The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Saturday, August 23, 2008
***UPDATED AND BUMPED, INCLUDES PRICELESS LEVIN AUDIO*** Oops! The Chinese, a Little Girl, and Fixing the Game(s)
Below are a couple of screen grabs that might help [the IOC...] with their investigation...Bummer for them. Bummer for this little girl. But highly educational for everyone else whose eyes are open.
The IOC has ordered an investigation into the age of Chinese gymnast He Kexin. Reporters said the amount of evidence was insurmountable...
There were several articles published on He in the Chinese press this past year that said she was too young. The Chinese tried to scrub them away... But couldn't.
In this article on page 19 of Tianjin’s Jin Wan Bao up and coming Olympic stars were introduced in November 2007:
China Media Project reported that the first line identified her clearly as “13 year-old competitor He Kexin.”
Chris Chase at Yahoo sports reported on the IOC investigation today:The International Olympic Committee has ordered an investigation into the age of Chinese gymnast He Kexin, The Times of London reports. Faced with almost insurmountable evidence which suggests that He is two years younger than the birth date listed on her Chinese passport, the IOC has launched an inquiry that could result in the stripping of He's gold medals.Good for the IOC!
This news comes on the heels of another Times report that details the findings of a New York computer security expert who found official Chinese documents that list He's age as 14 years and 220 days. Mike Walker used a Chinese search engine's cache feature to find He's actual date of birth on spreadsheets from a Chinese government website. The spreadsheets were taken down off the site recently and He's name had been removed.
Assuming the IOC is committed to a real investigation and not some dog and pony show, the revelation that the Chinese government covered up the ages of gymnasts could end up being the defining moment of these Games for the host country. Officials wanted the Olympics to be a coming out party for a new China. But while the Games have been a huge success, there is a legitimate possibility that China's legacy from Beijing '08 will be that of a massive government cover-up, not the magical Opening Ceremony or the transformation of Beijing or anything else positive.
After the rumors about the gymnasts first started China began scrubbing the internet---
In an article from May 23, 2008 on gymnast He Kexin (Google cache):
In the original article on May 23rd of this year the China Daily reported:"The 14-year old newcomer to the national team, who was recruited last year, has raised a lot of eyebrows recently after she broke two world records on the uneven bars in as many months."But, since it was first published in May the article has been scrubbed:
The article at the China Daily now reads:The 16-year-old newcomer to the national team, who was recruited last year, has raised a lot of eyebrows recently after she broke two world records on the uneven bars in as many months.The Chinese tried to scrub away the truth but Google cache wouldn't let them.
Meanwhile He Kexin, caught in the middle, has now been forced to openly LIE about her real age before the mikes and cameras of the world's press, under questioning--and for what? It is not like she would not have been a favorite for Gold four years from now--once she she really was of age... but to the tyrants ruling the PRC, four years was too long to wait, because the "show" had to be perfect this year.
This isn't merely a case of a of a gymnast--or her parents--falsifying age for their child's personal advantage: this is a case of the Chinese Government making a State decision at the highest levels to fix the game for its own (ineligible in this case) athlete, talented as she is. All while as it spends billions and struggles mightily to convince the world that it has "arrived" as an egalitarian "fair" society.
It almost does not matter what the IOC rules now (remember: this is a huge totalitarian State apparatus which can after all compel anyone--parents, neighbors, schoolmates--to say whatever it wants them to say...or else). But it almost doesn't matter because now much of the free world knows the truth now--no matter how the IOC comes down on this. We know that the Chinese Government has officially sanctioned cheating to inflate its own medal count. And the real irony is that even without He, China would still lead in the Gold medal count.
But they just couldn't resist the temptation...
So what we are left with is a shameful and disgraceful display of a regime whose end justifies any means--including the falsification of birth certificates, doctoring published news stories, and a massive coordinated effort by the PLA pawns to erase all prior record of the truth from the massive Chinese state-monitored Web. Fortunately for the cause of the actual TRUTH, in this case they could not get to Google outside of China (not yet anyway).
The importance of this is: that this sequence of events could not have happened without full coordination from the junta ruling China with an authoritarian (and brutal) hand; when the State controls everything, it means the State also holds complete authority over birth certificates, death certificates, cause of death, passports, the media, and the official "vetting" of its athletes. This was no accident: this was their moment in the Sun. This fraud did not simply involve doctoring (or re-issuing an "official") back-dated birth certificate or passport--it also involved removing from Chinese Internet portals any traces that could be found (fortunately not ALL traces...) of prior news stories which had exposed the truth--before the Government decided that "some [14-year olds] are more equal than others". This level of cover-up cannot be accomplished without the participation and coordination of many people and numerous Government agencies; and in China it could only have been accomplished with the full power, consent and authority of the State.
This is the reason that this particular scandal rises way above a mere "personal" scandal in the Olympics--such as when an athlete in the West gets caught blood doping or taking meds. In this case it is unarguable that the rulers of the PRC made the decision to cheat.
And they got caught...
Unfortunately, the Chinese by their actions have placed a very talented and adorable 14-year old gymnast squarely in the cross hairs of international scandal, the klieg lights of the skeptical world press, and now the IOC. The irony is that what otherwise could have been genuine (untarnished) Gold medals--from this talented gymnast, 4 years from now--instead has morphed into a growing scandal about 1.5 medals "achieved" only by breaking the rules. No matter what, He Kexin will be tainted by the exposure of Chinese government's greed and heavy-handedness in placing propaganda and "National Image" above the Olympic ideal--and the damage to the reputation and sensibilities of a 14-year old child .
If the results are allowed to stand by the IOC, the "moral" lesson for all good Chinese automatons would seem to be that anything is justified if it enhances the reputation of the State--in this case what its leaders saw as China's "big moment" in the spotlight.
But in reality, did it enhance the State's reputation, or has it instead degraded it enormously? I would argue the latter.
China spent all that money and effort, leaving no stone unturned, in an attempt to show the world it belongs in the world community; yet today it is drawing comparisons to Adolf Hitler and Berlin, 1936. It is blatantly obvious that China's real goal in hosting these games (as was Hitler's in Berlin) was to demonstrate and project the Power of the State--but China attempted to do so under the guise of also demonstrating how much Chinese "egalitarianism" and fair play has evolved since the "Little Red Book" days of Mao, the purges of the "Cultural Revolution" or the massacres of Tienanmen Square. This was the script we were rather sickeningly fed (even by NBC) during the Opening Ceremonies. "How far they have come...", etc.
Well, maybe not so far after all...
By making this colossal error in judgment, China has now opened itself to even more world criticism--if not ridicule--and to the possibility of the IOC banning its gymnasts from future international competition (although I doubt this will happen). Instead of a demonstration of Chinese "fair play" and the "benefits" of central planning, this scandal has demonstrated yet again the old Jonathon Swift adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely. We've had the chance to witness first hand a classic example of State totalitarianism, under a High-Def microscope--for all the world to see.
In the US, our Founders made sure that our citizens can freely talk about such matters, e.g. about corruption and rot in our own government and media (which most decidedly is running rampant in the halls of our Congress today), mostly without fear of being silenced (except during wartime)--excluding for the moment the Stalinists in the DNC who want to shut down the voices of dissenting blogs and talk radio.
But in China if you dissent, if you call attention to anything that has not been orchestrated or approved by the State, you become an even bet to disappear to a "re-education" center (also knows as organ donor farms); where the State can then benefit from harvesting and selling the body parts of dissidents on the world market.... We have also seen what happens when Olympic reporters attempt to cover any protests in China. We have seen repeatedly the rape of Tibet and the repression (if not "cleansing") going on there. We have seen the State-enforced media blackout on all matters Tibetan--or any other criticism for that matter (this is the PRC version of the "Fairness Doctrine"). We have seen what happens to the Falun Gong, or anyone else trying to discuss their personal religious beliefs (see: organ donor list above). We have seen what happens if you have too many children (especially female children) in China. And now we see that the tyranny has even fallen to the level of corrupting Olympic competition and inserting a 14-year old little girl into a scandal, when she was not even eligible to be there.
Yes, China's economy and standard of living has improved somewhat (through appliedCapitalism and highly selective de-emphasis of Socialism). But despite these "reforms", China's GDP output is nowhere near that of the United States (in fact, China's output is about 25% of that in the US), despite the fact that the US has only 1/4 of the population of China, and approximately the same unemployment rate (meaning China has millions more workers contributing to its much smaller GDP). How can this be? Because the State still insists to a large extent on interfering with commerce, ideas and the freedoms of its people. Yet another testimony to the failed ideology of Karl Marx (whose legacy in History has already caused the murder or starvation of over 100 million people in less than a century...). In fact, it could be argued that the extent to which China has raised its standard of living is directly proportional to the extent to which it has selectivly allowed the proven theories of Adam Smith and Milton Friedman to slowly erode the Socialist model from the bottom up.
But not at the top. Because that would mean giving up their power and control.
For those with the intellectual honesty to see it, the heavy handed tactics of the paranoids running China could not be hidden behind the large Olympic flag. Consider:
- The fake fireworks and the other computerized made for TV illusions of the opening ceremony;
- The substitution of an "attractive" singer of the Olympic hymn for one deemed less...telegenic of the real singer;
- The repression and monitoring of all media reports going in and out of China during the Games, including the bugging and firewalling of all hotel accomodations of the foreign press, and even its own athletes;
- Those eerie scenes of the Goose-stepping Chinese military in the Opening ceremony (and the bad memories stirred up thereby)--designed primarily to project Power and Nationalism, rather than to serve as homage to the athletes in attendance;
- The pumped-up attendance figures for many events, accomplished primarily by forcing Chinese citizens to fill the stands--this is in an effort to hide from the cameras the fact that attendance at these Games has been a huge disappointment;
- The Government-mandated shut down of everyday industry and 3/4 of all automobile traffic to hide (from the cameras and media) the horrific pollution of the worst violator of the environment on the planet (no, it isn't the US, no matter what Nancy Pelosi says...);
- And now this--a case of State-sponsored falsification of birth certificates and subsequent media cover-up by the HOST nation.
At a human level, you can only feel sorry for how all this must be weighing on that 14-year old girl, He Kexin, whose only crime is doing what she was ordered to do (i.e. to compete illegally, to pretend to be 16, and then to [badly] lie about it on behalf of her Government to the media). Of course she had no choice in these decisions--who does after all have such choices in the PRC? But now that the cat is out of the bag, how damaging and shaming is this for her? Knowing herself--and knowing that everyone else on the planet either knows or suspects--that her Gold medals were illegitimately achieved.
Still this is an excellent example for the rest of us of what inevitably happens to any Government that gets too much central authority--and the way that such power inevitably corrupts those it pretends to serve, eventually resulting in the brutal imposition of tyranny over the masses, micromanaging the freedoms and daily lives of all its subjects, whether they like it or not. This of course is the very core of Marxism, be it of the Socialist or Communist variety. It's all there in The Communist Manifesto:
"The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie," Marx and Engels wrote in the Communist Manifesto, "to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state, i.e., of the proletariat organized as the ruling class; and to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible.Of course... so even Marx suggests that for his manifesto to succeed there must be a period of "pain" (read: dictatorship and repression--which is still being used to justify: locking up political prisoners, purges, re-education...) before "the good of the whole" can be achieved... Right----That is if you happen to be one of those who are lucky enough to still be alive after the purges, marching in Revolutionary lock-step with the "Dear Leader", dutifully towing the party line and keeping your mouths shut as you suffer...
"Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionizing the mode of production."
This is what history teaches us about State Socialism: the only "whole" that has ever benefited from consolidation of power at this scale are the elites in power themselves... in the history of Marxism/Socialism the overall standard of living has never gone up as a result of nationaliztion. It just doesn't work that way.
This should be a very sobering lesson, considering we have a Marxist right here in America who wants to become your President.
All in all, after watching these Olympics the impression I am left with is: despite the economic turnaround and growing business opportunities in China, not really that much has changed for the cause of freedom in the PRC. The ChiCom leadership remains petrified of freedom of speech, religion--and democracy--because beneath it all they understand that they (the leadership) are not there by the choice of the people, but because of their own manipulations of the system, repression, and hunger for power. Hence the horrors of Tienanmen Square.
My blog is banned in China, I am proud to say. Maybe someday that will change, but for now free speech and open dialogue in the PRC is a joke. Dissent in China continues to snuffed out as brutally as ever. And the millions of PLA cyber-warriors monitoring foreign visitors (and foreign blogs, obviously) and their own fellow citizens are using technology to make even the worst and most intrusive violations of the STASI seem minuscule in comparison. And so "Big Mother's" ability to see all and intrude in the everyday lives of its people becomes more ubiquitous and more powerful with each passing day.
Fortunately the athletes have at least made the competition at the Games entertaining. But as mightily as China tried to project an image of its new "modernity", the world now sees that beneath the trappings of (some) Capitalist wealth, not that much has changed at all. The olympian attempt by the Chinese to "hide" the corruption and repressiveness of its regime has become a miserable failure, for all the world to see.
"Meet the new boss... same as the old boss..." Pete Townsend probably did not mean these words to apply to the ChiComs when he wrote them long ago--but today, given the events of the last few weeks, they could not be more appropriate.
UPDATE: Saturday's Wall Street Journal added:
Age requirements for the Olympics are determined by the international governing bodies for each sport. In women's artistic gymnastics, competitors must turn 16 by the end of the Olympic year. The minimum age for Olympics eligibility was raised to 16 in 1997, a response to concerns about the physical and mental strain of intense training and high-pressure competition on girls whose bodies and psyches are still developing.Obviously, the health and proper development of its adolescent girls (or infant ones for that matter...) is not a concern for the Chinese Government...
From the same article:
On Friday, the IOC said it was turning to gymnastic officials to further look into the matter because "more information has come to light," but wouldn't say what that information was.Meanwhile, thanks to Dan Riehl, we have the juxtoposition of Barack Obama, who again shows his ignorance of history and his hard-left ideology by saying....(drum roll) that America should be more like China! I must say, The One does certainly does have an ironical sense of timing.
In a statement released later that day, the gymnastics federation said "additional questions have resurfaced," and that "in the interests of laying the matter to rest" it would request further age documentation from the Chinese Gymnastic Association.
The statement said that the federation's conclusion will be sent to the IOC. "It is in the interests of all concerned, not least the athletes themselves, to resolve this once and for all," the statement said.
Chinese bloggers, many of whom are skilled at navigating government attempts to remove controversial content from the Internet, have also been hard at work on the search for articles and images that show a possible cover-up over Ms. He's age. But the media storm didn't begin in full until Mr. Walker published a blog post about the apparent government record he found via China's most popular search engine, Baidu.com.
The cached chart, a spreadsheet listing China's registered gymnasts from 2006, appears to be an official document from the General Administration of Sport of China. It lists Ms. He's birthday as Jan. 1, 1994 -- not 1992, as her passport says.
The document, which The Wall Street Journal was also able to find, has been removed from the administration's Web site; a "cached" version, or the previous version of a Web page stored by search engines, is still available online.
A Chinese Gymnastics Association spokesman declined to comment. A statement on the association's Web site said media reports on Ms. He's age are "mistaken," and reiterated its argument that the international federation's clearance of Ms. He's passport is proof that she is qualified.
In his post, Mr. Walker encouraged his readers to make image captures of the document he found and upload them to other Web sites in order to prevent the spreadsheet's disappearance. Screenshots of old Chinese media references to Ms. He's age have also been uploaded by concerned Internet users. Some of those earlier reports, including articles from 2007 by China's state-run Xinhua News Agency, have been removed from the news organization's Web site.
But even if the document's existence is undeniable, it's unclear whether the gymnast's true age will ever be determined beyond a doubt. The allegations are aimed at the Chinese government, which itself is held accountable for the proof.
UPDATE: MUST LISTEN AUDIO--The Great One, Mark Levin RIPS Obama's comments about Russia and Chinaand his ignorance about the true state of the Chinese "infrastructure"; in same clip he discusses the correlation between the systematic killing of political dissidents, transplants, and the number of body organs available on the world market. The first 55 minutes is priceless audio...other topics also covered are the sleazy background of Barack/Michelle and the atrocious state of State run health care in the UK, and entitlements vs. demographics.
Take note: This is an instant "Greatest Hits" show, IMO. Download here (it's a keeper), Streaming Link Here (it's the 8/22 show), iTunes podcast subscription (free) here. Don't miss this.
He also includes links on his site to stories about the China-related topics here, here, and here. A sampling of the quoted material:
(On China's Murder of Dissidents and sales of their Body Parts--emphasis is mine):
In a 2008 United Nations report, Asma Jahangir Jahangir, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, and Manfred Nowak, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, demanded that China explain the dramatic increase in organs used for transplantation from 2000 to 2005, and the mismatch between the high number of transplants and the relatively few known donor sources.So: add (at least) another 40,000-60,000 to that hundred million murdered figure cited earlier...
The Chinese government responded that they have no statistics on the number of transplants between 2000 and 2005. The United Nations officials pointed out that the persecution against Falun Gong practitioners was the most brutal between 2000 and 2005. This time period coincided with the surge in organ transplantation in China. The report also stated that the United Nations had heard allegations that between 2000 and 2005, there were 60,000 transplant operations, averaging 10,000 annually.
The report said that in 2005, approximately 0.5 percent of the transplant organs came from patients' relatives. In 2006, there were 9 donors who died and donated organs to non-relatives. An approximate 1,770 people died from the death penalty in 2005, while 3,900 people were given the death sentence (not all of them were executed in that year). It has been alleged that the difference between the number of transplants and available sources was due to organ harvesting from live Falun Gong practitioners.
A Canada-based special investigation group said that of the 60,000 transplants taken place between 2000 and 2005, at least 40,000 could not be attributed to known sources. The Chinese government has not given any explanation.
(On China's "magnificent" infrastructure that Obama is saying we should emulate--emphasis mine):
Some experts and reporters have noted that this situation exposes insufficiencies and inefficiency in China's infrastructure, particularly for transport and the electric power system. It has also shown that its capacity to handle a crisis is very fragile; Chinese authorities need to consider this situation seriously.
According to a recent article written by Deng Liwen, a researcher at the Central Party School in Beijing, currently the biggest problem facing China's rail transit system is not only its inability to meet the demands of social and economic development, but also that it is falling behind the air and road transit systems.
As of 2006, China had less than 80,000 kilometers of railway, only six percent of the world's total railway length. This is an average railway length of about six centimeters per person in terms of China's 1.3 billion people, while its railway network carries 24 percent of the world's rail freight traffic.
Hu Xingdou, an expert in the difficulties facing China, at the Beijing Institute of Technology, said during an interview with VOA, "Sun Yat-Sen once said, 'China will have 100,000 kilometers of railway.' But to this day, we have yet to reach a goal set nearly a hundred years ago. That's why the existing railway systems bear the heavy pressure from passenger transportation during the New Year holiday—there are too many people traveling for the size of our operational railways."