India standing up to China

Lost in the media’s fake news was a very disturbing report of a clash between India and China, the world’s two most populated nuclear-enabled countries, in the Galwan Valley. If you don’t know where that is, its a north-eastern section that divides China from India. India and China fought a war in 1962 over this and other regions, which China won. Ever since then, the Chinese have been encroaching on the area, and small flare ups have happened now and then, including this latest fight.

What’s different is that India probably learned lessons from last time and was better prepared. Previously China tended to have the upper hand in conflict, but based on the downplay from both sides on the most recent conflict, I’m guessing it was much more of a draw. India’s military has upgraded much, including training, so it was more of an equal fight, especially because that area makes it more difficult for more advanced weapons to be brought to play.

The big lesson to learn here is that China is only going to respect power when it comes to border disputes. If you don’t punch back twice as hard, expect China to simply continue to take. It’s become more apparent that China is like Hitler’s Germany, never quite satisfied with whatever land was given up to satiate Hitler’s desires. China will find excuses to lay claim to the Galwan Valley, Tawang, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Siberia, Hawaii, and whatever else it can get away with.

This also opens up huge opportunities for US-India relations. India has traditionally used Russian weapons and equipment, but as China rolls out more upgraded gear, better equipment and training is needed to stand up to them. Given the U.S. experience in Afghanistan, especially for special warfare personnel, the border disputes give an opportunity for enhanced US-India military training. Even better, from a strategic standpoint, having an open conflict on China’s western border would be a way to temper Chinese ambitions in other areas. China can take on Japan, Taiwan or South China Sea claimants one by one, but if they combine and also face a land war on their western border, its a bit much to handle.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

I’m Old Enough to Remember When Democrats Were Happy to Have New Manufacturing in the US

Of course that was back in the day when I was a Democrat in the 1990’s

Democrats today:

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) have sent a letter to officials from the Trump administration, demanding answers about TSMC’s recent announcement to build a fab in Ariz. As reported, TSMC has announced its intention to build and operate an advanced semiconductor fab in the U.S. The fab, to be built in Arizona, will move into production in 2024.

The senators believe that it’s important to have a strong U.S. semiconductor industry, but they want to know if TSMC was offered incentives. They also contend that TSMC’s proposed and one-time fab is “inadequate” in terms of rebuilding the technology base in the U.S.

This is via Don Suber’s Highlights of the News which you should read daily who completely nails it:

When I said AOC was the soul of the soulless Democrat Party that was not hyperbole. Her success in blocking Amazon in New York City was just one of many attempts by Democrats to sabotage capitalism in America.

Think not?

Look at who runs most of the cities and states that refuse to re-open.

That’s very true, American’s working helps Trump thus it’s EVIL in the eyes of Dems but the real crime here is that it’s a Taiwan company and as Instapundit has noted you can really tell who is on China’s payroll or at least on the same team:

Related:

Obama’s Man in China Now Beijing’s Man in Washington: Former ambassador Baucus appears regularly on Chinese propaganda outlets.

Cue my shocked face

Update: Instalanche: Thanks Ed, Hi folks take a peek around and check out our merry band of writers. Let me note that the quote from that piece is Don Surber’s whose site should be part of your daily reading and let me take the time to plug my livestream no frills podcast Monday’s at 12:35 AM EST and Fridays at 9:30 EST , you can watch the latest where I talk about

  1. Obamagate and what the CYA by Susan Rice means
  2. the Democrat Aristocracy of Losers namely Stacy Abrams
  3. Morning Mika’s failure to see the dangers of the Streisand Effect due to the media bubble (and inability to defend husband Joe Scarborough using the obvious argument because it’s an outside the bubble
  4. The special election in Staunton VA and what that means nationally here.

hope you enjoy it

Dianne’s China

More like the other way around

by baldilocks

We Californians who pay attention knew much of this about Feinstein. You all should know it, too. Remember the report about how one of her long-time aides turned out to be a ChiCom operative? Small potatoes.

The links between leading American politicians and companies and the Chinese leadership are now likely to come under increased scrutiny.

First on that list of those deserving of close attention is the [Democratic Party] senior U.S. senator from California, Dianne Feinstein—a longtime member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence—who briefly made headlines a few years ago when reports surfaced that she had been forced to fire a longtime aide after learning from the FBI that he had been recruited on behalf of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

No one represents the marriage of American policy toward China and doing business with the PRC better than Feinstein. Her promotion of trade with China to advance the interests of her constituents turned into apologetics on behalf of the Communist Party, as it aided her political ascent and augmented her husband’s portfolio. In October, USA Today listed Feinstein as the sixth-richest member of Congress, with a net worth of $58.5 million—a sum that vastly understates her actual wealth. Richard Blum, her husband, is himself worth at least another $1 billion.

Sixth.

In 1994, Blum’s company, Blum Capital, had entered a joint venture to found Newbridge Capital, specializing in emerging markets, including Asia. Blum said in 1997 that less than 2% of the approximately $1.5 billion that his firm managed was committed to China. He held a $300 million stake in Northwest Airlines when it operated the only nonstop service from the United States to cities in China. In 2002, Newbridge was negotiating to acquire 20% of Shenzhen Development Bank. After some rough seas, it paid $145 million for an 18% share two years later, marking the first time a Chinese bank came under control of a foreign entity.

Feinstein. You’d be smiling, too.

Feinstein says that Blum’s business in China had no effect on her foreign policy or trade positions regarding the country. “We have built a firewall,” she said of her relationship with her husband. “That firewall has stood us in good stead.”

Yeah, sure, Senator.

It’s very long and you should read it all – if only to get a handle on how long and how tightly the China octopus has been squeezing us, not to mention on how lucrative it is to be a professional American politician.

Read all the links, too. I know you have the time.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Follow Juliette on FacebookTwitterMeWePatreon and Social Quodverum.

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The Wrong Stuff

Getty Images

Made in China

by baldilocks

From The Epoch Times:

The British government paid $20 million for COVID-19 antibody tests from two Chinese companies, only to later find they didn’t work properly, according to multiple reports.

Half a million of the China-made tests are now in storage, according to a New York Times report.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the kits “[a]s simple as a pregnancy test” in a March statement announcing negations to buy the product, adding “it has the potential to be a total game changer.”

“Because once you know that you have had it, you know that you are likely to be less vulnerable, you’re less likely to pass it on, and you can go back to work,” Johnson said, referring to the way widespread antibody testing could help the country cope with the outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, the novel coronavirus that emerged from mainland China last year and causes the disease COVID-19.

Good thing for Johnson that the one used on him worked.

But an Oxford University trial later found that the tests were faulty. The China-made tests did not pass sensitivity and specificity tests, according to British news outlet The Telegraph.  (SNIP)

“Sadly, the tests we have looked at to date have not performed well,” he wrote in the post titled “Trouble in testing land.”

“We see many false negatives (tests where no antibody is detected despite the fact we know it is there) and we also see false positives,” [Oxford University professor Sir John Bell] noted. “None of the tests we have validated would meet the criteria for a good test as agreed with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This is not a good result for test suppliers or for us.”

LA Times:

Last week, the Netherlands asked to return 600,000 face masks purchased from China that had inadequate filters and fit incorrectly. On Tuesday, Finland tested a shipment of personal protective equipment, or PPE, from China and found the items unsuitable for hospital use. Australian border officials have also reportedly seized 800,000 faulty or counterfeit masks from China.

The problem is worse at home [in China]. On March 12, officials at a State Council news briefing announced that authorities had seized more than 80 million counterfeit or faulty masks and 370,000 defective or fake disinfectants and other anti-coronavirus products in the prior month alone.

That many nations have learned an expensive lesson is no longer a new story. I simply wanted to point to the irony of the fact that the virus’s origin is China and that the PPE and medical equipment manufactured will neither protect a person against nor help a patient recover from this Chinese virus.

“Made in China” used to be a joke. It still is, but it’s not a funny one anymore.

By the way, be sure to search for the “Made in ____” on the labels of everything, even on items you thought was made in America.

Your bar soap, for example. Yes, I’ve had that surprise. Blessedly, there was no harm, but you never know.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Follow Juliette on FacebookTwitterMeWePatreon and Social Quodverum.

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China purchase of Journalists is their Last Gasp in an International Game of Chicken

Based There seems to be a lot of effort being made by China to control the narrative in the Corona Virus. In terms of getting reporters to say what they want they’ve had some success, mainly because of the principles illustrated by the CNN letter post I had up earlier but also because money talks and bureaucrats and reports are bought cheap.

The fact that media companies see China as a big market helps too. China is very happy to leverage their market to make them act against us, but we aren’t willing to do the same, at least not yet.

It’s been made extremely clear to the world that China can’t be Trusted. Even a few in Iran are questing them (although the official media was quick to clamp down on them. Only those who hate Trump beyond rationality still buy what they sell and even they likely don’t actually believe what they’re saying.

They can keep the scare up for as long as they can but once the virus has peaked in the US they’re pretty much finished. Already Australians have refused to unload Chinese ships. I can’t see any western company going in and those already there are not going to be anxious to stay. By this time next year the words “Made in China” are going to be like “Made in Nazi Germany” or “Free dose of Smallpox with every item.”

The longer China can keep the money flowing to the media and keep the scare on the longer they can delay the inevitable. This is also the moment of greatest danger because if China decides it has nothing to lose there is always a chance that they might go the military route now while they still have own enough of the rest of the world but we also don’t know how bad things actually are in China or how bad this has spread throughout the land.

This is going to be a giant game of chicken until the west can be sure they can replace vital industries. Once vital production is built locally or moved to South America or Vietnam, or India or even Central America. Until then it’s a question of holding China accountable without pushing them to the point of war. Meanwhile during this time China will keep up the pressure online, via paid comments, paid media, and I suspect through paid posts at blogs from people who don’t demand editorial control for money.

China is a face culture. If Trump can play nice enough publicly still calling them out in public but being respectful in direct diplomatic conversations he can keep the string going until we can cut it without a shooting war. I think he’s up to it, meanwhile China will do their best to elect Biden and the Democrats and promise them rich rewards for a deal which lets them make loud noises while conducting business as usual.

It’s Jefferson Davis’ card vs Lincoln in 1864 but like Davis it’s all China really has so they’ll play this hand as long as they can stretch it.

Two Navies, Two Stories, One Choice

200321-N-TL141-1039 PHILLIPINE SEA (March 21, 2020) An MH-60R Sea Hawk assigned to the “Wolf Pack” Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75, takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) March 21, 2020. The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Dylan Lavin)

The Navy is in the news a lot. On one coast, the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, named after the iconic President, is in the news in a bad way. Her Commanding Officer, CAPT Crozier, was removed by the Secretary of the Navy because of a letter he wrote (and didn’t safeguard adequately) where he argued to evacuate most of his crew due to a COVID-19 outbreak because “Sailors do not need to die.” Reading the letter on its own (available here), without any other context makes CAPT Crozier look like a selfless hero, amplified when he was removed from command by Acting Secretary Modly and then cheered by his own crew.

Obviously, very concerned about the virus spreading, just look at that social distancing!

Like most stories, the surface belies the true nature of the medium. The largest fallacy comes from thinking the Navy wasn’t already acting to help the THEODORE ROOSEVELT. The Navy was moving, quickly, to find a suitable plan for ROOSEVELT. It had already secured 3,000 beds in Guam, which if you’ve ever been to the tiny island, you’ll realize is quite an achievement. Secretary Modly was in contact with CAPT Crozier personally, on multiple occasions before the letter was sent.

Before you sign a petition supporting CAPT Crozier, or think the Navy is some evil, vile organization that hates its Sailors, try watching Secretary Modly’s full press conference. I can guarantee it is not boring:

The Navy balances Sailor morale and welfare with the mission assigned to it. Contrary to CAPT Crozier’s letter, where he asserts we “…we are not at war, and therefore cannot allow a single Sailor to perish…”, that’s simply not true. The Navy executes dangerous “peacetime” missions every day. We fly planes, drive submarines, spy on enemies, rescue mariners in distress, ride out rough weather, and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to areas that have multiple infectious diseases. Every day we engage in these activities, which occasionally kill Sailors, and while we balance our risk, the risk is never zero, because the American people expect their Navy to be ready for war, and readiness is never achieved with zero risk.

CAPT Crozier’s actions smell of grand standing. You can’t simply shutdown a nuclear aircraft carrier and park it like some cheap rental car. You always have Sailors onboard to monitor the reactor plants and maintain critical gear. CAPT Crozier even acknowledges that he has to keep at least 10% of the crew onboard. If he had proposed a rotation plan to maintain THEODORE ROOSEVELT while the virus burned itself out, he would probably still be in command.

On the other coast is another Roosevelt. DDG-80, the USS ROOSEVELT, is preparing for a deployment to Europe and a homeport shift to Rota, Spain. No doubt her Sailors are worried about COVID-19, as are their families. Instead of inspiring doubt and fear, her Commanding Officer is finishing deployment preparations, in a quiet and professional manner.

From https://www.dvidshub.net/news/365634/uss-roosevelt-prepares-homeport-shift-rota

Emotions run high when things are uncertain. Emotions feel good, and can even make you popular. But emotions cause you to make mistakes in war. Emotions, and emotional responses, sap your reasoning and break down your training. In war, when time and training matter, emotions get you killed.

If we’re being emotional now dealing with a virus with a mortality rate of 2%, and likely less than that for young people, how are we going to deal with a Great Power Competitor that has a higher death rate? Will we write letters to the press about the Sailors we lost in missile exchanges? Will we complain about driving into harm’s way?

When the going gets tough, do you want to be lead by someone ruled by their emotions, or someone who chooses to rule them?

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

DaTechGuy’s AM Court Livestream 9:15 AM EST The China Syndrome Putting God to the Test and Baseball

In this morning’s podcast I talk China and the corona virus and what it means, a church in Florida looking to have services and some fantasy baseball just because I like it

If you like what you hear then consider liking the podcast or even better hitting DaTipJar

It’s okay to blame the Chinese government

Memo
To: Journalists
Re: China and Covid-19

Here are some suggestions about news coverage going forward:

The pandemic started in China because of inadequate sanitary conditions and a lack of law enforcement.

China’s government covered up the virus as it leaped across the world. If you are going to use Chernobyl as a simile, it’s China’s Chernobyl, not that of the United States.

China silenced doctors and dissidents who tried to publicize news of the virus.

Italy and Iran have high numbers of infections and deaths because both countries created strong relationships with China. The Black Plague started on the old Silk Road; the Wuhan virus started on the new Silk Road.

China has launched a massive disinformation campaign, including calling racist the use of the Wuhan virus. That hasn’t stopped DaTimes’ Paul Krugman from calling it the “Trump virus.”

China claimed it bought time for the rest of the world. No, it didn’t. It misled the world.

China expelled journalists from DaTimes, DaPost, and the Wall Street Journal. It was barely a blip on the radar screen because you were frightened China might do the same to your news organization.

The World Health Organization refused for months to declare a pandemic and instead thanked China for “making us safer.” The WHO has refused to allow Taiwan membership, due undoubtedly to Beijing’s influence over the WHO’s purse strings.

Here are some suggestions on what you should report on:

It is only since the outbreak of the pandemic that Americans have learned that China is the primary supplier of U.S. medicines. Eighty percent of America’s “active pharmaceutical ingredients” come from abroad, primarily from China (and India); 45% of the penicillin used in the country is Chinese made; and nearly 100% of the ibuprofen.

America’s broader economic dependence on China needs to be reduced. Materials such as rare earths, 80% of which come from China, should be produced at home when possible, while the U.S. military needs to limit its exposure to Chinese goods for everything from transistors to tire rubber.

Washington must ensure that China does not capture the global semiconductor chip-making industry, which is a priority for Beijing. To surrender a vital part of the digital economy would put America in a position of permanent dependence on China.

It’s time to stop pandering to China!

CNN Letter to Sean Davis (with apologies to Abe Lincoln & Horace Greeley)

There are many who seem confused by the MSM’s behavior toward China, Russia Iran and even towards the efforts to arrest the spread of the Corona / Wuhan Virus in the US. This behavior has drawn harsh responses from conservatives and confusion to those who believe the media operate in the pubic interest. For those who might be confused this letter might explain their actions:

CNN offices,
Atlanta, March 22, 2020.

Sean Davis The Federalist:
Dear Sir.

We have just read your tweet of the 21st. addressed to ourselves through that medium & previous statements through the Federalist. If there be in it any statements, or assumptions of fact, which we may know to be erroneous, We and other mainstream media do not, now and here, controvert them. If there be in it any inferences which we may believe to be falsely drawn, We do not now and here, argue against them. If there be perceptable in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, We waive it in deference to a fellow member of the media although as you are on the right you don’t really deserve such deference.

As to the policy We “seem to be pursuing” as you say, we have not meant to leave any one in doubt.

We would save the Union from Donald Trump. We would save it the shortest way under the Constitution or outside of it. The sooner the national authority of our allies in the Deep state in general and the Democrat party in particular, can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” before those horrible days of the internet, Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge in the days before he decided to join our noble cause.

If there be those who would not save the Union from Donald Trump, unless they could at the same time attack Communist China or Putin Iran and save the nation from the spread of the Corona Virus , We do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy Communist China, Putin or even Iran, We do not agree with them.

Our paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union from Donald Trump, and is not either to save or to destroy Communist China, Putin Iran or even the Corona Virus. If we could save the Union from Donald Trump without helping Communist China, Russia, Iran or even the spread of the Corona virus we would do it, and if we could save the Union from Donald Trump by directly helping Communist China, Russia, Iran and the spread of the Corona Virus we would do it; and if we could save the Union from Donald Trump, by helping Communist China, Russia, Iran and the spread of the corona virus in some cases and hindering Communist China, Russia, Iran and the spread of the Corona Virus in others we would also do that.

What we write, broadcast and report about Communist China, Russia, Iran and the Corona Virus,we do because we believe it helps to save the Union from Donald Trump; and what we forbear, we forbear because we do not believe it would help to save the Union from Donald Trump.

We shall do less to help efforts to fight the Corona Virus in the US whenever we shall believe what we are doing hurts the cause of defeating Donald Trump in November, and we shall do more to help efforts to fight the Corona Virus whenever we shall believe doing more will help the cause of defeating Donald Trump in November. We shall try to correct errors when shown to be also errors in our efforts in obtaining that goal of Trump destruction; and we shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be in aid of that effort to destroy Donald Trump.

We have here stated our purpose, shared by other members of the media on TV, online and in print according to our view of the official duty of the media to destroy conservatism in general and Donald Trump in particular; and we intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free of Donald Trump in particular and conservatism in general.

Yours,
CNN.

If you wish to read a slightly modified version of this letter which was sent by some fellow named Abe Lincoln to a newspaperman by the name of Horace Greeley on August 22nd 1862 in response to critiques of his actions concerning fighting of the American Civil War you can read it here.

Review, Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak

By John Ruberry

“While we can’t predict where the next influenza pandemic is going to come from,” Dennis Carroll, the director of the emerging threats unit of US Agency for International Development, says in the third episode of the new six episode Netflix documentary series Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak, “there are certain places that you want to pay particular attention to–and China is one of those, that’s the place where we’ve seen the emergence of virtually all of the deadly influenza viruses over the last half-century.”

Carroll says this while images of a Vietnamese wet market, where live chickens are sold and slaughtered, are shown.

“We know that viruses move from wildlife into livestock into people,” he says early in that same episode.

I’m writing this from home in Illinois, where I am living under Governor JB Pritzker’s shelter-in-place order because of the COVID-19 coronoavirus outbreak. While the origin of this disease is still being debated it is likely, according to experts, that it did first infect humans at a wet market.

I saw Pandemic last week on my Netflix welcome screen and at first I looked away and said to myself, “If I want to know about pandemics I can switch on the local news–or cable news.” And I was concerned that this was, to use the legendary chant from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a “bring out your dead” series. And it starts that way, with Carroll, at a mass grave in western Pennsylvania, one that is marked by a single crucifix. The site contains the remains of victims of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Yes, not only can it happen here–but it has happened here.

And the “not-if-but-when” pandemic has arrived, only it’s coronavirus instead of influenza.

The focus of Pandemic is on the scientists, the aid workers, and the doctors on the front lines of disease prevention and cures. People like Jake Glanville and Sarah Ives, the scientists who are working with pigs in Guatemala to develop an all-strains flu virus, as well as Dr. Dinesh Vijay, who treats flu patients at a crowded hospital in Jaipur, India. But disease isn’t just an urban phenomenon. In Pandemic, we meet Holly Goracke, the sole doctor at tiny Jefferson County Hospital in rural Oklahoma, who works 72-hour shifts. And we also become acquainted with Dr.Syra Madad, the director of the special pathogens program of New York City Health and Hospitals.

Along the way we are introduced to anti-vaccination activists in Oregon, health care workers at an Arizona border detention center, and World Health Organization disease fighters in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who not only face the risk of contracting the extremely deadly Ebola virus, but also getting murdered by gangs.

Surprisingly, religion is viewed favorably in this scientific docuseries. Madad, Goracke, and Vijay all rely on faith to strengthen them as they battle disease.

Not surprisingly there are a few knocks in Pandemic over lack of funding from the Trump administration. Including from Madad. But she’s not infallible. In January, in a CNBC interview shortly after the debut of Pandemic, Madad praised China’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, although she did parse her statement with, “It’s too early to tell.” I wager she’d like to take that praise back.

If you are suffering from anxiety over coronavirus, you may want to stay away from Pandemic. The same goes if you are an anti-vaxxer–you’ll just get POd. Also, I suggest if you decide to view Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak then take it in just one episode at a time. At times the series is emotionally exhausting.

Pandemic is rated TV-14, Netflix says, because of foul language and smoking. And there are some disturbing scenes.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.