Updates of efforts by California county to crush local church and the church’s efforts to stand up for the rights of all Christians.

…closed due to government violation of First Amendment. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Santa Clara County in California has been putting pressure on Calvary Chapel San Jose for daring to hold worship services during the pandemic.

We now know the efforts to suppress Christian worship were a flagrant violation of the First Amendment, as determined by the Supreme Court in multiple rulings. See end of this discussion for list of posts describing the rebukes from the Supreme Court. (If you want to see the results when ideologues write feeble legal briefs, I heartily encourage you to read the dissents from the Supreme Court’s rulings.)

The county levied plenty of fines and a temporary injunction against the church. Previous article describing Calvary Chapel San Jose’s efforts to exercise their first amendment right to free expression of religion:

Since my post back in November 2020, we have learned the county was allegedly conducting surreptitious surveillance on the church during the pandemic. A neighboring church allegedly assisted with the surveillance. Fines issued by the county have been dismissed at the appellate level.

Now the church has filed suit against the county for their surveillance. They are standing up for the rights of all Christians to gather in worship.

This discussion is posted here on Nonprofit Update blog, as well as Outrun Change, because this affects the freedom of many in this audience.

By the way, if you see an above average amount of ridicule and sarcasm in this post, it is here in the hope that out-loud, belly laughter directed at officials will encourage said officials to reconsider their foolish ways. Supreme Court rulings don’t seem to have had that effect yet.

3/16/23 – The Christian Post – California church denies working with gov’t officials to surveil lockdown-defying Calvary Chapel

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9/11: Never Forget

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

For my remembrance of the 9/11 attacks during which 2,996 Americans were slaughtered by 19 terrorists, my family watched 9/11: The Filmmakers’ Commemorative Edition.

The movie started as a documentary following one rookie New York firefighter through training and his nine months of probation.  In doing so, the two filmmakers were following an engine company on a call when the first hijacked airplane hit. The strike was on camera.

(Cross-post from my other blog, Outrun Change. Christians, the primary audience for this blog, do not need to be reminded of the reality of evil. Still, it is good to look at it closely once in a while to refresh our memory of the depths of evil. Thus, this post.)

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Stuff you can now safely say about COVID: the virus came from a lab leak.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

There are many things you could not say in public two or three years ago, all of which are now safe to say. Here is a starting point of the list of things you can now talk about in the open:

  • The virus came from a lab leak.

As I find articles to further develop the issues now say to say, I will have further discussion.

The virus came from a lab leak.

This was crazy talk three years ago but is slowly becoming accepted: the most likely place the COVID-19 virus came from was a Chinese research laboratory. Oh, by the way, said lab was funded in part by Dr. Fauci’s department.

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Stuff you can now safely say about COVID: natural immunity works.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

There are many things you could not say in public two or three years ago, all of which are now safe to say. Here is a starting point of the list of things you can now talk about in the open:

A slow trickle of news reports are showing that lots of the crazy, coo-coo bird, nutzo, conspiracy theory wackiness you heard from your friends two or three years ago were actually correct. My friends deemed nuts by society who were saying these things were right.

Natural immunity works.

2/27/23 – Wall Street Journal – Three Years Late, the Lancet Recognizes Natural Immunity

Research report by Lancet has one surprise and two not-at-all-surprises. 

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Same-Meal-at-the-Same-Restaurant price index. I don’t even want to calculate the increase for this meal.

My reaction every time I see the total on the grocery store cash register.
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Before leaving California I provided several illustrations of the actual price increases at a specific restaurant for the identical meal. Since moving to Williston, North Dakota I don’t have a lot of good data points yet. We’re still going to different restaurants and ordering different items so I don’t have a useful point-to-point comparison.

Yesterday my son gave me a painful example.

Last March he ordered one foot-long sub sandwich, a 6 inch sandwich, and one soda.

The price?

$13.26.

Yesterday he ordered the exact same items from the same restaurant.

The price?

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Federal Reserve adopts rules restricting insider trading by insider staff.

The facade of the Federal Reserve Bank. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The Fed formally approved rules which will provide significant restrictions on investment activities by regional bank presidents, senior staff, and a host of staff have access to market-moving information as a part of their job.

This follows multiple news reports of Fed officials who were trading securities with somewhat awkward timing, such as after decisions had been made and before the full impact hit the market or in anticipation of major decisions which would be made within days.

The Fed issued a press release on 2/18/22: FOMC follow adopts comprehensive new rules for investment and trading activity.

Here are a few comments in the press release, which provide a great summary of the new restrictions. I converted the comment into bullet points:

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Six more sentences for parents bribing their children into college.

Georgetown University, which along with USC, seems to be one of the more popular destination of parents in the college admissions scandal. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Been a while since I updated the sentences so richly earned by parents in the “Varsity Blues” college admissions scam.  Six more parents have learned the consequences of cheating and bribing their darlings into schools, usually as fake athletes.

Punishment for not pleading guilty.

Of particular note is two men who went to trial earned 15 months and a year plus a day.  The other four in this update who all seem to have been into the scheme to roughly the same extent, earned 6 weeks, 6 weeks, 6 weeks, and 2 months.

See a pattern?

There is a brutal penalty to be paid in the United States for insisting on a trial by jury of your peers.  In this small sample, the two who demanded trial earned average of 13.5 months average. The four who pleaded out earned average of 6.5 weeks, or 1.6 months.

That is a difference of 11.9 months.  That is about a year. Or, 8.4 times longer.

Six sentences

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20th anniversary for Ulvog CPA.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Today, January 28, 2022, marks the twentieth anniversary of the Ulvog CPA firm.

It has been a joy to serve the nonprofit community for these two decades as an independent CPA firm. Focusing on the religious nonprofit community has been a professional honor and a personal delight.

Thanks to all the organizations who have made this journey possible.

Looking forward to many more years of serving churches and ministries.

God’s blessings to you all.

More explanation why the entire supply chain system is overloaded.

The supply chain is complicated. There is no switch you can throw to magically make all those connections smoothly work together again. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The supply chain for everything is tangle up to the extent it will take lots of time to function normally again.

Two articles describing the depth of issues:

  • Analogy of turning off a complex computer system. Some of the hundreds of components won’t work when you throw the ‘on’ switch.
  • Description of the demand side pressure on supply chain. All those trillions of federal dollars sloshing around have created demand which has overloaded distribution systems.

American Thinker – 12/11/21 – We broke everything in the name of Covid – Author ran a large IT department at one point in the past. Every few years they had to shut down the entire computer system so that the factory could go through maintenance of the electrical system.

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Record high inflation is going to continue and likely get worse.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

There are a lot of indications the inflation rates we’ve seen in the last year or so are going to continue. My guess is we will see higher inflation in the next year than we did in 2021. Author of the article discussing PPP says he expects a shock in the CPI sometime in the next few months.

Merely a few recent items pointing towards sustained and even increasing inflation:

  • Dollar Tree is now $1.25 Tree.
  • Experienced farmer describes how severely inflation is hitting his operations. Those increases are going to appear on the store shelves soon.
  • Producer Price Index is accelerating. Indications that unprocessed and intermediate goods are going up far faster than what we’re seeing at retail, so expect accelerating inflation.
  • Unusually high lumber prices are back.
  • Decent prices on cars will be harder and harder to find.

Dollar Tree is now Dollar and a Quarter Tree – Bought a couple items at Dollar Tree. They all rang up at $1.25. Glanced around the store noticing all the signs said $1.25.I asked the clerk about it and he said everything in the store is now a dollar and a quarter.

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Who should we listen to? Who should we ignore?

Who should we listen to? Who, amongst our supposed leaders, has any idea what they are talking about? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

At a time when the media is telling us this Covid pandemic will continue forever and there are frequent variants that will kill us all dead, who should we actually be paying attention to?

The possibilities:

  • people who know how to spell epidemiology, or
  • actual epidemiologists, or
  • people who are so convinced that Covid is deadly that they don’t bother to protect themselves; these are the people who also routinely ignore the rules they dictate we must follow.

People who know how to spell epidemiology and actually know someone they went to school with who is an epidemiologist:

Tweet by Martin Kulldorff

“The vocal pro-lockdown “public health scientists”, with their limited knowledge of infectious disease epidemiology, will be the last to recognize the public health disaster they created.”

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One of the reasons why we are seeing record setting high inflation: staggering, astronomical level of federal spending.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The amount of money Congress has pumped into the economy in an attempt to fight the Covid pandemic is staggering. Don’t quite have enough adjectives to describe the amount of money that is forced into the economy without any corresponding increase in production.

The amount spent directly on the pandemic is more than four times the annual budget at the federal level.

This is one of the primary reasons we are seeing inflation rates running at a thirty year high.

A close cousin on the list of inflation causes is the Fed flooding the economy with liquidity.  See previous discussion: Just how much money has the Federal Reserve created out of thin air and injected into the economy?

I’ve pulled together the amount of money appropriated by Congress in 2020 and 2021 which are focused on fighting the pandemic and stimulating the economy. Here is my tally, with amount of funding in billions of dollars, date Congress passed the legislation, and name of the program:

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Educational institutions continue to shrink two years into the pandemic.

College classroom. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The double whammy of Covid pandemic and government policies in reaction to the pandemic continue to hammer the educational sector. Unsettling thing is to consider these articles only discuss the current impact and not the long-term destruction of education for all students from pre-K to grad school.

Articles for you to consider:

  • Columbia University settles for a refund of fees their class-action lawsuit claiming refund of fees and tuition.
  • Freshman enrollment in colleges and universities continued to decline in fall 2021. The anticipated return of students who skipped matriculation in fall 2020 has not happened.
  • As an indicator of what is likely happening in all primary and secondary schools across the country, Washington state public schools estimate enrollment for the next two years will be down another 4.5% from their February 2021 estimate.

TaxProf – 11/27/21 – Columbia Settles Covid-19 Class Action Tuition Refund Suit For $12.5 Million – Looks like Columbia University got off easy. Students there established a class and were suing for refund of tuition and fees because they were prohibited from in-person classes and instead attended an Ivy League school on their monitor.

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Number of people drawing unemployment continues to improve, but very slowly, as of the start of November 2021.

The number of new claims for unemployment is slowly declining.

For the week ending 11/6/21 there were 267,000 new claims. While this is encouraging progress, keep in mind the number of people who are getting laid off is still far above the average of 212,000 per week all the way back in January and February 2020. We are still seeing more people laid off every week than before the pandemic began.

Here is a recap of newly unemployed over the last several months:

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Producer Price Index in October 2021 shows continuing inflation.

The Producer Price Index (PPI) in October 2021 continues to show unusually high and ongoing inflation. Increasing October was 0.6%, which follows a 0.5% increase in September and 0.7% increase in August.

The PPI has shown high inflation for all of 2021. The worst months were 1.2% in January, 1.0% in April, and 1.0% in July. Those extremes have not repeated for the last quarter, which is a small amount of good news.

Graph at the top of this post shows the monthly change and final demand (the total index in other words) in blue. The average of the monthly changes in green. The red line shows core change, which excludes food, energy, and trade.

The PPI was increasing around 0.4% the month until the end of 2020. Since then it has averaged 0.8% for 2021 through October. Ouch.

This index is explained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as follows:

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