More indications of economic damage from shutdown.

Federal judge ruled the moratorium is a flagrantly illegal power grab. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A bit of good news to go with the ongoing indications of economic destruction.

  • Federal judge ruled the CDC can’t force landlords to provide no-cash-payment housing.
  • Black homeowners having more difficulty getting back on track with mortgage payments than other ethnic groups. Economic impact of shutdowns are falling disproportionately hard on minorities.
  • Rent prices in New York City continue in freefall.

5/6/21 – Foundation for Economic Education – A Federal Judge Just Struck Down One of the CDC’s Most Blatant Power Grabs – The Centers for Disease Control assumed for itself the power to prohibit evictions of renters because they were not paying rent.

No, although it may be your first reaction, that is not socialism. The government telling you what to do with your property, how much to produce, and controlling the price you can charge, thus converting the property into de facto government property, actually falls into the definition of the economic system of fascism.

Article reminds us that in 9/20, CDC issued an order that non-paying tenants cannot be evicted in most situations. Serious penalties involved.

The extreme rationalization to grab this power was shut down by a federal judge on 5/5/20.

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More indications of health consequences caused by economic shutdown.

How many more advanced cancer cases and how many more cancer deaths will we see because of the economic shutdown? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A few of the recent articles pointing to health consequences from shutting down the economy:

  • Flu bug has essentially disappeared.
  • Rapid increase in alcohol deaths in England and Wales during the lockdown.
  • One study finds being at home is more dangerous than being at work.
  • Three articles point to the harsh medical consequences of the drop in cancer screenings; people are dying because of lack of access to health care during the lockdown.

I hope someday there will be accountability for the politicians and public health officials who put us in this place.

4/29/21 – Scientific American – Flu Has Disappeared Worldwide during the Covid Pandemic – Since the Covid pandemic began the incidents of influenza have shrank to level of inconsequential. One expert is quoted as saying there is “no flu circulating.”

Tally of deaths in the United States from influenza:

  • 34,000 – 2018-2019 flu season
  • 22,000 – 2019-2020 flu season
  • 600 – 2020-2021 flu season, yes 600

Article has graph of influenza cases per week in North America. Graph of the previous eight flu seasons shows huge spike a couple months ago. The graph for the 2021 flu season is a flat line indistinguishable from zero. Looking at the graph you assume that flu has completely disappeared from North America.

“Experts” mentioned in the article unanimously attribute the disappearance to the same protocols used in an attempt to limit Covid infection – wearing masks, washing hands, frequent use of hand sanitizers, and social distancing.

Amusingly, missing from the article is even the mere possibility of considering that there might perhaps be the option of miscoding or erroneous diagnosis. There is no hint that could even possibly happen.

5/6/21 – Lockdown Skeptics – Alcohol Deaths Rise to Highest Level Since Records Began in England and Wales – Deaths from alcohol abuse have been rising for many years in England and Wales. However, there is a 20% increase in 2020 over 2019 with most of the acceleration happening after the lockdown began.

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Unemployment rate up slightly in April 2021 after slow decline since November 2020.

The unemployment rate skyrocketed during the pandemic heating a frightening 14.7% in April 2020, a year ago. It declined substantially, hitting 6.9% in October 2020.

Since November, he sent to the corresponding to the election, the employment rate has been slowly declining, drifting down to 6.0% in March 2021.

In April 2021, then upon rate inched up to 6.1%. This is the first monthly increase since the peak in April 2020.

To help understand the data and underlying trends, let’s dive deeper into the numbers.

The U-3 and U-6 unemployment rates since the start of 2019 are visible in the graph at the top of this post.

General trend visible in that graph is unemployment rate has been flat at around 6% since the fall after having been at below 4% for over a year before the pandemic.

For a longer-term perspective, check out the U-3 and U-6 unemployment rates since before the Great Recession:

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Continued struggles in recovery of job market.

Lots of companies are looking for new staff but can’t find enough workers. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Spending by consumers is growing while the number of new jobs is not as strong as expected and employers are having a hard time finding enough staff.

5/7/21 – Wall Street Journal – U.S. Employers Added 266,000 Jobs in April as Hiring Slowed – Expectation among economic forecasters was employers would add 1 million new jobs in April. Actual results were a mere 266,000.

This follows a downward revision to the March data.

Leisure and hospitality (that means entertainment, hotels, and motels) saw most of the growth in April. In more detail, there are 331K new jobs in those sectors which offset a net decline of 65K in all other sectors.

Article repeats the comment seen in many of other articles that employers are having a hard time attracting new staff.

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New claims for unemployment slowly decreasing at end of April 2021.

The number of new unemployment claims for week ending 4/24/21 decreased by a small 13,000 to 553,000.  That is the lowest level of newly unemployed since the start of the shutdown.

New claims dropped a lot in the week ending 4/10/21, going from 769K the prior week to 576K, a drop of 193K.

New claims in state programs at the end of the last three months:

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Ongoing news reports of the destruction caused by the lockdowns imposed by governments.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Infection rates continue to drop. Depending on the particular statistic and which county you wish to look at, infections, hospitalization, and death rate are down in California somewhere in the range of 90% to 95% or even more since early January.

Yet California is still in lockdown. Not as abusively harsh as several months ago, but still in severe lockdown. So the ongoing destruction will continue.

Merely a few of the recent articles which will be highlighted today:

  • The “hygiene theater” of deep clean is no longer necessary according to CDC
  • CDC reports drug overdose are soaring
  • Young adults are suffering severe psychological damage
  • Small businesses can’t find employees because of the overgenerous federal unemployment benefits
  • Some class-action lawsuit against higher education are moving forward
  • Infective pandemic is accelerating the close of colleges

Adverse Health Impacts

4/8/21 – New York Times – Has the Era of Overzealous Cleaning Finally Come to an End? – CDC finally conceded it is exquisitely rare to transmit coronavirus by touching a contaminated surface. They assess the risk that less than one in 10,000.

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‘Rules for thee but not for me’ still operative policy for our elected ‘leaders.’

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

There haven’t been high visiblity examples in the last couple of months where political or medical leaders exercise their divine right to ignore the rules they impose on everyone else. Or perhaps I just haven’t been paying enough attention.

Well, the governor of Michigan and two of her aides have broken the dry spell of flagrant hypocrites getting caught in their hypocrisy.

Make a completely wild guess what the governor did while urging her subjects citizens to avoid travel to Florida for spring break and warn that snowbirds could easily bring infection back with them when returning from Florida?

Yup. She took a trip to Florida.

To visit her father.

Since the purpose wasn’t to frolic on the beach the trip is okey-dokey.

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Lockdown protest songs from Van Morrison and Eric Clapton.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

In fall 2020 Van Morrison and Eric Clapton released songs protesting lockdowns, describing the damage the economic shutdowns were causing and focused attack on our freedoms. A host of articles referenced on my blog describe the damage they were referring to.

On 9/18/20 Van Morrison announced three songs:

  • Born To Be Free
  • As I Walked Out
  • No More Lockdowns

Eric Clapton also released a song:

  • Stand and Deliver

For reasons you can easily figure out for yourself, which I will not state explicitly, the songs were trashed in public. I will not link to or summarize the articles complimenting the songs because they get more political than I choose.

Before going into further discussion of the songs, with links to Amazon and some highlights of the lyrics, here are four out of dozens of articles trashing them:

Merely from the titles of the articles, you can tell how much venom was poured out on the songs.

A hint of what the self-appointed critics did not like:

As I walked out all the streets were empty
The government said everyone should stay home
And they spread fear and loathing and no hope for the future
Not many did question this very strange move

After reading several articles, including some that were favorable, I wasn’t going to look at the songs any further. However, I decided to at least take a quick look. After I listened to Born To Be Free, I looked up the lyrics and listened again. Then I was intrigued and listened to all four songs, following along with the lyrics.

If you read my blog and especially if you got this far in this particular post, you will enjoy the songs.

Born To Be Free

By the way, all four of the songs are available for a mere $0.89. This one is available at Amazon at the link:

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Protest song against lockdowns from Mick Jaggar. Wait… What?

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Um, yeah. Rolling Stones, well Mick Jagger by himself (since the band can’t get together), weighed in with a song protesting the lockdowns.

A protest song.

Song ridicules the ongoing lockdown, describing the effect of being isolated as lobotomizing.

It compares the forced quarantine to prison confinement.

There is one recurring line, which you have to think about a while:

It’ll be a memory you’re trying to remember to forget.

Aha…we will have to work to forget this horrible time.

The lockdowns of the past year are a nightmare for those who lost businesses, will never catch up on their rent, whose education has been harshly disrupted if not destroyed, all those who now have severe depression, and those with well-advanced cancer because they couldn’t get in to see a doctor for so many months to check out that odd thing and now it is stage 4.

Yes, we will all have memories that will we be trying to forget.

A hint of the lyrics:

We took it on the chin
The numbers were so grim
Bossed around by p*****.

The video of Easy Sleazy, then more lyrics:

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You may now exercise your religious freedom in California as you see fit. State consents to reinstating First Amendment.

In California, you may now resume in-person bible studies, prayer meetings, and worship services. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

On 4/9/21, the Supreme Court told the state of California for the fifth time that the Free Exercise of Religion clause of the First Amendment actually, really, truly does allow free exercise of religion. Oh yeah, the injunction mentioned this was the fifth injunction against the unconstitutional state rules.

On 4/12/21, attorneys from the Thomas More Society called state officials, according to a press release from Thomas More Society, wanting to confirm a telephone call at 1 PM that day to discuss the next round of the South Bay United Pentecostal Church lawsuit against the state. An evidentiary hearing had been scheduled sometime in May.

According to the press release, attorneys for the church asked if the state was going to allow worship at 100% capacity. If not, the church would proceed to the hearing which would “inevitably result in the 6th rebuke from SCOTUS.”

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Supreme Court to California: Read the First Amendment. We really, really, really, really mean it this time.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

On Friday, 4/9/21, the Supreme Court issued an injunction prohibiting California from enforcing an arbitrary rule that no more than three families may gather for in-home worship or prayer meetings.

The unsigned opinion stated:

“This is the fifth time the Court has summarily rejected the Ninth Circuit’s analysis of California’s COVID restrictions on religious exercise.”

This is the fifth injunction against California restrictions on religious worship. For this moment in time at least, the Free Expression clause of the First Amendment is still in place and operational.

Why do I say “for the moment?” Previous decisions have been 6-3. Justice Roberts disagreed with this ruling but did not sign on to the dissent. The justices in favor of keeping the First Amendment in place may have slipped to 5-4.

The injunction is titled Ritesh Tandon, et al. v. Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, et al.

Other comments in the ruling are equally amusing.

The first paragraph says:

“The Ninth Circuit’s failure to grant an injunction pending appeal was erroneous. This Court’s decisions have made the following points clear.”

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Side-effects of lockdown: increasing suicides, higher unemployment.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The devastating side-effects from government-imposed lockdowns keeps growing. The lack of benefits and damage from lockdowns is becoming more obvious with every week that passes.

Merely a few of the recent articles in the news:

  • Suicide attempts amongst youth increasing.
  • Long-term care residents in Canada remain in solitary confinement in spite of 90% of them having been vaccinated.
  • Unemployment rate higher in states with harsh lockdowns, lower in states with freedom.

3/16/21 – Foundation for Economic Education – Child Suicide is Becoming an “International Epidemic” Amid Restricted Pandemic Life, Doctors Warn – Associated Press interviewed a British doctor who works in an ER.  Number of suicide attempts he is treating has gone from a couple a week before the pandemic started to several a day now.

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He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

He is risen!

He is risen indeed!

Easter is the high point of the year for Christians.  On this day our Savior rose from the tomb after having suffered a brutal death at the hands of the Roman government, urged on by the religious leadership.

What’s the big deal?

On Good Friday, the death of Jesus paid in full the penalty for my sins, yours sins, and the sins of every person who ever lived or ever will live.

On Easter Sunday, His glorious resurrection proves his sacrifice was accepted by God the Father.

In rising from death, Jesus proved he had ultimate power over death, hell, and the devil.

By that sacrifice, our sins are forgiven, and we will enter heaven for eternity, not because of what we do or how nice we are, but solely because of His sacrifice on the cross.

A few selections of the wonderful and so comforting hymn Jesus Christ is Risen Today to help you celebrate. Go ahead, crank up the volume. First up is an organ only version:

For a beautiful processional:

King’s College Choir, Cambridge

The lyrics:

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Jerusalem Daily Reporter, Sunday pre-sunrise edition: “Jesus of Nazareth, Enemy Of The State, Executed For Treason”

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

News flash from 4/20/14, reprinted 4/5/15 and 4/12/20: 

Jerry Bowyer has the report from Jerusalem. It is in the very early edition of today’s paper.

Apparently that seditious rabble-rouser from Nazareth got his just due Friday past when the Sanhedrin and Roman government both agreed to address treason as treason ought be addressed.

The article’s first paragraph,

Jesus of Nazareth was executed today on the orders of the Roman State. Method of execution: Crucifixion. The charge under Roman law was treason, and under Herodian law blasphemy against the Temple. The evidence against this anarchist was so strong that authorities of both the Roman State and the Kingdom of Herod concurred with the arrest and execution, and he was subjected to trial by both governments. And in a rare uprising of spontaneous collective justice, the mass of people who were gathered for Passover called for his execution as well. The mob affirmed their loyalty to the state, chanting, “We have no king but Caesar.”

For the rest of the story, check out the full news report in Forbes: Jesus of Nazareth, Enemy Of The State, Executed For Treason.

After reading the full article, I’m sure you will agree with me that we shall never hear of his name again.

Hold on…

The paperboy is shouting something about an extra edition….Let me go get a copy of the paper to see what happened since sunrise.

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Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

During Easter Vigil, we ponder the situation of the disciples and other followers of Jesus between the horror of the Friday execution and the as-yet-unknown surprising resurrection early on Sunday morning. 

The in between time found the apostles hiding behind locked doors. Their fear was well founded. It was quite reasonable to think the Romans and religious leaders would be looking for Jesus’ followers. The time was ripe to completely shut down this silly group of rabble-rousers.

For us, Saturday finds us looking back to the horror of Good Friday while simultaneously filled with great anticipation of wondrous, joyous celebration in the morning.

The hymn Were you there when they crucified my Lord? draws us in to the horror of Good Friday. An intense rendition:

Danny Rivera, Longy’s Virtual Benefit Concert, Longy School of Music of Bard

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