Is inflation “abnormally high” given our epic budget deficits?

Pravda says “The U.S. is now two years into abnormally high inflation“:

But wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that we have roughly the inflation that we should expect given the level of deficit spending that we voted for? To prevent runaway inflation, the EU established a deficit limit of 3% of GDP for member countries and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 60%. The US deficit has been 5-15% since 2020 and was higher than 3% before that:

U.S. debt-to-GDP is 115 percent, according to the World Bank (compare to 45ish percent in Germany and Korea and 92 percent in over-the-EU-limit France, the only country with a larger welfare state than the U.S. has).

What’s the news from the New York Times?

U.S. inflation today is drastically different from the price increases that first appeared in 2021, driven by stubborn price increases for services like airfare and child care instead of by the cost of goods.

We can buy as many DVD players as we want, in other words. It is only services that are going to be unaffordable to the non-elite. What percent of the economy is subject to a wage-price spiral, then? 77.6 percent.


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Should Fox News hire Casey DeSantis to replace Tucker Carlson?

As my only exposure to this channel is when walking through FBOs, I’m not an expert on Fox News or the recently departed Tucker Carlson. However, I’m wondering if Fox would be smart to try to replace him with Casey DeSantis, who has experience as a TV newscaster. Here is the kinder/gentler DeSantis in 2021 (source):

Readers who do watch Fox News: will you miss Tucker Carlson and whom should Fox hire as a replacement?

Also, what does Tucker Carlson do for a second act? Wikipedia says that he is 53, so he won’t be ready to run for U.S. president until at least 2045. Could Mr. Carlson succeed in a run for Congress in a district where Fox News viewership is high? Presumably he can never achieve a comparable level of fame/following as what he had on Fox, so why bother trying to reboot as a TV personality?

Also, readers who watch CNN (again, not me, except when passing through some commercial airports): will you miss Don Lemon? The BBC says that he hatefully suggested that men were better at soccer than women, contrary to ChatGPT’s findings. He also dissed my favorite Republican candidate, Nikki Haley, for being “not in her prime” at 51 years old (“prime” for a Democrat is 86, the age that Joe Biden will be when he passes the baton to President Harris in January 2029).


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New York Times coverage of Donald Trump indictment

The New York Times informs us that humanity faces an “existential crisis” and/or “existential threat” due to climate change (2014 example regarding a New York politician). We also face an “existential threat” from coronavirus (NYT Editorial Board, May 24, 2020). Finally, there is the imminent threat of nuclear war (NYT, Oct. 5, 2022).

With humans potentially going extinct from climate change or COVID-19 and/or being killed millions at a time via nuclear weapons, what is today’s most important news? “porn star” occurs twice in the follow screen shot and “hush money” once. From the front page text, in other words, we learn that a sex worker allegedly got paid for having sex and then not talking about it.

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Judaism and modern gender science

“Ancient Judaism Recognized a Range of Genders. It’s Time We Did, Too.” (New York Times, March 18, 2023):

I’m transgender and nonbinary, and as a rabbi I’ve offered bereavement spiritual care for the past 17 years.

There are four genders beyond male or female that appear in ancient Jewish holy texts hundreds of times.

We were always hiding in plain sight, but recently the research of Jewish studies scholars like Max Strassfeld has demonstrated how nonbinary gender is central to understanding Jewish law and literature as a whole.

I have never forgotten this insight [that Judaism is the same as Rainbow Flagism]. Trans people, and especially trans young people, make human uniqueness more visible for everyone. … Trans liberation is a gift to everyone, because it expands the categories for what it means to be human.

The growing wave of anti-trans bills in the United States represents not just a trans crisis, but a humanitarian crisis. History has shown countless times that when a government limits one group’s legal rights, it will eventually do the same to other groups.

I might be accused of having a “trans agenda.” I do. And it’s the same as my religious and my human agenda. I want trans kids, and all young people, to survive.

Because the Science is Settled and no reasonable person could disagree with the above interpretation of Jewish texts, the New York Times has disabled comments on this scholarly work. What would an unreasonable Jew say if he/she/ze/they were allowed to comment? I submitted the NYT article to a friend who has read the Talmud a few times. His response is below (not in quote style for clarity).

Sex-change operations involving the surgical removal of sexual organs are clearly forbidden on the basis of the explicit biblical prohibition, “And that which is mauled or crushed or torn or cut you shall not offer unto the Lord; nor should you do this in your land” (Lev. 22:24). Sterilization of women is also prohibited, as recorded in Even ha-Ezer 5:11.

Rabbi Meir Amsel (Ha-Ma’or, Kislev-Tevet 5733) notes that yet another prohibition is also applicable to sex-change procedures, a consideration which may extend as well to hormone treatment for purposes of sex-change. The commandment “A woman shall not wear that which pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment” (Deut. 22:5) is not limited to the wearing of apparel associated with the opposite sex but encompasses any action uniquely identified with the opposite sex, proscribing, for example, shaving of armpits or dyeing of hair by a male. A procedure designed to transform sexual characteristics violates the very essence of this prohibition.

For Besamim Rosh sexual identity, insofar as marriage is concerned, depends entirely upon the presence of genital organs. No mention is made of the presence or absence of secondary sexual characteristics and indeed it is not difficult to understand why they are deemed irrelevant. Hence, despite the comments of Rabbi Amsel, who asserts that secondary sexual characteristics play a role in sexual identification, there is no evidence that the transformation of secondary sexual characteristics affects sexual status in any way.

There is at least one early source which apparently declares that a male cannot acquire the status of a woman by means of surgery. Rabbi Abraham Hirsch (No’am 5733) cites the comments of Rabbenu Chananel, quoted by Ibn Ezra in his commentary on Leviticus 18:22. Rabbenu Chananel declares that intercourse between a normal male and a male in whom an artificial vagina has been fashioned by means of surgery constitutes sodomy. This would appear to be the case, according to Rabbenu Chananel, even if the male genitalia were removed.

[I find the last paragraph stunning. Wikipedia says that Chananel lived 1000 years ago. How did he anticipate that one day American surgeons would be banking $100,000+ per teenager for creating artificial body parts?]

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The victim who attended private school while dad worked at Goldman

“How Charlie Javice Got JPMorgan to Pay $175 Million for … What Exactly” (NYT, January 21) gives us a window into the thinking of America’s best journalists and also the folks who say that they can beat the S&P 500 with their investment acumen. NYT:

When JPMorgan Chase paid $175 million to acquire a college financial planning company called Frank in September 2021, it heralded the “unique opportunity for deeper engagement” with the five million students Frank worked with at more than 6,000 American institutions of higher education.

“To cash in, Javice decided to lie,” the suit said. “Including lying about Frank’s success, Frank’s size and the depth of Frank’s market penetration.” Ms. Javice, through her lawyer, has said the bank’s claims are untrue.

JPMorgan’s legal filing reads like pulp nonfiction, with jaw-dropping accusations. Among them: that Ms. Javice and Olivier Amar, Frank’s chief growth and acquisition officer, faked their customer list and hired a data science professor to help pull the wool over the eyes of the bank’s due-diligence team.

When Frank was born, in 2016, Ms. Javice was 24 years old, displayed great media savvy and claimed to have real-world experience with financial aid and the struggle to pay for college. “It’s grueling, it’s emotional,” she told The Daily Pennsylvanian, a student newspaper at the University of Pennsylvania, adding that her mother would frequently cry while talking to financial aid officers.

Ms. Javice’s personal story — and pledge to cut through the painful thicket of government forms, jargon and regulations surrounding the aid process — must have made compelling reading for angel investors and venture capitalists. Especially those who have little firsthand knowledge of how financial aid actually works.

Ms. Javice’s career helping others began, in her telling, on the border of Thailand and Myanmar. She spent time volunteering there one summer, between terms at her private high school in Westchester County, N.Y.

Ms. Javice has said she needed help herself while she was an undergraduate at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where she quickly drew notice by appearing on Fast Company’s 2011 list of the 100 most creative people in business.

There, she was on financial aid, and she found the forms confusing. So did her parents, according to an interview she gave to Diversity Woman magazine — including her father, Didier, who has worked on Wall Street for more than 35 years, with 11 years at Goldman Sachs and three at Merrill Lynch, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Ms. Javice appeared on the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 finance list. Then she made the Crain’s New York Business 40 Under 40 list. “Javice has done her homework,” the Crain’s article said.

In other words, the smartest people at Penn, in American business journalism, and on Wall Street accepted that someone who attended “private high school” while Dad worked at Goldman was a rags-to-riches heroine and a member of two victimhood classes: women and poor people.

(Separately, can the New York Times sue Diversity Woman magazine for trademark infringement?


  • Equity Funding fraud, in which Californians with a mainframe computer generated fictitious insurance policies (movie version stars suppressed-on-Twitter coronaheretic James Woods!); a good reminder that California was famous for fraud before it became famous for righteousness, lockdowns, school closures, mask orders, vaccine papers checks, and homeless encampments!
  • “Why Women-Owned Startups Are a Better Bet” (from the big Harvard MBA brains at Boston Consulting Group) says that all you need to do to outperform the S&P 500 is invest in female-founded companies such as Ms. Javice’s: “businesses founded by women ultimately deliver higher revenue—more than twice as much per dollar invested—than those founded by men”
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Climate change alarmists are alarmed that China’s population has leveled off at 1.4 billion

The New York Times likes to remind us that we’re facing a climate emergency and/or a climate crisis. Our beloved Spaceship Earth has been infested with too many humans, each of whom emits too much CO2. Last week, however, China released stats showing that the population has leveled off at 1.4 billion. The good old days:

Today, however, “China’s Population Falls, Heralding a Demographic Crisis” (NYT):

The world’s most populous country has reached a pivotal moment: China’s population has begun to shrink, after a steady, yearslong decline in its birthrate that experts say is irreversible.

Now, facing a population decline, coupled with a long-running rise in life expectancy, the country is being thrust into a demographic crisis that will have consequences not just for China and its economy but for the world.

The entire world is at risk due to China’s failure to push from 1.4 billion up toward 2.8 billion. Because the planet is in a crisis, “her body her choice” is no longer acceptable. Potentially pregnant people who refuse to do their share will be named and shamed:

“I can’t bear the responsibility for giving birth to a life,” said Luna Zhu, 28, who lives in Beijing with her husband. Both their parents would be willing to take care of grandchildren, and she works for a state-owned enterprise that offers a good maternity leave package. Still, Ms. Zhu is not interested in motherhood.

The news is not all bad. If you’re concerned about eliminating your credit card debt or the availability of a “final expense” insurance policy, phone calls from the subcontinent (with local caller ID) should continue to flood in:

Meanwhile, India’s total population is poised to exceed China’s later this year, according to a recent estimate from the United Nations.

Circling back to the first point… how can people who say that their first concern is a climate emergency also characterize a falling human population anywhere in the world as a “crisis”?


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World Economic Forum as covered by the New York Times and the Daily Mail

Our lab director at MIT went to Davos back in the 1990s and then worked it into every conversation for the next 12 months. If you said “pass the salt please” he would respond “That reminds me of when Bill Gates asked me to pass him the salt at Davos.”

What’s going on this year? The billionaire CEO of Moderna give us his opinion of the peasants who funded his elite lifestyle with their tax dollars:

Let’s see how the World Economic Forum, which concludes today, is covered in the New York Times. Donald Trump, Greta Thunberg, and Climate Change are the stars (Trump featured twice!):

For some reason, all of the articles on this page are from 2020 (SARS-CoV-2 thanked these elites for gathering/dispersing in January 2020, no doubt!). From this week’s Gulfstream-enabled event in Davos, “As Humanitarian Crises Escalate, So Do Demands to End Them”:

David Miliband, head of the International Rescue Committee, says the global refugee crisis “is manageable, not insoluble.”

The group, whose founding was precipitated in the 1930s by Albert Einstein, a refugee himself, deploys more than 40,000 staff members and volunteers in 40 countries.

[the refugee crisis] is, right now, concentrated in relatively few countries. It’s about a hundred million people. The number has more or less tripled in the last decade. If you listened to some media, you’d think that Western Europe or Britain or America host most refugees. They don’t. Most are in countries like Lebanon or Jordan or Turkey or Bangladesh or Uganda.

But it can be managed. The refugee crisis is one of the global risks, alongside climate and health pandemics, that have been monstrously undermanaged and mismanaged in this phase of globalization these past 20 years.

My message to the people going to Davos is that if they are to continue to reap the benefits of globalization, they have to be willing to bear the burdens of globalization. The “burdens” refer to those who make the rules for how the world deals with the transnational needs that arise in a connected world.

What has caused the number of refugees to triple in the last 20 years?

Well, we know the answer to that. Civil wars. They represent 80 percent of the driver of humanitarian need. Second, the climate crisis, which for many people is a contributor to conflict and the flight of people. But the fundamental reason we have more refugees is that we’ve had more, longer and more virulent civil wars around the world

Once all of the folks who fought civil wars against each other have migrated to Europe and the U.S. they will be content and will stop fighting?

Let’s turn to the Daily Mail“Prostitutes gather in Davos for annual meeting of global elite – where demand for sexual services rockets during economic summit”:

One sex worker named Liana said she dresses in business attire so she doesn’t stand out among the executives, despite prostitution being legal in Switzerland.

She told Bild she regularly sees an American who visits Switzerland multiple times a year and is among the 2,700 conference attendees.

Liana charges around €700 ($760) for an hour and €2,300 ($2,500) for the whole night, plus travel expenses.

The manager of one escort service in Aargau, 100 miles away from the summit, says she has already received 11 bookings and 25 inquiries – and expects many more to follow this week.

She told 20 Minuten: ‘Some also book escorts for themselves and their employees to party in the hotel suite.’

In 2020, an investigation by The Times found at least 100 prostitutes travel to Davos for the summit according to a Swiss police officer.

(Fact check: Wikipedia says “Prostitution in Switzerland is legal and regulated; it has been legal since 1942.”)

Are these journalists going to the same event?

Readers: What’s been interesting to you regarding the World Economic Forum/Davos 2023? Can you please use the comment section to post your favorite video clips of people talking there? The defrosted Al Gore, for example.


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Pre-Kwanzaa advice about outdoor Covid transmission from NPR

From state-sponsored NPR, today:

Summary: If you’re hosting an outdoor Kwanzaa event, ask guests to take a rapid covid test and beware of tents. Also, be sure to follow Anthony Fauci’s advice (spring 2020) and rely on a colorful cloth mask for protection against an aerosol virus.

Separately, please pray to Maulana Karenga for us here in Jupiter, Florida. The overnight low on Friday is forecast to be 41 degrees and many of us don’t have long pants available (warms up to a high of 67/low of 60 for the first day of Kwanzaa).

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Many of us died and were resurrected (New York Times)

Avoid humans who are breathing and also those who aren’t breathing, says “The Coronavirus May Spread From Corpses, Scientists Report” (NYT, today):

Like a zombie in a horror film, the coronavirus can persist in the bodies of infected patients well after death, even spreading to others, according to two startling studies.

While transmission from corpses is not likely to be a major factor in the pandemic, bereaved family members should exercise caution, experts said.

Also of interest:

Up to 70 percent of those infected with Ebola die, compared with about 3 percent of those diagnosed with Covid-19.

“Most of Us Have Had Covid” (NYT, April 2022) says that 60 percent of us have had Covid-19 (almost any symptom plus a positive test = a diagnosis of Covid-19 according to UpToDate). So at least 6 million Americans have died from Covid-19 (333 million population times 60 percent times 3 percent). But only 1.1 million of us have died with an official Covid-19 tag. So roughly 5 million of us have died and been resurrected.

Maybe the answer is that the NYT is quoting the rate for deplorably unvaccinated people. But Sweden famously let the virus rage in 2020, before vaccines were available, sheltering only a small portion of the population (those in nursing homes), and 3 percent of Swedes did not die. (In fact, as noted recently, Sweden had a lower percentage of excess deaths than European nations that were celebrated for their virtuous lockdowns and mask orders.)

Is it time to thank Jesus for this miracle of resurrection?

Speaking of miracles and Christmas, here are some folks relying on cloth and simple surgical masks (per Dr. Fauci) to protect them against an aerosol virus after entering a crowded casino (Bellagio, December 12, 2022):

Note the subject who wears a full beard in order to ensure optimum sealing between mask and face. What was so important that these Covid-concerned folks were forced to enter the Bellagio, whose ventilation system does not even vent out the cigarette smoke much less the devious SARS-CoV-2 particles? Bears on Coke:


  • “Homelessness is linked to a higher risk of death from COVID in L.A. County, study shows” (UCLA, 12/14/2022): “256 COVID-related deaths among an estimated 52,000 people experiencing homelessness, or PEH, between January 1, 2020, and November 1, 2021.” In other words, in a population that had no practical way to avoid COVID-19 during the pre-vaccination period (no suburban bunker in which to retreat) and that had generally terrible health to begin with, 0.5% died
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Despite privilege, a tall white man leads a “life of struggle”

The New York Times, which previously informed us how easy white men had everything, regarding our most noble citizen… “After a Life of Struggle, Biden Faces One More Inflection Point”:

Before heading into a community center for a campaign rally the other day, President Biden stopped to speak to the overflow crowd

Faith has been Mr. Biden’s calling card in his nearly two years in office — faith in the system in which he has been a fixture for more than half a century, faith that he could repair the fissures of a broken society, faith that he and he alone could beat former President Donald J. Trump if they face off again in 2024.

Biden is a man of faith and draws overflow crowds.

The presidency he envisioned, one where he presided over a moment of reconciliation, is not the presidency he has gotten.

Saying that anyone who votes for a Republican is traitorously ending our democracy did not work for reconciliation?

To whom can this greatest of living men be compared?

Like other presidents in stressful moments, he has turned to Abraham Lincoln for inspiration.

Abe Lincoln had only a battle to fight…

“One possible lesson for President Biden, who’s engaged in a profound battle to preserve the Constitution and the rule of law, is that moral commitment matters and can prevail, no matter how difficult the struggle,”

Noble Joe has a profound battle against the enemies of the Constitution and the rule of law (who might those be?).

But if he takes a licking on Tuesday, aides said, he will own it and move ahead. In a life of falling and getting back up, it would be one more stumble, not the end.

What would it mean for Joe Biden to “own” the Democrats’ defeat in some House, Senate, and Gubernatorial races? Surely he would not admit doubt in the Rainbow Flag religion. Would he unforgive everyone’s student loans? Would he say that some abortion care for pregnant people is not reproductive health care?

Circling back to the headline, does it make sense to characterized Joe Biden’s life as one of remarkable struggle? If so, why couldn’t he have used his white male privilege to avoid that struggle?

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