Ming the Mechanic:
U.S. Human Rights Report ... by China

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 U.S. Human Rights Report ... by China2005-03-14 10:59
by Flemming Funch

Every year the US State Department releases a report on the state of human rights in various countries. All countries except for the US, basically. So, to compensate for that lack, China's State Council Information Office releases a report on the state of human rights in the U.S. Which doesn't look particularly good. See an article about the report here. Here are a few scattered highlights:
American society is characterized with rampant violent crimes, severe infringement of people's rights by law enforcement departments and lack of guarantee for people's rights to life, liberty and security of person. ..

A survey found that in the 17 years from 1985 to 2002, Los Angeles recorded more than 100 times increase in police shooting at automobile drivers, killing at least 25 and injuring more than 30 of them. Of these cases, 90 percent were due to misjudgment. (The Los Angeles Times, Feb. 29, 2004.) ..

The United States characterizes itself as "a paradise for free people," but the ratio of its citizens deprived of freedom has remained among the highest in the world. Statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last November showed that the nation made an estimated 13.6 million arrests in 2003. The national arrest rate was 4,695.1 arrests per 100,000 people, 0.2 percent up than that of the previous year (USA Today, Nov. 8, 2004). ..

Jails have become one of the huge and most lucrative industries,with a combined staff of more than 530,000 and being the second largest employer in the United States only after the General Motors. Private prisons are more and more common. The country now has over 100 private prisons in 27 states and 18 private prison companies. The value of goods and services created by inmates surged from 400 million US dollars in 1980 to 1.1 billion US dollars in 1994.

Abuse of prisoners and violence occur frequently in US jails and prisons, which are under disorderly management. The Los Angeles Times reported on Aug. 15 last year that over 40 state prison systems were once under some form of court order, for brutality, crowding, poor food and lack of medical care. ..
It goes on and on. Voting, heathcare, poverty, racial issues, gender issues, war crimes. Pervasive and serious problems in all of them. And it seems to be basically correct. The United States as a bastion of freedom and human rights is a bit of a joke. But one that tends to be believed not only by most U.S. citizens, but also by most of the rest of the world. But it isn't particularly true. There are certainly more oppressive places one can live. And, yes, you can in principle walk around freely and think what you want, as you can in most places. And if you're a member of the upper classes, you might find a lot of freedom to do your thing in the U.S. But as far as the overall freedom and human rights situation in many areas, I'm afraid the U.S. would be pretty far down the list. The more embarrassing thing is that it takes China to make such a report. China which of course has its own problems, still being essentially a totalitarian state, even if a rapidly transforming one.

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14 Mar 2005 @ 13:27 by jstarrs : Pot calling the kettle...
...black. Very black.  

14 Mar 2005 @ 20:52 by vaxen : Well,
after all is said and done China is our number 1 trading partner. ;) heh heh Back to the uncarved block.  

15 Mar 2005 @ 01:40 by bkodish : What A Load of Crap, Ming!
How was your freedom trampled in all the years that you lived in the United States?

How were you oppressed, Ming?

Were you jailed for your 'progressive' opinions?

Did the government try to take your server simply because some people in NCN criticized U.S. government policies?

Were you prevented from freely traveling anywhere that you wanted to go in this huge country?

Were your newspapers, magazines, books, etc. censored?

Were you afraid to express your opinions?

The report in the China Daily qualifies as unmitigated crap.

I'm sorry that you find such stuff appealling?  

15 Mar 2005 @ 17:01 by ming : Freedom or Crap
Yes, I was afraid of expressing my opinions in the U.S. There's quite a few things one has to be careful talking about in the U.S. or one is likely to end up behind bars. I didn't find that likely, but I was always very aware of needing to stay within certain lines. Lines that don't exist in most other countries I know directly. Oh, China has its own set of lines which certainly are more restrictive than those in the U.S.

And, yes, newspapers, books, magazines and TV are censored in the U.S. But by different mechanisms than how it is done in an overtly totalitarian state. The driver in the U.S. is more often the power of money.

Oh, I can find things to say about restrictions to freedom in many places, and often it is just a matter of having to choose one set of restrictions or another. In the U.S. one has a lot of economic freedom. I.e. freedom to choose if you have money or you know how to make it. Much less freedom than in most other places if you don't have any. Where the U.S. is more restrictive than particularly European countries is in the freedom to think and inform yourself and freedoms in terms of morality. I found more of a pressure to be politically correct in the U.S. than in the EU countries I know. There are certain things you just can't talk about, other than very carefully in covered up terms.

Mostly it happens very indirectly. The U.S., like most countries, have laws that say you can say what you want and go where you want. The racial and politicial and moral restrictions appear more from the way things get configured in the collective mind, in part influenced by media and education and economic interests and religious beliefs.

I haven't been jailed or persecuted for anything, anywhere. And, no, I can't say I felt particularly persecuted in the U.S. It was pleasant to live there. But that's in part because I was never completely out of my luck, and I'm white and European, and I didn't overstep certain bounds. And for the majority, the United States is a good place to live. But if we need to assess the overall state of things, one needs to count everybody, not just the well-behaved middle-class folks who are paying their mortgage and who aren't in jail, and who didn't accidentally share a name with some suspected terrorist.

A reason I bring this kind of things up is particularly that it is a bit of a no-no in the U.S. It is not very ok to look critically at the american system. Oh, there's no law against it, and you can certainly critisize politicians and the press and many things. But it is not quite ok to poke at the system itself. You easily get labeled as some kind of anti-american, which is as damaging for one's career as being a racist or a communist or a child molester. And I think that is a problem, and it is very different from how many other, more democratic, countries do things. In most EU countries there is a big public debate about everything, including how the system works, and there's no taboo against critisizing it. That's all often more ineffective and slow than the US system, which has largely no debate, but tends to produce a more fair arrangement of things. The US system has more things in common with a totalitarian communist kind of system than it would be willing to admit.

The US of A has largely treated me with indifference. Which is also a kind of freedom. There are so many people, so much bureaucracy, and nobody paying much attention, unless one fits certain profiles which activates the machinery.

Anyway, I object to the ease with which a majority of American would be able to sweep that kind of critical data out of their minds. It is of course complete nonsense. You can walk freely on the street, can't you? Who has put you in jail for saying what you believe? How can you be so ungrateful as to say such things? It becomes sort of a black and white thing, where you either are in jail or it is a free country. It isn't that simple.  

15 Mar 2005 @ 18:33 by ming : Voting
Yeah, Andrius, why can't you just do what you're supposed to and fit in!! You must be some kind of commie lithuanian fake American. You just got born in Orange County to make trouble.

The kind of activity that happens around most U.S. voting places would not past muster in most third world countries. Neither would the fact that you need hundreds of millions of dollars to become a possible candidate.

But there is that sort of negative logic that keeps it from registering as any kind of problem for many people. I mean... you were free to vote for who you wanted, in principle, and free to not be affected by any of the attempted manipulation. They only put you in jail if you don't behave right, and they feel threatened. You're legally free to say what you want, and if you don't feel like it, that's your fault. You could freely post that report without anybody hunting your down. So, voila, freedom, democracy!

There are all these "reasonable" things one can say to label things as freedom that are the opposite. So, yeah, takes unreasonable people like Andrius to test it.  

16 Mar 2005 @ 00:36 by Nathan Caplin @ : China is hypocritical
Ok, Ming. Do accused murderers get to appeal their convictions in china? NO, they are executed immediately.
Are people allowed to speak against the government? no.
In America, Flemming, anyone can praise the 9-11 attacks without threat of jail time -- (in Germany anyone who praises 9-11 is jailed or fined)
Preachers are thrown in jail for opposing gay marriage (Sweden)
Christians and Muslims are jailed/persecuted in China.
A government that is responsible for the murders of 20 million+ of its own citizens, shouldn't criticize the country with the most liberty (who has liberated over 1,000,000,000 people; including your native Europe).
The communists in China rule as an authoritarian gov't. Ming, your dislike for the right wing government in America has overpowered your ability to reason.  

16 Mar 2005 @ 04:23 by bushman : Hmm
Human rights are abused in every place on the planet, the abuser is anyone, and everyone. Including self abuse. If some one doesnt get thier way, they might use force if someone else gets in the way, its obviously human nature, every gov. Even Jesus probably would of lived a long life, if he hadnt messed with the money lenders, simple as that. You get in the way of me making money I will abuse you, who cares if you are human or a rodent. Mess with me and I'll make you my business. Barbarians, all of them.  

16 Mar 2005 @ 06:36 by koravya : United States Myths -
– and their realities
“Every nation sees itself as superior to all other nations. Patriotism is universal.
It is built partly on fact but mostly on myths created by its people and its government.”
“Your school history book told you the British burned the US capital during the War of 1812. Poor, mistreated us. It didn't tell you we burned Canada's capital the year before and the Brits were settling the score. That's why you just learned that. Our moral superiority to the British evaporates if history isn't abbreviated to make us look good.”  

16 Mar 2005 @ 07:27 by astrid : Thanks koravya, bushman and ming too
GOOD that some people have Common Sense and don't have to compete what ( read: whose) prick is the biggest/best/worst --in fact; ANY Superlative goes, as long as it IS superlative- prick!
Pathetic that some guys have such a little feeling of THEMSELVES, that all they can feel as their --personal-- identity is a corrupt government/"estsablishment" ( and they ALL are corrupt; some a little more, some a little less, but to a high degree "the same"... just like koravya says.... as they all are RULED / tyrannized BY THE SAME GROUP OF IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Would behoove all people to understand this little detail!
The Question is where does this kind of patriotism end and egomegalomania start?
Wouldn't it be nice, guys to to feel your own "Me" in you; to be --nothing-- BUT YOUR OWN TRUE SELF????? what's wrong with being "just" you????..... how little do you love and know yourself??????......Must be PAINFUL....
Not only that, but the ones who haven't learned from History, are doomed to repeat it....The ones who haven't learned History are doomed to learn it -sooner or later!....like this little tidbit of Info with some of that International Touch n' Flair I mentioned :

... but I'm afraid that The Grace period is over and the two trains are already in motion... whichever train.... whichever Destination....

You Egomegalomaniacks, who think you are defending "a good cause"; the US of A. are, in reality, HURTING IT with your mindless/thoughtless parroting of propaganda!!!... much more than you will ever know!....

Guys, who REALLY tell it like it is, like Webb,Thompson and ie. this guy, risk their lives, daily, so you can bragg how open and free the US is! http://www.rense.com/general63/jolly.htm  

16 Mar 2005 @ 21:03 by ming : Freedom of the Press
Aha, yeah, for imprisoning journalists who refuse to reveal their sources. And it is a report done by a collection of american journalists, including south american. And, as it says, the Cuban president Fidel Castro, Argentian Nestor Kichner and Venezuelan Hugo Chavez are the biggest enemies of freedom of press on the american continent.  

17 Mar 2005 @ 01:17 by bkodish : The 'Totalitarian' U.S.
Ming, it sounds to me like you've been influenced by Professor Chomsky, who preaches similar sounding stuff about American totalitarianism from his comfortable perch as a tenured professor at MIT in Cambridge, Massachussets. His work is published and he has a considerable following here in the 'totalitarian' U.S., where he travels around speaking to university and other groups.  

17 Mar 2005 @ 01:24 by bkodish : Thanks for the helpful diagnosis, Astrid
I feel grateful for the quicky psychoananalysis you've provided and happy that I now have a diagnosis for my 'condition', an "Egomegalomaniack."


17 Mar 2005 @ 05:13 by astrid : Forget China for a moment...
...it's about YOU and YOUR CONSCIENCE, for which you do have to answer one day. Did YOU vote for this kind of DEMOCRACY/Democracy to be expressed this way?
You don't need to answer to me, nor Ming, I'm sure. It's a thing between YOU and LIFE/God. Now, this is just one tiny puny artcle of FACTUAL REALITY AMERCAIN EXPRESSION OF IT WONDERFUL DEMOCCRATIC SPIRIT.... there's more , more graphic as well as more fact loaded articles available -if someone needs...

and...bkodish, what's wrong with being "just" you, your own intelligent Life LOVING you, so that you rather choose a false identity? Nobody will thank you for that!.... The thing is : you could never (even try to justify) all the American shit that has been going on the last seventy to eighty years straight now, if you truly were anchored in your own true ME; your own AUTHENTIC SELF!... NOBODY could!...
You're right: Egomegalomaniack IS a condition: It is the condition in all of us that needs the Healing! None of has gone free.
Some of us have intentionally taken charge of re-covering our own true Authentic -Loving/Life affirming- Me again, that each of us (that would include you too , my friend) were born with and robbed as the years went on/by. It was a conscious CHOISE to LIFE's Favor --and Democracy's-- we made. We don't need to judge you or anyone else for that matter. Divine Justice (as each person's own CONSCIENCE) will do that job just fine. We do have to acknowledge 'conditions, though, as we run into them, in order to know "how" to "navigate the "waters of Life" , so to speak. Make no mistake: you do it too, daily... "Like Unto Like, doth Universe Cries...." Hey, don't blame me. I didn't make up these rules. Life did!....I just follow them. EACH of us either follow Life's Rules, daily, with EVERY SINGLE CHOISE WE MAKE, NO MATTER HOW TRIVIAL --or go against them... but only at one's own peril... But like I said before: the choise is ours, each n' evryones'.  

17 Mar 2005 @ 12:36 by ming : Short-circuited logic
Sanity tends to be best exercised by examining things on gradual scales, rather than by trying to put things into yes/no, either/or, black/white kind of boxes. It is unfortunately terribly common to evaluate big, complex subjects with much too simplistic on/off logic. You know, Noam Chomsky isn't put in jail for criticizing the US, so he's obviously wrong in saying the system is oppressive. Most people can travel around freely in the US, so obviously there's no problems with freedom there. And, worse than it just being too simplistic, it is that kind of quick conversational tricks that tend to short-circuit any comprehensive discussion of the matters involved. Like as in justifying the invasion of Iraq by coming up with an example of something bad that Saddam Hussein did. And if one still objects to the war, one can easily be accused of supporting such activities. Yeah, it is logic for morons, but a whole lot of people fall for it. And people who should know better use it liberally, to try to win arguments.

The United States has a long list of problems with human rights, and restrictions of freedom, censorship, vote fraud, corruption, political manipulation, and special interests. And it has a lot of things going for it, in terms of a sound constitution, a potentially self-correcting system, the power of media, the internet, people who believe in freedom, etc. The task at hand would be to increase thing things that work well, and weed out the things that don't, and try to get the overall system to work better. Suppressing discussion the negatives, simply because they're critical, is not going to be productive, and it has no place in a democracy.  

17 Mar 2005 @ 18:49 by astrid : This is the last... for now....
Ming, I promise!.... ; )... but just to get my /our(?) point across, a little... I COULD be even more BLATANT n' IN-YOUR-FACE with PROOF, but I let this suffice as a nice 'Finale' for now.... http://www.rense.com/general36/history.htm ....talkin'bout Human Rights. etc....  

21 Mar 2005 @ 02:53 by Emile @ : ... and the land of the Free.
Sorry, Ming, but the situation in the US is nowhere near what's going on here in China. It's disappointing to see you swallow Beijing propaganda.

In China you don't have any activisits. ou don't have campus political groups. Students aren't interested into politics - maybe some used to be idealists, but became disillusioned with the system when they realized they couldn't do anything. Everyone hates and distrusts the ruling party (Not just half the country, like in the US).

The internet is severely monitored. A lot of websites are physically banned. Weblogs, chat rooms, bulletin boards are all required to moderate themselves and ban discussion of "sensitive" subjects (basically, anything about politics except saying China should nuke Japan or taiwan). Services that don't self monitor are shut down.

So what does the government do ? It spouts out pieces of propaganda like the one you linked to, to try to get people to believe that it's the same in every country, that the US are even worse (And yes, that is government propaganda, newspapers whose editorial contents drifts too far from the line set by the government are swiftly shut down).

When hearing foreigners complain about the problems back in Europe or the US, they often get "but that's nothing at all !".

(Yes, China is probably less violent than the US. But any foreigner will also tell you that there's more racism - towards foreigners and between ethnic groups. And *definitely* more corruption.)  

21 Mar 2005 @ 03:31 by ming : China
Now, I don't see anywhere in what I said here that I have suggested that China is a more free place than the United States. The point was the human rights problems in the U.S. That it was gathered by representatives of a country that has a huge list of problems of its own does not invalidate it. I mean, after all they mainly gathered U.S. newspaper articles to make their point.

What is interesting is the facts. They don't necessarily change based on who brings them. Neither does it have to be an all or nothing contest of who's facts are best.

Everybody knows that China has big problems with human rights, and Chinese propaganda doesn't change that much. Whereas the U.S. is much better at propaganda in many ways. So millions of people walk around thinking they're the freest people in the world, living in the freest country there is. While they're supporting having the biggest army in the world, in order to export that "freedom" to everybody else. It was mostly that misconception I was interested in getting at.  

21 Mar 2005 @ 09:19 by Emile @ : More China
I guess I'm mainly ranting against you using a China Daily article ... I don't find it more embarassing that such a report is made by China - that's the kind of thing China does, and would do whatever the situation in the US. That article is not honest concern for the US - it's US-bashing in revenge for the US pointing out China's human right defects.

Amnesty international or Freedom House reports are much more embarassing than China's (Even when they are less critical), because they actually *mean* something.

China deserves absolutely no credit as a denouncer of human right abuses.  

21 Mar 2005 @ 14:28 by ming : Freedom House
{link:http://www.freedomhouse.org/ratings/|Freedom House} is quite an impressive resource. But, reading their {link:http://www.freedomhouse.org/research/freeworld/2004/countryratings/usa.htm|US Report}, I'd say they have a definite conservative/republican bias. They get by the Patriot Act very glibly, for one thing. The possible negative points are presented only as some factions being critical of certain things. Which is used to illustrate a free political process (where one is allowed to disagree), rather than to take any stand on the actual points. They largely just present the view that everything is fine and normal, and there's merely some healthy dialogue about a few things. I don't think that reflects in any accurate manner what has changed in the US in the last four years.

Amnesty International's {link:http://web.amnesty.org/report2004/usa-summary-eng|report} on the US brings up more real issues. It doesn't attempt to assess the state of freedom in general, but addresses specific human rights problems. That's a sober and useful report, I'd say.  

28 Mar 2005 @ 22:41 by Lil @ : pot calling the tea kettle black
This is not a comparative study of human rights violation in US vs. China. Nathan Caplin, being a good little Bush backer, deliberately refuse to acknowledge this. I know, calling someone antiAmerican is so much easier than being objectively critical. I don't believe in something publish by the Chinese government, but I find it comical. A totalitarian state published a human rights report on an egocentric nation that claims to have the upmost respect for human rights. The lampooning goes both way. For China to comment on human rights, they obviously need to comment on how they repeatly violates people's rights. For the US to claim as the most awesome country in the world, they do need some facts and statistic to back that up instead of the typical cheerleading they do on cable TV.  

21 Feb 2016 @ 10:01 by Indian @ : HtgfMJxsqkFSnOY

11 Mar 2016 @ 01:45 by Idalee @ : adtDOttJVoGjBMqOmhO
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21 Apr 2016 @ 01:06 by Janais @ : plahumagzvh
Ah yes, nicely put, evyroene.  

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