Category Archives: china

No No Nobel Prize … and why not?

Nothing gives more evidence of the narrow philosophic view of the grantors of the Nobel Peace Prize than the omission of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

The bold diplomacy of Nixon transformed China from dangerous adversary to friendly trading partner. In bringing down the old Soviet Union, Reagan ended the 40 year Cold War. No diplomatic efforts in

modern times have brought more global peace and stability.

The largely failed or nonexistent peace making accomplishments of Nobel winners Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama fade to inconsequential by comparison. If you add Al Gore as another recent political recipient, the Nobel Peace Prize becomes a farce.

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>REACT: Olympic Gold Medal Grumps

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In a tongue-in-cheek publicity photo, the Spanish Olympic basketball team posed pulling back their eyes to get a faux Asian look, humorously reflecting their chinese hosts. Weeeeeell, as you can imagine these days, the political correctness Nazis launched into a rage befitting Olympus, himself. Nothing more than racism, say the narrow minded, pursed-lipped critics.

AP reported:

International media criticized the photo. London’s Daily Telegraph said Spain’s “poor reputation for insensitivity toward racial issues has been further harmed” by the photo. “This was clearly inappropriate, but we understand the Spanish team intended no offense and has apologized,” Emmanuelle Moreau, a spokeswoman for the International Olympic Committee, said in an e-mail. “The matter rests there as far as the IOC is concerned.”

What is with these humorless human androids? It is a funny photo. This isn’t racism. Its what people do. We ham it up for photos. It is not mean spirited. In fact, I think it is more a geature of affection and respect for the Chinese. It is good humor between friends.

When are we going to be allowed to enjoy a good laugh again?

>OBSERVATION: China’s new dynasty?

>I get a lot of my fellow conservatives rankled over China. I am of the opinion that China will be THE dominant social and economic world force for the better part of this young century. I believe in a certain inevitability. Most of the opposition to this view comes from wishful thinking, trade union propaganda and strident nationalism – none of which is consistent with conservative philosophy.

For most of my adult life, I have head my conservative colleagues talk about spreading the free market system around the world. The old counterpoint to our system was communism. Now that communism is only a name severed from the former failed ideology, and the free-market spirit is abounding in the Middle Kingdom, my friends are upset because we seem to be losing our completive advantage. But hey! That is what free-market competition is all about. Right?

Understand, I am not happy about us sinking to second place, but I just don’t see the strategic resolve in this country to stop it from happening. Yeah, there are a few things about China that can be criticized. But, against the monumental shift to a western-style economy, the problems pale by comparison.

Understanding why China will overtake the United States need not be overly complicated. One of the principle reasons seems to have escaped the attention of analysts and pundits. So, it is up to me to again provide some enlightenment. Gads, it is not easy educating the world.

But, here are the hard facts.

In the United States, the ruling class is the legal profession. It is almost assumed that you cannot serve in public office with out being a lawyer. That profession dominates all three branches of government, and a good deal of the entrenched bureaucracy.

On the other hand, the ruling class of China is composed of engineers. Not sure why that is. Maybe the authoritarian rule of pre-Nixon China found little need for lawyers because not a lot of things needed to be adjudicated. The legal profession thrives on two points of view. Dictatorships do not.

Engineers, by their professional nature, are creators, inventors, designers, innovators, builders. They give us the new products that drive a fee-market economy. They improve the quality of life, and stimulate the production/consumption cycle. Laws and policies in China bend to the perception and well-being of their ruling class.

Our laws and policies also bend to our ruling class; lawyers. While lawyers serve a good purpose in a free society in terms of their professional duties, they are about the last group on earth you want as a ruling class.

By there very nature, lawyer-legislators are counterproductive. They inhibit progress, and make all things more expensive. The empower their peers to wreak havoc on the free enterprise system. They entangle citizens, corporate and private, in restraining red tape. They discourage production and innovation.

The litigiousness of our society is well reported. The very fear of litigation is undermining every aspect of American life. Think for a moment how many times litigation and fear of litigation come into play – at home, in the work place, at school, in restaurants, at sport events. Every aspect of our civic life suffers from hyper-litigation. How many times do your read about ridiculous law suits – with ridiculous settlements?

It is an exponential problem because even as the practitioners increase litigation under current laws, the lawyer-legislators are passing new laws to create more opportunities and exclusivity for their professional colleagues.

A generation ago, I could form a corporation for a small fee, and no help from a lawyer. That is not so easy or cheap today.

A generation ago, I could set up a not-for-profit civic group in a few days for a small fee, and no lawyers. Today, the process requires reams of paper and stacks of dollars for the attorney.

A generation ago, I could close on real estate with a few papers and no lawyer. Today it takes more reams of paper and thousands of dollars in legal fees.

A generation ago, I could effectively represent myself in court. Today, lawyer-generated laws and self-serving court procedures make that impossible. We have literally lost our right of self-representation.

A generation ago, a teacher could discipline a child without fear of civil or criminal charges. Today, our education system flounders – and some due to inability to impose discipline.

It goes on and on.

We are suffering from lawyer-induced advancing civic paralysis. In many ways, they are like a medicine that is beneficial in its prescribed dosage, but lethal when over consumed. America is definitely overdosing on lawyers in government. Add it all together, and you can see why America will not compete effectively against the growing consumer and technology-driven Chinese free-market.

In many ways, China and the United States are still far apart on the free market continuum. How far apart is debatable. What is less arguable is the fact that China is heading in the right direction, and the U.S. is heading in the wrong direction. While they are opening up more and more free market opportunities, we are slowly suffocating them with excessive laws, regulations, and litigation.

>Farewell to my Chinese friend.

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Time flies. It seems like only a short time ago that Xu Jinzhong was posted in Chicago as the new Chinese Consul General. Not so.

I recently had two occasions to say good-by to my dear friend. One was at a private dinner to which he invited me and a couple of my friends. The other was a more formal farewell reception attended by a larger number of well-deserved friends. He not only leaves Chicago, but his public duties. He is retiring from active duty, as they say.

Consul General Xu leaves behind a large number of true friends and a record of accomplishment in representing the diverse, and often complicated, issues between the United States and China.

More important than his professional accomplishments has been his great integrity, openness and warm friendly personality.

It has been a pleasure to have worked with him over the past few years. But I am confident that the friendship will endure, and we look forward to seeing citizen Xu and his family in Beijing on our frequent trips to the Middle Kingdom.

Jill and I wish him and his wife great happiness in the future years.