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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘southeast asia

[ISL] “China close to finishing buildings on South China Sea islands that could house missiles, US says”

This is great. The Guardian carries Reuters’ report from the South China Sea.

China, in an early test of US President Donald Trump, is nearly finished building almost two dozen structures on artificial islands in the South China Sea that appear designed to house long-range surface-to-air missiles, two US officials told Reuters.

The development is likely to raise questions about whether and how the United States will respond, given its vows to take a tough line on China in the South China Sea.

China claims almost all the South China Sea, which carries a third of the world’s maritime traffic. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims. Trump’s administration has called China’s island building in the South China Sea illegal.

Building the concrete structures with retractable roofs on Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross reefs, part of the Spratly Islands chain where China already has built military-length airstrips, could be considered a military escalation, the US officials said in recent days, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“It is not like the Chinese to build anything in the South China Sea just to build it, and these structures resemble others that house SAM batteries, so the logical conclusion is that’s what they are for,” said a US intelligence official.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • blogTO reports on the history of Toronto’s Wellington Street.
  • Dangerous Minds introduces me to the grim American gothic that is Wisconsin Death Trip. What happened to Black River Falls in the 1890s?
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to hypotheses about KIC 8462852, one suggesting KIC 8462852 has four exoplanets, another talking about a planet’s disintegration.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper modeling the mantles of icy moons.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at small city NIMBYism in the Oregon city of Eugene.
  • The LRB Blog reports on toxically racist misogyny directed towards Labour’s Diane Abbott by Tory minister David Davis, “misogynoir” as it is called.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reports on the elections in Indonesia, a country increasingly important to Australia.
  • Peter Rukavina describes how the builders of his various indie phones, promising in their own rights, keep dropping them.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer is optimistic that NAFTA will survive mostly as is.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy examines the ruling against Trump’s immigration order on the grounds that its planners explicitly designed it as an anti-Muslim ban.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that the treaty-based federalism of Tatarstan within Russia is increasingly unpopular with many wanting a more centralized country.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • blogTO tries to pit the west side of Toronto against the east side.
  • Centauri Dreams describes an inventive plan to launch a probe to rendezvous with Proxima Centauri.
  • Crooked Timber looks at the idea of civil society in the age of Trump.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper that aims to explore why Neptune-class exoplanets are so common.
  • Marginal Revolution notes an interesting history of Singapore.
  • The New APPS Blog links to a report suggesting that big data may have created President Trump.
  • The Planetary Society Blog reports on the latest plans for exploring Ceres.
  • Towleroad notes a rumoured plan to legalize anti-LGBT discrimination under Trump.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy has one take on Supreme Court obstructionism.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russians may accept pension reforms which will place the minimum age for qualifying for a pension for men above the average male life expectancy, and reports from St. Petersburg about a dispute over the ownership of a church.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • blogTO notes the Distillery District’s Toronto Light Festival.
  • Border Thinking Laura Agustín looks at migrants and refugees in James Ellroy’s The Black Dahlia.
  • Centauri Dreams suggests that Perry’s expedition to Japan could be taken as a metaphor for first contact.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a report about how brown dwarf EPIC 219388192 b.
  • The LRB Blog notes the use of torture as a technique of intimidation.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at China’s very heavy investment in Laos.
  • The NYRB Daily examines violence and the surprising lack thereof in El Salvador.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw touches on the controversies surrounding Australia Day.
  • Transit Toronto reports the sentencing of some people who attacked TTC officers.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that a Putin running out of resources needs to make a deal.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • blogTO notes the rapid expansion of A&Ws across Toronto’s neighbourhoods.
  • Centauri Dreams reports that none of the exoplanets of nearby Wolf 1061 are likely to support Earth-like environments, owing to their eccentric and occasionally overclose orbits.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper looking at high-temperature condensate clouds in hot Jupiter atmospheres.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reports on Trump’s unsecured Android phone.
  • Language Log reports on Caucasian words relating to tea.
  • The LRB Blog notes the emerging close links connecting May’s United Kingdom with Trump’s United States and Netanyahu’s Israel.
  • Marginal Revolution shares an interview with chef and researcher Mark Miller and reports on the massive scale of Chinese investment in Cambodia.
  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at the idea of choosing between the Moon and Mars as particular targets of manned space exploration.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at the mechanics of imposing a 20% tax in the United States on Mexican imports. (It is doable.)
  • The Russian Demographics Blog reports Russian shortfalls in funding HIV/AIDS medication programs.
  • Supernova Condensate warns that Trump’s hostility to the very idea of climate change threatens the world.
  • Towleroad shares the first gay kiss of (an) Iceman in Marvel’s comics.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the constitutional problems with Trump’s executive order against sanctuary cities.
  • Window on Eurasia argues Ukraine is willing to fight if need be, even if sold out by Trump.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Beyond the Beyond shares Voltaire’s critique of early globalization.
  • blogTO reports on how TTC streetcars are failing earlier than expected.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about her trip to Philadelphia to see art.
  • Centauri Dreams talks about discovering streams of stars connecting the Sagittarius dwarf spheroidal galaxy to the Milky Way.
  • Crooked Timber talks about Donald Trump as a president with or without precedents.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze talks about the fate of exomoons in white dwarf systems.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog takes a sociological perspective on fake news.
  • Language Log mourns the death of pinyin inventor Zhou Youguang.
  • The LRB Blog talks about the pleasures of incomprehension.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money talks about Vietnam as a maritime power.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that seasteading is set to have a go in French Polynesia.
  • Window on Eurasia argues Russia is too weak to keep a post-Soviet sphere of influence, and suggests Russia is set to be dominated by China and so needs a Western alliance.

[AH] WI the Filipino economy does not decline under the Marcos regime?

At Filipino news site Rappler, JC Punongbayan and Manuel Leonard Albis argue in their “Were it not for Marcos, Filipinos today would have been richer” that the Marcos regime had a lasting and very negative effect on the development of the Filipino economy.

Although imperfect, GDP per capita is widely recognized as a useful proxy for measuring people’s welfare: The larger people’s incomes are, the more goods and services they can purchase and the freer they are in making choices for their own lives.

It bears repeating that, based on this metric, the Philippines lost two decades of development after the debt crisis in the early 1980s. Figure 1 shows that the Marcosian debt crisis put the country on a lower income trajectory. As a result, it took more than two decades for the average Filipino’s income to recover its 1982 level.

Importantly, no such downturn was observed in our ASEAN neighbors. In fact, their incomes grew by 2 to 4 times during the time it took us to just recover. This suggests that the Philippines’ “lost decades of development” were not unavoidable and were borne directly by Marcos’ policies.

The consequences were severe. Had the Philippines not dropped behind its neighbours but instead kept its relative position, it might be the richest large country of Southeast Asia, on the verge of First World status even. Instead, the Filipino economy went into first a pronounced relative decline, then after the early 1980s a pronounced absolute decline that took more than two decades to recover from.

Was the Marcos regime or something like it inevitable, or was it something that could have been avoided? What could a rich Philippines look like?

Written by Randy McDonald

December 6, 2016 at 11:59 pm