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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Think before you vote.

"John Hopkins Inlet, Glacier Bay", From the book: "The Tongass: Alaska's Vanishing Rain Forest". Photograph © 2010 Robert Glenn Ketchum. For Display Use Only, No Permission to Reproduce in Any Form.
Before you vote, you might consider what my Chinese friends think of this election. As most of you know, I have been creating textiles in China since the early 1980's. This long working relationship with these Suzhou guild artists has also become an unusual friendship that is remarkably frank and honest considering the difference in our cultures. It may be worth noting what they perceive about this forthcoming election.

Basically there are two points: the lesser point is that the Chinese are amazed that so many people that know nothing about how the government is run have succeeded in getting on the ballot. This amazes them, but in its own weird way, it is proof to them of how democracy works. As they see it, our democracy has succeeded and failed simultaneously. Because it has succeeded, our country is now perfectly divided down the middle (a perfect democracy/the promise of the dao) and now nothing will ever be accomplished because of that division.

Point two is that the rise of the Tea Party is seen as a GREAT boon to the Chinese who predict that once the Tea Party candidates and similarly sympathetic Republicans are elected, they will throw our government systems into complete chaos, choking off any hope we may have for an economic recovery and retarding our industrial output, ALL TO THEIR ADVANTAGE. As one of my friends pointed out, after the election the "new" politicians will try to stifle global warming investments, so this leaves China with NO manufacturing competition in this market and lets them take TOTAL control of much of the future market technology directed at climate change. As our political body continues to deny climate change, events related to climate change will continue to get worse. When we finally wake up, it will be to late to invent anything, so we will just buy it from the Chinese.

It was pointed out to me that this will be a HUGE change in the world market. My friends feel the US has always led the world with its inventions. China may have manufactured for us, but the US invented most of the necessary products. Now they see themselves as inventing AND manufacturing the products, cutting us entirely out of the production market and reducing us to being dependent on technology they bring to us.

Think before you vote. The outcome may change life as we know it in the US.

~Robert Glenn Ketchum

* * * * * * *

I find it curious sometimes how some things dove-tail. A new ad was just brought to my attention that depicts a less-than-subtle approach to America's growing debt obligation to China.

The ad is produced by the conservative group, 'Citizens Against Government Waste', and it has attracted much attention already. In fact, Wang Baodong, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said that it's "unreasonable" to blame America's economic woes on China and "despicable" to incite anti-China sentiment.

Watch the video here:

And just in case the video is pulled from online, for whatever reasons, here is the synopsis:

The ad called "Chinese Professor," is set in "Beijing, China 2030 AD." It shows a lecture hall with a professor speaking in Chinese. The students carry futuristic tablets that make the iPad look clunky. The ad contains subtitles and starts with the professor asking, in Chinese, "Why do great nations fail? The Ancient Greeks...the Roman Empire...the British Empire...and the United States of America." Students gaze up at a holographic screen that shows images of the four superpowers. "They all make the same mistakes, turning their back on the principles that made them great," continues the professor. He goes on to say that America tried to "tax and spend" its way out of a recession, including a health-care overhaul -- all of which led to massive debt. "Of course, we owned most of their debt," he says with a laugh, "so now they work for us." Cue audience laughter.



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