Saturday, February 13, 2021

Living In Florida Becomes More Expensive As Insurers Jack Up Rates By Double-Digits

From ZeroHedge:

Tyler Durden's Photo
FRIDAY, FEB 12, 2021 - 18:00

Florida has no income tax. Tens of thousands of middle-class and wealthy families living in tax burden blue states are packing up their bags and moving to the tax-friendly Sunshine State. While tropical weather and lower taxes are a relief for many Northerners who have moved, many are now finding out that property insurance rates are out of control. 

Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation had approved a wave of insurance rate increases due to soaring litigation costs, higher catastrophe claim losses following multiple natural disasters over the past few years, and rising reinsurance costs.

Insurance Business Magazine reports some property insurance companies registered with the state to increase their rates by double-digit rates.

"Florida's insurance market is one of the most complexes in the world," Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation spokesperson Karen Roach told News 6 WKMG. 

"The property market is facing significant challenges, as the frequency of claims increases and those claims become more expensive," Roach said. 

Roach explained the insurance industry was facing multiple challenges in the state due to increased litigation, higher catastrophe claim losses, and rising reinsurance costs.

Federal Association of Insurance Reform president Paul Handerhan said that after years of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, "the vast majority of the insurers who are writing homeowners' insurance in the state of Florida have been posting underwriting losses for the last five years." 

Handerhan warned the state's insurers are "definitely in a tenuous financial position right now."

Rate increases among property insurers are bad news for the working-poor as it could make owning a home in the state unaffordable. 

"I was flabbergasted," Karlos Horn,35, told Reuters, who owns a single-family home in Hendry County, Florida. He said his premium doubled to $200 per month last August. 

Horn said his monthly insurance payment is about half of his $400 mortgage payment. For many low-income folks, like Horn, owning a home in the state as insurance premiums surge will take away consumption to much-needed services industries, such as restaurants and department stores. 

Lee Gorodetsky, an insurance agent in Fort Lauderdal, said he could not remember such steep rate hikes during his three-decade career. "The last two years have been the worst we've seen," he said.

Florida's insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corp, have said many folks are turning to them. The firm handles high-risk customers who cannot obtain other insurance or must pay too high rates.

As of Feb. 5, Citizens reported a 23% increase in policies from a year ago. "The growth signals an unhealthy broader market by showing that industry experts said that typical coverage is not as widely available," Reuters said. 

Insurers pass along costs to consumers in the form of premium increases making affordable living in some parts of the state unaffordable. These are some of the hidden landmines that one should consider when moving to the state. 


One Man's Terrorist Is Another Man's Freedom Fighter

From ZeroHedge:

Tyler Durden's Photo
FRIDAY, FEB 12, 2021 - 23:40

Authored by Brandon Smith via,

In order for tyranny to be established, people who love freedom must first be demonized.

It seems like this would be an easy historic fact to accept, however, it’s very common for state propagandists and establishment shills in the media to cloud the argument. The conflict between the political left, globalists, conservatives and patriots is awash in misdirection. This article is my appeal to cut through that engineered fog, but before anything else is discussed, we need to recognize a fundamental truth:

If leftists and globalists were not trying to take away our individual and inherent liberties, then we conservatives and moderates would have no reason to fight.

The political left and the globalists are the ONLY people consistently using censorship, mob intimidation, violence, economic ransom, subversion and government oppression to get what they want. And, what they want is control; there is no denying it.

Again, let’s think about this for a moment: Who are the real villains in this story? The people who want to be left alone to live their lives in quiet freedom? Or, the people that want to forcefully impose their will on the world by any means necessary?

They can call it “progress”, they can call it futurism, they can call it the “great reset”, they can call it Utopia, but there is no getting around the reality that leftists and globalists have a vision of the world that is distinctly hostile to independent thought. What’s worse is, they think THEY are the good guys.

Conservatives and constitutionalists are “monsters” to them. Why? Because we exist and we refuse to comply. That is all there is to it. Otherwise, we have done NOTHING to them except defend ourselves in the most limited ways.

In recent months the words “terrorist” and “insurrectionist” have been used monotonously in the media to describe conservatives. The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, introduced in Congress this year, goes even further and specifically targets conservative activist groups as the primary threat to the stability of the US government. Leftists are still calling the protest at the Capitol Building an “attack on democracy” by “terrorists and white supremacists”.

If people walking unarmed into a building and then leaving quietly after an hour is terrorism and insurrection, then what would they call it if we actually physically defended ourselves against the usurpation of our civil rights?

These are labels some of us in the alternative media have been expecting for many years. We knew that the numerous pieces of national security and surveillance legislation passed under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, supposedly aimed at Islamic terrorists, would one day be used against all of us. It was only a matter of time. We were called “conspiracy theorists” 15 years ago for suggesting as much, now we are prophetic, but the mainstream will never admit it.

The argument on the other side of the aisle is that conservatives represent an “outdated” ideal; a philosophy which disrupts the betterment of human society. But is this really true? And, who gets to decide the definition of “betterment”, or the definition of “progress”?

In my article ‘The Real Reasons Why The Liberty Movement Is Preparing To Fight’, published way back in 2013, I stated that:

Some principles, like the liberties embodied in natural law and outlined in the U.S. Constitution, NEVER become outdated. They exist in the heart of mankind, and will remain as long as humanity remains. They cannot be erased, and they cannot be undone. They are inherent and eternal.

The Liberty Movement is not some dying vestige of America’s past clinging to an antiquated philosophy. We are the new wave; the messengers of an ideal of freedom that in the grand scheme of history has been around for only a blink of an eye. Constitutional liberty IS the progress that humanity has been waiting for. We have only been led astray by those who would sell us on our own bondage.

The SPLC and others within the establishment accuse the Liberty Movement of arming for conflict against the government. I am here to tell them that is EXACTLY what we are doing. We are arming because the establishment is arming against us. Yes, we are a threat, but only to political and corporate criminals who use subversion and violence to wrest freedom from the hands of good people. I am not afraid to openly admit it. I and many others will fight against any measure or man that seeks to undermine the rights of the people or destroy the founding principles of this nation…”

Every facet of full blown tyranny is being implemented in the US and around the world in one stage or another. A fascist/communistic state is being established piece by piece right now. Mass surveillance of the public is the norm. Economic lockdowns are the norm. Medical passports are being instituted and the only reason they are not yet prominent in the US yet is because of conservative and moderate resistance. 24/7 contact tracing of every citizen is being suggested. Organization of large groups is being restricted or prohibited. Big Tech and the government are working hand-in-hand to censor dissent. And now, they are even trying to eliminate our gun rights under HR 127.

In 2011 in an article titled ‘The Essential Rules Of Tyranny’, I outlined a list of steps that an oligarchy would have to take before they could impose a centralized control grid in the US. Here is that list:

Rule #1: Keep Them Afraid

Rule #2: Keep Them Isolated

Rule #3: Keep Them Desperate

Rule #4: Send Out The Jackboots

Rule #5: Blame Everything On The Truth Seekers

Rule #6: Encourage Citizen Spies

Rule #7: Make Them Accept The Unacceptable

Most of these steps have been openly pursued in the past year and time is running out. This is how oppressive and murderous regimes begin, right under people’s noses, all in the name of the “greater good of the greater number”.

And that is the only argument left for skeptics to make: That it is government dominance, but dominance by necessity. In other words, the government “must do these things” for our own good. Of course, it’s not for our own good. There are only a select handful of people that benefit from aggressive government intrusion into our lives and they do not care about anyone but themselves.

So, here we are, on the edge of an event which the liberty movement has been predicting for well over a decade. We have been preparing for it. We have been organizing to stand against it. And, we know that we will be painted as the worst devils imaginable for opposing it. None of this is surprising to us.

Every time we defend ourselves, it will be called an act of terror and insurrection. Every terrible event will be immediately blamed on us, even if we had nothing to do with it. There may be false flag attacks carried out in our names and designed to defame us. This is how tyrants operate. This is nothing new.

I will say this, however: One man’s terrorists is often another man’s freedom fighter. All the hyperbolic labels used to demonize us aren’t going to stick with millions of Americans. They just aren’t buying it.

Are we white supremacists? How is that possible when millions of minorities are also conservatives and patriots? Are we dangerous extremists? If that’s the case, then why is there only ONE violent riot to our name the past year while there are hundreds of riots (and deaths) in the name of leftists and social justice cultists? Are we insurrectionists? How is that possible when we are trying to maintain the constitutional foundations of our country, not tear them down like the political left?

Do the globalists and leftists really think they can take 74 million-plus Americans and marginalize us all with a word like “terrorist”? Do they really think they can shut us down, lock us up or remove us from the evolution of this nation’s destiny? The only way they could achieve that is if we go quietly. I have a revelation for them: We will not be going quietly.

Perhaps that is what they expect. Maybe they think they WANT us to fight. Maybe all of these attacks on conservatives are an attempt to provoke us. It is a Catch-22 after all – Damned if we defend ourselves and damned if we do nothing, right? If this is their strategy, then they must assume they can control the outcome of such a conflagration. It is that type of arrogance that will be the end of them in the long run.

Deep down, slavery is NOT what people want (despite what the propagandists might tell you). No, most people want self determination, they just have problems letting their fear get in the way of their freedoms. Deep down, most people are on our side, not on the side of totalitarianism, and this is where despots consistently fail in their designs. The establishment thinks they can convince the world that freedom fighters are terrorists, while secretly, in their heart of hearts, the majority of people want us to win, and in the end, we will.

*  *  *

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As demolition looms, Racine group holds out hope for theater

From Fox6Now:

The wrecking ball is inching closer to a Racine theater built in 1928.

Weather may have stalled demolition for now, but it's not stopping one woman's determination to save it.

If you're surprised to see Racine's Capitol-Park Theater still standing, don't tell Judith Schulz.

"It will stand forever if no one knocks it down," Schulz said.

Schulz continues her fight to keep the wrecking ball away. The city issued a raze order, and it was expected to be torn down this week.

"For me, my family built it. But my heart opened up to this whole thing when I started seeing how many other people care about this," said Schulz.

Read and see more:

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CDC says in-person schooling can be done safely, with precautions

New York governor accused of nursing home COVID-19 death cover-up

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Kenosha County says it's cracking down on Illinois residents crossing the border for vaccine appointments

From JSOnline:
Mary Spicuzza
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Kenosha County says it's cracking down to make sure out-of-state line jumpers aren't getting shots of COVID-19 vaccine at clinics in the county, which is located along the Illinois border.

"Our vaccination clinics are for Kenosha County residents 65+ and in the 1A category, or people in those categories who work in Kenosha County," Kenosha Health Officer Jen Freiheit said in a statement. "We are trying our best to discourage non-residents and some might have slipped through, but we are working to crack down on that going forward."

Freiheit added: "While we want to get as many shots in arms as possible, Kenosha County residents are our priority."

Freiheit's comments come after a woman contacted the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to report some family members, including a couple in their 50s who live in the Chicago suburbs — and don't work in Wisconsin — were able to book appointments with the Kenosha County Division of Health and get doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kenosha. 

Those currently eligible to get vaccinated in Wisconsin include health care workers, residents and staff in skilled nursing and long-term care facilities, people 65 or older, EMTs, police officers, firefighters and corrections officers. 

Read more:

More snow forecast for southern Wisconsin as Milwaukee closes in on 3 feet so far this season; bitter cold will flood state this weekend

From JSOnline:
Joe Taschler
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


More snow followed by bitter cold is set to arrive in southern Wisconsin heading into the weekend.

Snow ranging from 1 to 3 inches could fall across the region beginning during the overnight hours Friday and continuing for much of the day Saturday. Slightly more snow is possible across areas close to Lake Michigan.

The snow will be light and powdery, forecasters say.

Assuming 1 to 3 inches of snow falls — the forecast says there is a 100% chance of snow on Saturday — the total snowfall for the season at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport would be just under 3 feet, according to the National Weather Service.

That's near normal for this point in a winter season, said Kevin Wagner, a meteorologist at the weather service office in Sullivan. 

Read more:

Racine to hire Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s current chief of staff as new city administrator

From The Journal

RACINE — Mayor Cory Mason announced Friday afternoon that, after seven months, the City of Racine will soon have a new administrator.

Paul Vornholt


“We are pleased to say today that Paul Vornholt has been named our next city administrator and the confirmation of that appointment will be on the next (City) Council agenda,” Mason said.

Due to the primary election on Tuesday, the next City Council meeting will be on Wednesday. Vornholt said he anticipates being on the job on Monday, March 1.

The city’s prior administrator, Jim Palenick, left to take a job in Ohio in July 2020. That month, Assistant Finance Director Kathleen Fischer was appointed as interim administrator. Fischer has now been promoted to finance director.

The new guy

For the past three years, Vornholt has been Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s chief of staff. Prior to that, he was director of the Port of Milwaukee, a position he held for six years.

Vornholt said the position of city administrator appealed to him because it brought together and focused the various elements of current and previous jobs that he enjoyed the most, such as organizational management and implementing policies of the mayor and council.

Read more:

Open Blog - Weekend

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Friday, February 12, 2021

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Businesses tied to Speaker Robin Vos and other lawmakers could see taxes cut after they took PPP loans

From JSOnline:
Patrick Marley
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON - Businesses owned by Wisconsin lawmakers stand to benefit from legislation they will take up as soon as next week that would cut taxes for employers who received Paycheck Protection Program loans.

At least six legislators or their families have an ownership stake in businesses that received PPP loans, records show. 

Among them are Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos of Rochester and Republican Sen. Joan Ballweg of Markesan, who as a member of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee voted in favor of the tax cut on Wednesday. 

Read more:

Coronavirus vaccinations to begin tomorrow at 178 Walgreens pharmacies across Wisconsin

From The Journal

SCOTT BAUER Associated Press

MADISON — More than 175 Walgreens pharmacies across Wisconsin are expecting to begin administering COVID-19 vaccines today, marking the beginning of a federal program that targets underserved areas, state health officials announced Thursday.

The vaccinations will be provided for free under the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, a state and federal partnership, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said. Initially, there will be about 17,800 doses of vaccine sent to 178 Walgreens locations across the state, or about 100 for each location.

Eight of those Walgreens pharmacies are in Racine County. They are located at:

  • 3825 Durand Ave., Racine
  • 4901 Spring St., Racine
  • 1920 Douglas Ave., Racine
  • 819 N. Memorial Drive, Racine
  • 900 E. Main St., Waterford
  • 4810 Washington Ave., Racine
  • 5005 Douglas Ave., Racine
  • 680 Milwaukee Ave., Burlington

Another six are in Kenosha County, four in Walworth County, 13 in Waukesha County and 41 in Milwaukee County.

In what is good news for Wisconsin, those 17,800 doses will not be subtracted from the limited allocations of vaccine coming into the state directly.

Walgreens has already been heavily involved in nationwide vaccine rollout as the massive chains’ employees have been tasked with vaccinating seniors living in long-term care facilities. CVS is the other partner of the federal government and Wisconsin government in that effort.


The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program “offers another avenue” for people to be vaccinated, Dr. Stephanie Schauer, program manager for the state Division of Public Health Immunization, said Thursday.

Those who are eligible for vaccination, which includes anyone over age 65, right now must schedule an appointment through the Walgreens website, A phone line to schedule appointments is expected to be set up soon, but wasn’t available as of Thursday afternoon.

The state cautioned that due to limited supply, not everyone eligible will be able to get a vaccination appointment. Vaccinations through that program were expected to begin Friday.

“It’s true that we’re getting more shots in arms,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement, “but the vaccine is still a scarce resource, and we have plenty of masks to go around, so mask up.”


Local Costs for Foxconn Cut By 2%

Foxconn signing. File photo by Graham Kilmer.

 Call it a victory — but a very small one — for taxpayers.

The Village of Mount Pleasant has done its annual update of the estimated costs for the Foxconn project and has shaved off about $17 million or 2% of the total estimated cost of $808 million for the village and Racine County. The revised estimate leaves the total estimated cost at just over $791 million.

The major cost reductions were a $12 million reduction in the expected costs for water infrastructure. That came because of lower bid received for the water infrastructure work, according to Mark SchaafCommunications & Media Relations Director for Racine County.

The other major cost reduction was in expected interest on debt incurred to pay for the project, mostly due to the ongoing decline in interest rates.

The two major cost increases were a $3.5 million uptick in expected operating costs and a $2 million hike in the cost of sewer infrastructure.

This $17 million reduction means the total estimated costs of the Foxconn development, previously estimated by Urban Milwaukee at $1.34 billion, have declined to $1.32 billion.

And that does not include $252 million the state spent on widening I-94 from six to eight lanes from College Ave. in Milwaukee County south to Highway 142 in Kenosha County. While this was a project that was expected to be done eventually it was fast tracked by the Walker administration, because it would be needed to handle all that traffic created by the high-tech manufacturing colossus Foxconn had promised to build and now seems like a fantasy. Given the many delays in redoing I-94 in Milwaukee, its entirely possible the expansion of the freeway in Racine would have been delayed as well. Which arguably would increase the total bill for Foxconn to $1.57 billion.

Read more: Murphy’s Law: Local Costs for Foxconn Cut By 2% » Urban Milwaukee

Cuomo Coverup? Aide Admits Nursing Home Data Purposefully Concealed So Feds Wouldn't Find Out

From ZeroHedge:
Tyler Durden's Photo
THURSDAY, FEB 11, 2021 - 20:30

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's top aide privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers over a decision to withhold the state's nursing-home COVID-19 death toll out of fear that it would be "used against us" by the Trump Justice Department, according to the New York Post.

Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to the Governor, made the shocking admission during a two-hour video conference call with Democratic leaders - telling them that the Cuomo administration stonewalled after the State Senate requested the information in August.

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa

"Right around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football, says DeRosa in an audio recording of the meeting.

"He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes," she continues. "He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer."

DeRosa then suggested that Trump "directs the Department of Justice to do an investigation into us," and because of this, "basically, we froze" she said.

"Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation."

"That played a very large role into this," DeRosa added.

After dropping the bombshell, DeRosa asked for “a little bit of appreciation of the context” and offered what appears to be the Cuomo administration’s first apology for its handling of nursing homes amid the pandemic.

But instead of a mea culpa to the grieving family members of more than 13,000 dead seniors or the critics who say the Health Department spread COVID-19 in the care facilities with a March 25 state Health Department directive that nursing homes admit infected patients, DeRosa tried to make amends with the fellow Democrats for the political inconvenience it caused them.

So we do apologize,” she said. “I do understand the position that you were put in. I know that it is not fair. It was not our intention to put you in that political position with the Republicans.” -New York Post

Democratic Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried (Manhattan) was livid, shooting back "“I don’t have enough time today to explain all the reasons why I don’t give that any credit at all." Gottfried had requested the death-toll data in August along with several other lawmakers.

Another state lawmaker who was "battered during her re-election bid last year over the issue of nursing home deathsslammed DeRosa as well - saying that her former opponent used the nursing home scandal against her.

"And the issue for me, the biggest issue of all is feeling like I needed to defend — or at least not attack — an administration that was appearing to be covering something up," said State Senate Aging Committee Chairwoman Rachel May (D-Syracuse). "And in a, in a pandemic, when you want the public to trust the public-health officials, and there is this clear feeling that they’re not coming, being forthcoming with you, that is really hard and it remains difficult."

Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim (D) told the Post that DeRosa's remarks came off "like they admitted that they were trying to dodge having any incriminating evidence that might put the administration or the [Health Department] in further trouble with the Department of Justice."

"That’s how I understand their reasoning of why they were unable to share, in real time, the data," Kim added. "They had to first make sure that the state was protected against federal investigation."

"It’s not enough how contrite they are with us," Kim continued. "They need to show that to the public and the families — and they haven’t done that."

In addition to stonewalling lawmakers on the the total number of nursing home residents killed by COVID-19, Cuomo’s administration also refused requests from the news media — including The Post — and fought a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by the Empire Center on Public Policy.

Instead, it only disclosed data on the numbers of residents who died in their nursing homes.

But after Attorney General Letitia James last month released a damning report that estimated the deaths of nursing-home residents in hospitals would boost the grim tally by more than 50 percent, Health Commissioner Howard Zucker finally released figures showing the combined total was 12,743 as of Jan. 19.

Just a day earlier, the DOH was only publicly acknowledging 8,711 deaths in nursing homes. -New York Post

Following the release of AG James' report, Cuomo callously said during a news conference that it didn't matter where nursing home fatalities ultimately occurred.

"Who cares [if they] died in the hospital, died in a nursing home? They died," he said.

Cuomo's office appears to have made this disclosure after they figured they were in the clear.

"All signs point to they are not looking at this, they’ve dropped it," said DeRosa, of the Biden DOJ. "They never formally opened an investigation. They sent a letter asking a number of questions and then we satisfied those questions and it appears that they’re gone."

I’ve said it all along: This is a CRIMINAL coverup corruption scandal. The Department of Justice must investigate and prosecute these corrupt criminals.