Xinhua, China’s state press agency, reported on the morning of January 28 that Snowden had claimed aliens controlled the United States. They deleted the story within 24 hours, but the story has spread all over the Chinese blogosphere and become a trending topic on Sina Weibo.
According to Xinhua’s original story:
Central Broadcast Website Beijing January 27 reports, according to the voice of China “Peak Evening News”, the leaker of the American “Prism” program, Edward Snowden, has currently accepted a secret interview with North German radio and TV at Russian capital city Moscow. This is the first interview time Snowden has accepted an interview since he left Hong Kong for Russia. The interview is 30 minutes long and will be broadcast on a German talk show this morning Beijing time. What kind of surprising information will Snowden reveal to the media?
Recently Snowden has revealed an “earth-shattering secret”, he said that America’s government has already become a puppet government run by aliens. This coincides with bizarre claims by former Canadian Defense Minister Paul Heller. Snowden also revealed that the aliens, who are headquartered in Nevada, supported Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930′s, but after Germany lost World War II, they changed objectives and supported America. The present American government is already completely under the control of aliens.
A few weeks ago, I told you about how United Airlines canceled and delayed some of its flights because of problems with crew availability. In that case–and according to United’s own stated policies–United should compensate its travelers for lodging and transportation expenses caused by United’s failure to operate its flights as scheduled. In fact, United didn’t even respond to a request for compensation after 19 days.
I sent the request 19 days ago for compensation for the transportation and lodging expenses their cancelation and delay caused me to incur and no response what so ever.
Lies? This follows the fact that their employees gave false information at the gate, saying that the flight was canceled due to weather, only for one of their own employees to state that the flight had been canceled due to crew-related reasons the next day.
From my original blog post:
After United flight 4116 from Cincinnati to Denver was cancelled on Monday, January 6, the United gate staff denied affected travelers hotel and transportation compensation, claiming the flight was delayed due to weather. It was a transparent excuse. A member of the gate staff had already made an announcement saying that the flight would fly empty because no flight attendants could be found for the leg to Cincinnati. On January 7, a member of the gate staff for the flight to Houston said that the flight to Denver was in fact canceled because of crew-related reasons and that compensation may be provided.
Read the full post: United Airlines Flights Canceled – Will United Compensate its Travelers?
UPDATE: United Twitter has responded saying that current response time is 14-21 days. This story will continue to be updated as it develops.
UPDATE II: I respond on Twitter:
UPDATE III (Final Update): On February 7, United issued a travel certificate in the amount requested.
A few weeks before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Yasukuni Shrine, I was there in Tokyo visiting it. How did I know the shrine would be in the news a few weeks later? It always is. I wanted to see what it was really like there.
Not only is there the shrine, but there’s also the Yushukan war museum, which contains the Japanese view of World War II. As I found out, Yushukan is even worse than the Shrine. I wrote about it in an op-ed in the Shanghai Daily.
When it comes to Yasukuni, the on-site Yushukan war museum may be even more offensive than the enshrined war criminals, for within the Yushukan there is no apology — nor even any acknowledgement — of many of the massacres those very war criminals presided over.
Take the Nanjing Massacre. Shortly after the start of the Sino-Japanese War — it is known as the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in China — in December 1937, Japan ransacked the city, burning and looting, and executing civilians.
According to the findings of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, within the first six weeks of Japanese occupation, over 200,000 civilians and unarmed soldiers were killed and 20,000 women were raped.
Yet at Yushukan, in the text about the “Nanking (Nanjing) Incident,” there is no mention of these atrocities, only an assertion that “General Matsui Iwane distributed maps to his men with foreign settlements and the Safety Zone marked in red ink. Matsui told them that they were to maintain strict military disciplines and that anyone committing unlawful acts would be severely punished.” Matsui was convicted at the war crimes tribunal for his failure to control his men in Nanjing.
The Japanese view of the war today has not changed much since the International Military Tribunal for the Far East published their judgments in 1948.
Read my whole article here: Yushukan museum whitewashes wartime atrocities
Common Cause is opposing a court ruling that struck down “Net Neutrality” regulations on the internet. Common Cause program director Todd O’Boyle’s argument in favor of “Net Neutrality,” however, could have some scary repercussions for writers, reporters, producers, and artists of word and content.
In a world where content-creation is already being devalued by content scraping sites like Buzzfeed, content-creators are finding it harder and harder to earn a living. Journalism is struggling to keep ad revenue with the transition to the internet.
Mr. O’Boyle’s solution could make the problem worse if it were to be implemented. He told the Huffington Post:
“Information shouldn’t become a luxury.”
And the Huffington Post further contextualized:
And yet it’s clear that at least as far as the purveyors of cable television are concerned, information is a luxury — and one that should be paid for. Those who subscribe to Time Warner Cable’s expensive “Preferred TV” bundle get access to all the TV news channels, while subscribers to Time Warner’s relatively bare-bones “Starter TV” bundle must content themselves with C-SPAN and Time Warner Cable News NY1.
What he refers to as “information” is the work of many people who gather it, present it in a digestible form, and broadcast it. Continue reading
When Avril Lavigne tours in China this February, she isn’t going to “Hong Kong”; she’s going to “Chinese Hong Kong.” This tour poster, written in Chinese, lists her first destination as “Chinese Hong Kong” (中国香港) rather than simply saying “Hong Kong” (香港).
Hong Kong is still a Special Administrative Region and was returned to China in 1997 from Great Britain. There are some in Hong Kong who seem themselves as being different than Mainland China and want autonomy. This poster seems to be an affirmation directed towards the Chinese audience that Hong Kong is indeed a part of China.
I recall a few years ago when Lady Gaga was touring Asia, she listed “Taiwan” as one of her destinations in an English-language promo. On Facebook, some Chinese friends saw that as an endorsement of Taiwanese independence. The situation with regards to governance is very different between Hong Kong and Taiwan, but most Chinese people see Taiwan as being a legitimate part of China.
Flights across the East Coast and Midwest have been canceled and delayed because of extreme cold and new anti-fatigue regulations. United Airlines is just one of the many companies that had flights canceled in droves. Its not their fault that the weather sucked, and the flight delays an inevitable part of travel from time to time… But there’s no excuse for lying about flight delays.
John Hawkins’ article at Townhall arguing from a conservative perspective for more personal freedom made it onto the front page of Memeorandum.com. The problem is, Hawkins doesn’t know what personal freedom is.
Hawkins is a conservative. His premise is that liberals, in supporting government regulation, are restricting personal choice. Unfortunately, in this very same article–in the space of two sentences–he expresses his support for regulations that restrict personal choice.
The problem with that is not so much liberals living how they want to live; it’s that liberals want to force everyone else to live how they want to live. They don’t like guns; so no one should have guns. They like gay marriage; so everyone must be forced to like gay marriage. They like PBS; so everyone should be forced to pay for PBS.
See that? He thinks that people shouldn’t have the ability to choose to marry other people of the same gender just like some liberals think people shouldn’t have the ability to choose to own a semi-automatic “assault riffle.” In both cases, there is a debate about how such choices impact society, but Hawkins had already come up with the premise that “force[ing] everyone else to live how they want to live” is a bad thing in and of itself.
He does it again a few paragraphs later: Continue reading
Today, Will Oremus at Slate has quoted futurist Ray Kurzweil as predicting that people will be able to live forever. Kurzweil is known for making far fetched predictions about the future, but the broader trajectory of his predictions has generally been right: Technology is advancing at an impressive rate.
Oremus did point to Forbes writer Alex Knapp’s article that claimed that the predictions Kurweil made in The Age of Spiritual Machines were mostly wrong. Knapp does point out some that were objectively wrong (Translating telephones are in development, but the translations are of poor quality, and they are far from widespread usage.) and others that were arguably wrong, but there is at least one Knapp labeled as wrong that ended up being completely accurate.
“The neo-Luddite movement is growing.”
Now that I have been to China, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea, I will analyze which countries are the best in various self-selected categories. I haven’t been to Taiwan yet, so its not included.
Subway: Hong Kong – The difference between Hong Kong’s and Tokyo’s subway system is a lesson in how to design subway systems. When you transfer lines in Tokyo, you have to walk down long halls. Sometimes you have to walk out of the station and on to the street. Some transfers even require you to buy a new ticket, because the lines are owned by different companies. In Hong Kong, at major transfer stations, the doors of the intersecting lines are lined up across from each other making transfers easy. Buying tickets is easier in Hong Kong, too.
In Tokyo, there is a map above the ticket machines with the price of each station painted on. You are supposed to read the map quickly and see how much you have to pay. Why not digitize that map and build it into the machine software so that people can simply click on the station and buy a ticket like they do in Hong Kong (and elsewhere)? In Beijing, there are many human-staffed ticket booths. Seoul gets points for its comfortable heated seats in winter. Tokyo’s system is the worst.
Beer: Continue reading
“At least we have a functioning government!”
“They are celebrating Chinese National Day!”
America’s government shutdown has become a trending topic on China’s microblogging platform Weibo. There are two popular reactions from China’s netizens. One is to praise China’s one-party system for not having to deal with this kind of situation. Another is to joke about how the shutdown started on October 1, China’s National Day, which is a national travel holiday. America’s government is taking the week off just like Chinese people have the week off!
Here are some selected reactions from the Chinese internet:
@惊鸿照影0707: #American Government Shutdown# I was just eating lunch and said to my friend, You know why America’s government shutdown! My friend had a confused look, asked why, then I told her I know it is in order to celebrate Chinese National Day! What the heck does Chinese National Day have to do with America! It is explained, the number of Chinese people is so great! America’s government has some Chinese people within, so they get the time off for National Day!
#美国政府关闭# 刚吃中饭的时候跟同事说，你们知道吗美国政府关闭了！ 对方一脸困惑，为什么阿，我知道了是为了庆祝中国国庆节吧！ 我擦中国国庆节和美国有什么关系阿！同事解释，中国人多啊！美国政府里都是中国人，过节放假阿！ 为美国点上一根 详情:http://t.cn/zRzT2AA
From RenRen, a Facebook-style social networking site, this status is shared by study abroad students in America:
Don’t need to say anymore, at least our homeland has a functioning government. Sometimes I get so tired of debating political structure with Americans, because a lot of them have been brainwashed by democracy.