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December 1, 2011
22:38 // 2 years ago
November 6, 2011

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, stuck with huge tax bill, gets huge donations

  • $2.4M the size of the fine China gave to firebrand artist Ai Weiwei — to be paid in just 15 days
  • 20k number of people who have offered Weiwei donations to help pay this insane tax bill
  • $550k amount of money these people have given the artist in just five days; impressive source

» This on top of a long arrest earlier this year: Ai Weiwei spent 81 days in jail on tax evasion charges, but claims all authorities wanted to talk about was his pro-democracy record. The fine Ai has been forced to pay is more than three times the size of his tax bill — and he needs help paying. The surprising part is that he actually got said help. “It’s surprising; it has really changed my perspective on people,” he said, noting that people traveled long distances to give him financial help — in person. Ai prefers to think of the payments as loans, and turned down a $157,000 payment from a businessman, saying he preferred smaller loans.

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21:21 // 2 years ago
August 22, 2011

idroolinmysleep says: I'm a little uncomfortable with Google renaming Green Square. It's basically a private company doing what a nation-state should be doing -- usurping a nation's powers, if you will. We can argue all day long that it IS a private company and its decisions have no geopolitical significance, but the reality is that its humongous user base in some ways makes it a de facto official map.

» SFB says: A totally valid point about the name change, and one that’s totally on the record. We’re not against the change ourselves; it’s insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but symbolic. But we totally understand and feel your point. — Ernie @ SFB

22:35 // 3 years ago
June 26, 2011
Chinese dissident Hu Jia freed after three-year jail term: The Chinese dissident, shown with his wife Zeng Jinyan, has remained quiet since his release … much like fellow freed dissident Ai Weiwei, who refuses to answer questions. source Follow ShortFormBlog

Chinese dissident Hu Jia freed after three-year jail term: The Chinese dissident, shown with his wife Zeng Jinyan, has remained quiet since his release … much like fellow freed dissident Ai Weiwei, who refuses to answer questions. source

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10:57 // 3 years ago
May 23, 2011
Shocker: Scott Brown doesn’t support the Paul Ryan Medicare plan
Thumbs-up to photo ops, thumbs-down to the Ryan plan. Sen. Scott Brown got into office largely on the promise he’d vote against the health care bill. Since then, he’s followed a strongly moderate path, reaching out to the other side of the aisle more than any other GOP senator. So, it’s with that in mind that you should read the op-ed Brown wrote for Politico, which claims that Medicare has already been weakened by Obamacare, and that at large, the focus should be on removing waste in Medicare. “While I applaud Ryan for getting the conversation started,” he said, “I cannot support his specific plan — and therefore will vote ‘no’ on his budget.” If only Newt Gingrich had this script to read from a week ago. (photo via Flickr user dianezink1021) source
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Thumbs-up to photo ops, thumbs-down to the Ryan plan. Sen. Scott Brown got into office largely on the promise he’d vote against the health care bill. Since then, he’s followed a strongly moderate path, reaching out to the other side of the aisle more than any other GOP senator. So, it’s with that in mind that you should read the op-ed Brown wrote for Politico, which claims that Medicare has already been weakened by Obamacare, and that at large, the focus should be on removing waste in Medicare. “While I applaud Ryan for getting the conversation started,” he said, “I cannot support his specific plan — and therefore will vote ‘no’ on his budget.” If only Newt Gingrich had this script to read from a week ago. (photo via Flickr user dianezink1021) source

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10:33 // 3 years ago
April 5, 2011
Western capitals are failing to understand the magnitude of what is happening now. The Chinese authorities are actively seeking to try to redefine the boundaries of which opinions are tolerable, and which are not.
Nicholas Bequelin, researcher for Human Rights Watch in China • Speaking on the grim state of Chinese affairs, in the wake of the arrest of famed artist and dissident Ai Weiwei. He argues that the Chinese’s tightening grip over the citizenry indicates a meaningful shift towards more abject totalitarianism. Bequelin added: “We know for certain that there are lawyers who haven’t been arrested, but have been clearly threatened. They’ve been told ‘the gloves are off, we can do anything we like now’. One was informed that ‘the party has special ways to deal with people like you’.” source (viafollow)
13:50 // 3 years ago