Best Viewed with IE or Opera. Sorry, Firefox works, but loses some sidebar layout,
'my profile' and other stuff... Anybody with a fix, please leave a comment. Many thanks in advance.

That said, if you must use Firefox (and I don't blame you, it's become my browser of choice, too)
...get the "IE Tab" extension. This allows you to view problem pages with the IE rendering engine. Very cool!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Post-9/11 America is Less a Land of the Free - by Reva Rasmussen

In 1998 I was sick and tired of America so I ran away to China. I was tired of all the shootings in schools and neighborhoods and shopping centers by private citizens. I was sick and tired of being afraid of my neighbors, so I went to China. It was far enough away.
I walked about the cities of China with a freedom I didn't have in America; I had no fear of being a victim of a violent crime. I worried about pickpockets and, indeed, my billfold was stolen twice without me knowing it, but I never needed to worry about a gun, or even a club, being used on me.
However, I was not able to access the New York Times or the BBC on the Internet. I tried again and again, but those websites were blocked. My university students explained to me with heated sincerity that censorship was good for Chinese people; it was necessary for national security.
I was impressed with how the Chinese government used fear to convince the people that what it did was for their own good.
"Oh, Miss Reva," said one of my friends, a government employee, over dinner in a restaurant, "you don't know how important to Chinese people is stability."
His voice was shaking. He said it because my companion at the table with us, a Chinese citizen who was a minority person and not of the Chinese race, had refused to show him her identity card.
He told her, "You people don't think like Chinese people! Your minds are different!" He wanted her card so he could help the government keep track of her.
I missed American multiculturalism. On my first trip home, when I arrived at the airport in Los Angeles, I got lost between terminals. I asked a security officer for directions. He had such a strong Spanish accent, I couldn't follow all he said. Yup, I was back in America. Good ol' America, land of many races, land of many languages. I went as far as I could based on what I'd understood, then asked another man with a Spanish accent. He took me to my gate.


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