Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Category: Foreign Affairs

“Scientists” Covered Up Wuhan Leak to Promote International Harmony

These “scientists” who we are told to trust without question are lying politicians more interested in their power and money than actual science. Yeah, we knew that already, but here is another confirmation.

An email from Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, on February 2 2020 said that “a likely explanation” was that Covid had rapidly evolved from a Sars-like virus inside human tissue in a low-security lab.

 

The email, to Dr Anthony Fauci and Dr Francis Collins of the US National Institutes of Health, went on to say that such evolution may have “accidentally created a virus primed for rapid transmission between humans”.

But a leading scientist told Sir Jeremy that “further debate would do unnecessary harm to science in general and science in China in particular”. Dr Collins, the former director of the US National Institutes of Health, warned it could damage “international harmony”.

 

Viscount Ridley, co-author of Viral: the search for the origin of Covid, said: “These emails show a lamentable lack of openness and transparency among Western scientists who appear to have been more interested in shutting down a hypothesis they thought was very plausible, for political reasons.”

Police Put Down Violent Demonstration

Yikes.

MOSCOW — Dozens of protesters and 12 police died during extraordinarily violent demonstrations in Kazakhstan that saw government buildings stormed and set ablaze, authorities said Thursday. One police officer was found beheaded in escalating unrest that poses a growing challenge to authoritarian rule in the Central Asian nation.

 

After breaking into the presidential residence and the mayor’s office in the country’s largest city Wednesday, demonstrators continued to try to storm more buildings overnight. “Dozens of attackers were liquidated,” police spokeswoman Saltanat Azirbek told state news channel Khabar-24, using a term common to describe the killing of people thought to be extremists. Twelve police officers were killed in the unrest and 353 injured, according to city officials cited by the channel.

 

[…]

 

Tens of thousands of people, some reportedly carrying clubs and shields, have taken to the streets in recent days in the worst protests the country has seen since gaining independence from the Soviet Union three decades ago. Although the demonstrations began over a near-doubling of prices for a type of vehicle fuel, their size and rapid spread suggest they reflect wider discontent in the country that has been under the rule of the same party since independence.

Biden and Putin Cross Swords

Do you have confidence in President Biden to deal with Russia? I don’t.

Don’t you wonder if the Russians have leverage on Biden given Hunter’s and Joe’s history of selling influence? I do.

Kremlin officials said President Putin warned Joe Biden that new sanctions would lead to a complete breakdown in relations between the two countries, during a 50-minute phone call to discuss the crisis over Ukraine on Thursday.

 

Both sides have accused the other of provocations while tens of thousands of Russian troops have been moved close to the Ukrainian border.

 

And both sides used the call to warn of dire consequences if the current impasse over Ukraine is not resolved.

 

[…]

 

For its part, the White House stressed that Biden urged his Russian counterpart to deescalate tensions, hours after it emerged that the U.S. Air Force had flown a second spy plane over the region.

 

‘He made clear that the United States and its allies and partners will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine,’ said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

 

A senior administration official added: ‘The tone of the conversation between the two presidents was serious and substantive.’

 

Russia has alarmed the West by moving more than 85,000 troops close to the Ukrainian border but officials deny they are planning to invade.

Chinese Remove Tiananmen Statue in Hong Kong

It’s difficult for me to cast stones against a government who chooses to erase the public remembrances of its history.

A famous statue at the University of Hong Kong marking the Tiananmen Square massacre was removed late on Wednesday.

The statue showed piled-up corpses to commemorate the hundreds – possibly thousands – of pro-democracy protesters killed by Chinese authorities in 1989.

 

It was one of the few remaining public memorials in Hong Kong commemorating the incident.

 

Its removal comes as Beijing has increasingly been cracking down on political dissent in Hong Kong.

The city used to be one of few places in China that allowed public commemoration of the Tiananmen Square protests – a highly sensitive topic in the country.

Mandates Fuel Distrust in Government

One could argue, and I would, that distrust of government is a fundamental characteristic of a free people. Our entire American system of government was designed to diffuse power and assumes that all people are corruptible.

Only 19% of Europeans include their government among their most trusted sources of reliable information on Covid-19 vaccines, according to a survey conducted in May 2021 by the European Barometer, a collection of cross-country public opinion surveys conducted regularly on behalf of the EU’s institutions.

[…]

Essentially, people who trust institutions need no convincing in the face of a pandemic; people who don’t are unlikely to be influenced at all.
[…]
Sophie Tissier, who organizes protests against Covid-19 restrictions and vaccines in France, says that these protests have created a new political force that is radical but goes beyond party political lines.
She says her group seeks to “create a citizens’ opposition which is beyond electoral considerations and much more like a watchdog that sits outside the world of politics to be able to tell it: ‘Look here, you are no longer protecting our rights, you are no longer protecting our rights under the law.'”
[…]
In other words, forced vaccination might push people into vaccination centers but it will also drive some of them to the streets, confirming and further fueling their deeply held suspicion of “the system.”

Rules for Thee

The real social divide is between the rulers and the ruled. But it also reveals the fact that our rulers don’t really believe in the rules they are passing. So if they don’t sincerely think that the restrictions will stem the virus, then why, ask yourself, are they enacting them?

There’s often outcry when a public figure eschews covid rules – but even more so when those breaking the rules are the same ones who set them.

 

How can the government expect the public to follow its restrictions when its top officials fail to do so, is the often-repeated question. In 2020, guideline-flouting officials faced backlash across the world – from New Zealand to Ireland to Canada to the United States.

 

[…]

 

On Saturday, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin went clubbing – until 4 a.m., according to one report – only hours after a cabinet colleague and close contact tested positive for the coronavirus.

 

Photos of the maskless 36-year-old prime minister at a Helsinki nightclub went viral, prompting some disapproval from critics who deemed her actions irresponsible. Others on social media, however, just voiced their amazement and admiration at the leader’s stamina.

 

After her foreign minister tested positive, Marin was advised that she would not have to quarantine because she was fully vaccinated. But afterward, she was given notice via text that she should quarantine after all. She had left her work phone home during her night out, however, and missed the text.

Afghanistan Faces Catastrophic Famine

Thanks, Biden.

Nearly four months since the Taliban seized power, Afghanistan is on the brink of a mass starvation that aid groups say threatens to kill 1 million children this winter — a toll that would dwarf the total number of Afghan civilians estimated to have been killed as a direct result of the war over the past 20 years.

 

While Afghanistan has suffered from malnutrition for decades, the country’s hunger crisis has drastically worsened in recent months. This winter, an estimated 22.8 million people — more than half the population — are expected to face potentially life-threatening levels of food insecurity, according to an analysis by the U.N. World Food Program and Food and Agriculture Organization. Of those, 8.7 million people are nearing famine — the worst stage of a food crisis.

 

Such widespread hunger is the most devastating sign of the economic crash that has crippled Afghanistan since the Taliban seized power. Practically overnight, billions of dollars in foreign aid that propped up the previous Western-backed government vanished, and U.S. sanctions on the Taliban isolated the country from the global financial system, paralyzing Afghan banks and impeding relief work by humanitarian organizations.

 

Across the country, millions of Afghans — from day laborers to doctors and teachers — have gone months without steady or any incomes. The prices of food and other basic goods have soared beyond the reach of many families. Emaciated children and anemic mothers have flooded into the malnutrition wards of hospitals, with many of those facilities bereft of medical supplies that donor aid once provided.

 

Compounding its economic woes, the country is confronting one of the worst droughts in decades, which has withered fields, starved farm animals and dried irrigation channels. Afghanistan’s wheat harvest is expected to be as much as 25% below average this year, according to the United Nations. In rural areas — where roughly 70% of the population lives — many farmers have given up cultivating their land.

Man Attempts to Use Fake Arm to Thwart COVID Jab

None of this is normal. The fact that people feel the need to go to such ridiculous lengths to avoid a government mandate is not normal behavior in a free society. But people do abnormal things when the boot of government narrows their windpipes.

The man, in his 50s, arrived for his shot with a silicone mould covering his real arm, hoping it would go unnoticed.

But a nurse was not fooled and the man has now been reported to the police.

 

The nurse told local media that when she had rolled up his sleeve, she found the skin “rubbery and cold” and the pigment “too light”.

 

After being discovered, the man tried to persuade the nurse to turn a blind eye, la Repubblica reported. But instead she reported him to the police for fraud.

Local police are now investigating the incident in Biella, north-west Italy, and local officials have criticised the man’s actions.

Germany Gonna Germany

It’s not like Germany hasn’t been afraid to carve out special groups of people for “special treatment.”

Germany’s national and regional leaders have agreed to bar unvaccinated people from much of public life in a bid to fend off a fourth wave of Covid-19.

Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel described the far-reaching measures as an act of “national solidarity”.

 

Only those who have been vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid will be allowed in restaurants, cinemas, leisure facilities and many shops.

 

Vaccinations could be made mandatory by February, the chancellor added.

Germany’s fourth wave of Covid is its most severe so far, with another 388 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours.

Bulldozing Trash Into the Ocean

This is the perfect example of government “work” in action.

A Denmark municipality has spent more than $150,000 a year to remove debris and seaweed from a beach only to dump it back into the water, according to Danish national broadcaster Danmarks Radio.

 

Video published by Danmarks Radio shows a bulldozer out in the water at Stillinge Beach in Slagelse, Denmark. The bulldozer blade lifts and appears to dump a slew of material and debris, which reportedly included plastic, into the water before coming back out to shore.

 

The bulldozer operator uses the rake and the blade to scoop up seaweed and plastic along the beach shore. When the collected debris fills the blade, the bulldozer heads out to the water, Danmarks Radio reported. The process happens twice a week during the summer in Denmark.

War Drums From the East

If you can’t hear them, you aren’t listening.

The Chinese Communist Party has passed a “historical resolution”, cementing Xi Jinping’s status in political history.

The document, a summary of the party’s 100-year history, addresses its key achievements and future directions.

 

It is only the third of its kind since the founding of the party – the first was passed by Mao Zedong in 1945 and the second by Deng Xiaoping in 1981.

 

It was passed on Thursday at the sixth plenary session, one of China’s most important political meetings.

 

As only the third Chinese leader to have issued such a resolution, the move aims to establish Mr Xi as an equal to party founder Mao and his successor Deng.

Some observers see the resolution as Mr Xi’s latest attempt to turn back decades of decentralisation by Chinese leaders that began under Deng and continued through other leaders like Jiang Zemin – a sign that China might be moving back to a so-called cult of personality.

5% Inflation Expected in UK

Yikes.

 

The Bank of England’s new chief economist has warned that UK inflation is likely to hit or surpass 5% by early next year.

Huw Pill told the Financial Times that the Bank would have a “live” decision to make at its next interest rate-setting meeting on 4 November.

 

It follows recent comments from Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey who said it “will have to act” on inflation.

 

The UK interest rate has been at a historic low of 0.1% since March 2020.

 

Recent data showed that inflation growth slowed to 3.1% in the year to September. However, it is expected to increase because of rising energy costs, higher wages to fill record vacancy numbers and supply chain disruption.

 

Mr Pill, who succeeded the Bank of England’s former chief economist Andy Haldane last month, said he would “not be shocked” to see inflation reach 5% or above in the coming months.

He told the Financial Times: “That’s a very uncomfortable place for a central bank with an inflation target of 2% to be.”

US Intelligence Focused on Global Warming as China Surprises World By Launch of Hypersonic Nuclear Missile

Defund the CIA.

Climate change will lead to growing international tensions, the US intelligence community has warned in a bleak assessment.

The first ever National Intelligence Estimate on Climate Change looks at the impact of climate on national security through to 2040.

 

Countries will argue over how to respond and the effects will be felt most in poorer countries, which are least able to adapt.

 

The report also warns of the risks if futuristic geo-engineering technologies are deployed by some countries acting alone.

The 27-page assessment is the collective view of all 18 US intelligence agencies. It is their first such look-ahead on what climate means for national security.

China Launched Nuclear-Capable Hypersonic Missile

American intelligence asleep at the switch again. China is reaching parity with America’s technical capabilities and they have five times as many people. As their economy destabilizes, their totalitarian instinct will be to start a war to rally the people. We are in a very dangerous time.

China secretly tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile which orbited the globe in a terrifying display of military strength which left the US stunned.

 

A report from the Financial Times, which cited five unnamed intelligence sources, said the Chinese military launched the Long March rocket in August carrying a hypersonic glide vehicle around the globe before cruising towards its target, which it missed by about two dozen miles.

 

The incident has left US intelligence officials stunned, sources say, as it shows ‘China has made astonishing progress on the development of its hypersonic weapons’.

Spy Caught

They are caught dead to rights. Firing squad for traitors.

The FBI says the scheme began in April 2020 when Jonathan Toebbe sent a package of Navy documents to a foreign government and wrote that he was interested in selling to that country operations manuals, performance reports and other sensitive information.

 

Authorities say he also provided instructions for how to conduct the furtive relationship, with a letter that said: ‘I apologize for this poor translation into your language. Please forward this letter to your military intelligence agency. I believe this information will be of great value to your nation. This is not a hoax.’

 

That package, which had a return address in Pittsburgh, was obtained by the FBI last December through its legal attache office in the unspecified foreign country.

 

That led to a monthslong undercover operation in which an agent posing as a representative of the foreign government made contact with Toebbe and agreed to pay thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency for the information he was offering.

 

In June, the FBI says, the undercover agent sent $10,000 in cryptocurrency to Toebbe, describing it as a sign of good faith and trust.

 

Weeks later, federal agents watched as the Toebbes arrived at an agreed-upon location in West Virginia for the exchange, with Diana Toebbe appearing to serve as a lookout for her husband during a dead-drop operation for which the FBI paid $20,000, according to the complaint.

 

The FBI recovered a blue memory card wrapped in plastic and placed between two slices of bread on a peanut butter sandwich, court documents said.

 

The FBI provided the contents of the memory card to a Navy subject matter expert who determined that the records included design elements and performance characteristics of Virginia-class submarine reactors, the Justice Department said.

International Shipping Infrastructure in Crisis

Our overreaction to COVID is causing far more devastation than the virus itself.

A coalition of unions that represent shipping workers around the world has warned of an imminent ‘global transport systems collapse’ due to lingering impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

In an open letter on Wednesday, the workers groups warned that fragmented and inconsistent pandemic restrictions around the world have thrown global shipping into chaos.

 

The warning comes as supply-chain backlogs leave scores of cargo ships idling outside US ports, exacerbating shortages caused by a national truck driver shortage that threatens to derail the Christmas shopping season.

 

‘We are witnessing unprecedented disruptions and global delays and shortages on essential goods including electronics, food, fuel and medical supplies,’ the shipping workers warned.

Haitians Invade Texas

We don’t really have a border anymore, and it is intentional.

DEL RIO, Texas (AP) — Haitian migrants seeking to escape poverty, hunger and a feeling of hopelessness in their home country said they will not be deterred by U.S. plans to speedily send them back, as thousands of people remained encamped on the Texas border Saturday after crossing from Mexico.

 

Scores of people waded back and forth across the Rio Grande on Saturday afternoon, re-entering Mexico to purchase water, food and diapers in Ciudad Acuña before returning to the Texas encampment under and near a bridge in the border city of Del Rio.

 

Junior Jean, a 32-year-old man from Haiti, watched as people cautiously carried cases of water or bags of food through the knee-high river water. Jean said he lived on the streets in Chile the past four years, resigned to searching for food in garbage cans.

 

“We are all looking for a better life,” he said.

I get that Haiti is a hellhole, but why is the U.S. responsible for it? If Haiti is that bad, what about Mexico? Cuba – that communist paradise? Venezuela? Canada? Belize? Jamaica? Heck… what about the other side of the island in the Dominican Republic?

Someone is paying for all of these Haitians to travel to Mexico to this focal point in Del Rio. Someone is opening ports and doors to get them there. This is intentional.

France’s Foreign Minister Compared Biden to Trump

Ooo… that’s gotta hurt in the halls of the White House. I wonder if anyone told Biden.

France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called the announcement a “stab in the back”.

He called it a “brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision” that reminded him of former US President Donald Trump.

French diplomats in Washington cancelled a gala to celebrate ties between the US and France in retaliation.

Biden’s Deal Draws Ire of America’s Oldest Ally

Making friends

France is reacting with anger after being left out of an agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia to give Australia nuclear-powered submarines.

 

In a statement issued by French Minister Of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-yves Le Drian and Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly, the country said the decision announced on Wednesday “is contrary to the letter and spirit of the cooperation that prevailed between France and Australia, based on a relationship of political trust as well as on the development of a very high-level defence industrial and technological base in Australia.”

 

The statement went on to call the announcement “regrettable.”

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