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Who Wants a Jersey??!

Hey Guys,

Let me know if you’re interested in getting a DC Touch Rugby jersey.  They’re perfect for scoring tries on the pitch and for writing memos in the office.  Who needs sleeves, amiright?  If you want a jersey respond to this post with your name and your size.  The price will be $20-$25.  I’ll collect money at rugby over the next week or so.

Naturally, if you’re playing in the tournament it would be nice to have a jersey.  We would look like a much more cohesive unit with everyone donning the blue and whites.  But, it’s not necessary.  The most important thing is that you sign up for the August 27th tournament! (See previous post for details.)

Saturday touch

Who’s in for Saturday touch?  Going to be a perfect day.  Don’t waste it. 

More on China…

Super tired, but had a quick thought that I’m curious what you guys think of.  China’s government isn’t a democracy, but it’s certainly populist, and if not entirely, at least increasingly.  Why isn’t that enough?  Why do they need Democracy if they’re aware of people’s opinions via twitter and other social networks, as well as protests, and look to respond to them?  The regrettable things that they’ve done like destroying villages, re-routing rivers, etc is always about the larger social benefit, is it not?  The Communist Party’s principal aim is to remain in power, but it seems to me that they understand that maintaining power only comes with keeping Chinese citizens happy.  Aren’t the Communist Party’s actions largely driven by appeasement?

Who Needs Democracy when you have GDP Growth?!

Responding to a NY Times article by Mr. Eric Li which can be found here:  http://nyti.ms/z95WVy.

Hey,

Honestly, the guy who wrote this, Eric Li, makes me shudder with contempt.

First, I disagree with Li’s assessment of US democracy.  The baseline
is not pure democracy, but a constitutional republic, which Li
acknowledges.  And while it is influenced by “special interests” and
money, the government is not controlled to the extent that Li seems to
claim.  Indeed, note the rise of grassroots movements like the Tea
Party and Occupy Wall Street.  Also, note the healthcare industry’s
incredible opposition to Obama’s healthcare bill (which passed).  Li’s
third contention that ours is a democracy/republic “in name only”, is
indicative of his abject failure to grasp the concept that
“re-election” is a good thing because it subjects elected officials to
the will of the people (but as a compromise against mob mentality, not
entirely: Congress v Senate).

Second, I disagree with Li’s pronouncement that China’s chosen
political system is expedient.  Let’s not forget that authoritarianism
is the root of China’s ten thousand year history.  Indeed, the
examples of democracy in China are largely when a local political
system has so abused its power (leading to multiple deaths, outright
and uncompensated takings of hundreds of properties, bribery verging
on the insane) that large numbers of people are lead to take action
because, frankly, their actual lives (or livelihoods) depend on it.
This is the bottom of the proverbial barrel in terms of democratic
impulses.  So no, the communist government does not embrace democracy
as we understand it, it embraces democracy as the Party understands
it.  The inhumanity of China’s policies make African dictators blush
(see China’s “new” diversion of the Yellow River to Beijing and the
countless communities and lives being uprooted and threatened).

Third, the best possible argument Li can make is that China’s unique
heritage (both cultural and political) gives its population a
willingness to endure authoritarian regimes that creates economic and
governmental adaptability, which in turn leads to solidarity in
promoting national agendas, which in turn leads to benefits for the
population (and average citizen) as a whole.  But who gets to define
“benefit”?  Explosive GDP growth plus unprecedented exposure to
pollution and astronomical increases in related illnesses?  More crap
to buy but a total disregard for human life (i.e. the girl who was run
over in the street and ignored by 8 pedestrians)?

Ok, let me be more sympathetic to this guy.  Oh wait!  He thinks
Tiananmen square was the people’s fault!  They “went too far”.
Clearly, he belongs to the camp that believes “you have to crack a few
eggs to make an omelet”.  His idea of a few eggs is state-sanctioned
murder for the purpose of political repression.

Nevermind, this guy is a d-bag.

Yours,
John

A little lesson by your boy Bernanke.

Hey Everyone,

It appears the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, will be giving a series of lectures on the Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis at George Washington University in March.  The lectures will be cybercast on ustream.  I’ve posted the links with dates.  I’m sure it’ll provide nice fodder for some back and forth.

You can watch the videos here:  http://www.ustream.tv/federalreserve

They air on March 20, 22, 27, and 29th 2012 each at 12:45 p.m. ET

 

Basketball and Religion

Hey Guys,

I know I sent the rent control article yesterday, but here’s one worth discussion for sure.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/17/opinion/brooks-the-jeremy-lin-problem.html?ref=opinion

It’s about Jeremy Lin and about the conflict religious athletes face between greatness and humility.  The fourth paragraph from the last is particularly interesting.  Lin says:  “I’m not working hard and practicing day in and day out so that I can please other people. My audience is God. … The right way to play is not for others and not for myself, but for God. I still don’t fully understand what that means; I struggle with these things every game, every day. I’m still learning to be selfless and submit myself to God and give up my game to Him.”

I’d appreciate your thoughts about this, guys.  It’s busy days for all of us, and I know I don’t have time to respond to this today, and maybe even tomorrow, but like I said, I think it’s an interesting topic for discussion.
-Victor

On John Stewart, Private Equity, and US Manufacturing

Hey Guys,

Jon Stewart interviews
a Yale prof. about private equity.  I can’t recall if this was the
link in the last discussion…oh well.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-january-31-2012/jonathan-macey