Archive for August, 2012

Sunday Morning Reads

August 18, 2012

Like most normal ie non-royal folk, Sunday mornings toast and coffee always taste better with some reading material at hand.

A predictable beginning with a piece on style featuring The Mongol aka Wang Ligun;

CHONGQING, China — Wang Lijun reveled in his image as the consummate crime fighter. An ethnic Mongolian policeman with a fondness for expensive overcoats, he directed crackdowns on organized crime, performed autopsies, patented designs for police uniforms and was even named an honorary professor at the institute of a famous American forensic scientist. His earlier exploits inspired a television series. All that was missing was a mask and cape.

He even had his own script writer, probably Sax Rohmer of Dr Fu Manchu fame, plus an overcoat fetish.

“Li Zhuang, we meet again”.

The full read from the NYT HERE.

A very decent piece from The Register Exposing China’s vast underground economy:

The report claims that in 2011 the online underground involved over 90,000 participants, costing the local economy 5.36 billion yuan (£536bn), making victims of 110m internet users (roughly 22 per cent) and affecting 1.1m web sites (20 per cent).

Are you a failure as an expat ESL teacher? Well, the above could provide you with an alternate career path.

Why are all those expats pissing off to their respective motherlands?

Again the NYT on China’s Corrupt Food Chain.

A 2011 study published in the Chinese Journal of Food Hygiene estimated that more than 94 million people in China become ill each year from bacterial food-borne diseases, leading to about 8,500 deaths annually.

So you are heading off to Dalmiesha beach near Shenzhen just up the road from the nuclear power plant to chat up hot babes in skimpy costumes. Well friends, you are facing a major league disappointment after your long bus ride.

The New York Daily News will sort you out.

For some women in China, a day at the beach includes a mask on the face

No, these aunties are not auditioning for another version of Irma Vep.”>

The ever reliable Malcolm Moore of The Telegraph posted this gem on Sino-statistics.

China’s ‘great revival’ is 62 per cent finished.

The man responsible for this uniquely Chinese feat of statistical engineering, Yang Yiyong, explained that he used five benchmarks, or “Great National Revival Process Monitoring and Evaluation Indicators”, to distil the achievements of 1.3 billion people into a percentage.
In a paper published by journal of the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, an elite training academy for the country’s top leaders, Mr Yang said China’s economic development was now 48 per cent complete, while the civility of the people had reached 81.1 per cent.
And while China received relatively low scores for “Sci-tech Innovation” and global influence, of 44.7 per cent and 46.9 per cent respectively, it scored highly for “Resources and the environment”, at 76.8 per cent.

Okay, you’ve got your talking points for today. Off you go and do some housework.

A total change of topic next post, which will immerse you in DIY instrument making.

Wang Ligun/The Mongol Update.

Maybe some of my really fevered speculations ……

According to Ma Jian who is possibly a Falun Gong mole working for The Australian.

Wang is no saint. Before he became Bo’s police commissioner, he was the director of the Field Psychology Research Centre where the condemned were executed and their live organs removed. Wang’s paper, A Study of Organ and Receptor Transplantation after Execution by Injection, earned him the Guanghua Innovation Contribution Award. In the paper, he credits “our achievements” to the “thousands of transplantations”.

Just lost my appetite.

Unnamed Sources: This is totally out of control.

August 12, 2012

As readers are aware, I’ve been following the the BoGu family antics for some time on this and my previous site. Now, however the whole second-hand reporting on the reasons behind the murder in room 1605 in the Lucky Holiday Hotel is threatening my sanity.

The Lucky Holiday Hotel which Heywood checked into after his flight from Beijing.

No pun intended.

Late last night, I added some of the crazier speculations (or maybe not) on this whole stinking mess to my previous post eg hired assassins had previously attempted to murder Heywood, the actual Hefei trial underwent a rehearsal before it was debuted publicly, the usual old organ harvesting claims by the Epoch Times, a mysterious third party in the murder room, etc.

The speculations are endless and show no sign of drying up.

Another web search this morning, and I discover that Gu was suffering from cancer as well as insanity over percieved threats to Little Rabbit (son Guagua, who has been strangely silent other that writing a testimonial of support for Big Rabbit his mum).

Well, here is another unsourced (aren’t they all) report:

Bo promoted choral songs from the Cultural Revolution, a dog-eat-dog period of political chaos in which his mother died in the custody of fanatical Red Guards.

For Gu, the songs would have revived memories of a time when her parents were purged and she and her sisters were left to fend for themselves.

Her behaviour became particularly unstable around the time of Heywood’s death in November. She strode into a meeting of police officials wearing the uniform of a major-general – the same rank as her father. In a rambling speech she told the startled audience she was on a mission to protect Wang.
Less than three months later, he accused her of murder.

That one gets the KT Award for Path Breaking Journalism.

Bloomberg nails this case in no uncertain terms. I was all about money not lunacy, and they rightfully focus on the family networks.

Political Influence
Since the scandal erupted, Bo’s family has become an embodiment of the political influence and wealth that has been accumulated by some relatives of China’s top leaders. Gu’s sisters controlled a web of businesses from Beijing to Hong Kong to the Caribbean worth at least $126 million, regulatory and corporate filings show.

Chris Buckley of Reuters and reporting from Chongqing, also provides much needed balance by focusing on Bo and Wang’s version of the Rule of Law:

Several lawyers and family members of prisoners say that under Bo and Wang, Chongqing police and prosecutors made up their minds beforehand, and then used torture and threats of torture to get the testimony they needed for a conviction.

Other methods they said were used included strapping suspects in a “tiger chair” and keeping them awake for days on end; suspending prisoners with shackles attached to the ceiling while their feet barely touched the floor or table; forcing them to drink large amounts of water laced with chili; and administering beatings and electrical shocks.

As for the issue of compensation mentioned by Buckley, its not going to happen.

I have identified three very different versions of how Heywood was murdered.

Wang’s role shifted from apparent complicity to disavowal and sheer and very speedy opportunism (slicing off a forensic sample of Heywood’s heart). A police bureacrat’s insurance policy which subsequently went pear shaped when he was sacked.

All the big picture prognostications by Cohen, Minzer et al are well covered in the media. As Gordon Chang has yet to pronounce, I will wait with baited breath.

All this psychological stuff about Gu’s state of mind, her sexual appetite etc, is so much drivel. Fun to note, but it misses the point about what is actually taking place.

To my point.

The Hefei trial of Gu before 140 carefully choreographed witnesses was supposed to take place within a cone of silence, supporting the official narrative of Gu’s unstable frame of mind and hence sole responsibility for Heywood’s murder.

In fact, the very opposite is taking place and the proceedings are being leaked by all and sundry to the western media hordes waiting outside in the rain. (Yes, there was a prolonged period of gusting rain.) Very few facts and a ton of spin, and I’m not going to expand on the latter, except to note that the local spinmiesters perfectly understand western reporters appetite for salacious detail. Let distract the twerps.

There must be few western media types in Hefei who have not by now been approached by individuals claiming to have the attended the trial. Some will undoubtedly be fake/shanzhai court attendees or officials. Reporters and their translators rendezvousing in out-of-the-way resturaunts, the proffering of informant credentials, money changing hands, etc. Probably even a subtle nod and wink between translator and unnamed source.

Get the picture. Gu’s trial is positively reinvigorating Hefei’s economy

And how can I resist. Hidden Harmonies spin the official narrative. Great and very lazy blogging, guys.

Political Interference @ Amazing New Revelations: Sports Book Closed.

August 6, 2012

Apologies, Dear Reader, but I’m closing the Sports Book. All Bo/Gu bets are off, and those high rollers who wagered on the Gu Kalai-Heywood hot sex connection and/or associated paraphilias will have their bets returned by the close of business, EST.

A lack of due diligence on my part. A failure to read the runes.

Bo looking like Sad Sack as he envisages a life without untold wealth, the ability to really shaft business competitors, Jaguars, multiple second wives and the Sino Presidency.

“These people who have formed criminal blocs have wide social ties and the ability to shape opinion,” Bo said of his critics. “There are also, for example, people who have poured filth on Chongqing, and poured filth on myself and my family.”

Really diplomatic stuff, especially after his critics noted his Yunnan visit and the face-to-face with a senior military official, who was connected to his good old dad Bo Yibo. And that was before The Mongol’s (aka Wang Ligun) revenge which highlighted Gu Kalai’s very film noirish trysting and poisoning of fixer/moneymover Heywood.

Fatal Instinct Sino-Style.

Sharon Stone: One in a long line of really dangerous women. Kathleen Turner/Body Heat. Barbara Stanwyck/Double Indemnity. No rewards if you can add to this list.

It is patently obvious that by now, Bo was believing his own Red publicity and completely failed to interpret a truly Shakespearean aphorism.

The warning came on March 3 from a senior central leader who told Bo and other assembled officials in Chongqing to be careful while attending the parliament session in Beijing.

“The climate in Chongqing is very different from the climate in Beijing,” said the official, who several sources have told Reuters was He Guoqiang, the Party’s top man for keeping discipline and fighting corruption. “So I hope that everyone will take care against the cold and stay warm, and be careful to stay healthy.” (1)

Look, lets be honest. It is no wonder Bo fooled round with party girls and them pimped them to his colleagues and higher officials. All that combined with his electronic surveillance system which would have made the STASI proud, and with its attendant blackmail possibilities.

Let’s face it. While Bo’s legal chippie is no really hot Sharon Stone, she is a creature of strong legal opinions.

Uphold Justice in America – essential airport reading along with Anthony Robbins.

“As long as it is known that you, John Doe, killed someone, you will be arrested, tried and shot to death,” Gu wrote of Chinese criminal justice in her 1998 book. Chinese law, she explained, did not mince words. (2)

Anyway, I feel totally deflated and betrayed. Not only is Gu being tried in faraway Anhui province where Wen and Hu exercise considerable political influence, but it now appears that she will evade two in the brain pan, as her court appointed lawyers will be making a good old insanity/mentally unfit plea.

This is the worst of all outcomes, as I was hoping to really cleanup with the Sports Book.

And by the way, I referenced the Shakespearean/Macbeth dimensions to this Sino tale of power and lust well before that throwaway piece by Jonathon Fenby.

Post Script.

A very good wrap up on the present state-of-play by Barbara Demick of the Los Angeles Times HERE.

The Snitch Update.

The always reliable John Garnaut SMH reporting from Hefei gives us the latest twist. Gu, Bo’s legal chippie, rolls over on hubby – probably spilling her guts on his financial missdeeds. Nothing like a successful struggle session to cleanse the soul.

The story which just keeps giving and giving.

I’m now waiting for the incest/pedophilia/necrophilia revelations.

The Mongol Knew.

Now here is a surprise. Gillian Wong of AP reports that Wang Ligun knew of the plot to off Heywood beforehand and also got a post-poisoning report.

And lets take another look at the poisoning perp.

Fat. In between snitching and telling porkies, a massive intake of steamed buns.
Bo should sue for divorce.

Even my normally low standards of secondhand reporting are challenged here.

Former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun, who triggered the scandal when he told US diplomats about the killing in February, sliced off piece of Heywood’s heart as proof of the murder, reports have said.

Michael Sainsbury The Australian.

At a guess, he probably gift boxed it and tried to sell it to US consular officials.

Picture this if you will. Wang, heading for the mortuary with Swiss pocket knife in hand, before the very hasty cremation. A flash of credentials to the attendant. Rolls up the sleeve and slices away.

To survive in the Sino-bureaucratic world, you have to be agile and keep an eye on every angle.

While Officialdom Fiction provides would-be power bureaucrats with a practical and ethical guide to shafting the competition, accepting and distributing gratuities, management of er nai (which translates as second breast), feasting on the public tit etc, I suspect that this mini-series will provide a cautionary tale rather than a guide to action.

The Horror genre directed by Ed Woods. I don’t think so. This is Officialdom Faction.

Conflicting evidence. According to some media reports, Bo’s chippie and her butler poisoned that shifty looking Heywood with pills introduced in his vino and then scattered a few around the room for good measure. However, John Garnaut reports that our fat and Deranged Red Empress of Chongqing used good old fashioned rat poison.

Gu’s response set off a chain reaction that Hollywood could not have scripted. She was feeling a little out of control, according to her lawyer, and so went shopping in Chongqing for a particular brand of rat poison.
She needed a vermin-killing cocktail that contained enough cyanide to eliminate her son’s financial problem, according to the prosecution case presented against her in court on Thursday.

A truly pathetic choice displaying a total lack of imagination. Rat poison is the commonplace method which beleaguered peasant farmers and battered rural women use to take their lives.

A sketchy overview of China’s suicide landscape by Wiki concludes that:

According to the journal Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, there are over 300,000 suicides in China annually.[4] China accounts for more than 30% of the world’s suicides.[5] The suicide rate in the Yangtze Basin is about 40% higher than in the rest of China.[6]

In The British Journal of Psychiatry, Lip and Liu confirm my points, (but with a proviso):

In fact, 62% of suicide deaths in China resulted from ingestion of pesticide or rat poison (Phillips et al, 2002). Such easy availability of highly lethal substances may explain the high suicide rates among rural women.

And here is a good one.

Paul S. F. Yip’s research was funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

What are we dealing with here besides a bit of political theatre?

Lets be exact! A sexually degenerate and probably incestuous (read the Big Rabbit @ Little Rabbit communiques) drug addict.

According to Xinhua:

Gu “had been treated for chronic insomnia, anxiety and depression, and paranoia in the past,” the report said.

“She used to take anxiolytics, antidepressants and sedative hypnotic drugs, and she also received combined treatment by taking antipsychotic drugs, but the curative effect was not enduring.

“She developed a certain degree of physical and psychological dependence on sedative hypnotic drugs, which resulted in mental disorders.”

Why didn’t she just take that other First Lady Nancy’s advice, and just said no to drugs.

Good move by the spinmiesters as it allows the official narrative to shut down the big picture stuff and individualise guilt as an instance of aberrant personal psychology.

If you are looking for historical parallels without the political dimension, read up on the Lyle and Erik Menendez trial in California.

This scribbler is not the only one with a monopoly on hyperbole.

The latest scribble in The Telegraph refers to Gu as a “glamorous sparkling eyed vixen”, but does add some side trivia:

The staging of the trial – closed to foreign media but open to some selected members of the public – was rehearsed repeatedly, according to one source. Two Chinese officials even donned suits like the British consulate officials who were to be invited to attend the hearing, allowing Mrs Gu to practise how to react and behave while under scrutiny.

The Epoch Times, a newspaper of the outlawed Falun Gong religious cult, claimed that he (Heywood) was killed because he discovered that Mr Bo and Mrs Gu were involved in a lucrative illegal scheme to harvest organs for transplant from live Falun Gong practitioners, and was about to spill their secrets. A Hong Kong newspaper said that she had a “wolfish appetite for sex” and, trapped in an unhappy marriage with a powerful and magnetic politician, seduced Mr Heywood in revenge.

An organ-harvesting nymphomaniac.

Heywood’s Bodyguard tells his Story.
A bodyguard, who protected British businessman Neil Haywood (sic) during an affair with his alleged murderer Gu Kailai, the wife of ousted Chinese leader Bo Xilai, has spoken out how he fought with three Chinese assassins who had tried to kill Heywood.

As you would expect from a Bollywood rag, these assassins were skilled in martial arts. Crikey, I’m now waiting for the resurrection of Bruce Lee.

Again, The Telegraph breaks new investigative ground. Mystery third person ‘may have been involved in murder of Neil Heywood’

This blog is officially closed. I’m now devoting my time to writing the film script in the hope of recouping the money which was to have been generated by the Sports Book.

KT Shakes Down Babylon

August 2, 2012

All genealogical histories need a point of departure, and where better than with maps showing how white men viewed the world.

The Triangle of Death

For photos of some slave forts and an excellent essay on the slave trade, visit this entry by Yussuf J. Simmonds writing for the Los Angeles Sentinel.

And, next time you go to a funeral think about this.

Amazing Grace was written circa 1772 by unreconstructed slaver John Newton, an Englishman who led a most interesting life to put it mildly. However, to gain a truly objective understanding of the African-Americas slave trade, you need to read Capitalism and Slavery by Eric Williams (1911-1981). Williams, who became the first prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago in 1956, had a positively brilliant academic record which is well documented in his wiki entry. (One of the 300 plus bibliographical entries in my The Concept of Industrial Revolution: Textile History and the ‘Histories’ of Discipline.)

Slavery – capital accumulation of the the most vicious and exploitative kind – provided one of the foundation stones of later British imperial glory. Slaves to the Americas, sea island cotton, sugar etc back to cities such as Liverpool, and finished cotton textiles for both domestic and Indian consumption.

Williams text “….. assaulted many sacred cows of British imperial historiography, and it was not published in the United Kingdom until 1964, meeting with a critical reception”. (Wiki) This is not surprising, given the general racist National Front climate in the UK in the sixties, which was certainly exacerbated by Enoch Powell’s infamous Rivers of Blood speech in April 1968, which also roughly coincided with the first influx of West Indian immigrants to GB. Again an excellent wiki entry, which explains why Williams was denied academic possibilities in Oxford, and so moved to Howard University in the US.

Importantly, like his mentor CLR James author of The Black Jacobins, the definitive history of the Black struggle against their French colonial masters in Haiti, Williams was also a keen soccer player and acknowledged expert on the game. This time a truly crap wiki entry.

Fast forward to the West Indies Cricket Team meeting Australia in 1975 at the SCG (???), where they first encountered seriously fast, blood and bone bowling by Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thompson, two bowlers who could best be described as animals on the field of play.

Jeff Thompson once clocked at 99.6mph. “I enjoy hitting a batsman more than getting him out. I like to see blood on the pitch”.

West Indies humiliated. Capt. Clive Lloyd vows never again.

No more calypso cricket. We are at WAR.

The perfect fast bowling machine came into being. The Fearsome Foursome – Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner, Michael Holding and Collin Croft – The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – gonna destroy you physically and psychologically and do it with style, mon. No quarter given or expected.

Michael Holding

Joel Garner: demon bowler from hell

Garner accelerates. Bowls four and a half ounces. 60mph. 80mph. 90mph plus. Its a wicked ball. Bounces with a vicious upward arc. Attempted left hook. Far too late. He’s down and it looks like concussion. (Meanwhile, back in whiteys dressing room, fear spreads through the batting order like Ebola.) In fact, the Windies hospitalised 44 batsmen, mostly whiteys but including a few Asian sub-continentals thrown in for good measure.

And did whitey whinge and snivel during the Windies 15 year domination of the game. We’ve got to blunt this pace attack. Lets limit the number of bouncers per over. What about extending the length of the pitch! How about shortening the allowable length of the run up. Better still, why don’t we hire the CIA to poison Vivian Richards. After all, they nearly got Castro.

Hold up, KT. You seem to be getting a bit too orgasmic about all this white carnage, broken nose cartlidge and punishing throat and heart contacts (“okay, okay, I’ll talk to my analyst”), so let’s look at the real thing.

(Actually, just found a Chinese site which had the whole movie (of which more in a moment), but here is another great taste before you go out an buy a legal copy.)

Fire in Babylon. Written and Directed by Stevan Riley. Released 2011. 83 minutes plus tremendous extras (interviews). Official Selection at Film Festivals: Melbourne, Tribeca, London and New Zealand.

Brilliant reggae sound track listing HERE, including a couple of dubs by my dad King Tubby.

And signing off with another great Dub – Rockers Meet King Tubby in a Fire House. Dad doing the arranging this time instead of being behind the analogue desk and with Augustus Pablo on melodica.