So, you critiqued the president’s hairdo?

There’s an interesting article this morning in Bloomberg News on blogging in China. It seems the censors are very sensitive about critiques of a former president’s hairdo.

At the peak of her WeChat blogging career, Laura Lian was earning about $7,000 a month. Writing satirical articles for more than 220,000 fans, she won backing from an investor and quit her public-relations job.

Then it all came tumbling down. Internet authorities shut down her blog, called Shameless China, with no warning. It happened just after she posted an article mocking Chinese men’s hairstyles, including former President Jiang Zemin’s slick-backed coiffure.

“It didn’t dawn on me how serious the situation was,” Lian said. “I didn’t realize I was never getting back this account and all my followers.”

Lian’s story underscores how precarious the world of blogging remains for many writers in China. Well-known bloggers have been jailed and shamed on national TV. Qin Zhihui, a well-known author on social-media platform Weibo, was sentenced to three years in prison for publishing false information to drive web traffic. A 2013 missive by the Supreme People’s Court and top national prosecutor effectively criminalized defamatory web posts that are read by more than 5,000 people, reposted more than 500 times or caused people to hurt themselves.

We’re pretty fortunate, most of us, to live in countries where the governments aren’t as aggressive at censoring our writing. I am aware, and maybe you, too, fellow bloggers, that lots of individuals and organizations are active censors. Write the wrong thing and we could be fired from our jobs. Or, perhaps someday very old posts will come back to haunt us when we’re applying for new opportunities.

Government censorship, I think most will agree, is bad. But, is self-censorship motivated by fear of the consequences intolerant others may impose on you a bad thing? What do you think?

voltairewhorulesyou

It’s lily season

The lilies are blooming and this bunch caught my eye. Our front yard at Ladybird Lane is pretty shady but sometimes sunbeams punch their way through the ash and locust canopy and give the flowers this momentary brilliance.

Pink lilies

Knowledge, power, character, respect

Bruce Lee was a terrific martial artist and I really enjoyed his acting. But, he had a lot of insight into life as well. Here’s one of my favorites.

Reversing Type 2 diabetes starts with ignoring the guidelines | Sarah Hallberg | TEDxPurdueU

So much great information!

Simple Living Over 50

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It’s Turkey Prime Time

It’s been Turkey Prime Time for a month or so now with our local bird, Tommy, putting on quite a show. Unfortunately for Tommy there aren’t any hens watching his show. Too bad. He’s quite a handsome Tom! The neighbors tell me they see them roosting a few houses away from here in the oak trees. Maybe he’s found a friend or two there.

The Dalai Lama’s speech in Madison is streaming live at 1:30 CST

A surprise announcement that wasn’t in the local news until now, the Dalai Lama’s will be speaking in Madison and the event will stream live beginning at 1:30 central time. Here is the link.

http://www.wkow.com/Global/category.asp?c=210335

OMG! Crocuses!!!

The first crocuses of the year have poked their heads out of the frozen tundra.

20160307_DSC_4543_crocus

The temps look good for the coming week and showers are in the forecast. I’d like to declare, “Spring, Spring, Spring is here!!!” but it’s Wisconsin …. I’m hopeful but realistic.

Frosted Cardinal

This cardinal – he apparently noticed me trying to take a picture of him – seems a little frosted.

20160201_DSC_4523-cardinal

Colorful banquet

Most of the birds visiting our tube feeder are kind of boring to look at but this cardinal showed up a few weeks ago and just wouldn’t leave. In the sun the red feathers were glowing.

20160201_DSC_4522-cardinal

It’s popping!

It’s popping, the stock market bubble that is, and it’s a long ways back to the pre-2008 bubble top and a lot farther to that bubble’s bottom. And remember the Tech Bubble in 2000? Good luck especially if you’re a Nasdaq investor. RBS a few days ago advised it’s clients to sell everything except high quality bonds. With the trillions of dollars of “stimulus” (borrowed money) the governments of the world have thrown into re-inflating the stock market this, many knew, would be the ultimate result. I have a page of raw material prices you could look at in case you’re wondering if the economy is really weak. This is a lesson many experts have forgotten. If people aren’t buying material things then you don’t need raw material inputs which means that these prices are going to decrease. Yes, that has happened in all sorts of raw materials.

nowitspopping

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