Sunday, August 12, 2007

Boing Boing on US-Built Chinese Surveillance System

I'm sure that Boing Boing is implying something really bad here in the creation of a Chinese human-tracking system by a US-financed company. Although, I'd be hard-pressed to tell whether it was the tracking system they're against, or just the fact that it's being built by a US company?

Now, I would vehemently oppose any such system in the US. And I don't like it when US companies engage in this sort of work. But such systems exist in Europe, and are being expanded there as we speak. And I'm not sure I remember Boing Boing making a big deal out of those. Which, of course, would lead me back to the US-built theory.

Digg Report

Digg Report: Today's #1 Digg, at 4518 Digg, is a link to some suspended account that says something about Bill Nye quoted the Bible regarding the Moon reflecting light from the Sun.

Not sure what that's all about, but since the link is down, can't really comment on it.

China to Limit Access to Foreign Companies

Bad news for all those foreign companies that want a part of the Chinese market. China's doing everything it can to protect its state-owned enterprises, including creating barriers to entry.

This won't last forever. At some point, China's going to have to realize who their customers are.

Putin Youth - Scarier and Scarier

More on the Putin Youth, the Nashi, at the Boston Globe's Web site. The more I read about this phenomenon, the more it continues to remind me of the Hitler Youth. Some quotes:

I thought of that young woman when, shortly afterward, I read alarming reports about a new force in Russian public life: a youth movement called Nashi. The word is typically translated as "Ours," but that doesn't quite capture the nationalist, triumphalist overtones of the Russian name. "Nashi," in Russian idiom, means "Our Guys" or "Our Kind"; it's the "us" in us versus them.

"Them," for Nashi, includes everyone from Americans to former Soviet republics that bristle at Russian diktat to Russians who don't subscribe to Putin's authoritarian vision of "sovereign democracy."

As far as its size, it seems to be growing:

Nashi claims to be over 100,000 strong; according to some reports, it has a core of 10,000 activists ages 17 to 25, with another 200,000 or so who regularly attend its events.

And their methods?

Propaganda is not the only weapon in Nashi's arsenal. The movement offers paramilitary training that prepares members for breaking up opposition rallies (under the guise of combating "fascism") and intimidating those who run afoul of the Putin regime.
In April, the group's protests against the Estonian government's decision to relocate a memorial to Soviet soldiers turned violent: Hundreds of Nashi goons besieged the Estonian embassy in Moscow, unmolested by the police as they threw rocks, blocked traffic, and tore down the Estonian flag.

And finally, in a nod to a sort of Russian "Aryan purity":

Perhaps more aptly, some Russian liberals refer to Nashi as "Putinjugend." The movement's brownshirt tactics certain evoke shades of Hitler Youth, as does the emphasis on physical fitness, clean living, and procreation for the Motherland. (At the Nashi summer camp, sex was encouraged as an answer to Russia's demographic crisis, and 40 couples were married.)

Read the whole thing.

Ayn Rand Supported Israel - You Should Too

Just for the record, Ayn Rand supported Israel. As Yaron Brook said in a story in the International Jerusalem Post:

“We view what happens in Israel as an indicator of what will happen in the rest of the world. To the extent America abandons Israel, it abandons itself Israel is a beacon of civilization in a barbaric, backward area,” Brook said on a recent trip here to visit family with his wife, also an Israeli expatriate, and their two children.

“Israel represents, despite its flaws, the values of the West; individual rights, free speech, freedom of the press, equality before the law and the rule of law.” Objectivism upholds values generally associated with Western culture — individualism, reason, and science - but its distinctive development is a moral ideal of “selfishness,” whereby someone’s own happiness is a moral responsibility.

Anyone who can't see the difference between Israel and the rest of the Middle East either isn't looking or is blinded by an agenda (or proselytizing for it).

Ahmadinejad Speaks Truth to Power

Iranian President Imajihadi (or whatever his name is) on terrorism:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Algiers on Tuesday outlined Iran's policies on regional and global developments. On issue of terrorism, he said, "Terrorism is the ugliest phenomenon which has roots in discrimination, pressure, occupation and trampling on rights of others, deviation from the lofty humanitarian values and mismanagement of certain powers who seek to meet their own interests by imposing their own policies on the world and plundering the wealth of other nations."

Umm, okay.