Update on China: Unfortunate Personal Anecdote Involving President Hu

I left at 5PM this afternoon to take my daughter to her Tae Kwon Do class near downtown Chicago.  Strangely, there was a police cruiser blocking the entrance to the Kennedy Expressway, the only way to get to downtown Chicago in a reasonable amount of time.  I stopped by his car and asked him what was going on.  He said that the Kennedy was temporarily closed, for an unknown amount of time, while the President of China was ferried from O’Hare Field to downtown.  He said I needed to take an alternate route and suggested I turn onto Pulaski.  I did that.  Pulaski was a parking lot, so we turned around and went home, as there was no way we were going to make it to her class on time using the local streets.  In fact we would have missed more than half the class, as the other 50,000 cars who would have been using the Kennedy were all  now using the same side streets to get wherever they were going.  So my daughter missed her class (she is two belts away from Black Belt and will be one belt away in about two months).

The first question I had to ask myself is why they did not get a helicopter to take Hu downtown.  You know, it is an old invention, maybe the Secret Service or the Chinese had heard of them?  H-e-l-i-c-o-p-t-e-r.  The second question is why they were doing this at the height of rush hour on a weekday.  Apparently our state “planners’ just were not sharp enough to come up with the thought “helicopter” or “maybe we shouldn’t close the Kennedy (I-90) at rush hour”.

This unfortunate event illustrates two disturbing things.  First, our elected leaders hold the peons they govern in such low regard that they think nothing of destroying the plans of a half million people so that they can actually drive the Communist Dictator Meat Sack from the airport to downtown.  Second they plan the transport in the most inconvenient way imaginable with maximum disruption for literally hundreds of thousands of people just trying to go about their ordinary business.  But they think they can plan the health care system for 300,000,000 people?  Whomever was responsible for this ought to be fired immediately, and that probably includes Maobama.

I will be prepared to forgive President Hu if he announces that China will purchase large quantities of US grains, as I am long lots of Corn, Soybeans, Soybean Oil and Wheat.  Barring that, however, I guess I am now firmly in the “screw China” camp.

3 Responses to “Update on China: Unfortunate Personal Anecdote Involving President Hu”

  1. Bob Heeter Says:

    Hey Tom –

    This isn’t China’s fault. This is the U.S. Government’s fault, and it isn’t even a particular political party. I would guess that somewhere in the Executive branch is a clueless imperial transportation authority that chose to use ground transportation for either security reasons or to create a particular political impression… However, the same folks manage to screw life for us peons with air transport as well:

    I had the same kind of experience as you did in 2008 while trying to fly back from Rochester, NY to San Francisco by way of Detroit. President Bush had decided to go to Detroit for a campaign fundraiser (and/or to assess how much of a bailout the automakers would need?). Air traffic into Detroit’s international airport was put on a ground stop, unable to take off, for 2-3 hours. When I finally made it to Detroit my connecting flight was long gone. I had to stay overnight and there was considerable disruption to family plans, my wife’s work schedule, etc.

    I do not understand why we don’t transport the President etc. using the military base network to avoid disrupting the domestic economy (and offending millions of voters!)…

  2. t0mmy berg Says:


    I could not agree more. Someone in the Secret Service (that is funny, how can it be secret if we can reference it freely) probably did the logistics. This is why I also wrote to whitehouse.gov with a complaint fwiw (not much). I would have written the Secret Service directly but their contact page has only phone numbers.

    And frankly I do not wish China any ill will. I am starting to come around to your view though that QE2 might be merely an attempt to really pressure China to revalue the renminbi/yuan by exporting inflation to them as they import our monetary policy through their peg. I am reading the Dollar Crisis by Richard Duncan (http://www.amazon.com/Dollar-Crisis-Consequences-Revised-Updated/dp/0470821701/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1295890347&sr=8-1). In it his main thesis so far appears to be that in an age of fiat currency unhinged from any commodity anchor, ongoing extreme imbalances in trade, measured by the current account typically, can become destabilizing to the economies involved as it leads to asset inflation on both sides through unchecked credit creation. I have some question why Japan stays flat under this view, but it is an interesting read.

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