“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Obama calling for China to release Liu Xiaobo from prison

Obama, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, made a mockery of the reward.

It was the ultimate genuflection to political correctness and fealty of the Left to hope over reason. A year later Oslo is seeking redemption by awarding the prize to Liu Xiaobo and Obama gives them a boost by calling on the Chinese to free him from prison.

Anything that makes the Chinese angry cannot be all that bad and the comments of Obama and the actions of the Nobel committee have the Chinese talking to themselves.

The Chinese are in panic mode, squelching the mention of Liu Xiaobo from the internet, further damaging their reputation.

Obama is right to call on the Chinese to release the imprisoned Liu Xiaobo. Let's hope that it is followed up by more than a one time comment.


Barack Obama calls on China to release Nobel Peace Prize winner

Barack Obama has welcomed the Nobel committee's decision to award the Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese dissident, and called on China to release him.

David Eimer in Beijing Telegraph
Published: 9:30PM BST 08 Oct 2010

Imprisoned Mr Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, sparking a furious diplomatic row as China accused the Norwegian awards committee of honouring a "criminal".

The Chinese authorities denounced the award as an "obscenity" and warned that it would damage relations between the two countries.

Mr Obama, the US president who won the award last year, said he "welcomed" the decision to award the prize to Mr Liu.

"Last year, I noted that so many others who have received the award had sacrificed so much more than I," he said.
"That list now includes Mr Liu, who has sacrificed his freedom for his beliefs."

Mr Obama then called on the Chinese government to release the dissident.

He noted that China had made "dramatic progress in economic reform and improving the lives of its people, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty."

"But this award reminds us that political reform has not kept pace, and that the basic human rights of every man, woman and child must be respected," he said.

"We call on the Chinese government to release Mr. Liu as soon as possible."

The Nobel Committee said Mr Liu was honoured "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China". The 54-year-old activist, was sentenced last year to 11 years in prison for subversion.

In a strongly-worded citation, the committee criticised China's human rights record.

"Over the past decades, China has achieved economic advances to which history can hardly show any equal. The country now has the world's second largest economy; hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. Scope for political participation has also broadened. China's new status must entail increased responsibility," it read.

"China is in breach of several international agreements to which it is a signatory, as well as of its own provisions concerning political rights. Article 35 of China's constitution lays down that 'Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration'. In practice, these freedoms have proved to be distinctly curtailed for China's citizens."

It added: "The campaign to establish universal human rights in China is being waged by many Chinese, both in China itself and abroad. Through the severe punishment meted out to him, Liu has become the foremost symbol of this wide-ranging struggle for human rights in China."

The award drew a furious response from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, who said choosing Mr Liu ran "completely counter to the principle of the prize". Norway said China had summoned its ambassador in Beijing to express their discontent while in Oslo, the Chinese ambassador met a state secretary at Norway's foreign ministry. A foreign ministry spokesman explained that the peace prize committee is independent of the government and that Norway wanted to maintain good relations with China.

"Liu Xiaobo is a criminal who has been sentenced by Chinese judicial departments for violating Chinese law," the ministry said, warning that the decision would damage relations between China and Norway just as the two countries are negotiating a bilateral trade deal. The Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, responded that it "would be negative for China's reputation in the world if they chose to do that".

Chinese state media imposed an immediate blackout and government censors blocked Nobel Prize reports from the internet. Online searches of "Nobel Peace Prize" and "Liu Xiaobo" drew a blank.

Chinese authorities refused to allow Mr Liu to speak to the media and it was unclear if he had received the news. His wife, Liu Xia, was also banned from meeting reporters but was able to make brief communication by text message and telephone.

"His friends repeatedly told me that they thirsted for Liu Xiaobo to win the prize more than he himself did because they think it would be an opportunity to change China," she said. "I hope that the international community will take this opportunity to call on the Chinese government to press for my husband's release."

The former university lecturer is virtually unknown in China, where he has spent decades campaigning peacefully for political change. The Nobel committee cited his participation in the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, and his co-authorship of the Charter 08 document which called for greater freedoms and declared that "the democratisation of Chinese politics can be put off no longer".

He was arrested hours before the charter was due to be released in December 2008. Following a brief Christmas Day trial he was convicted of subversion and jailed.

Mr Liu is the first person to be honoured with the prize while in prison, although other winners have been under house arrest, such as the Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991.

Last year, the Nobel committee was pilloried for giving the award to Barack Obama, who took office barely two weeks before the nomination deadline. Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said this year's decision emphasised that China's superpower status does not exempt it from criticism. "We have to speak when other cannot speak. As China is rising, we should have the right to criticize."

The award was welcomed by the UN and by the Dalai Lama, who called for the release of Liu and other jailed activists.


  1. "Obama, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, made a mockery of the reward."

    Rather, the Committee made a mockery of it.

    But what wasn't there to mock after Yassir Arafat received it? I mean, please.

    Remarkable to me still was the President's acceptance speech that fine spring day.

    The War Speech in Oslo.

    Only a Hope and Change Democrat, newly minted chief executive and repository of genuine optimism for hundreds of millions, could have pulled off the paradox so smoothly.

    And did he ever.

  2. Reminded me of this:

  3. A Packard Museum in a historic Packard Showroom in Dayton, Ohio.
    Frozen in Time, a Palace Worthy of the Packard

    I wish them well. This is what one should do with money.

  4. Housed in a proto-Deco building designed by the architect Albert Kahn and built in 1917, the Citizens Motorcar Company was also part of the official Packard distributorship for much of the Midwest. Like a movie set, the sales offices around the high-ceiling showroom have the look of a dealership still in business, an impression reinforced by the 20-foot-tall neon Packard sign outside and the array of cars visible through the expansive windows. Period furniture, black telephones, sales brochures, a well-worn briefcase and even an early Dictaphone complete the setting.

    A bittersweet reminder of the Glory Days.

  5. .
    Whit, just sent you an e-mail.


  6. Modern Life?

    Killing of Doctor Part of Taliban War on Educated
    MARDAN, Pakistan — Farooq Khan, doctor to the poor, scholar of Islam and friend of America, represented everything the Islamist extremists hated.

    A week ago, two Taliban hit men, disguised in casual clothes and with stubble on their chins instead of beards, climbed the stairs to Dr. Khan’s second-floor office and, as he had lunch between streams of patients, shot him at close range.

    The assassination of Dr. Khan, cool and quick, was the latest in what appears to be a sustained campaign by the Taliban to wipe out, or at least silence, educated Muslims in Pakistan who speak out against the militants, their use of suicide bombings and their cry of worldwide jihad.

  7. back on topic:
    The Chinese Communist government immediately blacked out news of the award, calling the decision a “desecration” of the peace prize.

    Is it possible to desecrate that which has already been desecrated?

  8. .
    The Chinese authorities denounced the award as an "obscenity" and warned that it would damage relations between the two countries.


    This has become the modus operendi of this bully nation. We see it daily in disputes over territory, fishing rights, currency manipulation, etc. One rule for them, another for all others.

    As with most bullies, it will continue until there is pushback.


  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. .
    Rather, the Committee...And did he ever.

    A clear, fairly concise, logically posited, unambiguous statement of opinion.

    That must have hurt.



  11. Another imposter?

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. .
    Geez, Whit, you have become pretty suspicious.

    As I said, not to worry either way.


  14. I was making a joke about Trish being less cryptic.

  15. Schwitwer Engineering Labs out of Pullman/Lewiston announced a big 100 job offer

    A big thing for here.

    They are local folks, have made the big time in electronics.

  16. That was bob. Swiss hired some peolple.

    I am drinking Scotch.\

    Feels good.Watacah out.

  17. .
    I was making a joke about Trish being less cryptic.

    A good one too.

    Although a little cryptic.


  18. The hell with the fucking prostate.

  19. .
    Anonymous said...
    That was bob. Swiss hired some peolple.

    I am drinking Scotch.\

    Feels good.Watacah out.

    This place is getting too confusing.

    I'm going to grab some coffee and head out to a golf outing. Hopefully, that will clear my head.


  20. Words, words, words...

    Obama has spewed so many they now have no meaning...

    Certainly his assurances to our allies now fall as worthless...

    Our enemies see his as an empty suit..

  21. But is that not the plan to make America into a cuckhold nation?

    Obama is dismantling a century of American Exceptionalism, the anti-colonial President.

    Still fighting his Frank Davis Marshall and his granddad's plan for the destruction of the USA.

  22. glands, glands, let us have some music, Melody.

    From the Hotel Nevada.

  23. Whit is right. The world is going to have to start pushing back on China a little bit. Either a little bit now, or a complete freaking mess, later.

  24. Whit is right...

    That would be "Deuce"

  25. I rather hear this talk from the Nobel Committee than the talk I'm hearing of "currency wars."

  26. There is a dichotomoy between those who are calling for more action by the World Bank and the IMF and those who are calling for currency protection.

    Somedays, I think we're better off stepping back from globalization.

  27. Whit . . Deuce . . . all them management types look the same to me. :)

  28. China is just now beginning to 'feel its oats' and given how many Chinese have strong nationalistic and 'face saving' tendencies, the whirled can expect an extended period of 'aggravation.'

    Right now, the Chinese are pushing maritime boundaries and disputes. Criticism of Chinese policy draws a strong pushback and reaction. If Chinese nationalistic hubris gets out of hand, as I think it probably will, the aggravation will only get worse. In fact, the more the whirled leans on the Chinese government, the more the Chinese people will circle the wagons.

    I'm not saying the whirled should let the Chinese 'roll us' but warning that resisting will come at a price.

  29. At a price beyond words and platitudes that no one in the whirled wants to pay.

  30. Speaking of the whirled and its economy, I'm hearing talk of a coordinated (Japan, EU and US) QE2.(second round of Quantitative easing aka stimulus) Some economists and other experts talk of QE2 as if it is a done deal.

    I am also hearing rumblings of 'currency wars' (currency protection, sanctions, tariffs, etc.)

    This whirled will either hang together or hang separately.

  31. THERE

    I've got it.

    Melody is the cat with the blue dress on.

    By the piano.

    Rufus is playing deep into the poker game.

    Trish is talking politics with the management, gin in hand.

    My son son is playing black jack.

    Quirk is posing by the antler horns.

    We are all having a hell of a good time.

    Sam is playing plenty anti, and Deuce and Whit are counting the money.


    at the Hotel Nevada

  32. The price will be much greater the longer we wait.

    Deuce and Whit are counting the money?

    Somebody actually paid their bar bill?

  33. The Chinese believe that we do not care about human rights and welfare. Why should they believe we cared about rights when they saw how we threw over the rights of American workers in allowing so many of our factories to close.

    The Chinese believe we are stupid, for allowing them to take complete advantage of us in trade deals without any consequence to them.

    The Chinese were awestruck when Carter failing to realize the value of the Panama Canal gave it to the Panamanians. The Chinese knew there were no Panamanians, that there were only the elites who would deal with anyone for the money.

    The Chinese know our rulers and masters are more concerned with their individual wealth and privilege than with regard to our national wealth.

    The Chinese know we are soft when 41 million Americans gorge themselves at the public trough with public food stamps.

    The Chinese have studied our use of power in Iraq and Afghanistan, our tactics and our wasting of money. They gave us the means to wreck our economy while they built theirs.

    The Chinese watched in stunned amazement our disregard for our natural alliance with Latin America and stepped in to pick up the slack.

    The Chinese could not get a rocket off the launch pad and were delighted that American businessmen, with the benign eye of the federal government allowed for the transfer of technology to fix that little problem.

    The Chinese were curious to see if they could exploit copper mining in Afghanistan while American soldiers provided security. They were pleasantly surprised.

    The Chinese, while trading with everyone for everything filled every gap and every demand with Chinese products and labor in countries and places unknown to most Americans.

    While America produced lawyers and finance majors they produced engineers and scientists.

    While the Americans enfeebled the American public with welfare, they invested in industry, their military and infrastructure.

    We have underestimated the Chinese.

    We fell in love with our own bullshit.

    We allowed natural born Chinese into the most sensitive areas of technology and industry.

    The Chinese are close to the point where they will care less and less what we think or what we try to do. We are less and less relevant to them.

    They know that and they only hope that we are not so stupid or so foolish not to know it.

    The Chinese will do what they want, at a time and place of their choosing.

  34. Remember the sanctimony often repeated by the financial barons, "creative destruction", as the justification to use government backed cheap money to buy assets, break them up, shift the production to China and sell the bones.

    How has the creative destruction been working for you? I noticed that the government doesn't believe in creative destruction. They keep getting bigger and bigger.

    The big shots, the financial geniuses don't believe in it either, at least when it comes to themselves. When their job gets destroyed they hit the lottery.

    When the banks get wrecked they don't go into creative destruction, they get bailed.

    Teacher's unions don't see much creative destruction when the neighborhood they serve get wrecked by foreclosures.

  35. Well, I don't know about you all, but they've just about "creatively destructed" my ass off.

  36. Just wait and see, the Chinese are going to rally the third world and set themselves up as the new financial center providing the financing, the markets, the capital and the technology to a new world order.

    There will be a Chinese military and defense alliance as well. There always is.

  37. Here's a question for you all. Why did Exxon, Shell, and the boyz decide all of a sudden to run out there and buy up all of the "floating" storage?

    I mean, there was a risk to it. Pumping up the "onshore" inventories ran the risk of driving the price down, and setting up a losing proposition.

    Were they, knowing that this is the "last hurrah," trying to get to it before China could get their storage capacity built out? That's what I think.

    We've had 14 months, I believe, of 9.5%, or greater, unemployment, and Oil is Still at $83.00/bbl.

  38. Sinopec will buy 40 percent of Spanish oil giant Repsol's Brazilian subsidiary for $7.1 billion, heralding more expansion of energy-hungry China in Latin America, Sinopec said Wednesday on its website.

    In 2010, overseas investments by China's State-owned oil companies would outpace by far the $18.2 billion spent in 2009. From January 2009 to April 2010, the country's three State-owned oil majors, China National Petroleum Company, Sinopec and China National Overseas Oil Company, spent as much as $29 billion world-wide to acquire oil and gas assets, according to data from the International Energy Agency.

    China Taps Into Brazilian Oil

  39. Try and buy a Chinese oil company. See how that works out for you.

  40. About the only thing I would want to buy right now would be fallow Southeast U.S. scrub land (as long as it wasn't going to be too hard to "clear."

  41. Vandies are off this week.

    And the guys have paid the rent!

  42. About the only thing I would want to buy right now would be fallow Southeast U.S. scrub land (as long as it wasn't going to be too hard to "clear."

    You an' me Ruf, outside Donna's Place

  43. This radical agenda is destroying our country!

    Vote Raoul Labrador!

    ad on radio

    (we did)

  44. bob fucked up again......

  45. vote Basque!

  46. Vote Brittany Spaniel!

    I going to the liquor store.

  47. Vote ....YOUTH

  48. Shit, that was me again.

  49. When the
    makes you love and laugh
    when your son is driving
    and you relax
    when you think of Melody
    it's damn near perfect

  50. Shit. I'm tired.

  51. "Medication time. Medication time."

    What was that musical piece playing in the nurses' station during the dispensing of meds? I cannot quite recall it.

    Something ominously soooooooothing.

  52. I only wonder who here fancies himself a MacMurphy.

  53. Hey, WIO: Rat's done gone carpetbagging and is running for office!

    House Candidate Dressed as a Nazi

    "An election year already notable for its menagerie of extreme and unusual candidates can add another one:
    Rich Iott, the Republican nominee for Congress from Ohio's 9th District, and a Tea Party favorite, who for years donned a German Waffen SS uniform and participated in Nazi re-enactments. "

  54. "Rich Lott"
    I coulda told you that would be the name he'd run under.

  55. The objective of the objective media is subjective.

    'Subjective' blogging versus 'objective' journalism

    How about this for journalistic snobbery? In a New York Times review of Rebecca Traister's book Big Girls Don't Cry: The election that changed everything for American women comes this observation:

    A denizen of the blogosphere, she writes with colour, emotion and opinion for an online audience that does not demand the objectivity that traditional journalists regard as the sine qua non of their work.

    The reviewer, Liesl Schillinger, goes on to assert that Traister "adroitly juggles a galaxy of new - and old - media sources" to advance her "unapologetically subjective opinion".

    The message? Mainstream journalism is objective while blogging is subjective.

    And newsprint readers demand objectivity while online readers are happy to do without it.

  56. Angry China Blocks Prize Celebration

    BEIJING — Police stopped a celebration on Friday for the jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who won the Nobel Peace Prize.

  57. Drill Reaches Trapped Miners in Chile, but Risks Remain

    SAN JOSÉ MINE, Chile — A rescue attempt remains days away as officials consider whether the shaft needs to be reinforced before they try to hoist out the 33 miners who have been trapped since August.

    They're flying in the Deepwater Horizon crew for advice.

  58. Great Black Hope

    3, in fact.

    Campaigning a few miles from Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired in 1861, Tim Scott described last week how he was born into poverty and a broken home, much like Barack Obama.

    "My dad was gone by the time I was seven," the black candidate for the House of Representatives told a mixed group of students at Fort Dorchester High School in North Charleston. "I was flunking out of high school. I failed geography, civics, Spanish and English. When you fail Spanish and English, you are not bilingual, you are bi-ignorant."

    But the conclusions that Scott, 45, drew were very different from those of Obama. When he was 15, a man who ran a Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurant taught him "that there was a way to think my way out of the worst conditions". Scott went on to became a small businessman and a proud "conservative Republican".

    Barring a cataclysmic upset, Scott will be elected to Congress on November 2nd. There, he will be a ferocious opponent of Obama, to whom he gives a withering "failing grade" for his presidency.

    "Obamacare's an atrocity around the necks of average Americans," he told me. "His intentions might be good but he's leading us towards the brink of bankruptcy. Right now, the American people are simply saying they've had enough."

    Scott will be the first black Republican congressman from the Deep South in more than a century. Republicans hope to elect at least two other black candidates to Congress next month. Allen West, in Florida, and Ryan Frazier in Colorado, both with distinguished military records, are in very close races against Democrats.

  59. If we just learn their ways and respect them, they'll like us:

    "In her latest job she was the only expatriate in the Jalalabad office of DAI, directing about 200 Afghan professionals and coordinating with Afghan ministries and local companies. Sensitive to local tradition, she always wore the long, loose tunic and trousers known as a shalwar kameez and covered her hair with a large scarf. “I’ve seen few people among Afghan and Muslim people like her,” said a man who worked with her who gave his name as Bakhtiar. “She was very kind, very helpful, a lovely lady, a very respectful woman.”

    Steve O’Connor, the communications director for DAI, who spent several days visiting her in Jalalabad this year, said he was struck by her commitment. “She was a very quiet, very dignified, completely committed development professional,” he said. “She was very thoughtful, very understanding, very attuned to the local culture and her Afghan counterparts; she worked mostly with men, who respected her enormously."


  60. All right god dammit I am downloading the pic of the Hotel Nevada, just for Trish, and sending it to the management, and fuck the rest of you too.

    It will take some time, I'm in the middle of a nap, with Melody, out in the desert.

    All we are doing is looking at the stars.


  61. Call the guys with the butterfly nets; the loon got loose.

  62. We gots another "loosed loon" on our hands.

  63. "Juiced," and Loosed, the loon is. :)


    this is fun.

  64. here, looney, looney

    here, looney, looney

    time to take your pills.

  65. O all right then.

    is down in the basement, playing double Texas hold 'em, Scotch in hand.

    Melody is beside the piano, making crush, with her blue dress on.

    Trish is talking to the management, too ginned to understand.

    Sam is playing banjo, while Doug is giving a hand.

    My son is playing blackjack, and taking them for a ride.

    And bob is buying a Plemora on the Rocks, for everyone.

  66. De Loon is lookin' at de lune.

    He be barkin' at de lune.

    here, looney, looney

    here, looney, looney

    here, lune-barkin' looney

  67. Pleroma, you drunk skunk

  68. come'ere Bob de Lune. come on, boy. come on. get your treat get your treat you li'l lune lovin' looney tunes, you.


  69. The luna lovin' loon done left de loft. whatta we do?

    do we get the net? net the nutter? lasso the loon?

  70. "The election wasn't so much about what Obama brought to the table," said. "People voted for him because they wanted to feel good about themselves, that they weren't racist."

    Johnson even argued, Mr Obama had set back the cause of race relations by playing down the white side of his heritage. "His mother was white, his father was a person of colour but every time there's a racial issue he plays the race card just the same as everyone else."

    That's a tough charge to make, but Johnson has a point. When a white policeman arrested a black Harvard professor last year, Obama didn't wait to hear the facts before accusing the cop of acting "stupidly".

    In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Obama gave a coded version of the standard liberal smear of the anti-tax Tea Party movement as being racist, referring its "darker" elements that "are troubled by what I represent as the president".

    (from black hope link above)

  71. Ruf, it's a great place.

    Me an' you, brother.

  72. loop the lariat 'round de luna-lovin' loon?

  73. Obama IS an asshole. And, he IS a racist piece of shit. And, he IS a commie-lover, and probably a muzzie at heart.

    He IS an arrogant fool, and a narcissist with, at the very least, sociopathic tendencies. He doesn't seem to have the faintest idea how the world (and the people in it) work.

    But, you gotta admit one thing; he did pick up one sorry hand (which, of course, he played just about as poorly as humanly possible.)

    If the Republic survives this trainwreck it really might be indestructible.

    Especially if it survives the tea party crazies that are on their way to Congress.

    :) What a Great Country, eh?

  74. I think bob started drinking (or at least thinking of drinking) at about 8:30 his time.

  75. Shouldn't be a big surprise, Steve Spurrier and his Gamecocks knocked off Alabama. Spurrier is a good coach and his team has been looking pretty good of late.

  76. Obama IS...

    I can't speak with any authority or confidence on this one but I have to say I have bent over backwards to give Obama the benefit of a doubt.

    First, the narcissist charge, especially the version coming out of wretchard's group, hit me entirely wrong; short version being shrinking violets don't run for President? Bill Clinton. Nixon, FDR. His marketing people made some dumb ass moves but...

    Second, while one might harbor sympathetic reviews of the GW Bush presidency, defending the Republican Party under his terms is more onerous; bottom line for me being that Obama has to fuck up a lot before he reaches the level of the Bush Republicans.

    And I think Americans are split fundamentally on this political issue.

    As usual, the accounting will prevail - how many remain unemployed in 2012.

    Especially if it survives the tea party crazies that are on their way to Congress.

    Define crazy.

  77. Obama is Jimmy Carter redux. How bad does he have to get?

  78. Depends on on you rate Bush next to Carter.

  79. Also, we didn't have COIN under Carter.

  80. Define crazy?

    Rich Lott? Plays Nazi war games.

    Sharon Angle? Flouride is a "government plot?"

    Daniel Webster? Bible thumpin' nuts.

    Christine O'Donnell? Masturbation, and witchcraft.

    How am I doing so far? :)

  81. I think the only difference between you and me, Rufus, or others, is that I don't hate Obama as much as I hate the Bush Republicans. I hesitate to put Bush's name in front because he served the Party, which counts for something, if not much, in historical terms.

    But the baton has been passed. And it is not inappropriate to press the criticism.

    But spare me this narcissism crap.

  82. Ah, I don' "Hate" Obama, CL. Hell, I don' even know the man. He's just a sleazy-assed politician like all the rest. But, I think most everything I said works. :)

  83. The only politician I've ever "hated" was John F'n Kerry, and that was because he called me and my guys "raping, murderers." Ain't no forgiving that.

  84. He's just a sleazy-assed politician like all the rest.

    Unfortunately I agree with that assessment. All this 'first black president' stuff notwithstanding, guess what happened?


  85. .
    Love you guys but I would sure hate to have you on my team negotiating with the Chinese.

    Going in assuming the other guy holds all the cards is hardly the way to compete. Sure the U.S. has problems but would you exchange them for those of the Chinese?

    Buck up. As has been pointed out all the U.S. problems have been self-inflicted. Part of it by ideals most of the nation accepted for the last half century. Now the errors have been recognized. It won’t be easy turning this big mother around but it can be done. But that merely refers to U.S. problems. What about China’s problems?

    What does China have that we actually need? Rare-earth metals? As has been pointed out here, ironically, the earth is rich with rare-earth metals. The reason the business has been ceded to the Chinese is the processing cost and the fact that the Chinese really don’t give a damn if their people are affected by the radioactivity often concurrent with that processing. Rare-earth metals, like many other things, a short term problem if the Chinese want to keep pushing.

    Low-costs? There is already unrest building in China from a populace demanding better wages. Some business is already being moved back to Mexico, even in small instances, back to the U.S. As China’s economy grows, the cost competitiveness issue will grow.

    People? If China changes to more a consuming nation than an export nation the people problem may mitigate. However, that would also tend to mitigate the problems we have with China. More, whereas the U.S. needs between 100,000 to 200,000 new jobs per month to keep up with population growth, the Chinese need 24 million per year.

    Population Demographics? Certainly not good for China. By 2030, given the effects of China’s one-child policy, their population will be contracting and remember population growth is half the GDP equation. At the same time the U.S. population starts to get younger again (around 2030) Chinas will continue to get older. Few worker benefits causing their population to be one of savers rather than consumers.

    Natural resources? Why is China buying up oil, minerals, food? Because they don’t have many. But oil is fungible. As long as there is oil out there the U.S. will get their share.

    Water? China has a lot of water resources in the south; however, because of population density most of it is highly polluted. In the north, the water table is disappearing. They now have to drill hundreds of feet to reach it. Because of their push towards urbanization, water is being diverted from the countryside to the cities. The per capita water usage in the cities is much higher (I think at least double) the per capita usage in rural locations. To equalize water availability in north and south will require a tremendous effort and cost.
    Water is already a point of conflict between China and its neighbors especially with regard to the rivers flowing out of Tibet.

    Military? Will China catch up before they start going into decline. They increased military spending by 68% in 2009. Even at that, they spent only about a seventh of what the U.S. did. In order to increase military spending they will have cut back on other domestic spending including infrastructure.

    Food? They import food. The north is constantly being hit by drought. Desertification is spreading rapidly in the northwest.

    (cont'd below)

  86. (cont'd)

    Pollution? You don’t want to know.

    Government/Finance? No doubt central control allows the government to set priorities and implement them quickly. That can be very efficient. However, consider the other side. A banking system that is opaque. A system stacked for business profit to the detriment of the worker. They have a protectionist policy towards foreign investment. (In my opinion something the U.S. could use more of.) However, I’m assuming there is a limit to how much foreign investors will put up with. And it appears bubbles (real estate) are not confined to democracies.

    Alliances/New World Order? Possible but hardly to be assumed. Most of China’s alliances I have seen have been based on mutual self-interest and can quickly degrade or even disappear in the face of Chinese bullying. Recent examples where relations have soured somewhat, Australia and Japan. While most of the partners in that part of the world want the advantages offered by trade with China. Many of them also fear China becoming the key player there and continue to push for the U.S. to maintain a counterveiling force there.

    A new world order? Tell that to Vietnam, Japan, South Korea. Is it better to have Israel or Iran as a strategic partner? Anyone who assumes all the nations of the Far East will automatically fall under China’s sway hasn’t paid attention to the national rivalries that have existed there for millennia.

    The Chinese are close to the point where they will care less and less what we think or what we try to do. We are less and less relevant to them.

    Less and less may be true. However, less and less is a relative term. We are still the big target on their radar and will be for decades.

    The Chinese will do what they want, at a time and place of their choosing.

    Up to the point where we stop treating them with a deference they don’t deserve.

    Just wait and see, the Chinese are going to rally the third world and set themselves up as the new financial center providing the financing, the markets, the capital and the technology to a new world order.

    The Chinese will not become a financial center until their banking system is completely overhauled. Marketing and capital systems? Probably, just because of commercial issues tied to the size of their economy. Not necessarily a bad thing.
    Technology? They still have to prove it. Number of engineers? No doubt a strength. Innovation and technology? Not so much.

    There will be a Chinese military and defense alliance as well.

    Probably the least of my concerns.

    China will undoubtedly be a major U.S. competitor over the next two decades. However, there is nothing inevitable about this becoming a Chinese century. How they progress vis a vis the U.S., in my opinion, will depend more on U.S. actions than on theirs.

    Frankly, if India could ever get rid of their bureaucratic drag they have on their economy I could almost bet on them overtaking China.


  87. .
    I could care less about Obama's personality or how he stacks up against other presidents.

    He got hired to do a job. I could care less if he spends 8 hours a day starring into a mirror as long as he uses the rest of the time to get the job done.

    To date, he hasn't done that great a job. Whether you like it or not, he has two more years to show what he can do.

    Come 2012, I make my decision.


  88. .
    Thanks for the help Whit.


  89. He's screwed. The Chinese are screwed. The Germans are screwed. Everyone that Imports a large percentage of their oil is screwed big-time - starting within the next two years, and lasting at least ten.

  90. He's screwed. The Chinese are screwed. The Germans are screwed. Everyone that Imports a large percentage of their oil is screwed big-time - starting within the next two years, and lasting at least ten.

    That reminds me of the passage in "A Farewell To Arms" where the
    Englishman says

    re all fucked

    But I'm a literary type guy.