Protesters in Beijing

Imagine this: you have a problematic neighbor who never mows his lawn.  He’s a fine person otherwise, but the uncontrolled grassy front yard really bothers you and other nearby families.  You’ve complained to him about this several times, but he’s made it clear that his property isn’t really your business.  One day, this neighbor decides to throw a big barbecue party and invites the entire neighborhood.  You suspect that he’s only trying to show off his big house, but it is nevertheless the awesomest BBQ you’ve ever been to – USDA Select quality steaks, massive burgers seasoned just right, a wide variety of chilled beers and top shelf liquors, complete with ESPN on a 72″ HDTV.

Question: now that the entire neighborhood is here, is it time to announce your criticism against his lack of yard work?

Especially right after he says to you, “let’s not talk about the grass today”?

That’s exactly what these Americans are doing in Beijing – Free Tibet and other sorts of protests.  Many were arrested immediately, most have been deported, and there are more underground demonstrations under way.

These so-called activists mastermind plans to break the laws – so do the terrorists.  The Chinese government employs a crazy number of law enforcement units to keep both of them off the streets.  These activists simply fail to understand how their childish behavior is damaging the American image, and they wonder why American tourists aren’t welcome in half of the world?

American media make this story sound like an outrageous violation of the First Amendment; but hello, its jurisdiction is kind of limited to our own continent.  Reminds me of when the American kid got canned in Singapore, and it become such an uproar that even President Clinton had to intervene repeatedly.  To us, those foreign laws may seem unreasonable and harsh; but to them who take rules more seriously, we are an uncivilized country that knows no respect.

Not that I don’t think the human rights or regional political issues should be discussed, but for everything there’s an appropriate time and place.  In ancient Greece, people talked at the public forums, and the Olympics was meant for sports.