The Asian Cold War is heating up. On Jan. 7 China offered Europeans its services as a white night to the Euro. A mere 3 days later Japan upped the ante for as Lisa Twaronite writes from Japan, Whenever China says it will lend a helping hand, Japan is sure to offer an arm or a leg of its own. Indeed, American decline ends not only the period of Chinese free ridership but even the India one. Sides must be chosen and Japan is determined not to accede to Chinese hegemony without a fight and to do so it must have allies. Everything must be done to secure and strengthen the democratic alliance. That means preventing Europe from becoming even more indebted to China as well as forcing India to enforce sanctions on Iran.
Fighting in Southern Sudan’s disputed Abyei region claimed the lives of more than 30 people over the weekend, but voting that will allow the country’s Southerners - mostly Christians and animists, or practitioners of native religions - to separate from the Arab Muslim North if they choose, proceeded apace. And human rights groups including Christian Solidarity International (CSI) and The American Anti-Slavery Group ransomed Christians and others out of slavery and documented their stories.
Here’s the Quote of the Week, courtesy of New York Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer. Keep in mind that Schumer and his party have taken the national debt from $8.6 trillion in 2007 to a whopping $14 trillion today. They added $5.4 trillion to the debt in just four years.
The weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal featured a front page article written by Amy Chua, a Yale Law professor who is plugging her forthcoming book which I won’t plug for her. The article that is excerpted from her book is titled “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” and the editor’s subtitle is “Can a regimen of no playdates, no TV, no computer games and hours of music practice create happy kids?” Actually, that question is inappropriate because it’s not Ms. Chua’s intention to create happy kids - her focus is on raising successful, high achieving kids and by objective standards of accomplishment (performing at Carnegie Hall), she seems to have succeeded. This begs the question of whether genetically bright and musically gifted children were programmed for success with or without Ms. Chua’s draconian methods of parenting. Many other talented musicians have sprung from households where the provisos did not include the rigid restrictions Ms. Chua imposed and many other high-achieving students have succeeded without the Asian philosophy of child-rearing. The notion that endless practice is essential for high performance has been exhibited by people as far removed from Amy Chua as the parents of: Tiger Woods, the Williams sisters, Tonya Harding, Yitzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zuckerman and countless others.
Increasing respect for the Muslim/Arab world has been a strategic goal of the Obama administration. Even poor Nasa is required to spend money to promote it! No, it is not a joke. If Waleed Abdalati has been selected as NASA’s chief scientist because he is a Muslim, it is quite troubling. The truth is that Jihadist atrocities and attempted atrocities continue to increase world wide disdain for the Muslim world. Just consider this headline Pakistani Religious leaders cheer governor’s murder. If that has not been bad enough, Muslims attachment to conspiracy theories make them a laughing stock. Here are a batch of animal centered ones to entertain you:
Israel understands better than most that within the framework of the current world system – which relies too heavily on Arab oil – she is in a particularly precarious and unsustainable position, under constant physical and economic threat.
Until Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly’s explosive belt went off prematurely in Stockholm last month, Sweden was the poster child for isolationism in the war on terror. While Abdulwahab’s bomb failed to achieve his desired result, it did obliterate the myth that nations can remain neutral to global terrorism.
In Mike Leigh’s newest slice of British life, the filmmaker does more than present us with a close scrutiny of ordinary people, some of whom live lives of quiet desperation. He stacks the deck with so many heavy-handed signifiers that the film takes on the aura of smug sanctimony. The long-married couple who stand as the fulcrum for the other characters are Tom and Gerry and yes, they are cartoons. We know they’re really good people because she has long grey hair and buck teeth; he is bearded and spectacled and both are clothed in comfortable post-hippie garments and shoes. She is a social worker/counselor and he is a geologist but their avocation of gardening and growing their own food speaks to their worth - they’re the salt of the earth. Unlike their animated predecessors, Tom and Gerry never fight; they are always loving and affectionate towards each other and to the other people in the film.
It looks like crying “Serbian Propaganda! ™” can fool people for only 12 years. Or so one hopes. This has yet to play out, and the rapporteur Dick Marty is handing the evidence-collection and prosecution over to the EU “justice” mission in Kosovo. So we know what that usually means for the welfare of evidence (or else for the welfare of those collecting it).