2011 Year of the (metal) Rabbit! I hope it is a great one for all of you. I know I am looking forward and anticipate some real positive change...
Anglo-American media interpret the mobs that shut down Cairo and other cities of Egypt as "pro-democracy protesters" that riot for "freedom" leading Americans to believe that the most important thing to a poor Egyptian is whether he/she can Twitter without obstruction. The coverage of the riots in Egypt is shockingly sloppy - celebrity journos are all on the scene and as in the late stages of the Tiananmen riots in 1989 they report mostly from the top floor suites of luxury hotels overlooking and speculating on events on the ground. At what point will any real reporting be done about the true underlying causes of the frustration in Egypt? The grinding poverty that gives Egypt a per capita income about one half that of China and without the sizeable affluent class structure. And more importantly the population explosion underway in the country. Egypt's population is set to grow 94% and peak at 136 million by 2075 according to UN statistics making Egypt one of the 15 most populated nations in the world for the next two or three centuries! There are so many interesting stories behind the riots that could help us understand the changes going on in places like Egypt instead of nonsense about "marching for freedom."
Labels: media, propaganda
It was extremely disappointing to hear President Obama talk only of competition with China in his 2011 State of the Union address to the American Congress. Chinese children learn science and math at an earlier age, Chinese trains are faster, and China's airports are newer we are told. It seems Obama's "Sputnik Moment" for the current generation is that we must compete with China. This is thinly veiled indication that we are in a new Cold War with China
where we will compete for technology, resources (oil in particular), and the minds of our youth. And what an awkward Cold War it is - Beijing buys Washington's debts, essentially paying for its own containment. And unlike the previous Cold War there are no centers devoted to researching, studying, and understanding the Chinese. Worse Washington and the American people wallow in utter ignorance of what really makes up the vast nation we call China and its complex government. Congress calls Chinese President Hu a "dictator" while oblivious to the huge ideological differences between the four major factions within the 70+ million strong Chinese Communist Party and unaware of the Chinese political process from village election to the workings of the party conferences. Dangerous times are ahead....
Labels: china policy, obama, politics