Archives for category: Progress

Remember President Barack Obama’s annoying “You didn’t build that”?

Today I watched President Donald Trump “explain” how awful trade deficits are. In that explanation he basically said to China, “You didn’t build that.”

The line should still be familiar. Obama had purloined it from the lips of Senator Elizabeth Warren. With this argumentative gambit, these two politicians revealed themselves for what they are, demagogues out to fan the flames of resentment and entitlement. In trying to give to government the credit for the entrepreneurial accomplishments of businessfolk, they were honing an agenda: de-legitimize the achievements of the successful the better to take their wealth away.

But while Obama gave to government the credit for business successes, Trump gave America the credit for China’s.

His logic?

Trump said previous presidents had allowed China to get away with trade policies that disfavored the U.S. to such an extent that no future deal could be 50/50; then, that a deal had been made, but China changed it, so he put up the wall of high tariffs.

Next, Trump boasted of the huge increase in government revenues from his taxes, er, tariffs.

And then the kicker: “We rebuilt China because they got so much money” under freer trade.

That is how Trump had America take the credit for Chinese growth.

And he was more than implying that there is something wrong with Americans helping Chinese grow in this manner.

Trump seems not to understand that when people trade (it is not, really, countries trading) both sides gain. The farmers who support Trump can imagine selling more agricultural product had President Xi’s own protectionist measures been lower, and it is on the basis of those lost opportunities that Trump makes his pitch to American farmers. But it is Chinese consumers who have the greater cause to complain for past Chinese protectionism, for had Xi allowed more trade, China would have grown even faster. Because of all the exchanges. 

Like in all trade, neither side to a trade is irrelevant. China could with just as much justification take credit for American progress in all that past trade.

Every instance of which was an advance for both sides.

The Chinese built what they built, with American help. And could’ve built more had their government gotten out of the way.

And right now, with Trump’s high tariffs in place, American consumers will have to pay more for what we buy from China.

And elsewhere.

Trump is apparently trying to get Xi to take down his protectionist barriers by putting up American barriers. And if Trump succeeds, we do indeed all win. If he fails, we all lose. Meanwhile, we are hurting as much as the Chinese.

And what Trump is saying encourages resentment and economic superstition. So, even if he wins, what we may end up with is more resentment and a greater reservoir of protectionist sentiment in the American electorate.

And that almost guarantees disaster.

twv

Alan Shepard was the oldest man to walk on the Moon, at least according to NASA (I love putting in that caveat). He was in his 48th year when he became the fifth Apollo astronaut to trod the lunar surface. 

Charles Duke, the tenth to do so, was in his 37th year — and the youngest — when he became peripatetic so far from home.

Four of these temporary selenites still survive. Eugene Cernan, who was the last astronaut to have walked there, died two years ago.

Buzz Aldrin and Edgar Mitchell, the second and sixth lunar perambulators, along with Apollo 15 command module pilot Al Worden, claim to have seen UFOs while manning their respective Apollo spacecraft, and took (and “passed”) lie detector tests to add weight to their claims. Mercury and Gemini astronaut Leroy Gordon Cooper Jr. — who was scratched from an Apollo mission — claimed, in his autobiography, to have seen UFOs not in space but as a pilot of an aircraft. 

Meanwhile, your spaceflight dreams could be made real, if you have enough money, or (this is a longshot) drive some backroads late at night and wander into a UFO amenable to hitchhikers or especially interested in probing your nether regions. Always wear clean underwear.

A celebration…

Hailing from Israel, reports tell us of a cure for cancer.

A complete cure.

Nothing minor.

And yes, of course it is related to the most advanced in genetic research.

According to Dan Aridor, chairman of the board of Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi) and CEO Dr. Ilan Morad, their treatment will not need time for the body to acculturate to it before it works. Aridor stated, “We believe we will offer in a year’s time a complete cure for cancer. … Our cancer cure will be effective from day one … and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market. Our solution will be both generic and personal.”

As the Jerusalem Post reports, “An estimated 18.1 million new cancer cases are diagnosed worldwide each year, according to reports by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Further, every sixth death in the world is due to cancer, making it the second leading cause of death (second only to cardiovascular disease).”

The treatment is called MuTaTo (multi-target toxin), and works much like antibiotics do in targeting bacteria. MuTaTo is based on SoAP technology, which works by finding, binding and removing bacteria by utilizing bacteriophage-derived proteins. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria.

Hank Berrien, “Still Want To Boycott Israel? Israeli Scientists Find Cure For Cancer, Report Says,The Daily Wire, January 28, 2019

Maybe it is time to head off to a celebratory, feel-good Cher concert.

Taking the Great Mutato to see Cher in The Post-Modern Prometheus.