Market Stalinism

Via a Twitter from Jon Limjap: Frog Migration: Omen to China Earthquake Disaster. What is emerging is that Earthquake in China struck in 2 stages.

The scale of the tragedy in China has led to people zeroing in on the human cost, and on a person-by-person, family-by-family basis, if possible. James Fallows does this and points to an emerging trend in reportage of the earthquake’s aftermath: how families subjected to the one child policy have been particularly devastated (one BBC report casually mentioned that wealthy families in China ignore the government’s regulations, as they can afford to pay fines for having extra children; that’s a story in itself, I think).

Frog in a Well looks at how the Chinese government’s trying to manage the news, in the light of previous efforts:

During the Yangzi floods a few years ago I remember seeing pictures of PLA troops trying to hold back the water with their bodies, which probably was not very effective as a flood control measure, but did result in pictures of the Army helping the people. Paratroopers are already landing in the quake area.

Proper management of a natural disaster is of course important for states, and people are already drawing comparisons to the Tangshan earthquake of 1976, the bungled handling of which was one factor in the political chaos of that year.

Qian Gang is putting out what I would call the official line, that the time is not right to ask questions…

All I can say is good luck with that. Perhaps the Chinese government is learning the American trick of saying first that the event is too close for us to understand it and then switching to saying that this is old news and we should not live in the past. How well the quake is defused as a political issue depends on a number of things. How well the relief efforts go. How much of the damage was caused by shoddy buildings. (At least some people are already blaming corrupt officials for cutting corners on school construction) How much future damage will be caused by shoddy buildings? (Up to 200 dams were supposedly damaged by the quake. This could end up being a slow motion disaster.) Will the state be seen as insensitive in its handling of the crisis? (Already people are asking that the Olympic torch run/great national celebration of China Power be toned down a bit.) In the next year or so I expect that things will be pretty bleak in the quake areas in part because of the quake and in part because it was a pretty poor rural area to start with. Will this lead to more talk about rural poverty? In the West this will probably be a pretty short media cycle, which may clear up a few questions in our elite media such as “Is Sichuan where Szechuan food comes from” (yes) and “Why is China so stagnant and unchanging?” (Don’t get me started) I expect the Chinese press to be filled with stories of rescue and grief for at least a while, as Qian Gang suggested.

Adam Hanft in The Huffington Post believes that Out of Tragedy, a New Cultural Understanding of China, and lists the evolution of American (and perhaps, Western) views on China:

There have been four modern phases that define the way Americans see the Chinese, four lens of perception.

The first was as opium-smoking Mandarins during the 19th century.

The second lens, which emerged late in the 19th and early in the twentieth century, was that of a feverishly over-populated civilization where human life was meaningless. The Chinese were a “Yellow Peril”, and journalists used that incendiary language to whip us into a frenzy of fear and discrimination.

The third lens, which defined our view during the Communist period — particularly the Cultural Revolution — was that of brainwashed, amoral thought slaves who were able to be manipulated and controlled by Mao…

The fourth lens, our contemporary one, views the Chinese as still amoral, but now 24/7 capitalists, cold, calculating and emotionless. A civilization that is willing to relocate millions, manufacture tainted products in a free-for-all economy and destroy the environment as they play the largest catch-up game in human history.

…The Chinese government, of course, bears some responsibility for this. In their burning desire to both modernize and control, their global image management strategy was to focus on China’s transformational economic success, to restore national pride and never, ever convey weakness or softness or victimization in the process.

One has to wonder, though, whether Filipinos have even gone past whatever images were prevalent in the 19th century, as far as China and the Chinese are concerned. In one sense, I think we have, and that’s in terms of aesthetics, where the J-Pop and K-Pop crazes, telenovelas, and so on, have changed people’s images of what’s desirable and attractive. But at the heart of our attitude to China, I’d still think, is the idea that Chinese society is still an imperial society; and that most of all, a fundamentally anti-capitalist, anti-entrepreneurial, and vaguely xenophobic attitude towards the Chinese still reigns.

There’s this striking passage in China’s All-Seeing Eye: With the help of U.S. defense contractors, China is building the prototype for a high-tech police state. It is ready for export. by Noami Klein in Rolling Stone Magazine:

China today, epitomized by Shenzhen’s transition from mud to megacity in 30 years, represents a new way to organize society. Sometimes called “market Stalinism,” it is a potent hybrid of the most powerful political tools of authoritarian communism – central planning, merciless repression, constant surveillance - harnessed to advance the goals of global capitalism.

…Shenzhen is once again serving as a laboratory, a testing ground for the next phase of this vast social experiment. Over the past two years, some 200,000 surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city. Many are in public spaces, disguised as lampposts. The closed-circuit TV cameras will soon be connected to a single, nationwide network, an all-seeing system that will be capable of tracking and identifying anyone who comes within its range – a project driven in part by U.S. technology and investment. Over the next three years, Chinese security executives predict they will install as many as 2 million CCTVs in Shenzhen, which would make it the most watched city in the world. (Security-crazy London boasts only half a million surveillance cameras.)

The security cameras are just one part of a much broader high-tech surveillance and censorship program known in China as “Golden Shield.” The end goal is to use the latest people-tracking technology - thoughtfully supplied by American giants like IBM, Honeywell and General Electric – to create an airtight consumer cocoon: a place where Visa cards, Adidas sneakers, China Mobile cellphones, McDonald’s Happy Meals, Tsingtao beer and UPS delivery (to name just a few of the official sponsors of the Beijing Olympics) can be enjoyed under the unblinking eye of the state, without the threat of democracy breaking out.

A slightly different interpretation of what the Chinese authorities are up to, is presented by Professor Mitchell Langbert:

The Chinese have decided to imitate American economic progress. But they have chosen to imitate the wrong thing. American economic success has come in spite of, not because of, government development schemes. In particular, the US government and the states granted large amounts of land and access rights to railroads in the nineteenth century. Although railroads contributed to economic development, they did so at much higher cost to the public than was necessary. The public donations of land were accompanied by considerable incompetence and corruption. More railroads were built than were needed. In today’s world, the corruption associated with land grants has not disappeared. The Progressives of the early twentieth century believed that by rationalizing the corruption of the political bosses, government support for business could be rationalized and made honest. In the Progressive tradition, Robert Moses in New York and similar social democratic Progressives in other states involved state and federal governments in considerable grants to business. This tradition is not why America has succeeded. America has succeeded in spite of government support for business. Sadly, the Chinese have chosen to imitate the Jay Gould/Robert Moses tradition. They are attempting to modernize their country through government support for development coupled with inflation.

The way that America did succeed in developing its economy was entrepreneurship. Freedom of enterprise not only permitted entrepreneurial genius to innovate here, but also drew entrepreneurial geniuses from other countries. For instance, Nikola Tesla came to the United States because Europeans refused to invest in his concept of A/C electricity. Thomas Edison, Jonah Salk and an endless list of homegrown and immigrant innovators came here because of American freedom. But a long list of social democrats, media pundits, quack academic economists and socialists have done all they can to destroy America’s freedom.

The development that occurred because of Jay Gould, Robert Moses and Bruce Ratner, the successor to the governmental welfare approach to business, is not the development that made America a great country. Rather, America became a great country in spite of Jay Gould, Robert Moses and Bruce Ratner. In the case of Robert Moses, the public housing on which he squandered billions of dollars and was supported by the New York Times caused massive increases in crime, destruction of neighborhoods and the near-bankruptcy of New York City in the mid 1970s. Jay Gould’s and his contemporaries’ railroads were incompetently run and cost the nation far more than they should have. Despite the massive tax on innovation that corrupt government support for business has posed, the US surged ahead because of the innovation of men like Edison and Tesla. The entrepreneur, free of government impediment and government welfare subsidy, thinks of ways to meet consumer needs and so makes himself wealthy and the world wealthier still.

In “Asian Godfathers” (Joe Studwell) the author basically argues that Harry Lee (alias Lee Kwan Yew) advocates 19th Century European ideas of eugenics, camouflaged as native pride (from this online excerpt from his book):

If anything, Chinese-ness is rather trendy in Southeast Asia these days, sometimes bizarrely so. The theaters of Bangkok’s original Chinatown are thriving, even though most of the players are now Laotian, the Chinese having moved on to better-paid work. Under Thaksin, most Thai Rak Thai election candidates made a point of putting their name in Chinese characters on their election posters.

All this owes a lot to China’s economic rise, and to a desire to be seen to be in tune with what is presently perceived as “the future”, but it also reflects a waning of the capacity of indigenous elites to divide and rule their subjects. Time — since the end of large-scale immigration before the Second World War — has been both a healer and an educator.

In the Philippines, race is a non-issue. Hong Kong has become a far more culturally relaxed, mature and integrated society since the end of colonialism in 1997. The exceptions are Chinese-majority Singapore, where Harry Lee Kuan-Yew will likely take his dreary eugenic theories to the grave, and Malaysia, where the still relatively even demographic balance between ethnic Chinese and bumiputras allows the indigenous (if this term is still meaningful) political elite to plunder the country in the name of positive discrimination. Nonetheless, around the region, the race relations story is a very positive one.

A critical review of Studwell’s book by Richard North describes Studwell’s view:

Studwell tries to persuade us that historic circumstance even more than culture or genes accounts for the power of the Chinese Godfathers. Indeed, Studwell is keen to point out that the Chinese Godfathers are much more apparently than actually Chinese: they are “chameleon” – as though they are uncertain whether to promote or disguise their ethnicity. He is especially fierce about anyone who claims there is something Confucian about the Chinese Godfathers or their form of capitalism. Indeed, he sees the ethnic posing of the likes of Lee Kuan Yew, erstwhile Prime Minister of Singapore, as a sort of social manipulation, which enjoins workers to be obedient and quiescent in case something damages the special but fragile economy in which they toil.

China at the very least, doesn’t have a government people would classify as weird. But in the Encyclopedia Britannica blog, Robert McHenry asks, in the case of Burma, what do you do when a government’s obviously insane?

Closer to home, The Asia Sentinel reports on Malaysia’s LingamGate,

A royal commission appointed to investigate Malaysia’s judicial system has concluded that the country’s courts have been subject to widespread fixing of judicial appointments that corrupted decisions at the behest of ranking politicians.

The report has not been released and, given its political sensitivity — involving, for instance, allegations of judicial abuses by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad — it is posing serious problems for the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the United Malays National Organisation…

However, the report appears to confirm what has been widely reported so far on b logs and in the press — and that is that the court system was almost entirely in the thrall of politicians with close ties to businessmen. The commission was appointed last year after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim made public an eight-minute segment of a 2002 videotape showing the well-connected lawyer VK Lingam in conversation with Ahmad Fairuz, then the country’s third-ranking judge. The release of the videotape played a major role in energizing opposition to the ruling Barisan Nasional, the ruling national coalition of ethnic parties, in elections earlier this year that wiped out the coalition’s historic two-thirds majority and resulted in its biggest defeat since independence.

You may want to check out Mahathir Mohamad’s blog, to see how he’s reacting to the issue. makes an appeal to ignore the 100 pound Gorrell-a in the blogosphere. Fair enough but what makes this appeal interesting to me is that it reveals the limitations of the entire effort to identity the “top 10 emerging blogs.” The criteria are subjective and nearly every blogger trying to propose blogs for consideration has to wrestle with the dilemma of is the process about identifying up-and-coming blogs with influence, or is it about endorsement, is it a wish list or an objective identification? Also of interest to me is this concern with “reputation,” as far as the blogosphere is concerned, which only proves that bloggers outside media aren’t immune to the fierce self-identification with a specific platform that accounts for so much antagonism between platforms.

Meanwhile, from some time back, BuzzMachine on Tearing down the news-opinion divide.

So opinion crosses a media divide: How can you write a blog without a human voice? And once you import stuff from that blog, even a Times blog, into print, you’ve brought in a human voice - that is, one with a stated perspective – into a publication that has prided itself on having no perspective. Heh.

There’s another divide to consider here, an organizational divide. Don’t forget that at The Times and many American newspapers, there’s a wall between business and editorial and another wall between the newsroom and the editorial page. The silly conceit of this is that opinion can be relegated to and imprisoned in the walls and pages of an editorial department: They own opinion and nobody else is allowed to have any - and that is the inoculation that has, historically, preserved the news department’s own conceit that it is objective: See, we don’t do opinion, those people over there do.

So one has to ask what the difference is between Andrew Sorkin and Paul Krugman except that Sorkin is paid to spend more of his time reporting with more sources. So - no offense to Krugman; I just picked the most convenient beat – but what whose opinion/perspective/viewpoint is more useful? If we take the argument that newspapers make against blogs - they just have opinions; they don’t report - that would give the contest to Sorkin, now that he is allowed to have opinions. So what’s the point of having opinion-page columnists? Why not just have reporters who can also share their perspective?

There’s another opinion divide to consider: inside v. outside. What about those bloggers? As newspapers get relationships with them - The Times has taken Freakonomics under its wing and the Washington Post today announced it is syndicating TechCrunch onto its side (as it syndicates my PrezVid) - one need wonder about their opinions. They have them. Michael Arrington certainly has them - including opinions about mainstream newspapers, we should remember. So how does that fit with the news-opinion divide? I was surprised to learn recently that Freakonomics is under The Times’ Opinion section. Why? The Post put TechCrunch stories on its technology news page. What’s the difference: prissiness, as Nick says, or turf battles? (And by the way, in all these cases, I think a network relationship is smarter than a syndicated relationship – but that’s the subject of another post another day.)

Which brings us to RG Cruz in his blog. See RG’s entry for today:

IF I am to believe everything that ive been hearing so far, then I would think that Ping got Joe to divulge THE pictures, that this alex guy is a but a front to Joe who is still neither here nor there if he’s gonna spill the beans on Mike and Gloria, that Joe is getting from Gina and Joey big time, except that Joe is afraid he’s gonna go to jail if he does spill the beans (thats why he flew overseas), that the blackened figure in one of the pictures isnt ben but a tourist, that all this drama now is but part of a big scheme to bankrupt a family corporation to ease some pressure on certain individuals.

That’s if im to believe everything ive heard so far. DO i? Jury is still out.

Fair enough.Two reporters -Jove Francisco and RG Cruz- are good examples of the points raised by BuzzMachine above: the value of having reporters not only do reporting, but have the freedom to blog and present their personal take on things.

Meanwhile, you’ll enjoy this article on a family feud involving oil millionaires going on in Texas: Oil in the Family.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

97 thoughts on “Market Stalinism

  1. I think Filipinos are more than familiar with the Chinese people, and China for that matter. We have friendly (and business) ties with them, even with the Chinese and Tsinoys in our country. There are many Pinoys who have been to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Marami rin tayong mga OFWs doon. And I heard that PAL and Cebu Pac have recently increased the frequency of their flights to Macau.

  2. china……..a lot of people are predicting that it will surpass the US in the next 50 years. A billion people working in harmony logging 10% economic growth yearly certainly looks impressive. the US empire has been written off many times but only to come back much stronger. remember the 1970’s oil shock, the 80’s japanese juggernaut, 90’s real estate implosion and now the 2000 dot com and subprime crisis. it looks like economic growth is cyclical and trims off the excess every 10 years.

    if you put things into perspective china with 1B population against the us < half a billion and yet its economy is only 1/8th its size. shanghai stock market down by 40% because of US economic malaise does not bode well for an aspiring ecomomic powerhouse. i believe thats its too premature to writeoff the US as its still the most innovative/dynamic country in the world. however just like the empires before her it will surely pass its glory but definitely not in our childrens lifetime. having said that, i would like china to at least narrow the gap to keep uncle sam in check.

  3. im worried about the philippines being left out from chinese investments as its enormous foreign reserves is being deployed worldwide because of controversies sorrounding NorthRail and NBN/ZTE deals. Our country needs this large infusions of cash to sustain whatever economic gains we attained the last five years.

    Im sure there is a way to make things transparent and above board to the satisfaction of the many stakeholders, it seems though that we always find a way to muddle the issues to the detriment of our own economic security.

  4. It’s not as if we have a particularly shining track record of dealing with our own “natural” disasters.

    Mudslides that kill 5000 to 8000 Pinoys in one swoop get relegated to page 5 of the papers within a day or two of the event. Seems like Pinoys would rather lose sleep over the Lozadas and Trillanes’s of this world than ponder the unfathomable (at least to other societies) tragedy of such things.

    This short-n-sweet children’s story on YouTube will help bring back awareness surrounding Pinoy killer mudslides and flashfloods:

    A story that highlights a simple truth that, as with many things simple, is lost in a society that would rather get its kicks from silly political circuses. 😉

  5. Well, some people in the OLD media are playing hardball and it will be incredibly stupid if we crown Brian Gorrell as our blog champion.


    Even though China is doing great in many areas of business, very little exporting of branded Chinese products outside of Asia is actually happening at the current time.

    When will China begin to produce its own brands? A book, TechnoBrands, was translated into Chinese in 2000, and I’m still not seeing any branding action in China. It is clear that the Chinese haven’t “gotten” branding yet.

    Chinese manufacturers still think in terms of just the product, best price, and maybe a nice logo. That’s because China now is focused being a supplier to world (mainly the U.S) in order to build up its economic infrastructure. Down the road they will likely become more branding oriented as they see the value in branding and the payoff that branding brings in more control over their business, higher margins, and competitive advantage.

    Plus, the Chinese don’t seem ready to make the changes that branding requires in corporate structure and in gaining a consumer focus. It is much easier to reply to the RFP (request for proposal) from a small group of US clients than learn how to sell directly to US retail chains and consumers.

    Still, there is little doubt that China will “get” branding just like they’re quickly attained superstar status in manufacturing.

    More on branding:

  7. Ok… Can anybody delete that John guy’s post… Thank you…

    @ The China Earthquake newscoverage

    If only majority or a good number of our mediapeople would continue telling the tragedies like the Chinese are doing with the China Earthquake, that stuff about the political circuses would die down to a certain level, but then again, it would lose them potential and current buyers. [They might as well do off with all that showbiz garbage too, if and when they do it. Showbiz is not news for me. It’s paparazzi and bulldung.]


    Let’s just hope there is a way, because it would bring us to the point of no-return… To wish those corrupt politicians to get their act together and care for their constituents rather than their own pockets, would be blind and stupid wishful thinking that would just get us disappointed.

    We can give the honest politicians a chance by trusting them and helping them in ways that we can (not by cash), instead of just branding them like their companions. [magdiwang, I’m not sure if you have other ideas in mind to achieve your last paragraph. I’m somewhat fuzzy as of the moment.]

  8. Meanwhile, you’ll enjoy this article on a family feud involving oil millionaires going on in Texas: Oil in the Family. – mlq3

    Maybe someone can write about the Madrigal family feud regarding Chito Madrigal’s inheritance. Jamby Madrigal could well be Al Hill Three!

  9. leytenian: The Norinco-brand is quite popular — reasonable quality, low-price.

    Haier and Lenovo are two of the Chinese brands making inroads into US and Europe. And China can do what Tata (of India) has done — buy the brand (like when Tata bought the Jaguar and LandRover brands).

    Note that about two years ago, this was a WashingtonPost news item:
    NEW YORK, Aug. 2 — Chinese oil company Cnooc Ltd. on Tuesday withdrew its $18.5 billion takeover bid for California energy firm Unocal Corp., saying it could not overcome resistance from politicians in Washington who said such a deal could threaten U.S. national security and violate the rules of fair trade.

  10. The Chinese have very little R&D money. The majority of their manufacturing is based on products whose R&D was paid for by companies from other countries, i.e. they simply copy or produce OEM products with swappable branding. I know this since I blog about portable gadgets from China a lot. It’s a bad habit but there are companies like Aigo who want to do better and produce products they designed themselves. FYI: Aigo is a sponsor for Formula 1 with McClaren Mercedes.

    There is no doubt some people in China are capable in competing with the Apples, Dells and the Nissans and GMs, but there are easier ways to turn a profit.

  11. “social democrats, media pundits and quack aademician economists”, not to mention rapacious politicians and a scheming clergy – don’t we have too much of them in our own backyard? how can we ever be “free” from ignorance and poverty?

  12. rapacious politicians are like cockroaches — when they find a supportive environment, they breed and proliferate like crazy!!!

  13. “The Norinco-brand is quite popular — reasonable quality, low-price.
    is the ban been lifted. this article is 2003 during my school days. LOL

    “Haier and Lenovo are two of the Chinese brands making inroads into US and Europe.”

    The most important thing for a Chinese company is to grow big enough and strong enough in its home market—in China. Probably the biggest reason for the failure of international growth is that companies lack a certain critical mass at home. Without that, they will lack the level of strategic thinking needed to manage an international organization, and they will lack managers with the necessary breadth and depth of experience.
    And this is purely about size; a smaller company’s management wouldn’t have the capability even to think about operating at a global scale, nor the capacity to absorb hundreds more people and managers. The depth of Lenovo’s management meant that we could sustain our success in China and still have managers available to go anywhere we needed them, as long as there wasn’t a language barrier 2005 and still an issue until now”

    China lacking management experience…

    China’s global marketing strategy 2008..Olympic games.
    getting better…

  14. Lastly to my beloved Philippines..

    How can we brand and market our Philippines to the world? what business are we in? service?, manufacturing? tourism, labor exports, and what else… our over population is to our advantage… we must compete..

    over 7100 islands is the best place to relax in Asia. Chinese businessmen when stressed out will always wanna be somewhere close by…

    Young people can speak better english as noted on above’s statistics… we have the advantage.

    we have work force professional labor are ready for any jobs… anywhere in the world… We have world class educational institution.

    What is our brand? young pinay marrying old white men, corrupt government, big debts.

    Our leaders should focus on lifting our negatives, learn from it ( quicker this time, not 20 years) improve it and at the same time maintain or improve what we currently have.

    I do have high hopes for the Philippines…We need leaders who are proud to be filipinos, be role models with global sense and understand what business are we in.

  15. Up n and bencard. why don’t you two run for guys make sense. you will have all the votes from the province of leyte… good day.

  16. One difference between India and China is that India’s IT professionals who worked in Silicon Valley and then returned home.
    China might have a few It guys,but India had a lot.

    Lenovo would never had been successful, if people never knew that they just bought out the PC division of IBM.

    I agree on Brina’s take on China’s R &D and I have to agree that Filipinos are underlings in their own country.

    Sa mga banko, halos lahat tisoy o chinoy ang me ari.

    Sa top 10 richest,si Villar lang ang di tisoy o chinoy.
    Maiba tayo, wala na tayong magagawa kung ganyan ang configuration. We were never given a chance.

    Pero does it matter kung tisoy,chinoy di ba mga pinoy pa din sila? gagaya ba tayo sa mga onaks na magkamali ka lang sa pananalita mo racist ka na.

    but the Moths article,stresses that the financial center’s tisoy mix are going to the expats just look at ABN AMRO,HSBC,Deutche Bank,Citigroup.

    No need to go to the pharmaceuticals,but same picture.

    Sa ports Dubai World running Asian Terminals(kahit na ano pang sabihin ke Razon bilib ako sa kanya sa Port operations,that goes to Romero as well)
    Our passenger shipping lines is a mess right now because passengers prefer airlines,thanks to the marketing strategies of Cebu Pac.(the expose of hidden charges,did no effect,not even first hand complaints)

    wait till that happens to the power sector,if and when the economic provisons are ammended;even coconut plantations,because of coconut oil. I am not saying whether it is good or bad,but it is bound to happen.

    Japan already made its move in Northern Luzon,kung di lang binagyo Bicol, madami ng magaagawan dyan having the most cococnut trees once upon a time.

    not only coconut oil,but food from coconut as well,wait for Cargill to make a comeback.

  17. Kakaftershock lang sa China, tayo panatag ba tayo dahil nandyan si Gordon at ang kanyang Red Cross?

    National disater is handled by the defense department.
    Pano mo ipagsasama ang gunpowder mentality at disaster prevention,Di pa pwede DSWD na lang to,mahilig din naman mag realign ng budget,at emergency budget.

  18. myanmar, mas matindi pa sa Nokor ang pagka isolationist nito,before ang hirap ding magdonate o magbigay ng aid sa North korea,pero lumambot din ng kaonti.

    Itong myanmar,ang tigas talaga eh.
    There goes the so called rice cartel, Thailand is now saying that they are not the Spokesperson of Myanmar, everytime international bodies asks for its help to channel aid; while a few weeks ago they were speaking for Myanmar and the rest of its neighbors as part of that OREC thingy.

  19. Wow CCTV cameras in Shenzen. How quaint. The U.S. inteliigence community and here is the listing from their own website:

    Definition of the IC
    Members of the IC

    Director of National Intelligence
    Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence
    Air Force Intelligence
    Army Intelligence
    Central Intelligence Agency
    Coast Guard Intelligence
    Defense Intelligence Agency
    Department of Energy
    Department of Homeland Security
    Department of State
    Department of the Treasury
    Drug Enforcement Administration
    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Marine Corps Intelligence
    National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
    National Reconnaissance Office
    National Security Agency
    Navy Intelligence –

    They also monitor all forms of communication around the world and the U.S.

    Plus they have the right in get into personal information about all their residents which are available in an open society run by private/public corporations/institutions.

    Just recently China asked the U.S. to supply it with satelite based information over the quake site for them to pinpoint areas where they (the Chinese) could concentrate on.

    Those stupid generals in Myanmar refused this kind of help which could have been used to save lives.

    The technological advancement of the U.S. is the result of the collaboration between the industrial/military complex. All funded by financed by John Q. Public and now by the world.

    Compared to China the U.S. is at warp speed level while China is at bullet train speed. No match.

    In point of fact the G-7 model of multilateralism with the U.S. at the lead that is exclusively for them. The planet revolves around this paradigm.

  20. How the G-7 controls strategic oil supplies and prices from the perspective of Bruce Bartlett a Reaganite and doctrinaire supply sider and an Arab commentator on the history of the real prices of oil based on their own macroeconomic fundamentals. It makes for interesting reading in these days of global financial imbalances and the surges in the price of oil.

    It is simple to understand. (Hopefully)

    Stiglitz meanwhile has come up with a zinger based on what our BSP is doing with monetary policy. “inflation targeting” The creation of the BSP was built on the doctrinaire foundation of inflation targeting.

    A policy for first world economies that when applied to third world economies can cause tremendous problems.

    When you raise interst rates because of supply problems you aggravate the supply problems. It is like bleeding a dying patient to save his life. It is barbaric.

    But like CJ Puno was aid to have remarked, how can one push for a first world justice system with third world salaries. You have to pay first world prices. Please appreciate that would mean purchasing power. That is a long story in itself.

    The poor and the working poor in this country real inflation rate is closer to triple digits and no one has noticed. That is the silent tsunami that is building up.

    In spite of the spike in food and energy prices, U.S. representative inflation rate for April was 1/5 of one percent. Annually 2.4%.

    All this is important since the foundational basis of the social contract between the people and its government is fiscal and monetary policy.

    When this policy is the subject of foreign impositions there is no social contract. The world has not evolved to the point that the social contract is enforceable on an international level. The multilateral financial institutions are simply about protecting the financial interests of foreign savings. Mostly the G-7’s.

    The digital revolution has brought about not simply the internationalization of the division of labor but the internationalization of the entire business process itself through the transnational corporations. British Gas the partner of the Lopez’s in their natural gas fired plant probably runs the plant for the group. The Lopez family does the collection naturally.

  21. “brian, great. when does your ethnic cleansing start?” – mlq3

    Malaysia institutionalized affirmative action policies to uplift the Bumiputra, the native Malay population, through Article 153 of its Constitution. These policies have been acknowledged to be partially successful, but have also been accused of encouraging racism and corruption.

    Affirmative action in public education is laudable and would have the most long-lasting benefit for Malays. However, when this included economic policies, this was met with much skepticism. Examples of some policies:
    • Bumiputras must take up a minimum 30% of equity to satisfy listing requirements in the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. Foreign companies who operate in Malaysia must also adhere to this requirement. While this was conceived to create native enterprise, in practice Bumiputras are simply dummies of non-Bumis, receiving emoluments and commissions while not actively involved in the business.
    • Housing development must reserve a certain percentage for Bumiputras. Housing developers are required to provide a minimum 7% discount to Bumiputra buyers, irrespective of the income level of the potential buyer. Remaining unsold houses are allowed to be sold to non-bumi if there is proof that attempts were made after a given time period. When there is high demand for a certain development, Bumis act as dummies for non-Bumis and flip the property back to the non-Bumi for a profit.
    • A basket of government run (and profit guaranteed) mutual funds are available for purchase by Bumiputra buyers only. This is called the Amanah Saham Nasional (ASN), with return rates approximately 3 to 5 times that of local commercial banks.
    • Bidding for government projects require that companies submitting tenders be bumiputra owned. This requirement has led to non-Bumiputras teaming up with Bumiputra companies to obtain projects in a practice known as “Ali Baba” where Ali (the Bumiputra) exists solely to satisfy this requirement and Baba (the non Bumiputra) gives Ali a certain sum in exchange. In other words, it encourages Malays to be merely dummies for non-Malays.
    • Construction projects are earmarked for Malay contractors to gain expertise in various fields. In practice, these projects are sold to non-Malays as the bidders are only interested in their commissions.
    • Approved Permits (APs) for automobiles give Bumiputras preference to import vehicles. Automotive companies wishing to bring in cars need to have an AP to do so. APs were originally created to allow Bumiputra participation in the automotive industry since they were issued to companies with at least 70% Bumiputra ownership. In 2004, the Edge (a business newspaper) estimated that APs were worth approximately RM 35,000 a piece. They also estimated that Nasimuddin Amin, chairman of the Naza group received 6,387 permits for 2003, making him the largest recipient of APs. The total number of AP’s issued in 2003 was 12,234. So Mr. Amin must have made a lot of money selling those AP’s. In addition to APs, foreign car brands are required to pay between 140% to 300% import duty.

    With just their credentials and well-placed connections in government, many Bumiputras became overnight millionaires because of these new economic policies. These policies have created a significant Malay urban upper and middle class. But they have not filtered down to the rural Malays. It has created a “privileged class” among those who have the right connections and, instead of encouraging enterprise, it has nurtured corruption and a sense of entitlement among upper-class Malays. Today, the Malay economy is still controlled by non-Bumis, primarily the Chinese, albeit with their Bumi dummies.
    There will be much controversy over Bumiputra policies. Singapore seceded from the Malay Federation primarily because of these policies.
    And even the definition of Bumiputra remains muddled. Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad, for example, who is a staunch defender of Bumiputra rights and privileges, is of Indian descent. Other prominent Bumiputras are of mixed Chinese and Indian heritage.

    As for ethnic cleansing, Indonesia has done much along these lines. In 1966, during the Suharto takeover, and in 1998, when Suharto lost power, hundreds of thousands, some even say millions, of ethnic Chinese were killed and pillaged. And in Vietnam and Cambodia, ethnic Chinese bore the brunt of repression when they fell to the Communists.

  22. I wish Randy David, de Quiros and Montelibano would blog.

    a David blog would have me an avid reader and commenter

  23. “a David blog would have me an avid reader and commenter”

    Two years and a half ago I personally emailed Mr. David regarding the blogosphere:

    Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 17:30:20 +0800
    From: “Public Lives” Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
    Yahoo! DomainKeys has confirmed that this message was sent by Learn more
    To: “[email protected]”
    Subject: Re: demanding closure

    Hi Karl,

    Many thanks for bringing to my attention the growing influence of the blogsphere. As I do not maintain my own blog, I am naturally not aware of the extent to which people now visit the blog sites of others. But you may be right — this is the democracy of the future.

    Randy David

  24. “It is simple to understand. (Hopefully)”

    This I understand:

    “The true cause was excessive money growth by the Federal Reserve. Indeed, the rise in the price of oil was more a consequence of inflation than its cause.”

    “Please appreciate that would mean purchasing power. That is a long story in itself”

    The Big Mac Index,just try using The current price(Philippine)of Big mac and make it equivalent to a dollar, The OFWS and the exporters will be happy.(kidding, i know it’s not that easy)

    On the us dollar and exchange rates, I tried to appreciate it more by googling Bretton Woods Act,Smithsonian,Plaza and Louvre accords and at least wikipedia has a brief summary of all of them.

    Going back to the chicken and the egg on oil prices and inflation, How come the republicans are taking credit and highlighting the failure of ford and Carter to see the real picture?? useless question!!!

    as of now, they are back to anti terror,oil and power on their campaigns.
    and round and round it goes.

  25. leytenian,

    i ve been following your posting after your altercation with Ca T. Sorry but I agre with Ca T. Kuko ka lang nya. So tama ka hindi nga kayo mag ka level.

  26. Market Stalinism, they also used this on Tony Blair once.

    maybe also because of those cctvs,which failed to stop those London bombings,The movie Bourne supremacy even made a mockery of the cctvs of the UK. Of course that is not the reason.

    Maybe it was because of the blair witch, I mean Blair Project. What ever!

  27. “How come the republicans are taking credit and highlighting the failure of ford and Carter to see the real picture??”

    “as of now, they are back to anti terror,oil and power on their campaigns. and round and round it goes.” – KG

    As expected, the Republican neocons are back to running their usual mean-spirited and underhanded campaign of disinformation. No less than the sitting U.S. President, addressing the 60th anniversary celebrations of Israel’s founding, has opened the attack by labelling Barack Obama’s policies as “appeasement” and comparing Obama to Nazi coddlers before World War II.

    Right wing propaganda has also now proclaimed Obama as the candidate of Hamas and Osama Bin Laden. The neocons are very skilled in instilling fear in the American public. Fear and negativism have been their principal weapons and they have been amazingly successful, getting asinine candidates like George Bush elected to the Presidency twice. If John Kerry was swiftboated in 2004, expect Obama to be demonized as the candidate of terrorists.

  28. “brian, great. when does your ethnic cleansing start?”

    I have Faith in the Filipino. What about you? When a minority race is ruling a country, what does that mean, Manolo? If a majority race rules, that is only natural, no?

  29. To Manolo, I don’t know why my pro-austro-whatchamaccalit stance suggest to you that I want violence towards mestizo. When I ride a taxi and do not immediately speak in Tagalog, I often get mistaken for a foreigner: Chinese, japanese or Korean. I even got in an altercation with a middle aged cabbie because of it. What I’m wondering is that, is the ruling class as racially aware as the masses? Does the fact that they are from a minority race influence their decision-making and behavior? I bet much of the corruption, rent-seeking, political manipulation that has been going on since independence is influenced by racial thinking… not by the masses but by the ruling elite.

  30. Tutal anti terror at foreign policy debates na naman sa tate, remember what I told about Dubai Ports.

    They took over P & O of london, thus inheriting abot seven (7)P&O ports sa US, dahil sa anti terror campaign,umatras tuloy ang Dubai dahil they were not welcomed, even after their huge donations during the hurricanes.(stupid!)

    Tayo, we accepted them with open arms;we made it easy from them taking over of Asian terminals, turned over to them by The Brits and the Aussies.

  31. “They took over P & O of london, thus inheriting about seven (?)P&O ports sa US, dahil sa anti terror campaign,umatras tuloy ang Dubai dahil they were not welcomed, even after their huge donations during the hurricanes.(stupid!)”

    Who says Hillary did not ride on the anti terror (how can she,she ‘s the senator of NY)

    The democrats accused GWB of going full circle after 9-11

    ps mali ako sa seven ports,sabi na nga ba parang maliit

    21 pala sa eastern seaboard

  32. when a dem nominee starts getting hit by republican criticism, you know that the republicans have decided the nomination has been won by that nominee.

    only Hillary seems oblivious of that fact. when Bush and then McCain started taking potshots at Obama, calling him terrorist lover or that Hamas has virtually endorsed him, was the day they accepted that Obama will be Dem’s presidential nominee.

  33. Going back to Market Stalinism, I was intrigued about it, so got to do further digging.

    “The First Circle (В круге первом ) is a novel by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn released in 1968. The novel details three days in the life of the occupants of a gulag prison camp located in the Moscow suburbs, the Marfino sharashka.

    The title is an allusion to Dante’s first circle of Hell in The Divine Comedy, wherein the philosophers of Greece live in a walled green garden. They are unable to enter Heaven, but enjoy a small space of relative freedom in the heart of Hell.

    The prisoners work on technical projects to assist state security agencies and generally pander to Stalin’s increasing paranoia. While most are aware of how much better off they are than “regular” Gulag prisoners, some are also conscious of the overwhelming moral dilemma of working to aid a system that is the cause of so much suffering. “

    “Sharashka ( Russian: шара́ шка ) was an informal name for secret research and development laboratories in the Soviet Gulag labor camp system. Etymologically, the word sharashka is derived from a Russian slang expression sharashkina kontora (“Sharashka’s office”, possibly from the radical meaning “to beat about”), an ironic, derogatory term to denote a poorly organized, impromptu, or bluffing organization.

    The scientists and engineers at a sharashka were prisoners picked from various camps and prisons and assigned to work on scientific and technological problems for the state. Living conditions were usually much better than in an average taiga camp, especially bearing in mind the absence of hard labor.

    The results of the research in sharashkas were usually published under the names of prominent Soviet scientists without credit given to the real authors, whose names frequently have been forgotten. Some sharashka inmates, brilliant scientists and engineers released during and after World War II, continued independent careers and became world-famous.””

  34. Professor Lambert (Brooklyn College, New York) is wrong when he said : The Chinese have decided to imitate American economic progress. . . . . . In the Progressive tradition, Robert Moses in New York and similar social democratic Progressives in other states involved state and federal governments in considerable grants to business. This tradition is not why America has succeeded. America has succeeded in spite of government support for business. Sadly, the Chinese have chosen to imitate the Jay Gould/Robert Moses tradition. They are attempting to modernize their country through government support for development coupled with inflation.

    Mainland China is not imitating USA (where, again, the US citizenry will choose a new White House occupant). Mainland China is imitating Singapore and Singapore’s authoritarian capitalism.

  35. More and more, I am reaching the conclusion that today’s Mainland China is much more FASCIST than COMMMUNIST.

    The days seem to have long disappeared where Mainland China promises itself as a “worker’s utopia”. And to remember that Communism is a goal, and key component of this goal is where the STATE has become obsolete (and has disappeared) because all is equal. [Yeah… right… China Politburo is working hard to null out its role in China.]

    From the NaomiKlein//”China All Seeing Eye” above (and thinking of Internet- and media-censorship in China) my conclusion is that China is full-speed ahead towards a supra-efficient police state.

    PS: A key-component of Stalinism is self-sufficiency — the belief that the Soviet Union was capable of obtaining the productivity level of the advanced Western nations on its own account. The thinking also was that self-sufficiency results in better control since one owns all the factors of production. One of the results — Russia’s “command economy” with monolothic vertically integrated large-scale enterprises. Stalinism does not welcome outsourcing. CARP — “no” under Stalinism.

  36. KG,
    ATI was part of the whole P&O package DP World acquired some years back. Isn’t it interesting that ICTSI owned by you-know-who has acquired a terminal right in DP World’s backyard, Dubai? PPA was supposed to have dismantled monopoly of the arrastre, stevedoring, cargo and passenger handling in the ports of Manila (which recently included the newest Eva Macapagal Super Terminal) by awarding the North part of the Manila Bay harbor to ICTSI and the South to ATI. Yet one of ATI’s top honchos, Ramon Atayde, was president of Marina Port, 7R, OTSI – precursors of ICTSI.

    He is now president of bustling ATI Batangas and South Cotabato’s port operator, SCIPS, a joint venture. In ATI’s website and in its compliance reports to SEC, ATI never mentioned who this partner was. Of course, it’s ICTSI.

    If Romy Neri wasn’t a coward and tells all, his story could be an interesting side plot in this controversial, never-ending The Godfather serial.

  37. jude, and why not be scared of obama? not much is known about the guy except his past and present association and heroes. j. wainright, farrakahn, malcolm x, some guy from the extremist group called “the weathermen”. his ant-war rhetorics (against avowed terrorists) in favor of “negotiation” is an ultra-left euphemism for appeasement that has proven wrong time and again in history. if i’m labeled “neocon” for this position, so be it. i just don’t believe you can negotiate with terrorists or murderous extremists. what is there to negotiate – when, where or what they can attack; the age and sex of the suicide bomber?

    the democratic party is the party of choice of the far left. this is why stevenson, humphrey, mcgovern, carter (for re-election) dukakis, gore, and kerry all didn’t make it. obama may get the nomination and the support of all the blacks in america, but i doubt he can win the national election. the “reagan democrats” that helped reagan and bill clinton get elected will probably go for mccain this time. this one sure will, assuming hillary is not nominated.

  38. besides, jude, who controls the hamas, the hezbollah, the al quaeda and other jihadist groups with whom obama can negotiate with assurance that the individual human explosives will listen and obey? i think, for the most part, this suicide bombers are after only one thing – a harem of virgins that awaits them in “paradise”, and they answer to no one.

  39. Tongue,

    Yeah,but the information I gave come from a former employee and a son of a former director of the board,me.(di kami sabay,I had to resign for my dad to be an independent director)

    I can see that you are very resourceful,Toungue; seeing your posts from Meralco,and your posts on Razon at the start of the ZTE hearings.

    Not from an investigative angle,but from a realistic point of view about breaking up monopolies;easier promised than done.

    ATI was a a merger of 7R,OTSI and Marina. ICTSI was formed in the late eighties,the merger happened in the early nineties.

    Correct, Atayde was once president of 7r and Marina ,but was a director and consultant of Marina; and Marina is where P & O had a stake.

    The competition between ATI and ICTSI was cut throat, ATI lost a lot when maersk lines moved from ATI to ICTSI,but their was an open partnership in gensan.
    As to Razon’s unofficial partnership with ATI, that I leave to your resourcefulness.

  40. bencard, you’re wrong. they are not after the virgins. they are after the 28 young boys!

  41. “and why not be scared of obama?” – Bencard

    And why not try to learn more about the man before unquestioningly gulping down what could be deliberate disinformation? In the course of one’s life, one meets many people. Some are good, some are bad. I personally believe that most people are good, even if there may be a bad side to them. It doesn’t mean that I would instantly reject those people.

    Now, if we were to play the game of “guilt by association”, we could just as well accuse John McCain (not to mention George Bush and the neocon cabal) of intolerance and racism. McCain heartily accepted hate-monger Pastor John Hagee’s endorsement for the Presidency, saying: “I’m very proud to have Pastor Hagee’s support”.

    McCain is “very proud” of a fire and brimstone preacher who drums up fear in order to encourage repentance. “Very proud” of someone who promulgates hate and intolerance by degrading, intimidating, inciting to violence or prejudicial action against groups of people. He has hurled brutal attacks on certain sectors on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political views and religion.

    For example, Hagee said that Hurricane Katrina was “the judgment of God against New Orleans”. called Roman Catholicism “the great whore of Babylon” and “a Godless theology of hate that no one dared try to stop for a thousand years”. He has also advocated for the destruction of Iran, Russia and all the Islamist states. He has also said that the head of the European Union will be the anti-Christ. He has spoken out against homosexuals and even called Harry Potter “contemporary withcraft”.

    Or perhaps association with Jerry Falwell, another staunch supporter of the Republican right, would be better. Like Jeremiah Wright, Falwell blamed sectors of American society for causing 9/11 to happen. The only difference is that, unlike blaming the arrogance of American foreign policy, Falwell blames pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays, lesbians, the ACLU and “all of them who have tried to secularize America”. And Pat Robertson, another favorite of the neocon Republicans, concurred heartily with Falwell.

    Lunatics of the religious right like Hagee, Falwell and Robertson are very much involved with the Republican neocons. They have very close ties with the White House and other prominent Republicans. Their far-out views could also be associated as Republican views, following the concept of guilt by association.

    As an Asian, I do know that Barack Obama, who was born and partly raised in multicultural Hawaii and also studied and lived in Indonesia, is much more understanding of Asian, and possibly other cultures’ sensitivities. He is not your typical arrogant white American who believes America is the center of the universe. He is not the typical American hillbilly who only believes in the power of force and refuses to even recognize others’ grievances. Dialogue is not appeasement. And the unilateralism that has characterized American foreign policy for the past 25 years has only solidified resentment and hatred for Americans all over the world. It did not prevent 9/11 from happening.

    Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. Well, that makes hardliners like Bush, Cheney and McCain insane. And people who soak up to their warped mentality are even more crazy.

  42. and i suppose that you would argue obama’s pastor of over 20 years, married him, baptized his children, extolled him, until he, obama, realized the outspoken reverend was a political albatross and must be ostentatiously denounced, is not insane.

    comparing obama’s close associates and mentors with the likes of hagee, falwell or robertson are like comparing apples and oranges. supporting a candidate doesn’t make one a friend, a mentor or an associate.

    better the devil that you know than one you don’t. and i’m not about to waste my time trying to learn about a candidate inside and out especially when there is not much relevant things to know about him. the u.s. presidency is too important to be left to chance in the hands of a smooth-talking but largely unknown entity with nothing to offer but “hope” and promises. remember hitler.

    don’t give me this old baloney about “resentment and hatred” towards america. as long as america is the number one most powerful nation in this globe, there will always be envy, hatred and bitterness from covetous wannabees who would blow themselves up just to satisfy themselves that americans also bleed. and don’t you be too cocky about 9/11 as though it was a triumph of good over evil. you obviously don’t know what you are talking about.

    if obama represents those people in america who thinks the way you do, then i really have to be scared.

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