Must-read update on Liu Di, “Stainless Steel Rat”

Phillip Pan has proven himself once more to be a worthy successor of the great John Pomfret over at the Washington Post. He’s written a scary and detailed account of Internet essayist and “cyberdissident” Liu Di’s story, and the many bizarreries she encountered within China’s unique “justice system.” (I’ve previously referred to her as the Stainless Steel Mouse, but I’m sure Pan’s “Rat” more accurate.) Absolutely not to be missed by anyone following the repression of online politics.

I’m still marking time until the New Year, when I plan to get back to putting up interesting posts. For now, I’m continuing my holding pattern, giving some links and a bit of commentary. But things are too high-stress right now for long posts. Hopefully right after the new Year I’ll be able to share why that is, and what’s going on in my life.

Update: A good related article. It seems China’s newly energized crackdown on dissidents is receiving lots of press. Should I still hold out for hope for Hu emerging as a true reformer? Remember how optimistic we were, not so long ago…?


It’s not too late…

You can still vote for Peking Duck in the Asian Blog Awards for Best Non-Asian (Foreign) Blog (scroll down toward the end of the categories). I’m actually making a decent showing — thanks!!


Wangjianshuo quoted in NY Times article on blogging

There’s a mammoth article in today’s NY Times Magazine on the threats “sex blogs” can pose to people’s privacy. The first three pages deal with American blogs, but on the fourth page the writer discusses our friend Mu Zimei, and then quotes one of the luminaries of the Chinese blogosphere:

“Mu Zimei has released the name of the men who has ever slept with,” wrote a Shanghai blogger named Wangjianshuo. “This is bad. I believe a blog can reveal whatever you want to show about yourself, but not others.” In response to criticism from the blogosphere, Mu Zimei deleted the explicit discussions of her sexual encounters when began to serialize her work in November.

It’s a thought-provoking article, and drives home how easy it can be for this little hobby, blogging, to damage people’s lives when used irresponsibly.


Comments are down

Sorry, I think spam is once again wreaking havoc on my site. I’ve been hit with nearly 20,000 spam comments over the past two weeks, and that causes all kinds of problems. Hopefully it’ll be under control soon…

Update: Back up. What an annoyance. I don’t like spammers.


Bill O’Reilly can’t be this stupid. (Can he?)


In response to reports that actor and comedian Chevy Chase called President Bush a “dumb f—” while co-hosting a December 14 People For the American Way awards ceremony in Washington, DC, FOX News host Bill O’Reilly asserted on the December 16 O’Reilly Factor that “you don’t see this kind of thing on the right.” He added: “You don’t see prominent conservatives cursing out Democratic members of Congress, for example.”


From Atrios.


Chinese coal miners — expendable entities

Read this intriguing review of the new movie Shaft, about the plight of coal miners in China. Very moving.


Beijing Salad Bar

salad bar.jpg

This is from an amusing post over at Boing Boing. The caption:

This is the best thing I’ve seen in a long while. Robyn Miller sez: “This is a photo from a Chinese PDF manual. The manual explains, via text and a lot of fun photos, how to cram as much food as possible on one of those tiny Pizza Hut bowls at the salad bar. They’re only allowed one trip. My cousin lives in Beijing. When he goes to Pizza Hut, he says this is what most people are busy building.”

The post has links to more reflections on salad bars in China.


The best and the brightest

It’s reassuring to know that the fate of the world is in such capable hands.

George W. Bush, international economist: “There’s a trade deficit. That’s easy to resolve: People can buy more United States products if they’re worried about the trade deficit.”

From comments just now in the Oval Office with Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi.

We have only ourselves to blame…


War is hell


A higher percentage of our wounded soldiers in Iraq are surviving their injuries compared with other wars, thanks to the miracles of modern science. But the injuries are more gruesome, thanks to the miracles of modern weaponry. It’s hard to think about the quality of these maimed soldiers’ lives without feeling sick. More photos here.

Via Kos.


Asian Blog Awards

They’re on now, and I hope you’ll consider voting for me in the category Best Non-Asian Blog (scroll down toward the end). Thanks!