Unhinged Chinese Blogger

No, that’s not a takeoff on “ACB.” This is another blogger, a living, breathing example of CCP mind control in action. I read his post in a state of shocked fascination, wondering just how he came into being, what forces shaped his tortured reasoning and ignited such deep hatred against America. And such contempt for the most successful form of government the planet has ever known.

As usual, the blogger seizes on a piece of idiotic anecdotal evidence to “prove” his point that America is as guilty of imprisoning people who post anti-government stuff on the Internet as China. (The old “I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I bullshit.) Of course, if this were true, The Peking Duck would have been shut down long ago. But it’s not true. Take a look at the story he cites to back up his argument.

There may be new fallout after a University of Louisville student posted an internet message stating that New Orleans residents should do anything to survive — including shooting police, National Guard members or President George W. Bush if they get in their way….

Bailey was responding to another posted message about the turmoil following Hurricane Katrina. In his recent online response, Bailey wrote that families stranded by the storm should take and do anything necessary to stay alive, adding, “shoot every cop, National Guard (member) and politician who stands in your way, including George W. Bush, if need be.

On Tuesday, a Secret Service agent interviewed Bailey, and a spokesman for that agency said Bailey could face a federal charge of threatening the president.

Everybody get that? This cretin is actually comparing the arrest of “cyberdissidents” in China (you know, monsters like Liu Di, and the cyberterrorist who posted a punk rock song) with someone who is inciting people to pick up arms and shoot police officers and the president of the United States.

I thought about arguing but then decided, what’s the point? It’s like arguing with someone who equates the Taiwanese independence movement with a few crackpots in Hawaii who want to secede from the US. Logic and facts only go so far with these people (which isn’t very far). You can’t win.

More pearls of wisdom from Unhinged Chinese Blogger:

We all know how effieient Chinese cyberspace police are safeguarding the welfare of the regime and to crack down those political rebels, who dare to use their little hidden-agendas to explore the wide wide west opportunities existing in the World Wide Web to try to sent some provoking tailored information to the outside world and then hope the outside recipients can use the big stick of Human Rights to hit Chinese goverment right in the face. The rebels pretty much give up overthrowing Chinanes goverment from inside since 1989, and they hopes that kind of countries like America will receive their messages and help them subvert Chinese government from outside. Blogging and other internet facilities let these rebels see “a new way to organise people and therefore make a mounting threat to the government.”

You see, it’s all a big conspiracy. Those who want Internet freedoms in China, like blogger Isaac Mao, have a sinister ulterior motive: they want bloggers to incite the US to topple the glorious Chinese government.

I want to say no, it can’t be serious. Unfortunately, anyone who’s hung out at the China Daily forums can tell you it’s really not that unusual. God help us.

The Discussion: 62 Comments

Richard, if you don’t see something wrong that Bailey could face a federal charge, I don’t really know what to say.

September 27, 2005 @ 8:14 pm | Comment

Well Wawa, in case you don’t know it, it is illegal to rally people to arms to murder the president. I hate the president, but I don’t believe anyone has the right to advocate killing him or police officers (or anyone). Free speech does not and never has protected the right to incite people to acts of murder. If you don’t know that and don’t get that, then “I don’t know what to say.”

Oh, and if i were to go onto Chinese Internet sites and, in Chinese, openly call for people to pick up arms and murder Hu Jintao, how long do you think it would take before I was arrested?

September 27, 2005 @ 8:21 pm | Comment

Don’t tell me you think you should be arrested if you do that in China.

I guess you think people should face federal charge for saying something stupid.

September 27, 2005 @ 8:27 pm | Comment

“Saying somethings stupid”?? Like telling the people at the airport security check-in that you have a bomb and want to blow up the airplane? Tee-hee. If you believe telling people to buy guns and shoot police and the president is not grounds for arrest — not necessarily conviction, but certainly arrest and investigation — then we don’t have much to say to one another.

September 27, 2005 @ 8:34 pm | Comment

I guess when it comes to defend one’s own country, the rules changed a little bit. I would think if the same thing happened in China, you would joke about it and whip up CCP again.

But again, what do I know?

September 27, 2005 @ 8:40 pm | Comment

You know shit. If someone in China advocated buying guns and murdering Hu, I would never, ever criticize the government for arresting him — if they give him a fair and open trial.

Just like the Unhinged Chinese Blogger, you see a fair comparison between the 5 years in jail for posting a punk rock song and the arrest of a man actively calling for people to kill policemen and their president. You prove my point. Thank you.

September 27, 2005 @ 8:56 pm | Comment

Wawa, let’s go over some of the differences here and maybe you’ll see where Richard is coming from:

1) Independent media to follow the investigation of Mr. Bailey:

U.S.: Check
China: Nay

Right to legal representation and a fair trial by a jury:

U.S.: Check
China: Nay

Legal distinction between advocating for a change of government and a physical threat against an individual:

U.S.: Check
China: Nope

Legal distinction between a punk song and a physical threat:

U.S.: More or less
China: Negatori, good buddy

The existence of any independent organizations within the country that may or may not disagree with the government and advocate for the rights of a dissenting voice:

U.S.: Yup
China: You’ve got to be kidding

Anybody know any other differences?

September 27, 2005 @ 9:01 pm | Comment

I think you are right, I know shit. And I guess your equal of someone saying kill the president if he stands in the way of hurrican survival on the INTERNET (as if president of united stated could be killed that easily) and someone saying he had a bomb at the airport (which could really happen) is a real classic in my humble opinion.

September 27, 2005 @ 9:03 pm | Comment

davesgonechina, in case you guys haven’t noticed, I wasn’t comparing it what China would do, and everything you said was correct, it will be a lot more worse in China.

September 27, 2005 @ 9:06 pm | Comment

Well, then there is a case like this:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,152934,00.html

The point: you can call for the death of the president as long as it isn’t a “threat.”

In any case, using this issue as an attempt to prove that freedom of speech doesn’t exist in the US or that it is “the same” in China is utterly laughable.

September 27, 2005 @ 9:17 pm | Comment

And this guy is Chinese?

I thought for a moment that Philip Cunningham had started a B*S blog.

September 27, 2005 @ 9:44 pm | Comment

Thanks guys; Dave, great checklist.

It hurts to give Unhinged Chinese Blogger traffic, but people really need to see it to believe it.

September 27, 2005 @ 10:05 pm | Comment

Oh, oh, you don’t understand China. (Smacking my lips and shaking my head now.) Unhinged Chinese Blogger is using Marxist Dialectics and Confucius and Lao Tzu and Mao-ze-dong-thought, AND Traditional Chinese Medicine, when he shows you how America is just like China.

You just cannot understand what he means. because you are American.
That is why you cannot understand how America is exactly like China.

If you were a Chinese Intellectual like me, you would understand this logic.

Sincerely yours,

Ivan the Nauseatingly Pretentious Chinese Intellectual

September 27, 2005 @ 10:53 pm | Comment

You’re right when you say that you can’t win arguing with these people, any more than you can convince fundamentalist Christians that the world is more than 5000 years old. The thing to remember is that the CCP is a cult, and its supporters are no different to F*L*G or Scientology devotees, except that they are more brainwashed. They’ve spent their lives learning how to maintain the illusion that 2 + 2 = 5 if the Party says so, and there’s no way anyone is going to convince them otherwise just by talking to them.

September 27, 2005 @ 11:11 pm | Comment

Ivanzi,

Don’t forget that one must have an exact knowledge of Ming Dynasty vase painting as well as 1960s’ book burning techniques and their exact similarities – in order to understand that to use those two as an analogy to the analogy of the U.S. and China would be precise.

– Analects of davesgonechinazi

September 27, 2005 @ 11:12 pm | Comment

Peter,

Actually, I would say that most of the CCP members I know are the least ideological Chinese I know. I think most party members are ambitious and practical and take Karl Marx about as seriously as his brother Groucho. It would be more accurate to say that there are certain elements in the party that are dogmatic and ideological.

By way of example, probably 70% of Chinese students in the US are party members (or ex-members). They tend not to advertise that fact. (Many people in the US who read this blog probably know many more CCP members than they are aware of.) This is generally a function of being top students — being in the party is a benefit and an honor in China, which has real practical benefits. Party membership has almost zero to do with being “brainwashed” or ideology. 40 years ago? yes. Today? Not even close.

September 27, 2005 @ 11:39 pm | Comment

davesgonechinazi,

Ah, NOW you show your true colors! You have deviated from the correct line. Now we can smash all snakeheads like you!

Dream of the Red Ivanzi

September 28, 2005 @ 12:19 am | Comment

Dear CCP,

Any club which would have me as a member isn’t worth joining.

Sincerely yours,

Chairman Mao the Marxist (in Hell)

September 28, 2005 @ 12:28 am | Comment

Hmmmm,

You’re probably right when you say that most CCP members aren’t ideological. The few party members I’ve known certainly weren’t. But the organization itself is cult-like, even if most of its members only pay lip service to the philosophy which it is supposedly based on. It does still brainwash people.

September 28, 2005 @ 3:48 am | Comment

It is inconceivable that Bailey will be charged or convicted for his threat. 18 USC 871 requires that a threat against the President be made knowingly and willfully in order to be illegal. US Courts have consistently held that, pursuant to the First Amendment, this means that the speaker must seriously intend that the threat be carried out.

Mere “hyperbole” is not sufficient for a conviction. Since it seems clear that Bailey was engaged in crude hyperbole and not seriously calling for the President’s assasination, his statements are protected.

There was a US Supreme Court case some years ago in which a local police officer was fired for saying, after the assasination attempt against Reagan, that she hoped “they get him next time.” Not only was this held not to be illegal, the Court said that firing her for saying it violated her First Amendment rights, and ordered her reinstatment.

So, the bottom line is, Bailey is not guilty of any crime under US law and his offensive statements are protected under the US Constitution.

Compare this result with what we all know would happen in China under similar circumstances.

September 28, 2005 @ 4:14 am | Comment

Of course he won’t be convicted. But in our age of terrorism, when someone makes statements like his, is it wrong that they get arrested and investigated? (Wow, I’m actuially arguing like a Republican.)

And you’re obviously right, to compare this with Shi Tao and Liu Di and other arrests in china is painfully ludicrous.

September 28, 2005 @ 4:16 am | Comment

Hell, he hasn’t even been arrested. Whereas, were a Chinese blogger to make a similar statement regarding Hu, his ass would be in jail and subject to regular beatings by the security forces in about 30 seconds.

Notwithstanding our unhinged friend’s illinformed rantings, the law in question actually shows very clearly how much more free Americans are then their Chinese counterparts. An American can call for the killing of the US President and the law protects him, while a Chinese granny doing FLG exercises in public gets hauled away and beaten to death.

September 28, 2005 @ 4:47 am | Comment

Hmmm,

I agree with you that being a CCP member has very little to do with ideology. I remember when I was studying in Shanghai in 1989, one of my chinese friends got arrested in the wake of the student upr1sing. I returned for my second year of study in September, after I had to leave the country on July 7th. My friend had been released and told me he had joined the CCP, because that would give him the best guarantee for a bright future. I was not blaming him, after what I had seen in the previous months, but I knew for sure by then that joining the CCP was the ultimum of opportunism and has very little if not nothing to do with ideology.

September 28, 2005 @ 5:06 am | Comment

Lau:

So the CCP is comprised of idiots (who actually believe), opportunists (who konw better but want to advance) and the corrupt (who know where the $ is). A formula guaranteed to insure rule by the worst elements of society.

September 28, 2005 @ 5:51 am | Comment

Be honest Conrad, those three kinds of people make up every government.

September 28, 2005 @ 7:24 am | Comment

I didn’t get around to responding to Ivan and Richard in the open thread, and this story is sort of relevant, so I’ll put it here.

I think you both misunderstood what I was saying about “official representatives”. I wasn’t talking about anti-espionage and the like … but rather the trolls who are paid to try to manipulate internet discussions etc. This isn’t a secret … they advertised for people to do the work! I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t have one or two (out of many) assigned to English blogs … they’re certainly not lacking in manpower.

Also Ivan … you’re right about “most countries” … but, seriously, you really think China is like most countries?

September 28, 2005 @ 7:40 am | Comment

For a while there I was enjoying this blog but it seems recently it’s gotten (back?) to an endless rant against China.

I appreciate Richard’s efforts and courage to be unrelenting in pointing out relevant repressive governmental behaviour, but does it really have to be accompagnied by so much disdain? You can’t teach a child by yelling at it.

If Chinese people are willing to post their views here, you are free to agree or disagree, but bashing them makes you look like a bully. Treat them with respect or block them all the way. So many other people you would say to “let’s agree to disagree.”

I don’t know if you are familiar with the social situation in Hawaii, but calling them “a few crackpots in Hawaii who want to secede from the US” is very derogatory, considering the repression going on by the U.S. against the indigenous population there.

Reading what I read, it seems to me a blogger in the U.S. was harrassed for his post without reason [Conrad:”So, the bottom line is, Bailey is not guilty of any crime under US law”]. Moreover, calling to kill a cop is not the same as calling to kill a cop when he is keeping your starving family from getting food or medicin.

September 28, 2005 @ 8:51 am | Comment

Look, anyone who points to the example Unhinged Blogger did as proof that democracy is evil and that the US is just as bad as China is asking for it. To point out this idiocy is not to “bash China” and if you think it is you are really insulting the Chinese oeople, because this kind of stupidity is not symptomatic of the Chinese people as a whole.

If you haven’t noticed, I slam Bush all the time for his international crimes. Does that mean I am
“bashing America”? Hardly. I am pointing out what I see as gross injustices, and I am as vocal about those committed by my country as I am about the CCP. But I try to keep perspective. I have the freedom to say these things, and we can take criminals to court, or vote them out of office. It is important we realize this distinction as we criticise America. For all its sins, it’s got a lot going for it and a lot of amazing attributes. I really wish I could say the same for China’s government and for China’s constitution. But with no rule of law to enforce the constitution and police the government, there’s a lot to be desired.

September 28, 2005 @ 9:01 am | Comment

Richard, when you say “anyone who points to the example Unhinged Blogger did as proof that democracy is evil and that the US is just as bad as China is asking for it” and “It hurts to give Unhinged Chinese Blogger traffic, but people really need to see it to believe it” then I really get the impression you invite these posters in only to slash them later. If you really believe these people are beyond reasonable discussion then block them all the way, otherwise have a conversation and not a drive-by shooting.

Of course, having these kinds of conversations will challenge your patience, your emotional control and also your understanding of cultural differences of discussion and logic.

And when posters think the “US is just as bad as China” then you might want to hold your horses for a second instead of disregarding that right off the bat. Often times there is a point being made, as indeed the U.S. system also has many sins and some of them are comparable to Chinese situations.

I have the freedom to say these things.” Well, how many officials in the U.S. have lost their jobs and careers after critisizing the Bush Administration? Is there not a U.S. reporter in jail for not revealing her source?

For all its sins, it’s got a lot going for it and a lot of amazing attributes. I really wish I could say the same for China’s government and for China’s constitution.” Recently these two things happened:

1. The U.S. Supreme court decides that private property can be confiscated “for the good of the local community”, read shopping malls.

2. In Beijing, after court trials by locals being evicted to build shopping malls, the right of personal property is defended and shopping malls come second.

As you and I know, things aren’t that black and white, neither in China or the U.S., and that’s why blogs thrive bouncing opinions around. I’m glad you have a blog like that, please keep it pleasant.

September 28, 2005 @ 9:34 am | Comment

I have the vain hope that someday people will get beyond idiotic “arguments” of comparison. These are playground arguments. (“Your mom is fat.” “Well, your mom is fatter.”) Along the same lines:

– China’s legal system has flaws.
– Well, the US legal system has flaws (so there!)

– The US military commits atrocities.
– Well, terrorists commit atrocities (so there!)

– France stinks.
– Well, Russia stinks more. (so there!)

Does it take a genius to see that these aren’t counter-arguments in any sense? China’s legal system either has flaws or not – whether the US system or some alien system on Mars has flaws is a separate issue that has nothing to do with China’s legal system.

Either my mom is fat or she isn’t. If the rest of the world is fat or fatter has no bearing.

September 28, 2005 @ 11:01 am | Comment

I forgot to point out that 90% of the “arguments” you hear relating to China fall into this category. (100% coming from the CCP).

September 28, 2005 @ 11:24 am | Comment

Boy, Hmmmm, you nailed it. Here, here!

September 28, 2005 @ 1:44 pm | Comment

Richard, I saw your comment in my blog. I’m terribily sorry if it does inappropriately hurt you in the last sentence. I admit that I was too superficial to say that. But I’m kind of joking to say that, cause I think foreign countries are good but never your own country, maybe you need to stick around states more a little bit, there are lots of things for you to discover here as well. Don’t worry about Chinese too much, they will be fine. They experience lots of much worse things before in history and they still carry on working hard for a better tomorrow today. They’ll fullfill their dream in the end. But for our American, life is too much to worry about already, Life is too short, let’s concentrate on making things better here, cause world are looking at us for inspiration and we shouldn’t let them down: carry on to be a better country and a driving force for Global democracy and freedom. We still will have different opinions in the future, but let opinion be opinion, we still can be friends.
http://newsgator-herald.blogspot.com/

September 28, 2005 @ 7:44 pm | Comment

Fair enough, and sorry if this post of mine disturbed you, but it is part of blogging – you put things up, and others can praise you or criticize you. I honestly felt your claims that dissidents bloggers in China were conspiring to tear down the CCP was unfounded and, as i said, “unhinged.” Please feel free to explain why you believe this. I am always willing to discuss other people’s viewpoints. Thanks.

September 28, 2005 @ 7:54 pm | Comment

Mitch, I think you’re wrong in a lot of your points, and I’ll tell you why.

First a question to your first point, then I really get the impression you invite these posters in only to slash them later.

Where has this ever happened? Take a look at the comments of Jing, Hui Mao, Lin, Bingfeng and others who all disagree with me. I’ve never slashed them for it and never deleted their comments and always welcome them. Take a look below and you’ll see that “Unihinged Chinese Blogger” and I came to a reconciliation. You are way off on this one and again, I request you show us the proof.

About your comparisons of situations and Chinas, they are so foolish and irritating I don’t know where to begin. To compare the recent Supreme Court decision re. the government’s right to take property with what’s going on in China is a perversion of history. Very few (if any) Americans were ever thrown out on the streets in the US and forced to watch bulldozers tear down their homes without first being given the right to take the case to court and usually to receive fair compensation. To point to one case in China where a court ruled in favor of the evicted residents is ludicrous – there are countless stories of middle-of-the-night forced evictions often with zero compensation, zero recourse and a huge amount of suffering and loss. Tell us how many times this has happened here in the US, and include the link.

“I have the freedom to say these things.” Well, how many officials in the U.S. have lost their jobs and careers after critisizing the Bush Administration? Is there not a U.S. reporter in jail for not revealing her source?

Losing your job is always a possibility if you say something the boss doesn’t like. But these officials were absolutely free to say what they chose to, and many go on to write books blasting their former employers, like Paul O’Neill and even the loathesome Dick Morris. That is freedom. About Judith Miller, the NYT reporter in jail, she is NOT in jail for criticizing the government, but for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury investigation. It has absolutely zero to do with free speech. Get your facts straight and then argue.

September 28, 2005 @ 8:37 pm | Comment

Losing your job is always a possibility if you say something the boss doesn’t like. But these officials were absolutely free to say what they chose to

Somehow these two sentences don’t go together for me. Where is the “absolutely free” when you risk losing your job? Why were so many people upset about Bolton trying to fire an employee with a dissenting opinion? They were upset because it’s not right.

As for the reporter in jail, I should have made it more clear: that was not meant as an example of lack of free speech, but of harrassing journalists. Reporters don’t have to reveal their source (agreed, this doesn’t mean they have carte blanche) but prosecuting them anyway for “refusing to cooperate with a grand jury investigation” is just a lame excuse in my eyes.

Reading about the Beijing court decision reminded me of how things are becoming better here, slowly but surely. Reading about the Supreme Court decision reminded me about how things are growing worse, fast. You are proud of your constitution and rightly so, but it’s spirit has all but vanished. The Supreme Court is responsible for the interpretation of the constitution and this example I gave is certainly not encouraging and, according to many, very much against the spirit of the Founding Fathers. The U.S. has lost it role model position and as such you are no longer in a position to tell China what to do.

Yes, hmmm, I agree with what you say. Pointing out flaws in the U.S. is not about making it alright for China to do so also. It is about trying to get you guys to tone down your arrogance. You’re constantly telling China what to do and not do but those efforts might well be directed at the U.S. itself. People think twice before taking advice from the U.S. these days.

I love both China and the States and it hurts me to hear people talk badly about Americans. This blog, having a foot in China, is an opportunity for you guys to show off your virtues that are now quickly being forgotten. No need to show off your arrogance – we all know about that.

Take a look below and you’ll see that “Unihinged Chinese Blogger” and I came to a reconciliation. I am very glad about that and hope to see it more often. There is no need for the discussion to turn vile before it becomes civilized.

September 28, 2005 @ 9:50 pm | Comment

Mitch, are you dense? Part of freedom in most of America is the freedom to hire who you want and to fire them. I hate the thought of firing people for speaking out, but it’s a right that employers have in many cases. If they want to surround themselves with yes-men and fire the whistleblowers, that’s their privilege. That, too, is part of freedom. But the whistleblower still enjoys the genuine freedom to state his mind, and they are seen all the time on 60 Minutes and in news articles and lawsuits. And the media can make them instant superstars, like Cindy Sheehan. That’s freedom. You can’t do those things in China. And trust me, any worker in China who speaks out against his boss will be fired on the spot.

You blast my site for attacking China, but I ask you to perform this simple exercise: Simply scroll through all the posts on the homepage. They are about many different aspects of China. The one prominent theme is concern for Chinese people getting the short end of the stick – getting screwed by their government in one way or another. So maybe my site is more about concern than about attacks. Many of these stories are in the mass media, and some can be found in the Chinese media, like the Li Ao speech. I try to bring them together and discuss them. If you see this as “vile” it’s your right, and no one forces you to come here. Thanks for sharing.

September 28, 2005 @ 10:12 pm | Comment

Part of freedom in most of America is the freedom to hire who you want and to fire them. I hate the thought of firing people for speaking out, but it’s a right that employers have in many cases. If they want to surround themselves with yes-men and fire the whistleblowers, that’s their privilege. That, too, is part of freedom.

The employer’s freedom ends where the employee’s freedom begins. If the employer is “free” to fire at will, then why do I read this:

Conrad: There was a US Supreme Court case some years ago in which a local police officer was fired for saying, after the assasination attempt against Reagan, that she hoped “they get him next time.” Not only was this held not to be illegal, the Court said that firing her for saying it violated her First Amendment rights, and ordered her reinstatment.

Her reinstatement was ordered because the employer is not “free” to fire at will, in this case “firing her for saying it.” Unfortunately, many people have been fired just for critisizing Bush (not even talking about him being dead or alive) and this is where I think you should realize there is repression in the U.S. also, and Chinese people (and others) may focus on that rather than just take the U.S. as a good example and take your word for it.

And trust me, any worker in China who speaks out against his boss will be fired on the spot.

Situations in China don’t justify situations in the U.S.

You blast my site for attacking China

I’m sorry if you misunderstood, I do not blast your site or call it vile. I do call vile some of your responses, especially towards Chinese bloggers who dare state inflammable opinions, while these are the people who could make the difference between any old blog and an interesting clash of cultural views on TPD.

September 28, 2005 @ 10:48 pm | Comment

mitch,

>>Pointing out flaws in the U.S. is not about making it alright for China to do so also.

No. Actually, that is exactly what it is about. Example:

I say: 2 + 2 = 5.

You say: No, 2 + 2 = 4.

I say: Remember 2 years ago when you said “3 + 3 = 7”!?? Why are you so arrogant?

So what did I do there? First, I changed the subject of the debate from my error to your error. Second, I completely ignored the real issue: is 2 + 2 = 4 correct or not? Third, I attacked someone for pointing out an error. I didn’t debate them on THE ISSUE; I created an new unrelated issue (your previous error). This is a sophomoric way of attacking someone’s credibility rather than debating the issue.

If you want to see this idiotic form of “argument” used against yourself, I suggest you start a blog about the US. Point out the flaws in the American political system. I guarantee you will instantly get 1,000 Americans using this same tactic (“oh yeah, well China is worse!” blah blah blah).

It is idiotic no matter which “side” uses this high school debating tactic.

September 28, 2005 @ 10:58 pm | Comment

Dear hmmm, I agree. That way of debating is often more of a psychological reflex and it takes some effort for anyone to overcome it and tackle the issue itself.

This way of debating is very much prevalent in China because conversation here is not as focused on facts or truth the way it is in the West. Conversation is more for the sake of conversation itself. This is a part of the Chinese consciousness and you’ll have to deal with it time and again when Chinese bloggers come over here. This was exemplified by wawa saying I guess you think people should face federal charge for saying something stupid. For Chinese people, it’s just words. That’s why many are totally caught off guard and surprised when the CCP knocks on their door and jails them. Dissident reporters know this might happen, innocent newby bloggers don’t, because for them it’s just words. You’ll have a hard time trying to engage them in the kind of discussion you would like to see.

September 28, 2005 @ 11:18 pm | Comment

>>This way of debating is very much prevalent in China because conversation here is not as focused on facts or truth the way it is in the West.

Well, you see this kind of argument used all of the time in the US, too, but I agree with your point. Part of it is that Chinese are hyper-sensitive to the “criticism” of foreigners. So identity matters. If richard were Chinese, people would respond differently (in general) to this site.

>>For Chinese people, it’s just words.

That is definitely true in some ways. Americans are much more careful with each other and their words than Chinese are with each other. Yes, I just said that. If you are American and you doubt it, go get a Chinese wife and you will see what I mean.

September 28, 2005 @ 11:35 pm | Comment

Mitch:

Don’t you presume to lecture me regarding the law, about which you very clearly know jack shit. To the extent I can make any sense at all out of your uneducated and incoherent ramblings, my response is as follows:

I am not aware of a single “official” fired for criticizing the Bush Administration. Indeed, with the exception of ‘political appointments’ such a firing would be unconstitutional. Public employers cannot, as a matter of First Amendment law, fire employees for the expression of their political views.

To compare the US Supreme Court decision in Kelo, which required full legal recourse and the payment of fairmarket value, with the uncompensated landgrabs by Chinese officialdom, is deranged and absurd.

Stick to commenting about things you understand (whatever they might turn out to be) and stay away from the law, about which subject you are obviously an imbecile.

September 28, 2005 @ 11:57 pm | Comment

Again …. I’ve doubs about this “Mitch” person’s identity. He’s one or both of the possibilities I suggested on the open thread. You’re wasting your breath responding. Remember my comment about trying to teach a horse to sing? It wastes your time, and annoys the horse.

September 29, 2005 @ 12:51 am | Comment

Conrad, I was not lecturing you, I was just quoting your own words from a few posts up.

You also say I am not aware of a single “official” fired for criticizing the Bush Administration.

It doesn’t have to be an official. There’s plenty:

Some journalists have been fired for their unpatriotic views.

In the past three months, at least three columnists were fired because of their dissenting opinions

O’Neill was fired because he shot off his big mouth, repeatedly saying that the Bush tax cuts were useless

Critics of Bush’s “National Missile Defense System” face retaliation by the administration. Two critics in particular are worthy of note. The published and public dissents of Dr. Theodore Postal of MIT have cost him federal research grants, along with threats of research cutbacks to MIT. In addition, Dr. Nira Schwartz, a scientist and computer expert, was fired by the defense contractor…

and so on. Really, I’m not pulling this out of my hat. Do some browsing yourself and you’ll find more than you like.

September 29, 2005 @ 1:51 am | Comment

Mitch, I’m a liberal, but citing hard-core lefty media like these isn’t going to help your cause. I’m beginning to get the picture. I would say you really are pulling this “out of your hat.” The old anecdotal evidence that let you say, “Look, America is just as bad.” America sucks in many ways, especially in the Age of Bush. But this kind of argument is embarrassingly amateurish and doiwnright absurd.

September 29, 2005 @ 2:47 am | Comment

Maybe so, but you’re not gonna find coverage of this in right-wing media, are you.

September 29, 2005 @ 2:52 am | Comment

The funny thing is, all these stories you’re pointing to as proof of how limited free speech is in America — all these stories are told in the media and are fully available for us to see, thanks to free speech. Granted, post-911 there’s been a chill on free speech and a lot of scare tactics to stifle it. But that’s finally passed and the media have never been more critical of Bush as they are today.

Re. your tired examples of officials being fired for criticizing the president — in China, you not only would get fired, but the media would be forbidden to tell your story. If they did, you and the reporter could well spend many years in prison. Do you not see the distinctions here? (But please, don’t answer, just think about it. I think you’re enjoying this and just want to go ’round and around).

September 29, 2005 @ 3:00 am | Comment

“Do you not see the distinctions here?”

Of course I do. But silencing/firing a reporter in the U.S. is more grave than it is in China, as the U.S.’s level of freedom and free speech is much higher and eagerly professed. Should the two be compared by one single standard? For the U.S. it is a step backward, for China it is business as usual.

September 29, 2005 @ 3:36 am | Comment

How often are reporters “silenced” in America? Even if you find anecdotal evidence of such an occurrence, you can then find plenty of articles about the fact they were silenced! Hell, all the reporter has to do is start a blog – every voice can be heard. And we can spell out d-e-m-o-c-r-a-c-y and t-i-a-n-an-m-e-n, etc.

September 29, 2005 @ 3:39 am | Comment

Mitch:

You said that “many US officials have been fired because of anit-Bush views.

I resopnd that (a) I am not aware of a single one; (b) such a firing would generally be illegal; and (c) challenge you to name one.

You resspond that “they don’t have to be officials.

Which means that you cannot name a single example, are hastily retreating having been challenged and don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

In the US a private employer can fire an employee for almost any reason, unless it’s prohibited by staute or policy (i.e., race). If I were to fire one of my employees for being anti-Bush, or George Soros were to fire one of his for being pro-Bush, it raises no legal questions whatsovever.

So, either name one single “official” fired for criticizing Bush or shut the fuck up and admit to being full of shit.

September 29, 2005 @ 7:58 am | Comment

Ok.

Just this last question: Why does Richard’s “I hate the thought of firing people for speaking out” begin with the words “I hate” ?

Is that your freedom then? The one that you hate?

September 29, 2005 @ 9:20 am | Comment

Mitch (who seems a bit unhinged himself):

Why does Richard’s “I hate the thought of firing people for speaking out” begin with the words “I hate” ? Is that your freedom then? The one that you hate?

I hate the thought of Nazis demonstrating in my neighborhood, or anywhere in my country. But part of livingin a free society is tolerating things you hate. I hate the Nazis, but I love the freedoms that ensure they are allowed to demonstrate. There are other freedoms I hate – the freedom of employers to fire at will (I live in a “right to work” state were this is pretty much the law); the freedom of lobbyists to push for obscene tax breaks; and so much more. It’s the price we pay for freedom. Sorry about that; there are always tradeoffs and no system is perfect. Can you show me a system that works more efficiently than America’s?

September 29, 2005 @ 4:55 pm | Comment

That’s fair, I guess.

Now please provide me with a link where I can read a bit about Chinese people being thrown out on the street in the middle of the night as part of an evil eviction process. And then I’ll toddle off ๐Ÿ˜‰

September 29, 2005 @ 10:20 pm | Comment

You asked for it. I don’t make assertions if I’m not ready to back them up. Here goes.

All 23 protesters were detained by police for questioning at around 7 p.m. following the dramatic standoff, which lasted five hours. It was not immediately clear what sort of grievances the petitioners had against the government.

The requisition of land by local governments and their crony development companies is a frequent cause for complaint in China, as local residents are evicted from their homes with little ceremony and scant compensation so local governments can cash in on skyrocketing property values.

Another common complaint is the non-payment of salaries and retirement pensions by local governments, which are perennially short of cash. Police brutality and beatings to death in custody have also triggered social unrest in some areas.

Dozens of police were called in to control a crowd protesting outside the Beijing municipal government headquarters last week, petitioners said.

“Our entire family was thrown out on the street because of forced evictions. My father died on the street because of this. We have no home to go to,” one Beijing petitioner told RFA from outside the municipal government.

“We were thrown out with no formal procedures by the Management Bureau for the Affairs of State Organs. They built homes for ministers on the piece of land which they took over from us,” she said from the middle of the chanting crowd.

“They are shouting in protest at the government. They want a dialogue with the municipal Party secretary, because of these savage and lawless evictions and takeovers of land.”

Better yet, just go here and you’ll find tons of links. Forced evictions of China’s disenfranchised with little or no compensation is a well-known fact. By everyone but you. Click around if you really want to learn.

Now, where’s the link showing this happens in the US. We’re all waiting.

September 29, 2005 @ 10:32 pm | Comment

Well, there’s always this:

The United States and Israel, along with eight other countries, came under fire from a human rights NGO on 10 December for being guilty of โ€œmost consistently abusing and defying international housing rights law.โ€
[…]
Moreover, General Comment No. 7 obliges all states to refrain from forced eviction and to ensure that all non-state actors who commit such crimes are punished. The US, however, is not a party to the Covenant and thus does not recognize these rights.
[…]
When the data on housing poverty and homelessness is disaggregated by race and sex, these figures reflect patterns of โ€œentrenched discrimination in the US, particularly against African-Americans, Native Americans and Latinos, and also against women,โ€
[…]
Moreover, homelessness has been made criminal in at least 50 US cities.

The U.S. is plenty active forcibly evicting people from ore and oil rich places abroad:

that the gold ore Barrick profits from in Tanzania was freed up for exploitation thanks to the forced eviction of indigenous miners, at a cost of some 50 miners’ lives

And then there’s your good old friends the Native Americans:

Traditional Dine’h (Navajo) remaining on the Hopi Partition Land (lands designated for Hopi by Congress in 1974) in Ari-zona are enduring increased harassment and hardship as their livestock are impounded, their housing repairs are cited, and other measures are taken against them to force them to move. They need helpers, living supplies, and legal funds. Dine’h “non-signers” have recently received notices that their housing repairs are illegal, with orders to dismantle or risk demolition. Any construction or repairs on the HPL has been forbidden since 1966. Those Dine’h who refuse to sign “AA” leases or to relocate are being targeted for forced eviction by the United States government. As tenants on the HPL, they would give up many of their rights to due process and to lands their ancestors have lived on for many centuries.

Oh and check out this line from the same article: By US law, their only option is to move to “New Lands” polluted by a uranium tailing spill.

God Bless.

September 29, 2005 @ 11:15 pm | Comment

Mitch, you are asking for it, my friend. Nice changing of the subject. You don’t have to be a genius to come up with all kinds of stuff on the Web that says how bad the US is. You’ve shown your true colors; you don’t want to argue issues, you just want to point to examples of how bad the US is as proof that China is A-okay. I know you are but what am I, in other words. With this incredibly irrelevant comment you have now completely discredited yourself, I’m afraid.

September 29, 2005 @ 11:25 pm | Comment

“Nice changing of the subject.” Weren’t we talking about forced evictions then?

“you just want to point to examples of how bad the US is as proof that China is A-okay” Rest assured I am not of the opinion that the U.S. is oh so bad and China A-okay. Both countries have their virtues and vices and people in both countries can mutually discuss ways to make things better, both here and there.

September 29, 2005 @ 11:37 pm | Comment

All true. But I made a statement (about the evictions) and you challenged me to find a link. I did so and instead of thanking me or acknowledging your error, you replied with a list of links showing how bad the US is in himan rights, totally unrelated to the eviction issue. That’s the tactic we have seen from math and Simplistic Worker and Really, and it’s a bad sign. it says you aren’t serious but want to skip around to keep hammering away at your theme of how the US is just as bad or worse than China. Sorry, it won’t fly.

September 29, 2005 @ 11:41 pm | Comment

Richard, I have heard about the evictions but never read a post about them. That’s just me coming to blogs like this too late in the game I guess. My “now please provide me with a link” was not a challenge but a request, hence the word “please”. I thank you for the link.

I replied with other links because you asked me “Now, where’s the link showing this happens in the US.” The forced evictions of Native Americans are a valid example, are they not?

September 30, 2005 @ 1:41 am | Comment

Did everyone just see that? I point to evictions today in China, and Mitch points to long-ago evictions of Native Americans in the US! And there we have it, the same old trick. The same script. The same non-argument, but instead one set of charges against the US after another, for acts committed a century ago, without even a word of sympathy for those evicted in China yesterday.

September 30, 2005 @ 2:11 am | Comment

[Edited; heh]

September 30, 2005 @ 3:45 am | Comment

Thread closed; getting too nasty, and I don’t want such nastiness here.

September 30, 2005 @ 3:52 am | Comment

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