PODCAST: Glimmers of Hope

The spirit of the country has changed since the 20th century, and not necessarily for the better. Gallup tells us Americans continue to believe our morality is in decline. The country is politically polarized, our discourse is visceral, common courtesy has become uncommon, and our social skills are diminishing. It is hard to remain optimistic under such conditions, but I recently witnessed some glimmers of hope in the human spirit which shows promise.

I have been a fan of YouTube for a long time, and it is my go-to channel I stream on both my computer and TV. I find just about everything I want on it, including news, sports, music, entertainment, classic movies, and a plethora of odd-ball videos on a variety of subjects. It is here where I find both the harsh realities of the world as well as the glimmers of hope.

The videos I will list herein may not win any award, but they are some interesting segments which you will not find in the news media today. To them, it is as if such acts of kindness do not exist, but in reality, they do. However, you have to hunt to find them. What follows are some heart-warming clips which demonstrate humans do not have to be crass, vulgar or unkind all of the time; that there are still people with good hearts and well meaning intentions. There are obviously many more of these videos on the Internet, but you should think of this as a starter kit.

  • Lending a Helping Hand – a series of clips showing humans going out of their way to rescue animals, and the thankfulness of the rescued. True, people can be cruel and ignore others in distress, but this first clip shows what animals can teach us about ourselves.
  • Simple acts of kindness – Yes, we are capable of helping others, even those we do not know.
  • Mowing Lawns – this is a favorite of mine, representing another random act of kindness. This shows a man mowing and cleaning up a yard for free. It may not be the most exciting to watch, but it is from the heart. Anyone who has mowed a lawn will relate to it. As an aside, there are several such videos on YouTube.
  • Lending a helping hand – much like the lawn mowing video, a church comes to the aid of a stroke victim by expanding his driveway and adding a wheelchair ramp to his house.
  • Empathy – a boy and a three-legged dog teaches the concept of empathy.
  • Expressions of True Love – shows how dogs react to their owners returning home.
  • More expressions of True Love – an outpouring of love when soldiers return home. It is always a pleasure to watch.
  • Inspiration – A pep talk from a kid which encourages people to lead a better life.
  • Signs of respect – as expressed by athletes.
  • Common Courtesy – as conveyed by a television station in Detroit, Michigan.
  • Citizenship/patriotism – another favorite of mine showing a group of people taking the naturalization oath to become citizens of the United States. The looks on their faces at the end are priceless.
  • The Young Crooner – A young man, Sal Valentinetti, wows the crowd on America’s Got Talent with his charm and his voice singing a Sinatra classic. His story and music is heart-warming.

Such videos are important as they teach by example, and hopefully, people will emulate them. They also reveal we are not all jaded and evil, but possess compassion, empathy, charity, kindness, and respect. Seniors in this country like to talk about the “good old days” when there was more courtesy and spirit of cooperation. Such virtues are not as visible today, thanks to the news media and changing social mores, but fortunately there still seems to be some deep-seeded respect for the human spirit. We can learn a lot about ourselves from these videos, as well as the many others on the Internet. It may be wise to watch these “glimmers of hope” now, before someone removes them later.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – For a listing of my books, click HERE.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Bryce is Right podcast is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

FASCISM: Universities Deputize Students As Mask Police To Snitch On Peers

Democrats following their Nazi predecessors. In the past American students would never have worked with thr government to snitch on their peers. But that was before the left destroyed our education system.

Universities Deputize Students As Mask Police To Snitch On Peers For Money

Colleges have begun hiring student hall monitors to enforce mask and distancing restrictions, a move that has given students authority over their peers for their obedience to the state’s COVID diktats.

By: Spencer Lindquist, The Federalist, October 18, 2021

Colleges have begun hiring student hall monitors to enforce mask and distancing restrictions, a move that has given students authority over their peers for their obedience to the state’s COVID diktats.

How much would you have to be paid to commit social suicide? What if a paycheck wasn’t the only perk, but it also entitled you to a sickening sense of self-righteousness and an air of superiority?

This appears to be the tradeoff many college students have made this semester as universities’ “Student Health Ambassadors,” paid adult hall monitors whose job is to patrol their campuses and enforce mask policies and distancing regulations. Several different institutions have opened this position, each one slightly different but all giving students authority over their peers in the name of public health.

One of the most egregious examples comes from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where student Covid commissars have been given the authority to “break up social gatherings” and to check students’ “clearance certificates.” Students who violate COVID policies can face suspension and expulsion. The enforcers, who are paid $15 an hour, even don vests and T-shirts emblazoned with the health ambassador logo.

Other universities have taken similar approaches. The school that I attend, Pepperdine University, has launched a program to “train and deploy” students to “monitor” their peers for “COVID-19 policy compliance,” a gig that conveniently comes with a high visibility bright blue T-shirt. Pepperdine has also decided to use the carrot instead of just the stick, now giving out raffle tickets to those who are wearing masks.

Similar “health ambassador” positions have opened up at various universities, including at the University of Rochester, the University of California at DavisNew York UniversityPenn State, and the Washington University in St. Louis, where the student workers wear yellow shirts bearing the phrase “If you can read this, you’re too close” and an elite division has been dispatched to be “cubby monitors” who monitor private study rooms.

Sycophancy As Virtue

Although these paid roles are new, they formalize a preexisting social dynamic in which average citizens have been taught that fear is a virtue and sycophancy makes them morally superior to their peers. Accordingly, they’ve been given authority over the super-spreading, science-denying troglodytes they find.

That this misguided sense of superiority has been institutionalized at various places of higher education only feeds the existing narrative that compliance is a virtue, regardless of whether it makes any sense, and that righteousness can be attained through obedience to even the most absurd diktats.

The fact that it is other students who are enforcing mask and distancing policies makes the situation far worse. Not only are adults getting paid to be professional hall monitors, an embarrassing proposition in and of itself, but peers are being elevated above one another, ascending a hierarchy through dutiful compliance to asinine regulations.

Performative Pandemic Protection 

It’s worth pointing out that students taking on this role may genuinely believe what they’re doing will contribute to the public’s health. But even if masks do work, a proposition that has by no means been conclusively confirmed and deserves a healthy degree of skepticism, the realities of college life, coupled with the contradictions within the regulations, render the mask policies that these “health ambassadors” are enforcing little more than petty, performative exercises in compliance.

After roughly a year and a half apart from our friends, “social” distancing has been entirely discarded as college students desperately attempt to make up for lost time. Anyone who believes that mask policies in libraries and classrooms, no matter how meticulously enforced, will have virtually any beneficial effect on transmission in light of all of college’s parties, social gatherings, bar-hopping, and even just the day-to-day unmasked interaction that happens as soon as the library is left, is kidding himself.

Those in a social gathering that UCLA Covid commissars are paid to break up will by all likelihood find themselves packed shoulder to shoulder sharing drinks in a frat house or a Santa Monica bar by the end of the week.

But even granted perfect enforcement and compliance with the regulations, such policies still won’t work on account of being utterly absurd and increasingly amorphous. It’s insulting that we’re expected to pretend the lone students behind closed doors in study rooms who are frequently pestered by the blue shirts pose a risk to campus safety. Equally laughable is the assumption that there’s a legitimate reason we’re only allowed to drink water when sitting down, not standing up.

It’s all theater, but refusing to believe in this cult of paranoia makes it all the more important that people are pressured into outward displays of obedience. The more absurd the rules get the more they require frequent social reaffirmation through unquestioning obedience.

The fragile trust that does remain is only dampened by the ever-changing goalposts. We were told by Joe Biden that the choice was “vaxxed or masked,” but now those with the jab are still being told to keep muzzled, and regardless of any antisocial distancing.

Weaponized Neuroticism

It also cannot be denied that a very particular type of person is attracted to such a role. In an August article titled “America’s Elites Want To Control You More Than They Want To Control COVID,” I detailed an experience on the DC metro when a double-masked passenger got up from her seat, came within six feet of me, and told me to put on a mask. When I declined, she began filming me.

This amalgamation of neuroticism, self-righteous condescension, paranoia, and a desperate need for authority is no doubt present among those who willingly sign up to be campus mask enforcers.

Defenders of the health ambassador program will point out that these restrictions, at least in the case of the schools in Los Angeles County, aren’t put in place by these universities. Such institutions are merely upholding policies they have no control over. Set aside the university’s ability to just say no on behalf of their students, or to even try to use their negotiating power with local authorities. The fact that students have become an enforcement wing of the state carries dangerous implications.

We are hurtling towards a future where neighbors, coworkers, and even friends are turned on each other and the power of the state is diffused through the civilian population. In some ways we’re already there, with the existence of these paid, formal roles showcasing the encroachment of such a paradigm. Just like how the Soviets clung to control, with average citizens becoming informants for the state, the deputization of college students against one another creates a culture of social distrust.

This sad state of affairs disproves the old libertarian talking point that “it’s not right versus left, it’s the people against the state.” Real cultural battles are much messier than that, particularly when the state has contracted out its work to college students, among others. This diffusion of power necessitates a newfound understanding of the threats to conservatism.

But this decentralization can also be demoralizing. When threats to the right are coming from the government, the corporate media, the entertainment industry, woke capital, and even student COVID commissars, it can be overwhelming to discern where to even begin pushing back.

The best place to start, perhaps, is to simply mock that which deserves to be mocked. Our opposition’s humorlessness is just as much a sign of their paranoia as it is a marker of their insecurity. As their grip over our minds slips, physical manifestations of their control become all the more important.

But all except for the most dedicated “science-trusters” realize how absurd and condescending it is to tell lone students sitting alone behind closed doors to put a mask on or to “break up social gatherings” at a university. Humor, derision, satire, and the occasional act of malicious compliance are the only appropriate responses.

It’s so self-evident that it hardly has to be argued, it just needs to be mocked. Only by supplementing intellectual takedowns with mockery and humor can the system’s self-indulgent totalitarianism be fully exposed — and eventually overcome.

RELATED ARTICLE: October 18th: Biden’s America and the Conservative Resistance

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

Quick note: Tech giants are shutting us down. You know this. Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Adsense, Pinterest permanently banned us. Facebook, Google search et al have shadow-banned, suspended and deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. We will not waver. We will not tire. We will not falter, and we will not fail. Freedom will prevail.

Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here — it’s free and it’s critical NOW when informed decision making and opinion is essential to America’s survival. Share our posts on your social channels and with your email contacts. Fight the great fight.

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The Mass Repricing Of Goods And Services

USA now under WAR TIME EMBARGO of food, medicine and fuel

“Your savings, investments, retirement, purchasing power, and the quality of life that you’ve spent a life time planning and working is being shredded.”

Are You Prepared For The Mass Repricing Of Goods And Services?

Authored by MN Gordon via EconomicPrism.com,

by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Oct 17, 2021 – 09:20 AM

Rising consumer price inflation is not going away.  This, of course, is counter to the “transitory” argument made by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell earlier this year.

Powell’s cohort, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, recently admitted inflation is not transitory.  This admission comes with assurances the Fed will properly manage it.  We have some reservations.

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The effects of rising consumer prices range far and wide.  For one, the pinch rising prices put on consumers is extraordinarily disruptive.  It acts like a hefty tax…eroding family budgets that are already stretched.  In this ongoing stagflation, personal income gains lag far behind rising consumer prices.

Industrial materials and consumer goods companies also feel the pinch.  They can pass on some rising prices to consumers.  They can also absorb through lower profit margins some short term price increases.  But there are natural limits to what price increases can be absorbed and passed along.

When input costs, including raw material and labor, push the costs of the final manufactured goods above what they can readily be sold for the business motive breaks down.  Halting operations makes the most business sense.

One industry feeling the pinch of rising natural gas prices is the fertilizer business.  As we noted several weeks ago, several fertilizer plants in the UK have had to suspend operations because of soaring natural gas prices.  Here in the US we’re not aware of any fertilizer producers suspending operations.  But fertilizer prices are up, nonetheless.

In fact, the Green Markets North American Fertilizer Price Index recently soared to a record high, thus eclipsing the prior record set in 2008.  Sky high fertilizer prices will further raise the cost of food production for farmers.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s global food index, food prices are already at a decade high.  Plus, when you factor in the grow season in North America doesn’t begin until late-March, the increased fertilizer input costs, could lead to persistent food inflation well into 2022.

But it’s not just food.  Here’s one instructive example of how price inflation discombobulates the economy…

Someone Gets Squeezed

The price of cotton just surged to a 10-year high.  Rising cotton prices translate into rising jean prices.  Levi Strauss has already raised the price of its jeans, thus passing some of the price inflation to consumers.

Levi Strauss is also realigning its business to account for higher input costs.  This includes aggressive negotiation with cotton suppliers and cutting out the middlemen.  Here are several details:

“In its earnings call, Levi said it has already negotiated most of its product costs through the first half of next year, at very low-single-digit inflation. For the second half of the year, it expects to see a mid-single digit increase. And Levi said it plans to offset that hike with the pricing actions it’s already been taking.

“Levi has been shifting its business from a predominantly wholesale to a mixed base that has a growing share of direct-to-consumer sales. And with strong consumer demand and tightened inventories, it’s been able to sell more products at full price.”

As noted above, the price of cotton is at a 10-year high.  Year to date it’s up 47 percent.  If cotton accounts for 20 percent of the cost to make a pair of Levi’s jeans, and the company was able to negotiate product costs at a very low-single-digit inflation, then someone in the supply chain is getting severely squeezed.

How long will it be before whoever that is cries uncle, and reneges on its obligations?

For a cotton supplier, that would presumably be when the input costs – land, fertilizer, labor, and processing – are greater than their contracted cost with Levi.

In this respect, Levi may have a plan to account for higher cotton prices, for now.  But will they really get a mid-single digit increase during the second half of 2022 as management anticipates?

How much more price inflation can they pass on to consumers?

Are You Prepared for the Mass Repricing of Goods and Services?

The answers to these and other related questions are being considered by management teams across all industries.  The simple fact is when the price of raw materials and labor inflate, it becomes very difficult to plan operations and production.  Hedging strategies may help manage for rapid, short-term price spikes, but they cannot ultimately prohibit a long-term repricing of materials.

In short, we believe a long-term repricing of materials, goods, and services, is now underway.  Certainly, prices will continue to rise and fall to meet supply and demand dynamics.  Yet this will take place in a range that is being repriced higher.  It has happened before and will happen again…

In 1960, for example, a gallon of gas cost $0.31 per gallon.  Similarly, in 1960 a gallon of milk cost $1.00 per gallon.  Currently, the average price of gas and the average price of milk are $3.28 per gallon and $3.68 per gallon, respectively.  That’s upwards of a 958 percent increase for gas and 268 percent increase for milk over the last 60 years.

Sure, the price of gas and milk could come down some from today’s prices.  However, there’s no way they’ll ever drop back to 1960’s prices.  They’ve been repriced higher for good.

Why?  Are gas and milk somehow more valuable today than they were 60 years ago?

We surmise these essentials have generally the same utility value they always have.  Yet the dollar has been greatly devalued.  Moreover, this great devaluation is the consequence of rampant dollar debasement policies executed in tandem between the Fed and Congress.

The recent debt ceiling histrionics in Congress – and the elevation of the debt limit for what we believe is the 79th time since 1960 – are merely another milestone in the great dollar debasement saga.

Remember, price inflation starts with expansion of the money supply.  These days the expansion of the money supply is conducted in tandem by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury.  In short, the Treasury sells new debt to the Federal Reserve, which the Fed buys using credit created out of thin air.

Congress, through its debt ceiling increases, provides the Treasury with an unlimited tab.  Congress then spends this limitless money into the economy via spending programs galore.  As this new money flows through the economy, prices adjust higher, as the supply of money increases much faster than the supply of goods.

The point is, through policies of mass dollar debasement, we’ve now entered the next stage of the mass repricing of goods and services in the economy.  The price of just about everything will adjust upward by several hundred percent – or much, much more – over the next decade.

Pre-pandemic prices are gone forever…

…and your savings, investments, retirement, purchasing power, and the quality of life that you’ve spent a life time planning and working for will be shredded.

Are you prepared?

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

Quick note: Tech giants are shutting us down. You know this. Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Adsense, Pinterest permanently banned us. Facebook, Google search et al have shadow-banned, suspended and deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. We will not waver. We will not tire. We will not falter, and we will not fail. Freedom will prevail.

Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here — it’s free and it’s critical NOW when informed decision making and opinion is essential to America’s survival. Share our posts on your social channels and with your email contacts. Fight the great fight.

Follow me on Gettr. I am there. It’s open and free.

Remember, YOU make the work possible. If you can, please contribute to Geller Report.

Whistleblower: 90% Of Hospital Admissions Are Vaccinated and Hospital Administration Refusing to Report Adverse Events

The vaccine does not stop the spread of COVID. Vaccinated people (like Colin Powell) die from COVID. So ask yourself, what’s behind the Nazi-esque mandates?

Physicians Asst. Whistleblower Reveals Hospital Intake With 90 Percent Vaccinated Patients and Hospital Administration Refusing to Report Adverse Events

By: Sundance, Conservative Treehouse |October 17, 2021:

The central statistic in this whistleblower story is important. In a community with a 50% vaccination rate, 90% of the hospital admissions were vaccinated patients, and most of the critical care hospital intakes were within 14 days of the patient taking the vaccine. An alarmed physicians assistant began reporting those issues into the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting system until the hospital administration stepped in to stop her from recording the frequency. She felt obligated to become a whistleblower:

“Deborah Conrad, a hospitalist physicians assistant on the frontlines of the pandemic, pulls back the curtain on the complete lack and disregard in her hospital for reporting Covid vaccine injury to VAERS, this country’s only mechanism to track the safety of these rushed-to-market, mandated products. In riveting detail, including emails & recorded phone conversations, Conrad exposes the internal push to turn a blind eye to injuries and “toe the company line” that this vaccine is safe.”

WATCH VIDEO HERE

Whistleblower Story – Deborah Conrad, convinced her hospital to carefully track the Covid-19 vaccination status of every patient admitted to her hospital. The result is shocking.

As Ms. Conrad has detailed, her hospital serves a community in which less than 50% of the individuals were vaccinated for Covid-19 but yet, during the same time period, approximately 90% of the individuals admitted to her hospital were documented to have received this vaccine.

These patients were admitted for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to COVID-19 infections. Even more troubling is that there were many individuals who were young, many who presented with unusual or unexpected health events, and many who were admitted months after vaccination. (read more)

RELATED VIDEO: UK report shows vaccinated people’s immune systems are failing at a rate of 5% a week.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Watch: Hundreds of Southwest Workers Stand Up to COVID Medical Tyranny in Huge Way

October 18th: Biden’s America and the Conservative Resistance

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

Quick note: Tech giants are shutting us down. You know this. Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Adsense, Pinterest permanently banned us. Facebook, Google search et al have shadow-banned, suspended and deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. We will not waver. We will not tire. We will not falter, and we will not fail. Freedom will prevail.

Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here — it’s free and it’s critical NOW when informed decision making and opinion is essential to America’s survival. Share our posts on your social channels and with your email contacts. Fight the great fight.

Follow me on Gettr. I am there. It’s open and free.

Remember, YOU make the work possible. If you can, please contribute to Geller Report.

Florida’s Election Code is Full of Inconsistencies and Loopholes — Here’s 10 Fixes!

What needs to be done?

The Florida legislature needs to adopt 47 proposed changes “Closing Loopholes and Resolving Conflicts”. 

Here are the ten most important proposed changes:

  • Standardize use of the uniform statewide voter registration form across the board with a wet signature. Online: Print out, sign, and mail in form.
  • Eliminate all digital signatures as they cannot be used to effectively compare with the vote-by-mail wet signature on the ballot envelope.
  • Require identification for all voters. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Require all voters to have an “address of legal residence” which includes the appropriate Apt/Lot/Unit number.
  • Simplify and streamline the deregistration process. Voters who have been somehow improperly deregistered (a rare occurrence) can just fill out a new statewide voter registration form and re-register.
  • Require identification numbers on all vote-by-mail ballot requests. A written request to send a ballot to the voter’s primary registration address does not require identification numbers per SB90.
  • Require that voter registrations where the identification is a driver’s license have the voter’s citizenship checked using the driver’s license database.
  • Require that digital images of the ballots be kept and made available to the public. This is already the law, but most SOEs don’t follow it.
  • Strike the word “manual” from the required post election recount audits. Require the optional automatic machine recount of 20% of the precincts randomly selected in public on separate simple, tallying machines (that don’t have built-in modems with VPNs).
  • Establish an audit system for all 67 counties modeled after standard business accounting procedures – the way that Fortune 500 companies maintain internal controls.

Join the Defend Florida Community Canvassing Team

Click here.  

Canvassing is the process of validating voter roll data for the following key items:

  • The registered voter lives at address.
  • To identify ghost or phantom voters registered at an address.
  • Validate method used to vote.
  • Validate any relative information is accurate with county elections office.

The process is very simple. Simply obtain the data from your local election’s office and work with your local patriots, legislature or if possible, elections office to organize a non-intrusive method to ask voters and document the responses.

DEFEND FLORIDA Canvassing volunteers go door-to-door canvassing to identify GHOST and PHANTOM VOTERS on our voter rolls. Canvassing volunteers work in teams and receive training and app supported technology for capturing data. To date, we have collected over 2,000 AFFIDAVITS of registered voters who DO NOT EXIST or are DEAD or are registered at an address that is NOT a residential address. The goal is to gather 5,000 AFFIDAVITS by the end of October.

To get REGISTERED for TRAINING please CLICK this LINK and complete the form. 

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

Cry Havoc! Threats to Right-to-Life Groups

Randall Smith: If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, expect lawlessness. A nation so dedicated to a fundamental evil will not simply give it up without a fight.


Some friends were kind enough to invite my wife and me to the Texas Right to Life banquet a few weeks ago.  For those who don’t know, Texas Right to Life is among the most successful, if not the most successful, pro-life organization in the country.  Hence, we have the Texas Heartbeat Law, requiring that an abortionist check for a heartbeat of a child in the womb and making it illegal for anyone to terminate the life of that child if a heartbeat is found.

The banquet this year was much like those in past years, with one major difference: the presence of heavy security.  There were uniformed police officers with bulletproof vests in evidence everywhere.  For Texas Right to Life is an organization under fire, part of a nationwide movement under fire, suffering harassment and maltreatment that I predict will only get worse in the coming months and years.

Texas Right to Life gets over a thousand hate messages via voice mail per day. And I mean hate. The organizers played some during the banquet, bleeping out the frequent expletives in the lengthy streams of invective. They had to clear their offices recently due to a credible bomb threat and must have 24-hour police protection on their offices. They get 750,000 attacks per day on their web site, including from such notorious hackers as the group Anonymous.  Who would have thought trying to preserve the lives of innocent children would lead to such vitriol and loathing from so many people?

But I remember watching film of demonstrations when the first black students were escorted into the University of Alabama and seeing crowds of angry white girls in poodle skirts, bobby socks, and button-front sweaters screaming – screaming until they nearly fainted from the intensity of their anger – at the very thought of allowing a black student into the university.  I remember thinking:  “Wow, that’s a lot of anger at one black person walking into a college building.”  But there they were on a nice summer’s day, spitting vile hatred, turning themselves into models of shame for the whole country.

So let’s just be honest with ourselves about something.  If the Supreme Court does its duty and strikes down Roe v. Wade, it will likely set off a firestorm of violence that will engulf the country.  Which is why, personally, I am not optimistic the Court will do it.  It will be viewed as too risky.

Everyone knows who promotes violence and who doesn’t.  Which is precisely why I worry that the Roberts Court will find a way not to overturn Roe: namely, for much the same reason that cities were boarded up before the results were announced of the last presidential election.  The fear was that if the country reached the “wrong” outcome, the progressives would riot in the streets. Everyone knows that if Roe is not overturned, pro-life forces will be disappointed, but they will not become violent. If deciding one way guarantees violence but deciding the other does not, which way do you think that decision is likely to go?

But if the Supreme Court shows courage rather than cowardice, and Roe is overturned, at that moment the pro-life battle will begin.  And it will not be pretty.  Expect persecution.  Expect intimidation.  Expect lawlessness.  A nation so dedicated to a fundamental evil will not simply give it up without a fight.  If you think a culture that has devoted itself for so long to the “right” to do away with inconvenient and disabled babies will act any differently than it did when it was defending the “right” to own slaves or its “right” to white supremacy with Jim Crow laws, then you haven’t learned the lessons of history.

People rarely surrender the “right” to dominate others without fighting tooth and nail.  When what is at stake is admitting that your entire worldview has not only been wrong, but based on supporting an institution that is fundamentally unjust and a violation of human dignity, people do not surrender gently.

In the 1850s, plenty of “genteel folk” preferred that slavery not be talked about in public company. So too now, there are many, even among Catholic priests and bishops, who would prefer we just not talk about our current “peculiar institution”: abortion. I mean, it’s so unnecessarily embarrassing. Such a distraction. So likely to provoke anger from the sophisticated elite. Best, therefore, to keep it under wraps and avoid looking the evil squarely in the face, such as men in chains or babies in trash cans.

Langdon Gilkey, in his remarkable memoir, The Shantung Compound, based on his experiences in a Japanese internment camp in China during the Second World War, reports that, as each moral issue arose in the camp, a pattern repeated itself, over and over.  The more educated and respectable the people, the more elegant and advanced were their arguments defending their own self-interest.  Gilkey writes that, “The ethical issues of human community life are, therefore, the outward expression in action of deeper, more inward issues, we might say religious issues.  For religion concerns men’s ultimate loyalty – that which gives them their ultimate sense of meaning and sets the standard of their life. . . .When our ultimate concern is directed to some partial or limited interest, we can scarcely avoid inhumanity toward those outside that interest.”

As we move further and further into the post-Christian age and people’s ultimate concern is no longer directed to their Creator, no longer guided by His wisdom and law, we can expect more of man’s inhumanity to man.  When men tire of divine order and tie their identity idolatrously to an ideology, it is not long before they “cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.”

You may also enjoy:

Francis J. Beckwith’s Redskins, Racial Slurs, and Social Justice

Howard Kainz’ A Defense of Single-Issue Voting

COLUMN BY

Randall Smith

Randall B. Smith is a Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas. He is the author of Reading the Sermons of Thomas Aquinas: A Guidebook for Beginners and Aquinas, Bonaventure, and the Scholastic Culture of Medieval Paris: Preaching, Prologues, and Biblical Commentary (2021). His website is: randallbsmith.com.

EDITORTS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2021 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

The ‘Build Back Better Baskets’ — All Tricks but No Treats?

Here’s a video of Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) explaining Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) agenda. Pelosi also characterizes BBB as “transformative” which sounds eerily like Obama’s promise to “fundamentally transform” America.

Pelosi states, ‘The Build Back Better is 3 Baskets. ‘It’s Climate, Health, Jobs, Security and Moral Responsibility.”

According to the White House website Build Back Better is defined as follows:

The Build Back Better Agenda is an ambitious plan to create jobs, cut taxes, and lower costs for working familiesall paid for by making the tax code fairer and making the wealthiest and large corporations pay their fair share. [Emphasis added]

According to Wikipedia:

The plan is divided into three parts: the American Rescue Plan, a COVID-19 relief package, which passed in March 2021;[2] the American Jobs Plan, a proposal to rebuild America’s infrastructure and create jobs;[3] and the American Families Plan, a proposal to invest in areas related to childcare and education.[4] As of October 1, 2021, the American Rescue Plan is the only plan that has been signed into law, though proposals featured in the American Jobs Plan have been passed in the Senate through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act[Emphasis added]

So, are there are, according to the White House and Wikipedia, only three baskets? Or, according to Pelosi five baskets?

To help us better understand what is really going on with BBB, I will go with what Pelosi’s five baskets.

Let’s take a look at each of these baskets and see what’s inside of each one as we approach Halloween.

  • Basket #1 Climate: This basket is filled with green energy goodies. It’s the Green New Deal on steroids. Unfortunately, if you heat your home using natural gas or electricity you are being tricked because you energy bill will go up, not down. If you drive a car, SUV, truck or van that uses fossil fuels you have already seen gasoline and diesel prices go up over 33%. There’s no treats in this basket for us consumers too. For you see went the cost of energy goes up so does the prices of consumer goods. This basket is filled with tricks and no treats. Here are three absolutes, that a good friend of mine taught me about the climate: 1. The climate changes. 2. These changes of the climate follow natural cycles (e.g. summer, fall, winter, spring) and 3. There is nothing mankind can do to change these natural cycles. BASKET #1: TRICK!
  • Basket #2 Health: What basket #2 is about is COVID. Biden, the CDC and OSHA have used COVID to fundamentally transform our economy and how we live our lives. If you don’t have a “vaccine passport” your ability to travel within the United States and overseas can be restricted or even denied. COVID is the hammer and we are the nails. Get VAXXED or get fired. Get VAXXED or you can’t shop, go to a restaurant or even celebrate the 2021 holiday season. The health weapon of choice is government mandates. Obey or suffer the consequences. BASKET #2: TRICK.
  • Basket #3 Jobs: Work for a company with more than 100 employees and don’s get VAXXED you get fired. If you are in the medical profession and work in a hospital and you choose not to get the Covid vaccine you can be fired. It that job creation? We think not. Are lockdowns job creation? We think not. Is forced unions to get jabbed helping the job market? Nope. Are the supply chain backups helping to create jobs? You can answer that one. There’s a growing number of people pushing back against the job killing programs (e.g. higher taxes on business and individuals) of Biden’s BBB agenda. BASKET #3: TRICK.
  • Basket #4 Security: Let’s start with Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan to its being blindsided by China’s new weapons system. Iran is on the rise, Biden is encouraging unvetted illegals to cross our Southern border by the tens of thousand and importing unvetted Islamists from Afghanistan. Biden’s security policy is there’s no national security policy. Get it? Got it? Good! BASKET #4: TRICK.
  • Basket #5 Moral Responsibility: Biden left Americans behind in Afghanistan. Biden supports abortion up to birth. Biden supports giving illegals voting rights and benefits over our wounded warriors. Biden has kowtowed to the most dangerous regimes in the world and left Americans to fend for themselves. We have see an increase in suicides that fit the COVID lockdowns and social isolation. Biden’s DOJ has designated parents as domestic terrorists if the speak out about public school policies during school board meetings. Democrats continue to persecute those who peacefully demonstrated on January 6th, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Those demonstrators are facing abuse and even torture while in prison. Are these morally responsible positions? NOT! BASKET #5: TRICK

Tricks or Treats?

Question: Are we getting treats or being tricked?

Answer: According to our analysis above we’re all being tricked and Biden is just getting started.

Biden laid out the following goals for his “Build Back Better” agenda:

  1. “Build a Modern Infrastructure” [More government spending]
  2. “Position the U.S. Auto Industry to Win the 21st Century with technology invented in America” [Mandate the auto industry comply or else]
  3. “Achieve a Carbon Pollution-Free Power Sector by 2035” [Green New Deal]
  4. “Make Dramatic Investments in Energy Efficiency in Buildings, including Completing 4 Million Retrofits and Building 1.5 Million New Affordable Homes” [More Green New Deal mandates]
  5. “Pursue a Historic Investment in Clean Energy Innovation” [Green New Deal on asteroids]
  6. “Advance Sustainable Agriculture and Conservation” [Famers required to be green or else]
  7. “Secure Environmental Justice and Equitable Economy Opportunity” [Equal people are not free and free people are not equal]

The Biden administrations agenda has become very clear.

If the intent of Biden is to make the lives of every American better then as of today he is a complete failure.

Conclusion

So Build Back Better is actually a massive government growth coupled with social a massive government spending spree. Not surprisingly it is inextricably tied to Covid.

To pass the Democrat/Biden Build Back Better agenda requires the American people’s cooperation. However, we are seeing more and more Americans taking up arms against this plan via civil disobedience.

Since his election, Biden’s poll numbers have dropped dramatically as he and his handlers try to implement his BBB agenda.

The backbone of Build Back Better is comply or else.

Freedom of choice. My body, my choice only applies to killing the unborn, not to you if you don’t get jabbed.

We predict as the Build Back Better agenda moves forward more and more American workers and their families will move backwards.

We sincerely hope we are wrong but unfortunately is appears were not.

The midterm elections in 2022 will be a bell weather election. If conservatives, note I did not write Republicans, don’t take control of one or both houses of Congress we are doomed

Get out and vote. Insure your state implements laws that enhance election integrity.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

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Panorama: Hawaii DoE Paying Zuckerberg Company to Collect Data on Students

The Hawaii Department of Education is funneling student data to a company financed by Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg.

Under a $478K annual contract with Hawaii Department of Education, Panorama Education, is building a permanent database of socio-political opinions, attendance, academic performance, and disciplinary infractions committed by Hawaii K-12 students.  Panorama’s ‘ Social Emotional Learning Survey’ is a veritable roadmap to manipulate their minds via social media.

Panorama’s CEO states the firm contracts with school districts nationwide comprising about 25% of US K-12 students.

According to Hawaii DoE, the Panorama survey is completed during Grade 3-12 homerooms and imported onto Panorama’s servers. For younger K-2 students, teachers are surveyed about their impressions of each student so your child will have a data profile in Silicon Valley even before he knows how to log on.

Nobody at DoE is mentioning Zuckerberg’s funding of the scheme.  His involvement is of course empirical proof that the data is being misused. And, yes, the DoE is actually paying Panorama to take the data.

Juvenile criminal transcripts are automatically sealed on the perpetrator’s 18th birthday — but what Hawaii DoE refers to as ‘Panorama’s National Dataset’ will continue into adulthood where it could be used to identify political supporters for a future Donald Trump-style campaign, just as Facebook data was used to help Trump in 2016.

Fairfax County Virginia schools, one of the largest districts served by Panorama, explains Panorama measures “how children and adults learn to understand and manage emotions, set goals, show empathy for others, establish positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”

A Hawaii DoE handout titled: “ Social Emotional Learning Survey: Fall 2020” cites Panorama program goals including, “Leverage social and emotional data to deepen the focus on key outcomes….”

Sold to school districts as a convenient way to collate student input, Panorama’s on-line survey system was well-positioned to see  expanded use during COVID-mandated ‘distance learning’ semesters. 

The data from a  June, 2020 Panorama survey was then used to bolster arguments against continuing distance learning, much to the chagrin of HSTA leadership.

Panorama CEO Aaron Feuer, quoted on  TechCrunch, September 2, 2021, explains: “Since March 2020, Panorama has added 700 school districts to its customer base, nearly doubling the 800 it served just 18 months prior.”  Feuer told Tech Crunch Panorama now serves 13 million students in 23,000 schools across the United States–25% of American students.

The  Washington Examiner reports. Alexander “Xan” Tanner,  co-founder  and president of Panorama Education, is married to the daughter of Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland.

To paraphrase Ben Franklin, “Those who would give up Privacy, to purchase a little temporary Convenience, deserve neither Privacy nor Convenience.”

Zuckerberg’s financial backing begins with Panorama’s ‘Round A’ in 2013 which garnered $4M from investors including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.  Zuckerberg was back in  2017 for ‘Round B’  which deposited $16M into Panorama’s coffers.  Buoyed by its COVID success, Panorama came back for  ‘Round C’ raising $60M from yet another Zuckerberg-led consortium in September, 2021.

Linking Panorama to Google, Apple, and beyond, other investors include:  Owl Ventures Emerson Collective (Steve Jobs widow),  Uncork Capital Spark Capital , and  Tao Capital Partners.

TechCrunch reports: “Notably, Panorama had not raised capital in a couple of years simply because, according to Feuer, it did not need the money.”

That’s what happens when school districts pay Big Data to take big data.

COLUMN BY

Andrew Walden

RELATED ARTICLES:

Panorama: HIDOE Summary

Panorama student survey FAQs

About the Panorama Student Survey

HSTA: Social Emotional Learning Survey: Fall 2020

WE:  Critics question Garland’s school board crackdown after son-in-law revealed as social justice education kingpin

RCP:  AG Garland Has a Conflict of Interest in Debate Over Schools

Parents Defending Ed:  Fairfax County signs five-year contract to pay $1.8 million in COVID emergency funds to a Boston-based consultant to administer intrusive “social and emotional” screening

FOX:  Virginia county directing $20M of COVID relief toward ‘equity,’ ‘social and emotional’ programs

Tulsi Gabbard: The Attorney General is weaponizing federal agencies to intimidate Americans into compliance

EDITORS NOTE: This Hawaii Free Press column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Great Reset Roars On!

The great reset cannot and will not be able to occur without total breakdown in all things Americans are used to. Law and order, education, food supply, retail shelves being full, cars being plentiful, affordable housing, affordable clothing. Need I go on?


Today’s blog is two parts, one, the first, written by me and the second by my friend Chris! They both are related to the corruption and evil, deliberate direction of this usurper and fraudulent administration, supposedly headed by crime family boss ‘Sniffer’ Joe Biden, but really run by Traitor and testosterone challenged Barrack Hussein Obama and his group of Commie and other treasonous, spawn of the Devil, cronies.

As many of you know I have many friends and contacts around this beautiful country who are or were politicians, Law Enforcement and military members, both regular members and special force groups.

It appears, and I have seen evidence of this, that these numbers are being totally ignored under orders and authority of the Biden regime. It also appears that only those from countries not necessarily friends of America, are the ones having the target numbers ignored.

As many of you also know, Congress sets a number of green card lottery visas for various continents and countries. That number is not supposed to be gone over. It can be under issued but not over. Predominately white, European or civilized countries have the smallest number issued. Shocked? After all. Why would we encourage people to come here that will actually add to this country in terms of wealth and abilities as opposed to taking from it??

The dark continent of Africa, for example, was given a total number of green card lottery visas of 39,000 ( Rounded down ) and as of early September over 70,000 were cleared and issued. The year is not over yet. Not only is this criminal but a deliberate act of intentionally allowing more immigrants in from an area of the world that traditionally doesn’t offer much that Americans cannot do. They traditionally struggle to assimilate and rarely become true Americans or try too hard to learn the language and culture. They also breed like crazy!

I have been trying to find a non corrupt politician to do a deep dive into this matter as there has to be a paper trail and not place my informant in any position of disadvantage as the evidence I have would identify him or her. To date I haven’t found one I could trust – or appears interested.

Now, part two today comes from Chris Wright, whose work has been published here regularly.

Hi all,

Two new stories today show the Biden administration continues to expand its open border immigration policies.

DHS is drafting a plan to allow people who committed fraud in applying for U.S. citizenship to remain citizens, saying the important thing is for those pobrecitos not to have to worry about their future.  Washington Times  Meanwhile, leaked border patrol documents show the Biden administration has released more than 160,000 illegal aliens into the U.S. so far this year.  OAN  Those are just the ones we know about.

The cartels and coyotes are sending more.  They send families with young children across the border in the morning.  Then, when border agents are tied up with paperwork processing the families, the cartels and coyotes bring more people and contraband across in the afternoon in places along the border where agents are missing.  [Secure Freedom Radio, 10/11/21)

What could possibly motivate the Biden administration to adopt policies they know result in the deaths of untold numbers of people trying to reach the United States?  Policies that result in small children arriving here alone without their parents?   Policies that alienate their fellow Democrats, border town mayors who are stuck with the tab for providing housing, healthcare, and other services to the masses of illegal aliens swarming their towns?   Policies the administration knows create national security risks, like letting in fake refugees who are actually members of Islamic militia groups, and giving hostile nations access to our homeland.  Democrat Tulsi Gabbard said the administration is lying when it claims the border is secure.

Today’s new stories, taken together with the slew of previous Biden policy changes opening the border, beg the question: are there any policies left that haven’t been loosened yet?

And to what end?  Democrats mock people who articulate what Democrats call the Great Replacement theory – the idea that Biden is deliberately pursuing open border policies to change the racial mix of the country.  The Democrats brand this as ‘white supremacism’ but a closely related theory holds the open border policies are being pursued to create a permanent political majority for the Democrats. Millions of illegal aliens will eventually vote for the Democrats when they eventually become citizens and no Republican will ever get elected again, the theory holds.

OK, fine. If you’re not trying to replace the population of the United States to marginalize white people or replace the current population with people who are more politically to your liking, what ARE you trying to do?  To burden is on you to explain what all these policy changes are for.  Are you trying to save the entire world?  If you don’t want people believing the Great Replacement or permanent political majority theories, the burden is on you to articulate the true goal of your open borders policies. You have been undeniably and systematically opening the borders every which way you can.  What for?  Let’s hear it.  I’m waiting.

Visit The Daily Skirmish

©Fred Brownbill. All rights reserved.

Why Has #EmptyShelvesJoe Gone Viral on Twitter?

“It’s the economy stupid!” – Bill Clinton


The Twitter tag #EmptyShelvesJoe has gone viral. Can anyone guess why?

We are now seeing the real impact of the Biden “Bring Back Better Agenda”, and it’s ain’t pretty.

The “Build Back Better” Agenda is Making Things Worse, Not Better

According to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), “The Build Back Better is 3 Baskets: ‘It’s Climate, Health, Jobs, Security, and Moral Responsibility.” Wait, isn’t that 5 baskets? LOL!

Is what Pelosi says true or just another set of big lies? Let’s take a look.

If you have any doubt about Biden and his administration you can now feel its impact on your collective wallets. Since Biden’s inauguration the American economy has gone down hill.

To understand why the U.S. economy is tanking let’s look at the Biden policies that is causing this catastrophe:

  1. Biden’s anti-fossil fuels and pro-Green agenda (a.k.a. Green New Deal). Hight gas prices are an instant tax on each and every American who drives a car or used electricity. It also increases the cost of every product and service provided in the U.S.A. This is because the increased cost of energy are passed along to every consumer by every company, from Amazon, to your local super market to every retailer and service provider in you city, county and state.
  2. Biden’s vaccine mandates are killing jobs by the thousands. The new mantra of Building Back Better is if you work for a company with 100 or more employees the mandate is: Get vaxxed or lose your job. When people lose their jobs the economy takes a major hit. Vaxx Mandates divide the nation. Watch this video of Governor Ron DeSantis to Biden on Vaxx Mandates: “YOU Are The One That’s Being Divisive About This!”
  3. Stagflation. In a NewsMax column Peter Navarro writes, “If it was just inflation affecting the United States, that would be “manageable,” but instead a “stagflation” problem like the one that hit the nation in the 1970s is occurring under President Joe Biden, former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told Newsmax on Saturday. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is “printing money,” Navarro told “The Count.” “That’s driving us to what we call demand-pull inflation. But then at the same time, we have the pandemic, coupled with the effects of the Biden administration cracking down on fossil fuels, giving us what’s called cost-push inflation.” Read the full article by clicking here.
  4. More Government Regulation. Bloomberg Law in a June 11, 2021 article titled “Biden Regulatory Playbook Revives More Active Government” warned, “The list, typically issued twice per year, marks a stark departure from the Trump administration’s focus on reducing the size, cost and scope of federal regulations. With Congress narrowly divided, it offers a window into how Biden wants to leverage the federal agencies he oversees to advance his ambitious agenda through regulation. The last four years offered a clear lesson on what happens when the executive branch fails to uphold its responsibility to protect the American people,” said Sharon Block, acting administrator of the White House regulations office, in a statement. “Our first regulatory agenda demonstrates our commitment to reversing this trend.” More government regulation always leads to more costs for businesses and individuals. More costs more harm done to the U.S. economy. Regulations make American products and services uncompetitive.
  5. More taxes and spending. Biden has said that his agenda and the $3.5 trillion dollar spending bill being considered by Congress will not cost a single cent. More government spending always leads to two things: more taxes and increasing the U.S. debt ceiling. Both are happening now as I write this column. Both harm the U.S. economy and burden each American citizen and future generations.
  6. The U.S. Supply Chain is Severely Damaged, if not totally Broken. America depends of the free movement of goods and services across the country. Wither by ship, train, truck or automobile America’s life blood supply chain cannot be interrupted or there are serious economic consequences. The Business Insider’s wrote, “President Joe Biden wants to clear traffic jams at US ports and save the holiday shopping season, but experts say his current plan won’t completely solve the problem…Former US trade negotiator Harry Broadman told Insider the administration’s plan addresses the more “glamorous” aspect of the supply chain — hulking cargo ships stuck at sea — while failing to look at the issue “holistically.” Backlogs at US railroads and warehouses are also contributing to the delays. Shortages of warehouse workers, truck drivers, shipping containers, and chassis are also major issues that the White House failed to address. Read the full article here. With Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, on a 2 month long maternity leave with his homosexual partner, what could possibly go wrong with the supply chain?

Conclusion

As we approach the major holiday season with Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and Christmas many wonder if the shelves will be bare. Will the New Year’s Eve parties be barren of food and drink? Will we have fireworks to ring in 2022? Will we have jobs? Will we become poorer? Will there be greater uncertainty?

We are beginning to see civil disobedience to the Biden agenda across the U.S. and even across the world. Bill Clinton’s statement that, “It’s the economy stupid” has yet to get thru the thick skulls of Biden, his handlers and Democrats in Congress. It seems they are hell bent on destroying the economy, a stupid idea in every way.

As we approach the 2022 mid-term elections we wonder what shape the American economy will be by then. People who work vote their wallets. However, it appears that Biden is building a larger and larger group of those who vote for a living rather than work for a living.

Doom and gloom, and it isn’t even Halloween yet.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

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Governor Ron DeSantis to Biden on Vaxx Mandates: “YOU Are The One That’s Being Divisive About This!”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continues to stand up for what’s right. Blames Biden on being divisive.

Watch

©All rights reserved.

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Stanford Epidemiologist Says COVID Vaccination Is Primarily a Matter of Personal Health, Not Public Health

An abundance of scientific data undermine justifications for COVID vaccination mandates, which violate long-standing principles of bodily autonomy and individual rights.


As one-size-fits-all COVID vaccine mandates sweep government, academia, and corporate America, new data are emerging that undermine the public health justifications for these policies. Studies from multiple countries now indicate that vaccination alone is less effective than the acquired immunity many already possess and unable to prevent transmission in the medium-to-long term.

Since the pandemic began, more than 100 million Americans have recovered from the virus. Many are workers deemed “essential” just last year. While the government paid others to sit at home, essential workers were required to continue working, exposing themselves to the coronavirus in a pre-vaccine world.

One of these individuals is my friend, Adam, an occupational therapist and rehabilitation director treating patients at a small nursing home in Aroostook County, Maine. He never worked from home. His patients needed him there in person. Like many healthcare workers on the frontlines, Adam was infected by the coronavirus while on the job, stayed home until he tested negative, and then went back to work.

As far as COVID is concerned, Adam is among the safest people in America to be around. Multiple studies (including one out of Israel that has received global attention) now indicate that those who have recovered from infection possess a natural immunity more robust than what current vaccines provide. Further, three epidemiologists at Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford have specifically recommended in the Great Barrington Declaration (now co-signed by nearly 15,000 medical and public health scientists, as well as 44,000 medical practitioners) that “nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity” to protect patients.

So why have both President Joe Biden and Governor Janet Mills (D-ME) issued mandates threatening Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to all healthcare providers unless they fire people like Adam? Mandates that make no exception for those with demonstrated acquired immunity make little sense for public health.

Additionally, in light of recent studies and documented “breakthrough infections,” the public health basis for mandatory vaccination is increasingly shaky for even those without any degree of natural immunity.

During my four years as Senate Chairman for Maine’s Health and Human Services Committee, mandatory vaccination policies in schools were a regular source of heated debate. The arguments for robust enforcement often rested on the need for “herd immunity”—the point at which one person transmits a virus to one or fewer people due to pre-existing immunity within a population.

Before the advent of vaccination, herd immunity relied on the development of natural immunity through widespread exposure to a virus. Since vaccination became common, many viruses once plaguing society are now virtually eradicated. To maintain herd immunity for subsequent generations and prevent the return of our old viral enemies, widespread vaccination is widely regarded as essential. For COVID vaccination, however, this does not appear to be the case.

According to Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine who studies epidemiology at Stanford University, recent studies indicate that the mRNA vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer do not contribute to herd immunity.

During a September 2021 interview with New York Times best-selling author Tom Woods, Bhattacharya, one of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, cited a study from Qatar with important findings on vaccine effectiveness. While vaccinated individuals were up to 95 percent safer from severe disease six months after vaccination, protection against infection and transmission was fleeting. Immunity began to diminish after five weeks. At 20 weeks, the vaccinated were as likely to become infected and transmit the virus as those unvaccinated.

This failure to confer a lasting immunity that protects the public does not negate the demonstrated positive effects for the individual. Battacharya hails the vaccine as “a wonderful achievement” that has “protected so many people from severe outcomes of the disease.” He credits the vaccine with aiding his own recovery from a COVID infection and strongly recommends it to others, especially the “older and vulnerable.”

“It’s better to have the vaccines first and then get the disease than the other way around,” he says.

At the same time, Bhattacharya concludes that, without contributing to herd immunity, COVID vaccination is a matter of personal health, not public health. As the benefits rest primarily with the individual, not society, government officials have no greater moral authority to prescribe vaccination than they do to prescribe chemotherapy. These are decisions for the individual to decide in consultation with their own physician.

Unlike pre-existing requirements in schools for traditional vaccinations, existing data undermines herd immunity justifications for universal COVID vaccination mandates. Further, these mandates push many with robust acquired immunity out of the workplace and society to the detriment of public health, increasing the likelihood of transmission to the vulnerable.

Mandatory COVID vaccination oversteps the bounds of public health, violating long-standing Western principles of bodily autonomy and individual rights. Lacking even the clear positive externalities often used to justify past vaccination requirements, these mandates should be opposed at all levels of policymaking.

COLUMN BY

Eric Brakey

Eric Brakey is the senior spokesperson for Young Americans for Liberty. As a state senator from 2014 to 2018, Brakey served as senate chairman for the Maine Health and Human Services Committee.

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

Cities Lead the Way in (Another) Massive Fall Exodus from US Public Schools

Many parents pulled their children out of school last year for homeschooling and other private options, as schools remained shuttered due to the coronavirus response. Nationwide, homeschooling numbers tripled last year from their pre-pandemic levels, driven largely by black families who left district schools for homeschooling at the highest rate of any demographic group and are now over-represented in the homeschooling population compared to K-12 public schools. With most schools open for full-time, in-person learning this year, it seemed reasonable to assume that parents would eagerly re-enroll their children in their local district school, tabling last year’s alternative education plans.

That doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact, some school districts, such as Los Angeles, have seen a larger public school enrollment drop this fall compared to last fall. L.A. public school enrollment declined by 4.76 percent in the 2020/2021 academic year, while new data show that enrollment is down another 27,000 students this fall compared to last year, or a drop of nearly 6 percent.

The enrollment decline for L.A. public schools was captured as of September 17, which was the fifth Friday of the new school year, or the day the district annually counts student enrollment. This was just after the Los Angeles school board mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for all eligible public school students, and before California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that all students in the state would be required to be injected with the new vaccine.

As I wrote last month, these COVID-19 vaccine mandates for children and adolescents will likely lead to more parents fleeing public schools for private learning models, particularly as new data emerges about the link between the COVID-19 vaccine and higher rates of myocarditis in teenage boys and young men.

“Boys between 16 and 19 years of age had the highest incidence of myocarditis after the second dose,” The New York Times reported last week, so it’s understandable that many parents may be reluctant to have their children get the COVID shot. “The risk of heart problems in boys of that age was about nine times higher than in unvaccinated boys of the same age,” added the Times.

With 20-30% of Los Angeles teachers and staff currently not on track to meet the district’s October 15 vaccination deadline, fewer students may alleviate some of the pending staffing shortages resulting from those who are terminated for not getting vaccinated. The district is already contending with 2,000 unfilled positions and a dearth of applicants.

L.A. isn’t the only large school district seeing dwindling numbers of students. New Chicago data reveal that district enrollment is down by 10,000 students this year, on top of the 14,500 students the school system lost last year.

According to Chicago NPR: “The reasons for the declines are many, experts say, including demographic changes in the city as well as the pandemic and the upheaval it caused, which may have motivated some parents to pull their children from the school district.”

More Chicago parents are continuing to homeschool their children, and local Catholic schools and other private schools are experiencing enrollment boosts, NPR reported.

Last year, public school enrollment dropped an average of 3 percent nationwide, as parents turned to homeschooling and private schools, or delayed kindergarten entry. Most districts were given an enrollment reprieve, freezing school funding at 2019/2020 spending levels in the wake of the pandemic response. But this year, headcount matters. In Detroit, “count day” occurred last Wednesday and will determine how many students are currently attending the city’s public schools and how much funding they will get. District officials resorted to bribery, offering Detroit Pistons basketball tickets to students to make sure they were in attendance so as to secure higher funding levels.

Last year, Detroit district enrollment fell 3 percent, while statewide public school enrollment declined more than 4 percent. According to a new National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper, which analyzed 2020 student enrollment trends in Michigan, the majority of families who left public schools last year chose homeschooling while most of the remaining families selected private schools. The researchers also found that low-income households and families of color were more likely to flee district schooling.

“At a high level, our main results are in line with a growing set of reports that the pandemic caused an unprecedented shift away from the public education sector, particularly for Black, low-income and kindergarten students,” researchers concluded.

In Seattle, the 1,300 fewer students enrolled in the district this fall will likely cost the public schools approximately $28 million in state funding. Smaller school districts are also experiencing enrollment declines along with a corresponding dip in funding. In West Virginia, Marion County student enrollment is down 230 students this year and the district is set to lose $1 million in school funding as a result. Many students in the district shifted to homeschooling, which has grown to 730 students from about 500 students in a typical year.

The NBER researchers suggest that the pandemic-induced shift away from public schooling is likely to be long-lasting and will have enduring effects on funding.

“These enrollment changes also have clear longer-term fiscal implications for the public school sector and educational consequences for students. To the extent that a large percentage of students remain enrolled in alternative sectors, public school systems will face unprecedented drops in funding,” the researchers conclude.

This is an ideal time for state legislatures to implement school choice policies, such as education savings accounts, vouchers, and tax-credit scholarship programs, to enable education dollars to follow students instead of funding bureaucratic school systems. Indeed, nearly three-quarters of US taxpayers now support education choice policies, and it has been a banner year for school choice, with many states introducing or strengthening choice policies.

These policies make it easier for parents to access the best education option for their children, extending learning choices beyond a district school assignment.

Some commentators look upon the current public schooling exodus with dread and criticize the ongoing privatization of education. This sense of doom is misguided. We don’t have government-run grocery stores assigned to families by their zip code, and food is even more important than education from a survival standpoint.

What we do have is a wide assortment of private grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and other private, commercial spaces from which consumers choose to buy food. For families in need, taxpayers fund food stamps and similar food-assistance programs that enable consumers to use taxpayer dollars in the form of vouchers to purchase food at the private market of their choice. This is a widely accepted model as it relates to food, but is somehow excoriated when applied to education.

The current momentum away from government-run schools and toward private education options should be welcomed and embraced. Weakening the government’s monopoly position on education and enabling a flourishing free market of learning opportunities will expand choices for families in much the same way as it does in all other areas of our lives. We don’t have government-run car dealerships, or hair salons, or shoe stores, and yet we are able to buy a car, get our hair cut, and purchase shoes that meet our preferences thanks to a vibrant free market.

As FEE’s founder Leonard Read wrote in his 1964 essay, a truly free market in education would unleash creativity, possibility, and efficiency, just as it has in all other sectors. According to Read: “Creative thought on education would manifest itself in millions of individuals. Such genius as we potentially and compositely pos­sess would assert itself and take the place of deadening restraints. Any person who understands the free market knows, without any qualification whatsoever, that there would be more education and bet­ter education. And a person with a faith in free men is confident that the costs per unit of learning accomplished would be far less.”

Far from being worrying, the current exodus from public schools is a positive educational change that is good for families, students, and taxpayers alike. As the government’s grip on education loosens, entrepreneurs are stepping in to create new learning models and schooling alternatives that provide the personalization, flexibility, and variety that we expect in all other parts of our lives. Prompted by the pandemic response that exposed the glaring inadequacies of government schooling, more parents now demand more education choices. Buoyed by an expanding free market in education, these parents and their children will enjoy an abundance of educational solutions in the years to come.

COLUMN BY

Kerry McDonald

Kerry McDonald is a Senior Education Fellow at FEE and author of Unschooled: Raising Curious, Well-Educated Children Outside the Conventional Classroom (Chicago Review Press, 2019). She is also an adjunct scholar at The Cato Institute and a regular Forbes contributor. Kerry has a B.A. in economics from Bowdoin College and an M.Ed. in education policy from Harvard University. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and four children. You can sign up for her weekly newsletter on parenting and education here.

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

VIDEO: CFACT is at the 14th International Conference on Climate Change — ICCC-14

Brave scientists from around the world have gathered in Las Vegas, Nevada for the 14th International Conference on Climate Change where climate realism is on full display.

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CFACT has participated in these important conference since their beginning and thanks the Heartland Institute for their hard work in putting them together.

If you think people have the right to know the hard data concerning weather, temperature, climate, energy and so much more this is the place for you.

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