Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Updated.... How To Protest?

Due to several valuable comments by visitors, I've moved this post up to the top here:

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this post...I am linking the commentors blogs...(I've also caught up on other comments on this page...and responded)

I phoned David Miller and spoke with an assistant, Don Wanagas, about Toronto Mayor David Miller visiting China for business. I voted for Miller and am concerned that people buying China made products, and working on business and trade deals with China may send a message to the Chinese government we support their ethics.

China has been on my shit list for decades. I still remember Tiananmen Square, I still remember their censoring of the internet, of restricting pregnancies, of making inferior stainless steel products and their neglect of the environment, and they are a totalitarian dictatorship.

Since China is governed by a totalitarian force, it is important to remember that the Chinese people may not agree with with their leaders. When the internet is censored it is difficult for us to hear all their voices. Perhaps by visiting China, by reading Chinese blogs, some of the oppressed will have a voice?

I am a Buddhist, introduced to Buddhism by the Dalia Lama, and have great respect for his opinions. I love the Olympics in general, and believe that sports is the marriage of art and war. I prefer sports over war. The Dalai Lama supports the Beijing Olympics and that gives me much to think about...

A lot of people do not agree with China and it's practices, and totalitarian government...yet they give their financial support to China by buying products made in China. How many of my blog visitors houses could I visit and find products made in China? Most computer mouse production is from China. So how can Canadians reject David Miller when they give money to China?

I asked Don Wanagas if by visiting China for business aren't we acting in denial of many Canadians feelings? Are we not giving the message that we agree with China if we give them money? He assured me that David Miller was travelling with an outspoken York University Professor and Miller and this Professor were hoping for an opportunity to express their feelings about China's policies if the opportunity arises.

I asked...considering China's attitude isn't that dangerous?

I also told Mr. Wanagas to tell David Miller I appreciated Miller's dig about the Federal government being the format that should take a stance against China rather than municipal government...but I still expect the city of Toronto to take a stance about ethics.

You can phone David Miller at 416-397-2489.

"I always support the Olympics", Dalai Lama.

In order for a boycott to work, there must be significant economic impact from those who have used or would purchase the products or services targeted by the boycott. From: Boycott Watch

Toronto's mission to China next month will open the way for Canadians to discuss human rights issues with the Chinese, Mayor David Miller says.

The comment followed questions yesterday about the timing of the city's mission to China, scheduled for April 13 to 20, in the context of violent protests in Tibet against Chinese rule.
John Spears, City Hall Burreau

"This mission implements significant goals and objectives of our Agenda for Prosperity by increasing economic activity in emerging markets with cities beyond North America," Miller said in a news release. "

"The business leaders who helped develop the agenda were clear that we should be taking these initiatives so that we may highlight Toronto as a hub for environmental innovation and a centre for global education and training."

Miller said promoting trade and the fight against climate change are other purposes of the trip.

"If we're going to address climate change, we need very much to do work in China," he said.

Two peas in a pod? Chinese President Hu Jintao and my favourie Prime Minister.

Related Links:

-Do Boycotts work? The Guardian.
-China must talk to Dalai release, Condolezza Rice
-French President may support boycott of opening ceremonies.
-56% of Canadians do not support an Olympics boycott.
-This morning at formal Olympic ceremony.
-Slate Magazine writes about boycotting oil companies

Commentors will be linked here: 1) Four Dinners 2) A Blog About Nowt 3) Avenida Central, Portugal (you can translate this site) 4) e-Citizen: le blog!, Paris 5) Notions of Being



China's a 'behave yourself or else' country. Anyone doesn't bahave in authorities eyes they're history.

Getting a bit like that over here.

Mind you I do think the restriction on kids is good in China. There's way too many of em already.

Bloody awful regime though.

* (asterisk) said...

I'm with 4D on the kids thing! We need more of that in other countries, too. The globe's resources are being frittered away by non-earners having half a dozen kids. It's outrageous.

Otherwise, Candy Minx, I'm wit'choo all da way.

Candy Minx said...

Well, the problem with the birth restrictions is that most cultures prefer male babies. So female babies are still born...but abandoned. Thank god we adopt them in the rest of the world out of all the Chinese orphanages.

Then the situation of birth restrictions all those baby boys are 20 years old...with no women. No heterosexual love, no dating, no marriageable women.

These young men with boredom have turned to crime. Gangs and mafia have replaced population growth.

Population and birth rates drop naturally with high income, and ore education in most countries.

And I don't believe any government should tell people how many or if any kids they should have...this relates to gay marriage and gay families as well.

Unknown said...

Is China running for Olympics?
Click here to see!!! ;)

Anonymous said...

Excellent quote from Boycott Watch - I read that site regularly and that quote from their FAQ put your points in perspective.

* (asterisk) said...

I can see the potential for (and reality of) the problems of child restrictions, yes. But what other way is there? Ask people to reproduce in moderation? I just don't know...

Tom said...

About boycotting the Olympic Games, i’m not sure it will do any good…On the contrary it will upset the Chinese People who will only understand what the Party will tell to understand…
We’d better go as the OG are a great means to directly communicate with the Chinese People without the communist filter.

Candy Minx said...

Pedro, thanks for the cartoon...I'll post it later here in full, okay?

anonymous, thank is a good resource isn't it? I like looking at all kinds of arguments and debates.

Asterisk, well...the thing is...legislating ethics is not quite the same as making laws. There is a crossover but often at a cost. The thing is...there is ample evidence that higher income and higher education is corelated to drop in birth rate.

The birth rate in China isn't completely you know female babies are still being born...but being given up for adoption.

I am, as you probably have come to know...a bit of an anarchist when it comes to laws and legislating mroality. Studies of humans have recorded less traffic accidents with less traffic laws. People are ultimately animals...and like animals ultimately are able to use "swarm mentality" and self governing for activities like traffic manuevering and child rearing.

It does seem like poorer income families compensate for infant mortality by having more children...when families make more money, they tend to have less children. (Well...unless they are movie stars, then they can afford to raise more children and adopt the ones rejected.)

If a nation and/or a community (however it is defined) is able to provide health care, good welfare support, education and/or apprenticeship for their young and each other...those communitites begin to be able to rationalize and practice more effective (and humane) birth control.

At some point...I believe, Asterisk, communities need to be able to believe in themselves as excelling through compassionate community behaviours.

This ideal of mine is not just a naive is backed up by anthropology and scientific observation...we should allow ourselves to trust in our communal health.

From Wikipedia: (because I'm too lazy to copy stuff from one of my anthropology books)

"Fertility rates tend to be higher in less economically developed countries and lower in more economically developed countries."

And...socio-economic factors:

"Pricing the Priceless Child, Princeton University sociology professor Viviana Zelizer describes how in the 19th century, children were "economic assets" that contributed to farm work and other important tasks. Then, during the early 20th century, the U.S. established laws removing many children from hard labor, sparking the "rise of the economically useless and emotionally priceless child," Zelizer says."

Tom, you make a passionate point. I believe by commincating with other societies we can come to learn and exchange environmental knowledge. So I am torn about this issue. I've always been a proponent of fair trade between nations and cultures when it might also export ethics.

But there are a lot of upsetting claims being explored right now...if you have time, check out this perspective...quite worrisome:

"BEIJING - When 16,000 athletes and officials show up this summer, they will be able to turn the taps and get drinkable water — something few Beijing residents ever have enjoyed.

But to keep those taps flowing for the Olympics, the city is draining surrounding regions, depriving poor farmers of water.

Though the Chinese capital's filthy air makes headlines, water may be its most desperate environmental challenge. Explosive growth combined with a persistent drought mean the city of 17 million people is fast running out of water."


Candy Minx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Candy Minx said...

Something else for your consideration....

If you were a Prime Minister who didn't respect the rights of women you might feel compfortable visiting some totalitarian countries.

But...if you were an outspoken advocate for the environment and for human rights...

and if you were going to a totalitarian country, that was comfortable with shooting it's own citizens...and your purpose was to communicate about environment and compassionate ethics...would you announce that to the world...or would you visit under the press release of a business trip?

Tom said...

I'm torn about this issue too :)

Candy Minx said...

Tom, thanks a lot for your opinion and for your visit to this blog. I get lonely around here sometimes heh heh! I find hearing others ideas a great comfort and sometimes a great challenge but it feels good!

Martha Elaine Belden said...

this is such a tough situation... i try to by american made as often as possible to support our own economy. and china just seems like an unstoppable, uncompromising force.

and just to add to the debate about restricting births. i understand that the world is getting overpopulated, and i have to admit i don't know what the solution is. but i will NEVER agree with restricting procreation.

talk about taking people's rights and freedom away. what's next? legalizing the euthanization of mentally retarded people b/c they don't "lend anything to society"

i'm not saying anyone here would ever approve of that. but i just think you start down that path... you end up in some crazy territory.

Martha Elaine Belden said...

p.s. sorry i've been so absent, candy! life has been hella crazy, and i just now got internet back at my apartment.

hopefully i'll be much more present :)

Candy Minx said...

Martha, thanks for piping in! Good to see you...hey it's always hard to get as much blogging in and visiting and sharing ideas with people as we all like gets in the way ha!

You know...there is a funny dynamic going on...many people all of us have this philosophy that we can't see what is going on fully. That kind of humility can be very positive...on the other hand...we are able to observe and study many different cultures and have amassed a lot of empirical evidence as well as intuitive experience.

We do know that there is a corelation between higher income and education with lower birth rates.

It is in a communities best interest to allow women and families to decide whether or not they can raise a child. It is not in a communities best interest to legislate that decision.

A community will benefit from allowing social structures and fundraising that supports higher education and incomes.

The challenge is not restricting birth rates...but in accomodating resource sharing and for families to be able to make a living.

We could learn a lot by studying communities that succesfully provide for all their citizens...communities for example: like hunter=gathers and circuses.

Our future sustainabilty depends on looking to alternative economies for inspiration and structure.

Gardenia said...

Yeh, you know my views on China. I've been on my own personal trade boycott for some time now. Much beautiful and rich has come from China, is in China - but not from China's governments.

I also think the world has gone insane agreeing to the Olympics being held there. However, I have noticed it is fashionable to be in bed with China. I would rather be celibate myself - :)

I imagine and I may regret saying this, but the Dalai Lama is probably keeping in mind China's proximity to his country.