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February 11, 2021


Connections, and divides between our allies, too.
Japan and S Korea, for example.

A very interesting header, lj, and I'll return to the comments when I get a bit more time.

This is also relevant to to the discussion.
TSMC holds around two thirds of the global chip foundry business, and sits rather precariously 100 odd miles off the Chinese mainland.

Thanks, looking forward to it. I didn't want to go out on a limb, but I should add that things seem positively cut and dried when compared with trying to understand the situation of South Korea. The charge of being sympathetic to North Korea and communism is so explosive that it is difficult to figure out what is actual sentiments and what is mud thrown, but China is South Korea's largest trading partner and I always felt there was a lot more going on below the surface.

As to decoupling, last November Japan and some 13 other East Asian countries signed RCEP with China, which is a free trade agreement that further integrates their economies with China's. China is already their largest trading partner.

RCEP includes all five of America's Asian allies (two of the Five Eyes), and it excludes the US and India.

Then last month the EU signed the CAI with China, which frees up mutual investments.

Again, all of our European allies, except UK and Norway, signed it. It excludes the US.

The World is choosing up sides, and we're out.

bob, glad you mentioned the RCEP, it's largely escaped notice because the Trump administration was so set on burning every bridge it came to and the TPP gets all the press. I'm not sure if India was 'excluded', there were high level talks and India opted out. Here's an article about that.

I'm not an econ type, culture is more of an interest to me, so any other insights you or others can bring would be appreciated.

The World is choosing up sides, and we're out.

Perhaps more accurate to say we spent the past 4 years having a try at Splendid Isolation. But we may have come to our senses before it became an irrecoverable error. Between decades of accumulated political capital, and everyone's relief at not having to put up with Trump any more, we can return to being a significant factor.

"... we can return to being a significant factor."

The entire infrastructure of institutional trust, internationally and domestically, has been savaged by the pure malignant actions of the American conservative movement, as was the plan.

Why wouldn't the world hedge its bets after we thrust the idiotic Trumpian conservative movement upon them?

We SHOULD be punished. And please stifle any kneejerk conservative bushwah that my sentiment leans toward the conservative movement Chinese government.

But no, we want to be forgiven and let back into the house and the bed like a serial-cheating husband with a mere slap on the wrist.

We don't know what came over us, do we?

A first absolutely vital move for us to make is to execute Trump and the conservative movement to show the world we can ruthlessly shovel the horseshit out of our own structurally defective barn before we can ever again approach claiming to be the shining city on the hill with our fucking "principles".


Nothing like rumors of war to juke socialist industrial planning and subsidies among business conservatives.

I don't get however why fake Christian insurrectionists running Texas' government and majority political party would stand for, nay, invite, this sort of commie overreach by the Federal Government to build manufacturing plants on soil that belongs to the Comanche, the Apache, and Mexico, despite erosion moving the Rio Grande a little north or a little south.

QAnon, now consolidating with right wing militias and their access to military weaponry and ordnance) and conservative movement republicans (one and the same) will be all over this in a few weeks as they push their crapola regarding China's social credit system and surveillance (Dreher is worried THAT will replace his preferred fake Christian surveillance and social credit system that has been in place intimidating all sexual and doctrinal deviationists among the flock over the centuries who might not crinch (as noted by the surveillance cameras they want to install in churches) at gay, transgender, abortion, and settled science global warming activity among their fellow parishioners and thus impede the canceling of such persons by the Church) and the technology enabling it being transferred into American hands (gummint) on American soil to produce the tracking chips that will be placed under the skin of all Americans, probably via forced vaccination.

Make no mistake, I AM worried that the chip shortage now shutting down production lines at US auto manufacturers is also going to impede the surveillance of the Trumpian insurrectionist hordes and their sponsors (by implanting surveillance chips under their reptilian, anti-American hides) now residing in the congressional deep state, and in rebel confederate state houses, and among the so-called public as they all go free with no justice whatsoever, other than symbolic, being applied for their genocidal Covid policies and the attempted violent overthrow of the United States Government and the attempted mass murder of liberal and Democratic government officials.

Mike Pence included, but his hanging would have been a self-inflicted down payment on removing the entire conservative movement from the face of the Earth before they, like Orcs, can mass for battle again, which they are planning as we speak.

I don't trust Pence. He's one of them. He's no hero and he's not a martyr for conservatism, much as Trump tried to make him one by ordering his murder. If he must go free for his crimes, get a chip implanted in him so I know when he breaches my circle of self-defense and I can be ready.

Thought for the day: Conceptual art is art for which the idea (or concept) behind the work is more important than the finished art object.

As for QAnon as a mere gaming work of conceptual art, they might have remained so, a little like the "Paul is Dead" meme was a playful conceit in 1970 (although you can still find true, obsessed believers on YouTube, probably a few QAnon Marges trailing along), but Paul lives on, but then things got real when John Lennon was shot dead by an armed American.

1/6 was a Lennon assassination moment when it became clear Blue Meanies walk among us, in vast numbers, waiting to kill all that is good.

But instead of "Catcher In the Rye" being their founding, motivating text, now they thumb through the U.S. Constitution and the Bible citing hints and allegations urging them on to murder their tens of millions of mortal enemies: US.

The bodies that have been snatched, many of the conservative husks now "serving" and walking around in the halls of deep state conservative government, trying to once again blend in and appear normal, even after their attempted violent overthrow of the gummint that pays them, are massing for their next assault.

If only the aliens were commies, so that decent conservatives, those beleaguered few, might take the radical action required to save America.

The distribution of alien seed pods continues apace at FOX and their sister media murderers.

Check under your bed, in the trunk of your car, and in the outbuildings, and don't assume your neighbors, family members, and friends are who you think they are.

When will Murdoch, Gingrich, and company be deported .... and worse?

They don't look Chinese to me, but the coincidence of their actions and propaganda with the aims of the Chinese and Russian governments long-game goals to thwart US hegemony (not a bad thing, necessarily, if it's our choice to do so, not theirs) is a delicious thing.

wj, your optimism is usually a source of pleasure (if occasional amusement or bemusement) to me. And of course the world and your allies are ecstatic Trump is gone, and reasonable grown-ups are back in charge. But the fact that so many Americans still voted for him, and that R senators are still appeasing them, is hardly lost on the ROTW. The senate could flip in two years, MTG (as just one example) is still around and spouting poisonous rubbish (with R support) and the next Trump could be more competent and effective. The last four years may not have been such an aberration: the jury (in more ways than one, is still out.

GftNC, another optimistic straw in the wind for you.

Any new "center right" party composed of ex-Republicans will need a platform. I have some suggestions:

1. MAGAts are deplorable.
2. "Socialism" is not as bad as fascism.
3. Democrats are not fascist socialists.

Let such a 3rd party explicitly proclaim those principles, and I for one will be willing to take it seriously.


I agree with Tony P.

Other than that, all I can say is

I wish them well

as Saralinda said when the Cold Duke of Coffin Castle sent her suitors off to do impossible tasks and perish in the attempt. (I must confess I have always had a soft spot for the Duke, on account of his habit of killing people "for speaking disrespectfully of sin").

Duverger laughs at their hubris.

I submit that our government works best when there are two viable "parties of government". Which the Trumpist GOP isn't. So anything that moves us in the direction of having two such parties is a Good Thing.

Not to say that you have to be a fan of the positions of both parties. You may disagree with one of them on lots of stuff. But just having both be interested in actually governing, as opposed to just trashing the government, and trying to make it work badly in support of being against government as an institution? That would be a step that I think you all should support.

In short, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the better.

I support it if it works to achieve what you describe. I am not particularly optimistic that it will. I very much hope your optimism is justified.

50% of Republicans think Antifa caused 1/6.
58% think the Deep State worked against Trump.
29% think Trump has been fighting a group of Hollywood child sex traffickers.

82% of Republicans approved of Trump 1/2-1/19 (Gallup)

there will be no third party for Republicans. they are the Trump party, solidly.

Scenarios for a third party alternative-

Trump (or Trumpling) throws RNC under the bus and launches the Patriot Party in order to control the political coffers and control the narrative.

Never Trump former Republicans band together to create a center right alternative and draw off enough disaffected blue collar and Latino Democrats and independents to erode one or both of the other parties bases.

...or both happen, leaving the GOP a hollowed out shell.

Embattled QAnon congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene 'openly cheated' on her husband of 25 years with a polyamorous tantric sex guru and then moved on to another affair with the manager at her gym

and the party of family values won't care

58% think the Deep State worked against Trump,

"Deep State," as I understand the term, means those Federal employees whose loyalty is to the Constitution, rather than to Trump personally. Given that, I have to agree that the Deep State worked against Trump. As was their duty.

Multiple ironies here.

Why it’s so hard for the solar industry to quit Xinjiang
Chinese solar companies are among 175 around the world that signed a nonbinding pledge by a U.S. trade group to avoid forced labor. It will be much harder for them to actually cut ties with Xinjiang, the western China region facing increasing scrutiny for human rights abuses.

The pledge from the Solar Energy Industries Association in the U.S. doesn’t specifically mention Xinjiang. The region in Western China plays a dominant role in the global solar supply chain, and it’s also become the center of widespread accusations that President Xi Jinping’s government is systematically oppressing Muslim Uighurs. An accompanying press release, however, calls on the pledge’s signatories to quit the territory over evidence of forced labor.

The move sheds light on a dirty secret of the solar industry: It relies on Xinjiang and its cheap coal power to produce half of its key raw material. And with demand for panels set to explode as the U.S. and China commit to more clean power, it will be even harder for the industry to quit the troubled region.

“Political pressure is building up within the industry to reconsider the supply chain,” said Johannes Bernreuter, head of polysilicon market intelligence firm Bernreuter Research. “It’s hard to have a supply chain right now without Xinjiang.”...

an OT aside:

RIP Chick Corea. Whatever the happening thing was in jazz for the last 50 or 60 years, he was probably involved, or at least in the neighborhood. An aggressive cancer. The man was 79, and he had a damned good run.

Sad day today for my wife and I for other reasons as well, a very dear friend passed this AM from cancer, at age 50. She was a truly bright light.

To say "I hate cancer" is basically like saying "I hate entropy". I mean, fine, go ahead and say it, howl at the moon if you like, but you can do your best and it, or something very like it, is still gonna catch up with you sooner or later.

But I fucking hate cancer.

58% think the Deep State worked against Trump,

"Deep State," as I understand the term, means those Federal employees whose loyalty is to the Constitution, rather than to Trump personally. Given that, I have to agree that the Deep State worked against Trump. As was their duty.

Hmmm. I'm beginning to think you understand even less about the Trumpista (82% of Republicans approved of Trump 1/2-1/19 ) mindset than the rest of us, wj. Explains your sunny optimism, I guess.

russell: many sympathies. 50, damn.

yeah, a sad day.

I'm beginning to think you understand even less about the Trumpista (82% of Republicans approved of Trump 1/2-1/19 ) mindset than the rest of us, wj.

I think I do understand them. But I definitely am not a subscriber to the view that "To understand all is to forgive all." Basically, they are unforgivable.

Taylor is Presidential material for whichever schism of the Republican Party she decides to ..... fuck.

The manager of the gym? Not her strength coach?

Has there been a porn film named "Conservative Movement Family Values"?

The kid who survived the school shooting that she and the other armed banshee conservative filth now firmly deep-stated in our government continue to personally harass should have turned on her and broken every conservative bone in her face on that sidewalk.

But we are going to wait to the last minute to do what needs to be done to all of them.

Russell, so sorry for your loss.

I fucking hate cancer too.

hey y'all, kindly humor me, I promise this will be the last jazz intrusion for today. the thing is, some stuff just needs to be heard.

Chick and Gary, been doing this duo thing pretty steadily since 1973. I think they were getting the hang of it.

"The genius is the one who is most like himself", said Thelonious Monk. Lotta guys sound like Chick, but Chick sounds like nobody but himself.

RIP maestro. Golden slumbers fill your eyes, smiles await you when you rise. Hope you hear the voices you left behind.

I appreciate all y'all's indulgence, dig it if ya dig it, and better days soon come.

Sorry about your friend, russell. And - great music at the link. Wow.

Hi Russell, no, it won't be, cause I need to add a bit. I made the mistake of being inspired to play jazz piano by Chick Corea. Mistake because it was like plopping a guy who wants to climb mountains in front of Mt. Everest and say ok, give that a try.

I wouldn't be dissuaded though, even after finding my chops so inadequate to play, I tried arranging a couple of tunes from the Spain album for my jazz arranging class. The final was having the lab band play them. They were awful, I think I got a B because I was stupid enough to try it.

But beyond (and behind) that massive technique was an incredible lyricism. Check out his Children's Songs, rather than give you some videos, I'll let y'all have the fun of doing a youtube search, but here he is talking about them

More Chick -

Return to Forever - Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant: Montreux 2008


I've just been watching and listening to russell's lovely Chick and Gary link. Chick Corea has such extraordinary hands, so long and elegant. It reminds me of the legends about Robert Johnson, and Paganini too. But also, his face is so expressive, and (for want of a better word) young, and alive. I would expect, knowing almost nothing about him, that he was an extraordinary person in more ways than his amazing talent.

Stop apologizing for your jazz links, russell! We all love them. (In case anyone didn't get the memo, I've been authorized in passive voice to represent everyone.)

More Chick

damn. what a mass of talent that is.

What hsh said.

Check out his Children's Songs, rather than give you some videos, I'll let y'all have the fun of doing a youtube search

here's one with Chick & Bela


oh yeah:

Fuck The GOP

Yes. The only slight comfort, in the sense of watching the inevitable denouement of a tragedy, is to see them continuing, against all odds, to display themselves for who and what they are.

If I were as optimistic as wj, I'd think that this will doom them with the electorate for future elections. Alas, at least a third or more of the electorate is probably right behind them. It's absolutely unbelievable.

to see them continuing, against all odds, to display themselves for who and what they are.

It is a challenge many of them, especially at the national level, seem willing to rise to. And yet, each step further along that path appears to result in more and more of us deciding that there is no choice but to walk away.

At some point, it appears to be a point approaching rather briskly, either those who have been tolerating** the journey down the rathole will decide to force a change of course. Or the party will become no longer viable at the national level -- no matter how inventive the techniques of gerrymandering and voter suppression. The question not yet settled is: Which?

** Those who embrace the cancer are another matter, of course.

There is no gop besides Trumpism

EvenJen Rubin figured that out today.

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