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All People Matter

Arab Spring Protests Are Ongoing—Protests Started With One Act

There have been large protests in Yemen in recent days and renewed protests in Morocco as the so-called Arab Spring continues.

(Above–Protests in Syria earlier in 2011. Photo by Syriana2011.)

These events take place as the very brave protesters in Syria keep up the presssure despite Tiananmen Square style brutality from the Assad government and as a new government takes over in Libya. 

Longstanding repressive governments have previously been toppled in 2011 in Tunisia and Egypt. 

One of the best sources to learn about these uprisings and revolutions is Global Voices.

Global Voices offers reports from bloggers and non-governmental social media users from all around the world.

Here is a Global Voices report about bloggers running for the Tunisian parliament.  Two of the 7 candidates profiled are women.

There is no way to be certain if the changes in the Arab world will lead to expanded freedoms or to new forms of repression. It may take years for any accurate appraisal to be given.

Yet the alternative to Arab citizens finding out for themselves what they will do with newfound liberties would have been more long years of dictatorship.

How could that be acceptable to any freedom-loving person?

It should also be recalled that while there are many underlying causes to the Arab uprisings, it is also so that all this started with one act by someone who had not before been widely known.

On December 10, 2010, a college educated 26 year old Tunisian named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire.

Like many Tunisians, Mr. Bouazizi had not been able to find steady work despite an education. Mr. Bouazizi had a number of rough encounters with local authorities in his town of Sidi Bouzid as he tried to peddle goods on the street.

Mr. Bouazizi reached a breaking point and set himself on fire with gasoline. This attracted attention all over Tunisia and led to the toppling of the Tunsian government.

From Tunisia these protests have spread to much of the Arab world.

Please don’t set yourself on fire—But who can know when or where the next act of defiance or despair will set in motion great change.

Hope and change that is more than a campaign slogan is always possible.

Yet just as we are seeing in the Middle East, it is up to everyday people to force change with brave and strong words and brave and strong deeds.

Below–Mohamed Bouaziz

September 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Senator Reid Says That Chinese Dictator Is A Dictator

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Chinese dictator Hu Jintao a dictator in a recent interview.

(Above–Senator Reid.)

Mr. Hu, who is President of China as well as a dictator, is in Washington this week.

Senator Reid will be among members of Congress meeting with Mr. Hu later this week.

China is indeed a dictatorship. You and I help the Chinese dictators remain in power by purchasing so much stuff made in China.

Here is the most recent Amnesty International report on China.

From that report—

“The authorities continued to tighten restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly and association due partly to sensitivities surrounding a series of landmark anniversaries, including the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic on 1 October. Human rights defenders were detained, prosecuted, held under house arrest and subjected to enforced disappearance. Pervasive internet and media controls remained. “Strike hard” campaigns resulted in sweeping arrests in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), particularly following violence and unrest in July. Independent human rights monitoring was prevented in Tibetan-populated regions. The authorities continued to strictly control the parameters of religious practice, with Catholic and Protestant groups practising outside official bounds being harassed, detained and sometimes imprisoned. The severe and systematic 10-year campaign against the Falun Gong continued.”

Here are some basic facts on China from the BBC.

Here is my post marking the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989.

January 20, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Brutal Chinese Dictatorship Marks 60 Years In Power

The brutal Chinese dictatorship is marking 60 years in power.

(Above–Man stopping tanks during Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Please click here for a Texas Liberal post with facts and links about Tiananmen Square.)

More than one billion people in China lack basic freedoms.

People such as myself support the dictatorship by routinely buying products made in China because it is cheap and easy to do so.

China may well be interesting place to visit and learn about. But please recall that China is ruled by people who kill to stay in power and who will do anything at all to hold power.

Here is the latest Amnesty International report about human rights in China.  

Here are some basic facts about China from the BBC. 

October 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 4 Comments

At Saatchi & Saatchi, They Say It Is Only Women Who Change Diapers

The New York Times ran an article recently about 1960’s graphic styles appearing in advertisements. Here is the story.

Here is an excerpt from the story—

“Our Luvs mom is all about making her own decisions,” Nicole Lobkowicz, vice president at the Luvs agency, Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, part of the Publicis Groupe, said in an e-mail message. “The ’60s era embodies the culture of thinking for yourself and taking a stand.”

Saatchi & Saatchi is a huge global concern.

Beyond the idea that the changes of the 1960’s  were about having women stay home to change diapers, I’ve got to wonder if Ms. Lobkowicz thinks that any “Luvs dads” are changing diapers. Is it just Luvs moms?

(Illustration above–An advertisement for Luvs using a 1960’s looking van. The kids in the van are multi-ethnic, but it seems that mom is still doing all the driving.)

I have no idea about her personal life, but I’d not be surprised if Ms. Lobkowicz has a husband willing to help take care of any children at home. Maybe there is even a domestic employee in the home in some capacity. That’s how it is in our society. People who already have some measure of privilege get help and Luvs moms are thrown to the wolves.  

Ms. Lobkowicz could have easily said “Luvs parents” or “Luvs moms and dads.”

There is nothing wrong with changing a diaper. Changing diapers is a task that must be done. What’s annoying is a well-educated and successful woman in 2009 using the 1960’s to shill for a domestic standard straight out of the 1950’s.

In fact, as seen by the painting below, men were helping change diapers at least as far back as 1631. Look at that woman behind the guy yelling at him to do a better job. I wish I could hang this horrible painting on the wall of Ms. Lobkowicz’s office. (The painting below was completed by Adriaen Brouwer in 1631. Brouwer painted many pictures of peasant life in Holland.)

File:Unangenehme Vaterpflichten.JPG

Here is some history of the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising firm. It’s from Wikipedia so take it with a grain of salt.

Here is the Saatchi web home. Here is a story from Saatchi about the new Head of Planning for China. He’ll be located in Beijing. You think they are working on a new campaign for democracy in China at the Beijing office?

I guess if you can do business with the butchers of Tiananmen, it can’t be so hard to have your people say that the 1960’s were about women changing diapers.

June 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Tiananmen Square Massacre Of June 4, 1989—The Ongoing Supression Of Freedom In China

In Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, the Chinese government massacred a large number of their own people who were protesting for greater political freedom.

Here is how the BBC reported events in Tiananmen Square in June of 1989.

The Chinese people do not yet have political freedom. Human rights abuses go in China each day. The current government of China contains many of the same officials who held positions of power in 1989. Today’s Chinese government is the continuation of the government that ordered the Tiananmen attack.

File:Tianasquare.jpg

Here is the Amnesty International 2008 report on human rights in China.

From the report—

Growing numbers of human rights activists were imprisoned, put under house arrest or surveillance, or harassed. Repression of minority groups, including Tibetans, Uighursand Mongolians, continued. FalunGongpractitioners were at particularly high risk of torture and other ill-treatment in detention. Christians were persecuted for practising their religion outside state-sanctioned channels. Despite the reinstatement of Supreme People’s Court review of deathpenaltycases, the death penalty remained shrouded in secrecy and continued to be used extensively. Torture of detainees and prisoners remained prevalent. Millions of people had no access to justice and were forced to seek redress through an ineffective extra-legal petition system. Women and girls continued to suffer violence and discrimination. Preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing were marked by repression of human rights activists. Censorship of the internet and other media intensified.”

(Above–Chinese characters meaning freedom.)

Here is an eyewitness account of the Tiananmen massacre with some history of the Tiananmen movement from the Huffington Post.

President Barack Obama does not seem view China’s human rights record as an important concern in U.S.-China relations.

The following is from a column in the New York Times written about Tiananmen by a Chinese writer named Yu Hua who was there in 1989—

THIS is the first time I am writing about Tiananmen Square. I am telling my story now because 20 years later — the anniversary is June 4 — two facts have become more apparent. The first is that the Tiananmen pro-democracy protests amounted to a one-time release of the Chinese people’s political passions, later replaced by a zeal for making money. The second is that after the summer of 1989 the incident vanished from the Chinese news media. As a result, few young Chinese know anything about it.But most important of all, I realize now that the spring of 1989 was the only time I fully understood the words “the people.” Those words have little meaning in China today. “The people,” or renmin, is one of the first phrases I learned to read and write. I knew our country was called “the People’s Republic of China.” Chairman Mao told us to “serve the people.” The most important paper was People’s Daily. “Since 1949, the people are the masters,” we learned to say…. In China today, it seems only officials have “the people” on their lips. New vocabulary has sprouted up — netizens, stock traders, fund holders, celebrity fans, migrant laborers and so on — slicing into smaller pieces the already faded concept of “the people… But in 1989, my 30th year, those words were not just an empty phrase. Protests were spreading across the country, and in Beijing, where I was studying, the police suddenly disappeared from the streets. You could take the subway or a bus without paying, and everyone was smiling at one another. Hard-nosed street vendors handed out free refreshments to protesters. Retirees donated their meager savings to the hunger strikers in the square. As a show of support for the students, pickpockets called a moratorium….”

 Here are four views on Tiananmen published by the N.Y. Times. 

( Below—Bodies of people killed by Chinese government at Tiananmen Square.)

Here is an overview of China today from the BBC.

China is a nation where over a billion people don’t have basic political freedom and human rights. This denial of basic rights was maintained by the murder of Chinese citizens by the Chinese government.

These facts are the defining facts of modern China.

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments