Adam posted this a few days ago, I finally get to watch it last night. I couldn't be happier that this was aired. The sad thing is, Olbermann got removed from the election coverage already.
This election is honestly not just for the US, the rest of the world depends on the Americans to make a right decision so the nightmare could end for a lot of us. Please don't make the same mistakes you've made the past 8 years.
You might have noticed up until now I have not mentioned anything about the Summer Olympic. This is because I have a very mix feeling about the game this year.
As a Chinese, I really should've been just proud and honored that the Olympic is hosted in Beijing this year. With the amount of discriminations against the Chinese culture by the Western world over the past 200 years (this is definitely an arguable point depends on where and when; however, it is still undeniable that only less than 100 years ago when signs like "No Chinese Or Dogs Allowed" were posted in some parks and outside of buildings in Europe) it is definitely the moment for the nation and the people to held their chin up high and be proud. Hence, even after the political movements towards Tibet; after the ridiculous list of not-allows issued by the Chinese government towards its citizens during the Olympic, after every non-humane things that has been done to make this 14 days a smooth event for China, I still rather not voice my true opinions about some of these issues. I know the game is a lot of people's dream; I don't want to be the person who spoils it. To say it bluntly, I just don't want to feel that I am going against my own heritage.
This morning, however, I read something in the news that I think it is absolutely outrageous, at least in my narrow-minded Westernized traitor opinion.
The cute little girl whose sweet-voiced rendition of one of China’s favourite revolutionary anthems started off the Olympic opening ceremony performance may not have been all that she seemed. Little Lin Miaoke, it has been revealed, was only lip-synching.
Officials have now admitted that the voice that rang out through the vast Bird’s Nest stadium was really that of seven-year-old Yang Peiyi, who may have had the voice of an angel but whose crooked teeth made her unsuitable for the opening ceremony's top spot.
Chen Qigang, music director for the ceremony said in an online article: “Little Yang Peiyi’s failure to be selected was mainly because of her appearance, because we were concerned with the interests of the nation.”
It appeared that while the seven-year-old child's voice could not be faulted, her crooked teeth were not deemed suitable for a ceremony required to show a flawless China.
A flawless China means a 7-year old girl who got selected from tens and thousands of people be taken off the stage one day prior to the ceremony because her teeth is not perfect? I thought the theme of this year's Olympic is One World, One Dream? What about the dream of that little girl getting to sing in front of millions of viewers all around the world?
Don't get me wrong, I can understand things have to be marketable, like the fake firework footage in the opening ceremony. I think it's absolutely okay if the officials decided to select a "flawless" girl for the ceremony, as I highly doubt most employers only hire employees solely on their ability to perform anyway; yet, shouldn't they make that as the prerequisites instead of a last minute decision? I just couldn't imagine how sad that little girl felt after she got taken off the stage. And how about the other girl who now known as the lip-syncer? I am sure she will enjoy being called the Ashlee Simpsons evil twin for the rest of her life.
Furthermore, the whole obsess with flawlessness is absolutely absurd. The people in China thinks they have to proof to the world Beijing is a world-class city, hence everything has to be perfect and nothing can go wrong. However, the real problem with the rest of the world against China has always been about its government, which is ultimately responsible for issuing all the bans and restrictions to ensure everything is flawless. See the cycle there?
I am hurt. I am hurt to see that a supposedly wonderful scenario has so much underlying fundamental errors; I am hurt to think behind all those happy faces in China so many people are still being mistreated and they don't even know about it; I am hurt that I am a Chinese myself but I am powerless when it comes to helping my own people.
I haven't been making updates as frequent as I want to, simply because it's absolutely busy here! My workload at work is up to my knees; I have a 350 people reception fundraiser to prepare and it's less than 2 months away; and I have so many other commitments I haven't even touched yet. It was much easier life to be a monk, but I guess this is the tradeoff for not having to sit infront of a table and chant for 12 hours a day.
Anyway, I just found out about this website today and I think it's really worth it to pay a visit in our daily blog-clicking ritual, it's called freerice.com.
"FreeRice is not sitting on a pile of rice―you are earning it 20 grains at a time. Here is how it works. When you play the game, sponsor banners appear on the bottom of your screen. The money generated by these banners is then used to buy the rice. So by playing, you generate the money that pays for the rice donated to hungry people."
The website started off when a father wanted to help his 16 years old son learning new vocabularies for his SAT. When it started only 3 people were playing it, but now millions of people are on the website everyday and since October 2007, 34 billion grains of rice has been donated to the UN.
For a few minutes a day, you could be learning new words AND donating rice, again, it's easier than sitting infront of a table and chant for 12 hours a day.
Edit: I just spent like 5 minutes and I already helped donating 1040 grains of rice!
When you think China is moving great with its new path in both economy and with human rights, news like this just makes your jaw drops. Either from laughing too hard or just baffle by the nonsense.
In one of history's more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation."
First off, how can you actually ban reincarnation? In buddhism, reincarnation is an (almost) unbreakable cycle. The only way to get nivarna is to through enlightenment. If there's a way to ban that, please let me know, because it means I can just quit what I'm currently doing and sign on to that. Come to think of it... with money-hungry Chinese people, package it and sell it might even be a better idea, I'm sure a lot of rich people will spend the cash to buy the way out of reincarnation.
Now, that was a joke, I know exactly what they're getting at: they're trying to ban Tibetan high monks from passing on information to their students regarding on where they will be reborn. It is a Tibetan buddhism tradition which before the high monks passed away, they'll let their close students know where and when will be reborn. The students will then go to the given village and the given time to retrieve their master's newself. The high monks will give some indicators so the students will be able to prove they've got the correct kid. That was how Dalai Lama
Now, I guess with given threats and military support, the banning of this can be accomplished.
By barring any Buddhist monk living outside China from seeking reincarnation, the law effectively gives Chinese authorities the power to choose the next Dalai Lama, whose soul, by tradition, is reborn as a new human to continue the work of relieving suffering.
So... how will the government choose the next Dalai Lama? A religious leader can not be chosen by the government, what's the point in that case? Sure you can choose a new Dalai Lama, but will anyone support him or believe in him? It's just absolutely nonsense. I honestly think the Chinese government sometimes think its citizens have IQ lower than 60's.
This news coming out a year before the 2008 Olympics really make me think whether China has the qualities to host such an event. Sure you have the money and have the economy to back it up. Sure you want to show-off your new found technology and infrastructure. Sure it's going to be a proud moment when you can show the entire world you're going to be (or already is) the strongest nation in the world. But what is so great about it when your citizens can not even trust the government?
A new study suggested that 40% of people in the province of BC have obesity problems, the second highest in Canada (behind PEI, a retirement community). I can't say I'm surprise to this. I find most people on the West Coast have bad eating habits: irregular eating patterns, crazy lifestyle, junk food...
To solve this on-going issue, the Canadian health authorities came to rescue: junk food tax.
From Canadian Press:
Tom Winson of the University of Guelph suggested a tax on low-nutrition food products might help "because the price for society in the long run is going to be extremely high."
"A lot of this is nothing new, we've done it with tobacco we can do it with junk foods and low nutrition foods," Winson said.
Now, where were the statisics on taxation of tabacco vs. consumption of cigarettes? If I had learned anything from my economics degree, it will be that commodity taxes generally don't influence concumptions. Our beloved Conservatives reduced our GST by 1% earlier this year, anyone care? No! I rather they adjust the income tax brackets to encourage savings and investments.
This is another great example our society trying to impose ridiculous policy with no actual benefit to the economy and the human society. The people who came up with the idea probably are parents with obesity childrens whom has jobs that are too important to care about their kids. They should go home, spend more time with them and teach them one simple thing: self-disciplinary.
Why don't we put a penalty for people who doesn't do physical activities enough to burn enough calories instead? Why should I pay more money on my gummy bears because some couch potatoes wouldn't get off their butt and walk?