Democrats put America’s future at risk while China exploits crisis

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President DOnald Trump and Chnese President Xi Jinping

While Democrats in Washington block legislation to mitigate the economic damage done by the Wuhan virus, China is moving to use the shutdown on Western economies to supplant the United States as the world’s premiere economy and dominant world power.

It’s hard to believe that the Democrats would put their hatred of President Donald Trump ahead of the interests of their country, but Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi is attempting to ram through Congress pet projects of the Left.

It’s mind-boggling, but the Left has never been known to let a perfectly good crisis go to waste.

In this case, however, the stakes have never been higher.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is acutely aware of what the Trump administration has in mind. The president has been quite open about his plans. He wants to bring back manufacturing to the United States, redressing the trade imbalance that has plagued America for decades.

To that end, Trump imposed successive tariffs which had a direct effect on manufacturing. The slowdown in production pushed manufacturers to the limits of their ability to finance continued production.

Then the corona virus outbreak hit. The slow response by CCP officials to the outbreak saw the virus spread widely within and without China.

In China, manufacturing ground to a halt as authorities put city after city in lock down. But the virus took time to propagate in the America and the rest of the West.

Now, it is America that is grinding to a halt and China is on the cusp of recovery.

The CCP plans to use these coming months to its advantage.

“…China’s intention through Made in China 2025,” writes the Council on Foreign Relations in a recent report, “is not so much to join the ranks of hi-tech economies like Germany, the United States, South Korea, and Japan, as much as replace them altogether. Made in China 2025 calls for achieving “self-sufficiency” through technology substitution while becoming a “manufacturing superpower” that dominates the global market in critical high-tech industries. That could be a problem for countries that rely on exporting high-tech products or the global supply chain for high-tech components.”

In addition, China is seeking to portray itself as a savior in the wake of virus pandemic, delivering much needed medical equipment and expertise to Italy, for example.

In the Western press, China is portrayed favorably and even extolled. What the disingenuous stories fail to mention is that China bought up all the equipment and is merely reselling it to countries.

And to ensure that any negatives stories do not mar the narrative, the CCP has expelled a host of foreign journalists.

In the coming months, the CCP will work to solidify not only its power but also its lock on the manufacturing supply chain.

All of which makes the current economic lock down in the United States and Canada so dangerous. If we do not come out of this lock down. with viable economies, our future will be grim indeed. Years of unemployment coupled with stagflation will take a toll on us that will rival anything seen in the Great Depression.

More than that, the West will have surrendered its dominant position in the world to Chinese communists. That is a prospect that should terrify anyone who values human rights.

Ideological viruses laid the groundwork for the deadly Wuhan virus pandemic

coronaWe worry a great deal about natural viruses, but viruses exist in the digital world and they exist in the mental world as well. Ideas can be viruses with just as deadly results.

If you are old enough, you will recall that it was American President Richard Nixon that reached out to China in an attempt to normalize relations.

That olive branch was eventually followed by metaphorical handshakes by successive presidents to an eventually hug by President George Bush who conferred upon China most favored nation status.

China’s entry into the World Trade Organization and its new status allowed corporations to set up shop in China without fear of being shut out of US markets.

Underlying all this, of course, was an idea – that globalization was a good thing.

The argument went something like this: If we can bring China into the family of nations, encourage its development, economic freedoms would lead to political and social freedoms and the world would be one.

Or as the cringe worthy celebrities have intoned of late:

“Imagine”

(from “Imagine: John Lennon” soundtrack)

Imagine there’s no heaven

It’s easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people

Living for today… Aha-ah…

Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion, too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one

Globalization, however, had a host of unintended consequences. As we have discovered in the past few months, China produces a lot of goods that other countries need to continue production at home. Manufacturers all across the West saw their plants grind to a halt because they lacked parts made in China.

It’s worse than that. China supplies 90 per cent of the antibiotics used in the West. It also produces a vast array of medical supplies, including respirators, masks and protective equipment.

Now, this wouldn’t be as much of a problem if China were a country led by a democratically elected party and one that believed in basic freedoms and transparency. It is China’s totalitarian ideology that made the corona virus outbreak so problematic.

China, after all, kept Taiwan out of the World Health Organization. It was Taiwan that saw some of the first infected individuals, but its voice was not heard.

It was China’s fear of losing control that saw it suppress news of the outbreak until the epidemic could no longer be covered up.

As a result, millions of Chinese nationals traveled all across the globe unknowingly spreading the virus.

At the height of epidemic in Wuhan, New York was receiving 900 Chinese visitors a month.

Is it any wonder, New York is one of the hot spots in the United States.

Similar numbers visited cities along the West Coast.

There were 100,000 workers from Wuhan traveling back forth to northern Italy.

As I noted in an earlier post, the severity of the virus outbreak correlates strongly with the extent of economic contact with China.

In the digital world we battle viruses in a number of ways. We have firewalls so that outsiders do not deal directly with internal computers. We have real time monitoring of programs and downloads so that embedded viruses are found. When they are found, they are quarantined.

The problem is that we do not have anything approaching that level of safety in wetworld.

The WHO is supposed to provided real-time monitoring, but that organization failed to act with speed and urgency when the Wuhan virus was first discovered. The WHO is compromised by over-reliance on China.

The initial outbreaks should have triggered an immediate quarantine of China.

Only a handful of countries did that and they are not suffering the consequences of shutting down their economies.

The West did not quarantine China out of political correctness. The initial reaction of our leaders was to caution us about racism and bigotry.

We are now paying the price of those mental viruses – globalism, political correctness, identity politics – and it’s a massive price.

The cost to our economies will be in the trillions of dollars. We are likely to descend into a full blown Depression.

One thing is certain – we cannot go through another pandemic like this every few years.

We need to understand that all viruses require fast, decisive action.

Viruses have a way of changing the world; Wuhan virus will be no different

blackdeathLife is a sexually transmitted disease and the mortality rate is one hundred percent.”

― R.D. Laing

Disease shapes our lives whether we like it or not. We have been at war with pathogens throughout our evolution and the Wuhan virus will be every bit as impactful as the Black Death was in the 14th Century.

Ironically, the Black Death – bubonic plague – got its start in China in the very province (Hubei) that gave birth to the corona virus currently devastating the globe. It was spread by the very same trade routes that spread the Wuhan virus.

The plague, however, killed far more people than the Wuhan virus will likely kill. Historian Ole Jorgen Benedictow estimates that 50 to 60 per cent of Europe’s population died between 1346 and 1353.

Worse still, the plague continued to haunt Europe for the next four hundred years.

The Black Death was perhaps the most momentous event in the history of the world. It was pivotal in the development of medicine as care givers struggled to understand what was unfolding. Physicians learned about blood and the circulatory system. Governments came to realize sanitation was key to stopping its spread.

The plague also had social and economic impacts. The loss of so many laborers saw the end of serfdom. Towns grew. Wages rose. Diets improved. Some historians have even argued that the loss of cheap labor spurred the demand for machines and other innovations that ultimately led to the industrial revolution.

Will the Wuhan virus have similar widespread societal and economic impacts?

Without a doubt it will. The response to the virus has been unprecedented. We are essentially shutting down the social and economic life of the developed world to stop its spread. This has never been done in the past.

Today, people are working online at home, they are studying online at home, they are keeping in touch online from home. Travel is discouraged. Contact is discouraged.

We are a social species, though, so it’s not likely we will retreat into our homes and become nations of online hermits.

What is more likely is that we will pull back from the globalization our political leaders have been promoting.

The quick spread of the disease has made us think about borders, about how fragile our supply chains are, how dependent we are on other countries, such as China.

I imagine we will be working to return essential manufacturing and production back to our countries.

I also think we are going to start re-evaluating our international partnerships. China is clearly not a reliable trading partner or player on the world stage.

China’s big problem is that it is led by a Communist Party that is more interested in maintaining its hold on power. Its lack of transparency, its totalitarian ways, its repression of human rights make it a real threat to the world.

One thing is certain, we cannot go through another pandemic. This one has cost the world about $11 trillion in lost production. It will take us a decade to recover.

Truly frightening is the certainty that another killer virus is lurking in China just waiting for the right set of conditions or actions to break out and unleash Hell on earth.

We cannot allow this to happen again. Our economies cannot endure repeated assaults like this.

Restoring energy sector’s health key to rebounding from coming depression

piepleinePolicy makers like to talk about the known unknowns and how these play into decision making, but we have to worry about the unknown unknowns.

In a lot of ways it’s just silly word play favored by consultants and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

Still, there’s a reason we worry about the unknowns. The Wuhan virus was an unknown that came out of China and is now laying waste to the world.

It’s not an exaggeration to say the plague is of biblical proportions.

That’s a big unknown – a really big unknown.

We will get through it. Our parents got through World War II. That was six years of Hell. But we prevailed.

Now, while there’s little doubt that we find a vaccine for the Wuhan virus and may even develop a treatment in the weeks and months ahead, the timelines are what’s troubling.

Vaccines can take a year or more to develop, test and get into production. Until a vaccine is developed, we will probably be dealing the economic disruption for months and months.

So there’s little doubt we will be heading into a recession, which is defined as two quarters of negative growth.

There are economists, however, who think the risk is greater that we will be looking at full blown global depression – six months or more negative growth.

In Canada’s case, that is truly problematic. We are a trading nation. A global depression would be devastating to us.

More, the country headed into this mess already compromised. Massive decreases in investment as the result of misguided government policies has left the country ill prepared to handle a downturn.

Ottawa, to be sure, is promising $82 billion to help businesses and individuals weather this storm, but a great deal more is going to be needed – a lot more.

Unfortunately, Ottawa has been running massive deficits. This year’s deficit will likely exceed $100 billion. The country will likely have to spend another $100 billion before we’re through the outbreak and the global recession.

We need to restore investor confidence in Canada. We need to get our energy sector up and running on all eight cylinders. Oil and natural gas are two of our most important exports.

We need to think like businessmen. We can’t afford to gut our economies for sake of fighting a fake climate crisis. The eco-freaks are going to need to grow up and let the adults get on with rebuilding.

That’s what our parents did after defeating Germany and Japan. They built a great country and a great economy. We will do it again.

Electric motors vs internal combustion engines: Where will all the electricity come from?

eletric carAuthored by Michael Kelly

Next time you stand for 90 seconds filling your petrol tank, you might think of the enormity of what is happening, in energy terms. Chemical energy is entering your tank at a rate of typically 17 million Joules/second, or 17 megawatts—equivalent to the energy given off by 17,000 one-bar electric heaters! This large number is the basis of many difficulties, much glossed over in the rush to all-electric cars.

In making personal mobility all-electric, two important considerations must be weighed. The first is that electric motors convert electricity to motion three times more efficiently, in energy terms, than the internal-combustion engine does with gasoline. The second is that we do not recharge an electric battery in 90 seconds. Neither of these avoid the difficulties I now describe.

When electronics first became portable in the early 1970s, the battery was a carbon-zinc type. All the global research in the fifty years since then has produced a lithium-ion battery, which has six times the density of energy storage; this, in turn, is still more than forty times less dense than the energy stored in petrol. For direct comparability in performance, the car battery has to be forty times bigger in volume than the gasoline tank!

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Trump pandemic? No, Xi’s disease

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U.S. President Donald Trump and China President Xi Jinping

Reading and watching commentators and reporters slyly try and shape the narrative that the devastating Wuhan virus outbreak is somehow not the fault of China is sickening in and of itself.

Look at the White House reporters who continue to pester President Trump about his reference to the “Chinese” virus. The question comes up at every press conference.

Even Canadian commentators have criticized the president for referring to a Chinese virus.

Why?

If you recall when news of the virus outbreak in Wuhan occurred, there were concerns that citizens in the United States, Europe and Canada would be shunned and stigmatized.

In Italy, Italians were encouraged to hug Chinese people.

In the United States, politicians were blaming racism for people avoiding Chinese restaurants.

In Canada, no less an official than Dr. Theresa Tam, the country public health officer, expressed her concern that the virus would be an outpouring of racism and bigotry.

In other words, the connection between China and this disease was openly acknowledged.

At the time, there were many of us who demanded that air travel between China and Canada be immediately suspended because of the risk of importing infected people.

We were labeled racists.

Yet we were right. We imported the disease into Canada. Virtually every infected person was a traveler or connected to a traveler.

It is only in the past week that the Wuhan virus has spread into the community.

That community spread could have been prevented had authorities heeded our advice. They chose not to and now we are dealing with an unprecedented situation.

So it is quite appropriate to refer to COVID-19 as the Chinese virus or the Wuhan virus. It started in China and it spread rapidly out of Wuhan and the country because Chinese Communist Party officials were incompetent and/or fearful of the public relations disaster that was festering in the city.

Now, the CCP is waging a public relations campaign to shift responsibility to Western countries. While politicians here deserve blame, the ultimate responsibility for this global disaster is China and China’s alone.

Quite simply, China lied and people died.

This is not Trump’s pandemic. This is Xi’s disease.

Taiwan Is Beating the Coronavirus. Can the US Do the Same?

taiwanAuthored by Wired

AS OF WEDNESDAY, the nation of Taiwan had recorded 100 cases of Covid-19, a remarkably low number given the island’s proximity to China. Some 2.71 million mainland Chinese visited Taiwan in 2019, and as recently as January there were a dozen round trip flights between Wuhan and Taipei every week. But despite its obvious vulnerabilities, Taiwan has managed, so far, to keep well ahead of the infectious curve through a combination of early response, pervasive screening, contact tracing, comprehensive testing, and the adroit use of technology.

As millions of citizens in the US shelter in place while girding themselves for the double whammy of an accelerating outbreak and a vicious economic recession, it is natural enough to look at Taiwan’s example and wonder why we didn’t do what they did, or, more pertinently, could we have done what they did? But a common theme in the recent press coverage of Taiwan’s (and Singapore’s) efforts to contain Covid-19 has included a consistent cautionary note. With particular attention to the technologically intrusive surveillance-state aspects of Taiwan’s response—notably, its real-time integration of national health care databases with customs and travel records and its use of government-issued cell phones to remotely monitor quarantine orders—we keep seeing the culturally embedded assumption that East Asian-style state social control just won’t fly in the good old, individualist, government-wary, freedom-loving United States.

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The Strange Link Between Pandemics and Psychosis

spanish fluAuthored by  Shayla Love

By 1919, the Spanish Flu pandemic had spread influenza to a third of the world’s population, or around 500 million people. Psychiatrist Karl Menninger was treating people at Boston Psychopathic Hospital who’d recently been infected. But his patients had symptoms far beyond what’s usually associated with the flu. In a paper on 100 cases he saw over three months, he described seeing extreme mental disturbances—over half of his patients had some sort of psychosis, and almost two-thirds had hallucinations.

Then, in a follow-up study, Menninger reported that nearly all of those patients got better. Their madness disappeared when they recovered from the flu. He suggested that, in these patients, there might be some connection between the flu and their psychiatric illnesses.

It wasn’t the first time this association has been made. While today, we consider viral infections to be diseases of the body—they infect the lungs, give us fevers, stuffy noses, or a cough—throughout history there’s also been a strange link between influenza and psychotic disorders similar to schizophrenia, a severe mental disorder that can affect how people think. More recently, this link re-emerged from the observation that babies born in the winter or early spring, when mothers may have been exposed to the flu, are more likely to develop schizophrenia as adults.

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The Wuhan Virus and the Imperative of Hard Decoupling

coronaAuthored by ANDREW A. MICHTA

I flew back from Washington DC to Munich just a day before the travel embargo from the Schengen zone to the United States came into effect. As I watched anxious gate agents, tense flight attendants, and passengers eyeing each other with suspicion, I could not help but think that what I was witnessing was the beginning of a radical recompilation of the mistaken notions that for the past three decades have shaped U.S. and European economic policy, and indirectly, international security. The idea that the People’s Republic of China can become a responsible stakeholder in the international community—that it can “be like us”—is being laid to rest behind the masked faces of petrified Westerners scurrying through airports to get home.

Amidst the 24/7 breathless media coverage and calls for politicians to “do something,” one fundamental question still needs to be addressed forthrightly and in the open: Who did this to us and what to do to prevent it from happening again?

The question about assigning agency and blame is pretty straightforward to answer: The communist Chinese state, which for more than three decades has been draining capital and knowledge from the West, benefiting from our greed and myopia, has just let loose a virus that in the coming months is about to effectively paralyze Europe and the United States and bring severe pain, both human and economic on the world. The “eruption at a wet market” explanation for the virus has to be questioned until we know the full story, if for no other reason than the fact that Beijing suppressed data for two months when the coronavirus first appeared, and even to this day refuses to come clean as to exactly what happened. Indeed, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is now spinning propaganda stories that both seek to somehow pin the blame on the United States, and that try to frame their bungling, denial-ridden, heavy-handed reaction as some kind of model for the world.

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