30 December 2010

You Can't Fight City Hall

Warning: Graphic Pictures of Mutilation

Red China still has a long way to go in re to human rights...


Proletariat Holds NYC Hostage

And they can't be fired: union rules forbid dismissal on the basis of incompetence or sloth...


29 December 2010

a match made in heaven?

Via www.chinasmack.com

From Chongqing Evening News:

In order to improve their situation through unity, Wanzhou 16-year-old young girl marries 34-year-old “uncle”

Young Girl:

He is steady with the motorcycle, and because he lives close by, we can take care of both families


Both families are poor, so it would be better for them to unite into one family to help each other.

Women’s Federation:

If a wedding banquet is held, will communicate and educate them on the laws.

In Huangxian Village of Longju Town of Wanzhou District, 34-year-old unmarried Deng Changjiang and a 16-year-old young girl from the same village are engaged and cohabitating, and will hold a wedding banquet according to local custom at the end of the month. With regard to this, both state: It is completely voluntary/consensual. Both of them come from poor families, the matchmaker who coordinated this marriage said: “Both families are poor, so it would be better for them to unite into one family to help each other.”

The local Women’s Federation state that if they fell in love and marry of their own free will, they will not interfere. However, if the two of them want to hold a wedding banquet, after conducting an investigation and confirming [that it is consensual], they will communicate and educate both sides on “Marriage Law”, “Juvenile Protection Law”, “Women’s Rights Protection Law”, and similar laws and family planning policies.

Deng Changjiang and his cousin.

Deng Changjiang (left) and his family and friends all believe it is mutual love.

34-year-old single man

Dropped out of school after graduating primary school

Father deceased, mother blind. In a impoverished mountain valley, it is difficult to find a wife

Deng Changjiang, 34-years-old, lives in the second group of Huangxian Village of Longju Town. Longju Town is about 18 kilometers away from Deng’s home, which includes nearly 10 kilometers of the 318 national highway, around 5 kilometers of tractor road, around 4 kilometers of a newly excavated road for motorcycles only, and around 1 kilometer of fields.

From his home to the town, one has to first walk around 4 kilometers of mountain roads and climb over a garbage dump before reaching the village. When there is good weather and one can take a motorcycle for part of the distance, one can reach the town in half an hour. However, if one encounters rainy weather, one has to walk the entire path up the mountain, and going to the town will take at least two and a half hours.

In the past in this mountain valley, there were 10 families, but now most of them have relocated onto the mountain, into the town, or into the city. The most valuable thing in Deng Changjiang’s family is that motorcycle, worth over 6000 yuan. Because of a trade-in, he only had to spend over 2000 yuan, but this takes up one year’s worth of his income raising cattle.

Around 6pm the day before yesterday, when this reporter found Deng Changjiang’s home, he happened to be at the front washing sweet potatoes, a meal for two pigs. His family can produce two pigs and one cow each year.

“6 years ago, my father passed away, and my mother lost her sight due to cataracts and needs someone to take care of her, so how could I leave!” Deng Changjiang said. After graduating from elementary school, he dropped out. Previously, people have tried to match him with a wife, but the female side all felt that his home was difficult to reach, that his family’s situation was poor, and would not even give him a chance.

Wen Wen's mother and father.

Wen Wen's parents home is not far from Deng's home.

16-year-old young girl

Dropped out of school in 2nd grade

Mother sick, father weak. The farthest place she’s ever been to was the town

16-year-old young girl Wen Wen (pseudonym) and Deng Changjiang are neighbors in the same village, the two families can even shout and communicate with each other, but because few people have passed through, the village road long ago became overgrown with weeds half as tall as a person, so one must over 1 kilometer following a brook to go between the two homes. Wen Wen’s mother suffers from epilepsy and often has seizures, while her 50+ year old father Wen Benfu’s body is weak, making it difficult for him to work. Longju Town is the furthest place she has ever been to.

Wen Wen’s family of three’s main source of income is a government subsistence allowance [a kind of social security], and apart from this, raising pigs: “But next year’s subsistence allowance, I don’t know why but it has been canceled” Wen Benfu and his wife are together starting a fire to cook, saving the left over charcoal each day to carry into the town each month, each half kilogram worth 6 jiao [0.6 RMB], to exchange for some cooking oil, salt, and laundry detergent.

Huangxian Village once had a village elementary school, with the sounds of children attending class. The village elementary school used to be near Deng’s Changjiang’s home. Back then, Wen Wen attended school at that village elementary school, but she did not like studying, and wouldn’t go even if her father hit her with a stick. She dropped out just after finishing second grade.

After dropping out, Wen Wen still liked to go play near the school, and Deng Changjiang’s place was also somewhere she often went. A villager said, “Play and play and eventually she ended up living there, becoming their wife/daughter-in-law.” According to their ages, Wen Wen can call Deng Changjiang “uncle”.

“I chose the coat, he gave the money.” Sitting in Deng Changjiang’s kitchen, Wen Wen is wearing a pink coat on top, her two cheeks bright red, and shyly laughed: “He is steady with the motorcycle, and because he lives close by, we can take care of both families.”

Wen Wen and matchmarker Zou Shenglun.

It was through a matchmaker's introduction that Wen Wen and Deng Changjiang established their relationship.

They are already living together, but claim they have not yet held hands

In Wen Wen and Deng Changjiang’s minds, their relationship began when the matchmaker officially went between the two side’s parents. When matchmaker Mr. Zou went to Wen Wen’s home to communicate the other side’s intentions, it was the this year’s rice harvesting season.

“Wen Wen often came to my house to play. At such a young age, she was already able to help with some housework, and is very kind-hearted. I too am not young anymore and want to start a family,” Deng Changjiang said. So, according to custom, he had the Zou Shenglun in the village propose marriage to Wen Wen’s parents.

Soon Wen Wen began living in Deng Changjiang’s home. They said, after moving in, Wen Wen helped the Deng family with the housework, and Deng Changjiang also often helps the Wen family do some work that requires a lot of strength. When the matter of how their relationship developed, they said they haven’t even held each others’ hands, but after shaking their heads, both appeared to be secretly giggling.

Reporter mistaken by Deng family to have come to steal [their son's] wife

Right when this reporter arrived at Deng’s home, a middle-aged man brought out an old lady, the two of them demanding, “What are you guys here for? It is none of your business! If you don’t explain, don’t plan on leaving this valley.”

Only after this reporter explained the reason for coming did they reveal they were Deng Changjiang’s collateral relatives who live in Longju: “We were afraid you were here also to steal [Deng Changjiang's] wife, to cause trouble, and specially rushed here to help.”

Deng Changjiang’s cousin said they need to be on their guard now, that as long as strangers enter the village, the moment they enter the village someone will tell them. “This is why we want to hold the banquet as soon as possible, to tell those matchmakers who want to separate them that she already has a husband she is satisfied with,” Deng Changjiang’s aunt-in-law said.

Deng Changjiang says they plan to hold the banquet at the end of the month together with his mother’s big 70th birthday. “We definitely won’t be able to get a marriage certificate [now], but 3 and a half years later when she is 20, we’ll go get it then.”

Wen Wen helping cook at the Deng family home.

Wen Wen is very hard-working in the Deng home, normally helping with some housework.

Young girl:

He is steady with the motorcycle, and because he lives close by, we can take care of both families

Sitting on Wen Wen’s left hand side, this big brother that will soon “marry” her, is someone Wen Wen has known for a long time. When she ditched school in elementary school, Wen Wen would often go play near Deng Changjiang’s home. After Deng Changjiang bought a motorcycle about 6 years ago, Wen Wen would occasionally take Deng Changjiang’s motorcycle to the town.

“At first, he would charge me money, but later he would sometimes charge and sometimes not charge,” Wen Wen said. She thought the reason Deng Changjiang didn’t charge was because they were neighbors who help each other out, and because of this she sometimes would help the Deng family do some work too in repayment.

“He is steady with the motorcycle.” Wen Wen also doesn’t know whether or not the man before her can bring her a happy life, but she candidly says: “We live close by, can take care of both families, so my mother and old man can feel at ease a bit.”

“Big brother”:

She is a hard-worker, and doesn’t look down on me as being poor

“When a boy and girl grows up, they should marry. I am already almost 35-years-old, and still a single man,” Deng Changjiang himself seems very helpless towards his single status. “Seeing others all go out to make money as laborers, moving out of the impoverished mountain valley, he is not very happy inside.”

“The longer one remains a bachelor, the less girls are willing to come consider you as a marriage partner.” Deng Changjiang believes 30-year-old bachelors in the countryside have it worse than 40-year-old bachelors in the cities. With regards to the girl willing to marry him beside him, Deng Changjiang is extremely satisfied: “Though Wen Wen is like me poorly educated, she is a hard-worker, and the key thing is that she won’t look down on me as being poor. I hope that after we become a family, our circumstances will quickly get better, and we can overcome our hardships.”

Wen Wen in the middle, her father on the left (?), and Deng Changjiang on the right.

It was through a matchmaker's introduction that Deng Changjiang and Wen Wen established their relationship.

Male matchmaker:

Both families are poor, it would be better to unite and help each other.

Fellow villager Zou Shenglun told this reporter that according to local custom, women always take the role of matchmaker, yet Wen Wen and Deng Changjiang’s matchmaker was him, a man, making it difficult for him right from the start too, but he still handled it. Zou Shenglun said that in their impoverished mountain valley, with Deng Changjiang’s family’s poverty so obvious, where could one find a wife willing to marry into his family?! And who would be willing to take on the burden of Wen Wen’s parents’ illness?

“Both families are poor, so it would be better for them to unite into one family to help each other,” Zou Changjiang said. This was the main reason he did all that he could do to match together this marriage, and the parents of both parties have verbally agreed to the engagement. As for the details of the engagement, both the male and female parties as well as the matchmaker are unwilling to speak of.

Girl’s mother: Baby is grown up now, can’t control her anymore

During the interviews, Wen Wen’s father Wen Benfu wasn’t very talkative. He did not clearly indicate whether he supports or is opposed to this marriage. “Off at her husband’s place! Very rarely comes back.” Amongst these few words, he has already regarded the Deng family as Wen Wen’s husband’s family.

Wen Wen’s mother expressed, “My baby is grown up now, has two feet, we can’t control her anymore, just hope she doesn’t suffer any misfortune.”

Deng Changjiang's 70-year-old blind mother.

Deng Changjiang's soon to be 70-year-old mother.

Man’s mother: Good! Good! Extremely good!

Deng Changjiang’s mother will soon be 70-years-old, and even though she can’t see what Wen Wen looks like, she still continuously says, “Extremely well-behaved! Likes to help, very hard-worker!” With regards to her son being able to find a wife, the old lady even more happily says, “Good! Good! Extremely good!”

Women’s Federation:

If they get engaged before she is of age, we will seek to educate and persuade

Director Zhang of the Longju Town’s Women’s Federation said that if the two are having a relationship and both sides are consensual, as long as the female party is 14 years of age, even if they are cohabitating, they are unable to intervene. However because Wen Wen and Deng Changjiang’s marriage involves a minor as the female party, if after an investigation that the engagement is true, they will seek to educate and persuade [against the marriage].

“The People’s Republic of China Minor Protection Law” clearly forbids minors from getting engaged, with article 15 stipulating: The parents or other guardians must not allow or compel a minor to get married, or establish a marriage agreement for the minor.

Article 62 stipulates: If the parents or guardians do not lawfully carry out their responsibilities as guardians, or violate the minor’s lawful rights and interest, other present organizations or resident committees/villagers’ committees shall admonish and intervene; and behavior that constitutes a violation of public security administration shall be lawfully punished by the public security organ.

As a member of this newspaper’s legal counsel, Han Zun Law Firm director and lawyer Shen Rengang explained that from the perspective of the law, minors do not have full civil capacity, so even if they consent to the marriage, it does not have legal effect, while the “Minors Protection Law” forbids parents from arranging marriage for minors.

What can we do for them?

Two poverty-stricken families, one family lacking labor, the other family lacking someone to manage the housework, them rushing to create a [combined] “family”, if only to “unite to help each other”.

If both parties were adults, we would definitely wish them well. But when it involves a 16-year-old young girl’s fate, it becomes an awkward topic.

How do we crack this difficult problem? Of course, we hope the local Women’s Federation’s education and persuasion will eventually be effective, putting off this “wedding banquet” that never should have been held at this time. Simultaneously, we hope everyone will offer some ideas, on how they can emerge from their present difficulties and hardships.

Abridged or excerpted versions of this news story have appeared on China Daily, Tiexue, QQ, and many other websites.

Comments from Tiexue:


As long as there is warmth [love between the two people, working together making each others lives better], who cares about the age. It’s at least more real than those so-called experts who find girls from their granddaughter’s generation.

24 December 2010

Big Sis is at it again...



Posted on December 22, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Updated yesterday at 9:39 AM

Early Wednesday morning, a computer glitch shut down a security checkpoint for a couple of hours at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The line snaked out the door as many travelers waited for more than an hour and some missed their flights. One of the first people in line after that shutdown never made it through. She was arrested and banned from the airport.

Claire Hirschkind, 56, who says she is a rape victim and who has a pacemaker-type device implanted in her chest, says her constitutional rights were violated. She says she never broke any laws. But the Transportation Security Administration disagrees.

Hirschkind was hoping to spend Christmas with friends in California, but she never made it past the security checkpoint.

"I can't go through because I have the equivalent of a pacemaker in me," she said.

Hirschkind said because of the device in her body, she was led to a female TSA employee and three Austin police officers. She says she was told she was going to be patted down.

"I turned to the police officer and said, 'I have given no due cause to give up my constitutional rights. You can wand me,'" and they said, 'No, you have to do this,'" she said.

Hirschkind agreed to the pat down, but on one condition.

"I told them, 'No, I'm not going to have my breasts felt,' and she said, 'Yes, you are,'" said Hirschkind.

When Hirschkind refused, she says that "the police actually pushed me to the floor, (and) handcuffed me. I was crying by then. They drug me 25 yards across the floor in front of the whole security."

An ABIA spokesman says it is TSA policy that anyone activating a security alarm has two options. One is to opt out and not fly, and the other option is to subject themselves to an enhanced pat down. Hirschkind refused both and was arrested.

Other travelers KVUE talked to say they empathize with Hirschkind, but the law is the law.

"I understand her side of it, and their side as well, but it is for our protection so I have no problems with it," said Gwen Washington, who lives in Killeen.

"It's unfortunate that that happened and she didn't get to fly home, but it makes me feel a little safer," said Emily Protine.

The TSA did release a statement Wednesday that said in part, "Our officers are trained to treat all passengers with dignity and respect. Security is not optional."

The TSA says less than three percent of travelers get a pat-down.

23 December 2010

Never Forget Vincent Chin!

This Fairbank Report has never forgotten Vincent and has never forgiven his murderers and the racist court that freed them... Below was our tribute to Vincent in 2006.

14 June 2006

June 19, 1982: Remembering Vincent Chin--24 Years After the Heinous Crime

Vincent Chin was slaughtered by two unwashed racist pigs in 1982. Yet, it was a fat racist pig in a judge's robe who peed on his grave with the ruling which only required the two murderers to pay the Court $780 in fee. $780 for a man's life!!!!!!

Ever since the Vincent Chin killing and the judicial ruling that justified Chin's murder, Asians in the United States have been prime targets of racial attacks. Even in Los Angeles, which is the most diverse region in the world, Asian-Americans are being physically, emotionally and psychologically abused on a daily basis. I can't recall the number of times that Asian-Americans have come up to me with trembling lips and weeping eyes to recount their personal experiences of abuse at the hands of Anglos, among others.

Not much has changed in 24 years!

The West Making Love to China

Is China being recklessly generous to the West or just being strategic?

Here's the story about China's bailing out the EU with $$$. The Chinaman's burden?

Interestingly, we have been featuring stories of abject penury in China, like the AIDS orphan who lives by himself in a miserable hut in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Can't the Chinese government spend some small portion of its massive $2.5 TRILLION in reserve to assist its poor instead of buying junk bonds from the USA and the EU????!!!

22 December 2010

Chinese AIDS Orphan Update

J. Fairbank, "Don't ever under-estimate the power of the Internet and its Netizens to effect change."
from China Daily

AIDS orphan finds a port in the storm

A 6-year-old AIDS orphan who lived alone in a remote mountain village in Liuzhou, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, has found a new home in a charity organization.
A Long, an HIV-positive child, received widespread media coverage when his plight was publicized last month.

Offers of assistance have since flooded in from across the country, including those from netizens who wanted to buy toys and decorate his room for him to make his life more comfortable.
The local government intervened on his behalf and arranged for him to live at a home run by an unnamed charity.

His grandmother, who lived nearby, was also relocated and the two were awarded a monthly stipend of 1,200 yuan ($180) to help meet their needs.
(Xinhua News Agency)

19 December 2010

BLINKED: South Korea and US Stopped Military Exercises for Fear of NK Reaction

South Korean and US forces "postponed" their military exercises in light of Pyongyang's threats of total war and Beijing's call for calm. Lee Myung-bak and his US handlers blinked, yet again.

18 December 2010

The Definition of Exponential Growth

This is why PR China is the de facto global super-power. It will, likely, overtake the US as the largest economy by 2015. I am China; hear me ROAR...

14 December 2010

Sharia Law: Sudanese Woman Flogged for Wearing Pants

This is the video that Youtube has restricted access to. But the Fairbank Report believes that you should see it for yourselves.

By the way, this type of flogging goes on (of course unvideo-ed) in barbaric Singapore and Malaysia as well...

China's Land Grabs Against Its Poor

Here's the NPR story about how local governments in China are forcing peasants off their ancestral land for private development.

How is this different from the Kelo decision in the USA? Huh? Anyone?

12 December 2010

Pyongyang Paula

Japan had its Tokyo Rose. Iraq had Baghdad Bob, and now North Korea has Pyongyang Paula. Her real name is Lee Chun Hee (also transliterated as Ri Chun Hee).

08 December 2010

Sad Tale: Six-year Old Boy with AIDS Forced to Live Alone

Six-year old boy, Ah-Long and his dog Lao Hei

From www.chinasmack.com

Guangxi 6-year-old AIDS orphan lives alone, eats rice and vegetables without oil or salt yet still eats with relish
In your childhood, what were you doing? Begging daddy to buy a toy, being pressed by mommy to learn a foreign language, taking the pocket change that grandma secretly gave you, sharing the bubblegum you just bought with your friends… When you couldn’t get what you wanted, did you sigh like a little adult: “It sucks being a child!” However, A-Long wouldn’t. By himself, he washes his laundry and makes his meals. Alone, he feeds the chickens and raises the dog. Alone, he studies and learns to read. Alone, he goes to sleep. A-Long never feels it sucks being himself, even though he is only 6-years-old this year.

A one person “home”
Niuchepin Village at the foot of Liuzhou City’s Malu Mountain is a village built on the mountain, the cement road beginning at the foot of the mountain and spreading upward, both sides lined with buildings. The further up the mountain you go, the narrower the road becomes, and the scale of the buildings too become smaller. Halfway up the mountain, all that is left is a dusty mud road, with weeds all around. At the end of the road are 3 casually built single story cement block cottages that don’t even have windows. November 2, accompanied by a staff worker of the village committee, this reporter saw the scene at the top [end of this road].
This here is 6-year-old A-Long’s home, a one person “home”.

Amongst them, one stand-alone small building, owing to having a “stove” made of several piled up cement block blocks and a ceramic bed pan installed as a “toilet” and thus its “facilities” were relatively complete, was A-long’s “bedroom”. For the other two connected buildings, dilapidated wooden doors symbolically them away, though there were no locks. As it is understood, A-Long once lived in one of those [two] buildings, but because his father passed away there, no one has gone near those two buildings since. A-Long himself has not entered them again, only often walking back and forth in front of the door. “Is it because you feel your dad is still inside sleeping?” A-Long did not reply, hesitating for a moment before running away.

In front of the small building is a very large open area. It is the main area A-Long spends most of his time normally, and the one thing that he does the most is embracing the dog he calls “Lao Hei” ["Old Black", maybe like "Blackie"], staring blankly at the road that leads to the outside world. After his father passed away, A-Long has yet to go down the mountain again.
Seeing an uncle and auntie [not related, often simply means an older man and woman] he recognizes from far away, A-Long appears very happy. The village committee’s staff worker takes out a box of cookies/crackers and bananas, very naturally places them in the room, and warns A-Long not to eat the cookies as a meal, this obviously not being the first time giving A-Long something. Hearing what uncle said, A-Long adorably nodded his head, and grinned.

A one person future
The staff worker told this reporter that A-Long’s situation is really worrisome, but all the village committee can do is guarantee that he doesn’t have to worry about food and clothing at the moment. Although they have already helped him apply for social security/welfare benefits, 70 yuan a month plus the support of some kind-hearted people alone is far from enough for A-long to grow up on. “No food to eat or clothes to wear, that we can buy. But A-Long’s medical care, education, and upbringing, what we can do is not much.”
So what are other government departments doing?

A relevant representative of Liuzhou City’s disease control center HIV prevention department told this reporter that with regards to A-Long’s medical condition, as long as it involves anti-HIV medication it is free, but they cannot do anything for any medication outside of this.
The city’s civil affairs bureau’s staff delivered to A-Long two quilts, as well as a social security/welfare benefits account passbook. The staff said, what A-Long applied for is rural social security, which is 70 yuan every month right now, but will increase to 100 yuan a month next year. Other than that, they will also often send A-Long some living supplies, guaranteeing that he will not starve or suffer the cold. However, owning to A-Long’s family situation being relatively complicated, the social welfare organization is unable to adopt him, only able to continue communicating with A-Long’s relatives, fighting for A-Long’s rights and interests.

On the education side, though A-Long is of school age, for him to sit in a classroom attending lessons like his peers is beset with difficulties.
As it is understood, A-Long has previously attended one term at the Malu Mountain primary school’s preschool class, but then stopped. The school principal Chen Xiyou says the management of the preschool class is different from the elementary classes, that the preschool class at the time just happened to have a space, and thus had allowed him to attend.
Principal Chen says that after A-Long’s father passed away, the information that A-Long’s parents had died because of AIDS began circulating in the village, and A-Long’s medical examination showed that he was HIV-positive, so if A-Long were to really come to school, then the school would face a lot of pressure [problems] too. “The school’s preschool class plus the first and second grades have one to two hundred people. With this many little children of the same age, it is difficult to avoid the common arguments and fights, so what would the parents of other students think?”

According to disclosures by someone familiar with the situation, after school started in September, A-Long’s grandmother had wanted to send A-Long to attend first grade, but when parents learned of it, they sent a group letter in protest, the school succumbed to the pressure and did not agree to admit A-Long to the school.
“Considering his real life situation, our school immediately submitted a report to the education department concerning this matter. The education department, the civil administration bureau, and the village committee have all already held collective meetings to discuss A-Long’s matter, but a decision/conclusion has not yet been made.” As the school principal was saying this, a nearby parent interrupted to say: “If he really comes to school to attend class, then I can only transfer my own child to another school. I would be too worried.”

After much effort, this reporter was able to get in touch with a non-governmental organization in Nanning that take care of AIDS orphans. A member of this organization expressed that they can indeed accept AIDS orphans, but they have to see if A-Long’s circumstances are suitable. The staff member said it is because their method is to arrange foster care, but it isn’t the best way of raising a child for the child. If A-Long has relatives, they still hope that the relatives can be persuaded to adopt A-Long. “A family’s warmth and the care of relatives is something that foster care cannot give.” At the same time, the staff member also expressed that they will go a step further in understanding A-Long’s family situation, and if it is necessary, they can provide A-Long help.

Only one person to rely on
As it is understood, A-Long’s father was a villager of Niuchepin Village and his mother married into the village. Six years ago, A-Long’s parents built the house where they lived until they passed away, leaving A-Long to live there alone until this day.
At the time, why did A-Long’s parents suddenly move onto the mountain so far away from the village? The villagers all refuse to say why.
A villager who knows said that A-Long’s father had spent over ten years out of the village when he was young, and it is said that it was because he had gone to jail. When it comes to just released inmates, everyone will have some prejudices, “so maybe it was because of this that they did not have very good relations with everyone else.”

The only person who is close with A-Long is his 84-year-old grandmother. His grandmother often comes to see him, but it is not everyday that she comes. That afternoon, his grandmother happened to come by, and so A-Long did not have to feed the chickens, nor did he have to pick the vegetables himself, and could play a little more. His grandmother had planted two plots of vegetables in the open area beside the house, one plot of cabbage, one plot of leeks/chives. She says this is normally enough for A-Long to eat.
His grandmother lives in another of her son’s home, and it takes her about 15 minutes to walk here where A-Long lives. She normally comes in the afternoons, and cooks for A-Long before leaving. As for things like bathing and the laundry, A-Long says he knows how to do them himself, that he can wash [the laundry] clean, and as long as he stands on a stool when drying the laundry, he can reach the clothes drying line.

This reporter asked the grandmother if she was able to live here and raise A-Long until he is big? She hesitantly said that she herself is a little afraid of living here. Could she take A-Long to his uncle’s place to live? The grandmother did not answer, lowered her head, and sorted the cabbage she had just picked.
The village [committee's] staff workers are also people whom A-Long has had relatively more contact with, and he knows that these uncles and aunties really care about him. Every time they come to see him, they will bring good things to eat and new clothes. A while ago, the temperature had suddenly dropped very sharply, and one auntie came on consecutive nights to deliver quilts/blankets and winter clothing. Apart from this, there are many kind-hearted anonymous city residents who will also come visit A-Long, but almost no one has brought up the problem of raising A-Long. A-Long says often there are people who will give him money, but he doesn’t want to use [that money], saving it up instead. “What he needs is not only material help,” says one of the staff workers.

One person’s sadness
The “problem” that Ms. Liang refers to is not only because A-Long lacks the upbringing from two parents, but rather the more important reason that A-Long is an HIV carrier.
According to those in the know, before A-Long’s mother passed away last year, she was severely sick, her entire person becoming very gaunt and at the time everyone though she had contracted tuberculosis. Then not long after, A-Long’s father also had the same symptoms, a robust man very quickly becoming nothing more than a layer of skin. At this time, the rumors began in the village, that the two of them had contracted AIDS. This rumor was confirmed when A-Long’s father entered the hospital, and everyone also began to suspect A-Long. Despite all this, young A-Long did not understand, and he only knew that daddy had gotten the same sickness as mommy, and was soon going to die.

According to the village committee staff worker, before A-Long’s father passed away, he had become so weak that he could not get out of bed, much less take care of A-Long. At that time, A-Long did not yet know how to cook by himself, and could only depend on his neighbors to give him some food to eat. A-Long’s father passed away at noon one day in July, and at the time, apart from A-Long watching over him by his side, no one else knew. Only until dinner-time when neighbor Miss Liang did not see A-Long did she discover that her old friend had already been dead for a long time.
Based on the recollection of the staff worker on the scene at the time, after receiving the news, they immediately rushed here [to A-Long's home]. A-Long, who had been by his father’s side the entire time, came out upon hearing movement, and then calmly told him [the staff worker]: “Uncle, my daddy died, just like my mommy…” Little A-Long did not cry, his silence breaking everyone’s hearts.

Later, owning to some coordination issues, A-Long’s father’s remains were not sent to the funeral parlor until the second day. IN this time, A-Long continued to quietly stay by his father’s side, watching the remains the entire night. From that moment on, A-Long has never again talked about “daddy”.
As it is understood, there were people who wanted to adopt A-Long at the time, but then when everything was finally prepared, A-Long was examined and determined to be HIV-positive, which is to say that A-Long is an HIV carrier.
The kind-hearted people backed out, and the villagers became fearful.

A-Long doesn’t know what “AIDS” is, he only knows that his playmates now will not come near him; that he was about to enter first grade but has now been told to “stay home and await notice”; that when his hand was burned by hot water, the doctor did not dare treat the wound; even that his grandmother, the only person he could count on, also isn’t willing to live with him. The only one to be with him as always was Old Black.
Almost overnight, A-Long grew up a lot. Even though his family has met misfortune after misfortune, A-Long has not shed any tears. Only 6-years-old, he has learned how to cook and do the laundry, has learned how to do things according to the time of day, has learned how to read and write by himself, and has learned how to live on alone.

One person’s happiness
When facing strangers coming to visit, at first A-Long was a little shy, but as a child, he very quickly became excited, striking poses for this reporter’s camera. Excitedly, he even performed some “Chinese kungfu”. It is hard to believe that A-Long, so innocent and lively, is someone who has lost both parents, and an orphan that lives alone.
A-Long doesn’t actually believe that there is anything bad about living alone, because he has “Old Black”.

“Old Black” is a black-colored female mutt that A-Long has raised for many years. Ever since A-Long became aware, “Old Black” has been at his side, and remains to this day as A-Long’s closest companion. At night when A-Long goes to sleep, he never closes the door because “Old Black” sometimes will sleep with him in the house and sometimes sleeps at the door, guarding him. “Old Black” doesn’t like to bark and when facing strangers that suddenly appear she even somewhat shyly hides in the house. However, as long as A-Long calls “Old Black”, she will immediately run to his side, and affectionately run circles around him. A-Long holds up “Old Black’s two front legs, his head near her’s, and smiles and laughs happily. A human and a dog cannot talk with each other, but they also need not talk with each other.

A 6-year-old little boy should have many playmates with whom to get into trouble with, but A-Long doesn’t. This reporter asked A-Long what friends he normally plays with? He was quiet for a long time before quietly saying that there was a little kid surnamed Liang that occasionally will come and play with him, but that none of his previous schoolmates will play with him anymore. A-Long also doesn’t want to go out and play with the village children, because he is not familiar with them. Even though he says this, A-Long still stares at the road outside [his home], his expression sad.
The child surnamed Liang is Miss Liang’s relative. She told this reporter that it was her family who does not allow her to come play with A-Long, because they are afraid of “an accident happening”. “Other little children probably also are afraid of this”.

A one person dinner
When the sky turned dark, A-Long started to prepare dinner.
“You know how to cook by yourself?” A-Long nodded his head, and even raised his left hand to show this reporter. On his left hand between the thumb and index finger was a very large scab, shocking on such a small little hand. A-Long however was nonchalant, saying that he had accidentally burned himself a few days ago when cooking, but now it is almost healed.
“Did you go to the hospital to have it looked at?” A-Long did not respond. The staff worker that had accompanied this reporter helplessly related: “When he was injured, no one knew. It was only the day after that someone took him to the clinic after finding out, but they weren’t willing to tend to it, so all we could do was dab some Merbromin…”

At this time, A-Long was busy in the “kitchen”, putting rice in the aluminum pot, pouring in water. This reporter reminded him: “That’s too much water, right? You’ll be making rice porridge this way!” He didn’t make a sound, and placed the pot on the “stove”. The speed at which A-Long started a fire was amazing, snapping a few dry twigs and stuffing them under the pot, then lighting some waste paper and stuffing it in, and within a few seconds, the dry twigs were alight.
After over 10 minutes, the rice was almost done. A-Long opened the lid and threw in several cabbage hearts. The extra water earlier was just enough to cook the cabbage hearts. Very quickly, dinner was ready. Plain rice mixed with some cabbage hearts, no oil nor salt, much less any other condiments, yet A-Long bite after bite still ate with relish. He said that it was too much for one person to finish, that the leftovers are for “Old Black” to eat.

Even though there is no oil nor salt, for A-Long, being able to have dinner is already a very blessed thing. Recently, A-Long had just received 20kg of rice and 5kg of noodles from a kind-hearted person, which is enough for him to eat for some time. However, when he is out of food, he can only rely on neighbor Miss Liang’s family for support. Liang was A-Long’s father’s old friend, three years ago opening a cement brick site nearby, and the people A-Long sees the most are Miss Liang’s family.
“Ever since his daddy passed away, A-Long himself has not left this yard. There have been kind-hearted people who have come and given money, and we tell him to go out and buy some thing to eat, but he isn’t willing to go. Sometimes he will look around at our door/entrance, and we guess that he is out of food, so we will have him bring a bowl over, and fill a bowl of rice and vegetables, as well as give him a few apples that we normally buy,” Liang said.

Comments from QQ:
I am thoroughly saddened, what can a six-year-old child do? Seeing A-Long, I think we really should grow up~
It is not his fault that he is an HIV carrier [HIV-positive]; He can’t be excluded just because he is an HIV carrier; What he needs is not just material help; What he needs more of is spiritual sympathy/psychological appreciation; Kind-hearted people please help him!! Wish him good luck.
What do I have to do to donate to him? I want to buy him a television…
Poor child! I earnestly request that our leaders save a meal’s worth of money or go to the sauna one less time and save him [A

07 December 2010

05 December 2010

Illegal Aliens = Hit and Runs

Overheard: "Me no tengo inzurance. Me have wads of cash. Me no paga you. Me call ACLU."

China Breaks Another Record -- for fastest train


BEIJING (AP) - A Chinese passenger train hit a record speed of 302 miles per hour (486 kilometers per hour) Friday during a test run of a yet-to-be opened link between Beijing and Shanghai, state media said.

The Xinhua News Agency said it was the fastest speed recorded by an unmodified conventional commercial train. Other types of trains in other countries have traveled faster.

A specially modified French TGV train reached 357.2 mph (574.8 kph) during a 2007 test, while a Japanese magnetically levitated train sped to 361 mph (581 kph) in 2003.

State television footage showed the sleek white train whipping past green farm fields in eastern China. It reached the top speed on a segment of the 824-mile (1,318-kilometer) -long line between Zaozhuang city in Shandong province and Bengbu city in Anhui province, Xinhua said.

The line is due to open in 2012 and will halve the current travel time between the capital Beijing and Shanghai to five hours.

The project costs $32.5 billion and is part of a massive government effort to link many of China's cities by high-speed rail and reduce overcrowding on heavily used lines.

China already has the world's longest high-speed rail network, and it plans to cover 8,125 miles (13,000 kilometers) by 2012 and 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers) by 2020.

The drive to develop high-speed rail technology rivals China's space program in terms of national pride and importance. Railway officials say they want to reach speeds over 500 kph (312 mph).

01 December 2010

28 November 2010

Obama Admin = Playing Amateur with State Secret Docs

See the wikileak document dump.

Why are they unable to secure these critical documents of state? Huh?

Political Violence in Chinese Taipei

From the Taipei Times

Sean Lien (連勝文), one of former vice president Lien Chan’s (連戰) sons, was shot last night as he was campaigning for a Sinbei councilor candidate in Yonghe (永和), Taipei County. He was hit in the face and was rushed to National Taiwan University Hospital.

Yonghe police precinct said a 29-year-old man was also shot at the rally, but died on the way to a hospital.

In a press briefing at 10:05pm, the hospital said Sean Lien, was still undergoing surgery, but was not in a life-threatening situation. He was conscious when he arrived at the hospital, officials said.

Witnesses said a man burst onto the stage at Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) councilor candidate Chen Hung-yuan’s (陳鴻源) rally and fired a shot at Sean Lien shortly after he took the stage and as he was about to address the crowd. The bullet hit the left side of his face, eyewitnesses said.

A man named Lin Cheng-wei (林正偉) was quickly apprehended by police. The motive for the shooting is under investigation.

Pan-green politicans condemned the shooting, while KMT politicians condemned it as “election violence.”

Lien Chan joined Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin’s (郝龍斌) rally after visiting his son at the hospital. Choking back tears as he discussed his son, Lien Chan urged supporters to support Hau and the KMT’s other mayoral candidates.

“My son is in the hospital right now and the condition is unknown. I will say no more. May God bless Taiwan and the public,” he said.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as KMT chairman, later walked onto the stage amid cheers from the crowd. Ma pledged to fight against such an “unforgettable example of violence.”

Late last night, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei mayoral candidate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) held a press conference to condemn violence, “at any time and any place.”

“We are praying for the victims,” he said. “We understand that the police have already arrested a suspect and ask them to release the truth about the incident immediately.”

However, he said political parties should avoid trying to take advantage out of the shootings, adding that he hoped “society can return to normal as soon as possible.”

26 November 2010

Death of a (Vietnamese) Salesman

Source: San Jose Mercury

Le Van Ba was a successful businessman in Vietnam when war forced his family to start over from scratch in a foreign country. Arriving in San Jose in 1980, Le and his children within three years had launched Lee's Sandwiches, a chain that now has more than 30 Vietnamese sandwich shops in California, plus locations in four other states.

Le Van Ba, who died of cancer Tuesday at the age of 79, was the patriarch of a creative and industrious clan that includes his wife, Nguyen Thi Hanh, and their five sons and four daughters. The family landed in San Jose as refugees, with Le becoming the Ray Kroc of Vietnamese sandwiches by adapting the American fast-food restaurant principles of Kroc's McDonald's to the delicious

meats, pates and spices of Vietnamese cuisine, all served on freshly baked French-style baguettes.

With seven shops in San Jose, a growing footprint in Southern California and across the Southwest, the chain launched by Le Van Ba and his family is among the first Vietnamese enterprises to cross over into mainstream malls and shopping centers.

"His most important contribution was taking something that was a mom and pop concept of a Vietnamese sandwich and mainstreaming it, using the McDonald's or Burger King model and popularizing it," said De Tran, publisher of VTimes, a Vietnamese language newspaper in San Jose. Le was also known in the Vietnamese community for his philanthropy, Tran said.

Before the war, Le Van Ba was a


self-made man who owned a successful sugar plant in southern Vietnam. "Everybody used to call him the 'King of Sugar,' " his oldest daughter, Annie Le, said Thursday. "He was very famous at the time in Vietnam."

So when Le and his family came to San Jose 30 years ago after short stays in New Mexico and Monterey, Annie Le said her father was determined to work for himself, not as an employee in somebody else's business.

That meant family members had to teach themselves a new business, with the two oldest sons, Chieu Le and Henry Le, working with their father to operate a Vietnamese lunch wagon that ultimately grew into a successful catering business, Lee Industrial Catering.

After his wife phoned a relative in Vietnam who had been a chef to get some recipes for meats and pate, the family worked hard to refine those recipes. The first permanent Lee's Sandwiches opened in June 1983 at 264 E. Santa Clara St.

"I think he's very open-minded," Annie Le said of her father. "He kept saying to us, 'We can always learn something new from other people.' It's the same thing with our recipes. In the beginning, we didn't know much, so customers would come in and say they wanted to eat a certain item, and they told us how to make it. And we listened to the customers, and then we'd add that item to our menu."

About a decade ago, Minh Le, a grandson of Le Van Ba who was then a 21-year old business student at San Jose State, suggested the family adapt the principles of American fast-food companies such as McDonald's to its ethnic Vietnamese fare.

Since then, the Lee's Sandwiches chain has expanded rapidly across the Bay Area and Orange County and even to places as far-flung as Oklahoma City, Dallas, Houston and Chandler, Ariz.

Annie Le said her father was open-minded enough to listen to the ideas of his U.S.-born grandson, and the first modern, American-style store opened in 2001. Tragically, Minh Le was killed in a traffic accident a few months before that first modern store opened.

Through it all, Annie Le said Le Van Ba was the leader of the family. Laughing at the memory, she said he used to counsel his sons and daughters with a Vietnamese saying that, roughly translated, means that if you let somebody else get ahead of you in business, you might not like the smell emanating from them. A more polite translation, Annie Le said, is 'When you think something will be good, you better jump in and do it right away.' "

"I think he had a strength of will. He's very determined, and when he wanted to do something, he would just go ahead and do it," she said. "Almost up to the day he passed away, he'd go to work, because when he was younger he was very poor, so he's very scared of being poor. He enjoyed working. We told him, 'Dad, now you have money, and you can travel wherever you want. Enjoy your life.' "

But, she said, "working at the store, that was his happiness."

Even as he submitted to radiation and chemotherapy treatments in recent months, he generally would still check in on the same day at one of the laundromats he owned.

Le Van Ba is a former president of an association for people who came to the South Bay from the An Giang province in Vietnam.

"I think he was known as a kind and generous person," Tran said of Le Van Ba, particularly his philanthropy around organizations close to the Hoa Hao sect of Buddhism.

In addition to his wife and children, Le Van Ba is survived by 20 grandchildren.

The family is planning a public viewing at Oakhill Funeral Home & Memorial Park on Curtner Avenue from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Dec. 3 and from 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., Dec. 5, prior to burial.

"I think the most important thing we learned from him," Annie Le said, is that in business, "you have to be honest and trustworthy. You have to keep your promise -- whatever you say, you have to do. He was successful in the past because whatever he said, he had to do it."

25 November 2010



24 November 2010

US Dollar Dead; Chinese RMB Now King

Pivotal moments in history result from crises. Great Britain came out of World War 1 exhausted and maimed. It had lost its status as the world's hegemonic power. The United States, with its massive industries, great institutions unmolested by socialists and illiberals as well as a large and industrious population, was the China of its time.

After World War 2, Europe, Japan and much of Asia lay in ruins. The United States was virtually untouched by the physical ravages of war. It became the only economic power in the world and one of two great military giants.

It is now apparent that when it's all said and done, the United States, like Britain after WW 1, will limp out of the current massive global recession, which it precipitated. The US economic hegemony will be replaced by China's. In this new world order, the US dollar becomes a secondary currency like the Japanese yen (or it could even play a lesser role in the world economy like the Australian dollar and the South Korean won). The Chinese Renminbi will be the currency of global economic hegemony.

In the immortal words of Nelson Muntz, "ha ha!"

-- Bian-lian Huang, associate editor, the Fairbank Report

23 November 2010

Here's the video...

Warning: Prurient and erotic video below.


Sexy Indo Hunk On Trial for Sex Video

By BNO News

JAKARTA, INDONESIA (BNO NEWS) -- Indonesian pop star Nasriel Irham on Monday appeared in court after two homemade sex tapes released on various websites resulted in him being charged under Indonesia's 2008 Anti-Pornography Law.

Irham, 29, who is also known as Ariel, is suspected of appearing in two separate homemade sex tapes involving his current girlfriend, TV presenter Luna Maya, 27, who accompanied Irham to court, and actress Cut Tari, 33, known for her roles in Indonesian soap operas.

All three have denied accusations, but only Irham - who has been in custody since surrendering to police on June 22 - is facing charges, which include distribution of pornography.

Irham, frontman for Indonesian music group "Peterpan," has been dubbed by various media outlets as "Peterporn," as the scandal has stirred Indonesians nationwide.

While the hard-line Islamic People's Forum demand harsh punishment against Irham, several hundred fans gathered outside the court, screaming in support of his liberation.

If convicted, Irham could be facing a prison term of up to 12 years and a fine of up to Rr 6 billion ($672,000).

(Copyright 2010 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: sales@bnonews.com.)


NK shells SK with artillery fire. Beautiful noses seen running for their lives :-)

22 November 2010

"Undocumented American" Guilty of Chandra Levy's Murder

Whilst the illiberal media were targeting poor Congressman Gary Condit, they actually covered up this illegal alien's murderous deed. Shame on you, leftist, left-winged, Communist mainstream media!!!


21 November 2010

TSA molests boy

Certain Things Don't Change in China

Source: pekingduck.org

LOUHE, China — Xu Lindong, a poor village farmer with close-cropped hair and a fourth-grade education, knew nothing but decades of backbreaking labor. Even at age 50, the rope of muscles on his arms bespoke a lifetime of hard plowing and harvesting in the fields of his native Henan Province.

But after four years locked up in Zhumadian Psychiatric Hospital, he was barely recognizable to his siblings. Emaciated, barefoot, clad in tattered striped pajamas, Mr. Xu spoke haltingly. His face was etched with exhaustion.

“I was so heartbroken when I saw him I cannot describe it,” said his elder brother, Xu Linfu, recalling his first visit there, in 2007. “My brother was a strong as a bull. Now he looked like a hospital patient.”

Xu Lindong’s confinement in a locked mental ward was all the more notable, his brother says, for one extraordinary fact: he was not the least bit deranged. Angered by a dispute over land, he had merely filed a series of complaints against the local government. The government’s response was to draw up an order to commit him to a mental hospital — and then to forge his brother’s name on the signature line.

17 November 2010

Exam Anxiety in South Korea

As we write, South Korean high school students are taking the mother of all exams. Literally, their future rides on the results of this national college entrance examination. These kids -- and indeed their families -- have been preparing for this exam for years.

Parents have been known to engage in incessant prayer vigils as their children sit for the national exam. Airlines have been directed not to fly their planes during the listening portion of the exam, and there's a cottage industry selling goodies as well as good-luck charms to the examinees and their anxious family members.

Contrast this intensity with the cavalier attitude of the Americans toward the SAT exam, and we see why the USA is rapidly devolving into Argentina...

16 November 2010

South Korea's G-20 Disaster

South Korea’s HR disaster

THE ASIAN Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) strongly condemns the denial of entry and forced repatriation of seven Filipino human rights defenders who came to South Korea to attend the Seoul G20 International People’s Conference organized by Put People First! Korean People’s G20 Response Action. We note that all of them were granted South Korean visas prior to travel, but they were prohibited from entering the country because their names were on a blacklist.

In addition to this, we also learned that a number of human rights defenders from Pakistan, Nepal and Indonesia who were invited to attend the same conference were refused South Korea visas without reasonable grounds.

The seven Filipinos are well-known activists in the region on issues of human rights and development. It is particularly ironic that Paul L. Quintos, policy and outreach director for IBON International, had been invited by the South Korean government to attend the G20 Civil Dialogue last October. This time, however, no explanation was given to them as to why they were blacklisted. We can only conclude that the denial of entry and deportation is an act of repression to curtail potential criticism of the G20 summit.

We are also highly concerned with the reports that the seven were denied access to Philippine embassy officials, physically harassed while in detention and bodily forced to board a plane back to the Philippines. We deplore this maltreatment by South Korean government officials. They violated the basic rights of the seven Filipinos.

The initiative of the government of South Korea (the first Asian country to host the G20 Summit) to include “development” as a new agenda item should be welcomed, but its actions in barring activists from developing countries, who are working on development and human rights issues, to participate in this important debate stand out in stark contradiction to its good initiatives.
FORUM-ASIA strongly urges the South Korean government to respect and protect human rights as host of the G20 Summit. The participation and the voice of human rights and development activists should be encouraged instead of being curtailed. No real development can be achieved without the participation of peoples and respect for human rights.

executive director,
Asian Forum for Human Rights
and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

09 November 2010

Not-so-Great Britain Brings Opium to Chinese Summit

From Bloomberg.com

Cameron Risks Spat With Chinese by Wearing Poppy During Visit
By Robert Hutton - Nov 9, 2010 5:05 PM PT Tweet (11)LinkedIn Share

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron resisted a request from Chinese officials yesterday to remove the poppy symbol that Britons wear every November in memory of their war dead during his visit to Beijing.

Poppies have been Britain’s symbol of remembrance since World War I, when the flowers grew on battlefields. The Royal British Legion sells paper poppies in November to raise funds for veterans in the run-up to Armistice Day on Nov. 11.

The flower has a different resonance in China, which fought and lost two Opium Wars with Britain in the 19th century. Those resulted in the U.K. forcing the Chinese to open their borders to trade, including in the narcotic derived from the poppy. Britain also gained the territory of Hong Kong, which was not handed back to China until 1997.

Two British officials familiar with the matter said the Chinese had requested the prime minister and his delegation remove the poppies from their lapels before they arrived yesterday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, where Cameron was greeted by Premier Wen Jiabao and inspected an honor guard of the People’s Liberation Army. The U.K. government refused, on the grounds that the symbol was important to Britain.

This year is the 150th anniversary of the Second Opium War, which ended when the British and French armies arrived in Peking, as Beijing was then known, and destroyed the emperor’s Summer Palace to remind the Chinese of their defeat.

Boosting Trade Ties

Cameron’s two-day visit has focused on boosting trade ties, yesterday signing an accord improving access for U.K. companies to China’s securities markets. Rolls-Royce Group Plc signed a $1.2 billion order to provide 16 jet engines to China Eastern Airlines Corp., and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc reached a deal with Guolian Securities Co. to underwrite bonds and shares.

The two governments also agreed to work together to improve financing for small companies. British companies will help build corporate and government bond markets, develop alternative investment vehicles and create an offshore market for the Chinese yuan.

Cameron travels to South Korea later today for the summit of the Group of 20 leading economies. He will mark Armistice Day tomorrow by visiting a memorial for British troops killed in the Korean War, where their opponents included the Chinese.

Cameron’s relationship with China got off to a rocky start even before he became prime minister, when he said during a television debate before the May 6 general election that uncertainty over China was one reason for the U.K. to keep its nuclear weapons.

British officials refused to confirm or deny yesterday that Cameron would raise the issue of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, with the Chinese leadership. China’s flagship Communist Party newspaper, the People’s Daily, attacked the peace prize last week as a “political tool” that is “in tune with U.S. global strategy,” maintaining Chinese criticism of last month’s award.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in Beijing at rhutton1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net.

03 November 2010

There's Only One George F. Will

Washington Post

A recoil against liberalism

By George F. Will
Thursday, November 4, 2010

Unwilling to delay until tomorrow mistakes that could be made immediately, Democrats used 2010 to begin losing 2012. Trying to preemptively drain the election of its dangerous (to Democrats) meaning, all autumn Democrats described the electorate as suffering a brain cramp, an apoplexy of fear, rage, paranoia, cupidity - something. Any explanation would suffice as long as it cast what voters were about to say as perhaps contemptible and certainly too trivial to be taken seriously by the serious.

It is amazing the ingenuity Democrats invest in concocting explanations of voter behavior that erase what voters always care about, and this year more than ever - ideas. This election was a nationwide recoil against Barack Obama's idea of unlimited government.

The more he denounced Republicans as the party of "no," the better Republicans did. His denunciations enabled people to support Republicans without embracing them as anything other than impediments to him.

He had defined himself as a world-class whiner even before Rahm Emanuel, a world-class flatterer, declared that Obama had dealt masterfully with "the toughest times any president has ever faced" - quite a claim, considering that before the first president from Illinois was even inaugurated, seven of the then-34 states had seceded. Today's president from Illinois, a chronic campaigner and incontinent complainer who is uninhibited by considerations of presidential dignity, has blamed his difficulties on:

George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, the Supreme Court, a Cincinnati congressman (John Boehner), Karl Rove, Americans for Prosperity and other "groups with harmless-sounding names" (Hillary Clinton's "vast right-wing conspiracy" redux), "shadowy third-party groups" (they are as shadowy as steam calliopes), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and, finally, the American people. They have deeply disappointed him by being impervious to "facts and science and argument."

Actually, as the distilled essence of progressivism, he should feel ratified by Tuesday's repudiation. The point of progressivism is that the people must progress up from their backwardness. They cannot do so unless they are pulled toward the light by a government composed of the enlightened - experts coolly devoted to facts and science.

The progressive agenda is actually legitimated by the incomprehension and anger it elicits: If the people do not resent and resist what is being done on their behalf, what is being done is not properly ambitious. If it is comprehensible to its intended beneficiaries, it is the work of insufficiently advanced thinkers.

Of course the masses do not understand that the only flaw of the stimulus was its frugality, and that Obamacare's myriad coercions are akin to benevolent parental discipline. If the masses understood what progressives understand, would progressives represent a real vanguard of progress?

Of course the progressive agenda must make infinitely elastic the restraints imposed by the Founders' Constitution and its principles of limited government. Moving up from them - from the Founders and their anachronistic principles - is the definition of progress.

Recently, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter decided, as the president has decided, that what liberals need is not better ideas but better marketing of the ones they have: "It's a sign of how poorly liberals market themselves and their ideas that the word 'liberal' is still in disrepute despite the election of the most genuinely liberal president that the political culture of this country will probably allow."

"Despite"? In 2008, Democrats ran as Not George Bush. In 2010, they ran as Democrats. Hence, inescapably, as liberals, or at least as obedient to liberal leaders. Hence Democrats' difficulties.

Responding to Alter, George Mason University economist Don Boudreaux agreed that interest-group liberalism has indeed been leavened by idea-driven liberalism. Which is the problem.

"These ideas," Boudreaux says, "are almost exclusively about how other people should live their lives. These are ideas about how one group of people (the politically successful) should engineer everyone else's contracts, social relations, diets, habits, and even moral sentiments." Liberalism's ideas are "about replacing an unimaginably large multitude of diverse and competing ideas . . . with a relatively paltry set of 'Big Ideas' that are politically selected, centrally imposed, and enforced by government, not by the natural give, take and compromise of the everyday interactions of millions of people."

This was the serious concern that percolated beneath the normal froth and nonsense of the elections: Is political power - are government commands and controls - superseding and suffocating the creativity of a market society's spontaneous order? On Tuesday, a rational and alarmed American majority said "yes."