Ye Ole Defamation: Renaissance Faire’s King and Queen Found to be Limited Public Figures

There is an interesting ruling in Amor v. Conover on the definition of a limited public figure for defamation. United States District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge John Gallagher (E.D. Pa.) ruled that Dr. James Amor and Ms. Patricia Amor are limited public figures subject to a higher standard of proof due to their roles as performance directors of the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival as well as playing the King and Queen at such costumed faires.

James Amor is a lowly dentist during the week but emerged as a sovereign on weekends at such festivals with his wife. They became embroiled in a controversy over alleged sexual abuse at the festival. They allegedly “retaliated against said rape and/or sexual assault victims by, amongst other things, publicly humiliating them, calling them crazy, refusing to rehire them, and/or terminating them from employment.”

The couple denied the allegations and sued for defamation. That led to the question of whether the couple should be treated as mere peasants (private individuals) or the royalty of defamation law (public figures).

In New York Times v. Sullivan, the Supreme Court crafted the actual malice standard that required public officials to shoulder the higher burden of proving defamation. Under that standard, an official would have to show either actual knowledge of its falsity or a reckless disregard of the truth.

The standard was later extended to public figures.  The Supreme Court has held that public figure status applies when  someone “thrust[s] himself into the vortex of [the] public issue [and] engage[s] the public’s attention in an attempt to influence its outcome.” A limited-purpose public figure status applies if someone voluntarily “draw[s] attention to himself” or allows himself to become part of a controversy “as a fulcrum to create public discussion.” Wolston v. Reader’s Digest Association, 443 U.S. 157, 168 (1979).

In creating this higher burden, the Court sought to create “breathing space” for the media by articulating that standard that now applies to both public officials and public figures. Public figures are viewed having an enhanced ability to defend themselves and engaging in “self-help” in the face of criticism. The Court also viewed these figures as thrusting themselves into the public eye, voluntarily assuming the risk of heightened criticism. I have previously written about the continuing questions over the inclusion of the public figures with public officials in tort actions.

In this case, Judge Gallagher applied the Third Circuit’s two-part inquiry “(1) whether the alleged defamation involves a public controversy, and (2) the nature and extent of plaintiff’s involvement in that controversy.” There is little question that a claim of sexual abuse at the Renaissance Festival is a matter of public controversy.

The question, however, remained the status of the Amors. The Court noted:

In analyzing this prong, this Court evaluates the dual considerations behind the distinction between private individuals and limited purpose public figures: the “rationale of self-help” and, more importantly, “the notion of assumption of the risk.” … Plaintiffs’ considerable social media following, along with Plaintiffs’ own assertion that Dr. Amor has “a high profile on numerous Internet sites,” militates toward a finding that Plaintiffs have at least somewhat of a “greater access to channels of effective communication” than purely private individuals.

The Court now considers the more significant consideration of whether the “Plaintiff voluntarily assumed the risk of attracting public attention.” In Chuy v. Philadelphia Eagles Football Club, the Third Circuit held that by assuming the role of a professional football player, Don Chuy of the Philadelphia Eagles “was a limited purpose public figure with respect to statements regarding the effect of his medical condition on his ability to play football.” Similarly, the court in Mzamane held that by accepting the role of headmistress at a unique and innovative private school, the plaintiff qualified as a limited purpose public figure “with respect to statements involving the administration [of the school] as it relates to the safety and treatment of the students.” The plaintiff’s “status as Headmistress invited public comment about her performance in executing her responsibilities for overseeing the development and well-being of the students, whether good or bad.” The court held that, “[h]aving voluntarily joined a novel and innovative educational institution which was bound to attract public attention … Plaintiff became limited public figure under the First Amendment.”

Plaintiff Dr. Amor invited public comment about his performance in executing his responsibilities as Performance Director of an event that invites public attention and attendance, the renaissance festival. Dr. Amor, by his own admission, “has a high profile on numerous Internet sites” in part due to his role as Performance Director of the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival and his involvement in other renaissance faires. Other considerations support a finding that Plaintiffs have a “high profile.” Dr. Amor and Ms. Amor publicly portray the “King” and “Queen” and the Pittsburgh and West Virginia Renaissance Festivals and have marched in the local Pittsburgh news station’s Christmas/Holiday Parade. The Amors have been featured in the national “Renaissance Magazine” and attract significant attention on social media related to their involvement in renaissance festivals across the region. Plaintiff Ms. Amor is also a Performance Director at the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival, and consistently appears with Dr. Amor at renaissance festivals and related events.

By assuming high-profile leadership positions for a public event that gave them authority to direct and lead cast members, as well as to exert influence in personnel decisions, Plaintiffs assumed the risk of public comment about their performance and execution of these responsibilities. Allegations that Plaintiffs failed to take seriously claims that cast members/employees under their supervision committed sexual misconduct are precisely the type of public comment about their performance that Plaintiffs invited by assuming these roles. The Court therefore finds that Plaintiffs’ are limited purpose public figures for the purposes of this action.

Now that the Amors are limited public figures, they will have to show actual knowledge of its falsity or a reckless disregard of the truth. Of course, counsel could try argue that, since Amor’s status as faux sovereign was cited, he will now claim that “the King can do no wrong.” Of course, even that axiom could be challenged. See Case of Non Obstante, or Dispensing Power (1606) 77 Eng. Rep. 1300, 1300-01; 12 Co. Rep. 18, 18-19 (KB) (“No [Act] can bind the King from any Prerogative which is sole and inseparable to his person . . . . [B]ut in things which are not incident solely and inseparably to the [King], but belong to every subject, and may be severed, an Act of Parliament may absolutely bind the King . . . .”).

49 thoughts on “Ye Ole Defamation: Renaissance Faire’s King and Queen Found to be Limited Public Figures”

  1. And non of you want to mind your own bobbers. You can’t be real like that? Who do you think will win heading in to a war in america? All you agenda 21 Willamette to essentially. Totally! The rural won’t lose! I’ll put that mildly! But you at exiled to your utopia city. Bye now!

  2. Breaking

    Georgia Launches Investigation Into Warnock’s Church Following Free Beacon Report

    Georgia has launched an investigation into a charity controlled by the church that pays Sen. Raphael Warnock (D., Ga.) a $7,417 monthly housing allowance and owns an apartment building that is trying to evict tenants, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

    The Georgia Secretary of State Office’s Securities and Charities Division on Wednesday sent a letter to Ebenezer Building Foundation demanding that the charity explain why it is operating in the state without an active registration. The Ebenezer Building Foundation has reported in each of its Form 990 tax returns filed with the IRS since 2011 that it is registered to operate as a charity in Georgia. But the Georgia Securities and Charities Division told the Free Beacon that Warnock’s charity is not registered with state authorities.

    Ebenezer Building Foundation identifies Warnock as its principal officer in its Form 990s and says it delegates all management duties to Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Warnock pulls a salary on top of a lucrative tax-free housing allowance as he serves in the Senate.

    1. It is my understanding that Walker has agreed to pay Rent for Warnock tenants to keep them from getting evicted.

    2. Is this the place pilgrim out of state come to get a georgia dl? Then it or moter voter registered?

  3. Jonathan: “The King can do no wrong”. A fitting case and analogous to the problem now facing Donald Trump–who thinks he is “King”. You cite the English 17th century case that held: “[B]ut the things which are not incident solely and inseparably to the [King], but belong to every subject, and may be severed, an Act of Parliament may absolutely bind the King…”. Too bad Trump is not familiar with the origin of our jurisprudence.

    Donald Trump has always considered himself above the law. He has acted like a “King”, reserving to himself the right to ignore the laws that apply to any other “subject”. He still claims all the docs he took back to Mar-a-Lago belong to him. “They’re mine” he shouts and demands they be returned to him immediately. He claims the PRA, an act of “Parliament”, doesn’t apply to him. Trump had a rude awakening this week when the Supreme Court refused to acknowledge his claim over the docs the DOJ can now use in their criminal investigation. None of the 3 of his appointees would support Trump–not even Clarence Thomas. Even the conservative majority on the Court refused to recognize the “divine right of Kings”.

    And there is other bad news for the “King” in his defiance of the lawful acts of “Parliament”. Yesterday, the Jan. 6 Committee authorized a subpoena ordering Trump to appear before the panel and testify. If Trump goes to court to fight the subpoena he will lose. There are ample precedents that presidents and former presidents can be compelled to testify and provide relevant records before “Parliament”. The most recent case is that of Pres. Ford that honored a subpoena and testified before a Congressional subcommittee to answer Qs about his pardon of Richard Nixon.

    And what is the “King’s” response to the Jan. 6 subpoena? In a 14 page letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson, Chair of the Jan. 6 panel, Trump began by again falsely claiming: “THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 2020 WAS RIGGED AND STOLEN”–all in caps. The letter went down hill after that with Trump referring to the bipartisan panel as a “Committee of highly partisan political Hacks and Thugs” and called the Jan.6 hearings a “Show Trial”. Nothing about any legal objections to the subpoena–just invective. If Trump refuses to testify he will find himself in good company with Steve Bannon who also defied a Jan. 6 subpoena, was found in contempt and now faces up to 12 months in jail. As the English King found in the 17th century the acts of “Parliament” cannot be ignored.

    1. The current King has F’d up by the numbers.

      Trying to paint Trump as arrogant and blind to reality would be far more effective if he had been an actual failure rather that the most successful president in the 21st century, and if Biden had not already earned the distinction as the most arrogant failure of the 21st century.

      Nearly everything Trump touched turned to gold.
      Nearly everything Biden has touched turned to $hit.

      It did not have to be that way. The vast majority of us not welded to one party or another would have been ecstatic to see Biden succeed.
      My beleifs, and values and understanding of reality left me to doubt the likelyhood Biden would succeed.
      But I never expected the catastrophic failure we are having.

      Biden rants and raves about the dangers of “Ultra MAGA” – While DOJ/FBI claiming a massive threat runs arround arresting peacefull abortion protestors.

      But he actually has a point, the anarchy and chaos that he has created dramatically increase the odds of an authoritarian promising to fix all the problems Biden has created if only we give them total power. We are not there – and there is not the slightest hint of that on the horizon.
      And if there were there would be nothing for the FBI to investigate. You do not thwart authoritarianism by sending the FBI after them. You thwart it with ordered liberty, the rule of law, rather than anarchy and chaos.

    2. Wow, lots of brilliant Trump qoutes to the J6 committee.
      Regardless we do not have a parliament.

      Trump has already told the J6 committee – why did you wait so long ?

      Trump is not fighting this he is embracing it.
      There likely will be a legal battle – one the J6 committee will lose.
      Because Trump will only testify in public.
      Democrats might win a subpeona to private testimony battle, but that is highly unlikely and further they do not have time for a fight.
      I suspect they were hoping and expecting that Trump would fight them.
      By flipping the script the J6 committee has 2 choices – let Trump testify publicly possibly before the midterms.
      Or start a legal battle where Trump publicly asserts at every opportunity that he will be happy to testify PUBLICLY,
      and democrats have to explain to voters why they can not accept that.
      If that become the legal battle – Trump will win, because it will not be resolved before there is a new congress.

      I would note that the video of the day is pelosi on J6 immediately Before protestors came to the capital on learning Trump was comming, threatening to punch him out if he tried to Tresspass on the capital. Making it clear that Pelosi locked down the capital unsconstitutionally as a means of entrapping either Trump or his supporters.

    3. We do not have a king, and we do not have a parliment,
      And yes actually the J6 committee can be ignored.

    4. Or mind your own bobber……and America’s backbone is Euless when fishermen stuff lead….that’s a missionary rules so corrupt maybe lead is the only solution at this point that we’ve come to! Well see. But we are certainly ducked if our choice is a”pastor” who’s the devil……who wants abortion as vs a stud who lies…there is no good option. Yet maybe there is. God asks us to trust him and he will give us discernment! He’s got the whole world in is hands! Leaping……

    5. “A fitting case and analogous to the problem now facing Donald Trump–who thinks he is ‘King’”.

      Meanwhile, in the realm of reality: Those who do believe that they have dominion over everything — the petty tyrants in the Biden administration — are wrecking the economy, have militarized the DOJ and politicized the FBI, are pushing for censorship, have endangered everyone by coddling criminals, and are itching for a nuclear war with Russia,

  4. Meanwhile, Turley ignores the latest revelations from the J6 committee, showing that Trump KNEW he lost, that he planned long before Election Day to claim a win, knowing that the polls showed he would lose, that the insurrection was planned out in advance, as early as December 26th, and that some sympathetic Secret Service people might have been involved. Then, there’s the weapons stored in a VA hotel room across the Potomac, waiting for Trump’s signal to invade. What say you Trump disciples about the fact that he watched the insurrection for 187 minutes before calling off the faithful, and when he did, he told them he “loved them”? How about the fact that he continues to lie about losing?

    Is this acceptable to you–a presidential candidate who not only won’t concede gracefully, but planned, even before Election Day to put out the lie that he really won–held rallies–stirred up his fans into believing they had been cheated, tried to bully the VP into refusing valid, certified votes, and when that and 60+ lawsuits failed for lack of evidence, tried for stop Congress from certifying the election results. Is this OK with you?

    1. Regarding Gigi……speaking of receptive aphasia, per Wiki:

      Impaired comprehension: deficits in understanding (receptive) written and spoken language.[2] This is because Wernicke’s area is responsible for assigning meaning to the language that is heard, so if it is damaged, the brain cannot comprehend the information that is being received.
      Poor word retrieval: ability to retrieve target words is impaired.[2] This is also referred to as anomia.
      Fluent speech: individuals with Wernicke’s aphasia do not have difficulty with producing connected speech that flows.[6] Although the connection of the words may be appropriate, the words they are using may not belong together or make sense (see Production of jargon below).[7]
      Production of jargon: speech that lacks content, consists of typical intonation, and is structurally intact.[8] Jargon can consist of a string of neologisms, as well as a combination of real words that do not make sense together in context. The jargon may include word salads.
      Awareness: Individuals with Wernicke’s aphasia are often not aware of their incorrect productions, which would further explain why they do not correct themselves when they produce jargon, paraphasias, or neologisms

      Gigi is the paid troll formerly known as Natacha who stole an attorney’s identity in Indiana, according to an attorney in Indiana and blog reader, and once claimed to be a Nurse Practitioner with an MSN Degree.

      Gigi is a professional troll, made in the image of David Brock

      David Brock, Liar. A lifelong habit proves hard to break.

      1. Hey, great comeback and response to the merits. I ask again: is what your hero has done OK with you? Are you aware of any actual facts or evidence to counter what the J6 committe has come up with? The J6 committee has done a marvelous job of shooting down all of the Trump lies about the insurrection, they proved it was planned in advance, and not a spontaneous protest that got out of control, and is all based on a lie Trump KNEW was a lie, and that he planned to lie about losing long before Election Day when polls showed he was going to lose. When someone puts a question to you disciples about whether this conduct from a losing Presidential candidate is acceptable, your response is to attack the questioner. This is why I cannot respect people like you–you don’t have a point, you can’t come up with any facts or logic, you falsely accuse people of identity theft, mental illness, lying, being a paid troll and making nonsensical arguments, all while hiding your own identity. That proves the point about discipleship and adherence to alt-right media and their lies.

        1. “David Brock is a Hillary Clinton acolyte who rose to prominence on the left. He is the head of the prolific Media Matters which is a bunch of dudes who rub lotion on George Soros and they sit in their
          mother’s basement”


    2. Is DC Judge Amit Mehta Purposely Rushing the Oathkeepers Trial in Front of Kangaroo Court Before Mid-Term Elections? DOJ Drops 4 Terabytes of Data on Defense During Trial
      By Laura Jenkins
      Published October 12, 2022 at 8:30am


      US Supreme Court Overturns Pennsylvania Court – Rules that Ballots with Even Minor Flaws Cannot Be Counted in Elections
      By Joe Hoft
      Published October 12, 2022 at 10:45am

    3. Update: Colorado Secretary of State Says 30,000 Noncitizens Received Voter Registration Notices Due to ‘Database Glitch’ Related to List of Residents with Driver’s Licenses
      By Cristina Laila
      Published October 12, 2022 at 11:25am


    4. “Trump KNEW he lost, that he planned long before Election Day to claim a win, knowing that the polls showed he would lose”
      No part of this was new. A few days before the election lots of polls had Biden winning by 11pts. That was not even close to correct.
      EVERYONE knew the polls showed Trump losing. The debate was how bad was the error in the polls –
      Yes, Trump planned on claiming a victory regardless of the vote. So did Biden. Hillary publicly told Biden not to conceded under any circumstances – openly admitting that Democrats knew the Polls were bogus. If the Error in the polls in 2020 is matched in 2022 – Democrats are going to lose almost every race they are not +6 or greater right now.
      Of course we do not know the actual polling error in 2022. But we do know it in 2016, 2018 and 2020 and it has been large and growing and the error overestimates democrats.

      “that the insurrection was planned out in advance, as early as December 26th”
      There was no insurrection of Trump would be president. You and your ilk keep asserting this absurd claim.
      That said the protests att he capital were planned well in advance – absolutely.

      “Then, there’s the weapons stored in a VA hotel room across the Potomac, waiting for Trump’s signal to invade.”
      Thousands of weapons or two or 3 ? For an insurection you bring thousands of weapons and you do not store them 30minutes away.
      You bring them with you. Had the minuteman had weapons 30min away when the british arrived at lexington, there would be no United States today.

      ” What say you Trump disciples about the fact that he watched the insurrection for 187 minutes before calling off the faithful, and when he did, he told them he “loved them”? How about the fact that he continues to lie about losing?”
      Much of this is bogus but irrlevant. the claim that Trump did nothing has been multiply debunked.

      Further as recently released Pelosi video from J6 BEFORE the violence indicates – this was Planned BY PELOSI.
      Pelosi threatens to punch Trump out and arrest Trump when he trespasses on the capital.
      As I have said before – locking the capital was a deliberate effort to entrap protestors, one that violated the first amendment.

      Regardless, it reinforces another absolutely critical fact – Trump does NOT control the capital. It is not within the presidents power to Act with respect to the capital and the capital grounds. Trump had authorized the use of the NG days before. All that was necescary was someone withon the capital to request them – which THEY did not do.

      You constantly keep trying to make things that you do not like that are not crimes into crimes.

      “Is this acceptable to you–a presidential candidate who not only won’t concede gracefully,”
      That depends. I expect political candidates to concede gracefully when it is clear they lost. It is STILL not clear Trump lost.
      It probably never will be.
      I do not expect any candidate – right or left to concede when there has been fraud, or even where the election is close.
      Franken Coleman was within 3500 votes on Election day – with Coleman winning. Franken change the results and successive recounts and votes found in car trunks ultimately resulted in a 5,000 vote swing to Franken 9months later.
      Should Franken have conceeded ?
      Hillary has not yet conceeded 2016. And still claims it was fraud.
      In 2018 a GOP house candidate in NC won by about 900 votes. Claims of ballot harvesting resulted in that election being decertified about a year later. No one was ever able to prove whether the ballot harvesting was significant enough to flip the election – only that it occured, nor was the ballot harvesting of actually fraudulent votes. It was merely third parties picking up voters Ballots and bringing them to the election offices, and the court invalidated the election.

      “but planned, even before Election Day to put out the lie that he really won–held rallies–stirred up his fans into believing they had been cheated,”
      And democrats were doing exactly the same.
      I was praying for a clear victory on election day because anything else was going to be trouble.
      Do you think if Trump had lost the popular vote but won the election by 45,000 votes that there would not be riots by the left all over ?

      We had riots and arson and violence all summer – everyone knew what would happen if the left did nto get what they wanted.

      One of the factors driving court decisions before and after the election was the courts fear of violence.
      What do you think would have happened had any court proceded on a Trump election challenge ?
      There would be violence.

      The left extorted the courts – shut Trump down or we burn down the country.

      And everyone knew this before the election.

      A narrow Biden win would result in court challenges.
      A narrow Trump win would result in mass violence.

      “tried to bully the VP into refusing valid, certified votes, and when that and 60+ lawsuits failed for lack of evidence, tried for stop Congress from certifying the election results. Is this OK with you?”
      Eliminate the stupid left wing nut spin and yes, I am OK with that.

      There is no place in the constitution that a role for the courts in elections is specified. There is no place in the constitution that mentions elections certification, or even a role for state executives. The constitution specifies that state legislatures direct how electors are to be appointed, and that congress accept or reject the votes of electors. While I have no direct problem with the word certify – you are trying to make it have more meaning than it does. The election results are determined by a vote of congress. Congress has the power to accept or reject the vote of the electors. For any reason – including their beleif that the results were fraudulent. Further that has occurred before – in 1876 Congress rejected state slates of electors.

      You are free to dislike the process, Just as you are free to dislike the entire electoral college. But your dislike is irrelevant.
      That is what the constitution specifies. If you wish for something different amend the constitution.

      You talk about 60 court cases – as if there was a SINGLE evidentiary hearing – but there was not one.

      You have identified EXACTLY the case in which Congress should step in.
      There are credible and uninvestigated claims of election fraud.
      The margin of victory is razor thin. The courts have NOT allowed investigation – in fact at every level real investigation has been thwarted.
      The courts decided cases based on court made legal doctrines – such as laches, or standing – not based on examination of the election itself
      and about half the country thinks the election stinks.

      That is PRECISELY the type of situation that the constitution imagined when it left the final decision to congress.

      Something you do not grasp. The vote of Congress is pro forma 90% of the time. But Congress was constitutionally given the last word as the final check – not merely for Fraud, but for any unforeseen problems.

      So long as the vote of congress was the final decision, Trump was free to attempt anything the law and constitution did not prohibit to change that decision. He was free to do so, regardless of his probability of succeeding. He was free to do so regardless of your belief that he was wrong.
      He was free to do so even if he was actually provably completely wrong.

  5. It’s so great the way younger folks think that life is just one big LARPing event, and they are willing to go to court over it. Sigh. Sigh. They are also willing to go to court over the imaginary game of Quidditch, against the author who invented from her imagination, the imaginary game of Quidditch. Our future rests on these shoulders. Please let that sink in for a minute.

  6. Kings, Queens, Fairies and Pixies. Fame and double entendre aside, this case has Paul Lynde from the Hollywood Squares all over it


  7. OT,
    I dont usually do OT, but I think this is important to make people aware of.

    So, CPI data came in at an unexpected 0.4% (vs the expected 0.2%). Some are calling that, “progress.”

    What we have not seen, yet, is the price increases from this years crop harvests. The prices of fuel, fertilizer (even the availability of fertilizer), drought, all are indicating lower yields, equating to higher prices.
    For example,
    “What you’re seeing harvested this summer that really hasn’t even hit the grocery shelf is a 25% increase in the cost of the product to the processors — the canners, the buyers downstream,” California State Board of Food and Agriculture President Don Cameron told Reuters. “The onions and garlic have already been negotiated for 2023 with another 25% increase in price.”

    USDA has data indicating the US wheat exports could be the lowest in half a century.

    Depending on which data set you use, food inflation started either late last year, or at planting time this year. And we are going to see more in 2023.
    So, if someone tries to make the claim, “If Republicans win [sic mid-terms], inflation is going to get worse. It’s that simple.” they are either an idiot, or lying.
    Buy seeds now. Start a garden indoors next year. If you can/have space, get some small livestock.

    1. UpstateFarmer, inflation will continue even if the Democrats lose the House and the Senate. EPA guidelines require reports by manufacturers their carbon footprint. The reports must include the carbon footprint from the extraction of minerals used to manufacture the new equipment they buy and every step along the way until the equipment is installed in the factory. This includes the carbon footprint of the ships that transport the equipment, the footprint of the docking facilities, the footprint of the manufacturing of the containers on the ships, the footprint of the trucks that deliver the new equipment and then the footprint of the use of the new equipment. This regulation drives up the cost of manufacturing and the result must be rising prices to cover these costs caused by regulations imposed by the government. So yes. Inflation intentionally brought about by centralized government control is here to stay unless a change of leadership is in the future.

      1. TiT,
        Is the EPA also going to include the carbon footprint for disposal (i.e. safe recycling of and not just chucking them into a landfill to contaminate the water table) of certain equipment, like solar panels, EV batteries, wind turbines? No sarc intended, asking.
        Be interesting to see that aspect of the carbon footprint.
        One thing I have yet to see is the total cost, from extraction of minerals to disposal (think cradle to grave for a solar panel or EV battery).
        Something tells me, once done, the cost both monetary and in terms of carbon footprint will show the net zero carbon emissions will not be economically viable, or sustainable.
        Not unless every single person on the planet willfully reduces their carbon footprint back to the 1850s level.

        1. UpstateFarmer, the windmills are being manufactured in france. Unlike manufacturers in the U.S. the French manufacturers are not required to report their carbon footprint to the EPA. This gives the French manufactures a distinct competitive advantage. So much for Biden’s new manufactured in America plan and tne resulting jobs he promises.

    2. Thanks Upstate, I have seen horrific numbers (some are predictions) about food costs and I believe this is going to be destructive to the middle class. Will the government be increasing the number of food stamp recipients and the dollar amount? IMO we will see starvation in the third world due to Biden’s policies, but Democrats do not care. Will this destroy a lot of farmers?

      Since you are at ground zero, what will the prices be for milk, eggs, butter, cheese, Peanut butter, Jelly and the other most common foods used by middle class families with young children?

      1. S. Meyer,
        I dont know if you read about it, but there are reports of possible butter shortages in the coming months. No kidding. Due to the cost of feed and in some regions, drought conditions, dairy farmers are sending their herds to market in record numbers. Same with beef ranchers. Not sure about where you live, but at the grocery we have seen empty shelves of things like cream cheese, half and half, butter drastically reduced to one deep stocking with some brands missing, and prices across the board have gone up 20-30%.

        There was a avian bird flu outbreak that caused massive culling of chicken flocks earlier this year. It will take time to rebuild those flocks, namely of the egg laying kind.
        In the coming months and even as long as 2 years, I think we will see not only prices going up by another (best case) 20% to (worst case) 100% and even shortages/empty shelves for prolonged periods of time.

        The July jobs report came in nearly twice what was expected (525,000 vs 250,000). Sounds great right (or so the Biden admin claimed)? But when you drilled down into the Home Household Survey, those extra 200,000 or so jobs were not additional people gaining full employment. It was 200,000 people who were already working, taking up a second part time or in some cases full time jobs to make ends meet. Not good.

        Another recent report showed more people living paycheck to paycheck. Also of note, people making six (6!) figures living paycheck to paycheck went 38% to 46%!
        Just read WaWa (a regional convenience store in the Eastern PA area) is closing two more of their locations in Central City Philadelphia due to increases in theft and threats to employees. The number of companies leaving or have left Chicago is not shocking to me. Same goes for NYC, San Fran, and LA as crime continues to rise. Those with the means are leaving and citing crime as their motivator.

        If my predictions of food price increases come to pass, I expect to see flash mobs of more and more convenience stores like WaWa, and even grocery stores. Already read about some grocery chains hiring their own security guards.

        As the good professor’s site focuses mainly around free speech and censorship, my question is, will we see an attempt to censor reports of food thefts, flash mobs at grocery stores, food shortages?

        1. To add, with the CPI report, the Fed is expected to raise interest rates by 75 base points. Some are claiming the Fed will push the US economy into a recession (I think we are already there or close to it).
          One pundit claimed, a recession will slay inflation!
          I think it may be possible we will have both a recession and high inflation.
          BTW, recent jobs report showed that in Sept, the difference between wages and inflation was -3.3%. That would be the 18th month in a row wages failed to keep up with inflation by no small amount, wages at 4%, inflation at 8%.

          1. I think we will see stagflation. We put too much money in the economy, so we will have to take some of it out (recession), but inflation will not return to normal for quite a while while we see unemployment rise and people without the funds to spend money. Much of the money spent by the Biden administration doesn’t lead to production, so even that money cannot add the additional stimulus they desire.

            I remember Carter. The elderly on fixed incomes, formerly living comfortably for the rest of their lives, found their wealth cut in half. Suddenly they ended up on government programs. That creates government spending and printing, which pushes inflation treated with further recession. That becomes a concern to Washington because suddenly, there is no desire for $1,000 tickets, and the theaters close while the cabbies lose money because their clients are no longer going to the theater.

            The Democrats and leftists created a mess. They always do. In fact, Washington is a mess creator. We must return to a smaller federal government and let the people rule. Is that what the left and Democrats want? No. They wish to impoverish the entire population except for the elites. They want everyone to be on government benefits. In that way, the left is bringing back slavery, slavery for the benefits provided by their masters.

            1. S. Meyer,
              With respect, I disagree about stagflation, at least in the near term (next few months to a possible 2 years).
              My reasoning is thus, due to the Ukraine/Russia war, energy is in very tight supply. LNG ships are not in an abundance and takes years to build. Also, the infrastructure in the EU for LNG from ships is not there in quantity to supply the EU in a economic viability. Again, the timeline to build that kind of infrastructure takes years. The fact they spun down their coal and nuclear power plants, relying on cheap Russian natural gas and oil during the transition from fossil fuels to the “green energy,” they cut their own nose off their own face. What sense did that make? I think a recent US president made a similar observation. He was spot on.

              Lower crop yields will keep food prices elevated in the near term. And it is just not a US concern, but a global crisis as some counties (IIRC 47 of them) are highly dependent on Russian and the Ukraine wheat exports.
              The cost of fertilizer (directly connected to the price of natural gas) is at a all time high. The UN recently estimated half of the worlds population is supported by crops using fertilizer to get their yields per acre.
              As a result, the cost of feed for dairy farmers and cattle ranchers will be higher. Those costs will be passed onto the consumer. As I noted previously, wages are not keeping up with inflation. More and more Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, to include the middle class. I have been saving our grocery store receipts since the on set of the pandemic. I am about to dive down into those, and tally up the results of the cost of basic (e.g. milk, butter, eggs etc.) and how they have increased in prices probably quarter to quarter from 2020 till now.

              Unless there is some kind of miracle, I stick with my possible prediction of recession and inflation at the same time based on the above.
              I hope I am wrong for the well being of millions of Americans, and even more millions of people across the world. This is the kind of situation that collapses nations, or even entire regions. See the Arab Spring. Imagine that coming to a neighborhood near you, or yours.

              1. “With respect, I disagree about stagflation”

                No problem. I can’t say when we will be able to use the term stagflation, but some of the components are already here. For the record, my understanding of stagflation is high inflation, high unemployment, and a stagnant economy. I don’t see any difference in what we are saying.

              2. I agree with alot of what you say.
                The entire world economy is shacky – it was weak before this War.

                the last time we saw this kind of insecurity globally was as you noted Arab Spring – this is worse.
                We can expect the possibility of violence throughout the world.

                The US for all its current problems is probably the strongest economy in the world right now.
                We will likely weather this all best – but dreams of a brighter tomorow anytime soon are fantasy.
                The Fed is rightly trying to cause a recession right now – to bring down inflation.
                And this administration is stupidly trying to hide from that.

                All of this will drive up Violence, crime, drug use, drug overdose, anxiety depression, suicide for some time to come.

          2. The cure for inflation is recession. Whether the Fed admits it or not they are trying to cause a recession.
            We are already early in a recession.

            I would be perfectly happy to learn there is another way to clear inflation from the economy, but I am not aware of one, nor anyone credible claiming there is one.

            We have a choice between a recession now and a worse recession later.

        2. .”Not sure about where you live.”

          Upstate, from what I understand, you are rural. I live in affluent urban areas. I think that leads to differences in our perception of shortages and many other things. I spend time peering into what America’s middle class faces, but elites that live in the areas I do are often callous to their sufferings.

          In NYC they say they need higher incomes to SURVIVE than in other places. They are absolutely correct. Taking a cab everywhere instead of walking is expensive. Of course, only the best for them, where individual theater tickets cost $300 – $1,000, and of course, they want the best seats.

          When I was in China and Asia, I saw a lot of that. I went to special events. The seats were small and pushed one on top of the other. Of course, I’m an elite 🙂 so I sat in the seat of the elite which was like an open room for two with small tables to hold the hot tea served by others. Of course, it was provided with a fan for the heat or a heater for the cold. Other chairs were moved away to provide even more space.

          That is where we are heading. My wife told me the price of eggs shot up. That doesn’t bother me because all I need is to convert a $1,000 theater ticket into one that costs a measly $300. I’ll have plenty of money to pay for the eggs, but what does the middle-class family that has already reduced their food supply to meet costs? Elites have large cushions to protect them from downturns while frequently feeding off of government largesse.

          I agree with you. The needs of the people will not be met, and we might see trouble. That will be hard to notice when the news is censored, and my grocery store is filled to the brim.

          1. S. Meyer,
            Ah! Yes. Once Upon a Time, I was a well paid job, six figure elite. That job dang near killed me. Hence the shift from the IT world to farmer. I am in a much better place now.
            Occasionally I do miss the theater, and white table cloth dinning. First class on a bullet train in Japan or China. Or on a Air France A380.
            Granted, I get your transition from a $1k theater ticket to a $300 one, but if there are no eggs to be had, you can have all the money in the world. If the eggs are not there, they are not there.
            And that is what some Americans are facing now.
            Or, they have to buy 6 eggs because that is all they can afford this week. Or half a pound of butter when in the past, for the same price, they could buy a full pound of butter.
            I do not rule out the possibility of armed robberies in grocery parking lots.
            Or people keeping a gun on their hip around their homes. There are people in places like Chicago, Portland, San Fran, LA, NYC whom are doing that.
            There is a rifle within arms reach, magazine loaded, empty chamber, as I type this.
            Thank you for the insight.

            1. Upstate, I don’t think the white tablecloths and expensive theater tickets are worth much. I haven’t been back home to Manhattan in almost 3 years and to be honest, I am not anxious to return. I have to go in a short while and will go to the theater and opera, but seeing friends will be more important.

              I worry a lot about a nation that loses its middle class. I envy the farm life but realize I could never do it. There will always be eggs, but perhaps not enough or at a price low enough for the middle class. That is sad.

              The life of the farmer seems grand, but I don’t think it is when times are bad. Keep us informed of how farmers are doing and prices.

              Thanks for your viewpoints.

            2. My wife and I manage to eat out often enough, eat well at home – she is a fantastic cook, get to the theater and concerts enough to make us happy, while funding two kids in college, and my income is way down as I am building a new business from scratch.
              Of course none of that is near NYC, Phila, or DC.

  8. The “breathing space” allowed by the courts has reached a nearly interstellar dimension. Might be time to drop the dimensions to something more appropriate. One could argue that the “rage affliction” in common and political speech these days may be an outgrowth of the almost limitless “breathing space” allowed. I am very much a 1st amendment and free speech advocate but you should have to answer and defend your statements if you breach faith with truth and especially be able to prove what you say. Many of us have been immoderate even here in this blog and cleaning up statements and using the full breadth of the English language for rejoinders and retorts might make for better but maybe less entertaining reading.

  9. NEWS FLASH: Pennsylvania festival known for decades for it’s rowdiness and debauchery is found to actually have lots of debauchery going on.

  10. Renaissance faires are hot beds of wrongdoing with minors.
    The DOJ surely will investigate.
    Because, children… Oh Wait.

  11. As I remember from Econ 101, inflation is caused by too many dollars chasing too few goods. Could it be that we have too many lawyers chasing two few meaningful cases? Judges need to step up and quash most of these lawsuits.

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