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Western Frustrations

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Something happened last week at the UN Security Council that garnered little attention in the western press: China and Russia vetoed an anti-Syria resolution.

The resolution was concocted by the US (the product of the previous administration, but apparently not sidelined by the current one). Of course the British and the French were on board.

As Chinese media reports:

“The defeated resolution, drafted by Britain, France and the US, aimed to impose sanctions over alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. If adopted, the draft resolution would have imposed asset freezes and travel bans on individuals and entities associated with the Syrian government.”

We live in an upside-down, reversed world. Two years ago there emerged compelling evidence that the rebels released chemical weapons in Syria, surely at the behest of their handlers, with precisely the goal of using “lawfare” for regime change.

At present there is no hard and fast evidence that the Assad government has ever used such weapons. And why should it? The government’s use of chemical weapons would be extremely counterproductive and surely backfire. Their use would play into the hands of those seeking to use international institutions to undermine Syria.

Chinese media then reported on this British lackey:

“UK’s permanent representative to the UN Matthew Rycrofttold the council that he was astonished by Russia’s abuse of veto power, and was ‘surprised and disappointed’ that China had also cast a veto.”

Astonished? Really? I do say!

The report continues:

Chinese permanent representative to the UN Liu Jieyifought back those denouncements with a rare seven and a half minutes’ long speech.

“We oppose the use of chemical weapons by any state, any organization and any individual under any circumstance, and support the punishments against all instances of chemical weapons use,”said Liu.

“As a victim of chemical weapons back in those days, China has more right than any othercountry to condemn its use,” the diplomat added.

One advantage of the Chinese mindset is that they actually remember what happened in 2003, and the fabricated claims that Iraq had WMD.

“We still remember the huge disasters brought by some countries after they waged wars against the region by alleging the latter of possessing large amount of weapons of mass destruction, and the Middle East still has not shaken itself from its after-effects,” Liu underlined.

Very true, when you think about it.

At the end – after the West got suitably hosed with a double veto – the Chinese representative offered some much needed schooling:

“In his last seconds of off-script remarks, Liu asked relevant stakeholders to reflect on how Syria and the Middle East were allowed to degenerate to their current situations, and what parts they played in this process.”

Indeed. As a kindergarden teacher would say to unruly kids:

“Can you think about your ‘choices?’ Maybe you can make different ‘choices’ next time?

 

The full article is found here: http://en.people.cn/n3/2017/0305/c90000-9186014.html

 

 

 

 

Rugby Day

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Saturday was the first rugby game of the season. Chengdu, Kunming and the Sichuan province women’s team joined in for one game after another. We mixed teams at the end.

The Chengdu Panda men’s team did beat the Kunming Flying Tigers, but Chengdu men were also beaten in a touch game by a fast, well-drilled, machine-like Sichuan women’s team (below).

Yeah, we got beaten by a bunch of Chinese girls.

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The Case for Amnesty

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For a few new readers I should reiterate the reasons for some kind of “amnesty” of undocumented or illegal immigrants. Perhaps a more politically palatable word is “regularization.”

This does not mean that the US should move to open borders or open its doors to millions of new immigrants. It simply means that those that are already here should be regularized. And this article has nothing to do with the situation in Europe, which has its own dynamics.

First up: A majority of illegal immigrants in the US entered in the 1990s after the peso crisis and NAFTA dumping of US agricultural products in Mexico.

Back then, being undocumented was an un-enforced misdemeanor. Moreover, all segments of society encouraged it. The migrants were given bank accounts, drivers’ licenses, home mortgages and so on. America society depended on cheap labor for jobs most American citizens no longer accept.

So, millions of migrants, especially Mexicans, were given a nudge, nudge, wink, wink. This makes the current crackdown dishonorable.

Second, illegal immigrants only “cost” American society money along the border and in some metropolitan areas, especially Los Angeles.

Across the rest of the country, undocumented migrants are working very long hours, at very tough jobs, and many pay into Social Security and pay other taxes, because they are using the numbers of others.

Simultaneously, these migrants represent a large portion of consumer spending. They shop at Wal-Mart, load up on gas, etc…

Regarding the young Dreamers who were dragged across the border as children, it might be pointed out that the US is a signatory to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

This means, implicitly, that the US is expected to issue citizenship to people with certain vulnerabilities: minors with no paperwork or documentation from their countries of origin, with no ties to their countries of origin (sometimes no ties to the parents that brought them here), and often no language or cultural ties to their country of origin.

This brings me to the third reason for regularization or amnesty of some kind: Enforcing deportation on a large scale requires a police state.

Already, we have seen ICE’s Gestapo tactics were employed against a young woman, Daniela Vargas, who brought here when she was 7 years old. It cannot be a coincidence that she was arrested after speaking publicly on the issue. She now faces deportation without a hearing.

Meantime, the alt-right media is all aboard this statist crackdown on immigrants. This even true for Infowars, which spent decades warning of a police state.

First, they came for the illegals…

There is also a problem with the “conservatism” on this issue. True, “liberalism” is guilty of being a nanny state philosophy – of the mommyfication of society. So my trashing of conservatism does not mean I am a liberal. I follow “complexity theory.”

Conservatism easily slides into authoritarianism, and endorses a belief in the infallibility of people or courts. Hence: the conservative backing of the death penalty, for example, even though judges and juries can never know the complete truth. Here, conservatives really infantilize themselves: Father Knows Best.

On immigration, conservatives are like: “but they broke the law.”

Here, there is no complexity, no context, no backstory – no division of the “law” from “ethics.” This is the kind of slave thinking to be expected from Bible thumpers.

So that is my opinion on illegal immigration. On every other domestic issue under the sun (the economy, wars, whatever) I readily acknowledge that many Americans know more that I do.

Not about this issue. Not only did I live in central Mexico for 7 years, and right on the border for another 4 years, but I also married a Mexican woman who had been illegal (later divorced, but with two Mexican-American children).

When in the US, I often stay in the homes of undocumented people – my network of extended family in Houston and Los Angeles. I speak Spanish fluently. Maybe someday I will meet an Anglo-American who knows as much about this issue as I do. Have not yet.

Just saying.

The New McCarthyism

 

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I was expecting to write more frequent blogs critical of the new administration’s policies, as I am certainly opposed to its stance on immigration and parts of its foreign policy, such as encircling China and Israel First.

But the opposition to the Trump administration – instead of sustaining thoughtful and focused criticism – is now awash in lies and exaggerations so egregious that I feel compelled to say something…

Nor do I back Jeff Session’s general convervatism, his promised crackdown on marijuana dispensaries, etc… But he did nothing wrong here. In his job on the Armed Services Committee, he would be meeting with ambassadors (or their staff) from dozens of countries. As he did.

But his mistake was apparently to cross paths with the Russian Ambassador or his staff members. So what? Who cares? This is part of his job before he joined the Trump administration. He was supposed to meet with Russian officials. And so his answers to Senate questioning were technically accurate.

Sessions might well be one of the least likely Russophiles around…

Really? Sessions is “Red?” Is he vulnerable to being recruited as a Russian spy? (A few people insinuate that the Russian Ambassador is cloak and dagger guy…)

Well, I suppose any (or most) men would in fact fall for the charms of a Russian honeypot, some snow bunny sent over. But that did not happen to Sessions, either…

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“Katya”

Is there something in the political DNA of America that needs a bogeyman like Russia (or China)?

This genetic defect is most visible in its politicians, ever since the days of the Cold War and McCarthyism: “Are you now, or have you ever been, a communist?”

The answer to that question should always have been: “No one cares, and by the way, go fuck yourself.”

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We have been Hot Tub Time Machined back to the 1950s. We have been Back to the Futured. This time the Democrats, even more than the Republicans, are red baiting, or Russia baiting. Amazing…

For me, from the luxurious distance of 9,000 miles, this looks like parody and satire.

How will Saturday Night Live survive when “real politics” is more ridiculous than anything it could present?

More Pics

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Oscars: The Icarus Factor

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Either this world is a collection of meaningless and random events or, by contrast, things often (or always) happen for some reason.

Hollywood’s Oscar ceremony witnessed a major glitch (yeah, someone tweaked the program). The wrong envelope was handed to a pair of cinema icons, so that they could read the wrong winner of Best Picture. How embarrassing.

I’m in China, where such a public mistake is considered even more grievous than it is in the US. The shame of it all. I guess the sense of humiliation would be shared by the Japanese: please bring me a sword, right now, so that I can kill myself.

Was it Karma? Cosmic payback? Angering the gods? Punishment for the endless sermons on the podium?

I go to see movies for the stories these actors flesh out, and they generally seem like decent, smart people. Very talented. At acting.

How entertainment and politics became fused together is beyond me. Well, it goes back decades I suppose. And some of the actors and actresses (not all) deliver their commentary in an arrogant manner. On both liberal and conservative sides. Lately the limousine liberals are prominent, but many conservative actors have pushed the agenda of the Pentagon – being on the god squad and all…

Granted, actors are entitled their First Amendment rights. But when actors take the stage, or speak at the podium, I for one would be interested in their perspective on acting, their insights into meaning and symbolism of a production, or a story about something that happened on the set.

Call me crazy. I would be more interested in actors talking about acting. Not that watch these ceremonies, but clips show up in my social media.

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Karma’s vehicle for punishment was a Hollywood stooge (now a scapegoat) Brian Cullinan. Fate made him pull the wrong envelope. Why him and not someone else? Because this toady spent the night completely starstruck. As the Daily Mail reports:

“It is unclear what caused the mistake, but it is known that Cullinan had spent the night snapping photos of celebrities and posting them on social media, including one of Stone moments before Beatty took the stage.”

Perfect. Yes, seems like divine timing.

DNC Confession

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I recently came across an article from a few months ago, casting some negative light on the workings of the Democratic National Committee during the primaries.

I point to this article without having any allegiance whatsoever to the counterpart, the Republican National Committee… Traditionally, both parties have protected power, and the abuse thereof.

Just a few months ago – and precious few people noticed – the DNC actually admitted this bias.

The financial backers of Bernie Sanders filed a lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz for fraud and misrepresentation – for pretending to hold a fair primary.

The DNC’s legal reply to this lawsuit exposes that organization’s corruption. Here is an excerpt from an article linked below:

“On October 14, the DNC filed its brief in support of its motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and some of its defenses are real whoppers.  The brief begins with the usual fare – arguments over procedural defects and jurisdiction.  But nestled in the brief are two arguments that are deeply disturbing. First, there’s the contention by the DNC that the Bernie Sanders donors knew that the committee was biased. Second, and even more disturbing, is the argument that any statements about being neutral and fair to all candidates if made by the DNC were nothing but ‘political promises’ and are unenforceable at law.”

There you have it. So instead of focusing on DNC (or RNC, depending) corruption, the mainstream media speculates that Russia (and not someone else) hacked our electoral system – by presumably helping to expose DNC corruption!

Personally I am not interested in the technicalities of whose hackers hacked the DNC. I am more interested in the recently estabished fact that the DNC conducted false primaries, making a mockery of the entire process.

 

 

http://lawnewz.com/uncategorized/dnc-stoops-to-new-low-in-fraud-lawsuit-filed-by-bernie-backers/

 

Computer Race

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Back in the glory daze of the Cold War, the US and the Soviets engaged in an arms race and a space race – and even a “peace race” according to the Soviet Ambassador in Dr. Strangelove.

Now, today, it’s game on between the US and the Chinese in terms of a computer race. Expect Americans to feel Sputnik’d and to speak of a “digital gap” or a “processing gap.”

China is about to introduce, by 2020, the Tianhe-3, the world’s first supercomputer that is “exascale,” capable of making a quintillion calculations per second (1 followed by 18 zeros).

This Tianhe-3 should probably give China an edge in the centuries old struggle for world power. Armies, navies and even air forces are becoming obsolete as military force is proving to be ineffective – and as managing information and communication become critical to any government’s sovereignty and autonomy.

This coming month, March 20, marks the 14th Anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. And what a failure it has been: more than half a million people have been killed in the ensuing conflicts, with millions displaced. And Islamic fundamentalist groups run large portions of Iraq.

The US has an embassy in Baghdad the size of the Vatican, largely vacant, and no Ramstein-on-the-Euphrates military bases, as previously fanticized by the neocon circle jerk.

Actually, Iran has more pull in Iraq than the US does. Similar failures are noted in Libya and Afghanistan. Trillions wasted. All this says something about the ultimate impotency of military force in this day and age.

It will be interesting to see how the US will attempt to catch up. A “computer gap” will be invoked.

For people nostalgic for the Cold War, these will be golden years.

A Few Photos

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The AI Economy

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A few years ago I reached a conclusion similar to the one presented below by Texas Shrugged in the video below.

Previously, I was also under the assumption that the US economy, and chunks of the world economy, were doomed to collapse. The 2008 meltdown gave the false impression that things were spinning out of control.

But we do not live in a real “economy.” I made the case that political regimes operate over and above any “economy,” which never implodes or collapses unless there has been a separate political decision to do so.

By contrast, neo-liberals, Marxists, libertarians, Austrians, etcetera.., are all under the impression – false, I think – that the “economy” is relatively autonomous, that it has its own internal and coherent set of rules. Many of these scholars even speak of “economic laws,” which is something I find to be completely preposterous. Wishful thinking, really.

Taking the politics-above-economics argument even farther, it is possible to consider the operation of a kind of super computer, or Artificial Intelligence, managing the flow of money in very precise ways. If reflecting a human design, then perhaps it is a computer on par with those of Google, where a simple search can yield millions of results in less than a second. I suspect that the computers maintaining the economy are more powerful, and they might even be of a non-human design.

This video is 27 minutes but the first third is really the core part: