Blogging Lite

Busy with freelance work and trip preparations. Let’s use this as an open thread. Play nice and make others feel at home.

The Discussion: 66 Comments

We now have a name for that mysterious disease in Sichuan. HOWEVER, all the below is from Chinese government and health officals.

I’m amazed by the attitude of the WHO, saying that “China had the ability to identify and contain the disease.”

Err, it also has the ability to lie through its teeth as well buddy….
Bacteria that killed 19 people identified

Human-to-human transmission not possible, say officials.

Sichuan officials yesterday identified the bacteria responsible for the deaths of 19 farm workers in the southwestern province – and ruled out the possibility of human-to-human infection.

Veterinarians said the 19 had died from infection with streptococcus suis type 2, a bacteria in the tonsils of pigs which rarely infects humans but which can
cause deafness, meningitis and septicaemia – or blood poisoning.

An official from the local animal husbandry and veterinary bureau said all the people taken ill had come into direct contact with infected pig
A Sichuan health bureau spokesman reached yesterday declined to update the casualty toll. Xinhua reported last night that the death toll had risen to 19 with another 17 people critically ill. It said there were 67 confirmed and 13 suspected cases, mostly in Ziyang and the rest in Neijiang.

Bob Dietz, spokesman for the World Health Organisation in Manila, said the UN agency was satisfied with the central government’s response to the outbreak and was confident China had the ability to identify and contain the disease.

July 25, 2005 @ 7:03 pm | Comment


July 25, 2005 @ 7:05 pm | Comment

I do think the WHO needs to strike a balance here. It’s one thing to ask for cooperation on an identified, cross-border issue like bird flu. But I don’t WHO has the resources or inclination to stick its head in every time someone in China gets the sniffles.

People who work with livestock get wierd diseases. It happens a lot. It’s an accepted risk of animal husbandry (hold your jokes please). Unless it looks like something with cross-border epidemic potential, there isn’t much for the WHO to do. And if they try to stick their nose in all the time it will be counter productive, as the Chinese people and government come to resent the implied criticism. Then when it comes time to help out with something truly nasty, it’ll be even harder than it already is to get cooperation.

July 25, 2005 @ 7:19 pm | Comment

Another topic for discussion. Security expert Bruce Schneier has panned the “shoot to kill” policy in london:

His reason: terrorists adapt to any known condition (and after putting seven bullets into the head of an apparently innocent Brazilian this policy is pretty well known now). The adaptation to shoot to kill: a deadman switch.

July 25, 2005 @ 7:22 pm | Comment

8 bullets.

July 25, 2005 @ 7:43 pm | Comment

Re: Last King of Scotland, the novel about Idi Amin – it’s told from the POV of a young Scottish doctor, who goes to work in Uganda and becomes Amin’s personal physician – basically one of those stories about how a person of not very strong convictions gets sucked into an untenable (sp?) situation. And what the role of the rest of the world (the UK in particular) was in enabling Amin, etc.

Like I said, I don’t think the last third lived up to the first two thirds, but it was a pretty good book.

July 25, 2005 @ 7:45 pm | Comment

Yeah, but only seven to the head. The other one went somewhere else. Sloppy work. After all, seven bullets to the head might only slow your dope-crazed jihadist suicide bomber (or panicky Brazilian) a little bit. Best to go for broke.

July 25, 2005 @ 7:51 pm | Comment

Rule Brittania.

July 25, 2005 @ 7:56 pm | Comment

Will, what you say is true and I agree that the WHO has neither the resources nor the practical need to jump in feet-first everytime a disease which is, as you say, a fairly common ocurrence in animal husbandry.

But there’s the rub, they have to trust a government that have a proven track record of lying and covering up these things. Hell, they treat unknown diseases as a bloody state secret.

Cooperation or lack thereof was a major complaint of the WHO in China and the whole idea of having an international organisation poking around sits very uneasily in China’s bureacratic, report-upwards, system.

It saddens me that the WHO has “not stirring things up” and “not wanting to make things even worse” as a consideration when dealing with China.

July 25, 2005 @ 8:00 pm | Comment

I see your point, Martyn. I just think they need to play a delicate game. Knowing the situation, what do you do? Stick your nose in at every situation, or save your political capital for when it really matters? I think they’ve gone for the latter.

But I agree with you, it’s a compromise because of the government’s prickliness. In the best case, WHO would have complete freedom to investigate as it saw necessary, and unfettered access to information.

That’ll be the day.

Frankly, it makes me wonder what kinds of things have been successfully covered up. Food for thought.

July 25, 2005 @ 8:06 pm | Comment

AM, please – that comment could not stay here. Sorry.

July 25, 2005 @ 8:11 pm | Comment

A comment about Hamburgers?

July 25, 2005 @ 8:13 pm | Comment

Maybe I misunderstood it….

July 25, 2005 @ 8:14 pm | Comment

It wasn’t supposed to be anything other than it was.I miss IN -N’ -Out Thats it. I also like Fat burger.

July 25, 2005 @ 8:16 pm | Comment

see my email to you

July 25, 2005 @ 8:17 pm | Comment

Don’t be a panicky police officer too.

July 25, 2005 @ 8:17 pm | Comment

Oh, and here’s more reason to love WalMart, our all-American ueber-company.

July 25, 2005 @ 8:18 pm | Comment


However, the WHO, revalutation, F*L*G, defector Chen, issues etc all pale in comparison to your underwear “problem” with your cleaner. That’s a nasty business.

(According to Imagethief today, Will’s cleaner can’t identify which underwear is his and which is his wifes—however, I think Gordon’s comment got to the “bottom” of the matter! Haha)

July 25, 2005 @ 8:19 pm | Comment

I was reading somwhere that the Chinese want to buy Wal-Mart.

July 25, 2005 @ 8:21 pm | Comment

“I was reading somwhere that the Chinese want to buy Wal-Mart.

Posted by Xena Phobia at July 25, 2005 08:21 PM”


the result of your hangover?

July 25, 2005 @ 8:26 pm | Comment

HUH? Bingfeng do you make no sense in 5 languages?

July 25, 2005 @ 8:28 pm | Comment

I was reading somwhere that the Chinese want to buy Wal-Mart.

Posted by Xena Phobia at July 25, 2005 08:21 PM


we won’t allow it happen, that endangers our national security


July 25, 2005 @ 8:31 pm | Comment

Yeah, TARGET would be really happy.It would be out of business in a month.

July 25, 2005 @ 8:33 pm | Comment

Nah, actually I think Bingfeng makes pretty good sense there.

Martyn: Thanks. People will now think my blog is some kind of underwear fetish site. That’s inaccurate. I keep my underwear fetish site separate because it is revenue generating.

July 25, 2005 @ 8:36 pm | Comment

Forget about the past crap on to better things. I just bought a PSP. It can do anything, the price 2000 yuan phenominal. I just got Harry Potter’s new ebook book and am able to read it vertically. For those of you in China frustrated with not being able to buy good books(besides classics) you need to buy this thing. It makes everything portable. I am now at this moment watching batman begins. And I’m sure China will have the Black Marketed UMD’s very soon. I am already playing about 4 illegal games which I didn’t pay for but downloaded. Check into the PSP it’s not only for kids anymore.

July 25, 2005 @ 8:46 pm | Comment

Can you watch porn on it?

July 25, 2005 @ 8:57 pm | Comment

Walmart isn’t about to sell out to the Chinese,
they’re just getting started in China

July 25, 2005 @ 9:00 pm | Comment

I was reading the Onion. “Marine Corps shortens slogan ‘To the Few’

July 25, 2005 @ 9:00 pm | Comment

PSP? Oh. the Playstation? really?

I don’t play video games at all though. I can do some ebooks on my palm. Still haven’t gotten an iPod and that’s tempting.

July 25, 2005 @ 9:03 pm | Comment

What is the difference between liverwurst and braunsweiger?

July 25, 2005 @ 9:05 pm | Comment

Apparently a Braunsweiger is simply a Liverwurst that’s been smoked in it’s casing.

July 25, 2005 @ 9:15 pm | Comment


Whatever you do, don’t buy an iPod in China….(breathe…5,4,3,2,1)

Whew…I’m gonna try to cover that one with a little more …rationality.

July 25, 2005 @ 9:16 pm | Comment

I feel your pain.I bought a house!

July 25, 2005 @ 9:19 pm | Comment

Is anyone going to watch the Space shuttle go boom?

July 25, 2005 @ 9:22 pm | Comment

You’re morbid man.

July 25, 2005 @ 9:27 pm | Comment

Gordon, I was thinking about buying it at an Apple store – whaddya think?!

July 25, 2005 @ 9:29 pm | Comment

That’s where my wife bought mine too. Only it was here in China.

If you’re buying it in the States, go for it. I loved it.

July 25, 2005 @ 9:31 pm | Comment

Well, I hope the Astronauts don’t forget to take plenty of pig sperm with them.

July 25, 2005 @ 9:31 pm | Comment

That would be terrible.When the shuttle explodes Pig sperm will cover the earth like a blanket. yuch!

July 25, 2005 @ 9:34 pm | Comment

So, Dr Meyers and MAJ turned out to be the same person? Well, I’m glad to see that my first reaction to the appearance of the Dr was that it was a joke. I shouldn’t have wasted as much time as I did giving it the benefit of the doubt.

I’ve missed quite a lot of threads … but it seems that the MAJ character was trying to form certain theories based on his experiments? The thing that he may have forgotten is that everyone adopts a different persona online. Some adopt ones that are quite different from themselves, and a real role-playing exercises … others are merely a reflection of the different medium, in much the same way a person changes depending on which person he/she is interacting with. Thus, one person may even differ in behaviour from one blog to another blog, depending on the audience he/she is addressing, etc.

I do feel someone foolish for having taken MAJ (etc) at face value, and even suspecting that Dr Meyers might be for real, but comfort myself that in the end it reflects negatively on the liar, not the person who trusted the liar.

Well, I guess this is old news to everyone else. That was my two cents.

July 25, 2005 @ 9:34 pm | Comment

Unless of course you’re into that sorta thing, in which case it would be a very good thing.I suppose.

July 25, 2005 @ 9:35 pm | Comment

Filothy,I’ve been working on my spelling and grammer.I am up to the 5th or 6th grade level.

July 25, 2005 @ 9:37 pm | Comment

but it seems that the MAJ character was trying to form certain theories based on his experiments?

Bugger the experiments, Nine. That was just a cover to conceal his loss of face, reputation, credibility, prestige, and penis length.

I can’t bear to face that I just got trounced in debate, exposed as a plagiarist and second-hand thinker, and stripped of all credibility, so I’m going to pretend that this was part of the plan all along.

Sort of like “Ha! See, I beat you by pounding my face into your fist.” But don’t regret missing it too much. It was just wordy and sordid, but without much overall value except as an exercise in internet investigation.

July 25, 2005 @ 10:14 pm | Comment

In that case, Xenophobia, you may wish to write “grammar”.

July 25, 2005 @ 10:36 pm | Comment

Will,all part of the ruse my amigo.

July 25, 2005 @ 10:38 pm | Comment

Will, you can just call me Xena “Chinese Princess Warrior” Phobia.It just sorta rolls off the tongue.

July 25, 2005 @ 10:40 pm | Comment

Fair enough. It always amazes me how often that one gets misspelled.

July 25, 2005 @ 10:48 pm | Comment

BBC report:
Unocal ‘almost backed China bid’

July 25, 2005 @ 11:26 pm | Comment

… Britannia rules the waves

July 26, 2005 @ 12:00 am | Comment

The battle of the iPod is over and Victory is mine!

I’m gonna be gloating for days…

July 26, 2005 @ 4:16 am | Comment

Unless yer new one chokes, podboy.

July 26, 2005 @ 5:09 am | Comment


July 26, 2005 @ 5:32 am | Comment

An interesting article about Boxer rebellion and MG Rover.,,1536092,00.html

July 26, 2005 @ 9:18 am | Comment

Yeah, what is it with people and their spelling of the word grammar today?

July 26, 2005 @ 9:58 am | Comment

this has no purpose but to brag about how damn cool my girlfriend is – but during the corporate christmas party last year she won one of those PSPs when they had just come out in Japan (she works there…)

I thought for a while that she had just been lucky, but no! in fact she won it in a “rock paper scissors” tournament, with over 200 participants. Whatta gal. Course it means that I know why I’ve been paying for a lot of the pizza and running all those menial chores that we used rock paper scissors to determine the division of labour…

I’m a foo’

July 26, 2005 @ 10:54 am | Comment

That advet says: It’s more than lucky

July 26, 2005 @ 11:14 am | Comment

The Onion has the best headline I’ve seen in a while:

Marine Corps Shortens Slogan To ‘The Few’

July 26, 2005 @ 3:49 pm | Comment

Richard,Did you read the Poll results on American’s views of Muslims/Islam? If so, what do you think?

July 26, 2005 @ 6:19 pm | Comment

Missed the poll — tell us about it!

July 26, 2005 @ 6:23 pm | Comment

It says that 55% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Islam and Muslims.The (Pew) Poll was conducted after the London bombings.It suggests that Americans have a 57% favorability rating of Evan-Christians.73% for Catholics and 77% for Jews. I’m surprised by all the numbers.

July 26, 2005 @ 6:34 pm | Comment

I can’t say I’m surprised by the numbers. Evangelicals are freaking people out big time, and their Focus on the Family (a pseudonym for a group bent on literally wiping out gays, inter-racial marriage and anything in life that is any fun) is backfiring. So to see their poll status close to the much maligned American Muslim community is no surprise. I see the Evangies as more dangerous to the soul of America than our Muslim community, which has been very resistant to terrorism, all the acts being perpetrated by Saudis and thei Mideast friends.

July 26, 2005 @ 6:51 pm | Comment

I agree that the Jesus crispies are THE biggest danger to America.I am surprised at the rest of the numbers.I guess I have been out of the country a long time. It gives me some hope.

July 26, 2005 @ 6:53 pm | Comment

A new article on, of all things, Chinese windmills. Whoooosh.

July 26, 2005 @ 6:53 pm | Comment

And on that note, this thread has breathed its last. New thread above.

July 26, 2005 @ 7:10 pm | Comment

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