Saturday, May 8, 2021

In Xinjiang, Uyghurs are forced to "host" Chinese officials in their own "homes"

Urumq city ZT plaza


Today CNN reported (as had been done in 2018) that Uyghur families in Xinjiang are compelled to house CCP representatives to live with them and spy on them, as had been explained in a Foreign Policy issue in 2017, by Darren Byler. 

This sounds like what our obscure Third Amendment in the US prevents.

Picture: Urumqi in Xinjiang is one of the most isolated landlocked big cities in the world, Wikipedia embed, click for attribution 

Friday, May 7, 2021

Will China try to take Taiwan? A white American living in China explains why not, and part of the surprising answer is filial piety

Taipei landscape


Iapwhy86 looks at whether China really will try to take over Taiwan?

He says no, it would destroy the CCP.

He also makes an interesting argument concerning filial piety and China’s previous one child policy, and now the burdens on young men already.

Picture: Wikipedia embed of Taipei skyline 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

India's new N440K variant said to be 10-15 times as infectious as the old 2020 strains

India COVID-19 cases density map


Some websites from India are indicating a concern about newer strains such as the N440K, said to cause concentrations of viral particles 10 times as numerous as in the 580G strain common in the world throughout most of 2020.  Articles like in “TheFederal” imply that the virus is becoming much deadlier was well as contagious as a result an explains the spectacular explosion of cases and deaths in the streets in some states in India.   N440K seems to be more common in southern portions of India, and its competition with B1617 (“double mutant”) is attracting controversy and uncertainty.

The Times of India has a similar story.  In video reports like on CNN, relatives are doing CPR and trying to saved loved ones in hospitals because there is not enough staff as well as not enough oxygen or even beds. 

We have not heard American media discuss much whether these variants are landing in the US, although a travel ban from India started Tuesday would “help”.  There is not much visible discussion over whether they could evade vaccines. 

This sounds a but ominous, unless we get more definitive scientific information.

We will also watch Mexico’s development of a nasal spray vaccine, which might be rendered infective by the use of commercial nasal spray discongestants over the counter (there are two types, phyenlephrine and  oxymetazoline.

But India’s policy of exporting vaccines before it protected its people three months ago when it had a chance seems to have catastrophic consequences, as India had been the world’s main vaccine manufacturer.

Wikipedia embed of caseload map as of May 2, click for attribution 

Sunday, May 2, 2021

China somehow thinks it will gain control of the world's domain name servers??

Internet map 1024 - transparent, inverted


China’s permanent president Xi Jingping has claimed China will control the entire World’s internet, as in this article in the exbulletin

There are three parts to the strategy.  The CCP must be able to set the rules (how?).  It will place CCP members on world boards.  And it will gain control of as many domain name servers as possible for newer technologies.

It’s hard to imagine how it could do this.  But maybe a pandemic was a good start.  American companies can be prodded by the size of China's consumer market, which I would ignore. 

Picture: Internet map 1024, Wikipedia embed, 2006 

Friday, April 30, 2021

"Havana Syndrome" microwave attacks on people reported twice in DC area (most recently in Nov 2020), related to dangerous military weapons against electronics?


Ellipse, 2007

CNN (Jeremy Herb, at al) reports that various agencies are investigating a “Havana Syndrome” attack near the White House in November 2020, link here.  

The incident is supposed to have happened on the Ellipse, and there was another “attack” against an attack in Arlington 2019 against an official, according to reports.  The attacks seem to occur at very close range to the individual, at least in this detailed GQ story ("The Mystery of the Immaculate Concussion") by Julia Ioffe, Oct. 19. 2020, which covers the overseas attacks, especially an incident in 2017 in Moscow on Marc Polymeropoulos. 

The attacks are supposedly caused by directed radio waves, or microwaves.

Similar devices can destroy electronics and are used by military forces overseas (see March 4, 2010 post), a kind of localized non-nuclear EMP. Yet there has never been a report of such an attack against hardware in the US, as far as I know.  The possibility was discussed in in a Popular Mechanics article shortly before 9/11 in September 2001.  It would be important for the media to report whether electronic devices (like smart phones) on the person of someone attacked were affected.  No one has indicated this yet as far as I know. 

The science behind these attacks is a bit murky.  Some components of these attacks damage power grids and electronics but not human or animal nervous systems (which are electrical).  Obviously other components nuclear blasts, which can cause EMP, like alpha particles and gamma rays, do harm humans.  There is a variety of potential threats that we don’t pay much attention to.

In 1978, there was a situation where a kidnapped diplomat was deafened by having classical music blasted into his ears through headphones.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

India is now the world's hotspot of exponential re-spread; how much is due to "double mutation"?

Migrant workers stand in a queue for food at Delhi Govt school during COVID-19 Lockdown at Delhi IMG 20200331 132400


India is now the world’s biggest hotspot, passing Brazil, with cases going up almost vertically (Reuters).

The country is running out of oxygen for patients, literally.

It’s not clear how much of the new exponential spread comes from the “double mutant”.  Well, in fact the Times of India calls it a "triple mutant" (a "Bengal strain") now. The cause might have been exacerbated by some recent large river gatherings and superspreader events, but these would have been outside.  DW News has a newer video April 22. 

Some observers compare this to the Bhopal chemical leak in 1984. 

Picture: Food line in New Delhi, during lockdown, Wikipedia embed, click for attribution 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

China indoctrinates Hong Kong young people on national security for mother country

National Emblem of the People's Republic of China (2)


Shibani Mahtani has a disturbing article in the Washington Post, “Beijing has won control over Hong Kong.  Now the ‘brainwashing’ begins”.

The schoolkids are going to get a “national security” day where they are trained in loyalty and obedience to China, where everyone is rightsized where they belong.

  Wikipedia picture:  Seal if People's Republic of China (click for attribution). 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Biden's pullout from Afghanistan by 9/11; Myanmar's cities empty out

Taller Buddha of Bamiyan before and after destruction


CNN is reporting and opining on what life may be like in some Taliban-controlled towns after the US leaves by September 2011, “what it’s like to live in a town controlled by the Taliban”.

It’s relentless.   Sebastian Junger has warned us before,

And The Washington Post, in a story by Shibani Mahtani and Andrew Nachemson discuss the emptying of the cities in Myanmar as people flee the military junta; it sounds almost Maoist.  Yet Myanmar has great resources for renewable energy and the politics of the country seem driven by extremes of rich and poor, the rich wanting the military to protect them from expropriation by the masses.

Wikipedia embed showing Taliban Buddha of Bamiyan statue destruction by 2008, click for attribution 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

US clean energy with solar power could depend on slave labor from China's Uyghurs

People of Xinjiang protesting against the chinese government


Elisabeth Braw has an interesting piece on Foreign Policy, “When clean energy is powered by dirty labor”, 

The culprit is China and its use of near-slave Uyghur labor in the western Xingjiang. And it doesn’t look easy to get out of this bad karma. And China’s use of slavery seems to contradict Maoism, where everybody takes turn being a “prole”.

This morning, the media was giving attention to China’s recent aggressive Naval maneuvers around Taiwan, and a warning to the US to keep out.  (Ditto for Russia and Crimea, as in 2014.) Biden is not necessarily committed to defending Taiwan from an eventual Hong Kong-style takeover.  Taiwan was one of the most disciplined countries in meeting COVID.

Wikipedia:  Protesters in Bern, SW for Uyghurs, click for attribution.  There is a non-free picture of Uyghur detainees massed for indoctrination on the page. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Why South Africa today is still so segregated by race (Vox)

Bantustans in South Africa


Vox explains in a recent video why South Africa remains so segregated. The film is produced and narrated by Cythia Cornwell (10 min).

It traces the history of colonialism and apartheid with the British and Dutch in the 19th century.

The diamond industry in the 1870s encouraged the building of railroads in prosperous areas only, after blacks had been forced into townships, often on the periphery.

Apartheid ended officially in 1994 but the geographical division remains and market forces for new construction make it hard for non-white people to afford property in new areas.

Infrastructure is much weaker in the black areas, and the homes are much more crowded. One result is greater risk of COVID and the risk of cultivating new strains that resist medications and maybe vaccine by natural selection, which is what is happening.  This sort of arrangement is very dangerous to world public health!!

Embedded picture from Wikipedia shows bandustans in South Africa in 1994.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

London Financial Times reviews where the world could have been spared from coronavirus


my own underground

 Tom Mitchell, Sun Yu, Xinning Lu and Michael Peel have an interesting and detailed article “China and Covid-19: What went wrong in Wuhan?” in the Financial Times of London. It’s part of a series “Coronavirus: Could the World Have Been Spared?”

The article does not go into speculative theories about the virology lab, but mainly about the top-down communist bureaucracy which played the denial game until its hand was forced.  The suddenly it sprung to action with draconian lockdowns but massive temporary construction. The people accepted the sacrifice and discipline enough to get back to some normality by spring, faster than western countries

The article maintains that the rest of the world needed to “get smashed” to comprehend what it was up against.

There are various articles criticizing the EU bureaucracy in getting vaccines out and, in Italy, not protecting old people this time around.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Why "we don't have the words to fight anti-Asian racism"


San Francisco, 2018

Emily Couch argues in Foreign Policy that “We don’t have the words to fight anti-Asian racism”. 

That’s because American history has very specific events and memes that meaning is attached to,  So does colonialism, but that is less clear in Asia. 

She says words matter, but so does the lack or words.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

WHO Director General seems to overstep the official report on COVID. with "start over"; cases in young people getting bad in Canada


Toronto, Lake Ontario

Sky News, Australia, interviews a member of the WHO advisory committee, Jamie Metzl, so the WHO report is, by definition, not an authoritative report on the origin of COVID19.

Metzl notes that World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks separately from the report committee, explaining that much more work needs to be done on each hypothesis.

 (April 6: MIT Technology Review has a detailed article by Charles Schmidt giving even more nuance on the various hypotheses, especially lab accident.) 

There is also a very disturbing report in the Toronto Star that the virus variants are making young people much sicker in Canada, where they are behind in vaccinations.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

The WHO report on investigation of SARS_CoV2 is well worth downloading and reading

甲骨文发现地 - panoramio


I wanted to start the month of April by sharing John Campbell’s video on the World Health Organization.

He provides a direct link to download the document.   It is called “WHO-Convened Study of the Origins of SARS-CoV-2 China Part”.

The “conclusions” regarding the speed of emergence in Wuhan on p. 40, and the Possible Pathways of Emergence starting on p. 113 are interesting.

The only route rated as “very likely” is zoonotic intermediate host, but none has been found.

The WHO notes that the Wuhan CDC had moved in early December 2019, but this is distinct from the Virology institute and apparently did not work with SARS samples.

WHO notes a gap between the bat virus RATG13 and SARS_CoV_2 but large sudden jumps (like furin cleavage) have occurred in nature with other viruses, maybe in immunocompromised animals or persons when other viruses are present.

Nick Paton Walsh reports on the activities particularly of WHO investigator Peter Ben Embarek, regarding finding wider range of viral transmission in Wuhan in December 2019  where the first official case was supposedly recorded December 8.

WHO investigators have admitted they (or any international team) need much more access to details of activities in China (including the labs), so it is hard to justify the idea that a lab leak was “highly unlikely”.

WHO does also say that a cold chain link is possible.  Also foodborne transmission doesn’t seem to happen, SARS has some of the attributes of enteroviruses as well as respiratory. 

Wikipedia embed, Yinxu, the cradle of Chinese writing, click for attribution. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

WHO delivers official report on investigation in China, and the world grades it as incomplete (maybe a "C-")

Devant OMS 5


Here is the 83-minute press briefing by the World Health Organization on the origin of COVID19.

Peter Aldhous of BuzzFeedNews analyzes the report, giving four major possibilities.

The WHO believes that the virus could have been transmitted somewhere along the route from the wildlife farms in south China and Wuhan.  But an intermediate animal has not been identified.  China has not reported clusters of infection along these routes, although it would sound wide to look for them now with antibody or T-cell studies.  We have never been sure of China’s reporting in the past and there could have been more cases along rail or auto routes than reported.  One possibility is that the virus did not take off and spread rapidly;  it seemed to need a superspreader event somewhere, which might well have happened in Wuhan, even in the wet market.

BuzzFeed’s discussion of the lab leak hypothesis, which WHO maintains is very unlikely despite not having spent a lot of time thoroughly looking at all the lab evidence, points that the nearest bat virus (apparently from the Mojiang Mine in extreme southern China) is 96% similar to SARS_CoV2 and that normally it takes some time for that much a of gap to close with mutations.  Redfield has also pointed that out.

Josh Rogin of the Washington Post calls the report fatally flawed and needing an independent investigation.  The Biden administration has agreed that an independent study is needed. The report does not seem to acknowledge that even the US seems to have contributed to gain-of-function experiments in Wuhan in the past, which Obama stopped but Trump may have allowed to continue.

Wikipedia picture, embedded (click for attribution) shows protesters who look at WHO as accomplices for communist countries who cause world catastrophes (like Chernobyl in 1986).