Saturday, October 16, 2010

Another State-Owned Chinese Mine Collapse, Harassing Liu's Friends, Chavez Goes Shopping In Moscow

David Ignatius
Matthew Continetti
Michelle Goldberg
"People are saying that everything is Obama's fault – he hasn't dug us out of Bush's recession and two wars fast enough. That's the problem." – David Letterman
"California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman has released a new TV ad in both Mandarin and Cantonese. This is part of her effort to reach out to the Asian community. That's how California works, where a white woman from back East, trying to replace an Austrian governor, runs an ad in Chinese to explain to people why she hired a Mexican maid." – Jay Leno

"The Obama administration had lifted the six-month ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, provided that the oil companies follow the new safety regulations. For example, there has to be at least one sober person on the rig at all times." – Jay Leno

Perhaps China wants to always be making news headlines and pouts like some spoiled actress entering rehab if she doesn't make the front page. Just as we were celebrating the miracle of the  Chilean miner's rescue comes news of another mine collapse in Henan, China. The mine in Chile was a gold mine and had less danger of methane buildups, while the mine in China is a coal mine, and that is what happened: "RESCUERS battled dangerous levels of gas, tons of coal dust and the risk of falling rocks as they worked to free 16 miners trapped by an explosion at a mine in central China early yesterday. Twenty-one miners were confirmed killed... The blast unleashed more than 2,500 tons of coal dust, an engineer for one of the mine's parent companies, Du Bo, said. Ventilation has resumed in the mining pit but gas levels remain high. The gas level inside the mine was 40 percent, far higher than the normal level of nearly 1 percent, China Central Television reported."

The mine is run by the state and had another methane gas explosion two years ago, which also killed people. You can tell by the percentage of methane gas that was allowed to build up in the tunnel that the company was negligent. China has the most mine disasters in the world, a dubious honor that it seems determined to lead...

What's worse, having a member of your family trapped in a coal mine, with little hope of rescue, or having the state pick up that family member and sent to some secret jail. The Chinese government is still pissed off that an activist that they already have in jail won the Nobel Peace Prize, that they are not content to harass him and his wife, they are focusing on all of their friends, too: "In the week after Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize for his decades of promoting democratic change in China, dozens of people who openly agreed with his views say they have been detained, roughed up, harassed or kept from leaving their homes. The latest appears to be a woman who Liu has said should win the prize: Ding Zilin, who has fought for years for China's government to recognize the hundreds killed in the military's crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Liu's wife sent out an alert late Thursday that said Ding had "disappeared" and urged people to "pay attention" to her case.

Specially targeted for harassment after Liu won the peace prize are the first group of signers of Charter 08, the demand for greater freedoms that brought Liu an 11-year prison sentence for subversion and that was cited by the Nobel committee.
"I'm so sorry. I have a lot to say, but I don't dare to talk. I've been confronted several times by police already since Liu Xiaobo won the prize," writer Zhao Shiying, who signed Charter 08, said Thursday."
These are the kind of abuses the Chinese government heaps upon its citizens, a tradition of arrogance and belittlement that was supposed to have been eradicated by the Communist Revolution in 1949. And as China continues to expand economically around the world, those attitudes will also be fostered on citizens of other countries and cultures, you might call it Repression - R - Us...

In order to play nice after the EU imposed sanctions, Russia canceled delivery to Iran of five defensive missile battalions. But, business is business, and Iran may get them after all, in a back-room deal with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, who is visiting Moscow. He has offered to buy the S300PMU-1, and then attemp to deliver them to his new best friends. Also, while he was in Moscow, Russia announced that it was going to build a nuclear reactor in Venezuela... A lot of protest is going up over oil rich countries wanting to use nuclear power. It's not just Venezuela and Iran, but also Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Gulf Emirates. South Korea is already contracted to build a reactor in Dubai, using a lot of US technology. Water is running out in the Middle East and North Africa, the water table is going dry and the underground flow of water is not happening, and these countries are looking to running nuclear powered desalinization plants, or else face starvation and massive emigration. Right now there are over one billion people who do not get enough to eat on a daily basis, according to the world Health Organization.

I hadn't thought of it, but half of the world is enjoying the antics of our mid-term election. Of course, they are dismissive of emulating the US style of democracy as being too crazy and messy. While we still are trying to work with the Black and Hispanic votes, Meg Whitman even created a campaign ad in Mandarin and Cantonese, countries like Germany have given up. Chancellor Angela Merkel today said that multiculturalism has been a big failure in Germany. I don't know what she sees as the alternative, though this summer's deportation of Gypsies might give us a clue. So, after our wacky elections, we can pop up some popcorn and sit and watch as the European Union self-destructs, otherwise known as Tom Tancredo's wet dream...

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