20 June, 2005

should armageddon be capitalized?

Via the Avian Flu Blog, FuturePundit offers a deluxe to-do list on how to prepare for the Avian flu pandemic.:

UPDATE: I won’t be posting much new linkage for a short while due to the TypePad blackout. But on the bird flu, Thank you CCP.

by @ 10:22 pm. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Global/grober, Central Asia

china’s traffic laws

In China my sympathy often falls on the side of anti-government protesters, but not necessarily in this instance. If rule of law is to come to China, a good place to start would be the enforcement of traffic laws.:

More than 200 people attacked police in southern China’s Guangdong province after officers tried to detain a bus driver who broke a traffic law, state media said.
The incident occurred Saturday after two police officers stopped a bus on a road near the border of Guangzhou and Foshan cities when it waited too long for more passengers, Xinhua news agency said on its website.
The officers demanded to see the bus license but the driver refused, apparently trying to avoid getting a ticket. The ticket collector and driver pushed the police off the bus and drove away.

Dan at Talk Talk China offers tips on how to safely jay-walk in Beijing, I assure you that these guidelines can also be applied to using a crosswalk in Shanghai.

by @ 10:13 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

i’m sure the iraqis appreciate this

I was worried that I would have to change my opinion of lunatic former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad after yesterday noting that he was the only Asean ’statesman’ that I had seen saying that Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi deserved freedom. Thankfully, my opinion can remain unchallenged. Maobi brings me this notice that Dr M is still a moonbat.

Apparently an organization
known as the Emergency Committee for Iraq. It’s chaired by Mahathir and
a couple of others. All I can say is fortunately this guy is no longer
paid out of my tax dollars.
So what does this comittee do? Send toys to Iraq? Donate books to build a better future for Iraq? Maybe it’s to give things to the children of Iraq.  Maybe it’s to send medical supplies to Baghdad, after all this guy used to be a doctor.
to make sure Saddam Hussein get’s a fair trial. Not content with
protecting one dictator he is already laying the ground work to protect
yet another dictator…

by @ 9:23 pm. Filed under Malaysia, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia


Given the number of visitors who are suddenly arriving from XiaXue (hi Chloe!), it seems imperative to blog about something cute and pink. We here at AsiaPundit would not want to intimidate any first-time visitors with our revolutionary black-and-red color scheme.

Thankfully, Tokyo Times has alerted us to the latest fashion accessory for Hello Kitty fans:

Hello_kitty_helmetLeather-clad bikers who simply can’t get enough pussy need worry no more. Whilst Sanrio may not (yet) produce a Hello Kitty motorbike, these new helmets should ease any frustrations for now.

KtmotorcycleNow, In an effort to further boost traffic by attacking other bloggers, let me note that there is a grave factual error in the above paragraph. While Sanrio does not produce a motorbike it did license the Hello Kitty brand to Yahama for a special-edition ‘motorcycle.’

Lee, you ignorant slut, do some freakin research (or at least Google).

by @ 8:42 pm. Filed under Culture, Japan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Hello Kitty watch

india economy roundup (15)

Nitin has put together the 15th weekly blogside view of the Indian economy at the Acorn.

by @ 8:13 pm. Filed under India, Asia, Economy, South Asia

bastard son of jakartass

Congratulations to Jakartass. Positive and long-overdue changes to Indonesia’s citizenship law mean that Jakartass and long-time partner will finally be able to tie the knot.

Currently, as Jakartass notes:

now comes news that the
House of Representatives legislation committee will propose a new bill
on citizenship, which aims to eliminate discriminatory articles under
the current problematic law.
Legislation committee member, Nursjahbani Katjasungkana, said that the purpose would be to erase as much as possible all discriminatory items in the existing law - especially those regarding women and children.

‘Er Indoors and I should be able to complete the marriage procedures
started 15 years ago. Once we have, Our Kid will no longer be a bastard
~ on paper rather than metaphorically.

The metaphorical status of the father will be unchanged by the revision of the law.

by @ 7:10 pm. Filed under Culture, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Southeast Asia

china’s new left

Oh dear, another ‘new left’ is emerging (via Peking Duck):

This is a loose coalition of academics who challenge China’s market reforms with a simple message: China’s failed 20th century experiment with communism cannot be undone in the 21st century by embracing 19th century-style laissez-faire capitalism.
China is "caught between the two extremes of misguided socialism and crony capitalism, and suffering from the worst of both systems," says Wang Hui, a professor of literature at Beijing’s Tsinghua University. His passionate denunciations of China’s market reforms in Du Shu, a magazine he edits, are partly credited with energizing China’s New Left intellectuals. "We have to find an alternate way. This is the great mission of our generation."
Such grand visions notwithstanding, the New Left’s adherents don’t offer a coherent set of alternate policies. Some are hard-liners, who say they rue the violence of the Maoist years, but remain enchanted with the sociopolitical initiatives of that period, such as collectivization….

China’s people should be upset with crony capitalism and corruption - and there is plenty of room to criticize Jiang (provided you live outside of China) - but the self-proclaimed ‘new left’ gives me a slight chill.

"…remain … enchanted … with collectivization?" Sorry, there was quite enough of that already. Try strengthening private property laws and allowing private land ownership. That and give people legally enforceable deeds and contracts. Oh, and why not make the leadership directly accountable to the governed while we’re at it.

Currently, when state officials requisition land, they are not ’stealing’ it - if only because the state owns all the land. It is already ‘collectivized.’ A little less collectivization, Mao and Marx please. Those ideas did enough damage last century.

If the ‘new left’ is searching for ideas, I recommend they start with De Soto.

by @ 3:56 pm. Filed under Culture, China, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia

can’t stop the sunset

Brian Mathes has an item on Greenspan’s recent remarks on a yuan revaluation and what it would mean for sunset industries in the US.:

Alan Greenspan’s recent remarks to the Economic Club of New York painted a different picture of what would happen following a Yuan revaluation.
He predicted that an exchange-rate change was imminent, which may be shortsighted given the politicized climate surrounding Yuan negotiations. The State-owned China Daily recently reported that “Pressure on Yuan Revaluation Won’t Work,” echoing sentiments felt by senior Chinese officials.  Bloomberg’s latest contribution reports that investment banks predicted a sooner revaluation, ignoring how pride and politics had gotten involved. Economists should be careful not to overestimate the speed of these now-tense Yuan negotiations….

by @ 3:53 pm. Filed under China, Money, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia

taste the whales

Curzon offers a roundup of Japanese news, centered on the taste of whale.:

“I guess I do feel sorry for the whales,” said Shun Ishimura, 7, shyly fiddling with his L.A. Dodgers T-shirt. Like many of the children, he was tasting whale flesh for the first time. He said that despite his feelings, he “ate it anyway because it looked so good. And when I ate it, I liked it. Whale is really delicious.“

Thank you, Washington Post! Could you make Japan sound any more cruel? Why not tell the world they eat the beating hearts of their enemies while you’re at it!
This whole whale thing: Japan’s whalers kill several hundred animals a year. When the film Chicken Run came out, the animated chickens were used in a Burger King advertisement where they held signs that said “Save the Chickens – eat a Whopper!” A PETA spokesman said this was actually a good thing—less per capita pain and suffering was caused by killing cows (one cow equals many burgers, but a basket of chicken wings comes from… lots of chickens). Should not the same logic apply to whales? You are getting one helluva lot of meat from one animal.

by @ 3:38 pm. Filed under Culture, Food and Drink, Japan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

world record watch (v)

Via Tomorrow, the Atypical Singaporean takes a look at some of Singapore’s world-record feats:

Want to know what Singaporeans are good at? What world records our dear fellow Singaporeans have broken? Look no further than here. I am proud to belong to the same country as the people who did:

It is strange that with so many people like this, Singapore has only one Olympic medal so far. Something is wrong somewhere.

by @ 3:25 pm. Filed under Singapore, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, World record watch

more art projects

at the Marmot points to a second set of photos of anti-Japan artwork from South Korean students. This one struck me as curious.:


The teacher should really be reprimanded for letting this one go. The exhibition was supposed to be bashing Japan. That Koguryo controversy is so last year.

(initial photo-set here)

by @ 8:11 am. Filed under Culture, Japan, South Korea, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, North Korea, Mongolia

let minds fly

Amit Varma responds to critics of his recent WSJ op-ed. He also points to another article in the Times of India on how India’s interventionist government and corrupt bureaucracy are crushing the country’s chances for broad development.:

India’s loss is China’s gain, writes Gurcharan Das, describing with anguish how the attempts of a prestigious American university to set up a branch campus in India were scuttled by mindless red tape. The university eventually gave up and set up the campus in China instead.

It is with anguish that I sit down to write this column. Two years ago, I met a distinguished friend in Delhi, who is the president of a prestigious American university that has produced several Nobel laureates. He loves India and he told me with some pride that India is increasingly perceived as a future knowledge capital of the world. He thought he would contribute to this future by setting up a branch campus here so that Indians could acquire his university’s degree at a fourth of the cost in America…
(ed: details follow on dealing with two years of red-tape and corruption)
Sadly, he concludes that India is a hopeless cause and he has decided to set up a campus in China. After reading his letter I felt like weeping.

by @ 7:57 am. Filed under Culture, China, India, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia, South Asia

scobel is sorry

Microsoft’s in-house blogger Robert Scobel has decided he shouldn’t have defended the company’s China censorship policy for MSN Spaces. (Via China Herald):

A week ago he caused an uproar by siding with his company in its decision to censor the MSN Spaces, their weblog service, in banning indecent words like ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’. Now Scobeleizer says he is sorry:

My wife says I’m wrong.
My son says I’m wrong.
My best friends say I’m wrong.
My book co-author says I’m wrong.
All week long my coworkers
have been coming by and saying I’m wrong.
Dan Gillmor says I’m wrong.
Rebecca MacKinnon says I’m wrong.
Now a bunch of Chinese bloggers
I’m wrong.
In the face of overwhelming evidence, I admit I’m wrong.
Trying to justify the Chinese MSN word blocker is one of the more boneheaded
things I’ve done.

by @ 7:19 am. Filed under Blogs, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Web/Tech, Weblogs, Censorship

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