China in Pictures

Extraordinary. Don’t miss it..


Paul Krugman: Death by Insurance

Our health care crisis: another gathering storm no one wants to acknowledge.

Death By Insurance
Published: May 1, 2006

For lower-income working Americans, lack of health insurance is quickly becoming the new normal. That’s the implication of survey results just released by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonpartisan organization that studies health care. The survey found that 41 percent of nonelderly American adults with incomes between $20,000 and $40,000 a year were without health insurance for all or part of 2005. That’s up from 28 percent as recently as 2001.



Chang-Halliday’s Mao (yes, again)

There’s an interesting debate on the topic over here, with interesting arguments being offered by both sides.


Bob Herbert: War on TV


Warfare as It Really Is
Published: May 1, 2006

In the first few moments of the documentary film “Baghdad ER,” we see a man dressed in hospital scrubs carrying a bloodied arm that has been amputated above the elbow. He deposits it in a large red plastic bag.

This HBO production is reality television with a vengeance — warfare as it really is. And while it is frightening, harrowing and deeply painful to watch, it should be required viewing for all but the youngest Americans. It will premiere May 21.



Frank Rich: Bush’s Demons

He’s back, and he’s fantastic. To hell with the rest; give me Frank Rich anytime.

Bush of a Thousand Days
Published: April 30, 2006

LIKE the hand that suddenly pops out of the grave at the end of “Carrie,” the past keeps coming back to haunt the Bush White House. Last week was no exception. No sooner did the Great Decider introduce the Fox News showman anointed to repackage the same old bad decisions than the spotlight shifted back to Patrick Fitzgerald’s grand jury room, where Karl Rove testified for a fifth time. Nightfall brought the release of an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll with its record-low numbers for a lame-duck president with a thousand days to go and no way out.

The demons that keep rising up from the past to grab Mr. Bush are the fictional W.M.D. he wielded to take us into Iraq. They stalk him as relentlessly as Banquo’s ghost did Macbeth. From that original sin, all else flows. Mr. Rove wouldn’t be in jeopardy if the White House hadn’t hatched a clumsy plot to cover up its fictions. Mr. Bush’s poll numbers wouldn’t be in the toilet if American blood was not being spilled daily because of his fictions. By recruiting a practiced Fox News performer to better spin this history, the White House reveals that it has learned nothing. Made-for-TV propaganda propelled the Bush presidency into its quagmire in the first place. At this late date only the truth, the whole and nothing but, can set it free.



This site is still shaky

According to my closest blog buddy, Hosting Matters was hit today by yet another hack attack, which explains why I’m having so much trouble posting and commenting. Let’s pray for a better tomorrow.


Taishi Video

In Chinese, over here – CDT is looking for translators so everyone can watch it.

Update: I tried to watch it myself, but it was very choppy and kept stalling on me. Maybe you’ll have better luck.


Taiwan – Tremendous Opportunities, Tremendous Threats

A contributed post….

Economics, Ideology and the Politics of Discourse
Jerome F. Keating, Ph.D.

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty—power is ever stealing from the many to the few. The manna of popular liberty must be gathered each day or it is rotten. . . Only by unintermitted Agitation can people be kept sufficiently awake to principle and not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity.�

“Never look therefore for an age when people can be quiet and safe. At such times Despotism, like a shrouding mist, steals over the mirror of Freedom. . . Republics exist only on the tenure of being constantly agitated.�



MIT’s online exhibit of Japanese woodprints

…and the hysteria it fomented among a group of angry young people is the subject of some intense discussions up in the Duck Pond, here and here and here. Very interesting.


Hack Attack

The Peking Duck and hundreds of other blogs were down for the past 12 hours or so after Hosting Matters got hit with a huge denial of service attack that appears to have been generated from computers in Saudi Arabia. Anyway, it looks like we’re back, but not completely stable yet (it took me several minutes to get to this page). There goes the site traffic.

Thanks for hanging in there with me, and I hope things get back to normal soon.