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January 22, 2010 - 9:38am

Today's Poll: Do you think the U.S. government should take a tough stand against China's Internet censorship?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
terry paine
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I'm interested to know what action the "YES" voters would consider in order to demonstrate our "Tough Stance".
Charlie Mallow
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I suggest a passive aggressive reaction. When the Chinese tell us to jump, we should just jump without first asking them how high. Or when they paddle us, we should not say, “Thank you Sir, may I please have another”
Sheryl Smigelski
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While this may elicit some unsavory remarks, I think we should mind our own business and take care of the USA! Maybe we wouldn't have so many gunning for us!!
Chris Charvella
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Sanctions, removal of 'Most Favored Nation' status, stiff tarrifs on imported goods, etc... We can't claim to be the world leader on human rights then look the other way when a real issue comes up.
terry paine
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Right on Sheryl,that would be a nice change. Sanctions and tariffs only hurt the poor (best example is the sanctions in Iraq).
Chris Charvella
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So we should look the other way when it comes to human rights violations?
terry paine
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I didn't say that I just can't think of a non-violent way of controlling other countries governments. I think Australia is doing something similar you want to control that government also.
Chris Charvella
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What I'm saying, Terry, is that if we claim a certain thing then we must back that claim up with actions. I understand and respect the opinion that we should stay out of other countries' business, but if we were to do that, we would also have to give up the mantle of human rights champion.
terry paine
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My only question is how do you accomplish this without violence. If you answer is violence than just say so.
Jeff Allen
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With all the juicy political stories this week, none of which were included on the main page, this is what we get for an opinion poll? China's stand against Google?
Howard B. Owens
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Jeff, Hilary also made a speech that pissed off China. It has the Chinese accusing the US of being culture imperialists and using the Internet to do it. Also, while the non-interventionist in me says it's an internal matter. That doesn't mean we have to do business with China, either. We can enact tariff's for example. That isn't interfering with their internal policies, but neither is it rewarding them for running an oppressive regime.
bud prevost
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We have no business interfering with Chinese policy. And Chris, we have many, many human rights issues right here in the USA. Lets address those before we start worrying about a foreign nation.
Chris Charvella
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Terry, I don't advocate for violence in this situation. I don't think we should stand by and do nothing either. People will make jokes about Google and ask why it's such a big deal, but the issue at the base of this is that information is power. What we're dealing with is a government that doesn't want its people to have any information taht it isn't feeding them itself. Labor conditions in China are terrible, the citizens are kept in the dark and the government likes it that way. We've turned a blind eye to the situation for years because of our trade status with them, and as far as I'm concerned, every president in recent history has been a pure hypocrite when it comes to human rights violations in that part of the world. What makes it all worse is that China owns an enormous chunk of our foreign debt. If we imposed sanctions, tarriffs, or revoked their 'Most Favored Nation' status they could just give us the finger and call in the chits. You want to talk abuot a situation that could collapse our national economy... Our government, past and present has made it quite impossible to enforce or defend what we claim to be our moral high ground when it comes to human rights in China. We've been greedy and lazy. Completely unforgivable in my humble opinion.
Chris Charvella
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I respect your opinion, Bud and I agree wholeheartedly with the second part. It happens to be the other side of the hypocrisy. We should be setting the example and I just wish that leadership in this country would either put up or shut up on this issue.
Jeff Allen
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Here is what getting tough with China would look like...
terry paine
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Howard if we tariff the products of China, who do you think will be affected, the repressive regime,or the already poor people who have no other choice but to work in those poor factory conditions?
Chris Charvella
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That's a great point Terry, it's also the reason that being leader of the free world isn't the cozy desk job with great benefits that some folks seem to think it is. You couldn't pay me enough money to take a job where I would have to make a decision like that. It's easy enough for us to bandy ideas about and argue pure ideology, but when you're the guy/gal who actually has to make that call...well, I'll just say that it has to be intense and incredibly stressful. I think it's a miracle that President's can last 8 years on the job.
Howard B. Owens
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Terry, I don't know what your position is on high salaried CEOs, especially in health care and banks these days, but if you're one of those who criticizes those high salaries, I'd like to point out that the imbalance between worker and top officials in China is even greater than then US. Tariff's from free trade perspective can be a double edge sword, causing the costs of some materials to go up for US companies. But cheap goods from China have cost a lot of US jobs. The only reason any country has wide spread poverty is because of dictatorial regimes. Most of the real poor the world over are the victims of corrupt regimes, not because of lack of resources in those countries. China is a chief example. How moral is it of us to be enablers of the poor labor practices of China?
terry paine
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Jeff that video's great,unfortunately its all true. Chris, I agree the job is difficult and have seen presidents age 20 years in an eight year term. Too many of the tough decisions come from the nation building we do around the world. If the constitution was followed the decisions for our leader wouldn't be so difficult.
Charlie Mallow
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Jeff, great video. It’s hilarious that people still think we have any control over a country that owns us outright.
Mark Potwora
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Why don't the yes voters just not buy anything that says made in China..Everyone talks tuff,but no one does any thing about it..Howard we don't need any tariffs just don't buy their products..But it works both ways..they won't buy any of ours..Like Charlie said,We let them buy all our debt..They own us..It just like the federal government telling states how to run their business...
C. M. Barons
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...Just as we demand to know the contents of our food through mandatory labelling, Americans should have the benefit of knowing the country of origin for all the products we buy. How about a label detailing where the product was assembled and the component origins? (Imagine the label on an automobile) Knowledgable consumers can support or not-support foreign countries by choice of purchase. And one more clarification: let's know the location of our banks' assets/ownership. Consumers armed with this information could be far more proactive. It would put some teeth in the slogan- Buy American! We just have to be willing to pay the price of financial independence. The best American jobs program is convincing Americans to stop buying non-American products. Just passing a law mandating up-front documentation of origin will send a message. I look forward to seeing those walking billboards who advertise Nike, Aeropostale and Abercrombie & Fitch having equally prominent phrases such as Made In Honduras, Turkey or Macao competing with the brandname. Frankly, I wouldn't wear such a shirt unless the manufacturer paid me to be a sandwich board.
jonathan bell
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im taking both sides of this debate. yes go ahead and let them know its wrong to censor the internet but on the other hand china is a communist country and has been as long as most of the population has been alive. they should be used to censorship and the government ruling with an iron fist. also you dont think the united states government is monitoring your internet activity? you type in that you want to kill the president theyre gonna know about it. and chris again i disagree. this has nothing to do with human rights per say. i for one dont want to go to war over internet censorship, killing people cause of religion of race, putting my family in danger then yes ill put on my body armour hop in my humvee and man my gun without seconds thought but internet?
Bea McManis
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Posted by C. M. Barons on January 23, 2010 - 3:20am I look forward to seeing those walking billboards who advertise Nike, Aeropostale and Abercrombie & Fitch having equally prominent phrases such as Made In Honduras.... oooopa, I looked at the label on a shirt I recently received and it was made in Honduras. I'm as guilty as most for being a walking billboard in a shirt made in a foreign country.
Howard B. Owens
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I don't know that you can buy any affordable clothing item that is made in the USA any more. Any kind of commodity clothing is made overseas. And I blame mostly Walmart. Walmart forced Levi to move all of its manufacturing overseas, costing 14,000 American jobs. The insatiable pressure from the big chains to get ever lower prices from manufactures means either move manufacturing overseas or lose 20 percent or more of its business (which is in some cases enough of a loss of business to put a business out of business).
Bea McManis
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Posted by Howard Owens on January 24, 2010 - 11:51am ....And I blame mostly Walmart. Walmart forced Levi to move all of its manufacturing overseas, costing 14,000 American jobs. Howard, not to defend Wal-Mart, but not ONE fiscal conservative debated the fact that Bush was wrong on this one. His economic advisors felt that if the top management went to a foreign country, it would escalate production here. It didn't work. They took this as the green light to move their operations out of the country. Bush Defends Outsourcing to India President Bush on Friday defended outsourcing in remarks made during his trip to India, saying that while some Americans have lost jobs, outsourcing benefits the global economy and ultimately the U.S. “The United States will not give into the protectionists and lose these opportunities,” Bush said, referring to global economic growth. “For the sake of workers in both our countries, America will trade with confidence.” The President’s comments came during his trip to India and Central Asia, where he is promoting the Administration’s foreign policy and establishing stronger economic ties with the world’s second most populous nation. Bush cautioned against U.S. lawmakers from limiting global trade, especially outsourcing, which he credited with helping to lift global economic growth. Although he conceded that American workers have lost jobs because of outsourcing, he also said the broader impact is positive for both countries. “It’s ... important to remember that when someone loses a job, it’s an incredibly difficult period for the worker and their families,” Bush said in a speech in New Delhi. “It’s true that some Americans have lost jobs when their companies move their operations overseas. “Some people believe the answer to this problem is to wall off our economy from the world through protectionist policies. I strongly disagree.” India is increasingly the destination for companies to outsource HR services, much like the trend in call center and IT services. Bush’s comments helped alleviate fears that HRO may further suffer from political backlash in the U.S. http://www.faotoday.com/news/3241/bush-defends-outsourcing-india?id=1018
Howard B. Owens
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I'm not per se against free trade or for tariffs. Any trade policy is going to create winners and losers. What I'm more about is that the American people need to be better educated on the choice they make as consumers and that the wisest course of action isn't always the one that seems to have the most direct, immediate self-benefit. There's the concept of enlightened self-preservation, which means maybe you make a sacrifice or two avoid enabling policies that might mean a neighbor losing a job. My concern doesn't extend much beyond doing all I can for a better local community. I don't have all the answers on trade policy or anti-trust as it relates to a business such as Walmart. But doing what we can locally as a matter of self-preservation might start making a wider difference.
Jeff Allen
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Bea, The Bush article you posted was from 2006 which was the peak of our trade imbalance with India. Our trade imbalance has been steadily improving since according to the US Census Bureau. The data would suggest that Bush policies actually turned the tide of imbalance with India. And as far as China, the following link shows how the Bush trade gap compared to the Clinton trade gap. http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2007/03/comparing-bush-and-cli... We really have to stop relying on Bush bashing as an entire year has gone by. Even this weekend, Axelrod and Gibbs were on the talk tour blaming Bush.
Howard B. Owens
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I don't know -- Bush bashing seems reasonable a year later -- we still haven't recovered from his screw ups, from the economy and to two botched wars. We'll be suffering from Bush's failed presidency for years if not decades. Unfortunately, Bush bashing is likely to be in style for another decade, at least.
Bea McManis
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We have just entered 2010. We were under a Bush budget for 2009. Sorry, but there is good reason to bring up Bush when we face a future he recklessly squandered. He had little concern for those who would be jobless due to his economic policy. He had little concern about how the Chinese would be paid for funding his wars. I recall, when asked just that question, that his reply was it wouldn't be his worry, it would be up to the next administration. You may still be a loyal Bushie, Jeff, but the fact remains that his domestic policy was close to a blank page. It is outrageous to hear that the eight years of mismanagement of that administration should now be wiped clean and that all of the blame goes to an administration that has been in office for just a few days over a year.
John Roach
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Bea, You seem to overlook Bill Clinton. He is the one who started NAFTA. How about you bashing him for a day or two to show you're fair?
Bea McManis
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another Bushie heard from :) The point you all seem to miss is that many of us have never denied that mistakes weren't made during the Clinton administration. We are not trying to change the legacy. Bush and his followers are bound and determined to sweep away the failures of that administration and whine when anyone dare bring them up.
Milly White
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We could sit here all night and bash former leaders for something. That will not solve the problem of China censoring the people of that country or our losing jobs due to them being exported. The only thing that we can effectively change is the future. We all need to be educated consumers, if that means more research before we buy an item then that is what we should do. We can not change what has happened we can only change what will happen.
Jeff Allen
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I don't think it's whining when Obama himself was the one who said on SEVERAL occasions that he didn't want to focus on the past or play the blame game yet he and his administration NEVER miss an oppportunity to do just that. I have not denied failures of the Bush administration but our tiem and resources are better spent identifying and correcting the failures of THIS administration. Bush can't create jobs, Obama can. Bush can't stop terrorists, Obama can. Bush can't make our country prosperous, Obama can. The problem is, he isn't. Obama's administration, Obama's watch, Obama's economy, Obamas responsibility. Time to lead.
Bea McManis
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Jeff, How do we correct those issues you mention without first admitting that many of them were caused by the eight years mismanagement of the previous administration? Yes, they have to be corrected. Saying that we should just erase the last eight years and not say that anything we are facing now was not caused by that mismanagement is looking through really, really RED glasses. Anyone with a modicum of common sense would know that all the ills of those eight years can't be corrected in a year and a few days. You are right about one thing. It is Obama's responsibility now. You are right about one other thing, Bush couldn't create jobs; he couldn't stop terrorists; he certainly couldn't make this a prosperous country. Yet, you expect all of that to be changed in less than a full term of an Obama presidency? Time to take off the RED glasses and stop watching FOX and listening to RUSH. Milly, you are right about educating consumers. Eventually it will happen.
John Roach
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Bea, I didn't vote for Bush (or Obama), and Obama has continued to do what Bush did on a much bigger scale. Obama has made things even worse. Except for Iraq and the tax cuts, Bush was more liberal than conservative as his spending policies have shown. But I see this lose of jobs issue going back to Clinton. Like it or not, he started NAFTA. Jobs were already going south for years, but Clinton opened the door. As for terrorists, Obama was been in office longer on Christmas when the last attempt was made than Bush was on 9/11. There is now a better system in place to help stop this type of thing, but it fell flat and Obama has not fired even one person. But Obama does have 3 Navy Seals on trial because some terrorist "claimed" one punched him in the nose during his capture for the butchering 4 Americans. Bea, you sound like a K Mart "Blue" light sale trying to sell Obama as saint.
Howard B. Owens
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Actually, the impulse to use U.S. military force to correct the wrongs of other countries has a liberal beginning, John. The neoconservative movement was begun by a group of former Democrats who felt that party was becoming too soft on foreign policy. Until the neocons switched parties, the GOP was mostly a party of non-intervention. So I wouldn't say of Bush being liberal, "except for Iraq." Iraq was a very liberal war. It wasn't a war of national defense. It was a war of intervention. As for Obama and the underpants bomber, conservative columnist David Brooks had a very good piece in the NYT on this topic.
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back later

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