Patterico's Pontifications

8/17/2011

Exposing the Fundamental Flaw in Chinese Culture

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 5:41 am



[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

So Sunday the AP ran an article entitled “One-child policy a surprising boon for China girls [sic].”  Now, on one level, this article is downright risible, where the author writes, for instance:

A Communist Youth League member at one of China’s top science universities, [Mia Wang] boasts enviable skills in calligraphy, piano, flute and ping pong.

Such gifted young women are increasingly common in China’s cities and make up the most educated generation of women in Chinese history. Never have so many been in college or graduate school, and never has their ratio to male students been more balanced.

To thank for this, experts say, is three decades of steady Chinese economic growth, heavy government spending on education and a third, surprising, factor: the one-child policy.

Now, there is a lot wrong with that.  First, this article strikes me as more than a little gullible to what might be Chinese propaganda.  The Chinese have a long history of presenting an extraordinary example of a thing to the world and telling the west that this is a “typical” example, and the west has a long history of swallowing that bullsh__.  I remember, for instance, watching a “documentary” about the wonderful barefoot doctor program instituted under Mao in Chinese history class, our professor pointing out how perfect everyone’s teeth was.  Later he showed us a documentary made without official state approval, and a much uglier reality was shown.*

But more fundamentally it is like writing an article about the positive side of the Holocaust.  It’s not to say that no good came of even something as evil as the Holocaust.  For instance, I think it is fair to say that the entire Civil Rights Movement might not have been successful but for the collective revulsion that Americans felt when learning of that atrocity.  But the upbeat tone is positively repellant.

But at the same time, even with the filter of propaganda and the repellant tone something important is being hit on, here:

Since 1979, China’s family planning rules have barred nearly all urban families from having a second child in a bid to stem population growth. With no male heir competing for resources, parents have spent more on their daughters’ education and well-being, a groundbreaking shift after centuries of discrimination.

“They’ve basically gotten everything that used to only go to the boys,” said Vanessa Fong, a Harvard University professor and expert on China’s family planning policy.

Wang and many of her female classmates grew up with tutors and allowances, after-school classes and laptop computers. Though she is just one generation off the farm, she carries an iPad and a debit card, and shops for the latest fashions online.

Her purchases arrive at Tsinghua, where Wang’s all-girls dorm used to be jokingly called a “Panda House,” because women were so rarely seen on campus. They now make up a third of the student body, up from one-fifth a decade ago.

“In the past, girls were raised to be good wives and mothers,” Fong said. “They were going to marry out anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal if they didn’t want to study.”

Not so anymore. Fong says today’s urban Chinese parents “perceive their daughters as the family’s sole hope for the future,” and try to help them to outperform their classmates, regardless of gender.

This is of course one side of how China is responding to this shortage of women.  Another side to it is considerably uglier: slave marriages.  That is literally men desperate to have wives resort to buying them at slave markets, consigning these women (often abducted from other countries) to a life of continual rape.  And the stories I have read about this were simply horrifying.  For instance, there is one of a retarded girl being traded for a goat.  Or in another story, a woman who was being kept in marital slavery saw a man in a police uniform and ran to him for aid.  But when she approached him, she learned he was the cousin of her “husband,” disguised as a cop, testing her.  The two men proceeded to beat and rape her, to teach her that she should never even risk seeking help (she had been subsequently rescued, however).

And it is difficult to get hard numbers on how widespread the problem was.  For instance, in one rural county, officials admitted that 50% of the marriages were in fact slave marriages.  One has to wonder how many more have not been discovered.

Both the success of individual Chinese women, portrayed in the article, and the enslavement of other (often non-Chinese) women in slave marriages represent not only two diametrically opposed responses to the demographic shifts caused by the one-child policy, but all of it, even the genocide of women both in and out of the womb highlights the essential problem in Chinese culture.  In Metro Broadcasting v. FCC (1990), Justice O’Connor wrote that

At the heart of the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection lies the simple command that the Government must treat citizens as individuals, not as simply components of a racial, religious, sexual or national class.

(Internal quotations omitted.)  Indeed, if one understand the individualist focus of the Equal Protection Clause, it helps you to understand one of the mysteries that confuse many modern students: how could the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment be so racist, while clearly advocating for an amendment that prohibited racial discrimination?  Mind you, there were exceptions, Representative Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania being a vital example (I’ll probably talk a little more about him this weekend).  But for the most part even the advocates of legal equality for African Americans were overwhelmingly racist.  So what gives?

But while the founders generally agreed that as a group black people were inferior to whites, they also recognized that there were individual exceptions to the rule. And that was self-evidently true at the time.  For instance, Frederick Douglass was clearly superior in intellect to many of the white people who lived at the time, and most people knew it.  So they took an agnostic attitude about things.  Where the discriminators would like to fix the game—to give their side an unfair advantage—the advocates of equal opportunity wanted to give everyone a fair shake, and whoever was best would do the best, be that person be black, white or whatever.  So where the modern egalitarian feels it is necessary to insist on the equality of the races, at the time of the founding of the Fourteenth Amendment, it was only necessary to believe that some individual black persons might be equal to some individual whites, to justify granting equality of opportunity.

So at the core of the American approach to this has been a respect and recognition of the individual, and I dare say a reasonable sense of individualism underlies much of the American approach to civil and political rights generally.  For instance, our insistence on freedom of speech is devoted to the idea that a view held by even one man should be allowed to be voiced.

But in China, there isn’t even a word for individualism.  The closest term reads something more like “selfishness.”  So it is difficult to even communicate the idea that an individual has inherent value.

But in the case of these successful girls in China, fate and the genocide of their sex, has guided their parents toward a concept they cannot articulate.  They are forced to look at these girls as individuals, with hopes and dreams, and with inherent value.   By contrast, those who abort female fetuses or commit infanticide against those girls fortunate enough to have escaped the birth canal, they were not seen as an individual with inherent value.  And that is the fundamental divide in modern China—between this nascent respect for individuality, and collective horror.

———————————————-

* And I am not picking on the rural Chinese for having bad teeth, just using it as an example of how whitewashed the Chinese government can make things.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

64 Responses to “Exposing the Fundamental Flaw in Chinese Culture”

  1. Our press seeks out positive articles about totalitarian regimes? Seriously?
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    Did they mention all the aborted girls arising from the policy?
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    Any mention that this wonderfully more bountiful life comes not because the Gov.t but because of capitalism in China and its policy to encourage over consumption in the West to feed its industrialization?
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    What about their carbon footprint? I mean if ONE is good. Would not ZERO be better?
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    I am shocked by the slanted overage.
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    Did Walter Duranty come back to write for the AP?

    S. Carter aka J-Z (786e37)

  2. Tom Freidman hardest hit.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  3. fair lotus blossom
    bad-toofed chrysalis spring
    squatting tiger mom

    ColonelHaiku (d1f5ff)

  4. I was already hungry, now this.

    koam @wittier (7b067e)

  5. Personally, I thank the Chinese for sending me iPads in exchange for these worthless pieces of green paper.
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    But let us be real, China only allows this b/c they need to employ 500 million people and they are still 300 million short of that goal.
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    And aborting female fetus is like a past-time in China. The fact they now “value women” has more to do with “supply constraints on vagina” then it has nothing to do with valuing women per-se.

    S. Carter aka J-Z (786e37)

  6. “But in China, there isn’t even a word for individualism” Do you have a citation for that?

    gp (72be5d)

  7. The chinese word for individualism is………..let me be clear.

    Hehehe.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  8. Comment by gp — 8/17/2011 @ 5:26 am

    Babelfish says 个人主义 means individualism in Traditional Chinese to English. The reverse-translation confirms it. I’ll ask a Chinese friend if that’s correct, but it’s too early right now.

    Stashiu3 (601b7d)

  9. Individualism is Geren Zhuyi if you read it in phonetic chinese.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  10. Aaron’s argument about individual rights is a fascinating one. I hadn’t considered it before, but I think he’s hit the nail (or at least one of the nails) squarely on the head.

    This principle can also be applied to the hugely contentious abortion debate. Those like me who argue that abortion is morally wrong do so from the premise that a fetus is an individual human being with the attendant human rights, including the right to life. In other words, the argument goes as follows:

    It is wrong to kill an innocent human being.
    A human fetus is an innocent human being.
    Therefore it is wrong to kill a human fetus.*

    Those who argue that abortion is permissible would say that a fetus is not yet a human being, and thus does not yet have human rights. But almost nobody (the repulsive Peter Singer aside) argues in favor of infanticide. (At least in America; China is another story right now). That’s because once the baby has been born, nearly everyone recognizes it as an individual human being with the attendant rights.

    So the debate becomes so contentious because it’s a conflict of views on rights. If you don’t believe a fetus is a human being, the question becomes “Should a woman have the right to control her own body?” To which the answer should obviously be yes, if you value invidivual liberty. But if you believe a fetus is a human being, then the “Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose” argument comes into play: a woman should be able to control her own body, except that her right to do so does not trump another human being’s right to life — and thus abortion becomes impermissible in that view.

    * Oddly enough, I got this argument from this article by Peter Singer, who clearly understands the issues but draws utterly repulsive conclusions from them. For example, instead of saying “there’s no clear biological line distinguishing a full-term fetus from a premature baby, therefore a full-term fetus should have human rights,” he says “there’s no clear biological line distinguishing a full-term fetus from a premature baby, therefore infanticide is permissible.” No, I’m not exaggerating the gist of his argument; here’s a direct quote:

    So killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living.

    (Source: http://www.princeton.edu/~psinger/faq.html). As I said: repulsive.

    Robin Munn (59b60b)

  11. Why did you ignore the demographic imbalance now facing China? I don’t normally link to MSNBC, but this article captures the gist. (http://tinyurl.com/43ynfnh)

    “120 boys for each 100 girls at the present time, according to a Chinese think-tank report.”

    Because what the Chinese have been doing is either killing newborn females or doing sex-selective abortion.

    I hope that Freidman has daughters and has to explain himself to them.

    Jack (f9fe53)

  12. To piggyback onto #11, Ross Douthat wrote a sad yet very insightful commentary on the 160 Million and Counting in the NYT. In part, he points out the inconsistency of the left,

    This places many Western liberals, Hvistendahl included, in a distinctly uncomfortable position. Their own premises insist that the unborn aren’t human beings yet, and that the right to an abortion is nearly absolute. A self-proclaimed agnostic about when life begins, Hvistendahl insists that she hasn’t written “a book about death and killing.” But this leaves her struggling to define a victim for the crime that she’s uncovered.

    It’s society at large, she argues, citing evidence that gender-imbalanced countries tend to be violent and unstable. It’s the women in those countries, she adds, pointing out that skewed sex ratios are associated with increased prostitution and sex trafficking.

    These are important points. But the sense of outrage that pervades her story seems to have been inspired by the missing girls themselves, not the consequences of their absence.

    Here the anti-abortion side has it easier. We can say outright what’s implied on every page of “Unnatural Selection,” even if the author can’t quite bring herself around.

    The tragedy of the world’s 160 million missing girls isn’t that they’re “missing.” The tragedy is that they’re dead.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  13. All work and no play make Wang a dull boy.

    EC (dda60e)

  14. All work and no play make Anthony a dull weiner.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  15. It’s not a bug, but a feature of Communism, destroying at least possibly two generations.

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  16. To expand on points raised by Sashiu3 and Doh Biden, gèrénzhǔyì is the word for individualism and the morphemes break down something like gèrén meaning single person and zhǔyì meaning simply -ism or ideology – so it bears no implication of “selfishness.” I bring this up not to challenge any point of this post; I agree rather completely with your points Aaron.

    Rather, I mention it to warn you off of making these kind of “no-word-for-X/100-words-for-X” points in arguments. Morphological analysis of a language gives no useful information into the speakers’ belief structure. Not to mention the overwhelming majority of the time, those kinds of “facts” simply aren’t true.

    http://http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1081

    Scott (d8fc52)

  17. My wife is from China, and I learned a lot about how women are seen there from her. I thank God that her parents chose to keep her, when so many others didn’t.

    I think, though, that a lot of what the article is seeing is less parents pouring selfless attention into their daughters, and more parents expecting a breadwinner out of their daughters. Money is extremely, extremely important to families in China — parents push their kids to make as much money as possible, and they offer any kind of assistance to them to make it easier for their kids to earn more, so the parents will be taken care of in their old age and the kids will be wealthy.

    Previously, a daughter was to be married off to someone, so that she would be taken care of by the husband’s family and not her own. So it was really only important if she was pretty, and generally marriageable, and not really whether she was successful at work. But now, if you have a girl and aren’t willing to kill her, she’s all you’ve got. You can’t just have a boy afterward to make the money and take care of you. So she has to be what she was before, marriageable, but also she needs to make a lot of money to take care of her own family.

    Also, there are serious problems in Chinese marriage law that my wife was telling me about that I thought about while reading this. Apparently, up to now, when a man and woman get divorced, the assets got split up 50/50. The courts don’t really determine fault, as I understand it, it’s automatic. This was causing problems because since money is such a big deal there, for a guy to get married it’s culturally expected that he has to buy a house for his family (and they don’t do big mortgages there, you pay most all of it up front). Thus women, who already have a lot of power to choose a mate due to their scarcity, could then marry guys and immediately take half their stuff.

    To solve this, the brilliant minds of communism recently decided to make it so whoever pays for the house, gets the house. If the husband or his parents paid, he gets the house (and the kids, if he wants them); if the wife or her parents paid she gets the house (and the kids, if she wants them). Of course the latter scenario doesn’t happen too much.

    So really I can only see this problem getting worse. At least before, women were valued, even if only in a scarce commodity sort of way. But now they can be divorced with basically no loss to the husband.

    I see the impact the 1-child policy has had on one single family, and I can’t understand anyone being a dupe of these people. That policy is one of the most evil ever imposed on a group of people.

    Rob (1858aa)

  18. That’s interesting, Scott, thanks for the info.

    MD in Philly (7ca964)

  19. oh baby just you shut your mouf

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  20. I haven’t had Chinese food in way too long.

    JD (b98cae)

  21. Ping pong? What’s that?

    Anyone with any knowledge of the sport refers to it as Table Tennis, which is the name of the game.

    The reporter’s gaffe goes against the reporter’s point.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  22. @16 –

    Rather, I mention it to warn you off of making these kind of “no-word-for-X/100-words-for-X” points in arguments. Morphological analysis of a language gives no useful information into the speakers’ belief structure. Not to mention the overwhelming majority of the time, those kinds of “facts” simply aren’t true.

    I can confirm this. The “Eskimos have hundreds of words for snow” business was always nonsense, for example. (In fact, the Inuit language has about the same number of words for snow as English; it just looks like they have more because it’s a compounding language, so it looks like they have hundreds of “words” like “wetclumpysnow” or “finepowderysnow”, when in fact those “words” are combinations of adjectives).

    This was also the greatest weakness, IMHO, of Orwell’s 1984. While language can shift (use the adjective “gay” these days and nobody will think you mean “happy, joyful, lighthearted”), the concepts are all still there. Even if you were successful in removing a word from a language (harder than it sounds; ask the Académie Française how much success they’ve had in persuading the French to replace the loanword “emèle” with “courrier électronique”), you’d never be able to remove the concept. The worst you’d be able to do is force people to use a longer construction (“doupleplusungood”) to communicate the concept.

    Robin Munn (347954)

  23. Oh, I see: they value girls so much that they kill them so they can have a boy.

    Feminist logic is suicidal as well as homicidal.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  24. My oldest daughter once asked me if something was wrong with her since she did not play ping pong, or violin. She followed with “at least I am good at math”.

    JD (306f5d)

  25. Oh happyfeet do you kiss your mother with that mouf?

    DohBiden (d54602)

  26. So Wang has “enviable skills in calligraphy, piano, flute and ping pong”. What about math, science, languages and history? Are those subject still tabu for women?

    I see no progress for women in China, despite the government’s PR efforts.

    creeper (f1f686)

  27. More piling on….

    Tom Friedman does not approve of this post.

    But, what else could you expect from any country with an authoritarian past, and China’s authoritarianism goes back at least 3000-years, possibly longer.
    But, who are we – The Barbarians at the Gate – to denigrate the wisdom of The Middle Kingdom!

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (1a601a)

  28. Racists.

    JD (6e25b4)

  29. I have seen a couple of trends in the reaction of Chinese women to the policy. One, it was very unusual for a Chinese to marry a non-Chinese. That seems to be changing. I know a number of Chinese women who have married Caucasians and, while I haven’t asked them about it, I do wonder if this is a reaction to the low value China has placed on women. By Chinese, I don’t mean Chinese-Americans but girls who grew up in China.

    Second, I know high status families (University professor) who were allowed to have a second child when the first was a girl.

    Mike K (8f3f19)

  30. What a rush.

    /Sarcasm

    DohBiden (d54602)

  31. There’s nothing especially wrong with Chinese culture. Take a look at Hong Kong and Taiwan.

    The problem is socialism in the commie hellhole known as the PRC.

    Dave Surls (5ceeed)

  32. Hong Kong is slowly shaking off the influence of 150-yrs of British rule, though it probably is the model for what some would like to see in the rest of China proper – but it won’t be once the Politburo cracks down on all that consumin’ and financial independence.

    Taiwan is an outlier, and unlike Tibet, Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, and Singchiang; but like Indo-China, Outer Mongolia, and Korea; is presently free of the Middle Kingdom’s power and influence.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (1a601a)

  33. Speaking for myself as a Chinese America, 2nd generation and not too far removed, Chinese are instinctively individual. This has everything to do with their instincts on money and individual needs to survive competitively. In terms of language, self is the use of “I”, which is used rather synonymously with individual.

    There is also a mob mentality, which is rather pervasive. It has something to do with shared cultural and historical perspective. The Chinese want China to succeed, but they will also try to succeed individually based on society values. Try to wrap your head around this concept.

    Culturally, the Chinese has to assimilate, yet they are competitive so they will try to succeed with the constraints imposed by the government, society, families, and themselves. The Chinese are proud of their culture in the same way the French is of their culture and language.

    Girls were always a big cultural issue. Its no different than American girls/women. What do you do? America has adopted an abortion policy that went beyond legal prohibition to Constitutionally protected. What I thought should be a measured abortion policy as dictated by the states is now judicially protected federal policy. You have a worse policy in China.

    China doesn’t benefit from the Western Christian moral outlook in America to mitigate rampant abortion. How it treats its women has everything to do with its cultural stereotypes and atheistic tendencies. Its a definite trap. Don’t feel that American won’t do the same since there are forces that want to impose atheism and secularism in American politics.

    MyOpinion (259251)

  34. the brilliant minds of communism recently decided to make it so whoever pays for the house, gets the house.

    Isn’t this the general rule in the non-communist world? As an example, in California, if a husband buys a house with separate property money, then if the marriage is dissolved, the house is his. (If the community contributes to it by substantially improving it, then the community is entitled to its money back, but does not take an ownership interest).

    At any event, it seems to me that a rule which says “whoever paid for it gets it” is a rule which places a high value on the property rights of the purchaser – and is therefore a far cry from ‘communism’.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  35. alphrael, my assumption was that the commenter was implying that there was no “community property” principle being applied. But I am ignorant of the facts behind his comment.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  36. I wasn’t particularly trying to suggest that the new marriage property rules were communist in approach. It’s pretty clear that China is a “communist” country. The only rule is that whoever’s currently at the top gets to make the rules. When I said “communist” I meant it in terms of the ruling party of the PRC, not in the ideological sense which has little to do with how the PRC is ruled.

    The problem with this change to marriage law, from the perspective of the women, is the lack of findings of fault. As I understand it, it’s automatic. If the man cheated on her while she was in the hospital for the last six months with their newborn quadruplets and now she wants a divorce — guess what! You don’t have anywhere to live anymore! And he gets to pick whether he wants the kids or not.

    Also, apparently mistresses are pretty much a status symbol for wealthy and powerful men in China, much more so than in other places. And if they were doing that before, when they could lose 50% of everything for it, they’ll do it a whole lot more now.

    I get why a society wouldn’t want to bog itself down in our level of divorce law complexity, but the reason we do that is because otherwise the system is often obviously unfair just for the convenience of the courts.

    The final issue is the breakdown of the meaning of marriage that’s being advanced here. My wife’s folks have constantly advised her to make sure she protects herself — keep her money separate, keep working so you have money to support yourself, etc. — in case I should ditch her. I’ve never experienced this level of paranoia about that subject. Now I know that’s anecdotal, but basically the “whoever pays gets the house” thing means that the woman must always protect herself against any sort of mingling of the family’s money, lest it all end up in his hands when he doesn’t feel like taking care of her anymore. She can’t trust him because he has the power to take everything away from her at any time.

    To me the problem is that in an intentionally atheist society, you get a more and more atheist culture, and the traditional morality which is the only possible means to have a good and just society dies out when you don’t root it in something. You can’t legislate morality, as they say.

    Rob (1858aa)

  37. Rob, you do realize that “no fault” divorce is pretty much the law throughout the US?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  38. I’m talking about the division of property in the case of divorce, not about obtaining a divorce in the first place. I’m not sure I see what no-fault divorce has to do with anything.

    In the US, if the man cheated and that’s the reason a divorce is desired, then the woman is entitled to take things to court to get some sort of help — a percentage of the couple’s assets, child support, alimony, etc. In China, as my wife described it, the court system doesn’t do any of that, you get what you get and that’s it.

    Presumably, in America, if you could show that your husband paid $100,000 for the down payment on your house but you paid $100,000 over time towards the mortgage, that would entitle you to some restitution from your joint assets. In China you would get nothing.

    Rob (1858aa)

  39. Rob, I think that your statement “in the US, if the man cheated and that’s the reason a divorce is desired, then the woman is entitled to take things to court to get some sort of help” fails to take into account the fact that these rules are set at the state level, rather than the federal level.

    I can only speak to California, but in California, if a divorce is happening because a man cheated, it has no difference whatsoever to the distribution of either community or separate property, or to alimony.

    I very much doubt it’s terribly different in any other community property state. In non-CP states, it might be.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  40. this change to marriage law

    Oh, certainly the married woman is less well off after this change; it’s a change not in her favor.

    But that doesn’t mean the new system is terribly unusual or is per se bad.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  41. My wording may have been inexact since I’m not a lawyer — maybe the word “fault” is completely tied to the idea of requiring someone to have done something bad to allow for a divorce to occur. I meant “fault” in the sense of having done something that would seem to reasonably entitle the other person to financial compensation of some kind, as in a contested divorce in the US. If that’s the source of the confusion, I apologize.

    Rob (1858aa)

  42. Rob, your use of “fault” is still not correct for the bulk of US jurisdictions.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  43. Rob – it’s not the source of the confusion. :) In California, as an example, all income derived from sources other than inheritance or profit off of seperate property, is communal and is split evenly on dissolution.

    There’s basically nothing you can do to increase your share of communal property. There’s basically nothing the other side can do to decrease their share of communal property.

    There *is* provision for child support and for alimony, but those are usually based on *need*, not on the nefarious acts of a wrongdoer party in the divorce.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  44. Among the problems, and I mean this seriously not as snark, is that TV “Divorce Court” is pure fiction, with actors.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  45. Next you’ll be telling us that “Judge Judy” is a fake too.
    Have you no shame, Sir?

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (1a601a)

  46. Very little shame, AD. Very little.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  47. So in the US, sometimes there can be aggravating factors that affect alimony and child support and sometimes there can’t. Fair enough. The point is that there is apparently no such thing as alimony or child support in China, and the first right to the kids goes to whoever has the most cash. And since there’s a strong cultural requirement that men buy a house before they get married, that basically means that nearly every wife could be unexpectedly kicked out of her home and lose her child pretty much whenever the man feels like it. Thus marriage becomes a liability for women.

    I guess I would probably go about correcting inaccurate statements about the technical details even if it wasn’t central to an argument in the case of computers or software, so I’ll take all the corrections.

    Rob (1858aa)

  48. Comment by SPQR — 8/17/2011 @ 12:26 pm

    Oh, Right!
    I forgot, you’re a lawyer (Heh!).

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (1a601a)

  49. Since we’re talking about China, and we kind of laugh/cry that everything today is made in China; I thought it would be refreshing to point out that the President’s new ride, a custom Prevost Motor-home, was not made in China.

    IT’S CANADIAN!

    And, two days ago, he had the balls to step off of it and proclaim that he’s bound and determined to increase American Jobs!

    The man is just so tired, he absolutely needs to get to The Vineyard for some well deserved rest.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (1a601a)

  50. and another thing….
    Gold closed today in NY @ $1794!
    The closing on 20Jan09 was $853!

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (1a601a)

  51. No fault divorce is a sham.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  52. The point is that there is apparently no such thing as alimony or child support in China, and the first right to the kids goes to whoever has the most cash.

    This interview with a Chinese lawyer seems to suggest that child support, at the very least, exists in China.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  53. We’ll be like China in 12 years.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  54. as far as the questions on my sourcing on the claim that there is no word for individualism in china, i got that from people who speak both english and chinese, who could speak with authority.

    But i am always open to the possibility that they are wrong.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  55. The thing about Chinese words is it is comprised of compound words. Do you know there is no such word for Panda? In Chinese, it is literally “cat bear”, two separate words that mean Panda when combined.

    Individualism via Google Translate is 個人主義

    Indy (bcf6a9)

  56. indy

    fyi, the panda bear is not very closely related to bears at all.

    they are more like big raccoons, if memory serves.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  57. yes Mr. biden that’s a lyric from a song by Mr. David Bowie if you click the internet in just the right spot you can hear it

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  58. Aaron @56 –

    Actually, that’s been shown to be incorrect. The red panda is related to raccoons, but the “panda bear” (the famous black-and-white panda, whose proper name is the giant panda) was recently shown to be more closely related to bears than any other family. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_panda#Classification for details.

    Robin Munn (69cc95)

  59. yes Mr. biden that’s a lyric from a song by Mr. David Bowie Iggy Pop (Jim Osterberg) if you click the internet in just the right spot you can hear it.

    Iggy wrote it, but Bowie did have a hit w/it… FIFY.

    ColonelHaiku (d1f5ff)

  60. thank you Mr. Haiku

    you keep me honest

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  61. Oh noez!!!!Obama is gonna tax cuts!!!!!!!!!!!!Waaaaaaah

    /laughs as SpartacBS melts down.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  62. _______________________________________________

    We’ll be like China in 12 years.

    China in the early 21st century is a peculiar blend of ultra-liberalism (ie, Communism), Confucianism, capitalism, secularism and nationalism. There’s a strain of lazy amorality (or a form of libertarianism), in which the rule of law (eg, copyright and trademark enforcement) twists and turns based on the whims of the inside players. Or the type of amorality evident in the United Nations, and which is admired by lots of Banana Republics, Third-World societies and the elite in New York, San Francisco and Hollywood.

    I see aspects of all those characteristics becoming a mainstay of Europe and, very regrettably, America.

    However, demographics can run circles around or at least equal the importance of all those socio-political factors too. IOW, amoral, sloppy forms of liberalism will handicap any society. But that combined with an underperforming populace (eg, high rates of academic mediocrity or failure) is a deadly duo. So I wonder if the US in the future is more likely to reflect not so much China, as much as a nation like Mexico.

    Mark (31bbb6)

  63. is gonna enact tax cuts*

    DohBiden (d54602)

  64. A lot bad about crony capitialism which is stalinist in nature.

    DohBiden (d54602)


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