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Bytten: quick hits for 04.04

Apologies, for my abscence yesterday. Woe unto me. But today I am back! And wetter than ever. Won't somoene please make the rain go away.
  • The music never stops. Apple sells Red Hot Chili Peppers concert tickets on iTunes. No socks includded.
  • They may have gotten there fustest with the mostest concert tickets, but Apple got beat on movies. MovieLink and CinemaNow are both selling downloadable movies, and neither support Macs. Come on, Steve. What have you got for us?
  • Macworld UK reports that Atakan Cetinsoy, who created the iTunes recommendation features, has left Apple to join another firm. Is it too soon to point out that iTunes rucommendation features suck and hope they get better now? It is? Okay, I won't then.
  • Forbes is rumor-mongering Intel iBooks will be here in June. My two cents? They'll be here in July, and they won't be called iBooks.
  • Gruber had a great post yesterday. Please, people, shout it from the hilltops. THE WHOLE REPAIR PERMISSIONS THING IS A MYTH Or, well, not a myth like the Yeti or compassionate conservatism. But you don't need to do it regularly; only when something bad fuxxors your machine all up.


Dear Friends and Family,

Please read and forward to everyone you know, it will literally take just a few minutes to help:

Please ask your House Representatives to cosign this letter by contacting Justin at
202-225-2415 of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's office. The sign on deadline is
April 14. Do not call Justin yourself- have the House Representatives call him.

Four Simple Steps:
1. www.congress.org
2. type in your zip code
3. then choose your Representatives in the House (not Senate)
4. Either fax or email them this letter, requesting that they call Justin at 202-225-2415 to cosign Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's letter to President Bush.

Thank you!
James White

From: CA46Intern1
Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2006 10:46 AM
To: Dear Colleague
Subject: Dear Colleague; Foreign Affairs; Human Rights; China


April 6, 2006

Investigate Charges of Illegal Organ Harvesting and Cremation in Chinese Death Camps

Letter asks President Bush for an investigation and an explanation from Hu Jintao

Dear Colleague,

Every once in a while an issue presents itself that we cannot ignore. Recent charges that Chinese authorities may be harvesting organs, without consent, from living human beings, from prisoners of conscience, is one of those issues.

Witnesses say captive Falun Gong adherents are shipped in sealed freight trains to secret concentration camp-like facilities that are staffed by surgeons and equipped with crematoriums to dispose of the corpses and other evidence. One military doctor reports: "I witnessed a specially-dispatched freight train transferring over 7,000 people in a trip from Tianjin city to the Jilin area. It ran at night, guarded by Chinese soldiers. Everyone on board was handcuffed to specially designed handrails atop the ceiling..."

He says there are about 36 such camps in China with the three largest in the northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning. The largest camp, codenamed "672-S," is said to hold over 120,000 people, including Falun Gong and other prisoners of conscience.

A former staff member of the "Liaoning Thrombus Treatment Center of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine" in the Sujiatun District of Shenyang City in Liaoning Province recounts that, at one point, about 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners were being held in secret in the facility. She estimates that three-quarters of them eventually had their hearts, kidneys, corneas, and skins harvested and their bodies disposed of. As for the rest, she fears the authorities will soon kill them to destroy the evidence.

Her husband at the time was a neurosurgeon whose job it was to harvest corneas. The doctors were told that harvesting the organs of live Falun Gong practitioners would not be considered a crime. Instead it was called "cleansing" for the sake of the Chinese Communist Party. "You don't understand my suffering," she recalls him telling her. "Those Falun Gong practitioners were alive. It might be easier for me if they were dead, but they were alive." Both witnesses have since left China, fearing for their own lives.

The reporter for Japanese television who first broke this story says Falun Gong practitioners are seen as a prime source of organs because of their nearly limitless supply-as many as two million are said to be currently held in China's vast system of labor camps and prisons. "They [CCP authorities] can't find enough bodies through executions, and no bodies are more readily available for this business than those of the practitioners," he explained. For other kinds of prisoners, even those on death row, organ removal would be difficult to take place without the proper paperwork. But due to the CCP's policy that the deaths of Falun Gong practitioners "count as suicide" and family members are usually not notified, hospitals remove their organs and cremate their bodies without any formal procedure or documentation! .

This may be the grisly reason why there is no waiting list for human organs in the PRC. The website for the just one transplant center, the Oriental Organ Transplantation Center in Tianjin (www.ootc.net), says they "completed 2,248 cases of liver transplants in 2005." A graph of their "achievements" shows the number of procedures growing by leaps and bounds after 1999, the year the persecution of Falun Gong officially began.

The website for the China International Transplantation Network Assistance Center, some sort of quasi-governmental entity based in Shenyang, http://en.zoukiishoku.com, boasts in its FAQ:  "It may take only one week to find out the suitable donor, the maximum time being one month because the kidney transplant needs to find a HLA tissue match...Our organs do not come from brain death victims because the state of the organ may not be good." Since the preservation time for a kidney for transplantation is only about 24 to 48 hours, such claims point to some sort of readily accessible source of fresh bodies, either newly killed or perhaps still alive at time of harvest. In general, organs that come from living bodies can command higher prices.

This site proudly announces:

"There are more than 35,000 kidney transplant operations that have been done in public hospitals in 29 cities, provinces and municipalities in China, and the number of kidney transplant operations is at least 5,000 every year all over the country. So many transplantation operations are owing to the support of the Chinese government. The Supreme Demotic Court, Supreme Demotic Law-officer, Police, Judiciary, Department of Health and Civil Administration have enacted a law together to make sure that organ donations are supported by the government. This is unique in the world."

The kind of moral complicity required for the non-consensual removal and sale of human organs is certainly unique. We as legislators, as statesmen and Americans, must not also become complicit in these crimes by keeping silent. History cares not whether we inked another trade deal or helped sell another Boeing 747, but history will judge us if we choose to look the other way when faced with truly indescribable human suffering on this scale.

We have a responsibility to have our President express America's strong wish to have a full investigation of these charges and demand an explanation from Chinese leader Hu Jintao during his upcoming visit and an agreement to allow on-site third-party investigations. I think you will agree this is the least we can do.

To sign on, please contact Justin at 202-225-2415. The sign on deadline is April 14.



Dana Rohrabacher

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  • hi, i'm mat honan, a writer in san francisco, california.
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