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Friday, August 17, 2007

China Syndrome

posted by on August 17 at 15:41 PM

Guess what?

Toys “R” Us said today that it was halting sales of all vinyl bibs after laboratory tests showed evidence that some of the bibs were contaminated with lead….

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that tests this summer financed by the Center for Environmental Health of Oakland, Calif., found lead as high as three times the level allowed in paint in several styles of the bibs purchased from both Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores in California.

Wait for it… wait for it…

Those bibs were imported from China for Toys “R” Us by Hamco Baby Products.

RSS icon Comments


Is there an anti-China lobby? If so, their PR firm has been doing a bang-up job these past few months.

Posted by Patrick | August 17, 2007 3:58 PM

what about just the past couple of weeks? i've been chained to my desk for 12 hours a day and still read something new about china's recalling of yet another product on the way out of the building practically every day.

Posted by kate | August 17, 2007 4:01 PM

Teaching our children about the true cost of cheap goods. What's wrong with that?

Posted by laterite | August 17, 2007 4:08 PM

Oh, Dan. "Wait for it." Not you, too.

Posted by color me crushed | August 17, 2007 4:34 PM

Aw, color me crushed, what's wrong with waiting?

Posted by Darcy | August 17, 2007 4:38 PM

LOL @ people with kids

Posted by mr.ryan | August 17, 2007 4:46 PM


Posted by brappy | August 17, 2007 5:10 PM

I'll make the same comment I always make to new china threads....


Posted by monkey | August 17, 2007 5:20 PM

China's main exports: diseases, bad drivers, and faulty goods.

Posted by Chris was here | August 17, 2007 7:20 PM

Seriously, yo. Red China's been a menace for years.

Posted by Michigan Matt | August 17, 2007 7:59 PM

@9: You sound like someone who has experience with Chinese cabbies...

Posted by Darcy | August 17, 2007 8:32 PM

Seriously, given the well documented, severe risks of lead paint, why is it manufactured anywhere in the world today?

Posted by Gitai | August 17, 2007 9:12 PM

interesting how some people blame everyone (e.g., consumers who want a deal) except the people who are actually making and selling these lethal products. Look at how China abuses its citizens - appalling - so why should we be surprised that they are selling lethal goods.

Posted by Canadian | August 17, 2007 11:49 PM

Gee, I wonder why the cancer rate is going up?

Posted by Concerned | August 18, 2007 12:02 AM

Lethal products are only acceptable to us when they're limited to people in third-world countries. Once third-world merchandise is exported to the "first world" (to increase first-world profit margins), this becomes clear. The first world prospers at the expense of the third world... and now the first world is starting to suffer as the third world suffers. That's the road Capitalism's taking us down. A perpetually rising deadly tide of effluent. Only an ever-shrinking circle of fatcats at the top will continue to prosper, until the last one falls.

Posted by Donovan | August 18, 2007 3:00 AM

A little lead in your paint is good for ya. Puts hair on your chest. Savvy?

Posted by NJ Matt | August 18, 2007 10:40 AM

Say \"YES\" to War on Iraq
Liberals Against Liberation

By Dan Savage
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\"No to War! No to Oppression!\"

The above anti-war message was delivered to me via a sad-looking pink poster. I pulled the poster off a light pole and hung it in my office over my desk. I look at the poster every day when I sit down to work, and every day I wonder how and when the American left lost its moral compass.

You see, lefties, there are times when saying \"no\" to war means saying \"yes\" to oppression. Don\'t believe me? Go ask a Czech or a European Jew about the British and French saying \"no\" to war with Germany in 1938. War may be bad for children and other living things, but there are times when peace is worse for children and other living things, and this is one of those times. Saying no to war in Iraq means saying yes to the continued oppression of the Iraqi people. It amazes me when I hear lefties argue that we should assassinate Saddam in order to avoid war. If Saddam is assassinated, he will be replaced by another Baathist dictator--and what then for the people of Iraq? More \"peace\"--i.e., more oppression, more executions, more gassings, more terror, more fear.

While the American left is content to see an Iraqi dictator terrorizing the Iraqi people, the Bushies in D.C. are not. \"We do not intend to put American lives at risk to replace one dictator with another,\" Dick Cheney recently told reporters. For those of you who were too busy making papier-mâché puppets of George W. Bush last week to read the papers, you may have missed this page-one statement in last Friday\'s New York Times: \"The White House is developing a detailed plan, modeled on the postwar occupation of Japan, to install an American-led military government in Iraq if the United States topples Saddam Hussein.\"

These developments--a Republican administration recognizing that support for dictators in Third World countries is a losing proposition; a commitment to post-WWII-style nation-building in Iraq--are terrific news for people who care about human rights, freedom, and democracy. They also represent an enormous moral victory for the American left, which has long argued that our support for \"friendly\" dictators around the world was immoral. (Saddam used to be one of those \"friendly\" dictators.) After 9/11, the left argued that our support for brutal dictatorships in the Middle East helped create anti-American hatred. Apparently the Bush administration now agrees--so why isn\'t the American left claiming this victory?

Because claiming this victory means backing this war, and the American left refuses to back this or any war--which makes the left completely irrelevant in any conversation about the advisability or necessity of a particular war. (Pacifism is faith, not politics.) What\'s worse, the left argues that our past support for regimes like Saddam\'s prevents us from doing anything about Saddam now. We supported (and in some cases installed) tyrants, who in turn created despair, which in turn created terrorists, who came over here and blew shit up... so now what do we do? According to the left, we do nothing. It\'s all our fault, so we\'re just going to have to sit back and wait for New York City or D.C. or a big port city (like, say, Seattle or Portland) to disappear.

It seems to me that if supporting tyrants creates terrorists, withdrawing our support from those very same tyrants might help to \"uncreate\" terrorists. Removing the tyrants from power seems an even better way to uncreate terrorists.

But wait! Taking out Saddam means dropping bombs, and dropping bombs only creates more terrorists!

That\'s the lefty argument du jour, and a lot of squish-brains are falling for it, but it\'s not an argument that the historical record supports. The United States dropped a hell of a lot of bombs on Serbia, Panama, Grenada, Vietnam, Germany, Japan, and Italy. If dropping bombs creates terrorists, where are all the German terrorists? Or the Italian terrorists? Or the Vietnamese terrorists?

But wait! Iraq isn\'t in cahoots with al Qaeda, so why attack Iraq in the war on terrorism?

Because we\'re not just at war with al Qaeda, stupid. We\'re at war with a large and growing Islamo-fascist movement that draws its troops and funds from all over the Islamic world. Islamo-fascism is a regional problem, not just an al Qaeda problem or an Afghanistan problem. To stop Islamo-fascism, we\'re going to have to roll back all of the tyrannous and dictatorial regimes in the Middle East while simultaneously waging war against a militant, deadly religious ideology. To be completely honest, I would actually prefer that the United States go to war against the ridiculous royal family in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have been using American money to export their intolerant and deadly strain of Islam all over the world (the kind of Islam that inspires people to blow up discos in Bali), and getting rid of the Saudi royal family and their fascist clerics makes more sense than getting rid of Saddam. But the Saudis are our \"allies,\" so perhaps we can pressure them to reform, as Josh Feit suggests.

In the meantime, invading and rebuilding Iraq will not only free the Iraqi people, it will also make the Saudis aware of the consequences they face if they continue to oppress their own people while exporting terrorism and terrorists. The War on Iraq will make it clear to our friends and enemies in the Middle East (and elsewhere) that we mean business: Free your people, reform your societies, liberalize, and democratize... or we\'re going to come over there, remove you from power, free your people, and reform your societies for ourselves.

Post-9/11, post-Bali, what other choice do we have?

Posted by .... | August 18, 2007 11:00 AM

I like China because they offer a wonderful real world model of a primitive unregulated capitalist society. Of course there is brutal state intervention, but it's not much more ruthless or interventionist than say Pinochet's government in Chile. It's like seeing the Austrian/Chicago School of Economics and market libertarianism realized- if there has ever been an argument against anarcho-capitalism or unregulated markets, it's China.

Posted by Jay | August 18, 2007 1:06 PM

@17, what's your point. I'm fairly sure Savage has admitted numerous times that his position in that article posted in 2002 (!!) was wrong. Are you trying to stir shit up?

Posted by bearseatbeats | August 19, 2007 12:19 PM

I kinda liked the gov't agency response down the page a ways: "Officials from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates children’s products, have said that they would prefer that there be no elevated levels of lead in bibs.
But their own recent tests of baby bibs on the market in the United States found that the lead, when present, was at levels low enough that a child chewing on or rubbing the bib would not get an unhealthy dose.."-

However they don't bother to delineate what the margins of that dose might be... Do you think there's enough lead there to deflect cosmic rays?.. or ward off unwanted police radar? Maybe we should ALL be wearing our bibs... & beanies... ^..^

Posted by herbert browne | August 19, 2007 7:59 PM

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