Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cyber-attack on U.S. firms, Google traced to Chinese

And the PRC is going to put several Rio Tinto employees in jail for asking the executives of Chinese steel makers how much they could produce?

Geez, I thought this level of hypocrisy only occurred in Barak Obama's administration. I guess it just goes to show you that the political left is corrupt regardless of continent.

I was also wondering today how long it will be before we get letters in the SCMP that say the pollution from the sand storms in China are caused by Global Warming rather than poor agricultural practices? Maybe I should look, they are probably already there.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who does not work for Rio Tinto

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Google shuts up shop in China in row over state censorship

I am not a fan of Google. They scare me with their reach and ability to monopolize the flow of information. But, good for them on this issue!

This is a move more companies should make. And yes, it just means that it is harder for the citizens of the PRC to get actual information and not Baidu propaganda. However, the situation will never change until the people in China want it to change. If it gets so that the business in China cannot access their customers or markets then the government will have relax the censorship rules.

Rio Tinto should say: "Sorry President Hu, asking about the production capacity of a private company is not a matter of national security and isn’t spying. If you are going to arrest our employees for asking basic business questions then we won't play. Mine your own iron ore from your own damn mine; assuming you can keep them from caving in.

I don't think the Chinese realize how evil they look to most people who are not from China. It isn't just the government. The Chinese are the only people I know of who will enslave their others of their own nationality. If you go into a large Chinese restaurant in the US or Europe then employees who are not family members are illegal’s who live in dormitories and are paid less than 1/2 minimum wage. I grew up in an area of Texas that was heavily Hispanic. The local Hispanics didn't hire "Wet-backs" and generally despised them as being the criminal element of Mexican society. However, they didn't go out of their way to enslave them either. We did hire migrant workers, often Hispanics to help on the farm but we didn't treat them as slaves. The propensity of the Chinese to take advantage of other Chinese is absolutely astounding.

The stereotype of the Ugly American tourist is often over played but has some at least mythological basis in actual behavior. The ugly Chinese has overtaken the US in this area. Not even other Chinese like the mainland tourist. They'll take their money but are glad when they leave. Hong Kongers used to snicker at the boys from up North. They were naive and innocent country bumpkins. Now they all dress like gangsters, smoke like freight trains and spit and curse and go out of their way to insult and throw their money around.

Notice, I believe that the corruption in the government goes hand in hand with the corruption of the individual. The PRC will never clean up the corruption in the government until it cleans up the corruption in its society.

I think I will go make a search using Google and click on a couple of adds.
Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who still thinks that in 15 years the PRC will be freer tha Obama's US

Friday, March 19, 2010

King of the Wild Frontier

Fes Parker died yesterday at 85.

I had the hat. I had the toy musket.

There are days I just feel really old

RIP Davey Crocket
RIP Daniel Boone

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who knows that Daniel Boone was a man, yes a real man

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Classical Liberal

I've struggling to post of late because I get tired of complaining. It is more fun to bang my head on the table than it is to continually recite the list of problems with the PRC or the Hong Kong real state market. I have really try to look for more positive things to write about but sometimes it is just so hard. I've even thought about becoming a poet and filling this space with silly sonnets or bawdy lymricks.

I actually wrote this post as a comment on the Strat-Sphere blog and I thought would fit as a post here as well, if for no other reason than I took quite a bit of time to write the comment. There is an on going conversation at that blog as to what it means to be a political Centrist. This is actually an important issue because one of the common mistakes in identifying political ideology is to use a term but fail to see how the definition of the term has changed. No where is this more evident than politics. The word Centrist does not mean today what it meant 100 years ago. But more than that, what does it mean to govern from the center? What do I mean when I say that I consider myself a Centrist?

Here is how I define a Centrist.
1. A Centrist is someone that I might disagree with on any of several issues but is willing to work at resolving those issues in a legal manner.

2. A Centrist is someone who believes in the rule of law. This is, for example the real problem with the abortion issue. Not that the moral components of the problem are not a problem but that liberals used the courts to short-circuit the system of creating laws.

3. A Centrist is someone who believes broadly in individual freedom but also in individual responsibility. There should be consequences for your actions, deeds and beliefs. This is not just a law enforcement issue though crime and punishment play a big part in it. I think one of the reasons you see such flagrantly goofy individuals in places like the UK and Japan is because of the nanny state. You can be a loser who dresses up like a vampire or ragdoll and not starve. If those places did not tacitly encourage that type of behavior by not requiring idiots to work for a living they wouldn’t dress like that.

4. A Centrist does not use inordinate amounts of coercion in dealing with others. This means that a Centrist believes that that law should be limited in scope and developed with the consent of the greater community. In other words, laws are public entities and morals are private entities. Obviously there is some fuzziness around the edges on this point. I may not support homosexuality. But as long as that Gay man isn’t recruiting my children it is his right to be wrong in my eyes. This same rule applies to people who practice various religions or hobbies I am not fond of. I allow them to do their thing because they allow me to do mine. I am free to convert them and they free to evangelize me. That does not mean I believe all such activities are equally valid or true.

5. A Centrist is someone who realizes that they might not always have all the answers. That is what is so frustrating about the left. They can never seem to learn from their mistakes. It does not matter how often a welfare system fails they think they can make it work. The far right is just as bad because they believe they are speaking for God and that their words are inerrant.

6. A Centrist is someone that believes that while there are times that government must step in there are many other times when the government overtly or inadvertently becomes an oppressor that severely limits personal freedom. As P.J. O’Rourke said: “I don’t want government that works; I want it to stop working.”

7. A Centrist does not believe in the perfectibility of humanity through human means. We are never going to solve all the problems sometimes we just do the best we can. But, we can keep from making things worse

In short; a Centrist is, someone who if possible works within the law and believes in the rule of law and that all citizens are equal before the law, believes in both personal liberty and personal responsibility, avoids the use of political coercion, does not believe they have all they answers, believes that excessive government leads to tyranny so government should be limited, and does not believe that all problems are solvable by government action.

A.J. Strata added:
And a centrist is a skeptic who thinks for themselves. Make a sound argument, don’t demand blind allegiance!

At times I appear to be far away from the political center in Hong Kong. However, that is because our government here is so steeped in authoritarianism that that it makes me look a revolutionary. Maybe if I look like one here I am.

In any event, a positive post. There is hope for me yet!

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who stands on the white line in the middle of the road

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Superbugs in HK Hospitals bug me

I am not a big fan of government hospitals and the ones here deserve my scorn more than many I've seen. I bring this up because there is a front-page, above the fold article today in the nearly always unreliable SCMP about the growing problem of antibiotic resistant bacterial in Hong Kong Hospitals. I will give the SCMP the benefit of the doubt on this story because the issue is easy enough for a student with mental disabilities, such as journalist to understand.

Unlike a lot of ex-pats I do not make enough money to use the private hospitals here. I must use the public ones. So I have had the opportunity to use the services of the public hospitals in Hong Kong on more than one occasion and can verify the claims made by the paper from my own experience. They are dirty, the care is lousy and the staff generally un caring.

A case in point: Several weeks ago the really-pretty-very smart-hard working-looks 25 years younger than she is- Chinese-wife got sick. She was dehydrated from a mild case of food poisoning and fell in the bathroom after passing out. I carried her back to bed and called an ambulance to take her the emergency room. We then spent several hours in the emergency room while they gave her fluid through an IV and something to ease the other symptoms she was experiencing. Despite the professionalism of some of the staff it was a thoroughly un-enjoyable experience for reasons other than her sickness. I was impressed by how dirty and ragged Ruttongee hospital looked when we were there.

The equipment was in poor mechanical shape.

The walls were painted a very dingy color making the entire place seem depressing.

There was a dirty old woman, apparently a street sleeper who was roaming from bed to bed taking naps; I mean she was absolutely filthy. Yet, as far as I can tell nobody on the hospital staff asked her to leave or at least stay in one place.

There was also a small group of staff standing around talking. Maybe they were off work so I can't say they were goofing off but their conversation was intriguing. One of them had just managed to join the ranks of civil servants who work for the hospital. They were quizzing another such employee on ways to defraud the system, receive extra benefits and milk more money for less work. In a sense I can't blame them as they are simply part of the system.

That is the point; it is the system that is wrong. Socialized health care always seems to mean poor service, uncaring staff and prices not noticeably lower than could be obtained through private care. At least it appears to everywhere it is tried. Honestly, the trip was only worth HKD $100.00 because we had to endure crazy old woman, slow service, a bed that wouldn't work right and loud uncaring cleaning staff. The problem is we actually pay much more than that for this service through taxes. If I am going to pay the taxes that would provide me with an at least 2nd class hospitalization policy I want at least 2nd class service.

So, the cry is raised yet again. Fire some civil servants. Don't reduce the pay of the ones entering the system Fire the higher ups that make 80gazzillon a month for doing nothing except eating dim sum.

How about this? Rather than pushing paper all day how about some of the hoity-toits get out of the fancy office and come wipe down some surfaces in the hospitals they administrate. How about making the high level administrators USE the hospitals they run? I guarantee that if THBT had to take his wife to Ruttongee he'd be expecting better care than we received.
Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who wants to see an antibiotic that kills civil servants

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I had a friend who used to drop acid.

Unfortunately a drug using friend is not the same as this guy.

I find it amazing that the response for this serial thug is so silly. They install security cameras AFTER an attack is made when the attacks are never made in the same location. What exactly do they hope to see?

How about this.
Require purchasers of this type of material to show an HK ID and have the store record the ID and then subnitt the ID number and the date of purchase to the relevant government agency? Then at least the sleaze would have have to sneak the stuff accross the border. Tracking the purchases would narrow the field of suspects down from 7 million to at most a few hundred that the police had to think about questioning.

Not a perfect solution but better than what is being done now. I doubt that legiimate contractors and those with a commerial need for acid would mind this, I can not see how it would cost more than all the cameras and would have a better chance of catching a creep. It would also have fewer privacy issues

Logic, it isn't something taught at HKU, at least not in the subjects the civil servants major in.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The non-acid dropping blogger

Friday, March 05, 2010

This versus That

There is a very sad story in the SCMP today about a family in the PRC who had to steal their dead father's body from a hospital and keep it in a freezer for months until they could get someone in the government to conduct a murder investigation. In Denver they are starting a government pannel to contact Space aliens.

When I read a story like the first I really want to leave China. When I read a story like the second I wonder where I'd go?

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who sometimes just shakes his head in unbelief