Her mother Yang Xili is a shrew with absolute control in the household.  Her father's peasant parents do not dare come to visit.  So when his uncle needed to see a doctor, he had to borrow a place for the uncle and the uncle's daughter.  He did not dare to mention it to his wife.  When the shrew found out, she thought that he was in rebellion and went to his office to scream and complain.  This time, the father has had it, asked for a divorce and persisted on that demand until the court acceded.  At the time, Wang Jing was only 15 years old and she only listened to her mother and started the protest movement.  In their view, under public opinion pressure, the father had only two options: apologize and ask to come home, or go to jail.  The mother was too naive in not knowing that it was her behavior that drove her husband out and, until that changes, he will never come back.

... Wang Zhihua explained that so-called 'mistress' Li Cuilian was a relative who is a peasant woman with two kids.  He has taken her to the office before.  After his wife began publicly accusing him of keeping this mistress, his office colleagues laughed and said, "Old Wang, you have really poor taste."  Later in the wife's home, the reporter saw a photograph of Li Culian.  This is a fat woman with a simple and honest smile, like a typical peasant woman.  The reporter cannot imagine how a man would keep such a peasant woman as mistress.  If Wang had really done it, then he must have been really living a miserable life before so that he was grateful for any kindness and care irregardless of the looks.

Chen Shui-bian: 16% satisfied; 70% dissatisfied
Ma Ying-jeou: 45% satisfied; 42% dissatisfied
James Soong: 35% satisfied; 51% dissatisfied

In particular, here is the trend for Ma Ying-jeou
- elected as KMT chairman: 65% satisfied; 20% dissatisfied
- visited United States: 58% satisfied; 14% dissatisfied
- recall vote process: 51% satisfied; 30% dissatisfied
- the day after the recall vote: 45% satisfied; 42% dissatisfied

What next? 45% push for no confidence vote in government; 41% let Chen finish his term.

(China Times) (727 adults interviewed by telephone on the evening of June 27)
- What next? 28% push for no confidence vote in government; 36% disagree; 36% undecided.
- Should KMT go back to moderate road?  69% yes; 10% no; 21% no opinion.
(United Daily) (836 persons interviewed on June 27)
1. Chen Shui-bian's performance as president: 19% satisfied; 66% dissatisfied; 14% no opinion
2. Ma Ying-jeou's performance as KMT chairman: 51% satisfied; 27% dissatisfied; 20% no opinion
3. James Soong's performance as PFP chairman: 29% satisfied; 48% dissatisfied; 21% no opinion
4. Democratic Progressive Party's performance: 18% satisfied; 68% dissatisfied; 13% no opinion
5. Do you accept the result of the recall vote? 52% yes; 32% no; 13% no opinion
6. Do you support the no confidence vote? 32% yes; 45% no; 21% no opinion.
7. If the no confidence vote results in new parliamentary elections, which party will you support? KMT 38%; DPP 11%; PFP 3%; TSU 1%; independent 1%; no opinion 42%.
8. Your outlook for the remaining 2 years of President Chen's term: optimistic 19%; pessimistic 63%; no opinion 16%.

(ETTV via Yahoo! News)  (no description of methodology)
- Chen Shui-bian's performance: 26.5% satisfied; 57.0% dissatisfied (note: prior numbers were 21.9%/68.7%)
- Ma Ying-jeou's performance: 46.2% satisfied; 40.1% dissatisfied (note: prior numbers were 55.5%/27.0%)
- James Soong's performance: 30.3% satisfied; 53.3% dissatisfied (note: prior numbers were 39.3%/37.3%) 
- Democratic Progressive Party's performance: 68% dissatisfied (note: prior number was 62%).
- No confidence vote?: 26.5% yes and 'more than half' no.

According to my understanding, the head of state has four core responsibilities.  First , no matter the hardship in which the country finds itself, he must have the ability to make the people feel proud of being citizens, so that the citizens will have a healthy sense of pride.  Second, no matter how powerful the opposition is, he must have the ability to bring together the sense of common identity of the people to identify with the country, society and especially with each other.  Third, he must have the ability to offer a long-range ideal for the country.  The people identify with this ideal and they are willing to work together towards this ideal.  Fourth, he does not have to be a saint but he must have a high degree of morality.  To the outside, he represents all the people.  To the inside, he symbolizes the consensus values of society.  When an elementary school students writes the standard "When I Grow Up, I Want To Be ...," he should be the ideal that children want to become. ...

The rights and wrongs of the matter are obvious to my eyes.  The leader is not just a corporate CEO who only talks about operational efficiency and legal liabilities.  For a leader of the nation, legal liability is the least and last thing; his first thing is to assume political responsibility and moral responsibility.  Both political responsibility and moral responsibility are not spelled out in articles of law. ...

If our families, schools, society and political parties have never treated character and upbringing as key contents in education and if our government never treated civilian quality as part of the grand educational plan of the nation, then even if there is a democratic system, the people in this system will be a group which is basically indifferent about character.  So why should we be astonished to find that we have elected an incompetent and ignorant president with no sense of shame. ...

Democracy is not populism; democracy is not laissez-faire; tolerance is not the abandonment of principles; as people grow up, it does not mean that they don't want model characters.  Through the recall vote, the people are testing how much they care about rights and wrongs, how much confidence they have in the progressive forces in society, whether they decide that the behavior is insufferable and how to keep struggling towards the worthwhile goals.

In China, Lung Ying-tai's essay was published at the TECN (天益) forum.  There were plenty of praises for the essay and its author.  The discussion of the issues is mild, since TECN forum's predecessor was the banned Yannan forum and there is no point in testing the boundaries so soon.  Here is one translated comment:

We must admit that Taiwan is ahead of mainland in terms of the development of democracy.  But we are learning here on the mainland too.  The one window of instruction (Phoenix TV) is obviously deliberately set not to be open all of the time, but we can absorb the lessons and avoid the diversions along the way.  The case of Taiwan democracy shows us a lot about how the rules of the game can be manipulated and that universal values can be used as covers that by those disgusting but experienced old-hands.

More extensive coverage is offered at Asia Times Online (via ChineseNewsNet).  Here is a translated excerpt:

Ever since the cancellation of martial law in 1987 and the cancellation of press restrictions the next year, the people of Taiwan no longer have to be afraid of the white terror in the system or worry about the presence of the secret police spies next to them.  But whether it was because of Baiyang's "Ugly Chinese" collective mentality or the habits from the days of the shadows, the people of Taiwan may pay lip service to the democratic notion that "the leader is the people's servant" but they don't really appreciate the meaning thoroughly.  Conversely, the leadership never really appeared to accept this notion and truly work to serve the people.

With this confusion or adoration of power and with the alienation from the legislative and political party system of the previous generations, the basic concept was that "politics is about administering" according to the theoretical precepts in textbooks.  Politics in Taiwan was all about money, violence, special interests, family monopolies and local sectarianism.  In recent years, it was also about the rupture between local and outside groups.  In this political game controlled by the politicians, the people is never the "master" except on election day.  Most of the time, the people are just the tools for the politicians or political groups to grab personal benefits.

It is therefore delightful to see that during the presidential recall process, the will of the people of Taiwan manifested itself in various ways.  There were no mass mobilization before politicians, political parties or even the government.  During this period, the audience to political commentary programs soared; as soon as a radio station opens its lines for citizen call-in, all the lines are jammed immediately; at offices, restaurants, gymnasiums, markets and department stores, one can hear people discussing the political situation.

The difference with the past is that the masses do not necessarily go along with the political parties in marching on the streets, and they do not follow the political parties around.  Most people watched television, reflected, discussed and interacted with each other.  They have internalized the concept that "if the president does not perform well, I can oust him from his job."  Even though in the middle-class Taiwan society, the people have different values and attitudes with respect to the cost of recalling a president, this process of internalization is sufficient to make any future president understand the true meaning and importance of "humility" and "keeping the wishes of the people at heart."

The government has ordered television stations to run nightly broadcasts of a patriotic propaganda video, sparking worries that communist China is attempting to indoctrinate the free-spirited territory.

The nightly 45-second airing of China’s national anthem played over a montage of patriotic images has sparked more complaints than flag-waving in Hong Kong, where many of the 6.8 million residents remain leery of Beijing’s communist government after the territory was returned from Britain to China in 1997. ...

The video, titled “Our Home, Our Country,” was launched last week as Beijing celebrated the 55th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. It is now being shown every evening before the news on three Chinese-language TV channels.

While the anthem plays, the film shows images of the first Chinese astronaut, Yang Liwei; Chinese Olympic medallists including diving queen Guo Jingjing; members of the People’s Liberation Army; Hong Kong children singing and some of the territory’s landmarks. 

CCTV has now provided the counter-argument -- no nation in the world broadcasts the national anthem during prime time.  Can Hong Kong join the league of nations too?

P.S.  If China had a democratic election system like the United States, there would be fewer worries about stuff such as national anthem broadcasts and more concern about the really vital matters.  Their elected representatives can concentrate on more important issues such as the Flag Amendment.
P.P.S.  The Hong Kong Press Workers Website has this comment:
香港政府同公民教育委員會拍馬屁拍中馬撚了.  Sorry, it is untranslatable.

The Shalan Flash Flood - Part 3  This is a translation of a Nanfang Weekend report that was written but denied publication.  But it found its way to the Internet anyway.  Read this gripping account even as you figure out why permission was denied.
The Shalan Flash Flood - Part 4  The journalist who wrote the banned Nanfang Weekend article also wrote about what else he couldn't write in the article.

Meanwhile, Tim Johnson and Richard Spencer are Beijing-based English-language foreign correspondents who maintain their own blogs on the side with company approval.

What about reporter bloggers in the United States?  Hmmm ... why would reporters do a thing like that?  They get million dollar advances on their books, so why would they give the information away for free on blogs?

Since the World Cup began on June 9, Hong Kong police have mounted around 50 large-scale operations, arresting more than 100 people and seizing an estimated HK$50 million in betting slips.  The stakes were raised last week as national teams battled it out to go through to the knockout stages.

On Wednesday, police uncovered the biggest bookmaking operation in Hong Kong since the launch of the crackdown, when they arrested two men and found betting slips worth HK$12 million. A computer was found connected to an overseas gambling Web site.  Five Hong Kong residents, including a 15-year-old boy, were arrested in Macau Thursday.

On Saturday, a joint operation seized an estimated HK$100 million in betting slips.

It is by no means clear that this is striking fear into the hearts of the betting syndicates.  What is the outcome after a police raid, if these people were smart enough to have computer backup files not seized by the police?  It would be a win/no-lose situation for them.  For anyone who placed a bet and lost, the syndicate would collect the bet; for anyone who placed a bet and won, the syndicate would say that the police seized all the records.  Now isn't that the perfect arrangement for the Big Boss?  You almost have to wonder if he didn't tip the police off!
None of this may be true.  That is just Internet gossip.

Compared to the true enthusiasts, I'm just an amateur football fan.  The first reason is that I don't like the festival joy that football creates, I don't like the mass celebrations and I rarely feel to urge to watch a live football game.  In my view, passion prevents one from appreciating the art of football as well as the performances of the stars.  When the French team won the 1998 World Cup, a million people rushed towards the Arc de Triomphe; when the South Korean team made the final 16 in 2002, the entire country was swamped in a sea of red.  These scenes made me feel very weird when huge masses of people are cursed with nationalism -- when a crowd goes crazy, its strength is powerful and scary.  A crowd like that may be a historical event, but it may also lead to human disaster.

But those are my personal preferences.  I don't want to insist on politicizing the passion that football brings to people and I don't oppose people who like mass celebrations and emotional outpourings.  As long as there are no acts of violence by football hooligans or nationalistic incitements, these mass celebrations bring 90 happy minutes to innumerable people.  Nobody can despise the ordinary person for pursuing and enjoying this.

The second reason is that I like football without borders.  I want only to watch high-quality games and brilliant football artistry.  No matter which countries are playing, an awful game is awful and it is not going to get better on account of patriotism.  As a Chinese person, I don't like Chinese football.  Chinese football is of poor quality, the system is ossified, the players are lousy and corruption is rampant.  It cannot give me any pleasure to watch them, and the corruption disgusts me.  Therefore, I never watch the league games in China, I rarely watch the Asian Cup and I only keep up with the World Cup preliminary qualifying matches through news reports.  When China qualified in the round of 32 in 2002, the Chinese fans were ecstatic and the official media were hyping it up, but I was not excited.  Actually, at the 2002 World Cup, the performance of the Chinese team was as ugly as always.  The Chinese football system is just as ossified and corrupt as the general system, and incapable of making systematic protection and incentive to improve football and player quality.  Instead, it became a tool that buried talents and inflamed narrow-minded nationalists.

Here, Liu Xiaobo is just saying NO to the non-football-related added-values.  There is also the opposite approach as exemplified by: A Socialist's Guide To The World Cup, Simon Black, ZNet, June 14, 2006.  Instead of refusing to read any significance, a much greater and critical significance is read into the game.  If you want the details about Chinese football, there is this Chinese-language article 中国足球困境的宪政透视 by 贺卫方.

There are a variety of reasons people seem to like to get their hate on at us ... and I'll try to spell them out as I understand them without bothering to argue with them.

1) A-list bloggers have shitty blogs that no one should read but people just read them because they've been around for so long.

2) A-list bloggers are supporting the wrong candidates/causes. They are doing X, but they should be doing Y.

3) A-list bloggers suck up all the attention from better bloggers who everyone should be reading.

4) A-list bloggers end up representing the "netroots" but they shouldn't.

5) A-list bloggers aren't generous enough with their links and should be providing more publicity for other bloggers.

6) A-list bloggers are stupid and they're ugly and nobody likes them. 

Indeed, who wants to be known as stupid and ugly?

P.S.  In like manner, 韓江雪: 尋找香港的「公共知識份子」 is wondering where the public intellectuals are.  There are two types of public intellectuals -- those who are busy talking about being public intellectuals and then there are those who are busy being public intellectuals without bothering to talk about the process.

Ha ha, I saw today's masterpiece from Mr. Kristof on the New York Times, China vs. the Net. Let me say a few words here about it. Please allow me to be direct. This method to detect the bottom line of freedom of expression on China's Internet may not be the best. First of all, your test blog has very low traffic so far so even if the censor's see it, they will not feel threatened.

Secondly, maybe freedom of expression online in China does not have a well-defined bottom line. If you really insist, you may want to be a regular visitor to this forum, where you may learn something. 

The bottom line might actually be even deeper.  Here is another example: zyzg.org ( 自由中国论坛).  This is not a totally 'free' site because Rule #1 at the discussion forum is: "#1.  No posts allowed about FLG's Nine Criticisms or Party Resignations or Organ Removals (but information related to democratic political systems are negotiable)."
The top of the subject list will always be occupied by this message: "Please remember this alternate URL if this website should be shut down again."
Here is a list of recent subjects at the zyzg.org discussion forum:
- The riot at Shengda College in Zhengzhou University
- The freedom of blind dissident Chen Guangcheng
- New developments at the Chinese Democratic Party
- The Wang Yi-Yu Jie versus Guo Feixiong debate
- The shutdown of the search engines of Sina.com and Sohu.com (via South China Morning Post)
- Election of the next Chinese Communist Party chairman and the Central Military Commission chairman 
- Cao Changqing's report on the firing of US State Department "pro-China idiot" (=Robert Zoellick)
- Chen Shui-bian: "My coming or staying will be decided by my people"
- Gao Zhisheng: "Kidnapping an old woman and a young boy -- more misdeeds by the Hu-Wen government"
Why is this sort of thing happening?  Why aren't the Internet secret police all over them already?  It isn't that easy for an Internet secret police such as the one described here: A Day In The Life Of A Chinese Internet Police.  I would suggest that the female police officer and her colleagues in that story have no idea who Chen Guangcheng, Wang Yi, Yu Jie, Guo Feixiong, Cao Changqing, Robert Zoellick, Gao Zhisehng or the Chinese Democratic Party are.  Dear reader, do you know what the issues are with all nine stories listed above?  Furthermore, the authorities don't have the ability to keep the Internet secret police informed on the latest developing stories, because it will likely destroy faith and morale.
I suggest: stop whining and start paying attention to what the Chinese netizens are actually writing and reading on the edge of and underneath the radar screen.  They are probably already too many to be stopped effectively.

For a fresh perspective, let's try looking at the situation through US eyes. The US is a mature society that has practiced democracy for more than two hundred years. The preposterous presidential recall bid proposed by the blue-camp would be unlikely to occur in the US, given that country's more mature legislature, media and society. ...

US politicians and citizens did not initiate impeachment proceedings against former US president Bill Clinton over his sex scandal, although the US public definitely disapproved of his behavior. In the end, Clinton remain as president until the end of his second term. The moral is, if the president did not break the law, he cannot be impeached or recalled.

This last paragraph made me wondered if I had been living on a different planet.  So I checked -- on my planet, there are 4.6 million entries when I googled 'Clinton+impeachment.'  For example, Washington Post has consolidated all their Clinton impeachment stories at the Clinton accused page, with even the exact Senate votes on the perjury and obstruction charges.  If you believe that Washington Post is a pack of liars, here is the Wikipedia entry on the Impeachment of Bill Clinton.  Fact: Clinton was impeached but he survived the vote.

Now Wang also had this paragraph:

As a longstanding observer of US politics and media, I have never seen the US media make a big stink of what the first lady is wearing. How she wants to dress herself is a private matter unless the way she dresses is obviously inappropriate or connected with bribe-taking. US media and lawmakers are more interested in whether the president is competent to govern the nation than in how the first lady dresses. They supervise how the president manages foreign, economic and domestic affairs. If the president is clearly involved in any misconduct, the media and Congress will move to impeach him or her based on the evidence. Former US president Richard Nixon's downfall over the Watergate scandal is a classic example.

For the exemplary behavior of the American press, please consult the entire archive of Bob Somerby's The Daily Howler from 1998 to 2006.  Every day, the man just copies one or more examples of howlers from the American press.  Do you believe that Gennifer Flowers, Katherine Willey, Monica Lewinsky, the Arkansas state troopers and the long cast of characters have much to do with the "foreign, economic and domestic affairs" that US media and lawmakers supposedly only care about?  By the way, it also did not matter what the US media and lawmakers had to say, because Clinton's approval ratings among the general public was always around 60% during the the period when the impeachment trial was in progress (see chart).

Here is today's bonus report in Globe (via Daily Kos):  

Laura Bush stormed out of the White House after a blow-up with the president over whether he was cheating with Condoleezza Rice. [...]

The infuriated first lady spent at least one night in the famed Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., after the bitter row, respected author and national security expert Wayne Madsen tells GLOBE. ... We reported in our Jan. 16 issue that in a recent therapy session, the 59 year-old president confessed he lusts after other women. And now, sources say he's been acting out those fantasies with Rice, 51.

Rumors of the affair have enraged Laura, who has been at odds with her husband for months over their deteriorating 28-year union.

Meanwhile a host of other problems are plaguing the Bush marriage, including reports that the president had been caught drinking whiskey again after quitting for 20 years, and strife between Laura and her meddling mother-in-law Barbara, say sources.

Relevant Link: Unbeknownst to me at the time of writing, Keywords had the Michelle Wang article covered.  I could have spared myself.  But it goes to show that this was so obviously and outrageously wrong.

The incident began late last year when a blogger Martin Oei accused another blogger Sidekick of working in conjunction with ep21.com.  At the time, Sidekick responded with a blanket statement that she has no connections to ep21.com.  In reply, Martin Oei said that he has proof but he was busy and promised to produce the proof as soon as the December 4th 2005 march was done.  It is now June 2006.  In the first post above, Sidekick says, "I want my vindication!"  
In the second post, Martin Oei replies that anyone who wants him to produce the proof ought to think instead about why Sidekick took so long to demand a "vindication" and that should be enough to figure out Sidekick.  In addition, Martin Oei welcomes any email from Sidekick to explain her relationship with ep21.com.  Martin Oei also allows no trackbacks and comments on his blog post.
In the third post (also reproduced at InMediaHK), the blogger The Duke of Aberdeen openly questioned whether Martin Oei (who is newspaper columnist, political commentator, Legislature consultant, Chinese University of Hong Kong Assessment Committee member and political and administrative science lecturer) can assign a political label to a blogger without any evidence.
Now, I am just a blog reader and I don't know the rights and wrongs beyond what was written.  But from my summary, you can tell that I think it is inadequate (actually, pathetic) for Martin Oei to make the unsubstantiated assertion, fail to keep a promise to provide the evidence and then turn the burden of proof on the accused.  The preceding is not libel, because I am just telling you what I have read and concluded.  This is therefore free thought and speech.  Martin Oei can change my mind by producing the evidence.

The search engines of two of the most popular Web portals on the mainland have been blocked in a sign of intensified internet censorship, with millions of users expected to be affected.  Sina and Sohu are the latest victims of Beijing's increasing control of the internet for having failed to filter certain keywords deemed politically harmful, industry sources in Beijing said yesterday.

"Chief editors of Web portals were summoned to the State Council Information Office in the morning and Sina and Sohu were ordered to shut down their search engines after they failed an on-the-spot censorship test," one of the sources said. The two portals had been given three days to "rectify their mistakes", the source said.

The Sina and Sohu search engines have been out of service since noon yesterday, with the search pages carrying a message that the sites were undergoing upgrades. Other services of the two portals were unaffected.

The two companies declined to elaborate on the shutdown or provide statistics about their users.  Sohu spokeswoman Zhang Xin insisted that it was normal to have a system upgrade. Her counterpart in Sina, Yan Hongyan , did not offer an explanation. "I don't know yet what has happened and why the search engine is out of service," she said.  Both companies said last night the services would not resume for two or three days. 

Now this is a brand new piece of information -- there exists a test in which the examinees were allowed to observe.  Previously, people might have thought that you were blocked PERIOD without any further feedback, you are given no clue as to what needs fixing and you have to go back to guess what they want.  But there is actually a test and they show you the results.  Will someone let the people know what the test is (of course, that person would be leaking state secrets)?

Relevant LinkNanny Fails Sina Sohu China.com Search Engines  Letters from China

I have just read the first ten pages and I cannot believe what my eyes were seeing!  Is this a fantasy tale for a single person to assume so many identities?  A Fujian peasant who never completed third grade in elementary school; the Huayuan boss with more than 1 billion yuan in personal wealth; a Hong Kong permanent resident; Hong Kong's outstanding youth of the 20th century; a Fujian People's Congress representative; third class honorary special agent for the Chinese security bureau; double spy for China/Taiwan; ... Of course, the Chinese call him "China's biggest smuggler" and he calls himself "a Canadian political refugee."

How much confidence do you have in the following?

-- He knew any number of important people in the party, government, military and police in China, from members of the Chinese Commuinst Party Central Politburo Standing Committee down to the Fujiang provincial party secretary and the Xiamen customs director; by his estimate he knew 83 persons at the secretary level or above, including Jiang Zemin, Zhu Rongji, Luo Gan, Zeng Qinghong and Wu Yi.

-- Chinese Politburo member and Deng Xiaoping's bridge partner Wang Hanbin got him a Zhongnanhai car license plate so that he can come and go at Diaoyutai and the People's Congress.  When he is not in Beijing, Wang gets to use the car; when he arrives, Wang assigns him a chauffeur to drive him around in that car.

-- He got cigarettes supplied by actress Gong Li's husband; he was in partnership with Macau's Stanley Ho on the casino boat project; he was friends with Li Peng's son Li Xiaorong, the comedian Jiang Kun, the actress Liu Xiaoqing, etc.  Is there any celebrity in China who is not connected to him?

Believe it or not, I continued reading because it was too readable ... This is better than a spy adventure film from Hollywood!

For mainland Chinese readers, you can probably pick up this book from your local roadside contraband bookseller.

Little Zhang is a tattoo artist.  She studied art in Hunan for two years, and she was working in a small shop in Sanlitun (Beijing) where she made body tattoos for second-rate singers and fashionable youth.
One night, a drug addict went into the shop and wanted to rob Little Zhang.  She is a Hunan person, and has the toughness of the people there.  She fought the robber.  In the end, the man took her mobile phone and stabbed her five times.  Each stab wound was deep down to the bone.  Her lung was punctured and her elbow was smashed.  She was taken to the hospital.
That night, I followed the news tip and went to the hospital.  Little Zhang's boyfriend was a handsome young man with his long hair tied in a pony tail.  His face was filled with sorrow, and he sat limply on the bench in front of the operating room.  The muscles on his face were twisted in anger and he was mumbling, "How could anyone do that to a girl?  I'm going to kill that bastard" and so on.  That was understandable.
I comforted him and said that the young woman was physically strong and will come through.  Then I had to remove my humanity and carry on with my job to ask him to tell me what happened.  I said that the Beijing public security bureau doesn't care about whether outsiders live or die, but if we report it, they will pay attention.  He said that his mind was blanked out and he was so confused.  I recovered my humanity.  I waited with him quietly in front of the operating room.  Then he asked me if I have a cigarette, because he felt like smoking.  I don't smoke and I don't carry cigarettes.  So I told him that I would go out and buy him some.  I went out to look for a tobacco shop.  It was past 3am at night, and it was not easy to find any place open.  In the end, I took a taxi cab to the nearest convenience store and found cigarettes.  I went back and gave them to him.  And then I left.
The next day, he called me.  His girlfriend had come to and she drew a portrait of her attacker.  This was a good news report that is rarely ever encountered.
I thought: if I did not comfort him and bought him cigarettes, he would surely not remember me ...
Therefore, good people get good rewards.  So you should do more good.
This story also tells us that if you want to rob someone, it had better not be a drawing artist because he/she will draw a portrait of you.

According to informed sources, Andrew Law was brought to the Lai Chi Kok Detention Center last evening.  Following standard Corrections Department procedure, he was subjected to a cavity search (technical note: the Chinese term is 通櫃 which literally means 'clearing out the cabinet drawer').  He felt so horrible that he cried.

As Andrew Lam was emotionally distressed, the Detention Center put him in the special hospital room for people with suicidal tendencies.  The room is monitored by workers every hour to make sure that the patients do not injure themselves.  Since Andrew Lam was crying continuously after being brought back to the detention center from the courthouse, the Corrections Department arranged Lam to meet with a psychiatrist last evening.

The largely untranslatable (due to the prison jargon) description in Next Magazine is: 林 炳 昌 被 送 入 荔 枝 角 羈 留 所 , 一 到 便 忍 不 住 流 下 男 兒 淚 。 據 懲 教 署 職 員 說 : 「 佢 一 落 車 , 『 爆 骨 』 ( 解 手 銬 ) 入 指 摸房 , 便 『 流 馬 尿 』 。 到 『 通 櫃 桶 』 ( 通 肛 門 , 以 防 藏 毒 ) 時 , 已 欲 哭 無 淚 。 」 由 於他 週 一 、 二 晚 仍 未 有 刑 期 , 故 可 以 從 茶 餐 廳 叫 外 賣 , 不 用 吃 「 皇 家 飯 」 。懲 教 署 職 員 又 說 , 他 情 緒 低 落 , 恐 怕 他 會 「 度 頸 」 ( 吊 頸 ) , 故 此 被 列 作 特 別 照 顧 ( Suicide Watch ) , 每 小 時 最 少 巡 視 一 次 。 

[in translation]

Jan: Why media?  Why Taiwan?
Lai: After the Tiananmen incident, I believe that China must be opened up and therefore I started a media business.  When I saw Chen Shui-bian elected, I thought that "democracy is for real" and so I started a media business in Taiwan.
But when Jimmy Lai said "Chen Shui-bian's greatest contribution over the past six years is that he expanded democracy a lot," many of the media industry members in the audience were in an uproar.  Jimmy Lai must have sensed that "extraordinary" atmosphere and so he immediately followed up: "I am looking at this realistically, because Chen Shui-bian has made great contributions towards democracy over the past six years in that he has made a lot of prior practices become transparent now.  In the future, nobody would dare to do that kind of thing again.  That is a huge contribution to Taiwan."
There was loud laughter at the scene.
When it came to the free market, Jimmy Lai said that even the free market must the rules of free market.  Many people demand a free market.  When there are problems in the economy, they blame the government for not interfering ... in mainland China, there is plenty of contraband merchandise.  It is a free market -- a free market without any rules ...
There was one section that I found particularly interesting: "People are very much equal, because our ignorance is unlimited ... the ignorance of people is equal ..."

Group F - Australia, Brazil, Croatia, Japan
Preferred Team: Australia
Why: In honor of Roland Soong, the original webmaster. Also, they're called the Socceroos.

Alternate Team: Brazil
Why: It's nice to root for a perennial winner that isn't evil (cf. New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Lakers). Plus, have you seen their fans?

Once upon a time, I played the role of the pommie-bashing Aussie with great effectiveness (=irritation factor).  And Australia just defeated Japan 3-1.

In the July 1, 2004 march, the event was kidnapped by the controversy over the organizers' claim of 530,000 versus an average of 180,000 as counted by four different academic research teams (see July 1, 2004 Crowd Size Estimates).  
In the July 1, 2005 march, the organizers decided that they would avoid by adopting the methodology used by some of the academic teams.  Their number was 21,000, which was close to the counts by the four academic research teams on that day (see July 1 2005 Afternoon March Estimates).
The 250,000 referred to the December 4, 2005 march (The Numbers for 12/4 Hong Kong), where once again the event was kidnapped by the controversy over the organizers' claim of 250,000 using some undisclosed methodology versus an average of 70,000 as counted by four different academic research teams.

So Lee Wing-tat's statement should be read in the context of whether the organizers want another round of controversy of their own stratospheric number versus the academic research teams (which are usually consistent with each other).  So far, the word is that the organizers will not be counting this year.  That is the real reason why the number won't be 250,000.

The most believable rumor said Huang, 67, had received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and was undergoing therapy. This version received added credibility when a spokesman for the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference said March 2 that "Comrade Huang Ju was hospitalized for treatment because he was unwell. He is currently recovering."

But other versions circulated as well. One said that Huang's wife, Yu Huiwen, was in police custody being investigated for financial irregularities and that Huang had been asked to step aside pending the investigation. Other reports said that Huang himself was under suspicion and that police were interrogating him as well as Yu.

More recently, a mid-level official said he was told, in great detail, that Huang was indirectly involved in a security leak to Taiwan and was being extensively interrogated by national security officials at a government facility in the Beijing suburbs.

Huang's daughter, the official said, had a long-standing relationship with a Taiwanese businessman whose father has ties to the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian. Suspicions were aroused that the relationship might have become a conduit for state secrets through carelessness or espionage, he said. Hu and his lieutenants were particularly concerned, the official said he was told, because Chinese intelligence learned that the content of a Standing Committee meeting on Taiwan policy was passed to Chen within days of its being held.

Sorting out the reports was impossible, even for relatively well-informed Chinese. Many informed people bought into the cancer theory, particularly after the spokesman's comment in March, but they were far from sure and did not know how authoritative it was.

Now Boxun offers the proof about the corruption case of Huang Ju's wife.  It quotes a member of the special investigative team in Shanghai: "黄菊老婆掏浆糊,证据理好,拨伊(黄菊),告诉伊(黄菊)要判十年以上,要伊离婚.赤那,黄菊作死作活.不配合."  (Translation: Huang Ju's wife was involved in corruption and the evidence has been gathered and organized, and then shown to Huang.  We told him that she will get ten years or more in prison and he ought to get a divorce.  Fuck!  Huang Ju threw a fit and would not go along."  Proof?  I too can take any of the above alternate theories and translate it into Shanghainese, but that would not make it any more or less true.

The eruption of blogs was a watershed event for 2005. Although the major blog hosting sites were injected with large doses of capital, bloggers and their readers were galvanized by a desire for self-expression, and in a few cases calculated moves of exhibitionism.

It is estimated that the total number of blogs in China will reach 15.2 million this year and almost double to 28.6 million in 2007. But will it drown out traditional media, their trained editors, reporters and all? Many people, including some of the best bloggers, doubt it.

A click through the blogosphere will reveal that the majority of blogs are personal journal types in the style of high school girls' notepads. A typical blog has total clicks in a few hundreds, and if comments are any indication, the readers are young people with nothing better to do but "grab the sofa," an online euphemism for leaving the first comment for a posting.

However, there are a few blogs that have built up reputations to rival that of mainstream media brands. Besides Xu Jinglei, the actress with the most-read blog, Wang Xiaofeng's "Massage Milk" comments on cultural and social news; Hong Bo's Keso deals with what's happening in the technology field; Roland Soong's ESWN aggregates and translates China-related news and offers observations with cross-cultural acumen.

These are some of the best blogs, and they are mostly run by media professionals. However, the bloggers tend to differentiate their day jobs from their blogging hobby. "The information presented on my blog is partial, selective and idiosyncratic," Soong explained. "A blog is the effort of a single individual and may excel in some small niche subject area or in reporting a suddenly breaking incident."

[in translation] ... Chu Yi's speech had become a hot topic around the Peking University campus.  The 500-seat conference hall had more than 1,000 students attempting to sign up.

But things changed quickly.  The May 28 speech was canceled on the evening of May 27, and that surprised Chu Yi.  The talk was that a senior CCP official (of rank higher than bureau director) called at 10pm at night; one hour later, Peking University called Chu Yi one hour later to apologize.  Chu Yi said that the mainland officials wished that he would change the venue: "Other than Peking University, any school is acceptable -- Fudan University or Zhongshan University can be arranged."  But Chu Yi said firmly that it was unacceptable. ...
Before he left, Chu Yi treated the reporters to a meal at a Taiwan restaurant.  I was there.  During the meal, everybody continued to speculate about the real reason why the speech was canceled.  Chu Yi said that the mainland government was worried that his speech will draw resonance among the mainlanders and lead to a popular campaign at exposing scandals and corrupton.  After I heard everybody spoke, I said, "What Mr. Chu said may not be the main thing.  The very most important thing is that a certain 'date' is about to arrive and anything concerning democracy is sensitive at this time, especially at Peking University."  Then Chu understood and agreed.  Previously, nobody had struck this chord.  At noon, many of the Taiwan television broadcasts were missing this major news point.

I told my Taiwan media colleagues that in ordinary times, Legislator Chu is not really talking about anything excessive because many Peking University professors are instilling even more progressive kinds of content and values in their students.  I said that I hope Mr. Chiu can come to Beijing more often, give a few more talks and I hope that I can do a special interview with him.

So this was a case of Anti-"Double Regulations."  Chu Yi was requested NOT to appear at a certain time at a certain place to give answers to certain questions.  Another place would be fine, or another time, or another subject, but just not all of the above.

The Times covered the charges against Dr. Lee aggressively. But in September 2000, it published a lengthy note "from the editors" saying that despite "careful reporting that included extensive cross-checking," there were "some things we wish we had done differently in the course of the coverage to give Dr. Lee the full benefit of the doubt."

The note said The Times should have pushed harder and sooner "to uncover weaknesses in the F.B.I. case against Dr. Lee" and to assess the scientific, technical and investigative assumptions behind the case.

It probably took the full board of senior editors five hours to write these two short paragraphs to make sure that everything is prim and proper.  If this is the first time that you read about this case, you will have no idea what really happened from the above.  Even if you already know about the case, you may want to refresh your memory with some of the major pieces in this sordid act of journalistic malpractice:

In the recent settlement, the five media organizations said: "We did so to protect our confidential sources, to protect our journalists from further sanction and possible imprisonment and to protect our news organizations from potential exposure."  To protect your sources who lied to you in order to to push their hidden agenda is ... how shall one say? ... to do evil.

NY Post: Less than five years after the murder of 2,749 people in the Twin Towers on 9/11, the feds yesterday shockingly slashed anti-terror funds needed to protect New York City against future attacks.  The Homeland Security Department announced it was hacking funds distributed to the city by 40 percent compared with last year, while pouring hundreds of millions into unlikely terror targets like Kentucky and Wyoming.

What was the rationale (that was a rhetorical question as all you need to do is to pick out a map of historical voting patterns -- New York City is Democratic territory)?  ABC News (via Huffington Post): 

New York has no national monuments or icons, according to the Department of Homeland Security form obtained by ABC News. That was a key factor used to determine that New York City should have its anti-terror funds slashed by 40 percent--from $207.5 million in 2005 to $124.4 million in 2006.  The formula did not consider as landmarks or icons: The Empire State Building, The United Nations, The Statue of Liberty and others found on several terror target hit lists. It also left off notable landmarks, such as the New York Public Library, Times Square, City Hall and at least three of the nation's most renowned museums: The Guggenheim, The Metropolitan and The Museum of Natural History.

So here is the payback from the hometown paper which was formerly pro-Bush:

The young man who was scolded by the infamous Bus Uncle yesterday made an appeal to the media: "Don't bring him to see me."

"I really do not want to see him again. I would like to call on all media workers not to bring him to see me. Don't bring him to see me please," said Elvis "Alvin" Ho, who was the hero of a six-minute video which has been viewed on computers millions of times in Hong Kong and overseas. ...

Mr Ho said: "I do not want to be put under the spotlight so that some people can use me to make more drama. I really hope the whole saga can die down soon."

This is called being one newscycle behind, because the media-arranged meeting (=debacle) had already taken place.

(Sing Tao)  Last evening at 730pm at Elvis "Alvin" Ho's real-estate office in Mongkok, he was trying to conduct business with a client when he saw Bus Uncle enter.  Ho immediately started to yell: "I've got nothing to say.  You get out now."  Bus Uncle said, "Don't be nervous.  Let's be friends" and offered his hand.  But Ho said: "This is a private space.  Why are you here?  You people get out now.  Get out quickly!"  So Bus Uncle and the reporters left.  Ho then followed out: "All the reporters leave me your business cards!"  Bus Uncle had hoped to develop some business opportunities with Ho (like doing concerts), but those hopes have now evaporated.