When communism and chaos collide

30 01 2008

NewsRecently, China has been forced to face a conflict of its own interests. As a “communist” state, the government expresses a large amount of control over its people and attempts to regulate and censor every form of media released to the public. This has become increasingly important as the Shanghai Summer Olympics draw nearer and China wishes to create as good impression to the rest of the world as possible.

However, a meteor called the internet has crashed into the country and is wreaking havoc. China has nearly surpassed the U.S. as the country with the most people connected to the internet, and the business industry is realizing all the benefits of instant connection to resources and people. As we know, though, the internet is an uncontrollable monster. It can’t be regulated in the same way a newspaper of TV show can. Popular Chinese video upload sites, akin to YouTube, have made the government go ballistic as indecent and unacceptable videos are free for the world to see. It’s a nightmare of image control vs. economic growth. How does one find balance?

The owners of major internet companies in China are not as worried about the problem. That’s because they know (as well as we do) that the internet cannot be stopped once it has been set loose. They are hauling in loads of cash, laughing at the government as it chases after the beast with a butterfly net.


You can’t buy love, but you can sell it

30 01 2008

NewsAn extremely disturbing case of attempted murder in London was unveiled to the public recently. A 28-year-old homemaker plotted, with the help of friends and neighbors, to poison her husband on their anniversary. The poison of choice: anti-freeze. What could drive someone to even dream of such a barbaric act? Money, of course.

The wife had built up considerable debt, unbeknownst to her husband, and planned to use the payout from her deceased husband’s employer to help pay it off. The notion that a woman could “sell” her husband’s life is beyond comprehension in this day and age, especially in a city like London. The consideration that people knew she was going to follow through with the plan and didn’t consider stopping her is equally difficult to believe. One step backward for the human race, I’d say.

Her husband miraculously survived the poisoning, but it’s too soon to say whether or not he will wish he had died. He is presently deaf and blind with permanent kidney damage and an unknown amount brain damage. May God help him make it through this horrific ordeal.

Canada caves to U.S. influence

20 01 2008

NewsThe Canadian minister of foreign affairs ordered that a PowerPoint presentation used for training diplomats be rewritten after its public release during a lawsuit. The PowerPoint presentation lists the U.S. as a country with “possible torture/abuse cases.” It continues by listing six interrogation techniques unapproved by the Canadian government allegedly used by the U.S.

However, it is obvious the U.S. did not react negatively to this news because it is not accurate. That would imply that the U.S. itself knows it is not a “possible” user of torture techniques. I thought the U.S. government had accepted the fact that torture had been used in several prisons. I thought they had finally recognized that the videos released across the internet were not simply jokes performed by bored suburban teenagers. If anything, the Canadian government should change the word “possible” to “known.” It shouldn’t matter that the U.S. doesn’t approve of the incidents of torture and abuse. If the qualified officers that represent the country are breaking the rules, then the government itself is breaking the rules and should take the responsibility.

So how did this happen? Why is Canada almost reflexively announcing it will change the documents? It is a simple matter of power and diplomacy. Canada and the U.S. have an unspoken agreement not to speak bad about each other to keep relations pleasant. It doesn’t matter what we know to be true about them or what they know to be true about us as long as these truths are never released to the public. It is an awkward state of affairs, because the citizens of the U.S. talk bad about the government incessantly. The U.S. government seems to focus more attention on garnering false approval from other countries than on assuring its own citizens of its worth. Thus we only find it necessary to stand behind our government for nationalistic reasons, reasons that rarely hold much truth.