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Posts Tagged ‘Tibet’

Full list of my bookmarks on Delicious here.  Also, I have recent finished uploading a new set of photos on Flickr: 2009-08 Amherst.

Bookmark highlights:

  • On Kristof’s column suggesting topics for the new year, I suggested looking at corruption in our government institutions, as inspired by Professor Lawrence Lessig. Some recent articles on this issue:
    • “A dose of realism?”  How about this for “realism”: We need leadership – Lessig – “This Court has become an angry old dog which has now bitten four times in a row. (The government is 0 for 4 in its defense of campaign finance regulations). Sure, maybe it won’t bite your kid. Maybe it will be the sweet moderate dog it was years ago. But you don’t need to be the parent of a young child to believe it reckless to let your kid play with this dog. And I don’t think you have to be a complete cynic about the Supreme Court to read their decisions to signal that this revolution is not yet over.”
    • How campaign finance ruling changes politics – NPR interview with Lessig
  • On animals:
    • An otter’s work is never done – too cute
    • Free Tilly – and all circus animals – Singer – “We will never know exactly what was going on in Tilly’s mind, but we do know that he has been in captivity since he was about two years old – he was captured off the coast of Iceland in 1983. Orcas are social mammals, and he would have been living with his mother and other relatives in a pod. It is reasonable to suppose that the sudden separation was traumatic for Tilly.Moreover, the degree of confinement in an aquarium is extreme, for no tank, no matter how large, can come close to meeting the needs of animals who spend their lives in social groups swimming long distances in the ocean. Joyce Tischler, of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, described keeping a six-ton orca in Sea World’s tanks as akin to keeping a human in a bathtub for his entire life. David Phillips, director of the International Marine Mammal Project for the Earth Island Institute, which led the efforts to rehabilitate the orca Keiko – made famous by the movie Free Willy – said “Orcas deserve a better fate than living in cramped pools.””
    • Chinese zoo blamed for death of 11 tigers – “The deaths underscore conflicting signals in China’s attempts to save its dwindling number of tigers. While extensive conservation efforts are under way, animal protection groups say zoos and wildlife parks may be deliberately breeding more animals than they can afford, hoping to sell off the carcasses onto a black market where tiger parts fetch a high price for use in traditional medicines and liquor.“We’ve seen cases where tiger farms have steeped the bones from their deceased tigers in liquor to sell to visitors,” said Hua Ning, project director for the China branch of the International Fund for Animal Welfare.Other animal rights groups like the Washington-based National Fish and Wildlife Foundation have documented stockpiled pelts and the sale of tiger wine at the Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Mountain village in south China’s Guangxi region.”
    • Tuna takes center stage at CITES meet – “Atlantic bluefin tuna is in crisis and meets the criteria for a total ban on international trade, the head of the UN wildlife trade organization said on Saturday in opening a 13-day meeting.The 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), convening for the first time in the Middle East, is the only UN body with the power to outlaw commerce in endangered wild animals and plants.Besides the sharply disputed proposal on bluefin, the convention was to debate the status of African elephants, polar bears and tigers.”
    • Farm Sanctuary – Taking in an abandoned calf – at the start / two years later
    • Farm Sanctuary – USDA’s latest slaughterhouse violations heighten urgency for federal ban on all sick animals entering food supply – “Yesterday members of Congress heard testimony from Dean Wyatt, a supervisory veterinarian at the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, about instances in which he and other inspectors were overruled when citing slaughterhouses for violations such as shocking and butchering days-old calves that were too weak or sick to stand and butchering conscious pigs, despite rules that they first be stunned and unconscious. In addition to being illegal, inhumane and unsafe, this behavior falls well outside the bounds of what most Americans consider acceptable conduct, and the USDA’s repeated decision to turn a blind eye toward it is cause for national outrage and concern.”
  • Taiwan’s greatest ascent – “During the Japanese occupation (1895-1945), much of the area around Yushan was stripped of timber to supply the growth of the Japanese empire. When survey teams discovered that Yushan was 176 meters higher than the revered Mount Fuji, the mountain’s reputation skyrocketed. The Japanese renamed it Niitakayama, or New High Mountain, and it became a popular hiking destination among Japanese and Taiwanese. The first trail to the peak opened in 1919, and by the 1930s, middle-school girls in school uniforms were climbing as a coming-of-age graduation trip, according to a plaque at the start of the trail.”
  • On Tibet:
    • Tibetans recount Himalayn escapes – ““We’ve all heard stories of Tibetans being shot by Chinese border patrols while trying to escape, so we had to sleep during the day and walk at night, which made it very hard to see clearly, especially when it was snowing,” Jamga said. “We could not see where we were going.”  The trip was a combination of hunger, extreme weather and the threat of being shot.  “One of the members in the group died since we had nothing to eat for a few days,” he said.”
    • Parade honors memory of Tibetans 1959 uprising – “More than 1,000 people — Taiwanese, Tibetans, Chinese, Americans, Europeans and Latin Americans — took to the streets of Taipei yesterday to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising. Holding banners and signs with slogans like “self-determination for Tibet,” “stop cultural genocide in Tibet” and “Stop killing in Tibet,” the crowd departed from Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station in Taipei and marched to Taipei 101.”
  • On China:
    • China increases security in Tibet to prevent protests – “In Nepal, where the government has been forging closer ties with China, the police on Wednesday arrested 30 protesters who had been demonstrating in Katmandu, the capital, in support of the Tibetan cause. More than 12,000 Tibetans live in Nepal, many of them refugees who have fled Chinese rule.” – a clear example of China using its influence to restrict human rights even in other countries.
    • China jails Tibetan filmmaker for six years – “A Chinese court has jailed a Tibetan filmmaker for six years after he made a documentary in which ordinary Tibetans praised the Dalai Lama and complained about how their culture had been trampled upon, campaigners said.The film, Leaving Fear Behind, features a series of interviews with Tibetans who talk about how they still love their exiled spiritual leader and think the Beijing Olympics did little to improve their lives.”
    • China shows signs of neo-fascism – “One of the most peremptory signs of fascism is the state’s negation of individualism and the idea that citizens draw their identity and raison d’etre from the state. Evidence of this emerged earlier this week when Chinese Vice Sports Minister Yu ­Zaiqing (于再清) chided 18-year-old Olympic champion short track speedskater Zhou Yang (周洋) for thanking her parents — but not her country — after winning gold at the Vancouver Winter Games last month.  “It’s OK to thank your parents, but first you should thank the motherland. You should put the motherland first, not only thank your parents,” Yu told the Southern Metropolis Daily.”
    • Chinese editorials assail a government system – “But a few hours later, the editorials had largely vanished from the Internet, presumably erased by a government that is wary of abandoning a 50-year-old system that many critics say has fed the surging gap between China’s urban and rural population.”
    • Not surprisingly, this happened shortly afterward – Editor is fired after criticizing Chinese registration system – “On March 1, just days before China’s annual legislative sessions, Mr. Zhang’s newspaper and a dozen other Chinese publications published his editorial, asserting that the registration system unfairly restricts the right of Chinese citizens to seek a better life outside their hometowns. “We believe in people born to be free and people possessing the right to migrate freely,” the editorial proclaimed.  The editorial vanished from the Internet within hours, the victim of China’s censors, but not before it was picked up by foreign news outlets.”

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