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September 27, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-77

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:



History sleuthing:

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on September 27, 2020 at 12:58 UTC | Permalink

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The biggest geopolitical catastrophe of the century, the fall of the Soviet Union, thus said Putin and pundits laughed and derided, but apart from creating a lot of borders -pretending to tear down walls- and a lot of conflicts, we the proles of the western world paid a heavy price too, no more pretending to be nice. Another hot spot in a tough and disputed neighborhood. Empire does not sleep.

Posted by: Paco | Sep 27 2020 12:57 utc | 1

Well Paco, you shouldnt have to wait long for an even bigger one because it's just around the corner!

Posted by: Chevrus | Sep 27 2020 13:13 utc | 2

Is it true ,Russia is beefing up
troops at Chinese border ???

Posted by: denk | Sep 27 2020 13:45 utc | 3

I am so afraid of people that do not think like me. I must leave immediately.

Certainly those that do not think like me will be shoveling Jews into ovens soon or commit other unspeakable crimes. They must be stopped immediately.

Let us all bow to uniformity.

Posted by: circumspect | Sep 27 2020 13:58 utc | 4

The killing of Breonna Taylor Mintpress is very hostile towards U.S. law enforcement but they bring up some important points

I am not going to comment on the criminal liability of the police officers, the courts will have to sort this out and it looks like this will be civil and not criminal in nature. There are issues w/law enforcment practices ...
1. Yes this was a no-knock warrant. If you knock on a door, shout police, and then break the door down 1am in the morning there should be a reasonable expectation that the people inside the house are sleeping. Walker says that the first thing he heard was he woke up to the door being smashed open. I believe him.

2. Walker fired once and says that he fired one warning shot. The bullet from his gun did not have blood on it so do not believe the 'he shot a police officer in the leg' as a given fact. It is likely the officer was a victim of friendly fire from one of the other 35 bullets.

This is why I hate the FOX, 'the cops walk on water and blacks get what they deserve' crowd.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Sep 27 2020 14:03 utc | 5

2nd Cold War:

TikTok’s seeking development in the U.S. is like asking a tiger for its skin

Commentary: TikTok agreement, a trap of blackmail

China needs new long tech march after US attack on SMIC: Global Times editorial

WeChat legal battle far from over in US

The USA plan is as clear as day now: it wants to do accumulation by dispossession (primitive accumulation) in order to revitalize its industrial base so it can continue to sustain (leverage) its collapsing financial economy.

This is happening because the USD is failing. Let me explain you how it worked when the American Empire was at its apex (1990s, beginning of the 2000s): when a crisis happened in the USA, it issued more T-bonds. Since the USD is the universal fiat currency, the rest of the world is forced to sustain its value with their own wealth, so the USA didn't suffer any kind of significant inflation, plus it got the goods it needed, thus practically maintaining its purchase power. This was true even in the aftermath of the 2008 meltdown, and was the sole reason the USA didn't collapse (the so-called "Obama recovery").

But, for some reason(s), 2020 crisis was different: the USD is weakening at an unseen pace. And the Renminbi (vulgarly called in the West by "Yuan") is getting stronger. China is becoming a financial superpower, while the reverse is not being true: the USA is not becoming (again) an industrial superpower. China's financial gains are not being mirrored by the USA's industrial gains. The reason for that is very simple: Marx's Value Theory is scientifically correct - it is human labor, and not finance (money), that is the true source of human wealth. What we call nowadays as "finance"; "financial capital" is actually just what Marx called (book III, Das Kapital) "fictitious capital", i.e. capital that only exists as a pure juridical fiction. It is, in reality, just an arbitrary redistribution of already produced (by manufacture and agriculture) surplus value. Dumbing down the whole thing: industrial power is real power in the capitalist world, not financial. A clash between the financial superpower and the industrial superpower is not a symmetric battle: the industrial superpower holds an inherent advantage.

The only reason the USA can still put up a fight against China is because it really didn't completely deindustrialized: it installed a caged socialist system in its industrial-military complex that was able to keep its industrial superpower status in the war sector of its economy. It still has a chunk of its industrial superpower era with itself, so it's not completely hollow as many pessimistic Anglo-Saxon critics claim.

The USA is, therefore, using the tool it still has (i.e. a big fucking Navy) to try to reindustrialize vis-a-vis China.

But the laws of capitalism are inexorable. You see: you can't have your cake and eat it. You can't have the best of the two worlds (i.e. a free market capitalism with a socialist safety net that will always guarantee said free market to profit). The USA, therefore, continues to decline:

US Fed needs to accept necessity of negative rates

US loses global appeal despite so-called democracy and freedom

That's why revolutions - albeit very rare - do happen in History. Not by choice, but by necessity. Entropy is a bitch, after all.

Posted by: vk | Sep 27 2020 14:20 utc | 6

Paul Rusesabagina, the "hero of Hotel Rwanda," has been kidnapped in Belgium, and promptly "confessed" to running a terrorist shop in (still Rwanda/Kagame occupied?) eastern DRC. Meanwhile the wicked witch (guilty of horrendous propaganda, including against Rwandan baHutu and Serbs) at CNN runs her mouth while an actual bot farm attacks her (too funny given the anti-Russian propaganda). Meanwhile, the reality that Rusesabagina didn't save anyone (the famous Hotel was protected by "genocidaire" (in official propaganda) Rwandan Army units and UN personnel) as well as the reality of the killings (supposedly the baHutu killed between 800k and 1M2, out of a population of 600k, leaving between 400k and 500k alive, while former Kagame henchman Hakizimana plausibly estimated RPF killed 1-2M baHutu in 1994), i.e. New Math comparable to the killing of 35M of China's then 11M Uyghur (video edited to remove the 35M claim---I did see it back when they were claiming 35M, early in the year---at least Turkey has some sense of shame), or the 2006 Haitian Census occurring 24 years after the 2003 census.

Posted by: Johan Meyer (2) | Sep 27 2020 14:46 utc | 7

Just a few random thoughts:

1. the deindustrialization of the US must have had an impact on US science and technology research and training, in effect degrading US capacities in STEM. US workers are no longer skilled enough to operate high-skilled manufacturing technologies. Watch the documentary on the Chinese auto glass company that tried to invest in the US, and pay attention to the footage of the state of the US workforce vis-a-vis the footage of the Chinese workforce. The Americans are lazy, incompetent buffoons. They have lost all 'social capital' necessary to produce commodities with any efficiency or precision.

2. the deindustrialization of the US must be impacting US arms production too. What technological breakthroughs has the US military demonstrated? Russia and China are both breaking ahead of the US in the new era of hypersonic missiles, anti-shipping missiles, electronic warfare, anti-satellite capabilities, multi-layered air defense, and nuclear delivery vehicles.

The carrier-centric US Navy is in deep trouble in any war with China or Russia.

Posted by: Prof K | Sep 27 2020 15:14 utc | 8

Approximately 90% of the supply chain of all industrially manufactured products depend on the availability of oil derived products, or oil derived services. It was cheap almost free oil plus dollar supremacy that made the US the industrial powerhouse it once was. The way peak oil played out was that it striped away surplus value as it became more and more expensive to produce, slowly at first then all at once. Production barley hiccuped so everyone said “stupid peak oil idiots were wrong again”. It was during this period that industry was off shored in a big way which helped slow the striping out of surplus value but it didn’t stop. It was at this point that it became quite clear that capital had to be decoupled from production by deregulation of finance and through “financial engineering”. Something that was happening slowly already but then became necessary and therefor an easy sell.

We could increase oil production for a very long time as long as nobody knows or cares what the cost is but we can’t “financially engineer” our way out of collapse.

The MIC is immune to and economic principals and are therefor not subject to physical realities unless it is dropped on their heads and goes boom!

Chinas industrial strength lies in its massive, I mean massive use of cheap, almost free coal. That and a still relatively cheap labor force both of which are very volatile. In addition they have a lot of what the US wants and get lots of US dollars for it which they can then use to purchase oil at the best price. They have also cautiously adopted some of the wests financial shenanigans so as not to miss out on that opportunity to raise up the economy and bring people out of poverty.

This is not just hind sight. I was there witnessing and commenting on these developments as they happened and can now put them together.

Posted by: jef | Sep 27 2020 15:57 utc | 9

Among less interesting news. Perhaps some of you remember that Trump betrayed national interests of USA, Ukraine and entire free world by delaying delivery of "Javelins", some type of missile weapon.

But the cause of freedom prevailed (should I capitalize it?) and Javelins were eventually delivered. Now there were joint military exercises in Ukraine, American military planes and helicopters flew over Kiev and other cities along Dnyepr river, president Zelensky encouraged citizens to wave hands at those craft, and perhaps the high point, president personally watched a demonstration of Javelins on a military trying ground. The missiles did not work, but this is just a detail that surely will be worked out later. (In theory, and at some time in the future in practice, Javelins are anti-tank weapons.)

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 27 2020 16:03 utc | 10

Posted by: Prof K | Sep 27 2020 15:14 utc | 8

How about the competitive advantage of confucianism?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 27 2020 16:28 utc | 11

Re: Breonna Taylor / @5 Christian Chuba

Cops bust into residence in middle of night, unannounced (why?), naturally freak out the guy who thinks he is being robbed and shoots back, police then fire 30-40 rounds, mainly at the girlfriend (an EMT) who is still in bed, hitting her 5 times. For the following 20 minutes, they give her no medical attention while she coughs and bleeds to death.

Perfectly normal.

Posted by: ptb | Sep 27 2020 17:00 utc | 12

I am not going to comment on the criminal liability of the police officers
I've worked with them-- pigs are not reformable.
(One long term job-- it is not going to happen)

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Sep 27 2020 17:09 utc | 13

Jef @10

excellent first paragraph! I would like to see you expand on that if at some time you would.

my 2 centavos: I would not say that your apt description of "peak oil" directly caused the wave of financialization, they kinda happened in parallel, an organic result of having your cake and eating it too. The dollar as global reserve currency could not survive it's peg to gold, so that was abandoned in 1971. The petro-dollar system was birthed out of the oil embargo a few years later.

Posted by: al | Sep 27 2020 17:22 utc | 14

Here is a good illustration of the schizophrenia of our age:

Jack Ma from Alibaba in China debates the west's technological innovator, Elon Musk.

Can you tell which one is the charlatan?

Very easy for me to see, despite my wishes.

Elon Musk is a complete fraud. He is defrauding the American People and the west of their own imagination. How does he explain A.I.? Very poorly and in sophomoric terms. Why are people so fooled by this man?

He thinks we are already cyborgs because we use our phones a lot! This dependence is not a sign of increasing intelligence or ability. It is its opposite, the wearing and dulling of our intellect's ability to listen, to think, to not be distracted. To focus.

What can a phone do? It can sync a 10-sec dance video to a 10-sec song clip. It can add a funny mustache to our face. An even funnier one if you happen to be a lady!

What can a spreadsheet do on your phone? You can take it home, you can use it and access it on the toilet at home, and you can have the ability to avoid family-time and engaging with your children about what they learned and experienced in our natural world.

This is a bumbling idiot. I also have a speech impediment, so I know it is not a sign of a weak intelligence, but it sure doesn't help when it is matched with technological gobbledygook and unintelligent observations about technology as it relates to history.

Hegel is one of the greatest philosophers to have ever lived. He understands history in the proper terms and in the proper way and how it relates to freedom and mind.

These are things which this sophomoric jackass with his engineering degree would scoff at, as he does to Jack Ma everytime Ma says something much more intelligent, such as: "Why Mars? Why not our own oceans where there is just as much mystery?" It is a fair question, and one where Musk immediately brushes aside with an arrogant scoff.

Is this the trans-humanist messiah? He is not interesting at all. I would not want to live in a planet populated by these unintelligent creatures.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 27 2020 17:50 utc | 15

In other news, the supposedly defeated color revolution in Belarus continued mass demonstrations in Minsk (and reportedly nine other cities.) The official figure in the western media is a hundred thousand. Assuming about two million people in Minsk with about two thirds working age, then the pool of potential protesters is about 1.3 million. Thus, a hundred thousand ball parks to about ten percent of the active population of Minsk. Lukashenko claimed twenty percent of the voters opposed him, so presumably either half of his opponents are either intimidated or not that exercised on the issue. The chances that Tikhanoskaya actually won the election are effectively zero, which means insistence on Lukashenko's removal is about putting a minority in power.

In addition to the increasing determination that the minority take control of the government to prepare/rig new elections, the political stance is becoming clearer. The Pahonia (vt. spellings) flags of the Nazi collaborators in WWII, themselves retreads of the flags of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania (and some assorted Polish nobles,) have become the political symbol of the aspirations of the protesters. It is likely not so much the harking back to monarchy, as to wishes for Poland and/or Lithuania to partition the cuuntry. The imperialist powers arbitrarily assigned largely non-Polish western Belarus to Pilsudkiite Poland after WWI, as part of their campaign against the Bolsheviks. So in addition to pro-Nazi, pro-feudal, pro-Polish, pro-Lithuanian dreams, the Pahonia flags symbolize good old anti-Communism. Plainly this is nothing, nothing like Ukraine. And besides, the Belarus color revolution is over.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 27 2020 18:00 utc | 16

Re: US industry in MIC - yep. Plus leverage over all of western finance, plus a lifetime supply of nukes. Arms race with China, however, is not sustainable and that has been recognized.

Re: the dollar... ok, suppose dollar gets devalued by 50%. that just means there are even more dollars now in circulation outside the US (i.e. each year the US import/export imbalance puts them into the hands of the export countries, who then have to dispose of them, by buying raw materials or low-value-added inputs from 3rd world, or else US stocks and bonds including but not only Treasuries).

The Fed can pick up the difference on both the front and back end of this chain of events -- by funding the deficit, and by actively preventing US stocks/bonds/treasuries from declining in value. Until US trade partners insist on some other currency, what difference would any of it make to the rest of the world?

Posted by: ptb | Sep 27 2020 18:44 utc | 17

@ Posted by: ptb | Sep 27 2020 18:44 utc | 18

It makes difference for the rest of the world because these extra USDs represent real wealth produced by them, which have to be exported to the USA so their own fiat currencies don't spike up.

So, in essence, the USA is "recalling" capital from the rest of the world when it prints money. It's like the USA is the HQ of capitalism.

Posted by: vk | Sep 27 2020 19:42 utc | 18

AstraZeneca's ‘Discrepancies’ in Vaccine Trial Accounts Spark Questions

You know it's a crazy world when the anti-vaxxers (at least of those countries which won't receive the Russian and Chinese vaccines) are finally on the right side of the story.

Posted by: vk | Sep 27 2020 19:44 utc | 19

A comment relating to B‘s “New Documents Further Unveil Obama's Anti-Trump Campaign”

A sizeable chunk of the perceived dangerousness of Trump as president has to be attributed to one military man, designated National Security Advisor Lt Gen Michael Flynn. A heavyweight with an actual track record in government, a “known“ for the Dems and the Deep State, and not a shady character like so many others who flocked around Trump.

He was let go by Obama as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in August 2014. Flynn was in office for only 2 years, but even so, as head of defense intelligence, he must have had a fairly good idea of what was really going on 2012-14 in

a) Libya – the 2012 Benghazi attacks and who was responsible for the US to expose themselves like that; also the 2nd Libyan Civil War was well underway in 2014
b) Syria – the fantastic tales of the “moderate opposition” and “dictator Assad”, the Jobar chemical attacks and the Ghouta chemical attacks (sarin, remember?)
c) Ukraine – Flynn left office on August 7, 2014. MH17 was downed on July 17. Certified douchebag John Kerry* made his statement about satellite images proving separatists in eastern Ukraine downed MH17 with a BUK missile a day later, on July 18. Flynn will have known if Kerry was right, and was fired a mere 3 weeks later.

This one man is such a danger to Deep State creatures, Dem operators and Obama’s legacy, I find it amazing that he’s still alive. I hope he’s able to protect himself once his court-ordered gag is finally lifted.

* A note on Kerry’s Wikipedia entry: it’s funny how “Ukraine” seemingly never happened while he was Secretary of State. “Ukraine” has been scrubbed from his bio and comes up only once!

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Sep 27 2020 20:03 utc | 20

@ SB #21
Flynn . . . must have had a fairly good idea of what was really going on 2012-14. .

It went beyond that.
General Flynn blew the whistle on Obama/Kerry support for the Al Qaeda and Islamic State in Iraq and Syria here

“If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

. .This led to
The Stop Arming Terrorists Act is a proposed Act of Congress that was originally sponsored by United States Representative for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district Tulsi Gabbard and United States Senator for Kentucky Rand Paul in early 2017 to prohibit the use of United States Government funds to provide assistance to Al Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and to countries supporting those organizations, and for other purposes.

So General Flynn must be driven to some dreadful fate, an effort which is proceeding.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 27 2020 20:48 utc | 21

This week, Ocean Tomo released the Intangible Asset Market Value Study Interim Results for 2020. <=.. COVID-19 has accelerated the trend of increasing Intangible Asset Market Value share, with intangible assets now commanding over 90% of the S&P 500 market value. This trend holds for the S&P Europe 350 index as well, albeit to a lesser extent, with an increase from 71% in 2015 to 74% in 2020.

The true meaning of a world 90% owned as an asset<= 100% created <=from the corporate abuse of rule of law is unconscionable . I predict the governed humanity in the world will soon rise to eliminate the global organization which franchises Nation States to Oligarchs and their privately owned corporations which command the lobby power to force the franchises to allow the Oligarchs to own the world.

Posted by: snake | Sep 27 2020 22:06 utc | 22

Posted by: denk | Sep 27 2020 13:45 utc | 3

You fell for Reuters deliberate propaganda. The Eastern Military District is not simply "about the Chinese border", but about the whole Pacific area and parts of the Arctic.

Reuters decided to interpret that as deploying troops "on the chinese border" in order to cause trouble between the two, imo.

But the Eastern Military District is not simply about China, but about the Bering Strait and Alaska and Japan and about the Pacific in general.

What i can say about the situation is that US long range bombers flew near the eastern russian borders there, which rarely happens, they mostly probe in the european theater, and that the US has started a deployment of 100 new F-35s in Alaska.

Recently there was a big show of russian bombers flying 20 000 km and approaching Alaska under cover of rus fighter jets and this time not being alone, which again rarely happens.

Russia sometimes responds to US provocations in Europe by upping the ante in Alaska, in order to avoid rattling Europe.

The US has been doing military provocations in Europe recently, designed to coincide with the Belarus crisis, as part of its comprehensive pressure campaign against Russia.

B-52 bombers flew for a first time over Ukraine, as well as near Sochi when Putin and Lukashenko met.

Thus keeping President Putin under target.

It appears that military tensions between Russia and the US are high, although there isn't much about that in the media. Recently the US increased deployment in Syria too, to try to counter Russia there.

So what can i say. The US decline is causing it to go crazy. Anything that moves that isn't under US control is causing it to go crazy.

The US does not know how to exist in a world not ruled by itself so it is becoming crazed and hysterical. Thus many of the recent unbalanced and emotional US outbursts, such as Pompeo threatening to remove the US embassy from Iraq for example.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 27 2020 22:11 utc | 23

snake @23--

That was the subject of a recent Keiser Report and gives you an idea of how huge the bubble is in the NYSE/S&P 500--90% is air, intangible, bull shit: Ponzi Scheme. There is no there there.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 27 2020 22:37 utc | 24

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 27 2020 18:00 utc | 17

Most media outlets (BBC, DW) mention tens of thousands protesting in Minsk, and not 100 thousand.

Even most russian opposition outlets put it at the tens of thousands. So actually the numbers have been declining with every week.

Also it should not be fogotten that most of the opposition is in the capitol city, and not in the province, just like in Russia (opposition is mostly concentrated in Moscow and SP).

In general, liberals are concentrated in the biggest city everywhere in the world.

So trying to estimate the situation by Minsk alone is a mistake.

Russian outlets claim that the situation will follow the Hong Kong scenario.

That is - you have protests when you have western access. You don't have protests when you don't have western access.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 27 2020 22:40 utc | 25

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Sep 27 2020 14:03 utc | 5 Re Breonna Taylor

Many years ago I read about a "no-knock" raid. I can't remember what major city it was in, but it was on the East Coast: Philadelphia, or Detroit, whatever.

The cops had a tip from a CI that they were paying for tips that a particular house was a drug stash. The CI was lying and had selected the house because it looked empty. The reason it looked empty was because the owner had a messy divorce and the wife had taken most of the furniture. So the cops bust down the door. The owner staggers out of sleep, grabs his gun and IIRC doesn't even shoot it. He gets shot and goes down. Now comes the fun part.

The cops, unaware that the owner is conscious, and without calling for medical assistance for him., ransack the house looking for drugs. They don't find any. So now the owner overhears a discussion among the cops who realize that the bust is bad, and they've shot an innocent civilian. So they discuss *whether to finish him off so they can make it look like a good bust. The only reason they don't kill him is that the raid has five jurisdictions involved, and they aren't sure they can cover it up without someone blowing the whistle on it.

This is how cops operate.

The only good cop is a dead cop.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 27 2020 22:51 utc | 26

@vk 19
"It's like the USA is the HQ of capitalism". Yes, that would be the de-facto goal of modern capitalist hegemony.

By "what difference does it make", I should've said, for the those countries who participate in the game willingly, and are in a position to actually make a meaningful choice. Primarily Japan,EU,S.Korea as the exporters, maybe some of the raw materials places like Australia and the oil kingdoms. If you look closely, the 'freedom of choice' for even all of those is to some degree arguable, I'm sure, but let's keep it simple. They may well recognize the artificial nature of the situation, but I'm saying they can let it continue indefinitely, provided the Fed makes it up to them by promising to stabilize the banks that have their money, and also provided there isn't a really great alternative.

Which of course sortof implies that the biggest threat to US$ hegemony is actually the Euro and the EU, which actually explains a LOT of otherwise irrational actions by the US.

Posted by: ptb | Sep 27 2020 22:54 utc | 27

Don't know if this is true or not - and I'm specifically not commenting on any accusations mentioned in the article...but this is interesting *if* true.

BOMBSHELL: Federal intelligence officials cloned phones to surveil and map entire structure of Antifa / BLM terrorist operations in preparation for mass arrests

The part that interests me is the possibility that Trump is laying the groundwork for martial law and mass arrests now in advance of the election. The rest of the garbage about "Trump saving America" can be ignored. I also have no idea whether the source for any of this speculation is legit or equally right-wing deranged. YMMV.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 27 2020 23:10 utc | 28

Posted by: denk | Sep 27 2020 13:45 utc | 3

... and if we go to the original source, which is Reuters, we find out the real reason Russian troops were sent to the eastern border. Hint: It's not because of the Chinese:

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia's concerns in the Far East centred around the actions of powers from outside the region, without specifying any countries or conflicts.

"All of these, of course, do not contribute to stability in this region," said Peskov.

Russia's Far East has also lately seen one of the longest sustained anti-government protest movements of President Vladimir Putin's two decades in power. The city of Khabarovsk, near the Chinese border, has seen weeks of demonstrations against the arrest of a local political leader..

Moral of the story, always go to the original source.

Posted by: One Too Many | Sep 27 2020 23:10 utc | 29

No real surprise here. The Outlaw US Empire has decided to destroy China's semi-conductor industry as this editorial explains:

"This is the new battleground of the US after its all-out siege against Huawei to paralyze China's high-tech industry. The entire information industry is built on the foundation of the semiconductor industry. And the US is firmly in control of it. It therefore has controlled the commanding heights of the technological war against China. There is no doubt that the US will abuse this advantage further.

"Modern enterprises are all growing up in this new age of globalization. They are all linked in the global supply chain. The US can command key Western companies, and thus exert a considerable degree of control over supply chains. It can cut off key supplies to Chinese high-tech companies at any time. This is a fundamental threat to China.

"It now appears that China will need to control all research and production chains of the semiconductor industry, and rid itself of being dependent on the US. However, this will take some time to achieve....

"From Huawei to SMIC, the Chinese people should see for themselves that we are facing a protracted battle against high-tech suppression being led by the US. This is almost the key process for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

"In order for China to win US' respect to rules in dealing with the China-US relations, we must become global leader in important areas and form cross-constraints with the US. Market leverage alone (such as not buying American agricultural products,) are far from enough."

I suggest going beyond these excerpts to read the entire piece. Clearly, the Trade War was just the appetizer round.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 27 2020 23:46 utc | 30

@karlof1 #31:

I've wondered if placing so much of Intel and AMD inside Israel is a kind of insurance that nobody would dare to raze the country for fear of losing server CPUs. This (paranoid? my paranoia) could also be the worry. If Intel and AMD are no longer necessary, Israel loses their 'silicon dome' defense.

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Sep 28 2020 0:07 utc | 31

Trump allegedly only paid USD 750.00 in 2016 and USD 750.00 more in 2017 in federal taxes; he paid no federal taxes at all in 10 of the last 15 years:

Long-Concealed Records Show Trump’s Chronic Losses and Years of Tax Avoidance

I know it's the NYT. But this information in particular is very credible. I've read about even worse cases in USA modern history, and US Law is plagued with "loopholes" designed specifically for its capitalist class to effectively pay negligible to none tax.

Posted by: vk | Sep 28 2020 0:14 utc | 32

Posted by: vk | Sep 28 2020 0:14 utc | 33

Please, the reason he didn't pay and taxes is because of the huge losses incurred and the carry-forward rule. If anything this shows he's completely incompetent as a business person since he can't seem to turn a profit.

Posted by: One Too Many | Sep 28 2020 0:23 utc | 33

karlof1 ~ @31

"The entire information industry is built on the foundation of the semiconductor industry. And the US is firmly in control of it. It therefore has controlled the commanding heights of the technological war against China. There is no doubt that the US will abuse this advantage further."
- Or, put another way,the US has China by the balls for at least the next five years. No way China will openly trade with Iran under this Sword of Damocles.

Posted by: Schmoe | Sep 28 2020 0:25 utc | 34

Odd that the BMJ article "Covid-19: Do many people have pre-existing immunity?" quotes Oxford epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta whose group worked on and developed a method of measuring herd immunity that incorporates the possibility of pre-existing innate and crossover resistance and immunity to the current SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Sunetra Gupta has criticised lockdown policies as discriminating against the poor and small businesses, many of which are operated by people in lower socioeconomic sectors of society; and she has said that the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 spread the way it did across the UK and other parts of the world in part because these areas were in de facto semi-lockdown.

“Remaining in a state of lockdown is extremely dangerous from the point of view of the vulnerability of the entire population to new pathogens. Effectively we used to live in a state approximating lockdown 100 years ago, and that was what created the conditions for the Spanish Flu to come in and kill 50m people.”

Posted by: Jen | Sep 28 2020 0:30 utc | 35

Except the Trump admin already played that card.

Posted by: ptb | Sep 28 2020 0:38 utc | 36

sorry that was @35 Schmoe

Posted by: ptb | Sep 28 2020 0:39 utc | 37

al@15 - as I said in my comment financialization of the economy was already well under way but the physical reality of peak oil (Cheneys secret meeting with all the players… Ag inputs sky rocketing, diesiel skyrocketing and becoming scarce, etc.) made it an easy sell for fast tracking.

Karlof1 - Modern tech, I.e. NASDAQ and such is not all that different than financialization in that it isn’t real, it isn’t really productive in the classic economic sense of the word. If the real economy, that of real added value production doesn’t happen, tech is useless, meaningless. I know there are plenty of folks who believe that tech is the future but it is BS without a stable, healthy REAL economy.

Posted by: jef | Sep 28 2020 0:39 utc | 38

Posted by: ptb | Sep 28 2020 0:39 utc | 38

You had me worried there for a second. Thanks for the update.

Posted by: One Too Many | Sep 28 2020 0:45 utc | 39

Schools in England told not to use anti-capitalist material in teaching

Heh, I wonder how they treat anarchism - even left anarchism, never mind individualist anarchism. :-)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 28 2020 1:11 utc | 40

@35 Schmoe - "Sword of Damocles"

I didn't read the editorial quite that way. It seems more a meditation on strategies to defeat the US leverage than anything. And China has just begun to moot tactics on this. It will filter up through many analysts all the way to the decision makers of the CCP, and policies will ensue.

There was this immediate conclusion after laying out the problem:

"In order for China to win US' respect to rules in dealing with the China-US relations, we must become global leader in important areas and form cross-constraints with the US. Market leverage alone (such as not buying American agricultural products,) are far from enough."

Which is to say, if they have us by the balls now, we must not simply evade this grasp, but we must develop geo-strategic leverage points that will grip the US by the balls in turn.

This is a huge leap of strategy for China. They're actually talking about the best defense being a strong offense. Can they do it? Well, they're using words like Humiliation and Long March. They clearly recognize the stakes:

"China must smash US attempts to strangle China's technological development. China's economic and technological research and development capabilities already have a solid foundation. If China cannot step over the decisive threshold of technological innovation, it will be a humiliation to the wisdom, will and endurance of the Chinese people. It will also be an erosion of Chinese society's political confidence. We have no other choice but to fully unleash the creativity of the Chinese people."

Thanks to karlof1 for the original link. And by the way, my money's on China.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 28 2020 1:30 utc | 41

ptb @37

But the Trump admin could next bar export to China of any semiconductor containing US technology via sanctions. That would essentially make it impossible to buy a cellphone or even a laptop in China.

Posted by: Schmoe | Sep 28 2020 1:34 utc | 42

@42 more...

On reflection, if China is thinking of asymmetric counter-constraints on the US - in other words, not backing it down in the tech area where it holds advantage but pressuring it to back down from another area - then perhaps money, currency and trade settlement is a way that lies close to hand for China.

China's Achilles heel is the semiconductor foundation. The vulnerable place for the US could be the Dollar.

This could also tie in with what China must undoubtedly now unleash, namely a leap by an order of magnitude over the US in technology, just as the Russians did with weapons. Russia took a decade or so. China has a couple of years maybe.

But creating a new platform for transaction and creating a new guarantee of money value embedded within that platform, and offering the world such advantage from adoption that it becomes irresistible - and China's part-way there already - perhaps musings such as these will be discussed quietly in China.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 28 2020 1:48 utc | 43

Posted by: Schmoe | Sep 28 2020 1:34 utc | 43

Then who's going to produce computer and electronic equipment for the US market since China controls 70-90% of worldwide supply? Mexico? US only controls a portion of the supply chain. It's a vital portion, but nevertheless only a portion. Leveraging what the US has in this manner is a surefire way to sacrifice it.

The largest telecommunications equipment vendor in the 1990s was Lucent, today it's Huawei. This is going to be Deja Vu all over again, the US never learns. Here are some other attempts at curtailing China's technological rise, which have all failed miserably:

Goal: Stop China from acquiring nuclear power technology
Action: Export of nuclear power equipment requires a license from Department of Commerce
Result: China develops their own second generation nuclear power plants while opening 6-8 reactors per year and exports the technology to other countries

Goal: Stop the China National Space Administration (CNSA)
Action: Comprehensive ban on cooperation between CNSA and NASA
Result: CNSA lunar craft first to ever land on the dark side of the Moon, CNSA mission to Mars is launched, and the CNSA space station will be launched in 2021

Goal: Force China to use the US Global Positioning System (GPS)
Action: After failed negotiations and US pressure China was denied access to the developing Galileo Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)
Result: Chinese BeiDou (BDS) is now online with more satellites and accuracy then GPS or GNSS

Posted by: One Too Many | Sep 28 2020 2:07 utc | 44

One Too Many @45

You are correct that an attempt to lock China entirely out of the buying any semiconductors is truly a nuclear option and Samsung would cry bloody murder, although would ultimtely comply. The amount of assembly and production of ancillary components is a good point that mitigates against a total technology blockade against China.

A compromise step that I think Trump will do is to shut down all Chinese-branded cell phone manufacturers and probably also shut down any other Chinese consumer electronic companies via barring their use of any semiconductors. If that happens that will be an absolute humiliation and rub China's nose in its lack of semiconductor manufacturing, which makes be pretty confident that Trump will do it

Posted by: Schmoe | Sep 28 2020 2:20 utc | 45

Posted by: Schmoe | Sep 28 2020 2:20 utc | 46

All of this is going to be moot since China is just going to leap forward with Gallium based semiconductors. China accounts for 95% of the market for Gallium:

China will follow their long time principle of when there's a problem just simply go around it.

Posted by: One Too Many | Sep 28 2020 2:39 utc | 46

My computer is hit and miss opening up SCMP and I couldn't read that one, but could see it was 2019 (the last time I think I heard of Gallium was 30 years ago as an electrical engineering major [I later changed to accounting]).
Hopefully China can catch up soon but I would note that their efforts to date have, by most objective measures, not gone as well as planned.

Posted by: Schmoe | Sep 28 2020 3:40 utc | 47

Is (Musk) the trans-humanist messiah? He is not interesting at all. I would not want to live in a planet populated by these unintelligent creatures.
Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 27 2020 17:50 utc | 16

Musk may not be the smartest bloke in the universe but he captured the imagination of fans of hi-tech when he decided that rockets should be able to land themselves the way those of my 1950s radio serial heroes such as Rocky Starr and Flash Gordon did routinely.

And the hottest electric Tesla 4-door sedan can blow EVERY $1 Million+ Supercar into the weeds at 1/10th of the price, by consigning the antique Internal Combustion engine to the dustbin of history.

Making people's dreams come true is a pretty smart way to con everyone.
And he's only getting started...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 28 2020 3:46 utc | 48

@ Grieved | Sep 28 2020 1:48 utc | 44 and 42 with the observations about China

What I would have to add to your thoughts is that the world of computer and networking technology is a perfect battlefield to highlight the differences between public/private finance....think about this..

Just like China is staunchly holding on to sovereign government control of finance with a mixed economy environment, China will also provide core networking and key software as socialism where the West has similar structure but for profit instead of focused on broader mixed economy support.

While one can arguably write that all countries are going to use technology for some level of social control, only in the West will that information also be used by private organizations to manufacture and control consumption and affinity....and that difference will drive world opinion.

Years ago I speculated that China would use its trillion dollars of US Treasuries to pay off the debt of aligned countries as the sides we are seeing being formed are drawn in the potential coming global schism....what happens to the Intertubes?

Trump may be blustering that the global nation split and such can happen immediately but he is bluffing....the world is too interconnected to just pull the plug or turn a switch and not bring the world to a halt with all the attendant damage to all but the elite bankers......unless they are exposed in the process.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 28 2020 4:07 utc | 49

@ karlof1 | Sep 27 2020 23:46 utc | 31 about "war" with China

As I said in my comment above to Grieved, the only ones that wouldn't be "hurt" by a hard world wide crash are the global bankers unless they are called out as perpetrators in the process....what have they got to lose at this juncture? Certainly not their morality or humanism.

Thousands of US companies are complaining about trade sanctions with China effecting their business negatively and I don't see them rolling over for Trump's "war" quickly.

The last thing I would say about a technology war is that China can live on existing technology until they have flushed out their suite of chip fabrications processes and associated OS and networking infrastructure. And China will build it, I expect, using similar philosophy of public support they are using in finance....and it will be shown that this provides better technology at lower cost and with support for private business management. Open Source software has been tried to be killed in the West since its inception but it now has serious momentum that China will (pun intended) capitalize on....I think socialized technology is a good thing and China will drive it forcing the West to capitulate into providing more Open Source software and public supportive technology.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 28 2020 4:28 utc | 50

@49 hoarse

A reusable rocket for hauling future space debris into the upper atmosphere was not a dream of mine.

A luxury, electric car way outta my range was not A dream of mine.

His billion-dollar worth for being such a worthless marketting guy is not impressive.

His neural-linkage crap is theater, according to MIT review.

He is no Ford, that's for sure. He can't even inspire like Hughes. He did evidently have a threesome with that crazy bitch Amber Heard though and some other floozy. Can't wait to see how the media lavishes more praise on this guy in the future.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 28 2020 4:30 utc | 51

He did evidently have a threesome with that crazy bitch Amber Heard though and some other floozy.
Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 28 2020 4:30 utc | 52

Those that don't ask, don't get. Faint heart never won Fair Lady(s).
It's all about marketing :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 28 2020 5:50 utc | 52

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 28 2020 4:30 utc | 52 have a threesome with that crazy bitch Amber Heard though and some other floozy.

If that's true, he's going to go up in my estimation. :-) Only way to beat that would be Amber *and* Margo Robbie. At the moment, I don't particularly care what he thinks about Transhumanism or anything else, however. Or what he's doing, because as was said, it's out of my price range.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 28 2020 6:00 utc | 53

Beautiful Iceland with no politics, just images. Our Magnificent Home Planet.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 28 2020 9:41 utc | 54

The New Yorker endorses Biden: quelle surpise!

Posted by: Antonym | Sep 28 2020 10:22 utc | 55

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 28 2020 4:07 utc | 50

I think the point is all those people who are upset about the disruption caused by the virus should realize that that was nothing compared to what happens if a wall goes up between USA and China any time soon. And the crater left on this side of the ocean is going to be much bigger than the one over in China.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 28 2020 10:49 utc | 56

NemesisCalling #16

Is this the trans-humanist messiah? He is not interesting at all. I would not want to live in a planet populated by these unintelligent creatures.

Thank you for that link, as far as a transH messiah goes - NO Musk is not that. Nor is he a transH misplaced anus.
You got it right the first time - charlatan, and a stupid one at that. We live in an age where these zombies from the black swamp abound.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 28 2020 11:01 utc | 57

As regards the leaked documents... At least once BASMA seems to have functioned as a narrative manager for CW false flags, bringing together "eyewitnesses" and US officials:

"The consulate’s investigation was facilitated by BASMA, an NGO the State Department has hired as one of its implementing partners inside Syria. BASMA connected consular officials with witnesses to the incident and other first-hand information."

Posted by: Cherrycoke | Sep 28 2020 11:24 utc | 58

Schmoe @46

Relax the FUD over China's chip dilemma. Chip tech generations last roughly two years, and Intel is already behind in the current generation. The chip fab facility that TSMC is supposedly going to build in Texas or wherever is already a couple generations behind and they have not even broken ground on it yet. As far as mainland Chinese chip fab reaching parity with TSMC, they are not really so far behind. TSMC even has some of their high end chip fab being done on the mainland because that is where most of their output is used. It is not as if Chinese engineers do not understand how to produce their own copies of the production equipment, it is tech licensing that prevents them from doing so.

That is why China is developing unique chip fab tech. For the most part, Chinese companies already have the ability to produce cutting edge chip foundries, but they are expensive and volumes are low. For instance, SMIC is beginning 7nm class chip production now. But how do you get volumes up and costs down? Investment, and American trade restrictions are a guarantee of increased investment. Do you imagine that Huawei will just close up shop if they cannot get their chips for cheap from TSMC? Of course not, so America's trade restrictions are just what China needs to quickly get their domestic chip fab tech up to parity with TSMC.

Sure, 7nm is an ancient 2018 era tech, but even Intel isn't producing anything at the 7nm node yet. It might take a couple years before mainland China's cutting edge is on par with the state of the art, but production of silicon good enough for consumer products is already there, and for high end stuff it is ramping up as we type.

More importantly, when Chinese domestic chip fab tech reaches parity in the next year or two, do you imagine it will stay there, neck and neck with TSMC and Samsung? Before you offer an opinion, remember that China produces almost 5 million STEM graduates each year to America's 500,000. Further, keep in mind that more than half of those 500,000 US STEM grads are international students, with more than 69%(pdf) of those international students being Chinese.

Just how welcome do you really think Chinese students feel in super-racist Cootiestan these days with bipartisan anti-China jingoism being pushed hard by the establishment? I can tell you this: American kids will have to get used to doing their own calculus homework from now on because the Chinese students will not be so generous or numerous going forward. The numbers are not available yet, but only an idiot cannot see that US STEM grad rates will be dropping precipitously over the next year or two as international students transfer out or finish their degrees and are not replaced by new enrollees.

What this means is that in the mid to long term all of America's tech advantages will be lost. All of them. China reaching parity on chip fab tech will be just a brief moment, and then the US will be left eating China's dust, at least until China disappears over the technological horizon from America.

There is 0% chance that America can win its trade war with China. Victory is completely impossible for the US because it is industry that is decisive in war, and China has the industry.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 28 2020 11:27 utc | 59

Your point is wrong. The lockdowns only hurt the poor if the state doesn’t support them. You are regurgitating stupid right wing points.
We desperately need lockdowns wherever transmission is widespread and we need to support the working classes through massive wealth taxes on the rich.
It is entirely possible to have lockdowns and pro poor social policies. But it requires the expropriation of accumulated capitalist wealth, which was produced by the working class anyways.

Posted by: Profk | Sep 28 2020 11:40 utc | 60

I recently got to watch the epic movie masterpiece, 'There Will Be Blood' on Netflix and it was like being waterboarded for 3hrs.

Did any of you watch the movie and like it, hate it, and why? There are no wrong opinions. I posted my review of the movie to explain my take on it It was like watching Mr. Pewterschmidt (from Family Guy) or Trump, a rich guy abusing everyhone around him the entire time.

The guy started out a bully / A-hole and ended the movie a little worse. When I read the positive reviews I cannot even believe we are talking about the same movie. 'The performance of a lifetime' - the guys was one dimensional, no character development, just scowled the entire time. I found the other praise equally disconnected.

Here's a theory, if you were a bully or part of the bully entourage (aka a patriotic American) you identify with the character and love the movie. If you were ever bullied in any way you would detest the movie. This is just a theory, likely is wrong, if you loved the movie, please explain why. I am genuinely curious. I have laid all of my cards on the table.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Sep 28 2020 12:32 utc | 61

Europe and US Need to Stand United in a 'New Cold War' Against China, Says Senior German Official

Yeah, yeah, the guy (Peter Beyer - an heir of the Beyer pharmaceutical?) is in charge of Germany-USA transatlantic relations, it's his job etc. etc.

But it doesn't change the fact that:

1) the is a designated politician for the job in Germany; and

2) he specifically used the term "cold war" to describe the contradictions that are going on between the West and China.

Note, however, that he didn't mention Russia. Germany still - and will continue do so for the foreseeable future - insist on absorbing Russia to the Western sphere, as a Third World subordinate ("Prussian doctrine"). They key here is that Germany decided in the beginning of the 1990s (after the "reunification") that its economy would basically be dependent on exports - a field in which China is clearly a rival and therefore an obstacle to be overcome. Russia can be absorbed because it still doesn't compete with the Germans in its exports.


America’s global prestige on life support

The picture of Joe Biden in the article gives the tone: the strategy of the Democrats is not to change Trump's policies, but to simply restore the prestige of the American Empire by electing a more traditional POTUS. There's no hidden agenda, no feint shots.

I think the Democrats genuinely believe they can solve all the problems of the USA by simply "going back to the old ways". I think they genuinely believe the USA is simply going through a temporary spell of madness with Trump and by simply removing him from office it will go back "to the glory days of Obama".


US reportedly says it is shutting down Baghdad embassy

The endgame of George W. Bush's "thousand years Reich" (New American Century).


V-shaped economic recovery becomes elusive for South Korea

Well, no shit, Sherlock.

South Korea is a minuscule nation which immediately got an automatic and unlimited swap deal with the Fed right after the pandemic broke out (S. Korea was already hemorrhaging USDs and was about to collapse a la Turkey). It's insulting for the South Korean elite to wag their "V-shaped recovery" in this context.

Also related:

Moon criticized for subdued message toward North Korea

The South Korean right-wing is nervous. It wants a hot war against North Korea for yesterday. They are fuming over Moon wasting this perfect casus belli - which they would certainly not do if they were in power.

South Korea's time is running up. Their capitalists know that their only hope is the destruction of North Korea and its absorption. North Korea, meanwhile, is (very secretly) opening up, will adopt the Chinese model of socialism and potentially regain the upper hand over the South in the long-term future.


U.S. federal judge halts Trump administration's TikTok ban

Showing signs of weakness already? What's the problem? Ban it, motherfuckers!


Merkel visits Navalny in hospital: According to Der Spiegel, she visited Navalny "in total secrecy"

Just working out the official narrative, so there won't be any dissonance between the parts.

But it must've been tough for Navalny: he probably won't be allowed to ever set foot in Russia ever again.


Crumbling infrastructure:

Texas gov. issues disaster declaration after BRAIN-EATING amoeba found in tap water supply kills 6-yo boy

Americans should stop trying to bring China down and begin to take care of its own people, how about that.


We Don’t Need Debates - Trump will just make a scene and lie. What’s in it for voters?

What happened to good ol' democracy?


@ Posted by: One Too Many | Sep 28 2020 0:23 utc | 34

You can't use losses of your enterprise to ax your own tax base, with the obvious exception of tax over profits.

Taxes are based on economic facts, not on net results of your portfolio or your financial situation. The State doesn't care if your business lost USD 1 billion - if you own a estate (the economic fact), then you owe the State land tax over the value of said estate. Alternatively, you can't use unemployment as an excuse not to pay tax.

The obliviousness of the State to the capitalists' balance sheet is not unfair, because it's the role of the State in a capitalist society to keep capitalism's "vital space" (Lebensraum) without which it cannot exist at all. This vital space is non-optional - it must continue to exist without cessation, for all eternity. Generally speaking, capitalism's vital space constitutes of the natural monopolies (roads, armed forces, water, electricity, railways, agriculture, basic education of the working class, basic healthcare for the maintenance of the industrial reserve army etc. etc.).

There's a common misconception, specially among the "center-left", that Statized property = socialism/public property. This is not true. Natural monopolies can and are exploited capitalistically. The difference here is that the State regulates its exploitation directly, so capitalism doesn't self-destruct immediately (the owner of the natural monopoly would quickly gobble up the other sectors and initiate a fratricide war against the owners of the other natural monopolies).

Posted by: vk | Sep 28 2020 12:36 utc | 62

@43 Schmoe
And in the US

Posted by: ptb | Sep 28 2020 13:42 utc | 63

@60 W Gruff
American kids will have to get used to doing their own calculus homework from now

A much larger portion of the top 10% of Chinese PhD's will return to China rather than staying in the US. Ok, no problem, lets just get some equally good replacements educated in EU (may well be originally from all over the world)... well, not this year, and not if the country continues to fall apart.

Posted by: ptb | Sep 28 2020 13:52 utc | 64

@ptb #13
Drug arrests are generally no-knock because the suspects will flush the evidence if given time to do so.
As for Taylor - given that she posted bail for Glover (ex-boyfriend, suspected drug dealer and in jail at the time) - can hardly said to be completely disassociated.
Her death is a tragedy but firing at police officers never ends well for the not-police side.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 28 2020 14:01 utc | 65

@ProfK #61
Sorry, but the notion that the government can just replace all of the economic activity destroyed by lockdowns, is nonsense. Economic activity is what pays rent and what supports jobs.
We were looking at 12-18 months before a COVID-19 vaccine in March 2020, and that projected earliest possible date for a tested, approved, manufactured and distributed vaccine hasn't shortened since.

The social democracies of Western Europe - there are flareups in France and elsewhere even as the economic disruption continues, so it is unclear whether lockdowns actually do enough good to offset the enormous economic harm that they provably cause, yet the economic harm to Western Europe (as well as everywhere else) is indisputable.

And again, I'm not advocating one or the other.

What is 100% clear is that very few nations have actually examined the tradeoff between lockdowns and COVID deaths - then made a transparent and reasoned decision.

It is also transparently clear that there are fundamental differences in population vulnerability to COVID.

The reality is that many of the SE Asian nations have shambolic and poor governments; it is notable that Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Burma and others are doing pretty much just as fine as Vietnam, China, Singapore and Taiwan.

Even the US: given the fairly clear evidence that obesity is a factor in COVID IFR/CFR - the fact that the US COVID mortality rates per 1 million population is still not even close to worst in the world is actually pretty interesting.

The highest SE Asian nation is Indonesia with 38 COVID deaths per million population. The Philippines is at 49.
World average is 129 deaths per million.

Norway is 50 - worse than the Philippines and Indonesia.

India's government is almost the definition of bad, they're at 69.

To compare: the above numbers are 10x worse than pretty much any of the Western democracies.

While I am absolutely not a conspiracy theory fan - these kinds of numbers are what you'd want to see with a biological weapon aimed at not-Asians...

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 28 2020 14:18 utc | 66

vk' link:

Texas gov. issues disaster declaration after BRAIN-EATING amoeba found in tap water supply kills 6-yo boy

This is an example of ecological consequences when a species is forced to change its food source. After amoeba completely consumed the brains of Texan politicians, they had to turn on children.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 28 2020 14:43 utc | 67

@c1ue 66

"Taylor...can hardly said to be completely disassociated"

Obviously associated, as she is the girlfriend. Doesn't make her complicit in any crime, which at that point was not established by law. And, just so we don't forget, the vast majority of drug crimes are non-violent, putting the manifestly out-of-control police tactics into even more stark contrast.

Posted by: ptb | Sep 28 2020 14:59 utc | 68

I watched a short video of a girls resisting arrest for not wearing a mask watching some sporting event and she was resisting, screaming and fighting it.
I wonder if it was ok for the cops to shoot her seven times in the back for resisting arrest.( they did not shoot her or even pull their guns)
Seems to me some folks thought that Jacob Blake kind of deserved what he got for "resisting arrest".

Posted by: arby | Sep 28 2020 15:38 utc | 69

Grieved @ 42 and psychohistorian @ 50, with respect to China's strong statements about technological advance, and whether that is an indication China can construct independence from the world financial system as it currently stands, I am wondering whether the recent UN statements from Russia, Lavrov's meeting with Fazir, would rather indicate that positive momentum about to begin. I would suspect they are holding back at this point in order to allow for two important events, one that Russia will be chairing the Security Council, and the other some kind of hoped for equilibrium in the US election. And it could be that keeping the latter 'in flux' may be what the US is going to try to do - bearing in mind Grieved's theory that the 'nothing will change' there is totally acceptable to both sides of the political 'divide'.

It would be better for all countries if somehow the election goes through calmly and one or the other candidate is so clearly being appointed that the needed changes can proceed. Still, one can hope that all the alternatives have already been considered, and by better minds than we seem to have in the US at present. Fingers crossed. (Personally, I am glad that Michael Hudson has been a consultant in China; unlike the ptb in this country, they would have listened to him.)

Posted by: juliania | Sep 28 2020 15:38 utc | 70

Here is a "keeper".
(but where to keep it? ... MoA)

"James Baker’s 7 Rules for Running Washington"

Rule #7. And finally, never forget who the real enemy is: the Pentagon.

Washington turf wars matter far more than most D.C. principals are willing to admit, and even in high-stakes international negotiations, it’s not always the foreign interlocutor who is the real target. During the Bush presidency, Baker, heading a State Department that was perennially feuding with the much-better-resourced and far more hawkish Defense Department, knew this well."

Posted by: librul | Sep 28 2020 16:14 utc | 71

Clue @ 67

Your post is perfect example of why verbal people should stay away from anything to do with number. You are an order of magnitude off. Do you even know what an order of magnitude is?

Unfortunately it is almost always the verbal people who get to make all the decisions.

Posted by: oldhippie | Sep 28 2020 17:44 utc | 72

librul @72

Yeah, the CIA and Pentagon don't always play very well together.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 28 2020 18:37 utc | 73

Oldhippie got me curious about Clue's post

"clue, The reality is that many of the SE Asian nations have shambolic and poor governments; it is notable that Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Burma and others are doing pretty much just as fine as Vietnam, China, Singapore and Taiwan.

Even the US: given the fairly clear evidence that obesity is a factor in COVID IFR/CFR - the fact that the US COVID mortality rates per 1 million population is still not even close to worst in the world is actually pretty interesting.

The highest SE Asian nation is Indonesia with 38 COVID deaths per million population. The Philippines is at 49.
World average is 129 deaths per million.

Norway is 50 - worse than the Philippines and Indonesia.

India's government is almost the definition of bad, they're at 69.

To compare: the above numbers are 10x worse than pretty much any of the Western democracies."

SE Asia vs the U.S. and Covid the gist of Clue's post is that we should be suspicious, or at the very least unimpressed w/SE Asia for the reasons you stated.
India is late to the game they will eventually catch up and probably exceed the U.S. in deaths per mil just like Brazil did because both have 'shambolic govts'
SE Asia's performance is remarkable because they were hit first and handled it the best. We can try to spin it all we want but yes, we failed and Thailand succeeded. The Shambolic republic of Thailand responded very aggressively to Covid19 in Jan. I read the WHO situational reports and was surprised at how often their name popped up along size S.Korea and Japan in quickly handling the situation.

Regarding the U.S. 'nowhere near being close to deaths per million', sure, we are only #10 if you count countries that have a population of 1M or less like Andorra and San Marino. We are doing great. As far as countries we could find on a map, I see Spain and Brazil. I'm actually pretty good w/maps and could find most of them but being better than Bolivia, Peru, Chile, and Belgium is not much to brag about.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Sep 28 2020 18:44 utc | 74

The FCO files are simply searchable in windows explorer.
I have had a few discussions before on the start of the Syrian uprising.
I am still of the conviction that while there was clearly a lot of antigovernment violence from the start which was underreported or misreported in the west, there was a strong component of 'arab spring' present in spring 2011 and that the foreign instigation part was not dominant. It was more in response to the protest and driving/instigation protests and the inpour of money and weapons started happening after the protests, and was not significant before. This does not mean foreign instigation was absent at the start, I have read reports about instigations right at the start but I am using a sliding scale from 'no instigation' to 'all instigation' and the slide control is towards the left.
What I do notice is the fast response: ARK staff and Adam Smith International were present at the start of the demonstrations and establishing contacts. They pounced on the opportunity.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Sep 28 2020 19:03 utc | 75

I wonder if Sarah Le Mesurier is related...

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Sep 28 2020 19:03 utc | 76

Christian Chuba and clue

Just to rub it in a little more. Using 330 million as US population and 200,000 as number of US covid deaths my calculator gives 606 deaths per million. Using 96 million as population of Vietnam and thirty-five as total number of covid deaths in Vietnam that would be a bit under 0.4 deaths per million. So Vietnam is doing 1500 or 1600 times better than US. This sort of disparity in numbers jumps out all over the place in covid discussions IF and only IF you are able to read numbers.

Political wonks simply cannot read numbers. Just can’t.

My fave for a while has been numbers here in Illinois. Supposedly we passed five million different persons tested a while back. Out of a population of just under 13 million. But I know darn few who have been tested. No one I talk to knows more than a tiny number of tested. The two persons I know who have actually been sick had real reasons to consider they were extremely high risk but were denied testing until after they were hospitalized. And in spite of more than one in a thousand supposedly dead here in Cook County I know of zero covid deaths personally. No one I knows has any direct information of covid deaths. Other than friends and relatives in NYC. If anyone knew of covid deaths locally the news would spread. Crickets. Tell me again about those five million. Nothing, absolutely nothing we are told bout covid rings true.

But go ahead and build superstructure on top of numbers you read wrong that we’re most likely pulled out of a hat.

Posted by: oldhippie | Sep 28 2020 19:18 utc | 77

Third party candidate in the USA:

‘A Fighting Campaign’: Gloria La Riva Brings Socialist Option to US Presidential Race

As far as I know, she's the only socialist candidate. If I'm not mistaken, the Communists (CPUSA) decided to support the Democrats (once again...).

Posted by: vk | Sep 28 2020 19:47 utc | 78

I have seen graphs on how different viruses were affected by the Covid measures and it does give confidence that if a serious deadly flu arrives we will be able to handle it. Coronaviruses are a lot harder to contain than flu.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Sep 28 2020 20:01 utc | 79

Tuyzentfloot | 76

"They pounced on the opportunity."

Sure, because that's what governments are known for, to pounce on an opportunity the very moment it presents itself. Always exactly the right response at juuust the right time. ;-)

Are you at all familiar with Robert Stephen Ford, last US ambassador to Syria, and how he spent his time?

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Sep 28 2020 20:29 utc | 80

@Scotch Bingeington , as far as I recall Robert Ford is one of the many regime change advocates. He was also on the ground with the protests. There is one constant presence in all positions of the proactive-reactive slide control: the desire and intent to overthrow Assad.
It is good to be aware of the consensus which can be achieved there. Whether a revolution has been carefully orchestrated or whether it has been hijacked afterwards, the intent is the same: overthrow for foreign interests. So my comment is about a detail: how much was orchestration from outside and how much was native. I think there were real native components and I don't want to tell these people their aspirations were fake, were lies , were a facade. It is easy to turn this detail into the main issue and I think that should be avoided.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Sep 28 2020 21:22 utc | 81

@vk 79
for what it's worth, the Green Party's Howie Hawkins is cross-listed on the US Socialist Party ticket, after successfully running in their primary.

Posted by: ptb | Sep 28 2020 22:53 utc | 82

Posted by: vk | Sep 28 2020 12:36 utc | 63

Taxes are based on economic facts, not on net results of your portfolio or your financial situation.

Actually we're only talking about income taxes, therefore losses and gains are completely within the realm be it business or investment income.

You can't use losses of your enterprise to ax your own tax base, with the obvious exception of tax over profits

If have a loss of (10,000) in one fiscal year and a gain of 5,000 in the next you still net to a loss of (5,000). Without the carry-forward losses would accumulate without the ability to discharge them. The principles of the carry-forward rule are derived from standard accounting practices, there's no slight of hand.

While you these have ideas of the nature of capitalism and the surrounding social structure it's just not applicable to the relatively simple nature of an income tax.

Posted by: One Too Many | Sep 28 2020 23:16 utc | 83

Aaron Maté and Ted Postol deliver remarks on the Douma chemical attack hoax at today’s UNSC “Arria-formula” meeting: a short video snippet of Maté’s speech, a short video snippet of Postol’s speech.

Posted by: S | Sep 28 2020 23:25 utc | 84

William Gruff @ 60

Thanks for the lengthy response. I agree with your comment that much of this is licensing issues. My only negative comment is that most of what I read about the status of China's chipmaking efforts state that they are much more than 1 or 2 years behind, and trying to replicate ASML's EUV technology is a major barrier as no other semiconductor equipment makers are close to matching their equipment.

Posted by: Schmoe | Sep 29 2020 0:02 utc | 85

ProfK @ 61:

That governments used lockdowns in the past to deal with pandemics is not in itself evidence that they do work to stop disease transmission. What lockdowns do is slow down disease transmission to a point where the disease can be managed. But that requires governments to have in place policies that ensure hospitals, medical clinics and other health institutions are prepared to deal with the disease and its effects on people; policies that ensure food, clothing and medical supplies and distribution networks are not disrupted when large numbers of people are sick; and policies that enable the rest of society to continue as normally as possible.

General nation-wide lockdowns can only be means to an end, not the end in itself. Doling out social security money to people in lockdown (even if transmitted to them electronically) will not help them if they cannot go to work and do the things that keep the economy going. People are needed to maintain essential services (food retail, utilities, transport services, medical services).

Already in some countries (the UK, parts of Australia, possibly New Zealand), lockdowns are becoming unpopular enough that people are starting to ignore lockdown rules and restrictions. In these countries, lockdowns are coming to be seen as indications that the politicians in charge are incompetent and are not fit to govern.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 29 2020 0:11 utc | 86

The video of the PLA Air Force "Simulated bombing of the US military base at -6K"

In a video released on September 19 by the PLA Air Force official Weibo "Air Force Online", the H-6K attacked a certain base, and the satellite image showed that the place was the US military base in Guam.

Posted by: Mao | Sep 29 2020 4:37 utc | 87

America could have been $16 trillion richer if not for inequities in education, housing, wages and business investment between Black and White Americans over the past 20 years, new research concludes.

The study, released this week by Citigroup, is the latest in a body of research that attempts to quantify the economic impact of systemic racism. Citigroup arrived at its $16 trillion figure after estimating that:

Black workers have lost $113 billion in potential wages over the past two decades because they couldn't get a college degree.

The housing market lost $218 billion in sales because Black applicants couldn't get home loans.

About $13 trillion in business revenue never flowed into the economy because Black entrepreneurs couldn't access bank loans.

What's more, the U.S. could have $5 trillion in gross domestic product over the next five years if those gaps and others were closed today, the study indicated.

Posted by: Mao | Sep 29 2020 4:40 utc | 88

As part of growing ideological polarisation in the West, some governments have begun to try to quell rising anti-capitalist feeling and consider movements who oppose the current economic orthodoxy as extremist.

The British government has ordered schools in England not to use teaching material that includes opposition to capitalism, as the UK joins in the anti-communist trajectory sweeping Western countries.

New Department for Education (DfE) guidance issued on school leaders and teachers on Thursday has deemed anti-capitalism to be an “extreme political stance”, comparable to opposition to freedom of speech, antisemitism, and supporting illegal activity.

Posted by: Mao | Sep 29 2020 5:22 utc | 90

George Papadopoulos dropped a bomb on Friday. He pointed out the obvious but somewhat overlooked.

John Durham’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation is a criminal investigation.
Papadopoulos was on Newsmax Friday where he shared the following:

What a week. I thought after the bombshell developments about Senator Johnson about Hunter Biden’s overt corruption in the Ukraine would have been the headline of the week, but this I think even beats what’s happening. The Clinton Foundation’s investigation has now morphed into a criminal probe by John Durham. And why is this very important – because there have obviously been growing frustration with Huber’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation and his inability to get to the bottom of what exactly was going on.

It’s the same case with Horowitz’s investigation into the FBI. There were many questions that still remained after Horowitz. And the reason they remain, just like they remained after Huber’s, and why this is so important this has morphed into Durham’s investigation is because Durham’s investigation is a criminal probe.

That means that Durham can force testimony. He can issue subpoenas. He can issue grand juries, to get to the bottom of exactly what these allegations about pay-to-play are all about and whether the ex-Secretary of State was involved or not.

Posted by: Mao | Sep 29 2020 5:37 utc | 91

NASA is launching a new space toilet to the International Space Station next week for astronauts to test out before it’s used on future missions to the moon or Mars.

The $23 million toilet system, known as the Universal Waste Management System (UWMS), is 65% smaller and 40% lighter than the toilet currently in use on the space station, and can support larger crews. The toilet will launch to the space station aboard a Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo capsule on Sept. 29, as part of a routine resupply mission.

Posted by: Mao | Sep 29 2020 5:43 utc | 92

Inside the CCP’s use of social media bots and other disinformation tactics to promote its own response to the coronavirus pandemic and attack its critics

"International COVID-19 hysteria began around Jan. 23, when “leaked” videos from Wuhan began flooding international social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube—all of which are blocked in China—allegedly showing the horrors of Wuhan’s epidemic and the seriousness of its lockdown. Viral videos claimed to show residents spontaneously collapsing in the streets" Or the welded doors, etc.

Posted by: Antonym | Sep 29 2020 7:54 utc | 93

Thank you to all the people I haven't replied to or responded to! Especially "chu teh" for the CDC Lyme link which was exactly what I was looking for.

I write stuff that I don't get around to post and then the weeks rush by.

Operation Warp Speed (US, Covid, US military, Trump)
A leak or "leak" or either way a little bit interesting.

Organizational chart and more, "New document reveals scope and structure of Operation Warp Speed and underscores vast military involvement", 20200928

Things like "force a vendor to cut production time from 75 days to just seven" ticks lot of boxes for "oh shit, bad idea" but what do I know, maybe they can make the whole mess work (but in now way would I ever trust it to).

The "Stat" article has links to other related articles as well.

Some comments too.

Are people aware that some US soldiers buy their own guns and equipment rather than use what might be provided?

Pharma pays US congress
…roughly $11 million in campaign contributions, more here, "Pharma is showering Congress with cash, even as drug makers race to fight the coronavirus"> 20200810 (almost two months ago).

Small parts I found interesting and funny:

1. Money
There's some interactive JavaScript monstrosity breaking down the pharma stuff that I didn't allow but also a nice small chart (without JS, plain picture) of contributions according to industry. Notice how much the two unions pay.

2. Money

“And, maybe, greasing the skids on a particular issue…"
LOL such a coy person :P

3. Money
Then a former congressman pretends it isn't corruption despite ending with:

"I need some help with my campaign."

Looks like there's plenty more with lots of data (JS) for those interested.

Some critical comments too.

I'm not familiar with "Stat" (or Boston Globe Media/John Henry (owner(?))/Rick Berke (editor)) but in the last linked article the writers share a description of their methods, which is something, but it seems like it might be a lot of work to try to check their sources.

MuckRock Covid-19 documentation project (US)
Only just got started, link, MuckRock, byline: "The project will build a shared repository to benefit newsrooms around the country", 20200934.

MuckRock FOIA 20-00203-EW
No change in status yet. It's the "W93/MK7 Navy Warhead - Developing Modern Capabilities to Address Current and Future Threats" request.

A comment on the "War on the Rocks" article about Chinese nuclear weapons
This is a reply to the link provided by b in one of the fairly recent "Week in Review" posts.

I read the article as a ploy because it seems to me it is a result of a US attitude of whining about them (the US themselves) not being able to frame the narrative successfully in order to box in China.

Let me put it this way: the US wants certainty that they can threaten and attack China up to a certain predictable level without risking nuclear war.

But the realities of US actions have long since made any such demands unreasonable thus they do not get nor deserve to have a say in what China (or anyone else) does or not, or which definitions apply, or which interpretations apply. They only get the options of accepting and listening to and trying to understand what other powers say or not (and they choose not to). That's all. If they make any move they have to take all the risks. There is no obligation for any nation to do things in any way that makes sense to the US and when they do (in nuclear matters like Russia does) then the US still does not understand or accept any of it.

Fuck the US government. The Chinese are entirely correct in mocking them.

It should be beyond obvious that anyone attacking China (or Russia, or Iran, or (North) Korea, or Venezuela, etc.) is asking for war and retribution in whatever manner those attacked decide to choose. The US does not get to dictate the response of whoever they attack.

That they pretend to think otherwise is proof of how lame and pathetic the US is. Bullies are indeed cowards.

The US is saying "We want to attack you and want you to tell us you won't strike us back". Laughable. Then the US says "We want to outsmart and deceive you and want you to tell us you won't outsmart or deceive us instead". That is an example of the US displaying risible and pathological levels of psychological insecurity. The world and China has better things to spend their time on than to act like psychiatric therapists to their deficiencies.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 29 2020 10:52 utc | 94

Andre Vltchek

Press TV’s eulogy for our friend and colleague Andre Vltchek

Posted by: arby | Sep 29 2020 14:54 utc | 95

On China and Chips--

A few days ago I posted a Global Times editorial about the coming Chip Embargo as the Outlaw US Empire continues to ty and damage China's geoeconomic status, to which Grieved made an excellent reply. I was unable to respond in kind at the time and will just make this short observation before my overall comment. China's Command Economy has the ability to switch its focal point from one sector to another faster than any other nation at present; and as the editorial indicated, that's precisely what will now occur. Today, we have confirmation that's what will indeed happen thanks to Pepe Escobar's latest that's still behind the pay wall "China deploys Sun Tzu to win the chip war: Beijing has a plan to become the indispensable tech core of East Asia, linking ASEAN, Northeast Asia and even both Koreas."

The first bit of meat from the article:

"China’s breakthroughs involve a crucial switch from silicon to carbon. Chinese research is totally invested in the switch and is nearly ready to transpose lab work into industrial production.

"In parallel, the Chinese are updating the US-privileged photo-lithography procedure to get nanometer chips to a new, non-photo-lithography procedure capable of producing smaller and cheaper chips.

"As much as Chinese companies will be buying every possible stage of chip-manufacturing business in sight, at whatever the cost, this will proceed in parallel to top US semiconductor firms like Qualcomm going no holds barred to skirt sanctions and continue to supply chips to Huawei."

I'm tempted to copy/paste most of Pepe's article because it's so very tasty but will only add this to get your imaginations going:

"Huawei will be concentrating on the production of desktop computers and digital displays. These desktops will come with a Chinese processor, the Kunpeng 920, and will be run by a Chinese Unified Operating System (UOS).

"UOS is a Linux system developed by China’s Union Tech and commissioned by Beijing to – here’s the clincher – replace Microsoft Windows. These desktops will not be sold to the general public and will be equipping China’s provincial and national administrations."

Now I'll add this geopolitical cherry to top the sundae:

"And that brings us to the very special Samsung case. Samsung is increasing its R&D drive to bypass US-branded technologies as soon as possible.

"When South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in turbocharges his appeal for the official end of the Korean War, that should be seen in tandem with Samsung eventually reaching a wide-ranging tech cooperation deal with Huawei.

"This pincer movement graphically spells out South Korean independence from the American bear hug....

"So a crucial geopolitical and geo-economic process to watch in the next few years is how Beijing progressively attracts Seoul to its area of influence as a sort of high-tech tributary power while banking on the future of what would be a Korean Federation....

"Wang Huiyao of the Beijing-based Center for China and Globalization notes [Link at Original] that China and South Korea already have a free trade agreement and “will start the second phase of negotiations to establish a new mechanism for China-South Korea economic cooperation, which is developing fast.”

Modi continues his drive to keep India's status as a Fourth World Nation intact by refusing to act in his nation's best interest while prospects seem better with the new Japanese leadership; but it too will need to tell the Outlaw US Empire to get out of its way to act in Japan's best interest.

The key takeaway is the Outlaw US Empire may have a brief advantage related to its chip tech; but as with most everything tech, that will be shortlived as Silicon Valley's companies will be no match for China's mobilization of its Command Economy and the results of its East Asian networking, which also includes Thailand. And it wasn't like China was caught unprepared as this bit confirms:

"In July, the State Council, China's cabinet, announced support policies for the IC and software sector, including massive tax cuts, financial aid and other support to help companies develop technologies and attract talent."

Outlaw US Empire planners want to think they caught China off-guard, but reality tells a different tale.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 29 2020 16:29 utc | 96

On the eve of its 30 year anniversary of enacting diplomatic relations, Lavrov was interviewed by South Korea's Yonhap News Agency. An interesting point raised about economic development between the two Koreas and Russia:

"I must also mention the potential of trilateral economic cooperation between Russia, South Korea and North Korea that remains unfulfilled. Our country has continuously supported initiatives involving the three countries, including the integration of Korean railways with the Trans-Siberian Mainline, as well as transit supplies of pipeline gas and electricity to South Korea via North Korea. These projects not only serve the economic interests of the three countries but can also make a sizeable contribution to strengthening peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.

"We believe it is important to launch practical measures in this area and not wait until the international sanctions against North Korea are lifted. The first step could be the establishment of transit shipments of Russian coal via the port in Rajin to the Republic of Korea involving interested South Korean companies under the Khasan‒Rajin project – considering that this project has been released from the UNSC sanctions."

I could see this happening quickly once Kim and Moon declare Peace and would force the process onto Trump who as with COVID would rather do nothing. Two questions relating to the peace process produced seven long Lavrov paragraphs in reply. This one summarizes what was said:

"Nevertheless, the situation around the Korean Peninsula remains relatively stable and the states involved are not refusing to engage in a dialogue. We continue efforts to convince the partners to simultaneously take so far small, if real, steps towards each other. We are convinced that South and North Koreas, just as the US and the DPRK, should focus on normalising bilateral relations and strengthening mutual trust rather than attempt to solve the entire backlog of the subregion’s old problems all at once and entirely between themselves. The latter is a task for all the states involved and it can only be achieved by joint effort, given a respectful attitude to each other’s legitimate interests. The well-known Russian initiatives on Korean settlement are aimed at getting this multilateral work started."

The closing question about COVID allows Lavrov to lament its disruption of their bilateral plans that he hopes will resume with added vigor once the overall situation improves.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 29 2020 16:58 utc | 97

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 29 2020 16:29 utc | 97

I agree with Pepe Escobar in the sense this new Cold War will be hard fought until the end. In fact, I posted the "tech long march" editorial from the Global Times here.

I just don't understand the West's fascination with South Korea (i.e. Samsung) in general: the same fascination existed with Malaysia in the 1990s, as that Deus ex Machina that the West had in its arsenal that could end with China's ascension any time (in that case, outsource all the heavy industry from China to Malaysia, thus suddenly stopping the Chinese industrialization).

South Korea really has nothing special. Its technology is just an imitation of the American technology, and Samsung is just your average Keiretsu that owes its gigantic size more to the fact is its fused with the State and to American benevolence than to South Korean people's allegedly prowess. Nothing will come out of South Korea.

What may happen (and what Pepe is suggesting) is that South Korea is silently getting out of the Western sphere of influence. I don't believe that. SE Asia, however, is a different story, and will be the center of the 2nd Cold War in my opinion.

Posted by: vk | Sep 29 2020 17:07 utc | 98

Alastair Crooke weighs in on the election and its interregnum and copiously cites from this Atlantic article. The mechanics of the process are spelled out better than usual as are the measures both sides might take. Crooke's conclusion might well be the one we eventually observe:

"Then the contest, surely, will descend into the streets for resolution. The Electoral College will stand discredited, and the Constitution too – the creaky mechanism for transitioning power in the U.S. will lie broken, amidst the debris of contested mail-in ballots and an election in shambles."

Just a note. Here in Oregon we always use mail-in ballots and rarely have any problems regarding manipulation as many get deposited in special drive-up mailboxes used just for collecting them. So, on that point, Trump is full of shit, and he knows it.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 29 2020 17:23 utc | 99

U.S. projecting its own fears in analyzing China, Don’t Let China Conclude Its Opportunity Is ‘Now or Never’

From the U.S. Naval Institute and the guy does sound brilliant first talking about the the immediate Russo / Japanese war and then Pearl Harbor. That the Japanese felt they had to act in their brief window of opportunity (probably true). Now for the entertaining part. He depicts the Chinese as being desperate with itchy trigger fingers.

Hmm ... who has the ship building yards, who has the advantage of locality, who has the fleeting technology gap? (assuming that we have not already lost it). Talk about lack of self-awareness.

We are so frickin' doomed. The day of our destruction will come quickly and we don't even see it coming.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Sep 29 2020 17:24 utc | 100

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