Tim Daneluk

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It worked with South Africa. But it was our Prime Minister at the time, not your President, leading the boycott.
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wrote:

Well, if it worked for South Africa, it's bound to work for China. I mean, South Africa has an economy nearly 7% the size of China's, so it's the perfect model. I tell you what, let's do the same for the middle east and just boycott Iran and Saudi Arabia while we're at it.
todd
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Works for me. Add Egypt and Syria to the list.
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

It won't work the way you want it to. The "luxury" of freedom requires that the society be able to afford it. A broke society cannot afford the niceties of democracy because they are always one step ahead of starvation (Think: Modern Russia).
Note that desparately poor people are not usually first in line to fight for democratic revolution, or if they are it is largely ineffective - they're too busy trying to just survive and don't have the wealth and tools required to overthrow the established system. (Think: The French Revolution "by the people" that was unnecessarily violent, ended badly, and led to the establishment of something arguably worse than the monarchy). Rich people typically are too few in number to make much of a difference one way or the other though they can try and buy some improvement (which typically just leads to official corruption). It takes a critical mass of middle-class people to force issues of democracy and freedom in most cases. (Think: The American Revolution populated by farmers, merchants, traders, and wealthy aristocrats that tore off the shackles of one of the most powerful nations of its time.)
Terminating trade with China, if effective, would primarily impoverish their economy such that no effective liberal democratic reform would ever happen. But by trading with them, we encourage the formation of their emergent middle-class. Sooner or later, these people will throw off the shackles of an oppressive government.
IOW: Capitalism Precedes Durable Democracy (But the latter does not guarantee the former)
<Sidebar>
Democracy has to be earned by its participants - it cannot be bestowed by a 3rd party (no matter what the Neocons think). The most a 3rd party can ever do is create the environment in which Democracy can take hold - i.e., Remove impediments like Sadaam and the Taliban. But even so, the onus lies on the indigenous peoples to do this for themselves. The greatest fear I have about today's hostilities is not that we ought not to have done it (we did the right thing) but that our leadership (on *both* sides of the polical spectrum) expect too much in the aftermath. We've done the heavy lifting, now it time for the Afghans and Iraqis to do what's needed for themselves.
My other fear is that Western politicans of all stripes expect too much when they ask for "democracy" in the region. In the SOTN speech last night Bush said we had to accept that democracy would "look different" in the Middle East when accomplished. I agree, but I wonder just how "different" a democracy he (and all the other politicians) are actually willing to accept. The same holds true for China, Cuba, Mongolia, North Korea and all of the other collectivist paradises around the world. As they democratize, it will not necessarily be the Western model and we may as well all get used to it.
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i.e. Remove a totalitarian regime, but not if they're Chinese and there's a shitload of money to be made...
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

Removing them by force may well be impossible. It's an enormous country with considerable military resources. Moreover, unlike Iraq - where there were consistent examples of aid to terrorist groups and/or individuals - China has not thus far demonstrated any animus to the US nor have they done anything significant to destabilize the planet. It would be much harder to make the case for violent intervention there.
The Real World is always fraught with compromise. There is no way the West can be in the Democracy business for each and every nation that needs it. We have to pick and choose the greatest threats / greatest opportunities. I think most people who've watched the region agree that China is improving and there is light at the end of that tunnel. They thus do not need any Western "attention" at the moment. The path to Democracy has many paths, but China appears to be on the most durable one - economic growth. I say let it be for now and see what hapens.
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Are you aware of how much of your federal debt they own?
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

How is that animus? Floating bonds to raise capital is a normal practice among all major governments and business concerns. It is an expression of trust on the part of the lender that they consider the borrower to be financially sound. Historically, US debt has been seens as a rock-solid investement for international lenders. Why is China different?
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Sigh...
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I agree with this, as long as you add the Clinton, Bush 1, and Carter administrations to the list of failures. And add Egypt to the list of countries.
djb
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

OK
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

You are looking at this through the most narrow of viewports.
Try to see that the world is a messy place and the ideal is not always possible. Also try to see how the Google-China compromise, while not exactly what we would like, is as good as we can get FOR NOW... and it can be a step in a good direction.
Joe Barta
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Bullshit. Google could have told the Chinese government to go fuck themselves.
They decided to suck tit rather than stand up to the principles the company was founded on.
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

Of course they could. Then people start getting fired and replaced with other people that WILL seek to expand and tap the Chinese market in the best way possible at this time.
You suffer from unrealistic and impractical idealism.

Suck tit? Not sure what that means. At any rate, Google is a corporation. They are in business to make money and making money is good. Also, keep in mind that decisions are rarely between that which is good and that which is bad. It's usually a little more complicated than that and given all considerations the folks making the decisions make the best one they can.
It's simple to say that Google should just tell the Chinese to go fuck themselves... but then what do you have? Nothing.
Joe Barta
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says...

Or perhaps Google ripoffs emerging in China, with no protection for Google's IP?
Rick
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What IP? Google isn't doing anything proprietary in its web and usenet aggregating. You or I could start doing it tomorrow.
All Google has that you don't is a head start, a supoena to appear before the US Congress, and $19 billion less share value than they had a couple of days ago.
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dave***@balderstone.ca says...

You may be right about IP -- I don't know what is in the "back office".

But you're suggesting that Google's only advantage is a head start, and not some internal "secrets". Secrets don't have to be legally protectable IP to be valuable. I've read that one of the reasons Google is resisting the Bush admin's request is to protect its internal methods from public exposure. I think there's something more to this than a simple head start.
Do you know for a fact that Google's "back office" has no know-how advantage that they want to keep secret?
Rick
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Where did I suggest that Google's ONLY advantage was anything? That's bullpuckey.

Yes. Or, uh... No.
A stupid answer for a stupid question... How would I know what Google wants to keep secret? Don't be an idiot, or play one on usenet.
Google aggregates publicly available information.
The information is public.
And available.
Go aggregate it. Oops! Google has a head start! But they may not have legally protectable IP!
So your point is... That they have an advantage because of their head start?
Sigh...
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dave***@balderstone.ca says...

Sorry. Perhaps I was taking you too literally when you posted:
--------------------- "All Google has that you don't is a head start, a supoena to appear before the US Congress, and $19 billion less share value than they had a couple of days ago." ---------------------
Do you consider the subpoena and the loss of share value to be among Google's advantages? If not, ALL that's left -- according to you -- is a head start.

If you don't know what Google wants to keep secret, why did you say:
------------------------ "Google isn't doing anything proprietary in its web and usenet aggregating. You or I could start doing it tomorrow." -------------------------

Do I have to remind you that you posted that, not me?
So let's recap.
- You originally said all Google has is a head start, but you followed up denying you had said it.
- You also said Google isn't doing anything proprietary, but later admitted you didn't know what Google may be keeping secret.
- Finally, after you said that all Google has is a head start, you attributed the idea to me.
What I want to know is why you did these things in a simple usenet discussion. Are you dishonest or just stupid? Rick
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As you quoted, I said: "All Google has that you don't is a head start, a supoena to appear before the US Congress, and $19 billion less share value than they had a couple of days ago."
Which of those items do you consider to be Google's advantage? The head start?

What does that have to do with anything that Google may have as a secret?

Yes, let's.

Yes.
I did not do that.

Correct
Is Google keeping things secret? How do you know? If they are, the secrets are SECRET, no? So if Google is keeping secrets, how would I know what secrets they're keeping?
Admitting I don't know secret information (or even if it exists) is damning exactly how? Even if it exists, it's a SECRET.

Where did I do that? Do you not understand the difference between the assertive and the interrogative?

No, I'm not. But you certainlly appear to be one of the two.
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