From the: You GOTTA Love it! File


(HH here: This is the kind of thing that give me hope about China. There is a definite sense of “we are all in this together”. A sense that is vital to evolving a healthy society after the inevitable, I think, collapse of the Communist government. It may not be soon but I can’t see it not happening.
When Russia stopped being Soviet I kept waiting for this kind of reaction to the growing crime but it never happened. The Russian mindset had people flocking to be under the protection of this bully or that instead of bandng together to fight back the way people did throughout the American and Australian frontier periods.
The old men knew that their age gave them more leeway in action and the younger folks supported them. It is that spirit that will make China a true nation when their masters finally lose their grip.)

A retired teacher has become an unlikely Internet hit in China for throwing bricks at cars whose drivers were ignoring red lights at a dangerous crossing, state media reported Monday.

The furious 74-year-old last week took up position on an intersection in Lanzhou, the capital of northwest Gansu province, and damaged more than 30 cars before he was stopped by police, the China Daily reported.

Brick thrower”I just wanted to catch people’s attention and tell the drivers to think of pedestrians,” the man said, according to the report.

The unnamed man’s attacks drew wide support in Chinese cyberspace, with nearly 80 percent of 400,000 respondents to an online poll backing him, the English-language paper said.

The ex-teacher became a campaigner for road safety after a pedestrian was killed near where he lived.

He successfully lobbied for traffic lights at the intersection, but drivers continued to ignore them, the report said, citing the Lanzhou Morning Post.

So on Thursday last, he started lobbing bricks at transgressors, and was joined by two other elderly men, while other people found them more bricks and brought water.

He had planned to keep up his vigilante attack for a week but was stopped by police after one day. He was interviewed and released without charge, the paper said.

The tyranny of the Left

(HH here: this is the result of “feel good” Liberal legislation. The “Who cares if it is stupid, we are DOING SOMETHING …. Koombaya my Lord, Koombaya” crowd….pardon me, I get a bit disgusted when “compassionate Liberals” promote death and destruction out of their sight to cleanse their consciences of the shame of not being a born in the Third World. Fascism comes in all stripes and colors. This is the Green variety. Take note fellow heretics:)

‘Green’ light bulbs poison hundreds of workers in China
4 May 2009, 0040 hrs IST, Sunday Times, London

When British consumers are compelled to buy energy-efficient light bulbs from 2012, they will save up to 5 million tons of carbon dioxide a year
from being pumped into the atmosphere. In China, however, a heavy environmental price is being paid for the production of “green” light bulbs in cost-cutting factories.

Large numbers of workers have been poisoned by mercury, which forms part of the fluorescent light bulbs.

A surge in foreign demand, set off by an EU directive making these bulbs compulsory within three years, has also led to the reopening of mercury mines that have ruined the environment of a remote and beautiful part of China.

Doctors, regulators, lawyers and courts in China are increasingly alert to the potential impacts on public health of an industry that promotes itself as a friend of the earth but depends on highly toxic mercury for its core product. Making the bulbs requires workers to handle mercury in either solid or liquid form because a small amount of the metal is put into each bulb to start the chemical reaction that creates light.

Mercury is recognised as a health hazard worldwide because its accumulation in the body can damage the nervous system, lungs and kidneys, posing a major threat to babies in the womb and young children.

In southern China, compact fluorescent light bulbs destined for western consumers are being made in factories that range from hi-tech multinational operations to sweatshops.

Tests on hundreds of employees have found dangerously high levels of mercury in their bodies, especially in the cities of Foshan and Guangzhou.

Hundreds of workers at these factories have been poisoned by mercury over the past decade. In one case, Foshan city officials intervened to order medical tests on workers at a major lighting factory. The tests found that 68 out of 72 workers were so badly poisoned they required hospitalisation.

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Artist defies Web censors in a rebuke of China

By David Barboza Published: March 20, 2009

SHANGHAI: One of China’s most prominent and provocative artists is challenging the government to end what he calls its cover-up of incompetence in managing the response to an earthquake last May in Sichuan Province that killed more than 80,000 people.

The artist, Ai Weiwei, 51, who helped design the Olympic National Stadium known as the Bird’s Nest, is creating a sensation in China by posting angry commentaries about the quake rescue efforts on his popular blog.

In the online postings, Mr. Ai criticizes the government’s management of the disaster response and chides officials for still not having provided a full accounting of schoolchildren’s deaths, which he and many others attribute to poorly constructed schools.

“I’m really tired of this bull,” Mr. Ai said Thursday in a telephone interview from Beijing, where he has a large studio. “I went there, and I saw the school building collapsed, and next to it is a building that is fine.”

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Ex-soldier who expressed regret over Tiananmen is detained

The Associated PressPublished: March 20, 2009

BEIJING: Chinese security forces have detained a former soldier who publicly expressed regret over his role in the 1989 military crackdown on pro-democracy protests near Tiananmen Square, a human rights group said Friday.

The former soldier, Zhang Shijun, 40, published an open letter to Hu Jintao, the Communist Party leader, on the Internet in which he called on the party and government to reconsider its condemnation of the student-led protests.

The Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch said that Mr. Zhang had been taken from his home in the northern city of Tengzhou around 2 a.m. on Friday. The mainland-based group was citing a member of Mr. Zhang’s family who was not identified.

Mr. Zhang is one of a small number of martial law soldiers to come forward with their accounts and attack the government’s refusal to offer a full examination of the crackdown.

Hundreds of people, possibly thousands, are believed to have been killed when troops stormed into the center of Beijing the night of June 3-4, 1989, on orders from top party leaders.

The authorities are believed to be especially sensitive to such testimonials before the 20th anniversary this year of the crackdown.

Nicholas Bequelin, an Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch, based in New York, said the fact that Mr. Zhang was willing to come forward has reinforced the conviction among many that “in the long run, a reassessment of those events is inevitable.”

Dalai Lama assails China one year after uprising


By Edward Wong Published: March 10, 2009

BEIJING: The Dalai Lama on Tuesday delivered one of his harshest attacks in recent times on the Chinese government, saying that the Chinese Communist Party had transformed Tibet into a “hell on earth” and that the Chinese authorities regarded Tibetans as “criminals deserving to be put to death.”

“Today, the religion, culture, language and identity, which successive generations of Tibetans have considered more precious than their lives, are nearing extinction,” the 73-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader said.

Those words came during a blistering speech Tuesday morning in Dharamsala, India, the Himalayan hill town that is the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile. Tibetans outside of China and their supporters held rallies around the world Tuesday to mark the 50th anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. The Chinese military crushed the rebellion, forcing the Dalai Lama to flee across the Himalayas to India.

The furious tone of the Dalai Lama’s speech may have been in reaction to a new clampdown by China throughout the Tibetan regions. The Dalai Lama might also have adopted an angry approach to placate younger Tibetans who have accused the Dalai Lama of being too conciliatory toward China. The Dalai Lama has advocated greater autonomy for Tibet and not secession, while more radical Tibetans are urging the Dalai Lama to support outright independence.

In the rugged Tibetan regions of China, where there is widespread resentment at Chinese rule, no reports emerged Tuesday of any large-scale protests. The Chinese government, fearing civil unrest among six million Tibetans, has locked down the vast area, which encompasses up to a quarter of China, by sending in thousands of troops over the last few weeks and cutting off cellphone and Internet services in some locations. An unofficial state of martial law now exists, with soldiers and police officers operating checkpoints, marching through streets and checking people for identification cards.

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But sometimes the conservatives are dead right!!!

AP

For all of his lavish new spending plans, President Obama is making one major exception: defense. His fiscal 2010 budget telegraphs that Pentagon spending is going to be under pressure in the years going forward.

The White House proposes to spend $533.7 billion on the Pentagon, a 4% increase over 2009. Include spending on Iraq and Afghanistan, which would be another $130 billion (or a total of $664 billion), and overall defense spending would be around 4.2% of GDP, the same as 2007.

APHowever, that 4% funding increase for the Pentagon trails the 6.7% overall rise in the 2010 budget — and defense received almost nothing extra in the recent stimulus bill. The Joint Chiefs requested $584 billion for 2010 and have suggested a spending floor of 4% of GDP. Both pleas fell on deaf ears. The White House budget puts baseline defense spending at 3.7% of GDP, not including Iraq and Afghanistan. The budget summary pleads “scarce resources” for the defense shortfall, which is preposterous given the domestic spending blowout.

More ominously, Mr. Obama’s budget has overall defense spending falling sharply starting in future years — to $614 billion in 2011, and staying more or less flat for a half decade. This means that relative both to the economy and especially to domestic priorities, defense spending is earmarked to decline. Some of this assumes less spending on Iraq, which is realistic, but it also has to take account of Mr. Obama’s surge in Afghanistan. That war won’t be cheap either.

The danger is that Mr. Obama may be signaling a return to the defense mistakes of the 1990s. Bill Clinton slashed defense spending to 3% of GDP in 2000, from 4.8% in 1992. We learned on 9/11 that 3% isn’t nearly enough to maintain our commitments and fight a war on terror — and President Bush spent his two terms getting back to more realistic outlays for a global superpower.

American defense needs are, if anything, even more daunting today. Given challenges in the Mideast and new dangers from Iran, an erratic Russia, a rising China, and potential threats in outer space and cyberspace, the U.S. should be in the midst of a concerted military modernization. Mr. Obama’s budget isn’t adequate to meet those challenges.

The Pentagon shouldn’t get a blank check, though much of its procurement waste results from the demands made by Congress. Mr. Gates has also rightly focused on the immediate priority of irregular warfare and counterinsurgency. But history also teaches that a nation that downplays potential threats — such as from China in outer space — is likely to find itself ill-prepared when they arrive.

The U.S. ability to project power abroad has been crucial to maintaining a relatively peaceful world, but we have been living off the fruits of our Cold War investments for too long. We can’t afford another lost defense decade.

Tibetan monk ‘shot’ while on fire

From the BBC

A Tibetan monk has been shot after setting fire to himself during a protest at Beijing’s rule, reports say.

The incident happened in the Tibetan-populated town of Aba in southwest China’s Sichuan province during a gathering of more than 1,000 monks.

The monk, named Tapey, is said to have shouted slogans and waved a Tibetan flag, then doused himself with petrol and set himself alight.

Campaign groups said witnesses then saw Chinese police shoot the man.

Banned meeting

The monk collapsed and was taken away by the police.

China’s official Xinhua news agency confirmed a man had set himself on fire, saying he was taken to a hospital and treated for burns injuries. It made no mention of any gunshot wounds.

The protest began after more than 1,000 Tibetan Buddhist monks gathered at a temple in the town to celebrate the third day of the Tibetan new year.

Chinese officials had earlier banned the gathering.

After the incident, news agencies reported a heavy police presence on the streets of the town.

“There are many policemen on patrol in the street and all of them have guns,” an employee at a teahouse in Aba told the AFP news agency.

It is extremely difficult to independently confirm any information coming out of Tibetan areas.

China’s authorities have restricted access to the region.

Next month marks the 50th anniversary of the escape into exile of the Dalai Lama and China wants to make sure there are no Tibetan protests in support of the exiled spiritual leader like those of a year ago, says the BBC’s James Reynolds in Beijing.

More than 200 Tibetans are thought to have been killed in a Chinese crackdown in the region, which it has ruled since an invasion in 1950.

China claims Tibet is part of its historic territory, but Tibetan groups in exile regard the invasion as a tragedy.