Great Hall of the People, X

I will be on the road the next few days with little or no time to post. But fear not, guest bloggers are waiting in the wings, and there should be ongoing entertainment.

This trip could end up being one of those turning points in my life, and I should have more to report about that next week. Let’s hope it all goes to plan.

Meanwhile, here’s an open thread you can use to explore the answers to life’s persistent questions.

The Discussion: 40 Comments

My question is whether Richard can count. Yesterday’s thread was numbered “IV”, and today’s “X”. When I was a lad in ancient Rome, “X” was proceeded by “IX”. Pedantic, I know.

August 17, 2005 @ 7:58 pm | Comment

To respond to something Richard said in the last open thread:

As to Lynn Stewart, what a . . . great example of the terror hysteria that’s the hallmark of our time. She could get 30 years for acts that had zero to do with terrorism. Yeah, she was wrong, maybe she should be disbarred, fined and given 6 months, though even that seems harsh.

Statements like that are why some people wonder if the left really is serious about terrorism.

Here’s what Stewart did:

Stewart represented one of the world’s leading terrorists, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman.

Rahman is no minor figure. He is connected with various murders in the US (including Meir Kahane Mustafa Shalabi) and Egypt, the first World Trade Center bombing, serious plots to bomb Jewish centers and other NYC landmarks, attacks on Egyptian officials and fatwas to kill US military personnel and Jews.

Rahman remains a threat in prison.
He is still the leader of his terrorist organization and has very close ties to, among others, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.

In 1997 (after Rahman’s arrest) members of Rahman’s terror organization attacked European tourists in Egypt, killing fifty-eight Swiss and Germans at Luxor. The attackers mutilated bodies — including the bodies of women and children — and left leaflets at the scene demanding Rahman’s release from US prison and threatening additional attacks unless this demand was met.

In light of the danger posed by Rahman, Lynn Stewart signed an affidavit in which she agreed to only communicate with her client regarding legal matters and not to convey any communications with Rahman to third parties.

Within days af signing that affidavit, Stewart visited Rahman and pretended to consult with him on legal matters. In reality, the meeting was a ruse, conducted to enable Rahman to discuss with his “interpreter” (a terror cell member) whether his organization should resume terrorist attacks on Egypt.

He instructed the “interpreter” that the group should resume such attacks.

To remove any doubt, Stewart then informed the media that Rahman had withdrawn his support for the then-existing “ceasefire” between his terror group and Egypt.

Stewart also carried other messages from Rahman to his terrorist followers, including a fatwah calling on “brothers everywhere in the Muslim world to . . . fight the Jews and to kill them wherever they are.

Stewart knew what she was doing was illegal and laughed about it on tape.

Nothing to do with terrorism? Give me a break! Stewart used her position as an officer of the Court to knowingly act as a courier for a convicted terrorist leader and she conveyed his messages specifically calling for terrorist attacks to his followers. Followers who had demonstrated their readiness to kill on Rahman’s orders and for his benefit.

Six months and disbarrment? You must be joking.

Lock the bitch up and throw away the key.

August 17, 2005 @ 9:23 pm | Comment

Conrad, I don’t know if this is just a coincidence, but any time you talk about women you don’t like, you use really derogatory terms: “bitch,” “deranged harpy,” etc. I haven’t noticed that you do this with men, but maybe I missed it…

August 17, 2005 @ 10:21 pm | Comment

“Any time”?

Nonsense. You site two examples and I doubt that you can find another. And to say I don’t insult men is simply incorrect.

August 17, 2005 @ 10:42 pm | Comment

Well, as long as you’re consistent…

I could find another example, actually – but I’m not in the mood for a fight. Instead I’m going to celebrate that I’ve figured out enough about Richard’s blog to move the open thread up where it belongs! Yee-haw!

August 17, 2005 @ 11:09 pm | Comment

When Conrad said “Lock the bitch up and throw away the key”, did he mean anyone in particular, or was it just his “categorical imperative?”

August 17, 2005 @ 11:56 pm | Comment

Hey! “Lock the bitch up and throw away the key” scans in iambic pentameter! I just KNEW it had to be from one of Conrad’s love sonnets.

August 18, 2005 @ 12:12 am | Comment

Maybe he meant “Get thee to a nunnery!”

August 18, 2005 @ 12:17 am | Comment

interesting photos

japan rebuilt a WWII warship:

china hungry for oil:

americans crazy for cheap laptop, 17 wounded:

August 18, 2005 @ 1:13 am | Comment

Some background info about binfeng’s pic of the japanese rebuiding a WWII warship:

I believe it is a 1/10 replica of the Yamato warship (‘å˜a?†) that was drowned by the americans in august 1945. At the time, it was the world’s biggest existing warship (6500 tons).

This replica is part of a museum in Kure (Hiroshima, West Japan), that is dedicated to the story of the Yamato warship.

August 18, 2005 @ 2:08 am | Comment

oops. the weird signs that appear were supposed to appear as the chinese characters for “Yamato”

August 18, 2005 @ 2:10 am | Comment

The China Daily crowd is SOOOOO happy today, thanks to no more Horse Mouth. Peking Duck be next we hope

August 18, 2005 @ 2:12 am | Comment

heh! You haven’t gotten rid of The Horse’s Mouth. I’m still blogging baby!

August 18, 2005 @ 2:52 am | Comment

It looks like that Tao Baolin on CD is actually Madge assuming a Chinese identity this time.

August 18, 2005 @ 3:04 am | Comment

I can’t help feeling that Richard’s topics are way to serious and a lot of comments in those threads are really just a reread of what is common in western media.

I had much more fun reading some of Gordon’s rant blog yesterday and the guest blog “China the beautiful” is a must read in my opinion, I was laughing so hard and almost fell off my chair when it got to the taxi driver beeping all the way part.

To me, it just feel a lot more real since hey, those are real life experiences in China. And they did exposed a lot of social problems facing China today.

Just my 2 cents.

August 18, 2005 @ 6:22 am | Comment

Thanks Wawa!

That’s the way I look at it and I assure you, once I’m back in America I will be writing the same walk about the ills of American society and I will probably be a little more harsh.

Now, to cut the party short for those folks over on China Daily, I have found yet another way to subvert the ban of the Great Firewall.

I am once again publishing in full capacity at The Horse’s Mouth. The only people who can’t read it are the ones who don’t know how to use proxy browsers.

If you are a Blog-City blogger, email me and I will help you get around the ban as well.

August 18, 2005 @ 7:23 am | Comment

Newsflash for Conrad:

Tonight at Carrefour I saw *hamburger buns*. If there’s no Carrefour in your area, maybe I could post some to you. 🙂

August 18, 2005 @ 8:21 am | Comment

At least pick a handle, Anon. I have your IP address already…so I know when it’s the same guy posting…

BTW, my first thought was that you were being sarcastic; now I’m not so sure…

August 18, 2005 @ 10:18 am | Comment

From another Anon:

You Other LisAmerica, you don’t understand China, why you call me Anon like the Anonynym? You say my name Anon like you America Alcohol Anonynym! Why I no have handle like you say? Why you no get handle on you American alcohol?
You America always go out and alcohol and many sex, not like China, China have no sex like America Party-Land, China sex never like America good time, China sex always for family except when prostitute. How can you not agree?
You America are many Gay, you do many Gay sex, in America Gay sex-men walk down the street! How you can let Gay walk down the street? China have no Gay in street, China Gay all get married. How can you not agree?

I am no handle because as we all know Mao say we all like fish in water, one Human can do and say nothing, many fish can make revolution. Why you want hold my handle? I hold my own handle.

Sincerely yours,
Anon the Irritating Chinese Nationalist
….(but from a different IP address than the other one….. 🙂

(Sorry Lisa, but a few days ago I bought the ENTIRE DVD set of all 39 Monty Python episodes, so, feeling a bit silly now……. 🙂

August 18, 2005 @ 11:14 am | Comment

PS, a bit more seriously, about what I wrote in my (above) silly comment, where I alluded to Chinese homophobia:
Actually I see homophobia is even worse in China than in Russia. (For the record, I’m straight.)
But about “Gays walking down the street” – which I mentioned in my silly comment above – I was at an academic conference in St Petersburg (Leningrad) a few years ago, and one “scholar” presented his paper about Gay Rights in Russia, and he said (in English):
“We should be wary about becoming like America, because in America, Gays can just WALK DOWN THE STREET!”
And I raised my hand and I asked him, “Um, where else do you expect them to walk, if not on the street?”
And then a wise Russian lady chimed in:
“They want Gays to walk in the MIDDLE of the street!” 🙂
Anyway, it’s not just in China. Homophobia is rampant in Russia, and in America. But (and I say this as a straight man) it seems to me that it’s even worse in China – and all the more weird because it’s probably more prevalent SECRETLY in China than it is in Russia or in the West.
Just like prostitution, and HIV, and drugs, and many other things. China pretends to be puritanical, but only in public. Behind the scenes it’s something else.
On that note let me conclude by saying that even the OFFICIAL Chinese government estimates of HIV in China, are a small fraction of the numbers in Japan. And the unofficial numbers are even worse.
So much for how the CCP has saved China from “decadence.” How long will it take for the CCP to get China’s HIV numbers down to Japan’s level?
(Adjusted for population, that is.)

August 18, 2005 @ 11:32 am | Comment

From what I’ve read, the HIV problem is starting to
gradually move away from Sub-Saharan Africa and over to Asia. Obviously, with China only paying lip-service to transparency and openess (both internally and externally) and still refusing to really meet the HIV problem head-on, then it’s only going to get a whole lot worse.

Still, China does like to cash-in on the results of
illegal blood harvesting. How much was the last UN
Aids Prevention wad of cash to China US$100 million I think it was.

We all know first-hand how the culture of prostitution is rife throughout business deals and socialising in China. I read somewhere that about 80%+ of active prostitutes agree to condomless-sex at least twice a month. That’s a scary figure.

Unfortunately, I think China has it all to come as far as HIV is concerned.

August 18, 2005 @ 12:17 pm | Comment

As much as I don’t like death penalty, I couldn’t figure out how in the world the BTK monster can’t be sentenced to death. The news reporter used the word, “not eligible”.

Just couldn’t imagine such a horrible monster still get to feed on the tax payers’ money and live happily in his freaking fantasies. Well, I’d say, send him to his fantasy afterlife world and see how much he enjoys his own death.

A co-worker told me that it’s more expensive to execute someone in the US than keeping him or her alive for the rest of their lives.

Just feel sorry for those family members and friends of the victims.

August 18, 2005 @ 1:09 pm | Comment

With regards to:
“My question is whether Richard can count. Yesterday’s thread was numbered IV, and today’s X. ”

I suspect some literary liscense… call it, perhaps, “the great leap”? (groan)

August 18, 2005 @ 1:14 pm | Comment

Interesting read:

a brief account of going to Shanghai, in 1985 to look for a family friend, by June Morrall. Also, a review of a book called, “Mao: The Unknown Story”, by Jung Chang and husband Jon Halliday.

August 18, 2005 @ 1:33 pm | Comment

Re. the BTK monster…
I have greatly softened my view on the death penalty, of late. We still have the same old problem, concerning it, which is not evidence, but prosecutorial ethics.

That said, with regard to convictions where CLEAR, NON-circumsantial DNA evidence is available, I fall back on something my mother told me, many times, when I was a very small child:

“Honey, if there’s anything floating in the toilet, be sure’n flush!”

August 18, 2005 @ 1:38 pm | Comment


Did you actually buy the hamburger buns? I’m suspicious.

I went into a Chain Store once and saw what appeared to be hamburger buns. I was so happy. I bought them and then went to Ito Yokado (because I love supporting Japanese businesses:-P ) to buy some ground beef and I went home to make hamburgers.

Everything was going perfect, I was about to have a nice, grilled, juicy hamburger, but then when I opened the buns I discovered that they were had some sweet gooey shit in the middle. Boy was I pissed.

They Shanghaied me.

August 18, 2005 @ 7:14 pm | Comment

Wow! in the two days since Blog-City’s ban in China, I’ve received 3500 hits.

Thanks to the China Daily crowd for bringing more traffic my way 🙂

August 18, 2005 @ 8:04 pm | Comment

Gordon, congratulations are in order for finding a way of side-stepping the Great Firewall. Giving the nanny a finger is always a good thing in my book. I’ve seen the instructions of how you do it so I know it for true.

August 18, 2005 @ 8:54 pm | Comment

Gordon –

I’m sorry, it was YOU I meant that message for! When I saw the buns, I instantly recalled you recounting how you might have “bunned” someone when you hurled the goo-filled things out your window in disgust! 😀

Anyway, they looked just like hamburger buns, and on the package was an image of a standard-looking hamburger.

Then again, this being the land of culinary surprises, who knows. Maybe I’ll pick them up next time I’m back. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

August 18, 2005 @ 10:37 pm | Comment

That explains it Slim. Yesterday I actually re-read all the comments searching, in vian, for the comment where Conrad had mentioned Chinese hamburger buns. An unlikely scenario I must admit!

Fortunately, I live within walking distance of a Carrefour. Bread and cheese heaven.

August 18, 2005 @ 11:25 pm | Comment

Simon, I know it’s an old post but how the hell have you got 75 trackbacks to a single post about blogging?

August 19, 2005 @ 1:44 am | Comment

This SCMP article wins the prize for the most provocative headline of the day, however, don’t be too alarmed, the bloodlines refer to the aborigial Taiwanese:
Bloodlines show Taiwanese ‘more Maori than Chinese’

Taiwan said yesterday that Taiwanese bloodlines had nothing to do with those of China and were closer to the Maori of New Zealand.

Lin Ma-li, a blood researcher at Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei, announced at a seminar organised by the diplomatic affairs council of the Foreign Ministry that the ancestors of Taiwan’s aborigines were possibly the forefathers of the Maori. This meant the bloodlines of the Taiwanese were not the same as those of the mainland.

“The best way to define the relationship is that culturally and ethnically, Taiwan and China are relatives, and geographically, we are neighbours,” Vice-President Annette Lu told the Foreign Policy quarterly. “As relatives, we could not fight each other. As neighbours, we should peacefully coexist and co-operate.

August 19, 2005 @ 4:47 am | Comment

the ancestors of Taiwan’s aborigines were possibly the forefathers of the Maori. This meant the bloodlines of the Taiwanese were not the same as those of the mainland.

He is phrasing it as if this applies to Taiwanese in general, which is a very tenuous claim. I doubt that many Taiwanese have much aboriginal blood.

August 19, 2005 @ 5:30 am | Comment

48% of Mexicans want to emigrate to U.S.A. Chinese love China? No!They just jealous.Maybe they go to N.Korea.

August 19, 2005 @ 5:59 am | Comment

Peter, that’s what I thought. The title is misleading.

However, I have seen it claimed that the “Taiwanese” are in fact a race apart from the mainlanders because the early settlers and those that following them (from the mainland) inter-married with the aboriginals thus creating a new and unique race.

While I think that no one can deny that inter-marriage did happen over the centuries, I think the argument concerns the extent of it.

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any figures or evidence that addresses this.

August 19, 2005 @ 6:01 am | Comment

Anybody any idea what this is all about:

BEIJING (Reuters) – Former employees of a state-run oilfield in north China are jumping through a strange hoop to get their jobs back — they are filing for divorce.
China’s state-run giants, once the heart of the planned economy, have cast off millions of employees since the launch of market reforms two decades ago.

But the Huabei Oilfield Co., based in Renqiu, Hebei province, Friday issued a new policy saying divorced laid-off employees could return to work, the Chinese news Web site said Wednesday, citing an article by the local Yanzhao Metropolitan News.

“Following these rules, laid-off employees just have to have a divorce certificate and they are qualified for re-employment,” former oilfield worker Wang Ying was quoted as saying.

“To qualify to get my job back, I had to divorce my husband of 10 years, even though we have a wonderful relationship.”

Divorce is on the rise in China but still unusual outside big cities. State media reported 1.6 million couples from the country of 1.3 billion people divorced in 2004.

But among Huabei employees, untying the knot had become so common that people had replaced the standard greeting of “Have you eaten?” with “Are you divorced yet?,” the report said.

Around 20 couples connected to the oilfield, a subsidiary of CNPC, China’s largest oil and gas producer, had formally split on Monday alone, an official from the local marriage registration bureau was quoted as saying.

The report did not explain the oilfield’s motives for the pro-divorce policy and company management was not immediately available for comment.

“This policy is just in trial stages,” an oilfield manager told the newspaper. “I can’t say anything about it.”

August 19, 2005 @ 7:51 am | Comment

My third “eye rolling”, it is a disease and I promise you this will be the last one from me for today!

August 19, 2005 @ 8:07 am | Comment

Damn, I surely wish I’m imaginative, but what I really meaned was that it was the third time I did the “eye rolling” today. 🙁

August 19, 2005 @ 8:18 am | Comment

Please at least remove my last comment too.

August 19, 2005 @ 10:32 am | Comment

Will do, Wawa.

I’m complying with Richard’s policy towards AM. If AM wants to change his status, he’ll have to take it up with Richard.

In the meantime, this thread is closing. Fresh thread on top.

August 19, 2005 @ 11:09 am | Comment

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