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March 31, 2020
Post-Virus, When are We Going to Start Thinking?
My primary conceit, if I have one, is that I have actually read a book. In consequence, I believe, I can think about the world from more than one perspective.
Can we actually think about the Wu Flu yet?
‘Cos right now most everyone seems to be running on empty.
China? It is doing what lefty totalitarian dictatorships are good at: jailing its people and prompting its useful idiots abroad to broadcast its totalitarian propaganda.
Progressive activists? They got busy calling Trump a racist for stopping flights from China and then calling the American people racists for disdaining the elite-approved name for the disease coined by international bureaucrats.
Congerscritters? They got to work on a hand-out-the-loot stimulus bill, which only got held up for a week when the progressive activists got Nancy Pelosi to try to divert some of the loot to vital progressive activism.
Federal Reserve? It got right to work printing money.
Nancy Pelosi? She went on the Sunday talk shows to propose an investigation.
Truckers? They marched towards the sound of the guns and insisted on keeping roadside facilities open.
Media? They worked on finding five ways from Sunday to blame the whole thing on Trump.
Trump? He is trying to stay two days ahead of conventional wisdom so he looks like a leader.
Young people? They are acting as though they were immortal.
Second-tier Democratic governors? They are making sure that nobody tries the Trump-boosted hydroxychloroquine treatment.
“Very Conservatives?” They report being “calm.”
“Very Liberals?” They lead the nation in being “afraid” and “angry.”
Now, what Jordan B. Peterson writes, in 12 Rules, is that normal life is Order and anything that disturbs it is Chaos.
Our brains respond instantly when chaos appears with simple hyper-fast circuits maintained from the ancient days, when our ancestors dwelled in trees, and snakes struck in a flash. After that… comes the later evolving, more complex but slower responses of emotions — and after that, comes thinking, of the higher order, which can extend over seconds, minutes or years.
I think it is fair to say that not much thinking has occurred, not yet. But there is a real question about whether China’s response is instinct or emotion.
The difference between conservative and liberal response no doubt issues from the notion that liberals are all about “science is real” and conservatives are all about facts and logic.
But let us think about what happens when people start thinking.
Will China decide to come clean on the real number of cases and deaths from its Wuhan virus? Will it decide that its current propaganda offensive is beneath the dignity of the world biggest country?
Will our progressive activists slow down the hunt for far-right deplorables?
Will Nancy Pelosi decide not to do the obvious and blame President Trump for all the deaths? (Oh no, too late on that one.)
Nah. All the actors are going to try to keep doing things just like always.
The truth is that humans seldom step out of their assigned roles. That was emphasized for me yesterday when rereading Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky first published in 1951. A bunch of humans are living in the Ship. They have a rigid prophetic tradition and an oral Scripture handed down from Witness to apprentice. That is their universe. But then our hero finds out that the Ship is really a spacecraft, on a multi-generational journey from Earth to the star Far Centaurus, and it is nearing its starry destination. But do the Ship’s politicians change their plans and maneuver the Ship to a hospitable planet? Of course not. They want to continue to rule as before; and “change” would disrupt their authority.
But not to worry. Heinlein’s hero Hugh stays a step ahead of the politicians and bails out in one of the Ship’s boats. He lands on a hospitable planet and lives happily ever after. Just like the Pilgrims and their City on a Hill.
We should be so lucky.
Peterson is pretty clear. We humans like to live our lives in a nice predictable Order. We only deal with the Chaos of change when we are forced to. So really, what we are experiencing right now is everyone hoping that their current vision of Order continues unchanged, despite the threat of pandemic, death, and economic hurricane.
And given the gerontocracy of today’s America, with all the leaders in their 70s, good luck with any hope of change to adapt to the terrifying Chaos just around the corner.
Mind you, as a geezer in his 70s, I am bound to say that the younger generation just isn’t ready for leadership. What I would like to know is: when are they going to start thinking?
March 31, 2020
Joe Biden comes out of his hole, gaffes his way through MSNBC puffball interview
Even in the easiest of circumstances, such as a fawning softball interview from MSNBC, Joe Biden is staying a mess.
Here’s the New York Post staff report on his extended trail of blunders now that he’s come out of his bolthole after a long extended absence, beginning with:
“I suggested we should have people in China at the outset of this event, when it all started, in Luhan Province,” Biden told the network, meaning to refer to the city of Wuhan, in Hubei Province, where the virus originated.
So after all this time, he doesn’t know that Wuhan is a city in China? no Mister Foreign Policy here as he plays on TV? And he thinks it’s Luhan, and calls it a province? This is a guy who doesn’t read much news and is remarkably ignorant of basic world affairs even the seven year-olds he likes to swim with would know about. You wouldn’t make that kind of mistake if you were engaged in the issue. It’s pretty obvious Joe is not.
But wait, as Billy Dale says, there’s more:
The Democratic front-runner went on to claim that the Trump administration withdrew CDC staffers in the months leading up to the virus outbreak, likely stemming from a Reuters report from last week claiming that the administration slashed CDC staff in China.
“We had people in our administration, we had CDC people in other countries because we wanted to anticipate when in fact another virus would occur, when in fact a pandemic might occur as a consequence of a spreading virus in another country, to act quickly. The president withdrew those people,” Biden said.
The problem, however, is that regardless of staffing cuts, the CDC began offering to send a team of experts to the Chinese province back in early January, according to the New York Times.
Other than the general garble of the statement, this is less gaffe than lie. Apparently, he managed to twist China’s refusal to let CDC medical experts into China into Trump pulling out the medical experts. That’s a sleazy, shady way of twisting just enough truth to remodel it into a lie, which is what he’s doing here. Sound like a guy who can be trusted?
The Post names three more gaffes, mostly stupid stuff about his not knowing the name of a well known drugstore chain — more of that out of touch evidence, which is rather remarkable. Most people who don’t know the name of Wuhan city in central China, would probably know the name of the local drugstore, such as CVS. Plenty of foreign policy eggheads probably wouldn’t. Joe doesn’t know either, signaling that he’s simply a complete boob.
There’s more. Read the whole thing here.
A woman was shot and killed at a Tulsa, Oklahoma shopping center Friday night after she opened fire on customers. While police are still investigating a possible motive and haven’t released the woman’s identify, the Tulsa World reports that the woman’s rampage was apparently stopped by a concealed carry holder before she was able to inflict any injuries.
Video reportedly showed the woman was involved in an earlier altercation in the parking lot. The woman left the shopping center and returned about three minutes later, when she pulled a gun and opened fire, according to the news release.
The concealed carry permit holder reportedly returned fire and was later questioned and released at the department’s detective division.
Who knows how bad this could have been had an armed citizen not been around to stop the shooter before she actually hit anyone? Sadly, because she didn’t actually kill or injure anyone, this story isn’t of nearly as much interest to the media as it would be otherwise, and this story will get virtually no national news coverage because there wasn’t enough carnage inflicted. The media would much rather talk about lives lost than lives saved.
Even locally, the story isn’t really getting a lot of attention. There was a brief writeup in the local paper and a short segment on local news channels, but that’s about it. Granted, this wasn’t a situation that called for hours of live, uninterrupted coverage, but to me this story is just as important as it would be if the suspect had actually taken any innocent lives, and it’s worth far more attention than what its received so far.
In fact, one Tulsa news station managed to report on the story and completely miss the fact that an armed citizen saved lives. From KTUL-TV:
Tulsa police say a woman has died after a shooting in north Tulsa Friday evening.
According to investigators a man shot and killed the woman near East 54th Street North and North Peoria Avenue.
Police say it was all caught on security footage outside a local store in the area and that’s why they now have the suspect in custody.
KTUL’s story makes it sound like this guy just walked up to the woman and shot her, and was then taken into custody. There’s no mention of the fact that the woman was shooting at customers, the man was a concealed carry holder, or that he was questioned and released by police with no expectation of an arrest.
This is journalistic malpractice at best, and an outright deception at worst. From what the Tulsa Police are saying, it sounds like this armed citizen deserves a medal. KTUL’s reporting makes it sound like he deserves to be locked up. Hopefully the station will update their story, but for now their report stands a stark reminder of the media’s failure to treat stories of armed self-defense with the same attention they give stories of murder and mayhem.
Former Vice President Joe Biden hosted a “Happy Hour with Young Americans” livestream Wednesday night and only 2,800 people tuned in, according to a CBS news reporter.
.@JoeBiden wrapping up his first virtual happy hour w/young Americans. There were about 2800 simultaneous viewers throughout the chat. #lit
— Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) March 25, 2020
Meanwhile, millions and millions and millions of Americans, some 12 million on TV alone, and millions more online, are watching President Trump’s daily press briefings about the coronavirus. The far-left New York Times, which is obviously worried about how these briefings have improved the president’s job approval rating, is now openly suggesting the briefings not be broadcast live, so that the fake news media can filter out what they don’t want the public to see.
Anyway, once Biden’s pathetic hour-long Happy Hour was over, the total viewers tallied 141,000, but that number counts the number of people who watched anywhere from 30 seconds and up. In other words, if someone tunes in for 31 seconds, gets bored and shuts it off, they count in that 141,000 number. What we do know for a fact is that only 2,800 on average watched the full hour, which is simply pathetic.
Biden, who broadcasts these livestreams from his basement, is so personally inept and has hired such an inept team, they not only cannot draw any viewers, they only figured out how to livestream this week!
Biden is almost certainly going to be the 2020 Democrat nominee, and he still disappeared for two weeks because he couldn’t figure out this whole InterWebNetsDotThing. It’s simply unbelievable.
This disastrous Happy Hour also streamed on YouTube, where it received a pathetic 23,693 additional views (as of this writing) — which again counts viewers who only watch for 30 seconds. Better still, the up and down votes are absolutely brutal: only 696 up votes for Biden’s Happy Hour, and 1,700 down votes.
What’s more, Joe Biden has his own YouTube channel, and that YouTube channel has only 19,000 subscribers.
For comparison, President Trump’s YouTube channel has 310,000 subscribers.
Viewership for Biden’s other livestreams has been just as pathetic.
On Wednesday, Biden delivered 35 minutes worth of remarks “on the impact of the Coronavirus on Young Americans.” It barely reached over 10,000 YouTube views and received as many down votes as up votes — 326 to 332.
Three days ago, Biden earned only 134,000 views on YouTube and 211,000 views on Twitter for his “remarks on the Coronavirus pandemic,” which received 974 up votes and 4,300(!) down votes.
But again, if 2,800 average viewers adds up to 141,000 total viewers for that Happy Hour video, what does 343,000 viewers equal? Maybe 7,000 average viewers?
However you want to slice this, this is a massive failure of leadership on Biden’s part.
While running for president in 2016, Trump didn’t need a fancy livestream to be heard while competing against 16 other Republicans for the nomination. And he didn’t sit around watching Matlock reruns waiting for a studio to be built in his basement. Trump jumped on the phone; he called into every show that would have him to get his message out. He hustled and improvised and took every question, no matter how hostile…
Meanwhile, Biden sits around at home giving dull speeches and making dull statements, and pretending to be president while he basically plagiarizes the ideas Trump has already put into action.
I’ve never seen anything like this.
Biden is shrinking before our very eyes, and is doing so because he’s too old, has no good ideas, and is afraid to participate in the freewheeling interviews that will capture the public’s attention and juice their excitement. If he wanted, Biden could be all over the media, but he’s afraid to take questions and it’s fairly obvious that at the advanced age of 77, he tires easily.
So what we have here is the presumptive Democrat nominee, who’s basically a crazy old man jumping online in-between naps so he can pretend to be the president in front of an audience of, LOL, thousands.
Biden’s abysmal ratings, and the lack of excitement and energy around his livestreams, tells us something else… That there is no leadership vacuum in this country. People do not feel the need to turn to Biden or anyone else during this crisis. Trump is doing just fine, thank you very much…
In fact, the world is ignoring Biden almost entirely.
He’s a non-entity.
Meanwhile, the actual president not only leads us through this terrible time, he spends hours every day taking countless questions from a hostile media.
Cowering in your basement is just sad.
March 26, 2020
Curbing China’s Dominance of Medical Supplies
Rosemary Gibson is senior advisor at the Hastings Center and a national authority on health care reform. In 2014, she won the highest honor from the American Medical Writers Association. She is an editor for JAMA Internal Medicine. She has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
Speaking to journalist Sharyl Attkisson in an April 23, 2018, interview, Gibson warned: “What happens if we have a Fukushima type event or the trade routes are blocked in the South China Sea? Or if there’s a global pandemic? And the United States and virtually every other country in the world is dependent on a few companies in China for the ingredients to make critical antibiotics.”
Gibson provided a detailed picture of China’s growing domination of the medical drug and equipment market in her 2018 book China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine (co-authored by Janardan Prasad Singh).
China is now the global kingpin in the supply of key ingredients for many prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements. The Chinese now control most of the active and inactive ingredients for the manufacture of medicine in the world.
Suppose your blood pressure medication is factory-made in Canada and you feel your supply line is safe. Your health is still in jeopardy because Communist China could choose to ban the export of your drug’s active ingredient to Canada.
In China Rx, Gibson and Singh lay out the facts in how drug manufacturing has experienced a paradigm shift over several decades. Communist China has followed an aggressive plan in becoming the global supplier of necessary ingredients for medicines.
Penicillin, a longstanding drug in the fight against bacterial infection, is a prime example of America’s market loss and China’s economic seizure and takeover.
Around 2004, the Chinese government had its national companies dump penicillin ingredients on the global market. Most Western countries, including the U.S., could not compete with their low prices and went bankrupt. Then China issued a major price increase on these important ingredients, thereby cornering the market and making billions.
Although the penicillin that you purchase at your local drugstore may not be manufactured in China in its final form, the keys to its production (active ingredients) are under communist control.
Forget about a vital drug like heparin, the only anticoagulant used in the U.S. for heart surgery and kidney dialysis. What about something simple, like Vitamin C?
China is now the primary supplier for the key ingredients for manufacturing this vitamin in the U.S. and around the world. Chinese companies created an artificial shortage of vitamin C around 2005 by slowing production and exports. American companies filed a class-action suit resulting in a legal battle lasting over eight years. The evidence was strong and convincing against China. The judge ordered China to pay over $160 million in damages to U.S. corporations.
The Seattle Times in June 2007 reported, “In less than a decade, China has captured 90 percent of the U.S. market for vitamin C, driving almost everyone else out of business… Chinese pharmaceutical companies also have taken over much of the world market in the production of antibiotics, analgesics, enzymes and primary amino acids. According to an industry group, China makes 70 percent of the world’s penicillin, 50 percent of its aspirin and 35 percent of its acetaminophen (often sold under the brand name Tylenol), as well as the bulk of vitamins A, B12, C and E.”
In China Rx, Gibson also reveals that China is the main supplier of the active ingredients for acetaminophen and aspirin now used in over 600 prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
How were these warning signs missed for these less-complex drugs, not to mention the more expensive heart and cancer medications?
Who is listening to Rosemary Gibson on Capitol Hill?
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), while chairing a hearing of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship on March 12, sounded the alarm concerning critical shortages in our drug supply chain, the offshoring of American drug manufacturing for two decades, and now the threat of a global pandemic.
He warned, “The inability to quickly increase the production of key supplies, such as surgical masks, medical gowns, and pharmaceutical drugs limits our ability to mitigate the worst effects of disease in this emerging crisis and in any future pandemic. It is unacceptable that China holds this much leverage over America’s public health and economy, which are both essential components of our national security.”
Thank you, Senator!
March 26, 2020
Wake Up America — China is the Pandemic
The Democrats stalled the $2 trillion stimulus for three days, in an attempt at stuffing the initiative with all the leftist policies they knew they could never foist upon the electorate through legislation or the ballot box.
China infected the world to save its reputation and provide for itself enhanced income-producing opportunities — and is now not only lying about it but also using the death and chaos they caused as a weapon in its quest to rule the world.
The media is backing both plays. Twisted millenarianism is one thing they all have in common.
Parties, countries, and media have priorities and if you die, you die.
You see, to the iniquitous Chinese, the Democrats, and the media, your life, or anyone’s life… or millions of lives, is a mere quibble when ruling the world is the potential prize.
China, “the true sick man of Asia,” seeks to export their diseased system, their fetid ideology, “Mandate of Heaven” strongman rule, and their home-grown pandemic upon free nations the world over. They want a world paying tribute to them and eternally grateful for the “Chinese characteristics” our societies will be required to assume.
On January 18, authorities allowed a communal feast in Wuhan attended by 40,000 families celebrating the Lunar New Year. By the last week of January, seven million people had left Wuhan (population, 11 million) for parts unknown. Now, we know where they went; Google “pandemic deaths.” All this before anyone in the West had even an inkling of the Chinese Virus. The world didn’t know because China withheld the information.
The communist leadership of China, though, knew what they had on their hands. Armed “volunteers” were welding shut the doors of infected people’s homes to enforce their “day late and a yuan short” quarantine while they told the rest of the world there was still nothing to fear.
Communist leaders, to save themselves and China, washed their hands of it and dumped it on the rest of humanity. China, the Harry Lime of nations, was willing to sacrifice western lives for money and their plans of global domination.
China fully intends to profit from a worldwide disaster of their making by selling a lie based on their innocence and benevolence — taking over more of the world’s supply chain in the process. They’ve told us so.
And, most surprising, the Democrats and American media have been complicit with China in their plan to rule the world. Talk about selling someone the rope for his own hanging.
Having successfully built an economy on technology theft, product dumping, unfair trade practices, currency manipulation, lying, and various other legerdemain, China undoubtedly is feeling its oats (along with eating its pangolins, bats, and monkeys). Aware of the coming worldwide pandemic, because they caused it, the first order of action was to buy up the globe’s supply of surgical masks and pandemic medical supplies.
They needed to act fast, before anyone else became aware of their perfidy and malintent. That’s good business if you’re Scrooge, Mr. Potter, Stalin, Hitler, or Mao — he’s the guy whose face was on an ornament hanging from President Obama’s Christmas tree, way back when. Maybe someday Xi can hang too.
The die cast, they threatened to withhold America’s medications, throwing America “into the mighty sea of the Coronavirus.” Then they blamed our country for their virus and demanded an apology — while seeding the cloud with false memes of stalwart Chinese bravery and technological superiority coming to the aid of a humanity beleaguered by a plague they accused American GIs of deliberately causing.
It’s easy to sell lies when you have the Democratic Party and the media of the freest nation on earth willing to prostitute themselves for renminbi and power.
Americans are expected to forget China nationalized an American-owned company producing N95 masks as their navy stopped a container ship bound for the free world with the coveted masks, redirecting it back to China where the cargo was immediately seized for resale… when the price was right. In the future, it shouldn’t surprise anyone were it to become known that China is buying up the world’s supply of chloroquine.
The left controls the media, the academy, and the Democratic Party. They have always had the power to set the narrative. That’s why they hate Trump so much; he can seize any discussion and force talkers and listeners to talk and listen to what he wants them to talk about and listen to.
The Chinese Pandemic is the perfect opportunity for them to retake the initiative and make this about Trump’s failures — if only people would just die faster. Americans, those selfish bastards, it’s always all about them, if they would just die quickly and in mass quantities, all this could be over, and Trump would be out.
Well, at least they were able to destroy the economy and are doing their levelheaded best to create Chinese primacy.
Wake up, America — China is our enemy, and now that the media has dispensed with merely being biased and are actively working to aid and abet Chairman Xi in his battle to make America a vassal state paying tribute to the country the elite believe should be running the world, Americans need to understand the war we are in.
We are told, there are no new cases of “Wu-Flu” in China.
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Take 7th Avenue.
How do you get zero new cases of the Chinese Virus? Stop testing.
Breaking: “Xi, through diligent work and world-class leadership, along with prescient planning & superior Chinese technology, has begun a program to bring back from the dead early Chinese victims of the American pandemic.” CNN 04/01/2020
The Chinese, just like the Democrats, and the media, understand to never let a pandemic go to waste. And the Democrats and the media are just fine with that.
Imagine what they’ll do when they have all the power.
Appearing Tuesday on Philadelphia’s AM 990 The Answer Radio, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he would certainly prescribe Chloroquine to coronavirus-stricken patients in the wake of testimonies stating it could treat the deadly disease.
(Listen from 52:20)
A partial transcript is as follows:
CHRIS STIGALL:If you’re a doctor listening to me right now and a patient with coronavirus feels like they want to try [Chloroquine] and you’re their doctor, you’re not Anthony Fauci the guy running the coronavirus task force, would you say ‘alright, we’ll give it a whirl’?
March 25, 2020
The Dems are the Virus Threatening America
Only in the fevered brain of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could things like forcing the airlines to be carbon neutral, making sure Planned Parenthood qualifies for small business assistance, cancelling the Postal Service’s debt, and requiring nationwide same-day voting be seen as a proper and valid response to the Wuhan Virus crisis that is crushing our economy and killing our people.
People are dying, both from the disease of and the depression and anxiety caused by looming mortgage payments, job loss, and watching their retirement funds built up over a lifetime evaporate. Pelosi wants to make sure boards of corporations assisted in any relief measure are sufficiently diverse and that federal employee unions are given expanded collective bargaining rights. Meanwhile her dawdling increases the death rate from suicide as despair overtakes hope among those who watch their livelihoods and futures slip away. It is likely that more Americans will die from economic anxiety and hardship that from the virus. Poverty kills and so does Nancy Pelosi and her political boy toy Chuck Schumer. Parenthetically, can anyone imagine Harry Reid letting Pelosi telling Senate Democrats what to do? …
March 24, 2020
It’s Not Just Physical Walls the U.S. Must Build in the Coronavirus Era
Walls have been the norm for settlements since the earliest Neolithic days. Farmers have things, such as food and valuable implements. Other people want those things and are sometimes inclined to take them. Walls provide security so that people can live with some degree of peace. Throughout history, everywhere towns and cities, and even nations, have built walls to keep out the riff-raff. Why? Well, walls work!
Walls come in many sizes and materials: stone, steel, bricks and wood. They come in many sizes, from protecting a small settlement to protecting an entire territory. Hadrian’s Wall, Offa’s Dyke and the Great Wall of China show us the effectiveness of long walls in the preservation of a nation. Trump’s wall promises similar utility.
Walls are a powerful force multiplier – provided they are adequately garrisoned. There are a multitude of examples in history where a small defending force has defeated a massive besieging army through the power of walls. But walls must not have open ends that can be flanked. The Maginot line is a sad example.
Protective walls don’t have to be material. They can be cultural, political or economic in nature. Ancient Sparta had no walls of stone. The Spartans relied on the reputation of their warriors. Reputation was their wall. The very name Sparta was enough to deter invasion.
After the Second World War, the United States built treaty walls – NATO in Europe protecting against the Soviet Union and SEATO in the western Pacific shielding East Asia against communist China. These treaty organizations not only provided enhanced military protection, they also economically enriched all the participants.
For their time, these abstract walls were a great benefit. But then the Soviet Union fell apart and communist China seemingly liberalized. It now seems that the time for these defensive walls has passed – at least in their original form. Such alliances will likely continue, but not in their old military role. In today’s topsy-turvy world their mission must change. New abstract walls of protection must, and will, emerge for we have now encountered a true black swan – Donald Rumsfeld’s “unknown unknown,” in the coronavirus crisis.
Our post-Cold War strategy was a natural extension of the great success we had after the Second World War in turning former enemies into prosperous friends and allies, and in demolishing the Soviet empire. The Cold War success bred a baked-in optimism into our foreign policy. An optimism that remained until very recently even though it has been severely tested in Vietnam and the Middle East.
Because of this strategic optimism we, quite mistakenly, thought that this same policy could “civilize” China. This has proved to be a major mistake. Despite its having grafted-on the European Marxist pathology, China remains China. This ancient empire has an inherent sense of superiority that derives from four thousand years of uniquely continuous Chinese culture.
China also has highly intelligent leadership that intensely studies the United States to discover, and manipulate, our weaknesses. It has been remarkably successful in that manipulation. Chinese strategy has been to swallow vital portions of our industrial economy through a policy of massive domestic industrial subsidies, dumping products below cost with the government making up the loss, punitive tariffs, bribery, spying and theft of our proprietary technology – in essence, by cheating.
China now has a stranglehold on many of those elements that are vital to America’s survival. Our vulnerability to China was made possible by China’s bamboozling and bribing America’s obtuse globalist corporate and government leaders.
But all is not lost. The COVID-19 China virus pandemic changes everything. Through its behavior during this crisis China has revealed itself to be not a friend but a hostile adversary. In so doing, it has made visible the serious flaws in our post-Cold War national strategy.
The COVID virus pandemic, painful though it now is, has had the beneficial effect of jolting us awake to the real danger that China poses to our long-term survival. We are now alert to the fact that China has flanked our economic protective barriers and captured vital portions of our industry.
The wakeup call in our relations came in the form of China’s threat to cut off pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. If they were to carry out this threat it would be an act of war. The future would become very problematic at that point.
But such an event is unlikely. China’s threat to embargo pharmaceuticals was probably just a probe to see what our reaction would be. Fortunately, President Trump publicly ignored the threat and thereby neutralized it. Nevertheless, the threat exposed the truth of our more general vulnerability – not just to China. The truth of our vulnerability can no longer remain hidden. We must build strong new walls.
In 1800, the new United States was an agricultural backwater. By mid-century we were already substantially industrialized – and we were the world’s leader in invention. Despite the terrible destruction of the Civil War, and the Long Depression of the 1870s, by 1890, we led the world in energy consumption and therefore in heavy industry and agriculture. How did we do this? We did it mainly through protective tariffs. And, there were no business or investment income taxes. The government also fostered the building of railroads, canals and shipping. And, it encouraged the importation of superior technology. In effect, we built economic walls to protect and encourage the rapid growth of our economy. These walls had the interesting additional property that they attracted massive amounts of foreign investment in our industry and agriculture.
Sounds a bit like China, doesn’t it? Actually not. One difference is the United States believes in the rule of law and the rule of respect. Another difference is that in China, the communist government effectively owns all domestic businesses, while political party leaders control investment and reap the rewards. Moreover, the Chinese government is willing to do anything in its power to win – no rules. In the long run, the Chinese model is a loser because free enterprise is a far more effective engine of creation.
By today’s globalist standards, our nineteenth century protectionist policy was pure heresy. It violated the ideas of Adam Smith and David Ricardo that maximum wealth results from pure free trade and local competitive advantage.
Well, theories are nice, but they often don’t work out in practice. Nations can, and do, engage in cutthroat competition rather than friendly cooperation. Practical men see these disconnects between theory and practice and jury-rig solutions that do work. America’s old high tariff walls, combined with no investment tax, was just such a solution – and it worked an economic miracle! It is time to revive, and appropriately adapt, those old practical walls and incentives.
Our new economic strategy must bring our critical industries back to the territorial United States. Fortunately, the United States is a continental nation. We have within our borders almost all the natural resources necessary for a modern economy. Those very few items which can only be found abroad we can stockpile against contingency.
We know we can do this because we have done it before – both in the nineteenth century and much more recently. A decade ago we were entirely dependent on Middle Eastern oil. The consequences of war and lost treasure we all know. Today, through the free enterprise invention of fracking, we are energy independent and can be free of the Middle East if we so desire. Good lesson.
History is switching the world into a new mode. The COVID virus marks the end of the post-Cold War era and the beginning of a new age. Build the walls, America, and you will be free and ascendant for a very long time to come.
March 24, 2020
Who is Our John Galt?
Who is John Galt? In 1957 Ayn Rand published her final novel, Atlas Shrugged. This magnum opus describing her philosophy of “objectivism” sought to call attention to the danger of socialism and communism and demonstrate the virtues of freedom and capitalism. Rand came to America from Russia following the 1917 communist revolution led by Lenin, which destroyed the social norms.
Who is John Galt? He is the leader of the resistance to the statists of a dystopian United States. Galt has created the intellectual and emotional genesis for unravelling the suffocating government. He has secretly organized leaders of the private corporate society that recognize the power, poor decisions, and destruction caused by incompetent government officials. They seek to withhold their expertise in a strike hoping to crash the power and control of government bureaucrats and their regulations. Rand describes how easily private entities can be coopted by corrupt government officials as they try to maintain their businesses.
Who is John Galt? He has designed a motor that can function from static electricity. Ayn Rand based her characters upon individuals she observed. Perhaps Nikola Tesla was one such model, with his motor design and Tesla Coil. Tesla rejected the rigidity of the Edison labs which stifled his innovations.
Why would government officials prevent innovation? One reason is depicted in this book: control of the populace through government power and prevention of individuality. Hank Rearden (perhaps like Andrew Carnegie) is a steel magnate who has developed a new and lighter steel which will make others obsolete. His alloy is rejected by government regulators. Dagny Taggert (perhaps like Cornelius Vanderbilt) runs the family railroad which uses Rearden metal to build her “John Galt” line which is condemned by regulators. Rand admired creative, innovative entrepreneurs as opposed to mediocrities.
John Galt is captured by officials and tortured until rescued by his supporters. Galt’s threat to their power cannot be tolerated by the officials. In China, the communist government refused to acknowledge the danger of the coronavirus. They silenced doctors that tried to warn the world, lied about the virus’ infectivity (human to human), and refused USA CDC professional help. The Chinese government allowed the whistleblower to die. They are the end result of accumulated power by politicos.
John Galt is not perfect, but he takes a stand. Donald Trump is not either. Trump tried to calm the hysteria that the media helped whip up. As he lost control of the narrative, he adapted to the realities and changed the focus to ramp up the national response. Flexibility is his strong suit. Political acumen is another quality that he possesses. His poll numbers have increased due to his handling of this crisis.
Will the coming recession or depression lessen Trump’s re-electoral prospects? He has determined that the health of Americans must come first. John Galt decided his life paled when compared to the health of the nation. His movement must continue if he was lost. Trump has created a movement that must be sustained whether he wins re-election or not. Trump’s leadership on this crisis will be judged in November. Despite this tumult, he will prevail.
In January Trump halted air travel between the U.S. and China. He was excoriated as a racist for this action. This may have been the most important tactic in reducing infectivity. He soon declared a national health emergency. Early on he tried to allay fears by downplaying the seriousness at the time. The press now attacks him for that effort, as sending mixed messages. By mid-February the narrative from the press became alarmist. Parents started withholding their children from school and public events. As March approached, it was apparent that panic was overtaking the nation. Stores found it difficult to stock shelves adequately. This encouraged more fear.
The past three weeks have moved a warp speed. The governors have great control over health care within the states. Since ObamaCare was passed, the financial pressures upon our private health-care system have been enormous. Scarcity of resources can be managed by reduced services and facilities or by increasing the price for these services. As the government takes greater control over our healthcare it places additional pressures to reduce costs (it must pay through taxes). Hence there are now insufficient beds and IC units (with ventilators) to care for the coming COVID-19 burden. This is not Trump’s fault, but the governors that limited operating costs.
Use of the Defense Production Act of 1950 nationalizes industries. Trump (as Galt) prefers to allow voluntary private efforts to be utilized first. If problems arise then the White House can use the DPA to effect change. The press and opposition do not see this since they prefer a statist approach. While for three years the press called Trump a dictator, now they want him to be more dictatorial. There is no getting it right in their eyes.
Governing is a balancing act. Trump became wealthy by innovation. He had some failures along the way and had to shed gambling hotels when there was a downturn in the economy. If one approach fails, then another must be tried. The media questions his judgement and statements regarding the use of masks and trials of medications because they are not flexible or creative. They are the mediocrities that Rand warned about. Mobilizing the federal resources does not mean instantaneous production.
It takes time to move from a normal economy to one geared for warfare. The ability to shift factories from alcoholic beverage production to hand sanitizer may seem easy, but it requires regulatory changes that the White House quickly arranged. So much for governmental control. The same issue concerns building ventilators which is technologically different from automobile production. Again, the White House will facilitate the change.
Trump has desired to devolve centralized power from federal authority to states and localities. During this endeavor he has giving governors freedom to manage their states as suits their circumstances. The federal government functions in a supportive role. When FEMA is activated the agency again supports the localities. The conflict between Democrats and Republicans over the third legislative piece demonstrates this difference where Democrats seek greater influence over economic segments. Eventually a compromise will be reached.
Who is John Galt? My daughter suggested that Donald Trump is John Galt. Donald J. Trump faces a news media that falsely depicts him and American Society, much in the way John Galt was pitted against the anti-capitalist regime in Rand’s manifesto. Just as Galt rose up with the help of ingenious business owners, Trump will do the same to overcome this epidemic. Partnerships with the private sector will give us a positive outcome. In the end he will succeed in reversing the influence of the left, the media, and socialist leadership within the Democratic party. Trump is a determined man.
Police in Paris no-go zones are becoming overwhelmed trying to maintain the nationwide quarantine and have handed out record numbers of fines.
The heavily migrant-populated Seine-Saint-Denis area is proving to be a tough area for police to enforce the nationwide anti-coronavirus quarantine ordered by French president Emmanuel Macron, with police officers admitting that they are overwhelmed.
A man guarding a local pharmacy told newspaper Le Temps that many of the residents do not even believe the virus is a threat to them at all
“They do not understand anything. Some even say that this virus is a fable of whites to force them to desert the street,” the man said.
Section of Paris Caught Largely Ignoring Macron Lockdown https://t.co/5GHAhti97f
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 19, 2020
Other areas of Seine-Saint-Denis also saw people gathering, including a local shopping centre where a number of minority teenagers chatted with each other, some wearing masks, others not.
Police say that enforcing the law in the area is “impossible” and that if they try to impose the 135 euro fines they would not be able to contain the potential backlash, and that the risk of a crowd forming would only increase the chances of spreading the coronavirus.
“We are not going to give up. But we also know where these people live and how they live. Strict containment, for them, is just impossible,” an officer explained.
On Wednesday it was reported that 10 per cent of all the fines for breaking the quarantine in France were given in Seine-Saint-Denis, per Fabienne Klein-Donati, the public prosecutor of Bobigny.
Illegal Migrant Population in Paris No-Go Zone Suburbs Hits 400,000 https://t.co/XMNN5SOHB4
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 6, 2018
The quarantine measures were also largely ignored by residents in the highly migrant-populated 18th arrondissement in the north of Paris, with crowds of people walking around the area despite police orders to stay in their homes.
The coronavirus outbreak has also led to pharmacies becoming targets for burglars, as in the city of Colombes just outside of Paris, where a man from Seine-Saint-Denis was arrested for stealing medical face masks and hand sanitiser.
In Seine-et-Marne, meanwhile, drug dealers donned masks and other medical gear and were seen strolling along the streets of the Almont district of Melun, even creating a video for social media advertising that they were still selling drugs, regardless of the quarantine and coronavirus outbreak.
Macron Puts France on 15-Day Lockdown in Coronavirus ‘Health War’ https://t.co/XNeiMT9Qvi
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 17, 2020