Click on the top link and you get the Tongling City Anqing Mining District Office.  There is nothing so strange here.

Click on the link underneath and you get:

This bill was issued by the Jinjiang Peral Hotel in Bengbu city, China and runs on for two pages.

The guest named "Yao Jun" signed the bill which included 9 bottles of 20 year Kouzin wine at 428 yuan per bottle, 18 packs of Hard Zhonghua cigarettes at 18 yuan per pack and 3 bottles of Chateau Chang Yu-Castel '95 wine at 588 yuan per bottle.  There are also 21 boxes of "Remembrance" (at 18 yuan per box), which is the name of a brand of condom.

This other bill is also signed by Yao Jun for a total sum of 11,822 yuan.  Included in the list are 3 bottles of Chateau Chang Yu-Castel at 418 yuan per bottle and 4 bottles of Feilong Maotai wine at 628 yuan per bottle.  Six boxes of "Remembrance" show up here.  Netizens are also alleging that the 17 instances of "set meals" at 260 yuan per set are really codenames for "girls."

Some netizens are calling for a "human flesh search" on the person Yao Jun.  It is already known that Yao Jun is a deputy department director in the Land Resources Ministry.

This leads to the follow-up episode known as "The Empire Strikes Back."

(Yangzi Evening News)

Yesterday at the Seventh Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Xuzhou City Eleventh People's Congress, the <Xuzhou City computer information security protection regulations> were passed and become effective as of June 1, 2009.  These regulations cover computer security administration, protective measures, banned activities, legal responsibilities and so on in detail.  In particular, the regulations clearly state that the "human flesh search" is not allowed.

"Human flesh search" refers to actions which publish or reveal the private information of persons or units.  These information over involve personal privacy and it would be illegal to reveal them.  Under the state civil, administrative and criminal laws, personal privacy is protected information, which involves items such as the age of a woman, personal/household assets, household composition, income, residence, work unit, wages and so on.  "Human flesh search" is also very interested in social connections.

According to these regulations, the maximum penalty for disclosing private information of other persons, or providing/publicizing information about other persons is 5,000 yuan.  In more serious cases, the offenders may be barred from using a computer for six months.  If the offenders are units, they may face the cancellation of their business permits.

(Xinhua)  January 15, 2009.

According to Hong Kong's <Tai Kung Pao>, the Hong Kong newspaper <Sing Pao Daily News> issued an unexpected statement on January 14 to say that its chief editor Wei Jiguang has been dismissed from his job.  The reason was that there had been a serious error made by Wei in the "Today in History" in column.

The announcement was published on the front page of <Sing Pao> on January 14.  The statement said: "<Sing Pao> chief editor Mr. Wei Jijuang committed a serious mistake in the "Today in History" column on January 13.  As a result, the <Sing Pao Publications Group Limited> has decided to dismiss Wei Jiguang.  <Sing Pao> will also have to make a full self-examination on this incident.  Therefore, the "Today in History" section will be suspended as of today until further notice."

The assistant to the chief editor confirmed by telephone that Wei Jiguang has been dismissed, but declined to comment on the mistake that Wei supposedly made.

What is that mistake?  Well, if someone can come up with a copy of the actual newspaper, it would be a lot clearer.  But <Sing Pao> is the most popular newspaper so it is not easy to find the January 13 issue.  This leads people to make guesses.  The "Today in History" column is a reprint of an article that was published on the same day in some previous year.

The most prevalent 'guess' is this entry at NetEase (via ProState In Flames):

Beijing Netizen ip: 60.247.*.*
2009-01-14 12:48:41

Stop making wild guesses.  This has nothing to do with politics.  The information in <Sing Pao> concerned the arrest of Ma Sik Chun on January 13, 1979 on narcotics-related charges in Hong Kong.  Who is Ma Sik Chun?  He is the founder of the Oriental Press Group.  He is the head of the Ma family, which made its money through drug dealing and underground banks.  The resurrection of this affair clearly irked the Oriental Press Group.

For more information on Ma Sik Chun and his family, read The Triads Comeback.  Travellers' Tales, September 9, 2007.

In any case, what is the sense of firing the chief editor for re-publishing an old article?  Are there other reasons behind?  Silence leads to more wild speculations.  While the Hong Kong discussion forums are deleting the related posts quickly out of fear of legal entanglement, the mainland Chinese forums are running this story (even Xinhua published the <Ta Kung Pao> report).

Addition news story: (TVB News World)  Yesterday on the front cover of a magazine it reported that Gigi Lai, 38 who had already left the Entertainment Industry will get married on the 22nd February this year. She will get married to wealthy Mr Ma, 52 years old that she has known for 6 years. Their wedding will also be held in Australia. Gigi has always prefered to date older men and started to date him in 2003. When her brother had an accident, her boyfriend found the best doctors and gave unlimited financial support. Even when her brother's clinic had problems, her boyfriend would help out. He has stood by her and given her unlimited support which has really moved her. She feels that he is someone she can spend the rest of her life with and that is why she decided to give up on her career and get married instead.

[note: the logos at the bottom of the photos show that they had previously been posted at the portal and mainstream newspaper Guangzhou Daily.]

A few days ago, a young girl was publicly soliciting clients on her personal blog at a famous portal in China.  This girl claims to be a university student in Nanjing City.  On her blog, she lists her age, height, physical measurements; the types of sexual services performed and their prices; personal photos and contact information.

This female university student is named Ting Ting.  In a blog post titled <Nothing to do during spare time; looking for part-time work ...>, she said that she is an assistant to a manager and makes a low salary.  That is why she wanted to offer sex services in order to earn more money.  On her blog, she described the sex services that she performs and the prices: "For 300 yuan, I can perform fellatio, breast massage, co-bathing ... each ejaculation counts for 300 yuan."  She also spelled out: "I can stay the night for 600 yuan, but it cannot be at my home!  We can go to a hotel, but you have to pay for the transportation."

In turn, KDNet users began listing vulgar content over at the CCTV BBS.  For example, this post is about using ultrared camera that supposedly see through clothing:

The point here is that there is so much 'vulgar' material everywhere that everybody is vulnerable.  The situation is made worse by the lack of any definitions or standards for 'vulgarity.' 

(E&P)  Arrests Raise Questions About Newspapers Running 'Prostitution' Ads.  By Sandy Davidson.  January 14, 2009.

Last Friday, the Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune carried these ads (and more), with phone numbers, under the heading of “Adult Personal Services” on page 9B:

Private Dancer. Young & Erotic. ...
Happy New Year! 5'1", 110 lbs, 34D, redhead, discreet. ...
**SPARKLE** Is Here to do what you want. ...
Something to be Thankful for. Hot Chicks!! ...
2 young, sexy chicks 4 the price of 1. In/Out. ...
Sexy Sweet Brown Sugar. ...
Kinky Co-Eds, New Year Special! ...

The Tribune, on that same day, carried this news story on page 2A, along with the mug shots of five young women, under the headline of “Five women arrested in prostitution sting”:

"Columbia police conducted a sting operation yesterday to crack down on prostitution and arrested five women, including one who allegedly brought her kids to the local motel where the sting took place....Columbia residents complained to police about ads in the classified section of a local newspaper and online, [Columbia police Sgt. Brian] Richenberger said. The ads were clearly advertising 'sex for sale' in the Columbia area, Richenberger said. Officers yesterday made phone contact with the suspects and arranged for them to respond to the motel. Arrests were made after undercover officers determined the women were offering sexual acts in exchange for money, Richenberger said."

While the Tribune reported that the ads for sex acts appeared in a “local newspaper,” the local broadcast stations were naming the Tribune itself.

The Tribune’s article also said: “A similar operation in May netted six arrests.”

Apparently undeterred by the publicity or thoughts of potential legal consequences, the Tribune continued its ads. On Sunday, Jan. 13, the “Adult Personal Services” ads appeared on page 3F, with several repeats, joined by a couple of new ads, including: “Swingers Gals. Couples, Discreet, fun! No male calls.”

What about criminal liability?

Under Missouri Revised Statutes § 567.070.1, “A person commits the crime of promoting prostitution in the third degree if he knowingly promotes prostitution.” This crime is a class D felony under § 567.070.2.

(Apple Daily)

As the mainland box office receipts rise, the directors in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan realize the importance of this huge market.  But mainland censorship is also growing alongside the attention.  The former deputy director of the State Film Administration Jiang Ping recently spoke in Hong Kong about some of the real reasons why some Hong Kong films were banned.

In <One Nite in Mongkok>, Cecilia Cheung had said: "I am from Hunan.  Our village is very poor."  It had to be changed to: "I am from Nanyang (note: "southern ocean" refers to Malaysia and Indonesia).  Our island is very poor."  At the same time, the date of the story had to be dated to June 1996, before Hong Kong was handed over to China.

In Chinese, the title of the movie <Election> is literally <Triad Society>.  This was considered sensitive and a new title <The Years in Dragon City> was chosen instead for mainland China.  The original movie showed Simon Yam getting away with murder, but he was arrested by the police in the mainland version.  The sequel <Election 2> was not allowed to be shown at all.

The scenes of violence in <Pickpocket> were excised before the film was approved for exhibition.

The movie <Kung Fu Dunk" may have been pure entertainment but it contained some scenes of violence which had to be removed before the movie was passed.

In <Assembly>, a stele was erected for the soldiers who died for the state in recognition that they were martyrs for the people.  This was a smart thing for the director Feng Xiaogang to do in order to get obtain approval.

(Diuman Park)

... I like the movie <One Nite In Mongkok>.  When it was shown on mainland China, the director Derek Yee changed Cecilia Cheung's dialogue "I am from Hunan and our village is very poor" to "I am from Nanyang and my island is very poor."  ...

This change is supposed to save face for the Chinese people.  It is not true that Hunan is poor.  Even if it is fact, it cannot be stated as a fact.  In any country in the world, including the United States, there are poor places with poor people and some of those people resort to crime as a result.  But China is unique, because there are no poor places and there are no robbers or thieves.  Therefore, no movie can be based upon a background such as a "poor Hunan."  If they did, then the feelings of the Chinese people will be "severely hurt" once again.

But why was the movie passed after the dialogue was changed to "poor Nanyang"?  In Chinese culture, we speak of not doing unto others what we wouldn't want done to ourselves.  So we don't want to be poor, but we insist on saying that other people are poor.  Isn't this unreasonably, thoroughly and severely hurting the dignity and feelings of the people of Nanyang?

Nanyang covers a large region, of which Singapore and Malaysia are most prominent.  Singapore is a competitor of Hong Kong.  Even before 1997, Singapore was not poor.  So it is going too far to insult Singapore people and the other people who live on islands in Nanyang.  Are their feelings more robust and less easily hurt than ours?  Is that why this kind of creative freedom is being allowed?

I feel sorry for my friends in Singapore and Malaysia as well as Filipina maids.  It hurts when the Chinese censors insult their feelings in this manner.  I strongly recommend that the people of Nanyang organize a "Grand Alliance to Oppose Insults against the People of Nanyang" and declare to China: The action of China has seriously hurt the feelings of the people of Nanyang, and has resulted in extreme negative influence on China-Nanyang relationship.  We must stand up and solemnly say no.  The people of Nanyang will fight courageously until ... (there is an infinite number of such dog-fart declarations on the Internet in China, and the people of Nanyang have many samples to plagiarize ...).

(Securities Daily via  January 13, 2009.

When Xie Guozhong pledged his allegiance to become an American citizen and say farewell to his image as a young Shanghai man, he may not realize that someday he will return to the motherland which reared him and become an "independent economist" who is strongly negative about the Chinese stock market.


During the 1990's, the American government decided to formally accept Xie as an American citizen after due consideration.  His name was changed to Andy Xie.  During the solemn swear-in ceremony, Xie Guozhong placed his right hand on his breast, faced the American flag and solemnly swore: "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; ..."

(Huasha Shibao)

On January 13, independent economist Xie Guozhong gave an exclusive interview to Huasha Shibao.  He said that a certain newspaper claimed inaccurately that he is an American citizen.  He said that his Chinese passport number is G15053971 and his place of registration is Shanghai.  "I don't understand why this newspaper wants to change my nationality and hype up this false issue and the nonsense about me pledging allegiance to the American flag.  I am Chinese and I love my only motherland -- China."

(Rose Luqiu's blog)

I received a call from Xie Guozhong around noon.  He said that a friend sent him some essays about his nationality.  They say that he is an American citizen, "but I don't have an American passport.  I don't even have a green card."  He sounded somewhat anxious.  He said that he normally does not care about what people say about him on the Internet.  But now that he has seen these essays, he really wanted to know who wrote them.  I was somewhat anxious as well because I did not know how to help him.  Even if the Internet discussion about the nationality of Xie Guozhong is inaccurate, this is not news.  But I promised to investigate on his behalf just who wrote those essays.  I did not forget to comfort him that he should not take what is published on the Internet seriously.

But I was astonished by the results of my investigation.  The essay that cast doubts on the nationality of Xie Guozhong did not come from a blog or discussion forum.  It was the headline story of the January 13th issue of <Securities Daily>, and it was penned by its deputy chief editor.  This essay generated a lot of comments, both for and against.  But no matter what position people took, they firmly believed in one piece of fact: Xie Guozhong is an American citizen.  Thus, many of the debates emphasize on nationality, patriotism and treason.

People believed in this 'fact' because it was disclosed by mainstream media.  Due to their trust of mainstream media, the readers believed that this must have come as a result of the writer's investigation and verification of the American citizenship.  For this reason, this has become a serious matter.  I cannot just comfort Xie Guazhong not to worry about this.  With his permission, issued a statement.

This is where it should have ended, but then I saw the response from that deputy chief editor.  I could see that he felt that he did the right thing.  As a colleague, I really cannot understand how he cannot see his mistake and say not a single word about it.  An essay based upon the wrong facts cannot possibly be allowed to stand.

I cannot comprehend that as a media worker how he could write such a detailed story about the swearing in ceremony as if he was present at the scene.  This deputy chief editor also said that when Xie Guozhong said that he is not an American citizen, it is just an assertion.  But where is the source of this fact stated in his essay?  Did he conduct any investigation?  Did he confirm it with the principal?  It is a most terrible thing when a media commentator ignore the facts in order to state his position and fail to realize the problem afterwards, because he ultimately owns speech rights.

As an interviewer and interviewee, I have known Xie Guozhong for more than ten years.  Over these years, his ideas have been consistent, frank and insightful.  I have interviewed many scholars and economists, but many of them prefer to make generalized statements in front of the camera out of self-preservation.  Given their reputations, they were content with being vague and general.  But Xie Guozhong was not like that.

It is politically incorrect to be pessimistic about the A shares at this moment.  This deputy chief deputy said that Xie Guozhong is wrong and I think that this is possibly true.  But a truly independent economist should be holding a rational discussion about the problem and give his true ideas as opposed to calculating how political correctness affects himself.  This is how the decision-makers and investors can get neutral analyses.

As for the anxiety, Xie Guozhong is vulnerable even though he is a celebrity.  Many people will remember that he is an American citizen.  As for his clarification, many people will think that it is less dramatic and satisfactory as the essay by that deputy chief editor.  Not many people really care.  I recommended that he issue a statement in his blog to clarify, but he told me helplessly: "I don't have a blog."

So people have been using his name to post his essays on the Internet.  This is actually not as bad as posting other people's essays under his name because nobody will be able to sort things out in that case.

First, a piece of history.  In year 2008, the EastSouthWestNorth collected 5,926,719 pageviews (htm files only) and 84,883,276 hits (which include htm, xlm, jpg, gif, wmv and avi files).  This compares to 5,177,033 pageviews and 56,024,138 hits in year 2007.  The bottom line is that I really don't care about pageviews/hits nowadays.  This website generates zero in revenue by income and the fixed expenses are affordable (at USD 15 per month for the webhosting service plus my personal time which is worth zero).

Secondly, the near future.  In past years, I was operating with two sets of major activities: (1) I work for a media research company where the workload is generally low except during March each year); (2) I maintain this blog.  This year, I have four sets of major activities: (1) I work for the same media research company and we are approaching March; (2) I maintain this blog; (3) I am the executor of the literary estate of the writer Eileen Chang; (4) I have just begun to teach a class for the Journalism and Media Centre at the University of Hong Kong from January to March.  Since (1) and (4) cannot be shirked, this means that (2) and (3) will suffer until at least April this year.  Therefore, you should expect fewer blog posts until then.  This does not mean that blogging will go to nil, but the material has to be compelling to get me to spend on it.

(in translation)

"Freedom of speech" is written into the constitution of our nation.  But some comrades do not have a deep understanding about it.  For example, does "absurd speech" enjoy the freedom of speech?  That is a frequently asked question.  If you reply without thinking that "How can absurd speech be given the freedom?" you will fallen into a "trap."  This "trap" is an unanswerable question: "Please tell me how do you know that an unspoken speech is 'absurd' or not, so that you can take away its freedom of speech beforehand?"  I think that unless you claim that you are an omniscient god who can judge unspoken speech, you will have fallen into this impossible "trap."

I want to to remind people about a piece of common knowledge: A certain speech (here, I am referring to rational speech with some basis as opposed to irrational invectives without any basis) cannot be judged as absurd versus not (or progressive versus reactionary) before it is articulated.  The pursuit of truth is only possible if it is allowed to be articulated and then people can think, classify and judge its nature.  I think this is freedom of speech.  This is also the famous saying of Mao Zedong about letting one hundred schools speak.

This leads to another piece of common knowledge: when a certain speech comes out, people begin to think and classify, but they may not be able to judge its nature yet.  This is particularly true of certain ideas that appear unconventional or are unacceptable to the majority of the people at the time.  Frequently, it will take a certain period of time in history before people become convinced of its veracity (or absurdity).  During this process, the worst thing is for some "authorities" to emerge and make a "truth judgment" in the form of a single conclusion about the rights and wrongs of the matter.  Then everybody hears that call and engage in either "effusive praises" or "mouth-and-pen condemnations."  The reason why this is the "worst thing" is that the price may be huge, possibly including bloodshed and loss of lives.

The most unforgettable and outstanding episode is the population theory of Mr. Ma Yinchu.  If it had not been declared as "counter-revolutionary Malthusian population theory" and subjected to mass criticisms, there might have been 300 million people fewer in China today.  Instead, the actual population pressure will be with us for at least a century.  All the problems today about job opportunities, universal education, healthcare insurance and so on are related to this population pressure.

Another unforgettable and outstanding episode is the doubts that Zhang Zhixin raised about the Cultural Revolution.  The relevant leaders determined that this was "counter-revolutionary speech that maliciously attacked the Cultural Revolution" and it was also routine at the time to condemn people on the basis of speech alone.  This resulted in the tragedy of Zhang Zhixin having her throat cut and executed by a firing squad.  This tragedy could be avoided if each Chinese person had the freedom of speech as opposed to "the highest directives" being issued from above and followed closely from below.  The ten years of calamity resulted in the collapse of our culture, the loss of morality and the creation of all the habits of totalitarianism.  These remaining ills are still being eradicated with difficulty in certain domains today.

This shows that whether a speech is absurd versus not, or progressive versus reactionary, cannot decided solely by the authorities.  Historical practice will decide.  Over the last thirty years, the biggest spiritual achievement of the Chinese people is to bring back the perspective on truth in Marxism -- practice is the sole standard for determining the truth.  Without this achievement, we cannot begin to discuss any other achievement.  There are two keywords here.  First, it is about 'practice' without any reference to any authority.  Secondly, it is the 'sole' criterion to the exclusion of all others.  So we now understand the speech of Ma Yin-chu, we understand the speech of Zhang Zhixin and we understand what those speeches against them were.  We also know how to use freedom of speech to realize the pursuit of truth, to protect the security of the people of China, to advance and develop healthily and to avoid the path that we once treaded and for which we paid a heavy price.

Finally, I should point out one fact: those who opposed the speeches of Ma Yinchu and Zhang Zhixin actually enjoyed the maximum freedom of speech themselves.  Based upon the standard of freedom of speech today, we need to continue to give freedom to those kinds of speech.  If there is only one voice, then truth cannot be recognized and developed.  All speeches exist at the same level (but that does not mean that they will all be acted upon or carried out) and they enjoy the right to be expressed freely.  We should earnestly follow these important requirements concerning the freedom of speech according to our constitution.

Former president Chen Shui-bian is embroiled in a number of corruption cases and is presently detained awaiting trial.  But he continues to weave his dreams inside the detention centre.  He is claiming that he dreamt that he will run for president a third time successfully.  But the "blue" camp legislators think that he has gone out of his mind and needs to see a psychiatrist.  Meanwhile the "green" camp legislators tried to dodge questions or say that they "have no way of defending him."

The office of Chen Shui-bian announced that the first book that he wrote while detained will be called <The Cross of Taiwan>.  The book cover will have the photo of Chen Shui-bian raising his handcuffed hands into the air.  The list price is NT$168.  The book contains more than 100,000 words and is divided into two sections titled "Long live Taiwan" and "Prison conversations."

Within this book is the dream that he had on November 19 inside the detention centre.  In the dream, he ran for president a third time.  His platform included (1) running for one more term only; (2) no salary if elected; (3) donation of all state secret fees for charity; (4) no CEPA agreement with mainland China; (5) a referendum to determine the future of Taiwan.  During this future election, the president of Burkina Faso came to campaign for him.

Chen Shui-bian also said that when he first went to prison 22 years ago, his prison ID was 5499.  5+4 = 9 and so there are three 9's.  The number "95" is usually taken to represent the Chinese Emperor.  Therefore, he became president later.  This time, his prison ID during his first detention was 2630.  2 means that he will run for election again.  6 means that things will go smoothly.  3 means that he will become president a thrid time.  0 means everything will end up perfect.

(Apple Daily) (699 persons interviewed by interactive voice system on January 14, 2009)

What do you think about Chen Shui-bian's dream at the detention centre?
67.5%: Ah Bian is really out of his mind and he keeps dreaming of being emperor again
15.2%: It shows that Ah Bian is ambitious and will come back again
17.3%: Don't know/no opinion

Yesterday, Huang Xin admitted in the Haizhu district court, Guangzhou city, that he was responsible for bombing the Route 125 bus on August 21, 2008.  According to the prosecutor, Huang Xin did so because of his discontent against society and because he was threatening a newspaper to disclose the winning lottery numbers.

When asked by the judge about his discontent against society, Huang Xin offered three examples.  First, on August 9, he withdrew 600 yuan from an ATM machine and 500 yuan turned out to be counterfeit bills.  Secondly, there was a personal issue because a female colleague turned down Huang Xin's amorous advance because he was eccentric and taciturn.  Thirdly, he, his friends and his family all bought lottery tickets but they won nothing.

According to Huang Xin's statement in court in yesterday, his originally wanted to plant the bomb at a the office of a certain newspaper.  When the prosecutor asked him if someone there had offended him, Huang Xin said: "No.  My friends and I are all into playing the lottery, but the numbers suggested by the newspaper are inaccurate.  I wanted the newspapers to tell me what the winning numbers are."

Huang Xin said that he could not find an address for the newspaper.  Since the time bomb was due to explode, he got on a Route 125 bus.  During that time, he sent two SMS to the hot tip line of the newspaper.  He placed the bomb underneath a seat at the rear of the bus and left a letter to the mayor Zhang Ning.  In that letter, he threatened mayor Zhang Ning to give him the winning lottery numbers.  He included his own mobile phone number in that letter.

Why not mail the letter directly to mayor Zhang Ning?  Huang Xin replied that he called the police as soon as he got off the bus because he was hoping that the police would find the letter and then mayor Zhang Ning will pressure the newspaper to provide the winning lottery numbers.  Here is the letter:

To Mayor Zhang:

How are you?  By the time that you see this letter, the battle has begun.  First, at places like buses, schools, malls, restaurants, cinemas, subway entrances/exist ... there may be "sudden explosions" and "chain explosions."  Of course, your decision will determine whether these "explosions" will happen.  Therefore you must do as I say.  First of all, please use the mobile send the winning lottery numbers to my mobile phone.  I want the "special numbers" from now to the end of the year ... this must be sent to me within the next five hours ... my mobile phone number is 13016034170.

The police picked up the pieces of paper at the scene and reassembled the letter from Huang Xin to mayor Zhang Ning.   Investigators determined on the basis of that telephone number that a certain man was a suspect.  At 7am on August 22, the police burst into a rented home in the Huadu district and arrested Huang Xin.  They found a mobile phone with the number 13016034170 on Huang.

In court yesterday, the prosecutor read the transcript of Huang Xin's calls to the police: "There is a bomb on the Route 125 bus and it will go off in half an hour -- just wait for a good show!" and "It is going to explode in five minutes.  It is a Route 125 bus."  But Huang Xin did not specify the ID number of the bus or its location.  He explained that he was unfamiliar with the geography of Guangzhou.

Huang Xin's lawyer said that the effort to threaten mayor Zhang Ning and the newspaper to provide him with the winning lottery numbers is extremely pecuilair, since neither mayor Zhang Ning nor the newspaper run the lottery operation.  Therefore, the lawyer requested a psychiatric examination.  The prosecutor replied that Huang Xin was talking normally in court.  Furthermore, there is no history of psychiatric problems in Huang Xin's family.  The defense lawyer said that just because there is no family history of psychiatric problems does not mean that Huang Xin is not mentally disturbed.

The Grad-model Katyusha rockets that were fired into Beersheba on Wednesday were manufactured in China and smuggled into Gaza after the Sinai border wall was blown up by Hamas in January, defense officials said.

The Chinese rockets have a range of 40 kilometers. They are very similar to the 122 mm Soviet-made Katyusha that was used extensively by Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War and are slightly more sophisticated than an Iranian-made Grad-model Katyusha that is also in Hamas's arsenal.

The four rockets that hit Beersheba this week were filled with metal balls that can scatter up to 100 meters from the impact site, officials said. These rockets have also been fired into Ashkelon and Ashdod.

The three countries that manufacture Grad-model Katyushas are China, Russia and Bulgaria.


"Huge quantities of weaponry were smuggled into Gaza then from above ground, including the Grad rockets," an official said, adding that even after the border wall was sealed, Hamas continued to smuggle the long-range rockets into Gaza via tunnels under the Philadelphi Corridor.

From China, the rockets make several stops before reaching Gaza. In many cases, officials said, they are bought by Iran or Hizbullah and then transferred to Sinai.

In some instances, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has learned of weapons that came from Yemen and Eritrea, were moved to Sudan, then north to Egypt, and finally smuggled into Gaza.

"This is a complicated smuggling system that involves many different people around the world," one official said.

(China Youth Online via  [This report recounted the Jerusalem Post report.  Then it showed the photo below.  There is no indication where this photo came from, or whether this is one of the four rockets that were fired into Beersheba on December 31st.  The photo also does not give any sense of the size of this rocket.]

The text of the report is this: This rocket was crudely welded together by Hamas.  On the body of the rocket, there were the Chinese words: "Shandong province, Laiyang Steel Pipe Factory."  So it turns out that Hamas has been using China-made steel pipes intended for civilian projects to build their "mountain village" ersatz rockets.  On the left hand side of the body of the rocket, there is the part number GB/T 3091-93.  According to China's <Standards for Construction Material> (see Google Images), this is a "galvanized welded steel pipe used to transport fluid under low pressure."  In other words, this is a water pipe.  The standards also stipulated that GB/T 3091-93 has a diameter between 1/2" and 6", so this is not exactly suitable for a long-distance weapon of mass destruction because there is not much space for fuel or payload.

- Economists exist to serve special interest groups.

- Is there a real estate bubble?  Well, we must first ask what prosperity is.  The concept of prosperity is that you own two homes.  We need to encourage the Chinese people to buy two homes, one to live in and the other one for vacation.  When housing prices rise, it proves that people are earning more money.  So it is a good thing that the home that you invested in previously is rising in value.

- If I have the chance to make a recommendation to the Premier, I would say "Do not speak lightly on three things" -- do not speak lightly about an overheated economy; do not speak lightly about a real estate bubble; do not speak lightly about a rising yuan.  The indicators of the modernization of China is that Peking University professors own cars and villas.

- Conservatively speaking, housing prices in the major Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Beijing or Nanjing should rise three times in ten years' time; boldly speaking, housing prices should rise 5 times.

- It is nonsense to say that the real estate market is overpriced due to speculation.

- Is corruption justifiable?  Those people who possess the power to make policies that affect the public interests will not lightly abandon or hand over their power.  The reforms cannot forcibly take away their power, so the only way is through corruption and bribery.  The reforms need to use corruption and bribery to remove the barriers to the transfer and re-allocation of power.  Corruption and bribery form a feasible path and bridge to the transfer and re-allocation of power.  They are the lubricants for successful reforms.  The money spent is the toll fee on the path to market economy and represents the costs of the reforms.

- First, all shares in listed companies which belong to the government or state enterprises should be distributed to the people of China equally.  These shares are worth about 4,000 yuan per capita.  For a peasant family, the money is equivalent to three years' income.
Secondly, large state enterprises (such as banks, railroads, telecom, waterworks and mining companies) should seek to be listed on the stock market as quickly as possible.  Those companies which have mining rights should include those rights as part of the stock offering.  The local governments should not give those mining rights away to new companies.  After these companies get listed, they should be worth 1,500 yuan per capita.  This is equivalent to one year's income for a peasant family.

- Under a system of public ownership, it is a Pareto improvement for government officials to extract surplus value, because it is advantageous to reduce the cost of supervision and it motivates the government officials.  The existence of corruption in private production may not be the best thing for economic development, but it is the next best or the second best.  The fight against corruption would be appropriate to the situation, because inappropriate efforts (either too much or too little) may have unexpected negative consequences.

- Capital can be used to exchange for power and thus advance privatization.  I once told the the central government to pay these people a lot of money and buy their authority.  Tell them not to use their powers any more.  There is not much corruption going on at the topmost echelon in China, but there is uncountable corruption underneath.

- When the reforms first began, there was only power but no market ... during the first half, power creates the market ... financial capital was basically the final stage of capital development and only internationalization remains to be completed.  At this time, it can be said that the Chinese system has basically completed the first half -- using power to create the market.  The accumulated wealth under the old system in China has been basically transferred.  There are not many resources under the direct control of the central government ... in the second half, power withdraws from the market.  Now that the first half of the mission has been completed, the second half should begin: power withdraws from the market to leave behind a fully competitive market economy.

- The history of the Chinese stock market is like the English stock market in the 18th century.  In a social environment without trust and responsibility, the stock market is better off shut down.

- I hope that my words can change the direction of the reforms in China.  If I fail, it won't be just my own personal failure; it will be a failure for our nation.  I am a great thinker.  I must succeed this time.  If I fail, it will cause great harm to Chinese society.

- We might as well as treat these public assets as ownerless.  The first person who brings them out for sale will keep the property rights.  You are the factory director of a state enterprise, you can work with the supervisory departments to sell the factory off and then the property rights become privatized.

- The rich-poor gap in China is due not so much because the rich are too rich.  It is because the poor are too poor.  Since there are poor people in the cities, inequitable distribution of wealth occurs.  We should not hate the rich.  At the present, there are many holes in the tax collection system, so that some rich people are not paying tax in accordance with  the regulations.  Therefore, we need to perfect the tax collection system, as opposed to using the tax collection system to reduce wealth inequality.

- I regard traffic congestion as the indicator of the prosperity of a city.  This is something to be delighted about.  When a city has no traffic congestion, then its economy is probably in the doldrums.  The 1998 great floods stimulated demand and spurred growth.  Several millions of houses were destroyed.  Therefore the floods spurred the Chinese economy to increase another 1.35%.

- To cure poverty, you cure laziness first; to cure laziness, you have to apply pressure on people; to apply pressure on people, you apply pressure on the government officials first.

- We will reach out to the eight nations in the Alliance of Eight Nations that invaded China and let them each build a university.  The universities will be built on top of the old location of the Summer Palace and they form a mega-university!  Let us call this the Summer Palace University, or the Joint University of the Eight Nations.

(Chang Ping at Southern Metropolis Daily)

... Professor Ding Xueliang once asked, "How many qualified economists are there in China?"  If the standard is based upon the development of theory, Ting gave the answer of "not more than five."  But if an economist is someone who performs a certain activity -- such as analyzing economic phenomena, studying economic laws or offering policy recommendations -- then this is innumerable.

... "Why did God create economists?"  "In order to make weather reports look accurate by comparison."  Such jokes about economists have been coming along unabated.  Harvard University economics professor Gregory Mankiw presented a paper at a recent conference.  The top economists at Harvard and Yale were asked to imagine that they were living in the 1930's and they had the economic data at the time.  Could they have predicted the Great Depression?  The survey result was that they could not.  The economists applied the most advanced methods to the available economic data at the time, and they could not predict the Great Depression.  Mankiw said, "Even after reading that essay and you ask me whether I could predict whether a Great Depression is going to happen now, my answer is still, 'No, there won't be a Great Depression.'"

... Netizens tell jokes about economists to express their dissatisfaction.  For example, there is a joke about two economists A and B making bets with each other.  Economist B tell economist A: "If you eat this pile of dog shit, I will give you 1 million yuan."  B ate the pile of dog shit.  Then he felt that he had been insulted.  So he told A: "If you eat this pile of dog shit, I will give you 1 million yuan back."  A did that, and got his 1 million yuan back.  Then A said, "We each ate a pile of a dog shit but we got nothing to show for it."  B said, "Not true, because we created 2 million yuan in GDP for the nation!"  In terms of pure economics, there is nothing funny here because this is exactly how GDP is calculated and it does not negate the value of GDP.  But ordinary citizens find this story funny, because they suffer from the government's emphasis on GDP.  This is the background behind how "the sayings of economists" came about.

Ever since the economic reforms began, the economists have assumed prominence in the academic field.  They explain the economy, and they also turn politics, history, ethics and everything else into economic issues.  This is refreshing as well as encouraging.  By comparison, the other scholarly fields have shrunk.  The self-aggrandizement of the economists and the uneven development of scholastics have caused certain economists to become politicians, military experts and educators who like to publish sayings and make bold predictions without providing any proof.

I do not want to say whether these sayings from economists cited on the Internet are "stunning" or not and whether these economists are right or wrong.  I don't think that economists should be going about giving out sayings.  Besides, we do not expect that economists only go around teaching us their sayings.  Does Professor Mankiw's story imply that economists are useless?  I believe that after he makes fun of himself, he is going back to continue to study and analyze.  He knows that economists are not fortune tellers, but an inaccurate prediction does not negate its value.  In my view, the most important function of an economist is to inform us about ideas and methods from economics.  The process of investigation is far more important than the conclusions.  That is something that our entire society lacks most of all, including those who make fun of economists.

About a year ago, an Internet post proclaimed Jiangsu province, Huai'an city, Jinhu county safety inspection bureau director Lin Tao to be the "most awesome safety inspection bureau director."  The basis was that "director Lin is either lacking any awareness of basic safety or else he was just negligent for a moment.  At the scene where illegally produced and sold fireworks were to be edstroyed, director Lin was smoking a cigarette which could set everything off."  A photo was shown.  According to information, this photo was presented on the wallboard that promoted production safety in the corridor of the Jinhu county safety inspection bureau building.  This post appeared first in the local Jiangsu Xinhua website and quickly propagated across the Internet.  Director Lin earned the "most awesome" title for his extraordinary courage.

This reporter learned that the event took place one year ago on January 10, 2008.  However, the 'cigarette' on director Lin was actually a misunderstanding.  Netizens noted quickly that director Lin was not smoking a cigarette.  Instead, after the photo is magnified, it is clear that the long white object is the lapel of the police officer next to him.  Director Lin could not be smoking it since it was coming out from his chin and not his mouth.  Nevertheless, even though the magnified photo clears director Lin, the erroneous information continues to circulate on the Internet.

[in translation]

In the afternoon of January 9, netizens who frequent the found that they can no longer reach that website.  "Has been shut down?"  The question was circulating among netizens.  Very quickly, the website administrator Luo Yonghao confirmed the fact on his MSN contact title: " has been shut down; Lao Luo and Huang Bin are emotionally stable."

The timing of the shutdown was the same as the campaign against vulgarity on the Internet, and so many netizens wondered if is one of the 91 websites shut down for vulgar content.  Lu Yonghao said that he does not know.  The domain name registrar told him that the reason was unrelated vulgar content but that "there were large amounts of harmful political information." is one of the most unique blog service providers in China.  The website carried essays by people whom the webmasters Luo Yonghao considered to be "bull" (=awesome, in Chinese).  These influential writers were invited by Luo Yonghao to blog there.

On his blog post yesterday, Luo Yonghao revealed that at around 3pm on January 9, he received an email from the domain name registrar Wanwang: "The Beijing City Telecommunication Administration has forwarded a notice from the Beijing City Government Information Office: contains a large amount of harmful information on politics and current affairs.  The has been told to clean up but they have done anything effective.  At this time, Wanwang is asked to remove the right to use that domain name ..."

When Luo Yonghao was interviewed by this newspaper, he said that the Beijing City Telecommunication Administration also notified the web hosting service of and asked them to take down the server.  From from start to finish, the Telecommunication Administration never made any direct contact with

Luo Yonghao later found out that his domain name was "hijacked" for a another website.  He said: "At a time when there is a campaign to stop 'vulgarity' on the Internet, the domain name for which contains no vulgar content whatsoever was hijacked to a website with contents like 'secret booklet on how to massage your breasts to make them bigger,' 'lock up the eyeballs of men by coming up with a deep breast cleft' and so on ... I am going to recommend to the relevant departments to investigate this matter in a serious way."

On the next day, Luo Yonghao found a large number of consolation letters from strangers and friends.  To the strangers, he replied, "Thanks."  To his friends, he replied: "Alright, alright!  This is the fourth time already so there is no need to make a fuss.  I'll do whatever I have to do."

He told our newspaper that he intends to sleep and rest for a few days.  Next, he will contact the Beijing City Telecommunication Administration directly.  "I will do whatever they want if they let me open the website again.  I will delete whatever posts, comments and blogs that they want.  They can have everything.  Or else I will change the name and start something call the MuleBlog (in place of the BullBlog)."

[in translation]

The call in "Charter 08" is to realize the effect of the Charter 77 which was presented by Czechoslovak intellectuals 31 years ago and which was instrumental in overthrowing the Communist totalitarian regime.  Professor Perry Link translated Charter 08 into English and introduced it to the western media.  The Charter 08 movement uses the Czechoslovak Charter 77 as the glorious example and affirms that the Chinese people want to carry on.  The promotion was very successful with those westerners who believe in freedom, democracy and human rights.  But the Czechoslovak Charter 77 movement took place under historical circumstances and cultural traditions that are completely different from those in China today, and therefore the results may turn out to the completely different.  It is an amusing sight to watch the western media harbor the wishful thinking that Charter 77 should be replicated in China.

In 1975, the cold war confrontation between the United States and Soviet Russia rose to a peak.  USA Secretary of State Henry Kissenger believed that the two camps had to co-exist with other and therefore he proposed a détente to slow down the nuclear arms race.  Soviet Russia also needed the west to acknowledge its territorial rights.  In 1975, the sides signed the Helsinki Final Act that defined the boundaries of their spheres of influence.  At the time, the rightists in the United States were vehemently against it.  In order to mollify the rightists, Kissenger persuaded Leonid Brezhnev to sigh the Helsinki Human Rights Treaty.  Kissenger was actually scornful of this Treaty and the empty words that cannot affect the Soviet Russian totalitarian system.  Brezhnev was in full agreement with that perception.

The Prague Spring liberalization movement of 1968 was squashed by Russian tanks and large groups of liberal intellectuals were purged.  In a socialist country, the state controls the production resources.  Since everybody has to make a living somehow, these purges were very effective in silencing people.  As a result, politics became moribund in eastern Europe.  But a few remaining liberal intellectuals refused to give up and came up with some ideas.  They did not want to go too far and be thoroughly annhiliated.  These dissidents decided to use the limited space provided by the Helsinki Human Rights Treaty and run a guerilla battle in which they would consider a small victory to be immensely successful.

In reviewing the process by which Charter 77 was drafted and published, we can see that the Czechoslovak dissidents were operating in a very small and difficult space.  That is very much different from mainland China today.

Near the end of 1976, Vaclav Havel and Pavel Kohout planned on how to procure the signatures.  They sent out about ten or so signature collectors and provided them with the final document of Charter 77, a sample of Havel's signature and instructions on how to sign.  Under no circumstances would the workers leave the final document behind in order to prevent leakage.  All work was to be completed before December 20.  On the afternoon of December 29, the signatures were verified.  Havel was surprised to see that there were almost 100 former Communist Party members in the list of signatures that were collected.

On January 3, 1977, Havel held the final meeting of 15 people at his own apartment without interference from the secret police.  The charter was discussed and approved.  On January 5, the three convenors sent Charter 77 to the Czechoslovak Parliament and the Czechoslovak State Press Agency.  On the morning of January 6, Czechoslovak State Security Ministry agents stopped the vehicle of the three convenors, confiscated their documents and arrested them and other signatories.  Their residences were also searched.

But Havel had already arranged to distribute the news internationally.  A Czechoslovak friend who was home during Christmas took the document to Munich, Germany.  The plan to publish the document on January 7 was not interrupted by the arrests.  On January 7, four major European newspapers published the full text of Charter 77 with the 240 signatories, and drew the attention of the western world.  On January 8, New York Times and Washington Post published information about the detention of the signatories.  On January 27 the New York Times published Charter 77 in full.

The Czechoslovak authorities reacted strongly and charged the signatories with various crimes.  By April 1, the internal documents of the Czechoslovak authorities showed that the suppression campaign was being softened up.  The State Security Ministry files showed that about 250 persons had been interrogated.  But the State Security Ministry received orders from the Czechoslovak Politburo that nobody must be charged solely for signing Charter 77 and that charges (if any) had to be for other crimes.

The impact of the publication of Charter 77 was huge.  The authorities in Soviet Russia and Czechoslovakia were shook up.  The appearance of Charter 77 turned Czechoslovakia into the centre of the resistance in the entire eastern Europe.  Soviet Russia could not openly violate the Helsinki Human Rights Treaty and they could not ask the government to charge Charter 77 signatories with crimes.  But they tried to use other excuses to harass the signatories, which caused an even stronger response in society.  One year later, the number of signatories rose from 240 to several thousand.  The grip of the Czechoslovak Communist Party loosened.  The dissidents in the various eastern European began to connect with each other.  Even dissidents like Andre Sakharov in Soviet Russia was encouraged.  Therefore, Charter 77 struck like a thunderbolt on the Communist totalitarian regimes in eastern Europe and left them unprepared.

A review of the history of success of Charter 77 shows that the situations with eastern Europe and Soviet Russia are completely different from the situation in mainland China.  Charter 77 cannot appear in China.

At the time, Soviet Russia and eastern Europe were under the control of totalitarian regimes.  When Vaclav Havel sought out signatories, he had to be extremely secretive and cautious.  Today, there is much more open space for civil activities in China.  That is why the Charter 08 campaign is not rousing a similar effect in China.  There are many channels for civilians to express their political discontent in China, such as the blogs and forums.  A vacuous high-browed constitution will not draw a lot of attention and it will not create a strong resonance.

Czechoslovakia had a long tradition of freedom, democracy and human rights.  This tradition was suppressed by the Communist authorities, but it continued to exist underneath the surface.  Once triggered, it became a raging river.  The situation in Czechoslovakia back then is somewhat similar to China when the Cultural Revolution ended and the reforms were beginning.  At the time, the intellectuals thought that the western world was paradise.  Thirty years later, the Chinese people no longer believe in the much self-ballyhooed western ideology.  There have been too many examples of third-wave transitions to democracy that failed, of which Taiwan is one.

The eastern European countries also resented deeply the hegemonic Russian empire.  Charter 77 seemed to be directed against the Czechoslovak Communist Party but it was actually aimed at the Soviet Russian masters behind the scene.  But there are no puppet masters behind the Chinese Communists.  On the contrary, the Chinese people who signed Charter 08 are getting the most encouragement and praises from the western world, and this will naturally lead to nationalistic resentment.

In summary, Chinese society is highly complex with many diverse interests being involved.  This is unlike the relatively closed societies in eastern European back then, where the classes are clearly defined, the culturati and intelligentsia are prominent and draw huge public attention with their speeches.


After more than an hour of solemn ceremony naming Rep. Marco Rubio, R-West Miami, as the 2007-08 House speaker, Gov. Jeb Bush stepped to the podium in the House chamber last week and told a short story about "unleashing Chang," his "mystical warrior" friend.

Here are Bush's words, spoken before hundreds of lawmakers and politicians:

''Chang is a mystical warrior. Chang is somebody who believes in conservative principles, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism, believes in moral values that underpin a free society.

''I rely on Chang with great regularity in my public life. He has been by my side and sometimes I let him down. But Chang, this mystical warrior, has never let me down.''

Bush then unsheathed a golden sword and gave it to Rubio as a gift.

''I'm going to bestow to you the sword of a great conservative warrior,'' he said, as the crowd roared.

The crowd, however, could be excused for not understanding Bush's enigmatic foray into the realm of Eastern mysticism.

So who is this mystical warrior named Chang? 


We're here to help.

In a 1989 Washington Post article on the politics of tennis, former President George Bush was quoted as threatening to ''unleash Chang'' as a means of intimidating other players.

The saying was apparently quite popular with Gov. Bush's father, and referred to a legendary warrior named Chang who was called upon to settle political disputes in Chinese dynasties of yore.

The phrase has evolved, under Gov. Jeb Bush's use, to mean the need to fix conflicts or disagreements over an issue. Faced with a stalemate, the governor apparently "unleashes Chang" as a rhetorical device, signaling it's time to stop arguing and start agreeing.

Who is this 'legendary warrior named Chang who was called upon to settle political disputes in Chinese dynasties of yore'?  I, for one, have never heard of such a person.

(San Francisco Chronicle)  'Unleash Chang' and other tips for Mr. Bush.  By Bill Whalen.  November 7, 2008.

"Unleash Chang": This is a phrase the previous President Bush often yelled while playing tennis (we don't know if he was referencing to the onetime Taiwan leader or the American tennis pro).

Let us look first at where the term "unleashing Chiang" came from:

(Grasping Reality)

When George H. W. Bush in the 1970s and 1980s threatened to "unleash Chang" on his tennis opponents, he was referring to China's onetime strongman and thereafter Taiwan's dictator Chiang Kaishek, leader of the Nationalist Party, the man who had largely reunified China in the 1920s with his army's "Northern Expedition," lost the Chinese Civil War to Mao Zedong's Chinese Communist Party, and then taken refuge with his Guomindang party cadres on Taiwan. After the start of the Korean War, the American 7th Fleet protected Chiang (and Taiwan) from Mao's People's Liberation Army. Republican wingnuts, however, pretended that the 7th Fleet actually protected Mao's Communists (who had, after all, won the Chinese Civil War) from Chiang's Nationalists (who had, after all, lost it) by keeping Chiang Kaishek leashed. They periodically called for the U.S. to "unleash Chiang Kaishek"--so that Chiang, you see, could invade and conquer the Chinese mainland.

When George H. W. Bush, playing tennis (and losing) in the 1970s and 1980s, would threaten to "unleash Chiang," he was mocking the right-wing nuts of his generation. But George H. W. Bush's sons--even the smart one, Jeb--never got the joke. They, you see, didn't know enough about world history or even the history of the Republican Party to know who Chiang Kaishek was, or what "Unleash Chiang!" meant. Hence Jeb Bush's explanation that twentieth-century Chinese nationalist, socialist, general, and dictator Chiang Kaishek was a "mystical warrior... who believes in conservative principles, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism, believes in moral values that underpin a free society."

To me, that level of uncuriosity is scary. Why is this family ruling us, again?

(Hit and Run at

... doesn't make much sense to me, since it refers to unleashing a person mostly famous for getting his ass kicked by the very people on whom he would ostensibly be unleashed.

The better explanation is that George H.W. Bush was talking about unleashing the American professional player Michael Chang.  Here is an essay by Jerome Grapel that explains the mystique of this Chang:

In this year's edition of Roland Garros, the great Chinese-American player, Michael Chang, made it all the way to the finals. There is no tennis player whose game I have more respect for. He has methodically taken a defensive, retriever's game, built solely on consistency and foot speed, and built it into a versatile force that shows no weakness in any aspect of the game. He's also one of the game's most intelligent players. He goes into a match with a definite plan and doggedly sticks to it until you can show him it is not working, something that rarely happens.

What's just been said above is not to be minimized, but there is a more important factor contributing to Chang's professional success. What really separates Michael Chang from the rest is a ferocious, unwavering spirit reminiscent of a religious zealot.

Which is exactly what Michael Chang is.

In making it all the way to the final, Chang attracted a lot of media attention. This was especially so in Spain, because he knocked off the local hero and two time defending champ, Sergi Bruguera. Chang has a propensity for mixing his Christian crusade with his crusade to win tennis matches (everything seems to be a "crusade" for Michael Chang). It wasn't long before his religious harping began to stick like a hairball in the throats of the Spanish press.


When Michael Chang mixes God's designs into the sting of his passing shots, the strength of his thighs, or even his flubbed overheads and defeats, he is belittling his religious beliefs. It is a banal treatment of spiritual faith, somewhat akin to a man at a party thinking to himself, "please God, let me get my hands on that blond with the big tits and tight ass tonight."

Do Michael Chang's victories mean his victims are not in good standing with God? Can a Moslem ever be moral enough to beat him in tennis? If Chang's almost miraculous quickness is something he feels thankful to God for, should a cripple feel guilty for having offended God? Aren't these stupid questions? Of course they are, but Chang's way of presenting his faith leads us to ask them.

For the time being, people like Michael Chang have become an important force in the United States. They are the "Christian right", and, as I write, it is probably the largest block of voters in the Republican Party. This is a dangerous marriage for the Party of Newt and could eventually be its Waterloo. I say this not just because these "Christians" are too far to the right of America's average voter, but more because they are too uncomfortably to the right of America's most positive and identifiable trademarks --- tolerance, pluralism, equal opportunity in an open society. Indeed, if these people were to truly root themselves in political power for a long period of time, America will have lost its identity. If the United States is to remain that powerful cultural beacon that has made it such an attractive force in the world; if it wants to project itself in the world other than militarily, it will eventually have to reject such provincial thought as the "Christian right".

I personally think that Michael Chang is a much better fit than Chiang Kai-shek for what Jeb Bush said.  To wit, "Chang is somebody who believes in conservative principles, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism, believes in moral values that underpin a free society."  Of course, only Jeb Bush knows what he meant.

[Update: A reader provided this link to a story by George Plimpton for Sports Illustrated dated December 26, 1988:

A number of other homegrown phrases have developed in the family over the years. A weak shot will elicit a disdainful cry of "power outage!" Perhaps the most esoteric words heard on the family courts are "Unleash Chiang!" which was initiated back when there was a hue and cry in government circles to allow Chiang Kai-shek to invade the Chinese mainland from Taiwan. On the Bush court, "Unleash Chiang" refers to a potential source of power, such as a strong serve. The President-elect will look over his shoulder and urge his partner to "unleash Chiang!"

"The interesting thing about these phrases," Barbara says, "is that they get exported; people take them with them, and off in the distance, from someone else's court, you'll suddenly hear, "All right now, unleash Chiang!"]

In order to reinforce the Internet moral awareness of netizens and to improve understand the proper meaning of human flesh search so that it will progress in the right direction to serve the people, this pact was written.

1. Love the motherland, love the Communist Party, obey the laws, follow the regulations, support and love each other, maintain Internet harmony;

2. Human flesh search should be follow the principles of honesty, safety, openness, fairness and justice in the pursuit of knowledge that will benefit people;

3. Internet morality should be abided and the privacy of individuals should not be intruded upon;

4. Exposure of privacy should be protected with the utmost effort and not disclosed to the public;

5. Anything related to "corruption," "graft," "praising the good" and "denouncing the bad" is not restricted by articles 3 and 4 above;

6. Human flesh search must yield accurate and trustworthy information, and the persons who provide the information must assume responsibility for its accuracy;

7. Civilized language should be used and malicious human flesh searches should not be highlighted or distributed; under suitable circumstances, the affected principals and the websites should be informed about what is happening;

8. Continuous effort will be made to increase proper awareness of human flesh search.

(Beijing News)

This pact has only eight articles, but it communicates the valuable civic awareness and self-governance among netizens.  In this transitional stage, the previously hidden civic spirit is being revived inside and outside mainland China.  The birth of human flesh search occurred with "Cat Torture Gate," "Bronze Moustache Gate" and "Teacher Insult Gate" and there was the hint that it would become an Internet watchdog.  In the latter cases of "South China Tiger Gate," "The Strange Uncle In Shenzhen," "Nanjing Supreme Zhou" and "Overseas Inspection Trip Gate," human flesh search played a crucial role.  On the Internet, it is easy to speak out and the speeches of individual netizens can agglomerate into very influential "Internet incidents."  Thus, to a certain extent, citizens can organize themselves through the human flesh search.

There is no doubt that the human flesh search has always moved along the boundary of legality and illegality according to moral and legal considerations.  When the human flesh search is used to expose corruption, it is a good thing; when the human flesh search is used to invade the privacy of others, it is a bad thing.  The human flesh search is just a tool; when used properly, there are more advantages than disadvantages; when used improperly, there are more disadvantages than advantages.

In order to enable human flesh search to praise the good and denounce the bad, netizen self-discipline is required instead of pure administrative intervention.  This published pact contains self-imposed restrictions such as "maintain harmony on the Internet" and "protect the privacy of others and not publish private information in public."  The helping of oneself will be an important guarantee for the continued existence of human flesh search ...