Ukraine War, Russian Oil, and Made In China

Does it bother anyone else that we will be building a robot with parts made in China while China is purchasing Russian Oil and Russia is at war in Ukraine?

You can choose not to if you’d like.

Edit: looks like the team in your signature hasn’t registered since 2011, so I’m not sure you have to worry about this.

Otherwise if you want to have a motor manufactured in the US to make legal for FRC, go for it.


If you are worried about the behavior of the Chinese Government, this should be the least of your worries.


Are you suggesting that the season be cancelled in protest?


I mean, yeah it bothers me. But it also bothers me that my taxes support not only a terribly racist police state but also the largest war machine in the world–one that has enthusiastically been used to bomb the ever-loving crap out of non-white people pretty much everywhere for longer than I’ve been alive, and many of the financial beneficiaries of this rampant military jingoism support FIRST directly.

Welcome to life. It’s complicated and there are no good answers. Squeeze what good you can out of it before ya die.


Does it bother anyone else that we will be filling our cars with fuel refined in India that was produced using Russian crude* while Russia is at war with Ukraine?

*Allegedly, almost certainly


I’ll think about this while I watch a movie made by a company that has Saudi Arabia money funded into it. Ya know, Disney.

Point is, you can’t escape it.


Why was this post flagged?

Answer: no. Commerce between the US and China is generally a good thing and has a tendency to lead to better relations, not worse. The US does need to be careful about dependency (see the CHIPS Act, for example), but, realistically, so does China.

The bigger question is how much supply-chain disruptions will affect our ability to actually get those goods.


It’s a pretty clear troll post - this person has barely posted since 2020 and randomly brought up a controversial topic on a forum infamous for its flame wars. If it were more fleshed out, I could see a productive discussion about our reliance on materials from questionable sources emerging, but as it stands, I don’t think this post was intended to do much but cause a problem.


Preparing to read posts.


Quoting from a letter to the editor of NY Times in 1988:

Unfortunately, there is little evidence to support the notion that economic interdependence helps prevent war. In 1914, Germany ended up going to war with its two largest trading partners, Britain and Russia.

The same pattern was evident before World War II. In the inter-war period, Germany had been by far the largest trading partner of the Soviet Union, but that did not stop the two countries from going to war.

The US was also the main trading partner of Japan prior to Pearl Harbor. However, as this article points out, the US cutting off trade of major war raw materials with Japan in July 1940 and the later freezing of assets and cutoff of oil in 1941 was definitely one cause for Japan’s attack / declaration of war.

So perhaps the message is broader trade relations are good… until they go downhill, at which point things can get very dangerous very quickly.

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The unfortunate thing about “the system” is that only the bad stuff gets publicity. Although yes, your taxes do go to supporting the military of a global superpower, and yes your taxes go to supporting local law enforcement; most of them go to public service funding like social security/welfare/healthcare support. As bad as things can get, it’s not like that most of the time. A lot of military spending goes into researching new technologies, most of them being more defensive or protective for soldiers (look up Israel’s Iron Dome project). Yes, some amount of what you spend goes into armaments and munitions, but a good deal are advances in armor/defenses. Same goes with law enforcement spending (most of it goes to officer’s spending and gas money).

I’m not saying the system is perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Every person has their flaws, and every organization has people in it so there are just going to be flaws in the system. I’m not at all condoning unfair military or law enforcement actions. It’s horrible what happened in WWII, it’s horrible when any people are unjustly arrested/killed because of their ancestry. It’s horrible what’s happening now in Ukraine, or the middle east, or any other violent conflicts going on in the world.

The sad truth that we need to realize is sometimes some things are unavoidable. It’s sad that America has to maintain one of the largest militaries in the world, and it’s sad that we’ve had to maintain a nuclear arsenal. Unfortunately, if we just stopped maintaining our military or law enforcement, what is already bad would be much worse. If America cut military spending, we wouldn’t be able to maintain our national security nearly as well. If a foreign power decided to invade, we wouldn’t be able to do much about it. If you cut law enforcement spending, there isn’t anyone to stop criminals from doing terrible things. There are certainly times where law enforcement took the wrong actions and unjustly used force against people due to preconceptions from racial stereotypes. However, most of the time law enforcement does more good than harm.

It makes me so sad that the current state of our country/world demands that we be the way we are. In a perfect world we wouldn’t need to maintain such a large military or law enforcement system. In a perfect world we wouldn’t need to have these debates about where we import goods from due to international conflicts.

However, you are right. A lot of things suck right now, but a lot of things don’t suck, too. How about we focus on enjoying those. Yes, our robots may be distantly related to global conflict, but that doesn’t mean they have to be used that way. Instead why don’t we make cool machines that teach kids how to problem solve instead?

[citation needed]

[citation needed]

[citation extremely needed]


I liked this one personally:


Oh honey… we are, except the problems we want to solve are a lot bigger than a 54ft x 26ft patch of discontinued carpet.


I hope no one that profits off of global conflict is funding our robots in order to recruit potential employees or else we’d have to reflect on ourselves


Well, ok. Other people have other opinions. But, in general, things that increase the cost of war should decrease the likelihood of war – I don’t think that’s at all controversial. Doesn’t mean that war won’t happen anyway.

With regard to using products sourced from China on robots… I’m not really going to pay attention to complaints about that from people who haven’t stopped using products sourced from China in their daily lives. A bit disingenuous to complain about the source of the electronics in your FRC robot when the electronics in your refrigerator came from the same place.


You can’t blame individuals for taking actions they can’t reasonably avoid.


1: If we stop advancing technology, that doesn’t mean other countries won’t. People-wise, our military isn’t even the biggest (don’t get me wrong, it’s still huge). Ours is the strongest because of how much we put into researching new technologies. If we can’t maintain the edge, we lose the power that we have. Also, have you ever heard of the military acronym MAD? Our size and power is why other countries don’t invade.

2: This ties into no.1. If we don’t maintain our level of power, someone else will be the strongest. Most people will agree that strength goes a long way in any sort of conflict (not just military conflict)

3: You are forgetting every stopped robbery, every drunk/buzzed/reckless driver being pulled over, every drug bust, every traffic controller, and much much more. You only hear about the bad stuff because that’s what gets more publicity and ergo makes more money.

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I’m not sure an iphone is an example of something somebody can’t reasonably avoid. But, I agree with your point. In any case, though, I don’t have an issue with Chinese-made parts --nothing in FRC is so novel that the Chinese shouldn’t have their hands on it. (Oh, crap, they learned how to make CAN-based motor controllers! The world is doomed!)

The world is doomed

yup goodbye everyone