Fellow Travelers, Useful Idiots, or Both?

Merriam-Webster definition of a fellow traveler:

: a person who sympathizes with and often furthers the ideals and program of an organized group (such as the Communist party) without membership in the group or regular participation in its activities

broadly: a sympathetic supporter of another’s cause

Useful idiot:

In political jargon, a useful idiot is a derogatory term for a person perceived as propagandizing for a cause without fully comprehending the cause’s goals, and who is cynically used by the cause’s leaders

The Soviet Union made great use of both fellow travelers and useful idiots. This article by John Gray in the British publication New Statesman goes into great detail about them. Fellow travelers willfully ignore the misdeeds of these authoritarian states while praising their successes.

Just like the former Soviet Union, China goes to great lengths to make use of fellow travelers and apologists. They also use their growing economic clout to discourage criticism of their regime, its policies, and its practices. One merely needs to look at how they forced the NBA to kow-tow to them over criticism of their actions in Hong Kong.

It appears now that they are using Democrat politicians like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and former Obama advisor Ben Rhodes to stifle criticism of their response to COVID-19 as the following tweets make clear.

Given the overwhelming evidence that the Chinese Community Party and President Xi Jinping have done everything in their power to cover up their own complicity in the spread of COVID-19, the question remains whether Schiff and Rhodes are fellow travelers, useful idiots, or both.

UPDATE: The New York Times has an excellent interactive graphic showing the spread of COVID-19. It is entitled How the Virus Got Out and is worth watching.

Before the Chinese government imposed travel restrictions, it is estimated that 7 million people can and went from Wuhan which was the epicenter. Let me repeat – 7 million people left Wuhan after the first cases were discovered and thousands upon thousands were already infected.

You Know You Are A Gun Nerd When…

You know you are a gun nerd when the thing you notice in a story about the G-20 economic summit in Hangzou, China is that the Chinese honor guards carry Type 56 SKS rifles.

Getty Images – from the Wall Street Journal

That picture then sets you off on search of more pictures of the event so you can see even better pictures of the chromed Type 56 SKS rifles. The photo below is from Getty Images. If you click on the image, you can enlarge it.

CCRKBA Nails Chinese On Hypocritical Comments

I mentioned the Red Chinese criticizing the US for human rights violation the other day. For the ChiComms, those violations were that we allowed citizens to own firearms. I thought that was rich and so does the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

BELLEVUE, WA – When the People’s Republic of China accused the United States of violating human rights because of our Second Amendment, they voluntarily became the world’s laughing stock, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

China’s State Council Information Office in Beijing criticized the United States’ human rights record because of this country’s high level of firearms ownership. In their report, the Chinese alleged, “The United States prioritizes the right to keep and bear arms over the protection of citizens’ lives and personal security and exercises lax firearm possession control, causing rampant gun ownership.”

An outraged CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb noted, “It’s appalling that the Chinese complain that our constitution and Bill of Rights allows wide civil liberties latitude, including the right to keep and bear arms.” He accused the Chinese of engaging in world class hypocrisy by complaining about poor human rights in another country.

“The Chinese have hardly set a sterling example for protecting and advancing human rights,” he observed. “Perhaps what offends them most is that our Second Amendment was authored to prevent this country from going down the same road toward totalitarianism that rulers in the People’s Republic have embraced. We are not like China, and we will never be like China so long as American citizens retain their right to keep and bear arms, and they know it.”

The Chinese also criticized this country’s crime rates, to which Gottlieb responded that in the United States, citizens accused of crimes have the right to a fair trial, legal counsel and judgment by a jury of their peers.

“We don’t imprison political dissidents simply for speaking their minds,” Gottlieb noted. “We consider people to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, not the other way around. We afford an array of legal rights to people accused of crimes. Of course we don’t have a perfect system or a perfect country, but it’s better than all the rest. When was the last time we saw an American asking the Chinese embassy for political asylum?”

It Has Come To This

The mismanagement of the budget and its impact on the economy by those in both parties in Washington has led to this – being lectured on fiscal responsibility by the Red Chinese and ex-Communists in Russia.

First, Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister and former President of Russia, earlier this week said the United States has been living beyond its means like a “parasite” on the global economy.

Next, the Chinese, through their official Xinhua News Agency, were quite blunt regarding the downgrade of the United States credit rating by Standard and Poors. The full statement is below and it is harsh.

BEIJING, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) — The days when the debt-ridden Uncle Sam could leisurely squander unlimited overseas borrowing appeared to be numbered as its triple A-credit rating was slashed by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) for the first time on Friday.

Though the U.S. Treasury promptly challenged the unprecedented downgrade, many outside the United States believe the credit rating cut is an overdue bill that America has to pay for its own debt addition and the short-sighted political wrangling in Washington.

Dagong Global, a fledgling Chinese rating agency, degraded the U.S. treasury bonds late last year, yet its move was met then with a sense of arrogance and cynicism from some Western commentators. Now S&P has proved what its Chinese counterpart has done is nothing but telling the global investors the ugly truth.

China, the largest creditor of the world’s sole superpower, has every right now to demand the United States to address its structural debt problems and ensure the safety of China’s dollar assets.

To cure its addiction to debts, the United States has to reestablish the common sense principle that one should live within its means.

S&P has already indicated that more credit downgrades may still follow. Thus, if no substantial cuts were made to the U.S. gigantic military expenditure and bloated social welfare costs, the downgrade would prove to be only a prelude to more devastating credit rating cuts, which will further roil the global financial markets all along the way.

Moreover, the spluttering world economic recovery would be very likely to be undermined and fresh rounds of financial turmoil could come back to haunt us all.

The U.S. government has to come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone.

It should also stop its old practice of letting its domestic electoral politics take the global economy hostage and rely on the deep pockets of major surplus countries to make up for its perennial deficits.

A little self-discipline would not be too uncomfortable for the United States, the world’s largest economy and issuer of international reserve currency, to bear.

Though chances for a full-blown U.S. default are still slim now, the S&P downgrade serves as another warning shot about the long-term sustainability of the U.S. government finances.

International supervision over the issue of U.S. dollars should be introduced and a new, stable and secured global reserve currency may also be an option to avert a catastrophe caused by any single country.

For centuries, it was the exuberant energy and innovation that has sustained America’s role in the world and maintained investors’ confidence in dollar assets. But now, mounting debts and ridiculous political wrestling in Washington have damaged America’s image abroad.

All Americans, both beltway politicians and those on Main Street, have to do some serious soul-searching to bring their country back from a potential financial abyss.

It is a sad day for our country when our old Cold War adversaries make more economic sense than do President Obama, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and the rest of those in Washington who stood in the way of deeper budget cuts.

Made in China

After a lapse of many years, I have started back to using a fountain pen regularly. In addition to writing smoothly, they have improved my handwriting. They have also stirred the inveterate collector in me which has led me to start checking out pen forums and blogs.

This morning I found this little tidbit about the pens that President Obama used to sign the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). PPACA is better known as ObamaCare. Obama used 22 custom pens with the Presidential Seal and his signature according to the Washington Post. One recipient of a signing pen confirmed that they were made by Cross.

Here is where it gets interesting. The Goldspot Pens Blog has identified the pens as the Cross Townsend Black Lacquer with silver trim rollerball pen. These pens sell at retail for $130 a pop and that is without the Presidential Seal and engraving.

True, it is custom-ized but not custom made. Another side note is that they mention Cross is an American company, which is true, but all Cross pens are made in China now. We owe China billions of dollars anyway, so what’s a few pens between friends?

So there you have it. A bill that will push the deficit to previously unheard heights which will probably be financed by selling Treasury Bonds to the Chinese was signed with American pens made in China.