“Snuggle into your comfortable blanket of self-deceit, but that's not the sort of behavior that is going to stay what now seems to be an inevitable transition from the American Century to the Chinese Century.
The biggest mistake that stupid people make is assuming that frightened and oppressed people protest. This is nonsense. It is hopeful and exuberant people who protest. Frightened and oppressed people keep their heads down and don't complain. People who believe that positive change is an imminently achievable possibility are the ones who hit the streets calling for that possibility to be realized. People in China protest because they believe that change is possible, and they believe that change is possible because they see it happening every day around them. Not so many protests in America? That's because many Americans have lost their hope in change being possible, not because nobody has anything to protest.”
stevensgorge on Jun 5, 2014 at 21:18:24
“Keep up your silly talk. it is a real chuckle. Now you are projecting why the Chinese protest and the Americans do not. In the end, Americans do have a ballot box. The Chinese do not. They have the army to quell dissent and enforce corruption. China spends more on internal "security" than it does on its vast military.”
1) People who watch FOX News are less informed than people who watch no news at all.
2) People who watch a particular set of comedy shows are better informed than people who don't, but watch news programs.
“No, division is fine, so long as it is the stupid being divided from everyone else, as has been the case for the last few decades. You keep voting for out of touch sub-geniuses like Bush, Palin, Reagan, and the rest of us will keep voting for Rhodes Scholars and others with demonstrated intellect.”
Bamboo scaffolding is still used throughout China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and elsewhere. It is light, durable, cheap, and easily customized to the needs at the construction site. This can hardly be used as a criticism of the Chinese. It may require a bit more expertise to assemble than typical western steel scaffolding, but that's only another point in the Chinese' favor.
There is nothing wrong with using labor-intensive production techniques when there is lots of available labor. It is good for the economy to do so, in fact.
You "doubt they were paid very much", and yet American universities are practically overrun by Chinese students. Someone is doing well in China and it isn't just the top couple dozen families like it has been in the United States for the last four decades.
Your claim that your PRC citizen wife, who works on Chinese labor issues, thinks that China is "on the brink of political chaos" tells me much: Either you are fabricating this rant in whole cloth, or your wife is delusional. The United States is far more likely to experience "political chaos" in the next decade than China is. The Chinese government enjoys several times the level of popular support from their citizens that the United States does. China has the most up-beat, positive, and forward-looking mood of any country that I have ever lived in, and that includes the backwater provinces (lived in Guizhou, among the "oppressed minorities").”
stevensgorge on Jun 4, 2014 at 17:17:52
“"There is nothing wrong with using labor-intensive production techniques when there is lots of available labor. It is good for the economy to do so, in fact."
Yup. At slave labor wages.
"and yet American universities are practically overrun by Chinese students. Someone is doing well in China and it isn't just the top couple dozen families like it has been in the United States for the last four decades. "
Yup. 3 million millionaires in China. 6 million in the US.
21 million households in the US make more money than I do, and I could afford to put two children through college. That is not "2 dozen families".
"China has the most up-beat, positive, and forward-looking mood of any country that I have ever lived in, and that includes the backwater provinces (lived in Guizhou, among the "oppressed minorities")."
Yup. Then why have social protests increased from 8700 per year in 1993 to more than 90,000 in 2006? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protest_and_dissent_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China
Why is the CCP so afraid of the 25th (and any other) anniversary of Tiananmen?
Why are the rich leaving China in droves, if it is so great to live there? http://www.marketwatch.com/story/rich-chinese-line-up-to-leave-china-2014-02-09 http://www.cnbc.com/id/101345275”
“The world would be even more pleasant if people could stop feeling sorry for themselves.
Lots of people for whom the mirror is the perfect height pity themselves for how average they are.
Everyone would do well to improve the parts of themselves that can be improved, and appreciate the rest as that which makes them unique. Example: Orthodontic work is rare in Japan unless the malocclusion significantly interferes with eating. As a result lots of Japanese girls have teeth that are, shall we say, less than perfectly aligned. The Japanese tend to just view this as a part of a person's charm, though. In social occasions there with lots of expats, the Japanese girls with narwhal dentition still grab the attention while American women with orthodontic works of art in their faces are left to rage alone at the injustice of it all.
The moral to the story is to play the hand you've been dealt and play it well and happiness can be yours. Feel sorry for yourself, though, and... well, you needn't guess what lies down that path.”
nelo on Jun 3, 2014 at 01:30:23
“Yeah, all true, but it doesn't diminish the need for more compassion. Someone wants to tell you how bugged they are by being short, you don't need to respond by how bugged you are by being tall. I know you were being sarcastic and needy, complaining people are annoying. But sometimes all they need is a few minutes to express themselves and a little pat on the head. How hard is that? Satisfies them and they go on with life. One of the biggest lessons of my life was to just give them that little pat on the head. Faster, easier, creates good will. So much easier than all this moral indignation at the flaws of others. It's as unpleasant and as unproductive as the woe is me attitude.”
“No, of course not. The way you tell it, though, is that you are constantly under assault. I find that hard to believe, seeing as I have never witnessed these assaults on others, much less taken part in them. Either it is just you that is being assaulted 24/7, as if a rain cloud is following you, or these assaults are taking place against all women constantly, but for some reason only when I am not looking. There is a third possibility, which is that perhaps your claims are slightly exaggerated.”
Blunderusunder on Jun 2, 2014 at 19:42:57
“William, I don't know where you live or if you travel on a subway system. You may not see the pats on the behind or the pinches but they are there. You're exaggerating my complaint to poke fun at it and that is your privilege. Lots of luck in your relationships.”
“I'm a professor at a university too (mathematics dept) and my best students are usually Chinese, and always international students. If it were not for the international students (including the Chinese), my school would be hard pressed to justify the entire calculus progression.
I've also spent a fair amount of time in China over the years and the changes from the late 1980s to the present are amazing. As an atmospheric physicist, you should know that isolated data points, which are what the right wing publications that you offered links to provide, are meaningless. China is experiencing the largest and fastest transition from deep poverty to general affluence of any country any time in human history. You can cherry pick your data and look at any time slice in that process and say "Look, there are poor people!", but that tells you nothing worthwhile about that process. That universities across the nation are keeping their STEM programs viable by recruiting Chinese kids to fill them tells you much more.
Note: most of those Chinese kids return to China with their degrees simply because that's where the opportunities are. As well, Harvard, Cambridge, MIT, la Sorbonne... magical-sounding names to the nouveau riche in a country where most universities are less than a few decades old. The kids enjoy spending a couple years in the "wild West", but when they settle down and get married, America is rarely where they choose to raise their kids, if given the choice.”
stevensgorge on Jun 2, 2014 at 12:02:48
“Chinese graduate students are motivated. I was referring to the undergrads in my courses and at universities attended by my relatives.
I have been to China many times also, as recently as last December. 15 years ago, the office buildings of Shanghai were being built by hand labor, with bamboo scaffolding. Workers brought bricks and glass to the sites by bicycle. I doubt they were paid very much. Corruption is so rampant that any minimum wage "laws" are in name only. China is a lawless society, or, more properly, a society where the political elite and the rich business folk act with impunity. It is easy to see a "great" China in the cities, where the rich live and work. The ordinary people, not so much. "Eminent domain" is used ruthlessly. My wife is Chinese, a product of the Tiananmen generation and still a PRC citizen working on human rights issues and the legal representation of workers. According to her, China is on the brink of political chaos. We shall see...”
“I'm confident that they have already made that "next step". That is why your choice for candidates will be between pro-corporate Clinton and some off-the-wall crazy Republican... in other words, you'll have no choice at all other than the one they have provided for you.”
“Another article on Huff Po's front page is pointing out how terrible and oppressive China's security state is, but the Chinese have only recently begun to install public surveillance cameras. The US and parts of Europe (UK, mostly) have had them for decades.
Guess what else? This system that the NSA has... they're not watching and cataloging the interactions of people in China with it. They are watching YOU.
As bad as you imagine China's state security apparatus to be, it is nowhere near the scope of America's, which has twice the number per capita of police, and a much more advanced domestic surveillance network.”
Michael Capanelli on Jun 1, 2014 at 09:45:42
“Funny how that works. The country that supposed to represent freedom and democracy is the biggest violator of privacy in the world. Best part is the lemmings of my country are supporting and defending it.”
“A lot of nonsense here. Europe and the United States introduced public surveillance cameras long before China ever did. In the West, employers typically survey applicants' Internet presence before hiring, which stifles open discussion. That's not at all common in China. China doesn't even have an equivalent to the NSA, which spends more time and effort spying on you than it does on the Chinese.
Note in the article where it mentions "People's Armed Police". This name is significant because it highlights that normal Chinese police are not armed at all! America, on the other hand, has more than TWICE as many police per capita, and ALL of them are armed paramilitary forces, and this isn't even including the FBI, the DEA, the INS, the IRS, Homeland Security, and the Department of Education (yeah, even they have SWAT teams in case you don't pay your student loans on time).
Freedom? Try the press: All of America's mass media is controlled by a handful of massive corporations (this is why you never hear anti-capitalist stories in American news). China actually has more diversity in the ownership and control of their mass media! Surprise!
In a number of ways, Chinese people have more freedom than Americans. For example, the Chinese police don't shake down folks on behalf of the RIAA or MAFIAA for downloading tunes off the Internet, and they rarely harass people for minor traffic violations (though perhaps they should do more of that, given how Chinese people drive).”
Get Electric Motion on Jun 2, 2014 at 14:25:43
“Police without guns is the first thing I notice in China. Only seen one policeman with a gun in all my times in China. Only guns I saw was the armor truck at the banks 6 guys with shotguns. They will start tracking down drivers when they figure how much money they can make.”
“I wonder if they are trying to stifle dissent by eliminating anonymity in online forums where people discuss issues? That way people will be afraid of saying things that prospective employers, who survey applicants' Internet presence prior to hiring, might find objectionable.
Oh wait... that is what Huff Po is doing...”
Harvee Wallbanger on Jun 1, 2014 at 08:49:30
“May have to bring back the usenet. The GOP has thoroughly infiltrated HP.”
“A number of Bulgaria's major cities are linked by high speed rail, so yes, Bulgarians would be ashamed of America's intercity rail infrastructure.
The deplorable state of America's intercity passenger rail infrastructure is not an accident. It took a lot of effort by auto manufacturers, oil companies, tire manufacturers, and air lines to eliminate the competition and lobby to keep it eliminated.”
“What is amazing is how long outmoded opinions persist beyond the era in which they applied.
Two questions for you to ponder:
1) How did the ongoing Chinese economic growth, which I am certain that you believe to be strictly export-driven, survive the collapse of consumption from the US and Europe in 2007?
2) Those "ghost cities" that I'm certain you remember reports of from several years back... why don't you see those in the news any more?
I'll help with answers:
1) The Chinese technocrat planners knew decades ago that "Made in China. Sold in USA" was not sustainable, and they never intended it to be. It was a cheap expedient while they built out infrastructure and allowed them to jumpstart modern domestic industries. They always intended to build a domestic consumer market, and in the middle of last decade began doing so, with minimum wage increases of 40+%/year and using other means to encourage wage growth. The Chinese consumed their way out of the 2007 economic crisis.
2) Those "ghost cities" are not empty any more. That "too expensive for Chinese" real estate is being bought up by "slave labor" that build the Chinese bullet train carriages, and signalling equipment, and the solar power farms, and the iPhones, and electric cars, and Samsung Galaxy Note Pros, all of which are increasingly being bought by Chinese people... precisely as China's technocrat planners had planned.
It ain't the 1960s any more, Ol' Hoss! Times, they are a changin`.”
hobbesjd on Jun 2, 2014 at 03:31:46
“F&F - but it's easier to blame obama and the socialist commie etc. etc. and believe all the lies about china that the right has been feeding people for decades. china is going through growing pains like the US did - their time will come when the environment and social issues will overtake them and they become more and more like the us. it's called evolution.”
China did it in a decade, while simultaneously building a bigger highway system than America's, a larger network of airports, massive river and coastal navigation improvement projects, huge urban renewal projects, etc... and their economy is still the fastest growing on the planet.”
Seiena Cyrus on Jun 1, 2014 at 12:54:19
“unfortunately america only believes in servicing Large cities and making you pay super high prices, so the rural folks will still be married to their cars.”
MrBadExample on Jun 1, 2014 at 00:53:38
“I'd be happy if we had normal train service. I used to have to make family trips from NYC to central Virginia (a place with limited air service). The trains took longer than Greyhound service, was three or four times more expensive, and had limited service outside of daylight hours. Outside of the Boston/DC corridor, Amtrak's service is limited, slow, expensive and off-schedule (you get shunted off the tracks whenever Conrail has a freight train come through). As James Kunstler points out, our passenger rail service would embarrass the Bulgarians.”
“Even though it is tough to salsa with them, I prefer the more compact and portable type women myself.”
E S Cameron on Jun 2, 2014 at 13:07:15
“William. all the men in my family are tall. My dad, at 6', is the shortest; many of my cousins and uncles are in the 6'4" - 6'9" range. And all their wives average 5'4" or less. The shortest wife is 4'11", and her husband is 6'7".
I, sadly, did not get as much of the genetic height as I would like. I'm only 5'6". But I totally get where you're coming from with this list.”
May 31, 2014 at 11:59:17
“Sorry, but the ewok teddy bear merchandising gimmick completely ruined SW:TESB for me. Even ignoring the obvious effort to market licensed toys, the movie was fairly shallow and and simplistic. The special effects were OK, but for a movie to be great it needs more than that.”
susandiane on May 31, 2014 at 12:57:44
“Ewoks were in Jedi. Please turn in your movie buff licence.”