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 TeasersFred Reed Blogview

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Fred Reports from Foxhole

Today’s characteristically luminous insights will be disordered and structurally horrifying, the sort of essay that would have sent my high-school English teacher into anaphylactic shock. In exculpation I plead laziness.

Recently I wrote a column on China’s digital yuan, now in late-stage testing. Bare-bones explanation: You download a digital-wallet app with which you can then send payments to anybody in the world who also has the app, no forms, bureaucracy, or bank account needed. OK, that’s cute, you say. Then, with my phenomenally perceptive, pincer-like grasp of the inescapable, I thought, it sounds scalable. If you can do it with thirty bucks (in yuan) for a hat from some store, why not with fifty million dollars (in yuan) for a shipment of oil from Iran? Sure, with more security and so on, but same mechanism.

Interestingly, such payments would be completely independent of, and opaque to, Washington. And independent of…SWIFT, eeeeeeek! Do you suppose China has thought of this?

Well, I thought, this is mere speculative maundering by some guy in Mexico who is admittedly pig ignorant of international finance. And of course China itself was saying that the dijjywan had nothing to do with the dollar, oh no, was solely for domestic use, and for retail sales. Not important. Move on. Nothing to see here.

But then, this: China is consulting, whatever that means, with Hong Kong, Thailand, and the UAE over using the dijjywan for international payments. Uh…say what? Thailand and the UAE are not particularly domestic to China. And I doubt that Beijing is intensely interested in the retail market of the UAE, which has the aggregate population of a large city bus. Methinks China has Something In mind. And it don’t bode good for sanctions, the petrodollar, and the like.

Nuther subject: Being fascinated by what looks like a shift of the world’s technological and economic center of gravity from the West to Asia, I poke about the web in the manner of an Ernest truffle hound, to see what the wily Orientals are doing. My results are not too systematic. My distinct impression is that things are happening over there, ideas popping up on Wednesday and in volume production by Friday afternoon, of energy and movement. By contrast, America looks asleep at the wheel. Except that it doesn’t have a wheel. A few almost random examples:

China ahead of America in patent applications for second year.

Business Insider:“ “China is moving ahead with a huge robot farming project…powered by 5G cellular technology, the agricultural tractor with self-driving mode can also be remotely controlled to carry out multiple intelligent functions” says Chinese governmental site Global Times

Beijing has successfully powered up its “artificial sun” nuclear fusion reactor for the first time, China’s People’s Daily reported on Friday. It’s designed to be a clean energy source, similar to the real Sun.”

The foregoing is overexcited as neither China nor anyone else has demonstrated controlled fusion, but it shows that the country is in the race.

Global Times (Again, mouthpiece of Beijing): China needs to increase its nuclear warheads to 1,000.” Because of American hostility.

Education. China finds its brightest students with a grueling entrance exam. America dumbs down elite high schools because they don’t have enough unqualified minorities. Thomas Jefferson High School in Virginia has already been enstupidated, and the NYC schools are on the block. The purpose of schools is to admit students who can’t do the work.

New York Post: “With this year’s state math and English exams canceled, a watered-down grading policy enacted, and the tossing of attendance, the key factors for admission to selective schools have been dropped or diminished…. “

America Ties with China in 2019 Math Olympiad

Well, not exactly. The 2019 U.S. team is: Vincent Huang, Luke Robitaille, Colin Tang, Edward Wan, Brandon Wang, and Daniel Zhu. China, it seems, tied with itself.

BBC: China’s Chang-e Five lunar-sample return mission safely parachutes into Mongolia. Very sophisticated engineering, and it worked. The US is ahead in space exploration, its Perseverance mission now on Mars being a marvel, but the gap ain’t what it used to be.

From NIO, a Chinese Electric Vehicle Start-up

If a car looks like this, I want one. Nio is working on a system in which “gas” stations remove a depleted battery and replace it with a charged one, thus eliminating the problem of long charging time. Will it fly? I don’t know, but those folks over there are scurrying. China, Japan, and South Korea, for example, are rapidly advancing hydrogen-powered fuel-cell cars.

China’s Quantum Computer Beats Google’s Sycamore in ‘Computational Supremacy’, Claims New Study

Also a bit overdone. My grasp of quantum computing equals that of a hardboiled egg, but this seems to indicate that China is holding its own in a field that is a Very Big Deal.

Below: “China Finishes Building World’s Largest Radio Telescope”

China has finished building the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), the world’s largest single-aperture telescope. This photo was taken on July 3, 2016, the day the huge dish’s last panel was installed” Gret big sucker. Four years ago. China has the money to spend on pure science. Wow.

MagLev.net: “The next-generation Chinese medium-low speed maglev doubles the top speed of the first generation and it becomes driverless…Most of the R&D work is done in Hunan Province….”

Miles of high-speed rail in the US: 0. Miles of maglev rail in US: 0. Likelihood of either any time soon: 0. Cost of new B21 intercontinental nuclear bomber: $550 million. Each.

China Will Begin Constructing ItsSpace Station in 2021

China to build 30 ‘fully connected’ 5G factories by 2023

 

The other day a friend and I were partaking of the mortal remains of quite a number of defenseless grapes, and the subject of law enforce arose. Having spent a number of years as a police reporter, I began thinking of curious and often erroneous ideas that people have of what we regard as a system of justice. Without meaning to bore the reader, I offer the following thoughts and observations.

First, any system will make mistakes. The only way to convict all of the guilty is to convict everybody. The only way to avoid convicting the innocent is not to convict anyone. The more the system leans in one direction, the more it will err in the other.

Second, it is absurd to accept the Enlightenment idea that a criminal, having “paid his debt to society” by a stint in prison, will come out and make a new start as a normal human. The fact is that most crime is committed by career criminals. An armed robber aged twenty-nine invariably will have a rap sheet dating from puberty of thirteen arrests and a couple of convictions for assault, drug offenses, gun offenses, drugs, and so on. He is not going to make a fresh start.

Third, the complacent adage that “it is better to let ten guilty men go free than to convict one innocent man” may apply in cases of shoplifting. It may not be better to let ten Ted Bundys go free than to convict an innocent. Your choice may depend on whether you have a daughter in college.

Fourth, people charged with crimes by urban police departments are almost always guilty. There are two reasons for this. One is that they are usually caught in the act, driving the stolen car, carrying the illegal gun, or having drugs in their possession. The other is that DA’s won’t paper a case unless they are pretty sure of winning either in court or by plea bargain.

Fifth, the US does not have trial by jury but, in over ninety percent of cases, trial by plea bargain. Crime is so rampant in American cities that many times more courts and prosecutors would be needed for jury trials.

Plea bargaining is convenient for prosecutors but a very bad system. It makes it easy for overzealous or crooked prosecutors to take advantage of suspects with little or no legal representation. It can, and sometime does, work against what we regard as normal people.

Suppose you are a suburban white man walking through a shaky part of the city without knowing it to be a red-light district, and you get unfairly arrested for solicitation of a prostitute. Your choice is to plead down to public lewdness or some such with a fine of five hundred dollars, or go to trial, lose your marriage, and maybe get three years. Which?

Yes, this can happen. Ages ago in my police-reporter days I walked one evening on Fourteenth Street, then a hooker venue. One of the girls said, “You sportin,’ honey?” Another lady of the evening stepped closer, as if to listen to my answer. I strongly suspected the first to be Cookie Marino, a police plant in the anti-sex trade force.

Solicitation was then defined as offering a specific price for a specific act. A guy with no interest could easily kid around (“I want five girls. I’ll give you a thousand dollars each.”) and get arrested. Then what?

Sixth, almost all of the celebrated shootings and brutality by police result from disobeying a cop’s orders. If a minion of the law tells you to stop and put your hands up, do it. You can sue later.

Seventh, drug rehab is a scam. The judge doesn’t want to send the addict to prison, since prisons are overflowing, but doesn’t want to let him go, and look soft on crime, so he sentences him to rehab, which he knows doesn’t work, but it becomes somebody else’s problem.

Eighth, jury trials are largely fraudulent. You are supposed to be tried by a jury of your peers. This was a good idea since it made it difficult for the government to railroad people it didn’t like. In today’s climate of racial hatred, “one’s peers” has to mean of one’s own race. A white jury is not unlikely to acquit a white charged with beating a black (Rodney King) and a black jury is very likely to acquit a black charged with killing a white (OJ Simpson).

Further, in theory the jury is supposed to consider the facts dispassionately and come to a reasoned verdict. Good luck with that. A jury of theoretical physicists might approach this ideal. In jury selection both prosecutors and defense attorney will try to impanel jurors emotionally biased in their favor.

For example, in a rape case the prosecutor will want a jury consisting of man-hating feminists and he will coach the victim to look sweet and defenseless. The defense will want a jury of primitive rural Christians who will think that if she was in that bar, in that neighborhood, with THAT Dress up to her armpits, she damned well deserved what she got. Yes, this is exaggerated, but it is how they think.

Ninth, it is not always clear what the country believes to be the purpose of prison.

Is the purpose to punish? Then prison should be harsh. If it isn’t disagreeable, it isn’t punishment.

It the purpose to deter? Then it should ed godawful as otherwise it will not deter.

Should vengeance be an acceptable purpose? In the case of someone selling marijuana, no—but the psychopath who tortured three girls to death? Your answer to this may depend on whether it was your daughter.

Is the purpose to rehabilitate? Then prison should be pleasant, with libraries, online courses, and training in auto mechanics, carpentry, and bricklaying.

Is the purpose to protect the public? Then the answer is long sentences’ whether in pleasant circumstance or not. Since the only thing that more or less reliably decreases criminality is age, sentences might read “until middle age.”

Tenth, the current system virtually guarantees recidivism. A black guy with a fourth-grade education goes to jail for fifteen years at age twenty-five. He comes out at age forty with no money, no acquaintances on the outside, and zero employability. What precisely do we expect him to do? Realistically there is no practical answer to this question. He understands armed robbery and dope sales. These are all he understands.

My only answer to all of this is what a friend, a public defender, told me: “Don’t ever—ever—get into the hands of the criminal justice system.”

Finally, it is worth remembering that few actually care about guilt or innocence. Trial attorneys are combative and want to win. An assistant DA does not rise in rank by losing cases. The defense guy, or gal, gains fame and clients by acquitting clients and do so even if they know the perp is guilty.

Write Fred at [email protected] Put the letters pdq anywhere in the subject line to avoid heartless autodeletion.

 

Buy Fred’s Books! The gods, or any particular god of your choice, will love you for it. They may send you briefcases full of money. Act before the censors come.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Crime, Judicial System 
Questions for My Betters

China is now vigorously testing a digital yuan and threatens to have it ready for prime time for the 2022 Winter Olympics. This seems, to me anyway, important. It will be a real, workaday yuan, not a speculative cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. It will use a digital wallet via a cellphone app, and will not require an internet connection. Beyond this, I know about it only what I read, which may be wrong. To avoid endless qualification, I will write the following as if it were fact, but really I mean it more as an extended question. Any correction, amplification, or thought will be welcome.

I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that all currencies of any worth will eventually become digital. Many countries, the EU, and Google are now pondering the idea. There are serious objections to digital money, which we will come to shortly but, if all countries have them, the question will become which is least bad.

I also assume, tentatively, that Beijing will want to make the dijjywan as nearly universal as possible. The Chinese will accept it with little concern since they are accustomed to making payments with mobile apps. To have people adopt it in countries still mired in the Paper Age, the dijjywan will have to be attractive. To whom will digital currency appeal, and why? What will be the appeal? Some ideas:

It will not require a bank account, making it attractive to people who have a cell phone but not a bank account. While these folk do not on average have a lot of money, their use of dijjywan will be a step toward universalizing the currency. And of course, many who do have bank accounts may want another repository for money. It will require only the app and a QR code.

Transactions will be instantaneous and free of bureaucracy, such as the filling of forms and handling of SWIFT codes. (I suspect that Washington has thought of this latter point.) This feature will appeal to everybody.

As with paper currency, there will be no transaction fees. This will make it popular with merchants, though not with Visa and Mastercard. These charge a percentage of the purchase price of merchandise. A wan-wallet with no rake-off would have interesting consequences for the credit-card companies, such as bankrupting them. The threat to such companies as Western Union would be, well, gratifying. They would quickly become extinct.

Since the dijjywallet is a debit device, not offering credit, it will cut down on the impulse buying on which Visa and Mastercard rely to manufacture debt slaves. Goodbye twenty-percent interest rates on unpaid balances.

Armed robbery and theft will become almost impossible. I could put a pistol to your head and demand your money, but you would have to transfer it to my own phone. This would create a record of amount, date, time, GPS (or Beidou) position, as well as the identity of both of us. This would reduce the enthusiasm of most armed robbers. You would of course report the robbery, and your money could simply be pulled from my phone and returned to yours. In America’s dangerous cities, and Brazilian favelas, this might be appealing.

In countries vulgarly but accurately referred to by Mr. Trump, the currency can be, and often is, inflated into the 1923 Deutschemark by exuberance with the printing press. By adopting the Chinese dijjymoney as a national currency (or somebody else’s when available) said country would have a stable, grownup currency. This might actually appeal to some Third World countries. China might make such adoption a condition of loans.

An enormous appeal of dijjywan is that transactions are completely independent of and opaque to the American government. Even it its early form as a retail instrument, it will appeal to governments such as that of Cuba and Iran, which might like an influx of dijjywan into their tourist and retail industries. People who want to send remittances to countries being sanctioned, which does not yet include all countries but Washington is working on it, could do so unfettered.

It will appeal to people in badly governed countries, for example Zimbabwe, because it is portable. For example, the owner of a store there cannot easily today travel because Zimbabwean currency is worthless outside of Zimbabwe. But the dijjywan will be accepted around the world.

Washington will go into gibbering gollywobbles at the idea of dijjywan being used in the US, and outlaw it. So might other countries on, among other grounds, of not collecting sales taxes. However, Beijing could easily charge such taxes and deliver the proceeds to the local government.

The obvious, and entirely justified, objection to the dijjywan is that it would be transparent to, and controllable by, the People’s Bank of China. The possibility for social control is immense since, if you should be a bad boy, the PBOC could disappear your money. Note, though, that this will be true of all dijjymoney from whatever country. If—when—all major currencies become digital, you will have to decide which is least unreliable. And for most people, digital tracking of their money would make no difference. When was the last time you paid for anything illegal or that would upset Washington?

As a wild thought, might some international entity want to establish a planetary digital currency? We live in wild times.

Along with the downsides, there would be advantages. For example, the drug cartels would be very, very, very, very unhappy. Carlos lands daringly by dark of night at a clandestine airstrip in Florida with a ton of cocaine. Willy Bill the dealer steps from the jungle and pays Carlos for flying, which creates a record of time, place, amount, identity of both, and trips an alarm at FinCin in Washington. In the drug racket, this sort of thing is suboptimal. Money laundering would become the Achilles heel of the drug racket.

At this point the dijjywan sounds retail, not suited to purchases of oil. Could it be scaled up for larger transactions? I don’t know, being blankly ignorant of high finance but, if it could…Good Heavens, it would evade American sanctions. Oh no! I doubt, though, that Beijing has thought of this. Probably Washington hasn’t either.

Them is some thoughts. I don’t know whether they are good thoughts.

Write Fred at [email protected] Put the letters pdq anywhere in the subject line to avoid heartless autodeletion.

 

Buy Fred’s Books! The gods, or any particular god of your choice, will love you for it. They may send you briefcases full of money. Act before the censors come.

 
• Category: Economics, Foreign Policy • Tags: China, Digital Yuan, Dollar 
Dark Forces Swirl

In newspapering, in which your scribe slaved for many years, great weight was placed on factuality. The rule was verify, verify, verify. (“If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”) The reasons were several, such as integrity, avoiding embarrassment, and fear of libel suits, which can result in judgements of millions of dollars. A reporter costing his paper such sums experienced a sharp reduction of job security. We learned early on: Check it out. Then check it out again.

This attitude sets poorly with conspiracy theorists. I have discovered to my sorrow that insistence on substantiation infuriates them. Today, though, a couple of such theories may actually influence events, so perhaps they deserve a glance. Let us start with electoral fraud. Such fraud can occur, has occurred, and may have occurred again. It has certainly been essayed, notably with the attempt of Mr. Trump to get Georgia’s Secretary of State to lie about vote counts.

Over and over comes the assertion: “The Dems stole the election.” Well, all right, but the newspaper habit kicks in. OK, the Dems did it, but…all of the Dems? No? Only some of them? Which ones? Names, phone numbers, job titles? How do you know? Are you sure it wasn’t the Communists? Or the Girl Scouts? Substance?

If you tell me that Joe Smith, the high-school principal in Farmville, Virginia, supplied fraudulent ballots while being an observer at the voting station, I could check it out. So could Smith’s libel lawyer. But “the Dems” seems lacking in specificity, narrowing the accusation down to perhaps eighty million people. Vague assertions are fine for conspiracy afficionados, but these do not have to face a gimlet-eyed desk editor.

I have read many times that at some voting station observers were prevented from observing, with cardboard being taped over windows when the observers endeavored to look inside. OK, perhaps it happened. I don’t know. I wasn’t there. But which observers? Names? Phone numbers? In an age in which everybody is a videographer, I would expect there to be video of the event. Is there? How do I find it? Who reported this misfeasance? Name and phone?

Supposedly cars drove up to vote-count locations at night, delivering large packets of fraudulent ballots, all for Biden. Maybe so. I wasn’t there. But who, specifically, reported this? Can I talk to him? The only people who would know that the large bloc of ballots were for Biden would be those tallying votes. Which of these divulged the homogeneity? Name?

The voting machines are said to have been hacked. Said by whom? Name? Evidence? To the conspiracy theorists I would say, either you know who did the hacking, a criminal charge, or you have the technical knowledge and the access to the machines to prove hacking. Do you? For example, are the machines Unix boxes? What software do they run? Are they reprogrammable by Internet? Do they have email addresses to which you could send malware? A URL? Voting machines would have security measures built in. Can you describe these measures? Have you done the minimum journalistic requirement of talking to Dominion, who makes the machines? In short, do you have the slightest freaking idea what you are talking about? Do you care?

Like so many conspiracy theories, including Covid below, this one would require collusion of a great many people managed by some controlling entity with a means of communicating secretly with a few thousand trusted agents. Sure. Any day now.

Then there are the Covid theories. These come in many flavors. The virus was an attack by china against the US, and by the US against China, and it escaped from laboratories in both countries, and its purpose is to depopulate the earth or allow imposition of dictatorship and to make money by Big Pharma.

Let’s pick a theory at random: The death count is being greatly exaggerated because we have reached herd immunity and Big Pharma needs to make it appear that people are still dying of Covid so they can sell vaccines. See, if people knew they were immune, they wouldn’t buy the vaccine. So deaths caused by other things are being attributed to Covid.

How would that work?

To begin, a whole lot of doctors and hospitals would have to be falsifying death certificates for it to make a statistical difference. Falsifying a death cert is a crime and can lead to loss of medical license. I haven’t seen a death certificate, but presumably it involves the patient’s name, date and cause of death, over the doctor’s name and signature. This would seem to constitute a paper trail. Why would a doctor document his criminality?

So when his patient dies after three months on the cancer ward, he puts Covid on the certificate. Precisely why would he do this? You would think the family would wonder why the cert says Covid when Uncle Rolfe had cancer, but maybe families aren’t too alert. The doctor might get away with this once, though I doubt it, but soon the nurses who took care of Uncle Rolfe would notice, and so would the hospital administration. These would therefore have to be part of the conspiracy.

Why would a doctor spontaneously falsify a death certificate? Slow day? He’s bored, and figures it would be a hoot? Obviously Big Pharma would have to persuade a lot of doctors to do this. How? Mass emailings? Or is there a telephone boiler room of people calling doctors to solicit a criminal act? “Dr. Jones, this is Big Pharma. Yeh, God, the Big One. We want you to risk your ticket by lying about….” Mightn’t this also leave a trail? This is making more and more sense.

And of course, most doctors wouldn’t do it, and some would call the FBI, which must be part of the conspiracy since it seems to have done nothing about all of this.

If the alleged number of Covid deaths aren’t really happening, then the actual deaths are about the number occurring every year. Thus the constant stories in the news about ICUs overflowing or being about to must be false. This would require the hospital personnel to be part of the conspiracy, since they would know whether their ICUs were overflowing.

Then there are the stories I have seen from at least a couple of cities reporting refrigerated eighteen wheelers being used as overflow morgues to handle surges in deaths. Now, I grant that these trucks may be full of furniture and that the hospitals, which are part of the conspiracy, and probably the reporters, who also are part of the conspiracy, are lying because, well, they are part of the conspiracy. See? Isn’t this reasonable?

The figures for deaths come from Johns Hopkins, which must be part of the conspiracy or else extremely gullible about medical matters. Governments have been crippling the economy with lockdowns, devastating many of the public and perhaps eventually threatening the military budget. It presumably is doing this for the benefit of Big Pharma. Airlines are in screaming desperation because of lack of passengers, yet do not complain of the fraud. Clearly they are part of the conspiracy. This shows the power of the vaccine industry.

A yet further demonstration of the influence of the Pharma lobby is that most of the countries of the world, to include Russia, are feloniously reporting high rates of death. This can only happen if all of these governments are part of the conspiracy. See? Vladimir Putin is an agent of Pfizer. Or something.

A more plausible explanation is that someone invented a selective hallucinogen that affects only Republicans and put it in the drinking water. I figure China did it. Crafty, squinty-eyed rascals, they are.

Check out Fred’s books!

 
Cold Water on a Hot Topic

As part of wokedom’s fantasy-ridden fascination with indigenes, sports teams, such as the Redskins and Braves, race to change names. (For Washington’s team, the Federal Folders has been suggested.) Outraged conservatives see the changes as nauseating prissiness by historically illiterate ninnies. It is every bit of this. Still, the teams should be renamed. What civilized nation would name teams after murderous, torturing stone-age savages? Which the Indians were.

Yes, I know. Quite. Today one shouldn’t refer to torturing stone-age savages as torturing stone-age savages. No, the Indians were contemplative, spiritual beings at one with nature, living simply and nobly, like a pudding of Buddha and Henry David Thoreau.

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I recommend to those imbrued with this dreamy understanding of Native Americans a couple of books, Over the Earth I Come, by Duane Schultz, a history of the entirety of the Sioux uprising in Minnesota of 1862, and Dakota Dawn, by Gregory Michno, of the first week. These recount the deaths of some 800 settlers, almost entirely civilians, at the hands of the noble, contemplative Sioux. It was not a rebellion against Federal troops of men, but butchery of families, usually defenseless. War parties went from farm to farm, killing men, women, and children.

In one act of contemplation, they nailed children to a door and slowly vivisected them to death in front of their parents, who themselves were then tortured to death. Teenage girls were staked to the ground, raped by a dozen or two of braves, then hacked to death.

Tidbits: Children deliberately burned alive in flaming cabins. Children shot, quickly if they were lucky, otherwise left to die in agony. Whole families tomahawked in their cabins, girls taken prisoner for later amusement.

These things actually happened, over and over, not as isolated incidents. The descriptions are from original accounts by those who were there. If you think I am inventing, or exaggerating, read either of the books mentioned above. The links go to Amazon. Both are by historians, not by lying heartless racist conservative Trump-loving just-like-Hitler and so on. Both comport closely with many accounts I have read by men (usually) captured or even raised by Indian tribes. These spiritual beings were of the Stone Age by literal definition and were most assuredly savages by any definition.

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If the events in these books are judged inadequate, Scalp Dance: Indian Warfare on the High Plains, by Thomas Goodrich, provides accounts of similar grotesque torture by Western Indians. For example, a cavalry unit found a man who had been staked to the ground, disemboweled, and later burned to death.

Why the grotesque torture? Because the Indians enjoyed it. They took prisoners for the specific purpose, making village celebrations of the procedure. American soldiers took seriously the admonition, “Save your last bullet for yourself.” Gunga Din all over again.

Torture as amusement was not restricted to a few tribes. The Iroquois were famous for gruesome technique, being artists of the genre. Captured by the Indians, by Herman Lehmann consisting of fifteen accounts by captives, provides many examples.

Why did the natives erupt in Minnesota and on the plains? Easy. Because the settlers followed the policy usual across the continent of lying to the Indians, breaking treaties, pushing them out of the best land, killing off the buffalo on which they depended and sometimes massacring whole villages. The whites placed avaricious and incompetent officials over them, forced them onto reservations, and allowed corrupt traders to exploit them mercilessly. Ask and ye shall receive, says an old book. Whether this justifies disemboweling a pregnant woman and nailing her almost-infant to a tree—this was done—may be argued. It happened.

Contrary to Kevin Costner’s “Dances with Wolves,” the Sioux tribe was feared by even other savage Indian tribes. Minnesota tried hanging most of them, but Abraham Lincoln would only allow Minnesota to hang 38.

Another book of contemplation and oneness with nature is the Thomas Goodrich book, including first-hand accounts of Custer’s error in judgement. The Indians acted like…Indians. I won’t multiply horrifying examples.

Nobody doubted that the plains Indians were superb warriors, the best horsemen on the continent. They were not stupid. They were loyal to their tribes and sometimes enrolled captive whites into their tribes as equals. Yet east and west they were unspeakably cruel, for example tying prisoners naked to poles and keeping them alive for hours while burning the with flaming branches.

Women’s rights? In many tribes, perhaps all, they were treated almost as slaves, doing the physical work of the villages. Captured white women were beaten and passed among the braves as sexual toys, sometimes being pregnant when released in one way or another. An Indian woman caught in adultery might have her nose cut off while the man suffered no penalty.

All of this is well, multitudinously, and voluminously documented. Again, it would be easy to sicken the reader with example after example.

All of the foregoing is written to illustrate the absurdity of painting the Indians as woodland philosophers and oppressed innocents. Oppressed, yes, innocents, no. The whites often behaved as savagely as the Indians, suggesting we should rename the Cowboys and Forty-Niners. Anyone doubting this might read of the Sand Creek Massacre in which American soldiers attacked a village that had been promised peace, killing men, women, and children. For example, using a toddler for target practice. The link is to a Wikipedia entry and, while long is worth reading if you believe the Disney fantasy of brave, honest settlers bringing principle and Christian morality to an exceptional new nation. There were plenty of massacres by whites, including by later-President Jackson.

Sand Creek bits and pieces:

“I saw the bodies of those lying there cut all to pieces, worse mutilated than any I ever saw before; the women cut all to pieces … With knives; scalped; their brains knocked out; children two or three months old; all ages lying there, from sucking infants up to warriors … By whom were they mutilated? By the United States troops ..”

— John S. Smith, Congressional Testimony of Mr. John S. Smith, 1865

“Fingers and ears were cut off the bodies for the jewelry they carried. The body of White Antelope, lying solitarily in the creek bed, was a prime target. Besides scalping him the soldiers cut off his nose, ears, and testicles-the last for a tobacco pouch ….”

“Before Chivington and his men left the area, they plundered the teepees and took the horses. After the smoke cleared, Chivington’s men came back and killed many of the wounded. They also scalped many of the dead, regardless of whether they were women, children or infants. Chivington and his men dressed their weapons, hats and gear with scalps and other body parts, including human fetuses and male and female genitalia.”

The impenetrably woke and the hyperpatriotic will insist respectively that these things didn’t happen, and that anyway they were isolated incidents. But they did, and weren’t. Few things die harder than illusion.

Or something bad may happen to you. I have friends in the garment district.

 
Actually, None is Necessary

The Correlation of Armed Forces: U.S. goods and services trade with China totaled an estimated $634.8 billion in 2019. Exports were $163.0 billion; imports were $471.8 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with China was $308.8 billion in 2019. Trade in services with China (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $76.7 billion in 2019. Services exports were $56.5 billion; services imports were $20.1 billion. The U.S. services trade surplus with China was $36.4 billion in 2019.

There is talk within the Washingtoniat of a possible war with China. Steve Bannon, who apparently was dropped on his head as a child, actually favors such a war. We hear the usual shoo-the-boobs alarm about how the Chinese are doing something terrible and we must gird our loins and American values and show them what for, bow wow, woof. The danger is that the current game of who-blinks-first in Asian waters might actually provoke a shooting war. You know the kind of thing: One warship refuses to get out of the way of another, a collision ensues, some retard lieutenant who signed up on waivers opens fire, and we’re off and running. It is not a good idea to let children play with matches.

The said war is discussed either in emotional terms by idiots or in purely naval terms by those familiar with such things, so we hear of the First Island Chain and the Second Island Chain and whose missiles against the other’s missiles and so on. This would be appropriate if we were fighting World War Two again. Which we aren’t. Let’s take a quick-and-dirty look at how such a war might go.

To begin the war, America would overestimate itself and underestimate China. This is doctrine in the Pentagon. There is probably a manual on it. Inside the DC Bubble, fern-bar Napoleons would assure us that it would be a short war, a cakewalk, a matter of days, not weeks. You know, like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria. When it turned out that the Chinese had other ideas, among which surrendering was not, and the months dragged on, various fascinating things would happen.

Rand, a thinktank wholly owned by the Pentagon, at least mentally, has wargamed both the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea, concluding that the war could be both very long and a loss for America. We no longer live in 1960.

OK, the war: On day one, all the multitudinous American factories in China shut down. Example: Apple loses its factories, products from those factories, and the Chinese market of 1.4 billion consumers. Its stores close. Tim Cook’s gratitude will know no bounds. American auto manufacturers sell googolplexes of cars in China (or at least lots), mostly made in China. Overnight they will lose factories, cars, and Chinese customers. Overall, China buys many more cars than does the US. This analysis, if anything so obvious may be called analysis, can be repeated for industry after industry after industry. Goodbye, business vote.

Within weeks, Walmart’s shelves go bare. Walk down the aisles and read the “Made in” labels. We are not talking only plastic buckets and mops but chain saws, pharmaceuticals, motorcycles, and blood-pressure cuffs. So much for the blue-collar vote. The US buys 472 billion in goods annually from China, high-tech, low-tech, consumer goods, manufacturing components. No more.

China buys over $163 billion annually in American goods: petroleum, semiconductors, airline engines, soybeans, airliners, on and on. No more. It is hard to underestimate the joy this will cause in influential boardrooms. And of course the American workers who would have produced these things for China will be laid off. As electoral politics, this will prove suboptimal.

China produces a great majority of the rare earth elements crucial to the manufacture of electronics, such as semiconductors. No quick substitute is in sight. Just about everything in America uses these, to include the computers that run the electrical systems of cars. Though I haven’t checked, it is quite possible that the computers themselves are made in China. If you want a new and deeper understanding of the word “hostile,” check the influential CEOs of businesses on their second chipless day.

In a real war, it is likely that China, having thought of the foregoing, would (intelligently) destroy Taiwan’s semiconductor fabs, notably those of TSMC, as well as other factories of electronics. This would hardly be difficult since the Taiwan Strait is only a hundred or so miles wide. Losing these industries would be exceedingly painful for the US since its high-end chips come from Taiwan. It would take America years to replace this capacity domestically. Some of the necessary equipment, extreme ultraviolet lithography machines, is not made in America and in any event cannot be stamped out like beer cans.

In America it would quickly be discovered that the country is rather more dependent on China than some might think. If I may make up an example: The automotive industry finds that its sparkplugs come from China. While America could certainly make spark plugs, it turns out that a decade back the industry found that China could make them for forty percent less. In the cooperative commercial world pre-Trump, this was no problem. Not now. So much for sales of cars. And for the jobs of the workers who make them.

I will bet you all my diamond mines in South Africa and cattle lands in Argentina, that if you went through a parts list for, say, Boeing’s airliners, you would find lots of them made in China. Sure, the US could manufacture most of them, eventually. But companies need parts now, not eventually.

The effects on other countries of a large war against China would be catastrophic if not worse. Other countries also get many things, from China or Taiwan, such as semiconductors. Google on “country x largest trading partner.” A strong pattern quickly becomes clear: China is huge in trading with practically everybody. “Everybody” includes Germany, Japan, Australia, Russia, and South America as a whole. The world economy in its entirety would collapse.

How smart would this be? The United States is already in serious trouble, what with a currency rapidly being debased, a sinking middle class, businesses dying of Covid, jobs disappearing abroad, people living paycheck to paycheck, and social unhappiness resulting in continent-wide riots. Do you suppose the public will gladly support an unfathomably stupid war causing an instant, profound, and murderous economic depression? If so, you probably already have a collection of bridges.

This can be inflicted on the entire earth by a half-dozen loons in or circling around the White House unhindered by a worthless Congress. Six loons. Yes, I know, Trump is unlikely deliberately to start a Third world War, even as a publicity stunt. No, the generals in the Pentagon are not nearly stupid enough. (They might even refuse, pointing out that starting a war requires a declaration by Congress.) The problem is that for years America has been, if not actually looking for a fight, at least daring other countries to start one. For example, murdering Iranian officials, pulling out of arms-control treaties, pushing NATO ever closer to Russia, sanctioning countries far beyond anything that can be called a trade war, and playing chicken with China in the South China Sea. Under these circumstances you can get a fight without quite looking for one.

 
It’s only a lump. It will probably go away.

In a sort of distributed Ouija board enterprise, intellectuals these days predict the likely evolution of relations between China and America. These authorities do not wallow in consistency. China will take over the world. Alternatively, China will collapse because of a surfeit of men, because the different linguistic regions will become independent, because their debt bubble will explode, because the Chinese can’t “innovate,” and because the population is aging and there won’t be enough workers. And of course, the American military will remain regnant over the planet and nearby galactic space. The US will always stay ahead. Or it won’t. This seems to cover the bases.

Well, maybe. But if you watch what the Chinese are actually doing, you may get the impression that China is largely ignoring the American military and letting the US spend itself to death while Beijing focuses on commerce, business, R-and-D, commerce, the economy, education, technology, and more commerce. You might additionally get the idea that China is a confident, well-governed, energetic people on a roll and doing quite well in the inventive department. The snippets below may support this impression of technical and economic vitality.

The future? An asleep thought (I presume this is the opposite of “woke”): demographics is destiny. America draws its scientists and engineers from roughly 200,000,000 STEM-capable whites. Blacks and Latinos contribute, if not negligibly, then almost so. China depends on a billion STEM-capable Han Chinese. These are the people who dominate America’s elite technical high schools and universities. Thus, it can potentially put five times as many scientists and engineers to work on tech work. As America’s schools deteriorate under the assault of social-justice warriors, China expands its already-rigorous schooling. Add that psychometricians put the East Asian IQ about five points higher than that of Eurowhites. Thus, many more and somewhat smarter STEM people from demanding universities against fewer and less intelligent from inferior schools. Then add stable, focused government versus rule by chaos. Arguably, massive Chinese technological superiority might seem likely.

Increasingly America does not compete with China, but strongarms it because it cannot compete. For example, in Five G China is ahead in technology, manufacturing capacity, and turnkey systems. Unable to produce an equivalent product, Washington banned Huawei Five G in the US and has twisted arms to keep countries that it controls from using Huawei. Seeing that Huawei had very attractive smartphones that would have competed with Apple, it banned these also. What America can’t do, it seeks to keep anybody else from doing.

WSJ: “US vs. China in Five G: The Battle Isn’t Even Close

HONG KONG—By most measures, China is no longer just leading the U.S. when it comes to 5G. It is running away with the game. China has more 5G subscribers than the U.S., not just in total but per capita. It has more 5G smartphones for sale, and at lower prices, and it has more-widespread 5G coverage. Connections in China are, on average, faster than in the U.S., too…By year’s end, China will have an estimated 690,000 5G base stations—boxes that blast 5G signals to consumers—up and running across the country .”

Techies can argue C band versus millimeter waves but I will bet that the Chinese, nothing if not commercially agile, will have Five G up and running in factories and the IoT and everywhere else while American pols rattle on about how China is an Existential Threat and the Pentagon needs more money for Space Command and diversity is more important than schooling anyway.

The shifting balance may already be visible. For example, America used to make superb aircraft such as the SR-71 and the F-16. Now it has the F-35, an engineering horror. The Boeing 737 MAX, its flagship product, has been grounded internationally because of poor engineering, second-rate software, and corporate lying about both.

America invented the microcircuit, and once dominated its manufacture. Today, American companies cannot make the seven nanometer chips now used in high-end telephones, and certainly not the five nanometer chips now coming online. Neither can China. Both countries buy them from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, TSMC, Interestingly, the Taiwanese are genetically and culturally Chinese. Washington has strongarmed TSMC into ceasing to sell to Huawei—the US still can’t make high end chips. Recently it strongarmed TSMC into agreeing to build a semiconductor fab in Arizona. Because America can’t.

Then there is TikTok, a hugely popular Chinese video app that threatened to break America’s lock on social media. Unable to compete, Washington decided simply to confiscate it on grounds that it might be used to spy on Americans. (Chinese intelligence is deeply interested in your daughter’s video of her cat.)

Parenthetically, technology seems to be shifting toward East Asia, with America being less ahead in things in which it is ahead and behind in others. Did I mention demographics?

Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China. Airlines are looking hard at hydrogen as a replacement for petroleum with no carbon emission.

China chooses landing site for its Tianwen-1 Mars rover. Whether the lander, currently en route, will land or crash and burn remains to be seen—it is China’s first time out, so to speak. In either case, that the country, forty years ago arguably the poorest in the world and thinking that making pencils was high-tech, has built a Mars lander is, well, weird.

“Four-seater electric aircraft makes first flight in north-eastern Chinese city of Shenyang”

Good for 180 miles, say the Chinese, expect more with improvements in batteries. Intended for short-haul flights, deliveries.

  • China to build world’s longest underwater high-speed rail tunnel”

China probably leads the world, and certainly leads the US, in civil engineering. With 20,000 miles of slow high-speed rail (180 mph) testing on fast maglev high-speed rail, (360 mph) the Three Gorges Dam, and the astonishing Daxing airport at Beijing, just opened. In America, infrastructure ages, trains look like something from a Fifties movie, transportation deteriorates as all the money goes to the military. Since the US doesn’t do much civil engineering, and hasn’t for many years, it would probably have to hire foreign firms should it decide to modernize. (See TSMC above.)

 
• Category: Economics, Science • Tags: China, China/America, Technology 
Justice for Box Turtles! Reparations for Potted Plants!

Headline “Fairfax school board eliminates admissions test at Thomas Jefferson High School” probably America’s most demanding school for science and technology.

Oh god, Oh god. Who is on the school board? Predictably education majors, the dimmest, lowest SAT-scoring dregs of the professional classes, the horror of smart students subjected to their grade-school mentalities. But not just ed majors. Probably also psychologists, sociologists, bored housewives, and liberal-artsy painfully virtuous men alight with Civic Consciousness. Oh god.

TJ, the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, is a jewel in the country’s collapsing system of education, a bright light in the growing darkness. Its kids are scary smart, among the best of young minds, going on to CalTech, MIT, Harvard. This year 132 were National Merit Semi-finalists, putting them in the upper one half of one percent. Entry was, until now, by a demanding test of intelligence, though we must not so describe it as that would be racist, and manifest White Privilege, even though most of the students are Asian. Youngsters at this level need a rich academic diet to avoid boredom, to include among other things serious mathematics. Which, I will bet, not one of the earnest, uplift espousing, self-consciously good, droopy-IQed of the Board has the slightest grasp. How much is three factorial? Hint: It’s a number between five and seven. You may have five guesses.

TJ was a haven for the smart. But now Fairfax County is going to drop the intelligence test—though, remember—we must never call it an intelligence test. Why drop the test? Do you even ask? It is because not enough blacks get in. The purpose of a high-end school is to admit blacks.

TJ, I can say with confidence, would be happy with any number of black students if they passed the examination. It would be happy with box turtles if they passed the test. But they do not, as neither do blacks, so we must abandon the test and admit the unqualified. Free stuff.

Is there nothing we will not degrade, corrupt, or discard to make minorities look good? No. Silly me, even to ask.

Strange that a country once at least literate, a country for decades way and gone the world’s font of science and technology, a country that at its apogee put men on the moon and invented the modern world, should intentionally suppress the intelligence that made it what it was and reduce itself to the level of picking wild bananas and digging for roots.

Yet this is happening. From the drains of society oozes a sump of envy, of resentment, of bruised incapacity, of rabble seeking revenge against those of a higher order. Chusma, morlocks, school boards, vegetables, everywhere pulling down the bright, raging against the brighter, whom they now want to destroy.

An example of what is coming: From The Independent: “A university professor has claimed teaching maths perpetuates “unearned” white privilege…Titled “Building Support for Scholarly Practices in Mathematics Methods”, Ms Gutierrez argues a focus on Pythagorean theorem and pi feed into the idea that math was (sic) developed by the Greeks and Europeans…Seattle is definitely on the forefront with this,” said Robert Q. Berry III, the president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. “What they’re doing follows the line of work we hope we can move forward as we think about the history of math and who contributes to that, and also about deepening students’ connection with identity and agency.”

The faint, agonized shrilling you hear is the English language. These people write like the recently anesthetized, but never mind. Where precisely does this gushing fount of bewilderment think math was developed? Burundi?

What were men such as Gauss, Galois, Cantor, Euler, Newton, Archimedes, Hardy, Hamilton, Laplace were—what? Ethiopians, no doubt. Or maybe bushmen. I cannot doubt it. There was Ramanujan, one of the greats, Indian. Further back, other Indians and Arabs who came up with our number system, zero, algebra. But it is not Indians and Arabs calling for the endumbment (I say it is a word) of American math.

Counting on their toes in twilit minds, such as Ms. Gutierrez want to pull down mathematics. Those seeking to do this are now called “woke,” but “stupid” would improve clarity.

We must get rid, we are told, of AP courses because the cerebrally negligible can’t understand them. Grammar is discrimination because political sensitives find it puzzling. We must ban the SATs because they make obvious what everybody knows, drop algebra requirements’ in universities because they make visible the inescapable. Math courses are are oppression in the view of education majors and other gibbering cretins. Do anything and everything to placate the malignant envy that bubbles up from septic fields of a doomed country.

Do any of these vandals and victims-studies primitives know what math is, or that only bright kids can do the work? An example of mathematics: Shannon entropy for an independent variable of two outcomes (a coin toss.) P is the probability, -log P the information content. The entropy is of importance in grasping Shannon’s coding for data compression. I am not sure just what “mathematics” means in the minds, if any, of the cognitive flat tires now trying to get rid of it, but acres and acres of such as the above, which kids at TJ probably would regard as entertaining reading, are behind everything that keeps us warm, dry, and fed. Do we really want to let nominal primates in need of remedial evolution debauch a subject of which they do not have, and cannot acquire, a tarsier’s grasp?

I should say in foresightful self-defense that I claim no particular mathematical talent, being a sort of mathematical voyeur, playing with whatever shiny baubles and colored beads I come across, and not in a league with the many real mathematicians found at the Unz Review, where this column lives. But I do not want to eliminate AP math courses for those who do have talent simply to hide the fact that I do not.

What is it that distresses the pullers-down, these incontinently dim, these education theorists, these veritable mollusks, these…forgive my language…sociologists? An easy question easily answered: They resent superiority. In a country where culture wafts from the ghetto, where expansive intellect is hated, superiority is the gravest sin. It must be dragged down. And is being dragged down.

But while students commit the individual sin of genius or a close approximation thereunto, the school as an institution essays the unpardonable. “TJ is now 71 percent Asian, 20 percent white, 2.4 percent Hispanic, and 1.6 percent black” Oops.

You can see the systemic unfairness.TJ has lots of Asians. But not a single goddam box turtle. Clearly a disparate impact. Justice for box turtles!

We are going to compete with China? Do you know how many Asians China has? But, you see, the purpose of a school is not to teach. No. It is to have the right number of blacks.

 
Plumbing the Crankosphere

That wretched virus has spawned great gushing waves of confusion regarding what is really happening. This column, a reliable journalistic source of a high order, has therefore gathered from other reliable sources what we genuinely know about the epidemic. Henceforth you will need to read nothing more on the matter. It is all here.

Every morning I read percipient sites that, unlike the major media, are not in the pay of George Soros. The following is a compendium of purely factual findings, devoid of spin or agenda. The interested reader can search on any of them and find large amounts of corroborative content.

The virus was invented in a biowarfare laboratory in Wuhan or, alternatively, in some other kind of lab (or perhaps simultaneously in both kinds of lab) and escaped, presumably yearning for freedom. It also came about because the Chinese were eating infected bats. It was also deliberately planted in the US by Beijing to destroy the American economy, decimate the population, and make us into Communist slaves. Further, it is being used by the Deep State to destroy the economy and let the government make us into federal slaves.

Less plausibly, which is saying something, it was a bio attack on China by the United States, which sent it to China using an infected soccer team as vector. This seems odd, since the American biowarriors who would have had to grow it would have known that it would come back to the US immediately on the hundreds of monthly flights, and also that the US was defenseless against plagues. Maybe they were distracted and didn’t think of this.

None of the above matters since the virus in fact does not exist. Yes, that’s right. There is no virus, and in any event it is no worse than the seasonal flu. The plandemic, or panicdemic, is a fairy tale concocted by the Davos crowd (the familiar tone is to persuade you that I get drunk with presidents and prime ministers on Saturday nights to destroy world economies so that Bill Gates and George Soros can take away our freedoms, impose socialism, which is very bad, and make us into communist slaves. It is also intended to depopulate the world, doubtless a hard slog for a virus that doesn’t exist, but it may be a very robust nonexistent virus. Since if the number of dead reached two million, which it hasn’t, this would be four percent of the fifty million croakees attributed to the Spanish flu, and essentially zero percent of the world’s population of the earth, it would seem that the Coronavirus needs work under warranty. Anyway, the dead supposedly killed by the virus actually died of underlying causes, such as traffic accidents, diabetes, and obesity.

The alleged dead in truth died not of Covid but of underlying causes, such as motorcycle crashes, diabetes, and obesity. Also of vitamin D deficiency caused by staying inside because of the lockdowns. These made them cranky and depressed, further lowering their defenses, so that, apparently, the mere thought of a virus killed them. The alleged dead are being stored in refrigerated morgue trucks, which are fake news.

Actually, the virus is a plot to let Big Pharma make a killing, so to speak. The columnist Pepe Escobar (no relation to Pablo) (probably) says that (unimpeachable) sources in Paris revealed that the French government knows that hydroxyquinone (HCQ) is a miracle cure but that the government is suppressing this information so the Pharma companies can find a vaccine and get rich. Richer. If I were a reporter, I would ask, “The government? All of it, hundreds of thousands of people? Only some of them? Which ones? How do you know? Evidence? Phone numbers?” But I am not a reporter.

The reader unfamiliar with the dread depths of the demonic darkness lurking behind the façade of international finance capitalism may find it implausible that Paris would let tens of thousands of Frenchmen die and the economy collapse to benefit drug companies. Plausibility is an overrated virtue. Behind all of this is Microsoft. Do not underestimate the evil in the heart of Bill Gates, the Redmond Sauron, a geek of a thousand envenomed claws, who wants to make us all into Communist slaves and switch to Bing.

Now consider hydroxyquinone, Cipro, and zinc. These have been shown by numerous studies to be a miracle cure for Covid when used together. A google search will easily find these studies. The former President of the United States, than whom there can be no more sober and trustworthy source has endorsed HCQ. HCQ is a well-known, cheap, easily produce prophylaxis against malaria. Uninformed skeptics might wonder why Cipro, an anti-bacterial, and HCQ, an antiplasmodial, would work as antivirals. But it works, as many sites say, but doesn’t, according to medical authorities, probably in the pay of Bill Gates. Zinc was once widely used in making flashlight batteries. Anyway, that all the world’s governments, knowing of this proven research, do not launch massive distribution of the miracle cure can only mean that they are all working for Big Pharma.

There is evidence that those advocating the use of zinc want to make us all into Communist flashlight batteries, but even libertarians view this with skepticism. Some fear that the government may force us all to have voltage checks.

Now we come to countermeasures. A quick web search reveals that masks are ineffective, actually increase vulnerability to the virus, which in any case does not exist, and reduce the flow of oxygen to the brain, causing cognitive damage. The insistence by government that we wear them instills reflexive obedience to government, thus facilitating our conversion into Communist slaves.

Vaccines, though, are the real threat to liberty. Vaccines are known to have lethal effects, for example having been used by government to wipe out smallpox and polio. Critics point out that with minor modification they could be used to depopulate the world, presumably so that Big Pharma could do something or other. At least one site has revealed that a vaccine potentially could actually reprogram our DNA, having I’m not sure just what effects but perhaps making us into reptiles or infected bats.

Other articles, mostly by actual doctors or men who say they are, point out that we have no way of knowing what is in the vaccines. One insidious possibility is said to be nanoparticles. I don’t know just what these are, but they must be very small, and they are said to migrate to the brain and diminish free will. In many people this would not be noticeable, so you can see the deviousness. These authors urge the population under no circumstances to use masks or accept the vaccine.

Other experts say that vaccines might contain computer chips. These could be used to track us, say some, or others say to control us, making us into socialist slaves. My own theory is that if zinc made us into flashlight batteries, the resulting current could power the chips, but I don’t want to speculate irresponsibly.

Having spent my working life in journalism, I still have(unimpeachable) sources. They tell me that to their certain knowledge Bill Gates has built an underground factory to make injectable chips. The factory is about midway on his tunnel from Area 51 to Roswell. It reportedly uses the labor of undocumented aliens. Note that the mainstream media have not uttered a single word about this factory. Only tightly organized collusion of the media can explain this perfectly maintained silence

Things are worse than we think. But anyway you understand the virus now.

Check Out Fred’s Books!

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Conspiracy Theories, Coronavirus 

Everybody and his goat has weighed in on the election, so I will too. This will make no difference to Trump’s core followers, for whom he is a cult figure, or to those who detest him. The undecided may be interested.

Note how insubstantial Trump has been, pretending to be what he isn’t and claiming to have done what he hasn’t. Does no one notice? He has heavy support from Evangelicals. Ask him to name the books of the Pentateuch, or the second book, or what church he regularly attended, or ever attended, in New York. He was going to end the wars, but what war has he ended? To reduce the trade deficit, but it has grown. To get rid of all illegal aliens withing two years, but have they gone? To bring back factories from China and Mexico, but how many have returned? He is called a law-and-order President. Yet he hid, besieged, in the White House during the greatest eruption of lawlessness the country has ever seen, with a statue being pulled down across the street from his house. His handling of the virus? America remains hardest hit in the world, and it worsens by the day.

Trump, like all Presidents, has fulfilled the two critical jobs expected of him, protecting Wall Street and the military budget. What else has he done?

Almost nothing. All in good fun. But in the crucial field of international relations, he has been a disaster. I suspect that few of his followers in Flint and Gary study things beyond the borders. They should.

Here context matters. The US, or those who control the US, are trying to maintain American hegemony, or near hegemony, over the world. America has 600-800 military bases around the globe depending on what you regard as a military base. While many tens of thousands of America sleep on the sidewalks, while infrastructure crumbles, while standards of living fall and medical care is pricey but poor, the Pentagon always gets its budget. At the level of the White House, the Five-Sided Wind Tunnel, the arms industry, the important thing is to maintain the flow of money. And dominate the world.

Trump is the embodiment of this looking-for-a-fight attitude. Not good. He has surrounded himself with over-age Cold Warriors, with generals, with the pathologically aggressive hangers-on from think-tank Washington: John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley, Steve Bannon, and minor squibs of like outlook. He has pulled the US out of the arms-control treaties, START, INF, Open Skies. He has pushed NATO against Russian borders. In the Legion halls of Idaho, this may seem virile, the sort of thing that John Wayne would do. Back the commies down. Show them who is boss. No. It is just pointless and dangerous.

Worse, there is a new kid on the block. China is growing. It behaves no worse than other countries, does not inflict on the world nearly the destruction and horror that the United States does, but it is growing. For Washington, this makes it not a competitor but an enemy. This is very much Trump’s policy. Don’t negotiate. Threaten. “Do as I say, or I will break you.”

Those favoring the continuance of Empire might note that, even at this, Trump has been a disaster. The First Rule of Empire is Don’t let your enemies unite. Trump, having made Russia and China into enemies (why?) has forced them to unite. This is—how shall I put it?—stupid. Russia and China are not natural allies. China is a crowded country with 1.4 billion smart, industrious people, rapidly growing influence, and a very long indefensible border with Russia. Russia has barely 146 million people, a comparatively static economy, vast empty lands with rich resources. The Russians may have noticed this. The two have had territorial disputes. This is not a marriage made, as we say, in heaven. Instead of playing them against each other, allying with one against the other, or leaving them the hell alone, Trump has forced them into close alliance.

This is Trump’s policy, in the sense that if it happens during his presidency, it is his baby, though it is fairly evident that Pompeo is Trumps brains and Trump is Pompeo’s enabler.

Then there is Iran, a geopolitical linchpin, having eighty million people, a large and competent military, and lots and lots of oil. Under the JCPOA, the nuke deal, the Iranians were posed happily to integrate themselves into the Western economy—buy hundreds of airliners from Boeing and Airbus, telecommunications gear, sell oil, have western companies develop its huge hydrocarbon reserves.

Then Trump pulled out of the treaty and, led by the egregious Pompeo, tries to starve the Iranians into installing a puppet government. Iran, seeing that the West is not friendly, turns to the East, allies itself tightly with Russia and China. Tehran and Beijing are about to sign a twenty-five year, multimanymuchoslotsa billion dollar development deal.

Three enemies, united, where none was before.

Fucking brilliant, Mike. Just fucking brilliant.

Then Trump had Soleimani, an Iranian hero, murdered. This doubtless played well with his partisans in Joe’s Bar in Chicago, being manly and decisive and making America great again. It was also idiotic, making Iranians even less likely to cave to American pressure.

The same counterproductiveness appears in his “trade war” with China, in fact an attempt to wreck China commercially and technologically. This is packaged by Trump as “standing up to China,” “deterring China,” “containing China,” but it might as accurately be called “encouraging the genie to leave the bottle,” or “asking for it.”

A quick example: Huawei was contentedly using Google’s Android operating system on its smartphones. Android and iOS, both American, dominated the world market for operating systems. Huawei, with the predictability of sunrise, responded by crash-developing its own OS, Harmony. With equal predictability and suddenness it will improve it, further grow its app store (HMS, Huawei Mobile Services) and, on a guess, encourage other companies to use it. It will be said that a new OS won’t work, can’t compete, will take decades, and all the things that are customarily said of things China does. Wait.

Trump’s result: A new and, likely, serious competitor to Google. Good job, Don.

There is more to come. Precisely because of Trump’s technology-denial policy, China has launched a massive program to make itself tech-independent. It will take time, but it will happen. Every time China develops a replacement for an American product, US companies will lose the Chinese market for it—and shortly face a competitor.

The root of the matter? With Trump the country elected an attitude, not a President. Truculence, bravado, and an in-your-face aggressiveness are no substitute for competence. Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he is blankly ignorant of history, geography, technology, the military. In Hawaii, when taken to the USS Arizona memorial, he didn’t know what it was. He has opined that the Spanish flu of 1917 (his date) influenced the end of WWII. It would be instructive for a reporter to ask him what countries border Iran, where one finds the Strait of Malacca, and why it matters.

The more enthusiastic of his followers seem to be equally ignorant and, worse, have no idea why a President should know such things. Is this how we choose Presidents, and the sort of Presidents we choose?

Write Fred at [email protected] Put the letters pdq anywhere in the subject line to avoid heartless autodeletion.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2020 Election, China, Donald Trump, Iran, Russia 
Fred Reed
About Fred Reed

Fred, a keyboard mercenary with a disorganized past, has worked on staff for Army Times, The Washingtonian, Soldier of Fortune, Federal Computer Week, and The Washington Times.

He has been published in Playboy, Soldier of Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Harper's, National Review, Signal, Air&Space, and suchlike. He has worked as a police writer, technology editor, military specialist, and authority on mercenary soldiers.


Personal Classics
Not What Tom Jefferson Had in Mind
Sounds Like A Low-Ranked American University To Me
Very Long, Will Bore Hell Out Of Most People, But I Felt Like Doing It
It's Not A Job. It's An Adventure.
Cloudy, With Possible Tidal Wave