This Week at a Glance

Psychopaths’ “Revenge”

Beijing is considering measures to force all its 400m internet users to register their real names before making comments on the country’s myriad chat-rooms and discussion forums, reports the Telegraph. I’m not sure if Google’s discord with the authorities will make a big difference in the country’s internet development – but if concepts of making chat-rooms and discussion forums “transparent” in this way are technically feasible, they will probably hurt the industry and its development. Yu Jianrong, Professor and Director of the Rural Development Institute’s Social Issues Research Center at the Chinese Academy for Social Sciences, Yu called for citizen participation to “become the buffer for social stability” for the “long-term development and fundamental interests of China.” I don’t know if he made references to the recent series of attacks on school children in China – believed to be carried out at times as a “revenge” against society on real or perceived injustices committed by state authorities, as the Süddeutsche Zeitung quotes Xinhua. But there have been posts on the internet that engendered help fort Chinese citizens who had their published stories published on the internet. If such help would have been available for Xu Yuyuan – and if it would have stopped this farmer, whose (reportedly illegally built) 110,000 Yuan house had been shortlisted for demoliton, is of course a rather academic question, preferrably put to experts on psychopathic personalities. Not only for Ganbus, but for certain psychos, too, the only thinkable pecking order seems to be top down. Xu Yuyuan was probably no person like Lin Xiuying. Someone who kills children for whatever kind of “revenge” is a thug.

But every individual has a right to freedom of information – not just for practical reasons.

on the ropes, but not completely knocked out

Gordon Brown: on the ropes, but not completely knocked out

Red Button

Early this morning, I had a look at the BBC‘s website – they were counting the votes on a dynamic board at the top of the mainpage. The results looked pleasant, compared to what had seemed to loom for Labour for most of the past months and year(s). If they don’t come across as about as greedy for power, as some MPs had been for “expense” claims, they may have either a dignified way into the opposition – or even into another term in government, to make itself hated there for a long time to come.

If As the balance budget needs to be balanced, Labour may be more likely to reserve some investment into projects that really matter for the country’s future. Then again, I don’t know how similar to or different from social dems on this side of the English Channel the Labour Party is. For the party itself, and for its long-term future, opposition may actually be a better outcome than hanging on to power and to do ugly things to the public.

Besides, it would be interesting how determined David Cameron is to fight a nuclear war against China.  But the Tories and the Democratic Unionist Party alone make no majority, and they’d still need to convince the Obama administration, who co-own the big red button. Bad timing.

Anyway, Labour is still one of Britain’s two main political parties. That’s a nice surprise.

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The safest option for stable government, Western Standard, May 7, 2010

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