Red Rain

“Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”

They say pride goeth before a fall. I certainly hope that’s true, because if ever there was a nation on the face of the earth that needed a significant amount of humbling, it’s the incredibly arrogant, prideful Communist Chinese.

Over the past few months, product after product after product after product from China has been recalled as we find more and more and more hazards. Pet foods that kill pets. Baby toys that turn into date rape drugs. Toothpaste made with toxic antifreeze.

And most of it swathed in enough lead paint to turn half of America into… well, Kennedys.

Now, common sense says when you screw up this badly, this frequently, you apologize your ass off and do everything you can to re-ingratiate yourself with the customers you’ve so thoroughly endangered and alienated.

But “common sense” only comes near to Communism in the dictionary. In the real world, they’re far apart.

Rather than trying to win back consumer confidence, the Communist Chinese are instead trying to assert their position of strength and cow the United States. And they’re doing it by insulting the United States Navy.

In the last week or so, they’ve deliberately and maliciously gone after the Navy in two incidents that show just how petty the Communist tyrants of Bejing can be. First, the USS Kitty Hawk was scheduled to spend Thanksgiving in Hong Kong. (That’s the former British colony that should NEVER have been returned to the Communist Chinese — the Brits should have either kept it, or turned it over to the Republic of China, also known as Taiwan.) The sailors’ families even flew in to see their loved ones.

Well, the Chinese decided to screw over the men and women of the Kitty Hawk’s battle group. At the last minute, they rescinded permission for the ships to dock. The disappointed families then left Hong Kong. Then the Chinese changed their minds again, saying the ships could dock after all, but that ship had sailed (if you’ll pardon the pun) and the Kitty Hawk’s battle group was already well on its way back to Japan.

And it isn’t just courtesy that the Chinese are pissing all over. You know the saying “any port in a storm?” It’s one of the unwritten laws of the seas. There are a lot of such unwritten laws, all reflecting the simple fact that the sea is infinitely more powerful than man, and it can kill you far more quickly than man can. When a bad storm is brewing, all ports are morally required to accept ships seeking shelter. Unless, of course, the ship’s nation and the port’s nation are at war or something. They don’t have to like each other, or even have anything to do with each other, but it’s been tradition that ships fleeing storms can take shelter in ports until the storm passes.

Well, last week two United States Navy minesweepers found themselves in the path of a pretty nasty storm, and were a bit low on fuel for their taste. So they headed for Hong Kong to ride out the storm and top off their tanks. Nothing too exceptional, too exciting, too out of the ordinary.

Well, the Chinese decided that they weren’t really bound by the ancient traditions of the sea, and they told the two minesweepers to screw. Anchors aweigh, swabbies — ride it out on your own.

The reason for China’s petty sniping at our fleet is we’ve had the temerity to make friends with people the Chinese feel they own. We gave a high honor to the Dalai Lama (spiritual leader of Tibet, which the Chinese brutally occupy) and we treat Taiwan as the honored and reliable friend and ally they have proven themselves time and again. To the Chinese, to even hint that Tibet and Taiwan are not (and have not always been) parts of China is the highest insult they can imagine.

Well, speaking as one American with a considerable amount of respect and affection and admiration for the Navy, I don’t like how they’re treating our sailors one goddamned bit. And I think it’s high time we repaid the back of their hand they’re showing us in a way they might understand — in their wallets.

China has proven that it simply can not meet fundamental safety standards for products. They have forfeited any right to ask for our trust. We need to crank up the HELL out of product screening and testing before we let them pass through our ports.

That is going to be expensive as hell. But it’s not our fault that China can’t “get the lead out,” if you’ll pardon the pun, it’s theirs. They promised us their products would meet our standards, and they’ve failed miserably. I suggest a tax on all goods from China, with the proceeds going towards hiring, training, and employing product-safety experts to make damned certain we don’t let any more dangerous Chinese goods into the US markets.

And if the Chinese complain…

Good.

That’s just how the fortune cookie crumbles.

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