Okay, so I know the workplace is generally not the best place to discuss politics, but I came across this article on CBC and I just feel like sharing.
First off, HUGE PROPS to this fellow. He is awesome. He lives in a country that is heavily censored and controlled, and he started a blog to let everyone know of the human rights violations going on around him. He is very much an answer to Bonnie Tyler's cry for a hero! (Although not really because Bonnie was looking for more of a romantic-type hero, and he's more of a standing-up-against-injustice-and-protecting-the-innocent-type hero, so actually much better than that).
I noticed some interesting things in the article. First off, that his lawyer is relieved that he (Hu, the name of the man charged) wasn't charged with something worse. He was charged with subversion and given 3.5 years in prison. I really just find a statement of relief at this to be incredibly telling of the society and what is both accepted and expected.
Second of all, the freaking Olympics. These games are a total gong show anyways, spreading debt and relocation of the homeless and the cutting of valuable programs in their wake. But they are a gong show that most world leaders covet greatly, like they can't wait for their cities to be overrun and to build way-too-expensive housing to kick out all their poor. *breathes* Okay, anyways, China was given the Olympics despite these widely known human rights violations. Now everyone's using the Olympics as an excuse for China to clean up its act, saying things like that we're "watching closely" and asking for promises, but no one's actually doing anything to motivate the Chinese government to change. Maybe if they threatened to take the Games away if things don't improve. But the Chinese government clearly doesn't care if it looks bad to the rest of the world because the rest of the world isn't going to do anything to them except complain as they board their planes to China this August, stay in expensive hotels, spend loads of money in restaurants and on souvenires, and generally tell the Chinese government that as long as they're willing to put up with some whining, they can treat their citizens however they want and they will still get the "prestige" of the Olympic Games.