Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Digital Silk Road

Digital Silk Road

From: plus8star, 1 week ago

Digital Silk Road
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: japan korea)

Presentation done at OpenWebAsia in October 2008 on Asia's digital innovations and their potential impact on the West.

SlideShare Link

Monday, October 27, 2008

A message from Progress

You are Progress.

Speaking of progressive, i remember when Obama first started moving toward the center, i said he was a coward and a sellout in this blog and that he should rely on true change and progressive values to ride into the White House. Many of you thought i was being to harsh and said: without the center, without the powerful Obama cannot win. Progressive youth and such are not enough. I agreed and threw myself behind Obama.

but peep this story by Alexander Cockburn and remember his words in 2 years, when we are disappointed once again.


better yet, throw my scepticism in my face when Obama really does do those things which we need doing to bring this nation into the 21st century.

We shall see.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

They Still Don't Get It

Last Christmas I went to visit my parents in Germany and I told them then that Obama would win the White House. My Dad said "America is not ready for a black president." I didn't really argue with him, because I have a history of being right with this stuff and having Dad come around.

Before the Iraq War I did the superhuman feat of predicting disaster and my Dad and I got into a pissing contest about it. Now he hates Bush and says the War is killing the US. So it came as no surprise to have my Dad be like: yo, I am about to send in your absentee ballots ... Obama right? I'm like, yeah you know how i do. and he was like that makes three of us. Including my sister.

So you know, the end of Rocky IV and all ...."if you can change ..." hehehe

so here is the media finally catching on to what we have been yapping about for so long. NYT talks about race in Pennsylvania and the Republican's last ditch effort to corral the dumbest crackers in the nation and hope that its enough to squeak out a victory. It probably won't be.

And here is David Frum, "the other Karl Rove," explaining that the Republicans are losing and so therefore have to staunch the bleeding by giving up on McCain and trying to hold on to some Senate seats ... NOT by pulling their heads out of their asses and getting a clear picture of the 21st century world and our place and role in it, but by appealing to "fairness:"

"We're almost certainly looking at a Democratic White House. I can work with a Democratic president to help this state. But we need balance in Washington.

"The government now owns a big stake in the nation's banking system. Trillions of dollars are now under direct government control. It's not wise to put that money under one-party control. It's just too tempting. You need a second set of eyes on that cash. You need oversight and accountability. Otherwise, you're going to wake up two years from now and find out that a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House have been funneling a ton of that money to their friends and allies. It'll be a big scandal -- but it will be too late. The money will be gone. Divided government is the best precaution you can have."

Sigh, The Republicans can't imagine that race isn't a divider like they hoped. They can't imagine that we all see through the Palin BS. They can't imagine that we know a leader when we see one.

And just in case you're all wondering, NO i am not deluded. I realize that a Democrat is still a politician and our system of governance lends itself to being bought out ... but in my lifetime, I haven't seen a real leader on the big stage yet (Cept for WELLSTONE R.I.P) until Obama showed up.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Perfect Majority

Yep. The Republicans are trying to win some seats in the Senate by saying: A one Party majority can't be good for the country.

They're absolutely right. When they had the majority, they didn't mention it too much, but they did indeed run the country into the ground. So now the pendulum swings ... back to the center i guess.

Here is a dope video. Intellectuals for Change.

Here is another dope video. Fools for a Racist God.

and check out this interesting story by Ivan Eland in (also linked to your right) ... Al Qaeda endorses McCain because they realize that a fool in the White House is good for their recruiting drive.

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Bumpin it in China

So here is a lil blurb about the music scene in China and below is my man Himmler's response:

the article is pretty accurate. one point I'd add though is that the falling cost of producing music (the digital era - hardware is effectively obsolete at this point) happened ten years ago and hasn't yielded significant gains in china. they absolutely play to the lowest common denominator and anything that rises above that bar is thoroughly suppressed. I'm under constant pressure at my gigs to play music that (dumb) chinese people can understand and relate to. but I generally don't comply as it's not in the best interest for myself or the handful of people in a club of 500 that are actually listening.

All of my people in China are mixed in with the music scene in some way. My man Big Tenz just finished a many month many city tour of China with his girl Aliya and they made somewhere between 5 - 6k US a month. Music is lucrative in China. Djs can make 400 US a show at least. Some more some less. Peep Himmler's website and you can get a feel for what's going down.

I have an earlier post here about Eli, a rapper in Chengdu. He's aight (sorry homie) for US standards, but he is an ambassador of hip hop in China. He might make bank, he might just be rappin in front of a newly opened supermarket in a dumpling suit with a band of laowai playing pop behind him.

Proximity Butterfly have made music in China their Great Quest. They are all up in the scene -- going to the MIDI Festival, shows everywhere, making CDs and such.

My man Boogie cracks-out in dingy Chengdu apartments puffin herb he grew and synthesizing ill beats and grafting them onto old Chinese tracks to make a palatable hybrid for the discerning Chinese listener. Of which (evidenced by the quote above) there are few.

But the scene is growing. Mad love to my peeps, whether you be in dumpling suits, Mule Uniforms or just picking up hot Chinese women as the house Dj at Babi ... its all good.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Asia-Europe Meeting

A while back I was sitting in my friend Zhuang Jian's villa outside of Chengdu, drinking some rare pu'er, smoking herb and chatting with a collection of people there. Zhuang always had artists, musicians and vagabonds over because his house was our dream: plum, peach and cherry blossoms, tea and incense, old bamboo and potted plants, artwork and a magical view.

Anyway, I was there with two Chinese homies from the Hemp House, a French girl up from Chiang Mai to cook for a while and another Frenchman who wanders the earth collecting songs from minority groups like the Miao and Yi in China and selling the CDs for their and his profit.

I guess I didn't look like much, in my sweatpants, broken sandals and Sixers jersey. So he was disdainful of anything I said and basically kept to French for a lot of the night. Suddenly, my man Boogie who was chillin in the corner said my full name for some reason and this caught the Frenchman's attention. He turned to me and was like: Yo, are you the Sascha Matuszak, writing for and such? I was like hell yeah. And then his demeanor took a 180 degree turn and he started being all pally-pally with me.

He told me I should write about how China will take over the world someday. He said he had it all written down for me and that he had been meaning to send it to me all this time, but wasn't sure of himself cuz he thought Sascha was actually some professor or something. hahaha. I have actually heard that one before. People who read my stuff then meet me are like ummmmm What? hence this blog.

I continuously digress.

The Frenchman's Blueprint for Chinese takeover went a little something like this (in late 2007):

US economic collapse followed by bailout of ridiculous proportions by cash-heavy China
Bailout puts Western banks and financial institutions in Chinese hands
Chinese VC (Venture Capitalists), backed by their State, go on a shopping spree through the US and Europe
Domestic protests in US quelled by police and military to appease MNCs who see Chinese capital as just more cash (Nationhood starts dying in the West ...)
Bailout continues for several years as WTO, IMF and World bank find themselves without legitimacy or cash and look to China to prop them up, which they do happily
UN is next in line, looking for handouts from the rich Chinese

and so on.

A Velvet Revolution if there ever was one.

Now China will naturally be affected by the Economic Crisis, but no one has as much cash as they do (USD1.9 trillion in reserves) so no one will be able to ride it out like the Chinese. Plus, the failures are coming from abroad, which in the short term means that Chinese manufacturers and exporters etc will suffer from a credit crunch, cash crunch and order crunch from the Western companies that held up China's export oriented economy.

So for the next 2 years or so, China's economy might slow down a bit, but what this really does is clear the path for all of the Chinese VCs to step in and fill the void. It clears the path for Chinese businesses of all kinds to expand as their Western rivals contract ...

And so I come to the crux of the matter: Europe and much of Asia are headed to China with hat in hand hoping for love from China. Now, I can't even begin to describe how wonderful this is for the Chinese. The world is as it should be: foreign dignitaries coming to the center of the earth to seek advice, compassion and sympathy from the stable, benevolent patriarch Zhong Guo.

I added a few links to my list of digable sits today:

I highly recommend All Roads to China, China Law Blog and Silicon Hutong for those who want to learn more about China.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hipsters vs. Superdorks

My man Himmler and me have this ongoing discussion about Macs and Pcs and which computer is doper. Now the arguments are getting a bit stale and now we just argue about who is better at Starcraft. Speaking of which. If anyone out there plays this game and wants to go toe to toe, please please get a hold of me. I love to smoke Starcraft.

anyway, in this here story about zombie computers, the huge elephant in the room is why Macs don't have the same problem. The story alludes to this later on page two with the quote from the Blaster virus:

"Hey Billy ... fix your software."

As far as I am concerned Macs are definitely safer, more stable and just all around better. The major reason for this is that Apple makes computers for illiterate hipsters whereas Microsoft makes computers (i guess) for computer Superdorks. If you don't remain vigilant about security and performance with your PC, it will crash and such. Hipsters don't even know what i'm talking about.

I use Macs because i know enough to know that i dont know enough.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

I reiterate

its transition time and i am getting my room painted, my workshop set up and my routine established.

dreams of off the grid cribs become tangible in the MFNW

When the full moon watches the sun set over happy valley
mt hood floats like a phantom above the trees
a rainbow canopy encases the world
and meets the howling blue in a ribbon of fading light
while dead limbs guard the path to the moon
and St. Helen is a shadow on the dark

and just in case you aint heard.

its my man Tshisuaka aka propaganja aka aka aka ...

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Last Debate

I listened to McCain very closely this debate, just as I listened to Sarah Palin very closely during the celebrated VP debate. I did this because I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to know if I like Obama because I identify with a cool black man more than with an ugly old white dude and his hockey mom partner.

I said to myself, "Self, we should these cats a chance."

Because I accuse McCain supporters of putting on their "identifying blinders" and voting for someone that makes then feel comfortable and safe, rather than for a true leader of a nation. So I don't want to be guilty of the same foolishness.

McCain attacked Obama, he went after the poor voter with catch-phrases and he did not clearly or concisely explain any plan, for any issue we are facing. That is what I heard. When he did go into details about an issue the nation is facing, he stuck to his party's ideology across the board. He appealed heavily to those people who are Republican and will stay Republican for the rest of their lives.

When attacking Obama, he seemed on the verge of screaming NIGGER, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE! And he seemed petty. And the stats, as MSNBC provided for us, show that McCain has been more negative than Obama. They naturally spun the situation by saying Obama spent "the most money on negative ads in the history of politics."

Obama saying that 100% of the ads were negative is a function of his frustration and annoyance with a very negative campaign. Nothing is 100% in a campaign. But it sure feels like the McCain ticket has been 100% negative.

Obama looked like a leader to me. It is that simple. He was calm, he had plans, he articulated well, he responded to attacks, but did not start any and has a better understanding of the REAL WORLD than McCain.

These politicians are so far behind the curve. They talk of "going Green" to help build an economy of the future. Private enterprises -- some of them began by anti-establishment hippies back in the 1970s -- have been going Green for a long time without the help of the government. In fact, the government has stood in their way in favor of Big Oil just as they stand in the way of new and different ways to heal people in favor of the pharmaceutical companies.

Will Obama have the strength and fortitude to carry out his plans for a Green Economy? Of course he will, because we are already all over it.

And this is for me the kicker: Obama is a man of the future, McCain is a man of the past.

We are already finding new ways to educate kids, we want health care for all, we need cheaper universities, we are all down with the Green Machine and had Obama not made these issues his platform way back in June when we went up against Clinton, then I promise you McCain would have never even considered them.

And so. Now, I will have no sympathy for McCain voters. I met a few along the way and I had polite disagreements, but we always went our ways saying,"Hey. Its Ok. You can vote for anyone you want."

Voting for McCain is dumb, it will expedite America's fall from grace and the primary motivation for voting McCain is fear.

I am Chachi Murphy, and I approve of this message.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

China vs. Portland

In Portland, cars will stop on a busy street and let pedestrians cross. Even with a whole line of cars behind them. The pedestrian then turns to the car, nods or waves, receives a nod in return and life goes on. This is not law. It is just how people do here in Portland.

When you walk down the street and pass someone, i would say about 75% of the time there is a mutual greeting. Respect and consideration is shown as much as possible.

In China crossing the street is like playing Frogger, with sentient cars trying to hit you. Cars will roll into a crosswalk and nose their way through, as the pedestrians kinda flow around. There are no traffic laws that are obeyed. Its just, see an opening and go. Or make an opening and go.

In China, if you greet someone, they will be surprised and non-plussed at first, but then will engage in a spirited conversation. People are happier in China if you show some respect, because it is not expected.

People get irate in the US if you do not show respect.

I think scale has a lot to do with these differences. If the streets of Portland were ALWAYS crowded with people, then I think consideration would take a back seat to expedience. People in China are extremely civilized in their own homes, but completely disdainful of the public area. If everyone in China were considerate and thoughtful while out on the town, there would be no time to do anything else but be polite to every person who crosses your path.

And this issue of scale also has a lot to do with the general air and water quality differences. In Oregon, you can pretty much see the stars all the time, the moon can light your way to anywhere and the sunrises hurt my eyes.

In China, you have to go to Tibet or Xinjiang to have that experience. Or deep into the countryside. There are Chinese villages, unknown and wallowing in some warped, stretched time-zone with TVs, nightsoil, cell phones and buffalo-operated tills, that have more people than the Greater Portland area.

In Oregon, I can go 30 minutes outside of the city and pick wild mushrooms and run from rutting young elk.

Wild animals in China lurk in the shadows or become a "protected delicacy."

And of course the absolute disregard for commoners shown by the "leaders" in China kind of sets an example. Which is another HUGE difference. There are phalanxes of unfriendly class-conscious older women protecting the halls of Chinese government buildings from unwanted commoners. They are backed up by commoners in military uniforms standing at every gate.

Here in Portland, the government is quite accessible. They answer phones, emails and blog posts. Here, everyone is entitled to respect and if a leader refuses to show it, he will be charged with elitism and thrown out of whatever office he holds.

This is of course the beautiful American sentiment that McCain hopes to capitalize upon. He believes there are enough ignorant people out there who fear and hate "the elite" to vote him into office. Hence Palin. It kinda backfired on him in Lakeville, MN when a particularly dumb woman said,"I dont trust Obama because he is an A-Rab."

Interesting similarities, interesting differences.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Ma Shan acts like a Child!

I heard this a lot when i was in China (and sometimes here as well) and i always wanted to put across my response: Thank You!

Over there in China, children and women should never be listened to, according to an old saying attributed to some white-bearded sage. For China to become what it wants to be, this heavy sack of historical and cultural wisdom must be sifted through and held up to the light of day.

For example: Du Fu, one of the greatest poets China has ever enjoyed, was a hobo and a drunkard. Everyone in China can quote a few poems of his and everyone laughs about his and his contemporaries love for drink and play, but very few of them actually learn the lessons of this man and throw of the shackles of their society to CREATE themselves.

I remember thinking that a lot of travel will result in a child-like mind-state at times. This mind-state allows one to absorb surroundings and sounds much better than an "adult" filter and I have found a little bit of childishness goes a long way toward establishing communication with the scions of Babel (people who don't speak my language). And whose imagination can rival a child's?

This little blurb by a designer in Shenzhen talks about these issues.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What some people find solace in

This story is getting passed around the elderly, all-white, businesspeople circle that i have a toe in.

I think they may be smug about the fact that Blacks and Hispanics defaulted on many of their loans. Here is another story, by Stanley Kurtz, that basically lays the blame of the economic meltdown on defaulting Blacks and Latinos who went through ACORN to get their loans.

ACORN might pop up in the future as part of the large and diverse group responsible for this economic crisis:

The politicians, bought up and ready to preach. The bankers and lenders, bored with the ordinary games and desperate for those high-risk profits. Wall Street, with nothing better to do then create more financial instruments to play with and spread around the globe. And Americans, dumb enough to believe anything, yet save nothing.

The more fingers get pointed, the more of us will realize that it was the entire nation at fault. This is an indictment of foolishness and arrogance. It must be hard to swallow for a country used to hearing we are "the greatest force for good," but its necessary. America can only move forward AFTER weathering crises like this one.

Peep this story and any other Engdahl writes ...


Newsweek drops some common sense into the bucket of foolishness we hear daily.

This site takes it a bit further and has a database of other interesting news.

Another small update:

Spengler is that guy you love to hate. He's an intellectual realist with no love for dreamers. Here is why corruption in China forces them to invest here in the USA, where hockey mom's ensure our freedom -- only to pass it on to the Piano Children of China, while bombing the Sanctioned Orphans of the Middle East.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

droppin the hammer on McCain

Obama dropped it during the debate and this story in the Rolling Stone lays it all out ... pass it on.


Jesus. I know a lot of people have seen this. At first I laughed my ass off listening to the SNL version, then i became shocked and extremely uncomfortable in my belly when i saw the actual interview Couric had with Palin. Wow.

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I trust myself now more than ever. I thought to myself the death of Wall Street could only be a boon for me and mine. I had a feeling there was an air of excitement building up ... i felt guilty saying it, but i did anyway.

peep this video, an Addendum to the Zeitgeist movie that tore into the 911 myth, the Jesus myth and the Fed. They bring the right message at the right time. They got me thinking about further schooling ...

By the time this crisis is over and my hair is thin and gray, my daughter's sons will ask why it took me so long.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

A nation of loners

Here is a interesting story about China's One Child Policy ...


This link actually goes to the column of the day for the Jakarta Post. Today's was "How to get a Brazilian Booty." so take a chance.

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

What Germans are saying

My homie Himmler from the 19th Step sent me this long article in Der Spiegel. Its in English.

Most people i know will be nodding along with this article, hollerin out like YEAH and YOUKNOWWHATIMSAYIN or whatever you yell out when you catch someone's vibe.

Of particular interest is Part 3, where Spiegel goes into the Economic Crisis and lays it down pretty clear and concise, giving us a look at the risks of shunning History:

As long ago as 1936, John Maynard Keynes recognized the risk that "speculation may win the upper hand" in the markets. Its influence in New York, the British economist wrote, was "enormous," and the situation would become serious "when the capital development of a country becomes the by-product of the activities of a casino."

It goes through the Bush Administration's many many ... ahem .. miscalculations and gives a projection of a future without America the Bully. They speak of the Fall.

But for me this is the fall of my young talented son; the setback that will make him a man. I will be there for him and help him shake it off. And if vultures come to pick at him in his weakest moment, I'll be there with an Army of Me.

Are foreign investors vultures? I would appreciate any comments on this:

The wealthy state-owned funds of China, Singapore, Dubai and Kuwait control assets of almost $4 trillion (€2.76 trillion), and they are now in a position to buy their way onto Wall Street in a big way.

But they have remained reserved until now, partly as a result of poor experiences in the past. The China Investment Corp., for example, invested in the initial public offering of the Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, and invested $5 billion (€3.45 billion) in Morgan Stanley. In both cases, it lost a lot of money.

But time is on the side of the Chinese. American stocks are becoming cheaper and cheaper. And the longer the crisis lasts, the weaker American objections to buyers from the Far East will become. In fact, it is quite possible that they will soon be celebrated as saviors.

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What we deserve

I went to watch the Vp debate at Nicole's friend's house. A lot of very liberal women were there and we basically laughed a lot at what Palin had to say and especially how she said it ...

But i had a sick feeling in my stomach as I watched, because I know that a large chunk of America identifies with her grammatical errors, down-home smarmy sarcasm and appeals to the lowest common denominator.

I urge everyone to vote (for Obama) and come November if the ignorant bastards manage to pull out a win and we have a McCain Administration, well then the US deserves whatever consequences come out of that. By US i mean the nation as a whole. In my backyard, I will be doing my thing and living my way and that is still possible in this country.

Even with fears of Depressions and Never-ending Wars, there are regions and cities throughout the US that can and should carry on with Obama's vision of our society, regardless of which politician makes it into office.

I have always thought that Obama represents a return of hope and energy and his victory means more as a symbolic message to every American and to the world at large. Do we need him to win to feel and embody and act upon a message of change and hope?

Shit. We thought 8 years of idiocy was enough to convince Cracker America. But i guess we overestimated the nation and underestimated the impact of all those studies that point to the dismal state in our education system. Yesterday i saw a dude roll around in a car that had "Barack Obama is a fascist" written on the back in white paint.

I doubled over in laughter, then shook my head in disgust. I am so tired of people thinking Americans are fools, but then again it is time we moved away from this silly belief in abstract nationality. I love the trees, mountains, rivers and the skies, no gov can take those away.

Vote Obama! Live the Dream!

"you don't have to believe in your government to be a good American, you just have to believe in your country"

Harold and Kumar: Escape From Guantanamo is the ill.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Live and Let Die?

Imagine you are at a Texas Hold-Em table and a very rich banker steps up with a collection of cash from all corners of his derivative-laced empire. He bets hard on a 6-3 unsuited (bad bad hand) and loses it ALL.

And then, because his losses would mean he can't play anymore, he asks everyone else at the table to bail him out. Would anyone do it?

Imagine for a second that Company X is facing some liquidity issues and needs to tighten its belt for a while to get things flowing again. What is the very first thing Company X would do? Lay off workers. Company X would not think twice about putting 25 year vets of the company out on the street to fend for themselves in order to "keep the company competitive." It hurts to be on the other end of things ...

Now all of these big investors and bankers are telling the average Joe that, if he doesn't pony up for the Wall Street gamblers that lost their cash, then credit flows will halt, bringing the economy to a standstill. Because bankers are too scared to lend in a dangerous environment. Not because there is no credit, or because they are forbidden or unable to lend, but because it is TOO RISKY for them to lend in this volatile environment.

ie it is too risky for the thief to rob when the cops are out and about, but it wasn't too risky to lend when the cops were absent. Now that the bankers have been "caught" they don't want to lend. But they were happy to when risk was "someone else's responsibility."

An economist, naturally, will tell me I am simple minded and don't understand the intricacies of finance, or the global implications of Wall Street's collapse.

Well I actually have read a bit of Adam Smith and Max Weber and, according to these pillars of our so-called free market capitalist system, Wall Street must die. In a free economy, the Fed has no place, bailouts are anathema and those who gamble on unsuited 6-3 hands are doomed to fall by the wayside AND BE BOUGHT UP by those who did not bet on crazy risky ridiculous hands.

And the taxpayer who bet hard that his credit card would always be there for him, that his double mortgage on a house WAY out of his league would be -- eventually -- paid for by the magic hand of appreciation must also suffer the consequences.

It is easy for me to say all of this, because i don't have a credit card and i have earned my pithy cash on a freelance basis for most of my life. But i don't buy expensive things and i always have enough to get by, because i know that a bad bet on my part means homelessness. So i watch my ass. And i guess i believe that medicine that works probably tastes like shit. In the end, a live and let die approach to the US economy would result in a stronger economy. And the years in between -- well I moved here because i am ready to grow cabbage in my backyard with all the rest of the Americans. I could have easily stayed in China and avoided all of this ...


An economy such as ours today is not unprecedented. Read people, and see that the 1920s only had different fashion, different toys, different slang ... for years people have been telling us that living above our means, charging everything and so on will come back to bite us. And now it has. But no one -- least of all the bankers and traders and financiers who made it all possible -- wants to bite the bullet.

Chinese are known for saving their cash and living way BELOW their means (well most of them anyway, of course the whole nouveau rich dont apply). Here in Portland Intel has a big R&D center staffed with a grip of Indians. These kids make 100k a year, live four to a room, eat at home, drive Civics and send their money home to mama. Not too cool, right? but pretty damn smart, no?

China sent a planeload of cash -- a plane load of cash -- to Seattle to buy planes and another to South Africa to buy a stake in a bank. When is the last time a business in the US paid for something with a big pile of cash? Economists say business aint possible unless you have credit ... true, cuz ya aint got no money in the bank ...

Now i see late night scam-ads telling people: sell yer "worthless" gold and get cold hard cash. HAHAHAHA. oh jesus. sell gold for "cold hard cash."

This happened once before, when FDR told everyone in the US to hand over their gold. The only difference between the 1920s and 1930s and now is the slang, the medium and the face ...

History is meaningless to those who pay no attention to it, it holds all meaning for those who do ...

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