July 12, 2021

The news behind the news behind the news that fits


1. “China Has Stopped Biding Its Time,” Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2021.

This piece by token liberal WSJ columnist William Galston views with alarm the Chinese threat and outlines what he considers the five pillars of Chinese aggressive behavior toward the World (read: United States). The funny thing (Ed. Note: “Funny strange,” not “funny ha, ha”) is that most of these pillars of Chinese aggression seem apt descriptions of American behavior since 1945.

Pillar One: Chicom supremo Xi Jinping “has moved aggressively to take back authority over every industry in his country. Economic actors that had been increasingly independent — especially in technology and consumer services — have been reined in, and he is pressing the private sector to hand over all of its data. Dissenting voices in civil society have been shut down.” Really? Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube take note.

Pillar Two: “Mr. Xi has established technological superiority as a core national goal. His ‘Made in China 2025’ plan is designed to propel his country into the lead in the technologies that will dominate the global economy in coming decades, many of which have military applications. And he has strengthened the connections between the civilian and military sectors.” This is of course evil, but when the United States has technological superiority as a national goal (I think Sleepy Joe has said so repeatedly), or aspires to lead in technologies that will dominate the global economy in coming decades, many of which have military applications (hasn’t Galston heard about DARPA and the military-industrial-university complex?) this is commendable.

Pillar Three: “Mr. Xi has upgraded his defense forces and extended their reach. The Chinese army is far better equipped than it was a decade ago. The navy is the largest in the world. And China is moving to establish a global system of ports to give its forces access all over the world.” Thank goodness that the United States hasn’t and isn’t trying to upgrade its forces or extend its reach, or has an army far better equipped than a decade ago, or wants to make its navy the largest in the world. Galston’s (and the U.S. Military-Industrial complex’s) argument that the Chinese Navy is now the largest in the world is based on a simple count of ships, where ten PT boats and a destroyer are apparently on a par with 11 destroyers. (The same argument is made in regard to the Chinese economy as the largest in the world based on a simple count of people — i.e., they have more potential consumers than we do without evaluating how much a Hunan peasant consumes vs. the average American teenager.) Ditto about how the United States wants to establish a global system of ports to give its forces access all over the world. Oh, wait! It’s already done all that. Aha, that’s why they’re the bad guys: they want to do it; and why the United States is the good guys: it isn’t trying to do it because it’s already done it. Etc.

When Galston turns toward remedies, who is surprised that these sound a lot like China’s policies (rally round the flag; central government spending to “increase investment in important technologies” AKA business-governmental partnerships (in United States = good vs. ChiCom “investments in important technologies” = bad because that might endanger crony capitalists in the West); restore a sense of common, bipartisan purpose, etc., etc. Given Galston’s past record, this turn was inevitable, so no surprise there.

The Journal’s Daniel Henniger subsequently seems to have picked up on this, writing on July 9, “[I]n Joe Biden we have a president whose American Jobs Plan and American Family Plan clarify the U.S. Democratic-socialist belief that government should run the whole show — not just in the U.S., but everywhere the U.S. has influence (yes, the Biden administration’s government-on-top ideology sounds not unlike what China’s Xi Jinping is preaching to the world, but that convergence is another subject.)” The world awaits that one.

2. “Passport Applicants Will Be Able to Choose Their Gender, State Department Says,” Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2021.

Yes, friends, Americans will now be able to get passports that match their gender identity without medical certification. I’m sure you read all about it in the legacy media. Applicants for U.S. passports used to be required to present medical documentation if the selected sex didn’t match other identity documents. Who needs such intrusive invasions of citizens’ privacy anyway? The State Department called it a step toward promoting equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people around the world. It also said that it would try to add a marker for people who don’t identify as either male or female but as “nonbinary, intersex, and gender nonconforming.” “We are evaluating the best approach to achieve this goal,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The bottom line here is that the two most significant ID-related documents in the country — passports and voter registration — are in the course of being completely demonetized. Not necessarily bad from a libertarian point of view, but one gets the impression that this isn’t designed to further liberty.

3. “Search for Covid’s Origins Hits Snag At China’s Farms,” Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2021.

Seems that the farms that have provided wild animals for Chinese traditional markets (thought to be a breeding ground for COVID) have almost all gone out of business. Farmers “killed, sold, or released their stock after Chinese officials ordered them early last year to stop their trade.” According to farmer Yang Bo (I hope for his sake this is a pseudonym), “The government bought them up and had them all killed.”

This put the kibosh on a business that “used to breed about 1,000 bamboo rats a year, selling them for 120 yuan, or about $19, a kilo. ‘We had to let all our workers go.’” No wonder the market is squishy in China with all this unemployment, not to mention soaring bamboo rat prices. So I guess the bat/exotic animal theory is still valid since there is no proof that it isn’t. (Science in action!) Therefore if your Fourth of July picnic was rained on because of a shortage of bamboo rats, you know whom to blame.

BTW, according to the BBC, the average bamboo rat weighs 4 kg, or about $76 a head, so Bo’s herd of 1,000 was worth $76,000. Anyway, nothing to see here, move along, please.

4. “New York Election Board Draws Rebuke,” Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2021.

Dumbocrat primary candidates — surprise! — “questioned their [the results of the election] accuracy.” Probably has something to do with Orange Man. Since by definition election results are a priori accurate, these unsupported (AKA false) allegations should be dismissed without a further thought. Look for Facebook to ban this story, which undermines faith in our democracy (not “your” democracy, “our” democracy). BTW, is it “Facebook fact checkers” or is it “Facebook opinion checkers”?

5. “Kim Warns of Covid Crisis in North Korea. Leader doesn’t specify what has gone wrong, but blames top officials for missteps,” Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2021.

Watch for a new wave of COVID-related deaths in North Korea of the old-fashioned type: a bullet to the back of the head for said NorK officials. And didjah notice that North Korea doesn’t ban stories on Facebook? They just ban Facebook entirely.

6. “Pandemic Weakens Far-Right Groups in Europe,” Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2021.

At first glance it seems like a giant typo gaffe, since the headline should read “Pandemic Impacts Women, LGBTQIA+, Undocumented Persons More Than Others.” (I guess the “+” in LGBTQIA+ is designed to include every other gender preference yet unknown or uininvented so that they don’t have to keep adding letters.) But it’s a real story, which theorizes, among several explanations, that their opposition to lockdowns, masking, and vaccinations discredited EU rightists. Another theory is that — apparently unlike the Bidenistas — “support for the populist parties is rooted in anxiety about issues....” Since the “pandemic is not about mere anxiety, it’s about fear for your health and life,” people are retreating to the establishment. Tricky thing that, anxiety.

7. “U.S. Domination Ending, Putin Says,” Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2021.

Quoth Vlad: “The world is changing dramatically. On the one hand, our partners in the United States understand this, therefore there was a meeting in Geneva. On the other hand, they are trying at all costs to maintain their monopoly position.”

How exciting!! Fortunately for the Russkies, Uncle Joe (Biden, not that other one) has put zillions into their pockets by shutting down pipelines (and alienating the Canucks) and fracking (both of these giving U.S. consumers escalating gas prices, but that’s all to the good since rising gas prices might cut down on consumption by the lower classes, thereby reducing carbon emissions and speeding adoption of electric vehicles, never mind how the electricity is produced, so it’s a win-win for the Greens), and giving the Nordstream pipeline from Russia to Western Europe the go-ahead, which will enable Russia to vastly increase its ability to put the EU in an economic headlock.

On the other hand, Vlad seems to be saying that the United States is still maintaining its monopoly despite “The world ... changing dramatically.” What a defeatist! (N.B.: Money flows into Putin’s coffers when oil is above $50 a barrel. It’s now over $75 a barrel and rising.)

8. “Gates Foundation Reveals Leader Plan,” Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2021.

Looks like the Me Too crowd has Bill (“I used to be the richest guy in the world, but now I’m not”) Gates in its sights. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Billy the Kid’s divorce from Melinda seems to have launched a new front for Me Too’s “social justice and empowerment” campaign alleging sexual harassment and worse against public notables such as Harvey Weinstein, Disney’s John Lasseter, Google’s Andy Rubin, Congress critters John Conyers and Al Franken, and any number of elite liberal universities’ randy professors. Such campaigns usually begin with a drip-drip-drip (which encourages other victims of the accused to come forward until the target “retires to pursue other interests”). This doesn’t mean Me Too has given up on the egregious Andrew Cuomo, so stay posted.

9. “U.S. Presses U.K. to Extradite Assange,” Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2021.

Looks like Uncle Sam doesn’t give up easily. “The U.S. has also assured British authorities that Mr. Assange if convicted [Ed. Note: Ha, ha.], would be permitted to serve any jail time in his native Australia.” Well, that’s a relief. The story goes on to say, “The U.S. has given the U.K. a package of assurances that Mr. Assange would not be held at ADX, a maximum security federal penitentiary in Colorado.” (I’ve driven past this Supermax in the flatlands of Eastern Colorado miles from anywhere. Looks like a nice place and possible tourist site, really.)

OK, one wonders how these two “assurances” square with each other. Or with the last paragraph of the story: “The U.S. said it reserved the right to impose special measures on Mr. Assange, or hold him in a Supermax jail, if ‘he were to do something subsequent to the offering of these assurances’ that meets the test for applying them.” Hmm. Wonder who gets to apply the “test.” Oh, right, can’t say because this would be a significant breach of national security. Sounds less and less like a get-out-of-Supermax-jail-free card to me.

Bottom line: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these public servants from the swift completion of their self-appointed rounds” or, “Lions and tigers and G-men, oh, my!” Meanwhile, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

10. “Don’t Worry Too Much About the Inflation Surge,” Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2021.

That is the assurance of Princeton Prof Alan S. Blinder. [Ed. Note: Does that last name signal something?] The fact that Prof. Blinder is a noted apologist for Dumbocrat Party economics is not relevant here. Nor is the fact that he was vice chairman of the Federal Reserve under President Clinton. All the kinds of economic indicators that usually spell doom and gloom (and would have if a non-Dumbocrat such as Ron Paul were president) are irrelevant, says Prof. Blinder, because “the Federal Reserve won’t let inflation soar.” Well, that’s a relief. Anyway, he says, “It takes time for a gigantic economy to normalize after a huge shock.” How long, he doesn’t say, but let’s hope it’s within our lifetime. Or possibly not. Ω

July 12, 2021

Published in 2021 by WTM Enterprises.

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