They Lose Again: Three times over

Chris Hayes’ “All In” show on MSNBC went all in yesterday, showing the direct link between US political incompetence, racism, and 2001/9/11.  A twenty year war was rationalized on the deaths of a scant few corpses while the results of rightwing ideology are three thousand times worse.

Two thousand nine hundred and ninety six people died in New York’s World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, almost 20 years ago.  Thanks to the US response to the attack, there are “officially” over 37,000 military dead from Iraq and Afghanistan (combat and suicides, not counting other losses), more than twelve times the deaths of that one terrorist attackThe two illegal wars have cost US$6.5 trillion dollars in interest alone, not counting principal. And that’s without counting the mental health issues, economic loss, and loss in political standing over twenty years while China’s rose.  With nothing to show for it.

Doing nothing definitely would have been better for the US.  And Iraq and Afghanistan would likely be no worse off than they are now.

Hayes also points out the number of US deaths from COVID-19 and the rightwingnut ideology that put clowns in place like Trump, Desantis, Abbott, Roem and others, how the inmates are now running the asylum prison-state.  Religious-driven fascism, racism and fanaticism are only one step away from taking over, and the democrats seem intent on making the fanatics electable for the last time (after which there won’t be elections).  They’re labelling the refugees and allies from Afghanistan “terrorists”, and the ignorant racist rabble will swallow it without a second’s thought.



I looked at the numbers.  The “official” death toll of COVID-19 in the US between March 25, 2020 and August 25, 2021 is 648,350 (which does not include those not counted and those falsely listed as dying of other causes).

That time span is 518 days or 74 weeks.  The US has averaged 8761 deaths per week.  For the past seventeen months, more people die in the US of COVID-19 every two and a half days due to incompetent national and state “leadership” than on one day in September 2001.

Those whining about “freedumb!”, who oppose wearing masks and oppose vaccination, are undoubtedly also those who had no objection to forfeiting civil liberties under the “patriot act”.


Just imagine where the US would be if George Bush had not retaliated against the terrorist attacks, had just sat on his hands and done nothing for eight years, and didn’t sign all those tax breaks and vetoed the repeal of Glass-Stegall. It would have been one of the most financially successful two term presidencies in US history, the “crazies” (as Karl Rove described them) wouldn’t be in power, and the US would be in an even stronger financial and military position than it was in 2000.

The US stuck its hand through a fence got scratched by the swipe of a claw. Instead of bandaging the wound and learning not to do that again, it jumped over the fence to “teach that animal a lesson” and got mauled, barely escaping.  And wants to pretend it was the winner.

I think we can no officially declare Osama bin Laden the winner.  Some might say “The US went home empty handed” but that’s not true. The government and military’s collective ass was handed to them.

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Another Year Passes: Happy Left Handers Day

International Left Handers Day was August 13th, the day when left handers cut the strings on bank pens, turn papers around on clipboards and staple papers on the opposite side to annoy the rest of you.  It was forty-five years ago, August 13, 1976, that Left Handers Day was founded.

(Yes, it was two weeks ago, but my job is eating my time.  The foreigner at the other school in my buxiban chain bailed in May when the mass spread happened.  He didn’t have the money to go two to three months without work, no speculation on his spending habits.  That means I’m covering and prepping the online classes for two schools, 30 different groups of kids per week until they hire a second teacher for October.  Not fun.  At least I’m getting paid.)

Dr. Marietta Papadatou-Pastou, Assistant Professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, was interviewed by the International Labour Organization for a podcast published on August 13, 2021:

Left-handed workers in a right-handed world

About 10 per cent of people are left handed, yet the world of work is overwhelmingly set up for right-handers. There are also numerous examples – historical and contemporary – of discrimination and stigma in relation to left-handed people.

International Left-handers Day, on August 13, aims to counter some of these disadvantages and draw attention to the strengths of the world’s left-handed workers and the problems they face.

Below the fold are a number of studies published over the last twelve months.  There were enough scientific publications this year that I didn’t have to write anything.  Good, I can dispense with the fluff pieces and “who’s a lefty?” lists.

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Computer Games: Fifty years of wasted money and time

Commercialized computer gaming turns fifty years old this month.  It was August 1971 when Nolan Bushnell and Jim Stein unveiled Computer Space, the first coin operated video game.  Sure, there were computer games in the 1960 (tennis on an oscilloscope, chess and other games created on PDP computers at MIT) but Computer Space was the first game created outside of academic circles for commercial entertainment and profit.

Computer Space was a two player shoot-em-up, similar to MIT’s spacewar.

Here are a few articles on its history.

BBC: Computer Space and beyond: 50 years of gaming

What is now a multi-billion pound industry started out as a humble arcade machine created by a group of college students in 1971.

Before then, playing video games had been a geeky pastime for small groups on university tech campuses, but in 1971, Nolan Bushnell, a student at the University of Utah, joined up with Jim Stein, a Stanford University researcher, to make a game.

They were both players of a game called Spacewar!, which was being run in a university lab. From Nolan’s experience of working at amusement parks, the pair saw potential in making an arcade version of a video game.

After working on it for several years, they joined forces with Nutting Associates, an arcade company. Their game, Computer Space, was released for the first time for a physical test run in August 1971.

Herald Scotland (2021): Happy 50th Birthday video games

Engadget (2014): The world’s first video game arcade machine is a glittery fiberglass wonder

Technologizer (2011): Computer Space and the Dawn of the Arcade Video Game

Which reminds me: scatterbrain that I am, I never finished off the second and third parts about the computer game Robots and its 50th anniversary.

She’s Not Afraid To Speak: Cerise Castle’s expose on criminal gangs

Cerise Castle is an investigative journalist in Los Angeles, and by journalist, I mean in the pre-1980s sense, not the stenographers of today.  She asks tough questions that make those in power uncomfortable, and reports facts that some would like to be ignored or buried.  She’s not afraid of those who try or want to silence her.

Castle reported on the Black Lives Matter rally in Los Angeles, June 2020.  Despite being a journalist and wearing markings identifying herself, she was intentionally targeted with “non-lethal” weapons, which landed her in hospital.  During her time recuperating, she collected documents on Los Angeles County cops via the Freedom of Information Act, uncovering a treasure trove of information about gang activity.

By gang activity, I mean she identified eighteen gangs within the cops, with tattoos, hand signals and initiations which can include crimes ranging from false arrests to murdering people.  Nearly all of the gangs are white cops.  Andrés Guardado was shot in the back by cops just days after the June 2020 BLM protests, allegedly as part of one such initiation.

Castle has documents showing these gangs go back fifty years, that the city of Los Angeles has known about them all this time, and still takes to action to ban or remove them.  It’s possible some of those gang members are now in senior positions of “policing”.

From Knock LA:

A Tradition of Violence

The History of Deputy Gangs in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

A 15-part investigative series by Cerise Castle

  • Part 1: The Protected Class

  • Part 2: Hunting for Humans

  • Part 3: Lynwood’s Worst Nightmare

  • Part 4: The Miracle Trial

  • Part 5: Working in the Gray Area

  • Part 6: Regulators: Mount Up

  • Part 7: The Perfect Breeding Ground

  • Part 8: What Happens When No One is Looking

  • Part 9: How to Get Paid for Being Fired

  • Part 10: Friends of the DA

  • Part 11: Los Banditos

  • Part 12: The Pink Hand, Big Listo, and Crook

  • Part 13: The Carnage

  • Part 14: The Compton Executioners

  • Part 15: What We Don’t Know

When I first heard this story, my thought was the 1973 Dirty Harry sequel, “Magnum Force” where a gang of cops commits murders and other crimes for their own motives, vigilantism, money or other reasons.  I have to wonder if life imitated the movies (cops decided to start gangs within) or if the movie imitated life (the same way that “Scorpio” in the original “Dirty Harry” mimicked the Zodiac killer).

More below. . . .

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Time To Backtrack Again: A movie’s anniversary and an obituary

John Landis’s horror/comedy film “An American Werewolf in London” was released on August 21, 1981.  It was a huge success at the time (US$62 million at the box office) and remains a cult classic.  It was equal parts funny, romantic, and tragic, and stands up forty years on.  And when you remember that the transformation scene was done solely with practical effects (on a US$6 million budget), it’s all the more impressive.  If you’ve never seen it, watch it.

The version “Blue Moon” playing during the transformation is utterly inappropriate for the scene, which is why it’s perfect.

On a sad note, country singer and songwriter Tom T. Hall died on Friday, age 85 (May 25, 1936 to August 20, 2021) though cause of death is not listed obituaries I’ve seen. From NPR’s item:

“In all my writing, I’ve never made judgments,” he said in 1986. “I think that’s my secret. I’m a witness. I just watch everything and don’t decide if it’s good or bad.”

The most famous and influential song that Hall wrote was recorded by Jeannie Riley: “Harper Valley P.T.A”, which reached #1 on both the country and pop music charts.  Even though it was recorded in 1968, its themes of conservative hypocrisy, sexism, and how society attacks women for the way they dress still resonates today.

Hall had many hits, both adult songs such as “I Like Beer“, “Faster Horses“, and children’s songs like “Sneaky Snake“.  I heard that one as a kid and have never forgotten it.

This Is Nice To Read: The story of Rudi Gutendorf

Alfie Harmer produces the HITC Sevens youtube channel, where he tells obscure stories from the world of football.  And I do mean both obscure and world.  He’s a passionate fan who is aware of the game on every continent.  His stories range from funny to sad to interesting, some about politics and some about corruption in the game, some just speculation and opinion.  Harmer’s latest video on German manager Rudi Gutendorf (his career record) is worth watching, even if you’re only a casual fan of the game.

Gutendorf was born in 1926, and was seven when the Nazis rise to power, nineteen when the war ended, so he was never involved.  But he grew up witnessing the atrocities first hand, and it likely affected his outlook on life.  He coached in Chile in the early 1970s, and was friends with then president Salvador Allende.  He coached in Iran during the Iran/Iraq war, and he coached in Rwanda after the genocide, uniting the Tutsis and Hutus into one team that the nation supported.  His trophy case isn’t large, but coached longer and held more manager positions and national teams than anyone else and his effect on football worldwide (including at home in Germany) makes for an amazing story.

Harmer himself admits the title is click bait-y, but that doesn’t detract from the feel good nature of it.  Gutendorf died in 2019, age 93.

You Have To Wonder: Should the US have copied the East Germans?

Afghanistan fell to the Taliban within a week, faster than a house of cards.  As it happens, it’s the same week as the sixtieth anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s construction. Berlin Wall

On August 13, 1961, the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) began to build a barbed wire and concrete “Antifascistischer Schutzwall,” or “antifascist bulwark,” between East and West Berlin. The official purpose of this Berlin Wall was to keep so-called Western “fascists” from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state, but it primarily served the objective of stemming mass defections from East to West. The Berlin Wall stood until November 9, 1989, when the head of the East German Communist Party announced that citizens of the GDR could cross the border whenever they pleased. That night, ecstatic crowds swarmed the wall. Some crossed freely into West Berlin, while others brought hammers and picks and began to chip away at the wall itself. To this day, the Berlin Wall remains one of the most powerful and enduring symbols of the Cold War.

The Berlin Wall: The Partitioning of Berlin

As World War II came to an end in 1945, a pair of Allied peace conferences at Yalta and Potsdam determined the fate of Germany’s territories. They split the defeated nation into four “allied occupation zones”: The eastern part of the country went to the Soviet Union, while the western part went to the United States, Great Britain and (eventually) France.

Even though Berlin was located entirely within the Soviet part of the country (it sat about 100 miles from the border between the eastern and western occupation zones), the Yalta and Potsdam agreements split the city into similar sectors. The Soviets took the eastern half, while the other Allies took the western. This four-way occupation of Berlin began in June 1945.

The existence of West Berlin, a conspicuously capitalist city deep within communist East Germany, “stuck like a bone in the Soviet throat,” as Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev put it. The Russians began maneuvering to drive the United States, Britain and France out of the city for good. In 1948, a Soviet blockade of West Berlin aimed to starve the western Allies out of the city. Instead of retreating, however, the United States and its allies supplied their sectors of the city from the air. This effort, known as the Berlin Airlift, lasted for more than a year and delivered more than 2.3 million tons of food, fuel and other goods to West Berlin. The Soviets called off the blockade in 1949.

Maybe the US should have spent the last few years building a wall around Kabul and the airport.  Keeping the city a “free zone” would have been easier than trying to govern an ungovernable country.  It’s not like the Taliban have an airforce to shoot down planes flying in and out.  And I doubt they have any stinger missiles left. How the building of the Berlin Wall started with a lie

Just before the construction of the Berlin Wall began 60 years ago, Walter Ulbricht, the former leader of East Germany, famously claimed: “nobody has any intention of building a wall”.

Rumours had spread that East Berlin would close its border, but Ulbricht played down the issued at a June 1961 press conference.

When a West German journalist asked whether he believed creating a “free city” required the construction of a state border, Ulbricht said no one planned to build a wall.

For some, his words became the most famous lie of the decade.

Two months later, on August 13, 1961, construction began on the infamous structure. Rail links to the West were cut in East Berlin, roads were torn up and barbed wire was rolled out.

The Berlin Wall started off as a simple barrier made from barbed wire and concrete blocks, but over time it was reinforced and encircled the whole of West Berlin. Its final version was built in 1975 and ran for 150 kilometres.

For decades, the wall kept families apart and became a symbol of German division.


Let’s Backtrack: The IBM 5150 PC turned forty this week

IBM released their first personal computer, the 5150 PC, on August 12th, 1981.

In the late 1970s, DIY computer people saw IBM aka “Big Blue” as an immovable and tone deaf corporate beauracracy.  And in reality, they were, still producing punch card mainframes for corporations and governments.  They weren’t even in the university business, that was primarily Digital Electronics Corporation’s territory.  This is why small business startups like MITS, Apple and Commodore began.  And its why corporations like Tandy/Radio Shack and Atari expanded into home computing, because the future wasn’t just calculators.

When the home computer revolution began, IBM wasn’t in it.  Early companies saw personal computing as the future, wanting to avoid IBM’s deaf ears, inflexibility and mainframe mentality.  And when sales went from millions to tens to hundreds of millions, IBM knew they had to get a share of the market or risk being left behind.  IBM’s chairman Frank Cary snubbed Atari’s offer to build one for them, choosing to build computer that would be seen as a business machine, not a game platform.

Other PC companies had been developing their first and second generation computers for years, so when IBM decided to build their own PC, they were already two steps behind.  It would take years and massive amounts of cash to design and build their own system, so they decided to take a shortcut: their development team, headed by Bill Lowe, took “off the shelf” parts already on the market and proven to work, and put them together, massively reducing developement time and cost.  What would normally take five years, they put together in one.

More below. . . .

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Their Minds Have Gone: And they have lost their census

The US census is out (NPR), and the rightwingnuts are worried.  Very worried.

For the first time, the white population is in decline.  While the percentage of Black people has remained constant, there are increased percentages of Latinx and Asian people (who nearly doubled).  It’s likely within the next 10-20 years that the Global Majority (I love that new term) will outnumber whites in the US.

Beau of the Fifth Column is feeling jovial about it.  He says,

I watch a lot of conservative talk shows and listen to conservative talk radio, and they have told me my entire life that “it’s not hard to be a minority in this country”.  I don’t know what hey’re concerned about, unless of course, they’ve been lying this whole time.  They knew it was unjust, and they spread the lie in an attempt to uphold it.

[. . .]

All of a sudden there’s a lot of people that are afraid because they may be the minority race in the United States.  They’re truly concerned about this.  If that is a concern, it is an acknowledgement that there are systemic issues in the country dealing with race that work to disadvantage certain groups.  If you’re afraid of that, maybe you should start working on correcting those problems now.

[. . .]

One of the things that has always amazed me about the people in that fight is that they’re fighting for equality.  They’re not fighting for vengeance.

This no doubt also explains the ludicrous “idea” republicans threw out last month, saying that only white people who have white babies should be allowed to vote. (They didn’t say the crossed out words, but you know that they meant it.)  They “think” the fear of being racially outpopulated would spur on white people to outbreed non-white people, but it won’t.  $50,000 cash handouts might make young white people have kids, but if it’s only given to white people, there’s no way that would pass.  Not even amongst the majority of republicans.

Two of the fastest growing US cities are temporary phenomenon: The Villages, Florida and Phoenix, Arizona, the latter of which has surpassed Philadelphia as the fifth largest city in the US.  Both are a result of boomers (1946-1964) retiring and moving there, but as boomers begin a mass die-off after 2025 (when their median age will by 70) their numbers will decline.  Boomers may temporarily turn those states republican, but in ten years it could be a permanent reversal.  The Damage Report (youtube) also has a breakdown and opinion on the census.

Remember Fox Nuisance mouthpiece John Gibson’s “editorial” from May 2006?  A refresher, courtesy of Media Matters:

Gibson: “Make more babies” because in “[t]wenty-five years … the majority of the population is Hispanic”

On the May 11 edition of Fox News’ The Big Story, host John Gibson advised viewers during the “My Word” segment of his program to “[d]o your duty. Make more babies.” He then cited a May 10 article, which reported that nearly half of all children under the age of five in the United States are minorities. Gibson added: “By far, the greatest number [of children under five] are Hispanic. You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic.” Gibson later claimed: “To put it bluntly, we need more babies.” Then, referring to Russia’s projected decline in population, Gibson claimed: “So far, we are doing our part here in America but Hispanics can’t carry the whole load. The rest of you, get busy. Make babies, or put another way — a slogan for our times: ‘procreation not recreation’.”

By “we”, he obviously meant Fox Nuisance’s white audience, and white people in general.

The far right wanted a race war, and they got it.  But they wanted and expected it to be a violent war they could win, since they control the weapons and the cops.  Instead it was a war of hearts and minds, of ethics, decency, and concern for other people.  That’s a war they could never win.

Don’t Ask: August 1st is International Childfree Day

As the title says, August 1st is International Childfree Day, a day to celebrate those who choose not to have children.  Some may see that as a contradiction, to celebrate what looks like “doing nothing”.  In reality, being Childfree is a carefully thought out decision made by responsible people who have asked themselves:

  • Do I want children?
  • What about my ambitions, goals, and needs?
  • Am I financially secure?
  • Do I have the time to care for kids?
  • Can I give them a stable and secure home?
  • Am I physically capable of raising them?
  • Am I mentally and emotionally prepared for it?
  • Do I have a genetic condition I might pass on?
  • What about the environment and climate change?
  • Can I raise them in a politically stable country?

Among MANY other valid reasons.

Being Childfree is:

  • the choice not to have children
  • a carefully thought out decision
  • a personal choice, and a right of bodily autonomy
  • an environmental, human rights and feminist issue

Being Childfree is NOT:

  • “selfish” and “self-absorbed”
  • “euthanasia”, “genocide” or “baby killers”
  • “irresponsible” and “uneducated”
  • “failures” and “barren” women

Questioning Childfree people’s decisions is:

  • invasion of privacy
  • controlling and manipulative
  • sexual harassment
  • demeaning and insulting of people’s intelligence

The percent of people who are Childfree is increasing with every generation, highest among Generation Y and Millennials, similar to how they the most likely to be LGBTQIA.  These are people aware of their rights, who think globally informed, and are not as constrained by social pressure as earlier generations were.

Why a generation is choosing to be child-free

The biggest contribution anyone can make to the climate crisis is not to have children. So why do we still treat parenthood as the default?

When I think that it won’t hurt too much, I imagine the children I will not have. Would they be more like me or my partner? Would they have inherited my thatch of hair, our terrible eyesight? Mostly, a child is so abstract to me, living with high rent, student debt, no property and no room, that the absence barely registers. But sometimes I suddenly want a daughter with the same staggering intensity my father felt when he first cradled my tiny body in his big hands. I want to feel that reassuring weight, a reminder of the persistence of life.

[. . .]

Then I remember the numbers. If my baby were to be born today, they would be 10 years old when a quarter of the world’s insects could be gone, when 100 million children are expected to be suffering extreme food scarcity. My child would be 23 when 99% of coral reefs are set to experience severe bleaching. They would be 30 – my age now – when 200 million climate refugees will be roaming the world, when half of all species on Earth are predicted to be extinct in the wild. They would be 80 in 2100, when parts of Australia, Africa and the United States could be uninhabitable.

We are in the middle of a mass extinction, the first caused by a single species. There are 7.8 billion of us, on a planet that scientists estimate can support 1.5 billion humans living as the average US citizen does today.

How many boomers and Generation X people were pushed into unwanted marriage, especially LGBTQIA people?  Pressured into having kids are parent demanding “grandchildren”?  How many women didn’t have access to abortion and birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancy?  There could be millions of people over forty who wanted to be Childfree but didn’t know it was an option, or had it taken away from them.

There is nothing selfish about choosing not to make a problem worse.


Here’s a CBC podcast from 2018, thirty minutes discussing why people are Childfree.  Being interviewed is Meghan Daum, editor of “Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids”.  This comic by Patricia Flaviana appears on the CBC page:

Daum’s title contains three insults and fictions hurled at Childfree people.

  • “Selfish”?  How is not adding another consumer of natural resources ‘selfish’?
  • “Shallow”?  People don’t choose to be Childfree without a LOT of thought.
  • “Self-absorbed”?  People who are Childfree have time to do – and actually do – charitable work and help take care of nieces and nephews, unlike parents.

Having children is an ability that some people have, not an “obligation” for anyone.

You.  Don’t.  Owe.  Anyone.  Children.

Not your family, not society, not the ovum or sperm that will end up being disposed by your body and never become people.

There are a collection of articles on being Childfree, below the fold.

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That Was Subtle: The gold medal for trolling goes to Japan

In many Asian cultures, sarcasm isn’t very common.  I remember how South Koreans would describe my sarcasm as “cold”, and other times in other countries (no names, so as not to insult anyone) people have not picked up on sarcasm that North Americans or Europeans readily would.

So when the men’s doubles badminton gold medals were handed out on Sunday, either what happened was purely an accident, or Japan’s olympic committee has taken trolling to a whole new level.

Over the first week of the olympics, Japan’s official scoring table has listed the name Taiwan instead of “Chinese Taipei” which Beijing demands and many sports bodies kowtow to them, and to use a five leafed flower shape with red and blue outlines.  At first, they did, but over the past week Japan’s OC and official reports have used the name Taiwan.  And it’s not just Japan, many countries’ media (even Russia) are using either or both the name Taiwan and the official Taiwan flag on the olympic medal tables (red field, blue canton, white 12 pointed star) instead of the five petal white flag or the China-approved name.

During the medal ceremonies, the gold, silver, and bronze winners stand on the podium, bouquets of flowers are given to each, and the gold medal winner’s national anthem or approved music, in the case of Russian athletes, is played.  When the women’s 59kg gold medal was awarded (more below the fold), Taiwan’s national anthem was not played because the IOC kowtows to China.  The lack of an anthem being played with the games in Japan is questionable, in light of Japan’s imperial history of occupation.  When Sohn Kee-chung of Korea won the marathon at the 1936 olympics, he was forced to run under a Japanese name, and the imperial Japanese flag and anthem played, not the Korean anthem.

Today, Taiwan won its second gold in men’s doubles badminton.  The Taiwan team beat China’s in the final and appear on the podium together, which is a slap in the face to Beijing.  But someone at the Japanese OC decided to rub salt into the wound by playing Taiwan’s national anthem at the olympics for the first time since the 1970s.

The most subtle part of the trolling was the bouquet of flowers.  Look at the photo all three pairs of medallists are holding: they’re sunflowers.  It is the Sunflower Movement which elected president Tsai Ing-wen, and it is the Sunflower Movement which demands full independence from the PRC, plus international recognition from the UN.  I’ll bet Winnie the Pooh is fuming.


Taiwan’s flag anthem played for first time in front of Chinese athletes at the Olympics

Taiwan’s flag anthem was played in front of Chinese athletes for the first time in the history of the Olympics on Saturday, when the Taiwanese team beat China in the badminton men’s doubles final.

Taiwanese badminton duo Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin beat the Chinese team by 21-18 and 21-12, clinching the second gold medal for the self-governing island at the Tokyo 2020 Games. China took home silver with the loss.

Both teams attended the medal ceremony and listened as Taiwan’s flag anthem was played. Taiwan has both an anthem and a flag anthem, the latter of which is commonly played at international sporting events.



China went into this olympics expecting to win eight gold medels in women’s and men’s weightlifting. Those plans have gone up in smoke.

Taiwan’s Kuo Hsing-chun (郭婞淳), also named Kuo Tana, won the women’s 59kg weight lifting gold.  If you’ve see her photo in the news (see below), you’ll recognize that she’s not ethnic Chinese; rather, she is one of the Indigenous Amis people of Taiwan. Tana is her Amis name.  Fang Wan-ling (方莞靈) finished fourth in the 49kg weight class but may win bronze if China’s Hou Zhihui fails her doping retest. (Hou is the woman with the picture of facial exertion that the PRC media is complaining about, calling it “unflattering”.) Fang is another Indigenous Taiwanese person, hailing from the Tsou people.

Philippine weight lifter Hidilyn Diaz also upset the PRC by winning the 55kg weight class.  Diaz had a lot going against her: no financial support from the Philippine government, and she was falsely accused by Philippine “president” Duterte of being part of a plot to overthrow his government.  She might give credit and thanks to her superior officers in the Philippine military, but not Duterte.  I love that this will be a big poke in the eye for him too.