Sunday, August 29, 2021

Crazy and Getting Crazier

There has been nothing that has exemplified the crazy world we live in today better than the increases in the value of used cars.

Prices have fallen slightly recently but are still up 40% compared to two years ago.

 Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, Mid-August, 2021

It is almost as if we are living in Cuba where a 1957 Chevrolet still commands top dollar and not because it is a vintage collectible.


You just don't have a lot of other options in Cuba if you don't want to walk or ride a bicycle.

The Cuban Communist government did not allow any imports of American cars or parts from 1959 to 2016.

That ban has been relaxed but it is still prohibitively expensive to buy a new car in Cuba as this story on Cuba's "classic cars" explains.

New car imports are still highly regulated, and the pricing makes purchasing a car unrealistic for most Cuban locals. The state still has a monopoly on Cuban car sales, which means prices are high. A Peugeot 508 which typically retails at $29,000, costs a whopping $262,000 in Cuba. With the average Cuban citizen earning around $20 a month, it is unlikely that new imported cars are going to be part of a buying boom.

 $262,000 for a Peugeot?

Bernie Sanders and AOC say they want to make the United States more like Cuba?

This firsthand account estimated that 50% of the vehicles on the road in Cuba in 2014 were American cars from the 1940's and 1950's.

We haven’t seen any official estimates, but our back of the envelope guess would be that about 50% of the automobiles on the road in Cuba in 2014 were American cars from the late 40s to 1959. The rest of automobiles we saw were Russian Ladas, French Peugeots or Citroens, Fiats, or cheap models of Japanese and Korean cars.

Prices of used cars has gotten so bad that the price of a year old car is approaching the price of a new car. That is, if you can find a new vehicle.


In June, the median price for a used one-year old car was selling at 94.7% of the price for a new car at dealers.

In 2019, a one-year vehicle was typically selling for 77% of the price of the new car.

Based on reports I have seen, it is not unusual for someone with a two-year old car to be able to get the same price for their used car today as they paid for it new. 

What is causing this?

It appears to be a classic case of supply and demand.

The supply of new cars has been depressed by manufacturing cutbacks as well microchip shortages coming from China and the Far East.

Dealers only have about 1/3 the number of new cars in inventory as they did two years ago.

At the same time, the car rental companies who traditionally supplied a lot of vehicles to the used car market, drastically cut their inventories during the lockdown months of the pandemic. This has now led to high auto rental prices as well as fewer cars going to the used car market.

It is estimated that Ford has fully manufactured 50,000-60,000 Ford 150 pickup that are lacking the necessary microchips that are necessary to send them to dealerships.

A number of these are parked in Kentucky near where they were manufactured in Louisville.

Originally, Ford expected it would be short about 200,000 to 400,000 trucks in 2021. Now, it looks like that figure will explode to 1.1 million vehicles. 

This problem is not limited to the United States.

In the United Kingdom, car production in July was the lowest it has been since 1956!

That might explain this recent ad in London for a "slightly used" 2 year old Range Rover.


At the same time that the supply of vehicles is lacking in the United States, reports are that there are plenty of pickups, trucks and humvees not to mention Blackhawk helicopters, night vision equipment and assault rifles that just became available.

Source: The Sunday Times

I saw one report that it adds up to $85 billion.

Let's out the number in context---it is ten times the annual defense budget of Pakistan.

The Taliban now also have more Blackhawk helicopters than 85% of the countries in the world.

I thought 2020 was crazy.

2021 is starting to make last year look like a walk in the park.

Let's hope we all won't be walking soon from the combination of car prices, gas prices and $85 billion of our military hardware in the hands of a bunch of crazy terrorists.

Friday, August 27, 2021

So Predictable

After I finished writing my blog post today word came out of Kabul regarding the tragic deaths of 13 U.S.military personnel along with at least 18 other wounded service casualties in Afghanistan. 

In light of the import of the events that have transpired I am doing something I have never done before at BeeLine---I am posting two articles within 24 hours.

These brave soldiers were there dealing with the evacuation of American citizens and Afghan allies who were stranded in the country following Joe Biden's abrupt withdrawal plans from the country.

It comes as little surprise. In fact, it was all so predictable.

It was predictable observing Biden during the campaign last year. 

I wrote this in September, 2020 in a blog post title "How Worried Should We Be About Joe Biden?"

As an American, it is deeply troubling if we have a candidate for President who may be in a condition of cognitive decline. This is especially true given the enormous challenges our nation faces right now. If there was ever a time when this country needed strong and determined leadership it is in 2020.

In this election every American is literally putting their life, livelihood, liberty and the legacy of the country on the line with their vote. 

That is an awfully big bet to make on a 78 year old man who seems to have trouble  knowing the difference between 200 and 200 million in a country of 328 million people.

Joe Biden did not have a very impressive record at making smart strategic decisions when he was on top of his game. It was predictable that he would be even worse when he was past his prime.

Every American is now dealing with the reality of what might very well be the single biggest strategic misstep in the nation's history.

It has also resulted in one of the most embarrassing episodes to the reputation of the United States spanning over two centuries.

Every President makes misjudgments and mistakes.

However, the Afghanistan debacle is such a multi-dimensional disaster it is hard to grasp all of the negative ramifications.

We have effectively surrendered a nation to terrorists who do not observe the most basic tenets of human rights or any rights for women.

That nation is now controlled by terrorists who we went to war with 20 years ago which cost us the blood of over 2,300 American deaths and almost 21,000 wounded in action. In total, 775,000 American service men and women served at one time in Afghanistan.

We abandoned advanced military bases, supplies and materials that are now in the hands of the terrorists and will undoubtedly be used against Americans at some point.

We stranded thousands and thousands of Americans in the country as well as tens of thousands of American allies who helped us over the last 20 years. It is still not clear if we are going to stay long enough to get them out. How long will it be before any Americans left will be taken as hostages with the Taliban or other terrorists demanding ransom?

We needed to bring in double the force to evacuate people in the country that we had in the country before the decision was made to withdraw.

We have emboldened every terrorist in the world with our weakness and our fecklessness to our allies.

We completely surprised our NATO allies with our withdrawal execution without consultation beforehand seriously undermining their trust in the USA.

We have provided China with an open invitation to access all of Afghanistan's natural resources and rare earth minerals.

We have allowed Afghanistan to become a future central point for terror plots against the United States and the West by radical Islamists.

We took more deaths today than in the last 20 months in Afghanistan. It also is the deadliest day for military forces in over a decade. 

To make matters worse, for much of the day we heard nothing from Joe Biden who is supposed to be our leader and Commander in Chief.

It was so predictable.

It is so sad that the American people, and especially our brave service people, are paying the price now for those election results from last November.

It is not just the poor decision making. 

It is not even clear who is making the decisions and why Joe Biden is missing in action most of the time in answering questions and taking responsibility for what is going on.

A sampling from Twitter on reactions to a very, very bad day.

We traded "mean tweets" for that?

Consider as well this CBS/YouGov poll from a week ago in which 74% of Americans thought that the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan had gone "very badly" or "somewhat badly".

When I saw this poll earlier this week I wondered who the 5% werr who thought it was going "very well"?

I wonder if they changed their views today?

You now know what I meant when I wrote that every American was putting their life, livelihood, liberty and legacy on the line with their vote last November.

It is so predictable.

I only pray that we are all strong enough to survive what comes next. 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Why? Why? Why?

Many colleges and universities instituted mandates that all students and staff were required to be fully vaccinated against Covid before the Fall semester began.

For example, here is the vaccination policy for the University of Virginia for the 2021/2022 academic year.


The University of Virginia reported that 97% of its students were vaccinated before classes began.

Last week UVA announced that it had disenrolled 238 students for not complying with its vaccine requirement.



Since there is so much talk about requiring vaccine mandates I thought I would check how those policies are working at some of these schools. 

This would seem to be a logical exercise to see how those early mandates are working before putting more mandates in place elsewhere.

How successful have these been been realizing that most students have only been back on campus for a week or two?

Let's look first at UVA.

Last year on August 24, UVA had 6 new cases. No one was vaccinated.

This year they have 15 new cases----a 150% increase. Almost everyone was fully vaccinated.

What about at Duke University which has also mandated vaccines for all students, faculty and staff?

Duke already has had 246 positive cases this month.


That is already a higher number of positive cases than Duke had in the entire Fall semester last year!


Note as well the massive difference in testing numbers compared to the positive test results.

Rice University has had 32 positive cases on campus in the last two weeks where 99% of undergrad students and 92% of faculty and staff are vaccinated. Last year there were less than 10 positive cases at the same point in the semester---a 200% increase.

The positive cases at Rice were revised downwards by about half (to the number shown above) when it was discovered that a number of tests were false positives. The early reports caused Rice to announce they were shifting to all online classes for the first two weeks.


Those early tests showed a 2% positivity rate that caused the shift to online classes. The revised positivity rate is .44% but that is still almost double the .24% that Rice had for the Fall Semester a year ago.

The narrative we hear is that if everyone got vaccinated we would have no problems.

That is supposed to be "the science".

However, these are communities that have almost everyone fully vaccinated and yet cases are much higher than they were last year when no one was vaccinated.

Why? Why? Why?

I keep asking that question.

I also keep wondering how does it makes sense to mandate these vaccines when we look at the data we have?

I also am at a loss as to why a booster shot of the exact same vaccines that are producing these results is a good idea when there has been absolutely no clinical tests of the effects of a third shot administered  within one year to any human being?

I have been on the record in these pages stating that it was my fervent hope that the vaccines would be as safe and effective as advertised.

However, I have also been on record as stating that I will follow the data to see where it takes me.

The national numbers in the United States do not provide much comfort in that regard right now.

New cases (152K) are now the highest since January 29.

New deaths (920) are the highest since March 29.

How often were you told by the "experts" over the last couple of months that what we were seeing was "a pandemic of the unvaccinated" as cases started to climb?

Is that the case on college campuses that have mandated the vaccines and there are almost no one who is unvaccinated? 

What do you call what is happening at Duke, UVA and other schools?

At some point, someone has to admit the obvious.

This is now happening in Israel.

Israel's Covid czar, Dr. Salman Zarka, has admitted that we are in "uncharted territory".

He also came to his conclusion in the same way I have. He is following the data.

“I don’t want to frighten you,” coronavirus czar Dr. Salman Zarka told the Israeli parliament this week. “But this is the data. Unfortunately, the numbers don’t lie.”

The Daily Beast reports on what the data says in Israel as I have reported in these pages before.

The massive surge of COVID-19 infections in Israel, one of the most vaccinated countries on earth, is pointing to a complicated path ahead for America.

In June, there were several days with zero new COVID infections in Israel. The country launched its national vaccination campaign in December last year and has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with 80 percent of citizens above the age of 12 fully inoculated. COVID, most Israelis thought, had been defeated. 

Fast forward two months later: Israel reported 9,831 new diagnosed cases on Tuesday, a hairbreadth away from the worst daily figure ever recorded in the country—10,000—at the peak of the third wave. More than 350 people have died of the disease in the first three weeks of August. In a Sunday press conference, the directors of seven public hospitals announced that they could no longer admit any coronavirus patients. With 670 COVID-19 patients requiring critical care, their wards are overflowing and staff are at breaking point.

Duke. UVA, Rice. Israel.

At what point is it obvious to everyone that something is amiss?

The numbers don't lie.

How long will it be before Biden, Fauci, Walensky and others admit it as well?

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Politics Over Science

The big news on Monday was the FDA approval of the Pfizer Covid vaccine.

The vaccine was approved and the FDA provided a license to Pfizer to manufacture the vaccine as specifically stated in the approval letter as follows.

Under this license, you are authorized to manufacture the product, COVID-19 Vaccine,mRNA, which is indicated for active immunization to prevent coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)in individuals 16 years of age and older. (emphasis added).

What I found interesting in this decision is how clearly this shows how politics is driving almost all of the decisions around Covid, rather than science.

Of course, that is not what we are told. We are told that science is behind every decision.

Let's look at the facts and start with the most important question.

Does the Pfizer vaccine "prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)"?

Let's look at evidence in Israel that has exclusively used the Pfizer vaccine and actually started its mass vaccination program before the United States.

78% of the population of Israel that is eligible to receive the vaccine have been fully vaccinated.

Does this look like evidence of a vaccine that PREVENTS Covid-19?

Compare as well Israel's death rate from confirmed Covid cases with some of its neighbors. Those neighboring countries have all fully vaccinated less than 10% of their populations.

Yes, those countries may not be counting Covid cases and deaths as accurately as Israel.

However, have we ever had a vaccine, where after it was administered to a large share of the population, cases went higher rather than declined?

It defies all known medical history not to mention common sense.

Israel has already started administering booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine to those over age 50.

They took that action after data showed that 90% of new infections are among the highly vaccinated group of those age 50+.

Counter to the narrative we hear in the news in the United States, severe disease in those who are older and fully vaccinated is rising on the same slope as the cases are.


A booster is going to fix this?

Again, when in medical history has any vaccine needed a booster after 6 or 8 months if it was working properly to prevent disease?

Some might point to flu vaccines which are typically annual shots. However, flu vaccines are reformulated every year into a new vaccine meant to target a predicted strain of the flu that is expected that year. Those are not booster shots.

The Pfizer booster shot is exactly the same formula that was given in the first two doses. It has not been reformulated to better target the Delta or any other variant.

In what sane world is the FDA approving a vaccine when it has already been admitted that it does not work as originally authorized?

Another important fact to consider in all of this is that the standard FDA protocol for clinical trials is a two year period of data collection and assessment of the vaccines. This approval is based on only six months of data.

There has never been a faster approval process in the history of the FDA.

Even worse, a normal trial maintains a control group of participants who took the placebo in the original trial so that longer-term implications of the vaccine can be assessed and studied.

In the case of the Pfizer (and other Covid vaccines) the FDA allowed the vaccine makers to "unblind" the placebo participants to be able to take the vaccine for "ethical" considerations.

You might also think that a federal agency like the FDA would not have such blatant conflicts of interest in the drug approval process as they do.

Is it any wonder that the FDA approval process was so fast?

The facts indicate that the Covid vaccines were going to be approved no matter what the data showed. Politics made sure of it.

If you doubt that consider the fact that a concern of the Pfizer and other Covid vaccines has been that they are causing heart issues such as myocarditis and pericarditis.

The FDA approval letter states that they don't have enough data and information to assess known serious risk of these issues with the vaccine.

Therefore, the FDA directs Pfizer in the approval letter to conduct more studies on this risk. However, look at how long it will be before the full risks are known.

There is a scientific reason why clinical trials and approvals are not rushed through in six months.

There also seems to be continuing concern at the FDA about the safety of these vaccines in pregnancy and their effects on infant outcomes.

Recall that in the original Emergency Use Authorization, the FDA specifically did not recommend the vaccine for pregnant women because it had not sufficiently been tested in the clinical trials.

The FDA still seems to have questions involving the risks in pregnancies as this is an additional study that Pfizer is obligated to perform.

The only problem with that is that I guess we will only find out about the infant outcomes involved with the women who took the vaccine while pregnant when the children are about ready for kindergarten!

Science can't be rushed.

It takes time to find out what is real and what is not. 
Politics is always in a hurry.

Everything is about approval polls and the next election.

Short-term interests are paramount. Long term implications and effects are rarely a concern. That will be someone else's problem.

If there is a problem with the vaccines it is going to be the people's problem. The government has no liability. The vaccine makers have no liability. Now employers and others who mandate the vaccine will apparently have no liability as well since it is "approved".

People's health should not be ruled by politics.

Politics is mandating everything to do with Covid.

There is surely more to come on this story.

My prediction is that it will not be good.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Monday Meanderings-August 23, 2021 Edition

Another edition of Monday Meanderings. Short insights on a range of topics that I found interesting recently that might better contextualize what is happening in the world.

Joe Biden Sinking Faster and Faster 

I predicted a month ago that Joe Biden had a lot to worry about. His positive approval rating with voters was in large part dependent on the withdrawal from Afghanistan and his Covid response.

I stated at that time that I saw large storm clouds on the horizon that could cause his approval ratings to drop quickly.

That prediction has proven true.

Biden's net approval in the Real Clear Politics poll average has dropped almost 10 points in 30 days.


The RCP poll average is also undoubtedly overstating Biden's support today because several of the polls were taken before the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle.

The recent polls in the average show Biden net approval sinking another 3 to 5 points beyond what we see above.

For example, a Civiqs poll released on Thursday shows Biden -8 with his approval at just 42%.

What I found interesting in that poll was the breakdown by states.

In particular, look at Biden's net approval in some of the critical swing states.

Florida  -6

Georgia  -14

Michigan  -10

Ohio  -19

Pennsylvania  -9

Wisconsin -9

Even more troubling for Biden, look at some of the states that should be of no concern to a Democrat based on recent elections.

Connecticut +4

Illinois +3

Maine  -4

Minnesota  -1

New Hampshire  -6

New Mexico  -3

Oregon +2

Virginia  -9

Washington  +2

Why So Much Hatred For So Few?

There is so much anti-Semitism spewed by so many you would think there are at least a billion Jews oppressing people all over the world.

Do you know have many Jews there are in the world?

When a recent well known commentator was asked this question he answered one billion. He thought about it a minute and revised his number down to a more conservative 500 million.

The real answer?

15 million.

That is just 0.2% of the world population of 7.9 billion.

6.9 million live in Israel.

5.7 million in the United States.

Yes, 84% of all the Jewish people in the world live in either the United States and Israel.

There are just 1.3 million in Europe and 1.1 million in the rest of the world.

In 1939 the Jewish population in the world was 17 million.

It was 11 million in 1945.

How many Muslims are there in the world today?

1.9 billion.

Does that put things into a little better context?

Pregnancy One of The Leading Underlying Conditions for Covid Hospitalizations

We hear a lot about various underlying conditions related to those who are hospitalized with Covid.

The CDC actually tracks all of the underlying conditions for someone in the hospital with Covid on its Covid-Net website. This data source gathers hospitalization data from a surveillance network of hospitals in 100 large counties in 14 states across the country representing about 32 million people (10% of the population).

This surveillance system is the primary source for data on Covid cases related to all documented positive cases of Covid for patients in the hospital.

Below is the most recent chart from the CDC showing the underlying conditions associated with those positive cases for hospitalized Covid positive patients.

As we have heard, hypertension, obesity and metabolic disease are generally present in 50% or more of Covid positive patients.

The numbers in the chart are much higher than 100% when added together because many Covid positive cases have more than one underlying condition.

However, have you ever heard that PREGNANCY is an underlying condition in 30% of all Covid patients who have been hospitalized since the beginning of the pandemic through June 30, 2021?

as of 8/22/21

When I first saw this data (hat tip to @Jackson90771068 on Twitter) I thought it surely could not be right.

However, I checked the CDC website and this is their data.

It might be a mistake. However, if it is correct doesn't it say that there are a lot of truths about Covid that we have not been told? 

If this is true, it is saying that a large portion of what we have been told are Covid hospitalizations since the beginning of the pandemic were actually women admitted to the hospital to give birth and tested positive for Covid at that time without knowing they were sick.

What would the reaction of the American people be if when this is all over they find out that 30% of all of what we were told are Covid hospitalization during the pandemic were really women who just incidentally tested positive for Covid while in the hospital to give birth?

Granted, some of the hospitalizations might have been pregnant women who were sick from Covid and went to the ER and were admitted. Let's say that was 1/6 of them. That still leaves us with 25% who were not admitted to the hospital due to Covid. They were admitted to give birth.

Let's follow one of my rules on data and submit this data to the "smell test".

The CDC surveillance data represents about 10% of the population. It shows about 200,000 as having been hospitalized with Covid from March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

That would equal about 2,000,000 hospitalizations from Covid for the total population.

That would suggest there have been 600,000 (2,000,000 x 30%) Covid cases with pregnancy with an underlying condition.

That sounds like a LOT.

However, over the same period, there were probably about 4.8 million births in the United States (calculated using rate of 300,000 births/month in 2020 x 16 months).

600,000 positive Covid tests among 5 million women who entered the hospital to give birth is only 12.5% of all pregnant women presenting at the hospital.

That does not sound far-fetched considering the CDC estimates that 120 million Americans had been infected with Covid  as of the end of May, 2021. That is over 35% of the population. 

50% of the infections have been in the age 18-49 age cohort that would include pregnant women. That is also a disproportionate share of the cases relative to their share of the population.

This is again CDC data. 

Estimated Covid-19 Burden by Age Group
Infections, Hospitalizations and Deaths

30% of Covid hospitalizations are attributed to an underlying condition of pregnancy?

I don't know whether to believe the CDC data or not.

However, is it any surprise that the CDC has lost so much credibility in all of this?

You might also notice in the CDC data table above that individuals age 65+ have accounted for only 10% of the cases but 80% of the deaths.

Those under age 50 have accounted for 72% of the cases and 9% of the deaths.

I am still trying to figure out how these numbers justify vaccine mandates all the way down to newborn babies (we aren't there yet but I don't know what is going to stop them from trying to do it). 

Never mind that based on the CDC data, a lot of those babies may have already gotten antibodies from their mother. 

After all, they were hospitalized for Covid!


The Unemployment Divide

Wherever I go I run into business owners who tell me their biggest challenge today is finding people to work.

I have heard it personally from a range of businesses---restaurants, retirement homes, grocery stores, lawn care companies, landscapers, manufacturers. The list is long.

Democrats almost universally refuse to acknowledge that the supplemental federal unemployment benefit provided in the Covid relief package has had anything to do with employers being able to find workers.

In fact, Joe Biden told a restaurant owner in Cincinnati last month who complained about his trouble in finding workers that he needed to pay more.

Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen also stated that she didn't believe that the enhanced government unemployment benefits weren’t incentivizing people to not work.

Of course, won't it always be difficult to compete for labor if someone else (the government) is paying people not to work?

It also seems pretty obvious that most people choose leisure over work. They work because they need money for rent, food and other things. Not many will work when someone is paying for these and they can also have their leisure at the same time.

On the other hand, many Republican governors moved to end the benefit when they saw what it was doing to the labor market.

The evidence is starting to come in.

Look at this chart that shows unemployment rates comparing Republican (red) and Democrat (blue) states based on primary political representation (Governor, State House, State Senate). 


What about the trends in continued claims for unemployment over the last two months?


Perhaps paying people to not work is not a good long-term idea.

To drive the point home we have actually reached a point in the United States that I don't think we have ever seen before.

In the most recent BLS labor report it was revealed that there are actually more job openings in the United States than there are those unemployed and looking for work.

Job Openings    10.1 million jobs

Unemployed       8.7 million people looking for work


It all leads us to a unique question that Mike Shedlock of recently asked that at one time was not such an unusual question.


What would the United States look like if that was the case?

Will we ever know?

Thursday, August 19, 2021

A Wagon Headed Towards The Cliff

We often hear that in any tax legislation that "the rich" benefit disproportionately.

They supposedly get most of the tax cuts.

Perhaps that is because they pay almost all of the taxes.

A new study from the Tax Policy Center of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution (a liberal think tank) puts that claim into better context.

In 2020, 107 million households in the United States paid no income taxes. 

That is 61% of all the households in the United States.

A good percentage (over one-third) of those actually got refundable tax credits. That means they got a refund check from the U.S. Treasury even though they paid no income taxes during the year. 

There were only 69 million American households who paid any income tax in the United States in 2020 in a country with 330 million people and 176 million households.

Yes, it was a tough year for many Americans. Many lost their jobs early in the year. Many business owners and landlords saw their incomes decimated.

However, the trend of fewer and fewer Americans paying any income taxes has been going on for a long time.

The numbers below just take account of households that filed a tax return with the IRS. The number above takes into account all households. 

In 1969, only 13% of Americans did not pay any income tax who filed a tax return.

In 1980, that number was 21.3%

In 2000, it was 25.2%.

In 2017, it was 32.1%.

in 2020, it was 61% of all households that probably equates to just over 50% of taxpayer households.

In 2021, thanks to the new refundable child tax credit that provides $3,600 for every household with a child under age 6 and $3,000 for every child between age 6 and 17 it is estimated that 57% of households will pay no income tax.

Those payments are already being sent out on a monthly basis of $300/month and $250/month to every household with children beginning in July. 

A household with four children-ages 3, 5, 7 and 9 are getting $1,100 every month. The advance payments are only being paid for half the year. The remainder will be paid when the parent files their income tax return for the year.

Although it is called a "tax credit" it is paid even if there are no taxes owed for the year when the household files its tax return. 

Due to this provision, it is estimated that 70% of all families, and 84% of single parent households, will not pay any income tax in 2021.

The cost to the federal government for providing this money---$15 billion per month or $180 billion for the year.

The child tax credit is supposed to revert to a $2,000 annual amount in 2022. Let's see if that happens. It is never easy taking money away from anyone. That is especially true in an election year.

Who is paying the taxes?

Who is pulling the wagon?

The top 1% of income earners paid 40.1% of all federal individual income taxes in 2018 (the latest year in which the IRS has released data).

No, they didn't pay their fair share. They paid double their share of the income they earned. The top 1% reported 21% of the income but paid 40% of the tax.

The top 50% of income earners paid 97.1% of the total income taxes in 2018.

The bottom 50% paid 2.9%.


In that 61% of all households paid zero income taxes in 2020 it is not hard to project that the top 1% in 2020 paid close to half of the tax tab and the top 50% had to have paid close to 99%.

Think about these numbers as we consider everything else we see going on today.

How is it possible for the United States to remain a representative democracy when half of the households in the country are not paying any taxes?

How can a nation survive if over half are taking and less than half are making ALL of it possible?

Great thinkers in the past have stated that it cannot be sustained.

We are getting dangerously close to determining whether they are right.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Spikes Everywhere You Look

One of the key biological characteristics of the Covid-19 virus is the presence of spike proteins in their makeup. The spike proteins allow the virus to penetrate host cells and cause infection.

The current vaccines currently in use were developed by using spike proteins to enter your body in order for it to activate your immune system to build antibodies and kill the spike proteins introduced by the vaccines.

The theory is that the spike proteins introduced by the vaccines degrade over several weeks but your immune system has created antibodies in fighting the foreign spike protein  that remain to fight off any future infection if you are exposed to the Covid-19 virus in the future.

That is the way things are supposed to work with the spike proteins and the vaccines.

However, right now we seem to be seeing spikes everywhere you look that indicates something is not working as designed.

As I have written previously, all of the current Covid vaccines in use in the United States today were granted emergency use authorization based on the assertion that they PREVENTED Covid-19 disease.

As an example, here is the emergency use authorization review memorandum for the Moderna vaccine.



Note that the intended use was not to prevent severe disease. It was not intended to prevent hospitalizations. It was not intended to prevent deaths.

It was intended to prevent disease.

Isn't this what we have always expected a vaccine to do?

How successful have these vaccines been looking at that intended use?

Confirmed cases in the United States are up 1,000% in the last two months.

They are almost 3x higher than they were a year ago when no one was vaccinated.

This is despite the fact that 168 million Americans have been fully vaccinated (over half of the population of the United States).

We see similar patterns in other countries that have also had large mass vaccination efforts.

The UK and Israel have both vaccinated larger portions of their population than the United States.

Cases spiked in both countries despite the mass vaccination effort.

Vermont has the highest vaccination rate among the 50 states. 

85% of the state's age 12+ population has received at least one dose.


What about cases in Vermont?

There were 561 new cases in Vermont in the week August 5-12, 2021.

Last year that number was 38 for the same week. That is a 1,376% increase.

Last year at this time one person was in the hospital with Covid in Vermont. This year for the same week 25 people are in the hospital. That is a 2,400% increase!

No one was vaccinated last year and there was one person in the hospital. There are now 25?

Think about that for a second.

Is the Delta variant that much more virulent?

Or has Covid gotten more virulent because of the vaccines and made it much more dangerous to both the vaccinated and unvaccinated? 

Is it something else we don't understand?

How can anyone look at this data and not question what is going on?

Something is amiss.

The narrative is that the people in the hospital are all unvaccinated. However, that falls short when you see the numbers from Vermont where almost everyone is vaccinated. Or Israel.

You see the same pattern in Oregon which is another of the most vaccinated states. 

70% of the age 18+ population has had at least one dose of the vaccine. 96% of the age 65+ population has had at least one dose.

This is the trend in cases in Oregon since the pandemic began.

There are more confirmed cases today than there have ever have been in Oregon. By a large margin.

This is a chart showing the percentage of hospital emergency department visits in Oregon in which Covid is the diagnosis comparing 2020 and 2021.

Assume someone was dropped from Mars and was asked the point on this chart in which vaccines were introduced to prevent Covid?

The Martian would have to think it was a trick question. In looking at the data the conclusion has to be that no effective vaccine has been introduced.

There have been 156 Covid deaths reported in Oregon in the last seven weeks.

Data in the shaded area is preliminary.


78% of those deaths have been those age 60+. Just 3% have been in those age 29 or younger.

Considering the relative vaccination rates for these ages it just does not follow that all of the deaths right now are from the unvaccinated. It defies all logic, reason and mathematics.

Unfortunately, Oregon, like almost every other state, does not provide data breaking out cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status even though they provide demographic data on almost everything else. Therefore, I have to apply common sense rather than hard data to challenge the narrative.

It does not take much to conclude that there are a number of vaccinated people in Oregon in those death numbers.

The good news is that the death toll is still less than last year despite the rise of cases.

Is it the vaccine? I hope so. Is it better treatments? Is it because the current variant is not as lethal as is being portrayed. I don't know.

We see another spike of cases in Australia which seems to be locking down their population every other week.

New daily confirmed Covid cases in Australia

Is it a coincidence that the spike has come just as Australia has ramped up its mass vaccination program?

I don't know but I do know more questions should be asked about why this is occurring.

The narrative we hear is that the case increases we are seeing is being driven by those who are unvaccinated.

However, this chart suggests that cases are actually spiking higher in the top 10 most vaccinated states compared to the 10 least vaccinated states comparing 2021 vs. 2020.

% YOY  Changes in Daily Cases: 2020 vs. 2021
Testing-adjusted to highest testing level per state
7-day moving average for both testing and positive case

% YOY  Changes in Daily Cases: 2020 vs. 2021
Testing-adjusted to highest testing level per state
7-day moving average for both testing and positive case

This can be explained partly by the fact that the current surge is centered in many states in the Sunbelt who had the same seasonal surge last year. As a result, they had a higher base of cases in 2020 in which to compare to 2021 in percentage terms.

However, at the same time, why are a lot of these northern states seeing such high spikes in cases in the middle of the summer when they saw little last year?

What is it going to look like in these states when their seasonal vulnerability is at its highest in the Fall/Winter?

For example, this chart shows how the Sunbelt states (Region 4-AL,FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN) compares to the Midwest states (Region 5-IL, IN, OH, MI, MN, WI) on new daily cases over the last 500 days.

Can we expect even further spikes in Covid cases in states above the 37th parallel in the next few months?

There are more spikes at other places around the world right now in countries which we were told had avoided a surge in cases because everyone wore masks.

Look at Japan. 97% mask adherence.

Thailand. 93% mask compliance.

1,000,000% increase in cases compared to this time last year.

Japan and Thailand lagged in mass vaccinations compared to the United States, Israel and the UK.

Both countries did not really starting vaccinating large portions of their population until June.

Is it a coincidence that cases have surged in both countries within a month of the mass vaccination program?

Spikes everywhere you look even though vaccinations are also up everywhere you look.

However, we are told the answer is to vaccinate more people and give booster shots to everyone who has already been vaccinated.

This is the case even though we have no answer as to why all of these spikes in cases are occurring around the world as vaccinations have increased.

This makes no sense whatsoever from a scientific perspective.

Between last year and this year what is the one intervention that was introduced that we did not have last year?


The hypothesis from the experts was that this would be our way out of the pandemic. It would prevent disease and stop transmission. 

Considering that there are spikes everywhere you look, wouldn't the scientific method suggest that you should test your hypothesis that vaccines are the answer by looking at the data and investigating why we are seeing these spikes?


That would be science.

Sadly science is no longer science. It has become politics disguised as science.

Or public health experts that are so invested in the narrative and their reputations that they care more about both of these before the science and your health.