In the wake of the worst shooting massacre in Orlando nightclub, we start seeing mass killings done by mentally sick individuals change to ISIS sympathizers. It started from the 2015 San Bernardino shooting whose roots come from Pakistan and this shooting comes from a person whose roots come from Afghanistan.
Countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan were significantly altered as the result of the wars after 9/11. President Bush has altered the landscape of these countries and including Iraq which has created many of these ISIS sympathizers caused terrorist attacks within Europe. Only now these sickos started to come full circle back here in the US.
President Obama and his Secretary of State Clinton has made this problem worse by supporting terrorists in Libya and Syria. The difference between Obama and Bush was that Bush spent money in trying to rebuild Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama and Clinton cares little about rebuilding countries that he destroyed and pulled troops and resources from these countries as well as countries that was devastated by Bush, creating the mass refugee migration to Europe and allowed terrorist organization like ISIS to fester to a cancer now which Europe and US are struggling to try to contain.
When will America wake up that the failed leaders causing this problem in the first place? Even western propaganda knows that these homegrown ISIS inspired terrorists attacks won’t be the last. In our election cycle, we have one presidential candidate who wants to ban all Muslims while another candidate will continue Obama’s failed foreign policy. So at least for the next 4 years, we will be screwed.
As you know around June 4th every year Western news media have stories about «the tank man» – like when The New York Times first printed his photo and wrote: «A single man stopping a column of tanks rumbling toward Tiananmen Square». Or when the TIME magazine later declared the tank man «one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century». Things like this have been repeated every year since 1989 in almost every Western news media.
But is the narrative true? Continue reading Is «the tank man»-story true?
A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about how Germany has cheapened its own history and disregarded its own humanity by turning a blind eye on Japan’s horrific crimes against humanity in China on the eve of the 77th anniversary of the Nanking massacre.
In that piece, I wrote how Germany may not be preaching “universal values” per se, but politically-expedient political myths. Well, interestingly today, the German parliament voted to recognize the so-called “Armenian genocide” as a true “genocide” and a crime against humanity. Turkey – which has been both fighting and growing its own brand of terrorism abroad – is none too thrilled.
I wonder if this is a case of external politics ripening for Germany – as a lapdog of America, which has increasingly seen Turkey drift away – to strike at Turkey? Or is it a case of Germany finally finding some guts to stand up for history, as this LA Times story seem to report? Continue reading German parliament votes to recognize Armenian genocide
They might be illegal, and that’s why AMSC tried so hard to hide it.
The problem with Encryption software, even ancillary encryption SW (the ones used for digital signatures and copyright protections), is that they are Export-controlled by US, which restricts their exports to China (source code and the compiled binary).
What’s worse for AMSC, even if US approves, China has regulations on IMPORTS of such encryption software, because China is concerned about US companies making backdoors.
Thanks to effective propaganda of western mass media, it is now common to quote that Mao Zedong caused the death of around 30-40 million Chinese people during the Great Leap. But I bet you don’t know Jiang Zemin caused the death of over 80 million Chinese people. I come to that conclusion by calculating the mortality rate of China. I will just use a textbook text to explain mortality rate “Mortality rate, or death rate, is a measure of the number of deaths (in general, or due to a specific cause) in a particular population, scaled to the size of that population, per unit of time. Mortality rate is typically expressed in units of deaths per 1,000 individuals per year; thus, a mortality rate of 9.5 (out of 1,000) in a population of 1,000 would mean 9.5 deaths per year in that entire population, or 0.95% out of the total.” Continue reading Why Are Chinese Leaders Mass Murderers
Living in U.S. does pose a problem on information. You can access information on everyone and everything by googling. You might get thousands of entries and don’t know where to go. The problem on information about China is more acute. There are the official western media such as NY Times and Washington Post where the emphasis is slanted toward so called human rights and dissidents. Then there are the Chinese official governmental outlets such as People’s Daily and Global Times or even CCTV America where certain topics just don’t get covered. The above quoted website now gives a Maoist perspective you normally will not see anywhere. It will criticize past/present leaderships and policies that normally get censored in Weibo and internet. I am unable to copy this article on comparing policies from Deng, to Jiang, to Hu, and to Xi here, but just the link below.
The only drawback is it’s a Chinese website, so you need to read Chinese unless you can google translate it. The motto of the website I managed to copy below.
The Western media has been relatively quiet about China except some sabre rattling on South China Sea. There are the usual noises about the collapse of China, hard landing on Chinese economy, and so called human rights violations. Europe has been preoccupied by the Syrian refugees and Greek economic crisis. U.S. has the theater of absurd of quadrennial election and “The Game of Throne” to deal with. But the question of income inequality affects everyone in the world now, more than climate change which probably will not be felt until 50 years from now. The rise of Sanders and Trump is very much a reaction to income stagnation in U.S.. It is a question China has downplayed and trying to avoid, but recent events may yet force it to the forefront. I am talking here about a little known concert in the Hall of People on May 2, which Chinese media ignored, and the reactions to it.
The concert “The Hope in the Meadow” consists 56 young girls in chorus singing various old standard Red Songs, such as “Sailing Seas depends on Helmsman”, and recent ones showing reverence for Xi Jinping such as “How Do We Name You?”. In a open letter written by Ma Xiaoli around May 7, who is a so called second generation Red Princessling to General Office of Chinese Communist Party Central Committee accuse of it being trying to revive CR, blacken Xi, and in general violated the party rule against personality cult. It generated debates from liberals who feel threatened and furious counterattacks from the left who not only defend it from free speech point of view, but broaden it to linking the ongoing corruption investigations and income inequality, to actual attacks on Deng Xiaoping’s family linking them to corruption. I was amazed to read all those commentaries in May 8, but everything was deleted on May 9, except some links from Hong Kong and other overseas sites.
Ma Xiaoli was one of former Red Guards who apologized for their actions during CR. In exchange of letters with Luo Diandian in Jan 2016, they both expanded their views that CR need to be open up exorcised. They used the De-Nazification of Germany and Truth Commission of South Africa as examples. They are both well educated and obviously sincere in their remorse. They acknowledge their parents were not just the victims, but maybe partly responsible for the policies leading to CR. Although they show disdain for the peasant background of Chinese revolutionaries and implied criticism of Mao, I do not condemn them for their petit-bourgeoisie tendencies, of their dismissing their critics as “Fifty-cents Maoists”, but sincerely hope they can read my critique of their views.
I was a college student in U.S. during the CR, in danger of flunking out and losing my scholarship, yearning to join the Red Guards. Instead because of the draft I elected to join the Army Signal Corps to avoid infantry. I watched the unfolding of CR in U.S. and Viet Nam. During the years I read all the horrors happening. I may not have personally experienced them as actual victim, but having read “Lord of the Flies”, I can imagine young idealists became disillusioned with the revolution. Yet I still consider myself a Marxist and have a high opinion of Mao.
In Kurasawa’s film “Rashomon”, there are different telling of actual events that differ wildly. In analyzing CR, there are personal view, historical view, Western view, and Chinese view. Ms. Ma and Luo and a whole generation may have suffered, but what are they compare to the sweep of history? I certainly disagree vehemently with their characterization with events of WW2 or apartheid. Xi Jinping has said that you can’t separate the 30 years of early People’s Republic with the later 30 years, they are inextricably linked, not to mention the history of last 150 years, or 2,000 years. Those second generation Red Princelings may be victims during CR, but they are also the beneficiaries now and part of the 1% or 0.1%. They fear any return of chaos or new CR. I do favor opening up discussions of CR, but to learn lessons for the future, not to assign blames. The war against tigers and flies has been going on since Xi became General secretary. I remember in the 1950s when I borrowed my uncle’s monthly party booklet there were always juicy news about the downfall of various party secretaries for corruption. I think Mao was aware the need to purify the party and initiated various movements which resulted in CR. Mao may be impatient to change human nature and released forces beyond his control. Like the first emperor of Qin, he may be revile by some, but also history will honor him.
Xi Jinping may face pushback on his fight against corruption, as vested interests feel threatened, but the popularity of red songs and reverence for Mao demonstrated that egalitarianism is an ideal finding fertile ground not only in China, but the phenomenon of Sanders and Trump, and the rebellion against income inequality might become unstoppable even in U.S.. After all, the Chinese National Anthem and Internationale are also red songs.
Now that Indiana has spoken, we’ll have 6 months of theater in U.S. until November election. As a Chinese American I do not look at the election on whether it’s good for China or not. Some may feel Trump is a blowhard, while Hillary will press China harder on human rights and South China Sea, but I feel Trump will accelerate the decline for U.S. and will be a danger for U.S. and the rest of the world.
Thomas Frank recently wrote a new book “Listen Liberals”, that excoriates Democratic Party for drifting away from the base of labor and middle class in favor of professional class and elites. He sees the rise of Trump and Sanders as a reaction to the inequality. His critique of meritocracy I think applies equally to what’s happening in China. Xi Jinping recently visited various old rural communist bases and emphasize the need to elevate the poor and purify the party. He very much is aware of the pitfalls of corruption and privilege by directing the military from disengaging in commerce and profits. The recent scandal and investigation of Baidu and military hospital is really overdue.
Chinese tradition of respect for the elders is a Confucian virtue. Last year when I visited Shanghai, and was standing in a subway train, I was offered a seat by a young student which I smiley declined. Recently I read a debate on Weibo about an elderly woman going on a long distance bus with standing tickets as all seats were sold out, she was sick and going to a hospital with her daughter. A young woman demanded her seat as she paid for the seat and refused to share it. She was upbraided by the daughter after someone else offered the seat and the episode was debated online whether she was right to demand the seat. I was somewhat surprised that half go by the legal right argument.
Whether Trump will triumph in November is minor compare what China will be. Despite all the negative prognosticators I think China is going in the right direction, and hopefully the younger generation can learn to takeover.
Edward Snowden has revealed that U.S. spies on everyone around the world, for Chinese Americans, citizens or just green card holders this comes as doubly given, and especially those in STEM fields or sensitive jobs like military this will be triply true. Expect you would have your phone listen in and any communications with foreigners whether in China or Taiwan documented.
Recently there were a bunch of cases of presumed espionage arrests of Chinese American scientists but prosecutions dropped afterward for insufficient or false evidences. Dr. Xiaoxing Xi of Temple University, Shuyu Li, and a few others. Here I quote from Google,
“Chris Kang, president of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), said the FBI has arrested and later released five Asian-American scientists in the last year alone. “I don’t know if it’s a series of good faith mistakes or not,” Kang said. “But at the very least, we are seeing a pattern of disturbing behavior.”
For details you can just google under “Chinese American scientists arrested for espionage” and you can read them for yourself. As for Lt. Cmdr. Edward C Lin., from what I read from today’s NYT, he was seeing some girlfriend other than his wife, maybe even a prostitute, probably from Taiwan, they can’t tie her with China yet, probably something about his job, maybe he was complaining about his tedious work at sea, doing surveillance work on P-8, and got pick up by FBI microphone. Unlike former CIA director Petronius who revealed classified information to his mistress, Lin is not likely to get away scot free.
I myself was investigated by FBI after I naively wrote a letter addressed to Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. in Chinese expressing my admiration for what China has achieved and inquired information on how to get a visa to visit China immediately after the establishment of diplomatic relations. I have a secret clearance for my job in Alaska, and 2 weeks later a charter aircraft flew in with an FBI agent to interview me. Nothing came off it, but I am sure if I use the Freedom of Information Act I can probably access a thick file of my activities for the last 40 years.
Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are leading a new American awakening on global trade. According to the new emerging consensus, America has been the victim of bad trade deals – including the yet-to-be-ratified Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – for decades. These deals have shipped millions of good-paying American jobs abroad and in the process hollowed out the American middle class.
When Sanders and Trump recently began questioning the merits of trade with allies such as Japan as well, however, many believed them to have crossed a line. It is one thing to attack China for “stealing” jobs but quite another to sell short a close and faithful ally.
Americans have long harbored schizophrenic attitudes on trade, however. Continue reading America at a Crossroad: Rethinking Trade, Geopolitics, and Economic Well-Being
I thought that I would like to go to this article by the Atlantic about Belgium before the terrorists attack.
This is a well known problem with ISIS a “breeding ground” for terrorists because western countries decides to turn their back on western funded terrorists in Syria. Even the Belgium PM says that: “This is a gigantic problem. Apart from prevention, we should also focus more on repression.” After this terrorist attack, it seems that Belgium now has kept its word. Of course western propaganda didn’t seem to criticize the Belgium cracking down on these terrorists.
This recent story about Bob Woodruff from ABC to make a documentary about China ‘cracking down’ on its people. This is the same kind of ‘repression’ that many Western countries has done and even western propagandist like Mr. Woodruff portray that the Chinese government is responsible.
I grown up in the 60s in U.S., a turbulent time, of Vietnam War and accompanying protests, a rebellious time against stifling conformity of the 50s, sexual liberation and feminism, music of folk songs and rocks, civil right protests and marches, and idealism from far left nihilism to far right Ayn Rand libertarianism. Even Marxism was in vogue for a while. Over the years hippies transformed to Yuppies, and Reagan democrats reigned in politics. In China, Cultural Revolution caused upheavals and accompanying reactions and backlashes. The economic growth in China during the last 35 years were dramatic, lifting more than hundreds of millions if not billion people out of poverty. Yet I worry that whether China will go the path of the West, with the value of Marx and Mao receding back become irrelevant.
I was comforted by Xi’s policy against corruption and purifying the party during the last 3 years. Now I am gladdened that the new generation is picking up the torch and rediscovering Marx as exemplified by this article in guancha.cn, a rap song by name probably a Mongolian minority girl.
Cause we both won’t give up till we die
Cause we both won’t give up till we die
马克思已经不是 plan B（备用方案）
（You’re gonna listen to me ）（听我说）
Cause we both won’t give up till we die（到死也不会放弃）
九零后（yeah） 从此以后（you know）
we both won’t give up till we die（我们不会放弃到死）
and this song will never die （whoo）（这首歌也永远不会死）
For those who can’t read Chinese I will try to translate the last stanza here.
Like a lonesome canoe floating between mountain hollow.
Struggling against all for truth.
Like him whom hates all evil.
Like him whom disdain power.
Marx is a 90s youth.
I know there are few or no Trump supporters here … still whatever you think about Trump, I think if you see the injustice of U.S. meddling in Middle East, Africa, the Baltic, and Asia, you have to like and take notice what Trump recently said.
You don’t even have to support Trump. If you believe Trump is somehow mysteriously in tune with the bulk of the American people, then I think that with Trump articulated here finally there is hope for America … and the world. Here is an excerpt of a piece about his recent interview with the Washington Post. Continue reading I like Trump’s Vision of American Power Abroad
As many of you know, Peter Liang was charged with second degree manslaughter as the result of death of Akai Gurley. Western propaganda, NYC’s mayor and government seems have turned its back against him while many white officers have killed unarmed black people. They seemed to neglect several facts.
- NYPD officers shouldn’t have their guns drawn in many of these stair patrols.
As you can see from this article 2 years ago before the incident, it is normal for NYPD officers to have their guns drawn on these vertical patrols. In fact, they are especially trained to be alert when there are lights out in the staircases, because many officers were ambushed as the result.
2. Liang and his partner Shaun Landau were arguing each other in front of Gurley after he was shot. Not true, Liang and Landau was arguing each other before they realized that Gurley was shot.
3. Liang and Landau does want to do CPR training.
Liang and Landau received inadequate CPR training.
What I find interesting is that while many Chinese Americans are protesting about the unjust verdict, western propaganda managed to get some brainwashed Chinese ‘journalists’ to go against them.
Let me make this perfectly clear, Liang is not innocent here and he should be disciplined or even fired from the NYPD as the result of this incident. What I don’t agree is that how can he be indicted for second degree manslaughter for doing his job without the intent to hurt or to kill someone.
I’m glad to see the Chinese media FINALLY starting to explicitly outline the hypocrisy of American human rights rhetoric, but I think it doesn’t go far enough to illustrate the sheer scale of US human rights violations & issues, such as:
- Little mention on the sheer degree of income & wealth inequality, which then translates into the lack of meaningful political power for most average citizens.
- The number of annual police killings & prison incarceration rates in the US.
- The lack of respect for equal rights not just by the US government, but BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, as demonstrated by the popularity of xenophobic, & particularly islamophobic rhetoric among presidential candidates.
I think CCTV’s exclusion important details such as the aforementioned may create the misconception that the US human rights problems they outlined are somehow “small & isolated”, and inadequately highlights the widespread nature of their lack of respect for human rights. But nevertheless, this is a good start.
Donald Trump is embarrassing to US, this election cycle. But some American commentators have even remarked, (as I have previously quoted), to paraphrase Joseph de Maistre,
“In a Democracy, the People don’t get the government they want, they get the government they deserve.”
Because, America, you are Donald J. Trump in the world.
Mr. Unknown and the blogger known as the Saker has collaborated to write an interesting, provocative, and insightful piece end of last year. I truly applaud the effort and feel honored that China does have true friends from Russia. And I am truly heartened to see that there are Russians who do see China as equals … and more importantly … as friends.
Overall I learned quite many things, all valuable to further shaping my worldview. But I also do disagree with some parts of it. I have no doubt that the great Russian-Chinese dialogue in bringing two great neighbors closer together … perhaps one day to become allies … will continue and will a force for global peace. But a solid house must be built on solid solutions. So here is my response, which includes some criticisms, which hopefully will go toward building a more solid foundation between the two great nations / civilizations. Continue reading Russia and China – Strategic Partners Or Partners of Convenience?
There are so many things over which I disagree with Trump. When he talks about China, I literally disagree with him on everything he says – currency manipulation, unfair trade, aggressive trade policies, an all out assault to gut America of jobs…
Yet I see every attack on Trump in the media – and yes here on this blog – as the worst of Western media propaganda. I am writing here not to support Trump (although I would definitely support him over Clinton), but to show what I consider to be Western media’s hypocrisy … and the power of the hypocrisy to brainwash everyone here! 😉
According to the Economist, here are some of the worst of Trump’s offenses.
Because each additional Trumpism seems a bit less shocking than the one before, there is a danger of becoming desensitised to his outbursts. To recap, he has referred to Mexicans crossing the border as rapists; called enthusiastically for the use of torture; hinted that Antonin Scalia, a Supreme Court justice, was murdered; proposed banning all Muslims from visiting America; advocated killing the families of terrorists; and repeated, approvingly, a damaging fiction that a century ago American soldiers in the Philippines dipped their ammunition in pigs’ blood before executing Muslim rebels. At a recent rally he said he would like to punch a protester in the face. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
[Editor’s Note: This piece was first published at the Huffington Post]
According to Chief Justice Roberts, judges are baseball umpires who apply rules impartially to disputes. As neutral actors, judges make everyone play by the rules but do not take sides themselves.
But with members of Senate locked in a heated debate whether Obama or the next president should name Scalia’s replacement, we are reminded yet again just how political Supreme Court Justices have become.
In decisions after decisions, the Court has waded into the most politically contested issues of the day, from abortion to gay rights to campaign contribution limits to national health insurance. Scholars now routinely predict how each Justice will vote based on his or her ideological persuasions alone, irrespective of the legal issues presented.
Justice Roberts would like us to reminisce wistfully about a day when judges were umpires of the law. But I don’t think that day ever existed. Continue reading The Caustic Side Effects of Looking to Supreme Court Justices as Umpires
It is frequently claimed that Winston Churchill once said “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others”. Now that Donald Trump is on the verge of locking up the nomination as Republican candidate for POTUS, and U.S. surely is on the cusp to become fascist if he wins the nomination and the resulting election, I wonder if that statement should remove the qualifier. One TV commentator said in a daze when analyzing the Nevada cuscus that Republican Party just suffered a hostile takeover. I wonder whether U.S. will have a willing takeover as Germany did in 1932 by Adolf Hitler. Some may consider my sentiment alarmist, but given the angers from both the right and left exemplified by Trump and Sanders and the high turnouts in those primaries I think my worries may become nightmare. Let’s enumerate the promises flowed from Trump, build a wall on the border to Mexico and Mexico better pay for it, deport 12 million illegal aliens. 35% tariffs of goods from China, take oils from Iraq and maybe Iran for U.S. military expenses in Middle East, and I am sure soon will be threats against China. Surely those campaign promises are meaningless, or are they? And I thought I am too old to worry about climate warming which will raise sea levels 20 feet in a few hundred years.
Happy Year of the Monkey everyone. Sadly the first monkey related blogpost on HH is about Western media’s on going monkey business when it comes to China reporting.
For 2016, the first salvo is about the shameless nouveau riche of China illegally owning endangered “thumb monkey” of Amazon:
However quick Google fact check revealed this story is, again, monkey business. Here are some facts about “thumb monkey”, aka “pocket monkey”, aka “pygmy marmoset”:
1) Contrary to condemnation, pygmy marmoset is not endangered or threatened. IUCN conservation status for pygmy marmoset is it’s not threatened in any major way:
Least Concern – Lowest risk; does not qualify for a higher risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category
Seems some just noticed IUCN had a Red List publication for pygmy marmoset and assumed it is endangered, without scrutinizing what the Red List publication actually said:
2) Pygmy marmoset is available for sale in US and UK as pet. Google “pet pygmy marmoset” showed some very ordinary stuff on permitting, sales, and care of this creature. This one I’m most incredulous about – would an endangered spices be so readily available for sale in enlightened first world nations?
In contrast, Google pygmy marmoset with keyword “China” revealed a multitude of vitriol against the evil Chinese, on behalf of this suddenly poor, endangered species. Even worse when adding the keyword “endangered” (note the article count actually goes up):
3) Another fallacy is that pygmy marmoset is illegal in China. Actually importation of exotic mammals are legal in China, subject to quarantine and permitting regulations. It is illegal to circumvent quarantine (which unscrupulous vendors in China, as well as US, UK, do.) Here’s what China’s regulation on Wildlife Domestication and Rearing Permit says:
Article 3 Qualification For Business Entity and Individual To Apply “Wild Life Domesticaiton and Rearing Permit”:
(1) Having permanent location, appropriate and necessary facility, equipment for domestication and rearing the wild animal;
(2) Possessing needed capital, expertise, for domestication and rearing the wild animal;
(3) Gauranteed food supply for domestication and rearing the wild animal.
Here’s a very recent coverage about a company in Hangzhou importing small monkeys, and monkeys passing their 30-day quarantine.
Monkey business, or business as usual? You decide.
One of the arguments many people in the West used to denigrate the HK and Mainland government in support of the Umbrella movement was that the rioters had a right to block streets and shut down districts to get their message out. When some Hong Kongers – siding with HK and Mainland government – pushed back that while freedom of speech grants them the right to protest but not a right to shut down entire districts, they were ridiculed and shamed by the Western press.
Of course, as we know, when the occupy movement flamed across the Western capitals of the world, those governments acted very differently. The police (even paramilitary forces) soon cracked down and order was soon restored. But in China, so-called rule of law quickly gets tossed aside in the name of mob rule (I mean “democracy”). All this reinforced in my mind how “political” “free” speech is. It is “free” when the politics is palatable. But when it’s not, the “costs” – be it national security, social peace, whatever – gets framed as the main (only) issues.
This reminds me of another story last year when the Pope visited the U.S. If people remember, the pope got a “rock star” reception from the media – with the press trumpeting how popular, socially and morally in tune the pope is, especially compared to China’s President Xi (also visiting the U.S. around the same time) who allegedly got a stiff and cool reception. Continue reading Free Speech Definitely Doesn’t Mean Cost Notwithstanding Speech
Interesting story from NYT today titled “Judge Tells Apple to Help Unlock San Bernardino Gunman’s iPhone.”
Here is an excerpt:
The ruling handed the F.B.I. a potentially important victory in its long-running battle with Apple and other Silicon Valley companies over the government’s ability to get access to encrypted data in investigations. Apple has maintained that requiring it to provide the “keys” to its technology would compromise the security of the information of hundreds of millions of users.
It seems that the Western Paid Rioters are at it again, this time they are ‘protesting’ against the removal of Illegal food stalls in Mong Kok and starting their ‘fishball revolution.’
These Right wing rioters including the HK Indigenous, Civic Passion, Hong Kong Localism Power, Hong Kong Independence Party that has plagued Hong Kong about 18 months ago with their ‘Umbrella revolution’ threw bricks, started fires, and beat up on police and reporters. Western propaganda seems to fixate on 2 warning shots up the air. Sad on the state of Hong Kong that this kind of riots are even tolerated because if this kind of stuff would happen in America these people would be promptly jailed as terrorists.
I remember in early 1960s, I read a book of short stories of science fiction from Eastern Europe in which one portrayed the future of mankind as one bloated capitalist lamenting that he owned everything with robots manufacturing products which no one can afford to buy, in fact the planet is dying with him as the last one. I also read the Michael Lewis book “The Big Short”, in which few have any idea of the coming mortgage failures which triggered the 07-08 financial crisis.
This January the stock markets in U.S. are in turmoil. It’s estimated more than $2 trillion in wealth were lost. This also comes as a complete surprise to all experts. Some economists and market analysts blamed it on China, Chinese stock market, oil price drop, while others consider it normal and totally unreasonable, that is clueless. And the confusion extends to politics. On one hand Donald Trump dominating the Republican polls, with him wanting to impose 45% tariffs on Chinese imports, build a wall to keep out Mexicans and Muslims. On the other hand Bernie Sanders threatening to impose socialism policies on Wall Street and the polls have him leading Hillary Clinton on the Democrats. With Iowa Caucus 10 days away, how do we connect the dots to make any sense?
Marx in his analysis of Capital foretold the struggle between capital and labor, the spreading chasm between rich and poor, the income inequality, globalization, extraction of surplus value from labor and nature to the detriment of both, and eventually the lack of investment opportunities and diminishing return with profit as motive. Now that his predictions seem to all come to pass one by one. Wages for U.S. workers have been stagnant for the last 40 years. Supreme Court is about to deal a crippling blow to government labor unions by making union due check off no longer mandatory in those few states that allow them. People are angry and turn both to right and left. Despite some positive responses to $15 minimum wages in some cities, I suspect U.S. may be turned to billionaires ruling directly rather than proxy as Trump triumphs.
The writing has been on the wall for KMT’s chances in the election this time around for some time. As I had discussed earlier, the battle between DPP and KMT in the 2016 election is not about independence vs. status quo as it had been 8 years back when Taiwan elected Ma Ying-jeou, or 16 years ago when Taiwan elected Chen Shui-Bian. That battle had been won long ago, with this time everyone agreeing that the status quo is the way to go. The battle this time around is about economics, about what to do with Taiwan’s stagnant wages and rising home prices.
Of course, there are plenty of symbolism that DPP – and hence Tsai – still stands for independence. DPP’s charter, for example, still officially endorses independence. Tsai has also been purposely demure and vague about her stance toward the Mainland, including her public avoidance of acknowledging the 1992 Consensus on the one-China policy.
But I think it’s possible all that is just symbolism. Given that it’s election season, and that the 1992 Consensus include details that allowed both sides to interpret things slightly differently under the broad rubric of a one China policy, I think it’s perhaps understandable Tsai want to do everything to avoid the specter of getting pinned into one specific or another interpretation.
The real reason KMT lost is because it has not properly addressed the following political trends. Continue reading DPP Wins in Taiwan
Moral Universalism, as often headlined by “Universal Human Rights”, is the philosophical concept that some Universal moral standard applies universally to all individuals, regardless of their culture, race, religion, gender, nationality, etc.
Yet, in implementation, Moral Universalism and “Universal Human Rights” have led to a kind of twisted moral standard, where collateral damage of millions of lives in wars are justified, but giving economic aid to starving “dictatorships” is wrong.
How was this possible? I point to no further than an example of the “affluenza teen”, who killed several people while driving drunk, and yet his defense argued “affluenza”, a medical condition that he didn’t know right from wrong.
New York Times editorial board published an editorial this morning trying to give advice that’s so laughable and I immediately wrote a comment to rebut them.
“I think NYT should have more editorials about the direction of U.S. economy and government policies than China’s. What you complain about China doesn’t really hold water.
1. Despite the trigger of stock market breakers, the Shanghai stock composite at the beginning of 2016 is little changed compare with beginning of 2015, and compare with SP500 at U.S., the performance is similar.
2. Paul Krugman has been complaining of under stimulation in U.S.. The package is insufficient for generating higher growth in U.S.. Now the high speed trains in China might not generate sufficient return in dollars. It has generated social functions unimaginable by your editorial writers. It has knitted the country together in a closer entity with reasonable fares for internal tourism. I wish U.S. has similar trains instead of all the potholes in the highways.
3. China has plenty of weapons to tackle the higher debt compare to U.S.. She can use the QE to reduce the debt cost. Unlike U.S., now with interest rate rising and debt cost rising. Of course the transition of heavy industries to green energies will take time, but I am sure in 10 years, U.S. will marvel how clean the air of Beijing will be.
4. The so called currency devaluation is more a mirage of U.S. dollar strength than a Yuan weakness. For Yuan compare with basket of currencies used by IMF it actually strengthened. It also is a temporary condition with oil in the $30 range. Don’t expect it will last.”
Space prevent me from making all the points. Here I like to expound more on the question of investing for the future. By orthodox economic theory, investing something like railroad to Tibet makes no economic sense by return of asset. Yet for military, strategic, or the need of people it’s invaluable. The same is true for all the infrastructures of highways and high speed trains. Capitalists count the dollars and cents. Is it profitable to invest in education and health? Republicans here say no, and that’s a debate NYT should be engaging.
Why is US /NATO so concerned about the undersea cables for internet? Because they “carry more than 95 percent of daily communications”??!
How can they “carry more than 95 percent of daily communications” on the internet??!! Considering most users and most popular websites are based in US?
It would be an interesting admission, only if most of the daily internet traffic of US is being channeled elsewhere.
Oddly enough, that confirmed what Edward Snowden had revealed, that US government has ordered most ISP’s to redirect traffic to outside US for the purpose of electronic surveillance of internet traffic.