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:


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:


Another Fed official actively trading. This time in advance of major action by the Fed.

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

Another senior official in the Federal Reserve had odd trades in 2020.  This brings to three the number of extremely senior Fed officials doing strange things.

On 2/28/20 the chairman of the Federal Reserve issued a statement saying that the evolving coronavirus would require close monitoring by the Federal Reserve. Unusual release also indicated there were risks emerging in terms of economic activity.

Such statements get close attention by the investment markets because they contain any hint of what the Fed is thinking and what the Fed might do. The market then responds to those statements, inferring what it means and what those actions might do to interest rates and the stock markets.


Thank you. Rest in Peace.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

August 26, 2021

Navy Corpsman Maxton Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio, Navy

Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California, USMC

Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas, USMC

Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming, USMC

Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri, USMC

Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California, USMC

Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah, USMC

Cpl. Daegan William-Tyeler Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska, USMC

Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California, USMC

Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana, USMC

Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, USMC

Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts, USMC

Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee, Army

Over 100 Afghanistan citizens seeking to flee the country to save their lives.

Three more guilty pleas in college admissions scandal.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Although they grind slowly, the wheels of justice do grind.

Three more parents have negotiated a guilty plea deal for trying to bribe their child’s way into college. Sentencing hearings will be over the next several months.

Four more parents await trial.

8/24/21 – Wall Street Journal – College-Admissions Cheating Scandal Yields New Guilty Plea – Marci Palatell agreed to plead guilty to one felony count a month before trial. She admitted to one federal felony of what is called conspiracy to commit honest services mail fraud. We have seen that charge a lot. I think that’s a catchall for cheating. The plea agreement outlines six weeks in prison, two years supervised release, $250K fine, and 500 hours of community service. Interesting note is that the same set of terms negotiated by Elisabeth Kimmel in the following paragraph. She confessed to conspiracy to pay $500,000 to get her son admitted into USC as a fake football player.


Governor of Michigan has scored 4 points in the competitive race for Worst Hypocrite.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Looks like Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has run up the highest score amongst the many Covid hypocrite politicians in the country.

Let’s count the number of times she has flouted the executive decrees everyone else is required to follow but from which she is exempt.

To start, let’s go back to last June: 6/9/20 – Michigan Capital Confidential – Whitmer Skirted Her Own Executive Orders Twice Before Blowing Them Up.

Article points out she was on the cover of Newsweek (yes, like you, I was also surprised to hear it is still around) featuring her efforts to save lives with strong rules.

Score in the hypocrisy race between the Michigan and California governors

In the race for biggest hypocrite, I’m embarrassed to say that my governor, Gavin Newsom, only has 1 flagrant hypocrisy on the scoreboard.

He has been far out distanced by the Michigan governor who is at 4.5 by my count. I’ll explain shortly how she only earns half credit for one incident.

So, the current score?

  • 4.5 – Michigan governor
  • 1.0 – California governor

Time is running out to even the score of 4.5-1

Governor of my state doesn’t have much time to even up the score. Several weeks ago he ordered by executive decree that the pandemic will end on June 15, 2021. On that exact date the state color-coding rules will disappear because he knows they won’t be needed anymore.

He only has two weeks to run up the count if he wants to be the hypocrisy champ.

Back to the current front runner…

Hypocrisy One


How can a football team’s position for scoring the game winning points illustrate the differences between an audit, review, compilation, and preparation?

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Let’s think about a football team and how they are positioned for scoring the winning points in the last few seconds of a tied game. They could be 4th-and-goal or perhaps not yet to a position for a field goal attempt.

Let’s use that illustration to explain the services provided by your outside accountant.

A CPA can provide four levels of services if you’re looking for financial statements.

You can hire a CPA firm to provide:

  • audit,
  • review,
  • compilation, or
  • preparation service.

What is winning the game?

We all know what that is in football.

In our accounting illustration a winning score would be perfect financial statements. Every number is correct. Not just close-enough, but exactly correct. Every disclosure complies with every single requirement.  The presentation and classification are picture perfect.

That probably never happens in real life, so let’s simplify it by saying that there is nothing even close to materially incorrect in any number, presentation, or disclosure. The financial statements are as close to perfect as is humanly possible.

That is what a win looks like.


Let’s say there is under a minute left in a tied game. Our favorite football team has just completed a successful drive and is sitting on the 1 yard line on fourth down. There’s only one play left in 30 seconds and the game is over.

Likelihood of getting a touchdown and winning the game is pretty good. Right about now the odds look incredible.


News flash: Religious freedom is blooming everywhere. Three SCOTUS injunctions in favor of First Amendment and LA County to allow indoor worship.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The US Supreme Court has issued injunctions in three different cases in three different circuits overturning lower court rulings which restrict religious freedom. (Update:  make that four in total.)

On top of that, the County of Los Angeles has announced it will revise its public health orders to allow worship services to be conducted indoors.

Fantastic, wonderful news for your early Sunday morning reading.

(Update: Minor corrections for grammar and typos made without identify such changes. Substantive updates identified as such.)

Update: I just read the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn ruling. Wow. The sum total of all sarcasm and ridicule I have previously brought to the table regarding religious freedom pales in comparison to the scathing comments by Justices in that ruling. When I have time, I’ll recap some of the comments. Quick summary:  it is past time for governors to stop intentionally ignoring and flagrantly shredding the U.S. Constitution. Oh yeah, the Governor of New York is working hard to fight the case and violate the Constitution.

US Supreme Court – Harvest Rock Church, et al. v. Newsom, Gov. of CA

In a 10 line, unsigned order SCOTUS vacated the ruling by the District Court for the Center District of California which ruled against Harvest Rock Church in their lawsuit to allow indoor worship.

Ruling can be found here.

The ruling was dated Thursday 12/3/20, which is 2 ½ weeks ago.

The court ordered the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to order the District Court to reconsider their ruling in light of Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.


News reports on early days of Lori Loughlin’s term give insight to confinement in federal prison.

Residence of Lori Loughlin for next two months – Federal Correctional Institution Dublin California Overhead View by Prison Insight is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Previous discussion of Lori Loughlin reporting to prison prompted one astute reader to point out I had made some mistakes in the post. I have corrected some items and clarified others. Many thanks to this perceptive reader!

His comments prompted me to read a few more articles and discuss them here. I dive into this detail because it provides insight on the federal prison system.

11/30/20 – Associated Press – Actor Lori Loughlin reports to prison in college scam– Article says the actress reported to the Dublin, California prison on 10/30. Statement from the prosecutor indicated “the parties” agreed she would report early on 10/30. This is about three weeks earlier than 11/19, which was the date the judge had previously ordered.

She is subject to a 14 day quarantine, which is standard protocol from the Bureau of Prisons. That means as of 11/5 she is in day seven of quarantine with another seven days to go.

11/30/20 – USA Today – Lori Loughlin reports to California prison for 2-month sentence in college admissions case – Reporter confirmed with spokesperson at the prison that Ms. Loughlin was in custody on 10/30.

11/4/20 – Us Weekly – Lori Loughlin is a “Wreck” While Serving Time in Prison


Devastation from government ordered shutdown of the economy – 3 of 3

What the California economy might look like by the time it is allowed to reopen. Photo of abandoned farm in North Dakota by James Ulvog.

This is the third in a series of posts describing the damage caused by shutting down the economy. First post discussed recent news on economic damage. Second post described ongoing health damage.

Some things are *not* going wrong

Just under half a million people attended the motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota from August 7 through 16.

9/1/20 – PJ Media – OH THE HORROR! Sturgis Motorcycle Rally COVID-19 Numbers Are in and They Are Shocking

Half a million. Official tally is 462,000.

In one small town.

Check out any of the pictures from the rally and you will notice a distinct lack of masks and social distancing.

Expectations in most media sources were for this event to produce massive amounts of infection.

Half a million people. In one town.

The tracking results are in from the massive numbers of people who were infected and the resulting fatalities from this massive event.

It is shocking. Amazing. Head-shaking. Astounding.

Best info available is that:

  • 196 people tested positive for COVID with results linked to attending Sturgis.
  • 4 people died.

To put that in context, 5 people died of motorcycle accidents in Sturgis during the rally.

Growing awareness something is wrong with lockdowns

8/24/20 – Wall Street Journal – New Thinking on COVID Lockdowns: They are Overly Blunt and Costly – Article has a massive amount of information on the course of the pandemic, wide range of strategies by national and state governments, and large volume of statistics. The story is told basically scrambled egg style with no pattern or trends or storylines that I can easily summarize.


Happy 244th birthday America!

American militia reenactors at Redcoats & Rebels Revolutionary War Reenactment by Lee Wright is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In the 1770s and 1780s, a ragtag collection of citizen soldiers waged a war of independence against the most powerful empire on the planet…

British Army reenactors at Redcoats & Rebels Revolutionary War Reenactment by Lee Wright is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

…and defeated them.


Two hundred forty-four years ago today marked the start of this wonderful, aspirational, fantastic, heaven-blessed, messy, delightful, powerful, flawed, and glorious experiment called the United States of America which has delivered unimaginable levels of freedom to hundreds of millions of people here in the US of A and contributed massively to the freedom of hundreds and hundreds of millions more around the world.

That experiment had multiple severe flaws baked into the design which are taking a long time to correct, yet the aspirational dreams then drove and still drive that wonderful experiment to constant improvement.

Before our independence, anything resembling a democracy had been absent for so many long centuries. Apart from the ruling elite, ordinary people were merely the subjects of their ‘betters.’  Common folk only had the very few rights and freedoms that those born to power consented to give them, like crumbs thrown from the table.  You and I would only have been able to do what those controlling us allowed us to do.

And then came those rabble-rousing founding fathers.

The results of this grand experiment in self-government, not tried before, has produced fabulous results.


6 action items for churches

Clifton Larson Allen provides six great ideas to put on your to-do list.

Check out Six Finance Tips for Religious Organizations.

The ideas:

1. Correctly account for contributions

2. Develop a gift acceptance policy

3. Consider offering online giving

4. Address risk management

5. Understand the housing allowance

6. Establish a finance committee

Check out the article for more detail. It will be worth every moment of your time. By the way, this is one of those wish-I-had-written-it articles.

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

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.