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Why is Joe Biden buying drones from China?

Back in May, Joe Biden warned armed forces members at a Virginia military base that China believes it will “own” America:

“We’re in a battle between democracies and autocracies,” Biden told troops at Joint Base Langley Eustis in Hampton. “The more complicated the world becomes, the more difficult it is for democracies to come together and reach consensus.

“I’ve spent more time with President Xi [Jinping] of China than any world leader has – for 24 hours of private meetings with him with just an interpreter, 17,000 miles traveling with him in China and here,” the president added. “He firmly believes that China, before the year [20]30, ’35, is going to own America because autocracies can make quick decisions.”

So why the hell is he helping it along?

According to this disturbing warning from former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, as told to Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, reported by the Daily Wire :

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday that the Biden administration’s move to buy Chinese drones for federal law enforcement was perplexing and that the move jeopardized U.S. national security.

Ratcliffe noted that the Trump administration flagged the specific Chinese company in question over what it said was “moderate confidence” that the Chinese company was providing information on U.S. critical infrastructure to the Chinese Communist Party.

“Like so much that Biden administration has done on national security lately, this makes very little sense,” Ratcliffe said. “It’s harmful to our national security. And also, Chinese drone technology is not as good as U.S. drone technology. So it’s hard to make sense out of what’s doing this, other than it is consistent with the Biden administration taking a softer approach, trying to promote a false narrative that somehow China is a competitor and not an adversary.”

The initial bad guy here was Congress. which lifted the restrictions on the U.S. government buying this spy-able technology from the world’s largest by far drone company.

Now Joe, or whoever’s controlling him, has O.K.’d such purchases since Congress opened that gate, enabling China to spy on U.S. national security drones. According to the Heritage Foundation’s John Venable and Lora Ries, it works like this :

Studies by two leading cybersecurity and research firms, Synacktiv and River Loop Security, reverse-engineered applications that allow users to control Chinese drones or edit videos they capture. They discovered the controller app had coding that enabled its Chinese developer to download and execute “other” code whenever it chose. Both applications collected sensitive user data and transmitted it to third-party servers without user consent.

Moving on those studies and their own well-founded concerns, the Departments of Defense, Interior and Homeland Security all either warned against or prohibited the procurement of Chinese-made drones. Until now, Congress appeared to be listening.

Ratcliffe warned about the matter last February, described in this same piece by Venable and Ries :

Considering the obvious security threat posed by Chinese-made drones, you’d think banning federal agencies from buying or using them would be an easy lift for Congress. Not so, apparently.

In a surprising shift, the House and Senate removed a bipartisan effort to restrict such drones from the conference version of the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) released last week . That’s right-they successfully thwarted their own best intentions.

Getting even the most clear-cut bill through Congress has always involved horse-trading as legislators move to bring more goodies to their respective states or districts. But one has to wonder which constituency gained from this move.

The danger China poses to all sectors of American society was reiterated last week by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe. And the specific threat that Chinese-made drones bring has been driven home by independent studies, federal agencies, Congress and actual video footage from within China.

It’s a bad move, given that China is getting more aggressive, and stepping up its espionage activities, based on the many FBI busts out there for Chicom espionage. Biden’s perfectly content to buy spyable Chinese drones from a Chinese company over a higher-grade American one, moving the process along, based on this brain-dead decision.

It’s part of what one Politico columnist calls Joe Biden’s ” hot and cold ” Chinese policy, a policy of sending mixed messages instead of the unequivocal certainties that President Trump would send.

Three things in the category of ‘cold stand out from that turn of phrase :

One, that Biden has kept President Trump’s tariffs on China, probably in deference to his union allies, in a move that stings China for sure.

Two, that Biden is going forward with the three-nation AUKUS alliance in the Pacific, complete with the U.K. and Australia, to check China and its regional expansion. That move concerned France, which pulled its ambassador from the U.S. for a time, while his French-speaking climate czar, John Kerry, reportedly “assured” the French that Biden knew nothing about it. It probably wasn’t as reassuring as he thought it was to the French, but the reality remains, AUKUS definitely will challenge China.

Three, Biden has reportedly sent special forces troops to Taiwan, a definite move to support the beleaguered nation that is now under open military threat from China.

But now let’s get into the negative stuff, the ‘hot,’ the things that Biden has done to succor China — and the list is much longer:

Biden made no move to sanction China after a cyber hack on the U.S. He hit Russia with sanctions and blamed it for things they might not have done in a different attack. But with clear evidence pointing to Chinese state involvement in a ransomware attack on the huge Microsoft Exchange email server, nothing. No sanctions from him over a massive China cyberattack. I wrote about that here.

Here’s another one: The Meng Wanzhou / Huawei affair, where the daughter of the suspected-of-spying China firm’s founder, who as part of Huawei, violated sanctions on Iran, got caught and, then, got let out of Canada with no charges while awaiting extradition from the U.S. under house arrest.

Hong Kong (CNN Business) Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who spent nearly three years in house arrest in Canada, returned home late Saturday, ending a prolonged extradition fight with the United States and sparking an outburst of national pride in China, where her release has been portrayed as a diplomatic victory for Beijing.

Meng, who was wanted by US federal prosecutors for fraud charges related to alleged Iran sanction violations, was arrested in Vancouver in December 2018. Beijing has called it a political arrest by the former Trump administration, and repeatedly demanded she be released.

It was described as hostage diplomacy, given that two Canadians were picked up and jailed in China as leverage. But what it showed is that this company is very China’d up and the China government considers this Huawei member basically a Chinese government official, and as a result, can get Joe Biden to do anything they want.

There also were the calls from Congress to end the Space Force, on the grounds that it was founded by President Trump. Who benefited from that one? China, of course, is ramping up its military-space ambitions. Biden’s spokesweasel Jen Psaki laughed the matter off and didn’t know who to contact at the agency before she promised to “circle back.” Eventually, she backtracked, but it didn’t instill confidence. Within Joe Biden’s own party, a Bay Area coterie of congress members who have more than once been targeted by Chinese spies, was behind that one, and Joe rarely defies any Democrat with a lunatic idea in his own party. I wrote about it here.

And while we are on the topic of Congress and its ruling Democrats, let’s get into the matter of Gen. Mark Milley, who consulted with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on impeachment matters, also making his famous phone call to his counterpart in China, to assure them that he’d see to it that President Trump doesn’t attack, giving the Chicoms advance warning for something that would normally be secret. Trump made no such threats but Milley wanted to be paranoid, something he probably got from his powwow with the Bay Area lunatics in Congress. Who benefits from this network with its ties to Joe? China of course.

Now let’s get into Hunter Biden, who just got done making a lot of “art” sales, with his oeuvres going for $75,000 a pop. The gallery he worked with had China ties, while the identity of the buyers was kept from the public, supposedly as a bid to prevent conflict of interest – those kindergarten scribblings with a blowpipe being a vehicle for money-laundering. Turns out that even the concealed buyer identity was baloney: Only the public was not told who bought the artworks, Hunter reportedly met with potential buyers.

There’s also Hunter Biden’s huge China investments, his cash cow. He’d promised to divest those assets to prevent conflict of interest — but he hasn’t. So he’s still on China’s string, and he still talks to his enabling old dad.

All of those things point to Biden’s “hots” for China, making one wonder what China has on him and whether his bad China moves are the result of his being compromised one way or another.

Three other things serve as super-chargers to this Biden-as-China-puppet scenario.

There’s the Biden administration’s love for China’s social credit system and its bid to impose it on America through vaccine mandates, siccing the FBI on parents at school board meetings to chill free speech, and a bid to spy on Americans’ bank accounts, all perfect tools for completely controlling the public as China does.

There is also Biden officials’ open admiration for China’s totalitarian communist system. These include Anita Dunn , until recently a Biden White House official, who is married to White House Counsel Bob Bauer, formerly of political-manipulator law firm Perkins Coie. Controversy over the Mao remarks chased her out of the Obama administration back in 2015. That was not a problem for Biden, though, whose administration hired her back, Mao and all.

And there are also Biden’s allies at Black Lives Matter who to some extent seem actually sponsored by China itself. Such as this one . Biden never defies those guys.

So now he’s helping along the great China beat-America project by O.K.ing China drones in sensitive positions that U.S. intelligence officials have been warning about. It’s known that he’s out of touch, and as Kerry said, not aware of what he is doing. But the mistakes keep building, and China has plenty of reasons to keep smiling. Does China have something on Biden? It’s strange to think, but the bad stuff out of him keeps coming.

www.americanthinker.com/blog/2021/10/why_is_joe_biden_buying_drones_from_china.html

Texas Governor Bans ALL Vaccine Mandates

(InfoWars) – In direct defiance of the Biden administration, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has banned any entity from trying to impose a vaccine mandate in the state.

Abbot issued a statement urging that “The Covid vaccine should always remain voluntary and never forced.”

The governor’s office announced that “no entity in Texas can compel receipt of a Covid-19 vaccination by any individual, including an employee or consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from Covid-19.”

“I hereby suspend all relevant statutes to the extent necessary to enforce this prohibition,” Abbot added.

“In another instance of federal overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’ continued recovery from the COVID-19 disaster,” Abbott’s statement also noted.

Back in September, Biden announced that any company with over 100 employees would be subject to a vaccine mandate.

Abbot’s actions are in stark contrast to California, where governor Gavin Newsom has imposed mandates for everyone, including children , despite his own daughter not being vaccinated .

Governor Abbot’s executive order is also interesting in the context of Southwest Airlines, which continues to deny that thousands of flight cancellations are because pilots and staff staged a coordinated ‘sickout’ to protest against the vaccine mandates.

www.infowars.com/posts/texas-governor-bans-all-vaccine-mandates/

China’s Artificial Intelligence can kick our AI’s ass

(AmericanThinker) – Artificial Intelligence technology is scary enough even when wielded with nothing but good intentions. The uncountable and calamitous potential unintended consequences fill the imagination of anyone who knows anything about anything (or has seen a Terminator movie). If that ain’t bad enough, the former software guru for the Pentagon dropped this bomb on us recently:

China has won the artificial intelligence battle with the United States and is heading towards global dominance because of its technological advances, the Pentagon’s former software chief told the Financial Times.

China, the world’s second largest economy, is likely to dominate many of the key emerging technologies, particularly artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and genetics within a decade or so, according to Western intelligence assessments.

Nicolas Chaillan, the Pentagon’s first chief software officer who resigned in protest against the slow pace of technological transformation in the U.S. military, said the failure to respond was putting the United States at risk.

“We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it’s already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion,” he told the newspaper. “Whether it takes a war or not is kind of anecdotal.”

The damn Chi-comms have better AI than we do!

Insofar as the health, safety, and future of our nation is concerned, this is more of a disaster than Joe Biden being installed as president. I’m not being cute here. It would be better to have Joey “The Grinch” Biden for 12 years as a belligerent and unlawful president than for the CCP to be further ahead with AI than we are at this point.

Who let this happen? What collection of know-nothings decided to sit on intelligence reports, not throw the appropriate fit on national TV, and let China surpass us in the most critical area of modern technology?

I was personally caught off guard by this news, but maybe I shouldn’t have been. It has stuck out in my mind that when the UFO situation was all over the news, China came out and stated they were throwing AI at the problem . AI can see things, make correlations, pattern match, discover variance, and outperform (with respect to data analysis) legions of human beings. It is the best idea out there for bringing clarity to the UAP mystery — AND it didn’t come from America. Alarm bells should have been sounding.

Your children and grandchildren will suffer in unimaginable ways if we don’t regain technological superiority in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

www.americanthinker.com/blog/2021/10/omg_chinas_artificial_intelligence_can_kick_our_ais_ass.html

Tucker Carlson, Candace Owens Nail What Kamala’s Wacky Space Video Really Tells Us About Her

(RedState) – Vice President Kamala Harris has been in crisis mode since Day One of her time as President Biden’s second in command, and nine months in things just keep getting worse with no end in sight.

When last we left you, “border czar” Harris was getting called out for making a pit stop at a New Jersey bakery on Friday as other senior Biden administration officials were visiting Mexico for a critical meeting with Mexico’s President Andr s Manuel L pez Obrador to discuss a new accord that would “combat drug trafficking, fentanyl smuggling, money laundering and illegal immigration” at the border, as reported by the New York Post .

In addition to that, Harris has also been widely mocked for a bizarre video that was released last week which showed her in front of young children and putting on a performance talking excitedly about space and science that made her sound more like an animated side character from a Disney movie than it did the VPOTUS. More embarrassing was the revelation today that some of the children in the clip were actually child actors who auditioned for their spots in the video.

During his program tonight on Fox News, host Tucker Carlson brought on conservative commentator Candace Owens to discuss the video and what it really said about Harris. They both touched on the fact that it showed how desperate the White House was to make her look authentic (a point my colleague Bonchie made well in his write-up earlier ) despite the fact that everything about her public appearances and speeches looks staged. But Owens zeroed in on something else that I think gets to the heart of why Harris never looks comfortable when she appears in public on behalf of the administration: She hates her job and does not want to be the Vice President.

“To me personally when I watch her, I wonder whether or not … does she even want to be Vice President?” Owens asked rhetorically. “I think that’s a question that’s on a lot of Americans’ minds when it comes to her, because every time you see her she just seems so phony. It seems like she’s playing a part that she genuinely doesn’t want to play.”

Owens went on to tell Carlson that she thinks the reports of the “shade going on between Kamala Harris and Joe Biden” are “accurate.” Owens said she believes Harris “genuinely resents being the Vice President of the United States, she genuinely resents being subordinate to Biden and she genuinely resents every element of her job including scripted elements” like the space video.

Owens then opined that though it seemed like it would be hard for Democrats to put forth someone more unbearable and unlikeable than Hillary Clinton on the national stage, they managed to do it with Kamala Harris.

Watch Carlson’s and Owens’ exchange below:

I think there is a lot of truth to this argument, especially when you consider that Kamala Harris enjoys being the center of attention and in front of the flashing lights and cameras, not playing second fiddle to anyone. Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with that, but when you’re picked to be someone’s Vice Presidential running mate you have to console yourself with the fact that you will always be second fiddle unless, God forbid, something happen to the President. If you can’t then you have no business even considering the offer.

Al Gore, Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, and Mike Pence all seemed to relish and appeared quite comfortable in their roles as VP attack dogs even though Gore and Biden, like Harris is rumored to be, had higher ambitions. Harris hasn’t seemed comfortable with the situation since she was announced as Biden’s pick, and that hasn’t changed at all through the entire time she has actually served in the role.

Harris’ inability to come off as authentic and genuinely happy with her job also stems in the part from the fact that a lot of her political life has been scripted and at times gifted to her, if you’ll recall back to the days of her affair with married California Democrat mover and shaker Willie Brown and the doors that “relationship” opened by Brown’s own admission .

And in a way, the offer of the Vice Presidency was gifted to her as well after wokesters in the Democratic party hounded Joe Biden to pick a woman of color for his running mate, giving him no choice but to pick from among others the likes of Stacey Abrams and Susan Rice, the former who was a little too eager and inexperienced while the other would have lent credence to the rumors that Biden was preparing to make his time in office the third term of the Obama presidency.

Biden was applauded at the time for choosing Harris, considering they were bitter rivals for a time during the primary campaign season. But clearly whatever luster was there for Harris in Biden’s eyes has worn off, as during an August event celebrating women’s achievements while welcoming the female NBA champions to the White House, Biden literally could not name one reason why he picked her to be his running mate:

redstate.com/sister-toldjah/2021/10/11/tucker-carlson-candace-owens-nail-what-kamalas-wacky-space-video-really-tells-us-about-her-n455407

Why Is the COVID Case Count So High?

The CDC used to define a “case” as a patient whose characteristic signs, symptoms, and physical examination matched a disease. Labs were only done if clinically needed. Since the “pandemic,” however, the move to boost case numbers is everywhere.

Instantly, a “positive” RT-PCR test in an asymptomatic person after a drive-through tonsillectomy became a “case.” The CARES Act gives thousands extra to hospitals for every “positive,” with a big bonus if the patient’s shadow is seen in an ICU. It’s a classic “one hand washes the other scenario” between outside labs and hospitals. “If you give me more positive results, I get more money, so I’ll send more tests to you.”

My hospital’s Medical Staff President flatly denied any CARES Act benefits at our 2020 Medical Staff Extravaganza, but the incentives can’t be denied. My hospital still sends “coders” out to demand that staff order COVID tests to get more payments. Put bluntly, there’s no way to know what any test means medically if the patient isn’t sick. But “positives” definitely mean money!

MIQE standards list eighty-five parameters that must be met in RT-PCR testing. Does every lab meet them all every time? Around the world, celebrities who test “positive” one day and “negative” the next strongly suggest that a lot of mistakes are being made. This is unsurprising since as early as 2017, the technique was well known for “lack of reproducibility.”

The inventor of the test stated that RT-PCR was never intended to be a diagnostic test and using it as one was scientifically illegitimate. “[It’s] like trying to say whether somebody has bad breath by looking at his fingerprint.”

Proper testing requires checking three genetic elements, widely separated in the genome. For CDC counts and CARES Act payments, only two segments get tested, automatically increasing the number of positive tests – by a lot. The lab starts the RT-PCR by doubling genetic material multiple times to make it easier to identify. In research, if it’s not positive by thirty-five “amplification cycles,”, it’s not positive. FDA guidance indicates that anything found up to 40 cycles is considered “positive.” At forty cycles a glass of water may test positive. Stopping at thirty-five would show that COVID-19 wasn’t any worse than flu, if it was that bad.

Some people test “positive” but aren’t infected because “Detection of viral RNA may not indicate the presence of infectious virus or that 2019-nCoV is the causative agent for clinical symptoms.” These “false positives’ range from 17% to 70%. Depending on when you test after exposure, up to 100% of negative tests are “false negatives.” A test with a range of +70% to -100% is meaningless. ThermoFisher emphasizes reproducibility, but RT-qPCR is the paradigm for lack of reproducibility and that’s why the CDC has decertified it.

There is no pandemic. There never was. Since only 6% of “COVID deaths” were from only the bug, there have only been about 40,000 total, roughly equal to seasonal flu. In the early days, we didn’t know how to treat it and rationally feared that the new Black Death had arrived. But by May of last year, we already knew that HCQ was probably effective in early cases. Early treatment would cause a (non)crisis to go to waste, and that could not be allowed. So very effective treatments and excellent prophylactic measures were suppressed.

Ineffective masks, social distancing, vaccine passports, lockdowns, and the like were mandated. They became part of an “Orange Man Bad” publicity campaign. Anthony Fauci gave President Trump awful advice following that game plan. Trump’s flair for publicity boomeranged in news conferences where he trumpeted his successes, but all anyone really heard was panic porn.

Certainly, the prospect of centralizing power is intoxicating to the elect. But is that it? Are hospitals the only recipients of largess?

For about twenty years, Fauci’s NIAID used taxpayer money to do “invisible” research on deadly viruses. It received unlawful patents related to a certain virus that might become worth a king’s ransom. Such filthy lucre could become very attractive.

Before you start throwing rotten tomatoes and soiled work boots, please watch David Martin Ph.D. and Reiner Fuellmich tell why they believe Anthony Fauci and his cohorts were neck-deep in the COVID gain-of-function and patent process for at least the last twenty-two years. Among the key patents are some that, if they are for a naturally occurring virus, are illegal according to the Supreme Court. If they’re for an engineered virus, they’re contrary to the Biological Weapons Convention, which became effective in 1975. Martin and Fuellmich allege that the parties to this corrupt process include Anthony Fauci, Ralph Baric, Peter Daszak, Dr. Shi Zhengli (the Wuhan Bat Lady), and—drum roll, please—none other than Bill Gates. Dr. Martin has made available a long list of documents he contends support this claim.

These alleged conspirators have spent a considerable amount of time and effort to set themselves up to profit from a vaccine industry that would likely be given huge subsidies and immunities to respond to a “coronavirus pandemic.” Yes, that’s what they literally war-gamed along the way. Martin and Fuellmich present strong evidence of collusion between the virus creators and vaccine manufacturers. Is it any surprise that an mRNA COVID-19 “vaccine” was ready for early testing within four months of the announcement of the virus?

We cannot leave this subject without asking if the vaccines actually stop infection.

No vaccine can prevent infection. That’s because you must be infected before your T-cells and antibodies (humoral immunity) can crank up.

In COVID-19, the problem is more complicated. Even if you’re vaccinated, COVID aerosols still enter your lungs, where the virus attaches to pneumocytes in your air sacs (alveoli). It multiplies inside those cells, and they shed a lot of virus back into the alveoli, where you can now share it with the next person as effectively as someone who’s sick. Voila! Asymptomatic transmission!

You’ll also be a “case” at your next drive-through impalement. But you aren’t sick and don’t get sick. You don’t have a clinical “case” of COVID, but you’ll be one for the next Panic Porn Live at 6:30! Your vaccination status won’t matter. “At the country-level, there appears to be no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases in the last 7 days.”

If you are immune, some of that virus will still find its way across the alveolar basement membrane into your bloodstream. That’s where your humoral immunity will mop it up and keep you from getting sick. But you are a “case!” And your house cat may be as well. Big cats in the National Zoo have been treated for the Wuhan Flu. Fido can get it, too.

There is nothing we can do to slow down COVID-19. It rapidly spread through society because it was “in the wild.” Vaccinated and unvaccinated can spread the virus equally. Even if every person gets vaccinated, we still won’t have perfect protection because the virus mutates, leaving older vaccine-induced immunity less effective. That’s why two of the most vaccinated regions in the world, Israel and Gibraltar, are having huge spikes in the bug.

The CDC definition of a “COVID case” is a political construct designed to funnel taxpayer money to favored individuals and institutions. It has nothing to do with the course of the disease. Only 6% of “COVID deaths” were exclusively from COVID. The other 94% would likely have died of their other diseases without the virus. Many of those who died would still be alive if the Feds weren’t suppressing HCQ and Ivermectin early treatment protocols…which our “betters” in Congress are themselves reported to be using.

www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/10/why_is_the_covid_case_count_so_high.html

Our Economy Is Starting To Break Down On A Very Basic Level

(Zerohedge) – Authored by Michael Snyder via TheMostImportantNews.com,

Do you remember how much optimism there was in January?

Many Americans were entirely convinced that really bright days were just around the corner, but instead things have taken a dramatic turn into the dumpster over the last 9 months.

The Afghanistan debacle was the worst foreign policy embarrassment in modern American history, the Biden administration is trying to deal with an unprecedented crisis on our southern border, and the way that our politicians are handling the pandemic is causing extremely deep divisions throughout our society. In addition, our economy is starting to break down on a very basic level. On a widespread basis, goods are not getting to the places they need to be when they need to be there, and services are often not available when people need them. As time has passed, the “malfunctioning” of our economy has spread, and now the coming mandates threaten to make things a whole lot worse.

Just look at the chaos that was caused in Florida on Sunday …

Southwest has canceled 1,018 Sunday flights as of 2 p.m. ET, according to flight tracker FlightAware. That’s 28% of the the airline’s scheduled flights and the highest of any U.S. airline by a wide margin.

American Airlines has canceled 63 flights, or 2% of its operation, while Spirit Airlines canceled 32 flights, or 4% of its flights, according to FlightAware.

Overall, more than 1,800 flights were canceled during the weekend, and Southwest is publicly blaming the problems on “weather challenges” …

“We experienced weather challenges in our Florida airports at the beginning of the weekend, challenges that were compounded by unexpected air traffic control issues in the same region, triggering delays and prompting significant cancellations for us beginning Friday evening,” the spokesperson told FOX Business.

“We’ve continued diligent work throughout the weekend to reset our operation with a focus on getting aircraft and crews repositioned to take care of our customers,” the spokesperson added. “With fewer frequencies between cities in our current schedule, recovering during operational challenges is more difficult and prolonged. We’re working diligently to accommodate our customers as quickly as possible, and we are grateful for their patience.”

Of course that is complete and utter nonsense.

A large number of Southwest pilots in Florida engaged in a “sickout” over the weekend to protest Southwest’s vaccine mandate , and apparently at least some air traffic controllers joined them…

On the record, they’re denying any sort of protest – but there are reports, citing airline sources, that a massive “sickout” went down, and that ripple effects are still being felt.

Regardless of what the truth here is … it’s screwing a lot of people, and causing a lot of problems. And, IF there is merit to the sickout speculation – it could also be a bad sign of what’s to come in other industries that might try to enforce vaccines on employees.

As I write this article, there are rumblings that pilots at American Airlines are organizing similar efforts .

Good for them.

In fact, we need bold people in every industry in America to start doing this sort of thing.

Perhaps if enough people start standing up, those that are trying to impose these mandates will start backing down.

Right now, we are already facing the most epic labor shortage in U.S. history, and economic activity is badly gummed up as a result. If millions more qualified people are thrown out of work in the months ahead due to these absurd mandates, that is going to cause unprecedented chaos all across America. A weekend of canceled flights might be bad, but it is nothing compared to the complete and utter nightmare our society will be facing if all of these mandates go through.

Even the military will be deeply affected. On Sunday, it was being reported that “hundreds of thousands” of our service members have chosen to resist the mandates…

Hundreds of thousands of U.S. service members remain unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated against the coronavirus as the Pentagon’s first compliance deadlines near, with lopsided rates across the individual services and a spike in deaths among military reservists illustrating how political division over the shots has seeped into a nonpartisan force with unambiguous orders.

So what would it do to the state of our military if hundreds of thousands of service members are kicked out in the months ahead?

That is a question that we need to be asking, because it appears that this is actually what is going to happen.

On top of everything else, now we are facing a severe global energy crisis …

Energy is so hard to come by right now that some provinces in China are rationing electricity, Europeans are paying sky-high prices for liquefied natural gas, power plants in India are on the verge of running out of coal, and the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States stood at $3.25 on Friday – up from $1.72 in April.

Most Americans may not realize it yet, but this is a really big deal.

There are more than 1.3 billion people living in India, and coal is in such short supply there that officials are warning that there could soon be widespread blackouts …

Just like Chinese authorities ordering energy firms to conserve supplies at all costs, numerous power plants across India could be forced to adopt rolling blackouts as coal supplies run low. A minister in Indian capital New Delhi warned Sunday that blackouts could rock the massive city over the next two days. But the nation’s capital city isn’t alone in suffering energy shortages: it joins two Indian states – Tamil Nadu and Odisha – which have issued warnings about the growing possibility of blackouts due to dwindling coal supplies.

Other nations are facing similar issues. In fact, Lebanon just emerged from a blackout that lasted about 24 hours …

LEBANON has finally got the lights back on some 24 hours after the country was plunged into total darkness by fuel shortages.

The Mediterranean country is battling one of the planet’s worst economic crunches since the 1850s in the wake of last year’s devastating blast that levelled a huge part of the capital Beirut.

If things are this bad already, how crazy will things get in the middle of winter when demand for energy is at the highest?

People need to wake up, because the times that we are moving into are going to be completely different from what we have grown accustomed to.

It isn’t just the U.S. economy that is crumbling. Literally, the economic infrastructure of the entire globe is falling to pieces, and experts are warning that things will continue to break down in the months ahead.

So many of the things that you have been warned about are starting to transpire right in front of our eyes, and this winter looks like it will be very dark indeed.

www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/our-economy-starting-break-down-very-basic-level

Staggering Number Of US Troops Remain Unvaccinated As Deadlines Approach

(Zerohedge) – With vaccination deadlines fast approaching, hundreds of thousands of US service members remain either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the Washington Post .

The Navy has been most compliant with President Biden’s July edict that the nation’s 2.1 million troops take the jab. According to the report, 98% of active duty seamen have gotten at least one shot, while 90% are fully vaccinated. That’s in stark contrast to the Marines, where just 72% are fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, over 60,000 Air Force personnel have just three weeks to meet the DoD’s Nov. 2 deadline.

Among the Army Guard and Reserve – which have until June 2022 to come into compliance, under 40% are fully vaccinated.

‘We expect all unvaccinated soldiers to receive the vaccine as soon as possible. Individual soldiers are required to receive the vaccine when available,’ said Army spokesman Lt. Col. Terence M. Kelley, adding that the June deadlines ‘allow reserve component units necessary time to update records and process exemption requests.’

Scattered throughout the WaPo report are various mentions of Covid deaths throughout all branches of the armed services – which they claim are ‘soaring’ right now. Throughout the pandemic there have been 62 Covid-linked deaths out of 2.1 million troops , or 4.7 botched Afghanistan pullouts.

The military is balancing Biden’s edict with historical pushback to mandatory vaccines – stemming in part from a backfired Anthrax vaccine regimen in the late 1990s.

The mandate “adversely” affected the “retention of trained and experienced guard and reserve pilots,” according to a Government Accountability Office sample survey cited in a 2002 report. About 16 percent of pilots and crew members in reserve units either sought a transfer to another unit to delay or avoid the process, switched to an inactive status or left duty altogether, the report found.

“The Army probably does not want to risk those retention problems,” Brahmbhatt said. -WaPo

‘Question for the SECDEF: are you really willing to allow a huge exodus of experienced service members just because they won’t take the vaccine?’ former Navy SEAL Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) tweeted last month, adding ‘Honestly, Americans deserve to know how you plan on dealing with this blow to force readiness – it’s already causing serious problems. ‘

 

 

www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/staggering-number-us-troops-remain-unvaccinated-deadlines-approach

Was the Fix in for Kamala Harris From the Beginning?

(PJMedia) – Despite polling slightly better than her boss, Kamala Harris is historically unpopular for a vice president, and it seems that her allies think she’s been set up to fail by Joe Biden because of the “trash” assignments she’s been given-namely the border crisis and election reform.

“Her portfolio is trash,” Bakari Sellers, a friend of Harris, said during a virtual panel hosted by Washington’s Politics and Prose bookstore this week. “You give someone a portfolio that’s not meant for them to succeed.”

According to Sellers, Biden has prevented her from succeeding on these issues.

“The reason I call it trash, which is a colloquialism to describe a no-win situation, is because you did not give her something where she could be successful. You did not give her something that best used her talents to improve the plight of many people in this country, particularly people of color. For example, immigration, I mean, allow her to go to the border and have a conversation,” he added.

It’s quite possible there’s some truth to that. Despite Joe Biden’s campaign promise to pick a woman of color as his running mate, Kamala Harris’s clashes with Biden during the 2020 Democratic primary made her a surprise pick in many ways. Prior to Biden officially declaring his candidacy, Kamala said she believed the women who had accused him of sexual misconduct .

“I believe them and I respect them being able to tell their story and having the courage to do it,” she said.

During one of the primary debates, she all but accused him of being racist over his past statements on working with Democrat segregationists , particularly on the issue of busing.

“There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day, and that little girl was me,” Harris said, in a moment that became the pinnacle of her presidential campaign.

Biden called Harris’s attack “a mischaracterization of my position across the board,” but still put him in the position of having to defend himself as not being racist.

“I did not praise racists,” he added. “If we want to have this litigated on who supports civil rights, I’m happy to do that.”

Harris’s attacks on Joe Biden had been pre-planned. Despite experiencing a temporary boost in the polls, she ultimately dropped out in December, citing racism and sexism for her failure .

Is it possible that Biden still holds a grudge against Kamala? Perhaps. Yes, he picked her as his running mate, but that may well have been a political decision, influenced by his advisors. Biden has also insisted that he will run for reelection, though that seems increasingly unlikely. given his poor polling and neverending gaffes. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Biden announce before the start of the 2024 primaries that he won’t seek reelection, but will serve out his term, denying Kamala the opportunity to ascend to the presidency via succession. Forcing her to run in a primary and defend the lackluster record of the Biden administration as a whole, as well as the issues she was tasked to handle specifically.

Now, I doubt Joe Biden is smart enough to concoct such a scheme, but nevertheless, I’m sure there are Biden loyalists who never liked Kamala Harris and are actively undermining her. Giving her “trash” assignments certainly woud contribute to that.

pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/matt-margolis/2021/10/08/was-the-fix-in-for-kamala-harris-from-the-beginning-n1522623

NYT Wants to Redesign U.S. Flag: ‘Repairing Systemic Racism’

The far-left New York Times is continuing in its attempts to effectively erase accurate American history following its controversial 1619 Project, advancing a handful of redesigns of the American flag.

The Times posted an essay last month pitching new designs of the American flag:

“The American flag is a potent piece of national iconography, but its design shifted frequently until the early 1900s. What if it were redesigned today? We asked artists and graphic designers to try,” the Times wrote, presenting both “functional designs” and “artistic renderings.”

Some designs, the Times added, “represent America as it could be, others how the artist sees the country now.”

One flag, by artist Na Kim, shows a white flag subtly fading into gray, although it keeps the stars.  It reportedly represents “America surrendering to its fall from power and loss of the ideals it once stood for. The American dream is being washed away.”

Another — perhaps one of the more bizarre renditions —  features four rectangles: One has red and white stripes, and the others are yellow, blue, and green. According to the artist, Andrew Kuo, the red and white rectangle represents the past and future, while the yellow represents “repairing systemic racism.” The blue represents “untapped potential,” and the green represents “taking care of our planet”:

Others mocked the Times for the designs, one of which reportedly “merges several prominent flags like the ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ and ‘Black Lives Matter.’”

The Times pitch comes months after a controversial piece published the day before July 4, in which the Times asserted the American flag, as it stands, “may no longer unite.”

“Today, flying the flag from the back of a pickup truck or over a lawn is increasingly seen as a clue, albeit an imperfect one, to a person’s political affiliation in a deeply divided nation,” the piece read, pointing to supporters of former President Donald Trump who “have embraced the flag so fervently.”

 

americahq.org/2021/10/09/nyt-wants-to-redesign-u-s-flag-repairing-systemic-racism/

‘Catastrophic’ Property Sales Mean China’s Worst Case Scenario Is Now In Play

Tyler Durden's Photo

BY TYLER DURDEN
FRIDAY, OCT 08, 2021 – 08:46 PM

No matter how the Evergrande drama plays out – whether it culminates with an uncontrolled, chaotic default and/or distressed asset sale liquidation, a controlled restructuring where bondholders get some compensation, or with Beijing blinking and bailing out the core pillar of China’s housing market – remember that Evergrande is just a symptom of the trends that have whipsawed China’s property market in the past year, which has seen significant contraction as a result of Beijing policies seeking to tighten financial conditions as part of Xi’s new “common prosperity” drive which among other things, seeks to make housing much more affordable to everyone, not just the richest.

As such, any contagion from the ongoing turmoil sweeping China’s heavily indebted property sector will impact not the banks, which are all state-owned entities and whose exposure to insolvent developers can easily be patched up by the state, but the property sector itself, which as Goldman recently calculated is worth $62 trillion making it the world’s largest asset class, contributes a mind-boggling 29% of Chinese GDP (compared to 6.2% in the US) and represents 62% of household wealth.

It’s also why we said that for Beijing the focus is not so much about Evegrande, but about preserving confidence in the property sector.


But first, a quick update on Evergrande, which – to nobody’s surprise – we learned today is expected to default on its offshore bond payment obligations imminently according to investment bank Moelis, which is advising a group of the cash-strapped developer’s bondholders. Evergrande, which is facing one of the country’s largest defaults as it wrestles with more than $300 billion of debt, has already missed coupon payments on dollar bonds twice last month.

The missed payments, worth a combined $131 million, have left global investors wondering if they will have to swallow large losses when 30-day grace periods end for coupons that were due on Sept. 23 and Sept. 29. A separate group of creditors to Jumbo Fortune Enterprises who are advised by White & Case, are also waiting for a $260 million bond principal repayment, after a bond guaranteed by Evergrande matured last Friday, and unlike the offshore bonds, does not have a 30 day grace period (although five business days ‘would be allowed’ if the failure to pay were due to administrative or technical error).

The Jumbo Fortune payment is being closely watched because of the risks of cross-default for the real estate giant’s other dollar bonds; it would also be the firm’s first major miss on maturing notes instead of just coupon payments since regulators urged the developer to avoid a near-term default. And with the five business days up as of today, and with a payment yet to be made, it appears that this weekend we will get news of a declaration of involuntary default from the creditor group which will set in motion the Evegrande default dominoes.

With that background in mind, let’s move on to the truly chilling latest developments: it now appears that China does not need Evergrande to officially default to unleash a property crisis – one has already arrived.

Recall that in September, sketched out Goldman’s three scenarios on China’s housing sector – a base case, a severe scenario and a third “hard landing.”

While readers can find the full details here, we focus on the worst case, “Scenario 3”, which Goldman summarized as follows:

In the third and most bearish scenario, land sales and housing starts fall 30% and property sales, house prices and completions drop 10% from 2021 to 2022. The tightening in financial conditions doubles that in the second scenario. Note that in this scenario, the tightening is of the same magnitude as the tightening in Goldman’s China Financial Conditions Index (FCI) from November 2017 to June 2018 when domestic credit tightening and the US-China trade war rattled the financial market significantly.

Quantifying this dire scenario, Goldman envisions a China where new property starts tumble 30%, completions drop 10% alongside sales volumes and ASPs. If this scenario comes to pass it would also wipe out at least 4% of China’s 2022 GDP, potentially resulting in full-year contraction at the second largest economy in the world, an outcome that would have catastrophic implications for the rest of the world. And with Goldman’s warning that such a scenario would lead to a tightening in financial conditions similar to what happened “from November 2017 to June 2018 when domestic credit tightening and the US-China trade war rattled the financial market significantly” and one can therefore see that while contagion from an Evergrande default may skip China’s banks, it would have no less dire consequences for global markets and economies.

With that preamble in mind, we bring readers’ attention to a little noticed report in Shanghai Securities News, citing China Real Estate Information Corp. research, which revealed that more than 90% of China’s top 100 property developers’ sales declined in September by an average of 36% from the same period last year. According to the report:

  • Sept. sales totaled 759.6b yuan ($118BN), down 36.2% from September 2020 and 17.7% lower from the same period in 2019, deepening a downward spiral that started in July
  • Among companies, 60% of developers saw sales decrease by more than 30% y/y in Sept.
  • Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou saw transaction volume of residential properties decline 30% y/y, while Shanghai fell 45%

We had to do a double take when we saw this because these are absolutely terrifying numbers and are, to put it bluntly, scarier than Goldman’s “worst case scenario“; what’s worse this sudden collapse in China’s property market is taking place before Evergrande has even defaulted, an event which would lead to a glacial freeze in the property market as potential buyers hold off expecting liquidation firesales from the property giant in hopes of getting bargains. The problem is that in addition to being the world’s largest asset, China’s property market is also the world’s largest ponzi scheme, and without constant inflow of new capital it would implode, especially when factoring in the 90 million vacant apartment which just sit inert and which would promptly be dumped by anxious owners, flooding the market with excess inventory and sending prices crashing.

It didn’t take long for the market to notice what is going on and otherwise healthy property developers, which are in far better financial health than Evergrande, promptly collapsed: China Jinmao Holdings plunged as much as 10%, China Overseas Grand Oceans Group tumbled -7.9%, Sunac -3.7%, Country Garden Holdings -3%, Agile Group -2.8%, and so on.

But keep in mind that all of the above presupposes just one major default, that of Evergrande. Alas, it’s going to be far, far worse because in a reflexive toxic spiral, one property values fall, the entire property sector will collapse, leading to an epic bursting of a housing bubble that is order of magnitude greater than the US housing market was in 2007/2008.

As Bloomberg writes, Chinese property firms “may face a wave of defaults” next year if China Evergrande Group’s deepening debt crisis shuts access to a key source of funding and conditions don’t ease for heavily indebted borrowers. As we have documented extensively in the past month, there’s growing alarm that the liquidity crisis at Evergrande will spill over to other developers as President Xi maintains measures to cool the property market while maintaining China’s “three red lines” rules on property sector leverage (a new report from the FT today found that no less than half of China’s 30 top developers were in breach of at least one of said lines).

Fears of contagion risks intensified this week after a surprise default by Fantasia Holdings Group spurred a dramatic selloff in the offshore market.

That sent yields on China dollar junk bonds to 17.5%, the highest in about a decade, while Evergrande’s dollar bond prices sank to a record low. After plunging 80%, Evergrande’s HK-traded stock remains halted.

Distressed debt veteran Michel Lowy said in a Bloomberg TV interview that the nation’s developers are facing a “triple whammy” with dwindling access to offshore financing, “catastrophic” September pre-sales and a limited onshore banking market. Translation: both organic (i.e., operation) and external sources of cash have dried up.

That could spark a “large wave of defaults” if the offshore market remains shut for riskier borrowers going into next year, said Lowy, chief executive officer of his alternative asset manager SC Lowy. For dollar bonds – which in the coming Evegrande default will be at the very bottom of the pre-petition claims waterfall leaving them with negligible recoveries at best – the risk is that the increase in yields becomes indiscriminate and makes it impossible for developers to refinance maturing debt, triggering a succession of missed payments across the industry.

If they end up being locked out from the market and unable to rollover coming maturities, and with operating cash flow drying up, the only recourse is the dreaded liquidation firesale which would be the pin that bursts China’s housing bubble.

“Ultimately it’s a liquidity game,” said Lowy. “How many months can you survive until at some point the central government will relent and start releasing liquidity pressures on developers?”

And while much has been written about the turmoil in China’s dollar, or offshore bond market, the distress is starting to spread to the onshore bond market too. As Bloomberg notes, signs of strain in China’s $12 trillion domestic credit market after months of resilience may add to borrowers’ refinancing pressures. Stress levels rose in both the local and offshore bond markets in September, Bloomberg’s China Credit Tracker showed.

Take yuan-denominated bonds sold by Xiamen Yuzhou Grand Future Real Estate Development Co., Yango Group Co. and Aoyuan Corp. Group all of which plunged to record lows Friday while two local bonds from a Fantasia Holdings Group unit were briefly halted following sharp declines. Yango denied social media reports that one of its housing projects had been halted indefinitely, and said that it had sufficient cash to repay debt.

And while Bloomberg still has its onshore credit stress indicator at a positively bubbly level 3 (vs 2 in August), expect this to get much, much worse as the property sector implosion accelerates. As for the offshore bond credit stress indicator, well at least it can’t get any worse.

Needless to say, once the “stress level” in China’s far bigger, $12 trillion onshore bond market approaches levels currently at the offshore, property-dominated market, all bets are off.

Yet what makes the situation especially dire is that while Beijing would eagerly step in to bailout every insolvent bank and corporations until a few years ago, the one time when China’s economy desperately needs a bailout from the state is when Xi decided to be silent. Authorities have been allowing defaults to rise in recent years in order to curb moral hazard and encourage better pricing of risk in its debt markets. Property firms’ missed payments made up 36% of the record 175 billion yuan in onshore corporate bond defaults this year.

Yet if Xi allows the entire $62 trillion Chinese property sector to sink, the outcome will be orders of magnitude more dire than Lehman.

“It’s very difficult to see a solution right now,” said Hao Hong, head of research and chief strategist at BoCom International, who agrees that the Evergrande crisis could drag on. China’s Evergrande strategy would be to “let as many people bear the cost as possible,” to lessen the pain for any one individual, Hong said. However, if the broader population loses faith in what is China’s biggest asset while the market waits for a resolution – something the latest sales data confirm is already taking place – then the consequences will be catastrophic.

So while some observers have compared Evergrande’s woes to the epic collapse of Lehman, the truth is that the coming default is just the trigger event whose downstream effects could pull down the entire Chinese house of cards, something the latest housing data show is already in play. Because at the end of the day, no Ponzi scheme can continue if the participants lose faith in a favorable outcome, and at $62 trillion China’s housing sector is not only the world’s largest assets, it is also the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme. Which is why other experts have said this isn’t a Lehman Brothers moment— it could be far worse, if one views China’s gargantuan real estate sector as rotten to the core.

Which it is.

Appendix: Those seeking more information on China’s property sector, we recommend reading a recent fascinating report from Nomura titled “China: Beijing’s Volcker Moment”