You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘China’ category.

If I said… “Hey, dude, what happened 100 years ago today?”…. about 4 out of every 25,000 of  you, would know and answer back with a question…. “Are you sure you are not talking about 100 years yesterday?”    You would be officially right of course…  June 28th…. But I would be “politically” right, I guess, (struggling for an adjective to describe the rightness I would be..).

To fill in the rest of the 24,996 of you…. yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the shooting of the Archduke of Ferdnand,,,,

“Who the fvck is that?”  say 24,996 people all at once….  (People in Oklahoma hear that rumble as another frack quake..)

Since reality is 100% of reality, I’ll take that on….

In 1914… there were 5 nations that mattered.  One of the nations that didn’t matter back then would have been the United States; others: China,  and Japan… The 5 nations that were relevant back then actually included Russia, believe it or not…. with Germany, France, Britain, and Austria-Hungary rounding out the full 5… This last nation, I always think of as a joke, and say so sometimes… (“What?  Austria’s Hungry?  What a joke!”)   That is because I tend to ignorant of anything southeast of Germany… I’m an American, you know…

Austria Hungary was called the Dual Kingdom…  Can you guess why?  One was Austria, the other was Hungary.   Austria ran Austria/ Hungary ran Hungary, and a couple of times a year they got together to coordinate…  Those episodes resembled today’s divided Congress.  Neither side would accept the provisions of the other….  and stalemate meant each could go their own way with little interference from the other…   However on security matters they were conjoined…  Austria had the military; a standing army of 900,000..  and Hungary bordered Russia from where any major attack would come…

To the south the ancient empire of the Ottoman Turks was decaying from its inside.  Recognizing that most of the Empire’s attention had to be focused inside of Turkey proper, all 5 relevant  nations begin eyeing the Balkans and Dardanelles and sizing each other up…  Significantly, Russia was very nervous over the Dardanelles because the wrong person owning that property, could bottle her navy inside the Black Sea…

Austria had, in just a very few years before, annexed Bosnia, roughly the same size as it is today, by marching in and calling it their own… Serbia, had wanted the same, but was too small to do anything about it and no one came to their aid…. But people inside of Bosnia who had wanted Serbia to control it, had financial resources made available to help make that happen…

The archduke was the next in line to the Austrian emperor, who himself was getting quite old.  Both the archduke and emperor were primarily pacifists who didn’t believe that war was profitable.  But like any nation, within their cabinet as well as in charge of their military, they had well-spoken ministers who argued that a “shock and awe” first strike was always the best option…

Unfortunately for the world, it was one of those two pacifists who was assassinated 100 years ago today….  along with his wife… killed by what today would be considered a terrorist cell of about 5 people total… working independently…  meeting in secret. etc. etc.  They botched their previous attempts and by today’s standards were almost comical, until they finally got lucky on number 3…

Some people got the word 100 years yesterday… June 28th.  Who these were, were mostly heads of state, many of whom were on summer vacation so telegrams had to jump all over the country, and in some places be put on skiffs and rushed out to meet the heads of states floating in the Baltic….   No one at first predicted what this assassination would preclude… Those who firmly believed in war,  thought it precluded war.  However most thought that was too unreasonable and assumed everyone would of course get mad first, then settle down and make certain arrangements and life would eventually go on as normal…..  After all, worse crises had been settled such….

There were two small problems… One involved the signing of treaties, some secret and some not, that tied promises of reaction to any military invasions of one of the signatories… The other, was the Victorian mode of character which dictated that one dutifully filled out one’s signed obligations, regardless if they had been originally made in error…  One filled out ones obligations and damned the torpedoes.

In efforts to preserve a peaceful Europe, (which had been effective for 40+ years, and probably a world record at that time)…. alliances had been made loosely between Britain, France, and Russia…  With the two extremes  of East and West appearing united, this left vulnerable those who could get crunched in the middle, so they formed an alliance too:  Germany and Austria-Hungary….

But no one ever thought they’d be used.  Ever! Europe was one chummy place.  The heads of England, Germany, Russia were all related, and met for state weddings and funerals regularly.  Vienna was one of the playful destinations in Europe, and socialites from all 5 nations frequented there every summer…  It and Paris vied for the Art & Music capitols of Europe…  Tension was not like during our Cold War at all. Europe was very open and much like international relations today, where one could travel freely, where all the big powers meet occasionally and decided how to deal with each of little tweaks and interruptions….

So 100 years ago today,  people woke up to this assassination story ….  Today (yesterday) is the real beginning of the count-down-clock because for the first time in European history,  the populations inside the nations were to have a profound impact on the upcoming events to come… (even though the structures of the governments were very closed to all but the upper crust of society…) Public opinion primarily through the growth of large metropolitan newspapers, had become an influence that had to be “reckoned with”.

For Austria Hungary was hot!  You can imagine if Joe Biden was killed.  Though some here love him, and some here make fun of him, … were he assassinated, this entire nation would demand retribution….   So Serbia got blamed….   In Austria-Hungary, with one pacifist dead, and the other now solo against a cabinet calling for an invasion, the call to go to war with Serbia came quickly…

Serbia appealed to their soul mate Russia.  There had always been a deep Slavic bond between the two nations… and the head of Russia, when confronted with the fact that his people would rebel against him if he ignored his brother nation’s plea, said Russia would attack Serbia’s attacker if Serbia were attacked by Austria Hungary…   Military philosophy at this time dwelt solely on the benefit of a quick attack.  All armies were trained to attack, not defend.  Simply put, the philosophy was that if you attacked quick enough, you always won…  And all nations suffered from this delusion, though reality had showed it certainly hadn’t worked in all the proxy wars (Boer, Sudan, Balkans)….   As Austria began to mobilize her troops towards Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, Russia began mobilization to send it’s troops to the  Austria-Hungarian border….

Austria Hungary had the second largest standing army in Europe (Russia had the largest due to its gigantic size relative to European nations)  but even still, Austria-Hungary could not both defend its border, and attack/occupy Serbia simultaneously… Therefore they appealed to Kaiser Wilhelm to promise an attack on Russia if Russia attacked The Dual Kingdom…  Previous handshakes had sealed the deal long before, and the Kaiser promised he would….

Now this caused a dilemma within Germany’s army.  Their plan had long called for first attacking France … France was the more dangerous of the two, so it made great sense to defeat France first and then attack Russia, instead of attacking Russia and have a fit France barge in through the back door…   No one had ever considered the option that perhaps a minor limited war with Russia could happen first without French involvement.  But plans were plans and the detail in them was so meticulous that there was really no option to opt-out and siphon off troops to the Russian Border…. (all the trains would be tied up and busy carrying soldiers to the West) until after France and fallen and signed their surrender…  The surprise Russian build-up now meant it was more imperitive than ever that France surrender before Russia could mobilize to march into Prussia proper….

France was insistent that it would not make the first move.  They tried to dissuade Russia to stand down, but Russia’s people felt a personal insult  (and a rational fear of internal overthrow) if Serbia fell, so that didn’t happen.  The French who were the villains of the last European War( the Franco-Prussian War that ended in 1870… a quick war, which France had lost, and been paying repatriation upon for a long time), were very squeamish about being  considered the aggressor again, and so they mobilized defensive forces and  fortified their common border with Germany, just in case.

Britain’s Prime Ministe firmly believed in making alliances but also keeping them secret so both his allies and enemies would be left guessing…  He was so good at it, that the Kaiser was convinced upon invasion, that Britain would definitely not interfere and that Paris would fall quickly as had long been planned (across twenty years)….

The accidental player in this scenario, turned out to be the tiny little neutral nation of Belgium……   With no real army and a reputation for being a peaceful take-what-comes population, its future role had been dismissed by Germany, France and Britain…   Germany simply assumed that it being a neutral nation, it would take the gentlemanly course and let the German’s pass through unopposed to attack France where it lacked defenses.  Britain and France had assumed due to its neutrality, Belgium would be off limits for any German advance….

As troop deployments began to show the German’s hand,  four nations raced to shore up that area….  Belgium said it would not allow German passage and began to mobilize  its defense….  (This infuriated the Kaiser who apoplectically raged how dare that tiny nation not fall in line with Germany’s plans; who did they think they were?)… which shows how reality and clear thinking often had little voice in governments at that time…. Assumptions made by whomever was annointed head of state, tended to always carry the heavier weight.

With everything ready and the impetus on the Axis (Germany/Austria)  to strike quickly and the Entente (Britain, France, Russia) to wait and only fight defensively, all pieces were in place for what everyone thought, would be a short little war… Most analysts assumed everyone lacked resources or the will to fight in order for it to carry over 2 months…  “By Christmas all the troops would be home” each nation’s people were promised….

What impressed me most upon looking back from a 100 years’ perspective and I guess it is true with any war, was how life went on normally for 99.999% of the world’s population while this crises brewed… Future weddings were planned, meetings between future adversaries were scheduled,  treaties and statements of purpose continued to be signed between the future enemies… At any point, if anyone powerful enough had said, “STOP!  let’s talk about it”, (as is done so often today it now seems like an extra step), this war would have been prevented… If Russia had not mobilized, this would have remained a local conflict, taking place only on Serbian hillside  whose outcome have been very quickly settled.  Or if Britain had been forthright, stating that it would come to France’s aid and attack German interests, then the cost of war would have risen to where the Kaiser would have backed down from attacking France first and would have made a deal with Russia…  If Germany had not been locked so deep into its own plans, so that once the order was given to mobilize it started everything which precipitated the next step automatically like a line of dominoes. …. if any of these occurred prior to the  First World War , history would be far different today;  The First World War would not have happened…..

The suddenness is simply mind boggling.  How could Europe go from congeniality and peace and prosperity and hope, to an all-out brawl.  Like a bar fight that erupts instantly leaving lifelong scars?

It would be like today… if we opened our paper and read the news that one of Putin’s emissaries was assassinated in Sevastopol, Crimea….   And…  by this upcoming Saturday (July 5th), Russia had asked China  if it will help fight and China agrees. .. and exactly two and a half weeks later on July 23, Putin’s Russia surprises the world with an ultimatum to Ukraine designed to be so harsh that the Ukraines cannot possibly accept it.  The world holds its breath, and the 5 day deadline passes, and Russia declares war on the Ukraine….  July 28th, exactly on month from today!

NATO mobilizes, beginning with their declaration… .   All NATO units are then put on full reserve and active units are then moved into Turkey, Uzbekistan, Poland, and Finland, positioned along their borders with Russia….

On the last day of this month, July, China calls upon the NATO to stop its mobilization…. NATO says no; it is mobilizing solely against Russia  and for only the protection of the Ukraine people….  Then on August 1st, China declares war on NATO, including the US….

The very next day, August 2nd, China bloodlessly rushes in to occupy North Korea  … China then demands of  South Korea to let them use its seaports to facilitate their landing craft invasion against Japan.  They promise that after hostilities are over, all Korea will be free and promise it can under them become one nation again…

The very next day, on August 3rd, China declares that the state of war now exists between it and Japan, Taiwan, North Vietnam, and the Philippines, and moves their navy into blockade those ports…  All those nations plea for help from the US and the US promises it…..  South Korea to the Chinese surprise, announces despite overwhelming odds,  it will NOT grant permission for China to enter peacefully, NOR allow Chinese military hardware into its country….  A brief testing skirmish occurs on the 53 parallel between US and Chinese troops becoming the first engagement of the war….  On this same day unknown to almost everyone, China and most Latin America nations sign a secret treaty…. relating strictly with the US and stating that if China is attacked, Latin America will side with China in order to protect their massive investments there….

The very next day, August 4th.  China swiftly invades South Korea and quickly over runs Seoul and commandeers all the ports on the peninsula.   China’s massive merchant marine of commercial cargo ships out of nowhere suddenly gather outside all of  Korea’s ports.   The US protests. calling for China to leave Korea. China flatly says it won’t.   The US declares war on China…. The Chinese merchant marine begins loading up the 2 million troops and lands them on the remote undefended section of north-western Japan…  Within 7 days,  2 million Chinese are moving towards Tokyo….

The very next day, August 5th… Latin America surprises all and closes shuts down all commerce with the US, closing it’s borders… All US firms have their property confiscated to be nationalized and the Panama Canal is closed  to all but Latin American and Chinese traffic…

The very next day, August 6th… Putin’s Russia declares war on the US and NATO….. and for what it is worth, the Ukraine declares war on China….

The very next day, August 7th…  The first US troops from Okinawa, land in Japan and rush north to engage the advancing Chinese… Battles ensue and the Chinese throughout the next week, till the 13th, win all of them…

The very next day: August 8th…  NATO and the US finally declare war on Russia…

For the next week, all eyes focus on China’s advance to Tokyo.  Then one week later, August 15th… Ukraine counter attacks a Russian outpost on its border, and regains control of the entire border area… The Russians run back across the border.  It will be the first allied victory of the war…

Two days later… August 17th… The US and NATO forces invade Russia proper upward from Uzbeckistan, and upwards from Turkey through Sochi, and eastward into Belarus from Poland, and towards Leningrad from Finland….

==========

4 years later, 2018, the armistice will be signed, leaving  37 million souls dead…. 93 million wounded for life…. and 34 million people simply missing… never heard from again….  And the borders between most of the big players will primarily remain just as they are… ( Hopefully all parties refrained from nuclear weapons….. or citizen causalities would be uncountable.)   Unsettled emotional antagonisms will continue to fester, and won’t be settled until after the next great war beginning in 2039…..

=========

This is how life changing that event was 100 years ago…. Literally it came out of nowhere…..  Just take a moment to consider the breathtaking speed with how fast this occurred and stretch your imagination wide enough to take in us being in a full fledged real world war equivalent to WWI in less than one month and 5 days from today, as you read this and the News Journal and fret over Greg Lavelle… ….. Maybe this could happen today, maybe not.   You and I need to make sure the “not” wins out…. were such a crises to occur.

The lessons of yesteryear are so lost on us today, as I’m afraid they are on every new generation.  I only share interest because of a personal bond with a relative, who was called to France in 1918.  So unlike most today, this history to me is something very real.   Upon my passing, there will then be no one to remind us of how stupidity can sometimes take over an ruin a world of good…  But for the rest of you, 100 years ago today you would be just reading about this life-changing first step in the paper…. (yawn) another assassination in Crimea… possibly thinking  “awwww… how sad”…  but never dreaming it would within four years time, cause you to lose your entire family in the same amount of time that briefly passes between two World Cups….

Life should never be taken for granted. Lesson.  Always be vigilant against war. Always.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

It appears that Obama’s plan is working.  Even with T-90 tanks on the border the economic sanctions against Russia are taking effect.

If you only follow America’s three lettered media… here are some things they have kept from you:

Global finance is more frightened of the US Securities and Exchange Commission than Russian T90 tanks

  • Hope of recruiting Beijing as an ally to blunt Western sanctions looks doomed
  • China did not stand behind Russia in the UN Security Council vote on Crimea, as it had over Syria.
  • Its foreign ministry stated that “China always sticks to the principle of non-interference in any country’s internal affairs and respects the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
  • Turkmenistan’s gas used to flow North, hostage to prices set by Gazprom. It now flows East.
  • in Kazakhstan, where Chinese companies have taken over much of the energy industry.
  • It is surely unlikely that imperious Xi Jinping will throw away the great prize of G2 Sino-American condominium to rescue a squalid and incompetent regime in Moscow from its own folly.
  • Enough of Europe’s gas pipelines have been switched to two-way flows since 2009 to help at least some of the vulnerable frontline states
  • Officials have been ordered to draft plans within 90 days to break dependence on Gazprom… Imports of Russian may be slashed by half within a decade.
  • Russia’s central bank cannot defend the rouble without tightening monetary policy, driving the economy deeper into recession in the process.
  • Russian banks and companies must roll over $155bn of foreign debts over the next twelve months in a hostile market, at a premium already over 200 basis points.
  • Any sanction against any oligarch linked to any Russian company could shut it out of global capital markets, potentially forcing default
  • The price of oil is poised to fall — ceteris paribus — as Iraq’s output reaches a 35-year high, the US adds a million barrels b/d a day this year from shale, and Libya cranks up exports again. The International Energy Agency says global supply jumped by 600,000 b/d last month. Deutsche Bank predicts a glut. So does China’s Sinopec. Mr Putin needs prices near $110 to fund his budget. He may face $80 before long.

====

So in attacking Ukraine, Putin has lost China, lost middle Asia, lost Merkel, and unless it is immediately taken by force, lost all attempts to woe Ukraine back into the union.

He’ll attack shortly for domestic consumption.  if he doesn’t he is done at home.  The US should announce 20,000 troops are headed to Ukraine, and they should be stationed in reserves for military reasons; … to prevent them from being taken out in an opening sneak attack.  If we could convince the Chinese to join us, we could quite possibly have decades more of peace in our times…..

That will depend on Obama.

 

 

China shoots down two  B52’s flying through it’s extended air zone.

What now?

Nuke 7

The initial reaction would be to retaliate.  Strike something of theirs!  Expect some nut of the Tea Party to do a stand-up filibuster the Senate and demand nuking Beijing and Shanghai… But they are stupid.

The US is really not in any position to retaliate. We would have to react diplomatically.  Pull our staffs, etc, etc,… talk to them through the Russians.

For if we were to launch, we would be launching against a nation smart enough to cybersleath into our NSA, not some dumb Muslim nation locked in the 13th Century.  Good chance that not only would we have lost the two planes originally, but our losses would also extend to every single one of our attacking planes. We’d be wiped out.  No doubt all our electronic deflections have already been neutralized by the Chinese…   Our most effective military retort would be of a submarine at-sea launching of unmanned missiles taking out a minor retaliatory target.  But even if that launch was not jammed, once that was over, the extension of airspace would remain, and not be challenged again…..

In any military engagement off its coast, China wins.  Pretty much the same way the US would win in enforcing the Monroe Doctrine 2 centuries ago…  We have the power here; and you, from way over there, don’t.

Nuke 6

So one must use a different perspective.

What is the one thing China most fears…  Come on.. you know… It is obvious…  Still guessing?    Ok, I’ll help you out.  China most fears an insurrection of its own people.  People who want freedom, privacy, democracy, and those great things we often take for granted.  The Chinese willingly let themselves be run by their totalitarian government… At any point, based simply on numbers, ie the number of people in security, and the number of people not, China could rise up, revolt,  and rule itself…  This scares the Party more than any other threat.  They know that whereas the US would certainly not dismember their bodies in a public square, if the revolt got ugly, unlike us the local population would have no qualms in doing so…

Therefore we play to their fear….

The reason China does what it does, is to keep the people happy enough so they don’t revolt.  Their economic growth, their development, their capitalism, is all based upon that premise.  “If they are happy, we, the Party, stay in control….”

So.

Nuke 5

What if we declared economic war?  Stopped buying anything from China?   China would have to become a consuming nation to survive. Currently China’s wealth is saved and reinvested.  Compared to the average US income, which practically buys everything it makes… China buys very little of their own products, those are slated for exports to bring more cash into the country. If the world stops buying Chinese products, then those savings not invested outside of China, need to start buying  up the products instead of the other members of the global economy….  That is a short lived proposition.  After all, how many shovels will each Chinese buy?

It is further aggravated by China’s demand for raw materials.  Food is one.  Oil is another.  Heavy metals are a third.  As each of these become critical, each becomes rationed, the growing restlessness starts whispering that these hardships would never have come to pass, if the regime had not shot down two airplanes that up until a week earlier, had always flown that route with no problem.  Now, because of a gross error made by the current regime, millions have to go hungry, aren’t working, and are barely existing…  Perhaps the whispering campaign goes, it is time to overthrow the overlords and sue for peace, and get things back to normal?

As China cracks down against this whispering dissent internally, it loses focus externally…

Nuke 4

That would be the time to present a show of force.  The US  then blockaids China.  It would take two rings.  The outer ring would consist of ships permanently parked outside the range of China’s missiles… Their job would be to impede all international commerce headed to China, boarding and searching every ship…   The inner ring would consist of primarily of stealth submarines who would sink or shoot down everything making a mad dash into China…

The Russians would probably take the middle road, most likely benefiting from their proximity to China, but not going as far to alienate the US itself by forming a Sino-Soviet Aggression Pact.  It would be impossible to stop all commerce into China.  The demand for all goods would make the profit margins of smuggling, impossible to ignore.  The Soviets would benefit; Indochina, India, Burma, the Stans, would all benefit, but that amount slipping through, would not compensate for the hurt coming from the Shanghai and Hong Kong docks being empty of commerce….

Sooner or later, a group within the Chinese leadership, would have attracted enough numbers to challenge the military extremists, and something would crack and diplomacy would then become an option….

Point is, the choice to not attack militarily, is not an act of cowardice…  it is just so smart.  If every American citizen were to follow the Tea Party option and attack China, we would be at a 5 to 1 disadvantage.   But if every citizen in China attacked the ruling party and we were on THEIR side, we would have a 20 to 1 advantage….

nuke 3

Attacking China with economic weapons, is no different than surrounding a castle during a Medieval siege and waiting it out….

Super smart.  One gets the prize for no cost at all…..

That is why China has erred in its calculations… by thinking only in military terms where it does possess all the cards in its favor…

Unfortunately in war…  one does not get to make up all the rules….

Nuke 2Nuke 1

it is always nice to say “I told you so” even when it irritates those listening to have to hear it.   I apologize in advance for this is one of these moment.  But the first story I saw today, was one that i went on a limb to state and took flack for.  It has now come to pass.

in what now seems like a previous lifetime, when there actually were Conservatives on the blog circuit,  I stated that teeming up with the Chinese was our solution to stabalizing and getting out of Iraq.  I made the point that we’d lost the right to develop all of Iraq’s oil and would never get it being the oppressor;  we should use a third party as a front, and partner with them to at least get some access.

The oil barons all cried traitor…

Lol.  Well, today Reuters broke the story that Exxon was partnering with PetroChina to develop one of the massive oil fields near Basra.  As an aside to that story, it mentions that one of Iraq’s targets is to be outproducing Saudi Arabia by 2020.

it is always nice to always be right. 🙂   But just imagine if we’d done it back in 2007.

It was a defining moment in  education.  Our president telling us that the Chinese had pulled ahead and were outdoing us in achieving the future.  Their math and science scores soared above ours.  We were falling behind and had to do something immediately…  The Chinese were so far ahead….

In a crises, all stops get pulled.  All secondary concerns get pushed aside.  One objective and one objective only becomes the goal.  We, the United States of America, had to catch up and the fastest way was to emulate what they were doing…..

Our Department of Education focused on Common Core.

Only now, with the abysmal failure of Common Core and gazing across the wasteland it has left behind, are we beginning to question the data that propelled us there in the first place… We have in just the past weeks, revisited the DC successes and found perhaps that  really didn’t happen.  We have in recent weeks, revisited the Atlanta successes and found, for sure, that really didn’t happen.  We have visited the successes of Texas upon which George W. Bush rode into the White House, and America implemented the Texas program nationwide which fizzled and flopped, and just this year, we found out why.  The results were faked and not real….

So now, we turn to China.  And to our surprise, what do we find?

The Chinese tested their top students.  We are comparing those scores to our testing of everyone…. Yes.  It is as if we compared all of Delaware’s student’s performance to those Delaware students who went to Harvard, and created a crises since Delaware’s scores were lower than those of former Delawarean Harvard Grads.

The Chinese tests just measure those of the best schools in their most cosmopolitan city.  It does not measure performance in any other city than Shanghai.  It does not measure the performance in rural China.  It is a measurement of the cream off the top, and then comparing it to the 2% milk underneath, and calling that milk foul….

And we, using this skewed data off the top, raced to change America’s Educational System into that of China…

Despite some very alarming trends illustrated in China taken out of  that same report….

Here’s the history.  For the first time ever a standard test was given world wide.  In the test 5,100 15-year-olds in Shanghai outperformed students from the other countries on an international standardized test that measured math, science and reading competency. American students came in between 15th and 31st place in the three categories.

America went into convulsions.  However, the reaction in China itself was far different…..

“Certainly, there was pride in Shanghai’s achievements but there was also a great deal of introspection as to the real significance of the test results and the need for reform of the Chinese education system. Chinese media widely cited the findings of a 2009 survey covering 21 countries conducted by the International Assessment of Educational Progress, which showed that while Chinese students excelled at maths, they were in last place when it came to using their imagination and were fifth from bottom where creativity was concerned.

The Chinese themselves bemoaned that “the grooming of “superb test-takers” comes at a high cost, “often killing much of, if not all, the joy of childhood”. Chen said the system that created high scores denigrated students who are little more than “test machines” who lack imagination and creativity.”--China Daily by Chen Weihua

“These are two sides of the same coin: Chinese schools are very good at preparing their students for standardized tests. For that reason, they fail to prepare them for higher education and the knowledge economy.” He pointed out that China’s most promising students still need to go abroad and “unlearn the test-centric approach to knowledge that was drilled into them”. The current Chinese education system, he said, is holding the country back. “Shanghai’s stellar results on Pisa,” he wrote, “are a symptom of the problem.” He added: “One way we’ll know we’re succeeding in changing China’s schools is when those Pisa scores come down.”  Jiang Xueqin, deputy principal of the Peking University High School,

The Shanghai system may be producing high test scores, because children are drilled to anticipate the question and how to properly maximize points on how they respond, they are not taught what thinking is, or how to do it.  Multinational Corporations in China have to draw their talent from elsewhere, because Chinese follow orders and that is all. Thinking creatively and solving problems is not what they do well.  They are not self starters, as China’s lack of start up organizations tends to show…

While Shanghai students scored well above average in overall reading capabilities, they were poor at capturing information from charts, tables and lists. They also ranked well below average in independent reading strategies, which means they rely on teachers’ instructions on what to read. Those two categories hold the key to practical problem solving and research capabilities, which don’t feature prominently in early studies but are crucial to success in higher education. 

What is sad is despite these misgivings in China itself, we over here are trying these techniques upon our inner city children.  

That is our policy of teaching the questions on the test and how to answer them to maximize one’s points…..We are working hard upon making our educational system more irrelevant than it ever was.

Our fear that all the good jobs will go elsewhere, is becoming a fulfilling prophecy   They will go to those people not educated in China or the US…..

Delaware is leading America’s RTTT towards the wrong direction….

Data the world over, is pointing that exciting kids to learn, is the clue.  Letting them find the spark of curiosity and fanning it, pushes a child further than all the discipline in the world…. Evidence shows this happens more readily in smaller classrooms where the child idolizes the teacher and wants to perform so as not to let one’s teacher down.

No different from adults, really.

Like a zombie it may rise again.  But around 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon, members of the Senate confided to US News that in the way as the CISPA  House Bill was passed, “that” bill is dead.  Pieces of it may be pushed through the Senate in an effort to preserve the parts that protect our cyber-structure,  but  those pieces designed  to protect sitting politicians…  consider them tossed.

Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), CISPA’s sponsor, has been pushing for such a bill for years, and has repeatedly insisted this will be the year it becomes law. President Obama vowed to veto it if it passed in an answer given to over 100,000 signings of a White House petition… 300,000 people petitioned Congress to scrap it.

Cybersecurity lobbying has doubled in 2012 alone, outspending privacy groups by a factor of 14 to one. …$55 million to $4 million.

Essentually CISPA was supposed to help with cyber attacks.  If we were attacked by a Stuxnet virus, CISPA would drop all privacy issue restraints and allow anyone connected to security to roam through any and all accounts with impunity….

Like credit card numbers.  Like patient information.  Like pictures of you in the nude. Like your contacts and business associates. Once compromised and if anything were to happen to you, say, information was leaked to your boss, or your spouse, or put inside a newspaper for everyone to read, you could not sue, you would have no recourse and most likely, you would be completely unaware this was going on until a friend happened to see it and let you know….

The sponsor of the bill, wrongly says this is absolutely necessary to protect us from threats.  However, not being able to sue because you were fired because you boss saw a medical file showing you were being treated for cancer,  does little to protect us from Chinese hackers.

And that is the problem.  Furthermore,  so much stuff flows on the internet, that asking providers for specific data, is like asking someone to retrieve a certain molecule of water from a flowing river.  If CISPA passed, the internet would grind to a halt, as every search engine, every server, struggled to filter and organize all their data so if asked, they could legally provide.

It is a bad bill. Yet it’s sponsor keeps bringing it back. and back. and back.  Here is the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.  The one CISPA violates.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

This is the anti-phishing amendment.  If you don’t have any charges to press, and don’t know of any particular evidence in a person’s possession, it is illegal to go to their house when they are not there, and look around for something to pin on them….  yet that is exactly what  CISPA sponsor Mike Rogers bill will do….

It allows Senator Joesph McCarthy hearings to take place without the hearing.

But more odd is how one private company is all over Mr. Roger’s CISPA, there at its inception, its creation, its Reichstag moment, and it’s demise. That private company is the  cybersecurity consulting firm Mandiant…. who is owned and run by Kevin Mandia out of Alexandria  Virginia.  Kevin Mandia was brought in by Mark Rogers to testify as to the dangers our computer system faced.

“China’s economic espionage has reached an intolerable level,” he said at a congressional hearing in October 2011.  As head of the House Intelligence committee  he held a hearing on “Chinese hacking”  and one of those creating the report, was Kevin Mandia who was thanked by Rogers at the hearing’s end.

At the hearing, cyber security groups were in force to testify, but no privacy groups were allowed inside.  The Conversation was one way with the cyber security groups insisting they would only share anonymous information with each other…  Unfortuately that assertion could not be challenged.

But outside the closed hearing, privacy groups are saying  it would let “companies hand over large swaths” of individuals’ private information “to the government, without a warrant.”  Credit card numbers, bank papers, phone contacts….

Rogers argues that is a consequence, not an intent.  No matter the reasoning behind it, CISPA allows it to happen.  Quite possibly thousands or tens of thousands can be looking over your data because you  happen to bank at Bank of America, or shop at Caldor… or Wal*Mart…. when they came under attack….

Then last year’s version was shot down, Rogers was undeterred.

There “appears to be a new level of threat that would target networks from—I’ve got to be careful here—an unusual source,” he said. He joked about how he wanted to share what he knew but couldn’t, because it was classified.  “I look really bad in those orange jumpsuits with the numbers on the back,” he told his audience…..

Then, almost as if on cue for this spring legislative session, in February 2013. the New York Times announced it had been hit by Chinese hackers, followed shortly by the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Then Twitter, Facebook, and Microsoft. Their stories differed, as did the severity of the attacks, but everybody agreed: These hacks were sophisticated, and they all seemed to come from China…..

You probably remember the headline, just before the House vote on CISPA….

A cybersecurity firm had found the source of those attacks. In no uncertain terms, the firm claimed to have traced the hacking operation to a single, 12-story building outside of Shanghai: People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Unit 61398. Hiding in plain sight, the report said, was a dedicated hacking operation run by the Chinese government…..

And the firm that released it? Mandiant, whose CEO advised Rogers that day.

Mandiant’s report, backed by pages of data and years of research, relies on a few simple pieces of evidence. A loose coalition of similarly styled hacks all stem from the same source, codenamed APT1 (short for “Advanced Persistent Threat”). Mandiant traced the vast majority of the attacks to China—Shanghai, specifically—and noted that Unit 61398 was uniquely capable of sustaining such a sophisticated operation.

What was just said, was that these hack were traced to Shanghai and in Shanghai there is this building so they had to come from there…

Not so fast, says the head of another cyber-security agency. Jeff Carr, CEO of a different cybersecurity firm, Taia Global. He has a different explanation.

“Mandiant provided lots of facts about the PLA, and they provided a lot of facts about how APT1 works, I’m not disputing those.What I’m disputing is the conclusion that they drew. They created a table: In one column was characteristics of the PLA, the other was APT1, and they seemed to believe that the only possible conclusion was that the PLA is APT1. Well, that’s not the only possible conclusion.”   Those other possibilities include Russia, Israel, and France, which the U.S. has acknowledged engages in cyber-espionage. It could also include Ukraine, Taiwan, or Germany. Or “APT1 could just be a group of professional hackers that are stealing information and selling it,” Carr said. “In fact, that makes more sense to me because of the lack of operation security that’s been exhibited by these guys.”

The fact that most hackers’ Internet protocol (IP) addresses trace back to China doesn’t mean much. Those are easy to fake—heck, moderately sophisticated Internet pirates fake theirs all the time to avoid getting caught. China, indignant, countered the Mandiant report, partially on those lines.   “As we all know, hacker attacks almost always steal IP addresses. It is common practice online,” China’s Department of Defense announced after Mandiant’s report, though it also said it traced a million hacks on its own network to the U.S., via those attackers’ IP addresses.

What that says in plain language was that a million hacks came from the US into the Chinese system and then went back to the US.  A million hacks came from the US … just before CISPA was to be voted upon.    And you have this very cozy relationship with the sponsor of the CISPA bill and a cyber security firm which announced earlier that China was one day going to do massive hacks into the United States….

It worked.  It fooled Democrat John Carney.  He voted for CISPA.

“China is like the boogeyman to promote [CISPA],” cyber security specialist Carr added. “If you increase the fear around China, and then you wave CISPA, hopefully you will attract more movement to simply pass that—some blind attempt to heighten security.”

Bottom line is that CISPA would allow private companies (like Facebook, or your Internet service provider) to share your emails, text messages, or stored files with the government for “cybersecurity purposes,” and it would trump the existing laws that allow you to sue those companies for privacy violations.

All you know is that you got fired without cause and escorted out of your building…..

Sharing information is a flawed concept….   It is absolutely the wrong way to thwart an attack.  Such that it appears the main thrust of the bill is to access information, NOT thwart a cyber attack…

To thwart a cyber attack, one must take this approach….

“The solution is to assume your network is going to be breached, and you need to be able to identify what’s of value on that network, and segregate it and monitor it in real time. If somebody does gain access, and they’re accessing it from an IP address you don’t recognize or at a time of day where they shouldn’t be, you can immediately lock down that file. It’s known as data protection.    “It’s like the TSA. You tried to bring a bomb aboard in your shoe, so from now on we’ll just have everybody take off their shoes. 

But, as for now these details are all for naught ….

CISPA’s gone, one more round, CISPA’s gone…..

North Korea's Feared Air Command
Courtesy of lolsnaps.com

When attacking an enemy it is best to hit them at their most vulnerable part….

With North Korea, that would be to sever the support their leader and the military gets from it’s people. The entire extravaganza is being perpetuated for domestic consumption.. There are some serious cracks appearing in the North’s support for the “kid”.  And why wouldn’t there be?  What legitimacy does he bring as the head of state?

In the past year, things have gotten worse for the citizens of North Korea.  This saber rattling is the “kid’s” last chance to lead… Rumors abound of multiple  future plots being devised against him….

It is in the US and the rest of the world’s best interest to make this dissolution happen. Someone less irrational, smarter, and a lot more stable would make everything in that region settled and stable.

 

 

Aggressive Military action has the opposite effect.  When the state is threatened people flock to the leader. Just look how democrats flocked to George W. Bush.  Engaging the “kid” in military fashion will solidify the people behind him….

Our goal is to have the people solidify behind someone else.  At the same time, keep our military prowess at top proficiency to prevent others from taking  us on simply thinking we are weak….

Here is how.

If provoked, we take out North Korea’s air defenses.   Then we airdrop food by having it parachuted into starving neighborhoods with the words,  from your friends the United States of America….

We do and the point gets made.;. Gee North Korea, if you’d just take care of the “kid”, your lives will quickly get a lot better.

The only recourse the kid would have, would be… see I made them drop food for you….

North Korean’s aren’t dumb.  Just knowing that the world is pulling for them to rid the “kid” might be enough to make one of those current rumors swirling around the impoverished countryside, turn into reality…..

Reading a recent critique of the debates, it focused on a fact. Millions of Americans are not enjoying the benefits of this economy. Romney had the lucky position to point out all that was wrong, without the responsibility of finding any solution to fix it.

His line, “bring down the rates, broaden the base.” simply has not worked. It didn’t work in Reagan’s time. It didn’t work for Bush HW. It didn’t work for Bush W. It is called: “trickle down”.

Clinton, who practiced kavipsian Economics, raised the rates, causing profits to revert back into the economy stimulating even more growth; that growth grew people’s incomes. That is the key. People will take lower wages if they know they will grow out of them. But ever since Republican Tax Rates went into effect, wage growth immediately stopped. 99% of Americans are earning exactly what they did in 2000. It’s been twelve years since wages for the 99%, increased. Higher taxes takes away all incentive for any employer to pay his people more.

Here is the funny part. To actually do something about the economy, President Obama has to eradicate the Republicans. Get rid of them. Make them a non player. Republicans and republicans alone, are the reason the economy is in such a slump.

Let’s review.

Republicans fought the stimulus.
Republicans fought the car buying incentive.
Republicans fought infrastructure development.
Republicans fought giving Veterans jobs upon returning to USA after fighting for years.
Republicans fought lowering insurance rates.
Republicans fought lowering gas price legislation.
Republicans fought regulating big banks from literally stealing your money.
Republicans fought against balancing the budget.
Republicans fought against payroll increases for all Americans.
Republicans fought against lowering medical costs.
Republicans fought against a better economy.
Republicans fought against hiring more policemen.
Republicans fought against hiring more fireman.
Republicans fought against hiring more school teachers.
Republicans fought against building roads and bridges that were sorely needed.
Republicans fought against not defaulting on the US Dollar.
Republicans fought against strengthening America Abroad.
Republicans fought against stopping corporate corruption.
Republicans fought against fighting wealthy tax cheats.
Republicans fought against closing the loopholes Romney used to get rich.
Republicans fought against raising wages for all Americans.
Republicans fought against legislation that allowed workers to ask for more money without being fired.

yeah. There is a reason the economy is bad. It is called the Republican Party.

Having “No Republicans” equals massive investment back into our economy. The formula for a successful America is…..

NO REPUBLICANS EVER ELECTED AGAIN = MASSIVE AMERICA ECONOMIC GROWTH

So Obama, you are at fault according to Mitt Romney and the Conservative Cheer-leading squad… Because you didn’t get rid of Republicans… Shame on you!!!!

I guess it is up to us, to do so if we EVER want our economy back.

If not… I guess every vote for a Republican is a vote in support of Communist China…..

I wish WordPress’s format would allow the privilege of posting two articles side by side. That way the effect could be as eye opening to you, as it was to me…

But alas, I will have to run it through in the old fashioned way, and trust my powers of argument are descriptive enough for the task…

Here are the two articles… I would recommend reading them in their entirety before going further.

How The US Lost Out on iPhone Work

In China, Human Costs Are Built Into An iPad

If you read both of those back to back, I probably do not have to say much. The vision they invoke in you, is probably the same as mine….

They do show us the way out…….

Often in our lives we live in confusion. We muddle through by making small decisions because the big ones ruling our lives are just too impossible and too gigantic to handle. Unexpectedly (it’s a rarity of course), someone, or something puts the pieces in place, and a road map out, one that is simple, plausible and doable, materializes and we can take action, and resolve our gigantic problem causing all our little ones….

Did you see it too?

Allow me the liberty of elaboration. One shows why our jobs moved to China and other countries. They are better than we… The one telling line I believe, is ” Apple’s executives had estimated that about 8,700 industrial engineers were needed to oversee and guide the 200,000 assembly-line workers eventually involved in manufacturing iPhones. The company’s analysts had forecast it would take as long as nine months to find that many qualified engineers in the United States.” The focus of the article, was that was accomplished in 24 hours in China…..

Its the equivalent to a boss telling a subordinate… I want this done, and done it is…..

The second article shows the flaws. It focuses on the explosion at the Foxcomm plant that made assembled the ipods… Two people died. That human cost of an ipod is factored in. It also covers the deplorable living condition that those living at the Foxcomm plant must endure. And it ends with the line, … that if you want to pay for cheap phones, this is what has to be done to make them cheap enough for you to buy….”

Clearly, the US is trending to matching the working conditions of the Chinese in order to compete for jobs.

I don’t think we want to live like that, just to make a living….

We’ve been through this before. Those who once lived along the Merrimack River flowing past Lowell, Massachusetts, well know the dangers described now taking place in China. Those row houses in Appalachia, built by mining companies years ago, share the same horror stories these Chinese are now experiencing.

When you have cheap labor, you have situations where all the power rests in the hands of the one handing out the paychecks… “You want better conditions, they say? You’re fired. Now you have better conditions.” The others bite their tongue so their fate will not be the same.

We learned during the late 19th Century, that the only way out, was to have EVERY worker stop production until, a contract was reached and they allowed themselves to continue forward.

As the right to strike became eroded here in the United States, so has the quality of life for those in the manufacturing sector. Long hours, dangerous conditions, low pay, no benefits, are the lot of those employed by manufacturers. Their bosses insist, those are the conditions then can barely afford, since if they didn’t,… even those jobs would soon leave overseas.

We are in the downward spiral….

Reading the two articles, it became apparent that we are in competition with Chinese and other workers for the bottom… Who can work the hardest with the least amount of trouble for their corporate sponsors and the least amount of money… Whoever it is, will be declared the winners….

Well, if that is the life of a winner, I want no part of it… There has to be a better way….

The answer should have hit you already if you truly did read both articles. The answer is not to compete for the bottom, but the top…. It means we judge success by a whole new set of rules. It means we alter our buying habits and compensation to make living conditions far more bearable around the world, than they are today. And we exercise our power as people, so the money has to work within our framework, sort of along the same framework of just what the Labor Movement accomplished when they took on the big powers that be during the Thirties.

Here is the rough outline.

A) We elect no Republicans in 2012.

B) They pass labor laws determining a true-value wage. Two thirds of that person’s annual wage needs to be able to provide for living quarters, food, utilities, and medical insurance. After all required expenses have been met, 1/3 of each employees income should be left as discretionary income… This is pretty much what most US families had during the nineties. It is affordable because businesses prospered then too.

C) Ugh. The math… (Skip this if math bores you) .. Which means that if a single person can barely make ends meet on $20,000, the standard should be $30,000 here in the US.. Likewise for families, if $40,000 is required, then $60,000 should be the average.. Of course New York and California would be higher paid than say North Dakota or Alaska.. That is the basic gist of it… This cost then becomes a cost of the manufactured product….

D) We hold all businesses doing business in the United States to this principal, no matter where their products get made… Of course we don’t use the same monetary figures, just the same principal… If in Egypt, one can live on $7,000, it is fair to pay them $10,000. Quite possibly, in parts of Africa, one could pay someone $5,000 a year and keep within the same principals. For companies who try to import products made by desperate people in desperate situations, we impose the old custom’s duty, to make them equally as expensive as those made elsewhere, thereby negating any economic advantage to undercut the system.

E) I know the word tariff sends up a red flag to Free Trade-ists. It means that we no longer worrying ourselves about how much a company can maximize its profit; that concern has become secondary. instead, we are concerned about the welfare of those human beings actually working in that country’s manufacturing industry.

F) And for the Free Trade-ists, we are invoking the Free Trade Principals in just a different way. As always, we have said a corporation should have the right to sell and cross borders to trade at a spot that gives them a lower cost… That is what free trade is. We are now, invoking the same rational, but instead of using “cost” as our measuring stick we are attempting to do that with something called the “quality of life”… We are stating: for free trade to occur, “quality of life” must be equal or monetary penalties will be placed raising the cost of that product so they will be…

G) This will be good for China. China needs to raise their cost on which they compete or they will implode. Historically that always happens; the peasants revolt. The best prevention is to fix the problem beforehand. Reading the article above, the one about Foxcomm, one can see that without changes, probably within ten years, China will go down in a massive internal turmoil, UNLESS those in its manufacturing sector are given better working conditions. They need a union movement of their own. Ha, ha: they could look to their own founding Communist philosophy on this one…. if they wanted to see what the future will bring if you run government at the whims of large corporations…

H) Obviously, things will not be as cheap from China, if this goes through. The increased cost of labor to the manufacturer, will be shared in half by a price increase to the final consumer, and the other half by a loss in corporate profit. But the balance of that cost to our economy is: more people will be working in this country. The loss of corporate profits to the labor movement did not create the Depression! It worked us out of it!… The higher the wages, the more money spent. The more money spent, the more things manufactured. The more things manufactured the more people employed. The more people employed the higher the wages. The higher the wages…. the more money spent… We begin the cycle pulling us out ….

So through the juxtapositioning of these two articles, the light has been shown from the end of the tunnel… The way back to prosperity is to pay American workers more. The way to do that is to negate the advantage of paying the Chinese less. The way to do that, is to pass an import tax that raises foreign manufactured items to a rate that allows foreign workers to live with the same amount of discretionary income left over after their necessary expenses, as we would wish upon ourselves. That is the silver bullet, and it surely won’t happen as long as Republicans can block it. Which is why, we need to remove enough corporate sponsored politicians from office, both Democratic and Republican, so We, The People once again, can have a free hand.

Yes, we can do this.

If you were asked out of the blue, how much of what the US consumer spends, comes from China, which of these would you guess… 95%, 80%, or 65%? The answer will shock you..

If you guessed 95%, you were too high… If you guessed on the other hand, 65%, you were too… high…

The real amount was 2.7% and even out of that, 1.5% still went to the US…leaving only 1.2% spent on actual goods imported from China. Meaning, when you pay $70 for Nike sneakers, part of that money goes to Nike USA, part of that to Wal*mart USA, part of that to the US shipping company that delivered the product, part of that to US custom fees and taxes if applicable….

Shocked? If so, it is probably because everything in Wal*Mart, ToysRUs, Kmart, Kohls, Target, is tagged with the Made in China lable…

Explanation:

Because Wal-Mart’s $260 billion in U.S. revenue isn’t exactly reflective of America’s $14.5 trillion economy. Wal-Mart might sell a broad range of knickknacks, many of which are made in China, but the vast majority of what Americans spend their money on is not knickknacks.

Americans also spend far more on other things than we realize: Housing, Commodities (especially Food and Energy) and Services (Health Care, Financial, Accounting, Education etc.). Housel noted that in 2010, “Americans spent 34% of their income on housing, 13% on food, 11% on insurance and pensions, 7% on health care, and 2% on education. Those categories alone make up nearly 70% of total spending, and are comprised almost entirely of American-made goods and services.”

So when the Chinese start selling us our houses, our cars, our insurance and we start getting our health care needs from Tai Chi experts, that’s when we REALLY gotta start worrying…

For my geek friends, here is an interesting chart…….

US Imports divided per category: focus on China
Courtesy of the hard work done by Barry Ritholtz