Archive for June, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Petition for Liu Xiaobo, CCP refines Harmony Tools

Dozens of China’s most prominent writers and scholars, among them Li Datong (李大同), are calling for the release of a dissident Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波) who was arrested after co-authoring a bold manifesto urging civil rights and political reforms, Associated Press reported on Friday. Abroad, Nadine Gordimer, Salman Rushdie, and other authors, have signed an open letter to China’s chairman Hu Jintao urging Liu’s release.

Meantime, Liu Xiaobo met with a lawyer, Shang Baojun, writes Underthejacaranda. His previous lawyer, Mo Shaoping (莫少平), has been disqualified to represent his client for signing the Charter 08, which was co-authored by Liu.

Yitong, a law firm with a high profile (and apparently some success) in defending human rights activists has reportedly been shut down.

Formally, there is no crackdown; no police are swooping in to seize files or send attorneys en masse to labor camps. Instead, Beijing is simply using its administrative procedures for licensing lawyers and law firms, declining to renew the annual registrations, which expired May 31, of those it deems troublemakers,

the Washington Post reported, also on Friday.

Underthejacaranda is keeping track of news about Liu Xiaobo.


Related: Liu Xiaobo formally arrested, June 24

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dalai Lama on Global Financial Crisis

Dalai Lama in an interview with the German paper Die Welt, June 20

Welt: The market doesn’t settle it, but you don’t believe in regulation either. Then what do we need?

Dalai Lama: I call it a responsible free market economy. In the end it depends on the individual. It depends on the individual sense of moral responsibility, self-discipline, values. The financial crisis is no crisis of the market economy itself, but a crisis of values.

Is he right? It is probably true that people who put profit above everything else (including reasonable risk management) will always find ways around regulation. And there weren’t only bigwigs involved. A lot of “ordinary people” showed an incredible faith in incredible returns on investment, too. A kind of faith that may justifiably be labeled greed, and demand generates supply.

The crisis is a reminder that things can’t be left to the market alone, but also a reminder that regulation alone won’t do.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Common Ground and Differences

Zeng Jinyan was at the Film Festival and Art Exhibition of Sexual Diversity (多元性别艺术展) in Songzhuang Art District earlier this month. She was there with friends, but also ran into some familiar state security people, such as the head of the Tongzhou District Public Security Bureau. State security had three pictures removed for being “too nude”, and made sure that no posters were placed outside the venue. A member of the Songzhuang Art Association briefly mistook Zeng for a plain-clothed member of state security.


Related: Is China quietly coming out?, Chronicle Herald, June 18

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Iran: In Dire Need of Foreign Enemies

American governments have experienced it in the past: your enemy refuses to continue a lucrative arms race, or you have him hanged and he’s no longer around. The bitter fruits of victory always seemed to come as a surprise.

The US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the removal of Saddam Hussein‘s regime was actually a nice service rendered to Tehran. For a while, a Shi’ite rule similar to Iran’s looked likely, at least to uninitiated news readers like me. And after all, the West did see Saddam Hussein as a bulwark against theocracy all around the Gulf, during the 1980s, didn’t it?

But Iran’s supreme leader and his followers have a problem now. On June 6, a German Islam expert was interviewed by Iran’s foreign radio station and commented on Barack Obama‘s Cairo speech:

The response by Muslims in Germany is very divided. The more west-oriented Muslims, or those who aren’t west-oriented but who, in the final analysis, somehow have an inferiority complex to the West, have reacted positively, have emphasized the aspects which they consider hopeful. On the other hand, my personal assessment, and that of many Muslims, is that Mr Obama is really one of the greatest actors of our times, who will be worse than Bush, because Bush was an open enemy who clearly said, I’m waging war against the Muslims, a crusade against Islam and Muslims, and he has done that. That was an open hostility, but it was open.

Oh, happy days!

I’m not trying to make my mind up about the authenticity of the presidential elections earlier this month. But apparently, Iran’s theocracy fears losing its greatest enemy. After the war waged against Iran by Iraq with a lot of international backing (no, not only Western) and after years of uninspired Western antagonism, a bit of breathing space has apparently started a period where Iranians can think of their own future, rather than worrying about how enemies abroad might try to shape it. Now, the threats to keep the Iranian people down may have to come from Iran’s government. That’s a feature Tehran traditionally liked to attribute to the governments of Egypt or Saudi-Arabia.

Mourning the beloved Great Satan

Mourning the loss of a Great Satan


Friday, June 26, 2009

Shanzhai Interviews

A university student named Gao Ye who slammed Google China for offering links to pornographic websites during an interview with China Central Television (CCTV), was an intern with the station.

Related: Voice of Germany Chinese Department in Translation, January 15

Update: [My Classmate] visited Porn Site and lost his Mind in it, Global Voices, June 16

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hermit: India is an Unharmonious Serf

Hermit the (angry) Taoist Dragonfly

Hermit the Taoist Dragonfly criticizes the Indian Slave Mentality

Hello Children,

India should learn to be independent of apeing the West in her militaristic attitudes toward fellow Asians. A border war will put India back several decades in her progress to catch up with the development of her other Asian neighbours. India, especially should realise that it is folly to play herself into the hands of western powers and be used as a pawn by the Western powers to “contain” the rising superpower.
Asians must learn to achieve cohesion and harmony, and avoid territorial wars. Above all, do not envy the progress of fellow Asian.

Unfortunately India is serving the role of a watchdog in Asia for the West and the USA. This is very unfortunate, because Asia is positioned perfectly to rise economically and help its huge population which is poverty ridden. Slave mentality of Indians since the British rules them is still embedded in their minds.

click for bigger picture

stop apeing the west!

Got to fly now. Stay patriotic, and never ape the West.

Related: Arunachal Pradesh and the “Disingenuous” ADB, June 23

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Iran, the Old and the New Media


For a while it looked like a clear-cut victory of new media over old. Cable news channels, which had supplied wall-to-wall coverage of the disappearance of John F. Kennedy junior on another Saturday ten years ago, had neglected a big story. Yet old media recovered. Responding to what Tony Maddox, head of CNN International, delicately calls “real-time audience response”, the network ramped up its coverage of Iran. By June 16th Americans were getting decent reports, and even Mr King was paying attention to the story. In a back-handed compliment, the Iranian authorities cracked down harder on journalists.

Meanwhile the much-ballyhooed Twitter swiftly degraded into pointlessness. By deluging threads like Iranelection with cries of support for the protesters, Americans and Britons rendered the site almost useless as a source of information—something that Iran’s government had tried and failed to do. Even at its best the site gave a partial, one-sided view of events. Both Twitter and YouTube are hobbled as sources of news by their clumsy search engines.

Much more impressive were the desk-bound bloggers. Nico Pitney of the Huffington Post, Andrew Sullivan of the Atlantic and Robert Mackey of the New York Times waded into a morass of information and pulled out the most useful bits.


The Economist, June 20 2009, page 27

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Liu Xiaobo Formally Arrested

Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波) is now formally arrested, according to Xinhua, after half a year under house arrest, writes Under the Jararanda.  The post includes a translation of the Xinhua report, another from a Singapore newspaper, and some more related links.

Liu had been held incommunicado since December 8, the day before Charter 08, of which he is one of the initial signatories, was released, according to the Guardian. The paper also reports that so far, Mo Shaoping, Liu’s lawyer, has not been allowed to see his client and was unaware of the arrest until he was called by journalists for a statement.

China Law Prof Blog published an analysis of his detention in December last year and described Beijing’s toolkit of coercive measures and criminal penalties for “inciting subversion”.

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