Trial of Young ‘Rumor’ Monger Tries to Chill Internet in China

16 April, 2014 at 09:33 | Posted in censorship, China, human rights, IT and Media, persecution, Society | Leave a comment

By Lu Chen
Epoch Times

The first public trial in China that would use a unique interpretation of the law to criminalize “rumors” began Friday in Beijing. Microblogger Qin Zhihui was accused of using the Internet to spread rumors, and was indicted by the state prosecutor for “defamation” and “harming society.”

The case of 30-year-old Qin, known by the online moniker “Qin Huohuo,” came to public attention last August when he was put in criminal detention by Beijing police for posting what the authorities said was “untruthful information” on social media.

Plain old truthfulness may not be the ultimate priority of Chinese communist authorities in the matter, though: Observers said that the trial is primarily another sign of the authorities’ determination to rid the Internet of speech about official corruption and other social ills.

Though the Communist Party is currently waging a high-profile campaign against corruption, the focus of propaganda is always on individual officials. Allowing ordinary citizens to freely voice their opinions about the corruption of the entire system could quickly become problematic and inconvenient for the authorities.

“The authorities are actually abusing their power to reach the goal of purging and rectifying the Internet,” said Wen Yunchao, a Chinese media researcher based in the United States, and formerly a visiting scholar at Columbia University.

‘Eradicating’ Rumors

The arrest of Qin last year took place as the regime announced plans to “fundamentally eradicate Internet rumors,” signaling a crackdown on social media and a tightening of the space online in which Chinese can speak freely about society.

A rule announced then said that someone who posts “fake information” that is viewed over 5,000 times or reposted over 500 times could face criminal charges, depending on the social impact.

The public prosecutor in Qin’s case said that Qin had posted more than 3,000 online rumors that had attracted a lot of attention and negative remarks against the government, “which seriously harmed society.”

An example given was Qin’s comments on the Ministry of Railways (which was later disbanded because of corruption) on the topic of compensation to victims of a severe rear-end train collision that took place on July 23, 2011.

Qin wrote that the Chinese regime gave a large compensation of 200 million yuan ($32 million) to foreign passengers in the accident, which the authorities said is not true. More than 12,000 netizens reposted this information within an hour, many tacking on a few words of their own resentment toward authorities.

A number of Qin’s other posts alleged corruption of well-known public figures. He charged, for example, that Yang Lan, a wealthy media entrepreneur, faked donations, and that Guo Meimei, a young lady who became famous for posting photographs as she posed alongside expensive sports cars, had used money embezzled from the Chinese Red Cross. Qin was in both cases said to have used “fake information” to damage the reputations of the two women.

But neither Yang Lan nor Guo Meimei joined a lawsuit against Qin. Instead, the procuratorate directly indicted him for “defamation” and “harming society.”

Whether what he wrote is true or false, the regime’s manner of handling it gave the unmistakable impression that a campaign to squelch free speech was afoot.

Harming Society?

Chinese law says that “harming society” must consist of acts that are directly, rather than indirectly damaging, and that victims of defamation can only be natural persons, not governments.

“If Qin Huohuo lived in a democratic country, it’s obvious that he might face civil lawsuits, at the most, to give compensations and apologize,” Wen said. “But it would be impossible for a state judicial organization to prosecute someone like him.”

Confession

As in previous cases of prosecuting Internet users, Qin confessed his guilt. His apparent remorse and guilt was made a central focus on China Central Television and Xinhua, the state mouthpiece.

“It’s all my fault that I’m standing here today,” he said. “I hope my case can give others a warning not to do such stupid things as I’ve done,” he said in his court statement.

Qin also gave profuse thanks to society, the court, the police, lawyers, the media, his parents, and more. The compliant demeanor will likely serve to reduce his punishment. The sentence has not been handed down yet.

“Qin had no choice but to confess under such high pressure,” said Wen Yunchao. “The authorities also need Qin to have an attitude like that, to show the achievements of their Internet purge.”

Double Standards

Observers found it difficult not to draw an unwelcome contrast between Qin’s prosecution and the demonstrably false statements regularly made by the Chinese authorities themselves, none of which have yet been punished.

Internet user Yuyue Yunqi wrote: “Who’s going to put the Lanzhou government on trial for making rumors?” A recent news report showed that 20 times the regulated limit of Benzene, which causes cancer, has been found in the water in Lanzhou City, Gansu Province, after the local government announced that “the water meets state standards of safe drinking.”

Chinese authorities are known to conceal disease epidemics like bird flu, and play down the death tolls of natural or man-made disasters. No legal actions have been taken in those cases, netizens said.

Two widely forwarded complaints on the QQ microblog said: “The law only serves people with power,” and “The government can make rumors, but the people can’t.”

via Trial of Young ‘Rumor’ Monger Tries to Chill Internet in China

Six in 10 Brits now sleep deprived because of smartphones and computers

11 April, 2014 at 07:53 | Posted in Body & Mind, health, IT and Media, Science | Leave a comment


By Sarah Knapton

The number of Brits reporting to be sleep deprived has jumped 50 per cent with many more now using smartphones and computers before bed which can disrupt sleep, the University of Hertfordshire has found.

The number of sleep deprived Brits has risen by 50 per cent in a year as people increasingly use smartphones and computers before bed.

Nearly six in ten people in Britain now get seven hours of less sleep a night putting them at risk of cancer, diabetes and heart attacks, it has been warned.

Academics at the University of Hertfordshire found that 80 per cent of people are making it worse by using technology before sleeping which exposes them to disruptive blue light.

Blue light is present in morning light so late night gadget use can trick the body into speeding up the metabolism and making sleep more difficult.

Read more: Six in 10 Brits now sleep deprived because of smartphones and computers – Telegraph

Congrats! :-) – Epoch Times Wins 16 Awards at Annual Newspaper Conference

8 April, 2014 at 08:19 | Posted in IT and Media | 1 Comment

By Ivan Pentchoukov
Epoch Times

NEW YORK—Epoch Times staff reporters, photographers, and designers won 16 awards at the annual New York Press Association Conference held on April 4 and 5.

Six of the awards were for the first place, including top honors for overall excellence in photography, design, and advertising.

Epoch Times reporters Joshua Philipp and Zachary Stieber won second-place awards for best feature series and in-depth reporting respectively.

Philipp followed the trial and conviction of former city comptroller John Liu’s aides and Liu’s connection to the Chinese Communist Party. Stieber examined New York City’s subway system and compared it to those in major cities around the world.

“The awards are, of course, great as recognition from our peers in the industry, and as encouragement for everyone at Epoch Times. I would just point out that the awards are a natural outgrowth of a lot of sustained hard work during the past year,” said John Nania, Epoch Times editor-in-chief.

Nania continued: “We aren’t focused on winning awards per se, but we are focused on bringing a better and better product to our readers, and there is no thought of anyone resting on their laurels now. We will continue to push to bring our readers something better with every article, every photo, and every piece of design, every day.”

The New York Press Association represents more than 900 newspapers across the state.

The full list of awards, including links to winning entries:

OVERALL

Past Presidents’ Award for General Excellence

Third Place

DESIGN

Overall Design Excellence (Richard L. Stein Award)

First Place

Judges said: “Stands out above the rest in design, printing, use of photography, creative typography, and overall design.”

ADVERTISING DESIGN

Advertising Excellence (John J. Evans Award)

First Place (Tie)

Judges said: “We’ve never had a tie before—but we’re thrilled! The more winners, the better.”

“We’re very excited for our first-timer, The Epoch Times, and we’re very happy for our perennial winner, The Record-Review, which has won this award seven times—tying the record set by its sister paper, The Scarsdale Inquirer.”

Best Ad Campaign: First Place

Jens Almroth — Sushi Zen campaign:

Our Delight; Seasonal FeastHarmony

Judges said: “Beautiful unique pictures. Great use of white space.”

Best Color Ad: First Place

Rob Counts — Hello Fresh: Experience the Quintessential Kitchen Convenience 

Judges said: “Comprehensive feature—clean layout, great pastels, use of panels to separate messaging, simple yet representative icons, easy to read font selection, beautiful!”

Best House Ad: First Place

Make Your Restaurant More Popular Than a Cronut Bakery

Judges said: “Love it!”

Best House Ad: Second Place

Be Seen; Our arts coverage is coveted by serious and sophisticated art lovers

Judges said: “Clean, eye-catching!”

Best Small Ad: Second Place

Rob Counts — Dr. Roland

Judges said: “Very creative ad! Fantastic use of art and white space, and gets the message across instantly.”

Graphic Illustration: Honorable Mention

Seth Holehouse — Health Care Fumble

Judges said: “Some of the best visual elements are the simple ones. There are few major bells or whistles with this page-shaping image, but it ties together very well the concept of Obama’s health care planning and how the ‘play’ fell apart somewhere along the way.”

Best Special Section Cover: Honorable Mention

Asia Week

Judges said: “Very strong and classic special sections cover complimenting antique sibjet matter. Good color, excellent typography and striking layout.”

PHOTOGRAPHY

Overall Photographic Excellence: First Place

Judges said: “These issues represent first-rate design and graphics combined with photos that complement the effort. The Epoch Times sets a high standard for clean and informative presentation at a glance.

Special Sections / Niche Publications: Third Place

Sandy, One Year Later

Judges said: “Extraordinary photography and design carries this complete, complex look at a year like no other.”

Spot News Photo: Honorable Mention

Samira Bouaou — Photo of Jenny Hou & lawyer, John Liu’s campaign treasurer

Judges said: “Good general news image witnessed by the photographer as the subjects are fully engaged in an environment that blends well with the right moment. Presentation on the pages is beautifully done as well.”

EDITORIAL

Best News or Feature Series: Second Place

Joshua Philipp — John Liu’s relationship to Chinese regime

Judges said: “The staff not only looks into the allegations surrounding comptroller John Liu, bit it also exposes his links within Queens to nonprofits and those connections to Beijing. Exceptional reporting.”

In-Depth Reporting: Second Place

Zachary Stieber — Fare Game

Judges said: “Well written and well presented. The series raises important questions about a service that affects millions of people. Who else would help the reader with such knowledge? Nice job.”

Editorial Coverage of Election / Politics: Third Place

Kristen Meriwether — City Hall coverage

Judges said: “Great depth of coverage and great use of pulling reader into the newspaper.”

via Epoch Times Wins 16 Awards at Annual Newspaper Conference – The Epoch Times

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US State Department Joins Support for Detained Chinese Lawyers

7 April, 2014 at 16:50 | Posted in China, Falun Dafa/Falun Gong, human rights, persecution, slave labor camps, Society | Leave a comment

By Gisela Sommer
Epoch Times

The U.S. State Department joined international human rights groups in their support of four Chinese lawyers who are being held captive and tortured at a detention center in Heilongjiang Province for trying to represent a group of detained Falun Gong practitioners.

The lawyers, Tang Jitian, Jiang Tianyong, Wang Cheng, and Zhang Junjie were arrested on March 21 when trying to provide legal counsel to family members of Falun Gong practitioners who are held at the Qinglongshan Detention Center, officially titled the “Jiansanjiang Land Cultivation General Office Legal Education Base.”

The four lawyers were brutally beaten by police, according to Zhang Junjie, one of the lawyers who was released on March 27 and diagnosed with three fractures in his spine. The other three lawyers are still held at the Qixing Detention Center.

On March 25, another group of lawyers and citizens went to the detention center and held a hunger strike outside, demanding to meet with the detained lawyers. On the morning of March 29, the entire group of 17 people was arrested, many of them also subject to violence.

Three of the first group of detained Falun Gong practitioners are said to be in critical condition.

“This appears to be part of a disturbing pattern of arrests and detentions of public interest lawyers, Internet activists, journalists, religious leaders and others who peacefully challenge official Chinese policies and actions,” the U.S. State Department said in an April 3 email statement to the Epoch Times.

“We call on Chinese authorities to guarantee all Chinese citizens the protections and freedoms to which they are entitled under China’s international human rights commitments, including the freedom of expression,” the statement continued.

Chinese Lawyers Demand Investigation

Earlier, the Chinese Bar Association had issued a directive, telling lawyers not to participate in protests at Jiansanjiang, and not to post any online comments.

“It’s not an authentic Bar Association,” Tang Jingling, a lawyer from Guangzhou, told New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television. “The Communist Party manipulates the organization, which is playing a very disgraceful role.”

Tang said lawyers have posted an open online letter, condemning the Lawyers Association and calling for an investigation of its head.

U.S.-based human rights lawyer Ye Ning told NTD, “Lawyers across the country should stand up for their persecuted colleagues.”

On the morning of April 2, lawyers Tsai Ying, Hu Guiyun, and Dong Qianyong delivered an appeals letter to the All China Lawyers Association in Beijing. They demanded that the Association defend the rights of lawyers to practice law and initiate an investigation team on the arrest, beating, and humiliation of the lawyers, NTD reported.

International Response

Amnesty International issued a public statement on March 28, expressing concern about “the safety of the three lawyers who remain in detention and that they too may have been tortured.”

Amnesty also expressed concern that the Chinese authorities are using other forms of arbitrary detention, such as the so called Legal Education Centers, to hold people previously detained in labor camps, which were shut down last year.

In Hong Kong, China Rights Lawyers Concern Group, Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, and the Justice Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese protested outside the Mainland Chinese Liaison Office on April 2. They called for closing the Jiansanjiang brainwashing center and for the immediate release of the three rights lawyers still in detention, the Minghui report said.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that became popular in China over the 1990s. By 1999, when former leader Jiang Zemin ordered the persecution, approximately 70 to 100 million Chinese were practicing Falun Gong, including many high-level Party members.

To date 3,750 Falun Gong deaths from torture and other abuse in detention have been documented, as well as over 63,000 accounts of torture. An estimate of the real figure puts the actual death toll in the tens of thousands, according to Minghui.

Two Trends

In a statement issued on April 3, the New York based Falun Dafa Information Center called for the release of all detained Falun Gong practitioners and their lawyers in China.

The statement said the detentions and subsequent mistreatment of the four lawyers illustrate two important trends: First, that many Chinese people are challenging the persecution of Falun Gong, by signing petitions, calling for the release of practitioners from labor camps, and more. Second, that the persecution continues despite the closure of the reeducation through forced labor camps, which had become a symbol internationally of the Party’s human rights abuses.

via US State Department Joins Support for Detained Chinese Lawyers – The Epoch Times

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Amazing – Unlocking a car with your Brain

7 April, 2014 at 08:09 | Posted in beyond science, Body & Mind, Funny things :-), Science | Leave a comment

Professor Roger Bowley unlocks his car from various distances, using waves from his key, brain and a big bottle of water.

The Incredible Story of How Leopard Diabolo Became Spirit

5 April, 2014 at 08:57 | Posted in Animal welfare, animals, Body & Mind, Spirituality | Leave a comment

The incredible story of how leopard Diabolo became Spirit – Anna Breytenbach, “animal communicator”.

This is a very touching story about an angry and sad black panther who had been badly treated in the zoo where he previously had been. See the heartwarming story of a miraculous transformation to a much more healthy black panther and hear his story.

In the Middle of a Blue Anemone

4 April, 2014 at 08:34 | Posted in Culture, picture of the day | Leave a comment


But have you seen… There are small hearts in the middle of a blue anemone :-)

tulpaner-1-2

 …

 

The View From Inside China’s Brutal Prison System

3 April, 2014 at 07:36 | Posted in China, human rights, slave labor camps, Society | Leave a comment

George Karimi in Stockholm, Sweden, in October 2011. (Tobias Elvhage/Fenix Film)By George Karimi

By now many of us heard the Chinese Communist Party’s promises to close its system of forced labor camps. While I sincerely hope this comes to pass, the other forms of detention in China have not gone away—in particular, the regime’s notorious prison system remains as brutal and lawless as ever. I was an inmate of Chinese jails for seven years, and have seen and experienced what conditions there are like.

Abuses in countries outside China have been reported because inspectors are allowed there. But never since the Communist Party came to power in 1949 has it allowed unfettered, independent investigation of its vast detention system. When UN personnel visited in 2005, their movements were severely restricted.

I was detained in the Beijing Qichu Detention Center in 2005, where UN Special Rapporteur Manfred Nowak was allowed to visit. But in the end the UN didn’t manage to get any interviews with Western or Chinese prisoners; they were only allowed to observe the conditions on the cells via monitors. Nowak reported that all efforts to interview former detainees, family members, lawyers, and human rights activists suffered government interference.

The conditions in Chinese prisons are horrible. I saw them. Cells were between 7 and 21 square meters, and between six and sixteen inmates were crammed inside. We slept, ate, and defecated in these tiny rooms. The food was appalling, and not one day passed when we were not physically and psychologically tortured by the guards or “hired” inmates.

Beatings, starvation, and forced labor are all parts of life for those stuck in Chinese prisons. Even minor complaints can result in punishment or even death for yourself or an inmate. Some prisoners I knew tried to commit suicide because the conditions were so abusive. Only some succeeded. Those who didn’t were punished severely.

Guards would sometimes extract confessions from prisoners for the crimes they were accused of: they would break fingers, apply electric shocks, or if they did not want the injuries to show, would simply expose prisoners to the freezing weather, or force them into stress positions for hours.

Embassies in Western countries heard about all this from me, but they did nothing to speak out about it—perhaps because they don’t want to jeopardize their country’s relations with China.

The time I was imprisoned, from 2003 to 2010, also saw China issue new laws and make a lot of promises about improving its human rights policies. Many in the West thought that helping to improve China’s economy, and giving China the Olympics in 2008, would somehow result in more respect for human rights, or even democracy. It was a fantasy. But this fiction, along with corporate greed, has simply helped the Chinese regime cover up the truth of its abuses, while everyone goes about business as usual.

The kowtowing of the West has, of course, also been used by the Communist Party’s propaganda machine to legitimize its rule. The domestic propaganda system, which creates fake films showing how mild prison life is in China, means that the Chinese public is kept in the dark. Foreign media have only shed some light on the conditions in these detention facilities, partly because in-depth investigation may result in their being thrown out of China.

That’s precisely what happened to Al Jazeera after it produced a documentary about the system of slave labor camps, which heavily featured interviews with former Falun Gong detainees.

Excuses about the lack of evidence of abuses also mean that Western countries have put minimal political and diplomatic pressure on the Chinese regime. The regime thus continues to carry out these abuses in the dark, with organ harvesting from living prisoners—some death row prisoners, but mostly Falun Gong prisoners of conscience—being the most appalling.

When I was in the Beijing prison, organ theft was a known and sad fact for all inmates on death row. I spoke to a policeman who admitted to this. “So what?” he said. “They’re going to die anyway, so let the hospitals do what they want with the organs.” I will never forget the time that an inmate recounted to me how he had just met a person from his hometown that was supposed to have already been executed and cremated. This person knew that because the family had received the ashes—two years before.

This made it clear to us all that many inmates were being kept alive simply so their organs could be matched with donors. Then the real execution—or, rather, tranquilization and organ extraction, which leads to death—would take place. A similar process has been used against prisoners of conscience, including some Uyghurs in the 1990s, and a large number of Falun Gong practitioners during the 2000s and up till today. Western countries have not shown an interest in looking closely at these modern horrors, happening right under their noses.

I hope that officials and politicians from democratic Western countries, including the United States, and Sweden where I am from, who interact with Chinese officials, will dare to tell them that they know full well what is happening inside China. I also hope that they will begin demanding that all prisoners of conscience be set free from these facilities.

George Karimi is a Swedish businessman of Armenian origin. He was sentenced to life in prison in China after one of his business associates was tortured and forced to accuse him of counterfeiting money. He spent seven years in Chinese jails until being transferred to Sweden in 2010; now, after a reduction of his sentence, he is due to be released in November 2015. Mr. Karimi recently completed a book about his experiences.

via The View From Inside China’s Brutal Prison System – The Epoch Times

China Dream Became ‘Nightmare’ for Rights in China, Report Says

8 March, 2014 at 07:53 | Posted in China, human rights, persecution, Society | Leave a comment

By Carol Wickenkamp
Epoch Times

Last year was the worst for human rights since at least 2008, says an annual report from Chinese Human Rights Defenders. The signature “Chinese Dream” of the new leadership has instead become a “nightmare,” they say.

“The Chinese government’s assault on activists last year indicates just how far authorities under the rule of President Xi Jinping are willing to go to suppress an increasingly active and emboldened civil society,” said Renee Xia, the international director of CHRD.

Defining new developments in 2013, when Xi Jinping’s regime took office, as well as ongoing rights concerns, CHRD points to a major crackdown on civil and human rights across the board.

The assault on the New Citizens Movement and asset disclosure advocates targeted peaceful assemblies; new laws concerning “rumors” targeted bloggers and signaled increased criminalization of speech in the media and online; the widespread physical violence against human rights lawyers served to deny legal counsel to rights advocates, the report charges.

Dozens of human rights activists interviewed for the report pointed out that 2013 was the worst year for human rights since the crackdowns around the Olympics in 2008. Specifically, the report states:
The number of activists detained last year was greater than any since crackdowns in 1999; the number of criminal detentions of human rights defenders trebled that of 2012; over 220 activists were detained, with dozens formally arrested and tried or awaiting trial; there were over three times more enforced “disappearances” than in 2012.

Despite the highly publicized abolishment of Re-education Through Labor, CHRD identifies notes that other extrajudicial detention methods have sprung up, including increased use of “black jails.”

Although Xi Jinping, the Party leader, pledged to purge corruption from the Communist Party at all levels, activists who requested that high-ranking officials declare their personal wealth were hastily detained. Activists considered to be leaders of the asset disclosure movement were charged with “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place” and other terms that disguise the political nature of the arrests.

Rights defenders involved in the New Citizens’ Movement, a loose-knit group seeking political, legal, and social reforms, were detained, tried and issued harsh sentences. Most notably, the respected law professor Xu Zhiyong was tried on those charges and sentenced to four years of imprisonment.

The regime made it clear in a 2013 internal memo, Document No. 9, that discussion of “Western ideals,” including universal values, democracy, and human rights would not be tolerated. An assault was launched on activists advocating rule of law, constitutional democracy, and freedom of the press.

Political persecution and suppression in ethnic minority regions increased, as did harsher security measures and intensified violence in Tibet and Xinjiang, the report said.

Chinese Human Rights Defenders also pointed out that the leadership failed to ratify the international standard for human rights, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), despite repeated promises to do so. The group urged the Chinese regime to honor its promise to the international community to “promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

via China Dream Became ‘Nightmare’ for Rights in China, Report Says » The Epoch Times

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5 Keys to Mental Toughness

7 March, 2014 at 09:28 | Posted in Body & Mind, health | Leave a comment

Learn how to handle stressful situations with confidence and skill

By Peter Andrew Sacco

Some people associate the concept of mental toughness with aggression, violence, or anger. Mental toughness is the ability to stand firm in the positive and proactive thoughts that you have created for yourself and remain determined to follow through into creating positive feelings and actions.

It is a commitment to doing what is right because you know it will make your life better. The truest and toughest battles most people will ever fight are the battles that start and finish in their minds.

The best method for improving mental toughness and maintaining it is to apply these basic yet simple principles. If you practice these simple suggestions and boost your motivation to discipline your mind because you truly want to see positive change in your life, then you will be able to handle stressful situations with confidence and skill.

1. Don’t blow things out of proportion. Try to keep things in perspective; don’t magnify them into being worse than they are or have to be.

When things go bad repeatedly over a period of time, we may start to stereotype every bad thing that happens as “Murphy’s law.” Everything bad or unfortunate that can happen will happen. Do you know why? You are continually using the same negative magnifying glass to look at them.

Some individuals take minute situations and blow them into catastrophes. Always ask yourself this simple question, “What difference will this make a year from now?”

2. Try to avoid all-or-nothing thinking. When you think in terms of extremes, you set ourselves up for failure. Basically, you will always need to be perfect to avoid failure.

For example, you want to do well, but when something doesn’t turn out the way you expected, you view the outcome as bad. As a result, you extrapolate the performance into who you are—making yourself a “bad” person because your performance was bad.

In order not to “be bad” you try too hard to be good, leading yourself to make further mistakes because of the added pressure you’ve placed on yourself. Perfectionism makes it hard to be perfect!

3. You can’t please everyone all of the time. If you try to keep everyone happy, thinking everyone will like you, then you are in for a major shock. When you try to be a people-pleaser, you submit to others and become passive, deviating from your main goal—being assertive, which helps you accomplish your goals.

As soon as you become passive, you are more inclined to dislike certain people and situations because you have compromised yourself and no longer feel comfortable.

Catering to the needs and whims of others will get you quickly on your way to becoming a procrastinator—not only to their demands, but also for what you would like to achieve.

I heard a statistic that asserts that 10 percent of the people you meet will never like or accept you no matter who you are, what you do for them, and so on. So focus on the other 90 percent, but be sure to never have your rights or needs taken away or compromised.

4. Don’t bog yourself down with “uncertainty questions” such as, “Why me?” “When will things change?” “Will any good breaks ever come my way?” Oftentimes, when things go bad, you seek answers of an absolute nature. Let’s face it, not all questions have answers you can understand.

When you question yourself, you sometimes analyze things to death, causing stress. Did you know that when you ask questions of a negative nature, you tend to focus on negative experiences and create corresponding visual experiences? If you believe in the law of attraction and affirmations, this theory will hold true when you are asking yourself a question.

If you are placing your focus on something negative, since “like attracts like,” you will be bringing more negativity your way.

Did you know some experts claim that your memory file cabinets get compromised when you dwell on negative experiences? It takes twice as much energy to dwell on the negative than on the positive. Perhaps that is why you are so tired.

5. Take one day at a time. Enjoy the present moment and be in the moment. There are always enough worries in today, so why spend energy on thoughts of tomorrow?

Too many people want instant change. In fact, we are all changing instantly, because our bodies (cells) and the situations around us are always changing and evolving. People want to see tangible results instantly. But that is not how it works.

The exercise in mental toughness is to develop moment-to-moment awareness. Focus on your thoughts. Hit the delete button whenever a negative one comes on the screen and replace it with a positive one immediately. How does one do this? Keep your thoughts focused on the present. It will take practice, but you will succeed at it with time, but not months or years.

Disclaimer: This is in no way designed to diagnose, classify, or treat mental health problems or addictions. You should always consult with a licensed or trained professional when seeking an actual diagnosis or assessment. 

Dr. Peter Sacco has been working with individuals in private practice and support groups since 1995. He specializes in anger-management classes, overcoming addictions, individual coaching, and counseling. He teaches courses in addiction studies, police studies, criminal psychology, and education at universities and colleges in the United States and Canada. Petersacco.com

via 5 Keys to Mental Toughness

Zlatan’s Volvo Ad: It Looks Like a Swedish Dream, but It’s Really a Chinese Nightmare (Video)

1 March, 2014 at 10:36 | Posted in China, human rights, persecution, Society | Leave a comment

By Gidon Belmaker
Epoch Times

Volvo’s new ad featuring soccer superstar Zlatan Ibrahimović looks like a dream. It features Sweden’s great outdoors in all its glory. But Volvo is only Swedish in appearance. It was bought by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.

Swedish organization Supporting Human Rights in China made a spoof  of the original ad showing where Volvo’s money ends up.

“Doing business with this regime of terror is to support the abuse, torture, and persecution. It is shameful wanting to associate your brand with the Chinese regime. It was shameful of Volvo to sell out a Swedish brand to them, and it is even more shameful to now give the appearance of Swedishness and Swedish values,” the group wrote in a description of its video.

Here is the original ad:

via Zlatan’s Volvo Ad: It Looks Like a Swedish Dream, but It’s Really a Chinese Nightmare Video » The Epoch Times

Six Tips for Safer Drinking Water

28 February, 2014 at 09:35 | Posted in Body & Mind, health | Leave a comment

By

Water is the origin of life. It can increase your energy, improve your complexion, and keep your eyes looking clear. Water also carries nutrients to every cell in the body, helps the kidneys cleanse the body of toxins, improves circulation, and lubricates joints.

For centuries, Chinese medicine has advocated drinking clean water for optimal health. There are several ways to make the water you drink on a regular basis safer.

1. Run Your Tap Before Drinking

After sitting idle in the pipe all night, tap water is prone to carry a higher amount of bacteria. Always let the water run for a few minutes before drinking it. The water will be much cleaner. The running water from the first five minutes can be collected for washing or for watering plants.

2. Keep Bottled Water Cool

Plastic bottles contain plasticizers to improve the plastic’s flexibility and durability. If bottled water is stored for too long, a small amount of plasticizer will mix with the water. When consumed, the smell of plastic can be easily discerned. Bottled water should be stored in a cool place out of direct sunlight.

3. Boil Water Lightly

Water that is kept boiling for an extended period of time or was boiled multiple times is problematic.

Tap water contains organic and inorganic matter. If tap water is boiled for a long time, the concentration of matter will increase. For example, the amount of lead in tap water is within established safety limits; however, lead does not get boiled out of water, so the longer the water is boiled, the more concentrated lead becomes as the water evaporates.

Chlorine is usually used to sterilize tap water. Once a small amount of a pollutant in the water is compounded with chlorine, a type-A carcinogen variant can form. The longer the water is boiled, the more carcinogens are created.

The best thing to do when boiling water is to take it off the heat once it starts to boil. Dump out previously boiled water and start with fresh water for each boil. Most bacteria and viruses are killed when the water starts boiling and cannot survive at temperatures higher than 175 Fahrenheit.

4. Drink Boiled Water Soon

When boiled water is left for an extended period of time, the nitrogen-bearing compounds in it will decompose into nitrites, which are known carcinogens.

Therefore, it is highly recommended that boiled water be consumed on the same day it was heated.

5. Taste-Test Your Mineral Water

Many people believe mineral water is the best water. In fact, not all mineral water is actually suitable for drinking. For example, if the fluorine content of water from a mineral spring is very high, like one in a suburb of Tianjin City in China, it can cause long-term issues like osteofluorosis (skeletal changes caused by too much fluorine intake) and dental fluorosis (mottling of tooth enamel from excessive fluorine).

The mineral content of natural mineral water is very critical. If the content is right, the water will taste refreshing. Mineral water that tastes metallic or earthy should be avoided.

6. Drink More Than Just Purified Water

While water filters do absorb bacteria and viruses that may exist in the water, the activated charcoal used in most water purifiers can also remove and deplete beneficial minerals from the water, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

Since these minerals are beneficial to human health, it is not recommended to drink only purified water.

Headquartered in New York City, New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television was founded by Chinese-Americans to serve as a unique bridge between East and West.

via Six Tips for Safer Drinking Water

Crop Scientist Likens China’s Smog to Nuclear Winter

27 February, 2014 at 10:56 | Posted in Body & Mind, China, Environmental issues, health, Science, Society, sustainable development | Leave a comment

By Cassie Ryan
Epoch Times

New research shows that the extreme air pollution in China could severely impact agriculture and food supplies, because it is blocking out the light plants need for photosynthesis.

He Dongxian at China Agricultural University found that chilli and tomato seeds grown in Beijing took over two months to sprout due to pollutants reducing light levels in the greenhouse by about 50 percent. In comparison, seeds grown in the lab under artificial light took around 20 days to germinate.

If the smog continues, He told the Guardian her findings suggest Chinese agriculture will suffer conditions “somewhat similar to a nuclear winter.”

Describing the greenhouse plants, He said, “They will be lucky to live at all. Now almost every farm is caught in a smog panic,” according to the South China Morning Post.

“A large number of representatives of agricultural companies have suddenly showed up at academic meetings on photosynthesis in recent months and sought desperately for solutions,” she added. “Our overseas colleagues were shocked by the phenomenon because in their countries nothing like this had ever happened.”

This past week, nearly one-quarter of China has been enveloped by a thick haze, including Beijing, which is on an unprecedented orange alert, with red being the most dangerous to health.

The Yanzhao Evening News reported that a man in Hebei Province is suing local authorities for failing to deal with the smog, and also seeking compensation.

His lawyer refused to comment, because this is the first such case of a citizen suing the regime over air pollution, making it a sensitive issue.

via Crop Scientist Likens China’s Smog to Nuclear Winter » The Epoch Times

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Dog Breeds: What Does Your Choice of Breed Say About You?

23 February, 2014 at 16:49 | Posted in animals, Body & Mind, Funny things :-), Science | Leave a comment
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By Tara MacIsaac
Epoch Times

Here’s a look at what your dog’s breed may say about you. Researchers at Bath Spa University surveyed 1,000 dog owners, compiling data about the owners’ personality traits and their dogs’ breeds.

The researchers presented their findings to the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in 2012.

Stanley Coren, a psychologist and author of “Why We Love the dogs We Do,” also discussed the connection between owner personality traits and dog breeds, in an interview with Modern dog Magazine.

Read more: Dog Breeds: What Does Your Choice of Breed Say About You? » The Epoch Times

A New Facility Replaces Labor Camps in China

21 February, 2014 at 11:30 | Posted in China, human rights, persecution, slave labor camps, Society | Leave a comment

By Lu Chen
Epoch Times

Although the notorious labor camp system in China has effectively been shut down in most parts of the country, the extralegal detention and torture of large numbers of Chinese citizens has not ended.

One of the new, legally dubious, facilities that has cropped up for those deemed by the Chinese Communist Party to be anti-social elements—such as elderly people who petition the government after their houses are demolished—are called “disciplinary centers.”

The full name of one of the facilities exposed on the Internet recently was “The Education and Discipline Center for Abnormal Petitioning.” It was located in Wolong District, Nanyang City, in Henan Province, central China.

Petitioning refers to seeking out higher-level authorities to resolve injustices perpetrated by officials at lower levels, which the judicial system has been unable or unwilling to correct.

“It’s a new style of labor camp,” said Yang Jinfen, an Internet user who posted a photograph of the facility in Nanyang. “It illegally detains petitioners. My mom Zhang Fengmei who’s nearly 70 years old, has been detained there since Feb. 4 without any legal procedure …”

The picture and message was first put onto Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, and then deleted.

Yang said her mother was first locked away there for 10 days in January.

“They detained my mom in a very small room without a bed,” she said to Epoch Times in a telephone interview. “They just gave her a blanket and let her sleep on the floor. They detain you as long as they want. It’s the same with the labor camp and black jail. The local government officials are just like rogues.”

Local Communist Party cadres respond to the incentives and disincentives set by those higher up in the system.

“The local government is afraid that if my mom goes to Beijing to petition, it will reflect badly on their political achievements,” Yang said. “So they just detain her.”

Zhang Fengmei, the mother, is calling for justice for her son, who was tortured into disability during a prison sentence. The son, Yang Jinde, was an entrepreneur who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2010 for six crimes including “leading a criminal syndicate” and “disturbing social order.” The criminal justice system in China is often prone to corruption and, many Chinese complain of unfair judgments.

Rather than investigate the torture of her son, authorities in Henan simply locked up the mother.

Inside the disciplinary centers, petitioners are said to be under “24-hour nonstop discipline, warnings, and educative persuasion,” according to a local government website.

But according to Xinhua, the state mouthpiece, an official at the State Bureau of Letters and Calls in Henan, the agency that is responsible for petitioners, admitted that the disciplinary centers “do not meet legal requirements.” The official did not disclose his name.

Yang Jinfen, whose mother is locked up, said, “My mom just wants her son healthy.”

via A New Facility Replaces Labor Camps in China

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