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I will keep my promises, Chen tells US – The initial article is the more Pan-Green take, the Pan-Blue take is here. I honestly do not believe China will make any serious threats against Taiwan if the referendum goes through, they know they can block any UN resolution for Taiwanese membership. The issues is that Burghardt know the referendum will be approved, as both the Pan-Blue and Pan-Green support UN membership, they just have different takes on if the name should be Taiwan or The Republic of China. The U.S. is concerned this will put more pressure on the Sino-American relationship, giving China a edge in any future dealings. It comes down to, it is an unneeded headache for Washington and one more step in the way of nationalism for Taiwan, which will also make any future talk of reunification more difficult. I do not believe Chen will ever declare independence, he is not stupid. What he wants is to establish strong roots for Taiwanese nationalism in the population, from which he hopes a strong independence movement will grow. IMOP, it is working, but a little slower than he expected.

No sex workers’ rights, no nation – My view on this is a libertarian one. Tax it, regulate it (disease test, red light districts, no street walking), license it, and leave it alone. The best thing any society can do is make it as safe as possible, for the workers and the clients. No society in history has stopped this industry and it is a victimless crime if you regulate the mafias and pimps out of the business.

China denies it deleted parts of communique with Japan – Despite “Japan’s fury“, China knows nothing. I was obviously not there, so I have no clue what went on, but what I do know from years of watching China is that the CCP publicly denying things in the face of firm evidence is not unheard of, in fact, it is common.

Researchers: Human evolution speeding up – I blogged about this once, twice, and now three times this year. People generally assume evolution is a measured slow change over time. That looks to be false. Evolution seems to be more subject to population pressure then thought. It appears it occurs in waves over thousands, not millions of years. We are not usually speaking of radical change in body shape or size. As the article points out, lactose tolerance, skin coloring, and other more subtle things are under high selection in different populations for different regions. I do not expect humans to “speciate”, likely ever, short of some type of epidemic or nuclear war that leaves very small populations geographically isolated for very long periods of time (like in the millions of years). That is unlikely. History shows that whenever slightly divergent populations come into contact gene flow commences as people do what they do. It is not shocking to me that different populations are under different selective pressures, as the world has changed in the last 200 years more than it did in the previous 2,000 years.

Foreign trade nears US$2 trln in first 11 months

PM talks with Singapore minister Goh – Big trade between two Confucian neighbors.

Banks say loan regulation unfeasible – Seems there is some push back from Vietnamese leaders over the new government initiative to temper inflation.