John Norris – A Government of the People


John Norris is running for Iowa Governor with a campaign based on a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. John is a 5th generation Iowan, raised on his family’s farm in southwest Iowa, and a graduate of Simpson College and the University of Iowa College of Law. Take a look at his campaign video below.


John Norris’s experience is phenomenal — Chief of Staff for Tom Vilsack, as both Iowa Governor and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture — Chairman of Iowa Utilities Board — Appointed by President Obama to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — State Director of Iowa Farm Unity Coalition — Managed Iowa presidential campaigns of Jesse Jackson and John Kerry — Represented the U.S. at the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization and World Food Program in Rome, Italy.


Read about John Norris’s positions on the issues at:


Below are a few photos of John.



POLITICS – Transcending the Party Divide

As part of a larger project, we’re compiling examples of bi-partisan collaboration. The following is the audio of a discussion with Iowa legislators Jim Ross Lightfoot and Dave Nagle discussing how past cooperation among legislators and civility helped bring progress. This is audio from the Iowa Public Radio show “River to River” with Ben Kieffer and Emily Woodbury on 25 Jan 2017. This content has been placed here in compliance with fair use to provide the ability to embed it for purposes of social commentary and education in a non-commercial context for limited use.

Marco Rubio Addresses Violence and Intolerance in Politics


In this video clip, Marco Rubio addresses the recent wave of violence and intolerance in politics. This video is being used for educational purposes and is posted here in compliance with Fair Use guidelines.

Date: 12 March 2016, 10:12 AM ET
Source: NBC News

North Korea’s New Patriotic Slogans

On 12 February 2015, the North Korean government published over 300 nationalistic, socialist, patriotic slogans. The full list is below. You can read the original document on the North Korean government’s website. There’s also a BBC commentary about the sayings.

Selected Sayings

Here are some that seem to have universal appeal:

  • Thoroughly get rid of abuse of authority and bureaucratism!
  • Serve the country and people!
  • Aid the people!
  • Go beyond the cutting edge!
  • Let us encourage organic farming on an extensive scale!
  • Grow vegetables extensively in greenhouses!
  • Railways are the arteries of the country.
  • Let us live not merely for today but for tomorrow!

Korea’s New Patriotic Slogans

  • Let us all turn out in the general offensive to hasten final victory in the revolutionary spirit of Paektu!
  • Let us greet the 70th anniversaries of national liberation and Party founding with high political enthusiasm and brilliant labour feats!
  • Let us glorify the 70th anniversaries of national liberation and Party founding as revolutionary, auspicious events noteworthy in the history of Kim Il Sung’s nation and Kim Jong Il’s Korea!
  • The great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il are the eternal leaders of our revolution, the sun of Juche and the incarnation of the dignified powerful Paektusan nation.
  • Let us uphold the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il as the eternal leaders of our Party and people and as the sun of Juche!
  • The great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il will always be with us!
  • Let us glorify the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun eternally as the supreme sanctuary of Juche, as a grand monument to the immortality of the leaders!
  • Let us arm ourselves firmly with the revolutionary ideas of the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il!
  • Long live the great Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism!
  • Let us model the whole Party and all society on Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism!
  • Let us advance vigorously united firmly with one mind and one will as befit the descendants of Comrade Kim Il Sung and the soldiers and followers of Comrade Kim Jong Il!
  • Let us cherish the ties of kinship with Comrade Kim Jong Il as our lifeline!
  • Let us glorify the noble revolutionary careers and undying exploits of the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il for all generations to come!
  • Let us glorify the achievement of national liberation by Generalissimo Kim Il Sung, hero of national resurrection and legendary hero of the anti-Japanese war, for all eternity!
  • Long live the great victory in the war against Japan!
  • Let us glorify the great Generalissimo Kim Jong Il’s ideas of and achievements in the Songun revolution down through the generations!
  • Let us brilliantly inherit and develop the glorious revolutionary traditions of our Party!
  • Let us accomplish the Korean revolution in the revolutionary spirit of Paektu, the spirit of the blizzards of Paektu!
  • The lines and policies advanced by the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and their instructions are textbooks for the revolution.
  • Let us carry out the lifetime instructions of the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il whatever the conditions without an inch of deflection and without a step of compromise!
  • Let us advance straight along the road of independence, Songun and socialism opened by the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il!
  • Let us build our country into the most powerful one in the world, into a people’s fairyland, as wished by the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il!
  • Do everything the way the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il did!
  • Let us step up the building of a prosperous country by applying Kim Jong Il’s patriotism!
  • Let us exalt the brilliance of the great Kim Il Sung’s country, General Kim Jong Il’s country, following the leadership of Comrade Kim Jong Un!
  • Let us stoutly continue, following the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un, the march that started on Paektu!
  • The single-hearted unity is the greatest foundation and the most powerful weapon of our revolution.
  • Let us defend with our very lives the Party Central Committee headed by the great Comrade Kim Jong Un!
  • Let us defend the single-hearted unity of the Party and revolutionary ranks around the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un in a thoroughgoing way and consolidate it rock-solid!
  • Let all the service personnel and people form rings and rings of fortress around the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un!
  • Long live the glorious Workers’ Party of Korea, which organizes and guides all victories of our people!
  • Let us strengthen and develop the Workers’ Party of Korea for all ages to come into a glorious party of Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il!
  • Let us set up a new milestone in improving the Party’s leadership ability and fighting efficiency in this year, which marks its 70th founding anniversary!
  • Let us establish the Party’s monolithic leadership system more thoroughly across the Party and society!
  • Let the whole Party share the ideas, breathe the same air and keep pace with the Party Central Committee!
  • Let us establish across the Party rigorous discipline by which it moves as one under the unified leadership of the Party Central Committee!
  • Let us defend the prestige of the Party Central Committee in every way possible through the struggle to implement the Party’s ideas and champion its policies!
  • Turn your units and areas into places that adjoin the yard of the office of the Party Central Committee, places where the Party’s call, breath and pulse run high!
  • Keep up with the implementation of the Party’s lines and policies as the major line of Party work!
  • We serve the people!
  • Let us make the principle of holding the masses dearest run through Party work as a whole!
  • Let us make the climate of respecting, loving and relying on the people prevail across the Party!
  • Focus the major effort in Party work on improving the people’s standard of living!
  • Let Party organizations and officials work devotedly for the people to live up to their highest expectations!
  • Let the whole Party direct its main effort to the work with the people!
  • Raise all people into ones strong in idea and faith with the affection and the feeling of kinship as befits a motherly party!
  • Even though one may have 99 per cent of demerits and only one per cent of merit or conscience, boldly trust him and lead him to start with a clean slate!
  • Regard giving play to the spiritual strength of the masses as the main thing, compulsory path, of Party work!
  • Let Party officials learn the Party’s methods of work with the people and become skilful in remoulding them and giving play to their spiritual strength!
  • Thoroughly get rid of abuse of authority and bureaucratism!
  • Regard supply service work as an important link in the whole chain of Party work!
  • Let Party cells become death-defying corps and pioneers in implementing the Party’s policies!
  • Let us hasten final victory through a revolutionary ideological offensive!
  • Hold fast to ideological work as the top priority!
  • Let us raise a strong wind of studying the great Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism!
  • Concentrate on education in the greatness of the leaders, Kim Jong Il’s patriotism, faith, anti-imperialist and class consciousness, and morality!
  • Keep the revolutionary faith to the death!
  • Fight death-defyingly for our country and nation!
  • Let us bear deep in mind the lessons from the class struggle and its truth!
  • Let the Party’s information officials work as the buglers of the anti-Japanese guerrilla army did!
  • Make all well-informed of the Party’s policies as they are of their own family affairs!
  • Fire an opening salvo of an ideological campaign and make our fire concentrated, regular and accurate!
  • Step up the three-revolution red flag movement!
  • Frustrate the imperialist moves for ideological and cultural infiltration by dint of our revolutionary ideology and culture!
  • Let the whole Party become information and motivation workers!
  • Demonstrate the revolutionary mettle as befit members of the Workers’ Party of Korea in the today’s general offensive true to the pledge taken in front of its flag!
  • Our Party’s new line of simultaneously promoting the two fronts is a permanent strategic line that we must pursue as long as there exists the threat of aggression by the imperialists.
  • All out for a campaign to implement the Party’s line of simultaneously promoting the two fronts!
  • The People’s Army is the pillar and main force of the Songun revolution and a revolutionary armed force of the Workers’ Party of Korea.
  • Let us model the entire army on Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism!
  • Adorn the 70th anniversaries of national liberation and Party founding with proud successes in consolidating the country’s military strength!
  • Let the People’s Army remain the reliable vanguard and solid cornerstone of the Songun revolution holding aloft the red flag of the Workers’ Party of Korea as the foremost colours of the revolution!
  • Become the props and iron shields that support and defend the lineage of Mt. Paektu alone to the death!
  • Establish the respected Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un’s monolithic command system more firmly throughout the army!
  • Implement to the letter the four-point strategic line and three major tasks for increasing military strength!
  • Make the entire army the leading force of guards who advance straight ahead with their guns levelled only in the direction indicated by the Party!
  • Let the People’s Army become an army strong in idea and faith, a pioneer in achieving unity and the first guardian of the unity, which is unfailingly loyal to the Party and the leader!
  • Let the entire army become a unit of genuine comrades-in-arms!
  • Consolidate in every way the political and military might of Kim Jong Un’s powerful revolutionary army by vigorously conducting the movement of winning the titles of O Jung Hup-led 7th Regiment and Guards Unit!
  • Add brilliance to our revolutionary armed forces’ proud tradition of winning all battles!
  • This year is a year of great significance, in which we will mark the 40th anniversary of the publication of the five-point policy for military training by the great Generalissimo Kim Il Sung and the 25th anniversary of the formulation of the four major principles for military training by the great Generalissimo Kim Jong Il.
  • Training is also a battle!
  • Let the entire army bubble with enthusiasm for intensifying training as anti-Japanese guerrillas did on Mt. Paektu!
  • Glorify this significant year as a milestone in improving the quality of combat and political training!
  • Let the entire army be prepared as crack shots by raising more fiercely the flames of the movement of becoming accurate riflemen and gunners!
  • Should the enemy dare to invade our country, annihilate them to the last man so that none of them will survive to sign the instrument of surrender!
  • Be constantly on the alert without a moment’s relaxation!
  • Establish iron discipline to develop the People’s Army into an elite revolutionary force to the hilt!
  • All officers, become field commanders who are capable of dealing with modern warfare!
  • Let us develop battalions and companies into ever-victorious, elite combat units and make them soldiers’ dear villages and homes that adjoin the yard of the office of the Party Central Committee!
  • Enrich the life of service personnel by making sustained efforts to develop soy bean farming, fishing and animal husbandry as the main thrusts!
  • The supply service officers of the People’s Army, work with devotion for their soldiers like those of the anti-Japanese guerrilla army!
  • Give full play to the match-for-a-hundred spirit and fighting efficiency of the People’s Army on the major fronts of building a thriving nation!
  • Serve the country and people!
  • Aid the people!
  • Let the wives of officers become dependable assistants to their husbands!
  • Officers and men of the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces, sharpen the sword for defending their leader, system and people!
  • Let us become iron shields and red warriors who defend our Party, system and people to the death!
  • Let us establish the climate of attaching importance to military affairs more firmly across society!
  • The Worker-Peasant Red Guards is a revolutionary armed force of our Party and a reliable wing of the People’s Army.
  • The Worker-Peasant Red Guards and the Young Red Guards, be fully prepared for an all-people resistance by intensifying training in a real-war atmosphere!
  • Let us turn the whole country into a socialist fairyland by the joint operation of the army and people!
  • Let us achieve final victory on the strength of the great army-people unity and all-people resistance based on the revolutionary soldier spirit!
  • Always live the way you did as a soldier!
  • Let us look after the families of those who fell in action, honoured disabled soldiers, war veterans and soldiers’ families with sincerity!
  • Defence industry is the reliable arsenal of the Songun revolution.
  • Effect a fresh turn in developing defence industry by giving full play to the spirit of Kunja-ri!
  • Proactively develop and perfect powerful cutting-edge military hardware of our own style!
  • Step up the efforts to make defence industry Juche-oriented and independent, modern and scientific!
  • Let the defence industry sector make a positive contribution to building an economic giant and improving the people’s standard of living!
  • Our Party is steadfast in its determination to make our people, who are the best in the world, enjoy all socialist benefits as soon as possible.
  • Let us tend the precious seeds sown by the great Comrade Kim Jong Ilfor the building of an economic giant and the improvement of the people’s living standards, in order to make them bear fruit in reality!
  • Science and technology is the engine of socialist construction.
  • Let the science front stand at the forefront to fire a salvo for the triumph of socialism!
  • Let us build a fairyland for the people by dint of science!
  • Scientific research is an area of acute confrontation with imperialism!
  • Go beyond the cutting edge!
  • Accelerate the industrial revolution in the new century by introducing CNC technology into the production lines and achieving their full automation!
  • Launch more cutting-edge sci-tech satellites and applications satellites of our style!
  • Raise the level of modernization and scientification in weather survey and forecast!
  • There is no border in science, but our scientists and technicians have the socialist motherland of Juche and the great Party.
  • Scientists and technicians, stand in the vanguard of the struggle to build a thriving country that is developing, civilizing and advancing at a fast pace!
  • Prove the validity and vitality of the Party’s policies in reality by proactively developing cutting-edge science and technology!
  • Build “gold mountains” and “treasure mountains” with brilliant scientific and technological achievements!
  • To resolve the food problem of the people and improve their dietary life on a higher level with crop cultivation, animal husbandry and fishing as the main thrusts is the most important task facing our Party at present.
  • Agriculture is the trench on the first line of the forward echelon of the campaign to defend socialism and the main thrust area for the building of an economic giant!
  • Let us glorify through generations the new history of “gold plains” created by the great Comrade Kim Jong Il!
  • Let us make our country overflow with rice by boosting cereals production!
  • Actively introduce water-saving farming and other scientific farming methods!
  • Let us work hard to secure water resources as an all-people campaign!
  • Let us encourage organic farming on an extensive scale!
  • Establish the food production cycle of crop cultivation and livestock farming, and fruit growing and livestock farming!
  • Let us beat the world in fruit farming by making it scientific, modern and intensive!
  • Make fruits cascade down and their sweet aroma fill the air on the sea of apple trees at the foot of Chol Pass!
  • Grow vegetables extensively in greenhouses!
  • Let us turn ours into a country of mushrooms by making mushroom cultivation scientific, intensive and industrialized!
  • This year we will mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of the sub-workteam management system by the great Comrade Kim Il Sung, which is the advantageous form and method of our style to organize and manage for production.
  • Demonstrate the advantages of the sub-workteam management system to the full!
  • Properly apply the field responsibility principle within the sub-workteam management system in order to make it pay off in agricultural production!
  • Press on with the South Hwanghae Province waterway project in the revolutionary spirit of death-defying implementation and self-reliance!
  • Let us carry through the great Generalissimos’ instructions on “grass for meat”!
  • Let us expedite the construction of the large-scale livestock farming base in the Sepho area!
  • Produce larger quantities of meat, eggs and milk holding high the banner of science-based livestock farming!
  • Create a new history of “gold sea” by emulating the fishing sector of the People’s Army!
  • Let this socialist country resound with Song of Big Fish Haul and be permeated with the fragrant smell of fish and other seafoods!
  • Modernize fishing vessels and implements and actively introduce advanced fishing methods!
  • Let the strong wind of fish farming blow across the country!
  • Conduct on a large scale fish and other seafood farming in rivers, lakes and seas!
  • Resolutely thwart the sanctions schemes of the imperialists by effecting a great upswing in light industry!
  • Produce larger quantities of high-quality consumer goods which are favoured by the people and have competitive edge on the world market!
  • Speed up the work to make foodstuff factories fully automated, germ- and dust-free!
  • Keep the laughter of the children ring by increasing the production of their foodstuffs!
  • More stylish school uniforms and quality school things for our dear children!
  • Give fullest play to the vitality of the movement of producing August 3 consumer goods!
  • Let the Tanchon area make an active contribution to improving the people’s standard of living by boosting up production!
  • Let us turn all counties into the people’s fairyland by applying the spirit of the historic Changsong Joint Conference!
  • Electricity is the lifeline of the national economy.
  • Let the whole Party, the entire army and all the people be enlisted to increase the electric-power generation radically!
  • Complete with credit the construction of the multi-tier power stations on the Chongchon River until the 70th anniversary of Party founding!
  • Speed up the construction of the Paektusan Songun Youth Power Station, Orangchon Power Station, Ryesonggang Power Station and Wonsan Army-People Power Station!
  • Raise the efficiency of the generating equipment to the maximum and prevent the loss of power in transmission!
  • Let us definitely convert the electricity control system of the country into an electricity-saving one!
  • Develop and make effective use of wind, tidal, geothermal and solar energy!
  • Coal-miners!
  • The height of coal heaps means the increase in electricity generation and the tempo of the building of an economic giant.
  • Let us support the Party with increased coal production!
  • Concentrate efforts on the production of coal for electricity generation and supply high-quality coal in larger amounts to the thermal power stations!
  • Give top priority to the supply of equipment and materials required for coal production!
  • The metal and chemical industries are twin buttresses of an economic giant.
  • Kindle fierce flames of production upsurge in Songjin and Chollima steel complexes!
  • Bring the Juche iron production system to perfection and normalize its production on a high level!
  • Send larger quantities of high-grade iron ore to metallurgical factories!
  • Fertilizer means rice and socialism.
  • Let Hungnam and Namhung produce Juche fertilizer in a larger amount!
  • Let the large-scale chemical factories make an active contribution to ensuring domestic production of raw materials for light industry and building materials!
  • Railways are the arteries of the country.
  • Let the rail transport sector establish rigid discipline as the army does and fully satisfy the demands by the national economy for transport!
  • Accelerate the work to make the railways heavy-duty, high-speed and IT-based!
  • Bring to completion the rehabilitation of the northern railways as early as possible!
  • Let us improve the appearance of the railway stations and the areas adjacent to railways by the concerted efforts of the service personnel and people!
  • Develop air transport onto a new high!
  • Build the Wonsan Port into a world-class one!
  • Develop and manufacture the machines and equipment required for modernization!
  • Produce and supply major ordered equipment in time and in a qualitative way!
  • Explore and make rational use of valuable underground resources of the country!
  • Make foreign trade multilateral and diversified!
  • Accelerate the development projects of the Wonsan-Mt. Kumgang international tourist zone and economic development parks!
  • Builders!
  • Let us usher in a great golden age of construction by thoroughly applying the Party’s Juche-oriented idea on architecture!
  • Set up in larger numbers monumental structures in which the Juche character, national identity, originality, convenience and formative and artistic beauty form perfect harmony!
  • Hold fast to the principle of prioritizing convenience, aesthetic beauty and the outlook on the future in designing and building work!
  • Develop zero-energy, zero-carbon and green architectural technologies and introduce geothermal cooling-and-heating system!
  • Ensure on the highest level the combination of designing, building work and building materials, the three elements of construction!
  • Sustain in construction the features unique to one’s province and region!
  • Complete with credit the construction of Mirae Scientists Street and other major projects and thus splendidly adorn the venue of the grand October celebration!
  • Land administration is a patriotic undertaking of lasting significance for achieving the prosperity of the country and creating the well-being of the people.
  • Let the whole Party, the entire army and all the people turn out in the war to ameliorate nature, in the campaign to restore the forests of the country!
  • Vigorously conduct the movement of winning the titles of forest of socialist patriotism and model county in afforestation!
  • Let us cover the whole country with fruit and other trees and flowers!
  • Introduce scientific, industrial and intensive methods into the production of tree saplings!
  • Bring tideland under reclamation on a grand scale so as to widen the land of the country!
  • Turn all the rivers into those that give benefits to the country, are full of treasures and bring happiness to the people!
  • Work out scrupulous measures to prevent damages from flooding, severe drought, storm and heavy snowfall!
  • Hasten the work to build up roads for modern, heavy-duty and high-speed purposes!
  • Devote pure conscience to road maintenance like the members of the family workteam on Kubong Pass!
  • Let the cosmos flowers bloom all along the roads and railways!
  • Let us launch a vigorous society-wide campaign to conserve the environment and nature!
  • Let us protect and make use of underground, forest and marine resources in order to add glory to our legendary country full of treasures!
  • Let us develop Pyongyang more splendidly into a majestic and picturesque world-class city, as the centre of Songun culture!
  • Let us turn the whole country into a socialist fairyland by modelling it on Pyongyang, capital of the revolution!
  • Keep streets, villages, mountains and rivers as neat and tidy as one’s own courtyard!
  • Plant a large number of flowering and cover plants so that no land is left bare!
  • Improving economic management is an urgent requirement for building an economic giant.
  • Let us establish an economic management method of our style as demanded by the developing reality!
  • Ensure that producers fully discharge their responsibility and role as masters of production in economic management!
  • Ensure maximum profit in economic activities while firmly adhering to socialist principles!
  • Conduct production and management in conformity to the objective economic laws and as required by modern science and technology!
  • Let us strengthen the Cabinet responsibility system, Cabinet-centred system in the economic work!
  • Work out a rational and effective strategy for business operation and enterprise management based on the national strategy for economic development!
  • Hold fast to the principles of scientific accuracy, viability and enlisting in planning work!
  • Radically improve the quality of products and enhance their competitive edge!
  • Self-reliance is the only way to survive!
  • Put production on a normal footing and speed up the advance of socialism, holding aloft the banner of self-reliance!
  • Let us realize modernization, relying on our own strength and technology!
  • Get rid of the proclivity to imports and ensure domestic production of raw and other materials and equipment!
  • Establish exacting order of regular operation, regular repair and regular maintenance at all units!
  • Be in charge of your workplaces and villages, split into square metres, and take good care of them with the attitude as befitting masters!
  • Economy means increased production and patriotism.
  • Economize on every watt of electricity, every drop of fuel oil and water, and every gramme of coal and cement to the maximum!
  • It is a firm will of our Party to create at the fastest speed the highest level of civilization, which would be envied by the world.
  • Let us bring about a revolution in education in the new century to develop ours into a country of education, a talented nation!
  • Decisively improve the quality of the universal 12-year compulsory education!
  • Develop the contents of education into practicable, comprehensive and modern ones!
  • Closely combine theoretical education with practical education for students to learn useful knowledge!
  • Let us vigorously push forward educational work, viewing it as one of the important national affairs involving the entire Party, the whole country and all the people!
  • Let us closely combine family education with social and school education and bring up the coming generations to be honest and sound!
  • Let teachers become roots and foundations for the future of the motherland!
  • Let us make all the people well versed in science and technology, and develop our country into a scientific and technological power, a talented nation!
  • Speed up making the working class well versed in science and technology with the rooms for disseminating sci-tech knowledge as bases!
  • Physical culture and sports are important in demonstrating the national strength and preparing all the people for labour and national defence.
  • Let us raise the status of our country to that of a sports power at an earliest date possible!
  • Let us fiercely raise the sports wind across the country!
  • The height of a medal-awarding podium represents the prestige of the motherland!
  • Glorify the honour of Songun Korea before the eyes of the world by winning more gold medals!
  • Play sports games in an offensive way, the way the anti-Japanese guerrillas did!
  • Let us make sports mass-based and part of our everyday life!
  • Encourage folk games and sports events participated by the masses and develop physical training for national defence!
  • Journalists and other media persons, and creators and artistes!
  • Bring about a fresh revolution in mass media!
  • Let mass media become a travelling companion dear to the masses and a pathfinder of the times!
  • Make larger numbers of ideological “missiles” capable of severely damaging the enemy and instilling firm confidence in victory among our service personnel and people!
  • Let us support the Songun-based leadership of the Party by creating large numbers of masterpieces!
  • Learn from the revolutionary and militant manner of creating works developed by the Moranbong Band to bring about innovations in creative activities!
  • Create excellent works of art and literature that portray the revolutionary careers and immortal exploits of the peerlessly great men of Mt. Paektu!
  • Kindle the flames of a fresh revolution in cinema, starting from the production of animations!
  • Make the advancing ranks brim over with enthusiasm and optimism by producing large numbers of songs that champion the Party’s policies and enlivening folk songs!
  • Let us turn the whole country into a land of the arts and make the arts mass-based!
  • Make every workplace overflow with revolutionary and fighting morale by actively conducting mass-based cultural and artistic activities!
  • Devotion is the attribute and lifeblood of the socialist public health service.
  • Show people utmost devotion the way the medical workers in the Chollima era did!
  • Improve the hygiene and anti-epidemic work and preventive and curative medical care so as to give fullest play to the advantages of the socialist public health system!
  • Bring to perfection telemedicine and the medical information network!
  • Boost the production of highly-efficacious medicines conducive to promoting the people’s health!
  • Let us make the whole society pulsate with national sentiments and noble and beautiful lifestyle!
  • Let us establish cultured ways in production and life on a high level!
  • Let us conserve the excellent cultural heritage of our nation and inherit and develop them!
  • The people’s government is a powerful political weapon in building a thriving nation and is responsible for the people’s livelihoods.
  • Let us further develop the most advantageous people-centred socialist system of our own style!
  • Let us consolidate our people’s power to make it rock-solid!
  • Let us give full play to the advantages and might of socialism so as to make socialism as different in all respects from capitalism as heaven is from earth!
  • Let the people-oriented policies and favours of the Party and the state reach the people as they are!
  • Steadily improve the people’s living standards so as to make the cheering for the Workers’ Party and socialism resound!
  • Let us make the laudable traits of taking care of orphaned children, the elderly with no one to support them and people with disabilities a tradition of the country that has become one large family!
  • Let us create a thoroughgoing revolutionary atmosphere of law observance throughout society by strengthening obedience to the socialist law!
  • Let us all observe the country’s law and order voluntarily with a noble sense of civic duty!
  • Let judicial and prosecutorial organs fulfil their sacred mission and duty of defending the leader, the policies, the system and the people!
  • Intensify education in law observance and law-based struggle to reliably guarantee the building of a thriving nation by law!
  • Let the officials in the law-enforcement organs become fierce tigers for the unsound and hostile elements and faithful and true servants for the people!
  • Build up the single-hearted unity of the revolutionary ranks by enforcing law properly as required by the Party’s policies!
  • Wage the class struggle dynamically by relying on the masses!
  • Establish revolutionary discipline and order and keep the Party, state and military secrets strictly!
  • When young people are astir, the whole country becomes astir and a revolutionary upsurge is brought about on all fronts of building a thriving socialist country.
  • Let us become young heroes in the worthwhile struggle to glorify the great Kim Jong Un’s era!
  • Young people, be vanguard fighters who are unfailingly faithful to the Party’s revolutionary cause of Songun!
  • Always advance straight ahead, following the Party!
  • Give fullest scope to the heroic spirit and mettle as befit reliable point-men and wing of the Party in the struggle to carry out the revolutionary cause of Songun!
  • Towards the trench on the first line of the Songun revolution singing loudly the song Train Bound for the Front!
  • Become today’s Ri Su Boks and Jo Kun Sils, who are ready to lay down their youth and lives for the sake of their only motherland!
  • Go through fire and water in response to the Party’s call!
  • Add brilliance to your youth like your fathers and mothers did!
  • Build up the youth league into steely combat ranks strong in the sense of organization, unity and fighting efficiency!
  • Enhance the fighting efficiency of the working people’s organizations and give fullest play to the patriotic zeal of their members!
  • Launch brisk mass-based movements and make the flames of socialist emulation drive sweep the whole country!
  • The general onward march of the new century of the Juche era demands revolutionary and militant fighting spirit and working style with which to make a leap forward while looking out over the world.
  • Let us create a new spirit of the times, the speed of Korea, by means of our Party’s revolutionary mode, fighting style and creative way!
  • Korea does what it is determined to do!
  • All at once!
  • Carry out the tasks given by the Party within the time it has set and on the level it requires!
  • Let us learn from the fighting spirit, the spirit of carrying out the Party’s lines and policies to the death, and the meticulous working style of the Korean People’s Army Unit 267!
  • Let the units visited by the great leaders be exemplary and standard ones in implementing the Party’s policies!
  • Let Pyongyang lead the country in all aspects by creating today’s Pyongyang spirit, Pyongyang speed!
  • Let us create prototype units in all sectors and effect joint innovations!
  • Get rid of stereotypes and formulae and create new things constantly!
  • Cover hundreds of kilometres at a stretch when others are taking tenth or one hundredth step!
  • Keep your feet firmly planted on this land and look out over the world!
  • Let us hold dear and add brilliance to our own things!
  • Carry out the Party’s policies as exactly in all aspects as the Chonji Lubricating Oil Factory did!
  • The more books we read, the earlier the country prospers; the less books we read, the later the country prospers.
  • Let us establish the guerrilla’s way of studying throughout society!
  • Overcome thoroughly the manner of working like extinguishing fire after it has broken out, like a flash in the pan and like conducting a shock campaign!
  • As long as we are with the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un, sorrow and hardship as well as joy are an honour for us!
  • Let us live not merely for today but for tomorrow!
  • Acquire a noble outlook on the revolution and the future that one year of our hard work means ten years of advance for our motherland!
  • Let us make the whole country resound louder with the song We Are the Happiest in the World.
  • Forward towards a bright future, filled with confidence in sure victory and optimism!
  • The destiny of the Party’s policies rests on the officials’ shoulders.
  • Be standard-bearers and vanguard fighters in today’s general offensive!
  • Be ardent supporters of the Party’s policies and thoroughgoing fighters who implement them in a do-or-die spirit!
  • Let us live and work like the officials in the 1970s, the period of laying the Party’s foundation for carrying forward the cause of Juche!
  • Organize and guide undertakings dynamically like the commanding officers of the revolutionary army on the frontline!
  • Intensify on-site guidance and political work!
  • Planning, command and review, all in a three-dimensional way and at lightning speed!
  • Make tireless efforts with an extraordinary determination to resolve the problems of the people’s living at any cost!
  • Do everything in an innovative and scientific way!
  • Read the minds of producers first before measuring the quantity of their products!
  • Supply service work is immediately the struggle to defend socialism!
  • Sweep away defeatism, self-preservation, expediency and self-centeredness!
  • It is a long-cherished desire of all the fellow countrymen and urgent task of the nation to put an end to the tragedy of national division that has lasted 70 years.
  • Let us build a dignified and prosperous reunified country on this land without fail true to the lifetime wishes of the great Comrades Kim Il Sungand Kim Jong Il.
  • Let us hold high the three charters for national reunification and the north-south declarations as charters and great programmes for national reunification common to the nation!
  • Let the whole nation join efforts to open up a broad avenue to independent reunification in this year which marks the 70th anniversary of national liberation!
  • Let us put an end to interference by outside forces and achieve national reunification independently under the unfurled banner of By Our Nation Itself!
  • Let us bring about a great turn in the inter-Korean relations in this year that marks the 15th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration!
  • Let the whole nation turn out and write a new chapter in the history of inter-Korean relations in hearty response to the peerlessly great man’s patriotic call!
  • Let us determinedly thwart the military provocations and schemes of war games by the US and south Korean warmongers!
  • Let us rise up in the nationwide struggle to drive the US imperialist aggressive forces, the root cause of national misfortune and war, out of south Korea!
  • Let us resolutely frustrate the anti-DPRK “human rights” schemes by the US and its vassal forces!
  • Let us hold fast to the principles of our foreign policy-independence, peace and friendship!
  • Let us maintain the revolutionary principles and independent stand with all consistency in foreign relations!
  • Let us develop foreign relations in a multilateral and proactive way, giving top priority to the dignity and interests of the country!
  • Let us develop friendly and cooperative relations with all countries that respect the sovereignty of our nation and are friendly to us!
  • All Party members, officers and men of the People’s Army and people!
  • An opening salvo of the general offensive for the 70th anniversaries of national liberation and Party founding has been fired.
  • The revolutionary spirit of Paektu, the spirit of the blizzards of Paektu and the anti-Japanese revolutionary forerunners’ call to keep the revolutionary faith even if one may die, stir up further the confidence in sure victory and fighting spirit of our service personnel and people, who are charging forward along the road of Juche against all odds, and inspire loyalty and passion in the advancing ranks.
  • No force can check this sweeping advance of the service personnel and people, who are marching in fine array arm-in-arm, shoulder-to-shoulder, following the leadership of the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un, a great man of Paektu.
  • The flags bearing the beaming images of the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il will fly forever in the van of our revolutionary ranks that achieve only victory and glory, and always inspire us to fresh victories.
  • All forward towards the venue of victory celebration!
  • Long live the great victory in the anti-Japanese war and the 70th anniversary of national liberation!
  • Long live the 70th anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea!


Google Promotes “The Interview” Movie and Tobacco to Under-Age Viewers While Offending Billions of People — Gets Kicked Out of China

The article below is being reposted here as it relates to geopolitical relations and the proper role of self-censorship when it comes to freedom of speech. Did the movie “The Interview” go to far in its portrayal of the assassination of a foreign leader? Read the article and post a response below.

* * *


The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rates movies based on a variety of criteria and determines an acceptable viewing audience. According to (the MPAA rating site), The Interview, by featuring Seth Rogen and James Franco, is rated as ‘R’ due to “pervasive language, crude and sexual humor, nudity, some drug use and bloody violence.” Colombia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment were in the news due to conflicts with North Korea over the movie.

This article isn’t intended to be a review of the movie, but instead an assessment of how it has been promoted, and what the impact has been.

Since its release, and up to the time of this writing, Google has been promoting The Interview in the Google Play store side-by-side with children’s games as shown below.


The Interview seems out of place with game titles like Club Penguin, Gummy Drop!, My Emma, and Pop Bugs. It’s like advertising cigarettes to children. In this case, it’s literally true since the film shows people smoking. There’s a legal disclaimer at the end of the film stating that the use of tobacco in the film wasn’t a paid endorsement (just a free one).

A Popular Genre of Cinema

There’s unarguably a popular genre of vulgar and gross teen comedy films like The Interview that have a cult following — even among adults. Just as comedian Sarah Silverman draws crowds of people to be entertained and offended by her shocking and often ‘inappropriate’ style of vulgar humor, films like The Interview are praised for their shock value and intentional offensiveness.

Such content seems to be increasingly in demand. Just as people pay to go on a roller coaster ride at an amusement park, people are equally willing to pay to be shocked by entertainment that is offensive. They want to be offended. This explains the popularity of films like American PieThe Hangover, JackassSuperbad, and others.

Problematic Promotion

However, the promotion of The Interview is problematic. First, the movie received world-wide attention by the news media. Capitalizing on this, Google is promoting the movie in a way intended to reach a wider general audience than these films are generally intended for. Of course, the original news stories weren’t part of the formal promotion of the movie (unless the news media was manipulated by the entertainment industry for promotional reasons).

Unlike a movie theatre where people can be easily ID’d prior to entering, or accompanied by an adult, streamed movies on the Internet are delivered to millions of homes with little or no restriction to who might viewing.

When you watch the movie, there is no clear rating declaration at the beginning. So, many viewers, young and old alike, who might otherwise avoid such content, will be lured into viewing the movie based on the trailer and numerous fluff reviews.

The Ramping Up Effect

The movie ramps up the levels of bloody violence, vulgarity, and nudity toward the middle and end, so that parents watching the beginning of the film to preview it will conclude that it’s typical teen humor.

Similarly, the average viewer will be drawn in as far as they are willing to go, and like the frog in the kettle, will find toward the end they are taking in images and content they might otherwise have avoided.

It may seem a little nit-picky to bring up such points. To those who are immersed in the violent visuals of today’s ‘first person’ video games and fully acclimated to vulgarity on television, in the movies, in music, and in comedy, The Interview probably seems fairly normal. To those who aren’t regularly exposed to that kind of content, the film probably seems inappropriate and culturally insensitive.

Lack of Targeted Promotion is a Disservice

Ultimately, Sony and Google do a disservice to the film and the genre by not limiting its promotion and release to a warm market. When this happens, reviews are skewed. Rather than having a film watched by and rated by the people who might most enjoy it and appreciate it, the film is released to people who aren’t acclimated to that particular brand of humor — and possibly never will embrace it.

The film is now being pushed to a world market, that’s already primed with interest, yet perhaps unaware that the movie contains crude humor and graphic bloody violence.

What’s unfortunate is that the film could have just as easily been produced in a way to meet PG-13 standards and been much more successful, and more widely appreciated.

Cultural Sensitivity and Global Response

At the time of this writing, the film has earned nearly $18M and is Sony’s top online film ever. (Source: NPR). So, American’s have spoken, and they’ve said, “We like this kind of humor, and indeed this kind of movie, more than anything else presently available.”

The film is perceived in the U.S. to be an act of demonstrating free speech, a criticism of North Korea, and in this case, a victory over those who would threaten to censor the film.

To foreigners watching the film, it is perceived as an example of American humor and the content produced by the U.S. film industry. It’s become our ambassador to world community (at least during its 15 minutes of fame).

Because of its content, the film serves to embolden those who advocate censorship of content from “the West.” In this regard, it provides an abundance of examples showing why anti-American jihadists should continue their struggle through war and censorship, concluding “If this is what America has to offer, we don’t want it.” The film is a Christmas gift to those who want to portray Americans as vulgar.

Google Blocked in China Days After Film Launch

While The Interview intends to be about North Korea, the potentially offensive jokes could just as easily be poorly received by people in other countries such as China, for example.

Drawing from bigoted caricatures, the movie pokes fun at portraying how Asians sound when speaking English. This is an outdated trope that is viewed by some as funny, but perceived by others as borderline offensive. At one point in the movie, someone holding a cute puppy proclaims, “Guess who’s going back to America where they don’t eat doggies?” Making fun of people with Asian accents, and making derogatory references to the animals eaten in Asian countries, might make some people laugh, but other people could very well take offense at these jokes.

It’s not surprising that only a few days after the heavy promotion of this film by Google on their search page, in the Play Store, and through a direct email campaigns. China has now blocked Google Gmail and Google’s search page.

The Search Page Campaign

Below is Google’s home search page as of Christmas morning. With the power of reaching approximately 210 million people every month (about 7 million people per day), Google chose to promote The Interview on Christmas day with a direct link to the streaming movie in their Play store. Click the image for a larger view.

Google promoting The Interview on their search page with a direct link to the streaming movie in their Play store.

The Email Campaign

The screen snip below shows an example of the direct email campaign launched by Google to promote the movie on Christmas day.


Disingenuous Disclaimer

At the end of The Interview, during the final moments of the credits, a legal disclaimer from Sony and the film’s affiliates states:

“The characters, incidents, and locations portrayed and the names herein are fictitious, and any similarity to or identification with the location, name, character or history of any person, product or entity is entirely coincidental and unintentional.”

You’ve got to be kidding me. So, it’s entirely coincidental that there’s a country called North Korea and political leader called Kim Jong-un. Did the producers really say, “Oh, really? Wow, we had no idea when making the film that these places and people actually exist! What a coincidence!”

That’s like someone slapping you in the face, and then saying, “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize I just slapped you in the face. (slap again) Was that your face? Oh, I’m sorry. (slap again).”

It would have been more sincere to say something like, “We intentionally spent millions of dollars making fun of another country’s leader, and joking about his assassination, and we knew full well we were doing it.” At least that would be honest. So, now we’re offensive and misleading. Great. This should generate lots of support and goodwill.

Movie Review of The Interview

This is likely a film that is destined to win the “Worst Movie Ever” and “Best Movie Ever” awards in the same year. For further reading, you can click here for a thoughtful movie review of The Interview.

Movie Poster

Below is the movie poster for The Interview.


North Korean Reaction

For those unfamiliar with the controversy surrounding the film, here is a brief excerpt from the Wikipedia page about the movie and North Korea’s response to it — which suggests they didn’t find the humor in the movie.

On June 20, 2014, Kim Myong-chol, an unofficial spokesman for the North Korean government, said The Interview “shows the desperation of the US government and American society … a film about the assassination of a foreign leader mirrors what the US has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine.”[16]

On June 25, 2014, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the state-run news agency of North Korea, reported that the government promised “stern” and “merciless” retaliation if the film were released, stating that “making and releasing a film that portrays an attack on our top-level leadership is the most blatant act of terrorism and war and will absolutely not be tolerated.”[17][18] The Guardian wrote that the film premise “touched a nerve inside the regime, which takes a dim view of satirical treatment of its leaders and is notoriously paranoid about perceived threats to their safety”[19] and that North Korea had a “long history of sabre-rattling and of issuing harsh threats that it does not act upon.”[20]

On July 11, 2014, North Korea’s United Nations ambassador Ja Song-nam condemned The Interview, saying that “the production and distribution of such a film on the assassination of an incumbent head of a sovereign state should be regarded as the most undisguised sponsoring of terrorism as well as an act of war.”[21] The Guardian remarked that his comments were “all perfect publicity for the movie.”[21] On July 17, 2014, the KCNA wrote to U.S. president Barack Obama, asking to have the film pulled.[22]

In August 2014, shortly after The Interview ’​s release was delayed to December 25, it was reported that Sony had made post-production alterations to the film to reduce its insensitivity to North Korea. These changes included modifying the designs of buttons worn by characters, originally modelled after real North Korean military buttons praising the country’s leaders, and plans to cut a portion of Kim Jong-un’s death scene.[23]

Rogen predicted that the film would make its way to North Korea, stating that “we were told one of the reasons they’re so against the movie is that they’re afraid it’ll actually get into North Korea. They do have bootlegs and stuff. Maybe the tapes will make their way to North Korea and cause a revolution.”[11] Business Insider reported via Free North Korea Radio that there was high demand for bootleg copies of the film in North Korea.[24] The human rights organizations Fighters for a Free North Korea and Human Rights Foundation, which previously air-dropped offline copies of the Korean Wikipedia into North Korea on a bootable USB memory device,[25] plan to distribute DVD copies of The Interview via balloon drops.[26]

Update: 31 December 2014

As of 12:30 AM on 31 December 2014, Google has modified their promotion of The Interview in the Google Play store so that it is no longer listed adjacent to video games for kids. We applaud Google for their prompt corrective action in this matter.

Efficiencies and Benefits of Dictatorships


Best Possible Outcomes

Military dictatorships and fascist regimes are generally considered less than ideal for the citizens they control. Yet, they do offer some potential efficiencies. Assuming those in control are not overly hostile or oppressive, and if they selflessly have the people’s best interests in mind, then such a government could be quite efficient and beneficial.

Effective governance requires some expertise and specialized education to gather data, interpret the data, and make determinations based on what’s in the broadest and best interest of everyone.

If highly competent, well educated, and well informed leaders are running a government, their results may be better than a country run by an under educated, poorly informed, democracy of people.

Consider this example… An auto mechanic, as an experienced specialist with the right tools, can fix your car better than 100 people without the proper tools or experience. Even if the group of 100 were to be guided by democratic principles, they couldn’t achieve what the one skilled person can accomplish.

Worst Possible Outcomes

Unfortunately, dictatorships typically use force to control the masses, and there’s little tolerance for dissent. Dictators are often not the most intelligent or capable people, but among the most conniving, militaristic, and exploitative people who take control by force sometimes combined with a controlling charismatic leadership style. This style of leadership is also employed by cults that use persuasive and charismatic religious dogma or philosophical teachings to control their members.

When wealth, ownership, and government control is in the hands of a few, but delegated out in small quantities, it can create the illusion of a democracy. In the case of a corporate controlled imperialist military empire, a nation’s military may be used for creating the conditions needed for maximum profits rather than spreading democracy and freedom.

Requirements for Better Outcomes with Democracy

It’s important to acknowledge the potential benefits of non-democratic governing. This establishes a baseline for optimal outcomes from a democratic government.

For a democracy to produce better outcomes than the best case scenario of a dictatorship, all citizens must be well educated (for critical thinking), well informed (on history and current issues), and highly motivated to be engaged in the processes of citizenship and democracy.

Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang

Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang is a historic novel based on dozens of audio recordings from Zhao Ziyang. [Amazon]

Following Zhao Ziyang’s public statement at the Tiananmen Square protest, Zhao was removed of all positions in government and placed under house arrest. For the next sixteen years of his life, Zhao lived in forced seclusion in a quiet Beijing alley.

Although minor details of his life leaked out, China scholars lamented that Zhao’s account of events was to remain unknown. Zhao’s production of the memoir, in complete secrecy, is the only surviving public record of the opinions and perspectives Zhao held later life in life.

Zhao began secretly recording his autobiography on children’s cassette tapes in 1999, and eventually completed approximately thirty tapes, each about six minutes in length. Zhao produced his audio journals by recording over inconspicuous low-quality tapes which were readily available in his home: children’s music and Peking Opera.

Zhao indicated the tapes’ intended order by faint pencil markings, and no titles or notes on how Zhao intended the tapes to be otherwise interpreted or presented were ever recovered. The voices of several of Zhao’s closest friends were heard in several of the later tapes, but were edited out of the published book in order to protect their identities.

After the tapes’ creation, Zhao smuggled them out of his residence by passing them to these friends. In order to minimize the risk that some tapes might be lost or confiscated, each participant was only entrusted with a small part of the total work.

Because he could only produce the tapes during periods in which his guards were absent, the process of recording the tapes took over a year. Bao Pu, one of the editors who worked on publishing Zhao’s memoir, first learned of the tapes’ existence only after Zhao’s death on January 17, 2005.

It took several years for Bao to collect them and gain legal permission from Zhao’s family to publish Zhao’s autobiography. Zhao’s family has always maintained that they were completely unaware of the tapes’ existence until contacted by Bao Pu. After Zhao’s death a second set of tapes (perhaps the originals) were found in Zhao’s home, and were returned to Zhao’s family.


The above text is an excerpt from Wikipedia. (source)

Zhao Ziyang Public Speech at the Tiananmen Square Protest of 1989


Zhao Ziyang was general secretary for little more than a year before the death of Hu Yaobang on 15 April 1989, coupled with a growing sense of public outrage caused by high inflation, provided the backdrop for the large-scale protest of 1989 by students, intellectuals, and other parts of a disaffected urban population. The Tiananmen protests initially began as a spontaneous public mourning for Hu, but evolved into nation-wide protests supporting political reform and demanding an end to Party corruption.

Student demonstrators, taking advantage of the loosening political atmosphere, reacted to a variety of causes of discontent. The diverse demands of protesters included greater economic liberalization, political democracy, media freedom, freedom of speech and association, rule of law, and to have the legitimacy of the movement recognized. Some protest leaders spoke against official corruption and speculation, price stability, social security, and the democratic means to supervise the reform process. Ironically, some of the original invective was also directed against Zhao. Party hardliners increasingly came to the conclusion that the demonstrations were due to Zhao’s rapid pace of reform, which they believed caused a sense of confusion and frustration among college students. Protests also spread through many other cities, notably including Shanghai and Guangzhou. The protesters may have been encouraged by the imminent collapse of other Communist government in Eastern Europe.

The tragic events of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 sealed Zhao’s fate and rendered impossible any further democratic movement. While he was paying an official visit to Pyongyang, the party hard-liners exploited the opportunity to declare the ongoing protests “counter-revolutionary.” Upon returning from Pyongyang, Zhao made several attempts to steer the course toward what he called “a track based upon democracy and the rule of law”. He opened up channels for direct dialogues between students and the government at multiple levels. He also ordered the news media to cover the student demonstrations with unprecedented openness. A number of legislative initiatives aimed at the reform of press, news media and education were also under way. However, Zhao’s initiatives, along with his conciliatory attitude toward the students, were seen by the elders and other party hard-liners as hastened steps toward breaking free the party control. The evening of 16 May marked the point of no return of Zhao’s political career. At the onset of his meeting with the visiting Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Zhao made a stunning announcement declaring that Deng Xiaoping, though officially no longer a member of the party central committee, was still having final say in major decision-making. Zhao’s move was interpreted by Party elders as an unmistakable sign of parting company with the aging paramount leader, his long-time political patron and mentor. The leadership would not purge Zhao while Gorbachev was still in Beijing. But on the night of 18 May, just after the Soviet leader left, Zhao was summoned to Deng’s residence and a hastily called Politburo Standing Committee was called to endorse martial law with Zhao casting the lone dissenting vote.

Shortly before 5 am on the morning of 19 May, Zhao appeared in Tiananmen Square and wandered among the crowd of protesters. Using a bullhorn, he delivered a now-famous speech to the students gathered at the square. It was first broadcast through China Central Television nationwide. Here is a translated version:

Students, we came too late. We are sorry. You talk about us, criticize us, it is all necessary. The reason that I came here is not to ask for your forgiveness. What I want to say is that you are all getting weak, it has been seven days since you went on a hunger strike, you can’t continue like this. As time goes on, your body will be damaged beyond repair, it could be very life-threatening. Now the most important thing is to end this strike. I know, your hunger strike is to hope that the Party and the government will give you a satisfying answer. I feel that our communication is open. Some of these problems can only be solved through certain procedures. For example, you have mentioned about the nature of the incident, the question of responsibility; I feel that those problems can be resolved eventually, we can reach a mutual agreement in the end. However, you should also know that the situation is very complicated, it is going to be a long process. You can’t continue the hunger strike longer than seven days, and still insist on receiving a satisfying answer before ending the hunger strike.

You are still young, there are still many days yet to come, you must live healthy, and see the day when China accomplishes the four modernizations. You are not like us, we are already old, so we do not matter. It is not easy for this nation and your parents to support your college studies. Now you are all about 20, and about to sacrifice your lives so easily, students, couldn’t you think rationally? Now the situation is very serious, you all know, the Party and the nation is very antsy, our society is very worried. Besides, Beijing is the capital, the situation is getting worse and worse everywhere, this cannot continue. Students, you all have good will, and are for the good of our nation, but if this situation continues, loses control, it will have serious consequences elsewhere.

In conclusion, I have only one wish. If you stop hunger strike, the government won’t close the door for dialogue, never! The questions that you have raised, we can continue to discuss. Although it is a little slow, but we are reaching some agreement on some problems. Today I just want to see the students, and express our feelings. I hope students could think about this issues calmly. This thing can not be sorted out clearly under illogical situations. You all have that strength, you are young after all. We were also young before, we protested, laid our bodies on the rail tracks, we never thought about what will happen in the future at that time. Finally, I beg the students once again, think about the future calmly. There are many things that can be solved. I hope that you will all end the hunger strike soon, thank you.

The protesters did not disperse. A day after Zhao’s 19 May visit to Tiananmen Square, Premier Li Peng publicly declared martial law. In the power struggle that ensued, Zhao was stripped of all his positions. Following Zhao’s dismissal, Jiang Zemin replaced Zhao as general secretary and successor of Deng Xiaoping. Jiang was notable for suppressing similar protests in Shanghai without any bloodshed.

What motivated Zhao remains, even today, a topic of debate by many. Some say he went into the square hoping a conciliatory gesture would gain him leverage against hard-liners like Premier Li Peng. Others believe he supported the protesters and did not want to see them hurt when the military was called in. After the incident, Zhao was placed under indefinite house arrest.

Zhao’s rival, Li Peng, later accused Zhao of fomenting the Tiananmen Protests exclusively for political gain. According to Li, “Zhao liaised with Bao Tong immediately after his arrival in Beijing (from Pyongyang). Bao gathered some other of Zhao’s supporters to hash out the situation. They feared that Zhao’s political future was at stake: Zhao did not succeed in [managing] the economy, was not stellar politically, does not have a power base of his own, and his son was suspected of illegal business dealings. As such, it was likely that Zhao would become the ‘scapegoat’ of the student movement. These advisors suggested to Zhao that he maintain distance with Deng Xiaoping [and] attempt to win the people’s hearts in order to save himself; there were no other options.” Because Zhao was never formally charged with any wrongdoing, it cannot be known what evidence Li had to support his claims. Zhao himself addressed Li’s claims as “slander”.

Zhao remained under tight supervision and was allowed to leave his courtyard compound or receive visitors only with permission from the highest echelons of the Party. There were occasional reports of him attending the funeral of a dead comrade, visiting other parts of China or playing golf at Beijing courses, but the government rather successfully kept him hidden from news reports and history books. Over that period, only a few snapshots of a gray-haired Zhao leaked out to the media. On at least two occasions Zhao wrote letters, addressed to the Chinese government, in which he put forward the case for a reassessment of the Tiananmen Massacre. One of those letters appeared on the eve of the Communist Party’s 15th National Congress. The other came during a 1998 visit to China by U.S. PresidentBill Clinton. Neither was ever published in mainland China.

After 1989, Zhao remained ideologically estranged from the Chinese government. He remained popular among those who believed that the government was wrong in ordering the “Tiananmen Massacre”, and that the Party should reassess its position on the student protests. He continued to hold China’s top leadership responsible for the assault, and refused to accept the official Party line that the demonstrations had been a part of a “counter-revolutionary rebellion”. After his arrest, Zhao eventually came to hold a number of beliefs that were much more radical than any positions he had ever expressed while in power. Zhao came to believe that China should adopt a free press, freedom to organize, an independent judiciary, and a multiparty parliamentary democracy.

Zhao lived for fifteen years under house arrest, accompanied by his wife. Thehutong in which Zhao lived had once belonged to a hairdresser of the Qing DynastyEmpress Dowager, Cixi, and was located in central Beijing, close toZhongnanhai. Despite Zhao’s house arrest, no formal charges were ever laid against him, and he was never expelled from the Communist Party. After his arrest, Deng and his successors continued to believe that Zhao and his subordinates had worked secretly to organize the nation-wide protests, and worried that his death might trigger protests similar to the protests sparked by the death of Hu Yaobang.

Death and muted response

In February 2004, Zhao had a pneumonia attack that led to a pulmonary failure and was hospitalized for three weeks. Zhao was hospitalized again with pneumonia on 5 December 2004. Reports of his death were officially denied in early January 2005. Later, on 15 January, he was reported to be in a coma after multiple strokes. According to Xinhua, Vice President Zeng Qinghong represented the party’s central leadership to visit Zhao at the hospital. Zhao died on 17 January in a Beijing hospital at 07:01, at the age of 85. He was survived by his second wife, Liang Boqi, and five children (a daughter and four sons).

After Zhao’s death, China’s leaders feared an episode of civil disturbance similar to that which followed the death of Hu Yaobang. In order to manage the news of Zhao’s death, the Chinese government created an “Emergency Response Leadership Small Group”, which declared “a period of extreme sensitivity”, and placed the People’s Armed Police on special alert. In order to prevent any mass demonstrations in the capital, the Emergency Group directed the Ministry of Railways to screen travellers headed to Beijing. Chinese newspapers carried a brief obituary, but Xinhua successfully directed China’s domestic TV and radio stations not to broadcast the news. In order to prevent any public commemoration of Zhao, Chinese authorities increased security in Tiananmen Square and at Zhao’s house.

Under the headline “Comrade Zhao Ziyang has Passed Away”, Zhao’s obituary stated, “Comrade Zhao had long suffered from multiple diseases affecting his respiratory and cardiovascular systems, and had been hospitalized for medical treatment several times. His conditions worsened recently, and he passed away Monday after failing to respond to all emergency treatment.” All Chinese newspapers carried exactly the same 59-word obituary on the day following his death, leaving the main means of mass dissemination through the Internet. Chinese Internet forums, including the Strong Nation Forum and forums hosted, Xinhua, and the People’s Daily, were flooded with messages expressing condolences for Zhao: “Time will vindicate him”, wrote one commenter; “We will miss you forever” wrote another. These messages were promptly deleted by moderators, leading to more postings attacking the moderators for deleting the postings.

The Chinese government was successful in keeping Zhao’s death fairly low key within mainland China. Open, public response was absent, though some online commenters stated that they planned to buy wreaths to mourn his death, or had stood in three minutes of silence to honour Zhao’s memory.

In Hong Kong, 10,000–15,000 people attended the candlelight vigil in remembrance of Zhao. Mainlanders such as Chen Juoyi said that it was illegal for Hong Kong legislators to join any farewell ceremony, stating “…under the ‘one country, two systems‘ a Hong Kong legislator cannot care anything about mainland China.” The statement caused a political storm in Hong Kong that continued for three days after his speech. Szeto Wah, the chairman of The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, said that it was not right for the Communists to suppress the memorial ceremony. The twenty-four pan-democrat legislators went against the chairperson of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, who insisted that security be tightened at Tiananmen Square and at Zhao’s house, and that the authorities try to prevent any public displays of grief. Similar memorials were held around the world, notably in New York City and Washington, DC where American government officials and exiledpolitical dissidents attended. In the West, Zhao was editorialized as a martyr who died for democracy.

On 29 January 2005 the government held a funeral ceremony for him at theBabaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery, a place reserved for revolutionary heroes and high government officials, that was attended by some 2,000 mourners, who were pre-approved to attend. Several dissidents, including Zhao’s secretary Bao Tongand Tiananmen Mothers leader Ding Zilin, were kept under house arrest and therefore could not attend. Xinhua reported that the most senior official to attend the funeral was Jia Qinglin, fourth in the party hierarchy, and other officials who attended included He GuoqiangWang Gang and Hua Jianmin. Mourners were forbidden to bring flowers or to inscribe their own messages on the government-issued flowers. There was no eulogy at the ceremony because the government and Zhao’s family could not agree on its content: while the government wanted to say he made mistakes, his family refused to accept he did anything wrong. On the day of his funeral, state television mentioned Zhao’s death for the first time. Xinhua issued a short article on the funerary arrangements, acknowledging Zhao’s “contributions to the party and to the people”, but said he made “serious mistakes” during the 1989 “political disturbance”. According to Du Daozheng, writing in the foreword to the Chinese edition of Zhao’s memoirs, the use of the term “serious mistakes” instead of the former verdict of “supporting turmoil and splitting the party” represented a backing down by the party. After the ceremony, Zhao wascremated. His ashes were taken to his Beijing home, since the government had denied him a place at Babaoshan.

Push for rehabilitation

After Zhao’s death, there were a number of calls in China and abroad urging China to reconsider Zhao’s role in history. Within China, these calls were largely led by Zhao’s former secretary, Bao Tong. Outside of China, Zhao’s death produced calls from the governments of Taiwan and Japan urging China to move toward granting the greater political freedoms that Zhao promoted. The Japanese prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, said as part of a statement on Zhao’s death: “I want them to make efforts for democratization”. A representative of the Taiwanese cabinet, Chen Chi-mai, stated that Beijing should “face the truth about Tiananmen Square” and “push for democratic reforms”. The White House praised Zhao, saying that Zhao “was a man of moral courage who suffered great personal sacrifices for standing by his convictions during difficult times.”

Although some of his followers have occasionally attempted to push for Zhao’s formal rehabilitation since Zhao’s arrest, the Party has been largely successful in removing his name from most public records available in China. Government efforts to delete Zhao’s memory from public consciousness include airbrushing his picture from photographs released in China, deleting his name from textbooks, and forbidding the media from mentioning him in any way. In 2005, former NPC chairman Wan Li joined more than 20 retired Politburo members, including Tian Jiyun, former Vice Premier, in asking the Central Government to rehabilitate Zhao’s name and hold memorial services for him for his many important contributions to China. The Chinese government agreed to hold a ceremony to honor the late Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang, but the response fell far short of satisfying the requests from both inside and outside the CPC.

Since 1989, one of the few publications that has dared to print a non-government-approved memorial praising Zhao’s legacy has been the magazine China Through the Ages (Yanhuang Chunqiu). The magazine released the pro-Zhao article in July 2010. The article was written by Zhao’s former aide, Yang Rudai.


The above text is an excerpt from the Wikipedia page about Zhao Ziyan.