Sunday, May 31, 2020

Sunday Globe Special: Let the Games Begin!

Was the lead feature last week:

"As we consider a future without fans in the stands, what does that mean for athletes?" by Adam Himmelsbach Globe Staff, May 24, 2020

No one knows exactly when professional sports will return after being shuttered because of COVID-19, or what they will look like when they do, but there is near-unanimous agreement that when the games do resume, there will be no fans there to watch them — not until this crisis is past.

In sports-crazed Boston, the absences figure to be more glaring than many other cities. The Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins routinely sell out their venues, and the supporters there routinely lose their voices. For a time, it appears, home-court and home-field advantages will be, well, silenced.

Tobias Moskowitz, an economist and Yale professor of finance, co-authored “Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won.” Among other topics, Moskowitz studied the influence home-court advantage has on a game’s outcomes. He looked at variables such as fan support, travel, and familiarity with venues.

“What we found was none of that really mattered,” Moskowitz said. “The main impact on the home-court advantage is really the fans’ impact on the referees. What you find is the referees kind of see things the home team’s way, especially on the really close calls that are hard to determine. It comes from psychology, the desire to relieve social pressure from people yelling at you.

“The obvious calls they don’t bias toward the home team. It’s really the ones where you could have called it either way, and so when 20,000 fans see it one way and you’re not sure what the right call is, it tends to influence your perspective.”

Kostas Pelechrinis, an associate professor at the School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh, said road teams can be negatively affected by travel, but also concluded that the fans’ effect on the officials appears to have the greatest consequences. Now, of course, that variable will likely be gone.

“I think it will be interesting,” said Pelechrinis, who has presented at MIT’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. “I expect it to reduce the impact of officiating. The officiating will be more fair, if we think it’s a little unfair now, but if, for example, the NBA puts everyone in a neutral setting, then you’re losing the traveling impact. So when you’re losing that and the referees’ [being swayed by fans], maybe it’ll be a more fair competition.”

So that is what is the Globe tattoo!

Pelechrinis acknowledged there are no concrete ways to measure the psychological effects fans have on players, but players certainly gush about them quite often, if that can be considered an anecdotal metric.

Brian Scalabrine, who played in the NBA for 11 seasons and now calls Celtics games for NBC Sports Boston, believes player performance is affected by crowds. He said some players are rattled by lively road environments, and some need the support that comes at home to truly thrive, especially in the playoffs. He said he has no idea how this new fan-less world might change things.

“This might sound a little crazy and be an overreach,” Scalabrine said, “but I think everything we know about what we’ve seen from teams this season, we could have to throw that out the window. We might have to reevaluate all teams based on how they play without fans.”

Scalabrine said that the Bucks, for example, thrive with a high-energy style that seems to feed off of crowds. Maybe they won’t have the same energy and zip now. There are no data points for this.

“There might be some insignificant player that’s all of the sudden just going to be the man, and we have no idea who that is,” Scalabrine said.

Regardless of the impact this odd setting has on players, there is no doubt that it’s all going to look and sound sort of weird. Teams might have to go to greater lengths to disguise play calls in the quiet environment, and television viewers might hear more in-game chatter on television.

Not if you are NOT WATCHING!

When the Taiwan Baseball League restarted this month, there were mannequins and cardboard cutouts in the seats instead of people, and a five-man robot band played music. Don’t expect Bill Belichick to sign off on anything like that.

It's hard to tell the difference sometimes.

“Obviously, not having fans would be different,” Patriots fullback Danny Vitale said. “Do you throw in crowd noise, whatever it is? I don’t know.”

I sure as hell hope not.


One company would like to try. Brad Roberts, who oversees international sales for the MyApplause app, said the company has already had discussions with several NBA teams about utilizing its software next season.

Currently, users can sign into a televised game and pick their allegiance, and when they tap certain buttons to cheer or boo or chant, the sounds are shared in real time with other fans who are logged in. Roberts said the hope is to make it a truly interactive platform that pipes the fan interactions into stadiums and arenas, both for players and television viewers to hear.

F**k the damn MATRIX!

Moskowitz said he is eager to eventually have a new wealth of information to comb through after a sustained period of fan-less sporting events. Maybe the effects will be immense, or maybe they’ll hardly be noticeable.


“As a researcher, it gives us so much to look at, and I think the data will be interesting,” Moskowitz said, “but I’m a fan, first and foremost. I’d love to see us get back to normal.”

I no longer love $ports, so who gives a flying fu..... ?



Baseball owners and players are letting the nation down

I balked at reading that article.

Having no fans in the stands won’t be all bad

This is what sports broadcasts will look like:

"Should the NFL season begin on time, Joe Buck — Fox Sports' lead play-by-play announcer for football — believes we might be looking at a campaign without fans in the stands. In an interview with SiriusXM's Andy Cohen, Buck said that Fox is exploring a few routes to provide for a more normal viewing experience should these fan-less games come to pass. "There's probably going to be a season in doing games with no fans, which will be difficult," Buck said. "I think Fox and these networks have to put crowd noise under us to make it a normal viewing experience at home. When pressed by Cohen, Buck said he was certain crowd noise will be added to potential broadcasts without fans, and went as far as to say "I know they'll do it" and that it's "pretty much a done deal." Buck also said the network is looking into ways to at least simulate a packed house for viewers at home.   "On top of that, they're looking at ways to put virtual fans in the stands, so when you see a wide shot it looks like the stadium is jam-packed and in fact it'll be empty," Buck said....."

I'll pass on that.

Taking a closer look at the NFL’s new normal

You might want to take some notes because I'm told the virus could lead more states to OK online sports betting, and the Globe has provided you with the 5 scariest ways scammers are trying to rip us off because odds-makers are more savvy than ever so here’s how to protect yourself and your money:

Appeals for calm as sprawling protests threaten to spiral out of control

The riots are being allowed to spiral out of control, and if the photograph is any indication, the New York Times is now a Black Nationalist jew$paper.

An America where some breathe free, and some can’t breathe at all

Has nothing at all to do with the humiliating and counterproductive pressure to wear a submissive mask.

The virus’s tale....

(flip to below fold)

.... Track the coronavirus pandemic in Massachusetts to its roots and you find a story driven by heroics, ingenuity, error, pain, and a hard question: How could a state famous for health care excellence have suffered such a vast loss of human life?

No one is saying Baker's strategy failed, either.

All Trump's fault, right, Globe?

"Coronavirus death toll rises without a national remembrance — or a consoler-in-chief in the White House" by Jess Bidgood and Liz Goodwin Globe Staff, May 30, 2020

Must be time to dump Trump, and before turning into the article I will show you what front-page article was right next door:

Star surgeon accused of murdering estranged wife


"The first homicide in 25 years in Dover has shaken the town’s police chief, who said his officers pursued domestic violence charges against Dr. Ingolf A. Tuerk but they could not stop him from allegedly manipulating his wife, Kathleen McLean, into removing legal protections before she was killed....."

He had made a sincere commitment to improve his behavior, but the photos say otherwise as virus deaths hit 100,000 and US funeral businesses are in trouble after the funeral parade fueled by love.

It's one of the few deaths they are not attributing to COVID -- even though it is a direct consequence of the quarantine -- and the Globe is arguing that a ‘he must have completely fallen apart’ after a long pattern of abuse (once again, gender takes a back seat to race):

Junk forensics gets its day(s) in court

The case involves the brutal rape and murder of 75-year-old woman in 1979, and a crucial piece of physical evidence — two bite marks on the elderly woman.

It's a shame that she wasn't in a home where all the staff has been tested and where “the worst of this surge has passed for now."

The National Guard was deployed to Quincy to assist nursing homes with COVID-19 testing in early April.
The National Guard was deployed to Quincy to assist nursing homes with COVID-19 testing in early April (Stan Grossfeld/ Globe Staff/file).

Oh, remember the nurses

They’re still on the front lines and they still need protection:

Even while celebrated as heroes, health care workers are exhausted and struggling with burnout

That was after these nurses held their patients’ hands and erected a critical bridge to loved ones now heartbreakingly out of reach.

Health care workers cited gear shortages into May

"Even as new COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts have begun to decline and public focus has shifted to the economy’s reopening, the personal protective equipment that front-line workers rely upon to safely treat patients remains in short supply, but nurses unions in Massachusetts and nationally have balked at reusing masks cleaned by the decontamination system produced by the Ohio defense contractor Battelle, citing the lack of independent research backing up Battelle’s claims. Though limited governmental testing recently determined that treated masks could be safely reused a few times, the testing stopped well short of Battelle’s assertion that N95 masks — which are designed to be worn only once — can safely be put through 20 decontamination cycles. Concerns about the machine took on added weight after an NBC News report detailed the questionable means by which the decontamination system was granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the exorbitant amount the federal government is paying for its use. The machine, which Partners HealthCare arranged to bring to the Boston area in April, has been sharply criticized by some health care workers, with one group saying it treats nurses “like guinea pigs in an experiment.”

How ungrateful after the nurses watched a flyover in Boston that consisted of a quartet of F-15 fighter jets that swooped through Boston to show support for medical workers who are on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

I $uppo$e they are $imply jealou$ becau$e they are not doctors with a lab.

Turning into the paper I find these:

Even with years of complaints, police forces are slow to change

The New York Times is trying to help them.

Minneapolis restaurateur prioritizes justice for George Floyd

That is while others bemoan the damage, according to the Washington Compost, and the "others" would be conservative white folk:

"What top conservatives are saying about George Floyd and police brutality" by Michael M. Grynbaum, Annie Karni and Jeremy W. Peters New York Times, May 30, 2020

The chilling circumstances of George Floyd’s death — particularly the graphic, indisputable video of his arrest — have, at least for now, posed a political quandary among some conservative politicians, media stars, and President Trump, whose usual instinct is to focus on blaming liberals for promoting lawlessness.

Floyd is the "Black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer ignored his pleas and pinned him to the ground during a routine stop," and the timing of the event and video is far from indisputable.

The ongoing protests in Minneapolis and around the country may still alter conservative views. On Fox News on Friday night, Tucker Carlson began his show with a graphic calling the Minnesota protesters “Criminal Mobs” and wondered aloud why Republicans were not reacting more intensely against the violence in Minneapolis. Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham condemned the demonstrators for, in Hannity’s words, “exploiting” Floyd’s death.

What happened to the lockdowns?

The law enforcement community is one of Trump’s most loyal constituencies, and he and his allies are in uncharted territory as they weigh expressions of solidarity with the nation’s police forces against grappling with the horror of Floyd’s death.

Casting itself as the upholder of law and order has been a perennial Republican Party strategy in times of racial disharmony and social unrest, from the 1967 riots in Detroit and Newark, N.J., to Ferguson, Mo., in 2014, but the stark footage of a white police officer kneeling on the neck of Floyd as he pleaded and moaned “I can’t breathe” produced an unusual moment when those on either side of the nation’s split-screen politics were, publicly at least, evincing a common cause.

They criticized Israel's treatment of Palestinians? 

I only ask because they get that all the time over there.

The moment may be fleeting.

In an appearance on Fox News on Friday evening, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas faced tough questions from Carlson — one of Trump’s favorite anchors — about why the senator was quick to denounce Floyd’s death as “a horrific act of police brutality.”

“In this instance, we have a video of the incident,” Cruz said. “What we saw was wrong.”

Carlson pushed back, asking Cruz if he believed it was fair to bring a murder charge against the officer who arrested Floyd.

“Why doesn’t anybody stand up for the rest of us, for civilization?” Carlson asked.....

Once again, the NYT stands with Black Nationalists.


So THAT is why they leave white in lower case while capitalizing all other ethnic groups now. The NYT is trying to instigate a race war after COVID flopped. No thanks.

By page A12 one realizes that COVID has now taken a back seat to agenda-pushing racial strife.

My B-section lead:

Ten arrested, four officers injured during Boston protests in support of George Floyd, police say

Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins plans to put them on the fast track to prosecution, and there are more protest planned for the coming days (Walsh is praying they do not).

Other protests were submerged in the Globe's coverage, raising as many questions as it answers.

Thousands protest in Providence over death of George Floyd

A largely peaceful rally drew a diverse crowd demanding an end to police brutality, and the fact that they are no big deal to the authorities means they are approved! 

The governor should have kept the state under lockdown, but “the name of the game is containing the virus, [because they] can’t stop it, they can only hope to contain it with an app that would “protect people’s privacy and data in an ironclad way.”

Of course, the ACLU is warning against the devices that check for fevers that make eating outdoors at a R.I. restaurant familiar but strange because at O’Rourke’s Bar & Grill, the ambiance is the same, but everything else is different (plastic knives, salt packets, masks).

Hopefully, the business wasn't defrauded via the loan program, and even though Rhode Island’s nursing homes thought they were prepared for the coronavirus, they weren’t.

We can only hope that Rhode Island’s June 2 presidential primary will not suffer the same ill effects.

Police HQ in Manchester, N.H., closed for several hours amid protest

The two men were charged with felony riot and felony criminal threatening had nothing to do with racial injustice, but the police headquarters in Manchester closed for several hours Saturday after about a 100 people from a Black Lives Matter protest gathered in front of the building and two men in a truck showed up with a gun.

That was after they were dying to reopen in New Hampshire:

"For a few hours Saturday afternoon, pre-pandemic life seemed within reach. Sure, most of the people spread far apart in the parking lot of the Tupelo Music Hall were wearing masks. So were the orange-vested attendants directing concert-goers to their “seats," which in this case consisted of two parking spots each — one for the car, and one for whatever lawn chairs patrons pulled out of their trunks. There was no concession stand or beer tent, but you could order a big juicy burger or other fare online with your phone, and a blue golf cart would zip over and deposit it at the edge of your spot, no contact needed. There was also occasional sun, a nice breeze, other people around — at a safe distance, of course — and live music. “This is going to be the new normal, I think, for quite a while,” Kevin Mach, who drove from Fairhaven, Mass., said from behind a black face mask. “I’m just thrilled that someone, anyone is doing something to create a scenario in which people can experience things that are almost, almost normal again.”

They gave us what, a week?

Turning back to the A section tells me who is to blame for it all:

WASHINGTON — “A president is expected to bring some combination of hope, healing and help,” said David Kusnet, a speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, “to convey some sense that there’s some larger meaning to this all.”

Is that what he was bringing to all the women and girls?

In 1986, with TV footage of the Challenger explosion playing constantly to a nation reeling in shock, president Ronald Reagan delayed his State of the Union address and instead gave a short speech evoking the hope symbolized by seven astronauts boarding the space shuttle.

“We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God,” he said.

Reagan had the advantage of being in $how bu$ine$$ so he could really read a script, 'er, speech.

In 1995, Clinton traveled to Oklahoma City after the bombing of a federal building there killed 168 people, and promised that the country would stand with the victims’ families for “as many tomorrows as it takes.”

The dignity and emotional eloquence of that speech ended up helping boost Clinton’s popularity after Democrats took a beating in the 1994 midterm elections, a reminder that the “mourner in chief” role can come with potential benefits as well as pitfalls.

OKC was the first in what has become a long line of false flag events to advance certain agendas and goals.

George W. Bush was widely praised for taking a bullhorn at Manhattan’s Ground Zero after 9/11 and ad-libbing when someone in the crowd of first responders yelled they couldn’t hear him. “I can hear you,” Bush said, “the rest of the world hears you.” His popularity soared in the aftermath of the terrorist attack, but later in his presidency, he was criticized for failing to respond quickly or empathetically enough to the disaster unfolding during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, which killed nearly 2,000 people.

That fateful September morning has led to so many evils, with the invasion of Iraq being the first.

President Barack Obama came across as stoic and unemotional at times, but he consoled the nation with empathetic speeches again and again after the mass shootings that occurred while he was president. Valerie Jarrett, a close adviser, said that when she and Obama heard the news of the 2012 slaughter of first-graders and educators in Newtown, Conn., they immediately thought of their own children. Obama also wrote his remarks for the memorial service by hand, and spent hours meeting individually with families of the victims. “You have to be able to let your heart take you to that place in order to feel empathy, and then imagine what you would want said to you,” Jarrett said.

Every single mass casualty event they cite tips their hand as to its staged and scripted, crisis drill gone live, false flag quality. 

One of the most lasting images of Obama as the “mourner in chief” came in Charleston, S.C., in 2015 when he sang “Amazing Grace” at the service for the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, who was among nine black churchgoers killed in that city by a white supremacist. It was something he only decided to do as he traveled to Charleston that day. “He thought it would be an opportunity for us to feel as one,” Jarrett said. “He knew that if he started to sing, everyone would join.”

Is it possible that shooting was another in a long list of hoaxes?

President Trump’s approach has been starkly different. Sometimes, when he does nod to the coronavirus tragedy, he has a way of bringing up his own political disputes and rivalries. When meeting at the White House in April with people who had recovered from the disease, Trump steered the discussion to his own reelection, and while he sent condolences to family members of the dead on Twitter on Thursday — “I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy & love for everything that these great people stood for & represent,“ he wrote — he also spent the days leading up to the milestone spreading a conspiracy theory about an MSNBC host, sharing a video of a man saying the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat, and boosting a post calling Hillary Clinton a “skank.”

We all know he is narcissistic as hell; however, the New York Times' claim that Trump’s tweets cause collateral damage for families already in pain is simply meant to forestall any search for truth, and to say that "rarely has an American family, all private citizens, had to endure having their personal pain weaponized by someone with the unchecked bully pulpit of the president of the United States" because Trump called the dead woman's body found in Joe Scarborough's congressional office an “‘unsolved mystery’” that is allegedly neither unsolved nor a mystery because her death was ruled an accident is disingenuous.

In other words, never question the official version of anything!

“For whatever reason, he’s been unable to find his voice and to serve as the mourner-in-chief, people have been left to mourn on their own,” said David Gergen, a former adviser to several presidents, including Reagan and Clinton.


Why did they have to turn to that disgusting prick for expert analysis?

A White House official who did not want to be named said Trump had shared many “tender moments” over his years in office, including his speech at Normandy to commemorate D-Day, personal interactions with veterans, and visits to factories, but as a lifelong salesman who used to routinely exaggerate the height of his buildings and the extent of his wealth, the president is more comfortable making the rosy pitch, not providing a shoulder to cry on.

Tony Schwartz, who worked with Trump for two years in the 1980s while he ghost-wrote Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal,” said the real estate developer did not show much capacity for empathy, contrition, or sorrow in his experience. “I don’t think grief was in his vocabulary,” he said. “I don’t think he’s ever felt any grief about anything.”

Not even in regards to the death of his brother

That seems to have had an effect on him.

In contrast, former vice president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee who is set to challenge Trump in the fall’s election and who often speaks of his personal grief, posted a somber two-and-a-half-minute video to Twitter on Wednesday to mark the grim milestone.

“I think I know what you’re feeling,” said Biden, who has mourned his first wife and two of his children, and spoke at multiple memorials while he was vice president. “You feel like you’re being sucked into a black hole in the middle of your chest, suffocating, your heart is broken; there’s nothing but a feeling of emptiness for you.”

No wonder he is always in such a black mood.


The Globe reporters began their journey by talking to Michael Steinbruck of Franklin Township, N.J. before blasting off to places beyond:

Would a Biden presidency bring a substantial change to US foreign policy?

Unfortunately, Trump has hijacked the debate on the Internet with a tantrum in the Oval Office.

Trump's Cold War With China

Time to dump him then?

"China says US action on Hong Kong ‘doomed to fail’" by Ken Moritsugu Associated Press, May 30, 2020

BEIJING — The mouthpiece newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party said Saturday that the US decision to end some trading privileges for Hong Kong “grossly interferes” in China’s internal affairs and is “doomed to fail.”

That is what we get here, too, and they already have.

The Hong Kong government called President Trump’s announcement unjustified and said it is “not unduly worried by such threats,’’ despite concerns of them driving companies away from the Asian financial and trading center.

An editorial in China’s official People’s Daily newspaper said that attempts at “forcing China to make concessions on core interests including sovereignty and security through blackmailing or coercion ... can only be wishful thinking and day-dreaming!”

Trump’s move came after China’s ceremonial parliament voted Thursday to bypass Hong Kong’s Legislature and develop and enact national security legislation on its own for the semi-autonomous territory. Democracy activists and many legal experts worry that the laws could curtail free speech and opposition political activities.

They under lockdown, too?

China had issued no official response as of late Saturday, but earlier said it would retaliate if the United States went ahead with its threat to revoke trading advantages granted to Hong Kong after its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

Some say they already have by loosing the virus, or at least advancing such a narrative as to cause overreaction in the West; however, that doesn't explain every action by western leaders. Why destroy your economy before the real live shooting war?

“This hegemonic act of attempting to interfere in Hong Kong affairs and grossly interfere in China’s internal affairs will not frighten the Chinese people and is doomed to fail,’’ the People’s Daily said.

In Hong Kong, small groups of Beijing supporters marched to the US Consulate on Saturday carrying Chinese flags and signs protesting “American interference in China’s internal affair” and calling Trump “shameless and useless.”

Tensions between the United States and China over Hong Kong have increased over the past year, with the United States defending pro-democracy protesters who clashed with police last year and China vilifying them as terrorists and separatists.....

That means it's been a regime change operation.



"Protests against the national security laws in the past week drew thousands, demonstrating that months of pandemic-induced stasis had not dampened their anger, but the turnout fell far short of the hundreds of thousands — and at times, more than 1 million — who attended some of last year’s marches. Many demonstrators have been deterred by the police’s increasingly forceful response. Last year, peaceful protesters were given wide latitude, and when clashes erupted, they raged for hours. Protesters lobbed bricks and gasoline bombs, while officers responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. Now, swarms of anti-riot officers, under the command of a new police chief appointed by Beijing, scatter even peaceful demonstrators with water cannons and pepper spray from the outset. Organizers have acknowledged that for some, the cost of protesting may be too high, but what binds many of the protesters together, more than anything, is weariness and dread....."

That's the way the New York Times sees things, while.....

"In China, where the virus outbreak began, only four new confirmed cases were reported Saturday, all brought from outside the country. More than 6 million coronavirus infections have been reported worldwide, with over 367,000 deaths and more than 2.5 million recoveries, according to the Johns Hopkins tally. The true death toll is widely believed to be significantly higher, with experts saying many victims died of the virus without ever being tested for it....." 

In those cases, they were PRE$UMEDLY KILLED by COVID, so the claim above is false. The EXACT OPPOSITE is TRUE!

Also see:

Hong Kong entrance exams marked by health monitoring

That's already here at airports and in the offices, so.... ?

"China reported no new virus deaths for the ninth straight day, and just six new cases. Two of those were brought from overseas, with three domestic cases in Heilongjiang on the Russian border and one in the southern business hub of Guangdong. Hospitals are still treating 915 patients, 57 listed as serious. The country’s official death toll from the pandemic first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year remains at 4,632 among 82,804 total cases."

How have they done that?

"In Wuhan, medical workers armed with coronavirus test swabs scoured construction sites and markets to look for itinerant workers while others made house calls to reach older residents and people with disabilities. Officials aired announcements over loudspeakers urging people to sign up for their own good. These are the front lines of an unprecedented campaign to screen all 11 million people in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic began. Nearly two weeks in, the government is getting close to reaching its goal, with 6.5 million tested so far. While other governments have struggled to provide testing for their populations on a broad scale, China has embarked on a citywide campaign to prevent a resurgence of infections at all costs. It has succeeded, according to residents and Chinese news reports, by mobilizing thousands of medical and other workers and spending hundreds of millions of dollars. The government, which is covering the cost of testing, sees the drive as key to restoring the public confidence that is needed to help restart the economy and return to some level of normalcy. The drive — which has reached more than 90 percent of the city after taking into account people who had been recently tested and children — has largely confirmed that Wuhan has tamed the outbreak. By Tuesday, only around 200 cases were found, mostly people who showed no symptoms, although samples were still being processed. Laboratories went from processing around 46,000 tests a day, on average, before the drive, to as many as 1.47 million tests Friday. By comparison, New York state has tested 1.7 million people since March 4, according to The Atlantic’s COVID Tracking Project."

Must have worked because German companies are flying 200 workers back to China.

"Demonstrators chanted prodemocracy slogans in a luxury mall in Hong Kong on Wednesday, the latest in a string of small but determined protests as the city’s coronavirus outbreak slows. More than 100 protesters gathered at lunchtime in the Landmark Atrium mall in Central, a prestigious business and retail district, despite social distancing rules that prohibit public gatherings of more than four. They sang a protest anthem, “Glory to Hong Kong,” and held up signs reading “Free Hong Kong, Revolution Now” and “Hong Kong Independence.” One protester hung a banner cursing Hong Kong police and their families. “The protests had calmed down previously because of the coronavirus, but now we must step up and let the world know that we have not given up,” said Mich Chan, who works in the legal industry. “We’re still fighting for what we fought for last year.” The protest followed similar ones in malls on Sunday and Tuesday in which police dispersed the crowds. They are a continuation of a movement that began last June to protest an extradition bill that would have allowed detainees in Hong Kong to be transferred to mainland China."

I $uppo$e you have to take the $our with the $weet.

Hong Kong watchdog absolves police over protest crackdown

It dims the prospects of accountability for the police, and why did Minneapolis and beyond just pop into my mind?

China moves to impose new Hong Kong security laws, tightening its control

Will the New York Times be in favor of that here?

Beijing-style repression is coming to Hong Kong

The Washington Compost asks what will Washington do?

Hong Kong police fire tear gas as protesters resist China’s grip

That was coughed up by the New York Times, and why I didn't read it.

Hong Kong braces for downtown protests on China-backed laws

Even Bloomberg is in on the act.

Pompeo says Hong Kong no longer has autonomy under China

That's what the New York Times reports as Pompeo is increasingly seeing his autonomy come into question.

"China delivered its strongest statement of confidence yet that it has tamed the country’s coronavirus epidemic, announcing Wednesday it would hold a much-delayed top political gathering late next month and ease quarantine restrictions in the capital. The most important event on China’s political calendar, the annual session of the National People’s Congress will provide the Communist Party with a platform intended to inspire national pride and reassert its primacy. The Congress is largely ceremonial, with delegates gathering every year to rubber-stamp major decisions. But the decision in February to delay this year’s session came as a shock to many in China and sent a global signal of the seriousness of the epidemic. Even during the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003, the annual legislative session went ahead as scheduled, but the outbreak in China has subsided in recent weeks, with most cases coming from travelers returning from abroad. On Wednesday, only one case of local transmission was reported. The announcement that the Congress was scheduled for May 22 suggests that officials feel assured that the gathering can be held without placing the central leadership and delegates at risk. The government did not say how this year’s meeting would be conducted, but in past years, it has drawn nearly 3,000 delegates from every province."

It's about time to throw dirt on the Hong Kong regime change operation:

"Police in northern China charged a man with attempted murder after he allegedly buried his mother in an abandoned grave, where she was found traumatized but alive after three days covered by loose dirt....."

I suppose it could be resurrected, but.....

"‘I am just Hong Kong’: a city’s fate in China’s hands" by Hannah Beech New York Times, May 23, 2020

Hong Kong was born at the crossroad of empires, a hybrid of British and Chinese parentage. It may fade there, too.

This “barren rock,” as an envoy of Queen Victoria once called it, transformed into one of the world’s first truly global cities, a place where international finance has thrived as its people created a cultural identity all their own. Even the territory’s current political system is bound by a negotiated settlement, called “one country, two systems,” that, despite all odds and an inelegant moniker, seemed to work, but this past week, Hong Kong discovered the limits to the middle ground that it has carved out to nourish one of the most prosperous and dynamic cities on Earth: between East and West, between rice and bread, between a liberal and an authoritarian order.

The territory’s fate is once again being decided in faraway halls of power as Beijing moves forward with plans to strip some of the autonomy the territory was supposed to enjoy for 50 years after Britain returned it to China in 1997.

The death knell for Hong Kong has been sounded many times since that handover, but the proposed national security legislation could have crushing implications for a place so dedicated to the international language of commerce that the local form of English is stripped of embellishment: Can, no can?

Too often these days, the answer is “No can.”

The new national security laws, outlined at the annual session of China’s legislature Friday, will likely curtail some of the civil liberties that differentiate Hong Kong from the rest of the country, and they take aim at the mass protest movement that showed the world last year the extent to which people were willing to go to protect their hybrid home.

“At the end of the day, we have to accept that we answer to one country,” said Nicholas Ho, the 33-year-old scion of a Hong Kong tycoon family, “and that country is more and more powerful.”

It's the exact opposite here: the governor is the potentate.

With tensions between the United States and China growing, some have characterized the fight for Hong Kong’s future as a skirmish in a more fundamental clash of civilizations. Beijing considers its intervention in Hong Kong a necessary move for maintaining the country’s sovereignty, while Washington considers it a full-frontal attack on the city’s autonomy.

Oh, f**k, where have we heard that before certain chosen towers came crashing down?

In both worldviews, Hong Kong again is caught in the middle.

Between Democrat and Republican, and we lose either way.

Either the territory is poised for a return to protest politics — the sort of running street battles that shattered the city’s reputation as an orderly center of international finance — or the latest national security diktats from Beijing will only serve to drive away the commerce and capital Hong Kong needs to flourish, and both outcomes are possible.

Douglas Young started a home décor and fashion brand called G.O.D. that plays with Western notions of orientalism and celebrates totems of Hong Kong life: puns that mix Cantonese and English, breakfasts of macaroni soup, kung fu films that deliver a kick to Hollywood.

He is, he admits, a typical Hong Kong mishmash. Even with his posh English accent, impeccable manners, and boarding school pedigree, he is, at 54, old enough to remember what life was like under the British, when Hong Kong Chinese couldn’t easily enter certain clubs, but Young also rattles off the democratic touchstones that he says make Hong Kong special: rule of law, freedom of expression, and an independent judiciary. These are the civil liberties that some fear are at risk under Beijing’s proposed national security legislation. “I’m worried that Hong Kong people are becoming second-class citizens in our own city again,” Young said. “Is our fate to always feel colonized?”

Try being white in AmeriKa this summer, and how come the pre$$ cares more about civil liberties in China than here at home?

Since British gunships secured its rocky outcroppings nearly 180 years ago in the opium wars, Hong Kong has evolved into something unique: an enclave bound by Western ideals yet populated by Chinese people who speak a language, Cantonese, that is believed to be more ancient than the one used across mainland China.

They kind of brushed by the opium pandemic that was foisted on China over 100 years ago, all so that the colonialist powers of the west could carve up China; however, the Chinese have never forgot what was known as the Boxer Rebellion and it is why they now so jealously guard their sovereignty.

Last year, more than 90% of young people here said they considered themselves to be from Hong Kong, not China, according to a University of Hong Kong poll, the highest number since the survey began more than a decade ago. As proud as they are of their Hong Kong identity, people here don’t always know what to call themselves. In English, some say Hong Kongers, others Hong Kongese. Still others use the unwieldy, if factual, term Hong Kong people.

Whatever they are called, many share in a rejection of China that embodies Beijing’s soft-power failure, an inability to capture the hearts of a populace that should have been naturally sympathetic to it. The British had stinted on political reform in Hong Kong until the twilight of their rule. Meanwhile, the Communist Party transformed China’s backward, agrarian society into the world’s second-largest economy. Hong Kong profited.

Sounds like US failures in Iraq and Afghanistan (also places the British colonized)!

In 2008, when Beijing hosted the Summer Olympics, Hong Kong fielded its own team, as befitted a city governed under the “one country, two systems” model, but the five stars of the Chinese flag flew proudly in the city. Hong Kong residents who had fled for safe harbor in countries like Canada or Australia returned.

What I remember most from that Olympics was a drunk George W. Bush photographed in the stands.

More than a decade on, the disappointments have accumulated. Just as under colonial rule, the people of Hong Kong can neither choose their own leader nor fully shape how their government is run. Promised political reforms never materialized. Booksellers critical of Chinese leadership were snatched from the streets of Hong Kong and ended up in China. The catalyst for last year’s mass protests, a now-revoked extradition bill, underlined Beijing’s ability to at any moment threaten Hong Kong’s freedoms.

I know how they feel.

Starting last June, an acute sense of anxiety about the future brought millions of peaceful marchers to the streets. Fury at the police — for deploying rubber bullets and tear gas against holiday shoppers and students alike — fueled each subsequent rally, even as unease grew over front-line agitators unleashing Molotov cocktails.

We are not seeing that in America these days. It's Antifa, who “believe violence is actually a pretty good tool to use against people who don’t agree with their worldview,” or agent provocateurs trying to help Joe Biden.

Cathy Yau was raised by a single mother in one of those tiny flats that, Tetris-like, form the cramped architecture of Hong Kong. She attended a school with a pro-China curriculum and worked for 11 years as a police officer. Last summer, as the protests blazed, she quit the force“I could not face a job where we were ordered to use tear gas on normal people like they were criminals,” she said. “That’s against the core values of Hong Kong.”

Or knee on their neck?

In November, Yau, 36, ran for district council and beat the pro-establishment incumbent. While the position holds little power, the electorate’s overwhelming support for pro-democratic candidates reflected the angry mood in Hong Kong.

The pressure has continued to intensify. In January, China replaced its top representative in the city with a senior official known for his harsh stance on security. Some of Hong Kong’s most august pro-democracy figures were arrested last month. The latest salvo, the national security legislation, does not surprise Yau.

“This is the Communist Party,” she said. “This is what will happen eventually. The only question is when. I grew up raising the Chinese flag in school every day, but I feel nothing,” she added. “I don’t know what I am. I don’t know where I’m going. I’m just Hong Kong.”

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Now I gotta get running.

The generation that built Hong Kong from the middle of the last century, powering its workshops and raising its skyscrapers, was never rooted in the territory. Many residents came here fleeing unrest in China, most notably after the 1949 Communist revolution. The inflow continued even after 1997, when the Union Jack was lowered for the last time. Since the handover to Chinese rule, more than 1 million Chinese from the mainland have moved to Hong Kong to enjoy its commitment to commerce, rule of law, and education.

Even if fortunes were made in the city, a refugee mentality still defined the city’s elite. Most anyone who’s anyone in Hong Kong has a foreign passport, just in case, but many of their children, especially those who have come of age since Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule, feel differently. This is home — not Canada, not Australia, and certainly not China.

Besides, for the 1 in 5 people in Hong Kong who live below the poverty line, there is no escape hatch to another country. They cannot purchase foreign citizenshipFor them, protecting Hong Kong is a matter of defending the only future they have, a future that is looking increasingly bleak.


Here is a trip down memory lane:

"Harrods will reopen its flagship London store in June, with social distancing measures in place, and open an outlet shop to sell stock left over from the spring season. The luxury retailer plans to use footfall monitoring technology to limit capacity at its main Knightsbridge store and ensure social distancing can be maintained when it opens on June 15. Specific doors will be designated for entering and exiting the store, which was closed in March as the coronavirus outbreak started to spread in Britain. The new outlet, based in West London’s Westfield mall, has been designed to allow more space for customers, the company said."

Boris Johnson faces calls to fire chief aide after lockdown breach

Cambridge University scraps in-person lectures for now

UK’s walking hero awarded knighthood by the queen

He was practically begging for it:

"Oxfam International, one of the world’s leading aid agencies, will severely curtail its work because of the financial strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic, including the closure of operations in 18 countries at the potential cost of 1,450 jobs. The organization, which currently operates in 66 countries and whose global work is coordinated via 20 affiliate offices around the world, said in a statement late Wednesday that it has had to accelerate changes as a result of the pandemic. Countries it will be exiting include Afghanistan, Egypt, Rwanda, Sudan, and Tanzania. It said the changes will affect around 1,450 out of nearly 5,000 program staff."

They need a $hot in the arm:

"British researchers testing an experimental vaccine against the new coronavirus are moving into advanced studies and aim to immunize more than 10,000 people to determine if the shot works. Friday’s announcement came as Chinese scientists who are developing a similar vaccine reported promising results from their own first-step testing, seeing hoped-for immune reactions and no serious side effects in 108 vaccinated people. Last month, Oxford University researchers began vaccinating more than 1,000 volunteers in a preliminary study designed to test the shot’s safety. Those results aren’t in yet but the Oxford team announced they’re expanding to 10,260 people across Britain, including older people and children."

Once you get the shot:

"People arriving in the UK next month will have to quarantine themselves for 14 days and could face an unlimited fine if they fail to comply, the British government announced Friday. The quarantine plan has sparked confusion and criticism from airlines, airports, and lockdown-weary Britons."

At least you will be able to go to the football game:

"Elite sporting events will be allowed to resume in England starting Monday, but without spectators, paving the way for the planned June 17 return of the Premier League, the world’s richest soccer competition."

Let the matches begin!

Time to stiffen your resolve:

"As the US lashes out at China, Beijing hardens its resolve" by Keith Bradsherand Steven Lee Myers New York Times, May 28, 2020

BEIJING — Step by step, the United States under President Trump has sought to intensify pressure on Beijing in hopes of making China change its ways. Each move has instead hardened the resolve of China’s leadership to resist, plunging relations to their current nadir.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that Washington would no longer consider Hong Kong to have significant autonomy, clearing the way for Trump to end the special trade and economic relations the territory now enjoys. On Thursday, China’s top legislative body voted to strip another layer of autonomy anyway, with prominent Chinese commentators taunting the United States for interfering.

On Wednesday, the United States won an initial victory in a Canadian court in its long effort to bring criminal charges against a senior executive of Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant. On Thursday, China vowed to retaliate against both countries, having already blocked some Canadian exports and held two Canadian citizens for more than 500 days.

Well, then, we can certainly count on help from Canadian allies, right? 


"Chevron is planning a 10- to 15-percent reduction in its global workforce this year, the biggest cut to head count yet among global oil majors following the COVID-19 pandemic. The cuts equate to about 6,000 of its 45,000 non-gas station employees and may be a precursor to staffing reductions at Big Oil rivals such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell. Until now, layoffs had primarily been felt in the oil-field services sector and among North American independent producers."

"A Canadian company has built the first piece of the disputed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline across the US border and started work on labor camps in Montana and South Dakota, but it has not resolved a courtroom setback that would make it hard to finish the $8 billion project. Environmentalists and Native American tribes are bitterly opposed to the line because of worries over oil spills and that burning the fuel would make climate change worse. The company’s three-year construction timeline was put into doubt following a May 15 ruling from a federal judge that cancelled a key permit needed to build the line across hundreds of streams, wetlands, and other water bodies. The work in South Dakota began amid high tensions between South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and two Native American tribes that have been outspoken opponents of the pipeline. The governor is trying to force two tribes — the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes and the Oglala Sioux Tribe — to remove checkpoints they have set up on highways leading to several potential construction sites in an attempt to keep infections away from their reservations."

Looks like war is brewing along the border.

"Canada’s worst mass shooting erupted from an argument between the gunman and his girlfriend, who survived the attack, police confirmed Friday. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superintendent Darren Campbell said the weekend shooting rampage started with an assault by the suspect on his girlfriend and ended with 22 people dead in communities across central and northern Nova Scotia. ‘‘She did manage to escape. That could well have been the catalyst of events,’’ Campbell said. Authorities are also not discounting the suspect planned some of the murders. Campbell said the girlfriend hid overnight in the woods from the suspect, who has been identified as 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman. Police have said Wortman acted alone in the shooting spree that killed 22 people in more than 16 crime scenes in several rural communities. Campbell said they found 13 deceased victims in the rural community of Portapique, a quiet community of 100 residents where the suspect lived part time. There were several homes on fire, including the suspect’s, when police arrived in the community. Campbell said the suspect had a pistol that was acquired in Canada and several long-barreled guns that were obtained in the United States. Wortman’s girlfriend called 911 and gave police information about the suspect."

That bizarre event was taken apart rather early, but the official story did allow this:

"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an immediate ban Friday on the sale and use of assault-style weapons in Canada, two weeks after a gunman killed 22 people in Nova Scotia. He cited numerous mass shootings in the country, including the rampage that killed 22 in Nova Scotia April 18 and 19. He announced the ban of over 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms, including two guns used by the gunman as well as the AR-15 and other weapons that have been used in a number of mass shootings in the United States “You do not need an AR-15 to take down a deer,” Trudeau said. “So, effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import, or use military-grade, assault weapons in this country.” There is a two-year amnesty period while the government creates a program that will allow current owners to receive compensation for turning in the designated firearms or keep them through a grandfathering process yet to be worked out. Under the amnesty, the newly prohibited firearms can only be transferred or transported within Canada for specific purposes. Owners must keep the guns securely stored until there is more information on the buyback program."

At least the gun-grab made COVID go away, as Canada and the US worked on extending the border closure so they both can keep it closed to nonessential travel:

"Canada’s transport minister says large cruises will still be prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until at least Oct. 31 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Transport Minister Marc Garneau says that applies to cruises with overnight accommodations and more than 100 passengers and crew. The government previously restricted large cruise ships until July 1."

Migrants can still cross if they have a visa or green card, and they are deporting the pandas:

"The Calgary Zoo will be returning two giant pandas on loan from China because a scarcity of flights due to COVID-19 has caused problems with getting enough bamboo to feed them....."

They would have flown them back, but a Canadian acrobatic jet crashed in BC amid pandemic show, a crash left debris scattered across the neighborhood (how could that be after what we saw on the ground in Shanksville, PA, on 9/11/2001?).


Trump administration officials argue that they have brought China to the table on trade by imposing tariffs, but they have failed so far to achieve their goal of fundamentally shifting China’s behavior — on trade or any other issue.

From Beijing’s perspective, the punitive measures have simply revealed the core of US hostility toward China.

“When China was rising as an economic power, the United States tolerated it,” Shen Dingli, a specialist on relations with the United States at Fudan University in Shanghai, said in a telephone interview. “Now that China is strong, it cannot tolerate it anymore.”

China does not want to incinerate the relationship with the United States, given the economic benefits. Nor is it willing to back down, creating a constant push and pull in Beijing between the hawks and the more moderating forces.

China’s premier, Li Keqiang, struck a conciliatory tone Thursday at the close of the legislative session, the National People’s Congress. He called for close trade relations without offering any concessions. He said the two countries “could and should cooperate in many ways in facing both conventional and unconventional challenges,” while pointedly refraining from accusing the United States of any interference in Hong Kong.

Yet even as Li was speaking, the Hong Kong office of China’s foreign ministry issued a strong denunciation. “It is utterly imperious, unreasonable, and shameless for American politicians to obstruct the national security legislation for Hong Kong with threats of sanctions based on United States domestic law,” the ministry declared.

Yeah, it's the Chinese who talk out of both sides of their mouth.

With both countries blaming each other, the result has been a downward spiral of tit-for-tat actions that may not let up before Trump’s reelection campaign ends in November.

Let's hope it doesn't turn into a new Pacific War.

When the Trump administration announced new restrictions to block companies around the world from using American-made machinery and software to help Huawei, Beijing promised to target American tech companies operating in China. When the administration capped the number of Chinese journalists in the United States, China kicked out most of the American correspondents from three major US news organizations, including The New York Times.

The pre$$ didn't raise a fuss on the capping of journalists.

Both leaders, Trump and Xi Jinping, feel compelled to appear strong. The American president views blaming China for the coronavirus crisis in the United States as a path to reelection. The Chinese leader faces enormous economic and diplomatic challenges that could stir domestic opposition to his grip on power.

Is that why the race riots have been suddenly unleashed?

“Anything the US says or does or will do, China will refuse,” Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing, said in a telephone interview.

What the American moves have not done is chasten Xi’s government, which appears to feel simultaneously embattled and defiant.

A wounded animal that is cornered is something to fear if not treated properly.

Hu Xijin, the outspoken editor of The Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid controlled by the Communist Party, all but dared the Trump administration to carry out its threat to end Hong Kong’s favored trade status. He noted that there were 85,000 Americans there and scores of companies that would reap “the bitter fruits” of the American decision.

“Washington is too narcissistic,” he wrote in Chinese on Weibo on Thursday. “American politicians like Pompeo arrogantly think that the fate of Hong Kong is in their hands.”

They are.

The National People’s Congress, the top legislative body, on Thursday dutifully adopted the government’s proposals to impose new laws on Hong Kong to suppress subversion, secession, terrorism, and other acts that might threaten China’s national security — as authorities in Beijing define it. The vote was nearly unanimous, with only one delegate voting against and six abstaining.

Lau Siu-kai, a former senior Hong Kong government official who advises Beijing, said that US pressure had failed to prompt a reconsideration in the Hong Kong issue in part because China’s leadership has anticipated American opposition on many fronts.

“Beijing will stick with its new policy toward Hong Kong regardless of US reactions and is prepared to take countermeasures in a tit-for-tat manner,” he said.



"Wall Street’s rally ran out of fuel in the last hour of trading on Thursday, and the market fell to its first loss in four days amid worries about rising US-China tensions. The S&P 500 had been climbing for much of the day and was up as much as 1.1 percent at one point, but it all disappeared after President Trump said he’ll hold a news conference about China on Friday....."

The New York Times says that at that news conference Trump stripped Hong Kong of its special US relationship, while the Senate passes a bill to delist certain Chinese companies from the exchange (that they had time to do) in what can only be considered an act of war.


"President Trump extended his effort to curb Huawei Technologies Co.’s access to the US market and American suppliers. The president on Wednesday renewed for a year a national emergency order that restricts Huawei and a second Chinese telecommunications company, ZTE Corp., from selling their equipment in the United States. The move continues a battle with China over dominance of 5G technology networks."


"China suspended punitive tariffs on more US goods including radar equipment for aviation Tuesday amid pressure from President Trump to buy more imports as part of a truce in their trade war. The Ministry of Finance said tariff increases on 79 types of goods including radar sets, disinfectant, and rare earths minerals would be suspended for one year starting May 19. Washington agreed in January to cancel additional tariff hikes and Beijing committed to buy more American farm exports. US officials said China agreed to address complaints about its technology policies."


"An anti-China message could be politically potent if Trump and his allies do rally around it. Stirring fears of migrant caravans didn’t work for Trump in the 2018 congressional midterm elections, when Republicans lost the House majority, but a Gallup poll conducted in February found Americans’ favorable rating of China had dropped to a record-tying low. There also are valid reasons to criticize China over withholding information and bungling the response at the beginning of the crisis, specialists said. “This isn’t about xenophobia," said Cecilia Muñoz, who was the Obama administration’s point person on immigration as White House domestic policy director....."

Trump is just continuing Obama's pivot to Asia as the US delivers another blow to Huawei with new tech restrictions.


"China has committed $30 million to the World Health Organization one week after President Trump halted US funding to the United Nations agency that has emerged as a battleground for influence between the two powers. Trump last week announced his intention to freeze US contributions after slamming the global body as having ‘‘failed in its basic duty’’ to respond quickly to the coronavirus outbreak because of deference to Beijing. In announcing the donation Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang defended the WHO and said the agency under the leadership of Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has been ‘‘actively fulfilling its duties and upholding an objective, scientific, and impartial stance.’’ With the gift, Geng said, China was ‘‘defending the ideals and principle of multilateralism and upholding the status and authority of the United Nations.’’ UN officials, including Tedros, have asked Trump to reconsider last week’s decision, which could be reversed after 60 to 90 days, for the sake of global public health in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic and ‘‘to save lives,’’ but a reversal appears distant after administration officials doubled down on their public criticism of the organization this week. National security adviser Robert O’Brien called the WHO ‘‘a bit of a propaganda tool’’ for Beijing, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined in a Fox News interview to rule out the possibility of the United States seeking Tedros’s removal as a condition for resuming funding."

Trump not only halted funding, he $topped it completely.


"The FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are warning of attempts by hackers affiliated with the Chinese government to steal US research on COVID-19....."

That came after pressure from Trump, and why would they? The contagion has already peaked over there, and why wouldn't we $hare the di$covery with the entire world?

Of course, Trump’s China bashing could alienate the all-important Asian-American voters over the summer, a grim reminders of the pandemic’s social costs as communication strategies are outlined to help reduce potential stigma, “especially against individuals of Asian descent and those who have traveled recently.”


"Beijing is accelerating its bid for global leadership in key technologies, planning to pump more than a trillion dollars into the economy through the rollout of everything from wireless networks to artificial intelligence. In the master plan backed by President Xi Jinping, China will invest an estimated $1.4 trillion over six years, calling on urban governments and private tech giants such as Huawei Technologies Co. to lay 5G wireless networks, install cameras and sensors, and develop AI software. The new infrastructure initiative is expected to drive mainly local giants from Alibaba and Huawei to SenseTime Group Ltd. at the expense of US companies. As tech nationalism mounts, the investment drive will reduce China’s dependence on foreign technology, echoing objectives set forth previously in the Made in China 2025 program. Such initiatives have already drawn fierce criticism from the Trump administration, resulting in moves to block the rise of Chinese tech companies such as Huawei."


"Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will review legislation that would impose restrictions on Chinese companies listed on US stock exchanges. The California Democrat said the legislation approved by the Senate that could lead to some Chinese companies being barred from US stock exchanges passed with no debate so the House would have to give it careful consideration. The Senate bill, introduced by John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, and Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, was approved Wednesday by unanimous consent and would require companies such as Alibaba Group to certify that they are not under the control of a foreign government. Democratic Representative Brad Sherman of California introduced companion legislation in the House the same day, an indication that there’s likely to be bipartisan support there. Amid increasingly tense relations between the world’s two largest economies, lawmakers are focusing on ways to put pressure on China from multiple angles, including its treatment of ethnic and religious minorities, censorship, and its handling of the initial coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. Under the Senate legislation, if a company can’t show that it is not under control of a foreign government, or the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board isn’t able to audit the company for three consecutive years to determine that is the case, the company’s securities would be banned from the exchanges."


"A Manhattan man was charged by federal prosecutors with fraudulently trying to obtain more than $20 million in government loans intended to aid small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Muge Ma, also known as Hummer Mars, 36, is accused of applying for both Small Business Administration emergency loans and Paycheck Protection Program assistance for two companies he claimed had hundreds of workers on payrolls totaling millions of dollars. He was actually the only employee for both companies, prosecutors said in announcing the charges Thursday. In one of his loan applications, Ma allegedly said his company would “help the country reduce the high unemployment rate caused by the pandemic by helping unemployed American workers and unemployed American fresh graduates find jobs as quickly as possible.” His two companies were approved for more than $1.45 million in loans before the fraud was discovered, according to prosecutors. “Ma’s alleged attempts to secure funds earmarked for legitimate small businesses in dire financial straits are as audacious as they are callous, and now he now faces federal prosecution,” Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement. “Small businesses are facing uncertainty and unprecedented challenges, the least of which should be opportunists attempting to loot the federal funds meant to assist them.” Ma, a US permanent resident from China, was arrested Thursday and is charged with defrauding both the US government and the banks from which he sought PPP loans and faces more than 30 years in prison if convicted. Apart from lying about his companies, Ma also falsely claimed that his companies were involved in procuring personal protective equipment and COVID-19 test kits for the state of New York, prosecutors said."

He will be sharing a cell with Baruch Feldheim.


US charges North Koreans, Chinese in $2.5b sanctions-busting scheme

I $uppo$e it is better than doing nothing or starting a shooting war:

The amphibious assault ship USS America entered waters off Malaysia that are contested by China.
The amphibious assault ship USS America entered waters off Malaysia that are contested by China. (ROYAL THAI NAVY/AFP via Getty Images/AFP via Getty Im).

"US warships have sailed into disputed waters in the South China Sea, according to military analysts, heightening a standoff in the waterway and sharpening the rivalry between the United States and China, even as much of the world is in lockdown because of the coronavirus. The USS America, an amphibious assault ship, and the USS Bunker Hill, a guided missile cruiser, entered contested waters off Malaysia. At the same time, a Chinese government ship in the area has for days been tailing a Malaysian state oil company ship carrying out exploratory drilling. Despite working to control a pandemic that spread from China earlier this year, Beijing has not reduced its activities in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway through which one-third of global shipping flows. Instead, the Chinese government’s years-long pattern of assertiveness has only intensified, military analysts said....."

That has the potential to draw in Taiwan and send the war into outer space:

"The inauguration of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s second term was overshadowed Wednesday by a war of words between Beijing and Washington, underscoring how the US-aligned island has become a growing focus of the rivalry between the world powers. China issued angry warnings after senior US officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger, sent rare, high-level messages to congratulate Tsai on the day of her swearing-in ceremony. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has threatened to absorb the island by force, if necessary. Its Defense Ministry said Wednesday that Pompeo’s message ‘‘seriously endangered relations between the two countries and two militaries and seriously damaged peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.’’

Space Force Flag
President Donald Trump stands in the Oval Office during the presentation of the United States Space Force Flag in the White House, Friday, May 15, 2020, in Washington (Alex Brandon/AP)

Not only did they usurp the beloved Star Trek logo, but look at the grinning jackass on the far right.

Of course, if you criticize the US government or Trump administration foreign policy in any way, shape, or form, you must be a Chinese (or Russian or Iranian or Korean or whatever) agent or dupe:

"Chinese agents spread messages that sowed virus panic in US, officials say" by Edward Wong, Matthew Rosenberg and Julian E. Barnes New York Times, April 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — The alarming messages came fast and furious in mid-March, popping up on the cellphone screens and social media feeds of millions of Americans grappling with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Spread the word, the messages said: The Trump administration was about to lock down the entire country.

“They will announce this as soon as they have troops in place to help prevent looters and rioters,” warned one message, which cited a source in the Department of Homeland Security. “He said he got the call last night and was told to pack and be prepared for the call today with his dispatch orders.”

The messages became so widespread over 48 hours that the White House’s National Security Council issued an announcement via Twitter that they were “FAKE.”

See: Trump to Declare National Quarantine and Issue Shelter in Place Order

I'm so embarrassed that I fell for it, and it turned out to be dictatorial governors that would order it instead!

Of course, we now have rioters and looters in almost all major American cities.

Since that wave of panic, US intelligence agencies have assessed that Chinese operatives helped push the messages across platforms, according to six US officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to publicly discuss intelligence matters. The amplification techniques are alarming because the disinformation showed up as texts on many Americans’ cellphones, a tactic that several of the officials said they hadn’t seen before.

(Blog editor starts shaking with laughter)

That has spurred agencies to look at new ways in which China, Russia, and other nations are using a range of platforms to spread disinformation during the pandemic, they said.

The origin of the messages remains murky. US officials declined to reveal details of the intelligence linking Chinese agents to the dissemination of the disinformation, citing the need to protect their sources and methods for monitoring Beijing’s activities.

Here we go again! 

Like with Iraq, it is trust our lying a$$es!

The officials interviewed for this article work in six different agencies. They included both career civil servants and political appointees, and some have spent many years analyzing China. Their broader warnings about China’s spread of disinformation are supported by recent findings from outside bipartisan research groups, including the Alliance for Securing Democracy and the Center for a New American Security, which is expected to release a report on the topic next month.

Hey, I get the same thing reading a Globe every morning, and just what exactly are the Alliance for Securing Democracy and the Center for a New American Security?

If nothing else, the Globe makes you think!

Two US officials stressed they did not believe Chinese operatives created the lockdown messages but rather amplified existing ones. Those efforts enabled the messages to catch the attention of enough people that they then spread on their own, with little need for further work by foreign agents. The messages appeared to gain traction on Facebook as they were also proliferating through texts.

Don't walk it back and imply I a simple dupe!

US officials said the operatives had adopted some of the techniques mastered by Russia-backed trolls, such as creating fake social media accounts to push messages to sympathetic Americans, who in turn unwittingly help spread them.

It's a standard tactic: accuse the others of conduct that you are in fact guilty of.

Other rival powers might have been involved in the dissemination, too, and Americans with prominent online or news media platforms unknowingly helped amplify the messages.

Oh, they were fooled, too!

Misinformation has proliferated during the pandemic — in recent weeks, some pro-Trump news outlets have promoted anti-American conspiracy theories, including one that suggests the virus was created in a lab in the United States.

US officials said China, borrowing from Russia’s strategies, has been trying to widen political divisions in the United States. As public dissent simmers over lockdown policies in several states, officials worry it will be easy for China and Russia to amplify the partisan disagreements.

Our pre$$ doesn't need the help!

“It is part of the playbook of spreading division,” said Senator Angus King, an independent from Maine, adding that private individuals have identified some social media bots that helped promote the recent lockdown protests that some fringe conservative groups have nurtured.

(Blog editor is left shaking his head and speechless)

The propaganda efforts go beyond text messages and social media posts directed at Americans. In China, top officials have issued directives to agencies to engage in a global disinformation campaign around the virus, the US officials said.

Some US intelligence officers are especially concerned about disinformation aimed at Europeans that pro-China actors appear to have helped spread, which promote China’s “donation diplomacy” and stress the idea of disunity among European nations.


They are concerned when it is not their own!

President Trump has shown little concern about China’s actions. He has praised the handling of the pandemic by Chinese leaders — “Much respect!” he wrote on Twitter on March 27. Three days later, he dismissed worries over China’s use of disinformation when asked about it on Fox News.


What a great piece of government garbage and New York Times disinfo



"Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said Sunday that the United States now has no basis to treat Hong Kong more favorably than mainland China, as Beijing moved to pass a bill to curb the region’s freedom. The comment highlighted the growing tension between the world’s two largest economies. Pompeo, on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” said China’s leaders have broken a promise to preserve Hong Kong’s autonomy. China’s legislature has approved a proposal for laws designed to quell unrest in Hong Kong by punishing what it defines as subversion, secession, terrorism, and foreign interference. “It is a different Chinese Communist Party today than it was 10 years ago,” Pompeo said. The party is “intent upon the destruction of Western ideas, Western democracies, Western values.” Pompeo last week decertified the former British colony as being autonomous in the eyes of the United States, which may result in serious trade consequences. On Sunday, he said President Trump will work to eliminate preferential treatment for Hong Kong. The People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of China’s Communist Party, called the US plans are “gross interference” in Beijing’s affairs. Pompeo also reiterated that Europe should stop doing business with Huawei Technologies. The United States has repeatedly punished it and other Chinese companies for breaking US sanctions, blacklisted them, and accused them of being a security threat."

"Oil slipped in Asia following a weekend of civil unrest in the United States and as President Trump escalated his war of words with China, raising fresh doubts about the prospects for a recovery in demand for petroleum. Futures in New York fell as much as 2.1 percent, handing back some of Friday’s 5.3 percent gain. Investors are weighing how violent demonstrations in US cities will affect the reopening of the world’s biggest economy as coronavirus restrictions are eased. The market may find some support from a report that OPEC and its allies are considering extending output cuts for one to three months. As the situation in the oil market is moving fast, the preference is to take short-term measures and not disrupt the rebalancing of the market, according to a delegate. The bloc is close to a decision to move up its next meeting by a few days to this week, according to people familiar with the situation. Crude surged 88 percent in May, with US futures on Friday rising above $35 a barrel for the first time since March, driven by massive supply curbs by producers around the world. Still, prices are well below levels at the start of the year, and demand that was crushed by the coronavirus crisis may need to show a sustained improvement for the rally to extend further. As Chinese oil demand rises to near pre-coronavirus levels, more and more tankers are hauling crude to the Asian nation."

If so, why did gas price rise 8 cents over the last 2 weeks?

Could there soon be a war for Hong Kong because our economy is reeling as the Fed pours out billions of dollars in a futile effort to avert disaster?

"In China, the protests are being viewed through the prism of US criticism of China’s crackdown on antigovernment protests in Hong Kong. Hu Xijin, editor of the state-owned Global Times, tweeted that US officials can now see protests out their own windows: “I want to ask Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Pompeo: Should Beijing support protests in the U.S., like you glorified rioters in Hong Kong?”

Are they?

"Thousands gathered in central London on Sunday to offer support for American demonstrators. Chanting ‘‘No justice! No peace!’’ and waving placards at Trafalgar Square, the protesters ignored government rules banning crowds because of the pandemic. Police didn’t stop them. Demonstrators then marched to the US Embassy, where a long line of officers surrounded the building."