Pooh Bear was just too darn subversive for 'em.
Pooh Bear was just too darn subversive for 'em.
Xi Jinping murdered Liu Xiaobo by medical neglect, just as surely as if he had ordered a halt to Liu's food or water in that political prison.
“The last Nobel Peace Prize Laureate to be effectively killed by his own government was Carl Ossietsky, in Germany in 1938,” [Bill] Bishop notes. “Does Xi care that the the likely precedent here for Beijing will be pre-World War II Nazi Germany?”
(Image from Twitter.com)
In an uncharacteristic move, Taiwan's China Post reported on the fate of President Xi's other victims:
"In what amounts to nothing less than a 'war on law' that is unprecedented in its scale and severity," the New York [City Bar Association] said, "Chinese human rights lawyers and activists have been summoned for questioning, kidnapped by secret politic, detained incommunicado in 'black jails' and other prisons, humiliated and subjected to marathon interrogation sessions and other forms of sadistic psychological and physical torture, including sleep deprivation, forced medication (often with grave consequences for mental and physical health), brutal beatings, electric shocks, prolonged subversion in water, death threats, and months of solitary confinement."
If the China Post had been this honest about China over the past 15 years, it might still have a print edition.
But instead, the Post elected to be Chinese Communist Party shills, thereby driving their 65-year-old newspaper into the ground.
"...the practice of killing dogs by beating, burning and other painful methods [is performed] in the belief that dying by torture makes their meat taste better."
If history has taught us anything, it's that the arc of history bends away from nations which drown babies.
UPDATE: Let the record show that was a RED bucket...
UPDATE (November 12 / 2015): In actuality, the One-Child Policy has been merely been relaxed to a Two-Child Policy.
Therefore, it is still OK in China to drown third and fourth born children in buckets of water.
(Image from Imgur.com)
There is a man who runs an orphanage in China, and schools, who, during the terrible years before we adopted her, was the only father, helper, and protector my daughter ever knew.
His name is Xin Lijian, chairman and founder of the Xinfu Education Group. My daughter just calls him ‘The Chairman.’
He was arrested in the middle of the night by Chinese authorities and is being held without access to his lawyer.
(Image of political prisoner Xin Lijian from ScifiWright.com)
The aura of Loserdom is strong with this one:
The paper's argument rests upon three examples: Singapore, China and South Korea.
With regards to the first country, it must be asked: If autocracy in Singapore works so well, why do over half its citizens wish to emigrate? Is it possible there's something Singaporeans know about Singapore that the China Post does not?
Perish the thought. The people can NEVER know more than their would-be masters.
As for China, it's telling that the Post omitted any defense of the wisdom of the Chinese Communist Party's Nazi-like policy of exterminating religious minorities for the purpose of organ harvesting. (But how splendid though, that the Butchers of Beijing make the cattle cars to their ghoulish death camps run on time.)
Lastly, we come to South Korea, which represents a full third of the author's defense of autocracy:
South Korea is another case in point...The free economic zones promulgated by the government have won support from the public majority, and are en route to attracting more foreign investment.
That would be an admirable achievement for autocracy...if indeed it was an autocracy that had conceived and implemented it!
(The facts however, show that the first of South Korea's economic zones was set up in 2003. At which time, Korea was a democracy...)
Welcome back from your operation, Joe Hung. It's good to see the quality of your columns has not suffered despite your convalescence: rest assured, they are as error-riddled and badly-argued when their author ingests mind-altering pain medication as when he does not.
Dai is known for posting eclectic photos on social media, including some showing himself and others scrunching up their lips and eyes. Dai posted images of Xi with the same expression while wearing a mustache.
Some online commentators have compared the Xi portrait to Adolf Hitler, although Dai's Instagram image has much broader mustache than the small, square-shaped, "toothbrush mustache" associated with Hitler...
In response, Xi angrily denied any similarity between himself and the late German Führer. (After which, he sentenced the artist to 10 years in a concentration camp.)
The CCP's must be a pretty insecure lot if they're that afraid of librarians.
With us, as always, is eminent historian Joe Hung of Taiwan's China Post, to explain the complex constitutional rationale behind China's exploitation and genocide of Tibetans, Uighurs and Falun Gong adherents:
The Shuanggui pronounced (SHWANG’-gwei) is the secret police of the Communist Party of China, otherwise known as the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection or CCDI. They don’t arrive with flashing lights and thumping rotors. They just show up and then they take you with them, often forever. And they’ve been hard at work arresting tens of thousands of Chinese communists, torturing them to extract confessions and otherwise rounding up anyone connected with Zhou Yongkang, recently the internal security chief of China and head of its oil industry; one of the most powerful men in China now headed for life imprisonment and secret death.
Surprisingly, posts that criticized China's government, its leaders, and its policies, as well as those about sensitive topics such as Tibet, were generally allowed to be published. "Criticisms turn out to be of tremendous value to China's leaders," says lead study author Gary King, a social scientist at Harvard University. "They are a great way of figuring out who's not doing a good job, of seeing which of the roughly 50,000 local governments is being led in a way that is not satisfying people and keeping them in check."
However, posts that mention collective action such as a gathering or protest are often censored, even if they support the government.
"When citizens are able to act collectively in one arena, such as supporting the government, that means they could act collectively in other contexts as well, and the state wants to limit people getting together outside of state control," Pan says. King noted this helped the Chinese government "keep a monopoly on mass action. They don't want someone with the power to move people unless it's the government."
Hat tip: Instapundit
Guess they know what their audience likes...
Xi Jinping's first-born son may not be sleeping well tonight...
Oddly enough, there's never been much mention of them in the pages of the China Post - a paper which styles itself as Taiwan's "Chinese nationalist" newspaper.
Perhaps they ran all out of ink after printing David Kan Ting's numerous fawning columns about Communist princeling Bo Xilai...
And now, a few words from the owner of one of Taiwan's largest media congomerates.
Red Fat Cat & Tiananmen Square denialist Tsai Eng-meng
Would he lie to you?
Nothing to see here. Move along.
Image of the Tiananmen Square Massacre from the New York Times
The New York Times has an interesting detail I was not aware of:
...top army commanders were summoned to headquarters to pledge their support for the use of military force to quash the protests.
In a stunning rebuke to his superiors, Maj. Gen. Xu Qinxian, leader of the mighty 38th Group Army, said the protests were a political problem and should be settled through negotiations, not force, according to new accounts of his actions from researchers who interviewed him.
“I’d rather be beheaded than be a criminal in the eyes of history,” he told Yang Jisheng, a historian.
One of those seemingly insignificant stories exposing truths some have worked assiduously to paper over:
Child of Chinese tourists takes a leak on the street: Hong Kongers deride boorish Chinese; Chinese incensed by "highfalutin" Hong Kongers.
Mr. Winkler defended his decision [not to publish an investigative report about Chinese Communist Party corruption], comparing it to the self-censorship by foreign news bureaus trying to preserve their ability to report inside Nazi-era Germany, according to Bloomberg employees familiar with the discussion.
Sinofascism is not a dinner party.
Readers are no doubt aware that Communist China currently games the Interpol system to victimize its Uyghur refugees as well.
In the form of a kids movie about giant robots battling cartoonish monsters:
Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim is a box office smash in China, but the Chinese military doesn't like it one bit, calling the movie blatant propaganda used to spread "American values and ideas."
The story's over a month old - don't know how I missed it.
But somehow, I find it strangely comforting that the officer corps of the PLA is composed of a bunch of cowardly bedwetters.
"A few vices are sufficient to blacken many virtues."
Upon the death of Margaret Thatcher, David Kan Ting of Taiwan's China Post compares the accomplishments of Thatcher, Reagan and Deng Xiaoping, and finds the former two wanting:
In the long haul, however, I think Deng Xiaoping would stand head and shoulder (sic) above the rest of the few in spite of his physical stature. In five years, that's 2018 to be exact, China could overtake America as the world's largest economy, according to the Economist. The world is bound to undergo some profound changes because of the new pecking order brought about by Deng's epoch-making reforms 35 years ago. (emphasis added)
This observer is inclined to agree. Surely neither Thatcher nor Reagan can boast of the magnificent achievement of imprisoning and murdering 700,000 of their own citizens!
On the other hand, Deng the malignant dwarf✯ can - he imprisoned and murdered 700,000 Chinese intellectuals and landlords while serving as Mao Tse-tung's hatchet man during the Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957-1958.
Odd that Tingles forgot to recount that. Must've slipped his mind...
But given the recent blood-curdling threats issuing forth from a certain North Korean nuclear madman, it's more than a little surprising David Kan Ting couldn't recall that it was Deng Xiaoping himself who was the North Koreans' primary enabler in their drive for nuclear weapons.
It was Deng Xiaoping who looked the other way. Deng Xiaoping who ran interference. Deng Xiaoping who propped them up economically.
It must therefore be Deng Xiaoping and the Chinese Communist party that accepts a good part of the "credit" for the spectre of nuclear armageddon currently stalking Northeast Asia.
To this list, I shall not add the Tiananmen Massacre, of which Deng was the chief architect. Nor shall I mention the 3,000 souls mercilessly exterminated by Deng "we must prepare to spill some blood" Xiaoping.
I do not mention this matter - not because it's unimportant, but because by now it's painfully clear that David Kan Ting couldn't give two shits about Chinese murdered by their own government.
Postscript: David Kan Ting's latest column is not completely devoid of value - I, for one, did not know that Margaret Thatcher stumbled near a Chinese Communist legislative building back in '82. Nor would I have attached any deep metaphorical symbolism to her mistep.
I stand corrected:
The [refusal by Deng Xiaoping to allow Britain to keep Hong Kong] made Mrs. Thatcher apoplectic, and she fell on the steps of the Great Hall of the People — a lasting and telling image in the final episode of a 160-year historical drama of China's decline that began with the ignominious Opium War in 1860.
Ohhh, I get it: The fall of the mighty British Empire, and all that. Although I would suggest that the relatively unremarkable occurrance of a middle-aged woman in heels stumbling on stairs is far less "lasting and telling" than the revealing spectacle of Chinese ultranationalists like David Kan Ting crowing about it.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but schadenfreude, by definition, is something one should be ashamed of.
(Image from Lawsonry.com)
No matter. Regardless, I AM grateful that Ting educated me about this incident. So much so in fact, that I think it fitting to relate another obscure Margaret-Thatcher-in-China story:
This anecdote's for you, Tingles:
On a bitterly cold day, the Chinese had put on a magnificent parade to welcome Mrs Thatcher. It included hundreds of shivering children in the flimsiest of clothes. She took one look, called for the commander of the parade and ordered him: Take these children off the street or give them warm coats to wear.
(To this, The Telegraph adds that Thatcher threatened to leave the country immediately if her demand was not met.)
The officer quickly realised that arguing was not an option. And since they did not have several hundred coats to hand [out], the children were taken out of the parade and transferred to a building.
Mrs Thatcher personally checked that the building was warm inside before she would let this, by now browbeaten, officer off the hook.
Kinda metaphorical, no?
Always ready to admit error, The Foreigner sincerely apologizes for the mischaracterization - and for hurting the feelings of the entire Dwarven people.
Honest question. Let's look at the evidence:
On the one hand, David Kan Ting appears to be a fan of Madame Chiang Kai-shek (Soong May-ling), whom he describes as, “the legendary Mei-ling Soong, wife of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, who has been hailed as “the eternal first lady of China.” ✵
Soong May-ling herself was quite unequivocal on the matter of Tiananmen Square, describing the perpetrators as "dastardly Communist poltroons" and "demonic butchers" (The China Post, June 13, 1989 †).
So on the basis of this, I'd have to say, no, David Kan Ting of Taiwan's China Post DOES NOT take pleasure in innocent Chinese being mowed down by automatic machine gun fire.
But not so fast. You see, Soong May-ling is long dead-and-gone. And now, David Kan Ting has a new female hero. (A she-ro, if you will.) His latest idol de jour is Peng Liyuan, first lady ogress of China.
Peng Liyuan's reaction to Tiananmen Square could not possibly have been more different from Madame Chiang's. Whereas Soong May-ling seized the moment to denounce the Communist authors of this hideous crime, Peng Liyuan chose to laugh and clap and dance and sing at the deaths of thousands of Chinese at the hands of the People's "Liberation" Army.
(Peng Liyuan, entertaining PLA troops after the Tiananmen Massacre. Unlike Elvis, she don't look "all shook up". Thousands of Chinese murdered? Time to par-tay!
Image from the International Business Times)
So we come once more back to the original question: Does David Kan Ting of Taiwan's China Post take pleasure in innocent Chinese being mowed down by automatic machine gun fire?
Given Dave's rather eclectic choice of heroes, the best that can be said is that the answer is...inconclusive.
✵ Contra to Ting, Madame Chiang Kai-shek has ALSO been hailed by Taiwan's democratic opposition as, "the most evil woman to wield any kind of power during that bleak 100 years [ie: the 20th Century] and that her influence on almost anything she touched was corrupting and malign."
But I digress. My goal here is not to investigate Soong May-ling's place in history, but to ascertain her attitude concerning the Tiananmen Massacre.
† Since the China Post does not have online archives extending as far back as 1989, this is a second-hand quote by Soong May-ling, from a source whose reliability is suspect (to say the very least!)
Nevertheless, the quotes are in keeping with another (more reliable) second-hand source, so I therefore regard them as authentic.
The main title exaggerates slightly: China's current first lady, Peng Liyuan, didn't personally butcher any Chinese at Tiananmen Square. That we know of...
No, she merely gave a big pat on the back and issued a hearty, "Job well done!" to the Communist stormtroopers who did.
The AP has the story:
A photo of China's new first lady Peng Liyuan in younger days, singing to martial-law troops following the 1989 bloody military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, flickered across Chinese cyberspace this week.
It was swiftly scrubbed from China's Internet before it could generate discussion online. But the image — seen and shared by outside observers — revived a memory the leadership prefers to suppress and shows one of the challenges in presenting Peng on the world stage as the softer side of China.
(Elsewhere, a commenter saw this picture of Peng singing in front of the PLA after its merry massacre, and suggests she was either crooning "I've Got A Crush On You" or "Tanks For The Memories".
Image from the International Business Times)
Meanwhile, David Kan Ting of Taiwan's pro-Communist China Post earlier this week beclowned himself by breathlessly praising the bestial Peng. A sampling of quotes:
China's new first lady was as graceful and glamorous as a supermodel when she emerged from Air China's 747 jetliner...
--David Kan Ting, The China Post, Wed Mar 27, 2013
Peng Liyuan captivated millions of fans the moment she stepped into the international limelight. Wearing a smile and dressed in a simple black peacoat, she waved...
--David Kan Ting, The China Post, Wed Mar 27, 2013
She is the United Nations ambassador for health, working to stamp out the scourge of AIDS. It seems that she possesses every quality necessary for accomplishing the daunting mission before her.
--David Kan Ting, The China Post, Wed Mar 27, 2013
[Evidently, soullessness is now a UN job prerequisite. -- The Foreigner]
The star of Peng Liyuan is rising, to the ecstasy of her people at home who have never felt so proud in their lives. Some bloggers described her as “elegant and magnificent,” while others gushed over her “talents and beauty.”
--David Kan Ting, The China Post, Wed Mar 27, 2013
[Tell us, Dave, for we really must know: Is she more elegant than magnificent...or more magnificent than she is elegant? Only a dedicated truth-seeker such as yourself can ever hope to be impartial enough to solve this baffling mystery. --The Foreigner]
It seems that the fever about Peng Liyuan is not going to recede any time soon, and rightly so.
--David Kan Ting, The China Post, Wed Mar 27, 2013
[Ting's got a fever, and the only prescription...is more Chinese corpses. --The Foreigner]
Now with the godsend [represented by Peng Liyuan's very existence], it's worth the long wait.
--David Kan Ting, The China Post, Wed Mar 27, 2013
Whoa, Dave, take a saltpeter or something. Not to run you down or anything, but I haven't seen analysis this objective since last week's hard-hitting expose on Justin Bieber.
In Tiger Beat magazine...
(To paraphrase an old Cajun, drag some Communist advertorial money through a trailer park, and you never know what'll turn up. Or get written down...)
David Ting began his slobbery fanboi column by humming an old Taiwanese tune from the '80s titled, "The Drizzle Comes Just In Time." (Drizzle being a good thing, Ting informs us, especially after a period of a long drought.)
Well, it might come as a surprise, but I, too, cannot help humming a tune from the '80s when I now think of Peng Liyuan. Granted, it's not nearly as famous as Ting's -- just some obscure song by a little-known band that never went anywhere. Maybe you've heard of it though.
It's called, Another One Bites The Dust.
Given that China's new first lady, Peng Liyuan, publicly supported the massacre of thousands of her own countrymen, it seems entirely appropriate. (And as an added bonus, it's even got lyrics about machine guns, bullets and dead men dropping like flies as well.)
Having been "liberated" from his legs by the tank treads of an "elegant" and "magnificent" PLA panzer, Fang no doubt bitterly remembers the Pet Shop Boys' What Have I Done To Deserve This?
No word yet from David Ting on whether Fang Zheng wore a pair of absolutely FABULOUS designer prosthetics to the inauguration of Peng Liyuan's husband. They must've been simply to-die-for though, right Dave?
(Image from The Independent)
Like Peng Liyuan, Asma too was the subject of journalistic puff pieces -- which were quietly withdrawn out of sheer embarrassment once her husband began massacring Syrians.
UPDATE #2: All copies of Vogue's infamous "A Rose In The Desert" article have apparently been scrubbed from the internet, save for this one on a Bashar al-Assad fan-site run by an employee of the (ahem!) Syrian State News Agency living in Rome. As for the profile's author, Joan Juliet Buck, she regrets ever writing it.
Fun fact: an American lobbying firm was paid $5,000 a month by the Syrian government to get the obsequious Vogue portrayal published.
Been a while since I last checked the blog, and I noticed a comment on my Tsai Eng-meng post.
For those unfamiliar with Tsai Eng-meng, Tsai Eng-meng is a Taiwanese food magnate. Got his start in Taiwan, but made it big in China.
Upon returning to Taiwan, Tsai bought up some Taiwanese news media organs. And changed their editorial stances to more Communist-friendly positions.
But around the beginning of 2012, Tsai caused a stir in an interview with the Washington Post, remarking that the Chinese Communists were jolly good fellows who just couldn't possibly have killed very many people at Tiananmen Square. His reason for thinking so? Because the driver of a single tank hesitated to run over the iconic "Tank Man" of Tiananmen Square.
(As I recall, he also expressed scorn for Taiwan's hard-won democratic freedom, which he derided as a poor substitute for a walletful of Chinese redbacks.)
And so, without further ado, I submit my replies to one of Tsai's comradely supporters.
Jon: Not to side with Tsai here...
The Foreigner: Here it comes...
Jon: ...but he was citing the fact that the "Tank Man" lie [sic], which is often perpetuated in western media.
The Foreigner: Can I interrupt to say that it suits you? The whole passive-aggression routine, I mean.
If experience is any guide, I do believe you're fishing for some kind of groveling apology.
Jon: For example a supermajority of Americans believe falsely that the "Tank Man" at Tiananmen was run over by those tanks.
The Foreigner: Bullshit.
A cursory web check of the New York Times, Newsweek and Time reveals nothing of the kind. NONE of them declare that Tank Man was definitely run over by tanks at Tiananmen.
(Image from Filmatica.wordpress.com)
Furthermore, I find it exceedingly difficult to believe anybody wasted good money to poll Americans about "Tank Man". But, assuming for the moment that it IS true, you forgot to mention that the Chinese DID run over at least one man (Fang Zheng) with their tanks. (To this day, the Communist propaganda ministry maintains that Fang Zheng lost his legs in an everyday, run-of-the-mill "traffic accident".)
So perhaps Americans' beliefs are a perfectly understandable result of mistaken identity:
But here's a crazy PR suggestion: if the Chinese don't want Westerners to think they run people over with tanks...MAYBE they should stop running people over with their tanks!
Jon: He is still alive according to most accounts and the "conspiracy theory" sites claim he died months later.
The Foreigner: It is, of course, a red herring to bring up the fate of any one single individual (Tank Man) in the face of a massacre of thousands. Tsai's hasty generalization is that since Tank Man MAY have survived, then "not that many [Chinese demonstrators] could really have died."
And if Anne Frank were to turn up alive tomorrow, would this Communist quisling then argue that the Jewish Holocaust never happened?
Also, it's patently untrue to say Tank Man is still alive according to "most accounts". Wikipedia -- hardly a "conspiracy theory" site -- points out the conflicting stories on that score.
If he IS alive, let him come forward to say so to the media.
Oh, that's right. He can't. Because if he comes forward, the Chinese government will kill him.
Golly. Maybe the Butchers of Beijing really AREN'T the nice, harmless guys Tsai Eng-meng claims they are. Ya think?
(Image from The Independent)
Jon: As for "democracy-hating", there is nobody who truly loves ALL democracy. For example, the Weimar Republic elected Hitler.
The Foreigner: The "Weimar Republic" didn't vote for Hitler. The political system known as "democracy" didn't vote for Hitler.
MEN voted for Hitler. Men who hated democracy, and wanted it abolished.
Men such as Tsai Eng-meng. And yourself.
It was Germany's great misfortune that these men got what they wished for.
Jon: The French Republic massacred women and children (guillotined them).
The Foreigner: Straw man. Democracy, as a term describing a form of government advocated in the modern world, does not include the French revolutionary model lacking constitional safeguards (formal and informal).
But allow me to make a further rebuttal to your line of thinking. Around the time of the French revolution, doctors carried out a host of unproven treatments, some of which were either ineffective or even downright harmful to their patients (blistering of the skin or confinement for psychological problems, bloodletting, enema use, frontal lobotomies, "spermatorrhoea" prevention, homeopathy, and purging).
On the other hand, they also pioneered procedures which have stood the test of time, such as vaccinations, percussion-based diagnosis, and various surgical techniques.
Only an ignoramus would argue that modern doctors should be loathed and present-day medicine rejected out-of-hand simply because doctors of the past once used some questionable practices.
By the same token, only the genuinely infantile reject modern liberal democracy simply because 200 years ago, some long-dead Frenchmen didn't recognize the importance of checks-and-balances, the necessity of constitutionalism, and the limits to the perfectability of man.
(Image from CartoonPictures5.com)
Jon: The US Republic genocided...
The Foreigner: Excuse me while I look that up in the latest edition of the Oxford Chinglish Dictionary.
Jon: ...a million Filipinos in the Philippine-American War, where the US conquered and annexed an independent nation, destroying their Republic, even though the Philippine Republic used the US constitution.
The Foreigner: I believe the number is closer to 250,000...and it's debatable whether it was a deliberate genocide.
But rather than argue about numbers, I'd like to point out that most of the casualties were caused by out-of-control military officers who went far beyond what the civilian leadership ever intended. It's a cause for celebration that modern democracies have matured and figured out that their militaries need to be kept on a much tighter leash.
Why and how did this maturation take place? It occurred because democracies are blessed with a built-in feedback mechanism: the free press. In short, American anti-imperialist papers were free to report atrocities, and thereby helped bring them to an end.
Which is something that doesn't ever happen in Tsai Eng-meng's glorious Communist utopia.
Or in Tsai Eng-meng's pro-Communist newspapers, for that matter.
Oh, one last thing before we move on...you neglected to mention that America went to the Philippines with the ultimate goal of granting it its independence. Which it did, in 1946.
Poor Tibet should be so lucky!
Jon [referring to dead Philippinos]: Rather funny. Democracy is a joke.
The Foreigner: Number of Chinese murdered (or, in your parlance, "genocided") by the anti-democratic doctrine within the last 50 years: 36,000,000. Number of Chinese killed by democracy within the last 50 years: 0.
Which of those two numbers is greater than the other, Jon?
I'll allow you to take your time to figure that out. Math is hard.
But since you're fond of jokes, here's a riddle for you:
Q: What do you call an Uncle Com who tries to bamboozle people into thinking the Chinese don't run their citizens over with tanks, when he's fully aware that they DO run their citizens over with tanks?
A: A lying asshole.
But I guess you've probably heard that one before.
Jon: If you go to any of the 200 democratic countries of the world...
The Foreigner: Which "world" are you referring to? Here on planet Earth, there are only 78 democracies.
Jon: ...everyone on the street will say it's a democracy, but ask them if they can be president or a congressman, and the average folk always say "no", and ask why, and they say because they lack money or influence.
Basically democracy only elects the aristocracy (wealth or fame).
The Foreigner: Have you ever heard of a guy named Barack Obama (D)? Or Bill Clinton (D)? Or Ronald Reagan (R)? [Apr 10 / 2013 Update: Or Richard Nixon (R)?]
Word on the street is that they all came from fairly modest beginnings...
But you labor under a misconception. Liberal democracy entails the consent of the demos. It does NOT mean that everyone gets to be president for their fricken' birthday.
Money and influence help in life. If you don't have 'em, you may have to set your immediate sights a little lower. Run for dog catcher. Or the PTA. Or city commissioner.
Bust your ass at it. Do a good job. Don't steal from the public purse. Don't get caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.
Do all that, and you just might get further than you ever thought you could.
But even should you fail there's one final thought you may yet still console yourself with: your well-meaning efforts have not landed you in a urine-soaked Communist political prison.
Jon: Aristotle hated democracy for this reason and preferred monarchy.
The Foreigner: Was that the reason? Or was it because he was born an aristocrat, and was quite naturally predisposed towards the form of government under which he was privileged? (Or, along similar lines, was it because he worked for Alexander the Great, and knew which side his bread was buttered?)
Nevertheless, I understand Aristotle also believed that there were some men whose very natures destined them for slavery. Never much cared for the notion, although I'm perfectly willing to admit he may have been right..about individuals such as yourself.
But let's examine your contention that "Aristotle HATED democracy" by allowing the man speak for himself:
Aristotle: "The principle that the multitude ought to be supreme rather than the few best is one that is maintained, and, though not free from difficulty, yet seems to contain an element of truth. For the many, of whom each individual is but an ordinary person, when they meet together may very likely be better than the few good, if regarded not individually but collectively, just as a feast to which many contribute is better than a dinner provided out of a single purse. For each individual among the many has a share of virtue and prudence, and when they meet together, they become in a manner one man, who has many feet, and hands, and senses; that is a figure of their mind and disposition. Hence the many are better judges than a single man of music and poetry; for some understand one part, and some another, and among them they understand the whole."
-- Politics, Book 3.11
I'm not sensin' any of that "hate" you were talkin' about. He may have had his druthers, but unlike Tsai Eng-meng, he was at least honest enough to give democracy its due.
(And he certainly deserves credit for his intuition about the Wisdom of Crowds, long before anyone ever coined the phrase.)
Jon: And ALL of the Greek philosophers disagreed with elections, but rather preferred representatives to be chosen at random.
The Foreigner: It should then be a relatively simple matter for you to name at least five of them who held this opinion.
Citations of original sources, please.
"All he had was 50 cents, 50 cents, 50 cents..."
(Shaky camera-work alert. To listen, click PLAY and scroll the video off the screen.)
Update (Nov 8/2012): Tsai Eng-meng finds himself in the fine company of notable ancient Greek philosopher Mahmoud Fraudmadinejad.
Update (Dec 7/2012): What's that, Ari? You'd like to weigh in on the subject of democracy again? Why certainly, be my guest...
"The basis of a democratic state is liberty; which, according to the common opinion of men, can only be enjoyed in such a state; this they affirm to be the great end of every democracy."
--Aristotle, Politics Book 6.2
So, to paraphrase Jon's philosophical hero, Aristotle: "Liberty is the great result of every democracy."
Which just might be why would-be tyrants hate it so.
Update (Jan 9/2013): Jon averred:
"Basically democracy ONLY elects the aristocracy (wealth or fame)." [Emphasis added]
I gave 3 examples disproving this assertion. But this refutes the claim even more convincingly:
(Image from BostonReview.tumblr.com)
The chart plainly shows that half those in the U.S. Congress AREN'T wealthy. That works out to about 267 people (535 members of Congress / 2 = 267.5).
If someone has evidence that these 267 non-wealthy people are all incredibly famous (and yet, for some reason, not millionaires), then I'd be very interested in seeing it.
Update (Mar 11/2013): This just in -- 85 billionaires have seats in Communist China's top political chambers.
Number of billionaires in America's democratically-elected congress?
(To put this into more perspective, there are a total of 95 billionaires in China as of 2012. Which means that 89% of China's billionaires have positions in China's top legislative bodies. By contrast, the U.S. has 425 billionaires, and 0% of them have positions in America's top legislative bodies.)
So it seems that there is a system in which only the rich and famous obtain political power. However, the evidence shows that that system is not democracy, but the one beloved by Tsai Eng-meng: Chinese Communism.
Update (Jul 24/2015): Yet more evidence that Communists always lie. What was that Jon said?
"the Philippine Republic used the US constitution"
The style of the document is patterned after the Spanish Constitution of 1812, which many Latin American charters from the same period similarly follow.
Sweet baby Jesus, Jon. You've an even poorer grasp of the facts than Comrade Joe Hung.
The Weekly Standard on China's practice of harvesting organs of its Uighur population.
...Beijing traditionally depicted all Uighur nationalists—violent rebels and non-violent activists alike—as CIA proxies. Shortly after 9/11, that conspiracy theory was tossed down the memory hole. Suddenly China was, and always has been, at war with al Qaeda-led Uighur terrorists.
...and yet, if the Chinese government claims that the Uighurs constitute their own Islamic fundamentalist problem, the fact is that I’ve never met a Uighur woman who won’t shake hands [with a man] or a man who won’t have a drink with me. Nor does my Jewish-sounding name appear to make anyone flinch. In one of those vino veritas sessions, I asked a local Uighur leader if he was able to get any sort of assistance from groups such as the Islamic Human Rights Commission (where, as I found during a brief visit to their London offices, veiled women flinch from an extended male hand, drinks are forbidden, and my Jewish surname is a very big deal indeed). “Useless!” he snorted, returning to the vodka bottle.
...the Xinjiang procedure spread. By the end of 1999, the Uighur crackdown would be eclipsed by Chinese security’s largest-scale action since Mao: the elimination of Falun Gong. By my estimate up to three million Falun Gong practitioners would pass through the Chinese corrections system. Approximately 65,000 would be harvested, hearts still beating, before the 2008 Olympics. An unspecified, significantly smaller, number of House Christians and Tibetans likely met the same fate.
(Organ Donor sketch from Monty Python's Meaning of Life. This was funnier back when it WASN'T true...)
So the CCP goes on a soft power offensive, producing a movie on the Rape of Nanjing. "China is a victim," goes their carefully-cultivated narrative.
Then the Communist Party shoots itself in the foot with the sort of reflexive petty tyranny for which it is justly well-known:
One step forward.
Now, two back...
And don't forget to blame whitey for all the bad publicity.
In Chu's defense, I'm sure she was a VERY grave threat to Chinese national security.
Update (Nov 22/2012): China arrests blogger for TWITTER joke.
Beijing Bev could not be reached for comment. AGAIN.
Moammar Gaddafi announces his desire for a Tiananmen Square Massacre he can call his very own.
Now, it could be argued that in this particular case he's outdone his kindred spirits in Beijing (if such a thing is possible) by ordering air strikes against Libyan civilians and importing African mercenaries to do his bloodletting for him.
But it just goes to show: Some guys'll do just about ANYTHING to get nominated for one of China's prestigious "World Harmony Awards"...
The Heirs of Mao ban a rabbit cartoon. Yes, a rabbit cartoon. I kid you not.
Reckon they're worried the little bunny-wunny-wunnies might hurt 'em:
A GRISLY cartoon that marks the upcoming Year of the Rabbit by portraying a bunny revolt against brutal tiger overlords has proven an online hit, with its thinly veiled stab at China's communist rulers.
(Video from YouTube)
And in related news, the Chinese Politburo has also declared a news blackout on the popular revolution against Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. Not just on the uprising, but on the entire country. That is to say, the merest mention of the word "Egypt" in China is now a crime-against-the-state. (At least as far as China's micro-blogging sites go.)
Nervous much, Pharoah Hu Jintao?
Chinese Communist Party sentences Zhao Lianhai to 2 1/2 years in prison. For the heinous crime of attempting to inform Chinese parents about the toxic milk scandal:
Last November, he was arrested by the police and then charged in March with "creating a disturbance". His lawyer, Li Fangping, said the evidence for the charge had been that Mr Zhao had given a media interview on a public pavement, held a dinner in a restaurant for a dozen parents of other victims, and that he had held up a small sign in protest outside a trial of milk company executives responsible for the poisoning.
Yet another wicked reprobate. Whom Taiwan's Lien Chan will also refuse to speak on behalf of.
Just who was it who recently was awarded the coveted "World Harmony Foundation" Peace Prize for his notable accomplishments in "improving relations between China and the rest of the world"?
The icing on the cake: the presenter was none other than Sha Zhukang, China's buffoonish "diplomat" at the U.N.
(Left to Right: World Harmony Foundation founder Frank Liu, Tiananmen Butcher General Chi Haotian, and Chinese ultranationalist U.N. official Sha Zhukang. Image from Inner City Press)
No such luck. Even P.R.C. media outlets report the story. (And with an eagerness in marked contrast to their complete coverage blackout of Liu Xiaobo's Nobel win just last month . . .)
UPDATE: Using a (Chinese) U.N. official to give at least the ILLUSION of U.N. approval. Nice touch.
UPDATE #2: Although maybe too clever by half. There've been some questionable (sometimes VERY questionable) Nobel Peace Prize choices over the years. But with one fell stroke, the "World Harmony Foundation" has rendered its awards radioactive. Getting one of them puppies now is like bare-handedly grabbing a plutonium-239 trophy. The 21st Century equivalent of the Stalin Peace Prize.
Just for a moment, imagine all the time, money and hard work the Chinese Communist Party spent on this thing. Their goal was to create a credible rival organization to the Nobels via a "private" charity fronted by businessman (and Chinese Communist Party princeling) Frank Liu.
And then they undid it all -- in an instant!
In all sincerity, it warms the cockles of my heart to watch the Butchers of Beijing make unforced errors like this.
UPDATE #3: More commentary from the Rosett Report here.
The China Post (Taiwan's pro-Communist newspaper of record) frets that the greatest menace to peace in Asia is . . . Japan. Beware a second Pearl Harbor, the editors darkly warn.
LOL. The chances of PACIFIST Japan pulling Pearl Harbor II anytime during our lifetimes ranks somewhere between an attack by trident-wielding Mer-people and a Zombie Apocalypse.
In other words, not bloody likely.
UPDATE: China now matches the number of attack submarines (63) that Japan had when it struck at Pearl Harbor. Funny coincidence, that. (Modern Japan has only 16.)
Some other facts the Chinese ultranationalist editors of the Post may be aware of:
And finally, China routinely ranks among the 10 worst countries in the entire world when it comes to press freedom. Maintaining strict media censorship, the government indoctrinates the population with ultranationalist propaganda, just as Imperial Japan once did.
(Far more difficult to imagine the Japanese being similarly brainwashed since Japan has the world's 11th freest press.)
So 2,500 Japanese marched in downtown Tokyo in defiance of Chinese bullying over the Senkaku Islands. Big deal. With a population of 128 million, that's a 0.002% turnout.
Reckon more people showed up for the latest "Tentacle Pride" rally . . .
UPDATE (Oct 26/2010): A profile of those Japanese "wildmen" Taiwan's China Post is so afear'd of.
The day Liu Xiaobo wins the Nobel Peace Prize, a "European Affairs" program in China instead breaks the earthshaking news that a panda had been born in Spain.
All kidding aside, Occam's Razor suggests to me that China was sincere in its brutish objections to Liu Xiaobo's nomination and win. Thuggish is as thuggish does.
But I'll go further out on a limb and predict that within the next 3 or 5 years Liu will have company, when another Chinese dissident will be awarded the prize. And my reason for believing that is that the Chinese Communist Party REALLY hacked off the Nobel Committee. So much so, that the committee broke with precedent and leaked the name of the winner to the media a few days before the official announcement. (Hard to imagine a bigger F U being issued to the Butchers of Beijing.)
Remember how the Nobel committee spent the last 6 or 7 years repudiating George W. Bush? It was almost a steady stream -- Mohammed ElBaradei...Al Gore...Barack Obama. (If I'm not mistaken, there were also a couple anti-American authors for the Literature Prize tossed in just for good measure.)
Message received. Loud and clear.
But one thing cannot be denied: in response to these rebukes, the American government did most assuredly NOT threaten the government of Norway, nor the livelihood of its people. Great powers get criticized, and they learn to live with it. Goes with the territory.
In contrast, the Communist government of China gave the Nobel committee only two alternatives: humiliating surrender, or honorable defiance.* One or two more Liu Xiaobo's this decade will drive home to the Chinese what stuff Norwegians are made of.
* During a conversation with some Taiwanese youths a few years back, one of them announced in all seriousness to me that "Face didn't matter to Westerners."
(No offence was intended by them. I think the subject came up when I remarked that I wouldn't feel any loss of face if I offered a last-minute dinner party invitation to a coworker, and they declined due to prior commitments.)
It's a view charming in its naivety when held by the young -- but foolish to the extreme if it's held by the Chinese leadership.
UPDATE: An Indian reporter blogs on the Chinese media black-out.
UPDATE #2: Liu's not hard-line enough, protest some exiled Chinese dissidents. Sad.
Congratulations to Liu Xiaobo -- China's very own Vaclav Havel -- on his historic Nobel Peace Prize win.
An honorable mention to President Hu Jintao and the Chinese Communist Politburo as well. (For without their tireless efforts, Liu's victory would scarcely have been possible!)
UPDATE: Will the current Nobel chairman publicly make the Carl von Ossietzky - Liu Xiaobo connection?
UPDATE #2: I knew that Liu had been sentenced to 11 years by the Communist politburo...but wasn't aware that Liu & his lawyers had only 14 minutes to defend him at trial. Can't wait to see Bev Chu & Taiwan's China Post spin the proceedings of that kangaroo court as a "fair trial".
UPDATE #3: "I have long been aware that when an independent intellectual stands up to an autocratic state, step one toward freedom is often a step into prison. Now I am taking that step; and true freedom is that much nearer." - Liu Xiaobo
UPDATE (Oct 9/2010): Gotta give Ma Ying-jeou & the KMT credit for at least pretending to be pleased with Liu's win. Hypocrisy may be the homage vice pays to virtue, but that's certainly more than Taiwan's China Post has done so far.
[Don't be so cynical, Foreigner -- school bullying is a huge, HUGE story! Way bigger than the first Nobel Peace Prize won by a Chinese!]
From yesterday's Taipei Times:
Hours after the announcement, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) congratulated Liu for winning the prize and called on China to address human rights issues with a more liberal attitude.
The General-wuss-imo must be really worried about the coming elections, if he's that willing to piss off his Communist masters. What's next? An invitation to Rebiya Kadeer and the Dalai Lama to come help campaign for him?
UPDATE #5: Beijing summons the Norwegian ambassador for a dressing-down. Yet another Hitler "Downfall" parody in the making...
UPDATE #6: Heh. "...peaceful and friendly China" vs. "antagonistic and belligerent Norway."
Beijing's Communists are shocked -- shocked! -- to find academic dishonesty going on in their country.
(The KMT told us that Chinese ethics would decline if Chen Shui-bian was elected president...and they were right!)
Try to suppress that shameful feeling of pleasure at another's misfortune. Might be tough, if you're honest with yourself:
(Hat tip to The Marmot's Hole)