Troll Fest

I want to apologize to everyone for the mess the comments have become. I’ve never seen it quite this bad. I am closing the two threads below, and if you have anything else to say you can leave it here. It’s difficult finding a balance; I want Chinese people to comment here, but obviously I don’t want the threads to deteriorate into shouting matches or worse. Deciding what is or isn’t a troll comment is difficult when they don’t break specific rules, but it’s also obvious certain commenters want to take over threads and wreak havoc.

I am working on a huge project that will demand my full-time attention through the end of February (and yes, it’s China-related). So I can only check on the comments intermittently. But I will do everything I can to keep the comments from deteriorating. If anyone has any ideas on how best to moderate the comments let me know.

Happy Thanksgiving, even to my trolls who, of course all live in the US, and who should be grateful for what they have here, even if all they can express is scorn for America. Deep inside they must like it here, or else they’d vote by foot. Happy Holidays.

______________

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: 299 Comments

Oh brother. Are you a “China collapse” loon? If so, then OK. If not, then is China stable now? If she is stable now, then see what I said in #249. The logic is not complicated here.

I agree about the CCP though. Waiting for them to do the right thing will make for a very long wait indeed. It’s that moral deficit thing of which we’ve already spoken.

December 10, 2011 @ 3:50 am | Comment

Before taking baby steps on the democratic path, or embracing democratic form without substance like Putin’s Russia, China would do well to make rule OF law (and not rule BY law) truly meaningful and predictable, starting in the realms of commerce and the economy, where authorities have a higher comfort level. Then work on making other institutions and areas, like the press and education, free of (or at least freer of) party interference. Many of these things were discussed (perhaps prematurely) in the Hu Yaobang era, before economic reforms had taken deep root.

December 10, 2011 @ 3:55 am | Comment

Wow, slim says something that isn’t completely idiotic.

SK Cheung
Waiting for them to do the right thing

Because better living standards for PRC citizens is the wrong thing.

It’s that moral deficit thing of which we’ve already spoken

Unsubstantiated claim.

December 10, 2011 @ 5:10 am | Comment

Oh brother. If you weren’t disingenuous, you’d be nothing at all.

Living standards is great. But there are many other things that China still needs to do right. It’s like groundhog day with you, where previous comments in this same thread are disregarded and you need to bring up the same stuff over and over again. Same goes with the moral deficit bit. You may not think China has one. Others clearly do. And until China starts to do more of the right things, others will likely continue to think so.

Nice points by Slim. Too bad you seem to have no response. Interesting that those are some of the same institutions of which I spoke which comprise a functioning democracy.

December 10, 2011 @ 6:56 am | Comment

S.K Cheung
Others clearly do.

Sucks for them. Others clearly don’t.

It’s like groundhog day with you, where previous comments in this same thread are disregarded and you need to bring up the same stuff over and over again.

No, Richard, Lisa and others are just tired of hearing me counter your arguments over and over again. It just takes too long for you to acknowledge you were proven wrong, so I’ll just let the years do that for me.

December 10, 2011 @ 7:02 am | Comment

And which others in SE Asia clearly don’t think China has a moral deficit, in your esteemed estimation, based on what transpired at the Asian Summit? This I’d love to hear. I’m also not sure how it would suck for those countries who feel that China has a moral deficit. Then again, logic has never been a prerequisite for you.

Hey, Richard took your leash off. So it’s a little lame to use that as an excuse. And I think the only thing you’ve proven is how obstinate you can be, though in that realm you’ve certainly proven it royally. I’m definitely looking forward to when China becomes a democracy. I trust you are too.

December 10, 2011 @ 10:49 am | Comment

1. Your interpretation of what happened at the “Asian Summit” makes the false assumption that it was of strategic significance
2. Your inference of Southeast Asian sentiment based on the summit is off the mark
3. Your final argument is ad populum

I don’t know why you keep going on about the summit as we’ve already established it’s irrelevant. When I bring it up you say morals are relative and agree that their opinions are meaningless.

December 10, 2011 @ 11:28 am | Comment

I’m definitely looking forward to when China becomes a democracy. I trust you are too.

Forgot. I’m looking forward to when China is stable enough to transition if it’s necessary, but I have my doubts about democracy. I can see a government with some elements of democracy, but every major current and past “democracy” is a failure.

December 10, 2011 @ 11:30 am | Comment

1. When have I assumed that it was of strategic significance? On the other hand, on what basis do you assume that it wasn’t of strategic significance? And who’s strategic significance are we even talking about? The US declared it was back in business in SE Asia. No one voiced concerns except the CCP and the PLA. So at the very least, China seemed to think it was of “strategic significance”.

2. If SE Asian countries felt that increased US involvement in the region was unwelcome, they certainly didn’t make themselves heard. China was the one who griped about it. I think the inferences are fairly clear.

3. I don’t know what your difficulty is. There is no ad populum argument. I am not saying that China has a factually proven moral deficit to the US simply because SE Asian nations say so. That would be ad populum. What I am saying is that whether she has one or not, SE Asian nations seem to perceive her to have one. And it would serve China well to do the things necessary to change that perception.

Who established that the summit was irrelevant? The US declaring a renewed interest in the region after a 10 year absence is quite relevant, I think. And China seems to agree, hence her hopped up responses.

Morals aren’t relative. Everyone holds to their own. It only becomes relative when you insist on comparing them. It’s not necessary, but comparing is what you do. SE Asian nations’ opinions aren’t “meaningless” because they will inform how those nations relate with the US and with China.

December 10, 2011 @ 11:48 am | Comment

I found a comment by slim, some seven positions ago (#252). #246 is another comment by someone other than you, Cheung, or by Cookie Monster.

It’s just my personal opinion, Cheung, but in my view, this begins to look abusive. As I said before, I understand your approach, but it seems to me that this has become a game at Richard‘s cost, as I guess he wants to run a blog open to basically everyone. I’d like to support King Tubby‘s (#84) question: Is it worth it?

December 11, 2011 @ 12:52 am | Comment

When have I assumed that it was of strategic significance?

So you’re just talking nonsense?

If SE Asian countries felt that increased US involvement in the region was unwelcome, they certainly didn’t make themselves heard.

What are you babbling about? You implied their dealings were a reflection of their feelings about America’s moral standing. It isn’t. States don’t do that, don’t be ridiculous.

What I am saying is that whether she has one or not, SE Asian nations seem to perceive her to have one.

No one cares.

And it would serve China well to do the things necessary to change that perception.

If you had been paying attention you’d realize that China is getting more “respect” (lol) from the pissants by getting richer. So I guess the CCP will just do what it’s been doing.

December 11, 2011 @ 1:37 am | Comment

This thread follows a typical pattern: It starts with a lot of comments from different people, then SKC and CM go off in a one-on-one, other commenters start to drop out, the back-and-forth gets more aggressive and lengthy and other readers’ eyes start to glaze over, and finally it turns into an endless shouting match. I’ve requested that commenters shut these conversations down once they reach the stage where we all know where the other stands before we sink into the quicksand of agonizing repetition. It makes things hard for me because I want to encourage a dialogue but also don’t want to chase would-be commenters away. Where to draw the line is the hard part and in a little while I will simply close this thread, once I get a new post up. And then we can start all over again….

December 11, 2011 @ 1:50 am | Comment

I already stopped responding to SK’s points, everyone knows he can’t back anything he says up.

But of course he moved on to a different subject, which I handled pretty quickly.

December 11, 2011 @ 2:33 am | Comment

To Richard,
my apologies. I’ve tried to shorten my comments since your last directive. I’m avoiding the line-by-line thing I used to do before, and converted to prose since. And I think I’ve adhered to your policies. But disingenuous cherry-pickers annoy me as you know, and CM continues to engage in that sort of thing even in #261. However, it seems that useless comparisons aren’t coming as quickly and furiously now, so I don’t think the exercise was all for naught.

December 11, 2011 @ 2:57 am | Comment

I don’t cherry-pick. I just ignore the arguments I’ve destroyed in earlier posts. It took maybe a whole page of text for you to finally understand the difference between income and wealth, and another few paragraphs for you to acknowledge that transfer payments go to individuals.

That was taking up too much space on people’s screens. The comparisons aren’t coming as quickly because you’ve backed away from using them to begin with, when you aren’t floundering with your “Southeast Asia” ad populum.

December 11, 2011 @ 3:55 am | Comment

I’m not sure what you think you’ve destroyed, but you’re clearly delusional. In any event, I realize that your goal is to “win”, since you’ve felt compelled to declare “I win” on multiple occasions. As I always say, you do what you need to do. I see that the logic of the various points of previous discussion remain elusive to you. And that’s fine too. You’ve yet to point out even one occasion when I led off with a comparison to justify your comparisons, but even that’s ok. At the end of the day, if you can be compelled to at least adhere to your own principles, such as they are, that would already represent progress.

December 11, 2011 @ 6:09 am | Comment

SK Cheung
I see that the logic of the various points of previous discussion

Came only from my side.

December 11, 2011 @ 9:08 am | Comment

“anything any Chinese person does that isn’t groveling or receiving abuse means all Chinese are latent neo-Nazis”

Uh huh. Yeah, you’re the victims again……

*Yawn*

December 12, 2011 @ 5:30 am | Comment

Nope, the Chinese are the injured party. That doesn’t mean they’re “victims” as many blubbering Westerners believe themselves to be.

December 12, 2011 @ 9:07 am | Comment

“Nope, the Chinese are the injured party”

*Yawn*

Heard it before. Boring then, boring now.

Next!

December 12, 2011 @ 9:44 am | Comment

@Justrecently:

You could of course, view it that way, but we’re really going into details where of course, each country have their own difference. I’m sure China won’t play out EXACTLY like Taiwan as well, but the general marco trend between China and those of Taiwan / Korea is too similar to ignore completely as well.

Also, IMHO, what you describe has more to do with Chang Chin Kuo’s decision to end the dynasty himself, which mostly helped in Taiwan not needing to go through a Taiwan Spring moment to move forward politically, but it’s not like the KMT old guards didn’t try to guard their interest, nor was the developements in the 90s a completely idealogically driven matter , as Lee Teng Hui was obviously struggling for his own power as well.

The CCP as we all agree on, at least does have the merit that it is not a family dynasty, (though there are worrisome trend of many next generation leaders being the sons of the first generation folks), so it’s at least not going to fight resistence based on family interest, which should help.

December 12, 2011 @ 6:01 pm | Comment

Mike Goldthorpe
Boring then, boring now.

Yes, the truth doesn’t seem to interest you much at all.

December 13, 2011 @ 2:13 am | Comment

“Yes, the truth doesn’t seem to interest you much at all”

No, your truth does not interest me in the slightest. You method of argument is infantile and tedious to read as well.

December 13, 2011 @ 7:07 am | Comment

“You method of argument is infantile and tedious to read as well.”

Oh yeah, those infantile and tedious sources you seem to loathe so much. But don’t worry, you don’t need those when you have ignorance, bias, and an overuse of the ellipse – to fill in where your anecdotes and out of context propaganda pieces leave off.

December 13, 2011 @ 7:52 am | Comment

This has turned into a troll-fest, so I suppose it’s on topic. 🙁

I find it interesting that both CM and SKC don’t really know much about China. The difference between the two is that SKC readily admits it while CM does not. For the people on this blog who have lived there, the whole thing sounds ridiculous and like some kind of fantasy, not based on any sort of reality. China is what it is, neither good nor bad. It’s simply China and is undergoing a remarkable transformation right before our eyes. I and I’m sure others in this comment section consider ourselves very fortunate to have lived through a part of that transformation, and were able to observe history being made.

Why can’t we all talk about real things instead of this garbage? How can we discuss utopia or hell on earth when it simply doesn’t exist over there? I’m sure there are fantasy websites where you can comment about vampires, aliens from other planets and a paradise with unbelievably enlightened rulers or hellholes with despotic tyrants, both called China. However, if you want to comment about the real China, you ought to spend some time there and find out what it’s actually like. The rest of it is just banality.

December 13, 2011 @ 9:41 am | Comment

I never claimed to be an expert on anything at all. My tone with SKC, Mike and others reflects the fact that I simply am far more knowledgeable on a wide range of topics than they are (combined).

That is not saying much.

December 13, 2011 @ 9:45 am | Comment

And I know more than many that China is not a utopia, but I know enough that the CCP is not being represented as is by the West’s media or their stooges of convenience like Mike and SK.

December 13, 2011 @ 9:46 am | Comment

CM, please don’t press your luck. I let you back in unmoderated on the condition you refrain from your signature personal attacks. Thanks.

December 13, 2011 @ 10:27 am | Comment

Wow, haven’t visited for a while. Nothing changes: vibrant debate punctuated by 50-cent banality and sprinkled with occasional vitriolic bile (you know who).

December 13, 2011 @ 11:34 am | Comment

speaking of Taiwan matters.. (sine this is a continuation of that thread), the Presidential election is really just a month away.

December 13, 2011 @ 11:35 am | Comment

Stuart
Wow, haven’t visited for a while. Nothing changes: vibrant debate punctuated by 50-cent banality and sprinkled with occasional vitriolic bile (you know who).

Now with 50% less intellectual dishonesty and circular logic now that you’re gone. Vitriolic bile is down quite a bit as nanhe has fallen off the internet.

speaking of Taiwan matters.. (sine this is a continuation of that thread), the Presidential election is really just a month away.

Good topic, Tsai doesn’t seem that bad at all.

Richard
I let you back in unmoderated on the condition you refrain from your signature personal attacks.

Stooge and “kool-aid drinker” are fairly equivalent, not counting the other 1000 roundabout ad hominems SK has squirted all over our monitors. That’s not even counting eco and slim’s outright and blatant ones.

But I acknowledge you hold some posters to higher standards, and it’s noted.

December 13, 2011 @ 11:42 am | Comment

Ok, it is game over

I have been reading this thread since Nov.25th

Going to finish it with

Song of the Article

Troll
-Anders Hagberg

If you are comment 280+
you got problems….

keep it real
keep it red
wumaodang.

-fin

December 13, 2011 @ 11:43 am | Comment

I’m sure CM is very knowledgeable in a wide range of topics. Does that intersect with the topic of this blog? Not so much. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

December 13, 2011 @ 11:54 am | Comment

It does actually, when you try to bring 1) transfer payments 2) wealth inequality 3) international relations 4) science and technology 5) geopolitics into the picture

Clearly you have been too busy with other things to have much of a grasp on any of these, but I assure you they’re all relevant.

December 13, 2011 @ 12:07 pm | Comment

I have to reiterate that these threads only become troll fests because anyone who “Steps out of line” (i.e doesn’t endlessly criticize the CCP without proper substantiation) is ALWAYS ganged up on. There’s a reason why no Chinese people post here. They get tired of you and leave. Only Hong Xing, Math, linger etc and I don’t even know if they’re serious 90% of the time.

December 13, 2011 @ 12:45 pm | Comment

Yes, that Credit Suisse report did come in very handy. Thanks again for that. You clearly brought your wealth of knowledge to bear on that one.

I’ve always observed that the recurring need to make self-aggrandizing statements belies a profound insecurity. But as I always say, you do what you gotta do.

December 13, 2011 @ 1:52 pm | Comment

It isn’t self-aggrandizing to say I’m more knowledgeable than you. Not in the least.

December 13, 2011 @ 2:42 pm | Comment

RollingWave – I’m voting Tsai Yingwen, or would be if I had a vote. I’m not crazy pro-DPP like some of the bloggers out there, in fact I preferred Ma in the last election, but Tsai offers decent new policies and, just as importantly, a new face.

December 13, 2011 @ 2:54 pm | Comment

In general, my view is pretty simple, the two parties in practice show very little difference in principals on domestic matters, both can essentially be classified as market socialist. they’ll argue on some details but almost never on principals. so far the only real spat of true policy discontinuity on domestic matter was Chen’s abrupt shutdown of the 4th Nuclear powerplant project, (which he later restarted again anyway). Other than that there isn’t much example of serious principal changes in domestic policy.

The difference of course of course, have always been cross-strait, and it certainly helps Ma’s case that he managed to do something that’s basically unthinkable during Chen’s day, actually getting pretty influential deals down with the PRC, it may be difficult for non long time residents to see the dramatic change this means, when I was born (and i’m not very old). it wasn’t even legal to send a mail to China, let alone most other things normal countries would take for granted with it’s neighbors, even just a few years ago if you want to fly from Taipei to Shanghai it would take longer than flying from New York to LA, because you’d have to go through Hong Kong and take another flight. Not to meantion all sorts of other non-sense.

The fact that Ma has essentially changed the cross-strait situation in everyday lifes of people by literally light years in just a matter of a few years should realistically be enough for him to be reelected.

Now, we can debate on other domestic matters where I would totally agree that Ma have not been able to change, like falling wages and reduced social mobility for one thing, Taiwan’s unemployment is low but newly grad today are working longer hours for lesser pay than 10 years ago while housing prices are going through the roof in the urban centers, that’s obviously bad, but my problem is that I have no faith in the DPP continuing a reasonable cross-strait relationship, and if they can’t do that even if they can solve the other problems (which is already debatable, since most of the trends are a continuation of Chen’s 8 years as well.) it still won’t help much.

December 13, 2011 @ 7:06 pm | Comment

So would I. Tsai Ing-wen is a moderate, and I see much less reason to suspect her of intransparent deals with China, than Ma Ying-jeou or the KMT respectively.

That said, I’m almost sure that – if she gets elected – there will be allegations against her, which aren’t too different from the ones president Ma is facing these days. I hope she will focus on the further development of industries which made Taiwan great – small and medium-sized enterprises.

Another good thing is that she seems to have nerves of steel. She will need them, abroad, and at home. Ma has flip-flopped too much to be seen as the best choice in January, in my view.

December 13, 2011 @ 9:05 pm | Comment

“I simply am far more knowledgeable on a wide range of topics than they are (combined)”

If only we knew what these topics were 😉

December 14, 2011 @ 4:30 am | Comment

“If only we knew”

My point exactly.

December 14, 2011 @ 4:58 am | Comment

“My point exactly”

And mine 😉

Don’t worry, I’m only teasing. You do make me laugh 🙂

December 14, 2011 @ 5:03 am | Comment

Amazing news – the town of Wukan is apparently under the control of independent Chinese forces. The CCP has been chased out of town with its tail between its legs.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/8951638/Chinese-police-besiege-town-and-cut-of-food-supplies-in-bid-to-quell-riots.html

December 14, 2011 @ 6:36 am | Comment

To 288:
…as I was saying…

December 14, 2011 @ 7:20 am | Comment

To Rollingwave,
do you think the third party candidate will split Ma’s vote enough to have an effect on the outcome of the election?

December 14, 2011 @ 7:24 am | Comment

To Raj,
43 is pretty young to be having heart problems. I wonder if the police were investigated for such an in-custody death (of course not). I wonder if they did an autopsy (unlikely). The cutting-off-the-village bit is downright medieval. Or just a day in the office for the CCP, I guess.

December 14, 2011 @ 7:32 am | Comment

This bloated thread is hereby closed. Please continue anything left unsaid in the new thread above. Thanks.

December 14, 2011 @ 12:06 pm | Comment

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