China never fails to appall. The spectacle of the Chinese bullying countries into skipping the Nobel ceremony, never mind allowing Liu Xiaobo to pick up his Peace Prize, seems so distant. I only bring it up again to remind you that the Chinese decided one of the best ways to fight the Liu Xiaobo controversy was by creating their own separate peace prize, the Confucius Peace Prize. They didn’t do a bang-up job of stage managing the whole thing, given that the first “recipient” wasn’t informed of his win and didn’t show up to get the prize. Here’s hoping it ages as well as the Stalin Peace Prize did.
In other news, the Mongolian cultural advocate and dissident Hada was released from prison and seemed to have disappeared. Hada had just completed his 15-year sentence for organizing a rally in Inner Mongolia. Luckily, he was later discovered held under house arrest at a hotel in Inner Mongolia. At least he is not dead or in a prison camp again, but the idea that house arrest is a sufficient amount of freedom after serving 15 years just for organizing some people is crazy.
More news came in from another one of the outlying, ethnically non-Han provinces, Xinjiang province, home to the Muslim Uyghurs. There, the Chinese still have not accounted for the whereabouts of 20 Uyghur refugee claimants who were deported to China from Cambodia last year. I do not mean to say that all of the Uyghurs are saints, because some of them are in fact nationalists, terrorists, and/or religious fanatics. But the reality is that the Beijing government has committed far more crimes against the people of Xinjiang than they could ever even dream of committing in response.
Enjoy abusing the dissidents for now, Chinese politicos. I don’t like violence, but I will not shed a tear some day when all of you end up blindfolded against a wall for the crimes you have committed in your country.
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Posted in International politics, tagged Charter 08, Christians, dissidents, Falun Gong, Hu Jintao, I.M. Skaugen SE, Liu Xiaobo, Mao, Morits Skaugen, Nicolae Ceausescu, Nobel Peace Prize, Tibet, Uyghurs, Wen Jiabao, Xinjiang on 10/20/2010|
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Remember when China lost their heads over dissident Liu Xiaobo winning the Nobel Peace Prize? The mess remains in progress. His wife, supposedly given the chance to visit him and give him the news of his win, is now under arrest, too.
Then there’s nice, friendly People’s Daily Online, the cute little English-language mouthpiece of the regime. Look at how liberal China is being, they are even letting them write about Liu winning the Prize! Oh wait, they are just writing propaganda pieces that recycle vile commentary from the same bunch of Western useful idiots and reactionary Muslims. One of these useful idiots is especially worthy of our opprobrium:
Meanwhile, Morits Skaugen, chief executive officer of the Norwegian marine transportation service company I.M. Skaugen SE, published an article in the Norwegian-language newspaper Aftenposten on Tuesday, saying that it is China that should get the Nobel Peace Prize.
“Development in China is probably the greatest economic experiment we have seen ever,” Skaugen wrote.
My nostrils are flaring. How do you sleep at night, Morits Skaugen? Do you hear the screams of the 65 million innocents Mao butchered? Do you feel the blood of the Tibetans and the Uyghurs and Falun Gong and the Christians and the dissidents and everyone else brutalized by this regime on your hands? Maybe you would like to try a taste of the Cultural Revolution or the Great Leap Forward. How much I would love to see you live happily ever after in peaceful old late communist China. How much I would like to see you locked up without any rights in a black jail. Some day you will look back on this statement and wish you could have sewn your own mouth shut. You are an awful human.
Do your part to spit in the face of the murderous Chinese regime–read the Charter 08 document (H/T: Tyler Cowen) that put Liu Xiaobo in jail. For people used to living in freedom, it might not read as very interesting. There’s even some rather wishy-washy junk about social democracy that I have no use for. But the point is, people were willing to risk their lives and freedom for this document. It deserves to be read. It deserves to be shared. This regime deserves to be brought to its knees and the murderers who run it Ceausescu’d.
Your time is coming, Wen Jiabao and Hu Jintao. Enjoy crushing the people for now. They will crush you in due time.
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Posted in Miscellany, tagged ADA, Bill Kristol, Bill vander Zalm, British Columbia, Cleveland, criminal justice, cruising, DeFarra Gaymon, dissidents, DUI, Edward Esposito, garbage, Georgiy Gongadze, Guantanamo Bay, Hamid Karzai, Hippocratic Oath, HST, Ilham Tohti, Innocence Project, ISI, Jeffrey Goldberg, Khimki Forest, Lev Ponomaryov, Mullah Baradar, Nashi, national parks, Newark, Omar Khadr, police state, porn, protect your own, Pushkin Square, Rand Paul, recycling, San Francisco, Saudi Arabia, Taliban, Tibet, torture, Ukraine, Uyghur, Wikipedia, Xinjiang, Zionist on 08/23/2010|
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- Via Andrew Sullivan, Slate: interviewing the co-founder of the Innocence Project. These guys are heroes. They’ve freed 258 wrongfully convicted people from the horrors of our criminal justice system since 1992. How many convicts out there are in jail on rape or murder charges because they were too poor to afford a good lawyer? How long until we execute one of them by mistake? Let’s not find out and get rid of the absolute wrong that is the death penalty before then.
- The Globe & Mail: Omar Khadr’s military judge rules that Khadr, the man taken kept locked up at Guantanamo Bay since he was 15 in 2002, was neither tortured nor coerced into statements. Because threatening a teenager with stories of another inmate gang-raped to death is not coercing him into making the sort of statements his captors would want to hear. Clearly.
- NYT: profiling Defarra Gaymon, a likely-closeted gay business executive, and the plainclothes, entrapment-specialist cop who killed him in a New Jersey park. As the story points out at the end, the violent death of Gaymon at the hands of Officer Edward Esposito has done what years of police stings in the woods could not do and keep gay cruisers out of the park. You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet, right? What’s one dead husband and father if it puts an end to consenting adults having sex in the woods?
- LewRockwell.com blog: drunk cop kills and injures people on his motorcycle, but won’t face DUI charges because, rather than letting a certified medical pro do it, the cops who arrived on the scene took his blood sample, meaning the test results will are inadmissible in court. That’s called protecting your own. Remember, it’s their country, we just live in it.
- Via Brian Doherty at Reason, SF Weekly: a vile lawyer and his disabled accomplice team up to shake down San Francisco-area businesses for ADA violations. ADA is a horrible violation of property rights to begin with, but to see this lawyer who is ten steps of dignity below an ambulance chaser essentially wheeling his buddy around just to get away with this kind of scam is sickening.
- Moscow Times: Russian opposition activists and rock musicians ignore city threats and organize a 3k-strong rally against the destruction of a forest. In what must have been a complete coincidence, the pro-Kremlin nationalist youth group Nashi showed up at the rally and tried to peel protesters away. The most disappointing news in all of it is that famous dissident Lev Ponomaryov was detained before he could reach the rally.
- NYT: Saudi judge asks local hospitals if they would be able to intentionally damage the spine of a man found guilty of paralyzing another man in a fight. Luckily, no hospitals have bitten so far; to do would constitute a direct violation of the Hippocratic Oath. But what sort of interpreter of law in a modern society could go to sleep at night thinking this punishment would be just?
- Glenn Greenwald: Greenwald catches war-baiting, Iran-hating “serious pundit” Jeffrey Goldberg lying about him on NPR and documents his subsequent exchanges with the deceptive Goldberg. Goldberg is an even more repellent war-lover than Bill Kristol because Bill Kristol does not appear on NPR or in the pages of the Atlantic Monthly. People call Kristol crazy, but they call Goldberg a sage. Don’t let this sage stooge trick us into another war.
- The Globe & Mail: British Columbia’s anti-HST petitioners win their first challenge and with it the right to take their petition to the legislature. I have little affection for populism, but it has been nice to see this ad hoc coalition of people rise up against a tax sprung on them without their consent. Almost any time we are treated to the sight of bureaucratic class hacks left confused by citizens’ rejection of their omniscient, omnipotent public policy master plan is a good time.
- Nick Gillespie at Reason: Kentucky newspapers discover that one of Rand Paul’s campaign contributors is a porn entrepreneur, leading Rand Paul to issue a lame statement about how much he hates pornography. For shame, Rand Paul. Freedom means freedom for the adult baby fetishists and porn stars, too. Rand Paul should be proud to accept this woman’s donation.
- Via Nick Gillespie at Reason, The Plain Dealer: Cleveland institutes program to inspect garbage for recyclable products and fine violators. Seriously? I’ve been aggressive about recycling since I was a kid, but this is absurd. People pay for curbside collection. They don’t pay for the right to get their trash searched and maybe incur fines. So whilst we should shame the non-recyclers into complying, we should also agree that fines are absurd.
- NYT: inside Zionist Wikipedia activist-editors conventions in Israel. What sort of tone-deaf fool came up with the idea of organizing conventions to tell people how to edit articles with a Zionist slant? Did that guy not realize how much fuel this would add to the fires of all the anti-Semites and Israel-haters out there? What an idiotic decision.
- Moscow Times: Ukrainian police search for a missing anti-corruption reporter. This comes less than a decade after the infamous and awful murder of another Ukrainian opposition journalist, Georgiy Gongadze. It’s moments like this that make me realize how lucky I am to be typing on a blog with impunity instead of having to worry about words that might get me killed. Keep all of the journalists who risk their lives and livelihoods for transparency and truth in your mind.
- NYT: profiling Ilham Tohti, a Uyghur dissident teaching in Beijing. Westerners love to talk about Tibet and Chinese brutalities there, whilst conveniently forgetting about Xinjiang and its Uyghurs. The struggle is one and the same. Both ethnic groups are kept firmly under the Han jackboot and see a concerted campaign to crowd out their unique cultures waged against them by Han in-migration. My only concern with this story is Tohti may well be a sort of regime-approved Yevtushenko-type dissident if he is able to teach and advocate openly in Beijing, whilst the most important Uyghurs dissidents are abroad or in jail.
- Moscow Times: Russian health chief wants to ban alcohol advertising. Yes, violating fundamental rights is clearly the best way to solve an intractable cultural problem that has plagued Russia for hundreds of years. Even if it was the best way, this loser would still be calling for the state to use force against private companies.
- Der Spiegel: an inside look at the major actors and process behind the $5000/victim compensation agreement worked out between the Bundeswehr and the families of Afghans killed or injured in a bomb strike it ordered. The officer responsible has been found guilty of no misconduct. Afghan lives apparently go for $5000/pop. What a mess of a situation, and a mess of a situation that would have never happened had we not been in Afghanistan.
- NYT: Pakistanis admit to capturing Taliban Mullah Baradar last year in attempt to derail peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government…because they didn’t involve Pakistan. I have no idea why they would admit to this charge–it’s basically an admission that they screwed over ISAF and the Afghan government for the sake of their own self-interest. Do we really want to be in a war in which American soldiers are dying for Karzai the Corrupt and the Pakistani intelligence service?
- NYT: idiotic nature-dilettantes with a blind faith in technology are putting themselves at risk and taxpayers on the hook with ill-considered rescue requests. The most egregious case mentioned in the story is a group of hikers in the Grand Canyon who used a GPS beacon to call in helicopters three times–once because there was not enough water, again because they feared the water was salty and the last time…well, all that matters is the rangers took them out for good that time. Nature is serious business. Don’t think that because you watch a tv show you can go hike in the Yellowstone backcountry and count on your cellphone to save you. Especially not when it costs $3500/hour to put a helicopter in the air to save your butt.
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Posted in International news, tagged China, Chinese Communist Party, Chinese dissidents, civil liberties, free speech, human rights, Irwin Schiff, Soviet dissidents, Xinjiang, Xue Feng, Yu Jie on 07/07/2010|
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Coming on the heels of yesterday’s coverage of the imprisonment of Xue Feng and the bad situation in Xinjiang, NYT reports:
BEIJING — A best-selling Chinese author and democracy advocate detained by security agents on Monday said Tuesday that the agents threatened to imprison him if he proceeded with plans to publish a book criticizing Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister.
The author, Yu Jie, said in a telephone interview that he still intended to publish the book, titled “China’s Best Actor: Wen Jiabao,” by autumn. Because his books are banned in mainland China, Mr. Yu said, he is negotiating with a Hong Kong publisher.
Going to prison for publishing a book. Yeesh. At least we know what we can look forward to if Tom Friedman gets his “China for a day” wish to come true in the U.S. In fact, we’re already part of the way there with the federal government prohibiting imprisoned tax protester Irwin Schiff from selling his (admittedly loony) anti-tax book.
I love Yu Jie’s response:
Mr. Yu, who was released Monday after the interrogation, said that he was uncertain whether the agents’ threat was serious, but that he willing to go to prison for his principles.
“As a writer, I consider freedom of speech an essential part of my life,” he said. “Without it I will be a walking corpse, with no meaning and no value.”
If you don’t think the Soviet dissidents had anything to do with the fall of the USSR, then maybe that rhetoric is lost on you. For me, I believe they played an invaluable role in destroying the moral credibility of that regime and I hope Yu Jie and others like him can do the same in China.
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Posted in International news, tagged assimilation, bilingualism, Han, July 5 riots, Kashgar, Kazakh, Mandarin, Turkestan, Urumqi, Uyghur, Xinjiang on 07/05/2010|
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There was precious little media coverage of China’s largest and westernmost province, Xinjiang, one year to the day of riots in its capital city, Urumqi. One of the few outlets in the West to pay attention at all seemed to be Wikipedia, which made its July 2009 Urumqi riots article the lead article on the front page today. Days like today make me glad that I read The People’s Daily (Chinese Communist Party newspaper) English version online since that paper was brimming with cheery coverage of Uyghur-Han brotherhood in Xinjiang 2010. (more…)
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