Thursday, 18 February 2016

Atsuna: Hong Kong Kids and Chinese Wolves

Hong Kong Kids and Chinese Wolves
Translated by Samuel L., edited by Karen L., written by Atsuna
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/02-01-2016/28483/ 

(The fact is, wolves will not get along with sheep.)

"Chinese Wolves and Taiwanese Sheep" was once a popular topic in Taiwan. Some grumpy old scumbags criticized the sheepish mercy in the Taiwanese youngsters to be unable to combat the wolfish brutality of mainland Chinese. Such wolfish brutality means the aggressive, greedy and cruel features in the new generation of mainland Chinese due to fierce competition.

Chinese kids will probably defeat Hong Kong kids easily as well, for such cruelty to achieve with whatever it takes can never be nurtured in playgroups or interest groups. As China opens up the policy for the second child, primary school kids there found an "Anti-Younger-Siblings Alliance" in order not to let their positions, pampered by their parents, be challenged by younger brothers or sisters. Some even put their lives on the line and force their parents to get an abortion. Cheating has always been rife in the Gaokao, the China University Entrace Exam. Girls may bribe or even prostitute themselves (See Laroussi Oueslati's case) for an overseas diploma. No matter how Hong Kong kids "do supplementary exercises day and night", they will always "lose at the starting line" in face of the Chinese wolves' cruelty.

Living in an environment where strong backgrounds and "guanxi" (Translator's notes: it is a Chinese term of "connections".) dominate, Chinese are taught by nature to live with cruelty. But can Hong Kong mothers really look on with a sense of indifference? They may be concerned and understand that it is no longer easy to succeed in Hong Kong. But Hongkongers always have a tinge of naivety. Nowadays, many Hong Kong kids have become far busier than full-time employees as their parents still believe this is the Hong Kong they know -- as long as one can graduate from an elite school, it doesn't matter if children sacrifice their bit of childhood training to be smarties, because it will redeem them a pleasant future.

But consider this: among the management personnel in local international banks, law chambers and financial institutions, there have been full of "second-generation rich" and "second-generation officials". As stated in editorial A Hong Kong That Leaves No Place For The Next Generation, even if you are graduated from Harvard, Stanford, Oxford or Cambridge and have earned a ticket to well-known companies, without the label of blue blood or billionaires, you will never be able to beat the heirs of communist capital. It is nothing about your ability but your lack of "guanxi". Naturally, more and more post-80s bankers choose to give up their well-paid jobs and open small shops instead.

Although Japan never has to contend with those Chinese wolves, the future of the younger generation there is as pessimistic as our Hong Kong kids. Masahiro Yamada writes in his book The Hope-Disparity Society (Kibou Kakusa Shakai) that Japanese education system is just like a pipeline system. Based on their examination skills, each and every one are distributed to different "pipes", namely industrial high schools, short-term universities, university research institutes, etc. But as the supply of graduates being much larger than its demand, reaching the finishing line does not guarantee a bright future -- some might end up as salespersons though their effort in school. Besides, there is also differences in risk among the pipelines. In particular, they may all be university students, while those from the medical schools bear the least risk, those from engineering and nursing are rather safe, and arts students are facing the highest risk.

The wealthy and visionary parents will probably guide their kids to the safest route, avoiding pipelines with cracks and leakages so as to secure them the seats of promising future and continue the reputation in the family. But for the poor Hong Kong dads and moms, even if they exhaust themselves as much as they can to push their kids into the Ivy League schools, the pipelines they're in -- the post-1997 environment -- are with flaws. In other words, they are no longer made locally, but in China. The less unfortunate ones may manage to escape from the lead-tainted water -- moral and national education or using Putonghua to teach Chinese Language Subject -- it's only a matter of time for the knockoff pipelines to expire. However much effort has been made, it would not beat those with communist-way-to-deal-with-communist-defect, and thus ends up spilling out of the pipelines midway.

The new generation Hong Kong dads and moms are "experts" in examination. That means, they will not bother you as long as you provide them with the rules. Why? All they know is to try getting the job done, and never doubt whether the rules are right or the other way. People with black eyes and black hair are Chinese? Not Everyone's mother-tongue is Cantonese so we should use Putonghua to teach Chinese instead? Prof. Johannes Chan fails to be promoted as the Communist hates him? Why should I care? These are not problems to the simple-minded moms and dads, and they could utter things like "that is what the textbooks tell... memorise it will do", "being trilingual can get a decent job", and "my kids getting into HKU is all I care!".

They are submissive enough to forget a simple fact: when we change our principle at our home and submit to the devouring Chinese wolves, it equals to giving them a message to pushing it. Telling people off in the park for speaking Cantonese like a master scolding a servant. Sound familiar? Hong Kong dads and moms spend time, money and effort they have to bring their kids up from this hell of competition. The rules yet breaks down day by day, becoming more unfair, more irrelevant to competence. They remain paying no regard to it, forcing their kids to win this game, which destines their failure.

I once asked my friends who teach in a band-3 school if they ever feel disheartened when teaching the most disobedient group of students? He teased the fact that they would only be able to enjoy these last few years and thus he would simply tolerate them. Most of the Hong Kong kids may be able to endure the hard life and not "die from overwork" due to myriad of assignments and  "interest groups", but they live a life more desperate than those of the band-3 students. When one's endeavour is rewarded, it presents hope. But if it's the otherwise, desperation instead will replace hope. At least the band-3 students can enjoy a few years of freedom, while most of the drained Hong Kong kids fail to gain the reward they are entitled to.

Overwork kills, so does desperation. Yet, in this society where the cart is put before the horse, the youth shall be blamed for having a low resilience. They say, all these efforts make the kids "win at the starting line". What a joke! It is apparently "dying at the starting line". 

Friday, 12 February 2016

The Fishball, the Favoured Belief, the Fool

The Fishball, the Favoured Belief, the Fool
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, written by Tsang Fan-yam Philip
Original: https://www.facebook.com/VanVan417/posts/10153609247323096 
[Translator's note: Deep Chinese history knowledge required; will try to explain but cannot explain that much]
(Drawn by DamnkidYK)
The current unrest is similar to Peking back in late Ming Dynasty.
As a Ming general, Yuan Chonghuan was fighting in the Battle of Ningyuan against the Manchus, later known as the ruler of Qing Dynasty. The Manchus and its troops suffered. Nurhaci, the chieftain of Manchu, read and inspired by the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, so he started to spread rumours of Yuan conspriring a revolt as he held lots of soldiers. And people believed it.

Chongzhen Emperor of Ming fell into this trap, so he grabbed Yuan to jail, and sliced him slowly. Peking residents believed that he was conspiring a revolt, so they ate his flesh after slicing.

Yuan was not a flawless general, but he was competent and the pride for Cantonese people. A few bright man came out through the unreasonably difficult imperial examination, including Sun Chengzong, Xiong Tingbi and Yuan Chonghuan, and became generals on the frontier against the Manchus' aggression.

Ming's administration was highly centralized. The emperor worried real generals would be dangerous threats as they held lots of troops. So with imperial exam, only literary officials can lead the troops, but most of them cannot lead a troop.

But there are always exceptions in history. Sun Chengzong went through all key frontier checkpoints and learnt all the details about the frontier; Xiong Tingbi was familiar with the troops, and good at archery with both hands. It was rare to see a literary man to be so good at martial arts.

As for Yuan, he loved military things but did not know martial arts. His qualities were "not peaceful, irrational, violent ans swearing".

Within 5 years, he took Liaodong peninsula back -- not peaceful; he directly asked for funding for troops from the emperor directly instead of departments -- irrational; on his own idea, he killed Mao Wenlong, another general -- violent; his Cantonese maritime troops often chanted "Diu La Ma, Ding Ngang Soeng" (Screw his mom, carry on!) -- swearing.
Ring a bell of localists or valorous protesters?

I heard many people's remarks, like "policemen are men too", "localists are messing around" or "both sides have faults too".
Ring a bell of the rumours in Peking?
Much worse actually, at least Peking residents would not say "Manchus troops are men too", given their brutal records. 

These people do not read news, and bark around when something happened. They do not know what is "unrestricted warfare", editor-in-chief being chopped on streets nor booksellers being kidnapped, not to mention the confrontation between the police and the public.
Is this much alike the fool in Peking?
Pan-democrats are not reliable at all, they are just like the secretaries of Defense Department, who do not know about the actual situation nor allow new blooms to show their talents.
The localists now have their channels for promotion, and the government has their mouthpieces too. On the same battlefield, we are the master of the keyboard, and we have to choose our stance.
To be honest, those who remain silent and neutral are selfish. As Dante said, "The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
We have to keep it short and simple and screw the government persistently. We have to stand firm on our posts, and we shall have our future.
===
魚蛋、輿論、愚民
現今的亂象,與明末的北京城很相似。
袁崇煥在寧遠前線間關百戰,對抗滿清,清兵焦頭爛額。清主皇太極看了《三國演義》,從「群英會蔣幹中計」一回得到啟示,派人四出造謠,於是北京城謠言四起,群眾認為袁崇煥手握重兵,要反了。
崇禎果然中計,抓了袁崇煥下獄,將他凌遲處死。北京市民也相信袁崇煥造反,一人一口生啖其肉。
袁崇煥是有相當瑕疵的將領,但也相當能打,難得一見的大將,是廣東人的榮耀。明末曾經有幾顆奪目的新星,孫承宗、熊廷弼、袁崇煥,他們經過極不合理的考試選拔制度,通過一連串文考,終於成為邊防將領,抵禦滿清南侵。
明朝高度中央集權,皇帝害怕武將握兵權,構成威脅,於是通過考試制度,讓文官才能帶兵,能爬到高層的都是不會帶兵的文官。
但是也有例外,孫承宗「伏劍游塞下」,萬曆三十二年進士;熊廷弼「有膽知兵,善左右射」,萬曆二十六年進士,讀書人中左右手也能開弓,絕無僅有。
袁崇煥熱愛軍事,不懂武藝,萬曆四十七年進士。他的特點是:不和平、不理性、暴力、粗口。
他反守為攻,五年平遼,是不和平;他無視兵部戶部,直接向皇帝要錢作餉,是不理性;他擅殺皮島守將毛文龍,是暴力;他的廣東水師,陣上總是「丟那媽,頂硬上」的呼喊,是為粗口。
很像今天本土派、勇武派的風格。
今天早上聽到很多指摘,「警察都係人」、「本土派搞事」、「兩邊都有錯」。
這很像北京城裡的謠言。
其實是更不堪,北京愚民再謊謬,不會說「清兵亦人也」。
平時不看新聞,有事百犬吠聲。沒有「超限戰」的概念,不知道報紙編輯當街俾人斬,不覺得賣書賣到被綁架是很嚴重,扑爆頭也不相信警民之間已經是「敵我矛盾」。
有沒有覺得自己就像北京城的愚民?
泛民也完全不可信賴,他們就像明末的兵部尚書一樣:王在晉,將不知兵;梁廷棟,挾數行私;張鳳翼,怯不敢戰;楊嗣昌,扼殺新晉。
現今本土派有一個優勢,就是有自己的平台,有渠道作文宣。然而政府也有牠的喉舌。在這一個戰場上,你我也身處最前線。我們手握鍵盤,要幫雞蛋,要幫高牆,全由我們選擇。
沉默與中立的,在這個時勢而言,老實講,很自私,如但丁所言:"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
我們必須用易懂、簡潔、清晰的文字去diu7政府,並且堅持到底,在抗爭的每個崗位克盡己任,我們才有明天。

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Your Neutrality Is the Largest Protection for Govt's Suppression

Your Neutrality Is the Largest Protection for Govt's Suppression
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, written by Ken Yung
Original: http://polymerhk.com/articles/2016/02/10/27813/ 
(Blindfolded and non-blindfolded Lady Justice. What is neutral and just, indeed?)
In Hong Kong, there are lots of people obsessed with neutrality, they like saying:
"After all, you are illegal and wrong. / Both parties are wrong! / Police shooting was wrong, but protesters throwing bricks were wrong too!"
Basically, what lies beneath their subterfuge is: "you cannot blame the cops shooting."

These might sound just, but actually are idiotic.
Since the Umbrella Revolution, there are lots of such speech,
seems that "comprehensive thinking" or neutrality means to "blame both sides indiscriminately".

But: Are both sides' "fault" equivalent or proportional? Are both sides' authorities or force equivalent or proportional?
If one is removing all the backgrounds and reasons, things are certainly "right"!

Beating people is wrong.
"Right"! If you are turning a blind eye to the fact of the person is being kidnapped and his son being pointed by a knife.

Occupying is wrong.
That doesn't make Franklin Chu beating pedestrians with his baton right.

Making kids crying is wrong.
"Right"! If you are turning a blind eye to the milk formula rush from Chinese smugglers.

Kicking suitcases is wrong.
If you are turning a blind eye to the influx of suitcases in Sheung Shui, or you can stand above suitcases sea like Moses did.

Swearing is wrong.
So surrounding university campus with Blue Ribbons is right?

Removing all the background and having a discussion is not neutral, but silly.
Is the public's force and the police's guns proportional?
Are the consequences of protesters using force and policemen using gun proportional?
The seven cops still remain at large. Franklin Chu is still at large.
But protesters are arrested and sent into jails.
Oh that is justice and neutrality?

When an adult is beating a kid, and the kid hits back, will you "blame both sides indiscriminately"? Or say "beating people is not right"?
A normal person should help the kid and condemn the adult. But those who are obsessed with neutrality will say something like what I have just written.

Who are they to be neutral? A judge. Hongkongers are one of the stakeholders. Why are those neutrality lovers discussing Hong Kong, our home, as if it is one of the poor countries?
People usually have to two kinds of reactions, one is to react valiantly, another one is to remove himself from the reality and make himself a film audience, so as to reduce the impact on him.

Those neutrality lovers are the latter ones, who are actually protecting the regime and allow it to continue such suppression to the people.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Atsuna: I'm Yellow Ribbon, But Disagree w/ Throwing Bricks?

I'm Yellow Ribbon, But Disagree With Throwing Bricks?
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, written by Atsuna
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/02-10-2016/28665/ 

Dirty cops want to ruin your lives, by shooting on the first day of Lunar New Year. In Umbrella Revolution protesters defended themselves with umbrellas from pepperspray, and this time in Mong Kok, they used bricks to fight back. When the Umbrella Revolution ended, the social movement entered into moments of silence, but this time, there are new momentums. But from what we have seen on Facebook, quite many repeated this: "I dislike the cops, but blah blah blah..."

Hongkongers love Taiwan, and envy they have Ko Wen-je as their Taipei mayor, or the right to vote for the president, but few Hongkongers remember how these achievements came. Hongkongers are much worse than the Taiwanese, who has decades of protests history. In the face of China's invasion, Hong Kong cannot afford to waste a single second. Perhaps "genetic mutation" is needed. So within few years, protesters have evolved -- from the ceremonial procedures in July 1st Demonstration and Tian'anmen Massacre Vigil, to wearing helmets, eye masks and surgical masks in Umbrella Revolution, to hurling bottles and bricks in 2016. The change might be too fast, and some people might not be able to follow.

The fact is, China has no taboo [or, doesn't give a damn - translator's note] for Hong Kong. High Speed Rail (XRL), Internet Article 23 (Copyright Amendment Bill) and many other cases showed that the government wants to force the passing of each and every project they want. Some people know that Hong Kong sinks much faster than they would have imagined, but when they see bricks and fire, they got  "eyesore" because of their pacifist thoughts -- or "PRNN" (being peaceful, rational, non-violent and non-swearing). They wanted to cut ties and condemn such acts much severe than the Blue Ribbons.

I am in a Whatsapp group, and those members are mostly mild pan-democrats. One day they talked about why the government is so shameless, and I said, "The Umbrella Revolution is the Pandora's Box. Amid such a big unrest, the bottomline of pan-democrats are "condemning breaking glasses"? Seriously if I were 689, I will be as wilful as I can, as there will be no consequences."

Xu Zhiyuan, a Chinese writer, in the prelude of his book The Totalitarian Temptation, said: "The struggle against the totalitarianism needs sufficient intellectual and mental preparation. Shallow resistance can hardly be effective."

Some Hongkongers have not realised that China is not another British colonial government. Even if so, the social reform including education and medical issues were because of the 1967 riot conspired by Chinese communists. We are now facing a shameless regime without regard to people's lives. Is it innocent to think one can have "sweets" without any costs?

The colonial government was spoiling, in a sense that they gave people good lives and democracy, and fed them with love and peace.  Martin Luther King once said, "True peace is not merely the absence of tension. it's the presence of justice".

Afraid of conflicts, body contact or so is but normal. Under China's "colonial rule", dirty cops can hit your head at the back without notice and charge you "assaulting police officer". With TVB's sided reporting and high costs of resistance, it is understandable not to go to the front line. But justice and democracy are hard fought, and youngsters of Hong Kong sacrifice their tear and sweat, career and reputation to fight for the interests of Hong Kong, but is it reasonable to point fingers at them by saying "crossed the line", "too violent" or "ruining the rule of law in Hong Kong"?

Lu Xun, a contemporary Chinese writer, once said "Demanding harshly the gentlemen (junzi) and conniving petty people (xiaoren) might be seen as a 'smart move', but actually helps the petty people to do evil." If you said "I am not speaking for the cops", but "nagged about the weaker side", you are but an "accomplice of the killer", in Lu Xun's words.

Some people in the hindsight said CY Leung went abroad every Lunar New Year, but not this year, so this must be his honey trap. If you are there in Mong Kok, when you see the cops have gone wild by pepperspraying people and beating the head of a protester, or even putting fingers on the gun trigger to scare off people, you would react. Even if CY is to light up this fire, he will continue such suppression if there is no reaction. What would you do then? I know history is about random occurrence. Who knows Qing would crack that way in 1911? Who knew the Berlin Wall would fall that way in 1989? Some people might think "everything is under control", but to be honest, who knows the ending?

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Water Cannon Bid; 15 Cannons Each

Water Cannon Bid; 15 Cannons Each
Translated by Karen L. from Apple Daily and HK01

                                                                     (Source: Apple Daily)

After the Umbrella Revolution, the police force has decided to spend HK$27 million to purchase 3 crowd management vehicles (commonly known as water cannon vehicles) to disperse protesters whom they regard to be violent or potentially violent. The invitation of bid has started since last month. In its tender document, it stated that 15 water cannons should be equipped for each vehicle, which can spray with tear gas, as well as paints.

Among the 15 cannons, they are in particular 2 roof monitors, 2 lateral protection nozzles, 1 rear protection nozzle, 1 forward protection monitor and 9 roof and underbody protection nozzles. The roof monitor, having a range of at least 50 metres, is able to eject 1,200 liters of water in all directions at 1,000 kPa pressure per minute. With each vehicle carrying a 6,500-liter water tank, roof-mounted monitors allow a driver to control the jets through a joystick. All of the vehicles will have on them closed circuit television cameras.

Commissioner of Police Steven Lo said that the vehicles will only be used on certain level of violence of protests. Specific guidelines will not be released, said the police spokesperson as such guidelines involve the details of the police's manoeuver plan, but driving and operation training will be provided.

In 2004, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in the UK once sent a report to the House of Lords on the operation guidelines of the British police force, which stated that there will be clear light and buzzes before using water cannons, and listed the potential and actual dangers when water cannons are in use, for instance, the strong water pressure will hurt the protesters. Quoted from Theresa May rejects the use of water cannons in July 2015:
As water cannons have the capacity to cause harm, it is classed as a ‘less lethal systems and technology’, for which there is an established authorisation process. Their use by the police in England and Wales is subject to Ministerial authorisation.