Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ancient Wisdom: Ximen Bao

Ximen Bao was a senior official of the Wei Kingdom (403 B.C. to 225 B.C.) during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770 B.C. to 256 B.C.).

One of Ximen's legend was his handling of the wizard of River Zhang in Ye. In the year of 422 B.C., Ximen was named the governor of Ye. Upon arrival, he saw Ye an almost deserted place. So he asked local people why many were fleeing homeland. They told him that the Wizard of River Zhang was ruling the place with magical power. One of the routine magic performed by the wizard was wedding of the River Zhang. The wizard will appoint a young girl to be the wife of the River Zhang, and sink her into the river.

Ximen appeared in the next wedding ceremony of the River Zhang. He called the poor girl to him, and declared she was too ugly for the taste of the River Zhang. He said he would have to sent the Wizard to River Zhang to ask for his forgiveness while he would be looking for a prettier wife for the river. Then he order the Wizard to be thrown into the river. Then Ximen waited on the bank for awhile, before he claimed the top disciple of the Wizard should go to get the Wizard back. So the top disciple was thrown into the River Zhang, who was followed by the second disciple, and the third disciple. After more waiting, Ximen was annoyed that nobody came back, so he ordered local officials to go get the Wizard back. And three officials were thrown into the River Zhang. Moments later, Ximen asked another official to volunteer passing the message to River Zhang. The official immediately begged for his pardon and admitted the performance was nothing but a hoax to solicit people's money.

From that day, nobody in Ye dared to bring up the Wedding of River Zhang.

Having got rid of the Wizard, Ximen started a big hydraulic project in Ye. Twelve spillways were dug along 8 miles of River Zhang, which were controlled by flood gates. The canals were used for irrigation and flood control. The project benefits an area as large as ten thousand acres where unit yields increased by over eight times. It would be used in the next one thousand years before ruined around 757 A.D. in Tang Dynasty.

source of above

Although the hydraulic project was successful, local officials and remaining disciples of the Wizard who had been straying with the River Zhang were not happy. They complained to the King of Wei that Ximen only cares about people but overlooked the interest of the King to maintaining a strong military. King of Wei reprimanded Ximen. Ximen argued, which would be famously quoted repeatedly through Chinese history, "A great nation enriches its people, a mighty nation strengthens its military, only a failing nation enriches the King". To prove his point, Ximen summoned an army with well equipped weaponry and supplies in one day, telling them they were asked by the King. The King was impressed and very satisfied. He told Ximen to let the men go home. Ximen countered, a King must follow his words. Since the army was asked, they must commit a fight. So the army attacked a neighboring state Yan, and scored a big win.

source, Renjian Xun, Huainan Zi

Today's China the wealth is concentrated into the government by means of state controlled enterprises in strategic industries, such as banking, oil and real estates. Common people do not have adequate medical insurance and can't afford a place to live. The ruling class of CCP should take some time to revisit the ancient wisdom of Ximen Bao.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Did plagiarism epidemic shut down U.S. program in China?

Centenary College in Jew Jersey is a Tier 4 Master Level institution on the 'Best Colleges 2010' of the US News and World Report.  Translated into layman's language, the school ranked the very bottom in the US.  The same school just announced that it had severed its tie to its own satellite campuses in Beijing, Shanghai and Taiwan because of prevailing academic misconduct over there in China.  The Seagull was profoundly puzzled by the announcement because 1) by and large, Chinese students are less likely to commit academic fraud than their western counterparts, for example, those enrolled in the New Jersey campus of the Centenary College.  2) Many other more prominent colleges and universities had opened physical campuses in China, none of them had found some problem.

An article on the popyard pointed to a possible motivation.  Amid the recent controversy triggered by a celebrity (Tang Jun) buying phony degrees from diploma mills in the US, the Education Ministry in China just issued an ordnance that diplomas received from remote education programs offered by oversea institutions would not be recognized.

According to Centenary College's own statement, the tuition of its MBA program in China costs $1,200 in total.  This is below cost either China or US standard, and even cheaper than that of a real diploma mill.  No wonder.

A Ticking Bomb Went Off

A ticking bomb in Nanjing went off on July 25, 2010, one years after it had been planted. More than 10 people died, thousands injured.

A post at Xici Alley (deleted 2 days after the explosion) which was dated 2009 predicted the explosion and the catastrophic human loss at the exact location. In the past two years, local residents had been protesting the construction of a Level-1 gas station in the middle of dense residential area, with no buffering at all. The local police hired gangsters to beat dozens of local residents to silence the protest. The construction went on, despite the dangerous location and ailing underground pipings. According to a national ordnance issued by the Department of Construction in 2006, a Level-1 gas station should not be built in urban area. However, there are two Level-1 gas stations at the location. In theory, there were all illegal, although they were built and owned by the government.

Two months ago, a construction digger broke the underground pipe, when 2,000 residents were temporarily relocated without an explosive incident. However, the luck ran out this time.

Witnesses described the explosion like a nuclear bomb set off in busy downtown. Some glasses were braked by the impact even being miles away.

After the explosion, the No. 1 priority of the government was to block the news. A local TV station team was scoffed by the Provincial Propaganda Chief of the CCP, Mr. Ye Hao on air to stop broadcasting from the scene.

News agencies were told not to talk about the incident, and only the central propaganda agencies were allowed to release a brief message, while focusing on assuring the nation the blast was harmless. A snapshot of the CCTV shows an ironic caption: "The harmful chemical released is indeed harmless."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What Goes Around Comes Around released thousands of top secret government documents, proof of the undiscriminated slaughtering of civilians by the US and NATO military forces in Afghanistan. Many believed a Maryland intelligence analysis Manning who had been charged was responsible as the source. Manning was turned in by a California ex-convict hacker. However, what's even more ironic of this case was that the site WikiLeaks, who had been a continuing pain in the rear for US government, notably, for releasing the video footage of murdering of Route reporter by US military, was set up by Chinese political dissident, possibly with US intelligence grants, according to Wikipedia. The website was originally designed to use as an venue to publicize the dirty laundry of the Communist government in Beijing.

It seems the US government had surpassed their counterparts in Beijing in accumulating dirty laundries.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

An Ailing Tiger

Peng Jiaheng is perhaps the last 'tiger' alive in mainland China. The communism government did not keep record on former KMT soldiers. Actually, being a war hero of the Anti-Japanese invasion was seen as a living embarrassment for the communist party, because in the propaganda textbooks used in schools across the country, the communist party is the only party responsible to have defeated the Japanese and defended the motherland.

It's not surprising that when Mr. Peng, a former 'flying tiger' fighter pilot, who voluntarily returned to mainland in 1950 to build the motherland, became ill, he could not count on the government for a veteran healthcare. Mr. Peng's family had sold their house, but money was still not enough for the treatment.

Thank you Mr. Peng, in name of the people.

Peng went to US for pilot training in 1942, and joined the 14th Air Force in 1944. In 1945, he received a Distinguished Flying Cross for more than 50 combat flights. Although the real volunteer 'flying tigers' was later transformed into formal military participation after the Pearl Harbor, they were often referred to 'flying tigers'.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Education Blunders vs Education Blunders

Many envision the highlight of the next century as the competition between China and the USA. The core of the competition, all agreed, are human talents. In this regard, both are committing fatal blunders in education.

On the US side, the no-child-left-behind sounds nice in an ideal situation, but is the worst possible strategy in practice. Education funds are being wasted on a group of population who do not learn now and who will not work in the future.

On the China side, an academic Olympic mentality prevails when most money are spent on two universities, expecting them to rank with Harvard and Yale. First of all, you can't buy Nobel with money, and greediness always win over hard work. The two schools are entangling themselves with money making. Evidently, Beijing University was revealed to have made itself a regional front office of well know diploma mill Pacific Western University of Hawaii, one disbanded by the State of Hawaii many years ago. The other one, Qinghua University sell diploma to whoever pay the price, such as businessman Wu Zheng, and passing out diploma to those in power, such as Vice President of China, Xi Jinping. Secondly, for those graduated from the residential part of the two universities, many went abroad and never return. A survey of the class 2001 of Beijing University revealed that 21% of the graduates went abroad. The ratio is even higher on the science and engineering side, as high as 87% of certain disciplines. In the end, the mega-investment became scholar to reward Chinese students to go to the US.

US made the mistake for not raising up their own elite students, Fortunately, Chinese students filled the blank.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Phony Diploma Discussions Censored

The CCP's propaganda arm has banned news media to cover the fomenting gossip on Mr. Tang Jun's fake diploma, PhD in E.E. from Pacific Western University a recognized diploma mill.

Tang, former General Manager of Microsoft China, and the 'emperor employee' of China with $150 million annual salary, was revealed to have his degree received from the diploma mill. The incident triggered a discussion on the relationship between financially success and personal dignity. However, Chinese Netizens soon realized Tang's incident was not an isolated case. The Vice President of China, Xi Jinping, was also found to claim a J.D. from a diploma mill in China, the Qinghua University. Xi's dissertation, which was published as a mandate requirement for degree recipients in China, was found to be a lousy essay in rural marketing economy and bearing no apparent connection to the degree granted.

Because Qinghua University is specialized in customizing advanced degrees for CCP's leaders, the gossip is immediately labelled as 'unhealthy' and 'inharmonious'. News agents were ordered to stay away, and online forums were ordered to delete all traces of the discussion.

Interestingly enough, the other well known diploma mill in China, Beijing University, is also found involved in Tang's case. The Pacific Western University, which does not have a campus, or even an office in the US, has a huge representation in Beijing, China. The PWU maintained a satellite campus on main campus of the Beijing University.

Chinese officials should, actually, relax and follow their US counterparts's suit. Although using phony diploma is a crime in some states (for example, The Texas Penal Code, Section 32.52), it is considered acceptable by Federal government. When approached by CBS News regarding senior officials, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, who held degrees purchased from diploma mills, Pentagon spokesman replied, 'Get Lost'.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

President China's Fake Diploma

The 'Emperor Employee', or 'No. 1 Career Executive' of China, Mr. Tang Jun (actually, Mr. Tang is an American citizen) was revealed to having made up his education experience. Mr. Tang had claimed he held doctoral degrees from University of Nagoya and CalTech. Both turned out to be false. Mr. Tang produced a diploma from Pacific Western University issues in 1995. Not only the 'University' had been a known diploma mill that to be disbanded by both California and Hawaii where they operated, but also the issuing date was in a gap (1994 to 1996) when they were not allowed to renew their business license. Mr. Tang is the only employee among entrepreneurs in the Top 500 most wealthy people in China, with an annual benefit of $1B RMB ($150 Million) at his current job. Mr. Tang held the CEO of Microsoft China before he left Microsoft in 2001.

Anyway, that was yesterday's news, and the ripple effects of the it are causing collateral damages to an unprepared group of elite executives of Chinese companies and made them busy fixing their online resume. According to a Wikipedia run by Baidu, more than 100 people changed their who is who VIP entries to remove references to the university.

Communism officials, too, are caught in surprise. Vice President of China, the next 'core' of CCP and President of China to succeed Mr. Hu Jintao, is also a fake diploma buyer, only from a Chinese university, the Qinghua University.

Operating a rather successful residential college aside, Qinghua University is the largest diploma mill in China, specialized in customizing advanced degrees from communist Party members and wealthy businessmen alike. For example, Mr. Xi Jinping, received a J.D. from Qinghua University. His dissertation is entitled 'Rural Marketing Is the Right Way for China's Economy'. The paper in its full length is available for download from Qinghua University's website.

Friday, July 02, 2010

NPR's Michele Martin Wanted to Know Whether A Chinese Student Would Steal Her American Roommate's Toothpaste

On Air in the 'Tell Me More' program, NPR host Michele Martin interviewed two roommates journalism students covering the World Cup in South Africa and the team mentor Knight Professor Joe Ritchie of Florida A&M University. Ritchie worked for the Washington Post as a foreign editor.

Clarece Polke is one of six journalism students from the Florida A&M University; Wang Fan 'Christine', is one of six journalism students from Shantou University of China.

3:06 Michele: Were you surprised, Christine, that there were so many Chinese there?
3:10 Christine: No, because before I came here, I knew there were a large Chinese population here. So it's not quite surprising to me.
3:19 Michele: So Clarece, as I understand, you and Christine are roommates?
3:22 Christine & Clarece: Yes we are.
3:24 Michele: How are you guys getting along?
3:27 Clarece: Oh, We love it, she's like a buddy.
3:28 Martin: She's not stealing your toothpaste,..(pause).., or anything like that?

I didn't get the joke, did you? What kind of joke was that?

The July 1, 2010 edition of the NPR 'Tell Me More'/'Budding Journalists Take On World Cup' audio in its entire length (12:21) is accessible from NPR website