Dragon Tales-Why What We Believe About China Is Wrong

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By: Grainne Rhuad

American philosophy has evolved to require a big bad guy to push against.  A Goliath to our supposed David.  In the early days it was our Royal Parents across the pond that we pushed against.  That’s only natural, everyone needs to leave home and think their parents are bad for a while; it’s a part of growing up.  Our good parents in Britain must have known this because they left off and left us to our devices pretty early on, not like they did in say…India or Hong Kong.  Maybe we were their favorite.

After that we sought many a land to hate.  For a while any Papist country would do, Papist were evil incarnate to our protestant sensibilities, what with all their bling and fancy parties.  But we really couldn’t HATE hate them because we discovered they really didn’t practice what they preached and were kinda a warmongering fun loving bunch. 

Then came Germany which we could hate with all our hearts.  After all they were as evil as anything we were seeing at the matinee at the Bijou.  Oh and Japan.  Effing Japan who tried to take Hawaii, which we lawfully stole, erm…liberated from our parents.

After two world wars worth of hating on Germany we found a new Dragon to kill in Russia.  Damn Russia! With their funny hats and pickled food and besides they made a lot of money off us during prohibition smuggling in that potato liquor.  Drunken Bastards.  Also they had adopted Communism.  We didn’t move away from home and put down bullies just share our stinking spoils! How could they?  That must be evil right? 

Communism has continued to be the very big bad bogey man all the way up until 9/11 when the traitorous bastards the Taliban whom we saved from Communism dared to piss on us; Much as we had done to our own parents in Britain.  See, now that we’re grown up we understand, it sucks when your progeny doesn’t appreciate what you’ve done for them.

However we still hate Communism.  We don’t really fully understand why, it’s just one of those things like throwing salt over your shoulder when you spill it.  We hate Communism kind of “just in case.”  At the same time we have found ourselves in bed with one of the very countries we want so badly to hate, China.

Our reasons for hating China are myriad.  Do a quick Google search and you will come across literally hundreds of hateful examples of antilocution towards China and her people from their politics to the way they eat.  The interesting thing however is the things we as a people most often note as being bad about China, we engage in here at home. 

 

The Chinese are Ruining The Environment 

We’ve all seen it on the news; talked about it at the water cooler the Chinese are obviously ruining the environment.  What with their huge earth dams that not only steal arable land from their own people but created so much pressure on fault lines that earthquakes resulted. 

Let’s just forget about the fact that they built said damn to try to create an energy source that was not dependant on coal, petrol or nuclear energy.  Also let’s try to be really quiet about doing the same bloody thing. 

The damming of the Colorado River, which drastically reduced the natural estuary lands in southern California and Sonora making them dryer and less arable.  Or what was previously the world’s largest earthen dam situated in Oroville California which unbeknownst to geologist for some reason, was build exactly on top of a fault line.  This was discovered in 1975 when the pressure from the damn and its full reservoir caused a 6.1 magnitude earthquake.  But that’s not the only problem with this dam.  It also irreparably hurt the ecosystem of the Feather River, blocking the spawning path of Chinook salmon and Steelhead Trout, both of which have been put on danger watches several times.  It also has changed the face of the Sacramento Valley allowing for farming in areas that would not have been farmable but killing habitat for animals and Native People’s that once thrived. 

Dams aren’t the only environmental fingers we point at China though.  During the 2008 Olympics hosted by China a lot of us watched in feigned horror the smog.  Athletes weren’t allowed to train because of it and it was the subject of commentary on nightly news.  But was it really any worse than what we produce ourselves here in the states? 

If you believe the news, the steady increase in smog from 1995 to the present is also the fault of China.  In January of this year AP reported that scientists were reporting the rise in Smog levels in California, Oregon and Washington was all China’s fault.  However The State of the Air 2011 Report by the American Lung Association reports that roughly half the people (50.3%) in the United States live in counties that have unhealthful levels of either ozone or particle pollution. Almost 154.5 million Americans live in the 366 counties where they are exposed to unhealthful levels of air pollution in the form of either ozone or short-term or year-round levels of particles.  Also, about one in 17 people – more than 18.5 million in the United States – live in 10 counties with unhealthful levels of all three measures covered in the report: ozone and short-term and year-round particle pollution.

 

Human Rights Issues

We have long heard of the evil Chinese menace.  The horrific way in which families are made to have only one child to keep the population down, the detention/re-education camps, the poor factory workers’ conditions culminating in the suicides of said workers. And the tight reign and watch kept at all times on its citizens. China it seems rules with an iron fist and it is of course our duty in the west to speak up about it.

In reality every one of these things applies to the American people.  Since 9/11 we have voluntarily given away almost all of our sovereign rights to privacy all in the name of safety.  At this very moment someone could be making note that you are reading an e-zine with the word ‘subversive’ in it.  And it’s entirely legal and you asked for it because you were afraid. This is all brought to you by the Patriot Act which did not cause the normal squabble on Capitol Hill. This Bill passed bipartisanly and almost unanimously.

Think factory workers and low entry workers have it better in America?  Think again.  Multiple investigative reports in the past two years have uncovered slave labor in the United States in the Tomato industry.  Reports include workers being charged for overcrowded housing in dilapidated single-wide mobile homes and locked in overnight.  In addition they report being beaten if they don’t work, even when ill or injured.  If you are thinking these workers are illegal immigrants you’d be wrong.  They are U.S. citizens.  So much for anchor babies being a good life plan. This treatment isn’t new.  Hawaiians will tell you about these abuses in the cane and pineapple fields beginning with our take-over.  Cesar Chavez fought against this very thing in the grape fields of California and yet, still we find a way to make slavery work for us.

Hey but we don’t have any re-education camps!  But we do.  We have the largest prison system in the entire world.  Add to that the fact that we have states with three strikes laws, we are actually worse than China.  They actually release people.  Here in America we give them two half assed chances and then they are out of the game.

But wait; we don’t limit family size and procreation.  Yes and no.  If you happen to be Christian and well connected to a church community you will be told it’s your duty to have as many kids as possible for God’s army.  Otherwise you are penalized in the healthcare system, maternity/paternity leave, social services, even your job opportunities could be curtailed by too many kids.

 

Brokering Deals With Outlaw Countries

China we chant, sells arms to anyone and everyone of course knows this. It is KNOWN.  In reality China does, but so what, so do we all.  Suitcase bombs show up here and there and everywhere, our arms are being pointed at us in Afghanistan and Pakistan…oh and also almost every South American country.  This argument is bullshit.

 

They Aren’t Christians

This is a newer concern.  We have known for centuries that the Chinese were not mainly Christians.  It didn’t stop any of us from trading with them.  Hell, the Crusaders traded with them during the “Holy Wars” against Islam. 

However recently it’s become strangely important to not only spread democracy as a part of our politics but to also spread Christianity.  Preferably “Real Christianity” none of this Catholic/Church of England/Mormon/Jehovah’s Witness/Amish/ Mennonite, etc.  Bullshit.  No really America doesn’t like that sort of Christianity anymore either, they are just biding their time…kinda like an old arch nemesis of ours did in the 1940’s.

This form of hate mongering makes the least sense. In fact Christianity has existed in China since at least the 7th century.  Of late the state has loosened its restrictions on worship, allowing for Christians to set up and meet in meeting houses across the country without sanction.  Currently almost every Christian sect known to humankind can be found somewhere in China. 

None of this of course is logical as we are more than happy to trade with India, produce cheap products and test things out in a country that is mostly Hindi, Sikh and Muslim.  Also we don’t have to do very much digging to see that we spend more on aid/compacts with Israel a non-Christian state than we spend on the entire continent of Africa.

There are so many more reasons why we dislike China.  I came across quite a bit of ridiculous stuff like “Chinese people smell”,  “They Own America”, “Their language is unintelligible” –funny since ours is a bastard mix of at least three known languages. “They have the easier side of Everest”;” They unfairly beat us in ping pong.”  

When we stop to take apart the reasons we dislike them they boil down to two things.  They are too similar to us for comfort and they are the up and comers of the moment.  Neither of which Americans are good about being graceful about.