mayoraasei: (Angry)
Like, whut.

I should stop clicking on stuff that screams "I'm gonna piss you off" from miles away.

I have double-lidded eyes (in fact I think they're triple lidded now, so HAH) but my eyes look distinctly Asian. GETTING DOUBLE LIDS IS NOT ABOUT LOOKING CAUCASIAN *FACEPALM* While I don't actually agree with surgery for double lids as I think single-lidded eyes are cute in their own way, the reason why people get it is that it's a fairly small and safe procedures that can open up their eyes dramatically (depending on original eye shape). Again, it's not about looking Caucasian; larger eyes just tend to make people look more awake and energetic.

There are three main descriptors for beautiful eyes in Chinese literature: "phoenix eyes" (丹鳳眼), "peach flower eyes" (桃花眼) and "almond eyes" (杏眼). People often mistake "phoenix eyes" to refer to single-lidded eyes but apparently it only refers to the fact that the eyes have a slight upward sweep at its tail. "Phoenix eyes" are used without (much) discrimination to describe eyes in men and women, as one of the most famous generals in one of the most famous Chinese classic novels (Romance of the Three Kingdoms) was known for his "phoenix eyes".

"Peach flower eyes" are practically the synonym for "sexy" in Chinese. It is supposed to look like "peach flowers" when not smiling, with a greater curvature of the upper lid and a deeper set of the inner corner of the eye. What it's known for, however, is that when smiling it becomes beautiful moon-shaped crescents that combined with sparkling eyes is supposed to take men's breaths away.

Finally "almond eyes" is a descriptor commonly associated with pretty girls and refers directly to large playful eyes, round and dark like almonds. The Chinese, like many other cultures, believed large eyes to be more expressive and innocent, and this is something that's existed for centuries.

As far as the high-bridged nose is concerned, a lot of the northern Asians have high nosebridges. In fact the other reason for these to be desired is that in Chinese face-reading, well-defined noses are supposed to increase money and fortunes in a man (and in a woman it helps the husband increase his fortunes ==;;;), so there may be more than just beauty at stake here.

And finally white skin. I don't know why people automatically assume wanting paler skin means wanting to be Caucasian. The Chinese ideal is an unblemished snowy white, which is not exactly the same shade as most Caucasian skins anyway.

If anything, the rest of the Asian ideals are far from Caucasian-like and which the article cleverly omitted - small "watermelon-seed" shaped face, thin curved "willow-like" brows, small cherry lips, small delicate bone structures and physique...which is probably why Asia as a whole is so much more obsessed with slimness than western countries.

Seriously I get so annoyed when my Chinese friends/relatives laugh at girls walking on the streets who look perfectly healthy weight for being fat...and I'm not talking healthy "BMI 24" type sizes, I'm talking normal size 10-12's (in America that's size 6-8) being considered fat. It's ridiculous.
mayoraasei: (Ugh)
The Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association's vice chairman, Liu Bainian, said attendance by bishops at the ceremony would be voluntary and the ordination would go ahead because the Chengde diocese needs a bishop. He said the association had informed the Vatican about its plan as early as two years ago.

"A Catholic diocese cannot be without a bishop, or the Gospel cannot be spread," Liu said. "We should not let any political reasons interfere with the spread of the Gospel in China."

He said that in time, China would elect bishops for more than 40 Catholic dioceses that are currently without them and expressed hope that the Vatican would endorse them. (Source)

Spoken like a true-blood CCP faithful. Ugh.

If you don't want to "let any political reasons interfere" with the spread of Catholicism, DON'T LET YOUR POLITICAL PARTY INTERFERE WITH IT.

And I'm not even Catholic *rolls eyes*
mayoraasei: (Jdrama)
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I would say Twilight except I actually spent most of the movie sniggering in amusement so in a way it provided me with a lot of entertainment and perhaps wasn't, therefore, the worst movie since movies are by convention a form of entertainment.............................?

Anyway, after three full days, finally got the Chinese subs for YamaNade. I didn't realise that the one I watched on Tudou was the TVBT subs until I downloaded the TVBT subs and was like "hey the translation is exactly the same!"

Thanks to the Chinese government's sudden enthusiasm in "cracking down on copyrighted material", most of the Chinese bittorrent sites either shut down, went underground or are frantically changing IPs to avoid detection. The real reason is probably because BT makes it harder to trace the sharers and to completely eradicate the files, hence a lot of politically sensitive material are also shared on BT.

As soon as the order came out, TVBT closed public access to its subbing forum, and the other major Japanese drama subber, SUBPIG, began to provide backup addresses. SUBPIG's two original addresses were banned in the last month, so it's now serving from Whether it's as a result of the ban or because of a sense of complacency now that most of its rivals have gone underground, SUBPIG's releases have been a lot slower lately.

The happy thing is, both these groups are also on GoGoBox, a Taiwanese derivative of the Korean downloading client Clubbox. So even though TVBT has restricted its account registrations and you can't view its subbing forum, they're still hosting their releases on GGbox. The uploads to GGbox tend to be a day later than BT and the download speed limited to about 35kbs (although I've rarely been able to get above 20kbs), but on the other hand, the download speed stays reliably constant and isn't dependent on the number of seeds.

Of course, people are still uploading the releases of both groups onto streaming sites like Tudou, so if you're happy to wait an extra day after the BT releases, the streaming files are usually available by then.

So...after rewatching YamaNade with subs...I have to conclude it's funnier than without subs Orz <-- listening skills FAIL

But Sunako seems to be a lot more submissive? One of the funny parts in the manga was how Sunako and Kyouhei would always have a catfight over every silly little thing and were competitive about incredibly childish things. I hope they don't cut that bit out =0= The thing I felt from the Kyouhei/Sunako relationship in the manga was that there wasn't much romantic chemistry, but there was a lot of camaraderie, which would be lost if they stopped at the similarity in their complexes about their own appearance. It would also, hopefully, negate Kame's negative onscreen chemistry with girls >_>;

First episode rating was supposedly 12.1, which is very much average for the time slot.
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
The title of this article is "Zhejiang 'temporary rape case' to be reopened" and I Temporary rape? As opposed to permanent rape?

And when I read it, it was even more I decided to share with you the wtfness of the Chinese legal system. (My legalese is terrible so I'm sorry if I got some of the legal terms wrong.)

Due to pressure from the community, the strongly criticised case of "rape of temporary nature" in Zhejiang Nanxun has experienced a change of fate. After reviewing the case, Zhejiang Province Huzhou Intermediate Court conceded there was an error with the original sentence, that it was too light, and will set a date to reopen the case.

According to "Chongqing Evening Newspaper", on 10 June this year, two police assistants in Nanxun [TN: they cover some police duties but are not officially part of the police force], Qiu and Cai, took two fresh high school graduates Chen and Shen out for dinner. During the meal, all four drank lots of alcohol. Chen, who had low tolerance for alcohol, was knocked out by the time dinner finished. After the dinner, Cai drove everyone to a hotel in his own car and booked a room. While in the room, the two men raped Chen while she was unconscious and unable to resist.

On 19 October, Nanxun court found "according to the facts of the crime, in light of both persons having committed 'a reckless offence of temporary nature', with no premeditation, and voluntarily turning themselves in afterwards, and being able to obtain the forgiveness of the victim; in view of these circumstances, the sentencing will be reduced", and sentenced both men to 3 years.

The sentence caused a huge wave of dissent online, with netizens demanding, "What sort of concept is 'rape of temporary nature'? Are rape crimes divided into 'official and unofficial' and of different durations? The two men took turns raping the victim while she was unconscious, why was this not gang rape? How did they 'obtain the forgiveness of the victim'? Did they 'seal her mouth with money'? If this sentence sets a precedent, then from now on are all 'reckless offences of temporary nature' going to have their 'sentencing reduced'?"

Netizens pointed out that to get a high school graduate drunk, and then to take her to a hotel and rape her, is clearly a premeditated crime, and not "of temporary nature" at all. People joked that if this becomes a trend, things like "murder of temporary nature", "bribery and corruption of temporary nature", "drink driving of temporary nature", "robbery of temporary nature" are going to appear...if all crimes use "of temporary nature" as an excuse to reduce the sentence, it's easy to see that an era of "of temporary nature" will soon be upon us.

In response to the criticism and denunciation from all corners of society, Zhejiang Province Huzhou Intermediate Court reviewed the case and conceded there was an error with the original judgement, that the sentence was too lenient, and will reopen the case some time in the future.

Original article in Chinese here.
mayoraasei: (OTZ)
Malcolm Gladwell, an author and contributor to The New Yorker, forwards a theory that people of a southern Chinese background have a highly developed work ethic focused on problem solving from thousands of years tending to rice paddies. He says caring for a rice paddy created a tradition of hard work ubiquitous in Chinese culture. Chinese proverbs encourage working 360 days a year to become rich, and school is practically year-round.

- SMH article here

Wow...out of the arse of which retarded cattle did the guy pull this bullshit from?

How about:

1) Starting with China having had a meritocratic hierarchy for a few thousand years, and therefore academic achievement is one of the basic judgements of worth? A hardworking farmer is nowhere near as well-respected in society as a lazy academic. Sad fact of life.

2) Then going on to how the population crush in China has made getting a respectable job increasingly difficult (especially if you don't have a) good academic results and far more importantly b) good connections), and this terror of bringing their kids up to be nothing more than cleaners motivate Chinese parents to drive their children to study harder and harder.

3) Then putting forward the archetypal migrant's culture, which is prevalent in a lot of other ethnic groups that migrated somewhere for a "better" life but found instead the language barrier meant they could never achieve quite as well as someone born here but having similar qualifications. Instead they're consigned to doing work and getting paid far below their qualifications, and turning all their attention on their children so that their kids don't end up like themselves.

4) And perhaps rounding off with the general parental "my kid needs to be better than their kid" mentality, as well as the fact that kids in year 2 in China were doing what kids in year 7 are doing here in Australia for maths, and therefore kids who migrated in primary school had a HUGE head start on their peers, and they're going to keep on working that advantage if they find it hard to get an advantage in Humanities subjects like English or history.

Rice paddies culture my ass. Tending to rice paddies is a full time and thankless work (especially if you happen to have an Emperor that taxes you an arm and a leg for every harvest). It's unlikely that many families could afford an education at the same time. And how exactly does caring for rice paddies in southern China somehow translate to ubiquitous Chinese culture? What about people in northern China??
mayoraasei: (lotus)
Crazy government policy + crazy psychos + a society that breeds on how to work their way around things, often in the least humanitarian way = a tragedy waiting to happen.

According to "Chinese Financial Paper" (華商報), 36-year-old Li YingFang was originally married in 1997, and her husband died in 2002. It was agreed that her son was to go into the custody of Li's mother-in-law while she retained visiting rights.

In 2004, Li remarried with Hou, who also had a daughter from a previous marriage. Li wanted a child with Hou and managed to get pregnant twice, but Hou's ex-wife reported her to the government for infringing the One Child Policy, and Li was forced to undergo abortion twice.

In 2006, Hou's daughter (from the previous marriage) threatened not to go to school unless Hou and Li divorced, and would not agree to the two of them having children.

In revenge, Li spent 70000RMB to hire someone to kill the daughter, but the daughter fought back and the hired hitman was forced to make an escape.

When Li discovered the failed attempt, she decided to kill her own son in order to overcome the One Child Policy difficulty. The next day, she lured her son onto a car driven by her hired hitman, who strangled the son and disposed of the body on the side of the road. 3 days later, both Li and the hitman were arrested. The two have been sentenced to death.

To kill your child just so you can have another one - and that's when your first child isn't even a burden on you. Utter insanity. I mean I've heard cases (in western society) where people want a second child so they can donate the bone marrow to a sick first child, and even that is ethically debatable, but to kill a perfectly normal child............god.
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
Honestly, I can't be the only Chinese who thinks the opening ceremony was the grandest display of tasteless costuming extravaganza. Or colour use in general.

I have to admit, I'm biased against Zhang Yimou before it even began, especially since his latest movie "City of Golden Cleavages" (officially known as Curse of the Golden Flower, by the way). He seems to have a fetish for singular colours and often would use one colour to exhaustion.

The countdown was pretty cool, at least up until the point you realise it's not as difficult to coordinate as it looks LOL. Nevertheless, it was a nice touch, and drums are always good to open any performance as they instantly bring the mood to a high.

And then the lights went up and their costume was revealed =0=;;;;;;; What is with that ghoulish silver-white cloak? White in traditional China is the colour of mourning!!! And that bloody red streak between their brows? Then that red cloak lining that went down the middle of their costume? They looked like people who were chopped in half and then risen from the dead! The twisting and howling was totally imi wakannai.

Following that there was singing (of a Communist song, ahem) by a girl wearing the fakest smile ever to be broadcast simultaneously to billions of audience. (One line in the lyrics, which wasn't sung, says "We love peace, we love home, we'll destroy anyone who messes with us!" W00t! That's exactly the sort of self-contradicting ideology we get to see in Gundam 00!)

And then that terrifying flag raising, where the entire stadium was bathed in blood red light. Seriously. Okay, I get that you Commies love red, but...god, it looked like the whole place was drenched in blood.

The scroll was probably the highlight of the show, though it could have been worked more naturally into all the programs, instead of randomly referring to it and then just ignoring it as other programs went on.

I've never had a thing for modern dance. The concept was nice, but it's not like ancient China doesn't have its own dance system THAT LOOKS SO MUCH BETTER than people twisting and writhing about like they're in heat. Or pain. What's wrong with using traditional dance, huh? Why was there only one traditional dance in the whole thing, and that was done by ONE girl for a total of 3 minutes and didn't involve anything more complex than throwing some silk around =__=

Did I mention that the guys' costumes are fugly? What's with the grey smoky wispy girly-looking costume for the "Confucian scholars" and their broom-head hats? Taking liberty with traditional costume is fine but.....fuglifying it? Putting Confucian scholars on the stage is also a bit rich coming from a Party whose leader Mao famously said, "The First Emperor of Qin is nothing. He buried 460 scholars, we buried 46 thousand scholars." Politics aside...the movements were once again imi wakannai. When people 作揖 they bow forwards. What's up with bowing over backwards? =__= And can't they read the scriptures properly instead of sounding like they're singing a requiem? Why does the whole thing stink of 鬼气 and totally lack the 正气 one would get from reciting lines such as 朝闻道夕死可矣? =__=;;;

The moveable type was nice if only it lasted longer. "Peace" is also a bit rich...

The entire puppet show was imi wakannai (trans: wtf). As if anyone sitting in the stands could actually see what's going on. Can't they have real people acting it? Holding a puppet show in the centre of a football stadium is just retarded. At least this time the guys' clothing looked normal, albeit bland, not that it explained what they were doing.

The Zheng He boat trip was nice, with the people running around waving (really heavy) paddles. The Tang dynasty representation was absolute horrors =0=;;;;;; The women's makeup was absolutely garish (Channel 7 also managed to capture the creepiest smirk on international broadcast). Are they supposed to be 花旦? 妓女? 巫婆? The costuming...once again. I don't know if it aims to show people Chinese history, or just some twisted reimagining of Chinese history. The choice of colour was once again questionable. Green is always a dangerous colour to use, and that night there was plenty of creepy ghostly green and unglorious construction net green. The only shade of green used well was the costuming of the girl doing the Silk Road dance, although that costume looks suspiciously similar to NTDTV gala costumes =___=

I don't remember much of the rest except there continued to be lots of questionable colour use. Eerie green and creepy blue and bloody red? ==; Maybe it's the TV. The Taichi was possibly the only part that showed any form of 正气. It's the hellish lighting, I swear, and the ghoulish music and the creepy costuming of some parts =___=;; People looked like 鬼魅

The "theme song" was nice but sounded like a lullaby. Liu Huan dressed in a T-shirt looked so out of place next to a sparkling Sara Brightman. I also wonder why they couldn't have invited a CHINESE singer to sing that song. There are plenty of Chinese stars who can manage English (some of them quite well). It would have had a better symbolism "we're making an approach to the western world on our own terms" rather than "we're still relying on westerners for our bridge".

Feel tremendously sorry for the cheerleading girls who danced and clapped for 2 hours in humid heat. My hat to them.

Oh...and I think the poor Cauldron lighter was the only one ever not to have gotten a front-on closeup of his face before he lifted off. Too much wire use, by the way!! Damn Zhang Yimou-ness!!! A bit of a letdown for the cauldron lighting too >_>; So much suspense running around...and then....."WHOOSH". Give me Sydney's malfunctioning climbing cauldron any day XD
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
A little less than 20 hours until possibly the most contentious Olympics in the last 20-something years opens in Beijing. Without going into what is so contentious about it - you'd have to be living on Pluto if you've missed the flame wars both sides have been throwing - let's have a look at the glorious National Stadium, otherwise known as the Bird's Nest.
The Bird Nest, designed by Swiss architect Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, was chosen out of 89 design proposals. Initially it was oblong-shaped, flatter, with a hollow centre. After reflections by the public that it looked like a dunny, it was reworked with an outer mesh-like structure, now looking like a bird's nest that's fallen out of the tree onto the ground - hence "Bird Nest". It really ain't such a fond name.

The official statistics are: 333 metres by 294 metres, with a height of 69 metres. It has permanent seating for 80,000 people (which is like a fingernail of the Chinese population) and an additional 10,000 seats can be added temporarily. It used 42 thousand tonnes of steel. That's about 42 thousand small cars, in a space that would normally park about a third that number.

The construction began on Christmas Eve in 2003, but was paused half a year later. There were major problems with its structure.

There are 24 steel pillars that support the roof, each of which exert about 4000-5000 tonnes of force per square metre. The area in which Bird Nest is built contains a lot of groundwater, and the water table has been fluctuating for several years, which makes it unsafe for heavy infrastructure to be built over it.

The initial proposal anticipated 136 tonnes of steel would be used, and was condemned by experts as "expensive and heavy, completely opposite to the lightweight ideal of modern sports infrastructure". After a number of senior academics forwarded a letter to Wen Jiaobao, the design was reviewed.

The trimmed down design included the removal of a moveable roof. In a city that boasts temperature extremes of -27 degrees to 42 degrees Celsius, from freezing winters to rainy summers, this move just about halved its usefulness. The ramifications have been experienced even before the Games began - the first dress rehearsal was greeted with a downpour that left performers soaked to an inch of their lives.

There also appears to be problems with its rain pipe system, leading to a number of leakages around the entrances and in the rooms under the seating area.

Steel mesh
The 42 thousand tonnes of steel are welded together into a complex mesh, with the welding surfaces adding up to over 60000 metres. The welding technology and technique is therefore essential to the stability of the overall structure. A Korean engineering expert remarked of Bird Nest that under high temperature welding, the internal structure of the steel inevitably deforms a little. The danger arising out of these deformations take 8 to 12 months to stabilise to a level 30-40% of original, and only entirely disappears after 10 years.

A 100-metre long steel pipe can naturally expand 2 centimetres under temperature changes. In a structure where many different lengths and shapes of steel are welded together in a complex way, the different expansion and contraction rates of these steel beams can potentially cause bending and twisting. If this coincides with violent vibrations - such as tens of thousands of people expected to be cheering during the opening ceremony - there is the danger that the steel would begin to resonate and split.

Under strong sunlight, the steel mesh casts a confusing lattice of shadows onto the grass field below, making it impossible to see what's happening on the field during the day. In response to public panic, it was decided that a thin polymer shielding made of ETFE would be installed on the ring-like "roof" of the stadium. ETFE has a transparency of 30% and can function as a sunshade, and is also able to give some protection against the elements, although its efficiency in this situation has yet to be revealed. Unfortunately, ETFE has the tendency to magnify sound, especially that of rain...

Precious polymer
ETFE, though cheaper than glass, is still an expensive choice. China is unable to produce ETFE, and the import price reaches 2000 RMB per square metre (about AUD$400), which would amount to hundreds of millions of RMB for the entire structure.

Due to the climate and pollution in Beijing, the exporting company could only promise 10 years of lifespan for the polymer, as opposed to more than 20 years in Europe. Any natural occurences such as sandstorms or hail, or the general pollution, would greatly shorten its useable life.

Another lethal problem inherent in the polymer is its vulnerability to puncture. Because the area is surrounded by acres of forested Olympic park, birds would inevitably be attracted to the area. The ETFE covering is extremely sensitive to scratching and puncture by bird claws, as well as possible corrosion by bird droppings, so bird-repelling devices had to be installed.

The irony...the Bird Nest that cannot tolerate birds.

Fear of Fire
The expensive ETFE is stable under normal temperature ranges but melts easily under high temperatures. According to the main director of construction, Tan Xiaochun, the EFTE melted during fireworks trials and had to be replaced. Normal fireworks can reach 400 degrees C when ignited. These had to be replaced with low temperature fireworks that would reach only 270 degrees, which limits the range of fireworks that can be displayed.

The entire structure took 3 years to construct, with 7000 workers working 12-hour shifts. According to the British Sunday Times, at least 10 workers died at the construction site, with witness accounts of a worker falling to his death. In the end, Beijing would only admit to two deaths. A large number of residents were forcefully evicted from their homes to make way for the grounds.

It is rumoured that the stadium cost 7 billion RMB to construct (a little less than 2 billion AUD), compared to the 690 million of the Sydney Olympics stadium. That's mightily expensive for something so precariously unstable, frustratingly high maintenance and widely useless.

All for the "face" of "China".

Source: Part A Part B
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
Back about a few years ago, Sydney was rocked by the ethnic violence at Cronulla beaches that saw mounting tensions between Lebanese Australians and white Australians finally erupt into a massive brawl.

Following that there was a backlash of criticism against the mainly Islamic community, accusing them, amongst many other things, of placating in English and preaching violence in Arabic.

A few days ago, an article on SMH included quotes from a Chinese community leader who humbly offered that the Chinese community will be going in peace to support the Olympic torch relay. Today's article paints a radically different story, with Chinese communities recruiting people to take the law into their hands to converge on Australia's capital city with the intent of "defending the torch" themselves, calling Tibetans "scum" and "pile of monks" and "running dogs".

This campaign is, of course, backed with both the verbal (though occasionally just tacit) and physical approval of the Chinese government. Calling on people to fight in the name of national pride has always been an effective rallying cry, particularly to a people steeped in 5000 years of Confucius teachings of loyalty and honour.

Tibetans exposing the sordid actions of Chinese government? Affront on the national pride! Twisted for its own purpose, the call moves a people frequently passionately sentimental on matters of honour to blindly defend a regime without questioning the cause.

One set of virtues that the traditional Chinese mindest valued above all was 仁義禮智信 - (loosely) charity, duty, courtesy, wisdom and credibility.

To support a regime that tramples over human rights, irrationally murders innocent and unarmed people simply because of their faith - is to be uncharitable.

To see one's country being controlled by a careless government that forces its people to do terrible things, to see one's country being derided, because of this, as narrow-minded and incorrigibly vulgar on the issue of human rights - and then, to not do a thing, or indeed, to lend one's support against the voice of humanity - is to be undutiful.

To be outside China on Australian soil, and then to disrespect the authority of the Australian law, the Australian government and the Australian people - is to be discourteous.

To blindly follow the voice of state-controlled propaganda, to not see the reason behind the cause of disagreement, to close one's eyes to rationality, to humanity, to conscience - is to be unwise.

And to support a government that has not held up to its promises on human rights issues or environmental issues, who has frequently lied through its state-controlled media (name any major outbreak disease and you have your example) - is to be discreditable.

Why do something so clearly lacking in virtue? If you truly believe yourself motivated by national pride, find something more virtuous to defend, one that would not put to shame our 5000 years of honourable culture.

(PS: What triad gangs? As if triad gangs would bother with these things pfft. Or is he suggesting that triad gangs are funded and supported by the Chinese embassy?)
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
Unless you've been living in a bubble impenetrable to news and current affairs, you must have heard of the current impasse of Tibetans versus Chinese government that has sent the Olympic torch scuttling through the back streets of San Francisco like some criminal cargo needing to be furtively shipped overseas at the first opportunity.

It's a situation that's really quite hilarious XD

What was obviously regarded as an opportunity for a glorious display of China has diminished to a less-than-glamorous hide-and-seek game through cordoned off and deserted streets. Chinese government's whines for human rights activists not to turn it "political" has fallen on deaf ears - because since the moment China promised to right its human rights record in exchange for the right to host the Olympic Games, the Beijing Olympics has become inevitably political of their own doing.

Instead of taking measure to stop human rights abuses, with the Games imminent on the horizon, the oppression has only gotten worse. The Chinese government seems to have misunderstood the meaning of "setting straight its human rights record", and believes that suppressing information on oppressed groups by increasing the persecution on outspoken members of such groups amounts to the same thing. Forget about doing good, it's all about looking good is their motto.

Before we placate ourselves thinking that Tibet is the only issue the Chinese government will have to face up to, let us not forget about:
- Chinese Christians
- Uighur Muslims
- Falun Gong
- Human rights activists

Not to forget are its use of authoritarian tactics that involve manipulation of its own media and its obstruction of free information from the internet; its banning of what it regards as "subversive" individuals to enter China or participate in the Games; its implicit support of aggressive regimes beyond the border; and the continual problems of death penalty, torture, and negligent attitudes towards public health and wellbeing, all built on the attitude of "maintaining face" - where bad news is suppressed and manipulated to look good.

One fine example is Kevin Rudd's speech in Peking University urging the Chinese government do better on the Tibetan issue was completely omitted from all state-controlled media, and any mention of his comments on the Games was simply the few diplomatic words where he expressed his belief that China should still be allowed to host.

In a world where economic considerations often outweigh human dignity, the little we can do is to raise public awareness of the extent and severity of atrocities that occur. With the Olympics looming less than four months away and no sign of China relenting under mounting pressure, the least we can say is that the Olympics has put the choice at China's disposal, and whatever decision it makes on human rights, history will be the final judge.
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
This is another issue I can't resist commenting on, even though I really don't know enough to.

How many people in China really gives a damn about human rights problems going on outside their cosy dens? Even to the amorality occuring on their own downtrodden soil - the range of poisonous toys and food and cosmetics, the sad reality that many female university students resort to prostitution, the string of mining tragedies, the persecution of political activists or outspoken bloggers - they shrug in resigned apathy and point out how much it is beyond their power to help.

Maybe one thing we should admire about Americans is how they're not afraid that it looks beyond their power. Even just one man, wherever he stands in society, believes his one voice has power, and isn't afraid to let it be heard...(even though sometimes one must admit, some men have very stupid words to utter).

Spielberg isn't someone who brandishes banners at whim, and his willingness to make a stance against a country increasingly regarded and feared as holding enormous economic and political power deserves at least respect.

Over the weekend, the Guangming Daily, also published by the Communist Party, ran an editorial saying Spielberg "broke his promise to make his contribution to the Beijing Olympics and betrayed the Olympic spirit".

What is the Olympic spirit? Isn't it a reconciliation with our humane qualities? Like those interlocking rings, bridging across superficial differences to compete in the spirit of fairness and equality?

Isn't it about finding that goodness in our hearts to care for those of another culture, another land, another colour, like we might do for one of our own? ...Or is it because, as I said above, Chinese people can barely care for those suffering on its own soil, let alone those impacted by its government's investments across the continents?

An editorial in the China Youth Daily was equally scathing.

"This renowned film director is famous for his science fiction. But now it seems he lives in a world of science fiction and he can't distinguish a dream from reality," it said.

This cracked me up. What did it regard as a dream? Spielberg wanted China to stop supporting human rights abuses in Darfur..........that was the dream that he couldn't distinguish from reality???

What's wrong with a dream?

Martin Luther King had one.

========== I, the divider, is back ==========

Nothing spells inconvenience like a lecturer, whose lectures you had intended on skipping, who remembers not only your name, your face, but also the fact you're meant to be there, at the lecture.

In-con-ve-ni-ence! =/

Yeh, I'm exactly one week into the course and I've skipped 2 lectures already...muahaha......(nothing to be proud of).
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
Look who's talking.



If I had a stepdaughter that I kicked out of the house, and then a person we both know had a cup of coffee with her, do I have the right to yell "OMGNO U ARE INTERFERING WITH MY FAMILY $#@*)(FWE?!?"

Oh, by the way, who was that disgusting nation whose troops opened fire on unarmed nuns and children about a year ago? Clue: starts with C and ends with A, but definitely ain't pronounced "Canada".

It's gross interference in China's internal affairs.

*Rolls eyes*

And no, Chinese foreign ministry whining and bitching about this meeting isn't interfering with Canada's internal affairs.

God, on the one hand you're WHINING about Canada "interfering" with what happens within your borders...and on the other hand you're WHINING AT Canada doing something within its own borders...WTF?

So, okay, Canada can't talk to someone because that's interfering with you, but you stopping Canada from talking to this person isn't interfering with Canada??

A little bit of logic here??

...Oh, and this is before I even needed to start talking about the Tibetan issue. And about whether or not just a talk taking place even constitutes to "interfering". Ugh.

The argument doesn't stand from the word "go" =___=
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
"I practise Chinese medicine here in Australia," she begins in her soft voice.

It was a voice unused to speaking before an audience, and the vulnerability only made it more sincere.

"My mother never knew her father. He was charged as an anti-revolutionary during the cultural revolution and died in jail."

"Because of this relationship, she was met with resistance everywhere she went in life."

"For a long time, she wasn't interested in living; at the same time, she wanted to escape overseas, where it was a world of freedom."

"She wanted to go to Shanghai. It was a two hour train ride, but it took her decades to get there. It took her that long to shake off the past."

"She was strict with her children. She wanted us to achieve well, so we can go overseas, to go live in a democratic country and not have the same memories as her."

"She was so happy when I came to Australia. Later, she was able to go to Hong Kong."

"When the 9 commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party came out, she rang me and said she wanted to go back to Shanghai."

"I tried to talk her out of it. Hong Kong is safer. But she said solemnly, 'no, I am going to Shanghai. My duty lies there.' She has never used the word 'duty' with me before, and at that point I knew it was useless to stop her."

"In 2006, she was arrested," her voice cracks suddenly. The next few words are more forceful as she struggles to resume calmness, "For several months, we heard no news from her."

"Then in February this year, we were told she was charged because of possessing nearly 200 Falun Gong pamphlets and 9 Commentaries."

"They allowed our lawyer to see her only twice, and neither times could any discussion of the case be done. The lawyer was only allowed to see the case files 3 days before it went to trial."

"When other family members saw Mum in court, she had aged several years," her voice tears again, and she pauses, but her voice continues to tremble with suppressed grief when she speaks again, "But what distressed them most was that she was not allowed to wear her glasses."

"Without her glasses, she could not even walk straight," she says, on the brink of weeping.

There was a short silence, and when she resumes, she is calmer.

"To the court, she said 'what has become of a society that would charge an innocent, someone who tries to be a good person? What sort of law can exist? Please listen to your conscience.'"

In a low voice, she muses, "But where is the conscience? She was sentenced to three years jail."

"Within the first week, she was rushed to hospital with a blood pressure elevated to 210 over 110."

"I was shocked. You could easily die at that blood pressure. For one whole week, I rang the jail continuously to ask about her situation, but the warden refused to say anything."

"A week later, the warden played a recorded message at my call. It was a screeching female voice making derogatory remarks about Falun Gong. I abruptly understood why Mum got sick."

"Since then, my relatives have only seen Mum once. In the entire jail visit, she only said one sentence. 'I have been sitting there'."

"I knew. She couldn't lie. But she didn't want to say more."

"Sometimes I feel that she has gone through too much. At almost sixty, she's been imprisoned for something that has no justification. She gave up the chance to realise her lifelong dream of living overseas, just so she could go back to China and tell her fellow Chinese people what is going on."

Her voice disappears into a torn whisper, "And yet, I am proud of her, of her courageous choice."

(From a forum on "Rescuing Wang Zhi Wen", another Falun Gong practitioner who has been imprisoned for 8 years.)
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Babbo)


























mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
With little more than a year to go until the 2008 Olympics, the host country can only expect more and more international scrutiny on its various - and many - social problems.

As with most authoritarian states, China doesn't like to see its flaws pointed out, and expects the international community to also keep their lips zipped. For the last decade, much of the world has done just that, in order to bank in on China's so-called economic boom.

But it's likely that the 2008 Olympics will force the international community to examine China under a more critical lens. It is no longer good enough not care where the products come from as long as it's cheap. Now that the developed countries are sending their best athletes into the unknown, they are no longer content to let sleeping dogs lie.

Of course, one factor to the trade brawl is that neither China nor USA want to show they have a bigger export control problem than the other, leading to increasing numbers of import bans that's starting to look rather juvenile.

Or it would look that way if USA was the only country rearing its head. High numbers of fatalities occurred in Panama as a result of a Chinese factory replacing medical grade glycerine with industrial diethylene glycol; 24 brands of toothpaste containing DEG were banned by Canada (23 by USA, 2 recalled by Australia); thousands of pets were reportedly killed by pet food contaminated with melamine in USA; large numbers of unsafe electrical appliances and hardware were recalled by the Australian ACCC; toys containing lead-based paint recalled by most western countries; and Japan has now complained of unacceptably high levels of banned pesticides and antibiotics in tea leaves, peanuts and eel. Reportedly, a Hokkaido man cooking with a Chinese wok noticed silvery liquid seeping out from the edge of the wok, which was found to be a liquefied mixture of molten lead and cadmium, the stuff you might find in a battery =/ It's also recently been reported in Japan that some Beijing restaurants mix 60% minced cardboard in 40% pork to make pork buns.

In spite of all these claims, Beijing insists that 99% of Chinese exports are safe, and just a few bad apples are giving the rest a bad name. Meanwhile, Wall Street Journal points out in USA, "China has accounted for 60% of all consumer-product recalls this year", and Sydney Morning Herald likewise found that approximately half of recalled products, where the companies are willing to divulge, are from China.

While some foreign reporters are willing to give China concession, others are quick to point out that the problem lies deeper than executing the Food and Drugs Administration chief, an act that looks by day more like a desperate grab for a scapegoat, or perhaps more poetically, desperately sacrificing the sacrificial lamb.

Because some people seem displeased that I draw my sources from the Epochtimes, today I shall bring to you the commentaries provided by journalists of the esteemed Wall Street Journal =P

Both Are Chinese Export Products Unsafe? and Jeremy Haft's The China Syndrome point out that the inherent problem lies in the structure of Chinese industries, consisting of a long chain of middlemen, fractured organisation, with no practical quality control.

This suggests that the problem starts at the base of the pyramid, where any quality material (if such exists) can get mixed with substandard material, and however perfected the final processing, the result will be inevitably substandard because of the lack of standardisation. Counterfeit certification are often a problem, as Australia has discovered with electric products.

Call me biased, but personally I think Emily Parker's article 'Made in China' has pinned the crux of the problem:

While some will say that this same kind of unethical behavior was rampant in the U.S. roughly a century ago, there are elements here that are particular to China. One commonly heard theory is that the Chinese have nothing to believe in: The communists destroyed traditional values and beliefs, leaving nothing sustainable in their place. Now that many Chinese have lost faith in communist ideology, getting rich has, in a sense, become the national religion.

The chaos of communist rule over the past decades -- from famines to purges to neighbors informing on one another -- has also likely contributed to the blurring of moral distinctions. "The Cultural Revolution created an enormous dent in morality. Society [was] in confusion for a long time. Couple that with the madness of trying to get rich -- you put these things together and you end up getting contaminated toothpaste and pet food," says Peter Humphrey, longtime China hand and founder of risk-management consultancy ChinaWhys.

The same article reminds westerners that this "new" scare is nothing new to the native Chinese (and indeed isn't), who have been used to trying to navigate the precarious path of staying healthy amongst a sea of substandard products.

Exported items will only be the first topic to jump under international scrutiny before the Beijing Olympics. Many other issues, not unrelated to substandard food and products ("counterfeit" bottled water consisting of tap water, for one thing...Chinese tap-water is "non-potable"), as well as human rights abuses and unhealthy levels of pollution will only experience increasing critical debate, however fervently Beijing might try to sweep it under the carpet.


mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)

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