Friday, January 17, 2014

Starbucks Survived China

Despite the recent adversity, Starbucks Survived in the red China test. As a matter of fact, they passed the test by making themselves part of the red. At least, that's how Chinese read from a PR announcement released by the coffee mega corporation today.

After dozens of customers were found sick after taking a sip in a store in Beijing, Starbucks released an official through its PR department:

For our non-Chinese readers, here is a literal translation, with minimum adjustment to keep it most true and precise (the sentence structure is broken, as it is in Chinese, but you get the point):

Dear customers and fans of Starbucks:

Earlier today, on the feedback from patronages of the Dinghao Store in Beijing that caught the attention, we have provided a respond. This afternoon, senior supervisors of the Starbucks Beijing District had a good communication with those had been affected, and offered our caring and condolence, and will offer a special event when they will be able to experience and communicate with famous brewers, and will answer customers's questions and suggestions.

Starbucks always make it a priority to provide safe and good food and beverage. Appreciate fans and customers's support and love to us. We will keep working, as always to provide good Starbucks experience.

While some were saddened when they felt the company did not show a single thread of sorry or regret when dozens of its customers were ill, others were furious to see a symbolic of western life style had morphed into a communism outpost. The tone and language used in this PR release were exact what they would expect from any communist government agency after a tragedy.

Out of the 400 some comments so far, with few exception, all lashed on the ignorant attitude displayed in the PR release. Many questioned directly whether the company had been sold to the Party.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Best and Worst Careers released their 2013 ranking of 200 jobs based on a measure composed of weighted factors of work environment, income, hiring outlook and stress.

    Top Ten (Income, environment, Stress, Hiring Outlook):
  1. Actuary ($91,211, 44, 16, 29.11)
  2. Biomedical Engineer
  3. Software Engineer ($89,147, 49, 12, 17.67)
  4. Audiologist
  5. Financial Planner
  6. Dental Hygienist
  7. Occupational Therapist
  8. Optometrist
  9. Physical Therapist
  10. Computer Systems Analyst ($79,145, 45, 16, 20.45)

Other ranked (some are surprising):
No. 14: University Professor ($64,343, 44, 6.450, 16.43)
No. 18: Mathematician
No. 20: Statistician ($74,200, 44, 14, 14)
No. 24: Web Developer ($78,191, 49, 22, 19.91)
No. 25: Historian
No. 29: Meteorologist
No. 38: Computer Programmer ($73,176, 47, 11, 10.76)
No. 45: Physician (General Practice)
No. 79: Judge
No. 117: Attorney
No. 125: Chemist
No. 148: Artist
No. 156: Author
No. 172: Photographer
No. 180: Military General
No. 188: Photojournalist
No. 192: Roofer
No. 193: Mail Carrier
No. 197: Actor
No. 198: Enlisted Military Personnel
No. 199: Lumberjack
No. 200: Reporter (Newspaper)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Song 'Yaowu' Binbin Apologized

Song Binbin/Yaowu apologized to those who suffered because of her deeds during the Great Cultural Revolution at the Affiliated Laboratory High School (formally the girls's school) of Beijing Normal University. Song, with original name 'Binbin', was the first to beat her teacher to death as a showing of loyal to Chairman Mao. On August 5, 1966, Bian Zhongyun was beaten to death by Song Binbin and her classmates, including daughter of Deng Xiaoping. Tens of thoughts of high school students would follow suit. Song was crowned with a name coined by Mao himself on August 18, 1966, 'Yaowu'. A literal translation of 'Yaowu' is 'demand violence'.

Song was also accused of having committed numerous other horrified crimes at the time, including a killing contest. Random people as well as selected targets would be beaten to death by brute force, without using knifes or guns. Some accused her to be responsible for the following nationwide violence against teachers and intellectuals.

Song apologized for 'what she did', but fell short of admitting anything she did wrong.

The Great Cultural Revolution was an endless internal fight between different camps under Chairman Mao. Those who had persecuted others often found themselves thrown over the bus by Mao overnight. Thus in later days, the red princelings often paint a picture of being the victims at one point of their lives, but skipped over the part when they were the evil.

Song was daughter of senior Party official Song Renqiong. Song was the second princelings to make high profile formal apology for what they did during the Great Cultural Revolution era. Chen Xiaolu, son of Chen Yi was the first to have made such an apology.

Although some individuals are reflecting on the hurt of harm they had caused when they were young. The 'system' have been pointing the other way. Song was highlighted with a new award as a distinctive graduate for what she did during the Cultural Revolution by her alma mater in 2007.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Discrimination in the Public School System

It is no small coincident that China and US are the two superpowers across the Pacific.

Shanghai municipal government quietly changed the way they measure air pollution, to be specific, they redrew the line to mark a day 'polluted', to inform the world that their air quality had improved. Addressing the source of pollution might be too troublesome. Last month, the world was shocked to find PM2.5 count in Shanghai to be much worse than the notorious smog city Beijing. The Shanghai government acted swiftly to change the numbers, instead of to find out what had caused the climbing numbers.

When it came to attention of President Obama that African American students represented 1/3 of those who had been suspended from school, he sent school districts across the nation a letter through DOJ, threaten federal prosecution because this is a deviation from the 15% share in total student population. The President was outraged and appalled by the fact that it seems that African American students were 'disproportionately' fell victim of school disciplines. Specifically, DOJ told schools to end the zero tolerance police towards campus violence.

For students who actually use school to learn knowledge, the Obama Administration's approach is as it appears a discrimination against them simply because of their skin color is not the preferred ones.

As parents, we are deeply troubled and worried by the President's new initiative. We want our kids to have a safe environment in school. Schools are where young men and women learn knowledge, not where they would attack others or exchange drugs. Students were suspended for a reason. If not, the DOJ could intervene any specific cases, and helf whoever crossed a line accountable. However, we felt it was wrong to enforce a quota system along racial composition. The DOJ might as well to implement a 'Lottery' system to randomly draw kids from White or Asian groups to be suspended so that the number would look right to the President of The United States.