Friday, February 26, 2010

Appealees Jailed for Racketeering Courts

Many farmers in Hebei province were charged and jailed on crime of racketeering local government or local courts in 2009.

When farmers appealed to higher courts what they perceived unfair handling of their cases, they did not know they would be threw into jail by the very lower courts they complain about, on name of 'blackmailing', or racketeering.

New Capital News (Xinjingbao) reported that Chen Tongmei of Cang County was sentenced to five years, Wang Jinrong of Cang County was sentenced to five years, a couple Zhou Qilong and Li Baofeng of Mengcun County were sentenced to two years.

Yuan Zhongliang, brothers Liu Jisheng and Liu Jili of Nanpi County were also charged with blackmailing local government. They are lucky that their cases were dismissed when higher court, the Supreme Court of Hebei Province, intervened.

Cang County, Mengchun County and Nanpi County are all in Cangzhou District.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Unchecked Power Tipped Campus

During a POL 102, "State and Local Politics" class session, understandable, when a student asked the professor, Michael Glass of Mercer Community College, to raise an example of "double dip" government employees, Professor Glass gave him several names, one of which happened to be the County Sheriff Kevin Larkin, who collected roughly $130K salary as the sheriff, on top of the $85K pension based on his retirement from the very job. The discussion in the context of an in class exercise to make a state proposal to handle the $2 billion budget deficit happened around 7:30 pm on February 1, 2010. To set the record straight, the Sheriff's "double dip" salary had been a heat topic recently on the local newspaper.

Another student sitting in the classroom, Brooke Seidl, a County Clerk dutifully notified the Sheriff by text message.

The Sheriff promptly summoned the Professor through campus security at 8:18 according to security logs, which the Professor ignored as he thought it must be a prank.

Thirty minutes before the class would be adjoined at 9:50 pm, the Sheriff, uniformed and accompanied by armed aide, showed up at the door of the MS-205 where the class was being held, and ordered the Professor out.

Three minutes later, the two entered the room again, when the Professor apologized for "making disparaging comments" about the Sheriff, while the Sheriff standing "less than six inches" from him, according the students in the classroom. Sheriff Larkin stormed out of the room after leaving a threat, "This isn't over". The deputy added, "You're a terrible teacher, you should get your facts from a book."

In the following day, both the President of the College, Dr. Patricia Donohue, and the HR Director, Jose Fernandez were called. The President promised the Sheriff a thorough investigation into Professor Glass, and Fernandez ordered immediately to launch the investigation on Professor Glass.

Professor recalled he was feeling intimidated, and "did what he did (making the apology)" in class.

Students in that class, though, showed strong reaction against the Sheriff's behavior. According to the student newspaper:

"I was shocked more than anything. I was laughing because I was so surprised," said Buckley, adding "that's exactly what you don't want from a publically-elected official."

Walker said, "[Larkin and his aide] were very classless, and they called [Glass] by his first name no less."

Sudent Vanessa Holguin, 25, said she felt that the event "jeopardizes the extent of [her] education," adding that she felt Glass would "walk on egg shells," following the incident.

Grindlinger echoed Holguin's statement, saying "I feel like [Glass] will be more careful with the things he tries to teach about state and local government so it would not come back to him in such a rash way."

Grindlinger also said, "Does [Larkin] not have anything better to do with his time as an elected official?...It's an overall waste of time, I think, for someone in that stature to really complain.."

To set the record straight, Mercer is a county in the State of New Jersey.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Subtle in Bowing

US trained MBA Mr. Toyota 'apologized', finally.

While every US media ridiculing Mr. Toyota's broken English, some were quick to point out the bow took place before the news conference held in Toyota City, not after. Toyota already had senior executives apologies in a prior news conference, picky audiences complained there was no deep bow, as always seen in Japanese culture. Now, Mr. Toyota gave the audiences the 'deep bow' as they expect to see, but deliberately made it before he started to speak. In Japanese culture, this bow is a greeting gesture. For Americans, that's the 'deep bow' they had asked for.

So an American trained MBA couldn't speak English? That's another practicing prank pulled by Mr. Toyota. If reporters spent less time in laughing on the odd accent, if you read Mr. Toyota's statement on paper rather than hearing it in his broken English, they would know when Mr. Toyota used the word 'apology', he carefully to make sure on record that it was not for what Toyota did, but for the concerns of Toyota owners caused by the media.