Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Something To Think About

For all of those people that insist on assigning comparisons of Stalinism and Nazism to the present American President, take a look at this.

THE former editor-in-chief of a Chinese Website has been given a six-year prison term for subversion, the Ningbo Intermediate People's Court in east China's Zhejiang Province said.

The court ruled yesterday that Zhang Jianhong, former editor-in-chief of a Website named "Aiqinhai," or "Aegean Sea," had written articles which defamed the Chinese government and amounted to agitation aimed at toppling the government.


Now, take a look at this. And this.

There was nothing flattering towards the President or his administration to be found on either of those sites. The number of sites that do this kind of thing here in America are what we in the science world call, TMTC (too many to count). Yet, they have freedom to put up whatever valid or baseless accusation they choose, because there is freedom to do so here.

But if they were in China, things would certainly be a lot different. As you can see if you read the article I linked to, they don't play around there. Criticize the government there and you go to jail. So before someone tells you that this nation is losing freedom by the hour or the minute, consider that America's government doesn't make a practice of silencing its critics. And we do not have a government imposed filter system for our personal usage, like China.

Whatever conclusions you come to in your personal analysis of the many issues we all face and however you interpret the data; think, before you buy into the invalid arguments of political cults.

11 comments:

Greg said...

With all the tooth gnashing these days about how the President has assaulted our civil liberties and is ruining our democracy, I seriously can't think of one thing I can't say or do outside of an airport security checkpoint that I could do before GWB was President.

If people are upset at the Patriot Act, perhaps it's b/c they don't realize that the supposedly enlightened Europeans have the same or more draconian anti-terror provisions on their books. Same thing for GITMO. Maybe all the Europeans so angry at the US for daring to hold KSM and his buddies there, with regular visits from the Red Cross, free lawyers, good medical care, and freedom to practice their hate cult of a religion should take a tour of their own prisons and see how they match up. Or maybe they should ask their gov'ts' buddy, Castro, for a tour of his poltical prisons. Because, you know that's another of America's many supposed crimes - not dealing with Castro's Cuba.

Why the world is so angry at the US these days is really a mystery to me. Can they only look in one direction? Have they no mirrors where they live?

LASunsett said...

Greg,

//I seriously can't think of one thing I can't say or do outside of an airport security checkpoint that I could do before GWB was President.//

That's just it. I know a lot of people, I know of no one whose lives have been severely disrupted. I know a few Muslims, one of which is very prominent. One day he showed me business cards from a blue dozen FBI and other law enforcement agents. He's been here for many, many years and has yet to complain. He flies the American flag proudly and will help in anyway he can. I am not sure he likes the idead of being looked at closer than you and I, but he accepts the fact that because of some blood-thirsty people that he doesn't agree with making it bad for everyone from his country and his religion.

Beyond that, I know of no one else that has had their lives affected, except as you say, through the airports. There have been be some isolated incidents here and there, I am sure. But they are not happening anywhere near the numbers that some people claim they are. This is not a perfect country, but it is not a bad one, like some want us to believe.

BEING HAD said...

Three thoughts. Firstly, this feeling of freedom also seems to extend from the government to countries outside of the US jurisdiction; i.e. the US feels it has the right to dictate policy globally- and this regardless of popular opinion that they not do this.

Secondly, though there is freedom to express one's self, being critical of the government does not necessarily a genius make. A huge percentage of people who make sport of Bush obviously have no base political point to make other than to use the man as an outlet for their anger. In fact, president bashing seems to be more important to Americans than really being involved in political issues. If we are speaking of democracy, people are supposed to be self-governing which should mean that the general population holds the responsibility for being a part of the discussion. If you went to a house where the children had a right to object or veto their parent's direction if they could offer a better alternative, you would think they were a great family. If you visited a house where the children simply didn't even listen to the parents, didn't even believe the parents had a right to any respect, obviously this house would be headed for trouble.

And lastly, there is a difference between criticizing a government and asking for it to be overthrown by violent revolution. I guarantee you that George W has zero problem paying visiting to folks who try to raise grass roots opposition like as happened in Waco- or Iraq for that matter. "Threat to the security of the nation" means the government can pull you off the street phisically and without legal recourse. This is exactly what you are seeing at the airport check points.

LASunsett said...

Hi BH,

//the US feels it has the right to dictate policy globally- and this regardless of popular opinion that they not do this.//

For every example you can give me of the the US being guilty of this, I can give you examples of other nations doing the very same thing. How is this different from the others that do this?

beinghad said...

Hi LA
Well, two wrongs don't make a right. But then again, as Steven Write says, three rights make a left. At the bottom line though, imperialism is as imperialism does and there is a big difference between satisfying need through trade and negotiating by force. I just wrote about having to bring a tape recorder to a meeting with the housing authority because every year they negotiate with the pensioners in our house like they are getting ready to have the militia storm the place and clean us all out. It is funny that even after perhaps 10,000 years of human societal evolution; we still need to take hostages in order to do business.

LASunsett said...

BH,

//But then again, as Steven Write says, three rights make a left. //

I love Steven Wright. He is one of the best comedians of all time, in my book.

//At the bottom line though, imperialism is as imperialism does and there is a big difference between satisfying need through trade and negotiating by force.//

Two ways of looking at this.

First of all, somebody started this mess we are in now. Somebody flew some planes into the World Trade Center. And it wasn't us. The people that did it, were the ones that should be condemned for doing that, not the people that are merely responding.

We can argue the merits of whether Iraq is part of the GWOT, or not. The point is, we wouldn't be there now, if the people hadn't flown those planes into our buildings.

How is that extending our influence?

You see, BH, one of the big differences between us is I see this more or less as a reaction, than an action.

The other aspect to consider?

There are two kinds of imperialism: Exploitative and beneficent.

Many would argue that we are acting in an exploitative manner. That's up for debate, somewhat. Sometimes there is a fine line between the two. Many times there is a mixture of the two. But a pretty sure way to tell the difference between the two is to look at the outcome. If the outcome results in a better situation than was before the influence, then it leans beneficent.

We have given the Iraqis a chance at something, the Kurds have taken us up on it. But the rest of the country faces sporadic attacks designed to subvert any attempt at a new and better way of life, than was EVER experienced under Saddam. Having given them this opportunity, it is now up to them to take advantage of it.

beinghad said...

Ok, fair enough. But without being too redundant, remember that I am in Belarus. The country voted overwhelmingly for a guy who said he was not interested in unidirectional, profit siphoning deals with foreigners which inevitably only weaken the country. And let us not forget that there is, is, IS a strong undercurrent of Marxism here. But look at how the country is bashed constantly and continually by a media that has no vested interest in the country other than what it can exploit from it. Why have they ignored democratic election results that state that the country wishes to be self governing, period? This to me is only a single example of how the US operates and, as for 911, the terrorist attack itself, at least in the minds of the terrorists, was in reaction to many, many, many things that the US had done before. Remember Ollie North telling us that the war with Bin Laden was going on 10 years before? This is what I am speaking of.

Oh, and here is something from Trevor Louden's Blog if you haven't read it. It is sort of on the subject:

As US President George Bush was preparing for his recent “We care” trip to Latin America — during which massive demonstrations of Latin Americans responded by saying “No you fucking don’t” and “Get the hell out of here” — he was briefed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She told Bush that the previous day, three Brazilian soldiers had been killed in Iraq. To everyone’s amazement, all of the colour ran from Bush’s face. Then he collapsed onto his desk, head in hands, visibly shaken, almost whimpering. Finally, he composed himself and asked Rice, “Just exactly how many is a brazillion?”

Anonim said...

BH, did you mean, "Just exactly how MUCH is a brazillion?" I've been hearing this joke from my son (who is 12) over the last several days. He said, he saw it on YouTube or something.

LASunsett said...

BH,

//But look at how the country is bashed constantly and continually by a media that has no vested interest in the country other than what it can exploit from it.//

What media does this? I can say the American media rarely reports anything on Belarus, they are more concerned about bashing the Bush administration.

//This to me is only a single example of how the US operates and, as for 911, the terrorist attack itself, at least in the minds of the terrorists, was in reaction to many, many, many things that the US had done before.//

To be honest with you, I cannot see how anything we have done could justify the INTENTIONAL killing of 3000 people. What would China or Russia do if that had happened to them?

But, if you really want to see a long list of offenses against the US that resulted in little response from us, read this essay.

beinghad said...

Ok, for Mr. Anon, I copied the joke, but I think the writer got it grammatically correct as Brazilians would be countable rather than uncountable nouns. But as for the Sweet LA, do not be shocked by what you don't read in the American press. Belarus Bashing and especially trash talking about its president (the last dictator in Europe) is one of the western world's guilty pleasures. And me, I would like it to stop. I would like the trade barriers and sanctions to be lifted and for the country to be allowed to choose its own destiny without undue outside influence. And, I am not alone in this thinking at all, thank you very much.

But along with this one example of unwanted US intrusiveness, I assure you that stealing those four 9/11 airplanes took the efforts of a lot more than just the dozen or so guys with their box cutters and nail files. Also remember, they tried to blow up those twin towers in the early 90's as well. I don't think this sort of anger could be sustained for decades without a reason. As Keven Costner explained to us in JFK, if there was more than one shooter, there was a conspiracy. I say we got a big conspiracy. Now, I am not about violence at all except maybe for idiots who try to run you down with their cars while you are riding your bike; those guys need to be punched in the mouth! But what I am saying is that to keep something like the global anti-Americanism we have going; to keep so many people so involved, to have a good enough argument to convince people to kill themselves for you, logically, there would have to be some real propaganda saying the US deserves to be attacked. This is a perfect example Sun Su's moral high ground. And so logically, with the above as evidence, I say that America's foreign policy is intrusive and self serving and has been since the end of the Second World War. To say that you don't recognize this as being the reason for said Anti-Americanism, or Anti-Occidentalism as it has been called lately, is… well, a bit ostrich-like.

LASunsett said...

BH

//I'm not surprised that a Congressman with "Support Our Troops" signs had his house vandalized.//

I am sure we do not get a lot of things here, just as you do not get a lot things where you are. I am not disputing that Belarus gets or doesn't get criticized, here. What I am saying is, it doesn't get talked about to the degree it does in, say, France, England, Germany, etc.

I am sure they are far more critical of Belarus than we are here. The EU is responsible for most of the anti-Belarus talk, most people here do not know where it is. Sad, but true.

//But along with this one example of unwanted US intrusiveness, I assure you that stealing those four 9/11 airplanes took the efforts of a lot more than just the dozen or so guys with their box cutters and nail files.//

No argument here. They have become larger and more sophisticated, as time has worn on. And their attacks have been tolerated for a long time, as was evidenced by that long list of attacks we have endured over the past 29 years, I linked to. Understanding why they feel the way they do doesn't get these people to stop. Not answering their attacks doesn't make them stop either. The list bears that one out, too.

I guess the bottom line in all of this is:

Trying to influence through whatever strong-armed tactics used by the US since WWII, is nowhere near as despicable than flying planes into buildings and killing innocent people.I just do not see any good excuses in this one.