Monday, February 23, 2009
Dear Mr. Fai Mao,
Referring to your email, please be informed that the telephone No. '28383111' is an EPD hotline for general public to report pollution matters including smoky vehicle to EPD. In addition, we do not place posters in school about spotting smoky vehicle and encourage children to make such complaint. Thank you for your e-mail.
Now, don't miss understand. The program still appears to me to be either an egregious attempt to recruit citizens as spies or a total waste of time. Neither of those are good things for governments to be engaged in. However, it appears that who ever put up the posters in the school I work for was not doing something that is "officially sanctioned." Or, this guy could simply be unaware of that policy. I find it really interesting that who ever printed the posters put an emergency number on them, the web address of the EPD and the instruction to "Put this number on your mobile phone's speed dial."
I think it would be funny if these posters turned up all over town and somebody got arrested for improper use of an emergency number? But I have a sadistic sense of humor.
I must admit to being surprised that the EPD spent so much time on this.
Here are links to the previous post in this string
Until Next Time
The Blogger who thinks that sometimes being Green is really being Red
Thursday, February 19, 2009
If this guy was a moderate Muslim then what about the fanatical ones?
Before someone says: "Well, Christian preachers and Jewish Rabbis murder their wives too!" you need to remember they are condemned by their own religion for it. What this man did was not a crime under Sharia law but rather a virtuous act. You would be very hard pressed to find any group other except Islam that propagates a legal code as barbaric as Sharia Law.
I started to not post this but then I've seen other posting about it.
Until Next Time
The Blogger who probably is an insult to Islam
Friday, February 13, 2009
Geez, I really want to win that prize! Let me think, Think, think!
How about: Department of Politically Correct Education
But wait, the word "Department" is exclusionary and as academics we desire a non restrictive, open environment that will never do. We don't want to have our students compartmentalized into preexisting formulas designed to keep them from being able to think for themselves but knowledgeable enough to perform the menial repetitive work that the conspiracy of the bourgeois and religious leaders have planned for them.
How about: Center for Politically Correct Education
But wait, the word Center implies a locus of control which has connotative resonance, in most personal narratives, with the male centered hegemony favored by masochistic reactionary forces of non-deconstruction exclusively heterosexual thinkers. It is a code word for the oppression of women and minorities!
How about: Support Group for Politically Correct Education
But wait, the word "Education" is indicative of route learning pedagogy which reinforces the idea that we are unable to rise above our gender, class, race, sexuality or religion. Education can mean that someone is imparting knowledge or facts to us in a preexisting format that has been developed to further the oppression of the poor and lowly. We can't use the word education!
How about: Support Group for Politically Correct Learners
But wait, the words "Support Group," are not right. Isn't there a little bit of a negative connotation in them? It isn't like we are all a bunch of alcoholic heroine addicts. I mean I'm sure some arn't. We need a phrase with a more positive conotation.
How about:Sharing Group of Politically Correct Learners
Now we are getting somewhere. But it still isn't right. I mean we aren't "Sharing" we are "Instructing." But we want to avoid the word "instruction" because it is too similar to "education" and makes us appear to be so rigid so, how about Enlightened? Yeah, that's good
How about:Enlightened Group for Politically Correct Learners
Oh my God! That is so good.
But wait, isn't that a bit arrogant? I mean it is true but you don't want to put people off so why don't we add the word "Reasonably" to the front. That makes us look humble and looking humble is a good thing.
How about: Reasonably Enlightened Politically Correct Learners
Better but not quite. I mean people know we are Politically Correct because we are so smart. Do we have to rub it in? Hmmmm, maybe we could drop that term but going with just "Reasonably Enlightened Group Learning" sounds kind of vague.
How about: Reasonably Enlightened Transmitters of Learning
Yeah that's good because it brings the focus back. But it isn't enough. We are a university after all and that means there must be a professor and a student. We may see ourselves as guides to help our students become the self-actualized beings trapped inside their oppressed, gender confused bodies but we want them to know that we accept them. We are not trying to change them into agents for the majority. Hey wait a minute!
How about:Reasonably Enlightened Transmitters of Acceptance Learners.
Something is wrong grammatically there. I guess it could be "accepted learners" that might work. But then those who were not accepted would suffer irreversible psychic damage.
How about: Reasonably Enlightened Transmission of Academics to Learners.
Not quite, almost, but not quite. Still a little bit too much Moses on Mount Sinai. And we are not all learners, some of us are professors. But the word "Student" is so passé. Disciple! That's it disciple! Our students are our disciples! They carry the good news of progressive education to the whole world. John Dewey would like that term.
How about: Reasonably Enlightened Transmitter of Academic Diciples
Nope. Damn! I need another word. We don't transmit disciples we train them and send them forth! That's it
Reasonably Enlightened Trainers of Academic Disciples
Trainers is a bit of a stretch because after all we merely provide them with the tools to create their own personal narrative that they can then use to reach other confused proto-intellectuals. Our disciples are not merely parroting us. They are finding their own way to be relevant in an absurd, irrelevant world. I've got it
Reasonably Enlightened Trainers of Academically Relevant Disciples
Yeah almost, almost. But our students then go out and start training little children as disciples. I think I really need to put a little of that mission in this. OK. They become disciples and then they are hired based upon their experience. Experience - the philosophy of experience is Existentialism and their existential experiences is how they are relevant and then once they move into schools they are bringing relevance to those schools.
What about: Reasonably Enlightened Trainers of Academically Relevant Disciples Existentially Dispersed
That's good! That very good. My mother always told me I was genius.
But the acrostic won't work
Reasonably Enlightened Trainers of Academically Relevant Disciples Existentially Dispersed
Maybe we should just call it the The Department of Special Education
Until Next Time
The Blogger who is not very politically correct
What you have engaged in is classic Orwellian double speak. In other words you talked around the issue without answering the question. My specific complaint is that groups such as "Roots & Shoots" in Hong Kong are placing posters in schools that tell children to put your complaint number in their cell phone and to report any vehicle with black smoke immediately. You are effectively making children law enforcement officers and encouraging them to conduct covert surveillance operations. This is another way of saying that you want children to spy on adults. Encouraging people to spy on one another is immoral, encouraging children to do it is worse by several orders of magnitude.
We will see if they reply again.
Until Next Time
The Blogger who likes to bother government flunkies
Thursday, February 12, 2009
So today this reply comes:
Dear Mr. Fai Mao,
Thank you for your email. Regarding measures for the reduction of emissions from motor vehicles, over the years, the government has adopted from time to time various measures to reduce vehicular emissions including the tightening of the emission limit for newly registered vehicles, adopting better fuel quality and incentive scheme for the replacement of in-use vehicles with environmental friendly vehicles etc.
In other words:
We're just doing our jobs bla, bla, bla, bla. Don't understand your question, bla, bla, bla. What does that mean? bla, bla, bla Must follow orders; bla, bla bla. Two hour lunch break, bla,bla,bla. Civil Service jobs are for life, bla,bla,bla. Warning bla,bla,bla, Warning, Bla,bla,bla, Warning, bla,bla,bla. Resistance is futile. bla,bla,bla You will be assimilated.
Until Next Time
The Blogger who should really know better than to expect a cogent answer from a government policy wonk.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Dear Mr. Fai Mao,
Thank you for your complaint on 5.2.2009 regarding excessive emission from a vehicle 123yyy.
Please note that we cannot take action on this case as 123yyy is not a valid vehicle registration under the register of Transport Department.
Thank you again for your concern on the environment.
Mobile Source Control Section (1)
Environmental Protection Department
The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has no way to simply contact them unless you are spying on someone so I filled out their form and posted a link to my post about this evil scheme in the online form.
It does not even look like a human read the reply. If he'she/it did they didn't read the post otherwise they'd have responded differently.
Until Next Time
Monday, February 09, 2009
In case some of the Asian and European readers of this blog don't know, David Crockett is better known as "Davy Crockett". He was a frontiersman, explorer, and congressman from Tennessee. He died at the Alamo in the Texas revolution.
The war referred to in this excerpt is the war of 1812
Not Yours To Give
One day in the House of Representatives, a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The Speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose:
"Mr. Speaker--I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.
Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."
He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and, of course, was lost.
Later, when asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, Crockett gave this explanation:
"Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made homeless, and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done.
"The next summer, when it began to be time to think about the election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up. When riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly.
"I began: 'Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and--'
"'Yes, I know you; you are Colonel Crockett, I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.'
"This was a sockdolager . . . I begged him to tell me what was the matter.
"'Well, Colonel, it is hardly worth-while to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest. . . . But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.'
"'I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any constitutional question.'
"'No, Colonel, there's no mistake. Though I live here in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown. Is that true?'
"'Well, my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did.'
"'It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be intrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means.
"'What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he.
"'If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity.
"'Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this county as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week's pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life.
"'The congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution.
"'So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you.'
"I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go to talking, he would set others to talking, and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, and the fact is, I was so fully convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him:
"'Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it fully. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said here at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.'
"He laughingly replied: 'Yes, Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again upon one condition. You say that you are convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go around the district, you will tell people about this vote, and that you are satisfied it was wrong, I will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and, perhaps, I may exert some little influence in that way.'
"'If I don't,' said I, 'I wish I may be shot; and to convince you that I am in earnest in what I say I will come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up a gathering of the people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbecue, and I will pay for it.'
"'No, Colonel, we are not rich people in this section, but we have plenty of provisions to contribute for a barbecue, and some to spare for those who have none. The push of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a barbecue. This is Thursday; I will see to getting it up on Saturday week. Come to my house on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you.'
"'Well, I will be here. But one thing more before I say good-by. I must know your name.'
"'My name is Bunce.'
"'Not Horatio Bunce?'
"'Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before, though you say you have seen me, but I know you very well. I am glad I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend.'
"It was one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was widely known for his remarkable intelligence and incorruptible integrity, and for a heart brimful and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him before, I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should have had opposition, and had been beaten. One thing is very certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote.
"At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and a confidence in me stronger than I had every seen manifested before.
"Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and, under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept him up until midnight, talking about the principles and affairs of government, and got more real, true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before.
"I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him--no, that is not the word--I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times every year; and I will tell you, sir, if every one who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.
"But to return to my story. The next morning we went to the barbecue, and, to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I had not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted--at least, they all knew me.
"In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered up around a stand that had been erected. I opened my speech by saying:
"'Fellow-citizens--I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice, or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can today offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to seek your votes. That I should make this acknowledgment is due to myself as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration only.'
"I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation and then told them why I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying:
"'And now, fellow-citizens, it remains only for me to tell you that the most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments by which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error.
"'It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to the credit for it. And now I hope he is satisfied with his convert and that he will get up here and tell you so.'
"He came upon the stand and said:
"'Fellow-citizens--It affords me great pleasure to comply with the request of Colonel Crockett. I have always considered him a thoroughly honest man, and I am satisfied that he will faithfully perform all that he has promised you today.'
"He went down, and there went up from that crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before.
"I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some big drops rolling down my cheeks. And I tell you now that the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the honors I have received and all the reputation I have ever made, or ever shall make, as a member of Congress.
"Now, sir," concluded Crockett, "you know why I made that speech yesterday.
"There is one thing now to which I will call your attention. You remember that I proposed to give a week's pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men--men who think nothing of spending a week's pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased--a debt which could not be paid by money--and the insignificance and worthlessness of money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $10,000, when weighted against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it."Until Next Time
The Blogger who is "at home on the wild fronteer"
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) is encouraging children to call a number and report the license plate of vehicles if they see "Black Smoke" in the exhaust.
This sounds, at first hearing, innocuous enough but isn't. Having citizens SPY on each other is one of the hallmarks of a Fascist government and that is exactly what this is, just like what happened in the Cultural Revolution, and in NAZI Germany and is still happening in North Korea and Zimbabwe. What is next? Having kids turn their parents in for disagreeing with THBT?
In a practical sense, though ideologically less severe is the problem of someone simply sending your license plate in out of spite, malice or boredom. Suppose they do this MULTIPLE times. This looks like a practical joke waiting to happen. It also looks like a nearly anonymous way to harass someone you simply don't like.
It would be worse if the EPD did more with these complaints than sending the owner of the vehicle a "warning letter." Taiwan used to offer a bounty to people who turned in cars that didn't meet pollution control standards. School kids would go to parking lots and copy down license numbers and turn in thousands of cars because the probability was that at least some of them would fail and they could then collect the bounty. I know this happened because I have friends in Taiwan and their son earned walking around money this way. What happens if the EPD decides that if a driver is reported for this three times then they must go and get their vehicle inspected at a cost of three or four hundred dollars per whack or pay a traffic ticket?
On the other hand, in a sense, if all the EPD do is send a warning letter then what is the point? After all, if I have a car that is in need of service, with clogged fuel injectors, bad valves or fouled spark plugs that causes the engine to emit more pollution than it should I'd probably know it. Performance suffers, fuel efficiency suffers and the vehicle does not run right; not to mention I'd see the smoke in the rear view mirror. So, what is the point of a warning letter? If I'm driving a car like that and haven't fixed it then a simple letter with no legal teeth is useless.
It would appear to me that a program like this really has only two purposes.
1. To allow people who want to flaunt their environmental conscience to feel important by doing something when they are, in fact only padding their sense of Self Righteousness .
2. To allow the government to say it is doing something about a problem when it isn't
Neither one is good reason.
This program is evil. Simply evil. The fact that they are trying to "Save the Earth" makes it even more so because it gives a certain segment of the population the impression that they are helping to reduce pollution when they are not. It also potentially alienates others from environmental programs that would be useful and for which government and community support is needed.
If the EPD is so concerned about vehicular pollution then why not do something that would actually reduce it instead of having a program like this?
Why not require automobiles to pass a pollution control emissions test yearly? (This may be done already. Since I don't drive I can't say.)
Why not standardize the fees for all the tunnels so that drivers take the tunnel that is the most direct route rather than waiting at the one that is cheapest for 30 minutes with their engine idling? This would make a huge difference in the amount of air pollution emitted each day
Why not require all vehicles in Hong Kong to run on Propane? If someone wants a car that can be driven in China then let them park it in Shenzhen or pay a huge license fee and let them know that they will not be able to gas it up in Hong Kong.
Why not give a subsidy to the bus companies and MTR so that they can lower fares to encourage ridership?
Why not allow the use of electric scooters on roads in Hong Kong? Electric cars are impractical but several companies make one person scooters that can travel at about 50 to 60 Kph with a 50 Km range; perfect for many Hong Kong commuters
Why not restrict delivery times to business so that delivery trucks do not clog the streets at rush hour?
Why not take steps to make Hong Kong more bicycle and pedestrian friendly?
Why not make the MTR put up some parking garages at some of the stations in the N.T. so that people could drive to Tai Wai and then take the train on in? Park & Ride, hmmmm, where have I heard of that idea before?
Because doing the things listed above would take civil servants who were more concerned about reducing pollution than simply keeping their over paid, iron-rice-bowl jobs. Because it would not be something the construction cartels that the civil servants use to brown their noses want.
Until Next Time
The Blogger who believes that pollution is a real problem that needs solutions not based in the Cultural Revolution
I've had a daughter visiting. The job has been nuts. Chinese New Year. Then, to top it off I got the flew.
There is a reason for not posting.
Hopefully I'll be able to get going again soon.
Until Next Time
The Blogger with a busy life