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Addition To My "Follow-On Article (2)"

*** ( NOTE : This is an addition to the 2nd “follow-on” article I wrote recently. I would highly recommend you read that article first before starting this one if you haven’t already. The purpose of this article is to answer a couple of questions raised by some readers. ) *** ( click here to read that follow-on article )

***

A few on FM have called for me to show evidence that anti-China groups had played a role in stirring up protests in the recent earthquake protests. There are also those who ask what exactly anti-China groups can do to China.

On the question of evidence, the answer is no. There is no evidence I am aware of.

But I am sure most would understand that this question can hardly be relevant to why authorities have acted the way they have. For those who don’t understand, the following analogy may help :

In the US, guards at the airport check your shoes before you board a plane. Many people are offended by this, and turn away from visiting the US. As a result, tourism related businesses in the US are (or at least were) severely impacted by this. One may rightly ask if the authorities actually have any evidence to back up their claim that someone somewhere is planning to blow up a plane with his/her shoes.

But this question is hardly useful or relevant. If there WAS evidence a person is about to blow up a plane, clearly he would have already been sent to jail. The question is NOT whether there is evidence someone somewhere is about to do something. The correct question one should ask is : Are there people with the motive and determination, plus the capability and resources to blow up a plane?

If there is, then the business-hostile measures at the airports are justified. If not, they are not.

The same is true for other seemingly nonsensical security measures around the world. It is not whether you have evidence, but whether there is sufficient ground to believe there are people with the motive and determination, plus the capability and resources to do harm.

Coming back to the topic of China we have been discussing, we can divide what I refer to as “anti-China” groups into 2 categories. The non-organized individuals and the organized establishments. (See my Comment #60 on the Comments section of the “Follow-On Article (2)” for my definition of “anti-China”).

China is clearly concerned with these groups. In my opinion, rightly so. There is no reason to doubt the power of the non-organized individuals to sway opinions of the masses to achieve an end. Neither should China be the only country in the world not worried about organized groups targeting itself.

In terms of non-organized individuals, no-one should deny the fact that individuals such as ourselves could sway opinions. These opinions would in turn sway other opinions. If enough people are encouraging local activists to in turn encourage victims to go out to the streets, they would. And if you give them enough reasons to sacrifice themselves to achieve an end, many would. If they don’t, it just means you are not persuasive enough.

2009 is a year full of sensitive dates. If anti-China groups want to create mayhem, clearly this is a golden opportunity. A Tiananmen Square style incident is not beyond imagination.

I am sure many of my readers realize that both Gene Sharp and his assistant Bruce Jenkins were in Beijing at the time of the demonstrations 20 years ago. They were the same pair from the organisation that gave us the color revolutions all across Eastern Europe. There is of course no legal evidence linking them to the events back then. But surely, you can’t tell me they just happened to be there on a holiday. If you follow the developments of that period closely, it should not be too hard to see that there was a pattern in the evolution of the events and the demands.

Today, there are plenty of interest groups spreading disinformation about China. Some such as this group described in this report timesonline are known to be paid by Western governments. If anything, the Chinese government AND the Chinese people SHOULD be very concerned.

  1. S.K. Cheung
    July 1st, 2009 at 10:22 | #1

    To Chan:
    I am happy that you began with the disclaimer that there is no evidence that you are aware of, upon which to base any of your veiled accusations.

    Your “airport” analogy no longer holds, since we already have one monumental example of “people with the motive and determination, plus the capability and resources to blow up a plane”, plus a couple of significant landmarks besides.

    I must take issue with your word choice once again. Statements like “There is no reason to doubt” and “no-one should deny the fact” do more to hamper discussion than help it. Besides, your belief that this post was necessary speaks to the reality that people have had reasons (rightfully or not) to doubt your assertions on your previous posts, and have actually seen fit to, if not necessarily deny, at least question your position.

    “China is clearly concerned with these groups. In my opinion, rightly so.”
    —I don’t dispute that. In fact, China would be remiss if she did not concern herself with groups whose focus is on her. But it’s how China expresses such “concern” that, to me, is debatable.

    Your second-to-last paragraph is wall-to-wall innuendo. As mentioned previously, you’ve made your point that some groups may in fact be anti-China (be it the people or the government) philosophically. But while they may be guilty of “bad” thoughts, where is the support for the insinuation of “bad” acts? This seems to be a return to affixing of labels without justification, which is no better than prejudice, as I’ve previously mentioned.

    Furthermore, if this is the “add-on” to the “follow-on” about the quake, in what way is it related? There’s not one mention of the quake (beyond one reference in the first paragraph), nor the victim’s families mourning which formed the basis of your initial post. This, frankly, seems like an add-on from left field, if not from outside the stadium.

    Finally, if the opinion of the masses can be “swayed”, is that necessarily a bad thing. It would be if you felt that the majority of PRC citizens are lemmings who can be misled, to their own detriment. But if PRC citizens are a discerning bunch, then presumably it would take a reasonable suggestion to “sway” them…is it a problem if someone outside of China makes a suggestion that CHinese people find reasonable? And is such a suggestion still “anti-China”, if the people would in fact concur?

  2. Raj
    July 1st, 2009 at 13:36 | #2

    Chan, this is getting past a joke. You have had several opportunities to explain yourself and each time you fail. You acknowledge that you have no evidence and you can’t even say what these “anti-China” groups are going to do. Why are you wasting our time like this?

  3. Chan
    July 1st, 2009 at 13:46 | #3

    SKC,

    (1) RE : “… your veiled accusations”

    Your above remark seems to suggest that there is intention on my part to accuse. But that is not at all true. I am simply trying to explain the logic behind the actions of the authorities, which you don’t have to agree. But there is no need for personal attacks.

    (2) RE : “Your “airport” analogy no longer holds”

    That is not correct. In fact, I am surprised that of all the people here on FM, this statement with the accompanying logic would come from you.

    Your logic is SERIOUSLY flawed. Dead people CANNOT blow up planes. If you believe you have evidence there is someone somewhere (ALIVE) in the world about to blow up a plane, you should notify the authorities. But I don’t believe you or anyone else has any evidence. You are free to prove me wrong.

    (3) RE : “I must take issue with your word choice once again”

    Why is there problem with those words? You have your opinions, and I have mine. No-one says you have to agree with me. But they convey the exact message I want to cconvey.

    (4) RE : “Statements like … hamper discussion …”

    What??? How does that hamper discussion? Again, you don’t have to agree with me. And there is a lot I don’t agree with you. But unless we are allowed to express our own opinions, how are we supposed to debate?

    (5) RE : “… your belief that this post was necessary speaks to the reality that …”

    You will need to explain that again.

    But the reason I posted this here as a mini-post in case you are wondering, is because this was originally a reply to a comment by Steve, and therefore addressed to Steve alone. But he is clearly not alone with this view. There is no doubt value in placing the post here instead for the benefit of others.

    (6) RE : “… wall-to-wall innuendo”

    So I gather you believe they just happened to be there on holidays? If you say you do, then perhaps there isn’t much more I can say in this debate to change your mind. In that case, please feel free to think whatever you think.

    (7) RE : “… if this is the “add-on” to the “follow-on” about the quake …”

    SKC, this question really gives me the impression that you are debating purely for the sake of debating. If you want to know the answer : it is because I was rushing out the post before leaving. If you don’t like the way I named it, that’s fine. Feel free to give me a better name, and I’ll change it.

    The only conection is I am writing this to answer questions resulting from that article.

    (8) RE : “… if the opinion of the masses can be “swayed”, is that necessarily a bad thing”

    OF COURSE not necessarily so.

    Judging from your previous debates, you seem to do this a lot. You make a general statement, and then artificially imply others disagree. Perhaps you should read my post again. I’ve never even implied anything close. Why would you think I think that? Clearly, whether it is good or bad would depend on the context.

    (9) RE : “… majority of PRC citizens are lemmings who can be misled …”

    It really sounds as if you are suggesting I consider PRC citizens as lemmings. Is it really necessary to say things like this??

    (10) RE : “… is such a suggestion still “anti-China” …?”

    Whether it is anti-China or not would depend on the motive and what the final result they are trying to achieve. Whether the masses would concur does NOT in any way determine whether the instigation is anti-China or not.

    As a general point about your last paragraph, in most Western countries, incitation of racial hatred and violence are banned. Clearly you could use your argument above to criticise the authorities of regarding their citizens as “lemmings”. In fact, the logic of your last paragraph does imply that people in the West are “lemmings”. I hope you don’t actually agree with your own logic.

    ————————————-

    SKC, although we are on different sides, I had full respect for you before this post of yours. Frankly, some of the things you are saying here surprises me. Your post is full of personal attacks and strong language, not to mention you even feel the need to criticise the name of the post.

  4. Chan
    July 1st, 2009 at 13:51 | #4

    Raj,

    (1) RE : “… each time you fail”

    How??

    (2) RE : “… can’t even say what these “anti-China” groups are going to do”

    I just did.

    (3) RE : “Why are you wasting our time like this?”

    No-one says you have to read.

  5. barny chan
    July 1st, 2009 at 13:55 | #5

    Chan: “Dead people CANNOT blow up planes.”

    Which is why security profiling tends to target those who are still alive.

    Are you attempting to sabotage Fool’s Mountain with these bizarre posts?

  6. Raj
    July 1st, 2009 at 14:03 | #6

    How??

    Because you keep making these blog entries and people like SKC, myself (and maybe Steve but I don’t like to speak to him) come back with more questions and points that knock down your arguments.

    I just did.

    No, you didn’t. You have not addressed the key point that I have made repeatedly, that you have not credibly demonstrated in the slightest what it is “anti”-China people will be able to do if grieving families mourn at the schools, people make their own investigations, etc.

    Your attitude in supporting/excusing the Chinese government’s paranoid restrictions and harassment of such people is like someone supporting a government banning all air travel simply because a terrorist might theoretically make an attack at some point, not having any evidence as to when/if it might happen.

    No-one says you have to read.

    How can I know whether you’re writing anything of quality without reading? Do you want us to all boycott your threads?

    No one says you have to put this on the front page. You could ask the admin to post it somewhere else and link to it for reference to your earlier messages.

  7. Chan
    July 1st, 2009 at 14:35 | #7

    Barney Chan,

    No, if someone is trying to sabotage, it is definitely not me. I was just replying to what SKC said. There is no reason I can’t.

    But you state a fact that has nothing to do with the post, and then assume others don’t know the said fact. If someone is sabotaging, you seem to fit that description a lot more than I do.

  8. barny chan
    July 1st, 2009 at 15:00 | #8

    Chan, I totally respect your right to post and your right to reply, the problem is that your “replies” seldom address the points that people address to you. I really do find your airport security analogy bizarre in the extreme.

  9. Chan
    July 1st, 2009 at 15:40 | #9

    Raj,

    (1) RE : “… people like SKC, myself … come back with more questions and points that knock down your arguments”

    You and SKC don’t represent everyone. You only state your own opinion. Clearly if someone was to judge who is right, that person shouldn’t be you or me.

    (2) RE : “No, you didn’t”

    Your point was I “can’t even say what these “anti-China” groups are going to do”. But I just did. I said “A Tiananmen Square style incident is not beyond imagination”. If that is not a concern, what is?

    (3) RE : “You could ask the admin to …”

    Ok, perhaps you may like to tell me more. If it is reasonable, I can consider.

  10. Chan
    July 1st, 2009 at 15:46 | #10

    Barney Chan,

    (1) RE : “… your “replies” seldom address the points that people address to you”

    You are free to have your own opinion. But I do find that hard to believe. Perhaps you may like to give me a rough percentage to justify your description of “seldom”.

    (2) RE : “I really do find your airport security analogy bizarre in the extreme”

    Why is that?

  11. barny chan
    July 1st, 2009 at 15:56 | #11

    Chan: “2009 is a year full of sensitive dates. If anti-China groups want to create mayhem, clearly this is a golden opportunity. A Tiananmen Square style incident is not beyond imagination.”

    Do you really believe that the Chinese population is so naive, pliable, and feeble minded that foreign “anti-China groups” could ferment a “Tiananmen Square style incident” this year?

    As for why I find your airport analogy bizarre, I think you might just be the only person in the world who doesn’t recognise that there are a number of currently active insurgency groups across the world who might realistically target (and in the past have) aircraft. And, while you might find it hard to believe that I think you don’t address people’s points, clearly I’m not alone in this opinion.

  12. huaren
    July 1st, 2009 at 17:11 | #12

    Admin,
    Do you mind chiming in here?

    Hi Raj, barny chan, S.K. Cheung,

    I think you guys have to respect Chan’s perspective. If you do not, I don’t see a way forward. To me, you are personally attacking him now.

  13. S.K. Cheung
    July 1st, 2009 at 17:32 | #13

    To Huaren:
    I fully respect Chan’s right to share his perspective. However, I certainly don’t feel obligated to respect or share the nature of that perspective. Buxi once said many months ago that (and I’m paraphrasing), if you’re going to say something in these parts, you should fully expect to be challenged on it. I completely concur…but I do think that expectation should be present on both sides of the divide.

  14. Steve
    July 1st, 2009 at 17:44 | #14

    @ Chan: I have to agree with many of the posts here; your airport security analogy is pretty bizarre. And this is coming from a guy who has far too many frequent flier miles.

    I also feel that this whole “anti-China” organization is totally overblown. It assumes that the Chinese people are stupid and naive, and that they can be easily manipulated by foreigners. I never found that to be true when in China. All my friends had strong opinions on different issues that weren’t manipulated by outside forces. You can come up with “sensitive dates” in any year, just as you can always come up with “amazing coincidences” if you just look hard enough. That’s the basis for the nutty conspiracy theories, numerology and astrology. I’ve never heard of Gene Sharp or Bruce Jenkins. I’d bet that if I asked every one of the people I know in China (and I know a lot), not one of them would recognize those names.

    A rich and powerful country like China should be horribly concerned because a couple of Tibetans in India are engaging in a few conversations on the net? Man, that’s pretty paranoid. I can guarantee that their effect on Chinese people is statistically less than nil. If you truly believe there are ghosts in your closet, then there are ghosts in your closet. I don’t believe in ghosts in my closet, so these arguments appear to be very silly.

    I haven’t taken part in this post before now because your opening statement said you had no evidence to support the existence of anti-China groups. If there’s no evidence, for me there’s nothing to discuss.

    Why is it that the consistently pro-CCP crowd has such a low opinion of the Chinese people themselves? I’ve never encountered that in any other country except China.

  15. July 1st, 2009 at 18:20 | #15

    I have said these before but it’s worth to repeat:

    1. Every post or comment here is an expression of personal opinion and knowledge, nothing more, nothing less.

    2. We encourage readers to scrutinize each post and to challenge post authors, in a respective way.

    @Raj,
    I don’t want to single you out but since you are an author of this blog, I hope you adhere to high standards. Statements such as “this is getting past a joke” do not encourage discussion or reflect the spirit of FM’s principles.

    @Chan,
    I understand your intention of making your points salient with follow-up posts, but I think it’s harder for readers to follow multiple posts. In addition, FM is a collaborative blog so it is prudent to carefully use the frontpage real estate out of respect to other contributors.

  16. Raj
    July 1st, 2009 at 18:37 | #16

    Re post 15, sorry for the brusque comment.

  17. S.K. Cheung
    July 1st, 2009 at 18:41 | #17

    To Chan #3:
    “Your above remark seems to suggest that there is intention on my part to accuse.”
    —“2009 is a year full of sensitive dates. If anti-China groups want to create mayhem, clearly this is a golden opportunity. A Tiananmen Square style incident is not beyond imagination.” (blog post)
    “Today, there are plenty of interest groups spreading disinformation about China. Some such as this group described in this report timesonline are known to be paid by Western governments.”
    —I thought “veiled” was being kind. My objection was to what you said, and not towards you per se. I’m not sure how that constitutes a personal attack.

    “If you believe you have evidence there is someone somewhere (ALIVE) in the world about to blow up a plane, you should notify the authorities.”
    —you already answered this in your own post (“If there WAS evidence a person is about to blow up a plane, clearly he would have already been sent to jail. The question is NOT whether there is evidence someone somewhere is about to do something.”) (from blog post). But this was your question:”Are there people with the motive and determination, plus the capability and resources to blow up a plane?” Since it’s already been done before, then the answer as of Sept 11, 2001 is a resounding yes. Obviously, the guys who did it the first time are no threat to do it again; but the guys who PLANNED it the first time could still be around. So current airport security, to me, is entirely justified, not because it will happen again, but because it certainly could. There’s my logic; your’s, I’m not so sure about.

    “Why is there problem with those words? You have your opinions, and I have mine. No-one says you have to agree with me.”
    —the last part, you needn’t worry about. So if I have the latitude to disagree with your ideas, do I have the latitude to disagree with the manner with which you express those ideas?

    “But unless we are allowed to express our own opinions, how are we supposed to debate?”
    —we can’t. Which is why I’ve never contended that you can’t express your opinion. But it is MY opinion that the way you express yours, at times, stifles discussion. Am I allowed to say that? I mean, since we’re giving each other ample leeway for expressing opinions and all that.

    “this was originally a reply to a comment by Steve, and therefore addressed to Steve alone.”
    —and if you had left it as the answer on another thread, that would’ve been fine.

    “So I gather you believe they just happened to be there on holidays?”
    —I have no idea what they were doing there. And neither do you. But you’re not shy about making suggestions, hence my comment about innuendo, which is all that was.

    “Feel free to give me a better name, and I’ll change it.”
    —how about “Anti CHina forces: the truth is out there”?

    “You make a general statement, and then artificially imply others disagree. Perhaps you should read my post again. I’ve never even implied anything close.”
    —my mistake for not ending the sentence with a question mark. How do I imply (artificially or otherwise) that others would disagree? Again, my fault with the punctuation, but i was merely trying to ask a question. How did I imply that your answer would be in the affirmative? I hope that, while you assert your right to express an opinion, you wouldn’t deprive me the right to ask a question.

    “It really sounds as if you are suggesting I consider PRC citizens as lemmings”
    —I asked a question, and to me, there could be 2 general types of answers, both of which I prefaced with the supposition “if”. Whether you consider them as lemmings is a question for you to answer. I’m not sure why you would feel the answer to that question was pre-ordained. Yet another question for you to answer.

    “Whether the masses would concur does NOT in any way determine whether the instigation is anti-China or not.”
    —fair enough. If an idea is intended to hurt China but instead helps China/CHinese people, I suppose you could put the emphasis on the former or the latter. To each his own.

    “incitation of racial hatred and violence are banned.”
    —if this is related to your initial quake victims post, where has there been the type of incitement that you describe?

    “”In fact, the logic of your last paragraph does imply that people in the West are “lemmings”.”
    —I have no idea how you came up with that.

    My style is straightforward. If I think it’s a good post, but I disagree, I will do so in a circumspect manner; but if I think it less so, so too will be my response. No personal attack was intended, but your perception is beyond my purview.

  18. Raj
    July 1st, 2009 at 22:57 | #18

    Chan, it’s very simple. You can, for a start, not make new entries but just edit existing posts on the same topic with new information and write EDIT underneath the old message with the date. With existing posts, you can e-mail the admin:

    webmaster@blog.hiddenharmonies.org

    You can, for example ask him to merge your posts on the same topic/move some off the front page/do whatever you like. Just talk to him.

  19. Bridge
    July 2nd, 2009 at 00:46 | #19

    I locked up the door and the windows when I left my apartment for work this morning – for security reasons of course. Do I have EVIDENCE that some petty thieves or burglars are going to pay my apartment a visit today? No. But I do know that thieves and burglars exist.
    In fact, my apartment has never been broken into, but I still lock everything up whenever I go out. Well, actually one of my previous watches has been missing from my apartment for weeks, I suspect it is the evil doing of a thief, but I have no evidence. I am even planning to install a security door for extra protection and I still don’t have EVIDENCE that thieves and burglars are targeting my apartment. Is my installing the security door justified?
    Someone just approached me asking what a thief can possibly do to my apartment. My answer is ‘I don’t know’. He may just steal my precious watch, but he can also ransack my apartment. The potential of doing great damage is there and I do not want to take my chances, especially after seeing what happened to my parents when their house got ransacked.

    BTW, I don’t have evidence that someone’s going to steal my car, but I still pay extra for car insurance in case it does get stolen.
    We don’t have evidence that some hackers are going to hack into our database, but our company still puts up firewalls and all those security software.
    We also do not have evidence that our country is going to war soon, but we still use the tax payers’ money to up our national security and military spending.

  20. Chan
    July 2nd, 2009 at 05:52 | #20

    Admin,

    Yes, point taken.

    ———————–

    Raj (#18)

    Ok, thanks. I will do that if I need to again in the future.

    ———————–

    Bridge (#19),

    THAT was a very good analogy! Thank you.

    There is actually no difference in logic to mine. But I guess yours is certainly a lot more palatable for the opposing side.

  21. Chan
    July 2nd, 2009 at 05:54 | #21

    Barny Chan,

    (1) RE : “Do you really believe that …”

    Actually, if the authorities didn’t weigh in, I DO think it is certainly possible.

    The color revolutions in Europe were not based on the premise that people were “naive, pliable, and feeble minded”. I myself have given speeches in the past where many in the audience were clearly deeply influenced. This INCLUDES high-level VIPs.

    ANYONE can be influenced. You don’t need to be “naive, pliable, and feeble minded”.

    (2) RE : “you might just be the only person in the world who doesn’t recognise …”

    I don’t know where you get that impression from. Perhaps you should read my mini-post again, and point me to the part that suggest I didn’t know.

    I was merely suggesting that you don’t need legal evidence that someone somewhere is planning something. If anything, I AM the one who is saying those airport security is justified.

    (3) RE : “… while you might find it hard to believe that I think you don’t address people’s points …”

    But that wasn’t what you said.

    In the blogosphere, no-one is alone in any thoughts. So I am of course not surprised many would not agree with me. But that wasn’t what you said. What you said was I “seldom” address the points that people address to me. And therefore my questioning of your description of “seldom”.

  22. Chan
    July 2nd, 2009 at 05:58 | #22

    Steve,

    (1) RE : “your airport security analogy is pretty bizarre”

    I guess your reasoning is same as BC’s. So my response is the same as point (2) above in my response to BC.

    (2) RE : “It assumes that the Chinese people are stupid and naive …”

    No, not at all. Do you then suggest people in Eastern Europe who went through their color revolutions are “stupid and naive”? But see point (1) of my response to BC.

    (3) RE : “I’ve never heard of Gene Sharp or Bruce Jenkins”

    ???? But that’s not the point. I was NEVER EVER for a single moment suggesting you have any associations with them. All I was doing was stating the fact that they were there. And Gene Sharp himself admits he was there. That’s all I did!

    (4) RE : “… a couple of Tibetans in India are engaging in a few conversations … that’s pretty paranoid”

    That was just one example. I guess you can say the same for any examples I give.

    (5) RE : “… their effect on Chinese people is statistically less than nil”

    I would agree if they were to announce they were Tibetans.

    (6) RE : “Why is it that the consistently pro-CCP crowd has such a low opinion of the Chinese people themselves?”

    But I don’t. And I am sure others on my side don’t. This is a very convenient way to dismiss others’ opinions.

  23. barny chan
    July 2nd, 2009 at 06:34 | #23

    Chan Says: “Actually, if the authorities didn’t weigh in, I DO think it is certainly possible.”

    It’s possible that my dog, a miniature schnauzer called Rosa Luxemburg, will acquire the power of speech and become the world’s foremost opera singer, but it’s highly unlikely.

    “The color revolutions in Europe were not based on the premise that people were “naive, pliable, and feeble minded”.”

    They were based on the fact that people hoped for a more equitable and less corrupt society. Whether they achieved this is questionable, but the support of various western organisations is an irrelevance to the actual events – George Soros is not an alchemist who can create chaos from order at will.

    “I myself have given speeches in the past where many in the audience were clearly deeply influenced. This INCLUDES high-level VIPs.”

    So how come your slick way with words is falling so flat here? Or do your special powers of persuasion only work on “high-level VIPS”?

    “ANYONE can be influenced. You don’t need to be “naive, pliable, and feeble minded”.”

    But being naive, pliable, and feeble minded certainly helps, and I see no evidence that this is an accurate description of the Chinese population.

    “I don’t know where you get that impression from. Perhaps you should read my mini-post again, and point me to the part that suggest I didn’t know.”

    The entire post gives the impression of a tenuous grasp of reality.

    “I was merely suggesting that you don’t need legal evidence that someone somewhere is planning something. If anything, I AM the one who is saying those airport security is justified.”

    Your analogy would only have relevance if there was evidence that shadowy anti-aircraft groups were manipulating feeble-minded passengers en masse to hijack and destroy planes.

    “In the blogosphere, no-one is alone in any thoughts.”

    I can see that it might be comforting to believe this, but you just might be alone in your thoughts…

  24. barny chan
    July 3rd, 2009 at 06:18 | #24

    An update: My dog, Rosa, did speak to me today. Encouragingly, her first word was “DEMOCRACY”! Rather more predictably, her second word was “sausages”. If she develops and makes it to La Scala I’ll let you know…

  25. barny chan
    July 3rd, 2009 at 06:44 | #25

    Oh dear, as her vocabulary developed she put together her first statement: “Down with democracy. Long live the forces of darkness and fascism.” It must be something to do with her German ancestry. Anyway, I’m having her put down tomorrow and replacing her with a gerbil.

  26. Raj
    July 3rd, 2009 at 15:59 | #26

    Bridge (19)

    The reason people lock their doors and close windows is that there is no downside to it, yet a massive risk if you do not. However, how does the risk of someone writing nasty things about China justify silencing and harassing a family who wish to mourn at the location their loved ones died in a national tragedy?

    In a better analogy, if you leave your dog in the car you have to leave the window slightly open. There is a risk that someone might be able to use that to break in, but if you do not the dog may die and you may then face criminal charges as a result. What is the more likely consequence – someone breaking into the car if the window is open or the dog dying if the window is closed? The latter. Similarly, the risk of someone being able to significantly hurt China by allowing parents to grieve at a school is far less likely than the families suffering from not being able to mourn there.

    You have to buy insurance for your car because it’s the law – you don’t have a choice in the matter.

  27. raventhorn4000
    July 4th, 2009 at 23:14 | #27

    “In the United Kingdom, the practice of erecting roadside memorials has recently sparked a media debate about the danger these may pose to other road users and to people erecting the memorials in unsafe places. This debate has been sparked by accounts of dangerous actions, such as an adult crossing a main road with a child to place a tribute. Some jurisdictions already enforce local regulations, and police officials and local councillors have suggested that uniform rules be introduced across the country. For example, according to the BBC, in Merthyr Tydfil, memorials will only be allowed where it is deemed safe and appropriate, and they will be removed after three months. [3]

    In the United States, the legal situation varies from state to state. In California, residents must pay a state fee of $1,000. The states of Colorado, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin ban such memorials. Other states impose specific requirements.[4][5] In Birmingham, Alabama, roadside memorials have been removed from Interstate highways.[6]”

  28. S.K. Cheung
    July 5th, 2009 at 18:59 | #28

    So while “an adult crossing a main road with a child to place a tribute” may constitute a “dangerous action”, what of an adult crossing alone at a marked crosswalk to place said tribute? And perhaps roadside memorials on an Interstate might pose a risk to public safety if it entices people to stop on the side of the highway to pay tribute. Just as the demands of the quake victims’ families in the course of their grieving process need to be reasonable, so too the expression of their grief. So what public safety risk might these families pose by having a memorial to their child at the crumbled remains of their former school? How does that contravene the standards of what is reasonable? Now, the CCP may well find it unreasonable, but suffice it to say that their standards are “unique”.

  29. raventhorn4000
    July 5th, 2009 at 19:20 | #29

    Maybe some people see an accident scene as a tribute. Other people see the signs “DANGER! UNSTABLE EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE!”

    But you go ahead, wander near or into a condemned building.

  30. S.K. Cheung
    July 6th, 2009 at 04:09 | #30

    “Other people see the signs “DANGER! UNSTABLE EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE!””
    —well, you would have to have been there to know. But certainly, there may be quake-damaged buildings that are no longer structurally sound, and the authorities would seem justified to prevent people from accessing those. I wonder, however, how many students died in buildings that are still standing. On the other hand, other schools might now be a pile of rubble, in which some students did unfortunately lose their lives. How unstable would a pile of rubble be? To climb on top of the pile to build a shrine would certainly seem like a bad idea; but how about a memorial at the school gate? Again, I think reasonable people can judge what is or isn’t reasonable. I think in some instances, the CCP-imposed limits go beyond what is reasonable…at least in the eyes of reasonable people.

  31. raventhorn4000
    July 7th, 2009 at 00:45 | #31

    “How unstable would a pile of rubble be?”

    Have you seen these pile of Earthquake rubbles? Can you tell from “seeing” that they would be safe?

    I think it’s rather unreasonable of people talking about “safety” of “rubbles” on mere sight.

    any idea how many “rubbles” there are in Sichuan right now?!

    If you want to play the odds with your life on mere “sight”, go right ahead on your own time. Most “reasonable” Government cordons off post-Earthquake damage buildings just in case. No one is stupid enough to guarantee against that kind of hidden dangers.

    (Maybe SKC can insure those people, guarantee their safety in the “rubbles”, then we’ll see.) 🙂

  32. S.K. Cheung
    July 7th, 2009 at 01:05 | #32

    Dude, yet again, can you actually read a post before reflexively hammering on the keyboard? Here’s what I wrote in #30 after the question you quoted: “To climb on top of the pile to build a shrine would certainly seem like a bad idea; but how about a memorial at the school gate?”. So, since you’re so hot to trot, how about trying to answer that question, rather than the first one that you trip over.

    “Most “reasonable” Government cordons off post-Earthquake damage buildings just in case.”
    —that is absolutely fantastic. So how about a nice memorial at the edge of the roped-off area? Were you born this obtusely literal, or have you developed that wonderful trait over the years?

  33. raventhorn4000
    July 7th, 2009 at 01:42 | #33

    “but how about a memorial at the school gate?”

    are you speculating the existence of a school gate, when the whole school has collapsed?

    “—that is absolutely fantastic. So how about a nice memorial at the edge of the roped-off area? Were you born this obtusely literal, or have you developed that wonderful trait over the years?”

    China already had 3 days of National Mourning for Earthquake victims. if you want to fund a memorial somewhere, Here is one suggestion. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0809/08092201

    and here, http://www.chinasmack.com/stories/sichuan-earthquake-memorial-museum-to-cost-23-billion/

    How about you learn some facts before you shoot your mouth off?

  34. raventhorn4000
    July 7th, 2009 at 02:19 | #34

    And this,

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6272567.ece

    “Chinese President Hu Jintao bowed his head at 2.28 this afternoon to lead a minute of silence for the nearly 90,000 people killed by the devastating earthquake that struck a year ago.

    Grieving relatives burnt incense outside schools that entombed their children and laid offerings of fruit and flowers on the site of towns that disappeared in the 8.0 magnitude tremor – the worst to rock China in more than 30 years.”

  35. S.K. Cheung
    July 7th, 2009 at 02:58 | #35

    “are you speculating the existence of a school gate, when the whole school has collapsed?”
    —OMG, you can’t be serious. You are literally a caricature of an excessively literal person.

    “China already had 3 days of National Mourning…”
    —fantastic. But Chan’s been talking about the mourning of the families. If they need more than 3 days to get through their process, is that unreasonable? What on earth does “national mourning” have to do with the families’ own private processes? It’s time for the fruit analogy once again.

    “Chinese President Hu Jintao bowed his head..”
    —again, terrific. And the families should instantly feel better?

    “Grieving relatives burnt incense outside schools that entombed their children”
    —that is good. If some families need to do more of that, what’s the harm? It’d be inconvenient for the CCP, I suppose.

  36. raventhorn4000
    July 7th, 2009 at 03:02 | #36

    SKC,

    “—OMG, you can’t be serious. You are literally a caricature of an excessively literal person.”

    Answer the question, you are diverting.

    “—fantastic. But Chan’s been talking about the mourning of the families. If they need more than 3 days to get through their process, is that unreasonable? What on earth does “national mourning” have to do with the families’ own private processes? It’s time for the fruit analogy once again.”

    Do you not read the rest of the links? They had private memorials OUTSIDE of the schools!

    “—that is good. If some families need to do more of that, what’s the harm? It’d be inconvenient for the CCP, I suppose.”

    Go ahead, OUTSIDE of the Schools! OUTSIDE of the Cordons!! OUTSIDE of the “rubbles”. Obviously they were allowed!!

  37. S.K. Cheung
    July 7th, 2009 at 06:51 | #37

    “Do you not read the rest of the links? They had private memorials OUTSIDE of the schools!”
    —how ’bout you try reading the entire post before fidgeting with the keyboard. For instance, i said this: “that is good. If some families need to do more of that, what’s the harm?”. Try that on for size. Since you even quote the same line later, i just don’t see what your issue is.

    “Obviously they were allowed!!”
    —great. Here’s hoping that the CCP allows as much of that as the families’ need, “within reason” of course.

    “Answer the question, you are diverting.”
    —are you serious? Ok, on the principle that every one of your goofy questions deserves an answer (because, as they say, goofy questions are questions too): yes, let’s speculate that the schools had gates; and if the gates fell over too, then let’s refer to the area outside the crumble zone of said fallen gate. Jeez louise once again. I guess you’re working the caps back into your diverse repertoire.

  38. raventhorn4000
    July 7th, 2009 at 10:59 | #38

    “—how ’bout you try reading the entire post before fidgeting with the keyboard. For instance, i said this: “that is good. If some families need to do more of that, what’s the harm?”. Try that on for size. Since you even quote the same line later, i just don’t see what your issue is.”

    I said they already COULD do the memorial outside, why are you implying that they can’t?

    “—great. Here’s hoping that the CCP allows as much of that as the families’ need, “within reason” of course.”

    Well, obviously, STAY OUTSIDE OF THE RUBBLE!!

    “—are you serious? Ok, on the principle that every one of your goofy questions deserves an answer (because, as they say, goofy questions are questions too): yes, let’s speculate that the schools had gates; and if the gates fell over too, then let’s refer to the area outside the crumble zone of said fallen gate. Jeez louise once again. I guess you’re working the caps back into your diverse repertoire.”

    You are still going on your irrelevance. You need some CAPS, obviously your meds are not working.

  39. S.K. Cheung
    July 8th, 2009 at 05:17 | #39

    “I said they already COULD do the memorial outside, why are you implying that they can’t?”
    —if those families can have a memorial if they want, when they want, where they want, (within reason, of course), then that is great news!

    “STAY OUTSIDE OF THE RUBBLE!!”
    —fantastic, insightful advice. In caps once again, no less. If the families hadn’t figured that out yet, I’m sure your’s will be a most useful reminder.

    “You are still going on your irrelevance.”
    —first you want a goofy question answered. Then you complain that the answer is irrelevant. If you feel that way, you should really examine the relevance (or lack thereof) of your initial goofy question.

  40. raventhorn4000
    July 8th, 2009 at 11:13 | #40

    “—if those families can have a memorial if they want, when they want, where they want, (within reason, of course), then that is great news!”

    DUH! It would have been much easier for you if you just stopped your ridiculous assumptions in the 1st place!!

    “—fantastic, insightful advice. In caps once again, no less. If the families hadn’t figured that out yet, I’m sure your’s will be a most useful reminder.”

    DUH! It would have been much easier for you if you just stopped your ridiculous assumptions in the 1st place!!

    “—first you want a goofy question answered. Then you complain that the answer is irrelevant. If you feel that way, you should really examine the relevance (or lack thereof) of your initial goofy question.”

    Why don’t you just stick to a simple yes/no answer next time, instead of your irrelevant personal observations?

  41. S.K. Cheung
    July 12th, 2009 at 06:12 | #41

    “Why don’t you just stick to a simple yes/no answer next time, instead of your irrelevant personal observations?”
    -dude, we’re not in court, for starters. And second, you can ask a question how you want, and I can answer it how I want. That’s how it works, at least in the free world. I tailor my answers to the individual, so my impressions of you are actually extremely relevant.

    As for the other stuff, IF the families can mourn where/when/how they want, great. But that’s a fair-sized “if”. And I think the only one assuming that they mourn on top of a pile of rubble is you.

  42. raventhorn4000
    July 12th, 2009 at 13:01 | #42

    “-dude, we’re not in court, for starters. And second, you can ask a question how you want, and I can answer it how I want. That’s how it works, at least in the free world. I tailor my answers to the individual, so my impressions of you are actually extremely relevant.

    As for the other stuff, IF the families can mourn where/when/how they want, great. But that’s a fair-sized “if”. And I think the only one assuming that they mourn on top of a pile of rubble is you.”

    Dude, if you can’t answer a simple yes/no question, that’s your problem.

    2nd, you still can’t answer a simple yes/no question apparently. you are “free” to be irrelevant.

    you are the one assuming how “fair sized” IF is.

  43. S.K. Cheung
    July 13th, 2009 at 05:03 | #43

    “Dude, if you can’t answer a simple yes/no question, that’s your problem.”
    —I really fail to see what your impediment is. You can ask a question how you like; I can answer how I like. Time to deal already, pal. That being said, since you’ve availed yourself to the pleasures of living in a free country, if you find that you are unable to deal with it, that’s fine by me too.

    “you are the one assuming how “fair sized” IF is.”
    —as are you. I assume it’s a fair size; you, maybe not so much. To each his own, as I always say…

  44. raventhorn4000
    July 13th, 2009 at 22:06 | #44

    Float your boat, or not. You can go around and around on a simple yes/no question. That only proves you are dodging the question.

    🙂

  45. S.K. Cheung
    July 14th, 2009 at 05:29 | #45

    Good grief, dude. A question about the possible existence of a school gate is worthy of answering a second time? To you, perhaps. Among other aspects of your persona that may be overinflated is the undue sense of importance you attach to some of the goofy questions you ask.

    BTW, if you were actually reading, the answer is already in the last paragraph of my #37. That’s a question that needs to be dodged?!? Time to wake up and smell the coffee, pal.

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