Wednesday 3 April 2013
Picture, above: Descent Panorama of Saturn's Titan, 2006 May 8 [See below: Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Episode n. David Livingston, The Space Show, and David Grinspoon] Explanation: You're the first spacecraft ever to descend to Titan -- what do you see? Immediately after the Huygen's probe pierced the cloud deck of Saturn's moon Titan last January, it took a unique series of pictures of one of the Solar System's most mysterious moon's. Those pictures have recently been digitally stitched together to create spectacular panoramas and a dramatic descent movie. Pictured above is a panoramic fisheye view Huygen's obtained from about five kilometers above Titan's surface. The digital projection makes the local surface, mostly flat, appear as a ball, but allows one to see in all directions. Huygen's eventual landing site was in the large dark area below, just right of the center. This relatively featureless, dark, sandy basin appears to be surrounded by light colored hills to the right and a landscape fractured by streambeds and canyons above. Recent evidence indicates that Titan's lakebeds and streambeds are usually dry but sometimes filled with a flashflood of liquid methane from rare torrents of methane rain.
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-hosts: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com; David Livingston, The Space Show
Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Anne Stevenson-Yang, co-founder and Research Director of J Capital Research, in re: the dead pigs floating in the river, and the bankruptcy of Suntec Power
A top Chinese solar company, massively supported by the govt, went into bankruptcy court on Wednesday. Chinese had decided to break apart the value chain, make it more efficient, and export globally. Initially, the costs looked low – but huge subsidies for land, for coal, et al., rendered that impossible. Also, wonderfully environmentally friendly for foreigners but an ecologic disaster for China in mfrg. Chinese officials expected to put foreign companies out of business, corner the mkt, then raise prices later. All the solar companies are lined up to go bust. China also now has twice the capacity of wordwide demand. Can foreign companies now get back into the mkt? Yes, eventually. Can't commodify; have to keep improving the technology, which Chinese companies rarely do because they’re so focussed on cost. Watch specialty steel makers around the world grab back market share as Chinese figure out what to do with excess capacity. Brilliant Chinese designers and innovators are locked inside the state capital system: the logic of the economy is dominated by huge state players that have access to state capital. All designed to produce cheap stuff in volume and export. Sad for Chinese economy.
FT, Martin Wolf, April 2, 2013 Over the next decade, China’s growth will slow, probably sharply. That is not the view of malevolent outsiders. It is the view of the Chinese government. The question is whether it will do so smoothly or abruptly. On the answer depends not only China’s own future, but also that of much of the world. Official Chinese thinking was on display at last month’s China Development Forum, o: rganised by the Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC), which brought influential foreigners together with high-level officials. Among the background papers was one prepared by economists at the DRC, entitled “Ten-year Outlook: Decline of Potential Growth Rate and Start of a New Phase of Growth”. Its proposition is that China’s growth will slow from more than 10 per cent a year from 2000 to 2010 to 6.5 per cent between 2018 and 2022. Such a decline, notes the paper, is consistent with the slowdown since the second quarter of 2010 (see chart).
Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Reggie Littlejohn, Founder and President of Women's Rights without Frontiers, in re: unlikely that Yang Yuzhi hanged herself; more likely that she was once again petitioning the one-family bureaucracy for medical relief from the great pain she suffered after two involuntary, forced sterilizations; since her body was covered with bruises, it's likely that they beat her to death then faked her hanging. Murdered by the state. It makes no sense at all now for China to pursue a one-child policy in light of current demographics; it's widely thought that the bureaucracy uses brutality to maintain power, to throttle the populace. State murder occurs both in the villages and in the cities. Six months, photo of a woman in her hospital bed with her dead foetus next to her, Horrifying. Forced abortion, forced sterilization, murder of babies.
China: Woman’s Death by Hanging at Family Planning Office – Suicide or Something Else? [WARNING – GRAPHIC PHOTO of Yang Yuzhi] March 29, 2013 BEIZHANGLOU VILLAGE, HENAN PROVINCE. Earlier this month, it was reported widely in Chinese media sources that Yang Yuzhi hung herself in the Family Planning Office of Beizhanglou Village, Taikang County, Henan Province. Forcibly sterilized twice, she had for years suffered chronic pain from these traumatic procedures. Her medication drained the family finances, so she regularly petitioned the Family Planning Office for compensation, to no avail.
On March 13, according to her family, Yang was emotionally stable. There was nothing unusual, no reason to believe that she was at risk of suicide. On this day, she went as usual to press her petition at the Family Planning Office. Her family had no idea that she would never return. Late that day, the Family Planning Commission told Yang’s family that she had committed suicide, and that they “found her body hanging at the top of the stairs.” She also appears to have been severely beaten. Her dead body was covered with bruises, and her neck was nearly severed by the wire rope from which she was hanging. The explanation given by the Family Planning Office raises more questions than it answers. What was Yang doing at the top of the stairs in the Family Planning Office, for an extended period of time, by herself? Was she free to wander unsupervised around the Family Planning Office, with enough time to find a wire rope, attach it securely to the ceiling or another fixture, create a noose and hang herself – all this in a state of weakness and pain caused by the beatings? Why did no one discover that Yang was in the process of hanging herself at the top of the stairs (not in a hidden closet) and stop her? These unanswered questions raise the issue: Was this truly a suicide? Or did the Family Planning Officials torture Yang, then hang her to make it look like a suicide? Women’s Rights Without Frontiers demands an investigation.
Take a stand against forced abortion and involuntary sterilization. Sign the petition here: Petition to Stop Forced Abortion http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers
Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: . Episode n. David Livingston, The Space Show, and David Grinspoon, Baruch S. Blumberg Chair of Astrobiology at the Library of Congress and Denver Museum of Nature and Science, in re: on Venus, permanent 20 km-high upside-down tornado; at different altitudes, dances around the planet at different rates. Waves move middle atmosphere to absurdly high rate of rotation. Every planet with a sizable atmosphere has some sort of polar vortex; two on Mars; Jupiter has a hexagonal one. Everything abt Venus is extreme – rotation, temperature. The moon Titan of Saturn has a chemistry opposite to ours: what's water here is ice there, what's oil here is lakes there. JPL simulated Titan conditions: enough radiation in lower atmosphere to make lots of organics and coat surface rocks, probably in underground ocean – all the interesting stuff of life. Very cold there. Consider different kinds of biomolecules cd be successful there. Titan is almost like a freeze-dried version of early Earth. At some point, Sun will envelop Earth, overheating our region but melting Titan's.
Venus's South Pole Vortex --Strange Behavior of a Whirlwind the ... astronomers in the UPV/EHU's Planetary Science Group have completed a study of the atmospheric vortex of the south pole of Venus . . . Surprises in Venus' south pole vortex | Space | EarthSky Behold the erratic motion of the south pole vortex of Venus. And a word about vortices in the atmosphere of other planets in our solar system, . . .
Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Prashant Ghopal, , in re: housing Even as banks are holding borrowers to stricter mortgage standards, the improving job market is lifting incomes and helping families repair credit scores, expanding the pool of eligible buyers and providing additional firepower to the housing recovery. About 7 million mortgage holders have had to leave their homes since 2007 because of foreclosure or a short sale, in which a property is sold for less than is owed, according to RealtyTrac. More than 1 million of them are now eligible for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration, which requires a three-year waiting period and a minimum 3.5 percent down payment, said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics Inc. in Westchester,Pennsylvania. Full story: http://bloom.bg/14E981b
Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: . Alan Tonelson, Research Fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council Educational Foundation, in re: The last thing the Chinese govt wants is for a US smartphone to gain huge market share in China. The Chinese economic model doesn’t allow for dependence on foreign supplies for a moment longer than necessary. Five of the seven-member Standing Committee of the Politburo. Apple, Google, Carrefour, KFC- all risk payback. Also: Apple said it'd do very limited mfrg n the US; this is probably China yelling, No you won't. The Party practices gangster capitalism: take my product or I'll break your fingers. Why are we letting them steal from us? Former Pres Clinton recklessly liberalized trade and commerce with this highly predatory regime. Why does the US govt sanction Chinese behavior? Because intl outsourcing corporations run the show in US trade policy, Typical – they’re still drinking the kool-aid of the enormous Chinese mkt, or the cheap, regulation-free place to mfr. Tim Cook just apologized to a mob. Chinese Hacking Is Made in the U.S.A. Ten years ago, while visiting International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)’s software-research lab in Beijing, I observed dozens of Chinese employees moving about seemingly free of any security-related limitations. I asked the lab’s manager two questions: “Do you have any way of knowing whether any of your Chinese staff is also working for the Chinese government? “Do you have any way of knowing whether any of your Chinese staff is a spy?” The manager unhesitatingly answered “No” to both. He hastily added, “But you can be sure that we at IBM work very hard to protect our core intellectual property.”
This episode could occur at any of the many U.S. corporate facilities in China. It highlights an underreported feature of recent cyberattacks: Much of China’s hacking power was made by the U.S.A. For decades, U.S.-owned technology giants have set up state-of-the-art factories, laboratories and training programs in China. Their aim was to use a super-cheap, lightly regulated production base to supply Chinese and world markets, and to harness Chinese scientific talent. Greater profits were the top priority, but the companies also claimed that a more computer- and Internet-savvy China would become more peaceful and democratic. [more]
Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: Bob Collins, former senior Pentagon analyst now based in South Korea, in re: the latest on the Korean peninsula. North Koreans for three generations have been brutalized, starved, frozen. The puppet character in the news now is a creature of the military gang that's actually run things. Creating fear is used by all despot regimes, and DPRK is pretty good at it. The South Korean military us sick of accepting blow after blow from the North; under previous presidents, the ROK military was on a short leash; now, they can show their country that they can defend it as they’re charged to do. The new president: Respond to provocations without political considerations. Kim Jong-eun is humiliating what’s left of his military by making phony threats that re being laughed at; he wants a response from the South to show the North citizenry that there's reason to be alarmed, and that the US is the cause of all that's wrong. We live with this threat 24/7: everyone in Seoul (12 million; larger metro: 24 mil) is under range of artillery; they can hit anywhere at any time. It's all still a lot about money – fraud and illicit activities, directed by the Party, which keeps the Party economy going well. Make a lot of money from the military by selling to Iran; but the people are starving. April 15 is Kim Il-sung's birthday; will heighten tensions until then but hope to avoid an escalation crisis. A cannon into Seoul would [be that sort of escalation.]
President Park Geun-hye instructed South Korea's military Monday to set aside any political considerations and respond powerfully in the event of North Korean provocations, as Pyongyang has churned out near-daily threats of war on the divided peninsula. Park made the unusually tough remark during a policy briefing at the defense ministry, saying she takes "very seriously" a recent string of North Korean moves and threats, such as the scrapping of a nonaggression treaty, the cutoff of a military hotline and the weekend declaration that inter-Korean ties have entered a "state of war." "The reason for the military's existence is to protect the country and the people from threats. If any provocations happen against our people and our country, it should respond powerfully in the early stage without having any political considerations," Park said. "As commander-in-chief of the armed forces, I will trust the military's judgment on abrupt and surprise provocations by North Korea as it is the one that directly faces off against the North," she said. "Please carry out your duty of guarding the safety of the people without getting distracted even a bit." North Korea on Monday shifted, at least temporarily, away from weeks of warlike rhetoric, appointing a new premier seen as an economic reformer after a high-level declaration that nuclear bomb building and a stronger economy are the nation's top priorities.
The U.S., meanwhile, announced its latest conspicuous display of firepower, sending F-22 stealth fighter jets to participate in annual U.S.-South Korean war games over the weekend. While a Pentagon spokesman told CBS News on Monday morning that the F-22's presence over the peninsula were not a "recent addition to the exercise," Pyongyang calls the joint South Korean-U.S. war games a preparation for invasion. The new South Korean president, who has a policy meant to re-engage Pyongyang with talks and aid, told her top military leaders Monday to set aside political considerations and respond strongly should North Korea attack. [more]
Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 2, Block C: . Gardiner Harris, NYT, in India, in re: Low-Cost Drugs in Poor Nations Get a Lift in Indian Court Production of cheap copycat drugs for H.I.V. and cancer used by people in developing countries in Africa and Asia was ensured on Monday in a ruling by India’s Supreme Court. Entry-level costs for cancer drugs from US pharmaceutical companies is $100,ooo per year. No one can afford this, certainly not Indians, many of whom survive on $2 a day. The whole thing will com crashing down. This ruling is a shot across the bow of the entire intl pharmaceutical industry. Novartis and others spend abt 13% of heir revenues on research; most of it goes to marketing, They're not research companies, so their argument favoring huge prices _ $100K PA – are bogus, that's not where he money ig gong. It’ll soon go up to $150,000. Not just the Indians – the Britons, many Euro countries, are saying he prices are outrageous, Only in the US do we pay the asked price. Firms depended on very high walls between the US and elsewhere.
Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Martin Fackler, NYT, in re: Japan Shifting Further Away from Pacifism Japanese Self-Defense Forces train in California against an invasion – provocations in the East China Sea – and China's obtrusive search for a fight. A Japanese general was upset because the war practice among US Marines didn't follow a sufficiently strict schedule. "This is a signal that we're still a player" – that Japan has had two decades of genteel economic decline, now is supplanted by China. How do you stand up to this? Japan is on the front line. Dawning realization that you have to be able to defend yourself. Japan long has seen the US as ultimate protector; it’s still a bulwark, but Japan thinks, "How can we ask for help if we can't defend ourselves?" Japanese military hasn't been tested since WWII; they’re starting to think seriously. Understand tat this is real. They look at the US Marines who have real experience, want to learn. Chinese military last in a fight in 1979, when Vietnam pushed the Chinese front-line units back into China. Japanese navy is highly regarded across Asia; ground forces have less experience but are picking speed. Japanese are in better shape than Chinese in software and __.
Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 3, Block A: Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: Relating the Iranian threats to the North Korean threats. Is North Korea threatening with the same hardware and nuke capability that Iran already owns?
Experts Concerned Iran Nuclear Progress Is Accelerating The revelation of a vast secret nuclear site in Iran just as the world powers get ready for new talks with the Islamic Republic this week in Kazakhstan has caused great concern among top security experts in the United States that the regime might have already crossed the red line in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Revealed satellite images clearly show the secret facilities at the site with entrances deep into the mountain, similar to the Fordow design that had the West worried because it was impervious to conventional air strikes. "(The satellite images) suggest the possibility that Iran may in fact be further along in its nuclear weapons program than is generally assumed," said David Trachtenberg, who for 30 years served in the national security policy field and who, as principal deputy assistant secretary of defense, played a leadership role in nuclear forces and arms control policy. "It is clear they have gone to great lengths to bury and protect high-value assets at this site, which also complicates the possibility of direct military action and illustrates the risks of allowing years to pass while hoping diplomacy will work. "An accelerating train is harder to slow and takes longer to stop. These images reinforce my concern that Iranian nuclear progress is accelerating. The more emphatically the U.S. declares its determination to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state, the harder it may be to ensure that outcome." [more]
The “American empire” will fall this year, the head of Iran’s Basij forces claimed Sunday, a message that was approved by the Islamic regime’s supreme leader. “America should not think that with some diplomatic dialogue it can solve its dossier (problem) with the nation of Iran,” Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi said. “The path of this land is directed by the martyrs. America with its hollow slogans … thinks the Iranian nation will believe it.” The Basij commander was speaking to an audience of the 10th conference of “Journey of Enlightened Land” commemorating the “martyrs” of the eight-year war with Iraq, according to the Journalist Club, an outlet run by the Revolutionary Guards intelligence division.
Naghdi called President Obama’s actions deceitful, saying, “Obama in letters sent to the Islamic Republic promised to put an end to the Iranian nuclear dossier but … reacted in a different way.” As reported in January 2012, Iranian officials revealed the contents of an Obama letter to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that indicated a deep desire by the U.S. president for a dialogue with the radical leaders of Iran. Iranian officials also claimed that a subsequent oral message by Obama delivered through the Swiss ambassador in Tehran was even more revealing than the letter delivered to the Iranian supreme leader. [more]
Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re: Since March 15, PRC, esp via HsinHua, have been attacking Apple. Had naught to do with Apple's warranty policy, but now the brand is tarnished and the Party will pursue its attack to prevent Chinese people from buying Apple - rather, buy from Chinese- state-run mfrg enterprises. The campaign was signed-off on by the Standing Committee of the Politburo at least five of whom are hardline anti-reformers. These entrenched interests represent state enterprises, which want Apple's market share. Some Chinese consumers are thinking that State media is unreliable, but the PRC will continue to undermine Apple's market share in China. The princelings: travel the world, but no new story; still focused on money, and the Standing Committee is sweating a bit – have to intimidate Apple to increase margins. Not confident. Unit 61398: do you own Apple products? Will you give them up?
Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 3, Block C: Song Without Words: Discovering My Deafness Halfway through Life (A Merloyd Lawrence Book) by Gerald Shea (1 of 2) All partially deaf people hear wrong words or nonwords. I had scarlet fever at age six; an invisible curtain descended on me – neither others nor I knew that I couldn’t hear well. I had my hearing test at the beginning of first grade, then fell ill some weeks later. My father died soon after I was ill. I had devices to avoid: change the subject or laugh, or go away. I've never understood movies; my older brother would constantly describe the plots. I marvelled at how John could capture the meanings.
"Lyricals" – what Gerald inserted in order to make sense.; e.g.: Beth: "Of course, you’re many things, and yet a curiosity . . . " Gerald: [inserts approx homophones and puzzles]. Is accepted at Andover, then college at Yale, always hearing through his lyricals. Then Columbia law school: I sat at the front of the room, wrote down every word, right or wrong, and later corrected all the notes into accurate English. When Gerald spoke, people always seemed quick at responding to him. Next: Debevoise Plimpton.
Much has been written about the profoundly deaf, but the lives of the nearly 30 million partially deaf people in the United States today remain hidden. Gerald Shea’s witty and candid memoir of how he compensated—through sheer determination and an amazing ability to translate the melody of vowels—brings fascinating new insight into the nature and significance of language, the meaning of deafness, the fierce controversy between advocates of signing versus those who favor oral education, and the longing for full communication that unites us all.
Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Song Without Words: Discovering My Deafness Halfway through Life (A Merloyd Lawrence Book) by Gerald Shea (2 of 2)
The moving, poignant account of how a brilliant lawyer came to terms with the midlife discovery of his own partial deafness. Attorney Shea heard sounds through an "invisible curtain" that gradually descended upon him after a boyhood bout with scarlet fever. Because he was so young when he began to lose his hearing, the author grew up believing that the world was not only quieter than it was, but that "spoken words were a riddle...everyone had to figure out." People communicated through a colorful, strangely beautiful "language of lyricals," which Shea uses throughout the text, to which he had to give meaning. Over time, he found that he could understand what others said to him by reading both lips and contexts. Shea excelled in school and attended Yale and then Columbia Law School. But academic success came only by dint of great effort and caused the breakup of a relationship that would haunt him into middle age. It wasn't until Shea was 34 and moving into a new job that he was finally diagnosed as profoundly deaf. Despite hearing aids and other sound-amplifying devices, however, Shea continued to struggle in his professional life. A meeting with a hearing-impaired former brain surgeon, who advised him to have the courage to "break [his] own heart," finally convinced Shea that, for the good of himself and his family, he needed to put aside his profession and learn to embrace the partial soundlessness that defined his reality. The book is a powerful expression of loss, acceptance and the very human need to communicate. Shea's narrative derives its true power from the eloquence and intelligence with which he illuminates a world that may be unfamiliar to many readers. Copyright Kirkus 2013
Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: Dan Frosch, NYT, in re: Pipeline Spills Stir New Criticism of Keystone Plan Spills in Arkansas and Utah have also raised more questions about whether the federal government is adequately monitoring the nation’s vast labyrinth of pipelines.
Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: Dr Boris Borisovich Volodarsky, in re: Berezovsky's Dubious Legacy While other Russian oligarchs roam free with plundered wealth, the Kremlin is orchestrating a smear campaign against the recently deceased . . . Note ongoing smear campaign by Putin against even the dead Berezovsky. Ivanov said he knows for sure the letter of apology exists, hasn't seen it, said it'll never be published. Berezovsky's 23-year-old mistress seems to have some information, As for the "ligature" – rope? scarf? around his neck and also attached to something in the shower – no information. Overall, Moscow seems to be claiming that Britons killed Berezovsky. Every one of his friends asserts hat there's zero chance he committed suicide; also had tickets ad hotel res in Israel for two days after his death. A reporter for Russian Forbes interviewed Berezovsky the night before his death; relations between Berezovsky and Forbes: Forbes accuses him of having killed Paul Klebnikov! Russians knew that on Saturday he'd be at home alone. MI6 doesn’t comment. Moscow gossip: some say it was Putin others that it was the Russian maffiya, or even associates of one of his business associates. Historically, without Berezovsky there would be no President Putin.
Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Peter Berkowitz, Hoover, in re: The Sad State of Liberal Education at Bowdoin The corruption of liberal education is nothing new. In 1951, in God and Man at Yale, a brash young William F. Buckley Jr. showed that curriculum at his alma mater -- in particular the teaching and scholarship of the economic, political science, and religion departments -- promulgated a reflexive statism and atheism. Buckley attributed the politicization of the curriculum and the advocacy of left-liberal orthodoxy to thoughtlessness and complacency. He warned that if reforms were not soon adopted, the very understanding of liberal education as the pursuit of knowledge -- simultaneously open-minded, critical, and devoted to freedom -- in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences would increasingly be extirpated within the halls of the academy.
Alas, Buckley’s fears appear to have been well-founded. Indeed, the corrupters of liberal education have been emboldened. To be sure, one should not underestimate the persistence of thoughtlessness and complacency in American higher education. Nor should one lose sight of the presence, here and there, of devoted teachers who put first their students’ enduring interest in exposure to the ideas and events that have shaped America, the West, and the wider world. Nevertheless, the professors and administrators constituting the leading faction in today’s academy fancy themselves crusaders in behalf of a progressive political vision. Far from seeing a tension between their political aims and pedagogical responsibilities, they equate liberal education with a brand of contemporary progressive politics that is unmistakably partisan. [more]
Wednesday 3 April 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Michael Tomasky, Daily Beast, in re: The Coming GOP-Evangelical Divorce What are evangelical conservatives going to do? I ask the question not with any sympathy, but with a mountain of schadenfreudian glee—I am profoundly reassured about my country’s direction every time I hear Tony Perkins bemoan it. But however it’s asked, it’s a question that’s growing more and more urgent. Mike Huckabee says that if the GOP embraces same-sex marriage, “evangelicals will take a walk.” Others pooh-pooh this on the usual grounds that they’ve got nowhere else to go. But they do: back to private life. And it’s my bet that in, say, eight or 12 years’ time, that’s where a lot of evangelicals will be. Having gotten into politics to rescue America from the sinners and fornicators, I reckon a critical mass will decide by 2024 that it was fun while it lasted, but that the fight is hopeless. [more]
James Carville says, I think most Democrats -- we all love the vice president, but I think most Democrats feel like it's kind of her turn, if you will, if she decides to run. I don't know if she's going to decide to run, but certainly the psychology among people I talk to all the time, come up to me and say, 'Gee, I hope she runs, I think she'd be great.' And she really worked so hard for it the last time. We all love the vice president, but I think most Democrats feel like it's kind of her turn.
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Continued text: Hour 1, Block B, Reggie Littlejohn, Founder and President of Women's Rights Frontiers. . . . This would not be the first time the Chinese Communist Party has been suspected of attempting to cover up a murder as “suicide.” In July 2012, well-known Tiananmen Square activist Li Wangyang was found dead, hanging in a hospital room. His friends called official claims that he had committed suicide “insulting” and “ridiculous,” according to a CNN report. Like Yang, Li was in “good spirits” the day he was found dead.
Moreover, while the world rightly stares in horror at late-term forced abortion, the death of Yang Yuzhi demonstrates the urgency of stopping forced sterilization as well. Lost in the headlines about the Chinese Communist Party’s recent admission that they have performed 336 million abortions under the One Child Policy is the fact that they also admitted to performing 196 million sterilizations. These sterilizations too often leave women butchered and maimed. Forced sterilizations are routine. In April 2010, the Population and Family Planning Bureau detained 1,300 people in a campaign to sterilize more than 9,500 people, mostly women, in the Puning City, Guangdong Province. Those who resisted were detained, along with other family members, such as elderly grandparents.
Yang’s death also emphasizes the absence of the rule of law in China. She died while petitioning for justice. Family Planning Officials commonly regard themselves as being above the law. Rarely are they held to account for the many injustices they commit. The death of Yang Yuzhi, if truly a suicide, also draws the connection between coercive family planning and the fact that China has the highest female suicide rate in the world. It has been reported that 500 women a day end their lives in China.
Take a stand against forced abortion and involuntary sterilization. Sign the petition here: Petition to Stop Forced Abortion http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers [[dot]] org/index.php?nav=sign_our_petition
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Hour 1: Skyfall, Shaolin, Star Trek, The Thing