Most of the email I receive here at The New Leaf Journal is spam. Thus, I seldom have much reason to write about our emails. But I recently received an important email from Mr. Li Shangfu. I knew who Mr. Shangfu was before I started reading: He was the Defense Minister of China before he was unceremoniously removed by Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping.

What could Mr. Shangfu want from me?

According to the email, Mr. Shanfu decided to contact me privately because he wants my help. What does he want my help. Because he “appeared missing which is a euphemism for being fired or imprisoned.”

I think “missing” is more of a euphemism for being “imprisoned” or worse than it is for being fired. In Mr. Shangfu’s case, I suspect his being “missing” is termination combined with other restraints on his liberty. But this man took the time to write this urgent plea for help in what is at best his second language – so I will cut him some slack.

In his own words, he continued:

When I kill an Arab, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindo, a communist, whoever it is, I am killing myself.

I must concede I am having some trouble following here. Is he saying that he, the former Chinese Defense Minister, is opposed to violence? This is big if true (especially for the “Hindos” who could be in danger now that he has appeared missing, which is a euphemism for his firing or imprisonment).

(For whatever it is worth, I do not think Mr. Shangfu fell from favor because of pacifist sentiments.)

Mr. Shangfu described his problem:

[M]y problem with the Chinese Government is their actions without considération, as we all know that he who plunges into action without considering the problem, thinking that he is reforming the world – it is he who is creating greater confusion and greater misery.

One thing jumped out to be from this passage: The accent mark over the e in consideration. Note that I copied this passage exactly.

After some more difficult-to-decipher analysis of his situation, Mr. Shangfu made a heartfelt request to the editor of a small online writing magazine based in the United States:

I’m desperately in need. Please ,save my life!!!

I interpret the misplaced comma as a sign of urgency. He was using his final moments before being sent to an unknown detention center to fire off a message to the one person in the world who could help him: The administrator of a small WordPress-powered writing website in the United States.

Mr. Shangfu then made sure to let me know that I stood to benefit if I help save his life:

I promise you will never regret helping me. If you can save my life and properties. I hope will can be friends with benefits.

I was about to be persuaded until he expressed the desire to be friends with benefits. I am not sure if he is familiar with our slang/idioms, but assuming that he is, I would be more open to helping if he could promise that we would never be friends with benefits.

Mr. Shangfu then provided a Gmail email address as contact information. Interestingly, however, the general’s email came from a distinctly non-Gmail address and is signed by a non-Gmail address. Something seems off here.

No no. This is definitely General Shangfu.

However, while I am absolutely convinced of the authenticity of this communication, I fear that I am both unable and unwilling to intercede in this important matter. I am unable for two reasons. First, I am merely a writer and website administrator based in the United States and, second, I used my website to publish a few articles that would most likely harm my ability to persuade leaders of the Chinese Communist Party to change their policy with respect to anything, including Mr. Shangfu. I am also unwilling to help for many reasons – but for simplicity’s sake I will note that Mr. Shangfu remains subject to previously imposed U.S. State Department sanctions and picking a fight with the U.S. Treasury Department is not on my immediate to-do list. Speaking of State Department sanctions, I am still waiting for my reward for providing valuable information about the whereabouts of a major Taliban leader, but I digress.

(Perhaps Mr. Shanfu could ask Midjourney’s CEO to put in a good word on his behalf.)

From the outside, you may think that being a webmaster is all fun and games. However, it is depressing work. Mr. Shangfu is just one of the many people who have asked me for help. There was the wealthy Japanese widow, the terminally ill Arab businessman, and most recently the wealthy Ukrainian woman who wanted my assistance in helping her flee Ukraine and facilitate her investments in U.S. businesses. (I am sensing a trend here.) As gut-wrenching as it always is, it is my general policy to avoid getting involved in these matters – not because these are not all genuine requests for help, but instead because I am committed to focusing on delivering perennially virid content to our millions of readers all across the world.

(If Mr. Shangfu is a loyal reader, I think I can fairly say that we have millions of readers – my local analytics solution is just missing more than 99% of them.)