Monday, December 19, 2005
I think that most of the people in Hong Kong are glad they are gone. This conference cost the city 250 million Hong Kong Dollars in overtime, preparations and logistics not to mention lost sales and the trouble and danger to residents.
Sunday was a fairly quiet day as over 900 of the protesters were arrested on Saturday night and many others were injured and others were, I think scared off by the police response to their terrorism the night before. That was scary stuff. You'll see the "ATV" logo on the corner. They are my source for this.
Here is a link to some video It works for me I hope it works those not on my servers. This is right as the tear gas was launched.
At 7:10 PM after all protest were supposed to have been over by 3: the police announced that if the protesters did not disband they would place everyone under arrest. Locals were warned to leave as there were lots of idiots watching. I guess they thought it was going to be a typical non-violent HK protest. At about 7:30 they began firing tear gas and charged with batons. They loaded protesters into buses and took them to a special holding facility.
Of course there were the obligatory defenders who claimed "Brutality" because the HK police did not put up with the "I'm limp and you're going to have to drag me" nonsense. They simply slapped the baboons until they got up and walked.
Sunday was much more peaceful but about 1 in 15 of the protesters were either in jail or wounded so a lot of the trouble makers were gone.
interestingly enough, ATV interviewed several of the Korean farmers. They make over USD $50,000 a year. They claimed to work 365 days a year. (Begging the question then how were they here?) They also interviewed some muckity muck from Zimbabwe. He want instant access to all markets. I'd laugh at this evil fool if it were not so sad. Zimbabwe used to be a developed nation with a trade surplus until Robert Mugabe started murdering people. The poor are doing worse under a native dicrtator than they ever did under colonial powers.
I would have done a better job of reporting this if I hadn't had a cold.
Until Next Time
The Glad they are Gone Blogger
Sunday, December 18, 2005
I have some pictures that I will post soon.
The problem was made worse by silly HK locals who came to watch.
Friday, December 16, 2005
There was also some guy, I think he's Canadian, running around in chicken suit saying the WTO is worse than Bird flu.
You know, I think I liked these guys better when they were just violent thugs.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
There are writers such as David Marshall who write about the hidden hand of God in Chinese culture. His books are often insightful on many levels but the fact remains, if you didn’t grow up here, culture wise, China is a different planet from the Western world. But, one area where the cultures overlap is chestnuts. This traditional Christmas or winter snack is probably more popular in China than it is in North America. In China and also in Hong Kong and Taiwan you often find old men with a push cart fitted with a barrel of burning coal roasting chestnuts and selling them to any hungry passers by on chilly nights. I don’t really like chestnuts. There is something about the texture that feels wrong in my mouth. However, I always appreciate these street chestnut vendors.
Other hawkers selling cheap watches, clothing or tourist trinkets are more trouble than they are worth but the roasting chestnuts simply smell good. I guess it is like the roommate I used to have who loved the smell of coffee but didn’t drink it. The smell of roasting chestnuts provides a rich homey and wholesome smell in many Chinese cities that are in dire need of such smells.
Once you get beyond chestnuts Christmas in Hong Kong kind of defines the words: “Crass, Materialistic, Shallow, and Meaningless.” The lights of the buildings are a hodgepodge of Christmas New-Year and Chinese New Year. It doesn’t seem that it matters much what holiday is being celebrated as long as someone spends money on it.
And then, just when I’m not looking for it this billboard pops up in front of my bus.
(A picture will be inserted when I get my camera working again)
There are also double deck buses with a manger scene painted on the side and the words “Celebrate the true meaning of Christmas” sponsored by a shopping center in Mong Kok.
The last two years I’ve seen a choir singing carols in Chinese in front of the public library near where I live. I think they are from a Chinese language church but I really don't know who they are or why they choose that spot.
There is a manger scene and a church in the public square Christmas decorations in front of the Legislative Council building.
Maybe I’ve been too quick to judge Christmas in Hong Kong. Or, maybe David Marshall is onto something.
Until Next Time
The Its Beginning to look a Lot Like Christmas Blogger
I think the police were taken a bit by surprise yesterday because the day before they'd managed so well. I bet the Koreans try to escalate today and the police respond better. I really feel for the police. They are working 12 hour shifts and have to be ready all the time. The baboons can go and sleep and protest when they want. I would assume that by now they'd be tired. I would be.
I should also say that most of these people haven't been that violent. However, they have not condemned those that have either. The time or two that I've walked through Victoria Park this week I've not felt threatened and contrary to my fears they don't appear to have trashed the park, at least not yet. This is a real eclectic group and they seem to be protesting both sides of this issue.
Others appear to be simply what I would call political tourist. I think they show up at these things and protest for the fun of it. It probably doesn't matter what the issue is. It is enough that they feel morally superior for having protested.
One positive thing the protesters did yesterday was to protest at the EU and Japanese embassy's. At least they are not blaming the US for everything. If they really wanted to get smart they'd protest the New China News Agency which is the mainland's voice here and publisher of the propaganda rag "The China Daily." China has not only high trade tariffs but dumps products at below cost in third world nations to destroy local production and dominate the market. China also manipulates its currency so that it has a competitive advantage abroad. You want to protest unfair trade? Protest China.
Sorry no pictures today. The batteries on the camera were dead
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
The first picture is Victoria Park. While not as large Hyde Park or Central Park it is a real jewel. There is a 700 meter jogging trail, 4 playgrounds, a roller rink and incredibly beautiful landscaping. The protesters have pretty much taken it over. The tents you see are the booths the protesters setup for their "Cultural Fair." They are not normally there.
This is a picture of Hennesey Road taken from a 116 bus. You can see the leading edge of the protest coming up from the side street that was the designated as the protest route. The protesters didn't like this arrangement because they thought it didn't give them enough exposure. It also keeps them penned in between building that do not have any alleys. That makes it harder for them to riot because they can't get around the police. What is really interesting is the lack of traffic on Hennessey Road. These baboons have been a major source of economic distress to local merchants.
This is a picture of Sugar Street. If you look carefully you can see 20 to 25 police officers on this street. There are only about 20,000 protesters which is a small amount considering that Hong Kong had a protest last week that had nearly 300,000 locals. With 9000 police on duty the protesters are only able to gain a little better than 2 to 1 advantage and the Hong Kong police are pretty well trained and are required to be in good physical condition. Also, as mentioned above the routing keeps the protesters in a narrow front so that they cannot get around the police. BTW there were less than 100 police needed for the local protest with 300,000 people.
This is the 12 story Sogo Department store in Causeway Bay. It is kind of a Japanese version of Neiman Marcus and I've never seen them pull the rolling doors down while they were open before. They were searching everyone going into the store. They were also especially vigilant for shoplifting as these protesters have a have a history shop theft.
This is a crosswalk where I have to cross the street. If you look on the right you can see a police officer in dark blue kevlar jacket with his back to me. That is the front of the police cordon. The locals are just walking or in some cases jeering. This is not a very popular group.
This is the glass front of a large hotel. The man in distance is a plain clothed police officer who asked to see my ID.
They were measured, profesional and did their job well in a difficult situation. Good job!
I left work early yesterday to make sure I could get home. I ended up walking past the front of the protest and took some pictures.
I'll have more, and not very nice things to say about yesterday this afternoon. But the pictures are posted above.
Until Next Time
The Photo-journalist Blogger
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
There is a group of statues in Victoria park that were brought to Hong Kong by a Dutch artist.
They depict starving people in Africa. In sort of a shocking way, they are really quite good. He seems to be a nice guy and his English is actually quite good. (Please note I'm not reflexively critical of these people) He brought these statues from Denmark as part of the Anti-WTO protest.
There were two things that did bother m about this exhibit however.
He had problems setting the statues up because he didn't have insurance for them as he was required to have and should have known he needed. It seems to me that one should, when one is visiting a country be aware of the laws of that country and try to obey them. I cannot for the life of me see how it is unreasonable for the Hong Kong government to require him to have insurance for the statues. If he was going to bring them here he should have brought them here legally rather than having them delivered and then arguing.
If he is so concerned about about the starving in Africa why did he make artwork about it? Why doesn't he take the money invested in creating and shipping his statuary and donate it to a charity like World Vision and ask that it go to famine relief and anti-poverty programs in Africa? It would appear to me that for the cost of the statues and shipping he could have probably helped many.
Granted, I don't know anything about this guy's personal life. But, I bet he doesn't give a huge percentage of his income to charity. Instead he wants others to help those he is concerned about. I think he should spend less time trying to raise my awareness of the problem and more time trying to help those he is concerned about through direct action. Let me use Jane Goodall as an example. Suppose she'd made statues about chimps rather than living with them? Would she have raised awareness of the life and biology and behavior of chimps? Yes, but she accomplished more by moving to Africa and working with chimps.
Maybe this guy should give up his art and take up social work.
It is interesting that this guy is protesting for the relaxation of trade barriers and the Koreans and Japanese are protesting to keep them up. Yet both of these groups happily march, chant and riot together? Why? I would think that they would be fighting each other. There are only two possible reasons that I can think of that cause such disparate groups to work together when they want apparently different ends.
The first is that they are unaware of each others position. That seems somewhat unlikely considering that they broadcast their position with the help of bullhorns.
The second and I believe the correct answer, is that the protest against trade is a smokescreen. I believe that the real reason that international socialist groups protest the WTO is not trade practices but rather because they want to start the (In their minds) inevitable revolution of the proletariat to overthrow the oppressive Capitalist. If so, the issue wouldn't matter so long as the end is achieved.
It also apparently doesn't matter how many people get hurt along the way; how many lies they have to tell; how many must starve or how much misery they have to propagate or maintain.
There was a protest organizer on TV last night being interviewed by a Chinese language television station. He basically said that the protesters here want to be peaceful and not cause any trouble. However, he said if they are denied access to areas they want to protest in or continued to be harassed by the police that might change. I live right across the street from where these protest are being staged. I've not seen any harassment. I have seen the Hong Kong Police requiring the protesters to obey more or less the same laws that the people of Hong Kong have to obey when protesting something. Indeed, from my point of view, Hong Kong has bent over backwards, or possibly just bent over for these people. Having seen the Hong Kong police in action for several years I'd say they tend to be way to soft soap in dealing with rowdies. This guy is simply full of it.
All I can say to this guy is go a head; make your veiled threats. You are a guest here and should obey our laws. Civilized people (As the people of Hong Kong have proven themselves to be) don't give into threats and they don't engage in behavior like yours. Just last week there was a protest against the government in Hong Kong that drew nearly 300,000 people not your paltry 20 to 30 thousand. The whole thing was done peacefully and respectfully. If you can't refrain from making threats then maybe the 9000 police deployed against you need to be a little more proactive. I hope if you want to get down and dirty the Hong Kong police bust your head and ship your butt back to wherever you came from with a black-eye contusions all about your ears.
Until Next Time Fai Mao
Monday, December 12, 2005
I missed an opportunity to confirm my status as a prophet on Friday.
I was going to say that I expected some of the protesters to show up on TV complaining the hotel wouldn't let them stay. However, since I didn't claim before hand I won't claim it now.
That happened. A group of Koreans were on TV complaining that the hotel didn't honor their reservations. Having worked in a hotel for many years I know what actually happened.
They reserved the room without a credit card and then showed up wanting to pay cash without a deposit. Can you say "Skip"
Or, possibly they showed up and tried to put 15 people in a room
Or, possibly the protesters name appeared on a list of people that have damaged rooms or skipped in the past.
Or, possibly they cheesed off the desk clerk and (s)he was simply being belligerent because (s)he know that they could sell the rooms anyway. (If you don't think this happens you've never worked in a hotel.)
Hotels will refuse to sell a room for all of these reasons
Hotels don't just refuse reservations without cause. However, if you give them cause they will never let you back.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Over the bumps we go
Talking all the way
Bells on Cell Phones Ring
Making spirits bright
Oh, what fun it is to sing a Cell Phone Song Tonight
Cell phones ring, cell phones ring
People answer "Wai?"
Oh what fun it is to ride in a buss tonight
Until Next time
The I'm Somewhat Cynical About Christmas in Hong Kong Blogger
I need to be careful what I say because one of the people I work with knows one of these four and I don’t want to cause unnecessary conflict at work.
I feel these people are at best not helping and at worst causing the warfare to last longer. If I were them, I wouldn’t go here is why:
They never seem to help both sides. Maybe I’ve just not seen it but that is the way it looks. If they really wanted to promote peace then it seems to me that they would reach out to both sides not reach out to one and vilify the other. That is not promoting peace but taking sides.
To paraphrase the former US Secretary of State Colin Powell “The US is not an empire. When we have gone to war in foreign countries the US has only taken the amount of land needed to bury their dead.” I think he forgot about the Mexican war but in this case the point is valid. This is not a war about oil or building an empire. If it were about oil, as I’ve said before the US would have invaded Canada. If the insurgents/resistance/terrorist/what-ever-you-call-them stop fighting the US will leave as soon as a government can be installed. Thus helping the opposite side in Iraq prolongs the war and the suffering of the Iraqi people.
If the issues above do not deter people from conducting “Peace missions” into Iraq then good on them. However, please do not try to play both ends of the stick. If you get taken hostage then endure your incarceration as a trial for your faith and instruct your family and friends before you leave that they are not to go to the media and plead for your release. If you are placed in front of a video camera simply announce that you are in Iraq to feed the hungry or heal the wounded in the name of Christ and would be happy to die for your faith as a witness to your captors.
Until Next Time
The Peaceful Non-Peace Activist
Or, I might get to work and not be able to get home. Then I'd have to sleep in my library and have lots of time.
Alternately, the protesters might have a good time peacefully playing bean bag toss with the Hong Kong police and everything will be just fine. Fat chance, but we'll see.
Until Next Time
The Unsure About Next Week Blogger
The complete web site is:
until Next Time
The Self Promoting Blogger
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Grrrrrrrr, I have to get political again.
I must also offer apologies in advance for my language in this post. These people just make me so mad that I could chew rock and spit sand.
We had some WTO protester wanna-be come by the school yesterday and try to pass out fliers to the students.
They passed out these double-sided fliers but all I can say is: "What a bunch of liars."
The first thing I noticed about this flier is how many of the groups have the word "People", "People's," or "Struggle" in their name which are often code words for Communist. I find no small amount of irony in the fact that communist come to China (Hong Kong is part of China) to complain that China isn't communist enough.
I also find it interesting that communist would drop these off at a Christian school. After all aren't we a tool of the state to keep the masses oppressed? Not to mention the persecution visited upon Christians in communist countries everywhere. Having a lot of "Gall" does not even begin to describe them at this point.
However, let us talk specifics here. One of the major purposes of the WTO is to allow access to markets in developed countries by UNDEVELOPED counties. The protesters are against that and are, in fact, trying to maintain the privileged position of certain groups within a group of DEVELOPED countries. S. Korea is a highly developed, industrial country with a high standard of living and a strong economy. Yet, rather an allow agricultural products into their nation from underdeveloped nations they offer huge government subsidies to farmers and raise prohibitive tariff walls. This keeps the poor in underdeveloped countries poor and gives the S. Korean farmers a free ride.
Thus, Thailand or Cambodia or Vietnam cannot sell rice, apples or meat products to S. Korea which has very high import duties and restrictions. According to the news here these same farmers in S. Korea are upset because the government is now going to allow a whopping 8% of the rice consumed in S. Korea to be imported rice. Lots of people, myself included, have lots of bad things to say about Micro-soft. However, whatever else may be true it isn't true that they used government trade barriers to build their 98% monopoly in software sales and they certainly aren't dumping their products on the market at a low cost. In this regard, Micro-soft is more honest than the policies supported by the Anti-WTO protesters.
Given that the protesters claim to support one thing (A more just society) and actually support the opposite through the use of lies, half-truth and not revealing who they are I can only say that they appear to me to be EVIL. You cannot achieve a good end through evil means without the end becoming evil.
I also have to ask; "Why would these people come here to recruit students for their protest?" When I look at the groups promoting this I do not really see much that our students would have in common with them. I can come up with only two answers. One, they want to make their protest appear more local which would hide or augment their international socialist (Actually fascist) agenda. While dishonest this is probably their motive. They probably want to make people think that everybody supports them except George W. Bush and the Pope.
Two, they may also be looking for sacrificial lambs. I attended my share of left wing protest rallies in college. (Primarily because there was generally something to eat and girls in halter tops - yeah what can I say except I've grown up since then) I know from being there that it was a common tactic to try and see that if anyone got hurt it was a local. Locals get more sympathy than out of town protesters in the local media. We'd look for local volunteers who would be willing to let the local police bash them for the publicity. It is amazing what a couple of beers or 3 minutes smoking some Mary-Jane will do for your reluctance to volunteer for this kind of thing. What if these guys didn't do the volunteer thing? What if they want our students for cannon fodder? What if they can't convince them with alcohol or drugs? Why not lie about it? After all these are Christians who are supporting the corrupt dictatorship of the proletariat, so let them take an unwitting beating for the cause.
Does that sound harsh?
Well, then why did they tell some very explicit lies to recruit the students? They told our students that the HK government had concluded a "secret deal" to sell the water supply to a private company. This deal would raise the cost of tap water in Hong Kong by two or three-thousand percent. Well, if this deal is so secret how do they know about it? I'm sorry this is just Bull Shit. But, even if it was true, why would the price of tap water rise by 2000 percent? What happened when telephone monopolies were broken up? The price when down and quality went up that's what. This is just an attempt to create hysteria and round up a few uninformed teenagers to attend their rally.
Besides, if they are not concerned about rice farmers in Cambodia, Thailand or Vietnam then why are they concerned about the tap water in Hong Kong? Liars, evil, disgusting liars is all they are.
Some of the other groups deal with immigration and women.
These people want nations to basically open their borders and let any starving, illiterate and untrained barbarian crowd into more prosperous areas. This would only make everyone poor and result in wealthy nations becoming impoverished. While the wealthy nations do indeed bear some responsibility for the poor in other areas it is not true that every person with enough to eat has enough to eat because they stole food from the poor. While there is much that could be done to alleviate hunger allowing the starving to move from rural China, Malaysia or France to Singapore, Hong Kong or Shanghai would probably only make them worse off than they were before. People advocating a completely open international immigration policy are, at best mis-guided.
Women and children are exploited in many nations around the world. There is no question about it. You will not get an argument otherwise from me about it. However, the issues I see these people promoting have little to do with making the lives of women and children better.
I am going to be blunt. It is my experience that Asia has huge problems with, prostitution, child prostitution, forced labor and pornography and generally speaking in many countries the abuse of women and children is wide spread. Where ever you see such things happening they are the result of one of three things: Immoral Tourist, Socialism, and Islam. It isn't Christian missionaries (The occasional Catholic Priest excepted) who abuse women and children. It isn't even the big multinational corporations like Nike.
Immoral tourist are the life blood of the sex trade in Asia. It is maintained and is supported in large part by Asian men and by liberal (socialist for those of you in Europe) tourists who go to places like Bangkok to party with the little girls. Because of endemic governmental corruption, the abusive attitudes of local officials or low value placed upon the lives of females in Islamic societies and the poverty caused by the socialist governments, there is a large supply of women and children who must be prostitutes or starve. Who do you see in the seedy whore houses in Asia? Korean, Japanese, Germans and British tourist, that's who. Probably those rich Korean farmers again. After all, if they can fly to protest all these WTO conferences they could surely take time off for a fling in Phukett.
These are the people who would consider anyone sexist who supports sex as a component of marriage and views non-marital sex as a sin. But you know what, it isn't the Christians living in a monogamous relationship that fuel the sex industry in Asia. There simply are not enough fallen Baptist ministers to keep the pedophilia market up and running.
But the groups here want to talk about "Reproductive rights" aka abortion. They want to pass out condoms to prevent AIDS. The people they want to help need more than that.
I want to hang a few "Johns" by their penis as an example to others who think that supporting the sex industry, through their desire to have sex with a child, is appropriate. If they think I'm not civilized then so be it. If They think that is not a "Christian" response then I guess I'm a terrible sinner. But I don't screw little boys for money and in the relativistic society they want it makes me better than they are. So there!
The groups protesting the WTO do not support rights for either women of children. They are simply EVIL. They claim to support the defense of the poor and stand for social justice. They don't They simply hide their selfishness behind political sounding platitudes.
Oh, how could I forget. They don't like the US. I defy anyone to look at the US trade deficit and tell me that it is hard to sell imported goods in the US. You can't do it. Does that make the US blameless in everything? No, of course not but it does mean that when it comes to free trade the US is better than most. But, then again, these people are not interested trade that provides jobs and keeps people in third world countries from starving.
It looks to me that the real reason these people do not like the US is that it isn't a wonderful socialist paradise with no social problems like France.
Growl. Spit. Bang my hand on the table. Why is it that these people are always given such a free ride? I wish these baboons would just go home. (Apologies to real baboons who are generally nicer, smell better and more honest than the Anti-WTO protesters)
It gets worse.
On last nights' local news the police chief of Hong Kong said that police are ready for anything. They've been issued rubber bullets, bean bags and if worst comes to worst, they have tear gas.
Great, non-lethal bullets and bean bags. I think Hong Kong is going to have a hard week next week.
Until Next Time
The reluctant Anti-AntiWTO blogger
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
That can be seen at:
This Year I thought I'd try again
Walking in a Hong Kong Wonderland
Tram bells ring are you listening?
In the street lights are blinking
Its crowded tonight
What a frenetic sight
Walking in a Hong Kong wonderland
Gone away is bluebird
We killed them all because of flu birds
We'd rather not cough
As we walk the along
Walking in a Hong Kong wonderland
In the crosswalk we can see an old man
pushing a cart full of paper brown
He'll say: Can you help me
We'll say: No, Man
But you'll be there by sundown
Later on we'll conspire,
As we push our stock price higher
As we live and we die
In our flats in the sky
Walking in a Hong Kong wonderland
When we get old
In Canada or Australia
We'll frolic and play
Though far far a way
Walking in a Hong Kong wonderland
Until next Time
The Christmas caroling blogger
Monday, December 05, 2005
They are cheaper than Filipinos and amazingly speak Cantonese thus, many people are hiring them rather than the more traditional Filipino maids. You can tell the difference rather easily. The Indonesian maids are Muslims and wear scarves over their head and part of their face and the Filipino maids, being primarily Catholic don't.
I am not big on domestic servants anyway but but given the choice I'd take the Filipino every time. I could deal with food here and talk about the Chinese love of pork and the Halal restrictions against it. However, I'm thinking more subtly and perhaps even more bigoted. One of the main jobs of these maids is to care for children. I wouldn't want my kids raised by a Muslim. I find it to be a completely intolerant and narrow-minded religion. I can not imagine a worse influence on children than Islam. It is a bigoted, racist and intolerant religion. It is spread and maintained almost solely by fear, force and intimidation and free societies would do well to shun it. I find the concept of being intolerant of what I consider to be intolerance to be a fascinating one.
That said; I cannot help but have sympathy for these young women. They come from a repressive, oppressive and backwards culture and I am happy for any of them that manage to escape it. I wish more would. They all seem so sad. I pray for each of the maids I see on the street that they would discard the veil of self-righteousness that they cling to and find true freedom and true love and true submission in Christ.
I causally know a guy who managed to date one of these Indonesian maids for a short period of time. He said that a lot of these maids would like to abandon Islam but are afraid that their family back in Indonesia will be punished or that they will be ostracized or even hunted down and killed by their families. If they begin to fall away from Islamic ideas then one of the other maids will surely gossip about them and the word will reach their village. They cannot escape even if they want to, unless they turn their back on their families and friends forever. I wonder what my reaction would be if I were in such a situation?
He described their culture here in Hong Kong as a pot of crabs. I'm not a big shell fish eater so I don't know but evidently if you go crabbing you place the crabs you've caught in a bucket or pot. As you catch more the crabs pile up on top of each other and the top crabs are closer to the rim of the pot. Eventually the crabs on top try to escape because they can reach the rim of the pot. However, before they climb out the other crabs catch their legs and pull them back in. Thus, none of the crabs escape their fate because those to far down from the rim won't let those higher up climb out.
What a picture of Islam.
Until Next Time
The Blogger without a domestic Servant
nearly 300,000 people out of a population 8 million were there.
They broke no windows.
They didn't riot
They didn't rampage through any shopping areas.
They didn't beat anybody up
They didn't assault the police.
There were, as far as I know, no arrest.
Let us see if the G7 Protesters can do so well.