Mandarin... Will this be the language of the 21st century
There are current reports that China is pushing to make Mandarin the language of the 21st century. You know that doesn't bother me, that much. I strongly believe English being the "world" language, gives us a leg up, however learning a new language would help Americans. What I fear is that this is not the only thing where we are following the lead of the Chinese. We are beginning to follow the lead of the Chinese when it comes to how we treat our people and our Constitution.
Recently, the Chinese Prime Minister was in the US for a meeting with Pres. Bush. An individual of Taiwanese descent, in the crowd, started to heckle the two men. Rather than explaining to the PM that this was part of our Constitutional rights (see 1st Amendment), King George had the woman arrested. Trust me, I understand the need to be diplomatic, apparently more than Ambassador Bolton, but President Bush does not need to be anyone's lapdog. I guess if you are going to be anyone's lapdog, I'd rather the U.S.A. not follow, in lock step, one of the world's most brutal regimes.
I give the Chinese some credit they are modernizing their economy, it grew at about 10% last quarter. Unfortunately, according to a recent New York Times article, the tradeoff has been large amounts of pollution from new coal plants. The Chinese trade balance with the USA is $200 billion dollars in their favor. The Chinese have also improved relations with many in the world community, in an attempt to become a more welcome member of the family of nations.
Unfortunately, this administration might use the Chinese guest worker program as a model. But, then again, you can ask the Mexicans how they are treated by the likes of J.D. Hayworth. If those people are not really "Americans", and therefore we shouldn't worry about them, then talk to the coal miners in W. Virginia. How do they feel about the Administration stripping the mines of all safety standards? Add to this the fact that, in America, the divide between rich and poor is getting bigger. These are the sorts of problems that you would imagine from a developing country.
As most of you heard the Senate voted on a bill that would define the limits of marriage. I don't care if Billy marries Susie or Bob, and no one has been able to explain to me why this is something the Senate should spend a week on. If this sort of thing continues to be the centerpiece of legislative action, then we will become a developing nation once again, and China will be the superpower of the 21st century.