Looking at the World

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Chinese Agricultural Espionage

(Epoch Times) China is the world’s largest agricultural importer with imports totaling $133.1 billion in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Plagued by shrinking arable land, natural disasters, and with swelling demand for food to feed one-sixth of the world’s population, the country has for years shown considerable interest in U.S. agricultural assets, among which, the “most valuable and easily transferable property are seeds,” a May research report (pdf) by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) states.

Seed innovation has generated billions of dollars for U.S. agricultural biotechnology firms such as Monsanto. In 2021, the United States exported around $174 million worth of seeds to China, accounting for 15 percent of its total exports, according to the report.

The importance of advancing seed technology is not lost on China. Chinese state media have described seeds as “chips” of agriculture, and Chinese leader Xi Jinping has long elevated grain security as a “core basis of national security.”

In an inspection tour of a seed lab in China’s southernmost province Hainan in April, Xi called on the country to “hold Chinese seeds tightly with our own hands” to “keep the Chinese rice bowls steady and achieve food security.”

But some Chinese scientists have taken a shortcut by outright stealing the U.S. agricultural trade secrets.



​Understanding psychological warfare and behavior manipulation is probably one of the most important things a person could do these days.

This is an interesting article, maybe worth your time reading.

Yet don’t be fooled into thinking these psyops (psychological operations) campaigns are only aimed at foreign enemies. The government has made clear in word and deed that “we the people” are domestic enemies to be targeted, tracked, manipulated, micromanaged, surveilled, viewed as suspects, and treated as if our fundamental rights are mere privileges that can be easily discarded.

Or you can convince yourself that there are no conspiracies, Epstein killed himself and creepy, corrupt, senile old Joe received 81 million votes.


Out of Sight

I am not endorsing any company in particular,  and there are regional companies that do this sort of work.  https://hiddenpassageway.com/ is located in Arizona and they do good work. They also sell components semi-finished for you to use yourself in construction. Pricing is mild to wild. I have no problem with banks but they have their limitations. It’s true of gun safes as well. It’s better if nobody can FIND your gun safe, or your food storage, or whatever.


The trans debate…



A Bastard and a Traitor

On this day in 1776, the Provincial Congress of New Jersey declared William Franklin, the son of Benjamin Franklin and the last royal governor of New Jersey, to be “a virulent enemy to this country, and a person that may prove dangerous.”

It asked the Continental Congress to imprison him.

William was the son of a living legend, which couldn’t have been easy. He was also the illegitimate son of an unidentified woman during an era when that was viewed unfavorably.

Franklin did his best to help his son anyway. For instance, in the early 1760s, he helped secure his son an appointment as New Jersey’s royal governor.

William was a popular governor. At first, he was sympathetic to colonial concerns with British oppression, but he ultimately could not take matters as far as his fellow countrymen. He thought that British taxes had to be tolerated, even if they were unfair. Over time, his popularity began to wane accordingly.

After Lexington and Concord, William became involved in covert operations to undermine the revolutionary cause. In January 1776, a letter was intercepted, confirming that he was passing on intelligence to the British. William was briefly arrested, but then he was released.

In May 1776, William decided to make another attempt. Using his title as royal governor, he ordered the General Assembly to convene. One small problem: This order stood in stark contrast to the existence of the (colonial) Provincial Congress then meeting in the state. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Provincial Congress ordered William’s arrest, declaring him an “enemy to the liberties of this country.” It then asked the Continental Congress to confine William. On June 24, Congress agreed, ordering that “William Franklin be sent under guard to [Connecticut] Governor Trumbull.”

William was initially paroled in the town of Wallingford and treated rather generously at first. The area was very pro-Patriot, however, and he feared retaliation.

He probably deserved the Patriots’ suspicion. It turned out that William was *still* helping the Loyalist cause through the power of his pen and paper. He was caught during the spring of 1777.

On April 22, 1777, Congress took further action. William was sent “into close confinement, prohibiting to him the use of pen, ink, and paper, or the access of any person or persons, but such as are properly licensed for that purpose by Governor Trumbull.” This time, William was locked up in jail. He sat in that jail cell in July 1777, when his wife died, it was said, of a broken heart.

William was eventually released in a prisoner exchange, but he remained undeterred and continued to work against the American cause.

William ended life as an exile, having never reconciled with his father, Benjamin Franklin.


How Pirates get their crew members

Pirate crews needed frequent replenishing. Most pirates were volunteers, but casualties from combat, disease, accidents, and occasional desertions took their toll. So pirates took every opportunity they could to acquire new men. Since able seamen, maritime carpenters, coopers, and navigators were preferred, it was sensible for pirates to seek recruits from among the crews of the ships they took as prizes. Pirate crews boarded merchant vessels that surrendered to take the ship AND the crew if practicable. Pirates did not like risking injuries to themselves or their prizes, so the captains or owners of ships that ran or fought were frequently punished. For the rest of the men, the pirates tried persuasion first.


Black Sam Bellamy on the hunt 

The pirate quartermaster or captain might offer them arguments much along the lines of Bartholomew Roberts’ well-known statement that “In an honest service there is thin commons, low wages, and hard labor. In this [piracy], plenty and satiety.” Merchant crews were often overworked, underpaid, and unhappy. Other arguments might include praise for the democratic life of piracy, the promise of better food, clothing and accommodation, liquor, and, of course, wealth. For the potential recruits to accept these reasons, the pirates themselves would need to be better dressed and nourished than them, which argues against the popular image of pirates as gaunt and ragged vagabonds. Of course, if time was short or their arguments unconvincing, the pirates would then resort to force in order to fill out their crews.

47 thoughts on “Looking at the World

  1. About that top photo – shouldn’t a guy get nervous when a gal points a loaded knee at him?

  2. I don’t hold anything against the Tories. I don’t agree with their position, but it was a reasonable one to take.

    Of course, my family was on both sides of that war, and the one of the 1860s as well. I suppose I come by my devil’s advocacy naturally.


    1. ‘The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.’ – George Bernard Shaw

      1. I didn’t know it, either, until I read his biography. Made me sad for Old Ben, as he’s one of my heroes.

  3. Yes, Mollie, way past time to go Galt.

    Question: Mollie Hemmingway, or that long-legged tart with the long legs?

    1. That long-legged tart has her face buried in the newspaper, but I’d bet she has a spotter somewhere counting how many guys walk into sign posts and/or trip over their own feet.
      Saw something similar during my first, interrupted, foray into the college world.

      1. In the mid 80’s my dad took his two youngest daughters separately to Egypt, where he was helping to start a technical school. One a honey blonde, the other a platinum blonde. He would seat them near the front of restaurants and watch the local guys walking into poles and each other as they eyed the girl. He said that blondes were really rare over there. I suspect that the fact they tended to have a similar effect back home only made it worse in Egypt.

  4. It’s the bikes fault! “Pee Wee Herman Joe” IS a 1-Speed, punching way above his weight without training wheels. But that’s the point, isn’t it…The Hologram IS a Psy-Op.

    Watched “Benjamin Franklin: A Ken Burns Film” a bit ago, never knew that about William. Some things never change.

    No Nonsense Molly H- MrsPaulM and I have had the same thought, concluding that is exactly what The Dem’s want, for the opposition to drop out, lowers the competition they face. But then we’ll have anarchy, so we can’t Go Galt…yet.

    Brother sent this over the transom this morning…we are being lied to on every supply chain subject. Dare I ask why? https://www.afpm.org/newsroom/blog/refining-capacity-101-what-understand-demanding-restarts

    1. Big lies, PaulM. And there seems to be NOTHING that they don’t or won’t lie about.

      1. It is incomprehensible to me how stupid Biden’s handlers are for sending him out on a bike with toe clips. He’s ancient and way down the road with dementia and they put him on a bike with an accessory that had the likelihood of causing him to go down while also being 100% unnecessary for the type of ride he was on. Absolute idiocy.

        Which reminds me, I finally got around to watching the movie “Idiocracy”. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it is REALLY pertinent to the times we are living in. The addle brained cadaver and giggling word salad chef would have fit in quite well with what the movie is saying.

          1. Edit fixed.

            Yes, who would have thought that when Idiocracy was filmed that it would end up being a fact instead of a farce?

        1. My guess is his arrogance demanded the “Mr. Robust and All There” optics, so told his boys to provide the 10-speed with toe clips rather than a nice easy cruiser (maybe with a little basket in front). What nearly 80-year old gets on a road bike? One who thinks he’s 30.

          1. Barack, the Half-Blood Prince, rode around on a beach cruiser with a basket on the front and one of those little friction bells. There are a number of photos of that. Corrupt, creepy, senile old Joe Brandon needs to take a lesson.

          2. There’s no shame, regardless of age, in using a beach cruiser, regular pedals…standard fare to get to Oves for breakfast and real donuts on the Ocean City, NJ Boardwalk. No basket for me, might ruin my alpha male image.

          3. I’m not so sure. Certainly they are attempting to portray the Basement Dummy as robust, but the bike…..That’s a very mid level Trek that actually is a good fit for what he’s doing (assuming he knows how to shift gears). However ANYONE with half a brain should have been able to figure out that the toe clips were going to be problematic.

          4. He’d have been better off in the basement, on a stationary bike or a Peloton where he could have had the TV screen in front of him and it would have LOOKED like he was traveling somewhere. I’m sure that he has servants available to help him on and off the stationary bike.

          5. Sooo, did he REALLY got to China, Ukraine, or the Middle East…or Philly for that matter, or was it Memorex?

            Band- Yup, toes clips…only for the coordinated.

          6. Brandon goes places and he does the old man shuffle on the stage, drugged up for one meeting where he reads from the teleprompter and then shuffles off stage where handlers hustle him off to Air Force One.

          7. Well it makes sense. I believe he also has a corvette collection so….I think i remember seeing something to that effect on a Jay Lennos garage episode.

      2. I’m sure that he’d have sent them to the scrap yard if they had internal combustion engines. Brandon’s Vettes must have electric engines.

  5. Agricultural espionage: If it works for other areas of technology why wouldn’t it work for agriculture. The Chinese have been increasing their technological know how by stealing other people’s ideas and patented technology for years.

    Did not know about Franklin’s son. Interesting.

    Psyops: No matter how hard I try I cannot convince myself that Biden got 81 million legit votes or that Epstein killed himself. I do wonder how Ghislaine Maxwell got convicted when none of her “clients” were even charged and how the heck she is still alive at this point.

    Sorry to say that having gotten my foot hung up in a toe clip once or twice I don’t think too much about the President’s tumble. That the entire ride was staged to show how active he was is pretty obvious though so the bike choice could have been better.

    1. Ghislaine Maxwell’s clients are safe in the embrace of the swamp. Giz herself is another matter. Do you have a list of her clients? Has it been published beyond who we already know – Tom Hanks, Bill, and Hillary, Prince Andrew, etc? Other than Andrew, who smiled for the camera with the child, do we know WHO they did it with? I’m sure there’s a list. How many of
      Epstein’s underage girls and boys are still alive?

      1. Hey hey hey! Former-HRH Andrew has said that he’s never met that girl (whoever she is), and while it appears to be him in that photo, he’s not sure that’s his hand around her waist.

        If you don’t believe FHRH Andrew, you’ll be forced to change your (narrow, closed, hateful) mind after reading this. FHRH Andrew immediately recognized that the photo was taken in the upstairs of Jeffery’s home, and he categorically has NEVER been upstairs at Jeffery’s place. (I wish I had the uncanny ability to look at a photo of some place I’ve never seen, and know exactly what/where I’m looking at. Maybe the CIA should have had FHRH Andrew working on their Remote Viewing program.)

        Finally, you should all be aware that FHRH Andrew does not sweat. A war injury from his service, you see. Well, he does sweat NOW, but at some point he was unable to sweat.
        “She turned you into a NEWT?”
        “[…] I, uh, got better?”

        1. The former HRH is trying to reclaim his status, and who knows but he might inherit the crown if the queen falters and his brother chokes to death on a bone from a Cornish game hen. Once he’s King Andrew I, he can bring back prima nochte (first night) and he can deflower any woman in his realm on her wedding night. Those haters out there (you know who you are) who say that the Royals don’t do anything will be silenced once Andrew is mating his way from bed to bed as a matter of national domestic policy. Could he delegate his role to his buddies? Would that make England the next fantasy island?

  6. Single speed bikes…
    I was in Clearwater Florida and bought a beach cruiser single speed bike with coaster brakes from a pawn shop for cheap, (FWIW new tires & tubes cost more than the bike did).
    I had not ridden a coaster brake single speed bike since I was 9 years old but it’s flat there so I figured I’d give it a try.
    On the flat it was not bad & I adjusted to the coaster brakes pretty quick. I took it for a ride to the beach, that’s about 8 miles one way. The trip down was not bad at all, sidewalks, bike lanes & a bike trail (Pinellas Trail) got me there. On a bike is a fine way to explore a new area.
    Coming back was ok until I got to stretch that was slightly up hill and there was a little head wind, when it was time to stand up and really pedal I realized that gears were a good thing. I’m getting older, I got off and walked a bit until it flattened out and I could ride comfortably again.
    That was when I started looking for a bike with gears…

    1. Gears are your friend. I went even further and bought an electric (pedal assist) bike to help with head winds and gentle hills. I am more of a fan than I thought I’d be. It does get me out more. Who knows with the price of gas and diesel skyrocketing out of control it may be the only way I can afford to get to town (15 miles).

      1. Washington is increasing its vehicle licensing fee by 400%. Will they be licensing your electric bike?

        1. LL thanks for reminding me since I have 4 vehicles and a trailer (without the bike). As far as I can tell, no they will not be licensing e-bikes but while the law is written, the rules and regulations that implement the law have not been finalized. As you well know the devil is in the details so we will see. If I do have to license the thing maybe I should just look into getting a motorcycle so I won’t be pedaling at all.

          1. I don’t have paved roads to cruise down, and those that exist are so narrow that cyclists are routinely run off into the pines and oak brush. So I leave the bike riding to those of you where it’s a workable thing.

    2. For exercise, I alternate walking and riding my bike. +1 for gears. Also, 90 psi tires. Bike is a UniVega Super Ten, a classic 1970’s road bike. I have swapped out the original handle bars and seat for some that are a bit more “accommodating”. Baby got new shoes earlier this year. I bought it new in 1978, here–


      1. My trusty Schwinn Super Sport logged countless miles until it was stolen many years ago.
        It was recovered and returned to me in sadly decrepit condition- the lovely metallic green Schwinn paint now disfigured with rattle can silver.
        It now hangs in my shed awaiting resurrection as a commuter bike.

        One of these days…

          1. $170 if you want springs for a nicer ride. (I just looked, I had no idea) With leather being phased out under the green new deal as we slaughter all animals that fertilize green things, you may be pointed out by the woke as a leather person of some sort. And it can’t be oil-based plastic either. Maybe a cotton bicycle seat?

          2. Never could put up with the process of breaking in a Brooks. (Back when I rode I much preferred the Selle San Marco Concor.) And then the Brooks became a must-have fashion accessory on one’s fixie (be sure to wear your Euro-weenie cycling cap with the brim sticking up*, like Spike Lee) and that totally killed the Brooks for me.

            * Cap with brim up = You too can look like the team mascot! Being a mascot doesn’t pay for bananas, so the mascot keeps his day job with the organ grinder….

            @LL: to be properly woke, one does not use a bicycle seat. One inserts the seatpost directly into one’s rectum. If you don’t do that you’re some sort of homophobe or something. I’m sure our SecTrans could give pointers on how to properly use a bicycle seatpost. If he’s back from maternity leave, that is.

          3. I’m done with being chaffed, rode all the time back East during my [much] younger years. PA back roads – basically cow paths and farm roads paved over – were excellent for a 30 miler, or a 100 if one was so inclined. Never considered a Brooks leather saddle…why put yourself to that level of discomfort to look authentic?

          4. If you don’t ride with only a seat post up your rectum, you’re hateful, clearly not woke.

  7. Regarding William Franklin, a good read is Our First Civil War, by H W Brands, which details the split between Benjamin and William, among other stories. Benjamin did a lot to help William, but could never reconcile their differences. Traitor?, guess it depends on which side you ended up supporting. Being of Irish heritage, I never have an inherent dislike of government, and especially British, so like to think I would have sided with the Patriots.

    Prima nochte, I fear the commoners would go full Brave Heart on him, one could only wish.

    My grandfather used to say, in frustration, “Christ on a bike!”, now maybe “Biden on a bike!”? We are truly in a full scale clown show.

  8. The only time in my adult life I’ve owned a non motorized two wheeled vehicle was as a soldier in Germany. They do not appeal to me.

  9. As the saying goes, “She’s got legs that start on the ground and go all the way to heaven.” Nice set of gams.

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