Monday, February 16, 2009

Blame the Blogger

SOMEBODY (in the media) gets it!


Anonymous said...

Better than in China...

[from NBC news]

Chinese blogger stabbed after public reading

Most viewed on
updated 2:32 p.m. ET, Mon., Feb. 16, 2009

BEIJING - A Chinese blogger whose satirical postings have gained a wide following was stabbed in the stomach at a Beijing book store after giving a reading, witnesses and friends said Monday.

Xu Lai, who writes under the pseudonym Qian Liexian, was attacked Saturday evening at the Wanda branch of the Beijing Danxiangjie Book Store, a staffer there confirmed Monday.

He was meeting readers "and it happened after that," said the clerk, who declined to give her name as is common among Chinese. She gave no other details.

Xu, who is also culture editor at the Beijing News paper, was apparently stabbed in the store's bathroom by two men who later fled, according to friends and fellow bloggers who posted the news online.

The motive was unclear for the assault, which was the first known physical attack on a prominent blogger.

Xu's blog, entitled "Qian Liexian Wants to Speak," offers witty, satirical observations on society and politics. At times provocative, he has also commented on government corruption and the recent scandal of milk contaminated with an industrial chemical.

Last year, he was listed among the "20 Most Influential Figures in China's Cyberspace" by Southern Metropolis Weekly. Xu was in a Beijing hospital Monday recovering after surgery for his wounds, which were not life-threatening, according to postings by friends on the Web site.

"According to the doctor, there was only a small hole in his stomach, and no other injuries were found in his other organs," one post said. "The doctor said it seemed that he was in a good condition. So people who care for him should not worry."

Police responsible for that area of Beijing did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Xu's blog was one of many hosted on the Chinese blogging Web site, which was shut down in January as part of a government crackdown on the Internet. The successor site,, is hosted overseas.

Online writers and commentators in China are often censored and sometimes persecuted by authorities over controversial postings.

Terry F.

Anonymous said...

Gotta wonder where Jason Vassell was recently....

Neil said...

Mary Beth disagrees with the policy decision of closing MM.

She makes the argument that the decision is premature because it lacks all of the data.

She argues that MM is cheaper to run becuase Umass owns it and pays the utilities.

She argues that other towns have made costly errors by closing schools without considering (predictable?) long term planing capacity requirements.

She argues that because you CAN discuss school budget numbers, and facts relevant to planning on a blog, YOU SHOULD NOT.

She does not argue why you should not.

Maybe she thinks that all arguments and ideas must be proposed by parents at a microphone.

Anonymous said...

That was a woman or a man?


LarryK4 said...

Now, now.

As Andy Churchill said to her somewhere in the middle of her rant: let's not get personal

Besides, she already hates these damn blogs.

Anonymous said...

Yes, just because we CAN use our right to free speech doesn't mean we SHOULD. You have to love Amherst residents, they love free speech until they disagree with the message, then the speech needs to be censored.

The fact remains that many people express the hope that elected officials communicate with those they represent. One of the easiest ways to do this is by blog. Just because you don't like the message, doesn't mean that the blog shouldn't exist.

Anonymous said...

People like her are exactly what's wrong with Amherst. I'd rather listen to a garbage truck hoisting a dumpster.

Neil said...

People like her are exactly what's wrong with Amherst. I'd rather listen to a garbage truck hoisting a dumpster.

What is wrong with Amherst is the reluctance to engage in conversation respectfully with people you don't like or don't agree with.

I disagree with many of the things she's says but I have a much better chance changing her mind if I'm willing to have the conversation rather than call her names or dismiss her.

LarryK4 said...

Well said Neil,

I originally thought Catherine Sanderson was a perky academic (almost—except for my wife of course-- a contradiction in terms) and I put this blog to good use countering her wholehearted efforts in the Override a couple years back.

But here I am now, in wholehearted agreement …flying Close Air Support.

Max Hartshorne said...

Wait a minute...that was a man not a woman on the video right?

I am confused, it seemed definitely that it was a man talking there.

Greg Saulmon said...

Just posted my own op-ed take on this:

In a nutshell: Blogging is far better than not blogging.

Anonymous said...

"I am confused, it seemed definitely that it was a man talking there."

It was the third one: womale

LarryK4 said...

I don't care.

It doesn't matter. Race, creed, color or sexual persuasion (and even most recently, Amherst is going to redo its legal advertising to add protection for Transgenders).

What I really don’t like is NIMBY’s and/or self interest (but she clearly points out at the beginning of her rant that latter conflict of interest)

Catherine A. Sanderson said...

I have no doubt that if I was blogging away describing my love for MM and how that school should stay open regardless of the costs, MM families would be in total support of my blogging. That seems, in a nutshell, to be the problem -- they don't like my views, so they wish I didn't share them.

As many have pointed out -- everyone in town knows my views, through my blog. Thus, when I come up for re-election, everyone will be able to make an informed view about whether they tend to support what I believe in, or rather tend to oppose it, and they can thus vote accordingly. This seems like a very good service I'm providing to the voting population -- though ironically, a not very safe standpoint from one who could want to get re-elected (it surely is safer from that vantage point to just be quiet until a vote must be taken -- as my colleagues are all doing).

Neil said...

Sanderson in her direct and open approach to policy making on the School Board, does open herself up to more criticism and exposes herself as a lightening rod to those who take the board's decisions as a personal affront.

Those of us who support her efforts can support them by giving her feedback and voting accordingly... or as Larry calls it "Close Air Support."

Perhaps her supporters can think of other ways to express that we prefer this approach rather than a coy, close to vest, educational policy making process.

Anonymous said... about shooting the messenger! It's always funny to me that a town such as Amherst, which has always taken great pride in labeling itself "liberal," has often failed to embrace the very foundation of true liberalism: the willingness to listen to, and consider, EVERY viewpoint, regardless of one's own personal views. Instead, one often finds folks trying to shout down, intimidate, and brow beat those who don't share their opinion, which is just the flip side of the same coin that's used by the religious right, anti-abortion, etc. groups. Interesting.

Greg Saulmon said...

My own prediction: In the not-so-distant future, we'll all be extremely wary of the elected officials who *aren't* blogging.

LarryK4 said...

Indeed! But it depends on how you define "blogging".

The Amherst Town Manager for instance uploads (basic press releases) twice per month.

Rick said...

Debating whether blogging is good or bad is dumb. That’s like debating whether talking is good or bad. The issue is only what one blogs about, just like what one talks about.

@Greg Saulmon that’s a great post at

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be refreshing if all our politicians were as open and honest as Catherine Sanderson? I thought Amherst was supposed to be a liberal town that encouraged different ideas and indulged in lengthy conversations. Whoever thought that a blog would cause such consternation? If members of Amherst wish to keep MM open, then other programs will need to be cut. Is the speaker okay with cutting out after school programs so that her child can remain in MM? That seems a little selfish to me. The real problem is that we are faced with a budget crisis. This is not of Catherine Sanderson's making, she is just trying to offer one realistic scenario to help solve the issue. Three cheers for Catherine and her blog.

LarryK4 said...


I'd be a Hell of a lot more impressed if you left your name, however.

Anonymous said...

No problem, Larry. My name is Isabel Margolin, and I served as Catherine's campaign treasurer. I also work for Catherine at Amherst College and feel very lucky to have her as a colleague - she is fair and honest in all her dealings.

p.s. My son, Zach Masi, took karate from you for years until he left for college. After college he joined the Israeli Army for two years serving as the head machine gunner for his unit, and is now a medical student in Philadelphia studying to be a pediatric surgeon. See what a few years of karate will do for you?

LarryK4 said...

Hey Isabel. Thanks! Sorry, did not mean to sound rude; but it was late and I was working on the flags-at-half-staff post.

I remember Zach. God, it only seems like yesterday...

Anonymous said...

"did not mean to sound rude;"

For someone who didn't mean to you sure did a good job. Must be all the practice.

LarryK4 said...


Anonymous said...

Yozer, people sure get angry on this site!

Best wishes, Isabel

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