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Song of the Dragon
China has suffered a minor embarrassment with the revelation
that a comely little nine-year-old girl by the name of Lin Miaoke, who sang "Ode to the Motherland" at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Beijing, actually lip-synched her way through the number. The actual singer, a seven-year-old girl by the name of Yang Peiyi, was deemed too unattractive to be seen by a global audience of perhaps hundreds of millions.
The large, cautionary tale enveloping this story will be lost, perhaps most significantly upon the free-trade globalists. The lesson is this: China will do whatever it must to present to the world what it thinks that world wants to see.
For years, American free-trade globalists have believedin fact, they are compelled by their own, self-contained, self-validating trade theory to believethat so-called "market reforms" the Chinese government was enacting would lead to a growing middle class that would then demand greater political and social freedom. Even as the Chinese year after year pegged the exchange rate of their currency against the U.S. dollar, thereby making their imports to the U.S. outrageously underpriced and our exports to China symmetrically overpriced, the globalists were convinced that it would all come to a good end.
The United States lost millions of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars in industrial capital
, all in the name of "free trade" with a nation run by classic mercantilists, who will say whatever they must to achieve their goals, which most decidedly do not include political and intellectual freedom for their own people, much less a better world for anyone other than the sublimely smiling brutes at the top of their corrupt, communist government.
Both John McCain and
Barack Obama have as their chief economic advisers the same näive globalists who have brought this nation so much harm in the name of "free trade," "open markets," and "capitalism."
McCain will pursue the same international economic policies as his predecessors because he is inextricably in the thrall of multi-national corporatists
who benefit from this degradation of the United States. Yes, he will trade our nation's economic sovereignty for the support of those who pay his way
Barack Obama will pursue the same international policies as his predecessors because he is just plain stupid. Yes, he is a mental midget who suckers people with vacuous, meaningless, eerily messianic rhetoric
about "Yes, we can!" without even the slightest clue about how to shepherd a nation away from the disastrous economic course upon which it is unrelentingly bearing.
The next time you see the face of that pretty little girl who lip-synched that song, let the lesson of the less attractive child in the shadows be on your mind: behind the façade of beautiful and worldly China is a fierce, merciless dragon that has already struck deep into the heart of our nation as our leaders sat back in mesmerized satisfaction at the alluring song of global free trade, even as we bled millions of jobs, hundreds of billions of dollars of American industrial capital, and, ultimately, control over the destiny of our own nation.
The Dark Wraith has spoken.
Thank you SO much for better articulating the screaming meemies I got when I heard the lip-synch story. I did a rapid knee jerk post, while still in the throes of yard-weekend-work agony; it lacked a LOT. You did such a good job of listing reasons why we should watch our tails! None of us are likely cute enough!
Speak for yourself, good friend.
The Dark Wraith will put on a polka dot dress and lip-sych Barry Manilow, if necessary, to look cute enough to keep the Chinese from repossessing his apartment.
great analogy, DW. The ugliness hides in the shadows while China shows the world the pretty face they want us to see.
Fukuyama's infamous "End of History" statement was typical impersonal codespeak, to the kleptocrats, for "We've got it in the bag, guys!"
I used to wonder why on EARTH the US followed such accomodating trade policies toward China throughout the Bush I, Clinton and Bush II years- did these guys really think that they were acting in our long-term national interests? Then I stumbled upon a Time magazine article by (God help me) Bill Gates-
As C.K. Prahalad shows in his book The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, there are markets all over the world that businesses have missed. One study found that the poorest two-thirds of the world's population has some $5 trillion in purchasing power....We're working on projects like a visual interface that will enable illiterate or semiliterate people to use a PC instantly, with minimal training. Another project of ours lets an entire classroom full of students use a single computer...Some corporations have identified brand-new markets among the poor for life-changing technologies like cell phones..
In other words, it doesn't matter that the vast majority of the Chinese population can barely afford two bowls of rice a day- there's still ways that enterprising American corporate greedheads can soak this wild "unbranded market" before the locals create their own products, possibly becoming major competitors in this and other Asian markets (especially since Chinese merchants and businesses constitute "market-dominent minorities" throughout much of Asia - See Amy Chua's work World on Fire
What's our host's take on this- do the Free Trade Globalists actually believe their own spin, or are they just paid shills and/or useful idiots for multinational corporations?
Good morning, LindiBee.
Having met a number of these globalists, and having heard their theories from the time I was in grad school, where one of their hard-core priests hijacked what was supposed to have been a course in advanced developmental economics in which I was enrolled, I can tell you without hesitation that these people are exactly as I described them in this article: "[T]hey are compelled by their own, self-contained, self-validating trade theory to believe..."
It is a common story of science at its ugly worst. Theory not only drives experimentation, but also shapes observations. That they make huge money advocating their position becomes the cement that disallows consideration that they are misguided. Epistemological contemplations are not tolerated in business and economics literature.
In academia, the infamous 'publish or perish syndrome' flogs newly minted faculty members to crank out gallons of bilge with inadequate contemplative background, and the grant money pouring in from corporate interests is far too tempting for academics to turn down. In economics, finance, and international versions of these and related disciplines, the professors become the high-profile stars politicians seek out, and their classroom teaching affects students who will become the decision makers and influencers of tomorrow.
It's bad business all around, and I can assure you that standing up to it as an academic is a guarantee of living a degraded life unless you can manage to be anointed as the chosen, token opposition to what everyone who is important knows is otherwise right, good, and best.
Yes, I can speak to that rather personally, and no matter how often or obviously events fall the way I predict they will, academia, the mainstream media, influential politicians, and corporations still go with those who tell the dominant story, regardless of how ludicrously disastrous its policy prescriptions turn out to be, over and over again.
The Dark Wraith thinks it would be downright tragic if it weren't so darned funny.
This is why economic is referred to as a voodoo art or a religion.
The high priests are constantly wrong in their predictions, but after the fact, spend hours lecturing on us as to how they got it right.
In a real science, getting predictions wrong, leads to changes in a hypothesis. Not cherry picking data and making excuses to support a flawed theory.
In science, as theories are expected to by provable. They are expected to lead to testable predictions. The better they are at predicting the outcome of experiments, the more respect they gain.
In economics, predictive value is unimportant. Respect comes from skill in obfuscation.
This is where you're getting it wrong DW. You are not a good bull shitter. Telling the truth only works in science, not in religion.
Good afternoon, Weaseldog.
Speaking as one steeped in training as a scientist before embarking on paths of learning in economics, finance, linguistics, and other fields, I can say without doubt that science offers no truth. Its methods and results, both historically and currently, are deeply and irrevocably tainted by personalities, politics, mendacity, and misunderstandings.
I have seen "science" destroy brilliant people in the name of dominant thinking, I have seen it drive people and institutions to remarkable wrongs that took decades to correct, if they ever were. I have seen "scientists" who want to use the results of mathematics and, in particular, probability theory, but want nothing to do with the profound difficulties, nuances, doubts, and uncertainties.
I have seen science produce a kind of hubris in its practitioners that has led to horrendous results. Bertrand Russell comes to mind, a man so certain of the "truth" of science that he thought he had the right to speak favorably of annihilating all but a tiny fraction of the human species in the name of species improvement.
In this same vein of hubris, I have met far too many people so convinced of the power of knowledge that they believed they knew enough to declare a universe without a supremacy of being, despite the evidence right in front of them that the tiny circle of enlightenment in which humanity resides at any time is encompassed by a limitless ocean of what is not known and, quite likely, not knowable. I cannot speak objectively to the existence of a god, but neither can anyone be so bravely infused of "truth" as to speak with certainty of the non-existence of force, power, and sentience beyond the recognition of pathetically trivial, fleeting specks of consciousness.
Because hubris in meager knowing blinds people to ignorance in large reliance, science has become the tool of corporations that offer improved life through health, technological innovations, and other means by which we can become dependent upon something other than ourselves and each other to live free and die in dignity.
Science is not the answer, my friend. It is merely another flawed expression, like other religions, of our quest for answers and our desperate hope for immortality.
To that end, then, science will continue to flourish, even as it continues to fail in resolving the questions of the epistemology of our substance, the ontology of our being, and the teleology of our destiny.
For these reasons, the Dark Wraith, then, offers cynicism as the predicate to hope.
But you're only pointing out that men are flawed, and thus, so are their works.
I believe also that you've confused technology with science. Technology being the application of science in the service of men's goals. If those goals are misguided, then the technology will be also. This doesn't make the science untrue.
Having watched science for decades, I can agree with you, that the discipline is off track. It's polluted.
Still many of the core principles stand up to scrutiny and testing. If it didn't then much of the technology that we use without comprehension, would never function.
For mainstream economists, there is no need for the soundness of underlying theories. They only need to justify their exhortations, not prove them.
And as I've point out, this doesn't apply to everyone. But as an example of and economist and crook that it does apply to, let me drop the name of Jeffrey Sachs...
Truth is dead. Science is dying.
People prefer a pretty lie, over an ugly truth.
So over and over I hear people telling us that the we can drill our way back to eternal growth. Ever increasing production is our only hope!
Thomas Friedman tells us that the Earth is flat, and then explains that we can innovate our way to infinite matter and energy recycling. Never mind that scientists came to understand over two centuries ago, that energy cannot be infinitely recycles. With each use, it is degraded, until it is of such low quality that it is of no use.
And in the 21st century, we have billions of people that still don't understand scientific principles that were discovered and explained centuries ago.
And so the species that come after us, if they keep their intelligence, will look upon our disintegrating structures and wonder how a people who came so far, passed away, leaving our legacy to be reclaimed by the passing of time.
Good afternoon, Weaseldog.
I suffer no confusion between "technology" and "science." Read my article, "The 21st Century, Epilogue," for a detailed explanation of the term "technology" and how that word is being fundamentally misused in the modern era. In fact, I am about to go on a rant about that terminological misuse and what it says about the state of our culture.
Moreover, while these technological innovations of the current time are being used as instruments to create dependence by and fear within the population, behind the instruments, themselves, lies the science, bastardized as it is, that leads to one innovation after another. This kind of science that has no ethical concept of what it is causing to be produced and the purposes to which its outcomes are being put is simply appalling, but this is not new.
Surely, you are not telling me that Bertrand Russell and his fellow eugenicists were technologists. No, in fact, they were scientists using scientific reasoning to come to horrendous prescriptions that technological innovations could then bring to reality. At its heart, this was pure science: theories, testable hypotheses, and all the rest, with demands for actionable products leading to policy prescriptions and, in the end, to the technology of the ovens at Auschwitz.
I give no more quarter to "science" than I do to the likes of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, mercantilism, capitalism, communism, and a whole slate of other speculative means of explaining the universe and then acting upon those speculations through the technologies of "improvements" in the human condition that inevitably improve the control, wealth, and power of the ruling elite over the toiling masses.
The Dark Wraith makes no distinction when it comes to ideas that invariably become engines of history's repetitions.
For these reasons, the Dark Wraith, then, offers useless cynicism as the predicate to hope.
...and then acting upon those speculations through the technologies of "improvements" in the human condition that inevitably improve the control, wealth, and power of the ruling elite over the toiling masses.
Science is misused by the ruling elite, so let's just piss on the scientists.
Good afternoon, trog.
When the scientists, themselves, are choosing profit over integrity, when the scientists, themselves, are destroying young aspirants to high academia who do not follow the distorted rules of the game, and when the scientists, themselves, who do not do this but cower in silence, then, yes, I will take them on.
You see, it's easy for me because I have nothing to lose. "Science" is not an entity; it is, instead, the cumulative methodology, results, and directions of all those who have, for better or worse, contributed to it.
When this civilization is through and gone, all of the most magnificent of our achievements, physical and intellectual, will wither away in the winds of far-flung futures. A few ideas, a few inventions, and some ways of thinking may endure, but only as echoes of long-forgotten people and their ways. What to us is magnificent, unassailable, and forever will to the people of thousands of years from now be the quaint, ignorant rumblings of uneducated, embarrassingly backward peoples.
That goes for our religions, our science, our technology, and, not least of all, for the highest of our vaunted intellectuals.
I want to get an early start on history's judgment of me. To that end, unfortunately, I am willing to invite my betters on that journey to historical triviality.
The Dark Wraith always likes company for a long trip.
Oh man, I just watched the 1992 HBO George Carlin Jammin' in NY, so, while I read your response, I heard ol' George ranting it! ( It's the one where he tells us how the Earth will be just fine, once humans are gone.)
For every 1 sellout scientist, there are 20 who will never be widely read, or will ever make much more than they are right now, but are perfectly content to advance the things they are researching, or disproving something another scientist had won accolades for. I believe this, because neither you nor Mr. Carlin could ever convince me to be that cynical.
It sure is great to see all of you of a roll. Sure is difficult to not have feelings about things, no one is really objective, although we have methods to attempt such.
To come up with something new that fits observed phenomena takes more fortitude than I have.
But then I'm just a blackdog.
Good evening, trog.
Over at Big Brass Blog, commenter tali took me to task for describing as "anecdotal" an article about a woman's struggle in poverty. She took my use of the term to mean that I was disparaging the account, so I clarified for her that my entire life's worth of experience (and, by implication, everyone else's) is nothing other than a chain of anecdotes.
I am committed before my passing to the task of giving written account of much more of the anecdotal evidence that comprises my life. Unfortunately, because these are nothing more than anecdotal stories I shall convey, they have no implications for general principles of life that give meaning to anyone else's purpose, much less to absolute truth.
Truth is for believers. Awhile back, I gave up believing even in myself, so why, then, should I crawl to something that cannot stop death, be that "greater power" the ancient god of the Christians, Jews, and Muslims or the young god of western science? My grief is a river that becomes, with each passing day and life, a greater torrent from which no respite will come until the claim upon my own life is made. Science offers rationality; other religions offer, at least on occasion, compassion. In neither case, however, does the river stop flowing.
Truth is for believers. All else is, at best, wisdom and, in my case, something considerably less. Still, my predictive record, quite a bit of which has been published here over the past nearly four years, is pretty darned good, and I am more than grateful for readers like you and Weaseldog (even when you are frustrated with me, as are others from time to time and in certain matters).
Far too many people think a "good death" is one in great struggle, perhaps even battle, dying in victory or in defeat, but in any case dying valiantly for cause. I do not share that opinion of what constitutes a noble ending: for me, a good death is one, be it anywhere and at any time, wherein I can lie down giggling my stupid, addled brains out while muttering, "I got it right."
Even the demons of Hell, itself, will be less than gleeful at the prospect of hearing that line over and over again for the rest of Eternity.
The Dark Wraith has spoken.
You have much more courage than me, to look so steadily into the abyss. I don't dare. I've gotten better at it, though it means that there is no longer any me. No navel-gazing allowed. Picking your brains is much more productive for me.
I was indeed lucky to have stumbled into you. No matter how contentious, know that much, anyway.
Before the beginning of years
There came to the making of man
Time, with a gift of tears;
Grief, with a glass that ran;
Pleasure, with pain for leaven;
Summer, with flowers that fell;
Remembrance fallen from heaven,
And madness risen from hell;
Strength without hands to smite;
Love that endures for a breath:
Night, the shadow of light,
And life, the shadow of death.
And the high gods took in hand
Fire, and the falling of tears
And a measure of sliding sand
From under the feet of the years;
And froth and drift of the sea;
And dust of the labouring earth;
And bodies of things to be
In the houses of death and of birth
And wrought with weeping and laughter,
And fashioned with loathing and love
With life before and after
And death beneath and above,
For a day and a night and a morrow,
That his strength might endure for a span
With travail and heavy sorrow,
The holy spirit of man.
"Atalanta in Calydon"
~Algernon Charles Swinburne
I believe I understand you DW.
But I disagree with you on eugenics.
Though the theory of eugenics is based on valid scientific observations, what is done with this knowledge and theory is still outside the boundaries of science.
Eugenics at it's core is a breeding program, much like those we impose on chickens and cows, applied to humans. When humans decide to act, and engage in eugenics, they are not making scientific decisions. They are making moral and often arbitrary decisions. and how they decide to implement eugenics, leads to more decisions that may be moral or immoral.
The knowledge that humans have evolved, can evolve and that our evolution can be directed, is not good or evil. The application, the technology, can be judged as evil.
On the other hand we do engage in eugenics in social policy and in medicine. We just do so without a guided direction. We use medicine and social programs to help people who have medical and social problems, live to breed and contribute their genomes to our gene pool.
If we did this to livestock, we would call it a sin. The effort to help unhealthy animals live to breed, would be considered immoral, as it endangers the long term health of the herd.
But in humans, we believe that this is our duty and we believe that this is moral.
It is a double standard.
In effect, we're playing God and pretending we're not.
Now those that have played God, have decided that they can determine what the best traits for being human area. They chose traits using non scientific criteria, then used knowledge i n the sciences to select for those traits.
I don't think that anyone can make a case that what they did was morally right.
I don't believe that we are capable of directing our own evolution in a rational manner. I believe that any such program will be twisted to evil, no matter how humane or rational it might appear at first to a collection 'reasonable' people.
But at it's core, is evolutionary theory. And that theory is neither good nor evil. Though great evil has been done through technology based upon it.
1st Salesman: Ya can talk, ya can talk, ya can bicker ya can talk, ya can bicker, bicker bicker ya can talk all ya want but it's different than it was.
Charlie: No it ain't, no it ain't, but ya gotta know the territory.
Rail car: Shh shh shh shh shh shh shh
3rd Salesman: Why it's the Model T Ford made the trouble, made the people wanna go, wanna get, wanna get up and go seven, eight, nine, ten, twelve, fourteen, twenty-two, twenty-three miles to the county seat
1st Salesman: Yes sir, yes sir
3rd Salesman: Who's gonna patronize a little bitty two by four kinda store anymore?
4th Salesman: Whaddaya talk, whaddaya talk.
5th Salesman: Where do you get it?
3rd Salesman: Gone, gone
Gone with the hogshead cask and demijohn, gone with the sugar barrel, pickel barrel, milk pan, gone with the tub and the pail and the tierce...
Gone with the grumpy ol' guys,
singin', Dig them graves ev'n deeper,
An' dancin', dancin' t' th' lies,
'bout buyin' a pass from th' Reaper!
Good evening Sirs and Ma'ams
This discussion of the corruption of science and ethics reminds me of the Tuskegee Experiments. Where for 40 years, some 399 black men were left untreated with syphilis. Even after the introduction of penicillin in 1947. The study continued until 1972, when Peter Buxtun finally went to the press. The most chilling aspect was that this experiment went through 40 years of differing administrations, with thousands of people who knew exactly what was going on. Memos had been passed out yearly to public health clinics across the U.S. to not treat any of these men, instead, refer them to study officials. That was how Buxtun first found out about the study in 1966 in San Fransisco.
This reminds me of Peter Duesberg, who published a paper in 1987 stating that HIV could not be the cause of AIDS. For that, he was blackballed. Among his predictions.
AIDS would never spread out of its risk groups
(recently verified by a UN official by the name of De Cock)
HIV estimates would be massively overblown by poor modeling and testing.
(recently verified by the UN as worthless "Guesstimates" many mainstream HIV/AIDS workers estimate the actual worldwide numbers to be closer to 25 million, but then again, they don't really know for certain, all they do know is the worldwide pandemic has never happened and epidemics are still localised)
HIV testing as it stands is too wide reaching, doesn't code for specific proteins and may simply indicate that your body is
stressed from a multiplicity of factors, or be "fooled" in other words by such things as pregnancy, race, recent or current Non AIDS related factors such as poverty, malnutrition, flu, TB, Malaria and some 60 other conditions. (plenty of anecedotal evidence, not yet widely studied)
Viral load as a predictor of progression to AIDS and Death is worthless (recently proven by Rodriguez et al.)
HIV is very difficult if impossible to pass sexual (Padian et al.)
HIV/AIDS drugs are extremely toxic to organs and DNA
(Long proven with AZT and ddl, recently shown in HAART to increase mortality over time.)
He also predicted that the HIV/AIDS paradigm would be a pork barrel windfall for failed cancer virus researchers and any one who's research even remotely include HIV/AIDS, (came to pass, with 100,000 papers of mostly GIGO since gone to review).
This has been a travesty of the highest order. Some +$200 billion dollars has gone into a 25 year paradigm that has failed to produce a cure, failed to produce a vaccine, just basically failed the people who most needed it's help. It's also failed the rest of us miserably by religiously and strenuously blocking out as much alternative thinking as possible with ad hominems, career derailments and constant shrill threats. Despite the fact that Gallo's original paper didn't prove any correlation between HIV and AIDS, it has become a juggernaut of bullshit.
As for the unethical aspects? Well, it is one thing to pump toxins into consenting adults or children with consent of their parents. It is quite another thing to pump them into children seized from their guardians against their will.
I have no personal bone in this issue except for the ethical and moral aspects of it, as well as the fact that my taxpayer dollars are being spent without my consent on a paradigm that has failed by any rational standard. (I could say the same for cancer or any other long debilitating illnesses with little real progress)
If HIV really is the cause of AIDS, well then bully, we still need fresh thinking on the issue. If not, then I am very glad I will just be in the sidelines watching the high priests and their acolytes from the Hanging Horse. I would almost feel pity for them if I didn't have the experimented Guinea Pig Kids and the AIDS quilt blazed in my mind.
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