Archive for November, 2012

Savaged Again, Understanding the BBC’s Role

November 27th, 2012 No comments

Copyright, Reprinted with permission.

Savaged Again, Understanding the BBC’s Role
Monday, 26 November 2012 09:20
By John Pilger, Truthout | Op-Ed

In the Middle East, the Israeli state has successfully intimidated the BBC into presenting the theft of Palestinian land and the caging, torturing and killing of its people as an intractable “conflict” between equals. Understanding the BBC as a pre-eminent state propagandist is on no public agenda and it ought to be.
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Chinese Music Video

November 27th, 2012 2 comments

This music video has been circulating amongst PLA enthusiasts back home; pretty cute.

“The Horrors of The Coolie Trade” by New York Journal of Commerce, February 22, 1860

November 26th, 2012 2 comments

In response to my prior article where I mentioned Napa Valley was destination of the first wave of laborers from China (and later became the driving force behind the Chinese Exclusion Act), reader perspectivehere reminds us there were in fact much more horrifying atrocities against the poor Chinese. perspectivehere digs up a piece of history from February 22, 1860.
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My impressions of China so far

November 24th, 2012 50 comments

I have now been living in China for almost 4 month and I’d like to write a little about my impressions so far from personal experience and in talking to the people. As you all know by now, my views on things like the rule of law, human rights and democracy may be quite different from some of yours (see the posts and comments here, here, here, here, here and here for example).

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Fall foliage at Napa Valley

November 19th, 2012 10 comments

Readers on this blog know I post pictures from time to time. Today, I was at Napa Valley checking out fall foliage. Below are few taken at the Baldacci Family Vineyards next to Silverado Trail road. There is a China connection too. Napa Valley was a mining town and saw the first wave of laborers from Canton province in the 1860s into California. (More on the Chinese connection later.) Immediately below is a bundle of grapes still hanging on the vine while harvest season is well over now. Wineries in Napa Valley are busy processing grapes; squeezing out the juice, fermenting, and then aging to produce wine.

Fall foliage at Napa Valley, California

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Russia Today talks to Israeli PM spokesman and a contrast to CNN’s coverage

November 16th, 2012 3 comments

Following segment is RT talking to Israeli PM spokesman Alex Selsky as ground invasion seems imminent. In contrast, readers should head over to where Peter Hart criticizes how CNN covers the clash between Palestine and Israel, “Who Started Gaza Conflict? Well, the U.S. Says?” Regardless of your position over this conflict, it is clear RT sides more with Palestine while CNN with Israel. Even if truth is in between, you should be struck how clever propaganda plays out in the mainstream media.

And it looks like a BBC journalist has just lost his 11-month old son inside Gaza. Rocket fires from militants have killed Israelis too. This is maddening and I only wish peace prevails some how. Time to send in U.N. peacekeepers?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Anti-war activist, Brian Becker, criticizes Obama’s foreign policy on Russia Today

November 14th, 2012 No comments

Following segment is Russia Today talking to Brian Becker, an anti-war activist from ANSWER Coalition. Becker is critical of Obama’s foreign policy and interprets how current flash-points around the world tie back to the U.S. military industrial complex.

Categories: politics Tags: ,

“In defence of how China picks its leaders” by Daniel Bell and Eric Li

November 14th, 2012 6 comments

Following is an Op-Ed jointly written by Daniel Bell and Eric Li which recently appeared in Financial Times.


By Daniel Bell and Eric Li

The coverage in the western media of leadership changes at the Chinese Communist party’s 18th congress has been almost uniformly negative. Critics say corruption pervades the upper echelons of the party, policy issues are not publicly discussed and the Chinese people are completely left out of the process.

There is some truth to such criticisms but they miss the big picture. The Chinese political system has undergone a significant change over the past three decades and it comes close to the best formula for governing a large country: meritocracy at the top, democracy at the bottom, with room for experimentation in between.
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Categories: Opinion, politics Tags: ,

Zhang Weiwei and Martin Jacques against Western assumption liberal democracy is panacea for China

November 13th, 2012 16 comments

Following is a debate hosted by Intelligence Squared recently pitting Zhang Weiwei and Martin Jacques arguing together against Western assumption that liberal democracy is panacea for China. A few points raised by these two really struck me. Jacques cautioned the West to tone down its arrogance and engage China with more humility. Zhang pointed out that China’s present day system is one of meritocracy and intra-party elections. Zhang also stated that the Chinese are confident of their system. In the 1700’s when the British Empire first encountered the Chinese, China was arrogant and failed to recognized that a country of measly 20 million could industrialize and pull far enough ahead to invade it – then the wealthiest civilization on the planet. He cautioned that arrogance is gripping liberal Western democracies. China’s continuing rise economically will further undermine those who believe in this false dichotomy: that anything not exactly a Western liberal democracy must be “anti-democracy.” It’s like during the Crusades where many Christians believed non-believers must be evil.

Categories: politics Tags: ,

Stanford University’s voices on what’s at stake for China in the next decade

November 8th, 2012 13 comments

Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business recently assembled a collection of views around its campus on the stakes China faces in the next decade as a new generation of leadership transitions into power.  Topics addressed were economic reform, press freedom, education, future world order, and business opportunities.  That collection is interesting because it sheds light on the general mindset at the university.  In some ways, it indicates how Stanford students are biased in their studies about China.  In short, some of the views are horribly wrong, and I want to explain why. Read more…