Contributors

Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

Thursday, July 06, 2017

The Issue of North Korea

I don't envy the president in his consideration regarding North Korea's latest missile test. It's a giant cluster for any president to have to tackle. The good news for Donald Trump is that even though he is massively incompetent he was at least diligent enough to surround himself with good people in both the defense and security sectors. He seems, for now, to letting them run the show and that's a good thing.

The first instinct would be to launch a preemptive strike in the next year to 18 months that it's going to take for North Korea to enable their new missile with nuclear capabilities. The problem there is that it would likely result in tens of thousands of lives lost, mostly Korean. In addition, China has no desire to see a unified Korea that is more friendly to the US. So, we end up back at sanctions which have largely been ineffective in curbing Kim Jong Un's desire to be a nuclear power. We have to decide if we can live in a world where North Korea can bomb California with nuclear missiles. I'm not sure we can.

Thus, we seem to be left with the inevitability of war.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Hooray for...China?

China Poised to Take Lead on Climate After Trump’s Move to Undo Policies

For someone who is supposed to be a successful businessman, why can't Donald Trump see the profit to made in renewable energy? More serious are the consequences of a China dominated renewable energy market. Consider what happens when people are desperate for alternative sources of energy to mitigate the effects of climate change in their region. They will turn away from US and be forced to buy from China.

Considering China's record on human rights, I'd say that's a large problem.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Poopy Pants People Who Are Fat and Stupid!

Here is a photo of Richard Nixon talking to Mao Zedong...




















Mao was incredibly evil man responsible for the deaths of millions of people.

Here is a photo of Ronald Reagan signing a deal with the Soviets



















The Soviets were the "evil empire," right?

So, two Republican leaders, the second of which is highly revered among conservatives today, talking and making deals with mortal enemies far greater than the likes of Iran or Syria.

Yet, if you listen to Republicans today, even sitting down and talking with countries like Iran signifies capitulation. Why? The only explanation I see is that they don't want to talk with their fat headed fat faces ever again because they are poopy pants people who are fat and stupid!! Plus, if that fat headed Obama gets another victory then it will be a never ending shame spiral of seeing him win...again!!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

That Loser Obama

For someone who just lost an election, President Obama looks an awful lot like a winner. That's largely due to his recent trip to Asia in which he secured deals with China on carbon emissions and trade. The latter is massive considering the reduction in trade tariffs that the new agreement outlines. And the agreement on carbon emissions is the first of its kind between the world's two biggest carbon polluters.

The president has set the tone for the last two years of his presidency. He is going to get things done-with or without Congress-and that's likely going to be a problem for the group of 12 year-olds that are desperate to see him fail. What they need to understand is that it's in their best interest (see: 2016) to be able to point to some achievements that they had a hand in. Failure to do so will not sit well when the voter turnout goes above 40 percent:)


Friday, May 23, 2014

What Would A Libertarian Do?

The recent 30 year natural gas deal between Russia and China has me wondering....what would a libertarian president do about this? Given their isolationist tendencies, they would likely do nothing and let the free market do what it will.

But is that effective in the age of globalization? And does it leave the United States more vulnerable from the standpoint of economic competition (i.e. the new "world war")?

Friday, February 28, 2014

America Is Not In Decline

Dovetailing quite nicely with Kurtzman's Second American Century is this piece from Politico magazine by Sean Starrs. Our continual and often hyperbolic obsession with "America's decline" really can be most hysterical and irrational.

It all started with a wave of declinism in the 1980s, set off by the rise of Japan. Then the doom and gloom suddenly vanished amid the triumphalism of the 1990s, which transformed the United States into the world’s only superpower. After the Sept. 11 attacks and the invasion of Iraq, many thought “empire” was a better moniker, with the United States apparently able to reshape world order virtually at will. And then just a few years later — poof! — declinism returned with a vengeance, with American power supposedly crashing like the latest Hollywood reality queen. China supplanted Japan as a hegemon on the rise, and the biggest global financial crisis since 1929 — emanating from the United States itself — was allegedly the final nail in the coffin of the American century.

This really is an issue that both parties are guilty of having their heads up their asses. Recently and in the same day, Bubba T and my ultra libertarian/rabid Randian brother in law both foamed at the mouth about how America is doomed. I realized how similar the far left and the far right sound when they are shrill:) But this is exactly what Starrs is talking about in this piece. For example, the metric by which we measure Chinese power is flawed.

China, for example, has been the world’s largest electronics exporter since 2004, and yet this does not at all mean that Chinese firms are world leaders in electronics. Even though China has a virtual monopoly on the export of iPhones, for instance, it is Apple that reaps the majority of profits from iPhone sales. More broadly, more than three-quarters of the top 200 exporting firms from China are actually foreign, not Chinese. This is totally different from the prior rise of Japan, propelled by Japanese firms producing in Japan and exporting abroad.

In the age of globalization, we can't measure a country's economic power in the same way.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The UN Report on North Korea

The United Nations has released a scathing report of the situation inside of North Korea and I say this long overdue. I am so thoroughly disgusted by this that I can hardly write to be honest with all of you.

Some of the key points:

Arbitrary detention, torture, executions and prison camps

The police and security forces of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea systematically employ violence and punishments that amount to gross human rights violations in order to create a climate of fear that pre-empts any challenge to the current system of government and to the ideology underpinning it. The institutions and officials involved are not held accountable. Impunity reigns.

Violations of freedom of thought, expression and religion

The state operates an all-encompassing indoctrination machine that takes root from childhood to propagate an official personality cult and to manufacture absolute obedience to the Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un.

Discrimination

It is a rigidly stratified society with entrenched patterns of discrimination... Discrimination is rooted in the songbun system, which classifies people on the basis of state-assigned social class and birth, and also includes consideration of political opinions and religion. Songbun intersects with gender-based discrimination, which is equally pervasive.

Abductions and enforced disappearances from other countries

Since 1950, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has engaged in the systematic abduction, denial of repatriation and subsequent enforced disappearance of persons from other countries on a large scale and as a matter of state policy.

Violations of the freedom of movement and residence

The state decides where citizens must live and work, violating their freedom of choice... This has created a socioeconomically and physically segregated society, where people considered politically loyal to the leadership can live and work in favourable locations, whereas families of persons who are considered politically suspect are relegated to marginalised areas.

Violations of the right to food and related aspects of the right to life

The state has used food as a means of control over the population. It has prioritised those whom the authorities believe to be crucial to maintaining the regime over those deemed expendable.

Essentially, nothing that we did not already know. So what can we do about it?

At first glance, the answer seems like nothing, given that China's feathers will be ruffled and the American voter is very weary of war. North Korea doesn't seem to want to advance beyond her current borders and obviously has a vested interest in keeping their little concentration camp of a country intact. Yet the human rights violations demand action. Perhaps we could ramp up our covert activity in the country and get a more clear assessment of what it would take to take out the people that are engaging in these actions.

Clearly, this is one of the greatest humanitarian crises we have faced since World War II. It's been going on a long time and it needs to stop...by force, if necessary.


Friday, September 13, 2013

China Caves

The excuse "China does whatever it wants in terms of carbon emissions so why can't we?" can no longer be used.

The plan, released by the State Council, China’s cabinet, filled in a broad outline that the government had issued this year. It represents the most concrete response yet by the Communist Party and the government to growing criticism over allowing the country’s air, soil and water to degrade to abysmal levels because of corruption and unchecked economic growth.

It's only a matter of time now before the rest of the world realizes how bad climate change due to carbon emissions is for economic stability.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

What Would He Say?

The Christian Science Monitor had a cover story a couple of weeks back titled, "What Would Mao Say?" that was most illuminating. The first three paragraphs say it all.

Yang Youwei owns a slaughterhouse, holds a big chunk of shares in a nearby coal mine, sits on the coal mine board, and runs the company that sells the mine's production. He drives a black Rolls-Royce. He walks like a capitalist; he talks like a capitalist. He is easily the richest man in this small village 300 miles south of Beijing. And he is also Yangjiaxiang's top communist, secretary of the local party. 

Welcome to the paradoxical world of today's Chinese Communist Party.

Modern day China is an excellent illustration of why there is virtually no chance of the world ever seeing a truly totalitarian government ever again. Sure, we still have our stragglers like North Korea and Iran as well as failed states in Africa and the Middle East but these are obvious outliers. If want to be in the global marketplace, you have to adapt and that means embracing capitalism, unfettered trade, and free markets. If not, you are going to be on the outside and much less prosperous. This is why I chuckle and shake my head when I hear the Right blow bowel after bowel about the looming threat of communism. It failed. And even a country like China, with all its military might and government control, can't stop it.

Mao would be outraged and likely confounded, as the article notes, to see how terribly wrong he was in his vision for China. What would he say?

He would be speechless.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Now I Know Why I've Been Hearing Crickets

"Is there a criminal activity? Perhaps not," Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa told POLITICO after last Tuesday’s showdown with Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "Is there a political influence and connections? Perhaps not. Did they bend the rules for an agenda, an agenda not covered within the statute? Absolutely." 

And with this admission, a spear of reality has penetrated the Bubble and the dreams of many dashed.

Perhaps the disheartened can spend some time trying to find a solution to the very much real problem of China burying our solar energy sector with billions of dollars of grants to their businesses.

You know, actually solving a problem....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Are the Republicans are Turning Us into China?

For the past two years Republicans have been calling Obama a socialist and a communist, insisting that his policies will destroy the American economy. But if we look at the economies of the world today, who's doing the best?

Without a doubt, it's China. The country run by the Communist Party of Mao has a centralized command economy that has harnessed the capitalist plow horse under the socialist yoke. China has bought hundreds of billions of dollars worth of US Treasury bills, propping up the US economy. China dictates trade policy to the world, coming into their full power during the Bush administration.

So, how is this economic miracle possible? Well, the workers who build all those computers and TVs and iPads get paid dirt, and are treated like dirt. Unions are run by the Communist Party, which also runs management. China has essentially no environmental regulations: remember how they had to shut down all their factories for weeks to host the Olympics? They burn so much coal the skies over Beijing are a perpetual filthy brown. And, finally, American and European companies have turned their backs on their own workers, first shifting production to China and are now sending high-tech design centers to China. Companies like Walmart, with their insistence on constantly-decreased prices (and, incidentally, quality) have forced most of their American suppliers to produce their goods in China.

In other words, China has become what the United States and Britain were in the 1890s: a land where government and big business are one, and workers have no control over their own fates.

The old notions of communism and capitalism no longer make any sense. What matters now is how much control average people have over their own lives, and the quality of life (clean air, clean water, reasonable working hours, decent pay and housing, etc.).

China has reached the point where government has absorbed big business and the two have merged into one. The Republicans and their big business backers are doing the same thing from the other direction: big business is swallowing Republican politicians and therefore government, giving business a free hand to do whatever they please. Big business can spend unlimited amounts of cash to buy elections now; it doesn't always work (ask Meg Whitman), but in a close race it makes all the difference.

And it's not just me saying that this is what Republicans think: remember the heartfelt apology Joe Barton gave BP during the hearings about the Gulf oil spill? All the Republicans were saying the same thing he was, except he that he gushed as much as the oil well in his fawning over BP. And all throughout the election Republicans keep screaming about reducing regulations despite the fact that in the last nine years the lack of regulation and the lack of enforcement of existing regulations has resulted in some of the the largest financial and environmental calamities we've ever seen.

And don't get me wrong. Some Democrats have been co-opted by big business as well. They're too comfortable with Wall Street and Big Energy. But as a party and an ideology, the Democrats clearly want to maintain a healthy separation between government and big business, while the Republicans are running headlong into the government/big business/no regulation singularity.

The Republicans are leading us to the same place that China is today. Just from the other direction.