June 4 is around the corner. After years of controversies with Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange still in sort of house arrest, at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, it came to my attention recently that some cables actually are related to the events surrounding the student uprising and culminating into the massacre on 4th June 1989.
The number of students killed might be different according to different accounts. Nevertheless, i felt chilled to the bone rereading some tense moments in the city through a “laowai”, whose mobility was probably more than the average citizen and was sure that minimal casualties through his eyewitness account were at least in the hundreds in this sad saga of Chinese politics and reforms.
So this has been a weekend loaded with activities I attended haphazrdly. The Kowloon City Bookfair, which is running its 6th annual leg, finally fit into my junky, over-the-head, boisterous music-by-the-habourfront weekend. Organised by young literary connoisseurs, back by a creativity-oriented high school, a think tank, etc., the bookfair is a mélange of talks, roundtables, flea market, mini-bookfair and a mini-concert. Free of charge to everybody, coarse but ever-evolving, it’s what this overcrowded and over-developped city needs if Hong Kong were to slow down and smell some roses, or fresh air!
Thanks to a random gift of kindness, I set foot in West Kowloon waterfront for Clockenflap, probably the last time in a while by the West Kowloon waterfront since constructions will be swung into actions in the coming years.
My previous impression of this “music festival” has been some gweilos replicating rock concerts spiced with burning man. Upon entering I was upset with the overfloated plastic recycle bin with all types of trash. A day later however, a politically charged performance by “my little airport” sort of eased my displeasure. Well, in a non-perfect world, room for improvement is the key!
This might be the first in a series, for a duration not yet known, on the latest civil disobedience in Hong Kong in 2014. Let’s build up curiosity by looking at media, especially state media first!
Maybe Russia and China really are secretly in love, or are they not-so-secret buddies?
Russia Today said “protest turns violent” at the title of its piece posted September 28, 2014 16:33(Moscow time?)
even though it did use the words “pro-democracy” in the report.
Hong Kong police used tear gas and pepper spray on a crowd of pro-democracy protesters who ignored warnings and blocked the city’s main highway. The violence came after several days of student protests.
Meanwhile, China’s official news portal labelled the protest “spun out of control” http://www.china.org.cn/china/2014-09/29/content_33643206.htm
Agence France Presse en español wrote one of its headlines”
Manifestantes prodemocracia paralizan puntos neurálgicos en Hong Kong
Paralyse it we should, not neuro-logistical centre of Hong Kong, rather the injustice of puppet electoral systems, oligarchy and neoliberalism! Can we?
below: screenshot of online spreadsheet of the call for supply materials at the occupied sites
Un pays Écosse libre?
Si c’était un jeu, les habitants du Québec et de la Catalunya seraient tellement jaloux de la situation à l’heure actuelle.
Personellement je pense que le Groenland a une chance plus solide avec le Royaume du Danemark que toutes les regions ou nations ou pays mentionnés ci-dessus.
Face au néolibéralisme, est-ce une vrai différence dans un Écosse indépendant? La vie des Écossais sera mieux? On ne sais plus, et on la verra!
Mon avis? Je n’aime pas des empires, surtout l’hypocrisie de tenir toujours Gibraltar et les îles Malouines ( ou Falkland Islands) et parler d’une société juste!
1er mai, Journée internationale des travailleurs
J’ai tombé sur cette photo de 1919 quand la lutte était pour 8 heures de travail par jour? Malheuresement, Un siècle plus tard, en 2014, en Asie, dont la Chine et Hong Kong RAS, il n’y a pas des heures ‘maximum’ fixées par semaine. Plus loin en Europe, le taut chomage augmente sans arret, tandis que les Asiatiques, ou même des gens ailleurs travaillent comme des chiens avec des heures supplémentaires contribuées mais rarement recompensées! Ou est le progrès alors?
8 April!!!!!! After seeing the british teledrama Margaret and reading and viewing reports and commentaries on Margaret Thatcher’s passing A YEAR AGO, it’s my turn to write this résumé.
Geofrery Howe, Kenneth Clarke, Michael Heseltine, John Major, Neil Kinnock, Paddy Ashdown are some of the names that popped up immediately when I learnt of her death. Having grown up in colonial Hong Kong and spending my very first year living away from my home town for post-secondary education in Liverpool, I watched on TV many of the parliamentary debates she had as prime minister as well as her then very dramatic ouster.
Paddy Ashdown, leader of Liberal Democrats 1988-1999, was very polite in his tribute. Nevertheless he highlighted her liberalisation of markets, her stripping down the barriers to business and her lowering taxation
had resulted in not greater prosperity for all but to
near ruin and disgusting climate of greed of the few.
He added the freedom advanced in the Thatcher years were “strangely partial” since it was mainly “economic freedom” of a few. On the other hand, Thatcher didn’t care much about political freedom of gays, people of Scotland or women
Du côté canadien, l’ancien premier ministre Jean Chretien sur Thatcher et aussi la loi constitutionelle de 1982:
quoting Chretien (Thatcherite politics)…”has run its course”… (and a)…”kinder, less destructive, more balanced way to shape our economy” (should be the alternative)
D’autre opinion, celle de l’Afrqiue.
Journaliste Marie-Roger Biloa a souligné corretement que Thatcher soutient (ouvertement ou laissez-faire) apartheid dans une émission de Kiosque sur TV5 monde. Étant donné que Nelson Mandela a aussi passé au ciel, Madame
Un entrevue de Anthony Barnett sur l’émission anglaise d’al Jazeera a souligné les enjeux énegétiques qui ont été négligés par la plupart des média.
and from the journalist on the Edward Snowden case, Glen Greenwald has a few words to say on the Guardian.
Neil Kinnock sums up a pretty accurate “legacy” of Thatcher:
It was an unmitigated disaster for Britain because, if you recall, it commenced with a series of Budget changes and use of interest rates which, combined with the fact that oil was monumentally coming on stream, pushed the price of the pound out of sight and succeeded in inflicting devastating harm on the productive base of Britain.
And the end result was not modernisation, it was devastation.
Finally, more salt on the wound: Totally absent in any Western media coverage, her encounter of a bigger beast called Deng Xiao Ping in Beijing, China in 1984 concerning the future of Hong Kong definitely occupied her mind and caused the infamous “kowtow”. But given her stand on Falkland Islands and Pinochet just marked the slow decline of an empire which could only look back to the past.
Rest in peace, Lady Thatcher. Apart from being the first female head of state of a G8 country, you also did the world a lot of damage. Unfortunately, even though I don’t wish for another Reagan or Thatcher or Mulroney, their incarnations will certainly pop out again and wreak havoc. Case in point? Manuel Valls, the new Bacelona-born French Prime Minister who once said the name “Parti Socialiste” and its policies are dated. Hold your breath people!
That was the post title I had in mind a year ago on 31 July 2012 when Gore Vidal took the elevator to heaven. The London Olympics were in full force and I remembered seeing Freddie Mercury (no, I wasn’t hallucinating), the Queen Elizabeth II and George Michael somewhere, somehow during the opening ceremonies. Mix that with Vidal and you know how the mathematics worked out.
I’ve watched more video interviews, documentaries on VIdal than I’ve read his books. Nevertheless, his wit and elegance perfused in the media forms by and about him. Here are some of his quotes.
Our state of affairs:
As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.
On being a Queen perhaps:
Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.
Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.
and on Religion, from his Lowell Lecture at Harvard University, April 1992
The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze Age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are, literally, patriarchal—God is the Omnipotent Father—hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates. The sky-god is a jealous god, of course. He requires total obedience from everyone on earth, as he is not just in place for one tribe, but for all creation. Those who would reject him must be converted or killed for their own good. Ultimately, totalitarianism is the only sort of politics that can truly serve the sky-god’s purpose.
I really preferred this ONN particular Queen I wrote about among the four.
If you are USA citizens (many nationalities are Americans, you don’t need me to lecture you in this particular post, do you?), you shouldn’t be so proud that gay marriage seems to be making grounds, nor that you have re-elected your first Black president for a second term. Nothing worth going jubilatory about.
Ari Fleischer, former press secretary of George W. Bush, had tweeted as around the time when Snowden’s leak surfaced:
“Drone strikes. Wiretaps. Gitmo. [Obama] is carrying out Bush’s 4th term. Yet he attacked Bush for violating Constitution,”
Well a few short notes for those of you, that might mean MOST of you who haven’t noticed.
And this time the news broke with The Guardian, a British newspaper, a foreign media for the people of ths USA. The journalist, who is American, seems to be based in Brazil these days. I bet North American soil is too safe and free for him these days.
While China has its Great Fire Wall to block out bad influence websites for her citizens, the USA seem to be catching up by blocking the entire Guardian website for troops stationed abroad.
Hmmm Did I say Sinicization?
And the rhetoric of US officials on Snowden while is not identical, but definitely rhymes with that diffused by the Chinese government when Liu Xiao Bo was honoured with the 2010 Nobel peace prize.
Perhaps Evo Morales was “meddling on the internal affairs” of the USA that the Western European countries citing technical or diplomatic difficulties and did not allow the president of Bolivia to pass through their airspace. Boy I thought “meddling on the internal affairs” is patented by the Chinese government. Apparently not, or Beijing failed to follow up with the ptent office.
hmmmm did I say Chinalization? LOL
I dunno whether Dick Cheney was correct on Snowden as a “Chinese” spy, but I am curious as to how much backbone the Nobel committee will have should Snowden receives a nomination for the Peace Prize in the coming years. Afterall, Obama had his during his first year in office.
So be faithful to your country, dear US of A citizens, for the government is doing everything to promote you and your liberty!
hmmmm Did I say Sinification?
Wait a minute, I might be wrong afterall. Google, whose offices in Beijing got a sea of flowers when Chinese netizens sent in their condolences. Google took the moral high ground to leave China because the Chinese government likes to breathe down the necks of her citizens. Now, by the same token, Google, MSN, Facebook and the like must find refuge somewhere OUTSIDE of the USA if NSA/Prism are acting like overprotective parents. But where could these companies go tomorrow?
See you in DC! Oops I really meant Peking LOL.