To hell with them

Using brute force like this makes me totally sick.

And we wonder why “the little people” are willing to riot and fight. Welcome to Utopia. Welcome to The New China.

Update: Nice to see the mainstreasm US media take notice of the problem.


By Popular Demand

Another open thread.


Bush’s pseudo-speech to start in a few minutes

Pseudo because it’s not a speech, it’s more fluff and stay-the-course BS. One of the most brilliant bloggers out there calls it like it is,pointing out it’s just a rehash of Commander Codpiece’s Mission Accomplished landing on the Lincoln aircraft carrier. Will he carry out a fake turkey?

Update: I have to include at least one snip from the post:

Imagine a backdrop of corporate CEO’s as the President calls for a tax on multi-million dollar compensation packages to help pay for the war effort. Picture a backdrop of high-roller K Street lobbyists as the President proposes a lobbying registration fee to finance the armoring of military vehicles.

Returning to planet earth, the Moose recalls that the President never advocates sacrifice except from the courageous troops and their families. Expect more of the same from this President. He is incapable of political imagination – of reaching beyond the confines of his base-polarizing framework. Tonight, he will present himself as the Commander in Chief before his troops. A leader with his army.

But President Bush does not have the capacity to articulate a simple message of candor and unity to a civilian population that is divided and increasingly distrustful of his words. Or maybe he will surprise us all.

But then again, maybe not

I’m blogrolling him now.

UPDATE 2: From Rep. Louise Slaughter:

President Bush spoke tonight and his silence was deafening. If anyone was surprised… if anyone was shocked to see their Commander-In-Chief so divorced from reality, they really haven’t been paying much attention. But day by day more Americans are seeing the light.

Each day they see the news… More casualties. More wounded. Billions of dollars lost or wasted. Congress cutting off veterans benefits. New memos discovered detailing White House plans to invade Iraq using manipulated or manufactured evidence. The list goes on and on.


China weighs limiting police power of arrest

Or so my favorite newspaper tells us.

China’s top legislators are considering reducing police powers to detain suspects in order to safeguard citizens’ rights. The proposal was put forward by the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee as part of a draft law dealing with minor public order offences….

Under the new draft, the police power to detain suspects for 36 hours and keep them in jail for 30 days, would be cut to a maximum of 12 hours detention and 20 days in jail respectively.

I guess 20 days in a Chinese dungeon is better than 30. What I have to wonder is, how do you enforce restrictions on police in a police state? Who holds them to account?

I also enjoy the part where an official blandly remarks, in classic China Daily-ese, “Although most police officers fulfil their duties, there is some corruption among public security workers,” he said. Yeah, just a little; ask Sun Zhigang.

Via China Digital Times.


A riot in Chizhou

Go to ESWN to see the amazing picures and read the odd story of the bicycle accident that sparked a 10,000-man riot.

I sided with the villagers in Huankantou and Shengyou. In this instance, I’d have to side with the police based on what I’ve read so far.


Does size matter to Chinese men?

That’s something you can measure for yourself.



Hey, I can’t always come up with a creative name for these open threads, especially when I’m in an uncreative mood like today. But please, don’t allow my lack of ingeniuity to keep you from sharing.


Time for some serious brainstorming

Today I had to work on a case study for a storage networking company. One of the few gifts God gave me is an ability to write about technology even though I can barely download my own email. But this gift wasn’t in evidence today. I kept struggling, because I kept getting distracted by thoughts of Asia. And I realized just how much I hate what I do.

What on earth am I doing here in Arizona writing about storage area networks, routers and switches, and hardware testing technology when there is literally nothing on this earth that I more detest? I began to feel sick and the copy was swimming around on the screen, making no sense, filling me with a sense of frustration and foreboding. Does this really have to be my life? What the fuck is a storage area network anyway, and who gives a fuck? What happened? How did it come to be that my fucking life is about fucking storage area networks??

I got promoted a few months ago and got a big pay raise. But I can’t even begin to put into words just how empty the feeling is, knowing you are contributing nothing to society, knowing that you are going through the motions, a cog in a huge corporate machine where you are under-utilized, under-appreciated and vastly underpaid (even with the raise).

Jobs are scarce right now in Arizona, at least in my area. But even if they were plentiful, I’d be unhappy right now because “my area” is not the area I ever planned for and is not where I belong. I belong teaching or writing or training. Anything but high technology.

This year is the 20th anniversary of my relationship with my friend, JC. We’ve been through so much, and he has been so patient as I went off to Silicon Valley and then off to Asia, leaving him for years at a time. He is the only reason I am here in America. He has told me if I leave him again it will be the last time, and I can’t blame him. But as I worked on this case study today, I realized I am nearing the breaking point; I really could snap. Not as in suffering a nervous breakdown, but just needing to make a drastic change. Like leaving for Asia. The very thought of leaving JC, even for a short time, is intolerable. But the only thing less tolerable is the thought of continuing on the current course, living from paycheck to paycheck in a job that is wiping out my creativity.

I have to be careful and avoid romanticizing China now that I’m not there anymore. It’s so easy to forget the bad and get nostalgic over some good memories. My last few trips there were absolutely ecstatic, despite all the usual inconveniences and frustrations. But I need to face the reality that life in Beijing was very hard for me on more than one level and I don’t know if I could live there again, if only because I get fearfully depressed by cold weather. I also worry that maybe I’m romaticizing teaching. From what so many commenters here say, being a teacher doesn’t necessarily translate into bliss. Far from it.

So what’s the point of this whiny, self-centered post? Maybe it’s a request for advice from people who teach in Asia to talk about it — Do you love it, would you recommend it, what are its drawbacks and its allure? Based on everything I’ve read, it seems Taiwan would be a perefct destination for me if I ever get the nerve to do something (a big if, I know). So that’s another question: does Taiwan need teachers? If I arrive there with a suitcase and just a couple thousand of dollars, will I be able to find work?

I’m writing this post under bad circumstances. I made a vow to myself never to put up a personal post when I’m feeling truly wretched, as I know strong emotions cloud my writing ability. So forgive me if it doesn’t meet my usual standards for eloquence and grace. I am at rock-bottom today, and I’ve got to act now.


Chen Yonglin interview

This article from the Moonie Times is by Bill Gertz, so be forewarned — it will be totally biased. Apparently the paper interviewed Chen Yonglin this weekend, as Gertz continues his crusade to terrify Americans about the China threat.

(Sidenote: I think this is the first time I’ve seen Taiwan referred to as the “Republic of China” in a news article in more than 20 years.)

“The United States is considered by the Chinese Communist Party as the largest enemy, the major strategic rival,” Mr. Chen told The Washington Times in a telephone interview from Australia, where he is in hiding after breaking with Beijing in May.

All Chinese government officials are ordered to gather information about the United States, “no matter how trivial,” he said. “The United States occupies a unique place in China’s diplomacy,” Mr. Chen said.


China’s government has targeted Australia as part of its “money diplomacy” and is working hard to persuade Australia not to send troops to help the United States in any conflict over the Republic of China (Taiwan), Mr. Chen said.

China has sought to influence Australia’s government through high-level political visits and favorable trade and by offering contracts on energy-related products. The goal is to force Australia to become part of a China-dominated “grand neighboring region” in Asia and to “force a wedge between the U.S. and Australia,” he said.

The U.S. government has a close intelligence relationship with Australia and has been working to build stronger military ties, as the Pentagon shifts its global strategy toward Asia with the planned deployment of more arms in the western Pacific region to counter a Chinese military buildup.”

The article is another Gertz propaganda masterpiece, laced with powerful but unsubstantiated images of a militaristic China ready to strike at any moment.

For more on Gertz, this is essential reading.


Letters to the Editor

A Sunday night wide-open thread. Talk about whatever you’d like, no holds barrred.