Red China Blues

Tiananmen Mao

Bordering Tiananmen Square is the giant picture of Chairman Mao. Lana Rodlie photo

Tiananmen Square security

Just getting to the square is an ordeal. You have to walk under the multi-laned roadway through a subway tunnel. Of course, there are guards to make sure no one gets lost. Lana Rodlie photo

This is a book review of Jan Wong’s Red China Blues, but I’ve added my own photos and some insights of when we attended the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

From the book: “Tiananmen is gargantuan, the biggest square in the world. Moscow’s Red Square was intimate in comparison. Tiananen could simultaneously accommodate the entire 28 teams of the National Football League plus 192 other teams, each playing separate games. It could stage an entire Summer Olympics, with all events taking place at the same time. Tiananmen, which means Gate of Heavenly Peace is also one of the least hospitable squares in the world. There is no bench or place to rest, nowhere to get a drink, no leafy tree to offer respite from the sun. Only the one-hundred-foot high Monument to the People’s Heroes punctuates it, and after 1977, Mao’s white and gold mausoleum. Its huge lampposts are equipped with giant speakers for crowd control and swiveling video cameras’. The commercial photographers  with white pushcarts and colorful shade umbrellas are actually plainclothes police. For a modest fee, they snap photos of Chinese tourists posing in the square and mail you the pictures a week later. That way, they have your name and address, too.” Continue reading

Because They Hate

Book Review

Title: Because They Hate
Author: Brigitte Gabriel
Genre: Nonfiction
First published: 2006
Spoiler Alert: May contain some offensive material

Brigitte Gabriel witnessed first-hand how her home country of Lebanon was turned from a prosperous democratic oasis in the Arab world into a wore-torn pile of rubble. How Beirut, once the “Paris of the Middle East” was stormed and converted into a Muslim conclave which spins out suicide bombers and terrorists.  She says there will never be peace in the Middle East because Arabs believe Israel should not exist and will do anything and everything to destroy it. And they also want to kill anyone who does not adhere to their religion. They live on hate; feed it to their children from birth; and spew out lies and horror. And she warns North America to wake up, connect the dots, and recognize the evil that is infiltrating it before it is too late.  Continue reading