Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pro Business

I sent a message to the Obama campaign.

I just wanted to comment that I am really glad that Obama is taking a stand about being against the gas tax holiday.

I wanted to make a suggestion, though, for the pr and ads around this issue. In addition to refuting Clinton's assertions, which is being on the defense, I think we all need to talk about promising solutions such as describing the kinds of programs we'd want to fund.

For example, instead of focusing on how Obama will stand up to corporations, I think we should shift the focus on how we need to support the companies that we want. It's not about being against business. Of course we are all pro business. But we need businesses that are pro - America.

Today, my policy professor was talking about how regulation can stimulate innovation, and how we can make opportunities for new companies to displace the dinosaurs. Of course, the dinosaurs won't like this, but it's much more appealing to the average voter.

Obey 11th Hr

I found another Obey Giant campaign.

It's too alarmist. But it still looks cool. There needs to be more depictions of triumph.

Monday, April 28, 2008

No Al Qaeda in China

very interesting article about how China deals with Muslim extremists in Xinjiang, a province in Western China.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ben Franklin

Is cool, and he invented the Glass Harmonica, otherwise known as the Armonica.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Human rights vs. Security

Goddammit, I am so sick of purists who are like, we should never sacrifice any human rights for economic growth, stability, or political expediency. Let me spell it out for you. No one has ANY rights, human or otherwise, if there is not social stability.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fog of War

I'm surprised I didn't hear about this story. It is generally accepted that Rumsfeld's resignation on November 8, 2006 was the Bush administration's response to the democrats taking control of Congress the day before. That's certainly how democrats spun the story. For example:
"Secretary Rumsfeld's war plans in Iraq have failed. The country is on a dangerous course, and the administration has finally recognised the need for drastic, immediate change," said Senator John Rockefeller, senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
But perhaps the real reason was due to disagreement between Bush and Rumsfeld over Iraq strategy. A confidential November 6 memo by Rumsfeld suggesting troop withdrawal and a change of approach was leaked and published by the New York Times on December 3, 2006.

Some highlights:
In my view it is time for a major adjustment. Clearly, what U.S. forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough. Following is a range of options:...

Initiate a reverse embeds program, like the Korean Katusas, by putting one or more Iraqi soldiers with every U.S. and possibly Coalition squad, to improve our units’ language capabilities and cultural awareness and to give the Iraqis experience and training with professional U.S. troops...

Conduct an accelerated draw-down of U.S. bases. We have already reduced from 110 to 55 bases. Plan to get down to 10 to 15 bases by April 2007, and to 5 bases by July 2007...

Initiate an approach where U.S. forces provide security only for those provinces or cities that openly request U.S. help and that actively cooperate, with the stipulation being that unless they cooperate fully, U.S. forces would leave their province...

Begin modest withdrawals of U.S. and Coalition forces (start “taking our hand off the bicycle seat”), so Iraqis know they have to pull up their socks, step up and take responsibility for their country...
Here's the timeline I've been able to piece together: Nov 1 Bush announced he would stand by Rumsfeld for the length of his term. Nov 5 he meets with Gates in Texas (according to this article by right-winger Fred Barnes, this private meeting was without Rumsfeld's knowledge). Nov 6 is the above memo and also the date of Rumsfeld's letter of resignation. Nov 7 the election. Nov 8 Rumsfeld's resignation announced to the public.

The resignation takes effect on Dec 18, and a few weeks later the surge is announced.

I hope somebody does a documentary on Rumsfeld in 10 or 20 years time, like Fog of War (recommended if you haven't seen it).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

American POW's in China

Internet is Full of Talking People

Noam talks about the role of mass media and democracy.

The most interesting part of this video is when he talks about the NED, National Endowment for Democracy, established under Reagan, which funds programs such as Students for a Free Tibet and other programs which used to be funded and run by the CIA. The US government is often involved in politics in ways we do not expect. It really distorts Americans' view of the world. For example, the NED and other groups get money from Congress, which then fund Chinese democracy activists who are exiled from China. In the West, we are given the impression that these people are hugely influential, but in fact, there are not very many democracy activists, and they are largely dismissed in China by the public as idealist radicals.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tibet Poster

We're having a talk next Wednesday by Arthur Holcombe to talk about Tibet and the issues there.

Another scholar talks about how claims of cultural genocide are really exaggerated.

Olympics and Tibet

eh I don't remember what the article was about, but it was cool.

some info and speculation about who is really behind recent events

Chinese Nationalism

I am really getting annoyed at people thinking that the Chinese government has been pumping up "nationalism." I mean, I'm sure they pump it up as much as the American government does, but patriotism is fueled as much by the people as the governments, and this is true for any country. I don't even know if there has really been a surge of patriotism in China or just a surge of anti-West sentiments so now Western countries are like, oh there's a surge of nationalism.

It's so ridiculous. Western people don't even consider why Chinese people might be patriotic. It can't possibly have anything to do with how much their lives have improved in the past 20 years. It can't possibly be because they are impressed with how far China has come and the relative stability they've enjoyed. It seems that Western news and Western people think, Chinese are more nationalistic because the government told them to be. What a pea-brained explanation. I was telling a friend about how Chinese people were pissed about America bombing the Chinese embassy in Kosovo, and how they took to the streets. And the American media thought it was staged by the government, and he was more inclined to believe that than to believe that Chinese people were actually pissed enough to go out and stage a protest. RIDICULOUS I'll have you know that Chinese people are very protest-happy, much more so than America with its so-called political freedoms and free speech. Chinese people in the mainland went from movement after movement after movement, and there is a lot of social infrastructure not like how in the US, everyone is sort of on their own except for maybe Church. And now with the internet, there is even more social infrastructure. There is also a lot of manpower, which always helps. In China, patriotism and protests/demonstrations are linked, but it's not linked in America. In America, patriotism is linked with baseball and military service, do you put your hand over your heart, do you wear your flag pin. People are so dense.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Nanking Event

Last night, LSC (mostly Sheeshee) hosted the Nanking event where we showed the movie Nanking after getting a primer from Jonathan Dower, an MIT history professor. It was extremely successful! We got lots of people (300+) and Dower's remarks were very good.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter meets with Hamas

of course, Americans and Israeli's denounce him.

my regulation law professor considers him the last Democratic president.

Free Iraq!


i think americans don't see why chinese people would be suspicious of how much they really care about human rights. and maybe they're right...but i dunno. i think chinese people would have to be stupid not to be alarmed at calls to boycott the olympics and other rhetoric.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I got an interview at this place called MAPLight, which attempts to make public all of the contributions towards certain candidates, campaigns, or bills. Woohoo! I hope I get it, that'd be exciting. But it doesn't matter, getting the interview means I'm at least somewhat interesting for political organizations.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Angry Angry Chinese

oh man, things are escalating. i'm scared. there have been anti-beijing olympics cartoons in the last 3 editions of the Tech, and i think chinese people are finally figuring out that americans do not like china.

haha, then they were like, The Tech has free speech, but they have a constraint that they can't hurt people's feelings who live in the community. i'm like, ummmm...i don't think they have that constraint actually. they say, the Tech is not backed by a political organization. they still don't get it. americans' view of China is not because of a political organization. oh well, they say, we have to speak louder. we have to protest. that's fine, but they should not try to dictate to the Tech what they are and are not allowed to publish. they have no such rights. this is america. i don't really see the point anyway. this is what people think. so you get them to stop posting some cartoons. it doesn't change what they think.

This is a list of the most important misunderstandings that Americans have about Chinese people.

1. Many people do not understand why Chinese people consider boycotting the Olympics an insult to the Chinese people. Many people feel that it is clear that they are protesting the government, not the people.

Chinese people are proud of the Olympics and proud of the progress they see in China. After more than 100 years of war and revolution, the past 20 years have been a time of peace and prosperity. This is the first time China has ever been economically able to host the Olympics not to mention socially stable enough. Although the Olympics is not politics-free in practice, the original concept of having Olympics is to have an event where nations put aside their political differences and come together to celebrate sports. Chinese people don't view the Olympics as something that celebrates the government, but rather something that celebrates the accomplishments of China, the nation and the people. Protesters and media often have an outdated view of China, focus on China's shortcomings, and even publicizes wrong information. Furthermore, many Americans and other Western people are not skeptical of their media so they take these reports on face value. There is almost no effort to understand modern China, and how Chinese people feel about their government now. Thus, Chinese people do not think boycotting the Olympics is based on informed arguments. When protestors and the media criticize China, they rarely distinguish between China and the Chinese leadership, and almost never refer to Chinese leaders by name. Chinese people feel that there are strong anti-China sentiments left over from the Cold War in the United States (and other Western developed countries such as Britain, France, and Germany) that largely motivate calls for boycotting the Olympics in China.

2. Many people think that Chinese people view the Chinese government as oppressors. Many Americans think that the Chinese government promotes Chinese nationalism.

Because of the progress that China has made, many Chinese believe in the government's commitment to reform and further progress. The Chinese Communist Party admit that many of the policies implemented between 1950-1976 were ultimately harmful and sometimes disastrous. In light of the reforms since then, most Chinese have made their peace with the government and credit the government for shepherding China's rapid development. Chinese people in general believe their government acts in good faith and intends to improve the lives of the people.

How Chinese people feel about the government must be put into historical context. In the 1800s until 1945 (the end of WWII), China was too weak to defend its territory from countries such as Britain, France, Portugal, the United States, Japan, Germany, and Italy. When the last dynasty finally fell in 1911, a Republic was nominally founded, but it was not actually powerful enough to unify the country. As a result, China was a land of bandits, warlords, and strife. After the Communist Party took over in 1949, the United States had a policy of "containment," fighting China in North Korea and Vietnam. The CIA also secretly funded and armed the Dalai Lama from 1956-1976, and the Tibetans were helpful in gathering intelligence for the US government. Chinese people see these as attempts to chip away territory from China in order to weaken it. As a result, Chinese people believe in the importance of staying unified. It is the same principle behind the maxim 'United we stand, divided we fall.' To this end, the Chinese people view favorably the government's ability to keep China unified and even regain sovereignty over Hong Kong and Macau, British and Portugese colonies respectively. To Chinese people, this is about China's national security.

Ever since 1911, the Chinese people have been very patriotic and have mobilized in movement after movement. Although there has been a certain amount of reconciliation with the government, Chinese people don't really think there has been a rise in nationalism/patriotism. It is just becoming more apparent to those outside China. At any rate, there are few governments that do not encourage its population to be patriotic. The roots of Chinese patriotism are deep, as deep as American patriotism to America.

3. Chinese people feel that Americans are very hypocritical because of its involvement in Iraq and inaction regarding living conditions of the Palestinian people. Americans always say, "two wrongs don't make a right."

Chinese people don't want to excuse the wrongs the Chinese government has done, but many Western nations are claiming moral higher ground, which seems very unfair. It is difficult for the Chinese government to make concessions while America does not take action towards righting its own wrongs. For the past 20 years, Chinese people have embraced Western institutions and ideas and have high opinions of Western nations as standards for how China should be eventually. China has engaged with its neighbors and Western nations and adopted many international standards. These double standards cause many Chinese people to feel disillusioned about Americans' commitment to their own ideals. Increased distrust only escalates conflict instead of resolving it. Besides increased cynicism towards the West, there is decreased faith in Western institutions, which makes Chinese people less enthusiastic about cooperating and adopting international standards. If Americans are really interested in resolving conflict, they should really play down the moral superiority and hold their own government accountable for invading Iraq on false pretenses.

5. Many people don't understand why China criticizes the Dalai Lama and accuse Chinese of "cultural genocide". They say, the Dalai Lama has already said he supports the Olympics and that he doesn't ask for independence.

Again, because of the Dalai Lama's history with the CIA, Chinese people don't trust him as much as Americans and other Westerners. Some of China's criticism of the Dalai Lama is also just a show. For the international community, China wants to show it's displeased with Western nations' strong support of the Dalai Lama. Western nations' ambiguous support for things the Dalai Lama does not officially call for such as boycotting the Olympics and making Tibet an independent country hurts the Dalai Lama's credibility. Inside China, the government has to say some harsh words to appease the population's anger over the violent riots.

However, the Dalai Lama accusing China of cultural genocide is very objectionable to Chinese people and the Chinese government. The Dalai Lama criticizes the building of a railroad to Tibet and other efforts to develop Tibet. Construing these efforts of the Chinese government to make life better for Tibetans as cultural genocide is very offensive. Chinese people can understand Tibetans being dissatisfied and wanting to be more involved in the government, but to say the Chinese are committing genocide is really extreme. If what's going on in Tibet is genocide, what would be an appropriate word for the living conditions of Iraqi's? The other problem is that it sounds reactionary, as if he wants to preserve the old Tibetan way of life. Well, the old Tibetan way of life and the Tibetan religion is deeply linked with an exploitative social caste system. Of course, the Dalai Lama can't possibly really be promoting that way of life. Still, accusing the Chinese of cultural genocide makes Chinese people cynical about the Dalai Lama and makes it difficult for the Chinese government to make concessions.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Who is the Dalai Lama

peaceful monk?

Noam Chomsky Say

There are real and very serious civil and human rights issues, but the
Western reaction is pure hypocrisy. I've been bringing it up in talks and
interviews. Just to take one of many relevant examples, at the same time as
the recent repression in Tibet, Israel killed over 120 people in Gaza and
continued its atrocities in the West Bank, as always with strong US backing,
and EU silence. True, the US-Israel had a pretext, but it wasn't remotely
as strong as China's pretext in Tibet. Suppose that Palestinians rioted in
Jerusalem, killing many Jews, burning down Jewish stores and banks, etc. No
need to imagine the reaction-- with Western support. And that's illegally
occupied territory, not part of Israel. That's no defense of China's
actions. Rather, a comment on Western hypocrisy, which reeks to the skies.
Including the media of course, but it goes far beyond.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

More Info on Tibet - Stranger than Fiction

A video by the National Geographic about old Tibet and a relationship with the Nazi's??!? I thought people made that up.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Good Magazine


i saw it today at whole foods. it was "the China issue"

Public Relations

Letter to the Tech

The April 8 Tech had a cartoon with China stabbing Tibet in the pole vault event during the Olympics.

An Open Letter to the Editor of The Tech
(In response to the cartoons: Page 4 of The Tech, on April 8, 2008 and April 11, 2008):

An editorial cartoon serves as a visual metaphor to express satire towards political issues. Last week's cartoons imply that China does not deserve to host the Olympics because of human rights issues in Tibet. While we do not deny that China still has many problems, many Chinese and Chinese Americans are concerned about China's image in the West. We are concerned that many Americans and other citizens of other Western countries have an outdated and distorted view towards China.

Through the lens of the media in some Western countries, many have developed their views on China as a country identified with human rights abuse and government dictatorship, while neglecting all other sides of the story. Many have sympathy for the Chinese people, whom they often assume to be living under oppression and going through all kinds of hardship, despite the fact that they might not know what is really going on there. As Chinese students at MIT, we grew up in China and did see some of the problems depicted by the Western media. At the same time, however, we have had much more positive experiences in the past 20 years, including the drastic economic improvements in China that the world has marveled at. Because of the changes of education policy in China, many of us enjoyed the opportunities to study in foreign countries and see the world outside of China through our own eyes. In turn, we also encourage and invite people around the world to travel to China and talk to local Chinese, from whom one can learn what the real China looks like—be it good or bad.

As indicated by the cartoon, China, just like any other country, has human rights issues. However, it is disturbing to see people judge China with double standards. We must realize that every country has to go through various reforms and developments to figure out the best working system, and along the way, imperfections transpire. Not to say mistakes can be overlooked, we believe it takes time to correct them. China has been working very hard on tackling those issues (real elections for people’s representatives at townships, transparency of the judiciary process, preferential rights for the minority ethnicities, etc.), on the premise of keeping a stable, while developing, China.

The Olympics is an international sporting event intended to celebrate excellence in sports. Chinese, Chinese Americans, and many other peoples around the world are proud that China is hosting the Olympics. In contrary to what many people say, our pride is not to legitimize all of China's human rights abuses and political positions. All Chinese are proud because this is the first time China has been economically able to host the Olympics. It is a testament to the hard work of hundreds of millions of people and the progress China has made. China invites people all over the world to participate in the sporting festival, and see the real China through their own eyes, rather than through the media which oftentimes can be biased. We encourage everyone to invest more critical thinking on what you hear from the media. Furthermore, we don't mind people having critiques about China, but please offer the critiques in a constructive manner, so as not to instigate hard feelings and further misunderstandings.

What Do You Want From Us?

a poem by a Silent, Silent Chinese

When We were called Sick man of Asia, We were called The Peril.
When We are billed to be the next Superpower, We are called The

When We were closed our doors, You smuggled Drugs to Open Markets.
When We Embrace Freed Trade, You blame us for Taking away your jobs.

When We were falling apart, You marched in your troops and wanted your
"fair share".
When We were putting the broken peices together again, "Free Tibet"
you screamed, "it was an invasion!"

( When Woodrow Wilson Couldn't give back Birth Place of Confucius back
to Us,
But He did bought a ticket for the Famine Relief Ball for us.)

So, We Tried Communism, You hated us for being Communists
When We embrace Capitalism, You hate us for being Capitalist.

When We have a Billion People, you said we were destroying the planet.
When We are tried limited our numbers, you said It was human rights

When We were Poor, You think we are dogs.
When We Loan you cash, You blame us for your debts.

When We build our industries, You called us Polluters.
When we sell you goods, You blame us for global warming.

When We buy oil, You called that exploitation and Genocide.
When You fight for oil, You called that Liberation.

When We were lost in Chaos and rampage, You wanted Rules of Law for
When We uphold law and order against Violence, You called that
Violating Human Rights.

When We were silent, You said you want us to have Free Speech.
When We were silent no more, You say we were Brainwashed-Xenophobics.

Why do you hate us so much? We asked.
"No," You Answered, "We don't hate You."

We don't Hate You either,
But Do you understand us?

"Of course We do," You said,
"We have AFP, CNN and BBCs..."

What do you really want from us?
Think Hard first, then Answer...

Because you only get so many chances,
Enough is Enough, Enough Hypocrisy for this one world.

We want One World, One Dream, And Peace On Earth.
- This Big Blue Earth is Big Enough for all of Us.


in my power electronics class today, my professor told us about ELI THE ICE MAN, a mnemonic for remembering that when the load looks inductive, the voltage leads the current, and when the load looks capacitive, the current leads the voltage. we were like ... what!? eli the ice man? and then he cooked some eggs on a loud resonant pole inverter. and then i found out that if you pull on your ears a certain way, you don't hear high frequencies very well anymore.

Friday, April 11, 2008

CIA in Tibet

I think it's actually true, and posted by a Free Tibet person. I guess they think it helps their cause. There is an article posted on the Friends of Tibet site. It's a 6 part video.

Scouring the Internet about Tibet

I found a lot of good blogs and videos, and I even wrote something.

I am so-called "pro China," but I agree that the argument that Tibet always was a part of the Chinese empire is not a good argument. I think actually a lot of Chinese people know this, they have trouble articulating the exact issue. The issue is the level of British and American influence in Tibet and on Chinese politics for the greater part of the past two centuries. The British, in particular, but also the Germans, French, Italians, and Americans forced China, which was militarily weak, into many treaties allowing Western access to its ports, the sale of opium, and "renting" land. You may not know that at some point they even ransacked and destroyed the Old Summer Palace. During the 1911-1949, the country was in turmoil and fought WWII during a civil war. The United States supported the KMT, but they were not popular with the people. One of the main headquarters was in Chengdu, Sichuan, which is east of Tibet, so many KMT ran West to Tibet and India, which was still a British colony until 1950. There is not a good boundary between China and Tibet, and the CCP did not want to risk letting the KMT recuperate there and launch counterattacks. Also, as a result of Western involvement, the Chinese are sensitive to Western demands to "free Tibet" in the name of human rights, especially given that America just "freed Iraq". So that issue is about political power, which is about economics and military.

Political power plays mold public opinion on each side. Of course Chinese people are biased, but they found out what propaganda was during the Cultural Revolution, and the take-away lesson has been, don't trust any media and try to take into account biases. In contrast, Western media has enjoyed much praise in the past 50 years for being fair and unbiased, with Walter Cronkite and other revered newscasters. During the Tiananmen Square in 1989, many Chinese students viewed American democracy and American media as an ideal. Americans felt very proud about this and their free media, and so they never consider that it may be be biased. After the Western coverage of Tiananmen and now of the Tibet protests, and now that millions of Chinese people have access to Western media and internet, Chinese people's idealism of the West has been shattered. Most Chinese know most protesters and journalists themselves act in good faith, but we still get very frustrated, especially when people just accuse you of being "a CCP hack." I already talked about this in my angry post, but just to reiterate in a non-angry way, China has been a rival and even enemy of the US for a long time, and even though the Cold War is technically over, many people's sentiments are ingrained in their beliefs. When you are taught your whole life that someone morally base and not to trust them, and then suddenly they are not really your enemy anymore, it is rare for sentiments to catch on right away, especially when it sells news.

I do think there are lots of problems with China, but the Tibet issue is not so simple. This whole situation hasn't been all bad, though. I think little by little, Chinese people are speaking up and perhaps even being heard.

China Blog

I found an actual good one.

This is an article about how Chinese elite prefer Obama.

And this is another article about the Olympics and anti-China sentiments.

China and Africa

I found an interesting post about an article written by the President of Senegal.

Cool tip for storing fruits and vegetables

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Western Coverage of Tibetan Protests exposes some of the mistakes that free and unbiased Western news outlets made about the protests.

Tibet History

Chris Nebe made a documentary about Tibet and China history. It's not actually that well-made, but it's got some good footage and provides good context for the Tibet issue.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Warning: this post is probably offensive unless you're mainland Chinese.

The ultimate Olympic sport is how much humiliation can China take? Don't worry. It's lots.

Actually, in 1989 (?) Wang Shuo 王朔, wrote a book with this premise called Please Don't Call Me Human 千万别把我当人.

I've had it with the protesters, though. For a while, I've been trying to be like, oh well, it's a good way to publicize issues and for people to put pressure on the Chinese government. But you know what? No. It's offensive, it's ignorant, it's pretentious, it's bullshit. Most of the protesters don't know what they're talking about; they just want to feel good about themselves by ragging on a country that everyone hates anyways.

What bothers me the most is the hypocrisy of it all. People are just so used to the idea of China abusing human rights that China is practically synonymous with human rights abuse at this point. Of course, Western opinion isn't biased at all given that China has been an enemy for the greater part of the previous century. I'm not saying there aren't problems, but how can you say that China is the biggest human rights abuser and it doesn't deserve to host Olympics and it really 'challenges the conscience of the world.' What about IRAQ? Hello? That sure challenges my conscience. The US just invaded that 5 years ago to "liberate" Iraqis, and I'd even venture to say that they've fucked them up way more than the Han Chinese fucked up Tibetans. What about Guantanamo? Overthrowing governments in Latin America? Plight of Native Americans? Violence and oppression in Africa, which of course has nothing to do with the fact that the 'enlightened' Western nations enslaved and colonized black people. And of course, what about Israel? If people care about human rights so much, why the hell are people not more concerned about Palestinians? But no, they're Muslim and terrorists, and we don't negotiate with terrorists. Oh wait, didn't the US create Al Qaeda in Afghanistan to fight the Russians? SHHHHHH America is a beacon of hope, freedom, and democracy, you unpatriotic communist heathen. Behold, our fair and unbiased media, and our democracy which elected George W Bush, TWICE.

Many of the people who protest think they're being sooo brave. Mouthing off about a country across the ocean that everyone already doesn't like is not courageous! Give me a break. Protesting and working to change things that are wrong in your own community is much more difficult, although perhaps less glorious. For example, calling for the US to close bases it doesn't need. VERY complicated. Calling for Israel to compromise to create a Palestinian state already. Suddenly, you're a Nazi. Working to fix a lame system and oil barons for sustainable energy! Working on climate change issues is human rights!

People think that Chinese people all hate the Chinese government. They're right and wrong. In America, if you complain a lot, people think it means you're unpatriotic. In contrast, Chinese people love to complain about their government. But they are still proud that it's come a long way, and they don't want to see China fall. They still get offended if Westerners criticize China and demand things aggressively. It comes off as being hostile to China's security and economic interests. They all saw how happy the US was when the USSR fell. Chinese people don't want China to become like how Russia is today. The US is already in Japan, Korea, and Afghanistan, and they regularly do reconnaissance tours off the southern coast of China. And of course, the US just invaded Iraq. Chinese people would be hopelessly naive if they weren't worried about US aggression. Hello, during the so-called "Cold War" China fought the US in Viet Nam, Korea, and the KMT during the Communist Revolution. Also, China just went through a century of being too weak to stand up to Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and the US so naturally, they are sensitive to complaints and demands from the West. When the Chinese complain about US meddling, the context is that the US was the main supplier of weapons, money, and even food to the KMT during the Communist Revolution, who subsequently got their asses handed to them anyway, and ran away to Taiwan. America, land of the free, home of the brave rich people, was committed to keeping the KMT in power. If either the Democratic or Republican Parties were strongly supported by a foreign country, say Saudi Arabia, Americans would surely object to how much control that country has over American politics.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

My Subversive Boss

he got subpoenaed and written about in the new york times. how exciting!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Flag Campaign

Sheeshee had these flags on her desktop.

The flag-campaign is for Revista Grande Reportagem, and the idea is to 'bring across concept that the magazine offers profound journalism about topics of real importance to the world of today.'

Regulation Policy and Law

Sheeshee and I got A's on our regulation of food, drug, pesticides, and radiation policy and law midterm! I am so relieved and happy, but also kind of like, oh my god, other people did worse?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Water Water everywhere except in Alamosa Colorado

There has been a story floating around the news this last week about a small town in Colorado whose water supply was shut down by salmonella. The entire town's drinking supply had to be taken off-line because an unknown source salmonella was making a lot of people sick. They had to use a lot of chlorine to disinfect the water pipes and then water couldn't be used for drinking, eating, or bathing until chlorine levels dropped. Basically you could flush your toilet and that was it. What I find interesting in this story is that every news outlet basically reports it as a human interest story. Oh it is interesting that people are drinking thousands of bottles of water in order to survive, or that people haven't been able to shower in days. It is cute to watch people rough it, but it seems there has been very little appreciation for what most other people in the world do on a daily basis, which is survive without clean water. Another aspect of this I find surprising is the fact that no one is really mentioning that the town's water supply was not even chlorinated to begin with. The lack of pretreatment is the entire reason why a bacterial contamination event was even able to occur. I am not advocating everyone needlessly treat their water out of some irrational fear, but it would seem this fact would be far more integral to the story than an off-hand fact buried in a paragraph somewhere or not mentioned at all.