Social Security To Run Out of Money Sooner

The trust fund that sustains a large portion of the Social Security benefits American seniors rely upon will run out of money in 2033. The trust fund will be depleted a year earlier than forecast a year ago.

That’s the verdict of Social Security’s trustees, who point to the “precipitous” effect of the coronavirus pandemic as the cause. Here’s the money quote describing the negative impact from their 2021 report:

The OASI Trust Fund and the DI Trust Fund are projected to have sufficient reserves to pay full benefits on time until 2033 and 2057, respectively. Legislative action will be needed to prevent reserve depletion in those years. In the absence of such legislation, continuing income to the trust funds at the time of reserve depletion would be sufficient to pay 76 percent of OASI benefits and 91 percent of DI benefits.

Three Movies that Explore Complexity of the War on Terror

America’s chaotic exit from Afghanistan put the world spotlight back on global terrorism. The poorly executed departure has inspired radical Islamic terrorist groups to launch new attacks on Western nations as well as Afghanis unaligned with the goals of global terrorists. Rather than a retreat from the War on Terror, however, Western nations appear to be entering a new phase.

As pundits debate whether the US should have stayed in Afghanistan, three recent narrative films – The Outpost, Sérgio, and Eye in the Sky – stand out as stories that speak to the complexities of militarist approaches to the terrorist threat. All three films – two based on real events or people and one fictional – dive deep into the human cost of the War on Terror. They often raise more questions than they answer.

SCOTUS Blocks Federal Moratorium on Evictions

Last week in Alabama Assoc. of Realtors v. HHS (2o21), the Supreme Court (with three liberal justices dissenting) held that federal statutory law did not allow the CDC to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium. In essence, the CDC criminalized landlords pursuing the eviction process in state courts. The CDC relied on the following statute in imposing the moratorium:

The Surgeon General, with the approval of the [Secretary of Health and Human Services], is authorized to make and enforce such regulations as in his judgment are necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the States or possessions, or from one State or possession into any other State or possession. For purposes of carrying out and enforcing such regulations, the Surgeon General may provide for such inspection, fumigation, disinfection, sanitation, pest extermination, destruction of animals or articles found to be so infected or contaminated as to be sources of dangerous infection to human beings, and other measures, as in his judgment may be necessary.

The Biggest Fraud Ever Perpetrated Against the U.S.

The scamming of pandemic unemployment relief benefits is now being described as “the biggest fraud ever perpetrated against the U.S.” by private security experts. What’s really scary is that it may not yet be over.

The story is back in the news because those experts have done more work to identify where the money has gone instead of to the unemployed Americans to whom it was intended. NBC reports:

Domestic Terrorist Gets a Special Favor

Since January 6, FBI Director Christopher Wray has been targeting “domestic terrorism,” which he sees poised for a violent overthrow of American democracy. Nothing like that has taken place, but an actual domestic terrorist just caught a break from a prominent politician. 

On his way out the door, disgraced New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo granted clemency to David Gilbert, a domestic terrorist serving a 75-year sentence for murder and robbery back in 1981. Gilbert, now 76, was a member of the Weather Underground, a domestic terrorist group that began with a formal declaration of war against “Amerika.” During the 1970s, according to an FBI report, the group claimed responsibility for 25 bombings, including the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol and the office of the California Attorney General.

Afghanistan: Two Implications for National Defense

The United States did not have a Department of Defense until 1947. Prior to that time, the nation had a Department of War. The name change is somewhat ironic and Orwellian, in that since the name change the Department has done little to actually defend the nation’s borders but has fought war after war in other nations that posed no real threat to ours.

The Cold War against the Soviet Union is probably the best example of the Department’s defense, but even there, the threat was not that the Soviet Union would invade and take over the US, it was that the Soviet Union was using its military power to dominate other nations. And even that threat has been gone for three decades.

Wuhan COVID Patients Showed Genetically Modified Henipah Virus

“Samples from early Wuhan COVID-19 patients show the presence of genetically modified Henipah virus,” reports Omid Ghoreishi of The Epoch Times. That was the finding of Dr. Steven Quay, a Seattle-based physician and scientist, and former faculty member at the Stanford University School of Medicine. In COVID-19 samples uploaded by scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) shortly after China informed the World Health Organization about the outbreak, Dr. Quay found “genetic manipulation of the Nipah virus which is more lethal than Ebola.” Joe Wang Ph.D., who headed a vaccine program for SARS in Canada, was able to replicate Dr. Quay’s findings. 

To Mask, Or Not? A State of Resistance

The state of resistance, in this case, is Florida. Many readers will be aware that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has prohibited mask mandates in the state, and faced some resistance from local school boards that have imposed mask mandates in defiance of the governor’s prohibition. Meanwhile, where I teach, at Florida State University, the word is that face coverings are expected, falling short of a mandate and remaining within the bounds of the governor’s prohibition on mandates.

In a recent post in The Beacon, I contemplated whether I should wear a mask to class. Throughout campus, there are signs that say Face Coverings are Expected, but as I noted, not mandated. Classes are now back in session, and that decision was easier than I contemplated.

Biden Military Betrays Misguided Priorities

Carlos Del Toro, Joe Biden’s choice for Secretary of the Navy, has four priorities but only one involves protecting the United States from foreign adversaries, the sole legitimate purpose of the U.S. military. The first priority in Del Toro’s “four C’s is China, followed by culture, climate and covid. Del Toro, a failed candidate for public office, once led an attack on the coal industry based on his belief in global warming. He now proclaims that “climate change exacerbates every challenge we face, from naval installations to frequent deployments.” 

On the culture front, Del Toro touts “dignity and respect,” which could be code for the divisive “woke” ideology now imposed on the enlisted. Del Toro is also the founder, owner, and CEO of SBG Technology Solutions, a defense contractor that does business with the Navy. So like Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, once embedded with Raytheon, Del Toro is part of the revolving door. Del Toro is a graduate of the Naval Academy but Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is not a graduate of West Point. 

Dr. Doom: Stagflationary Debt Crisis Looms Ahead

Nouriel Roubini earned the nickname “Dr. Doom” during the housing bubble of the early 2000s, when he predicted a crash in housing prices would blow up into a larger financial crisis and deep recession. He is one of the few economists who can honestly claim to have predicted the major events that came to pass.

Writing at Project Syndicate, Roubini considers how the ocean of red ink being unleashed by the Biden administration and enabled by the Federal Reserve’s pandemic stimulus policies threaten another economic catastrophe.

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