To paraphrase President Reagan: China wants to win and they want America to lose. Steve Schippert of Threats Watch says:
We cannot afford to be – neither as a National Security community nor as a society – so critically focused on our terrorist enemies as to lose sight of an equally determined if even more patient strategic competitor. Though the Chinese are much less overt than our terrorist enemies, their grand strategies and ambitions are hardly invisible. One need simply look for them and recognize them when seen.
China has a dream, alright. America needs to wake up and see it.
This podcast we hit everything from slasher films affect on the culture to the historic 9/12 march (interviewing the woman behind the 2 million rumor) to rules of engagement with Afghanistan, Iran’s nuclear time table and a trade war with China.
Now, did that grab your attention? Maybe this, from Big Hollywood will, too:
According to my Secret Service case agent, this was the first time anyone accused of possessing the Supernote went to trial. In the past, those caught entered guilty pleas. Liu, a Taiwanese national, decided to take his chances with the federal judicial system. With a twelve year sentence, he may now be re-thinking his decision to roll the dice in the Las Vegas federal courtroom. In one exhibit we played a video recording of an undercover meeting I had with one of Liu’s co-conspirators, Chao Tung Wu. Wu, believing me to be a criminal confederate, said on camera the money was manufactured in North Korea and distributed through the Russian embassy in Beijing. Expressing fears this might be some kind of “rip,” Wu suggested I travel with him to China and sit outside the embassy as he made the purchase. But even that tape failed to garner national media interest.
Balbina Hwang of the Heritage Foundation believes the North Koreans produce about $250 million of the Supernotes per year. Various other investigations claim anywhere from $45 million to $1 billion in Supernotes are in circulation. Your guess is as good as mine. Since the flaws are invisible to the naked eye we have no idea what we may be holding in our wallets.
The world knows North Korea is a nation that relies upon criminal ventures such as counterfeiting, kidnapping, and drug distribution to maintain its solvency. Some believe the North Koreans are producing the Supernote to undermine our economy. One look at our current economic situation seems to show we don’t need outside help… maybe counterfeiting is no big deal.
On Jan. 26, 2006, in a White House news conference, President Bush asserted, “We are aggressively saying to the North Koreans don’t counterfeit our money.” A Congressional Research Service report two months later concluded, “At least $45 million in such supernotes of North Korean origin have been detected in circulation, and estimates are that the country earns from $15 to $25 million per year from counterfeiting.” Later that year, Hezbollah — a wholly owned subsidiary of the repressive regime in Tehran — began flooding Lebanon with supernotes. Thanks to Iran and North Korea, there may be billions in “phony Franklins” floating around the world. The bills also have turned up here at home.
Economic action precedes military action.
I’m guessing it will be more troublesome to get the economy righted if there are millions in counterfeits flooding the American market.
I’ve been through Hell, Michigan. Now, I can say I went to Tribulation Point. It was a lot more beautiful than one would imagine. Lush forests, the ocean, sandy beach and a coral reef out there somewhere combines to make a fairly lovely trial, if one must have one.
That was two days ago. Today, after getting some LED light therapy (more about that in another post some time), we drove an hour to Long Beach, NSW, Australia. I’ve been struggling to decide which American city Sydney most reminds me of and have finally concluded that Sydney is most like San Diego, California. It has the city and the harbor, but it also has these steep foothills and mountains with homes built up the sides. There are relaxed little border beach towns and then big skyscrapers representing the biggest businesses you can think of downtown in the city. Where San Diego has the perfect weather–warm during the day, dry, and cool at night. Sydney has humidity and a cold, dreary winter. Otherwise, Sydney is a lot like San Diego and San Diego is one of my favorite American cities.
The weather turned out perfect today. We’ve felt a bit Eeyorish–with clouds seemingly following us wherever we go. The same thing happened today, momentarily, and I looked at the gathering clouds with suspicion, thinking that maybe the Sydney landscape viewed us much like the White Mountain viewed Gandalf. Alas, no. The clouds passed and a breezy, lovely beach day ensued.
I saw a real, live burquini today. Yes. I. Did. I took a picture of the woman who swam in a carefree manner even if she labored under layers of clothing in the surf. The menfolk arrived later, surrounded by Western, sinful women in real, live bikinis. Very difficult to be a strict Muslim and do something as simple as going swimming in the ocean. For that reason alone, Islam could not be my religion nor Amishness.
Speaking of conservative religions… I have never gone on the record about this before, but I will now: I’m glad for my Puritanical heritage. Puritans and their whole “cleanliness is next to godliness” obsession were sooooo right. One great thing about Americans is their nearly universal compulsion to be clean. Personal hygiene is imperative. Most days, while walking through my American life, I take clean people for granted. Not anymore. Sharing public transportation–like say tour buses and say, plane cabins–with people from Europe, Asia, and Australia has taught me to have an attitude of gratitude for my American compatriots. It is a problem, fellow world travelers, when you stink at 9:00 a.m. while getting ON the bus before hiking the jungle. If you’re not going to shower, at least wear some deodorant.
Stinky people would not dissuade me from loving this part of the world, though. Port Douglas and Cairn, Australia are a couple of my favorite places. I’m reminded of Key West and Florida in general there. The vibe is laid back and optimistic and friendly. I really wish we had longer in the area. It was so beautiful. I’ll put up some pictures tomorrow.
Yes, I know about Israel and the war. No, I don’t want to think about it. That’s wrong, I know. The whole Middle East is suffering. Here’s my nutshell opinion: Israel needs to deal, once and for all, with the Palestinians. A decisive winner and loser needs to be named. The winner should be Israel. They should stop pulling punches and utterly defeat their enemies. That means it will be messy because the Palestinians fight among families, put rocket launchers in neighborhoods, and don’t care if their own children die–except to use as propaganda. They are cowards and tools of the greater Arab world and they are too stupid to realize that the only way the rest of the Muslim world loves them is as a way to torment Israel. Nothing more. It needs to stop. I hope a decisive Israeli victory will end this. The chronic misery produced by the terrorism and pot shots makes life a perpetual trauma.
Okay, gotta get to bed. I’ll work on more pictures tomorrow. Tomorrow night, we’ll be watching the fireworks ringing in the New Year over Sydney. From what I’ve been told, they are the best in the world. We’ll just see about that. America knows her some fireworks. Fourth of July has always been my spectacle to judge all other spectacles. The Chinese did their over-the-top Olympics ceremony deal, but that was more than a little creepy–what with the million
robots I mean people working together as the Borg. I’m all for teamwork, but it’s a fine line before you’re the collective. But I digress. The Sydney fireworks will be something to behold, no doubt, and no tribulation at that.
China’s One Child Policy
This will harm them in the end.
I’m transferring this over to an actual post because it’s important. Here is what Strategy Page says:
The unprecedented transfer of wealth roughly from West to East now under way will continue for the foreseeable future. But beyond 2025, Russia and China face some serious demographic problems. China’s “one child” policy (to halt population growth), and the unanticipated appearance of cheap sonograms (enabling parents to determine the gender of their child while there was still time for an abortion) has caused an imbalance in the gender ratio.
There are now 115 boys for every 100 girls. Young men are having a problem finding wives. Wealthier urban males attract more women from the rural areas (where 70 percent of Chinese still live), leaving a lot of lonely, poor and angry young men in the countryside. The smaller generations means that the proportion of elderly (made wealthier and healthier by the booming economy) is skyrocketing, while the workforce is shrinking.
Both these trends are bad, and will have negative social and economic impacts. India has the same gender imbalance problem, but a growing population that contains a higher proportion of poor people than in China. Not good.
I have blogged about this before here and here and here and here. And I will repeat: Where are the feminists? Girls are the ones being aborted. Abortion is being used to kill the less desired gender. The feminists’ silence is deafening.
Nothing like a zillion Chinamen used to create a huge spectacle. Why do I feel dirty watching these ceremonies both opening and closing? Maybe it’s the fact that while there is Chinese pride, there is no Chinese choice. They look civilized. They put on a good show.
They put on a good show.
Communists are impressive. Marshaling humans and using them like tinker toys, building blocks to make a piece of artwork, only to be sent away tomorrow, back to whatever lot they have in life. It is likely not a good one.
I get the sense that the vast resource the Chinese have that they want us, the West, to know they have is people. Millions and millions of people that can be used any way “the people” deem necessary. The people being the Dear Leader. This knowledge is meant to instill fear; they say respect. But it’s really fear.
And watching this, watching the little people crawl like ants, dehumanized in their vast numbers, used to create a flame, up the pyre in the middle of the stadium, I get the message China is sending. It is loud and clear: we are many, you are few. Beware.
They sure do put on a good show.
Only 1.2 million Tibetans dead at Chinese hands.
Oppression of their own people.
Gendercide–infant girls killed, aborted, or put in orphanages in China. 90 million men can’t find a woman and the numbers will get worse.
This is China.
Michelle Malkin sees NBC being soft on the communists. I see it, too. Mary Carillo’s loving interpretation of taking young children from parents to make acrobats disturbed me.
But then, President Bush’s interview with Bob Costas was interesting. He plead for Americans to respect China. Well, I respect the fact that they own us economically. And I respect the fact that each American owes China $1200 because of our national debt. And I respect the fact that China holds enormous power over America and that’s scary.
I remember reading about how Saddam and his two insane sons would torture professional soccer players when they lost. Aside from the sheer horror described by the people who endured the abuse, it struck me as supremely stupid to expect players to perform their best when they cowered in fear.
Communist leadership in Eastern block countries before the wall came down and Russia and the fascists in Germany, Italy and Japan before them, just didn’t get it. National pride is fine and dandy, but if the athletes aren’t competing for the love, for themselves, the game will be a losing proposition.
At the Olympic level, the athletes excel physically and genetically and discipline-wise. Often what separates winners and losers is psychological and emotional: mental stamina and courage. A terrified athlete running away from losing is not the same as an excited athlete running towards winning.
So China harasses their athletes. Some kids who have worked their whole lives were just booted from the team. Other athletes who deeply desire retirement are being forced to compete. Does this sound like a winning formulation to you?
Although China is determined to top the medal tables at the Beijing Games next month, its sports administration has taken the draconian decision to drop 22 gold-medal winning athletes.
China won a total of 32 golds in Athens, and is hoping to top the 40 mark in Beijing.
Some of the athletes were forced out by injuries or strong competition, but the China Daily newspaper, thought to be the mouthpiece of the government, also said “politics” had played a part.
“There were some surprising exclusions … who would have a realistic shot at winning gold next month,” the paper said.
The most obvious political victim was Tian Liang, nicknamed the “diver prince” after winning gold medals in the ten-metre platform dive at both the Sydney and Athens Olympics.
Tian, 28, was kicked off the national team in 2005 for unashamedly endorsing everything from wooden floors to seafood snacks. “He was producing a negative influence on the preparation for the 2008 Olympics,” said a sports official.
He also hit the gossip columns for his relationship with fellow diver Guo Jingjing and they were dubbed the “Posh and Becks” of Chinese sport. She managed to stay on the team after she publicly denounced her behaviour.
Since then, Tian has tried to rehabilitate his career by competing at provincial level and refusing to criticise the administration for what happened. He carried the Olympic torch as it passed through Xi’an. However, he was still left out of the team and has voiced his “regrets”.
Yeah, China will win loads of medals by kicking their superstars off the team because they don’t toe the party line. But this is why these regimes die anyway.
When people are restricted from pursuing their dreams because some bureaucrat believes his talents lie elsewhere, people give up. A whole society of people not invested in their own success won’t be invested in the country’s success. So, the dictators get the exact opposite of what they hope for. Domination can come at the point of a gun, but sustained success and winning comes from from freedom to pursue what one loves.
Cross-posted at RightWingNews
I keep waiting for that headline and yet it never comes. Nope. The headline is really this and gotta love MSNBC man, don’t say it, guys. Don’t. You. Dare. Say. It: “Chinese group vows Olympic game attacks.” A group, eh? Must be a Christian group! Oh, wait. The subheading says this: “Muslim separatists also claim responsibility for recent bus bombings.” No way. They’re Muslim?
Sorry for the heavy sarcasm, folks. Good grief. I am so sick of the political correctness. Did you read the follow up article? Yeah, it’s titled, “Moderate Muslims outraged at the terrorists hijacking the ‘Religion of Peace’ during the Olympic ceremonies which bring people of all cultures and faiths together.” I didn’t read that article either. Still waiting, after lo, these many years, for the millions and billions of peace-loving Muslims to stand up and take their religion back.
So, here’s the story. There’s the obligatory threatening video made by masked Muslim men, of course :
In the video, a man identified as Commander Seyfullah says the group aims “to target the most critical points related to the Olympics.”
“We will try to attack Chinese central cities severely, using the tactics that have never been employed,” he says, according to a translation provided by IntelCenter, a terrorism research firm based in Alexandria, Va.
Terrorism experts believe that the group is the same as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, an underground separatist organization in the Xinjiang region of western China, which advocates independence for the area’s Muslim Uighur inhabitants. China often warns of the danger posed by the group, though some experts say the government exaggerates the threat as an excuse to suppress dissent against Chinese rule.
Another truth inadvertently revealed: Communist countries suppress dissent? I did not know that! I thought communist countries delivered superior medical care, supplied everyone with a job, and made sure all people were fed unlike the greedy capitalist nations that let people die in the streets, jobless and hungry.
The Olympic games should be interesting, indeed. A friend mentioned that Beijing hosting the games reminded him of Germany hosting the games before World War II. The point wasn’t to raise stature in the world, but to unite the country behind the communistic leadership. Well, we’ll see how that works for China.