You know, I have a special place in my heart for our [Asian] students, who exhibit few of the troublesome traits you lament. The American students are nice kids, and I like them, but I don’t respect them. I guess that’s the thing.
– a New England College Professor emails John Tierney. (HT: The Atlantic)
China knows what to do about Egypt. The United States does not. China is already engaged in a policy that will aggressively and effectively reduce their risk of exposure to regime instability in the Middle East. The US amuses the rest of the world as out Feckless Leader desperately wads the toilet paper in a laughable attempt to cover his posterior.
Both China and The US are increasingly dependent upon countries such as Egypt and its neighbors for a stable supply of oil. The Suez Canal is a life-sustaining artery for each nation’s economy. Recent unrest in Egypt is resulting in speculation that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will be replaced by the chosen candidate of The Muslim Brotherhood (and their cuddly freedom-fighting subsidiary; Hamas).
President Obama has informed us that he told President Mubarak two years ago to moderate Egypt’s stance on domestic human rights. This is totally useful. Condoleezza Rice explained this to the Egyptians during Bush II’s terminal term in office. It’s a pleasure to see President Obama agree so condignly with his GOP predecessor. The warmth of American bipartisanship will certainly make the jail Hosni Mubarak dies in a happier, more amenable place.
China, on the other hand, has developed some actual ideas that would render much of the Egyptian Crisis mute. The People’s Republic of China has initiated an ambitious project to develop nuclear reactors that leverage thorium molten-salt technology to produce electrical power. Details follow below.
Led by Dr. Jiang Mianheng, a graduate of Drexel University in electrical engineering, the thorium MSR efforts aims not only to develop the technology but to secure intellectual property rights to its implementation.
– (HT: Energy from Thorium.com)
In America, meanwhile, our President advises us all to own tire gauges and routinely check our air pressure. Doing this leads to improved gas mileage. This becomes exceedingly timely advice for all American motorists if petroleum shipping vessels begin having to pay The Muslim Brotherhood a $50/bbl toll on all oil shipments through the Suez Canal.
Now China still has way more people than it has energy producing resources. They will remain heavily dependent upon fossil fuel power generation which gives them the worst air quality and highest CO2 emissions on the planet. What the Chinese are doing, unlike the US, is attempting to solve their problems.
Dr. Jiang Mianheng is like a lot of Americans with high IQs. He went to a selective American University. What sets him apart (other than a few thousand miles of ocean) is that he actually uses that education for something. James Fallows describes what Dr. Jiang’s native-born classmates at Drexel increasingly are doing with theirs’.
“A study of more than 2,300 undergraduates found 45 percent of students show no significant improvement in the key measures of critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore years.”
“over the past five decades, the number of hours that the average college student studies each week has been steadily dropping.”The study found this to be true not just of a particular demographic, but across the board: “No matter the student’s major, gender, or race, no matter the size of the school or the quality of the SAT scores of the people enrolled there, the results are the same: Students of all ability levels are studying less.”
– (HT: John Tierney, The Atlantic)
Why is the Chinese scholar from Drexel University in charge of the most exciting nuclear research project occurring in the world? Why are his American counterparts in a position to do positively nothing in the event that The Suez Canal utterly closes for business as a potential shipping lane for vital natural resources? We could follow our leader and make excuses here. The Chinese dude has a Tiger Mom. What can you expect?
The time has come for our population to involve itself more in where American is going. We used to be able to figure things out like MSR first. But, as Robert Heinlein despairingly told Congress, “There is no such thing as American Ingenuity, there is only ingenuity, and Americans hold no monopoly on it.”
Molten Salt Thorium Reactors, in and of themselves, won’t make any of us taller, smarter or more likely to enjoy peace on Earth. But the fact that China can and will develop that option athwart the increasingly tenuous supply of crude oil from The Middle East, while America dicks around with Obamacare, and whines that only mean people won’t raise the debt ceiling is indicative of why we are devolving into a servile nation of pseudo-sapient, Twiddiot Morons.
Jimmy Carter, with his typical perspicacity, advises us that Hosni Mubarak has to be replaced by the latest howling mob of America-Haters. Why not? This worked so well when Then-President Carter sawed off The Shah of Iran. And then, just like now, this will hit the American economic, and foreign policy governing apparatuses like a sledgehammer. Blame will be cast to the winds while solutions are as rare nutrients in field lying fallow.
Meanwhile, American-trained scientists in China will develop the technology necessary to protect their people from the fallout of the coming disintegration in Egypt. It’s amazing what an education from an American university can accomplish; when it isn’t being wasted on an American.
In the end, as they say on the playground courts, “Ball don’t lie!” The Chinese are playing it. The Americans, like our pathetic Fop-In-Chief, are just making excuses; while the world increasingly smacks us around.