Friday, July 14, 2017

Chinese Nobel Prize Winner And Anchorage Judge's Opinion

I'm busy with granddaughter duties and I have a project that's going to consume me for the next several weeks that I can't blog about until it's over.  I'll try to put up some posts.  But mostly, I'm afraid, they will be brief.  But worth a look, I hope.  Here are a couple of things others have written that are worth checking out.  

From a Washington Post piece on Chinese Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo
"Why are they so afraid?
Why would they keep Liu Xiaobo in his cell until his cancer was so advanced that he was near death — and then keep him from traveling abroad, where he might yet have gotten care?"
"Perhaps most perilously, the Communist Party rules over a population that no longer believes in communism. The regime’s only remaining justification is that it delivers economic growth. Yet, as the economy becomes more complex, growth becomes more and more dependent on people being free to think, read, challenge and compete. The regime is caught in this paradox — and afraid."
The article says they tell the story of China's economic development that has lifted tens of millions of people from poverty.
"The story, it’s important to note, is partly true: The regime has, in the past quarter-century, presided over steady economic growth that has brought hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and into the middle class. On its scale, it is a unique achievement in human history.
But their story is also, in many respects, false. Far from being selfless patriots, the ruling elite has grown fat off the state. They do not want Chinese people reading about their overseas bank accounts or their children attending elite foreign prep schools and universities."

From the Alaska Dispatch News, Charles Wohlforth follows up on his earlier coverage of the lawsuit by two Anchorage police officers against the department for discrimination.  Why all power - even those we want to trust - must always be questioned and not given the benefit of the doubt.  Alaskans particularly should pay attention, but it's relevant to all.
"In his decision, Pfiffner wrote, 'The citizens of Anchorage could well conclude, that (the municipality) and its lawyers were more interested in winning the lawsuit than protecting the citizens of Anchorage from sexual assault and illegal drug dealing by members of the Alaska National Guard.'
'The 'hide the ball' litigation tactics that (the municipality) employed in this case rarely work. The consequences of such action are usually not good if the dirty tricks are discovered. Richard Nixon learned that lesson the hard way in an incident known as Watergate,' he continued.
'(The municipality) has learned the same lesson in this case. Part of the lesson for (the municipality) will be an enhanced attorney's fees award to the plaintiffs,' the judge wrote. . .
He likened the litigation to World War I trench warfare, with scorched-earth tactics designed to make the other side give up."
I'd note that Judge Pfiffner was appointed to his position in 2009 by Gov. Sean Parnell.

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