Well, over the last three editions of Tony's reports on China, he's really stepped up his coverage of COVID-19 there. It has now become completely clear that China's biggest fear is that lifting the lockdowns would result in a huge wave of emergency hospitalizations. Just how virulent is COVID-19 in China? Here in the USA, we've seen virulence drop approximately 40 fold.
This report, from November 11, 2022, sheds a little light on the subject. Chinese Experts Suggest Prioritizing Treatment of Severe, Critical Covid-19 Cases.
In response to COVID-19 lockdowns, some Chinese firms are increasing the rate they are bringing on robots. Labor Cost Hikes, Covid Drive More Robots to Enter Chinese Factories.
Most of us thought Russia was militarized before the operation started in Ukraine. However, it was obviously much less militarized than we figured. It also appears clear now that Russia is, and has been for several months, in the process of full militarization that won't stop after Russia achieves full victory in Ukraine, which it will and sooner than later. It's now a matter of months, not years. The reason for Russia's greatly increased militarization is that Russia does not, and frankly cannot, trust the "West," meaning the USA, not to attempt more military efforts against Russia and that Russia must be fully ready for all-out conventional (and nuclear) warfare across Europe and beyond.
The USA neocons have blundered very badly throughout the world and especially concerning Russia. Not one single thing those neocons ever advocated or did has been correct. The right course was and still is to befriend Russia. In fact, the USA and Russia should build a direct link between Russia and Alaska so that we could have open borders between our two nations. Russia after the Soviet Union was not our enemy. We should have rushed in with huge aid to prevent not only the economic depression that occurred in Russia but even a lasting recession. We could have done that. Instead, the neocons sent in financial vultures and expanded NATO. That's why Putin has done all that he has. What choice did he have? The only option was becoming a total vassal state of the USA Empire. If you doubt it, you've not been paying close attention over the decades.
I want to be clearly on the record on this. I DO NOT WANT Ukraine to win against Russia! I want Putin and Russia to prevent the core fascist hardliners in Ukraine and other parts of Europe from prevailing. Remember your history, if you ever knew it (I hope you did). Germany, Italy, and Spain were the bastions of fascism. Germany modeled many of its eugenics on the policies and practices of the USA. Russia was never fascist and isn't now. It was militaristic by virtue of having been invaded over and over and over through the centuries. Yes, it had its own imperialist leaders, but even under Stalin, Russia was vastly more defensive than offensive in nature. The USSR was created to stop neoliberal economics from invading Russia, which wanted socialism even under the Bolsheviks, with whom I strongly disagree concerning democracy, which I strongly favor.
None of this is to say that I agree with all things Putin. I disagree with him concerning freedom of religion and the balance between individual human rights and the so-called self-determination of nation-states, among other things.
Nevertheless, he is not some sort of Hitler but an intelligent and reasonable man capable of continued growth and evolution. We don't need a war on him to debate and discuss with him. We need a sincere and continue dialogue with patience on both sides to give each other time to consider and reflect, etc.
As I said before the military operation in Ukraine, Ukraine can't win regardless of the support of the USA and sanctions against Russia will only serve to strengthen Russia. What were the neocons saying and most of them still saying by contrast? Therefore, whom will you trust going forward? Who's judgment is and always has been better?
The steepest downturn in the G4 during November was recorded in the US. The headline S&P Global flash US PMI Composite Output Index registered 46.3 in November, down from 48.2 at the start of the fourth quarter. The resulting rate of contraction signalled was the sharpest since August and among the quickest since 2009, adding to survey indications that the US is mired in a period of economic downturn despite recent upbeat official data.Flash PMI data signal falling output in the US, Europe and Japan, but price pressures also cool
What Russia thinks:
...the Secretaries of the CSTO Security Councils "condemn any actions aimed at spreading and justifying Nazism and nationalist ideologies and welcome efforts by states and international organizations to counter and combat manifestations of glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and extremism."Secretaries of CSTO Security Councils condemn any attempts to spread and justify Nazism
"Enemies continue to carefully count our launches and our stockpiles. They should know better than to hope for a depletion of our resources," he said on Telegram on Wednesday.‘Don’t get your hopes up’: Medvedev skewers claims of Russia running out of weapons
The US cannot designate Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” since it simply does not fit the relevant criteria, the US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack told a briefing on Tuesday, while commenting on a similar initiative by European lawmakers.Russia is not 'state sponsor of terrorism' – US ambassador
The USA can't defend calling Russia a terrorist state because the USA has done everything Russia is doing now and more, much more, all with vastly less justification.
The Taliban is sooooo backward. Outside world doing too little to rescue Afghans’ human rights.
Putin won't condemn Iran over this but should.
The Reporters Without Borders’ 2022 Press Freedom Index offers a sketch of a situation that is all but menacing. Of 180 countries surveyed, Iran’s ranking is 178, only ahead of Eritrea and North Korea – even Syria, Yemen and Myanmar fare better than the Islamic Republic.
Yet it is in this inhospitable setting for journalism that educated and talented reporters are pushing the boundaries, navigating an ocean of restrictions to make sure their commitment to public cognizance isn’t sacrificed while a modicum of accountability can be expected from the otherwise irresponsible officials who scarcely feel obligated to explain their decisions to constituents.Amid epochal uprising, journalism under attack in Iran – Asia Times
According to Richard Heinberg, things don't look good.
The notion of voluntarily reining in economic growth in order to minimize climate change and make it easier to replace fossil fuels is political anathema not just in the rich countries, whose people have gotten used to consuming at extraordinarily high rates, but even more so in poorer countries, which have been promised the opportunity to “develop.”The renewable energy transition is failing
This is China's fault because of China's South China Sea claims. US military poised to return to Subic Bay, Philippines after 30 year absence, to counter China’s presence.