The Incontiguous Brick

January 6, 2009

“If China puts a man on the moon”

Filed under: China,Our World — iknowkeith @ 7:52 pm

Recent article in Bloomberg,
Obama Moves to Counter China With Pentagon-NASA Link suggests that because of China’s space ambition they are catching up to the U.S. and the military needs to be involved with NASA to speed development of space vehicles.

Check this line:
If China puts a man on the moon, that in itself isn’t necessarily a threat to the U.S.,” said Dean Cheng, a senior Asia analyst with CNA Corp., an Alexandria, Virginia-based national-security research firm. “But it would suggest that China had reached a level of proficiency in space comparable to that of the United States.”

Hmmm.  So if China sends a man to the moon (matching an achievement NASA managed in 1969) then they “reached a level of proficiency in space comparable to that of the United States?”  Seriously?  Are they suggesting that NASA has not advanced the science and technology of space exploration and travel in the last 40 years?  Appalling.

I have to agree with Obama on this one.  NASA needs a kick in the ass even more than it needs funding.  Hopefully they are paired with the U.S. Marines.  Maybe that would get them motivated to aggressively move ahead.


August 23, 2008

Hua Guofeng, A sad death for Chinese Communists and teenagers worldwide

Filed under: China,Our World — iknowkeith @ 6:26 am

A sad day in China as the book closes on the life of Hua Guofeng.  Of course, we all know him for his rule of China after the death of Mao Zedong.  And who doesn’t remember his famous quotations, some of which are still recited by school children around the world.  Don’t believe me?  Well, who hasn’t heard “whatever” be uttered in the sarcastic hateful tone that only a teenager can muster?  That’s right, Hua said it first.  In fact, his best known quote is usually refered to in China as the “two whatevers.”  You thought your teenager was rude with just one “whatever”, Hua went for two.  Thanks, Hua Guofeng, for adding spice to the language and character of teenagers around the world with your two whatevers.


Look at that face…  If that look doesn’t scream “whatever” then I don’t know what does.

February 23, 2008

Sun Tzu’s wisdom and today’s folly

Filed under: China,politics,Ramblings,Warnings,Wordpress Political Blogs — iknowkeith @ 2:27 am

suntzu.jpg“He who wishes to fight must first count the cost.

When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be dampened.

If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.

Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.

Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor dampened, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity.

Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue…

In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.”

~Sun Tzu, the Art of War


From the Washington Post:

“Do you want to know who is bailing out America’s biggest banks and financial institutions from the consequences of their folly — by acting as the lender of last resort and controller of the system? Why, it’s the sovereign wealth funds, owned by such nations as China and the Persian Gulf oil producers. The new titans are coming to the rescue, if that’s the right word for their mortgage on America’s future.”

I wonder if the China’s leadership has ever read Sun Tzu. Oh crap, he was Chinese.

December 4, 2007

Ron Paul and China

Filed under: China,politics,Ron Paul,Wordpress Political Blogs — iknowkeith @ 1:07 pm

Most of you know by now that I am supporter of Ron Paul. I am thrilled with the idea of a smaller government, no income taxes, personal liberty and the return to the constitution. However, aside from the war issue, I was a little unclear of his foreign policy ideas.

I finally got around to doing a little research and found this article about his views toward China written by the man himself.

Each year the people of the United States write a check to subsidize China, one of the most brutal, anti-American regimes in the world. Lately it has been in vogue for everyone in Washington to eagerly denounce the egregious abuses of the Chinese people at the hands of their communist dictators. Yet no one in our federal government has been willing to take China on in any meaningful way. Very few people realize that China is one of the biggest beneficiaries of American taxpayer subsidies. Thanks to the largesse of Congress and the President, China enjoys subsidized trade and the flow of US tax dollars into Beijing’s coffers.I offered an amendment before the House of Representatives last month that would have ended the $4 billion subsidy our nation quietly gives China through the US government’s Export-Import Bank. The bank underwrites the purchases of goods and services by the Chinese government and others around the world. Unfortunately, only a minority of Democrats or Republicans supported my measure. Apparently, many members of Congress are happy to bash China, but don’t mind lending her U.S. taxpayer money at sweetheart interest rates.Some of your money went to fund a nuclear power plant in Shanghai owned by the China National Nuclear Corporation, a state-run company. Many US-based multinational corporations benefit directly from Export-Import Bank subsidies to China, including Boeing, Westinghouse, and McDonnell Douglas. So it’s not hard to understand that business trumps the feelgood rhetoric condemning China.

There is no constitutional authority for Congress to make loans to any country, and certainly no basis for giving away the hard-earned cash of Americans to communist leaders who brutalize their women and children with forced abortions, and persecute Christians for their faith.

In reality, there is very little the federal government can do about conditions in China. Under our Constitution, the federal government simply does not have the authority to point a gun at Chinese leaders and force them to respect the principles of liberty. It just doesn’t work that way.

I believe that by engaging the Chinese people, opening personal dialogue, and seeking to change their hearts and minds, we soon will see that regime collapse. The laws of economics dictate that a communist system cannot stand for long. But in the same way, I firmly believe there is a higher law which dictates that people exposed to the principles of liberty will not for long allow themselves to remain shackled to an oppressive government. Economic freedom, i.e. capitalism, now has a strong foothold in China. The Chinese people may soon demand political, religious, and personal freedom as well. But in the meantime let’s stop sending tax dollars to support a government we claim to despise.

August 15, 2006

~ Ron Paul



** Political Blogger Allianc**

November 28, 2007

Chinese Tequila?

Filed under: China,Our World,Wordpress Political Blogs — iknowkeith @ 2:48 pm

I have come to accept that almost everything comes from China. But seriously, are we really ready for Chinese tequila?

buyjosecuervotequila.jpgI am not a huge fan of tequila (ever since a horrible incident in 1995 involving at least a dozen shots of Cuervo and a similar number of Coronas) but I understand its mystique. I don’t know too many people that would say they really like tequila, but they still drink it (often to excess). There is something about the Mexican origins that invoke our internal images of sweaty bars in tough border towns or crazy nights in Cozumel that makes tequila a top selling liquor in the United States.

Now, Mexican tequila makers are feeling threatened by Chinese makers. While it seems a shame that China might wipe out a Mexican staple export, it also seems unlikely. I have not seen Budweiser sales replaced with Chinese beer. I seriously doubt Chinese tequila will take the place of Mexican tequila. The image of a skanky Chinese bar in Shanghai simply does not fit the image of tequila.

Don’t worry Mexico, you will always be our favorite image of skanky tequila bars here in America.

Your tequila sales are safe.

November 15, 2007

100% Lead Free

Filed under: China,Ramblings — iknowkeith @ 9:11 pm

I came across this logo on a website selling toys. Amazing how this is becoming part of the advertising hook…


First of all, I want to say that this is a sad state of affairs that advertisers are using “not made in China” as a selling point. I say it is sad because that means most stuff is still made in China and we should have all stopped buying that crap months ago. I admit, I do it too. I try to see “made in China” as a warning label but then I look at the price tag and they get me.

Although I can’t make you (or me) stop buying Chinese products; I can guarantee that the contents of this blog were not made from Chinese products and is 100% lead free. I don’t even speak Chinese.

October 22, 2007

Oil, China and global production

Filed under: China,Environment,Oil,Warnings — iknowkeith @ 9:40 am

A new report came out from an energy watch group in Germany today. If the report is accurate, peak oil already happened last year and we can expect a 7% reduction in production every year from now on. How bad is this?

On the brighter side, it is about time we all move on and stop burning stuff to power our world. We have been burning stuff since the beginnings of civilization and maybe this is just what we need to move on to something better. It could be a little painful for a while but we might all be better off in the long run.

Unfortunately, the U.S. is not the only economy that depends on oil. Oil has been the great engine of modernization and economic growth in every successful economy in the last 100 years. The latest booming economy is China, but this time it is facing a dwindling oil market rather than expanding.

In 2004, the LA Times published an article titled, “U.S., China Are on Collision Course Over Oil.” Here is an excerpt:

Sixty-seven years ago, oil-starved Japan embarked on an aggressive expansionary policy designed to secure its growing energy needs, which eventually led the nation into a world war. Today, another Asian power thirsts for oil: China.

While the U.S. is absorbed in fighting the war on terror, the seeds of what could be the next world war are quietly germinating. With 1.3 billion people and an economy growing at a phenomenal 8% to 10% a year, China, already a net oil importer, is growing increasingly dependent on imported oil. Last year, its auto sales grew 70% and its oil imports were up 30% from the previous year, making it the world’s No. 2 petroleum user after the U.S. By 2030, China is expected to have more cars than the U.S. and import as much oil as the U.S. does today.

Optimists claim that the world oil market will be able to accommodate China and that, instead of conflict, China’s thirst could create mutual desire for stability in the Middle East and thus actually bring Beijing closer to the U.S.

History shows the opposite: Superpowers find it difficult to coexist while competing over scarce resources.

The article cites a possible conflict over Saudi Arabian oil because that is the largest supplier in the world and China and the US are both customers. However, that was before Hugo Chavez pledged to fuel China and turn away from the United States. Venezuela provides 11% of U.S. imports but is turning toward China as a new customer and partner. Now the US could be faced with a violent conflict much closer to home.

The article was also published with peak oil being a distant problem.  Now it may already be hear and China’s demand is already putting a strain on the world market.  There are a number of places where the battle over oil could be fought as the US or China becomes desperate.  Sudan, Iran, Nigeria all are major producers and have strong ties with China already.  Some have called for the US to get involved in one way or another with these oil producers already  over nuclear of human rights issues.  But the flashpoint could be oil when it comes to US and China…  and it could be soon.

October 10, 2007

China getting ready or sending signals?

Filed under: China,Warnings — iknowkeith @ 11:14 pm

The New York Times reported today that China has promoted four military officers to top positions in the PLA. The thing that makes this news is all four have significant experience planning for war with Taiwan.

j10-03.jpgWhen it comes to military promotions in the upper ranks it is all about politics. That is true in most countries and certainly the case in China. Therefore, this group of promotions has a meaning and can be taken one of two ways:<br>
1. Beijing is sending a signal that they are taking Taiwanese independence very seriously and other countries should stay out of the way. Hmmm, pretty subtle. And I would think that the massive arms buildup across the Taiwan Straits would have already sent that signal.

2. Beijing is seriously preparing the PLA for a conflict in the near future and these promotions are a step toward staffing the top brass with the right people to wage a major war with Taiwan and possibly other countries if they try to intervene.

Many analysts say that Beijing will not risk a conflict before the 2008 Olympics because of the potential that other nations may boycott. I agree, but that is only a year away. Sounds like just about the right amount of time for these guys to settle in to their new jobs and make preparations for a good ol’ fashion island stompin’.

China’s missile ranges

October 1, 2007

Why should I care about Burma’s monks?

Filed under: China,Our World,Warnings — iknowkeith @ 2:31 pm

As we all know (if you read the news at all) that there is a revolution in progress in Burma. Thousands of people, led by monks, marched in the streets to protest the current regime and call for democratic reform. It isn’t going well.

The reports of monks beaten to death are not even argued by the Burmese government. Additional (unconfirmed) reports are telling the story of thousands of executed protesters, cremation of live persons, and a very strong crackdown of the dissent. It is a tragic situation for the people of Burma but the implications for the world could be much greater.

Burma’s crackdown will be a modern example for authoritarian governments everywhere. If the heavy handed response is successful, it will be a dangerous lesson for many. Brutal suppression works. If the crackdown is unsuccessful and the state is transformed to a democracy in the next few years, it provides another lesson for governments. Don’t let protests grow so big and don’t allow religious groups freedom to organize movements.

This is exactly what Beijing will be watching for as the crisis unfolds. We can expect Chinese religious movements to pay the price. Beijing’s crackdown on dissenting groups may become much harsher in the near future to ensure this type revolt (like Tienanmen) does not happen again.

If the revolt is successful, Beijing also has to worry about Taiwan being encouraged to follow suit and push harder for independence. We China’s response is likely to be equally aggressive and might force a US response. Bad for everybody.

One lesson that all authoritarian governments are getting right now is that they can stomp all over their population and the world will just standby. Hopefully, free nations in the world will not let this lesson last too long and will find a way to stop the oppression of the Burmese people.

September 12, 2007

Don’t drink the water!

Filed under: China,Warnings — iknowkeith @ 3:05 pm

If you are planning a trip to China in the near future (I hear there is some big sporting event next year) you might want to bring your own beverages. (more…)

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