Spring Comes

O, Rain, if Spring comes, can Winter be far behind?

FM:(
♥♥

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Thanks to Miranda Wong for sharing.

Annie Zhang

27 February at 12:34 · 

#保持憤怒追尋自由

讀者Rongyuchan在端的留言:

「我深深地對這個國家感到失望是去年冬天清除低端人口的時候。在此之前我還覺得也許是體制上的不適合等各種現實因素,可當我看到少之又少卻又觸目驚心的相關報道的時候,我想這下真的壞了。不是“走不下去了”的那種壞,是本身的壞,是自己明明已經在作惡了還要拼命走下去的壞。疏導的方法有千萬種,可他偏偏選擇站在人民的對立面。

關於連任的新聞剛出的時候,我正和朋友在外面玩,那一瞬間我感覺怒火蓋過了我的頭頂,我是發自內心的感到憤怒。回家之後我和我爸爸談起來,我爸說該連任,因為反腐局勢下他很危險,也只有他繼續做下去才能夠實現真正的反腐。我沒和我爸說什麼便進了自己的房間,我在想,這的確有一定道理,可這就該是修憲連任的理由嗎?這一點一經更改以後會發生什麼未來有多少變數他都不管了嗎? 怕是是了。

晚上我轉發了幾條旁敲側擊的博文,越想越生氣發了一條“我反對”。早上很早就醒了,不知道為什麼是帶著憤怒醒的,可能還是接受不了吧。拿起手機一看,我轉發的一條東西被刪除了,不過也沒放在心上,常有的事。到了中午,我發現自己被封號了,不是禁言,是封號。我不能進行任何操作,我可以看別人發送的微博,可當我點進自己的主頁時他告訴我賬號異常,並且微博全都消失了。那一刻我有些恍惚,我從網絡上認識了的那麼多人一瞬間就失聯了。幾個小時前我還是一個有血有肉的人,頃刻間我就化作一串消失在互聯網中的透明代碼。

我不知道未來幾年會是怎樣的,可我真的想要努力學一些東西了。我突然想像求生一樣學習一門外語。這片土地我深愛著,可我也恨。

大家努力吧。不要絕望,保持憤怒,追尋自由。誠心祝福你,捱得到,新天地。」

At Least for Now

Look 

Professor L
He speaks up
We can hear him
At least for now

***********************
FM:)
♥♥

2018.01.25_BU_Luo Bingxiang

培養大學生道德操守,社會及政府也有責任

羅秉祥 (香港浸會大學 應用倫理研究中心主任)
Professor Luo Bing Xiang, Centre for Applied Ethics, HK Baptist University

WEDNESDAY, 24 JANUARY 2018

 

聽到浸大兩名學生受到即時生效的暫時停學處分,感到很難過。

特別感難過的是,這幾天社會中不斷有人施壓,對這些同學落井下石,要求開除他們學籍等等。浸會大學內的事,應交由浸會大學按既定程序處理。社會中人若覺得受良心催促,非要指責他們不可,我懇請大家環顧社會內,有沒有其他事更值得大家譴責?

有些成年人不斷感嘆,香港的年輕人道德質素不斷下降,我想問:香港成年人自己的道德質素就很高嗎?還是比年輕人更不堪?當大學校園內有些年輕人出了一些事,社會中就有些人出來,千夫所指,欲把他們置於死地不可。但成人世界中,特別是位高權重人士,如代表正義公平部門的高官,涉嫌多次知法犯法,竟然可以安坐其位,日後以法律正義為名,起訴香港市民!如此極荒謬及嚴重事件不去指責,卻轉移視線,來指責幾個大學生!

最近某大學得到研究經費,探討家長或監護人對香港青少年道德品格發展的看法,我覺得更值得探討一下,年輕人對社會中應為人楷模者道德品格的看法。在年輕人眼中,香港的社會賢達,接受過紫荊勳章嘉許的翹楚,不少早已道德破產,現在說:「至於浸會大學近日有學生到校內的語文中心抗議事件,XXX認為,事件反映青年道德問題已經亮起紅燈」,我只能說,香港成人世界道德問題已經爆燈爆到滿地玻璃碎片。雖然該研究者也沒有責怪學生,認為「學生是被塑造出來,問題根源不只在於學生,建議家長和校方,都要更重視對年輕人的品格教育。」我想補充一句,除了家長及老師,政府也有重要角色。我建議政府,更重視司長局長的人格誠信。中國人的老話:「其身不正,其令不行」。

年輕人爆粗,至少還率直。社會賢達或政府官員講話溫文儒雅,但若充滿謊言歪理及說非成是,我感到更大冒犯。欲借浸大學生會會長爆粗而想把浸大學生會置於死地,這個舉動反映成人世界的奸詐。

我不是道德相對主義者。當日衝擊浸大語文中心的同學的確有錯(不是因為爆粗),由大學紀律委員會跟進處理,希望他們能早日改過復學。我同意錢大康校長所言:「培育學生的道德操守,我們責無旁貸。」但我們在校園內所能作的非常有限;真正關心年輕人道德操守的社會中人,請先去掃蕩充斥這個社會的歪風,讓年輕人有一個健康的道德環境來成長。

大學內紀律嚴明,政府高層內就寬容由知法犯法者來執法;在這個荒謬的社會,教育工作者只能感到氣餒。

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Protect People

Domenico Gramegna updated his profile picture
20 January at 02:39

Fanny-Min Becker
 Domenico dear
If only people could love each other as we do …
Thanks for sharing. 

************
FM:)
♥♥

 

Pessimistic Thoughts

 your profile photo, Image may contain: 1 person, smiling
Fanny-Min Becker, 
15 January 2016 · Hong Kong · 
Never harboured as many pessimistic thoughts as today …

I have seen how it was happening,
on a very minor scale,
in a remote part of Kenya,
how mountains were leased and ‘developed’ to grow energy crops,
and pesticide and chemical fertilizer handed over free-of-charge.
Green mountains, green virgin mountains with rich dark soil.
And the lady who owns the mountains
saw this a chance for ‘development’, heaven sent …

It was 2011. And now?

************
FM:(
♥♥

// If One Belt, One Road meets Chinese planners’ expectations, the whole of Eurasia, from Indonesia to Poland will be transformed in the coming generation. China’s model will blossom outside of China, raising incomes and thus demand for Chinese products to replace stagnating markets in other parts of the world. Polluting industries, too, will be offloaded to other parts of the world. Rather than being at the periphery of the global economy, Central Asia will be at its core. And China’s form of authoritarian government will gain immense prestige, implying a large negative effect on democracy worldwide. //

Read full article:

One belt, one road: exporting the Chinese model to Eurasia

PROJECT SYNDICATE

By Francis Fukuyama, a senior fellow at Stanford University.
His most recent book is Political Order and Political Decay

Those Were the Years

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FM:)
♥♥

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Prompted by the following article
shared by 阮游世雄 on facebook
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Meeting with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev (Moscow, July 1990)
(Abridged translation of an essay in The Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda 1)

 Play Video

The car made its way toward the Kremlin beneath a brilliant blue sky. The date was July 27, 1990, and it was a Friday. I was scheduled to meet with then Soviet president Mikhail S. Gorbachev at 10:30 A.M.

The car moved through the soft morning light. Passing through the Kremlin’s heavily guarded crenellated walls, we arrived at the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet building. At the entrance, we ascended a flight of stairs that brought us before a set of stately wooden doors typical of Russian architecture. Beyond the doorway, we rode the elevator to fifth and highest floor.

We were led down a long hallway adorned with an exhibition case displaying china and other gifts from various countries. Passing through a waiting room, we were ushered through a large white door that opened into the meeting chamber. The room had a simple decor. As I entered the room, Mr. Gorbachev appeared from a door at the opposite end.

“Good morning!” I said, extending my hand. “I am delighted to have this opportunity to meet you!”

“The pleasure is mine,” he replied.

I had brought my own interpreter. However, in keeping with protocol for heads of state, it was decided that we would use Mr. Gorbachev’s interpreter.

The first words I uttered were, “I have come to have an argument with you.” I was inviting him to engage in broad-ranging and fruitful debate.

Mr. Gorbachev’s interpreter Victor Kim, who would later accompany the president to Japan [in April 1991], seemed somewhat puzzled by my remark. I suppose it’s only natural that an interpreter should hesitate for a moment when a guest begins a dialogue by abruptly saying, “Let’s argue.”

Just then, the interpreter accompanying me, a graduate of Soka University, jumped in and skillfully conveyed my words with the intended nuance. Soon there were smiles all around.

I continued: “Let’s make sparks fly, and talk about everything honestly and openly, for the sake of humanity and for the sake of Japan–Soviet relations!”

Mr. Gorbachev, his face flushed with color, replied without missing a beat: “I am well acquainted with your extensive activities, but I didn’t realize you were a man of such passion. I, too, am fond of straightforward dialogue.” He then let out a hearty laugh. He was skilled in repartee and his mind worked very quickly. Furthermore, true to his reputation, he had a keen wit.

The Soviet president continued: “I feel as though you and I are longtime friends. It is as if we are old and dear friends rejoicing in their first face-to-face encounter.”

In the center of the room was a large conference table. After our wonderful initial exchange, we took our seats across from each other.

Mr. Gorbachev was joined on his side of the table by the well-known author Chingiz T. Aitmatov, a member of the Presidential Council; Rector Anatoli A. Logunov of Moscow State University; Chairman Gennadi A. Yagodin of the State Committee for National Education; Anatoli S. Chernyaev, a presidential aide; Karen N. Brutents, first deputy head of the International Department of the Communist Party Central Committee; and Vladislav I. Dunaev of the Novosti Press Agency.

I am not a politician or an economist, but a private citizen. I think it is precisely for that reason that I have been able to engage in frank and open dialogue with world leaders, unfettered by the constraints of political protocol or narrow economic interests.

I said: “Today, on behalf of the people of the world who are waiting to hear your message, and for the sake of future generations, I would like to take the role of student and ask your views on a variety of matters.”

Extending his arms in a gesture of welcome and broadly flashing the famous “Gorby smile,” the president replied: “Before I have even had the chance to welcome you as my guest, you have taken the words out of my mouth!”

Leaning forward, he continued: “You—my ‘student’? Nothing could be further from the truth. It is you who are making tremendous contributions to humanity while upholding the values and ideals of humanism.

“I am very familiar with your ideas, and I have a deep interest in the philosophical side of your activities. The ‘new thinking’ that is part of our program of perestroika is like a branch stemming from the trunk of the philosophy that you espouse.”

His comments about me aside, I found the president to be someone with whom I could really talk and be understood.

The Historical Significance of Perestroika

Mikhail Gorbachev

Daisaku Ikeda and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev meet for the first time (at the Kremlin in Moscow, July 1990)

What is most important for our lives? It is the pursuit of the answer to this question that gave rise to Mr. Gorbachev’s ideas about changing society. Not once did he waver in his stance as he set about implementing perestroika—an unprecedented experiment in human history—and promoting reform.

As human beings, of utmost importance is how faithfully we can live to the cry of our conscience and to what extent we can act in accord with our inner voice of justice. Understanding the struggles Mr. Gorbachev must have gone through to stay true to his convictions, I could not help but say to him: “I am a supporter of perestroika and the ‘new thinking’ you seek to foster. Our ideas have much in common. In fact, this is only natural, as we both focus on the human being. Our humanity is the great common denominator.”

Mr. Gorbachev nodded in agreement as I spoke.

When I commented on his youthfulness, the president’s dignified face broke into a smile. “Being called young makes me particularly happy,” he said. “That’s because one year at perestroika ages you five years.”

He further remarked: “President Ikeda, I have the highest regard for your intellectual and social activities. One reason for this is because all of your endeavors have a spiritual element to them.

“At this point, we are trying to gradually incorporate the spiritual elements of ethics and morals into government. Although this is a difficult task, I believe that success in this endeavor will yield tremendous results.”

In the rigid world of Eastern-bloc politics, the very idea of emphasizing spiritual factors had been at one time unthinkable.

To believe in people’s innate goodness and advance steadfastly upholding the ideal of humanism. To emphasize spiritual values. In such aspirations, Mr. Gorbachev and I shared a common ground.

“New ideas tend to be looked upon at first as absurd,” Mr. Gorbachev stated emphatically. “Reformers are always in the minority in the beginning. Therefore, it is a mistake to immediately dismiss budding plans or fresh ideas as outrageous.”

I was in complete agreement. That was precisely what I had wanted to convey.

Amid a great storm of persecution and insult, the SGI had initiated a kind of religious renaissance. For this reason, I could truly empathize with Mr. Gorbachev’s situation.

Sitting upright, Mr. Gorbachev vigorously continued: “When I proposed constructing a world free of nuclear weapons and resolving conflict through dialogue rather than violence, many people laughed this off as utopianism. But look at what is happening; these ideals are now being actualized.”

He was filled with self-confidence. He positively shone.

During our meeting, Mr. Gorbachev went straight to the heart of things as he explained the process leading to perestroika. His face taut and his tone direct, he said, “Mr. Ikeda, what I want to say next is very important: Everything that I have accomplished up to now has been made possible because there have been able and intelligent people around me, some of whom are present here today. All I have achieved has been the result of my association and unity with these people. In other words, it has been due to an alliance of government and culture.”

At this juncture, our discussion really livened up.

One person can have both a political side and a cultural side. It is a union of these mutually influential areas that brings forth the innate potential of the individual, thereby elevating both sides to a higher level. On this point, as well, we were in complete agreement.

The First Visit to Japan by a Soviet Head of State

Mikhail Gorbachev

Discussions with Soviet President Gorbachev and other Soviet leaders at the Kremlin in Moscow (July 1990)

By elevating the quality of culture, we can elevate the human being, which in turn causes the elevation of government. This was the point I was making during my meeting with President Gorbachev when I said that it is essential that politicians possess philosophy and a poetic spirit. Our conversation was filled with such passion and excitement that it felt as though time were standing still.

The president also said: “The first step in perestroika was to give everyone freedom. However, the question now is how to put that freedom to use: . . . Perestroika has reached a decisive stage. This is a time of change not only for the Soviet Union, but for the entire world.

Describing the image of people speaking their minds freely, the president remarked with a smile, “In the national government, as well, the Supreme Soviet has turned into a kind of theater.”

“One that is filled with lots of good actors!” Dr. Yagodin interjected. At this, the room erupted with laughter. The president immediately added, “It’s more popular than any soap opera on television!” Hearty laughter continued. It was a lively atmosphere.

This newfound freedom brought about even more dramatic changes. Seeing the incredible effect of perestroika, I was struck yet again by the immense power of the human mind. Everything that Russia was able to achieve was made possible by a change in the human heart.

There was one aim that I hoped to achieve in my meeting with Mr. Gorbachev; that is, the realization of a visit by him to Japan. At that time, there was much speculation whether such a visit would actually happen. That’s because just two days before our meeting, discussions with a national delegation of Diet members from Japan had broken down, bringing any plans for a visit back to square one.

As our discussion turned to relations between our two countries, I changed its direction by commenting that his courtship with his wife Raisa was well known.

He humorously retorted that that was something he had started to forget, adding: “Since Moscow State University Rector Logunov is present, and it was when my wife and I were both students at that school that our romance began, I think it would be inappropriate to discuss the matter now.” Amid everyone’s laughter, Mr. Logunov gave a friendly shrug.

I then asked where the couple went on their honeymoon and why they didn’t visit Japan.

The president immediately replied: “I will answer your first question when I make my trip to Japan. As to the second question, I can give you an answer at any time. I very much want to visit Japan, and I believe this desire will be realized.”

I then expressed my hope that he and Mrs. Gorbachev would make their visit either during the spring when the cherry blossoms are in flower or during the autumn to see the crimson maple leaves.

When I told him I was eagerly looking forward to welcoming them in Japan, the president said: “Most of the talks I have had with Japanese until now have been extremely constrained. The bottom line is that when people begin to communicate in a spirit of cooperation, any differences can be resolved. Nothing will be achieved if either party is stuck on issuing preliminary conditions or final ultimatums.”

In response to my suggesting that he visit Japan as soon as possible, he decisively stated: “I will definitely visit Japan: . . . The lack of dialogue between our countries is not normal.” And he voiced his wish to make the trip in the springtime.

Thus, the decision for the first visit ever by a Soviet head of state to Japan had been made. News of his comments were widely reported, including on the 7:00 P.M. news in Japan that day, as a breakthrough in relations between the two countries. The story was also covered on the front page of the Soviet newspaper Pravda under the headline “President Announces Intention to Visit Japan.”

A Warm Send-off

Our dialogue was full of excitement. Had circumstances allowed, I think we could have continued talking for hours on end. But I made a move to wind things up. We had covered a great deal of ground over the course of an hour. “You are the busiest person on the planet, a leader who is responsible for half of the world. For me, a private citizen, to tie up any more of your time would be a huge loss for the rest of the world. I will therefore take my leave.”

I excused myself, and the president gave me a friendly send-off. As we were leaving, I noticed him say something to my interpreter. He had apparently told her warmly, “I will definitely visit Japan.”

“The Ability to Keep On Fighting Is a Matter of the Spirit”

Mikhail Gorbachev

Hosting Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Mrs. Gorbachev in Japan (Soka University, Tokyo, April 1993)

True to his promise, Mr. Gorbachev came to Japan in April 1991, the year after our encounter. I met him at the Akasaka State Guesthouse in central Tokyo. I will write about this meeting as well as the ones that followed at a later date. In the end, our encounters became a two-volume dialogue titled Moral Lessons of the Twentieth Century2

On November 20, 1997, a day of brilliant autumn colors, I welcomed the Gorbachevs to Kansai Soka Junior and Senior High School in Katano, Osaka. On that occasion, Raisa Gorbachev, herself an educator, made an impassioned appeal to the students: “You will experience all kinds of hurts in life. Not all of them will heal. Nor can you always realize all of your dreams. But there is something that you can achieve. There is a dream that you can make a reality.

“Therefore, the person who triumphs in the end is the person who gets up after each fall and pushes onward. The ability to keep on fighting is a matter of the spirit.”

Sadly, Mrs. Gorbachev passed away from acute leukemia on September 20, 1999. However, the Gorbachevs’ humanistic philosophy has been deeply engraved and will be carried on in the hearts of the young leaders who will shoulder the 21st century.

It is now 10 years since the Berlin Wall came down. At the ceremony marking that anniversary, Mr. Gorbachev showed the world that he remains healthy and in high spirits. His achievements, which had great impact on the 20th century, will shine brilliantly for all eternity.

The other day, I received a message from Mr. Gorbachev proposing that we “undertake a new project together—for the sake of humankind.”

it’s a new day_by Hector Hinojosa

Hector Hinojosa,  12 January 2015 
It’s a new day
 

it’s a new day and we still kill
france is being loved again
but the black man in main house
still is hated by the fox and it’s friends
in the face of a million french marching peace
the evil face of bigotry is not the muslim man in algiers
but the grandmother in the north of carolina
calling for sand niggers to die
we love the american sniper
and hate the palestinian boy with the rock in his hand
today in paris millions march for peace
atheists and jews, buddhists, christians and muslims
black,brown, white and yellow
but in oklahoma there still resides
an old man and the grandson he taught
to hate the homeless,
and pastor lively teaches africa
to kill homosexuals.
it’s a new day and we still kill.

Comments

Christine Blackford
Christine Blackford: Every new day is a chance to step forward to make change happen. Everyday, I see those small steps being realized. Every day I am happy to be alive. And everyday, I feel love happening. X
2015.01.12, 02:02
Hector Hinojosa
Hector Hinojosa: Being a perpetual optimist, I agree 
I make myself painfully aware of the things left to fix, so I can do the little I can.
2015.01.12, 02:09
Hector Hinojosa
Hector Hinojosa: It’s a new day…
2018.01.12, 00:58
Fanny-Min Becker

Fanny-Min Becker: It’s a new day. Thx for sharing. Will share.
2018.01.12, 19.16

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FM:)
♥♥