• On denying American kids their birthright to be self-absorbed

    On denying American kids their birthright to be self-absorbed

    The  US Congress, in a surprising bipartisan move, approved a requirement that the social media app TikTok be sold or banned in the US. TikTok, for anyone who may not know, is a video app from ByteDance, a highly successful Chinese company. President Biden has said he would sign a bill containing a ban. Now it is up to the Senate.

    Users of TikTok are outraged. How can American free speech, free press, free ability-to-do-anything-I-want be threatened by such insidious government censorship? American teenagers are panicked.

    But the principal user of TikTok – CCP – is the most outraged of all.

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  • Stupid is as stupid does - MAGA-stupidity in China

    Stupid is as stupid does - MAGA-stupidity in China

     You’ve heard some of the MAGA stories – that Trump is sent from God, that inflation is raging, that the government is coming to take your (pick your noun) guns, kids, bible, Way of Life. The Chinese are sending spies to walk across the border with the illegal immigrants.

    No question but the number of such stories would explode were the orange-haired baboon to be re-elected. At the highest level, the government itself would promote some of the stories.

    I wrote a bit about similarities between the US and China, physically, culturally, and in conjunction with the GOP, politically. See China-US: Some Similarities  and More on Monkey See, Monkey Do

    Now comes the wildfire stories from Guizhou, Guanxi and Yunnan, where hundreds of fires, promoted by drought and apparently mostly started from arson, are burning rural areas in the hills and mountains mostly to the west. Lei from Lei’s Real Talk has the story, extracting it from the censored social media posts in China.  Why is China's Poorest Province Inundated with Fires?  Why is China’s poorest province inundated with fires?

    Lei sees the fires as frustration from local people at the sheer incompetence and ignorance of the village and township officials. The Guizhou government has different ideas, and has promoted three wildfire theories –

    - That Chinese restrictions on selling traditional Chinese medicines to Japan caused Japanese to start fires in China, to burn the plants that are the source of the medicines. Sort of, “if we can’t have it, you can’t either.”

    - That Japanese started wildfires in Guizhou to lower supply of traditional medicinal herbs in China, so Chinese would have to buy their herbs from Japan

    - That Americans are preparing another super virus attack in China (after the US put covid in China) and are burning sources of traditional medicines first, to keep Chinese from being able to medically respond


    The local governments have not only censored all stories about the fires, but have threatened local people if they post pictures or videos or even talk about the fires. This may be why we heard nothing about the fires in the western media.

    Some Chinese believe the conspiracy theories. But they are inundated with misinformation, not so unlike MAGA Americans. From Truth Social - God sent Trump to Americans. Just one more way in which stupid humans are everywhere and without education and access to information, conspiracy theories and craziness can abound. We think of it as the Chinese curse, even though its origin is not China – may you live in interesting times. Seems true for both Chinese and for Americans.


  • Comments on the new Foreign Relations Law

    Comments on the new Foreign Relations Law - why its called a one party-state


    There are several good American lawyer blogs on Chinese law. Most prominent in my mind is Harris Bricken, which contains information on current and past cases dealing with businesses and law in China. The China collection features posts by several academic attorneys with China experience, including Donald Clarke, Ling Li, and Carl Minzner.

    Don Clarke has some comments on the new Foreign Relations Law. I’m not a lawyer – I don’t even play one on tv – but three comments on Don Clarke’s comments.

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