My hubby is in this week's New Yorker magazine!
Having a Taiwanese mother, parents who live in China and a B.A. in East Asian History I have heard, witnessed and learned things about China that people farther from the matter may not have and it's not pretty. While I'm relieved to see that media coverage, the NY Times specifically, has been more focused recently on highlighting the wrongs China commits day in and day out, I am reserved in my hope that this will affect public opinion enough. I'm sure most people are sickened by the Tibet situation for example but I realize more and more that until governments step in, meaningful reform will likely not take place. And it doesn't look like our government is going to do the right thing.
Here's a sampling of articles from the past 30 days:
China Rights Activist Sentenced to Jail Excerpt: A Chinese activist who had petitioned for land rights was sentenced Monday to five years in prison and then shocked with electric batons when police scuffled with his family, his lawyer said. More on Hu Jia Excerpt: Mr. Hu has worked on many causes in China, including volunteering to help AIDS patients and participating in tree-planting campaigns. He is a prominent blogger who also disseminates information about peasant protests, dissidents and other issues often censored in the Chinese news media. On Dec. 27, security agents dragged him from his apartment as his wife, Zeng Jinyan, also a well-known blogger, was bathing their infant daughter. She has remained mostly under house arrest during her husband’s incarceration.
U.S. Drops China From List of Top 10 Violators of Rights Excerpt: The State Department no longer considers China one of the world’s worst human rights violators, according to its annual human rights report released Tuesday, a decision that immediately earned the ire of human rights groups. In the annual report on more than 190 countries, the State Department did say that China’s “overall human rights record remained poor” in 2007. China, the report said, tightened media and Internet curbs and increased controls on religious freedom in Tibet and the Xinjiang region. The report said China’s abuses also included “extrajudicial killings, torture and coerced confessions of prisoners, and the use of forced labor.”
China Tries to Thwart News Reports From Tibet Excerpt: For the past few days, CNN, the BBC, Google News, Yahoo and YouTube have been blocked or have faced temporary blackouts or service disruptions in some parts of China. Some foreign journalists also say their e-mail service has been disrupted. Such measures are not unusual here. China strictly censors news that appears in the Chinese media and occasionally disrupts the activities of international news organizations and foreign Web sites operating in China, particularly if the content they are distributing is deemed politically offensive to the government.
Heparin Find May Point to Chinese Counterfeiting Excerpt: Federal drug regulators, in announcing Wednesday that the mystery contaminant in heparin was an inexpensive, unapproved ingredient altered to mimic the real thing, moved closer to concluding that Americans might be the latest victims of lethal Chinese drug counterfeiting. The finding by the Food and Drug Administration culminated a worldwide race to identify the substance discovered early this month in certain batches of heparin, the blood-thinning drug that had been linked to 19 deaths in the United States and hundreds of allergic reactions.
Tibetan Exiles: Protest Deaths Near 140 Excerpt: The group said the overall toll was ''around 140,'' and it listed the names of 40 Tibetans killed in protests that started March 10. Previously, the Dalai Lama's government said 99 protesters died. China has put the death toll at 22.
China Bars Olympics Coverage From Tiananmen Square Excerpt: Apparently unnerved by recent unrest among Tibetans and fearful of protests in the heart of the capital, China has told broadcast officials it will bar live television shots from Tiananmen Square during the Beijing Olympics.
4 Executives Are Charged Over Tainted Toothpaste Excerpt: The chemical, diethylene glycol, which is banned from certain ingestible items in the United States, was discovered in almost a million tubes of toothpaste last May and led to recalls in 34 countries. The chemical, commonly used in antifreeze and as a solvent, can lead to kidney damage or liver disease. The toothpaste ended up being distributed in the United States in prisons, luxury hotels, hospitals and discount stores. It was one of the earliest global alerts to broader manufacturing problems in China that allowed scores of tainted products, including toys, children’s jewelry and pet food, to end up on store shelves. The chemical in the toothpaste was used instead of the more expensive chemical glycerin.
Chinese Rights Activist Reported Missing Excerpt: A Chinese lawyer who has urged the Communist Party to improve its human rights record in advance of the Summer Olympics has disappeared, according to his wife, who said Friday that she was worried that the authorities might have detained him because of his political advocacy. The lawyer, Teng Biao, 34, disappeared on Thursday evening after calling to say he would be home in 20 minutes, said his wife, Wang Ling. Shortly afterward, she said, she heard shouting in the parking lot below the family apartment and later found her husband’s empty car. Witnesses told her that two men had dragged someone out of the car and taken him away, she said.
Not hot off the presses but a worthy read nonetheless!
Excerpt: The penalty for “Chinglish” is usually humiliation, not incarceration. Still, citizens are asked to snitch, Mao-era style, on people who shame China with their shaky English. An outfit called the Beijing Speaks Foreign Languages Program issues prefabricated foreign phrases to workers who cannot converse in any foreign tongue. The Olympics have become one more tool in the authoritarian state’s box of tricks. Yes, curbing Chinglish — along with current efforts to eliminate spitting, littering and pushing to enter a bus or train — shows the better side of authoritarianism. Clean streets are agreeable, and Beijing’s may now be better than New York’s. The city’s Spiritual Civilization Office has begun a monthly “Learn to Queue Day,” surely welcome to all who have been victims of the scramble to board a Chinese bus. It reminds one that China could have a government far worse than it has now. Yet behind the attack on Chinglish lies an Orwellian impulse to remake the truth. Banished from Beijing for the Olympics will be not only fractured English, but disabled people, Falun Gong practitioners, dark-skinned villagers newly arrived in the city, AIDS activists and other “troublemakers” who smudge the canvas of socialist harmony.
Thanks to my brother (who just landed in Tokyo) for this!
"Conan started to pose in prayer like us whenever he wanted treats," said Joei Yoshikuni, a priest at Jigenin temple on the southern island of Okinawa.
"Clasping hands is a basic action of Buddhist prayer to show appreciation. He may be showing his thanks for treats and walks," he said.
"He gets angry when somebody else sits on his favourite spot. He must be thinking that it's his special place," Oshiro said.
"I'm glad that people feel more comfortable visiting the temple because of Conan," he said as he jokingly joined his hands and bowed to the dog.
LOL!! Thanks to Michelle for this!
This book is so enjoyable. It's packed full of the lessons this innovater learned while building the first behavioral sciences/criminal profiling unit in the world. Jonah commented that of course I am reading a book about serial killers as a break from studying for my forensic psychology midterms and that I do this before going to bed. Obsessed with all things forensic psychology and disturbed enough to upload it into my brain as I fall asleep. That's me in a (nutty) nutshell!
Friends of mine are adopting this little guy in a few weeks. No joke.
* Thanks to Annie Maxwell for spreading the knowledge!!
SO NICE TO TAKE A BREAK FROM BLACK AND WHITE THINKING AND FOCUS ON GREY INSTEAD.
From our visit to California in December '07:
* They've ditched us in NYC for a year while they do their sabbatical year at Stanford.
Interview with DMX
Q: Are you following the presidential race?
A: Not at all.
Q: You’re not? You know there’s a Black guy running, Barack Obama and then there’s Hillary Clinton.
A: His name is Barack?!
Q: Barack Obama, yeah.
A: What the fuck is a Barack?! Barack Obama. Where he from, Africa?
Q: Yeah, his dad is from Kenya.
A: Barack Obama?
A: What the fuck?! That ain’t no fuckin’ name, yo. That ain’t that nigga’s name. You can’t be serious. Barack Obama. Get the fuck outta here.
Q: You’re telling me you haven’t heard about him before.
A: I ain’t really paying much attention.
Q: I mean, it’s pretty big if a Black…
A: Wow, Barack! The nigga’s name is Barack. Barack? Nigga named Barack Obama. What the fuck, man?! Is he serious? That ain’t his fuckin’ name. Ima tell this nigga when I see him, “Stop that bullshit. Stop that bullshit” [laughs] “That ain’t your fuckin’ name.” Your momma ain’t name you no damn Barack.
Q: So you’re not following the race. You can’t vote right?
* via here.
* via Fake Steve Jobs.
Wish me luck. And if you are interested check out the following:
Daubert and Federal Rules of Evidence
Jackson v Indiana
Riggins v Nevada
Barack Obama blogs for HuffPost!
Touching story about Obama and his mother.
Unfortunately the Taliban is far from eradicated and rather have been rerouted and reinvigorated. The Pakistan Taliban are apparently now more of a problem than the Taliban in Afghanistan. Watch this great video by Frontline reporter and friend from Wesleyan David Montero.
Also check out the reporters interview.
We met up with Beth and Willa for some Hitchcock in London!
* Somewhere in London my camera was a peeping tom.
All the Op-Eds are great today but this one is especially apt and funny.
No more electing prosecutors, NYC! Too high-strung!!
* Thanks to Kendyl for the link!!!
Jonah asked, how will we text?
Cold turkey my dear.
There's the little squirt:
And now here's the massive guy thanks to a tactic we've also employed in other parts of the world!
* At Duncan's birthday party. Thanks Sal Pal Sally!
The fierce, ferosh and flagrantly talented Christian deserves the $100,000 to start his line!!!
* Beautifully taken by Deni!