Saturday, March 29, 2008

True Crime Stories

In this jurisdiction, people who are arrested are entitled to a "bond (bail) hearing" within 24 hours of arrest.

All of the arrestees are in a special room in the jail that is video and audio-linked to the Courtroom where a Judge, a prosecutor, and a public defender are present. The Judge calls the arrestee's name, he/she steps forward, the Judge formally advises the person of the charges, and then reviews the police officer's report for legal sufficiency.

The jailer then advises the judge of what the "standard" bond is for the crime charged, and the Judge sets bond. For First Degree Murder, the Judge has no discretion. Noone so charged is entitled to bond at this hearing.

The bond hearing is a quick proceeding, usually no more than half a minute (this is a volume business), but sometimes arrestees still manage to worsen their situation.

(As is everything written under this heading, what follows is true and unembellished. This is a verbatim transcript of the hearing.)

JUDGE: Elijah Hughes. Mr. Hughes you are charged

with First Degree Murder. I find probable cause.

JAILER: No bond.

JUDGE: No bond.

MR. HUGHES: It wasn't Murder, she was alive when I


PUBLIC DEFENDER: Don't say anything.

(Other Arrestees laughing loudly)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

True Crime Stories

-Raped a young woman, let out on bond.

-Murdered his rape victim, posed her with legs spread, and covered her for the police to discover, and murdered the rape victim's female friend.

-Convicted, given the death penalty.

-Death penalty overturned on appeal.

-Resentenced to the death penalty.

-Death penalty overturned on appeal.

-Third death jury hung 6-6: automatic Life sentence.

-Murdered another inmate in prison, WITH A PLASTIC SPOON.

-Convicted of Third Degree Murder.

-Serving Life sentence.

Monday, March 24, 2008

China's Great Wall of Silence: Another Pic of Song Binbin and Liu Jin Whooping It Up.

Song, tormented all these years by "rumors," second from left, and Liu-"Bian-Zhongyun-is-dead.-There's-no-need-to-talk about-it"-Jin, fifth from left.
One can feel their angst.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

China's Great Wall of Silence: Carma Hinton and Sarah Jane Olson, Seperated at Birth?

The former Red Guard left, and the former Symbionese Liberation Army member right, in current photographs, the one studying art at Carnegie-Mellon University, the other a housewife.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

God Bless America, and God Bless Our Troops

We may disagree with what we're doing in Iraq, and why, but all Americans can admire our troops: their courage, and here, their esprit de corps. Look at this fresh-faced angel!

God Bless America, and God Bless our Troops: Girls will be Girls!"

Even death all around, the American "pursuit of happiness" spirit prevails!

God Bless America, and God Bless Our Troops

Military Police Specialist Sabrina Harman, a latter day Nazi/Red Guard, in a photograph with a recently murdered man, at Abu Ghraib Prison. A cropped version of this photograph appeared at the beginning of this series.

The Sadistic M.P. with her, and our, victims.

Did she paint her lips with his blood?

In custody, we hope for a long, long time.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Chna's Great Wall of Silence: Dr. Rongfen Wang's email

I have written here before of how moved I am when I receive letters of support, and thanks, from Chinese for the articles written under the heading of China's Great Wall of Silence.

I received this email from Dr. Rongfen Wang almost a month ago. I have not published it before now, and I fear that what I write on this subject, on this sleepless night, will be maudlin and rambling.

I did not publish it, mainly out of embarrassment that such as Dr. Wang would write such as this, to such as me. She has been tested and showed her mettle, I have not.

In December, I and two of my brothers, visited the Civil War battle site at Fredericksburg, Virginia. Fredericksburg was the sight of the most awful slaughter of Union soldiers in that awful war. However, the visit was not just of historical interest. It was a pilgrimage, for in that battle our great-great grandfather was killed, at a time in the day, just after sun fall, when he had seen wave after wave of his fellow soldiers die traversing the same path that he was now ordered to traverse.

As his regiment advanced, wounded Union soldiers, who had made the ground slippery with their blood, grabbed at their pant cuffs and implored them to stop, that their mission was hopeless. My great-great grandfather went.

Walking the route that he took, knowing what I know he knew, I know that I could not have done what he did.

I am untested, and my generation of Americans is the untested generation. Our fathers conquered Nazism abroad, and apartheid at home. My generation has reaped the benefits, but has never contributed a fraction as much to make America greater still.

Our courage, our duty, our judgment, our morality, have not been tested as were our fathers,--or our great-great grandfathers. So, when I hear myself saying, or even thinking, "I KNOW that I would do such-and-such" under fire, I know that I do not know.

Rongfen Wang has been tested as few human beings have even have. She has survived, but also continued the fight for what is right, undeterred.

Over the last month I have had a hard time even re-reading Dr. Wang's email, as deeply moved as I was by it, because of everything that I have written above. However, I came to conclude that, typically, this was selfish of me, that the point of the email was not about what it said of me, but what it said of her.

The email is about Dr. Wang's generosity of spirit, and her undeserved modesty, that round out the portrait of a person who history already knows to be a human hero. Courage and determination demand will, and will often produces arrogance. To see courage, determination, will, AND kindness, generosity, and grace in one person, is rare indeed.

And so, in that spirit, I publish Dr. Wang's email now.

From: Rongfen Wang
Date: Feb 15, 2008 12:38 AM
Subject: Greetings from Wang Rongfen

- Hide quoted text -
Dear Mr. Harris,
I have got your email and web address from Mrs.
Mosher. Full of admiration, I have studied your
website. Thank you so much for your attention on the
human rights situation in China. Thank you also for
the persistent fight against violence and murder. You
are a shining example to me. Many of my fellow
countrymen know the name Benjamin Harris from
your internet hunt of Bian Zhongyuns murderess.
Mrs. Mosher has kindly translated two articles of
mine, the one is already in your BLOG, here is the
revised version:
Here is the other letter to the president: I
would greatly appreciate your criticism and support,
and thank you in advance
All the best
Wang Rongfen

China's Great Wall of Silence: Dr. Rongfen Wang's Letter to President Hu Jintao

Below is Dr. Rongfen Wang's letter of 12, January urging the current Chinese leader to do justice, for the victims of Cultural Revolution violence, and for the integrity of Chinese history.

Like her letter to Mao Zedong over forty years before, this is typical of the integrity and will of the writer, who saw--and sees still--more clearly than others, the most fundamental distinction that human beings can make, that between right and wrong.

Urging Hu Jintao to Punish Crimes Against Humanity in the Cultural Revolution (Full Translation)
Wang Rongfen
Editor's note: Forty-one years ago, Wang Rongfen, then a student, wrote a letter to Mao Zedong condemning the newly launched Cultural Revolution as "a mass movement launched from the barrel of a gun." Now Wang has sent a letter to Hu Jintao, who was part of her same generation, calling for China to accept the "Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court" and establish a tribunal for crimes against humanity committed during the Cultural Revolution.Dear Mr. Hu Jintao:I recently had the privilege of reading your article "Continue Pushing Forward the Great Cause of Reform and Opening" in Qiushi Magazine, which called to mind a number of strange incidents in recent years that go against this thinking. I now write to respectfully offer my thoughts on this matter for your kind consideration.You have frankly referred to the hardship suffered by the Chinese People as a result of the "10 years of internal chaos of the Cultural Revolution," and consider it the cause of the launch of reform. Looking back 30 years, one appreciates how laudable it was when the third session of the 11th Party Plenum thoroughly negated the positions of the Cultural Revolution, compared to the present day, when the Party has frozen and suppressed all discussion of the Cultural Revolution. This year marks the 30th anniversary of reform and opening. What is most regrettable is that the Party has been so hesitant during these 30 years to move forward on political reform, and in the last two years has actually regressed significantly to the anti-humanitarian and tyrannical position of the 1960s. In 2006, the 40th anniversary of the launch of the Cultural Revolution, the General Administration for Press and Publication acted as if it were confronting a mortal enemy, prohibiting any discussion, essays or books on the Cultural Revolution. At the same time, it dragged people in on commemorations for the 30th anniversary of the death of Mao Zedong, flooding China with songs of praise for this chief instigator of the Cultural Revolution, and pulling culture and discourse back into the medieval Red Sun era, where it remains entrenched to the present day. Even worse, in September 2007, the Experimental Middle School attached to Beijing Normal University, during its anniversary celebration, named as "distinguished alumna" the notorious Song Binbin, who was the leader of the Red Guards at that school during the Cultural Revolution. The school in particular cited the event on August 18, 1966, when Song tied a Red Guard armband on Mao Zedong during his review of the Red Guards at Tiananmen Square. On the 31st anniversary of Mao's death, that same school held a grand exercise, during which it displayed a gigantic poster with the photo of Song Binbin tying the Red Guard armband on Mao Zedong.Worth noting is the fact that this strange event occurred just one week after your speech on Teacher's Day. In your speech, you advocated "Education centered on people and ethics and that places the cultivation of virtue as its basic duty." But this Experimental School of the Education Ministry went on to publicize the virtue of violence, and the glory of beating people to death. This not only casts scorn on your Teacher's Day speech, but is a provocation against human ethics. A middle school anniversary celebration carried out in the Great Hall of the People, emceed by the chief presenter of CCTV, and attended by 6,000 foreign diplomats and other VIPs, a dignified national celebration, represents the epitome of efforts to restore the image of the Cultural Revolution. The front-stage performer for this anniversary celebration was the school's principal, Yuan Aijun. Although she was only 10 years old when the Cultural Revolution was launched, so obsessed is she with the Cultural Revolution that she insisted on honoring the Red Guard leader of that time as the school's "distinguished alumna," and establishing her as shining model for the students in that school, who know nothing about Red Guards. This educator's concepts of glory and dishonor and educational ideals are fully revealed in this lengthy anniversary celebration of "Glory and Dreams," which served as living lesson in "class struggle."Mr. Hu, you personally experienced the Cultural Revolution while at Tsinghua University, so you are naturally aware of the influence of that August 18 event, when Mao Zedong for the first time reviewed the Red Guards and wore their armband. After that, Song Binbin changed her name to Song Yaowu -- "be violent" -- and the Girl's Middle School attached to the Beijing Normal University was renamed “Red Yaowu Middle School” after becoming the first school in China to beat its principal to death. Statistics of the New Beijing Municipal Party Committee at that time identified 1,772 teachers, principals and ordinary residents in Beijing were beaten to death by Red Guards from August 20 until the end of September. Even Tsinghua University was unable to escape this fate; you must remember the red terror that took place on Tsinghua's campus on August 24. Ignoring a comeback staged by the tyrants of that time, allowing those thugs of yesterday to ascend the stage and receive honors, repeating the human tragedy of 41 years before, not only thwarts reform and opening, but destroys the 5,000 years of our great country's civilization! When that happens, how can the Party face its 1.4 billion citizens? And how can you, Sir, face your ancestors?The Cultural Revolution was a humanitarian disaster. In terms of duration, the range and number of its victims and the severity of its methods, it constitutes a unique episode in the history of humanity. In 1980, the Party put Lin Biao and the Gang of Four on trial as an anti-Party clique, but never put the Cultural Revolution on trial for crimes against humanity. The Party has expended 30 years of effort without being able to negate the Cultural Revolution or the violent Mao Zedong Thought based on class struggle and dictatorship of the proletariat, or the tyrannical Mao himself, or the violent Red Guard organization. The General Administration for Press and Publication's perversity, and the open provocation of the Ministry of Education, are rooted in the failure of the Party to distance itself from the road of despotism and violence.During the Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong exported violence by supporting Maoists all over the world, propping up Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, Japan's Red Army, Germany's Baader-Meinhof Gang and other violent organizations, resulting in terrorists engaging in ruthless bloodshed and committing crimes against humanity in Cambodia, the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere. The Red Army and Baader-Meinhof Gang were ultimately punished under the laws of their countries, and the Maoists of the barbarous Khmer Rouge are being tried under a United Nations-sponsored human rights tribunal.In June this year, the Cultural Revolution will reach its 42nd anniversary. It's time to bring this historical case to a close. Left unresolved, it will only bring more trouble in the future. If the Party really wishes to accelerate reform and openness, it should draw a lesson from history and move ahead with the times by respecting the human rights of the people, abandoning violent tactics, thoroughly repudiating Mao Zedong Thought, becoming party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, establishing a court for crimes against humanity, declaring the Red Guards an anti-humanitarian violent organization, putting on trial those who committed crimes against humanity during the Cultural Revolution and those seeking to revive the Cultural Revolution, and punishing them according to law. Only in this way can there be consolation for the victims of the Cultural Revolution and a winning back of the people's confidence to establish a harmonious society and promote reform and openness.Everyone plays their part in the rise and fall of a nation. I ask you to pardon my bluntness, while requesting that you consider my words.Respectfully yours,Wang Rongfen, January 12, 2008, in Germany

China's Great Wall of Silence: English Translation of Dr. Wang Rongfen's Critique of Carma Hinton and Morning Sun

This article, first published in Observe China (, on January 25, was reprinted here in simultaneous Chinese and English versions on January 27. This is the English-only version. The power of Dr. Wang's words are due, not only to substance, but to style. She is evocative, even poetic, at times.

In their book Mao, Chang and Halliday singled out Rongfen Wang as one of the few who saw the truth of the Cultural Revolution early on. And as someone who did something about it. She wrote personally to Mao, asking him, rhetorically, if he knew what he was doing; telling him that the C.R. was not a mass movement, but mass murder. And she resigned from the Communist Youth League. That got her twelve years in prison, and she attempted to take her own life--as so many Chinese did--by drinking insecticide.

Luckily, as an examplar of the good in the human spirit, she survived her suicide attempt. But she did not just survive, no Rongfen Wang did not just survive. Like other rare examples of courage and will,--Nelson Mandela, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Harry Wu, Martin Luther King-- Rongfen Wang's indomitable spirit persisted. She continues to fight against China's Great Wall of Silence with Youqin Wang and others, in the battle for Chinese history.

Red Guards, Maoists, Misanthropes (full translation)
Wang Rongfen
Logging onto the Web site, one is first greeted by a ghost-like image of Mao Zedong. In me this provokes a reaction something like what I imagine Jews feel upon encountering an image of Hitler.This Web site, entitled "Morning Sun," describes itself as devoted to scholarly research on the Cultural Revolution: "A range of techniques and perspectives are used in the Morning Sun website to reflect on the origins and history of the Cultural Revolution (c.1964-1976). We approach the period not from a simplistic linear perspective, but from a panoptic one, encompassing a broad overview while allowing the user to focus in on individual histories, narratives and events that reveal the complex contradictory forces that led to an era of unrivalled revolutionary fervor and political turmoil."In my browsing of the Web site, however, I have not found any exploration, analysis or unearthing of facts, not a single treatise or research report, but only posters and propaganda from the Cultural Revolution period, as well as the Web site's own promotional material, and a very strange female voice repeatedly instructing Americans how to say the Chinese words for "Long - Live - Chairman - Mao."A Web site dedicated to the exhibition of violence and praise of Mao. The facts that the Web site presents regarding Mao Zedong, the Cultural Revolution and the Red Guards have nothing in common with what I know of them. The Chinese government's thorough repudiation of the Cultural Revolution in 1979 has now been turned on its head, and a reversal of the verdicts on the top three people blamed for the Revolution has caused an uproar. Given the lack of consensus, analysis of this Web site is best performed on a case-by-case basis. The Khmer Rouge, following the example of the Cultural Revolution, committed gross crimes against humanity for which its officials are now being tried by a United Nations tribunal. The evil performed during the Cultural Revolution was on a much grander scale than that of the Khmer Rouge and lasted even longer; it was genocide on an unprecedented scale. The prime instigator of the Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong, was the tutor of the Khmer Rouge and therefore the principal culprit in both atrocities. Heaven may have let Mao and Pol Pot off lightly, but history will never forgive them. As for Mao's Red Guards, the number of people they killed, the heinousness of their methods and the severity of their crimes far outstrips that of the Hitler Youth and qualifies them as a group dedicated to violent acts against humanity. Using this standard as a basis for analysis, the information that makes up the Morning Sun Web site is an advertisement for poison, in which the images of Mao Zedong and the Red Guards are used to peddle the toxic violence of the Cultural Revolution, giving glory to shame and portraying evil as the highest morality.The Web site home page: Long live Mao Zedong!The creators of the Web site have borrowed a cover photo from a Cultural Revolution-era issue of "Renmin Huabao" depicting a Chinese family performing a song on stage. Eight Chinese people are lined up from youngest to oldest; each wears a Mao badge and clutches a Little Red Book, their faces glowing with happiness and their lips parted in wide smiles. Leading them in song is a child of three or four around whose waist is wrapped the kind of leather belt with which Red Guards beat their victims. The words to the song they're singing are emblazoned beneath the enormous Mao portrait that hangs on the wall behind them: Long live Chairman Mao. The "wallpaper" of the homepage is quotations from Mao Zedong, highlighting the phrase from which the Web site draws its name: "You young people... are like the morning sun." A clamor of Cultural Revolution songs, television programs and films, The Morning Sun site map reflects the Web site's position. The first section is entitled "Living Revolution," and exhibits music and photographs collected from the early years of the Cultural Revolution. It includes radio broadcasts of revolutionary songs, anthems and poems praising Mao, such as "Sailing the Seas Depends on the Helmsman," and selections from model operas and songs extolling the Red Guards and the Cultural Revolution, such as "I am Chairman Mao's Red Guard," "The Proletarian Cultural Revolution is Good" and "Let's Study the Sixteen Points." There is also a "Cultural Revolution Television" showing six "channels" of clips: Channel 1: "A colossal parade in Tienanmen Square celebrates the cult of Mao." The accompanying recording is of a chorus singing, "The force at the core leading our cause forward is the Chinese Communist Party. The theoretical basis guiding our thinking is Marxism-Leninism," followed by shouts of "Long live the Communist Party!" and "Long love Chairman Mao! Long live! Long live! Long live!"Channel 2: A woman in Albanian costume sings, accompanied by two similarly costumed male musicians. A transcript of the accompanying narration reads, "Our closest comrades-in-arms, comrades from Albania, are performing a song in praise of Chairman Mao. Everywhere around the world, tens of millions of masses sing in one voice for you. Chairman Mao, you are the helmsman for the world revolution! People around the world will sing for you forever!" The song is followed by repeated shouts of "Long live Chairman Mao!"Channel 3: The film clip shows a parade in Tienanmen Square, huge posters of Mao in the streets and large groups of people of all ages reading their Little Red Books. A woman narrates, "The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, personally launched and led by our great leader Chairman Mao, has achieved glorious success. Everywhere around our nation, revolutionary scenes seethe with activity. Everywhere shines the golden light of Mao Zedong Thought."Channel 4: Shouts of "Long live Chairman Mao" ring over a film clip showing Mao Zedong arm-in-arm with "personal secretary" Zhang Yufeng on Tienanmen Gate, reviewing a rally of more than a million Red Guards. Below is shown a sea of ecstatic young faces and dancing arms waving Little Red Books.Channel 5: A hodgepodge of footage accompanied by the scream of a train whistle. A female narrator says, "Chairman Mao's latest directive has inspired a nation of young people to go to the countryside. A great campaign is unfolding on a magnificent scale. Revolutionary parents, imbued with loyalty to Chairman Mao, are sending their children to the countryside to be farmers. Chairman Mao's great plan is to combat and prevent revisionism for a thousand years; it is the beacon lighting the advance of revolutionary youth. Farewell, you will learn and grow in the vast countryside! Farewell, you will advance along the bright broad road led by Chairman Mao.”Channel 6: Accompanied by wishes for long life, six portraits of Mao Zedong at different stages of his life are presented, each radiating with a godlike glow.Apart from the Cultural Revolutionary television, it is also possible to view short clips from films promoting class struggle and the Proletarian Cultural Revolution, such as "The Red Detachment of Women," "The Red Lantern," "On the Docks," "Never Forget," "Pine Ridge," "A Rooster Crows at Midnight," "Golden Road" and "Lenin in 1918."The Web site also presents "Ask Chairman Mao for the Answers," but there is some discrepancy between the description and the actual feature. The Web site description runs: "How should you resolve problems in your daily life? What should you do when you hear reactionary speech?... Mao Zedong Thought can answer all your questions and problems. This pamphlet, 'Living by the Book,' can be carried with you as a reference." This is not a display of material from that time, but rather the evangelizing of Maoists from the post-Cultural Revolution era.The section entitled "English Lessons" includes only one lesson, described as "education in service to proletarian politics" under the leadership of Mao Zedong. Do primary and secondary school students from that era remember any of the words and phrases learned in those "revolutionary teaching materials"? It turns out that this is the recollection of the Web site's creator.Depicting Trampling on Human Rights: Smash the Old World!This section of the Web site presents written materials and photographs from the Cultural Revolution, accompanied by a "Library" of 18 articles divided up under the headings "Educational Reform," "Smashing the Four Olds," "Overthrowing Reactionaries," "Establishing Ties" and "Human Miracles." Apart from the subtle criticism offered in "Smashing the Four Olds" and "Human Miracles," all of the essays are laudatory.[Translator's note: The English version of the Web site includes English translations of some of these essays, but under different category headings, and also includes essays by Western scholars.]The 48 photographs collected in this section are brutal depictions of Red Guard violence that make one's blood boil. The Web site makes only a sweeping statement at the introduction of the section; there are no comments from people who actually experienced the Cultural Revolution, and no explanations of the background of the photos. The Web site's creator, Carma Hinton, knows Chinese and knows about some of the public figures and famous religious sites depicted, but there is not a single description of any of the photos.Even more inexplicable is the Web site's inclusion of "Jiang Qing's Denunciation of Feature Films," which quotes Jiang Qing's criticism of 11 films without further comment. Here is a sampling of Jiang Qing's criticisms:Hero in the Bandit's Den: "It prettifies the agent Ah Lan. That dance scene is an egregious display of the bourgeois lifestyle. It distorts the image of the underground [Party] agent. Made up, Commander Lei looks more like the enemy than the enemy. Wiping out the bandits is done without mobilizing the masses. It's all about sending people in. Like Snow in the Forest this [kind of depiction] comes from the Soviet Union."The Young People in Our Village: "It depicts four couples in triangular relationships and in the process distorts the [revolutionary] spiritual mien of youth in the country. There are no heroic figures; they are all middle-of-the-road characters. It vilifies revolutionary cadres; the older head of the commune is depicted as a stick in the mud; the accountant is made out to be a negative character."Five Golden Flowers: "The whole film is about one couple; everyone else is merely there to highlight their love affair. In regard to the ethnic minorities there is no attempt to depict them making any progress, their political maturation or the changes in their outlook. All they do is eat, drink and fall in love. All those love songs are [also] very problematic."Lei Feng: "It has faults. It is unreasonable to squeeze all of his good acts into just one day. The portrait of the Chairman in the film is bad; it constitutes a political error. It's no good that Lei Feng's legacy of good deeds is taken up by Wang Dali, a middle-of-the-road character. The portrayal of the head of the flood crisis operations team is inappropriate. He says to Lei Feng, 'You're a good successor [to the revolutionary cause],' but then he ends up dying. That's just wrong.'"Big Li, Little Li and Old Li: "Crass and vulgar. To set the film in an abattoir is itself devious. It hints that we will be slaughtered like pigs. The cadres are either fat pigs or skinny monkeys. They lock the workshop head in the freezer; all the cadres are made out to be like swine."Struggle for an Ancient City in the Fire and Winds of Spring: "Yang Xiaodong betrays weakness at a crucial moment; Jin Huan is like a fishwife: there's that silly scene when she stabs the enemy with her hair pin. Yin Huan is a middle-of-the-road character who constantly makes mistakes, and she falls in love the moment she lays eyes on Yang Xiaodong. Far too much time is devoted to their relationship. Two of the three times that Yang's mother appears it's to talk about her daughter-in-law. This is a distortion of the image of a revolutionary mother."Following are more sections entitled "Reddest Red Sun," "Stages of History" and "The East is Red," which although still under construction are already crammed with the epic revolutionary ballet "The East is Red," including a full video recording accompanied by transcripts in English and Chinese. The personality cult vehicle is described as "start(ing) out as a peasant love song... you can follow its progress to becoming a call to arms in the Anti-Japanese War, and a paean extolling Chairman Mao, the savior of the Chinese people... This stage production presented a creation myth, an historical vision, a belief system, and a moral landscape in which the generation of the Cultural Revolution came of age." The Web site strengthens the impact of the opera by presenting it in different contexts in several different sections.A dyed-in-the-wool Maoist, the producer of the Web site, Carma Hinton, is no adolescent girl, but a mature American woman in her 50s. Her enthusiastic promotion of Mao Zedong and the Red Guards and the inhuman Cultural Revolution is closely related to her family history. When teacher Chen Baokun was beaten to death, Hinton was an upper-classman at the No. 101 Middle School. She took part in the rebellion, and the Bureau of Foreign Experts tracked her participation. The Foreign Languages Institute had a European professor and his family who were humiliated and framed by her and ultimately imprisoned. At that time she was known as Carmelita, and residents of Beijing aged 60 or older are invariably familiar with her name. She was better known at that time than Song Binbin (renamed Yaowu) or Peng Xiaomeng, and was second only to people such as Kuai Dafu and Wang Dabing. Carmelita was the leader of the rebels among the foreign youth, and her photograph was published in People's Daily.Carmelita's mother Bertha Sneck was the prime muckraker among China's foreign residents. On August 31, 1966, she and Carma's aunt, Joan Hinton, and Joan's husband, Erwin Engst, put up what they called the "first Marxist big character poster by foreign experts," attacking the "cow demons and snake spirits" in the Bureau of Foreign Experts. They aggressively protested the generous terms of their employment and stressed that their children "must become staunch and dependable successors to the revolution, and must not be allowed to become revisionists," and on that basis demanded that they and their children participate in "revolutionary activities." Following is an excerpt from that Marxist big character poster, the wording of which incorporated a unique Western flavor into a stridency matching the most radical Chinese activists: Big Character Poster Directed at the Bureau of Foreign Experts. Why have foreigners working at the heart of world revolution been pushed onto the road of revisionism??? Which cow demons and snake spirits have ordered this treatment for foreigners? Foreigners working in China, regardless of which class they belong to or what attitude they have toward revolution, have all received the same treatment of "five nos and two haves": The "five nos": 1) No physical labor; 2) no thought reform; 3) no opportunity for contact with workers, peasants or soldiers; 4) no class struggle; 5) no production struggle. The "two haves": 1) high remuneration; 2) all manner of privileges.On what ideological basis has this treatment been established? It is not Mao Zedong thought, it is Khruschev thought, it is revisionist thought, it is the ideology of class exploitation. What is the purpose of doing this? What is the result? 1) It makes foreigners who want revolution unable to grasp Mao Zedong thought, and only able to parrot its precepts; 2) It causes a decline in the revolutionary will of revolutionary foreigners, so that they slide onto the road of revisionism; 3) It hinders China's foreign children from growing into staunch revolutionaries. 4) It causes segregation between revolutionary foreigners and their Chinese class brethren, destroys their class sentiment, destroys proletarian internationalism. We feel this is not someone else's problem, but is a problem that affects the principles of world revolution, and we firmly oppose this kind of treatment.We resolutely desire to become staunch revolutionaries and steadfast warriors against revisionism. In order to advance the struggle against American imperialism to the end, we are determinedly engaging in physical exercise and testing ourselves. Our children must become staunch and dependable successors to the revolution, and must not be allowed to become revisionists.For this reason we make the following demands: 1) Treat us as class brethren and not as capitalist experts; 2) Allowed and encourage us to take part in physical labor; 3) Help us undergo thought reform; 4) Allow and encourage us to closely integrate with the worker and peasant masses; 5) Help and encourage us to take part in the three great revolutionary activities; 6) Our children and the children of China should receive the same treatment and the same strict demands; 7) Our living standards should be the same as Chinese workers of the same class; 8) Abolish all privileges. Only in this way can we become the revolutionaries required by Chairman Mao.Long live the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution! Long live the great unity of the peoples of the world! Long live the great and invincible Mao Zedong Thought! Long live Comrade Mao Zedong, great leader of the Chinese people, of the oppressed world proletariat and of the oppressed peoples of the world! Long live!U.S.A.: Yang Zao [Erwin Engst], Shi Ke [Bertha Sneck], Han Chun [Joan Hinton], Tangpu Jinsen [Ann Tomkins], August 29, 1966What kind of psychological urges led these Western adults, raised in Latinate intellectual circles, to become rebels? A group of Americans running to the heart of the city to vindicate themselves, not hesitating to fuel the flames licking the feet of the head of the Foreign Language Bureau, not conferring with their colleagues, speaking for China's foreigners in calling for a decline in their living standards, and speaking for all foreigners in pledging loyalty to a tyrant. I do not believe that they were duped and misled; only being blinded by lust for gain could lead them to make such fools of themselves and act in a way so shaming to their ancestors.On September 8, Mao Zedong wrote a memo on the big character poster by Bertha Sneck and the others:"To Comrades Lin Biao, Premier [Zhao Enlai], Chen Yi, Tao Zhu and [Chen] Boda:I agree with this big character poster; foreign revolutionary experts and their children must be treated the same as Chinese and not differently. Please discuss this among yourselves and make all things the same. Please decide how to go about it."Under this imperial edict, Carma's family jubilantly found their wishes fulfilled. Carma's aunt, Joan Hinton, proclaimed Mao Zedong savior of the world in a meeting to "expose and criticize the capitalist reactionary road of the Foreign Experts Bureau": "Now we hear Chairman Mao's voice! Chairman Mao has no boundaries, he is the liberator of all the peoples of the world, he unreservedly believes the people can liberate themselves. With just a few words, Chairman Mao has smashed to smithereens the schemes and intrigues of the counterrevolutionary revisionists causing division among the proletariat of the world. We have shaken off our fetters! The door has been opened to us! Now it is up to us to swim on our own!" Carma Hinton's family members were allowed to fulfill their wishes to join the Chinese in the violence of the Cultural Revolution. The People's Daily published a photograph of Carma and other children of foreign experts returning to Beijing after participating in the big link-up of the Red Guards, with the deceptive caption, "Carmelita Hinton leads a delegation of American youths to Beijing."When the United States embarked on its dialogue with China in 1971, Zhao Enlai invited Carma's father, William Hinton, back to China, and during the seven months of his visit, Hinton was summoned to see Zhao five times, with Carma and her stepmother, Joanne Raiford, accompanying him each time. Often Carma's paternal grandmother, Carmelita Hinton, as well as her mother, aunt and uncle were also present. The Hinton family appeared with Cambodia's Pol Pot and Khieu Samphan on their lonely foreign affairs stage, serving as guests of honor in a barbarous country spurned by the rest of the world. During the lengthy interviews with Hinton, Zhao Enlai explained the origins and goals of the Cultural Revolution and allowed Hinton to visit Wang Guangmei, the widow of Liu Shaoqi, to gain an understanding of Liu's crimes. He also said a great deal to distance himself from the ultra-radical Rebels of the “May 16 Corps,” in particular Liu Lingkai, a student at the Beijing Foreign Studies University. At that time, Zhang Jianqi, a student at the Metallurgy Institute who had early on put up a big character poster criticizing Zhao Enlai, had been executed, and Zhao, who had the reputation of erring on the side of mercy, was still not placated, but launched a national movement to purge counterrevolutionaries that became the most wide-scale and long-lasting white terror movement, continuing right up until the end of the Cultural Revolution.After returning to the United States, William Hinton busied himself with two matters: one was to create a U.S.-China Friendship Association, of which he became the founding chairman, and the second was to publish "New China" Magazine, in which he included an article about his meetings with Zhao Enlai, publicized China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and became an iron-clad Maoist helping China export the violence of the Cultural Revolution. Fortunately Hinton was only a fellow-traveler and did not personally take part in the evil committed by Mao's disciples in the Khmer Rouge or the Baader-Meinhof Gang.Young Carmelita followed the "class line" principle of "the son of a hero will be a good man," and now in her 50s continues to use the same tools as her father and aunt to earn a living while doing her utmost to continue her family's work by spreading to every corner the promotion of violence in service to the Great Leader. Promoting violence is the purpose of the film "Morning Sun" produced by Carma and her cohorts, and the section of her Web site devoted to explaining the purpose of this film about the Cultural Revolution, she uses the questions William Hinton posed to Zhao Enlai in his interviews regarding the origins and the history of the cultural revolution. The film uses a real person with a false name to express the feelings of the film's producer: "Their parents killed our parents, so now we must kill them." Leaving aside whether or not their parents actually did kill your parents, your killing them still constitutes murder.The Cultural Revolution entered history 40 years ago, and the Red Guards of that time have become grandfathers and grandmothers, but Carma continues to teach the bloodline theory to the third generation with cries of "kill, kill, kill." Even in China it is impossible to mount such an aggressive rehabilitation of the Cultural Revolution, yet it can be performed so brazenly in the United States of America. I don't understand why in the United States, where human rights were first incorporated into a national constitution, taxpayers' money has been used to subsidize a Web site and film that trample on human rights, promote violence and sing the praises of a tyrant.Translated by Stacy MosherThe author: Wang Rongfen, a 19-year-old student of German, attended the Red Guard rally at Tiananmen Square on August 18, 1966, and saw in it a horrifying resemblance to Hitler’s Germany. She wrote a letter to Mao Zedong demanding: "What are you doing? Where are you leading China?" and described the Cultural Revolution as "one man with the gun manipulating the masses." She attempted suicide, but was rescued and sentenced to life imprisonment. Wang is cited in the book Mao: The Unknown Story, by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, as a rare example of "truly heroic resistance from ordinary people" during the Cultural Revolution. The authors note, "This extraordinary young woman survived prison – and Mao – with her spirit undimmed."
Friday, January 25, 2008
Our URL:

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Presidential Campaign: Florida, Michigan, and the Democratic Distemper

"I am a member of no organized political party,

I am a Democrat," Will Rogers famously said. As

am I, sometimes to my wonder.

Here we are, with two candidates who most every-

one in the party likes, two candidates who like each

other, looking forward to that Democratic novelty,

a united party after the convention, and we're still

going to screw it up.

Even for Democrats, this is stupidity on an unimaginable

scale. The stupidity is also multi-tiered. It took real

effort to get us into this position. Consider:

(1) The Democratic National Committee decides to

disenfranchise Florida and Michigan as payback for

those states' attempt to move up their primaries.

Disenfranchise Florida and Michigan. Those

are two huge states, one of which resulted in the

election of President Gore in 2000, before the

Supreme Court stepped in and "corrected" things.

How could the D.N.C. ever think that this was going

to work out OK?

The Republicans, facing the same dilemma,

at least allowed Florida and Michigan to keep

half their delegates. A 50% penalty is severe,

but a 100% penalty is beyond draconian. But wait,

there's more.

(2) The Democrats keep the nominating threshold

the same. So now, a candidate has to accumulate the

same 2,025 delegates, but without Florida and Michigan's

cache. If the Democrats had reduced the nominating

threshold proportionately to the loss of the Florida and

Michigan delegations, at least they would have made it

no more difficult for a candidate to amass the

necessary number of delegates. But, noooo.

So now, the Demos are in the position where it's

virtually impossible for either Obama or Clinton

to get to that magic 2,025 number in the remaining

primaries. And this mathematical law is

compounded by...

(3) ...the way that the party allocates delegates within

each state. You know how, in the Electoral College,

a candidate wins all of the state's delegates if (s)he

wins that state's popular vote, even if by one hanging

chad? The Democrats don't do that. They award

a state's delegates in proportion to each candidate's

percentage of the popular vote. So Obama won

Wyoming, with it's whopping 12 delegates at stake.

But, Obama only won 7 of Wyoming's delegates. Clinton

took the other 4 (one is still up for grabs somehow

and I don't want to know how).

This allocation procedure, coupled with screw-ups

one and two above, almost guarantees a drawn out

primary season, and a divided convention.

The Framers realized what the Democrats don't,

that elections should encourage resolution, not

division. The Democrats, rather, have adopted

an allocation system similar to that of Israel, where

ten people in a living room can form their own party,

get on the ballot, win a seat in the Knesset, and then

play kingmaker in the coalition-building necessary to

select the Prime Minister. Wildly disproportionate

influence is thereby conferred on tiny fringe parties.

The Democrats liked that whole idea.

(4) The result of this perfect storm of stupidity is exactly

the opposite of what nominating primaries are about:

letting the voters decide.

Used to be, party conventions were real arenas of drama

because party officials would get together and decide

the nominee. "Bosses" in "smoke- filled rooms" deciding

who the nominee would be. Baaad. So the parties went

to the primary system. Goood.

Except that the parties reserved a large chunk of

delegates, called "super delegates," for the Bosses,

as a moderating influence, in case Democratic voters,

perish the thought, were about to nominate a knuckle-

head. In that event, The Bosses would step in and

"correct" the unruly voters (much as the butler

in The Shining "corrected" his unruly wife and children,

with a hatchet). Well, we're back to the hatchet, Bosses,

and smoke-filled rooms.

Democrats, lineup in a firing squad in the customary

way, in a circle. This is Public Occurrences.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

This is Public Occurrences

"First they ignore you,

Then they mock you,

Then they fight you,

Then you win."

-Mahatma Gandhi

(first published July 31, 2007)