New Youth Study Group

Of all the stories I posted on, none grabbed me the way this one did – a story of four college students sentenced to spend the best years of their lives rotting in a Chinese jail for the heinous crime of…creating a group dedicated to the study of democracy.

I am very glad to see a new web site dedicated solely to the cause of seeking their release. Please go there, and please do what you can to spread the word and to help.

I know, it feels like there’s not much we can do, but simply being aware is an important antecedent to creating change and making a difference.

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 26 Comments

dear richard, this is for you personally, and i hope confidentially. i have ended up on your site after one of those web-searches that leads from one thing to another and ends up someplace totally different than where you thought you were going to go.

i read the wiki page about bill watsz, who was involved in the oj case. i didn’t follow the case at all (too young and uninterested) but i read about bill and wondered WHY didn’t the govt. give this man witness protection? and obviously he was killed, and i read his last entries on your page and it’s frightening. right after blog entries about how a journalist wants to get mass media interested in his story, bill gets murdered. and according to the wiki page, no investigation…? it sound like a mob hit or a mafia something-or-other. do you have any further info on him? reading his posts, he sounded like a wonderful man, and really, had a quiet and peaceful spirit to his writings. i believe him. he’s credible. and just when he found freedom, and writes about how the truth will “live” with him, then he gets murdered? so what?! the truth dies with him?

i want to know what the hell happened here and why this was not a major story in the press and why there wasn’t an investigation. it sounds corrupt and it sounds like it involves law enforcement

June 26, 2007 @ 12:30 pm | Comment

Well, we’re a bit off topic, but if you want to know more, this blogger knew Bill personally and might have answers for you.

June 26, 2007 @ 12:44 pm | Comment

I am in no way attacking you personally, Richard, as I know you are a very caring and concerned individual. But I’m still confused (and a little disappointed) how you can say that you are happier in China (I’m guessing from a political standpoint) than Bush’s America all the while putting up posts like this one. For all “progressive” folks’ hatred of Bush, the simple fact is that this simply will.not.happen. in the USA. Even under Darth George. I just don’t see how you can have it both ways. Your thoughts (in all sincerity)?

June 26, 2007 @ 1:55 pm | Comment

Canrun, if Richard’s feelings are anything like mine, it has to do with feeling more personally responsible for what goes on in my own country. Living here (in the US) for the last six years has been pretty painful for a lot of us. Go read the WaPo story linked in the thread below for some examples why.

June 26, 2007 @ 2:48 pm | Comment

Canrun, just accept it and get used to it. Lisa has it exactly right.

It was a big relief to get out of America in the wake of the 2004 election, one of the most depressing periods in US history, at least in my own memory. I have my big complaints against the CCP and will always speak my mind about them. But they aren’t in my face and part of my daily life the way I felt the Bush administration was. In fact, living here they seem all but invisible, aside from all the construction they’re bankrolling. For whatever reasons, I feel better here, where I see all the hope and optimism, although I at least try to temper that by remembering the horrors that often go on behind the scenes and actively speaking out about it.

June 26, 2007 @ 3:32 pm | Comment

Richard and otherlisa:

You can run and hide out as a foriegner or stand up and fight for what you believe in.

June 26, 2007 @ 3:33 pm | Comment

nanhe, did you read this post? Have you read this blog? Am I really running and hiding? There are lots and lots of expat blogs in China, and I think this one is as outspoken and concerned with what the government does as any of them.

June 26, 2007 @ 3:49 pm | Comment

Nan-h – um, not to put too fine a point on it, but kiss my ass, wouldja? I live in Los Angeles. I’ve done my bit. I was expressing my feelings of frustration that my bit counts for so little.

June 26, 2007 @ 3:50 pm | Comment

In America you can change stuff. Yeah maybe some people feel theyve done their part, these things take time…

I know Canadians have not had what they have with Bush so Canadians are still sleeping in fake democracy land where the ones who take the initiative (big business) run the country.

I think Americans were pretty much letting whoever run their show until the Bush lying and stuff fiasco. (not sure)

So someone like Bush wakes up Americans to realize they should not just have absolute trust in their “leaders” and from there you have to slowly go towards what a democracy should be. People need to care about stuff if they want democracy to work, otherwise they should just elect someone they trust, but to elect someone based on the hopes that the ones who take initiative will run the country the way you want is not smart…

So thats just to say, if you’re country is waking up from this and realizing it needs to actually give a darn on a continuous basis, then thats a system to build in itself so it will take some time to progress. Thats how I see it from Canada anyway, we are very apathetic and The “leaders” can get away with a lot because of that.

But no one is as apathetic as the Chinese who will let the CCP kill their sisters and brothers as long as they can get some money.

Thats an exageration and generalization, and I also dont blame them cause they have had their spirits crushed by CCP terrorism and ideological evil…Hope they wake up soon and take their country somewhere good.

I think since America is new and young and China is old, China is the leader and sets the psychologic trend the world. Hm, just a tought.

June 27, 2007 @ 12:29 am | Comment

Lisa wrote:

“Nan-h – um, not to put too fine a point on it, but kiss my ass, wouldja? I live in Los Angeles. I’ve done my bit.”

Well your “bit” hasn’t made much difference, has it. It certainly hasn’t made any difference to the
American soldiers who have died in Iraq after the election of 2006. To those dead men, your “bit” is nothing, and those dead men won’t be brought back to life by having a female Speaker of the House, who didn’t have the courage to end the war sooner rather than later.

Just a haunting message from Ivan’s ghost. Now I’ll disappear again.

June 27, 2007 @ 8:18 am | Comment

Ivan, one of these days, we can talk about our respective political activities, and you can tell me how much you’ve done to end the war from your undisclosed, secure location. I’m sure it will be an enlightening conversation.

June 27, 2007 @ 8:33 am | Comment

Lisa, Ivan–as if we need additional flame wars on this forum.

This is something I didn’t expect to see happen. How depressing.

June 27, 2007 @ 12:45 pm | Comment

Richard,

OtherLisa wrote:

Nan-h – um, not to put too fine a point on it, but kiss my ass, wouldja?

That seems a tad insensitive, doesn’t it? Jeez, where’s the censor NOW?

Richard, I’ve sent you two e-mails. Do me a favor and read them. Why not reconsider? I promise I won’t add any more comments on your “Bushco” blog entry. If you decide not to go along with my compromise solution, that’s fine too.

Mister Tea and Canrun,

I hope you were able to read my replies to you. That’s all I’m asking.

*

June 28, 2007 @ 1:37 am | Comment

I AM the Censor, Jeffrey. :)

I don’t attack, but I will respond, and Nan-h in this case attacked my integrity without knowing a thing about my background. I used to be a lot more patient about this kind of thing, but my stints hosting this blog have really lessened my tolerance for it.

That said, it was rude of me to phrase it that way.

I’ll let your comment stand, because you aren’t insulting our host. Richard may not agree with me – your constant posting on the thread below after he politely asked you to cease and desist several times were really too much. He’s this close to closing the whole blog down because he is sick of dealing with this kind of thing and with comment threads that degenerate into moronic name-calling.

Okay, I think that’s enough discussion about comment policy and flame wars. I’d like to ask everyone from here on out to please confine your comments on this thread to the topic at hand.

June 28, 2007 @ 4:12 am | Comment

Other Lisa,

Are you serious? YOU’RE the censor?! I don’t get it. You ask another commenter to “kiss your ass” and you’re the one who decides which comments are deleted and which are allowed to remain? Heh heh. That’s pretty funny, actually. It sounds like the cards were stacked against me from the beginning, doesn’t it? Hey, that’s cool. At least I know now.

That said, it was rude of me to phrase it that way.

And yet it stands. Why? Well, you’re the censor (insert devilish smiley face). Hey, nice work if you can get it, right? Personally, I don’t dislike a little heat and friction and even strong language in a comments section (like your “kiss my ass”). A little demotic register is not a bad thing at all.

Hey, but I’m not a troll and I’m not here to “ruin” anyone’s blog. I was simply trying to let people hear my side of the argument on the last thread. There was some sarcasm in my comments, but nothing out of the ordinary.

I’ve sent Richard two emails explaining what I think is a compromise solution for the last thread. Maybe he’ll send them on to you for your consideration. If you guys don’t agree, then that’s fine with me. But I would appreciate it if you at least listen to my proposal.

I guess my only hope at this point is that Mister Tea and Canrun get to read my responses to them. I’d be happy with just that.

*

June 28, 2007 @ 4:55 am | Comment

Other Lisa,

Just out of curiosity, how many censors does Richard use? Do you guys have shifts? Do you have a command center like the CTU in “24″? I can just imagine you monitoring my comments.

Other Lisa: “Heads up, everyone! Jeffrey has just posted a comment. Chloe, see if you can track down where he’s posting from.”

Chloe: “Should we notify Richard?”

Other Lisa: “Not yet. Let’s wait until we get more information on his location. Chloe, just GET ME THE COORDINATES!”

Chloe (surly): “Listen, I’m already creating a database on his last appearances. You’re gonna have to wait till I finish this.”

Other Lisa: “Chloe! Do it now! As soon as you have the coordiantes, send it to my desk. We’ll send in BAUER.”

Jeffrey at home: “Oh, shit. My account has just been flagged. They’re sending in Bauer!”

*cue trademark “24″ metallic clock sound*

*

June 28, 2007 @ 5:19 am | Comment

Other Lisa,

I just checked out your blog and really enjoyed reading many of the entries. I played football in hgh school and, like you, really like watching games — especially college games. I went to the University of Iowa for my undergraduate degree, so I’m a Hawkeye fan, of course.

But, as you rightly point out, that Fiesta Bowl game between the Sooners and Boise State was one of the best games I’ve ever watched. In fact, a few weeks ago they replayed it and I watched it again. The daring and grit of Boise State was amazing. That lateral play at the end of regulation time and the ol’ Statue of Liberty play in overtime completely caught the Sooners off guard. Wow!

Keep blogging.

*

June 28, 2007 @ 5:50 am | Comment

Jeffrey, I was kidding. This is Richard’s blog. I used to guest-post here and administer it for him. He’s asked me to go on troll-watch. He specifically asked me to watch out for you because you were so out of line.

I have only rarely deleted comments, and only when I’m certain that my deleting them matches Richard’s policies. If anything I am more cautious about it because this isn’t my blog.

Now, because I don’t want to go deleting posts, can we go back to the topic at hand?

June 28, 2007 @ 6:29 am | Comment

Glad I’m not on troll-watch.

June 28, 2007 @ 8:10 am | Comment

In an odd twist of fate I can’t get email, as yahoo is blocked, at least from my building. I will consider closing the blog later today.

June 28, 2007 @ 8:50 am | Comment

Bad, dirty, land grabbing China.

June 28, 2007 @ 9:25 am | Comment

Cut it out, nanhe.

June 28, 2007 @ 9:41 am | Comment

Richard,

I will consider closing the blog later today.

Huh? Why? You mean like closing shop for good? Jeez, if I could somehow figure out how to distill and bottle my sarcasm, I could probably sell a few vials to the Department of Defense.

*

June 28, 2007 @ 12:05 pm | Comment

Other Lisa, Richard,

And thanks for not deleting my posts. I hope you enjoyed my “24″ command center fantasy.

*

June 28, 2007 @ 12:11 pm | Comment

Jeffery, you don’t get the credit for this decision (still unmade) – it’s been brewing a long time, based more on my schedule than anything else.

June 28, 2007 @ 12:24 pm | Comment

Richard,

Aw man, you really know how to burst a guy’s bubble.

Anyway, you’ve run a very fine blog, and I’ve enjoyed stopping in here every week or so. I hope you decide to keep blogging.

*

June 28, 2007 @ 2:04 pm | Comment

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