Connect with us

Wire

Santa Ripped from Bustling Christmas Market and Led Away in Handcuffs After Protesting COVID Measures

Western Journal

Published

on

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus — and he got arrested when he participated in a COVID-19 protest in Germany.

In the latest example of pandemic hysteria combined with zero tolerance for those who protest the government-sponsored COVID nanny state, a man dressed as Santa Claus was arrested at a Christmas market in the German city of Stralsund Monday after he protested new rules restricting access to activities deemed nonessential.

(These pernicious regulations could be coming back to the United States soon, too — and we’re dedicated to fighting forced compliance here at The Western Journal. You can help us fight by subscribing today.)

According to the Washington Examiner, the unidentified Santa was taken into custody after he refused to show identification and was led away in cuffs by the authorities.

“The 47-year-old from Stralsund was obviously an actor in the gathering,” local police said in a social media post, according to the Examiner. “He was not used as Santa Claus at the Christmas market there.”

Police defended the arrest in a social media post, “fact-checking” rumors that had spread on social media — such as that Santa had been arrested for not wearing a mask or that he worked in the market.

“At a non-registered meeting in #Stralsund a person in #Weihnachtsmann costume (Santa Claus) refused to give his personal details yesterday,” the post said, according to a Google translation.

“Those in attendance filmed it. We have a fact check on the video for you.”

However, it’s not like the video makes police look any better:

This is apparently what happens when Santa goes to a “non-approved gathering” — as the police described in their fact-check — and refuses to give identification.

“After the man’s identity was known, he was released from police measures at around 7:15 p.m. and is now at large again,” the police said in a media release (translated via Google).

“It subsequently emerged that the 47-year-old was suspected of having committed crimes against the Assembly Act in connection with demonstrations critical of [coronavirus restrictions].”

And as for the non-approved demonstration, it was in protest of draconian COVID restrictions imposed this month by German authorities.

According to CNN, outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel and her successor, Olaf Schultz, announced that unvaccinated people who haven’t recently recovered from COVID would only be able to access the most basic public services — supermarkets, pharmacies and the like — and could only interact with two people from different households.

Is it time to lift COVID restrictions?

Furthermore, mandatory vaccinations could begin as early as February when they’re voted through parliament.

As for the vaccinated, they too bear some brunt from the new policies. Bars and nightclubs will be forced to shut down if the case rate in an area reaches a certain threshold and the government has limited the number of spectators at large events like soccer matches, CNN reported.

All that right jolly old elf wanted, it seems, was to live his life like he would if we were dealing with any other endemic disease. At this point, even the most fervid lockdown fanatic concedes that’s what we’re doing — and yet, Germany is partying like it’s 2020 and that the first priority of the government is to assure not a single person gets the novel coronavirus, normal life be damned.

Oh, for the police in Stralsund to be visited by the ghosts of lockdowns past, present and future this Christmas season.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Wire

Op-Ed: Xi Jinping Is Watching Putin to Decide When to Attack Taiwan

Western Journal

Published

on

Chinese President Xi Jinping is watching Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine to decide when to attack Taiwan. At this point that decision is made, but the timing won’t be settled until this fall and before President Joe Biden leaves the White House.

Let me untangle some issues that will dictate Beijing’s timing for its assault on Taiwan: Xi’s enemies and economic challenges, Biden’s green light indicators for Putin’s war, a growing list of battlefield lessons, and Biden’s broken foreign policy.

Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, and Xi stakes his future on returning it to Chinese rule.

Last fall, he declared the Chinese people have a “glorious tradition of opposing separatism” and that “complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled.” The communist chairman added, “The Taiwan question is purely an internal matter for China, one which brooks no external interference,” and he warned last year, “Anyone who would attempt to [interfere] will have their heads bashed bloody.”

Yes, Mr. Xi is committed to reunification, but the timing is bound by two realities.

The first is the possible confirmation of his third term in office, an unprecedented eventuality since Mao Zedong’s death in 1976. Xi’s third term would begin this November.

Xi’s hold on power, however, isn’t assured. Feng Chongyi, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney, said last year that some officials are “in strong opposition and are trying their best to prevent Xi’s next possible term.”

Those enemies know Xi’s Achilles heel: a sagging economy. According to the Communist Party’s “Shanghai Gang” faction, Xi is ruining the Chinese economy and must be ousted.

So, if Xi is to gain a third term, he must balance his domestic opposition and his economic vulnerability before assaulting Taiwan. After all, he learned from the Ukraine war that an attack on the democratic island nation will earn him severe economic sanctions, further threatening China’s economy. Thus, he intends to delay any invasion until after he is assured another term.

The other reality for Xi’s anticipated assault is identified by Andrei Illarionov, Putin’s economic adviser for almost six years in the early 2000s.

Illarionov, now a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, said the Chinese are learning from Putin’s war. He explained that Putin’s “decision to invade Ukraine is based on his absolutely correct understanding of President Biden. Without Biden in the White House, Putin would never invade Ukraine.”

Xi learned from Putin that Biden is weak and broadcasts what he will and won’t do — a predictable enemy.

“Mr. Putin is a very good psychologist,” Illarionov said. “He studied [security agency] files for Mr. Biden. He understood that’s a person who would never do anything against his invasion against Ukraine.” In fact, Biden showed his hand long before the war began.

Last year, Biden removed sanctions on Nord Stream 2, renewed the U.S.-Russian nuclear arms agreement without negotiations, did nothing about the buildup of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border and ordered U.S. warships out of the Black Sea after a Russian-Dutch naval confrontation. Putin perceived these moves as weaknesses, an effort on Biden’s part to avoid confrontation.

Biden’s representatives weren’t any better.

He sent William Burns, the CIA director, to Moscow, where, according to Illarionov, he offered guarantees “on issues of security, even when Russian troops [were] on the Ukrainian border and ready to attack Ukraine. That can be understood only in one way: Biden administration is giving green light for Putin to attack Ukraine.”

Then, in December, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Russian counterpart to discuss the Ukraine crisis. However, Illarionov said, “90 percent” of the discussions were about the Iran nuclear deal, yet again “giving a green light to Mr. Putin to attack Ukraine.”

On other fronts, according to Illarionov, Biden recalled American citizens and military personnel from Ukraine. He even offered to help President Volodymyr Zelenskyy leave Ukraine. Once again, Illarionov said, “Mr.  Putin understood these signs in the exactly right way”: as weakness and a go-ahead to invade.

Xi understands that Biden was never serious about stopping Putin’s war. In fact, Illarionov said Xi, like Putin, “understands very well that there is a unique window of opportunity … when Mr. Biden is the president. With any other U.S. president … [an invasion of Ukraine or Taiwan] would be impossible.”

The Russian concluded, “This dangerous moment will last at least until January 2025, until hopefully another president will be in the White House.”

Of course, there are numerous other lessons from Russia’s war for the Chinese dictator. His invasion of Taiwan will be tougher than Putin’s assault on Ukraine because the Chinese are attacking a well-fortified island nation 160 miles from the mainland, a true logistics nightmare. Further, unlike the go-it-alone fight forced on Kyiv, the government in Taipei expects the U.S. and other Western powers to directly intervene.

The most important lesson for Xi is that Biden is a predictable, weak enemy who broadcasts his intentions. So unless the Biden team finds better foreign policy acumen, we could as soon as late fall see the skies reflect green lights signaling Xi to assault Taiwan.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is watching Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine to decide when to attack Taiwan. At this point that decision is made, but the timing won’t be settled until this fall and before President Joe Biden leaves the White House. Let me untangle some issues that will dictate Beijing’s timing for its assault on Taiwan: Xi’s enemies and economic challenges, Biden’s green light indicators for Putin’s war, a growing list of battlefield lessons, and Biden’s broken foreign policy. Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, and Xi stakes his future on returning it to Chinese rule. Last fall, he declared the Chinese people have a “glorious tradition of opposing separatism” and that “complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled.” The communist chairman added, “The Taiwan question is purely an internal matter for China, one which brooks no external interference,” and he warned last year, “Anyone who would attempt to [interfere] will have their heads bashed bloody.” Yes, Mr. Xi is committed to reunification, but the timing is bound by two realities. The first is the possible confirmation of his third term in office, an unprecedented eventuality since Mao Zedong’s death in 1976. Xi’s third term would begin this November. Xi’s hold on power, however, isn’t assured. Feng Chongyi, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney, said last year that some officials are “in strong opposition and are trying their best to prevent Xi’s next possible term.” Those enemies know Xi’s Achilles heel: a sagging economy. According to the Communist Party’s “Shanghai Gang” faction, Xi is ruining the Chinese economy and must be ousted. So, if Xi is to gain a third term, he must balance his domestic opposition and his economic vulnerability before assaulting Taiwan. After all, he learned…

Continue Reading

Wire

Americans’ Summer Vacations on Chopping Block Thanks to Biden

Western Journal

Published

on

For many families in Joe Biden’s America, going on vacation this summer means going for broke — literally.

This summer, with lockdowns in tatters and everything open that opens, vacation planning has been going on at a record pace, according to Bloomberg.

“Summer 2022 will be the busiest travel season ever,” Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern told the outlet.

Getting there is no longer half the fun; in fact, it is a substantial portion of the pain.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas in the U.S. hit a new record high of $4.483 on Monday, according to AAA. A year ago, it was $3.042 on average. That is an increase of 47 percent.

And that’s not all.

The travel site Hopper.com says airfare is up 3 percent over last year and hotel rates are 20 percent higher than a year ago, according to WFMY-TV.

And for anyone thinking of sending the kids off for a dose of the outdoors, plan to pay more when you can find a vacancy.

Rates for summer camps are up 10 percent to 15 percent from a year ago amid strong demand, said Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of the American Camp Association, according to CNN.

“Demand is extremely strong for camps as parents are desperate for their kids to be out in nature with their peers and away from tech devices after two years of social distancing,” he said.

So did the Grinch decide to steal summer? Not quite, but inflation has been at work for months, hitting 8.3 percent in April after an ugly 8.5 percent in March — the biggest month-over-month increase since December 1981.

As a result, about seven in 10 Americans are adjusting their vacation plans to address fiscal realities, according to Bankrate.

Motorist Ibrahim Khokhar said he’s not waiting until vacation season to start scrimping, according to The National Desk.

“I’m seeing almost a 25 percent increase in my fill-up price. So, like, before it used to cost me $45. Now it’s like $60, $65,” he said.

Like so many others, Khokhar said he’s now changing some daily habits because of rising prices.

“I’ve started kind of doing the math and how much each mile basically costs me. So it’s like $0.10, $0.15, so it’s like, is it really worth going to hang out with my friends?” he said.

In an Op-Ed for the New York Post, Kevin Williamson said President Biden has found a way to make a bad situation worse.

“When you don’t have any fresh ideas or real principles — and when your long-term goals are limited by the fact that the president, who was born during the Roosevelt administration, isn’t exactly buying any green bananas — then the easiest thing to do is to throw money at every problem,” he wrote. “Throwing money at things is how you make inflation worse.”

“Biden, who was in the Senate in the 1970s, is old enough to remember the word ‘stagflation,’ which is what you get when you have a stagnant economy and inflation at the same time,” Williamson said.

“And it is what you get when you combine the wrong monetary policy with the wrong fiscal policy, the wrong trade policy, the wrong regulatory policy, and the wrong energy policy.

“And that’s how you make inflation worse.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

For many families in Joe Biden’s America, going on vacation this summer means going for broke — literally. This summer, with lockdowns in tatters and everything open that opens, vacation planning has been going on at a record pace, according to Bloomberg. “Summer 2022 will be the busiest travel season ever,” Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern told the outlet. Getting there is no longer half the fun; in fact, it is a substantial portion of the pain. The average price for a gallon of regular gas in the U.S. hit a new record high of $4.483 on Monday, according to AAA. A year ago, it was $3.042 on average. That is an increase of 47 percent. And that’s not all. The travel site Hopper.com says airfare is up 3 percent over last year and hotel rates are 20 percent higher than a year ago, according to WFMY-TV. And for anyone thinking of sending the kids off for a dose of the outdoors, plan to pay more when you can find a vacancy. Rates for summer camps are up 10 percent to 15 percent from a year ago amid strong demand, said Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of the American Camp Association, according to CNN. “Demand is extremely strong for camps as parents are desperate for their kids to be out in nature with their peers and away from tech devices after two years of social distancing,” he said. So did the Grinch decide to steal summer? Not quite, but inflation has been at work for months, hitting 8.3 percent in April after an ugly 8.5 percent in March — the biggest month-over-month increase since December 1981. As a result, about seven in 10 Americans are adjusting their vacation plans to address fiscal realities, according to Bankrate. Motorist Ibrahim Khokhar said…

Continue Reading

Latest Articles

Best of the Week