Free Speech is becoming an Endangered Species in Communist Vietnam

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 1st, 2013

Week in Review

The American left has been critical of free speech that they don’t agree with.  Nancy Pelosi has stated she would like to bring back the Fairness Doctrine (aka the Hush Rush Bill).  Forcing radio stations who carried conservative talk shows like the Rush Limbaugh show to carry equal programming of the opposite viewpoint.  For try as they might liberals have no Rush Limbaugh of their own.  So if they can’t beat them they would like a law to encourage broadcasters to drop these conservative talk shows.  As they probably would if they were forced to carry an equal amount of programming of the opposite viewpoint.  For it would be easier just not to carry controversial programming.

And then there’s net neutrality.  Which is kind of like the Fairness Doctrine for the Internet.  But more complex.  And more murky.  The left likes the idea of enforcing net neutrality.  Especially if they could shut down conservative websites they didn’t like.  For that would make it harder to fund raise.  And you wouldn’t have to use the IRS to illegally impede conservative fundraising.  Like they did with Tea Party groups in the 2012 election.  Getting caught in that was just a pain in the ass for the Democrats.  And they would love to be able to do the same thing without anyone throwing the Rule of Law in their face.

The rollout of Obamacare was not all that great.  And the White House didn’t like what they were hearing in the media.  So they called in their friends in the liberal media.  And said you’re killing us.  Please don’t say these things anymore.  And, instead, say these talking points.  Lie for us.  Just help us get these idiots (the people losing their health insurance because of Obamacare) off of our backs.  It was an ‘off the record’ meeting so we don’t know exactly what they said.  But this was probably the gist.  A return to that recurring theme of theirs.  Trying to censor bad things being said about them.  Using these sneaky ways because they just can’t do this (see Vietnam: Criticize government on social media and go to jail by Dara Kerr posted 11/29/2013 on CNET).

 Vietnam is joining the ranks of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China, as being known as a country that censors its citizens on social media.

The government introduced a new law this week that fines people $4,740 for posting comments critical of the government on social-networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, according to Reuters. Some people could also face extensive prison terms.

While the law is unclear about what kind of speech sparks government censorship, it does say that “propaganda against the state” and “reactionary ideology” would elicit fines.

Vietnam’s communist government has increasingly censored its citizens’ free speech over the past few years. According to Reuters, arrests and convictions for criticizing the government online have skyrocketed the last four years…

In a recent Global Transparency Report, Google said that it has seen an alarming incidence in government requests to gather information on their citizens. Some of the top offending countries in Google’s report include the US, India, and Germany.

You know the Obama administration would love to do this.  You should at least not be surprised if they did.  For they are spying on us.  And collecting information on us.  Using the IRS to silence the opposition.  Lying to us, telling us a YouTube video killed our ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi.  Something they are tired hearing about.  And no doubt envy Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China for being able to do what they want to do but can’t.  Having the power to take away our free speech.

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Vietnamese Coffee Industry suffers because Communist Vietnam puts People before Profits

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 17th, 2013

Week in Review

The American left wants more government intervention into the free market.  Because they hate and don’t trust corporations.  Because they are motivated by profit.  Even putting profits before people.  Whereas government puts people before profits.  So everything is better when government intervenes.  Which is why the left loved Hugo Chávez in Venezuela.  They love Cuba.  They loved the former Soviet Union.  Because they were all socialist utopias.  Where they put people before profits.  Of course, people are robbing women of their hair in Venezuelan streets.  Cubans have risked their lives crossing the ocean to reach Florida on just about anything that floats.  And the Soviet Union is no more.  Because they couldn’t provide for their people.  Despite putting their people before profits.

Another communist country the left likes is Vietnam.  Especially since the communists got the Americans to give up and go home.  Vietnam is still communist.  But like China they add a sprinkling of capitalism to the communist stew.  A sort of state-capitalism.  Capitalism with the heavy hand of the government involved.  The way the American left likes it.  And how are things there?  Well, they are having quite the problem in their coffee industry (see Crippling debts brew a coffee crisis in Vietnam by Nguyen Phuong Linh, Ho Binh Minh and Lewa Pardomuan posted 8/15/2013 on The Globe and Mail).

But its coffee industry is now in crisis, plagued by tax evasion, mismanagement, insolvency, high interest rates and a credit squeeze. Many coffee operators are trapped with crippling debt and banks are reluctant to lend them more money.

Vietnam’s credit crunch is blamed largely on state-owned enterprises that borrowed big during the economic boom of the past decade and squandered cash on failed investments, which has left banks crippled by one of Asia’s highest bad-debt ratios…

Few coffee exporters are willing to talk about their financial problems. In communist Vietnam, people are often reluctant to speak publicly about politics and business, especially to foreign media…

Vietnam’s 2013-2014 coffee crop is forecast to be a bumper harvest, around 17 million to 29.5 million 60-kg bags, based on a Reuters poll. This will add to a global oversupply and pressure coffee prices which have lost about 10 per cent since October…

A government assessment of the coffee industry paints a bleak picture. The value of non-performing loans or debts in the sector likely to go unpaid stands at 8 trillion dong ($379-million), or 60 per cent of all coffee industry loans, said a July circular signed by the Deputy Agriculture Minister Vu Van Tam…

Unscrupulous middlemen have also played a part in the crisis, cheating exporters by selling them weighted coffee bags and inferior beans which are difficult to sell or fetch lower prices.

“What I found out is the market there is quite dirty. Middlemen often sell poor beans to exporters. They even put metal bolts in the bags to outweigh them,” said Joyce Liu, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

You don’t have middlemen putting bolts into bags to make them heavier in free market capitalism.  For any inferior product in a free market doesn’t remain long in a free market.  As people will simply stop buying an inferior product.  And it could take years for a company to rebuild its tarnished image.  If they ever can.  This is what happens when you put profits before people.  People win.

So who caused the credit crunch?  State-owned enterprises.  As people in government are horrible at business.  For if they were good at it they would be in it.  But they’re not so they regulate it.  Or run a state-owned business.  Not because of their business acumen.  But because they had friends in higher places in government than anyone else.

Loans are important in any agricultural business.  Because all of your expenses come long before you can sell anything.  So they take on big debts at the beginning of the season.  That they plan on repaying after the harvest.  As long as prices don’t fall because there is a bumper crop.  But if they do they may not be able to earn enough to repay their bank loans.  Which is why 60% of all coffee industry loans will likely go unpaid.  And why bankers don’t want to loan them any more money.  Or charge a really high interest rate when they do.  For if a banker knows that every other loan he or she writes will never be repaid it makes a banker very reluctant to loan any money.  And what they do loan has to have such high interest rates to cover the loans that are never paid back.

This is why governments should not interfere with free markets.  For when they do they just make everything worse.  Because they’re just not good at it.  Unlike oppressing their people.  That they’re very good at.  Which is why people are “reluctant to speak publicly about politics and business, especially to foreign media.”  Something unheard of in free market economies.  But quite common in these socialist utopias.  Yet the left still favors them over free market capitalism.  Go figure.

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The EU won’t sell their Lethal Drugs for Vietnamese Executions

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 4th, 2012

Week in Review

Capital punishment is a contentious issue.  Some people enthusiastically support it.  While others vehemently oppose it.  While others do both (see Vietnam says it’s unable to execute its criminals because EU refusing to export lethal drugs by Associated Press posted 11/1/2012 on The Washington Post).

Vietnam says it can’t execute its hundreds of death row criminals because the European Union is refusing to export the lethal drugs used in the executions…

Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Huynh Ngoc Son was quoted as saying the EU is trying to pressure Vietnam to give up capital punishment.

The EU doesn’t want Vietnam to execute people.  Presumably for humanitarian reasons.  Yet they make the drugs that states use to execute people.  Which isn’t very humane.  So they are both for and against capital punishment.  Interesting.

After Dien Bien Phu (where the Viet Minh massacred the French) you’d think the French would be all for selling lethal drugs to Vietnam.  While on the other hand, if they harbor no ill will to the current generation for what happened more than a generation ago you’d think they would respect the sovereignty of Vietnam.  Choosing not to interfere in their domestic policies.  And sell these lethal drugs to Vietnam.

They could probably buy these drugs from the United States.  For they use these drugs in capital punishment there.  But perhaps relations haven’t normalized enough yet for that to happen.  America’s involvement in Vietnam was a bitter one.  As they were winning.  Until the college protesters and Walter Cronkite defeated them from within.  Allowing the Vietnamese to turn to a Fabian strategy.  Staying in the war long enough until they made the US grow weary and quit.  Much like the Americans did to the British during the Revolutionary War.  But that was then.  More than a generation ago.  And the Vietnamese and the Americans are normalizing relations.  So they could probably buy these lethal drugs from the United States.  But if they’re talking about making their own drugs it doesn’t look like they’ve gone to the United States.  Or the US already said “no.”

Perhaps it’s just collective guilt with outside involvement in Indochina.  Who knows?  It just seems strange that a manufacturer of lethal drugs refuses to sell what they manufacture.   Which kind of defeats the purpose of making those drugs.

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