Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

March 28, 2021

Walk Fort Lauderdale Beach

Eleven minute walk along Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Crazy during Spring Break!

This country in between crises letting off steam amidst:
- Multitude inner city shootings
- Racism and violent riots
- Anarchy at the Capitol
- Our sovereign borders being overrun
- Chaotic Covid pandemic
- Ridiculously out-of-control spiraling national debt
- Deteriorating relations with superpowers Russia and China
- Nuclear escalations with Iran and North Korea
- Another horrible election

Who will save this country from itself? ;-)

(Credit Video: Andy Blumenthal)

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February 12, 2021

Forecast 2021 By Andy Blumenthal




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October 28, 2020

Overwhelming Public Fatigue

China Fatigue

Covid Fatigue

Election Fatigue

Exaggerations Fatigue

Extremism Fatigue

Fear Fatigue

Facebook Waste of Time Fatigue

Lies and Corruption Fatigue

Media Manipulation Fatigue

Power Politics Fatigue

Racism and Hate Fatigue

Riots and Looting Fatigue

Fatigue Fatigue ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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July 5, 2020

Targeting Israel: A Distraction From Real Threats

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Targeting Israel: A Distraction From Real Threats."
While the world unfortunately focuses again on Israel (a state the size of New Jersey), they continue to unfortunately be asleep at the wheel when Russia invaded Crimea and annexed it from a sovereign country of Ukraine in 2014, and again now in 2020 as China is taking critical steps that restrict freedom and human rights in Hong Kong.

The question is why we are constantly being diverted to blame and attack Israel and to not look at the real threats to world peace? Yet again, it’s another modern-day blood libel! While the superpowers play Risk with the world order, we should not be fooled by others trying to tell Israel what to do. Nothing should stop Israel from annexing the 30% of the West Bank under the Middle East Peace Plan that is vital to their lasting peace and security. Today is July 4th and the U.S. and Israel stand united in their commitment to that future.


(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 7, 2020

The Coronavirus Stock Market

I believe this photo best summarizes where we are with the Coronavirus stock market.

As they say:
Don't count your chicken before they hatch.

This market has gotten way ahead of itself and the pending economic realities of the Coronavirus and the consequences of the trillions of response fund debt. 

Remember:

- The virus does not yet have a vaccine, and it is mutating and may become even more virulent!

- The deaths continue to soar in the U.S. with now over 75,000 dead in just two months.

- The deaths involve much pain and suffering both for the victim and his/her grieving loved ones. 

- The unemployment is at all time highs since the Great Depression. 

- Companies are starting to move from temporary layoffs to permanent firings and contraction, and many eventually to bankruptcy. 

- Profitability and gross domestic product are way down and may be even worse in the next quarter.

- Price Earning ratios are around their 10-year highs even looking out toward a possible 2021 recovery. 

- Restarting the economy does not mean a return to what was as the extreme trauma from the pandemic, shutdown, and social distancing rebalance us to a "new normal."

- A second and third wave of Coronavirus may be as bad or even worse than the first. 

- The two biggest global economies of the U.S. and China are facing a deteriorating and toxic relationship.

- The lingering $3,000,000,000,000 that we just added to our National Debt is going to increasingly strangle our future economic outlook. 

- The election is in November and brings increasing instability and likely volatility. 

In summary, the term used by former Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan of "irrational exuberance" seems like a gross understatement when it comes to our current stock market.  

Get ready to see the froth come painfully off this drunken market--these eggs are about ready to crack.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 17, 2020

Shabbat Shalom From Elmo!

Remember before Coronavirus when times where a little more innocent...

When we didn't have to worry about viruses spread by eating live or wild animals or that "escape" from weapons laboratories. 

It's good to be a little nostalgic.

Shabbat Shalom! ;-)

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 12, 2020

Simpsons Predicted Coronavirus

It's incredible that the Simpsons' creators predicted Coronavirus back in 1993!

I understand that the sign in the first photo (top left) was edited from Osaka Flu to Corona Virus.

But still incredibly...

The Chinese workers are seen coughing/sneezing into the box of goods being exported to us.

Simpson opens his new bought goodies.

And instead of the joy of shopping, he gets sick.

And the virus spreads and spreads. 

(Source photo: Dailymail and you can watch the Youtube video there as well)
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March 1, 2020

Toys Non-Digital

Interesting set off toys found in a silver pan tray. 

A couple of dogs, some Play-Doh, a crayon, and a fighter plane. 

Off to the side (not pictured) are the Legos. 

Interesting with what competes with video games and phone apps these days. 

(Note: 85% of the world's toys are now made in China!)

Frankly, there is still a lot to be said for the creative play of yesteryear. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 20, 2020

Wash Hands, Don't Touch Face

Everyone seems to be talking and concerned about the coronavirus.

Today, one of the people that clean the office told me to be careful and said:
Wash hands. Don't touch face!

Someone also questioned where fundamentally did this new killer virus come from:
Is this new virus really from eating exotic animals like they say or is it really something that escaped from a Chinese biological laboratory?
Since we are dealing with an origin of the virus that is from a Communist county that represses freedom of information, the Wall Street Journal raised doubts about the information we are getting:
As the outbreak was already under way, the local government did what Communist governments always do: cover up...[and even] China's president cannot trust the information he is getting. The lack of trust mean he must make decisions in the dark. No institution can function effectively this way.

With coronavirus more contagious than even SARS or MERS, perhaps the most important immediate questions is how far and deep will it spread?

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 18, 2020

Growing Fears Of Coronavirus

As the coronavirus continues to infect more and more people, the fear is continuing to grow.

Today, Apple announced that the outbreak will imagine their sales

And I read yesterday that airlines, even Israeli El Al, is warning of the impact

But how you know that the people, as individuals, are getting seriously worried are by the level of precautions they are starting to take.

These include: canceling travel arrangements, wearing (antiviral) face masks and latex gloves, and ever more frequent hand-washing and use of hand sanitizers. 

The picture here shows a couple of ladies waiting on line for some gelato at the airport, and they have masks over their faces and this is in the Holy Land, and not even where the outbreak is in China!

I hear official figures of 70,000+ infected and 1,800 dead, but on the street people are saying these are grossly understated. 

Let us pray that this virus is brought speedily under control, that a cure is found, and that no more people are sickened or killed by it. 

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 22, 2019

The Red Door

Wow, this is such a cool door.

Love the red.

Love the spikes on the door. 

Would like a little tougher handle on this.

But overall that's a door!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 26, 2018

Tired Of All The Whining About China

I don't know about you, but I am so tired about all the whining about China. 

- They are stealing our intellectual property. 

- They are hacking into our systems. 

- They are unfairly forcing us to transfer technology to them.

- They aren't opening up their market to us. 

OMG stop the complaining already!

If you don't like what they are doing, then do something about it. 

Tariffs are a start, but just a small one. 

Seriously, if you can't incentivize them to stop the harassment and unfair trade practices by adding them to the World Trade Organization, investing in them, and partnering with them, then you need to actually compete with China. 

- They steal our sh*t--you help yourself to a generous serving of theirs.  

- They break into our systems--you find your way into their systems.

- They try to unfairly take away our markets and jobs--you take away theirs big time.  

Everyone knows that to deal with bully, you must fight back!

The more we are scared into inaction, the worse it gets.

This doesn't mean that we should get into a military exchange with China, but we do need to get into a confrontation over what economic and global partnership should mean and look like. 

China is an old and truly great nation and their people should be highly respected.

However, the USA should also be treated right, and if that means it's time for a heart to heart and some evening up of the playing field then that is what has to happen. 

We have to restore respect to America, not by becoming bullies ourselves, but by standing up to them when we are being taken advantage of.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 13, 2018

A Social System that Inspires Pride and Shame


This story continues to fascinate me. 

China's social credit system started in 2015. 

China scores individuals based on public data (social media, financial, insurance, health, shopping, dating, and more), and they have people that act as "information collectors" (i.e. neighborhood watchers) who record what their neighbors are doing--good and bad. 

Each individual starts with a 1,000 points. 

If you do good things in Chinese society--helping people, cleaning up, being honest--you get points added. 

If you do bad things in China--fight with people, make a mess, be dishonest--you get points deducted. 

Fail below 1,000 points and you are in trouble--and can get blacklisted!

A good score is something to be proud of and a bad score is something that shames people to hopefully change for the better. 

But more than that, your social score has tangible social impacts--it can determine your ability to get into certain schools, obtain better jobs, homes, loans/mortgages, high-speed internet, and even high-speed train tickets/airplane flights. 

While maybe well intentioned, certainly, this has the very real potential to become a surveillance state and the embodiment of "Big Brother"!

On one hand, it seems like a great thing to drive people and society to be better. Isn't that what we do with recognizing and rewarding good behavior and with our laws and justice system in punishing bad behavior?

Yet, to me this type of all-encompassing social credit system risks too much from a freedom and privacy perspective. Should the government and all your neighbors be privy to your most intimate doings and dealings?  And should people be controlled to such an extent that literally everything you do is monitored and measured and counted for/against you?

It seems to me that the price of sacrificing your very personal liberty is too high to make in order to push people towards positive social goals.

Guiding people is one thing, and rewarding outstanding acts and punishing horrific ones is understandable, but getting into people's knickers is another. 

This type of social credit system really borders on social control and moves us towards a very disturbing, dystopian future. ;-)
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June 13, 2018

Mao Tse Tung - China Leadership Watch


So this was absolutely amazing today. 

We had a meeting and someone brought in a bag of "prizes" as an icebreaker.

Low and behold, one of the items being given away was a this cool watch. 

At first, we thought it was Kim Jong-il (father of Kim Jong-un, North Korea's current leader). 

"Coincidentally," this just one day after the historic peace summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. 

Then later, we realized that this is Chairman Mao Tse Tung, the founding father of modern China. 

It is mind-boggling to me why anyone would give a watch like this away. 

I am curious if anyone knows what the inscription on the back is?  

Anyway, I think this watch is an amazing piece of history, especially from China's transformation to the world's largest Communist country.

I can only imagine what the history of this timepiece is and how it got here to NIST.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 31, 2017

Social Media Totalitarianism

The Chinese government has the most brilliant as well as frightening use and control of social media. 

I am not just talking about blocking Internet sites and free information flow. 

They actually have mastered the use of social media for tracking and rewarding or punishing citizen behavior.

Their social credit system rates people's behavior online for everything they do!

Similar to likes and dislikes, you are either labeled a "model citizen" sought after for jobs and good housing or you can be an "enemy of the state" treated as a social outcast who can't even leave the country anymore. 

Everything about you is now based on what you are rated (whether true or not)!

Now in China the government has added a snitching tool/app where people are encouraged through a points system that offers rewards like store discounts, coupons for coffee, taxis, and music streaming, in order to get them to report covertly on their neighbors--are their fellow citizens fighting, is there mental illness, are people cheating on their taxes, etc. 

You're being surveilled not just by the grid system, where every 300 households are watched and checked-in on by a "grid manager," but you are subject to daily intrusion by anyone that wants to report on you. 

Communication to "Big Brother" is way overvalued, while privacy and respect of the people are no longer important values or concerns. 

Instead of a Security Operations Center to monitor and command response to life-threatening catastrophes and emergencies, now there is a "Social Governance Integrated Command Center" to display video and biometric surveillance from throughout the country as well as to show what are the "moods" and which "issues" are trending. 

Talking about having a finger on the pulse of what's going on...

I say this is all brilliant and malign, because social media which can be a tool for connecting people and for the free flow of information and progress is instead used for near ultimate control and enslavement of the masses--both their minds and their behaviors. 

People should not be treated as servants of the state and subjected to ever-encroaching social media surveillance and control that is not carefully balanced directly to absolutely necessary national security. 

Rather the state and its levers of people's supreme power should be subject to the wants and needs of its people who must freely decide on their collective futures and maintaining human rights. 

Totalitarianism by police state, imprisonment, torture and "re-education" is now unfortunately facilitated by social media monitoring,  and credits system where truly you are watched by Big Brother in the flesh and in the bytes. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 11, 2017

Baiting With North Korea and Taiwan

OMG, I can't listen to this politically correct nonsense for the masses on North Korean anymore. 

Yes, North Korea is a nuclear threat and they are ramping up the ante. 

And we are still technically at war with the North Koreans. 

But all the in-the-box ideas for stopping the North Korean threat is wasting everyone's time and efforts. 

Today in the Wall Street Journal, we had everything from telling China that we'll recognize the Axis of evil North Korean regime and sign a peace treaty with them in return for limiting the North Korean missile program and having inspections (because those worked so well in the past or with Iran) or we put the "squeeze" on China by threatening to remove their 328,547 Chinese students from American universities. 

Listen, it's time to face facts:

China will not give up support for North Korea against us, until we would agree to give up support for Taiwan against them. 

Is that really so hard to understand?

No China will not be sanctioned by us or threatened by us economically or militarily--they are a superpower in their own right!

And we cannot expect to ask or force China to stop supporting North Korea, just because we don't like it--in fact, that is exactly the point. 

We don't like it, and that's what China wants in order to push us out of supporting an independent and democratic Taiwan.

So now we are at the root of the choice here for America.

Either America is willing to negotiate with China for real and in effect compromise our values for democracy and freedom in the world or we can deal with North Korea on our own. 

And dealing with North Korea on our own--without destroying much of South Korea and even Japan in the process--probably means just one (or two) big bangs. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 31, 2017

Always National Security

Here is a link to my short video on national security thoughts that keep me up at night.

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October 31, 2015

Is He A Man Or A Mouse?

Often at home, we'd look at what's going on in the world, the sad state of affairs, when people act bad, and the lack of leadership, and my dad would say, "When there's no man, you be the man."

He was right!!!

These days, the question has morphed into, "Is he a man or a mouse?"

We are so chasing our tails out there.

Today after 4 1/2 years of civil war in Syria--hundreds of thousands dead, 14 million displaced, chemical weapons and barrel bombs dropped on civilians, crossed red lines and empty vows of "No boots on the ground"--and now we sending up to 50 special forces as a token force to "advise and assist" in Syria after the recent $500 million military training program for "4 or 5" moderate rebels in Iraq was a total bust!

Of course, we're going to Syria not to actually engage the enemy, but more to dare Russia whose deployed there with planes, tanks, ships, artillery, and Spetsnaz special forces to hit us. 

Similarly, after Russia's incursion into Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, we conduct a training exercise with 3,000 troops in the Baltics and put together a NATO rapid reaction force in Europe and call it day, as if that will deter the "Great Bear."

Oh, and don't forget that we sent a single battle ship within 12 nautical miles of the South China Sea artificial islands--again, daring them to try something. 

Well what if one of these days Russia or China actually took up the dare?

Already this week, Russia flew two fighter jets within a mile of the Ronald Reagan Aircraft Carrier--endangering the 6,000 personnel and all those valuable Navy assets. What did we do? We had 4 fighters escort them away--after what couldn't been a significant attack on our Navy.

If we did that to Russia, what do you think they would've done--our fighters would've been shot down so fast, we wouldn't have known what hit us--like when they did the Blitzkrieg into Ukraine and recently into Syria--we're taken off guard again and again. 

Also recently, Russia maneuvered a military satellite between two of U.S. Intelsat satellites, 50 of which are used by our military for communications and drone missions. Moreover, Russian subs and ships are hovering around major global data cable lines posing a threat to the backbone of the Internet.

How about with Iran--we make a deal easing sanctions on them and releasing hundreds of billions of dollars--and what do they do? Conduct long-range ballistic missile test, convict a Washington Post reporter, arrest a U.S. business executive, and continue to threatens America and Israel

When we are afraid and our enemies are not--when they act with impunity--we are more mouse than man. 

We may get some cheese, but the mouse is dead rodent meat unless it gets with it.

This is not a game of cat and mouse--but the lives of hundreds of millions that hang in the geopolitical balance--and there is no mousey hole to hide in. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 24, 2015

Fashion As Art

I took this photo today in Washington, D.C.--although it seemed for a moment like I was magically transported to downtown Beijing. 

What an stunning outfit this lady is wearing!

Fashionable yet modest, with brilliant colors, and contrasting patterns and solids--more like art than clothing. 

She is walking with a complete fluid grace--even while she's reading on her smartphone. 

Don't tell Dossy--Oh, she's right here! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 8, 2015

What's The Capital Of The United States Again?

So this is what the state of education in the United States has come to.

We were having dinner last night with another couple. 


They asked my daughter, "Do they still teach geography in school? They don't teach that anymore do they?"


My daughter said, "Yeah, we learned a lot of geography" and gave some good examples both modern and ancient. 


So the guy says, "Well I don't think a lot of other schools are teaching geography anymore, like they used to with us."


Then he tells us a story how someone they know was asked what the capital of China was.


And he goes to me, "You know, you know [he emphasizes again], what the guy said?"


I looked at him a little puzzled by this question, like what could someone possibly answer to such a simple question, so I said, "Well I hope they said Beijing."


He nods his head back and forth no, eyes closed, lips pursed, like we won't believe what he was about to say.


Then, he says, "The guy said that the capital of China is...JAPAN!"


I looked at him my eyes squinting in disbelief, like that can't be a for real answer, right?


"No," he says, "That was what this guy thought, can you believe it?"


I said sort of laughing out loud, "Well maybe if World War II had ended differently that would be correct."


It sort of reminds me of the famous goof when Clinton gave the Russians the now famous "Reset Button."


It was supposed to indicate a thawing and renewal of peaceful relations, only the word printed on the button was "Peregruzka" meaning a more hostile "Overcharge."


Oops! 


Maybe the overcharge referred to was prophetic of the West's losing the strategic Crimea to the Russian blitzkrieg in 2014. How much did that mistake cost us?


I guess it's not only STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) suffering in our educational system. 


How's that standards based education reform "No Child Left Behind" (2001) working out? 


It definitely seems like some folks are most definitely being left behind if not completely lost in the system.


At this rate, I fear the capital of the United States is now Iran. ;-)

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