When does the next wave of COVID-19 death start in Australia?

If you ask Google about “Australian open tennis”, the noble software defaults to showing “women’s singles”:

Note that uber-hater Margaret Court is highlighted at the bottom. From the Daily Mail:

In 2017, Court – a Christian pastor – shocked countless tennis identities and supporters after she boldly declared the sport was ‘full of lesbians’.

She also previously labelled gay marriage ‘a trend’ and the 24-time Grand Slam winner stunned many in tennis circles after stating her belief that transgender athletes have no place in professional sport.

If we click on “men’s singles”, we learn that Djokovic has been out in the wild infected Australians with his unvaccinated body:

A Scientist in the audience shouted “get vaccinated mate” at the ailing Serb last week (Daily Mail), but there is no evidence that Djokovic heeded this commonsense call.

What’s the latest Science on shots for someone such as Djokovic who has previously recovered from Long COVID? “Boosters do not work in people who have had COVID” (Dr. Hater Vinay Prasad):

This paper is a population based observational analysis of boosting, but restricted to people who had COVID. Austria has pretty good records and pretty good testing, but not perfect.

First these authors actually report, all cause death, and it is lower in boosted groups. They write, “All-cause mortality data indicate modest healthy vaccine bias.”

(people who get vaccinated tend to have been healthier to begin with)

And, “No individual younger than 40 years died due to COVID-19. “

(Djokovic is 36, so if he were Austrian he would be safe.)

Combining all of the above, Australians aren’t safe from death even if they’re boosted and an unvaccinated Djokovic is polluting the air with SARS-CoV-2 virus. When do vaccinated-and-boosted Australians over 40 begin dying in massive waves?

Related:

  • “‘How ironic’: Anti-vaxxers hijack tragic Aus Open death” (News.com.au): Heartless anti-vaxxers have hijacked the death of a much-loved British sports reporter who collapsed in Melbourne while covering the Australian Open. The family of UK Daily Mail sports journalist Mike Dickson, 59, announced his sudden death late Wednesday evening. “We are devastated to announce that our wonderful husband and Dad, Mike, has collapsed and died while in Melbourne for the Aus Open,” they shared in a statement. … “Journalist who tried to cancel Novak over not taking the Covid shots, collapses and dies suddenly. He was fully vaccinated,” Erin Elizabeth, a health blogger and anti-vaccine activist, said. … “The journalist who bullied Novak Djokovic for two years because he didn’t want to participate in the human experiment has now ‘suddenly and unexpectedly passed away’,” he wrote. “Maybe this wouldn’t have happened if he were unvaccinated.”
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Immigration and rent are both at all-time highs

New York Times notes that the U.S. working class is suffering from having to pay “record rent”:

Unaffordable rents are changing low-income life, blighting the prospects of not only the poor but also growing shares of the lower middle class after decades in which rent increases have outpaced income growth.

Nearly two-thirds of households in the bottom 20 percent of incomes face “severe cost burdens,” meaning they pay more than half of their income for rent and utilities, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Among working-class renters — the 20 percent of people in the next level up the income scale — the share with severe burdens has nearly tripled in two decades to 17 percent.

What else has gone up in two decades? “In October 2023, the Foreign-Born Share Was the Highest in History” (Center for Immigration StudiesLow-immigration, Pro-immigrant):

  • In October 2023, the CPS shows that 15 percent of the U.S. population is now foreign-born — higher than any U.S. government survey or census has ever recorded.
  • The 49.5 million foreign-born residents (legal and illegal) in October 2023 is also a new record high.

I question the calculation above because it uses what is likely a flawed methodology for counting undocumented immigrants (hatefully referred to as “illegal”). I think that the 49.5 million immigrants depicted above include an estimated 12.3 million undocumented immigrants. This Yale study says that 10 years ago were were hosting approximately 22 million of the undocumented, but the error bars were substantial. Via the Yale methodology, the correct number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. would be roughly 30 million and the total number of immigrants would be close to 70 million, not 49.5 million.

We have to scroll through about 20 screens to read the entire NYT article. The reporter is described as having “written extensively about poverty, class, and immigration”. Yet neither immigration or population growth is considered in the article, even long enough to be dismissed, as a potential factor in the high rent.

Perhaps the native-born can buy instead of rent? “The Math for Buying a Home No Longer Works. These Charts Show You Why.” (Wall Street Journal, Dec 11, 2023):

Neither immigration nor population growth is mentioned in the WSJ.

What about the unhoused lifestyle, hatefully referred to by the New York Times as “homelessness”:

An annual head count, conducted in January, found the homeless population had increased by more than 70,000 people, or 12 percent. That is the single largest one-year jump since the Department of Housing and Urban Development began collecting data in 2007, and the increase affected many different segments of the population.

By the government’s count, 653,104 people in the United States were homeless in January.

“The most significant causes are the shortage of affordable homes and the high cost of housing,” said Jeff Olivet, head of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.

But some researchers argued that much of the rise stemmed from the surging numbers of migrants entering the United States, noting a sharp growth in homelessness in the most affected cities, including New York, Denver, and Chicago.

“To me, the story is the migrant crisis,” said Dennis Culhane, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has long served as an adviser to the federal government’s annual count. “Even without the migrant crisis we would have seen some increase, but certainly not to this extent.”

Homelessness grew among every group the federal government tracks. It rose among individuals and families with children. It rose among the young and the old. It rose among the chronically homeless and those entering the system for the first time.

It also rose among veterans, the group that in recent years had experienced the sharpest declines, after a significant expansion of federal aid.

I am stunned that migrants got a cameo in the NYT!

Update, December 19, from the NYT… “As Need Rises, Housing Aid Hits Lowest Level in Nearly 25 Years”:

As the safety net has expanded over the past generation, the food stamp rolls have doubled, Medicaid enrollment has tripled and payments from the earned-income tax credit have nearly quadrupled.

But one major form of aid has grown more scarce.

After decades of rising rents, housing assistance for the poorest tenants has fallen to the lowest level in nearly a quarter-century. The three main federal programs for the neediest renters — public housing, Section 8, and Housing Choice Vouchers — serve 287,000 fewer households than they did at their peak in 2004, a new analysis shows. That is a 6 percent drop, while the number of eligible households without aid grew by about a quarter, to 15 million.

The first paragraph is interesting. From the NYT’s perspective, it is great news that 2-3X as many Americans are welfare-dependent. There is, certainly, no possibility that we could run out of other people’s money.

In the past 40 years, entitlements have grown 15 times as fast as discretionary programs outside of defense, Robert Greenstein of the Brookings Institution has found. “The fact that housing aid is discretionary has really hindered its growth,” he said.

More than 19 million households qualify for rental aid by having “very low incomes”— half the local median or less — but only 4.3 million get help. (In Charleston, a very low income for a family of four is less than about $49,000.)

Loyal readers will be familiar with my inability to understand how we can support this kind of inequality. We take 19 million households, all more or less similar in terms of how poor they are and how much effort they put into working. We select 4 million of them to get free housing and tell 15 million to go pound sound (or crash at a relative’s apartment). If housing is a human right, why wouldn’t we give free houses to all 19 million? If housing is not a human right, why do we give free houses to 4 million households?

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Boston Tea Party anniversary

Today is the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. Some perspective from the Brits:

The ‘Sons of Liberty’ were essentially the henchmen of the rich smuggler-barons who were faced with ruin

At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday December 16, 1773, a group of between 100 and 150 Americans raided three East India Company merchantmen moored in Boston and threw 92,000 lb of tea (worth $1.7 million in today’s terms) into the harbor. A central part of the American founding story, the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party is being commemorated this month as a key moment when patriotic Americans fought back against the greedy British and their oppressive taxation policies that forced up prices on commodities such as tea, which in turn led to the American Revolution.

Far from increasing the price for American consumers, the taxed East India tea was going to be sold for about half the $1 that they were then paying for a pound of tea. The only people who were going to lose out were the smuggler-barons of Boston, New York and Pennsylvania who employed the “Patriots” who attacked the vessels. As the historian Charles Arnold-Baker has pointed out, “The Boston Tea Party was essentially a private operation for the benefit of racketeers,” rather than the action of selfless citizens.

When the first of the three ships carrying tea arrived at Boston harbor on November 28, 1773, the merchant-smugglers had no trouble in whipping up a mob, largely made up of their own employees, to prevent the tea being offloaded, which by law had to happen within twenty days of docking. The duty had to be paid on offloading, otherwise customs had the right to seize it. If that happened it would have to be sold on the quayside for knockdown prices, and the Boston merchant-smugglers would have lost the lucrative tea part of their business. So the next day they called a mass meeting of the so-called Sons of Liberty, demanding that the tea be sent back to England without the tax being paid.

Where do Elizabeth Warren and Justin Trudeau come into the story?

In the highly coordinated assault on December 16, three well-organized teams, dressed as Mohawk Native Americans and using soot for “blackface” in order to increase deniability in court, raided the ships, hatcheted open the 342 chests of tea and threw it overboard, all in under two hours. The efficiency of the operation points to it having been organized in advance by the Boston merchant-smugglers, rather than being a popular uprising of the outraged citizenry, as the American founding myth claims.

The articles asks a big question:

The Boston Tea Party was the spark that ignited the American Revolution. But far from being a spontaneous uprising of ordinary Americans angry at high taxes and prices, as it has been portrayed for a quarter of a millennium, it was, in fact, a well-organized assault by smuggler-barons and their henchmen against a government attempt to halve the price of one of New England’s major commodities. One wonders what would have happened if only Governor Hutchinson had put an adequate armed guard on the ships.

Given the enormous potential for financial gain of getting around the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which limited how much land the evil white European settlers could steal from the noble indigenous tribes, I don’t think a failure to have a Tea Party would have changed the course of history, as the article suggests.

Illustration of the inflation-free economy that we’ve been able to build under self-governance:

Related:

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Who wants to meet at the Las Vegas Formula 1 practice? (Thursday)

I’m between expert witness appointments in Los Angeles and Montreal on Thursday, November 16 so I’m joining a friend (a brilliant patent litigator from Manhattan who retired to Las Vegas) at the practice that evening. We’re in the West Harmon section. Tickets in this section on the Ticketmaster resale market, after all of the fee scams, are about $215. If anyone wants to meet, maybe for breakfast on Friday morning or in the afternoon on Thursday or at the event itself, please email philg@mit.edu.

Separately, speaking of fee scams, here’s a snapshot from a hotel search:

Expedia says that it is a $24 hotel room. In the fine print, though, it turns out to cost $71. Blame the tax man/tax woman/tax non-binary human? No. The resort fee is $44, nearly double the purported cost of the room! Is it a fabulous resort with a lazy river for the kids? No! It’s the run-down Rio Hotel & Casino, whose pool is actually closed after October 1. A recent Google review of the “resort”:

What can I say. The Rio has impressed me this time. They took a bar that was set really low and managed to lower that bar lower.
So at least they give you choices. Masquerade section comes with 5 minutes of hot water, old carpeting, a window view from inside and outside of the bathroom, 1997 model phone, holes around the tub that have rotted out, plus people painting the exterior and driving in 3 inch screws at 10 at night.
Or you can choose the freshly remodeled beautiful rooms in the other tower with a jackhammer going off at 6am with no water at all in the morning.
Mind you some wait times to check in are over an hour.
We have 10 rooms here and not one is even close to being acceptable.
I only visit for work. I would never spend my money for this experience.
One good note. Housekeeping does the best with what they have to work with.

From two months ago, a verified guest:

It smelled like mildew. I called the front desk several times but nobody ever picked up.It took minimum of 30 minutes to wait for an elevator because most of the elevators didnt work.

From a week ago:

Rooms need renovations. Wi-Fi is abysmal. Resort fee for closed pool and broken WiFi

I think that I will pay up for the Hilton instead! ($25 resort fee, but it doesn’t feel like as much of a scam because the room itself is $122)

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The Money Illusion in the Wall Street Journal

Here’s an article from the people who claim that they’re smart about money:

As in many states, more Alaskans are without shelter due to rising housing costs. Average home values in Anchorage have grown 20% since 2019 to about $377,000, according to Zillow.

“grown 20%”? The BLS says that inflation since 2019 is about 22 percent:

So the average home value in Anchorage is, in real dollars, less than it was in 2019 (and yet lower if we think that official CPI understates our lived experience of inflation). This shows how powerful the Money Illusion is, even for journalists and editors whose job is to write about money.

Separately, how many of the homeless have documents that are sufficient to get through TSA screening?

Some are being offered one-way tickets to the Lower 48 states. “My focus is keeping people from freezing to death,” said Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson.

What’s the budget impact of this? If Anchorage sends a homeless person to San Francisco, Anchorage pays $500 for the plane ticket and San Francisco pays over $100,000 per year. (It was $106,500 per homeless individual in 2021 dollars, according to Hoover.)

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When do we get HAMR disk drives for desktop PCs?

Happy Fall 2023! Will this be the season of 32 TB Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) hard drives for desktop PCs? The first 32 TB drives were shipped by Seagate for enterprise customers back in July. When is it the peasantry’s turn and could this be the season for building a new PC? Intel is supposedly shipping its new Meteor Lake CPUs by December, but they’re only for laptops (source). The GPU shortage is purportedly over, despite AI taking over everything (source).

In the meantime, you could show your commitment to the state religion by purchasing 16 Pride Drives, 2 TB each, from Seagate:

(Does this prove that 2SLGBTQQIA+ people are discriminated against? Cisgender heterosexuals can get reasonably priced 22 TB hard drives while the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community must pay a high price for just 2 TB of storage.)

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Equity lesson from the US Open

The kids got an #equity lesson last night watching the ATP part of the U.S. Open tennis tournament. When it was their bedtime, I explained that at this point (2 sets won) Medvedev could go home if he identified as a woman and played in the “women’s tennis” tournament (3 sets per match). But because he identifies as a man he will have to keep working for the same money (5 sets per match in the ATP tournament).

Ultimately, Medvedev was forced to play 4 sets to earn the same compensation that a woman in the female-only part of the tournament would earn for playing 2.

The unvaccinated Djokovic beat the 20-year-old University of Florida tennis star Ben Shelton. Because coerced COVID vaccination is illegal in Florida and tennis players have a record of Science-rejection, it seems likely that the entire court was Moderna-free on what was “Moderna night” at the U.S. open.

Here’s a head-scratcher: for whom will the righteous root in the ATP final? Djokovic, the vaccine-rejecting Deplorable? Or Medvedev, the Russian national (presented on screen as a player without a flag or country; both he and Djokovic live in tax-free Monaco)?

Related… “Fifty years ago, the US Open became the first sporting event in history to offer equal prize money for men and women competitors, and this anniversary will be the central theme of the 2023 US Open.” (source)

Project for loyal readers: See if you can find us a photo of Djokovic standing in front of a Moderna ad!

Here’s something confusing… the latest ATP rulebook says that players have to identify as “male” to play. No surgery or hormones are required, but the gender ID must be “male”. If the Women’s Tennis Association is restricted to “women” and ATP is restricted to “male”, where can players who identify with the other 72 genders recognized by Science compete?

What are the open-to-all-genders sports leagues, then? NFL, NBA, MLB, PGA, NHL, FIFA Soccer?

Related:

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How’s the Gender Pay Gap doing one quarter of the way through Joe Biden’s reign?

Happy Labor Day for readers who irrationally choose to work rather than enjoy the welfare lifestyle (analysis of spending power).

We’re about one quarter of the way through the glorious reign of Joe Biden. How’s the gender pay gap doing? The Wall Street Journal:

How are these folks surviving in D.C. unless they’re getting bribes from foreign governments and companies anxious to get favors from the central planners?

The median man on Mr. Biden’s staff earns $105,000, while the median woman gets only $84,000.

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Keeping the faith in Chicago

Due to a business appointment in Los Angeles right after Oshkosh and the uncertainty of how long it might take to cross the Rockies in the Cirrus SR20 (a day if the weather is clear and winds aloft are calm or a week, if climate change has generated clouds and strong winds at 12,000′ (turbulence and downdrafts on the lee side), I decided to fly United out of Chicago’s O’Hare airport. A 35-year-old single friend and I departed EAA AirVenture on Saturday and we pondered our options for an overnight visit to Chicagoland. My default destination is the Art Institute, so I suggested downtown. This was not appealing to him. We ended up in the northern suburbs of Deerfield and Northbrook, which happens to be where a second cousin of mine lives with her husband. During a visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden, they said that they wanted to move out of Illinois due to a reduced quality of life that began in 2020 and was continuing to slide downward. They almost never went into the city anymore due to a perception that the risk of crime was now too high. Even their posh suburb had suffered from retail space vacancies (half the stores in a strip mall where we ate dinner (at House 406) were vacant).

They’re stuck in Illinois/suburban Chicago for now due to the need to care for elderly relatives, but perhaps eventually they can escape before they need to pay the state’s $211 billion in unfunded pension liabilities (that’s about $17,500 per current resident, so perhaps Joe Biden can fix via executive order? It’s not that different from the student loan obligations he sought to transfer to the working class).

What interests me is that witnessing and noting the sharp decline that began during the lockdowns did not shake my cousin’s or her husband’s faith in Faucism. They continue to believe in Science-driven lockdowns, school closures, mask orders, and vaccine coercion. Nor has their perception of increased crime and disorder in Democrat-governed Chicago within Democrat-governed Illinois caused them to question their 100-percent confidence in government by Democrats. Their stated perception is that various places in Florida offer magnificent lifestyle and infrastructure benefits compared to suburban Chicago, but they would never move to Florida “because of politics.” What do they think would pull the city of Chicago out of what they say has been a nosedive starting in 2020? “The city doesn’t spend enough on the poor. There are too many people in Chicago for whom going to prison isn’t that big a difference compared to their current life so they have no incentive to stay out.”

The value of their house is perhaps 30 percent lower than it would be if Chicago were safe and vibrant and rich Chicagoans hadn’t moved to Florida. So this has literally hit them where they live and yet their faith remains as strong as ever.

One of my pet theories is that Americans’ political beliefs are actually religious beliefs, not subject to rational analysis. I relate the above story because it confirms my pet theory. I.e., like any good Scientist, I like to follow confirmation bias.

Some photos from the Botanic Garden:

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Airparks I learned about at Oshkosh

The young aviator dreams of having his/her/zir/their own plane. The old aviator dreams of living at the airport. One thing that I enjoy at Oshkosh is learning about new airparks. The one that seems to have the most promise for Florida residents is Big South Fork Airpark, which offers through-the-fence access to a public 5,500′ runway in personal-income-tax-free Tennessee just north of Knoxville. KSCX is indeed right next to some mountains, but the “numerous strip mines” note on the chart is concerning:

The sales reps said that lots are about $150,000 and their approved local builders can create a nice house for $200 per square foot ($500/ft. is more like it in South Florida!). Here’s the plan:

An instrument approach to this runway gets down to about 250′ above the runway and requires only 1 mile of visibility. When the runway needs repaving, the FAA will pay for it out of aviation fuel taxes that pilots and aircraft owners are already paying.

For pilots in the frigid Northeast, Kaynoa in the Dominican Republic might be a more attractive choice. It’s a 4,000′ runway and the homeowners will have to pay to repave it. The renderings look good! (Flying has an article with some photos of what it actually looks like.)

Speaking of Flying, their own project’s web site still says “coming in 2023”. This airpark is near Chattanooga.

(Note that Floridians enjoy much stronger protection against a state personal income tax, which is barred by the state constitution, than do Tennesseans. If a future legislature/governor pair in TN decides that more revenue is needed, nothing would stop the state from imposing an income tax.)

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