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We got rope-a-doped and we saw it coming 40 years ago but we got so intoxicated on cheap imports to say 'No!'? Why the hell didn't we wake up after Tiananmen Square? It was no big deal, kinda like Germany and the Sudenland, we should just mind our own business?

One of the world's most stealthy and deepest diving submarines of the US Navy just got into a 'collision' in the South China Sea this early October 2021. Were going to watch some brinkmanship play out but I think eventually we're going to blink first I say with sadness and anger. They will say of us that we were were that last generation of a great, prosperous and powerful country that lasted 250 so years? Not xenophobic, nor an ultra-nationtoinist, but I do love my country and I hated to see it loose it's position of prominence.

I hope this doesn't devolve into typical partisan unimaginative crap, it's painfully boring. This has been going on since the early 1970s with each administrations getting too cozy. Should we accept our new lessor position of power on the world stage, kowtow and know future generations here and in other powerful democratic countries are no longer are calling the shots? Should we accept the level of influence foreign countries and business interests have over our elected officials, does it matter anymore? We're getting cheap stuff from Walmart and so don't rock the boat? I guess we had our Monroe doctrine and now they'll have theirs from Hokkaido to Sudan? Now some western powers are pretending or actually stand up to China and come to the aid of Taiwan? I don't know the strategic value that Taiwan specifically holds for the US, Pacific Rim or the democratic world but its symbolic value will be significant. Will the China's political system collapse like the Soviet Union? I don't think it'll be that easy is my guess with China's confucius beliefs and appreciation of their history that even authriatian governments that provide overall collective good is worth sacrificing liberty. I have a few questions.

I hope this isn't too sappy but I like view some memorials near places we fish and hunt in the Northwoods. This one is forgotten by time as it sits over a cement slab that covers the mine shaft hidden in the woods. Makes me think how tough and desperate they were to leave their own country. Hopefully we and our decendents have Sisu as them.
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On a lighter note this advertising agency is still open in Republic, MI but Bettie Page sadly has left us for good.
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Mike: This is an interesting and thought-provoking post. I've long thought one of the many ironies of history is the connection between North America and China.

According to the legend, Columbus set out on his voyage not to "discover" America (let's ignore for now the evidence and theories that the Vikings and other Europeans beat him to it by hundreds - perhaps thousands of years) but to find a short-cut to the riches of the east. It was an "accident" that two continents stood in his way.

When Jefferson sent Lewis & Clark on their journey of exploration his real purpose was to find a water route across North America to again, shorten the trip to the riches of the east.

When Matthew Perry sailed into Tokyo Bay it was to force the Japanese to open up to trade with the US.

Our current situation with China has a long history and is of our own making. American companies saw China as a source of cheap labor (the 20th/21st century's version of 'riches'). The unintended consequence of course, was a drain of low-skilled jobs away from the US and is testimony to the fact that our leaders of industry are more concerned with their stock prices than with the living standards of American workers. They didn't consider the long-term effects of the production and delivery of cheap goods on the overall good of Americans - only with how it would effect their bottom lines. For now I'm ignoring the fact that automation is as responsible for the disappearance of low-skilled jobs as China's cheap labor force.

Unfortunately, our political leaders (of all stripes) lacked the vision to understand how this would effect the American economy - not to mention what China might do with its new-found wealth. It should not have come as a surprise that a totalitarian regime would use its growing economic might to undermine America's standing in the world. It seems on one level that the Chinese understand what it took Germany's utter destruction in the 1940's to understand - you can buy power and influence over weaker countries without the necessity of invasion. Unfortunately totalitarian regimes tend to feel threatened - internally and externally - and act out militarily to distract their populace and keep 'enemies' at bay. China's current moves against Taiwan is evidence of this.

I read recently that if China is to make military moves against the US and our allies they will need to do it in the 1st half of the 21st century. After that their demographics will be against them. Their long-term one child per family rules, the rapid aging of their population (they lack the advantages of immigration - who the hell wants to live there?) and other factors will begin to have catastrophic effects on their economy and their ability to wage war. Let's hope we can keep them contained until then.

BTW - really too bad about Betty Page. Republic, MI is a great little town.
 

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China has been our biggest adversary for a considerable amount of time. Too bad it started to be universally recognized just now.

Mind you no one still seems to care about Muslim Uighur concentration camps in Xinjiang. It is a very sad situation and very reminiscent of the nazi Germany before ww2. Maybe now that we are gone from the Afghanistan, the taliban or ISIS will turn their eye on China since Xinjiang borders with Afghanistan. Doubtful since there are more news about the two negiotiating and China did officially recognized Taliban government.

I think Taiwan is more than symbolic. They are the largest manufacturer of microchips.

Otherwise agreed on everything above. We sold our manufacturing capabilities for cheap profit without consideration of long term effects.
 

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When Matthew Perry sailed into Tokyo Bay it was to force the Japanese to open up to trade with the US.
I loved his work on Friends, but wasn't aware of his side hustle of threatening asians. I would have thought he would have flown into Tokyo Bay as he's been high for years. 😇

Speaking of actors:

Wikipedia said:
Homicide is an act of a human killing another person.[1] A homicide requires only a volitional act that causes the death of another, and thus a homicide may result from accidental, reckless, or negligent acts even if there is no intent to cause harm
Everyone has agreed for years that Alec Baldwin is a maniac. Now after his shooting and killing of a movie director, he is truly the Homicidal Maniac I've been warning people about. Don't believe the media spin that it was a "prop gun". It was a real gun with real bullets.
 

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Everyone has agreed for years that Alec Baldwin is a maniac. Now after his shooting and killing of a movie director, he is truly the Homicidal Maniac I've been warning people about. Don't believe the media spin that it was a "prop gun". It was a real gun with real bullets.
Please explain where this came from. WTF does Alec Baldwin have to do with geopolitics?
 

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What do geopolitics have to do with fishing?

And more importantly, why was Baldwin firing a gun at two directors? Great marksmanship, though, he got both of them with one bullet. Kinda like OldSalt who keeps catching 2 bass on one lure.
 

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Hmm...geopolitics and fishing...

If Putin fishes it goes like this: He throws a bare hook in the water. An ex-KGB agent in scuba gear goes in the water, finds a fish, shoots it, puts it on Putin's hook & gives it a jerk. Putin reels it in & congratulates himself on what a great sportsman he is.

He never has to explain to the press (he's had them all murdered too) why all his catches come with 9mm holes in their heads.
 

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Hmm...geopolitics and fishing...

If Putin fishes it goes like this: He throws a bare hook in the water. An ex-KGB agent in scuba gear goes in the water, finds a fish, shoots it, puts it on Putin's hook & gives it a jerk. Putin reels it in & congratulates himself on what a great sportsman he is.

He never has to explain to the press (he's had them all murdered too) why all his catches come with 9mm holes in their heads.
I bet the people shot by Baldwin also talked shit about Putin.

Wonder what Biden fishing would look like?
 

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If Putin fishes it goes like this: He throws a bare hook in the water. An ex-KGB agent in scuba gear goes in the water, finds a fish, shoots it, puts it on Putin's hook & gives it a jerk. Putin reels it in & congratulates himself on what a great sportsman he is.
It's too bad the idea was already used in one of the most popular Russian comedies ever. He did find some ancient Greek pottery though, and that later turned out to be strategically placed at the site of his dive.

 

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On the other hand, if the TRumpster went fishing (as if!!!) It would go like this:

He goes to the water and announces, "I'm the greatest fisherman in the history of fish (thereby acknowledging his ignorance of the fact that fish evolved hundreds of millions of years before people) in my first 100 days of fishing I caught more fish than anyone ever before. Nobody's ever seen anything like it. I will catch fish and the fish will pay for it."

Upon getting skunked he'd say, "The fish were all against me. It was the biggest witch hunt anyone's ever seen, I would have caught them except for widespread fraud."
 
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Joe: I'm pretty much OK with anyone in the presidency who isn't Trump.

When he was elected I told my wife it was a great day for fans of James Buchanan - widely considered the worst president in our history.

I'm confounded by the recent opinion of professional historians that Trump was only the 4th worst president - just above Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and Franklin Pierce. I can't give much argument to Buchanan & Johnson in spite of the fact that they had the misfortune of preceding and succeeding Lincoln & so by contrast of course look pretty bad.

But Pierce? I mean all he did was sign the Kansas-Nebraska Act which directly led to the outbreak of the Civil War. What would you expect from a lily-livered pro-slavery Democrat from New Hampshire?

In their defense, none of them were impeached more than once and none of them tried to overturn a legitimate election in order to save their own skin.

I remain convinced that 25 or 30 years from now when historians write their conclusions to this point in our history they'll agree Trump was the worst. Too bad neither of us will be here to see it.
 
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