Destroying Our Foreign Allegiances In Eight Months

President Trump was accused of having a negative impact on our relationships with our allies. After all, he pretty much forced our NATO allies to pay their fair share. However, with President Trump what you saw was pretty much what you got. There weren’t a lot of surprises. Allies were never left uninformed about military actions or treated badly. Our bond with Britain was strengthened during the Trump years. Our bond with France was solid– they respected our President (even if they were not overly fond of his style). Well, President Biden has created some serious problems with our allies.

Yesterday MSN reported that France has recalled its ambassadors to America and to Australia in protest over an agreement that will provide nuclear submarines to Australia.

The article reports:

France recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia in response to a pact signed by the two countries along with the United Kingdom that the French referred to as a stab in the back.

“At the request of President Macron, I have decided to immediately recall our ambassadors to the United States and Australia to Paris for consultations,” French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drain said in a statement Friday.

The article concludes:

Earlier in the week, Le Drain told a French radio station that the pact, known as AUKUS and widely perceived as a challenge to China’s presence in the region, was a “stab in the back” and that France had been “betrayed.”

Le Drain also compared President Biden to former President Donald Trump.

“This brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr. Trump used to do,” Le Drian said. “I am angry and bitter. This isn’t done between allies.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki denied that the move had created a “regional divide” and said that France was notified of the deal prior to the announcement.  

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News on the French ambassadors being recalled.

I am sure there is someone somewhere in the diplomatic corps who could have properly handled this. Will we have any friends in the world by the end of the Biden administration?

If You Ever Wondered About The Insanity Of The Media…

Recently MSN reported that the personal finance website WalletHub has named New Jersey as the best state in the nation in which to live. Just for the record, New Jersey was one of sixteen states that lost population in the 2020 census. (article here).

The article at MSN reports:

The report evaluated states based on five equally weighted categories — affordability, economy, education and health, quality of life and safety.

Of all 50 states, New Jersey placed number one in safety, fifth in the “Education and Health” category, and seventh for quality of life. The state did not rank as high in the other two categories: it took 32nd place for its economy and came in second-to-last for affordability. 

So a financial site chose as the best state in the nation to live in a state the came in 32nd for its economy and second-to-last for affordability. Wow.  Somehow I don’t think that choice reflects fiscal responsibility. I am sure they could have found states with reasonable numbers in safety, education and health that are more affordable.

The article at MSN continues:

Following New Jersey, the study rated Massachusetts and New York the second and third-best states to live in, respectively. Idaho and Minnesota rounded out the top five. The worst? New Mexico, aka The Land of Enchantment.

Massachusetts and New York both lost population in the 2020 census.

If nothing else, this article shows the contrast between the point of view from the ‘experts’ and the people who actually work for a living and live in America.

If You Believe The Media

The media’s worst nightmare is to have President Trump hold rallies again. President Trump is still very popular with Americans who understand that his administration had a positive impact on the economic situation of average Americans. As average Americans watch the economic destruction caused by the Biden administration, they appreciate President Trump even more. The media hates that and is trying to change the narrative.

Yesterday MSN posted an article that is aimed at  establishing the media narrative on President Trump.

The article reports:

President Biden on Monday claimed the Republican party is “vastly diminished in numbers” after the January 6 Capitol riot and expressed disappointment in GOP senators who “know better” than to vote against an investigation into the riot but are “worried about being primaried.”

Biden’s remarks came in response to a question about whether NATO allies are shaken by the Capitol riot and the actions of former President Trump.

During a press conference after the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, Biden said that while other leaders may have seen things that “shock them and surprise them” they believe that the American people “are not going to sustain that kind of behavior.”

Notice how the media narrative keeps coming back to January 6th in an effort to associate President Trump with the illegal entry into the Capitol. Somehow President Biden (and the media) choose to overlook the behavior of burning down American cities last summer. Was that acceptable?

The article continues:

“I think it’s appropriate to say that the Republican party is vastly diminished in numbers,” he said. “The leadership of the Republican party is fractured and the Trump wing of the party is the bulk of the party but it makes up a significant minority of the American people.”

He added, however, that the “consequence of President Trump’s phony populism” has been a “shock and surprise.”

“It is disappointing that so many of my Republican colleagues in the Senate — who I know know better — have been reluctant to take on, for example, an investigation because they’re worried about being primaried,” he said.

I think 2022 is going to be very interesting if election fraud is dealt with. Meanwhile, you can expect the above narrative to continue for the next three years.

An Upside Down Department Of Justice

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about the priorities of the Department of Justice under Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The article reports:

Attorney General Merrick Garland acknowledged Wednesday that the Justice Department is prioritizing prosecuting those who participated in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol over those who rioted and looted during last summer’s social justice demonstrations.

“I think it’s fair to say in my career as a judge and in law enforcement, I have not seen a more dangerous threat to democracy than the invasion of the Capitol,” Mr. Garland said in testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee. “There was an attempt to interfere with the fundamental element of our democracy — the peaceful transfer of power.

“If there has to be a hierarchy of things that we prioritize, this would be the one we would prioritize because it is the most dangerous threat to our democracy,” he continued.

It should be noted that on April 15th, MSN reported:

Federal prosecutors in Portland, Ore., have moved to dismiss almost half the cases they charged in connection with violence accompanying last year’s protests over racial injustice, as authorities grapple with how to tamp down politically motivated unrest that has arisen since then.

Of 96 cases the U.S. attorney’s office in Portland filed last year charging protesters with federal crimes, including assaulting federal officers, civil disorder, and failing to obey, prosecutors have dropped 47 of them, government documents show. Ten people have pleaded guilty to related charges and two were ordered detained pending trial. None have gone to trial.

The penalties levied so far against any federal defendants, most of whom were arrested in clashes around federal buildings in Portland including the courthouse, have largely consisted of community service, such as working in a food bank or encouraging people to vote.

On January 3rd, The Daily Caller reported:

  • At least $4 million in physical damage was done to businesses downtown during the first month of protests, according to the Portland Business Alliance.
  • The riots cost downtown Portland another $18 million in revenue, according to the PBA.

I think it’s time for the Attorney General to re-examine his priorities. Those who participated in the riot at the Capitol deserve to be punished, but none of the rioters had weapons and the only person killed was killed by the Capitol Police. The destruction and threats to human life in Portland were far more serious. The only reason for the priorities the Attorney General is stating is political bias. No wonder many Americans have lost faith in the legal system in our country.

The Impact Of Brexit And The Signed Stimulus Package

MSN is reporting the following today:

Global shares rose and U.S. bond yields ticked higher on Monday after President Donald Trump signed a $2.3 trillion spending package and as investors continued to celebrate a last-minute trade deal clinched between Britain and the European Union.

By backing down from his earlier threat to block the bipartisan bill, Trump allowed millions of Americans to continue receiving unemployment benefits and averted a federal government shutdown.

“As the coronavirus pandemic has shown little sign of abating, the emergency aid was needed to avoid a sharp slowdown in the economy during the first quarter,” said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, market strategist at Mizuho Securities.

“It would have been unsettling if we hadn’t had it by the end of year,” he added.

…Germany’s export-oriented DAX surged to a fresh record high, reflecting relief over the Brexit deal, while the British market was closed for the Boxing Day holiday.

“We can finally move on from the Brexit drama,” said Win Thin, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman.

“After the last-minute deal was struck last week, the UK parliament will vote on the deal Wednesday. With (opposition party) Labour promising its support, it should pass handily,” he added.

Earlier Japan’s Nikkei advanced 0.7% and China stocks also rose, helped by strong industrial profit data. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.1%.

The rollouts of COVID-19 vaccines were also bolstering hopes of more economic normalisation next year, with Europe launching a mass vaccination drive on Sunday.

There is some downward pressure on the financial markets as a result of the new strain of the coronavirus. However, I wonder if we have reached the point of reliving ‘the boy who cried wolf.’ The coronavirus is serious, and it does represent a major health threat. However, it is time to replace fear with logical thinking–protect the vulnerable and let the rest of us go on with our lives.

Whoops

MSN is reporting today that 19 sailors were killed and 15 others wounded when an Iranian warship accidentally fired upon another warship during a training exercise.

The article reports:

The incident took place during training in the Gulf of Oman, a sensitive waterway that connects to the Strait of Hormuz through which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes. Iran regularly conducts exercises in the area.

The frigate Jamaran fired at a training target released by a support ship, the Konarak. However, the support ship stayed too close to the target and was hit, state broadcaster IRIB said.

“The incident took place in the perimeter of Iran’s southern Bandar-e Jask port on the Gulf of Oman during Iranian Navy drills on Sunday afternoon, in which 19 sailors were killed and 15 others were injured,” state TV said, quoting the navy.

Fars news agency quoted an unidentified military official as denying some Iranian media reports that the Konarak had sunk. The navy statement said investigations were undergoing regarding the cause of the incident, student news agency ISNA said.

IRIB said the Dutch-made Konarak vessel, which was purchased before Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, had been overhauled in 2018, and is equipped with four cruise missiles.

My sympathies to the families impacted, but not to the government that made this possible.

Be Careful Out There (Or Better Yet, Stay Home)

It’s hard to fight an enemy you can’t see, yet that is what Americans are being asked to do. We can debate the seriousness of the coronavirus if we choose, but we can’t debate that it is here and that it is killing people.

MSN posted an article yesterday about the death of two people in Washington state. I realize that compared to the growing number of coronavirus deaths in America, two people may seem insignificant (not to their families), but their story is significant.

The article reports:

With the coronavirus quickly spreading in Washington state in early March, leaders of the Skagit Valley Chorale debated whether to go ahead with weekly rehearsal.

The virus was already killing people in the Seattle area, about an hour’s drive to the south.

But Skagit County hadn’t reported any cases, schools and business remained open, and prohibitions on large gatherings had yet to be announced.

On March 6, Adam Burdick, the choir’s conductor, informed the 121 members in an email that amid the “stress and strain of concerns about the virus,” practice would proceed as scheduled at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church.

“I’m planning on being there this Tuesday March 10, and hoping many of you will be, too,” he wrote.

Sixty singers showed up. A greeter offered hand sanitizer at the door, and members refrained from the usual hugs and handshakes.

…After 2 1/2 hours, the singers parted ways at 9 p.m.

Nearly three weeks later, 45 have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or ill with the symptoms, at least three have been hospitalized, and two are dead.

The outbreak has stunned county health officials, who have concluded that the virus was almost certainly transmitted through the air from one or more people without symptoms.

The fact that the virus was transmitted at the rehearsal raises questions about the virus.

The article notes:

In interviews with the Los Angeles Times, eight people who were at the rehearsal said that nobody there was coughing or sneezing or appeared ill.

Everybody came with their own sheet music and avoided direct physical contact. Some members helped set up or remove folding chairs. A few helped themselves to mandarins that had been put out on a table in back.

Experts said the choir outbreak is consistent with a growing body of evidence that the virus can be transmitted through aerosols — particles smaller than 5 micrometers that can float in the air for minutes or longer.

The World Health Organization has downplayed the possibility of transmission in aerosols, stressing that the virus is spread through much larger “respiratory droplets,” which are emitted when an infected person coughs or sneezes and quickly fall to a surface.

But a study published March 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that when the virus was suspended in a mist under laboratory conditions it remained “viable and infectious” for three hours — though researchers have said that time period would probably be no more than a half-hour in real-world conditions.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has not behaved well during this pandemic. There is a video of an official of the organization obviously avoiding a question about helping Taiwan. There are also indications that the WHO has made statements based on Chinese propaganda rather than actual facts (misinformation that has helped spread the virus).

At any rate–STAY HOME. Choir practice is fun, but when you sing, you may be projecting more than your voice. Normally that is not a problem–right now it is.

Stay safe.