Rule Of Threes Applies Everywhere Part 9
OK, today is Oct. 11, 2021. I sent in Part 8 of this series on Oct. 10 and started Part 9 today hoping that I could go further into explaining how come our supply chain is screwed up with emphasis on the bigger part, that in China. Every freaking week either unconstitutional actions by the regime of Joe Biden, or economic problems from our end of the supply chain have interrupted me and forced me to try to cover both.
It is happening again. I cannot get one single day where a major problem does not hit us hard. So let us get today's events out of the way so that they can be documented in the stream of what has been happening to us.
In Part 8, I discussed the illegal and unconstitutional Executive Order by Joe Biden (aside from what it ordered, it was not written, registered and filed so it does not really have the force of law and cannot under our Constitution be used as such) mandating Covid vaccination of all Federal employees. And those companies of more than 100 employees along with all medical personnel. And as I discussed, about ¼ to 1/3 of the people affected are refusing the vaccination for reasons I explained. And as discussed in the last piece, because it is not officially filed, it cannot be sued against in the courts. Basically, the law is now whatever the Joe Biden or his officials say it is at any given moment.
Now there ARE legal barriers against those who are federally regulated and licensed from striking or engaging in a slowdown, work to rule, or organized sick-out. And those will be enforced, because it is not those in power breaking them. But there is a thing called “Irish Democracy,” based on the fact that in conquered Ireland the Irish would spontaneously resist their British rulers wherever they could until they were free.
It started last night. Pilots and aircrew of Southwest Airlines called in sick. It is suspected that part of it was related to sick leave. Those who were refusing the Covid vaccination were going to be fired, no appeal. And one of the things that they would lose was accumulated sick leave. So it started with some pilots calling in, and word spread. And it spread. And it spread across industries. Southwest Airlines had to cancel 1,800-1,900 flights last night. Some AMTRAK trains have had to be cancelled for lack of crew. There are reports that the Seattle Ferry System had to shut down, and that is a major part of the mass transit system there. There are rumors tonight that American Airlines will have to start canceling flights soon. If this spreads to buses, don't expect to be doing much travelling unless you drive. And if long haul truck drivers and/or freight train crews join in, it is going to get downright hungry out.
One other thing. IF this is ever over and we go back to something resembling normal, if you are a person who has been through this all and been screwed over by the institutions and bosses who fired you; are you going to be willing to stay in the field? Or to go back to work where you were? Even if they want you back, having declared that there are limits beyond which you will not be pushed.
And do not be surprised if we get our own Enabling Act akin to the Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich out of all this. That was the law that gave Hitler and the Nazis absolute power in Germany based on a “national emergency.” Which may or may not be written, registered and filed. It is not like we live under a rule of law.
Now, back to the Chinese end of the supply chain.
Now things are bad in our country. Very bad. And they are going to get much worse, as we are running out of alternatives. But as bad as things are here, China is in even worse shape and shows every sign of possibly being terminal. And I don't mean the shipping kind. I mean that things there are not good. We do not hear about it here because 1) our media would not criticize China for anything, especially because China has them by the fiscal short and curlies, and 2) Ideologically our news media is desperately hoping to gain the favor of the occupants of Zhongnanhai and is willing to betray us all to do it.
We trade with China, far too extensively for our own good. And although it is not mentioned, far more extensively for China's good in the current situation. Now 40 percent of our trade with China comes through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. And they are backed up horribly. Terminal berths that used to unload and reload a container ship every eight hours now take three-six days. Ships are backed up. The 40+ offshore anchorages are full of ships waiting in line, and there are literally scores (as in “four score and seven years ago”) of container ships floating in designated “boxes” waiting for a turn at an anchorage. . . so they can wait some more.
While we can still get cargoes in from ports other than on our West Coast, if the ships are willing to sail far enough, China has functionally one coast regardless of the human designations of the different parts of it. Of the 17 busiest ports in the world (when things are working, which they are not right now), eight of them are in China. Seven are in coastal cities, and one is in Guangzhou (used to be called Canton) where several major rivers converge. Each has what are functionally sub-ports that make them up. In order of volume they are Shanghai, Shenzhen (around Kowloon, Hong Kong), Ningbo-Zhoushan (about 100 miles south of Shanghai), Qingdao in Shandong Province, Guangzhou (up the river from Hong Kong), Tianjin (the port for Beijing), Dalian in Liaoning Province which is the port for Northeast China/Manchuria, and Xiamen in Fujian Province just opposite Taiwan.
We may have around 100 ships backed up on our West Coast. And that is bad, very bad. China has several hundred container ships waiting for a slot to unload. Just as we cannot import AND export because our ports are tied up, China can do neither either. But there is one key difference. We import manufactured goods, some vital such as computer chips and industrial parts, and some just cheap Zao1gao1. What do we export to China? Food. We can live longer without cheap plastic toys than they can without food.
The main Chinese meat is pork. Cows take too much land to raise. There has been some sort of porcine plague running through China for the last several years. In addition, if you remember last year when the Yangtze was hit with unseasonable rains and the Three Gorges Dam was at risk, a lot of pig farms got flooded. China has compensated by buying a lot of pork and a lot of pork producers from this country. Y'all know that Smithfield Meats is the biggest pork producer in our country. I say “in” our country because they are now owned by a subsidiary of the Chinese government. There are a lot of American-raised pigs whose fate has shifted from ham or bacon to Cha Shu or Lop Ngok.
The same with soybeans. There is a lot of Chinese food made with soybeans. China has been a major importer of ours because they have not been producing enough. But like the cargoes off of our coast are out of our reach, the ones off the Chinese coast are out of reach of the Chinese. When it gets hungry out in China, it can get untidy there.
So why are they so much farther behind us in getting ships docked, unloaded and loaded? A good part of that has to do with medicine in Communist and Socialist countries. Part of it is the nature of the Covid virus. Part of it has to do with Chinese social mores. In our country, there are a LOT of germophobes. Everything we clean with, including hand soaps, are germicidal. In China, not so much. By world standards, they are clean, but they are far from antiseptic, not constantly disinfecting everything like us. They have a vaccination program. With all due respect, China is not known for quality control. And they are known for cutting corners for profit. And like in any totalitarian system, those doing the vaccinating know that if they report that they have not exceeded quotas, they will be punished. So it is reasonable to guess that they government is being lied to, and is in turn lying to the world. Finally, there is the matter of the virus itself. When it got out of the lab in Wuhan, it was first generation. The first generation of any disease is frequently the most deadly, having the highest mortality. It was designed 99 percent+ to infect people. And it had some success, killing the old and immune-compromised. Any disease early on when there is no resistance will kill more people. But that is not a success for a disease. If a disease kills off its victims BEFORE they can spread the disease, it dies out itself. So the trend is to evolve into something that infects easier, but kills more slowly so the disease spreads. The Chinese medical system is not designed to adapt to epidemics. So there are a lot of people vulnerable and still getting sick.
China has waves of Covid still running through it, especially in urban areas. Chinese cities are far more crowded and packed. There is nothing akin to what the CDC calls “social distancing.” So their response is to lockdown whole cities for weeks at a time. I note that one of that list of container ship ports just recently was locked down for several weeks. Nothing moved, in or out. And those who are working, kinda-sorta, are not working at anything akin to the norm. Because they are quarantining ships before they can come into port, varying according to where they are from, and with the quarantine being up to six weeks before they can get in line to wait.
There is another huge problem affecting China that will be in my next piece. And it is a trade killer from the Chinese point of view. However, I am out of space for this week, so I will start early and see if I can wrap up the Chinese side. Then things will get serious.