Political Weblogging


Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Dave is collecting links to a growing story about Blogger weblogs being blocked in mainland China. Eatonweb portal has a list of Chinese bloggers many of whom use Blogger.

From this list, the About China blogger, leylop, writes:


Wow, I’m really excited ! Finally, I’m able to access by own blog and any other banned sites in China because of proxy service . I’ve been trying to get one for quite a whlie, but none of them worked. Now I know it’s all my fault, there’s wrong during the setting. Glad that everything is OK now 🙂


The use of proxies is a known workaround for censorship. I found this page on the use of proxies. Hopefully others will point out additional proxy workaround techniques and addresses so that we can pass these along to our Chinese compatriots.


More on Chinese censorship and workarounds at P2PNet, Can China’s Net Censorship be beaten? (thanks to Openflows).


North Korea from south of the border

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I do not understand why we continue to focus on Iraq, whom I think we all know, deep in our hearts and minds not to be a threat, when we’re faced with situation far more chilling: North Korea’s withdrawal from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

I watched the Berlin wall come down and thought to myself at the time that I would no longer need fear the specter of nuclear war. That was such a bright and shiny, albeit naive, moment.

Chris from Emptybottle, who lives and teaches in South Korea, has written about the situation, providing a viewpoint I think is important for us to understand before we follow ‘axis of evil’ tangents


Mein America

I don’t watch much commercial TV, so the ad I saw may be old to most of you. The TV commercial showed a group of men having lunch at a diner, one of whom is complaining about taxes. His companions are obviously uncomfortable with the talk, and a couple in the booth behind the man looked over at him in fear as they quickly leave the booth.

His friends tell him:

“Calm down.”

“Do you want them to ruin your life?”

“They can do that you know.”

At the end of the commercial the words:


Freedom. Appreciate it. Cherish it. Protect it.


The ad was sponsored by the Ad Council — the consortium of US advertisers that perform voluntary ad campaigns.

At first, I was pleased by the ad, thinking that here is a mainstream organization warning Americans what’s at risk if they continue to give up freedoms in the name of ‘safety’. That was before I explored the Freedom campaign at the Ad Council web site.

According to the Council web page:


Developed following the tragedies of September 11th, the Ad Council’s Campaign for Freedom is an unprecedented volunteer effort from the advertising industry. The initiative is designed to assist Americans during the war on terrorism through the development of timely and relevant PSAs. This first round of PSAs has been created to celebrate our nation’s freedom and remind Americans about the importance of freedom and the need to protect it for future generations. According to research, Americans are looking for messages that will inform, involve and inspire them during the war on terrorism. (emphasis added) This inspirational campaign is advertising’s gift to America. All of the ads conclude with the powerful tagline, “Freedom. Appreciate it. Cherish it. Protect it.”


I watched the TV commercials (all available at the web site) as a man is arrested for delivering newspapers, another for asking for forbidden books in a library, and church members attending services secretly. All the ads are intended to ‘inform’ the American public about what will happen if we don’t continue to support the war on Terror. All horrifyingly demonstrating the reality of what is happening to this country because of the war on terror.


The whole art consists of doing this so skillfully that everyone will be convinced that the fact is real, the process necessary, the necessity correct, etc. But since propaganda is not and cannot be the necessity in itself, since its function,
like the poster, consists in attracting the attention of the crowd, and not in educating those who are already educated or who are striving after education and knowledge, its effect for the most part must be aimed at the emotions and only to a very limited degree at the so-called intellect.

Adolf Hitler, “Mein Kampf