Nancy Pelosi, Hu Jintao and the American debt

First, yesterdays LATimes Opinion Piece by Nancy Pelosi(the House Minority Leader and Representative for San Francisco), discussing Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit. The Wall Street Journal also gave the story a front page column today discussing how the visit has gone. A few facts stood out in the Wall Street Journal article:
1) Hu spent more time with CEO’s and business people than with political leaders
2) no concrete promises were made
3) an agreement was reached that the US and China would pursue peaceful means to deal with Iran and nuclear proliferation

The trade deficit and amount of American dollars held by the Chinese is probably the most worrisome thing in the Chinese-American relationship. They are helping their own ability to sell by financing our debt. No agreements were reached, in fact Hu did not seem to respond to Bush’s overtures in that direction.

They apparently avoided human rights as an issue , which seems pretty wise considering the American and Chinese records pretty much cover the gamut. Interestingly different defences though. The Chinese say the human rights advocates are powerless because the victims are Chinese criminals on Chinese soil. The Americans say the human rights advocates are powerless because the victims are foreign nationals on foreign soil and we are at war.

The protesting woman was also interesting. A 47 year old pathologist snuck into the ceremony to start shouting at the Presidents. I still don’t understand how that is supposed to accomplish anything.

So… ineffective Democratic protest of the meeting, business getting done, a screaming protestor and a elephant in the room that no one will mention, sounds like your usual diplomatic meeting with an added bonus: war with Iran is further away today than it was yesterday.

On blogging

“The populace is like the sea motionless in itself, but stirred by every wind, even the slightest breeze” — Titus Livius

Blogging has been touted as a wonder of communication, networking, global communication and a useless hobby. It’s also a community of people thinking, reading and writing. “The human heart is like a ship on a stormy sea driven by winds blowing from all four corners of heaven,” says Martin Luther. Blogging is another breeze, or storm wind, and it can be wild and shifting. The understanding that there are many influences and they can slowly influence a few, or greatly influence many is the best thing to be had from the blogging community.

We are not all guided by any set of priorities, beliefs or editorial systems. We will disagree over facts as much as opinions and I won’t be an authoritative source. I don’t do research(I may research a post, but when I do you’ll be able to tell because I will link and/or cite), I don’t have access to privileged information. I read. I think. I write.

Everyone should be influenced by the thoughts and feelings of others. Writers are not gods and just because a phrase rolls off the tongue does not mean it is meaningful or true. Writing and communicating, thinking, discussing and sharing, are however the truest democratic influences. It balances any lobby or spinmaster eventually. We can vote on the basis of commercials or a couple news articles. We can even read biographies and judge the voting history of candidates. But how do we understand the issues? the opposing opinions? Discussion and thought and writing.