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Fukushima, dropped phone calls, and a three-minute summary of U.S. foreign policy

The three topics in the title are really disjoint. I have been wanting to blog about them over the last few days but decided to give a quick take on each in this post.

Seeing the mindless buying of salt in China, I am reminded in a land of 1.3 billion people, there must be at least some millions of lemmings. That being the case, I do believe at any moment in time, there will be enough lemmings heeding the calls of ‘democracy’ nut jobs from outside China for a Jasmine Revolution. 1.3 billion is a huge number. A small percentage of that is still a huge number, which can be critical mass for almost anything.

Of course, stupidity over this Fukushima nuclear power plant radiation radiates far and wide; have alook at “Idiotic CNN Host Argues With Meteorologist About Radiation.” I can’t decide if the host is stupid or that CNN expects their audience to be stupid. Is it safe to conclude they both are?

Apparently, the New York Times have the same type of expectations for their readers too. In their relentless crusade to trump up charges against the Chinese government over ‘censorship’ (see my prior post about a voyeur’s stunt), they recently went out with this. The Shanghai Scrap poked fun at it and suggest they use better phones.

Honestly, I would not be as polite in criticizing them. What kind of idiot concludes two anecdotal cases of call drops amount to censoring cell phone calls? Fine, they both happened to have the word ‘protest’ in them. How many call drops did you experience recently? I guess the millions of dropped calls in the U.S. must be censorship! Better yet, we should become retarded and claim American censorship capable of sensing terrorist thoughts even when they use benign code-words such as “what’s up!”

See my point up top? Out of 1.3 billion, what is the chance of not able to get two anecdotal data points on anything? The New York Times paid TWO reporters to write that junk. Do we even call them reporters? Propagandists make something out of nothing and I think that would be a more apt job title.

How about interviewing somebody from China who directly have knowledge about how censorship works in China? Ever thought about that? At least that’d be an honest day worth of work as a journalist.

Maybe these reporters should learn something from Australian journalist John Pilger. Below is a short clip of an interview of ex-CIA Duane Clarridge conducted by Pilger. It recently resurfaced, and in light of the U.S.-led bombing of Libya, some people think it sums up rather well the U.S. foreign policy. Glenn Greenwald thought so: “Three-minute Cliffs Notes of U.S. foreign policy.”

  1. March 24th, 2011 at 12:11 | #1

    shanghais’ crap is a nice blog…

  2. xian
    March 24th, 2011 at 12:44 | #2

    Despite the NYT’s sober layout, its contents are quite sensationalist. If you read the articles about Fukushima, it’s almost like they wanted a meltdown, if only to capture all the ensuing drama. What is surprising about the salt hoarding is that Chinese media hasn’t been very sensationalist about the radiation issue. This entire event is driven by internet rumors, and not any reputable website either – just plain, unsourced essays circulating on forums. I’m not sure what to think about that.

    “I am reminded in a land of 1.3 billion people, there must be at least some millions of lemmings. A small percentage of that is still a huge number, which can be critical mass for almost anything.”

    This is really worth repeating. Of all the issues facing China I feel most strongly about this. While other Asian countries like Japan or Korea can marginalize small pockets of idealists, China’s huge population makes it possible for ANY ideology to gain a foothold. Anything from progressivism to libertarianism to feminism. That means any kind of -ism could create deep divides within China, splits that may dwarf what America considers “diversity”.

    Foreign media bias is one thing, but the biggest longterm threat to China is IDEOLOGICAL. I wish you guys could spend a bit more time on this.

    What’s most troubling is that there seem to be no active resistance to this because of fear of moral backlash. Too many people in China are happy to accept the touchy-feely “freedoms”, “rights” and “diversity” spiel without considering that strength, unity, and wealth are far more important values. No, those things cannot always co-exist. Often one is sacrificed for another. The only reason it hasn’t reached a critical mass in China yet is because most people are too poor to care, and nationalism keeps the nation pragmatic. But how long will this last? It is imperative that the social groundwork be laid down right now, one that rejects the moralism outsiders try to apply to China, one that unabashedly and righteously places the interests of Chinese civilization above any starry-eyed idealism, one that sets a historical precedent against any future challenges.

  3. March 24th, 2011 at 13:27 | #3


    Well said. Agreed, the ‘democracy,’ ‘freedom,’ and ‘human rights’ nut jobs should be exposed where-ever they are.

  4. March 24th, 2011 at 14:42 | #4

    More development over at the Shanghai Scrap – follow the same link in the OP. Apparently, there is a 3rd contributing reporter to the article, based in Beijing, Jonathan Ansfield, now publicly stating he is trying to get the NYT to correct.

    What’s the moral of the story? Perhaps reporters on the ground have a bit more truth, but headquarters spins and lies whichever way they want?

  5. Wukailong
    March 24th, 2011 at 20:42 | #5

    I was planning to do the same thing for fun but forgot about it. One thing worth noting is that the NYT isn’t necessarily lying – journalists, diplomats and high-profile businessmen work in different environments than the average joe (of which I am one) and I’ve heard examples where this does indeed happen because security people watch them closely. They won’t bother with someone like me.

  6. March 24th, 2011 at 22:42 | #6

    You should give it a try and let us know how it works out. But I think the NYT article said it was a Beijing entrepreneur who said the word.

    Certainly, I see your point about people like the BBC reporter Damian Grammaticas who is lurking around desperately hoping for a Jasmine Revolution getting special treatment.

    In a practical sense, phone calls are usually one to one, and I just think the censors would be more vigilant about weibo’s or tweets where it is one to many.

  7. SilentChinese
    March 25th, 2011 at 10:14 | #7

    “What kind of idiot concludes two anecdotal cases of call drops amount to censoring cell phone calls?”

    I have one word for you guys.

    The biggest eavesdropper on this planet is uncle sam.

    It would be refreshing if NYT did a peice on ECHELON and compare it against the chinese state security sigint apparatus.

    1984 will never happen, it is already here! big brother is watching you. the Chinese State security apparatus is just playing catch up.

  8. jxie
    March 30th, 2011 at 23:29 | #8

    I know this is purely rhetorical since we can’t quite confirm it one way or the other: but I am willing to take a $100:$1000 bet on that the NYT story was totally fabricated. Odds-wise, pretending to be a bookie for a second, I will assign a 50% chance of the story being made up by the NYT journalists themselves directly, and a 49.999999% chance of the story being made up by somebody who told them.

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