The Christian Science Monitor carried part one of a story about the Chinese far west. This is the area north of Tibet, east of Kazakhstan, and west of Mongolia. In 1949 the area was 90% Uighur. Now it is half Chinese. This is the sort of internal migration the Russians encouraged in the Baltic countries to essentially ethnically cleanse an area by populating it with the favored majority. However, where the Balts had only access to the sea (with NATO at the mouth of the sea), the Uighurs have oil, zinc, gold, and other natural resources.
It will be interesting to see what happens going forward. The Chinese have issues in Tibet which are well documented, but really the entire Chinese west is ethnically problematic for the Middle Kingdom. Watching them try to assimilate Turkic Muslims into the Chinese state could be as difficult as assimilating Tibetan Buddhists.
I THOUGHT THE KIWIS LOVED BLACKS…
New Zealand is a country that can seem mighty smug. They have strong nuclear views that can be problematic for their military alliance with the United States and Australia, and they can be very preachy when it comes to their decision to open their economy in a decade ago. They also cop entirely too much attitude when mistaken for Australians when traveling abroad. Thus, a BBC report on a statement by a respected radio announcer has caused the country to back peddle.
Paul Holmes said on the air, "That Kofi Annan, I've got to say to you, has been a very cheeky darkie overnight. He's been a very cheeky darkie. It's all very well giving a darkie that secretary-general job but we'll only take so much. I'm sorry, we will only take so much. We're not going to be told how to live our lives by a Ghanaian."
Now, in the United States such a statement by a public figure would have involved an apology, a lost job, a few Ted Koppel moments to discuss "what it all means," and no more. In New Zealand, the PRIME MINISTER sought to distance the COUNTRY from the comments. Wow.
NEVER TRUST A CANADIAN
The Ottawa (Ontario) (Canada) Citizen is reporting a number of interesting facts about the wiley Canadians. First, 43% of Canadians have admitted to faking an orgasm. This is very high, according the worldwide survey reported in the story. Second, 12% of Canadians (again, higher than the worldwide average) have slept with a best friend's spouse. Third, six percent of Canadians (double the worldwide average) have had sex with the boss.
So, what we have learned this month is that Canadian's can't grow weed, and are devious rats in the sack. What a combination.
MSNBC inexplicably has tapped a New Yorker to write about the current Sammy Sosa saga in Chicago. So far this September, Sammy has been terrible. He hit a home run yesterday, and one tonight, but he has really been stinking up the joint. In fact, his whole year has been subpar. Thus, when Sammy looks for a new contract for the next four years at $70 million (averaging $17.5 million per annum), people look askance at him. This is especially true with Kerry Wood's contract coming up, and Sammy guaranteed $33 million for the next two years already.
It is in this context that this moron from New York writes scintillating prose, such as, "if the Tribune Company, which isn’t exactly cash-strapped, decides to get penny-conscious over Sosa’s contact, it would throw away its most identifiable and popular asset, and it’s hard to imagine who can both replace him and make the team better," and "this is what Cubs management has to impress upon him once the season ends, that he is the team and the team is he and it is for both of them to forge a new beginning." Good grief.
Finally, this idiot makes his true colors known, when he says, "there’s an owner of a pretty good team in the Bronx who might not mind taking a chance on those four seasons for the privilege of seeing Sosa playing right field and wearing pinstripes instead of a committee of guys named Sierra, Rivera and Garcia."
I'm not sure what makes me angrier about this. First, the concept that a single player "is the team" in baseball is ridiculous. Second, anyone who has spent this year following the Cubs knows that Kerry Wood has his partisans, as does Sammy. However, Mark Prior is the future. If Sammy went the Yankees, he would be vilified as a greedy, bat-corking rat. Right now Mark Prior is the man. Finally, the great threat from every free agent is that they will go to the Yankees and get paid mad cash. I hereby predict that if the Yankees do not win the World Series this year, George Steinbrenner will actually start demanding a little sense in his payroll. This is especially true if the lowly Twins beat the high-paid Yankees.