“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Non-Chinese need not apply.

‘Buy China’ policy set to raise tensions
By Jamil Anderlini in Beijing
Published: June 16 2009 16:13

China has introduced an explicit “Buy Chinese” policy as part of its economic stimulus programme in a move that will amplify tensions with trade partners and increase the likelihood of protectionism around the world.

In an edict released jointly by nine government departments, Beijing said government procurement must use only Chinese products or services unless they were not available within the country or could not be bought on reasonable commercial or legal terms.

The government also said it was launching an investigation in response to complaints from domestic industry associations which accuse local governments of favouring foreign suppliers in procurement related to the country’s Rmb4,000bn ($585bn, €421bn, £356bn) economic stimulus package.

“From a domestic political perspective this makes some sense because local governments do tend to favour foreign products in some categories,” Dong Tao, chief China economist for Credit Suisse, said. “But given how important free trade is for China’s economy this is not the right message for them to be sending to the rest of the world right now.”

Just a few months ago Beijing was raging against a proposed “Buy American” clause included in the US economic rescue package.

“Some countries raised clauses to prioritise the purchase of products of their own countries in their economic stimulus packages,” Yao Jian, a Chinese commerce ministry spokesman, told reporters in February. “We express deep concern about these [measures] ... under the current financial crisis, measures issued by all countries should not cause negative impacts, and especially they should not send out wrong messages.”

Most economists agree China’s economy is starting to recover as a result of its aggressive stimulus package but the country is still struggling with unemployment and fears widespread layoffs could lead to serious social unrest.

“The whole world is dying to see China spread its orders around and save their economies,” said Mr Tao. “But what this policy reflects is heightened anxiety about these job pressures and the potential for social unrest.”

The edict was issued jointly by the legislative office of the State Council, China’s cabinet, the national development and reform commission (the country’s powerful state planning agency) and the ministries of industry and information, supervision, housing, transport, railways, water resources and commerce.

The new edict bans local governments and departments from discriminating against domestic suppliers in their procurement. Foreign companies operating in China argue that the opposite is in fact true and that they have been largely cut out of procurement related to the government’s stimulus package.

“We are puzzled by this discussion, especially since most European companies operating in China are locally incorporated and have not benefited directly from the government’s stimulus package,” said Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. “Requiring government procurement to favour Chinese goods and services certainly won’t help to address China’s trade surplus of €170bn.”

Trade data in recent months show import volumes, particularly of raw materials, have stabilised and started to increase strongly, while exports have stabilised but remain very weak following precipitous drops in both exports and imports since the fourth quarter of last year. China’s trade surplus rose 15.7 per cent to $88.8bn in the first five months from the same period a year earlier.

“Any movement – overt or subtle – to discriminate against foreign products and services is protectionist and an inefficient use of stimulus funds,” said James Zimmerman, partner with the international law firm of Squire Sanders & Dempsey in Beijing.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009


  1. We'll begin to see how well China plays with the other children.

  2. Most economists agree China’s economy is starting to recover as a result of its aggressive stimulus package...

    Yeah right, their economy is pretty much dead in the water except for Government spending. The economic numbers being reported now are stimulus numbers. The question remains about whether the massive spending will sustain the economies through a prolonged recesssion. Some say that the current recession will last until the worldwide financial system can be redesigned and rebuilt. It will take years and years to recover and in the meantime, globalism could take a huge setback.

  3. In local business news, I can report this--

    Lewiston Firm Wins French Ammo Contract--

    Seems a little odd to me they'd be using American ammo makers, when they have the whole EU market in which to negotiate.

  4. And in other local news--

    Mortgage Company Files For Liquidation--

    Fly by night company goes under.

  5. Marches still going on in Iran.

    One does not insult another man’s wife in polite conversation. This is especially true in Persia.--
    from comments at BC--


    Interesting perspective on the goings on.

    Big day here, be well.

  6. ...auditions parents of baby models to see what they are willing to have done to their babies in search of fame and fortune.
    Lands bare assed in eminem's face!

  7. ...adopts black baby, ala Madonna, named OJ!

  8. Why does that pack not get eliminated, al-Bob?
    I'd donate a gallon of antifreeze.

  9. ans:
    Fuckheads like this:
    TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) _ Five organizations are suing the
    federal government over its decision to drop about 4,000 gray
    wolves in the upper Great Lakes region from the endangered species

    The Center for Biological Diversity and four other groups were
    preparing to file their suit Monday in U.S. District Court in
    Washington, D.C.

    They contend the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acted too
    hastily last month by removing federal protections from wolves in
    Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

    The agency says the wolves have recovered from the brink of
    extinction and are capable of surviving under state management.

  10. Toward the "birthplace" of our first Kenyan President.

  11. So, the Chinese, learning from the US Congress, have decided to "buy native". Seems a reasonable decision, since their export markets have dried up.

    whit tells US that their numbers are 'all' products of a stimulous package. This is a tad of an exageration, I'd wager, but even if it is true, that is the basis of communist/socialist economies. The government controls both production and distribution.
    Like at GM or Citibank, here in the US.

    Walmart has shown the Chinese manderins the way forward. That they can create an internal market that rivals any in the world.

    Stan Lee knew the best way forward, regardless of geographic bounderies, by serving the customer. The Chinese, betcha Ameros to Yuans, have learned the lesson of Walmart, which now has over 200 stores, in China. They are expanding in that market at an exponental rate, they do it well.

    The Chinese, just as they managed building their export economy, will set their sights on developing an internal market.

    They certainly have a track record of over 20 years of economic success that I, for one, would not bet much against.

  12. Mousavi's wife is an inspiration
    Today, however, I am simply humbled by hopes of the thousands who voted for Mir Hossein Mousavi. Suddenly whether he is one of “them” - the Khomeinists - is neither here nor there.

    Something far bigger than him is occurring. The streets of Tehran are full of people who have known nothing but an Islamic Republic along with veterans of the 1979 revolt against the Shah. They are all demanding change - and they are already losing their lives for it.

    For Iranian women, Zahra Rahnavard, Mr Mousavi's wife, has become a strong and inspirational figure. Despite the limits imposed by the regime, Iranians are the feistiest, most intelligent women that you could hope to meet.

    Many of my close relatives live in Iran. My 62-year-old uncle should be looking forward to retiring. Instead, like so many educated Iranians, he has to work at three jobs. In the evenings, many people's cars become taxis as they struggle to make a few extra rials for their family.

    I can do nothing from my safe haven in London but hold my breath, watch and wait. The internet is awash with updates, imagery and predictions - none of which we can ultimately count on. After all, just a week ago no one could have predicted the scenes that we are witnessing today.

    Like thousands of Iranian families, mine has lived in exile for the past 30 years. People like me have taken for granted the freedoms that young people in Iran are denied.

    Today we watch and wonder if this outrage will lead to calls for the separation of religion and state in Iran and an end to “Islamic rule”. Then, perhaps, we can all go back for a visit, as a family.

    Shappi Khorsandi is a comedian and author of A Beginner's Guide to Acting English, to be published by Ebury Press next month

  13. Maintaining at the 60% level, more or less.

    No cratering, yet.

    Obama Job Approval:
    NBC News/WSJ @ 56% | CBS News/NYT @ 63%

  14. "They certainly have a track record of over 20 years of economic success that I, for one, would not bet much against."
    ...and before the Japs and the Commies, how many eons of Chinese Businessmen?

  15. Re: alledged transfer of Patriot to PRC

    The IG report repudiated that claim. While calumny is convenient, it is, nonetheless, false.

    What did get DoD's knickers in a knot was the continued transfer of the Israeli Harpy and Phalcon systems to the PRC.

  16. yeppers, the ole Americans start it off with "buy America" and others follow with "buy Canada" and "buy China". How far will this escalate?

  17. "In the present situation, our president ought to be supportive of the Iranian opposition and its desire for freedom against a pharaonic state, but aloof in terms of any willingness to negotiate with the Iranian state in the future. As it is, President Obama has his priorities backwards; he is reticent about supporting Iranians in the streets while being obsequiously eager to negotiate with the Iranian government. President Obama apparently does not realize that the Iranian government will accuse the United States of meddling in its internal affairs whether the United States actually does so or not.

    Metaphorically speaking, Barack Obama is not merely betting on the wrong horse; he is betting in a racetrack that has just closed down for repairs after a major hailstorm.
    aka a Harvard educated moron.
    Product of White guilt exploitation to the max.

  18. Yeah, it did start here with the all knowing Messiah and the Dems, didn't it Ash?

  19. I remember habu disparaging George Marshall, due to "Losing China" syndrome. Truth be known, locking China into fifty years of Maoist doctrine was of great benefit to US National Interests.

    At least economicly, doubt if Mr Marshall foresaw the dust-up in Korea, though.

  20. Nixon, doug, it started with Nixon and those damned ping pong players.

    That fuckin' Forrest Gump fella, it's all his fault.

  21. I think Obama managed to water down the "Buy America" clause with "the bill will conform to current trade agreement" but the independence of States and municipalities gave the clause life. It appears both Dems and Republicans have strong protectionist streaks. Heck, Canada has been fighting for years with the Republican administration and congress over softwood lumber. The view here from outside the US is that the Americans are all in favor of free trade unless they suffer the short end of the trade stick and then the Lobby and special interest groups prevail, trade agreement be damned.

  22. It pains me to say so - defiant optimist that I struggle to be - but it may be the case that the Iran story has been overblown and oversold.

  23. Genesis not too big a task for Trish to report.
    Hi Fidelity:

    Rob: Liking both Marvin Gaye and Art Garfunkel is like supporting both the Israelis and the Palestinians.

    Laura: No, it’s really not, Rob. You know why? Because Marvin Gaye and Art Garfunkel make pop records.

  24. Nah, I was talking about protectionism starting here, 'Rat.

  25. Far be it from the Uber Liberal Dick to do that.

  26. I miss the way she smells, the way she tastes. I don't know what it is -- some mystery of physics. Some people... just smell like home.
    I can't go on apologizing my whole life!

    I think just the once would do!

  27. You mean to say, that those crowds were never there?
    That they are figments of imagination and photoshop.

    As real as Forest Gump's visit with the President?

    Or that the protestors never had a snowball's chance in hell?
    That it was always going to be a repeat of the Prauge Spring or Tittieman Square?

    Where the political rhetoric that the US expounds in around the whirled, that of freedom and liberty, ran up against guys with guns and violence in their hearts?

    And the US, as is often the case, refused to offer either aid or comfort to the lovers of freedom and liberty once they were on the march.

    Happens time and again, if one takes the effort and has the intellectual curiosity to search out the realitiy of US history, abroad.

    Mr Bush's policy failed in Iran for the last time.
    allen may well have been right, the US has no network in Iran, that the reports of it were a sham, merely political propaganda for domestic consumption.

    The previous administration and those in the in the national security business, failing beyond comprehension, even when the initial part of their program succeeded.

    They provoked the revolution, but were not ready to expedite the opportunity. They were not prepared.

    Not even Boy Scout material, the leadership of the US security establishment, both civilian and military.

    We have seen this failure in the past three major expeditions that the US has embarked upon.

    Desert Storm in 1991, when after a successful blitz across the desert, the US allowed the Iraqi Army to escape the death trap.
    To fight US again.

    In Iraq proper, 2003, when after a successful blitz across the desert the US civilian and military leadership allowed the country to slip into anarchy.

    And now, in Iran, where when after six years of sanctions regimes, that were designed to provoke societal upheaval in Iran, succeeded the US sat by with a thumb up its' ass. With no way to exploit the opportunity we had helped to create.

    The sanctions worked, albeit behind schedule, however they did succeed. That the US was not ready to exploit that success, so sad.

    Three cases where the "US Standard of Mediocrity", that Mark Steyn wrote about, shine bright.

  28. Why do you say that Trish? Were you expecting the Mullahs to fall and...

    ...the return of the Shah?

  29. "They provoked the revolution, but were not ready to expedite the opportunity. They were not prepared."
    And Trish had nothing but mockery for
    "Faster, Please!"

  30. ...or rolling over Syria.

    Or bombing the nascent al-Q in the early days of the long war in Waziristan.

  31. WW II stands as the last war we fought seriously.

  32. "Why do you say that Trish? Were you expecting the Mullahs to fall and..."

    For the strength of their position to be undermined, to the extent I was expecting something specific. I didn't expect an overthrow. The demonstrations were never about toppling the Republic but rather as one observer put it, "saving it."

    So if my hopes were not quite as high as those of many sympathizers, I have lowered them.

    If I am wrong, I will be happily wrong.

  33. That fella, doug, he'll go home and recite some poetry, he and bobbie.

    Men of Avon, not action.

  34. Talibanistan: The Establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan
    By Bill RoggioSeptember 5, 2006
    Pakistan's "truce with the Taliban is an abject surrender, and al Qaeda has an untouchable base of operations in Western Pakistan which will only expand if not checked.

    The Pakistani government has ceded a region the size of New Jersey, with a population of about 800,000 to the Taliban and al Qaeda. The establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan is not the end of the Taliban's expansion, however. An intelligence source indicates similar negotiations between the Taliban and the Pakistani government are being held in the agencies of Khyber, Tank, Dera Ishmal Khan and Bajaur. The jihadi dreams of al Qaeda's safe havens in western Pakistan have become a reality. And the gains made by the Coalition in Afghanistan have now officially been wiped away with the peace agreement in the newly established Islamic Emirate of Waziristan.

  35. Failures, each and everyone of the foreign macro-adventures we have embarked upon, over the past 25 tears have resulted in failures.

    That the Leviathan takes the hits and continues to lumber on, not success, at all.

  36. The Leviathan is quickly being reduced to the Lilliputian by
    The One.
    Hoisted on our own Retard.

  37. DR,

    Re: network in Iran

    Israel used to run a good show in Iran. Once its assets began to be detected (betrayed) and snuffed that dried up. Wonder how that happened. May Zbigniew and Jimmy Baker III could fill us in.

  38. The President gives the Six Stars of Afpakistan a three year command.

    Which presumes a three mission schedule.

    Our resident den mother corrects him, saying it'll be a five year committment.

    Failure is the mindset, before the job is even started.

  39. I'm glad to hear the missus is doing well, bob, and that you had some success on Wampum Night. It's the big and little things in life both, isn't it?

    In re undergrad, allen: I think my daughter would have agreed with the Kevin Bacon character in some movie whose title escapes me that "college is high school with ashtrays." Until that first semester of full-on econ. And that last semester of French.

    Now I leave all you masochists to play with Chuckie.

    I have a lovely quiche and - novelty of novelties! - a husband waiting.

  40. My impression is that the Mullahs are severely shaken by what has occurred. My understanding is that the Iranian people believed that the vote counts would be accurate, that the whole system was 'divine' and represented the peoples will. If confidence has been shaken in the 'honesty' of the Mullahs (and that certainly appears to have happened with the dispute of the election results) then confidence in the whole structure is shaken severely. I figure the Mullahs will have to disown the vote (pleading, somehow, that they were duped) and allow a runoff election to decide the presidential issue. Their other option appears to be to tough it out, as they've been trying to do, and adopt Rat's top down cynical tyrannical approach by mustering the guns and forcing down the opposition. I can't see them succeeding for long with such an approach given the contradiction between the divine nature of their system and a large portion of the population believing that the vote was rigged. It crushes the moral foundation of the Mullah's rule. Now, if the US in particular, or others, do as Rat pontificates and start agitating domestically it'll strengthen the Mullahs moral standing. I'd suggest we stand back and see if the Mullahs can convince their own people that they are honest and divine and not vote riggers. Right now they seem to be trying to pull the foreign agitation card but I can't see that working with hundreds of thousands silently, peacefully, walking in protest, soccer players wearing green armbands ect. If clandestine 'terrorists' start agitating by blowing things up it'll be a lot easier for the guys with guns to crack down.

  41. (It was said years ago, ash, that the up and coming rulers of Iran are IRGC. The stunner would involve cultivation, for lack of a better word, of a faction therein. There's your long-term op - of which Hersh, more than most clowns, has a comical understanding.)

  42. If the networks were emplaced, ash, it would ba made up of Iranians, each and everyone. Not an American to be seen.

    The monies would be in local and off shore accounts, in front businesses.

    After six years of development the network would be purely Iranian, with no strings back to the US.

    Centered out of the EU, Iraly most likely. It is Iran's largest EU trading partner.

    We may be seeing the activation of the network, as we speak, in the current events, as Abracadbra is telling the whirled.
    He could be right.

    Nonmilitary polical agitation to undermine the mullahs, at home. Soft power. Just as you say.
    Could be the plan, with a gestation period of a year, or more.

    China did alter course, after Tittieman.
    The Soviets are gone.
    Not a shot fired.

    That is the question that is the most pertinent at the moment, is there an insurgent network that the US helped to nurture in Iran?

    Is it active in what we are seeing?
    Is there a more militant follow on in the wings?

    Only allen ventures forth with an opinion on the matter.

  43. The den mother, as is often the case, tells us that we are working within the existing governmental structures to cultivate friends.

    Which is also one of the methods we've used, over the past 25 years.
    Where there have been no marco-adventure successes, to point to.

    There can never be a victory parade in the new paradigm.

  44. Does she call him General or Mister?

  45. Doubt if she called him Sir.

    She demands linguistic equality, from the General. At least during business hours, at the office.

    Well within the new paradigm.

  46. I met some female Air Force officers that did not like to be called, ma'am, they prefered to be referred to by rank or Sir.

    Felt ma'am was sexist, this back in the 1980s'.

  47. The General knows that, he WAS being disrespectful, to Senator Boxer, within his military methodology.

  48. trish,

    I agree with your assessment of the undergrad experience. Now that he is entering his junior year, the reality that much remains to be done in a limited time is sinking in.

    He is working over the summer as a part-time RA. In the fall he gets a full-time job. Dealing with the "lower" life forms may be having a positive effect. Oh, and Dad tightening the purse strings has helped.

    Trish, the best to you and the "Old Man"! Clink a glass for me and auld lang syne.

  49. This guy has a cynical wit, good stuff, considering it's from the Weakly Standard.

    First, there was the news from the NATO defense ministers meeting this past week that U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates had told his counterpart from Poland, Bogdan Klich, that the Patriot air-defense battery promised to Poland last August as part of a broader agreement to increase strategic cooperation between the two countries would be rotated in and out of Poland and used exclusively for training purposes. As such, he added, there would be no need for the missiles to be live and armed.

    The agreement to locate a Patriot battery in Poland was of course a late Bush administration effort to reassure Poland of U.S. interest in the country's security in light of the Russian invasion of Georgia; it was also a response to Russian threats against Poland for the possible deployment of ground-based missile interceptors in Polish territory--part of the U.S.-led missile defense program aimed at addressing the missile threat from Iran. Now, for all of Warsaw's efforts to be a solid, dependable U.S. ally--which have included sending troops to both Iraq and Afghanistan--Poland is receiving promises of U.S. troops occasionally setting up shop with the military version of "potted plants" on its territory

  50. DR,

    Re: Poland

    Well, it is the thought that counts...Right?

    There used to be the old joke about the village losing its idiot; but what happens when the entire village is peopled by idiots?

  51. Heck, Canada has been fighting for years with the Republican administration and congress over softwood lumber.

    Don't overlook that fight owes much to the greenie's having gutted the American logging industry in the PNW, Ash. How big was the issue pre-1990?

  52. Thanks, allen.

    In return, we'll pop the tops of a couple of bottles from the Bogota Beer Company and drink to churlish Jews everywhere.

    Your son will do just fine, I'm sure. God gave young men the stamina to handle pricey post-secondary education, beer, and chicks at the same time.

    Why remains something of a mystery, but He did.

  53. The Patriots and the other support troops were to deploy in conjunction with the anti-missile system that was to defend Central and Western Europe from Iranian missile attack.

    Which the Russians opposed, not wanting the US to establish a garrison on its' border.

    If the US has decided to scrap the Europeon leg of its' missile defense program, then there is little tatctical need to forward deploy any US conventional troops to Poland. Either permanently or for training purposes.

    We should be rolling back, now that we've decided it is not in our National Interest to aggravate our relationship with Russia, in an effort to defend Paris, London and Brussels from Iranian missiles.

  54. I'm not sure what drove the industry in the States to where it's at but the prime issue re trade has been the allegation that Canadian producers don't pay enough for the wood. Trade commissions have repeatedly ruled against the US on this issue (NAFTA, WTO) but tariffs have continued. There has even been negotiated settlements but as circumstances changed so has the lumber lobby demands. I read recently the battle may be heating up again despite the year or so long agreement.

  55. Here is an intersting interactive graph from RCP.

    Seems that while Obama's approval rating is inching downward, so is his disapproval rating.

    More folks falling into the "undecided", from both sides of the asile?
    That number is not tracked.

  56. ...the battle may be heating up again despite the year or so long agreement.

    IOW, that was then, this is now.


  57. The word "democratic" in the phrase "democratic Jewish state" is weak and problematic in terms of protecting the rights of the minorities against, for example, discriminatory land laws involving the Jewish National Fund. In contrast, the "democratic" that exists in the phrase "democratic Israeli state" is inherently far more potent in terms of protecting the rights of all Israelis who are partners in the state. Because in that case, it is not only the Jews who ostensibly have to protect the Arabs' democracy: rather, all Israelis are vigilant in terms of their own democracy, based on universal civil criteria.

    On the face if it, this is merely a verbal change, and in itself it does not, of course, solve fundamental problems, which have of late become increasingly exacerbated thanks to the nationalist right. However, it creates a common infrastructure on which it will be more fitting to start making corrections

    These wordsmiths still believe that words have meanings.

  58. PETA miffed at President Obama's fly "execution"
    Reuters - ‎1 hour ago‎ -

  59., the online edition of Haaretz Newspaper in Israel, offers real-time breaking news, opinions and analysis from Israel and the Middle East. provides extensive and in-depth coverage of Israel, the Jewish World and the Middle East/

    There may be some that argue that the folks at Haaretz are not "Real Israeli" or perhaps not even "Real Jews", if Israel really is a cultural extension of US.

    For me, the ongoing adventure in the Levant is much more entertaining than either "American Idol" or "Dancing with the Stars". Even better than most of the shows on the History Channel.

  60. Recalling that mat denounced the JPost, for not being, I think, ... 'authentic' ... enough, before he departed.

  61. By ROHAN SULLIVAN – 2 hours ago

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — Suspected U.S. missiles pounded militant hideouts Thursday in the tribal belt near Afghanistan where Pakistani troops are building up for a major offensive against the country's top Taliban leader.

    The strikes, which killed at least eight people and were described by Pakistani officials and witnesses as coming from unmanned drone aircraft, appeared not to be directly connected to Pakistan's preparations in South Waziristan.

    But they came as Pakistan's military on Thursday continued its own airstrikes and shelling, which for days has pummeled suspected militant positions ahead of an expected attack by ground forces. The military said it had killed another 34 militants in its separate, seven-week-old offensive against the Taliban in the Swat Valley region.

    Washington strongly backs Pakistan's recent efforts to confront the Taliban head-on after years of failed offensives and unsuccessful peace deals. But officials on both sides have been careful to avoid suggestions America is directly involved in any military campaign — something that triggers nationalist anger in Pakistan.

    Pakistan says the operation against Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan is in its preparatory stages only, and its attacks on militant strongholds are in retaliation for militant attacks on security forces

  62. Recalling that it took Sheriff Joe a year to build a case and arrest 14 illgals workin' @ a carwash, here is an example of some expedient AZ law enforcement.

    PHOENIX -- A two-week investigation led to the arrest of two people and the seizure of more than 60 fraudulent identification cards, authorities said.

    According to a news release from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Arizona Fraudulent Identification Task Force served a search warrant at a Glendale home Tuesday and discovered a woman making fake ID cards inside.

    AFIT agents forced entry into the home when she refused to open the door, and they found forgery equipment inside, DPS said.
    Glendale resident Maria Orozco-Aguirre, 29, was arrested on charges of manufacturing fraudulent identification, taking the identity of another, conducting a criminal enterprise, forgery, trafficking in stolen identity and contributing to the delinquency of a minor

  63. If the Chinese decided to take an ample portion of their "Trade Surplus" and invest that money in Chinese infrastructure, instead of US debt, well, that'd be tatamount to an awakening, wouldn't it?

    If they began to divest their US debt, $11 trillion USD, and invested those monitized assets in China, instead of here.

    There being a billion Chinamen, that's about a combined savings account worth about $11,000 USD per capita.

    As opposed to what wiki reports
    ... U.S. federal debt was $11,256,266,640,050.20, or about $36,995 per capita. ...

    Which is about right, there being a tad more than 3 times as many of them, as US.

  64. How much of a perpetual motion machine would an interalized Chinese marketplace represent?

    More so than most, as the amount of productivity gains, through technological innovation are huge, due to their lower starting point, in the rural areas.

    If they invest their savings wisely, China could be on the cusp of a great leap forward.

  65. Rat, you're off by about a factor of ten. Their foreign reserve surplus (not all USD denominated) is a little over a trillion dollars if I remember correctly.

    I think maybe about half of that is in U.S. bonds, and notes.

  66. DR,

    There is one major hurdle for the Chinese, a substantial devaluation of the dollar, which is a given, it seems to me. They are in the unenviable position of the man riding the tiger - getting off.

    The PRC must also be worrying about the dangerously democratizing effect of such ad hoc capitalization.

  67. Re: Chinese reserves

    Whether by a factor of 10 is anyone's guess, but I believe rufus is correct in pointing out the exaggeration - nothing disparaging intended. Nevertheless, the dollar reserves are still huge and their rate of growth over the past six years has been astonishing in its audacity.

  68. Oh, that $11.9 Trillion includes the money the General Fund owes the Soc Sec fund. Kind of a left pocket owes right pocket thing.

    The Public Debt, the amount of actual bonds, and notes out there is about $7.9 T. (still too damned much, but about in line with most countries GDP-wise.)

  69. Finally got a call from my Persian friend, Ziba, who lives in Seattle, but was visiting a sister in Tehran when all this started. She is stuck and cannot get out due to the airports being closed.

    She says it is an absolute mad house over there.

  70. Okay, looks like I'm a little out of date, here. This source shows China's foreign currency reserves at Two Trillion, with 1.2 T in U.S. Treasuries and Agency Debt.

    Their link shows the 1.2 broken down to $800 Billion in Treasuries, and assumedly $400 Billion in Agencies (Fannie Mae, Freddy Mac, etc.)

  71. This Iran deal is, I think, working out pretty good for us. It's probably going to have the Mullahs on their P's, and Q's for a while.

    Makes our sponsored "Iraqi" elections look pretty good.

    I haven't been paying much attention but I'm seeing quite a few signs printed in Correct ENGLISH. hmm

  72. trish,

    Re: God and the stamina of youth

    Yes, the good Lord holds a special place in his heart for exuberant youth. I am sorry to report that their fathers do not benefit from any noticeable trickle down effect.

    The lad could have had a full boat ROTC scholarship. Instead, he plans on seeking a commission either after graduation or grad-school...Trish, life can be so unfair ;-)

  73. So, it's only $1,000 per Chinaman, not $10,000.

    That certainly does not make for as extravegent a headline.

    But, as you say rufus, still a lot of paper.

  74. Michael Yon
    Southern Philippines

    This is the nicest war I’ve ever been to. Outside Magazine seems to think the same:
    This Is the War on Terror. Wish You Were Here!

    Welcome to the tropical Philippine island of Jolo, where life is like a Corona ad—coconut trees, white-sand beaches, bathtub-warm seas. Except those guys in the water are U.S. Green Berets, and those kids on dirt bikes are jihadists known for kidnapping Western tourists. Even stranger? On this front, at least, America seems to be winning.

  75. "Yes, the good Lord holds a special place in his heart for exuberant youth. I am sorry to report that their fathers do not benefit from any noticeable trickle down effect. "
    Far as I can tell, it all trickles down from the father to the youth.
    I'll be running on empty when the Obama Cull Squad comes calling.

  76. Rep. Pence On Iran: Reagan Didn't Tell Gorbachev “That Wall is None of Our Business”

    Another Republican speaks out for the people of Iran...Rep. Mike Pence sends a message to America's weak and absent reported:

    This morning during an appearance on FOXNEWS, Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, made the following statement regarding the administration’s involvement regarding demonstrations by Iranian dissidents:

    "The President has the right to draw the line where he chooses to draw it but I am someone who believes that when Ronald Reagan went to the Brandenburg Gate, he did not say ‘Mr. Gorbachev, that wall is none of our business.’

    He went to the Brandenburg Gate and he said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” We know from people like Natan Sharansky and Alexander Solzhenitsyn that deep in the gulags of the Soviet Union, when Ronald Reagan was willing to call the Soviet Empire ‘the evil empire’, it gave encouragement to the people who were fighting tyranny within the Soviet Union."

  77. Allen said:


    Hey, far as insteads go, it's a pretty damn good one. Qwitcherbitchen, dad. ; )

    I almost cried when my husband showed me the gift he brought back from Iraq for our son: A US flag flown over FOB III, embroidered at its edge and with a certificate in his name.

    We are deeply sentimental souls, each and every one of us.

  78. (And the man knows his son. Kid wouldn't want no namby-pamby embassy flag.)

  79. al-Doug, don't know about in your area but on the Big Island, when little Kim fires up, you might find refuge in a Lava Tube--

    You got a couple weeks to check it out.

    Bit speech by the assaholla tomorrow, I heard, at the University I think it said. Big Friday prayer day tomorrow, too.

  80. Always lookin' out for you, al-Doug.

  81. Trish,
    Has he been to the Phillipines, post 9-11?

  82. Thanks, al-Bob, wish I was there.
    (Big Island, not Ideehoe.)

  83. Bush Speaks


    THOU tippling tumor of temerity

    THOU raucous reservoir of recrudescence

    THOU lambasted launch of lachrymosity

    (With apologies to R. Lapin)

  84. Some amazing things. I had recurrent serious internal bleeding for 5 years. The surgeon wanted to explore, slice open the belly, and poke around to find the bleeding. With months long recovery. I was saved from slicing by a camera invented by Israelis. A “pill camera”, swallowed, that took thousands of pictures as it tumbled along my intestinal tract. They found an area of inflammation, said it was a thing called Crohn’s disease. Now take pills to reduce inflammation. Have not bled in 4 years.--

    from a comment over at BC about medical stuff

    Wonder if that could be used instead of a colonoscopy. But, I think another method is coming along too, in that area.

  85. A modern colonoscopy is not an ordeal. [Some other procedures sure are, though. Bring on the new technology.] When mine was finished, they brought me up from a blissful nap. My first question was, "When are you going to start?"

    Turns out they did an upper end scoping at the same time that I wasn't aware was on the agenda. The VA doctor said he'd found no problems on one end, and since some symptoms could have originated in the stomach, he went ahead and did that too. I've always hoped they had two sets of scopes.

  86. Mine was a breeze.

    The night before was the shits, however :)

    That's neat, though, a camera pill.

    I read, Linear, there is some new method brewing, involving radioactive dye, I believe, so no invasion at all would be necessary. Just drink the juice, wait a bit, then some kind of imaging machine looks you over. (I think that was it.)

  87. I live in Limburg the Province of Holland where Geert Wilders comes from. In fact I live a few miles south of the town where here comes from Venlo. The Province is long and thin and runs down the East side of the Maas river. There are a series of fairly largest town running down the length of the river spaced about 25 miles apart large market towns in the best description. In the south there was once a coal mining industry. There are small muslim clusters in the towns which are growing but on the whole the rest of the country side is muslim free, we have not been culturally enriched to the extent of Rotterdam or Amsterdam, in fact I can't remember seeing a woman in a veil the last year. The population is predominantly Catholic I would go so far as to say 95%, last week we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the little chapel in out hamlet. I have to admit that I am religiously indifferent, and I expect other people to treat me the same way. I have lived here now for the last 25 years and have fitted in in this conservative catholic farming society. I have a good feel for the way they think, and respect and enjoy there company. I am married to a farmers daughter and I am accepted. Most of the people have always voted CDA ( Christian Conservative party is the best description.) The E.U. election has been quite interesting to watch. Geert has taken between 25% and 30% of the vote and in his own town it was nearly one third. If the Dutch vote had followed the Limburg's vote the PVV would have been the largest party not the second in Holland. Its very difficult for people that understand the problem of Islam to understand that there is a lot of inertia in politics and it takes several years to turn it around, here in Limburg it has happened. It will now take several more years to accelerate in the opposite direction and undo all the damage that has been done. My own view is that Geert will be found not guilty of the charges brought against him, it was politically motivated and the people know it, no Government now is going to risk punishing him for his so called crime. If they were so stupid to convict him the vote for Geert in the next election would snuff them out like a candle. The Dutch are not stupid.
    However much I find it disgusting all these Muslim death threats against him, they have gotten that bad that he only reports them once a month too the Police,it has also worked in his favour. He is under 24 hour protection 7 days a week Fortyn and van Gogh did not have this luxury and the political elite will not dare to take away this protection because if they did they could not demand it for themselves if they came under the same threat. This gives him a hell of a lot more freedom to say what he likes. The fact that he cannot walk in his own town as a freeman irritates a hell of a lot of Dutch.
    The election has also given the party a hell of a lot more credibility, the different parties that have been calling him a racist and a Xenophobe will now have to try other methods, they can still turn round and call him a racist a Xenophobe etc but all he has to do is turn round and say do you mean that the 30% of the Dutch voters that voted for me and agreed with what I had to say are also racist and Xenophobes.
    It is a step in the right direction. Geert is one of the few politicians who understand that the first line of defense for Europe is Israel. I also think that many of the Dutch think the same, but it is difficult to judge. What ever happens he has now a far more secure position here in Holland to fire off his salvos.

    Wilders: "Israel Is The First Line Of Defense Of The West'