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#461 Traveler

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 04:08 PM

I find myself surprised to say that I think the demonstrators are wearing out their welcome. That guy out of a group of 10 or so that attacked the lone policeman with an iron bar and got shot for his efforts suggests some overkill. This wont end well if that keeps up. Of course, the mainlanders and their triad thugs brought that on themselves. But this mayhem has gone too far IMO. Time to throttle down to good old passive resistance. No need for inflammatory moves anymore. But Lam issueing that decree is just going to inflame them more. Not good.
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#462 AnBr

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 04:46 PM

View PostTraveler, on 04 October 2019 - 04:08 PM, said:

I find myself surprised to say that I think the demonstrators are wearing out their welcome. That guy out of a group of 10 or so that attacked the lone policeman with an iron bar and got shot for his efforts suggests some overkill. This wont end well if that keeps up. Of course, the mainlanders and their triad thugs brought that on themselves. But this mayhem has gone too far IMO. Time to throttle down to good old passive resistance. No need for inflammatory moves anymore. But Lam issueing that decree is just going to inflame them more. Not good.

Outside agitator? Not suggesting the likelihood of it, just that you cannot always take things at face value, especially with anything out of China.
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Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#463 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 07:39 PM

Here's Boing Boing, with cites to Lawfare:


Quote

A new post on the site describes the consequences of a sharp downturn in the Chinese economy: a new mood among many Chinese businesspeople that they are at the end of the long Chinese boom and that there's no reason not to burn their bridges with non-Chinese firms, because they're not going to be doing business with them for much longer no matter what.

The site's author, Dan Harris, compares the mood in China today with the situation in Russia in the 1990s, when outside businesses would get repeatedly ripped off by their Russian partners, and would go away mystified that these partners would take the short term payouts of burning a foreign partner, at the expense of the much larger upside they could realize from an ongoing arrangement. For these Russian entrepreneur/bandits, Harris says, "They do not believe they will be able to operate freely five years or even one year from now. So though you see them as having irrationally sacrificed massive long term gains for much smaller short term rewards, they see themselves as having quite rationally grabbed what they could while it was still there."

Elsewhere, the excerpt comments on importers who order Chinese-made branded products only to find that the full orders that arrive are junk and that their contract manufacturers have locked up the importers' trademarks so that they can't even change sources. (Which, from a very small personal sample, I can believe.)

If -- big IF -- this is actually what's going on, if it's about to become unhealthy to do business in (or with) China for outsiders, then I can see the next recession triggering and being amplified by a bunch of other shocks, with a mass exodus from China perhaps topping the list.

I'm very interested to see what the more seasoned China hands have to say.
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#464 AnBr

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 05:53 PM

From Singapore to Sweden, China's overbearing campaign for influence is forcing countries to resist and recalibrate relations with Beijing
“Trump’s a stupid man’s idea of a smart person, a poor man’s idea of a rich person & a weak man’s idea of a strong man.”

— Fran Lebowitz


“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

— Carl Sagan


Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#465 Traveler

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 06:01 PM

Great article. Shame to see China drop kick it.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#466 JackD

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 10:17 PM

Looks like the South Koreans are establishing defense arrangements with China following Trump's demands for major increases in payments to the US for support of US troops in South Korea. Another diplomatic win for the Trump's administration?

#467 LFC

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 04:41 PM

Pro-democracy candidates in Hong Kong kicked ass in local elections on Sunday. So much for the "noisy minority" narrative that the China friendly government has tried to push during the demonstrations.

Quote

Pro-democracy candidates achieved a staggering victory in Hong Kong’s local elections on Sunday — a peaceful but pointed rebuke of pro-Beijing leadership after six months of sustained protests in the territory.

Sunday’s elections were a landslide for pro-democracy candidates, who won majorities in 17 out of 18 of Hong Kong’s district councils; previously they had majorities in none. Pro-Beijing candidates held 300 seats; they now hold just 58. Indeed, out of 452 seats up for grabs, pro-democracy candidates won about 80 percent, flipping more than half.

Turnout also hit record highs, with more than 2.9 million people voting — more than 70 percent of eligible voters. By comparison, turnout was just 47 percent in 2015. The swell in newly registered voters — approximately 390,000 — helped drive the record-high showing.

The results are an unmistakable reprimand against the pro-Beijing government in Hong Kong, and to Beijing itself. Hong Kong has been engulfed in weekly pro-democracy protests since June, some of which have turned increasingly tense and violent in recent months. And yet, the message from Hongkongers was unequivocal: a rejection of Beijing’s encroachment and a clear mandate for democracy.

A controversial extradition bill kicked off the protests, drawing millions to the streets. But the list of demands expanded as the demonstrations continued for months. Universal suffrage is among them. And though the Hong Kong government scrapped that extradition legislation in September, the protests only escalated and have become a much more explicit anti-government uprising. (Fury against Hong Kong’s police response is also fueling the demonstrations now.)

The Hong Kong government, throughout it all, has insisted that the protesters are rogue elements, and may be the most vocal, but aren’t representative of the majority of Hongkongers.

But the swing from pro-Beijing to pro-democracy candidates in this local election upends that narrative. “The silent majority is more of a metaphor than a real group of people,” Samson Yuen, an assistant politics professor at Lingnan University, told the Atlantic, following the election. “The voting results tell us it doesn’t exist.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#468 Traveler

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 12:21 PM

China media is not reporting this at all. What a surprise. I wonder just how long mainlanders will remain so gullible. Frankly, since the trade deal went south as far as getting anything of substance done, the US might just as well make this a major issue in relations.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#469 LFC

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 02:41 PM

The new railroad route from China to Turkey, part of their new Silk Road project, just opened. This seems like a pretty big deal but this TAC piece is the only thing that I've seen about it. I don't know anything about the economics of this compared to shipping but the time saving is in the realm of 50%. That's huge.

Quote

Last month, while Congress busied itself with impeachment hearings, a mammoth Chinese cargo train arrived in Turkey en route to the heart of Europe. It will be remembered as the first freight train to pass from China across central Asia and under the Bosphorus Strait, using the Marmaray tunnel as part of China’s historic Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Like the Suez Canal in its day, this “Iron Silk Road” through central Asia is a time saver, with the added bonus of circumventing sea routes now controlled by the West. It will reduce the transportation time between China and Turkey from one month to 12 days, while the entire journey from Xi’an to Prague in the heart of Europe will take only 18 days, half the time of a similar journey by sea and at similar cost.

The Chinese revival of a 21st-century Silk Road reflects the emerging transformation of the central Asian nations along this route, which have long been eclipsed by a Western trading and commercial system that China is now challenging.

Turkey has become a central link in this “middle corridor,” which connects its eastern terminus Beijing to central Europe and ultimately London.

While celebrated in China and Turkey, its inauguration received little attention elsewhere, including in an inward-looking United States hypnotized by its own travails.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#470 andydp

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 02:59 PM

View PostLFC, on 06 December 2019 - 02:41 PM, said:

The new railroad route from China to Turkey, part of their new Silk Road project, just opened. This seems like a pretty big deal but this TAC piece is the only thing that I've seen about it. I don't know anything about the economics of this compared to shipping but the time saving is in the realm of 50%. That's huge.

How can this be ? The GOP says they aren't worth the effort or expense. How could they be so wrong ?

Just another result of dropping out of the TPP. Nature abhors a vacuum, guess who is filling the void ?
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If you've got public schools paid for by taxpayers, you're in a socialist nation. If you have public roads paid for by taxpayers, socialist nation. If you've got public defense (police, fire, military, coast guard) paid for by tax dollars, socialist nation. If you're in a nation that has nationalized or localized delivery of services that are not paid for by users alone, you're in a socialist nation- the only question is how socialist. As I see it, we pay the military pay to protect the shipping lanes for our fuel needs which makes us very socialist. In a capitalist nation, the people supplying the oil would pay for their own defense force.


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#471 Traveler

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 09:53 AM

View Postandydp, on 06 December 2019 - 02:59 PM, said:

How can this be ? The GOP says they aren't worth the effort or expense. How could they be so wrong ?

Just another result of dropping out of the TPP. Nature abhors a vacuum, guess who is filling the void ?
Dont think the TPP would have made any difference on this. You don't build a tunnel under the Bosporus in a couple of years from thinking about it. The Chinese have been very forward thinking for a long time, and both Bush and Obama were asleep at the wheel. Obama more due to POG opposition, but still he had a bully pulpit he could have used, and didn't.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#472 LFC

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 04:22 PM

It always feels a bit shameful when even f***ing China gets it and we just refuse to.

Quote

China is stepping up its efforts to reduce the use of single-use plastic, tackling the amount of plastic pollution the Asian country contributes to the environment. In particular, the focus is on the banning of plastic bags as well as single-use plastic plates, cutlery, and straws.

On Sunday night, the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission published a recent Q&A, which expanded on the “Opinions on Further Strengthening the Control of Plastic Pollution” agenda that the Chinese government intends to deliver. In particular, China is planning to ban non-degradable plastic bags in all major cities by the end of this year, and all cities and towns by 2022. The exception to this will be markets selling fresh products, which will be exempt until 2025.

The hospitality industry will also have to scale back on its use of plastic. Restaurants will have to stop providing plastic straws by the end of this year, and reduce their use of single-use plastic items by 30 percent. By the year 2025, hotels will no longer offer free single-use plastic items.

China produces about 60 million tons of plastic waste every year, making it the largest plastic polluter as a single country followed by the US with 38 million tons. This means that each US citizen produces almost three times as much plastic pollution as their Chinese counterparts.


UPDATE: Here's a piece on the well funded industry defending against plastic bag bans in the U.S.

Quote

The plastic shopping bag has long been hunted by state and local policymakers pushing for its extinction. But still it thrives, thanks to the deep-pocketed chemical industry that birthed it and the political influence of retailers and restaurants. Only eight states ban single-use plastic bags. Nearly twice as many have laws protecting them.

To take on a global and well-heeled industry, U.S. environmentalists have adopted a strategy of winning hyper-local grassroots victories to build momentum to ban the bag and other plastics. The approach helped California environmentalists win a referendum to uphold a bag ban in 2016, and, in 2019, legislation to phase out plastic hotel toiletry bottles.

Other states are attempting to follow suit. New York is implementing a bag ban passed in 2019, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to do away with plastic foam. In New Jersey, at least 46 municipalities already limit plastic bag use, and the Legislature last week was on the verge of passing a statewide ban on bags and polystyrene food containers.

Single-use plastics have also become a target in Canada, where Prince Edward Island in July became the first province to prohibit businesses from providing plastic bags to customers. Newfoundland and Nova Scotia will follow suit this year. In Montreal, a ban on single-use plastic bags took effect two years ago, and Vancouver will ban the bag starting in January 2021.

Still, after years of environmental lobbying in the U.S., only eight states — California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont — ban plastic bags. Fourteen others, including Florida, have moved in the opposite direction, adopting laws to tie the hands of local officials, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Last Monday, New Jersey's much-anticipated plastics bill died.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#473 golden_valley

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 05:14 PM

View PostLFC, on 22 January 2020 - 04:22 PM, said:

It always feels a bit shameful when even f***ing China gets it and we just refuse to.

I don't think China worries a lot about freedom.

#474 Bact PhD

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 07:28 PM

From the article LFC quoted:

Quote

...including Florida, have moved in the opposite direction, adopting laws to tie the hands of local officials,

Local officials, including mine. The retail lobby, including THE grocery chain that dominates the FL market, has been hot-to-trot to get those local pre-emption laws into place before those cities, towns, and counties get too uppity. Of course, in their next breath, those same pre-emption supporting politicians will go on the campaign trail denouncing "Big Government in Tallahassee"...
Politics these days is show business. Elections are Dancing with the Stars with consequences. ~Rue Bella

(About fame) Living for likes, shares and follows is a form of validation. The question is whether it is also the source of our self esteem. If it is, we’re screwed. And, culturally, it seems as if it’s become more and more our shared value. ... Meringue is no longer a sweet and pretty topping but the body itself. ~Charles Perez

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#475 HockeyDon

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 10:33 AM

View PostLFC, on 22 January 2020 - 04:22 PM, said:

UPDATE: Here's a piece on the well funded industry defending against plastic bag bans in the U.S.

Our ban just went into place recently. I'll admit there was a small adjustment period, but it wasn't burdensome at all. My wife had us using multi-use grocery bags for some years, so that was easy.

The biggest issue I faced was Lowes/Home Depot. But then I just started taking a cart/buggy [1] out to my car with all the loose items in the bottom. I think there was only one time when I had to load up my jacket pockets due to using a hand-held basket.

Overall, it just hasn't been a big deal to us.

[1] I'm multi-lingual; northern and southern. It was a revelation when we moved to South Carolina (2004) that they didn't know what a shopping cart was.
Well, fuck.

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#476 pnwguy

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 10:57 AM

"I don't want no Big Guv'mnt SOCIALISTS taking away my rights to litter or poison the earth. FREEDUMMMM!"
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#477 Traveler

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 06:35 PM

View PostBact PhD, on 22 January 2020 - 07:28 PM, said:

From the article LFC quoted:


Local officials, including mine. The retail lobby, including THE grocery chain that dominates the FL market, has been hot-to-trot to get those local pre-emption laws into place before those cities, towns, and counties get too uppity. Of course, in their next breath, those same pre-emption supporting politicians will go on the campaign trail denouncing "Big Government in Tallahassee"...
Not impressed with Publix. Food is about 30% more than home. All their deals are twofers, which sucks when you can only use one of a product. But yes, I bought the reusable bags. I swear the baggers use a single plastic bag for a loaf of bread.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#478 LFC

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 12:01 PM

This is a fairly big headline but I assume it's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to industrial and academic espionage.

Quote

Charles Lieber, the chair of Harvard University's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, has been arrested and criminally charged with making "false, fictitious and fraudulent statements" to the U.S. Defense Department about his ties to a Chinese government program to recruit foreign scientists and researchers.

The Justice Department says Lieber, 60, lied about his contact with the Chinese program known as the Thousand Talents Plan, which the U.S. has previously flagged as a serious intelligence concern. He also is accused of lying about about a lucrative contract he signed with China's Wuhan University of Technology.

In an affidavit unsealed Tuesday, FBI Special Agent Robert Plumb said Lieber, who led a Harvard research group focusing on nanoscience, had established a research lab at the Wuhan university — apparently unbeknownst to Harvard.

In response to the charges against Lieber, Harvard said in a statement to NPR: "The charges brought by the U.S. government against Professor Lieber are extremely serious. Harvard is cooperating with federal authorities, including the National Institutes of Health, and is initiating its own review of the alleged misconduct. Professor Lieber has been placed on indefinite administrative leave."

The arrangement between Lieber and the Chinese institution spanned "significant" periods of time between at least 2012 and 2017, according to the affidavit. It says the deal called for Lieber to be paid up to $50,000 a month, in addition to $150,000 per year "for living and personal expenses."

"Lieber was also awarded more than $1.5 million by WUT and the Chinese government to establish a research lab and conduct research at WUT," the document states.

For a large part of the time frame in question, Lieber was also the principal investigator on at least six U.S. Defense Department research grants, with a cumulative value of more than $8 million, according to the affidavit. It also says he was the principal investigator on more than $10 million in grants funded by the National Institutes of Health.

"These grants require the disclosure of significant foreign financial conflicts of interest, including financial support from foreign governments or foreign entities," the U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts said in a statement announcing the charges against Lieber.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#479 Bact PhD

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 02:41 PM

View PostLFC, on 29 January 2020 - 12:01 PM, said:

This is a fairly big headline but I assume it's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to industrial and academic espionage.
When I was Bact GradStudent in the early’90s, I recall some big initiative to get more Chinese students into the university I was attending. What I don’t recall is who or what was the driving force behind said initiative. I spent my career in academia, during which I encountered a fair handful of folk from the PRC.

As much as I would like to think otherwise, I have to concur that (no apologies to BTO) we ain’t seen nothing yet.
Politics these days is show business. Elections are Dancing with the Stars with consequences. ~Rue Bella

(About fame) Living for likes, shares and follows is a form of validation. The question is whether it is also the source of our self esteem. If it is, we’re screwed. And, culturally, it seems as if it’s become more and more our shared value. ... Meringue is no longer a sweet and pretty topping but the body itself. ~Charles Perez

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384, via LFC, 12/1/2016

Competent people go in one of a few directions. But incompetence is infinite. ~David Brooks, NY Times

#480 andydp

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 02:52 PM

View PostBact PhD, on 29 January 2020 - 02:41 PM, said:

When I was Bact GradStudent in the early’90s, I recall some big initiative to get more Chinese students into the university I was attending. What I don’t recall is who or what was the driving force behind said initiative. I spent my career in academia, during which I encountered a fair handful of folk from the PRC.

As much as I would like to think otherwise, I have to concur that (no apologies to BTO) we ain’t seen nothing yet.

Being the home of the GE Research Lab, Rensselaer Polytechnic University, the State College of Nanoscience we periodically hear of a Chinese person (Green card holder or citizen) getting arrested for industrial espionage, "sharing" data with a foreign country (Guess who ?). Not to mention all the foreign exchange students who are in the middle of some pretty advanced college research.
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Rev Martin Luther King Jr.


Obamacare took my guns away and put me in a FEMA reeducation camp.

Anonymous

If you've got public schools paid for by taxpayers, you're in a socialist nation. If you have public roads paid for by taxpayers, socialist nation. If you've got public defense (police, fire, military, coast guard) paid for by tax dollars, socialist nation. If you're in a nation that has nationalized or localized delivery of services that are not paid for by users alone, you're in a socialist nation- the only question is how socialist. As I see it, we pay the military pay to protect the shipping lanes for our fuel needs which makes us very socialist. In a capitalist nation, the people supplying the oil would pay for their own defense force.


DC Coronata

“I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” Margaret Thatcher






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