Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

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Archive for the ‘Democracy’ Category

R.I.P. Liu Xiaobo

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, July 14, 2017

Liu Xiaobo  28 December 1955 – 13 July 2017

Posted in Censorship, China, Democracy, History, Human Rights, Newsflash | 158 Comments »

Christmas, 2016

Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, December 22, 2016

I just want to start out, here and now, by saying that I’ve had a great year. Really, it’s been my best year in twenty years, no bullshit. 2016 went very well for me and in nearly every respect exceeded my expectations.

But yeah, it’s been a pretty rough year for most people in the world, I get it. And not a very nice year for human decency, or Rule Of Law, or just about any other high-minded concept you care to name. It’s been a great ride for demagogues and dictators and the angels of hate and all their minions, but none of that has played out well for ordinary folks anywhere at all, and next year is set to be fairly terrible as well. Don’t be surprised if ammo becomes a sort of de facto currency in some places, is what I’m saying.

So, this year none of my girls will be dressing up as Christmas Eve for your entertainment, and none of us will be leading with a Christmas Rant. Sorry to disappoint, but perhaps this year we should try a bit harder than usual to find a little kindness in our hearts for people we don’t feel much affiliation with. It seems like the right thing to do.

That said, I did want to talk about a problem that’s been in my thoughts: Illegal Immigrants. Bear with me, please.

One of the countries I am a citizen of, has a problem with illegal immigrants. Some people in my country are in favour of extreme measures. I am going to be referring to the largest group of illegals in this piece, so as not to be accused of painting with too broad a brush.

Many of these illegals come bearing what can only be described as an extreme form of their religion, and one that is not popular in my country. They don’t seem to feel that local laws should apply to them; that they are somehow immune and should only answer to the laws of their own home country. They are the ones that are most over-represented in political activism. They don’t make much effort to learn the local culture or speak the way local folks do, and they frequently hang out with their own countrymen, celebrating their own, obscure, festivals. People in my country are having to support these illegals with their tax contributions, and are paying the price of a housing bubble caused, in part, by legal foreign investment from these illegal immigrants’ home country.

What to do? Should we get tough on these people? Should we put up signs at the border saying they aren’t welcome? Or would that cause an international outcry and charges of racism? Currently, when these illegals are caught, they are deported after being given due legal process, but this clearly isn’t working as the long-term trend is towards more immigration from that country. And, given we do have extensive trade with that country, would we really want to put that at risk? Should we be afraid of possible military or economic consequences if we are too tough on these illegals, or should we go ahead and target their families for, say, drone strikes? Remember, these illegal immigrants make up the largest portion of the illegal immigration that my country faces. What do you all think?

I don’t know if it matters what the ethnicity of these illegals is, but in case you are wondering, they are White Americans.

Something to think about in 2017, I reckon.

Merry Christmas.

Santa Looking for Reindeer Replacements

Posted in Charity, Democracy, Festivals et al, Human Rights | 15 Comments »

I am not Charlie

Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, January 15, 2015

150115 I Am Not Charlie
A great many people have recently come out in support of the publication Charlie Hebdo, with the declaration “Je Suis Charlie,” or “I Am Charlie”. That’s fine with me, and I totally understand those sentiments. I share some of them. But MyLaowai is not Charlie; it is MyLaowai.

To put things into sharp focus, it is the policy of Team MyLaowai to support criticism of Islam. And Christianity. And Judaism. And any of the other weird and wonderful ‘beliefs’ people sometimes have.

Also, whenever possible, dictators and elected representatives, the police, the military (including the men and women who serve under arms). Parents are not given a free pass, nor are schoolteachers. Presidents and Kings and Queens and Generals are fair and legitimate targets. In fact, anyone in a position of power or authority can and should be open to criticism.

When you are in a position of power or authority, it is free and open and above all public criticism that helps keep you honest. The Chinese Communist Party doesn’t allow that, nor does Kim Jong-Un, to give a couple of examples. But what about the people who feel offended by criticism, direct or implied? Don’t those people have a right to not be offended?

No. In places where human expression is a value that is valued, if you don’t like what someone is saying, you have a whole slew of options available to you – you can simply not listen, you can make counter-arguments, or you can even try to persuade people to change their minds. And you can certainly harden the fuck up and grow a thicker skin. Hearing things you don’t like is a part of life in any sane society, it can even be educational at times, and the sooner you learn to deal with it in a mature fashion, the better and happier you and your society will be. And if you are in any way a civilised person, you will step in to support the underdog in almost every situation.

Well, what about so-called ‘hate speech’? Should Neo-Nazi’s and Communists and Tea Party spokespeople and anti-abortionists and anti-gay marriage activists and other dribbling idiots be allowed to preach violence at all and sundry? That’s not where we should automatically draw the line, but it is precisely the place where we need to examine where lines might be drawn. You might think that’s an easy one, that preaching violence against a group is clearly wrong, but what about the oppressed peoples of the world who live until the heel of a powerful and dictatorial regime and who have tried unsuccessfully for decades to win their freedom by peaceful dialogue? I wouldn’t draw the line against them, though I’d understand it if you did. A better way to look at it, would be to look at who has power and who does not, and in general terms I think most reasonable folks would say that those without power have a greater right to express themselves against those who do. And what is the difference between saying that you support people who commit violence, and actually committing that violence yourself? A big one. I should very much like Tibet and East Tukestan to be freed, and on this point you may agree or differ. But not many of you would argue that it was morally wrong to free the oppressed peoples of France in 1943, for example. And from this we can see that the exact same lines have been drawn in different places, because they were politically or practically expedient to do so. That is morally wrong, but it is a geopolitical reality that I can’t change.

I wouldn’t want to be the guy who drew up the laws that define precisely where the lines are, though, which is one reason why I’d rather criticise a politician than be one myself. The best I can do is draw my own lines, try to persuade you that they are drawn correctly, and be open to you changing my mind instead. It has happened before.

So what I can, perhaps, change, are my own beliefs, and the beliefs of the people I speak with. I know people who actually believe that the current Emperor of China is a good guy. Wow, I’m as opposed to that point of view as it’s possible to be, but rather than get all hot under the collar, I try to talk them around. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes I am not, but they remain people all the same. I know people who criticise my country. Fine with me – if you say something I disagree with I shall do my best to set you straight, just as I do when someone criticises your country in a manner that I feel is unjustified.

So, my personal line is drawn in a personal position, and that is a position you may share or not. I shan’t burst into tears if yours is different. But I will say this: be very careful when you feel a sense of outrage or wish to support someone out of a sense that is not your own, because that is when you are most likely to overreact and, in so doing, actually reduce the rights of the powerless to free speech.

MyLaowai is not Charlie, because the lines here are drawn differently. We do, however, support Charlie Hebdo’s absolute right to say the things they wish to say, as well as the absolute right of anyone to not agree with them. But not to pick up a gun as a way of winning the argument.

I hope you think about this issue, and think on it long and hard. Not because you should share the view here, but because the better people understand the issues and the more they have thought about their own positions and why they hold them, the less likely they are to pick up that gun themselves, except in extremis.

Thank you. Normal programming will now resume.

Posted in Ask MyLaowai, Censorship, Democracy | 1 Comment »

What Really Happened…

Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What Really Happened

Posted in Ask MyLaowai, Censorship, China, Democracy, History, Human Rights, Motivational! | 1 Comment »

Jackie “I am a Douche” Chan

Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, January 12, 2013

A reader writes:
You simply must write a piece on the utter sellout doucheness of Jackie “CCP Sycophant” Chan!!

Jackie Chan, or Chan Kong San as he was named at birth, is the action star of many advertisements for excellent products. Here are a few:
Jackie's Weak Ads
Wow. Imagine being the proud owner of a product (produced using a ‘Renowned Family of Traditional Chinese Herbs’) that “Makes Hair Naturally Dark and Shiny with all its [sic] Strength”. Hey, if Jackie uses that shit, it’s gotta be good, right? I’m sold.

But there’s more to Mister Chan than meets the eye. He is, for instance, a musical star. Of various Canto-pop songs. And Mando-pop, whatever that is. Probably it isn’t what normal people think of as music. But wait, there’s more. He was born in Hong Kong, which was a part of the British Empire until Great Britain gave Hong Kong to Red China (very much against the wishes of the people living there, it must be said). His parents were in fact refugees from China, who had fled to Hong Kong because it was, quite frankly, a better place in every possible way, much as it is today. He didn’t do very well at school, but he did better as a stuntman and as an extra in a few films, most of which were only moderately successful. The films in which he played a starring role were all commercial flops, however. His real breakthrough, his first film to make any money, was a porn-flick entitled All In The Family. At this point, as far as I am concerned, the story should have ended, but he went on to do another porn-flick entitled The Shinjuku Incident, after which he wisely emigrated to Australia. Anyway, one thing led to another and he made a few more films, some of which actually didn’t fail much. He eventually married a citizen of Taiwan, and they had a son. Jackie doesn’t admit to being the father of his other child, who was born out of an affair. I think that’s pretty fucking weak as it happens, but hey, when you are a Big Star, what do you care if you are a douche, right?

But all that is neither here nor there. Jackie Chan is a person who was born in a free country, raised in another free country, married a woman from yet another free country, and made his money selling films to a variety of free countries. However, he sees nothing wrong in selling out the citizens of any number of free countries if he thinks it will benefit him personally. And sell them out he does:
2004, Shanghai: “[the free elections in Taiwan are] the biggest joke in the world.”
2008, Olympic Torch Relay: “Demonstrators better not get anywhere near me.”
2009, BOAO Forum: “…in the 10 years after Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule, I can gradually see, I’m not sure if it’s good to have freedom or not… If you’re too free, you’re like the way Hong Kong is now. It’s very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic… I’m gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we’re not being controlled, we’ll just do what we want.”
2010, botched hostage rescue in Manila: “If they killed the guy sooner, [protestors] will say why not negotiate first? If they negotiate first, they ask why not kill the guy sooner?”
2012, Hong Kong: “demonstrators’ rights in Hong Kong should be limited.”

Now, I’m not saying this guy is all bad. He isn’t. He actually does do quite a lot of good, charitable things. But he is still a douche. That’s just a FACT. Not convinced? When he was recently accused of not being a real man, he claimed he had frightened away the Triads with grenades and machine guns, yet when the Police then expressed an interest in speaking to him about this slight breach of the peace, he mumbled that he’d been making up porkies. Sounds like a douche to me, folks.

Anyway, make you own minds up. For my part, he is a feckless, bedwetting fucktard. And his Kung Fu is Weak.
Jackie Chan is Fucked

Posted in Brown Nose Award, Democracy, Human Rights, Media | 8 Comments »

Where for art thou, Falling Cow?

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, December 10, 2010

A good mate of mine, a local laddie who hates this place even more than I do, once said to me: “Do you know why we say Confucius? Because he very confuse us!”

Yeah, well, by Chinese standards that was very funny and probably qualifies as Joke of the Year. And, like all great comedy (and trust me on this one, that really was great comedy. It had them rolling in the aisles in Hefei) it contains more than an ounce of truth.

I reckon anyone who says “Man go through airport security sideways going to Bangkok” must know what he’s on about.

But he was a funny old geezer, that Confucius. Mad as a hatter, of course, and like all great Chinese in history, as bent as a nine bob note. He wore a dress, did you know that? And kept a small stable of young boys for his, ahem, entertainment. And he was forever going around saying things like “Man with one chopstick go hungry”. No one understood him then, and no one understands him now.

Despite this, however, Confucius apparently did understand his fellow Chinese rather well, as illustrated by this wee gem: “If the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishments, they will try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame”. “An oppressive government is more feared than a tiger” is another tasty morsel at his feast of wisdom.

I think Confucius would have understood all too well the morals and motivations of China’s present ruling dynasty, but I’m not entirely certain that he would have approved of his name being associated with a world-wide spy network, or a charlatan ‘prize’. That said, he would without any doubt have laughed his ass off at the clowns who handed out that prize last night…

The so-called ‘Confucius Peace Prize’ was created by the mandarins in Peking last week in order to show the world that people from Norway are bad. Or something along those lines; it never was terribly clear what the award was actually for, which is just one more reason why my friend’s joke is so apt. Something about the Chinese viewpoint of peace, I think, which means putting people in prison if they look at you funny.

The nominees were: the 11th Panchen Lama (selected by Peking after the real 11th Panchen Lama was made to disappear), a Chinese poet no one has ever heard of before (but who conveniently holds a post at the Ministry of Culture), and six ‘international figures’ who were not actually named. But the winner, who was selected after a nationwide online poll that organisers later admitted didn’t take place, was former Taiwanese vice-president Lien Chan. Chan wasn’t there to receive the prize, because he “was unaware he had been chosen or even that there was such a prize named after the famed Chinese sage”, according to his office. And so, his prize was given instead to a six-year-old girl. No one knows anything about her, except that she is the daughter of one of the committee members, and he is now taking care of the RMB$100,000 prize money for her. Questioned by reporters as to the nominee selection process, the committee chairman replied it was “a very long and complicated process. We can discuss this in the future”. He then departed hastily.

Chinese authorities have denied that this award is in any way linked to the highly respected Nobel Peace Prize, awarded this year to Liu Xiaobo for his two decades of non-violent struggle for human rights, saying “Norway is only a small country with scarce land area and population … it must be in the minority in terms of other relatively large numbers concerning the conception of freedom and democracy”. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Jiang Yu said: “those people at the Nobel committee have to admit they are in the minority. The Chinese people and the overwhelming majority of people in the world oppose what they do.”

Confucius would have loved it. And the Nobel Committee will have the last laugh of all.

But nobody goes away empty handed at MyLaowai (the internally-renowned and very-famous-in-the-world award-winning scholarly resource). And so I dedicate this Falling Cow Award to the assclowns in Peking who seem to think the rest of us are all too stupid to see them for the yellow-tailed bamboo monkeys that they are. China, the joke’s on you.

And my deepest respects to Liu Xiaobo and the thousands of other genuine peace activists who are now either under house arrest or are languishing in Chinese prisons. Because if this country is to have any future at all, it lies with them and not with the thugs and criminals who are currently in charge.

Falling Cow Award
When called an idiot sometimes is better to be quiet than to open mouth and remove all doubt.

Posted in Democracy, Falling Cow Zone, Human Rights, Media | 88 Comments »

June 4th? POTIF!

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, June 4, 2010

It’s June 4th. But no one actually seems to either know what that means, or care if they do.

At least it’s also a Friday.

Posted in Censorship, China, Democracy, Fact Friday, Human Rights | 81 Comments »

Let Us Leap The Bog Once Again

Posted by MyLaowai on Wednesday, March 17, 2010

You might not know this, but the Irish are in many ways the spiritual cousins of the Chinese. No, really. Think about these few historical facts for a moment:

Item 1. The general population claims there is a famine caused by foreigners, even though in reality some practical joker merely hid the potatoes under the ground. Decades of hatred and resentment follow.

Item 2. The general population claims there is a famine caused by foreigners, and emigrates to the United States of Awesome. So, they can afford to emigrate but they have no money to go to a restaurant or the local chip shop.

Item 3. The most-famous-man-in-the-history-of-the-nation’s claim to fame is the fact that he rid the Land of all the snakes. There never have been any snakes in the Land, not even in the zoo.

Item 4. An elected Government proves unpopular with the losers (who, by definition, are in the minority). Civil war erupts.

How Chinese is that?

Of course, on the bright side, they brew a passable pint and the food is tasty and nutritious, and there’s nothing Chinese about any of that. Plus, some of the women are not bad looking, either. And on that happy note, let’s celebrate something else the Irish don’t have in common with the Chinese, shall we? Let’s all have a Vote.

Which of these two lovely lasses, in your opinion, pours the best pint?

Posted in Democracy, Festivals et al | 9 Comments »

Now you CAN vote in China!

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 is upon us, and promises to be the most glorious and harmonious year ever! Yes folks, the MyLaowai crew are already nose to the grindstone, creating genuine hand-crafted posts out of genuine, non-imitation meaty goodness for the entire family.

With that in mind, we’re sending up a balloon, looking for a show of hands, taking note of the numbers, conducting a census, canvassing for your opinion, testing the waters, and begging for a ballot. Put another way, we have a question to ask of you:

Which Award do you prefer to see more of in 2010? We have the time honoured, traditional, and very famous in the world Wet Pussy Award, the very fashion and diligent Soggy Box, and the surprising third option, which is very good for your healthy and promises to invigorate your Wang and balance your Chi. It will probably do something for your Vitalkidneyfunction, too.

So don’t delay, vote today! It’s probably illegal but we’re crazy that way. Go to the polls, cast your ballot, exercise your ticking hand, and make your voice heard. Good luck, and may you never be imprisoned, tortured, or shot for your efforts.

Posted in Democracy | 7 Comments »

But what if they had a choice?

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, December 27, 2009

Posted in Democracy | 2 Comments »