Gates of Dawn (黎明之門) by Secret Garden

你工作的時候聽什麼音樂?

我會聽Screte Garden, 那唯美而引人沉思的旋律,在漫長的白天和黑夜里,永遠給我希望、勇氣和力量。

最妙的是,我們這個時代有一個潘多拉的盒子(Pandora.com)。從2006年第一次接觸開始,這個音樂盒子一直是我的心水網站。Pandora就像你的私房樂隊,小心翼翼地摸索你的喜好,但又絕不愚蠢地迎合你,總給你新的發現和驚喜。

就像我這樣一個對音樂一無所知的人,三年下來,也通過Pandora,慢慢發現自己最喜歡的音樂風格不外乎具備如下幾個特徵:

new age aesthetics;
folk influences;
an overall meditative sound;
acoustic sonority;
mild rhythmic syncopation

有了Pandora, 誰還會去用Baidu mp3或者谷歌音樂?

我毫無保留地向每一個喜歡音樂的人推薦Pandora, 也歡迎大家分享我的Secret Garden電台,網址為:http://bit.ly/SecretGardenRadio

   

Gates of Dawn

Writer: Brendan Graham and Rolf Lovland

The wheels of life keep turning.
Spinning without control;
The wheels of the heart keep yearning.
For the sound of the singing soul.
And nights are full with weeping.
For sins of the past we’ve sown;
But, tomorrow is ours for the keeping,
Tomorrow the future’s shown.

Lift your eyes and see the glory.
Where the circle of life is drawn;
See the never-ending story,
Come with me to the Gates of Dawn.

And whose is the hand who raises
The sun from the heaving sea?
The power that ever amazes –
We look, but never will see?
Who scattered the seeds so life could be,
Who colored the fields of corn?
Who formed the mould that made me – me,
Before the world was born?

Lift your eyes and see the glory.
Where the circle of life is drawn;
See the never-ending story,
Come with me to the Gates of Dawn.

Lift your eyes and see the glory.
Where the circle of life is drawn;
See the never-ending story,
Come with me to the Gates of Dawn.

Lift your eyes and see the glory.
Where the circle of life is drawn;
See the never-ending story,
Come with me to the Gates of Dawn.

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扁案判決書節錄

舉世矚目的陳水扁案判決書洋洋灑灑1523頁,重7.21磅,創下台灣歷史紀錄。

案卷全文可以在這里下載:

.txt格式:http://bit.ly/chenshuibian
.doc格式:http://bit.ly/4qkUvr

這里是判決書的節錄,用真正的中文寫成。我一直認為,1949年之后中國大陸通用的中文,已經不是嚴格意義上的中文了。

順便說一句,我認為扁案最好也是最短的評論,當屬菜頭的tweet–“陳水扁夫婦被判無期徒刑的事實,生動的告訴了我們為什麼不能搞民主。”

台北地方法院判決公報

本院95年度矚重訴字第4號、97年度金矚重訴字第1號、

98年度矚訴字第2號貪污等案件,業於98年9月11日下午4時整宣判。

【本院量刑審酌之理由如下】
(一)被告陳水扁、吳淑珍部分
爰審酌被告陳水扁曾任律師、立法委員,受外界譽為正義
象徵、形象良好,有幸獲取人民信賴,榮登元首之位,擔任我國第10、11任總統,現仍享有卸任總統禮遇條例之各
項尊崇,本應將「作之君、作之師」銘刻於心,秉持總統
高度,為民表率,殫心竭慮,以福國淑世為己任,然而卻
為一己之私,縱容家人與身旁親信,以權生錢,致未能秉
持廉潔自守、忠誠國家之初衷,將總統有權動支,須用於
國家政經建設訪視、軍事訪視、犒賞及獎助、賓客接待與
禮品致贈等之國務機要費,任意挪取、占用,甚至以不法方式詐領,致立意良善之國務機要費,至此竟淪為總統之家族零用金。又被告陳水扁身為一國元首,當知
「一家仁,一國興仁;一家讓,一國興讓;一人貪戾,一國作亂」、「風行草偃、上行下效」不變之理,卻公開高舉改革大旗,私下行貪腐之實,濫用總統職權,上
從假借國家經濟科技發展政策,下至公股投資職位,均能以金錢交易牟利私囊;被告陳水扁此舉,公私不分、知法犯法,不但有違法律人之良知,且已背棄人民之託
付與期待,難為表率。
親信權貴有樣學樣,官箴日漸敗壞,主管機關配合浪費公款僅為解決私人財務,財政部長必須戒慎恐懼安排私人職位,內政部長配合提供標案資料,可見一斑。嗣又
知法犯法,以空前繁複手段將不法所得洗至國外。

又被告吳淑珍身為被告陳水扁之妻,因意外受有身體上之殘疾,固甚可憫,然其曾任立法委員,當知國家公帑分毫,均源自人民血汗,卻於被告陳水扁獲選擔任總統
後,以總統夫人之尊,非但不能力持清廉,反而每每藉權勢地位,獲取鉅額私利,公款私用,又與民間企業主往來,失所分際,將被告陳水扁之總統職位限縮於財團
豪閥之服務,身為臺灣三大家之鹿港辜家,尚需以賄賂維繫家業,其餘企業更不必書,已然反背人民之殷殷期盼,且其2人於95年間國務機要費案爆發爭議後,不
知以民意為圭臬,反省自躬,反而窮盡總統之權力,以可操縱之國家行政及黨政之力,大肆進行全面性之滅證、偽證、串供。被告陳水扁明知已咎,卻以前朝不法在
先,發動轉型正義攻勢,企圖合理化自己惡行,藉以逃避司法之偵查及訴訟進行,即便卸任之後,仍以過往豐厚人脈及殘存權力繼續為之,從不間斷,又被告陳水扁
秉其權勢,視社會基柱之法律為無物,再肆意冠以政治干預,不願循正當訴訟程序,每每以政治干擾司法,不論法律、證據,不提自家異於正常收支之鉅額資產,言
卻必稱司法迫害云云,顯然對犯罪明確已然自知,僅僥倖圖政治勢力介入解決而已,身為法律人,卻視司法為玩物,甚屬不該,其2人行止均對司法信譽破壞至深,
及其2人之素行、生活狀況、智識程度、犯罪不法所得之高令人
咋舌(詳如前述)、犯罪之手段及違法義務之程度,犯後態度等一切情況,量處如主文所示之刑,併科罰金部分,並諭知如易服勞役,以罰金總額與6個月之日數比例折算,並定其應執行之刑,另依貪污治罪條例第17條、修正前刑法第37條第1項規定,褫奪公權終身。

內地鏡像不見了

接blogbus站方通知,我的blog內地鏡像(網址http://ieemdai.blogbus.com)“因為眾所周知的原因”(原文如此)全站被刪。幸而8月初有部分備份。我會晚些時候重新注冊一個網址。

Joyce Hor-Chung: Hong Kong journalists beaten in Xinjiang — even my taxi driver’s mad

https://i1.wp.com/www.newyorker.com/images/2009/09/14/cartoons/090914_cartoon_5_a14343_p465.gif

The following blog post is from the Window Live blog "Joyceyland" by Joyce Hor-Chung, a Hong Kong-based NYT/IHT journalist.

Quote

Hong Kong journalists beaten in Xinjiang — even my taxi driver’s mad
I was in a taxi a few days ago, and the driver went off about the Hong Kong journalists beaten while covering the Xinjiang unrest.

The subject caught me so off-guard — and the driver was in such a rage — that I wasn’t sure what side he was on at first. I get cabbies of all different political leanings and never make assumptions.

"They should be punished!" he yelled, shaking his fist out the window. "Punished!"

"Who?" I asked. "China? Or the journalists?"

"China, of course!" he snapped.

That was late last week, when there was little political reaction and the details were still sketchy. It was just being announced on the radio, which is what the driver was reacting to.

We chatted about it for a while. While my driver was no media expert, he had a pretty firm grip on what journalist were and were not allowed to do under a free press.

He made the astute point that, while the HK journalists were not treated well, they were still far better off than their mainland counterparts. He expressed real sympathy for mainland reporters, and said "without a doubt" that most mainland people had little knowledge of their own news.

*****

This taxi conversation meant more to me than the many articles and official statements about this issue. (There are lots in Chinese at the Hong Kong Journalists Association website).

While I think suppression of independent news on Xinjiang is a big deal, I do live in a little bubble of U.S. media and press issues. It’s hard to know if other people care.

That a taxi driver would be so informed and so emotional about this meant it had really hit a nerve with the Hong Kong public.

BTW, I didn’t mention that I was a journalist. I wasn’t heading somewhere obvious, like a political demonstration. It really did come out of the blue.

*****

From reporting by Regina Leung at the South China Morning Post:

“Last Friday [Sep 4], three journalists — TVB reporter Lam Tsz-ho, a TVB cameraman, and a Now TV cameraman — were tied up, handcuffed, beaten and briefly detained by police while covering protests in Urumqi… Police in the region also briefly detained another three Hong Kong journalists on Sunday. [Sep. 6]”

Meanwhile, Ng Tze-wei of the SCMP writes: "They were pinned to the ground by People’s Armed Police officers, kicked and punched before being tied up and taken away."

The police should not be tying people up and beating them, unless there is literally no other method of controlling armed, violent, dangerous people. I can’t imagine three Hong Kong TV cameramen causing a physical threat to armed troops. (I remember the Korean WTO riots in Hong Kong. Our police turned non-violent control into an art form. There are ways of handling difficult crowds. This is not it.)

When pressed, the Xinjiang authorities said the Hong Kong reporters did not have the right papers. (Unlike the free world, China requires its reporters to carry special permits.) TVB denied this, and called the Xinjiang official a liar. But, even if some guy was missing a piece of paper, being tied up and beaten is certainly not a punishment that fits the crime. Could you imagine, in Hong Kong, if you went outside without your HKID and some cop kicked the crap out of you for it?

“The controversy intensified on Tuesday [Sep 8], when Hou Hanmin, director of the Xinjiang Information Office accused the three reporters of inciting protesters in Urumqi.”

This is just, well, crazy. T.V. cameramen are not rioters. They are professionals doing a job, which is to take video. As Hong Kong Cantonese, they have no personal interest in Uiyghur vs. Han conflict in Xinjiang. Seriously, the average Hong Konger would have had a hard time finding Xinjiang on a map a few weeks ago. (And nobody seems to be able to pronounce “Uiyghur” — I say "Wee-gur".) The cameramen were probably concentrating on getting a few good clips.

As for the word “inciting,” that seems to be a favorite accusation thrown at anyone who displeases security officials. It’s like the "state secrets" charge always used for writers.

What was interesting was the political fallout in Hong Kong. Of course, you expect the Civic Party and the pan-Democrats to speak out about this. Same with the HKJA and FCC.

But Cheng Yiu-tung, a delegate to the National People’s Congress, said he would demand an investigation and request an apology. And, hey, he’s an NPC comrade.

Michael Tien, another NPC comrade and member of the Liberal Party, said Xinjiang should apologize if an investigation found they had done wrong. He called on Beijing to “get to the bottom of this.” These are not the types usually standing up for press freedom.

Li Gang, from the mainland’s “liaison office” with Hong Kong, said he would pass the message onto Beijing. Then he spouted some of the normal sugar-coated stuff, to reporters on the mainland. “These incidents should be solved harmoniously and rationally.”

The SCMP article gave the last word for a former NPC guy, Tsang Hin-chi: “I think the media should tone down their coverage of it – no matter who is right or wrong,” Mr. Tsang said. “I hope the central government can make a fair assessment after investigating it.”

Let me translate for you: Don’t say anything till the central government tells you what to say. It’s a good thing Hong Kong never listens.

*****

Ulaca points out this great SCMP headline: “"Parties unite over beating of journalists." Well, given our fractious politics, I’m glad the parties have finally united on something.

****

From what I heard from a reporter friend, the  meeting between Hong Kong journalists and a Xinjiang spokesperson didn’t proceed quite so “harmoniously and rationally.”

First of all, most of them weren’t even told of the event. When they got there, our famously boisterous media scrum shouted “Shameless! Shameless!” at the officials. They pelted them with questions and demands that they present proof that the Hong Kong journalists had done something wrong.

One mainland official – unused to such uncensored criticism and raw anger – pointed a finger back and shouted “You should apologize! You should apologize!”

EastSouthWestNorth has a good translation of an Asiaweek (Yazhou Zhoukan) article with all the details here.

Cartoon (in courtesy of The New Yorker) might be irrelevant to the substance.

那些我們熟視無睹的公司暴政

兩年前,我剛剛來到美國,就驚訝于美國服務業的昂貴、低效和落后。首先接觸到的是手機收費。在人均收入和美國差不多的香港,60元港幣就可以簽到一個很好的手機合同,足夠每月打上千分鐘,國際長途電話更是價格便宜(我曾經用過每分鐘5分錢港幣的服務)而通話質量遠遠好過美國。而在美國,一個最便宜的手機合同也要每月40美元,還是稅前。其次是香港的公共交通系統,司機文明有禮,對長者小童照顧得殊為周到,在美國,我第一次搭巴士就遭遇司機中途停車5分鐘,只為去買一杯咖啡。巴士站牌標得亂七八糟,甚至不標出途經的巴士。這些第一個月的“當時我就震驚了”的發現,隨后證明只是冰山一角。

以IT為例,Computer Science全美排名第一的Carnegie Mellon(卡內基梅隆),整個校園的信息系統簡直可以用令人發指來形容。圖書館主頁不光界面簡陋,而且搜索功能極弱,以至于很多時候我不得不回到我的母校香港科技大學圖書館主頁定位到準確的出版信息,然后再回來卡梅圖書館主頁查詢具體位置。選課系統更形同剛剛學習動態網頁的人做的第一次homework,簡陋是其次,方便性簡直到了可笑的地步。學校的很多服務,例如醫院預約、part-time job工作量上報都必須打電話而不能通過網絡完成。可以用來繳學費、查詢成績的學生信息系統不穩定而且難以log out–一定要通過刪除cookies的方式才能登出!作為部分屬于Computer Science的學生,我敢斷言,這些荒謬的現象之所以發生,肯定不是技術的問題。事實上,在IT技術遠遠不及美國的香港,我的母校的信息系統方便、安全而非常人性化。

醫療系統的弊病,更加到了罄竹難書的地步。感興趣的朋友可以去讀McKinsey的長篇報告: http://www.mckinsey.com/mgi/reports/pdfs/healthcare/US_healthcare_report.pdf. 我想有時間專門寫一寫。

最近讀了Emily Yellin的Your Call Is (not that) Important to Us一書(Free Press 2009年3月出版),才知道美國服務業流弊之深,已經淪為一種影響每一個普通人的日常生活的暴政。開篇有三個故事,都和Comcast有關,容我一一復述一下。

第一個故事的主角是住在芝加哥郊區的有兩個孩子的媽媽LaChania Govan。Govan是25歲左右的上班族,每周日必去教堂,聲音悅耳動聽。但2005年7月,因為她的一臺出了毛病的digital video recorder,她的生活被改變了。她試圖打電話給Comcast的服務熱線但是一直打不通。于是在接下來的四周內,她開始了可歌可泣的尋找客服的行動。

那是何等波瀾起伏的四周啊!帶著孩子的她吃飯前打電話,吃飯后打電話,做飯的時候也打,不是在打電話,就是即將打電話。可是大部分情況下她都打不通,或者打通了但是被轉接到另外一個客服人員,或者被轉到西班牙語的客服那兒,或者說著說著電話就被Comcast那邊掛掉了。

最終,奇跡發生了,她的耐心感動了上帝,終于有一位客服人員仔細聆聽了她的電話,然后派技術員幫她免費換了cable box,并且免除一月的服務費用。

當8月份賬單到達的時候,Govan發現自己的名字被改成了“Bitch Dog”–某位Comcast的仁兄不知道出于什么心理干的。

Govan出離憤怒了。她把自己的經歷向媒體爆料,很快引起全國性關注。伴隨著她的故事被Washingtong Post和MSNBC傳播開來,Comcast的一位高管給她電話道歉,并且允諾提供終身免費服務,但被她毅然拒絕,因為她永遠不想和Comcast打交道了。

請聽Govan的心聲:

I know how it feels to be a customer rep and a consumer on the other end. You do not have to settle for less, and you do not have to be mistreated.

第二個故事是這樣的:一個華盛頓特區的Comcase用戶發現Comcast的維修人員在自己家的沙發上睡著了!(是不是想起了著名的“干嘛喝我的王老吉”的故事?)

后來才知道這位仁兄因為遇到技術難題,打電話回公司求援,不想電話擁堵,打了一個小時也沒打通,最后忍不住睡著了。

當這段視頻被傳到Youtube上之后,Comcast干了什么呢?他們把這位維修人員解雇了。

第三個故事發生在2007年8月份,令我無法不想到楊佳。當時Comcast推出了一個triple-play服務,也就是座機、電視和互聯網全包,一個月的收費不到100美元。一對70多歲的老夫婦申請了這個服務,Comcast答應星期一派人過去安裝設備。周一這一天,兩位老人家虔誠地等啊等,等到黃花菜都涼了,愣是沒見到人。周二也是如此。最終在星期三,Comcast黨中央終于派人來到了山村。不幸的是,去的那位只安裝了一半就溜了,從此人間蒸發。到了周五,Comcast索性掐斷了老夫婦的電話服務。

因為沒有電話,老夫妻只好開車到最近的Comcast服務中心。他們提出要見經理,可是里面那位金發碧眼的客服告訴他們到外面去等經理。于是他們在酷熱的8月坐在那里等了整整一天。最終,金發碧眼女郎出來了,告訴他們經理早回家了。

經歷一個沒有電話、電視和互聯網的周末,這對性格非常溫和、見人就笑的老夫婦爆發了。老太太掄起她老公的錘子,向Comcast office開始了復仇之旅。請看Washington Post驚心動魄的描述:

Hammer time: Shaw storms into the company’s office. BAM! She whacks the keyboard of the customer service rep. BAM! Down goes the monitor. BAM! She totals the telephone. People scatter, scream, cops show up and what does she do? POW! A parting shot to the phone!

Who among us has not longed for a hammer in this age of incompetent “customer service representatives,” of nimrods reading from a script at some 800-number location, of crumbs-in-their beards plumbing installation people who tell you they’ll grace you with their presence between 12 and 3, only never to show? And you’ll call and call and finally some outsourced representative slings a dart at a calendar and tells you another guy will come back betwen 10 and 2 next Thursday? And when this guy comes, pants halfway down his behind, he’ll tell you he brought the wrong part?

And there is nothing, nothing you can do.

Until there! On the horizon! It’s Hammer Woman, avenger of oppressed cable subscribers everywhere! (Cue galloping “Lone Ranger” theme.)

最后一句話如此傳神,以至于久久在我心中回蕩–全世界受壓迫的有線電視用戶,團結起來!

面對日益真實、頑固而似乎無法征服的公司暴政,我們能做點什么?Yellin認為互聯網將起著關鍵的推動改變的作用,因為互聯網大大降低使一家公司成為丑聞的成本,一篇blog, 一個tweet,一段youtube,作用可能遠遠超過萬人簽名的公開信。

可是這種論點,我們是不是聽得太多了,而且在談論其他話題的時候(例如中國的官場腐敗)也聽過?依靠人們的眼球來推動一件事情進步,真的是我們可以信賴的體系嗎?正如笑蜀在評論鄧玉嬌案時說的那樣:“在這個生活比戲劇更精彩的時代,公眾容易產生審美疲勞,本是人性之常,只有那些更極端,因而更戲劇、更傳奇的個案,才可能撞入公眾的視野。那些同樣悲慘甚至更悲慘的個案,卻往往因為其情節的重復性而歸於尋常,無緣從悲情故事的激烈競爭中出頭,它們的苦主也就無緣得救……”

所以,我不能不同意攝影記者杜斌先生在《上訪者:中國依法治國下幸存的活化石》一書中的喃喃自語:

其實,我何嘗不也是一個上訪者呢。