I sat on Imelda’s bed!

The weekend links, better late than never…

The prolific Benedict Rogers in the Catholic Herald and The Tablet

It seems rather odd to call yourself a Catholic and then arrest your Cardinal. 

And Catholic Culture on the Vatican’s lame response to the arrest of Cardinal Zen. (Would anyone expect otherwise? Like Western big banks, luxury brands and universities, the Catholic church has invested too much in the Chinese dream to admit they’ve been co-opted and are being used.)

A HKFP guide to Hong Kong’s micro-media – small-scale Chinese-language journalistic outlets. 

An example for the Vatican? WHO boss Tedros upsets his old buddies in Beijing after criticizing their zero-Covid policy (CNN story), highlighting China’s love-hate relationship with foreigners’ opinions. China Media Project says

On the one hand, the foreign voice is the truly authoritative voice, giving credibility to the claims of those in power … Behind this odd complex is the unfortunate fact that China has few truly credible voices – for the simple reason that its journalists and intellectuals cannot speak their minds. Propaganda reports brim with cherry-picked quotes from opposition politicians in Europe, “foreign scholars” and self-proclaimed experts of such dubious origin that their ideas can only be found in China Daily or on CGTN … whose odd remark can be plucked out of context like a bright piece of pro-China confetti.

Also from CMP, all you ever wanted to know about the vintage CCP phrase ‘persistence is victory’.

The Chinese embassy in Prague tries to get the Czechs to cancel an exhibition by dissident artist Badiucao.

Today’s video of weird disinfectant spraying. AFP on politically-driven sanitization of surfaces and objects. And testing a cabbage. (Kohlrabi?)

Bullet-point summary of a lecture by Michael Pettis on the ‘only five paths’ China’s economy can take. (Based on this paper.)

…domestic financial conditions are such that China is still unlikely to have a financial crisis or a sharp economic contraction. It is much more likely, in my opinion, that the country will face a very long, Japan-style, period of low growth.

SupChina interview with Anne Stevenson-Yang. A lot of skepticism, but here’s a relatively brighter point for investors…

In the U.S., you can, not to mention any names, but let’s say have a best-selling electric car, and basically be somebody who doesn’t have any idea about how to do business. But in China, you can’t run a cigarette stand without being a genius, because everything is so hard. So the companies that have developed distribution channels and good brand equity, you really have to think those are solid companies that should be invested in and rewarded.

Quartz looks at how expansion of maternity leave in China looks like a way to get women out of the workplace into full-time child-producing.

Manuel L Quezon III in Asia Sentinel on the return of a Marcos to power in the Philippines. 

For a few months around 1985-86, I shared an apartment in Sau Kei Wan with a couple of Filipino activists who had fled the Marcos regime. She was very pregnant and their Hong Kong visas had run out, so they were panicking. Then came the EDSA Revolution. They went to the Immigration Dept and got a week’s grace to go back home. A few weeks later, I went to see them in a cozy little Pasay City slum. A friend of theirs had helped take over Malacanang Palace after the Marcoses fled, and we went for a tour – Imelda’s shoes, horrendous boudoir, water-cooler-style bottle of Chanel perfume, etc.

Of course, Filipinos cheerfully and enthusiastically vote for crooks at most elections – but it’s still absurd that they would pick another Marcos. Quezon mentions…

…the skillful deployment of propaganda geared not at changing the minds of the generations that had ousted [the Marcos clan], but instead, focusing on younger generations.

On to gullible fools in the First World – David Gerard in FP on the latest crypto crash. Monopoly money ‘backed’ by more Monopoly money. It’s fascinating from a sociological/psychological point of view to see so many people suckered into taking this ideological/quack-economics fad seriously. Simple rule: for ‘cryptocurrency’/’bitcoin’/’tether’/etc read ‘dog turds’, and for ‘blockchain’ read ‘almost certainly bullshit’. You won’t go wrong…

…the cryptocurrency bubble has been so full of irrational exuberance that a token created yesterday can claim to be worth something just for existing, and you can pay people in your made-up token.

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13 Responses to I sat on Imelda’s bed!

  1. bitcoinfart says:

    The fact that. you can’t separate bitcoin from the cryptocurrency fads is proof that you have no idea what you are talking about but would rather ride on the waves of populist anger about it. Cryptocurrency, writ large, is a scam. Bitcoin is not. Tether is not. They are not scams. Luna? Yeah. Probably. But you sound like an idiot when you group them all together.

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    And I was just getting ready to type “waiting for the crypto warriors to jump in for the attack”. Or at least the skeptics to start mocking them. Looks like I was too slow.

  3. Joe Cryptow says:

    Every day I walk past a “bitcoin shop” (?) on Lockhart Road. Real trendy place. Mini Cooper at the front door as well as a life sized Iron Man statue. Hip squared. There is also a large monitor that shows the value of Bitcoin in real time. And that value has plummeted dramatically over the 2 weeks ago. So if Bitcoin is not cryptocurrency, then why has its value contracted so much? We all know the answer of course. And as I have said before on this forum: bitcoin/ crypto blah blah are a disaster waiting to happen, or a disaster that is happening right now, in real time.

  4. Sam Clemens says:

    Traditional banks are too slow, too stupid and too expensive. They now work for their governments, not their customers. Banks hate their customers and customers hate their banks. People want alternatives.

    Digital currencies, digital wallets, blockchain, smart contracts, public ledgers, peer-to-peer transactions, decentralised exchanges, tokens and trustless transactions are all going to be part of our financial future. A lot of the pieces are here already.

    How will it come about? Who really knows. Surely it’s going to be a bumpy road with fits and starts, but current financial systems are pre-internet and unsustainable.

  5. fartofbitcoin says:

    Bitcoin is a protocol algorithm that allows network computers to identify and source a real object on a blockchain, regardless of knowing the identity of the other network computers that are used in the identification. It’s software. There are other cryptocurrencies out there, and for the ignorant, most of these cryptocurrency teams pretend that they are truly decentralised, trustless computing networks, but they are not. I am simply making the very basic and real claim that Hemlock has no clue what bitcoin is and is readily identifying it as a scam just because it’s easier to do that than to actually research what it is. Same for all of you.

    If bitcoin is a scam, then so to is the stock market, bonds, t bills, and george soros for shorting the pound. You simply do not know what you are claiming. Simple.

  6. Mark Bradley says:

    “Bitcoin is not. Tether is not.”

    Tether is most definitely a scam as they do not have enough real world dollars to back the cryptocurrency despite claiming they do, similar to Thailand in the 90s which ultimately caused the Asian financial crisis. The concept of pegging a crypto to USD is legitimate and there are other stablecoins that do this without committing fraud.

    Bitcoin is legit and useful if you want to gamble on sports in HK and want better odds / more sports than what is offered at HK JC as it is the one of the easiest ways to get around online gambling transaction blocks here. Bitcoin is useful if you want to protect assets from being frozen / seized just remember to use a non custodial wallet and memorize your passphrase so the police can’t find it written down anywhere.

    NFTs are pure trash.

  7. Chris Maden says:

    Funny. The Philippines has just decided to turn the clock back six decades and all the comments so far are about a throwaway line from Hemlock on cryptos….

  8. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Chris Maden: Don’t the People deserve the government they overwhelmingly voted in? Fuck ’em…live and learn. Let’s see what Bongbong brings to the table.

  9. Red Dragon says:

    The Bitcoin, cryptocurrency “debate” bores the pants off me.

    Quite frankly, I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the issue.

    I have never invested a penny in Bitcoin or any of those other things, and I have no intention of ever doing so. Has this had a detrimental impact on my life?

    No – not in any way, shape or form.

  10. Steve Mc Garret says:

    I never thought I would see Xi Jin Ping and “charismatic” in the same sentence. Does the author know the meaning of this word?

  11. Knownot says:

    When I toured Malacanang Palace a couple of years after the Revolution, there was one poignant thing: all the medicines and medical equipment that Ferdinand had had to leave behind.

  12. steve says:

    The cryptoevangelism y’all are preaching is scaring me. This shit is mlm for boys, with an extra helping of fascist-friendly libertarianism. And it’s hilariously inefficient as a medium for transactions. And it is still, and always will be, an energy suck.

    There are many, many thorough debunkings of this utter and complete scam. Here’s one of the most recent: https://www.currentaffairs.org/2022/05/why-this-computer-scientist-says-all-cryptocurrency-should-die-in-a-fire

  13. Mark Bradley says:

    “This shit is mlm for boys, with an extra helping of fascist-friendly libertarianism.”

    libertarianism and fascism are at opposing ends of the political spectrum as one is anti authoritarian while the other very much about sucking up to the State no different than sucking up to CCP.

    That computer scientist is free to have his opinion; but there are many computer scientists in fintech who disagree. I agree that there’s some toxic shit going like NFTs, ponzis, inefficient blockchains causing pollution, etc but for me I want to have the ability to store assets in a manner that doesn’t make it easy for governments or people (civil lawsuits, etc) to seize or freeze assets with ease which is unfortunately still possible with a traditional custodial bank account. Even in the USA it’s possible to have your funds cleaned out via civil forfeiture BEFORE you are charged with a crime and it’s even worse under the NSL.

    So I prefer to keep an emergency fund in USDC and DAI split 50/50 just in case I lose access to my traditional banking and I need emergency assets that I can liquidate. I’ve had my bank account frozen before and it was traumatic enough where I have serious trust issues with banks now.

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