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Chinese Consulate in L.A. shot at by ‘human rights’ protester

December 15th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Around 2:15pm this afternoon, a ‘human rights’ protester fired a number of shots at the Chinese Consulate aiming for a security guard, according the the AP. Below is a brief AP report relayed on the Huffington Post:

“Shots fired at Chinese Consulate in LA, 1 arrested”
December 16, 2011 12:31 AM EST |

LOS ANGELES — Police said they have arrested a man in relation to a Thursday afternoon shooting outside the Chinese Consulate building in downtown Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Times reported that a protester fired nine shots at a security guard at about 2:15 p.m., but only hit the building. The man, whose name wasn’t released, turned himself in about three hours later, Officer Gregory Baek said.

A group demonstrating against human rights abuses in China had gathered outside the consulate earlier Thursday. One protester argued with a security guard after the guard allegedly took a sign and threw it in the trash. The protester then got into a vehicle and allegedly opened fire.

The security guard, Cipriano Gutierrez, told KCAL-9 television that there were about 20 people inside the consulate when the man fired at the building.

“I hit the ground and I was praying,” Gutierrez told KCAL. “I grabbed phone books and put them over my head. A bullet came in the room right next to my knee. I thought I was going to die.”

No injuries were reported.

A call to the consulate office wasn’t immediately answered.

While there is not much information to go on and assuming the facts in this report are accurate, I feel compelled to weigh in on these so called ‘human rights’ protesters. The irony is of course obvious. One professes for human rights and be so ready to kill other human beings over a small dispute. Such is the face of “human rights.”

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  1. zack
    December 16th, 2011 at 01:09 | #1

    lol, these protestors have shot themselves in the foot (pun intended); good luck trying to get sympathy for your cause when you go around shooting at rent-a-cops (probably one of the luckier ones in america to still have a job).

    on a second note, i believe this reflects the US media’s campaigns of sinophobic reporting; the Fear China campaign is starting to have the effect where some Americans may indeed believe they are doing their patriotic duty if they were to start commiting racial violence against Chinese people.

    so when’s this going to stop? when pogroms against ethnic Chinese occur?

  2. pug_ster
    December 16th, 2011 at 09:05 | #2

    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/12/15/shooting-reported-at-chinese-consulate-in-los-angeles/

    According to the news, it was some Asian guy in his 60’s who was a ‘regular’ protester within the last year\. I think the only kind of people who are crazy enough to do this are those FLGers.

  3. Charles Liu
    December 16th, 2011 at 12:04 | #3

    @pug_ster

    Is there any proof to this?

  4. pug_ster
    December 16th, 2011 at 12:23 | #4

    @Charles Liu

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45693885/ns/us_news/#.TuunyFapVnE

    According to msnbc, they said that “a group demonstrating against human rights in China” had gathered outside the consulate earlier Thursday. The only Asian people who regularly protests outside the Chinese Embassies throughout the US are FLGers. I am not saying that it is 100% but it is a high probability in my opinion.

    Edit: From the comment below, this person thinks that it is the FLG also.

    http://laist.com/2011/12/15/protester_at_chinese_consulate_fire.php

  5. melektaus
    December 16th, 2011 at 14:19 | #5

    It could also be Taiwanese independence nuts

  6. December 16th, 2011 at 16:22 | #6

    Can’t resist not to post an old post.

    ——–

    China, the human rights lover

    * Contrary to popular belief, it is a fact.
    30 years ago, many Chinese died of starvation, did not have a roof over their heads…
    Not any more now.
    Are these the basic human rights?

    * Why you’re lied to.
    The media want to create controversy to sell their stuffs.
    The politician wants to establish a common enemy, so you ignore more important problems that they cannot fix.
    The offense companies have more reason to expand.
    They all assume you are stupid and cannot analyze.

    * Why US is human right violator.
    How many we killed and how many Chinese killed abroad last year?
    How many innocent people we have to kill in Iraq before we stop?
    How many national guards are sent to the killing field against their will?
    Should we destroy another country accusing them to have ‘mass destruction weapons’?
    How many dictators we support who are human rights violators?
    Why it is OK for us to own nuclear weapons that can destroy the entire world with a push of a button?
    How many citizens die of obesity as we encourage “good” food?
    How many poor remain to be poor for generations due to our generous welfare system?
    How many our children are killed every year due to our lack of gun control law?
    Gun control is not even an issue for both political parties.
    How many teenage mothers we encourage starting from the top politicians?
    How many Indians stay in their reservation forever and got drunk by not providing them with jobs?
    How we use up the world’s oil and blame China who uses less than ¼ of ours per capita?
    In addition, a good portion of China’s oil is used to manufacture our stuffs that we do not really need.
    How we blame China for military expenditure while ours is 10 times theirs?
    How we encourage our citizens to spend on credit and buy houses we cannot afford until the entire financial system collapses?
    When special interest groups donate millions to politicians, how can they make unbiased decisions for us?
    Protesting child labor abuse (or prisoner labor abuse) is just ridiculous if that job means the only meal for the child for the entire day.

    The list is endless.

    China has its own problems and we have our own. Let each work on her problems and we’ll have a better world.

    Your yardstick is good for your country but not mine, and China’s yardstick is comparing China 30 years ago. It is laughable to use the yardstick of a developed country (US) to measure a developing country (China), and vice versa. Depending on which yardstick you’re using, China could be a human right lover and US a violator – that could sound funny!

  7. raventhorn
    December 16th, 2011 at 17:40 | #7

    Yeah, sounds like a FLG’er.

    BTW: Purely for comedic purposes, Chinese bloggers in mainland China now refer to FLG’ers as “Wheels” in blogs and forums, for example, many commenters write in forums, “we don’t want any Wheels in here”, as a warning.

    I find it amusingly creative.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hyFneLd2cL8J_PiVpTvF6fEudl3w?docId=CNG.2b1c281dc9ea574f257e01499f6e1182.a31

  8. pug_ster
    December 16th, 2011 at 19:10 | #8

    $100k bail for attempted murder. Must be an FLG’er.

  9. raventhorn
    December 16th, 2011 at 19:25 | #9

    @pug_ster

    We should catch on the popular name selected democratically by the Chinese bloggers:

    Must be a Wheel.

    🙂

  10. John
    December 16th, 2011 at 22:44 | #10

    So this FLG protester thinks that he has more human rights to shoot at someones ! FLG members often look like in trance and possessed.

  11. LOLZ
    December 17th, 2011 at 00:14 | #11

    The shooter is a 67 year old Jeff (Baoliang) Zhang, a naturalized US citizen whose residence is in Las Vegas.

    Not sure if the man belongs to FLG but he is obviously thoroughly brain washed by the anti-China agenda around him. As much as he hates China, shooting at the hispanic security guard will not help the situation. On the other hand, I am sure the guard will not be throwing away crazy protesters’ signs into garbage in the future.

  12. Mal
    December 17th, 2011 at 00:48 | #12

    Why is it “obvious” that he is brainwashed? And why do you assume he “hates China”? Maybe he just hates the CCP…

    Your comments are illogical

  13. December 17th, 2011 at 05:57 | #13

    Mal :
    Why is it “obvious” that he is brainwashed? And why do you assume he “hates China”? Maybe he just hates the CCP…

    The embassy of the United States represents the nation, not the Democratic Party or Republican Party. Likewise, the embassy of China represents China, not the CCP. If he hates the CCP, he is shooting at the wrong target.

  14. Mal
    December 17th, 2011 at 06:12 | #14

    Still the question remains unanswered, why is it “obvious” he is brainwashed and hates China?

    If its obvious it should be easy to answer…

  15. Naqshbandiyya
    December 17th, 2011 at 07:18 | #15

    @Mal
    It’s obvious that you’re a wheel; only wheels make a distinction between “CCP” and China that no other dissidents make, in order to co-opt Chinese nationalism to help your crazy cult’s cause. Unfortunately, Falun Gong doesn’t believe in its own propaganda, which is why they were dancing in the streets after the Sichuan Earthquake, whose impact was not limited (or even close) to CCP headquarters. You shot up a Chinese consulate, not a CCP building. Even if you did attack the CCP directly, you would be hurting a lot of innocent Chinese who are not ideologues, but who see the party as a vehicle for self-advancement in an ever-freer and more capitalist society. Falun Gong does not respect the most fundamental human right – the right to life, as evidenced by its use of self-immolation as a protest and publicity and tactic in the past, which has now apparently advanced to actual terrorism with this shooting.

  16. Naqshbandiyya
    December 17th, 2011 at 07:40 | #16

    Your “question” is a straw man. Nobody said that this man was “brainwashed”, although it would be implicit if he were a member of the Falun Gong cult. His membership is highly likely considering his demographic information, the fact that the Los Angeles consulate in particular was a hotbed of Falun Gong protest, and the fact that only Falun Gong in general makes such regular and hysterical demonstrations against the Chinese government in the West and Japan.

    The apocalyptic moral dualism of the Falun Gong doctrine makes it much more likely for someone to justify massacring Chinese consulate staff, than, say, the nonviolent coda of the Tibetan independence movement, or the martyrdom complex of the Chinese Christians. Also, only Falun Gong among these groups separates people from their families, inculcates into them a siege mentality, and tells them that everything disharmonious in the universe is the cause of the CCP. Is it any wonder that such violent outbursts usually come out of Falun Gong rather than from the panoply of groups that can claim abuse from the Chinese government?

    As usual, Falun Gong has sent out its internet army as it does whenever any commentator anywhere suggests that it has done something wrong, although rather quickly this time for if it wanted to claim that it had nothing to do with this act of terrorism.

  17. raventhorn
    December 17th, 2011 at 08:01 | #17

    @Naqshbandiyya

    “It’s obvious that you’re a wheel”.

    good one Naqshbadiyya.

  18. raventhorn
    December 17th, 2011 at 08:02 | #18

    Also Folks:

    No need to respond to “Mal”, he’s the same spammer who has been bombarding HH for a while now.

    SPAM sometimes come in Wheel form, much like Cheese.

  19. Charles Liu
    December 17th, 2011 at 13:24 | #19

    Seems it’s the same Zhang Baoliang that contacted Falun Gong to offer atrocity testamony in exchange for asylum assistance. Check out this report from Falun Gong’s propaganda outlet NTDTV:

    http://english.ntdtv.com/?c=145&a=2154

    BTW, the pre-Beijing Olympics “organ harvesting” allegation these asylum seekers helped Falun Gong to fabricate has long been discredited:

    http://sujiatunfactorhoax.blogspot.com/

  20. matt
    December 17th, 2011 at 16:29 | #20

    Fair point, OP. I too often ascribe characteristics to groups of people based on the actions of their lowest common denominator. That’s why I think all American football coaches are pedophiles. All Chinese firefighters keep hostages in sex dungeons. All government officials (regardless of nationality) are corrupt. And of course, the obvious irony, these people are supposed to be doing the opposite of what they are actually doing. It’s insane!

    [I anxiously await a list of everything odious thing that has ever been done by someone calling themselves a human rights protester. I’ll take my answer off the air.]

  21. December 17th, 2011 at 22:09 | #21

    @matt
    Let’s look at something extremely recent. NATO bombing of Libya under the guise of “protecting Libyan civilians.” The correct and just way is to get U.N. to authorize peace keeper troops on the ground to stop the violence between the Gadhafi and the rebel tribe.

    Instead, NATO bombs Libya to help the rebels take over the country. The country then escalates further into violence. Blood feuds between Libyans have been escalated. This is inhumane.

    Now, there are people who genuinely understand what real human rights mean. There are those who genuinely work towards it. These type of saints rarely propagandize their work as “human rights” though. That’s the difference, and do you get it?

  22. matt
    December 17th, 2011 at 23:40 | #22

    @YinYang
    The NATO-Libya, criminal shooting at the Chinese consulate analogy seems strained to me. Both involve actors that purport to help people, when the result of their actions clearly did not help people. If your point is that people who claim to support human rights shouldn’t try to kill people, I’m 100% with you. But you seem to be making a larger claim.

    Is your position that the consulate shooter is a typical example of people that identify their activism as human rights?

  23. LOLZ
    December 18th, 2011 at 04:24 | #23

    @Mal

    Mal :
    Why is it “obvious” that he is brainwashed? And why do you assume he “hates China”? Maybe he just hates the CCP…
    Your comments are illogical

    It’s fun watching Mal trying to defend this guy’s actions. The shooter was trying to kill the security guard. A certain level of hate must exist for a rational being wanting to the end the life of another. Yet there is little evidence that the shooter has any major grudge against the security guard beforehand. Unless he was brainwashed, where would the shooter muster enough hate to trying to kill someone he hardly knew?

    Applying Mal’s logic to the UK embassy attack in Iran last month, he would try to defend the attackers by arguing that the attackers are not anti-UK, but merely anti-Cameron/Conservative Party. That’s silly.

  24. December 19th, 2011 at 03:56 | #24

    @matt
    I think anybody with knowledge of the English language can see that the op was referring to the fact that human rights can be hijacked to serve other purposes. The Chinese, South Americans, Asians, Muslims, and other people who are frequently the subject of invasion or overthrow in the name of “human rights” know this well.

  25. raventhorn
    December 19th, 2011 at 05:48 | #25

    matt :@YinYang The NATO-Libya, criminal shooting at the Chinese consulate analogy seems strained to me. Both involve actors that purport to help people, when the result of their actions clearly did not help people. If your point is that people who claim to support human rights shouldn’t try to kill people, I’m 100% with you. But you seem to be making a larger claim.
    Is your position that the consulate shooter is a typical example of people that identify their activism as human rights?

    In these days, Activists tend to be driven to fanatical actions. Even the US government considers “Eco-Terrorists” to be deserving of being watched and monitored.

    Now, most Activists would probably argue that they do not “condone” the extremist actions of their colleagues, but I doubt they would try to prevent them. (In fact, they would probably turn blind eyes to extremism in the name of the righteous).

    It is analogous to the US/NATO logic of “regime change” for the “greater good”.

    It is the same old “End justifies the Means” argument, and we have seen it over and over again among many many HR activists/bloggers.

    (To name a few that we have seen here on HH, FOARP, ChinaGeeks, etc., have repeatedly made similarly logic of choosing “Lesser of Evils” for “Greater Good”, of course done at the expense of others, to others).

  26. matt
    December 19th, 2011 at 08:12 | #26

    @silentvoice
    The original post is directed at “these so called ‘human rights’ protesters'” while the article is about one person that committed a crime. The post ends with the sentence: “[s]uch is the face of “human rights.”

    The post is arguing that many (most, all?) people who protest against China’s human rights record support violence based on the action of one person. And if that’s not perfectly clear, read raventhorn’s post where he makes this exact point more explicitly.

    That argument is demagoguery, pure and simple.

  27. raventhorn
    December 19th, 2011 at 08:23 | #27

    @matt

    I think “[s]uch is the face of “human rights” does say precisely that 1 shooter is a Public Relation face for a movement, ie. a representation of “human rights”.

    On that phrase, I don’t think it is overreaching.

    Even more generally, most “human rights” movements have a tendency to be “hijacked”.

    Just look at Egypt today, the “human rights” activists overthrew the old dictatorship (of military generals), only to allow another dictatorship of military generals to take over, who are at this very moment, beating up and killing protesters on the streets of Cairo.

  28. matt
    December 19th, 2011 at 08:43 | #28

    @raventhorn
    You are tilting at a consequentialist straw man. My argument is that you shouldn’t demonize an entire group of people based on the actions of a few.

    If your argument is that the human rights protesters shouldn’t protest at the Chinese consulate because a crazy protester might take a shot at a security guard (who is not even Chinese), I’d say you’re stretching causation past its breaking point.

  29. LOLZ
    December 19th, 2011 at 09:05 | #29

    matt :
    The post is arguing that many (most, all?) people who protest against China’s human rights record support violence based on the action of one person.
    That argument is demagoguery, pure and simple.

    Actually there are plenty of evidence that many of the China human rights supporters (at least the leaders) often hope for violence in order to advance their cause. It was one of the student leaders of TAM (Chai Ling) who was caught on tape saying that the student leaders were actually hoping for bloodshed. “Only when the square is awash in blood will the people of China open their eyes”.

    A more recent example of so called “human rights supporters” playing the politics of violence is what transpired after the recent suicides of the Tibetan monks. The first reactions from the “human rights supporters” following the initial suicide was not to condemn the violence and the ultimate waste of life, but to engage in the politics of China bashing. Rather than to discourage further suicides, the “human rights supporters” tacitly approved this sort of violent behavior as they saw these events opportunities to advance their cause.

  30. raventhorn
    December 19th, 2011 at 09:20 | #30

    matt :@raventhorn You are tilting at a consequentialist straw man. My argument is that you shouldn’t demonize an entire group of people based on the actions of a few.
    If your argument is that the human rights protesters shouldn’t protest at the Chinese consulate because a crazy protester might take a shot at a security guard (who is not even Chinese), I’d say you’re stretching causation past its breaking point.

    I don’t think it’s stretching “causation” past its breaking point. It is evident that MOST if not all of the “HR protesters” against China are willing to resort to outlandish claims and assertions. Logically, they are also evidently willing to tolerate Extremist elements within their ranks, questionable sources of funding, etc.

    The 2 have logical causal connections.

    Today, it’s 1 crazy protester (not “might”) actually shot at a security Guard. (Yes, the guard is not Chinese, so it only shows a completely disregard for who “gets in the way”!)

    Tomorrow, it’s a “crazy” protester shooting at someone else who might be in the way.

    I’m not arguing that they “shouldn’t protest”. I’m arguing that they have to live with the consequences of their movement.

    Civil Responsibility, Matt. Let’s just say, Even Americans will turn against OWS, if OWS is connected to another Tim McVeigh.

  31. raventhorn
    December 19th, 2011 at 09:40 | #31

    matt :@raventhorn You are tilting at a consequentialist straw man. My argument is that you shouldn’t demonize an entire group of people based on the actions of a few.

    On that note, Matt, how would one define a “Terrorist Organization” from the “actions of a few” within the group?

    That the group openly espouse/condone/approve “violence”?

    Seriously, how would any one measure such “approval”? I don’t know any objective measurements, I will admit it.

    But I have seen how such measurements are applied in US and Europe. Frankly, often on less logical causal connections.

    *On another note, should China (or the CCP) be condemned for the “actions of a few”? Isn’t that what the “protest” was all about in the 1st place??

    Well, hey, why should “HR Activists” be exempted from their own logic??

  32. December 19th, 2011 at 10:42 | #32

    @matt
    You said:

    The NATO-Libya, criminal shooting at the Chinese consulate analogy seems strained to me. Both involve actors that purport to help people, when the result of their actions clearly did not help people. If your point is that people who claim to support human rights shouldn’t try to kill people, I’m 100% with you. But you seem to be making a larger claim.
    Is your position that the consulate shooter is a typical example of people that identify their activism as human rights?

    You are still not getting it. NATO bombing of Libyans is not only NOT ‘protecting Libyan civilians,’ it is also a glaring violation of Libyan’s human rights. This is a simple point you should have grasped at the outset. You shouldn’t be strained by this analogy. It only speaks of how convoluted your mind is.

    My point is simple – those professes ‘human rights’ usually never act in the interest of others human rights. They are doing so for their own politics. Those who truly care about others human rights do not wrap themselves in the banner of ‘human rights.’

  33. Charles Liu
    December 19th, 2011 at 12:14 | #33

    Here we go again, justifying the violence as usual:

    – When UN resolution 1973 to protect civilians came down, few here defended it – where were they once it turned into an attack on pro Qaddafi civilians?

    – When NED sponsored “civil society” instigated violent protest in Egypt, few here defended it – where are they now? Where’s Egypt’s freedom? Try this one:

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jtGTxBj_VvySBo2PASFJaEk3gz4A?docId=66d75c60f7c841e7922825fbf5b838f7

    Egyptian library containing ancient artifacts are torched, thanks to the freedom to demolish functioning government, stable society, law and order, sovereignty.

    If this is the kind of freedom and rights that’s been advocated, China definitely shouldn’t take part.

    After all, we Americans are smart enough to not take part, and arrest protester blocking traffic for even a minute, let alone occupying downtown square, debilitating traffic and commerce for months on.

  34. December 19th, 2011 at 13:10 | #34
  35. matt, now with convoluted mind
    December 19th, 2011 at 17:42 | #35

    @raventhorn
    To answer raventhorn’s bold questions: yes, China (and the CCP) shouldn’t be condemned based on the actions of a few. If these protesters’ entire argument is “China is rotten because of a couple bad apples”, I agree these protesters are engaging in demagoguery. I’d imagine the protesters have complaints about specific policies. HR activists don’t get an exemption.

    If you are going to claim that “MOST if not all” are willing to lie for their cause, you’ll need to back that up. There are a lot of human rights activists in the world. Even if you cut it down to the subset that are concerned about China, we are probably talking about more than a million of people.

    I don’t think it follows that someone willing to lie will necessarily engage in more egregious acts.

    I’m fine with criticizing any group that openly espouses, condones or approves violence. If we want an objective measure, then let’s use the groups official statements. If a group purports to be against violence, but their actions show otherwise, then we can debate about if that group is being disingenuous (which is probably what we are doing right now).

  36. raventhorn
    December 19th, 2011 at 18:59 | #36

    @matt, now with convoluted mind

    “If we want an objective measure, then let’s use the groups official statements. If a group purports to be against violence, but their actions show otherwise, then we can debate about if that group is being disingenuous (which is probably what we are doing right now).”

    Sure, then, we can look at all the “official statements” of CCP and China.

    and I note, China has “democracy” and “Freedom” in its Constitution. Would that be good enough?

    “If you are going to claim that “MOST if not all” are willing to lie for their cause, you’ll need to back that up. There are a lot of human rights activists in the world. Even if you cut it down to the subset that are concerned about China, we are probably talking about more than a million of people.”

    Lie #1, see above, Ie. their condemnation of “China” for the actions of a few. If they are going for “demagoguery”, then I rest my case: ANYONE showing up to one of those protests is propagating a LIE.

    (If they had some specific policies, they don’t need to condemn the overall system). A “few” bad policies does not make the whole system bad either, does it?!

    They prove by their own actions, to be participating in such a lie, BY the specifics of their own actions. PERFECTLY logical.

    (of course, they might be too stupid to recognize their own demagoguery, or their own lies.)

    “I don’t think it follows that someone willing to lie will necessarily engage in more egregious acts.”

    On the contrary, it is not that they are “willing to lie”, but that they have convinced themselves that their “demagoguery” is a form of TRUTH.

    Anyone who is capable of turning such “demagoguery” into TRUTH in their own mind, is capable of far more egregious acts, because they can convince themselves that evil is for the greater good.

    (That they are willing to shoot through anyone “in the way”, for their cause).

  37. matt, now with convoluted mind
    December 19th, 2011 at 21:14 | #37

    @raventhorn
    The problem with the NATO analogy is that NATO got together and decided to bomb Libya (a human rights violation on it’s face) knowing full well that overthrowing the Libyan government would cause misery to the local population (how could NATO not know given the recent track record of regime change).

    There is no evidence that the human rights protesters got together and decided “we’re going to start shouting slogans and then Mr. Crazy will take a shot at the consulate.”

  38. LOLZ
    December 19th, 2011 at 22:14 | #38

    yinyang :
    NATO bombing of Libyans is not only NOT ‘protecting Libyan civilians,’ it is also a glaring violation of Libyan’s human rights

    I think the technical answer which many “human rights supporters” tend to respond to this line of argument is that Human Rights the concept signed by UN doesn’t deal with deaths and misery caused by a foreign government during conflicts. Instead this topic is covered in the Geneva conventions. To many “human rights activists”, Chinese authorities suppressing protests is a gross violation of human rights. At the same time they feel that US using chemical weapons such as agent orange in vietnam or white phosphorus in Iraq which indiscriminately killed civilians and combatants alike is not a violation of human rights. Somehow they feel that the later case is better than the former because the later is not a violation of Human Rights as they know it.

  39. matt, now with convoluted mind
    December 19th, 2011 at 22:19 | #39

    @raventhorn
    If people want to claim that China isn’t a democracy or they don’t have freedom, the burden should be on them to prove that case.

    How do you know the human rights group is lying or condemning China based on the actions of a few? I can’t even find an article that identifies the group, much less their actual complaints. (I would be genuinely interested if you run across a more in-depth report.)

    Anyone that protests against China’s human rights record is propagating a lie? No country has a spotless record on human rights, China included. People can (and do) raise genuine concerns about human rights in China without propagating lies.

    A few bad policies doesn’t condemn the entire system but it’s perfectly fair to criticize the bad policies, right?

    “Anyone who is capable of turning such “demagoguery” into TRUTH in their own mind, is capable of far more egregious acts”

    People believe all sorts of crazy shit. Jews have horns. Catholics eat babies. Gays are pedophiles. The vast majority don’t take it any farther than being an embarrassment in polite company. If they did, crime rates would be significantly higher.

  40. Charles Liu
    December 20th, 2011 at 01:39 | #40

    Well Matt, we know THIS ONE is lying – it’s Falun Gong. Go ahead name one such HR protest group u feel has impeccable record re China that disproves raven’s generalization.

  41. matt, now with convoluted mind
    December 20th, 2011 at 03:28 | #41

    @Charles Liu
    Raven’s generalization is that anyone showing up at these protests are propagating a lie. I wouldn’t have to find a group with an impeccable record re China to disprove that generalization. I’d just have to find a protest that isn’t perpetuating a lie.

    How about this protest: http://preview.tinyurl.com/75f55q9

    The death penalty is highly questionable on moral grounds. On practical grounds, China’s criminal justice system does not have appropriate safeguards in place to ensure that innocent people are not wrongfully convicted. (The US doesn’t either, just to head off that argument.) These HR activists were not propagating lies by participating in that protest.

  42. matt, now with convoluted mind
    December 20th, 2011 at 03:31 | #42

    The full link is here.

    http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filipino/12/06/11/amnesty-international-protests-china-death-penalty-pinoy

    Just remembered that tinyurl.com might not be accessible for everyone.

  43. raventhorn
    December 20th, 2011 at 05:34 | #43

    matt, now with convoluted mind :@Charles Liu Raven’s generalization is that anyone showing up at these protests are propagating a lie. I wouldn’t have to find a group with an impeccable record re China to disprove that generalization. I’d just have to find a protest that isn’t perpetuating a lie.
    How about this protest: http://preview.tinyurl.com/75f55q9
    The death penalty is highly questionable on moral grounds. On practical grounds, China’s criminal justice system does not have appropriate safeguards in place to ensure that innocent people are not wrongfully convicted. (The US doesn’t either, just to head off that argument.) These HR activists were not propagating lies by participating in that protest.

    Well, Matt, I would say that “moral grounds” is shaky grounds for protest. They are not protesting a “policy”, they are protesting a “morality”.

    If that’s the case, then they are being vastly more generalized. Which boils down to, their “morality” is better.

    Well, if they are not sticking to the specifics, other than “morality”, then it is a condemnation of the whole “system” for no particular specific reasons.

    (Death penalty is imparted on a case by case basis, through judicial process, NO cases are identical to another.) Now I have seen some death penalty protests in US where it’s very specific about specific INDIVIDUALS, whom the protesters believed to be WRONGED by the system.

    But in your listed case, Are they protesting for a specific individual? Any specific allegation of death penalty as being wrong for a specific convict??

    (BTW, Philippines merely requested “commute the sentence”, and I don’t know what specific wrong of “unfair trial” the AI is talking about.)

    NO. (So, it’s just another, “China is evil” generalized protest). I rest my case.

    *PS: AI doesn’t do much “protest” themselves. So I don’t know what you would call that article, a protest in Ether?

  44. raventhorn
    December 20th, 2011 at 05:43 | #44

    @matt, now with convoluted mind

    “If people want to claim that China isn’t a democracy or they don’t have freedom, the burden should be on them to prove that case.”

    Let them prove it then, instead of making generalized protests against “Olympics in China”, etc.

    “How do you know the human rights group is lying or condemning China based on the actions of a few? I can’t even find an article that identifies the group, much less their actual complaints. (I would be genuinely interested if you run across a more in-depth report.)”

    Interesting that you can’t find their identification. Surely, so just a bunch of “protesters” shows up and nobody knows what they are protesting specifically about, then? Doesn’t that proves their “generalized” Demagoguery by itself?

    “Anyone that protests against China’s human rights record is propagating a lie? No country has a spotless record on human rights, China included. People can (and do) raise genuine concerns about human rights in China without propagating lies.”

    By your logic, EVERY country should be “condemned” and protested against. Which says nothing in itself. I don’t see such as “raising GENUINE concerns”, it’s raising “generalized demagoguery” by your definition.

    “A few bad policies doesn’t condemn the entire system but it’s perfectly fair to criticize the bad policies, right?”

    Sure, name the policies, name the effects, name the solution, name the cost of solution, DISCUSS.

    ““Anyone who is capable of turning such “demagoguery” into TRUTH in their own mind, is capable of far more egregious acts” People believe all sorts of crazy shit. Jews have horns. Catholics eat babies. Gays are pedophiles. The vast majority don’t take it any farther than being an embarrassment in polite company. If they did, crime rates would be significantly higher.”

    You are not talking about “believing”, you are talking about people raising signs and gathering in mobs in SYNC with their “crazy shit” beliefs.

    In the South, they used to call that a LYNCH MOB.

    SANE people would be “embarassed” in public if they even accidentally talked about their “crazy shit” beliefs, but not these protesters apparently (They even bring their guns??) Surely, you are not equating believing “crazy shit” vs. acting/protesting based upon them??!

  45. raventhorn
    December 20th, 2011 at 06:05 | #45

    matt, now with convoluted mind :@raventhorn The problem with the NATO analogy is that NATO got together and decided to bomb Libya (a human rights violation on it’s face) knowing full well that overthrowing the Libyan government would cause misery to the local population (how could NATO not know given the recent track record of regime change).
    There is no evidence that the human rights protesters got together and decided “we’re going to start shouting slogans and then Mr. Crazy will take a shot at the consulate.”

    I think not, Matt.

    I would say honestly that people in charge of NATO honestly convinced themselves that “every thing would work out in Libya”, that ONLY Gaddafi’s tanks would be bombed, all the soldiers surrender peacefully, and no one would get hurt (like in GI Joe cartoons).

    Similarly, Protesters often convince themselves that they would gather in a LARGE uncontrolled crowd (where hardly anyone knows who is coming), where everyone is emotionally charged, and NO one would go crazy.

    Oh, also, it’s all for a “greater good”, which is the common tipping point for NATO and Protesters.

  46. raventhorn
    December 20th, 2011 at 07:27 | #46

    @matt, now with convoluted mind

    “The death penalty is highly questionable on moral grounds.”

    Sure, if you want to debate “morality”, how about the Chinese embassy send their own “morality squad” to in front of the home of some Protesters, day and night, to counter protest, until the Protesters accepts the morality of “death penalty”???!

    Seriously, if it is your “morality” vs. someone else’s, do you really think 1 set of “morality” is better than others?

    If you go across Asia, I would say majority of Asians do not have a problem with the morality of “death penalty”, generally.

    Many Americans do not have a problem with the morality of “death penalty”. For example, Rick Perry (and Texas in general).

    (BTW, by population unit basis, Texas’ execution rate is the SAME as China’s execution rate, per population unit per year!!!) That should tell you something about China’s “judicial safeguard”.

    “(The US doesn

  47. Charles Liu
    December 20th, 2011 at 18:34 | #47

    @matt, now with convoluted mind

    MattR, nice try but not even close.

    Amnesty International as a group routinely lies about China’s rights record, and your one IMHO exteremely poor example doesn’t even constitute an exception to the norm.

    “The death penalty is highly questionable on moral grounds.”
    – Disagree. Many sound arguments can be made by death penalty proponent, on legal, religious, cultural grounds.

    “On practical grounds, China’s criminal justice system does not have appropriate safeguards in place to ensure that innocent people are not wrongfully convicted.”
    – ABSOLUTELY disagree. Read up on China’s legal reform on death penalty (automatic appeal, delay of sentence on case-by-case basis, abolition of death penalty for certain crimes.)

    “These HR activists were not propagating lies by participating in that protest.”
    – Completely arguable. Your claim is in no way proven, given the fact your fundamental thesis is purely based on opinion, not on any facts such as the drug mule’s guilt, China’s right to judicial perogative on capital punishment.

    Try again.

  48. Wahaha
    December 20th, 2011 at 18:38 | #48

    The death penalty is highly questionable on moral grounds.

    *******************************************************

    Matt,

    If death penalty could NOT have stopped hideous crimes, other penalty like 20-years-in-jail would not have stopped crimes either.

    Therefore, to question if death penalty has saved the lives of some innocent people is equivalent to question if your justice system has fulfilled its job : protect innocent people.

    Therefore, to claim that death penalty has not been effective in stopping crime is equivalent to say your justice system is garbage, and should be thrown out of window.

    BTW, death penalty is never for revenge (except for victim’s relative). Death penalty is a message to the potential criminal that they wont get away with their crimes if they dare to commit.

    So why do you feel so good about your definition of morality ? do you still feel so good if for each criminal you saved, several innocent people paid their lives ?

  49. Wahaha
    December 20th, 2011 at 18:42 | #49

    On practical grounds, China’s criminal justice system does not have appropriate safeguards in place to ensure that innocent people are not wrongfully convicted. (The US doesn’t either, just to head off that argument.)

    ******************************************

    You have watched too many hollywood movies, like ‘shawshank redemption’.

    Do you know how much US spends each year on those on deal roll ? 5.5 billion dollars.

    Over 50% of Americans support death penalty, where is their voice in your “free” media ?

  50. Wahaha
    December 20th, 2011 at 18:48 | #50

    One more thing :

    “Every life deserves being saved” is NOT what God said.

    If God said it, it must be “Every life deserves being saved IF it wont cause other innocent lives.”

  51. colin
    December 21st, 2011 at 10:31 | #51

    @TonyP4

    Excellent post. Really hits at the hypocrisy of the west.

  52. matt, now with convoluted mind
    December 22nd, 2011 at 05:06 | #52

    @Wahaha
    Most people know all the arguments against the death penalty, so I won’t waste your time by rehashing them. I prefer my justice systems to not kill innocent people and I’d be willing to let very bad people serve life in prison (w/o parole) if that meant the state not killing innocents on my behalf. It’s a tradeoff, but one I’m willing to make.

    I also think that fines/jail time guidelines for minor drug possession in the US are too high. I’m not suggesting the entire justice system is garbage. You don’t have to tear down the entire system when you can simply change the penalties for specific crimes.

    The cost or popularity of a policy doesn’t make it right. The fact that the US spends so much on the death penalty and still gets it wrong is a point against the death penalty. If you doubt that death penalty cases have resulted in wrongful convictions. Look at Illinois. They abolished their death penalty when a dozen convictions got overturned, some of which were completely exonerated. The New Yorker has a fascinating article about Cameron Todd Willingham. He was executed in Texas and the article makes a compelling case that he was wrongfully convicted based on bogus expert testimony.

    This isn’t just a problem with the US’s application of the death penalty. At least the Chinese authorities had the courage to admit that they have executed an innocent person (Nie Shubin).

    “Over 50% of Americans support death penalty, where is their voice in your “free” media ?”

    I’d suggest Fox News if you feel inundated with anti-death penalty reporting. I doubt the US government is pressuring the media to overreport anti-death penalty stories while at the same time increasing the number of capital federal crimes.

    [To everyone on this site: what’s up with all the scare quotes? I know the point is show that you are using the term ironically, but every other post?]

  53. matt, now with convoluted mind
    December 22nd, 2011 at 05:07 | #53

    @raventhorn
    The death penalty is clearly a policy. (Policy: noun, a course or principle of action adopted or proposed by a government, party, business or individual. -New Oxford American Dictionary) The death penalty is a law that has been adopted by the Chinese government. One reasonable objection to this policy is on moral grounds, i.e. it is always morally wrong to kill another person. You don’t have to agree with that argument. Reasonable people can come down on different sides of the debate, but saying the death penalty is immoral isn’t demagoguery.

    We just saw OWS protests across the US, with angry people and crowds larger than this protest. Violence was the exception.

    A lynch mob? Really? That’s your analogy? Isn’t the entire purpose of a lynch mob to, you know, lynch someone? A person in a lynch mob knows exactly what they are getting into. It’s not like you just join a band of guys wearing sheets and shouting about how they want to hang someone, but when they actually put try to hang someone, you say, “hey guys, this isn’t what I signed up for.” Or in other words, I doubt the protesters were shouting, “let’s shoot at the consulate’s security guard.”

    I’d be fine with the Chinese consulate sending protesters to these guys houses. Although the protesting organization’s headquarters would probably be a better analogy; I don’t think anyone lives at the consulate. I didn’t read anything that said the HR protesters were at the consulate night and day.

    The article mentions an AI report that is available on their website. (PDF here: http://tinyurl.com/7xhkybo ) The China case study, about an alleged smuggler in Liaoning, complains about the lack of cross examination for key witnesses and a lack of material evidence that he was guilty. Those claims don’t appear to be baseless. The appeals court sent the case back for re-trial due to “unclarity about the facts” and “lack of evidence”. AI was also complaining about China executing those three people for drug trafficking, a non-violent crime. Reasonable people can come to different conclusions, but these are fair criticisms.

  54. matt, now with convoluted mind
    December 22nd, 2011 at 05:14 | #54

    @Charles Liu
    I agree that there are sound arguments for the death penalty. This is one of those issues where reasonable people can disagree. My point regarding raven’s generalization is that a person can be against the death penalty, criticize China for having the death penalty and not be dishonest.

    Just because a country can make a law, doesn’t mean it should. And if a country makes a law it shouldn’t, then people should be able to criticize that law.

    I’ve read up on China’s death penalty reforms, even before seeing your comment, but thank you for the suggestion. My opinion is that the reforms are not enough.

  55. raventhorn
    December 22nd, 2011 at 06:18 | #55

    @matt, now with convoluted mind

    “but saying the death penalty is immoral isn’t demagoguery.”

    NO?? Well, I can say then, “Protest is IMMORAL”. Does that get anyone anywhere?

    When you boil down an argument to “IMMORALITY”, it is “Demagoguery”.

    Demagoguery: impassioned appeals to the prejudices and emotions of the populace.

  56. raventhorn
    December 22nd, 2011 at 07:18 | #56

    @matt, now with convoluted mind

    “Reasonable people can come down on different sides of the debate, but saying the death penalty is immoral isn’t demagoguery.”

    Reasonable people do not need to appeal to the emotions of “immorality”. Morality is not based in “reason”. Precisely because these people cannot reason, that’s why they appeal to “immorality” argument, which is demagoguery, ie. appeal to emotions.

    “A lynch mob? Really? That’s your analogy? Isn’t the entire purpose of a lynch mob to, you know, lynch someone? A person in a lynch mob knows exactly what they are getting into.”

    Really, any lynch mob participant in history ever admit to knowingly getting into “lynching”?? Don’t they all say, I abhor violence, someone else did it.

    “Isn’t the entire purpose of a lynch mob to, you know, lynch someone?”

    Really? Do the Lynch mobs publish these “purpose” statements? Where do you find them? If you can find them, I’ll grant you your distinction. Otherwise, 1 might start an ordinary “mob”, knowing that some might show up for the “lynching”.

    Are “reasonable people” willfully ignoring the Laws of Probability??

  57. Charles Liu
    December 22nd, 2011 at 10:04 | #57

    @matt, now with convoluted mind “My opinion is that the reforms are not enough.”

    Again, that’s your opinion. Where’s your factual basis to make claim on AI’s protest you cited as an example? Nilch. So where do we stand on Raven’s generalization about the state of human rights advocacy when it comes to China?

    Where’s your example? Again I must insist you come up with a group that has consistent behavior, not one single act (which you can’t even come up with – the drug mule’s guilt doesn’t seem to be in question, 3 years of automatic appeal and delay of sentencing, the execution was carried out properly under China’s law.)

    FYI, there are studies out there that dispute capital punishment opponent’s claim death penalty tends to kill the innocent. Also China’s execution rate is comparable to Texas, and majority of US states still have death penalty on the book?

    These are all facts speak against the validity of the protest example you cited.

    Alas not withstanding your opinion on what China should or should not do, the fact is China as a sovereign state have the fundamental right to judicial prerogative. Given the fact China’s law on capital punishment is consistent with many countries including our own, such protest is entirely questionable.

  58. Charles Liu
    December 22nd, 2011 at 10:32 | #58

    @matt, now with convoluted mind

    Matt, in the spirit of Christmas, I’ll just put you out of your misery. Protests by definition is to create controversy, gain attention thru overt acts. I doubt you’ll find good example of genuinely honest protest on any issue, let alone an advocacy group on such visceral subject as China.

    I’ll just tell you, I know of human rights groups that deal with China issues honestly – but they don’t protest. And those who do protest are pretty much questionable on many levels (agenda, funding source, political alignment and affiliation.)

    There, this is the fundamental problem with your claim, and why Raven’s generalization is by and large correct.

  59. Wahaha
    December 22nd, 2011 at 18:43 | #59

    One reasonable objection to this policy is on moral grounds, i.e. it is always morally wrong to kill another person.

    **************************************

    Matt,

    That is nonsense. By that logic, US shouldnt have got involved into WWII, As the leaders surely knew that hundreds of thousands of young man would be killed, and millions of them would be injured. At least they shouldve spent 10 years educating Nazis before sending troops.

    Down to earth, it is about if you believe death penalty save MORE INNOCENT people or not.

    Wrongly executing someones is not the fault of death penalty, it is the laziness of detectives.

    Stop riding the high horse like you are saving someone’s lives, actually you are killing someones, including children.

    For every criminals(who should be in hell now) you try to save, I can give you 5 innocent people who would be alive now, and not mention the suffering their relatives have had to bear now.

    And dont pick out 1 or 2 wrongly executed but ignore 1 dozens or 2 dozens of innocent people who lost their lives in a way that didnt make any sense.

    If you want something 100% perfect, earth is not the place you should stay.

    Remember : dont educate others about right or wrong until you have a good understanding of WHAT ALTERNATIVE WILL LEAD TO, like freedom. (do you know the price western people have paid for the “freedom” they get ?)

  60. matt, now with convoluted mind
    December 22nd, 2011 at 23:03 | #60

    I get it, guys. You don’t like protests, people who attend protests or protests against China.

    So here’s my question, is there any reasonable grounds whatsoever to protest China? If so, what are they? If not, why not?

    And I’m still waiting for an answer to my question about all the scare quotes.

    @Wahaha
    People did refuse to serve in WWII. 72,354 Americans applied for conscientious objector status. I’m not saying that the US should have sat out WWII, just that reasonable people can object to killing under any circumstance.

    And we have a “good understanding of WHAT ALTERNATIVE WILL LEAD TO”, many states do not have the death penalty. In each of the last 20 years, non-death penalty states have had lower murder rates than death penalty states. (Just to be clear, even though I disagree with your position but I don’t think your position is unreasonable.)

    @Charles Liu
    Please refer to my response at #52 (China has executed an innocent person) and #53 (linking the AI report describing the particulars of an ongoing Chinese capital case) for factual objections to China’s application of the death penalty. And, of course, if a person is against the death penalty absolutely, the fact that China has the death penalty is enough evidence to make their claim.

    Again, raven’s claim is that any person protesting China is propagating a lie. It is immaterial if the group has “consistent behavior” or has an “impeccable record” on China. An honest person could read about that death penalty protest, think “I agree with that” and participate. Joining a single protest doesn’t mean that you agree with every opinion held by the organizer. Just like registering as a Democrat doesn’t mean you have to agree with every single part of their platform. No organization is perfect, such is life.

    Don’t bother doing me any favors in the spirit of Christmas. This thread is present enough.

    @raventhorn
    “Morality is not based in reason.”

    Aristotle would like a word with you.

    “Really, any lynch mob participant in history ever admit to knowingly getting into “lynching”?? Don’t they all say, I abhor violence, someone else did it.”

    The wikipedia page for “Lynching in the United States” has a picture of a lynch mob posing for a photo with their (dead) victim. The article also says:

    A large lynching might be announced beforehand in the newspaper. There were cases in which a lynching was timed so that a newspaper reporter could make his deadline. Photographers sold photos for postcards to make extra money. The event was publicized so that the intended audience, African Americans and whites who might challenge the society, was warned to stay in their places.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching_in_the_United_States (emphasis added)

  61. Charles Liu
    December 22nd, 2011 at 23:42 | #61

    @matt, now with convoluted mind

    Matt, 52, 53 both demonstrate ur argument is based on opinion not fact. Is the drug mule’s guilt in question? The automatic appeal took 3 years to go thru the process under stated law.

    If this is all u got?

  62. matt, now with convoluted mind
    December 23rd, 2011 at 01:11 | #62

    @Charles Liu
    What exactly is your definition of a fact?

    It’s not my opinion that China executed an innocent person. That’s a fact.

    “Nie Shubin, a young farmer in north China’s Hebei Province, was executed in 1994 after being convicted of raping and murdering a local woman. Earlier this year, however, a rape-and-murder suspect apprehended by police in central China’s Henan Province confessed that he was the one who committed that heinous crime 11 years ago.”
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-04/05/content_2789158.htm

    The linked article also has a story about an individual convicted of murdering his wife. He was originally convicted to death but that was luckily changed to 15 years in prison. He served 11 years and was then released when his very much alive wife reappeared.

    That Xinhua article also lists other complaints from a law professor and member of the lawyers’ association. The article is from 2005 (before the most recent update of China’s capital punishment system) but it doesn’t seem like their complaints have been addressed. The AI report raises the same issues with a more recent case.

    The AI report makes several factual allegations in their specific case: lack of cross examination for key witnesses, torture during police interrogation, and a conviction dispute a lack of material evidence. And the appeals court agrees with AI, they sent the case back for retrial because of “unclarity about the facts” and “lack of evidence”.

  63. Al
    December 23rd, 2011 at 01:40 | #63

    @Matt, “justice” is a human affair, it’s administered by human beings, therefore it is “fallible”, it can’t be perfect and 100% safe….That’s true for China and for any other country in the world.
    USA also often sentenced and killed innocent people, and it’s also known to have denied appeal in many cases….so, what does the “killed innocent in China” mean, except stating a, sad and surely tragic, well-known fact valid for EVERY country that has death-penalty??

  64. matt, now with convoluted mind
    December 23rd, 2011 at 01:54 | #64

    @Al
    I agree and that’s my core argument in a nutshell. Justice is a human affair, it’s administered by human beings, therefore it is fallible. The death penalty is bad policy because once sentencing is carried out, there is no chance to remedy errors.

  65. matt, now with convoluted mind
    December 23rd, 2011 at 02:32 | #65

    @Al
    And to be clear, I don’t intend to single out China. My original post is mostly about the US and I only bring up China here:

    “This isn’t just a problem with the US’s application of the death penalty. At least the Chinese authorities had the courage to admit that they have executed an innocent person (Nie Shubin).”

  66. LOLZ
    December 23rd, 2011 at 02:39 | #66

    matt, now with convoluted mind :
    The death penalty is bad policy because once sentencing is carried out, there is no chance to remedy errors.

    It’s a calculated risk and burden which fall on each countries’ citizens. If majority of the Chinese people want the death penalty then it’s the right policy for the country.

  67. matt, now with convoluted mind
    December 23rd, 2011 at 03:28 | #67

    @LOLZ
    This is the whole point of rights, right? They are supposed to protect the individual from the whims of the majority. At some point in history, a majority of Americans probably supported segregation but that was clearly an immoral policy.

  68. LOLZ
    December 23rd, 2011 at 03:57 | #68

    matt, now with convoluted mind :
    @LOLZ
    This is the whole point of rights, right? They are supposed to protect the individual from the whims of the majority. At some point in history, a majority of Americans probably supported segregation but that was clearly an immoral policy.

    If the whole point of rights is for the will of the minority to trump that of the majority, than the concept of rights directly opposes that of democracy. That is clearly not the case.

    At some point in American history people supported free immigration, that is clearly not the case today. However this is ultimately an American issue decided by Americans. The problem which I have in general is with expats in China trying to force their own will and morality on the Chinese society. If Chinese themselves decide that death penalty is immoral and should be abolished then that is fine. For Westerners to complain about the Chinese death penalty is arrogant and pointless.

  69. matt, now with convoluted mind
    December 23rd, 2011 at 05:43 | #69

    Right, there’s a whole political discourse about getting the benefits of democracy while avoiding the “tyranny of the majority”. That’s why there is a bill of rights in the US. That’s why other countries have constitutions that guarantee rights to their citizens. No country on earth practices pure democracy, it would be insane.

    I understand, on an emotional level, where you are coming from about non-citizens complaining about your country. I like China a lot. People here are incredibly friendly. They go out of their way to address me in my native language (even when that is not necessary). Crime is low. The vast, vast majority are hard working, honest and generally wonderful people. I think, in general, China is a force for good in the world.

    But still, your citizenship doesn’t dictate who you can complain about. I had a friend in college who’s dad was imprisoned in Iran under the US-backed government because he opposed the ’53 coupe. His dad is convinced that the only reason he got out of jail was because of an international letter writing campaign on his behalf. Every country is fair game for scrutiny, calling countries on their bullshit is how things get fixed. Chinese people need to know that there’s actually a lot of opposition to the death penalty in the world, just like Americans need to know that there’s a lot of opposition to this idea of a preemptive war.

  70. raventhorn
    December 23rd, 2011 at 09:28 | #70

    @matt, now with convoluted mind

    “Aristotle would like a word with you.”

    Aristotle said, morality (The ability to judge) should be based on reasoning not emotions. He never said morality always is based on reasoning. I would say, Aristotle’s quote is more a prayer than a “word” with me.

    “Really, any lynch mob participant in history ever admit to knowingly getting into “lynching”?? Don’t they all say, I abhor violence, someone else did it.”
    The wikipedia page for “Lynching in the United States” has a picture of a lynch mob posing for a photo with their (dead) victim. The article also says:
    “A large lynching might be announced beforehand in the newspaper. There were cases in which a lynching was timed so that a newspaper reporter could make his deadline. Photographers sold photos for postcards to make extra money. The event was publicized so that the intended audience, African Americans and whites who might challenge the society, was warned to stay in their places.”

    And how old was this? When “lynching” was still legal?? Yeah, I’m sure that’s applicable to today’s situations of Protester violence. Let me know next time they make such “announcements”.

  71. raventhorn
    December 23rd, 2011 at 09:33 | #71

    @matt, now with convoluted mind

    “Every country is fair game for scrutiny, calling countries on their bullshit is how things get fixed. Chinese people need to know that there’s actually a lot of opposition to the death penalty in the world, just like Americans need to know that there’s a lot of opposition to this idea of a preemptive war.”

    I like to call “Bullshit” on your words, Matt. And now you know.

    How does that “fix” anything?

    How many Chinese will need to call on your BS, before it “fixes” things for you?

    Seriously, are you begging for a shouting match?

    Where is the “morality” in getting into other people’s faces? Aristotle might want to have a word with you about your “reasoning”.

  72. Charles Liu
    December 23rd, 2011 at 09:50 | #72

    @matt, now with convoluted mind

    “What exactly is your definition of a fact?”

    Facts like the drug mule’s guilt, China’s right to enact/enforce sovereign laws, relating to the protest. What you’ve presented below are opinions that are entirely arguable.

    “It’s not my opinion that China executed an innocent person. That’s a fact.

    Show me where there’s absolute proof the Filipino drug mule was innocent.

    “1994”

    And the protest you cited happened when?

    “originally convicted to death but that was luckily changed to 15 years”

    Looks like this is an example where the judicial process worked. There were mitigating circumstance and the system worked out.

    “it doesn’t seem like their complaints have been addressed”

    Again, here’s your problem. This is an opinion not fact.

    “the appeals court agrees with AI, they sent the case back for retrial”

    Again, these are examples of the system WORKING in China, where legal advocacy was accepted by the court. Do you think the outcome would be the same if they merely protested?

    Look, even you admit no law is perfect, as they are “human affairs”. There are exceptional cases in enforcement of law, so laws shouldn’t exist that deter serious crime? Tell that to 35 of 50 US states. As stated in comment 57 that directly contradicts your claim:

    “there are studies out there that dispute capital punishment opponent’s claim death penalty tends to kill the innocent”

    You need to come up with better examples. If such absolutism applies to anyone, the Iraq War should’ve ended as soon as the WMD evidence is proven false, and UN should force us to disarm our military entirely. Oh wait that’s not reasonable – there you go, still think protesting works?

  73. raventhorn
    December 23rd, 2011 at 09:50 | #73

    matt, now with convoluted mind :
    @LOLZ
    This is the whole point of rights, right? They are supposed to protect the individual from the whims of the majority. At some point in history, a majority of Americans probably supported segregation but that was clearly an immoral policy.

    Who said it was “clearly an immoral policy”?

    20/20 hindsight is great, but back then wasn’t that “clear”.

    How clearly is the “immorality” of Death Penalty?? According to whom?

    If you think you can reason this “immorality” debate, go ahead, I invite you to convince the world.

    (I should note, you should start with US, since US doesn’t “censor” this kind of debate. But if you can’t win the debate in US, don’t bother with China.)

    It is kind of a BS, if you can’t even convince your own home country of your “morality” argument on Death Penalty.

    that only proves that your “morality” is not shared by your own society.

    (You might be right in 200 years, but you just have to wait your turn).

  74. December 23rd, 2011 at 10:50 | #74

    @raventhorn
    @Charles Liu

    I really admire your tenacity for arguing with hypocrites. I once spoken with a human right activist from Sweden and he frowned on the death penalty too. (I don’t agree to it on principle but can’t come up with a better solution or convince the public opinion of mainland, and Taiwan). The last minister of justice in Taiwan was forced to resign after she publicly stated her opposition against the death penalty.

    My discussion with the Swede ended when I proposed that Sweden take in all those who were convicted of the death penalty in China. It seems these guys were all talks only and when you call for “show hand” they all blinked.

    Well, if one like to prove that his talk is not BS, do something about it. Using morality as an argument is BS. It is from continual encounter with thses BS artists that I realized they don’t really care for the welfare of the Chinese. They are crusaders for their own “moral” only. It is all about them.

  75. Charles Liu
    December 23rd, 2011 at 10:58 | #75

    @Ray “crusaders for their own “moral” only”

    Hence the appearance of dishonesty.

  76. Naqshbandiyya
    December 23rd, 2011 at 15:37 | #76

    The United States has to take some responsibility for allowing people like Baoliang Zhang into the country. Since this guy was given political asylum, a program which basically recruits troublemakers and convicted criminals in China to become Americans, he should have been under watch from American security services.

    Anyway, these asylees are a drain on and a disgrace to both their birth and adoptive countries. I’m willing to bet that they’re just as motivated by America’s higher living standards as by the prospect of unlimited sedition against their homeland. Those who can’t prove that they have employment prospects or enough money to invest in the United States have to hook up with groups like Falun Gong for a free ride. It’s quite sad, but ultimately a self-correcting problem, as the Chinese people’s living standards continue to rise.

  77. Wahaha
    December 23rd, 2011 at 16:31 | #77

    And we have a “good understanding of WHAT ALTERNATIVE WILL LEAD TO”, many states do not have the death penalty. In each of the last 20 years, non-death penalty states have had lower murder rates than death penalty states.

    *****************************

    Matt,

    Did you ever do a little research on what you throw your full support on.

    I just googled “does death penalty save lives”, and the following is the first link :

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/us/18deter.html?pagewanted=all

    You argument is like “as 85%of NBA players are black, therefore 85% of Americans are black.”

    Two more points :
    (1) Comparing crime rate in US to that in Europe is dumbsome, as the US has far more poor people than in Europe
    (2) US doesnt have effective death penalty, it is more like killing one or two people is OK. If you kill more people, dont worry, you have at least another 15 years to appeal. So it is laughable to use US as an example to prove death penalty having no effect.

  78. Wahaha
    December 23rd, 2011 at 16:42 | #78

    @matt, now with convoluted mind

    This is the whole point of rights, right? They are supposed to protect the individual from the whims of the majority.

    **********************************************

    Matt,

    Does this give individual the right to demand unfair shares of wealth ?

    Does this give individual the right to demand without contribution ?

    Does this give individual the right to mess up with others if his demand is not met ?

  79. raventhorn
    December 23rd, 2011 at 17:53 | #79

    @Ray

    The hypocrisy of “morality” as “reasoning” is quite self-evident.

    If “morality” is confused as “reasoning” by some in the West, then It is obvious why the Western brand of superior “morality” have been historically used as a justification for conquest and imperialism.

    No, “morality” is not “reasoning”, it is merely “rationalization”.

  80. matt, now with convoluted mind
    December 23rd, 2011 at 18:56 | #80

    @Wahaha
    When I wrote “state”, I meant in the Alabama/Arkansas sense and not the Spain/Italy sense. Sorry for the confusion. I don’t think the “85% of NBA players” criticism holds, 17 US states don’t have the death penalty, and that’s not counting states that haven’t executed someone in decades. 17 states is a statistically significant chunk of the total US.

    Your link is about the debate over whether there is evidence of deterrence. The title is “Does Death Penalty Save Lives?” (Note the question mark.) The first study they cite comes to the conclusion that “the existing evidence for deterrence is surprisingly fragile” because small changes in the regression analysis make large differences in the results. The article goes on to summarize studies that come down on both sides of the issue.

    I’d be interested to find a good study that shows the death penalty’s deterrance effect in other countries. I agree that the US system has features that don’t exist in other countries. The US is useful for studying the issue because you have a decent control group, i.e. states w/o the death penalty.

    To answer your questions: no, probably no (depends on the situation), and probably no (depends on what you mean by “messes up” and what the individual is demaning).

  81. matt, now with convoluted mind
    December 23rd, 2011 at 19:03 | #81

    @Charles Liu

    It seems like we’re getting into a circular argument here. My next post would just restate what I’ve already written and I imagine your response would also refer back to your earlier arguments. Probably going to have to agree to disagree. I don’t think I’m going to convince you and I don’t think you are going to convince me. Anyway, thanks for the debate, you seem like an intelligent guy.

    Edited from original: I misread your last post.

  82. December 23rd, 2011 at 23:12 | #82

    @Naqshbandiyya
    And in the process reaffirms for the ordinary Chinese citizens these organizations are there to undermine the Chinese government and society.

  83. December 23rd, 2011 at 23:26 | #83

    Amnesty International and HRW’s MO:

    Person A spits. Person B murders a group of people.

    Propagandize A to be a murderer and spend 80% of effort on making noise about it. Criticize B and white-washing its crimes. Spend only about 20% of effort in making noise about it.

  84. Wahaha
    December 24th, 2011 at 20:08 | #84

    the existing evidence for deterrence is surprisingly fragile

    ********************************************
    Matt,

    A law professor, talking about statistics, dont you think it is ridiculous?

    On the other hands, there is certianly no conclusive evidence to prove that death penalty doesnt deter crime.

    I gave the logic argument that if death penalty had not detered hideous crime, there would be no reason to believe any punishment in modern west couldve stopped any crime. Can you say you disagree ? I DONT THINK YOU CAN.

    So what I am saying is that you dont have the right to question other’s morality simply because they support death penaly.

    YOU ARE CERTAINLY NOT ON HIGH GROUND ABOUT THIS ISSUE.

    Unless you never heard of those killings that made absolutely no sense, (like one in New York that two criminals executed 7 Mcdonald employees for couple hundreds of dollars, a cab driver was killed for 20 bucks, ) YOU HAVE ABSOLUTE NO RESPECT TO THE LIVES OF INNOCENT PEOPLE, WHAT YOU ONLY CARE IS YOUR BELIEVE, OR I FEEL SO GOOD ABOUT MYSELF.

    DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT DEATH PENALTY WOULD NOT HAVE STOPPED THE SENSELESS KILLINGS ? Answer it.

  85. Wahaha
    December 24th, 2011 at 20:23 | #85

    To answer your questions: no, probably no (depends on the situation), and probably no (depends on what you mean by “messes up” and what the individual is demaning).

    *********************************************

    Matt,

    In reality, the answers are Yes, Yes, Yes. It is not ony in China, it is also in West. What do you think caused widespread debt trouble in west society ?

    You media blamed it on government, so you blame it on government, is it right ?

    On the other hand, if such “wonderful” system routinely produces stupid government, how on earth can it be “universal” ? why on earth would people in other countries go after such system ?

    Do you see the stupidity in it ?

  86. Charles Liu
    December 27th, 2011 at 11:07 | #86

    @Wahaha

    I think you are getting distracted by this death penalty discussion. The fundamental fact is nothing excuses the shooting that happened at the LA Chinese embassy.

    Alas, Matt can’t come up with the facts. He cited the protest about the Pinoy drug mule, yet he can’t come up with the goods on the mule’s innocence. Was this an example of innocent man executed? No.

  87. LOLZ
    December 28th, 2011 at 18:33 | #87

    matt, now with convoluted mind :
    I’d be interested to find a good study that shows the death penalty’s deterrance effect in other countries. I agree that the US system has features that don’t exist in other countries. The US is useful for studying the issue because you have a decent control group, i.e. states w/o the death penalty.
    To answer your questions: no, probably no (depends on the situation), and probably no (depends on what you mean by “messes up” and what the individual is demaning).

    If the US system is different than other countries, then why are studies which only includes US useful to judge how death penalty works in other nations? The best argument which can be made here is that death penalty is not too useful in the US, something which I tend to agree with.

    I am currently living in Singapore, notorious for executing drug mules and dishing out harsh punishments for all kinds of criminals. All I have to say is that the crime rate here is ultra low. I feel safe walking around by myself at night pretty much anywhere. The same could be said of large cities in China which I have visited and stayed at. More importantly as my previous post had indicated, as long as majority of the local people support a policy then what’s the point of a non-local complaining about it.

  88. LOLZ
    December 28th, 2011 at 18:58 | #88

    yinyang :
    Amnesty International and HRW’s MO:
    Person A spits. Person B murders a group of people.
    Propagandize A to be a murderer and spend 80% of effort on making noise about it. Criticize B and white-washing its crimes. Spend only about 20% of effort in making noise about it.

    I think the perfect example of this in action is this very thread itself. If you want to talk about the death penalty, I would argue that the US is the biggest dealer of death penalty, on foreign citizens that is. In the name of anti-terrorism, the drone strikes in SE Asia have killed hundreds if not thousands of people each year. You can argue how this is war and all that, but the fact of the matter is that the American government has made an active decision to terminate the life of another, with the tacit approval of “collateral damage” which often resulted in the death of women and kids who have nothing to do anything. How is this any different than giving out death penalties to individuals? IMO this is worse than handling out death penalties because it kills people who are definitely innocent who just happen to live with the intended targets.

    Of course, there are plenty of Americans who are against the drone program. However, the fact of the matter is that the program continues to go on with far more approval from Americans than not, while death penalty is getting more and more unpopular in the US. If anything I see this contrast as a deep disconnect in the American people, and a major reason why so many think Americans are hypocrites.

  89. John Thomas
    December 28th, 2011 at 20:26 | #89

    All great arguments for the death penalty. Makes me wonder why the number of executions in China is considered a “state secret”.

    Interesting…

  90. Wahaha
    December 28th, 2011 at 21:01 | #90

    John,

    That is because west media controls 95+% of the information in the world, and they define what is right and what is wrong on earth.

  91. December 28th, 2011 at 23:49 | #91

    @John Thomas #89

    I don’t know if the number you want is really a “state secret” in the sense that you will be prosecuted for disseminating the information. It’s more likely just a statistics that is not divulged.

    So what???

    There are tons of things on which we would like the U.S. gov’t to provide better information – thus even in the U.S., it’s a continually evolving process to provide better information.

    There are good reasons not to divulge information. I mean let’s say we have the number you want, but without anything more, people can make all sorts of wild guesses about what is behind the numbers. That would require the gov’t to release even more information. But at a time when the judicial system is still being reformed, perhaps the gov’t doesn’t want to release all the information especially if such information can get too easily politicized and out of hand.

    So yes, all things being equal, I prefer to have the information. But naked transparency democratic style is by no means a right – or even a good solution.

    I find it interesting that when people don’t have information, they go on arguing based on innuendos? Seems like it’s basic human right in the West that if you don’t have the information you need, you have the right to argue whatever you want.

    Interesting…

  92. LOLZ
    December 29th, 2011 at 06:21 | #92

    It seems that someone deleted a post by John Thomas where he was asking Allen where Allen was born and where he is living now, his reason for this request is to understand “Why do people who criticize western democracies live in the western nations”. Now I have always wondered myself, if democracy and freedom are so important to some, why do so many expats who complain about China’s lack of both continue to live in China and other nations where there are less of both?

  93. raventhorn
    December 29th, 2011 at 06:39 | #93

    @LOLZ

    Better yet, the kind of questions that such Westerners would ask, reveal all too well their real understanding of “democracy”.

    Ie. it’s not what you believe in that matters, but rather where you “live”, apparently.

    So, by logical extension, Chinese “Democracy” is never good enough, because it’s in China, not in the West.

    But if you are in the “West”, it doesn’t matter what kind of abuses “Democracy” does to people in history, it should be all good.

    *Thus, it’s not about “Democracy”, it’s West against everyone else. And that is Racist in its core.

    John also implies that if you were NOT born in the West, but moved to the West, then you have even less right to criticize the West. (That’s somewhat of a bad mix of Nationalism and Racism).

  94. Wahaha
    December 29th, 2011 at 20:18 | #94

    It seems that someone deleted a post by John Thomas where he was asking Allen where Allen was born and where he is living now, his reason for this request is to understand “Why do people who criticize western democracies live in the western nations”.

    ******************************

    John,

    Please dont think this world is either 0 or 1, either North Korea or Western democracy, either absolute freedom or no freedom at all, either socialism or capitalism.

    This way of thinking has worked perfectly on science, but doesnt work on human society. I personally love lot of things in USA, like some part of freedom provided in USA, but not all of it, like the part which gives parasites tons of right.

    Can you think something positively about China ? if you cant, I am sorry to say that you have been brainwashed by your media.

    Open your mind : the world is not just 0 or 1, there are other numbers in between, like 0.25, 0.50, 0.75.

    If North Korea is 0, western democracy is 1, then China is maybe 0.25. Neither 0 nor 1 is good, because human beings are not 0 or 1.

  95. December 29th, 2011 at 21:52 | #95

    @Wahaha

    OK comment #94 is back. It had been marked for spam. We wanted to clear the comments up a little, but since you saw it and want to respond in that context, I’ll put it back.

  96. John T Bone
    December 29th, 2011 at 22:14 | #96

    Allen, you said it was fine to discuss posters background, so why do you delete comments that refer to you and your fellow posters, rather than people who disagree with you?

  97. December 29th, 2011 at 22:35 | #97

    @John T Bone

    Please re-read http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2011/12/revisiting-the-sino-indian-war-of-1962/#comment-47028. If you have questions, email me. If you need remedial English classes, I don’t offer those. Any more public nonsense from you may result in deletions of all your comments.

  98. Exposed “Harmonies”
    December 29th, 2011 at 22:59 | #98

    @John Thomas

    John Thomas :

    Allan, can I ask where you were born, and where you now live? I’d be interested to know what kind of system you chose to live under.
    You seem to criticise the West and “democratic style” so it would be interesting to know where you came from and where you now choose to be now.
    Thanks

    We at least know that raventhorn was born in [rest of comment deleted by Allen. We do not condone “exposing” people on this blog. It’s one of the reasons Chris (in exposing FOARP) got on my blacklist.]

  99. December 29th, 2011 at 23:30 | #99

    @Exposed “Harmonies”

    You did more than that. Keep things general. Don’t try to chase after people’s identities.

    In general – information about bloggers should come voluntarily from blogger themselves. Backgrounds should be made an issue only when the writers themselves make them an issue. I don’t want people questioning each others’ backgrounds all the time (it’s irrelevant to our discussion, really); I don’t want rumors and innuendos, and I certainly don’t want people playing detective work like Chris did on FOARP.

    If you want to psychoanalyze any of us, do so in private (maybe as a project for that psych class at your community college). It’s not welcomed here.

  100. raventhorn
    December 30th, 2011 at 05:41 | #100

    I guess the Porn troll is back with his Spam pal.

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