Stuck in the Middle

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Photo Credit: Image by cromaconceptovisual from Pixabay

Wow, I am starting to feel like my old self, spring in the step, walking into a big box store to buy stakes for my new Thompson seedless vines, all the while leaving my mask in the car. Dare I risk it?

The governor says it’s okay to show my face now; but he is a former ice cream store owner/operator, so I am not sure he really gets anything other than trying to look and act conservative in a state that is quickly turning purple. (Another guy born with his finger in the air, under the sign of the God Janus.)

I look around me as I, for the first time in a year (?), venture about maskless, Crazy Nancy’s ‘spark of divinity’ evident upon my radiant face as I smile at those other shoppers and employees who are the real reason I shop where I shop. Got my mojo back? The fourth first lady is having a difficult time catching up as I am moving quickly towards the goal of my shopping mission – those manly, metal stakes that will soon support my beautiful red and green seedless bombs of sugar and love. I realize that even if my vines flourish, they still won’t yield anything close to a Sauvignon Blanc, but one can dream. …

Mr. Narrator (interrupts): “Richard Edward, snap out of it. Put your mask on. Most everyone else in the store is wearing one. Why do you think you are special? You want to cause a problem? You might cause a riot or even worse, drive complaints to Karen, the store manager. You really want that?”

Richard Edward: “Hey Mr. Narrator, chill, okay? The governor said I don’t have to wear one anymore. He said that COVID is defeated. He said that it’s up to the store to decide about the efficacy of mask wearing. So, if the store makes the decision about wearing the mask, it’s really not about science anymore, it’s about how safe one feels.”

Mr. Narrator: “That’s the problem Richard Edward, your feelings. You have none. How can you be so callous towards your fellow man? Walking about unmasked, an existential threat to all you pass in the isles of capitalistic excess. You may want to live dangerously, but others around you, those who actively seek safe spaces, don’t feel the same way. Your unmasked countenance scares them. What if you breath on them? Your halitotic exhale could mean their death? Are you really that inhumane?”

Richard Edward: “But science…. I’ve had COVID, Mr. Narrator. My doctor said I have the antibodies. No one talks about those of us who have been sick and recovered, only those who have the vaccine and those who don’t. I can’t infect anyone because I can’t get this again, at least not so soon after my recovery. I am the safest guy in the hood to be around. I am not vaccinated, but I am not contagious, either.”

Mr. Narrator: “Richard Edward, you are worse than a pair of Tony Fauci flip flops worn under a mask and tie. You can’t be safe if you are not vaccinated. Dr. Tony didn’t say you are safe, so you can’t be. Are you one of those who might have herd immunity? No one in authority talks about ‘you’, the deplorable, ‘recovered-survivors’ tribe. Your people have been ignored. Dude, you either got the jab or you didn’t.”

Then it hits me, I am neither hot nor cold, fish nor fowl. I am once again the forgotten man, one of those who got the disease, recovered and is now simply a hidden statistic. I am stuck in the middle. Deep, or as deep as is possible in my brain, the music rises, a familiar melody surfaces from my pre-mask life.

Trying to make some sense of it all
But I see it makes no sense at all.
Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor?
I don’t think that I can take anymore.

Clowns to the left of me!
Jokers to the right!
Here I am stuck in the middle with you.

Mr. Narrator appears to be correct once again. As much as it pains me, he occasionally makes sense. Yes, I am well and not likely to pass along the dreaded COVID to anyone. Yes, there are antibodies coursing through my body, my bone marrow doing its tireless job 24/7 of keeping me safe.

No, I have no proof to show the store Karens who patrol our aisles of commerce, our passageways of daily life, that I am not a threat.

I don’t want the jab. It’s more dangerous for me than what I have already survived.

So, here I am stuck in the middle of the lingering controversy of the biggest health issue of our decade. The clowns to the left of me insist that I get a vaccination that medicine and science say I most likely don’t need. The jokers to my right appear too afraid to argue the herd immunity case; they don’t want to recognize people like me who have survived and now contribute to the herd’s defense against the disease.

Being stuck anywhere is a drag, but being stuck in the middle is the worst. If you are in the middle like Richard Edward, please leave a comment about the clowns and jokers who are on either side of your life.

— Richard Edward Tracy

Watch: High School Teacher Goes Ballistic on Vaccinated Student Not Wearing a Mask

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Photo Credit: Image by cromaconceptovisual from Pixabay

In the video below, a Poynette (Wisconsin) High School teacher lambastes a vaccinated student for not wearing a mask.

As the student sits on the floor against a wall, she points her finger at him and shouts, “I don’t care if you’re vaccinated you little dink. I don’t want to get sick and die. There’s other people you can infect.”

The boy shrugs and says, “okay.”

“Just because you’re vaccinated. You know what? You’re not a special person around here. You should hear about how everybody talks about you around here.”

“I know how other people talk about me. I don’t care how people talk about me. Okay.”

“You’re a jerk. You’re a jerk. You need to have respect for other people in your life.”

“I do,” the student says.

“You’re not a big man on campus.”

Sounds to me like a conservative has just been born.

On Tuesday, the School District of Poynette’s Administrator Matthew Shappell issued the following statement on Facebook:

Dear Families,

The School District of Poynette is aware of an incident that occurred today, May 11th, involving a teacher and student at the Poynette High School. The District is initiating an investigation and the teacher involved has been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. The District contacted the parents and we are taking steps to provide the appropriate support for the student involved.

Thank you,

Matthew Shappell
District Administrator

This teacher should never be allowed anywhere near a classroom again.

Fort Campbell Commanding General Issues New Rules for Unvaccinated Soldiers

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Fort Campbell’s Commanding Officer, Maj. Gen. McGee announced during a virtual town hall event on Tuesday night that there will be a different set of rules for soldiers who choose not to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Unvaccinated soldiers considering their summer travel plans should not “consider things business as usual,”

“It would be irresponsible of me to allow soldiers to travel unvaccinated throughout the United States and bring that back and have an impact on our soldiers, their families and our overall operational readiness. I’m sure that’s not gonna be a popular decision for some, and that’s quite alright,” McGee said.

According to an article in Clarksville Now, “McGee said he and his staff are considering a range of options, including limited range of travel and increased reporting requirements for soldiers; however, no final decisions have been made as to restrictions.”

“If you are a vaccinated soldier and you’ve received 2 vaccines, you’re at incredibly low risk of contracting the virus and bringing it back. You pose minimal to no risk,” said McGee. “For them, they’ll be able take leave unhindered and with no additional requirements. For those soldiers that choose, as is their right, to not take the vaccine, we will prudently apply measures of how we will make sure you are able to travel safely.”

I have heard of similar guidelines being issued at other Army posts.

Blogger Notices Interesting Trend in Total US Death Rate Because of COVID

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Noticing that most Americans who died of COVID were either extremely elderly or else had a preexisting condition, Powerline’s John Hinderaker had an interesting theory. Even if COVID had never arrived on our shores, many or most people who died from the virus were so ill and/or so elderly, they would have died anyway within months or certainly within the next year or two.

With this idea in mind, Hinderaker wondered if he would find a lower than normal total U.S. death rate going forward (because so many of those whose deaths would have been recorded within months or a year or two had already died.)

He combed through a stack of death certificates of individuals who died of COVID in Minnesota which he defined as any certificate that contained the word COVID. “When you look at the conditions from which most covid victims suffered, it seems remarkable that they were still alive,” he noted.

Hinderaker found that his theory was, in fact, correct. The following CDC chart shows the weekly number of deaths in the U.S. soaring through the pandemic, peaking in early January, well above the level of normal death projections. Then, the line begins to fall at a steady rate.

At some point in March, the number of weekly deaths crosses the “upper bound threshold for excess deaths” line and continues to drop. As of May 1, weekly deaths are well below projections.

It will be interesting to see if this rate remains low or lower than projected deaths. Of course, within one to two years, we would expect projected deaths and actual deaths to converge once again as the COVID effect exhausts itself.

Hinderaker concludes:

So in a sense, those Wuhan deaths are now being made up.

I think the mortality statistics over the next couple of years will confirm that in most cases, people who died with “covid” on their death certificates would have died, in any event, in a matter of months or perhaps a year or two. This is why we are now seeing mortality dip below demographic norms: people who otherwise would have died in April 2021 died in, say, October 2020 instead. If this is the case, it will expose the irrationality of devastating the lives of younger and healthy people through shutdowns, school closings and mask mandates, while those who were at meaningful risk were almost exclusively those who, as one doctor put it, had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.

Photo Credit: CDC website

 

Biden Issues India Travel Ban Despite Assuring Us This Was a Racist and Xenophobic Response Last Year

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During the Friday White House briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced that, starting at midnight on Tuesday, May 4, the U.S. will begin restricting travel from India.

“The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in India.” Psaki told reporters.

She added that the administration was acting “on the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

CNN reports:

The administration will issue a 212(f) order restricting entry into the US for foreign nationals who have been in India within the previous 14 days, a source familiar with the move said. Airlines have been told of the decision, a source said.

The policy will not apply to American citizens, lawful permanent residents or other people with exemptions. As with all international travelers, individuals who fit that criteria traveling from India must still test negative prior to leaving the country, quarantine if they have not been vaccinated and test negative again upon reentering the US from India. The restrictions also do not apply to humanitarian workers.

According to data website Worldometers, on March 31, India had recorded a total of 12,220,669 cases. The total through Thursday, April 29, stands at 18,754,984. The country has added 6,534,315 cases, a 53.5 percent increase during the month of April.

The Biden Administration’s decision to restrict travel from India as COVID-19 cases spike is perfectly understandable.

But we would be remiss if we didn’t point out what then-United States government official Joe Biden had to say last year after former President Donald Trump enacted travel restrictions from China and Europe.

In the Feb. 1, 2020, tweet below, Biden wrote: “We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.”

A month later, he wrote: “A wall will not stop the coronavirus. Banning all travel from Europe – or any other part of the world – will not stop it.”

So, Joe, were you right then or are you right now? It can’t be both.

Watch: Spirit Airlines Kicks Family Off Plane Because 2 Year Old Wasn’t Wearing Mask – While She Ate

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A Spirit Airlines flight attendant demanded that a young family deplane from an Orlando to New York flight on Monday because their two-year-old daughter, who was eating, had removed her mask. The mother, who was seven months pregnant, her husband and their special needs son were all wearing masks.

The flight attendant told the mother “I told you. Non-compliance. You will have to get off.”

The father said they would put the mask back on the child.

“The pilot wants you off. You have to get off,” she kept repeating.

Passengers seated around the family came to their defense, but this was non-negotiable.

In the second video, as the family is preparing to leave, the father is telling passengers he’d been told that an African-American passenger had complained about the child.

A report from Breaking 911 claimed the entire flight was deplaned.

Last month, Spirit Airlines made headlines for forcing a family with a 4-year-old autistic child off the plane, according to CBS News. The family had a note from the boy’s physician which explained his disability, but it made no difference.

A spokesperson for the airline later told CBS, “Our existing policy does not provide for medical exemptions, regardless of diagnosis. Our team members explained this to a family traveling today, but never questioned anyone’s medical status in the process.”

The spokesperson said that policy was scheduled to change on March 19, one week after this incident took place. (This incident did not cause the policy change.)

“Starting March 19, 2021, guests with a medical disability who are traveling on or after March 22, 2021 can apply for an exemption as provided for in the federal mandate requiring masks in airports and on planes.”

Watch the videos below.

FBI Issues Warning Not to Buy or Make Vaccine Card or Misrepresent Your Status, You May Be ‘Breaking the Law’

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There was a time when the FBI commanded Americans’ utmost respect. That was prior to 2016 when they actively participated in a plan to sabotage the candidacy of Donald Trump and following his unexpected victory, his presidency. At every turn, top FBI officials sought to destroy President Donald Trump. I don’t need to compile a list, because their complicity is well known and speaks for itself.

Last week, the FBI issued a public service announcement warning U.S. citizens not to buy or make vaccine cards or misrepresent their COVID-19 vaccination status. The agency cautioned they may be breaking the law if they do so.

The FBI is, of course, referring to the recent Biden Administration proposal that citizens be issued a “vaccine passport” so they can travel freely throughout the country.

The requirement of a “vaccine passport,” which would indicate whether or not a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19 or alternatively tested negative within a stipulated time frame, is a violation of our civil rights. It’s just one more of the many travesties conjured up by Democratic politicians eager to wield their emergency powers against their constituents.

This proposal triggered immediate outrage from conservatives who are fed up with the government’s overreach and the loss of our civil rights in the name of COVID-19.

According to a weekend article in The New York Times, “the Biden administration has made clear that it will neither issue nor require the passports,”

So, why would the nation’s premier law enforcement agency try to enforce this? Why did this warrant a warning about breaking the law? It’s not even a law. It’s a mere proposal and a deeply unpopular and divisive one at that.

Is it any wonder that so many red state governors vehemently oppose vaccine passports?

On Friday, Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick DeSantis issued an executive order “prohibiting the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports. The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon.” The order can be viewed here.

The document states that vaccination records are “private health information which should not be shared by mandate.” In addition, they “reduce individual freedom and harm patient privacy.”

The order also states that businesses in Florida are “prohibited from requiring patrons or customers to provide any documentation” about their COVID-19 vaccination status.

All I know is that we the people need to stand up and fight against the tyranny the Biden Administration is trying to thrust upon us. We must do this loudly and often.

Last week, the Democratic House candidate from IA-02 who lost the election to her Republican opponent by six points withdrew her bid to have the election overturned by a Democrat controlled House committee. The candidate, Rita Hart, had the full support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She didn’t withdraw because she realized it was wrong to try to steal a seat in Congress. Hart withdrew because the “disinformation campaign from the right wing media” became intolerable to her.

From that, we must learn a larger lesson. If we’re loud enough and persistent enough, we can make a difference.

Memo to the FBI:  Why don’t you get your own house in order, maybe catch a few real criminals before you try circulating something so tone-deaf, unwelcome and unnecessary like this again.

Thought Biden’s Vaccine Passport Was Bad? Here’s What Citizens Returning to Canada Can Expect

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In an effort to discourage Canadians from traveling abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has imposed a new set of requirements that must be met upon their return. The government is taking these measures because, of course, it wants to keep its citizens safe. If you thought the idea of a vaccine passport was draconian, read on.

First, in true authoritarian style, he tells Canadians that “now is not the time to travel. If you have plans to head somewhere for the long weekend, cancel them.” Got it?

If an individual must travel, they are required to show a negative PCR test result before boarding their return flight. The U.S. has just adopted this measure as well.

However, Trudeau is requiring Canadians to take a second PCR test upon landing. “When you land, you’ll need to take another PCR test,” he says. “You’ll then have to wait at an approved hotel, and at your own expense, for your results to come back.”

If the test result is negative, you may go home to complete your mandatory quarantine. If it’s positive, “you’ll need to immediately quarantine in designated government facilities. This is not optional.”

He runs through similar requirements for those returning to Canada by land.

Finally, he wants his people to know that he’s doing this for the common good. He writes, “These border measures are some of the strongest in the world – and they’re in place to keep you, your loved ones, and your community safe.”

Yes, dear leader.

‘Right Now, I’m Scared’; Emotional CDC Director Says She Has a ‘Feeling of Impending Doom’ About COVID

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An emotional Dr. Rochelle Walensky, head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spoke at a White House briefing on COVID this afternoon.

Walensky said she promised two months ago that she would tell Americans the truth and today, in particular, she hopes we will listen.

Apparently, the number of new cases of COVID in the U.S. have ticked up over last week and she is concerned about a fourth surge of the virus. According to The Washington Post, the “U.S. seven-day average hovered at about 60,000 daily cases — a 10-percent increase compared to the prior seven-day period. Hospitalizations have risen, too. The seven-day average death rate, which typically lags behind cases and hospitalizations, increased by 3 percent.”

Walensky said she had a feeling of “impending doom” about the situation.

“I’m gonna pause here. I’m gonna lose the script and I’m gonna reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom. We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope. ”

In a very emotional voice, she adds, “Right now I’m scared.”

Walensky’s predecessor, Dr. Robert Redfield, never spoke like this, not even at the height of the pandemic.

Impending doom? Our CDC director is near tears and tells us she’s scared?

Hmmm.

A 10 percent week over week increase doesn’t strike me as crazy. If this became a trend, perhaps there might be more reason for concern. But considering the rate has dropped for ten straight weeks by a total of 77.2 percent, this shouldn’t drive our CDC director to tears.

Without looking at the breakdown of where the cases are the highest, it’s hard to know the reasons behind the increase.

We know that the Biden Administration’s disastrous decision to allow throngs of illegal immigrants into the country, many of whom are infected with COVID could be a factor. Biden’s unwise resurrection of the Obama era policy of catch and release has allowed infected illegal immigrants to move freely about the country, on buses and airplanes and everywhere else.

In the meantime, Americans returning to the U.S. from abroad are required to show a negative COVID test result from within 72 hours of boarding their flight before they are allowed back into the country.

So, what might be the reason for Dr. Walensky’s feeling of impending doom?

COVID was used as a control mechanism by many government officials, elected and appointed. Because it went on for so long, many of them, Democratic governors in particular, grew accustomed to their new power and are reluctant to give it up.

Frankly, I have no idea why the numbers increased last week.

Or even if the numbers increased last week.

Because I find it hard to trust anything this administration tells us.

Chinese Official: ‘Trend that the East is rising while the West is declining has become very obvious’

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The former CCP leader of the Xinjiang region of China, Zhang Chunxian, spoke to a group of deputies from the National People’s Congress in Hubei earlier this month where he touted the country’s “extraordinary accomplishments” and said that 2020 had been a “watershed year.” He said, “Since no country could escape the major test of the pandemic last year, this trend that the East is rising while the West is declining has become very obvious,according to the South China Morning Post. He added that, “The phenomenon of China advancing and the US retreating has also been conspicuous.”

Conspicuous?

Zhang even cited a report from the French media which said the Chinese would soon have a higher average life expectancy than the U.S. “concluding that China’s rise was unstoppable.”

The sentiment among the Chinese of an ascendant China and a waning West has become quite prevalent among CCP leadership and nowhere was that more apparent than during the talks with U.S. diplomats this week in Alaska. In fact, one gets the distinct impression that the Chinese no longer feel equal to the U.S., but superior.

Separately, Guo Shengkun, party secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, told a group, “Chinese of all ethnic groups experienced the extraordinary accomplishments achieved by our party, the country and the public [last year]. This was especially seen in the striking contrast of the order in the East and chaos in the West, the rise of the East and decline of the West, and the ascendancy of China and fall of the U.S.”

The SCMP also cited an advisor to CCP leaders, Zheng Yongnian, who said “the US was ‘still developing but at a slower pace’ to other countries.”

Zheng did acknowledge that “the US was far ahead of other nations in some areas. ‘In areas like the economy, military, science and technology – and innovation – no other country can match it.” He also noted that “differences between the US and China were deeply rooted, and Beijing needed to ‘discard its unrealistic ideas and learn to live with the US.'”

He added that, “Realistically, China has risen to the point where it is regarded as a real threat by the US. The fact is, the US cannot contain China’s rise – but China cannot replace the US.”

The Chinese, at least among loyal members of the CCP, have a deep sense of national pride. They’ve clearly adopted a “China First” policy as every nation should.

China focuses intensely upon measurable economic goals. At the recently concluded U.S./China talks held in Alaska, Chinese Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi told the U.S. delegation that China had just “we adopted the outline for the 14th five-year economic and social development plan and the long-range objectives through the year 2035. … By the year 2035 China will surely achieve basic modernization. And by the year 2050, China will achieve full modernization.”

“China has made decisive achievements and important strategic gains in fighting COVID-19, and we have achieved a full victory in ending absolute poverty in China. China’s per-capita GDP is only one-fifth of that of the United States, but we have managed to end absolute poverty for all people in China. And we hope that other countries, especially the advanced countries, will make similar efforts in this regard,” Yang said.

They also focus intensely on their military goals which they track with the same precision as their economic objectives. According to an annual  Department of Defense report to Congress released in September, “China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has already surpassed the U.S. in missile development and its number of warships and air defense systems under the Chinese Communist Party’s plan to achieve dominance by 2049.”

The ultimate goal of the People’s Republic of China, or PRC, is to “develop a military by mid-Century that is equal to — or in some cases superior to — the U.S. military, or that of any other great power that the PRC views as a threat,” reports Military.com.

China is already ahead of the United States in certain areas” essential to its overall aim of progressing from homeland and periphery defense to global power projection.

The PRC has the largest navy in the world, with an overall battle force of approximately 350 ships and submarines, including over 130 major surface combatants.

That’s compared to the U.S. Navy’s current battle force of 295 ships.

The PRC has more than 1,250 ground-launched ballistic missiles (GLBMs) and ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers,” while the U.S. currently fields one type of conventional GLBM with a range of 70 to 300 kilometers and no GLCMs.

In some respects, China is also ahead on integrated air defense systems with a mix of Russian-built and homegrown systems.

Despite the advances, the PLA “remains in a position of inferiority” to the U.S. in overall military strength…

The Military.com article quotes retired Marine officer Chad Sbragia, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for China, who said, “the report does not claim that China’s military is 10 feet tall,” but the Chinese Communist Party wants it to be, and has the plan and resources to reach that goal.”

Following a report earlier this month that China has allocated “$208.6 billion for military spending for 2022, a 6.8% increase” from 2021 and their concerns over China’s increased aggression in the South China Sea and elsewhere, eight Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee wrote a letter to Biden requesting he “increase next year’s defense budget by three to five percent.”

The lawmakers wrote:

“Years of Budget Control Act (BCA) related defense cuts undermined military readiness, set back efforts to modernize the force, and gave our adversaries the time necessary to gain significant advantages that now jeopardize our military superiority. … The Chinese Communist Party increased its defense spending by over 75 percent in the last decade. If we do nothing, over the next decade, China will fully modernize its military, potentially bringing it into parity with our own.”

The Chinese are power hungry, determined, disciplined, patient and ruthless. Biden Administration officials are power hungry, determined and ruthless, but they are undisciplined and impatient. And they’re starting to resemble the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

The near instant devolvement into acrimony that occurred between the U.S. and Chinese diplomats in Alaska this week highlighted one unmistakable fact: The Chinese neither respect nor fear the Biden Administration.

Rightly or wrongly, the Chinese related to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his delegation as if they were convinced they hold the upper hand. Their firm belief that ‘the East is rising while the West is declining’ was unmistakable. Their game plan is to simply stay the course and methodically move toward their goals.

Their unwillingness to make concessions or to yield to the U.S. even the slightest bit, will complicate future relations with the U.S. or may possibly prevent any meaningful dialog at all.

Regarding the tone set by the Chinese during the talks, Michael Pillsbury, a China expert at the Hudson Institute, told The Wall Street Journal, that “the thrust of Mr. Yang’s remarks presages difficult dealings ahead.”

Pillsbury said that “the tone seems to be different. Now China is not just equal to us, they are superior.” He added “the U.S. needs to find more leverage over China.”

And they better find it soon because, as I see it, China is starting to behave like Germany in the 1930s.