Thursday, May 05, 2011

Don't Mess with an Angry Librarian [Re-post]


*Newscorp is selling e-books that literally self-destruct. Stand with the librarians who are fighting back.
<http://www.change. org/petitions/ tell-harpercolli ns-limited- checkouts- on-ebooks- is-wrong- for-libraries? utm_source= action_alert& utm_medium= email&alert_ id=TTXQNOfuGs_ OOGkxAGDei>
*

<http://www.change. org/petitions/ tell-harpercolli ns-limited- checkouts- on-ebooks- is-wrong- for-libraries? utm_source= action_alert& utm_medium= email&alert_ id=TTXQNOfuGs_ OOGkxAGDei>

[Sign the Petition]<http://www.change. org/petitions/ tell-harpercolli ns-limited- checkouts- on-ebooks- is-wrong- for-libraries? utm_source= action_alert& utm_medium= email&alert_ id=TTXQNOfuGs_ OOGkxAGDei>


************************************************************

Dear Readers of the World,

By day, Andy Woodworth is a mild-mannered librarian. By night, he's still a librarian, just less mild-mannered.

Andy is *kind of famous* in the librarian community, mostly for getting *the Old Spice guy* to do a video about how great libraries are, and unsuccessfully campaigning to get Ben & Jerry's to create a flavor called the *"Gooey Decimal System."* (If you don't get the pun, just ask someone ten years older.)

Oh, and now *he's using Change.org to help lead the charge in a fight against NewsCorp<http://www.change. org/petitions/ tell-harpercolli ns-limited- checkouts- on-ebooks- is-wrong- for-libraries? utm_source= action_alert& utm_medium= email&alert_ id=TTXQNOfuGs_ OOGkxAGDei>*, one of the world's most powerful companies.

See,* more and more libraries are beginning to buy e-books, like those read on a Kindle or similar device.* They're programmed to be like normal books -- lent out to one reader at a time, returned, and downloaded by another reader. It's simple, and especially great for working parents or the disabled who have a hard time making it to a library.

But publishing giant *HarperCollins *(owned by NewsCorp) is trying to force libraries to only buy e-books that* literally self-destruct after the 26th reader** *in an attempt to maximize profits.* *

* *Having to repeatedly buy the same book* *will be a *financial and logistical disaster* for libraries, one that could force a few to close their doors.

Even worse, there are signs that other publishing companies may soon follow the lead of HarperCollins, which could devastate libraries all around the world.

Some *amazing librarians have launched a full boycott *of HarperCollins until the decision is reversed, but they urgently need widespread support to force NewsCorp to back down.

*Andy's petition demanding an end to self-destructing e-books has a goal of 100,000 signatures -- click here to add your name now:*

*
http://www.change. org/petitions/ tell-harpercolli ns-limited- checkouts- on-ebooks- is-wrong- for-libraries<http://www.change. org/petitions/ tell-harpercolli ns-limited- checkouts- on-ebooks- is-wrong- for-libraries? utm_source= action_alert& utm_medium= email&alert_ id=TTXQNOfuGs_ OOGkxAGDei>
*

Andy declares on his blog that "The world needs more badass librarians." It's true, though right now the world also needs more readers who will stand alongside them.

Thanks for doing your part,

Patrick and the Change.org team

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Yayyyyyyyy! Power to the People!!!!!!!!


Mubarak gone!!

Egyptian military says: "We have no legitimacy but the legitimacy of the people."


This just in: Switzerland just announced that it has frozen all assets of the Mubarak's family that are located within its borders. (Other countries like Britain and France where Mubarak also owns assets -- YOU SHOULD FOLLOW SUIT!)

I'm so so happy that Idealism has triumphed over Cynicism :D

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Spending time looking up June 4th images online is not to be recommended...

... because it would make one really depressed.

(Anyway am going to sort out those images later in updating my post about the similarities of the Tahrir and Tiananmen Square protests... Like the Egyptians, we had SO much hope and solidarity, it's almost painful to look back on that time now. I really hope that, in the final analysis, the comparison between the two protests does NOT stand up at all.)

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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

"We want to choose our President because we want to take this country into the future." [Updated with Photos, Links and Quotations]



"This is not just a Facebook revolution, not even an Internet revolution... This is not about the Internet, this is about the needs and demands of the Egyptian people."

(The slogan on her t-shirt reads: "I love my country. It's the government I'm afraid of.")

"Egyptian anti-government protesters sleep in front of an army tank to prevent it from moving during the night." February, 2011.
Text credit: The Guardian
Image credit: Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images (via Guardian here)


Chinese protester stood in front of a column of tanks outside the Tiananmen Square. June, 1989.
Image credit: Unknown (via Seechuen, see my previous blog-post re: June 4th memory here)


"Anti-government protestors hold candles as they walk in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. Protesters appear to have settled in for a long standoff, turning Tahrir Square into a makeshift village with tens of thousands coming every day, with some sleeping in tents made of blankets and plastic sheeting."
Text and Photo Credits: Emilio Morenatti/AP (via Andew Sullivan's The Daily Dish at the Atlantic).


"Tens of thousands stage a candlelight vigil at Hong Kong's Victoria Park to mark the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square." June 4th, 2009.
Text Credit: NY Daily News
Photo Credit: Cheung/AP (via NYDailyNews "Demonstrators honor memory of Tiananmen Square in Hong Kong")


"Protesters Are Awesome: Look at This Beautiful Photo of Christians Protecting Praying Muslims in Egypt"
Text credit: Cord Jefferson at Good.is (via Justbesplendid)
Photo credit: Nevine Zaki/Anonymous (via Cord Jefferson at Good.is)


Further Reading:

鄒頌華:「中東波」給香港的警告訊號.

Willsin: 埃及

Timothy Garton-Ash: "Not 1989. Not 1789. But Egyptians can learn from other revolutions" (Published: Wednesday 9 February 2011 21.00 GMT)

One leathery old victim of this revolution, at whose death we should rejoice, is the fallacy of cultural determinism – and specifically the notion that Arabs and/or Muslims are not really up for freedom, dignity and human rights. Their "culture", so we were assured by Samuel Huntington and others, programmed them otherwise. Tell that to the people dancing on Tahrir Square. [...]

While we are talking determinisms, let's dispense with another one. In tags like "Facebook revolution", "Twitter revolution" and "Al-Jazeera revolution", we meet again the ghost of technological determinism. Talking to friends in Cairo, I am left in no doubt that these media did play a major role in organising and multiplying the popular protests that began on 25 January. [...] these old and new technologies of communication matter enormously – but they did not prevent popular protest movements being crushed in Belarus and Iran, they do not determine the outcome, and the medium is not the message.

(Bravo to Timothy Garton-Ash for advocating that we should scotch the dangerous notion of cultural determinism on its head -- an excuse all too often used by CCP apologists for disregarding human rights for Chinese people, as well as by that silly colonialist commentator Tao Kit, with his stupid "cultural DNA" theory. Anyway, funny how Garton-Ash happened to reiterate [vanity or more correctly delusions of grandeur alert] *my* line [/vanity or more correctly delusions of grandeur alert] in my comment response to LCL previously on Sunday 6 February, 5:25 PM GMT, on this very post!)
.

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Interpreting Hidden Meanings... and Chinese New Year Greetings...

Just saw this via Mad Dog's shared items, seems like a fun one to try :) (I've translated the entire passage, and had thrown in a couple of stage directions even!)

某老外苦学汉语十年,到中国参加汉语考试,试题如下:
请解释下文中每个“意思”的意思
  
阿呆给领导送红包时,两人的对话颇有意思。   

领导:“你这是什么意思?”   

阿呆:“没什么意思,意思意思。”   

领导:“你这就不够意思了。”   

阿呆:“小意思,小意思。”   

领导:“你这人真有意思。”   

阿呆:“其实也没有别的意思。”   

领导:“那我就不好意思了。”   

阿呆:“是我不好意思。”

老外泪流满面,交白卷回国了
My translation of the above is as follows:

There was once a foreigner who spent ten long years studying Chinese, and at the end of his painstaking scholarship he went to China to take a language test. The test question was given as follows:

Please translate the word "meaning" as it appears in various places in the below passage:

When Mr. Joe Bloggs handed one of the local party leaders a laisee (Cantonese transliteration, also known as "huangbao", literal meaning: "red pocket". A red paper packet containing a small amount of money that is given out to wish others good health and prosperity, usually at a time of festivity, such as the Chinese New Year), the conversation that took place between them was full of unspoken meanings:

Leader: What do you mean by this? [looking at the bulging laisee being handed to him]

Joe: Oh I don't mean anything by it at all, just a small gesture really.

Leader: Well in that case you really shouldn't have.

Joe: Oh please it's only really small.

Leader: You're really an interesting fellow.

Joe: Actually I really don't mean anything by it.

Leader: Well then if you *really* wouldn't mind...

Joe: Oh no I wouldn't at all, and I rather hope that you wouldn't mind either... [smiling as the leader accepted his proffered laisee]

[And scene]

The foreigner was left in tears after reading the above passage, and went back home after handing in a blank page to the Chinese examiner.

The End.

Translated by Snowdrops, 2011. All rights reserved.

Further reading:

新中國政治不是一般人能吃透的。簡單一句話包含的意思可以是完全的正反兩面,語意學在這裏施展不開來。這必須要有點能耐才能把片言隻語背後的深層意義剖 釋,SARS和禽流感爆發之後,中共一些部門發出指引,對於呈報類似疫症有幾條大原則,包括要上報及時、不得隱瞞,末了是「不得亂報」。放在這套文字框架 下的語意,誰都以為既是要求及時上報又不許隱瞞,不得亂報只是附例,是敬告而不是警告。過了一年,細心的人覺得疫症忽然都像少了下來,但每次爆發卻都已是 鋪天蓋地死禽無數,這才想到「不得亂報」這四字是話中有話,實是拐個彎把「不得報」這三個字隱在千把字的通告裏。新中國的人民都是語意專家,只一瞄便知道 黨中央國務院的文件精神在哪,倒是我們特區上下沒有人能看得懂。
From here


2. The Oxford University Press very recently put up a whole list of English terms derived from Chinese words in celebration of the Chinese New Year. It's really brilliant! Like I never knew that "chin-chin" -- the phrase we'd say here when clinking glasses (whether wine- or pint-) together -- is actually from the Cantonese phrase "請請". How great is that eh?

Link here: Hopping into the Year of the Rabbit

Which is also cue for me to say: 祝大家兔年好運!身體健康!萬事勝意!

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Simon Shen: A Letter for Henry Tang -- Lend Me Your Ears, What Went Wrong? [Translated Blog-post - Further polished, amended and updated with links]

沈旭暉:給唐英年的信--Lend Me Your Ears, What Went Wrong? (Original article in Chinese can be found here)(Please refer to the linked blogposts under "Further Reading" for conversations I had had with fellow bloggers regarding the quality of writing in Shen's essay; links are also provided for a couple of other articles that critiqued Henry Tang's speech as well as Shen's essay itself).

Simon Shen: A Letter for Henry Tang -- Lend Me Your Ears, What Went Wrong?

Dear Henry(唐老)﹕

Dear Henry (Old Tang):

再次感謝上週出席Roundtable週年活動。有說你選擇那場合作深度發言﹐是因為我們太溫和而籠絡、或太反叛而立威﹕這是non-issue。有說那是準特首政綱﹕這更是non-issue﹐不就是一個市長麼。但你代表的五十後青年觀如何產生﹐卻是issue。

Thanks again for kindly attending the Roundtable anniversary event of last week. Some say that the reason you chose that particular occasion to air some deeply-held views, was either because we are too moderate and you wanted to get us onside, or because we are too rebellious and you were keen to show us who's boss. Either way, that is a non-issue. Some also say that you were simply rehearsing your policy speech as the next-in-line governor of Hong Kong. That is even more of a non-issue. Aren't you already the de facto mayor of our city? On the other hand, the way in which you represented the dominant post-50s' generational view of today's youngsters in your speech, that really is an issue.

不少前輩都是令人尊敬的老好人﹐說起青年議題卻往往不歡而散。為什麼﹖關鍵除了以往提及的「五十後超穩定社會結構」﹐我想還有重要一環﹕若憑昔日情懷研判今日﹐認識問題的方法論必有時代缺憾﹐可稱之為「五十後超穩定認知結構」。你觸及的都是正面概念﹐問題一是主流五十後和八十後對同一概念有相反認知﹐問題二是雙方對這差異的本質欠認知﹐問題三是管治香港不能忽視這認知鴻溝。

這令人不安。

There are many among the senior generation who genuinely inspire and command respect, but whenever the topic of today's youth is broached, their views often generate mistrust and disgust instead. Why is that? Apart from what I previously discussed regarding the "post-50s super-stable societal structure", I think the key to this question relates to what could be described as the "post-50s super-stable identity structure", whereby one relies solely on the sentiments of yesteryears to evaluate the current events of today, which inevitably leads to methodological limitations for understanding issues due to differences in referential era. Whilst what you touched upon in your speech were all positive concepts, the first problem is that the mainstream post-50s generation have the exact opposite takes on the same underlying concepts vis-a-vis the post-80s generation; the second problem is that both generations have little inkling regarding the nature of this enormous gulf in understanding between them; and the third problem is that one simply cannot govern Hong Kong without taking into account this huge gulf in consensus.

This is what is alarming.

「唐五點」發表後﹐身旁很多青年不以為然﹐也有說你抽空而言其實頗有理。但就是後者﹐也希望你和周秀娜一樣﹐有衝動疏理一下自己的思想。基於這些回響﹐我天真地相信作為當日主人家﹐有責任為你解構這認知鴻溝﹐說明何以同樣的五點必被相反解讀﹕

After the dissemination of the "Tang Five Points", many young people of my acquaintance are rather sceptical of your views, whilst a few would agree that your hollow-sounding platitudes do contain some grains of truth. Yet even those among the latter group would prefer that you behave a bit more like Chrissie Chau in having the urge to comb through your thinking in a bit more depth. Based on these feedbacks, and as the host of last week's event, I very naively believe that I have the obligation to help you bridge this gulf in understanding, and explain how the same five points you had proposed are bound to generate the exact opposite reading to which you intended:

一、 甚麼責任、自由、權利組成公民社會﹖
你說「一個真正成熟的公民社會,在重視權利的同時,必須自覺地承擔責任」、「權利並非絕對,必須尊重他人的自由和權利」。這類字眼無人反對﹐只是責任、自由、權利從無統一定義。
不少五十後視遵守現制度為「責任」、哲學家柏林定義的積極自由(做甚麼的自由)為「自由」、法律賦予的為「權利」﹐由此斷定青年「三違反」。單按這定義﹐北韓也是法治社會。
在 不少新一代眼中﹐lend me your ears﹐「責任」還有以公民力量彌補現制度局限、「自由」著重消極自由(不受外力干預的自由)、「權利」包括此刻並不完全享有的普世價值﹐才能造就一個 真正成熟的公民社會。按這定義﹐沒承擔責任、沒尊重他人自由和權利的卻是一些五十後。

1. What kinds of responsibilities, freedoms and rights are comprised within a society of citizens?

You declared that "a genuinely mature society that values citizenship, would place emphasis on rights at well as ensuring people are aware of their own obligations in discharging their societal duties", and that "no rights are absolute, one must also respect the freedoms and the rights of others". Nobody would at all argue with the wording in the above lines. The only thing is, these words mean quite different things to different people.

Plenty from the post-50s generation see abiding by rules and adhering to the status quo as one's "societal duty", whilst "freedom" refers only to "positive liberty" (freedom to act as defined by the philosopher Isaiah Berlin), and that which is sanctioned by the current laws of the land as the only "rights". They then use this schema to judge today's youths as having "triple faulted" in coming up short on these key measures. But using these benchmarks, one could also say that the North Korean society is rather respectful of the rule of law.

From the point of view of many among the new generation, Mr. Lend-me-your-ears, "societal duties" include the empowerment of civil society to counter-balance the repressive limits of current laws and regulations; "freedoms" include "negative liberty", the freedom from coercion; and "rights" include those universal human rights that are currently not fully realised within our society. These are the ingredients of a genuinely mature society that values and respects citizenship. And according to these benchmarks, those who shirk their real societal responsibilities, who disregard and disrespect the most the rights and freedoms of others, are actually those from the post-50s generation.

二、 怎樣定義多元與反多元﹖
你 說「這個世界是豐富多元的,我們應該有包容的胸襟,尊重他人的想法和意見,而不是對持相反意見的人動輒口誅筆伐」。每字都正面﹐但句子是不平衡的﹕「多 元」是客觀、形而上的﹐泛指不同觀點、生活方式的並存﹐是恆常的﹔「動輒口誅筆伐」、「謙恭」是主觀、形而下的﹐每個時代都不同﹐說句術語﹐被建構的。
五十後常主觀標籤青年「動輒口誅筆伐」﹐得到後者客觀上反多元的結論。但單以形而下論證形而上是無意義的﹐像形而下的五四運動口誅筆伐﹐帶來了形而上的多元﹔上一代不接受粗口﹐「百X成才」卻是個別網絡百花齊放的grammar。
青年發表不同意見正是支持多元﹐若因形而下的「口誅筆伐」而被標籤、邊緣化﹐難免深信五十後在偷換概念﹐進行反多元的思想壟斷。若有心確立多元﹐lend me your ears﹐無論對方的口筆如何﹐都應有包容胸襟。

2. How to define pluralism and anti-pluralism?

You said, "This is a rich, pluralistic world, we should all strive to be tolerant and inclusive and respectful of others' thinking and opinions, rather than engage in verbal mudslinging at the slightest provocation to those who hold opposing views." Every single word in the above sentence is positive, but unfortunately, the sentence itself is unbalanced: whilst "pluralism" is an objective concept, an abstract ideal that refers generally to the enduring coexistence of different viewpoints and different lifestyles within a social body; but words like "verbal mudslinging" and "respectful" are subjective and empirical, differing from era to era -- to put it in more technical terms, their meanings are socially constructed.

The post-50s generation subjectively labels today's youths as engaging in "verbal mudslinging" to somehow demonstrate that they are being objectively anti-pluralist. But it is pointless to use that which is subjective as evidence to prove that which is objective, just like how the subjective verbal mudslinging that occurred during the May Fourth Movement was somehow nonsensically used to show it had generated an "objective" intellectual pluralism. And while the older generation may not condone foul language, on certain internet forums such rhetorical whiplash is skilfully employed as the grammar that allowed for the vibrant exchange of ideas and knowledge, and "Letting a Hundred Expletives Bloom" actually helps generate a fruitful proliferation of viewpoints from across all sections of society.

The fact that the youths of today are declaiming different ideas and viewpoints is precisely what helps to promote societal pluralism. If their voices are being marginalised and stereotyped instead with a subjective label of "verbal mudslinging" by the post-50s generation, then one cannot blame the youngsters for criticising the post-50s for engaging in an anti-pluralistic monopolising of thought by way of a conceptual bait-and-switch. If you are indeed serious about embracing pluralism, Mr. Lend-me-your-ears, you should strive to be inclusive and tolerant of those whom you deem as engaging in verbal combat, however rhetorically violent those speech-acts may indeed be.

三、 妥協、民主、社會進步之間有何關係﹖
你 說「以各退半步去尋求最終大家能夠共同進一步的結果」不錯﹐只是「妥協是民主的產物」並非共識。據Lijphart概括﹐共識性民主為荷比盧瑞士等採用﹐ 英式議會民主為反妥協模型。也許你不是說民主﹐只是談哲學﹕盧梭的社會契約論主張「每人都放弃天然自由而获取契约自由」﹐倒算妥協。
不少五十後認為這契約等於每人都應妥協﹐否則社會不會進步。但假如人人妥協而欠權力平衡﹐只能完全向建制傾斜﹐社會也不會進步。盧梭論擴至極端﹐曾令法國大革命以人民之名出現暴政。
新 一代多認為修正的社會契約應有分工﹐由個別群組負責不妥協來彰顯理念。伯夷叔齊採薇而食是毋須妥協的﹐戴高樂被勸拘捕「搞事」的哲人薩特時說「'On n'arrete pas un Voltaire」。若社會不接受﹐不妥協也無影響力﹔接受了﹐價值觀則會改變﹐正如沒有保育人士的不妥協﹐政府不會修改基建指引加入保育評核。Lend me your ears﹐這就是進步。

3. Compromise, Democracy, Societal Progress -- What are their links?

What you said about "Each backing down half a step to ensure that both can move forward a whole step together" is not bad, though your other statement that "compromise is the product of democracy" isn't the common consensus view. According to Lijphart's summary, consensus style democracy are prevalent in countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland, but the British parliamentary democracy is actually predicated upon an anti-compromise model. Or perhaps you weren't really talking about democratic systems per se but general political philosophies, like what Rousseau proposed regarding the social contract, in which case what you said actually made some sense.

Quite a number of the post-50s believe that this societal contract requires everyone to compromise, otherwise society would not progress. But if everyone just compromises within a society that already has a severe power imbalance, so that everything is stacked in favour of the establishment, then society would not actually move forward either. If one took Rousseau's ideas to the extreme, it could lead to the kind of mob rule as had been witnessed during the French Revolution. [Translator's note: hmm, not sure if this historical example really is the result of taking ideas of social contract to the extreme?]

The new generation believes in an amended social contract the obligations of which should be split among different societal groupings, whose disagreements with each other are a way of sharpening their individual ideological ballasts. When Pa Yi and Su Chai chose to forage in the wild during the Chou dynasty, they didn't need to compromise their political views; when Charles de Gaulle was urged to arrest the "trouble-making" philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, he said, "On n'arrete pas un Voltaire" ("One doesn't arrest a Voltaire"). If society does not accept one's ideological standpoint, there is no need to compromise as the individual poses no threat to the social order anyway. On the other hand, if society does accept one's views, then its values will have changed accordingly to accommodate. Without the uncompromising stance of the conservationists, for instance, the government wouldn't have amended its guidelines on infrastructural development to include an audit rating for conservation. My dear Mr. Lend-me-your-ears, this is called progress.


四、 怎樣論證複雜問題簡單化﹖
你提示青年不要「將複雜問題簡單化」﹐要獨立思考﹐大家都贊成﹐但如何論證﹖
建制論證青年「甚麼事情只要涉及政府、商界,就必然會得到官商勾結、利益輸送的結論」﹐常因做了好事得不到支持。但邏輯不應是這樣的﹕這是高牆一方的有罪假定。
科 學論證應以雞蛋一方的無罪假定為起點﹐以研究作準。假如某君關心五個議題、五個都找到官商勾結的數據﹐lend me your ears﹐只能算「言簡意賅」。何況不同商人、部門有不同口碑﹐盲目逢商必反不會這樣。在青年眼中﹐以一個標籤否定一個論點﹐也是「懶於理性思考的借 口」。

4. How to prove one is oversimplifying a complex matter?

Your reminder that youngsters should not "oversimplify complex matters", that they should pursue independent thinking, is something that everyone can agree with, but how is your negative perception of today's youths actually shown to be valid?

Those who are part of the status quo often lament that they don't get any credit from today's youths, whose attitude they typify thus: "Anything to do with the government and the corporate world would result in a knee-jerk accusation of corruption and transmission of interests among the politicians and business leaders involved".

But this is not entirely logical. The above is simply a wrongful assertion by those already occupying a dominant position on the high wall.

Scientific proofs work instead by assuming the null hypothesis in favour of the meek and fragile, on the side of the egg, and requiring research evidence as the sole arbiter of truth. If someone is interested in five different topics and uncovered evidence demonstrating collusion among politicians and business leaders in all five cases, then my dear Mr. Lend-me-your-ears, those aren't knee-jerk accusations but rather succinct and valid commentary. The fact is that different business leaders and different government departments do have differing levels of ethical repute among the general population, which would not have been the case at all if indeed we were simply being anti-business on principle. From the point of view of the young generation, refuting a valid argument simply on the basis of a simplistic label is just another example of what you yourself referred to as "an excuse for lazy irrational thinking".


五、 甚麼環境會觸發政治暴力、如何比較案例﹖
你 說美國槍擊案令你反思香港青年的激進。我曾對此研究﹐略知各地暴力或恐怖主義多由五元素互動造成﹕(1)有鼓勵暴力的組織(如蓋達)或容易被暴力濫用的法 例(如美國若干修正案)﹔(2)有激進意識形態(如白人至上主義)﹔(3)組織帶來資源或令武器氾濫(如美國槍支協會)﹔(4)激進組織有慈善支部吸引普 羅支持者、或有NGO支援激進行動者(如哈瑪斯孤兒院、美國為極端思潮辯護的ACLU)﹔(5)擁有主流媒體(如真主黨燈塔電視臺)。香港一無所有。
從這案例想到香港八十後、從電視畫面的反高鐵示威驚呼失控﹐容或苦口婆心﹐但只是通過條件反射的比較示警﹐缺乏結構分析﹐不符合比較政治的道德。正如我們不應隨便從愛國示威想到六七﹐更不應以有人喝醉紅酒弒母請你深思。
在 互聯網世代﹐上述「方法」還有致命訊息盲點。我們在電視報章也許看不見菜園村﹐但lend me your ears﹐這在網絡是常識﹔香港槍擊論沒有佐證﹐社運青年被摔傷的影片卻有極多網民check it out。有前輩通過麥長青獲TVB最佳男配角論證獅子山下精神長存﹐對青年﹐這只反映電視台北望和沒落﹔有前輩說林峰得巨獎證明電視台實力﹐在網上﹐這常 被視作又一不公義。

5. What kind of environment would instigate political violence, and how do we compare different examples?

You mentioned that the recent incident in the United States, where people at a political rally were gunned down, caused you to reflect on the rebelliousness of today's youths in Hong Kong. I actually researched the topic a while ago, and can tell you that political violence or terrorism witnessed around the world could roughly be summarised as being caused by the interaction of the following five factors: (1) the existence of organisations that promote violence (e.g. Al Queda) and/or the existence of legislation that could easily be usurped as an instrument for violence (e.g. a certain American constitutional amendment); (2) the existence of extremist ideology (e.g. white supremacy); (3) organisations that provide resources for the proliferation of weapons (e.g. the American National Rifle Association); (4) the existence of extremist groups with a philanthropic wing who could garner popular support, or the existence of NGOs that support extremists (e.g. orphanages run by Hamas, the ACLU in America who protects the ideology of extremists [Translator's note: not sure if I entirely agree that ACLU exists solely to reinforce extremist ideology to be honest]); (5) the ownership of mainstream media organisations (e.g. Al Manar [Translator's Note: After further digging I am finally positive that Shen was referring to Al Manar]). None of these factors are actually present in Hong Kong.

Generalising from the isolated example of the Tucson shooting in America to our own post-80s generation in Hong Kong, reacting with fearful screams at televised pictures of citizens' protests against the high-speed rail, making knee-jerk, alarmist and unsubstantiated comparisons and lacking any systemic analysis in your commentary regarding society's ills, all these run counter to the ethical conduct of comparative politics, even if you are actually being sincere in your admonitions of the young. Like we wouldn't casually associate any patriotic protests with the events of '67, nor would we ask you to be careful with your drinking just because somebody else had killed his mother when he got drunk on red wine.

In the age of the Internet, this kind of "logics" has several additional irredeemable informational blind-spots. Perhaps we might not be able to read about the wanton destruction of Choi Yuen Chuen from the mainstream media, but Lend-me-your-ears, this is already a case commonly acknowledged in the online world. While your theory regarding a Hong Kong shooting incident similar to the one that occurred in the States has yet to find any actual empirical support, there are plenty of online footage that records how a young Hong Kong political activist was injured when he was gratuitously thrown to the ground during peaceful protest, with plenty of netizens checking it out. A senior commentator once opined how a television soap star winning the best supporting actor award from TVB is proof positive that the Lion Rock spirit survives in Hong Kong -- this however only demonstrates to today's youngsters that the broadcaster concerned has merely become increasingly Mainland-oriented to the detriment of the Hong Kong viewers, signalling the station's decline. Another senior media commentator mentioned how the fact that another television soap star winning a top music award is testament to the strength of the same broadcaster -- online this entertainment news is simply greeted with derision and viewed as another instance of gross injustice.


不同世代的觀念差異不易調和﹐但回應結構性問題的青年本身不可能是「問題」﹐把這當成問題 的方法論才是問題﹐遺憾地﹐不少資深建制青年工作者卻如是觀。你笑說別稱「唐老」﹐據說因看過我以「呂老」尊稱呂大樂的文章﹐說起來﹐上述確和與呂老的方 法討論大同小異。老吾老以及人之老﹐出發點是善意的﹐一如你的坦白。

Different generations' views and attitudes are not easy to blend together, but the youths who respond to the systemic problems within our society today could not possibly be labelled as the "problem" themselves. The trouble lies precisely with those who treat this as a "problem", but that is unfortunately the view held by many experienced youth workers. You jokingly suggested that I shouldn't refer to you as "Old Tang", apparently because you have seen how I humbly addressed Dr. Lui Tai Lok as "Old Lui" in responding to his article. Now that you mentioned it, the above viewpoints do actually exhibit much similarity with those propounded by Old Lui. As the saying goes, respect to our own elders as well as those of others, my intention is entirely benign, just like your honesty.


可惜﹐這份坦白建基於對世代認知鴻溝的漠視﹐無論主觀 意願如何﹐都有以五十後定義單向批判八十後的客觀效果﹐或曰「機已屈」﹐引起的反響無助世代溝通﹐反加深了誤會和對立﹐這不應是你樂見的。按華人傳統﹐評 論主禮發言並不合禮﹔對一些八十後﹐本文會被批評為太溫和﹔但若「平等位置」真的存在﹐我衷心希望你與公眾分享反思﹐這才符合你定義的跨代溝通﹐畢竟世界是你們的﹐也是我們的﹐但歸根究底是你們的。古代說lend me your ears﹐今人說listen up guys﹐都是發自肺腑的﹐thank you。

Simon

Sadly, this honesty of yours is predicated upon a profound ignorance regarding the enormous gulf in understanding between the different generations. Whatever your subjective intention, your speech has the objective effect of unilaterally criticising the post-80s generation using a fixed and fixing post-50s lens -- in other words, you have already gamed the system to your generation's advantage. The waves of negative response generated by your speech are not only unhelpful towards inter-generational dialogue, but actually serve to further deepen the misunderstanding and opposition across the generational divide. This shouldn't be what you would be happy to see. Whilst it is against traditional Chinese etiquette to criticise the speech by one's guest of honour, for some post-80s readers, my article here would actually be seen as being too kind to an undeserving target. If however there could indeed be a semblance of parity of esteem among all participants, I sincerely wish that you would partake in the above reflections together with the general public, for this should be what is really meant by inter-generational dialogue as you yourself have identified. After all the world is all yours, as well as ours, but at the end of the day it is still yours. There's an old saying, "lend me your ears", whereas nowadays people would say "listen up guys", both expressions are sincere and heart-felt. Thank you for listening.

Simon

Translated by Snowdrops, 2011. All rights reserved. (Translation polished at 11:38; "Russell" amended as "Rousseau" at 14:38 - was thinking of Bertrand rather than Jean-Jacques - a most embarrassing slip!)(Translation amended again with slight modifications at 23:23 on 28 January further to kind suggestions by Sidney Sweet - see comments)(Translation further amended at 6:42am on 2 February, 2011 to polish off certain clunky sentences and corrected "straw man" as "bait-and-switch").

Further reading:

向沈旭暉進一言: 辭達而已矣

形而上 / 形而下

寫的.讀的

雕蟲小技有高低

自由的理念——與沈旭暉博士商榷

沈旭暉﹐你寫啥狗屁文章﹖

唐司長的通識課

陳雲:反對壟斷 對抗複製(節錄自《九評地產黨》)

香港的問題,絕不是「五十後」鬥「八十後」的問題。大量「五十後」的人,都是被社會遺棄的窮困階級,很多老人家流落街頭拾荒謀生,只有絕少數人成為中環大 亨。香港面對的不是世代抗爭,不是老人不願退位而年輕人不能上位的問題,而是共同的時代問題,是機會重新開放、經濟轉型和社會價值觀改變的問題。「八十 後」提出的議程,是跨世代和跨階級的香港人的共同利益。踏入二十一世紀,2000年之後的幾年,八十後提出的保育香港運動,保衛天星碼頭皇后碼頭、保衛灣 仔喜帖街的街坊生活、反對時代廣場圈禁公共土地、反對興建高鐵浪費公帑破壞人文地理、保衛菜園村及鄉郊農民生計,都是代表香港整體人民、特別是代表被剝削 的弱勢社群去抗爭的,絕不是為了自己的世代利益。

.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Some Last Images of 2010, a Translation of Su Shi Poetry, a Warming Vatful of Chinese Chicken Broth.. and Finally, a Mid-Life Stock-take...

At the height of the snowstorms last month.

Things don't look so dreary actually when the sun came out.

Kids played during the first thaw.

As can be seen from the shallow footprints above, this first snowfall in early December really wasn't that bad. In some parts of the country, the snow managed to recede significantly to give a wonderful feeling of springtime in winter...

Little did we know of course that a much bigger snowstorm was to arrive within a fortnight to enable us to have the proverbial White Christmas as well as a White New Year. We sure hit the jackpot this winter!

Anyway, this was taken when the kids in the neighbourhood still had the mood to make a snowman (albeit a headless one).

And yup, much of my gardening efforts earlier in the year turned out to be for nought because of the snowstorms... as sadly there are only so many plants I could save by putting them indoors.

I mean, if the first snow didn't kill them, the above second severe snow almost certainly did. ( I say "almost", as I don't want to rule out the tenacity of any living things -- I find, in my experience, even very sick ones could be gradually nursed back, given the right support and encouragement.)

Of the ones I managed to save indoors, none had done so well thus far than my lovely Camellia , bought as a small plant without any buds since early summer, which finally managed to flower in the depths of winter.

For a long time, I thought it was not going to flower at all (the buds had appeared for a full six months before flowering). I mean, right up until early December, the plant pretty much just looked like this (and yes, those were egg-shells on top of the soil. I also used coffee grounds for their acidity, as Camellia hates alkaline soil. So glad these folk gardening tips worked out well):

And I had to wait a good several months just to get the bud to turn white and open up a tiny bit:

I am so happy that my little plant stays true to its name as "the Rose of Winter".


The whiteness of its blossoms has an ethereal beauty that is similar in purity, though very different in tone, to the heavy snow lying just outside the glass-panes that separate this lively plant from the cold, harsh elements outside.

The above was the first to flower in mid-December, and has since declined, but there are luckily four more still to come into full bloom, some of these are captured below (though strictly speaking these are 2011 pictures):



It's such a wonderful reward to see something come so beautifully into fruition...

It is complete serendipity that, just as my white camellias are flowering, I came across the below poem by Su Shi, and although he was referring to Pear blossoms rather than Camellias (中譯:茶花), how wonderful that he was also contemplating the pale white blossoms against a backdrop of snow. I like his imageries so much that I want to set his poem down here and attempt another one of my literary translations (see here for my previous flower-themed translation of Chinese poetry):


"東欄梨花" --- 蘇軾

梨花淡白柳深青,

柳絮飛時花滿城。

惆悵東欄一株雪,

人生看得幾清明?


"Pear Blossoms by the East Fence" --- Su Shi

Pale pear blossoms, white amid dark green willows;

While leaves from willows fly, over town, blossoms gently a-float.

A column of snow droops dolefully from the far east railing,

How much of Life could one discern with the pure clarity of crystal?

(Alternative last line: How many times could one behold the annual passing of Ching Ming?)


Translated by Snowdrops. 2011. All rights reserved.
(Final satisfied version published 04:06 on 14 January, 2011)
(Added alternative last line at 02:20 on 14 January, 2011)
(Translation note 1: "清明" could be referring to the ancestral tomb-clearing festival in Spring -- the Ching Ming festival -- rather than as meaning "crystal clear"; I only took the literal meaning of the phrase in formulating my translation above. For a translation that incorporated the meaning of the Ching Ming festival, please refer to Alice Poon's work here and here.)
(Translation note 2: I'm really happy to be able to utilise some onomatopoeic assonances / alliterations in the manner of Gerald Manley Hopkins as part of my translation above, as in "pale pear blossoms", "while leaves from willows fly", and "droops dolefully". I'm sure this could be improved much further but am happy with what I was able to attempt so far.)
(Translation note 3: After a bit of deliberation, I've added an alternative last line that does take into account the translation of "清明" as Ching Ming festival as opposed to the literal meaning of the words themselves.)

From the Wikipedia entry on Camellia japonica (which is the genus that my pot plant belongs to), I am very glad to learn that there has been a beautiful English poem that is dedicated to the White Camelia japonica:


THE WHITE CAMELLIA JAPONICA — Charlotte Elizabeth

Thou beauteous child of purity and grace,

What element could yield so fair a birth?

Defilement bore me - my abiding place

Was mid the foul clods of polluted earth.

But light looked on me from a holier sphere,

To draw me heavenward - then I rose and shone;

And can I vainly to thine eye appear,

Thou dust-born gazer? make the type thine own.

From thy dark dwelling look thou forth, and see

The purer beams that brings a lovelier change for thee.


Okay... enough of poetic musings on ice and snow and purity :) How about a vatful of delicious Chinese chicken broth that is sure to warm the cockles of your heart as well as fill your stomach?



This is my first ever attempt to make Chinese broth. In fact, I invented the recipe when I found myself craving Chinese soup in the middle of the snowstorm last month (last year technically also). Will put up the recipe in the next while, as I have to say it tastes absolutely gorgeous and, more importantly, even authentic (even though it was a complete invention by a newbie / amateur Chinese cook such as myself!)


* * * * *

Finally, a little note to sum up my past decades... 人踏中年,與其來個中年危機,倒不如做一個小小總結,積極的面對人生。

Late 70's. -- Toddler. 襁褓幼稚時期。也有片段回憶,都是開心的。

80's -- Growing up. 成長;價值觀成立及鞏固。最快樂的童年;自信心爆棚。然而,好景不常:八九六四;父母離異。

90's -- Emigration. 移民;激烈轉變。自信變自卑;外向變內向。可是,也遇上好好的本地朋友和老師,慢慢地學會欣賞這裡的人和環境。考上理想大學;真正重拾信心。九七回歸,難忘的暑期工。完成四年愉快充實的大學生涯。拿獎學金,出國進修,初次真正獨立生活,亦正式明白「夏蟲不可以語冰」這七個字的意思。

00's -- "Lost decade". 困惑之年。事業選擇不如理想,被某些同事抵制(初時以為是單純的背景問題,後來了解到其實自己的不圓滑也是致命傷)。當一些自己尊敬的上司與同僚也走了,自己也選擇重回學園,並幸運的覓得一教席。然而沒想到學府內同樣爾虞我詐,理想曾一度破滅。自在外回來再次與家人同住後,與家人關係尤其日益惡劣,終於頂唔順,搬出去自成一家(雖然現在是名副其實的負資產苦業主,但我還是認為自己能擁有自己的天地是非常幸運的,加上不打算賣樓,亦暫支持得住,還不心存感激嗎?)。可惜還未在待人處事上學乖,也遇上不少小人,工作縱有熱誠,但也常遇滑鐵盧。可是也僥倖遇上幾位真誠支持鼓勵後輩的模範前輩(雖然其中一位已在兩個月前輕輕的走了...),和很多讓我受益不淺的的學生,在研究途中,也遇到很多善良的,美自內心的,深具啟發性的人。當身心疲憊得像一個破機器般勉強地運作,他們是我堅持下去的理由。

Last 3 months -- 十年了,破機器終於有機會給停下來稍為修補。我也真的幸運,當機器壞了,身邊竟還有親人好友,他們竟然還未完全被蒸發掉,儘管我是非常沒有給予他們應得的時間和關心,真是奇蹟!而我也未因那些困惑之年而放棄自己,也是奇蹟!

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Friday, January 07, 2011

有些東西。。。 (Updated with full text of Charter 08 in Chinese)

有些東西。。。

有些東西,說不清,愈說愈糟 --
時間如細水流,
一切濯然明淨。

有些東西,理還亂,滋擾視聽 --
時間如雪下墮,
一切安然緘默。

有些東西,極無謂,雞毛蒜皮 --
時間如大江河,
一切豁然有容。

有些東西,明白了,不會介意 --
時間如風飄過,
一切坦然無聲。

有些東西,錯過了,需懂放下 --
時間如輪運轉,
一切井然有序。

有些東西,放開了,可以忘記 --
時間如海浪奔,
一切恍然無痕。


然而。。。

有些東西,要執着,好好 --
時間如水蝕石,
一切自然落出。


By Snowdrops (中譯: 雪花蓮) 2011. All rights reserved.


Addendum:
This is a Chinese companion piece to my earlier poem, "Some things..."

Further Reading (excerpted from 2010年那些失踪的新聞未完待續……):

新聞是明天的歷史,歷史是昨天的新聞。
歷史學者朱學勤說,新聞像一條河流,每天在流經我們的眼前。

這是新聞,這是2010年的新聞,這是已經從我們視線裡消失了的新聞,這是依然在刺痛著我們的心房,烙入我們腦海裡的新聞。

一個月前的上海膠州路,大火熊熊,28層高樓化作廢墟,58名市民葬身火窟。...十萬市民走上街頭,第一次集體表達他們的“非暴力不滿意”。

兩個月前的河北保定, 河大校園裡,一聲刺耳的剎車聲過後,燭光點點,冷風淒淒,如花生命驟然離去。 我爸是李剛,這是肇事者現場遺下的只言片語;官二代和平民女,這是二者的階層身份,社會情緒排山倒海,一邊是出離憤怒的萬眾聚焦,一邊是戛然而止的事態進展。

三個月前的江西宜黃,強拆大軍兵臨城下,民宅屋頂烈焰焚身,昌北機場攻守防截,南昌街頭強虜弱女...

你還記得舟曲縣城的廢墟嗎? 8月7日,暗夜裡,暴雨中,噩夢般的泥石流巨龍... 這是“覆舟曲”的滅頂之災,也是生態失衡後驚心動魄的慘重代價。

你還記得王家嶺的礦難嗎? 3月28日,黑沉沉的大地深處,115名幸運者死裡逃生,38名遇難者長埋地下。 沒有人知道遇難者的姓名,也無從探究事故的真實原因。 瘡痍大地無語靜默,唯有血煤依舊在燃燒,地火照舊在運行。

你還記得富士康高樓頂上,那些徘徊著的孤魂嗎? 1月23日,19歲的富士康員工馬向前,從富士康華南培訓處的宿舍裡縱身一躍,就像打開了一個魔咒。 ... 馬向前之後,我們至今不能準確地知道這些後來不幸者的名字,也不知道那一跳之後究竟還有多少隱情。

你還記得那些可疑疫苗下的受害孩子嗎? 3月的山西,病床上百餘名孩子的哭聲,攪動了中國。 2010年度的疫苗孩子,和2008年的大頭娃娃、2009年的結石寶寶一樣,成為成人世界里永遠洗刷不掉的恥辱標籤。

這是新聞,這是2010年的新聞,這是已經從我們視線裡消失了的新聞,這是依然在刺痛著我們的心房,烙入我們腦海裡的新聞。

是什麼在讓這些新聞成為2010年的失踪者? 是什麼讓探求和接近真相的過程總是戛然而止?

是誰在加速我們的遺忘? 又是誰在干預我們的記憶?

我們看到了公權力的驕橫不法。 我們追溯的信息鏈條,總是在最密集的環節,齊刷刷地斷掉。 我們關注的公眾事件,總是在最緊要的時刻,進入時間停滯的黑洞。

我們總是忍不住會想起那個著名的問題,“如果我們的苦難,單調和貧乏得連故事都沒有了,那該怎麼辦?”

我們看到了注意力的轉移,消息源的關閉。

我們忍不住會想起那個著名的寓言。 想起那個在沙灘上來回奔走,將退潮後陷在沙坑水窪裡的小魚,一條條奮力送回大海裡的小男孩。 你救不過來啊,你能救多少條小魚呢? 是啊,這條算,這條也算,還有這條……

是的,你們可以斬斷歷史,也可以漠視公眾的聲音,甚至可以消除記憶的痕跡,就像小說《盛世,中國2013》裡所描繪的前景,讓某一天不再重現。

但,

我們不要一份殘缺不全的日曆,我們不要被姦污和被刪除的公共記憶。

我們是觀察者,我們也是記錄者,我們還是打撈者。

我們在觀察世道與人心,我們在記錄社會的演變,我們在打撈時代的真相。

我們在打一場戰爭,一場記憶與遺忘的戰爭。
Source: 南都周刊 (2010-12-31 12:26:30). Article contains original news reportage links to the events mentioned above which have not yet been harmonised away by CCP officialdom as of 8 January, 2011.


“我翻開白皮書一查,這白皮書沒有內容,歪歪斜斜的每頁上都寫著'和諧'二個字。我橫豎睡不著,仔細看了半夜,才從字縫裡看出字來,滿本都寫著兩個字是'吃人'!”——魯迅《狂人日記》



Further reading:

Full text of Charter 08 in Chinese (thanks to Sinan for sharing):

零八憲章1

2008年12月10日公布


一、前言

今年是中國立憲百年,《世界人權宣言》公布60周年,“民主牆”誕生30周年,中國政府簽署《公民權利和政治權利國際公約》10周年。在經曆了長期的人權災難和艱難曲折的抗争曆程之後,覺醒的中國公民日漸清楚地認識到,自由、平等、人權是人類共同的普世價值;民主、共和、憲政是現代政治的基本制度架構。抽離了這些普世價值和基本政制架構的“現代化”,是剝奪人的權利、腐蝕人性、摧毀人的尊嚴的災難過程。21世紀的中國将走向何方,是繼續這種威權統治下的“ 現代化”,還是認同普世價值、融入主流文明、建立民主政體?這是一個不容回避的抉擇。

19世紀中期的曆史巨變,暴露了中國傳統專制制度的腐朽,揭開了中華大地上“數千年未有之大變局”的序幕。洋務運動追求器物層面的進良,甲午戰敗再次暴露了體制的過時;戊戌變法觸及到制度層面的革新,終因頑固派的殘酷鎮壓而歸于失敗;辛亥革命在表面上埋葬了延續2000多年的皇權制度,建立了亞洲第一個共和國。囿于當時内憂外患的特定曆史條件,共和政體隻是昙花一現,專制主義旋即卷土重來。器物模仿和制度更新的失敗,推動國人深入到對文化病根的反思,遂有以“科學與民主”爲旗幟的“五四”新文化運動,因内戰頻仍和外敵入侵,中國政治民主化曆程被迫中斷。抗日戰争勝利後的中國再次開啓了憲政曆程,然而國共内戰的結果使中國陷入了現代極權主義的深淵。1949年建立的“新中國”,名義上是“人民共和國”,實質上是“黨天下”。執政黨壟斷了所有政治、經濟和社會資源,制造了反右、大躍進、文革、六四、打壓民間宗教活動與維權運動等一系列人權災難,緻使數千萬人失去生命,國民和國家都付出了極爲慘重的代價。

二十世紀後期的“改革開放”,使中國擺脫了毛澤東時代的普遍貧困和絕對極權,民間财富和民衆生活水平有了大幅度提高,個人的經濟自由和社會權利得到部分恢複,公民社會開始生長,民間對人權和政治自由的呼聲日益高漲。執政者也在進行走向市場化和私有化的經濟改革的同時,開始了從拒絕人權到逐漸承認人權的轉變。中國政府于1997年、1998年分别簽署了兩個重要的國際人權公約,全國人大于2004年通過修憲把“尊重和保障人權”寫進憲法,今年又承諾制訂和推行《國家人權行動計劃》。但是,這些政治進步迄今爲止大多停留在紙面上;有法律而無法治,有憲法而無憲政,仍然是有目共睹的政治現實。執政集團繼續堅持維系威權統治,排拒政治變革,由此導緻官場腐敗,法治難立,人權不彰,道德淪喪,社會兩極分化,經濟畸形發展,自然環境和人文環境遭到雙重破壞,公民的自由、财産和追求幸福的權利得不到制度化的保障,各種社會矛盾不斷積累,不滿情緒持續高漲,特别是官民對立激化和群體事件激增,正在顯示着災難性的失控趨勢,現行體制的落伍已經到了非改不可的地步。


二、我們的基本理念

當此決定中國未來命運的曆史關頭,有必要反思百年來的現代化曆程,重申如下基本理念:

自由:自由是普世價值的核心之所在。言論、出版、信仰、集會、結社、遷徙、罷工和遊行示威等權利都是自由的具體體現。自由不昌,則無現代文明可言。
人權:人權不是國家的賜予,而是每個人與生俱來就享有的權利。保障人權,既是政府的首要目标和公共權力合法性的基礎,也是“以人爲本”的内在要求。中國的曆次政治災難都與執政當局對人權的無視密切相關。人是國家的主體,國家服務于人民,政府爲人民而存在。
平等:每一個個體的人,不論社會地位、職業、性别、經濟狀況、種族、膚色、宗教或政治信仰,其人格、尊嚴、自由都是平等的。必須落實法律面前人人平等的原則,落實公民的社會、經濟、文化、政治權利平等的原則。
共和:共和就是“大家共治,和平共生”,就是分權制衡與利益平衡,就是多種利益成分、不同社會集團、多元文化與信仰追求的群體,在平等參與、公平競争、共同議政的基礎上,以和平的方式處理公共事務。
民主:最基本的涵義是主權在民和民選政府。民主具有如下基本特點:
(1)政權的合法性來自人民,政治權力來源于人民;
(2)政治統治經過人民選擇;
(3)公民享有真正的選舉權,各級政府的主要政務官員必須通過定期的競選産生;
(4)尊重多數人的決定,同時保護少數人的基本人權。
一句話,民主使政府成爲“民有,民治,民享”的現代公器。
憲政:憲政是通過法律規定和法治來保障憲法确定的公民基本自由和權利的原則,限制并劃定政府權力和行爲的邊界,并提供相應的制度設施。
在中國,帝國皇權的時代早已一去不複返了;在世界範圍内,威權體制也日近黃昏;公民應該成爲真正的國家主人。祛除依賴“明君”、“清官”的臣民意識,張揚權利爲本、參與爲責的公民意識,實踐自由,躬行民主,尊奉法治,才是中國的根本出路。


三、我們的基本主張

藉此,我們本着負責任與建設性的公民精神對國家政制、公民權利與社會發展諸方面提出如下具體主張:

修改憲法:根據前述價值理念修改憲法,删除現行憲法中不符合主權在民原則的條文,使憲法真正成爲人權的保證書和公共權力的許可狀,成爲任何個人、團體和黨派不得違反的可以實施的最高法律,爲中國民主化奠定法權基礎。
分權制衡:構建分權制衡的現代政府,保證立法、司法、行政三權分立。确立法定行政和責任政府的原則,防止行政權力過分擴張;政府應對納稅人負責;在中央和地方之間建立分權與制衡制度,中央權力須由憲法明确界定授權,地方實行充分自治。
立法民主:各級立法機構由直選産生,立法秉持公平正義原則,實行立法民主。
司法獨立:司法應超越黨派、不受任何幹預,實行司法獨立,保障司法公正;設立憲法法院,建立違憲審查制度,維護憲法權威。盡早撤銷嚴重危害國家法治的各級黨的政法委員會,避免公器私用。
公器公用:實現軍隊國家化,軍人應效忠于憲法,效忠于國家,政黨組織應從軍隊中退出,提高軍隊職業化水平。包括警察在内的所有公務員應保持政治中立。消除公務員錄用的黨派歧視,應不分黨派平等錄用。
人權保障:切實保障人權,維護人的尊嚴。設立對最高民意機關負責的人權委員會,防止政府濫用公權侵犯人權,尤其要保障公民的人身自由,任何人不受非法逮捕、拘禁、傳訊、審問、處罰,廢除勞動教養制度。
公職選舉:全面推行民主選舉制度,落實一人一票的平等選舉權。各級行政首長的直接選舉應制度化地逐步推行。定期自由競争選舉和公民參選法定公共職務是不可剝奪的基本人權。
城鄉平等:廢除現行的城鄉二元戶籍制度,落實公民一律平等的憲法權利,保障公民的自由遷徙權。
結社自由:保障公民的結社自由權,将現行的社團登記審批制改爲備案制。開放黨禁,以憲法和法律規範政黨行爲,取消一黨壟斷執政特權,确立政黨活動自由和公平競争的原則,實現政黨政治正常化和法制化。
集會自由:和平集會、遊行、示威和表達自由,是憲法規定的公民基本自由,不應受到執政黨和政府的非法幹預與違憲限制。
言論自由:落實言論自由、出版自由和學術自由,保障公民的知情權和監督權。制訂《新聞法》和《出版法》,開放報禁,廢除現行《刑法》中的“煽動颠覆國家政權罪”條款,杜絕以言治罪。
宗教自由:保障宗教自由與信仰自由,實行政教分離,宗教信仰活動不受政府幹預。審查并撤銷限制或剝奪公民宗教自由的行政法規、行政規章和地方性法規;禁止以行政立法管理宗教活動。廢除宗教團體(包括宗教活動場所)必經登記始獲合法地位的事先許可制度,代之以無須任何審查的備案制。
公民教育:取消服務于一黨統治、帶有濃厚意識形态色彩的政治教育與政治考試,推廣以普世價值和公民權利爲本的公民教育,确立公民意識,倡導服務社會的公民美德。
财産保護:确立和保護私有财産權利,實行自由、開放的市場經濟制度,保障創業自由,消除行政壟斷;設立對最高民意機關負責的國有資産管理委員會,合法有序地展開産權改革,明晰産權歸屬和責任者;開展新土地運動,推進土地私有化,切實保障公民尤其是農民的土地所有權。
财稅改革:确立民主财政和保障納稅人的權利。建立權責明确的公共财政制度構架和運行機制,建立各級政府合理有效的财政分權體系;對賦稅制度進行重大改革,以降低稅率、簡化稅制、公平稅負。非經社會公共選擇過程,民意機關決議,行政部門不得随意加稅、開征新稅。通過産權改革,引進多元市場主體和競争機制,降低金融準入門檻,爲發展民間金融創造條件,使金融體系充分發揮活力。
社會保障:建立覆蓋全體國民的社會保障體制,使國民在教育、醫療、養老和就業等方面得到最基本的保障。
環境保護:保護生态環境,提倡可持續發展,爲子孫後代和全人類負責;明确落實國家和各級官員必須爲此承擔的相應責任;發揮民間組織在環境保護中的參與和監督作用。
聯邦共和:以平等、公正的态度參與維持地區和平與發展,塑造一個負責任的大國形象。維護香港、澳門的自由制度。在自由民主的前提下,通過平等談判與合作互動的方式尋求海峽兩岸和解方案。以大智慧探索各民族共同繁榮的可能途徑和制度設計,在民主憲政的架構下建立中華聯邦共和國。
轉型正義:爲曆次政治運動中遭受政治迫害的人士及其家屬,恢複名譽,給予國家賠償;釋放所有政治犯和良心犯,釋放所有因信仰而獲罪的人員;成立真相調查委員會,查清曆史事件的真相,厘清責任,伸張正義;在此基礎上尋求社會和解。

四、結語

中國作爲世界大國,作爲聯合國安理會五個常任理事國之一和人權理事會的成員,理應爲人類和平事業與人權進步做出自身的貢獻。但令人遺憾的是,在當今世界的所有大國裏,唯獨中國還處在威權主義政治生态中,并由此造成連綿不斷的人權災難和社會危機,束縛了中華民族的自身發展,制約了人類文明的進步——這種局面必須改變!政治民主化變革不能再拖延下去。

爲此,我們本着勇于踐行的公民精神,公布《零XX八YY憲ZZ章》。我們希望所有具有同樣危機感、責任感和使命感的中國公民,不分朝野,不論身份,求同存異,積極參與到公民運動中來,共同推動中國社會的偉大變革,以期早日建成一個自由、民主、憲政的國家,實現國人百餘年來锲而不舍的追求與夢想。

有國內朋友說沒看過這東西,即管放到這裡看看能放多久。朋友們能看到就盡量看吧! [↩]

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Some Late August Colours...

















Can't believe the students are back tomorrow, and another academic year begins. Here's to the final summer of the first decade of the not-so-new millenium. Whilst I didn't get to go away this summer, but I did appreciate the sun, oh-so-very-much. It had been one of the nicest Irish summers in living memory (perhaps as belated compensation for the dreadful winter and so-called spring we had). I'm glad I stayed, even if I had not had much choice in the matter, for this summer has already marked one of my many firsts when it comes to letting my creativity blossom, like in the colourful photos above (thank you Nikon Coolpix for being a handy point-and-shoot until such time as I could pick up your heftier cousin again, or I wouldn't have been able to capture that pretty butterfly otherwise). And as autumn comes, I would be even gladder to have completed one of my important milestones in my life thus far... :)

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Viewfinder...

Where are you from?

Que sera sera...

Feed my pet!

Currently getting stuck in...

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Me, Anime...

A bunch of snowdrops by any other name...

SNOWDROPS
S is for Sweet
N is for Natural
O is for Open-hearted
W is for Worldly
D is for Dedicated
R is for Romantic
O is for Original
P is for Perfectionist
S is for Special
What Does Your Name Mean?