Weekend thread

I’ve got a stack of emails with great suggestions for posts. On top of that, the wires are awash in news about nutty nuke-happy Chinese generals, a nutty American general caught red-handed lying about Abu Ghraib, nutty Americans terrified of the Unocal buyout, and nutty Republicans singing in chorus that they love and stand by Karl Rove even if he turns out to be the real BTK killer. All these hot stories, but the sad truth is I am too worn out from this very wild week to comment on them. But that doesn’t mean you can’t. Thus, an open thread….

The Discussion: 111 Comments

Oh, and don’t miss Oliver Willis’ very cool post on Little Green Cesspools, which the GOP is adopting as its own. The fact that Willis’ post mentions Peking Duck is proof that he’s a superlative blogger. (Which, in all seriousness, he is. Of course, Charles Johnson has a post up already in which his vassals flay Willis alive.)

July 15, 2005 @ 6:28 pm | Comment

I can see a Chinese nuclear attack. Missile launched…………goes over a small hill……lands on poor village……… 1,000,000 dead ……….massive coverup. Blame put squarely on Japanese. Chinese populace hates Japanese even more.

July 15, 2005 @ 6:30 pm | Comment

Damn those Japanese.

July 15, 2005 @ 6:50 pm | Comment

HA HA HA! At least on their manned space flight they managed to get the astronaut back “INSIDE” the spacecraft.

July 15, 2005 @ 6:56 pm | Comment

Winning — it’s the American way:

A T-ball coach allegedly paid one of his players $25 to hurt an 8-year-old mentally disabled teammate so he wouldn’t have to put the boy in the game, police said Friday.

Mark R. Downs Jr., 27, of Dunbar, is accused of offering one of his players the money to hit the boy in the head with a baseball, police said. Witnesses told police Downs didn’t want the boy to play in the game because of his disability.

Police said the boy was hit in the head and in the groin with a baseball just before a game, and didn’t play, police said.

“The coach was very competitive,” state police Trooper Thomas B. Broadwater said. “He wanted to win.”

Karl Rove will be hiring him later tonight.

July 15, 2005 @ 6:57 pm | Comment

Yeah, I LOVE that story. America the BEAUTIFUL.

July 15, 2005 @ 7:00 pm | Comment

Yes shockeye, they are light years ahead of us when it comes to manned space flight, no doubt about it.

July 15, 2005 @ 7:00 pm | Comment

Shockeye ,They actually staged that space flight. It was done in a Hong Kong studio.They were gonna have Chow Yun Fat be the Ricetronaught but they figured even the mainlanders wouldn’t believe that.They are gettin more and more sophisticated.

July 15, 2005 @ 7:03 pm | Comment

Richard, since I am in China, I fear that I will not be able to respond to many comments in quick fashion if posted late my time.

I was rather confused by your “ad hominem” comment from a previous thread, so I reread my comment. Ah, I said to myself. The left liberal intellectual comment has an antecedent, but it is not Richard, it is Pol Pot. Pol Pot was a left liberal intellectual. I do not know if you are an intellectual or not. The domino theory about the whole world collapsing was just a silly expansion of the core theory, which was that all of Indochina was collapse, along with perhaps Thailand. Thailand did not, but the rest did.

July 15, 2005 @ 7:34 pm | Comment

Okay JFS, thanks for clarifying. Oh, and yes, I am indeed an intellectual. Clinical tests prove it.

July 15, 2005 @ 7:40 pm | Comment

Clinical tests have also been proven to be the source of AIDS in rats. ๐Ÿ˜›

July 15, 2005 @ 7:54 pm | Comment


Did you catch my question yesterday about the Meta code on your blog for blockquotes?

July 15, 2005 @ 7:57 pm | Comment

Ahhh..Please disregard that last comment. I just spied your reply on the other thread.

I’m not sure what the admin console looks like on your blogging platform, but I imagine there should be a section for editing your Meta Data. It’s somewhat different than HTML and it isn’t something that’s viewable or accessable to others.

Unfortunately I’m not a coding guru either. I just know enough to get by.

If you can find something in your blogging platform for editing Meta Data, just copy and paste it to me in an email and I can sift through it to find the blockquoting tags that I’m looking for. (if you don’t mind of course).

Thanks Richard!

July 15, 2005 @ 8:12 pm | Comment

Another sloooow Saturday. It seems things just shut down on the weekends.

July 15, 2005 @ 9:12 pm | Comment

Richard= Pol Pot I’m lovin’ it!

July 15, 2005 @ 9:15 pm | Comment

Yeah, it’s always busy in China on the weekends. Saturdays are the weekly Free Tibet rally’s and Sundays are of course Churchin’ day.Then throw in the odd softball game and picnic and the weekend’s over. Time really does fly when you’re havin’ fun. I love it here.It makes me feel so alive. Like anythings possible. “I’m the king of the World!”

July 15, 2005 @ 9:20 pm | Comment

Dont EVER compare me to that pigshit Rove! I wont say it again. Capice?

July 15, 2005 @ 9:30 pm | Comment

“Pol Pot was a left-liberal intellectual”?!!

You have GOT to be effin’ kidding. Look up “liberal” in a dictionary and tell me how Pol Pot fits the definition.

July 15, 2005 @ 9:54 pm | Comment

Lisa, are you two sheets to the wind……. AGAIN? Climb out of that bottle girl!

July 15, 2005 @ 9:58 pm | Comment

Pol pot liked to eat Liberal amounts of other people.There.Satisfied?

July 15, 2005 @ 10:01 pm | Comment

Hahaha, you’re surpassing even your usual high standard today AM.

July 15, 2005 @ 10:37 pm | Comment

Other Lisa, I am a liberal in the classical sense of the term. During the latter part of the 19th century the progressive movement took over the title of liberal. Progressives want the state to intervene in the affairs of its citizens. The left liberal moverment, meaning the left progressive movement, was spearheaded by marxism. The right liberal movement, meaning the right progressive movement, was spearheaded by fascism. Pol Pot was in the Marxist mode of liberalism. Classical liberals just want the state to leave its citizens alone, politically and economically.

July 16, 2005 @ 12:26 am | Comment

KLS writes:
“I see that we’re also told on this thread, courtesy of Martyn, that every single chinese person is a nationalist, hate-filled lunatic.”

KLS, c’mon man, what was that post all about towards the end of the 196 thread? You’re not suggesting that I or anyone else would say the every single mainland Chinese is a hate-filled lunatic, are you? Why so literally?

I was just making the point to bingfeng that China has more than its fairshare of Chinese Ishiharas. People in glass houses and that…

I could have gone on to say that, Tokyo governer or not, Ishihara’s politics are on the extreme fringe of Japanese politics but a lot of Chinese ultra-nationalists are very much in the mainstream of China opinion.

However, I didn’t say that as I simply wanted to make a quick quip to bingfeng which all, apart from you, seemed to recognise.

July 16, 2005 @ 12:43 am | Comment

Re Imagethief’s post yesterday re China nuking America I found a Taipei Times article reporting the response our friend US Representative Tom Tancredo (R): (Taipei Times)
“In a letter sent to Chinese ambassador to the US Zhou Wenzhong Republican Representative Tom Tancredo slammed Major General Zhu Chenghu for making the comments and demanded an immediate apology from the Chinese government.

“For a senior government official to exhibit such tremendous stupidity by making such a brazen threat is hardly characteristic of a modern nation,” Tancredo said in the letter, released yesterday.

“The US decision to recognize Communist China in 1979 was predicated on the commitment of your [Zhou’s] country to resolve its differences with Taiwan peacefully,” Tancredo wrote.

“If China continues to walk down this destructive path, I believe that the US may be forced to revisit the decision to establish diplomatic ties with your country in the first place,” the letter said.

“This serves no purpose other than pissing off Congress,” a US government source told the Taipei Times yesterday.

“I don’t think comments like this do anything to deter the United States from its legal and moral obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act to assist Taiwan in defending itself,” he said.”
The article also gives us the two countries nuclear capabilities:
China’s force of nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles is currently “less than 20 CSS-4s [also called the Dong Feng-5],” the official said.

CSS-4s are silo-based missiles, and have a range of up to an estimated 12,000km.

According to statistics supplied by the Federation of American Scientists, the US maintains an active deterrent force — ready to be launched within 15 minutes — of more than 2,000 nuclear weapons, the vast bulk of which are deployed on missile submarines and are capable of striking targets anywhere in the world.

A nuclear attack on the US or its forces would require “full response in kind, with the end focus being on regime change,” the former Pentagon official said.

“If China nuked the US, it would mean the end of the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.

July 16, 2005 @ 12:57 am | Comment

Haha, today’s Editorial in the Taipei Times has described General Zhou’s comments as “Undiplomatic willy-waving by a soldier out to impress”.

However, it also warns that:

“It is a standard tactic in China to have someone make a statement about some controversial policy in a way that it remains plausibly deniable for the government yet gets the information into the public domain.”

July 16, 2005 @ 1:03 am | Comment

JFS – if you want to call Pol Pot a “leftist radical,” go ahead. But to label him a “liberal” of any stripe, or a “progressive” for that matter, defies any real definition of either term.

July 16, 2005 @ 1:20 am | Comment

Hey, Lisa, don’t you want to join in with our “Tom Clancy-esque minutae detailed comparative military analysis” and talk about the range and capabilites of diesel subs and Aegis anti-missile vessels etc?

I know you love all that stuff! Haha.

July 16, 2005 @ 1:33 am | Comment

Martyn, I work in the film industry. We blow things up real good!

July 16, 2005 @ 1:58 am | Comment

Other Lisa, I am not quite sure why it defies any real definition. Pol Pot was attempting to establish a utopian socialist paradise. Socialism is usually described as left liberal in the tradition of Fourier. His purpose in eliminating all those people was to rid the new society of all corrupting capitalist influences. His purpose had logic, but it did have not have an ethical or moral basis. I am puzzled, though, how would you catoregorize Pol Pot, as a right wing capitalist?

July 16, 2005 @ 2:22 am | Comment

I am not acquainted about much of the flap of the governor of Tokyo, but I was watching NHK here in China a few days ago and saw that he had angered the French. He said that French was not an international language and did should not be used in international meetings. Actually, I think he is right in that matter.

July 16, 2005 @ 2:24 am | Comment

I am puzzled by the General’s remarks. I cannot imagine the government secretly sponsoring this, all it would do is play into the military wing of the American political structure (both Democrats and Republicans) and support a pro-Taiwan wing in the United States. I wonder if he was just on the sauce too much that day, or if it is similar to pre-war Japan with a bunch of loose cannons in the military attempting to modify government policy.

July 16, 2005 @ 2:29 am | Comment

I’d like to think so JFS but I just can’t imagine a senior PLA General making that big of a faux pas in front of foreign journalists. Obvoiusly if he did, then we’d probably not hear about it anyway but I can’t help but think that the comment was scipted and/or planned to at least some degree. Why? We can only but guess.

July 16, 2005 @ 2:35 am | Comment

Liberal: “1. tolerant of different views and standards of behavior in others, 2. Favoring gradual reform, especially political reforms that extend democracy, distribute wealth more evenly, and protect the personal freedom of the individual…

N. Somebody who favors tolerance or reform.”

Pol Pot was not a liberal.

And I never suggested that he should be referred to as a “right wing capitalist.” I prefer to call him a “genocidal maniac,” but maybe that’s just me.

July 16, 2005 @ 2:40 am | Comment

You mean a “LIBERAL genocidal maniac.”

July 16, 2005 @ 3:29 am | Comment

richard, on the previous open thread you told me if I was alarmed by some of the comments people write on the Peking Duck I should find another blog to read and so I shall. I’m sure I shall return to skim through now and again because in many ways this peking duck of yours is an excellent site, you present much information, impeccably attributed to the relevant sites and blogs, and you have some knowledgeable people commenting too.

but … (!) you say this is not an anti-Chinese site, just anti-Chinese government. you say you want the best for the chinese people.
but so many of the comments people post about chinese *people* are strikingly ungenerous, uncharitable, and hard-hearted, so I find this hard to believe. the sweeping pejorative generalisations that now often crop up can be ugly.
and it can be scary to see almost an entire consensus of commenters turn on a Chinese commenter who dissents from the majority-view, even if only slightly or to add a little qualification. it’s rather like a school of piranhas shifting direction midstream and starting shredding.
in a less pronounced form this also happens to anyone who challenges the consensus.

I’m sure this really is of benefit to some chinese people who want to find out more about the criticisms from the west about their country, and to find out information that their government seeks to withhold.

it also must be nice for westerners living in china who seem to despise most chinese people to have a place like this where they can vent spleen.

and for the ‘none of the above’, valuable and interesting too.

but I find the increasing number of nasty and spiteful comments about one race of people increasingly hard to digest and shall spend the next few days weaning myself of my daily diet of duck, and will miss chatting with you and the likes of Martyn especially.
but thankyou for the welcome when I first turned up and I shall follow your advice and spend more time reading sites which, thanks to the attributions on your blog, I have since begun visiting.

July 16, 2005 @ 3:33 am | Comment

KLS, although my first reaction is to disagree that people here are like a school of piranhas attacking any dissenting views, I do respect your opinion and shall continue to read this site with your comments firmly implanted in the back of my mind because the situation you percieve here is somewhat ugly to say the least.

Although I don’t necessarily agree with you does make your comments/observations incorrect. I will not dismiss what you say before first considering it.

I enjoy your comments here because they dissent so much from my own views and usually force me away from my own comfortable and entrenched opinions to incorporate a completely new angle. A good example would be standing back and looking a the big picture when discussing China. You might not have noticed but I have actually incorporated this into more than a few of my recent comments. Hopefully I can move further towards understanding the Chinese puzzle becasue of it. For this I give you my thanks.

I can’t speak on behalf of Richard but my impression of what he said yesterday was based upon him feeling genuinely troubled by your being alarmed at the comments here. Not anything to do with your views.

I think that as long as we avoid ad hominens and stick to disagreeing with commenter’s views, then anything goes here. Therefore, I would personally ask you to re-consider your decision to leave this site or even cut down the time you spend here.

After all, if even a fraction of what you say is true (and, again, I’ll need more time to further consider what you say about this) about TPD throwing up a comfortable consensus of opinions, then the fact is that we need people like you EVEN MORE. Hence this personal appeal.


July 16, 2005 @ 4:10 am | Comment

Other Lisa, the definitions you gave are in reference to adjective liberal, etc. The usage that I reference is rather common, and that is a part of a political-economic classification system, something akin to “the liberal wing of the democractic party”, or the “liberal wing of the Republican party”. It is quite common to refer to Socialists as Liberals. That he was a genocidal maniac is true, no doubt; a mass killer, no doubt. But those categories do not restrict him from also being a liberal (or a conservative or anything else). It may come as a shock to many, but Liberals, just as anyone else, can do harmful and perverse things to their fellow man (of course, that has been the case for over a century now).

July 16, 2005 @ 4:53 am | Comment

Martyn, I agree, and it is rather puzzling. But then, there are many factions in the government. I know nothing about general himself. Do you have any info on him? During the ’89 incident, there was a major rift in the military, military factionalism is something one should not overlook in these political situations.

July 16, 2005 @ 4:57 am | Comment

Funny to see how you can twist the meaning of words. Pol Pot was a progressive liberal. And Mao perahps also. And Hitler was a rightist liberal. Wow, these are realy new insights into the history of the liberal movement. And it goes further. The only program of a true liberal is that he “just wants the state to leave its citizens alone, politically and economically.”. What substance.

Here are two quotes of my favorite liberal, Karl Popper, which give a little more insights in what I would define as liberal:

“We all remember how many religious wars were fought for a religion of love and gentleness; how many bodies were burned alive with the genuinely kind intention of saving souls from the eternal fire of hell”

“Philosophers should consider the fact that the greatest happiness principle can easily be made an excuse for a benevolent dictatorship. We should replace it by a more modest and more realistic principle / the principle that the fight against avoidable misery should be a recognized aim of public policy, while the increase of happiness should be left, in the main, to private initiative.”

On the beloved Domino-theorie:
Yes not only Vietnam became socialist, but also Cambodia and Laos and Burma. But, a major contribution to Pol Pots rise was the bombing of Cambodia by the american military. So the US whent to SEA to fight communism and unwillingly helpt Pol Pot.

July 16, 2005 @ 5:10 am | Comment

John Lukacs gives a good history of the word “liberal” and how its meaning has become distorted, in his most recent book “Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred”
Until recently, “liberal” did not mean what most Americans take it to mean now. Originally it simply meant
“magnanimous and open minded, tolerant”

July 16, 2005 @ 5:13 am | Comment

I just read the FT article. I would think this is a internal political move, although it may have some backing from the central government. It did not even make much sense, they were prepared to lose all their cities East of Xian; what does that mean, they are planning on hunkering down in Qinghai and using that as their industrial base to carry on the invasion of Taiwan? Military planners would not even use that to prepare any scenarios, nothing to use. All it is good for is political claptrap to initiate political moves.

July 16, 2005 @ 5:16 am | Comment

Nice and simple.

It’s interesting how the meaning of the word liberal seems has been redefined in the US. Liberal seems to have become an insult. The longer I follow the debates in America I have the impression that there is a cultural war fought with a vehemnce that reminds me of the time in the 60es and 70es here in Germany.

July 16, 2005 @ 5:32 am | Comment

JFS writes: (re General Zhou’s comments about nuking the US)

“All it is good for is political claptrap to initiate political moves.”

That’s how I’m seeing it as well. Still, your comment about the factions within the Chinese political-military elite is well made and certainly worth considering.

I stand to be corrected here, but I’ve long had the impression that the PLA has been somewhat overlooked by the political leadership since the Jiang Zemin era. Jiang himself is thought to be more hawkish than Hu/Wen towards Taiwan and I think that Hu has not yet had enough time to put his cronies into positions of power within the PLA.

One of the commenters here called Dylan knows about this stuff. I wish he were here to give his opinion.

July 16, 2005 @ 5:48 am | Comment

Oh yes, re General Zhou’s comments about the entire eastern seaboard of China from Xian outwards being “expendable”, I wonder what the hundreds of millions of people who live there have to say about that.

I certainly wouldn’t want to be cannon fodder in some mad lunatics ambitious military plan, no matter if I were Chinese or British. I can’t see many people east of Xian feeling any different either.

July 16, 2005 @ 5:53 am | Comment

It doesn’t seem that the Chinese leaders really care all that much for the people.Or maybe I’m just being cynical.

July 16, 2005 @ 5:56 am | Comment

You? Cynical? NEVER!

July 16, 2005 @ 5:57 am | Comment

Yeah, My therapist says it’s something I need to work on.

July 16, 2005 @ 6:02 am | Comment

Shulan, the problem with the term liberal is that it was used as a political lable, especially for those who wish to have the state intervene in the affairs of its citizens. Well, the progressive movement usurped the lable for themselves, to emphasize that they were magnanimous. Fourier, although probably mad, wanted to make everyone happy, free everyone. Pol Pot, Mao, Trosky, all of those fellow are just the offspring of the first interventionists, a logical extension of interventionism. From the economic standpoint, Menger is the liberal, Von Mises is the liberal. But the progressives do not want to think they are liberals, because they did not want to seize some one’s property and redistribute it to their cronies. Modern Liberalism is progressivism. The purpose is to interfer within the affairs of its people so that the people will benefit in its public life. The problem is always going to be is how much interference is usefull. Considerable interference is within the economic affairs, and the interference is suppose to correct a perceived evil and result in a certain good. Very seldom is the result achieved, so further interference is required, and so. For Cambodia, Pol Pot did not look up in the sky and say, American bombs are bad and then killed a third of his people. This was a propared agenda. It was the careful preparation and analysis of his society and the application of careful Marxist thought as he understood it. He was going to establish a state where good was going to be shared by all, he needed to destroy the corrupt elements of that state that was in existence.

In the 1930s in Germany, Socialism was identified as Liberal, it was so identified in the United States in the same period. In the 1960s and 1970s, Socialism was identified as as Liberal. I believe it was a book written by McKribben, an environmentalist book. The title I forget. Here is a modern Liberal of the environmental persuasion. I believe he wrote that he is hoping that a virus will come along and wipe out maybe a billion people. I do not know if HiV meets his approval or not, but Liberalism does not mean that they who preach it do not necessarilly want to hurt other human beings.

July 16, 2005 @ 6:30 am | Comment

Yes and a few more points:
Until the 1950s, most Americans defined themselves as “liberals”, or at least avoided the term “conservative” – and this included most Republicans, before the Republican Party mutated into a party of vulgar nationalists.
On the other hand, what Americans now call “conservative” is actually something very new. Many of the symbols which America’s (new) “conservatives” posit as “traditional”, are very recent inventions which are antipathetic to the ideas and culture of the America’s Founders. Two examples:
1. The “Pledge of Allegiance” (recited by American schoolchildren, note for you non-Americans here) was created in 1892 (actually by a “progressive” American of that time) as a means of inculcating Nationalism into children of recently arrived immigrants. That was the time when most of America’s immigrants were coming from non-Anglophone countries, from Eastern and Southern Europe, and there was a fear about whether they would assimilate.
Most of America’s founders (and the earlier, Anglophone settlers of America) would have been horrified by the idea of their children “pledging allegiance” – because it would have called their allegiance into question. A “pledge of allegiance” was invented for people whose national allegiances were in question. And now, paradoxically, MOST Americans who call themselves “conservatives” are descended from those later immigrants from after 1870 or so – they are mostly descended from people whose “national loyalty” was in question – in CONTRAST to “Liberals” like John Kerry whose ancestors arrived from England in the 1600s.
So, a lot of today’s American Nationalism (or “conservativism”) goes back to a heritage of immigrants trying to prove that they were more American than the Anglo-American “elites”.
During the McCarthy witch-hunts, many of the suspected “Communists” or “UnAmericans” who were purged, had English surnames and roots in Colonial America – whereas McCarthy and most of his allies were of more recent immigrant stock. A lot of the “conservative” rhetoric about “liberal ELITES” goes back to this, and there is a lot of old envy and resentment behind it, going back for generations.
2. This one is my favorite: the phrase “In God We Trust” did not appear on any American coins until 1864, when it appeared on the new Two Cent Piece. This was well into the Civil War, when an apocalyptic sense of doom had set into the nation, and some in Congress said we should invoke the name of God even on our money – BUT, MANY Americans were outraged by this.
The idea of putting God’s name on money, seemed like blasphemy (kind of like when Jesus cleared the moneychangers in the Temple)
And then that Two Cent Piece was taken out of circulation within ten years or so. It was very unpopular.
So, “In God We Trust” did NOT appear on ALL US money until recently, in the 1950s. (Look for it on any dollar note issued before the 1950s, and you will not find it)
Again, the Founding Fathers, INCLUDING the devout “Christians” among them, would have been horrified by the idea of putting God’s name on money. There is nothing “conservative” about it.

July 16, 2005 @ 6:38 am | Comment

“Those who control the adjectives win” or “Labels are a poor substitute for thought” Please give it a rest.

July 16, 2005 @ 6:43 am | Comment

I wonder if General Zhou is related to General Tso.

He’s mentioned in all the Chinese restaurants in the States..must be a pretty big guy…

July 16, 2005 @ 6:53 am | Comment

“Substituting labels for thought” (or as I often say, “substituting definitions for thought” is not the same as looking at the history of those definitions. Actually it’s quite the opposite.

July 16, 2005 @ 6:54 am | Comment

General Tso was a commander during the Qing dynasty. He seemed to have liked spicy chicken.He was also reputedly a really nasty dude.

July 16, 2005 @ 6:58 am | Comment

Ivan, It wasn’t you baby!

July 16, 2005 @ 6:59 am | Comment

P.S. You are absolutely correct.

July 16, 2005 @ 7:00 am | Comment

Now who was this Beef Wellington guy?

July 16, 2005 @ 7:04 am | Comment

Thanks man, but whenever someone tells me I’m “ABSOLUTELY” correct, it makes me fear that I’ve mutated into a CCP cadre. ๐Ÿ™‚
By the way I think the name “Tso” is a variant pronunciation of the name “Cao” depending on what province you’re in.

July 16, 2005 @ 7:05 am | Comment

That would make a good porn name.”Beef Wellington stars in Pork Fist 2″ I’d rent it.

July 16, 2005 @ 7:06 am | Comment

Ok, You’re Somewhat correct.Thats the best I can do.The general has many variations on his name.

July 16, 2005 @ 7:08 am | Comment

It’s pronounced like “SEW”

July 16, 2005 @ 7:13 am | Comment

Chinese food in America is so much more authentic. They don’t even have eggrolls here! WTF. I guess they just export ALL the good stuff.

July 16, 2005 @ 7:15 am | Comment

It’s an export-driven economy. Do you need the figures?

July 16, 2005 @ 7:17 am | Comment

“Now we go to our stats man……Martyn”

July 16, 2005 @ 7:19 am | Comment


July 16, 2005 @ 7:21 am | Comment

It’s pronounced like “sew?” Now I have a song going through my head (to a 1930s melody):
“I’m Just A Little Tso-And-Tso”
Imagining Renee Zellweger singing it now (before she got fat)

July 16, 2005 @ 7:38 am | Comment

Renee is a classy piece of tail .Don’t disparage my lil’ rose of Texas.

July 16, 2005 @ 7:41 am | Comment

I would never disparage her. To me, she is like Beatrice (cf Dante) and when I reach the top of Purgatory I want to see Renee dancing like she did in “Chicago”
That is, after I get through all of the OTHER American girls, as I go through Hell and Purgatory…………

July 16, 2005 @ 7:46 am | Comment

You draw a line form social securence politics like Bismarck established them (first interventionists) to the crude theorie of Marxism. Which is from my point of view not valid.
The idea of a state is that it protects it’s citicens from the harm other fellow citicens could do to them, the idea behind it is that mankind is not good by nature but that man is man’s wolf (HOMO HOMINI LUPUS, Thomas Hobbes).

This does not only apply to mere violence like murdering someone from my point of view, but to all powers an individual can have over others, be it political or economical.
If you give power to a human beeing then the danger is likely that he or she will misuse it. So you have to set up ruels to prevent this.
You are right that if humans start to make plans there are allways inintended results. A plan like marxism is inevitably doomed to faile because the unintended results become bigger and more dangerous the bigger the plan is.
Here we are with Karl Popper again. What he means with the statement “we should replace it by a more modest and more realistic principle / the principle that the fight against avoidable misery should be a recognized aim of public policy, while the increase of happiness should be left, in the main, to private initiative.”

The state has the duty to protect it’s citicens from the avoideble misery and for that he suggets to trie small scale reforms so the inavitable sideeffects can be recognised and corrected by sientific research. This is what he calls social enginering. The emphasis here lies on avoidable. If there is misery but the only way to fight it is a plan which could cause to many incalculable sideeffects (I think the modern word for it is collateral damage) the misery is not avoidable because you are rsiking more misery.
Interventionism is not bad by itself. In fact every state does it, it is the nature of a state to do so. To cut some liberties, like murdering someone, to prevent others harm i.e., or to prevent monopolies.

One thing on the 1930s Germany. Socialism and Liberalism where two political fractions and not one. I don’t know how it was in the states, but Liberals had nothing to do with the marxist
Something I am reluctant to say that about todays economical Neoliberalism. Sometimes I have the feeling the same historizism those Marxists preached about the historical law of the classstruggles in human history and the end of them in a classless society is preached by their counterparts in a different form: Just replace classless society with the absolute free market. The wonderfull effects of a total free market (the historical aim and end of history) that by some miraculous powers cure everything, from poverty to athlete’s foot and hair loss. My answer to that is HOMO HOMINI LUPUS. Absolute freedom means the law of the jungle.

July 16, 2005 @ 7:52 am | Comment

If you can’t find General Tso, perhaps you can try Combo #5

July 16, 2005 @ 7:57 am | Comment

Ah, Ivan, it is even more complex that that. During Jackson’s term as President, any currency was good in the USA, as a matter of fact, they did away with the central bank, the system worked pretty good then. The progressives brought colonial imperialism to America (T. Roosevelt). Back in the 1880s, when Korea found themselves in a hardspot between China and Japan, they attempted to get an American to help them by becoming an American colony (this is no joke), but fortunately for America, Grover Cleveland was the President, not interested in overseas colonies. By the time T. Roosevelt was President, we had the Phillipines (by Teddy himself) and he made a gentleman’s agreement with Japan, we would not bother their colonies if they would not bother our colonies. Actually, the Democratic party was making ground on the Republicans and was about to take over the presidency, but two things happened. Mark Hanna convinced the Republicans to go to the Gold Standard (from Grover Cleveland) and start talking about non involvment of government in business (A Democractic platform). The Democrats were taken over by Bryan, who wanted the government to buy silver (from the silver interests) and do other perverse economic things. The Republicans won, the Democrats lost. But the Republicans were taken over by the progressives, and we got imperial. The Democrats finally went progressive and imperial, and that leads upto the modern period. As a matter of fact, modern public education is a progressive institution, it came about to indoctinate all those non protestant kids about being protestants (yes, progressives thought all those Catholics needed to be re-educated and social engineered into a proper American mode). Today we just have a different faction that wants to social engineer our young people. Progressives thought that all our social problems were going to be solved by the State. So, all that happens is one fad after another is instituted as the social solution that the State needs to do.

July 16, 2005 @ 7:59 am | Comment

Gordon, What exactly is included in the combo #5 platter? Does it come with soup? or is that extra?

July 16, 2005 @ 8:02 am | Comment

1. I agree entirely with your last paragraph, about how todays NeoCons (especially in America) share the same essential ideas as the Marxists – and principal among these is the idea of economic determinism. (This is obscured by the NeoCons’ frequent appeals to “religion” – actually their “Christianity” is a pornographic perversion of the teachings of Christ, mixed with the same kind of Darwinism which Marx and Hitler believed in.)
2. Hitler believed in the law of the jungle, and so did Darwin, AND Marx, AND America’s NeoConservatives.
3. A gloss on the foregoing, Marx was profoundly influenced by Darwin.
Actually I think Marx was not entirely nihilistic – I think in some ways he had good intentions mixed with his deeper nihilism (thus his enduring appeal) – but his essential teachings were Darwinist and determinist, ie, nihilist and anti-Human (that is, anti-Human if you acknowledge any kind of Human free will, or transcendent Human dignity beyond economics…)
4. Evidently you’re German, so I assume you will understand what I mean when I say, Hitler was a Revolutionary (as he said of himself), AND Hitler was a “Socialist”. A National Socialist. His ingenius innovation was to mix nationalism with socialism….
5….just like most American “conservatives” do today.
Today’s American “conservatives” are Darwinians, and materialists, and determinists, and National-Socialists.
(The American NeoCons ARE “socialists”, but just like the Communists of Russia and China, their “socialism” principally benefits the rich and powerful……..)

July 16, 2005 @ 8:05 am | Comment

AM, it comes with the works. Click the link.

July 16, 2005 @ 8:07 am | Comment

I like the pu-pu platter. Why you ask?Well , it is an assortment of appetizers. This allows the diner to sample and enjoy a variety of scrumptuous delights at a fraction of the cost of ala carte.Oftentimes the platter will include: Fried shrimp, pork ribs, eggrolls and spicy Sichuan chicken wings etc….If your mouth is watering, you are not alone.Doe’s the # 5 combo include any of these options?

July 16, 2005 @ 8:08 am | Comment

Gordon,That was one of THE most racist cartoons I have ever witnessed.Worse still,I t wasn’t accurately racist.Not a ONE of the Chefs was picking his nose or spitting on the floor.If your gonna do racism do it well.

July 16, 2005 @ 8:15 am | Comment

On Pol Pot: I didn’t say that the bombs where the cause for Pol Pot to become a Marxist, but that a lot of poeple were driven into the arms of his party because the chaos produced by these bombings destabilesed the whole country by destroing the material basis of many peoples lives.
This is what is meant with sideeffects above, that are hard or impossible to calculate.

I can’t resist to close this with a remark by Winston Churchill how said that wars aren’t won, but only lost – that in reality wars are contets of incompetence.

July 16, 2005 @ 8:17 am | Comment

I’m a retro post moderne German pacifist racist vegatarian homo boho boring blogging….

July 16, 2005 @ 8:18 am | Comment

sorry for the bad spelling

July 16, 2005 @ 8:21 am | Comment

I’m gonna go and look at my asshole in the mirror and think of MAJ. G’night

July 16, 2005 @ 8:22 am | Comment

“Sometimes ya gotta jerk off the dog to feed the cat”

July 16, 2005 @ 8:25 am | Comment

Richard, can you please kill the dots on AM’s 8:18am? Thanks.

July 16, 2005 @ 8:49 am | Comment

I think it’s not so easy to say that Hitler was a socialist. There was a socialist fraction in the NSDAP. But that was silenced very quickly in 1934 with the smashing of the so called “Rรถhm-Putsch”.
Rรถhm for example wanted an entire disappropriation of private enterprises what Hitler and the others in the regime refused to do.
Wikipedia has something on that here:

July 16, 2005 @ 8:50 am | Comment

Yes I see your point, and yes it is NOT easy to call Hitler a “Socialist”, but I think part of the complication is due to how Hitler blended socialism with nationalism.
Of course Hitler was not a Marxist at all (and that is one reason why he was so successful for so long), but he DID mix nationalism with socialism, in the sense of bringing the entire economy under ultimate control of a Nationalist Party.
I assume you know, that Hitler once said (and pardon me for not remembering the original words in German):
“I will not nationalise the economy, I will nationalise the PEOPLE!”
Thus, he WAS a “National Socialist”, although it is true to say, that he was PRINCIPALLY a nationalist.
(Which is not the same thing as a patriot. George Orwell made a good distinction between Nationalism and Patriotism – Orwell said, Patriotism is based on LOVE, and it is not exclusive, but Nationalism is based on HATRED of others.)
Hitler said, “I am a nationalist, NOT a patriot”. Hitler did NOT love his country as a patriot does – he did not love anything or anyone – he was a Nationalist, and Nationalism is based on hatred of others. And this is true of American Nationalism today, most American “conservatives” are NOT patriots, they are nationalists – most American “conservatives” do not love their land or their heritage, rather they hate others….

July 16, 2005 @ 9:05 am | Comment

2-3 minutes ago I heard the music to the late night ATV World (HK) television news bulletin, so I walked into the living room to watch it. Needn’t have bothered, it’s only showing adverts i.e. it has been censored. What on earth is so controversial that the entire late night news, albeit 5 minutes is totally censored?

July 16, 2005 @ 9:27 am | Comment


Please do the world a favor – put down the small animals and find a woman.

July 16, 2005 @ 9:37 am | Comment

My girlfriend just told me why the HK news was censored, how embarrassing! The KMT leadership election was held today in the (soon to be) Republic of Taiwan!

Can’t let the mainlanders see a real one-man-one-vote party leader election, oh no no no. What is the world coming to?

July 16, 2005 @ 9:51 am | Comment

Ma Yingjiu just beat Wang Jingping in the KMT election with 72% of the vote.


July 16, 2005 @ 10:02 am | Comment

While I support Taiwan, the government there is just as corrupt as China.

July 16, 2005 @ 10:04 am | Comment

Martyn, why the “bugger”? I don’t know anything about this race or the people in it. A little illucidation?

Berlin rocks by the way. More on my blog hopefully tomorrow.

July 16, 2005 @ 10:18 am | Comment

Gordon, with all respect, it isn’t. Once the KMT were elected out of power, all the KMT family companies nose-dived. Chen Shuibian isn’t perfect but he’s made fantastic progress in the short time he’s been in office.

If you want real dirty mafia-supporting corruption, then look at Taiwan 1948-late 1980’s. It isn’t the same country now.

Laowai, the “bugger” is only because Ma Yingjiu is by far the better candidate. Being a paid-up TSU member, I will repeat — “bugger”.

July 16, 2005 @ 10:24 am | Comment

TSU? They’re the other party? sorry, I’m really out of the loop on this one. Think I get your drift though. Ma is a better candidate for president and so the KMT might win now, and influence Taiwan’s position towards reunification, yes?

July 16, 2005 @ 10:29 am | Comment

Exactly. Sorry for not being more clear.

TSU = Taiwan Solidarity Union. They are/were an amalgamtion of the deep green/ethnic Taiwanese independence parties. Li Denghui is their spiritual leader. As green as you like.

If you haven’t been to Taiwan then you really should go. I tend to disregard any opinions I hear from people who haven’t been there. I know that is harsh and almost certainly wrong but my own personal opinions changed so much after working and living there.

July 16, 2005 @ 10:34 am | Comment

It’s something I’ve certainly thought about. I’ve got the funding for a year in China/Taiwan, and I was thinking of spending half of it in Beijing and half in Taibei. Still need to think about it a little more though.

July 16, 2005 @ 10:51 am | Comment


Check with ESWN.

July 16, 2005 @ 10:51 am | Comment

BTW, whether or not you have been to Tawian or not has nothing to do with it.

July 16, 2005 @ 10:52 am | Comment

Good morning everyone. Too bad I can’t be involved when most of the comments are coming in. I’ll just try to give a one-comment reply to things that caught my interest.

KLS, Martyn is correct, you misunderstood me. I was simply saying if you feel alarmed and disturbed and uncomfortable, I request you take care of yourself and not inflict it on yourself. Seriously. I know how you feel, but this thread is totally in keeping with those of every other blog with comments. If you go to Atrios, it’s full of criticisms against Bush and his cronies, sometimes very outspoken. That’s the theme of his blog. That isn’t racism against Americans, it’s people concerned their country is being managed the wrong way. A key theme of this blog is the incompetent, repressive government of China, which I see as doing lots of harm and little good. I believe virtually every comment here that you perceive, wrongly, to be “anti-China” is actually anti-Chinese government. Every one. Some of these comments are critical of the way the Chinese now do business, the corruption, the greed, the stealing. These all go back to the CCP. The same with the issues of critical thinking, which go back to the cultural revolutrion and the brain-death of the Chinese people imposed by Mao. There is no racism involved in these comments, and if I ever feel there is I will call it out. What’s made me happiest about this site is how many Chinese people have come on and said they agree. Even bingfeng and Jing and Steve agree with many of these points, as does Henry and Hailey and bellvue and an amazing number of young Chinese people who send me emails thanking me for telling the truth about the way China is. You often raise interesting and valid issues and your comments are appreciated. But I admit, one of the topics that bothers me is when people call this a “hate site,” which your comment above strongly implies. With literally tens of thousands of comments, I have only heard this from two commenters, you and the always truthful MAJ. I didn’t delete these remarks, I engaged them. But I do respectfully request that you now drop the issue sinceit’s been well discussed and I’d rather these comments not be used to attack my site. Criticize, disagree, engage, discuss. Wonderful.
But when you make an unfounded remark like, but … (!) you say this is not an anti-Chinese site, just anti-Chinese government. you say you want the best for the chinese people.
but so many of the comments people post about chinese *people* are strikingly ungenerous, uncharitable, and hard-hearted, so I find this hard to believe. the sweeping pejorative generalisations that now often crop up can be ugly.
I get offended. I am delighted if this site is hard-hearted and ungenerous toward the CCP – as long as it’s fair. If you go through my posts one by one, you’ll see the vast majority are about the oppression of China’s rural poor, the arrest of intellectuals, censorship, corruption – all things that serve to make the people’s lives miserable. To whom are we being ungenerous? Hardhearted? Toward the poor, maligned CCP? Anyway, thanks for expressing this, and now I ask you to move on. Thanks for respecting my request. And instead of blanket statements about how upset you are by racist comments, please paste the comment in question to back up your claim. Otherwise, it’s just baseless ranting. Thanks.

Shulan is quite right about the “Socialist” in National Socialist. Strasser was thrown out (and then murdered) because he wanted to stress the socialism at the expense of the nationalism. I just read a book about the rise of Nazi Germany that treats this issue in some depth and concludes the Socialist aspect of Hitler’s Germany is basically a myth.

The day “liberal” became a bad word can be traced to Ronald Reagan, when he gave a speech about something he didn’t like and derided it as, “Liberal, liberal, liberal!” As though he were uttering an obscenity. The word should now be banned as it has no meaning, it has been so corrupted. Liberalism is at the heart of Western democracy and has been the greatest civilizing force ever. The very idea of using the L word in the context of demagogues like Pol Pot and Mao and Castro is obscene.

More later…

July 16, 2005 @ 11:32 am | Comment

Gordon, I take it you haven’t been to Taiwan? Fine, don’t take offence. I say what I said because after living there for years, and talking to thousands of Taiwanese people, my pre and post Taiwan views differed very much.

ESWN is not the be-all and end-all of Greater China, even he would admit that. I never said or implied that Taiwan was not corrupt, I said that Chen Shuibian still has a lot of work to do after inheriting the corrupt filth that was KMT Taiwan.

I would say the same about China. When discussing China, how the hell can you take the views of someone who has never been here seriously?

July 16, 2005 @ 11:54 am | Comment

Just read an article on truthout.com about Rove’s commitment to our nation when he signed a nondisclosure agreement (standard for government employees in high level positions) on classified information. The agreement and an Executive Order seem clear to have Rove pinned to the wall with his own words. The fireworks will come soon.

I guess soon or later BushCo. has to pay the price for its mendaciousness. And Rove and Bush will pay. Without his Brain, Bush will look more foolish and immature than he has so far.

July 16, 2005 @ 12:17 pm | Comment

I certainly hope Rove steps down.

July 16, 2005 @ 12:24 pm | Comment

cheers for your comments martyn, I can’t say I’ve noticed the change in your posts but that’s just because I find them as informed and informative as always!

richard, I don’t mean to be a wiseguy, but you said just now to drop the issue, and then said you wanted quotes backing up what I said.
obviously the two are incompatible, and I’m guessing you’d rather I went with the former rather than the latter.
I will just point out I never said your site was racist … and move on.

July 16, 2005 @ 12:26 pm | Comment

Distinction: It is fine for you to call comments racists if you back that up with evidence. Please do so.

Drop the issue of attacking this site and saying how alarmed you are about it. Just a request.

July 16, 2005 @ 12:30 pm | Comment

Can someone give me a reason why Rove shouldn’t step down for his actions? What are people saying? Why hasn’t he stepped down already?

July 16, 2005 @ 12:34 pm | Comment

Comeo n guys, Rove isn’t stepping down. He may not be the focus of this investigation, but it’s now a matter of fact we were lied to when told he had absolutely nothing to do with this whole affair, and that whoever did leak information on Plame would be fired. But it’s just one in a never-ending stream of administration lies, and as long as there’s no outrage and as long as the media play softball it’ll continue. He should step down. He should be fired. He probably should be indicted, though that remains to be seen. But this is a new age of politics in America, where you can commit all sorts of crimes as long as you remain loyal to Bush. You can even be awarded the mdeal of honor, even if your loyalty resulted in death and destruction. It is the ugliest age of American politics in my lifetime, and probably ever.

July 16, 2005 @ 12:35 pm | Comment

KLS, we’re all sorts of different people here (although we two are both Brits of course) and it would be highly unlikely if we all “got on” all the time so to speak. However, the fact is that we all share a common interest—China—and that brings us together. Like I said, ad hominems aside, anything goes, so please keep commenting. That’s all I’ve got to say!

July 16, 2005 @ 12:36 pm | Comment

Yeah, but why isn’t the CIA calling for his head on a stick!? Christ, I would be if I were in the CIA.

KLS – I was thinking again of your preference for “colour” over something that might sound like “death” but I was thinking that Marx’s translated name has “si” over “se” and uses “think” as its “death” hominym. Anyway, you could use that…

“Can Use Think” is a pretty good name, in my opinion. Certainly better than Laowai, my own chinese name. Although I guess Laowai is easier to remember… ๐Ÿ™‚

July 16, 2005 @ 12:52 pm | Comment

In addition to what Laowai just said, “斯” (si1) is the neutral, er, “si” normally used when translating foreign names and places.

July 16, 2005 @ 12:58 pm | Comment

The CIA was the one that demanded the investigation, so they are definitely up in arms. But I think it’s smarter at this point not to call for anyone to step down, but to wait and see what the prosecutor has to say. I think we may be in for some fascinating twists and turns (for instance, Judy Miller may soon emerge as a key player in this scandal, a perpetrator and not an unwitting pawn). Everyone on the inside in DC knows Rove isn’t going anywhere unless he’s found with blood on his hands, and even then it’s not certain — don’t forget, in a large sense Rove is the president of the United States.

July 16, 2005 @ 1:01 pm | Comment

Wait, surely you don’t mean that Bush didn’t come up with all of this on his own! The man is clearly an intellectual genius. I’ve never met a man who could speak more eloquently.


July 16, 2005 @ 1:06 pm | Comment

I cover my face whenever bush open his pie hole. This is the emperor of the entire world? What have we done?.

July 16, 2005 @ 1:07 pm | Comment

Richard, Please refrain from calling OUR President’s mouth a “Pie hole” It’s disrespectful.If not I will be forced to go to China Daily.

July 16, 2005 @ 5:52 pm | Comment

I’ll keep your request on active file, AM, but no proimises.

Okay, all good threads must come to an end. Head north.

July 16, 2005 @ 7:12 pm | Comment

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