Web Comic

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

Libya and Tianamen

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.

Economist: http://www.economist.com/blogs/newsbook/2011/02/libyas_uprising

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.

Jasmine Revolution


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?

Who knows.

EDIT: Bah… The Economist said the same thing I did except better and a day earlier… http://www.economist.com/node/18178177

Mr. Hu’s Claims

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.

Another Update

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.

An Update

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.


Google declared that they’re going to try and negotiate with the CCP to uncensor their google.cn site. As most people are saying, the CCP will most likely not agree to this, which makes a lot of sense. If the CCP softens their hard line stance against Google, Bing is sure to follow, and then Yahoo! will jump on board, and close behind them Baidu will shout for equal treatment. Before long, the People’s Daily will be posting articles about how they should be uncensored as well. It’s not gonna happen.

But I’m actually very impressed with Google’s decision. I mean they are a corporation that is responsible to their shareholders. Doing business in China is profitable, whether or not censorship is taking place. Once Google announced this, their share price dropped like 1.5%. This isn’t so much Google going up against the CCP, but Google going up against their shareholders or, in broader terms, the ideology of their shareholders v. their profit.

I’m sure there are some pretty liberal folk who hold Google stock and sold it when they heard of the decision. I mean they might have cheered in their hearts, but they’re not willing to support human rights at the risk of their investment. Very few people would do this. Ideology is something abstract while money is something substantial. You can’t buy tacos with a belief, but you can with $1.10 at Taqueria Guadalajara in San Leandro.


The Cycle Continues

Later hundreds of Han Chinese marched through the streets of Urumqi smashing shops and stalls belonging to Uighurs.

The BBC’s Quentin Sommerville, in Urumqi, says some of the protesters were shouting “down with Uighurs” as they rampaged through the streets armed with homemade weapons.

Police attempted to block access to the bazaar and other Uighur districts of the city and fired tear gas as the Han Chinese confronted groups of Uighurs.

The Han Chinese said they were angry at the failure of security forces to protect their community on Sunday.

One protester, clutching a metal bar, told the AFP news agency: “The Uighurs came to our area to smash things, now we are going to their area to beat them.”

Scores Killed in China Protests – BBC News

Order partially restored in violence-plagued Urumqi, situation still tense – People’s Daily

The Urumqi Mass Incident – EastSouthWestNorth Blog

Quick summary:

1a. Rumors spread through the internet that Uighur factory workers raped Han women in Guangdong – Xinhua

2a. Riots took place between Han and Uighur factory workers – EastSouthWestNorth Blog

3a. Uighurs in Urumqi protest and are violently repressed by the police


1b. Outsiders sneak into China

2b. Outsiders organize and lead the protests

3b. Uighurs in Urumqi violently riot and peace was restored by the police

Whatever the case may be, China needs to realize that dealing with diversity requires more than having those many nationalities show up on TV and do their native dances. The racial tensions in China are rising and they need to be dealt with in an economic, political, as well as culturally transformative manner.

Now I’ll say that most Nationalities in China have been ‘Han-washed’. The Manchu in China are like the Norwegian-Americans in the United States. They’re absorbed into mainstream culture and have intermarried with the dominant cultures of their respective nations. On the other end of the spectrum, there are the Tibetans and Uighurs in China with their African-American counterparts in the US. First of all, these peoples have not assimilated culturally into the mainstream. Uighurs don’t eat pork, they’re Muslim, they look different, and speak a different language. Blacks listen to rap music, speak in a manner different than white America, and make up a good number of prisoners on death row. Of course, there are those who have assimilated. Some Uighurs in China have risen up to become politicians and speak out against rebellious Uighurs as traitors. Obama is black (at least half of him is) and he is the president of the US. But those who have risen to power must assimilate first. 2pac would never have become president, nor would Hasan Mahsum have been able to rise up the ranks of the CCP.

Now let’s talk about Rodney King real quick.  Back in 1992, I was in third grade when the riots broke out in LA. We had a talk about this in our class where our teacher told us it was wrong to use violence. One of the black kids in my class disagreed and said that since the white cop beat the black man first, the blacks should be able to fight back. It’s a pretty simple logic that goes back to the Omaha Race Riots, Native American clan warfare, Nordic saga feuds, and Hammurabi’s ‘Eye for an Eye’. But even then, I had this gut feeling that there was something wrong with it. I mean if I got beat up by one of those Mexicans in the ESL class next door and I responded by gathering my kinsmen to go kick some asses, what’s to stop them from getting back at us? And us from responding? And what’s to keep this cycle of violence from continuing forever?

And that’s what’s happening in China. Han Chinese thought some Uighurs raped some Han Chinese so they got mad (since obvious, only Han men can rape Han women), so they struck back by killing a couple Uighurs. Now the Uighurs are rioting and are beating up Han (since obviously, only Uighur men can kill Uighur men for rape). Now, my side comments might seem sarcastic, but it’s a widely accepted truth. When a whole bunch of white people are killed by a whole bunch of other white people, it’s considered a bad thing. When a bunch of Indonesians kill a bunch of Timorese, it’s ethnic cleansing. That’s a whole different level of killing.

There are several solutions to this problem. The Han Chinese can breed out or violently wipe out all dissenting ethnicities. The CCP can grant independence to regions where certain ethnicities demand it. Or, China can move towards developing a political and economic program which would ease ethnic tensions in their country and promote cultural tolerance of different people.

The third proposal is the one that most people would vote for, but it’s also by far the most difficult. I believe people are instinctually racist and that most people prefer their own kind. English majors hang out with English majors, FOBs hang out with other FOBs, and Uighurs hang out with Uighurs. There are exceptions to the rule, but this is usually the case. There can be no ‘harmonious society’ when people refuse to assimilate. The best one can hope for is a ‘tolerable-coexistence with some intermixing society’. But hey, even that is better than ‘suppressed racial tensions and sudden outbursts of ethnic violence society’ that currently exists in China today.