It is Time to Stop Celebrating Inadequacy
China has an upcoming maglev train that will run at 373 miles an hour. By comparison, the United States increasingly looks like a country from an earlier age. Pop Quiz: Was this train engineered (a) by heartwarming, puzzled, oppressed, suffering, agonized minorities who ought to be making pizzas, or (b) by the brightest people China... Read More
Is China Being Framed?
I was researching Chinese censorship when–irony of ironies–I fell afoul of American censorship, providing an opportunity to update you on the state of the art under both regimes, starting at home, with the recent attempt to frame the President for crimes he did not commit. Like many attempts to frame people, events and nations–Vietnam, Iraq,... Read More
Call me crazy, if you want, but I think I see how to do it! We have two intractable issues, one intractable president, and an intractable world, but what if it weren’t so? What if those two intractable problems could be swept off the table by a single gesture from that same intractable man? As... Read More
As mentioned in Radio Derb, the Mrs. and I took a break in Cancún, Mexico the first week of December. We had a thoroughly enjoyable time; nothing much out of the ordinary, just five days in a very nice hotel (this one) lounging on the beach and poolside, with side trips to Mayan ruins and... Read More
If you want change, begin to play hardball
In his recent article “Averting World Conflict with China” Ron Unz has come up with an intriguing suggestion for the Chinese government to turn the tables on the December 1st arrest of Meng Wanzhou in Canada. Canada detained Mrs. Meng, CFO of the world’s largest telecoms equipment manufacturer Huawei, at the request of the United... Read More
Who could doubt that the world of Donald Trump has recently become yet more embattled? Yes, there’s the Mueller investigation reportedly winding up (or down). And yes, there were those midterm elections, a blow -- as journalist and novelist Ben Fountain explains today -- to The Donald, creating yet another crew ready to investigate, subpoena,... Read More
"There is no Republican Party. There's a Trump party," John Boehner told a Mackinac, Michigan, gathering of the GOP faithful last week. "The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere." Ex-Speaker Boehner should probably re-check the old party's pulse, for the Bush-Boehner GOP may not just be napping. It could be comatose. Consider.... Read More
Mao Reconsidered, Part III
Part One of this trilogy described in detail how Mao did more good for more people than anyone in history. In Part Two, his logistical genius saved millions from dying in what could have become an epic famine. In this final episode Mao spends his last decade ending peasants’ ‘deaths from hunger, cold, insult, cruelty... Read More
At age 18, Theo volunteered for the Marines and was sent to Vietnam. Based near the demilitarized zone, he saw much fighting and lost most of his left arm in 1968. Post war, Theo learned karate, opened a dojo, married, fathered three children, got his college degree and became a high school teacher. The Philly... Read More
The US selection of leaders has virtually nothing to do with democratic processes and outcomes. It is useful to contrast this with the process in China. In most instances, China’s selection of leaders is far more meritocratic, successful and performance-based. In both the US and China, the process lacks transparency. US Economic, Political and Cultural... Read More
(Lumpen Capitalism refers to an economic system in which the financial and military sector exploits the state treasury and productive economy for the 1% of the population.) Introduction US journalists and commentators, politicians and Sinologists spend considerable time and space speculating on the personality of China’s President Xi Jinping and his appointments to the leading... Read More
One Hundred Percent Good
Colleagues, rivals, academics and propagandists East and West have written much nonsense about Mao Zedong yet, when we correct for bias and discard patent falsehoods it becomes clear that, apart from the bloodshed that accompanies wars and revolutions, it’s doubtful that Mao killed anyone and indubitable that he gave life to billions. Indeed, no-one has... Read More
As deplorable as we Badwhites are, our medieval forebears were deplorabler. Here’s one: Geoffrey le Barbu (“the Bearded”), Count of Anjou, around a.d. 1065: Now that’s Badwhite! (Geoffrey, by the way, was a great-granduncle of the English King Henry II, first of the Plantagenet Dynasty. His younger brother, who rejoiced in the epithet Fulk the... Read More
Still too soon to tell?
In 2005, Germany transferred her high speed rail technology to China. Today, China’s HSR is bigger, faster, safer and cheaper than Germany’s, runs entirely on Chinese intellectual property and Chinese trains are displacing Germany’s in the world market. Coincidentally, in 2005, The Carter Center began transferringAmerica’s democracy knowhow to China. Today, China’s democracy is bigger,... Read More
Here are embeds to my two most recent videos for Newsbud. They pair together nicely as they track the evolving stories on Pakistan/Afghanistan and North Korea. Trump may be sucking all the oxygen out of the mediasphere, but the usual suspects are still out there conducting the usual business of murder and mayhem. The most... Read More
And can China get along fine without it?
So where are we with this democracy business? Last time I brought it up I left you with Robert A. Heinlein’s time traveler: It’s not clear that American democracy, as it has developed to the present, really is so wonderful. One of our big political parties somehow manages to market itself as the party of... Read More
Lang Lang's patriotism, and Obama's.
This week's storm in a teacup was Chinese pianist Lang Lang's playing of the Chinese song "My Motherland" at a state dinner for some visiting Chinese functionaries. The song is a gushy old patriotic thing — you can inspect the lyrics here and see it sung in its original movie setting here — from the... Read More
Falun Gong: The End of Days, by Maria Hsia Chang
Eccentric religious sects present a nontrivial problem even for open societies. The early history of the Mormon Church illustrates this; so, more recently, have the People's Temple, Heaven's Gate, and Branch Davidian episodes. Issues of public health and the welfare of minors may arise. So may matters of straightforward criminality: the black-racist Nation of Yahweh... Read More