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Tuesday's HOT MIC

Tuesday's HOT MIC

All Chinese are equal, but some are more equal than others, I suppose.

China bans George Orwell's Animal Farm and letter 'N' as censors bolster Xi Jinping's plan to keep power indefinitely.

The details verge on comical -- if they weren't so repressive.

Experts believe the increased levels of suppression - which come just days after the Chinese Communist Party announced presidential term limits would be abolished - are a sign Xi Jinping hopes to become a dictator for life.

The China Digital Times, a California-based site covering China, reports a list of terms excised from Chinese websites by government censors includes the letter 'N', Orwell's novels Animal Farm and 1984, and the phrase 'Xi Zedong'.

The latter is a combination of President Xi and former chairman Mao Zedong's names.

Search terms blocked on Sino Weibo, a microblogging site which is China’s equivalent of Twitter, include “disagree”, “personality cult”, “lifelong”, “immortality”, “emigrate”, and “shameless”.

It was not immediately obvious why the ostensibly harmless letter ‘N’ had been banned, but some speculated it may either be being used or interpreted as a sign of dissent.

Years ago, Steve Martin joked in one of his standup bits that if you're going to commit a serious crime, add some crazy to the mix so that if you're caught, you can plead insanity. Picture a robber, trapped in the bank with his hostages, surrounded by police: "I demand a million dollars in cash, a plane to Cuba, and I WANT THE LETTER 'E' STRICKEN FROM THE ALPHABET!"

Crazy, right? Except that here in Heinlein's Crazy Years, China just removed the letter N from the internet.