Sunday, June 23, 1991

Akira Kurosawa's Rhapsody in August

Akira Kurosawa's Rhapsody in August
Bevin Chu
June 22, 1991

Calendar Letters
Los Angeles Times
Times Mirror Square
Los Angeles CA 90053

Dear Editor:

Director Akira Kurosawa (Calendar June 23, Conversation with Gabriel Garcia Marquez) in referring to "Rhapsody in August," set in Nagasaki, proclaimed:

"I have not filmed shockingly realistic scenes which would prove tobe unbearable... I remember the day... clearly, and evennow I still can't believe that it could have happened inthe real world. But the worst part of it is that the Japanese people have cast it into oblivion."

Ironically, his words indicting America for using the atomic bomb against Japan could easily refer to a well-documented but seldom mentioned act of genocide committed by the Japanese Army against China. Historian Paul Johnson writes in "Modern Times, The World from the Twenties to the Eighties":

"The Chinese capital, Nanking, fell in December 1937. For four weeks the streets of the city were given over to one of the largest-scale massacres in history. Men, women and children, said an eyewitness, 'were hunted like rabbits. Everyone seen to move was shot.' Some 20,000 male Chinese civilians of military age were marched out into the countryside and killed by bayoneting and machineguns, foreshadowing the Soviet massacres of the Poles in 1941 at Katyn and elsewhere. The killings went on until 6 Feb, 1938, and by then between 200,000 to 300,000 Chinese were dead. Even an official Nazi embassy report described the scenes as 'the work of bestial machinery'. The atrocities got wide coverage in world newspapers. The Emperor and the civilians in the cabinet claimed later that they knew nothing of these events until after the war."

Akira Kurosawa had the chutzpah to declare:

"at the very least, the country that dropped the bomb should apologize to the Japanese people. Until that happens this drama will not be over."

As a Chinese-American born in Nanking permit me to respond:

"At the very least, the country that massacred a quarter of a million civilians should apologize to the Chinese people."

Filmmaker Kurosawa could launch this enterprise by producing and directing a trilogy acknowledging Japan's culpability in World War II, starting with "Nanking," followed by "Pearl Harbor" and concluding with "Bataan." Were he to do so, I for one would not object to the inclusion of "shockingly realistic scenes which would prove to be unbearable."

Yours Truly,

Bevin Chu
Santa Monica, CA

Thursday, May 09, 1991

Pat Buchanan vs. Sarah Brady

Pat Buchanan vs. Sarah Brady
Bevin Chu
May 08, 1991

Mr. Patrick Buchanan
c/o CNN
Box 740166
Atlanta, GA

Dear Mr. Buchanan:

Thank you for speaking out on "Crossfire" against the Brady Bill.

Your opponent Michael Kinsley kept demanding of you and Mr. Heston: "What would be the harm of asking [sic] people to wait seven days before they could get their hands on a handgun?" Perhaps Mr. Kinsley can better appreciate gun owners' "hysterical opposition" if one answers his question with another question: `What would be the harm of "asking" people to wait seven days before they could see and hear news stories?'

Applying the logic of Brady Bill advocates, local police chiefs such as Daryl Gates would evaluate footage of say, the Rodney King beating for its potential to "undermine public order." (Perhaps even conduct background checks on potential purchasers of video camcorders. Black troublemaker Al Sharpton need not apply.) Hot-headed, crusading news editors would have the benefit of a week long "cooling off" period to reconsider the wisdom of their editorial choices. In Congressman AuCoin's words, "a day wait, a modest inconvenience."

Perhaps Tipper Gore would evaluate problematic films prior to theatrical release, films such as Scorsese's "Taxi Driver," which according to John Hinckley's own testimony inspired him to fire the shots which struck James Brady.

If expediency and pragmatism are the criteria by which legislation is to be evaluated, why not censor films, books, and print and broadcast media in order to prevent future criminal acts, the First Amendment be damned?

Congressman AuCoin remarked that when it came to gun control the NRA has always favored "nothing at all," as if that fact invalidated the legitimacy of their Second Amendment concerns. Since the ACLU has always favored "nothing at all" in reference to infringements of the First Amendment, that presumably invalidates their concerns as well.

James Madison, who framed the First Amendment said:

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the citizens of other countries which are afraid to trust the people with arms."

Do you suppose he knew something about the underlying principle of individual rights that Connie Chung, Peter Jennings, Sarah Brady and Congressman Les AuCoin don't?

Yours Truly,

Bevin Chu
Santa Monica, CA

Tuesday, January 01, 1991


Welcome to The China Desk [], created and maintained by Bevin Chu, an American architect and author currently living and working in Taipei and Shanghai.

CIA World Factbook Map of China

The China Desk offers hard-hitting, no punches pulled commentary on the often stormy Divided China Problem, from an uncompromisingly laissez-faire capitalist, anti-interventionist perspective.

China Desk articles have appeared at the wildly popular libertarian website,, where Chu is a columnist/commentator, at the China Post, where Chu is a contributing editor, at, the best known anti-war website on the Internet, at oOblue, the most popular Pan Blue website on Taiwan, and at Journey to the East, an exquisitely designed website introducing China to the English-speaking West. They have featured prominently at Yahoo! News Full Coverage portals, in Google News Alerts, and have even appeared in Pravda -- the post Cold War, post Communist Pravda, of course.

The China Desk receives tens of thousands of views per month.

China Desk articles on Sino-American relations have been cited by China scholars in American universities, have earned Bevin Chu invitations to speak before the Harvard-Radcliffe Chinese Students Association, and live interviews on talk radio shows in Canada.

Articles explaining the non-threatening reality of post Cold War, post-Communist China to westerners have inspired character attacks against the author by the Falun Gong mouthpiece known as the Epoch Times.

Articles exposing the Dalai Lama's feet of clay and the true nature of the Tibetan independence movement meanwhile, have earned the Politically Incorrect author angry denunciations from the Dalai Lama's official website.

Chu is the son of the late Tsing-kang Chu, a high-ranking diplomat with the Republic of China government on Taiwan. Chu is the translator of the English language edition of "Taiwan at the Crossroads: An Expose of Taiwan's New Dictatorship," a landmark book by the celebrated native Taiwanese liberal reformer and political commentator, Joyce C. Huang (Huang Chi-hsien). "Taiwan at the Crossroads" is an eye-opening expose of the Taiwan independence movement that rips the "democratic" and "progressive" mask from the face of Taiwan independence and reveals it for what it is -- an authoritarian fascist political movement motivated by primitive ethnic hatred.

Taiwan at the Crossroads, An Expose of Taiwan's New Dictatorship
Written by Joyce C. Huang, edited by Tu Yang, translated by Bevin Chu, published by BAZACH, 2005, ISBN 986-81084-2-x


Gizmo's Freeware Reviews


24 TV Series Screensaver
A digital clock screensaver similar to the one displayed in the TV series "24". This 24 screensaver fades in with the classic "The Following Takes Place Between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m." and then fades out to the digital clock.

File archiver with a high compression ratio in 7z format with LZMA and LZMA2 compression. Supported formats: Packing / unpacking: 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM, Unpacking only: ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR and Z. For ZIP and GZIP formats, 7-Zip provides a compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than the ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip

Ashampoo Burning Studio Free
Burn files and folders on data CDs/DVDs/Blu-ray discs. Burn Audio CDs from WAV, MP3, FLAC, WMA and Ogg Vorbis files. Burn MP3-CDs from your MP3 files. Burn Video DVD, Video CD (VCD) or Super Video CD (S-VCD). Create and burn CD/DVD/Blu-ray disc images

Free, open source cross-platform sound editor for recording and editing sounds

Auslogics Disk Defrag
Optimizes file system, consolidates free space, can defrag automatically, provides flexible scheduler, can defrag a single file or folder, supports multi-terabyte volumes

Belarc Advisor
Builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, CIS (Center for Internet Security) benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser. All your PC profile information is kept private and is not sent to any web server

CalcTape is a revolutionary new kind of pocket calculator. With CalcTape, also extensive calculations remain clearly structured. CalcTape makes the arithmetic process visible - you can generate intermediate results and subsequently correct or change all numbers and operations.

CCleaner (Crap Cleaner)
System optimization and privacy tool removes unused files allowing Windows to run faster, freeing up valuable hard disk space, cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history, fast, takes less that a second to run

Crimson Editor
Professional source code editor for Windows loads fast, so small it can be copied onto a floppy disk, replacement for Notepad, offers powerful features for HTML, C/C++, Perl and Java. Syntax Highlighting for HTML, C/C++, Perl, Java, Matlab and LaTeX, undo/redo, user tools, macros, spell checker

DVD Shrink
DVD Shrink is software to backup DVD discs, use in conjunction with DVD burning software to make a backup copy of any DVD video disc, the output from DVD Shrink can be saved as files on your hard drive, which you can then burn with software of your choice

EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition
An ALL-IN-ONE partition solution and disk management freeware. extends partition, especially for system drive, manage disk space, settle low disk space problem on MBR and GUID partition table disk under Windows 32 bit and 64 bit systems;main

Epson Perfection V33 Scanner Driver

Exact Audio Copy
Audio grabber for audio CDs using standard CD and DVD-ROM drives. Other audio grabbers force you to waste time listening to every extracted audio track because they only do jitter correction. EAC, which uses multi-reading with verify and AccurateRip, doesn't.

Gadwin PrintScreen
Easy to use freeware utility that allows you to capture any portion of the screen, save it to a file, copy it to Windows clipboard, print it or e-mail it to a recipient of your choice.
Six different image formats to choose from, and each one can be resized

An acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program for photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. Can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, or image format converter. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything

Google Pinyin Input App

iWisoft Free Video Converter
Powerful, high-quality freeware video converter, easily convert video/audio between all popular formats, convert video/audio from one format to another, rip audio from video, convert video to image series, animated gif, provides optimized output profiles, easily convert video/audio for iPod, iPhone, PSP, Zune and other digital devices, adjust codec, bit rate, frame rate, video size, audio channel, sample rate, audio volume output, provides useful video editing functions, like cropping, trimming, merging, adding watermark, subtitle.

Power-packed Open Source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and Linux. Gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base

metapad is a great choice for those who like their text editors small, fast, and free
- ZDNet Downloads
Designed to replace Notepad. Includes all of Notepad's features and much, much more

Mozilla FireFox
The award-winning Web browser is now faster, more secure, and fully customizable to your online life.

Mozilla FireFox: Personal Favorite Add-ons
Copy Pure Text
Extended Copy Menu
IE View
Multiple Tab Handler
Print/Print Preview
Read It Later
Video DownloadHelper

A free cross-platform WYSIWYG music notation program that offers a cost-effective alternative to commercial programs such as Sibelius and Finale. You can print beautifully engraved sheet music or save it as PDF or MIDI file.

NoteTab Light
Leading-edge text and HTML editor, winner of software industry awards since 1998, easily handles a stack of huge files; lets you format text to your heart's content; does system-wide searches, and multi-line global replacements, even corrects your spelling mistakes, build document templates, add bookmarks, convert text to HTML on-the-fly, and take charge of your code

KMPlayer has been dethroned. PotPlayer is now the new king of media players. An intuitive and a powerful multimedia player written by the author of the KMPlayer. Easy to use with awesome video and audio quality. Similar to KMPlayer but with more stability and versatility. Supports almost all media formats. Seamless playback. GPU acceleration. Built in codecs. Extensive configuration options. Light on system resources. Fast startup. Autoresume for 200 files

Did you ever need to print out a large poster or banner but you couldn't make it big enough on your standard printer? PosterPrint can take a document created by any Windows ® printing application, zoom and print it on several standard sheets of paper using any available printer. This is a Multipage Printing - if a poster doesn't fit into one sheet of paper, print it on several and glue (or tape) them together! PosterPrint automatically adds glue margins, prints trim and alignment guides and offers several ways for easy zooming

Sumatra PDF
A free PDF, XPS, DjVu, CBZ and CBR reader for Windows, small and starts up very fast, simple user interface, portable version included

VLC Media Player
Multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols, can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.

Windows Movie Maker 6 for Windows 7/8/8.1
Installs an updated version of Windows Movie Maker 6.0 (WMM6) from Vista, in Windows 7/8/8.1. Windows Movie Maker 6 is the best version of Windows Movie Maker ever offered. It is much better than Windows Live Movie Maker, or WLMM, which comes standard with Windows 7/8/8.1

The Linux Penguin


Linux Mint
Linux Mint is the Linux distro that finally persuaded me to convert to Linux on my old desktop PC, permanently, and not look back. Linux Mint is what has long been promised Windows users -- an Open Source operating system as easy to install as Windows, but which has all the virtues of Linux.

No, I am not double-booting into Linux and Windows. No, I did not partition my hard drive for both Linux and Windows. I formatted my entire hard drive and installed Linux Mint on the entire disk. I will not be going back.

If you're like me, if you're a Windows user who has been waiting for Linux to get its act together so you can finally make the switch, your wait is over. Linux Mint is what you have been waiting for. Linux Mint will give you a seamless, trouble-free installation, and seamless, trouble-free updates thereafter. All through menus and mouse clicks. No line commands required. Linux Mint is what Mandrake, Xandros, and OpenSUSE promised to be, but weren't.

Download the Linux Mint ISO. Burn it to a disk. Drop it in your CD-ROM and have Linux up and running within the hour. Complete with apps such as Firefox, Thunderbird, and Open Office. Be the proud owner of an operating system and office suite superior to Vista and Microsoft Office. All for free.

Linux Mint, like almost all Linux distros, is completely free. Your only cost will be a blank CD and a little download time.

My current favourite among Linux distros is Xubuntu 14.04 LTS (Long Term Support). It is very similar to Linux Mint 17 Xfce, but is actually superior in certain respects. One is the media player that it comes with -- Parole Media Player. Parole actually works more smoothly than the media players that come with Mint 17. No stuttering or crackling static when starting or stopping AVI, Matroska, and MP4 files of movies and TV shows.



Which China Desk?

1. The China Desk at Blogspot []
is the new home of The China Desk.

2. The China Desk at WordPress []
is a mirror for China Desk articles.

3. The China Desk at Tripod []
is being phased out.



China Review: Chi-yu Shih

Gregory Clark Japan Website
Former Australian diplomat, vice president of Akita International University, and a bona fide expert on East Asian affairs

Iris Chang - the official home page of Iris Chang
bestselling author of The Rape of Nanking, The Chinese in America, and Thread of the Silkworm

Journey to the East
A diverse group of Chinese-Americans presenting their heritage, good, bad, beautiful, ugly

New Party - 新黨 [traditional Chinese]
I know of no political party that is 100% corruption free, except the New Party

Silk and Splendor
Long before J-pop and K-pop swept through Asia, neighboring Japan and Korea copied Chinese clothing designs and adopted them as their own. The kimono and hanbok are Japanese and Korean variants of the Chinese hanfu, which must not be forgotten in the country of its origin.

One China - 中國統一聯盟 [traditional Chinese]
One China (Alliance for the Reunification of China) promotes national unity, domestic peace, and a democratic nation

Pamela Logan's Asia Adventure Page - Politically Incorrect
If you're happy thundering along with the Tibetan independence herd, please click your "back" button now

Shadow of the Dalai Lama
Former publishers of the Dalai Lama's writings who eventually became his sharpest critics

Spatium Trientis
Viewpoints of a lone ethnic Chinese intellectual in the U.S. deemed too ethnocentric to be published in the English language "Whitestream" media. Bless the Brave New World of the Internet for leveling the playing field.


Advocates for Self-Government
Home of the World's Smallest Political Quiz, the original Internet political quiz

Alex Jones
Alex Jones -- Because there is a war for your mind
Alex Jones Prison Planet -- Truth will set you free
A network of, for, and by anarchisms. All anarchists are welcome!
The pre-eminent non-interventionist site on the internet, daily coverage of breaking news and analysis

Dollar Vigilante
Not your typical financial newsletter, TDV covers all aspects of the ongoing collapse of the US dollar financial system from the most thoroughly free market view there is. No other conservative, libertarian or free market newsletter wants the state entirely out of the way as we do

Eric Peters Autos
Automobiles, Motorcycles, and Libertarian Politics

Future of Freedom Foundation
Providing the moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government

Until the Second Amendment is treated as normal constitutional law, this web site will always be under construction
Property, Freedom, Peace

Ludwig von Mises Institute
Defending the market economy, private property, sound money, and peaceful international relations

Molinari Institute
To promote the philosophy of Market Anarchism as a sane, consensual alternative to the hypertrophic violence of the State

Ron Paul
Congressman Ron Paul never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution

Stefan Molyneux
Stefan Molyneux may be perhaps the most eloquent "red pill" in the alternative media, a philosopher with a strong knowledge of history and a core compass reading of freedom and non-violence


United Daily News - 聯合報 [traditional Chinese]
Largest circulation Chinese language daily on Taiwan, the only one still defying the Taiwan independence Green Terror


Center for Defense Information
Foremost in security-related research, unique in its total independence from vested interests

G2mil, The Magazine of Future Warfare
What someone doesn’t want you to publish is journalism, all else is publicity


Nathaniel Branden
Nathaniel Branden has done more than any other theorist to awaken America to the importance of self-esteem to human well-being

Brugh Joy
One of the wisest men I have ever known, whose profound teachings forever transformed my perception of reality

Ken Wilber
Perhaps the most comprehensive philosophical thinker of our times, credited with developing a unified field theory of consciousness