Friday, April 11, 2008

Welcome to Peoria, you evil commie bastard

From the Journal Star:

Against a backdrop of unrest in Tibet and protests accompanying the worldwide tour of the Beijing Olympic torch - two issues that have placed China in an unflattering global spotlight this week - the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Zhou Wenzhong, is visiting Peoria Friday.

But unless you are an employee of Caterpillar Inc., a member of the Rotary Club of Peoria or an invited guest of a member, you might not notice.


Unless you count his lunch speech to Rotarians at 11:45 a.m. at the Hotel Pere Marquette as a public appearance, there are no others planned. Club members will not be allowed to ask questions of the speaker as they commonly do at their weekly meetings.

The speech was arranged by a Rotarian who is also a Caterpillar executive, Roberts said. He was scheduled to speak as part of a cultural exchange with Caterpillar and is not expected to address - in any way - the Olympic torch, Tibet, or any other recent negative story that has appeared in the American press.

Actually, I don't want to crash today's Rotary Club meeting to ask Mr. Wenzhong to rationalize his nation's brutal occupation of Tibet. As China's mouthpiece here in the United States, I'm sure he has his spiel down pat. I have no interest in hearing it.

Instead, I would like to ask the Caterpillar executives who will be in attendance how it feels to enjoy the political, religious and economic freedoms that all Americans enjoy knowing that the size of your bonus depends on doing business with a political entity that is every bit as evil and murderous as the Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.

I mean, do you guys have to drink a lot or take a lot of drugs to numb your brain enough so that you don't dwell on the knowledge that your business partners force parents to abort their children in order to limit themselves to just one? Or, even worse, do you go through life perfectly happy to get your money by partnering with these people? When you go to church on Sunday, do you pray for forgiveness for putting money in the pockets of a government that kills Christians, Buddhists and members of other faiths?

I know I wouldn't be able to live with myself, but hey, that's just me. So what the hell, enjoy your lunch.

Cross posted to Peoria Pundit.


JB Powers 10:57 AM  

I will hazard a guess that the vast majority of CAT sales in China go towards capitalistic enterprise, that would generally be favored by the vast majority in the United States, and in China. Obstructing capitalistic enterprise in China (or Peoria, for that matter) is certainly not going to gain anyone more political freedom.

Condemning legitimate business for conducting legitimate business is a hack left wing reaction that should have died with the Cold War.

Anonymous,  1:40 PM  

I will agree that China's government is not run by nice people, and merely hoping that our doing business with them and sharing our capitalist ways will somehow prompt them to "reform" isn't likely to work. We do need to speak up about things like Tibet, forced abortions, etc. and not just ignore them.
That being said, though, if you're going to condemn Cat for doing business with China then you also have to condemn everyone who has ever shopped at Wal-Mart or other discount stores, or bought virtually any consumer item in the last 20 years or so.
A former business writer and mother of two kids tried an experiment a couple of years ago --going an entire year without buying a single "Made in China" item, just to see if it could be done. The results are contained in her book "A Year Without Made in China." Needless to say, it proved to be much harder than she imagined.

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