In an article on political changes in China in today's (September 16, 2004) edition of a German on-line newspaper (junge Welt), the author concluded with the following:

According to membership statistics released on the 83rd anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on July 1, 2004, as of February 2003, the CPC has 68,232,000 members. Of these, 18.1 percent are women and 15,297,000 are under the age of 35. In the previous year, 16 million people applied for membership in the party and of these only 1.29 million were accepted. Almost one quarter of today's membership joined after 1992 and over one million were members before 1949.

If the US elites went berserk over 50,000 members in the CPUSA in the 1940's, I wonder how they maintain their mental stability in the face of the CPC's numbers? Or is the category Terrorist now an all inclusive one which includes anarchists, Yasser Arafat, Grand Ayatollah's, communists, al-Fatah, Kim Jong Il, mau mau, letter bombers, mailers of white powder, Osama bin Laden, Moqtada al-Sadr, the Mahdi army, PFLP, unabombers, Musab al_Zarqawi, and assorted kooks and nuts? If so, then the enemies have sprung up like mushrooms after a spring rain.

If they've become dense enough, it might be time to drop the discrete model and go over to a spectrum representation. The leaders could then speak of "full spectrum defense" and, in the quadrennial democracy pageants, they could accuse each other of "defense spectrum gaps" which threaten an ultraviolet catastrophe (a huge proliferation of Swiss Army knives in the hands of leather-jacketed teenagers with mohawk haircuts).

The dangers and the opportunities are endless.

September 16, 2004