What is a bottom-feeder? It usually refers to some fish swimming and feeding at the bottom of a lake or river. Just imagine what generally falls to the bottom. This is what I think of whenever the Western press engages in putting the most fringe unto a pedestal and worships it.
Recently, Newsweek published an essay by Ai Weiwei titled, “The City: Beijing” with the byline, “Ai Weiwei finds China’s capital is a prison where people go mad.” Needless to say, this byline is stupid and so is the essay. I will get into that momentarily. Continue reading →
Ai Weiwei appeared in Western headlines again after Xinhua reported Beijing police saying he was under ‘house surveillance’ and under investigation for tax evasion. (I should mention that while searching for materials for this post, I was struck by the lack of search results on Google on ‘Ai Weiwei’ from China. Why? I would venture to say, therein lies the true essence of Google’s struggles in China in search; but we have already made this argument in the past.)
Anyways, the Western media all seems to be colluding in characterizing the ‘house surveillance’ as simply Ai Weiwei went ‘missing,’ in the sense that the Chinese government is a irrational kidnapping criminal. By the way, the Chinese people have picked up on this behavior of the West (in Chinese here). Why spare no effort in understanding Chinese law and explain legal procedures behind this detention? In this post, I’d like to share key passages from China’s Criminal Procedure Law governing this ‘house surveillance’ as well an Op-Ed from China Daily writer, Mo Nong, called, “Ideological bias clouds Western views.” Continue reading →
Today, I am writing about an article at the San Francisco Chronicle by Andrew S. Ross on a supposed Chinese government denial of service attack on change.org. The article was dated April 28, 2011, entitled, “Change.org attacked after backing China dissident.” This date is important, so make a note of it.
Because Ai Weiwei is a headline in the Western media, anything related to him makes for ‘good’ news. This is a media trick. Bear in mind, banks or any other millions of web sites are being hacked everyday from everywhere, around the world. And, certainly, given the narrative of an always ‘bad’ China in the Western media makes an ‘attack’ from China a ‘good’ story. So, I understand this fetish.
The problem, though, I have with this Adrew Ross article is that it reported virtually no fact towards the narrative, and it relies entirely on hearsay and innuendo. Before I dive into the details, I would like to tell American journalists that they first need to have some decency and professionalism. Given America has so many chronic problems, I think they should channel their energy at solving America’s real ones; not to get Americans confused and distracted with arbitrary things of no consequence. Continue reading →
Few weeks ago, a China Daily reporter contacted this blog for leads on foreigners working with China in Sichuan’s reconstruction. As you know, tomorrow is the three year anniversary of the May 12, 2008 earthquake; I have been looking for reports in the last few days on this topic.
The story that brought tears to my eyes was about a mother saving the life of her infant (“地震中的伟大母亲”). When rescuers arrived at a collapsed home, they found a woman in a kneeling position and slouching over. They found her posture curious and after examining her body, found in her lap a baby still alive. Wrapped with the baby is a phone, and on the screen is a typed message, “dear beloved baby, if you are able to survive, you must remember I love you.” In the video below, you will see the Chinese news anchor breaking down in reporting this story.
Negotiating the way through Ai Weiwei-land and the barrage of mainstream media (msm) and Web opinions, Joni Mitchell’s song, “Both Sides Now,” on classic radio comes to mind:
Old friends are acting strange
they shake their heads
say I’ve changed
something’s lost, something’s gained.
Equanimity is a cop-out in this debate that pivots on black and white stereotypes of good and evil, freedom and oppression. You’ve got to pick a side, or be dissed for being wishy-washy. Continue reading →
Henry David Thoreau's Cabin Site next to Walden Pond
What’s common between Mohatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr? Henry David Thoreau. That’s because Gandhi’s successful non-violent struggle for Indian independence from the British and King’s successful non-violent civil rights struggle to free African Americans were deeply influenced by Thoreau, especially his essay, “Civil Disobedience.”
(How does this relate to China? Don’t worry. I’ll get to it soon enough.)
“Civil Disobedience,” published in 1849, “argues that people should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that people have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican-American War.” (Wikipedia.org) Continue reading →