Watch: How China Is Enforcing The Corona Quarantine By Drone
China has found new ways to respond to coronavirus that has shut down at least two-thirds of its economy, taken offline some of the world’s largest manufacturing hubs, and quarantined more than 50 million people.
The country is using drones, specifically DJI drones with front-mounted speakers, to fly around towns and yell at anyone who isn’t wearing a mask.
It’s like something from a dystopian film, but essential to critical quarantine enforcement.
With confirmed cases around 10,000 in China, about 213 deaths, and tens of thousands of people with suspected coronavirus, the communist government is deploying technology to beat the "devil virus."
"Staying at home is contributing to society," a government official tells people in this video posted by Global Times, which slows a DJI drone with a front-mounted speaker flying around a rural countryside and urban areas yelling at anyone not wearing a virus mask.
Walking around without a protective face mask? Well, you can’t avoid these sharp-tongued drones! Many village and cities in China are using drones equipped with speakers to patrol during the #coronavirus outbreak. pic.twitter.com/ILbLmlkL9R
Gizchina.com reports that some Chinese towns are deploying agriculture drones with 5-gallon sprayers to spray disinfectant, with hopes that the virus could be eliminated.
UK researchers now suggest 75,800 people are infected in Wuhan, as compared to SARS, the infection rate of coronavirus is exceptionally high. China is using advanced technology to fight a virus that could wind up collapsing its economy.
China’s Crackdown On Pajama-Wearers Sparks Surveillance-State Backlash
Avid Zero Hedge readers are probably aware that the Communist Party leadership has managed to construct a surveillance apparatus in the country’s largest cities that tracks its citizens with panoptic precision. Spit your gum out on the sidewalk in Beijing, and your ‘social credit score’ – a government ‘rating’ that quantifies your obedience to laws and social customs – might take a hit.
While this system is also used for more nefarious purposes – minority Muslims in the far Western state of Xinjiang have been placed under constant surveillance as President Xi and the Party work to undermine adherence to Islam and mold the ethnic Uyghurs into obedient Communists – Beijing also uses it for more mundane purposes, like catching thieves who steal toilet paper from public restrooms.
But recently, the government triggered a rare backlash against the Chinese security state – a terrifying glimpse of how governments might leverage digital control to keep their people docile – when officials in a city in Eastern China launched a campaign to end "uncivilized behavior."
As the New York Times tells it, this campaign was basically Rudy Giuliani’s ‘broken windows’ strategy on steroids.. And on Monday, the urban management department of Suzhou, the Chinese city of six million in Anhui Province, started the controversy by publishing photos taken by street cameras of seven young residents wearing pajamas in public.
Along with the photos, police published the names of the offenders, government ID numbers and locations where the "uncivilized behavior" took place. But residents responded that the young residents were simply being kids, and many criticized the police for their overzealousness.
According to the NYT, the backlash was a rare moment of resistance from a population that has seemingly accepted their totalitarian rulers.
Earlier, a government post on WeChat laid out the reasoning for shaming the pajama-wearers.
"Uncivilized behavior refers to when people behave and act in ways that violate public order because they lack public morals," read a post on WeChat, a common social messaging app, which has since been deleted.
"Many people think that this is a small problem and not a big deal," the post said. "Others believe public places are truly ‘public,’ where there is no blame, no supervision and no public pressure."
"This has brought about a kind of complacent, undisciplined mind set," it concluded.
While the use of facial recognition technology in security cameras remains taboo around the world, in China, it’s widely accepted. Powerful software allows the state security panopticon to quickly match offenders with their identities.
Some users of Chinese social media warned that the technology should be used cautiously.
"Facial recognition technology should be used with caution," a user named Xiu Li De Xiao Wo wrote on Sina Weibo, a popular microblogging platform. "They should really be restricting access."
The Suzhou ban on pajamas in public isn’t the first time Chinese authorities tried to crack down on unacceptable dress codes. Police have also cracked down on the "Beijing bikini," a look where men roll up their shirts and bare their belly during the hot summer months.
While the debate over facial recognition tech can be light-hearted at times, reports about advances in video-tracking technology have raised fears about the government or private companies engaging in this level of extreme monitoring in the US. Last weekend, the New York Times published a blockbuster story about ClearView, a company that had invented a facial-recognition technology on par with anything used in China.
Then again, with such advanced surveillance tech at their disposal, we’re certain the Chinese authorities would have no problem identifying the source of the coronavirus outbreak, not to mention tracking all of those who might have been exposed. Though if this were true, how come so many infected victims were allowed to leave the country?
Being born White these days comes with a lot of excess baggage. Instead of each human being coming into existence with a clean slate, so to speak, a Caucasian newborn (who exactly qualifies as ‘White’ is another question) is brought into the world carrying the stain of its ancestors’ transgressions, of which, we are constantly reminded, are infinite and unforgivable.
Yes, European settlers to America were, for example, responsible for killing off a large number of the Native Indian population, as well as participating in the African slave trade. And who could forget the regrettable legacy of colonialism? At this point, I will resist the temptation to construct a scorecard based on the historical crimes of other races, many of whom were guilty of the very same crimes now being attributed to the White people.
This sudden desire among the Liberal Inquisition to settle past historical scores with the White man, who ironically has become his own burden, is already revealing itself in radical new ways. Students at prestigious Yale University, for example, will no longer be able to attend an introductory course to Western Art History due to “student uneasiness over an idealized Western “canon” — a product of an overwhelmingly white, straight, European and male cadre of artists,” reported the school’s newspaper.
Perhaps the only thing surprising about Yale’s announcement is that it came so late in the day. After all, the field of mathematics, which one would think is adequately insulated from identity politics, has been accused of being built on a purely racist foundation.
According to the new woke math currently being taught in the Seattle public school system, “Western” mathematics is being foisted upon unsuspecting students as “the only legitimate expression of mathematical identity and intelligence” in some diabolical plan to “disenfranchise people and communities of color.”
Perhaps the best evidence that there is a concerted effort to cancel the White race from recognition for their achievements can be witnessed by a simple search on Google. Type in ‘White inventors’ and fasten your seat belt. While there is no doubt that minorities have contributed many inventions over the course of the centuries, the Google results make it look like the tinkering White man, where he appears at all, is still struggling to invent the wheel. If the world’s biggest search engine were relying solely on algorithms to provide its ‘answers’ (as opposed to the deliberate meddling of a human hand) then it seems utterly impossible that renowned ‘Caucasian’ inventors, like the Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Tim Berners-Lee and Isaac Newton, to name a few, do not feature anywhere near the top of Google search results. This was a deliberate move by the Silicon Valley giant to deny White inventors their rightful place in the historical record.
Commercial break! Watch Gillette’s stomach-churning virtue-signaling video devoted to not removing whiskers from your face but the question of ‘toxic masculinity. Ask yourself what race is portrayed as the guiltiest of displaying undesirable behavior (making advances on females, for example) in society.
Equally shocking was the news that Goldman Sachs, of all companies, was jumping on the virtue signaling bandwagon in an apparent effort to put White executives in their rightful place, which increasingly is not at the top. Indeed, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon has a plan to save corporate America from all-male, all-white corporate boards: The investment bank will decline to take a company public unless it has at least one woman or non-white member on board.
The CBS article where this story appeared attempted to justify the move by citing a study that arguesmore diverse firms make “better investment decisions and scale back on aggressive risk-taking.” Well, if that were true, then Goldman Sachs would be better off asserting its commitment to the ‘free market’ as opposed to the lunatic social justice fringe. The reason is at the core of capitalist theory: those firms that fail to diversify (if it is indeed the best business model) will ultimately falter due to the market’s law of natural selection. Instead, David Solomon would rather align himself with cultural ‘progressives’ by forcefully removing White executives, many of whom are in their positions due to hard work and merit. On top of that, there is the question regarding the very constitutionality of such efforts at ‘affirmative action’ to correct perceived wrongs in the workplace.
Curb your racism, avoid yoga and dog ownership
Now, if all that were not enough, flickering in the background of these stories are vile racist ideas that would never be attributed to other peoples without massive fallout. For example, did you happen to know that White people participating in the seemingly benign discipline of yoga, an increasingly popular group activity for relieving stress and staying fit, are in reality supporting the vile white supremacist belief system?
Shreena Gandhi, a religious studies professor at Michigan State, and Lillie Wolff, a self-described “anti-racist white Jewish organizer, facilitator, and healer,” co-authored an article entitled, ‘Yoga and the Roots of Cultural Appropriation.’ In it, the very imaginative authors argue that the “modern-day trend of cultural appropriation of yoga is a continuation of white supremacy and colonialism, maintaining the pattern of white people consuming the stuff of culture that is convenient and portable…”
The madness does not stop there. Not by a long shot.
Now if, by chance, you happen to be White, as well as a yoga enthusiast AND dog owner, you may as well just surrender to your darkest demons and sign up now for the Ku Klux Klan. I am only half joking. See, because in the minds of the social justice thought police, White people who walk their dogs around the neighborhood – pooper scooper in hand – may also signify a not so harmless breed of human. That’s because White folks tend to use dog ownership as a means to achieve “reinforced boundaries” and thus their “White privileges” in their otherwise diverse neighborhoods.
“White residents of multicultural areas tend to overlook inequality in their neighborhoods,” writes Sarah Mayorga-Gallo, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Massachusetts Boston, who went on to identify the surprising “vehicle of racial segregation,” which just happens to be White man’s best friend, the dog.
The academic relayed the heart-wrenching story of Jerry, a black homeowner in his sixties, who chanced upon a neighborhood bakery in the town of Creekridge Park, North Carolina. He stopped to chat with some dog-owning customers, who were white, in the outdoor seating area, but the staff asked him to leave – a scenario that is played over thousands of times every day at any restaurant that has an outdoor seating area.
As Mayorga-Gallo explains it: “Jerry is a black disabled veteran who was wearing his old army uniform that day. He figures they thought he was begging for money.”
Without providing more information on Jerry of the tattered Army uniform, like, for example, if he was in fact a panhandler, Mayorga-Gallo arrives at the White-trashing conclusion she was certainly looking for: “The dogs didn’t create the interracial boundaries at the bakery, which caters to a primarily white, middle-class clientele. In fact, the dogs presented an avenue to connect black and white neighbors. But they gave bakery staff a reason to intervene, to maintain interracial boundaries.” Now had Mayorga-Gallo taken the time to conduct her own experiment, like how a restaurant staff would react to a White beggar attempting to talk to a group of paying Black customers, I think she may have been surprised at the results. Instead, we must settle for the ‘White dog owners contribute to racial segregation’ verdict.
For some readers, all of this may sound a bit trifling, insignificant and even humorous. That would be a mistake. This steady flow of articles, which attempt to portray White Americans as closet racists, could – at the very least – instill some level of hate aimed at the White population. In fact, that already seems to be happening. Meanwhile, by constantly eliminating the achievements of Whites, based on whatever explanation, or even removing them in the name of ‘diversity,’ this could also result in some sort of unintended backlash.
These non-stop efforts to characterize the U.S. White majority with racism and supremacism do not stand up to scrutiny. After all, the country fought a civil war that was at least partially aimed at ending the slave trade. Later, the country passed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which opened the floodgates to people of non-European descent. While there is still room for improvement, the race situation is nowhere near the crisis levels that the media regularly ascribes to it.
All things considered, it seems to be a recipe for disaster for the media to continually – in the tormented spirit of ‘social justice’ – to attribute racist tendencies to White Americans across the board. That is not only incredibly wrong, it is dangerous. It will end in disaster.
A certain dichotomy has come to our attention. The whole ream of senior, past and present, central banking elites kicked off the New Year with a stream of comments about the past successes and the future challenges of monetary policy. We’ve copied in a few of their quality quotes here, but would also highly recommend that you take the time to read, in particular, Mr Bernanke’s speech/paper:
The gist is, everything they did to save the world post GFC worked. None of the nasty side-effects came to fruition, with “the possible exception of risks to financial stability”. Further, the policies have had no impact on wealth segregation, as long as you ignore asset price inflation. Nevertheless, there is only so much monetary policy can do from here, so it might require a bit more lifting from the fiscal stimulus side to finish the job.
If you don’t mind us saying – we find this laughable, naive and disingenuous.
“It’s generally true that there’s much less ammunition for all the major central banks than they previously had, and I’m of the opinion that this situation will persist for some time,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times to be published Wednesday. “It’s not clear that monetary policy would have sufficient space” if it needs to combat anything worse than a “conventional recession.”
Mark Carney, FT 8 Jan20
“I believe that for the euro area there is some risk of Japanification, but it is by no means a foregone conclusion” if it acts comprehensively to avoid a deflationary malaise, Draghi said via a video link to the conference in San Diego. “The euro area still has space to do this, but time is not infinite,” “This is why the ECB has been consistently calling for fiscal policy to play a stronger role and capitalize” on the low rates, he said.
Mario Draghi, Bloomberg 6 Jan20
“Monetary policy has a meaningful role to play, it’s unlikely to be sufficient in the years ahead,” Yellen said. It “should not be the only game in town.” “We can afford to increase federal spending and cut taxes” to support the economy in a recession even though government debt has risen sharply in recent years, the former policy maker said.
Janet Yellen, Bloomberg 6 Jan20
“There’s been a process of going through the stages of grief about a low neutral rate. These factors are basically the hand we’ve been dealt for the next five to 10 years.”
John Williams, WSJ 5 Jan20
On the other hand, the BIS, the World Bank, and the IMF released year end reports filled to the gills about the concerns of unprecedented debt expansion:
“Our results show that public debt in its various forms is the most important predictor of fiscal crises and it does matter always and everywhere.”
IMF: Debt is Not Free 3 Jan20
“The global economy has experienced four waves of debt accumulation over the past fifty years. The first three debt waves ended with financial crises in many emerging and developing economies. The latest, since 2010, has already witnessed the largest, fastest and most broad-based increase in debt in these economies. Their total debt has risen by 54 percentage points of GDP to a historic peak of almost 170 percent of GDP in 2018.”
The World Bank, Global Waves of Debt: Causes and Consequences Jan20
We are going to go out on a limb and suggest that it might be the unprecedented inflation (pun intended) of outstanding debt that the monetary policy nobility are missing in each and every of their senseless comments/arguments/conclusions. There is a reason they call end of cycle dislocations something like a “Debt Crisis” or “Credit Bubble” or “Default Cycle”, because debt is what matters! They don’t call it a “Slow Down in Productivity Crisis” or an “Asset Inflation Catastrophe” or a “Core PCE Deflator Bust”. You’ve heard us ask it over and over again – are central bankers idiots, or are they in on a wilful upward redistribution of wealth? Read through the above articles/speeches/papers from the elite of the elite in the central banking world and you will literally find not one mention of debt/credit/leverage. As always, the mention of it is so noticeable in its absence that it is hard to imagine it is anything other than intentional. They are the managers of a Ponzi scheme laying out every possible explanation other than what it actually is.
The IMF and World Bank pieces, on the other hand, focus on the actual state of the world. The World Bank piece comes with a link to a spreadsheet with the data behind their wonderful charts. What we take from these pieces, in particular the World Bank book, is that historically long periods of debt accumulation end in financial crisis, notably in Emerging and Developing Economies (EMDEs). The most recent wave of debt commenced in 2010 and now has the world at all-time unprecedented levels of debt, but what really stands out is the relative increase in debt in Emerging and Developing Economies, and specifically Private sector debt, overwhelmingly from China.
Figure 1: Global Debt
Figure 2: Debt in Advanced Economies
Figure 3: Debt in Emerging and Developing Economies
Other things that stand out – overall there has been no deleveraging post the 2007-2009 financial crisis; virtually all of the growth in accumulated debt in Advanced Economies has come from Government debt; the growth above trend of Private debt in EM, and particularly China, is prodigious. As we have discussed before, the end result of the extreme policy measure of the above noted Advanced Economy central bankers, aside from inflating asset prices in their own countries, was to drive debt accumulation into the developing world.
This leads to the problem very clearly depicted in the below graph. Despite the unprecedented expansion of debt, what some might proclaim a bringing forward of demand, growth in EMDEs continues to slow.
Figure 4: Debt to GDP vs GDP growth in Emerging and Developing Economies
This picture, naturally, looks even more extreme if we strip it down to just China. Referencing our distinguished central banking friends, maybe it’s not “secular stagnation”, but rather an excess of accumulated debt? I go back to our old Snickers bar analogy. You have to be a pretty undiscerning doctor if you think your prescription of Snickers bars, to pick up lagging energy in your patient, has nothing to do with his weight gain and subsequent increased lack of energy. Sadly, there appears to be no accountability for the monetary physicians that have orchestrated the current lack of fitness for economies.
We couldn’t help ourselves and had to include the attached link to the recently created biggest Snickers bar ever – as far as we know no central bankers were involved in the making of it!
As ever, we have no particular insight as to what the future holds, how or when this cycle might end. Just simply that, thus far, they all end. The accumulation of debt doesn’t, per se, tell you where or when a fire might start, but rather where a spreading fire might cause the costliest damage. Again, the next three charts from the World Bank piece show that EMDEs, and in particular China, are where the combustible material has really built up in this wave.
Figure 6: Rate of Change of Total Debt (EMDEs – Emerging Market Developing Economies)
Figure 7: Pct. Countries with Increase in Govt Debt, EMDEs
Figure 8: Pct. Countries with Increase in Private Debt, EMDEs
All of our central banking gurus commented on the need for greater fiscal policy support in their respective economies, and we touched last month on the growing mainstreaming of things like MMT, Modern Monetary Theory (neither modern nor a theory), but is that sort of thing a solution that will prevent/delay another EMDEs financial crisis at the end of this debt wave? Can EMDEs that rely on foreigners to hold a significant portion of their domestic government debt, and on foreign currency as a significant portion of the private debt, smooth away cyclical end debt instability by ever greater levels of fiscal spending? The soft-landing unicorn has been historically scarce, and the extremes of this cycle make us sceptical that this time the guys behind the curtain will pull the levers just right.
Figure 10: Volatility and Correlation Comet
Figure 11: SGD/JPY ‘Seasons’
All of this leads us, yet again, to the same question: are you sufficiently confident in your defensive strategies that you are able to take sufficient risk to benefit from years like 2019? Are you catching the spectacular compounding opportunities in the up-tail, while confidently protecting the down-tail? Nobody should be satisfied with the high correlation and low returns of absolute return hedge fund strategies. Fixed income, which had a sensational 2019, still massively underperformed equities while offering increasingly little portfolio risk mitigation benefit. Should our central banking overlords continue to extend the cycle, there is no reason why asset prices can’t continue to drive ever higher. Should they fail………
During President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial, we’ll hear a lot of talk about our rules for governing. One frequent claim is that our nation is a democracy. If we’ve become a democracy, it would represent a deep betrayal of our founders, who saw democracy as another form of tyranny. In fact, the word democracy appears nowhere in our nation’s two most fundamental documents, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The founders laid the ground rules for a republic as written in the Constitution’s Article IV, Section 4, which guarantees "to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government."
John Adams captured the essence of the difference between a democracy and republic when he said,
"You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe."
Contrast the framers’ vision of a republic with that of a democracy. In a democracy, the majority rules either directly or through its elected representatives. As in a monarchy, the law is whatever the government determines it to be. Laws do not represent reason. They represent power. The restraint is upon the individual instead of the government. Unlike that envisioned under a republican form of government, rights are seen as privileges and permissions that are granted by government and can be rescinded by government.
Here are a few quotations that demonstrate the contempt that our founders held for a democracy.
James Madison, in Federalist Paper No. 10, wrote that in a pure democracy, "there is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual."
At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Edmund Randolph said that "in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy." Alexander Hamilton agreed, saying: "We are now forming a republican government. (Liberty) is found not in "the extremes of democracy but in moderate governments. … If we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy."
John Adams reminded us: "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."
John Marshall, the highly respected fourth chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court observed, "Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos."
Thomas Paine said, "A Democracy is the vilest form of Government there is."
The framers gave us a Constitution replete with undemocratic mechanisms. One constitutional provision that has come in for recent criticism is the Electoral College. In their wisdom, the framers gave us the Electoral College as a means of deciding presidential elections. That means heavily populated states can’t run roughshod over small, less-populated states.
Were we to choose the president and vice president under a popular vote, the outcome of presidential races would always be decided by a few highly populated states, namely California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania, which contain 134.3 million people, or 41% of our population. Presidential candidates could safely ignore the interests of the citizens of Wyoming, Alaska, Vermont, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Delaware. Why? They have only 5.58 million Americans, or 1.7% of the U.S. population. We would no longer be a government "of the people." Instead, our government would be put in power by and accountable to the leaders and citizens of a few highly populated states. It would be the kind of tyranny the framers feared.
It’s Congress that poses the greatest threat to our liberties. The framers’ distrust is seen in the negative language of our Bill of Rights such as: Congress "shall not abridge, infringe, deny, disparage, and shall not be violated, nor be denied." When we die and if at our next destination we see anything like a Bill of Rights, we know that we’re in hell because a Bill of Rights in heaven would suggest that God couldn’t be trusted.
California Is Building Lots To Contain "Thousands" Living In Their Cars Across The State
Today in "news you won’t hear from liberal American news organizations", it was reported this week that "thousands" of homeless California residents are being forced to live in their cars, amidst a growing housing crisis in the state.
California accounts for nearly half of the country’s homeless population. Ah, the sweet success of high taxes and liberal policies.
Even better is the solution that some California cities are implementing to try and deal with the issue. According to a report by France 24 news, several cities are now encouraging the practice, setting up parking lots where homeless people can "more securely" spend the night.
France 24 news interviewed several people in one lot, including a deliveryman who doesn’t make enough money to rent his own apartment. "Each car represents someone’s home," the report notes about this lot outside of San Diego.
One former homeless man, George Harris, actually turned the idea into a business, accruing 13 minivans which he has parked in various areas around Venice Beach, that he rents each for $300 per month. Each van comes with its own mattress, he told a reporter proudly.
The vans have to be moved every 3 days to avoid getting towed and Harris is actually fighting the city ordinance that requires this in order to try and get permission to keep people living in vans throughout the city. Residents throughout the city seem unamused by the practice.
"I called the police on one of his clients because the guy was defecating and urinating," one resident said about a van parked outside of her home.
"Totally false," Harris interrupted during the middle of her interview. "They make up stories about the van people."