Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - 6-17-2022

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

How to identify an expert with deep knowledge of a subject from someone with a superficial understanding who uses all the contemporary phrases of an "expert" is one of the skills to identify propaganda. When the inputs (questions) and outputs (answers) are controlled anyone can look like an expert.

Now, anyone whose academic background includes computer science or artificial intelligence is probably very familiar with the The Chinese Room thought experiment. My entry into high tech was a different route, focused solely on specific projects with defined objectives not theory. As with many subjects the learning process has not fit typical academic progression.

The Chinese Room (3.57 minutes)

A little deeper into look into Artificial Intelligence and John Searle's Chinese Room. (28.37 min)

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Interesting theme of proper documentation and emergency action by an authoritative source pops up in the saga of a shipwreck off the Oregon coast.

First, an Oregonian article mentions the lack of documentation by the Native Americans living on the coast as to the fate of the Spanish sailors. It left me wondering if the researcher and article author expected written documentation in English to be performed about 100 years before Americans or English were on the Western coast. Maybe a written diary by one of the sailors would have been sufficient.

The ship, a Spanish galleon, left Manila in 1693, hauling porcelain, pottery and valuable wax that gave the ship its nickname – Beeswax
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According to The Astorian, James Delgado, a marine archaeologist, helped lead the retrieval efforts and will continue to study the shipwreck remains at the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria.

Delgado told The Astorian that he does not think these remains, a few wooden beams, will answer any of the big questions that remain of the cause of the shipwreck or what happened to anyone on board, but says it is a step in the direction that may lead to further discoveries.

Smaller discoveries like pieces of the porcelain, pottery and beeswax the ship was carrying have washed up on the Oregon Coast for hundreds of years to be found by beachcombers. These small discoveries propped up the mythos of the shipwreck.

The Astorian said that oral traditions of native people to the area say that their ancestors had some contact with survivors but little is known or documented about what happened to the Spanish aboard the ship.

Second, defining the recovering of old timbers as an Emergency Operation seems a bit more chaotic than well planned archeological excavation.

After reading the National Geographic article, it appears Europe was outsourcing the building of European ships to Asia in the 1600's. Outsourcing is not a new economic model.

Legendary Spanish galleon shipwreck discovered on Oregon coast National Geographic June 16, 2022

Astoria, Oregon Timbers from the wreck of a 17th-century Spanish galleon have been discovered on Oregon’s northern coast, state officials confirmed today.

The extraordinarily rare hull remains were removed from sea caves near Manzanita earlier this week in a risky emergency recovery mission involving archaeologists, law enforcement personnel, and search-and-rescue teams from multiple state and local agencies.

“I’m impressed and relieved,” says Scott Williams, an archaeologist with the Washington State Department of Transportation and president of the Maritime Archaeology Society (MAS), an all-volunteer group that spearheaded a 15-year search for the shipwreck.

The dozen timbers are believed to be pieces of the Santo Cristo de Burgos, a Spanish galleon that was sailing from the Philippines to Mexico in 1693 when it veered off course and vanished, most likely wrecking on what’s now Oregon’s coast. Its cargo included costly Chinese silk, porcelain, and blocks of beeswax for making candles.

Santo Cristo de Burgos was a Manilla galleon, a type of sturdy wooden vessel that plied an annual trade route between Spanish colonies in the Philippines and Mexico from 1565-1815, a period that marked the first era of global trade. The workhorse European ships were built in Asian ports by Asian craftspeople using Asian materials.
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The Chinese ceramics and Asian beeswax blocks with Spanish markings led them to conclude that the Beeswax Wreck had to be one of two Manilla galleons that went missing between roughly 1650 and 1750: the Santo Cristo de Burgos, which was lost in 1693, or the San Francisco Xavier, which disappeared in 1705.
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MAS researchers were then fairly confident that the Beeswax Wreck and the Santo Cristo de Burgos were one and the same vessel.
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Craig Andes is one of those beachcombers, a commercial fisherman who belonged to a “Goonies gang” of kids who grew up exploring the coast, inspired by tales of treasure. He began sharing his knowledge of the area’s artifacts with MAS after reading about their hunt for the Beeswax Wreck.

That information included the presence of bits of wood in sea caves that Andes first spotted in 2013. He kept a watchful eye on them and strongly believed they were ship timbers. He also grew concerned that the smaller pieces were at risk of being washed away. So in 2020 he contacted the MAS and urged them to test a sample of the wood.
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“I was convinced it was driftwood,” MAS president Williams recalls. “To think that 300-year-old ship timbers could survive the Oregon coast was just crazy.”

A lab analysis revealed that the timbers were hewn from Anacardiaceae, a species of tropical hardwood found in Asia. Radiocarbon dating indicated that the tree was felled around 1650. Both facts lined up squarely with the composition and age of the Santo Cristo.
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Andes watched the activity from the beach, marveling at the complex choreography. Nearly a decade had passed since he spotted the timbers, and as the first, and largest, piece was towed ashore, he ran his hand fondly along the glistening surface, pointing to a large spike hole. "Looks like there's still metal in there," he observed.

The timbers are now at the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, where they’ll be carefully documented and conserved. Each timber will be scanned in detail, and the scans will be shared with Manilla galleon experts around the world to better understand how the extraordinary ships were built.

A little more info at Maritime Archaelogical Society
Beeswax Wreck Project

Timeline of the Beeswax Wreck Site
Varying explanations of the shipwreck from 1814 forward.

1814: Fur trader Alexander Henry of Astoria writes in his journal, “They [the Clatsop Indians] bring us frequently lumps of beeswax, fresh out of the sand, which they collect on the coast so the S. [South], where the Spanish ship was cast away some years ago, and crew all murdered by the natives.”
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1870: Writing in 1899, Samuel Clarke noted that when he first came to the Nehalem area in 1870 that “the bones of two wrecks were then to be seen at the mouth of the Nehalem river.”

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Significant news related to Taiwan for the week.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on June 13, 2022

In response to the Bloomberg reporter it appears China will be pushing back on the US definition of International Waters.

Bloomberg: We reported that Chinese military officials have repeatedly asserted that the Taiwan Strait is not international waters in recent months during meetings with US counterparts. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Taiwan Strait ranges in width from about 70 nautical miles at its narrowest and 220 nautical miles at its widest. According to UNCLOS and Chinese laws, the waters of the Taiwan Strait, extending from both shores toward the middle of the Strait, are divided into several zones including internal waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, and the Exclusive Economic Zone. China has sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait. At the same time, it respects the lawful rights of other countries in relevant waters. 

There is no legal basis of “international waters” in the international law of the sea. It is a false claim when certain countries call the Taiwan Strait “international waters” in order to find a pretext for manipulating issues related to Taiwan and threatening China’s sovereignty and security. China is firmly against this. 

Taiwan’s advanced technology makes it indispensable Asia Time June 15, 2022

The world is becoming more dependent on the Taiwanese semiconductor industry, not less, even as the war of words between the US and China heats up and people talk about the lessons to be learned from Ukraine.

According to the latest quarterly World Fab Forecast released by SEMI on June 13, Taiwan is expected to lead global spending on semiconductor production equipment this year, with a 52% increase to US$34 billion.
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At the leading edge, TSMC has a monopoly on 3-nanometer process technology and is overwhelmingly dominant at 5-nanometer. Production at the 3-nanometer node is scheduled to start this year with orders from Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Apple and MediaTek.
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On June 10, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, delivering the keynote speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue conference in Singapore, said: “I myself have a strong sense that Ukraine today may be the East Asia [of] tomorrow.”

What does that mean? That America and its allies might stand back and watch while Taiwan is blasted to rubble? Let’s hope not. The island and its semiconductor industry are too important for that to be allowed to happen.

Taiwan Touts "Ability To Attack Beijing" With Supersonic Cruise Missiles ZeroHedge June 16, 2022

You Si Kun, President of Taiwan’s Legislative Assembly, recently said in a media interview that Taiwan's military wouldn't shy away from using its Yun Feng supersonic cruise missiles if under direct invasion threat. "Yung Fend missiles can already hit Beijing, and Taiwan has the ability to attack Beijing," You said, as cited in Liberty Times Net, and further described in Fox News. Supersonic missiles are capable of traveling faster than Mach 1

The top official invoked the example of Russia's rapid, 'surprise' invasion of Ukraine - suggesting that military preparedness as well as basic geography would stall a Chinese PLA advance deep into the island.

EDITORIAL: Containing China the only option Taipei Times June 15, 2022

Over the weekend, a war of words broke out between Washington and Beijing at the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore, turning the annual powwow into less of a dialogue and more of an exchange of angry monologues.

During an address to delegates at the summit on Sunday, Chinese Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe (魏鳳和) did not mince his words: “Let me make this clear: If anyone dares to secede Taiwan from China, we will not hesitate to fight. We will fight at all costs and we will fight to the very end. This is the only choice for China.”

The day before, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had used his address to warn that China had unilaterally changed the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait.
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China’s bellicose rhetoric at the Shangri-La Dialogue and its attempt to unilaterally redefine international maritime law is yet more proof that Beijing cannot be an equal competitor since it has tossed the rule book into the fire: The only viable option for Washington is containment.

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What is on your mind today?

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Attacks by Iranian proxies against bases housing U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Syria are increasing, U.S. officials say, and Washington has not responded with force since 2021.

There were seven attacks in May, as many attacks that month as February, March and April combined, and there have been a total of 29 since October without a kinetic U.S. response.

No Americans have been killed in these incidents, but a U.S. intelligence assessment found Iran may believe its proxy groups have killed and injured Americans, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the assessment.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@gjohnsit

in fact, Iranian proxies, nor that, whoever they are, they were not invited in by the legitimate governments of the nations we are occupying against their will, Syria and Iraq. Every act by every US soldier in either country is an act of war, wo we have no right to whine if resistance elements attack us.

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 --

studentofearth's picture

@gjohnsit Iraq and Syria are two countries which have asked the US to remove the troops from their nations soil. Iraq formal request was after the passing vote on January 5, 2020 in Iraqi Parliament to have U.S. forces to leave the country.

Why Are American Troops Still in Iraq? New York Times February 10, 2022

Proponents of staying in Iraq argue it is crucial to collect intelligence on terrorist groups like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda and prevent an adversary from filling any “vacuum” resulting from a U.S. departure. Nearly identical arguments were made in the case of Afghanistan.

But the truth is that the U.S. presence has helped fuel insurgencies in Iraq. Al Qaeda, and later, the Islamic State, were able to take advantage of their gains against the state and the chaos that ensued. Iraq’s neighbors will always have a greater interest in the country’s future than the United States does.

Moreover, the argument that troops are needed to combat the Islamic State — as in the recent raid that resulted in the death of the Islamic State’s leader in northwestern Syria (a country with a small U.S. military presence of its own) — does not hold up. Iraq and neighboring countries that fought the group are increasingly capable of preventing a significant resurgence on their own. Pursuing “ISIS zero” is a recipe to stay in Iraq forever.

Iraq politics is going through a major shift. The alliance between Muqtada al-Sadr's political organization, the Sadrist movement, Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)and United Sunni Front has collapsed.
Muqtada al-Sadr just issued a mass resignation decree. Where does Iraq go from here? Atlantic Couincil June 14, 2022

After eight months of stalemate in the Iraqi Council of Representatives (CoR), Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his parliamentary bloc to turn in their letters of resignation on June 12 and withdraw from the partially disabled legislature.
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When his political bloc acquired the highest number of seats in the October 2021 elections, Sadr made his intention clear that he no longer was interested in the consociational government formation that prevailed in the past. He proposed a cross-sectarian “national majority” government, with an opposition in the CoR to monitor and check government performance. To this end, Sadr made a firm alliance with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which received a majority of Kurdish votes, and with the United Sunni Front, which was formed by merging the two major Sunni coalitions: Taqaddom and ‘Azm.

With a comfortable majority, this coalition—known as Inqath Watan—initially seemed unstoppable in forming a government and ruling Iraq, according to this new approach. However, a few setbacks ended this project before it had a chance to come into being. Having been unable to find a way to revive the “national majority” promise that Sadr placed his entire political weight behind, he had no choice but to keep trying with little hope of success, return to consociation, or withdraw his coalition from the government formation negotiations. He chose the least costly political option and ordered his followers to resign from the CoR.

For anyone needing a recap on Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, this article is a good read.
Iraq's Sadr: From Outlaw to Top Politician U.S. News & World Report June 14, 2022

Thanks for keeping another hot spot on our radar.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Lookout's picture

...just what we need.

Interesting salvage story of the ship. So much of our history lies under the ocean. During the ice ages oceans were much smaller and coastal villages of those times are now far under the sea. So much yet to learn.

Thanks for the OT. Another warm one here, but only light chores planned for the day. Had a pleasant stroll around Trade Day and visited with a few friends. Hope you all have a nice day!

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

studentofearth's picture

@Lookout not looking hopeful. All the major power structures appear compromised and agreeing to move forward with conflict. A type of controlled chaos for the opportunity push each groups agenda, having faith their tribe will triumph.

Working on keeping the day to day life enjoyable seems the best alternative for powerless individuals.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

with a population of 700 people, more or less, and I was close pals with two gentlemen that were certified to go in the deepest waters, as deep as equipment allowed. Both of them told me stories about being hired by the Smithsonian and National Geographic, even foreign countries, to find and explore shipwrecks. They were amazing.
Fascinating, SOE, about the shipwreck.
I will check out the thought experiment while I eat lunch.
War with China? The US has gone completely off the damn rails. When the government runs out of any intelligent plans and policies, the resort is to threaten or actually go to war. Stupid, deadly mistakes are being made.
We are going to a music store to buy guitar picks, then off we go for groceries. That may not sound very fun, but there will be lots of music blasting as I drive.
I hope everyone has a pleasant and productive day!

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studentofearth's picture

@on the cusp interesting residents. It can be a base to live and experience in multiple "real worlds" simultaneously or sequentially.

So is a Jam session in the works, piano and guitar melodies?

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

today from Gonzalo Lira about what he sees upcoming in UKR. With diminishing hope for a favorable outcome for UKR forces against the superior Russian army, and with increasing economic and political difficulty over here, Biden, prodded by his hawkish NatSec team, and Nato will likely seek to avoid clear defeat by widening the conflict by creating obstacles in Lithuania wrt Russian rail access to its enclave in Kaliningrad, Meanwhile per Lira, Poland is apparently gathering troops on its border with Russia ally Belarus. GL sees the possibility of the US using nukes over there when it becomes clear they cannot win through conventional means on the battlefield.

I'm halfway into a recent talk by John Mearsheimer who is also pessimistic that the UKR war will end soon. Russia will not accept less than victory and the achievement of its stated goals there, while the US cannot accept defeat and is not inclined to engage in serious negotiations as it cannot accept the basic objective of Russia of creating a neutral UKR. JM emphasizes the dangers of protracted wars and how they tend to escalate, and also discusses the possibility of both sides possibly using nukes.

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@wokkamile
there is no choice but to either admit defeat or double-down. Gonzalo usually laughs freely, some may say inappropriately so, in his video talks, but this warning message to Americans is all business.

Russia feels it was confronting an “existential” threat when it entered Ukraine in February in order to prevent a major assault on ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. If the US (Biden administration) feels the same way about the possible loss of US preeminence dominance of the World both economically and militarily, and there is no plan B to deescalate, neither is there the least willingness to adjust to life in a multi polar World, then the unthinkable becomes more likely than not.

Good thing they taught me how to “duck and cover” in elementary school. Finally that skill might be put to the test.

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“We have a very small window in which we need to make a fundamental shift away from capitalism.” Kshama Sawant

@ovals49 is a free spirit type, so I try to take his personal quirks in that light, and generally find him a credible analyst on the situation, even as someone on the political right, which I am definitely not.

It's a shame FP isn't discussed in more depth in our presidential campaigns, though in this last one during covid not much campaigning happened, and any FP questions in the debate run by our MSM are always slanted in favor of the neocon NatSec state mindset.

Iow, what Biden has been doing in UKR and the harsh sanctions against Russia, both aggressive postures poking the bear and threatening us all with a direct conflict, all are not something I signed up for when I cast my vote in Nov 2020 for Joe, a vote that was more 95% against the other guy.

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studentofearth's picture

@wokkamile the path for escalation at 4.09 min into the video.

Lithuania government threw it's country into the middle of the China-Taiwan spat at the end of last year.
How a tiny European country took on China over Taiwan CNN Jan 30, 2022.

A curious spat has unfolded in recent months between Lithuania, a small, Eastern European nation of fewer than 3 million people, and China, a superpower with an economy that could soon exceed that of the United States.

It all started last year, when Lithuania poked Beijing in the eye – twice in the space of a few months.

First, it withdrew from the so-called “17+1” group, a forum in which 17 eastern and central European countries engage with China, before encouraging others to do the same. Given China’s numerous business interests in the region, most notably the so-called Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) focused on infrastructure projects, any kind of European pushback is unwelcome in Beijing.

Then in November, Lithuania became the first country in Europe to allow self-ruled Taiwan to open a de facto embassy under the name “Taiwan.”
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Lithuania says the new Taiwan office does not have formal diplomatic status and does not conflict with its One China policy. But Beijing reacted by immediately downgrading diplomatic relations with Vilnius. Lithuania also claimed that China has prevented Lithuanian goods from entering China, effectively creating a trade barrier. The Chinese government has repeatedly rejected these claims, blaming Lithuania for harming China’s “core interest” and sending bilateral ties to a deep freeze.

Taiwan reacted by buying up Lithuanian produce that was destined for China – including 20,400 bottles of rum – and pledging to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Lithuanian industry to support the country in the face of Chinese pressure.

The spat has pulled in the European Union, which is backing member state Lithuania. Brussels sees Beijing’s treatment of Lithuania as a threat to other EU nations, many of whom have deeper economic links with China and would like to deepen them further.

On Thursday, the EU launched a case against China at the World Trade Organization, accusing Beijing of “discriminatory trade practices against Lithuania, which are also hitting other exports from the EU’s Single Market.”
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“China needs to learn lessons because until now, they have been allowed to behave in a way that doesn’t adhere to our values and rules, simply because they were so wealthy,” Lithuania’s former Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius told CNN.

“I don’t see that bigger EU countries would have taken it upon themselves to stand up. Maybe from Lithuania it will spread to others and in time, Europe will stand united against a country that doesn’t meet our standards,” he added.

It is sad the populations of these proxy conflicts are the first to be ground up in the process of war.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

@studentofearth

Economic attack comes back at us too. Today Lithuania cuts off rail connections to Russian exclave. Soon enough, road and rail travel for Lithuania will disappear, leaving it a NATO exclave on the far side of the Baltic. Of course.

The blindness is lazy, it is arrogant, and most of all it is ignorant.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Jun 18 2022 18:37 utc | 24

At the behest of NATO (aka US) this provocation of Lithuania is designed to become a “second front” that Russia will feel compelled to respond to militarily, creating a possible entry point for direct combat with US troops. From that point things can only get worse.

Is EVERYONE in DC insane, willing to risk a nuclear exchange, or is this somehow meant to be held to bluster and pre-election deflection from domestic troubles?

Lithuania to block rail cargo to Kaliningrad

Lithuania has told the Russian region of Kaliningrad that it will block the import and export of a large number of goods by rail because of Western sanctions, the regional governor said on Friday.

The region - home to the Russian Baltic Fleet and a deployment location for nuclear-capable Iskander missiles - is sandwiched on the Baltic coast between Lithuania and Poland, both Nato members, and has no land border with Russia.

Governor Anton Alikhanov said the clampdown would affect between 40 percent to 50 percent of the products that are imported to and exported from Russia through Lithuania.

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“We have a very small window in which we need to make a fundamental shift away from capitalism.” Kshama Sawant

studentofearth's picture

@ovals49 @ovals49 ability to prevent or mitigate. It appears our leaders (elected and nonelected) in some type or ideological fervor and no sacrifice of others is too great.

Loosing sides of many national civil wars have migrated to the US to regroup and try again to politically control their home countries. They provide our international merchants, military and intelligence agencies entry points and cannon fodder to interfere around the world.

edit - Link to Moon of Alabama blog and comment thread Ukraine - The West's Response As It Meets With Reality 6-18-2022 (24th comment)

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

@studentofearth link, which I try to read regularly but sometimes forget. Few better than him.

Biden and his NatSec team of neocons, and all the rest in the NS community, along with the compliant and hawkish MSM, have the FP field virtually all to themselves as there has been for a long time no strong organized voice on the sane progressive left to stand in their way. Bernie is absent or has caved, and the half a dozen other progressives in congress usually lie low on foreign matters. With no opposition, and with the geriatric Biden long set in his ways apparently, it's not a huge surprise that we find ourselves in the dangerous and absurd situation we face today.

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enhydra lutris's picture

Thanks also for the vids which I will catch later on today.

Just back from farmers' market which was a bit more crowded than usual and also included a dude playing a Chapman Stick, and doing it pretty well too. Finally get to have my second coffee, which is very invigorating. It is supposed to be gardening day and catch-up day, but some other things have come up, so it will be a bit of everything and I'm already losing track.

It's possible that the documentation sought wrt the shipwreck would be in the form of petroglyphs, petrographs, wood carvings and the like. It seems that the narrative provided by the white invaders should carry a lot of weight because they really have no financial or other interest in fabricating their narrative. To the extent supported by and supportive of oral traditions it is even more evidentiary. It is interesting how we think about such matters, wikipedia being a great example. If you can cite any writing in a footnote then x is true. If there were 800 eyewitnesses, one of whom is writing the article but none of whom made a contemporary writing, then x is pure speculation.

Ah well,, time to get getting and sort out today's revised agenda.

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 --

studentofearth's picture

@enhydra lutris influenced by the desire of territorial claims of the Northwest coast for US and Britain originally. The the implied ignorance of rural populations vs University experts continued the story as a myth or conspiracy theory.

Thanks for stopping by

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

and locals are welcome to come and play.
I don't know if anyone could tune my baby grand to A-440, so I should score some 2 octave organ keyboard, join in the fray. Pawn shopping in the future!
Meanwhile, CCR is blasting on Bluetooth, and I remember my parents LOVED them as much as I did!
There's a bad moon on the rise is like, no shit!

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Interesting. I've got some personal history with Manzanita, OR - but had never heard the story of that shipwreck.

Construction of those ships doesn't sound much like 'outsourcing' as we know it. They were never intended for anything other than trans-Pacific trade on the one route so it hardly would make sense to build them in Europe. Most were constructed in the Philippines and a few in Mexico under the supervision of European shipwrights.

It took decades for the Spanish to figure out viable routes both ways across between Acapulco and Manila - turns out that to go east it was necessary to first go north as far as northern Japan and then across - most often landfall was (what's now) Northern California - which helps explain why a ship headed for Southern Mexico could end up in Oregon. Westward leg was somewhat to the south of Hawaii, usually making landfall at Guam before continuing on to Manila.

Support for the galleons near their initial landfall was an important factor in motivating Spain to extend its control into Alta California...

A Manila galleon of the early 1700's figures fictionally in the second volume (The Confusion) of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle trilogy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manila_galleon

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