Emerging hints of serious pushback to the economic/ social/ educational shutdown by politicians and public health officials.

There is a hint, a whiff in the air, of a strong pushback emerging against the destruction caused by politicians and public health officials during the pandemic.

Everyone knows about the recall effort underway attempting to remove California Governor Gavin Newsom from office.

Did you know there are lots of other recall efforts in the state?

Did you know over a dozen state legislatures are moving towards placing limits and restraints on the currently unlimited and unrestrained power of public health agencies to destroy at will?

Perhaps, just perhaps, we may see some accountability for the widespread destruction caused by a host of elected officials and unelected bureaucrats responsible for public health care issues.

Two articles point toward the emerging pushback:

(more…)

California will mostly, kinda’, sorta’ open up on June 15.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

We are finally getting back to normal next Tuesday. Mostly. Sort of. Certain mask requirements will stay in place on June 15, 2021. Importantly, the emergency is not over and all of the emergency orders issued in the last year stay in place for another few months.

It also means public health officials and the governor can reinstate any restrictions they want or impose new restrictions they want and can do so anytime they want.

The good news portion of changes on June 15 is the four level color-coded system is gone. No more of the purple, red, orange, and yellow grading based on arbitrary numerical targets (which as we have seen the state can unilaterally shift as desired). The stay-at-home orders will officially end.

Best part of the good news is the capacity limits and physical distancing requirements are gone.

Now on to the remaining and new restrictions.

(more…)

Accelerating inflation rate continues in May 2021.

Changes in the Consumer Price Index have been making a splash in the news lately. Increases over the last three months have been unusually high.

The headline consumer price indicator increased 0.6% in May after 0.8% in April and 0.6% in March. That is a big run of inflation for three months.

The core measure, which excludes energy and food costs, has been on a roughly parallel track with 0.7 increase in May following a 0.9% in April and 0.3% in March.

Graph at the top of this page shows the change in the primary inflation indicator, and the core index along with a 12 month average of the monthly change.

You can see a large drop in prices during the pandemic followed by spikes over the next several months. Price changes returned to normal range in the September 2020 through February 2021 timeframe.

What is behind those numbers? Let’s check out the Wall Street Journal’s narrative:

(more…)

On the willful damage inflicted by our leaders in reaction to the pandemic. 2 of 2.

Destruction from earthquake. Visual description of what lockdowns did to the economy overall, public health in general, and mental health in particular. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Even though all the statistics in all the locations I’m tracking are showing a decline from the peak counts in the range of 95% to 98%, we urgently need to pay attention to constantly emerging reports of the destruction caused by government edicts.

This two-day series is mentioning only a minor fraction of the articles in recent weeks describing the devastation.

Today’s post will discuss:

  • Severe damage has been caused, only in part yet still a big part, by the inability to comprehend there are tradeoffs in every decision that has ever been made. This applies even more so to the pandemic.  As another wag pointed out: there are no solutions, only tradeoffs.
  • Yet another research analysis shows lockdowns had minimal impact on death rates yet caused extensive unemployment.

Saturday’s post described:

  • Destructive and death-causing policies continued even after evidence emerged that policies were causing harm. Liberty has been shredded.  Financial damage is widespread.
  • Educational, psychological, and social damage to children has been severe. It will take a horribly long time for kids to recover.

Behold the emerging legacy of the public health sector and our so-called political leaders:

4/19/21 – Wall Street Journal – An American Epidemic of “Covid Mania” – Op-ed by an associate professor of medicine at UCLA uses the phrase “Covid mania” as a catch-all for the loss of any semblance of risk assessment, elevation of Covid fear above every other factor, damaging the reputation of scientists and public health officials, and stating as an absolute certainty what was a mere hypothesis.

(more…)

On the willful damage inflicted by our leaders in reaction to the pandemic. 1 of 2.

Visual description of what lockdowns have done to the emotional and educational wellbeing of children. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Now that the economic and social shutdown rationalized by the pandemic is slowly fading away, we need to stay focused on the damages caused by intentional policies.

I have been citing a lot of coverage from the Wall Street Journal, but I am seeing the same issues covered by multiple other news outlets and a host of commentators.  There is massively more coverage of the devastation caused by the shutdown than I could possibly take time to write about.

Here is merely a tiny sample of recent reports. Today’s post describes:

  • Destructive and death-causing policies continued even after evidence emerged that policies were causing harm. Liberty has been shredded.  Financial damage is widespread.
  • Educational, psychological, and social damage to children has been severe. It will take a horribly long time for kids to recover.

Monday’s post will discuss:

  • Severe damage has been caused, only in part but a big part, by the inability to comprehend there are tradeoffs in every decision that has ever been made, especially in terms of addressing the pandemic.  As another wag, whom I will not cite, pointed out: there are no solutions, only tradeoffs.
  • Yet another research analysis shows lockdowns had minimal impact on death rates yet caused extensive unemployment.

3/11/21 – Wall Street Journal – Lessons of the Long Covid Year / Lockdowns made the pandemic suffering far worse than necessary

(more…)

What does the economy wide staffing shortage look like to a customer?

Status of many restaurants. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

What does it look like from the customer side when businesses cannot find enough employees? My wife and I found out a few days ago.

After relaxing on Memorial Day, pondering the ultimate sacrifice by so many to provide the freedoms we enjoy, and exercising those freedoms, we decided to go out to eat. We went to Victoria Gardens, a large shopping center near our home.

Since the tradition for the day is cooking cheeseburgers on the grill but we don’t have a grill, we picked a ‘50s style café where we could get a cheeseburger and sweet potato fries. Yum!

Normally they would be open until 10 or 11 o’clock. Walking up to the restaurant we saw a paper sign taped to the door announcing they were only open until 8 PM.

Odd.

The door was locked. There were a few staff inside who appeared to be going through their end-of-day cleanup routine.

It was a few minutes after 6 p.m.

(more…)

Two more settlements for religious discrimination cost the state of California $2 million in reimbursed legal fees for total of $3.5 million and counting.

What the state of California will be doing twice within the next 60 days to reimburse churches for legal fees incurred due to the state’s religious discrimination. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Well, $2,150,000 to be precise.

The state negotiated a settlement to reimburse legal fees of $1,600,000 for religious discrimination efforts against South Bay United Pentecostal Church and $550,000 for religious discrimination efforts against Father Trevor Burfitt.

Both settlements also come with a permanent injunction forbidding the state from imposing religiously discriminatory rules on any houses of worship anywhere in the state anytime in the future.

If you recall, South Bay Pentecostal had to go to the United States Supreme Court three times, three times, before the state finally realized they were not allowed to engage in blatant, intentional, irreparable religious discrimination against people of faith.

Running total of legal fees

This is on top of a permanent injunction and $1,350,000 in legal fees to attorneys for Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry.

(more…)

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

(more…)

America is Land of the Free, Because of the Brave. My ‘thank you’ to those who made it so.

Heavy bomber crewman, U.S. Army Air Force, World War 2. Photo from Legacy Flight Museum in Rexford, Idaho by James Ulvog.

Our freedom is under rapidly increasing assault by many politicians who think they are kings and queens appointed by divine right instead of having merely won a few more percentage points of the vote than their opponent in the last election.  In the last year public health officials at the federal, state, and county levels who lack self-awareness of how often they beclown themselves have joined in the efforts to shred our liberty.

As a result of these attacks, it is ever more important that on this Memorial Day we remember those who shed all their blood so that we may be free.

A ‘thank you’ from me is so trivial, yet that is all I have.

I will demonstrate my appreciation for freedom purchased by others by exercising freedom.

Yesterday I exercised my freedom of religion. Tomorrow I will exercise my economic freedom, also called pursuit of happiness, by running my business the way I choose.

I have posted variations of the following ideas several times before.  I will continue to make these points routinely.

(more…)

To everyone on active duty today, I often accept a ‘thank you’ on your behalf.

Union Infantry private, U.S. Civil War, 1961-1865. Photo from Legacy Flight Museum in Rexford, Idaho by James Ulvog.

While touring the U.S.S. Midway Museum in San Diego early this month, I wore a “U.S. Air Force” ball cap with various stuff pinned to it, such as the rank I wore, a missile badge (“pocket rocket” for those who know), SAC logo, and a rectangular piece of metal that declares “Combat Crew.”

During the course of walking around, I got lots of glances and several comments of “thank you for your service.”

Also got some joshing comments from the retired Navy guys about them ‘allowing’ me on their ship. Since we were all on the same team back in the day, the kidding was pure fun.

I was on active duty for only four years and that was decades ago. I never got within 3,000 miles of hostile action. (Of course if the flag had gone up, I would have been radioactive dust at 20,000 feet altitude about 40 minutes later.)

As a result, I was uneasy for a long time when someone said “Thanks for your service.”

It took me a few years to get to get comfortable with those comments.

I now graciously and proudly accept those expressions of appreciation from my fellow Americans, but not because of what I did so long ago. 

(more…)

Monitoring inflation through the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) price index.

Another way to keep track of inflation trends is by watching the price index for the Personal Consumption Expenditure.

Please journey along with me as I continue my education.

In the news yesterday was the April increase which showed a 3.1% year-over-year increase compared to an expectation of a 2.9% increase. For one article discussing the news, check out the following:

I have started to track this data, gathering information back to the start of 2020. The month by month change in the headline index and the core index (which excludes food and energy costs) can be seen in the graph at the top of this post.

Before look at the year-over-year change, we need to look at the nature of the index. There are two main indices used to monitor inflation. The first is the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which everyone knows about. The other is the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE).

What’s the difference? Great question.

(more…)

New claims for unemployment decreasing at end of May 2021. Ongoing claims are flat.

Since my last post on 4/30/20, a month ago, there has finally been visible progress in the number of people losing their job.

Since 4/24/21 the number of new claims for unemployment has dropped from 590,000 to 406,000 in the week ending 5/22/21. Graph above shows improvement. Average had been running around 800,000 from early October 2020 until late in February 2021.

The number of new claims is still double the average from before the pandemic. As recently as February it was four times, so that is progress. From quadruple for oh so many months to merely double is good. Not great for all those people losing their job now, but at overall level it is progress.

Purpose of these posts on economic statistics is to help all of us sort out what is going on in the overall economy.

Revised number of new claims in state programs over the last four months:

  • 754K – 2/27/21
  • 728K – 3/27/221
  • 590K – 4/24/21
  • 406K – 5/22/21

Following graphs show the ongoing human cost of the economic shutdown.

New claims

New claims for unemployment by week since the start of 2020:

(more…)

Have masks done any good?

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

More research is emerging that suggests the answer is no, masks have not helped reduce spread of infection.

5/26/21 – Town hall – Masks Didn’t Slow Covid Spread: New Study – Study cited in the next paragraph calculates “mask mandates and use not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among US states.” In other words study finds there is no correlation between the level of mask use and infection rates. Their research does not support the idea that higher use of masks results in lower transmission rates.

5/18/21 – medRxiv – Mask mandate and use efficacy in state-level Covid-19 containment – Using proper statistical methodologies, study finds there is no difference in infection rates between states that mandated masks and states that did not require masks.

Infection rates are “comparable” for the states with early adoption of mas requirement and states with late adoption.

The research paper uses technical language, which is exactly what you would expect, so it is difficult to read. I will still quote the abstract, which says:

(more…)

Timeline of California’s unconstitutional restrictions on worship.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Liberty Council, attorneys representing Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry, announced on 5/17/21 the permanent injunction against religious discrimination practiced by the State of California against places of worship:

CA Churches Permanently Quarantine Governor Newsom

Previous post discusses the permanent injunction. The above announcement provides more detail.

The wonderful news is summarized by Liberty Council:

“Under the settlement agreement, discriminatory restrictions on worship and religious gatherings may no longer be applied to churches and places of worship.”

For future reference, I will quote Liberty Council in their timeline of restrictions on religious worship. Their timeline, again quoting:

(more…)

Permanent injunction issued against religiously discriminatory Covid rules in California. Oh, $1.35 million legal fees also awarded.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

People of faith gain another victory in California.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has read the U.S. Constitution and a long string of Supreme Court rulings (any one of which should have long since been sufficiently clear to the State of California).

The court issued a permanent injunction against Gov. Newsom, and “all State officers, agents, employees, and all other persons in active concert or participation with him” prohibiting any of those individuals from engaging in ongoing religious discrimination against churches and other places of worship in the state of California.

I will guess that broad definition of who is covered by the permanent injunction would also include all county public health authorities.

The state’s behavior is so egregious that the court awarded $1,350,000 in legal fees to attorneys for Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry.

The harsh slap down of religious persecution includes permanent injunctions against, quoting the order:

(more…)