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Ballmer Defends Microsoft In China 162

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the race-is-on dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mr. Ballmer has recently posted on the official Microsoft blog discussing future business in China and defending Microsoft's stance of cooperating with the government even as other large IT companies have begun making public condemnations (Google and Twitter being the most prominent). Couple this with Bill Gate's speech on China's censorship being not all that bad (a speech very well received by Chinese media) and you've got people wondering: Is Microsoft aiming to take Google's place in China?"
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Ballmer Defends Microsoft In China

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  • Sounds like typical MS style. Plus they've got to great lengths before to get the chinese gov to use their software. Don't see whats changed from their point of view.
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by sopssa (1498795) *

      Corporations need to apply by laws, There are laws I don't like in my country, there are laws I don't like in US, and there definitely are laws I don't like in China. But if you want to work in any of these environments, you have to go by laws

      • Which is exactly what I meant by not seeing whats changed from their point of view.
      • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:14PM (#30934582) Homepage
        Well, that's true. After all, they're only obeying orders, and so they bear absolutely no personal or corporate responsibility for the consequences of their actions. That's how it works, isn't it? Right? Right?
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by blind biker (1066130)

          After all, they're only obeying orders, and so they bear absolutely no personal or corporate responsibility for the consequences of their actions. That's how it works, isn't it? Right?

          That's right son, just obey the orders. And get that vagonload of Jews to the gas chambers.

          • Re:More than likely. (Score:4, Interesting)

            by paeanblack (191171) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:58PM (#30935590)

            That's right son, just obey the orders. And get that vagonload of Jews to the gas chambers.

            And what of the wagonmakers? Must they stop making wagons because of how some of their wagons are used? What about the wheelwrights and axlemakers?

            At some point along that line, it no longer becomes immoral to remain in business, even if you are aware that some of your products are being used in an utterly despicable manner.

            • by wealthychef (584778) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @01:06PM (#30935780)

              At some point along that line, it no longer becomes immoral to remain in business, even if you are aware that some of your products are being used in an utterly despicable manner.

              The question is not whether Microsoft should remain in business. It's whether it should do business with a government that will use your products in a repressive manner. A wagonmaker could probably sell his wagons to someone who does not kill its own citizens for their ethnicity and still remain in business. But here is the crux. It won't quite make as much money. And the pure lust for profit is what is objectionable here.

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by digitig (1056110)

                And where do you draw the line? A country (or state) that still has the death penalty for crimes that don't carry the death penalty in your country (or state)? A country that invades other countries and kills their citizens with no legal warrant? With questionable legal warrant? A country that supplies any of the above with funding or equipment? A country in which individuals supply any of the above with funding or equipment? A country in which some groups are seriously repressed but not killed? A company w

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by sjames (1099)

                  Just out of interest, if there are problems with MS providing software to such governments, what does the Linux/GNU community do to make sure their tools are not used instead?

                  I can't speak for the entire community, but personally, I don't modify the system to order for censorship nor do I sell a support contract for that use.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by wealthychef (584778)
                  I said "a government that uses your products in a repressive manner." If you know your widgets will be used repressively, then try to avoid making that possible. Linux/GNU software is free and openly available, so there is nothing that CAN be done by definition to prevent China from using it, unless you have suggestion. They don't profit from it. Profiting from evil is taking blood money. By the way, I'm not suggesting no Chinese should be able to buy Windows. I'm suggesting that the Chinese governmen
                  • by digitig (1056110)
                    And I'm saying that "repress their people" is not a naive black-and-white matter. Why is this so hard to understand?
                • Just out of interest, if there are problems with MS providing software to such governments, what does the Linux/GNU community do to make sure their tools are not used instead?

                  Well, during the Gaza War [wikipedia.org], Linux Mint developer Clement Lefebvre requested [extremetech.com] that the Israeli government and anyone who support its actions do not use his system.

                  • Sound kind of one sided, but then again, I wasn't aware that you needed much software to make child sized suicide vests.
                • by MasaMuneCyrus (779918) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @05:29PM (#30941570)

                  Realistically, if you're making the gas chambers then you have decided your moral position by the business you are in. If you are making the actual tools of killing then there's a case that you have a moral duty to take care over how they will be used. But the further you get from that then the more your moral responsibility is diluted, to the point where it's lost in the noise.

                  And that's exactly the issue, here. Most people likely wouldn't care if China was somehow using existing Microsoft services to send disinformation and propaganda to their citizens. It's the fact that China is saying, "Please modify your existing software so that it sends disinformation and propaganda to our citizens," and Microsoft is saying, "Ok, sure. What kind of censorship would you like us to make for you?"

                  Regarding the wagonmakers analogy -- it's upsetting, but not a big deal if Nazis are using a wagonmaker's wagons to transport Jews to a fiery death. That's not the wagonmaker's fault, necessarily. What Microsoft is doing, though, is making a Jew-transporting wagon that is engineered for the purpose of sending Jews to their fiery death.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by wireloose (759042)
                Microsoft has a history of repressing the competition and its customers, and even of buying out members of standards committees to grab / keep marketshare. As a company, Microsoft shows no real ethics. Why would it start now?
              • by orlanz (882574)

                No, here is the crux, they go out of business over time. Because someone else set up a business that sells to both sides, gets better economies of scale, and either lowers the price or just buys the other via higher profits.

            • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @01:12PM (#30935904)

              What about when the order comes in for a wagon specialy designed for the purpose? China demands that they change their product in a way that everyone in the company has to recognize is unethical, but everyone just goes along with it and claims they're just following orders.

            • by micromoog (206608)
              > At some point along that line, it no longer becomes immoral to remain in business The point where that occurs is where your actions and decisions no longer have a significant impact. Microsoft, and your wagon makers, are both far from that point. It's entirely within the wagon maker's power to refuse to fill that order for 1,000 new wagons to the Nazi Party. If the wagons are making it to the Party through aftermarket back channels, THAT's where the wagon maker can begin to claim no moral responsib
            • by sjames (1099)

              At SOME point yeah, but it's probably further down the line than the pawn broker selling to the guy that says "gimmee a gun, I gotta cap some gas jockey's ass!".

              It's one thing to sell to someone who may or may not sell to someone who may or may not misuse the product. It's quite another to sell to someone who you know for a fact intends to misuse the product to harm others.

            • by ultranova (717540)

              And what of the wagonmakers? Must they stop making wagons because of how some of their wagons are used? What about the wheelwrights and axlemakers?

              No, you don't have to stop making wagons. Just stop cooperating with a dictator in order to sell him more wagons.

              At some point along that line, it no longer becomes immoral to remain in business, even if you are aware that some of your products are being used in an utterly despicable manner.

              However, it always remains immoral to side with a dictatorship to sell

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by interploy (1387145)

          What corporate responsibility? Because it seems to me there's a lot of talk about corporate responsibility, but when it comes to it, the powers that be don't really care what a corporation does so long as they don't screw the shareholders/government. Otherwise, when a corporation comes into violation with the law (and assuming the defendants can afford to holdout for the duration of the trial), the most they'll get is some nominal fine that sounds big to the average person, but is really no more than a slap

        • google IBM and the Nazis...
      • by JesseL (107722)

        You don't have to abide by the law. It's certainly possible not to (individuals and corporations do it all the time), though it would be wise to at least know when you are and aren't operating within the law.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Which of these are you trying to say?

        1. Corporations need to apply bylaws. Microsoft's bylaws [microsoft.com]
        2. Corporations have to go buy laws. Recent Supreme Court campaign finance decision [cornell.edu]
        3. Corporations need to abide by laws. [please provide a reference]
      • We'll remember that the next time you visit Iran and are stoned to death for showing too much skin. I mean, the law is the law, right?
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by hrimhari (1241292)

          Well, you could just, like, not go there, you know? It's not like you're being forced to.

          The problem here is that not only Mr. and Mrs. Microsoft are going there but they're saying that they're pretty happy with the local laws. So it makes one wonder which is worse:

          1. They really believe that, or
          2. They don't believe it but they say it anyway just to get even more dirty money.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by c0d3g33k (102699)

        The following question appeared on a political science final exam in college (pertaining to American History):

                "If all laws are just, were the Founding Fathers criminals?"

        Understand that, and you understand the essential conundrum between respecting local laws and living according to principles. How corporations behave when faced with this says a lot about them and the people who run them.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by digitig (1056110)

          The following question appeared on a political science final exam in college (pertaining to American History):

          "If all laws are just, were the Founding Fathers criminals?"

          For what it's worth, when answering a conditional question like that you have to take the "if" part to be true even if you don't consider it to be. So the interesting bits of that question are whether the Founding Fathers broke any laws whilst actually under the jurisdiction of those laws, and if all laws are just does that mean that all laws should have universal jurisdiction. I don't know enough American history to answer the first part, but I reckon I could make a strong case for an answer of "No" to the

      • Re:More than likely. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Greg Hullender (621024) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:59PM (#30935604) Homepage Journal
        Actually, at least when it comes to Search Engine censorship, China always gave Microsoft a pass. I was responsible for the team inside MSN Search (now Bing) that developed the software to filter "objectionable content". (The "safe search" feature.) In places like the US, customers can turn it off, but in places like Germany and China, where there are laws, the customers cannot. I was uneasily expecting to have to incorporate a list of banned sites from the Chinese government, and while I didn't like it, I didn't see any way around it, and I spoke to our VP privately about it to make sure he understood my position. That my loyalty was to the company and I'd do what had to be done, even if I didn't like it.

        Much to my surprise, he was upset with me. He had VERY strong feelings about this issue, and he insisted China wasn't going to make us do it. That was the same month when China's president visited Microsoft before he visited George Bush, and in his speech on campus, he said, "China is a friend of Microsoft because Microsoft has always been a friend of China." Sure enough, whatever China made Google do, they didn't make US do anything special. Germany was a much bigger headache.

        So I guess I'd say, that, no, you actually don't have to go by those laws if you're in a country that puts personal relationships above the law. Apparently they really don't think of the law the same way we do, and that was a real eye-opener. For me, anyway.

        Or maybe the real truth was that the Chinese government figured out that our poor little search engine couldn't find the objectionable stuff anyway except by accident, and they just felt sorry for us. :-)

        --Greg (happily retired from it all now)

        • by geekoid (135745)

          " That my loyalty was to the company and I'd do what had to be done, even if I didn't like it."

          Note to self:
          GregHullender price on his principles is dirt cheat.

          If you sell out your principles, did you ever really have them?

          Why do you think you know all the aspects of the deal MS made with China? Are you in the executive meeting?

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by HeckRuler (1369601)
            Yeah, wow! I mean, nothing against you Greg, and it's good you're retired from all that, but it's like hearing an SS guard coming forward.
            And you PRE-EMPTIVLY came forward for a good bootlicking? Really?

            Also, this reminds me of an age-old story. No programmer could ever ethically write a nukeHiroshima() function.
            They would be forced by professional ethics to write a nuke(int city) function which could take Hiroshima as a parameter.
        • Hmm... high user ID. Might be a plant. :P

          I'm guessing there's censorship going on, regardless of the public spin. It is Microsoft, after all. They love any deal that makes more money.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nobodie (1555367)
          You have hit the nail on the head. The Chinese idea of law is entirely alien to westerners. My favorite quote is from (as I remember it) Thomas Friedman at the NYTimes. Asking too many questions the official finally went to failsafe mode: "China is a country of law." This is true, but you must understand the crucial difference. Laws in China are not based on cases brought before a judge and/or jury. Laws in China are decided by rich plutocrats who control the legislative (communist party) the executive (com
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by javilon (99157)

        But if you want to work in any of these environments, you have to go by laws

        Well, there are two problems here. The first is that the Chinese government and his state corporations don't obey Chinese law. Isn't it forbidden to hack into other peoples computers in China?

        The second is the key difference between Microsoft and Google:

        Microsoft is directed by your standard issue marketing drone, Ballmer, and the result is what you usually get from western corporations: mindless search for profits. He may as well be operating a arms dealership.

        On the other hand, Google (and many of

        • Except that in this particular case, Google did obey those laws. It was Microsoft that had the moral objection. (Or our VP did, anyway.)

          The right and wrong on this one is very muddy.

          --Greg

          • by Vicegrip (82853) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @03:26PM (#30939066) Journal
            Google did the right thing, eventually. At the end of the day we are more than employees. We are citizens that benefit from freedoms hard earned. It is the utmost height of hypocrisy to then turn around and pretend there is nothing wrong with assisting the repression of people in foreign countries. One day, China may very well be the powerhouse of the world, western corporations' eagerness at supplying tools to assist Chinese repression will then come back to haunt us. Our failure to stand up against this hypocrisy will then have transformed into a failure to fight for our democratic rights.
  • Are you kidding? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:05PM (#30934396) Homepage Journal

    you've got people wondering: Is Microsoft aiming to take Google's place in China?"

    Of course they are! What a dumb question.

    • by sam0737 (648914)

      steveb: It is my space, not just in China! Google was trying to take that. Well, nice try dude!

  • Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:05PM (#30934398) Homepage

    Of course. Microsoft wants to take Google's place everywhere.

    In China specifically, Microsoft can't pack up and leave like Google did. China's already a big target for their anti-piracy efforts Their only option is to play nice with the government and get cooperation, no matter how bad it really is.

    • by gsslay (807818)

      pack up and leave like Google did

      Except Google haven't. At least as yet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cyfer2000 (548592)

      "China's already a big target for their anti-piracy efforts"

      I think the whole piracy issue in China is a marketing plot. A Chinese friend once told me Bill Gates said something like "As long as they (Chinese) are pirating our software, it is ok."

      • Re:Of course (Score:5, Informative)

        by Greg Hullender (621024) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:42PM (#30935196) Homepage Journal
        Bill Gates made this comment at the new hire party I attended when I joined Microsoft in 1994, so I can vouch for its authenticity. I heard him say it with my own ears. However, it's worth noting that what he said, in full, was "As long as they're pirating software, we want them to be pirating ours. Sooner or later, as their economy develops, they'll switch to paying, and when that happens, ours will be what they'll want to buy."

        I think China is developed enough to pay for software now, and I'm very sure Microsoft's anti-piracy efforts are genuine -- even though I haven't worked for Microsoft for two years now.

        --Greg

        • by geekoid (135745)

          Once again showing the world that MS wouldn't be anywhere if it wasn't for piracy. How do you think it got into the home? people pirating from work.

        • Thanks for sharing! Your comments on this story are really interesting to read.
  • MS is bribing senior Chinese officials by sticking MSG like code into their software
  • by h00manist (800926) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:12PM (#30934552) Journal
    ... in contrast to who, and what attitude, did you think? ms always plays everything to get ahead, to it's advantage, legal, moral, ethical, technically smart, agreements compliant, ... or not.
  • by Locutus (9039) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:14PM (#30934586)
    Microsoft's business tactics and China's public policies have some overlap. Microsoft probably sees little wrong with how the Chinese government runs the country as shown by the Gates and Ballmer statements. They resemble each other.

    LoB
  • by h00manist (800926)
    that's just immoral. up to now i had mostly technical reasons i disliked microsoft. now, i have stonger ethical and moral reasons as well. i won't forget. that's just bordering on treason.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CSHARP123 (904951)
      What do you mean then? Just don;t follow local laws. How about telcos sleeping with Govt on wire tapping in US? US has many craps like that too. India being a democratic country has many restrictions too. How about England, with all those security cameras invading people privacy in the name of security. How about airport strip search in US in the name of security. May be China is a extreme cases. Businesses should not get involved in this type of nonsense. What makes you think that majority of people in CHi
    • that's just bordering on treason.

      A corporation, particularly multinational, has no concept of the word.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        No, but the government does, and the government is owned by the corporations, so in effect, acting against the corporations that control the government can be considered treason.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by InlawBiker (1124825)
      MS is a business, not a freedom fighter in the human rights movement. I supposed Ballmer could come out and take a stand and stop doing business with China. Only to see their stock price plummet. Then he'd be shown the door.

      A lot of companies were overjoyed by Google's stand in China. It'll open the door for more business. This is just the first move in an orchestrated PR campaign to kiss China's ass.

      Am I proud of the whoring, evil profit-above-all motives of our companies? Not especially... I no

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:23PM (#30934770) Journal

    You know Microsoft's strategy of embrace, extend, extinguish? Microsoft is embracing China's censorship and lack of social liberties. Let's hope they get to the "extinguish" phase, quick!

  • I don't buy it. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MaWeiTao (908546)

    The important thing to keep in mind here is that Chinese by and large don't share the same mindset as Americans, that being that personal freedoms are more important than anything else. In fact, I don't think people in most Asian nations place value on personal freedoms to the extent Americans do. They'd much rather have a secure, stable society than appease to every little whim. China is no longer the absolute disaster that it was under Mao and China in many was has more of a free market economy than the U

    • by jjo (62046) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:46PM (#30935290) Homepage
      "nothing at all like the situation was in the USSR". Yeah, right. There is no similarity whatsoever between the USSR and the PRC in the restrictions on freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom of association. Not the tiniest bit of similarity. As different as night and day. Chinese censorship is not at all like Soviet censorship. Brin must be certifiably insane if he perceives a parallel between the two.
      • by MaWeiTao (908546)

        Say what you will, but most Chinese will disagree with you.

        By no means am I suggesting it's all roses in China. But it's quite a stretch to suggest that China engages in anything on the level the Soviets did. China did plenty of that in the 50s and 60s and if they were still doing it they wouldn't be enjoying this economic boom.

        • by jjo (62046)

          Whether a majority of Chinese accept the status quo is unknowable. The current rulers of China certainly do not believe they have such public support, since they suppress public political discourse and refuse to allow democratic elections.

          If you asked that question of the political prisoners confined in horrendous conditions in Chinese prisons, I suspect you would find that they disagree with you.

    • Re:I don't buy it. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sp3d2orbit (81173) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @02:41PM (#30937904)

      They'd much rather have a secure, stable society than appease to every little whim.

      This is a fallacy. Authoritarian government do not promote secure, stable societies. They repress. They oppress. They don't allow people with grievances to air them or to hold the government accountable for their actions.

      Authoritarian governments CREATE instability because they eliminate the safety valves that prevent small grievances from becoming revolts.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Yaa 101 (664725)

      The Chinese government is one big cesspool of nepotism, ask many Chinese that were actually deported because their house was on a spot that was lucrative to the sons and daughters of the communist party officials.

      China will break into a large and long lasting civil war sooner or later.

    • by u38cg (607297)

      In fact, I don't think people in most Asian nations place value on personal freedoms to the extent Americans do.

      This is tendentious bullshit. They haven't been asked, ut still they get jailed and executed for pushing for it.

      • by gtall (79522)

        It is true to a certain extent in Japan that societal harmony has more of a hold than in, say, America. Japan is very homogeneous and outsiders are seen as disrupting this. That may come about by simply having their own island for a very long time, somewhat like a house with a few cats when a new one is introduced.

        I'm not sure about the other Asian countries. Culture is a touchy thing and I don't anyone would confuse the Chinese with the Japanese culture. It also is not clear to me that over time,

  • China is well on its way to being the largest market on the planet, and there doesn't seem to be much if anything on the horizon to challenge their ascendancy. Getting on board with them is just plain smart.

    For more strategic advice, refer to Armand Hammer.

    • The GDP of China is overtaking Japan, which has a twelfth of the population. It is nowhere near the EU or the US, and its profligate and uneconomic use of resources suggests that it will before long be limited by its own inefficiencies. We do not know how much of the Chinese claimed growth is real, because the figures are produced by a State which consistently lies. The fact that bankers and investors believe something proves nothing: those dimwits were taken in by the property bubble in the English-speakin
  • and is willing to sell the corporate soul to obtain it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by interval1066 (668936)

      and is willing to sell the corporate soul to obtain it.

      I agree, except to say that Microsoft has no soul to sell, making the sale that much easier. I think Krupp had the same easy path to collusion with the Nazis.

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @03:09PM (#30938636) Journal

      MS is NOT selling its soul in China for revenue. You cannot sell what you do not have. Ballmer and Gates have no morals. Oh, they are not evil, that takes a commitment. They just have absolutely no moral compass whatsoever. Look at how Bill Gates does his charity work, always with an angle to somehow better MS. It is the way he thinks.

      And before you defend him, remember that is a LOT easier to have morals if you are rich. If MS pulled out of China what would happen to these two guys? Absolutely nothing. They ain't doing this to survive, they are doing it for yet another billion whose difference they will never ever notice.

      • by gtall (79522)

        I think, more accurately, Gates and Ballmer cannot sell what they've already sold.

  • M$ says: "Give us the dollars; fuck the people".

    OK, fine. That's business.

    Except that corporations (from Latin corpus meaning "body") enjoy a legal status as an entity, like a person. It should be possible for this legal entity ("body") to have a conscience. Some seem too, via the actions of their bosses. Maybe Google actually does.

    M$ has shown time and time again that it does not.

    I want to make an anology with Union Carbide. This is from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster [wikipedia.org]:

  • by careysub (976506) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @01:19PM (#30936044)

    With Google "Don't be evil" is a shibboleth that sets an aspirational goal which, as so often happens in the real world, may only be honored in the breech.

    With Microsoft "being evil" is, and has always been, at the core of their whole business model.

    • With Google "Don't be evil" is a shibboleth that sets an aspirational goal which, as so often happens in the real world, may only be honored in the breech.

      IANAL but I thought a shibboleth was a Lovecraftian horror monster from my AD&D days, then I remembered it's actually an aboleth [wikipedia.org].

      However an aboleth is a malevolent slimy eel creature, so I guess the comparison to Microsoft is probably quite sound...

  • Censorship? Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mpapet (761907) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @01:28PM (#30936248) Homepage

    Microsoft will cooperate as long as they have a shot at public sector revenue. This is hardly unique to China. If the nation of Venezuela wanted Microsoft products, they'd take their money.

    I think American crossed the line into full-scale hipocracy(sp!!) by calling China out on censorship. The Chinese are more overt, but the effects are the same.

    How about killing prisoners at Guantanamo? http://harpers.org/archive/2010/01/hbc-90006368 [harpers.org] How was that story handled?? I'd argue that's a pretty serious situation and yet, somehow the mainstream media won't touch it. The title AP gave it was "Harper's questions three Guantanamo deaths." Somehow, prisoners under 24/7 observation are able to stuff rags down their throats AND THEN hang themselves? There's room for 'a question?' http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-01-18-guantanamo-deaths_N.htm?csp=34 [usatoday.com]

    How about the *massive* transfer of weath orchestrated by the Fed and Treasury? It's a 'bailout.' Maiden Lane 3 somehow generates profits in a way obvious to exactly no one. GM's debt holders got barely pennies on the dollar depending on their debt senority and yet AIG's counter parties got every single cent back. And the headline is "this is troubling" ?? http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/jan2010/db2010018_994080.htm [businessweek.com]

    Let's go back a few years to Sibel Edmonds story that *no* media would touch.

    I missed the part where the American Republic was a bastion of Freedom.

    • The USA is the bastion of freedom. The difference between the USA and China, is that, in the USA, you can say whatever you want. Like, you talk about Gitmo, but you are allowed to level your charges. Whether other people believe you is not the deal. In China, or Iran, or any other number of places, people are really being oppressed and really being killed. IT's just not the same to compare the real struggle for freedom in despotic regimes with the desire of some losers in the USA to get attention with

      • by mpapet (761907)

        but you are allowed to level your charges. Whether other people believe you is not the deal.
        Fair point. I hadn't thought of it that way. So, what's your reason for categorizing the examples as lunatic rambling? I'm serious here. Because I don't get it. Do you like your money taken from you by your government? You think some bad guys probably dying at the hand of your government is good? Despotic regimes do the same thing.

        the real struggle for freedom
        Believe it or not, I'm sure we actually agree on lo

    • Even if the mainstream media never covered it, the difference is still enormous. For one thing, you can still find those articles on the internet, something you wouldn't be able to do in China if it were the Chinese government. For another thing, the writers of those articles aren't arrested, kidnapped, torchured, killed, or harvested for organds. If you really don't see the difference... I don't even know what to say.

      • by mpapet (761907)

        For another thing, the writers of those articles aren't arrested

        I really do mean to burst your world view bubble because reporters most certainly are jailed in the U.S.

        http://www.judithmiller.com/537/reporter-jailed-after-refusing-to-name-source [judithmiller.com]

        Killing and torture is no longer the difference between Good American Free and Axis of Evil Free.

        Is it the case that 'organ harvesting,' is the delineation between a good free and a bad free? I want to know where the line is for you. It's not a flamebait question.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by TeknoHog (164938)

      I think American crossed the line into full-scale hipocracy(sp!!)

      I believe the correct spelling is "hippocracy", if you mean a nation ruled by large semi-aquatic mammals.

  • Is that, the Communist Revolution in China is essentially lawless. The whole idea of a corporation requires that laws actually exist and be consistently enforced. You have to have property rights, speech rights, indeed, human rights for corporations to happen, otherwise, they too can be randomly jailed and seized - witness what's going on in Venezuela. So, really, Microsoft and Walmart and other China collaborators are really just hoping that the current personalities in China will be consistent, and the

  • I am sure IBM didn't see anything wrong with Nazi Germany either.

Air is water with holes in it.

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