I’m 74 and healthy. I am careful about contacts with others due to an excess of caution about Covid-19. I have read many sources who give proof that covid-19’s mortality rate is barely more than what we call the “common flu.” However, if I point out that a lot of the deaths counted as Covid-19 deaths are anything but, I am ridiculed as being a denier of science. I am more than skeptical about the numbers. When a friend’s father died, attributed to Covid-19, but in fact it was from his 4th heart attack, it took his family months to get the County Health Department to reclassify the death properly. When the total of deaths from all causes for the past year match almost exactly the numbers from each of the previous 5 years, it makes you wonder. It makes me want to ask:

If the USA has suffered 500,000 deaths due to Covid-19 in the past year, wouldn’t you think our deaths from all causes would have increased significantly?

If I suggest that I may not want to take an experimental vaccine just because my government says I should, is it fair that I should be forced to do so?

Why is it that the most aggressive voices saying that I must wear a mask and I must have the vaccine are the same who say that the government has no right to tell me I can’t get an abortion? “My body. My Choice.” Why not the same view as to other health concerns, like Covid-19?

Our government says it takes 8 – 15 years to develop a new drug or vaccine (see above Harvard chart) because it is unsafe until all the steps have been performed. That is the same government that says that it is completely safe to take a drug that has been developed in a year. Is it fair to ask, Why the mixed message? If the new Covid-19 vaccines are believed to save lives, and, as such, we needed to shortcut the “normal” process, may I ask, Why not allow the same shortcuts for numerous potentially lifesaving cancer drugs?

If the various Teacher’s Unions believe that it is unsafe for any teacher to return to the classroom until all teachers have been vaccinated is it fair to ask why children should be allowed back in class before all have been vaccinated? Or, is it possible that political power is the only good reason that the Unions have for withholding labor and shutting kids out of schools?

Over the past year, I have read literally hundreds of pieces about the Corona Virus Covid-19. The vast majority of them should be characterized as ‘fear mongering’ dressed up as news. I have found that if I question the media and state-approved narrative or attempt to discuss alternative views of the “pandemic”, like the Great Barrington Declaration, I am shut down, told I’m a fool, etc. Since, like me, you have been exposed to large daily doses of ‘information’ and ‘facts’ about Covid 19 that are acceptable to government and the news media, don’t you think it is worth a few minutes to read an alternative opinion. When did questioning authority or being inquisitive become sins? The following, from a Swiss doctor and professor is worth your time, if you have even a scintilla of an open mind:

Lockdowns are a Self-fulfilling Prophecy. from OffGuardian

I have chosen to write this text in addition to our two earlier contributions because of the development of the “second wave” which came afterward, and in reaction to the current relentless accumulation of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs, also called corona, “social” or lockdown measures).

These are characterized by separation/isolation of human beings through the application of masks, distance maintenance between people, stay-at-home orders and business closures.

An important study in Frontiers in Public Health on the data delivered by 160 countries has found no correlation between death rate and stringency of lockdown measures[1].

Another study showed no significant benefits of stay-at-home order and business closure on epidemic case growth[2].

The following two examples confirm these results: a country with low lockdown stringency like Sweden has at the moment the same fatality rate per million inhabitants as France, but lower than Spain, Italy and UK, where severe lockdown measures were applied.

In addition, Sweden has had for the second wave a much smaller excess mortality than France, Italy or Spain, an observation which allows one to suspect that lockdown measures are delaying the establishment of herd immunity. This is not desirable, as the time during which the old, sick and frail can be exposed to the virus gets longer.

As NPIs are imposed in an overloaded ambiance of viral threat, they are additionally in position to activate destructive neuro-immunological mechanisms as well as to trigger secondary deleterious psycho-social, medical and economic developments5. Both have a direct effect on population mortality.

Analyses indicate that at least a third, and possibly more than half, of the observed excess mortality may be caused by the applied measures[3][4]. Measure-based mortality will proceed and may even accelerate if the fear-mongering stays and no end to the nightmare is presented to a now chronically overloaded population.

We are in the typical context of a “self-fulfilling prophecy”, where, through neuro-immunological overresponses, physical immobilization, social isolation and socio-economic difficulties, the death toll gets maximized and the expected death prophecy confirmed.

This requires then the maintenance and even increase of measures, and explains why people questioning their necessity are swiftly qualified as fools, idiots, conspiracy theorists or even murderers (heartlessly risking lives).

For almost a year, cultivated virus hysteria has fuelled the belief in a necessity to suppress “Covid19”.

Epidemiological models, revealed regularly as strongly pessimistic, justify preemptive NPIs even if collected data show positive reassuring evolutions. These measures are presented as unavoidable parts of the fight to be held, and are applied relentlessly without questioning their efficiency (see reference [1]), and without considering, as mentioned above, their lethality.

PCR tests are enacted for the whole population, with their extreme sensitivity and false positives5, maintaining in the population the awareness of the dreadful presence of the virus. The fact that a large percentage (88% in Italy) of deaths happened in the presence of corona (but not due to corona) in the context of end-of-life situations is not considered.

Science moves on to find new threat markers, like the reproduction factor R and recently the rise of mutated virus variants. Thoughts and emotions remain focalized on covid-19 and its threat, taken out of the regular context of the normal human/virus interactions.

For example, tests of corona presence have never been performed before to establish what normality is along the year, and variants can be seen as the logical and usual answer of viruses to the development of human herd immunity.

In our county of Solothurn in Switzerland, 2,662 deaths have been reported for 2020[5], among which 219 were attributed to covid-19 and of these 211 were living in nursing homes[6]. Median age of covid-19 death in Switzerland is 86 years old[7], and the rate of significant premorbidities is very high (97% with at least one premorbidity).

Switzerland, in spite of a clear-cut “second wave”, has experienced no excess mortality for ages below 65, and even for 70 and above, a correction for the increasing size of this old age group shows no excess mortality for 2020[4], and a lower mortality in 2020 than in 2012, 2013 and 20156. Finally, for the whole swiss population, the total death rate per 100,000 inhabitants was the same in 2003 and even higher in 2000[8].

Where do we find, here and around the world, any motivation and necessity to limit the professional and social activities of a whole population for now almost a year?

Should we have locked populations in the past during former flu epidemics? Obviously no.

Shall we have to do that in the future? How long can our human environment resist such heavy, deleterious and questionable measures? And when shall the people of the world get their basic human rights and freedom back?

Of course, fear takes the best out of us, and nobody is to blame for damages produced unwillingly and under the pressure of fear.

There is, alas, no doubt about the following fact: modern, technological medicine often lacks the compassionate therapeutic dimension one expects from it, and presents the unpleasant tendency to promote huge profits through drugs and medical-technical products, with less than appropriate up to fraudulent practices[9][10]

Fraud resides in the highest levels, as exemplified by the recent withdrawal of a fraudulent article from the famous journal the Lancet[11]. This article claimed wrongly the inefficiency and dangers of a plant-based, well known, efficient and inexpensive medication.

A proper decision and information strategy in the corona crisis would have been to open the scientific, political and public debate to different views, with the goal to come up together to a balanced, consensual program, in which nobody is right or wrong and all agree to have worked together on the best possible solutions.

It is extremely counterproductive and dogmatic to promote the exclusive value of the dominant view, proposed by governments and their scientific task forces and widely distributed by the media. Other views are being seen as unacceptable, not-an-option, or even ethically wrong.

Why propagate the idea the whole world needs to be vaccinated against covid-19 in the context of the above-mentioned epidemic data? What of the recent confirmation, published by the WHO and authored by Dr. Ioannidis[12], of a general average case fatality ratio of 0.23% (analyzed from 61 studies), in the range of a flu epidemic?

In addition, to the contrary of what the WHO has proposed recently, we may strongly consider that the natural herd immunization process, established by life processes along millennia, and non-dangerous for the immense majority of the active population below 65, will be more efficient than any vaccination.

Finally, the essential role of physical and emotional health as protections against severe infectious developments has been dramatically ignored in favour of medical technical interventions, precipitating many human beings into severe disease evolutions by physical inactivity and social isolation.

Our governments should contribute to protect without coercion the old, sick and frail and free the rest of the population from all general NPIs. We have all learned what to do in winter with our old and frail parents, who particularly need our presence and can decide for themselves what they prefer: state-imposed protection, or an evening to their life surrounded by their beloved ones.

Numerous human beings have died these last months in appalling physical and emotional conditions, immobilized in their rooms and isolated from families and friends. This has lasted long enough and should be considered as inhumane and stopped. The Great Barrington Declaration enacts the reduction of measures to “focal” protection. It was proposed by 3 epidemiologists from Harvard, Stanford and Oxford and has collected more than 50,000 signatures from medical and public health scientists and medical practitioners as well as from more than 700,000 concerned citizens.

The people need to regain their democratic rights and freedom of decision without delay.

With courage and scientific data at hand, we should stop hiding away from the virus on the order of our governments. We should trust nature that things will balance back to normal, instead of tampering chaotically and arrogantly with the natural dynamics regulating the human/virus interactions.

The relentless, never-ending confinement measures have led to the appearance of a host of absurd, even pathetic measures and situations, with some citizens wearing masks alone in their own cars, or jogging masked and alone in the countryside…I have heard many people around me wonder if they were not in a nightmare or a bad movie.

We need to wake up and work to fix this.
Daniel Jeanmonod MD, Professor Emeritus of Neurosurgery at Zürich University and Physiology & Neuroscience at New York University.

References

[1] De Larochelambert Q. et al. Covid-19 mortality: a matter of vulnerability among nations facing limited margins of adaptation. Frontiers in Public Health (2020) [back].

[2] Bendavid E. et al. Assessing mandatory stay-at-home and business closure effects on the spread of Covid-19. European Journal of Clinical Investigation doi: 10.1111/ECI.13484 (2021) [back].

[3] Covid-19 – Infektionslage, Belastung der Spitäler in der Schweiz KW 50. Situationsanalyse, Reflexion, Lösungsansätze. https://aletheia-scimed.ch (2020).[back].

[4] Beck K. Corona in der Schweiz. Plädoyer für eine Evidenzbasierte Pandemie-Politik. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zRqNfvX–zY [back].

[5] Bundesamt für Statistik (14.1.2021), www.bfs.admin.ch [back].

[6] Kanton Solothurn, Departement des Inneren. Wöchentlicher Situationsbericht (11.1.2021)[back].

[7] Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, Coronavirus-Krankheit-2019 (COVID-19), Eidgenössisches Departement des Innern EDI, Bundesamt für Gesundheit BAG, Situationsbericht zur epidemiologischen Lage in der Schweiz und im Fürstentum Liechtenstein – Woche 3 (18. – 24.01.2021). https://ww.bag.admin.ch [back].

[8] K-Tipp Nr. 1: Grippe war für ältere stets eine Gefahr. (13 Januar 2021) [back].

[9] Götzsche P.C. Tödliche Medizin und organisierte Kriminalität. Rivaverlag.de (2020) [back].

[10] Angell M. The truth about the drug companies: How they deceive us and what to do about it (2005) [back].

[11] Mehra M.R. Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis. The Lancet (2020) [back].

[12] Ioannidis J.P.A. Infection fatality rate of Covid-19 inferred from seroprevalence data. Bulletin of the World Health Organization (14 October 2020) [back].

The New York Times and other so-called mainstream media giants like the Washington Post, the L.A. Times, CNN, etc., all either ignored or quickly dispensed with many major stories this year in order to avoid letting any credit go to the “opposition” (Mr. Trump and/or those with more conservative views) or to provide cover for those who think like they do. Among the 8 stories are many of the most significant and far reaching of the year. Look them up on duckduckgo.com (the better alternative to Google).

Here’s the list:

  1. Middle East Peace movement – through the efforts of the Trump Administration, there has been more movement toward peace in the Middle East than in any previous 4 year period in a century. Where the mainstream media did report on this, they were quick to downplay its importance. Had the discussions and treaties been accomplished by any other person than Mr. Trump, a Nobel Prize would certainly have been in the offing.
  2. The Great Barrington Declaration – Three eminent health scientists, followed by almost 40,000 other medical practitioners declared the politicization of Covid-19 to be a greater problem than the disease itself. Like any group that opposes the Media agenda, the science was denied. It seams strange that they only believe the science when it supports their agenda.
  3. Biden Family Ties to Communist China/Access for sale – Rather than investigate and report on the Bidens numerous dealings with foreign companies, the NYT did its best to downplay or ignore the story, e.g. this article. Rather than investigate to see if there was/is any evidence of access for sale or influence peddling, they often just state that there is no evidence (which they may be able to say with a straight face if they refuse to investigate).
  4. Taiwan Semiconductor building a huge Semiconductor Plant in Arizona – The importance of a huge manufacturer of semiconductors expanding to the USA has not been publicized to any great extent. The fact that Taiwan is so close to China and in constant fear of absorbtion (like Hong Kong) by the CCP had a lot to do with this. The rush to get this up and running before the planned 2024 startup may in part be due to a perceived fear of the loss of strong support of Taiwan from the US under a new Administration.
  5. Clean Network Initiative – China’s plan to dominate the world was meant to be greatly advanced through their dominance of 5G networks, especially those used by Governments worldwide. The Trump Administration’s Clean Network Initiative not only stopped the Chinese from dominating the 5G world, it reversed it especially in Europe and here in the USA .
  6. Operation Warp Speed, the Creation and distribution of Coronavirus vaccines in less than a year – To be fair, the mainstream media has reported about this at length, but has been loath to give any credit to the Trump Administration for creating the environment where it could happen or for planning the massive distribution plan now in progress.
  7. NAFTA – The NYT and others of the same ilk have gone to great lengths to show this trade deal as a failure. It has been in place since January, 2020 (replacing NAFTA which had been around since 1994 and had no sunset provision) so any conclusions (including Mr. Trump’s claims) are at least premature. Are we well informed by our “mainstream media” about this trade deal?
  8. Environmental Concerns – Do you remember all the articles touting Mr. Trump’s efforts resulting in over 1,000,000 more acres of publicly protected lands since his inauguration? How about the fact that the USA has reduced carbon emissions more than any other nation since we withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord? Not likely if you are a regular reader of the NYT, WAPO, etc. Were you aware that China produces more carbon emissions than the USA, almost twice as much? Did you know that under the Paris Climate Accord China will increase carbon emissions for ten more years before it even begins (promises to begin) to slow down? Most of this is reported in NYT, WAPO, etc. but not anywhere near to the degree with which the US withdrawal from the failed Accord was or the degree to which the Trump Administration is called out for sponsoring things like fracking.

I still strongly believe that if you regularly get your news from the “Mainstream Media”, if you search using Google, if you regularly use Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter, you are ill informed.

The following is a guest post written by Jim Wixson of Independence, Oregon:

It’s just about dawn before the execution of the nation we loved.  I have read, watched and listened to so many analyses – with varying claims of authority – but have seen so little fact, lonely as a cork bobbing in the ocean of opinion, that this alone has discouraged me.

So many Believers have assured me that it’s all going to end right, just you wait, Trump knows what he is doing; we’re going to release the kraken (why has it taken so long?), the Supreme Court will save the day – or that a secret weapon is waiting in the wings.  But aside from ONE tabulation (https://hereistheevidence.com), no facts of consequence.   The cited tabulation ran to forty-odd pages of specific, viewable court filings – enough to take a year or more of adjudication.  But these were last moments, and it was clear that nothing would, could be done unless they worked their way to the Supreme court.  i really wanted a miracle to happen, but cannot disengage that still, small voice which said “it ain’t gonna happen.”  Now the Electoral College will announce the fate of Our America – soon to become Their America, my bones tell me.

What went wrong?  How, with Trump’s greatest turnout ever, could the Left steal the Election from under Donald’s – and our noses?  Already, at his inauguration, anyone who gave the matter the slightest thought knew what was going to happen.  Who could be so naive as to believe that the Dems, long famous for stealing elections in the big cities of our country, would change their spots?  Especially in this, their hope, planned, arranged and financed coup d’etat?  King George would buy back the country – and the socialist revolution, so often planned, so frequently floundered, could spring to life out of the ashes of failed coups.  A time of great rejoicing among the ancient subspecies of those who think that they know better than all the rest of us – the snakes in the garden of Liberty.

The Game Watchers, the In-the Knowers who set the odds in great national dramas detected from early on that Donald, though not handicapped by hesitation or self-doubt, was nevertheless out of his league in the national political ring, where connection and sponsorship are everything.  And, shrewd as he may be, understands only cupidity, cannot read men’s hearts and does not know who his friends are, nor have the guile to negotiate nuanced communities of interest – in short, cannot play the Washington Game.

I indulged myself the hope that he – or more credibly, his backers had a plan, had looked down the road and knew how the hustle was played; that he was paying attention to higher stakes than Twitter – a hope based on desperation.  But, in the words of my father, we live in hope and die in despair.  So i fear it will be.

Though many sneer at him for lack of sophistication, he was and is much more centered in the reality that ordinary folks – those concerned where their next dollar would come from, families which could suddenly be stricken by misfortune, illness or loss of a job.  And for jobs themselves, which we have seen melt by millions to offshore manufacturing, illegal workers willing to live lifestyles from which Americans thought they had escaped two centuries ago – due to their great good fortune of being born here, a reverence for hard work, standing on one’s own two feet and not having to apologize to anyone.  To a family of a man and a woman who pledged love and support unto death, and to their own children, who gave life a purpose which continued to the generations beyond, and never lost meaning – the hope and fulfillment of their own lives.  These, and respect for learning, country and God, made a life which never lacked meaning, purpose, duty or satisfaction, when dedication produced result and one could die in contentment of feeling worth in their own liveis and in the hope of something better to follow.

Not content with tearing down marriage and sowing confusion about gender and sexuality, another long-term Progressive goal has long been to tear apart the bonds of a peaceful nation – of the very society which de Tocqueville praised as the best on earth: cooper­ative, productive, self-respecting and peace-loving – and universally respected as such, most sincerely by the millions from all over the world, clamoring to immigrate.  

Since the middle of the nineteenth century the hotly-sought goal of the social engineers, whether of the Right or of the Left, has been to foment class warfare, and to rise to power on the tide of resentment conjured by them.  And this has often been successful – for brief periods of history, back as far as we know.  Certainly in the rise of the Black Shirts, Brown Shirts and then Red Shirts we see the ancient wheel of Revolution turn, always with the same result: envy and resentment turn to anger and aggression, on which the stokers rise to power – and as ever the discontented find that their brave new society, is no more – and in many ways less satisfactory than the one they willingly abandoned.  Which leads to new grievances.  And new rulers, no better – and often worse and more corrupt and self-seeking than those the rebels had rejected.

At which point fresh plotters assemble and scheme what new levers of discontent they might use to once again turn the ancient wheel.

New to this age-old intrigue is internationalism.  Humanity’s last best hope is now tarred as the villain – and the only one, among the nations; America’s detractors do not find a bad word for such hell-holes as North Korea, Venezuela or Zimbabwe.  Instead, the very country which saved Europe from fascism, which vowed to “pay any price, bear any burden…in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty,” now stands in the dock of manufactured world condemnation for whatever it does or does not, while China, the New World Menace is busy expanding its borders, fortifying the China sea, manufacturing viruses and attempting to create economic dependence of the world upon itself – its avowed chief target being this very same United States.

Donald knew this, of course, and was the sole American President who had the intestinal fortitude to openly call attention to and oppose such ill will  Which brought a chorus of cat-calls from an all-too willing, China-appeasing Europe – the attest ploy of New World Order: tear down this nation from the outside as well as inside.

Progressives do not have to think back far to hear their self-proclaimed saviors touting eugenics and supporting social engineering as typified by Lenin’s New Soviet Man – indeed, members of Roosevelt’s self-named Brain Trust praising Benito Mussolini,  And before that, Prohibition and prosecution of drug users.  

Now the New Left is playing the Long Game, having heard so many high-sounding proclamations which led to quick revolution – and noting they all ended where they started, has decided to take refuge in vague but grand-sounding slogans such as Equality (of what?), Environmentalism (carbon tax?) and an Anti-racism which turned out to be only anti-white racism.  And the absurd notion that gender is a male plot.  Just to mention some  of their current pablum.  

But these ever-moving targets are merely an attention-demanding drumbeat of unending discontent, stoked by a perpetual production of Victims, always persuaded to invent new grievances at the hands of guess whom: Whites, would you believe?  And most especially males, particularly those who grew up loving, and not infrequently having to defend, the land of their mothers and fathers.  These are the goats to be slaughtered on their altar of Progress, deserving the wrath of the Owners of Correctness by not voting for their lackeys.

Who could believe all this nonsense?  Well, it turns out that a great many of our college graduates do!  And this for the excellent reason that Progressives have long-since taken Cardinal Newman’s observation to heart, “give me a child by age of six and he’s mine for life.”   Thus their tireless and largely successful program of infiltrating our mainline religious and public educational institutions, where mild Christians were taught to ignore inconvenient parts of the Bible, and primary schools appropriated the role of mothers in teaching impressionable children how to behave and what to think.  With result that the chastised Bourgeoisie hearkened to the siren seductions of Niceness, and Youth warmed to militant appeals for Activism – such as the continuing sideshow in Portland.

We have raised a generation ignorant of history – and particularly of the unique grace of a nation once admired by the world.  

Of students untrained in Thinking – indeed misled to confuse it with Feeling – and graded on Correctness – resulting in a youth untroubled by classical literature, lessons of the past or Reason, honed by exacting argumentation, which had brought us every advantage we enjoyed over the benighted resignation of our human past.

Progressivism has thrived – now shrunken to post-Marxist derridian Deconstruction, where Power is all – and hopes to occupy the throne of the world’s Once-Marvel – realizing Orwell’s nightmare.  I must admit an awe at such an accomplishment; who’d a thunk it?

But special recognition must go to the Evil Genius behind the curtain: George Soros, nee Schwartz, the Man Who Broke the Bank of England.  This financial wizard has gone on to plunder the national bank of Thailand, take advantage of the tsunami in Japan (another billion-plus), and has had many other successes in large nations such as Germany, and many other smaller ones around the world.  It would not be exaggerating to say that he is a one-man money machine.  And since he cannot eat all that wealth and likely has more mansions than he could ever visit, what entertainment does he turn to?

Nation-building has been his modest pastime.  Long active, he was quick to take advantage of dissent in Poland, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union and his native Hungary – and later, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan and the Ukraine.  Emboldened by his successes and convinced that the strategic insertion of money can produce spectacular success, he determined to employ the tool he knew best into the wider world of democratic nations to promote changes inspired by his mentor Karl Popper.  Latter was a fierce opponent of tradition, which he called tribal, and advocated an Open Society of “individuality, criticism and humanitarianism” – perhaps difficult to fault – by “moral universalism” and the challenge of tradition.  

This pudding, when eaten, appears to be a roundhouse attack on any values which had formed a nation, mase its culture distinct and identifiable from other nations.  In our case it translated to, among others, derogation of Christian precepts and the Founding virtues of individuality, expression and the independence of every citizen as inviolable.  We are instead to become creatures of the State and particularly its administrators, to submit humbly to their perceptions and ministrations – and liable to severe chastisement if we did not.  To put it another way, our role is to dutifully obey the truths as revealed to us by this State, as it sees them – in god-like wisdom.  This State consists of our Rulers.

Here is a recipe for Anything Goes – as long as it comes from Above.  And our part is to do as we are told – never mind what we were taught or learned.  Their template of conformity can and does change over time, often unpredictably and mysteriously, as we see.  Continuous is only the terror and vituperation if we object or fail to keep step.  

We are to watch helplessly as our children are stewed in beliefs and actions foreign and repulsive to us – without daring to murmur.

And who are these warders?  Why, just the Chosen of George!  If, say, you are running for office of attorney general in a state, show yourself as willing to be a Good Do Be, you may sidle up to his money truck, busy traveling our once-nation – and Hiring Now.  

All you need do is what told – for instance, not to investigate voting fraud.  Never mind public opinion – you’ll have the job for life.  

If you mind your Ps and Qs.

And keep your eye on George!  The next step after adding America to his trophies is – you guessed it – Britain, Europe and then the World.  George intends to play God – and has said so.  (But our “news” wasn’t listening.)

The only fly in his ointment could be China – it is not for sale.  And its rulers are quite as cagey as he.

Welcome to our Brave New World Order!

Walter Williams, the towering Libertarian Economist, died this week. His intellect and his understanding of the human condition will be missed. Who do we have in younger generations to replace him?

In his honor, below is copied a post from this blog that I published July 6, 2010:

Williams Hits a Home Run

July 6, 2010 in Uncategorized | Tags: Dependencydependent programspoorpovertyWar on Poverty (Edit)      Rate This

No.  This is not a sports post.  Walter Williams, noted libertarian Economist has written a piece for the Jewish World Review that was passed on to me by a good friend.  It follows below (bold emphasis is mine) and then I relate a similar story and refer you to yet another recent article on the subject..

“Imagine you are an unborn spirit whom God has condemned to a life of poverty but has permitted to choose the nation in which to live. I’m betting that most any such condemned unborn spirit would choose the United States. Why? What has historically been defined as poverty, nationally or internationally,  no longer exists in the U.S.

Let’s look at it. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the 2009 poverty guideline was $22,000 for an urban four-person family. In  2009, having income less than that, 15 percent or 40 million Americans were classified as poor, but there’s something unique about those “poor” people not seen anywhere else in the world.

Robert Rector, researcher at the Heritage Foundation, presents data collected from  several government sources in a report titled “How Poor Are America’s  Poor? Examining the ‘Plague’ of Poverty in America” (8/27/2007):

Forty-three percent of all poor households actually own their own homes.

The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, porch or patio.

Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.

Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded; two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.

The typical poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens and other cities throughout Europe. (compared to the average citizens there, not to those classified as poor.)

Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 31 percent own two or more cars.

Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.

Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.

Eighty-nine percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.

What’s defined as poverty is misleading in another way. Official poverty measures count just family’s cash income. It ignores additional sources of support such as the earned-income tax credit, which is a cash rebate to low-income workers; it ignores Medicaid, housing allowances, food stamps and other federal and local government subsidies to the poor.

According to a report by American Enterprise Institute scholar Nicholas Eberstadt, titled “Poor Statistics,” “In 2006, according to the annual Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, reported purchases by the poorest fifth of American households were more than twice as high as reported incomes.” That additional money might represent earnings from unreported

employment, illegal activities and unreported financial assistance. A proper measure of well-being is what a person consumes rather than his income. A huge gap has emerged between income and consumption at lower income levels.

Material poverty can be measured relatively or absolutely.  An absolute measure would consist of some minimum quantity of goods and services deemed adequate for a baseline level of survival. Achieving that level means that poverty has been eliminated. However, if poverty is defined as, say, the lowest one-fifth of the income distribution, it is impossible to eliminate poverty. Everyone’s income could double, triple and quadruple, but there will always be the lowest one-fifth.

Yesterday’s material poverty is all but gone. In all too many cases, it has been replaced by a more debilitating kind of poverty –  behavioral poverty or poverty of the spirit. This kind of poverty  refers to conduct and values that prevent the development of healthy  families, work ethic and self-sufficiency. The absence of these values guarantees pathological lifestyles that include drug and  alcohol addiction, crime, violence, incarceration, illegitimacy,  single-parent households, dependency and erosion of work ethic.  Poverty of the spirit is a direct result of perverse incentives created by certain efforts to alleviate material poverty.

I once heard a program given by a Pastor at a Youth Ministry on the Island of Kauai, Hawaii.  He talked about his vocation and why he did what he did.  One of the programs he ran was an annual trip to some of the poorest areas in Mexico, a place where few people had jobs and most did not have enough to eat.  He took with him a couple dozen youth from Hawaii and they repaired water systems, schools, hospitals and built shelters and generally did work to make the lives of these rural poor a bit better.  He said that he was often criticized because there were plenty of poor in Hawaii who needed help.  Why, critics asked,  did he not do his good work in Hawaii?  He said that his response to that was always, “I want our youth to see what real poverty is.  I do not want them to indulge in the belief that people with only one car and one TV were poor and needy.”

Are many, if not most, of our programs in the ‘war on poverty’ really nothing more than transfer payments from those who have enough or too much to those who want more than they have?  Are these programs really doing anything to eliminate ‘poverty’ or are they just programs that make politicians feel good by spending other people’s money?  Or, more cynical still, are they just programs to build the power and reach of government?  Robert Weissberg thinks this is the case.  See his article, “Dependency, the Liberal’s Natural Resource” here.

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Below are some questions that do not seem to be of interest to our ‘journalist’ class:

Are there problems with the security/validity of our elections?

Vote by Mail? Is it safe? Is it easily corrupted?

Were any of the statistical anomalies in the November 3, 2020 Election worthy of investigation?

How is it possible to ensure that only citizens vote when there is no requirement for identification either when registering to vote or when voting in many areas?

If non-citizens are allowed to vote, how can we claim to offer a representative democracy to our citizenry? Representing whom?

Does Motor Voter registration (Voting Act of 1993) leave us open to wide-ranging election fraud?

Vote Harvesting? Is it a tool for election fraud?

Do the Biden connections in Russia, the Ukrain, and China represent a potential for undue influence from those countries?

How is it possible to ensure that elections are carried out efficiently and safely using computer programs where data and upgrades are sent via the cloud?

If elected, will Joe Biden be physically/mentally able (or allowed by his party) to serve a full 4 year term?

How many who voted for Kamala Harris think she is both qualified and will be a good president?

What percentage of the vote for Biden/Harris was motivated by hatred for Mr. Trump more importantly than support for the qualifications and platform of Biden and Harris?

Why has the vast majority of the country’s media worked in lock step to shame/embarrass/belittle everyone who voted for Mr. Trump in 2016 or planned to vote for him in 2020?

Why has the left leaning media failed to report on the Great Barrington Declaration?

Why is the party of “Science” refusing to use the scientific data/reports/studies that do not support the continued overbearing government control of the people in the name of COVID-19?

Is a film crew making a movie more essential work than a restaurant staff feeding its customers?

Can anyone give a reason, backed by science, why kids are not in school except for the political power of the Teacher’s Unions?

If the majority of teachers really don’t agree with the actions of their unions, why do they still support them?

Why is the USA almost alone in the world shutting down schools using the excuse of the COVID19?

Why do our media and our government institutions continue to report every death where COVID19 is present as “caused by COVID19”?

Absent COVID19, how many of the deaths reported this year would have instead been “caused” by cancer? stroke? heart attack? natural causes? pneumonia?

Would it make for a more informed public if our media/government reported on all deaths year vs. year to give better context to the COVID19 scare?

What percentage of COVID19 tests have been false negatives or false positives?

Are these tests accurate enough to actually help us to address this virus outbreak?

This list could go on and on. Is it not strange that our betters in the press (and academia and government) are completely without curiosity? Or, is it possible that they are actually working to hide the truth from us?

Today is November 3, 2020, Election Day in the U.S.A. All Presidential Elections are hyped up events. This may be the most written about, expensive, divisive, and drawn out election of my lifetime. The campaigning for this election started July 26, 2016 when Hilary Clinton was officially named the Nominee for President by the Democratic Party for the 2016 Election. The Democrats chose Clinton for her great name recognition and the assurance that she would continue the party’s efforts to move the U.S.A. toward an ever more government controlled/dominated country. Incumbents (both parties) liked the idea. Bureaucrats in both Federal and State and Local Governments liked it. More government meant more job security, higher pay and more power.

When Hilary lost to an upstart with zero experience in government (note the word “in” not the word “with”) , the embarrassment was all consuming. Not only was Hilary embarrassed but the entire Democrat party was embarrassed and ashamed. They had chosen a very unlikeable person who looked down her nose at anyone who was not like her or with whom she disagreed. And not only Hilary and the Democrats were embarrassed and ashamed, the media, academia, the power elites in Washington, D.C., were all shaking their heads in disbelief. How could a buffoon from Queens take the throne from its rightful heir?

The Democrats, the major media, academia, many power hungry Washington elites in the IRS, the FBI, the CIA, Congress (both parties) worried about this new rogue President who did not intend to play by the rules they had written. Before Day One of Mr. Trump’s Presidency, they plotted and worked to remove him from office. They spied on his campaign before the election. They made up stories to impeach him. They did everything they could to bring down the President. It turned out to be a 48 month run up to the election today.

So to defeat the President that they hated before he was even elected, they chose another person with great name recognition. Joe Biden a politician’s politician with 47 years in Washington, a past Vice-President for 8 years, and known to most (at least per the media) as a nice guy was their choice. He was too old to ever be considered a potential two-term president and if he turned out to actually be independent of his party masters, it would be easy to pull a 25th Amendment removal from office. It would also give them time to find a successor who would do the party’s bidding. Enter Kamala Harris, the Queen of Flip Flop. She, of no principles, would be easy to manipulate and was young enough that party leaders and donors knew they could bend her to any direction they chose and even keep her in office for years to come. They failed to notice that she was almost as unlikeable as Hilary was and her appeal to the black community was far less than Democrats had bargained for.

The Democrats then hid their two candidates from the public. They refused to answer questions like: “Will you stack the Supreme Court?” and “Will you so restrict fracking as to shut it down?” They held almost no press events because they did not want voters to see just how vacant the promises were nor how unprepared to lead anything these two were.

However, with a huge boost from the media and the Covid19 pandemic, they have painted Mr. Trump as the reason why people have died from and are being infected by the virus. Though there is no way to substantiate any of their blame on Mr. Trump, their ability to paint him with the blame has been their stroke of genius in this election campaign.

Had there been no Covid19 outbreak and no 24/7 media coverage and blame of the President for it, this election would be one of the biggest landslides in history. Here was a president who delivered on more promises than any in my lifetime. He brought an economy to heights not seen since the years immediately after WWII. He appointed the judges he said he would. He has brought more stability and peace to the Middle East than anyone dared imagine. He has renegotiated trade agreements to our advantage. He has slowed China’s aggressive trade and intellectual property theft. He has put North Korea back in its box. Etc.

I believe that the voting public has seen through the Democrat’s campaign and is enthusiastic to see Mr. Trump have four more years to accomplish even more of what he promised.

I predict, and hope, he will win this election. If he does not, I will be sad, not embarrassed. However, I will not riot, loot, or do everything in my power to neuter the new administration as the losers of the 2016 election have. Should Mr. Trump win, I hope the vast majority of Democrats will also accept the results without violence and mayhem. And, I hope they will not accept such from others disappointed at a Biden loss.

One of the themes of this blog is that we all read what reinforces our beliefs and to the extreme, our journalist class only reports what bolsters their chosen narrative.  You need to ask yourself if you can be well informed if you get your news from the Coastal Media which has been shown to be populated by in excess of 90% people who lean left of center.  You need to ask yourself if you can truly understand issues if you learned at the foot of college professors and high school teachers who have shown you only the view from far left of center (professors) and who care more about their union than their students (teachers).

Ask (and answer honestly) the following:

What has the NYT (any of the Coastal Media) published concerning:

  1. The Great Barrington Declaration (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8810977/Coronavirus-Anti-lockdown-petition-calling-herd-immunity-reaches-30-000-signatures.html) of 1000s of scientists asking for a non-political solution to Covid-19;
  2. The Brennan notes showing that Obama and Biden were briefed on the facts of the Russian Collusion hoax started by the Hilary Clinton Camp;
  3. Why is the NYT coverage of Hunter Biden’s financial situation, source of income, and closeness to the Chinese and Russian/Ukranian governments not covered with anywhere near the zeal as are the similar facts of the lives of each of President Trump’s children;
Why do we only know one side of the Moon? It is all that we are shown.

My wife and I have raised two sons. We are very proud of both of them. Both are great parents and very thoughtful people.

Our younger son responded recently to a piece that was decidedly pro-Trump that I sent to him ( Victor Davis Hanson – How American Journalism Died ). He is very good about being willing to read and discuss things even when they do not mesh with his thinking. This is very refreshing since most of my ‘progressive’ friends do not wish to discuss politics. They prefer to spout liberal talking points and indulge in character assassination.

He asked a very good question: “Do you really feel that Trump has accomplished a lot?” “I’m genuinely curious, because by my count,” he went on, “even on conservative priorities, he hasn’t done much at all (other than confirm conservative judges).” My immediate reaction to the question is that to not know of Mr. Trump’s many, varied accomplishments requires that you only read sources like the New York Times, Washington Post, etc. who routinely downplay or hardly mention anything contrary to the liberal view of our world.

So here is my answer to “What has Mr. Trump accomplished?”:

  1. The Middle East. No previous President has been able to accomplish more in the Middle East than Donald Trump. He hired the right people to negotiate with Middle Eastern states and the result is a blockbuster treaty between Israel and Egypt. The recent Agreements between the UAE and Bahrain and Israel fall not far behind the Egypt-Israel deal. The mainstream media gave it little press. Had this been accomplished under Mr. Obama, it would have led to a second Nobel Peace Prize and more ink than they gave to ObamaCare. Mr. Obama, by the way, never even visited Israel until his second term. That alone telegraphed his lack of sincerity about Middle East peace. Mr. Trump has enforced both U.S. and U.N. sanctions on Iran putting them back in a box to the point where their support of Middle East terrorism is greatly diminished, ISIS is all but defunct, Syria and Libya are both returning to a more normal state.
  2. China. Mr. Trump has stood up to the Chinese government who is robbing us of our technology, flooding our streets with fentanyl, using slaves and prisoners to manufacture goods to outcompete us. They continue to add more air pollution than any other nation.
  3. Manufacturing. Mr. Trump’s efforts have resulted in the return to the U.S. of over 400,000 manufacturing jobs. Much of this was due to reductions in overbearing rules and regulations not burdening overseas competitors. A lot of the improvement was due to tax reductions included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).
  4. NATO. Mr. Trump has caused most European nations to finally live up to their agreements to fund NATO in a more equitable manner.
  5. NAFTA. As promised in his campaign for the presidency, Mr. Trump authored a renegotiation of the NAFTA agreement to the advantage of the U.S.A.
  6. Southern Border/Illegal Immigration. Mr. Trump’s administration has supported the Border Patrol with completion of hundreds of miles of new and improved border ‘walls’ and fences. He has caused increased enforcement of immigration law.
  7. Economy. Mr. Trump has presided over the greatest improvement in our economy, possibly ever, prior to the Covid 19 pandamic.
  8. Unemployment. Unemployment has been lower under Mr. Trump’s watch than at any time in the past 50 years.
  9. Space Force. The Trump Administration has recognized that Militarization in Space is already a fact of life with the Russians and Chinese badly outspending us in military use and even weaponizing space.
  10. Decriminalizing Homosexuality/Conviction of Human Traffickers. The Trump administration has been leading a global drive to decriminalize homosexuality. Human Trafficking convictions have doubled. We have provided free HIV drugs to over 200,000 uninsured patients.
  11. Prescription Drug prices. Prescription Drugs have been lowered in cost by actions of the Trump Administration.
  12. Energy Self Sufficiency. The U.S. became the world’s largest Energy producer, eclipsing Saudi Arabia and Russia. Much of this was due to lessening burdensome regulations not faced by other producers. A lot of the increased production was due to innovation and the opening of means of transport for oil and natural gas.
  13. Climate. Withdrew USA from Paris Climate Accord yet the USA still leads the world in reduction of Carbon Emissions.
  14. The Courts. Has seated more conservative judges at all levels.
  15. Israel. Moved U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
  16. Environmental Protections. Increased Public lands by over 1,000,000 acres and created new National Monuments with the signing of the largest public lands bill in over a decade.

This is an incomplete list of Mr. Trump’s accomplishments. Most amazing to me is that he has done all these things while fighting attempts to impeach him based on fraud, lies, and fantasies. The Russia Collusion hoax, after over two years of investigation, resulted in no proof and which showed to have more conspiracy by the accusers than by Mr. Trump or his people. The abuses of the FISA system alone showed how desperate the Democrats were to overturn the election of 2016.

Mr. Trump’s efforts to clean up bad actors in numerous federal agencies has gained him the undying hatred of those who want things to stay as they are: a country where a Democrat can use a private email server to share classified documents to her benefit and not be brought to justice even after illegally wiping evidence from her hard drives, a country where government agencies can collude to prevent a President from taking office and then attempt to remove him from office by illegally spying on him and his people, a country where the Internal Revenue Service can be used as a tool to suppress conservative organizations……..

I ask myself the question, What motivates Mr. Trump? It must be his ego and his love of his country. The ego seems to be an essential part of the psyche of any major politician. It’s not pretty, but it seems to come with the package – can’t think of any recent exceptions. It can’t be money and power. He had more money prior to becoming President. He had plenty of power without all the problems associated with being President. He gave up a great deal of freedom to do this job. Ask the same question of the Clintons or the Obamas or Mr. Biden or Ms. Harris. All have become wealthier and more powerful since entering politics.

Last, I would ask, What has Mr. Biden done in 40+ years to compare to even one of the above accomplishments of Mr. Trump? And, do you truly believe that Mr. Biden is mentally and physically competent to do the job he hopes to have?

I listen to Armstrong and Getty, a morning talk show, when I can.  Lately, there has been an advertisement on the nationally syndicated show warning that Congress is going to increase U. S. Postal Service Package rates by an amount four times what they are now.  The ad suggests that you should contact Congress and demand they not raise rates.

Among the arguments they give to not raise the rates is that this will hurt both small businesses and individuals in rural areas where they are dependent on USPS package deliveries.

I wondered, what person or group would spend the money for such ads and why?  Color me skeptical, but I can’t imagine any group of rural dwellers or small businesses that would find this such an important issue that they would devote scarce resources to these ads.  I wonder if it is a company like Amazon that is behind such ads.

amazon-logo-500x200-1

It has been widely reported that the USPS delivers parcels for Amazon and loses money with every delivery.  With the Post Office losing Millions (Billions?) of dollars each year on carrying parcels it means we, taxpayers, are subsidizing parcel delivery.  Who stands to gain the most from taxpayer funded delivery?  My guess is that the big winner is Amazon.

Contrary to the argument in the advertisement that individuals living in rural areas and small businesses will lose the most if rates rise, I believe local businesses lose the most.  If, due to subsidized shipping, Amazon can offer the same product at the same or better price as your local shop (because they don’t have the bricks and mortar overhead), small businesses, especially in rural areas will not be able to compete.  When local businesses can no longer operate profitably against tax subsidized rivals, rural residents will not have the option to buy locally.

Instead of asking Congress not to raise package rates, why not ask that the USPS be paid fairly by Amazon and others?  Instead, suggest that tax dollars not be used to subsidize favored private enterprises.

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