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This is exactly what the global dictators have dreamed of. They have taken full advantage and used their mass media once again to create fear and hysteria. They have successfully gotten the lower masses of humanity, as they look upon us,   accepting that they must be treated like cattle for their own sake for their own survival that there's no other option than for Big Brother to take charge of the masses of adults who are too stupid to take responsibility for themselves and make their own decisions based on their own research and cognitive abilities.

 

That's the whole purpose of the handling of this disease, to move the masses further towards collectivism; towards the willing relinquishment of free movement, personal responsibility and thinking, in favor of easily accepting whatever figurative pill BIG BROTHER WANTS TO SHOVE DOWN THEIR THROAT!  

 

Life and liberty destroying decisions are made by AUTHORITY based on ignorance/fear and then FORCED upon the rest of us.

 

THIS SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED!!! We have crossed a TERRIBLE LINE, set awful HUMAN RIGHTS KILLING PRECEDENTS.

 

NOW YOU HAVE PEOPLE WILLING TO HAVE BIG BROTHER TELL them what to do, how to think, how to behave AND THE SHEEPLE LOVE IT! They are CLAMORING FOR MORE DIRECTION, HAVING LOST THE INTESTINAL FORTITUDE TO DO FOR THEMSELVES.   OH GREAT LEADERS PRAY WHAT MAY WE DO TODAY?

 

Napoleon and Hitler could only dream, no they couldn't dream of this it's beyond what they could have imagined. But oh how they could have wished for it, new subjects willingly OBEDIENT without ever having to fire a shot.

 

To have billions of people actually begging for the BIG BROTHER AUTHORITY OF GLOBAL GOVERNMENTS RUN AND OWNED BY THE MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS to rip their basic human rights and their fortunes away from them and tell them what to do.

 

It's a shame that humanity has sunk into such depths of spinelessness.

 

There once was a country, the United States of America where the majority of the people were not like that.

 

I am saddened to see her dying after the great sacrifices made by her founders and by people who believed in her like the immigrants who came here for her promises of freedom, Hope, an opportunity to THEMSELVES CREATE a better life through PERSONAL ENDEAVOR AND RESPONSIBILITY IN A SOCIETY WHERE THEY WERE FREE TO PURSUE THEIR OWN IDEAS OF HAPPINESS. The key words in all this being "FREEDOM, PERSONAL ENDEAVOR".

 

Even those brought here against their will, how saddened must be the long gone black Africans who were torn violently from their homelands to lose their cultures, their loved ones, their freedoms, their very lives . Yet survivors were so strong, so heroic that they could rise up and make major contributions as Free proud people in this country despite conditions here being so against them. Against all indications to the contrary, they still believed in the founding principles and had hope that they could Take that freedom and they did! They never gave up, but then too many of them were beaten down and told over and over again for many generations that they were victims and could not do for themselves, that Big White Brother would help and too many swallowed that pill to their current degradation, but that's another sad story. Yet still how Noble our forbears from many lands.

 

How disappointed they must be to see our decadence and weakness of their descendants. Our spirit has been diluted by lack of gratitude and ignorance of what we were privileged enough to have been born in to; by an education that no longer teaches the principles upon which this country was founded, by a culture that embraces victimhood instead of Independence and personal power.

 

Some call it a "corporatacracy" that we live in now versus the old monarchies/feudal systems because even the people that we elect to represent us and our interests are more beholden to the corporations that insidiously push their agendas upon governments across the globe.

 

It is the Specter of Genghis Khan, Stalin etc down through the ages of humanity the small minority that is defective and is our enemy. It is that ancient spirit of conquest and suppression that has ever sought to have full power over the rest of us. That force is now succeeding on a global scale as we sit with full bellies watching our television sets.

 

We, in the U.S., who have come so far having tasted freedom and the luxuries it brings, having the most to lose. We who were the hope of the people of Earth now spiritually weak, sniveling brats selling out the people of Earth by being ignorant of and ungrateful for what we have here.

                      

We owe it to Earth's People to stand up and save what still remains of our founding hopes and dreams.

 

Seek your own truth!

 

It is so much easier today with the internet although not so easy as continuing to open wide your gullet to swallow the propaganda and sound bites of the suppressive merchants of chaos.

 

"Doc"

Saturday, 09 May 2020 09:25

Is It Time for a Revolution?

It was General George Washington who said, "If you want peace, prepare for war."

               

It's time for America's business owners to fight back against a tyrannical government. Some might call that a revolution. But in this case, I'm talking about a war fought in the courts. I'm talking about a legal battle. It's time for lawsuits -- lots of them.

               

It's time to defend our civil rights. It's time to defend our property rights. It's time to make tyrant governors understand this isn't a dictatorship and we're not their serfs.

               

First an important question about the coronavirus. I am impressed with how smart COVID-19 is. It appears to be the smartest virus of all time. Apparently, it doesn't infect us at Costco, Walmart, supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, hardware stores or any big business deemed "essential" by government. But it will infect us at hair salons, nail salons, restaurants, bars, clothing stores and any other small business deemed "nonessential" by government.

               

Is the virus that smart? How does it know the difference?

               

And have Costco employees found the holy grail? Are they immune around crowds of shoppers while the coronavirus is kryptonite to all other employees and shoppers at all other businesses? Why can't every small business open up if it follows the exact same guidelines as Costco?

               

Something is wrong, folks. None of this makes sense. Does it?

               

This can't be just about a virus. If it were, we'd all play by the same rules, right? It sure seems someone is using a real deadly pandemic as an excuse to inflict terrible damage and financial death upon 30 million small-business owners, entrepreneurs and independent contractors in America (not to mention their employees).

               

And it just so happens that big chain stores, big chain restaurants and billion-dollar businesses (including the Los Angeles Lakers and giant hotel chains) qualify for small-business emergency loans, while 99% of the mom-and-pop businesses I personally know haven't gotten a dime, have been rejected for Small Business Administration loans or have gotten a measly $1,000. Don't spend it all at once.

               

As long as I'm telling you about things that make no sense, is it possible that in our United States of America, government can tell small-business owners they have no rights; can't open for business; don't have a right to feed their family; and will be forced to lose everything they've worked their whole life to build?

               

(SET ITAL) Is that possible? (END ITAL)

               

Even if you comply with the exact same guidelines of big business and big-box retailers like Costco? They can remain open, but you can't?

               

And if you try to open your business, (SET ITAL) you'll be arrested (END ITAL). Because business owners making decisions about their own property are now criminals. Really?

               

But at the same time, that government that persecutes business owners runs a scam called sanctuary cities. That same government allows illegal aliens (i.e. (SET ITAL) real (END ITAL) criminals) to walk free; protects them; actually takes taxpayer money from you and me and gives them welfare, food stamps, housing allowances, free health care, free education and tax refunds from the IRS, even though they pay no taxes.

               

(SET ITAL) Is that possible? (END ITAL)

               

And, of course, this same government that wants to prosecute taxpaying business owners and mothers playing on swings with their children refuses to hand illegal-alien murderers and rapists over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation.

               

Does any of this make sense to you?

               

Because if all of this is true, it may be time for a revolution. But I want to avoid bloodshed. I want to avoid civil war. I want this revolution to be peaceful. So, as a last resort, I suggest it is time for massive class action lawsuits. It's time for the Supreme Court to protect us from our own government.

               

It's time for every small-business owner in America who has been shut down by government, denied civil and human rights, denied a right to earn a living, denied a right to feed their children, denied the right to make their own decisions with their own property to go to court.

               

It's time to prove the U.S. Constitution still exists, that it's not just a piece of paper to be shredded each time government feels like it. Yes, it's time to go to war with our own government. But I'm hoping it's just a legal war to be decided in court.

               

And after we win back our freedoms, win back our right to earn a living and protect the U.S. Constitution -- after all that, I have important advice for President Donald Trump: Don't bail out any state or city with a dime of our taxpayer money unless it agrees to forever end sanctuary cities, to stop using taxpayer money to hand billions of dollars in handouts to people in this country illegally and to stop shielding illegal-alien felons from deportation.

Until then, give state governments the same answer they're giving right now to every small-business owner and independent contractor in America. ...

Let them eat cake.

 

sm no smile face with sunglasses

If it acts, the Free World has the opportunity to condemn another communist dictatorship to Karl Marx's dustbin of history and avoid a war with a totalitarian superpower circa 2035. 

The Chinese Communist Party knows the COVID-19/Wuhan virus pandemic has exposed its imperial war to conquer the world, so it is frantically engaged in psychological and political damage control.

Why? The strategic exposure (a cruel pun) of Beijing's goal occurs at least 10 years too early. If the CCP and Emperor/President/Dictator Xi Jinping just had another decade of gross domestic product growth; of military modernization; of intellectual property theft; of trade rigging; of bribing crooked EU and American politicians and Ivy League academics; of stroking elite U.S. media; of narrative warfare crafted to undermine democracy and erode free speech -- with another 10 to 15 years of unrestricted "all lines of operation" warfare, China could hogtie America and have the military power to dominate Asia and the western Pacific.

If the CCP were to achieve strategic diplomatic, information, military and economic (DIME) power superiority in Asia, the nefarious economic, media, political, academic and cultural lines of operation camouflaging the strategic expansion could be dropped.

Unfortunately, the Wuhan pandemic imperils the CCP's strategic plan to dominate the globe. Yes, call it the Wuhan pandemic. Damn Obama administration toady Ben Rhodes, who, hair on fire, condemns the moniker as racist. Rhodes is a Beltway clerk with heavy political baggage.

Ebola virus? The Ebola is a river in the Congo. Old Lyme (Lyme disease) is in Connecticut. Rhodes spews CCP narrative warfare tropes. That's not slander; that's fact. The disease plaguing us originated in the mainland Chinese city of Wuhan. It's an origin, not an ethnic slur.

Rhodes gives us as an instructive example of a CCP narrative warfare scheme designed to sow doubt and discord. COVID-19 is an anodyne, antiseptic and distanced name -- narrative warfare camouflage, or a distraction to buy time and avoid consequences. Wuhan identifies the perpetrator. The CCP knows anti-Chinese communist sentiment is at its highest level since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

Which exposes another weakness: The CCP faces discord in China, for the Chinese people know who ordered Tiananmen.

The Daily Telegraph in Australia has published an article based on a 15-page analysis documenting the CCP's Wuhan virus lies. My summary: China's government covered up the virus "by silencing" or "disappearing doctors ... destroying evidence ... and refusing to provide live samples to international scientists" developing vaccines. Bottom-line evil: The CCP knowingly endangered other countries.

The Telegraph report supports U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's ABC News interview during which he said "enormous evidence" exists the pandemic began in a Wuhan bio lab. He added, "China has a history of infecting the world, and they have a history of running substandard laboratories."

Pompeo did not call the virus a bio weapon -- that is, a manmade virus. Incompetence and stupidity by lab personnel likely spread the pathogen.

However, that charge alone undermines the CCP narrative that its system is superior to all others on planet Earth.

The CCP leadership lied about the virus, denied the outbreak and, failing, let it infect the world. CCP calculation: Every other nation must suffer the medical and economic consequences so China's imperial plan does not suffer a serious setback.

Miscalculation: The pandemic has wreaked global, war-level havoc, but the CCP's lie has been exposed.

The world must make the CCP pay. The operational trade advantages and intellectual property theft schemes mainland China has exploited since 1978, and definitely since it joined the World Trade Organization in December 2001, must be closed. Mainland Chinese corporations ultimately serve CCP interests, serving as intelligence and economic assets both domestically and internationally. Beijing changed China's economic structure to comply with WTO requirements. However, the Wuhan virus crisis makes it clear the CCP didn't change.

So penalize Beijing. Do it for global peace circa 2035.

 

sm no smile face with sunglasses

 

 

“I tell you it is no use arguing with a Communist. It’s no good trying to convert a Communist or persuade him.” — Winston Churchill

As the Soviet Union was spreading its control over Eastern Europe following the Second World War, then-former British prime minister Winston Churchill was prophetic in his description of what it would take to outlast the Communist empire without resorting to war.

“The only thing to do,” Churchill continued, “was to convince them that you have superior force . . . and that is the greatest chance of peace, the surest road to peace.”

At the time, Churchill’s prophesy was unwelcome in the war-weary West. Still, successive U.S. presidents largely adhered to his advice. The Soviet Communists were never converted or persuaded. They were defeated, mostly without war, by superior Western economic, diplomatic and military power, and by a more determined and inspiring vision of humanity.

Today’s challenge from the Chinese Communists must be seen the same way.

As in Churchill’s time, most Americans don’t want to hear about epic threats. We are weary of perpetual battles with terrorists and the massive dangers and disruptions associated with today’s pandemic.

But such threats don’t wait until we are ready for them. Like the pandemic, they arrive on their own timeline.

With lies and coverups, China will continue to try to hide its responsibility for failing to contain a virus that began in Wuhan, is killing hundreds of thousands worldwide and doing untold economic destruction.

But deceit about the virus is not the worst danger Chinese Communism poses. It is just its most glaring symptom. A virus can start in any country. The threats coming from China do not come from any other country.

In the past month alone, China has brazenly expanded its reach. In Hong Kong, it has arrested leading pro-democracy activists and is attempting to criminalize criticism of the Chinese government. It is increasing its hostile actions in the South China Sea, which one-third of the world’s shipping passes through. And the State Department has reported concerns about Chinese nuclear weapons testing in violation of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

That’s just the past month. China has a years-long track record of brutality and aggression.

Domestically, it has vastly enlarged its military capabilities, created an Orwellian surveillance state and forced more than a million of its minority citizens into “re-education” camps.

Internationally, it has stolen intellectual property at unprecedented levels, taken over United Nations’ agencies such as the World Health Organization, exerted its leverage over poor countries with terrible debt deals and harassed its Asian neighbors, none more so than the free people of Taiwan.

The free world ignores this pattern at our peril.

From the 1970s through the Obama administration, U.S. leaders from both parties operated under the theory that as China grew stronger economically it would become more free and less aggressive, as had happened in other countries. However, in the case of China, that theory was disastrously wrong. As it gathered economic strength, China moved in the opposite direction, becoming less free and more aggressive.

Why was China different? Go back to Churchill’s explanation. The Communist Party thoroughly controls China’s military, commerce, technology and education. Everything its leaders do is aimed at expanding the party’s power. It is why they ethnically cleanse minorities. Why they impose a surveillance state. Why they cannot tolerate freedom in Hong Kong. Why they insist they will take over Taiwan. Why they claim South China Sea territory that is not theirs. Why they steal intellectual property. Why they seek to dominate poor countries and international organizations. Why they expand their nuclear arsenal. China is a dangerously different power because it is steadfastly committed to a Communist ideology that views its system as superior and seeks its advancement in every way.

China is far from the U.S. homeland. But America’s security depends on preventing distant powers from amassing enough strength to threaten us. In the past hundred years, we have stopped Germany twice and the Soviet Union for that reason. Now we face an expansionist Communist China whose economic power vastly exceeds anything the Soviets had during the Cold War. It is manifestly in our security interests to counter this threat.

This is not America’s challenge alone; free countries must unite to face it. In the Pacific region, Japan, India and Australia recognize the Chinese danger. Our European friends have been slower to the cause, but Chinese duplicity on the novel coronavirus is waking them up. Developing nations that once bought into China’s false generosity are now seeing through a clearer lens.

Focusing on China’s reprehensible actions in this pandemic is necessary, but the virus is just a small part of the threats China poses. The sooner the world recognizes that, the better prepared it will be to stop it. And as Churchill noted, preparation is the surest road to peace.

Op-ed by Nikki Haley

submitted to sun bay paper by her

Please sign and share this "stop communist china" petition at the link below:

https://stopcommunistchina.com/?utm_source=sfa&utm_medium=ems&utm_campaign=organic

 

Congress passed a coronavirus stimulus bill (CARES Act) intended to put money in the hands of individuals and organizations. Two large programs are the Paycheck Protection Program (“Paycheck” or “PPP”) and the Main Street Lending Program (“Main Street”). We don’t yet know, officially, how these programs will be paid for. My goal here is to predict and express my opinion on how we will fund these two emergency loan programs.

“Paycheck” loans will be forgiven by the SBA if organizations meet the payroll and employee retention requirements of the legislation, while the “Main Street” loans will be handled a little differently. 95% of these loans will be purchased from lending banks and held by the Federal Reserve. Does that sound familiar? At first glance, it seems to be similar to what happened with the “quantitative easing” measures occurring during Obama’s administration.

It’s important to understand that the Federal Reserve manages the money supply, it doesn’t borrow money. The Federal Reserve has a Congressional mandate to maximize employment while controlling inflation. Quantitative easing (“QE”) is part of the Fed’s frequently used “open market operations.” Other Fed tools include adjusting the fed funds rate, the discount rate, and the bank reserve requirement.

During the QE activities of the last administration, the Fed purchased financial assets, e.g. U.S. Treasury debt and mortgage backed securities, from banks. That increased the money supply and stimulated the economy by flooding banks with capital. “Balancing the books” with taxes or borrowing wasn’t necessary. This type of expansion of the money supply is often referred to using the metaphor “printing money,” and it’s accomplished with a computer “keystroke.” There are no printing presses involved.

Using the Fed to expand the money supply isn’t unique to progressive administrations. In 2009, Chairman Ben Bernanke, when asked about funding the $1 trillion 2008 bank bailout, explained: “It’s not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed much the same way that you have an account with a commercial bank, so to lend to a bank, we simply us a computer to mark up the size of the account…It’s much more akin to printing money than it is to borrowing…We need to do that because our economy is very weak and inflation is very low.”

We don’t yet know how much of the CARES Act stimulation will employ tactics like quantitative easing. Will some loans be repaid as were the 2008 bank bail-out loans, or will we see the more permanent “easing” characteristics of the last administration? Most “Main Street” loans will be purchased by the Fed, and I predict they will be substantially repaid, thereby reversing most “money printing” characteristics. On the other hand, “Paycheck Protection” loans will be mostly forgiven, suggesting this can be a permanent expansion of the money supply. We can’t yet be sure.

The economic shut-down is history. Given that reality, I must decide if I support providing significant financial relief? If I do, how would I suggest paying for it? Should funds be provided from taxes, issuing government debt, or should we use money supply management by the Federal Reserve?

Regarding America’s current financial emergency, managing the money supply can be a productive tool for emergency economic stimulation when unemployment is high and inflation is low, but those measures must be temporary and limited. Aggressive emergency money supply management during financial crises has been used, and will be again, by administrations representing both parties.

If the government decides to use monetary policy management tools to fund at least portions of the CARES Act, I approve. I endorse the Federal Reserve ability to prudently and aggressively manage the money supply when the country faces an existential financial threat such as accompanied this pandemic. I believe that’s how we will fund portions of the CARES Act, such as those I’ve described above. At least for those programs, we may find out that neither taxes nor issuance of new debt is triggered.

 

www.myslantonthings.com/

steve bakke small

Steve Bakke

Fort Myers 

Saturday, 09 May 2020 08:37

Hollywood's Heroic Comey Story Collapses

If the "first rough draft of history" in the news media sounds dubious, the second draft made by Hollywood will almost certainly be worse. I'm not talking about documentaries, which can be judged as journalism. I'm talking about movies and TV shows, which will inevitably be pressed to dramatize things so they are evermore loosely "based on real events."

CBS has been preparing a miniseries based on former FBI Director James Comey's memoir, pompously titled "A Higher Loyalty." In the memoir, he lectured, "Ethical leaders choose a higher loyalty to those core values over their own personal gain." But the personal gain was sweet for Comey.

First came the high-roller book deal with 850,000 copies, heavily promoted by all the Democrat-repeating networks. In Comey's case, that included an hourlong prime-time ABC "news" special during which he was interviewed by that nonpartisan George Stephanopoulos. The book sold like hotcakes to Trump haters. Add some more millions for his optioning the book to Hollywood for "entertainment."

Production was slated to begin last November, but there's no word if it was anywhere near done before the coronavirus pandemic kicked in. Apparently, CBS Television Studios hasn't even decided where this Heroic Comey miniseries will land, either on Showtime or the CBS All Access streaming service, where it would be an easy match with the network's Trump-trashing drama "The Good Fight."

Comey will be played by Trump-hating actor Jeff Daniels, who recently made the New York media swoon by starring as heroic lawyer Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird" on Broadway. The miniseries director, Billy Ray, said Daniels was picked because he had "instant integrity, loads of warmth, intelligence, complexity and gravitas." That's obviously how they expect to portray Jim Comey: as another heroic lawman on the actor's resume.

Ray promised he would make a "fair, responsible and comprehensively documented account of real-life events," CBS said in a press release. But current events are intruding on Comey's memoir and his picture of a heroic and nonpartisan FBI battling a president with no respect for the rule of law. For example, new documents have surfaced that purport to show the FBI agents who investigated President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn sought "to get him to lie" so they could "prosecute him or get him fired." Does that sound nonpartisan?

Comey bragged to MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace in 2018 that he flouted the usual protocols for interviewing a top White House official. Usually, the White House counsel is contacted and an interview is carefully arranged. In this case, Comey just sent in his agents, the ones scheming to "prosecute him or get him fired." Former Comey aide Josh Campbell admitted in his own memoir that Comey said, "We just decided, you know, screw it."

Flynn didn't see the attack coming. He said sure and did the FBI interview -- without a lawyer present. He walked right into shark-infested waters and was tricked into lying to the sharks, turning his life upside down.

Attorney General William Barr has decided to vacate Flynn's conviction, finding the adventurous FBI interview was "untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn."

I think we can guess the CBS miniseries will glide right over the latest developments to keep its focus on Heroic Comey, no matter how much that narrative is collapsing. It's likely the series will be the latest in a line of conservative-smearing historical dramas aired by CBS/Showtime, from the Clarence Thomas-whipping "Strange Justice" to "The Reagans."

But CBS -- the Dan Rather network -- lectures the rest of us to stop spreading disinformation.

Tim Graham

We've known for years that China lies and cheats and steals when it comes to international trade. Now we've learned that it also spread the deadly disease COVID-19. Donald Trump ran for president five years ago as the ultimate China hawk on trade, and he was way ahead of the curve for protecting against China's devious behavior. He saved countless lives here in the United States by shutting down travel from China back in February.

But even Trump didn't see how mendacious this tyrannical regime under President Xi Jinping could be in terms of concealing a disease that has killed close to 200,000 people. And the number of body bags grows by the day.

My former colleague, Holman Jenkins at the Wall Street Journal, has chronicled Beijing's misbehavior and cover-up. He notes that internal records recently made public reveal the politburo in China knew by early January that Wuhan, a city of more than 10 million people, had a fast-spreading and, in some cases, fatal disease on the move. He writes that by mid-January, "China's government took steps to expel certain foreign reporters from Wuhan, and then from the country, as well as to silence and threaten with arrest doctors, scientists and local journalists who sought to track the outbreak."

Conspiracy theorists claim China deliberately created the virus in a lab as a weapon of mass health destruction and snuck it into the U.S. That's very unlikely, but in the end, it doesn't matter what Beijing's intention was. In either case, the crime of the cover-up of a deadly and highly contagious disease speaks for itself.

The question now is, what will be the remedy? I believe in free trade, and we've benefited from very cheap imports from China, though they have benefited more. Now, they are complicit in sabotaging the U.S. economy and the trillions of dollars of lost wealth that could have been avoided if the second-largest economy in the world had acted humanely and responsibly by sounding the alarm.

We know that the "Made in China 2025" plan has one overriding goal, which is for the Chinese to replace America as the world economic superpower. Was spreading a disease that would flatten the U.S. economy part of the plan? I doubt it, as I don't think this regime is smart enough to have pulled it off. But the outcome sure played into Jinping's broader world dominance designs.

In the wake of this scandal, many firms are rethinking China's reliability in the global supply chain. Several CEOs of Fortune 500 companies have said they will bring production home or closer to home. This could be very painful for China if this exit strategy becomes a trend. Let's hope so.

Some government officials are talking about kicking China out of the World Trade Organization or forcing Beijing to pay a fine. That is nothing but a slap on the wrist.

The most intriguing idea comes from Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn, who proposes that the Treasury Department should stop repayment or interest payments on the $1.1 trillion Treasury bonds owned by China. We need foreigners to buy our debt, and the "full faith and credit" of the U.S. government stands behind these bonds. But the government could make a strong case that China owes us reparations for its role in flattening our economy.

Some of my colleagues will argue that this retaliatory action of nonpayment would cause an international furor. It could reduce global demand for our debt, which would raise interest rates. But there is no shortage of demand for our debt, which is why 30-year Treasury bonds are selling for about 1.3% interest.

China needs to learn that its constant violation of the laws of civilized society will not be tolerated. Blackburn may be on to something here. Trump used to say that China is laughing behind our backs, but this move would turn its laughter into a self-righteous rage.

Bring it on.

Stephen Moore

We've known for years that China lies and cheats and steals when it comes to international trade. Now we've learned that it also spread the deadly disease COVID-19. Donald Trump ran for president five years ago as the ultimate China hawk on trade, and he was way ahead of the curve for protecting against China's devious behavior. He saved countless lives here in the United States by shutting down travel from China back in February.

But even Trump didn't see how mendacious this tyrannical regime under President Xi Jinping could be in terms of concealing a disease that has killed close to 200,000 people. And the number of body bags grows by the day.

My former colleague, Holman Jenkins at the Wall Street Journal, has chronicled Beijing's misbehavior and cover-up. He notes that internal records recently made public reveal the politburo in China knew by early January that Wuhan, a city of more than 10 million people, had a fast-spreading and, in some cases, fatal disease on the move. He writes that by mid-January, "China's government took steps to expel certain foreign reporters from Wuhan, and then from the country, as well as to silence and threaten with arrest doctors, scientists and local journalists who sought to track the outbreak."

Conspiracy theorists claim China deliberately created the virus in a lab as a weapon of mass health destruction and snuck it into the U.S. That's very unlikely, but in the end, it doesn't matter what Beijing's intention was. In either case, the crime of the cover-up of a deadly and highly contagious disease speaks for itself.

The question now is, what will be the remedy? I believe in free trade, and we've benefited from very cheap imports from China, though they have benefited more. Now, they are complicit in sabotaging the U.S. economy and the trillions of dollars of lost wealth that could have been avoided if the second-largest economy in the world had acted humanely and responsibly by sounding the alarm.

We know that the "Made in China 2025" plan has one overriding goal, which is for the Chinese to replace America as the world economic superpower. Was spreading a disease that would flatten the U.S. economy part of the plan? I doubt it, as I don't think this regime is smart enough to have pulled it off. But the outcome sure played into Jinping's broader world dominance designs.

In the wake of this scandal, many firms are rethinking China's reliability in the global supply chain. Several CEOs of Fortune 500 companies have said they will bring production home or closer to home. This could be very painful for China if this exit strategy becomes a trend. Let's hope so.

Some government officials are talking about kicking China out of the World Trade Organization or forcing Beijing to pay a fine. That is nothing but a slap on the wrist.

The most intriguing idea comes from Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn, who proposes that the Treasury Department should stop repayment or interest payments on the $1.1 trillion Treasury bonds owned by China. We need foreigners to buy our debt, and the "full faith and credit" of the U.S. government stands behind these bonds. But the government could make a strong case that China owes us reparations for its role in flattening our economy.

Some of my colleagues will argue that this retaliatory action of nonpayment would cause an international furor. It could reduce global demand for our debt, which would raise interest rates. But there is no shortage of demand for our debt, which is why 30-year Treasury bonds are selling for about 1.3% interest.

China needs to learn that its constant violation of the laws of civilized society will not be tolerated. Blackburn may be on to something here. Trump used to say that China is laughing behind our backs, but this move would turn its laughter into a self-righteous rage.

Bring it on.

Stephen Moore

Saturday, 09 May 2020 08:17

Big Google Is Watching Your Children

Schools remain shuttered across the country, 30 million Americans are out of work, and food banks are running low, but the edutech sector is booming. Silicon Valley companies are feasting on an exploding client base of quarantined students held hostage to "online learning." Big Google is leading the way -- and that is not OK.

               

Unsuspecting parents cheering all the software and hardware donations during the pandemic shutdown have no idea the privacy price their children are paying. This isn't charity. It's big tech recruitment of vulnerable generations of future Google addicts. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Google inked a deal to provide 4,000 "free" Chromebooks to students, along with "free" Wi-Fi to 100,000 families. In Kentucky, the Jefferson County public schools gave away 25,000 Chromebooks. In Philadelphia, public officials earmarked $11 million to purchase 40,000 Chromebooks for homebound kids.

               

Google CEO Sundar Pichai crowed a few weeks ago that the company now has 100 million students and educators hooked on Google Classroom. Bent on conquering the virtual meeting market, the online giant announced that its premium Google Meet videoconferencing features are now free to all 80 million customers of its G Suite for Education apps through the fall. Google Meet is racking up 2 million new users a day as school districts abandon Zoom, the dominant virtual meeting app that recently admitted "mistakenly" routing non-Chinese calls through its Beijing-based data centers.

               

But if educators think Google will provide more protections for American students than the ChiCom government, they're blind, dumb or bought off. As I've chronicled regularly in this column over the past decade, the Silicon Valley giant has repeatedly breached federal privacy laws to extend its tentacles into children's emails, browsing habits, search engine activity, voice memos and more without parental consent. Google's information predators have previously admitted to unauthorized scanning and indexing of student email accounts and targeted online advertising based on search engine activity, as well as autosyncing of passwords, browsing history and other private data across devices and accounts belonging to students and families unaware of default tracking.

               

A new lawsuit seeking class-action status against Google filed in Illinois serves as a warning to all the millions of families enthralled by their pandemic-gifted Chromebooks. Father-of-two Clinton Farwell alleges that Google illegally collected personally identifying biometric information from his children through their public school-issued Chromebooks (loaded with G Suite for Education apps) dating back to 2015. His suit lays out how Google has "infiltrated" K-12 education with hardware and software primarily targeting students under the age of 13, whose face templates and voiceprints are illicitly collected, along with their: physical locations; websites they visit; every search term they use in Google's search engine (and the results they click on); the videos they watch on YouTube; personal contact lists; voice recordings; saved passwords; and other behavioral information.

               

Despite signing a "Student Privacy Pledge" promising not to collect, share and retain private personal data, Google Chromebooks scan students' faces and unique acoustic details of students' voices to identify them by name, age, gender and location while using Google platforms. Farwell realized his kids' biometric data was being stored in a vast database when he discovered they were required to speak and look into the laptops' microphones and cameras in order to use the school products and apps.

               

A similar lawsuit by the New Mexico Attorney General's office filed in federal court in February exposed how Chromebooks and G Suite for Education apps mined students' Gmail accounts for advertising purposes. The New Mexico AG's brief also bolstered my previous exclusive reports, based on whistleblowing by Missouri teachers Brooke Henderson and Brette Hay, on Google's access to student profiles and family computer passwords through the default Chrome Sync function -- which can only be blocked by creating a passphrase buried in settings that school officials never inform students about (let alone their parents left in the dark from the moment schools require kids to create Google logins as early as kindergarten).

               

And now governments are entrusting Google to help develop contact-tracing technology on the promise that they won't collect location data, won't exploit data for commercial purposes, and won't grant access to unauthorized parties? Fox, meet henhouse.

               

Regulatory slaps on the wrist by toothless federal agencies have done nothing to deter the deceitful data usurpers. Why hasn't every other state attorney general filed a similar suit? Where is Congress, which passed the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 to prevent exactly the kind of routine marauding of students' digital lives perpetrated by Google and other EdTech vultures? Instead of pushing back, Congress passed the "Every Student Succeeds Act" and the "Foundations for Evidence-Based Policy Act" -- deceptively titled bills expanding third-party access to sensitive personal data.

               

The Invisible Enemy is right under our noses, in our homes and on our kids' laptops. Instead of removing children en masse from their classrooms in the name of public health, responsible adults should be de-platforming Google's privacy pillagers from every school in America in the name of public safety.

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Michelle Malkin

 

As we think about coming out of our caves. there’s jockeying for position in determining who’s in charge and who’s to blame. This was inevitable, given the personalities involved. When is the President the boss and when are governors in charge? We’re learning about federalism and dual sovereignty the hard way.

Trump is providing guidance to the states for opening the economy, rather than pulling all the strings like he’s inclined. He wisely climbed into his bully pulpit where he can influence the process, applying his trademark bluster of course, as our economy awakens.

There’s been uncertainty and criticism about this decentralized process with states making their own economic recovery decisions. So, who’s in charge? Perhaps nobody. But let me explain. Our Founders set up our government with power originating with the citizens. Only powers so enumerated are delegated to the federal government, with all other power residing with the states or the people. What seems like “chaos” to some, is evidence of the system working properly.

Everyone, whether governor or citizen, has unique personal opinions about safety. Lockdowns give feelings of control, while opening the economy gives up that control. The result is uncertainty and fear. Some plead, “just follow the science,” but there’s much more to it than that. Paraphrasing Rich Lowry, “outside of the lab, in the real world, we must deal with public policy, economies, questions of values and striking a balance between competing priorities.”

Scientists and modelers don’t have answers to all the questions presidents and governors must consider. Opening the economy doesn’t prioritize the stock market over human life and values. It doesn’t trivialize all that front-line health and other essential workers have done. Rather, it means we refuse to trivialize very real but obscure dangers that threaten many others.

We’re learning that “flattening the curve” via lockdown comes with costs of its own. There are “body counts” associated with lockdown-related mental health issues, economies being wiped out, and personal bankruptcies. A rise in unemployment has a material effect on suicides, homicides, domestic violence, substance abuse and eating disorders. And what’s the cost of delaying elective medical care like knee replacements, cataract surgery, annual checkups, glaucoma tests, and even root canals?

We dare not minimize or ignore the potential tragedy of struggling economies – neither here in the U.S. nor internationally. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) predicts that by year end, more than 260,000,000 people will face starvation, double 2019’s total. In April, WFP’s director stated: “More people could potentially die from the economic impact of COVID-19 than from the virus itself.” That’s the result of tearing down global food supply chains, not deaths from the virus itself.

It’s folly to require uniform actions while facing vastly different situations across the country. Each state has unique issues. New York has over 300,000 infections to date, and a death rate of 71 per 100,000 citizens. The New York City metro area has over 160,000 infected, with a death rate of 128 per 100,000. Texas has over 35,000 infections and 2 deaths per 100,000. Florida’s numbers are approximately 35,000 infections and 4 deaths per 100,000, despite its aging population and complications of having spring break visitors during early March.

Our Founders understood the value of keeping authority at the state and local levels. A counterproductive, “one size fits all” philosophy prevails whenever the federal government is pushing all the buttons. We’re lucky everyone isn’t following the same formula. Nevertheless, we will see both successes and relative failures while restarting America. And we’ll learn from that.

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis channeled our Founders when he wrote, “a state may……serve as a laboratory and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”  He popularized referring to states as “laboratories of democracy” which I’ve rephrased in the context of COVID-19 recovery. States are now serving as “laboratories of pandemic recovery.”

Scientists, economists, and social scientists will learn a lot from our states as “pandemic laboratories.” We’ll know a lot more about how and when we should come out of our caves, or maybe we’ll find out hiding in caves isn’t necessary. But right now, we’re not sure what we don’t know.

 

www.myslantonthings.com/

 

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Steve Bakke

Fort Myers

Saturday, 09 May 2020 08:04

How Long Can Biden Stay in His Basement?

Where Barack Obama achieved notoriety for "leading from behind," Joe Biden, these last two months, has been leading from the basement.

         

And, one must add, doing so quite successfully.

         

Since his rout of Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday, Biden has led President Donald Trump in every national poll and, lately, opened up a lead in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida. One poll has him tied with Trump in Texas.

         

Last week, however, reality intruded. Biden was forced to defend himself against the lurid charge of ex-aide Tara Reade that, as a senator in 1993, he had groped and assaulted her inside the Capitol complex.

         

Why did Biden go public?

         

Because witnesses were coming forward to say Reade told them of Biden's misconduct years ago, and major media outlets began to give the charge credibility by moving the allegation onto Page One.

         

Media allies were signaling that they could not forever give Biden a pass on this, and he had to speak to the charges. Which is what Biden did Friday as he told MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski:

         

"This never happened ... and it's as simple as that."

         

With that flat denial, Biden put his credibility on the line -- in defense of his character. For one cannot equate what Reade claims Biden did with the reputation he has built over half a century as a decent and honorable man. Biden now has to persuade the nation this woman is deluded, wildly exaggerating, misremembering -- or is deliberately lying.

         

If "nothing happened," Biden must explain how well he knew Reade and why she left a plum job in the office of a U.S. senator after only nine months.

         

This is not a matter any presidential candidate wants to discuss while conducting his campaign. But this is only the beginning of Biden's problems -- and of his party's problems with Biden.

         

With four months left before his nomination in Milwaukee, and six months before the November election, there are still among Democrats gnawing concerns based on Biden's performance in the debates and primaries, and since, that he has lost the ability to articulate issues clearly and cogently, or to complete complex thoughts.

         

The worry is that he is suffering from mental decline and could be destroyed by Trump in a presidential debate. Biden forgets, mumbles, misspeaks, loses his train of thought and appears, at times, confused.

         

Moreover, Biden is no spring chicken. He would take office at 78, one year older than Ronald Reagan, our oldest president, was when he left office.

         

Biden has also signaled, by his references to being a "bridge" president, that he will be serving only the single term that would end in 2025 with him having celebrated his 82nd birthday.

         

"I view myself as a transition candidate," Biden conceded last week.

         

This makes his vice presidential choice crucial. For that individual would not only become president instantly should something happen to a President Biden, but he or she would also become the leader of the Democratic Party, the probable presidential nominee in 2024, and possibly president.

         

Who will Biden select as America's future leader, after him?

         

First rule: No white men need apply. Biden has ruled them out.

         

Indeed, no male candidate of any race or ethnicity need apply. The vice presidential nomination has been set aside for a woman.

         

A woman of color? Not necessarily.

         

But here Biden has another problem. It was a huge turnout among African Americans in South Carolina that rescued Biden's failing candidacy and propelled him to his Super Tuesday triumph three days later.

         

Should Biden choose Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar as his running mate in a party that celebrates diversity above all, that all-white ticket would dismay and conceivably enrage the political elites of the black and Hispanic communities in the Democratic coalition.

         

If he chooses Sen. Elizabeth Warren, that ticket would also be all white. Moreover, it would point to a Democratic Party future far to the left of the constituencies that turned out in panic for Joe Biden because he was the last man standing athwart the forced march to the left of democratic socialist Bernie Sanders.

         

If Biden chooses an African American like Stacey Abrams, who lost the Georgia governor's race in 2018, or Sen. Kamala Harris, who did poorly in the primaries and savaged Biden for his opposing forced busing to integrate public schools in the 1970s, would Democrats welcome either as the party's designated future leader?

         

Michelle Obama, as Biden wistfully says, would fit the bill perfectly.

         

But the former first lady is unavailable. And while Biden is mulling over his choice in his basement, Republicans will be attacking his character, credibility and mental competence. Before the fall campaign begins, they will have soiled his candidacy good.

         

"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried," said Winston Churchill, after the British gave him "The Order of the Boot" in 1945.

         

Campaign 2020 may show us our own democracy at its worst.

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Patrick J. Buchanan