Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - 12-31-2022

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso

Off to a new year with old and new challenges. It appears there will not be a shortage of challenges, it will be up to each of us to notice the contentment of the moment or task well done.

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The current Chinese ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, has just been promoted to foreign minister. He authored the following article 4 days ago.

How China Sees the World The National Interest by Qin Gang December, 26, 2022

Just as people’s worldviews fundamentally shape the ways they choose to engage with the world, the same holds true for countries and political parties. It has been reaffirmed at the Party Congress that China is committed to its foreign policy goals of upholding world peace and promoting common development, and it remains dedicated to building a community with a shared future for mankind. Such an official, open declaration of the CPC’s worldview sheds light on the way it engages with the world.
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Mankind went through multiple crossroads in the twentieth century. Now we have come to the first crossroads of the twenty-first century: the pandemic has not been over after three years; global economic, financial, and energy crises emerge one after another; an economic recession is looming large; and more conflicts seem impending. At such a juncture, will the world continue to embrace a brave new century, or will it succumb to the beaten path of the last century? This depends on the choice of people of all countries, including the American people.

If people choose to see the world from a “democracy vs. authoritarianism” perspective, they will very likely usher in a world of division, competition, and conflict; but if they view the world as a community with a shared future, then openness, cooperation, and win-win outcomes will be the fruits of their choice. As President Xi Jinping stressed in his meeting with President Joe Biden in Bali last month, the world is big enough for the two countries to develop themselves and prosper together. China-U.S. relations should not be a zero-sum game where one side out-competes the other or thrives at the expense of the other. China and the United States now share more common interests, not less. This is how the notion of a community with a shared future for mankind mirrors in China-U.S. relations.

The differences between China and the United States—in history, culture, social system, and development path—will most probably remain in 100 years. But as residents of the same world, we should and can listen to each other, narrow our gap in perceptions of the world, and explore a way to get along based on mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation.

The Chinese people are looking to the American people to make the right choice.

His arrival to the United States in July last year was not welcoming. A missed opportunity to build the social relationships to facilitate working on difficult issues of the present and those emerging in the future.

Who Is Qin Gang, China’s New US Ambassador? The Diplomat July 30, 2021

Unlike his predecessor, Cui Tiankai, a veteran diplomat with deep knowledge of U.S. affairs and personal connections with incumbent and former U.S. government officials and lawmakers, Qin has never specialized in dealing with the United States

To foreign journalists covering China, Qin is known as the pioneer of excoriating one-liners. often delivering punchlines wrapped in Chinese metaphors.
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A former foreign correspondent who attended Qin’s press conferences described him as someone who “talks with theatrical flair,” “contemptuous and charismatic at once.” Another remembered him to be “tough and plainspoken.”
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James Green, a diplomat with two decades of experience in the U.S. government working on bilateral China-U.S. relations and currently a senior advisor for McLarty Associates, recalls his impression of Qin Gang: “I never worked with Qin directly during my time working for the State Department and at the U.S. Embassy. I would say I first became aware of him when he was the spokesman while I was in Washington at the time following his announcements from the podium of the Foreign Ministry.”

“I guess I would say he’s one of the first foreign ministry spokespersons that I can remember by name. I’m sure the position existed before him, but he was one of the more prominent holders of that position as the spokesman.”
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Qin is not considered a Xi Jinping lieutenant from his Fujian or Zhejiang home base. “Qin is a later comer to Xi Jinping’s inner circle. But since Xi has become the secretary general, through mainly luck, Qin has had a lot of face time with Xi Jinping as the person in charge of protocol,” said Victor Shih, a University of California, San Diego, professor of political economy who specializes in elite Chinese politics.

Shih notes that Qin has had to arrange Xi’s overseas trips, of which there were many, especially during his first term. Qin also was responsible for arrangements when leaders of other countries visited Beijing. “Through these arrangements and through attending these trips and meetings with Xi Jinping, Qin has had a lot of close interactions with Xi Jinping and must have made a good impression,” said Shih. “He must have gotten Xi’s trust and is now enjoying the fruits of that trust.”
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“The challenge for Qin Gang or for any Chinese diplomat is to open up the aperture of their interactions beyond the State Department and beyond the U.S. government to other parts of U.S. society, including business associations, universities and students, inside and outside Washington,” Green remarked.

“It’s quite a different job,” he added. “It’s not a mechanical challenge. It’s a product challenge, what the Chinese ambassador in the United States is selling. It’s not a great product to sell. It doesn’t matter how good a salesman you are, how many meetings you do, you are trying to push a product that, in the eyes of many Americans, is quite damaged. So it’s going to be a challenge.”
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In 2013, Cui Tiankai, then incoming Chinese ambassador, was given a reception by U.S. diplomats upon arrival. This time no State Department officials were present to greet the new ambassador on his arrival in Washington, yet another sign of how frayed the bilateral relationship has become.

On the evening of July 28, 2021, Qin Gang delivered his first remark to Chinese and American media upon arrival. He started by recounting Henry Kissinger’s secret visit to China, which opened the door to the normalization of China-U.S. relations.

“Dr. Kissinger had to travel covertly to China via a third country. Fifty years later today, as the 11th Chinese Ambassador to the United States, I can travel most openly and fly directly to this country. How the world has changed with the passage of time! I believe that the door of China-U.S. relations, which is already open, cannot be closed.”

“Where this important relationship will be headed is vital for the well-being of the Chinese and American peoples and for the future of the world,” Qin added, and promised to “safeguard the foundation of China-U.S. relations, uphold the shared interests of the two peoples, and endeavor to bring China-U.S. relations back on track.”

There were indications in November he might be promoted. (my bold) There was time to make an effort to improve relationships if the diplomatic core had been interested.

Qin Gang, China's ambassador to US and a long-time Xi loyalist, poised to lead foreign ministry
South China Morning Post reprinted on Yahoo News Nov 4, 2022

Should Qin become foreign minister, analysts said they did not expect to see much outward display of independent initiative given China's system, his relatively limited experience and how beholden he is to Xi, based on his time in Washington.
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Qin arrived in Washington in 2021 during a difficult time in US-China relations that only worsened during his 15-month tenure.

The administration of President Joe Biden has maintained most of the tough trade, defence and technology policies of its predecessor, former president Donald Trump, even as a defiant Beijing continued building up its military and nuclear arsenals.

Qin also had trouble shaking his reputation as a wolf warrior - a faction of unapologetic nationalists within the Chinese foreign ministry named after a blockbuster 2015 film.

The senior diplomat gained notoriety for his combative tone as foreign ministry spokesman, with intermittent efforts to soften his reputation in his Washington assignment scarcely bearing fruit.
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In the weeks and months after Qin's arrival at New York's Kennedy Airport, Qin sought to mount a charm offensive, riding tractors with farmers, holding babies, sharing mooncakes with students.

But he never managed to carve out a persona that consistently resonated with his American audience, analysts said, vacillating between bridge-building and strident party-line messaging.

"It could be because his talking points were not persuasive or he's personally not persuasive or both," said Moon. "If you have a harsh wolf-warrior message, surprise, surprise, it's not going to work out that well ... That may have gotten him promoted to the Central Committee, but did not help improve relations."

Other analysts said - beyond the issue of access to high-level US officials - the interest groups Qin met with were long-standing pro-China organisations. In August he jokingly tweeted: "Pandas are not endangered any more! I hope panda huggers will not [be], either" But, they added, he did not seem to be meeting with those close to the administration with influence who could help ease US-China tensions.

"I have no evidence he used his time here to develop durable, high-quality relationships with policymakers or thought leaders," said one former US White House official.
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Qin also lacked deep access within the US administration, analysts said, reflecting in part American displeasure over the lack of access granted to US Ambassador Nicholas Burns in Beijing as well as the dismal state of bilateral relations.

They noted Qin failed to forge much of a rapport with White House Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, National Security Council Senior Director for China and Taiwan Laura Rosenberger, or Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

"He has not been someone who has won the respect of the White House," said an analyst with close ties to the Biden administration. "He's just not respected by Kurt, Laura, anyone, yet he will be Blinken's new counterpart."
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Analysts see fewer communication channels with the retirement of top Chinese envoy Yang Jieqi, a seasoned diplomat with strong English and a good working relationship with Sullivan.

Yang's US ties date to the George W Bush administration. His successor on the Politburo is expected to be Wang Yi, China's current foreign minister and a European specialist.

Work reports, Xi's speeches and the promotions out of last month's 20th party congress leave little doubt that Beijing views the US as an increasingly hostile, waning adversary intent on holding China back. With loyalty to Xi valued over technocratic expertise, concerns about US-China relations run high as Qin ascends.

________

A new development theory for a new year. Another small group of people have the answer for a perfect future world once we totally discard our old beliefs.

The yin and yang of metamodernism Asia Times December 27, 2022

Metamodernism, an intellectual movement that emerged in Europe about 10 years ago, has an ambitious goal: formulating a response to a world “that feels like it’s unraveling through climate change, culture war, bio-precarity, political corruption, and myriad economic failures.”

The metamodernist community, many of them intellectuals in their 40s, share a concern about the ideological, social, and cultural malaise in European society. They argue we are “between two worlds” – the now-dying system and a system that has yet to be born.

As a way out, the metamodernists want to reconcile their two antagonistic predecessors. They see the culture wars currently raging in the Western world as a battle between modernist and postmodernist values. Their response: “You are both right. We’re going to synthesize opposites and build something new from there.”
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Metamodernism has roots in integral theory, a stage-development theory developed by Ken Wilber. Integral is a synthesis of Western developmental psychology and Eastern religious traditions, mostly Vedanta and Zen. Collaboration between Wilber and Spiral Dynamics, a model of evolutionary development, led to Spiral Dynamics Integral, or SDi.
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Applying stage theory to the contemporary world is not without pitfalls. For one, it assigns people, groups, and countries to hierarchical levels. Moreover, it assumes all people and all countries will go through the same developmental stage in the same sequence.

Integralists typically argue that Northern Europe and the Anglo-Saxon world have the largest percentage of Integral-Teal (see the color chart above) people and thus the highest level of development. Based on social and gender equality, the ranking makes sense.
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Leading theorist Daniel P Görtz explained the need for a shift in focus during a TED talk, saying: “If we hold on to our Modernist and Postmodernist mindset, we will not have the values that are going to match the complexity of the global, post-industrial, digital age.”
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The Metamodernist Manifesto echoes this focus on reconciling dynamic opposites. It wants metamodernism to be defined as “the mercurial condition between and beyond irony and sincerity, naivety and knowingness, relativism and truth, optimism and doubt.…” As their manifesto explains:

  • We recognize oscillation to be the natural order of the world.
  • We must liberate ourselves from the inertia resulting from a century of modernist ideological naivety and the cynical insincerity of its antonymous bastard child (that is, Postmodernism).
  • Movement shall henceforth be enabled by way of an oscillation between positions, with diametrically opposed ideas operating like the pulsating polarities of a colossal electric machine, propelling the world into action.

If the latter conjures up a cybernetic image of a metamodern metaverse, the Metamodern Manifesto predates the metaverse by more than a decade. But the “colossal electric machine” is a useful metaphor to describe cybernetic, postindustrial society.

[video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5USomyB3mZQ]

________

What is on your mind today?

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Lookout's picture

Thanks for the China centric OT. The US seems to have lost all diplomatic abilities opting instead for intimidation, threats, and aggression. Blinky is so arrogant. Perhaps the global balance of power shifted in that meeting in Alaska when China stood up to Blinky and gave him the what for.
Global Times editor Hu Xijin said on Twitter: "China and the US have never blamed each other in such an open and unceremonious way. It shows the era in which the US can pretend it has enough power and morality to talk down to China is over. It must treat Beijing in an equal and respectful manner."
https://www.newsweek.com/china-media-attacks-unreasonable-tony-blinken-a...

Sadly the US leadership sees itself as morally superior to everyone, when we are typically the ones who are valueless and corrupt.

I hope everyone has a great New Years Eve!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout @Lookout is greatly appreciated and will, in time, entirely replace the Ukrainian tragedy.

For those still following the Russia/Ukraine conflict----Right now and for the past 4 hours, Russia is once again pounding the entire Ukraine with its missiles and drones. No numbers yet. 124 were delivered in the previous strike yesterday, or was it the day before?

The bombing will continue as Russia is said to be very close to total victory in Bahkmut. (Whatever that portends, if anything.)

A hotel in Kiev that housed foreigners said to be associated with the military effort has been hit and is being evacuated.

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NYCVG

mimi's picture

I am still trying to find a New Years resolution for me. My mind is blank. I am pissed off, I am depressed, I am totally irrational and all I want is 'no more wars, much more love, and piece of quiet land, somewhere over the mountains and rainbows.

The old year can kiss my behind, the new year better be a better year, darn it.

Have a whatever better New Year, all of you. Fingers crossed that 2023 doesn't suck!!

Happy new year wishes to my friends clinging to the rescue plank. A huge thank you to all of you who share and offer everything, even without getting mad with me. Thank You JtC, Joe, Lookout and to everyone else. You are the best. Ha ! Bingo.

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@mimi Resolve to maintain hope for all mankind to achieve a much better world.
Happy New Year, mimi, and same to everyone!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

mimi's picture

@on the cusp
have sent my way. I often dream to have a German speaking Lawyer like you at my side.

I guess

"If the mountain will not come to Mohamed, Mohamed must go to the mountain".

I am a bit stiff, so don't expect me to come too fast. But I will come Wink

And I won't give up hope.

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@mimi Great attitude to start the year, friend!
Keep it going!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

is a useful metaphor to describe cybernetic, postindustrial society

which reminds me of Tesla

teslarotbreakout.jpg.png

thanks for hosting!

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usefewersyllables's picture

@QMS

from when he had his lab in Colorado Springs. Big machine…

And it should never be forgotten that, in the final analysis, it was capitalism that killed him.

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

usefewersyllables's picture

Is the same as last year, and the one before that- to not make any resolutions…

Still and all, I do not mind seeing this year over with, not one bit.

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

enhydra lutris's picture

@usefewersyllables

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

usefewersyllables's picture

@enhydra lutris

I love that self-breaking resolution: the simple act of making it breaks it. Neat, tidy, low effort…

This resolution will self-destruct in 5 seconds.

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

usefewersyllables's picture

All. Posted in the wrong place…

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

enhydra lutris's picture

Also thanks for the intro to the South China Morning Post, not a source I'm familiar with.

I found the article on metamodernism interesting and amusing and the term "metamodernist manifesto" to sound like something Lucille Ball would have conjured up as a product for Lucy to advertise in one of her many short-lived jobs. I also found the description of the craft or whatever of metamodernism to be long on jargon, presuppositions, stereotypes and bad philosophy and short on substance. (Just my opinion and I'm often judgemental in the mornings.) I mean Duuuude(s), Hegel is neither modern nor meta.

I had just finished that sentence above at around 8ish Pacific time when there was a thump and my wife yelled "the tree is down" and, sure enough, an old and not too large mountain cedar was leaning up against the gutter and roof. It always had a slight lean, and the massive rains weakened the soil so that it would not hold the roots and then the stresses also split the base a bit. WE ran out and started cutting off the non load bearing branches with a pole saw and a neighbor pitched in with his too and we finally bailed about 11:00. Allegedly it won't rain tomorrow and we can get rid of some more branches and then try to drop the bottom in such a fashion that the top section will fall outward from the roof.

Happy new year to all. Wink

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

snoopydawg's picture

For all the talk of “NATO aggression,” how come NATO hasn’t invaded any of its neighbors?

I don’t recall seeing any Iraq of Afghan city looking like Mariupol, Aleppo, or Grozny.

(Fallujah and Rappo come to my mind.)

And I certainly don’t recall U.S. forces systematically destroying civilian water, electrical, and heating infrastructure. I’m certainly no apologist for American imperialism, and this site rose in prominence thanks to our opposition to the U.S. invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. But American forces haven’t engaged in that kind of wanton mass destruction in generations.

Just who does he think invaded Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia? I guess Shock and Awe didn’t really destroy Iraq’s civilian infrastructure like electricity and water plants. The sad thing is that lots of people believe he’s right. Only Russia is bad and if you think America had any role in what is happening in Ukraine you are a Tankie.

Tankie definition according to the mighty kos:

The name “tankie” comes from those Western leftists who continued to defend the Soviet Union after it violently crushed rebellions in Prague and Budapest with tanks. Despite all evidence to the contrary, they refused to surrender their beliefs in a Soviet socialist utopia.

In the case of Ukraine, the tankies claim it’s the United States’ fault that Russia invaded, goaded into attacking because of their nefarious capture of the Ukrainian government, potentially expanding the NATO alliance to the Russian border.

The nefarious capture of the Ukraine government is called a coup you dweeb. And supporting the terrorist that turned uprisings violent is called a color revolution or in other words a fcking coup.

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

usefewersyllables's picture

@snoopydawg

marching orders. Expect no deviations.

We are the global bully, and our last remaining export is “wholesale death”. Gotta protect that shareholder value, amirite?

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

snoopydawg's picture

@usefewersyllables

Maybe Pelosi should have sent kos the 10,000 roses instead for his help in not holding democrats accountable for screwing the base over and over and over? When republicans do bad stuff they pay attention…when democrats do it they make excuses.

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

@snoopydawg I include racist in the headline as his diaries could have been written in 1930's Berlin substituting Russians for "Jews". His intellectual lineage is the KKK and nativist movements like the Red Scare.

Sorta interesting he is trying a "reverse whataboutism". "Oh yah, what about the US. We have never done anything close to what the Russians have done." Rewrite history in effect.

I call him Herr Field Marshall von Markos for his daily briefings to the choir about how the Ukrainians are winning the war and how bad the Russian nation, people, and culture are. His words do inspire the same hatreds about the commentators. I liken his diaries to a written version of Orwells' 1984 "Two minutes of hate".

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snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

Vodka swilling Russian troops that have no discipline and just commit one war crime after another while overlooking what the Ukraine military/Nazis have been doing for the last 9 years now and killing their own citizens because they don’t want to be ruled by Nazis.

Him and Mark and a few others write 2 minutes of hate to rile up everyone else. I’ve suggested that they substitute Russians with Jews since Hillary the Hellabitch created Russia Gate because it’s nothing but xenophobia against Russia.

But his rewriting history and pretending that America hasn’t committed war crimes and crimes against humanity is just something I never thought I’d see there. The 1st tweet he’s so upset about is by Caitlin who has always called out Russia when she calls out America. Whoosh…

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

soryang's picture

@snoopydawg "left." Couldn't stand him. I remember his bs story about how he was recruited by the CIA and almost signed up. The CIA is a "liberal" institution in his opinion.

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語必忠信 行必正直

snoopydawg's picture

@soryang

and then created the website. It’s turned a complete 180 from when they called out America’s hegemony.

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

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soryang's picture

...in the form an alleged "decoupling" from China. Short of war, the US elites intend to maintain their access to Chinese markets and production advantages because of the huge revenues and profits they represent. At the same time, it intends to "decouple" itself from Chinese marketing in the US where it serves its purposes. One wonders whether Foxconn/Apple, Walmart, Tesla, and the like will really be affected at all. More significantly, it intends to "decouple" its allies from Chinese trade, especially in high tech trade as much as possible, to their detriment, while at the same time moving their adversely affected industries to the US. No doubt this would damage their home economies.

I wonder really if the US can afford to remove the one year waiver on these restrictions placed on South Korea, and Taiwan. Such a development in South Korea portends instability in the form of a resurgent opposition movement, and/or the emergence of frank dictatorship in response. The removal of the waiver would be ill timed for the next election cycle which could potentially result in an opposition majority capable of impeaching President Yoon.

While "free trade" was formerly touted by the US it is now moving not so opaquely into a mercantilist mode camouflaged by so called "strategic needs" like supply chain security, sanctions against unfriendly economic systems, conflict with "authoritarian states," and imposition of harmful trade restrictions on allies.

From one of the speech's at Saturday's candlelight revolution demo today in Seoul: 10 reasons for South Korea's Yoon Seok-yeol to resign:

10. Terrible economy, excessive fuel and electricity prices, inflation, housing etc.

9. Yoon's humiliating submission to Japan

8. Suppression of media critical of his administration

7. Red baiting former President Moon as a communist sympathizer weak on defense. Attempting to fabricate criminal cases against Moon and Democratic Party Leader, and former presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung. Yoon's hatchet man, Han Dong-hun, now minister of justice, has 150 prosecutors dedicated to the these tasks.

6. Oppression of labor unions and proposing a 69 hour work week.

5. Foreign policy disaster, a 49 second summit with Biden, begging for a dialogue with Japan, and using vulgar language in an international setting where it could be recorded, among other gaffes.

4. Apparent corruption of wife and mother in law, and graft incidental to presidential office move.

3. Creating a real danger of war with North Korea by open and rude discussions of pre-emptive attack on North Korea, continuing almost daily intensive military exercises with the US, that clearly are preparation of war on North Korea. Escalating the drone crisis by the South's response.

2. Dictatorship of prosecutors characterized by selective political prosecutions, wide ranging arbitrary search and seizures, investigations, and indictments; overlooking the crimes of associates and relatives and persecuting rivals and critics. In sum, a corrupt "bullet proof" administration.

1. The 10.29 Itaewon disaster evincing an indifferent, incompetent, and immoral administration (failure to dispatch police to a crowd hazard known well in advance, accusing the victims of illicit drug use (blaming the victims), trying to force surviving families to authorize autopsies, failing to apologize for failure to protect the public safety, refusal to meet with survivors, etc.

These ten reasons, were presented in a speech by a leader of the demonstration. The demonstration was recorded on Balgan Ajae's 빨간아재 channel earlier today. The candlelight parades have characterized themselves as an independence and peace movement, referrable to the March 1, 1919 movement against Japanese colonial domination. (this is my interpretation of one speech, not an exact translation). The other major demand of the demonstrators was investigation of Yoon's wife, Kim Gon-hee, by a Special Prosecution team.

From NKNews web site:

North Korea launched three ballistic missiles Saturday morning, according to Japan’s defense ministry, as leader Kim Jong Un and top officials are expected to conclude an important end-of-year party meeting later the same day.

The ministry said the first missile was launched around 8:01 a.m. KST and fell into the Sea of Japan (East Sea) before 8:11 a.m. The second and third missiles were then reportedly launched at 8:14 and 8:15 a.m. and fell into the sea before 8:24 a.m.

The three missiles flew around 217 miles (350 km) at an altitude of around 62 miles (100 km), the ministry added, and were launched from just outside Pyongyang.

A South Korean military assessment said the North launched three “short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs)” from Junghwa County bordering Pyongyang to the southeast, according to Yonhap News Agency, detecting the same flight distance and altitude as Japan.

The launches come just over a week after the DPRK’s last missile test — reportedly two short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) — from Pyongyang’s Sunan district. North Korean state media did not report on that test.

It also comes just hours after South Korea claimed it successfully tested a solid-fuel space launch vehicle on Friday.

North Korea also sent drones across the border and over the Seoul capital area earlier this week, prompting the South to publicly test and reassess its defensive and offensive unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capabilities...

https://www.nknews.org/2022/12/north-korea-launches-suspected-ballistic-...

Still don't know exactly what the south's UAV countermove was.

As long as the lunar new year, will be a year of the rabbit, ostensibly, a portent of longevity, prosperity, etc., I was prompted to recall an expression I'd heard in a description of a threatening conservative political dialogue. It goes something like this, "We caught the rabbit in the field, now let's get the rabbit in the house." To my understanding it was used by the far right, to refer to "getting" former president Moon Jae-in, after securing the arrest and conviction of former Justice Minister Cho-guk's wife, and embroiling the Justice Minister in investigations and prosecution, still pending as far as I know. Cho Guk's brief as a new Justice Minister was to reform the corrupt prosecutorial system in South Korea. He lasted about a month in office. It was pretty obvious also due to his considerable charisma, he had potential as a presidential candidate.

In my understanding, the expression is related to the typical case fabrication technique used by the Yoon clique prosecutors, find a person, (the rabbit in the field) related to the ultimate political target (the rabbit in the house). The former is either already under suspicion or convicted of corruption or a political or financial crime, and basically threaten them and their family members with legal reprisals if they don't implicate the end political target in a crime, with perjured testimony. By the same token they can be inveigled with promises of nolle prosse, punishment leniency, etc., in lieu of threats, depending on how cooperative they may be. Once, the desired statements are elicited from the witness or witnesses, the allegations are unlawfully leaked to the conservative press, where the person accused is found guilty (in the media) before any hearing or trial. A former witness against convicted democratic prime minister Han Myung-suk, confessed to having perjured himself under duress from prosecutors to incriminate Han. She spent two and a half years in prison. Another witness with a fatal illness confessed to having done the same after being bribed by Yoon family members to cover up a real estate business fraud by Yoon's future mother in law on her erstwhile investment partner, who ended up in prison after filing a suit against her.

This tactic is still actively being pursued by Yoon, and his current Justice Minister, Han Dong-hun.
against former high level officials in the Moon administration, in a so far unsuccessful attempt to incriminate Moon in two fabricated national security cases involving defectors. It also has been done to suspects arrested in the DaeJangdong real estate scandal in a prosecutorial scheme to incriminate Lee Jae-myung, the opposition leader with perjured testimony. Hopefully, these two witch hunts will be derailed, but with the monopoly on the administration of justice, one cannot be confident of the outcomes.

Empress Myeongseong (Chosun's Queen Min) assassinated by the Japanese near the end of the 19th Century depicted in the drama outtakes in the OST video If I Leave:

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語必忠信 行必正直

It is most wonderful and offers me a respite from the daily trials and tribulations of a member of the tribe of Silent Generation. Visiting here is one of my primary stops a couple of times of day as I do a little escape from my next trial.

Thank you so much all, more family than my family. Then again, I'm the last elephant and my wife is a close second.

Before my tribulations, I get inspiration from all over, MOA, Alex, Larry Johnson, WOTB and then the odd findings in the intertubes, like Ian Welch (a very current one: https://www.ianwelsh.net/how-to-relax-change-be-free/ discusses Jiddu Krishnamurti), then there was Walter Kirn and https://www.thefp.com/p/an-elegy-to-all-my-crap, plus Caitlyn who I don't visit as much since I can't see the comments. Some of these site were recommended here and I am grateful.

I don't do resolutions. I really dislike people who don't keep promises and I refuse to be one.

Oh well, on to my current nailbiter: As I think I've mentioned, I am currently moving from this apartment which is managed by an excellent microcosm of our current societal operation. I won't mention their identity but it's named for a street in Seattle. If you are ever faced with apt hunting and you see their name at the bottom of the apt glossy, run away. Do not identify yourself. Their tentacles reach throughout the vast web of independent subcontractors each of whom takes a piece of flesh along the way.

Oh, one of the essential factors in our current societal operation is a complete lack of coordination between the subs. Imagine building a home with design by toddlers in different groups. There ya go.

All right... first problem: Lease term. Cover sheets say one date, lease documents say another. The difference between these 2 dates is about $4000. I think it's resolved but I now have less than a month to vacate. And not all my stuff will fit in the new apartment. My wife says she'll lay down in front of the moving truck if I ever think of getting rid of her stuff. Wow, I'm glad I didn't teach her how to shoot.

Found a storage thing because of a cancellation. Yay! Easy pay thru a subcontractor -- procedures will most likely require a smart phone which I do not have... Thankfully I have checks with my old address on them. Now if I can remember how to write one.

Next, line up a mover. One of whom I did an verbal inventory over my flip phone. A bit overpriced but at least I didn't need to get an iPhone. I think that counts as a saving and offsets the cost.

Got a text (!) from the second mover. Just click this link and then start taking a video of my stuff and it'll be shipped off by the downloaded app to somebody in Texas who will convert it into an estimate. In effect, this mover has passed on the cost of doing an estimate directly to me and I am paying the subcontractor thru the mover. 2 pieces of flesh.

Oops, I don't have a smart phone. And I can just picture the thousand yard stare back in the office... which is probably somewhere in Florida. That will be followed by a condemnation over their latte of all boomer luddites who refuse to join the real world. I don't know if they are trying to figure out how to do it but I think my moveout window is in jeopardy.

Our society is collapsing. So much of our inflationary overhead is pure pieces of flesh and doesn't appear anywhere except in my wallet. As I've said... piece of meat with a wallet.

But, as I mentioned to a friend... this too shall pass.

We don't have to worry about a collapse from outside. Our whole society is like a beautiful piece of trim around a beautiful window. The trim is rotten, held together by the paint. The window leaks into the wall structure. Nobody notices, nobody cares, and even if they did I don't think they cover any of this anywhere in our formal or informal education system. I think it's designed by the toddler group also. I know they do the coding.

Be well, please.

Excellent piece in WOTB: https://www.reddit.com/r/WayOfTheBern/comments/zzz5w9/gaslighting_or_is_...

I think this turd is being polished for a run.

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9 users have voted.
soryang's picture

@exindy

He doesn't like leaks.

the flood forced us out of our comfort zone, and into the brave new commercial world. Bad experiences with the crappy apartment landlord contractor whatever they are, purchasing a car, the parasites that are attracted to natural disasters, you name it.

The internet of things sucks. Commercial interests forcing their administrative burden on us while making me pay for it pisses me off. No! I won't do it online! F the landlords, salespeople, utilities, insurance people, etc. The lease nominally was 41 pages long, but each page seemed 3 or 4 pages long. The way I'm billed online I get different totals for the rent, one message says it's a receipt, a day or two later, I get a reminder to pay my rent. The maintenance guy I'm talking to can't fix anything, even though he's in my apartment standing right next to me, unless I order it online. The place was literally falling apart. F the new car with the bells, whistles, assisted driving, digital screens, motorized and remote everything, it's way too f...ing complicated and dozens of failure modes. You have to take hours of study of a poorly written eighty page manual to figure out just what the hell it's doing. I like kick the tire light the fire. Brakes, steering wheel, and engine work? Good to go. With the scores of unnecessary digital features, the stupid thing doesn't even have a spare tire! (the digital screen actually warns the driver when you turn on the car, don't get distracted by all this digital stuff, you could sustain serious injury or death. Oh thanks for the warning I wouldn't have known.)

I share many of your views. Society is coming apart at the seams. After I lost my home, the day we moved into the apartment, I saw the aftermath of some accident where a teenager on a bicycle got killed by a hit and run in broad daylight about a quarter mile away. The emergency response team and police were blocking the road I take every day between the remains of my house and the refugee apartment. What's worse, I had predicted a pedestrian, scooter or bike rider would get killed a few days beforehand, seeing the insane lunatic driving that seems to have become the norm.

Smokey doesn't like the fireworks he has ptsd I think. Don't think any of us can endure one more serious adverse event, the backup systems are down. However, in survival training they say it's the little annoyances and pains that will be one's undoing if they get you down psychologically.

This community here has been a refuge. Happy New Year everyone!

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5 users have voted.

語必忠信 行必正直

usefewersyllables's picture

@soryang

in being displaced persons at the mercy of our insurers. Our house burned in March. The “restoration” companies that attempted to “salvage” our less-damaged belongings (one for textiles, one for hard goods) destroyed a lot of stuff that should have been salvageable, and trashed a lot of stuff without even looking at it while we weren’t there. They have all been paid already, out of our policy amount, no questions asked. The temporary housing company that didn’t find us anywhere to stay, but still billed our policy for three months rent, ditto.

We’ve had to buy all new furniture and everything else we needed out-of-pocket. And no- they will not reimburse us for the credit card interest thus incurred. We still haven’t seen a dime, and we’re still filling out more and more inventory paperwork even now to try and close this thing out and receive whatever settlement is left from the policy amount (since all our receipts and records were destroyed by the fire). We’ve been told by others who have gone through this not to expect payment until 11:59pm on March 19, 2023, which will be 364.9 days after the claim (the statutes say that they have a year to close a claim). We already know that they will then immediately cancel us, even though they’ve had all our policies for well over 30 years.

I’m glad that we are both still stably employed and have the flexibility to somehow make this work, financially. But I’m not particularly friendly with people who work in insurance anymore, because their employers (and the parasites that they tacitly support) are demonstrably the scum of the earth. But so what else is new? Who’s gonna stop them? Certainly not the lawmakers they own…

No one is looking out for us but us, and we only have as much clout as our bank balances allow- which is infinitesimal, unless we picked our parents really well. Next time around, I gotta do better at that.

But hey, maybe 2023 will be all better, right? Oh, well, happy new year anyway…

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7 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

soryang's picture

@usefewersyllables I'm really sorry to hear that your family is having this experience. We too had a lot of the trouble with the "restoration" contactor. They were dishonest, rude, and left what remained of our home in a shambles. They did a lot of careless unnecessary damage. They also charged us, for tear out work that we had done ourselves. They said, "can you prove it?" I had to spend days to prove they cheated us out of about 900 dollars off the bill. I didn't want to pay them a dime because of all the damage they did, but I just couldn't deal with a legal dispute at the outset on top of every thing else.

DeSantis and the law makers here took this opportunity to pass a new law, that makes it much more difficult to obtain an attorney to challenge an insurance company failure to pay home damage claims. I detest insurance companies as well.

I will add one more point. I hired a public adjuster company to deal with the insurance issues. They were more trouble than they were worth, and caused me greater stress and aggravation. They cost me thousands of dollars for nothing essentially. This isn't advice to anyone, it's just what happened to us. Other people swear by them.

I won't go on with the other dismal details of difficulties. I'm sure you know better than I. Suffice it to say we are not in the home construction business and are quite vulnerable.

We are retired, it must be especially difficult to work while this kind of situation is ongoing. I have a friend who works at the bank, and she had similar home losses, and she burst into tears while talking about her home. I haven't seen her at the bank since. I hope she's all right. A few of the neighbors have been quite supportive. We're all in the same situation more or less.

Best wishes to you and your family for the new year.

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7 users have voted.

語必忠信 行必正直

usefewersyllables's picture

@soryang

If the insurance company plays another couple of games with us, I’ll happily drop a dime on my old tan-suit legal buddy, for a reference for somebody specializing in civil practice who likes to destroy insurance companies. We’ll get even less out of the settlement after we pay whoever, probably nothing at that point, but I’ll simply be hoping to cause “pain”. Absolute and maximal pain. As much pain as is possible within the law, and our meager means. Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke, and we already know that they can’t. I’ve got *skin* in this game, and I’m not having it. I want them to cry real tears, and fuck up their shareholder value as much as we can.

I despise insurance companies, and all the other associated leeches. But there are a lot of them, and only two of us- so now we have to get mean.

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4 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

@usefewersyllables is unbelievably trying. There were many very small factors that drove me from home ownership. Insurance played a part. Add in the petty HOA dictatorships and the whole thing was terrible. On a much smaller scale than you. I cannot imagine.

This whole business is so disgusting. I have no interest in ever owning a home again. No more HOAs. Insurance? All I need is liability. They've never paid a homeowners claim for me.

Our second moving estimate hasn't happened. Once upon a time a person with the means to do the thing would show up with his iPhone and do it. I guess he got outsourced. Saved the company one salary. Good for them. Hope it works out. (or not)

The person at the other moving comapny sent me a similar message but within a couple of minutes after I explained that I couldn't do it that way she sent me an email. Thankfully someone in that company cares about doing a good job. I think people who care are the only thing propping this whole thing up.

Looking forward to a much better year.

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7 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@exindy

"... people who care are the only thing propping this whole thing up”. This whole thing, being life in whatever way individuals are experiencing.

Hopefully that sentiment grows stronger in the new year and we all are supported by people who care.

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4 users have voted.
usefewersyllables's picture

@exindy

It’ll be a frosty day in hell before I ever put another dime into the real estate slot machine.

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3 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

mimi's picture

heh, the first time I am faster than you are.

I miss New York City. WTF. why can't we be all together.

I miss this thingy coming down. What was it again? An apple?

What a mess I get old.

I hope to get wiser too. Fat chance it will happen. ;.)

Sigh.

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7 users have voted.

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10 users have voted.

1. (planning stages)
2. (haven't heard back from office staff, still in planning stages)
3. (involves reading more, not settled on what to read. Still planning...)
Oh, well, to hell with it.
Happy New Year, get moved, get help, get well, get together with loved ones, get through what comes your way!

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7 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

enhydra lutris's picture

A couple of different neighbors baked and distributed cookies including Russian Tea Cakes. Should we report them?

be well and happy new year

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9 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris Crime Stoppers pays good bucks and protects your anonymity!
This shit cannot stand, Dude!
We are making our Ca. connection. Listening to The Sounds of Summer by The Beach Boys.
I soused, chef is baking the pizzas, and we are singing along with the music, which is a desecration, except nobody hears us but us. And we don't give a shit!
The Wrecking Crew backed The Beach Boys up with some skill and enthusiasm!
At midnight, we will fire off a gun, as will my brother next door. Tradition in these parts!

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3 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

enhydra lutris's picture

@on the cusp

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3 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris guns would just fire off, wake you back up.
Some neighbor is exploding tannite. Shakes the house.
Hey, that metamodern is as much bull shit in a pile as I have seen since I was a teen.
See ya next year, my friend!

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3 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

earthling1's picture

Here's to a wonderful new multipolar world that beckons us forward, ever forward.
Happy New Year to everyone here.

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5 users have voted.

Neither Russia nor China is our enemy.
Neither Iran nor Venezuela are threatening America.
Cuba is a dead horse, stop beating it.