Satisfaction with President Ma Ying-jeou
30%: Satisfied (down 30% from June 2009)
55%: Dissatisfied

Satisfaction with Premier Liu Chao-shuian
20%: Satisfied (down 30% from June 2009)
63%: Dissatisfied

Do you accept President Ma Ying-jeou's apology over the disaster relief effort?
42%: Accept
39%: Do not accept

Are you confident about the ability of the Ma government to govern?
40%: Confident
47%: No confidence

President Ma Ying-jeou emphasized that he will pursue accountability among government officials.
75%: Those who failed should be severely punished
12%: No need to pursue this any further

Do you think that the cabinet should go through house cleaning?
47%: Yes, a big cleanup
19%: Yes, a small cleanup
12%: No need to clean house

Satisfaction with President Ma Ying-jeou
16%: Satisfied
65%: Dissatisfied

Satisfaction with Premier Liu Chao-shiuan
13%: Satisfied
70%: Dissatisfied

Q1. How do you feel about the disaster relief work of the central government over the past several days?
  5%: Very satisfied
16%: Somewhat satisfied
27%: Somewhat dissatisfied
37%: Very dissatisfied
14%: No opinon

Q2. Overall, how would you rate the Ma administration on ability to manage crises?
  3%: Very good
11%: Fairly good
32%: Fairly poor
42%: Very poor
12%: No opinion

Q3.  Some people think that the government did not perform well in disaster relief work this time.  Which of the departments ought to bear the biggest responsibility?
30%: President's Office
12%: Local county/city governments
  7%: Civil Affairs Department/Fire Department
  5%: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  4%: Ministry of Defense
  2%: Ministry of Transportation
40%: No opinin

Q4. Overall, do you think that the Executive Yuan cabinet should be reorganized as a result of this disaster?
66%: Yes
18%: No
16%: No opinion

Q5. Overall, do you think that President Ma Ying-jeou should resign?
27%: Yes
59%: No
14%: No

Q6. Which of these people are you most confident in relieving disasters?
39%: Lee Teng-hui
24%: James Soong
15%: Su Tseng-chang
10%: Ma Ying-jeou
  7%: Frank Hsieh
  5%: Chen Shui-bian

Q7.  Some people say that the Ma administration is impotent.  Do you agree?
26%: Agree very much
18%: Agree somewhat
29%: Disagree somewhat
14%: Disagree very much
13%: No opinion

According to the Central News Agency, the magazine People's Forum of the People's Daily group does not have any reporter who fled to Hong Kong.  The person Qiu Weiming mentioned in news reports is an operations manager whose labor contract had not been renewed.

According to the agency, the person Qiu Weiming mentioned by the Hong Kong media is not a reporter at either People's Daily or People's Forum.  He was an operations manager who was employed by the magazine People's Forum for one year.  When his contract came up this April, it was not renewed.

People's Forum clarified to the China News Agency that Qiu Mingwei was employed by the magazine on April 8, 2008 after a selection process.  Qiu signed a labor contract which included certain job goals.  He was hired as the deputy director of the currents affairs section of the magazine.  This department is responsible for managing advertisement distribution, and Qiu was responsible for managing advertisement distribution.

This one-year contract expired on April 10, 2009 after one year, at which time Qiu Weiming was not rehired.  There were two reasons for not rehiring him.  First, Qiu did not meet the management goals.  As of April 8, 2009, Qiu accomplished less than 20% of the stipulated goals and therefore failed to honor the contract.  Secondly, Qiu is not supposed to be part of the news staff, but he went many times to places like Hebei, Liaoning and elsewhere to gather news.  This violates the relevant policies on the separation of operations and news functions at the magazine.

People's Forum pointed out that since this is August 2009 and Qiu has left the magazine for four months already, anything that Qiu did in the interim is his personal activity which does not matter to the magazine.

In the initial Apple Daily report, there were a photo of Qiu's identification documents.  There was a People's Daily/People's Forum business card, but these things do not have expiry dates.  The job title is deputy director of the current affairs/politics department.  There was a temporary entrance/exit card with an expiration date of October 10, 2009.  There was a post card mailed to Qiu at People's Daily with a stamp date of January 2009.

A Google News search showed that the original story was reported in Apple Daily, Liberty Times, World Journal, Sound of Hope, Renmin Bao and Epoch Times, but nobody else.

Job performance of President Ma Ying-jeou:
29%: Satisfied
54%: Dissatisfied

Job performance of Premier Liu Chao-shiuan:
20%: Satisfied
59%: Dissatisfied

Confidence in disaster relief and post-disaster reconstruction by Ma Ying-jeou administration:
38%: Optimistic
46%: Pessimistic
15%: No opinion

(Ta Kung Pao)  The Counterfeit Morality.  By Yan Li.  August 15, 2009.

Recently an essay about political morality has been circulating on the Internet.  It was alleged that the author is a certain retired party/government leader.  Due to the special status of this "author," the essay is being hyped.  When acquaintances checked with this old leader and his family about this essay, the response was that the essay was completely fabricated.

In this essay of almost 10,000 words, the counterfeiter spent a lot of effort in intentionally imitating the tone of a leader.  If the subject is morality, then using someone else's name to publish an essay is immoral no matter how you look at it.

In the past, it was not easy to counterfeit someone else's essay.  In the Internet era, the anonymity provided people with freedom, both to express themselves and to create rumors.  Everybody can disseminate information through blogs and other means, so it is hard to tell truth from lies.  In recent years, there have been many lawsuits due to Internet libel.  Earlier, someone spread the rumor about Cobalt60 leakage and caused several hundred thousand people in Qi County (Henan) to flee.  This really demonstrated the power of Internet rumors.  Therefore, these types of rumors should not be lightly taken but they need to be dispelled in a timely fashion.

In this particular essay, the old prescriptions such as "multi-party election," "nationalization of the military," "abolishing the lead role of the Communist Party" and others were recycled in the new bottle known as "political morality."  This may be dazzling but the "marketing strategy" could not cover up the shallowness of the author's understanding about political morality in China.

The so-called political morality refers generally to the morality of political action and the relationship between politics and morality.  Over time both inside and outside of China, many sages have had their say.  But at different times, in different countries with different cultural backgrounds have had different understandings.  In ancient China, Confucius and Mencius advocated benevolent rule, while Han Fei advocated tough legalism.  In ancient Greece, Plato advocated the rulership by philosophers.  Later, Machiavelli advocated that kings should be unprincipled, and as fierce as a lion and as sly as a fox.  Locke advocated constitutional monarchy.  Rousseau advocated equality among the people, wherein the social contract established by the free will of the people shall become the foundation of rule.  Thus, it can be seen that there is no historical conclusion about what the political morality of any nation must be.  Instead, each country can only base its political morality on that which fits its national circumstances at the time.

In China today, the core of political morality is "the people are the foundation" and "government for the people."  This is situated in the confluence between the the ancient Chinese principle of "the people as the foundation" and the global trend towards respect for lives and rights.  It has unique Chinese characteristics and it is also in line with global developments.  Under this set of political morality, the ruling government provides a good living for the people.  The past thirty years of history has shown that socialism with unique Chinese characteristics has made the Chinese people become more and more wealthy.  The ruling party should persist down this road.  Western-style democracy is not the universal standard for everyone.  Many nations and regions have proven this.  There is no reason why China should gamble with the happiness of its 1.3 billion people.  The correct and logical choice is to continue down the same path which has proven to lead to success, prosperity and stability.

This so-called old comrade made it sound easy for China to implement western style democracy.  But there is no exposition about what would happen if the prescription fails.  If there should be Thailand style political chaos in China, or the fragmentation in the manner of the former Soviet Union, this author does not have to bear any responsibility because he has not even bothered to give his name.  Why should the people of China bear such unthinkable risks by accepting this unsigned prescription?  Is this lack of accountability a part of the political morality that this counterfeiter wants to propagate?

A nation with a population of 1.3 billion wants to develop and become prosperous.  During the process, bumps and mistakes are unavoidable.  Therefore, the future road for China definitely needs continuous improvement of its political system.  The Chinese Communist Party will also have the magnanimity to listen to opinions from all sectors.  But when people want to make recommendations, they ought to have some moral principles if they genuinely care about the people.  At the least, they ought to be fair and open instead of sneakily counterfeiting essays under someone else's name.


Veteran media worker Li Datong read this essay very early on.  He told VOA that this essay did not give away who the author is, so how could the authorities have "checked with the old leader and his family"?  Li Datong said: "The problem is that nobody has said who this old leader is!  So how can you get the acquaintances to check?  The Internet rumor points to Wan Li.  But nobody says that it is Wan Li!  Where in this essay does it say that it is Wan Li?"

But no matter whether this essay is genuine or counterfeit, the essay by Yan Li was incorrect when it reported that the original essay wanted to "abolish the leadership role of the Communist Party."  Li Datong said, "No!  He did not write about abolishing the leadership role of the Communist Party!  Of course not.  He only said that you have to allow others to compete!"  Li Datong said that the "old comrade" did not mention the word "abolition."  As for the other concepts such as "nationalization of the military" and "multi-party competition," the Communist Party has proposed them before.  He said: "These concepts happens to be the concepts of the Chinese Communist Party itself.  Multi-party election, popular vote, nationalization of the military.  There have been incessant essays, editorials and speeches by leaders."

Veteran Beijing-based media worker Gao Yu said that the essay did not appear to be written by a senior Chinese Communist leader.  She said that most of these people are very old, and their analytical skills could not be at the level of this essay.  Wan Li is 93 years old.  Gao Yu believes that the essay was written by a younger person.  As for "Why should the people of China bear such unthinkable risks by accepting this unsigned prescription?  Is this lack of accountability a part of the political morality that this counterfeiter wants to propagate?"  Gau Yu thinks that the author may not have considered this.  But the Yan Li rebuttal was made to shut people up.  She said: "There is definitely a problem here.  When there is no freedom of speech and assembly in China, what kind of risks are we talking about?  The authorities are using this as an excuse to stop democratization."

At overseas-bvased, the keyword <A conversation with an old comrade> drew 318,000 results.  At China-based, there were zero results with the message: "The search result are not displayed because they may not be compliant with the relevant laws, regulations or policies."


"At live broadcast of the presidential press conference for foreign and domestic journalists, the choice of words by the female CNN announcer was clearly biased.  Ordinarily speaking, the media maintain a neutral position, especially when it comes commenting on the government of another country.  This female CNN announcer not only added comments during her reportage, but she referred to President Ma Ying-jeou as "This man."  She kept repeating that he refused to resign.  Her reporting of the situation in Taiwan goes beyond the attitude that she should be having."  The clip then goes on to show what the female CNN announcer said.

[ESWN Comment:  Why did the female CNN announcer keep saying 'The president of Taiwan', 'this man' and 'he'?  I have a hypothesis: She did not know how to pronounce 'jeou' and therefore decided not to guess and make an error that would reflect badly on her qualification to comment.  As it were, she comes through as rude and condescending.  Which is worse?]

(China Post CNN has gone too far in reporting about the poor performace of Taiwan government in managing the havoc brought about by Typhoon Morakot. Its reference to President Ma Ying-cheou as “That Man” is an insult to the people of Taiwan, though President Ma deserves to be criticized. Now I can understand why the entire Moslem world cannot tolerate the arrogance of the Western media in their reporting. CNN, leave Taiwan alone, please! Taiwan is not an American colony!

Media Organization Credibility score %Aware
South China Morning Post 7.57 45.3%
Ming Pao 7.35 63.2%
Radio Hong Kong 7.31 74.2%
TVB 7.30 93.3%
The Standard 7.19 36.6%
Hong Kong Economic Times 7.12 53.2%
Sing Tao 7.07 58.5%
Hong Kong Economic Journal 7.04 42.3%
Commercial Radio 6.98 63.6%
Hong Kong Cable TV 6.87 59.2%
Asia TV 6.81 59.2%
Now TV 6.78 39.8%
Metro Daily 6.58 52.7%
City Radio 6.49 46.4%
Headline Daily 6.48 66.0%
am730 6.36 45.9%
Sing Pao 6.34 45.5%
Hong Kong Broadband 6.30 34.0%
Oriental Daily 6.24 82.9%
Hong Kong Daily News 5.95 31.8%
Hong Kong Commercial Press 5.90 31.3%
Apple Daily 5.80 80.7%
Wen Wei Po 5.71 40.1%
Tai Kung Pao 5.58 40.4%
The Sun 5.57 61.1%

[ESWN Comment: These data may disrupt certain current memes.  TVB and ATV are alleged to have surrendered to the Communist Party line and thus sarcastically renamed CCTVB and CCATV respectively.  According to this survey, TVB is ranked fourth and ATV at eleventh in credibility score, which are better than average.  Meanwhile, the "final bastion of democracy" Apple Daily is ranked fourth from last with a credibility score of 5.80, barely ahead of the so-called Communist Party "mouthpieces" Wen Wei Po and Tai Kung Pao.  What gives here?]


In the latest episode of CCTV's<News Investigation>, Chai Jing covered <Curing Internet Addiction>.  The subject was the news story about the the electroshock therapy used by Yang Yongxin in Linyi (Shandong) to cure Internet addiction.  For a long time, those children who have received the so-called "healing treatment" from Yang Yongxin have written about the damages that they had received at Baidu, Tianya and other forums.  But neither the public nor the media paid much attention.  People did not notice that electroshock therapy can be enormously damaging to children and they haven't questioned the legality and justification of this method.  On this program, Chai Jing and her colleagues gave us an answer.

In reviewing the history, the concept of "Internet addiction" is ambiguous.  In my view, this was a way of demonizing the Internet.  The adult world and mainstream society are ill-prepared and fearful of the rapidly emergent Internet world.  Therefore, they projected these emotions onto innocent children whom they punish severely in order to relieve their own anxiety.  If you regard Internet users as the natural carriers of "Internet addiction," then the challenges posed by the Internet world can be simply regarded as perverted behavior.  This provides a medical excuse to suppress the Internet world, just as people in ancient times set fire to lepers and kill them.

We have seen plenty of similar things in the past.  Every person who lived through the 1960's and the 1970's can relive their own memories.  In the 1980's and the 1990's, some of the major public campaigns were also highly similar.  Back then, the media propagandized that young people committed sex crimes because they were influenced by pornography and they engaged in sexual intercourse because they attended the "no lights on" dance parties.  Therefore all those people who disseminate books and videos or organize parties must be severely punished.  Today we have to ask ourselves: How do we compare the quantity and intensity of the pornographic DVD's in the streets today versus twenty years ago?  How do we compare the presence of hair salons and bath centers in the streets versus twenty years ago?  How come we no longer hear the same old ridiculous arguments that pornographic articles must necessarily trigger sex crimes?

Twenty or thirty years ago, the adults were scared in a society that was trying to rejuvenate itself.  The mainstream values believed that the task was to create order out of chaos and recover the lost decade that had gone by.  They did not realize that the rejuvenation of a society is necessarily accompanied by the rebirth of sex.  The renaissance of sex is the renaissance of humanity.  But sex was regarded as a monstrosity by the traditional moral forces.  If people back then had the same linguistic vocabulary and methods now, I believe that they have come up with something called "sex addiction."  The difference is that it would have been cheaper and easier back then to send the children to prison or juvenile detention facilities because of the lower medical and administrative costs.

But I did not think that those young people who once hid in the closet to masturbate while reading <Dream of the Red Chamber> or rolled nervously on grass in a park in the middle of the night or who were published for being involved in romance at university would have no compunction about becoming parents who send their own children to "Internet addiction treatment centers."  It would seem that their own histories of suppression and mistreatment had no effect on them as they transfer the cruelty imposed by their own loving parents to their own children today.  Oh, what forgetful and ignorant citizens does China have!

In Chai Jing's program, the most detestable character is not Yang Yongxin.  As an excellent actor, he successfully played to the image of a smiling, earnest grassroots psychiatrist.  His entire performance carried no innovation as he acted the same way as all similar characters in past history.  Therefore, it is not hard to understand why he always has these parents and children who suffer from the Stockholm syndrome kneeling in front of them begging for help.  The most detestable people are the ignorant parents who shamelessly say that they are doing all this because they love their children and because they have no other choice.  They talk as if they stand with truth on their side, and they even dare to challenge with counter questions.

With respect to these people, the biggest counter questions are these:  Did you have sex only in order to climax?  After the child was born, aren't you responsible for the upbringing?  Are these several thousand "Internet addict" children all the evil offspring of Satan?  Are they destroy the human families and societies?  Hundreds of millions of Chinese people use the Internet, but so come this kind of monster only showed up in your household?  Was this monster created by the Internet, or because you did not bring him up properly?  Not a single parent in the program reflected on himself, or uttered a single word of apology about his own incompetence.  When a parent fails at his job, it is easier to blame his failure on an illness.  In fact, he can pound on the desk and shed some tears in the role of victim.  How is it possible to evade responsibility in this manner?  A parent like this should be deprived of reproductive rights and child custody, because the facts have shown that they are incapable of exercising those rights.

Because the parents are stupid, therefore Yang Yongxin has such a huge market.  The problem should have been solved by family education, but the parents would rather spend 6,000 yuan per month in "treatment fees" over the course of 4-1/2 months.  This was a problem that should have solved by more timely communication, but it is now being solved tragically with unlicensed electroshock therapy.  If we can go back in time, I hope that these parents could be send away to receive electroshock therapy for their own "sex addiction" in order to rid themselves of their sexual urges.  Their children would not have to undergo the inhumane torture and become the instruments of so-called doctors such as Yang Yongxin.

These parents as well as Yang Yongxin ought to be sent out to experience electroshock therapy and mental control.  Through the electroshock therapy, they will accept any viewpoint that they are told and sincerely fall in love with the person who is administrating the treatment.  In the 21st century, civilization has reached the point where people care about the right to live for a seal or penguin, but there can still be doctors like Yang Yongxin as well as parents who send their children to see Yang Yongxin.  There are also media who write positive reports about such methods of healing Internet addiction.  Shame on human society!

Therefore, I am grateful to Chai Jing and her colleagues.  To a certain degree, she has removed the label of "mental illness" from those who use the Internet eight or more hours per day.  People like me are staying further away from Yang Yongxin's Treatment Room Number 13.

But I have a greater concern: Perhaps the reason why Chai Jing is able to product such a problem not because of her courage or judgment, or because the so-called "Internet addiction" is officially acquiring a new definition.  All this could have occurred due to practical considerations.  We have all seen how Internet games have brought in huge profits and tax incomes rapidly.  The product values and capital investments in the Internet world are increasing rapdily.  So when Yang Yongxin and others begin to affect an industry and all its profits, their end is near.

Even so I am grateful to Chai Jing.  She pulled the trigger and the whole world goes quiet.

Full Video Link

Q1.  President Ma Ying-jeou said that the disaster relief law had already included the emergency decree for the 921 earthquake and therefore there was no need to issue an emergency decree.  Other people believed that the emergency decree should have been issued.  What is your view?
66%: It should have been issued
14%: It did not have to be issued
20%: No opinion

Q2. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected foreign aid (either personnel or materiel) via telegraph, but indicated that the Executive Yuan was unaware of the action.  Do you believe that President Ma Ying-jeou was unaware that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had rejected international aid?
15%: Believe
62%: Do not believe
22%: No opinion

(Apple Daily)

Qiu Mingwei is the deputy director of the current affairs department of the People's Forum which is under People's Daily.  The details are contained in <The explanation about how Mr. Qiu Mingwei was persecuted by People's Daily>.

According to Qiu, in June this year he obtained the verbal approval of People's Forum chief editor Jia Lizheng to attend the conference of the International Federation of Journalists in Hong Kong.  Jia told him: "You can go, but don't get into trouble."  The conference was to be held on July 2 and 3.  Qiu arrived in Hong Kong on June 30.  He found out that there was going to be July 1st march, and so he joined it in a low-keyed manner.

"I was very shaken by the Hong Kong march.  It is very hard to see such a large-scale march in mainland China.  They can even demand the leaders to resign.  This is unimaginable in mainland China."  Qiu Mingwei said that he joined the march out of curiosity.  He set off from Victoria Park with the marchers and wore a peaked cap all the way to Government Headquarters.  He took some photos, which he deleted before he returned to Beijing because he was afraid that his superiors may find out.

Qiu then attended the International Federation of Journalists conference as well as another conference organized by the Australian labor organization Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, where he expressed his views about work at People's Daily and the lack of independence of labor unions in mainland China.

On July 8, Qiu returned to his Beijing office.  He was questioned by his superiors who wanted to know his daily itinerary in Hong Kong.  The chief editor Jia Lizheng told him: "You are in trouble!"  At first, Qiu did not disclose that he had participated in the July 1st march.  But the photo of him at Government's Headquarters became the "evidence of crime."  He cited People's Daily deputy publisher He Songyuan: "Anyone department employee who attends marches will be sanctioned; whoever goes beyond their authority to make contact with overseas persons will be sanctioned."

At first, Qiu thought that participation in the march was no big deal with at most a couple of years in prison.  So he was willing to plead guilty.  But the investigators then found certain "internal reference materials" that are akin to state secrets in his residence.  He became scared that he would receive a heavy sentence if arrested.  A colleague told him: "The National Security Bureau is ready to arrest you anytime now.  Go quickly!"  So he decided to flee from mainland China.  Qiu Mingwei said that these so-called internal reference materials are mostly things that have been published on the Internet, and he had never brought them home.  So he thinks that he was being framed.

Qiu had some friends in Hong  Kong, but he did not dare to fly from Beijing to Hong Kong because he was afraid of being arrested at the airport.  So he took the train to Shenzhen.  On July 30, he passed through Luowu and entered Hong Kong.  But since his visa only allowed for a seven day stay, he had to go elsewhere before he can re-enter.  For the past half month, he has been to Thailand and Macao.  He is presently staying in Macao.

"I don't care call my mainland friends, because I don't want to get them into trouble."  Qiu thought about going back to mainland China and hire a lawyer to defend himself.  But his friends told him not to be stupid because if he returns, they will force a confession out of him.  But he also misses his wife and his new child: "After my wife learned about my situation, she was stressed and is now taking psychiatric medication."

Qiu once thought that he had a bright career ahead.  He is 34 years old.  In 2005, he joined People's Daily and focused on investigating social problems.  "I lived a carefree life.  I had a company.  Government officials were honored to be friends with me.  But look where I am now!"

(Apple Daily)

"After I arrived in Hong Kong, I explained my situation to Amnesty International.  But they are very lame.  They said that I had not been arrested.  Their organization can only help me if I am in jail."  Qiu felt helpless and disappointed about the response from this humanitarian organization.

Qiu was then recommended to go to the American Consulate in Hong Kong.  The result was the same.  "They told me that they were sorry, but nobody can protect me.  Ever since this happened, I had not shed a single tear.  But once I received their telephone call, I cried."  He cited the American Consulate worker who told him that they could not help him out of consideration of "the Sino-American relationship."  He criticized the American government for promoting freedom and democracy every day but refusing to help him.

Qiu is presently in Macao.  He has no friends there, and his visa is due to expire soon.  He has no idea what he can do next.

Here is the illustrated photoplay:


On the front page of, the quick vote results as of early morning of August 17 on "Should Taiwan's leader stand down over delays in aiding typhoon victims?" showed 73% "Yes" and 27% "No."

CNN states that "this is not a scientific poll" because it is not certain what the voters represent (the world? Americans? American Internet users?  American Internet users who visit  American Internet users who visit and care/know enough about Taiwan? ...).  The more important question is: What do the people of Taiwan think?

(TVBS)  (1,074 Taiwan persons age 20 or over were interviewed on August 10-11 by telephone.  Telephone numbers were randomly selected from the telephone directory and then the last four digits were randomized for calling purposes.) (Warning: This poll was taken several things ago, and the numbers for the administration are likely to have deteriorated since.)

Q1. Typhoon Morakot caused tremendous damage in Taiwan.  What is your opinion of President Ma Ying-jeou's performance over the past several days in terms of disaster relief?
  5%: Very satisfied
21%: Somewhat satisfied
25%: Somewhat dissatisfied
22%: Very dissatisfied
27%: No opinion

Q2. What is your opinion of Premier Liu Chao-Shiuan's performance over the past several days in terms of disaster relief?
  5%: Very satisfied
21%: Somewhat satisfied
26%: Somewhat dissatisfied
25%: Very dissatisfied
24%: No opinion

Q3. What is your opinion of the performance of the central government over the past several days in terms of disaster relief?
  5%: Very satisfied
26%: Somewhat satisfied
27%: Somewhat dissatisfied
25%: Very dissatisfied
17%: No opinion

Q4. So far, do you think that the central government has been effective in disaster relief?
29%: Effective
53%: Ineffective
19%: No opinion

Q5. Do you think that the central government has coordinated well with local governments in the disaster relief?
  1%: Very well
  8%: Somewhat well
37%: Somewhat bad
36%: Very bad
18%: No opinion

Q6. What is your opinion of the performance of the military over the past several days in terms of disaster relief?
20%: Very satisfied
48%: Somewhat satisfied
12%: Somewhat dissatisfied
  8%: Very dissatisfied
12%: No opinion

Q7. Are you confident about the central government in terms of post-disaster reconstruction?
11%: Very confident
28%: Somewhat confident
26%: Not very confident
24%: Completely not confident
12%: No opinion

Q8. How confident are you about the central government in dealing with any future typhoons?
  8%: Very confident
26%: Somewhat confident
29%: Not very confident
24%: Completely not confident
14%: No opinion

Q9. How confident are you about weather reports from the Weather Bureau in the future?
  9%: Very confident
38%: Somewhat confident
23%: Not very confident
18%: Completely not confident
13%: No opinion


(Apple Daily; Oriental Daily)

Yesterday, "young model" Chrissie Chow attended a public function at the Mongkok Computer Centre.  Suddenly a 30-something-old man in the audience began to yell out loudly: "Your c**t is very pretty.  Your t*ts are very big."  He repeated that several times to the the shock and dismay of Chrissie Chow.  When the mall workers asked the man to leave, he refused.  The workers summoned the police and he told the two officers: "Why am I the only one to have to leave when so many other people are here?"  He said loudly: "Why is there no freedom of speech?  Are you not allowing me to speak?"  The police left him alone.

Backstage, Chrissie was interviewed about the incident.  She said: "I didn't hear anything except that someone was praising my boots as pretty.  But I was not wearing boots.  I like to wear high-heel shoes."  Was she upset?  She said no.  When asked about the obscenities again, she said: "I believe that there are different sorts of people in this world.  I don't know who he is.  Maybe he has mental problems, in which case he should stay home.  Maybe it is because the weather has been very hot lately.  I hope that he recovers soon.  He is pitiful.  He needs help." 

When asked whether her talk about wanting to become the dream lover of every man provoked the outburst, she said: "What I meant was that every girl has special qualities and beauty.  Every man has a dream lover.  I want to say that I am happy to be the one that they like.  I apologize for not making this clear previously."  When asked whether she went too far earlier, she sadi: "That's over.  Forget it!  I will be more explicit when I speak in the future.  People like that exists.  We have to be tolerant people who are different."

(China Daily)  Drain of credibility.  August 4, 2009.

At a time when shamelessness is pervasive, we are often at loss as to who can be trusted. The five most trustworthy groups, according to a survey by the Research Center of the Xiaokang Magazine, are farmers, religious workers, sex workers, soldiers and students.

A list like this is at the same time surprising and embarrassing. The sex business is illegal and thus underground in this country. The sex workers' unexpected prominence on this list of honor, based on an online poll of more than 3,000 people, is indeed unusual.

It took the pollsters aback that people like scientists and teachers were ranked way below, and government functionaries, too, scored hardly better.

Yet given the constant feed of scandals involving the country's elite, this is not bad at all. At least they have not slid into the least credible category, which consists of real estate developers, secretaries, agents, entertainers and directors.

What is more worrisome in the findings is the dramatic drop in government credibility ratings. Which happens in the context of what pollsters term as "mild improvement" in public perception of society's credit conditions.

In spite of a continuous, though very slow, tilt to the positive in the public's perception of society's credit records, researchers detected a converse trend when it came to the government.

More than 91 per cent of the respondents admitted that they would take government data with a pinch of salt. The same proportion was 79 per cent in 2007. The steep decline, pollsters concluded, reflects a "quite severe" drain of government credibility, which is obvious in recent "mass incidents". In most recent cases of mass protests, distrust of local authorities turned out to be a powerful amplifier of public indignation.

Multiple factors may be responsible for this. The Xiaokang Magazine Research Center named four - protectionism, unstable policies, dumb decisions, and lack of transparency. All of which has to do with the low-level bureaucracy's lack of respect for public concerns.

This may sound strange, because, geographically, local governments and their staff are closer to local realities; and, politically, they are there to take care of the citizens' day-to-day concerns.

But since local cadres report only to their superiors, and their appointment, promotion and removal has little, or nothing, to do with the community they are supposed to serve, it is only natural that they are preoccupied overwhelmingly with pleasing their bosses. In contrast to the people-friendly image of the central leadership, local cadres, as a collective, share a much less desirable reputation for their indifference to, if not disregard of, citizens.

Even for stability's sake, efforts must be made to restore the governments' credit record. The first step, however, is to put an end to public servants being alienated from public interest.

Related Links: Prostitutes more trustworthy than government officials  By George Sun.  Global Voices Online; The majority of Chinese people believe that prostitutes are more trustworthy than Communist Party and government officials according to a Xiaokang survey Fool's Mountain; Sex and China's Credibility Gap  Sun Wukong, Asia Times

(ESWN Comment)

Does anybody look at the actual questions and numbers nowadays?  Everybody should already know that online surveys are unreliable.  In this case, Xiaokang Magazine ran the survey at an unnamed major web portal (note: reported elsewhere as  So the results are representative of those visitors at that particular portal who bothered to participate.  It would not be representative of that portal, because those who refused to participate may be systematically different.  It would not be representative of all Internet users, much less the general population.  But that is not even the important point about the numbers here.

Here is the relevant table for the top five most trustworthy occupation groups cited in Chongqing Evening News (via MOP).

Year 2006 2007 2008 2009
Rank 1 Peasants (63.0%) Peasants (60.8%) Peasants (58.4%) Peasants (17.3%)
Rank 2 Military (57.5%) Military (56.4%) Military (56.8%) Religious professionals (9.7%)
Rank 3 Workers (50.9%) Scientists (51.4%) Scientists (48.4%) Sex workers (8.9%)
Rank 4 Scientists (49.2%) Workers (48.2%) Workers (43.6%) Military (8.7%)
Rank 5 Migrant laborers (45.3% Migrant laborers (45.2%) Migrant laborers (42.4%) Students (7.9%)

What can we tell from this table?  There was a change in survey question.  From 2006 to 2008, the survey participants were shown a list of occupation groups and asked to check all those whom they found trustworthy.  In other words, the survey participants could choose none, one, two, three or even more groups.  The occupation groups were then ranked by the percentage of survey respondents who found them trustworthy.  Because multiple choices were allowed for each percentages, the percentages add up to more than 100%.  In 2009, the survey participants were shown a list of occupation groups and asked to check the one that they trust the most.  The percentages should add up to 100% (including "no answer/don't know").

Why would they change a question for an annually conducted survey?  Changing the question would destroy trending the results, so you don't do it unless there is good reason.  Well, Xiaokang is a magazine and there was nothing new to write about in 2007 or 2008 because nothing much changed from the previous year.  So in 2009 the survey question was changed to single-choice-only format.  In 2009, there were 49 occupation groups in the list.  It was reported (with no numbers) that the five least trustworthy groups were: real estate developer boss, secretary, agent, entertainment performers and directors.  If "students" was ranked fifth at 7.9% and there were 49 occupation groups, the groups ranked from 6 to 49 all had scores between 7.9% and 0.0%.  So their scores are going to look something like 7.8%, 7.6%, 7.5%, 7.4%, 7.4%, 7.3%, ... , 0.0%.  Since this is a sample survey with sampling error, this means in practice that the bulk of these groups are not statistically significantly different from each other.  The worst five groups are no different from the five groups just ahead, which are no different from the five groups ahead, etc.  In other words, this survey is a waste of time at best, and misleading at worst.

Another data point not mentioned in the sensationalistic media reports is:

Which was the best era in which human trust was at its highest?

52%: From the Liberation in 1949 to before the Cultural Revolution in 1966 (and that period includes the anti-rightist campaigns, the Great Leap Forward, the Three Red Flags, etc)
16%: Before the Liberation in 1949
14%: The 1980's
13%: Hard to say/don't know
  3%: During the Cultural Revolution
  1%: The 1990's

The Chongqing Evening News explained this by saying that the reason why the 1990's were the least trustworthy era was because of the social preference for quick profits.  I disagree.  I think that the problem here is that most Internet users today have no idea what happened more than 40 years ago because they weren't born yet.  What do you think?

Additional quote: “Those who didn’t live in the eighteenth century before the [French] Revolution will never be able to know the sweetness of life.” — Talleyrand

(in translation)

Brother Hecaitou, how are you!


Early last year, my younger brother called me up and said that he wanted to build a house at the end of the year.  It will be built on the land where our family's old house stood.  100 square meters.  Two stories tall.  He estimated that it will cost 70,000 or 80,000 yuan, so he wanted me to lend him 40,000 yuan.  I have been working eight or nine years already.  I earned very low wages at first -- 900 yuan a month, 1,800 yuan a month, rising to 7,000 yuan a month in 2007.  The former factory used to provide room and board, so the living expenses were smaller.  I am living frugally in the city right now.  I spend frugally on food and other expenses, but my basic expenses including rent and utility is 2,000 yuan.  I also pay 1,050 yuan into a retirement insurance fund.  So my annual net income is more than 25,000 yuan.  Apart from the 70,000 yuan in fixed deposts at the bank, I don't have much money left.

Before my younger brother asked me, my younger sister had already borrowed 18,000 yuan from me.  He had previously gave me a hint, so I was mentally prepared.  I did not want to lend him so much money, so I came up with an excuse and hung up the phone.  Besides, there is also the issue about his ability to repay me.  My younger brother never graduated from elementary school.  He is working as a security guard in Wuhan and earns less than 1,000 yuan a month.  His wife graduated from junior high school.  She learned sewing and is working at a garment factory.  But since the factory orders are irregular, she does not work all the time.  If she is lucky, she can make 2,000 yuan a month.  They have been married five or six years.  Their oldest daughter is being taken care of by our parents in the countryside.  My sister-in-law is pregnant again.  Since their wages were low to begin with, where are they going to find the money to repay my loan when they have two children?  My younger brother kept promising that "I will repay for sure," talk is cheap but action is hard.  I have been wanting to go overseas to study for more than a year.  I pick up the vocabulary book but the grammar rules makes me fall asleep.  Then my younger brother, my sister-in-law and my mother took turns to persuade me with sentimental and rational appeals.  They promised and they swore.  I could not resist any more and I had to agree.

At the end of last year, I paid the 13,000 yuan in insurance premium.  I had to borrow money.  I made my younger sister pay me more than 10,000 yuan back from the loan.  I even mustered the courage to ask my former boyfriend to lend me 5,000 yuan.  That was how I came up with 40,000 yuan for my younger brother.  I considered the fact that they have children back home and they have to earn a living in the city.  So I demanded that they repay only 30,000 yuan with the other 10,000 yuan being a gift from me as their elder sister.  The additional condition was that the 30,000 yuan will have to be repaid within three years.  I thought that I was doing my utmost.

Last week I spoke to my younger sister by phone.  She mentioned that she also wants to build a house next year.  She does not have enough money so she wants to borrow 20,000 to 30,000 yuan from me.  Suddenly I felt that the Tai Mountain had fallen on my head as I got a splitting headache!  I don't even know where I was going to get the money for the November insurance premium, so where am I going to find the money to lend her?  But can I refuse to lend money to my younger sister?  What will my brother-in-law and his family relatives say to her?  "Your elder sister is willing to lend money to her brother, even as much as 40,000 yuan.  But she does not have 20,000 yuan to lend to you?  Does your elder sister think that you mean anything to her?"  Although I am a thousand miles away, I can completely feel the awkwardness of the position of my younger sister.  The old family house of her in-laws has a big crack on one wall, so that it looks like it is ready to fall down anytime; the roof eaves are also loose, so that the house always leaks when it rains.  The house should really be rebuilt.  My brother-in-law works at a nearby company with no insurance, benefit, vacation or overtime pay.  He earns 700 or 800 yuan a month.  They also have two children.  My younger sister has never worked.  So that was why they had not been able to save the money to rebuild, and they had to live in hazardous conditions up to now.

I thought about it.  If my younger brother could repay 5,000 yuan back to me in the last half of the year and I could borrow some money from friends, I may be able to alleviate the financial crisis at the end of the year.  When my sister-in-law was trying to borrow money from me, she sang a good tune.  It has been more than six months now.  The house has been built, but she has changed her tune.  I called home and my mother took the call.  My sister-in-law has gone back to her family with the children.  My mother passed the message that they won't be paying me back in the second half of the year.  This year, my sister-in-law is staying home to look after the children.  My brother makes only 900 yuan a month, which is not even enough for expenses.  They had to count on their parents for food.  She is giving me the facts, but to whom should I be telling my "facts"?  If I told them that I can't even collect my wages and my job is insecure, it would only increase their worries.  If I tell them and their lips are loose, I become the laughing stock among the neighbors: a university student can't even get paid!

I hate myself for being so useless!  Many of my colleagues are earning 7,000 yuan, 8,000 yuan or 10,000 yuan a month.  Only I earn so little.  The fixed bank deposit account was put aside for the down payment on an apartment when I find a suitable mate.  But after many efforts, I still have nothing.  Fate has really played a cruel joke on me!  I have a tempestuous and rebellious younger brother in my family, so that I don't like any young men.  I would rather have a mature and steady elder brother.  All the love letters and marriage proposals that I received came from young men or older men who are really children who have not been weaned from milk.  Perhaps the young men think that my arbitrary decisions look as if they represent decisiveness and strength, or else the older men can see the immaturity and prejudices that are cloaked by my strong exterior appearance.  Therefore, I was never lucky.

I have a mother who has no compunction about using the most vicious and hurtful language to insult and harangue her husband and her children.  Growing up in a poor and inharmonious rural family, I feel that my personality and mentality are both unhealthy.  I lack self-respect, I am vain, I am prejudiced and I never have peace of mind.  When I encounter complicated conflicts and contradictions, I don't know how to adjust; I have a low emotional quotient so that I tend to go to extremes.  I know what my weaknesses are, but I cannot change myself.

In the past, I lived like a zombie for the sake of my school grades, to continue studying, to work, to hold my job and to pay my debts.  But today, I am still living for them.  When can I ever live for myself?  Although my younger brother did not deliberately intend to do so, I have become their Automatic Teller Machine.  In his and his wife's minds, I am the elder sister.  I am the only intellectual who attended university.  It is my natural duty to provide for the "weaker" ones; if I don't help them, then I am an ungrateful sinner.  One day, if I should ever be in trouble and need money urgently, they can ignore me without any obligation.  They may say that they will repay me, but who knows when?  If they refuse, can I possibly go to their house and start removing the roof tiles!

Ever since I graduated from university, I have not returned home during the Lunar New Year.  I seldom go home.  I tried to stay away from my home village, my parents and my siblings.  I thought that I could lessen their negative impact on me personally.  But they are after me like vultures after a human corpse, or bloodhounds chasing rabbits.  I am suffocated even in my sleep.  I wake up in the middle of the night with years inside my ears.  I want to find a tree in the wilderness to hug and cry; I want to ram my head against a granite rock; I want to find an old roof top where I can let everything be set free and liberated!  Why should such a irresolute impoverished person like myself be tortured doubly by my family relationships and lack of money?  Did I owe them from my previous life?

Would you say that I should write down a will?  In case something happens, my parents don't have to like "the masses who don't understand the truth."  If there is money left, they can bury me.  My retirement insurance can help them in their later years.

After writing all this in a haphazard fashion, I feel my mental burden has lightened up considerably.  I thank you, and I thank the "tree hole" column that you have set up (for people to express themselves).

How much time does it take to erect a building?
Months, if not years.

How much time does it take for the building to topple over?

How much time does it take to remove the debris from the fallen building?
Less than one day.

Early in the morning, construction equipment were brought in under police escort to remove the debris of the fallen Shanghai building.  This has been an eyesore for the Shanghai city government, especially after a travel agency included a field trip to this landmark in its eastern China package.

Ever since the digital television set top boxes were foisted upon consumers in monopolistic fashion, the various problems (such as the elimination of analog television signals, high fees, poor signal quality, expensive boxes, lousy service, etc) have been roundly critocozed/

According to some critical comments, a set top box costs an average of 700 yuan, which meant that the 300 million boxes will reap 300,000,000 x 700 yuan = 210,000,000,000 yuan.  Where do those huge profits go?  The government department that promotes the digital television service, says that this is serving the people better.  Or is this a case of self-enrichment through imposing a monopoly.

On one hand, citizens want to watch television.  On the other hand, they don't want to use the existing service.  So they go ahead to install their own digital satellite TV dishes.  But of course, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television will do everything to eliminate those private dishes, including employing the fire department's ladder trucks to remove those dishes.

Conversely, the citizens also know how to disguise their dishes as air conditioners.

(South China Morning Post)  Activist's 'open' trial a closed-door hearing.  By Austin Chiu and staff reporter.  August 13, 2009.

On a Commercial Radio programme, NowTV senior reporter Wong Ka-yu said she and her colleague were leaving a hotel at about 6.30am when a security guard tried to stop them. They managed to elude him but two police officers intercepted them shortly after they got into their car.

Police said they had received a report that drugs were in three rooms at the hotel, and the pair were brought to their rooms for a search. "They inspected everything slowly," she said, adding that officers tried to find excuses to keep them longer. The police also took away the journalists' identity documents for three hours to check. Police then demanded the reporter erase videotapes that contained footage of the search. Wong managed to hide a tape among her clothes.

When asked for proof of identity, an officer said he did not have it with him but it was in a police car. Wong then accused the officer of breaching his legal duty. In response, the officer said it was the difference in law between the mainland and Hong Kong. The officers abruptly left after the reporters asked for an apology following the search. "My freedom of news reporting has been restricted," she said. "I have the impression that I'm being set up."

(South China Morning Post)  Action promised on detained reporters.  By Fanny W.Y. Fung.  August 14, 2009.

On Wednesday reporter Wong Ka-yu and cameraman Wu Siu-wing, who both work for Now TV, were held in their hotel rooms in Chengdu for more than six hours as police searched their rooms.

Now TV yesterday quoted two police officers from Chengdu police station as saying it was problematic that the police officers did not show their identification documents during the search. "You can file a complaint to the police ... If our officers have indeed violated the regulations or law, we will handle it according to the regulations," an officer surnamed Zhang said.

Police officers who conducted the search said they had received a tip-off about illegal drugs, but they found nothing suspicious during the search. The detention prevented the pair from covering the trial of rights activist Tan Zuoren , who was held following his investigation into shoddy school construction in Sichuan and charged with subversion over his remarks on the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

(Cable TV News via YouTube)

[Cable TV news report]


(Female announcer)  In Chengdu, Hong Kong reporters were suspected by the public security bureau of concealing illegal drugs.  Their rooms were searched and they were detained.  The public security bureau people did not show their identification.

(Female announcer) An officer named Li with the Chengdu public security bureau said that this was not normal procedure.  He recommended that the reporters should call the police.  Here is the report from our reporter.

(Female reporter)  About the matter of Hong Kong reporters being suspected by the public security bureau of concealing illegal drugs in Chengdu, the police entered the rooms to conduct searches but failed to produce a search warrant.  According to a Chengdu public security bureau criminal investigation department officer named Li, the police must follow all the procedures when they conduct a search.

(Male named Li)  Definitely.  Definitely.  There definitely has to be associated procedures.  You can be reassured on this point, especially for people like you who are compatriots from Hong Kong or Macau.  When it comes to compatriots from the outside including Hong Kong and Macau, the requirements are even stricter.  It was impossible for that to have occurred.

(Female reporter)  But at the scene yesterday, the police told the reporters something different.

(Female voice)  You did not bring your identification?

(Male police officer, badge number 005377)  Right.

(Female voice)  So would you say that you are illegally trying to enforce the law?

(Male police officer, badge number 005377)  Maybe Hong Kong is different from our place here.

(video shows female police officer badge number 006142 searching luggage bag)

(Male named Li)  At the least they can show their identification.  There should be no problem with that.

(Female reporter)  They didn't do so.  They said that their identifications were left in the car.  They didn't bring them over.  Therefore they could not show them.

(Male named Li)  That is impossible.  That is impossible.

(Female reporter)  He said that the situation encountered by the Hong Kong reporters were very unusual.  He even think that it is doubtful whether those were really public security people. 

(Male named Li)  I don't know if your colleagues checked clearly.  This type of situation is very unusual.  I recommend that you file a complaint with the local public security bureau.

(Female reporter)  You are saying that we can lodge a complaint, right?

(Male named Li)  This is not just a complaint.  I suspect that you must encountered some other kind of situation.

[ESWN Comment:  The PSB CID officer named Li is suggesting that those were fake police officers.  Oh, really?  Get photos of the police officers with badge numbers 005377 and 006142 and see if they match the ones in the video.  If yes, then those two police officers have failed to follow procedure.  Who, if anyone, ordered to do so?  If no, then these individuals were police impersonators.  What can their motive possibly be?]

[Now TV news report]


Recently, a set of nude photos created a sensation on the Internet.  A topless man lies on a hotel bed, puffing a cigarette at ease.  According to the netizen who posted the photo, the man is CCTV2's <First Instant> announcer Ma Bin.

When a reporter contacted Ma Bin afterwards, he said simply: "Sorry, I have no idea.  I am out of town."  Yesterday morning, Ma Bin appeared on his show and read newspaper reviews.  It seemed that the "nude photos" did not affect him much.

Most netizens were understanding towards Ma Bin.  It was Ma Bin's right to go naked in private, and other people cannot be demand anything from him.  One netizen said, "It is hot, so he takes off his clothes.  What is there to look at?"  But the large majority of the netizen also questioned the motive of the person who posted the photos.

Here is how the voting went about these photos:
1. Entertainment (23%): Someone gained access to these photos accidentally and posted them onto the Internet out of vanity.
2. Blackmail (44%): The principal (who is male or female) took the photos after an tryst, and then posted them onto the Internet because of emotional or economic problems.  If Ma Bin does not concede, the remaining photos will be uploaded.
3. Revenge (33%): The principal (who is male or female) posted those photos in order to ruin Ma Bin.
4. Hyping (0.023%):  This is CCTV -- not Hunan Satellite TV or MTV -- so that it is career-suicide to act this way.

(Mak Blog)

Would you sign such a declaration?  You decide for yourself.

The more interesting thing is whether you would change your opinion if I tell you how such a declaration came about in Hong Kong.

The following post original post appeared at the blog Tungpo Diary (via  The subject is about the HKD 270,000+ in legal fees (see link) that the Hong Kong SAR government is seeking from citizens Chu Hoidick and Ho Loy over the judicial review of the demolition of Queens Pier.  A campaign for people to promise HKD 10 per person in order to pay for this sum was started.  At this point, almost HKD 100,000 has been pledged from almost 9,000 persons.

I do not know what their underlying motives are, but I want to ask in return: "Can the government not ask for the money?"  Hmm, the answer is very clear.  This is part of the court fees which the court has ruled that the government can reclaim.  This is therefore public money!  So what excuse does the government have for not collecting?  When a government department does not collect money that is due, it must seek permission to forgive the debt.  Under the present circumstances, it is hard to see a credible reason to support such a decision.  Besides, this reason can be challenged by the government's own Audit Department.

Of course, certain people who are "always simple sometimes naive" will think that since the cause was on behalf of public interest, the government should forgive the sum for that reason.  But if I were auditing the sum, I would immediately ask: "What are the standards here?  Who is to decide?"  Then I will bring out the court document HCAL 87/2007 and say aloud: "Please read it carefully before you speak!"

This particular Tungpo blog post drew the attention of another blogger Martin Oei, who wrote:

As one of the original creators of the "$10 per person against the Secretary of Justice," I think that it is necessary to scold this "plastic person" (note: this term literally means "plastic" but it sounds similar in Cantonese to "dick" so a rough translation might be "dickhead" or "prick").

1. The judicial review request from Chu Hoidick and Ho Loy were absolutely made on behalf of public interest.  In the matter of Queens Pier, many Hong Kong taxpayers besides Chu Hoidick and Ho Loy were troubled by the government's decision.  The decision by the Legal Aid Department director reflected this point sufficiently.

2. Following Tungpo's logic, I am calling for a human flesh search on the government department in which Tungpo works now.  I would even go so far as to file a complaint against Tungpo to the Civil Service Bureau director with respect to breaking the current restriction on public statements from public servants under the Civil Service Regulations, but I am unsure whether that will work.  Based upon his principle that you can use any and all legally permissible methods to lay waste to anyone, there is nothing wrong at all with what I do.

I detest this person extremely.  When someone knows that the government is using the Singapore-style methods, refuses to be concerned and only thinks that he is cool, my response to pricks like him is: I will use any and all legal methods to make you shut up.  You can't blame me, right?

If he does not retract his speech, I will follow his logic and persist until his blog is shut down.

The Tungpo blog has gone offline since.

Knowing the background about how the declaration came about, does this change your mind?  If you thought previously that you would sign the declaration, are you now ready to make an exception on the Tungpo case?  You decide for yourself.


(Neo-AK blog)

About the whole affair ... in my view, there is nothing wrong with Martin Oei and Tungpo holding different views about the Chu Hoidick affair.  In this world, there are many different people and it is nothing unusual for them to hold different views ... they can debate those views heatedly ... that is no big deal ... people exchange views in order to bridge their differences, but if the parties decide that the differences cannot be reconciled, it is still no big deal ... at most, they arrive at a stalemate ... this is no big deal ... they can continue to write and let the public decide which side they buy into ... this is nothing unusual in a democratic society ...

But in Oei's view, the key issue is that Tungpo is a public servant who is required to maintain political neutrality and not make any comments on a political issue in his personal blog ... I think that there is a case study from June 2004 that can be consulted:

The two cases are different, but there is some relevance ... there are two items on the matter of the political neutrality of public servants:

(1) The political neutrality of public servants is built upon their duty to be loyal to the government;

(2) after the government renders a decision, the public servant should fully support that decision irrespective of his/her personal views and implement.  Furthermore, the public servant should not publicly express his/her personal views on the matter.

Yet, in practice, these principles are not absolute:

(1) The political neutrality of public servants is there in order to ensure that they can serve the citizens in a fair and unbiased manner.  It does not mean that the individual freedom of speech has been deprived.  The public servant can express his/her views as an individual without violating political neutrality.

(2) Once the government has offered a clear set of policies, the public servant can express his personal views in his/her official position in support of the government policies.  Apart from that, the public servant also has his/her personal freedom of speech just like any other ordinary citizen.

The case study was clear: "The matter involves a public servant with the Immigration Department who published an essay under his personal name in an internal publication.  With the approval of the Department, he faxed the essay to a newspaper for publication.  In so doing, he failed to state his job title and he did not explicitly state whether this essay represented his own personal views or the Immigration Department's position.  Overall, this public servant did not violate the principle of political neutrality of public servants."

Tungpo's blog was always under his personal name without stating his job title.  He did not state whether the essays represent his department ... based upon the aforementioned standards, it may not be possible to prove that Tungpo violated the political neutrality required for public servants ...


When Oei initiated the human flesh search to ferret out Tungpo's true identity and lodge a complaint against him with the Civil Services Bureau ... are these actions considered to be Internet bullying that affects the freedom of speech adversely?

Former Civil Services Bureau director Joseph W.P. Wong stated clearly: "Public servants have basic freedom of speech just like ordinary citizens."  With respect to the current affair, Oei's speech has clearly affected Tungpo's freedom of speech ... this is a very clear conclusion.

Does a gentlemen's quarrel have to end up with shooting?  To threaten debate opponents with "litigation" and "human flesh search" in order to destroy all dissident voices is ungentlemanly and should be deplored.

0.50 RMB/item: Posting onto an Internet forum
0.40-0.50 RMB/item: Maintenance of the topic
10 RMB/10,000: Page view traffic volume
50-200 RMB: Creating a hot Internet post
100-250 RMB/day/600-1,000 RMB per week: Top placement at a forum for a web portal

"Jia Junpeng, your mom is calling you to come home to dine."  Recently this simple post became implausibly in China.  Within two days, the number of page views was 7,607,617 and the number of comments was 300,621.  Subsequently, a Beijing media agency disclosed that they created "Jia Junpeng" for the purpose of maintaining attention and popularity of a certain online game.  This creative concept earned a "six figure income" for them.

Recently, an Internet promoter in Zhongshan city (Guangdong province) told the reporter that he had taken part in the "Jia Junpeng affair."  He said that there are "promoters" all over China who have never met each other and who go through various Internet forums and QQ instant messaging services to look daily for suitable "topics" to work on.  They may not know who the sponsor is, but they know that their bank accounts will receive payments at the end of the month.  He felt very proud about how he created his own "business" because of the "unlimited business opportunities" on the Internet.

With respect to the Jia Junpeng, I was giving my support periodically and I earned 100 RMB.  As an Internet promoter with two years of experience, Ah Qian did not expect that "Jia Junpeng" could become so popular.  Ah Qian has sensed the "unlimited opportunities" and therefore he is planning to quit his job and build up a professional team of Internet promoters.

In Zhongshan, there are quite a few people who are bent on becoming full-time Internet promoters.  Many of them worked at Internet marketing companies.  Our reporter investigated the interest chain in Internet promtions.

"One day, someone sent an email to me and asked me to post something on the Internet favorable about a product.  He promised me a commission if I do well."

In terms of work experience, Ah Qian is a veteran Internet promoter even though he is not yet 24 years old.  Ah Qian is an authentic Zhongshan resident as well as a veteran netizen.  Before becoming an Internet promoter, he was on the Internet everyday either playing online games or making posts.  After a while, Ah Qian established a certain degree of fame and influence among netizens.

"About two years ago, I began to find that certain posts were being propped up.  Then I learned that these were the legendary Internet promoters.  I thought that this was an easy job because you can make money without doing a lot of work."  After getting to know certain Internet promoters, Ah Qian began to "prop" posts up as well.  He got his first job through a friend and he had to support a certain Taobao store.  He received more than 50 yuan on that occasion.

Like Ah Qian, Ah Ming is a veteran netizen.  At the time, Ah Ming had worked in Zhongshan for eighteen months and some of his posts were regarded as excellent and placed at the top of the forums.  One day, someone sent him an email to offer a 400 RMB part-time job.  He was asked to make certain posts favorable to a certain product for which he can receive a commission.

"After a few days, I tried to imitate those Internet posts about product trials.  At first, many people got interested.  Then the administrator issued a warning to me.  I did not make any posts again.  But at the end of the month, someone wired 400 RMB.  When I got that money, I was quite excited but I also felt guilty."  Ah Ming recalled.

"The ultimate goal was to attract netizens, such that they get drawn unintentionally into the subject of this promotional campaign.

In recent years, many people have become Internet celebrities through the efforts of Internet promoters.  What do these Internet promoters do to turn ordinary people into Internet celebrities?

Ah Ming has a simple answer: "Our sole goal is to do everything possible to make the readers fall into our carefully designed 'trap.'  Internet promoters don't care about whether the content of their writings is true."

For Ah Ming, Internet promoters use either technical or non-technical methods.  Making posts, supporting those posts, creating controversies, acting as contrarians, using connections to ensure top placements and creating special subject areas are technical methods.

But these technical methods make more demands on the Internet promotion teams: they must have strong Internet resources.  For example, they must many registered ID's at the Internet forums as well as personal blogs.  They must have a large team of full-time and part-time posters and commentators.  These people are given daily assignments to use their various ID's to view, comment, or deliberately create quarrels so as to draw the attention of netizens.

"It is not hard to create a false impression of interest.  But the Internet promoters cannot create a top hit by themselves.  The ultimate goal of the Internet promoters is to draw the genuine netizens over and divide them into opposite camps with respect to the topic as defined by the Internet promoters.  These are the so-called non-technical methods."  Ah Ming said.

(  August 7, 2009.

In Songbai town, Yangchun city, ten people went missing without a trace.  In the successive cases of missing people (including young and old), they seemed to have vanished into the air without any sign of being dead or alive.  The police investigated but came up with nothing.  Since there were no bodies and no clues, these cases kept happening without being solved.  It all began on July 8, 2009, when the 19-year-old high school student named Yan went to play at the Beihe Reservoir in the morning and never came back.  This girl was usually very obedient and never goes missing for so long.  So the family were in distraught.  They had heard about the missing people in the town, so they notified the relevant departments immediately.  This news go to the newspaper reporter Xiao Chen.

On the morning of July 10, the reporter went to the reservoir and checked out the scene.  He found nothing at first.  At 13:10, he entered a hillside village in the Beihei area and saw something that he will never forget.

Several villagers held a girl down on a chair.  One man then plunged a knife into the girl's throat.  Xiao Chen observed the scene from afar and he fell down on the ground in shock.  After a while, he took out his camera and took the photos that would solve all the cases of missing persons. 

Cannibalism?  How can there still be cannibalism in our society today?? But the facts were right in front of him.

This is a tragic world.  All on the evening of July 10, the Songbai town police received the report.  The police went down to the village and detained everybody there.  We will know why this happened when the police releases the results of their investigation.

The high resolution copies of these photos would suggest that it was a plastic female model.

(EastDay)  August 11, 2009.

Recently an Internet forum post entitled <Shocking cannibalism in Songbai town, Yangchun city> was criculating.  When the police learned about it, they started an investigation quickly.  Yesterday, the police announced that this was completely fictional, and the suspected rumormongers and propagators have been detained by the public security bureau.

According to that investigation, the <Shocking cannibalism in Songbai town, Yangchun city> forum posts originated from the QQ space owned by "Ting Er."  On August 7, the police apprehended the rumormonger named Lei and three others who propagated the rumor.  During the interrogation, Lei made a confession: For the sake of excitement as well as increase website traffic volume, he found some fake photos on the Internet and fabricated the so-called news report, which he posted on his girlfriend's QQ space.

The police reminds the public not to believe in Internet rumors and not to forward them.  Anyone who fabricate or spread rumors bear legal responsibility.

Warnings for typohoon Morakot were issued on August 7.  Many television channels in Taiwan went on air non-stop while taking call-in's from the people to answer questions.  A university student named Hsieh was not helping his family make storm preparations.  Instead, he invited a group of friends including one named Lin to his house and played mahjong.  These people came up with the idea about calling up a television channel and ask questions.  Finally, Lin called up and said: "There are some strong winds in Taoyuan but not much wind.  So why is the east wind that I am waiting for not here?"  This question could only cause the television host to react with a silly smile.

So these people delighted in making a fool out of the television post.  Hsieh even filmed the call and posted it on the Internet.  On the evening of August 10, PTT netizens discovered the video and made a post entitled "People should be busy with disaster relief, but instead some idiot is wasting people's time with nonsense."

Hsieh apologized later on PTT but it was not accepted.  Netizens began to look up information on him, down to the fact that he doesn't have a girlfriend.  Chang Gung University which he is attending in the School of Business Administration receiving complaint telephone calls.  A student counselor named Wu said that the school is very angry with what Hsieh did.  They have warned him not to repeat this and they will probably punish him.  Previously Chang Gung University had expelled a student for misbehavior on the Internet.  It is alleged that Hsieh will receive two major demerits this time.

But when Hsieh apologized, he indicated that he was the one who made the call.  On the afternoon of August 11, another netizen noted that the caller Lin had left the comment: "Which law is broken when someone makes a telephone call to have fun?  So I made that telephone call! ... Wasn't that nice?  Come and find me! (some words were deleted."  Immediately, netizens tracked Lin down as a student at the National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences.

The National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences said that they called Lin at home immediately after they learned about this matter.  Lin admitted that he made that call.  So they have asked him to write a letter of apology/contrition.  The Dean of Student Affairs named Huang repeated use the descriptor "very awful" to describe this prank.  He said that the school will meet on at 9am on August 12 to discuss punishment for this student.  Huang also said that he has saved the YouTube clip and he will use it this coming September for new student orientation in order to warn them.