Posts Tagged ‘China’

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MONDAY MORNING POTPOURRI

October 29, 2012

THE STORM: It’s hard to wrap my mind around what is happening on the East Coast….Praying more people than not have heeded the warnings and have taken shelter away from the water….tonight continues to be forecast as VERY BAD when it actually comes ashore.

YES to Excelsior MN Fire Chief Scott Gerber( along with several Hennepin Cty, MN-based federal employees and private companies from MN) who is back in Boston to help them with Hurricane Sandy – just like he did with IRENE.

Watch the Supreme Court closely today….discrimination against blacks, American Indians, Asian-Americans, Alaska natives and Hispanics is at stake.

YES to Target for bringing James Dyson and his message to Target’s internal product designers and engineers….”I encourage wrong thinking which is the unconventional or obtuse way of doing things…if you don’t take risks you slowly wither because things change and you don’t keep up.”

Good message; first, I am growing weary of same product – just new color – standard of Target in recent times; and second, it’s a good message to ANY designer in any industry – including ours….when an event picture can be quickly identifed as YOUR WORK, step back, rethink, and figure out how to push the envelope!

OPEN LETTER from MN Business and Non-Profit leaders (www.MNUnited.org) in STRIB Business Section today is pretty impressive…the Message AND the Signatures both. Think carefully about the negative impact to our state if this petty proposed amendment is passed. VOTE NO!

Oh dear…little did I know Ecolab provides chemicals used in fracking! We need to learn more about this in view of October 10 US Environmental Protection Agency report that water tests near the natural gas drilling site in Wyoming establish first link between hydraulic fracturing and tainted water!…Meanwhile, industry-funded studies continue to say fracking poses no threat to groundwater or air quality. This descrepency needs to be addressed.

Just read that racial attitudes have not improved….a slight majority of Americans express prejudice towards blacks as well as Hispanics. Politically the split is pretty telling: 79% Republicans and 32% Democrats. As our national demographics continue to move towards whites becoming the minority population, what in the world will these people do?

Which reminds me of a report over weekend regarding white parents who are still focusing on keeping children in all white schools at all cost. Yes, I understand the thought that the formal education is better – but is it really and why? More important, as whites become the minority, we will begin to realize these well-meaning parents are doing their children a disservice? I would think as minority ratios in our population rise, it would be better to have relationships with non-whites as well of those that look, act, and think just like us.

Buried in the news by the storm is the fact that of course, the  holiday TRUCE in Syria did not hold; and WORSE, with Iraq as a major influencer, it is moving towards a multi-national religious war between Sunnis and Shiites.

The STEPPING UP Strib article again praises China as an export opportunity. Today I read that Minnesota exports to China have increased 89% in last three years, as China became our second LARGEST export partner, behind Canada. That is probably a good thing – contributing to our lower unemployment and better economic situation than many other states, but….I was glad to see the acknowledgement of concerns re sustainability of emerging Chinese middle class and potential issues that could economically impact us if not watched carefully.

Quick thought:  WHO looks more presidential…Obama overseeing the storm preparations and taking care of American citizens…or Romney crazy on the campaign trail…looking for a personal advantage created by the storm.  I’m thinking I have seen this attitude before – in the mid 2000’s maybe?

Finally, I still have not made it to the RED DOT outside Olson’s new home at the old Ford Plant. Hve you? The idea of the red decor seen through the windows on the upper floors spelling out OLSON is awesome – just blows my mind how anyone first of all–thought of that, and second, figured out how to make it a reality!

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THE DECIDING DEBATE…or just more blather?

October 22, 2012

For weeks we have heard the debates don’t matter. Opps…poll numbers started shifting during the first three, and now this final debate is the MOST IMPORTANT thing of the campaign. Who knows what the truth is? All I really know is that we should expect posturing and not truthful thought-out responses.
Yesterday I started a blog that outlined what I would like to hear discussed in the last debate tonight. No, Benghazi was not on the list…contrary to neo-con manipulation of Romney’s impression, Benghazi’s greatest importance was the unexpected loss of American lives-especially one who may have emerged as a knowledgeable and informed leader in 21st century foreign policy-someone who understands the Middle East; someone that could have helped the United States make needed transitions from “War is the Answer” to peaceful co-existence. And, its second most important role was as a demonstration for the American people of just how complex-even murky-an incident like this is. Such an incident calls for patience and level heads, no finger pointing until everyone has the facts, and no posturing for political advantage…especially from a neophyte whose total foreign policy is wrapped up in a father born in Mexico for religious reasons, and time spent as a missionary in France – a country that was then just emerging from post-WWII recovery! While I applaud Romney for his time and compassion, I do not think he emerged a qualified 21st century diplomat based on that experience! And frankly, I shudder to think his neo-con advisors are the very same men and women that manipulated Bush and tricked the world into the wrongful war in Iraq!
But I digress. What I was in the midst of outlining yesterday was my own questions/issues I hope to hear discussed tonight.
• Japan is about to take China’s place as the US largest creditor. What do you see as positive/negative impacts, if  any, on the United States?
• With China’s low profit margins on production of goods, combined with extremely low worker wages, what do you see as impact in the US, of as the Chinese “Boom” recedes? Will there be economic consequences from the many US companies with facilities there? Are the US corporate investments in China significant enough that a collapse there would impact us domestically?
NOTE: This morning STRIB had article in Business Insider Page 1 raising similar question of what will happen as US Corporations ramp up there, expecting China to replace slow markets in the US and Europe.
• What impact to US do you see as the Chinese population growth controls (one child; preferably male) starts impacting the Chinese economy?
I’ve read that traditionally, this male head of family takes on responsibility of support for parents AND parents of spouse. That support of three families on low wages seems challenging; as does the question of whom do these favored sons marry with so few Chinese women in their generation?
The Strib OPINION PAGE added significant “food for thought” this morning by pointing out that the most serious security challenges confronting the US –which come from the Mideast and South Asia- are “so complex and fluid” it is hard to provide clear answers…so at best we can expect posturing by Romney and over-simplification by Obama.
Uggh.
Before the debate, take the time to check out the article “What to hope for tonight at the debate”. The questions raised about the Arab Spring, Syria, Iran, will make your head spin, but every one of them is valid and raises significant issues…just reviewing the questions makes one realize how daunting the situation is.
The author’s last paragraph says it all.
Whatever the weaknesses of Obama on these issues, I’ve heard no clear alternatives from Romney and no recognition of the global changes of the last decade. I hope Schieffer will press both candidates for real, not canned answers. But my expectations aren’t high.
Amen to that….by now, most of you know, my biggest issue with Romney is that he is NOT prepared or even cognizant that we do not live today in a world in which his experience and success in a past century will make any difference. If he does not understand the implications and relationships in the world today, he will not be effective; nor will he be able to lead us successfully into the future. I say again, tomorrow is NOT more of the same. The world has changed.