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    Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post

    I don't get the mindset where you would look at the inevitable future superpower and think "I'm going to set myself against the opportunities here and eventually become one of the sad old gits who mumbles in pubs about how it was all better when the previous superpower used to tweet about passing dementia tests". Change is exciting.


    Depends on what the change is!


    Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
    It's harmful for how we view the world and engage in useful conversations. It was the unchecked discourse on EU in Brit media over decades that definitely led to brexit. It was the unchecked discourse on Jews in German media that enabled the rise of the nazis and resulted in the holocaust. Think its really important we don't let these lazy ideas about entire groups of people to spread.
    Originally posted by Denny Crane View Post

    Kinda of ironic to finish on that point considering the Chinese leadership:

    Has an authoritarian leader
    Run massive camps for ethnic minorities
    Are building up militarily
    Have lasting antagonism towards neighbours due to a prior war
    Are annexing neighbouring territory, and have designs on claiming more
    Add in:

    US seizes items thought to be made from hair of Muslims in Chinese labor camps
    Border officials say shipment contained 13 tons of weaves and other hair products


    The World’s Most Technologically Sophisticated Genocide Is Happening in Xinjiang

    And even an Anschluss for good measure!

    Hong Kong police arrest pro-democracy politician set to run for legislature
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKCN24I1KF


    In the 1950s and 1960s, the general perception of Japanese exports was that they were cheap, low-quality copies. In the 1970s people started to get nervous, and in the 1980s people panicked. China is going through that now. 10-15 years ago most people in tech would have said that China was a good outsourcing centre but that its own products were mostly low-quality copies. No-one says that today: China combines efficient low cost manufacturing with ferocious iteration, innovation, duplication and creation of companies and products - and indifference to IP rights. It's moving up the value chain.

    That doesn't mean this is going to carry on looking like Japan in the 80s and 90s, though.
    • First, Japan has half the population of the USA, but China has four times the population of the USA, and on current forecasts will still be more than triple even in 2050. Japan's economic growth meant it joined the club, but if China's GDP per capita closes with the USA in the same way (today it's only 15% on some measures), then, deterministically, China might become a bigger economy than the USA, just as the USA became a much bigger economy than the UK or Germany in the late 19th century.
    • Second, Japan was a pacifist country tucked under the US strategic wing, run (more or less) by liberal, democratic, constitutional politicians who did not want to become a Great Power (been there, done that), and China, obviously, is not.
    • Third, Japanese companies bought movie studios and record labels, but no-one worried that let them influence elections.

    In the last 5 years the crisis of the US political system has coincided with Chinese leadership that has moved the country firmly away from any path of convergence with 'western' models of behaviour (even if that was wishful thinking), and strategic... caution towards the Chinese state has gone from a fringe of hawks that was often dismissed as xenophobia to a mainstream government view around the world. I'm not a geopolitical analyst, and I don't know if we should be expecting the Chinese navy to conduct freedom of navigation operations in the North Atlantic or indeed the North Sea in 10 or 20 years, or if we should compare China not just with the Japan of the 1980s but with the Japan of the 1920s.
    • But I'd suggest the real issue is China's newly demonstrated willingness to pick fights. Regardless of whether the equipment itself is secure, do you want a piece of critical national infrastructure to be dependent on the good will of the Chinese state for the next decade or two? The answer to that question today feels very different to what it would have been 5 years ago, and lots of other countries will look at the UK decision and feel the same.
    1980s Japanese growth but with 1920s Japanese/1930s German leadership.

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      "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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        Originally posted by Denny Crane View Post
        1980s Japanese growth but with 1920s Japanese/1930s German leadership.
        That's a really good, pithy summary. The first should not obscure the second.
        "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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          Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
          Its not a system we would like. But it's the standard system across Asia. Where more countries have this system than have democracy. I feel therefore uncomfortable with criticising a 'Chinese' system given it is an entire continents system.
          Taking the ten largest countries in Aisa and applying the bullshit test:
          1. China: dictatorship. HH is correct
          2. India: democracy. HH is wrong
          3. Indonesia: democracy. HH is wrong
          4. Pakistan: : (fairly mad) democracy. HH is wrong
          5. Bangladesh: democracy. HH is wrong
          6. Russia: dictatorship. HH is correct
          7. Japan: democracy. HH is wrong
          8. Philippines: democracy (just about with that loon currently in power). HH is wrong
          9. Vietnam: dictatorship. HH is correct
          10. Iran: dictatorship. HH is correct
          HH score: 4/10



          It would actually get worse for HH the more countries you include so we will spare him that indignity
          "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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            Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
            I thought you weren't a fan of claiming current politicians are like the nazis. You were quite strident about how inappropriate the analogy was back in your Trump days.
            I think you should keep it for those that orchestrate genocides, not for people who tweet stuff.

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              "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                Basically, Asia goes like this (in order of worst\most autocratic regime down to Western-style democracy):

                North Korea
                (big gap)
                Iran
                China
                Russia + all the ugly post-USSR 'stans'
                (gap)
                Failed state Afghanistan
                (gap)
                Semi-benevolent one-party: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia etc
                Dodgy but democratic-ish: Philippines, Pakistan, Burma, Turkey
                (gap)
                All the standard messy democracies of the region like Thailand\India\Bangladesh\Indonesia\Malaysia etc
                (gap)
                South Korea
                Singapore (lots of Western characteristics but basically a one party state with it's own oddities)
                Japan, Australia, NZ
                "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                  Is Hitch trying to make the point that brutally controlling a population is ok in Asia because a good few countries do it, to one extent or another?

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                    Originally posted by 6starpool View Post
                    Is Hitch trying to make the point that brutally controlling a population is ok in Asia because a good few countries do it, to one extent or another?
                    basically

                    although he also says:
                    Russia isn't a dictatorship
                    so who knows, maybe he is still hitting the morphine hard after his op.
                    "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                      Actually, I should have just encapsulated my thoughts in a map really: this works

                      1175048301.gif
                      "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                        Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
                        Its not a system we would like. But it's the standard system across Asia. Where more countries have this system than have democracy. I feel therefore uncomfortable with criticising a 'Chinese' system given it is an entire continents system.
                        This logic is so stupid I'm surprised anyone capable of expressing it is also capable of operating a computer. The value of the system is not determined by how many people use it. Nor is the value of an idea based on how many people hold it. There is, I think, ample evidence that dictatorships and autocracies are objectively awful and repressive systems of government. In their worst forms they can be fascistic death cults. As a system of government a dictatorship is objectively bad.

                        Your logic is something like: I don't want to criticise the bad idea China use because lots of their neighbours also have the same bad idea and it wouldn't be polite to criticise a bad idea if lots of people have it. That is staggeringly stupid.

                        Let me demonstrate:

                        HH in 1750:

                        "Slavery is the standard system across most of the modern world. Where more countries have slaves or take part in the slave trade than not. I feel therefore uncomfortable with criticising an "American" system given it is an entire continent's system"
                        You are technically correct...the best kind of correct
                        World Record Holder for Long Distance Soul Reads: May 7th 2011

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                          "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                            Can Hitch rise off the canvas after this succession of heavy blows? If anyone can come back from this pounding, it's him.

                            We await a triumphant Rocky-style comeback in the twelfth which ends with the entire crowd chanting pro-dictatorship slogans and Putin publicly executing journalists to roars of applause.
                            "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                              "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post

                                I don't know, my incredibly realistic and cynical father-in-law went out and voted on something recently in Russia. So the people on the ground, like him, don't seem to think it's a dictatorship. And he lives there.
                                People got to vote under Stalin too.

                                Russian 'democracy' is a not terribly well-disguised sham, a Potemkin village if you will.
                                How appropriate. My genius for apt analogies seems to be returning.

                                "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                                  "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                    ...
                                    "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                      Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
                                      I thought you weren't a fan of claiming current politicians are like the nazis. You were quite strident about how inappropriate the analogy was back in your Trump days.
                                      Going around calling it a hell hole and yet Chinese people can't wait to get back to live there and have very high levels of internationally determined life happiness.
                                      It's all about an aggressive bad international actor gaining more power and resources. China is becoming more and more of an international threat. Hence all my references to parallels to Germany. Superpowers who collect human hair from concentration camp inmates and who annex land from their neighbours, aren't likely to turn out to be positive to the rest of the world.
                                      Last edited by Denny Crane; 22-07-20, 12:25.

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                                        Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post

                                        You're arguing some sort of moot point anyway. All I said is that Russia isn't a dictatorship yet even though it is going there. We agree on the end point. While I was informing you of some actual conditions on the ground as people living there think, while you think something you read in a book about a hundred years ago is more apt. I'm quite happy with my approach even if it turns out to be wrong as the logical process is clearly superior.
                                        well, who cares what either of us think really. Let's check in with people who know what the conditions on the ground really are.

                                        Human Rights Watch
                                        The human rights situation in Russia continued to deteriorate in 2019. With few exceptions, authorities responded to rising civic activism with bans, repressive laws, and showcase prosecutions. Record numbers of people protested the groundless exclusion of opposition candidates from a local election in Moscow, and authorities responded with an overwhelming show of force, detentions, and rushed criminal prosecutions.
                                        Torture and other ill-treatment remained widespread; especially in pretrial detention and prisons.
                                        In mid-July, disqualification of viable opposition candidates—many of them allies of opposition politician Alexei Navalny—from the September Moscow City Council elections sparked sustained, unauthorized, but peaceful protests. Police used excessive force against peaceful protesters, dozens of whom sustained injuries, and arrested record numbers of demonstrators and random bystanders.
                                        One activist, Konstantin Kotov, received a four-year prison sentence merely for repeated participation in unsanctioned demonstrations. Courts issued warnings to two couples who brought their children to the protests, after the prosecutor’s office sought to have them stripped of their parental rights. One man received five years’ imprisonment for a tweet that was interpreted as threatening law enforcement officers’ children.
                                        Authorities opened a criminal investigation into election interference targeting opposition figures excluded from the ballot, and unregistered independent candidates served consecutive temporary arrest sentences. Civil lawsuits seek to hold protest leaders responsible for alleged damages, for millions of rubles, related to unsanctioned protests. A money-laundering investigation opened in August targeted the Anti-Corruption Fund (FBK)—an organization led by Navalny. Nationwide raids of the organization’s premises and freezing of its activists’ bank accounts followed the September vote.
                                        In December 2018, President Vladimir Putin signed into law amendments decriminalizing first-time incitement to hatred offenses. Russian authorities often misuse incitement to hatred offences to stifle legitimate protected speech.
                                        Courts issued crippling fines to NGOs and independent media
                                        In February, authorities opened a criminal terrorism propaganda investigation against a journalist, Svetlana Prokopyeva, for remarking in a broadcast about a suicide bombing that some government policies might be radicalizing youth.
                                        Russian authorities continued to persecute minority religious groups groundlessly designated as “extremist” under Russia’s overly broad counter-extremism law despite no evidence that they espoused or committed violence.
                                        In December 2018 and January 2019, police in Chechnya carried out a new round of unlawful detentions, beatings, and humiliation of men they presumed to be gay or bisexual. No one was held accountable for this or for Chechnya’s 2017 anti-gay purge.
                                        The Russian government continued to provide political and material support to armed groups in eastern Ukraine but took no measures to rein in their abuses, including arbitrary detention and ill-treatment of detainees. De facto authorities in Crimea continued to harass Crimean Tatars. Since 2015, Russian authorities have prosecuted at least 63 Crimean Tatars on trumped-up terrorism charges and handed down up to 17- year sentences.
                                        Russia continued to play a key military role alongside the Syrian government in offensives on anti-government-held areas, participating in indiscriminate attacks hitting schools, hospitals, and civilian infrastructure.
                                        I am reminded of:

                                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQKzesTq0Wo
                                        "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                                          Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post

                                          Wow you've really grown into bad analogies as you've aged. It's impressive seriously.

                                          The correct analogy would be to ask the 'slaves' what they think and proceed with that information rather than assume anything from afar. Are people e.g. happier with their political outcomes in China or in India? In dictatorial Singapore or in freely voting Nepal?
                                          Ask the people living in a dictatorship/autocracy whether they like living in a dictatorship/autocracy? How would you do that? Ask all of the adults to write down their preference and then count them? I'm sure there's a name for that...

                                          Also your "happiness" test is incredibly poor. Generally people living in autocratic regimes have very high satisfaction ratings with their governments. North Koreans absolutely love their government... Again, the number of people who subscribe to an idea or a form of government is not indicative of its value.

                                          You are technically correct...the best kind of correct
                                          World Record Holder for Long Distance Soul Reads: May 7th 2011

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                                            Originally posted by Keane View Post
                                            The big thing is being able to spend six months here to see how it all looks through the winter. At the moment despite working probably 70 hours a week the lifestyle is just unreal.
                                            How does this bit play out currently?

                                            I've been that soldier doing the 70+ hours per week before and I could never in a million years describe it as an unreal lifestyle regardless of where I was based. No matter which way you split it up (7x10 hours days or 5x14 hour days), it was always hellish and at the end of work each day, I'd have zero energy for anything other than sleep.

                                            If doing 5 x 14 hour days, you're starting work at 8am and finishing at 10pm? which gives you 4 hours to have dinner, try unwind before getting 6 hours sleep before you go again.

                                            If doing the 7 x 10 hour days, that's no day off at all and has to wear you down at some point, even if you love what you do.

                                            It's great if it works for you and hopefully, it is only short term but am curious to how the lifestyle is working so well with those kind of hours?

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                                              Originally posted by Denny Crane View Post

                                              It's all about an aggressive bad international actor gaining more power and resources. China is becoming more and more of an international threat. Hence all my references to parallels to Germany. Superpowers who collect human hair from concentration camp inmates and who annex land from their neighbours, aren't likely to turn out to be positive to the rest of the world.
                                              It's interesting the parallels between Russia and China:

                                              Actively annexing territory - check
                                              Massive military buildup - check
                                              Censorship - check
                                              Press freedom denied - check
                                              Internet controls - check
                                              Violence against minorities\ethnic groups - check
                                              Violence against peaceful protestors - check
                                              Widespread state-sponsored cheating at sport for propagandistic\nationalist purposes - check
                                              Horrendous environmental record - check

                                              You can't really say they're the same when it comes to opposition suppression as China doesn't even allow the existence of an opposition. Whereas Russia has both a tame, Putin-controlled fake 'opposition' and a small, almost suicidally brave real one. Anyone stupid enough to actively oppose the Russian government soon learns the realities of life
                                              "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                                                "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                  "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                    Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post

                                                    I don't know if you just can't handle the sun or its deliberate attempt to mimic the thinking style of an amoeba. We agree on the broad end point that it is becoming a dictatorship. I merely said its on that journey. While you think it's already there. It's not already there and that is generally accepted. For example from the Pew Foundation - it's a hybrid of democracy and autoritarianism. I don't think anyone independent, including your report, has labelled them a dictatorship. You seem to think they have but can't find any source for it. Being on a journey to somewhere, vs being already there, is important. A journey can be stopped or changed, while already being somewhere is a lot harder to reverse.
                                                    Russia is a country where, rather than engage in full-on autocracy, they engage in a sham pretence at democracy.

                                                    It's not 'a hybrid of democracy and authoritarianism'.
                                                    It's a truly authoritarian state (Putin just effectively declared himself ruler for life) that has some superficially democratic trappings ('hey look guys, we have a parliament! We have elections!") that are, upon inspection, utterly meaningless. The levers of control are 100% in the hands of Putin and the murderous, kleptomaniac siloviki thugs. And they will stop at nothing to hold onto those levers.
                                                    "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                                                      "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                        "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                          Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post

                                                          I respect your confident ability to talk about happiness surveys you know nothing about. There are global life satisfaction surveys carried out regularly around the world independent of countries that are generally accepted to be decent summaries of actual happiness in a country. (I've published a few decent research studies using the data and underlying research concepts). They've nothing to do with happiness with a government, but rather with how happy someone is with their life. A far superior measure of happiness we'd hopefully agree. Through a strange quirke of research history they are largely run out of Israel (e.g. the World Values Survey) across about a 100 different countries and not through direct measurement by countries themselves. China is always decently happy in the surveys. Not hilariously happy, just a bit above normal happy given their economic conditions. Economic conditions by the way, not political conditions, are the main determinant of life satisfaction. Well along with personal health.

                                                          Not addressing my initial point?

                                                          Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
                                                          Hmm. Whenever someone doesn't give a full response to a point, it's nearly always because the rest of the response is inconvenient. ​​​
                                                          You are technically correct...the best kind of correct
                                                          World Record Holder for Long Distance Soul Reads: May 7th 2011

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                                                            Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post

                                                            There's just so much tabloid fantasy here I'm not even going to bother.

                                                            I was saying your specific repeated point that it was wrong to apply the Nazi analogy at all. Remember back when you were hero-worshipping the stormtrooper-sending racial purist president?
                                                            I think it's entirely possible to be wrong about one thing (Denny is so clearly wrong about Trump that one is never sure if he is engaging in a world record attempt for trolling) but to be right on another....

                                                            "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                                                              China's surveillance state trumps everything. Alright, other countries are at it just more covertly but the reach and lengths to which it is being used in China is not a road that ends well for anyone.

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                                                                "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                                  Originally posted by Opr View Post
                                                                  China's surveillance state trumps everything. Alright, other countries are at it just more covertly but the reach and lengths to which it is being used in China is not a road that ends well for anyone.
                                                                  The Russkies are no slouches at same either
                                                                  "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                                                                    "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                                      Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post

                                                                      It is entirely possible. That's not the case here though. It's just a post full of negative adjectives and exaggerated America First ideas. Largely a continuation of the trumpism but rather than praising him praising his ideas.
                                                                      Really, I thought he was just pointing out that China and Russia are malign dictatorships?
                                                                      "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                                                                        Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post

                                                                        Neither indeed are the five-eyes. Indeed it's well known (was in the Snowdon papers) that all undersea Internet cables coming into Ireland are tapped by five eyes. So that's every single Irish Internet communication.
                                                                        Which system of government do you think is the better - democracy or autocracy?
                                                                        You are technically correct...the best kind of correct
                                                                        World Record Holder for Long Distance Soul Reads: May 7th 2011

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                                                                          Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post

                                                                          The Russkies are no slouches at same either
                                                                          Are they as technically sophisticated though. Some of the stuff China is doing sends shivers.

                                                                          https://youtu.be/CLo3e1Pak-Y?t=369

                                                                          This fucking guy describing the terminator system only it is used for good.

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                                                                            "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                                              seeing as we are on a Simpsons roll

                                                                              Democracies are basically Homer - slow, friendly and unlikely to hurt you deliberately

                                                                              Autocracies are essentially Sideshow Bob - malignant, dangerous and insidiously damaging (in ways you may not even realise)



                                                                              2880723-bob1.jpg
                                                                              "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                                                                                "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                                                  "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                                                    Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post

                                                                                    It's interesting the parallels between Russia and China:

                                                                                    Actively annexing territory - check
                                                                                    Massive military buildup - check
                                                                                    Censorship - check
                                                                                    Press freedom denied - check
                                                                                    Internet controls - check
                                                                                    Violence against minorities\ethnic groups - check
                                                                                    Violence against peaceful protestors - check
                                                                                    Widespread state-sponsored cheating at sport for propagandistic\nationalist purposes - check
                                                                                    Horrendous environmental record - check

                                                                                    You can't really say they're the same when it comes to opposition suppression as China doesn't even allow the existence of an opposition. Whereas Russia has both a tame, Putin-controlled fake 'opposition' and a small, almost suicidally brave real one. Anyone stupid enough to actively oppose the Russian government soon learns the realities of life
                                                                                    With the exception of the first one (and they do covet Greenland) it could be the US in recent years, to a lesser degree.

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                                                                                      Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
                                                                                      The point I'm maybe trying to make about China is that Trump has ratcheted up his China rhetoric as it becomes clear he is losing. At the same time you fine right-thinking people have ratcheted up your own China rhetoric. Now maybe you have great independent minds that have uniquely come up with your own negative thoughts about China at the exact same time as Trump. Or maybe you are following the party line of a person, that I'd say most of you except denny, wouldn't trust for any other single factoid.
                                                                                      Hang on. You've made an enormous leap here. There's a lot to unpack but let's keep it simple.

                                                                                      Trump making a point doesn't render that point unstateable. He regularly says incredibly stupid things. But if he says, for example, "water is wet" and then other people also say it, that does not mean that either (a) water is not actually wet; or, (b) that other people saying it are only doing so because Trump said it.

                                                                                      What is more likely is that Trump making a point elevates it in general conversation where the "fine right-thinking people" are then present to make their own entirely legitimate observations. Unless a point is inherently unstateable or wrong, it makes no sense to attribute motive to someone making a point without addressing the substance of the point.

                                                                                      I am not sure why you would want to associate a legitimate point made by one person with someone else who makes a similar or even identical point.
                                                                                      You are technically correct...the best kind of correct
                                                                                      World Record Holder for Long Distance Soul Reads: May 7th 2011

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                                                                                        Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
                                                                                        The point I'm maybe trying to make about China is that Trump has ratcheted up his China rhetoric as it becomes clear he is losing. At the same time you fine right-thinking people have ratcheted up your own China rhetoric. Now maybe you have great independent minds that have uniquely come up with your own negative thoughts about China at the exact same time as Trump. Or maybe you are following the party line of a person, that I'd say most of you except denny, wouldn't trust for any other single factoid.

                                                                                        In my posting I'm quite careful to make distinct points. That Russia isn't yet a dictatorship but its going there. That China has some obvious positives to match its obvious negatives. Its not ideology on my part, or misremembered chapters from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, it's more noting that this idea of clear good and bad is silly and unlikely to be true.
                                                                                        So anyone who disagrees with you is either a Trump supporter or we are getting our ideas from fifty year-old novels.
                                                                                        That's pretty poor ad homming I have to say.

                                                                                        To engage with the little bit of your post that isn't playing the man rather than the ball.

                                                                                        Trump is of course attacking China. It's a surefire vote winner for him. Much in the way that being hawkishly anti-communist in the 1950s-80s was.
                                                                                        You can see that for what it is, and let's face it, it's pretty fucking transparent but it still doesn't mean that China is therefore automatically absolved of all the appalling behaviours it is engaged in.
                                                                                        Trump is a terrible president, a terrible human being and will hopefully be booted out of the WH in November.
                                                                                        That doesn't change the simple fact that China is a dictatorship that engages in a very wide range of malignant practices.

                                                                                        On the bolded bit, of course that is true. I'm surprised it even needs stating but I guess you are trying to claim that people are engaging in overly-simplistic labelling of countries as 'good' or 'bad'.

                                                                                        Every polity is a shade of grey. You would hope the good outweighs the bad but in the cases of Russia and China, they are doing some very serious harms both to their internal populations and externally. I would be very loath to point to economic progress (China) as a mitigating factor for this.
                                                                                        "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                                                                                          "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                                                            Never mind Russia and China, why is nobody addressing the hitherto unacknowledged power of the Greenland Department of Tourism mafia (which might consist entirely of a walrus and a husky)? Or do we reckon it making it onto the travel green list was a bit of a larf?

                                                                                            Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
                                                                                            Not hilariously happy
                                                                                            New life goal potential there.

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                                                                                              "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                                                                Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
                                                                                                sigh out loud. Okay so the people on here claiming that china had invented covid in a lab a few months ago because trump had said that, now suddenly have smart points about china totally unrelated to what trump is saying. Forgive me a bit for doubting the place you are coming from.

                                                                                                Yes indeed trump might say that water is wet and we can agree that water is wet without meaning we are agreeing with him. But making a geopolitical point is a bit different to making a scientific point.

                                                                                                I also don't agree that China is doing harm that outweighs the good. I think what they are doing is claiming their economic space in the world in the interests of their population and this is threatening vested economic interests. If you look at how the Japanese were portrayed in US 1980s films and news media it was the same thing - except in their case the racist portrayal by the US was based on mafia and shadiness assumptions and the idea that they hadn't really paid their war debt. I even remember (rare, but still) Japanese jokes from school. This always happens. It will be the same with the African nations when they start to rise in a few decades. It won't be overt racism, but it'll all essentially revolve around 'those people over there'. Like now making a caricature of the Chinese as servile folk blindly following their dictator and not allowing them their due agency to be able to have worked out that the system right now is working in their interest - just as it worked for their neighbours in South Korea and Taiwan in recent decades.

                                                                                                Also the idea that democracy is always the right system is just simplistic nonsense. It's usually the right system and should be the end goal, but its simply not always the right system at all points in a countries development. Just because a racist psychopath elected by a democracy once made a quote of it being the worst system bar all others doesn't make it true.
                                                                                                need to step away from the kool aid dude... Don't think anyone here claimed that.
                                                                                                No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity, but I know none, therefore am no beast.

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                                                                                                  "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                                                                    "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                                                                      "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                                                                        "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                                                                          "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                                                                            Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post

                                                                                                            There was at least a few weeks of people on here claiming that at around the time that Trump started saying it! Multiple people. Mainly Raoul and Denny, of course, but a few others too. But I'm glad you also agree its ridiculous.
                                                                                                            I did no such thing. You're really off the reservation today.
                                                                                                            "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                                                                                                              Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
                                                                                                              The point I'm maybe trying to make about China is that Trump has ratcheted up his China rhetoric as it becomes clear he is losing. At the same time you fine right-thinking people have ratcheted up your own China rhetoric. Now maybe you have great independent minds that have uniquely come up with your own negative thoughts about China at the exact same time as Trump. Or maybe you are following the party line of a person, that I'd say most of you except denny, wouldn't trust for any other single factoid.

                                                                                                              In my posting I'm quite careful to make distinct points. That Russia isn't yet a dictatorship but its going there. That China has some obvious positives to match its obvious negatives. Its not ideology on my part, or misremembered chapters from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, it's more noting that this idea of clear good and bad is silly and unlikely to be true.
                                                                                                              lol. I've been saying this for years.

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                                                                                                                I do like that Hitch is pushing the notion that I am peddling Trumpian tropes while at the same time making shit up that wouldn't be out of place in a Trump press conference.
                                                                                                                "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                                                                                                                  Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post

                                                                                                                  There's just so much tabloid fantasy here I'm not even going to bother.

                                                                                                                  I was saying your specific repeated point that it was wrong to apply the Nazi analogy at all. Remember back when you were hero-worshipping the stormtrooper-sending racial purist president?
                                                                                                                  What exactly about it is tabloid fantasy?

                                                                                                                  The camps are fantasy? Or the sterilisations? Or the skirmishes on the Indian border? Or the island atolls? Or its crackdown on HK? What part of its foreign policy bodes well for the future?

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                                                                                                                    Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post

                                                                                                                    There was at least a few weeks of people on here claiming that at around the time that Trump started saying it! Multiple people. Mainly Raoul and Denny, of course, but a few others too. But I'm glad you also agree its ridiculous.
                                                                                                                    Jesus Hitch, seriously stop. The two posts you quoted never said that it was a chinese conspiracy. Both posts were clear and nuanced in how they addressed the point. And precisely as I said it's clear that they discussed the point because it was in public conversation. Did Trump start that? Yes. Does that mean either Denny or Raoul think he's right, or even said that he's right? No.

                                                                                                                    You're really not grasping this at all man.
                                                                                                                    You are technically correct...the best kind of correct
                                                                                                                    World Record Holder for Long Distance Soul Reads: May 7th 2011

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                                                                                                                      Btw I fully support Hitch in everything he has said and how he has said it, and urge fellow neutral IPB'ers to support him from the Axis powers lining up against him.

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                                                                                                                        Originally posted by Lao Lao View Post

                                                                                                                        How does this bit play out currently?

                                                                                                                        I've been that soldier doing the 70+ hours per week before and I could never in a million years describe it as an unreal lifestyle regardless of where I was based. No matter which way you split it up (7x10 hours days or 5x14 hour days), it was always hellish and at the end of work each day, I'd have zero energy for anything other than sleep.

                                                                                                                        If doing 5 x 14 hour days, you're starting work at 8am and finishing at 10pm? which gives you 4 hours to have dinner, try unwind before getting 6 hours sleep before you go again.

                                                                                                                        If doing the 7 x 10 hour days, that's no day off at all and has to wear you down at some point, even if you love what you do.

                                                                                                                        It's great if it works for you and hopefully, it is only short term but am curious to how the lifestyle is working so well with those kind of hours?
                                                                                                                        Jeez on count back 70 is an exaggeration alright! It's more a case of my work day spanning the entire stretch from about 9am to midnight due to the nature of the work I do and the stage of the project we're at. It's not continuous but I'm always on to some extent for the moment including weekends.

                                                                                                                        It's actually not so bad from the point of view that I can get out and about during the day for exercise or errands but when I'm home I'll be doing bits and pieces every waking hour.

                                                                                                                        It's part of the work cycle for me that you end up with three months like this every two years or so. Most of the time it's flexible with a good work/life balance.

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                                                                                                                          Originally posted by hotspur View Post
                                                                                                                          Btw I fully support Hitch in everything he has said and how he has said it, and urge fellow neutral IPB'ers to support him from the Axis powers lining up against him.
                                                                                                                          You too shall be crushed beneath our remorseless jackboots of logical and factual tyranny.

                                                                                                                          Consider yourself to be Denmark or Norway in 1940.

                                                                                                                          "Well they would never do anything to us...we're nice, everyone likes us. Plus we're small and cute."

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                                                                                                                          "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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