He’s ba-ack

The Shanghai Sex Blogger emerges from his ashes. Via Danwei.


Lost in translation: policing unintentionally hilarious Chinese signage

This article from the Wall Street Journal seems to have created a sensation here today. No time to comment on it, but here’s the whole article, which is bound to become a classic.

For years, foreigners in China have delighted in the loopy English translations that appear on the nation’s signs. They range from the offensive (“Deformed Man,” outside toilets for the handicapped) to the sublime (on park lawns, “Show Mercy to the Slender Grass”).



Quote of the day

A blogger looks on in disbelief as Bush requests huge increases in military spending, slashing healthcare for the poor and other such liberal nightmares to make up for it. This is so eloquent.

Lights are out at The White House. Apparently, the national power grid isn’t connected to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. With that loss of power at the White House also goes the pulse of the people of the nation. Our President is off the grid and going Gorilla with his nation’s budget by cutting social programs to fund his last breath effort on terrorism with his latest budget.

This elected oxymoron is attacking social programs because America voted against his party and his own political mental head games. While he lined the pockets of all of his buddies and the Vice President’s close friends our kids that are truly serving our nation in the United States military are getting killed for the sake of a lie. This lie to the nation is coming out in the Scooter Libby trial and the nation will finally have enough of ‘Surge W. Bush’ and his corrupt administration. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are all about the money and it is right there in print every single day. Every single thing they do is for the money. Show me the money! There is where you will find our president.

Then it gets even angrier. I’m now so depressed about Iraq and the Bush administration’s other fuck-ups and scandals, I can barely post about them any more. Everyone knows the story, it’s all there in the headlines, and yet somehow he presses on, like you-know-who ordering the troops to stand fast in Stalingrad.


Report: Gao Yaojie under house arrest in Zhengzhou

According to a report in yesterday’s WaPo, police detained AIDS activist Gao Yaojie at her home on Sunday and prevented the octogenarian doctor from traveling to Beijing to apply for a U.S. visa. Dr. Gao, instrumental in exposing the severity of China’s HIV/AIDS crisis, planned to travel to the U.S. to collect an award from Vital Voices for her work.

Gao, a retired physician, was among the first to expose Henan’s blood scandal in which millions sold blood to unsanitary, often state-run health clinics, making the province the epicenter of China’s AIDS problem.

She wrote and distributed material warning people of the risks of blood-selling, making her a target of local authorities fearful of the social stigma and political sensitivity surrounding AIDS.

The story was told to Reuters by Beijing AIDS activist Hu Jia who claims that Dr. Gao is now under house arrest and that her telephone service has been suspended.

This is the not the first time that Dr. Gao has been prevented from leaving China to receive an award for her work, Chinese authorities also barred her from traveling to award ceremonies in 2001 and 2003.

Beijing’s actions could also come up as an early issue in the 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Rodham Clinton serves as honorary chair for Vital Voices and her name was reportedly included in the invitation letter to Dr. Gao.

UPDATE via CDT: After the issue was raised by the US Embassy in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu claimed that the ministry had no knowledge of Gao’s detention, according to a Reuters report. Jiang referred questions to the local Zhengzhou government (who is not talking) and reminded reporters that China was: “a country with a system of law and everyone is equal before the law.”

Richard Spencer also has a great post on his meetings with Dr. Gao and the difficulties she has had to endure as the result of her activism.


Jim Mann: “Everyone assumes that the Chinese political system is going to open up – but what if it doesn’t?”

Both Tim Johnson at China Rises and Michael Turton at The View from Taiwan have posts on the recent statements by Jim Mann to a government panel on US-China Relations. Before the panel, the veteran China watcher and journalist testified last Thursday:

The notion that China’s political system will inevitably move towards liberalization and democracy is what I call the Soothing Scenario for China’s future. It is the one that dominates our official discourse. But it is really only one of three possibilities for where China is headed. Let me sketch out the others.

The second possibility for China’s future is what can be called the Upheaval Scenario. The Upheaval Scenario predicts that China is headed for some sort of major disaster, such as an economic collapse or political disintegration, because it won’t be able to maintain political stability while continuing on its current course. On behalf of the Upheaval Scenario, one might point to the numerous reports of political unrest in China these days – the proliferation of labor strikes, farmers’ protests, riots over environmental degradation and ethnic strife. There are also broader developments, such as the ever-growing disparity between rich and poor or the continuing prevalence of corruption in China, and the fragility of China’s banking system.

The Upheaval Scenario for China gets a reasonable amount of attention in the United States. Lots of people spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out how much instability there is in China and what its impact will be, and there are lots of interesting arguments on all sides. My own belief is that the Chinese regime is ultimately strong enough to withstand these internal pressures – that there will be no “coming collapse of China,” to quote the title of one book on the subject. China is a huge country, and it is particularly hard to draw conclusions about the overall political situation from what is happening in any one place or region. Labor strikes may spread through all of Northeast China; or political demonstrations may sweep through many of its leading cities; still, in the end such events don’t determine the future direction of China.

The possibilities for China’s future are not confined to these two scenarios, the Soothing Scenario or Upheaval. There is still another possibility: a Third Scenario. It is one that few people talk about or think about these days, at least not in the United States. It is this: What if China manages to continue on its current economic path and yet its political system does not change in any fundamental way? What if, twenty-five or thirty years from now, a wealthier, more powerful China continues to be run by a one-party regime that continues to repress organized political dissent much as it does today; and yet at the same time China is also open to the outside world and, indeed, is deeply intertwined with the rest of the world through trade, investment and other economic ties? Everyone assumes that the Chinese political system is going to open up – but what if it doesn’t?

In one way or another, the essentials of the current political system would remain intact: there would be no significant political opposition. There would be an active security apparatus to forestall organized political dissent. In other words, China, while growing stronger and richer, wouldn’t change its political system in any fundamental way. It would continue along the same political course it is on today. Why do we Americans believe that, with advancing prosperity, China will automatically come to have a political system like ours? Is it simply because the Chinese now eat at McDonald’s and wear blue jeans?

Positions #1 & 2 have been debated back and forth on this blog and in other spaces in the China blogosphere for some time now. But what of #3? Is it really possible for China to maintain the current status-quo indefinitely? Can China solve the problems of environmental degradation, endemic corruption, and widespread social imbalances without ultimately changing the political system? Or are these problems not nearly as severe as the jeremiads of the Western media would have us believe?

I encourage everyone to read the full text of Mann’s testimony which can be found here (html) and here (pdf).


Is that band you like turning you gay?

Watch out! It is an established fact that listening to certain pop music, created with lascivious and lecherous intentions, can turn you into a homosexual. Really. Thank God for sites like this one, which provides us with handy lists of which bands will make you gay and which bands will help keep you on the straight and narrow as God intended. (Don’t ask me how Cindy Lauper, the sex-worshipping satanist behind Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, got onto the list of “safe bands.”)

These people are totally nuts, no?


NYT: Bush whacked by Chinese official

Sure the Chinese government likes to grumble as a group about Bush administration policies, but it’s not all that often we see a Chinese official call out a US President by name. The New York Times this morning reports on a piece in the People’s Daily in which the director of China’s State Bureau of Religious Affairs, Ye Xiaowen, takes the US President out behind the woodshed:

In a front-page article in the overseas edition of The People’s Daily [Ye writes] that Mr. Bushs past references to a ‘crusade’ and to ‘Islamic fascism’ were verbal gaffes that revealed his effort to turn the fight against terrorism into a religious war.

Partly as a result, he said, the United States had lost support for the war in Iraq and had frittered away the good will Americans gained after the 9/11 attacks.

‘The more they oppose terrorism, the more terror they produce,’ Mr. Ye said in the article. ‘How many more troops will they send to die in the meat grinder’ of Iraq.

Mr. Ye wrote that Mr. Bush had effectively ‘hijacked’ one religion, Christianity, to engage in a battle against another one, Islam. That has strengthened Islamic fundamentalists and made the war unwinnable, he contended.

‘Unilateralism and terrorism breed each other, but neither can overcome the other,’ he wrote.

Every word true, but doesn’t being lectured by the Chinese religious affairs bureau on how to preserve international goodwill towards one’s policies measure a blip or three on the old “Irony Meter”? I suppose, as Richard’s post below eloquently and sadly demonstrates, not nearly as much as it once might have.


Sadly, No!

This is now my favorite blog on US politics. These guys are geniuses, and this takedown of Michelle Malkin had me laughing for two days – the list of Michelle’s contortions as she tries to convince readers the moon is made of cheese is among the best satire I’ve ever read. Not to be read while drinking milk with a straw.


America’s moralizing to China: Physician, heal thyself!

Thanks to the brilliant leadership of our boy president, America appears hopelessly hypocritical and stuck in a time warp when it attempts to criticize China over human rights, military spending and pollution. Now, I know there are some serious differences between America’s and China’s transgressions in these areas. However, under Bush these differences have become vaguer, and the similarities sharper. “No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

Which brings us to a great post over at one of my favorite blogs, by a former Iraq war supporter who like all former Iraq war supporters with an IQ above room temperature is now one of its most fervent critics. You all need to go over there and read his analysis of this article from the Financial Times as well as the comments to the post.



What should have never been disputed in the first place – we ARE to blame for global warming

I’m going to keep this brief because, really, I shouldn’t have to supply lots of information. Just read the article:

Humans blamed for climate change

Global climate change is “very likely” to have a human cause, an influential group of scientists has concluded. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said temperatures were probably going to increase by 1.8-4C (3.2-7.2F) by the end of the century. It also projected that sea levels were most likely to rise by 28-43cm, and global warming was likely to influence the intensity of tropical storms.

If you really want to get technical, read the report:

IPCC report

I have a nasty feeling that the naysayers will dismiss this as “propaganda” by the evil, global Green-“conspiracy”, even more powerful that the evil, global Zionist-“conspiracy”. My response is this:

Is it worth taking our childrens’ future to Vegas, just so we don’t have to make a few sacrifices? I don’t even have kids yet, but I know I’d put my life on the line for them in the future. So why do so many people refuse to even consider living more conservatively? I can understand that many don’t really understand the real danger of climate change and would only respond to an immediate threat. But really, we are now being presented with an overwhelming amount of information that should iron out any misunderstandings – we can’t keep polluting like this.

Anyone who reads this report should know they have to change their lifestyles if they haven’t already. No “buts”, no “whys”, no “it’s not fairs”. We have a responsibility not to strip-mine this planet and then hand a wasteland over to future generations. People who are in denial about global warming are not parents or responsible adults – they’re parasites.