Forum Replies Created
Apr 1, 2019 at 4:35 pm #3586523
Trumpets are watching her like a bunch of vultures…Mar 27, 2019 at 6:51 pm #3585784
I recall when Brexit referendum first passed, one of the earliest and most enthusiastic of praises came from Donald Trump. Except our president has always been eager to break up “international cartels” – so we as a big country can out muscle any individual country when negotiating one-on-one. I think the Brits should have seen that coming – except they likely still see themselves as a major, major center…
But if Britain is no longer that ‘major’ – esp. when it pitted itself singlely against all 26 of its closest neighbors – then I just can’t see how anyone else could have negotiated a bill to the satisfaction of the Brits! Maybe Parliament will prove me wrong, but I doubt it.
And once Britain is detached to fend for itself, I wonder how much Trump will take advantage (he may be ruthless but he is also a somewhat anglophile). Interesting times ahead for Britain…Mar 26, 2019 at 8:30 pm #3585621
Todd, you’re depressing me even more… :(Mar 26, 2019 at 8:29 pm #3585619
“I think if Biden were to take a classic Democratic approach to the issues but run with a moderate conservative, and address a plan to balance the budget and attack our debt, he could win the White House.”
As a slightly right bending moderate and a former card-carrying Republican, I can go with that. But I’m also ‘hearing’ screams of “traitor” coming from agitated liberals (“AOC”) … Hopefully, Biden and fellow moderates will prove my concern unfounded.Mar 26, 2019 at 7:19 pm #3585610
Sold! Thanks!Mar 26, 2019 at 1:10 am #3585494
Folks here know my dim views toward our man-child of a president. But I don’t understand some people’s “disappointment” that Mueller has found no collusion. The fact that our embarrassing man-child isn’t also a traitor should be a positive for our country, no? For those hoping to see Trump removed from office, that’s why we have elections.
So, unless we have clear, direct, irrefutable evidence… anything less would have led to a report viewed through partisan lens and fought over accordingly… and the risk of tearing apart our institutions and even our society is too real.
So, at least our remaining fight will be at the ballot boxes, something we can still (hopefully) handle.Mar 25, 2019 at 8:39 pm #3585455
And today, Xi in France:
My two wishes:
- That China will continue to gain influence – and become ever more integrated with the world – and China/EU together will moderate our own global influence. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Be it the Roman Empire, the Catholic Church, the British Empire – or America.
2. Newer businesses tend to want government protection. I hope Chinese businesses will soon become rich and powerful innovators in their own right (like many of our companies today) – because powerful and successful businesses almost always want the government off their backs. As China develops more, and become ever more multi-faceted, that itself will put a check on Beijing’s power.
Having powerful states, businesses and other institutions continually checking/balancing each other is (IMO) the best and most sustainable way for the mass of little people (you and me) to live happy lives all around the world.Mar 7, 2019 at 4:39 am #3582206
Reading your response, you haven’t been to China then…Mar 7, 2019 at 2:58 am #3582184
In China, I found both oppression and incredible dynamism! And also very high levels of patriotism (which actually isn’t my cup of tea)! You work in South Korea. I imagine you’ve been to China too?
No one here is an apologist for the Chinese regime. Moi, I like talking politics — good, bad and ugly. I guess I am a ‘citizen of the world’ at heart.Mar 5, 2019 at 8:00 pm #3581940
A Japanese company is introducing software that taps into a store’s existing cameras – to help spot out potential shoplifters – so stores can position their employees in smarter (and subtle) ways.
It’s not a far cry at all to see how airports, arenas, and even entire cities can use this on a much wider scale, tapping into existing surveillance/traffic cameras (and build out a bunch more besides). Imagine the app alerting police of a suspicious loner planting ‘something’ out of his backpack that turned out to be bomb? You could see cities all wanting such a system – to beef up surveillance and situation awareness that’s impossible using police and squad cars alone.
And it’s not difficult to s-t-e-a-d-i-l-y introduce these schemes while highlighting specific cases of crimes stopped and lives saved… until municipalities and citizenry both feel “naked and exposed” without complete (or near complete) coverage?
And if it’s gonna happen anyway, a take on China’s “social credit” system (but with American characteristics) is more likely than not to follow… by and by??Mar 5, 2019 at 7:37 pm #3581936
“I agree, our system is fairly good. The policeman has to convince the prosecutor a case is valid. Usually the prosecutor has to convince a judge to sign a warrant. A super majority of a grand jury of citizens has to indict. A jury has to convict unanimously. A judge has to make rulings about what’s allowed in the trial. There’s an appeal process. The chief executive can pardon or commute. There’s a bunch of independent institutions that check each other.
That’s all true. But not mentioned, is the increasing ease with which our government (under various intelligence and law enforcement agencies) collect and retain data about all of us. Sure, most of us don’t feel any of that, from day to day, but it’s being done nevertheless. It’s why I keep referring to “frog in gradually hotter water). Privacy is integral to our freedoms. But…
An analogy would be parents who give their kids wide leeway — but keep minute details of them every single minute – both openly and secretly. And when a child misbehaves, a whole slew of past behavior is available for ammo!
Except we are not kids, and our government isn’t our parents (and probably shouldn’t act as such)? Complicated, I know.Mar 4, 2019 at 7:32 am #3581705
At any rate, I’ll take our system over China’s any day of the week.
Me too! But the point (to me) isn’t about picking one over the other, but to see how we can improve our own. Of course, I realize my liking of “social credits” is subjective.Mar 4, 2019 at 6:33 am #3581702
According to Kat’s link, 23,000,000 people are affected by China’s policy.
And yet, we reportedly incarcerate more in our prisons than China, which has roughly four times our population!?! Truth be told, I hold big suspicions toward China’s numbers. I bet they don’t count mandatory ‘education camps’ as prisons!? Nevertheless, China aside, our own huge prison population tells us that our own social system / norms ain’t great either. My view of course, but I quite like the idea of “social credits” – if administered transparently and all. Right now, it seems like we have to tolerate all kinds of bad behavior – until they get bad enough for incarceration to take effect. Social credits can act as milder (and less costly) disincentives to bad behavior??Mar 4, 2019 at 6:23 am #3581701
“ideals are unreal”
Who says ideals are unreal? Just that ideals are flouted in politics — and even worse (and far too often) – harnessed by the political leadership to exploit the masses. Robert, are you really so blind to this — even after the numerous examples I have given you? Or just willfully so?Mar 4, 2019 at 4:40 am #3581691
There is objective truth; there is objective goodness, as there is objective beauty.
Indeed. But not in politics. Remember, as much as we criticize (rightfully!) the sins of slavery, the sins of human exploitation, the sins of environmental degradation… we — you and I and everyone else here — are the great beneficiaries!!
Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t evolve to put in better and fairer means of production and consumption. But in much of our western criticisms of China (and really, anyone we view as uppidity – such as the Japanese 30 years ago) — our politicians use “objective goodness and objective beauty” mainly as weapons to beat down our opponents! A case in point:
Many in the West decry China’s current “exploitation” of Africans. Well, are we all of a sudden genuinely interested in the well being of Africans for their own sake? No, of course not! We want to ensure their resources don’t fall into the hands of those we view as our opponents! Hell, post WWII, we ourselves have done precious little to uplift Africa — disaster relief aside. Now, all of a sudden, we are “on their side”? That’s the fallacy of “idealism” in politics. If it makes you, Robert, feel better about Western mindset — I think you will be disappointed the minute you are honest with yourself!Mar 4, 2019 at 3:27 am #3581676
Surely the treatment of Tibetans, Uighurs, and other minorities has been and continues to be enslavement?
Nope. I could write pages of what I saw in Tibet (and Xinjiang) – the good, the bad and the ugly — and the Tibetan and Uighur friendships I was fortunate to make. You really ought to visit, before you make extreme statements.
The notion that we are all entitled to our own opinions restates the notion of relativism, which (in my opinion) is a betrayal of shall we say idealism? Truth? Reality?
In politics, idealism is used to fool, er, I mean motivate the sheep — and leads invariably to hypocrisy. Just ask Rome, Moscow, Tehran, Washington DC, Pyongyang…
How sad that so many Christians support Trump as their country’s highest leader. My own pastor is a YUGE Trump supporter. Sigh…Mar 4, 2019 at 2:56 am #3581673
Indeed, Robert, we are all entitled to our own opinions. Who here is a real expert anyway? Certainly not moi.
My own view is that the world is unfair, and the strong will push around. But all throughout history, imperial China has never gone so far as to enslave others wholesale… and then soothe its own conscience by questioning whether “natives” even have souls — like the European Christians did! As well, the obscene concept of Social Darwinism is a product of The West.
The Chinese culture tends toward the pragmatic (both for better and for worse). I dare say the fanaticism of the Cultural Revolution is truly unique in that country’s 5,000+ years history!
To me, all major powers are pretty guilty of bullyism (hell, big parts of America are even celebrating the latest round under Trump – MAGA!!!). But generally, given its penchant to moralize and lecture others, The West is by far the biggest hypocrite! My view.Mar 4, 2019 at 2:40 am #3581671
…objective major problems in the Chinese state
Major problems indeed, particularly if you are a member of the oppressed group! But objective? Please… You only need to remind yourself how North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, wide swathes of Africa, etc., etc. all came to be. If you truly want to be objective, Chinese oppression is nothing compared to how hundreds of millions suffered (or were even exterminated) under European expansion!
Rewriting history? When it comes to whitewashing history, you only need to visit Frontiers Land, Disneyland. Oh-so-romantic Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, General George Armstrong Custer… Or visit romantic Hawaii. Most of us would recoil at any sort of Tibetan Liberation theme park(!) – but we love our own folk heroes and wouldn’t hesitate dressing up our kids to be like them! The shame.
Extreme electronic surveillance? Jussie Smollet. Buddy, we’ve looked into all the cameras… and there’s NOTHING, except for those two brothers…
Chinese expansion into South China Sea — that is, of course, pure politics. Chinese claims date back to dynastic times. PRC inherited its rule — along with the map showing the South China Sea — from the Repbulic of China (under Chiang Kai Shek) – which in turn, inherited both from the Qing Dynasty – which in turn…… And again, let’s not ignore British, French, American; hell, Spanish and Portuguese maritime claims even today – for risk of hypocrisy!
Industrial pollution and environmental degradation? Let’s not forget the similarities found in Britain and America up to the ’60’s, and in Europe and Japan up to the ’70’s, and in Taiwan and South Korea up to the ’90s!!
In short, Robert, your “objective major problems of the Chinese state” is nothing more or less than the steps that major industrializing nations go through. China is already starting to do some serious clean up — and I fully expect this to accelerate over the next one to two decades. And I am fully optimistic that India will very soon be a huge polluter, more yuge-ly than it already is today! People desperate for work will trash their enviornments (and rich countries only too happy to offshore polluting industries there) — but by and by, desperately poor citizens acquire both the means and the know how to clean up their surroundings, and live lives of general contentment (as most of us do today). Will you begrudge India too — even as Europe and America, etc. have gone through the same – with huge benefits to its citizenry?
Chairman Mao and Trump? Trump’s only been around for two short years! If given time, I dare say he would be far, far worse than Mao. But thank our forefathers for term limits!Mar 4, 2019 at 2:07 am #3581658
I consider it to be a very shortsighted strategy that will ultimately fail, and quite possibly lead to military conflict at some point.
Yes, a woefully shortsighted strategy that is the exact opposite of America’s strategy for meeting its challenges back in 1961. The difference? Today’s strategies are driven by fear. Reactionary and doomed to costly failure!
So, the Republican side will block China every step of the way (and pretend India and a whole host of other wannabe nations don’t exist). And the Democrats will guarantee every American a first world living wage! Problem solved!! Easy, eh?Mar 4, 2019 at 1:46 am #3581647
Not to muzzle anyone here, but I bet Ken (“it’s China”) and Kat (“i’m with you”) have never, ever been to China. But, of course, they know. And why wouldn’t they? Don’t we live in a free country with a free press? :)
Oh, if I can just take all of us to China, India, Iran, Israel, Palestine, etc., etc. so folks here (fellow Americans all) can see firsthand the good, the bad, and the ugly for themselves! If I win the lottery, I will gladly pay for us all. :)Mar 4, 2019 at 1:40 am #3581645
Right, Tom. But too many of us are too brainwashed into thinking it’s just a wee aberration (cause national security is at stake) because, after all, we live in a free country(!) — unlike those poor slobs living halfway around the world! Boy do they have a weird system!!
Most people don’t realize, just like the proverbial frog never realizes either! I expect many reading this will kneejerk the tired ‘false equivalency’ retort. No one, of course, is saying any two societies are “equivalent” — but the differences are often just differences in degrees.Mar 4, 2019 at 12:06 am #3581625
The way I look at it… we demonize China similar to how we demonized Japan a generation ago!
Here in the US, demonizing China is all the fashion today. And in China? Despite their government’s best effort to fire up nationalism… despite all our China bashing and the near-humiliating visa vetting process we place on the Chinese, USA remains the top foreign destination that most Chinese people wish to visit! And Chinese parents still want their kids to attend American universities!
Generalizing, of course. But in my visits to China, I am absolutely impressed by the “can do” spirit over there! While everyone there acknowledges they still have ways to go to match our country technologically, no one seems particularly worried. And yet, it is in our own country – where we still have a commanding lead in so many fields — that we fret about Chinese competition!
In a championship race where athletes are all supremely talented – attitude, confidence and determination will make the difference! And here? We have folks talking about giving everyone — including our young adults — free money, because we fear a future where they won’t have jobs! And yeah, “safe space” for our kids so they don’t have to face undue stress.
Guess what? Even if we somehow succeed in blocking China here and there (e.g. 5G implementation), we can’t block the world’s second largest economy everywhere! And even worse for us? There are plenty of countries even hungrier than China. India, for example. And their engineers are some of the world’s best. I think one of them runs Microsoft, to name just one example.
This is what I fear most: China is a lot of things. But our problem isn’t China. Our problem is in ourselves! What happened to our own “can do” spirit? We used to view competition as opportunities! I still remember when American corporations were everywhere… and Asians and Europeans were the ones fretting about their places in the world! Ah, the 60’s and 70’s!Mar 3, 2019 at 4:06 pm #3581492
Maybe it’s no good… or maybe it’s one of those “increase hot water very gradually and let the frog settle” type of thing??
Sure, if promulgated all at once (esp. when reading about it from thousands of miles away) – the thing might seem draconian, inhumane, even stupid.
But thinking about it… while not entirely the same, but back to the “gradual hot water” thing… you don’t think there’re functional similarities in our own society where the Big 3 credit reporting agencies publish a “score” for practically each and every adult American that can determine not just whether we can get a loan, but also whether potential landlords and even employers decide to offer us housing and jobs — or not?
Many of us grow up within our own societal norms where Big Government is bad, but Big Corporations are more tolerated. Perhaps to the Chinese, who have been fed the notion that private companies are evil (even if actually untrue) – it likely strikes them as bizarre to give so much power to three private companies??Mar 3, 2019 at 4:06 am #3581427
This system has great potential for good — and also great potential for abuse.
If you act like a hooligan repeatedly on your daily commute, then barring you from taking the bus or train can be a great blessing for your fellow commuters. Personal actions / personal responsibilities.
But I think all of us can see the potential for abuse. I certainly hope China will take great care to (1) spell out rules and regulations to minimize arbitrariness, (2) provide clear and expedited ways for people to challenge getting on the list, and (3) spell out the ways / duration in which people can get themselves off the Blacklist when they learn to behave.Mar 1, 2019 at 6:53 pm #3581181
I’ll take dishes, toilets, floors, and and showers over laundry any day.
Over the years, I’ve simplified my laundry chores. One or two ‘society’ suits aside, all my clothes are the ‘wash and wear’ type. No ironing, and absolutely no dry cleaning. Heck, I wear pretty much the same clothes in town, when hiking, and when traveling. And back in the day, I purchased 30 pairs of socks in one swoop. After washing/drying, all get thrown into the sock drawer, no need to match.
Dishes – dishwasher. No big deal for me.
Shower – light scrub every now and then before getting out of the shower. No big deal.
Floor – Ugh. Thinking about Roomba (or somesuch) but can’t bear to plunk down the cash. :(