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The Communists are Just Another Dynasty

And it appears they are soon to lose the Mandate of Heaven. (h/t: Instapundit)

Thousands of Wukan’s residents, incensed at the death of one of their leaders in police custody, gathered for a second day in front of a triple-roofed pagoda that serves as the village hall.

For five hours they sat on long benches, chanting, punching the air in unison and working themselves into a fury.

At the end of the day, a fifteen minute period of mourning for their fallen villager saw the crowd convulsed in sobs and wailing for revenge against the local government.

“Return the body! Return our brother! Return our farmland! Wukan has been wronged! Blood debt must be paid! Where is justice?” the crowd screamed out.

Wukan’s troubles began in September, when the villagers’ collective patience snapped at an attempt to take away their land and sell it to property developers.

Land was the communist promise. That was how they bought the support of the peasants: with the illusion of control over their own land. Like all communist promises, this was a lie, but it was a lie that the peasants were prepared to accept so long as they had only the insolence of office and the law’s delay to deal with. But now the landlords are returning.

Although China suffers an estimated 180,000 “mass incidents” a year, it is unheard of for the Party to sound a retreat.

UPDATE: Other McCain says (or posts a reader saying) the story needs to go viral. He is right.

AND FURTHERMORE: Ladd Ehlinger makes the distinction between Rebellion Theater and actual rebellion:

For those in league with the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring, a question for you. Why aren’t you helping these poor people out in Wukan? Anonymous and Lulzec: occupying Wall Street isn’t quite the same as occupying Tienanmen Square, is it? If any of you cared about freedom and liberty, you’d be all over China like smell on dead fish.

Instead, you try to shut down the ports of Portland, Oregon (economically hurting countless American workers and yes, even union members), when you’re not busy putting 91 people out of work at the Milk Street Cafe.

It reminds me of Machiavelli. Taking over Wall Street, like rebelling against the King of France, is easy to do, and therefore hardly worth the effort. Taking over Tienanmen Square, like rebelling against the Ottoman Sultan, is harder.

The Air Force Burial Business

I spotted this first on Ace’s sidebar: The Air Force has buried remains of servicemen killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in a landfill in Virginia.

The obvious reaction

I know. I know. Ladd Ehlinger, who worked for the military in some capacity until 2001, has piled on. But hold a second:

Air Force now confirms that body fragments linked to at least 274 fallen military personnel sent to the Dover Air Force Base Mortuary were cremated, incinerated and buried with medical waste. That procedure was in place between November 2003 and May 1, 2008. The Air Force also said that 1,762 body parts were never identified and also were disposed of, first by cremation, then by further incineration and then buried in a landfill.

Wait…what’s a body fragment? Is that a body? What is it?

When bodies are not intact — for instance, in the aftermath of a crash or explosion — a body may be released to the family before some parts have been identified by the Air Force Mortuary at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Families can elect to be notified when parts are identified or leave it up to the military to dispose of them appropriately. Since the policy was changed in 2008, the unclaimed body parts are buried at sea.

So what I take from this is: what got buried in the landfill was unidentified body parts, not whole bodies. What could be identified was sent home to families as it should have been.

At some point, it’s not 100% possible to determine who a particular bone or organ belongs to. DNA testing can only take you so far. And hanging on to body parts in the forlorn hope that they’re going to ever be identified — so you can ship them to family members who have already buried a loved one — is a rather ghoulish bureaucratic perversity.

You can fairly argue that cremating the leftovers and putting them in a landfill is insensitive. I agree, and am glad for the new policy — instituted in the closing months of the Bush Administration — of sea burial (after all, if it was good enough for Bin Laden…).

But however hot this tempest blows, it may extend no further than the teapot’s dome.