Eric X. Li: A tale of two political systems

Eric X. Li: A tale of two political systems

Having been here in China for almost three years now, I’ve had a bit of time to get to know the locals and to become somewhat familiar with the way of life–daily life, work ethics, personal behaviors–general experiences of the culture. It was quite interesting to watch this video on TED recently; the speaker was making a case for the government here in the Middle Kingdom. Most interesting as he brushed aside the charges of rampant corruption and cronyism at every level, to insist instead that the members of The Party only arrive at the highest levels by being the best there is.

Competency Rules.

And while there are more engineers and scientists in Chinese government than are elected in my own, or so I’m told, I’m just not convinced that a one-party system can be all that self-correcting, as the speaker claims. I don’t notice the world striving to emulate the Chinese way of life, but I do see a rapid adoption of the Western culture here. So, if this is a self-correction, why has it only become necessary after the opening of China to the world? Seems like it’s very much driven by outside economic and political forces, not internal retrospection.

I think the Chinese government is much more highly skilled in followership than in leadership.

(Oh, there’s that knock at the door again…)


It’s a beautiful day in the (cough, cough, wheeze) neighborhood.

I’ve never lived in Seattle, but a vacation there several years ago, coupled with a brief stop at Fort Lewis even further back in history firmly planted the allure of the Great Northwest in my brain. Currently, I live outside of Shanghai China; this news article from where I hope to be, about where I am, caught my eye: China career boost can come with health risks
My home is now on an island just north of the city of Shanghai, in the estuary of the Yangtze river. By central plan, this island is becoming an ecological haven. There is zero heavy industry these days, the area having been cleared of it several 5-year-plans ago. Still remaining are the empty shells of factories which once belched out the smoke of progress, as the article from the Post-Intelligencer mentions. These are methodically being razed to make room for parks and gardens and, of course, housing, as the island becomes more attractive to Shanghai’s workers.
So I think it’s incorrect to say that the central government has no concern over its residents’ health, but it certainly isn’t paramount; China is a global corporation masquerading as a nation: its policies are those of any large company. Opportunity abounds for those willing to assume the risks.
That said, let’s hope that China’s national policies move with greater determination toward clean air and water as the country’s development continues.

China career boost can come with health risks –

Go ahead; Make my day. Or, perception is reality.

Go ahead; Make my day. Or, perception is reality.
Jan Morgan media recently sent a note about signs. The right sign to put on the school is not an invitation to catastrophe, as in “This is a gun-free zone.” It is, rather, just the opposite. Something along the line of the “Never mind the dog; beware of owner” signs we’ve seen printed just above the outline of a large caliber sidearm.
Such things are not foolish. Ask any home security expert about the efficacy of a yard sign. Doesn’t matter if you actually have the world’s best burglar alarm installed on every window and every door, or if your alarm system has a name and needs to be walked and fed, or if you have nothing but that yard sign attesting to the presence of a security system; the sign will discourage bad guys. The sign is the system. Who knows what might be in store for one who proceeds?
It’s behavior modification we’re interested in, not actually hearing the alarm siren, or the dog snarling, or ultimately, the report of a firearm.
Look up deterrence. You’ll find it in the dictionary under Bad Things that Didn’t Happen.
So what if we can’t afford (this year) to put a trained, armed guard at every schoolhouse door? Do it to ten percent of the schools and change the signage on all of them. Make it an unattractive location for a crazed killer. The message at the schoolhouse door no longer welcomes armed idiots. It then becomes reminiscent of Dirty Harry’s challenge to the punk: “Well? Do ya’?”

What’s it all about? (apologies to Alfie)

Matthew Warner has done a wonderful thing recently; he’s begun a year-long effort to encourage us to read, yes read, actually read the Catholic Catechism. You know, the rulebook. What is, and what isn’t Catholic teaching. It’s all there, full of footnotes, sidenotes, Scripture references galore. It’s big. Some may think it’s too big. So Matt has decided to make it easy on us.

Hie three to flocknote and sign up It’s free and it’s a grand idea. Daily emails. It began on Oct 11th, so hop on the wagon quick. You can catch up easily, or just jump on where you find yourself.

God bless you. This is the easiest was to discover What The Church Teaches from the source.

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