Tags: noose

caonima, censorship

exceptionalism mad libs

Virtually every country in an emerging position of power has produced a document to this template at some point:

Dear rest of world,

It has come to our attention that you do not take us seriously enough. We are the number one supplier of [CHIEF EXPORT] and the number [NUMBER BETWEEN ONE AND TWENTY] producer of [LIST OF SECONDARY EXPORTS]. We have a GDP of [NUMBER WITH MANY TRAILING ZEROES]. International businesses the world over have headquarters in our cities, since every businessman worth his salt knows that in the current economic climate, a business simply cannot survive without our market. Foreign economists have tried to imitate our policies and our business culture, but to no success. Our economy is the envy of the world.

Collapse )
caonima, censorship

liu xiaobo wins the 2010 nobel

"For hatred is corrosive of a person’s wisdom and conscience; the mentality of enmity can poison a nation’s spirit, instigate brutal life and death struggles, destroy a society’s tolerance and humanity, and block a nation’s progress to freedom and democracy. I hope therefore to be able to transcend my personal vicissitudes in understanding the development of the state and changes in society, to counter the hostility of the regime with the best of intentions, and defuse hate with love."

- Liu Xiaobo

Liu Xiaobo, ladies and gents, winner of this year's Nobel. People like Liu remind me that China is not a lost cause.

The Chinese Communist Party is, of course, very upset that he won. Especially since he's currently serving 11 years in a Chinese prison for "spreading a message to subvert the country and authority." That message would be Charter 08 (for which he was one of many authors), a document that I hope will be as significant to contemporary Chinese history as the Bill of Rights was for America's. You can read the full English text of Charter 08 here.

The words of this document are familiar--they evoke America's founding documents and hundreds of political speeches--but they really help put into perspective the hyperbole of contemporary Western political discourse. Sure, the U.S. may be a cacophony of squabbling interest groups, but to a man who has spent seven years in prison solely for the crime of speaking against the mainstream, good God, wouldn't that noise sound beautiful! That multitude of opinions, no matter whether they produce the Boston Tea Party or the Republican Tea Party, is precisely what democracy is. And it's not until it goes silent does one appreciate just how much it is missed.

This man has suffered his persecution with uncanny peace, respect, and dignity. Far better than I would. Far better than the vast majority of us, I'd imagine. This is a man, unlike many of his contemporaries in the Chinese democracy movement, with the patience to wait for gradual, nonviolent reform, because he understands the great suffering and ultimate futility of Chinese revolution. This is a man who called off the sit-in he organized in Tiananmen Square in 1989 to negotiate a safe exit for thousands of students, because he felt that democracy in China needed young minds to live on and fight for it more than it needed martyrs. Truly one of the Four Junzi of Tiananmen Square.

In related news, in a display of exceptionalist hubris even the US would find hard to top, a Ministry of Culture-sponsored nonprofit immediately founded its own peace prize, and awarded it to reunificationist former Taiwanese vice president Lien Chan. Nobody cared--least of all Lien himself.
  • Current Music
    Les Miserables - Empty Tables, Empty Chairs
  • Tags

first up against the wall: in which america lionizes a terrorist

Dear news blogosphere:

Joseph Andrew Stack III was not a madman. He was not a liberal. He was not a conservative. He was not a Marxist. He was not a teabagger. He was, if his suicide note is any indication, a sane, rational, educated human being, disillusioned with the left and the right and everyone in between, who burned down his own home after an altercation with his wife and daughter and then crashed a light aircraft into an IRS building, injuring thirteen more innocent people, with the intent to kill many more.

Collapse )
  • Current Music
    Les Miserables - Little People
  • Tags

citizens united v. federal election commission: a call to reason

Disclaimer: IANAL butt. (I am not a lawyer but. Actually, no but. I do not have a deep enough understanding of the legal system for you to take my opinion seriously, at all. But I hope I will at least get you thinking about this issue on your own.)

Last Thursday, in a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled that limits on corporate spending for political campaigns are unconstitutional. My first reaction, as was many bloggers', was WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK, DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA IS DEAD.

Unlike the rest of the blogosphere and most of our news media (both of which are currently foaming at the mouth like shampoo models with rabies), however, I eventually calmed down enough to look up the ruling and actually read the damned thing. And after mulling over the ruling a bit, going over the Wikipedia article, and Googling for information about the ruling published before the press leapt on it, I eventually managed to sift through all the furious IT IS BECAUSE YOU PEONS ARE SO COMPLACENT THAT YOU ARE NOT ALREADY OUT THERE WITH THE SIGNS AND MEGAPHONES and WHAT THE FUCKING SHIT WERE OUR IDIOT SUPREME COURT JUSTICES THINKING, PISSING ON THE CONSTITUTION BLAH BLAH BLAH rhetoric and discover that, you know, the ruling actually makes sense.

Collapse )
caonima, censorship

china gets ballsy

For those of you who haven't heard already, computers in China launched a large-scale attack on Google, Adobe, and a number of other large web companies last month. Google has reason to believe that this attack was orchestrated by the Chinese government and not a private group of hackers. The target was apparently the Gmail accounts of human rights activists in China, only two of which were compromised. In response, Google senior vice president David Drummond announced in a post to the company's official blog that Google is going to lift the censorship filters at Google.cn (imposed as a concession to the Chinese government when Google.cn began in 2005), and is threatening to cease its operations in China entirely. Not just google.cn, mind, but also YouTube, Blogger, Gmail, Picasa, all the others. Word on the street says the attacks were launched from Google.cn itself in an attempt to gain access to source code for the rest of their network, and Google is cutting off its China operations to protect its intellectual property. Which is not as crazy as it might sound; the extent of China's cyberespionage program elsewhere is already an open secret.

This, as I see it, could mean one of two things.

1) The PRC believes Chinese human rights activists are planning something absolutely huge in China, and the Chinese government is desperate enough to expose a significant proportion of its cyberespionage resources in an absolutely unsubtle attack on the world's biggest, best-defended web company in order to stop it.
2) The PRC is acting like a superpower. Repercussions? Fuck your repercussions. We're the Middle Kingdom, damn it. Whatcha gonna do, rest of the world? Huh? Huh? Whatcha gonna do? Give us your best shot.

Neither of these bodes well for anyone except the Machiavellian overlords at the CCP.

A plethora of perspectives:
caonima, censorship

save an endangered species: have sex with me

So, yeah. All those Japan jokes I've made over the past few years?

I guess I had it coming: Taiwan has beaten out Japan with the lowest fertility rate in the world, at 1.07 children born per woman. (Lots of pretty charts, if you're interested. Or here, although Wikipedia puts Singapore lower.) That doesn't really scare me. Nothing wrong with small families, and there are still too many people anyway.

Less publicized projections of zero population growth in Taiwan by 2025, on the other hand...

This is going to bring about a whole slew of social problems over there: class conflict, ethnic tensions over immigration (already a growing problem), economic stagnation, a growing homeless elderly population, and possibly, in the long run, even extinction. We laugh at Japan for having negative population growth now, but it's not beyond reason that Taiwan will soon follow suit.

So...clearly, something has to be done.



No, in all seriousness, Taiwan might go to hell, but Taiwanese-Americans like me are doing fine. There are currently 23,046,177 people in Taiwan as of this year's census. There are an estimated 500,000 Taiwanese people currently living in the United States (exact numbers are hard to come by as identifying as "Taiwanese" is politically controversial, and the U.S. Census Bureau tries not to piss off Chinese-Americans of mainland descent). The U.S. annual population growth rate is 1.01%, which is expected to stay stable for the next fifteen years, with some U.S. Census Bureau sources (damn it I hate their website) hinting that the growth rate for Asian/Pacific Islanders may actually be much higher than the national average. So it might even be possible that there will be more second- and third-generation Taiwanese-Americans than Taiwanese people at some point.

At that point, the Taiwanese diaspora would be in the perfect position to invade and conquer Taiwan.

反攻小陸? ^_^

(Side note from finding this data: Apparently there are only 4,272 Taiwanese people living in all of New York City, out of a total population of 8 million. There are more people living in the small Midwestern college town of Oberlin, OH--not counting students--than there are Taiwanese people in all of New York State. Which explains why, me aside, they all seem to know each other. Not so much a diaspora community as much as a potluck.)

also, corruption Ma Ying-jeou KMT corporate jet motorcade partisanship blah blah blah I don't give a fuck.

donuts of terror

I, and many of my former colleagues, have bought breakfast from a suspected terrorist. He is my age, and he indeed has a wonderful smile. I sincerely hope he's innocent, although the evidence against him right now seems overwhelming. I'm also very relieved that the bombing plot law enforcement agencies have discovered, regardless of whether or not this man is responsible, did not come to pass. September 11 was more than enough terrorism for New York.

Moreover, I really hope the media coverage of this case doesn't give New Yorkers yet another excuse to disrespect our Afghan community. Those guys, especially the ones who run coffee carts and fried chicken restaurants, are already the lowest of the low in this city; even in poor neighborhoods they are treated like shit. God forbid what will happen if we treat them all like terrorists, just because a small group of them might have been.

I don't even want to think about what this is going to do to the immigration debate.

samurai in baltimore

Now that most of the details are out in the open, I feel comfortable posting this: Johns Hopkins student kills intruder with samurai sword.

The police spokesman said the student who wielded the weapon had no advanced sword training. "He wasn't a ninja," Guglielmi said. "He may have been moderately trained or on the intermediate level."

As tragic as any unnecessary killing is...holy shit that is so badass.

cougarfang's boyfriend Albert: "JHU didn't HAVE street cred before this."
  • Current Music
    tomoyasu hotei - battle without honor or humanity
  • Tags