Affordable Housing

People’s Republic of China style.

The PRC is cracking down on excessive debt in the country’s housing industry, or so it claims. The government also claims it wants

to lower inequality and keep housing affordable for the masses.

But it just blew up 15 high rise apartment buildings. Those were already built, their cost sunk. Those complexes could have been at the core of the Communist Chinese Party’s claim of affordable housing.

Oh, wait—nobody wanted to live there.

That’s centrally planned economics in action. And a lesson for us, were our politicians interested in learning.

More Foolishness

This time it’s from DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. He’s finally getting around to talking about dealing with the 12,000, or so, illegal aliens camping out under a bridge in Del Rio, TX, most of whom are Haitians. Recall that months ago, he talked about telling Haitians not to come to the US illegally as they wouldn’t be allowed in. They came anyway (I guess he doesn’t consider Del Rio’s bridge, on the US side of the Rio Grande, to be US territory).

Now Mayorkas is talking about deporting those under the bridge, seven flights daily to Port-au-Prince and to Cap-Haitien.

A Very Deep Bow

Last Thursday, our illustrious Secretary of State, Antony Blinken tweeted out a straightforward, plain-spoken message of support for Hong Kongers following the People’s Republic of China’s disqualification of seven of Hong Kong’s local district councilors from holding the offices to which they were elected.

The PRC’s Foreign Ministry’s Hong Kong office objected to Blinken’s tweet, as summarized by the South China Morning Post.

strongly opposing “irresponsible comments from certain US politicians” on Hong Kong, saying that “no US slanders” would deter the nation’s determination to enforce “patriots administering Hong Kong”.

Blinken promptly deleted his tweet and put out this much milder effort:

Pope Francis, Communion, and Abortion

This is a subject into which I’m going to poke my Protestant nose, which may be a symptom of my own sin of arrogance, but there it is.

Pope Francis insists that communion is a gift to all of us, not a prize for the perfect. He also says,

What must the pastor do? Be a pastor; don’t go condemning. Be a pastor, because he is a pastor also for the excommunicated.

He’s right, too, as far as he goes.

He also emphasizes

Whoever has an abortion kills. It is a human life. This human life must be respected—this principle is so clear.

Inflation

The subheadline on a recent wall Street Journal editorial claimed

Voters know how much prices are rising even if politicians don’t.

As some might expect, I have a couple things to say about that.

One thing is that politicians certainly do know prices are rising, and they know the rate of rise; they just don’t care.

The other thing is that there is a world of difference between price rise, inflation, and price level, what we actually pay.

Is Justice Served?

Marc Baier, Ryan Adams and Daniel Gericke, who illegally transferred computer-hacking technology to the United Arab Emirates, have successfully pled out their crimes of computer fraud and violating export control laws, and they’ve received their sentences.

The men will have to pay $1.7 million to resolve the criminal charges in the “Hacking for Hire” operation.

Their deal also includes

a deferred prosecution agreement also requiring the men to cooperate with the investigation, sever ties with any UAE intelligence or law enforcement agencies, and forego security clearances. The Justice Department will abandon the prosecution if they comply with those and other terms for three years[.]

In Which I Disagree

There is a bipartisan bill afoot that would cut all taxpayer-based funding for any gain-of-function research into any virus or bacterium for at least next five years.

I disagree.

As the Wuhan Virus, which the People’s Republic of China government released onto the world (whether by design or by incompetent lab carelessness) demonstrates, we need, desperately, to understand such plussed up biologics, whether they’ve been…enhanced…for politico-military use, as our enemies are surely researching, or they’ve naturally jumped from their animal origins to human infectiousness.

The VA Fails Again

Just when you thought maybe it was getting better, too. Nope.

Not only did one of our veterans die in a VA facility, in a stairwell 60 feet from the door to his residential room, the Bedford, MA, VA hospital in which he was resident couldn’t be bothered even to search for him. His

decomposing body wasn’t found until a month after his disappearance in an emergency stairwell just 60 feet from the door of his residential room at the facility.

Tech in the Classroom

In a Wall Street Journal article centered on the classroom distractions provided by the smart watches students bring into their classrooms, Julie Jargon asked,

Which tech option makes more sense for students, smartwatches or phones?

I say neither of the above. Technology that jams the radio signals these devices depend on so that only 911 calls can get in or out is the option that’s needed. The kids need to stop being pupils and need, instead, to be students, and their parents need to step back and let them.

Did He Do It?

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley stands accused by the journalists Bob Woodward and his co-author Robert Costa of having made apparently treasonous calls to his counterpart in the People’s Republic of China government to assure them that an attack was not imminent and promising to give them a heads up if the US were about to attack.

He’s also accused by these journalists of having illegally inserted himself into the chain of command, instructing the generals involved to not act on the Commander-in-Chief’s (i.e., the President of the United States) order to launch our nuclear weapons under any circumstance without first involving him, Milley, in the decision.