watChinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is going to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Friday, because "peace" apparently is now a synonym for "toiling in vain for democracy." China does not like this very much, as Liu is sitting in one of their prisons, so they decided to make their very own peace prize. According to the Beijing businessman who is said to have conceived of the new prize, the Nobel Peace Prize is "not a holy thing" and "everyone has a right" to dispute its choice by making their own peace prize. Except the guy who narrowly beat out the 90's band Smash Mouth for China's first prize doesn't seem to want it.

The first honoree is Lien Chan, Taiwan's former vice president and the honorary chairman of its Nationalist Party, for having "built a bridge of peace between the mainland and Taiwan.'' A staffer in his Taipei office said she could not comment Tuesday because she knew nothing about the prize.

Jesus, AP, you ruined the surprise! China was going to put a bag over his face, stuff him in a helicopter, and throw him an award party over in China, but now it won't be a surprise, so they may as well not even do it. How unpeaceful of you, AP.

Chan was chosen from among eight nominees — some of whom are regularly mentioned for, or have already won, that other peace prize: billionaire Bill Gates, former South African President Nelson Mandela, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and the Panchen Lama, the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism.

Probably could have gotten Jimmy Carter to go to this thing. Really, China, you should be better at throwing together a fake award at the last minute. It's almost as if you don't want to be a superpower. [AP]


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