Ongoing damage from the economic shutdown.

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Only have one post since the start of the year on the damage caused by the government imposed shutdown of education, the economy, travel, and health systems. That’s not because the damage is easing up. It’s just because I’ve not taken the time to write about the articles I see every day.

The damage continues. Merely a few of the articles of recent interest:

  • Widespread mental health damage is falling disproportionately on younger people.
  • Lost schooling may have lifetime impact on individuals and the entire economy.
  • Restaurants are particularly hard hit by the repeated close, open, close, open cycles.
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Supreme Court to California: “No, really. The 1st amendment protects everyone. We mean it.”

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Apparently neither officials in Santa Clara County nor a panel of the Ninth circuit Court of Appeals were able to read the injunction issued by the Supreme Court or that the state allowed indoor worship.

After the injunction allowing indoor worship was issued and after the state of California allowed indoor worship up to 25% of capacity, it should have been obvious to officials in the county and all the judges on the Court of Appeals that indoor worship was allowed.

Seems like said officials and judges were not able to comprehend the order.

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Great news! California allows indoor worship services, partially reinstating the First Amendment.

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Effective 2/6/21, the state of California will allow indoor worship services, with attendance limited to 25% of capacity. The revised public health order can be found here.

The health order says the linked guidance found here for places of worship is being updated. The document, COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Places of Worship and Providers of Religious Services and Cultural Ceremonies, requires social distancing and specific cleaning protocols.

It also bans singing and chanting.

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Devastation caused by the shutdown is growing with each week that passes.

We are now in the third semester of closed schools. How much permanent damage is this causing? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The destruction caused by the shutdown is frightening. The cost continues to mount with every week the economy is shattered by government edict.

Here is a small sampler of articles visible over recent weeks:

  • Damage to schoolkids is severe and could be permanent.
  • One out of five renters in the country are behind – how will he ever catch up?
  • Over half a million employees in the higher education sector have lost their jobs.

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Supreme Court partially reinstates First Amendment for two California churches.

First Amendment text of the US Constitution on old parchment paper. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

In two rulings late on Friday, 2/5/21, the Supreme Court issued emergency injunctions in favor of two California churches allowing them to resume in-person worship services on 2/7/21.

The longer ruling with multiple concurring or dissenting opinions was issued on behalf of South Bay United Pentecostal Church, located in San Diego. The follow-on injunction, issued after the first, is shorter. It was issued on behalf of Harvest Rock Church, with its main campus in Pasadena, California and a large number of other campus locations around the state.

The day after the rulings were issued, Gov. Newsom’s office said the state will revise its public health orders regarding indoor worship services. For a brief reference on the issue see In Valley Daily bulletin on 2/6/21 – Newsom says state will revise indoor worship guides after Supreme Court ruling.

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San Diego church files emergency request for an injunction with Supreme Court.

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Well, that didn’t take long.

On Thursday, 1/21/21 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied an appeal from South Bay United Pentecostal Church, in Chula Vista, California, requesting an injunction to allow them to worship indoors.

On Monday, 1/25/21, the church filed an emergency appeal with the United States Supreme Court requesting an immediate injunction.

This case was discussed yesterday: With eyes tightly closed, District courts and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rule than ban on indoor worship is a perfectly acceptable infringement on Free Exercise clause.

To end the irreparable harm caused by unwarranted infringement on free exercise clause of the First Amendment, the church requested an injunction in order to allow worship by 1/31/21. The state of California has until 1/29/21 to file their response.

The church’s attorney explained why the church is back at the Supreme Court and why church leadership is so confident SCOTUS will issue an injunction:

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With eyes tightly closed, District courts and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rule than ban on indoor worship is a perfectly acceptable infringement on Free Exercise clause.

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Two federal district judges and two different panels of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals closed their eyes ever so tightly to prevent them from reading either the First Amendment or the very strong, very clear Supreme Court injunctions as they ruled that California’s rule prohibiting all indoor worship while in tier 4 is perfectly fine.

Pasadena News reports on 1/25/21 Harvest Rock Church Wins One, Loses One.

Catholic News Agency reports on 1/25/21 Appeals court rules on California churches that challenged Covid restrictions.

10 News reports on 1/23/21 – Appeals Court denies Chula Vista churches request reopen (sic)

Harvest Rock

Harvest Rock’s lawsuit against the ban on indoor worship service was reheard by the District Court after the Supreme Court issued a powerful injunction shredding every rationalization for banning worship services.

In spite of the exquisitely clear explanation in the injunction, on 12/22/20 the District Court found the restrictions on indoor worship to be perfectly reasonable and not at all an infringement on the First Amendment.

Harvest Rock appealed the decision. Sometime late last week (exact date is not clear to me) a panel of the 9th Circuit ruled against the church, finding the ban on indoor worship was acceptable.

While the panel’s inability to read Supreme Court injunctions is as surprising as it is unfortunate, the good news is this clears the way for the Supreme Court to address the issue directly. Again.

The church is moving forward with an appeal to the Supreme Court.

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More actual science emerging on coronavirus infections. Results aren’t what you expect.

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An increasing number of actual scientific analyses are emerging on coronavirus infection. There is so much information out that it is quite confusing. The trend my little brain is seeing is raising substantive questions about the official narrative we’ve been told.

Articles for you to consider today:

  • Do your own research.
  • Researchers run meta-study and find minimal spread from asymptomatic or presymptomatic people.
  • Comparing 10 countries with lockdowns to 2 without, researchers find no clear benefit from shutdowns.
  • Florida is running only slightly more hospitalizations per capita in fall of 2020 than compared to the first quarter of 2018.
  • Researchers find no benefit from masks in Florida counties which require masks compared to counties without such mandates.
  • Lockdowns come with horrible side effects. We can expect an additional 900,000 excess deaths over the next decade and a half because of the extreme unemployment of the last 10 months.

Do your own research. – Don’t want to believe actual science published by someone else? Resources are available to do your own research.

For starters, check out the CDC website CDC COVID Data Tracker. That page has data for each state including total cases and cases in last seven days. It also has tallies per 100,000 people, including cases/100k, deaths/100k, seven-day-cases/100k.

Pull some data, do a bunch of calculations, and think for yourself.

I’ve pulled data from that CDC site and have done some graphing.  I’m struggling to see any beneficial correlation between infection rates in relation to mask mandates & shutdowns.

For example, Texas and Florida with light restrictions and requirements have about the same cumulative infections per 100K and deaths per 100K as do California and New York with strong restrictions and requirements. Currently, New York and California are experiencing far higher infection rates than Texas or Florida.

12/22/20 – Alachua Chronicle – University of Florida researchers find no asymptomatic or presymptomatic spread – Four researchers did a meta-study of 54 studies. They looked at secondary spread within households.

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Ongoing hypocrisy from our ruling overlords. Oh, guess who finally wants to reopen the economy?

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Feel free to laugh. Or cry if you wish. Two more politicians demonstrate they are exempt from the rules they require us lowly, common peasants to follow.

Also, two politicians realize it, um, maybe, possibly, is time to get the economy started. Oh yeah, that is in spite of infection rate spike in New York State.

Today’s source of entertainment which would be funny if the human impact from the lockdowns had not been so devastating for the last 10 months:

  • County manager in North Carolina announces she intends to ignore travel restrictions
  • It is perfectly okay for Mayor DeBlasio to have a private dance in Times Square on New Year’s Eve even as everyone else is required to stay home
  • Chicago mayor wants to reopen bars and restaurants even though the relevant statistics show it the city is a long from otherwise being able to reopen
  • New York Gov. realizes there may not be much left of the economy if we don’t open up quickly.

12/23/20 – Red State – NC Official Says She Will Travel For Christmas After Telling Residents To Stay Home. Her Justification Is Priceless – Behold the power of rationalization.

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Large rise new claims for unemployment for week ending 1/9/21.

The number of new claims for unemployment for week ending 1/9/21 increased to 965,000, a deterioration of 181,000 from the prior week.  That is the highest number of new state claims since 8/22/20.

Since 8/29/20, the new weekly claims have been in the 700Ks or 800Ks.

Keep in mind that before the shutdown of the economy the new claims averaged about 220K per week, so we are now running more than four times the previous norm.

The number of continuing claims for unemployment has been slowly dropping but increased for the week ending 1/2/21.

News report

Article at Wall Street Journal on 1/14/21 reports US Unemployment Claims Rise as Pandemic Weighs on Economy. Article link indicates the consensus is the increasing virus count combined with increasing restrictions on businesses caused the jump in new unemployment claims.

Article says there are other economic indicators suggesting the economy is slowing down again. Stats such as small business optimism, new home sales, existing home sales, household income, and household spending point towards a slowdown.

Following graphs show the devastation from the economic shutdown.

New claims

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

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One more post on the utter devastation from shutdown of the economy.

When done to a 60 year old building that destruction is understandable. When done to an economy, not so much. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The government ordered shutdown of the economy in 2020 has devastated primary education, secondary education, higher education, travel industry, entertainment industry, small businesses, restaurants, physical health, mental health, and detective/ preventive treatment of chronic and deadly disease. Level of unemployment is second only to the Great Depression. We have seen evaporation of wealth, savings, trust in government officials at all levels, and trust in every public health official in the country.

I have over 100 posts protesting the foolishness and destruction this year with those posts containing close to 90,000 words describing the devastation.

This will be the last routine post describing the intentional disruption we have suffered this year. I will have one more post describing actual science that is surfacing, which is in sharp contrast to the alleged “science” that has driven the demolition of the country.

Discussion in this post:

  • Devastation in travel industry
  • Drastic increase in U.S. poverty rate
  • Collapse of incoming freshman class at U.S. colleges

Indicators of the devastation in the travel industry

11/4/20 – Wall Street Journal – How Coronavirus Ravaged Travel in 2020 – The Middle Seat column tabulated a number of indicators showing the illness across entire travel industry.

What does the collapse of an entire industry look like? A few stats:

Traffic at three largest New York airports:

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Small decline in new claims and continuing claims for unemployment for week ending 12/26/20.

The number of new claims for unemployment for week ending 12/26/20 declined for a secone weeks in a row. New claims are 787K, a 19K drop for the week.

This two week drop follows two weeks of increases, which totaled 176K.

Since 8/9/20, the new weekly claims have been in the 700Ks or 800Ks.

For contrast, remember that before the government induced shutdown of the economy the new claims averaged about 220K per week so we are still running three or four times the previous norm.

The number of continuing claims for unemployment is continuing to drop. Large part of the drop is people going back to work. Some portion, likely a lot, of the drop in state-level continuing claims has been offset by rising number of people on the federal program.

When a person exhausts the state level coverage, they become eligible for the extended federal benefits, called the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

Article at Wall Street Journal on 12/31/20 reports US Unemployment Claims Fell Modestly Last Week.  Article explains the new claims for state programs is a proxy for layoffs. Good observation.

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Two websites track incidents of rule makers ignoring the rules they demand we follow.

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There are so many elected officials, political leaders, and public health officials ignoring the rules they demand you and I follow that two different websites are accumulating a list of the incidents.

Covid Hypocrisy: Policymakers Breaking Their Own Rules

Visualization from Heritage.org tracks incidents in the United States. A map shows location and provides one sentence summary.

Detail of incidence are listed, which includes date, name of the public official betraying the public trust, location, and description of incident. The description includes a link to news article explaining the hypocrisy.

On 12/24/20 I count 42 incidents. As you would expect, California is in the lead with eight incidents if you include the legislator’s junket to Hawaii for a vacation funded by lobbyists.

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The Supreme Court ruling reinstating free expression clause of First Amendment is harsher than you have read.

First Amendment of the US Constitution text. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Don’t know what you have read of the Supreme Court decision that has restored the free expression clause to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

This ruling is significant because SCOTUS has issued three additional temporary injunctions citing this specific ruling when ordering the District Court to reconsider their incorrect decision.

Several sentences in the ruling have been widely quoted.

After reading the full decision, I realize it is stronger than I realized. Harsh even.

I have brought plenty of sarcasm and ridicule to bear discussing the attacks on the First Amendment willfully carried out by many politicians and public health officials. My point-and-laugh-out-loud efforts pale in comparison to comments from the ruling and several concurring arguments.

The Supreme Court injunction is titled ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK v. ANDREW M. CUOMO, GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK.

Link to the text can be found at No. 20A87 with the actual text found here.

I will quote a large number of the specific comments in the ruling with a few of my observations

Comments from unsigned opinion:

Some background:

The two applications, one filed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and the other by Agudath Israel of America and affiliated entities, contend that these restrictions violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, and they ask us to enjoin enforcement of the restrictions while they pursue appellate review. Citing a variety of remarks made by the Governor, Agudath Israel argues that the Governor specifically targeted the Orthodox Jewish community and gerrymandered the boundaries of red and orange zones to ensure that heavily Orthodox areas were included. Both the Diocese and Agudath Israel maintain that the regulations treat houses of worship much more harshly than comparable secular facilities.

In a red zone, while a synagogue or church may not admit more than 10 persons, businesses categorized as “essential” may admit as many people as they wish. And the list of “essential” businesses includes things such as acupuncture facilities, camp grounds, garages, as well as many whose services are not limited to those that can be regarded as essential, such as all plants manufacturing chemicals and microelectronics and all transportation facilities.

Because the challenged restrictions are not “neutral” and of “general applicability,” they must satisfy “strict scrutiny,” and this means that they must be “narrowly tailored” to serve a “compelling” state interest.

Not only is there no evidence that the applicants have contributed to the spread of COVID-19 but there are many other less restrictive rules that could be adopted to minimize the risk to those attending religious services. Among other things, the maximum attendance at a religious service could be tied to the size of the church or synagogue. Almost all of the 26 Diocese churches immediately affected by the Executive Order can seat at least 500 people, about 14 can accommodate at least 700, and 2 can seat over 1,000. Similarly, Agudath Israel of Kew Garden Hills can seat up to 400. It is hard to believe that admitting more than 10 people to a 1,000-seat church or 400-seat synagogue would create a more serious health risk than the many other activities that the State allows. (emphasis added)

.

Members of this Court are not public health experts, and we should respect the judgment of those with special expertise and responsibility in this area. But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten. The restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty. Before allowing this to occur, we have a duty to conduct a serious examination of the need for such a drastic measure. (emphasis added)

Look at that again:

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At least one flaming hypocrite in public leadership has enough shame to retire from public life. But just so you know, it is our fault, not hers.

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At least one person on the constantly growing list of flaming hypocrites in public leadership has a sense of shame. Or, at least enough shame to realize she should retire. Eventually. Someday.

After two days of publicity about her non-Thanksgiving non-celebration trip to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with family she doesn’t live with, Dr. Deborah Birx made the announcement.

12/22/20 – National Review – Dr. Birx Announces She Will Retire after Holiday Travel Controversy and CBS news – Birx says she plans to retire, citing strain on family.

After two full days of controversy, Dr. Birx announced she will retire shortly after assisting in the transition to a new administration. Presumably, that means sometime in late January or early February. Or maybe March. Or maybe June.

Recall from yesterday the day after Thanksgiving she traveled from her home in D.C. to one of her vacation homes in Delaware for a 50 hour stay with her daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren, all of whom live in a different home she owns in Potomac.

When challenged about whether traveling to another state with people from a different household during the Thanksgiving weekend was appropriate given her very public advice not to travel at all over the weekend and not to be with anyone from a different household, she provided a splendiferous rationalization.

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