Welcome to Saturday's Potluck
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Post college I began regularly reading financial publications in addition to local, state and industry specific publications. Found it an effective use of time to keep up to date on shifting issues of society, foreign policy, politics and medicine. In my 20's I was offended to learn about new developments, updates and controversies of drug therapies in financial publications prior to reading in professional publications. Now I just accept it as part of the capture of medicine by financiers from medical practitioners. Get a heads up in the financial pages then go to medical literature for deeper understanding.
Diaries written at the beginning of C99 made it very clear my knowledge of Asia and worldwide military conflicts was weak. Asia Times became regular reading. The contributing authors backgrounds and viewpoints are varied. Slowly became familiar with the names, locations, histories and interrelationships of the various countries across Asia. Began to better understand how this effects my future and those I care about. Looking up maps for geographic locations and encyclopedias to sort out the frequent problem of name changes is no longer a regular occurrence.
The name changes of nation states break the chronological order of learned history acquired over our lives. For example, the current drama of political changes in Myanmar, protests and increasing violence between parties seem of minor relevance to past and future happenings in the United States. Until the old name Burma is used in research. Then it ties in with history of China's civil war between Republic of China (KMT - Kuomintang Troops) and Peoples Republic of China (communists), CIA, drug trade, Vietnam War, Korea Conflict and Afghanistan. The drug trade loop to fund CIA activities has been very effective. It is real simple illicit drug purchases help fund CIA operations.
American journalists and historians like to attribute the CIA’s Operation Paper, in support of Li Mi and the opium-growing 93rd Division in Burma, to President Truman’s authorization in November 1950, following the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 and above all the Chinese crossing of the Yalu River.78 But as historian Daniel Fineman points out, Truman was merely authorizing an arms shipments program that had already begun months earlier:
Shortly after the writing of the [April 1950] JCS memorandum, the United States began supplying arms and matériel to the [KMT] troops. [The Burmese protested in August 1950 that they had discovered in northern Burma an American military officer from the Bangkok embassy in Burma without authorization.79] In the fall, the . . . Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) drafted a daring plan for them to invade Yunnan. The CIA’s director, Walter Bedell Smith, opposed the risky scheme, but Truman [in November 1950] rejected his warning. . . . In January 1951, the CIA initiated its project, code-named Operation Paper. It aimed to prepare the Kuomintang (KMT) forces in Burma for an invasion of Yunnan.80
The futility of Li Mi’s military jabs against China was obvious to Washington by 1952. Yet Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) Chief Harry Anslinger continued to cover up the Li Mi-Thai drug connection for the next decade. The annual trafficking reports of the FBN recorded one seizure of distinctive Thai Government Monopoly opium in 1949 and on “several occasions” more in 1950. But after the initiation of Operation Paper in 1951, the FBN over a decade listed only one seizure of Thai drugs (from two seamen), until it began reporting Thai drug seizures again in 1962.81
Meanwhile, Anslinger, who “had established a working relationship with the CIA by the early 1950s . . . blamed the PRC [People’s Republic of China, as opposed to their enemy the KMT] for orchestrating the annual movement of some two hundred to four hundred tons of opium from Yunnan to Bangkok.”82 This protection of the world’s leading drug traffickers (who were also CIA proxies) did not cease with Anslinger, nor even when the FBN, by then thoroughly corrupted from such cover-ups, was replaced in 1968 by the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs and finally in 1973 by the Drug Enforcement Administration. As I write in 2010, the U.S. media are blaming the drug traffic in Afghanistan on the Taliban-led insurgency, but UN statistics (examined later in this book) suggest that insurgents receive less than 12 percent of the total drug revenues in Afghanistan’s totally drug-corrupted economy.
The economic melodrama of China triggering a worldwide recession has repeatedly been in the news for decades. One day it will probably be true. The current story is Evergrande.
The Evergrande crisis will accomplish a set of objectives, senior Chinese officials told Asia Times.
First, it will stop the growth of dangerous leverage in the property sector, an objective that Chinese regulators signaled in 2020 with “red lines” for developer leverage and curbs on lending to the property sector. “It’s dangerous to pop a bubble,” one official said, “but even more dangerous not to.”
Second, it will bring down home prices, in keeping with the government’s theme of “common prosperity” and more equitable distribution of rewards. Soaring home prices, particularly in coastal cities and Beijing, have put home ownership outside the reach of lower-income Chinese.
Third, it will suppress inflation by reducing speculative building and demand for iron, copper, cement and other raw materials.
Fourth, it will help drain the political swamp in Chinese local governments, whose finances have depended on property sales. The cozy relationship between local officials and property developers encourages corruption and inhibits the central government’s efforts to modernize the tax system. “The real estate bubble arose through corruption,” one official commented.
Fifth – and most important – it will shift capital allocation toward high-productivity industries like manufacturing and away from construction, an inherently low-productivity occupation.
A few cold nights signals the end of the growing season. Been harvesting the last of the vegetables.
Stripped the summer squash blossoms to cook a delightful dish. Melted butter in the frying pan to just below browning, dredged blossoms in flower and then fried until browned on both sides. Next year I am planing extra squash plants just for blossoms, yum.
Small radish and lettuce leaves became bite size wrappers for tuna salad. Extra eggplant and cauliflower was packaged for the freezer. Zucchini sliced and dried to replace noodles in various dishes over winter. A few frost sensitive plants are being dug and potted to move into the sunroom for possible winter harvest.
The various garden stories and encouragement from C99 has expanded the crops I am growing. Hopefully your harvests or foraging at markets were successful and winter preparedness in place.
What is on your mind today?