New DMZ Podcast: After Afghanistan, Another War? And: What Are Our Values, Anyway?

President Joe Biden delivers his first speech to the United Nations, prompting political cartoonist Ted Rall and Scott Stantis to ponder what comes next in foreign policy under Biden and for the foreseeable future? Ted pushes back against Scott’s description of China as a “threat.” Scott surprises with his updated take on 1930s-style isolationism. Border patrol goons use whips to control Haitian immigrants at the border with Mexico; can we really say at this point that, as the secretary of homeland security argued, this is against American values?
 

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  • 1. How can Australians not know how to build their own submarines? The entire country is coastline.
    2. You’ve got a ridiculously simplified approach to economic advancement through immigration. Up until … 1950 (give or take), immigration was always about “people who can lift and tote.” We don’t need anything like the physicality that was requisite back then. We need technical skills and deep training.
    3. Arnold Schwarzenegger? People always pull that “surprisingly” he was pretty good crap. Someone wrote an article about this, so it’s not original to me, but, basically: Here’s a guy who leaves his country, comes to the U.S. with a thick accent and a goofy name, and becomes one of the premier weight-lifters in the world, makes a fortune off of it. While he’s doing that, he goes into acting. Has no experience. He ends up playing Conan the Barbarian AND the Terminator and he nails BOTH roles. He becomes one of the most widely known actors in the world with a string of blockbusters (action AND comedy). And becomes rich all over again. Then, he marries a Kennedy. Then he becomes a governor. By every frickin’ metric there is, that foreign meathead with the accent succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. That being a governor would be the one nut he couldn’t crack? I wouldn’t take that bet.

  • https://youtu.be/v17s-LKeoQw

    Listen to Qin Gang, Chinese ambassador to the US. Great speech. Especially for Scott.

  • China as a threat? Why does a nation getting what it wants constitute “a threat”? The US, apparently, has a collective primordial Ken/Karen mentality.

    The US spent several decades, $$$(Trillions upon Trillions) and millions of lives (see e.g. “The Jakarta Method” by Bevins) to get them damn commies, China and USSR, to adopt capitalism and be like us.

    So China/Russia finally “convert” (capitalism exhibiting ALL the totalitarianism and abuse of a religion, that it is, in the West). China, in a relatively short time, will have overtaken the US economy in all commonly accepted methods of performance measurement.

    China was, of course, assisted immensely by, who else, leading US capitalists who gladly traded vital technology (mostly US tax-payer funded) for access to cheap Chinese labor.

    THE ACTUAL THREATS are the terminally avaricious transnational capitalists who see no sovereign nations only $$$$$ (and/or ҰҰҰҰҰ). If a country wants to wallow in nationalism, it is better off dumping capitalism. China proves that capitalism does NOT need, want, promote, protect nor guarantee “democracy” … completely contrary to the cynical hoaxes saturating capitalism’s continuous, self-promoting propaganda.

  • China will shortly overtake the U.S., but here’s the rub: totalitarian regimes are rarely creative. People want Levi’s, Coca-Cola, HBO, Dallas, I Love Lucy, etc. All that came about from a thriving middle class and a mindset where working at the hong until you fall down dead is not considered sane by any extent.
    The Chinese excel at hacking into servers and stealing millions of dollars of research for the Chinese companies to copy on the cheap without paying royalties or worrying about copyright lawsuits. But talk to someone in the U.S. who works IT. They all tell me the same thing: “The programmers are fine, but they, literally, have to be told EXACTLY what you want. There is not one bit of ‘They’ll probably want this functionality as well’ in the mix.” The Chinese model generates excellent workers, but I don’t think creativity is Job 1 in the Beijing region.
    When the U.S. folds (and it’s coming), we’d better hope England, Italy, and those few other places that still have a creative spark and something like a middle class are there to pick up the pieces.

    • So US creativity evaporated because China has none?

      • No, U.S. creativity evaporated because the middle class went away. The middle class is the single largest economic force in this country, and it has been hacked away at for decades. My mother bought her first house when she was 30. On working class wages. And it wasn’t a crackerbox shoved between two other crackerboxes. The middle class is being squeezed into the lower class. Between the student loans, the evictions, the 401(k)s that aren’t there, the gutting of social security, it’s about another 10 to 20 years before the Bezoses and the Zuckerbergs are the only ones who’ll be able to buy things at a supermarket. The rest of us will be too broke.
        As the U.S. middle class fades and fades, we’re going to see less and less creativity because you can’t be creative if there’s no hope in hell of selling the finished product. Painting pictures for your own enjoyment? That’s one thing. No one writes screenplays or novels “because I really want them to just sit in a drawer somewhere because I can’t find a single buyer for any of it.” You think movies are expensive now? Wait until people end up considering a movie the way people consider a Broadway musical. “Well, the tickets to ‘American Pie VI: This Time They Cooled the Pie’ were expensive, but I hear there are some very solid performances in it. I’ll just cut my pills in half for a month.”
        I’ve got a million ideas. But piss away hours and hours and hours of effort — after being worn down from fighting to still stay alive in this neoliberal hellstorm called ‘Mericah — so that I can still not be able to pay my bills? Nah. Thanks. I’ll take a hard pass on that.

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