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Discussion in 'West Mall' started by Seattle Husker, May 27, 2021.
The Soviets only lasted 14 years. We won by lasting 20 years! (Glass half full)
It was going to happen given that we were going to leave in the near future. However, at the time Trump started dealing with the Taliban, casualties had dropped dramatically (and were never high by war standards). We could have stayed century if we wanted to, but a false narrative was being believed by both right and left. And nobody was correcting them. Ultimately, that screwed us up, and both sides made an irrational decision, and we're going to pay the price. 13 servicemen already have.
My wife works in the counseling dept. of our local HS. It drives her nuts (And saddens her) that so many of the parents from these cultural backgrounds come in with their kids to discuss the kids course plan. The parents intentions are good but the idea is that the counselor wants to hear from the kid about what they want to do and give guidance accordingly. So often the parents interrupt immediately to tell the counselor what the kid "wants" to do. The kids just sit quietly- scared to death to dare speak up over their parents. The counselors will politely let the parents know that they really want to hear from the kids but at that point its clear to the kid NOT to go against mom and dads wishes.
So yes I agree with Deez that there are downsides - along with the good - in these cultures. The "educational cocoon" you mention is one of them.
My experience with Asian kids and adults is different than yours. In our tournaments those kids display an incredible amount of creativity. Incredible creativity. Strategies I'd never seen. That takes creativity. A shitload of it (my American genes kicking in again there)
As for their ability to lead, every corporation i worked for , asians of all ilk were excellent leaders. Quite demanding but not impossible. Able to listen and reason.
Maybe if i wanted a pop culture expert to work beside me or lead, I'd choose a non Asian I guess. Never thought of it that way....
I'll say this, in the 80s we did have a couple of Vietnamese that would fit your description, but on the whole, no. That was never my experience. And I've been around quite a few for quite a long time
The Chinese won't go to war in Afghanistan. They and the Russians will form an anti-Western alliance to exploit their lithium and other natural resources. They'll probably give them money and arms in return. They might even take over our old military bases that we didn't have the patience or the balls to protect.
Maybe that's what the B-52s were used for above?
Worrying about China is a mistake I think. They have way more societal, economic, demographic, and financial problems than even the US does. They are very constrained in what they can do because they are already so over leveraged and their economy isn't growing anymore. They may rattle their sabres here and there, but any aggressive action could cause their whole house of cards to fall apart.
It won't if nobody does anything about it.
Good to see you up and around. Keep getting well.
Thanks. I actually am not all that well yet. Breathing and all that is good. My body aches are much less severe, so that's good. But still very fatigued with a fever. Scheduled for an infusion in 30 minutes.
Maybe. But central planning and totalitarianism is not the road to a powerful global actor. It is a way to lose the capabilities they have now.
Perhaps, but they cause a hell of a lot of death, destruction, and misery trying, especially when no one's trying to stop them.
True. They can. But China isn't doing anything militarily aggressive yet. I know they are building barrier islands to claim control over the South China Sea.
That is aggressive, so I guess I mean other than that. Right now they are handing money out to gain influence in Asia and Africa. This further weakens them as their banking system is in horrible shape. Their window of opportunity is closing.
Think Japan of the mid-80s. China is about to hit a solid wall.
They haven't used their military to attack a foreign target yet, but they've definitely shown aggression. You are correct that they are handing out money to buy influence in Asia and Africa and building barrier islands. However, it's also important to note that they likely violated the Sino-British Joint Declaration regarding the transfer of Hong Kong. I consider that aggression. Who in the UK is up for doing anything about it? Forget trying to retake Hong Kong, which they'd have the right to do. How about economic sanctions or some valuable trade restrictions? Nope. Nobody's doing ****.
China is also angling to put a military base in the Azores (between the United States and Europe). Should we just let them do that?
Maybe. China is a much bigger player than Japan was. Militarily, they're more like the Soviet Union was. (Their Navy is bigger than ours.). My big worry is their economic integration with the West. They're like the USSR but with the West dumping a bunch of money and technology on them.
Crazy pickup truck driving dude decided to accost an MSNBC reporter on live TV in Gulfport, MS.
Yeah, shame on him for reporting on a hurricane. Lol. My guess is that the guy just saw MSNBC on their vehicle or equipment and saw it as his chance to yell at them.
He may have thought Brewster was looting earlier. He fits the description. Those Mississippians are funny like that.
How did they violate things on Hong Kong? I haven't heard that before. Then you are saying the British have the right to take Hong Kong back? That would be great for Hong Kong but that sounds like a clear violation of the agreement.
Nobody is doing anything because I don't think there is much that can be done. Economic sanctions won't hurt the Chinese regime. It will hurt normal Chinese and Americans. It also sets up a war like attitude against them. Which I don't think is productive.
Are there Hong Kong rebel groups that could be supported? That would be the most attractive thing to me. Help those in Hong Kong help themselves. They can't win a war but they can make life harder on the CCP.
What can be done about it? The US can definitely speak out against it and get other countries to do the same, but past that are you saying we should attack the base if it exists?
This is where I will keep reminding that China is super over leveraged. They don't have the material resources and internal stability politically to keep expanding like this. They will do what the USSR did. They will fall apart. They will do what Japan did in 1990. Their economy will stagnate. There are multiple internal factors which will constrain China. The US shouldn't act like China is on the verge of taking everything over. They can't.
Fearing China is a way of saying that you believe that central planning and central banking is the most efficient way of running an economy and military. You fear what you value. I value freedom and innovation. I have much more fear of losing those things than than seeing a central planned state try to flex muscles.
It's bigger than Japan but the same dynamics are in play. It was similar dynamics that tore the USSR apart. Their Navy is built on central planning and central bank over leveraging. That means they have little ability to maintain it and use it. As they continue to try to expand influence the house of cards grows more unstable.
I really agree with your last sentence though. The West needs to build alternate supply chains. We need to strengthen economic relations with Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, all of South East Asia. The US needs to become better partners with Latin America and Africa. That would reduce the opportunities that China has to build influence. But at this point China is seen as a better partner, even though they negotiate with a heavy hand.
Moving economic relationships away from China and to other places could be the best thing overall. It strengthens our allies, gives us more influence, but it isn't aggressive against them. Once you start enacting sanctions on states, they always use that as an excuse for their own problems and it gives them a villain to appeal against internally.
I'm referring to the national security law that prompted the big protests in Hong Kong. The UK and China agreed to a treaty that promised to maintain the same civil liberties that existed under colonial law (at least for an extended period of time not yet passed). They're pretty clearly breaking that. Do I actually expect the UK to take HK back? No, but treaties are pretty worthless if you won't make the violator regret its actions.
It depends on the specifics of the sanctions.
I agree with doing this, but I doubt that we'll do a lot.
No, I wouldn't attack the base unless it somehow becomes a pretty direct and imminent threat to the US mainland like the Soviet missile bases in Cuba became, and of course, I'd try to resolve it diplomatically first. However, there is something we can do.
A little history. Of course, the Azores is governed by Portugal. The United States has a fairly long history of placing military facilities there for submarine patrol (For example, my grandfather flew an antisubmarine aircraft during WWII and landed in the Azores) and most of all, refueling trans-Atlantic aircraft that couldn't otherwise cross the ocean. It has the largest runway in Europe and can land pretty much any aircraft (including the Space Shuttle). As you might imagine, before in-flight refueling became perfected, having a place like that was massively important.
As in-flight refueling became more common, having a big presence there became less essential, but the military stationed in-flight refueling aircraft there and kept using it. It was still a good fit. However, in more recent years, the military has shown a preference for staffing up locations that are less remote and preferred by personnel such as Naval Station Rota (Spain) and RAF Mildenhall (UK), and they've drawn the Azores down basically to a skeleton crew and not much else. There was a push to put a large intelligence facility in the Azores a few years ago, but the military opted for RAF Croughton instead after some very shaky financial manipulation was used to make UK look cheaper than Portugal, which is a joke to anyone who has been to both countries. Link. (For some perspective, my housing allowance in the Azores was about $24K. In the UK, it's about $47K. It's a hell of a lot more expensive here.)
So what's the worry? It's that Terceira Island (where the base is) became very dependent on the base for economic output and jobs. That always happens to a point with military bases, but it's much more so there, because we along with the Portuguese authorities allowed things to become very informal. For example, local Portuguese people on the island can shop at some of the shops on base that are usually reserved for US personnel. That means they're often buying food and other items there rather than on their local economy. So if the base contracts, the island feels it a lot. Unemployment spikes very high, and infrastructure suffers. That has caused Portugal to seriously entertain China. (A plane full of their officials showed up to "tour" the place while I was there.) It's not because they want China to be there. They don't like China, but they don't want to go broke and hungry either. The people barely get by.
What I'd do is beef that place back up. I wouldn't intentionally be wasteful, but I'd do more there and do less in the UK, Germany, and Spain, which are more expensive and would be harder for China to get into. I understand the remoteness issue. That can wear on people, and to deal with it, I'd keep a fairly steady flow of space available flights to the US and to mainland Europe so people don't get "island crazy." The issue can be dealt with, and it's not as if the island sucks. It's the most beautiful place I've ever been to, and it has amenities - great outdoor activities, awesome restaurants (literally the best seafood I've ever had), charming villages, etc. You don't really get bored, and the local people speak good English and are very pro-American (much more than Germans, Spaniards, and even Brits). They are good to us. We should be good back to them.
The big difference I see is that we dump hundreds of billions of dollars every year on China and didn't do that with the USSR. We weren't that stupid. If we had done that, would the USSR be gone today? I think that's very questionable.
I don't think it's an efficient way, but when you're dumping assloads of money on them, it can buy out a lot of bad central planning mistakes. It's like a MLB team in a big market. One crappy trade can ruin the Kansas City Royals. However, a crappy trade rarely ruins the New York Yankees, because they can just buy free agents to make up for their bad trade. Well, if central planners in China screw-up, they can use Western money to mitigate their screw-ups. Hell, our money is why they're a major power in the first place.
100 percent agree. However, building alternate supply chains takes time and takes investment of capital. I don't think our global business community wants to deal with that. They aren't patriots or liberty lovers. Short-term economic gain is all they care about. I think they also fear that they'd lose the potential Chinese consumer market. (Think the NBA.) I'm not sure how to fix that problem.
That's not completely true. Several US Presidents worked very closely with Stalin. There was a large amount of coordinated effort between the 2 nations for decades.
You have a much more positive view of central planning than I do I guess. Of course foreign investment helps but China's problems are way beyond the amount of money the US is investing.
You are of course correct. What I will add though is that alternative supply chains are already being built due to rising labor rates in China. There is short term economic incentive in play right now. We don't need to cut off China or try to push them around. Just de-emphasize China where appropriate.
Here is a good article that talks about some of China's weaknesses.
China’s Military Strength Has Been Greatly Exaggerated | Ryan McMaken
We did some work with them (mainly under FDR) and of course heavily armed and funded their defense against Nazi Germany (a move that was defensible at the time but somewhat questionable in hindsight). However, that was a pretty brief, specific, and limited collaboration. By 1950, that cooperation was ancient history, and we never had significant economic integration with them after that point. Nothing like what we've had with China in the last few decades.
It's not just the US. They export about $2.5T per year and run a $500B surplus mostly from the West and Western-aligned countries. That's a lot of cash to dump on them - about 72 percent of the US national defense budget. Again, central planning obviously has major problems and it's unsustainable, but there's a reason why the USSR lasted for 60+ years. Failure can take a long time, and a lot of bad stuff can happen before that occurs, even when free nations aren't dumping cash and technology on the centrally planned economy.
Who's "we" and how? I don't see much evidence of businesses doing it. They want that colossal market and want the relatively cheap labor. What I'd like to see is a free trade deal between the North America and non-Chinese Asian countries. I think Trump made a mistake to ditch TPP. It may have had some problems to fix, but I wouldn't have dumped it altogether.
It is an interesting article and has some useful information, especially about China's debt load. I didn't know it was that high. He also has a point that the big, old population makes it harder for China to spend on defense the way the US does because of the need to spend so much on food and health and that it wastes too much on unnecessary infrastructure projects that "look cool" but aren't economically useful (and I say that as someone who's generally favorable to building advanced infrastructure).
However, he misses some things. First, the threat level of a country is relative, not absolute. The Soviet Union never out-produced the US, matched its military technology, or had the extra money for national defense. However, it was still a major threat. It had nuclear weapons, effective delivery systems for those weapons, a desire to undermine free nations, and a willingness to use its power to do that. That was able to make them a threat even though they had a command economy (even more than China does) and generally lagged behind the West in most regards.
Second, even aside from military threats, China has the ability to inflict serious harm on the United States through intellectual property theft, cheating on trade, and of course, exporting disease.
Third, he brings up the strong, hostile nations that surround China like Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea but uses that as a reason for withdrawing US military support from the area. Does he not understand why Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan are difficult for China to intimidate or attack? It's because those countries have had massive economic and military support from the United States. Does anyone think for a second that China wouldn't invade Taiwan tomorrow if they knew with certainty that the US wouldn't help? Of course they would.
The iron curtain which crushed all semblance of internal revolt along with ICBM's and tanks massed along the Eastern European front.
Get better sooner. Not that you are a Sooner
Not that there is anything wrong with that
China has become very adept at the "take what the defense gives you" approach to pursuing their interest. As the US flip flops from one administration to the next, the Chinese just rake whatever low hanging fruit the current admin leaves on the table and then waits for the next admin to flip their attention to some other aspect of Chinese behavior. Sometimes we are very focused on IP, so the Chinese dial back their aggressive approach to IP theft....temporarily. Sometimes we are very focused on the South China Sea, so they dial back their maneuvers in the SCS....temporarily. But they have realized that all you have to do is wait for a new POTUS/Admin and the focus will shift. Then you can get all the crap the last POTUS wasn't willing to give you.
Long term the Chinese are eating our lunch. The only way we stay on top of this competition is to incentivize our Corporations to quit taking the short term view and start moving our manufacturing out of China and into places like Africa and Cent/South America. Our very own fortune 500 are the entities that are slowly selling us out little by little and giving over our economic power to China.
This works because there's little continuity in our China policy. That wasn't true with the Soviet Union. Republicans were generally tougher on them than Democrats were, but both largely took a "**** 'em" approach. Now that we're economically integrated with China, business-oriented Republicans let them get away with whatever on the business side. Traditional labor-oriented Democrats used to be hostile, but the transition of properties from taking care of the American middle class to embracing global woke politics has made them more tolerant of China.
Oregon school staffer protests vaccine mandate by wearing blackface to dress as Rosa Parks
Yes, this was a special education teacher.
If you're going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance.
cookoo for coco puffs. It shouldn't be this easy.
Dan Quayle advised Mike Pence about election role leading up to Jan. 6
God bless Dan Quayle.