Wednesday, July 26, 2006

OBSERVATION: China myths and the American press

I recently had an Internet chat with a friend in China. He observed that the American press seems to be so negative of his country. I explained to him that a lot of my conservative friends are left over Cold Warriors. They still think of China as the antithesis of American philosophy – enemies of the American way. These are the people who actually believe that war between Mainland China and Taiwan is likely, when it is hardly even possible.

Then you have the religious right, (mostly Christians) who see China as a heathen land of religious oppression. Now, I will grant that the level of religious freedom and expression is not as great as in the United States, but it is getting better. (I took the photo at left in one of the Catholic Churches in Harbin.) Religious influence in the media assures that China will be a constant subject of criticism. Would I be too cynical to suggest that blasting China is good for the collection plate … almost as good as a new church roof?

Then you have the labor unions. They work up workers into a frenzy of fear that China has, or will soon be, taking all their jobs. Of course, this is untrue, but the propaganda campaigns of American unions would be the envy of any old guard Chinese sentimentalist.

Trade unions are the much of blame for the flow of cheap goods into the U.S. When China and Russia were outside our commercial trade sphere, unions used every tactic in the book to create a U.S. economy.(wages AND cost of goods) well above the global free market level. Once China came on line as a producer nation, our cushy wages and benefits were to our own disadvantage. And remember, those union-driven wage increases were accompanied by higher consumer prices. In purchasing power… no gain. Those who complain about the use of low cost labor in China should go there and buy three bushels of corn or 12 cents, and a custom made suit for $60.

The problem for the U.S. was made worse but the fact that the old Communist system of China suppressed wages and benefits. This kept the controlled economy of the Middle Kingdom in check, but at great pain to the working class. The system that was to benefit them actually oppressed them. This meant that the wage difference between the U.S. and China was artificially wide. Ergo, manufacturing flows to low cost. So great is the disparity that even high transportation costs did not overcome the wage advantage of China. But alas, this will gradually even out.

While unions complain about the loss of jobs, they do not take into consideration Chinese-influenced or financed job creation in the U.S.. In addition, the American consumer is reaping in the benefits in terms of lower retail costs. That is a benefit to a lot more Americans than the real number of those unemployed by job shifts to China.

We also have to remember that China is now a much better partner in international relations. From the war on terrorism to the handling of North Korea, U.S. foreign policy benefits from Sino cooperation.

So, for all the troublesome issues between China and the United States, and there are significant ones, it is much better having them export retail goods than anti-American sentiment. Perhaps you need to be old enough to personally recall the Cold War to appreciate just how much better things are today.

OUTRAGE POST SCRIPT: Judging Cancer

I recently wrote of my outrage at a judge who ruled that a 16-year-old cancer victim had to take harsh standard medical treatment against his will, and gave partial custody of the boy to the state. He also threatened the parents, who supported their sons decision (after a miserable round of unsuccessful standard medical treatments) with child abuse charges . Weeeeell ... I am happy to report that a Circuit Court judge reversed all the decisons, restored full custody and set a time for a full trial of the case. Now for those who ae quick to say, "See, the judicial system works." Not so fast. Look what the flawed system has already done to these people, the human misery and the costs. NO! That is not a system that works. That's like telling the guy who spent half his life in prison only to be freed on new DNA evidence that the system works. Bah humbug!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

OBSERVATION: Another "View:

Just read the reports about The View's newest panelist Mo'nque showing her hairy legs. Au natural may be ok for female calves, but she admits to shaving her underarms because it is "a different kind of hair" and it stinks. That is the kind of information that is useful every day.

I read a lot in the news about this show, but am I crazy, or what? (No answer needed). Has Barbara (Waa Waa) Walters descended to overseeing a show only slightly less vulgar ... and equally irrelevant ... than Jerry Springer.

Am I too assume that Star Jones lost her minority seat with a "view" because she lost weight? She was literally a star panelist before she shed umpteen pounds. Now she is replaced by Mo'nque, a very chunky black female with the hairy gams (but barren pits). Or maybe Star refused to allow her legs to take on the appearance of a New York nightclub bouncer.

One can only hope that The View quickly slips from ... .

Sunday, July 23, 2006

OP ED: Dems Defy the Public

It is said that those the gods would destroy, they first make crazy. That leads me to believe that the gods are about to destroy Chicgo’s Democrat political machine.

In assuming that the Cook County Board presidency is a private political possession, albeit on permanent loan to the black community, the Democrat machine leaders have displayed more arrogance than common sense. In giving the back of the hand to such Democrats as Forrest Claypool, Mike Quigley and others, I suspect they have driven a lot of white ethnics into the GOP camp for this election season. In giving the back of the other hand to such peoples as Danny Davis and Jesse Jackson, Jr., they even may risk losing a chunk of the reliable black vote.

To make matters worse, the machine boys selected Commissioner Bobbie Steele to complete the term of John Stroger. A major blunder. Not because she is so BAD, but because she is so GOOD. For the rest of the campaign, the public will see Todd Stroger, the unqualified, inept candidate of the back-room-boys, running for a job being performed with professionalism and elegance by the truly qualified Bobbie Steele. The comparison can do young Stroger no good.

The only thing that can prevent a voter backlash from ending Democrat control of the county board is the ability of the local Republicans to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They are the Chicago Cubs of politics. It does appear that the Democrat slating committee is counting heavily on GOP ineptness to trump their own arrogance.

OP ED: Daley in Deep Doo Doo?

However the November and next year’s municipal elections go, it appears the old Chicago “machine” is starting to rust and the master mechanic, Mayor Rich Daley, my be having career problems.

Any of the recent scandals would have brought down the “man in charge.” In Chicago, however, there is an unworthy resiliency for old guard Chicago Democrats led by Hizzoner. The latest report on police torture again brings further evidence that Mayor Daley arguably leads the most corrupt and racist major city in America. Yet, the sycophants are quick to absolve Daley – again and again.

Of course if you believe the Mayor, he knew none of it. Not about political work for cushy jobs. Not about the donations for contracts. Not about the mobbed up backgrounds of his close pals. Not about airport contracts for his wife’s luncheon ladies. Not about the insider casino deals. Not about his brothers’ clout activities. Not about the pay-for-no-work jobs program. Not about police brutality against minorities. Not about prosecutorial abuse, even as state’s attorney. Not about the courts fixing everything from parking tickets to murder cases. Not about the unseemly handling of the Stroger situation, including the anointment of Stroger the Lesser as the party standard bearer. He knew none of it. So sayeth the mayor and his minions.

Born in Chicago, and being involved in its social and civic life, I can say with assurance that virtually EVERYONE knew of these things. We knew how the system worked. Police abuse against minorities and prosecutorial persecution was common knowledge – winked at by public officials from the precinct captain to the mayor. The democratic machine is much like the Democrat leaders of the old south – operated ruthlessly by a click of white pols for their own benefit. Sure, some blacks got rich playing “window dressing,” just as long as they did not get too uppity about the suppression of the black community in general.

It is to the credit of the people of Chicago that a recent poll indicated that more than 70 percent of the citizens (friends and foes alike) simply do not believe the Mayor. And that was taken before the latest round of professed mayoral ignorances. Is there anyone left who DOES believe the mayor?

REACT: Three Cheers for Israel

Judging from the evening news spin and the morning talk show hosts, the Israeli government is an aggressor in attacking Hezbollah, the nation of Lebanon is being invaded and destroyed, scores of civilians are being needlessly killed, and President Bush refuses to call for a cease fire because he is secretly in cahoots with Israel. That is the media take.

Fortunately, the American public is not stupid … and least not to the point the national newsmakers would like. Even from afar, we grassroots citizens know enough to be spin-proof.

I am very sure Israel consulted with its allies, especially the U.S., before embarking on its military assault on Hezbollah. I suspect we have a clear green signal. The attack on Hezbollah is long overdue. It is a good thing. We do not want a cease fire, giving the internationally recognized terrorist group a chance to regroup and rearm. Our position is to destroy their capability to reign terror on the world.

This is a far cry from an invasion of Lebanon. The Lebanese government, itself, is at war with Hezbollah. They blame Hezbollah for this recent outbreak of warfare. They see Hezbollah as agents of Iran and Syria. The Lebanese military are ready to move in to area cleared by Israel in order to establish control of the Hezbollah region. Having just kicked out the Syrian overlords, the Lebanese government has every desire to see the insurrectionists of Hezbollah wiped out.

The deaths in warfare are always a human tragedy – civilian deaths even more so. In modern military engagements, the civilized world makes every effort to limit the injury and death of civilians. It is not always possible. On the other hand, terrorists groups, such as Hezbollah, actually target innocent civilians, slitting their throats and beheading them.

We also need to keep in mind that the fight against terrorism is not a military engagement. Terrorists ARE civilians. They are combatants masquerading as civilians. Rather than set up their operations away from civilian populations, they purposely place installations nears homes, hospitals and schools to both discourage attack and to make public relations hay out of any attack.

Unlike a civilized military, the terrorist ARE civilian women and even children. Children are taught to hate and kill from early on. Many suicide bombers are poor women and young teenagers.

While we cannot determine the culpability of any single victim, we know that not all the civilian casualties were innocents. Many were active supporters – the ones seen celebrating in the streets as the New York Trade Center collapsed or praising the deadly work of suicide bombers. They are the ones teaching their children to be the next generation of terrorists. Those who serve as a shield shall also die by the sword.

The attack on Hezbollah should not end until we are satisfied that they are destroyed – rendered incapable to serve as Iran’s and Syria’s surrogates of terrorism. To destroy Hezbollah is to partially disarm Iran and Syria.

We have a chance to show the world that terrorists cannot incubate where ever they please. They cannot lay claim to the lands of legitimate governments. They cannot engage in terrorism without paying the highest costs.

A cease-fire is not the answer. Unconditional surrender is the only acceptable outcome. We should not only NOT pressure Israel for a cease-fire, but also should support their military effort without hesitation. The only acceptable “cease fire” is when there is not a single terrorist left to pull the trigger.

LATEST OUTRAGES

As I peruse the news, there is an inevitable something to get the adrenalin flowing and the blood pressure skyrocketing. LATEST OUTRAGES is just my way to share a few with you. And, feel free to pass them on. If enough of us get outraged, maybe … just maybe … something good will come of it.

OUTRAGE #1: A Virginia judge ruled that a 16-year-old boy with cancer must undergo conventional treatments against his will. He has suffered through previous treatments, and has decided to try alternative treatments in Mexico. He is supported by his parents in his desire. He fully understands the consequences if the treatments are not successful. Just as his past medical treatments were unsuccessful. Bad enough, but here is the real outrage. They have filed charges against the parents, and a court has awarded partial custody of their son to a state agency. What utter arrogance. Arrrrgh!

OUTRAGE #2: I read in the newspaper that the United States has sent a “secret” shipment of precision-guided bomb. The purchase was made last year, but the shipment was expedited because of the fight with Hezbollah. The article noted that the official spilling the beans requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. The article even noted that disclosure “threatens to anger Arab governments and others because of the appearance that the United States is actively aiding the Israeli bombing campaign in a way that could be compared to Iran’s efforts to arm and re-supply Hezbollah.” There we go again!!! Government insiders giving out confidential information to an all too eager and disloyal press KNOWING that disclosure damages the U.S. Every time the newspapers use disloyal officials to aid and abet the enemy, American soldiers and innocent civilians are going to die. Arrrrgh!

OUTRAGE #3: President Bush gave German Chancellor Angela Merkel a little friendly shoulder massage before the start of the summit meeting. The Looney Ladies of the Left (nee liberal feminists) rose in their own version of outrage and charged the President with “inappropriately touching a woman without her invitation.” (I am initially confused. Not sure how one can “inappropriately touch a woman” WITH her invitation, but that is another matter). I would be more outraged, except this is just too silly. No wonder the left-wing women are no longer taken seriously. One cannot satirize them more than they do themselves. Remember, these are the same gals who gave Clinton a pass for getting a blowjob in the Oval Office from a young employee. Arrrrgh!

OBSERVATION: No Reason For Treason

There are a number of websites that invite readers to invent new needed words. It is so much fun that my wife submitted her own … for collectors … it is “acrapulate.” (If you want to know more about it, check out the website, www.acrapulate.com). However, I am unable to find a procedure to delete unused words. (I mean, have you seen the size of the hernia-producing unabridged dictionary?)

And the first word I propose we delete from the American lexicon is “treason.”

It is clearly an anachronistic word with little or no meaning in modern society. Government officials give up military secrets. Newspapers publish sensitive data. Names of our undercover agents are put on the Internet. Soldiers propagandize against the war on terrorism. Despite it all, the word “treason” is hardly ever mentioned – and when it is those who raise its scepter are trashed in the public media.

Many of the disclosures sure look like the law book definitions of treason. However, no betrayal of oath or action against the interests of the United States is now brought before the tribunals of justice.

Perhaps it was the Pentagon Papers disclosure of the Vietnam War era that placed treason under the protection of the First Amendment. Maybe we do have the right to scream fire in a crowded theater.