DHS Whistleblower Leaks New Joint Intelligence Bulletin on ‘Domestic Violent Extremists’ Sent in Wake of Mar-A-Lago Raid

  • Document lists perceptions of “government overreach” and “election fraud” as red flags.
  • “The threats we have observed, to date, underscore that DVEs [Domestic Violent Extremists] may view the 2022 midterm election as an additional flashpoint around which to escalate threats against perceived ideological opponents, including federal law enforcement personnel.”
  • “Information contained in this intelligence bulletin is for official use only. No portion of this bulletin should be released to the media, the general public, or over nonsecure Internet servers. Release of this material could adversely affect or jeopardize investigative activities.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Project Veritas released a leaked document today from within the Department of Homeland Security which shows how federal agencies are reacting to the recent raid of President Trump’s Florida home.

In the document, the DHS warns of a heightened security risk for federal agents, specifically FBI agents, because of the Mar-a-Lago raid.

In addition to listing potential warning signs for Domestic Violent Extremists [DVEs], the DHS predicts that violent threats may continue to escalate this year.

“The threats we have observed, to date, underscore that DVEs [Domestic Violent Extremists] may view the 2022 midterm election as an additional flashpoint around which to escalate threats against perceived ideological opponents, including federal law enforcement personnel,” the document reads.

The document also appears to state that DVE ideology tends to be aligned with the ideas that “government overreach” and “election fraud” are a threat to the country.

“In recent years, DVEs adhering to different violent extremist ideologies have coalesced around perceptions of government overreach and election fraud to threaten and conduct violence. As a result of recent activities, we assess that potential targets of DVE violence moving forward could include law enforcement, judicial officials, individuals implicated in conspiracy theories, and perceived ideological opponents who challenge their worldview.”

The leaked material concludes with a warning to agents that the public should not know this information.

“Information contained in this intelligence bulletin is for official use only. No portion of this bulletin should be released to the media, the general public, or over nonsecure Internet servers. Release of this material could adversely affect or jeopardize investigative activities.”


©Project Veritas is a registered 501(c)3 organization. All rights reserved. Project Veritas does not advocate specific resolutions to the issues raised through its investigations.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, ‘Sunshine State Schools Will Educate Not Indoctrinate’

Below matches what our great candidates for school boards across Florida like Jill Sessions, Rick Nolte, Terry Clark and Justin Sharpless on Polk County have been emphasizing along with Parent’s Rights.

The current Polk County School Board and Superintendent Heid just doesn’t get it as illustrated by their decision to support  an OPT-OUT rather than an OPT-IN policy when it comes to age inappropriate and, in some cases, pornographic books in the PCPS media centers; gay pride month proclamations and refusal to put out a written policy that software available to teachers and students called Nearpod would not contain any access to Critical Race Theory.

It is a myth that some Politically Correct teachers are not referring to gender identity pronouns or CRT.

‘EXACTLY what parents want’: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lays out some of the subjects schools should, and should not, be teaching


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has issued a tweet listing the types of subjects schools should, and should not, be teaching — the governor declared that Sunshine State schools will educate, rather than indoctrinate, students.

“As students head back to their classrooms this fall, I’m happy to clear up any ‘confusion’ the media may have about appropriate curriculum,” DeSantis tweeted, listing “Math, Reading, Writing” as approved subjects, but critical race theory, “Sexualized Content,” and “Transgender Ideology” as disapproved topics. “Florida schools will educate children, not indoctrinate them,” he added.

The tweet earned plaudits from many on social media.

Responding to the governor’s post, Parents Defending Education founder and president Nicki Neily tweeted that “this is EXACTLY what parents want.”

Read full article.

©Royal A. Brown, III. All rights reserved.

Driving Stakes in the Heart of the Phony Climate Change Narrative

It’s been a bad stretch for the phony climate change narrative, lately.

A new report shows 96 percent of NOAA’s temperature stations don’t meet the agency’s own placement standards.  They are deliberately placed near urban areas in order to overstate average temperatures, leading to the now-routine bogus claims we’re having the ‘hottest year on record’.

Someone pointed out the inconvenient truth that NASA has recognized over the years that the biggest factor affecting temperature and climate is the sun, specifically, variations in the earth’s solar orbit.  Fly too close to the sun, and things get a little warmer, whodathunkit.

Those disappearing coral reefs in Australia?  Well, guess what – they’ve rebounded to record levels.  Environmentalists routinely tell you the sky is falling and the coral reefs are disappearing, but neither is true.

The climatistas prattle on about extreme weather events, but the fact of the matter is that the number of climate-related deaths has dropped by 99 percent since 1920 and is now approaching zero – except for storm chasers, of course.  Oh, by the way, the number of tropical cyclones has dropped 13 percent since pre-industrial times, a new study found.  Sorry to rain on your anti-growth parade.

The climate change crowd is deceiving you when it claims extreme weather is increasing and climate change is to blame.  It turns out that the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – IPCC – recently changed its methods, producing an increase in extreme weather events on paper but not in the real world. “(T)he latest IPCC report has introduced novel ‘attribution’ statistics and now insists that things are getting worse. It’s yet another case of scientists trying to scare the public into compliance,” a recent paper said.

So-called experts say sea levels are rising, but photos show they’re not, and the satellite data underlying the sea level rise claim has not been vetted for satellite altitude which makes all the difference in the method used.

Greenies hyperventilate about the water level at Lake Powell being down 94 feet since 2000 and blame evaporation from hotter temperatures, but it is government policies that produced the drop.  The original plan was to hold back water in wet years to make up for dry years, but the government now releases more water than originally planned in wet years, leaving no cushion.  You can’t blame that on climate change – or maybe you can, if you’re dishonest.

Similarly, it is government policies that are producing the increasing wildfire problem in the West.  Litigation under environmental laws and environmental reviews have delayed thinning and controlled burns.  Some controlled burns are being done, stupidly, in windy conditions.  So look to forest management, not climate change, if you’re sincerely interested in finding the culprit instead of just demagoguing the issue.

California and Germany are finding out that alternative energy isn’t all sunshine and lollipops.  Faced with electricity shortages from pursuing green energy policies, both are moving toward increasing reliance on their fossil fuel and nuclear power plants.

If you’re pinning your hopes the planet won’t burn up on the new climate bill Joe Biden is signing today, you might want to reconsider.  If you use U.N. climate models and everything in the bill goes swimmingly, the average temperature of the earth in the year 2100 will be 61.972 degrees instead of 62.0 degrees, best case.  I’m so relieved, and I’m so glad we’re spending $739 billion dollars to achieve a drop of 0.028 degrees.  Lollipop, anyone?

Visit The Daily Skirmish and Watch Eagle Headline News – 7:30am ET Weekdays

©Christopher Wright. All rights reserved.

Why You Shouldn’t Need a Doctor’s Permission to Get Prescription Drugs

Imagine if this system were to be extrapolated to other fields.

The present system for pharmaceutical drugs requires a doctor’s prescription as a precondition for their sale to members of the public.

At first glance this seems like a reasonable plan. After all, most people simply lack the necessary information to determine whether they need or can benefit from drugs such as Penicillin, Vicodin, Albuterol, Lisinopril, Levothyroxine, Gabapentin, Metformin, Lipitor, Amlodipine, Tamsulosin, Finasteride, Digoxin, Metoprolol, Celecoxib to name but a tiny sample of those drugs covered by this rule. Moreover, even if people had that knowledge, which the average person most certainly does not, they would be totally lost as far as proper dosage is concerned.

However, all is not well under present institutional arrangements. For here we are not talking about advice and counsel from a physician to a patient. That is all well and good. Rather, the problem is that the horse is placed before the cart: the client must seek the permission of a person who is for all intents and purposes an employee of his, not an employer.

That should be the proper relationship between the two, and in the free society that is exactly what would occur. Instead, nowadays, the patient is not seeking, nor obtaining, information, knowledge, advice. Instead, he must appear on bended knee to beg for permission from his physician.

Imagine if this system were to be extrapolated to other fields of endeavor. Then, instead of the motorist telling the mechanic which of his services he requires, matters would be inverted: the former would have to gain the approval of the latter regarding the proper procedures to be followed. Instead of the customer telling the cab driver where to go, the former would have to seek approval from the latter regarding the destination deemed by him to be the most appropriate.

Similarly, the diner would have to ask the permission of the waiter as to what kind of meal to order; if the latter deemed the former’s choice to be in any way problematic, he would simply reject his request. Travelers would propose destinations to air carriers; the latter would say yea or nay. After all, doctors nowadays sometimes refuse to write prescriptions for patients if they deem those prescriptions harmful; they make the final determination to the request, not the order, of the patient.

Yes, yes, there are disanalogies here. Pharmaceuticals have life and death implications, certainly those for good health. Some, but not all of these examples are fully apropos. But this is a dramatic and accurate way of depicting exactly what is going on in the prescription system.

How should matters work, ideally? Architects give advice to builders. Mechanics give advice to automobile owners. That is exactly the relationship that should prevail between a doctor and a patient. The former should advise the latter as to proper medication. But the patient should be free to ignore what the physician says, to seek a second opinion, and to have access to whatever (legal) drug there is out there. (All drugs should be legal, but that is entirely a different matter.)

Lawyers know more than us about law; the same thing follows; they are our employees, not employers. Physicists, chemists, mathematicians, economists, musicians, plumbers, and electricians are also more knowledgeable about their own specialties than we laymen; still, this gives them not a shred of justification to boss us around.

Yes, doctors, too, know more than us, specifically about medicine. But that shouldn’t make them our bosses. Their brief should not be to permit, or to withhold permission. We, their clients, are not children. We should not be treated as such.


Walter Block

Walter Edward Block is an American economist and anarcho-capitalist theorist who holds the Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Economics at the J. A. Butt School of Business at Loyola University New Orleans. He is a member of the FEE Faculty Network.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Democratic Operatives Control Voter Rolls In 31 States, Report Shows

Free and fair elections isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. Our once free country will not survive.

Democratic Operatives Control Voter Rolls In 31 States, Report Shows

By: Victoria Marshall, The Federalist, August 11, 2022:

Left-wing operatives are working overtime to accomplish their partisan goals and drive Democratic voter turnout.

A prominent voter-roll management system used by 31 states and the District of Columbia has politically compromised ties, according to a new report by independent research group Verity Vote.

The Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, was sold to states as a quick and easy way to update their voter rolls. Started in 2012 by far-left activist David Becker and the left-leaning Pew Charitable Trusts, the program is ostensibly run by the member states themselves. But as public records show, Democratic operatives are working overtime under the cover of ERIC to accomplish their partisan goals and drive Democratic voter turnout.
David Becker, Far-Left Activist

Becker’s left-wing ties have long concerned Republican state officials participating in ERIC. Before he started ERIC, Becker worked as a lobbyist for People for the American Way, a George Soros-funded advocacy group best known for the Right Wing Watch project, a website that catalogs and attacks conservative politicians and movements.

Before that, though, he was a Justice Department attorney whom colleagues remember as a “hard-core leftist” who “couldn’t stand Conservatives.”

While at the DOJ, Becker became the subject of an ethics complaint after he contacted Boston and offered his help in defeating a lawsuit made against the city by his employer for voting infractions. According to Hans von Spakovsky, former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the time, Becker “was supposed to be nonpartisan, but his emails uncovered in the Boston investigation revealed nasty, disparaging remarks about Republicans. Very unethical and unprofessional.”

After his stint at the DOJ and People for the American Way, Becker became the director of election initiatives at Pew Charitable Trusts, where he organized the creation of ERIC in 2012. Though Becker officially left ERIC in 2016, public records show he has continued to play a strong role in the organization, coordinating with state officials on ERIC-related activities and even running ERIC meetings. Documentation of that role is provided in Verity’s report. This is in violation of ERIC’s bylaws as Becker is a “non-voting board member” of ERIC and should not have the power to direct projects.

While Becker is a shrewd activist, ERIC member secretaries of state describe him as charming and brilliant. Becker is known to host swanky, all-access-paid election integrity conferences for state election officials and their spouses. Even during the pandemic, Becker courted ERIC members with Zoom catch-up calls. “Shane Hamlin and I have discussed doing another virtual get-together with the folks in the states (we did a small one last Friday) to catch up and hang out. No particular agenda, not about ERIC, just a good way to kick off the Memorial Day weekend (what’s a weekend?). I hope many of you can make it,” a May 15, 2020, email to ERIC members said.
ERIC, CEIR, and ‘Zuck Bucks‘

But now ERIC is undergoing scrutiny for its involvement with another Becker project, the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR). That group was one of two leftist groups used to funnel Mark Zuckerberg’s $419 million that funded the private takeover of government election offices in 2020. This funding targeted the blue areas of swing states, allowing left-wing operatives to run Democrat “get out the vote” operations from inside the election apparatus.

ERIC shares voter roll data — including records of unregistered voters — it receives from the states with CEIR, according to public information requests detailed in the report. CEIR then develops targeted mailing lists and sends them back to the states to use for voter registration outreach. As part of their agreement with ERIC, states are not allowed to disclose any data they send to nor receive from ERIC, however, ERIC is not under the same constraints and is able to work with CEIR.

Participants also express concern that ERIC does more to inflate voter lists without scrutiny than to scrub those lists of people who have died, moved, or otherwise become ineligible to vote in a given jurisdiction. Per ERIC’s own statistics, in 2020, it identified 17 million new voters compared to identifying only about 3 million inaccurate voters on the rolls.

Some member states are beginning to worry the organization is being mismanaged. Earlier this year, Louisiana announced its withdrawal from ERIC due to “questionable funding sources and that possibly partisan actors may have access to ERIC network data for political purposes.”

Even more troubling is that some of the information shared — including the email addresses and cell phone numbers of voters — is now being used for a “disinformation” voter contact drive, according to reports.

ERIC’S Failure to Clean Voter Rolls

How does ERIC work? According to its membership agreement, every 60 days states are required to send “all active and inactive voter files,” “all licensing or identification records contained in the motor vehicles database,” and any state agency records that perform “voter registration functions” to ERIC, which matches those against data from all other member states and Social Security death data. From there it creates voter maintenance lists — lists of voters who have moved, died, or have duplicate registrations — and lists of non-registered voters called “eligible but unregistered.” States are then required to contact every person on the latter list and tell them how to register.

There’s much more.

Keep reading…



PV Undercover: Sen. Lisa Murkowski Secret Support of Ranked Voting EXPOSED “She Stayed Quiet…She Supports it”

House Democrats Ask Wyoming Democrats to Switch Party, Vote for Liz Cheney

FBI Now Going After Pennsylvania’s 2020 Alternate Electors Who Were Selected in Response to Stolen 2020 Election

Holocaust Survivor Warns of America’s Path Compares to Nazi Germany

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Hydra-Headed Monster of Contemporary Censorship

Week before last, I told you about a lawsuit brought by the state Attorneys General of Missouri and Louisiana against the Biden administration for colluding with Big Tech to censor free speech on COVID, the 2020 election, Hunter Biden’s laptop, and mail-in voting, among other things.  The case is getting interesting because the judge is allowing the plaintiffs to proceed with discovery and because people who were censored – the Gateway Pundit and scientists and doctors who criticized the COVID lockdowns – have joined the suit.

So keep your eye on that one, but understand the move to silence the political Right in this country is not confined to the Biden administration.  Every corner of the Left is jumping in.

A professional Gay Gestapo group called for more censorship of information from the Right on social media and said the platform companies should become pronoun police.

A trans mafia group got a theater in Minneapolis to cancel a show by comedian Dave Chappelle whose jokes they didn’t like.   Twitter supports the trans mafia, suspending Jordan Peterson, Dave Rubin, and a dozen others for poking holes in the phony transgender narrative.  Heck, Twitter even canceled me for posting Tea Party information a few years ago.

A Democrat Senate candidate in Iowa demanded a town mayor take down a ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ flag outside somebody’s house.  This guy is a real authoritarian because, when he was a Vice Admiral in the Navy, he banned Fox News at meal time, and wouldn’t let his sailors watch it.

A medical board threatened to decertify doctors for telling the truth about abortion; for example, how abortion is linked to breast cancer and infertility. Congressional Democrats and the New York Attorney General asked Google to hide information about pro-life pregnancy centers in its search results.

The Fairfax County school board in Virginia – professional left-wing activists all, and not a single parent among them – voted for mandatory speech guidelines and will now suspend any student as young as ten who misgenders another student or calls them by the name they had before they transitioned.

College administrators are using ‘bias reporting systems’ to punish the free speech rights of conservative students on campus.  Under these systems, students are asked to inform on each other and report supposed incidents of bias regarding race, sexual orientation, and even ‘smoker status’ and ‘intellectual perspective’. The threat to free speech is obvious even before you get to ‘intellectual perspective’.  Informing on your neighbor for saying ‘I don’t like the Democrats’ – are you kidding? Inform – that’s what they do in communist countries.

California Democrats introduced a bill to strip nonprofit groups on the Right – but not the Left – of their tax-exempt status if a claim can be made the groups endorse ‘insurrection’ or engage in ‘conspiracies’.  Sounds like a roadmap for political persecution to me.  I think they should throw in “conspiracy to undermine national integrity” while they’re at it.  That’s the phony charge the Sandinista regime just used to put an opposition figure in prison for 10 years.

NPR formed a ‘disinformation team’ which is rich because NPR covered up the Hunter Biden laptop story and claimed there was no evidence Kyle Rittenhouse acted in self-defense, among other fits of disinformation of its own.  In a recent speech, Barack Obama called on social media to “detoxify our discourse, particularly the scourge of ‘disinformation’.”  You can dress that up any way you want, but it’s still censorship and thought control.

Controlling the information environment is a cult technique.  Preventing information from coming in from the outside and telling members only to rely on what the cult leaders tell you is a cult technique.   You don’t want people to think you belong to a cult, do you?

Maybe you like belonging to a cult, but I’ll tell you this:  you’ll never shut me up until you pry this microphone out of my cold, dead fingers.  And there are many more just like me and we’re organized. Seventy-five of us grassroots writers and media hosts with sizeable platforms of our own have formed a group and you’ll never succeed in silencing us all.  If you start with me, I will sue you into oblivion and I have the trial experience to do it.

Visit The Daily Skirmish and Watch Eagle Headline News – 7:30am ET Weekdays

©Christopher Wright. All rights reserved.

The Rise of Wokeness in the U.S. Military — Let me give some examples of what I mean by wokeness.

The following is adapted from a talk delivered on July 20, 2022, at the Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship on Hillsdale’s Washington, D.C. campus, as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series.

Complaints by veteran soldiers about younger generations who lack discipline and traditional values are as old as war itself. Grizzled veterans in the Greek phalanx, Roman legions, and Napoleon’s elite corps all believed that the failings of the young would be the ruin of their armies. This is not the chief worry of grizzled American veterans today. The largest threat they see by far to our current military is the weakening of its fabric by radical progressive (or “woke”) policies being imposed, not by a rising generation of slackers, but by the very leaders charged with ensuring their readiness.

Wokeness in the military is being imposed by elected and appointed leaders in the White House, Congress, and the Pentagon who have little understanding of the purpose, character, traditions, and requirements of the institution they are trying to change. The push for it didn’t begin in the last two years under the Biden administration—nor will it automatically end if a non-woke administration is elected in 2024. Wokeness in the military has become ingrained. And unless the policies that flow from it are illegal or directly jeopardize readiness, senior military leaders have little alternative but to comply.

Woke ideology undermines military readiness in various ways. It undermines cohesiveness by emphasizing differences based on race, ethnicity, and sex. It undermines leadership authority by introducing questions about whether promotion is based on merit or quota requirements. It leads to military personnel serving in specialties and areas for which they are not qualified or ready. And it takes time and resources away from training activities and weapons development that contribute to readiness.

Wokeness in the military also affects relations between the military and society at large. It acts as a disincentive for many young Americans in terms of enlistment. And it undermines wholehearted support for the military by a significant portion of the American public at a time when it is needed the most.

Let me give some examples of what I mean by wokeness.

In 2015, then Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus rejected out-of-hand a Marine Corps study concluding that gender-integrated combat formations did not move as quickly or shoot as accurately, and that women were twice as likely as men to suffer combat injuries. He rejected it because it did not comport with the Obama administration’s political agenda.

That same year the Department of Defense opened all combat jobs in the U.S. military to women, and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter committed to “gender-neutral standards” to ensure that female servicemembers could meet the demanding rigors involved in qualifying for combat. Since then, the Army has been working for a decade to put in place the gender-neutral test promised by Carter. But after finding that women were not scoring as highly as men, and under fierce pressure from advocacy groups, the Army threw out the test. Now there is no test to determine whether any soldier can meet the fitness requirements for combat specialties.

In 2015, near the end of his second term, President Obama initiated a change to the Pentagon’s longstanding policy on transgender individuals in the military. Before that change could take effect, the incoming Trump administration put it on hold awaiting future study. Subsequent evidence presented to Secretary of Defense James Mattis—including the fact that transgender individuals suffering from gender dysphoria attempt suicide and experience severe anxiety at nine times the rate of the general population—raised legitimate concerns about their fitness for military service.

This led the Trump administration to impose reasonable restrictions on military service by those suffering gender dysphoria. But only hours after his inauguration in January 2021, President Biden signed an executive order that did away with these restrictions and opened military service to all transgender individuals. Since then, the Biden administration has decreed that active members of the military can take time off from their duties to obtain sex-change surgeries and all related hormones and drugs at taxpayer expense.

Along similar lines, the Biden administration has recently ended support for a longstanding policy prohibiting individuals infected with HIV from serving in combat zones. The policy had been based on sound science tied to the need for HIV medications and the danger of cross-infection through shared blood.

Physical fitness has long been a hallmark of the U.S. military. But in recent years, fitness standards have been progressively watered down in pursuit of the woke goal of “leveling the playing field.” The Army, for instance, recently lowered its minimum passing standards for pushups to an unimpressive total of ten and increased its minimum two-mile run time from 19 to 23 minutes. The new Space Force is considering doing away with periodic fitness testing altogether.

Back in 2016, Navy Secretary Mabus decreed that Navy sailors would no longer be known by traditional job titles such as “corpsman,” adopting instead new gender-neutral titles such as “medical technician.” The resulting blowback was so severe from enlisted sailors who cherished those historic titles that the Navy was forced to reverse the changes. But wokeness has a way of coming back, and last year the Navy released a training video to help sailors understand the proper way of using personal pronouns—a skill Americans have traditionally mastered in grade school. The video instructs servicemembers that they need to create a “safe space for everybody” by using “inclusive language”—for instance, saying “hey everybody” instead of “hey guys.” Can the return of gender-neutral job titles be far behind? 

Much of the emphasis of wokeness today is on promoting the idea that America is fatally flawed by systemic racism and white privilege. Our fighting men and women are required to sit through indoctrination programs, often with roots in the Marxist tenets of critical race theory, either by Pentagon diktat or through carelessness by senior leaders who delegate their command responsibilities to private Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion instructors.

These indoctrination programs differentiate servicemembers along racial and gender lines, which runs completely counter to the military imperative to build cohesiveness based on common loyalties, training, and standards. Traditional training and education programs used to combat racial and sex discrimination have been supplanted by programs that promote discrimination by replacing the American ideal of equality with the progressive ideal of equity—which in practice means unequal treatment based on group identity.

The Biden administration’s Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Michael Gilday, decided last year to add Ibram X. Kendi’s book, How to Be an Antiracist—one of the leading sourcebooks on critical race theory—to his list of recommended readings. To give an idea of how radical Kendi’s book is, one of its famous (or infamous) arguments is that “Capitalism is essentially racist,” and that “to truly be antiracist, you also have to be truly anticapitalist.”

Last year, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the House Armed Services Committee, “We do not teach critical race theory, we don’t embrace critical race theory, and I think that’s a spurious conversation.” Despite repeated denials by Austin and others in the Pentagon that critical race theory is being taught in the military, there is no shortage of evidence to the contrary.

Indeed, last year a senior officer in the U.S. Space Force, Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, was removed from command for publicly describing the role of critical race theory in indoctrinating servicemembers at his installation. And just this summer, multiple media outlets reported on training materials on the problems of “whiteness” obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. One training slide read: “In order to understand racial inequality and slavery, it is first necessary to address whiteness.”

Congressmen have obtained curricular materials from West Point showing lectures titled “Understanding Whiteness and White Rage” and classroom slides labeled “White Power at West Point.” When challenged about this, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley became defensive: “I wanna understand white rage, and I’m white,” he said. “I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist.”

The rationale for reading communist writings in the service academies in the past has been that by doing so, we learned about our Soviet enemies at the time and how they thought. How is that analogous to reading Leftist tracts accusing white people (including servicemembers)—just by virtue of their being white—of racism?

Last year, Secretary Austin alarmingly called for a one-day military-wide stand-down to address the so-called problem of “extremism” in the ranks, despite the fact that there has been no evidence presented—including in testimony by senior officials—that there is a problem of extremism in the military. Commanding officers were required to discuss the topic using a PowerPoint presentation that included Ted Talks asking the question, “What is up with us white people?”

Since 2008, the Air Force has created at least eight “Barrier Analysis Working Groups” to “create an inclusive culture regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, orientation, religion, or disabilities.” These groups include the “Indigenous Nations Equality Team” and the “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or Questioning Initiatives Team.” President Biden signed an executive order in 2021 requiring all organizations in the military—as well as in the rest of the federal government—to create Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) offices, to produce strategic DEI plans, and to create bureaucratic structures to report on progress towards DEI goals. The overall goal, Biden said, was “advancing equity for all”—again using the Left’s euphemism for achieving desired outcomes through discriminatory policies.

Wokeness also comes in the form of conflating the mission of the military with environmental ideology. A year ago, President Biden told a group of overseas Air Force airmen that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had determined that the greatest threat facing America was global warming—a claim the Joint Chiefs had to walk back. In the same vein, Biden signed an executive order imposing a massive regime of environmental goals and requirements for the Department of Defense. These goals included transitioning to all electric non-tactical vehicles by 2035, carbon-free electricity for military installations by that same year, and net zero emissions from those installations by 2050. As a result, the Pentagon recently announced it will devote over $3 billion of its already stretched-thin military budget to climate-related initiatives in 2023 alone.

Although direct “cause and effect” studies on the impact of woke policies such as these do not exist, common sense suggests that the consequences for military readiness are dramatic. Spending billions on woke programs while the Chinese are outpacing us on hypersonic weapons, quantum computing, and other important military technologies is one piece of evidence. Recent reports showing the military’s dismal failure to gain new recruits in adequate numbers is another. Is anyone surprised that potential recruits—many of whom come from rural or poor areas of the country—don’t want to spend their time being lectured about white privilege?

These ideological policies move the military in a divergent direction from the American mainstream. In a recent poll of voters, for instance, 69 percent oppose the teaching of critical race theory in schools. Relatedly, Americans are increasingly losing confidence in the military. Between 2021 and 2022, the percentage of Americans who report a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military decreased five percentage points, from 69 to 64. In 2012, this confidence level stood at 75 percent.

The bottom line is that precious time and money are being poured into woke programs and projects that would be better applied towards making the military more capable. The billions of dollars that will be spent on Pentagon climate change programs, the time and money spent in creating DEI structures and hiring DEI commissars, and the time spent indoctrinating servicemembers in critical race theory and addressing an imaginary crisis of extremism in the ranks—all this detracts from the purpose of our military: preserving the security and freedom of the American people and nation.

These costs come at a time when the current administration is not even proposing to fund the Department of Defense to keep up with the rate of inflation—and a time when serious threats from China and other adversaries have never been greater.

Last month, Ramstein Air Base in Germany scheduled a drag queen story hour at its base library, where drag queen Stacey Teed was scheduled to read to children. When lawmakers back home got wind of the event and wrote to the Secretary of the Air Force, the event was cancelled. This suggests that pushback can be effective against the tide of wokeness plaguing our military. But there needs to be a lot more pushback.

Legislation introduced this year in Congress would stop the teaching of critical race theory in the military, the creation of the multitudes of diversity offices and officials, and the rolling back of physical fitness requirements. While the ultimate success of these proposals in the legislative process is uncertain, they are a start at least.

The American military remains a faithful and loyal servant of the republic. Most Americans are still proud and trusting of our military. But this trust and support cannot be taken for granted. If Americans perceive that the military is being exploited for political purposes or being used for experiments in woke social policies, that support will evaporate, and the consequences will be dire.

My hope and my prayer are that we figure this out before it is too late.


Thomas Spoehr

Thomas Spoehr is director of the Center for National Defense at the Heritage Foundation. He served previously for over 36 years in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Lieutenant General. He earned a B.A. from William and Mary, an M.A. from Webster University, and an M.A. from the U.S. Army War College. While in the Army, he served in numerous leadership roles, including senior positions in the Pentagon and Commandant of the Army’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear School. His operational experiences include service with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 1st Armored Division. He participated in the 1983 invasion of Grenada, and in 2011 he served as Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Forces Iraq.

EDITORS NOTE: This Imprimis Digest column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

How Airline Regulations Hurt Passengers

To help passengers, airline regulations should be scrapped, not increased.

If you’ve been anywhere near an airport in the last two years, you’ve probably gathered that things in the airline industry have changed. Delays and cancelations are causing more headaches than ever, baggage mishandling is up, unruly passenger cases are up…it’s really a mess. Unsurprisingly, flight complaints remain significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The most common complaint category is refunds. Many passengers feel that airlines have been bad about issuing refunds for missed flights, and some have been calling on the government to do something about this problem.

On Wednesday, the Department of Transportation responded to these calls with new proposed regulations that would create stricter rules for airlines regarding refunds.

According to current regulations, airlines are required to give refunds if a flight is canceled, or if a flight experiences a “significant delay” or change and the passenger chooses not to travel. However, under the current rules, the airline gets to decide what constitutes a “significant delay.” Unsurprisingly, passengers don’t always agree with the decisions airlines make.

“In practice, the circumstances in which airlines are required to make refunds have often been subject to interpretation,” writes Alison Sider in the Wall Street Journal. “The government doesn’t define significant change or delay in current rules, leaving it up to airlines to determine that.”

The new rules being proposed by the DOT are designed to eliminate the ambiguity in the current rules. Under the proposed rules, refunds would be mandatory for passengers who choose not to fly if the departure or arrival time changes by more than 3 hours for a domestic flight or 6 hours for an international flight. The new rules would also require refunds for missed flights if there is a change in the departure or arrival airport, an added connection, or a change of aircraft that constitutes a “significant downgrade” in the traveler’s experience.

Aside from clarifying (and, in practice, expanding) when refunds are mandatory, the proposed rules would also require airlines to issue non-expiring vouchers for passengers who don’t want to fly because of public health concerns or who can’t fly due to public health regulations such as stay-at-home orders or border closures.

“When Americans buy an airline ticket, they should get to their destination safely, reliably and affordably,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a press release. “This new proposed rule would protect the rights of travelers and help ensure they get the timely refunds they deserve from the airlines.”

At first glance, it’s easy to think that these regulations would be a pure win for consumers. After all, doesn’t it help to have more refunds and vouchers?

Yes, on the surface. But everything comes with a cost, and airline regulations are no exception. In a world of scarcity, you can’t get something for nothing. There’s no such thing as a free refund.

So where is the cost? Here, as in many cases, the cost is hidden, and it requires some digging in order to find it.

A good place to start is to look at this policy from the airline’s perspective. Now, this isn’t to say that airlines and their profit margins are the only thing that matters. Far from it. What I’m saying is, in order to help consumers, it’s important to understand how airlines make decisions and what incentives they face.

When an airline gets hit with a regulation, whether it be about safety or staffing or refund policies, the airline is essentially forced to take on additional costs. When they have to pay out more for refunds, for instance, their average cost per flight goes up. The result is a leftward shift in the supply curve and a higher price.

Now, some airlines may choose to offset the price increase by cutting back on other perks and services (meals etc.), but consumers ultimately pay somehow for the privilege of having their guaranteed refunds.

To give an analogy, say the DOT decided that, in the name of consumer welfare, every flight needed to have at least 20 flight attendants. Undoubtedly, consumers would have a better experience, but clearly that flight is going to be more expensive than a flight with fewer attendants.

The point is, there’s always a tradeoff between perks and price. Generous refund policies are nice to have, but just like generous staffing and generous safety standards, they come at a premium.

So far we’ve established that, all else equal, the more-consumer-friendly refund policies being proposed by the government will lead to higher prices because they impose higher costs on airlines. The benefit is that more people get refunds. The cost is more-expensive airfare.

So, is this a good tradeoff? Is the benefit to consumers worth the cost? To answer this question, we need to understand how markets deal with tradeoffs. Let’s begin by considering two hypothetical extremes.

Luxury Air is an airline that cares deeply about customer satisfaction. To show this, they have a very generous refund policy, even more generous than what the government requires. They will give anyone a refund for any reason at any time. Naturally, they have to charge a lot more than anyone else to stay in business with that kind of policy, so that’s what they do. Lots of perks. High prices.

Frugal Air is an airline that cares deeply about affordability. To show this, they have the lowest prices in town. They will always match their competitors. Naturally, they can’t afford to be very generous with their refund policies, so they don’t give any refunds for any reason. It’s a bit of a risk, but hey, you get what you pay for.

Now, back to the real world. In the free market, airlines begin by offering a combination of prices and perks somewhere along the spectrum from Frugal Air to Luxury Air. Then, consumers patronize the airlines that best satisfy their wishes. If consumers don’t think it’s worth it to pay for Luxury-Air-style refund policies, the businesses offering those flights will go under. Likewise, if consumers are turned off by “no refunds for any reason,” those kinds of policies will also be weeded out.

What we’re left with is the airlines that offer the optimal tradeoff between perks and price as judged by consumers. Thus, through a process akin to natural selection, consumers “choose” the refund policies and corresponding prices that best suit their wishes. The policies that the market “selects for” are the ones that consumers prefer the most. In other words, the market naturally gravitates toward a sort of goldilocks zone.

Now, consider what happens when a regulator comes in. Essentially, they mandate a specific spot on the Frugal-to-Luxury spectrum and force airlines to be “no less luxurious” than that. A mandate to provide refunds in certain circumstances is a mandate to provide extra perks, which invariably leads to higher prices. But—and this is the key—the “degree of luxury” they mandate is arbitrary, and the fact that they have to force the market up to it indicates that it is not in the goldilocks zone where consumers are happiest.

If consumers really believed those better refund policies were worth the extra expense, they would have favored airlines that offered that tradeoff, and the industry as a whole would have gone in that direction to maximize profits (that is, the goldilocks zone would be at a higher degree of luxury). The fact that the airlines aren’t offering them for the most part is all the evidence we need to conclude that consumers don’t think the benefit of more refunds is worth the cost. Thus, imposing a policy like this is most likely a net harm to consumers.

Again, the analogy to flight attendants is a bit easier to conceptualize. If the market is selecting for 3 attendants per flight and $100 tickets, a government mandate of 5 attendants per flight (which makes for, say, $120 tickets) pushes consumers away from their preferred perk/price combination. Hence, the regulation designed to help consumers ultimately ends up hurting them, because even though they got an extra benefit, it wasn’t worth the extra cost.

Consumers are perfectly capable of regulating airlines through their purchasing decisions—they do it every day. The DOT might think they’re helping, but they’re really not. Airline passengers are far better off when they, not bureaucrats, decide how airlines are run.

This article was adapted from an issue of the FEE Daily email newsletter. Click here to sign up and get free-market news and analysis like this in your inbox every weekday.


Patrick Carroll

Patrick Carroll has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and is an Editorial Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

All Electric Car Scam

The government drive to force auto manufacturers to produce uneconomical and unreliable as well as totally inefficient electronic cars is a scam. It’s not an error, however, it is their intent.

The analyses in the column are spot on, but the author refuses to look the issue square in the actual intent.

The public at large will be denied any “right” to private transportation.

A public at large and free to roam the country is anathema to the Bolshevik ideal. The public is to be wired into high density dwellings (not privately owned individual homes) and will either bike to work or take public transportation. Privately owned vehicles will be a thing of the past, and electric vehicles will be doled out on a parity basis for members of the party in good standing, and the models according to position. Gasoline vehicles will exist at the party’s permission to do essential work for farms, factories, aircraft, and train locomotives.

George Orwell knew whereof he wrote.

The book 1984 was supposed to be a warning (like Mein Kampf) but the people read it and said, that’s preposterous, never happen to a modern, civilized people.

And yet, here we are.

Don’t Sell Your Gas Vehicle Just Yet—The Electric Vehicle Scam

Dr. Jay Lehr and Tom Harris | Mar 15, 2022

The utility companies have thus far had little to say about the alarming cost projections to operate electric vehicles (EVs) or the increased rates that they will be required to charge their customers. It is not just the total amount of electricity required, but the transmission lines and fast charging capacity that must be built at existing filling stations. Neither wind nor solar can support any of it. Electric vehicles will never become the mainstream of transportation!

The problems with electric vehicles (EVs), we showed that they were too expensive, too unreliable, rely on materials mined in China and other unfriendly countries, and require more electricity than the nation can afford. In this second part, we address other factors that will make any sensible reader avoid EVs like the plague.

EV Charging Insanity

In order to match the 2,000 cars that a typical filling station can service in a busy 12 hours, an EV charging station would require 600, 50-watt chargers at an estimated cost of $24 million and a supply of 30 megawatts of power from the grid. That is enough to power 20,000 homes. No one likely thinks about the fact that it can take 30 minutes to 8 hours to recharge a vehicle between empty or just topping off. What are the drivers doing during that time?
ICSC-Canada board member New Zealand-based consulting engineer Bryan Leyland describes why installing electric car charging stations in a city is impractical:

“If you’ve got cars coming into a petrol station, they would stay for an average of five minutes. If you’ve got cars coming into an electric charging station, they would be at least 30 minutes, possibly an hour, but let’s say its 30 minutes. So that’s six times the surface area to park the cars while they’re being charged. So, multiply every petrol station in a city by six. Where are you going to find the place to put them?”

The government of the United Kingdom is already starting to plan for power shortages caused by the charging of thousands of EVs. Starting in June 2022, the government will restrict the time of day you can charge your EV battery. To do this, they will employ smart meters that are programmed to automatically switch off EV charging in peak times to avoid potential blackouts.

In particular, the latest UK chargers will be pre-set to not function during 9-hours of peak loads, from 8 am to 11 am (3-hours), and 4 pm to 10 pm (6-hours). Unbelievably, the UK technology decides when and if an EV can be charged, and even allows EV batteries to be drained into the UK grid if required. Imagine charging your car all night only to discover in the morning that your battery is flat since the state took the power back. Better keep your gas-powered car as a reliable and immediately available backup! While EV charging will be an attractive source of revenue generation for the government, American citizens will be up in arms.

Used Car Market

The average used EV will need a new battery before an owner can sell it, pricing them well above used internal combustion cars. The average age of an American car on the road is 12 years. A 12-year-old EV will be on its third battery. A Tesla battery typically costs $10,000 so there will not be many 12-year-old EVs on the road. Good luck trying to sell your used green fairy tale electric car!

Tuomas Katainen, an enterprising Finish Tesla owner, had an imaginative solution to the battery replacement problem—he blew up his car! New York City-based Insider magazine reported (December 27, 2021 ):

“The shop told him the faulty battery needed to be replaced, at a cost of about $22,000. In addition to the hefty fee, the work would need to be authorized by Tesla…Rather than shell out half the cost of a new Tesla to fix an old one, Katainen decided to do something different… The demolition experts from the YouTube channel Pommijätkät (Bomb Dudes) strapped 66 pounds of high explosives to the car and surrounded the area with slow-motion cameras…the 14 hotdog-shaped charges erupt into a blinding ball of fire, sending a massive shock wave rippling out from the car…The videos of the explosion have a combined 5 million views.”

We understand that the standard Tesla warranty does not cover “damage resulting from intentional actions,” like blowing the car up for a YouTube video.

EVs Per Block In Your Neighborhood

A home charging system for a Tesla requires a 75-amp service. The average house is equipped with 100-amp service. On most suburban streets the electrical infrastructure would be unable to carry more than three houses with a single Tesla. For half the homes on your block to have electric vehicles, the system would be wildly overloaded.

Although the modern lithium-ion battery is four times better than the old lead-acid battery, gasoline holds 80 times the energy density. The great lithium battery in your cell phone weighs less than an ounce while the Tesla battery weighs 1,000 pounds. And what do we get for this huge cost and weight? We get a car that is far less convenient and less useful than cars powered by internal combustion engines.

Bryan Leyland explained why: “When the Model T came out, it was a dramatic improvement on the horse and cart. The electric car is a step backward into the equivalence of an ordinary car with a tiny petrol tank that takes half an hour to fill It offers nothing in the way of convenience or extra facilities.”

Our Conclusion

The electric automobile will always be around in a niche market likely never exceeding 10% of the cars on the road. All automobile manufacturers are investing in their output and all will be disappointed in their sales. Perhaps they know this and will manufacture just what they know they can sell. This is certainly not what President Biden or California Governor Newsom are planning for. However, for as long as the present government is in power, they will be pushing the electric car as another means to run our lives.

Dr. Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute. He is an internationally renowned scientist, author, and speaker.

Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition, and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.

You do not need to have an advanced degree in mathematics to understand the term “Overload”! The average person, no matter where you live, can quickly identify the political feel-good sensation that is being attempted by those short-sighted individuals who are promoting the EV revolution….Vehicle manufacturers, Charging station builders, Transmission Line contractors, Battery producers….etc. i.e. Everyone that has their hands out for a government subsidy (i.e. your tax money).

“It’s Magic”….and you are saving the planet by creating less pollution as you get rid of your gas burning vehicle and take out a five-year loan to pay for the shiny new $60,000 electric car. No more fill-ups at the service station and the global warming is solved. You can now sit back and imagine the new polar ice formations that are providing a safe environment for the Polar Bears, Seals, Penguins that we all adore. We have done our part saving humanity…..and you can see the smile on little Greta Thunberg’s face!

BUT WAIT….why are we losing power at our house?

Well the short answer is….We failed to understand that our electrical grid reached max capacity and was overloaded when all of the EV’s were plugged in tonight at the same time. The next short answer is…..where do you think the energy came from to supply the grid in the first place? It sure was not from Wind or Solar….nor from any other alternate energy source we use which, when all combined, only provides 7% of today’s use demand. It was from the traditional combustible resource called Hydrocarbons!

Until we discover a non-hydrocarbon energy source that is efficient and safe, GET OVER IT …. Like it or not, we are committed to Oil & Gas!

©Royal A. Brown, III. All rights reserved.

Soros, Biden Spearhead Efforts Against Election Integrity Ahead of Midterms

George Soros should be banned from the U.S.. We must pass a “Stop Soros” bill like Hungary did. Soros presents a grave dangerous to the democratic process.

Biden, Soros spearhead efforts against election integrity ahead of midterms

A proposed constitutional amendment in Michigan by a Soros-funded group would prevent both strict voter ID requirement and a ban on private donations to election officials from being enacted.

By Natalia Mittelstadt, Just The News, August 2, 2022:

While federal agencies under the Biden administration are seeking to increase voter registration and turnout, a group linked to left-wing megadonor George Soros is pushing for a constitutional amendment in the battleground state of Michigan that would allow Zuckerbucks to be used in election administration.

Biden issued an executive order to all federal agencies in March 2021, instructing them to send him “a strategic plan outlining the ways identified under this review that the agency can promote voter registration and voter participation.”

The order gave agency heads 200 days to determine how their public services could be used as voter registration agencies, and directed them to notify the states in which their agencies provide such services that they “would agree to designation as a voter registration agency.”

Earlier this year, departments such as Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, and Labor turned their assisted housing centers, public health centers, and American Job Centers, respectively, into voter registration agencies.

Federal agencies participating in voter turnout efforts “is wrong” because they will target who they want to turn out to vote, “and government can’t be engaged in that process” because it’s “partisan politics,” Phill Kline, director of The Amistad Project, told Just the News.

Meanwhile, with midterm elections approaching in November, a left-leaning organization called Promote the Vote submitted nearly 670,000 voter signatures — more than the roughly 425,000 required — for a new Michigan constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot in the November election.

The amendment would “require state-funded postage for absentee applications and ballots”; “require state-funded absentee-ballot drop boxes”; allow voters to be sent an absentee ballot for every election by requesting it on an absentee ballot application; and “require 9 days of early in-person voting.”

It would also prevent enactment of both strict voter ID requirements and a ban on private donations to election officials, following approval of such safeguards by the Michigan Legislature before the legislation was vetoed by the governor.

Michigan currently doesn’t allow early voting, but requires election officials to accept, in at least one location, absentee ballots during business hours and for at least eight hours on the Saturday and/or Sunday prior to an election, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The signatures submitted by Promote the Vote must be reviewed by the Board of State Canvassers to determine the petition’s validity before certifying the petition and placing the amendment on the ballot, with the deadline to do so being two months prior to the November election.

Soros gave nearly $10 million in 2019 to the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which gave $250,000 to Promote the Vote in 2018.

The left has “become very supportive and open to billionaires” influencing U.S. elections, Kline said Tuesday. He argued this is dangerous to the democratic process, as candidates receiving funding from Soros would be beholden to him, and that “unless action is taken, we’ll reach a crisis where Americans no longer have faith in elections.”

The left, he added, is “trying to enshrine in law all the problems in the 2020 election” because its focus is not on “running the government objectively, but obtaining power.”


RELATED ARTICLE: Pennsylvania Supreme Court upholds state’s mail-in voting law

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Why Are Gas Prices Falling?

Does Biden deserve credit or does the second law of demand explain our less painful trips to the pump?

Anyone who has a car is breathing a sigh of relief this last week. After two years of increasing gas prices, we’ve finally had a significant fall in gas prices.

Gas prices are still high at $4.33/gallon (nearly double the $2.18 they were in July of 2020), but there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel.

Since the current administration has taken a great deal of heat over high fuel prices, perhaps it’s no surprise to see the White House taking credit for the lower prices. Earlier this month, President Biden noted that gasoline prices had fallen for 30 consecutive days.

“Our actions are working, and prices are coming down,” Biden said days later.

However, there is little evidence to indicate the majority of the price drop is due to any particular policy change.

This leaves us with an important question. Why exactly are prices falling?

Several outlets have undertaken the task of explaining this price decrease. Some seem to have arrived at an answer that is in the right direction.

An article on MarketWatch pinpoints the ultimate cause as falling demand. “Gasoline demand weakness against historical seasonal strength is pressing retail prices lower,” MarketWatch reported analyst Brian Milne saying.

The New York Times reported a similar explanation:

A report by ESAI Energy, an analytics firm, said on Wednesday that the firm expected a global surplus of four million barrels a day in the roughly 100-million-barrel-a-day market in the second quarter. “This is a significant drop in demand,” said Sarah Emerson, ESAI president.

In other words, the oil purchasing decisions are falling below what the oil industry expected. Four million less barrels a day are being utilized than industry experts had anticipated. The Times continues:

An Energy Department report released Wednesday showed that gasoline demand in recent weeks had dropped by 1.35 million barrels a day, or more than 10 percent. A recent survey from AAA seems to back this up, highlighting that two thirds of Americans have claimed to have changed their driving habits since the price increases.

So there’s our answer, right? Falling demand means lower prices.

There are several problems with this explanation, but the problems manifest in one particular issue. Neither of these articles gives a satisfactory answer for why demand would be falling.

In order to understand why demand is changing we first need to eliminate a fallacious reason. It might be tempting to say demand is falling because the price is high. In fact, the MarketWatch article seems to suggest this explanation. But this claim is wrong.

It’s true that when the price of gas (or any good or service for that matter) rises, people will purchase a smaller quantity of that good or service. Economists call this the first law of demand.

But the key part of that statement is when the price rises. Higher prices have existed for a while and cannot explain suddenly lower quantity demanded. Why didn’t the higher prices lead to a lower quantity demanded earlier?

In fact, committing to this explanation that higher price leads to lower demand is contradictory because it would be akin to saying “higher prices cause lower demand which causes lower prices.” This circular reasoning is confusing and incomplete at best.

MarketWatch and The New York Times missed it by that much.

I believe the outlets are right to pinpoint changing demand as the relevant factor for falling prices, and they’re right that higher prices are part of the story, but the explanation is missing the most important part.

To see what’s really going on, consider an example.

Imagine you’ve booked your vacation for the summer and you’ve decided to do a cross-country trip in an RV. The RV is rented, you’ve put in for vacation days at work, the insurance is covered, you’ve paid for tickets for sights and attractions, and your family is packed and ready.

You go to bed and gas prices are $2/gallon. The next morning you pull into a gas station with the RV and the price has skyrocketed to $4/gallon. The cost of your travel has doubled.

Do you cancel? In some cases the answer could be yes, but for many people the higher cost of gas is less than the cost of planning an entirely new vacation and executing the plan within a day. The cost of doing the logistics of canceling bookings and organizing something to do with your vacation days is high on short notice.

Now imagine a different scenario. You’re six months out from your trip and gas prices skyrocket to $4. You haven’t rented an RV or put in for vacation days. You assume gas prices will stay high until your vacation. Do you change your vacation plans? It seems likely.

The answer isn’t certain, but what we can say with certainty is that it’s more likely that someone will change vacation plans in the second scenario with six months notice relative to the first scenario with no notice.

Why? Simply put, it’s more costly to find substitutes in the short run than in the long run.

This illustrates a principle called the second law of demand which states that people are relatively more responsive to price changes in the long run than in the short run. Economists call this responsiveness “elasticity”.

Or, as the late and great economist Walter Williams put it, “demand curves are relatively more elastic in the long run than in the short-run.”

With this insight in hand, we are now equipped to give a more robust explanation for falling gas prices.

To begin, gas prices increase substantially. It’s too costly for people to substitute their gas usage in the short run. You still need to drive to your vacation, work, or church the next day if gas prices go up. But, as more time passes, there is more ability to cheaply discover alternatives like bus routes, carpool situations, financing for electric cars, or telework options.

In the case of vacations you could substitute your RV trip with the “staycation” option, which is growing in popularity, given you have time to plan.

Then, as more people substitute these options for gas, gas stations face a new lower demand. Again, this doesn’t occur immediately because it’s costly to make these substitutions in the short run.

Admittedly, confirming this theory as the number-one cause of falling gas prices would require significant statistical work, but the theory is consistent with the basic facts of lower demand and the time that’s passed since gas prices have risen.

Is it possible that releases of supply from the government’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve have had some impact? It certainly should make some difference, but as the articles above indicate, the basic evidence seems to show demand changes are the driver here—not supply changes.

Even Biden’s own Treasury Department estimates the US strategic reserve release to have impacted prices from 13 cents to 33 cents with a little more potentially due to international releases. This upper estimate, based on very generous assumptions, still leaves about half of the price drop unexplained.

And even without statistical testing, the second law of demand is an economic law which means it certainly plays some role in the more responsive demand, everything else held constant.

It’s not clear that we’re out of the woods on inflation yet. However, I remain confident that consumer-side substitutions and supplier-side innovations will continue to work to make gas prices more affordable—so long as meddlesome regulators stay out of the way.


Peter Jacobsen

Peter Jacobsen teaches economics at Ottawa University where he holds the positions of Assistant Professor and Gwartney Professor of Economic Education and Research at the Gwartney Institute. He received his graduate education George Mason University and received his undergraduate education Southeast Missouri State University. His research interest is at the intersection of political economy, development economics, and population economics. His website can be found here.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

New housing market data reveals a stunning shift as these 21 of the top 50 metro areas show price declines for June

In the Fortune article below Shawn Tully interviews Ed Pinto and cites AEI Housing Center data on HPA to discuss the cooling housing market. He also writes about the geography of these changes, as western metros face the most drastic downturns in HPA.

It’s finally happening. After soaring 40% from pre-pandemic levels in the greatest boom in decades, home prices peaked in June, and started falling in July. That’s the stunning, sudden shift revealed in a new set of data just introduced by the American Enterprise Institute’s Housing Center, one of the top sources for in-depth, city-by-city numbers on all things housing, from appreciation to inventories and mortgage originations. “The market just reached a turning point,” says Ed Pinto, the AEI Housing Center’s director. “Prices will keep falling on a national basis for August through December. It’s likely that we’ll see declines in around four out of five metros in some of the months ahead.”

Until now, the AEI had measured prices primarily on a year over year format. And by that yardstick, housing still looked strong in June. That month, the AEI found that the value of the average home had grown by 15% from June of 2021. But its data also showed over the 12-month span, “home price appreciation,” or HPA, was slowing fast, down substantially from a summit of 17.5% in April. The question that pullback posed for America’s homeowners: What’s happening right now, week by week or month by month? Is it possible that in my city, in Atlanta or Phoenix or Raleigh, prices are actually starting to decline?

The AEI’s new data answers that query. The measure displays price changes from one month to the next. Hence, the numbers provide an up-close view of precisely when the patterns turn, by how much, and what the moves foreshadow. They’re a guide to reading the market’s pulse. The AEI’s figures are based on actual closings for the month, as reported in the public records. Pinto deploys a methodology that compares sales of similar quality homes, eliminating distortions from shifts in the sales “mix”––for example, a deceptive boost to average prices as a higher share of pricey homes sell in June than in May.

An astounding number of markets are already posting declines

The AEI calculated the figures for the nation’s 50 most active housing markets. The AEI’s below, “Home Price Appreciation (Month over Month),” shows the changes from one month to the next from the start of 2019 through June of this year. Let’s begin with the national data. The overall market has been on such a relentless rampage, for so long, that only twice in that period have prices retreated, and each time by just 0.1%. As recently as January, America’s monthly HPA was 2.6%, sliding in May to a still robust 1.1%. But in June, appreciation hit a virtual freefall, shrinking to just 0.2%.

View Home Price Appreciation (Month-Over-Month) Chart.

Behind that national downshift are astounding reversals in sundry cities that were thriving just months ago. In June of 2021, only four metros showed a fall in prices from May and last year, the only May-to-June loser was Louisville at a tiny -0.1%. In April, not a single one of the fifty metros endured a decline from March. But this June, no fewer than 21 locales suffered drops from their May prices, some of them big. In general, the steepest falls came in the expensive west coast markets, as well as western metros that gained legions of buyers from the exodus from California. Eleven of the hardest-hit addresses fit this category. The biggest loser was San Francisco at -3.8%, followed by San Jose (-3.2%). Among the other western cities logging large declines are Seattle (-1.8%), Los Angeles (-1.5%), Portland (-1.3%), Denver (-0.9%) and Phoenix (-0.6%). Almost all of these metros were rocking as recently as February, with San Francisco up 2.8% over January, San Jose ahead 3.9%, and Seattle gaining 3.5%.

“The clearest trend is the pullback in these west coast cities, and those influenced by the California craziness,” says Pinto. In these places, the giant price increases in the last two years, from already expensive levels, has so diminished affordability that the fast-shrinking ranks of buyers are hammering values in spite of historically low volumes of homes for sale. From the fourth quarter of 2019 to Q1 of this year, prices jumped from $1.2 to $1.6 million in San Jose, $575,000 to $819,000 in Seattle, from $466 to $623,000 in Denver, and from $340,000 to $516,000 in Phoenix. The only out West markets that still showed strength were Las Vegas, a venue that’s cooling but still managed a 0.2% increase over May, and Boise, where prices waxed 1.8%, maintaining a record of consistent, month over month advances. Boise keeps thriving as a favorite destination for work-at-home refugees from California who can sell a home in, say, San Jose, get a much bigger abode at half the cost in their adopted city, and still bank hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In recent months, the hottest markets have clustered in the sunshine state. Cape Coral, which was scoring year over year increases in the mid-30% range, is backpedaling fast (you can read my recent feature on Cape Coral’s market here). Its gain of 2.8% from April to May flip-flopped to a negative 1.0% in June. Tampa, North Port, Orlando, Jacksonville and Miami are all way down from February increases, but still advanced between 0.2% and 1.1%.

By contrast, a number of older metros that didn’t experience big price gains demonstrated remarkable resilience, for a simple reason: Many remain relatively cheap. St. Louis, Nashville, Boston, Providence, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Columbus and New York all ranked in the top ten for May to June gains. Tied for first place with Boise the Big Apple, which garnered a month over month increase of 1.8% and is one of few stalwarts that appear on a rising trajectory.

The downdraft in June radically transforms the outlook for this year and 2023

Pinto also gets a good look at where prices are headed by studying “rate lock” data from Optimal Blue. Those numbers reflect contract prices for sales that will close in around 90 days. For Pinto, the rate lock trend points to falling prices, at the national level, for July through December of 2022. “We expect the national month over month HPA to go negative in July for the first time in years,” he says. “From there, prices should fall 3% to 5% from June levels by year end. Those total increases will accumulate gradually over the seven months from June to December.” By year end, Pinto expects that home prices will still be 4% to 6% above December of 2021, but probably remain on a downward path.

Pinto forecasts that if overall prices slide by around 4% from here to year end, a far larger number of metros than the 21 that were negative in June will be soon posting falling prices from month to month. “I wouldn’t be surprised if some months, we see 40 cities showing declines,” he says.

So where does Pinto see values heading in 2023? It would seem that if prices are falling in December, they’d keep tumbling through most of 2023. But that’s not necessarily the most likely scenario, says Pinto. “We’ve seen a decline in mortgage rates in recent weeks from 6% to around 5.5%,” says Pinto. “If rates rates continue to recede, that would give a boost to appreciation.” He points out that although inventories are growing, stocks remain extremely slim. “We’re still at around one month of supply at the current level of demand,” he says. “To get declining prices, we’d need to see seven ‘months of supply, and that could be a long way off.” For Pinto, it’s highly possible that a combination of stable or falling rates, and limited volumes of homes for sale, could sustain gains of 4% to 6% next year.

Still, Pinto says it’s never been more difficult to predict housing ‘s future. “There are so many factors pushing and pulling in different directions,” he says. “My crystal ball is getting foggier.” The AEI’s new monthly numbers enable homeowners to watch the market’s course, not just over long spans, but as it evolves. Folks are super-anxious about what today’s tumultuous times mean for the future of their biggest asset. They want to see whether the value of their ranch of colonial waxed or waned in the last 30 days. Now they can. The AEI numbers don’t hand homeowners a crystal ball. But following the AEI’s fresh data will keep your thumb flush on the market’s pulse of the market that, for most Americans, counts more than any other by far.

©Edward Pinto. All rights reserved.

ARIZONA: Identities Of Maricopa County Election Employees Who Deleted Election Server Files BEFORE Maricopa County Audit

“We are not talking about Fraudulent voting acts. What we are talking about is TREASON. When you coordinate 6 to 10 states using cyber warfare to change the outcome, these are Treasonous Acts.” — Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC)

Non-stop steal.

This is treason.

BREAKING: Bombshell Presentation Reveals Identities Of Maricopa County Election Employees Who Deleted Files From Election Server BEFORE Maricopa County Audit

By Jordan Conradson, The Gateway Pundit, July 31, 2022:

We The People AZ Alliance hosted an election security forum in Maricopa County on Saturday, featuring testimony from expert witnesses and state legislators.

This informational hearing, moderated by investigative journalist Lara Logan, presented evidence of fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election and addressed the concerns in the 2022 elections.

As we reported earlier, Lara dropped a bomb on stage, revealing that the Biden regime is now giving social security numbers to illegals at the border.

Election investigator Matt Vanbibber also shared his discoveries from the Maricopa County Elections Department’s public footage. He finally revealed the identities of individuals who illegally deleted elections files from the Elections Management Server in April 2021.

This data was deleted before the voting machines were delivered to Senate auditors in compliance with a subpoena.

Federal law requires these files to be kept for 22 months.

Maricopa County officials previously admitted that these files were “deleted” in a Congressional hearing but later walked it back and said that the files were “archived.”

This was one of the many law violations discovered by the Arizona audit and other Maricopa County’s 2020 Election investigations.

The Gateway Pundit previously reported on footage of the individuals deleting the files, but their identities were redacted from the public to maintain confidentiality.

On Saturday, it was revealed by Vanbibber that Maricopa County election Database Administrator Brian Ramirez was granted unauthorized entry to the server room on multiple occasions, and he deleted the files.

Ramirez does not have the required credentials to access the server room. However, Vanbibber discovered that he falsely used the identities of individuals who were authorized access.

Vanbibber matched the server room entry logs to the video footage and found Brian Ramirez using others’ cards to access the room.

Vanbibber: So basically, you have Brian entering the server room, and remember I told you he does not have badge access. We The People actually collected server room logs from Maricopa. So I went through all this video footage and matched it with the logs. What you see is Brian has Passarelli’s card in the server room, and he also has Charles Cooley’s badge as well.

Logan: So, Brian is accessing the server room using the identities and cards of other people.

Maricopa County policies also require two people in the server room whenever someone is using the keyboard video monitor, however, Brian was alone on multiple occasions.

Vanbibber then played the video of Brian Ramirez accessing the server room after he was let in by Assistant Elections Director Kristi Passarelli, at the same time that the server logs were deleted.

Keep reading…..


EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Our Military is Getting Desperate

Our WOKE military is getting desperate.

I can remember when the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) scores for most Miitary Occupation Specialties (MOS) had to be at least 70+ and now they’re accepting those with scores of only 31.   Additionally, the body fat percentage is over the standard by as much as 6%.

Army Opens its Doors to Recruits Who Fail to Meet Initial Body Fat and Academic Standards Amid Recruiting Crisis

By Steve Beynon

The Army is giving new recruits who exceed body fat standards or failed academic entrance standards a chance to serve as the service faces a daunting recruiting crisis.

In August, the service is set to launch two pilot programs at Fort Jackson, South Carolina: one for recruits who are slightly too overweight to serve and another for those who did not score high enough on the SAT-style exam required to enlist.

New enlistees who exceed body fat standards by as much as 6% will be placed into a training program for up to 90 days that includes exercise and dietary training. Every three weeks, the recruit may have their body fat measured and, if they can get to only 2% over the Army’s limit, they will be allowed to move on to basic training.

A separate academic camp, also up to 90 days long, is for recruits who score between 21 and 30 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB. A 31 is needed to qualify for any job in the Army. Lower scores tend to place soldiers in combat arms or roles that are generally less technical. Higher scores typically qualify troops for roles such as administrative and intelligence jobs. Soldiers have the opportunity to retake the ASVAB every three weeks as part of the program. During the camp, soldiers will receive extra schooling on topics covered by the ASVAB, which include literacy, high school-level math and logic puzzles.

“The young men and women who will participate in this pilot have the desire to improve themselves and want to honorably serve their country,” Gen. Paul Funk II, the commanding general of Training and Doctrine Command, said in a press release. “[It’s] a great way to increase opportunities for them to serve without sacrificing the quality needed across our force.”

Read more.

©Royal A. Brown, III, LTC U.S. Army (Ret.). All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: Army Swiftly Backpedals on Policy Dropping High School Diploma Requirement

How The Roman Government Destroyed Their Economy

The similarities with Democrat policies is staggering…

How Roman Central Planners Destroyed Their Economy

Spending, inflation, and economic controls destroy wealth and create conflict.

By: Richard M. Ebeling, Fee Stories, October 5, 2016:

In 449 B.C., the Roman government passed the Law of the Twelve Tables, regulating much of commercial, social, and family life. Some of these laws were reasonable and consistent with an economy of contract and commerce; others prescribed gruesome punishments and assigned cruel powers and privileges given to some. Other regulations fixed a maximum rate of interest on loans of approximately 8 percent. The Roman government also had the habit of periodically forgiving all interest owed in the society; that is, it legally freed private debtors from having to pay back interest due to private creditors.

In 45 B.C., Julius Caesar discovered that almost one-third of the Roman citizenry was receiving their grain supply for free from the State.

The Roman government also set price controls on wheat. In the fourth century, B.C., the Roman government would buy grain during periods of shortages and sell it at a price fixed far below the market price. In 58 B.C., this was improved upon; the government gave grain away to the citizens of Rome at a zero price, that is, for free.

The result was inevitable: farmers left the land and flocked to Rome; this, of course, only made the problem worse, since with fewer farmers on the land in the territories surrounding Rome, less grain than before was being grown and brought to the market. Also, masters were freeing their slaves and placing the financial burden for feeding them on the Roman government at that zero price.

In 45 B.C., Julius Caesar discovered that almost one-third of the Roman citizenry was receiving their grain supply for free from the State.

To deal with the financial cost of these supplies of wheat, the Roman government resorted to debasement of the currency, that is, inflation. Pricing-fixing of grain, shortages of supply, rising budgetary problems for the Roman government, monetary debasement and resulting worsening price inflation were a continual occurrence through long periods of Roman history.

Spending, Inflation and Economic Controls Under Diocletian

The most famous episode of price controls in Roman history was during the reign of Emperor Diocletian (A.D. 244-312). He assumed the throne in Rome in A.D. 284. Almost immediately, Diocletian began to undertake huge and financially expensive government spending projects.

There was a massive increase in the armed forces and military spending; a huge building project was started in the form of a planned new capital for the Roman Empire in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey) at the city of Nicomedia; he greatly expanded the Roman bureaucracy; and he instituted forced labor for completion of his public works projects.

The Roman government stopped accepting its own debased money as payment for taxes owed and required taxes to be paid in kind.

To finance all of these government activities, Diocletian dramatically raised taxes on all segments of the Roman population. These resulted in the expected disincentives against work, production, savings, and investment that have long been seen as the consequences of high levels and rates of taxation. It resulted in a decline in commerce and trade, as well.

When taxation no longer generated enough revenue to finance all of these activities, Emperor Diocletian resorted to debasement of the currency. Gold and silver coinage would have their metal content reduced and reissued by the government with the claim that their metallic value was the same as before. The government passed legal tender laws requiring Roman citizens and subjects throughout the Empire to accept these debased coins at the higher value stamped on each of the coin’s faces.

The result of this was inevitable, too. Since in terms of the actual gold and silver contained in them, these legal tender coins had a lower value, traders would only accept them at a discount. That is, they were soon devalued in the market place. People began to hoard all the gold and silver coins that still contained the higher gold and silver content and using the debased coins in market trading.

This, of course, meant that each of the debased coins would only buy a smaller quantity of goods on the market than before; or expressed the other way around, more of these debased coins now had to be given in exchange for the same amount of commodities as before. The price inflation became worse and worse as the Emperor issued more and more of these increasingly worthless forms of money.

The penalty imposed for violation of these price and wage controls was death.

Diocletian also instituted a tax-in-kind; that is, the Roman government would not accept its own worthless, debased money as payment for taxes owed. Since the Roman taxpayers had to meet their tax bills in actual goods, this immobilized the entire population. Many were now bound to the land or a given occupation, so as to assure that they had produced the products that the government demanded as due it at tax collection time. An increasingly rigid economic structure, therefore, was imposed on the whole Roman economy.

Diocletian’s Edict Made Everything Worse

But the worst was still to come. In A.D. 301, the famous Edict of Diocletian was passed. The Emperor fixed the prices of grain, beef, eggs, clothing, and other articles sold on the market. He also fixed the wages of those employed in the production of these goods. The penalty imposed for violation of these price and wage controls, that is, for any one caught selling any of these goods at higher than prescribed prices and wages, was death.

Realizing that once these controls were announced, many farmers and manufacturers would lose all incentive to bring their commodities to market at prices set far below what the traders would consider fair market values, Diocletian also prescribed in the Edict that all those who were found to be “hoarding” goods off the market would be severely punished; their goods would be confiscated and they would be put to death.

In the Greek parts of the Roman Empire, archeologists have found the price tables listing the government-mandated prices. They list over 1,000 individual prices and wages set by the law and what the permitted price and wage was to be for each of the commodities, goods, and labor services.

A Roman of this period named Lactanius wrote during this time that Diocletian “ . . . then set himself to regulate the prices of all vendible things. There was much blood shed upon very slight and trifling accounts; and the people brought no more provisions to market, since they could not get a reasonable price for them and this increased the dearth [the scarcity] so much, that at last after many had died by it, the law was set aside.”

The Consequences and Lessons from Roman Economic Policy

Roland Kent, an economic historian of this period, has summarized the consequences of Diocletian’s Edict in the following way:

“ . . . The price limits set in the Edict were not observed by the traders, in spite of the death penalty provided in the statute for its violation; would-be purchasers finding that the prices were above the legal limit, formed mobs and wrecked the offending traders’ establishments, incidentally killing the traders, though the goods were after all of trifling value; traders hoarded their goods against the day when the restrictions should be removed, and the resulting scarcity of wares actually offered for sale caused an even greater increase in prices, so that what trading went on was at illegal prices, therefore, performed clandestinely.”

The economic effects were so disastrous to the Roman economy that four years after putting the Edict into law, Diocletian abdicated, claiming “poor health” – a euphemism throughout history reflecting that if the political leader does not step down from power, others will remove him, often through assassination. And while the Edict was never formally repealed, it soon became a dead letter shortly after Diocletian left the throne.

Michael Ivanovich Rostovtzeff, a leading historian on the ancient Roman economy, offered this summary in his Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire (1926):

“The same expedient [a system of price and wage controls] have often been tried before him [Diocletian] and was often tried after him. As a temporary measure in a critical time, it might be of some use. As a general measure intended to last, it was certain to do great harm and to cause terrible bloodshed, without bringing any relief. Diocletian shared the pernicious belief of the ancient world in the omnipotence of the state, a belief which many modern theorists continue to share with him and with it.”

Finally, as, again, Ludwig von Mises concluded, the Roman Empire began to weaken and decay because it lacked the ideas and ideology that are necessary to build upon and safeguard a free and prosperous society: a philosophy of individual rights and free markets. As Mises ended his own reflections on the civilizations of the ancient world:

“The marvelous civilization of antiquity perished because it did not adjust its moral code and its legal system to the requirements of the market economy. A social order is doomed if the actions which its normal functioning requires are rejected by the standards of morality, are declared illegal by the laws of the country, and are prosecuted as criminal by the courts and the police. The Roman Empire crumbled to dust because it lacked the spirit of [classical] liberalism and free enterprise. The policy of interventionism and its political corollary, the Fuhrer principle, decomposed the mighty empire as they will by necessity always disintegrate and destroy any social entity.”



GDP fell 0.9% in the second quarter, the second straight decline and a strong recession signal

Chile’s Left-Wing Constitutional Suicide Pact

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.