Any volunteers?

A good friend from America flew from San Francisco to Beijing last Saturday to spend the holiday week touring the city with me. When I met him after his flight his first words were that he had a serious pain in his left leg, like a cramp that wouldn’t go away. To make a long story short, the pain became progressively worse and by Thursday he could barely walk. We went to the hospital yesterday and the ultrasound showed what we both feared, the presence of a large blood clot. This affliction, known as deep-vein thrombosis, is often brought on by sitting in a cramped space for many hours at a time with no exercise to keep the blood flowing normally, and it’s the reason why all the airlines on their long-haul flights now show annoying videos on how to do isometrics and stretches from your seat.

Rick had to spend last night in the hospital. He will now need to stay in Beijing a full 8 days longer than planned (he was supposed to leave today). Each day he has to give himself two injections and he can only walk using crutches. And the holiday started off so nicely….

Here’s my dilemma: I need to fly to Guandong on business on Tuesday and then up to Shanghai and won’t be back in Beijing until late Friday. So my friend Rick will be alone in Beijing, on crutches and unable to speak a word of Chinese, for in effect four full days. I tried to get out of my business trip but it’s impossible — I’m going. So if any of you wants to take a really nice but somewhat incapacitated friend of mine to lunch or dinner on Tuesday through Friday, or maybe just hang out with him for a little while, please send me an email. I really appreciate it.

Needless to say, I won’t be able to blog during the week ahead, other than a quickie or two from the airport.

The Discussion: 38 Comments

Brother Ivan is on the case, even though I no longer live in China. Richard, look for my email soon.

October 6, 2007 @ 7:48 pm | Comment

Richard, wish I could. Please give Rick my best!

October 7, 2007 @ 2:18 am | Comment

Thanks to both of you. It’s like The Man who Came for Dinner…

October 7, 2007 @ 10:37 am | Comment

Also, major thanks to the guys who emailed me.

October 7, 2007 @ 11:14 am | Comment

I’m afraid the only lunch I could provide is an “e-lunch” – hope he’s feeling better soon.

One more reason why I’ll be looking into Virgin Atlantic’s “premium economy” next time I fly out to the Far East (though to be fair their economy is ok – you just need to take a walk once-in-a-while). ๐Ÿ™‚

October 7, 2007 @ 6:45 pm | Comment

Tell him that I suggest he learn Falun Gong, its very healthy and opens you blocked channels and stuff. I have kown and heard from and of A LOT of people who ahve been totally healed up by that practice, especially people in China who seem to be a lot more likely to have seriously illnesses gues its from evil CCP and polution..

October 7, 2007 @ 9:41 pm | Comment

Raj, I’m a big fan of United’s Economy Plus – it really makes a difference on those long haul flights.

I still get up and walk around a lot though. 11 hours plus in a chair – nope, I was not designed for that!

October 8, 2007 @ 2:36 am | Comment

Snow, um, isn’t recommending FLG exercises to
a guy visiting Beijing equivalent to telling him to play Russian Roulette with an automatic pistol?

October 8, 2007 @ 11:12 am | Comment

WHAT? Ivan, THAT is your reaction to snow’s “comments” above? You have NO problem with : “I have kown and heard from and of A LOT of people who ahve been totally healed up by that practice” and “people in China who seem to be a lot more likely to have seriously illnesses guess its from evil CCP?” You have NO PROBLEM with those things AT ALL? You dumb Russian, go back to your mother Russia and drink your vodka and eat your rotten potatoes.

Snow, yes, Falun gong will “totally heal up” your sickness. Yes, people in China sick more due to the evil vibe given off by the CCP.

Snow, do you know that your master Li is diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer, and is visiting New York hospitals for treatment? How come he is not healing up himself now?

I have an idea, Ivan and Snow, why don’t you two get together and f*** each other.

October 8, 2007 @ 11:50 am | Comment

Oh dear, someone left a pile of doggie-poo here.

Since you asked, I think FLG is nonsense. I’m a professed Christian (as long-timers of TPD know).
But since you put it in context of the CCP, then, yes
I do say the Communist Party have wreaked more destruction and murder upon the Chinese people, and on their minds and their environment, than the FLG. The FLG are just nuts, but they should at least be permitted to do their harmless exercises in public without being arrested and tortured.

And I’m not Russian. But you’re wrong about Russian potatoes; the intense summer sunlight makes Russian potatoes very tasty.

PS, so, “Thirteenth Brother etc”, does this mean you won’t be paying a visit to Richard’s ill friend?

October 8, 2007 @ 12:13 pm | Comment

The FLG are just nuts, but they should at least be permitted to do their harmless exercises in public without being arrested and tortured.

This is a common misconception about the FLG cult in the West. FLG has publicly advocated refusal of medical treatments for any illness, the literatures of Li Hongzhi encourages people to “seek the light”, a codeword for committing suicide. There are hundred of documented cases of FLG members jumping from rooftops, abandoning their children, and even in few extreme cases, murdering their own children.

This is an even cult in the same class as the “Heaven’s Gate”, “Aum Shinrikyo”, “Church of the Lamb of God “, etc. Each of those organizations was declared illegal and its organizers arrested/killed by the police of their respective countries.

Falun Gong also has open expressed homophobic ideas:

http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=549

PS: I WILL be paying a visit to Richard’s friend, if needed.

October 8, 2007 @ 1:02 pm | Comment

I think most people position on FLG is pretty clear. Snow, I think it is an insult to Rchard and his friend for you to bring up the FLG matter in this thread.

October 8, 2007 @ 1:47 pm | Comment

Well, ya know, when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

Apply that maxim to whatever you’d like. It works in a variety of situations.

October 8, 2007 @ 4:32 pm | Comment

“Thirteenth Brother etc” said, “PS: I WILL be paying a visit to Richard’s friend, if needed.”

That sounds almost like a threat.

I’m not authorised to speak for Richard, but I am 100 percent certain Richard would approve of my saying, “No you’re not needed. Neither Richard nor his friend Rick need or want ‘friends’ like you.”

Snow was out of line bringing up the FLG on this thread. I took him to task for it with humour – the kind Richard and his friend appreciate. But
“Thirteenth Brother”, you’re even more out of line than Snow, here.

October 8, 2007 @ 5:42 pm | Comment

Snow was out of line bringing up the FLG on this thread. I took him to task

No Ivan. You did NOT “take him out to task”. You simply goaded him on with this nasty, tasteless joke: “isn’t recommending FLG exercises to a guy visiting Beijing equivalent to telling him to play Russian Roulette with an automatic pistol?” How does that qualify as “taking him out to task”? Your joke suggested that it was dangerous to practice FLG in China. Which part of the joke suggested that you thought snow was “out of line” ? No, in fact, you thought snow was very much in line in bringing up FLG on this thread.

I, on the other hand, did take both you and snow out to task.

October 8, 2007 @ 11:24 pm | Comment

Oh alright, “Thirteenth Brother”, you Communist-cult-creep, now you’ve convinced me to kill any Communist pigs who dare to offend any religion at all.

Now YOU can expect a visit. How about that?

October 9, 2007 @ 3:55 am | Comment

All I wanted was to reccommend Falun Gong to Richards friend cause he has an ailment and lots of people find that when they practice, they are healthy. I live in Canada, I can’t go see the boy.

But, yeah, 13 sure proved the Russian roulette thing true. Soo mnay people in China’s heads just chock full of excuses to spew hatred on Falun Gong (or whoever the target might be, Falun Gong being the biggest right now)

I guess during the cultural revolution type persecutions, people believed religiously in the party, they would kill and eat their family members just cause the CCP said to.

But now, people dont really believe as religiously in the CCP, so instead of using faith to urge people into persecution mode, they have to use lies to make people think certain false stuff.

ONLY communists say that Falun Gong has anything to do with murder sucide etc.

This stuff he says about seeking the light or whatever is a bold faced lie.

Master Li has cancer? how would this guy know that? Hmm could it be the communist sources spreading propaganda? Hmmm, yeah it sure as heck could be.

My understanding of the medicine issue is that they think sickness is karma and if they eliminate karma, they wont be sick. Only from communist sources have I heard that people refuse medicine and die. I think all Buddhists consider illness as karma and seek to eliminate karma. medicine doesn’t eliminate karma it just covers it up so if you believe this kind of stuff, you might be a little less willing to indulge in medicine at every turn. But I’m not advocating for anyone to reject medicine, Im just talking about a belief in the origins of illness and the fundamental cure…

I think 13 is too adamant to be a regular brainwashed, he must be paid…

Anyway, I agree with the comment about there being poo here. it hurts me to read all this crap. Owell, it’s good to discuss anyway.

October 9, 2007 @ 8:34 am | Comment

Eh, since Communists don’t believe in any God, or spirit, or transcendent values whatsoever, there’s no moral reason for them to object to being exterminated. On the other hand, extermination of all Communists could be justified on strictly utilitarian grounds.

And since they believe in exterminating everyone who disagrees with them, well it’s only fair. Kill them all.

October 9, 2007 @ 10:15 am | Comment

Regarding the flap on the “phony soldier” controversy surrounding Rush Limbaugh: I heard the statements in question on the car radio. He was referring to a man who despite having only been in the service for for six weeks–before washing out of Basic Training– was prattling on and on the the public about American soldiers committing all manners of atrocities, etc.

This is not to be an apologist for Rush Limbaugh, but merely an attempt to set the facts straight.

Here is his “phony soldier” statement.

Jesse MacBeth Is A Phony Soldier

And just who is Jesse MacBeth? He was the darling — the newest poster boy — of the liberal cut-and-run crowd and the drive-by media.

MacBeth claimed he was an Army Ranger and that he witnessed American troops in Iraq committing unspeakable atrocities.

Here are some of MacBeth’s accusations as recounted by Limbaugh:

“He told the world the abuses he had witnessed in Iraq, American soldiers killing unarmed civilians, hundreds of men, women, even children. In one gruesome account, translated into Arabic and spread widely across the Internet, Army Ranger Jesse MacBeth describes the horrors this way: ‘We would burn their bodies. We would hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque.'”

Of course it was all a BIG FAT LIE!

As it turns out, MacBeth was NEVER an Army Ranger. He was NEVER awarded the Purple Heart. He was NEVER in Iraq. He was NEVER in a position to witness the “atrocities” he claimed to have witnessed.

In fact, MacBeth washed-out of Basic Training in week six and he is now facing time in prison because of the many lies he told and frauds he perpetrated.

In other words, MacBeth is — as Limbaugh plainly stated — a “phony soldier.” But the liberal cut-and-run crowd and their allies in the liberal media don’t care. They applauded him and propped him up (that is until Limbaugh blew the whistle).

Jeff Sullivan, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington and the man who prosecuted Macbeth, said it best:

“Macbeth’s lies fueled hostility to our servicemen in Iraq and here at home. Those who falsely claim medals for heroism, cheapen the recognition of our true war heroes.”

Whatever one may think about Rush Limbaugh, it would be inaccurate to call him an idiot. He is, in fact, an extremely talented speaker with great insights. A valid criticism of him might be that he prostitutes his talent for the benefit of certain interests. One talk show host even gave him a nickname that reflected that concern. But if he were an idiot or a raving maniac he would not be making 50 million dollars or more per year in advertising revenue, because nobody would listen to him or buy the products and services he advertises. Also he lost most of the blubber years ago and plays golf regularly.

The writer does not trust extreme leftist websites like MoveOn Dot Org because they are known to spew out non-factual material for propoganda purposes. To paraphrase the words of Cicero, they might be called “the enemy within”.

October 9, 2007 @ 12:44 pm | Comment

Terry, you are brainwashed. This is Rush’s historical revisionism. It’s NOT what he said in the original interview. He edited his own transcripts and then used a later show to back up his phony version of the truth.

Give it up, would you?

October 9, 2007 @ 2:35 pm | Comment

???

October 9, 2007 @ 3:53 pm | Comment

Not only is Terry brainwashed, he’s out of line putting his wholly irrelevant comment into this thread. If he wants to see Rush as “insightful” it’s his business. Rush gave me great insights into the funny side of Parkinson’s disease.

Richard, from a hotel in Donguan

October 9, 2007 @ 11:03 pm | Comment

“Communists don’t believe in any God, or spirit, or transcendent values whatsoever, there’s no moral reason for them to object to being exterminated.”
Look into the big, saucer-like eyes of a baby seal and tell me that somewhere there can’t be found a moral problem with exterminating cute baby seals.
But yeah, I thought it was funny the CCP declaring reincarnation to be an illegal act. How the Hell can they find the right successor to the Panchen lama, then?
I

October 10, 2007 @ 11:06 am | Comment

Keir asked: “But yeah, I thought it was funny the CCP declaring reincarnation to be an illegal act. How the Hell can they find the right successor to the Panchen lama, then?”

It’s quite simple really, nothing esoteric. The RIGHT successor is the one anointed by Beijing, answers to Beijing and obeys orders from Beijing – just like any other CCP sanctioned religious organisations in China. Reincarnation plays no part in this whatsoever. It’s called Tibet Buddhist Chinese style.

October 10, 2007 @ 11:31 am | Comment

P.S. Correction: “It’s called Tibetan Buddhism with Chinese characteristics”.

October 10, 2007 @ 11:33 am | Comment

“Communists don’t believe in any God, or spirit, or transcendent values whatsoever, there’s no moral reason for them to object to being exterminated.”

What? The Objective Laws of History that Communism touts ARE transcendent absolutes. Once a system of thought embraces transcendent absolutes — be it Christianity, Islam, Fascism, Communism, or whatever — mass murder is just a disagreement away. Behind every absolute is a sword waiting to come out. That’s why you read headlines like Communists attack Buddhists, six dead or Renewed sectarian violence leaves 8 dead, 40 injured or Christians attack muslims, 13 dead but never Boston area freethinkers assaut New York atheist gathering, 12 dead.

Michael

October 10, 2007 @ 1:57 pm | Comment

It’s amazing that Richard’s plea for taking his hospitalized friend to lunch can turn into a full on spit-war on CCP and FLG, hat off to all of you guys. But then again, what do you exepct from the fanatic readers of the best political blog on China, sigh.

October 10, 2007 @ 7:07 pm | Comment

“””””””””40 injured or Christians attack muslims, 13 dead but never Boston area freethinkers assaut New York atheist gathering, 12 dead.””””””””””

atheism is also an ism don’t forget. You may think atheism is the non religion or the objective or scientific way but there is no non. If you believe something for some reason with the “absolute truth” being unknown, you are still practicing some form of faith. An atheist lives by the principle that there is not god. They don’t know there is no god, they believe it, maybe based on western sceintific notions… Western empirical science is also an ism in certain ways, its a method that people live by but it is not at all proven to be an “absolute truth”

G.C.

Don’t blame me for this so called spit war. I reccomend Falun Gong honestly and without intention to be criticised like this. If you would have reccomended taking up Judaism during the Holocaust you wouldnt blame the Jew, so why don’t you ask these haters to stop hating and persecuting Falun Gong.

October 10, 2007 @ 10:49 pm | Comment

snow, there is such a thing as over-proselytizing…

13th brother is an ass, but that doesn’t make his comments any less pertinent. I mean, come on now, it’s pretty widely accepted that FLG has dubious health benefits aside from stress reduction (which can be had without paying money to what flaps and quacks like a cult). On the other hand, Ivan’s is pretty funny too… it’s snow’s ridiculous enthusiasm for a cult he doesn’t even admit to being a part of that is retarded.

October 11, 2007 @ 2:35 am | Comment

t co,

I think you are wrong. I dont think Falun Gong is a cult. I think it gives good health benefits. I think you are full of misinformation and the CCP has managed to channel your bad character traits toward Falun Gong (and me since I support them).

And I don’t think you seem very smart or good to make assumptions about me personally when you just want to try to insult me.

And, I think in this case, the fact that 13 is such an ass, does reflect the pertinence of his comments. I’ve only heard of this hate against Falun Gong from communist sources (which includes any sources brainwashed or influenced by communist party lying).

October 11, 2007 @ 9:42 am | Comment

By all accounts the CCP is also a cult.

October 11, 2007 @ 12:05 pm | Comment

Has anyone considered the idea that a practice of meditation and reading a book to become more spiritual and virtuous could be a good thing? Cult is usually associated with a group who does freakish things that are counter to society and hurtful. The Falun Gong practitioners that I know always talk about improving moral charater, doing better in life, and they always spend lots of their own time doing what they believe is the right thing to do by way of trying to stop the communists from persecuting the thing they believe is righteous and the people of China’s human rights.

October 11, 2007 @ 12:50 pm | Comment

Richard or whoever’s monitoring the blog, please take a look at the IP addresses of MAJ and “Ivan the Angel” and then delete appropriately.

Richard knows I always use the same moniker, the same style and the same IP address. MAJ is talking to himself again.

October 12, 2007 @ 12:22 am | Comment

Snow, most Chinese believe that being spiritual is good; however, they are generally suspicious of any religions that constantly engage in political activities.

In Chinese culture, whenever the spiritual authority attempts to use its influence to interfere in temporal affairs (like supporting certain political systems, or agitating for human rights), it loses its shield of spiritual immunity and may be regulated, coopted, and eliminated as the political authority sees fit. (e.x. Buddhism in the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries; Taoism and the various traditions of ancestor worship prior to it.)

I don’t believe that becoming spiritual is a bad thing; it’s when the spiritual authority starts telling me how to act in the physical realm that I get bothered. (Back in college, I was a Deist; now I’m leaning towards atheism, in case you’re wondering.)

For example, if Li Hongzhi was simply stating a metaphysical system, that would be fine, but when he starts commanding his followers to do this or that or mass in front of Zhongnanhai, I think the CCP has a legitimate reason to be bothered. It is their country, after all, not the FLG’s.

Furthermore, given that the FLG encourages people to engage in some really dangerous behaviors (like avoiding modern medicine); constantly requests money/tithes (which is one reason why I detest organized religion); then uses that money to fund a newspaper with a quite obvious covert aim of creating political change in China, I get bothered. That’s a gross separation of church and state.

Of course, some may argue that religion entering into politics is a necessary evil in order to check some of mankind’s basest political instincts, but in that regard, the FLG really hasn’t accrued much political capital either. Indeed, most of the FLG’s campaigns have been against mistreatment of FLG members in China; compare this to what many Northern churches did during the civil rights movement and you’ll see the difference.

Really, being FLG in China doesn’t say that you’re spiritual; on the contrary, it says you are anti-authority and don’t give a shit about what happens to your family, two things that run against Confucianism–which is the dominant ethic of China today.

In conclusion, I think FLG should die out in China, and because of its own hamhandedness and stupidity, has effectively killed its chances there.

October 12, 2007 @ 6:25 pm | Comment

I’m sorry, I meant to say “violation of separation of church and state”.

October 12, 2007 @ 6:26 pm | Comment

Four shits of life:
The punter who plays the stockmarket and finds himself a shareholder.

The investor who plays the property market and ends up a home owner.

The boss who plays around with his secretary and ends up her husband.

And the meditator who tampers with his “vital energy” and finds himself a Falungong addict.

October 12, 2007 @ 9:12 pm | Comment

t co where did you hear that stuff about Falun Gong?

it is not at all true that they give money to some organization. I do think that a lot of Falun Gong people are working for Epoch Times, but not only Falun Gong. If they use their money to support that newspaper, it is not related to Falun Gong, I know that because I know that some dont have professional sales people and th cost of printing is really huge. Thats with any busines starting from grass roots, its very hard at the start and some may have to use their money to support the first couple years, but thats a newspaper, not Falun Gong.

Really dangerous behaviour? What the heck? I’ve been friends with them for years and that is just not true, they are friendly and they dont do any dangerous behaviour stuff, thats total ccp crap. I also believe that sickness is a karma, so if I were to get sick, I would jump right on the drug train, I would exhaust the alternative solutions first, its not wrong although you may think its wrong for you, but you cant acuse them of engaging in dangerous behaviour just because they dont believe that drugs are a miracle cure for karma. Besides, they seem to be very healthy and that is one big reason why they don’t need to take medicine as often as other people.

On another point, why do you think Li Hongzhi has commanded them to do this or that? I think if people in China were less cawardly they would also stand up for themselves if the government was saying unjust things about them. I think the jongnanhai incident was just people who are not afraid to just say, hey, you were wrong and you should fix what you did wrong. The police beat and imprisoned some falun Gong prior to that incident, so they showed up to say hey, thats wrong. It seems to me this is the normal behaviour of people who are peaceful yet fearless. Maybe you have grown so accustomed to quivering under the CCP and accepting that even if they beat, kill, rape, slander, lie etc etc, you think it is their country and they can do whatever they please, HOW AWFUL.

It is good for a country if when the government does wrong, people mention it. It serves to protect the rights of the entire people, but I guess you dont care about that? If you are living in China, you must be in a mega bubble if you cannot appreciate that standing up for justice in China is badly needed and is very good for the future and the people.

If you are not in China and you say these things about people who seek justice for people at the grass roots level, you are spoiled and do not understand the suffering of your people, of people like Falun Gong practitioners etc who have their rights totally taken away.

October 13, 2007 @ 8:12 pm | Comment

I wouldnt jump on the drug train is what I meant to say

I dont know what other mistakes I made but I gotta go now,

thanks Richard, Raj, Lisa…………………. for the interesting blog (-:

have a good day (-:

by the way, Mcgill U in Cnada holding a genocide prevention cnference and emphasises regimented hate propaganda as the thing to notice to prevent a genocide, anyway, I thought it was interesting.

http://efchr.mcgill.ca/WhatIsGenocide_en.php?menu=2

October 13, 2007 @ 8:17 pm | Comment

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