Was Obama’s China visit a failure? (No.)

James Fallows, for years just about my favorite commentator on China (and any other topic he writes about), debunks the absurdly negative spin the US media gave to Obama’s visit here. Applying the kind of diligence that reminds us how important the paid media is, Fallows provides a series of five separate posts, each of which is required reading for those who want to see the sloppiness of the US media in action, and to fully understand all the work the Obama team did to make the trip a successful one. And it was a success.

H/t to commenter Stuart, who sums up some of the best of Fallows’ observations on his own blog. The inside scoop of the hell the Obama team went through to get the townhall televised live is particularly intense, if not all that surprising. (We know how uptight the leaders are about content that cannot be fed through the censorship funnel, edited and, if necessary, deleted altogether. Live TV is kryptonite to prickly censors.) The townhall was a triumph, and it is beyond comprehension why the media is determined to brand it – and all other aspects of the trip – a failure.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 110 Comments

The only way one can decree Obama failed is to have had absurdly high expectations going in to his visit. I saw it as simply a “feeling out/getting to know you” visit and so had no real expectations at all. Nobody I know who knows China and/or diplomacy really expected anything more than that and Fallows is right to go after the media for this. This is just symptomatic of the media viewing its role as always being critical. I just don’t understand why the MSM has given President Obama a free pass on so much else and then goes after him so harshly on this.

November 23, 2009 @ 3:07 pm | Comment

Wholeheartedly agree, Dan. There are plenty of things to criticize Obama for, but this isn’t one of them.

November 23, 2009 @ 3:12 pm | Comment

I agree it was a courtesy visit. Still some gestures did go beyond what they supposed to go.

Did you see the umbrella “effect”?
http://tinyurl.com/ye88vpl
The Town hall meeting and a not so controlled internet (lately censored) question exchange are also included in that gestures.
The censorship applied to his declarations and the youth league plants on the University were counterproductive. The information, no matter how they try to control it, eventually filtered out.
Was it planned that way?

I am not quite sure, but there seem to be some sort of GO match among the different currents within the power sectors of the CCP. What we see in the outside (internet blocking, censorship, declarations,etc) is a reflection of that inner match.

About Obama. The problem is that he had, and still has, a sort of messianic aura. Some people expect messianic solutions from him. It may be a side effect of the Bush era. Too many expectations. That may be the real danger to his presidency.

About Stuart’s post I like the following comment
“While you’re there you get fairly predictable responses. Next time you go back and get a little different treatment.””
So they are still in a “batch processing” level. Like with old computers.
You go there with a bunch of punched cards, put inside the computer to process, and several hours, days or weeks later you come to pick up the results.
If you come too early, while the system is still churning through the punched cards, you get the same canned response from the…. “system administrators”
It seems they have still to make the jump to “interactive processing” level. Maybe they should get some recent computer science majors in the upper levels of government….

November 23, 2009 @ 3:54 pm | Comment

Thanks for the smart comment, Eco. Obama’s aura could ultimately do him in – expectations are way too high and he may have little choice but to appear as a failure in the light of what people wanted and expected him to be. America at the moment is so FUBAR, no man or woman could possibly turn things around in just a couple of years.

November 23, 2009 @ 4:51 pm | Comment

I’m a big Obama fan. He doesn’t have all the answers; and he’s not above making mistakes. But he’s smarter and more genuine than anyone we’ve seen in his role for a while, which is just as well given America’s predicament. He really wants to build a more cooperative relationship with China and is clearly thinking longer term – and he’s also comfortable recognising the power shift from west to east.

It’s gratifying that Fallows has taken issue with a bitchy media who are spinning Obama’s Asian tour as either abject failure or spineless deference. I look forward to tomorrow’s offering from JF’s White House contact.

November 23, 2009 @ 6:25 pm | Comment

Obama is his own worst enemy. Anyone remember ‘Yes, we can’? ‘Change’? Now tell me what has changed? Remember his indignation over the AIG bonuses? Well, Wall Street is back to its old self again, and he’s still letting Tim Geithner and Larry Summers fiddle while Rome burns. It’s not about people having unrealistic expectations. It’s the feeling of: ‘Dear Mr. President, we voted for you so you can better the lives of we, the people. But dude, what are you waiting for?’ Somehow he reminds me of Al Gore – not in demeanor, but in the lack of guts to ‘damn the torpedoes’ and do what’s good for the people regardless of the political cost. After all, he made history by being the first African-American to become president. It’s time for him to show some ‘colors’.

November 23, 2009 @ 7:14 pm | Comment

There have been some major disappointments, but you can’t deny there has been change. Under Bush we were despised by other nations, by our own allies. Obama has turned that around. I agree, he has been far too driven by a need to compromise, and I am disappointed on several levels. But he is quite a change from what we had before, and I’m willing to give him another year before I reach any final conclusions. And as I said, he came into office under impossible circumstances. I kind of feel sorry for him, but then again, he wanted to be president….

November 23, 2009 @ 11:18 pm | Comment

Before Obama went to China, he set unrealistic expectations of what he can do there. Maybe Obama can talk to Hu about issues with trade deficit and the Yuan problem. There’s certainly little ground when Obama brings up issues with Iran or Afghanistan to China.

I agree that Obama’s trip is to go to China and as Dan says, “feeling out/getting to know you” Obama certainly didn’t convey that message before he went there. Obama is also postponing his troop surge announcement until after his Asia trip so maybe the Media is expecting that China will help them out. If Obama doesn’t expect much progress issues with the trade deficit, protectionism, Iran and Afghanistan, then he should’ve spelled them out before the visit.

November 23, 2009 @ 11:46 pm | Comment

Pug, what unrealistic expectation did Obama set? What did he say he would achieve that was unrealistic? I think you’re making stuff up again, but will give you the benefit of the doubt. What are you referring to?

November 23, 2009 @ 11:58 pm | Comment

I, too, am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and take a wait and see approach. However, if he continues to fall short on projecting an image of strong leadership and a force of change, people, especially the disenchanted grassroots, may turn to the likes of Palin come 2012. I shudder to think, but they gave George W a second term, did they not?

November 24, 2009 @ 12:58 am | Comment

@Richard,

Obama was looking toward China to push sanctions on Iran, but they couldn’t.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091120/ap_on_an/us_us_iran_analysis

Obama, China and Afghanistan:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7f2bf2d0-cf78-11de-b876-00144feabdc0.html

On North Korea, Trade, Yuan, and Dalai Lama

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=awV7NXOEiFaw&pos=8

November 24, 2009 @ 2:38 am | Comment

[...] at the Peking Duck writes that Mr. Fallows “debunks the absurdly negative spin the U.S. media gave to Obama’s visit [...]

November 24, 2009 @ 6:21 am | Pingback

Unfortunately for Obama, perceptions matter.

On “This Week with George Stephanopoulos”, the usually liberal Robert Reich said, “Obama did not have a strong hand going to China. I don’t know exactly what the trip was arranged to do, what the objective of the trip was. And I think one of the problems, George, is that he went there without any clear indication of objectives, came back without anything, and made himself open to the charge that we are weak and that he was basically used by the Chinese.”

And on ‘Fox News Sunday’ (yes, I know, evil incarnate, but Mara Liasson usually defends Obama), Mara Liasson said, “…other presidents have managed to negotiate with our adversaries, at the same time reaching out to dissidents. And I was surprised the president didn’t find a way to do that in China. I think maybe a high-profile meeting very soon with the Dalai Lama could go a long way to correcting that impression.”

I’m no Obama fan, but I was impressed by his saying “I should be honest, as president of the United States, there are times where I wish information didn’t flow so freely because then I wouldn’t have to listen to people criticizing me all the time.” Only part of his remarks were excerpted in the American media, and they didn’t seem to get much play (I saw them on the abcnews website). This was an excellent thing to say, at once humble but also sticking a finger in the eye of Hu Jintao et al. But how many Chinese heard it?

November 24, 2009 @ 6:37 am | Comment

Hanmeng –

“…he went there without any clear indication of objectives, came back without anything, and made himself open to the charge that we are weak and that he was basically used by the Chinese.”

It is precisely this sort of inappropriately negative reporting of the Obama trip that Fallows takes issue with. You really should read what he reports from someone who was actually there.

Pug -

“Before Obama went to China, he set unrealistic expectations of what he can do there.”

I think it was the media that had the unrealistic expectations.

November 24, 2009 @ 7:18 am | Comment

Exactly Stuart. Pug, those items you list are long-term goals, and, as with Hanmeng’s items, were not things Obama ever said he would do, but rather goals imposed by the media.

November 24, 2009 @ 8:58 am | Comment

Perhaps the problem with Western Media is the ability to overinform/misinform.

November 24, 2009 @ 1:48 pm | Comment

Perhaps the ability of CCP censored Media is the ability to underinform/misinform.

November 24, 2009 @ 2:22 pm | Comment

It’s funny to see Peking Duck complaining US MSM over informing/misinforming. Did you ever complain they over blaming GWB? And Who said Chinese dont like GWB? Any poll/survey??

And don’t pls tell me the process Obama or his handlers made, tell my any results he got in hand, anything?! Zero!!! Being a nice guy to a dictator can help?? As a former official in Chinese central government I have to it’s mother of all wishful-thinking. US government need to “clean house”, as ” HOT AIR” has said.

November 24, 2009 @ 2:47 pm | Comment

No one likes GWB

November 24, 2009 @ 4:50 pm | Comment

What Merp said about GWB (I never thought I’d say “what merp said” about anything). I’ve talked to so many Chinese people since 2001, and their attitude toward Bush and Obama are, to put it mildly, very not the same.

Steven, apparently you didn’t read the Fallows articles because you are doing the same thing the dumb reporters did, applying an artificial litmus test to determine “failure.”

November 24, 2009 @ 5:42 pm | Comment

I think Obama should hire Karl Rove. Yes, he may be despicable, but he’s got results to show. All kinds of chest beating and whining in blogosphere about MSM will not change people’s perceptions. Oh, the Republicans bought MSM? Well, the Dems have money, too. Buy them back! It’s politics and it’s dirty. What’s new?

November 24, 2009 @ 10:50 pm | Comment

Does Fallows really “debunk the absurdly negative spin”?

I think you join him in interpreting events as you see fit after the fact rather than presenting a convincing case for the “success” of the visit.

Why do I say this? My opinion is acknowledged by Fallows himself at the end of the Atlantic article that you link to. I will get to that in my conclusion. But first, let’s go through Fallows’ main points:

1) Obama’s “Town Hall” reached 100 million viewers(about 8 percent of China’s viewers). Yes, that is still a lot. However, the questions that he received during the “Town Hall” were still overly stiff and were generally scripted. Obama’s noteworthy, inspiring comments were definitely in the minority because he did not have the leeway to expound on his thoughts as he would have liked. Is this totally his fault? Of course not. But who was it who promoted the image of an inspiring “Town Hall” the loudest? The White House. And when Xinhua backed out on its pledge to show the town hall, who had egg on their faces? The White House staff and Obama.

2) Chinese leaders enjoyed Obama’s company, which is good for confidence-building. No argument here. But some would note that Obama seemed to bend over backwards to honor his hosts — bending a bit further than he had to. How could they NOT be tickled pink?

How much bending over backwards is too much? That is a matter of opinion. What is not a matter of opinion is the fact that Obama’s fawning provided ample fodder for the propaganda department. The result was a trip that, domestically, could be portrayed as one great pro-China lovefest. The official message was loud and clear: “Obama comes to China and praises us. We gave away nothing.” This is a powerful message that, due to its great and constant coverage, potentially cancels out the effects of the one or two “digs” that Obama got in about the regime’s inflexibility. Let’s remember that Obama didn’t have to go to China and offer leaders a propaganda coup in order to make insightful comments to the Chinese people.

Now let’s head towards my conclusion: Was the visit a “failure”?

A)If Obama’s goal was to go to China and make the Chinese leaders feel at ease, then it was probably not. This may be important in the long term, but the benefit is still amorphous, intangible, and hard to promote. The Town Hall comment that he cites took up a few seconds in two and a half days. Did it permanently inspire the locals? We can’t authoritatively tell right now. So we must refrain from promoting this as a definite success or failure.

B) If Obama’s goal was to arrive at any sort of agreement on hot issues (climate change, Iran, military transparency, yuan issues, dollar issues, etc.), then the visit was certainly not a “success”. I don’t think that people expected much success here, so this is not crucual. However, one might also make the case that a head of state’s time is important, and that visits should be made precisely to hammer out issues that cannot be dealt with from a distance. So some might feel that, even if expectations on this front were low, the president’s time was poorly used. Is this opinion “right” under the circumstances? Maybe not, but the White House should be able to understand the frustration of those who may feel this way and better construct its message in advance to explain why no progress would be made this time.

C) If the goal was to retain ownership over “the message” behind the visit, then it was indeed a failure. Obama got a dig or two in, but this was more than overcompensated by the propaganda opportunities he offered to the Chinese political/media establishment.

Therefore, as much as you would like it to, the Fallows article does not debunk any “myth of failure” during the visit because the opinion of what constitutes a failure is, in this case, not universal. Fallows merely adopts one set of goalposts (A) for success – goalposts that not everyone shares.

Now, here is the $800 billion question: Why should anyone have to share his goalposts? Fallows himself gives us a reason NOT to share them by uncritically quoting Adam Minter at the end of the article. Minter says, “The White House did a lousy job about conveying its goals for the trip during and in the immediate aftermath of the visit.”

He is exactly right. How can you criticise the fact that the MSM’s goalposts for “success” and “failure” don’t correspond to your own when Obama did such a poor job at explaining what this visit was all about in the first place?

So if you want to complain that the MSM’s impression of the visit is different from your own, you are welcome to do so. But you can’t overlook the responsibilty of the White House in unintentionally fostering this impression, nor can you yourself state with authority that the visit was not a “failure”. We simply don’t share the same set of goalposts.

November 25, 2009 @ 11:39 am | Comment

What difference does it really make if the “world” loves Obama or not?

Anne Applebaum reflects my POV in her Washington Post column today.
“A Superpower without a partner”

November 25, 2009 @ 12:37 pm | Comment

@Chosunking

Thanks for the tip. That was and interesting read.

November 25, 2009 @ 3:04 pm | Comment

Obama’s Nice Guy Act Gets Him Nowhere on the World Stage

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,662822,00.html

I think the last paragraph in this article sums up pretty much where things will go from now on in the coming months.

“Carter tried weakness and the world got tougher and tougher because the predators, the aggressors, the anti-Americans, the dictators, when they sense weakness, they all start pushing ahead,”

Nobody in the world, that loves freedom and believe in democracy wants to see a weak America.

Nobody.

Dim-witted American hippie leftists and especially useful idiots loves to say stupid things like: The US is an evil Empire, blah blah, the root of all problem on Earth. The end of the American Empire is coming soon (crowd cheers).

Seriously people, be VERY careful for what you wish for.

November 25, 2009 @ 10:06 pm | Comment

@bao
Just got the same article from the German edition.

Are we going to miss Mr GWB?

Here there has always been a general anti-american feeling from the left side of the political spectrum.

Sometimes I wonder what would the EU do if the American Navy didn´t patrol EU’s Oil main supply lines

I still remember the conflict in the Balkans, no much critics against an US involvement after the mess done by the EU.

It is easy for the EU to be always polite and diplomatic, they don’t have the will or ability to do otherwise. And when things do go really wrong, they have someone else to do the dirty job for them.

Thanks America ;-)

November 25, 2009 @ 10:24 pm | Comment

對於此文章感到非常的抱歉,這是由程式自動發文的文章。請勿對種族與政治的議題做過度偏激的討論,誠摯希望世界是非常和平的。

Censorship… Slowly creeping in our own backyard, inch by inch, globally. Funny coincidence that it was posted by a Chinese. Highly ironical I would say. But is it really coincidence?

The future will tell us. Soon, as usual.

Michelle Obama Monkey Picture Removed – Morning News

http://blogs.babble.com/strollerderby/2009/11/25/michelle-obama-monkey-picture-removed-morning-news/

Chimerica – The Clash of the Titans – 2010

November 26, 2009 @ 3:24 am | Comment

Dim-witted American hippie leftists and especially useful idiots loves to say stupid things like: The US is an evil Empire, blah blah, the root of all problem on Earth. The end of the American Empire is coming soon (crowd cheers).

America IS an evil empire. The thing that the hippies don’t understand, is that once one evil empire moves out of the way, another one replaces it.

China will definitely not be worse, but I can’t say the same for the New Caliphate or the European Neo-Nazi Council.

November 26, 2009 @ 6:57 am | Comment

http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/11/last_words_on_obama_and_china.php

The Chinese leaders gave Obama the red carpet treatment yet Fallows tells that “Obama was humiliated and stonewalled by the haughty Chinese leaders.” Obama humiliated himself by going to China with a laundry list of demands and got the answer ‘no.’ A real humiliation is how President Hu was treated in his ‘Official’ visit in the US at 4/2006.

How can the Shanghai town hall was an embarrassment? How can the question about ‘how to get a Nobel price’ be an embarrassing question? I thought Obama gave a good answer to that question.

I’m surprised that the Western Media didn’t complain that Southern Weekend interview.

November 26, 2009 @ 8:10 am | Comment

errr Complain that the Southern interview was censored.

November 26, 2009 @ 8:10 am | Comment

“Fallows tells that ‘Obama was humiliated and stonewalled by the haughty Chinese leaders.’”

Actually, he says no such thing – he’s taking a final swing at the negative spin doctors. A touch of nuance and irony from the master.

November 26, 2009 @ 12:26 pm | Comment

“China will definitely not be worse”

Early evidence points to the contrary, dear boy.

November 26, 2009 @ 12:49 pm | Comment

If you go by early evidence, dear chap, you could have extrapolated that the British would have depopulated India and Africa as they did (deliberately) to the Native Americans.

China now is by far the most responsible developing nation in the history of humanity. Among the major ones, at least.

November 26, 2009 @ 4:07 pm | Comment

India and Africa as they did America*

November 26, 2009 @ 4:11 pm | Comment

@pugster
“Fallows tells that “Obama was humiliated and stonewalled by the haughty Chinese leaders.”
Your English isn’t particularly great for someone who likes to come on English language blogs and start arguments. Is that why your arguments are prone to being over simplistic and crass, because you actually don’t understand the content that is under discussion? Do you simply grab the first quote you see that you think fits your argument without reading it properly?

@merp
“China now is by far the most responsible developing nation in the history of humanity. Among the major ones, at least.”

Yet another sweeping unsupportable generalisation. How would you define “responsible”, “developing” or “major”? Yawn.

November 26, 2009 @ 6:31 pm | Comment

I think the China trip went well, all things considered. I’ve learned from attempting to get some of the errors corrected in the media that much of the reporting was done by Washington bureau types (because it was El Presidente who went) who are less familiar with or realistic about China than the long-termers there. It thus reflected not so much the reality of events as it did the Beltway Establishment’s view of them.

November 26, 2009 @ 9:09 pm | Comment

@Si,

I just quoted something from Fallows which I disagree with and you complain about my English? That’s a straw man statement.

November 27, 2009 @ 1:17 am | Comment

(Disclaimer: This is a ranting against the political system of China, and not the Chinese people in general, I ask the people to be mature enough and try to not confuse both in a pathetic (but oh so common) attempt to hijack the comment).

The trip went very well. All the element required to generate rage amongst the U.S citizen were accurately portrayed and executed, with style.

The oBOWma phenomenon was the most funny part to watch. Seriously, it was a total disgrace to the West and the generations of soldiers that died fighting against communism and dictatorship. I’m not even American, and I was outraged. Well done oBOWma, you played your part very well and it was very effective.

“Beltway Establishment’s view of them.”

Please tell me Micheal, what has changed so much in the last 40 years in this country, except for building an empire of smoke and mirror while raping the environment on the back of millions of modern cheap labor slaves?

- Is it The black jails?

- Is it the corrupted officials molesting 12 year old girls?

- Is it the establishment of Confucius schools all over the world, in every single country they invest money, while colonizing it? (China is not communist anymore, bleurp, blargh bleuurg).

- Is it the droughts and water scarcity created by their lack of long term development planning and vision?

- Is it the modern colonization of Africa (redux) by China, but this time it’s OK, because China is a poor (Oh soo poor) nation. They “invest” in infrastructures, win win for all, cheers!.

- Is it for the thousand of people oppressed on a daily basis because they dare to F*CKING speak, blog or THINK about the elite?

- Is it the “ministry of truth” that will from now on, control the content of online games, to protect the youth? Promote socialist values, culture. Monster killing is evil. What the f*ck is wrong with these people? CAVEMEN, all of them!

- Is it their current attempt to control and monitor every single piece of information that exist on this planet, through cyber espionage, both locally and internationally?

I’m fed up with this honeymoon talk about a tyrannic regime that sole strength reside in its ability to overpopulate a country in less then 50 years, silencing the other voices by overpowering them with millions of brainless jingoist clones.

Economic reasons, do not, I repeat, do NOT, under any circumstance, justify in any way, that we BOW, or that we BEND in front of any dictators on this Earth. What the f*ck is wrong with people today.

A note for you Merp

You can quack as much as you want. But there’s a fundamental difference that remains between you and most of the commenter here:

You will never, ever, in your lifetime, influence, change, or affect anything linked to your country of origin. The best you can hope for, and this is what you are doing on a daily basis, is live in the shadow of the people in power on top of you and parrot their point of view. It is understandable, because it is the only mantra you can shout incessantly without fear of reprisal from your “masters”. Yes Merp AKA Ferin AKA Math, your masters, because this is what they are, and you are a Serf.

Me, us, as “Westerners” and citizens of the “free” world can hope and act to change and influence the course of history. Be it on a macro or micro level, we have this voice, that you don’t and will never have.

You can rejoice and celebrate this difference as much as you want, but one day you will understand the difference and the impact it has on your life. You will, believe me, first hand.

November 27, 2009 @ 1:28 am | Comment

All this China vs US argument is foolish.
The biggest concern for both countries is their internal problems.

November 27, 2009 @ 4:27 am | Comment

You will never, ever, in your lifetime, influence, change, or affect anything linked to your country of origin.

I guess Bao is another genius who believes money doesn’t mean anything in this world.

is live in the shadow of the people in power on top of you and parrot their point of view.

Parrot their point of view? Do you even know my point of view? Everyone who doesn’t love the Sacred West is a Communist, or a terrorist! A lot of people, intelligent people mostly, dislike or do not trust the West. Get used to it. If you’re going to behave in a despicable manner, expect consequences. Once you leave the media bubble of CNN/Fox News the world changes.

can hope and act to change and influence the course of history.

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha

Oh wow.

That’s how you
1) Stopped the Amerind Genocide
2) Stopped “slavery” democratically
3) Prevented the deaths of 4 million in Vietnam
4) Prevented those 1.3 millions from dying in Iraq

So are you saying that each individual American voter should take personal responsibility for all of these atrocities?

Bao, you have no power whatsoever just like any subsistence farmer in a dictatorship. Compared to the “Gods”, the bankers, billionaires, celebrities, corrupt politicians and entrenched interests, you’re nothing more than a maggot.

Alice Walton could pull up on your driveway, kill your whole family, settle in court and move on with her life as you are erased from history.

November 27, 2009 @ 4:42 am | Comment

- Is it The black jails?

Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, millions dead in Iraq, millions more refugees, millions more wounded, millions more crippled. Europe and America are centers of money laundering, destination points for trafficked sex slaves, and export most of the world’s pollution. You have started nearly all wars in the past 40 years.

- Is it the corrupted officials molesting 12 year old girls?

Rape and molestation of girls, boys, women, young men is 10-100x as common in the West as it is in East Asia, China included.

- Is it the establishment of Confucius schools all over the world, in every single country they invest money, while colonizing it? (China is not communist anymore, bleurp, blargh bleuurg).

As opposed to racist Western media spreading the “all Arabs are terrorists”, “all Chinese are evil and stealing your jobs/poisoning your children” meme. Westerners spend trillions every year trying to make themselves look superior to everyone else. China creates some Chinese language schools and you get up in arms. Don’t want to see the steady flow of plunder from your international racism dry up, do you? After all it would be terrible if those “muds” would stop fighting and actually turn on the real problem, wouldn’t it?

- Is it the droughts and water scarcity created by their lack of long term development planning and vision?

Oh right because the CCP are to blame for the rainshadow of the Himalayas! This has got to be the craziest, stupidest thing ever written about China in the history of hacks pretending they’re experts on English language China blogs. Since I’m not your 6th grade teacher (thank God) I won’t go in depth. I’m a nice guy so here are the basics. The Himalayas block precipitation from moving up into East Asia (Tibet, Mongolia, Manchuria, North China) from the sub-Continent. It’s been that way for MILLIONS of years. It takes extraordinary effort and planning to keep the whole place from turning into a eroded desert. By that measure it’s a miracle that the Loess plateau can even grow anything after 10,500 years of grain agriculture and nomadic grazing. Next you’re going to blame the “evil Chinese” for the dire climate of Venus.

- Is it the modern colonization of Africa (redux) by China, but this time it’s OK, because China is a poor (Oh soo poor) nation. They “invest” in infrastructures, win win for all, cheers!.

This argument disgusts me and anyone who uses it should be painted black and sent into the Congo Free State via a time machine. For starters, the Sudanese Civil War was instigated in no small part by the US and Britain (noticing a pattern here?). By the time China got involved most of the *violent* deaths had died down. Out of the estimated 400,000 to die in Darfur, 370,000 died of malnutrition or disease. Christian Science Monitor, and I believe Human Right’s Watch back this. To say China is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands who were suffering long before they got there is absolutely preposterous, and you should be banned for your Goebbels-esque race-baiting.

As for other African countries, 50 years of liberal hand-wringing has created nothing but dependency and misery. China’s presence in Africa is supported by a majority of Senegalese, Kenyans, Nigerians. Unless you think “white man know better”, or just don’t believe in democracy, you should give it a rest.

- Is it for the thousand of people oppressed on a daily basis because they dare to F*CKING speak, blog or THINK about the elite?

Thousand? If you’re going to make up numbers, why not say millions. Or billions. Or trillions- those hidden baby girls the Evil Chinese make into their sex slaves. There are trillions of them! Not including the ones they eat!!!

- Is it the “ministry of truth” that will from now on, control the content of online games, to protect the youth? Promote socialist values, culture. Monster killing is evil. What the f*ck is wrong with these people? CAVEMEN, all of them!

They saw videos of American troops in Iraq playing “Grand Theft Auto” in real life and got a little scared. The reaction is a bit harsh, I admit. But in truth, they just don’t want millions of young addicts tied into online games and if they are going to have that, it’s going to be a Chinese company raking in the billions, not Blizzard.

- Is it their current attempt to control and monitor every single piece of information that exist on this planet, through cyber espionage, both locally and internationally?

Because only China uses espionage.

November 27, 2009 @ 5:40 am | Comment

Every country knows the grand theft auto, in fact everyone who are older than sixteen knows.That tells the intellectual quotient of the ‘free’ citizens.

http://www.serendipity.li/iraqwar.htm

November 27, 2009 @ 1:33 pm | Comment

Eudaimonic consequentialism Merp, or as Bush would put it:

“Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective -a new world order- can emerge…… We are now in sight of a United Nations that performs as envisioned by its founders.”

In the end, what you think or quack, Merp, is irrelevant. Just remember that.

The Ends Justify The Means

November 28, 2009 @ 2:05 am | Comment

Chinese premier vows to increase cooperation with UNDP

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-11/27/content_12546598.htm

Good Wen, Goooooood Wen. Now get back in your Skinner Box.

November 28, 2009 @ 2:43 am | Comment

To all those who insist Obama’s visit was a failure, please hear the voice of sanity. What more did you want? What more did you expect?

November 28, 2009 @ 3:34 am | Comment

Not much Richard, not much. oBOWma was perfecttly tune with the needs of the moment.

Now let’s sit down and watch the coming backlash of the Americans.

Do you know what’s funny? It’s that the American are waiting for the sky to fall on their head right now. Or as some would put it: The next false flag operation that will put the world in turmoil again.

The irony is: The false flag operation has already started, right under their nose, since January 2009.

Predictive programming, on an unprecedented scale. I expect very big fireworks this time.

On a lighter note, let’s hope Ferin is living in this village, this might shut him up for a weekend at least.

http://epaper.xplus.com/papers/bjcb/20091127/n47.shtml

November 28, 2009 @ 3:50 am | Comment

“Thousand? If you’re going to make up numbers, why not say millions. Or billions. Or trillions- those hidden baby girls the Evil Chinese make into their sex slaves. There are trillions of them! Not including the ones they eat!!!”

Thanks for the correction Merp, make that 1,325,639,982 billion people instead.

November 28, 2009 @ 5:29 am | Comment

“Bao, you have no power whatsoever just like any subsistence farmer in a dictatorship. Compared to the “Gods”, the bankers, billionaires, celebrities, corrupt politicians and entrenched interests, you’re nothing more than a maggot.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUjgdFoALok

Life is funny, isn’t it, Merp?

November 28, 2009 @ 5:35 am | Comment

Richard

I’m not going to call Obama’s visit a failure because I didn’t expect him to do much at the time, even if I’m not going to call it a success either. Though I think Tommy has a point that as there is no universal definition of what “success” and “failure” (and his related comments).

In regards to the second article you linked to. The CO2 emissions statement was a good piece of news, even if more will probably need to be done later. The Iranian vote was useful, though the proof of the pudding would be in a UNSC sanctions vote/pressure to make Iran comply.

As for the others…

China might move some missiles pointed at Taiwan. Great. Does Fallows realise that they’re mobile launchers and could be moved back in a matter of days? That’s not an achievement, if anything it’s an attempt to confuse and distract America.

Kim Il Jung meets Chinese politician – as he has done many times. Hardly significant news, let alone an achievement from the US’ POV.

Saying that “retuning” the yuan is possible is only a small concession, if it is one at all. The CCP says a lot of things are possible, but it doesn’t always deliver.

Fallows would have done well to ignore those last three. He either wanted a longish list out of desperation or he doesn’t actually understand the signifiance of the articles he posted.

What I want to know is if all the “good” things that have happened recently are down to Obama’s visit, why was nothing announced whilst the was there? It’s as if the Chinese government deliberately wanted to deny him the credit for these announcements. In that respect one could argue that Obama’s was a failure – for him personally.

November 28, 2009 @ 8:42 am | Comment

What more did you want? What more did you expect?

I guess he wanted them to punch Emperor Akihito in the face so no one mistakes the US for a “weak nation”.

November 28, 2009 @ 8:50 am | Comment

Yeah, well Raj, you also thought Palin was a good choice by McCain and said she would be fit to be the president of the US (and thus the defacto Queen of All the World), so pardon me if I take your political analysis with a big grain of coarse Kosher salt. And of course those things weren’t announced in China while Obama was there. They – the CCP – want the credit, as always. Their doing what they always do constitutes a personal failure for Obama? Not in the least – unless you want to see Obama fail and are looking for things to label “failure.” People who start from that mindset will always find the failure. It’s easy. If his mission were solely personal aggrandizement, to be measured solely by how much credit the Chinese media personally gave to him – a totally absurd notion, as you well know, since every word the Chinese media printed about Obama was carefully controlled – then you can call it a failure. If his mission was to subtly apply pressure in a way that made the Chinese respond and agree, at least in part, to what he wanted, without caring about the personal crap, which could never have happened in China anyway as you well know, then his mission was a success. I am no Obama lover and have voiced my disappointment with him many times. But that’s irrelevant. This trip cannot be labeled a failure. Except by those, again, who want it to be.

Raj vs. Fallows. I know where I’ll put my money, with all due respect.

November 28, 2009 @ 9:04 am | Comment

Richard

It says something about you that you think a comment about whether someone could be a good vice president means all their views are suspect. Can we talk about the real issues, or are you going to resort to fenqing tactic 24 (bring up an unrelated comment made some time ago to try to discredit the other party) whenever it pleases you? It’s not the like I repeatedly do the same to you. [edited]

I certainly don’t want Obama to fail. My point was that like or not politicians benefit from being able to point to things they do – if they can’t it causes them trouble. Even if subsequent events good for the US result from the visit to China, if Obama can’t link them in enough people’s minds then he may have failed in that way.

It would be nice if there was no pressure on Obama to secure an actual announcement whilst he was there, but we live in a world where many people are shortsighted/unable to view the bigger picture. The political reality may well be that the trip is a personal failure for Obama. It could end up being seen by the country as a personal success. We may never know, unless there’s extensive polling. But to dismiss the possibility of it being a failure in any respect is not logical.

As for putting money on either Fallows or myself, let’s see what happens on Chinese missiles, North Korea and the yuan in the near future in relation to American policy. The three articles I referred to in my earlier comment are something that I expressed more of a personal view on.

November 28, 2009 @ 7:14 pm | Comment

Let’s see.

My feeling is, in dealings with Chinese, that you cannot tell them what to do, neither force them to. Or make them look as if they were told or forced to do it.

If you want them to do something it must be made in a way that they are aware of what you want them to do, but allow them to show that they have decided to do it all by themselves, or better that they do it as a deference to you.
They may do even do what you want but in a condescending manner, although that will depend on the situation. If they consider you an opponent, you must be ready to accept a condescending response, of your are considered friendly you get the deference response.

An analogy would be when you are invited for a special dinner on a foreign land, with very much foreign meals (at least for you).
You should not tell flatly to your host that you can’t it this or that, or that you do not like this or that.
You should, by your bother language or other means, make aware to your host that you may have a problem with the food. If your host is a keen observer, he will notice it, and all by itself solve the situation, even if the table if already full with expensive and queer looking dishes
“Oh! By the way, we have an specialty this time of the year, would you like to try it?”

Chinese are keen observers, but their decision making process is mystifying… at least for us.

The problem is, when you return to your land, is that you may be blamed that you got no results. Although you really achieved something, only that not in a the way is was expected. That is what may has happened in Obama’s last visit

EU and Americans are more direct. We just say “I want this and that”, and expect a yes or no.
In the far east you say “I want this” and you get as answer something like “…….”, or you may be politely questioned about the health of your family.

China is rising, and they are aware of it. How high will it rise is a matter of discussion. But they feel themselves in a better bargaining position, now that their situation is not so dire like 20 years ago. They just return to their old negotiating ways.

Do I get it right?

November 28, 2009 @ 7:19 pm | Comment

I am waiting for Raj’s column in The Atlantic. ;-)

November 28, 2009 @ 7:20 pm | Comment

Somewhat related to first post

My experience with far east people is that you try them to accomplish something, and no matter what you do, nothing happens, or seems to happen.

Several days latter, they have accomplish what you wanted, in their own way,… without you being aware that they where doing it after all.

And sometimes is a real mystery how the have accomplished what you wanted them to do in the first place.

I learned to step back and let them to their own devices after I have asked them to do anything. Most of the time it works.

November 28, 2009 @ 7:27 pm | Comment

ecodelta (53)

That’s a good post. Maybe the fact that the Chinese government don’t need to compete politically makes them forget that in the US and Europe politicians are expected to get results more directly.

(54)

I’m not going to be spam refreshing my inbox hoping to hear from them. :D

November 28, 2009 @ 8:14 pm | Comment

@Raj
“Maybe the fact that the Chinese government don’t need to compete politically makes them forget that in the US and Europe politicians are expected to get results more directly.”

Neither do they have a vocal political opposition with full access to the media, who will use any opportunity to criticize government’s performance.

Hhhhmmm…. This net nanny thing do have its uses……

November 28, 2009 @ 8:47 pm | Comment

eco

Hhhhmmm…. This net nanny thing do have its uses……

There are a lot of people in the Labour Party (UK) who are wishing for Chinese style politics and media right now. :D

November 28, 2009 @ 9:48 pm | Comment

http://tinyurl.com/yfku8jv

November 28, 2009 @ 11:05 pm | Comment

eco, Fallows (as quoted by Benen) raises an interesting question – how frequently does the media narrative change and for what reasons? The media narrative may well swing back behind Obama in the future, but it can be quite stubborn.

Mike Smithson often makes some interesting consideration of the media narrative, though he focuses on the UK.

http://www2.politicalbetting.com/

November 29, 2009 @ 12:28 am | Comment

Raj, that moment during the last US presidential elections defined you for me – sorry. It called into question your political judgment. Apologies if it makes you uncomfortable when I bring it up, but you did say it and argue about it at considerable length. If you have issues, there are lots of good threads over at Fool’s Mountain.

I certainly don’t want Obama to fail. My point was that like or not politicians benefit from being able to point to things they do – if they can’t it causes them trouble. Even if subsequent events good for the US result from the visit to China, if Obama can’t link them in enough people’s minds then he may have failed in that way.

Give him a bit of time. He wasn’t there to bring back scalps. Did you see the headlines Fallows pointed to in the latest articles from the US media on China utimately doing what Obama wanted? Just because Obama doesn’t grab credit doesn’t make him a failure. Maybe his modesty is strategic. Then, weigh this with you earlier comment:

What I want to know is if all the “good” things that have happened recently are down to Obama’s visit, why was nothing announced whilst the was there? It’s as if the Chinese government deliberately wanted to deny him the credit for these announcements. In that respect one could argue that Obama’s was a failure – for him personally.

I go back to my main point – that i think you do indeed want to argue that Obama failed. It’s very coy to write “one could argue,” which means, of course, “I believe.” And why “could one” argue this? Because, you say, Obama didn’t get recognized for these things in the Chinese media! How often do you see the Chinese media showering praise on Western rulers, let alone the president of the United States? And since when is this a litmus test for failure or success? The grounds for your argument are specious, and, with respect, reminiscent of your arguments as to why Palin was a good choice for Queen of the World.

November 29, 2009 @ 1:17 am | Comment

“…. to why Palin was a good choice for Queen of the World.”

But, but…. She was a good choice!

November 29, 2009 @ 1:33 am | Comment

The PERFECT choice – for Obama. Let’s all pray she tries again in 2012. The kiss of death for the GOP. No matter how badly Obama does, moderates and independents eager for a change will not even consider voting for Lady Lipstick (and that isn’t sexist – she is the one who gave us the pitbull with lipstick metaphor). Bring her on.

November 29, 2009 @ 1:36 am | Comment

Richard

I never said that Sarah Palin would make an excellent vice president and certainly not that she would make a good president. We had an argument over her choice as VP for the McCain ticket. Your position was that she would cause McCain to fail and that it essentially invalidated the entire ticket, especially because as McCain is a cancer survivor there was a significant risk he wouldn’t finish his term.

I retorted that I still thought McCain would be a good President and that I would bet he would see out the term. As for Palin, I did say that I thought she would grow into the role of VP. But subsequently I understood that probably wasn’t going to happen. I did not argue her virtues at length because I never said that she was full of them, apart that early on I said that she might give the ticket a boost. In fact I was one of the people telling you to not get upset about her nomination because it was still early days.

Now if the presidential election has poisoned your view of me, I can’t do anything about that. If you want to be like that, fine. But a sensible person accepts that people can be wrong and move on from their mistakes. I don’t raise your premature mocking of the Iraqi surge and calling the 2004 election for Kerry as proof that your judgment is flawed because I understand that people can make bad calls.

***

Yeah, of course I’m going to give Obama time. I’ll rate him when he leaves office (unless he really fucks something up before, which I doubt he will).

Yes, I did see the articles – I commented on them in my first message!

***

Because, you say, Obama didn’t get recognized for these things in the Chinese media! How often do you see the Chinese media showering praise on Western rulers, let alone the president of the United States?

What on earth are you talking about? I didn’t mention the Chinese media. Where did I talk about Obama not being praised in the Chinese media?!

It’s very coy to write “one could argue,” which means, of course, “I believe.”

Utter rubbish. It means thinking about different views, even ones that one might not share.

If you can’t pay attention to what I’ve written in an active thread no wonder you repeat outright nonsense about me saying Palin was a good choice for “Queen of the world”.

November 29, 2009 @ 1:49 am | Comment

Raj, where did I ever say you said Palin would be an excellent president? Never said it. You did say you thought she was a good (or valid) choice and that she would “grow into the job.” There we have it: We have a blank slate, a cretin moose hunter who lies like a rug, and simply because she’s nominated you supported her. We can bring this debate to a speedy close. Do you think you were right in saying she was an acceptable choice and would grow into the job and did not indicate bad judgment by McCain? Or do you agree you were wrong about her?

I stick to my arguments. When you write, “In that respect one could argue that Obama’s was a failure – for him personally” you are making that argument. To write that, and then say, “Who? Me? I never said Obama could be called a failure” – that is coy. Drop the bomb, then conveniently distance yourself from it.

Sorry for harping on this, but ever since you said it, it’s the first thing I think of whenever you comment. It continues to boggle the mind that someone who’s obviously intelligent and follows politics closely could look at Palin and say she was an okay choice for Queen of the World. And you did say that, if not in those exact words: “She’ll grow into the job.” And that is a word for word quote.

November 29, 2009 @ 2:11 am | Comment

“The kiss of death for the GOP.”

The Obama honeymoon lasted, let’s see… Approximately 24 hours.

The GOP isn’t going anywhere soon, and they will actually come back stronger than ever. 2010 will be their year. This ideological propaganda pendulum bullshit is so predictable.

Thanks to Obama. Don’t forget Richard: Black, white, black, white. Wrong, Right, Wrong, Right. Left, right…

Better get used to it. The American Falcons are very, very angry now and they’re not going to take it anymore.

Palin might get elected, it’s quite possible actually, as it does not really matter who is in the office, as long as the show goes on.

“She’ll grow into the job.”

Like Raj, I actually believe she could, as would any second grade actor living in L.A.

Obama, will be remembered in history, but not because he was the first black president.

November 29, 2009 @ 4:45 am | Comment

Thanks for your brilliant and illuminating comment, Bao. The GOP may do well in 2010. Palin, however, will never, ever be president. I am willing to place bets.

Obama stepped into a classic Mission Impossible scenario. His honeymoon is still going on and his popularity ratings are about as good as could be expected under the circumstances. Could Obama be doing a better job? Probably. But it’s far too early to write him off. You can mock him and make jokes about his name and other mature undertakings. But I definitely wouldn’t be writing his political obituary yet.

November 29, 2009 @ 5:02 am | Comment

I’m going to repeat what I said about this forum being populated by neocon psychopaths

November 29, 2009 @ 5:18 am | Comment

You are welcomed Richard.

November 29, 2009 @ 5:30 am | Comment

Raj, where did I ever say you said Palin would be an excellent president?

Richard, you said: “reminiscent of your arguments as to why Palin was a good choice for Queen of the World.”

How could she be a good choice for Queen of the World if she wasn’t president?

Do you think you were right in saying she was an acceptable choice and would grow into the job and did not indicate bad judgment by McCain? Or do you agree you were wrong about her?

I thought I had said that I had made a mistake in comments last year about her, but clearly I was not direct enough. Yes, I doubt she would have grown into the job, she wouldn’t have been a good VP and McCain should have chosen someone else.

I don’t mind you harping on about this at all if I’m able to set the record straight. I hope I have.

I stick to my arguments. When you write, “In that respect one could argue that Obama’s was a failure – for him personally” you are making that argument. To write that, and then say, “Who? Me? I never said Obama could be called a failure” – that is coy. Drop the bomb, then conveniently distance yourself from it.

Actually, I did say that Obama’s visit could be called a failure – i.e. there’s a potential argument there. Sometimes people consider an argument to see things from other people’s POV. Like if I said “it could be argued that Gordon Brown will be remembered as a good PM”. I don’t think he will be, but I can see that it’s possible he might be.

November 29, 2009 @ 9:25 am | Comment

“I’m going to repeat what I said about this forum being populated by neocon psychopaths”

Most unlike you to repeat stuff, old sport.

What about the ‘hippie liberals’?

November 29, 2009 @ 9:34 am | Comment

And Stuart, what about the fenqing? All the extremes come here to roost, for whatever reason.

Raj, okay, let’s let it rest. I won’t bring it up again. Just so you understand, I am always wary of the “One could say…” approach, when the one doing the saying plants the seed and then backs away.

November 29, 2009 @ 10:44 am | Comment

Fall Of The Republic – The Presidency Of Barack H Obama

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8LPNRI_6T8&feature=player_embedded#

I watched the video this weekend. Too much of a conspiracy theory for my taste. However, could someone confirm or rebut the evidence cited, especially on Obama’s “flip-flops” on his campaign promises?

November 30, 2009 @ 5:08 am | Comment

This will help put that video into perspective. Important to read it if you’re obsessed with Obama’s failures. Obama’s First Year.

November 30, 2009 @ 5:23 am | Comment

Re: Obama’s First Year.

Nice positive spin. Bar was set pretty low. But that’s OK.

Health bill: jury still out on real benefit to Americans; apparently quite a bit of concession to big pharma and insurance etc.

Stimulus bill: we can keep patting ourselves on the back while we watch unemployment rise.

Still, the question is: did commentators in the video lie or did Obama pull a few flip-flops? The question here is credibility and integrity, not whether he is a success or a failure. Yes, Bush was worse and I despised him. But I have higher expectations of Obama. Am I naive?

November 30, 2009 @ 10:51 am | Comment

You seem to have your mind made up so there’s probably no sense discussing it. Jury is still out on all points. And I am willing to conclude Obama is guilty as charged – once the jury returns to the courtroom. The article makes very clear that it’s too early to know how the healthcare bill will end up. The effects of the stimulus bill may not be seen for another year. No stimulus works overnight. I, like Jacob Weisberg, believe the flip-flops may actually be about prioritizing. First things first. For now and through year two I’ll try to give him the benefit of the doubt, especially considering how well he’s done is some areas. If he does something awful I’ll call him out as soon as I see it. Those jumping the gun and finding him guilty on all counts are being irresponsible, like the media that were so quick to call his China visit a failure. Fallows has yet more articles proving that exactly the opposite was true, and the “failure” was a product of a media programmed to find fault and insist on immediate drama, red meat, scalps.

November 30, 2009 @ 11:13 am | Comment

@ ATP

“we can keep patting ourselves on the back while we watch unemployment rise.”

Apparently you can blame that on China:

http://tinyurl.com/blamechina

Not without some merit, in my opinion.

November 30, 2009 @ 3:14 pm | Comment

@ stuart

Blaming China is pointless because it’s an extrinsic factor that the US may not easily change.

The solution, in principle, is rather simple. If US corporations decide to pull out of China and bring manufacturing back to the US, jobs will be created. Why are they not doing that? Cost and profit, obviously. You say they’re greedy? Of course. So, the problem is that US INDUSTRIALISTS AND CORPORATISTS SOLD THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OUT. YOUR ELITES BENEFITED FROM THEIR MOTHER COUNTRY THEN LEFT HER OUT TO DRY!

Keep blaming the Chinese and see how many points you will reduce unemployment by. Hey, I call for every US citizen to boycott Chinese goods. Do Americans have the resolve? Do they have alternatives? How about bombing or invading China when you can’t get what you want? After all, it happened during the Qing dynasty. Why not try it again?

Don’t worry about the Chinese. We are our own worst enemy.

Bottom line: God help those who help themselves.

November 30, 2009 @ 8:49 pm | Comment

“How about bombing or invading China…”

From unemployment in the States to a full scale invasion of China in three sentences. I’m impressed, although feromerp could probably do it in less.

November 30, 2009 @ 10:00 pm | Comment

Interesting article on countries’ CO2 announcements.

http://tinyurl.com/y8edq7n

Are the big players cheating and not taking the issue seriously enough?

December 1, 2009 @ 3:09 am | Comment

Ah.

http://tinyurl.com/yftvwgx
http://tinyurl.com/yzxyy7w

Queue the finger-pointing!

December 1, 2009 @ 3:15 am | Comment

“How about bombing or invading China when you can’t get what you want? After all, it happened during the Qing dynasty. Why not try it again”

Haha good idea. Have your government had enough money for the Blackwater?Oh, the company renamed as Xe corp now…

I heard the company will be on trial the coming February.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yofTTH46-qo.

Hey if not enough people joining the army, would you consider the Gurkhas? are they cheaper?

Do you know the american “won in Vietnam by pulling the troops out?”

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0603/S00227.htm

BTW have you beat the rag tag,poverty stricken Afghans yet? They do not have advanced weapons and they are mostly illiterate,sorry you are all over the place.

December 1, 2009 @ 4:03 am | Comment

Sorry about the hyperbole. The point is about blaming others for ones own problems. Same mentality as someone going ‘postal’ because he was dumped by his girlfriend. Got it?

What I say was and will be insignificant. America’s fate lies in the hands of her own people.

America does not need to prove anything to China or other countries. She just needs to better herself. Yes, she can.

December 1, 2009 @ 5:15 am | Comment

If US corporations decide to pull out of China and bring manufacturing back to the US, jobs will be created.

If you destroy all your computers and cars there will be a lot of mailman and carriage driver jobs opening up.

No one wants to pay the average American seven dollars an hour to make stuff, and no shopper is willing to pay for the mark-up.

December 1, 2009 @ 7:25 am | Comment

For the diehards who still insist Obama “failed” in China, please read this.

To the troll Wayne (who uses Skywalker, Batman, Mongol Warrior and countless other monikers), see my comment in the Malls post. I realize that won’t stop you from showering my site with spam comments all day long; I guess you have to do something with your life, but I promise, none of your obscenities will get posted.

Sorry for that, everyone. If you were to see the evil stuff in the spam filter you’d understand, I promise.

December 1, 2009 @ 7:55 am | Comment

“Sorry for that, everyone. If you were to see the evil stuff in the spam filter you’d understand, I promise.”

I do understand. I had the same problem with MW on my site. Outmerps merp for hateful bile content. Like others, he clearly has enough intelligence to argue his points, but then just ‘snaps’ and lets fly with venom. Pity.

December 1, 2009 @ 10:26 am | Comment

Probably because he runs out of patience for your nonsense

December 1, 2009 @ 1:06 pm | Comment

Why don’t you two try to get along? You’re both smart.

December 1, 2009 @ 3:49 pm | Comment

Hi Richard:Wondering if you knew what happened to Joseph Bosco, whose blog seems discontinued for about a year. Thank you and for your work here.
Dave
Macau and Urumuqi

December 1, 2009 @ 9:37 pm | Comment

Dave, I’m afraid I’m letting the blog go to hell in a handbasket, but thanks.

Joe is in Beijing and you can find him on Facebook. If you email me I can send you his email address.

December 1, 2009 @ 10:27 pm | Comment

Obama devrait être un bon président, quelle honte il doit prendre le désordre Bush à gauche. La subsistance américaine honteuse indiquant ceci et cela, mais ils ont élu Bush alors réélu, ils n’ont jamais jugé comment faux leur pays ont fait au monde, ils gardent le demonise d’autres et ils se sentent si bons d’eux-mêmes. L’Américain devrait regarder eux-mêmes avant qu’ils parlent n’importe quelle autre nation. Les gens commentent dans ici doivent connaître la Chine un état souverain, vous améliorent ne pas éventer n’importe quel feu dedans là.

December 2, 2009 @ 3:14 am | Comment

L’Amérique ont seulement 4 pour cent de la population mais de consommer du monde 32 pour cent des ressources du monde. La plupart d’entre eux avait mangé toutes leurs vies sans faire vraiment n’importe quoi, elles a été finie consommant tout, suçant sèche la planète. Vous pouvez dire pourquoi ils souhaitent la bienvenue aux différents ressortissants futés en tant que leur citoyen ainsi pour penser mieux pour eux : comment obtenir tous autres ressources de pays et main d’oeuvre à prix réduit, ainsi eux peut avoir les bonnes vies sans travailler. C’est raison toutes ces guerres, tuent leur vie dehors si les autres pour ne pas convenir. Le capitalisme ne fonctionnera pas longtemps car il n’y a aucune égalité dans les êtres humains ainsi la Chine est sur la bonne direction, même le Chinois ont été les mains d’oeuvre à prix réduit à l’ouest ils entrant maintenant dans un état souverain fort avec un meilleur gouvernement, ouvrant le pays au monde. ils ont les personnes très futées et travailler dur. Une chose importante est eux doivent être awared du friendleness faux et les visages de sourire des politicans américains, leurs chefs ne doivent pas ne vendre le pays à aucune puissance. Leurs personnes devraient surveiller comment leur gouvernement traite d’autres états.
Je pense que l’Amérique tombe, cela est la réalité que beaucoup d’autres états de nation ont comptée, il est un bon signe. L’empire mauvais vient à son extrémité.
Personne ne s’inquiètent vraiment la visite d’Obama un échec ou pas il est juste l’autre marionnette pour la société Amérique, il est venu pour prier pour l’argent qu’elle est très évidente.
Les gens devraient aller lecture Naomi Klein pour saisir ce concept, nous ont besoin d’un monde juste.

December 3, 2009 @ 8:01 am | Comment

“Under Bush we were despised by other nations, by our own allies. Obama has turned that around.”

Indeed… Good job Obama!

Obama Troop Surge Vs Bush Troops Surge

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnaiGByyh58

Troops may begin Afghan pull-out in a year, says Gordon Brown

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1231802/Troops-begin-Afghan-pull-year-says-Gordon-Brown.html

Black, white, left, right…

Two parties… United we stand.

December 5, 2009 @ 2:53 am | Comment

Divided, we fall.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-party_system

But who is “we”?

That is the important question.

December 5, 2009 @ 2:57 am | Comment

Bao, in case no one told you, Obama inherited those wars. He never sent American troops to depose a dictator he had a personal grudge against and never sneered at the world the way Bush and Cheney did. You might not like his Afghanistan policy, but it does not in any way equate him with Bush, who fucked it all up. Obama had not good choices there. Has he handled it the best way? Time will tell. Okay, now continue your mumbling.

December 5, 2009 @ 3:53 am | Comment

Did you see all the mumbling going on right now about Climategate Richard?

Lot’s of people on the street corners recently. I have to fight for my turf, not an easy task i must say, I hate competition. Mumbling activity is kinda, let’s say, peaking right now.

Just saying, as usual.

December 5, 2009 @ 4:21 am | Comment

And in case you are not noticing the whitewash operation going on full steam currently, let me point you to some interesting articles:

Arnold Schwarzenegger unveils dramatic climate change map which shows flooded San Francisco of the future

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1232884/Arnold-Schwarzenegger-unveils-dramatic-climate-change-map-shows-flooded-San-Francisco-future.html

We love actors don’t we? Could they run for presidency, unfortunately, yes.

Why there’s no sign of a climate conspiracy in hacked emails

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18238-why-theres-no-sign-of-a-climate-conspiracy-in-hacked-emails.html

Ahhhh, mumbling people… They are so annoying. Loonies… All of them.

Critical mass, tipping point…

1 year and a half. Time flies…

December 5, 2009 @ 4:35 am | Comment

Climategate is a non-issue, a distraction over nothing. I refer to your comments as mumblings because they are nearly always between you and yourself, with everyone else ignoring them because they seem bizarre.

December 5, 2009 @ 4:39 am | Comment

“Climategate is a non-issue, a distraction over nothing.”

That’s an interesting statement. A distraction for what?

Don’t you think that: “Tiger Wood is a non-issue, a distraction over nothing.” Sounds closer to reality, isn’t it?

A distraction over nothing? Are you aware of the impact of the cap and trade scheme on the life of billions of people around the world? And why China and India will undoubtedly dismiss it without even looking twice at it?

You can’t be serious while stating that.

December 5, 2009 @ 4:49 am | Comment

“with everyone else ignoring them because they seem bizarre.”

I personally tend to reply to comments that I disagree with. That’s not a scientific study, but it tells a lot about human behavior and even more about non “mainstream” point of views.

December 5, 2009 @ 4:52 am | Comment

The Climategate event is very important, not because it’s exposing irrefutable proofs that scientists colluded to create false data and manipulate information about man made global warming (it doesn’t), but because it is shifting the opinion of the public on the subject, and this is where it really matters.

Shifting opinions.

December 5, 2009 @ 4:57 am | Comment

Tin foil hat wearing idiot

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/17081593/tin-foil-hat-wearing-idiot

December 5, 2009 @ 5:09 am | Comment

Ahhhh, mumbling people… They are so annoying. Loonies…

You said it, not me. Now push your shopping cart over to that bridge you’re sleeping under. (Just joking, of course.)

December 5, 2009 @ 5:10 am | Comment

;)

Alright, but please give me a “loonie” when you pass by, for food of course.

December 5, 2009 @ 5:17 am | Comment

“The GOP may do well in 2010. Palin, however, will never, ever be president. I am willing to place bets.”

hocker polls: That Sarah Palin-Barack Obama gap melts to 1 point

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/12/sarah-palin-barack-obama-poll-gap-narrows.html

She must be thankful of Obama for lining her pockets with cash from her book.

December 9, 2009 @ 1:08 am | Comment

Bao, you did this same crap during the 2008 election, remember? Pointing to a poll and saying McCain would win. Remember? Palin will never be president of the US. If you understood how the US electorate works you’d understand this. You’d also understand how national polls, especially ones like this (it’s a popularity contest, not a poll of who they would vote for), are incredibly unreliable for calling election winners because they don’t take into account the weight of ech state’s electoral votes. So keep on babbling.

December 9, 2009 @ 1:47 am | Comment

I don’t think she would win (I don’t really care). it’s just interesting to notice the shifting of the political pendulum (from left to right ) once again in the U.S.

I’m not rambling Richard. One day you will realize it. But not now, it’s too early and you are not there yet.

December 9, 2009 @ 2:00 am | Comment

Here’s what bugs me about your comments and why I call you out for babbling. You come in here and make pronouncements of doom and apocalypse and talk as if you have some knowledge that we ordinary mortals don’t have, as if you know things we don’t, as if you have a pipeline to god that isn’t shared with the rest of us. You make sweeping and audacious statements and talk like a prophet, yet you offer no research other than obscure links you googled; no serious dialogue, no grappling with issues – just pronouncements, like a priest in robes and sandals returning from the Delphi oracle. And your insistence that others, like me, “don’t understand what’s really happening” only adds to the image you’ve cultivated as the town loon warning the end is near. Because you don’t say what we don’t understand. If you have an argument to make, then make it. If you have wisdom to impart, share it. But when you keep popping up like a nasty rash and utter incoherent and cryptic warnings, don’t be surprised that everyone either laughs at you, ignores you or pities you. Because trust me, those are the only reactions you elicit here. Not one commenter takes you seriously. Are you pleased with your unique status?

December 9, 2009 @ 2:32 am | Comment

Baruch Spinoza said: “I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.

December 9, 2009 @ 3:01 am | Comment

Thank you. I rest my case.

December 9, 2009 @ 3:12 am | Comment

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