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Old 2012-04-18, 21:09   Link #20961
TinyRedLeaf
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
Well, you might want to try this website : http://www.mitbbs.com/

It is quite popular among the Chinese oversea students, and people do discuss everything freely.
Thanks for the link, though I'm not sure how useful it will be for me. That said, some of the forum posts were entertaining.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
...But sometimes you need to know some words to be able to tell who is who. For example, can you tell who these people are (all Chinese leaders/politicians).

太祖 太宗 三工 月月鸟 不厚

And a very hard one 真人
Therein lies a great difficulty, because while I can read the words, and I know very well that they are coded references, I don't know enough about the relevant cultural/historical contexts to know who they might be referring to today. For example, the first two are names of Chinese emperors (Taizu and Taizong), but what are they codes for?

The Bo scandal has generated its own list of codewords which Beijing has been trying to suppress. Among them, amusingly, is 西红柿 (tomato). I have no idea how it relates to Bo Xilai. I can easily see the pun on his son Guagua's name (melon), but how does tomato = Xilai? (Rough guess: "Red City in the West", ie, Chongqing?)

Moving on, one more link to an analysis on Chinese politics in the aftermath of the scandal:

Power Shifts in China
Quote:
By Cheng Li

THE spectacular fall of Bo Xilai, a charismatic but notoriously ambitious Politburo member, is only the latest episode in the Middle Kingdom’s long history of power politics. Still, the prevailing views of overseas China analysts have changed dramatically in response.

Prior to the Bo crisis, many believed that Chinese political institutionalisation was sufficiently developed to make the upcoming leadership succession as smooth and orderly as the previous one in 2002. Now, as the crisis unfolds, many regard Bo's dismissal as just another political purge, a restoration of the normal pattern of vicious power struggle.

Both views can be highly misleading, as neither adequately links its analysis of leadership politics to broader shifts of power in present-day China. The challenge for analysts is to provide a balanced, deep-rooted assessment of the trends underlying this recent drama.

Three parallel trends in shifting power deserve special attention:
  1. Weak leaders, strong factions
  2. Weak government, strong interest groups
  3. Weak party, strong country

(1)
Over the past two decades China has gradually left behind rule by an all-powerful leader such as Mao Zedong or Deng Xiaoping and embraced a collective form of leadership.

Collective leadership naturally makes factional politics more dynamic. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership is now structured around what can be called "one party, two coalitions" in which the two balance each other's power. The two factions can be labelled the "populist coalition", led by President Hu Jintao, and the "elitist coalition", which emerged in the Jiang Zemin era and is currently led by Wu Bangguo, chairman of the national legislature.

Factional politics, by no means new in China, is no longer a winner-take-all zero-sum game. These two political camps are almost equal in power... Factional leaders with scandals can easily be dismissed, but factions are too strong to be dismantled. The leaders replacing Shanghai Party Chief Chen Lianyu and Bo come from the same camps as their predecessors.

(2)
China has tremendous financial and political resources, and yet the government faces daunting problems. The State Council has become less effective in controlling provinces and even key state-owned enterprises.

More importantly, never in the six-decade history of China have interest groups been as powerful as they are now. For example, various players associated with property development have emerged as one of the most powerful special-interest groups, explaining why it took 13 years for China to pass the anti-monopoly law, why the macroeconomic control policy of the last decade was largely ineffective, and why the widely perceived property bubble was allowed to expand.

(3)
The CCP is the world's largest ruling party, consisting of 3.9 million grassroots branches and 80 million members. In the absence of organised opposition, the party seems unchallengeable. But a close reading of the CCP's official discourse reveals a sense of imminent crisis of legitimacy.

China's political reforms have made almost no progress in the past three years. This may be attributed to two factors: First, the 2008 global financial crisis tarnished the Western brand, leading some left-wing Chinese intellectuals to claim credit for superiority of one-party rule in China. Second, the Arab Spring rattled the party leadership, who worry about similar protests at home.

That China's spending on "maintaining social stability" in 2009 was almost identical to the country's total national defence budget is a sign of weakness. Coupled with the Bo episode, the party's reputation is damaged. Large-scale outflows of capital, presumably from corrupt officials, in recent years further indicate a lack of confidence among party elites.

On top of that, the recent demand for constitutionalism among liberal intellectuals, as well as several military officers' call for a state army rather than a party army*, constitute new challenges to CCP rule.

YALE GLOBAL ONLINE

Cheng Li is the director of research and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center. The above is an abridged version of his article.
* Yup, the People's Liberation Army, in case people did not realise, is effectively one of the world's largest private armies, if not the largest.
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Old 2012-04-18, 21:16   Link #20962
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
西红柿 (tomato).
西 = West for Chongqing
红 = Red - Maoist revival
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Old 2012-04-18, 21:32   Link #20963
Kokukirin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
But sometimes you need to know some words to be able to tell who is who. For example, can you tell who these people are (all Chinese leaders/politicians).

太祖 太宗 三工 月月鸟 不厚

And a very hard one 真人
I will have a go:

太祖: This is a title for the first emperor of a few dynasties. So it is probably Mao ZeDong.

太宗: This is a title for the second emperor of Tang Dynasty who is known for setting up a prosperous period. So I'd guess Deng Xiaoping.

三工: Putting 2 words together adds up to Jiang (river). Jiang ZeMin it is.

月月鸟: Putting them togeher is the first name of Li Pang, a former Premier notorious for his role in June 4th Incident.

不厚: It means "not thick", so Bo XiLai it is. (Bo means thin)

真人: This is a wild guess. There is a Chinese saying "真人不露相". So it may refer to a figure that keeps a very low key. Hu JinTao is known for exactly that.
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Old 2012-04-18, 21:36   Link #20964
LeoXiao
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Quote:
More importantly, never in the six-decade history of China have interest groups been as powerful as they are now. For example, various players associated with property development have emerged as one of the most powerful special-interest groups, explaining why it took 13 years for China to pass the anti-monopoly law, why the macroeconomic control policy of the last decade was largely ineffective, and why the widely perceived property bubble was allowed to expand.
China is six decades old?

On-topic, I guess there are a lot of oligarchs.
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Old 2012-04-18, 21:47   Link #20965
Tom Bombadil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kokukirin View Post
I will have a go:

太祖: This is a title for the first emperor of a few dynasties. So it is probably Mao ZeDong.

太宗: This is a title for the second emperor of Tang Dynasty who is known for setting up a prosperous period. So I'd guess Deng Xiaoping.

三工: Putting 2 words together adds up to Jiang (river). Jiang ZeMin it is.

月月鸟: Putting them togeher is the first name of Li Pang, a former Premier notorious for his role in June 4th Incident.

不厚: It means "not thick", so Bo XiLai it is. (Bo means thin)

真人: This is a wild guess. There is a Chinese saying "真人不露相". So it may refer to a figure that keeps a very low key. Hu JinTao is known for exactly that.
Haha, yes, you are right for almost all of them except the last one, which refers to 赵紫阳。 You probably know where the connection lies if you have read enough Chinese fantasy/swordsman novels.

I think the one about Bo Xilai is pretty ironic, since Bo is known to be harsh toward his subordinates.
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Old 2012-04-18, 23:55   Link #20966
MrTerrorist
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Sad news today.

Dick Clark dies of heart attack aged 82

My condolences to his family and may he rest in peace.
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Old 2012-04-19, 00:07   Link #20967
TinyRedLeaf
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Age: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeoXiao View Post
China is six decades old?
Doh!

WISHB*: The original text from source reads PRC, ie, the People's Republic of China, which was officially established in 1949. I substituted China for PRC, in keeping with my newspaper's style, but failed to take notice of the context of the original sentence. The fault is mine, not the author's.

*What It Should Have Been.

While it won't be the last editorial mistake I'll ever make, it is likely to be among the last (the last, hopefully!) I'll commit as a sub-editor. I'm packing my cubicle as I type, on my last day with my paper, and moving on to fresh pastures with effect from Monday.

Don't worry. I've not been knocked into the "cold palace". It literally is what it is, a transition to a new opportunity. I'll still be a grammar nazi to the best of my ability.
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Old 2012-04-19, 02:36   Link #20968
Urzu 7
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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3 Major things that food companies don't want you to know

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/04/...6pLid%3D153072


So I'd like to know, why is organic food so expensive? I know it'll be a number of reasons, but could organic food be pretty affordable if many more food companies jumped on board with it and made it more available?
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Old 2012-04-19, 03:51   Link #20969
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
3 Major things that food companies don't want you to know

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/04/18/3-big-lies-food-companies-are-feeding-you/?icid=maing-grid7|aim|dl17|sec3_lnk2%26pLid%3D153072


So I'd like to know, why is organic food so expensive? I know it'll be a number of reasons, but could organic food be pretty affordable if many more food companies jumped on board with it and made it more available?
Scale of production, more human labor, quality control, living wages - pick one or more. And yes, if larger scale operations committed to it, the price would be lower (but still higher than doing it the "crapfest way" ).
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Old 2012-04-19, 04:03   Link #20970
Solace
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Organic food isn't exactly "natural". It still requires pesticides and other control measures. And the label itself is meaningless, since every company on the planet is now apparently "green" even though it's just a marketing trick meant to make the consumer feel good about buying the same old stuff for a higher price.

However it isn't that the notion of organic food is bad, but the modern food and agriculture industry is not about healthy food, it is about making as much food as possible, as cheaply as possible, for as much profit as possible. Quite frankly, if people really knew (on a widespread scale) how poorly produced their food supply was they would revolt. It's bad enough companies like Monsanto have patents for GMO's, which is incredibly unethical, but the general practice of everything from the egg/seed to the packaged product is rife with all sorts of problems that the food industry does not want you to know about.

YouTube
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?

One of the best movies on the subject.
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Old 2012-04-19, 05:16   Link #20971
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Betweem wisdom and insanity
India tests nuclear-capable missile that can reach China
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...83I03Z20120419
Quote:
India successfully test-fired on Thursday a nuclear-capable missile that can reach Beijing and Eastern Europe, thrusting the emerging Asian power into a small club of nations that can deploy nuclear weapons at such a great distance.
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Old 2012-04-19, 08:53   Link #20972
thevil1
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Looking for Reason to hear it's voice
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I'm not sure if this is the right topic, but Remembrance Day is/was today and has a topic in the news as of lately, at least around here. I apologize if it's not the right place. I took a video of today.
New video from today.


Spoiler for Video Description:
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Old 2012-04-19, 13:04   Link #20973
SaintessHeart
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Age: 25
The world is never in a greater shape : India tests nuclear-capable missile that can reach China
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2012-04-19, 14:18   Link #20974
Vexx
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
But I thought they planned to conquer the world with Bollywood dance videos? There is no resisting the nyan dance...

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Old 2012-04-19, 14:38   Link #20975
Sumeragi
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I guess my supporting the Japanese and Korean organic food industry wouldn't have any impact in this crowd.

*Shrugs*
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Old 2012-04-19, 14:39   Link #20976
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
I guess my supporting the Japanese and Korean organic food industry wouldn't have any impact in this crowd.

*Shrugs*
i say this anyone who wants organic food

"grow it yourself"

Quote:
The boss of a truck driver caught with 268,000 rounds of ammunition in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, said Thursday that his employee took a wrong turn on his way to deliver what he insists was legal cargo bound for an Arizona dealer.
Dennis Mekenye, operations manager at Demco freight company in the Dallas suburb of Arlington, said Jabin Bogan, 27, made "a very honest mistake" when he took a wrong turn that eventually led him to Mexico on Tuesday. Mekenye said h has been in touch with U.S. law enforcement agencies and the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez.
"We want this solved, that is why we have been so forthcoming with authorities," he said

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...3D88.DTL&tsp=1
i believed him, trucks with a couple of hundred tons of ammunition get lost all the time.
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Old 2012-04-19, 18:17   Link #20977
ganbaru
books-eater youkai
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Betweem wisdom and insanity
Levon Helm, Drummer in the Band, Dies at 71
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/20/ar...1.html?_r=1&hp
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Old 2012-04-19, 18:22   Link #20978
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Earlier this month on Holy Thursday, Benedict issued an unusual and direct public rebuke of a prominent group of dissident Austrian priests who say they represent about 10 percent of the country’s clergy.
Also this month, it was revealed that the Vatican had silenced two outspoken priests from the Redemptorist order. One of the priests, the Rev. Tony Flannery, has been an outspoken critic of the clergy sexual abuse crisis in Ireland and is also a founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, a new group of some 800 priests that has challenged church teachings.
At the same time, the Vatican also indicated it is nearing a reconciliation with a controversial right-wing splinter group of Catholic traditionalists who would much prefer to return to life before the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) revamped church teachings and upended centuries of tradition.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/nation...sTT_story.html

looks like another inquisition is coming.
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Old 2012-04-19, 18:27   Link #20979
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
I guess my supporting the Japanese and Korean organic food industry wouldn't have any impact in this crowd.

*Shrugs*
We buy from local farmers as much as possible (markets, etc), shorting out the Mega Food System. Even if they use some pesticide, we've avoided that ridiculous supply chain with at least most of our food.

If I have to buy something from a long way off, I want it to be because that's the closest place that grows it
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Old 2012-04-19, 18:35   Link #20980
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
looks like another inquisition is coming.
Especialy if you look at this other new: Vatican Reprimands a Group of U.S. Nuns and Plans Changes
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/19/us...uns-group.html
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