Well, I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb so I no longer have any opinions about politics. However, I am working on a web comic. If you’re interested, here it is: Fast Tall Grow Up
Interesting BBC Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12544624
Here’s a nice quote from everybody’s beloved Gaddafi:
Anyone who played games with the country’s unity would be executed, he said, referring to the Chinese authorities’ crushing of the student protests in Tiananmen Square among other historical events.
Except unlike the Chinese protesters of 6-4, those in Libya have guns.
An Egyptian accountant working in Tobruk said youths wielding swords had taken his company’s bulldozers to capture arms from army arsenals.
In their reclaimed towns, including Benghazi, the country’s second city, the migrant workers report that Libyan youths cruise the streets in their stolen cars using heavy weapons and even tanks looted from army bases.
Oh what a wonderful world we live in.
I liked the part where they said the crowd “appeared to be mostly curious onlookers”. Reminds me of the Carrefour protests where a good number of the ‘protesters’ where just there to gawk. Protesters in China should learn a bit from 19th and early 20th century Communist tactics. The people must be made to suffer before they will join a revolution. Otherwise, it just doesn’t fit their cost-benefit analysis.
Tunisia and Egypt got through their protests with relatively few casualties. The army wasn’t sent in to crack down or anything like that. Maybe they military weren’t willing to go in and shoot people or maybe those dictators weren’t willing to have that blood on their hands. Whatever the reason, widespread massacre of civilians didn’t take place (or at least wasn’t reported).
Now in Libya and Bahrain, it seems like things are different, especially in Libya. Check out this BBC article about Libya: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12512536
Now China is currently in a pretty different situation so it is extremely unlikely that unrest would spread over to the People’s Republic. But the protests in the Arab countries today do share some similarities with the Tiananmen protests.
First of all, there is the underlying economic issues that tend to be the main cause of most protests. High unemployment for educated youth and inequality between those in the government and the ordinary citizens are two main similarities. Then there’s that talk about political reform and what-not, but those are usually over-hyped because it sounds better that people are protesting for freedom rather than a TV. People of the less developed world are generally brought to protests for material reasons rather than ideological ones.
Anyway. The mindset of the Chinese government and military back in ’89 had more in common with that of Libya than Egypt. The willingness to go to extreme violence and the united will of the government with the military usually means civil disobedience turns into a lot of dead people. In those situations, peaceful protests don’t really have much of a role.
But today, it is difficult to see how the Chinese government would respond to similar types of protests. Sure, the military and paramilitary forces in China would most likely be willing to crack down on their own people, but is the Chinese government willing to send them in? Some would say yes and provide examples of how the Chinese government dealt with the Xinjiang and Tibet unrest. However, those protests were made by minority groups. Violence used against a minority group is easier than violence against the majority because there aren’t that many of them. But if Han Chinese were to rise up again in large numbers rather than Manchurian or the Yue, would the Chinese government be willing to pull another 6.4?
EDIT: Bah… The Economist said the same thing I did except better and a day earlier… http://www.economist.com/node/18178177
Sure, this is late, but I read a couple of articles on the Economist that seemed interesting:
Hu’s counting – Hu claims that China saved Americans money.
Hu’s counting II – Hu claims that China created jobs for the world.
Yeah… here goes…
1. Got a job at a publishing company a few months ago. They make books and I look at their numbers. That’s right, I am now using my masters degree in economics to work in the finance department of a struggling company. I mean, who reads books these days when there’s so much good literature on the internet?
2. Moved out of my parents house. What an accomplishment…
3. Built a computer. Here are the specs: AMD Phenom II x3 3.4ghz, 16 GB DDR3 1333mhz RAM, 120 GB Intel X-25m SSD, Seagate 2TB 5900 RPM Hard Drive, Galaxy GTX 260 768MB Video Card, MSI 870a-G54 motherboard, XFX 650 watt power supply, Antec 300 mid-tower case, I-Inc 24.6″ LCD monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers… yeah, it’s awesome and it cost me less than the per capital GDP of Mali.
4. Didn’t that Chinese dude get a Nobel Peace Prize or something?
5. The SF Giants won the world series!!!
6. Reading books. Another list: All the Pretty Horses, Blood Meridian, Midnight’s Children, Oryx and Crake, After the Flood, Calvin and Hobbes, and other stuff.
7. Improving cooking skills. My Puerto Rican Rice was a disaster though…
8. Tried my first MMORPG (EVE) and quit after 2 days.
9. My sister got married.
10. is still a nice number.
Haven’t really written much of anything in a while, so here’s what I’ve been doing:
1. I’ve been teaching again at an international school in the Bay Area. Overall, pretty fun with a bunch of students from all around the world. There has been no violence or conflict between Mainland students with their Taiwanese or Japanese counterparts as their common love for alcohol is stronger than any political differences that they do have.
2. I’m getting my masters degree in economics on Saturday. I went from failing my final class to a high-B in a single day. Good times.
3. Currently looking for a place to live, but damn, the Bay Area is so expensive.
4. Pre-ordered Elemental: War of Magic. My most expensive purchase so far this year, but hopefully I’ll be able to get into the beta and check it out. It’s one of them strategy-RPG games that I love so much. And it’s set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world, which is always good. High fantasy has sucked since Lord of the Rings came out.
5. Stopped playing Tribal Wars. I realized that it caused me more suffering than fun. No more.
6. My car got stolen but then it was found. Good times.
7. Europa Barbarorum II is still not out, but they have a new preview today.
8. Chinese news reported that a North Korean shot a bunch of Chinese folk. That might be a sign that they’re getting ready to condemn their ally… maybe.
9. Finished a research project about Choice of Residence for Chinese in the Bay Area. Maybe I’ll talk about that stuff here since it is related to Chinese and stuff…
10. That’s pretty much it, but 10 is such a nice number.