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North Korea, Kim Jong Un, Saddam Hussein, Stalin, China

Kim Jong Un-civilized

The Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea isn’t. That is, it isn’t democratic and it is not “the people’s” in any republican sense. But it does exist . . . as the world’s most totalitarian dictatorship. A tyranny that would make the Pharaohs, Caesars, and Grand Poobahs of the ancient






socialism, communism, China, Red Guard, Cultural Revolution, individual rights, Common Sense, meme

Socialism’s Idealistic Youth

When the protection of individual rights is replaced with vague and pious appeals to the “collective good”… things can get very ugly, very quickly. The Cultural Revolution, was a social-political movement that took place in the People’s Republic of China from 1966 until 1976. Its stated goal was to purge all remnants of capitalism and traditional






China Credit System, Sesame, China, Credit Rating, Common Sense

Discreditable Credit

Capitalism can be rigged a hundred different ways, apparently. China’s is run by its Communist Party, and even current innovations bear the stamp of the Party. Take “social credit.” Not the quaint decentralist economic reform movement that was a minor deal in politics on the West Coast of the U.S.






Paris, climate change, global warming, natural gas, fracking, Common Sense, illustration

Climate Changelings

Worried that the world is going to sacrifice progress for the mess of pottage that is “global climate change”? Don’t. Years ago, economists specializing in game theory recognized that the governments of the world would be extremely unlikely to agree to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The incentives are all wrong






one child policy, china, family planning, communist, five year plan

One, Two or Free?

The vast majority of Chinese people are celebrating. Last week, the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party decreed that it will cease enforcing the one-child-only policy this coming March — after 35 years — as part of its 13th Five Year Plan. Just speaking for myself, infanticide, coerced






NIMBY

Rare Earth Reserve

There are many places on this planet I would hardly dare visit, much less seek to live near. One of those places is remote Baotou, in Inner Mongolia, a boom region where much of our planet’s rare earth industry is located. It becomes obvious as you read Tim Maughan’s BBC






How to Occupy Hong Kong

The fight for freedom doesn’t stop at the border. Hong Kongers, we are with you. Your protest against continued tyranny by mainland China is a just cause. The Communist Party of China may no longer be in Marx’s pocket, but its members remain greedy and dictatorial and oppressive. Leung, the






Copper Tubes in Alabama

You’ve gotta be somewhere, so you might as well choose where that somewhere is in a non-random fashion. That seems to be the rule. One consequences of this is that we now have local government officials and functionaries jet-setting the world promoting their towns, counties, cities . . . their






Too Much Truth

Both what to report and when to report it can be legitimately debated in an editorial room. But not whether to accept demands to conceal “unflattering” truth for the sake of being allowed to report at all. That’s the “dilemma” some news organizations face when they wish to report from






The Wars on Dogs, Drugs, Etc.

China is waging a war on dogs taller than 13.7 inches. The basis is a long-dormant law prohibiting Beijing residents from owning dogs “too big” for — well, for the law prohibiting dogs that big. In addition to losing their furry friends, flouters are subject to fines but not jail






Ding Jinhao Was There

Boys will be boys. And tourists will be tourists. Not long ago, a graffito was spotted on an ancient Egyptian wall — a stone relief, with pictographs and representations and the whole gamut of ancient Egyptian art — photographed and then posted to the Internet, where it got more than






Apple Abjectly Apologizes for Arrogance

Apple is a huge company, selling gadgets around the world. One of its biggest markets turns out to be China, which is also a supplier of many components. And working within a quasi-capitalist/quasi-post-communist dictatorship does have its problems. Yesterday we learned that Apple’s head honcho, Tim Cook, has openly apologized






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