Wednesday, April 30, 2008

 

Sometimes I just need a story like this

I was in a bad mood this morning until I read this.

Sometimes a mean snicker is just the thing you need to brighten up your day.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The blogger who isn't married to his cousin

Labels: , ,


Saturday, April 26, 2008

 

China Rents Pro-Olympic Crowd

Why does this not surprise me?

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who couldn't careless about the Olympics

Labels: , ,


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

 

Where was this made?

In a perverse way I'm glad to see that China does not have a corner on the market in fake goods.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who cooks with olive oil

Labels: , , ,


Monday, April 21, 2008

 

My last post on Tibet

As I have said before, It really bothers me to have to stand up for the PRC government. There are lots of areas where the PRC deserves to be bad mouthed and to be bad mouthed with a mouth much fouler than mine. Indeed, in a way this is one of those issues. But the fact remains that the "Free Tibet" movement is a crock.

You may, for all I care, support the Tibetans if they start a revolution for independence. If you want to, send them money, medical supplies or buy an AK-47 on E-Bay move to the Himalayas and join up.

But, you cannot plausibly claim that Tibet hasn't been part of China for 100's of years. Taiwan yes, Tibet no.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Reluctant Chinese Patriot

The article reproduced below clearly shows Tibet has been part of China for hundreds of years. And please note it was written by a progressive American academic.


Reprinted from the book: Tibet -
Myth and Reality
by Foster
Stockwell

Western concepts of Tibet embrace more myth than reality. The idea that

Tibet is an oppressed nation composed of peaceful Buddhists who never did
anyone any harm distorts history. In fact, the belief that the
Dalai Lama is
the leader of world Buddhism rather than being just the leader of one sect
among more than 1,700 "Living Buddhas" of this unique Tibetan form of the
faith displays a parochial view of world religions.

The myth, of course, is an outgrowth of Tibet's former inaccessibility,
which has fostered illusions about this mysterious land in the midst of the
Himalayan Mountains -- illusions that have been skillfully promoted for
political purposes by the
Dalai Lama's advocates. The myth will inevitably
die, as all myths do, but until this happens, it would be wise to learn a
few useful facts about this area of China.

First, Tibet has been a part of China ever since it was merged into that
country in 1239, when the Mongols began creating the Yuan Dynasty
(1271-1368). This was before Marco Polo reached China from Europe and more
than two centuries before Columbus sailed to the New World. True, China's
hold on this area sometimes appeared somewhat loose, but neither the Chinese
nor many Tibetans have ever denied that Tibet has been a part of China from
the Yuan Dynasty to this very day.

The early Tibetans evolved into a number of competing nomadic tribes and
developed a religion known as
Bon that was led by shamans who conducted
rituals that involved the sacrifice of many animals and some humans. These
tribes fought battles with each other for better grazing lands, battles in
which they killed or made slaves of those they conquered. They roamed far
beyond the borders of Tibet into areas of China's
Sichuan and Yunnan
provinces,
Xinjiang, Gansu, and Qinghai. Eventually one of these tribes, the
Tubo, became the most powerful and took control of all Tibet. (The name
Tibet comes from
Tubo.) During China's Tang Dynasty (618-907), Emperor
Taizong improved relations with the Tubo king, Songtsen Gampo, by giving him
one of his daughters, Princess
Wenzheng, in marriage. The Tubos, in response
to this cementing of relations, developed close fraternal ties with
theTang
court, and the two ruling powers regularly exchanged gifts.

The princess arrived in Tibet with an entourage of hundreds of servants,
skilled craftspeople, and scribes. She was a Buddhist, as were all of the
Tang emperors, and so Buddhism entered Tibet mainly through her influence,
only to be suppressed later by resentful
Bon shamans. Some years later
another Tang princess was married to another
Tubo king, again to cement
relations between the two rulers.

The fact that the Tibetans and the Chinese had united royal families and
engaged actively in trade (Tibetan horses for tea of the Central Plain)
didn't mean an absence of conflict between them. Battles occasionally
occurred between Tang and
Tubo troops, mostly over territorial issues. At
one point in the 750s, the
Tubos, taking advantage of a rebellion against
the Tangs by other armed groups in China, raced on horseback across China to
enter the Tang capital of
Chang'an. But, they couldn't hold the city.

In 838, the
Tubo king was assassinated by two pro-Bon ministers, and the Bon
religion was re-established as the only acceptable religion in Tibet.
Buddhists were widely persecuted and forced into hiding.

Trade between Tibet and the interior areas continued during the Five
Dynasties (907-960) and the Song Dynasty (960-1279) that followed the
collapse of the Tang, although relations between the two ruling powers were
limited. During this time Buddhism revived in Tibet as a result of the
Buddhists' willingness to accommodate some
Bon practices. The form of
Buddhism that resulted from this merging of the two religions was quite
different from that of China and other countries in Southeast Asia, as well
as from the form that had been practiced previously in Tibet.

Tibetan Buddhism, often called Lamaism, appealed to the Mongols, who
conquered most of Russia, parts of Europe, and all of China under the
leadership of Genghis Khan. The Mongols, like the Tibetans, were tribal
herders who had a religion of animism similar to
Bon.

When Kublai Khan, the first Yuan emperor, appointed administrators to Tibet,
he elevated the head of the Tibetan Buddhist
Sakya sect to the post of
leader of all Buddhists in China, thus giving this monk greater power than
any Buddhist had ever held before - and probably since. Needless to say, the
appointment irritated the leaders of the other Buddhist sects in Tibet and
the much larger group of non-Tibetan Buddhists in China. But, they couldn't
do anything to counter the wishes of the emperor.

The Yuan Dynasty divided Tibet into a series of administrative areas and put
these areas under the charge of an imperial preceptor. Furthermore, the Yuan
court encouraged the growth of feudal estates in Tibet as a way to maintain
control there.

When the Yuan Dynasty collapsed, it was replaced by the Ming Dynasty
(1368-1644), which wasn't composed of persons of Mongolian heritage. Tibet
then became splintered because the Ming court adopted a policy of granting
hereditary titles to many nobles and a policy of divide and rule.

Although the Ming court conferred the honorific title of Desi (ruling lama)
to the head of one of Tibet's most powerful families, the
Rinpung family,
they also bestowed enough official titles to his subordinates to encourage
separatist trends within the local Tibetan society. One of these titles was
given to the head of the newly founded
Gelugpa sect, better known as the
Yellow sect. He later took on the title "
Dalai Lama."

Tibet During the
Qing Dynasty

The next and last dynasty, the
Qing, came to power in 1644 and lasted until
1911. At the time of its founding, the most prominent Tibetan religious and
secular leaders were the fifth
Dalai Lama, the fourth Panchen Lama, and
Gushri Khan. They formed a delegation that arrived at the Chinese capital,
Beijing, in 1652.

Before they returned to Tibet the following year, the emperor officially
conferred upon
Lozang Gyatso (the then Dalai Lama), the honorific title "The
Dalai Lama, Buddha of Great Compassion in the West, Leader of the Buddhist
Faith Beneath the Sky, Holder of the
Vajra." (Dalai is Mongolian for
"ocean"; lama is a Tibetan word that means "guru.")

The fifth
Dalai Lama pledged his allegiance to the Qing government and in
return, received enough gold and silver to build 13 new monasteries of the
Yellow sect in Tibet. All successive reincarnations of the
Dalai Lama have
been confirmed by the central government in China, and this has become a
historical convention practiced to this very day.

A later
Qing emperor suspected the intentions of the seventh Dalai Lama, so
he increased the power of the
Panchen Lama (also of the Yellow sect). In
1713 the
Qing court granted the title "Panchen Erdeni" to the fifth Panchen
Lama, thus elevating him to a status similar to that given to the
Dalai Lama
(
Panchen means "great scholar" in Sanskrit, and Erdeni means "treasure" in
Manchu.)

The largest part of the Tibetan population (more than 90 percent) at that
time was composed of serfs, who were treated harshly by the landlords and
ruling monks. All monasteries had large tracts of land as well as a great
number of serfs under their control. The ruling monks' exploitation of these
serfs was just as severe as that of the aristocratic landlords.

Serfs had no personal freedom from birth to death. They and their children
were given freely as gifts or donations, sold or bartered for goods. They
were, in fact, viewed by landlords as "livestock that can speak." As late as
1943, a high-ranking aristocrat named
Tsemon Norbu Wangyal sold 100 serfs to
a monk in the
Drigung area for only four silver dollars per serf.

If serfs lost their ability to work, the lord confiscated all their
property, including livestock and farm tools. If they ran away and
subsequently were captured, half their personal belongings were given to the
captors while the other half went to the lords for whom they worked. The
runaways then were flogged or even condemned to death.

The lords used such inhuman tortures as gouging out eyes, cutting off feet
or hands, pushing the condemned person over a cliff, drowning and beheading.
Numerous rebellions occurred over the years against this harsh treatment,
and in 1347 alone (the seventh year of Yuan Emperor
Shundi's reign), more
than 200 serf rebellions occurred in Tibet.

Foreign Aggression
Foreign nations made numerous attempts to invade Tibet and take it away from
China. These were repulsed by Chinese troops and Tibetan fighters. The first
such invasion took place in 1337 when
Mohammed Tugluk of Delhi (in what is
now India) sent 100,000 troops into the Himalayan area.

During the second half of the 18
th century, troops from the Kingdom of Nepal
invaded Tibet twice in an attempt to expand Nepal's territory.

During the 19
th century, Britain competed with Russia in pouring large sums
of money and many spies into a struggle to see which of the two might
eventually occupy and control Tibet. When the British finally invaded Tibet,
first in 1888 and again in 1903, the Russians were so involved in conflicts
at home that they couldn't stop the British troops from pushing all the way
to Lhasa. And the
Qing government, having recently lost the Opium War to the
British, did nothing either.

The Tibetans, using spears, arrows, catapults and homemade guns, fought
valiantly but to no avail against the invading British army and its big
cannons and machine guns. The British withdrew after imposing "peace" terms
and before the harsh winter began because they feared the Tibetan resistance
would prevent supplies from getting through to the occupying troops,
thereby causing them to starve to death.

The British signed a Convention with China in 1906, the second article of
which stipulated that the British would no longer interfere with the
administration of Tibet and that China had sovereignty over Tibet. But, they
conveniently forgot the terms of this agreement when, the very next year,
they signed a Convention with Russia that specified British "special
interests" in Tibet. It would probably fill a book to detail the many ways
the British from that point on tried to take over Tibet and make it a part
of their colony of India.

Yet, something needs to be said about the conference held at
Simla, India,
in 1914. Conference participants included representatives of the new
Nationalist government of China that had overthrown the
Qing Dynasty just
two years before, plus Tibetans, and British-Indians. The British had
blackmailed the Chinese into attending by threatening to withdraw their
recognition of the new nationalist government and by saying they would work
out an agreement with the Tibetans alone if the Chinese didn't participate.

The
Simla Conference failed because the Chinese and the 13th Dalai Lama both
opposed the British plan to divide Tibet into two parts (Inner and Outer
Tibet). The conference, however, did produce one document that since has
caused dissension -- a map drawn by the British representative Arthur H.
McMahon that never was shown to the Chinese, although it was revealed
secretly to the Tibetan delegates.

McMahon's map showed a new boundary line that included three districts of
Tibet --
Monyul, Loyul, and Lower Zayul -- within the territory of British-
India. This so-called "McMahon Line" first became public 23 years later when
it appeared in a printed set of British documents related to the conference
and other diplomatic matters. The McMahon Line became the basis for India's
failed attempt to take over this part of Tibet in 1962. The British, who
made a great show of their desire to have "independence for Tibet" at the
Simla Conference, in drawing this map were adding 90,000 square kilometers
(an area three times the size of Belgium) from Tibet's natural territory to
their own Indian colony.

During and after World War II and shortly before Britain's departure from
India, the American Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S., the forerunner of
the C.I.A.), operating under Cold War guidelines, joined the British Foreign
Office as the instigator of the Tibetan "freedom movement."

Much of what the O.S.S. did in Tibet remains hidden in secret files at C.I.A
headquarters near Washington, D.C., but one of their plots has been widely
reported. It involved a smear
campaign launched against the regent who had been appointed to act for the
young 14
th Dalai Lama after the 13th Dalai died in 1933. The regent was
hostile to U.S.-British intrigues in Tibet, so the O.S.S. spread rumors
about his alleged incompetence and criminal activities. Eventually these
charges led to the regent's arrest and murder in a Tibetan prison. The 14
th
Dalai Lama's father subsequently was poisoned because he was a friend and
supporter of the regent.

Tibetan Buddhism
Before considering Tibet today, some words should be said about Tibetan
Buddhism as a religion. The accommodations it made with
Bon resulted in its
becoming very different from other forms of Buddhism, particularly from the
more common and much larger Chan Buddhism of China (called Zen in Japan).
Images found in Tibetan Buddhist temples are much fiercer than those found
in other Buddhist temples, and some Tibetan ceremonies that once used human
skulls, human skin, and fresh human intestines clearly reflect the animistic
elements of
Bon.

Also, Tibetan Buddhists rely a great deal on prayer wheels, which most other
Buddhists scorn. These are mechanical devices with prayers written on them
that are constantly turned by water or wind so the forces of nature do the
work of sending prayers to heaven.

The reincarnation of Living Buddhas, which is unique to this form of
Buddhism, began as early as 1294 with the Karma
Kagyu sect, a sub-sect of
the
Kagyu sect (known as the black hats). It then spread to all of Tibetan
Buddhism's other sects and monasteries, but it didn't reach the
Gelugpa sect
(the one that includes the
Dalai and Panchen Lama lines) until after 1419.

From the beginning, the system of selecting Living Buddhas was open to abuse
because it was easy for clever members of the monk selection committee to
manipulate the objects presented to potential child candidates in order to
make sure a particular child was chosen. In the case of the fourth
Dalai
Lama, the child selected was the great-grandson of the Mongolian chief
Altan
Khan. He was chosen at a time when the
Gelugpa sect badly needed the
protection of the
Altan Khan's followers because the Gelugpa were being
persecuted by the older Tibetan sects, who were jealous of the Yellow sect's
rapid growth.

Tibet Since 1949
In 1949, the Chinese Communists won the revolution and overthrew the
Nationalist government. But they didn't send their army into Tibet until
October 1951, after they and Tibetan representatives of the 14
th Dalai Lama
and 10
th Panchen Lama had signed an agreement to liberate Tibet peacefully.
The
Dalai Lama expressed his support for this 17-point agreement in a
telegraphed message to Chairman Mao on October 24, 1951. Three years later
the
Dalai and Panchen Lamas went together to Beijing to attend the first
National People's Congress at which the
Dalai Lama was elected vice-chairman
of the Standing Committee and the
Panchen Lama was elected a member of that
committee. After the People's Liberation Army (
PLA) entered Tibet, they took
steps to protect the rights of the serfs but didn't, at first, try to
reorganize Tibetan society along socialist or democratic lines. Yet, the
landlords and ruling monks knew that in time, their land would be
redistributed, just as the landlords' property in the rest of China had been
confiscated and divided among the peasants.

The Tibetan landlords did all they could to frighten the serfs away from
associating with the
PLA. But, as the serfs increasingly ignored their
landlords' wishes and called on the Communists to eliminate the oppressive
system of serfdom, some leaders of the "three great monasteries" (
Ganden,
Sera, and Drepung) issued a statement, in the latter half of 1956, demanding
the feudal system be maintained. At this point, the
PLA decided the time had
come to confiscate the landlords' property and redistribute it among the
serfs. The landlords and top-level monks retaliated by announcing, in March
1959, the founding of a "Tibet Independent State," and about 7,000 of them
assembled in Lhasa to stage a revolt. Included were more than 170 "
Khampa
guerrillas" who had been trained overseas by the O.S.S. and air-dropped into
Tibet, according to a former C.I.A. agent. The O.S.S. also gave them machine
guns, mortars, rifles and ammunition.

The
PLA put down the revolt in Lhasa within two days, capturing some 4,000
rebels. The rebellion had the support of the
Dalai Lama, but not of the
Panchen Lama. After it failed, the Dalai Lama, along with a group of rebel
leaders, fled to India.

The most disruptive event of recent years was the "cultural revolution,"
which lasted from 1966 to 1976. It turned most of Tibet's farm and herding
areas into giant communes and closed or destroyed many monasteries and
temples, just as it did elsewhere in China. At its end, the communes were
disbanded and the temples and monasteries were repaired and reopened at
government expense.

The idea that most Tibetans are unhappy about what has happened in Tibet and
want independence from China is a product manufactured in the West and
promoted by the dispossessed landlords who fled to India. Indeed, to believe
it is true stretches logic to its breaking point. Who really can believe
that a million former serfs - more than 90% of the population - are unhappy
about having the shackles of serfdom removed? They now care for their own
herds and farmland, marry whomever they wish without first getting their
landlord's permission, aren't punished for disrespecting these same
landlords, own their own homes, attend school, and have relatively modern
hospitals, paved roads, airports and modern industries.

An objective measure of this progress is found in the population statistics.
The Tibetan population has doubled since 1950, and the average Tibetan's
life span has risen from 36 years at that time to 65 years at present.

Of course some Tibetans are unhappy with their lot, but a little
investigation soon shows that they are, for the most part, people from
families who lost their landlord privileges. There is plenty of evidence
that the former serfs tell a quite different story.

You will find some Tibetans who hate the Hans (the majority nationality of
China) and some Hans who hate the Tibetans, a matter of ordinary ethnic
prejudice - something any American should be able to understand. But, this
doesn't represent a desire for an independent Tibet any more than black-
white hostilities in Washington, D.C., Detroit, or Boston represent a desire
on the part of most African-Americans to form a separate nation.

Tibetan Culture Today
The final part of the Tibetan myth has to do with Tibetan culture, which the
Dalai Lama's supporters say has been crushed by "the Chinese takeover of
Tibet." Culture is an area that requires great care because it is fraught
with biases and self-fulfilling judgments. The growth of television in
America, for example, is cited as killing American culture by some and as
enhancing it by others.

Regarding the field of literature, prior to 1950 Tibetans could point with
pride to only a few fine epics that had been passed down through the
centuries. Now that serfs can become authors, many new writers are producing
works of great quality; persons such as the poet Yedam Tsering and the
fiction writers Jampel Gyatso, Tashi Dawa, and Dondru Wangbum.

As for art, Tibet for centuries had produced nothing but repetitious
religious designs for temples. Now there are many fine artists, such as Bama
Tashi, who has been hailed in both France and Canada as a great modern
artist who combines Tibetan religious themes with modern pastoral images.

Tibet now has more than 30 professional song and dance ensembles, Tibetan
opera groups, and other theatrical troupes where none existed before 1950.

No, Tibetan culture is not dead; it is flourishing as never before.

Labels: , , ,


Friday, April 18, 2008

 

Study Links Incontinence Drugs With Memory Problems

Boy, oh boy what great news! Now I have an excuse!

Did you hear about the elderly man who went to the doctor for his yearly physical. After noting that he was in remarkable health for a man his age the doctor took a little extra time and asked:
"George, you are physically fine but you know that you and I are members of the same church and I haven't seen you there in a while. How is your walk with God? Tell me how your spiritual life is going?" George replied: Doc, it great! As I get older God becomes more real to me. I know without doubt that He watches over me all the time and is concerned about me. In fact, when I forget to take that prostate medicine you prescribed and have to get up to go urinate at night God turns the bathroom light on for me as I open the bathroom door and then turns it out as I leave. So I'd say my spiritual life is better than it has ever been."

The doctor found this hard to believe and called George's wife after George left his office. When he asked George's wife about this the wife replied "He's been peeing in the refrigerator almost every night"

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who Sometimes can't remember if he takes his prostate pills of not.

Labels: , , ,


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

 

Nancy, Nancy, Nancy! You've got it all wrong

My favorite Hong Kong murderer, Nancy Kissel was in court again yesterday appealing her life sentence for whacking her low life but very highly paid drug addict husband over the head five times after doping him with sedatives. Lizzy Borden look out; you've been upstaged!

The appeal is based upon, according to the papers and TVB the fact that the judge's summation took over 2 hours and was in English and that the jury were Chinese speaking locals who had jobs to get back to and were therefore more inclined to make a quick vote and get back to work plating dumplings at the dipaidong. To quote Bugs Bunny; "What a Maroon." Doesn't she know that judges in Hong Kong are infallible? They could never give improper instructions to a jury in a language they didn't understand.

During the first trial I came away with the feeling that neither Nancy or her legal representation were the brightest bulb in the lamp and this appeal sort of confirmed those suspicions.

A few relevant points.

After she killed him, in cold blood, with premeditation all of those things are somewhat moot.

Raising these claims in a divorce court would have netted Nancy 1/2 her husbands 18 million dollar fortune and he would have been liable for the court cost. Not to mention probably costing her loutish husband his high profile job. As the saying goes, don't get even get a lawyer. She could have then moved to Montana, married her Internet boyfriend and lived the high life for ever after.

Instead, Nancy doped her husband with a triple dose of sedatives, bashed his brains out with a rolling pin, wrapped his body in a rug and hid his mortal remains in a storage room. When caught she claimed that she killed him in self defense.

It must have been tough to defend herself against an unconscious man! The self defense argument only works when you're in imminent danger which at the time she wasn't. After she drugged him her husband was not a danger to anyone. Therein lies the first point in my argument that either Nancy or her lawyer is an idiot. Given the known leniency of the Hong Kong judiciary if Nancy had pleaded guilty, shown remorse, been just a little contrite and agreed to attend anger management classes she would be a free woman today.

Please do not misunderstand; I think in many ways her sentence is just; or would be in a place with a sane judiciary. But it should be obvious that in a Hong Kong court pleading guilty, showing even contrived remorse and playing a bit of kiss-ass with the judge will get a serious crime reduced to the level of a traffic infraction. In Hong Kong pleading innocent gets you a longer sentence! Why didn't she pleade guilty and take the slap on the wrist? The only answer is that either she or her lawyer are idiots or that she really believes that she was threatened by her husband.

If she'd been a little smarter she could have walked away from this altogether. How? Easy. Dope the slob enough to ensure that he was off his guard, invite him out on the balcony for a BBQ and then whack him over the head once with the rolling pin to disorient him and then push his sorry Armani covered ass over the balcony rail. After he'd fallen 40 stories she could have called the police and reported an accident all the while playing the part of the hysterical tai-tai. In a city with less than 12 murders a year the police would probably not have assumed fowl play. The fact she planed the murder but not the disposal of the body tell us that she was scared of him and not really concerned with what happened afterwards. If she'd been a little more cold blooded about this she'd only be troubled by her conscience.

Who is a greater danger to society; The Hong Kong child molester who lured at least 12 preteen girls into a warehouse with McDonald's toys and raped them or Nancy Kissel who murdered an abusive husband? Who got life in prison and who got 8 years? Who showed "remorse" in court and who claimed they hadn't committed a crime? Who pleaded guilty and who didn't?

Nancy should have been smart enough and certainly her lawyer should have been wise enough to point out these things to her and convince her to plead guilty but with extenuating circumstances. You don't beat an unconscious man to death and claim self defense. So, again I say that either Nancy Kissel or her legal representatives are idiots. Or she really was scared of the guy and thought it was a form a self defense.

Now having set the stage so to speak, I think Nancy deserves an appeal and she deserves to have a her sentence reduced. In fact, because this is Hong Kong I think she should be let out of jail after having the rest of her sentence waived; but not for the reasons her lawyers are using. Instead, her legal team should be doing just what I have done above. When you compare her case with other recent high profile cases in Hong Kong her sentence is unjust by comparison.

Let's review some of the cases I written about in this blog and compare them with Mrs Kissel:
You'll notice I left out the guy that went to jail for 33 months after stealing 14K with fraudulent ATM cards! We might not want her being compared with him.

I ask you; how is Nancy Kissel's sentence fair? She has already served more time in prison than almost any of those listed above. She isn't a habitual criminal. She is not a high risk case. Indeed, if they let her go she'll probably move to the US; so who cares? She is out of Hong Kong's hair.

How can we free Tibet when we cannot even free Nancy Kissel?

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who thinks that justice is not a concept that judges in Hong Kong understand

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Monday, April 14, 2008

 

Mugabe opponent beaten to death

And the people outside are chanting "Free Tibet!" Tibet is freer today than Zimbabwe ever has been.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The blogger who really does not like to stick up for the PRC

Labels: , , , ,


 

A City Where You Can’t Hear Yourself Scream

In Causeway Bay the residents would sneer at a mere 85 decibel noise level on the street. I know that's true because I can read their lips when they laugh.


Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who has become far to used asking: "What did you say?"

Labels: , ,


Thursday, April 10, 2008

 

33 months for Stealing

Another court case in Hong Kong Yesterday

A man who had through stupidity gotten deeply in debt compounded his problems by borrowing money from a Triad (Loan Shark - Gangster - HSBC Executive). Could he pay it back? Of course not, he didn't have a job. So, rather than break his arms the Triads took pity on him and gave him a job in their financial services office. He was given a stack of fake and stolen ATM cards and Visa's, a list of usernames and passwords and told to go to ATM's and use them to try and withdraw cash. Evidently some of them worked because he had 14K on him when the local constabulary caught him which seems a lot for an unemployed guy of his social standing.

The judge called this a "Serious Offense" and gave him 33 months in prison. Maybe he should have run down a kid on a bicycle! However, you figure that he will be paroled in about 10 months of actual time less what he has already served so maybe the sentence isn't so severe. But still, this wasn't a violent crime. Nobody got hurt. I'm not sure that stealing from the Robber-Barron Hong Kong banks is even morally wrong.

Now for the tricky part that uses dodgy logic. Assume he serves the whole sentence of 33 months in jail for stealing $14K. That means that he was sentenced to one month one in jail for about every HKD $425 dollars he stole. So if you then multiple 425 by 10 you $4245.00 Does that mean that the life of a 7 year-old boy is worth less than $4500.00 in Hong Kong? Could the Scout Master who was responsible for running over a little boy have paid the family $5000 and called it square?

As I said in some important ways the logic is dodgy but it is solid enough to
show how messed up the judges in Hong Kong are. Indeed, it shows clearly that in Hong Kong the idea of the punishment fitting the crime is an unknown element of the justice system. Neither of these men received justice.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who thinks maybe he should have trained as a judge

Labels: , ,


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

 

The Evil Empire?

Listen to the theme being played in the background by the Queen's band when the King of Saudi Arabia visited London. Do you think he got the joke?

Maybe there is hope for the British after all


Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who may have to reconsider being an Anglophobe and proud

Labels: ,


 

Re-considering

I guess I shouldn't be so hard on the group of Islamic scholars that said health insurance violates Islam yesterday. After all that means that people who employ Malaysian housekeepers in Hong Kong could justify violating Hong Kong law and not providing them with insurance on religious grounds. Most of the population here would probably like that.

Indeed, if the government insist on its mandatory insurance scheme despite already having having socialized medicine you might see a sudden conversion to Islam by lots of the population to avoid this program for similar reasons.

But then what do I know? I've been cynical since I was born.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who hasn't had a selfless thought since he was two.

Labels: ,


Monday, April 07, 2008

 

Walter Veltroni is the butt of Silvio Berlusconi's campaign jokes

We need this guy to move to Hong Kong

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who does not Think that Donald Tsang is very funny

Labels: , ,


 

You can't make this stuff up

What kind of rates do suicide bombers get on health insurance anyway?


Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger with Health Insurance

Labels: , ,


Saturday, April 05, 2008

 

Odds and Ends

Another judge issued an outrageously lenient decision here the day before yesterday. I've been fuming about it for a couple of days. A Boy Scout leader was letting two 13 year-old scouts drive his van when they ran over and killed a 7 year-old boy riding a bicycle. He then lied to the police about who was driving to protect the kids that he had irresponsibly allowed to do this. He received a whopping 10 months in jail for this crime and lost his drivers license for 2 years.

The judge basically pissed on the grave of this little kid and the bereaved family was understandably furious. The judge then issued the same stinking self-loathing platitudes acquired in his second class British University or HKU (Sycophantically British in methods and curriculum) about how "You can't bring the child back to life" bla-bla-bla that HK judges always spout after they let an obvious criminal off with a slap on the wrist. Someone needs to tell these pompous twerps that it isn't about bringing the child back to life. It is about punishing wrong doers.

Indeed, this whole incident isn't about the perpetrator at all in one sense. It is about justice for the little boy's family. I do not care how contrite man was. I do not care that he pleaded guilty. I do not care that he is a low risk to do this again. How many people are high risk for this type thing? It is about people driving automobiles having courtesy and respect for people not in their cars. It is about a safe and fear free society. It is about remembering that "mercy to criminals is injustice to victims."

After the trial the boys father said on camera that "he would be waiting when the man got out of prison and would kill him" Since threatening to kill someone is an offense this judgment has already caused another crime to be committed. The boy's father probably won't do that but if he does then both the murdered man and the murderer's blood should but on the judges hands.

Humans have an innate sense of justice. The scout master needs to believe that he has made recompense for what he did. The father of the boy needs to know that the man who was responsible for killing his son has been punished. The two boys in the van need to know that it wasn't their fault. Nobody got justice in this decision. Nobody gets closure Not the plaintiff, defendant or the accessories. The judge gets to go home and feel that he is a progressive, enlightened person.

May he someday know what it is like to have injustice thrust upon him.

The man sentenced should have been put away for 3 to 5 years. While heinous this was an accident and not premeditated murder. It was a mistake but, there are some mistakes that you shouldn't make. If you want to teach a 13 year-old how to drive then great, do it where nobody is going to get killed. He is not only responsible for killing a 7 year-old but traumatizing two 13 year-old boys for life. How would you have liked to be the 13 year-old driver? More than that it would allow him to come to grips with a terrible mistake. It would also give the boy's family time to accept their son's death and to forgive someone who has hurt them badly.

Injustice being masqueraded as justice is nothing new in Hong Kong. Especially if the crimes committed are against bicyclist, children or the elderly as I have so often pointed out in this blog. Indeed, if letting criminals off with a wink and a nudge were an Olympic sport Hong Kong would probably be a favorite for the gold medal.

Which brings me my other topic today.

I don't like the Olympics. I gave up on them several years ago. When I was a child they were special because it was amateur sport. The Olympics were also special when I was a kid because it was a chance to see how non-professional US athletes could compete with and often win against those from Iron Curtain nations who everybody knew took hormones (Today we call them steroids)and were professionally trained. You always groaned in the figure skating events if more than one of the judges was from East Germany because you knew that your nation didn't have a chance.

Now all the teams, players and athletes can be seen on ESPN playing for their regular professional team. So what makes the Olympics such a big deal anymore? It never occurred to me that the Olympics were not a political event. They were all about politics. Cold War political slogans were almost etched into the medals. That is why I find the posturing of both sides of various groups wanting nations to either boycott the Olympics or not kind of silly.

It is simply inconceivable to me that the IOC chairman could sit there with a straight face and say "We are not about politics" BS, pure simple BS is all that was. But did these French doctors who want to free Tibet ever advocate boycotting Olympics in other places besides China that have equally abysmal records on Human Rights? Did they support Jimmy Carter for making the US team boycott the Moscow games? Did they ever complain about judges from Communist nations that obviously fixed various events in the name of politics? No. So, why start now?

That said, I hope that if I were a 28 year-old bicycle racer who had made the US team Olympic cycling team that I'd have the moral courage to skip these games. I think that if a significant number of athletes refused to go on their own accord it would be a much more meaningful protest than if their nation simply refused to issue them a visa. If the government of The-Socialist-Paradise of (Insert any EU member) bans it athletes from going the PRC can chalk it up to politics. If athletes refuse to go because they don't want to be associated with a regime that is repressive, cruel and corrupt then the PRC could still chalk it up to politics but couldn't hide the fact that it isn't.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who has never been to an Olympic event

Labels: , , , ,


Friday, April 04, 2008

 

Fitna to be tied

A comparison is useful here.

Some not all Christians get upset and protest when artist, or others slander them for what they do NOT believe.

Muslims get upset when you present WHAT they believe.

Are there verses in the Bible that are difficult to deal with? Sure there are. Christians and Jews have developed theology or possibly rationalizations to deal with those.

Islam needs to do the same.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The blogger who isn't really offended by very much

Labels: , , ,


Thursday, April 03, 2008

 

Reciprocity

I find the phraseology of this article interesting. I also find it interesting that most US citizens should have a favorable opinion of Europeans. Why should Americans think nice thoughts about the UK? I think it is because they don't know many UK citizens. Most people in the US only know the British by history books and the occasional BBC TV program picked up by PBS. They don't see the yobs, the snobs and antisemitic alcoholics that make up the largest part of UK citizenry.

But then maybe I'm overstating my case a bit. I admit that I am an inconsistent Anglophobe.


Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who can't wait for Europe to dry up and blow away

Labels: ,


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?