At the press conference yesterday afternoon, the Yunnan provincial public security bureau and the Kunming city procuratorate stated: The detainee Li Qiaoming in the Jinning county detention centre had been beaten to death by cell mates.  The game of "elude the cat" was the excuse by which the prison bullies abuse and assault newcomers.  It was also disclosed that six members of the public security bureau and the procuratorate were given administrative penalties.

The incident took place at 5pm on February 8.  The prison bullies blindfolded Li Qiaoming under the guise of playing "elude the cat" and then assaulted him.  The fatal blow came from Pu Huayong, which caused Li Qiaoming to fall back and hit his head against the wall.  Li became unconscious and died in the hospital on February 12.  The forensic doctor determined that Li died from blunt blows that caused severe head injuries.

The announcement yesterday overturned the conclusion previously issued by the Jinning police, which said on February 20 to the netizen investigative team that Li Qiaoming had a fight with others during the "elude the cat" game and hurt his head against the door frame.  In its press repelase, the Jinning police called it an "accident."

However, it was also said that the police did not cover up the facts.  Instead, they had published preliminary results of their investigation in order to satisfy the media.  The final findings were different because the prison bullies had concocted a joint defense by fabricating the "elude the cat" story and misled the investigators.

Previously Jinning county had declined to provide the surveillance videos to the netizen investigative committee.  The deputy prosecutor general Han Hongbing opined that the surveillance tapes are state secrets and the Kunmming police representative supported this opinion.  It was disclosed yesterday that the surveillance equipment at that cell had broken down six months ago but was never repaired.  This is the reason why the detention center director has been dismissed from his job.



So you entered the Band 4 and 6 English test in China, and the College English Test (CET) committee tells you that there is a free website where you can check your marks.  You go to the website and see that the page is divided into checking results on one side and advertising on the other side.  You want to check your marks.  The page tells you that you must install an additional piece of software.  You install this piece of software and you enter your candidate identification number and the pass code.  A page pops up to count down from 30 seconds while there is a prompt for you to enter your QQ number to register.  30 seconds later, you found your marks.  The page then shows a list of other candidates who are your fellow students and who have left comments. You want to see what they have to say.  But you need to register before you can read them.  You finish registering and then you find out that there are no comments, just another online game advertisement ...

Yesterday, the People's Daily published a report entitled <Are the interests of the students worth less than commercial activities?>.  The relevant government departments declined to be interview by People's Daily for this report.

Many students resent the fact that when they want to check their results, they get information that ostensibly come from other students or are lured to register and receive advertisements.  "I checked the comments on the right hand side which come from my fellow students with subjects like 'Mail from YYY: XXX please help me' and so on.  So I click and see what was said.  But I was forced to register before I can see it.  I registered and when I entered, I almost coughed blood.  It was an online game from

One netizen believes whenever a student enters his/her candidate identification number, the website will immediately send information in the names of those other students with adjacent candidate identification numbers, because they are most likely from the same class in the same school.

According to, the software download and the verification process are necessary in order to guarantee network security.  They said that they did so in order to protect the privacy of the users.  As for the 30 second countdown, this is is relieve the load on the servers since there are 8 million candidates and tens of thousands of people could be checking their results.  As to whether CET allowed 99sushe to insert advertisements during the inquiry process, the spokesperson declined to comment.  Meanwhile, nobody was picking up the phone at CET to answer this question.

The budget speech was interrupted by outspoken lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung, also known as “Long Hair”, and some supporters for about 10 minutes. This occurred about an hour into the speech, when protester League of Social Democrats chairman Raymond Wong Yuk-Man shouted: “You don’t care about the livelihood of the poor!” He then approached Mr Tsang, trying to take away his speech. Security guards and Legco staffers immediately intervened. League of Social Democrats members Leung Kwok-hung and Albert Chan Wai-yip also shouted out loudly. During the interruptions, loud classical music was played on the Cable TV’s live broadcast. “Long Hair” threw an inflatable banana toy at Mr Tsang, but it did not hit him. A glass of water in front of the financial secretary was knocked over. The three lawmakers were then escorted outside. Legco chairman Tsang Yok-sing said they could not remain in the Legco building during the speech. Mr Tsang later said the three had achieved nothing with their outburst.


(CY Leung's Blog)

If someone went to a restaurant for tea and someone else took similar actions against him, he would be calling the police for sure.  But when such actions occur repeatedly inside the Legislative Council, nobody cares.  The standards for public order at Legco should not be any less than a restaurant, or else the reputation of Hong Kong will be tarnished.

(Ming Pao's LSZ Blog)

Fortunately, half of the legislators (that is, thirty persons) immediately signed a joint condemnation of the three members of the League of Social Democrats.  It appears that the day when the three will "self-immolate" is near.  The most disappointing aspect is that Civic Party, which has also been the target of unreasonable attacks from the League of Social Democrats, did not dare to criticize them yesterday.

The explanation from the pan-democrats was that they do not want to be trapped by the pro-establishment camp into "attacking their own people."  Besides, even though they disapprove of the action by the League of Social Democrats, they thought that the officials must bear a certain amount of responsibility themselves because they personally witness a previous incident in which the League of Social Democrats harass government officials inside the chamber but the two sides chatted amiably outside afterwards.

(Taipei Times)  DPP caucus whip makes DVD claim.  By Rich Chang.  February 26, 2009.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) told a press conference yesterday that he had spoken with Chang Wei-chin (張瑋津), the estranged wife of former ICRT DJ Charles Mack — better known by his nickname “Chocolate” — and Prosecutor Wu Wen-chung (吳文忠) about an alleged DVD recording of Chang’s husband and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) having intimate relations before last year’s presidential election.  Ker said news of the alleged DVD first came to light before last year’s presidential election, but only Ma and Chang could prove its existence.  He said the prosecutor, Ma and Chang should explain the matter to the public. 

When he talked to Chang and Wu Wen-chung about the allegations, Ker said Wu Wen-chung told him that “actually, there are prosecutors of the same inclination.”  Wu told him he had seen the DVD and that it was real, the legislator said. Ker said Chang did not go public with the alleged recording, preventing former DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) from taking advantage of it during the campaign.  Ker said, however, that he hoped Ma, Chang and Wu would tell the truth about the matter.  Ker’s comments came a day after former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) alleged in court that Wu Wen-chung had prevented a scandal involving the alleged DVD.

Mack, who is a US citizen, was repatriated on Feb. 6, 2004, after law enforcement officers accused him of having intimate relations after being diagnosed with syphilis without telling his partners.  Mack was married to Chang, who said she was a friend of the former president and his wife, Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍).  Chen said Chang had a DVD of Mack and Ma having intimate relations and intended to use the DVD to ruin Ma’s presidential prospects last year.  Wu Wen-chung used his position as a prosecutor to stop her, Chen said. 

Asked about the allegation by TV reporters yesterday, Chang said: “Go and ask Ma Ying-jeou, or ask [former Taipei deputy mayor] King Pu-tsung (金溥聰).”  She said that Mack was still her husband as she has yet to file divorce papers.

(Apple Daily)

(Apple Daily)  Interactive voice system polled 482 persons on February 24, 2009.

Chen Shui-bian revealed in court that there was a DVD that showed an intimate relationship between Chang Wei-chin and her ex-husband Charles "Chocolate" Mack.  Do you believe it?

70.95%: I don't believe it -- Ah Bian must have lost his mind because he didn't get enough food during his starvation protest
16.81%: I believe it -- I have always doubted the sexual orientation of President Ma Ying-jeou
12.25%: Don't know/no opinion

張愛玲與四個男人﹕唐文標、朱西甯、夏志清、水晶    《上海神話符立中


因為擔心胡蘭成籍機牽涉拖個沒完﹐她寫就十八萬字、帶有自傳色彩的長篇小說《小團圓》終於沒法面世。如果此書面世﹐現今張愛玲全集的風貌自然有大不相同﹔筆者雖非張迷﹐總也忍不住請問今生今世的擁護者﹕是寧願要書中<民國女子>那一章﹐還是整部十八萬字的《小團圓》? 幸而最近得到消息﹕遺囑執行人並未遵照張的遺願、毀掉《小團圓》。站在書迷的立場﹐當然還是希望這部遺作能有出土的一日

胡蘭成的下作/亦舒     [摘自《舒服集》,出版於1985年。]


所謂丈夫,是照顧、愛護、扶養妻子的人,願意犧牲為妻子、家庭共過一輩子的人,自問做不到這些,最好少自稱是人家的丈夫。胡某人與張愛玲在一起的時間前後只有兩三年,張愛玲今年已經56歲,胡某於30年後心血來潮,忽然出一本這樣的書,以張愛玲作標榜,不知道居心何在,讀者只覺得上路子的男人絕不會自稱為 “張愛玲的丈夫”。女人頻頻說“我是某某的太太”,已經夠煩的,何況是這種男人,既然這件事是他一生中最光彩的事,埋在心底作個紀念又有何不可。




The critical voices about the members of the investigative team are concentrated at the Tianya Forum.  A netizen provided a link to the Cailong Forum that showed the investigative team leader "Tail End of the Wind" wrote the <2007 Kunming Daily News Labor Union Working Plan>.  Furthermore, his real name Zhao Li was listed as a "publicity committee member" in the Labor Union Committee.

Cailong Forum is part of Cailong Net, which is a portal for the local party newspaper Kunming Daily.  The netizens therefore believed that "Tail End of the Wind" is part of the system and that would cast doubts on the neutrality of the investigative activity.

Two days ago, "Tail End of the Wind" was selected as a netizen member of the investigative team by the Yunnan party publicity department.  But before that, "Tail End of the Wind" was already a local celebrity.  On March 30, 2008, <New Life Daily> published a report titled "The Most Controversial Internet Commentator" about him.  That essay ended this way: "The top local netizens rated him this way: he is a unique and successful Yunnan case of an official Internet commentator, an Internet writer and a netizen all mixed in one while still being somewhat politically correct."

The writer of that article is Wen Xing, who is also a member of the "Eluding the Cat" investigative team.

Netizens found this article on Wen Xing's blog.  This proved that these two people have made contact before and therefore their simultaneous selection implied manipulation.

The investigative team's deputy director Bian Min is another target for the netizens.  His real name is Dong Yubin and he is the Internet commentary supervisor at <New Life Daily> website.  In another linked newspaper story, Bian Min and Tail End of the Wind appeared together at the same <"Yunnan TV news reform> form on January 22, 2009 under the identities of "enthusiastic audience members."

Netizens said Bian Min and Tail End of the Wind are veteran actors who have performed together before.

The human flesh search has come up with the real identities of all the netizen representatives on the investigation team.  They all have media working experiences and backgrounds, and therefore they are regarded as people inside the system.  Some netizens have labeled them "fifty-cent gang members."  In the virtual world of the Internet, "fifty-cent gang member" is a derogatory term for full-time or part-time commentators who speak out and lead Internet opinion while being employed and directed by the government.

These accusations have caused doubts about the selection processes by the Yunnan province party publicity department of the investigative team members.  At the time, the Yunnan province party publicity department explained that the selection was done in two stages.  In the first stage, netizens without high name recognition on the Internet were eliminated.  In the second stage, the team members were randomly selected from the remaining names.

Tail End of the Wind rejected these accusations.  He told the reporter that he had left his old job many years ago.  He is presently an Internet editor for Yunnan TV Net.  Since he has not signed a labor contract yet, he does not even have a social security account number.  So he could not possibly be a member of the "system."  He made a wager that if anyone can find out his social security account number, then that person can take all the money away.  He said that in frustration.

As for the selection process, Tail End of the Wind has his own speculation: "If the active netizens in Yunnan are not selected and only a few netizens whom nobody has ever heard of are chosen instead, this netizen investigative team would be subjected to even more doubts.  The netizens would say that these are sock-puppets from the publicity department."

Tail End of the Wind said that the misgivings of the netizens are attributed to the unsatisfactory findings in the investigative report.  He said that he wrote the part about the limitations of the investigation.  "When the investigative committee began to work, everybody felt a certain embarrassment.  Indeed, this investigative committee was able to obtain a lot of information that was previously unknown to the netizens and the media.  But when we naively asked to meet the suspects and see the surveillance tapes, we were turned down due to various legal and administrative reasons.  Then we suddenly recognized that while netizens may be all-powerful on the Internet, they are very much helpless in real life."

"This helplessness is the greatest feeling for me during this investigation."  Tail End of the Wind made this analogy -- a person may be a leader, king or emperor in an online game, but in real life he may be worried about how to find the money to get online.

The investigative team deputy director Bian Min shot back at the critics.  The soft version: "You doubt my character, but I doubt your intelligence."  The strong version: "As for those who criticize me (especially those who make character assassinations because they know that I could not get online while the investigation was going on), I express my disgust and contempt."

The netizen team member Capable Mason received fewer criticisms.  He believed that this was because he is a Tianya Forum administrator.  He told the reporter: "There is only a small circle of Internet writers in Yunnan, and people know each other.  So it is not unreasonable that many of them are chosen for the investigative team at the same time."

Capable Mason said that Tail End of the Wind and Bian Min are both responsible people who will not be easily exploited.  "Every person has his own background and experience, and will do things his own way."

As for how the team was formed, Capable Mason said that he can understand the official attitude: "When they took the lead to proceed, they must have considered whether it will go out of control."

Capable Mason considered the "Eluding the Cat" netizen investigation to represent a positive official response to netizen opinon.  He thought that it was a good thing that such a step was made.  "What we need to do is to push them up the tree so that they can't even come down if they wanted to.  We will encourage them to keep doing this."  This is the advice from Capable Mason.

A newly hired reporter for the Shenzhen bureau of Southern Metropolis Daily wrote a report about a city leader making dumplings with a group of migrant laborers.  The writing was very traditional and mainstream in the manner of a party newspaper.  In the final paragraph, the reporter wrote: "Since they have never dined with such a senior-level leader before, all the migrant workers were all very excited to see such a great leader."  The article was typeset.  During the proof-reading stage, the proof-reader was disgusted by the phrase "Since they have never dined with such a senior-level leader before, all the migrant workers were all very excited to see such a great leader" and so he circled it and made the annotation: "Such arse-licking!" in order to express his anger.  Unfortunately, the type-setter did not realize what it meant and directly put down "Such arse licking really makes me excited."  The article was then published (see MSN link).  Here is the photo of the print edition.

Netizen comment:

I cannot believe that the term "arse-licking" could possibly appear in a report about the city leader.  I thought that my eyes must be tricking me because I have been visiting too many pornographic websites!  I cleared my eyes and looked again.  Those words were there in black and white!

How can this be?  I was very worked up!  How can this be?  How can such vulgar language appear in a report on the city leader?  Isn't this a public insult to our city leader!  I was not only worked up.  I was angered!  This is an insult to a Shenzhen leader, as well as the people of Shenzhen!  I cannot believe such vulgar words can be used!

It is one thing to say that this was a typographic mistake.  That would be a technical error.  But no Chinese character input system could lead to a combination such as "arse licking" by accident.  Even if the reporter had mistyped, then the proof-reader and the editor are guilty of negligence.  So there remains only one possibility -- someone did this deliberately to insult our Shenzhen leaders.

I went to the Southern Metropolis Daily website and this sentence has been deleted.  But it can still be found in the Google cache.  At the website, all comments related to this article are banned or deleted, so clearly they are aware of their mistake but they do not have the courage to talk about it!

Southern Metropolis Daily reporter (anonymous):

Yuan must have had too much to drink.  When he saw the article had the phrase "She felt very excited to meet such a high-level leader," he circled it and commented: "Such arse-licking!"

The editor Sun brought it to the typesetter and instructed her to delete the sentence about the high-level leader.  The typesetter saw the comment from the proof-reader and asked the editor whether that should be kept.  She did not get a clear answer.  So she put it in and gave the page back to the editor for the second round of proof-reading.  Neither the editor nor the proof-reader detected it.  So this was how this magnificent phrase was signed off and published.

"I am very excited" immediately became the most popular phrase at the newspaper.  Yuan read it carefully before he received the penalty notice.  He did not seem to mind and he just went and got water to make tea.  He was unaware that I was looking at him from behind with admiration.

To be fair, there is only one truthful phrase in this entire article.

A certain Shenzhen netizen felt that this was an insult of the people of Shenzhen.  I am not sure if this was sarcasm.  I personally think that it is an insult to the city of Shenzhen and its people to have no real news-reporting newspaper in this city other than Southern Metropolis Daily.

(SCMP)  Pair fined over editing error.  By Fiona Tam.  February 23, 2009.

Two staff members at an outspoken mainland newspaper have been punished after one described a migrant worker's flattering speech to a high-ranking Shenzhen official as "a***-kissing" on a proof copy that was mistakenly published. A report published in the Southern Metropolis Daily on January 22 inadvertently included critical comments about an activity celebrating the Lunar New Year involving migrant workers and Li Yizhen, a member of Shenzhen Communist Party standing committee. Few readers noticed the mistake until netizens wrote about it early this month and the newspaper announced its punishment of two staff members responsible for the error.

Proofreader Yuan Fang, who used the offending words to describe the speech, was fined 1,000 yuan (HK$1,135), while subeditor Shen Huawei, who failed to notice the error, was fined 500 yuan. It was an error committed in the editing process rather than anything political, the newspaper said.

A reporter with the newspaper close to the two said the proofreader had written a critical comment in anger over the reporter's decision to reproduce the migrant worker's flattering speech in full as it went against the newspaper's policy. His comment had been incorporated by mistake into the body of the article by a typist. "He highlighted the speech and wrote, `How can they kiss a*** like that?' on the proof copy to vent his anger. Later, a typist mistakenly typed his comment into the story, while the subeditor failed to take the error out," the reporter said.

The story was only published in the Guangzhou-based newspaper's Shenzhen version. About 420,000 copies with the mistake were sold in Shenzhen, while the newspaper's website immediately deleted the phrase from its digital copy.

Privately, reporters praised the comment as brave and truthful. "For Shenzhen and its people, it would be a true insult if there wasn't a newspaper daring to tell the truth ... Actually, I admire the proofreader," a reporter said.

On February 19, a netizen showed these photos of a young girl climbing on the shoulders of a Chairman Mao statue to pose for photos.  The scene was the Windows of the World park in Changsha city, Hunan province.  Hunan Online reported: "This is shameful!"  Other netizens expressed anger too, and some even wanted to locate this "braindead person" through the "human flesh search."

Yesterday a public notice was issued by the Yunnan Provincial Publicity Department's Press and Publication Administration.

The injury and subsequent death of the Yuxi city Hongta district Beicheng town young man Li Qiaoming in a detention center has received broad media attention, especially on the Internet.  The term 'eluding the cat' has become a hot Internet term in a very short time.  In order to satisfy the public's right to know, the Yunnan provincial publicity departhment will form an investigative committee with other relevant departments and proceed to Kunming city Puning town on the morning of February 20 to find out the truth about the incident.  We are presently looking for four netizens and other representatives from society to serve as members of the committee.  You can register between now and 8:00pm on the evening of February 19, 2009."  The notice also included a QQ account number and a telephone phone number.

This piece of news was circulated quickly on the Internet.  Many netizens cursed that this piece of "fake news" for being so obviously fake.  Other netizens actually began to call.

"There is no truth that needs to be hidden.  We will show by actual action tomorrow that this is now a show."  Yunnan provincie publicity department press and publication administration deputy director Gong Fei said that the main reason why netizens were suspicious about the 'eluding the cat' incident was that the information had not been open and transparent in a timely manner.  This time, the relevant departments (which includes the Yunnan provincial party public department, the Yunnan provincial public security bureau, the Yunnan Political Legal Committee and the Yunnan provincial procuratorate).  Their public invitation for netizens is the first time in the history of the Internet in China.

Gong Fei said: "Before the public notice went out, we spent the entire morning convincing the other departments to cooperate with the media interviews.  In the past, we did not respect the rules of journalism sufficiently and we did not understand the new media well enough.  That was why we had a problem with public opinion.  The purpose of this investigation is to show that there are no hidden secrets in this case."  This decision had not been easy to make.  "We basically discussed this for one whole morning.  But in the end, we thought that a news story cannot just be 'blocked.'  Besides this closed and opaque approach violated the people's right to know and caused the public to misinterpret the facts."

As of the cutoff time of 8:30pm, 510 netizens were able to register successfully.  10 of them (an increase over the originally planned 4 due to the enthusiastic response) will be selected to join the investigative committee to go to the scene of the incident on the morning of February 20.

The list of the investigative committee members includes: four government officials (1 from the provincial political legal committee, one from the provincial procuratorate and two from the provincial public security bureau); three media representatives (Xinhua; Yunnan Information Times; Yunnan Net); ten netizens and representatives from society (among the 8 already named, 5 are netizens, one is an insurance salesman, one is a technology worker and another one is a art student).

Gong Fei said that the activity on February 20 does not pre-suppose any desired outcome.  The investigators will be able to meet with the principals, visit the detention center and interview the key participants and police investigators.  "They can deduce the truth of the matter through their own observations."

[translated in summary format]

Yanhuang Chunqiu magazine had been facing a storm.

It is commonly believed that this statement was directed at Yanhuang Chunqiu magazine.  In the September 2008 issue of the magazine, there had been a positive essay about former Secretary-General Zhao Ziyang.  This led to the so-called "recommendation to retire" from the Central Publicity Department through the Ministry of Culture for the magazine Du Daozheng.  Du and the magazine declined to accept that recommendation.

On December 24, 2008, the Chinese Communist Party Central forwarded a document from the Central Publicity Department that stated: "Persons who are current or retired Party or Government workers must not become the leaders of newspapers and publications."  But this was considered to be impossible to implement.  After all, the publishers and chief editors of People's Daily and various provincial party newspapers are also party workers and they would all have to quit too.  Besides what is a leader anyway?  A publisher is a leader, but so is the director of a small team of editors.

Recently, there have been more personnel changes at Yanhuang Chunqiu.  First of all, the legal representative has been shifted from Du Daozheng to cnief editor Wu Si.  But this is a regular change that merely guarantees continuity of leadership.  Du Daozheng said during an interview: "I have not resigned as the publisher of Yanhuang Chunqiu and I do not intend to do so voluntarily.  We have been publishing this magazine for 18 years.  I had two roles: publisher and legal representative.  I am over 80 years old and this is too much of a burden.  The legal representative has a lot of deal with, including any legal hassles."

Yanhuang Chunqiu hardly carries any advertisements.  In January 2009, it went beyond 100,000 copies in distribution for the first time at 105,000.  In February 2009, the circulation increased by 6,900 copies.  In March 2009, the circulation increased by 8,900 copies.  Du Daozheng said that this showed that the readers like this magazine: "The 'recommendation to retire' in 2008 created a storm that was reported in Asia Weekly and other media.  The mainstream in Zhongnanhai are supportive, loving and tolerant."

Even more interesting is this other piece of news buried within the article: 10 more persons have been added to the original 33 persons on the editorial committee.  So what?  Except you have to note some of the names: Zhang Yihe, Li Datong, ...

(Reuters)  HK woman's airport hysterics an online hit.  February 16, 2009.

A Chinese woman who freaked out at Hong Kong's international airport after missing her flight has hit the big time on YouTube after her hysterics were filmed and uploaded to the video sharing website. The middle-aged woman was seen charging at a security guard at the departure gate, before screaming "aieyyahhhhh," at the top of her lungs in a rant that lasts about three minutes.


The woman, sprawled on the ground, was seen wailing. An elderly man travelling with her tried to pull her to her feet but she shouted in Cantonese: "I want to go, I want to go."

Cathay Pacific said it had already closed the aircraft's doors and had offloaded the woman's baggage, and so was unable to allow her to board the flight to San Francisco. "Don't be so upset, don't be so emotional," a male Cathay Pacific staff member is heard saying on the video. Cathay Pacific said the incident occurred earlier this month, and the video appeared to have been loaded onto YouTube late last week. By Monday, the "woman going insane after missing her flight video" had over 400,000 hits.

In 2006, another sensational outburst by a stressed-out Hong Kong man captured the imagination of many people in this fast-paced, money-obsessed, Asian financial capital. The middle-aged man, who chastised and swore at a youngster in a six-minute-long diatribe aboard a double decker bus, was dubbed "Bus-Uncle" and a video of the incident received close to two million hits. His quote "I have pressure, you have pressure" became a catch-phrase and sparked navel-gazing at the pressure that many over-worked Hong Kong citizens suffer.

As for the woman at the airport, Cathay Pacific said it put her and her two travel companions on a later flight to Los Angeles, at no extra cost.

(Rose Luqiu at

... Reuters also noticed this Internet hit and issued a special report.  They described the person as "a Chinese woman" because she spoke fluent Cantonese.  Thus, she could be a mainlander from Guangdong province, or a Hong Kong resident, or a Macau resident, or an overseas Chinese holding a passport from southeast Asia or some other country.  But the mainland websites have all used "female mainlander" as their story title.  This is strange because the term "Chinese woman" is used to describe Chinese women from all those places.

Once the title says "female mainlander," the story becomes a sensitive hot topic as to whether this type of behavior is a loss of face for the Chinese people.  Some people think that it was a loss of face to the Chinese people by posting such a video clip on the Internet.  More people talked about the quality of the Chinese people as a whole.  But after watching this three minute plus video, I found all these discussions very weird: This is an individual case which can happen anywhere any day.  But because of technological progress, this woman's behavior was recorded and posted on the Internet which amplified its reach.

The Reuters report also mentioned the case of Bus Uncle in Hong Kong.  There are some similarities between the two, because both persons were emotionally out of control.  Perhaps it is as Bus Uncle said, "You have pressure, I have pressure."

Similarly, people have pressure everywhere.  There is no national boundary for people who lose emotional control or deliberately seek trouble.  There is no need to elevate this into a discussion of the quality of the Chinese people.

Many people like to use the actions of an individual to reflect on a larger group. I keep hearing people say whether they like or dislike the people in a certain place.  Actually, that place has plenty of people living there.  It does not matter how many of them you have met, because that number cannot represent everybody who lives there.

If someday people will no longer say "I don't like place XX" or "I don't like the people in place XX" and we can just laugh off a video like this one, it will mean that we have broadened our knowledge and seen more things.

With the flagging economy, no one's job is secure, not even for a mistress. A Qingdao newspaper reported that a Qingdao businessman facing money problems decided to “fire” four out of his five mistresses last December.

According to the paper the man, surnamed Fan, was “inspired by those talent challenge programs he saw on TV”, and arranged similar competitions for his five mistresses. Only the top winner would remain Fan's mistress and enjoy a monthly income of US$800 and an apartment. The five women then presented themselves in front of a professional model trainer, gave speeches, sang songs and even gulped down liquor to show their drinking capacity. 

All went as Fan planned until one of the women turned out to be a very bad loser. Fan's first mistress, Yu, came from rural Shanxi, and being the least educated among the five had trouble finding another job to support herself. Determined to take revenge, she invited Fan and the other four women on a road trip and drove off a cliff on the way. Yu died but the others survived.

(New York Daily News)  Spurned mistress drives Chinese businessman, other women off cliff; lost contest for his love.  Olivia Smith.  February 17, 2009.

He drove her to revenge, so she drove him off a cliff.

The mistress of a married Chinese businessman whose lover spurned her due to the economic downturn plotted to get back at her lover and his four other paid paramours. The 29-year-old woman, identified as Yu, drove the man and four other kept women off a mountian precipice after the double sting of losing her income and getting dumped.

Identified as Yu, the woman was the first to be cast out from the married businessman's harem of five mistresses after he held a secret competition to decide which one of them to keep. After realizing he needed to pare down to just one lover, the entrepreneur, identified as Fan, hired an instructor from a modeling agency to judge which mistress would stay on.

The women were assessed on looks, singing ability, and how much alcohol they could hold, according to The women all had their rent paid and received a monthly allowance of around $730 from Fan.

After Yu was eliminated in the first round of the competition because of her looks, she decided to get back at Fan and the four other women vying for his money and affections. She arranged a group sightseeing tour, telling the others it was a farewell outing before she returned to her home province. She then piloted the car over a cliff on a winding road, killing herself and injuring the others. Police in China initially thought the Dec. 6 crash was an accident, but learned of the contest in a letter Yu had written before the fateful trip.

Fan, whose age and line of work remain a mystery, paid Yu's family $84,744 as compensation for her death. Yu had been a waitress when the two met at the restaurant where she worked in the coastal city of Qingdao in 2000, according to CNN. The other mistresses have all left him, and so has his wife.


I am a citizen of Lushan city (Qingdao).  Over here, we have a newspaper known as the Peninsula Metropolis Daily.  On February 15, the newspaper published the completely fabricated story entitled <Troubled boss asked his five mistresses to PK>.  I have lived in Lushan for twenty years, and I have never heard that there is a place named Longwang Temple. Why does the reporter from Peninsula Metropolis Daily want to fabricate a story to smear Lushan and its people as well as Qingdao?  Peninsula Metropolis Daily is a bitch!

The second paragraph of the story calls this an accident.  But the story is clearly about the intentional murder of five persons.  Why would the police characterize this as an accident in the incident report?  Are the Lushan police stupid, or is Peninsula Metropolis a bitch for not even seeing this contradiction?

[in translation]

On February 15, our newspaper published an articled titled <Troubled boss forced his five mistresses to PK> on page A3.  Afterwards, an investigation showed that our reporter Yi Lei had plagiarized the story <One dead, five wounded! 'Playboy boss' emergency staff reduction among his mistresses led to tragedy> in the February 2009 issue of Ziyin magazine.  Our reporter had violated the relevant regulations for our editorial team, damaged the credibility of our newspaper and misled the mass of readers.  Our newspaper's editorial disciplinary committee has met and arrived at the decision to dismiss the reporter Yi Lei.  Effective immediately today, Yi Lei shall not conduct any news gathering as a Peninsula Metropolis Daily reporter ...

Related Link: 青岛一老总手头紧"裁情妇" 被裁者开车坠崖

(Caijing)  Chemical Additives in Mengniu Milk Prohibited.  By Wang Shanshan. February 13, 2009.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) prohibited Mengniu Dairy Group from using two chemical additives in its Telunsu brand, causing the company’s stock (HKSE: 02319) to plummet 12 percent on February 11. Mengniu later stated that Telunsu milk contained the same amount of the two chemicals – osteobast milk protein (OMP) and IGF-1 – as what occurs naturally in regular milk.


The Inner Mongolia-based company pointed to an investigation that the Inner Mongolia Quality Supervision Bureau conducted in response to AQSIQ’s statement, which found that Mengniu did not add IGF-1 to Telunsu milk. This, however, contradicts the patent application that Mengniu submitted to the State Intellectual Property Office in February 2006. Mengniu said that OMP is known as “milk basic protein” in Japan and the U.S., and has been approved by U.S. and New Zealand authorities, although it has yet to be approved by Chinese authorities.


OMP, developed by Mengniu and another research institution, is a protein that exists naturally in small quantities in milk. According to Mengniu’s website, it can help increase bone density and promote bone regeneration. IGF-1 is a hormone that has the same function as insulin, and is active in cell growth, cell differentiation and DNA synthesis for almost all cells in the human body, according to an independent researcher.


Host: This is an embarrassing moment.  Recently, there has been some official statements about Mengniu's Telunsu milk that contained both good and bad news.  But netizens can observe that the previous challenges to Mengniu's Telunsu milk at the major Internet portals in China are being deleted.  Even more miraculously, the four major portals,, and all produced almost completely identical special news sections with positive spin about Mengniu complemented by positive comments. 

We also heard that a certain website was about to interview Fang Zhouzi.  But suddenly they said that there was an equipment malfunction and the interview was canceled.  Fang Zhouzi went to the website and found out that all the previous negative comments made by himself and others have been deleted and replaced by a special Mengniu Telunsu promotion section.  An editor at one of the websites that is publishing these advertisements told me that this was the single most shameful episode in the history of the Internet in China.  I would like to ask Teacher Fang Zhouzi whether he has any special feelings as one of the first scholars to cast doubt on the Mengniu Telunsu milk and also as someone who has been involved in exposing academic fraud for so many years.

Fang: What we used to do is mostly within academics without a lot of connection to the general public.  Most people don't care about it that much, even though some of it is tied win with commercial fraud.  This Mengniu Telunsu affair is unusual in that most ordinary people will care.  This affair is also somewhat different.  We should begin by telling you what happened two years ago when we began to expose them.  But it took two years before the media began to report on this affair.  There have also been some pressure on the websites which deleted some of the posts.

This affair involves certain interests.  There is a well-known corporation with lots of capital.  This affair could cause them a lot of damage.  Therefore, they used various public relations methods to suppress the voices that could expose them, including placing propaganda at the major portals.  These are the standard techniques that certain corporations use to protect their reputation.

Different websites have different ways of dealing with this type of situation.  As mentioned before, the portals ran identical propaganda on behalf of Mengniu Telunsu.  But at the same time, some of them will also publish articles that are critical about Telunsu.  Although such websites took money, we can still say whatever we want.  I think that is acceptable.  Then there are other websites which suppress the critical voices by not highlighting on the news page or even deleting those posts.  I think that is is terrible to delete the previous essays after the Mengniu Telunsu propaganda page was posted.

One acceptable way is for the website editors to allow the public to listen to the voices from both sides.  I am not saing that we should not listen to Mengniu's defense of itself.  That can be done, and it does not matter.  Both sides should be able to debate each other and the public can decide which side is telling the truth.  But certain websites are publishing propaganda while not permitting any negative comments on Mengniu Telunsu.  This is a problem in professional ethics.

Host: Can you brief recount for the netizens how you began to have doubts about Mengniu Telunsu.  Have Mengniu or the relevant government departments ever made direct contact with you?

Fang: They had tried to contact me.  I first began to have doubts about Telunsu milk in March 2007.  It was an accident.  At a supermarket in Beijing, there was a promotion on Telunsu milk with a sign from the State Public Health and Development Research Centre, which claimed to have validated the functions of OMP (osteoblast milk protein) milk.  I was perplexed because I have never heard that milk contains any miraculous substance.  Most people drink milk for the sake of their bones, or because milk contains high levels of calcium.  They do not drink milk for the protein.  Therefore I wondered about Mengniu.  By coincidence, I received a letter from a middle school student in Beijing who had received a box of Mengniu Telunsu milk as a Chinese Lunar Year present.  He was perplexed because OMP is claimed to be a protein that can be directly absorbed by the body whereas the middle school biology textbooks seemed to say that this is not how proteins are used.  He asked me what I thought.  I consulted all the medical biology references and could not find anything article on OMP.

If you discover a new protein, you should first publish the findings and then you can sell it.  You should not be selling it immediately to consumers.  At the time, I had just published a new book about fraudulent food items and I was doing press conferences, forums and discussion panels in conjunction with the book.  At these meetings, I used Telunsu as an example of fraudulent propaganda that comes from a brand-name corporations.  The reporters were interested in this subject, so they came to interview me.  But they also interviewed Mengniu.  So this was how Mengniu learned that I have doubts about their products.  At the time, the product had been on the market for one year.

Mengniu attempted to contact me through various channels.  They said that they wanted to clear up the misnderstanding.  I said that there is no misunderstanding here.  If you have different ideas from mine, you should have your experts talk to me in a public setting.  But they didn't want to do that.  So they used public relations method to suppress those reports.  None of those news reports were published.  If some report managed to slip into the Internet, it was quickly deleted.  This was the first time that I saw that they have very powerful public relations skills.  In like manner, they are getting the websites to propagandize for them now.


Host: Sanlu has fallen.  Some people say that Mengniu is a minority ethnic enterprise and should be protected.  Therefore, we should not be going after them.  What do you think?

Fang: Mengniu is registered in the Cayman Islands.  I don't think that it is any minority ethnic enterprise.  If it is a minority ethnic enterprise, it should not be deceiving the people.  We cannot tolerate their deception just because they are a minority ethnic enterprise.  That would be a very narrow nationalist sentiment.  I don't think that the common consumer would be so stupid as to drink their fraudulent milk just because they are a minority ethnic enterprise.

Last time when the young girl Li Shufen drowned in Weng'an, the police report mentioned "doing push-ups" which made the term red-hot on the  Internet.  This time when the young Yunnan man Li Qiaoming expired in a detention center, the police report said that he ran into a wall when he tried to "elude a cat."  Very quickly, "eluding the cat" is now a red-hot term on the Internet.  Netizens discussed the dangers involved in the game of "eluding the cat" and made large numbers of related posts.

According to <Yunnan Information News>, 24-year-old Yuxi Beicheng town male resident Li Qiaoming was arrested for illegally cutting down trees.  On January 30, he was sent to the detention center.  On February 8, he was taken to the hospital on account of an injury.  Four days later he died.  The cause of death was "severe brain injury."

The explanation from the Puning county public security bureau was that Li Qiaoming was injured while playing the game of "eluding the cat" with other prisoners.  He had been kicked and beaten by other prisoners and accidentally hit a wall.  Another local newspaper reported that Li Qiaoming was blindfolded while he played "eluding the cat" and "accidentally got hurt when he ran into the wall.

This news item drew more than 35,000 comments at, most of which were about the subject of "eluding the cat."

The netizen Xu Hui wrote a blog entitled <The definition of 'eluding the cat'>:  "Eluding the cat" means hide-and-seek.  In northern China, it is known as "hiding the cat."  Whether it is "eluding" or "hiding," this game is clearly derived from the cat-and-mouse game.  With the departure of a young, healthy life, the 'eluding the kidden' game showed the human relationships inside the Puning detention center as well as proving a fact -- games can kill people."

"I thought that he might have killed himself when he was caught committing a crime.  I never thought that he died while playing 'eluding the cat!'  This goes far beyond my imagination!"  Although nobody did any push-ups during the 'eluding the cat' game, someone died nevertheless!  Are there any safe games or physical exercise left under the sun?"


According to the report in <Yunnan Information Times>, the police disclosed on the evening of February 12th the latest development in their investigation: "The deceased caught the fellow prisoner named Pu during the 'elude the cat' game.  Pu was unhappy and the two man had a dispute.  During the argument, Pu kicked the deceased once and then punched him on the head once.  The deceased lost his balance and fell backwards, whereupon his head hit the sharp corner formed by the wall and the door.  This was how the deceased got injured."

The netizen 'cos222' said that the 'eluding the cat' explanation was so absurd that it must be true.  There was no reason for the police to create problems for themselves.  While the police continue their investigation, the "eluding the cat" term continues to propagate on the Internet and may have a chance to become another popular saying on the Chinese Internet in 2009.

First, there was this Internet post titled <Pretty girls toasting wine!  Photos from the banquet for a government inspection team> with these photos.

Shanghai city Qingpu district Party/Goverment Team of Representatives
Comes to Luchun on inspection trip and forum meeting

For effect, a few more photos alleged to be common folks from the impoverished Luchun county are shown for comparison:


As you might expect, such a post on the Internet is bound to draw brick-throwing, desk-pounding and verbal abuses from the netizens.  Next comes the inevitable "human flesh searches" on those government officials present in the photos.

On February 13, the Luchun county government publicity department issued an explanation: The first photo and the next three photos came from two separate events.  Here are the other photos for the first event involving the people who attended the forum.  As for the drinking photos, it involved eight teachers who were sent from outside to teach at the Number Two Secondary School in Luchun County and were sent off in a farewell party.

See?  The room setting is different, the drinkers were different and there are nine girls wearing ethnic costumes instead of six girls wearing evening gowns!  That is supposed to clear everything up.  Or maybe not ... as in, Are the taxpayers paying for two parties instead of just one?


More than 100 rights activists took to the street yesterday, protesting against opposition by religious groups to plans to extend protection under the anti-family-violence law to same-sex couples. They called it an attempt to establish a "religious hegemony" and accused proponents of trying to ram their "conservative" standards down other people's throats.

Chanting slogans, the protesters waved banners that read "Protect Civil Liberty" as they marched to the office of the Society for Truth and Light in Prince Edward. The society's stated mission is to address social ethics, media behaviour and sexual culture in Hong Kong from a Christian point of view. But it is often mocked as a "moral Taleban" for its conservative stance.

The Concern Group Against Religious Hegemony, which led yesterday's march, said gay couples should be protected under the Domestic Violence Ordinance. "We are not saying that we support gay marriage," said spokeswoman Virginia Yue. "That is another issue. But same-sex cohabitants' rights should not be excluded from the law just because some religious groups do not accept gay culture."

The Domestic Violence Ordinance, enacted in 1986, enables a party to a marriage, or someone cohabiting with a member of the opposite sex, to seek a court injunction to prevent their partner abusing them. There was cross-party support in the legislature for an amendment, to include same-sex couples, until Democratic Party legislator Wong Sing-chi, a Christian, departed from his party's line and said he would vote against the amendment on religious grounds. Both Catholic and Protestant churches have since led the opposition to extending coverage of the law to same-sex cohabitants.

Here are three different reports translated from Chinese.

(Ming Pao)

The Internet group "Religious Hegemony Concern Action" organized a demonstration march yesterday to protest against certain religious persons and Legislative Councilors who expressed prejudicial remarks that say that the amendment of the Domestic Violence Ordinance is an endorsement of homosexuality. 

More than 100 people attended the  march under the them "Defend the social values of citizens and opposing right-wing religious hegemony.  The convenor Chun Heifai said that they are not homosexuals but they are dissatisfied with the small number of religious persons and the True Light Society for opposing the amendment to the Domestic Violence Ordinance, depriving homosexuals of their civil rights and imposing their religious values onto others.  The demonstrators marched to protest in front of a Christian church and the True Light Society.  They left blue ribbons outside the door.

The group Education Convergence said that if the government wants to protect homosexuals who live together, it ought to have some other legislation.  The Hong Kong Sex Culture Society pointed out that there is no factual basis for the assertion of "right-wing religious hegemony" and this was just a weapon to label and attack people who hold different opinions.

(Apple Daily)

According to the Religious Hegemony Concern Group convenor Chun Heifai, Reverend Patrick So of the Yanfook Church upset people by saying that the amendment of the Domestic Violence Ordinance is protecting homosexuals.  Chun also criticized the conservative religious groups for using "cell division" to offer repeated opinions in the name of various groups and persons to the Legislative Council to tighten the Control of Indecent and Obscene Articles Ordinance, which is the same as bearing false testimony.  He said that these religious Taliban are giving partial interpretations of the Bible and insists on having their views accepted to the exclusion of all dissident voices. 

Another convenor named Democratic Party Legislative Councilor Wong Sing-chi for "using the resources of the Democratic Party to run in the election and then working for religious groups after being elected."  Hong Kong Young Students Association chairman Lee Cheung-yin pointed out that the Carmel Holy Word Secondary School had earlier mobilized the parents of their students to write a letter each to demand the tightening of the Control of Indecent and Obscene Articles Ordinance.  He said that the religious education groups were hijacking civic education and fabricating fake public opinion.

"Fantasizing the Control of Indecent and Obscene Articles Ordinance can educate your children for you; right-wing logic is impractical."  The demonstrators kept chanting this slogan during the march.  At the Legislative Council hearing, parents and education groups complained that they are unable to prevent their children and students from coming into contact with harmful information on the Internet and therefore the Legislative Council must force the Internet service providers to use filtering software to block pornographic information.  A parent said: "I have to earn a living.  I don't have time to educate my children."

The demonstrators gathered yesterday at 11:30am at the Cheung Sha Wan Parth in Lai Chi Kok district.  They held an assembly first to denounce the conservative religious groups for attempting to impose their personal religious beliefs and values onto others in recent years.  The demonstrators are mostly young people who came together through Facebook and the Hong Kong Golden Forum.

The demonstrators then set out to the Yanfook Church while singing the group Beyond's song <The Glorious Years>.  They stood outside the church to protest silently.  The church sent out about twenty security guards and congregation members to monitor the demonstrators.  The demonstrators then went to the True Light Society office on Prince Edward Road before disbanding peacefully at 1:25pm.

According to the organizers, there was as many 1,200 persons in the march.  The reporter counted about 500 demonstrators.  Chun Heifai said that he is planning a demonstration at the Legislative Council to protest against "collusion between politicians and religious groups."

This demonstration was organized by the Religious Hegemony Concern Action, the Civic Social Web and the Hong Kong Young Students Association.  There are relatively unknown groups.  But a Facebook account was set up on January 28 to call for this demosntration, and 2,059 persons signed up by February 10.  In the end, 500 people showed up to march.  Christians have also established a "Grand Alliance to support freedom of religion and speech" Facebook group to counter-attack, but only 154 persons signed up.

(Doctor Fat's Blog)

In the history of religion in Hong Kong, the date Feburary 15, 2009 will be remembered.

On that day, several hundred citizens (mostly netizens) marched in the streets to "support the values of civic society and oppose right-wing religious hegemony."

As an ordinary citizen and as an ordinary participant, let me first of all sincerely thank the persons who organized the demonstration march as well as the other volunteers.  They turned a dream into reality and a call into an action.  As I walked along the Cheung Sha Wan Path down to the Flower Market, I was indescribably moved: A group of people with different faiths, different sexual tendencies, different political stances, different education and backgrounds can come together for the same feelings (or perhaps the same anger) in a peaceful, rational and restrained manner.

In fact, all the concerns before the march about any violence were redundant.  The marchers may have occasionally yelled out aloud but it did not bother me.  Overall, the demonstrators were very disciplined and self-restrained.  In front of Yanfook Church, everybody chose to hold a silent protest and to tie blue ribbons on the barriers outside the church.  Dr. Chen's reading of "Ask less for love from others, but give all your love out instead" from St. Francis' Prayers was supported and approved.

I saw that the Christians were able to read from the Bible as they marched, I saw that the Hong Kong Golden Forum friends could hold up their banners, I saw that gays could hold their hands together without fear, and I saw that students could protest aloud about the fake responses [that their school organized] as well as articulate their vision for education.  We came together by respecting each other.  We may have argued over the Internet over our views about religion, but once out in the streets, the rationality, restraint and tolerance were admirable and touching.

What about the "yelling"?  At worst, I heard a couple of chants like "True Light Society eat shit" or "Leung Mei-fun eat banana."  I also heard people raise a banner and demand an apology from the Reverend Patrick So.  I did not hear any demonstrator say anything against Christians in general.  They were only asking that even faith must include rational consideration.

I estimated that more than 400 people marched.  Although there were some social activists there, the group consisted mostly of students and netizens.  The overall arrangement, process and discipline of the organizers were excellent and professional.

I have a lot of feelings and ideas about the movement.  But on this evening, I would like to tell the organizers and volunteers: "Thank you."  Really, even though we hold different ideas, beliefs and stances, I have give you a heartfelt thanks.

Those who know me know that I rarely praise or thank people.



The man is a thief from Xinjiang who was working with four or five others.  They were caught in the act by the victim and other citizens who corralled them.  This man took out a knife and slashed his head twice to cause severe bleeding.  It is supposedly typical for Xinjiang thieves to use self-mutilation to scare off anyone who apprehended them in the act because people don't want this kind of trouble.

It is not that people don't want to help the man.  After he slashed himself, he yelled out that he has AIDS.  So the militia policeman can only stand by him and wait for the ambulance to arrive.  The man was eventually taken to a hospital which can handle infectious diseases.  It is supposedly typical for Xinjiang thieves to use needles (instead of knives or daggers) to threaten people with AIDS infection.

The man did not die at the scene.  The wound was superficial.  He is a healthy young man and the loss of his amount of blood (less than 2,000 ml) should not result in death.

This case does not mean that Suzhou is going out of control.  It represents a very touchy problem about thieves, minority citizens and AIDS.  When all three are present, it is not so simple anymore.

Yesterday between 2pm and 4pm, there was a small gathering at the Unidirectional Street Bookstore for people to meet with the writer Xu Lai, who is better known as the blogger behind Pro States In Flames.  According to an attendee, "About 2pm, Xu Lai entered and spoke to the master of ceremony.  He then explained his 'petit interests' and his understanding about notes-like novels to the attendees.  Somehow it was very noisy on the first floor and they wouldn't stop in spite of pleas.  Xu Lai answered a number of questions, mainly about this book <Imaginary Animals> but also his comparison with other post-80 writers, his blog and his ideals.  He humbly said that he does not know how to speak, and he was very evasive on the more sensitive issues.  So there was not the kind of revelations that we expected.  It was mostly about his literary experiences and creative ideas."

21st Century Economic Report reporter Guo Jianlong said that he was on the first floor at the time of the incident while Xu Lai was talking to someone on the second floor.  After a while, Guo noticed a commotion and then he spotted Xu holding his stomach and leaning against the wall on the stairwell of the second floor.  According to Xu Lai's wife, two men seized Xu Lai after the meeting and took him into the men's restroom.  She sensed that something was wrong and forced her way in.  She saw two men, one holding a kitchen knife and the other holding a dagger.  The one with the kitchen knife was ready to hack Xu's hand.  When discovered, the two men fled out of the bookstore and headed towards Chang'an Street.  Somebody tried to pursue them but did not succeed.  People at the scene had taken photos of the two perpetrators, and there are also surveillance camera on the street.

At 4:55pm, the netizen Zola flashed the news on twitter: "Gu Jianlong called: Qian Liexian is lying on the ground holding his stomach.  I asked them to help him stop the bleeding, stay calm and relax his breathing in order to increase his chances of survival."  "There is no danger of losing his life.  He was stabbed just once.  Guo Jianlong and Xu Lai's wife are going along to the hospital.  The wound is about the size of a palm.  There had been quite a bit of bleeding.  He is emotionally stable and is in the process of going to the hospital."

In a photo from another famous blogger Hecaitou, Xu Lai is seen lying on the ground and holding his stomach.  At the time, someone heard the perpetrator tell Xu Lai: "You know better not to offend people the next time?"  Hecaitou said that Xu Lai is a low-keyed person and just a science reporter who couldn't possibly have offended others in his work.  But his blog has a lot of contents that are somewhat provocative.  Therefore the enmity may have come from his blog.

In the comments to this news item on his blog, there is this sentence:

"Comrades, netizens, such a despicable trick can not stop the progress of Chinese people towards freedom and democracy, because this is the tide of history, so there is no force to stop!"


Related link: Blogger stabbed in Beijing  Black and White Cat

The multi-party political party system is an important element of the political system of western capitalism.  Most western capitalist countries have two or more capitalist parties which change rulership through elections.  On the surface, this seems to realize a democratic system which reflects the choice of the people.  In practice, this does not change the fact that the ruling capitalist groups of the capitalist class control the political power in western capitalist countries.

Under the western multi-party system, private capital continues to control public power.  The western multi-party system is a political system within the western capitalistic system.  Economics is the basis of political power, and politics reveals itself in the economics.  The basic economic and property relationships of the capitalist system are determined and allocated through political power.  Those classes and groups that control more economic resources can expand their own interests. 

Engels once said: "The power of the capitalist class is completely determined by money.  In order to procure the political power, they must make money the sole basis for power."  Therefore, money is the root of all the evils in western political systems.  Those capitalist groups which hold huge amounts of wealth have turned the multi-party elections in western capitalist countries into a political marketing campaign according to marketing rules.  Through controlling the election rules and the media coverage and hyping, they control the information that the public receives and they affect public opinion and perceptions so as to influence voting choices in order to achieve final victory.

According to the United States Electoral Commission report on December 14, 2008, it costs USD 2.51 million on the average to run for a US Congress seat with the highest figure being USD 31.48 million; it costs USD 5.1 million on the average to run for a US Senate seat with the highest figure being 9.04 million.  How can anyone compete unless they have the financial support of large capitalist groups?  Under the western capitalist system, any ruling political party must represent certain capitalist classes and interests groups which will control the state political power.

A multi-party system will also tend to increase social divisiveness and that works against social harmony and stability.  When multiple parties compete against each other, they must win over voters.  The first step in gaining voters is to publicly divide the voters according to their interests and then render the different groups antagonistic in order to build the separate bases for the parties.  Under a multi-party system, each party will regard their basic and sole goal as seizing political power.  During the political power struggle, they will use any and every means to attack each other.  The result is a political system in which social divisions are magnified and deepened.  This flaw is especially observable during the transition of the western capitalist nations into industrialized countries.

It is noteworthy that the western countries insist on exporting the multi-party "democratic systems" to the developing countries.  There were serious consequences afterwards.  Those countries which were in the process of becoming developed and modernized became entrapped in long lasting social strife that ended in civil war and economic disaster.  The reason why this happened was that these countries were facing many conflicts as they developed and modernized, and the introduction of a western multi-party system only served as to escalate those conflicts.  This is one of the most significant reasons why there is so much long lasting instability in developing countries.

China cannot afford to have a western multi-party system.  It must follow a path of development with unique Chinese socialist characteristics.  At the present stage, China is situated in a critical stage between realizing a socialistic modernization and a Chinese renaissance.  China is also situated in the highlighted stage of the "golden era" of development and social conflicts.  During this stage, the various internal conflicts among the people appear in mass numbers as developments occurs rapidly.

At the moment, the most significant interest of the Chinese people is to remain united, seize the opportunity and continue to develop.  As such, the interest divergences and conflicts must be kept at a minimum so as not to impact the overall situation.

Under such circumstances, we cannot have a western style multi-party system.  We cannot the follow the errant path of certain developing countries because it only leads to chaos and disaster.  China needs to set out from its own national situation, absorb the experiences of the other nations of the world and blaze its own path of political development -- the path of political development based upon socialism with unique Chinese characteristics.





(South China Morning Post)  Ben Kwok.  February 12, 2009.

A war of words has been raging for the past 10 days over the coverage of the PCCW privatisation debacle by the Hong Kong Economic Journal, both of which are owned by Richard Li Tzar-kai.  In the run-up to last week's eventful shareholders' meeting, the paper chose not to carry any reports about the alleged vote-rigging. The day after, it ran a report of what happened at the meeting, including angry shareholders' comments, but none of the paper's columnists commented on the report.

This sparked a commentator from the rival Hong Kong Economic Times to express her disappointment that the Journal's chief columnist, Joseph Lian, had opted to write about his English learning experiences rather than adding his voice to one of the city's most controversial stories.

Lian hit back in yesterday's paper, saying he preferred to pick subjects with government administration and policy implications such as whether Citic Pacific (SEHK: 0267) group managing director Henry Fan Hung-ling should remain on the Executive Council after the foreign currency accumulator losses, or how responsible the regulators were in the Lehman Brothers minibonds scandal. The PCCW privatisation was more a market matter between the majority and minority shareholders, he said. However, he did concede: "Vote-rigging is a dirty behaviour. If there was sufficient evidence to prove that Richard Li or any other PCCW executives were involved, then they would be deemed as bad as Bernard Madoff."

Funnily enough, alongside Lian's column were two commentary pieces very critical of PCCW's role in the affair.


Just before the privatization of PCCW, certain Fortis insurance decided to purchase the minimum 1,000 share each and registered themselves as shareholders.  David Webb filed a lawsuit against this actoin.  On January 1 (Saturday), this was the Ming Pao front page story.  But on that day, Hong Kong Economic Journal mentioned nary a word about this happening.  It is not known whether the Hong Kong Economic Journal deliberately kept silent for an esteemed person.

On Feburary 2 (Monday), there was still no report at all about one-hand-per-person story in the Hong Kong Economic Journal.  Meanwhile, in the bottom right corner on Page 3, there was a story entitled <Two investment fund advisors changed their minds and now supports the privatization of PCCW>.

The two investment fund advisors are ISS and Glass Lewis.  The fact that they changed their minds is not news, because it was broadly publicized around January 20.  So this was a story using something that happened in the Year of the Rat to  clear the path for PCCW boss Richard Li while burying the real news story at the time.  The second paragraph of this report was:

Just before the vote, there was talk that someone was intentionally "buying votes."  On January 29, it was said that more than 300 small shareholders suddenly appeared on the list of registered PCCW shareholders.

This is deliberately vague.  Firstly, it does not mention that David Webb has filed a complaint with the Security Exchange Commission and the Independent Commission Against Corruption.  That is a fact, and not a rumor. A Security Exchange Commission may affect the outcome of the privatisation, so readers should know about it.  Secondly, it does not mention Fortis Insurance, never mind the fact that Fortis used to be PCCW Insurance.

The report claimed:

The "minor actions" mentioned in the rumors are difficult to verify ...

How hard is it to verify?  Ming Pao went and knock on the doors of these single-hand shareholders.  Hong Kong Economic Times used the public information to determine that Shell Company King Chen's company is even a single-hand shareholder.  If you say that you have no information, you should note that the Security Exchange Commission has published the information of the agents on the Internet.  Can't you check the relationship between the single-hand shareholders and Fortis?  Can't you check with Fortis?  Of course you won't because you won't even mention the name Fortis!

Related Link: Evidence Of Name Seeding contains Next Weekly's follow-up of the public information on the new small shareholders.

(Hong Kong Economic Journal)  A Statement from the Hong Kong Economic Journal.  February 11, 2009.

The Hong Kong Economic Journal has never set any restrictions on our reporters, editors and writers about reporting and commentary.  We have always based everything on the facts, no matter whether it is the privatization of PCCW or anything else.  We will not evade, but we will also not inflame.

(Lian Yizheng via Cheung Chiuyung's blog)

I did not write anything about the storm over the shareholder seeding in the case of the privatization of PCCW.  Many readers and netizens were unhappy.  Ms. Cheung Chiuyung wrote in her Hong Kong Economic Times column that she was disappointed in me because she thought that I stayed silent because of the relationship between Richard Li and the Hong Kong Economic Journal.  Honest words may be offensive, but I humbly accept them.  The challenges from the readers will help me keep my mind clear.

But I would like to tell everybody about the actual situation.  When the Hong Kong Economic Journal invited me back last year, I only promised to work for a short time.  Therefore I have no compunction about giving the job as principal writer if I cannot say what I want to say.

So why have I not said anything about this matter so far?  I am not interested in any market affair unless there are implications about politics and government policies.  I wrote about the CITIC Pacific affair because I thought that Mr. Henry Fan was a member of the Executive Council and his company was suspected of "insider trading."  Therefore, this was a matter of public interest.  I have commented more than once that this was a dereliction of duty by the supervisory agency.

In the privatization of PCCW, the price is a market issue.  In the struggle between large and small shareholders, I am emotionally on the side of the small shareholders and I have no rational preference.  Name seeding is a dirty piece of action for which circumstantial evidence is available.  If this is true and in fact authorized by Richard Lee or some other PCCW senior person, then stinks even more so than what Bernard Madoff did.  That would be very good topic to write commentary about as well as permit me to get "my freedom" back sooner.  It is a good thing to have a column for me to say things.  But frankly, 12 hours a day and six days a week has worn me out after one year.  I have been thinking frequently about the days when I can just stare at the ocean.

At 2:50pm on February 11, a post entitled <An earthquake just occurred in Hengyang!> at the Baidu forum for Hengyang city.  This post drew 47 pages of comment on the same day.  The subject of earthquake became the biggest news in Hengyang for the next two days.

In the evening of February 11, many netizens began to post photos of a strange light arc in the sky over Hengyang.

According to <Hengyang Evening News>, there were strong vibrations in most of the villages around Hengyang that evening.  The glass window panes and gates in some houses made noises.  Earthquake rumors then began to circulate through various channels.  Many people in Hengyang and surrounding areas escaped outside into the streets.  Hundreds of thousands of Hengyang residents slept in the street that night.

Our newspaper's hotline received the first tip at 12:01am on February 12.  More than 50 calls were received.  At 5am, Mr. Tang called to say that he felt the earth tremble four times and his parents are still sitting by the roadside next to a fire.

According to the Hunan Province Earthquake Administration, the earthquake monitoring stations in the province did not detect any earthquake stronger than magnitude 1.0.  But from 8pm on February 11, the Earthquake Administraiton received "disaster reports" from Hengyang and other places that an earthquake has occurred and houses have collapsed.

Yesterday, the Hengyang city government said that the quakes were caused by a military exercise involving jet airplanes that took place between 1pm and 11pm on February 11.  Therefore, it is possible that the airplanes may have generated turbulence while flying at low altitudes to cause the mild vibrations of houses.

As for the "strange light arc" in the sky, the Hengyang City Weather Bureau deuty director Wang Chuanqing said that these are the contrails left behind by the airplanes and not earthquake precursors.

The Hengyang authorities did not condemn the "earthquake rumors."  They only praised the "strong earthquake safety sense of the people of Hengyang."

( group blog)  Please stop joking/exploiting the CCTV fire.

I received an email from a friend today with photos of netizens making jokes about the CCTV fire.  His emails are usually amusing, but I felt bad about this one and I could not bring myself to laugh.

The reason is very simple: a fireman died at the scene.  His family, friends and colleagues are immersed in great sorrows.  His photo showed a young and handsome hand who had been married for just one year.  His wife is a nurse who was on duty that night and did not find out about his death until she returned home from work the next morning.  It goes beyond cruelty if we joke about this sort of thing.

But I can't blame my friend, who does not know that someone had died.

I think that there are many reasons why people usually look at this fire with glee.  Many people thought: "Look, things went gone!  They deserve it!"

The bad reputation of CCTV is longstanding and the netizens are justified to be negative and critical about CCTV.

Frankly, I hold personal reservations about the construction of the new CCTV site.  Is this expensive and laborious project necessary?  How much corruption occurred during the construction process?  How many dark secrets are there?  I don't know so I won't comment.  But the principals are no doubt aware themselves.

After spending so much money to erect this building (whether I personally like it or not), it is certainly a huge loss for it to be destroyed by fire.  My first reaction was: my heart was broken.

This is like the Summer Palace.  You must admit that it was the evidence of the extreme opulence of the feudal emperor who exploited the people.  But when it was destroyed by arson (no matter why or by whom), I feel heartbroken and sorry when I think about it today.  When I watched the movie <Summer Palace>, I would cry.

Of course, the new CCTV building cannot be compared with the Summer Palace because we cannot define it as "the extreme opulence of the feudal emperor."  Supporters of the building say that this is a good thing that stimulates domestic demand and builds up Beijing.  The opponents say that this was a waste of money and labor.  They may also dislike the design itself, or else the main building wouldn't have gotten the nickname of "Big Pants."

Personally, I feel the merits of the project will be evaluated by later generatoins.  The pyramid entrance to the Louver Palace is still being criticized by more traditional French people but one cannot deny that it is a world famous architectural landmark.

But no matter how much controversy exists about this project and no matter what your views are about the CCTV organization, our initial reaction in the face of this huge fire caused by human error should not be to laugh.

If we are laugh when others cry and if we build our happiness on the sorrow of others, then we should remember that what comes around comes around and it will be our turn someday.

(Apple Daily)  The Summer Palace Fire and the CCTV Self-Immolation (02/14/2009)  By Yu Jie (note: Yu Jie is one of the initial signatories of Charter 08)

When CCTV caught fire, the Chinese people clapped their hands to cheer.  This shows that the mouthpiece known as CCTV has a bad reputation among the masses.  The new and upcoming writer Han Han said that like most Chinese people, he could not suppress his glee at the misfortune: "As a news organization, CCTV basically has no journalistic ethics.  It can be said that outside of China, any news channel that does what CCTV does in China would be breaking the law.  But over here, it is not only legal.  It even represents the law.  How much has CCTV done in terms of lying, misleading, suppressing culture, misrepresenting facts, covering up, abetting evil and putting on a show of calm and peace?"

At first, the media were fumbling in their reports about the CCTV fire.  They said that it was illegal fireworks by the construction company, or they said that it was caused by residents in the neighborhood.  But how could the small fireworks from ordinary people cause such a big catastrophe?  This is just commonsense knowledge.  Later, under public opinion pressure, CCTV was forced to admit that the fire was caused by the fireworks it set off.  Every Chinese New Year, CCTV would spend a million yuan to hold a fireworks show which it filmed so that the splendid scenes could be used to illustrate a peaceful and flourishing epoch.  This is a CCTV tradition.  At the moment, an office director has been identified as the scapegoat for causing the destruction of several hundred million yuan of equipment and facilities.  This fire is the most serious urban fire since the founding of the People's Republic of China.

But the truth is still behind the curtains.  The investigation may be touching only a corner of the iceberg.  There are many rumors in the street.  The most typical one is this: The construction and equipment of the new CCTV building have led to huge budget overruns and astonishing corruption.  The supervisory department is taking a strong interest.  Therefore, the CCTV senior leaders decided to stage this "self-immolation" incident to destroy all the evidence.  Once the evidence is destroyed, they can get away untarnished.  Earlier, CCTV followed orders to stage the fake news of FLG practitioners setting themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square.  Today, they must surely be adept at staging the big show of "self-immolation?"

The self-immolation of CCTV reminds me of the fire in the Forbidden City.  In 1923, the ex-Emperor Pu Yi was still living in the Forbidden City and he discovered that the theft of precious treasures by the eunuchs was becoming an increasing problem.  At the antique shops in Beijing, there were large numbers of treasures stolen from the Forbidden Palace on sale.  Some of the antique shop owners were even eunuch leaders themselves.  Pu Yi wanted to stop the theft and he planned to make an inventory of the treasures in the Forbidden City.

When that piece of news got out, a fire occurred near Jianfu Palace inside the Forbidden Palace on the evening of June 27.  Jianfu Palace was the building with the most number of treasures in the Forbidden City.  The fire destroyed Jianfu Palace along with innumerable treasures such as jewelry and antiques.

In his memoirs, Pu Yi wrote that the fire was deliberately set off by the eunuchs who wanted to destroy the evidence of their thefts.  This fire firmed up Pu Yi's resolve to dismiss the eunuchs.  Two weeks later, he ordered more than 700 eunuchs to leave the Forbidden Palace.

History is often similar.  China is a nation with a long history, so that people don't have to be creative.  If they familiarize themselves with the history books, they will be able to pick up the wisdom of their forebears and use it for themselves.  The CCTV leaders probably got their inspiration from the fire at the Forbidden Palace.

Yesterday, the China Liaison Office and the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council held a meeting about the new requirements that Hong Kong and Macau journalists must first apply to the China Liaison Office for a permit first.  Everybody knows that during the Beijing Olympics, Hong Kong and Macau journalists did not need to seek permission beforehand from anyone except to obtain the consent of the interviewee.  Thus, the Hong Kong and Macau journalists were able to interview Ding Zilin (of the Mothers of Tiananmen Square), or mainland rights defense lawyers, or oppressed villagers.  The government could not say that it was an illegal interview.  But under the new rules today, if the China Liaison Office does not issue a permit, then it becomes an illegal interview.  They can arrest you and they lock you up "in accordance with the law."  Is this a step backwards for press coverage?  Or a step forward according to what the China Liaison Office and the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office say?

Yesterday, it was explained that journalists do not have to obtain the consent of the interviewees first before applying.  A reporter asked, "If I apply to cover news related to June 4th, will you issue a permit?"  The official refused to answer.  When asked whether Apple Daily could apply for a permit, the answer was enough to make you either cry or laugh.  In Ming Pao, it was reported: "We welcome those organizations who can adhere to professional conduct code to come."  When asked whether Apple Daily meets those standards, the answer was: "You can decide for yourself."  What kind of fucking answer is that?  You are the one who decides to issue a permit or not, so why are you asking the journalists to decide for themselves?  Who is issuing those permits?  The journalists or the mainland officials?  These mainland bureaucrats dared not come out to say that Apple Daily is not allowed to cover news on the mainland, and they dare not say that Apple Daily journalists did not meet professional standards.  So they tell the journalists present to decide for themselves.  If the journalists decide that Apple Daily meets the professional standards, will Beijing allow Apple Daily journalists to enter?  I am speechless at how the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office dare to do something but don't dare to admit it.

Furthermore, Hong Kong is fully one hundred percent Chinese territory.  Everyday, the Hong Kong SAR Government wants the people of Hong Kong to accept their identity as Chinese citizens.  Where else in the whole world are journalists from a country required to obtain a permit to cover news in the capital city?  Does the United States require California journalists to apply for permits beforehand to cover news in Washington DC?  Does the United Kingdom require any county newspaper journalists to apply for permits beforehand to cover news in London?  In China, they require the journalists from the Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions to apply for permits beforehand in order to cover news in Beijing.  Does this mean that Hong Kong and Macau are not part of China?

Perhaps someone may say that Hong Kong is a special administrative region under "one country, two systems" and therefore Hong Kong journalists will be dealt with differently.  Doesn't this mean that the mainland citizens enjoy less freedom of press and have less right to know than Hong Kong citizens?  Doesn't this mean that mainland citizens cannot learn certain information through mainland media?  Doesn't this mean that certain information should not be made known to Hong Kong people through Hong Kong media?  Is that why the Hong Kong media are being barred to cover news on the mainland?

The family of a Chinese woman killed in a traffic accident in New York on Saturday will leave for the United States soon, pending visa approval.  Feng Huang, 26, from Shanghai was killed early on Saturday after being run over by a car driven by an intoxicated police officer. Her boyfriend, Dennis Loffredo, is still in hospital.

"Feng's parents were frantic with grief at the loss of their daughter," a former college classmate surnamed Gong told China Daily. "Her parents are trying to get a US visa so they can go and identify and claim the body," she said.

New York police said off-duty Jersey City police officer Martin Abreu, 25, was driving his 2007 Toyota Camry south on West Street when he ran into Feng and Loffredo at the intersection of Albany Street at 3:40 am on Saturday. Feng was pronounced dead at the scene, while her boyfriend suffered a broken leg, police said. Abreu was arrested and has been charged with manslaughter, vehicular assault and driving while intoxicated, a New York Police Department spokeswoman said.

New York police refused to provide the exact results of a sobriety test administered to Abreu other than to say it was above the legal limit, the New York Daily News reported yesterday. It said the couple was walking back to their apartment near Battery Park City after a night out at the time.

(Sima Pingbang's blog)

On February 7, the Shanghai girl Feng Huang who had just graduated from New York University was killed in a car accident.  The driver was a local police officer named Martin Abreu.  He was intoxicated at the time.  The police is charging with vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated.

This is so sad.

But even as people were feeling sad over Feng Huang, the mother of Martin Abreu has come out to defend his son.  She said that Feng Huang and her boyfriend were violating traffic rules when they crossed West Street.  "It was their fault."

The local police declined to say whether the two victims were violating traffic rules.

Abreu's mother declared, "My son Martin is a good boy.  He should not be treated this way (that is, being arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated)."  She even said that there was nothing wrong with her son driving while intoxicated.  She said, "My son went out to have some drinks.  He is entitled to have a good time."

I have read many news reports on Abreu's mother.  I regret to say that she did not show any hint of an apology concerning her son killing the Chinese girl Feng Huang while intoxicated.

But I thought this was consistent with the typical mode of action in America.  When Americans run into something, they always seek to protect themselves first.  This is how Americans think.

Americans have been educated repeatedly by lawyers about how to get away with crimes.  Abreu's mother is offering a typical excuse -- it does not matter if Feng Huang is dead, it does not matter how much responsibility her son bears in this accident and it does not matter how much the victim deserves sorrow and pity, she will blame the victim immediately.  I believe that this will be Abreu's initial reaction as well.  In their vocabulary, there are no words to express an apology to the victim.  That would be left to the law.  Even though Martin Abreu was driving while intoxicated, his mother thinks that "her son was not wrong" and "her son went out to have a few drinks and he is entitled to have a good time."  Even though she could not deny that her son was intoxicated, she made light of it.

... When an American wants to apologize about something that they did wrong, they won't say "Sorry."  Instead, they will say "thank you."  So if Americans are late for a meeting, they won't walk in and say, "Sorry we are late."  Instead, they will say "Thank you for waiting."  Even if they say that they are "sorry," there are two levels of meaning.  The first level of meaning merely says that they feel bad but they are not apologizing.  For example, when the American early warning plane collided with the Chinese jet, Secretary of State Colin Powell said that he was "sorry" that an American airplane entered Chinese airspace.  He felt bad, but he was not actually apologizing.  After China handed back the airplane, Powell said, "We are sorry, but we did not apologize."  "Apologize" is the official word to express a formal apology.  The second level of "sorry" is the mildest form of an "apology."  This is the most typical way of excusing themselves.  They will not consider their offense against you is a mistake on their part.  Rather they thank you for helping and forgiving them.  Their subtle choice between "sorry" and "thank you" is a way of excusing themselves and blaming you.

When they really need to say "thank you," they will actually increase their condemnation of you.  Thus former Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson spoke about China buying huge amounts of US treasury bills as evidence that China is manipulating its RMB currency -- this type of American logic will probably never be understood by normal Chinese persons.

For example, when the new CCTV building caught fire, CCTV came out and told the people of China: "Sorry" and "we were wrong."

If the CCTV leader was an American, he would have praised the people of China with "Thank you for your support" but he will not admit that they did anything wrong.

Why do Americans insist on not apologizing?  First of all, if you apologize, then it is tantamount to an admission of guilt.  Secondly, you are showing that you are weak.  American culture is a culture of the strong, especially for politicians.  They will never display any weakness, because Americans adore strong figures.  By comparison, the Chinese people are more likely to side with the weaker figures.

This is the most natural and consistent way of American thinking.  This type of thinking means that the United States and its people can never be the moral exemplar for the world.  So we should not be too upset about what Abreu's mother said.  The more important thing is to send her son to face the court.

Related Link: How Others See Us  Sam Crane, The Useless Tree

Hong Kong students do not like or want to be interested in news and they do not like to read newspapers.  Our school has subscribed to many newspapers and we hold a "one minute of current affairs" in our general knowledge class in order to cultivate the students to care about society and the world.  But we still don't have a next generation of newspaper readers.

One of the causes is the teachers themselves.  Among the more than 50 teachers at school, only a few have the habit of reading newspapers and keeping up current affairs.  So how do we expect students to acquire newspaper reading habits in this environment?

The next factor is the parents, which are even more influential.  Our school is just an ordinary elementary school and our students come from middle-class families.  A survey of the students about their behavior away from school showed that newspaper reading parents are in the minority.  If they read, they are mostly reading sexy, violent and dramatic news stories.  Thus, this makes it even harder to promote readership quality.

Most Hong Kong people have wrong ideas about newspaper reading.  The majority of them read newspapers in order to have topics of conversation with others.  Therefore, they choose relatively low quality content.  This is why entertainment and sensationalistic stories are "big news" and this diminishes the ability of newspapers to function as the conveyor of truth.

In order to meet the needs of the readers, newspaper have vulgarized their contents. ... The quality of news workers is also deteriorating with a very negative image among the people.  There are two diametrically opposite reasons why they cannot win respect.  First, they have interest relationships with certain groups who use the newspaper to propagandize.  Secondly, they have antagonistic relationships with certain groups, such that ordinary people will avoid the news workers in order not to get hurt.

The emotional embrace of freedom of speech by the people has also hurt the newspaper industry.  The sensationalistic newspapers have taught the people of Hong Kong to always read news stories through a colored lens.  When certain sensitive events occur, they are usually politicized in the name of freedom of speech.  These phenomena has caused the people of Hong Kong to develop a phobia about social, national and global issues.  Most Hong Kong people become convinced that they are indifferent to current affairs.  Therefore, they rarely consider anything from multiple viewpoints.  There is no chance that people will have the desire to read several newspapers in order to see diverse viewpoints.

(Taipei Times)  Next Media picks close aide to Ma to head TV station.  By Mo Yan-chih.  February 12, 2009.

Former Taipei deputy mayor King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) will take up the position of chief executive officer of Next Media’s (壹傳媒集團) new TV station from Monday and promised objective reporting on the government despite being a close aide to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

...Lai has expanded his media empire in Taiwan since 2003, launching Taiwanese editions of the weekly Next Magazine and the Apple Daily newspaper.  The two publications have drawn criticism from the National Communications Commission and the public over a muckraking style and graphic photographs.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday it was inappropriate for the firm to choose someone closely aligned with the president to head its TV station. “King is a core aide to Ma. King’s political influence is undeniable. [Putting] King in charge of a TV station would mean a return of politics to the media field,” DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said, adding that Ma and King owed the public an explanation.

(Apple Daily; Apple Daily)

With the news that former Taipei deputy mayor King Pu-tsung taking the position of CEO of Next Media's TV station, the Democratic Progessive Party wondered whether "this was another version of party/government/military intervening with media!"  Next Media Group chairman Jimmy Lai said that he welcomes the doubts as well as monitoring by other people.  If he does something wrong, people can make criticisms.  "In the end, you have to watch what we do!"  "I don't change my position for any single person!"  "Starting a television station for Ma Ying-jeou?  Do you think that he is my dad?"  King responded that the doubts are absurd and future facts will prove everything.

Democratic Progressive Party chairperson Tsai Ing-wen said that she had been hoping that Next Media can continue with media independence.  So she "found it very regrettable" that Next Media has hired a person who was deeply involved in the election campaigns of Ma Ying-jeou and is still pulling the strings of the Kuomintang government.  She thought that the move was inappropriate because involves the problem of separation of politics and media.

Jimmy Lai that the most important thing about the media is to hold a position firmly.  For him, this means "Great Taiwan" irrespective of blue or green.  "Would I change the position of the television station because Pu-tsung is coming over?"  In Hong Kong, Lai is facing up to the tremendous pressures from the Communist Party and he didn't budge in his position.  If King is coming to help Ma Ying-jeou, would he let him?  "Am I crazy?"

As for the DPP doubts that the party/government/military is intervening with media, Jimmy Lai said: "Did the Kuomintang give me my money?"  "What benefits has the Kuomintang given me?"

"We are a publicly listed company, so we are not printing our own money."  "I am such an anti-Communist, so how could I be using Chinese capital!"  "This must have been spoken by some idiot!"  When he failed to acquire the China Times group, he suspected that the Chinese Communists played dirty tricks on him.  So how could the Chinese Communists be helping him now?  He is an anti-Communist, and that is why Next Media loses about 200 million HKD each year in advertising.

Jimmy Lai said that unless there is a government change in China, he cannot enter China.

(The Standard)  Pandemonium.  By Benjamin Scent.  February 5, 2009.

The privatization offer of HK$4.50 per share was eventually put to shareholders and approved with 1.3 billion, or 82 percent, of shares voted held by 1,403 shareholders being in favor. Eight hundred and fifty-four shareholders, holding a total of 280 million shares, representing 8 percent of shares voted, voted against the privatization.

PCCW non-executive director David Ford, who chaired the meeting, said allegations of a plan to rig the privatization vote are still "matters of rumor and speculation" and remain unsubstantiated.

(Next Weekly)

According to our tally, there have been more than 800 new PCCW shareholders since January 1st this year.  We compared against the list of agents at the Hong Kong Insurance Association and we found out that 250 of the new shareholders have the identical names as Fortis insurance agents.  More than 20 of those were brazen enough to list their address as the Fortis company in Langham Place.

Here is what the magazine found out about some of these new shareholders.

[The names in red are identical to Fortis insurance agents.]

Row#1: Five names are listed in the same apartment unit in Tsuen Wan.  The owner Young Hung Shek said: "I know nothing.  I did not sign any papers.  I don't care about stocks.  My children took care of this stock purchase."  When asked if his son worked at Fortis, he said: "Yes, yes."

Row #2: Seven names are listed in the same apartment unit in Tuen Mun.  So Ngai Hong told the reporter that he is still on work study but his sister who works at Fortis told him to purchase PCCW shares.  "My sister will never give me incorrect information!  I let her take care of everything."  Later he said that he is a PCCW broadband user who is quite satisfied with the service, and that was why he bought the shares.  "I don't remember if I signed any papers.  I have these kinds of documents to sign myself."

Row #3: Two names are listed in the same apartment unit in Tien Shui Wai.  Lee Ka Leung said that neither him nor Lee Tsz Kwan work for Fortis, but his mother who is an insurance company worker gave him some papers to sign previously: "My mother would never cause me harm!"  But he said that did not pay attention to what he signed.  When the reporter asked him why he bought PCCW shares, he was surprised: "What has that got to do with purchasing shares>"  He did not seem to be aware that he had purchased shares.  By this time, he seemed to have woke up and said: "Why do I have to answer your questions?"

Row #4: Chung Yuk Ching lives in Sheung Shui.  The children said that she has never bought shares and she is an insurance agent at Fortis.

Row #1: In Lai King, the father of Cheung Yuen Leung said that his son is a manager at Fortis.

Row #2: In Shatin, Tang Yee Man said that she works at a stock trading company.  "in December, I read in <Oriental Daily> that PCCW will be privatized at HK$ 4.20 per share.  So I immediately bought some shares.  I should be able to make a few thousand dollars i profit."  When asked if she voted, she said: "I work at a stock trading company and I know how to fill out the form.  I voted to approve."  When the reporter asked 60-something-year-old Tang Yan Sang why she did not bought shares together with her children but purchased separately, Tang Man Yee interjected: "We bought at different prices.  If we bought them together, it will take a lot of effort to divide the money later on."

Row #3: In Tsuen Wan, six names were listed in the same apartment unit.  When the reporter went there, the mother said that none of them lived there and then slammed the door.

Row #4: In Yuen Long, four names were listed in two adjacent villages.  An 80-year-old woman said: "My son is at work."

Row #5: In Central, three names were listed at the same apartment unit.  Wong Kam Fong admitted that she works for Fortis.  "Nobody told me to buy shares.  I read in the newspapers that PCCW was going to be privatized and so I bought the shares on my own.  I don't know about the other family members."

Row #6: Five names were listed at the same apartment unit in Cheung Kwon O.  No one was home.

Row #7: Chan Ka Wai is registered at an apartment unit in Wong Tai Sin.  According to the owner, Chan Ka Wai moved away many years ago: "Since you know where he works, you can go there directly to see him."

Row #8.  Twenty-four shareholders with Macau addresses registered their purchases on the same day (January 23, 2009).  Three of them hold 10,000 shares, 10 hold 3,000 shares and the rest hold the minimum 1,000 shares.

[in translation]

There are two types of people in the world: those who believe in acts of the Heavens and those who don't.  This is true for theists as well as atheists.  Those who believe partially are believers as opposed to total non-believers.

The believers say that people cannot push things to extreme excess.  When nobody can restrain you, you will be punished by the Heavens.  The non-believers say that acts of the Heavens are merely imagined by superstitious folks.  So when disasters occur, it was just an occasional human error.  As long as we adhere to the scientific viewpoint and make fewer mistakes, we will win in the end.

The people on either side cannot convince the other side.  When they discuss, they usually end with quarrels, personal attacks and unpleasantness.  There are many possible explanations about any emergency disaster, each with its own reasons.  For example, different people have different explanations about the CCTV fire.  Some people say that it was negligence in safety management, some say that the fengshui of the place was bad, and some say that CCTV has aroused too much anger.  These explanations are each reasonable in their own way, but ultimately I believe that this fire was an act of of the Heavens.  Why do I think that this was not a manmade error in which safety rules were broken and the advice from the Public Security Bureau was ignored?  Why do I say that this is an act of the Heavens?

When a person, or a group, or a political party, or a people arrives at a stage that nobody can warn or stop them, the only thing left is for the Heavens to punish them.  That would be an act of the Heavens.  CCTV is such a group.  For certain artificial reasons, the position of this group was elevated above others because it can help the survival of a certain political party.  As a result, CCTV can have or do anything that it wants.  Nobody can restrain it.  Many people know this for a fact, including former CCTV employees who know what goes on inside.

Therefore, it was not an occasional error by CCTV to ignore the warning from the Public Security Bureau.  Rather, this is its nature.  Even if they heeded the warning this time, they will do something similar next time.  The fire may have been avoided this time, but it will happen soon.  Even if it was not a fire, there will be another calamity for some other reason.  The act of the Heavens is to warn those people who no longer heed advice and warning.  If these people persist and refuse to heed the warnings, an even bigger act of the Heavens will follow.  The deluge in the Bible is one of those unmatched acts of God.

A sign from the Heavens or an act of the Heavens conveys a message.  The message may not be understood unless one is respectful and humble.  Although I don't fully understand it, I have figured out that one of the aspects is "balance."  This is the minimum demand by the Heavens for humans: balance.  This may sound profound, but it is actually very easy to explain.

The existence of everything is premised upon a certain balance that exists from the smallest atoms to the microbes to the solar system to the galaxy to the universe.  In humans, the balance is for the yin-yang, the bones, the muscles, the brains and the limbs.  In a society, the balance is for equality of wealth and political fairness.  In economics, the balance is between income and expenses and also asset structures.  There is no need to say more about the balance in nature.

When the Sichuan earthquake happened last year, the Hollywood star Sharon Stone said: "This might be karma" and drew the wrath of 100 million Chinese netizens.  She apologized quickly.  But six months later, Chinese and American scientists have discovered that a water reservoir nearby triggered the super-strong earthquake.  Although the investigation is still ongoing, it almost requires no proof to know that natural catastrophes occur due to the imbalance between humans and nature, as in the case of droughts, floods, forest fires, global warming and so on.

The global financial crisis has swallowed up more than 4 trillion US dollars in wealth.  It was definitely not due to the action of any individual or even country, and so it is an act of the Heavens.  Anyone who has studied the various imbalances would have known that the economic system was unsustainable.  For example, one side was spending at a unprecedented pace while the other side was producing cheap products without end.  As the virtual economy expanded without limit, the unregulated financial bubble burst and the real economy is going through an unprecedented recession in which nobody wants to do real work anymore.

Usually, those who break the balance against the will of the Heavens are big countries, or big political parties, or big interest groups, since they won't listen to dissident voices or heed warnings.  Some of them use the force of the entire nation to restrict and censor speech.  In the United States, who can restrain the government except for the voters?  But when the voters lose their minds as well, no force in the world can prevent America from doing stupid things.  Except for God.

China has gone through hard times for several thousand years, especially in the last one hundred years.  The number of abnormal deaths in China exceeds that in any other country at any time in history.  China also leads the world in the pace at which the natural environment is being destroyed.  This is happening because China has all of the three big things: A big nation, a big political party and big interests groups.  When these huge entities do not listen to advice, they will face even greater acts of the Heavens.  The ecological structure, the social structure and the political structure are broken beyond behind sustainable.  People who keep looking for short-term gains are magnifying these imbalances as if they want the speed up the final total destruction.

The final question is why God's wrath does not spare the poor pitiful people?  Aren't all those people who die in the disasters innocent?  I have been thinking about this problem, and I've got it figured out now.  "There must be something detestable about these pitiful people."  Most of them have evaded their responsibilities and refused to bear the risks when they refuse to support the few courageous human rights defenders.  They have let the authorities repeatedly act against the laws of nature so that there is a one-party situation now.  May the act of the Heavens wake people up.

(Taipei Times)  Wu Shu-jen pleads guilty to forgery.  February 11, 2009.

Former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) pleaded guilty to forgery yesterday and not guilty to the other charges against her.

She admitted using fake receipts to gain reimbursements from the presidential “state affairs” fund, but denied embezzling money from the fund and other charges of taking bribes in connection with a land deal and government construction project.


When asked about the Lungtan case, Wu denied corruption, but admitted receiving NT$200 million from Taiwan Cement Corp (台泥) chairman Leslie Koo (辜成允), which she called a “political donation.”  She said she had no idea why Koo would say that he had wired NT$400 million to her and call it “commission” connected to the land deal, as prosecutors said he did during a questioning session on Nov. 24 last year. Wu asked the judges to help her locate the missing money, referring to the difference between what she admitted receiving and the amount Koo claimed to have wired.

The former first lady admitted receiving US$2.2 million from Nangang Exhibition Center contractor Kuo Chuan-ching (郭銓慶), not US$2.73 million as stated in the indictment. She did not say whether the US$2.2 million was a bribe as prosecutors allege or a political donation as she has previously suggested. Kuo told prosecutors that he collected US$2.73 million to bribe the former first family after winning the tender to build the Nangang Exhibition Center.

Wu told the judges that the money she wired overseas came from private family funds, not public funds, and her husband had no knowledge of how she managed the family’s money.


After the hearing, Wu read a statement to reporters outside the court building. She apologized for implicating “so many innocent people” in the case and causing turmoil. “I will face the trial and investigation openly and will appear before the court or prosecutors whenever I am summoned, as long as my physical condition allows,” Wu said.

(Apple Daily)  (412 persons interviewed by interactive voice system on February 10, 2009)

Wu Shu-jen has pled guilty to accepting a bribe in the Nangang Exhibition Center case which was not connected to former Chen Shui-bian.  But she pleaded not guilty to corruption in the Lungtan case and claimed that she only accepted a political contribution.  What do you think?
      76.9%: This is obviously a totally insincere selective admission of guilty to get Chen Shui-bian off.  The judge should not believe her.
      12.1%: She is telling the truth and the judge should believe her
      10.9%: Don't know/no opinion

[in translation]

Last night, a fire occurred at the northern annex of the CCTV building.  Apart from those people who actually live in Beijing and who can see the fire live, the speed, breadth and depth of the breaking news once again showed the incomparable advantage of Twitter in a country with unique Chinese characteristics.

However, it was also unexpected that the Global Times website was the quickest to react in this suddenly breaking crisis.  NetEase News then followed on the basis that Global Times must be politically correct and issued a headline news report.  As such, NetEase has shown that it is the most alert to breaking news among the four major Chinese web portals.

But no matter whether a New York City airplane was successful in a forced landing or whether there was a terrorist attack in India, or even the regular happenings in the Gaza Strip, Twitter has successfully filled in what traditional media have not been able to cover instantaneously.  In many incdients, Twitter has been able to relate what was happening at the scene to all those who may be located tens of thousands of miles away and who will therefore feel as if they were right there.

Outside China, Twitter is an important aid to timely information for traditional media, but it cannot substitute for them totally.  In China, for reasons that everybody knows, it is customary for major emergency incidents to wait for the Xinhua news report and photos.  Thus, the authorities customarily block all information to await for the authoritative Xinhua report.  Supposedly, this is being done to prevent rumor mongering and social instability.  In reality, it only encourages the spread of roadside stories.  Last night, the reports from Xinhua and the China News Agency came belatedly and their focus was about certain senior government leaders coming down to the scene to direct the firefighting effort.  They did not have much to say about what was happening with the fire, and they were totally silent about any casualties.

Of course, Twitter is exceptional with respect to the speed by which information on emergency incidents can be propagated.  But quick communication needs to be balanced with effective and comparative accuracy.  Twitter is carrying the observations of various persons from their perspectives as well as the instantaneous interpretations from other spectators.  When there is a sea tide of information, every person trying to get information from Twitter is tested to use a cool mind to make a rational determination in quickly time.

For example, late last night, it was said that the Beijing Internet Management Department has issued an emergency administrative order to tone down the discussions on the fire.  The Xinhua report was going to be used everywhere.  In order to confirm this unsubstantiated rumor, the only option is to wait.  Indeed, the web portals carried out the action one after another.  Therefore, this emergency bulletin must be true.

Even though the mainstream websites were placed under control, photos from the scene continued to come out.  People were sending back high-resolution photos quicker than the Xinhua reporters could.  Citizens near the scene used digital equipment to take videos which were uploaded onto YouTube within half an hour.

Twitter may be said to be a new Internet force which tests people to verify.  But China is a country with unique circumstances in which everybody knows what to choose between Xinhua and Twitter.


CCTV on fire  Sun Bin
Beijing CCTV Building On Fire, News Censored  ChinaSMACK
Mandarin Oriental Fire Photos from Sina (before they get harmonized)  Elliott Ng, CN Reviews
CCTV Fire Photos - Twitter breaks the news again  David Feng, CN Reviews


Recently, a Shanghai newspaper published an article entitled <New Heroes Rush Into Shanghai Bund, No Restrictions On Place Of Origin, All Of Them Elites>.  According to the article, "The new Shanghainese are most concentrated in the Pudong district inside those tall office buildings.  In Pudong, especially in Lujiazui, everybody speaks putonghua.  To speak the Shanghai dialect is a sign of being uncivilized, like being a native American Indian.  In the restaurants and hotels of Pudong, the service people who hold the door will say "Mister" in putonghua.  But in Puxi along the gourmet street on Huanghe Road, they will knock on your car door and say in Shanghai dialect: "Brother, brother, are you looking for some place to eat?"  This shows how the densities of old and new Shanghainese vary."  Unexpectedly, this article seriously offended the feelings of the authentic Shanghainese who heaped criticisms.  As a result, the editorial department of the newspaper apologized publicly.  However, the "authentic Shanghai people" were not mollified and they demanded a front page apology.

Is speaking Shanghainese uncivilized?  This is clearly insupportable.  Languages are not superior(inferior) or noble(ignoble) per se.  They are all means to exchange ideas, express feelings and participate in social activities.  But at the same time, different languages (or dialects) are vastly different in terms of the cultural content and they highlight the multicultural diversity around us.  But when there are so-called "mainstream" and "marginal" cultures, some languages are more equal than others even though all languages are supposed to be equal.

At present, more than half of the languages in the world are facing the likelihood of extinction along with the cultures that they represent.  Dialects and the cultures that they represent al face similar situations.  It is important to respect and protect the diversity of languages and cultures, in the same way that rare animals should be protected with nary a moment to lose.

If the Shanghai newspaper article is correct, then it means that Shanghai culture is beginning to see changes.  This is not unexpected, because all of China has undergone tremendous changes over the past 30 years.  How can we expect Shanghai culture not to change?  During the present reforms, Shanghai served as a "melting pot" which produced a new "Shanghai culture" that is like a bowl of salad with all sorts of colorful and disparate elements.  But no matter what the future Shanghai culture might turn out to be, Shanghai needs to establish a self-confident and open urban culture if it wants to be come a cosmopolitan city and the people of Shanghai must maintain a self-confident and open attitude.

So why is a short essay irking certain Shanghai people?  I don't think that it is fully due to the linkage between the Shanghai dialect with "being uncivilized."  Rather, it is because the essay described certain phenomena that touched certain sore points among certain Shanghai people.  First of all, the essay divided Shanghai into Pudong and Puxi,and it contrasted how the service workers at the big hotels in Lujiazui spoke putonghua while those at the small restaurants on Huanghelu spoke Shanghainese.  Thirty years ago (or even twenty years ago), the people in Pudong were contemptuously being referred to as being "country bumpkins."  But today, things have reversed themselves completely.  More than a decade ago, there was already a popular saying: "A bed in Pudong is better than a room in Puxi."  Today, Pudong has replaced Puxi as the calling card, windows and bright spot of the new Shanghai.  On this piece of land that represents the new Shanghai best, the people who are creating new legends of wealth are increasingly more likely to be "country bumpkins" who speak putonghua.

But if Shanghai is to discard its own body and assume a new body in order to become a cosmopolitan city, it must go through these growing pains.  If this is said to be painful, then how many people living in Zhongguan Village in Beijing can actually speak with the authentic old Beijing accent?  And we are not even talking about the people in Zhongnanhai.  I am presently staying in Los Angeles, where various forms and styles of English are spoken.  Many public signs are written in English, Spanish and Chinese.  The ATM machines are like that.  When you call service phone lines, you often hear: "Press 1 for English, press 2 for Spanish, press 2 for Chinese."  I once joked with a white friend, "Before long, you will be hearing 'Press 2 for English'.  When even your White House has become the Black House, anything is possible."  He laughed mightily when he heard that.  Isn't that so?  The father of the President of the United States is from Africa.  The first Lady has a great-grandfather who was a black slave.  The reason why America can become a prosperous nation has everything to do with its tolerance.  By comparison, when the "authentic Shanghainese" over-reacted to this story, they are being somewhat petty.  Speaking the Shanghai dialect is obviously not a sign of "being uncivilized" but their reactions cannot be said to be "civilized" either.

At 14:00 on February 8, there was a mass incident in Dejiang county, Guizhou province in which the masses surrounded and attacked the county government office with more than 2,000 spectators.

On this day, certain members of of the young peoploe's dragon dancing team did not follow the regulations and performed in a restricted area.  When the city administrators tried to stop them, they got unhappy and went down to the county government office building to demand that they be allowed to perform in the traditional area.  As a result, they clashed with the police and the government workers at the scene, while drawing more than 2,000 spectators.  Three police officers and five civilians were injured.

(The Sun)  February 6, 2009.

Teen film sensation MILEY CYRUS has hit back after being accused of racism over a picture of her that appeared on the net. In the offending snap, the 16-year-old, her boyfriend JUSTIN GASTON and other pals pulled their eyes as they posed with an Asian friend. But Hannah Montana star Miley wrote on her blog that she and pals were merely "making goofy faces" in pictures that were interpreted "out of context". She wrote: "In no way was I making fun of any ethnicity! I was simply making a goofy face. When did that become newsworthy? It seems someone is trying to make something out of nothing. "If that would have been anyone else, it would have been overlooked! I definitely feel like the press is trying to make me out as the new 'bad girl'.  I really wish everyone would stop focusing on my personal life and get back to focusing on what I love! Music and acting!"

(OCA Organization of Chinese Americans)  February 2, 2009.

The photograph of Miley Cyrus and other individuals slanting their eyes currently circulating the Internet is offensive to the Asian Pacific American community and sets a terrible example for her many young fans. This image falls within a long and unfortunate history of people mocking and denigrating individuals of Asian descent.

"Not only has Miley Cyrus and the other individuals in the photograph  encouraged and legitimized the taunting and mocking of people of Asian descent, she has also insulted her many Asian Pacific American fans," said George Wu, executive director of OCA. "The inclusion of an Asian Pacific American individual in the photo does not make it acceptable.  OCA hopes that Miley Cyrus will apologize to her fans and the APA community for this lapse in judgment and takes the opportunity to better understand why the gesture is offensive."


On the morning of February 7, the several thousand Henan armed police officers went into the frontlines to combat the drought.  At Brigade 7 of Donggao village, the earth was cracked due to the lack of moisture and the fields of wheat seedlings were yellowing.  Since there were no sources of water nearby, the officers went into the river two kilometers away and bailed out buckets of water.  Although the water felt icy cold on their feet, they did not mind.  In this single day, the soldiers irrigated more than 2,000 mu of land and repaired more than 120 farming machines.  In the following days, more officers and equipment will be sent in.


At the present, not much effort is being made to fight the drought in Henan.  According to a farmer, "My family has seven mu of land in total.  Even if I get a harvest of seven or eight jin per mu, I can't earn much.  It costs 50 yuan to irrigate one mu of land, and each mu has to be irrigated at least twice.  Counting the other costs, each mu of land will cost more than 200 yuan without even counting labor costs yet.  Since the price for wheat is at most 400 yuan per mu, this is not worthwhile."  The reporter spoke to almost thirty villagers.  More than half of the villages do not intend to transport water to irrigate their fields.  Instead, they will cast their fates to the heavens.

My home town is in Shengqiu.  On the train back home, I saw the wheat fields were all withered yellow with very few farmers irrigating their fields.  But when I read the Shengqiu Daily News, the various levels of government are organizing to fight the drought and the farmers are irrigating their fields.  However, my hometown folks tell me that the government is putting on a media show.  They only irrigate selected spots so as to provide photo opportunities for the newspapers and television stations.

I traveled several other counties and I saw the same thing.  There were no farmers (never mind the cadres) out there in the fields.  I spoke to the farmers and their responses were disheartening:

1. We have no water works and we have no sources of water

2. The irrigation systems that we purchased years ago have fallen into disuse, and when we drill wells, we cannot find water

3. It is not easy to make money by growing crops

4. Maybe the heavens will open up and rain soon, so let us wait.

5. Nobody wants to do farming anymore because they can easily make ten or twenty yuan a year by working outside.  If you are better, you can go and sell fake cigarettes/wine in the city and make one or two hundred yuan a year, or even as much has one million yuan per year.  How can they earn as much by working in the farm fields?  You work yourself to death and you earn a few thousand yuan.  When you run into a natural disaster, you may even lose money.

6. Only stupid people go and irrigate fields.  People despise such people.

Recently, the photos of Lu Jiali have been circulating around the Internet.  She is one of the principals in the Shanghai social security scandal, and it is said that she had been the mistress of (1) the director of the Shanghai Nuclear Power Company; (2) the chairman of a Shanghai investment company; (3) the former director of the Shanghai Social Security Administration; (4) Qin Yu, the former Shanghai City Government Office deputy secretary-general and later Baoshan district mayor; (5) the Shanghai City Party deputy secretary-general; (6) the Shanghai Electricity Company chairman; (7) the State Statistics Bureau director.

(STNN)  More interesting is this Internet public opinion poll in conjunction with these photos.

Question:  If you were a government official, would you break the law for the sake of Lu Jiali?
55%: Yes
30%: No
15%: Don't know

A reader commented: When I saw the results, I am speechless -- are there any good men left in the world?

(Taipei Times)

Almost 100 Taiwanese residing in the US gathered at the Court of Appeals in Washington on Thursday to listen in on the latest proceedings of a lawsuit brought by Roger Lin (林志昇) that is aimed at ascertaining whether the US is still Taiwan’s principal occupying power and whether Taiwanese can demand US passports from the US government based on this.

In December 2006, Lin hired Charles Camp to represent this case in the US legal system. Lin cited the fact that Japan merely gave up its power over Taiwan and the Pescadores after surrendering in World War II and that it did not return Taiwan’s sovereignty rights to China. He also said that the San Francisco Peace Treaty did not deal with the sovereignty issues of Taiwan and the Pescadores, adding that the US was still Taiwan’s principal occupying power.

As a result, Lin and other Taiwanese residing in the US have requested that the US legal system look into what rights Taiwanese have, including whether they should be issued US passports based on the San Francisco Peace Treaty and the US Constitution.


In Thursday’s hearing, former Judicial Yuan vice president Cheng Chung-mo (城仲模), representing the plaintiffs, and an assistant representing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared before the court.


The lawsuit has however also caused an uproar among some overseas Taiwanese groups who feel it conflicts with Taiwan’s self-determination and independence.

(Apple Daily)

In January, Cheng Chung-mo had criticized former president Chen Shui-bian for being "unwise" to push for the referendum for Taiwan to join the United Nations, on the grounds that Taiwan is not a nation.  He also said that the San Francisco Peace Treaty incidated that the Republic of China was just a government in exile and not a sovereign independent nation in Taiwan.  Therefore, the American government should have approved Taiwan to become independent.  Also Cheng said that since Ma Ying-jeou was not born in Taiwan, his election last year as president was "invalid."

With respect to Cheng Chung-mo's assertion that Taiwan is American territory, former Friends of Lee Teng-hui executor director Tsai Shu-mei said that Taiwan is an independent sovereign nation "because what passport is Cheng Chung-mo using when he travels outside Taiwan?"

KMT legislator Chang Hsien-yao emphasized that the Republic of China ruled mainland China and Taiwan together in the four years between 1945 and 1949.  Therefore, there is no question that the sovereignty rights of Taiwan belong to the Republic of China.  DPP legislative caucus leader Ker Chien-ming said that Japan gave up its power over Taiwan after the Second World War, but it is not clear who the sovereign rights went to.  Therefore, the position of Taiwan is undefined as yet.  But no matter what, Taiwan is a nation that belongs to the 23 million people there.

Chinese Culture University political science professor George Tsai said: "How can a man be so shameless!"  He thinks that if Taiwan belongs to the United States, then why was Cheng Chung-mo a vice president of the Republic of China Judicial Yuan?" 

(Apple Daily)

Former Judicial Yuan vice president Cheng Chung-mo is promoting the turning of Taiwan as American territory so that the people of Taiwan can get US passports.  Do you support this?
51.7%: Don't support: Taiwan has independent sovereignty rights and does not want to become American territory
30.0%: Support: It is a good thing to get an US passport
18.4%: Don't know/no opinion

(Ming Pao)

Shanghai Evening News carried an essay titled "New Heroes Rush Into Shanghai Bund, No Restrictions On Place Of Origin, All Of Them Elites" written by someone named Dawei.  This essay drew the protests of Shanghai residents, including a retired national leader who personally called the Shanghai city party secretary Yu Zhengsheng to express his concerns.  Upon Yu's order, Shanghai Evening News has held an internal meeting and issued a statement yesterday to admit that the essay has "hurt the feelings of Shanghai readers."

(Shanghai Evening News)  New Heroes Rush Into Shanghai Bund, No Restrictions On Place Of Origin, All Of Them Elites.  By Dawei.  February 6, 2009.

In the 50 years before the 1980's, the people of Shanghai are of one version with two special characteristics: they have a Shanghai city household registration booklet and they speak the Shanghai dialect.  These were known as "old Shanghainese."  The new Shanghainese today do not speak the Shanghai dialect and they also have two special characteristics: They have diplomas for higher education and they have commercial grade housing ownership deeds.  In the past, old Shanghainese was like one big pot of porridge where the rice and water cannot be separated; today, the new Shanghainese are like a piece of glutinous rice cake where every bit is distinguishable.

There used to be a popular (but somewhat extreme) saying that was known across all of China: "To the people of Beijing, everyone else is a subordinate; to the people of Guangdong, everyone else is a northerner; to the people of Shanghai, everyone else is a country bumpkin."  When I was young, we even called the vegetable growers in rural Shanghai "country bumpkins."  The country bumpkins sat on the pile of vegetables being hauled to the market by their tractors and rebutted us: "Your mom was a country bumpkin too!"  That is correct, because my parents came from Shandong province.

The new Shanghainese are most concentrated in the Pudong district inside those tall office buildings.  In Pudong, especially in Lujiazui, everybody speaks putonghua.  To speak the Shanghai dialect is a sign of being uncivilized, like being a native American Indian.  In the restaurants and hotels of Pudong, the service people who hold the door will say "Mister" in putonghua.  But in Puxi along the gourmet street on Huanghe Road, they will knock on your car door and say in Shanghai dialect: "Brother, brother, are you looking for some place to eat?"  This shows how the densities of old and new Shanghainese vary.

There is a phenomenon in the real estate industry: outsiders like to buy homes in Pudong, especially the better ones where more than half of the buyers are from the outside.  <Wenzhou Evening News> organized a tour group to come to Shanghai to buy homes.  Someone said that the real estate price in Pudong is so high because of these outside speculators.  At the famous institutes of higher education, most of the graduate students are from the outside.  Outsiders are like the Japanese, where people like Sanshiro Sugata go around challenging everything; the Shanghaiese are like the French, who like the atmosphere in the bars of Hengshan Road.  The women are even more practical for they are the cream of the nation.  In the past, they will marry only Shanghai men.  By the 1980's, it was fashionable for them to marry foreign men.  At the time, I was a "handsome young man," but I had to agree with the saying: white hair is not as good as black hair, and black hair is not as good as blonde hair.  Thus, Chinese pretty women were marrying American Chinese men.  Today, marriage is no longer so private.  The classified ads in newspapers are very explicit: "Don't mind if you were married before, and don't care what your place of origin is."  The key point is: "Successful career."  Those who have successful careers are the elite, and they are often the heroes who have ventured into the Shanghai Bund from the outside.


President Hu Jintao made visit of Jinggangshan City on Saturday and Sunday, the eve of the traditional Chinese lunar new year.


Hu Jintao also toured the home of a local villager. At Wu Jianzhong's house, Hu Jintao inquired about the family's living conditions. President Hu Jintao was glad to hear that the Wu's family received an income of 140 thousand yuan last year. Hu Jintao also did some cooking. Hu Jintao also demonstrated his skill at making tofu.

Unfortunately, there is a completely different connotation about what "making tofu" means to the common Chinese folks. Given that background, how could anyone allow this photo to be shown?


According to legend, the tofu shops of ancient times were husband-wife enterprises, whereby the husband wake up in the middle to the night to make the tofu while the wife sells the tofu during the day.  Since the wife ate tofu regularly, she looked tender, delicate and beautiful.  As a result, all the men come down to the store and flirt with her.  Thus came the term "eating tofu 吃豆腐" which means flirting with a female including taking advantage of her.

From this came the notion of "making tofu 磨豆腐" to describe the act of intimacy between two lesbians.  As to how they actually "make tofu," it is better to use photos to illustrate (note: the photos there actually don't explain it, but it is really mutual clitoral stimulation by rubbing).


Police yesterday arrested a 24-year-old man in Sau Mau Ping in connection with two recent prostitute murders.

"We have arrested a 24-year-old Chinese man in Sau Mau Ping district at about 3pm this afternoon. After initial investigation, we believe he had direct links to the case" in To Kwa Wan, Senior Superintendent Leung Ka-ming, head of the Kowloon West crime unit, said last night. The arrest was the result of hours of co-ordinated effort from all five regional crime units, he said. A source said the man was arrested in his home at Lok Wah Estate, Sau Mau Ping.

The most recent murder, in To Kwa Wan, involved a 38-year-old Thai prostitute named Amy, who was found unconscious in her flat on To Kwa Wan Road on January 31. A post-mortem examination showed she had been suffocated.

Mr Leung said the unemployed man was also connected to another prostitute murder in Sau Mau Ping on January 10. A 47-year-old prostitute was found in her one-woman brothel in Chi Cheong Building at Yee On Street at about 7pm. She had also been suffocated.

Police believed the Sau Mau Ping and To Kwa Wan murders occurred during robberies that went wrong. Officers had found signs of ransacking at the scene. "We believe the suspects had searched for property, so we will follow the direction of a robbery-murder in the investigation," Mr Leung said.

Compare the SCMP story to the Apple Daily story below.

(Apple Daily)

According to sources, the 24-year-old suspect named Wong dressed in black and went to a certain one-woman brothel at around 7pm on January 31.  At the time, the 38-year-old Thai prostitute named Amy was having dinner with another prostitute next door.  Both of them saw what the suspect looked like via closed circuit television.  Amy got up and went next door to receive the client, and ended up being smothered to death with a pillow.

Afterwards, the police spoke to the prostitute next door and learned what the suspect looked like.  They went to a neighborhood convenience store about 50 meters away and obtained the surveillance tape between 5pm and 9pm that evening.  They found that the suspect had shopped at the store and paid with an Octopus card.  Next, the police locked onto that Octopus card and retrieved all the usage data.  Based upon the activities, they determined that the card had belonged to the deceased female.  From there on, they began to track further usage of that Octopus card which continued to be used over the next few days.

At the same time, the police locked onto the mobile phone number of the deceased.  That mobile phone went missing after her death.  Several days later, someone began to use that telephone.  They located the user and found out that the phone had been purchased at a certain second-hand store.  From the store, they obtained the HK ID of the seller.  This man was the principal suspect in the case.

Over the past two days, the police staked out the residence of the man in Sau Mau Ping.  At about 2pm, the man returned to his apartment and the police took action.  It was said that the man attempted to resist and threw some evidence out of the window.  The police retrieved a bottle containing thinner and believed that this had been used to render the victims unconscious.

A man rings the bell
at the one-woman brothel
around 7pm in the evening
of January 31, 2009

At around 8pm, the man
shopped at a convenience
store near the building
and paid with an Octopus card

The police determined that the
Octopus card belonged
to the deceased female

The police tracked the
usage of the Octopus card

The police followed the
suspect using the
Octopus card

The police arrested the
suspect at his residence

On February 12, 2006, Apple Daily ran a full page story titled "Sexercise Cures All Diseases" based up on the recommendation from the United Kingdom's National Health Service that periodic sex can improve health.  The story was illustrated by a a nude couple, with the left breast of the female being clearly visible.  In addition, the article itsel contains words such as "sexual climax" and so on.  Yesterday, this photo was sent to the Obscene Articles Tribunal for classification.

According to Apple Daily, the same story was covered by serious mainstream media including BBC as well as medical journals in the west.  The couple in the photo was merely staging French sculptor Auguste Rodin's The Kiss

In another case against Apple Daily, on September 22, 2006, Apple Daily published a story titled "Tiger Woods Outraged by 'Nude Photo' of Wife."  The story reported that golf player Tiger Woods is considering legal action against a newspaper for publishing "a nude of photo of his wife" and was illustrated by that nude photo which took up one third of the page.  According to Apple Daily, the female in the photo was actually Portuguese football star Luis Figo's wife Helen Svedin and that it was necessarily to show that photo in order to explain why Woods was "outraged."  (To read this story, see Female Beauty)

A human rights protester was in police custody Monday after throwing a shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during a speech at Cambridge University.

The shoe landed several meters from the premier and the man was quickly apprehended by security and handed over to police for questioning on suspicion of committing a public order offence, according to witnesses.

A student who witnessed the incident told CNN that the man had stood up and shouted, "Why are you prostituting yourself? How can you listen to the lies he is telling?"

Cameras filming the speech remained fixed on Wen during the incident, but video images later showed an unidentified student being escorted out of the building by a university proctor.

... The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said of the incident: "The Chinese side has expressed its strong feelings against the occurrence of the incident. The British side said that they are very sorry that the incident should have happened and the person will be dealt with according to law. Facts have shown that the despicable behavior of the perpetrator is extremely unpopular and can in no way stem the tide of the growing friendly relations and cooperation between China and Britain."



(Tiexue BBS) [Note: This is a website with a heavy militaristic, nationalistic flavor, so the question of interest is whether they allow a backlash against the United Kingdom in the way that the assault on Jin Jing in Paris led to a boycott of Carrefour.]

Right, China is really so much stronger than before, and it will continue to be stronger!  The Chinese people are filled with confidence from top down.  China wasn't like that before!

We the Chinese people under the leadership of the Chinese government are friendly to the people of the world, and we have never invaded any other country or harmed other people's interests.  We the Chinese people do not accept this unwarranted intrusion.

This type of people who oppose everything for the sake of opposing is like a small particle of sand by the seaside.  When someone steps over him, he declares proudly: "Look, I pricked the bottom of the foot!"  But the foot does not feel anything, he can oppose whatever he feels like opposing.  In these dire times, nations have to cooperate with each other and this is also the inevitable path of progress for mankind.  It does not matter how you smear the system and the democracy of China, the prosperity of China will continue apace.  The test of time will show that this disturbance/protest is just a laughing stock.

The esteemed Premier demonstrated the self-confidence of China.  China is becoming increasingly self-confident.  The rise in power of China will only create even greater self-confidence.

Is this the so-called western democracy?
Interrupting the speech of a Premier who is deeply beloved in his own country?
And this took place on the campus of the famous Cambridge University?
Is this how you treat a visiting Chinese head of state?
Is this the so-called Empire where the sun never sets?
Is this a nation that that boasts that it has many western gentlemen?
Oh, England! So is this what your true character is?
Oh, Great BZritain!  You turn out to be the land of hooligans!

Do you know how to imitate Iraq?  A shoe was thrown in Baghdad, and an imitation act of shoe-throwing also took place in Cambridge!  This fully shows the arrogance of western "democracy"!  Sigh, these beasts are hopeless!  Their intelligence quotient is zero because their protest style has no creativity!

This is an awkward imitation.  Bush was the occupier of Iraq and he invited himself to Baghdad, and therefore he was not welcomed.  Premier Wen came to visit.  If you British people do not welcome him, you should say so and he can pass you by just like he bypassed France.  Once he is here, he is a guest.  It was rude and uncivilized to treat a guest this way.

The crusaders imitate the Islamists by throwing a shoe.  Aren't they afraid that their God would be angry?  The world is so hypocritical ... I cant bear to watch it.

Premier Wen is a Chinese leader and nobody except for the Chinese people can throw a shoe at him.  The action by the white people is a grave insult to the people of China.

I was just watching Hong Kong TV news and the speech by Wen Jiabao was censored.  At the time, I was wondering if Wen Jiabao got the Bush treatment.  Now I know that it was just a loud interjection.  This is normal.  It would be normal if nothing happened.

What are they doing?  The CCTV News Channel was showing the whole speech live yesterday.  Those local stations are behind the times when they still try to impose blackouts!

At other Chinese forums, discussion of this incident seems to be banned.  So netizens are bringing back the previous posts on the Baghdad incident and using the comments.

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On Chinese New Year's Eve, there was a mysterious explosion in front of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau building.  This turned out to be a suicide bomb incident directed against the Public Security Bureau.  A male bomber strapped a homemade bomb on his chest and attempted to charge into the building.  In the process, he triggered off the device unintentionally and was blown to pieces.  On January 26 (Chinese New Year's Day), Xinhua issued a short bulletin which said that there had been an explosion at noon on December 25 in front of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau building and one man was killed.  At the time, there were very few people around.  The police said that the identity of the person needed to be determined.  The cause of the explosion was being investigated.  The police said that the deceased was shabbily dressed and he had a pile of miscellaneous items with him.  Since that bulletin, there has been no further information.

In citing the aforementioned information, the Central News Agency (of Taiwan) said yesterday that this was a suicide bombing directed against the Public Security Bureau.  The perpetrator was a 40-something-year-old man from Jiangsu.  He had strapped a homemade explosive device with high explosives stuffed into cans on his chest.  He arrived by taxi to the front of the Public Security Bureau building.  When he got out of the taxi, he was ready to charge into the building.  When a guard told him to stop, he pulled aside his clothes to show the device in order to threaten the guard.  In the process, he set off the bomb.  At the scene of the incident, the innards of the man were scattered all over the place.

At this time, the authorities have not determined the identity of the man as yet.  Based up outer appearance, he did not appear to be a petitioner.  This event is similar to Yang Jia murdering six police officers in Shanghai in that both are direct assaults against the Public Security Bureau.  As a result, the news has rattled Zhongnanhai and Chinese Communist Party Secretary-General Hu Jintao has personally ordered an investigation.  In Shanghai, the investigative squad of several dozen persons has been formed with no results to show as yet.  The Shanghai City Publicity Department as ordered the media not to cover this story, and Internet discussion of this incident is banned.

The case concerns a 12-year-old Hong Kong boy who claims to be in Form 1 class, a Christian and living in the New Territories.  On January 23, the boy posted under the name of Liang Chai at a discussion forum and said that he wants to "make money by making lover with females between the ages of 10 to 45."  He also posted a photo of his private parts.  He also offered to pay others in return for sexual services.  He included a detailed price list.  He left his contact details (including his MSN account information).

Based upon the published information, some netizen quickly looked up his pesronal detail and posted them on Hong Kong discussion forums.  The information includes his photos, his blog, his Hong Kong ID number, his school and class.  Some netizens wanted to complain to his school.  Most of them heaped scorn and even vulgar curses in the comments.  They even said: "We will go to his school and shame him publicly."

The boy deleted his post afterwards and made a public apology to his school: "Principal and teachers, I am really sorry for letting you down! Can you give me another chance?"  He also pleased with the netizens: "Sorry!  I won't do this again!" and "You guys let me off.  I will never dare to be so naughty again.  Please don't go so hard on me!"

According to the Hkong Kong police, the maximum penalty for posting child pornography on the Internet is years in jail and HKD 2 million in fines.  It is also a crime to have sexual intercourse with children.  It is also against the personal privacy law to post the personal information of the boy in this case.

I would also like to explain just where the CCTV numbers came from when they claimed an overall share of 95.6% of the audience.  CCTV commissioned a telephone survey.

When the Spring Festival Gala show went on the air, they began to call household telephone numbers randomly all over China.  Here is what happens.

- If a household does not own a telephone, then they are not part of the survey universe.  Thus, certain remote areas of the country are not included due to unavailability of telephone service.  Also excluded are households with mobile phones only but not landlines.

- If a telephone rings and nobody answers, it is not included.  The telephone may not be working, the household members may have gone out, etc.  This survey is only interested in the share of viewing among viewers.  On Chinese New Year's Eve, it is traditional to hold a family dinner.  Thus, the parents may host the dinner and the brothers, sisters, cousins, children, nephew, nieces, grandchildren, grandnephews and grandnieces all come over.  It is not surprising that there should be many homes with nobody home because their inhabitants have gone visiting.  Or if the weather is not too cold, they could be out strolling in the streets.  If you want a true rating (=audience expressed as a percentage of the population), you will have to make repeat calls to the same numbers to ascertain whether this was an eligible household and what they did on on that evening.  But the results of this survey had to published almost immediately, so they could only report shares.

- If a telephone rings and someone answers, the question is: "Is anyone watching television right now?"  If the answer is no, it is not included.  The survey is only interested in the share of viewing among viewers, and not in non-viewers.

- If someone answers that they are watching television, then the question is "Which program are you watching?"  The 95.6% is the percentage that answered "Spring Festival Gala."  This is a market share -- of those people in the market (that is, watching television at the time), 95.6% of them were watching "Spring Festival Gala."  It does not mean that 95.6% of all persons in China was watching "Spring Festival Gala."

According the the 2005 CSM China TV Rating Yearbook that I have with me, here are some of the 2004 television ratings/shares for "Spring Festival Gala."  The first number is a rating (=viewers as percentage of population) and the second number is a share (=viewers of this program as a percentage of viewers of any program).
Anhui: 20.4%/40.7%
Beijing: 33.1%/77.7%
Changchun: 49.8%/78.7%
Changsa: 25.9%/57.2%
Chengdu: 27.6%/53.7%
Chongqing: 33.0%/62.6%
Dalian: 54.1%/78.5%
Fuzhou: 44.7%/69.1%
Guizhou: 31.3%/61.0%
Guiyang: 46.9%/78.7%
Guangxi: 12.6%/27.3%
Haikou: 29.3%/66.2%
Hangzhou: 23.2%/53.4%
Harbin: 59.5%/90.0%
Heilongjiang: 54.7%/86.7%
Hefei: 51.8%/87.2%
Henan: 31.2%/58.7%
Hothut: 55.0%/84.1%
Hubei: 30.6%/50.0%
Hunan: 16.5%/32.4%
Jilin: 50.3%/70.3%
Jinan: 62.6%/93.5%
Jiangsu: 36.7%/67.5%
Kunming: 49.2%/76.7%
Nanchang: 47.4%/77.5%
Nanjing: 47.8%/77.3%
Nanning: 29.1%/59.9%
Ningbo: 31.3%/75.4%
Qingdao: 56.2%/90.6%
Shandong: 27.5%/48.9%
Shanghai: 20.9%/52.7%
Shaanxi: 33.7%/58.1%
Shejiazhuang: 54.2%/89.7%
Shenzhen: 15.5%/44.9%
Sichuan: 23.3%/43.7%
Taiyuan: 69.5%/86.7%
Tianjin: 67.2%/91.0%
Urumqi: 44.3%/77.3%
Xian: 43.9%/76.7%
Xiamen: 37.6%/71.8%
Yinchuan: 50.3%/87.2%
Yunnan: 36.7%/61.6%
Zhejiang: 23.4%/57.6%
Zhengzhou: 60.4%/87.9%

Is there a pattern?  There are two influential factors.  First, it is about the climate.  It is much colder in the northeast.  In Harbin, 59.5%/90% = 66.1% of all persons were watching television.  In Shenzhen, only 15.5% / 44.9% = 33.6% of all persons were watching television.  Secondly, if you have to watch television that night, do you have attractive alternatives?  Shenzhen people can watch TVB and ATV from Hong Kong, so they have more choices.  You may not have much of a choice when you live in Yinchuan, Guiyang, Hothut or Shejiazhuang.  None of this is surprising or unique -- just check the Super Bowl ratings in the USA.

The more interesting thing is that why should a fake post draw so much attention?  That's because it taps on the underlying real or imaginary regional prejudices.