The Corner


In today’s Impromptus, I have an item on a recent discovery in Oregon: A woman purchased some Halloween decorations. She opened the box and found a letter from an inmate of the Chinese gulag — a report of horror and a cry for help.

As I say in my column, Chinese slave labor is one of the most underreported stories in the world. (So is organ harvesting.) I also say, “I wish there were a way of knowing: of knowing which products are free-labor and which products are slave-labor.”

A reader writes to say, “My wife and I often wonder, ‘What must they think of us?’” What must Chinese laborers, particularly of the slave variety, think of us who buy, for example, Homer Simpson bedroom slippers?

In 2006, I interviewed a man named Charles Lee. That piece was called “Prisoner of the PRC: The experience of a Falun Gong practitioner.” Go here, if you like. In between bouts of torture, Lee was made to work. He put together Christmas lights. (Charming.) He also made Homer Simpson bedroom slippers — you put your foot where Homer’s mouth was.

I mention this in my column. But let me now quote from the 2006 piece: “I ask, by the way, what [Lee] thinks of people in the Free West who buy those slippers. He says, ‘Oh, they just want the cheapest product. But I feel that, if they knew about my situation, it would bother them.’”

Another Impromptus item is about the recent Greenwich Village bombers — Occupy types, who were busted. Earlier Greenwich Village bombers were Weather types — not busted. Well, busted in a way. They blew up the townhouse they occupied, as they were preparing to blow up (innocent) others.

In my column, I say, “One of this year’s bombers is Morgan Gliedman, the 27-year-old daughter of a prominent New York doctor. So beautiful, so privileged, so full of promise. How many lives over the centuries has extremist ideology ruined?”

A reader writes in, “Don’t forget that one of the 1970 bombers was the daughter of a distinguished New York lawyer.” Ah, yes, Leonard Boudin — the CP lawyer, if I can be blunt about it. His daughter is Kathy — still a heroine of the Left, paroled ten years ago.

On a lighter and better note, I spend some time hailing Robert Griffin III, a.k.a. RG3: the Redskins quarterback. Let me quote from a reader, just because I like the expression so much: “I too admire RG3. He appears to be a solid guy with a good character. Athletically, he’s smoother than smoke through a keyhole, as Darrell Royal used to say.”

Royal grew up in Oklahoma, where they know how to use the language — imaginatively. 


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