Right Thinking From The Left Coast
If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough. - Mario Andretti

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Happy Birthday, you big sonofabitch
by JimK

Lee would’ve been 39 today. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to hold an alcoholic beverage, or a non-alcoholic one if you don’t drink, and shout “TO LEE!” at the top of your lungs before midnight tonight.

I’d love to see pics posted of people doing this, BTW. ;)


Well, I may be sweaty and greasy, but screw it.

For my friend Lee on his birthday. Miss you, man. on Twitpic

Posted by JimK on 05/02/09 at 12:54 PM in Etcetera   Lee in China   Tooting My Own Horn  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, April 24, 2009

Update about Lee, including memorial info
by JimK

I’ve been putting this post off for what i think are obvious reasons, but all that has done is make me feel worse, so...Like Lee always quipped at me, “band-aid, one motion, right off.” Yeah, we spoke to each other in TV and movie quotes half the time, what of it? ;)

This is a long post, with information about a memorial service at the end, so it’s going behind the cut. Hit the “read the rest” link to see it all.

Posted by JimK on 04/24/09 at 03:17 PM in Etcetera   Lee in China   Tooting My Own Horn  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Life as a Teenage Liberal
by Lee

RWN has posted an interview with some guy I’ve never heard of regarding the nature of liberalism.  One paragraph really stood out.

You’re living on these college campuses where no matter how much you binge drink, no matter how much you projectile vomit, no matter how much you go wild for the cameras in Cancun and strip naked, the next day you wake up on a campus with lush manicured lawns. You wake up in an ivy covered two room mansion. You wake up and somebody else has bought your food, cooked your food, serves you your food, and when you’re finished, cleans your dishes for you.

Replace “these college campuses” with “Beijing” and you’ll have a pretty reasonable approximation of my life here.

Posted by Lee on 03/21/09 at 03:57 AM in Lee in China  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, December 08, 2008

Big Brother Is Committing You

It’s still a time-honored Communist tradition.

According to an investigative report published Monday by a state-owned newspaper, public security officials in Xintai city have been institutionalizing residents who persist in their personal campaigns to expose corruption or to protest the unfair seizure of their property. Some people said they were committed up to two years, and several of those interviewed said they had been forced to consume psychiatric medication.

The article, in The Beijing News, said most inmates had been released after they agreed to give up their causes.

Sun Fawu, 57, a farmer seeking compensation for land spoiled by a coal mining operation, said he was seized by the local authorities on his way to petition the central government in Beijing and brought to the Xintai Mental Health Center in October.

During a 20-day stay, he said he was tied to a bed, forced to take pills and given injections that made him numb and woozy. When he told the doctor he was a petitioner, not mentally ill, the doctor reportedly said, “I don’t care if you’re sick or not. As long as you are sent by the township government, I’ll treat you as a mental patient.”

Because you’d have to be crazy to challenge the Workers’ Paradise, right?

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 12/08/08 at 06:31 PM in Lee in China  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

When Santa’s Outsourced Elves Revolt

Ah, life in a workers’ paradise:

It started as a pay dispute at a southern Chinese toy factory. But it quickly turned into a riot as laid-off workers tapped into a network of friends and unemployed laborers who flipped over a police car, stormed into the plant and smashed office computers.

The latest violent protest to rock China’s export machine was still simmering Wednesday at the massive plant, which makes Nerf toys for the U.S. company Hasbro Inc. The volatility underscored the urgency of China’s efforts to keep stoking an economy weakened by the global financial crisis.

To protect jobs and social stability, the central government recently signed off on a multibillion-dollar stimulus plan. Officials have also been urging factories to avoid large layoffs and to try retraining employees to keep them off the streets.

“When times are bad economically, a small incident can rapidly become a big one,” said local Communist Party official Guo Chenming, who was monitoring the situation Wednesday outside the restive toy factory in the city of Dongguan.

Tempers began flaring Tuesday when the plant’s Hong Kong owner, Kader Holdings Company Ltd., prepared to lay off 216 migrant workers at the factory that employs 6,500. About 80 senior workers claimed they were getting shortchanged on their severance pay, and they mobilized a mob of 500—mostly other unemployed workers and friends, Guo said.

The workers battled security guards, turned over a police car, smashed the headlights of police motorcycles and forced their way through the factory’s front gate, Guo said. They went on a rampage in the plant’s offices, damaging 10 computers, the company said.

Who do the Chinese think they are by promising all this extra cash? The American government? What are they, socialists?

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 11/26/08 at 11:56 PM in Lee in China  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Give Them Land, Lots Of Land

The Chinese government is discovering property rights.

Anxious at the spreading unrest among farmers left behind in the rush to get rich, China’s Communist Party leaders...unveiled sweeping reforms to give its 730 million or more rural residents more say in what they do with their land....

Approved at a twice-a-year plenum of the party’s Central Committee earlier this month, the scheme will allow farmers to transfer their land-use rights and to join share-holding entities with their farmland. The policies, still lacking in crucial details, effectively give farmers—rather than village leaders—the authority to decide how to use their land.

Tens of thousands of peasant protests erupt each year and nearly half are linked to land grabs by local officials who see a chance to make money by turning over land on the outskirts of towns and villages to developers.

It would be ironic indeed if the Chinese government gave its people more freedom over their own land than many Americans have here.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 10/23/08 at 02:16 PM in Lee in China  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Am Still Alive
by Lee

I realize I haven’t posted a damn thing on here in abut two weeks.  There are a couple of reasons.  First, there’s were the Olympics, which were pretty much occupying everything here in Beijing for two weeks.  Then there’s all the election stuff, which I am not privy to.  Other than small wrap-ups on the TV news and the stuff I read online I’m completely separated from the whole mess.  You guys are basically my eyes and ears on this thing.

I’m around, believe me.  I’ll probably chime in on some stuff when I get a free moment.

Posted by Lee on 08/27/08 at 08:48 PM in Lee in China  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, August 15, 2008

Communism, Casting, And Sexy

Oh, my. Imagine if this had been exposed, as it were, in the States:

Beijing - Thousands of young Chinese women applicants for the 200 jobs to lead each country’s athletes into the National Stadium for last week’s opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games had to be at least 1.66 metres tall, have a pretty face - and strip naked for the job recruiters.

The Beijing News, in a story detailing the latest opening-ceremony outrage, said stripping naked for measurements was a requirement merely to apply for the position.

Thousands of young women from colleges and dance academies in Beijing competed for the chance to appear before a huge worldwide audience.

During the selection process, the women were required to strip so teachers judging whether they were qualified could measure their body proportions, The Beijing News said.

In an interview with one of the girls who competed for the high profile job, the 20-year-old college student Zhang Fan told the paper that the girls were put in a room and teachers measured them with a ruler.

No specifics were given but the measurements were called “bone measurements” which typically include measuring the width of shoulders and waists, length of waists and height.

The women had to be at least 1.66 metres tall, have a pretty face and possess youthful energy, the report said.

In the West groups like NOW would be all over this. But I guess us foreign devils just wouldn’t understand Chinese ways.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 08/15/08 at 09:40 PM in Lee in China  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thank The Kingdom Of Heaven For Little Girls

There seems to be more fakery afoot, this time concerning China’s female athletes.

Zhang Hongliang, an official with China’s gymnastics delegation at the games, said Thursday the differing ages which have appeared in Chinese media reports had not been checked in advance with the gymnastics federation.

“It’s definitely a mistake,” Zhang said of the Xinhua report, speaking in a telephone interview. “Never has any media outlet called me to check the athletes’ ages.”

Asked whether the federation had changed their ages to make them eligible, Zhang said: “We are a sports department. How would we have the ability to do that?”

“We already explained this very clearly. There’s no need to discuss this thing again.”

Who knows. Maybe the Chinese have a different calender for ages than we do. Yeah, that’s it…

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 08/14/08 at 03:33 PM in Lee in China  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Live from Baghdad
by Lee

I’ve got tons of Olympic Opening weekend reports up at LeeInChina.  Just keep scrolling.  Tell your friends.

Posted by Lee on 08/10/08 at 12:47 PM in Lee in China  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Other Side of the World
by Lee

You might have heard that the shit has started going down in Beijing.  I’ve got details at LeeInChina.  Everything I said was going to happen is coming true.

Bad times lay ahead for the lao wei.

Posted by Lee on 08/06/08 at 11:14 AM in Lee in China  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, July 28, 2008

China Meets World

China may soon discover the price of an open invitation to a Communist country.

Should Western commentators keep it quiet? What if China pressures Western networks to shut up about the smog, lest they be summarily kicked out of the Games or suffer unnamed future retaliation in the Chinese market. Is this acceptable, in the name of preserving Chinese popular good will towards foreigners? What about internet firewall problems? If journalists cannot access the website of the BBC or other critical media while working, should they keep quiet about it? If foreigners find they are hassled by police for their papers and visas, should they suppress this news? In the name of international harmony?

I don’t think such self-censorship would be good, and I don’t think it’s possible. There will be 22,000 journalists in Beijing next week. There is no way to shut up a journalistic mob of that size, each clambering over the next to get the story. China decided to invite the world in, to host the Olympics, in the expectation that it would receive a big boost in global respect and affection. It is about to find out what happens when you invite the world in. If Chinese don’t want foreigners viewing their country with a critical eye, they should kick the foreigners out. But you can’t throw an event to win the world’s respect and affection, screw up the event, and then complain that the world is biased against you.

Tens of thousands of barbarian journalists may do more to hasten reform in China than anything else. No dictatorship (or in this case, quasi-dictatorship) can survive withering scrutiny for long, especially if such scrutiny takes place during a major international event. Such scrutiny couldn’t have happened when the Russians hosted the Summer Games back in 1980 because the West was boycotting and the Soviets and their allies were the ones controlling the show. It’ll be different this time. The whole world will be watching. China, are you ready?

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 07/28/08 at 07:08 PM in Lee in China  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Going Back to Texi… Texi… Texi
by Lee

At 4:00 today I’m heading back to Houston for my 20th high school reunion.  It’s a quick trip, I’ll be back in Beijing the following Monday.  I’ll probably drop in a time or two while I’m gone. 

Kind of a whirlwind trip, but at least I’m flying business class, which should mitigate the evil somewhat.  See you next week.

Posted by Lee on 07/22/08 at 06:51 PM in Lee in China  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ain’t Superstitious

China is telling performers to behave or else.

Foreign entertainers who have taken part in activities that China deems a threat to its sovereignty will not be allowed to perform here, according to new rules posted Thursday on the Web site of the Ministry of Culture.

The rules say that the background credentials of performers from foreign countries, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan will be scrutinized. “Those who used to take part in activities that harm our nation’s sovereignty are firmly not allowed to perform in China,” the rules say.

They also call for barring performers who promote ethnic hatred or “advocate obscenity or feudalism and superstition.”

The rules on performers may have come about after an outburst in March by Bjork, the popular Icelandic singer. She used a concert in Shanghai to advocate Tibetan independence. She shouted “Tibet! Tibet!” after performing “Declare Independence,” a song from her 2007 album, “Volta.” The outcry drew sharp criticism from Chinese Internet users and praise from international supporters of an independent Tibet.

I think the Chinese actually have a point here. The Olympics aren’t supposed to be a platform for people with agendas or protests, although it’s happened in the past. We often tell musicians to shut up and sing; China really means it. It might make some performers more appreciative of the fact that they can shoot their mouths off here.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 07/19/08 at 07:19 PM in Lee in China  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sniff ‘N’ Report

The Chinese want their citizens to keep their eyes, ears, and noses open for trouble.

BEIJING (Reuters) - Having deployed surface-to-air missiles, readied a 100,000-strong anti-terrorism force and instituted a series of security checkpoints, Beijing is adding Chinese residents as another layer in its shield to protect Olympics venues against possible attack.

Security officials are publishing a new “anti-terrorism manual” to educate Chinese about possible threats and instructing them how to respond in the event they are captured or encounter a threat, according to a Xinhua news agency report on Friday.

“When you notice something suspicious, you need to check it first, then listen, then smell, but try to avoid touching it,” the manual says, according to Xinhua.

It said the manual describes 39 different potential terrorism threats, including explosions, arson, shootings, hijacking and even chemical, biological, or nuclear attacks.

The security-obsessed government has identified a possible terrorist attack as the biggest potential threat to the successful hosting of the Games, which run from August 8-24, and it has widely publicized its security preparations.

“You also have to hide your mobile phones if kidnapped by terrorists,” an excerpt of the manual says, according to Xinhua.

It was not clear how many copies of the manual would be published or when and how it might be distributed.

If anything should serve as a lesson that the government can’t protect you from everything, it’s the way China is trying to cope with the impending Olympic Games. Of course, this probably won’t stop nannystaters from London to San Francisco from trying their darndest to emulate a Communist government.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 07/19/08 at 01:17 AM in Lee in China  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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