To everyone on active duty today, I often accept a ‘thank you’ on your behalf.

Union Infantry private, U.S. Civil War, 1961-1865. Photo from Legacy Flight Museum in Rexford, Idaho by James Ulvog.

While touring the U.S.S. Midway Museum in San Diego early this month, I wore a “U.S. Air Force” ball cap with various stuff pinned to it, such as the rank I wore, a missile badge (“pocket rocket” for those who know), SAC logo, and a rectangular piece of metal that declares “Combat Crew.”

During the course of walking around, I got lots of glances and several comments of “thank you for your service.”

Also got some joshing comments from the retired Navy guys about them ‘allowing’ me on their ship. Since we were all on the same team back in the day, the kidding was pure fun.

I was on active duty for only four years and that was decades ago. I never got within 3,000 miles of hostile action. (Of course if the flag had gone up, I would have been radioactive dust at 20,000 feet altitude about 40 minutes later.)

As a result, I was uneasy for a long time when someone said “Thanks for your service.”

It took me a few years to get to get comfortable with those comments.

I now graciously and proudly accept those expressions of appreciation from my fellow Americans, but not because of what I did so long ago. 

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Have masks done any good?

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

More research is emerging that suggests the answer is no, masks have not helped reduce spread of infection.

5/26/21 – Town hall – Masks Didn’t Slow Covid Spread: New Study – Study cited in the next paragraph calculates “mask mandates and use not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among US states.” In other words study finds there is no correlation between the level of mask use and infection rates. Their research does not support the idea that higher use of masks results in lower transmission rates.

5/18/21 – medRxiv – Mask mandate and use efficacy in state-level Covid-19 containment – Using proper statistical methodologies, study finds there is no difference in infection rates between states that mandated masks and states that did not require masks.

Infection rates are “comparable” for the states with early adoption of mas requirement and states with late adoption.

The research paper uses technical language, which is exactly what you would expect, so it is difficult to read. I will still quote the abstract, which says:

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Timeline of California’s unconstitutional restrictions on worship.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Liberty Council, attorneys representing Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry, announced on 5/17/21 the permanent injunction against religious discrimination practiced by the State of California against places of worship:

CA Churches Permanently Quarantine Governor Newsom

Previous post discusses the permanent injunction. The above announcement provides more detail.

The wonderful news is summarized by Liberty Council:

“Under the settlement agreement, discriminatory restrictions on worship and religious gatherings may no longer be applied to churches and places of worship.”

For future reference, I will quote Liberty Council in their timeline of restrictions on religious worship. Their timeline, again quoting:

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Permanent injunction issued against religiously discriminatory Covid rules in California. Oh, $1.35 million legal fees also awarded.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

People of faith gain another victory in California.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has read the U.S. Constitution and a long string of Supreme Court rulings (any one of which should have long since been sufficiently clear to the State of California).

The court issued a permanent injunction against Gov. Newsom, and “all State officers, agents, employees, and all other persons in active concert or participation with him” prohibiting any of those individuals from engaging in ongoing religious discrimination against churches and other places of worship in the state of California.

I will guess that broad definition of who is covered by the permanent injunction would also include all county public health authorities.

The state’s behavior is so egregious that the court awarded $1,350,000 in legal fees to attorneys for Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry.

The harsh slap down of religious persecution includes permanent injunctions against, quoting the order:

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Still more grim news from the lockdown.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The bad news caused by the government imposed shut down of the economy keeps rolling in.

Merely a few recent articles:

  • The “laptop class” did well, while the working class was delivering their stuff, taking on the risks of infection.
  • Rents in New York City are in freefall.
  • Record levels in discount off the posted tuition rate for private colleges, which is an indicator of collapsing demand and indicator of future financial distress.
  • Millions are unemployed while companies can’t find enough workers.

5/20/21 – Glenn Reynolds at New York Post – The rich and powerful thrived as the rest of us suffered in the year of lockdowns – Fourteen months of the “two weeks to slow the spread” has shown that the rich and powerful did quite well while working class and poor folk suffered.

The laptop class was able to stay at home, fully employed with no loss of income. In fact, with no commuting costs and not eating out for lunch many in the laptop class were left better off.

They stayed home and the working class delivered their stuff.

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Background on the inflation environment.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

(As with the previous discussion, this comment is cross-posted from my other blog, Attestation Update. This information is useful not just for CPAs interpreting the financial results of their clients, but also for readers of this blog, because the rapid run-up of inflation fears is a risk to economic freedom. If we return to the devastating inflation rates of the 1970s, we would see severely harm to economic freedom.)

Previous post suggested It’s time to start monitoring inflation. The dramatic increase in inflation rate in March and April 2021 suggests we need to be watching the inflation numbers more closely.

Not only does this help us generally understand what is going on around us, but specifically it helps us understand and interpret our clients’ financial results as we provide audit and review services.

A few articles I have found helpful in the recent weeks providing context on the inflation environment:

5/5/21 – Wall Street JournalEverything Screams Inflation – Columnist senses a possible shifting point from the low inflation we have seen for a very long time, going back to a sustained period of high inflation.

He cites five general trends which point towards years of high inflation:

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More indications of economic damage from shutdown.

Federal judge ruled the moratorium is a flagrantly illegal power grab. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A bit of good news to go with the ongoing indications of economic destruction.

  • Federal judge ruled the CDC can’t force landlords to provide no-cash-payment housing.
  • Black homeowners having more difficulty getting back on track with mortgage payments than other ethnic groups. Economic impact of shutdowns are falling disproportionately hard on minorities.
  • Rent prices in New York City continue in freefall.

5/6/21 – Foundation for Economic Education – A Federal Judge Just Struck Down One of the CDC’s Most Blatant Power Grabs – The Centers for Disease Control assumed for itself the power to prohibit evictions of renters because they were not paying rent.

No, although it may be your first reaction, that is not socialism. The government telling you what to do with your property, how much to produce, and controlling the price you can charge, thus converting the property into de facto government property, actually falls into the definition of the economic system of fascism.

Article reminds us that in 9/20, CDC issued an order that non-paying tenants cannot be evicted in most situations. Serious penalties involved.

The extreme rationalization to grab this power was shut down by a federal judge on 5/5/20.

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It’s time to start monitoring inflation.

(This discussion is cross-posted from my other blog, Attestation Update. The primary audience for this discussions is CPAs, so we can start to monitor the inflation data. This allows us CPAs to better understand what is going on with our clients when providing audit or review services. The information is also useful for readers of this blog, because the rapid run-up of inflation fears is a risk to economic freedom. A return to the devastating inflation rates of the 1970s would severely harm our economic freedom.)

As CPAs, we pay attention to economic trends because those have big impact on our client’s operations.  Understanding what is happening in terms of interest rates, growth or shrinkage in the GDP, unemployment trends, and real estate prices also helps us interpret financial statements during and audit or review.

It is time to start monitoring inflation rates.

Graph at the top of this post shows worrying information about inflation.

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