Leaked Documents Reveal Coronavirus Infections Up to 52 Times Higher Than Reported Numbers in China’s Shandong Province

(Courtesy The Epoch Times)

The novel coronavirus outbreak in eastern China’s Shandong province is much worse than the officially reported, according to a series of internal government documents obtained by The Epoch Times.

Between Feb. 9 to 23, Shandong authorities underreported the number of infections every day, according to internal data compiled by the Shandong Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). The latter kept a tally of the number of patients who tested positive for the virus during nucleic acid testing—using a diagnostic kit to test body samples and detect whether they contain the virus’s genetic sequence.

The Shandong CDC daily numbers ranged from being 1.36 times to 52 times greater than the officially published data by the Shandong health commission and China’s National Health Commission.

As of Feb. 25, the Shandong government stated that there were a total of 755 infections in the province. But the internal document showed that 1,992 people had tested positive for the virus via nucleic acid testing as of Feb. 23.

The government publicly stated that there were four newly diagnosed coronavirus patients on Feb. 22, but the internal document said that 61 patients were diagnosed with the virus that day.

In recent days, official data has shown new infections leveling off. For example, on Feb. 25, the National Health Commission reported only a total of nine new diagnosed cases outside of Hubei province, where the outbreak is most severe.

In fact, Shandong alone had new infections in the double digits daily. On Feb. 20, new infections spiked, with 274 testing positive.

To date, this is the most definitive evidence that Chinese authorities routinely underreport cases. Previously, The Epoch Times interviewed staff at funeral homes in the city of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, who said they had to work round the clock in order to keep up with the dramatic increase in workload.

Health experts have also hypothesized that Chinese official figures are inaccurate, based on their statistical modeling. Recently, a group of American researchers published a study, not yet peer-reviewed, in which they suggested cumulative infections and deaths in China could be “substantially higher” than officially stated—by a factor of 5 to 10.

U.S.-based China commentator Tang Jingyuan told The Epoch Times that authorities reporting fewer infections was likely a tactic to convince Chinese citizens that the virus’s spread was contained and thus, it would be safe to return to work.

Chinese businesses were shut down for the Lunar New Year holiday, which was extended in order to prevent cross-infection in the workplace. The central government, fearing the economic inactivity could have long-term impact, asked firms to resume operations on Feb. 10.

“It [Beijing] is trying to create an image that most of the country is safe enough to resume production,” Tang said.

Shandong

The internal data shared with The Epoch Times includes a breakdown of diagnostic results from all 16 prefectural-level municipalities in Shandong province, which were sent in an email to the disease control department of the Shandong health commission.

The Shandong CDC compiled daily statistical reports about coronavirus diagnoses, tallying positive test results at all hospitals in the province that were qualified to conduct such testing.

For example, on Feb. 22, Qishan Hospital in Yantai city tested 229 patients. 12 of them were diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Qishan Hospital is a dedicated infectious disease hospital.

The Shandong government frequently reported one or two new diagnoses to the public, when the internal data showed much more.

On Feb. 22, for example, the government reported two newly diagnosed cases in the day prior, but the real data was 59.

On Feb. 20, the government reported two newly diagnosed cases for Feb. 19, but the real data was 49.

And on Feb. 19, the government reported one newly diagnosed case in the day prior, but the real data is 52.

For the period between Feb. 8 to Feb. 22, the government announced that there were 347 newly diagnosed cases, but the internal data shows 1,072 new patients—more than 3 times the published figure.

Diagnostic Kit Not Sufficient?

One Chinese researcher suggested that diagnostic kits alone would not be able to detect all the virus-infected patients.

“This disease [coronavirus] has a character, which is not all patients can be detected positive when use nucleic acid testing,” Wang Chen, director of China’s Academy of Medical Sciences and a critical care medicine expert, told state-run broadcaster CCTV on Feb. 5.

Wang explained that although nucleic acid testing is currently the only official test method that Chinese medical staff use to diagnose coronavirus, the result is not accurate.

“Only 30 to 50 percent of the patients present positive,” according to Wang.

He explained that all patients who test positive are infected with the coronavirus, but another 50 to 70 percent of patients are actually infected but cannot be detected by nucleic acid testing.

Globe braces for long battle against virus as cases spread

By KIM TONG-HYUNG and MATT SEDENSKY

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Scientists raced to find a treatment, crews scrubbed everything from money to buses, and quarantines were enforced Wednesday from a beachfront resort in the Atlantic to an uninhabited island in the Pacific as the world fought the spread of a new virus.

Worries over the ever-expanding economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis multiplied, with factories idled, trade routes frozen and tourism crippled, while a growing list of countries braced for the illness to claim new territory. Even the Olympics, five months away, wasn’t far enough off to keep people from wondering if it would go on as planned.

“We don’t expect a miracle in the short term,” said Kianoush Jahanpour of the health ministry in Iran, where an official tally of infections of 139 was doubted by some who thought the problem was far bigger.

About 81,000 people around the globe were sickened by the coronavirus that kept finding new targets.RELATED STORIES

In Europe, where Germany, France and Spain were among the places with a growing caseload, an expanding cluster of more than 200 cases in northern Italy was eyed as a source for transmissions. In the Middle East, where cases increased in Bahrain, Kuwait and Iraq, blame was directed toward Iran. In Asia, where the crisis originated late last year in China, threats continued to emerge around the region, with South Korea battling a mass outbreak centered in the 2.5 million-person city of Daegu.

Though the virus pushed into countries both rich and poor, its arrival in places with little ability to detect, respond and contain it brought concern it could run rampant there and spread easily elsewhere.

“We’re going to be trying to slow down the spread so that our hospitals are not overwhelmed in one big gulp, one big hit,” said Ian Mackay, who studies viruses at the University of Queensland in Australia.

In South Korea, workers sanitized public buses, while in China, banks disinfected banknotes using ultraviolet rays. In Germany, authorities stressed “sneezing etiquette,” while in the United States, doctors announced a clinical trial of a possible coronavirus treatment.

Around the world, as Christians marked the start of the holy season of Lent with Ash Wednesday, worshipers found churches closed and rituals changed by virus fears. Even in St. Peter’s Square, many of those gathered for Pope Francis’ weekly audience wore face masks and clergy appeared to refrain from embracing the pontiff or kissing his ring.

Services in Singapore were broadcast online to keep people from crowded sanctuaries where germs could spread, bishops in South Korea shuttered churches for what they said was the first time in the Catholic Church’s 236-year history there, and in Malaysia and the Philippines, ashes were sprinkled on the heads of those marking the start of Lent instead of using a damp thumb to trace a cross of ashes.

“We would like to be cautious so that the coronavirus will not spread,” said the Rev. Victorino Cueto, rector of the National Shrine of our Mother of Perpetual Help in Manila in the Philippines.

Major gatherings were eyed warily, with organizers scrambling to respond in the face of the epidemic. Looming largest of all are the Olympic games, whose opening ceremonies are scheduled for July 24 in Tokyo. A member of the International Olympic Committee, Richard Pound, sounded alarms a day earlier, saying the virus could force a cancellation of the games. The Japanese government, in turn, gave mixed signals, insisting they would go forward yet urging that sports events now be curtailed.Full Coverage: Virus Outbreak

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for major sports and cultural events in the coming two weeks to be canceled or postponed to stem further infections. Meanwhile, the top government spokesman said Olympics preparations would proceed and the games would go on as planned.

Among the other crowded places that had officials worried: Military bases.

The South Korean military announced additional infections among its troops, with 20 cases on its bases and some 9,570 people in isolation. The U.S. military, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, confirmed the first infection of an American soldier, a 23-year-old man based at Camp Carroll near Daegu, a day after Americans said a military spouse also had contracted the illness. Bowling alleys, movie theaters and a golf course on four American bases in the country were closed.

“This is a setback, it’s true, there’s no getting around that. But it’s not the end of the war,” Col. Edward Ballanco, commander of the U.S. Army Garrison Daegu told troops in a video message. “We are very well equipped to fight this thing off.”

Italy recorded 52 new infections on Wednesday and Greece became the newest country to see a case of the virus. South Korea announced 284 new cases, largely in Daegu, bringing its total to 1,261. China, still the epicenter of the crisis even as new outposts caught the world’s attention, reported 406 new cases and 52 more deaths. The country has a total of 78,604 cases of the virus and 2,715 fatalities.

China said Wednesday that those sickened by the virus included 555 prisoners who officials said likely became infected by guards using the same bus station as a nearby pulmonary hospital. In a twist, China is now heavily regulating arrivals from abroad, with authorities placing South Koreans under monitoring, state broadcaster CCTV reported, after five people on a flight showed signs of fever.

Indonesia said it evacuated 188 crew members from the World Dream cruise ship and planned to take them to remote Sebaru Island. The workers were released from quarantine in Hong Kong after finding no infections, but authorities mandated an additional observation period.

And on the opposite side of the world, the MSC Meraviglia was denied permission to land in Grand Cayman, where it was due to arrive Wednesday, following a decision by Jamaica to refuse it entry. The cruise line expressed frustration with the moves, which came after it reported one crew member from the Philippines was sick with common seasonal flu.

It brought reminders of the MS Westerdam, which was repeatedly denied entry to Asian ports before Cambodia welcomed its passengers.

MSC Cruises said the Meraviglia was sailing onward to Mexico.

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Sedensky reported from Bangkok. Associated Press writers Jim Gomez and Joeal Calupitan in Manila, Philippines; Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea; Stephen Wade and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo; Nicole Winfield in Vatican City; Aniruddha Ghosal in New Delhi; and Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

US Health Officials: Human Trials on Coronavirus Vaccine Will Start in 6 Weeks

BY JACK PHILLIPS February 25, 2020 Updated: February 25, 2020

(Courtesy The Epoch Times)

Testing trials of a potential COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine are expected to start in about six weeks, coming ahead of schedule, according to a top U.S. health official.

“We are on time at least and maybe even a little bit better,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told reporters on Tuesday. However, he cautioned about potential “further glitches.”

The National Institutes of Health has been working with Moderna, a biotechnology company, to produce a vaccine that uses the current strain of the coronavirus.

U.S. health officials are fast-tracking development on a coronavirus vaccine, Fauci suggested.

“The gene has been expressed in the platform, in this case, a messenger RNA. The material has been produced, it’s been put into mice. It’s immunogenic,” he said. “It’s now getting ready to go through the regulatory issues of getting it to go.”

Fauci noted that it’s possible the virus might be seasonal and said this vaccine may not solve any problems in the coming months. However, it would be “an important tool” in the future, Fauci said.

On Monday, Moderna confirmed that its vaccine, mRNA-1273, was sent to the NIAID, and the vaccination trial will start with 20 to 25 healthy subjects by the end of April, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. That would mark a three-month period between the design of the vaccine and testing, with the first results becoming available by around July.

“It is possible it’s going to work, but we have to wait and see,” Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel told the news outlet.

An antiviral drug that was designed to treat Ebola patients, remdesivir, is now being subject to a clinical trial, said the NIAID on Tuesday, adding that testing has begun on patients who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship currently being housed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

“This is the first clinical trial in the United States to evaluate an experimental treatment for COVID-19,” the agency said. Remdesivir, produced by Gilead Sciences Inc., has been tested on virus patients in China starting in early February, according to U.S. and Chinese officials.

Noting that the clinical trial is being conducted on a voluntary basis, the NIAID stated that participants have to have COVID-19 lung infection and “evidence of lung involvement,” and individuals who have mild, cold-like symptoms won’t be included in the study.

Earlier in the day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said schools and businesses will have to take preparatory measures if the coronavirus turns into a U.S. epidemic, while stressing that Americans should stay alert.

“We are asking the American public to work with us to prepare for the expectation that this could be bad,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, with the agency, said in a conference call.

Coronavirus Outbreak 5 to 10 Times Worse Than China Admits: Study

BY EVA FU The Epoch Times

The deadly coronavirus that is morphing into a global threat could have infected five to 10 times more people than Chinese officials have acknowledged, a group of U.S. researchers said.

The Feb. 18 study, which has not been peer-reviewed, was co-led by Lucia Dunn, economics professor at Ohio State University, and Mai He, pathology professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis.

Drawing from both official and unofficial data sources, the study suggested the cumulative infections and deaths could be “substantially higher” than officially stated—by a factor of 5 to 10.

“So many people are doubting the numbers in China … that we think we should look at alternative numbers,” Dunn said in an interview with The Epoch Times.

The data was pulled from official figures; a mobile mapping site from Chinese tech giant Tencent; and reported cremations at funeral homes in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

Anomalous infection numbers appeared briefly on at least two separate occasions on Tencent News, an online news portal that provides real-time tracking of official outbreak data. On Jan. 27 and Feb. 1, the platform reported a cumulative infection (including both confirmed and suspected cases) of more than 213,000 and 233,000 each. In contrast, Wuhan authorities on Feb. 2 reported 14,380 confirmed infections and less than 20,000 suspected cases—only a tenth of the Tencent figure.

The numbers on Tencent were gone in a few hours, although not before Chinese netizens snapped screenshots and circulated them around the internet.

Rather than dismissing these figures as a technical glitch, Dunn said the Tencent data may be an unintentional “leak” that offers a clue at the outbreak’s true scale.

The Epoch Times and other media outlets interviewed staff at several major Wuhan crematoriums, who said they have been operating 24 hours per day since late January, which is five times—or 20 more hours per day—higher than their regular workload. According to the researchers’ calculations of an annual case fatality rate of 0.551 percent, the additional operating hours at the funeral homes implied an additional 680 deaths than normal on a daily average, according to the study. The researchers suspect the spike to be a direct result of the outbreak.

Based on a Lancet study which projected that infection numbers could double every 6.4 days, the researchers came up with death rates for different scenarios, ranging from 2.8 percent to as high as 32.8 percent.

Dunn said they then estimated from those numbers the outbreak’s starting time, which they found to be between Sept. 25 and Nov. 5.

Wuhan authorities first announced the existence of a mysterious pneumonia on Dec. 31 involving dozens of cases, and claimed that the first patient exhibited symptoms in early December.

But based on the findings, Dunn said Chinese officials would have known it a lot earlier.

Due to the lack of transparency in China, the researchers were not able to independently verify numbers from Chinese sources firsthand, and therefore the estimates can only serve as an approximate.

There’s a sense that the “[Chinese] government numbers are definitely too low,” and “off by orders of a magnitude,” Dunn said.

A recent report (pdf) by the Imperial College London also suggested a case fatality rate of 18 percent in Hubei province, where Wuhan is the capital.

“We are beginning to feel really confident that we have no confidence in the government numbers,” Dunn said.

Cover-Up

Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist and one of the eight medical professionals who tried to warn fellow medics about the virus the day before the official announcement, was reprimanded by local police for spreading rumors. He later died from the virus after treating an infected person.

“The government covered it up,” Dunn said, noting that Chinese authorities fired the Wuhan and Hubei Party chiefs amid growing public anger of how they handled the outbreak.

Zhou Xiangyang, mayor of Wuhan, later admitted to the city government’s failure to make timely disclosures about the outbreak, but said he “could only publish information” after clearing it with central authorities.

“You see why nobody wants to put it [information] out there … These guys lose their job when it’s known that they have some big catastrophe brewing, so nobody wants to come forward with that kind of bad news,” Dunn said.

“Communist governments always suppress information, keep information from their citizens—especially when it’s bad news. And this is what we have to show for it,” she added.

Crematoriums

The Epoch Times has spoken with dozens of Wuhan residents who were denied treatment at hospitals due to the overwhelming number of infected coronavirus patients.

In a Feb. 4 undercover investigation, a senior official at a Wuhan funeral home told The Epoch Times that the facility’s daily intake has drastically increased since Jan. 22, the day before the city issued an unprecedented lockdown to quarantine residents in an effort to contain the outbreak. Chinese health officials have required people who die from the virus to be cremated.

The official said the funeral home’s workload was around four to five times more than normal. On Feb. 3, it peaked at processing 127 bodies. Under pressure to keep up with the demand, the facility’s workers have been working round the clock even through the Lunar New Year, China’s biggest public holiday. He said two other major crematoriums in Wuhan were also on overdrive.

“I count myself as blessed if I can sleep for two or three hours a day,” he said in the interview, adding that they would need at least 40 to 50 more workers to cope with the need.

Researchers Worried about Stealth Properties of COVID-19

In South Korea, Singapore and Iran, clusters of infections are leading to a jump in cases of the new viral illness outside China. But it’s not the numbers that are worrying experts: It’s that increasingly they can’t trace where the clusters started.

World Health Organization officials said China’s crackdown on parts of the country bought time for the rest of the world to prepare for the new virus. But as hot spots emerge around the globe, trouble finding each source — the first patient who sparks every new cluster — might signal the disease has begun spreading too widely for tried-and-true public health steps to stamp it out.

“A number of spot fires, occurring around the world is a sign that things are ticking along, and what we are going to have here is probably a pandemic,” said Ian Mackay, who studies viruses at Australia’s University of Queensland.

That worst-case isn’t here yet, the WHO insists. It isn’t convinced that countries outside China need more draconian measures, but it pointed to spikes in cases in Iran and South Korea to warn that time may be running out to contain the virus.

“What we see is a very different phase of this outbreak depending where you look,” said WHO’s Dr. Sylvie Briand. “We see different patterns of transmission in different places.”

The World Health Organization defines a “global pandemic” as a disease spreading on two continents, though some public health experts would call an outbreak a pandemic if the spread is over a wide area or across many international borders.

The newest red flag: Iran has reported 28 cases, including five deaths, in just days. The cluster began in the city of Qom, a popular religious destination, but it’s not clear how. Worse, infected travelers from Iran already have been discovered in Lebanon and Canada.

In South Korea, most of the hundreds of new cases detected since Wednesday are linked to a church in the city of Daegu and a nearby hospital. But health authorities have not yet found the “index case,” the person among the church’s 9,000 followers who set off the chain of infections.

There also have been several cases in the capital, Seoul, where the infection routes have not yet been traced. In Europe, Italy saw cases of the new virus more than quadruple in a day as it grapples with infections in a northern region that apparently have spread through a hospital and a cafe.

A cluster of cases isn’t inherently worrying — in fact, it’s expected as an infection that’s easy to spread is carried around the world by travelers. The first line of defense: Isolate the sick to treat them and prevent further spread, and quarantine people who came in contact with them until the incubation period is over.

But as the virus becomes more widespread, trying to trace every contact would be futile, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong acknowledged earlier this month.

“If we still hospitalize and isolate every suspect case, our hospitals will be overwhelmed,” he said. So far, the city-state has identified five clusters of transmission, including two churches. But there remain eight locally transmitted cases with no links to earlier cases, or to China.

Viruses vary in how they infect. The new coronavirus — unlike its cousins SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, and MERS, or Middle East respiratory syndrome — spreads as easily as a common cold.

And it’s almost certainly being spread by people who show such mild symptoms that no one can tell, said Dr. Amesh Adalja of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

“If that’s the case, all of these containment methods are not going to work,” Adalja said. “It’s likely mixed in the cold and flu season all over the place, in multiple countries” and gone unnoticed until someone gets severely ill.

These milder symptoms are good news “in terms of not as many people dying,” said Mackay, of Australia. “But it’s really bad news if you are trying to stop a pandemic,” he added.

When Hong Kong reported it first death from the virus earlier this month, it also confirmed three locally transmitted cases with no known link to any previous cases or any travel history to China. Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Center for Health Protection warned then that “there could be invisible chains of infection happening within communities.”

Officials in both South Korea and Japan have signaled in the past week that the spread is entering a new phase in their countries.

On Friday, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Se-kyun said the government would have to shift its focus from quarantine and border control to slowing the spread of the virus. Schools and churches were closed and some mass gatherings banned.

Takaji Wakita, head of Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases, earlier urged people to work at home or in shifts to avoid being in a crowd, and refrain from holding non-essential and non-urgent meetings.

But Adalja cautioned that far-reaching measures like China instituted in the outbreak’s epicenter of Wuhan — where citizens have been ordered to stay in their homes for weeks — can backfire. While it remains to be seen if the new virus is waning, that kind of lockdown makes it hard for people to get other critically important care, like fast treatment for a heart attack.

There’s no way to predict if the recent clusters will burn out or trigger widespread transmission.

For now, health officials should try and contain the infection for as long as possible while preparing for a change in strategy by preparing hospitals, readying protective equipment and bolstering laboratory capacity, said Gagandeep Kang, a microbiologist who leads India’s Translational Health Science and Technology Institute.

“Although the window of opportunity is narrowing to contain the outbreak, we still have a chance to contain it,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “But while doing that, we have to prepare at the same time for any eventualities, because this outbreak could go any direction – it could even be messy.”

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Ghosal reported from New Delhi. Neergaard reported from Washington, D.C. Associated Press writers Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul, South Korea, and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this story.

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All contents © copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

COVID-19 Hits California – Confirm Cases Nearly Double as CDC Issues Warning

(Courtesy The Epoch Times)

Zachary Stieber Reporting

Thirty-four patients have tested positive for the new coronavirus in the United States, federal officials said on Friday, after another patient tested positive late Thursday.

Twenty-one of the patients were repatriated from foreign countries by the State Department. Groups were quarantined at military bases after being repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where hundreds of infections emerged, and Wuhan, China, where the virus first emerged in December 2019.

All but three of the 21 patients were passengers on the ship, which is docked in Yokohama, Japan, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

The other 13 patients weren’t among the groups that were repatriated. The number is one less than the number that the CDC has listed on its website as of Friday afternoon.

The last patient to test positive was in Humboldt County, California. That patient returned from mainland China, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, a top CDC official, told reporters in a phone call on Friday. The Department of Health and Human Services said that a close contact of the patient is showing symptoms and is being tested. Both “are doing well and self-isolating at home,” the department said in a statement.

The majority of the cases, both among repatriated persons and the other category, are in California.

All the cases among the non-repatriated persons have appeared in people who recently returned from China or among people who had close contact with people who recently traveled to China.

The CDC is now breaking out the number of cases among those repatriated from Japan or China and counting them separately from the rest because the former group “doesn’t reflect transmission and risk in general in the U.S.,” Messonnier said.

Because passengers on the Diamond Princess were in a close setting with others, including people who tested positive for the virus, U.S. officials expect to see additional cases of COVID-19, the disease the virus causes, among them. Many of those repatriated are over the age of 60, meaning they might experience other medical issues requiring hospitalization.

Officials believe it’s “possible, even likely” that community spread of the virus may happen, Messonnier said, adding that officials are making plans to deal with such a spread. Local spread of the virus has started in countries outside China, including Japan and South Korea.

Noting that schools and businesses have been shutting down in some parts of Asia, the director of the CDC’s Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases told reporters: “The day may come when we will need to take such measures in the United States.”

Infected Patients Allowed to Board Plane

Officials were pressed on the decision to include patients who tested positive on the repatriation of the Diamond Princess passengers.

Samples from the passengers were obtained 48 to 72 hours before the passengers boarded the State Department-charted plane, Ian Brownlee, an acting assistant secretary for the department, told reporters. The results came in as the passengers were on buses on their way to the airport, Dr. William Walters, another State Department official added. Then the lab results showing positive results among people not showing symptoms came in.

The patients were moved into an isolated area at the back of the plane, State Department officials said earlier this week. Plastic was dropped on all four sides of a block of 18 seats, with one entrance and one exit.

“That both protects the rest of the passengers and the rest of the crew from any spread. Every interaction with passengers that are inside the isolation area is very deliberate, it’s very—it’s planned, and it’s done very carefully,” Walters told reporters on Tuesday.

The decision to let the infected patients onto the plane was made by State Department officials.

“The decision, I think, was the right one in bringing those people home,” Walters said.

“These are difficult decisions that we’re faced with everyday and we’re making those decisions in real time,” Messonnier added.

Americans considering traveling overseas shouldn’t view such repatriation flights as standard practice by the U.S. government, Brownley warned, advising Americans to reconsider travel by cruise ship to, in, or from Asia.

Why China (And Progressives) Are Smiling About Bernie Sanders

by James Watkins

The Communist Party of China is a group of about 91 million citizens who are what we might consider the “elite class,” mostly well-educated Chinese citizens who form the bulk of the political, educational, security and entertainment industry in China, a country of 1.4 billion people. It is this powerful collection of upper-crest people who set the rules of the country. It has been this way, in various forms mind you, since 1949 when they, in 1921 first became a Party with little influence, and then later becoming a dominant political party within two decades.

The CCP has ruled China with an iron fist ever since.

It started with someone just like Bernie Sander, screaming about the plight of the underclass, the downtrodden, the worker who suffers at the hands of the exploitive rich who languish in spoils they do not deserve. It’s the stuff that revolutions are made of when you listen to Bernie at his rallies. “Bring down the billionaires! Bring down the banks! Bring down Wall Street!”

Sound familiar?

This is what I think of when I consider that Bernie Sanders could very well be our next president. I think we are one step closer to being a communist country.

Our version of the CCP is what makes up the elites in the gateway progressive coastal cities, the media rich, the actors and performers who lecture us about morality, virtue, tolerance and diversity when they have no intention of ever embracing non-progressives who don’t share their secular ideology of classism.

The American CCP might also be the “protected class” of people from all subsets of society who feel disenfranchised, like minorities, immigrants, people in poverty, women, people of color, people who are LGBTQ and feel stigmatized. It’s the perennial cultural battle between the city dwellers and the farmers in the classic sense, the urban and the rural, the city folk and the country folk, and to a great degree, between the Humanist and the Religionist.

And Bernie is there to bring those urban classes together under one banner: SOCIALISM

Senator Sanders is openly endorsing Socialism. He calls democratic socialism the future of America, and it is identical to Jiang Zemins’ The Three Represents ideology from the early 2000’s.

It’s the people controlled by a massive government of spies (see-something, say something), politically-correct snowflakes who troll looking for bad behavior (like Antifa, or Black Lives Matter), the social justice warriors of social media, minions of “the collective” who seek out climate deniers, sexists, bigots and homophobes in our society to shame them publicly, costing them their livelihoods for the greater goods’ need for retribution; they are the Bernie bros who want anarchy simply because they are too bored to do anything else; the new American CCP are also comprised overly-sensitive former college professors who hate the fact that the sixties ‘Down with America’ revolution failed; media elites who think they are the moral thought police in this new American paradigm. progressive politicians who will lie about anything to stay in power because they want to keep that power in perpetuity (i.e., the CCP) by reminding people that they serve for the greater good, all the while serving themselves to privilege that comes with the great responsibility of managing “for the people.”

Bernie Sanders wants to bring in Leninism because he sincerely believes free-market capitalism leaves too many people behind. He believes the exact opposite of what most modern economic theorists believe, which is that low taxes and low government regulation spur economic development, so that more people can find more opportunity in a free and transparent society built on merit and not class.

Senator Sanders believes high-taxes and social subsidies like cancelling college debt and medicare for all will provide a safety net which will save money and decrease poverty. Essentially, it’s the Obama plan – but more extensive and much more dictatorial.

Bernie believes larger government, guaranteed employment, rent subsidies, easy access to abortion and creating hate-crime laws to protect all minorities from hate-speech is more important than individual freedom and self determination, ideologies that are secondary to group rights and social justice.

Bernie also believes that money will allow us to turn down the earth’s temperature and we all must pay for it in order to receive redemption from the climate Gods.

But what really frightens me the most about Sanders is that he has the audacity to believe he is right and history is wrong. There is no case study to show that any of Bernie’s policies would work. He has never worked in private business, and despite being a Senator for over a decade, has yet to push forward any legislation that amounted to anything substantive. In fact, my first question to Bernie would be, “show me some policy or legislation you have created that shows real enduring success.” How is it that a person who has never owned a business, nor seems to have worked for one, can tell business what is in their best interest? Worse still, how is that his supporters don’t ask themselves that question?

But the momentum is building. 18 to 35 year olds love Bernie, they love his virtue signaling, he gives voice to the voiceless, he represents the lower class (and there are plenty of disenfranchised single people in this country who would love to give the finger to the U.S. Constitution).

The city folk are riled up about Bernie, and while I don’t think if Bernie wins the CCP becomes the new political party in America, I do believe the CCP in China will celebrate a victory of seeing its rival the United States inch itself one step closer to being exactly what China is today: a large country iron-fistedly ruled by a party of secular elites who believe it is they who bestow rights and liberties to the masses and that rights come from government, not God. And they know this because some people are just more equal than others.

It took China just under twenty-years to transition from a free-market democracy to a totalitarian regime; in Germany it took just six years years. In Cuba, and Russia change was almost overnight, and in Venezuela less than five years more or less. Sometimes change comes quickly when the circumstances are aligned. Bernie Sanders may just represent the embryonic state of a future Americanized version of the CCP, the Progressive Party who rules with an iron fist for the greater good.

(in a future article I will to draw some frightening correlations showing how progressives are using Orwellian Newspeak to reduce critical thinking. It will be double-plus-good!)

Is democratic-socialism the future for America? Are the metropolitan neo-Progressives destined to push their ideology into America’s heartland by force? Does Bernie Sanders represent an incremental first step towards that dystopian not-so-distant future of creating an American version of the Chinese Communist Party?

Or perhaps it is better to ask if the current CCP is smiling as they watch us inch one step closer to thier way of life?

I feel like a frog in water starting to sweat.


The Real America

The election is already over.

I am glad. It will take that amount of time between now and November for progressives and lefty-Democrats to get over themselves.

Anyone who still thinks there is a chance Trump will lose is not living in reality. Look around. Do you see that Trump performed outstandingly in both Iowa and New Hampshire? Ask yourself this question if you hate Trump and think everyone else does, too. If people really hate Trump as much as MSNBC, CNN, ABC, and CBS indicates, then why are voters showing up to support Trump overwhelmingly? Why are the stadiums filled?

The answer is simple. Most of the United States, what I call the silent majority, are not concerned about racism, homophobia, climate change and, as Joaquin Phoenix stated, “Queer rights.” Though, the major media would have you believe these are burning issues for all of us and are what is causing the uptick in anxiety, but not really, at least for the majority of us who live our own lives and are concerned with our own real world problems, like raising a family, or starting one, or being in love, or being into whatever it is we Americans are into that have nothing to do with being a victim of injustice.

You see, in the real world, the adult world, people don’t see themselves as victims of some class warfare, they don’t worry that CO2 levels are going to destroy the planet. Most people are not overtly wrought about social or environmental justice because those are terms created by people who simply want to tell you how to live your life, people like movie stars and singers, people who are so bloody rich that they can’t wait to tell us from their perch how we should do what they say because they are simply smarter than us because they are filthy rich. The Bourgeoisie are always the first to tell us we need to feel guilty for having such a good life, that we must suffer just a little for repentance, and we must make sacrifices in order to receive social atonement. 

But the real people, not the people that AOC talks about, but the salt-of-the-earth people who believe in traditional ideals and family values, in things like having faith in God and the Lord Jesus Christ, showing respect to your elders and, as Thomas Jefferson once said, “behave as if the whole world is watching,” are what makes up America; hard working people who oftentimes get up before the rest of us and go to work, all while the elite busy themselves with theories and strategies about controlling society to make we the people more like them. No, the people who make up the country we call the United States of America, those we see behind Trump at the rallies are the parents, the teachers, coaches and clergy; the small business owners, the truck drivers, the plumbers, construction workers, farmers, food preparers, medical health professionals, air condition repair persons, store clerk, fast food food preparer, they the real face of Americans who are grounded in realville. They are Black, White, Asian, Men, Women, young and old. Skin colors doesn’t matter, gender matters less. You are pro-American or you are not. America isn’t perfect, but it is our home, and we have all built her with our hands, or at least the hands of our ancestors who wanted us to have a good life, a better life, a happier one.

The real people, not the snowflakes, or hard-left social justice warriors like ANTIFA, are the backbone of this country. And if Trump did anything, he made us realize there are more of us than there are of them. Thanks to a saturated and agenda-driven media, we have been hoodwinked into believing that everything relevant in our culture is what comes out of New York and LA, but as Johnny Carson once quipped, and then there is the in-between, the rest of America, all three thousand miles of it

Trump showed us we count more than they, we always have, and especially always will as long as we push back against the media and the hard-Left progressives who want to turn this country in one vast romper-room of uneducated children-adults/man-boys/girl-men who only care about themselves in the glorious age of narcissism, thanks to the media giving spotlight to groups and movements like #MeToo, Antifa, SJW, BLM and LGBTQ; these are the forces that seek to divide the family, the home and the community, the very underpinnings of civilization.

What they all have in common is they hate the patriarch, they disdain tradition, and if it weren’t for White Male Europeans, the world would be equal and peaceful. Many of the new resistance groups (who all hate Trump and/.or conservative values) truly believe “white equals oppression.”

What a horrible world view. White guilt is being pandered to our young through our media and it works in concert with the progressive worldview “where everyone is equal, though some are less equal than others because of their ancestral sins.”

The Left, in my opinion, is like a small child who says, “geez, if only my parents wasn’t here, I could do whatever I want, wouldn’t that be fun?” This is the ideology of the neo-Left, no rules, no boundaries, all about the self. But this is NOT the typical U.S. citizen. We are better than that. We are the end result of thousands of years of social trial-and error. Our forefathers (and mothers) struggled, persevered and persisted until they found freedom, self-determination and a love for real Liberty – and then they codified it into the Bill of Rights and lastly, the U.S. Constitution, which declares we are endowed by our Creator to enjoy the fruits of our labors and to the inherent rights to a Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Now that is powerful.

So prepare for a Trump re-election, not because America loves Trump so much (though his policies are freakin fantastic), but because they hate progressivism and what it has done to this country for 40 years, and especially what it has attempted to do with our children (which is get them to turn against the establishment as social justice warriors).

It is time for this hate-filled and destructive ideology to exit America on November 3, 2020, and when it does, freedom-loving people everywhere in the world will breathe a big sigh of relief.

The only people who will be depressed will be those brainwashed by the media to hate.


Leftism: The True Enemy of the People

Here is a short list of commonly held beliefs that have been invented by progressive Leftists who seek to undermine democracy in the United States by dividing its citizens into classes and subgroups, and then to build dissent between them:

  • that white people are inherently racist, and therefore privileged
  • that the U.S. is built upon slavery and therefore, is an oppressive country that must make reparations
  • that women have always been oppressed and this is why the patriarchy must be dismantled
  • that sexual identity is a choice any person can make, that the archetype male and female no longer applies
  • that people of color have always been oppressed and they must receive compensation for ancestral suffering
  • that Conservatives want to make to control women’s bodies and must be marginalized
  • that Christians hate gay people and are mostly intolerant bigots because Christianity is itself inherently xenophobic and oppressive
  • that wealth is mostly derived from unprincipled means; wealthy people are greedy and destructive

If you hold these statements to be true, you are probably a person who leans towards the politically Left, which asserts outcome-based principles, meaning they believe everyone is entitled to equal portions because some people are simply at a disadvantage, and it’s not fair that these people should suffer while others succeed. Such class differences can be minimized through regulation and enforcement by a central authority. This what Karl Marx believed and is at the basis of Leftism.

One wonders if it is called Leftism because much of their philosophy is also left-brained thinking driven by pure emotion. Think about that the next time you watch AOC speak; it’s all emotion-based, which sounds more appealing because it touches one’s compassionate side). Leftism does not take into account the personal decisions that each individual makes in their life and how these decisions produce different outcomes – which is why some people succeed and others don’t. 

The latter concept is right-brained thinking, which takes into account the whole picture and is based on facts and not merely emotion.

No one wants suffering. In a perfect world, everyone should be safe, happy and healthy. But in a world where the prosperous are being told they are the problem this only makes society weaker. Industrious people create opportunity for others. A rising tide lifts all boats. In a strong and transparent society where merit is rewarded, this is the incentive for living. Liberty, free-market trading and limited government regulation improve quality of life for more people, not less. More people succeed than fail. People are happier when they have more control over their life.

As one example. Many people who receive Medicare or Medical are being subsidized by taxpayers. In a good economy more Mental Health professionals are employed to treat growing demand; there are more tax dollars available, so social services improve and grow to accommodate growing demand. In another example, in a strong economy loans for lower income people are easier to get because banks have more confidence – and more capital – for risk. In a bad economy its much tougher to get a home loan. A third example for young people going to college. Education costs are lower at community colleges when unemployment is low, more workers more local an State tax coffers are filled to fund colleges and higher institutions of learning.

Free Market vs. Big Government

Failure comes when you have a decentralized bureaucracy determining outcome-based results that are enforced. We saw this in China in the 1950’s when the government took over agriculture, taking land from landowners and didn’t know how to produce enough crop for the billion people who live in China. Tens of millions starved during the decade immediately following the rise of Communism in China.

We saw the same thing in Cuba when Castro brought communism and took people’s land and prosperity away. Cuba was once a thriving (though somewhat corrupt) island nation. Witness Venezuela at the present time, another example of a government controlled, outcome-based society that has disintegrated.

If equality is all that matters, we will someday all be equally impoverished, except of course the people managing things at the top who told us get rid of the oppressors, the barons who stole from the poor, the men who oppressed the women, the white people who oppressed people of color, the Christians who have oppressed women and the gays. It when you have people telling you that America is evil that you begin to see where it is headed if it continues. 

The only thing that can prevent this is prosperity. This is why the current progressives will lose as long as Trumps policies remain in place. If this should change with the coming election, all bets are off.

Beware the progressives, they are the true enemy of the people.


James Watkins is a media research specialists, author and host of the Speaking Out Podcasts

The Age Of Rage

When my brother recently posted on his Facebook page that he doesn’t not want to hear from any friend or family member that supports Trump or any of his policies, I decided the age of rage has gone too far. It is time for a national self-check.

It is possible that, through the help of many in the news rooms of MSNBC and CNN, that that rage is what is driving the news cycle, and this rage translates to anger among otherwise very nice people?

It is understandable to be against a politician, but the display of rage we are witnessing is more of a social study on how the media is propagandizing a position (against Trump) that offers no clear resolution short of removal or violence, or both. And at whose doorsteps do we lay the blame?

To me, it is clear the mainstream media networks are in clear alignment with the Democrats. But the intensity by which they drive news cycles by constantly pounding the drum against this president makes the Obama years look like the Kennedy years. Republicans had many issues with the former president, but no one was calling him a racist, bigot, homophobe and every other name in the book just because they didn’t like him. When re-elected, many of my Republican friends were in deep despair, but they dusted themselves off and got back to work. This president hasn’t gotten a fair break since the day he started, and not whistanding, he has survived every punch, even to the point of building up a real economy and improving the lives of millions upon millions of Americans.

The vitriol is beyond compare. People hate Trump. The have managed to project every hatred they have about anything and foist it upon one person who has become the symbol of that hate. When MSNBC’s Joy Reid allows or supports statements calling Trump a White Supremacist, or supporters as White Supremacists, that is blatantly wrong. When Chuck Todd or others clearly edit or misrepresent Trump statements, as they have for years with regard to Charlottesville’s “Very fine people” comment, it is a lie, a mistruth, a journalist deliberately misleading viewers because of a dislike of a person. When most of the anchors on MSNBC consistently portray the president as suspicious, buffoonish, criminal, sexually predatory, etc, etc, the message gets clear to those who accept it. People are displaying such rage you have to wonder if it is because these networks are pishing hate against a human being every opportunity they get, and they are not shy about it. What are the long-term pyschological effects of hearing a message of hate, and fear, and anger so often. People consume it and they become hateful at anyone disagrees, or doesn’t agree with thier position in hating Trump with the same vitriol. How many times have you heard someone say to you, how can you not hate Trump? How can you support that guy, he’s a criminal?!

For years I would notice that if I was over someone’s house and they were watching MSNBC or CNN, whether it was my father-in-law, my sister, my brother, my wife or my sister-in-law, they would all utter, “that asshole,” right after a segment on Trump.

“That Asshole.”

I used to joke that in the only difference between the press in North Korea and the press in the U.S is that in North Korea the press is forced to support the government’s propaganda,; in the U.S. our press promotes propaganda willingly.

Where is this rage going to go?

I will tell you where. It affects people’s relationships with their family, friends and co-workers. It makes people stop talking to each other for fear of offending or causing emotional harm to someone who is your friend. We know from statistics from the CDC people are taking more anti-anxiety medication and seeing their therapists more frequently because of their anger over Trump.

Is this really necessary?

Does Trump, a human being, really pose that much of a threat to humanity? Are all of those political leaders like Schumer, Sanders and Schiff really threatened by a person who, all things considered, has managed to accomplish an amazing amount of work in his first term – despite the constant haranguing?

Are people really that concerned Trump is the next Hitler? Show me the death camps. Show me the the tattoos on my arms the government is making me wear next to the Star of David on my sleeve. Show me how Trump is invading other countries and forcing large numbers of ethnics and homosexuals into forced labor camps. Show me how Trump is curtailing freedom of the press when the Press is the number one agitator in the age of rage. Show me how Trump is dragging dissenters off to the gulags.

Trump is Orwell’s Emmanuel Goldstein from 1984, and two-minutes hate is a continuous event on cable news.

The people who are enraged, progressives who clearly hate this president, are behaving in a way I have never seen. And it’s troubling for me, not because I don’t respect their views, but because I am witnessing a collective group-think rage stoked by the machinations of a very effective media machine.

Think about it. Most of the major news networks are networked in to the halls of Congress. It is not hard, as we have seen, how a leak from a political party can end up being dropped to the New York Times at exactly the precise moment a major decision is being made in court, or as in the case of Trump, when Boltons’ manuscript was leaked the day before the Presidents’ legal team were to make their opening statements in the Senate Impeachment trial. The timing was perfect. This same kind of leaked to the press is what caused the whole Trump-Russia collusion investigation.

There is not question the press and the Democratic Party are in concert with one another politically – and it should terrify every American to know news media integrity is in complete ruins. The press is supposed to be neutral, not biased, and certainly not in lock-step in its collective opposition to a single human being who had the audacity to run for president – and win!

From the New York Times to CNN, to MSNBC, which is then carried to the subsidiary networks, namely ABC, NBC and CBS, and then filtered down to the national morning shows like Today, GMA and CBS This Morning who become the echo chambers of the local affiliate news divisions who take their lead from networks put the final nails in the coffen of truth-journalism. Even Inside Edition is in on the act.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

In the end, people become affected by perception. Perception is reality. The media knows this and this is why the message of hate is being pushed. Hate, like love, is infectious and it drives ratings perhaps even more so that love, unity or progress. If it bleeds it leads.

Fortunately, most Americans see through the charade of what has happened in the news media in its attempt to overthrow Trump and conservative principles like faith, family and personal responsibility, how the news industry has become tainted with bias and agenda-driven activism. Even those who are progressive can see the imbalance that is our modern press.

But for those who don’t, and who feed into the vitriol of these misleading networks, beware. Someday you will see what you have become, the very thing you feared the most: a hateful human being.


James Watkins is a 30 years news media and national program consultant.

The Very Real Existential Threat

Commentary by Jim Watkins

You have probably heard about to Communist threat?

Secretary of State this week commented on the threat, reminding us that it is the greatest threat facing America. But does the average citizen really know what that means? Do we think it means China wants to land on our shores and take over our cities? Do we think the threat means China wants to bomb us?

No. It is none of these obvious, perhaps even archaic and more traditional threats. It is much more subtle, and in fact is on multiple fronts. The least of which is the economic threat. Never doubt the Chinese would like to have an upper hand on the American economy,but because it is a closed system, it will never achieve our level of success. Like it or not, Free market capitalism has as its greatest advantage, transparency, it is a meritocracy based on economic fundamentals that means everyone agrees to play by the rules. In China, a communist dictatorship, the only transparency is what the government wants people to believe.

But lets take a look at the two other grave threats China poses to the West.

1. The Communist philosophy. Remember, a godless government means government can dictate rights.  The doctrine is being taught to our children in college. It is the idea that the collective is more important than the individual, the State or , Big Government can solve the major problems like health care, income inequality, even to a certain degree, gender-equality, but the cost is the State regulates everything. This is China, this is North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, places where the Government, those in power, make the rules and oppress all who oppose. Religious freedom in many of the countries is a death sentence, the right to assembly, the right to protest, the right to own property is gone. And yet 35% of our youth say socialism, which is the basis and foundation by which Communism is based, is a good idea, that paternal government, is a better approach to governing. This is an existential threat to the idea of a democratic republic where individual rights are bestowed upon us by our Creator, and that government serves people, not the other way around.

It would be wrong to suggest that China trying to subvert people into adopting communism in the United States, but it would be correct to say that any disruption, including social conflicts, that could weaken the political system in the U.S. would be advantageous to the Communist Party of China. One primary reason for destabilizing the U.S. is that it makes us more vulnerable to spying, and in some cases, stealing of American technology to use against us in military application. There are millions of people who wake up everyday and go to work in China as what we would call cybercriminals, but they work for the Ministry of Truth. Their job, to find weakness, to collect data on Americans, to gather information on people who positions of power in American business, politics, and entertainment. If you are not concerned with this, then you underscore the intentions of the Chinese to your own demise.

The second great threat China poses is the exporting of technology to other world government leaders who, like the CCP, could care less about human rights and are excited about the idea of using technology to oppress dissenters and control millions of people through social credit scores and monitoring. You might not care about this, you jight even think it is not dissimilar to the way the U.S has a credit agency, and that everyone shares thier data, so whats the big deal? Except that I would remind you that the Government, at least not yet, is using tech to monitor every transaction to to use the ability to cut you off, as a way to pressure you into complicity. This is the ugly face of Totalitarianism.

And i you think this is all some dystopian scare tactic,YouTube Social Credit Score in China and see what comes up. It will frighten you, and you will come to understand that when Mike Pompeo says China is a bigger threat than people imagine, you better believe it.

The purpose of Speaking Out if awareness. I will bring you awareness. If you believe Freedom, religious freedom, social and economic freedom and limited government is good and worth preserving, then let’s work together. 

I will bring you updates, and you share these updates withouthers. We simply cannot live in the shadows. It is time to pick sides, and its not about Trump verses No Trump. Its much bigger than that. The real threat is the attempt for other world leaders and governments to marginalize the U.S., marginalize freedom of speech, marginalize freedom of religions express.

Go to my website. Check out my articles, comment, contact me, and let’s work together. The website is CandidlySpeaking.net


The Progressive Power of Magical Thinking

WE’VE GONE MAGICAL.

I LIKE TO LOOK AT SYMPTOMS. I BELIEVE SYMPTOMS ARE FAR MORE REVEALING TO REALITY THAN EFFECTS. 

WHEN YOU FIND THE CAUSE OF A DISEASE YOU LOOK AT THE SYMPTOM AND THEN INTERPRET CAUSES TO THOSE SYMPTOMS.

SO WHEN I SEE GROWN ADULTS DECLARING THEY ARE ENGAGED IN MAGICAL THINKING, I SEE THIS AS A SYMPTOM THAT SOCIETY IS ACTUALLY REGRESSING, NOT PROGRESSING.

FOR EXAMPLE. MANY PEOPLE THINK TRANSGENDERISM IS PROGRESSIVE, THE CHOOSING ONE’S SEXUALITY IS RIGHT, AND THEREFORE, PROGRESSIVE; THAT BELIEVING HUMAN BEINGS CAN CONTROL THE EARTH’S WEATHER OR ALTER ITS COURSE, IS PROGRESSIVE. 

BUT IF YOU SUBSTITUTE THE WORD PROGRESSIVE WITH MAGICAL, YOU WOULD BE MORE ACCURATE IN DESCRIBING THE SYMPTOMS OF SOCIETAL REGRESSION. IN FACT, YOU COULD VERY WELL CALL THE PROGRESSIVE PARTY THE PARTY OF MAGIC. 

PEOPLE LIKE AOC, JOY BEHAR, AND ALL OF THOSE OTHER SMART PEOPLE, MICHAEL MOORE, THE PROGRESSIVE ACTORS, ALL SUBSCRIBE TO MAGICAL THINKING, WHICH IS A REALITY THAT RUNS CONTRARY TO LONG HELD, INTELLECTUALLY RECOGNIZED UNIVERSAL TRUTHS.

HERE ARE SOME GREAT EXAMPLES OF MAGICAL THINKING, IDEAS THAT ARE EMBRACED AS FACT, EVEN THOUGH THERE IS OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST OTHERWISE:

– SEXUAL IDENTITY IS A CHOICE, NOT BIOLOGICAL

– MANKIND HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE THE EARTHS TEMPERATURE 

– THAT FREE MARKET TRADE AND BUSINESS IS INHERENTLY UNFAIR, BUT THAT STEALING FROM THOSE WHO PRODUCE AND GIVING IT TO THOSE WHO DON’T IS “FAIR”

– THAT WEALTHY PEOPLE ARE WEALTHY BECAUSE THEY STOLE THE MONEY FROM POOR PEOPLE

– THAT IN ADDITION TO EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, EVERYONE IS ALSO ENTITLED TO EQUAL OUTCOMES

– THAT A BAY IS NOT A BABY UNTIL IT TAKES ITS FIRST BREATH, BUT THAT IT IS CRUEL TO EXECUTE A MURDERER BECAUSE EVERY LIFE IS PRECIOUS

– THAT AMERICA WAS BUILT UPON SLAVERY WHEN EVERY COUNTRY ON THE PLANET ALSO HAD SLAVERY, AND THAT AMERICA WAS ONE OF THE FIRST COUNTRIES TO WORK TOWARDS ABOLISHING SLAVERY

-THAT PEOPLE ARE NOT REALLY EVIL, JUST SUFFERING FROM A MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL DISORDER THAT CAN BE TREATED IF GIVEN ENOUGH MEDICINE

– THAT THE UNIVERSE CAME INTO EXISTENCE ON ITS OWN AND WITHOUT ANY PURPOSE, AND LIFE ITSELF IS RANDOM CAUSE AND EFFECT

– THAT EVERYONE HAS “THIER OWN TRUTH.”

ENOUGH EXAMPLES?

IN EACH OF THESE CASES, PEOPLES MINDS ARE SETTLED ON CONCEPTS BECAUSE THEY “FEEL RIGHT,” AND FEELINGS ARE EQUALLY VALID TO LOGIC.

IN MOST CASES AND WITHOUT ANY SCIENTIFIC BASIS, PEOPLE ARE MADE TO BELIEVE THEY CAN CHANGE REALITY, AS IN THE CASE OF TRANSGENDERISM AND CLIMATE CHANGE, OR REDEFINE REALITY, AS IN SAYING EVIL DOESN’T EXIST, ITS JUST A DISEASE TO DO BAD THINGS. PEOPLE WHO THINK MAGICALLY ARE ALMOST ALWAYS DRIVEN BY EMOTION, THEY FEEL BAD, AND AND IN DOING SO, CONTRIBUTE TO FIXING THE PROBLEM.

MAGIC THINKERS ARE EASILY MANIPULATED BY SMARTER MAGICAL THINKERS, BUT IN EITHER CASE, IF YOU ATTEMPT TO USE LOGICAL TO EXPLAIN THE ERROR OF THIER REASONING, YOU WILL BE ACCUSED OF BEING ANY NUMBER OF THINGS, EACH A PERCEIVED EVIL BASED ON THIER OWN EMOTION, SUCH AS YOU ARE A RACIST, YOU ARE A BIGOT, YOU ARE A DENIER, YOU HATE THE WORLD, OR YOU ARE A BULLY.

SO WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS DO TO MY ORIGINAL POINT ABOUT SOCIETAL REGRESSION?

IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THERE IS A GROWING SUBSET OF PEOPLE, MOSTLY FROM WEALTHY COUNTRIES, WHO ARE DISPLAYING SYMPTOMS OF A KIND OF “GROUP INSANITY,” ADOPTING NEW IDEAS OR BELIEF SYSTEMS THAT ARE CONTRARY TO ACCEPTED REALITY. 

SCOTT PECK CALLED THEM “THE PEOPLE OF THE LIE,” A SOCIAL REINFORCEMENT MECHANISM THAT PROMOTES GROUP-THINK ACCEPTANCE SO THAT NO SINGLE INDIVIDUAL HAS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR BEING RIGHT, THEY JUST NEED TO AGREE TO BE ACCEPTED, AND BEING ACCEPTED IS ONE OF THE MOST INNATE DRIVES A HUMAN BEING CAN HAVE. 

ITS WHY PEOPLE BURNED WITCHES AT THE STAKE, ITS WHY WHEN OBAMA SAYS RACISM IS IN OUR DNA, EVERYONE AGREES WITH HIM, EVEN THOUGH THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE NOTION THAT RACIAL BIGOTRY IS IN OUR GENETIC CODE…ITS WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE THE SEAS ARE RISING EVERY YEARM, EVEN THOUGH NO ONE SEEMS TO BE FLOODING AT SEA LEVEL (WHICH IS THE SAME EVERYWHERE).

ITS WHY HALF THE COUNTRY THINKS TRUMP IS A RACIST, RAPIST, HATER OF MUSLIMS AND PURE EVIL, DESPITE THE FACT THAT HIS POLICIES HAVE HELPED MOST EVERYONE WHO HATES HIM.

ITS MAGICAL THINKING, NOT THE KIND OF THINKING WHEN YOU WERE A KID AND YOU HOPED DADDY WOUD BE HOME SOON, OR THAT YOU WOULD GET A BICYCLE FOR CHRISTMAS. NO THIS KIND OF MAGICAL THINKING LULLS YOU INTO ACCEPTING AN IDEA WITHOUT PROOF, AND DRILLING THE IDEA INTO YOU HEAD SO MUCH THAT YOU SIMPLY AGREE FOR FEAR OF BEING OSTRACIZED.

More Lies About Climate Change

This week the news reported that the last decade was, “the warmest decade ever recorded.”

To the uncritical mind it sounds like we’re doomed.

But if we unpack the statement we discover that the term “Warmest decade” isn’t so bad, and certainly doesn’t mean we’re going to boil anytime soon.

Record keeping started in 1880, which means a more accurate statement would be, “of the fourteen past decades, the last decade was warmer than the 13 previous decades.” 

But what does it mean to be “the warmest.”

The Global Mean Temperature, or GMT is 50.1, which means that if you add up the several dozen globally placed thermometers, the average daily temperature at sea level over 365 days is 50.1 degrees Fahrenheit.

To put things into perspective, the last decade’s average was 50.6 degrees, or one-half of a degree warmer than the combined average over the previous 13 decades. The latest decade will also now raise the average GMT moving forward, so now the average is slightly higher, at 50.2 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Breaking it down, the average global temperature rose a half degree warmer within a ten-year period between 2011 and 2019 (which is actually only 9 years, by the way), which means one or two warmer years by one degree might increase the overall average by a little less half a degree.

Listen, folks. I don’t know about you, but half a degree over a ten year period, and even still, over a 140 year period of averages is not that significant. Statistically speaking, it’s not significant at all, especially with a margin of error above +/-1 degree variation. We should also consider that from 1880 to 1910 the measuring equipment used was only as reliable as the people who used it.

That this significance is tied to human activity means we really aren’t making that much of an impact. Last weeks volcanic activity produced 100 times more soot in the atmosphere than humans did all year. And yet, the earth always seems to find equilibrium. If you consider all of the carbon humans have produced, the impact has been minimal, which leads me to believe there is far more panic than there needs to be about climate change, and specifically, globally warming.

The scaring we see going on is counterproductive to our real efforts, which should be working towards a cleaner environment, not a more expensive energy system that does nothing to clean the environment. We need to stop wasting.

We can argue renewables and the climate, but the real discussion should be on plastics and dirty water supplies. 

Expensive energy policies hurt the poor, what helps the poor is more access to cheap energy and access to the market, being able to buy and sell goods and services. Communications has made it possible now for villagers in rural Africa and elsewhere to sell their products and make an income for their family. Taking land from them to build solar panels is not smart policy, even if it makes members of the IPOCC in Brussels sleep better at night.

Carbon is not the problem. Waste is the problem. We need to be better at reducing waste so that our natural resources go further. 

Certainly AI can help aid us in producing better ways of food distribution, and even more effective ways of producing food. Think of, instead of solar panels, we build greenhouses that produce food for people so they have a reliable source for fruits, vegetables, protein rich food supplies, improved water filtration and irrigation systems, instead of worrying about whether the weather is going to get hotter. 

We know the earth will warm, or cool, but if we tackle things at home, on the ground, those issues that affect us locally, the global aggregate effect of this will produce far better results, which will improve and preserve a higher quality of life for all.

Instead of worrying about whether the last decade was half a degree warmer than the previous 13, we should instead, learn how to better manage our resources so that we raise the standards of living for those hardest hit by climate events that may, or may not be related to human activity. 

Real concern for human activity should be directing our energies toward being more efficient, not being more expensive.

James Watkins is a climate researcher, author and host of the podcast Speaking Out.

Only Bernie Can Show Us What Socialism Really Feels Like – And It Won't Be Pretty

In some ways I want Bernie to win. Not because I think he would be a good president, but because I think people need to see the ugly face of Socialism and they need to “feel the burn,” so that we never, ever try to touch that hot stove again, if you get my drift.

Most people I know do not understand that, though they might hate the Trumpster, they benefit tremendously from his policies. We all have and will continue to do so as long as President Trump is in office.

When business is booming, people are working. When people are working, tax dollars are generated. When tax dollars are generated government services increase, medical services offered to the poor increase, donations to institutions increase, more people can afford to send their kids to college, more people can afford to buy their first home, people are happier with their lives, drug and alcohol usage drops, people eat better and in general the quality of life for everyone improves.

Welcome to the last 36 months under Donald Trump.

Remember when the Great recession dragged on? It was supposed to turn around by 2012, but it lingered, like a bad toothache. People lost confidence in employment, opioid usage increased in rural areas which soon spread to urban areas. Crime went up, criminal activity increased, business lost confidence in investment (in people via jobs), and in general, the U.S., in just 6 short years became what German is right now, a country where its policies, taxes and regulations all but mortally wounded what was once the ideal economy of Europe, only it was a “progressive America” under President Obama, a plan that, in retrospect, was a complete disaster.

Migration is killing Europe, the same kind of migration Bernie wants to happen to America. “Clean Energy” policies are driving energy costs so high that many Europeans really can’t even afford their medicine, which supposedly is subsidized by the government. This is the socialist model Bernie wants to bring to the U.S.

What every person should be gravely concerned with is the fact that the mainstream media wants what Bernie wants because progressive Leftist elites want everyone to suffer because, well, we deserve it! America should not be successful. America should be equal to the rest if the world, and that is the worldview of Bernie Sanders, a man who has made a living doing very little, except bringing in a paycheck that has made him very wealthy – off the backs of the U.S Taxpayer. 

Bernie has never owned or operated a business, never had a job outside of government, and loves socialism, the kind of socialism we have seen choke countries to death. For some reason Bernie feels (as do many of his supporters), that real income equality is that everyone is equally serving the government because Bernie will make sure government controls every aspect of our lives. Bernie believes that is the central rule of government: to govern completely and control the production of goods and services in order to achieve “fairness;” exactly what our founding fathers did not want

The government that governs the least governs the best. But in Bernies’ world, this kind of idea is hate speech. Of course the government must control society, says the progressive old man who wants to be our President. “We simply can’t let big business do it,” says the fiery Vermontian, free enterprise is corrupt and the rich must suffer like the rest of us.” But not Bernie, not AOC, not the Hollywood elite who preach to us about sacrifice while they drink champagne and wear funny clothes that cost more than an average person makes in a year.

Bernie is toxic for America.

Trump has already proven Bernie’s worldview and plan for America won’t work, because it never does.

Trump’s plan worked: Less regulation, lower (and reasonable) corporate taxes increased confidence in business, which means more people were hired, which means more people are employed, more money, more production, less government, rinse and repeat.

History will show that the simplest and best government policy is the one where we are most free of government.

Bernie will show us what happens when government takes over every facet of our life, and then we will see what socialism really feels like firsthand. We will really feel the burn, won’t we?

Enjoy the good times while they last. Good night and good luck.


Hollywood Was Finally Exposed – And We Have Ricky Gervais To Thank

Here is the full text of the opening speech from the Golden Globe Awards. It was a doozy, and I loved it so much I felt we needed to save it.

Here it is:

Here’s the full transcript of the opening monologue:

“Hello and welcome to the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards, live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel here in Los Angeles. I’m Ricky Gervais, thank you.

You’ll be pleased to know this is the last time I’m hosting these awards, so I don’t care anymore. I’m joking. I never did. I’m joking, I never did. NBC clearly don’t care either — fifth time. I mean, Kevin Heart was fired from the Oscars for some offensive tweets — hello?

Lucky for me, the Hollywood Foreign Press can barely speak English and they’ve no idea what Twitter is, so I got offered this gig by fax. Let’s go out with a bang, let’s have a laugh at your expense. Remember, they’re just jokes. We’re all gonna die soon and there’s no sequel, so remember that.

But you all look lovely all dolled up. You came here in your limos. I came here in a limo tonight and the license plate was made by Felicity Huffman. No, shush. It’s her daughter I feel sorry for. OK? That must be the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to her. And her dad was in Wild Hogs.

Lots of big celebrities here tonight. Legends. Icons. This table alone — Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro … Baby Yoda. Oh, that’s Joe Pesci, sorry. I love you man. Don’t have me whacked. But tonight isn’t just about the people in front of the camera. In this room are some of the most important TV and film executives in the world. People from every background. They all have one thing in common: They’re all terrified of Ronan Farrow. He’s coming for ya. Talking of all you perverts, it was a big year for pedophile movies. Surviving R. Kelly, Leaving Neverland, Two Popes. Shut up. Shut up. I don’t care. I don’t care.

Many talented people of color were snubbed in major categories. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about that. Hollywood Foreign press are all very racist. Fifth time. So. We were going to do an In-Memoriam this year, but when I saw the list of people who died, it wasn’t diverse enough. No, it was mostly white people and I thought, nah, not on my watch. Maybe next year. Let’s see what happens.

No one cares about movies anymore. No one goes to cinema, no one really watches network TV. Everyone is watching Netflix. This show should just be me coming out, going, “Well done Netflix. You win everything. Good night.” But no, we got to drag it out for three hours. You could binge-watch the entire first season of Afterlife instead of watching this show. That’s a show about a man who wants to kill himself cause his wife dies of cancer and it’s still more fun than this. Spoiler alert, season two is on the way so in the end he obviously didn’t kill himself. Just like Jeffrey Epstein. Shut up. I know he’s your friend but I don’t care.

Seriously, most films are awful. Lazy. Remakes, sequels. I’ve heard a rumor there might be a sequel to Sophie’s Choice. I mean, that would just be Meryl just going, “Well, it’s gotta be this one then.” All the best actors have jumped to Netflix, HBO. And the actors who just do Hollywood movies now do fantasy-adventure nonsense. They wear masks and capes and really tight costumes. Their job isn’t acting anymore. It’s going to the gym twice a day and taking steroids, really. Have we got an award for most ripped junky? No point, we’d know who’d win that.

Martin Scorsese made the news for his controversial comments about the Marvel franchise. He said they’re not real cinema and they remind him about theme parks. I agree. Although I don’t know what he’s doing hanging around theme parks. He’s not big enough to go on the rides. He’s tiny. The Irishman was amazing. It was amazing. It was great. Long, but amazing. It wasn’t the only epic movie. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, nearly three hours long. Leonardo DiCaprio attended the premiere and by the end his date was too old for him. Even Prince Andrew was like, “Come on, Leo, mate.You’re nearly 50-something.”

The world got to see James Corden as a fat pussy. He was also in the movie Cats. No one saw that movie. And the reviews, shocking. I saw one that said, “This is the worst thing to happen to cats since dogs.” But Dame Judi Dench defended the film saying it was the film she was born to play because she loves nothing better than plunking herself down on the carpet, lifting her leg and licking her ass. (Coughs) Hairball. She’s old-school.

It’s the last time, who cares? Apple roared into the TV game with The Morning Show, a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweatshops in China. Well, you say you’re woke but the companies you work for in China — unbelievable. Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you?

So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.

So if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent, and your God and fuck off, OK? It’s already three hours long. Right, let’s do the first award.”

Bravo!