The Day Today
I realise it’s quite a tall order to completely boycott Chinese products, given that nobody else seems to bloody well make anything these days, but the sheer inhumanity of China’s totalitarian so-called communist1 government requires a response that goes beyond hand-wringing and toothless criticism.
I’ve been trying to avoid Chinese-made products for years, because I don’t want poor quality stuff made by wage-slaves which has been shipped halfway across the world, but in the light of this morning’s execution of a seriously mentally ill man who was duped into smuggling some drugs into the country, I’m going to redouble my efforts not to buy anything made there.
According to Jiang Yu, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, “nobody has the right to speak ill of China’s judicial sovereignty”. Yes they do. You can’t gag people outside your own country, however much you’d like to do so.
As I’m sure you’re aware, there’s no shortage of appalling acts perpetrated by the Chinese authorities (unless you happen to live in China, in which case they’ll make sure you don’t hear about it). Human Rights Watch highlights many such examples:
Twenty years after the army killed untold numbers of unarmed civilians in Beijing and other cities on and around June 3-4, 1989, the Chinese government continues to victimize survivors, victims’ families, and others who challenge the official version of events.
Not often something comes along that makes me think relocating to the US might be a good idea, but this is different…
In one scene, Nancy Reagan urges her husband to do more to help Aids sufferers, but he blocks the discussion, declaring: “They that live in sin shall die in sin.”
At one point it is also suggested that [Reagan] drew the inspiration for the star wars missile defence scheme from a 1940 film, in which he starred, entitled Murder in the Air.
An appeal to all Jezblog readers: can we have a whip-round and buy Channel Five the UK broadcasting rights to this for Chrimbo?
US plans to ‘own space’. Dubya wishes to plough yet more billions into
offence defence, with the aim of militarizing space.
The Daily Bigot, Britain’s (very) right wing rag with delusions of being a proper newspaper held a vote yesterday on whether the UK should have a referendum on joining the euro. This paper’s readership being what it is, I don’t expect anything other than a NO result. However, along with a good many other proper left-leaning folk, I left my YES vote on their site yesterday.
Today’s Grauniad carries quite a good piece on this. I particularly enjoyed their description of the Daily Mail:
It is usually described as rightwing, but this does not necessarily tell strangers to Mail-land much about it, in the same way that “interested in women” would be an accurate but not useful characterisation of Peter Stringfellow.
The whole exercise was being touted as a referendum, but is actually, of course, an opinion poll. A poorly organised one at that – multiple votes for anybody were permitted and doubtless used. I have no idea about the printed “ballot forms”, but online, you had to give an e-mail address and your name. A secret ballot? Hardly. Of course, I have my Hotmail account for such uses – all my spam just piles up in there, unread.
UPDATE: Actually – all very confusing. What would be the best thing for a pro-euro person? A referendum may well allow lots of extremely unintelligent people to veto the euro on the grounds that it’s foreign and not English and therefore ain’t fer us, innit? Pounds and pence have only been in existence for thirty-odd years, so there’s no reason to be sentimental about them. The decision should be based on economic reasons only, and therefore taken by those democratically elected people who understand such things. So perhaps I should have voted ‘no’ then. No matter – it was only a deeply flawed Daily Bigot poll.
Leaders of the world’s richest nations meet in Cancun on September 10th 2003. Oxfam is presenting them with a petition to make trade fair. Be sure your voice is heard.
They’ve managed to track down Salam Pax, the Iraqi Blogger in Baghdad. He’ll get a fortnightly column in the Guardian from next week onwards.
I’ve always liked Belgium.
The use of cluster bombs by the United Kingdom of American States in the recent war was utterly deplorable, and those who ordered / sanctioned their use must be brought to account for crimes against humanity.
An open letter to the RATP (Paris public transport company):
If you are not actually going to go ahead with a strike on a Monday morning, perhaps you shouldn’t actually have announced a complete standstill to all metro traffic last week. Because if you do announce a strike for a Monday, people might believe you, and spend ages cycling in to work in the pouring rain, getting drenched and freezing cold, and then feel like a complete ninny when their colleagues tell them they should have listened to the radio that morning for the traffic news. And I was really knackered this morning – I could have done with taking the metro.
flaneur AT flanerie.co.uk
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The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein
The Quincunx: The Inheritance of John Huffam by Charles Palliser
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