February 28, 2010

You know "orz" and "Jiong"? I feel like that right now

Picture 1:
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I have received two packages of shit in the last 2 weeks. I know it's somebody in the office. So who ever is doing it the joke's over quit sending me shit. Jeff Downing Lake Grove NY

Picture 2:
Supposedly this is the latest brilliant idea from post-80s parents to save diaper money.
也许是金融危机的关系吧 Probably because of economic crisis and everybody.

但尿布钱钱总算省下来了 这就是生儿子的好处! But they finally managed to save diaper money. This is the advantage of having a son!

February 26, 2010

A 2009 Unofficial Report on China's Social-Economic Classes

To translate this report, I had to search for information on China's political system, and the sources are listed at the end of the entry.

Before starting, here are some terms that are commonly alluded to by the report.

In terms of territorial organization:
Nation > province > direct-controlled municipality (直辖市) > city > county > village
China's political hierarchy:
Central leadership: President, Premier, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, Chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, members of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China, members of the Central Military Commission, etc.

bu level (部级): provincial party secretary, governor, ministers under the State Council, such as the Defense Minister, Minister of Public Security, etc.

ting level (厅级): city party secretary, mayor, directors of provincial government offices, such as the Directors for Department of Education and Department of Commerce, etc.

chu level (处级): county party secretary, county mayor, party secretary of a prefecture-level city, district mayor, directors for city departments, such as Secretary of the City Board of Education, Municipal Secretary for Commerce, etc.

ke level (科级): town party secretary, town mayor, directors of county or district level departments, such as the County Secretary for Education, the District Secretary for Commerce, etc.
All of the listed positions have a rank and can be officially regarded as officers. Below the ke level, there are village party secretaries and village heads, but these are the lowest administrative positions and do not rank in the hierarchy.

Translation: 中国阶层报告 2009第一版

The numbers in this report come from published data (mostly by the government). Out of personal interest, I used statistical methods to classify the information. I love the motherland. I love the Party Leaders. Should this report have any negative impact, would the moderator please help to delete. Thanks in advance.

Social and economic stratification has always been a hotly debated topic. Modern China is currently undergoing a period of social change, whereby the formation, decline of, and mobility between classes frequently occur. More importantly, certain groups maintain very low transparency towards the public, and the hidden assets complicate any description of the social-economic classes. Due to limited resources, I only used statistics from government sources and from well-known domestic as well as international institutions as my benchmark to create a clear model for social and economic stratification in China.

Determinants of class position:
  • Political status (as defined by occupation and rank)
  • Economic status (assessment based on existing wealth and annual income, so that both present worth and future potential are taken into account)
Note 1: Since academic and artistic resources largely depend on the two factors already mentioned, they won't be individually considered

Note 2: We evaluate gross income for farmers, and disposable income for city dwellers (that means income after tax and funds)
The Basic Unit Analyzed: Family

Note: Family means "parents and unmarried children" (Reference: Publications by the United Nations Population Division)

Average number of people per family is 3 in the cities and 4 in the countryside. I assumed China's total population to be 1.5 billion.
Classification standards:
  • Degree of separation between adjacent classes (qualitative differences)
  • Amount of resources at individuals' disposal (quantitative differences)
Note 1: This report mainly focuses on vertical stratification. Occupational differences are not considered unless they happen to significantly affect the vertical grouping.

Note 2: Mobility only exists between adjacent classes, never skipping over classes.
This model separates the Chinese society into 7 classes, and each is further divided down into 2 to 3 sub-classes. They are:
  • The apex and the highest class (0.001%)
  • Upper class (0.05%)
  • Upper middle class (0.5%) (further divided into sub-classes A and B)
  • Middle class (4.5%) (further divided into sub-classes A and B)
  • Lower Middle class (15%) (A and B)
  • Lower class (35%) (A, B, and C)
  • The Bottom (45%) (A and B)
Note 1: The model applies only to mainland China. It does not include Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan

Note 2: Overlaps inevitably exist between the two determinants of class position, between income and assets, and in computations for families that have more than one wage earners. We will not explain them any further as the statistical data already account for these overlaps.

Note 3: Economy and standards of living vary across regions. For Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen citizens, we multiplied their actual income or assets by 0.85. This reduction factor affected a small percentage of people in the middle, lower-middle, and lower classes.

1. The apex and the highest class (0.001%)

Those who control the political resources: currently serving second-in-command officers at the bu level and above; retired second-in-commands at the national level or first-in-command at the bu level and above.
  • Serving members of political bureaus: 25 (http://news.xinhuanet.com/ziliao/2004-07/14/content_1600008.htm)
  • Serving officers in 32 provinces and autonomous regions, on party committees, in government agencies, and in the NPC and CPPCC: 120 first-in-command, 780 deputy positions. The total is about 1000.
  • In the 27 departments that make up the State Council, including both first- and second-in-command: 200
  • Deputy positions at the state level, officers in the 150-some business enterprises controlled by the SASAC: 1800
  • High ranking officers in 7 major military divisions: 400
  • Retired second-in-command officials at the national level or retired first-in-command at the provincial level and above: 1600
Subtotal: 5000 people
Those who control the economic resources: at least 0.5 billion yuan worth of assets (annual income is not considered)
  • Hurun's 2008 "China Rich List" included 1000 people, whose assets exceeded the 0.7 billion yuan threshold. Here I assumed that the number in the 0.5-0.7 billion yuan range is also 1000.
Subtotal: 2000
Bottom-up statistical approaches may be used to analyze both groups. People situated at the top are few, limited strictly to those who appear in often CCTV news. Because their number is only double digits (therefore do not possess any statistical significance) and these people are related to members of the highest class either by blood and marriage, or are colleagues and long-time friends with one another, I have combined group them into one class.
This class comprises city families. Because class members are generally old and have no unmarried children, average number of people per household is assumed to be 2.2.
Class population: around 15,000 (0.001%)

2. Upper class (0.1%)

Those who control the political resources: ting level first- and second-in-commands who are currently in office; retired second-in-commands at bu level and first-in-commands at ting level     
  • In the 333 prefecture-level cities, there are 1200 first-in-commands and 7800 second-in-commands. In total, there are 10,000 officers.
  • In the 500 ting level offices under the State Council, there are, in total, 4000 first- and second-in-command positions
  • In the 3000 ting level offices under provincial governments, there are, in total, 15000 total first- and second-in-command positions
  • Senior colonels, major generals and other military posts (部队正师职以上): 3000
  • In business enterprises: 30,000
  • Other ting level officers: 35,000
Subtotal: 110,000
Those who control the economic resources: 50 million - 0.5 billion yuan in assets, or annual income above 3 million
  • According to Merrill Lynch's 2008 "Asia-Pacific Wealth Report," China boasts 6038 ultra High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs), whose assets exceed 30 million USD (about 0.2 billion yuan). 2000 possess assets that are worth 0.5 billion yuan and up. After subtracting the 2000 who are 5 billion yuan and up, we see that 3000 people fall into the 0.2-0.5 billion yuan range.
  • Therefore, per usual statistical patterns, the number of people in 0.1-0.2 billion range will be 5 times the number in 0.2-0.5 billion range, or about 15,000 individuals. The number of people in 0.05-0.1 billion range will be 8 times the number in 0.1-0.2 billion range, or about 120,000 individuals.
  • Those whose annual income exceeds 3 million yuan but do not fall into the preceding categories are mostly owners of entrepreneurial start-ups, high-ranking administrators in large foreign corporations, few "black gold" (people who collude with politicians to make illegal money), and few top sports stars and entertainment celebrities. Their number is around 22,000.
Subtotal: 160,000
This class is solely made up of city families. Because class members are generally old and have no unmarried children, average number of people per household is assumed to be 2.8.
Class population: 750,000 (0.05%)

3. Upper-middle class (0.5%)
This class comprises A and B subclasses.
Subclass A:

Those who control the political resources: chu level currently serving first-in-command officials; ting level retired second-in-command officials
  • China has about 8 million public servants (Note: Vice Minister of Human Resources and Social Security stated that by the end of 2003, there were 6.369 million civil servants). 1/10 or about 800,000 were first-in-command ke level and above. If we subtract out the 100,000 government employees who have been previously accounted for, there are still 700,000 officers at the chu level. 150,000 of them are first-in-command, the rest are second-in-commands.
  • First-in-command chu level officials in state-owned enterprises/institutions and in the military: 100,000
  • Retired personnel: 100,000
Subtotal: 350,000
Those who control the economic resources: 20 million - 50 million yuan in assets or annual income of 1.5 million - 3 million
  • By the end of 2007, says Merrill Lynch's 2008 "Asia-Pacific Wealth Report," China has 415,000 HNWIs (definition for HNWI: 1 million USD and above in personal assets, excluding value of current domicile)
Note: 1 million USD is about 10 million RMB.
  • We count 115,000 individuals with net worth above 20 million yuan, and 300,000 individuals with net worth below 20 million yuan. After subtracting the number of individuals who have already been mentioned before, we arrive at a number of 100,000 individuals between 20 million and 50 million.
  • Those whose income falls between 1.50 million and 3 million and who do not belong to the preceding categories are mostly owners of entrepreneurial start-ups, high-ranking administrators in large international corporations (located in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen), few "black gold", and few sports stars and entertainment celebrities. Their number is around 10,000.
Subtotal: 200,000
Subclass A population: 550,000
Subclass B:

Those who control the political resources: currently serving second-in-command chu level officials, retired first-in-command chu level officials
  • The data have been given out previously. Population is approximately 3 times that of subclass A: 1,000,000    
Those who control the economic resources: 10 million - 20 million yuan in assets or annual income of 800,000 - 1.5 million
  • The data for the 10 million - 20 million yuan "asset group" has been given out previously. The number is 300,000.
  • The number of individuals who earn 800,000 - 1.50 million yuan per year has been noticeably increasing. Besides owners of entrepreneurial start-ups and high-ranking administrators in large international corporations, middle-level managers in large state-owned businesses and international corporations (100,000), upper-level managers in medium sized international corporations and civilian-run enterprises, managers who qualify for incentive stock options, and a few professionals in high-paying industries (finance, energy, communication, and medicine) (100,000) are also placed on this level.

    Recent years have seen large increases in the number of "black gold" persons, sports stars and entertainment celebrities, as well as portion of the academic elite (100,000). Members of this subclass mainly reside in Beijing, Shanghai,Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The subclass is also emerging in other direct-controlled municipalities, well-developed provincial capitols and coastal cities.
Subtotal: 700,000
Subclass B population: 1,700,000
This segment of the Chinese population constitute the majority of buyers for luxury cars and high-grade commercial housing in first-tier cities.

This class is comprised largely city families. Average number of people per household is assumed to be 2.9.
Class population: 6,500,000 (0.5%) (0.15% in A, 0.35% in B)

4. Middle class (4.5%)
This class is divided into A and B subclasses:
Subclass A:

Those who control the political resources: Currently serving first-in-command ke level officers, retired second-in-command chu level officials
  • Nearly 1/3 of the 8 million civil servants, or 2.60 million, are ke level officials. 600,000 are first-in-commands; 2 million are second-in-commands.
  • Number of first-in-command ke level posts in military and state-controlled institutions amount to 1 million (Note: Relevant studies reveal that at the end of 2005, there were 1.25 million institutions with over 30.35 million employees).
  • Retirees are about 400,000.
Subtotal: 2 million
Those who control the economic resources: 5 million - 10 million yuan in assets or annual income of 500,000 - 800,000
  • In terms of assets, as a rule of thumb, we estimate the size of this group to be 2 times that of the 10 million - 20 million yuan category, or about 600,000.
  • The group whose annual income is between 500,000 to 800,000 yuan sits close to subclass B of upper-middle class, but the occupations run lower on the job spectrum. Typical senior white-collared workers and the intellectual elite reside on this level. Owners of successful small businesses, SoHo workers, second/third-tier entertainers and sports personages also belong here. The total number of individuals are 900,000 (A McKinsey report claims that in 2008, more than 1.60 million households in China take in annual income of 250,000 yuan and above). Members of this subclass mainly reside in Beijing, Shanghai,Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Other direct-controlled municipalities, well-developed provincial capitols and coastal cities have also seen substantial growth in numbers.
Subclass A population: 1.50 million
Subclass B:

Those who control the political resources: currently serving second-in-command ke level officers, retired first-in-command ke level officers
  • Partial data have already been given out. The number is 3 times that in subclass A.
Subtotal: 6 million
Those who control the economical resources: 1.5 million - 5 million yuan in assets or annual income of 150,000-500,000 yuan    
  • We again estimate the size of "asset group" according to statistical rule of thumb. In addition, we count people who own commercial housing in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Hangzhou (no mortgage); as well as those who made a fortune in the 2007 stock market. Total number is 5 million.
  • The number of people who earn 150,000-500,000 yuan per year is rapidly going up (Data provided by McKinsey are conservative, and 150,000-250,000 range account for a sizeable group). The distance between the salaried citizens in this subclass and those in subclass B of upper-middle class is now quite significant (In fact, most are being directly supervised by members of upper-middle class, subclass B and of middle class, subclass A). Members include owners of enterprises still in development phase, third/fourth-tier entertainers, athletes, and upper-middle-level intellectuals. The number of individuals is 10 million. Members of this subclass mainly reside in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, other direct-controlled municipalities, some well-developed provincial capitols and coastal cities, and a few prefecture-level cities and county-level cities.
Subtotal: 15 million

Subclass B population: 21 million (Note: The number in control of economical resources exceed those in control of political resources)
  • Typically the highest social station that commoners can attain (speaking of middle class broadly). Compared to the 3 higher classes, the range of occupation is much wider. However, positional stability is also greater. The vulnerability to risks might cause member of this class to decline in social status, but in contrast to the lower 3 classes, the amount of risks to which they are exposed is less. Subclass B makes up the main consumer forces for commercial housing in first-tier cities, high-grade commercial housing in second-tier cities, and vehicles of intermediate quality.
  • This class is largely made up of city families. A few households are located in well-to-do villages along the coastal areas. Average number of people per household is assumed to be 3.    
Class population: 73 million (4.5%, 0.7% in A, 3.8% in B)

5. Lower middle class (15%): 500,000-1,500,000 yuan in assets or income of 50,000-150,000 yuan per year

This class is divided into A and B subclasses. Its members have no political power, so our discussion is purely economic-based.    

Subclass A: 900,000-1,500,000 yuan in assets or annual income of 90,000 - 150,000 yuan

Subtotal: 30 million
Subclass B: 500,000-900,000 yuan in assets or annual income of 50,000 - 90,000 yuan

Subtotal: 40 million
This class includes ordinary governmental employees, white-collared workers, some technicians, administrative staff, staff members in state-owned institutions, and wealthy farmers. Class members are widely dispersed in direct-controlled municipalities (for example Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing), provincial capitols, prefecture-level cities, some county-level cities, towns, and rural villages.
This class consists mostly of city dwellers and a few villagers. Average number of persons per household is 3.2.

Class population: 0.225 billion (15%, 6.5% in A, and 8.5% in B)

6. Lower class (35%): 150,000-500,000 yuan in assets or income of 15,000-50,000

This class are divided into A, B, C subclasses. Its members have no political power, so our discussion is purely economic-based.
Subclass A: 350,000-500,000 yuan in assets or annual income of 35,000 - 50,000

Subtotal: 40 million
Subclass B: 350,000-500,000 yuan in assets or annual income of 25,000 - 35,000

Subtotal: 40 million
Subclass C: 150,000-250,000 yuan in assets or annual income of 15,000 - 25,000

Subtotal: 70 million
This class mainly includes recent college graduates, some technicians, administrative staff, staff members in state-owned institutions (mostly in A and B), factory workers, some migrant workers, well-to-do farmers, and families that have very little savings, in which both members used to work but are now retired (mostly in B and C). Members are widely dispersed in cities of all sizes, counties, and medium to big villages, although some live in poor villages as well.
This class consists equally of city dwellers and villagers. Average number of persons per household is 3.5.

Class population: 0.525 billion (35%, 9% in A, 9% in B, and 17% in C)

7. The bottom (45%): 0-150,000 yuan in assets or annual income of 0-15,000
This class can be more finely grouped into A and B. Its members have no political power, so our discussion is purely economic-based.
Note: According to Wang Wenbo (王文波), Deputy Director of General Economy Statistics at National Bureau of Statistics, the average income of Chinese farmers in 2008 is 4,761 yuan.

According to survey results published by National Bureau of Statistics, in the first half of 2009, the disposable income of residents in cities and counties is 8,856 yuan (18,000 yuan per year)

Subclass A: 50,000-150,000 yuan in assets or annual income of 5,000-15,000

Subtotal: 0.1 billion
Subclass b: 0-50,000 yuan in assets or annual income of 0-5,000

Subtotal: 0.07 billion
The unemployed in cities and counties, part-time employed, some migrant workers, and most farmers fall under this category.

This class mostly consists of families in the countryside. Average people per household is 4.

Class population: 0.68 billion (45% total, 26% in A, 19% in B)

Some remarks about mobility:
Members of the apex, highest class, and upper class will move back and forth within their circles. Unless there are major events [catastrophic], they will not lower further in status.

Upper-middle and middle classes can either go up or down by 1 class.

From lower class, subclass A to lower-middle class, subclass A, mobility is either up or down by 1.5 class (1 class and 1 subclass)

From lower class, subclass B to bottom class, subclass A, mobility is upward by 1.5 class or downward all the way to bottom class, subclass B.

Subclass B of bottom class may rise up by 1.5 class.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranks_of_the_People%27s_Liberation_Army (Ranks of the People's Liberation Army, as well as its Chinese wiki counterpart)
http://www.cycnet.com/cms/2006/2006youth/xw/yw/200807/t20080708_748007.htm (北京:各种组织机构职务职称将有统一英文名)

February 23, 2010

Xintai Government Promotes 6 Post-80s to Under Secretary Positions, Youngest is only 23

The youngest of them all, Wang Ran. Source

Translation: 山东新泰提7个副局长6个80后 23岁升副局长受质疑

In a recent post titled "An Appointment Notice That Shocked Me", Chinese Netizen "andybigfan" drew people's attention to the latest announcement from city government of Xintai, Shandong (山东省新泰市, a county-level city). The said announcement appointed 6 new under secretaries and 1 vice-president of the people's court. It was discovered that 6 of the 7 newly promoted were born in the 1980s, and the youngest is only 23-year-old. "Post-80s entering the political scene" quickly became the topic of many online discussions. Yesterday afternoon, a Xintai city offical whose last name is Ge (葛) responded to public doubts, claiming that the appointments are in line with relevant regulations.

7 under secretaries, 6 of them born in the 1980s

In the post, "andybigfan" pasted "Candidates for the open selection of leading cadres" directly from Xintai government website. The list states that after a process of open registration, inspection of qualifications, examination, assessment, and discussion, Xintai Party Committee has decided to appoint seven comrades to be under secretaries.

Chinese Netizens noticed that the youngest candidate of them all, Wang Ran (王然), only began working in the Commission for Discipline Supervision after passing the civil service examinations on August 30, 2008. She has worked as a government clerk for less than 2 years.

When the reporter found the announcement at Xintai city government website, he saw that indeed 6 of the 7 candidates were born in the 1980s, all holding entry level positions previously. Yet this same group were given deputy positions in Court, Audit Bureau, Justice Bureau, and the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. The youngest candidate Wang Ran (王然) was born in July 1986. She has dual Bachelor degrees in management and economics.

Interview Marks Much Higher Than the Written

Also at the Xintai website, the reporter found pages that listed Wang Ran's test scores. In this round of examinations, her written score was 64.83, interview score was 86.00, and the comprehensive was 75.41. In 2008, her civil service examination scores were 52.8 for the written, 79.2 for the interview, and 64.88 for the comprehensive. Both times, the interview results were much better than the written tests.

Yesterday afternoon, when the reporter telephoned the city Party Committee to request an interview with the 6 young officials, an employee with the last name of Ge expressed the need to consult with his superiors. By 19:00 today, however, there was still no reply. The reporter also called the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, for which Wang Ran is the new under secretary. Employees said Wang has not started working yet, and they are not familiar with this person.

Netizens Doubtful

1. Will inexperience affect their ability to perform?

According to ID "guaixiaobu," Xintai ranked 25th on the Top 100 Best County List. Advancing a group of recent college graduates to leadership positions is just too sudden. Are they competent? Why aren't they zhu ren (主任, some intermediate position) first to accumulate some experience?

Yesterday afternoon during the phone call to Xintai government, personnel Ge said that the written test is designed by the province and therefore uniform across Shandong. The interview was in-person. All promotions procedures followed relevant regulations. When questioned about the candidates' young age [and inexperience], Ge responded, "Difficult to say"

2 Assistant Judge Directly Appointed Court Vice President

Liu Tingting (刘婷婷), former assistant judge at People's Court in Daiyue region (岱岳), is only 25 years old. Her new position as the vice president of Xintai People's Court also sparked debate. ID "ljs77588" explained that assistant judges are court employees who have not passed the necessary exams and cannot work independently. Therefore, isn't a [drastic] advancement to vice president a violation of rules? By provisions of the law, candidates for both president and vice president of people's courts must be drawn from judges or the equivalent of judges.

Ge told the reporter that Liu Tingting has already passed the law exams and is therefore qualified.

3 Under secretary right after the trial period?

23-year-old Wang Ran became the focus for questions.

ID "在家过晚年" wrote, "A typical person graduates from college at 22. Even if she was admitted directly to civil service, how much can she accomplish in 1 year? Significant invention? Unbridled support from the people? It boggles my mind. One year is merely enough to familiarize oneself with the position, but there she goes flying to become the under secretary. It is mind-boggling." ID "变色蜥蜴" followed up with another comment: "She becomes under secretary as soon as her probational period ends. With so little experience, can she handle the important duties?"

In assuage Netizens' concerns, Ge claimed that all new leaders have done exceptional work previously. But when the reporter asked for examples, Ge replied: "Difficult to say."

Netizens Skeptic

ID "闲子落花" wrote: "In a county-level city, many civil servants will not attain under secretary positions despite of a lifetime of good work. These are pretty significant leadership posts. Thus, people in that list are obviously offsprings of officials."

ID "xzwtzsp": One-step promotion from an ordinary assistant judge to court vice president, I really wonder if she has the ability to take on such a solemn position. I don't understand, were the assessment and promotion processes even legal?

ID "417318": Even if they were political geniuses, they should still undergo a more gradual and progressive development.

ID "黑格尔他爹": Did you all take notice? Wang Ran and Liu Tingting are Xintai locals. The other new officials also are Shandong residents, about 2 or 3 years out of college. How can we not suspect something strange? I wonder what information we can uncover if the family circumstances of Wang Ran etc are made public. However, such a demand is wishful thinking. As someone said above, this public announcement is a "public demonstration of political might"...

ID "兆京老黑": 7 under secretaries, 6 of them are post-80s....post-80s have official come on board.

ID "忘忧主": In county-level cities, a more typical career path is as follows: clerk--deputy supervisor--supervisor--under secretary, so these people have skipped 3 rungs on the political ladder. Normally even under secretaries are promoted from among the supervisor rank; going from deputy supervisor to under secretary is skipping a level too. These people never were deputy supervisors; in other words, they did not have experience as intermediate authorities. How could they have had the chance to demonstrate their leadership skills?

February 21, 2010

"This Van Passed Me On the A11 expressway"

Driving can be hazardous...

Translation: "This Van Passed Me On the A11 expressway, I need consolation"

Around 2:30 PM on February 20, I was driving toward Shanghai at a leisurely speed of 100 km per hour under the sun. Suddenly, a vehicle sped up to my side. Once I saw that it was just a van, I stopped paying attention, but a strange feeling lingered--it didn't have a driver!! Fuck!! Remote controlled van!! Invasion by UFO!!! Then I look at it again, oh~~my lady gaga, its windows are totally closed off, including the one by the driver's side, and it is missing the left rearview mirror~~~~~Huge sweat drop, this guy is driving blind!!! One-eyed Jack and missing an ear!! Fuck!!! This is some talent!!! The brother probably got into some accident that destroyed all the glasses, and now he is doing a make-shift job with duck tape, I don't know how he got on the interstate high way, and how he obtained the card~~~Let me get away from him. I need to run for my life~~~


No rearview mirror, or windows. It is gonna be dangerous when he changes lane.

Show us the front windshield!

The tollways only care about making money and not what drives on it.

How did he get past the toll booth? Open the door to pay his fees and get his card? And they didn't do anything??

February 18, 2010

Many "Vietnamese Brides" Without Legal Identity, Their Children Hukou-less

Translation: Southern Villages nfncb

Except for his record, Mo Guohua's family register is blank

"Vietnamese brides" and their children, Dadutang, Jiangnan Village, Gaoliang Town, Qingde County (德庆县高良镇江南村大都塘村)

"I don't know what to do, perhaps attend school for two years and then come back to be a farmer." Other than her "three nots" illegal status (non-citizen, non-national, non-person), 14 year old girl Mo Shuiyan (莫水燕) does not appear any different from her fellow classmates. Mo's flawless mandarin makes even her elementary school principal envious.

But Mo is aware of her special circumstance, because her mother Chen Hongwen (陈红文) comes from Vietnam.

Chen Hongwen clearly recalls the river route by which she entered China more than ten years ago. After paying 200 Chinese yuan to the boat owner, she was placed among businessmen who possessed legal documents. The bargeman took the group first to Dongxing (东兴市) located in South Guangxi. Then from Dongxing, they dispersed into other regions in Guangdong/Canton and Guangxi.

Toward the latter half of 1990s, China saw many such Vietnamese "Chen Hongwens." They either came from a life of penury or were spinsters. In the end, most found husbands in the mountainous western parts of Guangdong and Guangxi.

An official accurate headcount is still missing for the group. In Datong Village alone, which fell under the jurisdiction of Gaoliang Town, Qingde County in Zhaoqing city (广东省肇庆市德庆县高良镇), the reporter met more than 10 Vietnamese ladies. "There are around 100 Vietnamese women living in Qingde County." Villagers say that in places close to Guangxi, like Luoding (罗定), Yunan (郁南) and Fengkai (封开), the numbers probably are even higher.

Anonymous Letter Asking for Help

What prompted this news article was an anonymous letter sent to Southern Villages in December 2010. Hoping to increase public awareness of the plight of these women and their children, the letter stated--

They are children, some already attending school with kids their age and others about to enter school. Yet their parents are apprehensive about the future--without hukou (residency permit), these children will face hardships when they apply for colleges and jobs.

[Their mother,] Vietnamese women who married Chinese men, are pragmatic and able to face reality. They have settled down to raise offspring with their husbands


Though some wives have gone back a few times to Vietnam to visit relatives, they still cannot obtain legal marriage certificates. These women barely make enough money to pay for daily living expenses despite of year-round hard work. Their husbands are typically older, and a few are physically unable to work.

"We Have Integrated Ourselves into China"

In neighboring Vietnam, the male to female ratio is 3:5 to due to attrition in past wars. Therefore, many women willingly marry outside of their country.

Special match-making agencies seek pretty women, coach them in etiquette, and then introduce them to foreign men. For these ladies, China was one of the destinations as early as ten years ago, although most during that time period came under the pretext of job hunting.

Following an older cousin's footsteps, for instance, 35-year-old Kim Hung Nguyen (阮金红) married Datong villager Xu Jinyuan (徐进源). "I only paid the match maker a red envelope of 300 yuan," Xu Jinyuan cannot stopped smiling when talking about his marriage, "I was 30 and poor. And I wanted a wife bad."

When arriving at the Xu residence on January 29, 2010, the reporter saw Grandpa Xu basking in the sun with his two granddaughters and 7 year old grandson. Xu Jinyuan had returned from his farm to specifically welcome the reporter. A good sand sugar orange harvest put everybody in a good mood, allowing them to relax after a year of toil.

"If she didn't marry into our family, I probably would not be alive today." Granpa Xu said, it was a blessing of several lifetimes that allowed his son, who was in his thirties at the time, to find Kim Hung Nguyen.

Chen Hongwen from Jiangnan Village (江南村) was also present at the meeting. The woman had crisp and hearty laugh. In fluent Cantonese, she told the reporter, "I was skinny and dark-colored back in Vietnam. At 30, I still could not find a husband." In 1995, Chen married 43 year old Mo Hongfen (莫洪芬) after two years working as chicken butcher in China. Chen Hongwen was able to learn the West Canton dialect in just six months, and she spoke it well enough to haggle with customers. Nowadays, while her husband Mo Hongfen stays behind in Jiangnan Village to tend the rice fields, the outgoing Chen, in the business traditions of her Vietnamese homeland, moved with her daughter Mo Shuiyan to Gaoliang Town and reopened the chicken butcher business.

"We have integrated ourselves into China. This is our home," replied Chen Hongwen after a long pause, when daughter Mo Shuiyan begged her to say "I love you" in Vietnamese.

Mo Shuiyan has never seen Vietnam, "I don't know what the country looks like. I have no concept for it."

According to Gaoliang public security officer Liang Shulin (梁树林), the village has welcomed 10 Vietnamese women over the years. Two ran away because their husbands were too poor, but the rest remained and started their own families. In Datong Village that claims a population of 2000, vice president of its village committee Ren Tanyong (任谈咏) said that around 15 Vietnamese brides live there, and 20 hukou-less children have reached school age.

Eligible for Food and Medical Benefits

These Vietnamese wives have gained the acceptance of village leadership, but officially their status is hard to legalize. Currently their biggest worry revolves around their children: insurmountable hurdles include hukou, education, and job search.

In Kim Hung Nguyen's home, one wall displays Chairman Mao's portrait, while the adjacent wall is covered by all kinds of awards. The village acquiesced to the Xu children's right to education despite of their illegal status. "Under orders from the village, they receive equal treatment, just like any other students."

"And the compulsory education is free of charge," said Mo Shuiyan's school principal Li Weigeng (李伟耿). Although ineligible for need-based scholarship assistance, their education is otherwise the same.

In Qingde County, this equal treatment extends to other aspects. Last year, both Kim Hung Nguyen and children received governmental food subsidies. "They are also eligible to buy cooperative medical care and insurance. Our village does not discriminate."

Offspring Not on the Household Registration Record

When Mo Guohua (莫国华), citizen of Jiangnan Village in Gaoliang County, left the military in 1995, he was past his prime. "So I spend money to find me a Vietnamese wife." Now Mo is a father of two. In 2007, he visited the county police department with birth certificate handwritten by the midwife and stamped with the village red seal to obtain a hukou for his son Mo Zhenhuang (莫振煌).

"The police department refused, telling me they do not have such a policy." Mo Guohua tried to get out of his village hukou long ago but failed. "Now my children do not even have hukou. They are worse off than I was at their age. At least I had left the village [for a while] and seen the outside world." Mo Guohua sucked deeply on a cigarette, then forcefully exhaled the smoke, "Is my family doomed to be hukou-less?"

Kim Hung Nguyen's three children excel in academics, motivating parents to work harder, but the hukou issue is like a ever-tightening magic band around everyone's head, a constant source of headache. "If they pass college entrance exams but cannot go [because they don't have hukou], will they hate me forever?" Xu Jinyuan frets.

In Jiangnan Village, elementary school principal Luo Weigeng (李伟耿) described these children: their parents gave them lives, but the government cannot grant them a legal identity.

According to the provisions of Chinese marriage laws, hukou may be issued after the following requirements are met: Vietnamese brides must produce documents from Vietnam that prove their marital status, identity, residence, they must show passport and visa that allowed them to enter China, and their children must have birth certificates from Chinese hospitals.

The reality, however, is that poor Cantonese families have great difficulty obtaining any of the said documents. For example, Mo Guohua's wife Huang Xin (黄欣) has not gone back home in 15 years. She does not even know any way to get back in touch. "Going back requires a lot of money. If I possessed the ability to get all these documents, I would not even have a Vietnamese bride in the first place." explained Mo Guohua.

"There is not one China-Vietnam cross border marriage on our records." said He Gui (何桂), who is the head of Deqing County Bureau of Civil Affairs.

A few year ago, the Deqing police department had consulted with their superiors at the province level over this issue. At the time, they were told that hukou can be issued upon demonstration of birth certificate. However, the following three premises have to be met first: the father must express strong wishes for his children to remain in China, and the births cannot have violated any regulations; the father must establish parent-child relationship by providing DNA test results; lastly, Vietnamese brides must be deported.

"Impractical." Vice Minister of the Department of Propaganda in Qingde County claimed. In the poor areas of West Canton, it is nigh impossible to satisfy the requirements. "The local government would also like to solve this [hukou] problem, but we cannot disobey federal policies that dictate what we can and cannot do."

When asked whether she fears deportation, the normally talkative Kim Hung Nguyen fell silent. Finally, she said, "I have lived here for more than 10 years ." The question troubled her so much that she did not speak again to the reporter for the rest of his visit there, not even to say goodbye.

Meanwhile, the "three nots" children look forward to saying goodbye to their hukou-less status.

February 15, 2010

Watched: Guisi

Also known as Silk or 诡丝.

is one of the more heavily invested horror movies to come out of Taiwan lately. One brief look at the illustrious cast--Yōsuke Eguchi, Chang Chen, Karena Lam, Barbie Hsu (better known in Asia as Big S), Bo-Lin Chen--convinced me that Director ChaoBin Su had grand plans. Yōsuke Eguchi, Chang Chen, Karena Lam, are praised for their acting, while the remaining came to fame via idol dramas that require mostly pretty faces and good packaging. Thus, whether by intention or design, B0-Lin Chen left out no potential audience. The first category would attract viewers who value nuances and depth, while the second draws worshiping, screaming fans to the theaters.

In the movie, crippled Japanese scientist Hashimoto (played by Yōsuke Eguchi) heads a research team whose nominal work is in anti-gravity ""Menger Sponge." In reality, the research direction derailed once Hashimoto realized that the sponge can confine ghosts as well as allow the living to see the dead. To uncover secrets of life after death, the team captures the spirit of a young boy and drafts special agent Ye Qidong (Chen Chang) to find out his identity and cause of death.

The film is often times fraught with tension and suspense. The boy's mysterious past and even more mysterious death greatly complicate Ye's investigation. The special agent found himself at odds not only with the forces that made the ghost child but also with others on the research team, as differing motives cause members to fight one another for the possession of the young ghost. Together, the supernatural conflict and the more secular disunity give Silk depth uncommon in normal horror movies. Rather than non-stop exploitation of gore or cheap scares, the movie offers pensive reflections on life and death.

Obviously, Gui Si's premise is more involved than the typical horror movies on the market. In addition to an original plot line, Sci-fi elements combined with traditional spirit lore puts a new spin on the familiar ghost story. Although this mix-and-mesh is refreshing, jumps in logic are present. For example, the failure to convincingly explain how living transforms into ghost made an otherwise touching ending appear like a deliberate move to manipulate tears from the viewers. Some of the lackluster ghost scenes also detracted from the latter half of the movie, looking rather like washed-down parts from The Ring.

In all, Silk is a solid production that, because of some details, failed to become great. As a side-note, I also found the casting interesting. The amount of the time that each actor spent in the movie and his/her relative importance to the entire story is totally commensurate with the public perception of their acting skills.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

February 12, 2010

Chinese Antivirus Giant "Rising" Bribe Officials to Eliminate Competition

Liu Xu (right) to pick Tian Yakui (left) up from prison. Picture from Ynet

Rising Antivirus, or Rui Xing (瑞星) as Chinese call it, is one of the largest anti-virus software companies in China, with over 500 employees and more than 50 million Chinese home users.

Eastern Micropoint (微点主动防御软件), on the other hand, is a still a start-up, unremarkable except for the 2005 allegations that it released several malware to the internet.

The connection between these two? Yu Bing, former director of Beijing Cyberpolice in charge of internet security (北京市公安局公共信息网络安全监察处). On February 4, 2010, Yu bing was tried by Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court (北京市一中院) on charges of graft amounting to 14 million yuan as well as deliberate framing and persecution of Eastern Micropoint.

IT Companies Locked in Vicious Competition

If roots are traced far back enough, Eastern Micropoint is actually related to Rising Antivirus. Its owner Liu Xu (刘旭), known as "China's No. 1 expert in antivirus software" and a member of the 863 Program, was Rising's senior director and principal engineer before 2003. Its deputy director Tian Yakui (田亚葵) was formerly Rising's vice president and Director of Oversea Sales before March 2004.

Troubles for Liu Xu and Tian Yakui began after the two left Rising to found Eastern Micropoint in January 2005. Their research and development focused on novel technology that utilizes behavioral analysis to counter computer virus. Namely, it provides protection without having to examine real virus samples, and the product was set to launch in July 2005. If successful, Eastern Micropoint would be poised to gain significant market shares.

Beginning July 2005, Beijing police cyber security department subjected Eastern Micropoint to a series of "inspections." The reasons for these inspections varied from "evaluation of antivirus software companies" to "internet security routine check up." Eastern Micropoint employees, including top management and R&D division, were repeatedly summoned. July 21 of same year, inspectors confiscated company computers and sent them Rising Antivirus. The same computers hosted much of Eastern Micropoint's core technology.

In addition to frequent summons and inspections, Liu Xu received two "suggestions" from Yu Bing, who was director of Beijing Cyberpolice at the time: either sell his start-up to Rising or go back to his home province Fujian.

Liu Xu ignored Yu Bing. And luckily for Eastern Micropoint, all the important files were properly encrypted prior to the computer confiscation.

On August 30, police arrested Tian Yakui, accusing him of undermining computer information systems and stealing trade secrets. The Beijing cyberpolice released details of the arrest to the public, claiming they cracked the first case of "malicious and intentional spreading of computer virus." The announcement gained much attention at the time.

The Falsification of a Crime

Liu Xu frequently uses the word "persecution" to describe his experiences from four years ago.

An exact account of what had transacted was given by Zhang Pengyun (张鹏云) and Qi Kun (齐坤), both of whom are recently convicted and sentenced for their involvement in the wrongdoing.

In August 2005, Yu Bing ordered deputy directors Zhang Pengyun and Qi Kun to evaluate damages due to computer virus infections at two Beijing companies, Si Mai Management Consulting Firm (麦特管理顾问有限公司) and Jian Qiao Securities Company (健桥证券公司). Zhang Pengyun did not think there was enough evidence to make a case against Easten Micropoint, but Yu told him: "Do as I tell you, or you will be going down."

As a result, Zhang Pengyun and Qi Kun had to search for virus samples inside company computers. To prove that the virus originated from Eastern Micropoint, Yu Bing's department proclaimed that Tian Yakui's notebook sent 4 viral programs to the World Wide Web through a ADSL connection. Taking the case one step further, Yu Bing organized an "expert team" that purposefully excluded any employees from Rising. Yet the eventual arrest warrant for Tian Yakui was based on charges unconfirmed by experts.

An accounting firm, Zhong Run Hua (中润华), was hired to assign costs. It priced the Rising virus database at several thousands of millions RMB, a figure that Yu Bing lowered to a more plausible 60 million. Also, every infected computer was assessed for damage and reported as 100,000 yuan financial loss per equipment.

Yu Bing asked one of the companies Jiang Min (江民) for materials to build his criminal case. When the deputy director Yan Shaowen (严绍文) replied he did not know how to write the report, Yu Bing told Zhang Pengyun to write a template document that Yan Shaowen then copied and signed.

Once Yu had enough evidence, cyberpolice took the case to the media, accusing Eastern Micropoint of intentionally spreading virus on the internet. The cyberpolice claimed that Micropoint's unlawful conduct was brought to their attention by multiple antivirus Beijing companies, and after criminal investigation, it was determined that Micropoint seriously threatened online security and caused significant economic loss.

On September 6, 2005, cyberpolice requested National Antivirus Product Testing and Certification Center not to approve Eastern Micropoint's new product.

Fighting Back

To escape further persecution, Liu Xu decided to move the R&D team to Fuzhou. The team took the train to Xiamen but secretly got off before reaching the city. After two bus transfers, they arrived in Fuzhou at midnight undetected.

One of the employees in the team was Cui Suhui (崔素辉), a 23-year-old recent college graduate from Hebei province. Because he was also on the Wanted List, Cui had to live the next several years in hiding. During this time period, he was jobless and did not even dare to join his family for Chinese New Year celebrations.

Liu Xu and others never gave up. Using their real names, the team continuously reported Yu Bing's misconduct to the government. Finally in July 2008, Beijing Ministry of Supervision launched an official probe. Meanwhile Eastern Micropoint's name was cleared: the ADSL connection, one of the evidence used to implicate Tian Yakui, was never connected; in addition, Tian's notebook only contained 3 virus specimens, all of which unactivated.

On November 20, 2007, 11 months after his arrest, Tian Yakui was released from prison. Beijing Haidian Procuratorate decided not to press any charges. Eastern Micropoint received its product certification in February 2008.

Tian Yakui has aged years due to the imprisonment. "High tech products face intense time to market pressure. 3 months is enough to impact product success, let alone 3 years." Tian told a reporter on February 4. Because of unlawful tactics on Yubing and Rising's part, Eastern Micropoint directly suffered 30 million yuan loss. The company's indirect financial loss exceeds thousands of millions.

Rising Antivirus, with its now severely tainted image, will not comment on the case. It is keeping silence as the management wait for the verdict on Yu Bing. Rising's executive vice president Zhao Sizhuang (赵四章) has been arrested on charges of bribery.

Yu Bing had escaped to South Africa earlier but returned to China in September 2008 under advice from Supreme People's Procuratorate. He was arrested on September 18 on charges of corruption, bribery and abuse of power.

Yu Bing pleaded "Not Guilty" at the beginning. Two hours into the trial, however, he admitted to all corruption and bribery charges.

It was said that Yu Bing accepted bribes from four companies, all of them related to internet. Rising alone gave him 4.20 million yuan.

http://it.people.com.cn/GB/42891/42893/10965942.html (北京网监处数人落马 瑞星微点案两败俱伤)
http://it.people.com.cn/GB/42891/42893/10941551.html (中国杀毒业第一假案:瑞星420万行贿官员嫁祸对手)

February 11, 2010

Top 100 Funny One-liners and Their Chinese Translations

I found the entire list when Googling one of the lines. Made some modifications on the Chinese translations--just some, many of the original ones are classic.

Link (Can't find the first source anymore)

1、I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
开始我直接求上帝赐辆自行车。 后来我琢磨上帝办事儿不是这个路数。 于是老子偷了一

2、I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather.. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
我希望能像爷爷那样,安静地在睡梦中死去…… 而不是要像他开的车上那些惨叫滴乘客一

3、Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

4、The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.


5、If sex is a pain in the ass, then you're doing it wrong...
a. 如觉嘿咻乃屁眼不能承受之痛,那是你操错洞...

6、The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
a. 早起滴小鸟有虫虫!晚到的老鼠有奶酪!
b. 早起的鸟儿有虫吃,早起的虫儿被鸟吃。(This is a Chinese idiom.)

7、We live in a society where pizza gets to your house before the police.

8、Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand.
XXOO就象打桥牌。 如果对手不好使,自己的手必须好使。

9、 Some people are like Slinkies ... not really good for anything, but you can't help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.
有些人就像 Slinkies (弹簧玩具),没什么实在用处,但看他们在楼梯上倒腾来捣腾去

10、Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason.

11、War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

12、Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake a whole relationship.
a. 女人的高潮可能是装出来的。但是男人**可以整段感情都是装出来的!

13、We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

14、Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich.
男人就两种状态:饿 和 **。 要是他不硬,就给他个三明治!

15、Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

16、My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch.

17、I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.

18、If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of payments.

19、Sex is not the answer. Sex is the question. "Yes" is the answer.
XXOO并不是结论而是个问题...爽不爽才是答案...(not sure about this one)

20、Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

21、How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

22、If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea... does that mean that one enjoys it?

23、Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


24、If God is watching us, the least we can do is be entertaining.

25、Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

26、I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.

27、A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station..

28、If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

29、 Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?

30、A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
a. 下棋,我不行;玩跆拳道,电脑不行!
b. 下象棋电脑把我玩得团团转,拳击我能把机箱踹得七零八散!

31、I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on it...so I said "Implants?"

32、 Children: You spend the first 2 years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next 16 years telling them to sit down and shut-up.

33、Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

34、Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.
a. 宁愿闭嘴当傻瓜,也别学乌鸦乱呱呱。
b. 越解释越SB,不说话最NB。
d. 宁可闭口被人当SB,也不张口消除所有疑问。

35、A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it.

36、Laugh at your problems, everybody else does.

37、The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!
a. 我知道没人在我脑子里跟我聊天,但那些话真TM有用!

38、A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
a. 无愧于心哈?记性不好吧?
c. 意识清醒了,意味着不堪回首了。

39、Good girls are bad girls that never get caught.
a. 所谓的好姑娘,咳!就是还没被群众抓到的JP女·····
b. 想立牌坊就得会装

40、He who smiles in a crisis has found someone to blame.

41、 Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

42、The shinbone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room.

43、The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.

44、To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

45、Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

46、 I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.

47、Crowded elevators smell different to midgets.

48、I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

49、 Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR". What's my mother going to do?
每次填表的时候,遇到“紧急情况联系:” 这一项我都填上“医生”,到时候我妈能帮上什么忙?!

50、God must love stupid people. He made SO many.

51、Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

52、I always take life with a grain of salt, ...plus a slice of lemon, ...and a shot of tequila.

53、The sole purpose of a child's middle name, is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.
意译b:贾君鹏这名字就为了让他妈喊他回家吃饭!(haha, not at all related)

54、It's not the fall that kills you; it's the sudden stop at the end.

55、Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

56、Never hit a man with glasses. Hit him with a baseball bat.
意译: 要下手就得狠,甭来毛毛雨。

57、There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.

58、A bargain is something you don't need at a price you can't resist.

59、Never get into fights with ugly people, they have nothing to lose.

60、My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right.

61、My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He
said okay, you're ugly too.

62、 A little boy asked his father, "Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?" Father replied, "I don't know son, I'm still paying."

63、 Some people say "If you can't beat them, join them". I say "If you can't beat them, beat them", because they will be expecting you to join them, so you will have the element of surprise.

64、When in doubt, mumble.

65、I intend to live forever. So far, so good.

66、Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were not.

67、If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you!

68、A TV can insult your intelligence, but nothing rubs it in like a computer.

69、Knowledge is power, and power corrupts. So study hard and be evil.

70、Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

71、Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.

72、Worrying works! 90% of the things I worry about never happen.

73、Virginity is like a soap bubble, one prick and it is gone.

74、Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

75、With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

76、I should've known it wasn't going to work out between my ex-wife and me. A
fter all, I'm a Libra and she's a bitch.

77、Hallmark Card: "I'm so miserable without you, it's almost like you're still here."

78、You're never too old to learn something stupid.
越活越2~ /活到老,2到老

79、A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.

80、 I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, "I'm going to mop the floor with your face." I said, "You'll be sorry." He said, "Oh, yeah? Why?" I said, "Well, you won't be able to get into the corners very well."
我和个壮汉闹急了。 他:老子非得用你丫脸把地给擦了!!! 我:你会后悔的!! 他:
噢?真哒?怎么讲? 我:呃,边边角角的地方你擦不到!!!

81、Some people hear voices.. Some see invisible people.. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

82、I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.
啊我好爱好爱工作啊~ 工作让我好着迷啊~我**死盯着它几个小时了啊!

83、We have enough gun control. What we need is idiot control.

84、Women may not hit harder, but they hit lower.

85、Just remember...if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.

86、Jesus loves you, but everyone else thinks you're an asshole.

87、I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.
a. 过去老子左右为难。现在老子优柔寡断。
c. 过去我难以决断,现在我不大确信是否还是如此。

88、I don't trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn't die.

89、If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you'll have trouble putting on your pants.

90、To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

91、 You are such a good friend that if we were on a sinking ship together and there was only one life jacket... I'd miss you heaps and think of you often.

92、Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

93、Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
世界总是在变,但我却怎么也便不出来 (this is not accurate because there is no equivalent pun in Chinese)。

94、If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?

95、A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.

96、Whoever coined the phrase "Quiet as a mouse" has never stepped on one.

97、You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

98、The difference between an oral thermometer and a rectal thermometer is in the taste.

99、When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

100、Remember, if you smoke after sex you're doing it too fast.

February 07, 2010

Babysitter Uses Her Charge as a Prop in Street Begging

Translation: February 2, 2010 QLWB Link, via Xinhua Ürümqi

By January 28, 2010 and after going through four agencies, Deng Jian (邓健) still could not find a suitable caretaker for his 1 year old son. A harrowing experience several months ago with an unscrupulous babysitter left him with serious misgivings about handing his child over to another stranger.

Deng Jian's son Momo was born June 2008. In September 2009, Deng hired Xiao Guo (小郭) to babysit Momo full-time. Xiao Guo seemed a nice person. Deng paid her a monthly salary of 1,500 yuan, because he doesn't mind spending more money as long as Momo is well cared for.

One day in October, Deng Jian received a phone call at his work place. The call came from a neighbor: "Your babysitter is taking Momo to beg by the overpass. You really should go take a look."

When Deng arrived at the location mentioned by his neighbor, a pedestrian overpass near his home, he was almost shocked senseless by what he saw. In Xiao Guo's arms was his one year old son, face smirched and wearing tattered clothing. Pitying the woman and her young son, many people gave Xiao Guo money.

Under harsh questioning by Momo's parents, the babysitter finally admitted this behavior has been going on for more than a week. As soon as the Deng couple went to work, she would dress Momo up for begging. Then prior to Deng's return, she would take the child home, wash him clean, and pretend nothing had happened.

Zeng Wanmin (曾万民) from Xinjiang Xin Jin Yuan Law firm commented on this bizarre case during an interview: Nursery personnel who, without parental consent, take babies out to public places to beg are violating the children's right to health; this unacceptable behavior also seriously undermines the babies' image, dignity and reputation.

28-year-old mom Want Ting (王婷) mentioned several other horror stories that friends with kids told her: some babysitters drug their charges with sleeping pills to reduce workload; some babysitters eat nutritious food intended for the children and, as replacement, make them eat congee; there are even those who pacify babies by sticking toes into the babies' mouths.

Lawyer Zeng Wanming has seen similar cases in the past, but after inquiring about their rights and the law, parents always decided not to press charges. For example, the Deng family ultimately took no action. In addition to the unwanted exposure a lawsuit brings, they also feared retaliation from Xiao Guo, who knows their address, phone number and what Momo looks like.

Zeng says these incidents reflect a lack of regulation and oversight in the babysitting industry.

February 06, 2010

2008 Sichuan Earthquake Donations by Chinese Celebrities Closely Inspected

Update 2/14/2010:

Many actresses questioned in this article were able to show their receipts.

Full account for the amount raised by Zhang at Cannes Film Festival is still missing.

Zhang Ziyi Fundraising for the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake at Cannes

Ifeng Link

In the wake of Zhang Ziyi's earthquake donation scandal, where the mega-star defaulted on a promised amount of 1 million USD (money she obtained through an earthquake fundraising event at Cannes), Chinese Netizens are beginning to take a closer look at the records of other Chinese celebrities.

Suspicious Netizens Ask Questions

After Zhang Ziyi was found out for failing to make the promised donations, Netizens examined other stars' records more closely: "On the China Red Cross website, we found actor/singer Chen Kun (陈坤) had 200,000 yuan under his name, singer Na Ying (那英) only 20,000 yuan, actress Zhou Xun (周迅) 300 yuan, and actress/singer Zhao Wei (赵薇) 20,000 yuan. Did these celebrities contribute through other accounts [that we don't know of]? Otherwise, why do their reported donations differ so much from reality?"

Long before this, there were already media reports questioning celeb donations. "First-rate star L told the newspaper she donated 500,000 yuan, but in actuality only gave 82,503.02 yuan"; "Dongbei megastar did not give a dime, but some reports credited him with 2.22 million yuan."

Trustworthy Celebs

Zhou Xun (周迅) gave 200,000 extra

Since both Chinese Red Cross Foundation (http://www.crcf.org.cn/) and Red Cross Society of China (http://www.redcross.org.cn/) accepted donations for the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, the reporter did some research of his own at the two websites.

For example, the 300 yuan that some Netizens found under Zhou Xun's name was only to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation. At the website for Red Cross Society of China, Zhou made two independent contributions on May 13 and May 21, 2008, respectively. In other words, the total amount donated was 300,000 yuan, exceeding the figure she told the reporters by 200,000.

Taiwanese singers/actors He Rundong (何润东) and Su Youpeng (苏有朋) each claimed 100,000 yuan, which have been confirmed by lists on Red Cross Society of China website. Mainland actor Huang Xiaoming (黄晓明) also donated a respectable amount. On the second day after the earthquake, 150,000 yuan came from Huang's account. Moreover, starting from the 19th, donations under Huang's name continue to arrive; these were obviously fans who followed their idol's call.

Even among the well-meaning fan organizations, exaggerations abound. For instance, "Su Youpeng's Fan Club" laid claim to 6,300 yuan, yet only two entries--100 yuan and 1,303 yuan--have been verified. He Rundong's fans supposedly donated 200,000 yuan, but this amount did not appear on any donation lists. The reporter also searched for Jing Boran (井柏然) and Shang Yujie (尚雯婕), both competitors in popular singing competition shows. Jing Boran only donated 500 yuan, while his fans were nowhere to be found. Shang Wenjie donated 50,000 yuan, but her fans' contribution of 100 yuan lagged far behind the reported 5233.

Problem Celebs

Actress Li Bingbing (“李冰冰”) = 500 yuan?

Many celebrities "padded" their charitable contributions. Li Binging, who allegedly donated 300,000 yuan, was shown to have given 250 yuan to Chinese Red Cross Foundation and another 250 to Red Cross Society of China. Singer Hu Yanbing's (胡彦斌) actual donation of 50 fell far short of the publicized 50,000 yuan. Movie star and singer Zhao Wei only gave 20,000 instead of 100,000 yuan. Heavy weight TV drama celebrity Liu Xiaoqing (刘晓庆) donated 4300 rather than 100,000 yuan.

Why are there so many inconsistencies?

Managers Kept Receipts. Do not Fear Investigation

Even though misunderstandings against Zhou Xun were quickly clarified, her agent Ms. Sun still felt indignation. It was unfair for Netizens to doubt Zhou Xun, she said, for the star always did charitable works with the sincerest desires, and Zhou never willingly publicized her donation record.

Na Yang, Zhao Wei, and Hu Yanbin's publicist all responded quickly. Na Ying's manager told the newspapers that they are currently contacting Red Cross to produce affidavits, while others welcomed public scrutiny, saying they kept the receipts and do not fear questioning.

Puzzled by the "shrunken donation" phenomenon, the reporter interviewed someone who has been in the entertainment industry for a long time: "We did not falsify our donations, because we ask for confirmation and receipts." Said the publicist, who expressed resentment at Netizens who question celebrities' record, "At first we didn't feel the need to announce how much we donated, but since everybody else publicized theirs, we followed suit. Netizens do not understand the important issues here. Any donation made is strictly a matter between the benefactors and the beneficiaries, we are not obligated to tell a third party."

Hu Yanbin's marketing team was especially angry, "I asked my colleague who was in charge of this. In addition to the 50,000 yuan donation required by the company, Hu separately donated 100,000 yuan. And we have receipts to prove it." In response to the Netizen probing, she also felt resentful, "We have the receipts, and we are not afraid of investigation. But forcing celebrities to prove themselves this way is turning our hearts cold."

Fans' Donations Hard to Tally

Regarding the exaggerated donations numbers by fans, the reporters contacted He Rundong's publicist. She explained, "Our fans donated 200,000 yuan. One person from Hong Kong alone donated 100,000 alone. We collaborated with Bei Qing web to encourage fans to donate, but the specific cause under which we asked for donations, the amount that was donated, we really cannot remember. Just because you can't find our record doesn't mean we did not contribute." She gave a further example, "Right after Sichuan earthquake, He Rundong and my co-workers when to the earthquake-afflicted areas to ask for donations. We were on the street carrying a donation box from the Red Cross Society of China and all money received were sent to the Red Cross account."

Celebrity Donations Came in Various Forms

While many made monetary donations after the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake, others celebrities chose to give charitable gifts of goods. For example, beside donating 200,000 yuan, actress Fan Bingbing designed a T-shirt. The proceeds from selling the T-shirts were all sent to Sichuan.

Some celebrities did not go with any formal charity organization. Writer Han Han (韩寒), sportscaster Huang Jianxiang (黄健翔), and sports reporter Li Chengpeng (李承鹏) each gave 200,000 yuan to be used for school reconstruction. They were personally involved in site selection and in school design. Construction of the new primary school has now completed, but obviously the 600,000 yuan will not be found on any Red Cross type websites.

FYI--Zhang Ziyi Sichuan Earthquake Fund-raising Scandal Timeline

  1. May 12, 2008, Sichuan province suffered devastating earthquake.
  2. Zhang Ziyi pledged 1 million yuan to the disaster relief effort.
  3. Zhang also held a one-person fundraiser at Cannes Film Festival (there were other fundraisers for the same cause but she chose to hold hers alone). According to numerous reports and interviews at respectable formal websites (Xinhua, Sina and Sohu for examaple), she was able to raise 1 million USD in the name of Sichuan earthquake victims.

    Furthermore, Zhang Ziyi established the "Ziyi Zhang Foundation" in USA, nominally to hold the money raised.

  4. In December 2009 and January 2010, Zhang Ziyi became embroiled in the Black Paint Incident. Tianya, one of the largest Chinese forums, was populated by heated arguments between fans, anti-fans, and Netizens who were critical of Zhang due to the many sleeping-with-married-man accusations.

    To prove Zhang's virtue, her donation records were plastered on Tianya forum by supporters.

  5. Some Netizens began to check Zhang's donation record, and this is what they discovered--

    Out of the 100,000 yuan RMB pledged, Zhang personally donated 840,000 yuan.

    The 1 million USD from Cannes film festival was nowhere to be seen.

    The Ziyi Zhang Foundation is actually defunct
    . In its income statement, there was one sum totaling only $45,471 USD.

  6. Zhang quickly issued a public statement. In it, Zhang claims she is currently working with Care for Children (CFC) on a new project. The project has not begun yet, nor did she specified a starting date. An Ifeng article reported that Zhang's statement about the project could not be verified, and even CFC employees have not heard about it.

    In addition, Zhang implicitly said that 1 million USD was hugely exaggerated, because many people at the Cannes Film Festival wrote rain checks. She did not reveal how much money was actually received.

    Zhang tacitly admitted that money raised at Cannes is still in her own pocket.

  7. Zhang's agent Lucas Ling promised to make their accounting records public on February 3, 2010 to dispel rumors.

  8. Zhang's team failed to make the accounting records public on February 3rd.

  9. Yesterday (February 6), Lucas Ling told the news reporters that Zhang was only able to raise 400,000 USD. At the fundraiser, Zhang's team invited a website (unnamed) to take care of counting and adding up the money that was donated at Cannes, and for some unknown reason, this website overestimated by 600,000 USD.

    Lucas Ling also said that of the 400,000 USD, 350,000 were oral pledges and have yet to be realized.

    Care for Children Foundation also issued a public statement. Zhang will be providing the money to one of its new projects that seeks to find foster families for handicapped children. Though a worthy cause, this project is not directly related to Sichuan earthquake.

  10. On February 9, Sohu, who had exclusive right to follow Zhang Ziyi's Cannes fundraiser, issued a statement in which it strongly denied any involvement in the money counting.

February 05, 2010

Chinese Grammar

A few links on Chinese grammar, all written in Chinese

A concise overview on Baidu encyclopedia http://baike.baidu.com/view/1032182.html?goodTagLemma

Powerpoint (requires registration and some virtual coins) http://wenku.baidu.com/view/9422be0d4a7302768e9939d0.html

Many others http://wenku.baidu.com/search?word=%CF%D6%B4%FA%BA%BA%D3%EF%D3%EF%B7%A8%D6%AA%CA%B6&lm=0&od=0

Compared to powerpoints and lectures from foreign universities, for example USA and Europe, Chinese educational materials on the web are lacking in number and quality. I don't whether this is because Chinese teachers suck at powerpoint-making or that the late emergence of technology use in classrooms means most haven't migrated to electronic format

Even when there are many relevant links, more than half are usually the same materials uploaded over and over again, without attributions to the original source and only incorporating minor changes in format.
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