The GM Situation

Told so even I can understand and including the ridiculous threats that Obama is currently making towards China.
by David Harsanyi [ht Hot Air]

The Wall Street Journal reports today that General Motors executives have asked the Treasury Department to sell its stake in the giant automaker. The administration has refused.

Oddly enough, today we also learned that the Obama administration is launching a complaint at the World Trade Organization over China’s allegedly unfair subsidizing of its auto industry.

Reality Bites

This is a link to the famous DiploMad 2.0 discussing state department ways and how they would relate to the current Chen situation.

Just like some Hollywood movie mafiosi, the Beijing authorities most likely put the heat on Chen’s family. I have no doubt, despite the tepid denials, that the US Embassy officials, now panicking re the implications for their “make nice” mission, passed along the threats re Chen’s family to Chen.
……. Whatever the thinking had been, it soon became to get Chen out, have the PRC issue some vague promise that “we will be nice to him,” put an end to the “crisis,” get good Employee Evaluation Reports (EERs) for all involved, and maybe even a few Superior Honor Awards for “tirelessly developing the successful response to a crisis that threatened to overshadow the Secretary’s visit, and to hamper the evolution of Sino-American relations.” (I used to write that sort of crap.)

As I have noted before, no adult supervision exists in the Obama misadministration when it comes to foreign policy.

This is the Washington Post story on Chen having permission to study abroad.

the deal — struck less than 24 hours before Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was set to depart Beijing — left Chen and U.S. officials in the same position they have been stuck in for days: relying on the word of the Chinese government…………………..Chen’s lack of a passport may also prove to be an obstacle. The Foreign Ministry, in its Friday statement, said that if Chen “wants to study abroad, he can apply through normal channels to the relevant departments, according to the law, just like any other Chinese citizen.” But in Chen’s case, that would mean having to return to his home province, Shandong, to obtain the necessary documents. Chen was beaten severely in Shandong and kept under unlawful house arrest for more than a year and a half.

You tell me. Will this happen? I have my doubts.

World Affairs and Strategic Interests

Years ago I got into a blog discussion with some folks from Germany. They were “accusing” us of going into Iraq because of the oil. Otherwise, they said, why weren’t we going into Darfur?

I told them that it wasn’t quite as simple as that, but that yes, we have no strategic interest in Darfur, but we do in Iraq so if we’re going to choose, let’s choose Iraq. I continue to believe that makes sense.

Now we have Hillary Clinton going into China and essentially dismissing the issue of human rights as she works to make certain the Chinese continue to buy up our debt.

(Though since the Chinese make their money by selling stuff to us – I’m unclear on the concept of how this is all going to work.)
(I’m also unsure how giving up a negotiating tactic is a good plan.)

As Captain Ed notes,

Perhaps I missed it, but I don’t recall a statement by Condoleezza Rice or Colin Powell that baldly stated that the US cared less about human rights than trade than this statement from Hillary Clinton does.

Hillary opposed a Bush trade deal with Colombia due to human rights issues.
(as did Obama)

But hey – we have a strong strategic need to work with China and a weak need to work with Colombia.

OR could it be that race thing again.
And since Eric Holder has requested that we here in the US find our cajones and discuss race, let’s give it a shot:

Here is a native Colombian woman and a Chinese woman:AW012873gong_li

Here are photos of women in Darfu and one in Iraq:darfur

I’m just saying…….

In reality I think this has nothing to do with race and all to do with strategic interests. (or rather the current administration’s idea of strategy – no matter who the administration is)

It’s why we seem to be ok with letting the Taliban take over the Swat valley in Pakistan.

Strategy. (ps – read this link to Spiegel. It’s a good story)

For one thing, we can separate the radical element and train/bomb certain sections without insulting the whole country. (Taking note that as we say, “sure” to Pakistan giving up Swat to the Taliban, we continue to secretly train Pakistanis to fight al-Qaeda and the Taliban.)

ie if someone came and bombed-oh lets say some area in Idaho that is run by militias,- we’d all be up in arms over it. But if we gave that area independence then we could say “go for it”.

Each administration is going to have their own strategy and hopefully it’s based off of some philosophical belief that is respectable. The Anchoress had a great post up yesterday. She still misses Bush, as do I.

One reason….his strategies made sense.
So much sense, that Obama is adopting them!!

China is learning of the Blogosphere

Read this by Big Lizards. Nothing concrete yet, but certainly some evidence pointing to China setting up the Tibetans for the violent protests. Agent Provocateurs etc.

The fascinating thing is the blogosphere’s outreach. The Chinese have not been sharing the protests in China until the photo came out of the “Tibetan” guy attacking the woman in the wheelchair.

Well, someone knew that guy. And what do you know, here he is being friendly with Chinese folks. Carrying Chinese flags. While he sports his Tibetan one.
Etc etc.
(ht Tai Chi Polilcy)

All still in rumor stage, but truly amazing stuff, this ‘sphere.

More on Heparin

Here’s a story on the bad Heparin coming out of China.

They use the mucous membrane of the intestine of slaughtered pigs to create this.
(Who thinks of these ideas?)

Just an fyi, most of these stories talk of heart disease patients getting heparin. However, if you’ve ever been to the hospital and had fluids, you’ve had heparin.
(if my vast veterinary experience is useful anyway-you use heparin to keep that point of entry of the catheter from clotting)

Chinese Stuff

I’m telling you – you don’t really want to eat it.
In Japan the Chinese dumplings put kids into a coma because of insecticide in them.

Tests by the Japanese health ministry revealed that the dumplings contained traces of an organic phosphorous insecticide that can cause severe stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhoea.

And now in cancer drugs made in China are putting people into a coma.

A huge state-owned Chinese pharmaceutical company that exports to dozens of countries, including the United States, is at the center of a nationwide drug scandal after nearly 200 Chinese cancer patients were paralyzed or otherwise harmed last summer by contaminated leukemia drugs.

(This particular company makes all the RU486 imported here. Though its from a different and presumably safer plant. Should be just fine. No worries.)

To be fair there are like a zillion companies in China, so having a couple hundred manufacturing plants screw up is just a small blip. Right?

Media Bias

We’re kind of used to it, right? But don’t you ever read a story that you don’t really care about the bias, but it’s so icky you just wish, wish someone could just tell a news story straight up.

From the Washington Post today we get a story on the Three Gorges Dam in China and the enviromental consequences that are befalling it. Well, it’s a big dam. You start messing with mother nature and it’s going to have problems, so report it, but do we have to listen to the tone here?

The Chinese, who had been talking about taming the Yangtze for a century, finally realized their dream of the Three Gorges in May 2006, when the dam was declared finished in a burst of national chest-thumping.

It’s the little things that bug me. I would have opposed the dam myself, but then I oppose them all. In the meantime this one has saved the country from disasters this flood season and is providing electricity by the billion kilowatt hours. It was a huge engineering feat. Was chest thumping not called for?

Zimbabwe and China

Seems like China has had enough of Mr. Mugabes “reforms” in Zimbabwe.

“China in the past provided substantial development assistance but owing to the dramatic currency revaluations and rapid deterioration of economic conditions, the economic outcomes of these projects have not been so good.”

And what pray tell has caused the dramatic currency revaluations and rapid deterioration of economic conditions in Zimbabwe??
Could it be due to a dictatorship, socialism, communist land grabbing??

Can it be true??

1. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (the F.I.R.E for short) is saying that here in the US on some campuses there are “free speech areas” and only in those areas at specified times is free speech allowed.

For example, speech at McNeese State in Louisiana is governed by the school’s “Public Forum Regulations Policy,” which limits student speech to two “Public Demonstration Zones.” In these two “zones” – and only in these zones – McNeese students “may speak on campus one time per week” for just two hours.

They mention University of California, Chico having one. They did when I went there, but only as a convenience so you’d know where to go if you wanted to publicly state your ideas or listen to others. That didn’t mean you couldn’t speak a block away. But it’s been awhile for me since college.
Is this true??

2. Is Pakistan going to negotiate over the mosque or have 335 religious students been killed? I suspect Xinthau (the 2nd story) has it wrong. The Chinese aren’t very happy with the Pakistanis right now as some of their workers have been killed recently.

3. Are Iraqi politicians really telling citizens to take up arms?

Prominent Shiite and Sunni politicians called on Iraqi civilians to take up arms to defend themselves after a weekend of violence that claimed more than 220 lives, including 60 who died Sunday in a surge of bombings and shootings around Baghdad.

The calls reflect growing frustration with the inability of Iraqi security forces to prevent extremist attacks.

Can’t say I blame them if so.

4. Is Moqtada back in Iran?

5. Did the reason behind Republicans being against expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program really need to be at the end of this story (The Battle Over Expansion of Children’s Insurance) vs at the beginning.

The New York State Legislature recently approved a proposal by Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, to increase the eligibility limit to 400 percent of the poverty level.

Mr. Leavitt said it was absurd that “families making over $81,000 a year would have children eligible for public assistance.”

Mr. Bush and some Republicans in Congress worry that as public coverage becomes available to families with higher incomes, it tends to replace private coverage.

In a recent report, the Congressional Budget Office said that for every 100 children who get public coverage as a result of the children’s insurance program, “there is a corresponding reduction in private coverage of between 25 and 50 children.”

Emphasis mine.