Tuesday, April 24, 2007

China and Human Rights - Nien Cheng is still alive you bastards!

Red Guards - Canton HQ 1966 The arm band of a Mao Thought Worker - Canton HQ 1966
I sometimes encounter proud young things who possess newly printed degrees from Canadian universities. Those who claim to have read modern Chinese history catch my attention because I’m always eager for exposure to new schools of thought. They usually disappoint. It bugs the hell out of me how few of them bother to investigate the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and worse, I have never met a Canadian grad whose read Nien Cheng’s memoir LIFE AND DEATH IN SHANGHAI. That’s a lapse which no China “specialist” should ever admit. In my view, if they haven’t read Nien Cheng, their degree is worth sh*t.

I would extend that unsavoury opinion to include the legitimacy of the new Canadian Museum of Human Rights. Our federal government just committed to pouring a staggering $311,000,000 in vote buying dollars for the museum's construction in Winnipeg, and goosed that with an additional $22,000,000 per year (for starters) in guaranteed operating costs. What is it's mandate? Probably to spend money and leave the government alone. My suggestion is that the new Museum seek out and record the tragic experiences of thousands of Chinese Canadian families who were victimized by the Chinese Communists during Mao's Cultural Revolution, much as Steven Speilberg has done with his Shoah Foundation and European Jewish Holocaust survivors. If they do that, instead of merely duplicating what's already been done by the Holocaust Museum in Washington, their museum will not be a total waste of our money.

Canadian Museum of Human Rights - ugly ArchitectureButt ugly design for $311 million CDN Human Rights Museum

Every thumb-sucking poseur in the world now feeds his or her vanity by getting a friend to post a Wiki page. Who cares for my gracious hero, Nien Cheng? Very few, it seems. So much for the self described “China experts” out there. Check out her Wiki tribute page! The fact is that the aged monsters who populate Chinese Communist retirement resorts have done a truly splendid job in suppressing Madame Cheng’s testimony. Several years ago a wealthy woman in Taiwan, a some time movie director, ahem!, purchased the film rights to LIFE AND DEATH IN SHANGHAI. It will never be filmed of course. The Red villains of Shanghai bribed the pseudo-Taiwanese bitch with primo real estate in Shanghai, in a covert Op to silence Madame Cheng’s voice and influence. Taiwanese are often easy to bribe. Fortunately her astonishing memoir is readily available on eBay, but simply buying a copy is not the real effort. Reading her testimony from cover to cover - now that's a commitment. It’s grown up subject matter after all. It demands something of you the reader. I’ve only read her book twice, but I know I can always benefit from another careful reading, and I will. It’s a responsibility which I feel deep in my soul.

Final thoughts? Oh yes, and for those Canadians planning a holiday trip to the Beijing Olympic Games – here is a little Chinese reality your grinning hosts will hide from you. Because... you just can’t handle the truth.

Execution of women in China - 2001
Beijing 2001. Women cops drag woman away to be executed.

AN UGLY SEQUENCE - Mass execution in 1994
Five images culled from a series taken at a Chinese Execution Ground. I don't know what these two women were accused of. I do know that blowing their heads apart with an assault rifle is totally inexcusable.
Execution of two women in China - on display before a crowd
They were first paraded before the public, and apparently one of her escort is ready for trouble. I suspect he has a pistol in his pocket and will plug her if she attempts to run or cry out.

Execution of two women in China 1994
The condemned were off-loaded from trucks and lined up at the Execution Ground. They were then frog-marched to a berm,  and stone dead not more than two minutes later.

Chinese officer shoots a prisoner in the head with a rifle

Chinese field execution of another young woman, using an assault rifle to blow her head off. Note the two cops leaning away from the muzzle blast. They don't want the taste of her brains in their mouths.

Executed woman in China

A chilling image and not one I enjoy posting, but it still happens in China on a regular basis.

Chinese Execution ground - dead woman

The second woman, equally disfigure by a high velocity bullet from an  assault rifle.  As stomach churning as these  images are,  I have seen a few even worse.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Movie Badness and Cho Seung-Hui's Madness

Cho Seung-Hui rockets onto the 'big screen' - his way.

"I'm setting the example, and it's going to be puzzled over and studied and followed, from now on." Kevin Spacey as John Doe in the movie SEVEN, New Line Cinema, 1995.

Writers of cinema murder mysteries toil like engine room stokers feeding the engines of Hollywood studios. They weave fabulously intricate yet reasonably plausible stories, festooned with clever plot devices, meaningful symbolism and of course, diabolical killers with deep background. Most of that exposition flies right over the brows of today's predominantly youthful movie audiences. Someone who understood that fact was 23 year old monster Cho Seung-Hui, the beast of Virginia Tech. Cho clearly wrote his own splatter film screenplay in his head and kept it simple enough for everyone to follow. His own agent and his own publicist, Cho gave the media a press kit (through NBC) that some are calling his "Multi-media Manifesto", a DVD replete with video clips, a still gallery, and art work. In other words it was carefully tailored for instant dissemination by all media on the planet.

Tony Burman, Editor in Chief of CBC News asked a question yesterday on his CBC webpage: "So what will be the iconic image that will forever recall the massacre at Virginia Tech? Will it be the grandfatherly face of Holocaust survivor Liviu Librescu? Or the glowing smile of Canadian Jocelyne Couture-Nowak?" Hardly. I replied in part with: "The answer to your question is that all of those faces, some even more appealing than the two you chose to distinguish, will be forgotten within a few weeks." That's undeniably true. The ONLY face we will remember is that of Cho.

His version of the Chow Yun Fat two-gun power pose.

The image most referenced by the world press was Cho's two-gun pose modeled after the Chow Yun Fat figure in A BETTER TOMORROW 1&2, and now much imitated. Today plenty was been made of the fact that Cho emulated iconic scenes from the the 2003 Korean film OLDBOY, and that is undeniably true. The plot of OLDBOY, a hyper-violent vengeance movie, was championed by Quenton Tarantino at Cannes, and is well thought of. Unquestionably it fed the sick fantasies of a reclusive paranoid like Cho, who was determined to set a new record for a mass killing, and to trigger a Wiki page that would last for a decade.

Two years ago security police at the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg removed Cho briefly from their campus and had him examined by an expert at a nearby mental health facility. He was diagnosed as mentally deranged and clearly suicidal. Still he had committed no crime that anyone knew of, and in deference to his rights he was released after a 48 hour stay. It's instructive to examine his signature "Seung Cho" on the legal form he signed at the time of his release. In addition to the severe rythmical disorganization, notice the left to right slash stroke before both the date line and the signature line. This guy was angry at being confined and it is not a stretch to suggest that he began to fantasize a massacre even before they released him.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

2010 Olympics - Are they as Corrupt as the 1976 Montreal Olympics?

Corruption comes in many forms… influence peddling, insider trading, cushy bonuses, pilfering, fixed contracts, big lies, dishonored promises. It comes as no surprise then to read in today’s Vancouver SUN that the elected government of B.C. continues to find creative ways to shovel fresh bales of our money into the 2010 Olympics incinerator. We now learn that ICBC, the vehicle licensing monopoly, has decided to become an “Official Supporter” of the 2010 Winter Games. ICBC’s fee to play in the Games? “15 – 50 million in cash and/or services”. The precise amount is currently a secret. This means that a whole raft of ICBC executives will be getting free Olympics tickets. You don’t believe it? Than how else explain why only 70% of Olmpics tickets will be offered for sale to the public? There are so many crooks lining up for free tickets that 30% are being held back to pass out to Olympics “Supporters” and “Friends of the Games”. How many suckers who pay hundreds of dollars for their seats will appreciate that the happy fellow sitting next to you got in for free?

Since “history repeats itself,” I thought I should read a little about the highly corrupt 1976 Montreal Olympics, to get a leg up on the RCMP investigations which will begin in 2010. The best book on the subject was THE BILLION DOLLAR GAME : Jean Drapeau and the 1976 Olympics, written by Nick Auf der Maur. Amazing to tell, but this book isn’t profiled on the Internet. Yesterday I bought a copy of my own. The book is an eye opener, and possibly an indication of the scope of the scandal which will follow Vancouver’s 2010 Games. The most interesting chapter covers OPERATION HERMES, a series of more than 40 police raids on the construction companies building the venues. The Olympics Village contract went to a figure involved with the Mafia in Quebec, but the dictatorial mayor of Montreal, in concert with Quebec justice officials used their influence to prevent any criminal charges being laid before the Olympic Games had been staged.

The principle Mafia figure involved in 1970s Olympics construction was Guiseppe (Joe) Zappia, a fellow with one foot in construction, another in politics and both hands on the cash. Incredibly, Zappia was in so tight with Quebec’s political elite that he accompanied Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa’s delegation to meetings with the Shah of Iran in October 1975. They flew on separate planes of course, but Zappia was there in Teheran. Quebec companies, already bloated with Montreal boodle, were salivating over the contract to build the Olympic Village for the proposed 1984 Teheran Games.

When the RCMP and Quebec police investigations got too hot Joe Zappia did what many crooks do – he became a political candidate. In 1976 he became a contender for the leadership of the federal Progressive Conservative Party. (This tactic is a time honoured tradition out here in B.C., especially in the South Asian and Chinese communities. Not so much among the local Italians, unless I’m mistaken.) The Tories were stunned and had to work fast to keep Zappia out of the race. Auf der Maur’s book was published in 1976 but a few journalists continued to dog Zappia, who has always maintained his position in the Cosa Nostra. He was finally charged with Olympics construction fraud but the case dragged on till 1988 when he was acquitted “after two key witnesses died before testifying at his trial”. Reclaiming his Canadian passport, Zappia moved back to Italy and set up a new construction company. What else? At the age of 80 he was still at it. In 2005 he was arrested by the Italian police, charged with money laundering in relation to a $7 billion dollar public works project – the new bridge to link Sicily to the Italian mainland.
That's a history lesson. Get ready for the news.

Friday, April 6, 2007

The 2010 Vancouver Olympics - Who's Going?

Who is actually going to attend the 2010 Winter Games? Are you? I have been asking around for about two weeks now, wondering what the great un-polled majority are thinking. So far I haven't met anyone, not a single local resident, who is planning to buy tickets. Most said they would watch on TV, or simply ignore it. The truth be told, since Vancouver is not even a winter city, the winter sports do not have a huge following here. (It's not a given that those who ski for pleasure, also follow competitions.) Heck, some of us even have flowers blooming in the yard during those long, rainy months of the year.

Our family was living in Alberta during the Calgary Winter Games, and didn't go near the Olympics, but it’s not that we are opposed to mass public spectacles. We did attend EXPO 86 in Vancouver, and had a great time. No one should attempt to deny that EXPO revitalized the downtown and added much needed infrastructure to the urban core. True the city overdid it with post-Olympics redevelopment, which created a surreal bristling landscape of condo towers, arching from the Burrard Inlet over to False Creek. But that's planning genius for you. Businesses are fleeing that new downtown reality in droves.

Actually the "Vancouver" Olympic events are much better termed the “2010 Richmond-Vancouver-Whistler Games,” as they are parceled out over a very wide area. The consensus seems to be that only the Richmond venues will be sold out. "Rich-man" as some term it, is a wealthy Asian municipality, and the Chinese do love their city. They will not let their city fathers down, and can be counted on to oversubscribe local ticket sales. The same cannot be said for far distant events. Most people seem to expect tickets for the Whistler competitions to be heavily discounted during the last two or three months, simply to fill empty seats. It will help some, but broadcast TV and streaming video over the Internet will be the only sensible way to take in the games. Who wants to watch
fast moving dots when you can stay home and actually see the event on the widescreen.

The Olympics “legacy” as it’s termed, will be the endless years of paying for hosting the elephant. I was reminded today of the great editorial cartoon which lampooned the disastrous boast of Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau, who said on January 29, 1973 “The Olympics can no more have a deficit than a man can have a baby.” The cartoon (above)shows the pregnant mayor placing a call to the Morgantaler abortion clinic. The last payment on Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, nicknamed “The Big Owe,” was in November 2006 – a full thirty years after the Closing Ceremonies. I guess the local equivalent to mayoral cupidity might be, “The Olympics can no more have a deficit than a lame politician might walk.” Too heartless you say? Hardly. What’s cruel will be the Olympics bill foisted on ratepayers for decades to come.

The CBC Archives offer some wonderful news clips of the 1976 Olympics fiasco online. http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-41-1316-7917/sports/montreal_olympic_games/clip1 They serve to remind us of the wildly over optimistic predictions of an earlier Olympics committee promising a “self financing” festival. In the audio you can hear Mayor Drapeau predict that after the games conclude selfish interests across Canada would in fact fight over the spoils, the huge Olympics revenue surplus his municipal regime was projecting. It's a hoot.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The Smiler With a Knife

In my serious moments I try to keep up with the heavier side of the news. That’s sometimes a tad hard to accomplish in Canada, where we’re ass-deep in info-tainment. I find that a key impediment to truth telling in the media are the professional “news editors” – those who get to decide what WE can and cannot read. Stories may get written, but editors can opt to spike them. Case in point: today I found an important Canadian story buried inside of a lengthy European Intelligence summary which I subscribe to online. The piece is in French so I had to search GOOGLE NEWS for an English translation. Only three English papers in this whole country printed it ! The story describes a new book written by Quebec investigative journalist Fabrice de Pierrebourg. It’s called MONTREALISTAN and among other functions, the book profiles twenty active Muslim terrorists who are currently living in Canada and being monitored by our Intelligence Services – CSIS, CSE and their assorted little brother agencies, 24 hours a day. Isn’t that a book a few citizens would like to made aware of? He alleges for example, that Salam Elmenyawi who is the President of the Muslim Council in Montreal, [his photo below]was once part of the worldwide network which succeeded in helping Pakistan achieve nuclear capability. Pierrebourg's research found that he was arrested in 1980, a member of a criminal conspiracy trying to re-export embargoed American technology from Montreal. Though convicted he was let off with a token fine.

This sounds like the Jyllands-Posten Danish cartoon fiasco all over again.
Here we now have a Canadian expeditionary force in Afghanistan, fighting the Taliban and hunting the militant Sunni terror group Al Qaeda, and our news editors decide the first book of 2007 discussing Muslim terrorists in Canada is NOT worthy of attention? Isn't the taint of widespread journalistic appeasement too often the response to the bared terrorist blade? Refresh your memory with my February 4th Blog report: “NOTEWORTHY DEATH OF A MUSLIM FIREBRAND”.

It’s not like Montreal and Toronto are the only bases of dangerous activity by Muslim extremists. They’re here in Vancouver too. Believe it! Just one personal anecdote is sufficient to prove my point.

In the 2000 federal election I ran for a seat in parliament. There was only one serious opponent – Herb Dhaliwal, the Liberal incumbent. About a week into the campaign I got a call from a Muslim leader who asked that I visit his place of business to talk support. I did so. He gave me a breakdown on the help that his community had given the Liberals over the years and assured me that many of his friends were disenchanted and wanted to deliver a rebuke to the Liberals by giving me some of that largesse. (That was a fun thought.) In order to demonstrate his “insider” status the businessman mentioned several things for which he took credit, including the fact that he had personally hosted an important Pakistani nuclear physicist who had passed through Vancouver a few days before, enroute to the Middle East. We agreed on a time for him to bring a delegation of Community leaders to my campaign office, for a closed door meeting. When they arrived I learned that every one was of Pakistan origin. Pleasantries aside, they were really interested in only two things – what were my personal views on Jews and the State of Israel, and assuming my party won the election, what could I accomplish with respect to Canada’s position on Kashmir? A few days later I spoke to my new “friend”. I was told the delegation wasn’t satisfied with my answers and would continue to support Mr. Dhaliwal.

About a year later I read in the news that the BC Muslim Association was starting a building fund for a mosque in Burnaby, B.C. The Ismaili community in Vancouver have a big facility in Burnaby which was inaugurated over twenty years ago, by then Tory Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. The rising Pakistan community now wanted a mosque of their own, but it's taken time. I didn’t give the matter much thought until one morning I read that the president of the local Pakistani Muslim group had been shot down in his driveway, and had died in his son’s arms. The hit took place on Jan. 5, 2003. I Googled the assassination story and also found some clear colour photos of the victim.
Riasat Ali Khan was one of the five man delegation which visited my campaign office in 2000 to check me out. His murder slowed the fund raising effort, of course.
The mosque on Canada Way in Burnaby, which is Sunni, still isn’t quite finished, but an open-house was held last week. I note there is a federal election on the horizon. All the federal parties are now “bridge building,” as they term it, in the ethnic communities which are perceived to decide local polling results. I predict that the Canada Way mosque is going to get some non-Muslim visitors, but the Tories have no chance of picking up votes there.

Update : I just checked the Muslim Council of Montreal website, where they post immediate responses to everything which annoys them. The site is silent on the subject of Fabrice de Pierrebourg, and that speaks volumes. Further, I went to the site where most Canadian news junkies start their day and asked Pierre Bourque for his take on Pierrebourg and his book. His reply " Hi Ron, never heard of him or his book. - p " I rest my case. The media has put Pierrebourg on ignore, and that ignorance is at our expense.