The Shanghai Lockdown

April 12, 2022

Last night, Tucker Carlson on Fox News covered one of the most horrifying and least reported stories of the day: the Chinese government’s brutal COVID lockdown in Shanghai.

I have to warn you that this is genuinely disturbing: a report on people being locked into their homes with no way to get food, screaming in anguish that they’re starving, as government goons confiscate and slaughter their pets in the streets while dissenters are beaten and dragged off to “quarantine” centers. All the while, drones fly around, broadcasting the message that people must “resist their souls’ urge for freedom.” I’m sure that idea is very popular with a lot of people in Silicon Valley these days.

All of this is to enforce draconian lockdown policies that experience has proven do not work. Here’s the latest evidence: a study by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity compared the results of COVID policies in all 50 states. They assessed the effects on disease mortality, the states’ economies and children’s education.

The states that fared the best - Utah, Nebraska, Vermont, Montana, South Dakota and Florida – all have Republican Governors, as do 13 of the top 15 states. The media and some public health officials savaged them for refusing to impose stringent lockdowns and relying on their citizens to act responsibly. They were accused of setting the stage for mass deaths. But the study found no correlation between stringent restrictions on travel, employment or dining and lower death rates. And "states with strict lockdowns had virtually no better performance in COVID death rates than states that remained mostly open for business."

Meanwhile, the deep-blue states of New York, California, New Jersey and Illinois were ranked the worst on dealing with COVID, performing “poorly on every measure.” They had high death rates, high unemployment, significant GDP losses and their schools were shut down longer than almost all other states. A CUP spokesman said, "Shutting down their economies and schools was by far the biggest mistake Governors and state officials made during COVID, particularly in blue states."

And yet, every time we hear of a new variant, they fire up the talk about more lockdowns, restrictions and mandates. They claim to be on the side of science, yet they keep doing the same thing that doesn’t work and expecting a different result. That’s what a real scientist, Albert Einstein, called the definition of insanity.

Here’s today’s link to Fox News’ continually-updated bulletins on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The latest headlines: Ukrainian President Zelenskyy said, "Our armed forces are beating the occupiers with wisdom and well-thought-out tactics," but he warned that they’re still not getting the military equipment they need from allies and that they’re running out of time and lives. This has yet to be confirmed, but Ukrainian officials say they believe Russia used a chemical weapon on civilians in Mariupol, possibly a phosphorus munition. Great Britain’s Foreign Secretary said, "Any use of such weapons would be a callous escalation in this conflict, and we will hold Putin and his regime to account."

Putin now appears to be fighting a battle on two fronts: one against Ukraine and one against the elements of his own government that he thinks were either incompetent yes men who fed him incorrect information before the invasion or who are working against him. He reportedly purged more than 100 agents from the FSB (Federal Security Bureau) and sent the head of the department responsible for Ukraine to prison.

People are still talking about the interview Zelenskyy gave to CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday. If you missed it, you can watch it here.

One powerful moment came when reporter Scott Pelley asked him about the undiplomatic way he’s criticized NATO and the UN Security Council for not doing enough to help Ukraine fight back. He called NATO “weak” and told the UN Security Council, “Where’s the security?” and “If you can’t help, you shouldn’t exist.” He made it clear that he considers “diplomacy” to mean people sitting around talking and doing nothing, and he doesn’t have time for that when his people are being slaughtered.

He said, “When you are [working] at diplomacy, there are no results. All of this is very bureaucratic. That’s why the way I’m talking to them is absolutely justifiable. I don’t have any more lives [to give], I don’t have any more emotions. I’m no longer interested in their diplomacy that leads to the destruction of my country.”

I don’t remember ever hearing a better description of how the UN “works.” He also said this, which should be taught to American school kids instead of the anti-American garbage they’re being force-fed:

Zelenskyy said Ukrainians were defending the right to live. He said, "I never thought this right was so costly. These are human values. So that Russia doesn't choose what we should do and how I'm exercising my rights. That right was given to me by God and my parents."

It sounds as if he understands more about God-given rights than our new Supreme Court Justice does.

Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its March update to the Consumer Price Index, the rate of inflation for a group of goods and services most Americans buy, from eggs and milk to cell phones and gasoline. And from the Democrats’ and the media’s (same thing) desperate attempts to pre-spin the number, you could tell they knew it would be mind-boggling.

And it was: inflation rose to 8.5% in March, up from 7.9% in February, marking the biggest year-to-year inflation rise in 40 years.

Deanna Fisher at the Victory Girls blog shows how the push is already on to spin the blame away from Biden/Democrat policies and onto Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, even though prices have been rising since the moment Biden took office.

Maybe they have no faith in the intelligence of the American voters (they did get into office, after all), but nobody is buying that fish tale. Anyone over the age of five can remember when gas was less than $2 a gallon, and we all remember that Biden’s very first action in office was a series of executive orders shutting down the Keystone XL Pipeline project and targeting both the fossil fuel industry and border security for destruction. And nobody with a brain larger than a salamander’s believes Jen Psaki’s claims that they want Republicans’ suggestions on how to solve high gas prices and the immigration crisis. We all know the solutions are simple: "Reverse the things you did to deliberately cause those crises."

The public’s resistance to being gaslighted is clear in two new polls by ABC and CBS News. The ABC poll found Biden’s approval rating farther underwater than the Titanic on every issue except handling COVID (on inflation, it’s 29% approval to 69% disapproval.) And 55% of Republicans are “very enthusiastic” about voting in November, compared to 35% of Democrats.

The CBS poll showed that Americans rank the economy, inflation, crime and immigration among their top concerns, and Biden’s approval ratings on all of those issues are under 40% (on inflation, it’s a pathetic 31%.) That poll also found that only 8% said higher prices have had no effect on their families. 26% say they’re an inconvenience, and 66% say rising prices are difficult or a hardship.

Ronald Reagan won a massive, 44-state victory over Jimmy Carter in 1980 (Reagan even won Massachusetts) by asking voters a simple question: “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” In today’s fast-paced world, everything has speeded up. It’s taken Joe Biden and a Democrat Congress less than 16 months to rev the Misery Index up higher than Carter could in four years. Americans don’t even have to ask themselves if they’re better off now than they were 16 months ago. The answer to that slaps them in the face every time they go to the grocery store or the gas station.

So is it any wonder that the Democrats are trying to find something, anything, else to blame for the predictably dismal results of their own policies?

Another day, another piece of “Russian disinformation” about Hunter Biden’s laptop is belatedly confirmed to be true by the media. Monday, Yahoo News issued a report by Michael Isikoff and Zach Dorfman confirming that Biden knew he was working with people who were high up in Chinese intelligence circles.

Hunter and James Biden (the President’s brother) formed a business partnership with Ye Jianming, an energy tycoon who had past links to China’s People’s Liberation Army, and Patrick Ho, who was arrested by the FBI in 2017 over “an audacious plot to dole out millions of dollars in bribes to African leaders in exchange for major energy contracts that appeared to advance Chinese government interests.” Yahoo reports that Ho’s first call after being arrested was to James Biden to ask him to get him a lawyer.

The report also says that Hunter’s notorious laptop contained a recording of a conversation in which Hunter described Ho as “literally the (bleeping) spy chief of China.”

There’s much more at the link, and it may have many Biden voters channeling Adam Sandler and saying, "Once again, things that could've been brought to my attention YESTERDAY!!!” Or in this case, before Election Day 2020.

A lot more Biden-China connections are also coming out, like this report from the Blaze:

And Miranda Divine, who wrote the book “Laptop From Hell,” has more about how alarm bells are starting to ring in top Democrat circles as they realize that the story they thought was buried is rising from the grave and may devour Joe Biden and them all.

We’ll have some more commentary on this later in the week, but a normal human with a moral compass and a non-cast iron stomach can only deal with so much Hunter Biden in any one day.

Retired CIA operations officer Sam Faddis has more information on the two men who apparently fooled at least four Secret Service agents --- one of whom had been on the First Lady’s security detail --- into believing they were working for the Department of Homeland Security.

(Incidentally, it was Faddis who also reported the discovery of Hunter Biden’s laptop having Defense Department encryption keys on his laptop, “which,” he tweeted, “may have allowed him to create fake email accounts and run his [communications] through DOD servers. Slick. And very, very illegal.”)

And now, back to our regularly scheduled story.

Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Sher-Ali, 35, were arrested last Wednesday at a luxury apartment complex called Crossing in the high-end Navy Yard neighborhood of southeast Washington DC and charged with impersonating HHS officials. They had told the Secret Service agents that they were investigating events related to January 6, and they managed to fool them for at least 18 months, plying them with extravagant gifts.

According to Faddis, the management at the apartment complex bought the line that they were government agents and had allowed them to live there rent-free. Amazingly, the two men had even wangled access to apartment surveillance cameras and access codes to all doors. From all appearances, they were surveilling residents of the building. As we reported last week, the raid on their apartment turned up quite a collection of weapons, as well as a binder that contained a list of all the residents in the building.

Regarding that, we have more information concerning what we wondered most about when the story broke: the names on that list. Not surprisingly, residents include federal agents (real ones), individuals who worked at the White House, and congressional aides and advisers. So, who were these guys there to spy on?

Sher-Ali claimed to be a Pakistani intelligence officer and held visas for both Pakistan and Iran. Taherzadeh, who may be an American citizen, reportedly told investigators he didn’t know the source of their funding and that Sher-Ali was paying for everything. In the months before impersonating an HHS agent, Sher-Ali had traveled to Pakistan, Turkey, Iran and Qatar, including multiple stopovers in Doha.

The men used fake websites, and, as we reported last week, recruited at least one man to be “trained” as an agent. How the Secret Service agents were taken in will be another matter for investigation; they are all on leave and “are restricted from accessing Secret Service facilities, equipment and systems,” according to a Secret Service statement. In their defense, the imposters did make it look good; they reportedly carried the kind of handguns used by U.S. law enforcement, drove official-looking black SUVs with emergency lights, and --- big heads up, folks --- demonstrated to them that they had secure access to what appeared to be DHS computer systems.

The charge of impersonating a government officer could be expanded to include conspiracy, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

To quote Faddis: “It is too early to determine what all of this means, but the arrests come against the backdrop of repeated Iranian threats to assassinate former President Donald Trump and numerous other American officials,” particularly Mike Pompeo, in retaliation for the U.S. air strike that took out Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a little over two years ago.

Faddis says that American officials are reportedly investigating these two men as perhaps working on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as part of an effort to kill U.S. officials on U.S. soil.

The Daily Mail also has done some solid reporting.

Ironically, this story is developing just as Biden is on the verge of signing a new and even more disastrous nuclear deal with Iran, with part of it, reportedly, being to lift sanctions on the IRGC and remove its designation as a terrorist group. Never mind that it most definitely IS a terrorist group. Goodness knows, living at a time when the government can’t even define what a “woman” is, we can’t expect it to be able to define what a “terrorist” is. As Humpty Dumpty once said, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean --- neither more nor less.”

As for the Iran deal, Benjamin Netanyahu has plenty to say about the dangers, but whoever is pulling the strings at the White House isn't listening.

In more breaking news from the New York Post, emails reveal that Hunter Biden frequently covered family expenses, and reports dating from Joe Biden’s time as Vice President are getting specific.

On June 5, 2010, an email to Hunter from partner Eric Schwerin titled “JRB Bills” (Joseph Robinette Biden), detailed expenses on the VP’s palatial, Kennedy-esque lakefront home –- pictured at the link below –- in the wealthy Greenville enclave of Wilmington, Delaware. For a breakdown of some of these maintenance expenses, you can go to the NY Post story –- we apologize again for the creepy Hunter pictures.

As the Post has previously reported, a January 2019 email from Hunter to his daughter Naomi said, “I hope you all can do what I did and pay for everything for this entire family for 30 years. “It’s really hard. But don’t worry, unlike pop, I won’t make you give me half your salary.”

So even though we don’t have the actual bank transfers, we get the idea here that Hunter was induced to give something like 50 percent of his earnings to his dad. That might have been the drugs talking, but the grand jury will sort it out.

Schwerin, president of Hunter’s firm Rosemont Seneca Partners, said five days later that he had received Joe Biden’s “Delaware tax refund check,” which suggests the finances were intermingled, though another email suggests Joe sometimes paid his son back.

But here’s something that sounds potentially even worse: In an email to Hunter dated July 6, 2010, titled “JRB Future Memo,” Schwerin said, “Your dad just called me [about his mortgage]...He could use some positive news about his future earnings potential.” Why would Joe be wanting to talk to Hunter about that?

There’s other intriguing correspondence as well. One sample from May 2018 that was reported by the NY Post has to do with an accidental transfer of $25,000 to an escort named “Gulnora” during a drug-and-alcohol binge. This transaction triggered a visit from the Secret Service, suggesting that it was done from an account he shared with his father. Hunter received a series of texts from a former Secret Service agent who was trying to get him to come out of his room, reminding him that “this is linked to Celtic’s account.”

“Celtic” was Joe Biden’s code name with the Secret Service when he was VP.

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, spoke with Maria Bartiromo on “Fox News Sunday” about the intermingling of the Biden family finances.

He also spoke about the media’s sudden turn to sort-of covering the Hunter Biden story. It should be obvious by now that somebody flipped a switch to tell the mainstream media, “Okay, it’s time to start picking up on the laptop story.”

The switch is metaphorical, of course, but all it took was The New York Times getting a signal from somewhere that, given that indictments were likely to come down soon, this was the time to get ahead of the story and present the best possible spin. They were late to the party, but it does look as though the Delaware grand jury assigned to Hunter’s case started without them.

By the way, that NY Post story also includes some quotes from Valerie Biden Owens, Hunter’s aunt Val, who sympathizes with Hunter for his struggle with drugs and, in true enabler fashion, places no responsibility whatsoever on him for the scandal enveloping the Bidens now. Why should she, when she can (surprise) blame Trump and his supporters? After an “ugly, degrading” campaign, she said, “Trump and his right-wing followers have continued to do whatever they can to discredit the family and therefore to bring Joe down.” I’m sure that if Trump’s family had been similarly accused, the left would have respected their privacy and backed off. Kidding, of course.

“Aunt Val” happens to have a new book coming out Tuesday, called “GROWING UP BIDEN: A Memoir.” In the book, she compares the Biden family to the John F. Kennedy family. You know, we can kind of see it, but not in the way she means.

This weekend, Trey Gowdy, on his show “Sunday Night In America,” discussed the hesitancy of the media to cover the Hunter story with Howard Kurtz, who hosts the FOX News show “Media Buzz,” and let’s just say he disagreed with Aunt Val. Most news organizations minimized, or even mocked, the New York Post story, he recalled, leading into the 2020 election. Twitter blocked the sharing of the story, and the NY Post’s account was suspended, an incredible step.

Kurtz gave the media “one clap” for finally coming around and “advancing the story in certain ways”; I give them nothing, not even a one-handed clap.. In fact, I give them a “turn your back and walk away.” As I’ve said, by treating this very real story as fake news, they interfered with the 2020 election and very likely changed the outcome.

After the Post came out with their story, then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe was vocal about the laptop NOT being “Russian disinformation.” The media preferred the lies of California Rep. Adam Schiff, however, and got on board with his false “Russia” narrative. They wanted Trump out of office, and this was just the way to discredit something that they saw as helpful to him. They knew: this story is so serious and far-reaching that Biden wouldn’t have been elected to anything if the vast majority of people had known what it was about.

Some in the media are still dismissive –- recall our story last week about Anne Applebaum at The Atlantic –- but as Kurtz said, they’re afraid “they’ll wake up one morning and the grand jury in Delaware may have indicted Hunter Biden, on charges of either tax evasion or illegal lobbying or money laundering...” They don’t want to look “really bad” if that happens. But it’s too late for that. We all know what their coverage would’ve been like all along if this were about Trump’s family.

“It just amounts to media malpractice,” Kurtz said.

So, to get to the main point: who pulled the switch and got the mainstream media in gear on this story? Our thought is that it’s none other than former President Obama pulling the strings. Here’s a must-read article by Andrea Widburg in American Thinker that will tell you why we so strongly suspect this.

Widburg even explains the three steps in which Obama could use Biden’s problems to regain the presidency on a technicality. In a nutshell: The 22nd Amendment to Constitution doesn’t say the President can’t have more than two terms --- it says he can’t be “elected” to more than two terms. Get Kamala out of the VP spot, appoint Barack Obama to fill it, and oust Joe Biden via the 25th Amendment (or, I would add, his forced resignation over the Biden family scandal). Obama could choose his own VP and would then have a couple of years to lock in the “fundamental transformation” he didn’t quite get done during his first two terms.

So watch out for moves in this direction.