Morning Ed: World {2017.05.17.W}

Switzerland and Nevada have a special trading relationship… click here to find out why.

Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick takes a look at slavery in India, and argues that we need to understand what drives the slaveholders.

Brook Larmer suggests China is the newest colonial power. Matt Stinson tweeted recently that the international flirtation with authoritarianism has more to do with China’s success than anything going on with Russia as an inspiration.

A small German town unexpectedly won the Become A Banking Powerhouse lottery.

Go Queen, go!

Turns out the lady on the Make Nippon Great Again posters is Chinese.

Looking at Pangaea, with contemporary borders (which, of course, wouldn’t exist in the same fashion but for the oceans).

Isochronic maps are GoogleMaps before there was GoogleMap. Sorta.

Eh.


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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116 thoughts on “Morning Ed: World {2017.05.17.W}

  1. Nevada: Yah, figured it was gold. All that nice gold sitting in vaults under Zurich. Better than letting the Fed have it.

    Indian Slavery: The article didn’t really talk about the particulars of “bonded servitude” so I can’t really so, but there is a big difference between that and chattel slavery. But the “excuses” were more interesting. I wonder if in the current day, people would look at company towns as “slavery”.

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        • Damon’s first comment indicated an interest in a good, solid definition, but then Kimmi’s comment and Damon’s reply seem to broaden the meaning of slavery to the point that the conversation becomes meaningless. I mean, if slavery includes whipping forced laborers and stopping at red lights, then what are we talking about?

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          • Pinky,
            I know people who own slaves, minors. They chose this life for themselves, preferring it to ICE. There is no right of exit, and their lives are currently endangered more by the narcostate than by the slavers (their limbs and other body parts are probably more likely to be hurt in the line of work, however.)

            This is a world where fathers offer to sell their daughters into slavery.

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          • I’m sure we’ve all enjoyed arguments with Marxists over the definition of “exploitation”.

            “So you’re saying that *I* am exploited?”
            “Yes.”
            “I’m saying that I’m not exploited.”
            “You’re wrong.”

            Something something “false consciousness” something.

            Sure, it’s not a binary toggle, but a continuum but by hammering out that it’s a continuum we get into that damn sorites problem again which means that we then have to deal with people biting the bullet and saying that one grain is a heap, dammit.

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          • Did we follow the link provided?

            The article had in it’s body this: “The definition of slavery from Oxford Dictionary is:

            “a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.” ”

            That’s a classic discussion of slavery. It certainly excludes indentured servitude, a presumably willing contractual agreement, regardless of whether you want to get into the weeds on “agency” and whether the person consenting to indentured servitude really has any choice due to their economic circumstances.

            The rest of the article is a “redefinition” of slavery, one that’s actually quite accurate I think. Think of it along these lines: how many people do you have to kill to be considered a “mass murderer”?

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            • Damon,
              Surprisingly few, but they do need to be done all at the same time.
              Assassins are generally not counted mass murderers unless they use large-scale bombs.

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                  • Blur? No, compare yes. Let’s use the human body as an example. Abortion and the selling of kidneys. One is permitted by the gov’t, one not, regardless of the reasons why. So the state controls one person’s body (mine ’cause I want to sell a kidney) and not the woman who wants an abortion.

                    Control is a proxy for ownership.

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                    • “Control is a proxy for ownership,” sayeth the man who has never been a slave. Any regulation is a lack of freedom and since the lack of freedom is slavery, all are slaves. That’s a continuum fallacy.

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                      • And yet…

                        You are controlled. Whether it’s the speed limit on the highway, what organs you can or cannot sell, what you can or cannot ingest, who you can marry, what you can own, and a myriad of other things. “Slave” is a better name than many…like…citizen

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                      • Just to define parameters a bit better, which of the two freedoms is referenced? Because reading it with the ‘order is priority’ type freedom makes the statement of regulation false. The ‘freedom is the priority’ freedom makes the statement true.

                        If defined what does that render the continuum fallacy?

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                        • I guess to go a layer deeper into parameters, would be to also better define what we mean by ‘regulation’ here. Late 1775 would apply regulation against the ‘order is priority’ concept, While 2017 would apply regulation against ‘freedom is the priority’ concept.

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                        • Since nobody is allowed to sell their organs, everybody is a slave. Since everybody is a slave, there is no slave owner. Without a slave owner, their can be no slaves, contradicting the premise. Thus the proposition is falsified.

                          But if we allow just one person to sell his organs, he becomes the master who owns us, and we have to give him all our stuff and do whatever he says.

                          I’m going to get on the phone with Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and have them slip a line in the next omnibus spending bill to make me the person who can sell an organ.

                          Then I’m going to make all of you spend the rest of your lives making giant statues of Me. All for the cost of one beat up kidney.

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  2. The average Nevadian doesn’t have access to the sweet Swiss bank accounts though, much to their chagrin. ;). I have a soft spot for Nevada of sorts. When I drove across country a few years ago, I found Nevada to be something of a relief after Wyoming. Wyoming was a rather pretty state but I got annoyed in it for some reason and found driving through it tedious. The residents of Nevada reminded me a bit of people on the south shore of Nassau County, but without the liking for boats and fishing obviously, so I felt a bit at home.

    I’m skeptical of Matt Stimson’s thesis tracing the rise of authoritarianism to China’s success. Its also contradictory to the China is the new colonial power thesis. The authoritarianism increasingly gaining power in the Western and Islamic worlds is about wanting to be more culturally isolated. In the West, its about racial purity and in Muslim countries, about religious purity. These are elements not really part of China’s authoritarianism because the CCP wants to be engaged in the world. Being a colonial power involves international engagement by necessity.

    The men of the German town aren’t pleased that they now have to invest in three piece suits though. Leiderhousen Friday was instituted to keep the town’s residents happy.

    Go, Queen Racer, Go.

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  3. Perhaps I didn’t load the full article, but why does Nevada export gold? Do they have some gold mines?

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    • Of course there’s no meaningful difference between an army private and the Commander in Chief of the entire frickin military, top civilian executive, and supposed leader of the Free World [tm]. But whatever.

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    • If we’re going to do this, the correct ‘whataboutobama’ is how his admin wouldn’t shut up about the details of the Bin Laden raid (except for of course the most important thing, actual evidence that Bin Laden was dead). Thanks to the Obama team’s loose lips and a desire to spike the football, the Pakistani doctor that allegedly helped the CIA is still in prison on trumped up charges, and the op details gave more ammo to anti-vaxxers than everything Jenny McCarthy has done in her entire lifetime.

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      • Just so we’re arguing from facts, the courts have held that: (1) the President may chose what national security material to share, and with whom to share it, without regard to any secret classification; and (2) that authority derives from his power as Commander in Chief and can’t be limited by Congress (short of removing him from office, of course). What Trump did may be many things, but “illegal” is not one of them.

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        • Just so we’re arguing from facts, stated that granting clemency for Manning is inconsistent with what liberals are arguing with regard to Trump. I was just demonstrating my principled nonpartisan credentials by magnanimously agreeing to give Trump exactly the same treatment as Manning.

          Alternatively, I’m pretty sure that no liberal in the world argued that Manning shouldn’t have lost her job over the cable leaks.

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          • Liberals are happily criticizing Trump for his legally sharing of info with the Russians but are also happy that PVT Manning is being released early even though PVT Manning didn’t have either the right or authority to release the information that he did. Maybe there are some liberals out there that think that PVT Manning should have severed his full term but I haven’t heard of any in the news or on the net.

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            • I think it’s good that Manning served some time for what she did, but that she should not have served the full term. Clemency was appropriate, but acquittal or a pardon would not have been.

              It’s not hypocrisy to think some punishments fit a crime and others do not.

              On the other hand, jokes aside, I don’t think Trump should go to jail for blabbing about sensitive information in the middle of a meeting with the Russians.

              It’s also not hypocrisy to think a legal action is irresponsible, reckless, or even a violation of the President’s oath of office.

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                • I think there were extenuating circumstances, among them the fact that her superiors kept her in a position where she had access to the material despite the fact that she was going through an obvious breakdown.

                  I also think the additional deterrent benefit of a super-long sentence over a shorter one is debatable, and there was no other particularly compelling reason to make a special example of her. Finally, it seems like there were genuine humanitarian reasons for releasing her.

                  I know a number of people [1] who think that she should have every day of her sentence, and that, if anything, the perceived “public interest” that she acted in while leaking exacerbates her crime. I get where they’re coming from, but I obviously disagree.

                  [1] Including, believe it or not, some liberals.

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                  • PVT Manning got the opportunity to present any evidence of extenuation or mitigation during the sentencing phase of his court martial. Obama in his infinite legal wisdom decided the sentence was too harsh compared to other folks who’d leaked classified info. That is a BS standard and liberals lapped it up.

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        • Agreed that the President has the legal authority to declassify whatever he wants to whoever he wants. But he doesn’t have the legal authority to engage in treason, and if I squint real hard and I can see the vague outlines of an argument to that effect regarding Trump’s actions with the Russians. I don’t think it rises to that level, of course – at least re: the evidence in front of us right now – but that’s where I think the legal side of the debate would have some bite.

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          • Since we’re not actually at war with Russia, it’s not treason.
            .
            The folks at Lawfare put together a solid argument that, if he did this as recklessly and impulsively as it seems, he violated his oath of office, even if he didn’t commit a crime.

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            • Aid and comfort to enemies of the US. Again, I can see the vague, blurry outlines of such an argument applying, but not given the evidence we have right now.

              Oath of office stuff is surely in play re: potential of impeachment.

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                • Yeah, that one’s really ramping up, and not in a good way for the Trump admin (or his defenders even tho they still maintain the delusion this is all an Obama-inspired DeepState hit job). The Flynn stuff alone – a mess which implicates McGahn and Pence at least, and of course Trump – is pretty damn serious. The vague outlines are sharpening!

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                  • It might be tough to make the case since Obama’s closest ally was Erdogan and he wanted to turn the battle against ISIS into a “multi-generational conflict”.

                    Yeah, we could wipe ISIS out in a few weeks, but he wanted to milk it for decades. Obama even had our aircraft dropping warning leaflets to ISIS forces that warned we were going to be bombing their area.

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                      • The leaflets were dropped because Obama didn’t want to hit any truck drivers working to haul oil for ISIS who might not have been actual ISIS members.

                        For several years he wouldn’t bomb ISIS oil infrastructure, which is how they made money, because he didn’t want to hurt the “post ISIS” Syria. He was thinking far ahead. If FDR had done that we would not have bombed Germany because of a focus on the post-Nazi German economy.

                        Eventually the idiocy got reported in the press and Putin sent flattened the area with his long range bombers flying out of Russia.

                        And who was running the DIA for Obama the whole time? Flynn.

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                    • Yeah those warning leaflets. We never did that kind of crap in WW2 when we kicked ass. But other than that it isn’t easy to have every sentence be wrong, but you nailed it. Cripes even R pols are starting to admit Flynn was a disaster and never should have been hired.

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            • Because sharing intelligence with an ally (our co-operator on the ISS and the only means we have of getting our astronauts in oribt), when that intelligence comes from another ally (Israel), who isn’t the least upset that we shared the intelligence, so that the first ally bombs the common enemy that we all want bombed to keep civilian airliners from getting blown up, is quite obviously treason.

              More seriously, the actual damaging information came from the leakers and the Washington Post and New York Times, not from Trump.

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          • The problem with a treason argument, is that by definition treason requires the existence of an Enemy, and generally a state of war is required as a precondition.

            I’ve always felt that those who have the ability to engage or not engage the country in a (limited) state of war should be held to a higher standard in this partucular regard. The CinC and the Congress, specifically.

            Of course, before this year, that was a loophole that didn’t need closing, as the very possibility was unthinkable.

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            • Of course, before this year, that was a loophole that didn’t need closing, as the very possibility was unthinkable.

              I’ll put you in the “seeing the vague outlines of an argument” column. :)

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    • besides, you know, that one is the President, and the other was a private with mental health challenges, …

      oh damn, scratch that.

      one’s president, and the other was a private; one did it to show off to some Russian hombres, and the other out of moral outrage.

      yeah, so.

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  4. “China is the newest colonial power [in Africa]”

    I wish the inserted language was more conspicuous, as China has long been one of the most important colonial powers (Manchuria, Tibet, Turkestan, Taiwan, etc.). Mostly the article is about trade networks (neo-colonialism) abetted by dispersion of an ethnic Chinese merchant class that marries within and utilizes shared language and personal connections with the home country to become an advantaged ethnic group. This does not always work out well.

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      • I guess I’ve lumped in different things in a way that I usually try to avoid: (1) conquest; (2) settlement; and (3) trade networks. The Manchu conquered China (1), but didn’t settle it. OTOH, beginning in the late 19th century about 25.4 million Chinese migrated and settled in Manchuria (2), which makes it comparable to the American West, though a number of Chinese returned from Manchuria.(*) The piece compares Chinese settlement with the American West, and the numbers don’t suggest it, and this attitude is different: “But we’re still Chinese first and foremost.”

        (*) Another complications is that a lot of the economic boom drawing Chinese into Manchuria related to trade networks with Japan (3).

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    • The main targets of the violence were Chinese ethnic, however, most of the people who died in the riots were the Javanese Indonesian looters who targeted the Chinese shops, not the Chinese themselves, since the looters were burnt to death in a massive fire.

      Instant karma!

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  5. I used to date a Palestinian/American woman, she would occasionally mention how her dad owned slaves when he was a child.

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  6. The “eh” article was good, but I was surprised it didn’t mention “huh” as one of its equivalents, as in, “pretty cold last week, huh?”.

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  7. Re: Slavery

    There were plenty of Confederates who always talked about treating their slaves well and like family. Maybe this was true for some of them but I suspect a lot of this rhetoric is very self-serving and possibly used to psychologically justify being a slaveholder. Robert E. Lee used to say that he treated his slaves like family but he would also supervised them being whipped and then order brine be thrown on the lashes and wounds.

    During the Civil Rights era, Southeners used to say that they got along just fine enough with Black people and treated Black people well until those outside agitating Northern, Communist Jews showed up.

    TL/DR don’t trust the slaver’s rhetoric.

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    • Just to be clear here, when you say Southerners, are you including those southern previous Confederate loyal Jews that had been peachy with owning and selling slaves, and wanted the CR era to be handled locally because “they got along just fine enough with Black people and treated Black people well until those outside agitating Northern, Communist Jews showed up.”

      Or are we parsing only a specific Southerners here?

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        • I give you two possibilities:

          She never committed a prosecutable offense, and despite having her name dragged through North Carolina pig shit for 25 years, justice is in fact exactly what she’s recieved.

          She is, in fact, guilty of various crimes and misdemeanors. The fact that 25 years of investigations costing millions upon millions of dollars have failed to pin even one of them on her can imply only one thing. She is the most competent supervillain the world has ever seen. Lex Luthor to 45’s Dr. Evil. And should probably be named Empress for life – she can hardly hold the country’s interests in less regard than the current administration, after all. And at least she will be the most competent administrator in history.

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      • Trump’s White House and the Republicans might be immune to optics but firing Mueller is going to look bad for them among everybody who isn’t a Trump partisan.

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