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Archive for July 2010

communism with chinese characteristics

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Is China’s growth due to adoption of capitalism?

Over at Slate, Christopher Beam lists the numerous ways in which China is still a highly centrally-planned state, and then claims that, “The irony is that the Communist leadership structure is geared toward capitalist ends. For example, regional leaders are evaluated every year based on economic growth in their domains”.

Matthew Yglesias claims that:

the approach of today’s CCP is arguably right in line with Lenin’s New Economic Policy or the ideas of Nikolai Bukharin and Mikhail Gorbachev all of whom certainly thought they were Communists. Indeed, if you ask me the status quo in China is pretty similar to the agenda outlined in the Communist Manifesto. Similarly, when Bean says “irony is that the Communist leadership structure is geared toward capitalist ends” he turns out to mean that it’s geared toward economic growth. Growth is something that the post-1960s far left is typically skeptical of, but Karl Marx and all the leaders of the USSR espoused the view that policy should be geared toward maximizing growth.

My knee-jerk assumption was always that China’s recent growth is due to adoption of Western-style capitalism. Then again since nothing left of Western-style capitalism is allowed into the realm of discourse in the West….


Written by geek

30/07/2010 at 12:53 am

Posted in economy, politics

lessons and rules about the unemployed

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Intelligent design believer Ben “science leads you to killing people” Stein, who has written for the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal, on the lessons we can learn from the unemployed in these times where there are 5 job applicants for every open position and 15 million people on unemployment:

The people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities. I say “generally” because there are exceptions. But in general, as I survey the ranks of those who are unemployed, I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day’s work. They are people who create either little utility or negative utility on the job.

Written by geek

23/07/2010 at 1:29 am

the definition of rape

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In Israel:

A Palestinian man has been convicted of rape after having consensual sex with a woman who had believed him to be a fellow Jew.

Sabbar Kashur, 30, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Monday after the court ruled that he was guilty of rape by deception. According to the complaint filed by the woman with the Jerusalem district court, the two met in downtown Jerusalem in September 2008 where Kashur, an Arab from East Jerusalem, introduced himself as a Jewish bachelor seeking a serious relationship. The two then had consensual sex in a nearby building before Kashur left.

When she later found out that he was not Jewish but an Arab, she filed a criminal complaint for rape and indecent assault.

Juan Cole points out the history of similar ugliness in the United States.

That’s some pretty ugly racism going in Israel. It wasn’t about his looks or his intellect. Just the fact that he was an Arab.

Written by geek

23/07/2010 at 1:16 am

Posted in Uncategorized

on being an adult

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“Critics who treat ‘adult’ as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

— C.S. Lewis

Written by geek

18/07/2010 at 9:03 pm

Posted in interesting

worst president ever

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US News and World Report is conducting a poll asking who the worst president in US history is.

Currently, George Washington has 71% of the vote.

Written by geek

17/07/2010 at 10:19 pm

Posted in funny

it’s hard being filthy rich

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Just ask the New York Times:

Rich people are cutting back on their spending. A few poor rich people even had to buy cars the same colour as their old ones so their employees wouldn’t notice.

Rich people, being naturally ruthless, are forced to default on their mortgages more often than other people.

Rich people could never live on $500,000 a year when they have to pay $45,000 a year just for someone to take care of their children full time.

For rich people, manicures aren’t a luxury. They are “basic cleanliness“.

Rich people have a difficult time raising children: “Particularly for children of upper-middle-class and affluent families, there’s no perspective on value. When the new Range Rover pulls into the driveway, there’s no concept of how many hours of hard work went into owning that vehicle.”

Rich people worry about humiliating their unemployed children by giving them too much money.

Rich people in the top one ten-thousandth of households now have to make due with $6,000,000 or $8,000,000 a year instead of $11,000,000.

But somehow, with all of their problems, rich people still sleep better.

Written by geek

17/07/2010 at 5:51 pm

putting medical equipment to good use

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Written by geek

17/07/2010 at 4:44 pm

Posted in art, food, interesting