Why Are Gas Prices Falling? thumbnail

Why Are Gas Prices Falling?

By Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)

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.

AUTHOR

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.

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Our Military is Getting Desperate

By Royal A. Brown III

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

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

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

By The Geller Report

“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.

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.

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How The Roman Government Destroyed Their Economy

By The Geller Report

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.”

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

Trudeau Sparks Backlash from Farmers and Provinces over Fertilizer Emissions Green Plan thumbnail

Trudeau Sparks Backlash from Farmers and Provinces over Fertilizer Emissions Green Plan

By Jihad Watch

Canada has its own farmers’ problem, resembling that of the Netherlands. The Trudeau government is set to impose a 30% reduction in fertilizer emissions (nitrous oxide) across the country as a part of his environmental emissions reduction strategy. Trudeau’s aim is to reach  net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The fertilizer industry association, Fertilizer Canada, commissioned a damning report warning that such reductions would lead to a $48 billion loss in farm incomes over the next eight years leading up to 2030. In the end, analysts say, the reasoning is flawed and will backfire.

Simultaneously, the Trudeau government has imposed a tariff on Russian-imported nitrogen fertilizer, which will hike up production costs for farmers, since Eastern Canada doesn’t produce nitrogen. Canada is the only G-7 country to impose such a tariff.

Farmers in Canada have faced on ongoing onslaught by the Trudeau government. In 2020, Trudeau infuriated the farming industry when he imposed an increase in the carbon tax. He called his plan “A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy” from Environment and Climate Change Canada,” but it served as nothing but a provocation to the farming industry:

Groups such as the Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO), Grain Growers of Canada (GGC), Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) and Western Canadian Wheat Growers (WCWG) have all come up with shock, anger, and strong criticism of the plan.

Dutch political commentator Eva Vlaardingerbroek recently summed up the situation in the Netherlands and Canada. She stated that Dutch farmers were really “protesting a Communist agenda.” She added that countries such as Canada and the Netherlands are being used as “staging groundfor the World Economic Forum (WEF) and other globalist elites to pursue their radical schemes to transform society.”

Last weekend, a “slow roll” convoy began to move into Ottawa to show support for Dutch farmers. And in Saskatchewan, hundreds of protesters in dozens of vehicles showed up to stage a “slow roll” protest.

Frustration and alarm are building all across Canada, prompting the question of whether Canadian farmers will protest in large numbers.

Trudeau fertilizer emissions plan sparks backlash from farmers and provinces

by Breanne Deppisch, Washington Examiner, July 26, 2022:

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is slated to impose a 30% reduction in fertilizer emissions in the country, sparking intense backlash from farmers and provincial agriculture ministers, who argue the target will decrease crop output, increase prices, and cost farmers billions in lost revenue.

The new target, which seeks to “reduce absolute levels of GHG emissions arising from fertilizer application,” is part of the Trudeau government’s goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

But the news has been met with disdain by farm and agriculture groups in the country that argue imposing such restrictions will shift production to higher-cost, less efficient countries.

“The world is looking for Canada to increase production and be a solution to global food shortages. The federal government needs to display that they understand this,” Alberta Minister of Agriculture Nate Horner said last week in response to the news.

Farming is a major sector of the Canadian economy. In 2021, the country exported nearly $82.2 billion in agriculture and food products, and the agriculture and agrifood sector accounts for roughly 6.8% of its annual gross domestic product.

“Farmers don’t need the government to tell them how to properly use fertilizer. We engage crop consultants, soil tests and use the latest technology available to us,” Gunter Jochum, president of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, said in a statement. “Our government should be strongly supporting the agronomic techniques that we have put into practice.”

A recent study commissioned by the association found that the new targets would cost Canada’s so-called “prairie provinces” billions in lost grain revenue by 2030— including $2.95 billion from Alberta, $4.61 billion from Saskatchewan, and $1.58 billion from Manitoba.

“We’re really concerned with this arbitrary goal,” Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture David Marit said in a statement.

The new reductions target comes just weeks after the Netherlands introduced a similar proposal — touching off a wave of protests and angry crowds that shut down bridges, food distribution centers, and other export hubs across the country.

Analysts say that by reducing output from countries such as Canada and the Netherlands, each among the world’s most sustainable and environmentally efficient producers, leaders risk redistributing global production to countries that require more land and more fertilizer, likely resulting in higher nitrogen pollution overall….

AUTHOR

CHRISTINE DOUGLASS-WILLIAMS

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

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The World’s Most Dangerous Idea Explained

By MercatorNet – Navigating Modern Complexities

If there is no right and wrong, we sail through perilous waters.


I think that I have nailed the World’s Most Dangerous Idea. It’s Dialetheism.

Never heard of it? You are not alone. Most people haven’t. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t subscribe to it. It’s a kind of sophisticated version of moral relativism.

Here’s an example of dialetheism at work. A recent issue of Scientific American ran a very unscientific opinion piece, “What Quantum Mechanics Can Teach Us about Abortion”. It was written by an abortion doctor in Salt Lake City, Cara C. Heuser, who may know a lot about obstetrics and gynaecology, but about quantum mechanics not so much maybe.

Quantum mechanics is basically pretty easy to understand, as fans of Marvel films know. Many of their heroes’ superpowers and many of their plot lines incorporate gobbledygook about quantum mechanics. Dr. Heuser may have learned a thing or two from Marvel scripts. “Is light a particle or a wave?” she asks. “Quantum mechanics, a discipline within physics, has demonstrated that both are true. Sometimes light acts like a particle, sometimes a wave.”

Similarly, she explains:

“That these two seemingly irreconcilable beliefs could come together gives me hope that similar harmony could be achieved in the discussion of other deeply polarizing topics, including abortion.”

Even though she performs abortions, Dr Heuser believes that she is serving the cause of life by helping women through difficult pregnancies. This leads her to conclude triumphantly:

Particle and wave, abortion providers and ethical physicians, pro-life and pro-choice.

Actually, the fact that light considered from one point of view is a wave, and from another point of view is particles does not mean that it is both at the same time and in the same respect. It means that there is something missing in our understanding of light. Waves and particles are complementary, not contradictory, features of light.

Quantum physics can’t solve moral questions because killing an unborn child is not good from one point of view, and bad from another. It’s just bad. Its effects may be both good and bad, but not the act itself.

Dr Heuser’s Marvel-ous insight is a handy illustration of dialetheism – that contradictory statements can both be true. “The Empire State Building is in New York” and “the Empire State Building is in Los Angeles” are both true.

If this were actually the case, all of Western philosophy would tumble down. Ever since Plato and Aristotle there has been nigh-universal acceptance of the Law of Non-Contradiction, that A and not-A cannot both be true.

However, as a defence of abortion, the notion of dialetheism is catching on.

A philosopher at Wofford College, in South Carolina, Katherine Valde, recently published a brief article in the Journal of Medical Ethics, in which she defended her own decision to have an abortion.

She didn’t do this for what might be regarded as compelling reasons:

“My abortion didn’t save my life or allow me to finish school. It just let me live a life I wanted. And, for whatever reason, that isn’t supposed to be enough.”

Why, she asks, does she need to have a reason? Isn’t the fact that she wants it good enough? Rod Stewart provided an anthem for dialetheism in his song: “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” Dr Valde dresses up this sentiment in philosophical garb. She writes:

“I’m tired of the defense of abortion that relies on the idea that there are good and bad reasons to get abortions…”

Unsurprisingly, as a professional philosopher, Dr Valde is fascinated by “the possibility of metaphysical dialetheism- that there might be contradiction in the world itself.”

What if dialetheism is true? There can be no difference between good and bad, right and wrong. What can justify jailing the perpetrator of the Buffalo mass shooting? What will happen to morality? No dialetheist will ever seriously defend torturing babies – but it will be hard to explain why it’s evil. And inevitably there will be more people who torture babies. Ideas, you know, have consequences.

There is a maxim in logic, ex absurdo sequitur quodlibetfrom a contradiction you can derive whatever you want. Ideas built on contradiction are pure fantasy. That’s why the gobbledygook of the Marvel Universe is so popular. You can get whatever you want from it. But that’s also why it’s not reality!

The emergence of dialetheism is one of the most corrupting consequences of defending legalised abortion. It’s easier to argue that right and wrong don’t exist than to defend a decision to take an innocent life.

AUTHOR

Michael Cook is the editor of MercatorNet. He lives in Sydney, Australia. More by Michael Cook

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

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The Biden Administration Says U.S. Not in a Recession, but Federal Statutes Say Otherwise. Who is Right?

By Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)

Is the U.S. economy in recession? The answer is, paradoxically, both easier and more complicated than you might think.


As expected the United States posted negative growth for the second consecutive quarter, according to government data released on Thursday.

“Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the second quarter of 2022, following a decrease of 1.6 percent in the first quarter,” the US Bureau of Economic Analysis announced.

The news prompted many outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, to use the R word—recession, which historically has been commonly defined as “economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.”

US economy shrank 0.9% last quarter, its 2nd straight drop and signaling a recession. https://t.co/ZvuPqvJk5R

— Marta Dhanis (@MartaDhanis) July 28, 2022

#BREAKING: US economy slips into recession?

The GDP decreased at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the second quarter of 2022, following a drop of 1.6 percent in the first quarter.https://t.co/yPDPpvkkSs

— Emel Akan (@mlakan) July 28, 2022

The White House does not agree, however, and following the release of the data, President Biden said the US economy is “on the right path.”

The comments come as little surprise. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had recently hinted that the White House would contend the economy wasn’t actually in a recession even if Q2 data indicated the economy had contracted for a second consecutive quarter.

“There is an organization called the National Bureau of Economic Research that looks at a broad range of data in deciding whether or not there is a recession,” Yellen said. “And most of the data that they look at right now continues to be strong. I would be amazed if they would declare this period to be a recession, even if it happens to have two quarters of negative growth.”

“We have a very strong labor market,” she continued. “When you are creating almost 400,000 jobs a month, that is not a recession.”

After historic economic growth – regaining all private sector jobs lost during the pandemic – we knew the economy would slow down as the Fed acts on inflation.

Our job market is strong, spending is up, and unemployment is down. We have the resilience to weather the transition.

— President Biden (@POTUS) July 28, 2022

Yellen is not wrong that NBER, a private nonprofit economic research organization, looks at a much broader swath of data to determine if the economy is in a recession, or that many view NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee as the “official recession scorekeeper.”

So White House officials have a point when they say “two negative quarters of GDP growth is not the technical definition of recession,” even though it is a commonly used definition.

Biden official: “As Secretary Yellen said on Sunday, two negative quarters of GDP growth is not the technical definition of recession.” pic.twitter.com/ZSxbDISmHw

— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) July 26, 2022

On the other hand, it’s worth noting that federal statutes, the Congressional Budget Office, and other governing bodies use the two consecutive quarters of negative growth as an official indication of economic recession.

Phil Magness, an author and economic historian, points out that several “trigger” provisions exist in US laws (and Canadian law) that are designed to go into effect when the economy posts negative growth in consecutive quarters.

“For reference, here is the definition used in the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act of 1985,” Magness wrote on Twitter, referencing a clause in the Act. “This particular clause has been subsequently retained and replicated in several trigger clauses for recessionary measures in US federal statutes.”

It’s worth noting that Magness doesn’t contend the two consecutive quarters definition is the best method of determining whether an economy is in a recession, but simply points out that claims that it’s an “informal” definition of recession are untrue.

“It may not be a perfect metric, but it has a very long history of being used to determine policy during recessions,” Magness writes.

Can someone point me to the place in the United States Code where the statutes make NBER the “official” arbiter of recessions?

Because I can show you several places where federal statutes use the “two consecutive quarters of declining real GDP” definition.

— Phil Magness (@PhilWMagness) July 25, 2022

Some readers may find it strange that so much heat, ink, and energy is being spent on something as intangible as a word, which is a mere abstraction that has no value. And some policy experts agree.

“Whether [we’re] in a technical recession is less interesting to me than the following 3 questions,” Brian Riedl, an economist at the Manhattan Institute, recently said. “1) Are jobs plentiful? (Yes – good) 2) Are real wages rising? (Falling fast – bad) 3) Is inflation hitting fixed income fams? (Yes – bad.)”

Whether were in a technical recession is less interesting to me than the following 3 questions:

1) Are jobs plentiful? (Yes – good)

2) Are real wages rising? (Falling fast – bad)

3) Is inflation hitting fixed income fams? (Yes – bad)

So, 2 of 3 are trending badly = worrisome.

— Brian Riedl 🧀 🇺🇦 (@Brian_Riedl) July 25, 2022

Others contend that definitions matter, and that by ignoring the legal definition of recession, the Biden White House can continue to argue that the US economy is “historically strong” even as economic growth is negative, inflation is surging, and real wages are crashing.

As Charles Lane recently pointed out in the Washington Post, words have power. He shares a colorful anecdote involving Alfred E. “Fred” Kahn, an economist who served in the Carter Administration who was instructed to never use the words “recession” or “depression” again.

In 1978, Kahn — a Cornell University economist in charge of President Jimmy Carter’s inflation-fighting efforts — said that failure to get soaring prices under control could lead to a “deep, deep depression.” Carter’s aides, perturbed at the possible political fallout, instructed him never to say that word, or “recession,” again.

We don’t know whether this instruction stirred the wrath of Kahn, a verbal stickler notoriously disdainful of cant and euphemism; in a previous government job, he had sent around a memo telling staff not to use words like “herein.”

It did trigger his wit, though: In his next meeting with reporters, Kahn puckishly said the nation was in “danger of having the worst banana in 45 years.”

Lane’s anecdote about Kahn is instructive because it reveals something important about these debates. While they may have a certain amount of importance as far as political spin goes, they are meaningless as far as economic reality is concerned. Substituting the word “banana” for recession did not change economic conditions or the economic outlook one bit, which no doubt was precisely Lane’s point.

My colleague Peter Jacobsen made this point effectively earlier this week.

“[You] don’t need a thermometer to feel if it’s hot outside,” he wrote. “Economic issues, especially inflation, top the list of concerns for voters going into the 2022 midterms, and it isn’t particularly close. So officially defined recession or not, it doesn’t really matter.”

Moreover, Jacobsen explains, macroeconomic data like GDP have historically been the tool of politicians and bureaucrats, who use them to justify economic interventions.

“When GDP numbers fall below a certain level, politicians can use that data to try to push income back up. Or perhaps when the economy is ‘running too hot’ politicians can use fiscal and monetary policy to slow down the economy.

All of these metaphors about economies running hot or stalling are based on a central planning view of the economy. In this view, the economy is like a machine which we can adjust to bring about the proper results. Without macroeconomic statistics, central planners have fewer means by which to justify particular interventions. We can’t claim we need stimulus if we can’t point to some data indicating it’s necessary.”

The takeaway here is an important one. We don’t need “bureaucratic weathermen” telling us when the economy is good or bad anymore than we need them “managing” the economy with the money supply, which is precisely how we got here in the first place.

It doesn’t matter if we have stagflation or a recession.

What matters is that Americans are hurting financially, that this outcome was caused by govt and Fed policy, and that it was completely avoidable.

— Carol Roth (@caroljsroth) July 27, 2022

So while the debates over the R word are likely to continue, it’s important to remember it doesn’t really matter if you call this economy a recession or a banana. The fundamentals speak for themselves.

AUTHOR

Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: Newsweek, The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times.

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

The Same FBI Moles Pushing Russiagate Are Protecting Hunter Biden thumbnail

The Same FBI Moles Pushing Russiagate Are Protecting Hunter Biden

By Jihad Watch

We often think of institutions as inherently corrupt. And some are. But within the FBI it’s very much a case of political agendas being played out by certain figures.

“Highly credible” whistleblowers have come forward to a senior Senate Republican alleging a widespread effort within the FBI to downplay or discredit negative information about President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, according to letters reviewed by CBS News.

“The information provided to my office involves concerns about the FBI’s receipt and use of derogatory information relating to Hunter Biden, and the FBI’s false portrayal of acquired evidence as disinformation,” GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley wrote FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland on July 25. “The volume and consistency of these allegations substantiate their credibility and necessitate this letter.”

Grassley, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the whistleblowers alleged that legitimate streams of information and intelligence about the president’s son were characterized as likely disinformation or prematurely shut down leading up to the 2020 presidential election.

Some of that involves known players.

FBI supervisory intelligence agent Brian Auten opened in August 2020 the assessment that was later used by the agency, according to the disclosures. One of the whistleblowers claimed the FBI assistant special agent in charge of the Washington field office, Timothy Thibault, shut down a line of inquiry into Hunter Biden in October 2020 despite some of the details being known to be true at the time.

A whistleblower also said Thibault “ordered closed” an “avenue of additional derogatory Hunter Biden reporting,” according to Grassley, even though “all of the reporting was either verified or verifiable via criminal search warrants.” The senator said Thibault “ordered the matter closed without providing a valid reason as required” and that FBI officials “subsequently attempted to improperly mark the matter in FBI systems so that it could not be opened in the future,” according to the disclosures.

Whistleblowers alleged investigators from an FBI headquarters team “were in communication with FBI agents responsible for the Hunter Biden information targeted by Mr. Auten’s assessment” and that their findings on whether the claims were true or disinformation were placed “in a restricted access sub-file” in September 2020, according to the senator.

The connections of course run in both directions.

The new information comes after Auten was involved in the Trump-Russia investigation, including interviewing Igor Danchenko, the alleged main source for British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s dossier in 2017. Congressional sources confirmed to the Washington Examiner that Auten is the “Supervisory Intel Agent” from DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s 2019 report on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse.

All of this is connected. From Russiagate to protecting Joe Biden, Democrat political allies within the DOJ colluded to cover up for Hillary and now for Biden.

AUTHOR

DANIEL GREENFIELD

RELATED ARTICLES:

FBI analyst behind Russian Collusion hoax also worked to discredit accurate reports about Hunter Biden’s crimes

FBI Leadership Pressuring Agents to Artificially Pad Domestic Terrorism Data

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

Why Biden, Schumer and Pelosi are America’s Demorrhoids! thumbnail

Why Biden, Schumer and Pelosi are America’s Demorrhoids!

By Dr. Rich Swier

Hemorrhoids: A disease that causes swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum and anus that result in discomfort and bleeding.


We have been carefully watching the public appearances, policies and actions of the three key leaders in America: Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., Charles Ellis Schumer and Nancy Patricia Pelosi since January of 2021. What we have witnessed can only be described as a disease that is causing immense discomfort for the American people and the bleeding of our strength both nationally and globally.

We searched for a proper word to describe this discomfort and bleeding we are witnessing and came up with what we believe America is experiencing today—an acute case of.

Biden, Schumer and Pelosi—Leaders of the Demorrhoid Party 

Here are some examples of why the party of Biden, Schumer and Pelosi and their collectivist actions, to date, are similar to hemorrhoids. We call them Demorrhoids.

  1. Bill Clinton famously said, “It’s the economy, stupid!” We are now officially saying, “It’s the Demorrhoids, stupid!” Inflation and an imminent recession are now officially here and it’s all because of the Demorrhoids‘ economic policies. Higher interest rates added to everything is the Demorrhoids new normal. Can you say pain and suffering?
  2. Save the planet by destroying America and with it mankind. The rectal bleeding of our fossil fuels.
  3. Groom minor children for gay sex via public school classrooms, media centers, Democrat policies, featured films (e.g. a gay Spiderman) and social and legacy media propaganda. If these don’t cause rectal discomfort, no pun intended, then what does?
  4. Sending American tax dollars overseas to help our enemies (e.g. PLO, Afghanistan, Iran) thereby bleeding our coffers until they are dry.
  5. Causing supply chain shortages, higher gasoline and diesel prices, increasing costs for groceries, clothing, appliances, homes, and services. If this isn’t a pain in every American’s butt we don’t know what is.
  6. The constant and repetitive two tier justice system that punishes the innocent (i.e. J6 peaceful protesters), protects the guilty (e.g. Hunter Biden and the Biden cartel) and idolizes convicted felons (e.g. George Floyd).
  7. The Demorrhoids’ culture of death (abortion), tyranny (Democrat Socialism), government mandates (Covid, lockdowns, firing the unvaxxed) over the U.S. Constitutional ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Talk about taking it in our collective behinds!
  8. Weakening our  military by turning them into social justice robots rather than war fighters dedicated to protecting the American people from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
  9. The Demorrhoids policy of abandoning our most important ally in the Middle East—Israel. Thanks to the Demorrhoids the Jewish state is under siege and is at a crossroads.
  10. The Demorrhoids have not only abandoned our borders but they have also weakened us globally. History tells us that when our enemies lose their respect for America’s power and our allies lose their trust in us war is sure to follow. Those who forget history will always repeat it. The Demorrhoids hate Americans and our nation. We’re bleeding away our power to defend ourselves.
  11. Their relentless attacks on the U.S. Constitution from the First Amendment to the Second Amendment to the separation of powers to just ignoring it all together. If this isn’t Demorrhoidism then we the people are blind and dumb to it.

Time to Band and Abandon the Demorrhoids

One method to cure hemorrhoids is to cut off their blood supply, called banding.

As we approach the 2022 midterm elections it is time to cut off the Demorrhoids from the power they hold in the U.S. Congress. It is time to band them, and cut off their ability to grow and bleed Americans dry.

It is time to hold Demorrhoids accountable at the ballot box. If we don’t then America and its Constitutional Republican form of government will die.

Time for Americans to decide—Demorrhoids or Constitutional Conservatives.

Choose wisely in November or you will most definitely bleed to death.

Remember what German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed by the Nazis, said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

It’s time to act! Silence is not an option!

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

If Consumers, Businesses Cared About ‘Climate’, The Last Cars They’d Buy Are Hot-Selling Electric Vehicles thumbnail

If Consumers, Businesses Cared About ‘Climate’, The Last Cars They’d Buy Are Hot-Selling Electric Vehicles

By The Geller Report

Governments are forcing the public to buy EVs even if they don’t want the WOKE nonsense.

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., Wall Street Journal, “A zombie business or industry, in today’s parlance, is one sustained less by creative destruction than by a combination of government bailout, regulation and hidden subsidies. This is what the global auto sector is becoming.

The Upside-Down Logic of Electric SUVs

The auto industry gambles its finances on big electric vehicles for the rich, like Ford’s Mustang Mach-E and GM’s Hummer EV, and second-rate cars for everybody else.

By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2022:

If consumers and businesses cared about the CO2 they emit, the last cars they might buy are hot-selling EVs like Ford’s Mustang Mach-E or GM’s Hummer EV.

These large-battery, long-range vehicles would have to be driven many tens of thousands of miles before they rack up enough mileage and save enough gasoline to compensate for the emissions created to produce their batteries. And that’s according to their fans, whose calculations often smell of friendly assumptions about the source of the electricity consumed, whether gasoline driving is really being displaced mile for mile, and a presumed lack of progress in the meantime in reducing the carbon intensity of conventional motor fuels. Most problematic of all is the assumption that EV use causes oil to stay in the ground.

If a real incentive to reduce CO2 were in place, namely a carbon tax, buyers would gravitate to the smallest-battery vehicles and hybrids, suitable for running about town but not highway trips. These cars stand a better chance of offsetting their lifecycle emissions.

OK. Buyers aren’t drawn to the electric Mustang or Ford’s new F-150 Lightning pickup to solve climate change. These are exciting, high-tech gadgets in their own right. And that’s fine. Even so, customers’ appetite might slacken if they were told the truth. Ford leaked this week for the benefit of the investment community plans to lay off thousands of workers to fatten the profits of its conventional vehicles. This extra cash is needed to support electric vehicles that lose money despite taxpayer rebates plus hidden subsidies via our convoluted fuel-economy and trade regulations.

This trade-off could actually lead to worse emissions than otherwise (though still a rounding error in total global emissions) considering that most nonrich consumers will likely opt for gasoline-powered cars for decades to come. It also represents a gamble with the industry’s finances, which depend on large, government-protected profits from standard SUVs and pickups. If these vehicles start looking shabby and out of date due to lack of investment, the industry is in deep straits. As Ford CEO Jim Farley said in March, “we need them to be more profitable to fund” Ford’s $50 billion in spending on mostly high-end EVs, which have the least chance of being net reducers of CO2.

These outcomes make no sense in climate terms, naturally. Nissan is giving up its pioneering electric Leaf in favor of a big electric SUV aimed at affluent shoppers. One manufacturer that speaks confidently of profits in the near term from electric vehicles is Porsche—whose cars don’t rack up Camry-like mileages, don’t displace gasoline-powered trips to the Shop-Rite, and don’t stand a snowball’s chance of offsetting the emissions involved in producing their powerful batteries.

Keep reading……

AUTHOR

Pamela Geller

RELATED ARTICLE: Charging an All Electric Car Uses 4 Times the Electricity of a Home Air Conditioner

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

Gore: Eliminate Democracy to Save Planet thumbnail

Gore: Eliminate Democracy to Save Planet

By Jihad Watch

A guy who lost a presidential election but made a fortune has some thoughts on the political system.

Gore, in an interview with Meet the Press’ Chuck Todd that will air Sunday, said that public sentiment is changing in regards to climate change but that “democracy is broken,”

The only people who think “democracy is broken” want to eliminate it.

Much like “the Supreme Court is broken” or “the Constitution is broken.”

The former vice president also called for the filibuster to be eliminated, saying that “we have a minority government….we have big money playing much too large a role in our politics.”

Gore, who went from an estimated $1.7 million to over $200 million knows all about “big money” and where to get it.

The environmentalist scam has been adopted by green investors who want to hijack our entire economy, as they have already hijacked the economies of entire states, like California, and countries, like those of much of Europe, and they insist on destroying anyone who stands in their way.

AUTHOR

DANIEL GREENFIELD

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

The Border is Secure and I’m the Tooth Fairy thumbnail

The Border is Secure and I’m the Tooth Fairy

By The Daily Skirmish – Liberato.US

There he goes again.  DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said again last week the border “is secure”.   Sure, and I’m the tooth fairy.  This is gas-lighting of the highest order.  How do I know?  Let me count the ways.

Border agents called Mayorkas a liar for saying it.  Hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens have poured across the border in recent months and the number of border stops is at an all-time high.   A new DHS report shows about a third of those released failed to check in with ICE within 60 days as required.  The government failed to collect many of their U.S. addresses and has no idea where many of them are.   More illegal aliens are headed our way.  One day last week, 3,000 migrants stormed the Mexican border with Guatemala, pushing their way past the Mexican National Guard on their way to the U.S.  Watch the video if you want to see pure chaos.

Breaking🔴 chaos in the south border as Migrants rush the barricade of the National Guard to pressure the Mexican authorities.@AgueroForTexas @BenBergquam @RealAmVoice @SaraCarterDC @GriffJenkins @Michael_Yon @BensmanTodd @MayraFlores2022 @RealDrGina @CabelloAuden pic.twitter.com/JsnNB024aY

— Oscar El Blue (@Oscarelblue) July 20, 2022

Things are so bad the Biden administration has stopped releasing the numbers of people who die illegally crossing into the U.S.  Things are so bad, even Democrat big city mayors are complaining.  New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said too many migrants are finding their way to these cities and are straining public resources.  But they have only themselves to blame.  The New York City website proclaims for all to see, “Many services and benefits are available to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status.”  If you’re an illegal alien, not to worry. The website promises, “The City of New York has confidentiality protections in place for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, who are accessing important City services.”  Washington, D.C. has been a sanctuary city for years, with Bowser trumpeting in 2016, “We celebrate our diversity and respect all DC residents no matter their immigration status.”  But now that the problem is in their face, she and Adams want the federal government to bail them out and let them escape the consequences of their own bad policies.

The feds are busy enacting bad policies of their own.  In previous commentaries, I’ve listed numerous policy changes the Biden administration has made to deliberately open the border.  Here are half a dozen more to add to the list:

The administration wanted to reduce the number of deportations where there was no immediate public safety risk, but the Supreme Court has blocked this for now, pending litigation.  The number of prosecutions for illegal border crossings is down 80 percent, and that’s by design.  The federal government just gave a contract worth at least $171 million to a left-wing group to help unaccompanied alien children avoid deportation.  The administration reinterpreted federal law to allow people with Temporary Protected Status to leave the country and return even if they had come here unlawfully at the outset.  Deported illegal aliens used to have to wait years before being allowed to reenter the U.S. legally but now they can come back in the next day without prejudicing their eventual application for legal status.  Finally, the administration is instituting a new system to allow aliens to apply for asylum online from anywhere in the world.

Alejandro Mayorkas and Joe Biden hate America and they’re trying to destroy it by replacing who lives here.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: they should be impeached for refusing to faithfully execute the laws.

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

©Christopher Wright. All rights reserved.

Under Pressure Florida School Board Rejects Sex-Ed Textbook thumbnail

Under Pressure Florida School Board Rejects Sex-Ed Textbook

By Royal A. Brown III

Interesting – As you will recall many of us attended PCSD SB meetings and spoke out against the current Reproductive Health Curriculum which is supposed to be under review by a committee this summer.

If Superintendent Heid and his Staff do like they did in choosing a left leaning committee to review the 16 pornographic/age inappropriate books it would not portend well to remove the age inappropriate and/or Florida statute violating material we objected to from this curriculum or perhaps they will take the opt-in/opt-out approach which really still violates the law in my view.

We’ll see.

Florida school board rejects sex ed textbook under pressure

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MIAMI – The school board of Florida’s largest school district reversed its decision to adopt a new sex education book, with some in the majority saying the material is not age appropriate for students in middle and high school.

The 5-4 vote followed an emotionally charged Miami-Dade School Board meeting Wednesday, with some members of the public being escorted from the room, the Miami Herald reported.

It’s not clear how the nation’s fourth-largest public school system, with 334,000 students, will comply with state law requiring students to receive sexual education. Choosing, ordering and distributing a new textbook could take months.

‘Comprehensive Health Skills,’ published by Goodheart-Willcox in Illinois, comes in different versions for middle and high schools, with topics including nutrition, physical activity and sexually transmitted diseases, as required under the district’s units of study for Human Reproduction and Disease Education.

Neither the publisher nor the school district immediately responded to inquiries from The Associated Press regarding content deemed objectionable by the board’s majority.

The board adopted the textbook in April on a 5-3 vote, but then its material was challenged by some parents who cited the parental rights law Gov. Ron DeSantis in March.

Critics call it the ‘don’t say gay’ law because it prohibits instruction related to gender identity or sexual orientation in grades K through 3, ‘or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.’

In adopting the book in April, the board voted to ask the publisher to remove a chapter called ‘Understanding Sexuality,’ which covers gender and sexual orientation among other topics.

Still, critics filed 278 objections. Opponents of vaccines challenged the book’s references to how vaccinations can prevent viral infections. Others objected to content about contraception and abortion.

Miami-Dade Superintendent José Dotres asked a third-party reviewer to conduct a public hearing to review their concerns. That hearing officer ultimately recommended adopting the book, leading to Wednesday’s meeting.

Board member Luisa Santos, who voted in favor of the book, noted that the district enables parents to opt out of material they don’t want their children to learn about sexual health and pregnancy and disease prevention.

‘We will be opting out everyone in the following school year. Including all the people who have come here and told us that they want this,’ Santos said, according to WLRN-TV.

Thirty-eight of the 40 speakers Wednesday asked to keep the textbook, Vice Chair Steve Gallon III said.

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

RELATED ARTICLE: CHILD ABUSE: Families flee Pennsylvania School After Boys ‘Encouraged To Wear Dresses’

BIDENOMICS: Mortgage Demand Drops to a 22-year Low as Higher Interest Rates and Inflation Crush Homebuyers thumbnail

BIDENOMICS: Mortgage Demand Drops to a 22-year Low as Higher Interest Rates and Inflation Crush Homebuyers

By The Geller Report

With the Biden Administration’s economic policies devastating the purchasing power of American consumers, home ownership has become out of reach for millions of Americans. What a tragedy.

Mortgage demand drops to a 22-year low as higher interest rates and inflation crush homebuyers

By CNBC, July 21, 2022

  • Surging inflation and interest rates are hammering American consumers and weighing on the housing market.
  • Mortgage demand fell last week, hitting the lowest point since 2000, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
  • Buyers have lost considerable purchasing power as rates have almost doubled since earlier this year.

The pain in the mortgage market is only getting worse as higher interest rates and inflation hammer American consumers.

Mortgage demand fell more than 6% last week compared with the previous week, hitting the lowest level since 2000, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index.

Read more.

AUTHOR

Geller Report Staff 

RELATED ARTICLES:

The More Biden Tanks In The Polls, The More Insane and Radical He Becomes

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

Trump Would GUT the Federal Government if He Runs and Wins in 2024 thumbnail

Trump Would GUT the Federal Government if He Runs and Wins in 2024

By The Geller Report

This has to happen if the Republic is to be saved. “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

  • Donald Trump has plans to purge the so-called ‘deep state’ beyond what any president has done before if he runs for and wins the presidency in 2024
  • As many as 50,000 government workers could be on the chopping block
  • He would clean house of mid-level staffers at the Pentagon, Justice Department, State Department and beyond and bring in ‘America First’ candidates
  • The order would reclassify tens of thousands of civil servants who were deemed to have some influence over policy as ‘Schedule F’ employees
  • This would strip them of their employment protections and make them political appointees

By Morgan Phillips, Politics Reporter For Dailymail.Com, 22 July 2022

Donald Trump has plans to purge the so-called ‘deep state’ beyond what any president has done before if he runs for and wins the presidency in 2024 and as many as 50,000 government workers could find themselves on the chopping block.

The former president, if elected again, would move in with a plan being drawn up now to ‘drain the swamp’ and cut tens of thousands of civil servants from what are typically apolitical roles, according to an Axios report.

He would clean house of mid-level staffers at the Pentagon, Justice Department, State Department and beyond and bring in thoroughly vetted candidates who were found to be more closely aligned with his ‘America First’ agenda.

After interviews with over a dozen Trump-world insiders the outlet’s investigation found that Trump is planning to use an executive order called ‘Schedule F,’ which he issued in October 2020 and Biden later rescinded.

The order would reclassify tens of thousands of civil servants who were deemed to have some influence over policy as ‘Schedule F’ employees, which would strip them of their employment protections.

New presidents typically replace about 4,000 political appointees to align agencies with their new agenda, but below them are a mass of federal workers who have strong employment protections and typically continue in their role from one administration to the next.

The Trump official who came up with the Schedule F order said it could apply to as many as 50,000 of the some-two million federal workers. Other Trump allies say the figure will not be nearly that high because firing a smaller segment of anti-Trump ‘bad apples’ would be enough to trigger ‘behavior change.’

Doing so could strip mid-level government staffers of any sense of job stability and set a new precedent forcing future new presidents to seek out and install their own loyalists throughout the bureaucracy.

Russ Vought, the former head of Trump’s Office of Management and Budget, is reportedly working on plans to make the security clearance process less onerous so that more government workers could be made political appointees.

‘We are consciously bringing on the toughest and most courageous fighters with the know-how and credibility to crush the deep state,’ Vought told Axios.

Donald Trump has plans to purge the so-called ‘deep state’ beyond what any president has done before if he runs for and wins the presidency in 2024 and as many as 50,000 government workers could find themselves on the chopping block

Donald Trump has plans to purge the so-called ‘deep state’ beyond what any president has done before if he runs for and wins the presidency in 2024 and as many as 50,000 government workers could find themselves on the chopping block

While Trump and many of his former top aides and allies are no longer on speaking terms, the former president is relying on a close cadre of still-trusted former advisors who are working with conservative organizations to line up talent. It’s also thought that for top jobs, Trump will bring in only those who most actively supported his 2020 election fraud claims.

Jeffrey Clark, a controversial lawyer who advocated for a plan to contest the election results and now finds himself in the crosshairs of the Jan. 6 committee and the FBI, is thought to be in line for attorney general.

Sources close to the former president said that Ric Grenell has a decent shot at a secretary of State nomination. As acting director of national intelligence, Grenell was one of Trump’s favorite officials toward the end, as he worked to declassify material from the Trump-Russia investigation. Grenell, who now works on Newsmax, said on the network earlier this year: ‘I’m not going to stop until we prosecute [Trump’s former FBI director] Jim Comey.’

Kash Patel, the chief of staff to Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller at the time of the attack on the Capitol, would likely be in line for a top national security job at the White House. If he could make it through a Senate confirmation, he could even be appointed CIA or FBI director, according to Trump allies.

Patel was a key author behind former Rep. Devin Nunes’ memo accusing the Department of Justice and FBI of abusing surveillance laws in a politically motivated effort to take down Trump.

The former president, if elected again, would move in with a plan being drawn up now to ‘drain the swamp’ and cut tens of thousands of civil servants from what are typically apolitical roles

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

MICHIGAN: Sh*tty Kalamazoo Decriminalizes Public Defecation and Urination thumbnail

MICHIGAN: Sh*tty Kalamazoo Decriminalizes Public Defecation and Urination

By The Geller Report

The Democrats work furiously to be even more themselves disgusting and debased then you thought possible. These primitives are destroying civilization.

Kalamazoo decriminalizes public defecation and urination over ‘equity’ issues, despite uproar from business owners

By: Carlos Garcia, The Blaze, July 22, 2022

The city of Kalamazoo, Michigan, has decriminalized littering, public defecation, and urination, despite various business owners decrying the policy.

On Monday, the Kalamazoo City Commission voted to water down some misdemeanor crimes so that they are merely civil infractions in the code of ordinances. Part of their reasoning was that people convicted of these crimes could have their lives negatively affected.

“One thing a lot of people don’t realize is a misdemeanor is for life as much as a felony. So many things come with a permanent record on somebody’s record,” explained Commissioner Chris Praedel.

The commission voted unanimously to accept the changes.

Praedel defended the decision to WXMI-TV.

“We’re not rolling out the welcome mat for crime in the city of Kalamazoo,” said Praedel. “We’re not rolling out the red carpet. We still want there to be accountability and guardrails, and it is still against the law for many of those things on there, to do those actions.”

Keep reading…..

AUTHOR

Pamela Geller

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

VIDEO: Shocking New Studies On The Dangers and Serious Side Effects Of Covid Vaccine thumbnail

VIDEO: Shocking New Studies On The Dangers and Serious Side Effects Of Covid Vaccine

By The Geller Report

Disturbing new vaccine data:

TRANSCRIPT:

Good evening and welcome to “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” We’re still shocked. Everyone else seems to have moved on to the next thing, but we still can’t get over what we saw yesterday when Joe Biden stunned the world and announced during a press conference with no warning at all that he has a potentially fatal disease. “I have cancer, “Joe Biden said. “I got it from living in Delaware.”

It turns out that Joe Biden’s home state is so thoroughly polluted, so supernaturally filthy, that even lepers living in public sewers in Calcutta refuse to go there. It’s too unclean. How dirty is Delaware? It is so dirty, Joe Biden said, that when it rains, it rains oil. That’s why everyone in Delaware gets cancer. They get it from the oil rain. Now, Joe Biden has it, too.

Looking back, voters probably should have known a little more about Joe Biden’s Delaware-related risk factors before he became president. It’s too late now and it just got worse. Not only is Biden sick from Delaware oil rain, now he’s got COVID. The White House announced it today. So, it’s been a tough week, overall. Wednesday, it was cancer. Thursday, it was the coronavirus. Tomorrow, you’ve got to think it’s going to be monkeypox. If you or someone you know has recently had unsafe sex with Joe Biden, please seek precautionary medical attention. God knows what you might have picked up.

At the White House, they are genuinely upset by today’s news, not because they’re worried about Joe Biden’s health. Everybody who works at the White House already knows he’s so thoroughly unwell he can barely speak. These are the people who run his teleprompter. They’re the ones who put the little pieces of tape on the floor so he knows where the door is.

These are not people who have any illusions at all about Joe Biden’s condition. What they’re upset about is the fact that Joe Biden just stepped on their message and from day one, that message has been consistent and unrelenting: “Get the vaccine or else.” Get the vaccine or you can’t have a job or an organ transplant or Thanksgiving with your kids. Get the vax or you can’t visit your mom as she dies in the hospital. Get the vax, prole. It’s the most important thing that you can do and you’re a monster if you don’t.

So, people obey. They did it. “Okay,” they said, “We’ll take the vax. It doesn’t look like we have a choice, but are you sure it works? It’s pretty hard to make a successful vaccine against a coronavirus. In fact, nobody’s ever done it. We tried with SARs almost 20 years ago and that failed completely, so you are absolutely positive this stuff works? Are you sure it’s safe and effective?”

“Of course we’re positive,” screamed the mannequin. We’re the U.S. government. We know these things. We don’t make mistakes. Stop asking questions. Questions have no place in science. Just take this shot and you will not get COVID. That’s guaranteed.” Joe Biden said that. He didn’t just say it once. He said it many, many, many times.

BIDEN, OCTOBER 2021: The fact is, this has been a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Unvaccinated.

BIDEN, JULY 2021: The Delta virus, which is much more transmissible and more deadly in terms of non-unvaccinated people… The various shots that people are getting now cover that. You’re okay. You’re not going to, you’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations.

BIDEN, JANUARY 2022: If you’re unvaccinated, you have some reason to be alarmed. Many of you will, you know, you’ll experience severe illness in many cases if you get COVID-19, if you’re not vaccinated. Some will die. We have in hand all the vaccines we need to get every American fully vaccinated, including the booster shot. So, there’s no excuse, no excuse for anyone being unvaccinated. This continues to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

Yeah, there’s no excuse. And if you don’t get the vax, you’re going to die from COVID. You’re going to get COVID if you don’t get the vax. Now, if you’d said that once or maybe like 11 times, you could say he’s got dementia, whatever. He said it pretty much every day, and he’s not the only one. They all did, beginning with Lord Fauci.

So, it turns out once you get vaccinated, you can feel safe. You’re not going to get infected. You’re not like the dirty people who didn’t get the vax, the anti-science people who are all going to die, and when they do, we’re going to laugh at them because they deserve it. And by the way, it wasn’t just Biden who’s just reading the script. It wasn’t just Fauci who will say whatever it takes and is, of course, covering up his own role in creating the virus in the first place. Even actual doctors, even the head of the CDC, even Rochelle Walensky herself, said the same thing.

WALENSKY: Our data from the CDC today suggests, you know, that vaccinated people do not carry the virus, don’t get sick, and that it’s not just in the clinical trials, but it’s also in real world data.

Yeah, it’s not just in the clinical trials. It’s in real world data. Just look around observed reality. You don’t know anyone who’s gotten the vaccine and then got COV– oh, wait, everybody who got the vaccine got COVID. How does that work? Well, they never explained. They stopped telling you it was a pandemic of the vaccine because it was so obviously untrue.

You got the vaccine, you still got COVID, so they stopped saying anything at all, and they hoped you would forget about what they said for a full year and all the thousands of people whose lives they destroyed on the basis of that lie, but what they didn’t do ever was apologize for it. They hope they wouldn’t have to. But then last Friday, Joe Biden, again the president of the United States, became visibly symptomatic with something during a speech in Jerusalem. Watch.

BIDEN: I was making a speech and I had a terrible headache, excuse me, a terrible headache and sorry, but I had a terrible headache six years ago and I did a very stupid thing.

Remember, when you’re a kid, all the public health authorities try to stamp out cigarette smoking, and they printed these huge posters of up a wino dying of cirrhosis, tugging on a Pall Mall. They said smoking is very glamorous. In other words, don’t be this guy. Well, if we ever have another pandemic, let’s hope we don’t, but if we ever do, play that tape. That’s what you don’t do. Remember, the CDC in its guidance, when you develop symptoms, you isolate immediately.

You don’t cough on people at press conferences. Those are the rules that your kids lived by at school. That’s why they wore the little masks. They couldn’t breathe. Your children were also told to scan QR codes for contact tracing purposes if they ever developed COVID a dry cough, but today, Joe Biden gets COVID, and when reporters asked how he got it and why he didn’t isolate after getting symptoms, the response the White House press secretary was and we’re quoting here, and we’re quoting her, “I don’t think that matters.” It just doesn’t matter. Turns out it doesn’t matter. Go ahead and super spread if you want to.

So, if you’re on Air Force One yesterday or you went to a big press conference in Massachusetts or if you were the recipient of a fist bump in Saudi Arabia, you may have the Rona, but nobody cares. I don’t think it matters, says Karine Jean-Pierre, the president’s glass ceiling shattering publicist. So, obviously they’re hypocrites. Did you know that? Had you heard that before? Well, now you can mark that down as confirmed. That’s only part of the story and we don’t want to ignore the fact that the real story is the president of the United States is 79-years-old and has a, how to put it, complicated medical history and now he’s got COVID.

So, what does that mean? Well, sincerely, we hope he’s going to be okay. We do know he’s going to lose his sense of smell, maybe forever. What does that mean? No more sniffing little girls. If you’re Joe Biden and your main source of pleasure at this late stage in your life is sniffing the hair of unsuspecting, defenseless little girls and now you can’t even smell it, imagine that. Let’s say you’re riding your bike and you see a little girl and you think “I’d love to sniff her hair. Oh, man. No sense of smell.”

So, actually the costs of COVID are a little more profound than sometimes we understand. What’s kind of weird from a political perspective is that Biden got infected with COVID at exactly the moment his approval rating has reached its lowest ebb, not just with normal people, with Democrats. He’s 19% among Hispanic voters. Red alert, anyone and this also comes exactly the same moment that his son faces possible felony charges, huh? And also, needless to say, at the moment that his dementia has become so obvious that no one can possibly deny it.

I’m in Israel to honor the Holocaust, he just said. Oh, it’s so awful. So, what does this mean? Well, this incites the blood instincts of others in his party. Gretchen Whitmer, probably sitting in her rec room right now polishing her resume. “I could replace him,” but the real story here is the medical story. Joe Biden and a whole lot other people have gotten pretty sick with COVID after getting multiple shots. What is that about exactly? How did that happen? It’s easy to just mock that this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. That’s clearly untrue, but is there a connection between getting most multiple COVID vaccine shots and getting sicker?

Is it possible that the vaccine actually can hurt you, especially if you keep getting boosted? Can it weaken your immune system? Well, that looks possible. Multiple studies have looked into this. Just last month, the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology published the findings of several MRNA researchers and we’re quoting, “In this paper, we present evidence that vaccination induces a profound impairment in type one interferon signaling, which has diverse adverse consequences to human health.”

Well, that seems like a headline. Did you read that in The New York Times? No, you probably didn’t. Kind of weird since hundreds of millions of people got the shot. The researchers continue that in their studies of the COVID vaccine, “We identify potential profound disturbances in regulatory control of protein synthesis and cancer surveillance. These disturbances potentially have a causal link to neurodegenerative disease… myocarditis, Bell’s Palsy, liver disease, impaired adaptive immunity, impaired DNA damage response, etc.”

So, it’s possible. In fact, it’s looking likely that the vaccine might suppress the immune system. This fact, the authors concluded, will “have a wide range of consequences, not the least of which include the reactivation of latent viral infections and the reduced ability to effectively combat future infections.” Now again, we sincerely hope that’s not true, but it’s not just the conclusion of one scientific journal.

The Lancet may be the most famous scientific journal in the world, released similar findings in February. The Lancet’s piece was entitled “Risk of infection, hospitalization and death up to nine months after a second dose of COVID 19 vaccine.” A physician called Kenji Yamamoto made this observation about the data from The Lancet. He wrote this in a letter to the Journal of Virology and we’re quoting “The study showed that immune function among vaccinated individuals eight months after the administration of two doses of COVID 19 vaccine was lower than that among the unvaccinated individuals.”

Now your first response, if you’re a humane person to a line like that, has got to be deep sympathy because people were misled. They were forced. They were forced, medical ethics thrown out the window. People were forced to take medicine they didn’t want and some of them have been hurt by it and you don’t have to take this man’s word for it. Pull up the Lancet study yourself. You won’t find anything of the text of the article saying what Kenji Yamamoto said, which is weird. Why would the Lancet want to hide a major finding like that? We can’t say, but if you look at table three in the piece, here’s what you’ll find buried in the data.

Among people around the age of 80 who have been double vaccinated, that would include people like Joe Biden, the per capita rate of medical incidences, including hospitalizations for death, is nearly twice as high as the rate of serious incidence for the unvaccinated. This is 180 days after vaccination. What is that and why is no one interested? The piece also includes a chart showing negative vaccine efficacy for all ages after eight months for all participants in the study. So again, this is sad news for a lot of Americans, but it’s also a profound indictment, maybe the greatest indictment in our lifetimes of our leaders, their recklessness, their pig headedness, their dishonesty.

Given this, how is the D.C. government, among many others, still requiring schoolchildren, public and private schoolchildren, to get a COVID vaccine? That’s a question that no one asked at today’s White House press briefing. How are members of the U.S. military being dismissed without their pensions because they won’t take this same vaccine, in light of these study results. Is no one paying attention? How is this allowed? But instead, today at the White House briefing, all the questions are about the proof of life video that Joe Biden’s office released today. Here it is.

BIDEN: Hey, folks, guess you heard this morning I tested positive for COVID. But, I’ve been double-vaccinated, double-boosted. Symptoms are mild and I really appreciate your inquiries and concerns. I’m doing well, getting a lot of work done. I’m going to continue to get it done.

Here’s a question. Is there a single public statement Joe Biden has made since Inauguration Day that he did not read off a teleprompter? Is there one? Find it.

So, the question they come up at today’s press briefing was, after seeing that is who shot that footage? Is that person in danger?

placeholder

Well, once again, the president’s glass ceiling shattering publicist, Karine Jean-Pierre, was asked that question and she said it’s totally fine because the video was taken outside and there’s no risk outside that we will arrest you for paddleboarding in California. But then an hour earlier, to make this even messier because it’s inherently messy, because it’s Biden-related, the White House released this picture and it shows Joe Biden, brace yourselves, indoors at his desk, no mask.

So, who shot that picture? Is that person still alive? Does that person have monkeypox? Presumably, the White House photographer is vaccinated. That’s got to be a requirement working there. But as we just saw, that may make the photographer more vulnerable to infection and in fact, and we hate to say this, it might mean the photographer is now more likely to face serious health complications.

So, underlying all of this is a really ominous fact, and that is a lot of people have been hurt by this. You hate to say it. Germany’s Ministry of Health found that 1 in 5,000 Germans have suffered “serious side effects after a COVID 19 vaccine.”

Now, one in 5,000 may seem like a lot or a little, but extrapolate forward to the United States, a country with our population. That would mean that in the U.S., if that number holds constant across countries (and why wouldn’t it?) it would mean more than 100,000 Americans may have been seriously injured by the COVID vaccine.

Why does no one talk about them? Why does nobody care and what happens to them now? If Joe Biden accomplishes a single thing as president, it will be getting more people to ask that question today and it’s a fair question and to end, science is about questions. Science is questioning. So, anyone who tells you, you’re anti-science for asking a question doesn’t understand what science is.

Tucker correctly cites Yamamoto observation after 2 of them, the immune system is less responsive than the pure unjected with an intact and natural immune response. More evidence the products are backfiring and why so many regret taking them in the first place. @TuckerCarlson pic.twitter.com/sp8QuScvt0

— Peter McCullough, MD MPH (@P_McCulloughMD) July 22, 2022

Remember when the rest of us instinctively knew something was wrong with the desperation they were showing to jab us all and got called names for rejecting it? It’s amazing not only to see how inefficient these Vs are, but the rise in health issues and deaths now relating to them

— ShaneLibertyBraden (@TruLiberalShane) July 22, 2022

AUTHOR

Pamela Geller

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

Yes, Elisjsha Dicken Is a Good Samaritan—and He Deserves a Medal thumbnail

Yes, Elisjsha Dicken Is a Good Samaritan—and He Deserves a Medal

By Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)

On Sunday evening—July 17, 2022—at the Greenwood Park Mall in Indiana, a gunman opened fire in a food court. He killed three people and wounded two others. He might have murdered many more but for the quick work of a man named Elisjsha Dicken, who pulled out his own gun and blew away the assailant.

Dicken, who was legally carrying a firearm under the state’s constitutional carry law, was hailed as a “Good Samaritan” for saving lives. The next day, the Greenwood police chief added, “Many more people would have died last night if not for the responsible armed citizen.”

Gun control advocates immediately condemned the police chief for his “Good Samaritan” reference, drawn from a famous parable told by Jesus Christ. A local reporter exclaimed,

The term, ‘Good Samaritan’ came from a Bible passage of a man from Samaria who stopped on the side of the road to help a man who was injured and ignored. I cannot believe we live in a world where the term can equally apply to someone killing someone.

Who is correct here, the police chief or the reporter? A related question is, Did Jesus support self-defense, or the taking of a guilty life to save the lives of innocents?

In Chapter 10 of the Book of Luke in the New Testament, Jesus tells his parable of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan is judged “good” because when he came upon a man who was beaten and robbed, he chose of his own free will to help the injured man with his own resources. As I wrote in my 2020 book, Was Jesus a Socialist?, if the Samaritan had ignored the man or expected the government to help him, we would likely know him today as the “Good-for-Nothing” Samaritan.

The Good Samaritan in Jesus’ parable did not commit a violent act himself. The injured man’s assailants were presumably long gone. He stepped in to assist the assailed. So strictly speaking, the Greenwood police chief’s reference was not entirely analogous to Elisjsha Dicken’s action in taking down the shooter at the shopping mall.

For centuries, many people have employed the term “Good Samaritan” to describe anyone who isn’t compelled to come to the aid of the innocent but takes the initiative to do so anyway. A Good Samaritan takes charge of a bad situation, improves it as best he can, and prevents further harm. That is exactly what Elisjsha Dicken did in Greenwood.

Undoubtedly, the critical reporter in this instance is a person of good intent. He can’t imagine Jesus endorsing Dicken’s action because Jesus was a man of peace. He might even cite Matthew, chapter five, in which Jesus urges us to “turn the other cheek” if someone insults us or physically slaps us in the face.

“The question of rendering insult for insult, however, is a far cry from defending oneself against a mugger or a rapist,” writes Lars Larson in Does Jesus Christ Support Self-Defense?. To “turn the other cheek” means to refrain from a needless escalation of a problematic situation. Elisjsha Dicken did not escalate anything; in fact, he dramatically and decisively de-escalated it in the only possible way, given the circumstances.

The reporter likely shares the widely-held, radically pacifist or “namby-pamby” view of Jesus—the view that he would never endorse an act of violence for any purpose, even if it’s necessary to save lives. It implies that Elisjsha Dicken should have run for cover and allowed the Greenwood shooter to kill another dozen or two people. That’s wrong, if not downright blasphemous.

When Jesus dined at The Last Supper, he gave his disciples specific instructions, including this one (Luke 22:36):

He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 

Note that he did not advise anyone, then or at any other time, to stand idly by and allow wanton slaughter of innocents. And he offered support for the threat of force to prevent the theft of property as well. In Luke 11:21, Jesus said:

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted, and divides up his plunder.

This is the same Jesus who, in Luke 12:39, says, “If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.” It’s the same Jesus who never criticized anyone for possessing a lethal weapon such as a sword, though he certainly condemned the initiation of force or the impetuous and unnecessary use of it.

In Jesus, Guns and Self-Defense: What Does the Bible Say?, Gary DeMar maintains that

Being armed and willing to defend ourselves, our family, and our neighbors is not being unchristian or even unloving. Self-defense can go a long way to protect the innocent from people who are intent on murder for whatever reason.

The Greenwood reporter’s errant perspective is not untypical of people who think they know Jesus and Christianity but spend more time criticizing them than learning about them. I see evidence of this all the time, most recently from a speaker at an April 2022 conference in Prague, Czech Republic.

“When it comes to the source of individual rights,” the speaker pontificated with misplaced confidence, “there are only three possibilities.” One, he said, is a Creator (God), which he summarily dismissed as a ridiculous, untenable proposition. The second is government, which he ruled out as equally ridiculous and untenable. The only logical option, he said, was “nature”—something which he suggested evolved out of nothing from nobody. As I listened with the largely student audience, I thought to myself, “This supposed expert hasn’t even considered a fourth option, namely, a combination of the first and third—which is to say that God, as the author of nature, is in fact the author of individual rights as well.”

The speaker added another uninformed dig at Christianity by claiming it was stupid for Jesus to ever suggest you should love your neighbor. “What if your neighbor is an axe-murderer? How much sense would that make?” he asked derisively. If he had known of the passages I cite above, he would have been embarrassed by his own ignorance. As a general principle, Jesus argued, you should love your neighbor but the same Jesus would urge you to arm yourself if your neighbor threatens your life or property.

In The Life and Death Debate: Moral Issues of Our Time, Christian theologians Norman Geisler and J. P. Moreland write:

To permit murder when one could have prevented it is morally wrong. To allow a rape when one could have hindered it is evil. To watch an act of cruelty to children without trying to intervene is morally inexcusable. In brief, not resisting evil is an evil of omission, and an evil of omission can be just as evil as an evil of commission. Any man who refuses to protect his wife and children against a violent intruder fails them morally.

When Elisjsha Dicken pulled out his gun to stop a shooting spree, he had every reason to believe he might attract the shooter’s aim and be killed himself. Fortunately, he was not, and he is among the living whose lives he saved.

If Elisjsha Dicken had been killed, the rest of us could at least take comfort in the words of Jesus as quoted in John 15:13. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Elisjsha Dicken is not only a Good Samaritan. He’s a very good one. Give him a medal.

Science is Affirming Creation, Not Accident by Lawrence W. Reed

What Does the Bible Say About Self-Defense?

Was Jesus a Socialist? by Lawrence W. Reed

AUTHOR

Lawrence W. Reed

Lawrence W. Reed is FEE’s President Emeritus, Humphreys Family Senior Fellow, and Ron Manners Global Ambassador for Liberty, having served for nearly 11 years as FEE’s president (2008-2019). He is author of the 2020 book, Was Jesus a Socialist? as well as Real Heroes: Incredible True Stories of Courage, Character, and Conviction and Excuse Me, Professor: Challenging the Myths of Progressivism. Follow on LinkedIn and Like his public figure page on Facebook. His website is www.lawrencewreed.com.

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

Hunter Will Skate thumbnail

Hunter Will Skate

By The Daily Skirmish – Liberato.US

The investigation of Hunter Biden has reached a critical stage, with prosecutors weighing whether or not to bring charges.  Their focus has narrowed to tax violations and making a false statement to purchase a firearm.  Apparently, the juicy stuff from Hunter Biden’s laptop and business dealings – money laundering, failure to register as a foreign lobbyist, and such and the like – has been left behind.

Which is too bad, because it leaves a lot of questions unanswered – not only about Hunter but, more importantly, about Joe Biden.  Tenacious investigator Peter Schweizer, author of a book documenting how communist China has captured American elites, asserts it is undisputed Hunter Biden received tens of millions of dollars from Chinese businesses having ties to Chinese intelligence when Joe Biden was in the White House as Vice President and the Obama administration’s point man on China policy.  It is believed Joe Biden—the ‘Big Guy’—gets 10 percent from Hunter Biden’s business dealings. This raises a whole host of major questions, like: Was Joe Biden selling his office when he was Vice President?  Was U.S. China policy affected?  Was national security compromised?  Is Joe Biden in the pocket of Red China today?  Unfortunately, it looks like we’re never going to know because prosecutors can only get interested in whether Hunter Biden lied when he bought a gun.  And they want us to believe we don’t have a two-tiered justice system in this country – one for the high and mighty and another for us little people.

But no matter how you slice it, Hunter’s business dealings and kickbacks to Joe Biden still stink to high heaven.  In recent weeks, it’s been conceded Hunter Biden’s laptop is genuine, not Russian disinformation as ridiculously claimed.  Information from the laptop documents the Biden-Burisma connection and a pay-to-play scheme in Ukraine, how Vice President Joe Biden intervened to get a Ukrainian prosecutor off Hunter’s back, and Hunter’s questionable activities in Moscow, China, and Kazakhstan. The laptop also shows Hunter Biden met with Vice President Joe Biden at the White House or the Vice President’s residence at least 30 times, often just after returning from overseas business trips.  A Hunter Biden business associate attended 21 of those meetings.

Emails on the laptop and now available online show a Mexican billionaire received access to the White House because Hunter Biden requested it.

Joe Biden claims to this day he doesn’t know anything about Hunter’s business dealings, a claim which has been thoroughly debunked.  Recovered files from the laptop show, not only did Joe Biden know about Hunter’s business dealings, but Joe Biden offered to help more than once and even referred more business to Hunter Biden.  The White House won’t answer any questions about the laptop (more here).  Gee, I wonder why.

A recovered text message from Hunter Biden raises questions about why he was working with China’s chief of intelligence, and whether China arrested CIA sources in retaliation for the Justice Department arresting Hunter’s Chinese business partner.  Emails show Joe Biden wrote a college recommendation letter for the son of Hunter Biden’s Chinese business partner.  Bank records released by two U.S. Senators show Hunter Biden has financial ties to companies linked to the Chinese Communist Party or government.  One of the companies wired $1 million dollars to a Hunter Biden company the same month the Chinese company’s lobbyist was arrested by U.S. authorities for bribery and money laundering.  He was later convicted.

Most recently, the Biden administration sold China a million barrels of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  This was oil set aside to help Americans but Joe Biden sold it to China, specifically to Sinopec in which Hunter Biden has a financial interest. Our China policy is, what again?

Finally, we’ve been hearing for a long time Hunter would divest himself of a financial stake in a Chinese oil company.  The latest report from two days ago is he still hasn’t done so.

In 1973, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned in disgrace after a scandal involving a $10,000 bribe. My, how times have changed, and not for the better.



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©Christopher Wright. All rights reserved.

The Semiconductor Industry Is Coming for Your Wallet. As Usual, Congress Is Complicit thumbnail

The Semiconductor Industry Is Coming for Your Wallet. As Usual, Congress Is Complicit

By Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)

The Chips Act is a classic case of the government helping special interest groups at the expense of taxpayers.


Of all the problems in the world right now, the chip shortage probably isn’t the chief concern for most people, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a serious issue. The auto and tech sectors have faced unprecedented delays and rising prices in recent months. Some used cars are even selling for more than their new counterparts because of the delays, a sure sign that production has slowed dramatically.

To address this, Congress is contemplating bipartisan legislation known as the Chips Act, which would provide $52 billion in grants and $24 billion in tax credits to the US semiconductor industry. Thanks to a last-minute bipartisan amendment, the bill will also put tens of billions of dollars toward various federal agencies, bringing the total price tag to $250 billion.

Because why not…

The Senate voted to advance the bill on Tuesday, which means it will likely hold a vote on final passage in the coming days. If passed, the bill will then go to the House for passage, and assuming that is successful it would then go to President Biden for signature into law.

The main arguments for the bill were summarized earlier this week in a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed penned by Jim Farley and Pat Gelsinger, the CEOs of Ford and Intel, respectively.

“The pandemic supply-chain shock exposed a problem that had been mounting for years,” they write. “The U.S. share of global chip manufacturing has declined to 12% from 37% in 1990. South Korea and Taiwan, notably, have spent years actively investing in [read: subsidizing] their own chip manufacturing, creating an uneven playing field for U.S. chip makers that harms our economy and global competitiveness.”

They go on to list the disruptions that have occurred in the auto, consumer-electronics, and healthcare industries because of the shortage, and they warn that national defense is also at stake.

“Fortunately, a solution is within reach,” they continue, referring to the Chips Act. “In addition to boosting production of leading-edge and legacy chips, the act would help level the playing field with global competitors…This legislation is vital to many American industries, including ours, that have dealt with significant disruptions.”

“By funding the Chips Act,” they conclude, “Congress will help consumers, protect patients and strengthen the American economy and national security.”

At first glance, that Op-Ed might seem innocuous, even well-intentioned. But it doesn’t take much to realize what’s really going on here. The companies run by these CEOs stand to gain billions of taxpayer dollars—not just tax credits, but government grants—if this legislation passes. Do you really think they wrote that because they care about the American economy and national defense? Give me a break. They wrote it because they want the money, and they will make whatever arguments they think people will buy in order to get it.

So, what’s wrong with their arguments?

For starters, there’s the classic problem of opportunity cost. Fifty-two billion taxpayer dollars being poured into these industries is 52 billion taxpayers dollars that can’t be poured into other industries. The government is not creating resources, it is simply reallocating them, and it’s by no means obvious that this is the best use of these funds. Notably, the free market tends to allocate resources much better than the government because, unlike Congress, it is guided by actual consumer demand.

Additionally, the CEOs conflate strengthening their businesses with strengthening the American economy. In reality, these are two very different things. If it’s cheaper to buy semiconductors from companies in foriegn countries, it would be economically inefficient to produce these products in America. It would be better to let the domestic producers take losses and ultimately fail so their capital could be reallocated to better uses.

Here, of course, the lobbyists have a rejoinder. “The only reason it’s cheaper to buy semiconductors from foreign countries,” they say, “is because foreign governments subsidize their semiconductor producers. We need a level playing field.”

People who are otherwise proponents of free markets are often sympathetic to this line of reasoning. After all, it’s not really the case that American producers are inefficient, right? If only there was a level playing field, they could compete just fine.

Rothbard tackles this thinking head-on in his book Making Economic Sense.

“Whenever someone starts talking about ‘fair competition’ or indeed, about ‘fairness’ in general,” he writes, “it is time to keep a sharp eye on your wallet, for it is about to be picked.”

Sure enough, that’s exactly what’s happening here.

After addressing some other arguments, Rothbard turns to the issue of foreign government subsidies that allow foreign companies to engage in “dumping,” that is, selling products to American consumers “below cost.”

“Another charge claims that Japanese or other foreign firms can afford to engage in dumping because their governments are willing to subsidize their losses,” he writes. “But again, we should still welcome such an absurd policy. If the Japanese government is really willing to waste scarce resources subsidizing American purchases of Sony’s, so much the better! Their policy would be just as self-defeating as if the losses were private.”

Swap out Japanese Sony’s for Taiwanese semiconductors and Rothbard might as well be writing in 2022. The point is, economic well-being is ultimately about consumers, not producers. If foreign governments are willing to subsidize semiconductors, making them cheaper for Americans, then we might as well take the gift. True, it’s not a free market, but it doesn’t help to adopt bad public policy simply because other nations are also doing it.

What’s curious about corporate subsidies like this is that large swaths of both the left and the right are opposed to them. Right-wingers oppose corporate subsidies because they are funded with taxpayer dollars and have the government picking winners and losers in the market. Left-wingers oppose corporate subsidies because they help big corporations at the expense of the little guy.

So if both sides of the political spectrum have good reasons for opposing this measure, it’s worth asking ourselves, who exactly is promoting this?

The answer is: the establishment.

It’s important to understand that the real world of politics is somewhat different from the ideological debates we see online and in the news. Sure, politicians know how to say the right things, but when it comes down to it, most of their job is about appeasing special-interest groups, from semiconductor companies to the military industrial complex to farmers to unions…the list is long.

Ambrose Bierce has a great quote that really captures this idea. Giving a satirical definition of politics in The Devil’s Dictionary, he writes, “POLITICS, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.”

We’re told that politics is about competing philosophies of government. In theory, each party has its own vision of what good government looks like, and they are trying to live out those principles as best they can.

But most of the time, that’s not what happens. In practice, it is a strife of special interests. For most politicians, the principles they espouse are merely a pretense, a facade. The real work of politics is about placating donors and lobbyists and voting blocs. This is why we see things like corporate subsidies. They aren’t part of some grand governing philosophy. They are simply the inevitable result of a system that is run by the special interests and for the special interests.

Is that cynical? Sure. But it’s a very justified cynicism, and it gets reinforced every time a story like this comes out.

The good news is that we can do something about it. Once we see the corrupting incentives inherent in politics, we can begin to work towards change. But the key is to not be wooed by the politicians, pundits, and executives when they tell us their schemes are designed for our benefit.

AUTHOR

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.


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.


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