Monday, June 13, 2005

MJ Set Free

MJ has gotten of the hook. I feel too sick to even rant about this.

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Follicular Disasters

The 50 Worst Hair Styles by Swinebass. A must see.

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Democracy, A Potentially Sensitive Word In China

The Chinese military build-up has been a hot topic for many bloggers. And rightly so, as there is a chance that, as happened in WW II, where until Pearl Harbor, we paid more attention to Germany than Japan, the exigencies of the war on terror could lead us to lighten our vigilance of China. The Chinese system, with it's oppressive political & economic structure as well as it's large population, could lead to war & expansionism.

The popular refrain of the Clinton era was, the Chinese have not historically been expansionist & are therefore not a threat, rings hollow when considering their occupation of Tibet (AI where are you?), suzerainty of North Korea, as well as the saber rattling around Taiwan. Unfortunately, this doctrine allowed the Clinton administration to facilitate the Chinese efforts to build up their military & infiltrate our security systems with extensive espionage operations. It was the delusional world views of the Clinton administration that led to the escalation of this treat.

Chris Roberts, of the Conservative Rant, has an astute reply for those who contend that the China threat is over-rated.
Many believe that the Chinese military has little advanced weaponry and it would take a decade for the Chinese to catch up to our advanced technology. That is a false assertion. It smacks of the same assertions about the Soviet Union until they actually detonated an atomic bomb.

Yet, the course of action to be taken at this junction is unclear for a variety of reason. One is the extensive trade relationship. Another is the large amount of our national debt they finance. However, the most significant reason may be,
The Chinese have us in a bind because we have shaped our policies to dissuade us from criticism if the Chinese do not make real reforms. It is a one sided relationship. They can criticize us at will, and have, yet we can say nothing because we want them to change more than they do. They will take from us everything they need, and then use it against us, a devilish plan that suits their leadership to a tee. This is legacy of the Clinton years, and continued under the current administration.

This does indeed seem to be the case, not only at the government level, but also on the corporate level. The Microsoft Corp will become the first big international internet service to win a license to offer value-added telecoms services in China, thanks to their relationship with Shanghai Alliance Investment, which is an arm of the Shanghai City government. The free blogger hosting service of this enterprise, called MSN spaces, prohibits using
a range of potentially sensitive words to label personal websites.
And what are examples of, "potentially sensitive words"? democracy, demonstration, democratic movement & Taiwan independence. Any attempt to type these words will result in a message saying,
"This item contains forbidden speech. Please delete the forbidden speech from this item."
MSN is also
careful to ensure that news and other content offered through the Chinese MSN portal are provided by local partners who can work within the informal and shifting boundaries set by China's unseen army of internet censors.

How sad, I was hoping that the rise of the internet & blogging will pry open the doors of democracy in China.

Another of the factors, not often mentioned, is the silent complicity of her neighbors. The lack of concern by the South Koreans of the Chinese military beef up is one of the most challenging stumbling blocks. The reason for this is a historical pattern of Korea falling pray to Japanese aggression, with China coming to her rescue. WW II was not the first Japanese invasion of Korea, in 1592, the army of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, invaded Korea, upon the Koreans rejection of the unfair Japanese terms of a trade agreement. It was the Chinese deployment of troops by sea & land which forced the Japanese to surrender Seoul & flee south. The fact that the brutality of the Japanese occupation during WW II is still ignored by Japan also lingers in their mind. In order to ensure Korean cooperation, we must give them assurances of protection from the Japanese, who are currently building up their military too.

The Chinese dragon is largely a monster of our own making. Neutralizing it will require strong, uncompromising actions, not coddling & negotiations. Will our government & corporations have the courage & be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to allow the liberation of the people of China?

HAT TIP: The Conservative Rant, Free Thoughts

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