

In particular, one batch appeared to be printed on different card stock and bubbled in with toner ink rather than pen or paper, claims Suzi Voyles, a longtime poll manager.  It was part of a bundle labeled "State Farm Arena," the site where county officials were filmed scanning ballots by themselves in the middle of the night on Nov. 3, after telling observers to leave.

One hundred seven of the 110 ballots in that batch went for Biden and each of the 107 had identical down-ticket votes, Voyles told Real America's Voice in a late May interview.  The box they came in was wrapped in packing tape bearing the Georgia secretary of state's seal, but the tape was unsigned, and there was no indication of who had sealed it.

Voyles thinks the ballots came from drop boxes, and it's a matter of public record that those boxes were subsidized by Mark Zuckerberg with a $6.3-million grant to Fulton County through a shell organization under the guise of COVID relief.  Zuckerberg's boxes were unattended, outdoors, and open to receive votes 24/7 through the evening of Nov. 3.

But Fulton County still has not provided chain of custody documents for the drop boxes, which means that the ballots could have come from somewhere else.  Voyles told RCI she thinks absentee votes were added for Biden "in a fraudulent manner" on election night, and she estimates there were 20,000 fraudulent ballots in Fulton County.  That would be more than enough to swing Georgia............To Read More....

In Maricopa County, are missing ballots the smoking guns?

Here’s Patrick Howley’s report (emphasis mine):.............To Read More.....

Refugee Sounds Alarm Over What Leftists Are Doing

By  Daily Wire News J DailyWire.com

 North Korean defector Yeonmi Park at The Korean Society in New York City discussing her memoir "In Order to Live.:A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom"on 10/1/15. Twenty-two year old Park escaped from North Korea though China when she was 13. She is now a human rights activist.

Yeonmi Park, a 27-year-old who escaped from sex slavery in China after fleeing North Korea, is warning that leftist professors inside America’s top academic universities are indoctrinating students with extreme ideologies that remind her of North Korea. 

“I fell in love with this country; this is such a wonderful country. I never been accepted more than this country was,” Park told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “And at Columbia University, literally every professor was saying that, you know, the problems that we have on today’s world is because of white men, how they colonize Africa… that’s how they mess up everything. And they are the one who needs to be blamed.” “And I couldn’t believe that, am I sitting in North Korea’s classroom or in America?” she continued. “Actually, I couldn’t believe why people are hating their own people that much.”...........To Read More.....

Mark Levin provides insight about what happened in Israel

June 15, 2021 By Andrea Widburg

Those who long for a parliamentary system in America, instead of our "winner take all" system, would do well to look at what's been happening in Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu, after twelve years as prime minister, is now out and, in his place, there's an unstable coalition made of people whose only common bond is that they, like the Israeli equivalent of America's Deep State, wanted Bibi out. Mark Levin does a good job explaining what happened.

In parliamentary systems, the people do not vote directly for the prime minister. Instead, parliament itself chooses its leader. If there's a clear majority and a single minority, it's simple. If there's a clear majority and several minorities, all of which are too small to combine against the majority, it's still simple.

It starts being a problem when there isn't a majority but is, instead, only a plurality. A plurality means that one party received more votes than each of the other parties received. However, the first party nevertheless failed to receive more than half of the total votes. Dictionary.com offers a good example:............To Read More....

Columbia University is to the left of Kim Jong-un

June 15, 2021 By Andrea Widburg

If you're paying any attention to what's going on in America's colleges and universities, you know that these places work hard to indoctrinate students into American Marxism, which substitutes race, sex, and climate change for Karl Marx's original ideas about capitalists and workers. Naturally, Democrats and other leftists have pushed back, saying conservatives are exaggerating for effect so they can take over those institutions, kick out all the minorities and gays, and institute a "Handmaid's Tale" regime. But what if it's not a conservative saying academia has gone off the leftist deep end? What if it's someone who escaped from North Korea who says this?

Well, that's just who's saying it. In 2016, Yeonmi Park, who escaped from North Korea at great cost to herself, transferred from a South Korean university to Columbia University. Columbia, as you know, is the institution from which Obama graduated, and that still protects his undergraduate grades by keeping them sealed in a deep vault to which no one may ever have access.

Park was shocked by what she found at Columbia. According to what she told Fox News, the indoctrination is more aggressive and unending than what takes place in North Korea itself:.........To Read More....

Crazy as Loons, Vicious as a Vipers

If America was culturally rational, a snake oil salesman like Al Gore would be publicly mocked, horsewhipped or sued into oblivion as an utter fraud for his massive global warming scam perpetuated against the American people. However, these are perilous and perverse times we live in today where good is considered evil and evil touted as good, virtuous and laudatory. Ellis Washington.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pLIuFEt2p2w/X0pYX_kt1PI/AAAAAAAADAU/EdtdCWebrnMzJ2R5C6DcUUfdz52gM57uACK4BGAYYCw/w41-h54/My%2BPicture%2B2.jpg By Rich Kozlovich

In 2011 this article appeared, Global Warming must be true, Charles Manson believes in it, quoting Manson  saying:

'Everyone’s God and if we don’t wake up to that there’s going to be no weather because our polar caps are melting because we’re doing bad things to the atmosphere. ‘If we don’t change that as rapidly as I’m speaking to you now, if we don’t put the green back on the planet and put the trees back that we’ve butchered, if we don’t go to war against the problem...'….On the environment, Manson said: 'Sooner or later the will of God will prevail over all of you. And I was condemned as the will of God.' 'We are all martyrs. Love is a martyr... I am a martyr. But I am also a victim. And I'm a performer……I'm both. I am everything. I am nothing.'

Well, I think I can honestly say - Yup - he’s qualified - he’s a Greenie!  Crazy as a loon and vicious as a viper! 

Much of what you see being touted by animal rights and green activists was first put into practice on a national level by the first green government; Nazi Germany. Hurt an animal and Herman Goering would have you dealt with in some unpleasant way. That is the problem with all the greenies from then until now:  They love the world, its people they hate.

When I read comments from “normal” people who "know" that global warming is "real", in spite of all that's been exposed showing the corruption and junk science behind all these claims of disaster, I wonder at which Temple of the Church of the Warming Globe do they worship?  

Global Warming, or anthropogenic climate change isn't settled science.  It isn't even science! It's an irrational, misanthropic pseudo-pagan philosophical secular religion.

I've been asked on more than one occasion by those who knew I've spent a lot of time researching this issue and writing about it,  if I believed in global warming?   My answer is always the same.  Yes, and I believe in global warming and I also believe in global cooling.   What I don't believe mankind has a thing to do with either. 

We have more than enough historical data to show that the Earth has warmed and cooled often in its history, showing huge swings in temperature, and mankind didn't have a thing to do with any of it. What about the disasters they are predicting for today? Did those kinds of disasters occur then when the temperatures where substantially higher than what they're predicting now? There is absolutely nothing in the historical records, or anywhere else for that matter, to show that these things happened at those times!  Why then should we believe they will occur now?

As for Ocean acidification... that is just more horsepucky to push an agenda of global governance. If it isn’t CO2, it will be ocean acidification. If it isn’t that it will be some other high sounding complicated claim that will by un-proven and will be as equally un-provable.  Along with all the other horsepucky they have spewed out.

This issue is singular. Does mankind have the ability to control the climate in any way? The answer is NO! 

So why should we believe that the minute amount of CO2 mankind puts into the atmosphere will alter the weather over the next ten days, let alone over the next fifty years.  Especially since we know from the data that the amount of CO2 has fluctuated dramatically over the eons. And data also shows that the CO2 increases did not precede the warming periods, it followed them. 

The fact of the matter is,  Anthropogenic Climate Change Was Always High Smelling! 

If you took all the cows in the United States and figured out how much greenhouse gas they emit, would you be able to sue all the farmers who own them? That interesting legal question came from Justice Antonin Scalia during Supreme Court oral arguments about whether an environmental case against five big U.S. power companies can go forward........“You’re lumping them all together,” he said of the five big power companies. “Suppose you lump together all the cows in the country. Would that allow you to sue all those farmers? I mean, don’t you have to do it defendant by defendant? … Cow by cow or at least farm by farm?” And if you can lump all the cows together and claim they fuel global warming, Scalia reasoned, “you can lump together all the people in the United States who breathe, I suppose?” 

The greenies have been allowed to trample on everyone’s rights because we fail to grasp what is right and what is wrong. Everything that was traditional wisdom has been replaced by conventional wisdom. 

Traditional wisdom became traditional because it stood the test of time. Conventional wisdom is nothing more than the latest philosophical flavor of the day touted by the so-called “best and brightest”, along with radical misfits, a corrupt media, government bureaucrats, elected officials and judges whose rulings are so irrational that their sanity, along with their integrity, should be called into question. 

When we adopt their concepts we have historical background that demonstrates greenie solutions lead to dystopia; squalor, misery, suffering disease and early death.  Why would we think crazy and vicious is a good solution? 



Retired Military Leaders Question If Biden Is Mentally Fit

 

Number of U.S. Small Businesses Has Fallen Nearly 40% Due to Pandemic and Lockdowns

by Matt Palumbo June 14, 2021
 
Fight tech tyranny. Join Dan on Parler @dbongino.
 
The economy is recovering (albeit at a slower pace under Biden) and the stock market is at record highs, but traditional economic metrics are obfuscating just how concentrated the recovery has been to the nation’s largest firms.  For the most part, big companies had balance sheets strong enough to help them weather the pandemic storm, especially in the early months when lockdowns were strongest, and most states had stay-at-home orders. Small businesses weren’t so fortunate, and many of those formally employed by them became reemployed by their larger competitors.

According to Unbiased America:..........To Read More....

Capitalism Myths: Part 1

A Group Of Parents Sent Their Kids' Face Masks to A Lab for Analysis. Here's What They Found

Scott MorefieldScott Morefield| @SKMorefield | Jun 15, 2021 

We've been told for well over a year that widespread forced public masking should be implemented because, even if only moderately to slightly to negligibly effective at curbing the spread of COVID-19, there are ZERO drawbacks. 

  • "What's the harm?" they ask.
  • "It's only a minor inconvenience," they bleat.
  • "If it saves ONE LIFE, it's worth it!" they implore.

Meanwhile, we on Team Reality have not only continued to point to real-world data that shows masking to be entirely ineffective, we've also maintained that forced public masking, especially long-term, has negative societal and even health ramifications that the powers-that-be are all-too-happy to ignore in subservience to their newfound face mask god. 

It only stands to reason that one of those health ramifications would be the fact that millions of people, particularly children, have been forced to wear and carry around pieces of cloth they've continually breathed through for hours on end. What lurking pathogens might be found on these disgusting contraptions being incessantly handled, stuck in pockets, and mindlessly tossed on books, tables, and desks? Well, one group of Florida parents sent a batch of masks worn by their children to a lab to find out. And yeah, you'll probably need to make sure you aren't eating dinner anytime soon before you digest THESE results. 

Via press release:

Gainesville, FL (June 16, 2021) – A group of parents in Gainesville, FL, concerned about potential harms from masks, submitted six face masks to a lab for analysis. The resulting report found that five masks were contaminated with bacteria, parasites, and fungi, including three with dangerous pathogenic and pneumonia-causing bacteria. No viruses were detected on the masks, although the test is capable of detecting viruses.

The analysis detected the following 11 alarmingly dangerous pathogens on the masks:

  •  Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumonia) 
  •  Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis) 
  • Neisseria meningitidis (meningitis, sepsis) 
  • Acanthamoeba polyphaga (keratitis and granulomatous amebic encephalitis) 
  • Acinetobacter baumanni (pneumonia, blood stream infections, meningitis, UTIs— resistant to antibiotics) 
  • Escherichia coli (food poisoning)
  • Borrelia burgdorferi (causes Lyme disease)
  • Corynebacterium diphtheriae (diphtheria)
  • Legionella pneumophila (Legionnaires' disease) 
  • Staphylococcus pyogenes serotype M3 (severe infections—high morbidity rates) 
  • Staphylococcus aureus (meningitis, sepsis)

Half of the masks were contaminated with one or more strains of pneumonia-causing bacteria. One-third were contaminated with one or more strains of meningitis-causing bacteria. One-third were contaminated with dangerous, antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens. In addition, less dangerous pathogens were identified, including pathogens that can cause fever, ulcers, acne, yeast infections, strep throat, periodontal disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and more............To Read More....


Obama: The Affirmative Action President

Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack Obama as an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, a baffling breed of mass hysteria akin perhaps to the witch craze of the Middle Ages.  How, they will wonder, did a man so devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so many into thinking he could manage the world's largest economy, direct the world's most powerful military, execute the world's most consequential job?

Imagine a future historian examining Obama's pre-presidential life: ushered into and through the Ivy League despite unremarkable grades and test scores along the way; a cushy non-job as a "community organizer"; a brief career as a state legislator devoid of legislative achievement (and in fact nearly devoid of his attention, so often did he vote "present"); and finally an unaccomplished single term in United States Senate, the entirety of which was devoted to his presidential ambitions.  He left no academic legacy in academia, authored no signature legislation as legislator. 

And then there is the matter of his troubling associations: the white-hating, America-loathing preacher who for decades served as Obama's "spiritual mentor"; a real-life, actual terrorist who served as Obama's colleague and political sponsor.  It is easy to imagine a future historian looking at it all and asking: how on Earth was such a man elected president? 

Not content to wait for history, the incomparable Norman Podhoretz addressed the question recently in the Wall Street Journal:

To be sure, no white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken hater of America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like Bill Ayers would have lasted a single day. But because Mr. Obama was black, and therefore entitled in the eyes of liberaldom to have hung out with protesters against various American injustices, even if they were a bit extreme, he was given a pass.

Let that sink in: Obama was given a pass -- held to a lower standard -- because of the color of his skin.  Podhoretz continues:

And in any case, what did such ancient history matter when he was also articulate and elegant and (as he himself had said) "non-threatening," all of which gave him a fighting chance to become the first black president and thereby to lay the curse of racism to rest?

Podhoretz puts his finger, I think, on the animating pulse of the Obama phenomenon -- affirmative action.  Not in the legal sense, of course.  But certainly in the motivating sentiment behind all affirmative action laws and regulations, which are designed primarily to make white people, and especially white liberals, feel good about themselves.

True, Obama himself was never troubled by his lack of achievements, but why would he be?  As many have noted, Obama was told he was good enough for Columbia despite undistinguished grades at Occidental; he was told he was good enough for the US Senate despite a mediocre record in Illinois; he was told he was good enough to be president despite no record at all in the Senate.  All his life, every step of the way, Obama was told he was good enough for the next step, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary.  What could this breed if not the sort of empty  narcissism on display every time Obama speaks?

In 2008, many who agreed that he lacked executive qualifications nonetheless raved about Obama's oratory skills, intellect, and cool character.  Those people -- conservatives included -- ought now to be deeply embarrassed.  The man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of clichés, and that's when he has his teleprompter in front of him; when the prompter is absent he can barely think or speak at all.  Not one original idea has ever issued from his mouth -- it's all warmed-over Marxism of the kind that has failed over and over again for 100 years.

And what about his character?  Obama is constantly blaming anything and everything else for his troubles.  Bush did it; it was bad luck; I inherited this mess.  It is embarrassing to see a president so willing to advertise his own powerlessness, so comfortable with his own incompetence.  But really, what were we to expect?  The man has never been responsible for anything, so how do we expect him to act responsibly?

In short: our president is a small and small-minded man, with neither the temperament nor the intellect to handle his job.  When you understand that, and only when you understand that, will the current erosion of liberty and prosperity make sense.  It could not have gone otherwise with such a man in the Oval Office. 

But hey, at least we got to feel good about ourselves for a little while.  And really, isn't that all that matters these days?

See also: The Era of Confronting Obama at Public Events

Update:

Author's Note.  A lot of readers have written in asking me how I came to the conclusion that Obama was an unremarkable student and that he benefited from affirmative action.  Three reasons:

1)  As reported by The New York Sun: "A spokesman for the university, Brian Connolly, confirmed that Mr. Obama spent two years at Columbia College and graduated in 1983 with a major in political science. He did not receive honors..."  In spite of not receiving honors as an undergrad;Obama as nevertheless dmitted o arvard Law. Why?

2) Obama imself as written e was a poor tudent s a young man. As the Baltimore Sun eported, in:

"'Obama's book 'Dreams from My Father,'....the president ecalled a time in his life...when he started to drift away from the path of success. I had learned not to care,' Obama wrote. '... Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it.' ut his mother confronted him about his behavior. Don't you think you're being a little casual about your future?" she asked him, according to the book. '... One of your friends was just arrested for drug possession. Your grades are slipping. You haven't even started on your college applications.'"

3) Most damning to me is the president's unwillingness to make his transcripts public. If Obama had really been a tellar tudent with impeccable grades as an undergrad, is there any doubt they would have been made public by now and rumpeted n he ront page of the New York Times as proof of is rilliance?  To me it all adds up to affirmative action.  

Mattpattersonline.com

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"Appalling to Watch": Australian Media Tears American Media Apart Over Its Fawning Over Biden

Pandemic Emergency Spending Riddled with Fraud

Milton Friedman famously explained that this is why they largely don’t care about how much money is spent or how effectively it is spent.  No wonder government programs, agencies, and departments waste so much money, year after year, decade after decade.  This observation about careless profligacy also applies to so-called emergency spending.

I’ve repeatedly written about the perverse impact of unemployment benefits that are so excessive that people have big incentives not to work.

But that’s just one problem with that program. Axios has a depressing report on how the turbo-charged benefits that were part of the coronavirus legislation triggered staggering levels of fraud.


Criminals may have stolen as much as half of the unemployment benefits the U.S. has been pumping out over the past year, some experts say. …fraud during the pandemic could easily reach $400 billion, according to some estimates, and the bulk of the money likely ended in the hands of foreign crime syndicates… Blake Hall, CEO of ID.me, a service that tries to prevent this kind of fraud, tells Axios that…50% of all unemployment monies might have been stolen… Haywood Talcove, the CEO of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, estimates that at least 70% of the money stolen by impostors ultimately left the country, much of it ending up in the hands of criminal syndicates in China, Nigeria, Russia and elsewhere.

USA Today reported on one Nigerian scammer who feasted on American tax dollars.


Mayowa is an engineering student in Nigeria who estimates he’s made about $50,000 since the pandemic began. After compiling a list of real people, he turns to databases of hacked information that charge $2 in cryptocurrency to link that name to a date of birth and Social Security number. In most states that information is all it takes to file for unemployment. …“Once we have that information, it’s over,” Mayowa said. “It’s easy money.” …prepaid debit cards issued by some state unemployment offices paved the way for fraud this year, security experts said. …Asked whether he feels bad about stealing from unemployed Americans, Mayowa pointed out that 70% of his peers in school are working the scams as side hustles, too.

But it’s not just the unemployment benefits. The government also has been sending out “stimulus” checks to people, even if they were employed all during the pandemic.  And they didn’t even need to be alive, according to a report from CNS.


The federal government sent nearly 1.2 million “economic impact payments” authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to people who were dead and, therefore, not qualified to receive them, according to a report published today by the Government Accountability Office. …On its website, the IRS describes individuals who are not eligible for an “Economic Impact Payment”… “Taxpayers likely won’t qualify for an Economic Impact Payment if any of the following apply: … You can be claimed a dependent on someone else’s return. … You are a nonresident alien. … An incarcerated individual. A deceased individual.”

Hundreds of foreigners also got handouts, as reported by the Washington Post.


Hundreds of people have cashed U.S. stimulus checks at Austrian banks in recent months. Some of them appeared puzzled by the unexpected payments or were ineligible for the payouts, according to bank officials and Austrian media reports. …He and his wife received $1,200 each, although neither is a U.S. resident or holds U.S. citizenship — key eligibility requirements. …Similar instances have been reported in other countries.

By the way, it’s not just Austrians who received handouts. NPR has a story featuring people all over the world who got $1200 checks from Uncle Sam. And let’s not forget the PPP program, which was another big chunk of the coronavirus handouts. The Wall Street Journal has a report on the rampant fraud in that program.


The federal government is swamped with reports of potential fraud in the Paycheck Protection Program, according to government officials and public data…the government allowed companies to self-certify that they needed the funds, with little vetting. The Small Business Administration’s inspector general, an arm of the agency that administers the PPP, said last month there were “strong indicators of widespread potential abuse and fraud in the PPP.” …The watchdog counted tens of thousands of companies that received PPP loans for which they appear to have been ineligible, such as corporations created after the pandemic began… Given the limited criteria Congress set for the program, he said, “The scandal is what’s legal, not what’s illegal.”

Reason also has a story about PPP waste.


…carmaker Lamborghini has benefitted from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)… Within days of receiving $1.6 million in PPP loans for his construction and logistics businesses, Lee Price III of Houston bought himself a 2019 Lamborghini Urus for $233,337, plus a $14,000 Rolex watch and close to $5,000 worth of entertainment at a strip club and various bars around town. …His scheme was audacious but hardly original. The DOJ had already brought similar fraud charges against Miami man David T. Hines, who had allegedly spent his ill-gotten PPP loans on a new $318,000 Lamborghini Huracán EVO. …Loan recipients include companies founded by members of Congress and prominent D.C. lobbying firms. Presidential adviser Jared Kushner’s family businesses, including their media and real estate concerns, received PPP loans, as did the clothing brand of rapper and aspiring president Kanye West.

We already knew that the coronavirus pandemic resulted in a bigger burden of government. None of us should be surprised that we also wound up with record levels of waste.

P.S. Remember, “more government” is not the answer to any sensible question.

P.P.S. At some point, we will run out of “other people’s money.”

Tucker Carlson: CNN hates the idea of Buckhead trying to leave the city of Atlanta

Rich liberals hate diversity so much that 'at the first sign of spray paint, they run for the whitest hills they can find' 

By Tucker Carlson | Fox News

Ever been to Buckhead in Atlanta? It’s a beautiful residential and commercial neighborhood in the northwest corner of the city. It’s not a huge place. Fewer than 80,000 people live there, but it’s fair to say that, without Buckhead, Atlanta, at least as it’s currently run, could not exist. Taxes from Buckhead residents account for fully a fifth of Atlanta’s entire city budget. You’d think the people who run the city would be very polite to Buckhead. They certainly should be. But the opposite is true. For decades, various mayors of Atlanta have attacked Buckhead, as if there’s something offensive or immoral about maintaining a clean and orderly neighborhood. For the most part, the residents of Buckhead have taken this abuse in silence. Complaining seemed impolite. So they’ve continued to send huge amounts of money to a city government that hates them. For politicians in Atlanta, it’s been a very good deal—attack Buckhead and take the dough. But that deal could soon be ending.  ...............To Read More and See a Must See Video

 My Take - Carlson makes mention that CNN is headquartered in Atlanta and know exactly how bad it is as a result of these racist, incompetent leftist politicians actions, and yet they attack Buckhead residents as racists.  The reason to not watch CNN is the same reason you don't drink water our of your toilet. 

Swiss "Climate" Referendum: More Intrusion Of Reality Into The Climate Debate

To my list of examples of reality intruding into the utopian dreams of climate cultists, add the results of yesterday’s referendum in Switzerland. The headline at Reuters is “Swiss reject law to help country meet Paris carbon emissions goal.”

It seems that the Swiss parliament, after multiple years of considering and debating various proposals, had finally passed a package of measures intended to “save the planet,” or at least to push the Swiss people into achieving a Paris agreement goal of 50% emissions reduction (from 1990 levels) by 2030. As usual with these things, the entire strategy consisted of forcing the Swiss people to atone for their sins of prosperity by becoming poorer, in the form of higher prices for fossil fuels and airline tickets and forced restrictions on building heat and automobiles. Here is a list of the main provisions of the proposed law from swissinfo.ch: 

  • a levy of between CHF30 and CHF120 ($32-$129) on airline tickets, for flights taking off from Switzerland
  • an obligation for car importers to sell more energy-efficient vehicles
  • an increase of the surcharge on diesel and petrol from CHF0.05 to CHF0.12 per litre, to be levied by fuel importers
  • an increase of the tax on CO2 levied on diesel from CHF120 to CHF210 per tonne
  • CO2 emissions limits for buildings

Opponents estimated a cost to the average Swiss family in the range of CHF 1,000 (about $1,100) per year. That seems highly optimistic to me, but remember that this law was only part of the plan to get the first 50% reduction in emissions. The big money is in the second 50%.

The Swiss system contains big chunks of “direct democracy,” by which, among other things, the people can by referendum reject a statute passed by the parliament. To initiate the referendum, proponents needed to collect 50,000 signatures within 100 days. Here, some 110,000 were collected within 100 days.

The Swiss contribute something around 0.1% of world carbon emissions. Why would such a people consider impoverishing themselves even a little to reduce their tiny and insignificant portion of world emissions, when places like China, India and Africa — together having several hundred times the population of Switzerland — are on a crash campaign to build more coal power plants to bring electricity to their masses? I can’t answer that question for you. What I can do is tell you who in Switzerland supported this completely futile carbon-restriction legislation. First, there was the legislature itself, which had actually passed the proposed law. Which political parties in the legislature supported this? From swissinfo.ch:

In parliament, all parties backed the law except for the right-wing People’s Party.

They don’t have a two-party system in Switzerland like our system. A Wikipedia entry here lists some twelve political parties having representatives in the parliament. So it was eleven of twelve in support of self-impoverishment for no noticeable benefit. To be fair, the People’s Party is the largest of the twelve, with about 25% of the members.

Also among the law’s supporters were essentially all of the major institutions of Swiss society. Again, from swissinfo.ch:

[I]n favour of the law [was] a campaign committee representing business, energy providers, the construction sector, banks, and insurance companies, as well as the Swiss Business Federation, the Swiss Climate Alliance, environmental groups like Greenpeace, and various local sections of the Climate Strike movement.

And don’t forget academia, plus essentially all established media and newspapers.

According to this post-election piece at swissinfo.ch, the vote was close — 51.6% to 48.4%. There was a sharp urban/rural divide in the voting, with supporters of the law running up substantial majorities in the cities of Zurich, Geneva and Basel, while the opponents swept the rest of the country, with bigger majorities in the most rural areas.

The bottom line: after some 30 or more years of unrelenting propaganda about the supposed climate crisis, when the issue got presented with specific costs attached, the Swiss people were sensible enough to say no.

This isn’t over, of course. The left never gives up. The rejection of this one law by the referendum process will not prevent the parliament from passing the next law, probably tweaked just enough to seem to be different, and perhaps with the costs a little better hidden. At which point the people will be forced to go through this process again. And again and again. But the point remains that no amount of unrelenting propaganda can make pointless self-sacrifice popular when the public can be made aware of the costs.