Archive for the ‘communist’ Category

Obama’s Schools Will Have To Follow Federal Rules, Like Socialist, Communist Schools

March 13, 2009

Barack Obama, on many issues and topics, is a lesson in good news and bad news.  No issue demonstrates this more clearly than his position education.

Unlike the stimulus and health care issues, which he’s left to the (able?) hands of Nancy Pelosi and her team on the left to write; the Obama White House will write the new education bill.  And the federal government will take a new and all knowing role in the nation’s education system.

This has several troubling elements of hypocricy at least for me:

First, Barack Obama’s two children attend private schools which seem to be doing just fine without the federal government’s rules, regulations and oversight.  And even though Obama favors vouchers for privately educated students and their parents, the District of Columbia is moving toward the elimination of vouchers that permit poor kids to get better educations than the public schools can offer.

DC schools are considered among the worst in the nation, despite the admirable efforts of new Chancellor Michelle Rhee.

And, if the bank bailout is any guide, schools accepting vouchers in the future can expect federal government rules and regulations galore.  There is no free lunch.

Second: Money has rarely equated to better education; just as money and better health care is often just a myth.

DC schools cost the taxpayers more per student than just about any other school system.

Two years ago, the Law School of the University of the District of Columbia spent more per student than any other law school in the nation.  The success rate at passing the bar the first time was the nation’s worst….

Third: Communist and socialist governments take control of two institutions first and formost: education and the media.

Most of the American media is already “swallow Obama” so schools have to be next….

This bring us to what will be taught in Obama’s schools: texbooks controlled by well meaning, politically correct fools are all over the place in America today.  We have lost sight of the facts in our children’s textbooks entirely.

And as CNN’s Lou Dobbs has been pointing out lately, our colleges, once bastions of free speech, have become intolerant fortresses of the left.

A federalized school system will have what kind of teachings in their texts?

Finally: the president used some erronious facts and figures Tuesday in his grand education address — figures in dispute with his own Department of Education as pointed out by NPR.  Why can’t the president used facts to martial evidince like other good lawyers are required to do?  I thought he went to Harvard…..

But the facts make little difference when you want to control what others think…..

All The President’s Men: Where’s The Congressional Oversight?
 Obama on Education: What’s Good For You Is Wrong for Sasha, Malia

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
He wanted to run the census and now will supervize the writing of a measure to federalize schools. Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009.(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)


Christian Science Monitor Editorial Board

Of his three biggest projects, one is clearly closest to President Obama’s heart. On energy and healthcare, he’s leaving it to Congress to fill in the details of his ideals. (They are also the two most likely to falter.) But for education? No detail is being left behind.

His agenda for public schools, laid out in a major speech Tuesday, is bolder than he promised on the campaign trail and reflects his particular interest in urban schools – and perhaps being a parent.

It also signals unilateral action by the US Department of Education that won’t rely on lawmakers, many of whom are beholden to campaign donations from powerful teacher unions.

Mr. Obama will use the carrots and sticks of billions in federal money already allocated for education this year to aim for what he calls “a complete and competitive education” for all Americans.

He wants longer school years and days. He’s asking states to lift the caps on the number of charter schools (in clear defiance of teacher unions). He wants teachers’ pay tied to the success of students. He would push states to toughen standardized tests, while also broadening their scope to include skills such as critical thinking and creativity. And much more.

These reforms would inject a heavier federal hand into local schools, both in mandates and a reliance on money from Washington. Obama has yet to address the wisdom of a nation of 300 million people with diverse educational problems marching to the same federal tune of reform. It won’t be easy to backtrack on a failed reform or stand up to Beltway lobbies relying on this huge influx of spending.

But then, the need to make America competitive in global markets is great. In 8th grade math, for instance, the US has fallen to 9th place in world rankings. The high school dropout rate has tripled in 30 years. Of the 30 fastest-growing occupations, Obama says, half require a college degree. For those students who have gone on to a four-year college in recent years, only 57 percent graduate – and many take six years to do so.

The most difficult reform may be expanding merit pay to more school districts. While it’s best to work with unions to come up with fair ways to judge a teacher’s performance, unions can’t stand in the way of ousting teachers whose talent or enthusiasm doesn’t make the grade. Tenure can no longer protect bad teachers.

In Obama’s call for about half the states to lift their current caps on the number of charter schools, he’s making an important decision for choice in education – especially for poor parents in cities where many charters are doing well with public money.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was well known as Chicago’s school chief for closing down failing schools and letting charter schools show what union-free teaching can do in achieving innovation and excellence. Charters also help put a spotlight on parental responsibility in education, such as making sure students get to school and do their homework.

Just as the US economy is now being held accountable by world markets for its failings, so must US schools now measure up to the higher standards set in many other nations. As Obama says, “The future belongs to the nation that best educates its citizens.”

France’s Sarkozy aims to defuse economic protests

February 15, 2009

French President Nicholas Sarkozy will try this week to defuse protests against his economic plans but talks with unions will be tough with unemployment rising, growth tumbling and Caribbean unrest threatening to spread.

More than a million people took to the streets across France two weeks ago in protest at Sarkozy’s policies, demanding pay rises and protection for jobs in the face of the downturn, and trade unions have penciled in another protest next month.

By Francois Murphy, Reuters

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) waves at spectators as ... 
French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) waves at spectators as he stands next to French former ski legend Jean Claude Killy after the women’s Slalom race at the Alpine Skiing World Championships 2009 in Val d’Isere February 14, 2009.(Stefano Rellandini/Reuters)

Sarkozy’s 26 billion euro ($33.6 billion) stimulus plan has focused on public spending projects such as building roads and modernizing rail links rather than helping consumers directly. Unions and the political left have called on him to change tack.

A television appearance after the protests, intended to allay public fears, only weakened Sarkozy’s support further. He will head into a meeting with unions on Wednesday under pressure to address their concerns, but room for maneuver is limited.

“The outcome of my five-year term is at stake,” newspaper Le Figaro, which is close to Sarkozy, quoted him as telling advisers in its Saturday edition.

French gross domestic product fell 1.2 percent in the last three months of 2008, its biggest drop in 34 years, as exports fell and retailers reduced their stock, and unemployment in December was 11 percent higher than a year earlier.

Increasing the pressure on Sarkozy before Wednesday’s “social summit,” the opposition Socialists have called for a 1 percentage point cut in value-added tax and a 3 percent rise in the minimum wage to give a boost to consumer spending.


“France is the only country not to act massively and immediately in the direction of purchasing power, while a consensus has been established by economists on the need for such measures alongside those in favor of investment,” prominent Socialist Dider Migaud said last week.

Britain has cut its value-added tax by 2 percentage points but Sarkozy lambasted the move in his television address, saying it “brought absolutely no progress,” angering Downing Street.

Sarkozy has also said it is only worth increasing France’s public debt for stimulus measures that amount to investments for the future rather than funding consumer spending, even though that is traditionally the main driver of French growth.

He is likely to cite one of the few bright spots in last week’s GDP figures in his defense — household consumption rose 0.5 percent in the last three months of 2008, suggesting that consumers did not need further encouragement to keep spending.

But that is unlikely to sway protesters in the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique which have been crippled by strikers demanding pay rises and lower food prices.

Unions and associations began the protest in Guadeloupe on January 20 demanding a 200 euro monthly rise for low-wage workers. The protest has since spread to Martinique and, to a more limited extent, the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, and there are fears that it could spread to mainland France.

Read the rest:


France Rejects “Obama Style” Stimulus

France Rejects “Obama Style Stimulus;” Turns Way Left

France Rejects “Obama Style Stimulus;” Turns Way Left

February 15, 2009

It couldn’t happen here, right?

Most Americans don’t care what happens in France. But the oldest country in “Old Europe” remains the Western world’s intellectual capital and one of its primary originators of political trends. (Google “May+1968+Sorbonne.”)

The French are reacting to a situation almost identical to ours–economic collapse, government impotence, corporate corruption–by turning hard left. National strikes and massive demonstrations are occurring every few weeks. How far left? This far: the late president François Mitterand’s Socialist Party, the rough equivalent of America’s Greens, is considered too conservative to solve the economic crisis.

A new poll by the Parisian daily Libération finds 53 percent of French voters (68 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds) favoring “radical social change.” Fifty-seven percent want France to insulate itself from the global economic system. Does this mean revolution? It’s certainly possible. Or maybe counter-revolution: Jean-Marie Le Pen’s nativist (some would say neofascist) National Front is also picking up points.

One thing is certain: French politics are even more volatile than the financial markets these days. In yet another indication of How Far Left?, the Communist-aligned CGT labor union is on the defensive for not being militant enough. “We’re not going to put out the blazing fires [of the economic crisis],” the CGT’s secretary general said, trying to seize the initiative by calling for another strike on February 18th. “We’re going to fan them.”

By Ted Rall

France Rejects “Obama Style” Stimulus

France’s Sarkozy aims to defuse economic protests

China Killed Children With Poisoned Milk, Held “Show Trial,” Absolved Government Regulators

January 22, 2009

China completed a trial of those accused in the milk-poisoned children scandal today, handing down death sentences and sentences to life in prison.

But the government itself took no responsibility for decades of improper food regulations, monitoring and government employees looking the other way when wrongdoing was obvious.

I pesonally saw improper use of chemicals like animal feed, melamine and fertilizer added to food products in China starting in the 1970s — so this issue is not new.  The New York Times investigated this issue in 2007 and found the use of melamine “an open secret” amoung tens of thousands of farmers and vendors.

It is good the world community is now aware of this practice and that China is taking action….But executions of those found guilty now, or even prison, is just wrong, a violation of the most basic human rights, and only used to show action on the part of the Chinese government following tragic infant deaths.

A Chinese nurse attends to a baby who became ill after drinking ... 
A Chinese nurse attends to a baby who became ill after drinking contaminated milk powder in September 2008. At least six infants died. Tian Wenhua and others went to trial trial. But China’s government is the real guilty party….(AFP/File/Str)

Zheng Shuzhen, center, the grandmother of a baby who died after ... 
Zheng Shuzhen, center, the grandmother of a baby who died after drinking tainted milk, cries outside the Intermediate People’s Court in Shijiazhuang, in China’s Hebei province Thursday Jan. 22, 2009. Verdicts and sentencing were expected at the court Thursday for 21 people charged in the tainted milk scandal. AP Photo Greg Baker

“There is no transparency in the process. They are behaving like there is something to hide,” said Teng Biao, a Beijing lawyer who has been trying to bring a lawsuit on behalf of 111 parents. “They are completely excluding the victims.”

That is because China’s government does have much to hide.  This  was a kangaroo court.

The Associated Press reported that a court in China gave a sentence of life in prison to the former boss of the dairy at the center of China’s contaminated milk scandal.

Tian Wenhua, former board chairwoman and general manager of the Chinese dairy company Sanlu Group, will go to life in prison for her role in a tainted milk scandal that killed at least six infants and sickened nearly 300,000 others.

CNN reported that three other people were sentenced to death and two others to life in prison for their roles, while three others received prison terms of five to 15 years each. Many of those sentenced were middlemen who sold melamine to milking stations that added the chemical to the milk.
By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

The sentencing:
 Death, Life in Prison Sentences in China Poisoned Milk Trial

China: Another New Melamine Scandal; Poisoned Food Products

From The New York Times:

China: Redefining “Superpower” to Mean Economic and Military Strength Without Human Rights


Reports on the sentences:



China to mark defeat of Tibetan rebellion

January 19, 2009

Tibet‘s Communist Party-controlled legislature has voted to create a holiday to mark China‘s defeat of a pro-independence uprising 50 years ago in the Himalayan region, calling it a day of liberation from feudalism, state media reported Monday.

By TINI TRAN, Associated Press Writer

The 382 legislators attending the session unanimously voted to designate March 28 as “Serf Liberation Day,” the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing Legqog, director of the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Autonomous Regional People’s Congress. Like many Tibetans, Legqog uses a single name.

The politically sensitive date marks the flight of Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, into exile in India as Chinese troops attacked in March 1959. On March 28 of that year, Beijing announced the dissolution of the Tibetan government and the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region under Communist rule.

China says Tibet has always been part of its territory, while many Tibetans say their land was virtually independent for centuries.

Read the rest:

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama speaks to the press ... 
Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama speaks to the press at the EU Parliament in Brussels. China lacks the moral authority, including over the question of Tibet, to be a true superpower, the Dalai Lama said in December 2008 during a European tour that has angered Beijing.(AFP/John Thys)

“Erroneous” Western democracy not for China

January 18, 2009

China must build defenses against “erroneous” ideas involving Western-style democracy, a top government official said in comments published on Sunday, shooting down recent calls by dissidents for political reform.

China’s ruling Communist Party has stepped up efforts to stifle dissent and protest ahead of politically sensitive anniversaries this year, and amid concerns that rising unemployment in a slowing economy could fuel broad social unrest.

Jia Qinglin, China’s fourth-most senior official, demanded officials throw their weight behind the one-party state in an essay in the Party’s main ideological journal “Seeking Truth” (Qiushi), which was reproduced on major web portals on Sunday.

A Chinese soldier looks into the camera at the India-China trade ... 
A Chinese soldier looks into the camera at the India-China trade route at Nathu-La, 55 km (34 miles) north of Gangtok, capital of India’s northeastern state of Sikkim, January 17, 2009.(Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters)

“Build a line of defense to resist Western two-party and multi-party systems, bicameral legislature, the separation of powers and other kinds of erroneous ideological interferences,” said Jia, who is also head of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a largely toothless parliamentary advisory body.

“Consciously abide by the Party’s political discipline and resolutely safeguard the Party’s centralized unity,” Jia said, calling on CPPCC members to strengthen “ideological unity.”

The essay comes weeks after hundreds of scholars, dissidents and former Party officials signed “Charter 08,” a petition campaign calling for open democratic elections and an independent judiciary.

Authorities have since detained prominent Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo and other rights activists over the manifesto, and earlier this month launched a crackdown on Internet pornography and other “vulgar” online content.

China’s Communist Party leadership faces a number of politically sensitive anniversaries this year, including the 20th anniversary of the brutal crushing of student-led pro-democracy protests centered on Tiananmen Square in June, 1989.


(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Valerie Lee at Reuters)

China’s milk scandal is a political temblor

January 5, 2009

China’s milk scandal horrifies the public and undermines the authority of a one-party system with a hand in everything.
Selling contaminated baby formula is a heinous enough crime to shock a nation, but China’s leaders know they have a dangerously destabilizing political crisis on their hands.

The Seattle Times

The scandal goes to the heart of a covenant between any authoritarian regime and those who surrender freedom. They cede power with the belief, however wishful, they will be better off. Those in power promise to protect them from all manner of hazards, foreign and domestic.

The unraveling of China’s milk scandal has horrified the country. Last week, the chairwoman of a diary company pleaded guilty to producing and selling fake or substandard products. Milk products contaminated with an additive that produces kidney stones has killed six babies and sickened another 300,000.

Company officials knew milk products adulterated with melamine were making infants ill months before the scandal broke in September.

China’s one-party system has opened the economy, but the ties between commerce and government are closely held. Any indictment by public opinion goes to the heart of the legitimacy of power in Beijing.

Chinese authorities cannot maintain the illusion of control with broad failures to deliver. The killer earthquake in May near Chengdu, in Sichuan Provence, stirred outrage on two fronts. Authorities were sharply criticized for not getting emergency supplies to people. A second wave of anger came over grossly inadequate building standards, especially for schools that became death traps.

The milk scandal and trial is a variation on the theme of credibility and competence. As described by reporter Barbara Demick, in The Los Angeles Times:

“The case is turning into a showdown between the Chinese government’s opaque legal system and a consumer culture that increasingly clamors for information and accountability.”

The Chinese are turning to Web sites and texting to vent their frustrations and try to stay updated.

China’s problems compound. The milk scandal is already complicating international trade, with the discovery of contaminated products. Foreign governments, with their own constituencies, talk aloud about their ability to rely on Chinese authorities and inspectors.

The milk scandal is a grievous personal tragedy and a deep political temblor.

China: Free Speech, Poisoned Food, Dead Children

China: Free Speech, Poisoned Food, Dead Children

January 4, 2009

Five parents whose children were sickened by tainted milk have been released by Chinese police after being detained for a day in an apparent move to prevent them from meeting with journalists, a lawyer said Saturday.

The parents were unhappy about a compensation plan made public this week, saying the amounts were too low and the plan was formulated without any input from families.

A group of about 10 parents planned to meet with journalists Friday. But five of the parents, including organizer Zhao Lianhai, were detained Thursday and held at a convention center, said Beijing attorney Xu Zhiyong.

They were released Friday evening after other parents who were not detained managed to meet with a few journalists, said Xu, who is part of a legal team representing 63 families with sickened children.

A newborn baby holds onto his mother's finger at a hospital ... 
A newborn baby holds onto his mother’s finger at a hospital in Beijing. Chinese police have released five parents of children sickened by melamine-tainted milk, a day after detaining them to prevent them holding a press conference, their lawyer has told AFP.(AFP/File/Frederic J. Brown)

Zhao, who has a 3-year-old child who fell ill but has since recovered, organized other parents and created a Web site about the contamination, said Li Fangping, another lawyer for some of the parents.

Zhao could not be reached for comment.

Police did not give a specific reason for the detention, Xu said, but he thought it was to prevent the meeting with reporters.

The Communist government, which seeks to control what the public sees and hears, frequently suppresses comments about disasters. Phones in the Beijing police information department rang unanswered Saturday, a public holiday.

Read the rest:

China Serves Hard to Swallow Poison Food Trial for Western “Consumption”

China Serves Hard to Swallow Poison Food Trial for Western “Consumption”

January 3, 2009

China’s official communist state media Xinhua has taken a turn at distorting the trial of Sanlu Dairy executive Tian Wenhua.

Manipualtion of media reports coming out of China is normal but in this case it appears both the press reports and the trial itself are “rigged.”

It isn’t even clear if  Tian Wenhua pleaded guilty or not guity to charges she was aware her comapany was illegally adding the poison melamine to milk and other dairy products.

And it isn’t clear that adding melamine to food products was illegal in China.

Ji Denghui, general manager of the Fujian Sanming Dinghui Chemical Company, which sold melamine said, “I don’t know if there’s a regulation on it. Probably not. No law or regulation says ‘don’t do it,’ so everyone’s doing it. The laws in China are like that, aren’t they? If there’s no accident, there won’t be any regulation.”

Ji Denghui made that statement in 2007 to New York Times reporters  David Barboza and Alexei Barrionuevo.

Barboza and Barrionuevo concluded that the use of melamine in food in China was so widespread that it was an “open secret.”  In fact, our sources and our own experience tell us that the use of melamine in food in China was “normal” in China for years and perhaps decades….

All we know for sure about the current trial is this: at least six children died as a result of poisoned milk products in China and hundreds were sickened, inside China and elsewhere by exported Chinese products.  China has said this evil was the result of wrongdoing on the part of food industry workers — but there is widespread evidence that the poison melamine was used in food products and other orally ingested products like toothpaste for years or decades prior to this trial…with the full knowledge of Chinese government officials.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

China: Dead Children, Kangaroo Court, Punishment for the Innocent

Tian Wenhua 
Above: Tian Wenhua, chairwoman of the now-bankrupt Sanlu Group, enters a courthouse in China. Photo: Ding Lixin / Associated Press


From (New Zealand)

Fonterra chief executive Andrew Ferrier has taken a step back in the confusing picture of the trial of former head of the Sanlu dairy company over the contaminated milk scandal in China.


State-run Xinhua news agency said yesterday that Tian Wenhua, 66-year-old former general manager of the now bankrupt Sanlu Group, pleaded guilty to charges of “producing and selling fake or substandard products”.

Fonterra had a 43 per cent share in Sanlu.

Mr Ferrier said last night he had heard conflicting reports from the trial of Tian’s trial, The New Zealand Herald reported.

But another company spokesman later contacted the Herald to say Tian had “absolutely and unequivocally” pleaded not guilty to the charges she faced.

The tainted product resulted in the deaths of six babies and illness of nearly 300,000 others earlier this year.

Tian appeared with three other company executives at a court in Shijiazhuang, capital of northern Hebei province. No verdict was announced, and it was unclear whether they could face the death penalty, or life imprisonment.

Fonterra had been under the impression yesterday that Tian had pleaded not guilty, Mr Ferrier said today.

“However there were other reports that she had pleaded guilty.

“Fonterra was not present at the trial. It is not appropriate for Fonterra to make any further comment while the Chinese court is deliberating its verdict,” he said.

Media reported that Tian admitted in court testimony that she had known of problems with the company’s products for two months before she told authorities.

She had submitted a written report on the melamine situation on August 2 – the same date Fonterra was told of the issue.

Mr Ferrier told the Herald any suggestion that Tian knew about it earlier was “absolute news” to his company.

Fonterra was also surprised by charges that Sanlu sold products after it knew they were contaminated.

Mr Ferrier said August 2 was “the absolute first that anybody in Fonterra had ever heard of this and from that moment on we pushed to recall the product”.

Chinese authorities had made no attempt to press charges against Fonterra, which has written off its 43 per cent shareholding in Sanlu for a loss of $210 million.

China to Bolster Rural Training as Migrants Lose Jobs

January 3, 2009

China is putting greater emphasis on vocational education in rural areas this year to ensure migrant workers who have lost their jobs in cities have access to practical skills-training programs when they return home.

China aims to provide as many as 90 million continuing training courses for adults, many of them related to rural skills transfers and techniques, the education ministry said today in a statement on China’s central government Web site.

From Bloomberg

A cooling economy is forcing companies to cut jobs and as many as 20 million rural residents who had moved to cities to work may have return home this year, economists estimate. China’s manufacturing contracted for a fifth month in December as recessions in the U.S., Europe and Japan slowed demand for exports, the CLSA China Purchasing Managers’ Index said.

“There’s a need to actively promote vocational training, vigorously develop adult education and distance learning for urban and rural workers,” the statement said. There’s a need “to further strengthen and develop skill training for farmers.”

China will expand secondary vocational education and aims to recruit 8.4 million students this year, the statement said.

The government also wants to increase ideological and political education for university students, focusing on courses on Marxist theory, the ministry said.