China’s Grip Tightens. Makes me sad. 

Read this story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40651951

It’s entitled, “Is WhatsApp Being Censored In China?”

I don’t know if it is, and it’s been a couple years since I lived there, but it wouldn’t surprise me. The number of apps, messaging services, and news reports being censored in China has been growing tremendously. 

News that any discussion or mentions of Liu Xiaobo and the darkly shrouded circumstances of his death have been wiped from all media in China too is sad. I love China, but it absolutely is a love-hate relationship because I hate that so much information is being kept from their people. 

Granted, I know the United States keeps a lot of information from its people too. And I know the United States has its share of devious politicians and machinating bureaucrats, but it’s certainly not so blatant. 

I often wonder which is worse: the Chinese government censoring everything and everyone knows it, or the Western governments hiding things from us, but without most people knowing–because of course much is kept from us. Food for thought–because in China, since everything political is censored and free speech doesn’t exist, it means no one ever really has political discussions, so no friendships are lost and rarely do tempers flare over such issues.  So there is a plus side–sort of. 

But truky, the most chilling part of that article I just posted is that apparently China is starting to blocks the VPNs themselves. And worse, is starting to censor the content of private messsages. For the first time, I learned that WeChat (which I use to communicate with all my many friends in China) is unencrypted.  Intuitively, I guess I always knew that, because I knew the Chinese government was always watching us, but I don’t think it hit me as forcefully as it did just today. They are reading all of our messages–and that’s disturbing. 

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Hey liberals: stop whining already.

 

by Dr. Monroe Mann, PhD, Esq, MBA, ME, LLM, EMT

All I see these post-Trump-victory days are whining journalists, crying celebrities, and general malaise among the liberals in the USA.  It’s coming to a head today, on the day of Trump’s inauguration.

I’m hearing calls for boycotts.  Demands that the judges step in and declare the election a fraud.  Heck, Rosie O’Donnell is even clamoring for martial law.  And of course, the rampant screams that Trump is a fascist or Hitler continue unabated.

It all needs to stop.

POINT 1: THE RUSSIANS.  
Sure, maybe it’s true that the Russians may have interfered in our election via hacking, but that doesn’t mean the election process itself was tampered with—what hurt Hillary is that the information about Hillary was damaging to her, and the people didn’t want to vote her in.  It was the information that hurt Clinton; not anything Trump did.  Sure, of course, if it can be proven that Trump’s team and Russia colluded, then in that case, there would be cause for concern.  But there is no such proof at this point, and there probably never will be.  Get over it.
POINT 2: DANGER TO OUR COUNTRY.  

Hmm, this is curious.  Why are liberals’ fears that Trump is going to be a danger to our nation any stronger than how all of us Republicans felt when Obama took office?  I was horrified that Obama won–not one, but two terms–and yet, wow, amazing: the republic still stands.  Trump is not going to destroy the nation anymore than Obama did.  The republicans had to suffer for eight years, and suddenly, now that the democrats have to suffer, they are whining and crying that it’s all unfair.  I didn’t call for a boycott of Obama.  I didn’t declare him illegitimate.  No, I accepted it.  And let me tell you: to me, these last eight years have been horrible for our country, setting us back decades.  If we were able to survive eight years of Obama, you’ll survive four (or more likely, eight) years of Trump.  Grow up, and deal with it.

POINT 3: HOLLYWOOD TOLERANCE.
Hollywood stars think they are so important and influential.  Guess what: you’re not.  If you were, Hillary would have won.  But she didn’t, and once and for all, the evidence is now irrefutable: no one cares what you think.  Nonetheless, Hollywood movie stars are still role models to millions of young children and young adults.  To that end, they have a duty to be that role model.    Maybe not an all-encompassing duty, but definitely some some sort of duty.  And Republican or Democrat (or communist!), they all have a duty to actually be that embodiment of tolerance that so many actively preach.  Tolerance doesn’t mean you accept everyone and all behavior: there can be no tolerance for cold-blooded murder.  But it does mean you learn to be civil in the face of opposing viewpoints.  The sad fact is that most of these Hollywood types proclaiming “TOLERANCE!” are the most intolerant people I know, and it run from the highest echelons of show biz down to the most grungy of improv, standup, and acting schools in New York and LA.  It’s for this reason that I have started The Hollywood Tolerance Project, a soon-to-be-launched 501(c)(3) not for profit that will find its home at http://www.hollywoodtolerance.org.  Bottom line: if you preach tolerance, you should practice it.  During the election, I lost many good friends because I was not tolerant of their views.  I realize that I was just as intolerant as the movie stars and little acting schools I am calling out today.  No one should ever feel they will be shunned in Hollywood due to their views, and the fact that so many musicians are scared to perform at Trump’s inauguration is two-fold concerning: it shows how cowardly these artists are, that they are allowing themselves to be bullied, and further, it shows how intolerant Hollywood actually is: if you say what we like, you have freedom of speech and can work in all productions; if you say what we don’t like, your 1st amendment freedoms are removed, and you will be blacklisted.  Sounds like Hollywood is run by a really great group of wonderful people, truly welcoming all races, religions, sexes, and creedos!  Wow, what a great bunch!  Not.  It needs to change, and I’m going to lead that charge through the Hollywood Tolerance Project.
POINT 4: WE DON’T LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY
This point seems to fall on deaf ears of many people: we live in a republic; a representative democracy.  Many people seem to think that we have a democracy, and that just because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, she should be president.  Have these people ever read the Federalist Papers?  There’s one about the tyranny of the majority.  That is precisely what Madison and his patriots wanted to avoid.  It seems counterintuitive: tyranny of the majority?  How can that be?  If it’s the majority, how can it be tyrannical?  Answer: population distribution.  We do not have one federal state.  We have 50 states, each with their own elected governors.  States’ right is the bedrock on which this country was formed.  Let me share something with you: we do have a popular vote system.  Whoever wins the most states, i.e. electoral votes, wins!  If we had a straight-up national popular vote, guess which two states would influence nearly every election?  New York and California.  Why should the urban population of just two states of out of 50 determine the course of our country?  Answer: it shouldn’t.  Iowa is important too.  And Florida.  And Colorado.  If we had a popular vote system, the candidates would campaign far differently.  They would focus nearly all their efforts, and all of their campaign messages on… New York and California and maybe Texas.  Who cares about Kansas, Kentucky, and Maine!   So frankly, I don’t care who got the national popular vote.  Our system of choosing presidents has worked for over two hundred years, and it’s still working.  As it is supposed to.  The electoral college system prevented the tyrannical will of New York and California from wholly dictating the results of the election.  Thanks be to the founders of our nation for creating a system that does just that, whether the candidate is Democrat or Republican.
So bottom line people: Grow up.  Move on.  Donald J. Trump is now the president of the United States.  Deal with it.

Oh, and one more thing: don’t get your hopes up.  While I can’t predict the future, I have a solid feeling he is not going to get impeached.  Sorry.

-Monroe