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J.P. Sears on the Evolution of Woke

J.P. Sears strikes again, this time explaining, as only he can do, the recent evolution of “wokeness,” from “the pre-paleowokalithic era,” and before the social justice warriors learned “how to make weapons out of keyboards.”

And I note that for the second week in a row, Bill Maher took after his fellow progressives for their “progressophobia” (fear of progress), but I’ll skip over posting the video here, partly because it is over 9 minutes long, and even when Maher is making sense he gets tedious. If you want to take it in, you can find it here.

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“We Cannot Rely Solely on a Wish of Winning Elections” (VIDEO)




AOC Says the Quiet Part Out Loud on H.R.1: “We Cannot Rely Solely on a Wish of Winning Elections” (VIDEO)



















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Millions of Workers on the Sidelines

The results from a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce poll of unemployed workers shed some additional light on the effects of pandemic unemployment benefits and other factors. Here are some of the poll’s key findings:

  • Half (49%) of Americans who became unemployed during the pandemic say they are not actively or not very actively looking for work; less than a third (32%) report that they are strongly active in their job search.
  • Six in 10 respondents (61%) say they are in no hurry to return to work. Three in 10 (30%) say they do not expect to return to work this year, with nearly half of those (13% of the total) saying they never plan to return to work.
  • One in eight (13%) who became unemployed during the pandemic and remain unemployed have turned down at least one job offer in the past year.
  • One in six not actively seeking work (16%) say the amount of money they are receiving from unemployment benefits and government programs makes it “not worth looking” for work.
  • Even more –28 percent of survey respondents–agree that “There are a lot of people who are not looking for work because they can do almost or just as well collecting unemployment benefits.”
  • Other common factors contributing to unemployed Americans not looking for work include childcare and other family care needs (24%), a lack of available jobs due in sectors that are still suffering (28%), and COVID-19 concerns (26%).

Check out the Chamber’s webpage for other results, analysis, and graphs.

Michael R. Strain — Michael R. Strain is the director of economic-policy studies and the Arthur F. Burns Scholar in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute.
 


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CUNY professors’ union rebukes Israel in pro-Palestinian resolution

The union representing CUNY professors has passed a one-sided resolution rebuking Israel for recent attacks on Palestinians — adding that it may support the movement to boycott and divest from the Jewish state.

The Professional Staff Congress’ resolution conspicuously omits any mention of Hamas launching rockets into residential areas of Israel during last month’s confrontations between the warring sides.

Instead, the resolution says, “PSC-CUNY condemns the massacre of Palestinians by the Israeli state’’ — while decrying Israel’s “expansionism and violent incursions into occupied territories.”

PSC-CUNY “cannot be silent about the continued subjection of Palestinians to the state-supported displacement, occupation, and use of lethal force by Israel,’’ the missive says.

It adds that the Palestinian struggle for “self determination” is akin to the struggles of “indigenous people and people of color in the United States” and blacks in apartheid South Africa.

The statement drew outrage within and outside the City University of New York.

Jeff Wiesenfeld, who served as a CUNY governing-board trustee from 1999 to 2013, told The Post, “I resolve to condemn the racist, anti-Semitic and academically useless PSC of CUNY, which serves only to poison the minds of future leaders inside and outside the classroom and thus further degrade a CUNY degree to its former state of complete devaluation.”

Wiesenfeld said the union’s statement ignores facts such as the Palestinian leadership rejecting land-for-peace deals with Israel and the Jewish state being surrounded by enemies and having a right to defend itself.

Former CUNY governing-board trustee Jeff Wiesenfeld (left) condemned the Professional Staff Congress’ resolution.
Former CUNY governing-board trustee Jeff Wiesenfeld (left) condemned the Professional Staff Congress’ resolution.
Robert Kalfus

Long Island GOP Congressman Lee Zeldin, who is running for governor, said in a statement posted on Twitter, “The City University of New York (CUNY) educators who just passed this insane pro-BDS resolution accusing Israel of a massacre of Palestinians, shouldn’t have any ability at all to brainwash students, especially in a publicly funded university.”

Brooklyn College history Professor KC Johnson told The Post that the PSC doesn’t speak for many teachers.

Johnson called the resolution “sad and predictable” and said the union is obsessed with “finding ways to condemn Israel” while ignoring atrocities elsewhere.

One CUNY insider said that if one of the school system’s students submitted such a resolution as a paper for a current events project, the work would deserve an F for being incomplete for excluding key material facts.

“It make no mention that there were missiles launched from Gaza into Israel’s towns and villages,’’ said the CUNY source, who requested anonymity, of PSC’s resolution.

“It’s incredibly one-sided. It’s not right.’’

The resolution includes a line claiming that the PSC “condemns racism in all forms, including anti-Semitism” — while contending that criticisms of the Jewish State of Israel “are not inherently anti-Semitic.”

It even blasted the US labor movement for “failing to challenge the U.S. government’s support for Israeli expansionism and violent incursions in the occupied territories.’’

The PSC said that this fall, it will “facilitate discussions … and consider PSC support of the 2005 call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS).”

A pro-Palestine rally at John Jay College on May 28, 2021.
A pro-Palestine rally at John Jay College on May 28, 2021.
Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

The union described BDS as “a movement launched by 170 Palestinian unions, refugee networks, women’s organizations, professional associations and other Palestinian civil society organizations, which calls on people of conscience in the international community to act as they did against apartheid South Africa in the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and resistance to injustice and oppression.”

PSC President James Davis defended the anti-Israel resolution.

“The Professional Staff Congress has a long history of both successfully fighting to improve the working conditions of our members and advocating within the labor movement against racism and for international solidarity,” Davis said.

“We are opposed to all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, and we condemn the displacement, occupation, and violence perpetrated by the Israeli state against Palestinians.

“The resolution adopted by the delegates will facilitate discussion among our members of initiatives and campaigns that seek to influence the United States policy of support for Israel.”

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Facebook VP Admits Fact-Checkers Could Be Biased

Facebook Vice President Nick Clegg admitted that the tech giant’s “fact-checkers” employed to weed out “fake news” from the platform could be biased.

Facebook reportedly uses 80 different organizations across the world to flag misinformation.

The Daily Mail obtained minutes from a meeting between Clegg and a Brussels power-breaker where the former revealed he questions the fact-checkers ability to make an impartial decision on questionable content.

The document shows that Clegg and Vera Jourova, the vice-president of the European Commission, also discussed how Facebook targeted disinformation during the 2020 US Presidential election.

Interestingly, the minutes add: “He [Mr Clegg] also stressed that independent fact-checkers are not necessarily objective because they have their own agenda.”

Former Cabinet Minister David Jones told The Daily Mail that Clegg’s comments are “deeply worrying.”

“The admission completely destroys the credibility of Facebook’s own procedures. It offers news organisations no right of appeal when it censors them, even though it may have acted on the advice of fact-checkers who are motivated by ‘their own agenda’,” he added.

Facebook, however, says Clegg never said anything about bias. 

“Nick never suggested there is bias in our fact-checking programme,” a spokesperson said. “He did describe that one benefit of having a range of independent fact-checking partners is the variety of specialisms in different countries and issue areas that they bring.”

Facebook has acted as an arbiter of truth for COVID-related information since the pandemic began, restricting content that questioned the CDC’s official narrative..

Congressman Roger Marshall M.D. (R-KS), who is also a licensed physician, was previously censored by Facebook for discussing mortality data the CDC provided.

“A Facebook post published on Sunday afternoon by U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D. discussing updated COVID-19 death data released by the CDC was removed Monday night by Facebook without notice or explanation,” KNSS reported at the time. Marshall later said that his earlier post had “discussed the new data published by the CDC showing that only 6% of deaths were due solely to COVID-19, while the remaining 94% of deaths had two or more underlying health conditions.”

Marshall slammed Facebook’s censorship, saying, “Social media companies should not be allowed to censor science that they disagree with.” He added that content-flagging was “corporate censorship, pure and simple.”

“As a physician, I believe in discussing all data, options, and research with my patients,” he concluded. “This was data published by the CDC, but unfortunately did not fit the narrative that the left and the liberal media want us to believe. We cannot allow social media companies to determine what we do and not learn about this virus. Americans deserve to be informed.”

Conservatism is under attack. Contact Facebook headquarters at 1-650-308-7300 and demand that Big Tech hold the left accountable for their own policies. If you have noticed bias at Facebook, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.

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Retiring Workers Alter Fed’s Calculus on Jobs Shortfall

WASHINGTON—Federal Reserve officials have long said a key condition for raising interest rates is a return to maximum employment. Their evolving views about how much job growth that will entail could lead them to roll back support for the economy sooner than previously expected.

Policy makers are likely to discuss when and how to start reducing monthly purchases of bonds, a prelude to eventually raising rates, at a meeting this Tuesday and Wednesday. They have said since December that to justify reducing bond purchases, the economy needed to make “substantial further progress” toward maximum employment and sustained 2% inflation.

The Fed has never put a number on its full employment target. Still, central bankers for months have compared current employment to the number of jobs in February 2020, before the pandemic hit the U.S. economy, to illustrate the ground that needed to be made up. Chairman

Jerome Powell

said earlier this year that gap was “one way of counting it.” In May, the shortfall stood at 7.6 million jobs.

But in recent weeks, policy makers have become less confident the economy can recover all the jobs lost amid the pandemic without spurring inflation. Employers added fewer payrolls than expected in April and May, even as the economy grew rapidly, wages rose and other indicators pointed to a shortage of workers. The unemployment rate also continued to fall, to a pandemic low of 5.8%. In part that is because fewer people are returning to the labor force in search of work. The number of people who are working or want to work is still 3.5 million shy of February 2020, and the labor-force participation rate, at 61.6%, is down from 63.3% then.

The Fed believes many factors holding back the labor force are tied to the pandemic and will fade later this year.

But one might not: The 2.6 million people who retired since February 2020, according to estimates from the Dallas Fed. A steadily aging U.S. population suggests limited scope for reversing that trend, some economists say.

“The number of people who left the labor force through retirement was higher during this pandemic recession-recovery than in previous recession-recoveries,” Cleveland Fed President

Loretta Mester

said June 4 on CNBC. “Typically, when people retire, they don’t come back into the labor force.”

At The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit on May 4, Janet Yellen expressed her confidence that the U.S. economy and employment will return to normal by next year.

Treasury Secretary

Janet Yellen,

an economist who headed the Fed from 2014 to 2018, said on June 5 that while employment remains more than 7 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels, increased retirements could mean “we don’t need to regain quite that many to get back to full employment.”

While current Fed officials have been less explicit in their public comments, they have signaled a similar openness. “Whatever…the maximum rate of unemployment is, it’s something that varies over time for structural reasons,” Fed Vice Chairman

Richard Clarida

said last month. “Labor-force participation evolves for a number of reasons, and so I do think that, going forward, speaking for myself, we have to be very attuned and attentive to see how the post-pandemic labor market clears.”

Because of the retirement wave, Ms. Mester said she is focusing more closely on participation in the labor force by people who are of prime working years, ages 25 to 54.

Progress toward maximum employment is one of the Fed’s main criteria for pulling back the easy-money policies rolled out during the pandemic. If officials become convinced that the economy is destined to operate with lower rates of labor-force participation than before, they could start to tighten policy sooner than expected.

Since last year, the Fed has been buying $120 billion of Treasury and mortgage bonds each month and holding overnight interest rates near zero. Many economists expect the Fed to begin reducing the bond purchases later this year or early next.

The Fed has said it would refrain from raising interest rates until inflation is 2% and likely to go higher and maximum employment is achieved. When they last released projections, in March, most Fed officials expected the first rate increase in 2024 or later.

But since then, surprisingly strong inflation in April and May and the rethink on maximum employment suggest those conditions might be met sooner. That could be reflected in Fed officials’ updated rate projections to be released Wednesday.

Central bankers hope that by the fall—when enhanced unemployment programs expire, schools reopen and more people  are vaccinated—hiring will pick up steam and some recent retirees may return to the labor force.

During the last economic cycle, Fed officials were pleasantly surprised to see unemployment reach 50-year lows without stirring inflation. That happened in part because a tight labor market steadily drew people into the workforce who hadn’t been looking for jobs.

If such a pattern recurs in coming months, it would ease concerns that worker shortages could result in a more-persistent rise in inflation.

“The spike in retirements may well moderate in a stronger economy, as we saw in the year or two before the pandemic,” the Fed’s vice chairman for supervision,

Randal Quarles,

said May 26. But, he added, “We may need additional public communications about the conditions that constitute substantial further progress since December toward our broad and inclusive definition of maximum employment.”

Write to Paul Kiernan at paul.kiernan@wsj.com

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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Florida Ron DeSantis slams President Joe Biden at G7 summit

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis knocked President Joe Biden’s messaging at the G7 summit, noting that America’s enemies are “sizing up” the passive president at the international conference.

During an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” DeSantis said Biden’s low energy approach is “quite a contrast” from former President Donald Trump.

“I think that President Biden is someone that’s much more passive on the world stage, not nearly as assertive as somebody like Donald Trump was,” the Republican governor told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo. “I think his energy level is obviously much lower. And so I think that’s just something that people are sizing up. I think that our adversaries are watching that.”

“I didn’t hear very much in the way of holding China accountable for their role in covering up the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he continued. “I think that’s absolutely essential that China be held accountable for their role in that, as well as any bureaucrats in the United States who may have been covering it up.”

DeSantis also questioned Biden’s loyalty toward Middle America while he was hobnobbing with European elites and making commitments to decrease the energy production in the United States.

“They were talking economically a lot about other countries, [Biden] was talking about reducing energy production worldwide, and I couldn’t help but think, here in the United States, he’s leaving a lot of people behind,” DeSantis said.

“Look at all the workers he left behind by canceling the Keystone XL pipeline,” DeSantis noted. “Those were thousands and thousands of very good jobs.”

“And then also think about family budgets, with the sharp increase in gas prices, and then the overall budding inflation that we are seeing that’s being fueled by his big-spending policies,” DeSantis said of deteriorating economic factors since Biden took office. “So, I think that his performance probably played well with European elites. Not sure that there was much in it for Middle America.”

The national average gallon of regular gas in the U.S. is $3.078, versus $2.100 in 2020, according to AAA. Gas prices for Memorial Day weekend were the highest since 2014.

Consumer prices rose 5% year over year in May, the fastest pace since August 2008, CNBC reported.

DeSantis touted his home state of Florida for attracting wealthy individuals and corporations from other states.

“I mean, before COVID, we had seen by far the highest amount of wealth move into Florida compared to any other state,” he explained. “But I think that’s accelerated since COVID. I think you’re seeing a lot of people move here. Obviously, we have a very favorable tax climate. Florida is the lowest per capita tax burden, individual tax burden, in the country. And we are very proud of that. That has led, obviously, to more businesses moving here.”

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Schools Brace For Big Influx of Kindergartenl Kids Next Fall – PJ Media

The pandemic wreaked havoc on the lives of children and teens for more than a year. But it may be the youngest students that the lockdowns damaged the most.

Childhood education experts agree that the difference between being a good student and poor student is found in early childhood education. When young children first enter either pre-school or kindergarten, tests show that there is no racial disparity between black and white kids. All children that age want to learn, are eager to learn.





But the pandemic short-circuited the education of many young children by denying them access to educational opportunities in many communities. Now, with the pandemic over, school districts are anticipating a huge influx of kindergarteners who may already be a year behind. That could cause unforeseen problems now and down the road in these children’s educational careers.

Associated Press:

“The job of the kindergarten teacher just got a lot harder,” said Steven Barnett, senior co-director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University. He coauthored a report that found that the number of 4-year-olds participating in preschool fell from 71% before the pandemic to 54% during the pandemic, with poor children much less likely to attend in-person.

Kindergarten is not required in most states, and in normal times, parents sometimes “red-shirt” children who would be young for their kindergarten class to give them an extra year of developmental readiness. This year, even children nowhere near the cutoff age were held out of school because of health concerns and the disruptions caused by the pandemic.

The burden will fall on the teachers and it’s an open question whether pre-school and kindergarten teachers — usually the bottom of the rung as far as pay and benefits — can handle it.





In Orange County, Florida, there are estimates that the incoming kindergarten class will be 17% bigger than in fall 2020 and officials are planning a 5 1/2 week transition program this summer at some of its neediest schools.

In Minnesota, the St. Paul district is anticipating nearly 22% more kindergartners than in fall 2020. The district plans to do testing over the summer to identify any special needs that have been missed, such as vision problems and speech delays, said Lori Erickson, a veteran kindergarten teacher who now coordinates the district’s pre-kindergarten program.

Most districts are receiving money from pandemic relief funds and plan to use it to jumpstart kindergarteners with summer educational programs. That will no doubt help with the transition, but the fact remains that there are millions of five- and six-year-old kids who are in danger of being left behind through no fault of their own.

“When people talk about learning loss and kids being behind, it won’t be a quick solution. That’s going to be a multi-year solution, but it will be solved,” said Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Scott Elder.

Perhaps the classes won’t be as large as feared. The pandemic may have turned many parents into homeschool advocates and perhaps more families than expected will opt for stay-at-home instruction for the youngest. Other parents see no problem with holding their children back a year. Since kindergarten is optional in many states, some parents may choose to skip kindergarten altogether.





Related: Homeschooling During Coronavirus? Here Are Resources for Parents

But there’s no doubt when looking at the damage wrought by the pandemic, that the educational problems of America’s youngest students must be seen in the context of a lost opportunity.

 

 


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Tennis-Calendar Grand Slam possible this year, says Djokovic

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PARIS — For the second time in six years Novak Djokovic is halfway to a calendar year sweep of all four Grand Slam titles after winning the French Open for a second time on Sunday.

The 34-year-old dug deep into his reserves of resilience to hit back from two sets down against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas to win 6-7(6) 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 and increase his Grand Slam tally to 19.

That takes him only one behind the men’s record 20 held by Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer and there is nothing to suggest the world number one will not surpass his two career rivals.

He can already claim something neither of those two can, after his win over the 22-year-old Tsitsipas made him the first player in the professional era to win each of the four Grand Slams at least twice.

Having already claimed the Australian Open this year, he has a shot at becoming the first man to win all four majors in the same year since Rod Laver in 1969 and he could even complete a ‘Golden Slam’ by adding the Olympic title in Tokyo.

“Everything is possible,” Djokovic told reporters.

“I’ve achieved some things that a lot of people thought it would be not possible for me to achieve. Everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam. But, you know, I was in this position in 2016 as well.

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“It ended up in a third-round loss in Wimbledon.”

Wimbledon returns later this month after last year’s tournament was canceled because of the pandemic.

Djokovic won it in 2019 and will be the favorite to add a sixth title on the grass, after which he will turn his thoughts to the Olympic Games and the U.S. Open.

“Obviously I will enjoy this win and then think about Wimbledon in a few days’ time. I don’t have an issue to say that I’m going for the title in Wimbledon,” he said.

“Of course I am. I won in ’18 and ’19 there. Hopefully I can keep that run going.”

As far as chasing down Federer and Nadal, Djokovic said he has always considered it a possibility despite the fact that when he won his second Grand Slam title at the 2011 Australian Open, Nadal had nine and Federer was on 16.

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“I never thought it was a mission impossible to reach the Grand Slams of these guys,” Djokovic said. “I mean, I’m not there, but it’s one less. But they are still playing.

“Obviously they’re playing great, especially Rafa with his level. We all have still opportunities at Wimbledon, all the other slams. I’ll keep on going. I’ll keep on chasing. At the same time I’ll keep on paving my own path.”

His long-time coach Marian Vajda joked after Sunday’s comeback win that he and Goran Ivanisevic, who is also part of the team, would retire if Djokovic won the calendar Slam.

“I think it is possible, much more possible. He loves to play in Wimbledon and U.S. Open,” he told reporters. “As much as Novak is healthy, and he’s healthy right now, he’s in great shape, I think he has ability to win the Grand Slam for this year. I’m pretty sure.”

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It did not look likely when Djokovic trailed by two sets against an inspired Tsitsipas on Sunday — the effort of beating Nadal in a seismic semi-final appearing to catch up on him.

But Djokovic said some words of wisdom from a young fan helped him out.

“I don’t know the boy. He was in my ear the entire match basically, especially when I was two sets to love down. He was encouraging me. He was actually giving me tactics,” Djokovic, who presented the excited fan with his racket at the end, said.

“He was like, ‘hold your serve, get an easy first ball, then dictate, go to his backhand’. He was coaching me literally. I found that very cute, very nice.” (Reporting by Martyn Herman Editing by Toby Davis)

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DeSantis knocks Biden’s messaging at G7: ‘His performance probably played well with European elites, not sure there was much in it for Middle America’