Monday, March 31, 2008

 

Our Silence is Deafening

What a great article!

All the "Free Tibet" people should read this carefully. Please, don't misunderstand. China has been pretty brutal in Tibet but there are many place that are much worse that receive no attention from the media or protesters.

Compared to other places in the world the people of Tibet have it good; Zimbabwe for example. Because the people of Zimbabwe do not have a charismatic guy, who speaks good English promoting their cause and because Robert (The Genocidal Maniac) Mugabe does a decent job of playing the "I'm a victim of European colonialism" card the left-wing protesters don't care how many people die in Africa. Besides the people in Africa are black and the Dali Lama looks almost white and does concerts with U2. I guess Africans suffering at the hands of true left-wing dictator types are not as fun to care about as Tibetans suffering under the hand of ex-left wing semi-dictatorships like China.

Let me see; who has more freedom, opportunity, social mobility or human rights A or B?

A----------------------------------- B
Buddhist in Tibet ----------Christians in Saudi Arabia
Almost anyone in Tibet - --Almost anyone in Sudan
Farmers in Tibet - --------Farmers in Zimbabwe
Women in Tibet ----------Women in most Muslim countries
People in Tibet ---------- People in Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti

The answer in every case is "A"

It would seem to me that if people wanted to work for a group of people to be freer then any of the places in column "B" would be a better place to start. Not that "A" is necessarily a very good place to be

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who really does not like to defend the PRC

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

 

Mac-the-Knife in the PRC and Tibet

Introductions to post, especially post about controversial topics are always the hardest part of an essay to write. As a blogger I am, or so I believe lumbered with the triple task of catching the reader's interest, setting out my topic and doing that in a creative, manor that encourages readers to think about their own opinions. Not that those aren't the job of any writer but I think, with so many bloggers posting it is important to kind of have that hook to keep people from cruising on by. However, I also have to be careful lest a reader simply sees that first sentence and says "What a jerk" and then doesn't finish reading. It is a line I don't feel that I walk very well at times. All of that brings me to my topic today which is actually something I've spent several days thinking about. I want those who would have a knee jerk reaction against my topic to take a deep breath, count to 10 and keep reading until the end of the post.

Here is the controversial part:

I believe that the government of China was justified in the way that it controlled the protesters in Lhasa Tibet two weeks ago.

Why?

Because I believe that Niccolò Machiavelli was correct when he said that the primary purpose of the state is to ensure that it continues exist. No nation, at any time, not even France last summer will allow citizens to agitate for secession. Notice if you will, that shortly after this tragedy started there were pro-Tibet protest in other Chinese cities, including Beijing. Did the PRC kill those people? No they did not. The issue in Tibet was, at least in part that the racial Tibetans were burning and looting the homes and businesses of Han Chinese that the government had moved into the area. This wasn't a group of monks walking peacefully down the street waving signs.

In this respect, the actions of the PRC mirror those of France last summer when the racial minority North African Youths rioted around Paris. Was the PRC more brutal? Yes it appears so but they also stopped the riots in less time. While the issues involved are different the principle by which both nations responded was the same.

Like it or not, Tibet IS part of China. Whether Tibet was part of China, or an allied power with Imperial China until 1911 is a moot question. In the early 1950's the PRC invaded Tibet, conquered it and assimilated it into to the PRC. Tibet is part of China by law of conquest. I do not necessarily like that. You may not like that. At least some of the Tibetans pretty obviously don't like it but it doesn't matter what any of us like in this case. It only matters that China invaded Tibet, subdued it and added Tibetan lands and peoples to the PRC. This is the way that empires have always been built.

None of this means that I like what is happening in Tibet.

There is another issue involved here which isn't thought about by the protesters either as far as I can tell. If the Chinese give Tibet independence they'd have to do the same for Taiwan. The population in PRC have been taught for nearly 60 years that Taiwan is part of China. They'd never stand for that. Also, if they give Tibet Independence then why not a Free Hong Kong movement? What about all those Western Chinese provinces that would like to become their own 3rd world Muslim slum? Why not "freedom" for the 160 to 200 million Cantonese speakers?

If China were to let Tibet slip from its iron-fisted grasp the whole nation might fall apart. While there are people who think that might be a good thing I doubt the leaders in Beijing would. Indeed, as the US has just spent 5 years learning in Iraq, overthrowing a bad government does not mean the next one will be better.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who doesn't really like to defend the PRC on this issue

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

 

Go away for a week and the place falls apart.

Holy Cow!

The really smart-pretty-looks twenty years younger than she is- hardworking wife and I go to the hot spring for Easter break and Hong kong goes to Hell in a handbasket. Geez, I guess I don't need to ever take a vacation.

So tell me, who pays for raising that tug boat that sank after it was rammed by a Chinese freighter? There are traffic rules for ships just like there are for automobiles. That means that someone, figuratively speaking was in the wrong lane or ran a stop sign. Shouldn't the owners of the ship in the wrong be charged for the rescue and salvage? Yet the local news hasn't said as far as I can see which ship was in the wrong.

Let us not even ask what a tug boat registered in the Ukraine was doing in Victoria harbour?

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who doesn't have a boat

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Monday, March 17, 2008

 

Who Says The Elite Aren't Fit To Serve?

Well said indeed!

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who was 4F

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You can't do this if you are Chinese

I am not a fan of this woman's music. Couldn't careless about her most of the time. I also think think this was an empty gesture that may even have been counter-productive. The leadership in China are all paranoid and think everybody is out to get them. Giving them reason to believe their fears are justified doesn't really help the situation.

Besides Tibet isn't the issue in China, or at least not the whole issue. The real issue is that the entire nation groans under the imperial heel of the jackbooted, Ex-communist cum Neo-Nazi party that controls my nation. It isn't just the people in Tibet who are oppressed in China it is everybody. To single Tibet out because the somewhat charismatic Dalli Lama makes them an issue and to ignore the rest of the country is not right. She should have yelled. "Freedom, Freedom, Freedom" not "Tibet, Tibet Tibet" Better yet, she should could have yelled; "Live up to your Constitution and obey the laws you claim to respect; you slimly pieces excrement and black hair dye!"

The Chinese constitution promises, freedom of speech and religion and a whole host of rights that the Chinese people are routinely denied. The government of the PRC needs to live up to its own creeds which were adopted in the 1980's. But doing so would threaten the party and the party, in the eyes of its members must never fail. Chairman Mao forbid (Since they are officially Atheist I can't say God forbid) that the party should ever be shown to be guilty of a crime! It can't be. They are the progressive and compassionate leaders of the proletariat revolution. I think they need to read Karl Popper's critique of Socialism.

But, at some level, I've got to admire what this singer did. Especially since the central government just declared a "People's War" against Tibet yesterday because of the protest going on there. I asked around a bit to find out what a "People's War" is. The definition provided by the nearly always unreliable Wikipedia is evidently somewhat incorrect or at least in this case less than complete. It appears that in this case the government has declared a state of overt Martial Law, as opposed to the somewhat more discreet version that is the norm in China. It also means that the police, military and other security forces in Tibet are probably going to simply machine gun the protesters after putting a media blackout in effect.

I've printed these lyrics before. But they deserve to be printed again

How Many Tears
Gunmetal grey for golden rules
White hot steel for the comfort of fools
Molten wills in iron hands
Forge new sons for the Motherland

How many tears will fall down
How many tears must fall
How many tears will stain this ground
How many tears must fall

Hidden mounds in jungle dust
Youthful voices forever lie hushed
Poets and peasants know the truth
But what in the world can one man do

How many tears will fall down
How many tears must fall
How many tears will stain this ground
How many tears must fall

A mother’s eyes ache with her hatred
Her lips they are crippled with fear
She waits for the news that she don’t want to hear
How many tears
How many tears
How many tears must fall down

Ain’t no funerals
Ain’t no prayers
Ain’t no blood in the Government Square
Reign of terror
True and tried
Dries the eyes before they’ve cried

How many tears will fall down
How many tears must fall
How many tears will stain this ground
How many tears must fall
How many tears
How many tears will fall down

From Dry Bones Dance
Back to The Mark Heard Lyric Project

How many people have to die in the name of the people, social harmony and progress? Now there is a question that even Confucius couldn't answer.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who wants all of China to be Free

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

 

Right Here Right Now

I am an existentialist. That is a difficult thing to say not only because Existentialism is such a difficult movement to pin down (though it is) but, because it has also been out of fashion since the 1950’s. So it is somewhat embarrassing to say “I am an existentialist” in the same way that the middle-aged stockbroker in an Armani suit is just a little embarrassed to say “ In college back in the ‘60’s I used to wear tied-dyed T-shirts and told myself that only fascist drove Volvos.”

Another reason it is somewhat embarrassing to admit to being an existentialist is that there is a general conception that existentialists are a group of morose or depressed individuals. Sort of like a room full of Edgar Allen Poe want-to-be types only they don’t write poetry but prose in French or German.

In reality, only some existentialists were morose and depressed. At least one was insane. Quite a few were religious unless they were Atheist. Heidegger was a NAZI but his friend Jan Husserl whom he dedicated his book “Being and Time” to was Jewish, as was Henri Bergson. Jaspers was a psychologist before giving up that pseudoscience to pursue uncertain philosophic truth. Kierkegaard was a devout Lutheran whose meditations are still read in Danish churches. Some like Jean-Paul Sartre attained a kind of celebrity status if only for the purpose of seducing women[1], while others like Bergson and Popper sought ways harmonize philosophy, science and religion. Some existentialists are read only by other existentialist if at all; but Camus was a best selling novelist. Francis Schaeffer was a Protestant missionary in Switzerland who wrote books in which he spent a lot of time complaining about how existentialist are a bad influence are on society but his theology is based upon experiencing a personal God so you could, in a sense call him a Christian Fundamentalist-Existentialist.

If you look around you can probably find an existential writer to praise or blame, support or debunk any subject you can think of.

Which brings us to the central questions; “What is Existentialism?” and “Why am I am Existentialist?”

What ties existential thinkers together is a belief in experience. Existentialists generally believe that it is our experiences which explain reality not primarily logic, reason or laws. It is this emphasis upon experience that separates existential philosophy from not only more popular schools of philosophy but even from concepts like Dadaist art. Art is not, to the existentialist what the artist says it is, that is Nihilism which I think is a form of sophistry, but rather art is important because of what the experience of experiencing the art reveals about us and the artist.

Believing that experience is equal to reason, and logic and doesn't mean that existentialist don't believe in moral absolutes, ethics or science. Just that they don't feel you can separate the experience from the fact in most cases.

I do not always agree with everything that every existentialist says. Far from it; often I often disagree heartily. But, because I recognize the role of experience in the thought process I can better talk to people that have different points of view. It also gives me a way to convince those who hold different views. I can simply say "Try it, you'll like it"

Something that I find funny about existentialism is that you can an existentialist and be almost anything else at the same time. You can be a philosophic Idealist, a Platonist if you will and still be an existentialist at the same time. But, you can also be a philosophical Realist, have Aristotle memorized in the original Greek and heartily agree that Thomas Aquinas is the greatest intellect in 1500 years and still be an existentialists. I guess you could probably be a Nihilist, believing that nothing is real and go around trying to experience nothing in an existential manner but the difference between that and a Buddhist might be hard to explain to all those people who aren’t really there and probably couldn’t careless.

Experience is broad topic. As you can imagine there is considerable disagreement over what constitutes a “valid” existential experience and different existentialist have looked at different types of experience as valid. Early in his career, Heidegger said that the ultimate experience was our angst over death but as he grew older he thought that we should look to our poetic muse and the creation of beauty in the world and in our lives. Sartre, thought the universe was meaningless and wrote about our feelings of alienation and striving to impose meaning and personality upon an impersonal universe. Martin Buber and Soren Kierkegaard describe experience in terms of faith and experiencing God. This means that existentialist maybe tied together by their emphasis upon experience but the rope has lots of slack and the knot isn’t that tight. That is one of the things that makes’ existentialism attractive to me. There is room for all sorts of people. I think it was Richard Rorty who said something like “90 % of everything that philosophers say is wrong; but the 10% they get right explains 99% of everything else.” Well, that statement is as true of existentialism as it is of any

This broadness and amorphous quality of existentialism is my chief proof for my next statement. I am an existentialist because I believe that we are all, every one of us, regardless of culture, creed or gender, are existentialist. We may, and many do, try and deny this. We want to deny it because it is a scary thought. We want the universe to make sense. We want to be able to prove, to know, to understand. Existentialism offers no assurance we will find those things. But, look around. How many of the decisions we make each day are really based upon logic, or reason? The closest we normally get to those things is biology. Indeed, we almost never use reason or logic as the sole basis for important decisions. Even if we think we do. For example; when I wanted to get married I did not advertise a vacancy for a spouse, collect resumes, have candidates vetted for, attractiveness, earning potential, compatibility, age or what not. It didn’t happen that way at all. It never does. If we look, most of the major decisions we make are made according some metaphysical soup ethics, logic and experience. I think that the more important the decision, the less logic and reason actually have to do with it. The sooner we realize that the sooner we will make better decisions.

Does that mean I don’t believe in logic, reason or absolutes? No, it does mean that I am aware that many times I will use reason, logic and other external cannons to justify my own desires. Reason and logic are not the deities that eighteenth-century French philosophers thought them to be. They are tools, a kind of mental hammer that allow us to break down our desires into simpler parts that we can understand. We’d see that we aren’t half as smart as we think we are but maybe far wiser.

We are all creatures of experience. We all live, or should live for the love of life. Not that it is always pleasant, or easy or even understandable; but just because it is. Is there a meaning to it all? Science, logic and reason can never know. But the existentialist can; right here right now.

More on this at a later time.

[1] Thinkexist.com: http://thinkexist.com/quotation/if_i_became_a_philosopher-if_i_have_so_keenly/159232.html March 16, 2008


Until Next Time
Fai mao
The Philosopher Want-to-be Blogger

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Friday, March 14, 2008

 

No cause for flu panic: scientist

I guess this scientist doesn't have an children.

That said the population here does tend to panic a bit over these things,

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who can understand why parents are concerned.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

 

Wedding role for `dingo car'

If this had happened in Hong Kong the mother would have been convicted but not gone to jail if she had looked remorseful to the judge


Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger without any faith in Hong Kong's justice system

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

 

Another Paedophile - Another Stupid Judge

I wish that the link above would take my gentle readers to the actual article. It won't and the newspaper digest that I have access to is always a day late so if you want to see the rest of the article you'll have to register. I'll replace the link when I get access to the article.

This was the 4th time this animal (Apologies to our four footed friends who probably don't deserve to be maligned by having their good name associated with this beast) was convicted of molesting little girls. This time he'd setup his own after school tutorial business and priced it cheap to attract low income parents then raped their preteen daughters.

According to TVB last night he exhibited no remorse but is only sorry he got caught. But, he pleaded guilty and so the damned idiot of a judge gives him a four year sentence.

This is just another case that shows that the justice system in Hong Kong is broken. Pedophiles, cannot be rehabilitated. They don't out grow it. This was not a case that could have been an accident in that this creep (In the actual meaning of the word) didn't accidentally or unintentionally place his hand to low on a girls' shoulder while trying to help her with her homework.

This sub-human-slice-of-bottom-feeding-sewer-scum needs to be put away forever. However that might be considered cruel and unusual punishment or inhumane given that normal criminals, thieves, triad members, murderers and the like don't like pedophiles and often don't have any scruples about abusing them as they've abused children. So, maybe Hong Kong should just turn him over to mainland authorities and have his family billed for a bullet. That would be the humane and merciful thing to do. Just kill him; do it today. That won't happen.
Our socialist-pig-progressive-never-give-the-victims-of-crime-closure-or-justice-trained- in-Europe judges evidently don't think pedophilia is that big a deal. I guess they vacation in Amsterdam.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who believes that Pedophilia should be a capital offense

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

 

"You might think I'm Plastic"

Can you identify the quote above?

I love articles like this because they illustrate three things.


  1. People have very short memories as a rule.
  2. Most people just want extremist to leave them alone and so will sometime go along with things to shut them up.
  3. The environmental movement is full of cowardly people.

Rant One: It was the environmental moment back in the 1980's that pushed for the use plastic bags instead of paper bags. They claimed that the plastic bags were more ecologically friendly than paper ones. I doubt you could get any of them to admit this now but I heard them myself on Radio talk shows. The slogan at the time was "Don't destroy the rain forest just to carry you groceries home." This despite the fact that rain forest are generally cut down by people wanting to convert the land to agricultural purposes not make paper. The trees for paper are grow on big tree farms just like wheat or soybeans. However there was some limited truth in the statement because paper mills, especially older one are not very pleasant and the stores liked the plastic bags because they took up less space and didn't attract pest like roaches that feed on paper.

Most people had a justifiably hard hard time understanding how a biodegradable paper was more environmentally friendly than a plastic? Wouldn't it be better to have just built cleaner paper mills?

Because the environmental lobby was insistent and most people want to be left alone we went along with it. It made them feel good and we just wanted them to leave us alone. However, I think that most people looked at the change to plastic bags as nuisance in that the paper ones were useful as bin liners and for kids to use as construction and coloring paper.

Rant Two: Because normal people don't like to have environmental idiots yell at them and don't like to argue with people in public they found it easier to go along than to challenge the nuts. The nuts know this so they become aggressive and threatening in public and obsequious in private. Because they couch their idiocy in pseudo-philosophic language about higher purpose and "Saving the Earth" they feel they have the right browbeat any one who challenges them. What this means to me is that people who know better need to not worry about having ideological baboons call them names. Society needs to stand up thugs, especially those who think their actions are justified because some higher calling.

Rant Three: It appears to me that the real object of much of the environmental movement is not to protect the environment but to bring about some kind of political agenda and is besotted with some form of noble savage myth. I may be wrong but it appears to me that the environmental lobby wants everyone to live in a mud hut with no electricity and use dried grass for toilet paper after destroying the US, UK and sometimes Japan. I guess they can grow their marijuana organically in the back garden. I say this because they only seem focus on issues that hurt Western nations economically.

For instance; look at the thugs that bother the Japanese about whaling, do they ever go after Indonesian fishermen who dynamite a coral reef? No.

How about harassing some Chinese fishing boats catching sharks? Oh they'd never do that.

How many times have they picketed in front of the Chinese medicine factories that collect bear bile? None. Why not?

Could it be because Indonesian is not a free-market economy?

Could it be because whales have a cuter image than garoupa?

Or, is it as I believe because environmentalist are essentially cowards and know that they can harass a Japanese whale boat or American housewives with impunity and that the Indonesian fisherman would simply heave a couple of stick of dynamite at the environmentalist rather than into the reef? I don't know. I do know this. dynamite fishing is wide spread in Asia and I would bet is a greater threat to the environment the few dozen whales the Japanese kill for culinary research each year.

Please note, I don't support whaling. The Japanese should eat something else.

However, because the environmental movement focuses on easy targets or only in nations where they won't get arrested or who have a decidedly non-socialist agenda I think they are either cowards or have another agenda that they don't talk about. At least political psychopaths sometime have to stand and fight like the monsters the Colombian government whacked a couple of weeks ago. Speaking of that, why is it that everybody gets so worked over Columbia going after commie thugs and nobody cares when Turkey goes inside Iraq to kill a few Kurdish thug? but I digress.

A prediction: In ten years or so, maybe 15; after all of the factories that make paper and plastic bags have closed the environmental movement will start another hugh and cry. This time they'll say "Those awful Cotton bags! Don't you know how much pesticide is used on Cotton? Do you know how much water it takes to grow it? Don't you know how company 'X' based in the US/UK/Australia/wherever works poor migrants as slaves so that you can carry your groceries home? We've got to abolish cloth bags! they are bad for the environment!" You just wait, it will happen. By 2020 the environmental movement will advocate the use of brown craft-paper bags.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who wants a clean environment not a dishonest environmental movement

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

 

McUniversities

They used to call it Great Britain but it hasn't been great in quite awhile; now it is just the UK. With universities like these no wonder they spell thing funny and drive on the wrong side of the road.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger with a four year US undergraduate degree, a three Year Master's and a PhD from China

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

 

Of Pots and Kettles and Relative Blackness

I wonder if my reference to idiom in the title will be understood by the people at China Travel?

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who appreciates good service

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The Return of the Fat Cat and the Death of the Fat Woman

I haven't posted anything for two weeks but that isn't because there has been a lack of things to think about; just a combination of my laziness and business. I had other things to do at the times I normally post and didn't want to take the time at other points of the day.

Perhaps the most noteworthy item in the past couple of weeks however was the memorial service for Lydia Shum ( Fey Fey) this past Sunday. As far as Hong Kong celebrities go she will definitely be missed. The lady was just funny; Lucille Ball funny. You could also sit down with a 6 year-old and watch "Living With Lydia" and not have to worry about periodically covering their ears or eyes. I also apreciated the fact that she seemed to be comfortable in her extra large skin. Healthy life style and all that aside, there is a place for people to be content with their appearance. Hong Kong actors, at least those on the local TV programs all seem to have that overly perfect makeup, and strive for that animi-cartoon look. Lydia's rotundity helped to make her acting appear human.

I have a lot of sympathy for her daughter. That poor girl effectively had to bury her mother in public three times. That is two too many for anyone.

TV needs more like Fey Fey.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who is slightly less rotund than Lydia Shum

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