Category Archives: Politics: International

China Has its Revolutionaries Too

And they use the internet.

An example is this web video, created in China.  It is framed as a parable, but as you can see from this analysis at China Geeks it is really about recent incidents that have outraged the Chinese public. The video, now on Youtube, was first posted on Tudou, a Chinese video site, but has been taken down.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnw5BvxSDmM&amp

Here’s the start of China Geeks’ analysis at via “Little Rabbit, Be Good” A Subversive New Years’ Video Card:

This video has been being passed around today on Twitter, Weibo, and other Chinese social networking sites. Most of my Chinese friends have seen it, although they almost all also work in media. Still, it’s fair to say the video is pretty widespread.

Regardless of what the disclaimer says8, it is probably obvious even to those who don’t speak Chinese that this video makes repeated and explicit reference to real life events. The milk powder death, the fire, the illegal demolitions, the beating of protesters, the self-immolation, the “Tiger Gang” car accident, etc. are all references to real-life events that any Chinese viewer would be immediately and intimately familiar with.

Of course, sarcastic animations and other web jokes about these incidents are common. What is not common is the end of the video, which depicts a rabbit rebellion where masses of rabbits storm the castle of the tigers and eat them alive. For viewers who have already gathered that in this picture, rabbits represent ordinary Chinese people and the tigers represent the government/the powerful, this is a revolutionary–literally–statement. The clip ends with what seems almost like a call to arms for the new year, with Kuang Kuang saying it will be a meaningful (有意义, could also be translated as “important”) year and then the end title reading: “The year of the rabbit has come. Even rabbits bite when they’re pushed.”

This isn’t the bullshit so-called “inciting to subvert state power” that Liu Xiaobo was given eleven years for. This video is actually inciting people to subvert state power.

This is, by the way, the year of the Rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac.

Update: boingboing, How China censors Egypt news, and why the story is so sensitive in China sends you to Global Voices Advocacy, China: Bridging news on Egypt. This begins:

On 28 of January, when commenting on the political situation in Egypt, the spoke person from Chinese foreign ministry stated that the Chinese government will continue to support the Egyptian government in maintaining social stability and oppose any foreign intervention in Egypt. Since then, the term “Egypt” has been blocked from search in major social media websites, such as Sina and Sohu micro-blog hosting sites.

Posted in Politics: International | 1 Comment

Egypt Cuts Internet Access & SMS

Reports are coming in that Egypt is now under an Internet and SMS blackout, just hours before a new series of major protests are planned against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.

Sebone, a major Egyptian service provider based in Italy, is reporting that no Internet traffic is entering or exiting the country as of 12:30 AM Egyptian time.

via Internet Access & SMS Blocked in Egypt as Protests Escalate. See also C.Net’s Reports: Internet disruptions hit Egypt.

At present, the US government only wants the power to monitor all communications, and to require intermediaries to store them for a couple of years in case law enforcement wants them later, not the power to pull a kill switch.  That, fortunately, could never happen here.

Nor, of course, could torture.

UPDATE: On Twitter follow the #jan25 and #jan28 hash tags for user reports.

Tech reports at BGPMon, Internet in Egypt offline and Renesys, Egypt Leaves the Internet.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Internet, Politics: International | 5 Comments

YouTube – Rimjin-gang News From Inside North Korea ASIAPRESS

I have no idea if this video claiming to have images from North Korea is authentic, but I am prepared to believe that it is. And the initial image of the woman starving in the fields is certainly … unforgettable. Not for the faint of heart.

Rimjin-gang News From Inside North Korea ASIAPRESS:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh4CtTGAzKw

Rimjin-gang claims to be “The first-ever independent publication in the world written directly by people of North Korea.”

North Korea is usually considered to be one of the few, maybe the only, Internet-impervious state.

Posted in Politics: International | 13 Comments

Richard Holbrooke’s Last Words

“You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan.”

Really.

Update: Then again, maybe not exactly.

Posted in Politics: International | Leave a comment

Swedish Video on Health Care

It would be an exaggeration to say that this video — Emelie behöver inga fler skattesänkningar — is the biggest issue in the upcoming Swedish election. Rather, this video illustrates what has all of a sudden become a defining issue in the election, the undermining of Sweden’s national health care system. Watch it — and be patient because when the audio starts it is in English, with Swedish subtitles.

Somehow, I doubt the technique would work here, though.

Posted in Politics: International | 8 Comments

Corollary to Zawinski’s Law

RC3 has proposed a new Corollary to Zawinski's law.

Zawinski’s law states:

Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.

I wonder if there’s a corollary that applies to imperialism.

Every empire attempts to expand until it can occupy Afghanistan. Those empires which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.

It even provides a testable hypothesis.

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Two Words MIA

Exit Strategy: The two words that you don't hear anymore in the Afghanistan policy debate.

Where did they go?

Posted in Politics: International | 4 Comments