Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A System Failure

The UC Davis incident was the second time in recent history of higher education, when administrators and faculty alike place their self interests ahead of their students'.

A few years back, when an rouge prosecutor falsely change the majority of the Lacrosse team of Duke University, the reaction from the faculty and the administration was overwhelmingly blinded support to the D.A.  If only they had one eye half open, they could have found the D.A. had not even talked to the alleged victim, not even once through out the entire process.  The charges were totally fabricated with the only purpose to win his re-election.  Faculty and school administration grossly failed their students, but I haven't heard anyone to come out apologize in person.

Ms. Katehi is a liar.  People can see that because in order to save her own job, she has been coming to the national TV multiple times a day to update her accounts of the incident, with different theories each time.  While a few brave sole called for her resignation, the majority of the Davis faculty showed indifference.  The UC system president Yudof confirmed Ms. Katehi had his confidence' after over 75,000 people signed a pledge to ask for her removal.

As Steven Thompson put it at the UCDFA's site:

We have forgotten the role of the educational administrator: to set the tone of admiration that comes with the privilege of the position for the future generations committed to learning under our model for leadership.

What we all learn in the university experience from Chancellor Katehi’s refusal to resign is that money changes everything, so get it. Pride trumps accountability, so have it. And no matter how much the world hates you for your obvious failure at leadership, wealth and intimate connections will help you retain your dictatorial stance no matter how ugly you look to the rest of the world for the rest of your life. Chalk up academe’s Casey Anthony.

It is a system wide failure in the entire US higher education system, echoing a switch of goals from educating/enlightening to professional/job training.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Email from Chancellor Katehi

To UC Davis Campus Community,

I am writing to tell you about events that occurred Friday afternoon at UC Davis relating to a group of protestors who chose to set up an encampment on the quad Thursday as part of a week of peaceful demonstrations on our campus that coincided with many other occupy movements at universities throughout the country.

The group did not respond to requests from administration and campus police to comply with campus rules that exist to protect the health and safety of our campus community. The group was informed in writing this morning that the encampment violated regulations designed to protect the health and safety of students, staff and faculty. The group was further informed that if they did not dismantle the encampment, it would have to be removed.

Following our requests, several of the group chose to dismantle their tents this afternoon and we are grateful for their actions. However a number of protestors refused our warning, offering us no option but to ask the police to assist in their removal. We are saddened to report that during this activity, 10 protestors were arrested and pepper spray was used. We will be reviewing the details of the incident.

We appreciate and strongly defend the rights of all our students, faculty and staff to robust and respectful dialogue as a fundamental tenet of our great academic institution. At the same time, we have a responsibility to our entire campus community, including the parents who have entrusted their students to us, to ensure that all can live, learn and work in a safe and secure environment. We were aware that some of those involved in the recent demonstrations on campus were not members of the UC Davis community and this required us to be even more vigilant about the safety of our students, faculty and staff. We take this responsibility very seriously.

While we have appreciated the peaceful and respectful tone of the demonstrations during the week, the encampment raised serious health and safety concerns, and the resources required to supervise this encampment could not be sustained, especially in these very tight economic times when our resources must support our core academic mission.

We deeply regret that many of the protestors today chose not to work with our campus staff and police to remove the encampment as requested. We are even more saddened by the events that subsequently transpired to facilitate their removal.

We appreciate the substantive dialogue the students have begun here on campus as part of this week.s activities, and we want to offer appropriate opportunities to express opinions, advance the discussion and suggest solutions as part of the time-honored university tradition. We invite our entire campus community to consider the topics related to the occupy movement you would like to discuss and we pledge to work with you to develop a series of discussion forums throughout our campus.

I ask all members of the campus community for their support in ensuring a safe environment for all members of our campus community. We hope you will actively support us in accomplishing this objective.

Linda P.B. Katehi

Monday, November 21, 2011

Go Now Katehi

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi rejected calling for her to resign, because 'I really feel confident at this point the university needs me.' Katehi went on national TV, 'there are so many critical issues to be addressed and we really need to start the healing and move forward'.

Friday's peppery spraying peaceful students sitting in the quad demonstrated failure of leadership as the top official of a university. Her endorsement of obvious police brutality against students under her care even after the viral video flooded the Internet showed lack of judgment as an administrator. Her continuing floundering in pointing fingers elsewhere proved there was no moral value whatsoever on that body.

With 50,0000 signatures within 2 days over the weekend calling for her resignation and she still 'really feel confident', you can only wonder where does she come from?

Ms. Katehi was emerging from a national scandal at University of Illinois when she was picked for the Chancellor job at UC Davis. Her job offer should have been rescinded at that point.

Ms. Katehi put UC Davis in an international disgrace, but she has the courage clinging on her job. What are you, Ms. Katehi? Where are you from?

Ms. Katehi, you are a shame of an educator, and a shame of human being.

What language do you speak? Does it recognize a five letter word, "shame"? Or, here is an easier one, Gee..Ou..., Go.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chancellor Katehi not all of the problem, but she must go

When asked about the calling for her resignation, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi replied that she did not violate any institutional policies, therefore she would not step down after video showed passive sitting students sprayed by campus police in their faces. Faculty member at the scene observed that for those refused to open their mouths, police pried open their mouths and then sadistically sprayed down their throats, all while a group of a few (a dozen to be precise) students were sitting still on the ground of the quad area at UC Davis.

Based on the videos now viral online at YouTube as well as many other websites, it is clear that those few students in protesting were not a threat to any one, in the least to the police officers in full riot gears, in Robocop costume as described by one bystander. In the video, police officers who were applying sprays were walking in a casual, if not joyful, manner, up and down and back and force around and above the sitting students. It is obvious to viewers that the pepper spray was used as a punishment. Through the entire process, students did not resist, or even move their bodies or fingers. They were sitting there, armed linked, when police officers spray on their faces. And they did not move when they were arrested one by one.

Many viewers of these videos were outraged, and called for termination of the police officer, Lt Pike of the UC Davis Police Department. As a matter of fact, a 9th Circuit ruling (276 F.3d 1125) in 2002 clearly outlawed police use of pepper spray against non-violent protesters.

However, law enforcing experts hold different opinions after carefully examining the same video. For example, Charles J. Kelly, a former Baltimore Police Department lieutenant who wrote the department's use of force guidelines, said pepper spray is a "compliance tool" that can be used on subjects who do not resist, and is preferable to simply lifting protesters. Baltimore is not subject to California State Law, and is not covered by 9th Circuit in federal justice system. That being said, Kelly also was able to point out at least two instances when he found the student protesters where not 'passive'. In one case, a girl pull back her arm when police officers grabbed her. In another case, a boy curved himself into a ball on the ground. By police book, both warrant higher level of aggressive tactics (than pepper spray). In other words, by police standard, UC Davis police demonstrated not only high level of professionalism, but also great self-restraint even after being provoked.

At this time, it worth to review the video a few more times, to check out the two cases pointed out by Kelly. The trouble is, the Seagull, or any reasonable viewer would still have a difficult time to recognize any 'non-passive' movement of gesture of those sitting students, even after the hints, clues and helpful finger-pointing.

The discrepancy between the public and the police's view illustrated a bigger problem, as many referred to as a consequence of militarization of urban police, a topic with deeper implications.

Chancellor Katehi was trapped in her own media room on campus after a press conference late Saturday. Ms. Katehi refused to step down, as she 'did not violate any institutional policies', then refused to step outside the building, possibly felt threatened by her own students, whom she sent riot police in to get rid of from the campus the day before. Students did not threaten her by any means, they just sit in darkness on their own campus, three blocks long along the side of walkways between the media room and Ms. Katehi's SUV, in 'eerily silence'. When Ms. Katehi finally collected her courage to walk the walk, no sound could be heard, not even a cough.

Anyone who thinks she can continuously lead the campus must be blind.

As pointed out by the letter from the Davis Faculty Association, Ms. Katehi should have foreseen the brutality when she sent in the riot police on students.

Police were trained and reinforced daily on the belief that they were fighting the worse criminals in the world, thus must act accordingly. It is the same rational that you do not send in soldiers on civil matters as a soldiers' first instinct would be to pull the trigger. You can blame them, but you can't expect them not to be 'trigger-happy' because that was how they has been trained on daily basis. Ms. Katehi's decision to use riot police against students under her care was a loss of judgment and 'gross failure of leadership'. Therefore, she must go.

Ms. Katehi is a liar. Even after the video went viral, in an email to the entire campus, she insisted police action was necessary 'make the campus safe for everyone'. Any conscientious sole who have had a glance of the video would beg to differ, as reflected by the international outcry in the days to come. Ms. Katehi has a bigger problem than lying in public, which is her lack of integrity and her ingeniously lack of caring to students, a mandate for any person in the education field. Ms. Katehi may be an excellent researcher or politician, but she is not meant to be an educator.

UC Davis Pepper Spray

The Seagull was so disgusted by the UC Davis incident when police officers walked to a few students who quietly sat in the quad area in protest and started spray on them.

From the calm and measured faces and paces, in a sharp contract to the students who dodge their heads in between their legs but otherwise sitting still through out the entire process, the Seagull had no doubt that had these officers given an order to shoot they would not even blink.

The Seagull will never forgive soldiers who opened fire at students in Tian'anmen Square in the early morning of June 4th, 1989. However, the incident at UC Davis showed those soldiers were not the only evils in this world.

The UC Davis police chief later claimed the police was 'cut off' and 'threatened'. With so many videos posted on Youtube, everybody could see by their own eyes whether any police was cut off or threatened in any way by any measure.

It is an even chilling moment when the UC Davis Chancellor Linda PB Katehi brushed it off, in response to the videos, as 'questions about how best to handle situations like this'. In an email to the campus, Ms. Katehi wrote: 'We deeply regret that many of the protestors today chose not to work with our campus staff and police to remove the encampment as requested. We are even more saddened by the events that subsequently transpired to facilitate their removal.'

Shame on you police, shame on you Ms. Katehi, shame on you University of California.

And watch it again, check out that smirk on his face, when University of California at Davis police officer Lt. John Pike performed his job. According to Assistant Professor Nathan Brown who was at the scene, police then pried open students' mouth with baton, then ejected pepper spray down their throats.

Professor Brown called for Ms. Katehi's resignation. A petition can be signed here.

The incident on campus at U C Davis made all the arguments of democracy pointless, when ordinary people in China see peaceful students being treated this way in the US.

Michael T. Richter says:

I am an educator in a Chinese college. I have been teaching in Chinese colleges and universities for the past decade. In that decade, deep in the heart of one of the most brutal police states in the world, I have never, not even once, seen brutality from university and civil authorities that comes even close to what I saw from UCB and UCD in recent days.

I say this with a very strong observational foundation, I might add. In the year 2003, in the first institute I taught in (Jiujiang Institute,, there was a full-fledged student riot—complete with massive property damage (a several hundred metre section of the school’s outer wall was torn down)—over restrictions placed on student movement during the SARS crisis. I was able to witness first-hand how the school’s authorities reacted. Despite being a well-connected official in one of the most brutally authoritarian states in the world, the president of the university went out, facing personal danger (students threw a variety of objects from their dormitory windows at him including filled thermos bottles), to *negotiate* with the students. The riots were brought back under control, tempers were cooled and the crisis brought to an end, get this, without the use of guns, chemicals, batons or even policemen.

Congratulations, America, you have actually managed to surpass China’s brutality—and make no mistake, the Chinese government is a collection of brutal thugs!—in this sphere.

I hope you’re proud.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Slip of the Tongue - Jon Huntsman

Former Governor of Utah and US's last Ambassador to China, spoke about how US can catch up in its manufacturing sector in a presidential candidates debate at Wofford College of South Carolina.

As in all presidential candidates debate, bashing China is always a cheap shot to gain applause from the audience. Mitt Romney stated the US was in the middle of an undeclared war with China, therefore the US should 'stand up' to China as if in a real war. Rick Perry proclaimed China would end up in the ash heap of history. While obviously pressured by hard line comments made by peers, Huntsman threw out what he perceived as the right way to 'take down' China: reaching out to allies in China, the youth and the Internet users. After they take down China, the US will have a chance to raise up its own economics and in particular manufacturing sector.

So all the 'reaching out' shown by the former Ambassador (as well as those by the current Ambassador Gary Locke) are not meant for friendship or promoting value of democracy?

A slip of the tongue, or a moment of truth?

Transcript from CBS News, Scott Pelley is one of the two hosts of the debate:

Jon Huntsman: Well, the re-- reality's a little different as it usually is when you're on the ground. And I've tried to figure this out for 30 years of my career. First of all, I don't think, Mitt, you can take-- China to the W.T.O. on currency-related issues. Second, I-- I don't know that this country needs a trade war with China. Who does it hurt? Our small businesses in South Carolina, our exporters-- our agriculture producers.

We don't need that at a time when China is about to embark on a generational position. So what should we be doing? We should be reaching out to our allies and constituencies within China. They're called the young people. They're called the internet generation. There are 500 million internet users in China.

Scott Pelley: And Governor, we're going to have to--

Jon Huntsman: And 80 million bloggers. And they are bringing about change, the likes of which is gonna take China down.

Scott Pelley: We're gonna have to leave it there, Governor.

Jon Huntsman: While we have an opportunity to go up and win back our economic--

Scott Pelley: Governor--

Jon Huntsman: --manufacturing muscles. That's all I wanna do as president.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How Chinese Law Enforcement Officers Enforcing the Law

A surveillance video camera caught a scene when two Chinese law enforcement officers gave a hotel front desk girl a lesson. youtube, and youtube (same, just in case first one removed by CCP)

One officer of the Law Enforcing Bureau called in to book a room. The officer was annoyed when the girl started taking down his information, because 'everyone should know me'. "I will be there in a minute", he said, and a few minutes later, he came in to beat the girl with stationary, computer screen and chairs. Then more officers rushed in, joining him to fist, kick the girl.

When asked by reporters, the Central Propaganda Department of the CCP responded that there had been worse cases happened in the US.

The video was leaked out recently, though dated 4/20/2011. The incident happened in Hekou District of Dongying City of Shandong Province. After the video went viral on the Internet, one of the officers, Mr. Zhang Zongguo received a warning by the local CCP (DongHeGuang CCP 2011-4). And that was the end of the story.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Chinese search engine Baidu bragged about its 'Testing on Toilet' Knock-off

The official Chinese search engine Baidu bragged about its 'Testing on Toilet (TOTT)' project, where intriguing thoughts or projects were posted in the bathroom for employees to 'digest, an idea piloted by Google about 5 years ago.

Well, they might be too used to copying & pasting in their cubicles, that couldn't help to do the same when releasing themselves, as revealed by this Biadu TOTT dated 10/12/2011. Notice the Google logo at the bottom right corner.

Although Baidu, as the official search provider endorsed by the Chinese propaganda department, dominant Chinese Internet search market and had chased Google out of mainland China, boasting its 'secure' searching algorithm that could filter out any information not favored by the Communists Party, its technical capability ran into a major embarrassment when Google shut down its own 'sensitive words' filter after getting afoul with the Chinese authority and instantaneously Baidu's search results were populated with forbidden topics such as the Massacre at Tian'anmen Square in 1989. It is evident that for all the time, Baidu's 'advanced' searching product had been piggybacking on Google.

source via solid_dot

Second Village Head Publicly Executed

65 years old You Ji'an was elected the head of village of Foguang (Buddha Aura), You Township, Xinhua County, Loudi Prefecture, Hunan Province.

You's body was found in the Zi River 100 miles away after he was last seen in the government building of Xinhua County, where You went to visit the County Party Chief after obtaining a correspondence [No. 201101120270] from the National People's Congress. Surveillance video showed a motionless You was carried out by six guards in the middle of nights and inserted into the truck of a car with license plate XiangKF9x53. The car belong to the commanding officer of the guards, Mr. Yang Haidan.

Police argued You was still alive although not moving at the time, although a medical examination showed broken bones and bruise inside skull. Police stated You was released somewhere away from the government building, and suggested You must fell the river accidentally by himself.

You was considered a troublemaker, because he often helped villagers in their petitions to higher authorities.