Thursday, February 28, 2008

China's Great Wall of Silence: Dr. Youqin Wang's "Struggle for History." Original Photographs from the Cultural Revolution



Courtesy of a Patriot in China

China's Great Wall of Silence: Mr. Wang Standing Before the Painting of Him and Bian

I had seen photos of this event previously,

but I had not seen this one until last night,

on the China Information Center website

(http://www.cicus.org/). I immediately copied it and

posted it here, and then I began to compose

an accompanying text.


After trying out different approaches I realized

that nothing I could write would do it justice,

not even a post title. So I let it stand alone.


We all have pathos in our personal lives, and

there is more that we see all around us. We get

an extra dose of it in our day jobs and we just

deal with it.


And most of us, now matter how much pathos

we experience, still maintain a deep reserve of

empathy and passion. We are still capable of

being moved.


I am sure that I have been moved more deeply,

or as deeply, as I was when I saw this photograph

last night. But I don't remember when. This is

Benjamin Harris.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep

And miles to go before I sleep."

-Robert Frost

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Saturday, February 23, 2008

True Crime Stories: Death Threat Letter, Translation.*

SEE FEB. 18 POST FOR "UNTRANSLATED" LETTER.

Yo boy...

Of course, the letter is unsigned, and it was written by someone else at
the murderer's direction, because Sam would be able to recognize the
murderer's handwriting, but there are different points in the letter where
Sam was able to authenticate it as coming from the murderer. This is one of
them. The murderer always referred to Sam as "boy," or called to him, "Yo
boy."

...You is A Real Fuck-Nigga, Cold Rat Bitch made

ass Nigga...

"Nigger," is still used by some African-Americans to refer to each
other. It can be a term describing a friend, e.g. "My Nigger." "Nigga" is this generation's variation of the N-word, popularized by Rap. However, "Fuck-
Nigger" or "Fuck-Nigga," has always been a supreme insult. It is often the
last thing said before the speaker kills his auditor.

"Rat" is a term that has stood the test of time as applied to those who turn against their fellow criminals and cooperate with the police. The murderer was a drug-dealer, Sam was one of his workers. Sam got arrested for trafficking drugs out of state (a circumstance conducive to cooperation with the police) and told what he knew about violent crimes, a standard law enforcement question in their debriefing of a drug trafficker.

I'm not sure how the murderer is using the phrase "made ass." In organized crime, someone is "made" who joins the mafia. He could be referring to Sam as someone who was "made" in that way by working for the murderer. However, in context here, and of the entire letter, it seems the murderer means it to be... critical... of Sam,
like Sam's cooperation with the police made him "made."

An African-American man does not call another African-American man a "bitch" without malice aforethought.


How you gonna Lay Down On Dre like that...

There should be a period after "that." Though he excels at murder, the murderer is
weak on punctuation. "Dre" is the nickname of the murder victim.

I do not entirely understand the meaning of the sentence. The way that it is
phrased, it sounds like the murderer is accusing Sam of doing something
harmful to the victim. That may be what he means, he spreads disinformation
in this letter, but I don't know. There are limits to my abilities as a linquistic anthropologist.



every Move you Make...

The title of an old Pop song? No.

I know

The murderer truly did track and stalk the murder victim, Dre. It would be

a plausible claim that the murderer would know every move Sam makes.

And you telling on my homeboy Red...

Here is an example of the murderer's disinformation. "Red" is the murderer's nickname, a common one in the African-American community, to describe someone with a light complexion. "Black" is the opposite. The murderer is attempting to disguise his authorship by writing as if he's someone else.

The law requires that there be shown some direct link to the defendant, and here the murderer deliberately refers to himself in the third person ("homeboy"=friend). His purpose was to make it difficult legally for me to get the letter admitted into evidence against him in trial (He failed).

and you Done told the Police that you Don't

know shit about DRE AND NOW You WANNA

TELL LIES...

More disinformation. When this letter gets published to the jury he wants the
jury to think that Sam had originally told the police that he knew nothing about the muder of Dre. Not true. As soon as Sam was arrested for trafficking he told what he knew of this, and other violent crimes.

Your Pussy Ass run off with red money now you want

to try to take the man life.

"Pussy Ass"=Sissy. Like "bitch," "pussy ass" is a supreme insult to make
against an African-American male. The murderer was always taunting Sam that
he was not tough enough, that is, that he wouldn't kill.

Sam did not "run off with," i.e. steal, the murderer's money. Another untrue
allegation, written for effect on the jury.

And now, after stealing the murderer's money, Sam wants to see him spend the
rest of his life in prison.

I Keep it Real with you...

I am serious..

I should have killed Your Fuck Ass when

I had the CHANCE TO Fuck Boy RAT ASS NIGGA.

Fuck Boy Rat Ass Nigga=Sam.

You NEED TO Tell them POLICE That

You DON'T KNOW SHIT...


The legal term for this is "Witness Tampering."

Because When I SEE you Pussy ASS...



Because when I see you Sam (comma)

You Know FOR A FACT YOU DONT WANNA

SEE ME...


and you know you don't want to see me (comma)

ALL YOU FUCK NIGGA'S who SAY yall

From THE CITY...




Here, the murderer is distinguishing himself from those in "THE

CITY." Rivalries, and murders, occur for no other reason than one

person lives in one telephone area code--or even exchange--from

someone else lives. This is a relatively new phenomenon. Life has never

been so cheap.

...IS RAT SAMMY the Bull AS NIGGAZ...

I think this clause and the one immediately above should read,

"All you fuck niggas who say that you're from the city are rat-Sammy-

the-Bull-Ass niggas."

If that is correct, then the murderer is saying that all of the guys

from "the city" are snitches, government informers.

"Sammy the Bull" is a reference to the government's main witness

against John Gotti, the Mafia head in the 1980's and 1990's (I think

that's the correct time frame). Gotti was nicknamed "The Teflon Don"

because he had been acquitted in previous trials. Gravano was Gotti's

second-in-command. When he "flipped" (our slang for, "became a

witness for the government"), Gotti's teflon was gone and he was convicted.

The murderer knows the history of his vocation, and is very concerned that

Sam is a witness against him. Nice literary touch, though.

...AND YOU KNOW IMMA ALL

WAYS KNOW WERE TRy At AND IM

COMING TO GET YOU...

"And you know that I am always going to know where [you

are]..." (I don't know what "TRy" means)..."And I'm going to

kill you."

...RAT RAT RAT...

"Informer, Informer, Informer..."

...AND If I GO TO HELL...

And you will.

...ILL SEE YOU THERE. I bEEN told

Them BOYS YOU A RAT AND They NO

BETTER...

"I have been telling people (in the city?) that you are testifying

for the government and they know better than to do that (period)."

IMMA KILL YOU AND PUT youR DICK IN

YOUR MoutH

An old Mafia technique, done to informers, intended as a

deterrent to others.

...fUCK NIGGA...

Sam.

AND AT The END OF the day

At the end of the day?

you know who the real gangsta is.

i.e., the murderer.

ILL be HAPPY i die...

As will I.



...then to live as a rat BET THAT!!!

"You bet I'd rather be dead than testify for the government!!!"



(BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT)

SAMMY DA BULL

I couldn't recreate on Blogger the way that this was

written in the letter. "Blood in" was on one line and "Blood

Out," two lines underneath, on the left-hand side of the

letter. On the right-hand side, and between "Blood in" and

"Blood out," the murderer wrote, "Sammy Da Bull."

I have heard of "Blood in, Blood out" before, but cannot remember

it's meaning, and, to my surprise, Sam didn't know what it meant either.

I think it means something like "You spill my blood, I'll spill yours,"

but I'm going to have to check with some of my colleagues in our

Gang Unit to confirm.



THE GUN MAN [Drawing of sad face]

Sam said that "The Gun Man" was the murderer's nickname

for himself, another way in which Sam can authenticate the author.

*NO REAL NAMES OR NICKNAMES USED.

Friday, February 22, 2008

2008 Campaign. The Times and McCain: Huh?

This is bizarre. It begs the question: Why are

the news department and editorial page at

the Times "totally seperate?" Mr. Stevenson

did not speak to anyone in the editorial page

on the story and found out about the McCain

endorsement when he read it in the paper????

Reprinted verbatim from today's online edition:

Why Did The Times Endorse McCain?

Q. Why did The New York Times strongly endorse Senator McCain to be the Republican Party nominee in January, if at the same time the paper was well aware of and continuing to investigate what it considered to be front-page, damaging, “un-presidential” charges?
— Debbie Collazo, Tucson, Ariz.
A. The short answer is that the news department of The Times and the editorial page are totally separate operations that do not consult or coordinate when it comes to news coverage and endorsements or other expressions of editorial opinion. We in the newsroom did not speak to anyone at the editorial page about the story we were working on about Senator McCain. They did not consult us about their deliberations over endorsements of the presidential candidates. I’m the political editor, and the first I knew of the McCain endorsement (and of the endorsement of Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side) was when I read them in the newspaper. In all of our internal discussions about the news story subsequent to the endorsement, I do not recall anyone bringing it up.
(As an aside, I think it’s fair to say that most of our political reporters would prefer that the paper not endorse candidates. Endorsements inevitably create the perception among some voters that The Times is backing a candidate on an institutional level, leaving those of us on the news side to explain over and over that our coverage is not influenced by what our colleagues on the editorial page write.)
As your question suggests, this particular situation was especially odd because most everyone in politics and journalism — including, I assume, our colleagues on the editorial page — knew we were working on a story about Senator McCain, courtesy of an item on Drudge in December. Whether that influenced the editorial page’s deliberations, I have no idea.
But it meant that there were a lot of people speculating for months about what kind of story we were pursuing and whether and when we were going to publish it. This didn’t influence the timing or the substance of the story at all, but I do think it created a situation in which opinions and battle lines about the story began to develop long before the actual story was published.
— Richard W. Stevenson, political editor

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"The more I read about Socrates, the less I wonder that they

poisoned him.”

Lord Macauley.

Monday, February 18, 2008

True Crime Stories: Death Threat Letter to Witness

Yo boy you is A Real Fuck-Nigga, Cold Rat Bitch

made ass Nigga. How you going to Lay Down

On Dre like that every Move you Make I know

And you telling on my homeboy Red and you

Done told the Police that you Don't know shit

about DRE AND NOW You WANNA TELL LIES

Your Pussy Ass run off with red money now you

want to try to take the man life. I Keep it Real

with you I should have killed Your Fuck Ass when

I had the CHANCE To Fuck Boy RAT ASS NIGGA.

You NEED TO Tell them POLICE That You DON'T

KNOW SHIT Because When I SEE you Pussy

ASS You Know FOR A FACT YOU DONT WANNA

SEE ME ALL YOU FUCK NIGGA'S who SAY yall

From THE CITY IS RAT SAMMY the Bull AS

NIGGAZ AND YOU KNOW IMMA ALL WAYS

KNOW WERE TRy At AND IM COMING TO GET

YOU RAT RAT RAT AND If I GO TO HELL ILL SEE

YOU THERE. I bEEN told Them BOYS YOU A RAT

AND They NO BETTER IMMA KILL YOU AND PUT

youR DICK IN YOUR MoutH fUCK NIGGA AND

AT The END OF the day you know who the real

gangsta is.

ILL be HAPPY i die then to live as a rat BET

THAT!!!

(BLOOD IN

BLOOD OUT)

SAMMY

DA

BULL

THE GUN MAN [Drawing of sad face)



Sunday, February 17, 2008

True Crime Stories: Sam is Shot

Dear Murderer,

I just got the call that you had Sam shot last night.

I know you were laughing to yourself picturing in

your mind how I would react to the news that my

"star" witness against you had been killed.


I'm laughing to myself picturing in my mind how

you're going to react when you learn that you failed.

You didn't kill him. It was Sam who called me.


I thought you were smarter than this, murderer. Let's

review some basics of Murder 101:


(1) If you're going to have someone killed, have your

hit man shoot the victim in the head or, like you did

Andre, shoot him so many times that he can't possibly

survive.


Your boy shot Sam in the ass, you dumb-ass. The

bullet went in one cheek and out the other. What,

were you using your "B" team last night?


(2) Don't have someone known to the victim do the hit.

Sam has already picked Rambo out of a lineup, moron.

Rambo's going to get arrested momentarily.


(3) Make sure there's no link between the hit man and

you. You know what Rambo said to Sam before he shot

him? "You snitchin'." Who's Sam snitchin' on?


Red, you better hope Rambo isn't soft. When the

police arrest him, they're going to ask "Why'd you

do it? What did you mean when you said 'You

snitchin'.?" If he hands you up, I've got a new

witness! Think of the irony: you go to have one of my

witnesses offed and, instead of leaving me with no

witnesses, I end up with two!


Sorry if I spoiled your Sunday, murderer. Have a nice

day.





Saturday, February 16, 2008

China's Great Wall of Silence: Dr. Wang Rongfen's 1966 Letter to Mao

This full English translation of the famous letter is reprinted from
www.cicus.org.

I believe that this letter deserves a Foreward.

Rarely have I written here of myself. If this be modesty,
let it be said, as Churchill said of Atlee, that I am "a man
who has much to be modest about." And it is of one of these
things that I have much to be modest about, a character
trait, perhaps a chemical imbalance, that I write of in this
Foreward.

I have never shied away from taking on those
who have power over me. My reputation is one who,
for insufficient cause, provokes those who one should in nowise provoke.

And, as readers of this site know there is an "edge" to my
writing that is the analog to this edge in my personality.

HOWEVER. I have NEVER, EVER written--or SEEN--

anything like Dr. Wang's letter. Especially considering the
situation: Dr. Wang was living in a totalitarian society;
A totalitarian society that also was having a nervous
breakdown.

And she sent this to MAO ZEDONG, not some mid or low-
level flunky.



Dear Chairman Mao Zedong:

I ask you to consider, as a Communist

Party member, what are you doing?


I ask you in the name of the Party to

consider: What is the significance of

all that is happening now? I ask you in

the name of the Chinese people to

consider: Where is it that you are leading

China? The Cultural Revolution is not a

mass movement; it is one person using

a gun to move the masses. I earnestly

declare: I hereby withdraw my membership

from the Chinese Communist Youth Corps.

Sincerely yours,

Wang Rongfen, fourth year student

of German at Beijing Foreign Languages

Institute

September 24, 1966

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Saturday, February 09, 2008

China's Great Wall of Silence: Dr. Youqin Wang. The Wedge


"My voice is very weak," she
has said repeatedly, and you
can see that modesty in this
photograph.
In fact, she is the wedge in the
Geat Wall of Silence, the
conscience of recent Chinese
history, a sole voice at first,
and now, its Lion.
She will never give up.
This is Public Occurrences.


(first published here January 30, 2008.)

Friday, February 08, 2008

China's Great Wall of Silence: Dr. Wang Rongfen's Punking of Carma Hinton




On several occasions, I have written here on

Carma Hinton and her fraud, Morning Sun.

I have intellectually parsed the film. I have

written of the genetic Maoism that Ms. Hinton

inherited from her father. I have attacked

the National Endowment for the Humanities

and Public Broadasting for funding the film.

I have used sarcasm. Mockery. I have been

relentlessly critical. I have spared not a forensic

arrow in my quiver, and my efforts have been

well-received and publicized.


However, nothing I have ever written--or could

ever write--comes close to the evisceration that

Wang Rongfen recently laid on Carmelita (See

January 27, below).


What Bill Clinton did to Chris Wallace, Wang

Rongfen has done to Carma Hinton. Ms.

Wang is George Foreman knocking Joe

Frazier silly all over the boxing ring. She is

Lloyd Benson turning Dan Quayle into a deer

caught in the headlights.


I have been a murder prosecutor for twenty-

three years. I have argued against the best

lawyers on the most serious cases in my juris-

diction. And my efforts have been well-

regarded.


I hope that I never have to go against

Wang Rongfen in court. I am Benjamin

Harris, and I am not worthy.

(first published here January 31, 2008)