Scion of China's elite abuses proles in "road rage" incident

We recently noted China's aggressive embrace of the pathological, dystopian car culture first pioneered by the West. Now comes another sign of this cultural retrogression. From RTTNews, Sept. 16:

China Detains General's Teenage Son Over Road Rage Incident
The teenage son of a famous Chinese army general has been detained and sent to a government correctional facility for one year in connection with a road rage incident which sparked outrage across the country, state media reported Friday.

Fifteen-year-old Li Tianyi, son of General Li Shuangjiang who frequently appears on Chinese television singing revolutionary songs, was charged with causing disturbance, according to the Beijing Public Security Bureau.

Li and his eighteen-year-old friend Su Nan are accused of assaulting a couple in a road rage incident which happened on September 6. State-run media said police have applied for an arrest warrant for Su Nan on the same charge.

Li and Su reportedly assaulted a middle-aged couple in front of their five-year-old son at a Beijing residential neighborhood in an apparent case of road rage. They then warned the shocked onlookers not to call the police.

Li, though underage, driving a customized BMW and Su an Audi when the incident occurred. The incident was triggered when the teenagers were forced to stop their cars as the couple's car slowed to turn into a complex.

The couple suffered injuries in the attack by the enraged teenagers. State media reported Friday that Li had accepted responsibility for his actions, but did not provide further details of his detention. Also, the boy's father is said to have offered compensation to the couple.

"Revolutionary songs"? Mao would have sent this punk off to a re-education camp. More of the daily casualties of the global car culture. From the New Orleans Times-Picayune , Sept. 9:

Bicyclist hit by three vehicles and killed in New Orleans identified as Nicaraguan
A bicyclist hit by three vehicles, including a police cruiser, as he pedaled across the St. Claude Avenue Bridge one week ago was identified as a 42-year-old man from Nicaragua. Byron Orlando Sandoval-Lopez died of multiple blunt-trauma injuries, John Gagliano, chief investigator for the Orleans Parish Coroner's Office, said Friday.

From EFE, Aug. 24:

Mexico City Motorists Should "Flatten" Cyclists, Analyst Says
Mexico City motorists should take it upon themselves to rid the capital of cyclists by "flattening" those that get in their way, economic analyst Angel Verdugo, commentator for the Mexican radio program Reporte 98.5, said.

Mexico City's government, which has sponsored programs aimed at increasing bicycle use for the past four years, immediately fired back at Verdugo and termed his remarks "backward."

Um, thank you. From Reuters, Aug. 21:

Three generations of family die in car crash
Three generations of women from one New York City family died after their SUV flipped several times on I-95 in eastern North Carolina, authorities said on Sunday.

The 22-year-old driver of a 2000 Ford Expedition lost control after the back right tire blew out on Saturday afternoon, said North Carolina State Highway Patrol Sergeant R.E. Westbrook.

The SUV came to rest upside down on the right shoulder of the highway. Driver Rosanny Marte was killed, along with 46-year-old Angela Marte and 71-year-old Rosa Marte, according to Westbrook.

Local media reports said the two older women were Rosanny Marte's mother and grandmother.

Where is the outrage? These are not "tragedies." These are crimes, with political roots. When will this be recognized?

See our last post on the global car culture.

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Talk about blaming the victim! Who is the criminal here—the mom trying to get her kids across a five-lane "street" (obviously more like a highway), or the "planners" who built the monstrosity in such a way as to force residents to risk their lives? From AP, July 25:

MARIETTA, Ga. — A Georgia woman received a year of probation on Tuesday in the jaywalking death of her 4-year-old son, but the judge also made the unusual move of offering her a chance to clear her name at a new trial. The mother of two surviving children says she's satisfied with the outcome of the hearing.

Raquel Nelson was convicted by a jury this month of vehicular homicide for allowing her son to dart into the busy street north of Atlanta in April. She could have received as many as three years in prison—which would have been a much longer sentence than the one for the hit-and-run driver who struck the boy...

The death happened as Nelson was attempting to cross a busy five-lane street in Cobb County to get to her apartment after getting off a local bus, Savoy said.

The stop is about three-tenths of a mile from the nearest crosswalk, so Nelson and her family routinely crossed the middle of the street. She led her family to a median in the middle of the road and as they waited for traffic to die down, her daughter bolted across the street and her son followed. She chased after them when a van struck.

The driver, Jerry Guy, was sentenced to six months after pleading guilty to hit-and-run.

And we question the "three-tenths of a mile"—other sources put it at "almost a mile," and also note that the hit-and-run driver had had a few drinks.

China overtaking West ...in rush to dystopia

From the Washington Post, Oct. 18:

Two-year-old Yue Yue, who was left bleeding on the road after a hit-and-run accident Thursday, is now showing signs of stability, China Daily reported Tuesday. Australian news site the Herald Sun, however, continued to report that she was dead.

Surveillance camera footage of the incident shows the toddler being hit by a white van Thursday in Foshan in Guandong Province, then being hit by another van and ignored by nearly 20 passersby for seven excruciating minutes before she was given help.

The camera provoked outrage and soul-searching in China Monday, as many wondered why no one had helped the child except a “good Samaritan” trash collector who moved her bleeding body from the road.

Chen Xianmei, the trash collecter who helped Yue Yue, has been given a reward of 10,000 yuan ($1,570) by government officials for her good deed.

Another victim of the global car culture

From ABC News, Oct. 21:

A bloodied toddler ignored by many passers-by in southern China after she was run over in the street by two vans has died, according to reports.

Eighteen pedestrians and cyclists passed right by 2-year-old Wang Yue, nicknamed “YueYue,” on Oct. 13 before one woman finally stopped to pull the toddler aside on the narrow market street in Foshan, Guangdong province, and call for help.

YueYue’s death early Friday at Guangzhou Military District General Hospital was reported by Chinese media and confirmed by The Associated Press. A cause of death was not initially announced.

The case, fueled by a security camera video of the incident, sparked soul-searching in China over whether the nation’s morals declined as the country chased economic growth.

China makes further strides ...in rush to dystopia

From Shanghaiist, Dec. 13:

In a country where traffic jams occasionally last for eleven days it was probably only a matter of time before a story like this came to light. A woman has died in Beijing when the ambulance that was transporting her to hospital got stuck in traffic.

An emergency physician working alongside the paramedics vented her frustration online, "The scene of the accident is no more than 3 kilometers from the hospital, yet it took us a good 40 minutes to arrive there! Barely any cars made way for our ambulance! So woeful!" The tweet, posted to Weibo by user 'Monica-Xiaomo', was shared over 30,000 times.

Other Weibo users responded to the doctor's frustration, some blaming the drivers for having "cold-blooded souls" that they would not move out of the way for an ambulance (though, to be fair, in very heavy traffic there is little one driver can do). Others pointed to the allegedly frequent abuse of sirens by police cars and ambulances which they said had led to a "loss of trust".

Nice to see the vigorous response on Weibo, a salubrious sign of growing space for debate and dissent. But how sad to think that just a generation ago, most Beijingers were getting around on bicycles...

Another victim of the global car culture

A Beijing man, Han Lei, was sentenced to death Sept. 25 after killing an infant in a fight over a parking space. Han lifted the two-year-old toddler from her carriage and hurled her onto the ground on July 23, after he fought with the mother and beat her—because she refused to move the baby carriage out of a space where he wanted to park his car. The driver of the car, Li Ming, who helped Han flee the scene, was sentenced to two years. (CriEnglish, Sept. 25)

Scion of China's elite sent up the river

Li Tianyi, the elite scion referenced in the "road rage" incident in the original post, has been sentenced to 10 years on rape charges. The court found Li Tianyi, 17, and four others raped the woman at a Beijing hotel in February after having drinks. (BBC News, Sept. 26)

The two incidents indicate a sense of complete entitlement all the more perverse for being dressed in "Communist" garb...

From Newtown to Guangshan...

Well, by now we've all heard that 20 children and seven adults (including the shooter) are dead in another mass shooting at a school in Newtown, Conn. (ABC News, Dec. 14) Inevitably after such incidents, the debate focuses almost exclusively on gun control—which is not only a tricky question, but also in our view a secondary one. As we've stated before, what's more fundamental is the fraying of the social fabric—which is related to the auto-centric development model eroding any sense of place or community. We point out again how Octavio Paz, writing in 1968 with his native Mexico in mind, noted the "explosions of hatred" in the United States as a warning that following the North American develpoment model was "mere haste to reach ruin." We will now note that on the very same day as the Newtown massacre, 22 children were wounded in a knife attack at a primary school in Guangshan county of China's central Henan province—the latest in a spate of such attacks in China over the past year. (CNN, AFP, Dec. 14) Root causes have been posited (the media seem less averse to looking for root causes when the attacks are on the other side of the world, somehow) such as the erosion of the traditional peasant economy, the growing gap between rich and poor, and "stress as the pace of life becomes faster and socialist support systems wither." In other words, as China goes deeper into the dystopian development model pioneered by its imperial rival across the Pacific...

The gun control advocates may emphasize that 22 injured in Guangshan versus 27 dead in Newtown points to the reality that you can do more damage with a rifle than a knife. And that's a point we can't argue with. But 22 knifed children is pretty damn grim too. When will the popular and media response here in the USA go beyond the polarized gun control debate and start looking at root causes?

Root causes of gun violence

  When you wrote "When will the popular and media response here in the USA go beyond the polarized gun control debate and start looking at root causes?" I was very impressed. You are one of the few "progressives" who has called for a deeper understanding rather than a knee jerk reaction stating pass more laws. But you friend are a radical intellectual ao I wasn't surprised.
   While in this case the guns were apparently purchased legally by the mother, much of the gun violence is done with illegally obtained weapons. No politicians or antigun advocacy groups are openly calling for a crackdown on illegal weapons. Why? Is there some form of profit by not addressing this issue.
  I recently posted an article from the Washington Post about 12 facts on gun violence. One of the charts showed the gun violence is down about 40% since the 1960's. Now that figure is never quoted by the NRA or anti-gunners. Further leading to my questioning of who gains?  
Our culture, our civilization demands violence to continue our lifestyle. 
 

The guns aren't a "root cause"

They are just a tool. Not a neutral tool—there is no such thing. But not a root cause. Alienation and rage are what prompt these outrages, not the availability of guns. Why is there so much alienation and rage?

"No politicians or antigun advocacy groups are openly calling for a crackdown on illegal weapons"? Oh? Bloomberg?

Please post a link to the WP aritcle here. Do you think the NRA wants to hype gun violence, to press a supposed need for self-defense?

India gains on West ...in rush to dystopia

From Al Jazeera, April 16:

Video footage of a man being ignored as he begged for help following a road accident that killed his wife and child has led to accusations of "shameful" public apathy in India.

Police said Kanhaiya Lal's appeals were ignored for 40 minutes on Monday after a speeding truck rammed his motorcycle on Sunday, which was also carrying his wife Guddi, 26, their 10-month-old daughter and four-year-old son.

His wife and daughter died of their injuries at the accident scene while the man screamed for help with his son, who was also injured, CCTV footage aired nationwide on Indian television showed.

"My son and I were shouting for help but no one stopped or came to our rescue. Passersby and several cars did stop to catch a glance but no one seemed to be bothered," Lal said.

"Some cars almost touched the bodies as they passed by but nobody offered any help."

He said that when an ambulance "which was not well equipped" finally arrived on the scene, the body of his wife was tossed into the back of the vehicle "like garbage".

The footage showed motorists speeding past the stricken family until a city worker came forward to help.
 

Tiananmen Square car-nage

BBC News reports that at least five were killed and nearly 40 injured when a car ploughed into the crowd at Beijing's Tiananmen Square Oct. 28. Chinese media are ambiguous on whether it was an accident or "some sort of political protest," and Weibo has apparently been atwitter with speculation...