Showing posts from May, 2016

The Washington Post comments on China's test update.

( Going way back in the archives here....the article below was something I wrote hree years ago on the blog, and  talks about China's educational test taking process. See new links below  for more context, as well as an update.  One very strong takeaway is that PISA did not, probably will not, release the test results from other locations beyond those of Shanghai.   Which we've heard by the way, are pretty good scores.  It would be nice if PISA, when listing Shanghai, simply had a footnote or asterisk explaining how the schools were chosen, etc.  Still from what I can tell, China was not part of the most recently released results.  For obvious reasons, if true.  News yesterday from the Washington Post.  Its a quick read, but is full itself of really good links, a few years old but relevant because China, well because China never changes.  The bottom line is one is reminded of just how tough it is to be Chinese if one is not from the "right part" of China...


Not sure how to begin this story, but to say it is a true story, and somebody did die.   I’m not writing this story because of the silly 50 th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution.   After all, why would we wish to commemorate that?     We commemorate D-Day.   V-E Day.    The assassination of JFK.   But does anyone ever commemorate the “beginning” of American involvement in Vietnam?   Or Korea?   Congratulations China.   When you fart, we commemorate it.    “Somebody in China this day 50 years ago farted.   Let’s commemorate it.” Do we speak of the 50 th anniversary of Liu Shaoqi’s death, on that cold cement floor? (As Mao once said when Liu’s kids got the courage up to request to see their parents, “Their father is dead, but they may see their mother.”) Nor shall I commemorate the death of Sun Weishi, but I sure as hell want to bring it to your attention. Her story is very unique, only in that through the bizarre fate of History she managed purely by chanc

With friends like this.....

In November of 1950 the Chinese “Volunteer” Force came streaming across the Yalu and thus began one of America’s longest military retreats.    An American military command drowned in its own hubris, pushed on by a Man so immune to Failure that not even his own Superiors had the guts to rein him in.    Flowing over the Yalu were China’s finest.   It’s Revolutionary Army both confident of victory and unfamiliar with failure.    Facing an Army grown soft from occupation duty in Japan and long bereft of any veteran leadership.    The Chinese PLA however, had only just wrapped up its own war, handily crushing an army led by incomparably corrupt and incompetent Chiang Kai Shek.    To America’s surprise, the Chinese PLA handily crushed CKS’s army. Surprise, overconfidence and the full belief that they would be home for Christmas (or was it Thanksgiving?) led the American Army to take its eye off the ball.    While it fought quite heroically at Chosin Reservoir, it was without que

What will Australia do?

As China successfully(so it seems) takes over a pile of rocks jutting from the ocean, builds onto them, creates a massively long runway, a harbor etc, the folks over in the Philippines continue to freak out.     At the risk of sounding nationalistic, or myself Empire Driven, one has to wonder just what the hell the Philippines was thinking when it asked the US Navy to leave oh so long ago way back in 1992? Did it think China would “stay down” forever? Anyways, that is now neither here nor there, as methinks the USN will be in the Philippines now for the foreseeable future.   Nope, the question isn’t the Philippines…..nor Vietnam…or even Malaysia or Indonesia.   Certainly not Japan.   Or even South Korea (yet….their day of decisionmaking though is still approaching). What America needs is one or two nations to stand with it and say something to China like, “Hey you can’t do that!” China otherwise will simply not be impressed.   What it needs is Australia.