• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

The Collapse Of Today’s American Public Schools?

This Wisconsin school district might be the worst violator of parental rights

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/school-district-wisconsin-parents-ian-prior

There are egregious examples of government-run school districts in all 50 states trying to assert themselves as Big Father and Big Mother. 

But one district in particular has emerged as an early contender to be the ignoble Loudoun County of 2022: Eau Claire Area in Wisconsin. From “white privilege tests,” to heterosexual privilege checklists, to teacher trainings that urge students to hide gender transitions from their parents, woke bureaucrats in the Badger State have launched an all-out assault on parental rights.

WI SCHOOL DISTRICT SAYS PARENTS ‘NOT ENTITLED’ TO KNOW CHILD’S SEXUALITY, PUSHES ‘HETEROSEXUAL PRIVILEGE’ LIST

(Article sent by Mark Waldeland.)

Greed Dictating Big Tech!!

How Big Tech Is Strangling Your Freedom

A conversation with entrepreneur and investor David Sacks on protecting civil liberties in the digital public square.

by Bari Weiss at Common Sense:

David Sacks is a paradox. The entrepreneur and venture capitalist helped lay the foundations of the digital world we now live in: He was one of the members of what’s known as the PayPal Mafia, alongside people like Peter Thiel, Elon Musk and Max Levchin. He’s also been an early investor in some companies you may have heard of: Airbnb, Facebook, Slack, SpaceX, Twitter, Uber. 

At the same time, he is something of a whistleblower from inside the world of tech. If you’ve read David’s essays for Common Sense—and if not, now’s a great time to revisit them—he believes that Big Tech has far too much power. The fact that a handful of billionaires get to decide what we are (and aren’t) allowed to say in the digital public square is something that the Framers would have been repelled by—and that all Americans should oppose.

Today on Honestly I spoke to David about the rise of America’s social credit system and how we can defend our civil liberties in the age of the internet. Among other things, he makes the provocative argument that we should strengthen the notion that discrimination based on “creed” means discriminating based on a person’s political views.

On America’s social credit system:

BW: You have been making the case better than anyone else that, despite the fact that we live in a liberal democracy with a Bill of Rights and a Constitution and a First Amendment, whether most Americans are aware of it or not we also are living inside a soft version of a social credit system. So for the people who hear that and think: ‘That’s ridiculous. This isn’t China.’ I want you to make the case.

DS: Let’s start by defining what a social credit system is. A social credit system is a system that pretends to give you civil liberties and freedom. It doesn’t overtly send you to the gulag for expressing dissent. Rather, it conditions the benefits of society—economic benefits, the ability to spend your money—on having the correct opinions. If you don’t, then your ability to participate in online platforms is diminished or curtailed entirely. That’s the situation that we are gradually heading towards. 

Back in the days when we were creating PayPal, in the early 2000s and late ‘90s, there was really a sense that technology and the internet would expand people’s ability to engage in speech and commerce. And for the first two decades of the internet, it really did. But for the last half-dozen years or so, we’ve really been restricting that access and trying to curtail it. The power of restricting people in both speech and commerce has taken on a life of its own. Those restrictions keep growing.

I’m not the one who’s changed. Big Tech changed. I didn’t leave Big Tech. Big Tech left me.

BW: When did you start to see the change? 

DS:  If you go back to the Arab Spring and the Green Revolution there was generally a sense of triumphalism. Back then, the CEO of Twitter said that we are the free speech wing of the free speech party. That’s how Silicon Valley saw itself. Ten years later, you have the widespread view that Silicon Valley needs to restrict and regulate disinformation and prevent free speech on its platform. You’d have to say that the turning point was 2016, when Trump got elected against the wishes of pretty much everyone in Silicon Valley. That was a little too much populism for them. And they saw social media as being complicit in Trump’s election.

BW: So the populism of the Arab Spring or in the Green Revolution was good. But the populism of Trump was not.

DS: Yes. It was a message they very much didn’t want to hear. So they began to believe that the message was somehow inauthentic. That it was engineered by Russian disinformation, and that their platforms had contributed to it and that they needed to crack down and restrict free speech so that it never happened again. 

Regardless of what you think about Trump, I think that was just the wrong message to draw from that election. I think Trump won because, quite frankly, the Democrats fielded a horrible candidate. He narrowly won—it was less than a hundred thousand votes in a few key swing states in which Hillary Clinton barely campaigned. But rather than blame her or her campaign managers for running a bad campaign, they blamed social media and themselves for what happened and how. Since then, they have been backpedaling on the idea of free speech.

On deplatforming and Silicon Valley’s speech cartel:

BW: Let’s talk about deplatforming, which some have compared to having your “digital tongue ripped out.” 

The first major case of deplatforming I remember was Alex Jones in 2018. First, Facebook removed all of Alex Jones’s content, saying he had glorified violence and violated their hate speech policies. Within days, Apple, Spotify and eventually YouTube, where Jones had millions of followers, followed suit. Jones was the guy who said that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, that the murdered children were crisis actors. What the parents of those children have lived through because of his conspiracies is unspeakable. So most people I know thought: Good riddance. Why should this guy have the ability to make money off of YouTube ads? Tell us why it was wrong for people to cheer.

DS: Because censorship always starts as something people like. And then it turns into something that they don’t. It starts with censoring somebody who’s widely hated saying outrageous things, but eventually it gets used on somebody who you yourself like. That’s what we’ve seen over the last several years. Censorship power keeps growing. It keeps getting applied to more and more cases.

The most recent example was before the 2020 election. You had reporting come out from the New York Post about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine. It has now come out that this story was entirely true. Yet it was labeled disinformation and censored from social media networks so that the American people could not take it into account before the election.

Or think about Covid. For over a year the lab-leak theory was censored. Now, the lab-leak theory is widely regarded as either the most likely theory or at least tied with the so-called zoonotic theory for the origins of Covid. And yet people who espoused that theory, scientists who were acting in good faith on social networks on YouTube, were censored for having that opinion.

BW: You’ve used the word cartel to describe how these companies operate. Typically, people hear the word cartel and they think of mustache-twirling evil guys in smoke-filled rooms. Explain to us what you mean by that word.

DS: A cartel is an economic term that refers to when companies that are supposed to be competitive with each other instead act in concert. You see this with regard to price fixing, for example: two companies that are supposed to be competing with each other actually come together or signal to each other that this is what the price should be, and they basically agree not to compete on that dimension. What a cartel does is effectively create a monopoly even though there may be multiple players in the market. 

What’s happening in the case of speech is that you have all these big tech companies coming together and acting in the same way. They all implement the same policy with regard to censoring speech. They all kick the same people off their platform. So even though they’re supposed to be competing with each other, even though competition should be driving them to want to appeal to a larger and larger audience and not kick people off, they do.

The person who admitted this was the case was Jack Dorsey in January of 2021. Twitter was the first to kick Donald Trump off. And what Dorsey said was that Twitter did not realize what a backlash it would cause by de-platforming a sitting president of the United States. He said: We thought we were just acting on our own, and there are plenty of other places that Donald Trump could go to get his free speech. But then what happened? All the other sites followed suit. And it became like the action of a government because everybody started doing it. 

Dorsey described well the process by which this happens, which is one of these big tech companies takes the lead, and then all the others follow suit. It’s like signaling. And it becomes like a speech blockade. And when each company basically joins the blockade, the pressure grows on every other company to do the same thing. Otherwise, they’re subject to a boycott or a rage mob on Twitter. They’re basically pressured into it. The pressure keeps growing on all the others to do the same thing. The thing that’s very vexing about the problem is it appears to be decentralized. It’s not like there’s one centralized actor. But the collective effect is that they all do it.

BW: I want to understand why or how it happens. Are the people running these companies all on a Signal group together? Why are they all deciding to make the same choice?

DS: The pressure comes from both above and below. You’ve got the United States Senate basically saying: ‘Nice little social network you got there. Real shame for anything to happen to it.’ So that’s pressure that’s coming from Washington. You’ve got the coercion of private companies by these enormously powerful people in government who are using the levers of government power to conduct antitrust lawsuits against them, to push bills through Congress to break them up, or otherwise harm their businesses. That’s what’s going on from above. 

From below, you’ve got the employees and the tweet mobs and basically forming these boycotts and subjecting the management of the company to pressure. 

It would take a very strong leader to stand up to these pressures. And corporate executives tend not to have a tremendous amount of spine to begin with. But then, on top of it, they’re somewhat sympathetic to the ideology, and the result is they just give in.

BW: I think the sympathetic view of the CEOs in charge of these companies is that they’re somehow being held hostage. But you’re actually saying that they’re kind of sympathetic to the new, radical ideology themselves.

DS: They’re part of the same political elite. They all drink from the same monocultural fountain. They all went to the same universities. 

It really takes a strong founder to stand up to the pressure. Brian Armstrong, the founder of Coinbase, is one. He finally had enough of these pressure tactics and boycotts, and he declared that at Coinbase we’re going to leave our politics at the door. You’re free to have your own political views on your own time, but we’re not going to discuss these political debates inside the company and we’re not going to be roiled by these controversies. We’re going to focus on the mission of Coinbase. Basically, he was insisting on the old etiquette of the workplace, which is you come to work to work. 

He did it in a very smart way. He said: “Listen, this is the new policy, and if you don’t like it, we’ll give you a very generous severance.” Only five percent of the employees took that severance. The 95 percent of people who remained are so happy that they’re not subject to all of these political debates and controversies. Of course, Brian was subjected to the obligatory New York Times hit piece for implementing this policy.

Most founders don’t have Brian’s courage. Rather, they are expressing their true thoughts in Signal groups with disappearing messages. Some of these groups I’m in, so I know what they really think, but they just don’t have the courage to stand up. If they could all do it at the same time and implement the Coinbase policy, I think it would create a meaningful change. But none of them wants to become a target.

Civil liberties for the digital public square:

BW: The criticism that I hear a ton in response to what you’re saying is: David, these are private companies. If I invent YouTube and I pay for the servers of YouTube and I’ve set up the whole architecture of the company, why can’t I do what I want? Same with Facebook. Why don’t I get to decide that I don’t want some kind of clickbait or fake news or whatever on my thing? I’m going to police it. Who are you to tell me I can’t?

DS: I think it’s a very disingenuous argument. The same people who say that these social media companies, these big tech companies, should be free to do whatever they want because they’re private companies are the same people pushing six bills through Congress right now to restrict and regulate those companies because they see them as monopolies. So they don’t even believe their own argument. They all start making these libertarian arguments when these big tech companies are restricting speech in a way that they like. When they agree with the outcome, they want to give these companies the freedom to produce that outcome. 

We need to fundamentally understand that free speech in our society has been privatized. The town square has been privatized. When the Constitution was written, the internet didn’t exist. Back then, the town square was a physical place that you could go to, and there was a multiplicity of town squares all over the country. There were thousands of them and anybody could put their soapbox down and speak, and anyone could gather around and listen. That’s why, if you look at the First Amendment, it doesn’t just protect freedom of speech and of the press. It also protects the right to peaceably assemble. 

Well, where do people assemble today? They assemble in these giant social networks that have these gigantic network effects. That is where speech, especially political speech, occurs. And if you are shut out of that digital town square, to what extent do you still even have a First Amendment? To what extent do you have a right to speech? Well, I don’t think you do. If you were to grab your soapbox today and go on the courthouse steps, they’ll think you’re a lunatic. You have no free speech right in this country if you are kicked off of these social networks. 

So, I don’t think it’s good enough to say, well, these are private actors and, therefore, they can do whatever they want. Those private actors have too much power. They have the power to decide whether you, as an American, have an effective free speech right in this country. I think that’s unacceptable. I think the Founders, the Framers of the Constitution, would never have permitted that.

BW: Are you saying that in the 21st century, in the digital world, that platforms like Facebook and Twitter and YouTube are more like . . . sidewalks?

DS: Kind of, yeah.

BW: American law prohibits discrimination not just in public spaces but also in private businesses. You cannot discriminate based on a person’s race, religion, disability, sex, national origin. Are you suggesting that in our new world that someone’s political views should be seen like those other categories? That in the same way you can’t kick someone off YouTube because they’re gay or black or Christian, you shouldn’t be able to kick someone off because they’re a political conservative or a TERF?

DS: I think we’re probably going to need something like that. The fundamental American principle is that you can’t discriminate against someone because of their race, color or creed. Historically, creed has not necessarily meant political ideology, but I think it may need to. If we don’t create some kind of protection, discrimination against people on the basis of their political views is going to continue.

It would be possible to create a social media moderation policy that is rooted in First Amendment principles. That way, at least social media moderation will be grounded in case law that’s been developed over decades by the Supreme Court as opposed to being made up by these social networks as they please.

Build your own Facebook?

BW: What do you say to the people who argue: If you don’t like the way YouTube conducts itself, if you don’t like the way Facebook conducts itself, no problem. Go make another one. Why is that not an acceptable solution to this problem?

DS: This is what you heard when Twitter and Facebook banned Trump. Their argument was: Go to a different app. And then Apple and Google banned Parler, which was the different app. And then the argument was, Well, that’s not censorship. Just go create a website. And then Amazon Web Services started banning websites. So, at some point, when are you going to say this is an undue imposition on free speech? What am I supposed to do? Go create my own internet? All I wanted to do was post a tweet. Let’s not be obtuse to the power of these monopolies. I think people are being selectively oblivious to the network effects. 

BW: We hear that phrase a lot: network effects. What does it mean?

DS: A network-effect business is one where the value of the service increases with the number of users. So if you think about Twitter or Facebook or the phone company, the more people who are on the service, the more value it has to everybody else. The value actually increases exponentially because the number of connections that can be made increases exponentially every time someone joins the service. If you or I want to create our own Twitter clone, it’ll be very, very hard to do that because nobody else will be on it. So you have this huge chicken and egg problem. This is why these social networks are so powerful. They’ve got these huge network effects based on the fact that everybody is already on them, and it gets very, very hard to try and create a competing one.

From deplatforming to debanking:

BW: It used to be that we’d hear a lot about deplatforming. Now, increasingly, we are hearing about debanking. What does it mean?

DS: It means that you are denied access to a financial service—your access to your money or to your ability to conduct a transaction or to pay people—based on your political views. All of that gets restricted because your views are deemed unacceptable by the people who run these services.

BW: Give us an example. Maybe we can use the company you helped build, PayPal, and its creation of what you’ve called their no-buy list, a play on the idea of a no-fly list.

DS: Back in the early days, we believed that our mission was to expand access to the financial system. Today PayPal, under new management, is working to deny people access. They’ve actually partnered with a couple of left-wing partisan groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, to create lists of users and groups to ban from the platform. They’ve actually announced this. They’re proud of this.

Now, these are groups with a storied history. I think they did very good work historically in the past. 

BW: It’s the same phrase you used before. I didn’t leave the ADL, the ADL left me.

DS: Right, exactly. They used to be fairly bipartisan or nonpartisan in their denunciation of antisemitism. But the ADL has changed. It’s under new management, and they’ve broadened their portfolio from antisemitism to cover anything they consider to be hateful or extremist. And their definition of extremism is basically anything that disagrees with conventional Democratic Party politics or orthodoxy. So the ADL opposed the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. It basically partnered with Al Sharpton to boycott Facebook for allowing hate speech on their platform, which is pretty amazing given Al Sharpton’s history. The point is that the ADL now is using their historical capital and applying it to all these fairly conventional political debates. So when they partner with PayPal to create a list of banned groups or accounts, they’ve massively expanded the list of people who can be thrown off these services. If you just express a political opinion that dissents from the orthodoxy you can now be kicked off these platforms.

BW: I want to explain how we went, in such a short time, from people getting booted off of PayPal, for example, to governments wielding this power. A few weeks ago we saw massive protests in Canada of truckers who gathered in Ottawa and also at critical junctures of the border to protest Canada’s Covid mandates. What Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did is that he invoked something called the Emergencies Act, which allowed the Canadian government to issue a directive that required all kinds of financial institutions—banks, credit unions, even crypto wallets—to stop providing any financial or related services to anyone associated with the protests, even if they were nonviolent, which the vast majority of the protests were. So it didn’t matter if you were a protest leader or if you contributed $15 via GoFundMe, or even if you had sold a protestor a cup of coffee. Their accounts were frozen. Their money was stranded. They couldn’t use their credit cards. This is exactly what you have been warning us about, right?

DS: One of the most indefensible aspects of what Trudeau did is that the freezing of accounts was done retroactively. Meaning: at the time that the protesters engaged in their civil disobedience or the people donated to them, it was a perfectly legal activity. And yet their accounts were frozen based on having contributed in the past, again, at a time when it was completely legal. So what you had was not just the fact that you had this unprecedented expansion of aiding and abetting liability to anyone who contributed to the cause, but that that liability was being retroactively determined. In other words: anybody who had views that Justin Trudeau believed were unacceptable could be retroactively subjected to this punishment. 

That precedent must have a chilling effect on speech moving forward. If, today, you are a citizen in Canada contemplating making a contribution to a political cause that you believe that Justin Trudeau doesn’t like, the precedent has been set that, at some point in the future, Trudeau could look back at that contribution and basically freeze your account for having made it in the past, even though it’s completely legal at the time that you do it. That’s one of the worst aspects of this whole thing. That’s going to have a chilling effect on people’s willingness to contribute to causes that Justin Trudeau doesn’t like.

So what can we do?

BW: Where do we go from here? What can either individuals do or the American government do to protect us from the kind of authoritarianism that you’re warning about?

DS: I think we have to reinvigorate our civil liberties. I don’t think we’re going to get that from the current administration because, frankly, a lot of the pressure for censorship and deplatforming is coming from the Democratic Party. This is not a partisan point. If you look at polling about views about censorship and deplatforming, there is a huge divide between Democrats and Republicans on this issue. If you go back ten years ago, both parties had the same views on censorship. They were against it. Everyone was in favor of free speech, but there’s been a huge divergence. And so I think it’s going to take a new administration—presumably, the next Republican administration—to want to take action. And we’re going to have to reinvigorate our civil liberties by realizing that these private actors have huge amounts of control over our right to speech, our right to commerce, our right to make a livelihood, and they should not be able to exercise those powers. They should not be able to use those powers to deny us those liberties. 

That’s going to require the Republican Party to embrace a role that it has not historically engaged in, which is to be a little bit more of a regulator of private companies. You have to go back all the way to Teddy Roosevelt. TR was the trust buster. He basically said these monopolies have too much power and we need to bring them to heel. That’s why Teddy Roosevelt is on Mount Rushmore. He stood up for the rights of the common man against the power of these gigantic monopolies. 

I think that the next Republican who’s going to be successful has to take a page out of TR’s playbook here and say: we do not represent the interests of these oligarchs and these big, powerful companies. We represent the interests of the working man and woman trying to have the right to free speech, to make a living, to conduct payments. And it should not be up to tech oligarchs to decide who has those rights.

BIDEN’S LOVE OF HIS “BILLIONAIRE TAX” WINNER!

MARCH 29, 2022 BY JOHN HINDERAKER IN TAXES

BIDEN’S DUMBEST IDEA YET?

I know, it’s a stiff competition. But the “billionaire tax” that is part of the Biden administration’s proposed budget is astonishingly dumb. This is how the Wall Street Journal describes it:

Under the proposal, households worth more than $100 million that don’t pay at least 20% in tax on a combination of their standard reported income and their gains on unsold assets such as stocks would owe additional tax until they have paid the new minimum 20%, according to the White House fact sheet.

So apparently, if you are wealthy you have to start by figuring out whether your household’s net worth is more or less than $100 million. If your wealth consists in large part of closely held companies, real estate, fine arts and similar investments, this will be a matter of opinion and endless grist for litigation. But let’s assume you get over the magic threshold.

The essence of the proposal is to force some taxpayers to pay income taxes on any appreciation in assets they hold. The plan apparently applies to interests in family businesses and other closely held corporations, which are notoriously hard to value. Does it apply to real estate and other illiquid assets? Apparently so, although there are “special rules for illiquid taxpayers.”

Apart from its unworkability, the fundamental problem with this plan is that it seeks to impose the income tax where there is no income. Asset values rise and fall, sometimes dramatically–in both directions. An investor typically holds assets for a period of time until he decides to sell. At that point, he has either a gain or a loss that is relatively easy to calculate. It is axiomatic that you haven’t made any money on a stock until you sell it, but the Biden proposal senselessly ignores this elementary principle.

The Biden plan raises the obvious question, what happens when asset values fall? Next time the stock market crashes or real estate values decline, will the federal government write checks to (only) the richest Americans to cover some portion of their paper losses? I suppose not, which exposes the gross unfairness of the Biden plan.

Not to worry, though: presidents’ budgets are pretty much meaningless, and there is zero chance that this farcical proposal will become law. It is merely one more indication of the desperation with which Democrats are anticipating the midterm elections. The demagogic Democrats want to align themselves with the people, in opposition to billionaires, even though in fact, most billionaires who participate significantly in public life are Democrats. Does anyone remember the last time Wall Street backed a Republican presidential candidate?

It might be fun for Mitch McConnell to bring this part of Biden’s budget plan on for a vote in the Senate, and encourage all Senate Republicans to vote for it. The consternation this would cause in Democratic Party ranks would be worth the price of admission.

Dem Fascists STILL WORRY ABOUT PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP! DONALD, WE STILL NEED YOU!!

The Atlantic manages to blame the collapsing US birth rate on… Trump

JAZZ SHAW Mar 29, 2022 at HotAir:

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AP Photo/Meg Kinnard

The birth rate in the United States, along with many other industrialized nations, has been cratering for well over a decade and it’s not expected to turn around any time soon. For proof, look no further than the rapidly shrinking number of students enrolled in public elementary schools around the country. This is bad news on a number of levels and portends some significant economic and societal upheavals in the not-so-distant future. But before you can work out any solutions for a problem, you need to understand the underlying causes. At The Atlantic, Derek Thompson gamely takes a stab at figuring out why America’s population growth has almost disappeared and what, if anything, can be done about it. But one of the suspects on the list may come as a surprise to even the most hardened partisans in the political world.

The U.S. population grew at the slowest pace in history in 2021, according to census data released last week. That news sounds extreme, but it’s on trend. First came 2020, which saw one of the lowest U.S. population-growth rates ever. And now we have 2021 officially setting the all-time record.

U.S. growth didn’t slowly fade away: It slipped, and slipped, and then fell off a cliff. The 2010s were already demographically stagnant; every year from 2011 to 2017, the U.S. grew by only 2 million people. In 2020, the U.S. grew by just 1.1 million. Last year, we added only 393,000 people.

What’s going on?

Thompson begins by correctly identifying the three factors that drive changes in a nation’s total population. Those are immigration (or emigration), deaths, and births. Of course, you didn’t need to be a geneticist to figure that out for yourself. It’s just basic math.

While the question of the nation’s birth rate gets some needed attention later on in Thompson’s article, he focuses first on death rates and immigration, saying that those two factors “overwhelmingly” account for America’s vanishing population growth. In terms of deaths, the author focuses almost exclusively on the pandemic. COVID-related deaths totaled close to one million over the course of the pandemic, with the largest number taking place in 2021. (That is, if you believe the CDC numbers, which you shouldn’t since they were counting people who died in car accidents who happened to test positive during the autopsy.)

But still, Thompson is correct in pointing out the sobering statistics showing that deaths exceeded births in a record number of American counties in 2021. That figure alone makes increasing the total population a daunting hill to climb.

Then the author addresses the question of net immigration, which is the total number of immigrants after subtracting the number of people who permanently emigrated from the United States. We’ve never had an issue in that area because there are always more people vying to come to America than to leave it. But net immigration fell from roughly one million in 2016 to less than 250,000 in 2021. I’m going to assume that Thompson is only talking about recorded, legal immigration here because the number of illegal aliens streaming across our border in 2021 would have surely at least doubled that number.

So there you have it. Lots of people died and fewer people legally entered the country. What do those two things have in common? Why, Donald Trump, of course!

The pandemic has killed nearly 1 million Americans in the past two years, according to the CDC. Tragically and remarkably, a majority of those deaths happened after we announced the authorization of COVID vaccines, which means that they were particularly concentrated in 2021…

The Trump administration worked to constrain not only illegal immigration but also legal immigration. And the Biden administration has not prioritized the revitalization of pro-immigration policy, perhaps due to fears of a xenophobic backlash from the center and right.

Thompson doesn’t call Trump out by name when he says that the majority of COVID deaths took place after the authorization of the vaccines. And I suppose we can ignore the fact that Trump was out of office before any of the vaccines started becoming widely available. But clearly, at least in the minds of The Atlantic’s liberal readership, it was those dirty Trump supporters who were refusing to get vaccinated, and if they hadn’t resisted, fewer people would have died, right?

And Donald Trump was trying to reduce both illegal and legal immigration. Is that what you’re saying? As to the former, that’s also known in some circles as “enforcing the law.” As far as legal immigration goes, there were shifts in the quotas for various countries under the Trump administration, but the total number that could have been approved for entry remained about the same. Trump even increased the number of visas for skilled workers wishing to move to America. In reality, fewer people were coming to America because almost nobody was allowed to enter the country under the travel ban that Joe Biden kept in place. But hey… what the heck. Let’s just blame the Bad Orange Man anyway.

Sadly, the birth rate decline is the biggest issue in this puzzle. The death rate numbers, pandemic aside, were not unexpected. After decades of steady increases, the average life expectancy in the United States finally leveled out a few years ago and even declined in some demographics. Before that, fewer people were dying than the number of new babies coming into the world. With life expectancy stabilizing, those numbers moved closer to being the same. But we’re definitely having fewer babies. Part of that is due to the verifiable fact that fertility rates, particularly among men, have been steadily declining. Social factors are also involved, including the idea of children being an impediment to professional success and personal “fun,” as well as fears that the world in the 21st-century is simply too scary of a place to bring a new baby into it.

So what do we do about it? Don’t ask me. If I was smart enough to figure that out I probably wouldn’t be working here. You’ll have to go ask the guys at The Atlantic.

INFLATION IS COMING?

Larry Summers: ‘the situation continues to resemble the 1970s’

JOHN SEXTON Mar 29, 2022 at American Thinker:

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(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has been saying for quite a while now that inflation was coming and that it would not be transitory. Last October the consensus seemed to be that inflation was largely the result of supply chain issues which would get worked out fairly quickly once the pandemic was behind us. So, for instance, Goldman Sachs predicted higher inflation in 2022 which would drop back down to around 2 percent by 2023. But even then there were growing signs that wasn’t the case.

At this point, most economists have adopted a view a lot closer to what Summers was saying months ago. Not only is inflation up sharply, it won’t be transitory because contrary to what the president was saying last month, the issue isn’t just supply-side inflation caused by supply chain issues, it’s also demand-side inflation caused by flooding the economy with various forms of pandemic relief.

Nearly two weeks ago, the Fed raised interest rates from zero to 0.25%. Summers, for one, was not impressed:

Anything is possible, and wishful thinking can sometimes prove self-fulfilling. But I believe the Fed has not internalized the magnitude of its errors over the past year, is operating with an inappropriate and dangerous framework, and needs to take far stronger action to support price stability than appears likely. The Fed’s current policy trajectory is likely to lead to stagflation, with average unemployment and inflation both averaging over 5 percent over the next few years — and ultimately to a major recession.

Today, the NY Times published Ezra Klein’s interview with Summers in which he goes into detail about how we got here and where he thinks we’re headed.

I’m probably as apprehensive about the prospects for a soft landing of the U.S. economy as I have been any time in the last year. Probably actually a bit more apprehensive. In a way, the situation continues to resemble the 1970s, Ezra. In the late ‘60s and in the early ‘70s, we made mistakes of excessive demand expansion that created an inflationary environment…

And so now I think we’ve got a real problem of high underlying inflation that I don’t think will come down to anything like acceptable levels of its own accord. And so very difficult dilemmas as to whether to accept economic restraint or to live with high and quite possibly accelerating inflation. So I don’t envy the tasks that the Fed has before it.

…I think it’s very important not to be shortsighted and to recognize that what we care about is not just the level of employment this year, but the level of employment averaged over the next 10 years. That we care not just about wages and opportunities this year, but we care about wages and opportunities over the long-term.

And the doctor who prescribes you painkillers that make you feel good to which you become addicted is generous and compassionate, but ultimately is very damaging to you. And while the example is a bit melodramatic, the pursuit of excessively expansionary policies that ultimately lead to inflation, which reduces people’s purchasing power, and the need for sharply contractionary policies, which hurt the biggest victims, the most disadvantaged in the society, that’s not doing the people we care most about any favor. It’s, in fact, hurting them.

Klein tries to inject some optimist into the discussion by suggesting the longer term inflation expectations are still somewhat under control, but Summers argues this is precisely because the Fed has been signaling so strongly that higher rates are coming soon.

Klein: So one-year inflation expectations have shot up. But you look at three, you look at five, you look at 10-year expectations, they haven’t moved all that much. And so the idea is if the long-term market expectations haven’t moved, maybe we don’t need to slam the brakes on the economy so hard. Maybe people aren’t telling that longer story and they’re still open to this being as the now buried adjective goes— transient.

Summers: So, look, Ezra, I’d love for all that stuff to be true. I spent 20 years pushing various kinds of strongly Keynesian theories that were directed at the idea that we should promote demand more and promote demand permanently…

But I think you have to look at the facts. And the facts are that if you look at five-year expected inflation right now, it is about 3 and a half percent, detached from the 2 percent target. And if you look at 10-year expected inflation, it is at close to 3 percent. So we actually are a bit detached from our target levels of inflation, point one.

Point two— and this is the key point— the Fed has done more signaling of tightening in the last two months than any time in the last 40 years. So the only reason why we have kept inflation expectations under control is that belatedly the Fed has done the things that those of us who are anxious about inflation were recommending for the past nine months. And the Fed has moved to rejecting the advice of the people who were serene.

If the monetary policy recommendations contained in Jay Powell’s Jackson Hole speech in August, or your colleague, Paul Krugman’s recommendations through the fall had been adhered to, we would have much higher inflation expectations today.

Ultimately, Summers believes we’ll need to see rates above 4 percent to actually get this under control.

My basis is simply this— we think about the effects of monetary policy in terms of what economists call real interest rates— interest rates minus the rate of inflation. And the idea is that when real interest rates go up, people want to save more, people want to spend less, because capital is more expensive.

And so in order to restrain the economy, you have to raise the level of real interest rates. Real interest rates right now over every horizon are substantially negative. Not just over one year. Not just over five years. They’re actually negative over 30 years…

A real interest rate to be negative means that if I buy a bond, the money I will get back from the bond will have less purchasing power than the money that I put into the bond. If the interest rate were negative, that would mean I get less money back than I put into the bond. If the real interest rate— that is the interest rate adjusted for purchasing power— is negative, that means I get less purchasing power, less ability to buy things back.

And so when you have an economy where you can get more for your money today than you can if you put it aside or where you can borrow money at lower cost than you’re going to have to pay back when the bond comes due, that’s an economy that’s going to encourage spending today, and it’s going to encourage spending today at a substantial rate.

I don’t think we’re going to avoid and bring down the rate of inflation until we get to positive real interest rates. And I don’t think we’re going to get to positive real interest rates without, over the next couple of years, getting interest rates north of 4 percent.

I guess we’ll see how things progress but Summers was certainly way ahead of the curve on predictions about inflation. However this works out, the idea of going back to the pre-COVID, normal economy probably isn’t in the cards for a while.

“Russia could respond to certain U.S. measures in ways that harm….”

March 29, 2022

Russia, China: The Torpedoes Circle Back

By David Archibald at American Thinker:

The situation in Ukraine is like the fate of the USS Tang, a submarine in WW2 with an exemplary record in sinking Japanese ships before she was sunk by one of her own torpedoes that had circled back on her. The tale was told by the nine survivors.

Sometime in the late 1960s, the Soviet Union embarked on a long term influence operation in the United States. Through their ties to US communists they knew of the existance of the young Barack Obama. The Soviet Union fell apart in 1991 but the torpedo they had fired at American values stayed on course and duly started doing damage once he was elected president in 2008, possibly 40 years after the scheme was hatched.

The damage included making American institutions far more progressive. The State Department, to cite one example, became more progressive and adopted regime change as a way of remaking the world in its own image. The first fruit of that was changing out the pro-Russian regime in Ukraine, aided by the sniper of Maidan Square.

The election of President Trump didn’t slow things down much. For example in 2019 the Army Quadrennial Review Office commissioned the RAND Corporation to produce a report entitled Extending Russia: Competing from Advantageous Ground. The report is a discussion of “measures that would stress Russia’s military or economy”, causing the Russians to overspend on defence thus suppressing their domestic economy. It seems that the Army wanted to emulate the success of Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ progam in stressing the Soviet economy.

The problem is that while the Soviets did want to take over the world, the Russian state of the 21st century had more modest ambitions. On page 17 of the RAND report it is noted that:

Significantly, Russian leaders seem committed to keeping defense spending under about 5 percent of national GDP. If this is the case, then the United States will find

it hard to persuade Russia to substantially increase defense spending unless it convinces the Kremlin that new threats to Russian security demand a change to this policy.

A country that resiles from spending more than 5% of GDP on defense isn’t all that bellicose. Note that the RAND report was complaining about that and wanted Russia to waste money by building a bigger military. But the Russian heirachy has also read the RAND report and would have wondered why they were being baited. Russia is paranoid enough to begin with. As this sentence from page 4 of the RAND report notes:

Importantly, increasing Russian fear and anxiety are only instruments in encouraging Russia to overextend itself militarily or economically; they are not ends in and of themselves. In fact, a risk discussed throughout this report is that Russia could respond to certain U.S. measures in ways that harm the interests of the United States or its allies or in ways that reduce stability.

Hello to real world consequences!

That Lefty FOX News Anchor In Action For Years!

Tucker Carlson Broke Never Trumper Chris Wallace

Todd Starnes

by Todd Starnes at Townhall:

|Posted: Mar 28, 2022

Chris Wallace, the disgraced ex-Fox News Channel host, took a number of cheap shots at his former place of employment during an exclusive interview with The New York Times.

 “I just no longer felt comfortable with the programming at Fox,” said Wallace, the notorious never-Trumper.

Mr. Wallace left Fox News after nearly two decades to take a low-level job hosting a digital program on CNN, the fledgling leftwing news channel.

He castigated both the network and Tucker Carlson, the top-rated host in all of cable television.

“I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion,” Mr. Wallace said in his first extensive interview about his decision to leave. “But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable.”

Mr. Wallace told The Times he spent “a lot of 2021 looking to see if there was a different place for me to do my job.”

He told the newspaper that he was “so alarmed by Mr. Carlson’s documentary ‘Patriot Purge’ — which falsely suggested the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was a ‘false flag’ operation intended to demonize conservatives — that he complained directly to Fox News management.”

“Before, I found it was an environment in which I could do my job and feel good about my involvement at Fox,” Mr. Wallace said. “And since November of 2020, that just became unsustainable, increasingly unsustainable as time went on.”

Still, he acknowledged that some viewers may wonder why he did not leave earlier.

“Some people might have drawn the line earlier, or at a different point,” he said, adding: “I think Fox has changed over the course of the last year and a half. But I can certainly understand where somebody would say, ‘Gee, you were a slow learner, Chris.’”

It wasn’t that Mr. Wallace was a slow learner. It’s that he needed the paycheck and Fox News Channel compensated him very well. Very well. 

And just like a true liberal, he put money ahead of principle.

Mr. Wallace said he was happy to leave the world of politics behind. His new show will feature long-form conversations with aging cultural icons.

“I wanted to get out of politics,” Mr. Wallace said, adding, “Doing a Sunday show on the incremental change from week to week in the Build Back Better plan began to lose its attraction.”

The Times reports one of his first guests will be Judy Collins, of “Send in the Clowns” fame – a song Stephen Sondheim wrote circa 1975.

“Send in the Clowns.” How appropriate.

Far be it from me to question Mr. Wallace’s motives for leaving the number one cable television network in the nation, but I wonder if the real reason was something a bit more personal? Could it be that he could not bear the fact that he hosted one of the lowest-rated programs on Fox? Is it possible that he was so envious of Mr. Carlson’s success, that he simply lost his mind? 

That could explain why Mr. Wallace abandoned a network where he was given the opportunity to query some of the world’s most prominent power players to take a job interviewing washed-up stars of yesteryear in a sparse, low-budget studio. I suspect Mr. Wallace will feel quite at home.

“Let’s make our imaginary Democrat couple a man and a woman for simplicity’s sake”. 

Imagine if Both Your Parents Were Hard-Left Democrats

By Pete McArdle at American Thinker:

Let’s face it: life is difficult for everyone.  You gotta take the sweet with the sour, and roll with the punches.  But who faces a more frightening future than the progeny of your typical loony liberal couple?

Start with the word “couple.”  Certainly, that’s considered a microaggression somewhere.  Democrats have done a great job destroying the concepts of marriage, family, and personal responsibility.  So you may grow up with two parents, or one, or none, or even a gay secretary of transportation out on extended leave during a supply-chain crisis as your daddy.  Who knows?

But let’s make our imaginary Democrat couple a man and a woman for simplicity’s sake.  They’ve had sex, after signing the necessary consent forms, and conception has occurred.

Now you are a zygote, the tiniest human possible, just hanging around (literally) in your liberal mother’s womb.  In today’s shout-your-abortion Democrat party, Mom or Dad may be seriously thinking about terminating you.  You just may be a major inconvenience to them and have to go bye-bye.

So, you start your life worrying that your liberal parents may want to kill you — and not just in California or New York.  Thanks to Doe v. Bolton, the companion Supreme Court decision to Roe v. Wade, you’ll have to worry the entire nine months of gestation, up to and including the birth process, since it’s legal in every state to off fully formed babies, even newborns as they exit the womb.

But let’s say you’re one of the lucky ones, and you’re spared the abortionist’s tender mercies.  Now the liberal dunderheads who spawned you saddle you with some idiotic name, like Kayden, Macy, Apple, or Zarathustra.  And before you’re even walking or talking, your parents leave you alone with a total stranger because Mommy and Daddy both work.  Staunch Democrats, as we know, hate stay-at-home moms (and dads).  They’d prefer you miss out on one of life’s purest pleasures: growing up with a dedicated parent as your primary caregiver.

Let’s assume that the stranger your lib parents chose doesn’t do anything horrible to you.  You’ve survived the first couple of years, and as a bonus, you’re bilingual.

The next thing you know, your folks are dumping you off at daycare, where you have to deal with another set of complete strangers.  And if these strangers are as perverse as your left-wing parents, they’ll be busy indoctrinating you into modern liberalism, especially the idea that you can be any of the 5,782 (at last count) genders you want.  For the foreseeable future, you’ll be taught that you may be gay or transgender or who knows what else.  Life is typically confusing for a young child, and after enough liberal grooming, you’ll be even more confused about your sex and gender, your obvious physical characteristics notwithstanding.  And radical Democrats like it that way.

But it gets worse.  Soon you’ll likely be enrolled in a public school, the vast majority controlled by the Alinsky-loving, Democrat-supporting teachers’ unions.  In such schools, you won’t learn proper grammar or how to figure out equations or how to think critically.

No, in today’s public schools, what you’ll learn is that if you’re a minority, you’re being oppressed, and if you’re white, you’re the oppressor, and you’d better check your privilege.  While you’ll leave these schools oblivious as to how to define pronouns or use them correctly, you will have learned, having been taught all the 5,782 gender options, your own “personal pronouns” (major dude/mine/your majesty in my case).

As you continue to grow into adulthood, happy your Democrat parents didn’t abort you, unsure whether you’re a boy or a girl, and quite sure you’re either a victim or a perpetrator of racism, the liberal indoctrination intensifies.  While you still can’t figure out the interest on a loan or how to write in complete sentences, you’ll learn how to hate this country and its founding.  You’ll learn just how awful and patriarchal men are and always have been.  You’ll discover that criminals are actually the victims, victims somehow had it coming, and cops are in fact the bad guys.  Your liberal teachers will teach you this crap, and your parents will confirm it.

And if you somehow make it to high school without a psychiatric diagnosis and some combination of psychotropic drugs to take daily, what you learn about the horrors of — gasp! — climate change will push you right over the edge.  With your teachers, parents, and left-leaning relatives and acquaintances, you’ll be thoroughly convinced the sky is falling and the end is nigh.  Why live in such a world?

You’d better not ask an avid Democrat that question.  They’re rather fond of assisted suicide.

When you’re forty or so, and it’s finally time to leave your parents’ basement and put your Postmodern Transgender Poetry degree to work, you’ll go out into the world trusting one thing and one thing only.

No, not God, silly!

Government.  Big Government.

Government is your friend, government programs are your savior, and whatever the mainstream media tell you of Big Brother’s greatness is righteous and true.  Besides, there is no God, only the Devil.  And his name is Trump.

If the government tells you guns are bad, you’ll never own one.  If it tells you abortions are a sacred constitutional right, you’ll probably agree to one or more.  If meat’s bad for the Earth, you’ll eat bugs; if single homes are selfish, you’ll live in a large, noisy project; if cars are killing the planet, you’ll take the subway and hope you’re not attacked with a hammer or worse.

You’ll wear plaid pajamas and drink hot chocolate while discussing the sublime joys of Obamacare with your friends, and your mantra will be “so much to fear, so little time.”  Chances are, as a disciple of Dr. Fauci, you’ll wear a surgical mask everywhere, just to be on the safe side.

Now, the kids of Republicans and conservatives will have a different life, as will the children of apolitical folks and reasonable Democrats, however rare that species may be.  But if you’re born to a pair of crazed, leftist wingnuts, may God help you.  Because Big Government certainly won’t.

“In the U.K. ….. last month 80-90 percent of COVID deaths were among the vaccinated”

March 28, 2022

How many COVID booster shots will finally be enough?

By Brian C. Joondeph, M.D. at American Thinker:

From the beginning of the COVID pandemic starting two years ago, we have heard conflicting and often nonsensical recommendations from those charged with knowing better and leading the country through the biggest public health crisis that most of us have ever experienced.

From “15 days to slow the spread” to mask mandates changing as fast as the weather, reality and science was whatever those in power declared it to be on any given day. First, we were told that masks were worthless in stopping viruses. Shortly thereafter we were told to wear one, then two, then one, now back to none.

Masks are unnecessary in a crowded mall, restaurant, or BLM protest, but life-saving in an elementary school, airport, or airplane which is constantly recirculating and disinfecting the air. Similarly, the vaccines, we were told, would stop transmission and infection with COVID until we learned that they did neither, only reducing the severity of illness and risk of death.

In the U.K. for example, last month 80-90 percent of COVID deaths were among the vaccinated, although the “fact checkers” are eager to claim “misinterpretation” or “lack of context.” 

Nothing is permitted to interfere with the preferred narrative.

So, when are vaccinations no longer necessary? When has a country or region reached a sufficient level of herd immunity that life can return to some semblance of normal? Never mind the businesses, families, and lives destroyed by closures and mandates, whose only view of normal is in their rear-view mirrors. Life will never be normal again just as it isn’t for residents of a town devastated by a hurricane or tornado.

Several weeks ago, the New York Times asked: “Who should get a fourth Covid shot?” In other words, not one but two booster shots. The article acknowledges what many would agree with: “Several studies have found that while mRNA booster shots have been successful at preventing hospitalization and death, their effectiveness against infections is waning.”

Vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna are all in for more boosters as more shots translate into more billions to the company and more C-Suite billionaires. Both vaccine makers have asked the FDA for emergency use authorization for second boosters, for adults age 65 years and older in the case of Pfizer and for all adults for Moderna. How soon until they are seeking authorization for a third or fourth booster? When does it all end?

YouTube screen grab

Who actually needs a booster injection, much less a second booster? Vaccine immunity rapidly diminishes, hence the push for boosters. Forbes notes: “More evidence has emerged that immunity to Covid-19 is quick to fade—in people of all ages, but more so for the old than the young.” A recently published British study, discovered that the prevalence of COVID antibodies across England dropped more than 26 percent in three months.

What’s missing from this discussion is the well-known concept of natural immunity, where exposure to an infectious agent causes the immune system of the affected individual to acquire both humoral and cellular immunity, which is often long lasting, perhaps an entire lifetime.

Individuals afflicted with the SARS infection in 2003 still have antibodies in their systems, now almost 20 years later. It’s safe to assume a comparable long-lasting immune response to those infected with COVID, as it is a similar virus. Acting FDA commissioner Dr Janet Woodcock says: “Most Americans will be exposed to the virus” with resulting natural immunity, which is why COVID will end as a pandemic, and become endemic like the seasonal flu.

Do these individuals need one, two, or more boosters on top of natural immunity? Do the benefits of boosters, on top of natural immunity, outweigh the risks of a vaccine-induced adverse event? Is this even being considered or discussed?

Natural immunity, acquired through a respiratory infection, also provides mucosal immunity. Vaccine immunity, the vaccine being administered into the body, results in blood circulating antibodies which are not triggered until someone has COVID infection within their body. Mucosal immunity can step in upon exposure to the virus, a first line of defense, preventing systemic infection.

Think of protecting a building on a large property. Blood-based immunity protects the building only, but mucosal immunity protects the property, stopping invaders long before they even reach the building.

I must add the standard and necessary disclaimer that I am not anti-vaccine, having been personally fully vaccinated. Nor am I offering medical advice, only an analysis of this recent news item. Any vaccine decisions should be between you and your physician based on a thoughtful analysis of risks and benefits, as is standard for any medical intervention.

As this paper in Clinical Microbiology and Infection explains: “The rationale for the early mucosal immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 starts with its entry and early replication in upper airway mucosal surfaces, especially the nasopharynx.” In other words, a robust first line of defense.

This means that vaccine protection kicks in once one is already infected, rather than stopping the virus in the respiratory tract, preventing it from entering the blood stream and causing infection. As the above mentioned article states, “According to a classic dogma, parenterally administered vaccines against mucosal pathogens induce primarily serum antibodies, but are poorly capable of generating protective mucosal immunity, at the pathogen entry site.”

Who should then receive a booster injection? Everyone or only those at higher risk of infection, hospitalization, and death, where the added protection outweighs the risk of a vaccine induced adverse event such as a blood clot or stroke.

As the NY Times article notes:

One reason older adults may benefit from an additional booster shot is because as the immune system ages, it tends to weaken and does not produce the same quantity or quality of antibodies as it did when it was younger. On top of that, older adults often have other medical conditions that take up the body’s attention, putting them at higher risk of severe disease.

In other words, protect the vulnerable, don’t simply vaccinate everyone. Shingles and pneumococcus vaccines are available for older individuals but are not recommended for the young and healthy, including children, as their risk of infection is extremely low.

Otherwise, we are simply treating antibody levels, without providing much actual benefit to the vaccinated individual. A New England Journal of Medicine study looked at Israeli health care workers of all ages and found that both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s fourth shots bolstered antibody levels, though they were not very good at preventing infection. Are we treating a lab result or a person?

The blanket approach of vaccinating everyone, regardless of age and health status, is a one size fits all approach that runs contrary to modern medical care.  The FDA describes, “personalized medicine” as: “Decisions about who should get certain kinds of therapies or specific doses of a given therapy, or who should be monitored more carefully because they’re predisposed to a particular safety issue.”

Why is COVID being treated differently? From the beginning, an alternative approach could have been to protect and isolate those at high risk, offering therapeutics, even if not validated by lengthy randomized prospective clinical trials, to others, allowing natural immunity to grow and eventually protect most of population.

This is how we approach other infectious diseases, yet with COVID the old rules went out the window, replaced by draconian lockdowns, business closures, and mandates. Now we are learning, as Johns Hopkins University researchers reported,

Lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted. In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.

How soon until we learn the same about the endless stream of vaccine boosters, particularly for those at low-risk? The blatant disregard of past infectious disease policy suggests that these measures were more about control than actually protecting people, leaving a stain on those entrusted to protect our public health.

Brian C. Joondeph, M.D., is a fully vaccinated physician and writer. On Twitter as @retinaldoctor. And on Truth Social as @BrianJoondeph.

MINNESOTA DESCENDANT DEM FOR 40 YEARS OF BABY CAKE!!!

MARCH 28, 2022 BY JOHN HINDERAKER at PowerLine:

FLORIDA ASCENDANT

People vote most sincerely when they vote with their feet. One of the basic realities of our time, transcending and perhaps ultimately overwhelming many of our current political debates, is that people are fleeing blue states and moving to red states. What states are in decline? California, New York, Illinois, Minnesota. What states are prospering? Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah. And above all, Florida.

Current Census Bureau data speak for themselves:

Four of the nation’s top 10 metro areas with the highest population growth last year were in Florida — more than any other state, according to new US Census data.
***
In addition, two Florida counties qualified for the top 10 percentage population growth list.
***
Eight of the top 10 counties with the steepest numerical population declines were either in New York and California, according to the Census data.
***
Los Angeles County lost the most residents with 184,000, while New York County shed roughly 117,000, the numbers released last week show.

Statewide, Florida’s population increased by 211,000 between July 2020 and July 2021, according to the census report — second only to Texas.

California, Illinois and New York registered the sharpest overall population losses last year.

Florida’s growth isn’t mainly retirees. It is a great place to do business:

The US Census also revealed this month that the Sunshine State accounted for more new business applications than any other state.

I have been to Florida four times in the last four months, and can attest that the state is booming. You pretty much have to see Naples, for example, to believe it. It isn’t just economic prosperity, either–Florida has an atmosphere of fun, activity, and freedom that draws people from across the country.

Florida benefits, obviously, from excellent leadership. Governor Ron DeSantis and the state’s Republican legislature have scored another win with the state’s anti-grooming law, which protects small children from being indoctrinated with LGBTQ+ theories in the public schools. Remarkably, liberals have chosen grooming as a hill to die on, as in the Oscars last night, even though polls show the Florida law is supported overwhelmingly by Florida Democrats, let alone Republicans and Independents.

As usual, DeSantis gets the last word:

During remarks ahead of the signing, DeSantis blasted Hollywood elites for repeatedly lying about the bill and claiming it is discriminatory.

“If the same Hollywood elites who upheld degenerates like Harvey Weinstein now oppose our efforts to protect parental rights, I wear that like a badge of honor,” DeSantis said.

The exodus of voters from blue states to red states is one of several demographic trends that bode well for conservatives in future decades.