Chicken Grease

Played cards with the boys last night and it was good “craic.” I think that’s how you spell the Irish version — the lone Irishman at the spot won all the damn money, even though at the end all he could spit out were mumbles and curses, followed by a bellowed “Fiiive!” — referring to the number of chips he was betting. in our games, five chips is the highest single bet (representing RMB25) and there are three raises, allowing for a total of 20 (RMB100) chips to be bet by any one person in one round.

I sometimes am accused of hating on China. Anyone who knows me personally will not agree, but in my columns and posts and such i know i get angry and offensive. I try to differentiate between the people and the government. Me and Chinese people are down, me and the leaders tend not to be. I suppose what has happened in my eight years here is I have developed a vested, emotional interest in the well-being of China and Chinese. So if you see how rude and vitriolic I am when speaking of the US leaders, then you may understand that I am emotionally attached to both nations.

I wouldn’t get so angry if I didn’t care, obviously. And for me Said’s definition of the intellectual stands: the professional defines patriotism with the administration he works for, the amateur defines patriotic duty with the idea of a nation of people, choosing exile before obedience. I try my best to maintain an amateur-ish voice …

So, in this vein I will present an article by Tim Swanson here for Lew Rockwell that goes through the common criticisms of China’s foreign policy and compares them with what the US does in the same arena. The thrust of the column is what i am about: check your own garden.

Speaking of which, peep Nikki’s blog for a sit-rep on her garden

But i can’t resist a slight sneer: the Chinese Olympic team, driven by political goals, will cheat its little butt off in the Games. No question about it. I cant suppress the red cloud of nationalism that rises in my gut when i read of this drive to beat the yanks … Its like being confronted in the street by a thug, its hard to take the so-called moral high ground and take a non-violent stance. When confronted with nationalism, its difficult to meet it with universalism. But i do my best. And in moments of weakness, chant U-S-A and throw up a fist … sigh.


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