10/28/11

Media Coverage of China is Overlooking Significant Stories

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

China has been increasing its influence and presence in recent months, though it’s not getting a lot of attention in our media. One topic that was covered extensively was the issue of Congress attempting to pass a law to combat China’s currency regulation. It has passed in the Senate, and is being held up in the House. There is concern that the bill could start a trade war, and antagonize the Chinese, costing American jobs.

But a number of more alarming stories are largely being ignored by our mainstream media. A few examples:

According to Reuters, a draft of a report recently sent to Congress says that China is the prime suspect in a situation in which at least two U.S. government civilian satellites have been “interfered with four or more times in 2007 and 2008 via a ground station in Norway.”

According to Larry Wortzel, one of the 12 commissioners on the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which reported the interference, it was “consistent with PLA [China’s People’s Liberation Army] doctrine.”

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who is chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, has written a column about how China’s human rights situation is deteriorating. In a report they issued earlier this month, it says that “China’s leaders have tightened their grip on Chinese society and grown more aggressive in disregarding the very laws and international standards that they claim to uphold. The government’s campaign to ‘disappear’ numerous lawyers and activists following pro-democracy protests elsewhere in the world—one of China’s harshest crackdowns in recent memory—is but one example.

Equally alarming were a couple of stories in Thursday’s Washington Times in a section called Inside China. In the stories, by Miles Yu, he wrote that “China’s official communist newspaper, the Global Times, published a chilling editorial warning several ‘little countries’ that are disputing China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea, notably the Philippines and Vietnam, to ‘get ready to hear the sound of gunfire.’”

Whether this is just saber rattling or a serious threat remains to be seen. The editorial was headlined, “China Cannot Resort Only to Negotiations Over Maritime Conflicts, We Must Kill One to Deter One Hundred If Necessary.” It asked “where these ‘little neighboring countries’ got the nerve to challenge China.” According to the paper, the answer to that question is the United States: “At present various disputants behave with imperial swagger [against China],” the commentary said, “as if with the support from the United States, they all had the force and capabilities to subjugate China.”

Another story by Yu in the same section says that while the U.S. is reducing its nuclear weapons, “China is increasing its stockpile of nuclear weapons under the rubric of a mammoth project called the Underground Great Wall that includes a 3,000-mile-long subterranean tunnel system used to store and operate the many thousands of China’s nuclear-carrying missiles. The system is under the direct supervision of China’s strategic missile forces known as the Second Artillery Corps.”

Yu also wrote that China announced this week “that it would enact a sweeping law to combat what the communist state would define as ‘terrorists’ or ‘terrorist acts.’ These acts include creating public disorder and social panic, causing public property damage and threatening government agencies. The law would target international organizations and all others that abet and finance such ‘terrorists’ and ‘terrorist acts.’”

Slowly and quietly China has been spreading its propaganda in this country. Here in Washington D.C., there are newspaper boxes all over the city where you can pick up a copy of China Daily, a newspaper published by the Chinese government and clearly meant to calm any fears people might have that we should have anything to fear from China’s Communist government. Their official news agency, Xinhua, has leased a major electronic billboard earlier this year right in Times Square in New York, which as you can see here has brought peaceful protestors against China’s restrictions on free speech.

Many people still wonder if China is a dangerous adversary and a military threat that is slowly exerting its influence, or a strategic and economic partner and competitor instead. Either way, their influence is growing in this country in ways unimaginable only a few short years ago.

Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media. He can be contacted at [email protected].

10/28/11

THE JESUS STATUE ISN’T THE ISSUE…

By: Chad Kent
Chad Kent Speaks

Ok, so there is a big hullabaloo going on in Montana over a statue of Jesus that has been sitting on federal land since the 1950s. The statue has started to draw strong criticism from a group of militant atheists who apparently have nothing better to do with their time:

“A statue of Jesus on U.S. Forest Service land in the mountains over a Montana ski resort could be evicted as out-of-state groups advocating for the separation of church and state, have applied pressure on the Forest Service.” (emphasis mine)

The question no one in this episode is asking is, “By what authority does the federal government own that land in Montana?” The Constitution is actually very clear that the federal government can only own land for a handful of purposes (Article 1, Section 8):

“[T]o exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful Buildings.”

So is the U.S. Forest Service operating a Fort, Magazine, Arsenal or a dock-yard next to the public ski resort? If this land is actually being used for one of those purposes, then we need to have a serious discussion about why we’re placing military installations next to popular vacation spots.

But, I’ve got a pretty strong hunch that this land isn’t being used for any of those Constitutional purposes. In that case, resolving this case is really simple. The federal government owns this land unlawfully and needs to return it to the state of Montana (who could then sell it to the ski resort or another private individual). Then, the Jesus statue is no longer on federal property – so the skiers can continue to enjoy it and the atheists can stop hyperventilating.

Problem solved. Isn’t the Constitution great?

10/28/11

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watchers Council Results – 10/28/2011

The Watcher’s Council

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week, engraved on stone tablets in our secret guildhall.

We had a tie this week in the Council category between Joshuapundit’s Blood And Sand, a piece with some observations on Libyan dictator Moamar Khaddaffi’s fate that might not be apparent at first look and Bookworm Room’s Is it true that the poor ye always have with you?, an excellent essay on what being ‘poor’ means in America as opposed to the rest of the world and more importantly, how our culture and educational system have fed the unrealistic sense of entitlement evidenced by the OWS protesters.

In accordance with our by-laws, I put on my Watcher’s hat to break the tie, which always gets decided in favor of my fellow Council members in these situations where I’m involved. And so, I’m proud to cast my vote and declare Bookworm Room’s Is it true that the poor ye always have with you? as this week’s very worthy winner! Here’s a slice:

But in a peculiar way, those non-starving, non-homeless, non-refugee young people playing at being poor in cities across America have a point. They represent some very specific — and sad — types of poverty.
To begin with, there’s the sense of poverty created by utterly ludicrous expectations. We promised these kids that they were all “good enough, smart enough and, gosh darn it!, that everyone would like them.” We promised them that they were all number one, and that they would never need to make any actual effort to achieve that blue ribbon status. We taught them, through MTV and computer games, that a 3 minute attention span is sufficiently long to be awesomely cool and win the game. And, God help us, we taught them that a Womyn’s Studies, or Africana Studies, or GLBT Studies, or Oppressed People’s degree from some big name university would assure them the kind of job that would enable them to pay off $25,000 or $100,000 or even $250,000 in student loans. We, the older generation, created this wealth of stupidity.

These young people also suffer from a vast intellectual and moral poverty. One of the things that shines through when we interview the people taking to the streets is that so many are woefully ignorant, and that they wallow in a sea of relativism that allows for no morality other than that gained by intense navel gazing. They are the antithesis of the original American revolutionaries, whose leaders were men of exceptional erudition and thoughtfulness, and whose followers knew at the very least their Bible and Pilgrim’s Progress. Revolutionaries of old were shaped by philosophy, known science, literature, practical life experience, and a deep sense of morality and justice. Today’s little park piddlers are shaped by an aching sense of unfairness, a terrible fear of human-kind (that would be the AGW shtick), and a morality shaped by Oprah and whichever fabulously rich Hollywood Leftist happens to grab the microphone on any given day.

These self-styled 99%-ers are not poor, not by any known standard, either today or in the history of the world. They are intellectually and emotionally bereft, but otherwise awash in material benefits.

The fact that these posers aren’t poor, as poverty has traditionally been understood, does not mean that there aren’t poor people in America. New immigrants are poor, although America quickly absorbs them and propels their children and grandchildren into the working and middle class. Elderly people whose life savings have been destroyed by the Democrat economy are poor, and deserve our help. Those who suffer from profound physical or mentally disabilities, through birth or injury, may experience great poverty, and they too deserve our help. Those are traditional kinds of poverty and, true to Jesus’ word, we will always have these people with us.

Lastly, there is a unique kind of poverty, one that could only occur in America. I know about this poverty because someone close to me dwells among these poor (although she is not quite of them), and reports back faithfully. These are not people who are poor in the old-fashioned way. They were not deprived of opportunities due to class distinctions, because we do not have a European-style class-based society. Although most are profoundly ignorant, all had available to them the basics of an American public school education. Living in the modern age, their lives have not been blighted by epidemic diseases (polio, rheumatic fever, mumps, measles, small pox, etc.), nor have their family structures been decimated by the mortality that ripped through the pre-modern world, leaving large numbers of children as half or full orphans.

We also had a tie this week between two must read entries in our non-Council category, Bruce Thornton’s excellent piece in FrontPage Magazine, Obama’s Libyan Disaster, submitted by The Noisy Room and Andrew Klavan’s The Mask Of Fascism, submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey.

Tough choice here! Thornton, astute observer that he is, picked up as I and a number of others did that the back slapping the president is getting in certain circles over our Libyan adventure is extremely misguided. Thanks to our intervention on behalf of Britain and France’s oil contracts, Libya is now an Islamist state under Sharia and a likely candidate for a part of the new Caliphate, and Thornton lays out the facts bluntly on the damage done.

Klavan’s masterful essay probed the fascist underpinning of the core of OWS movement in his inimitable style and those of you familiar with his work won’t be disappointed.

In the end, after careful consideration, I ended up going with Thornton’s Obama’s Libyan Disaster, but like I said, tough choice and both are excellent reads.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!