Thursday, October 30, 2008

ZT: 保 內 地 經 濟 增 長 , 遠 遠 重 要 過 參 與 國 際 救 市

I am not a big fan of the Apple Daily editorial, not for the HK verion, or frankly not a fan at all. When one has to slip so much political agenda into every editorial it is hard to be fair and objective.

However, partisan as it is one as a reader should not lose his rationality, especially when it got things right despite all the prejudice. I agree 100% with today's column, only that, the politicised title is not helping it push its message to the intended ears, and I replaced its title with the conclusion: it is far more important to preserve domestic economic growth than participate in international rescue efforts. Because, (1) the ability to maintain economic growth inside China has a much larger impact to global economy than any money China can throw to IMF or the like, (2) It is uncertain how effective or efficient any of these US/Europe-led efforts are, we have seen the track record of IMF 10 years ago, and what it had done to Indonesia.

金 融 海 嘯 不 是 機 遇   胡 溫 不 宜 貪 功

面 對 席 捲 全 球 的 金 融 海 嘯 , 中 國 人 民 銀 行 在 兩 個 月 內 三 度 減 息 , 儘 管 對 內 地 股 市 的 刺 激 作 用 有 限 , 但 表 明 了 中 國 領 導 人 胡 錦 濤 、 溫 家 寶 參 與 國 際 社 會 穩 定 市 場 、 穩 定 經 濟 合 作 的 意 向 。 不 過 , 對 於 美 國 總 統 喬 治 布 殊 呼 籲 中 國 增 購 美 債 、 英 國 首 相 白 高 敦 敦 促 中 國 注 資 國 際 貨 幣 基 金 組 織 ( IMF ) , 胡 、 溫 的 反 應 相 當 冷 淡 , 中 國 外 交 部 昨 日 僅 表 示 , 願 在 力 所 能 及 的 範 圍 內 , 積 極 考 慮 參 與 救 援 計 劃 。
對 於 今 次 百 年 一 遇 的 金 融 海 嘯 , 內 地 傳 媒 不 時 有 意 無 意 提 出 陰 謀 論 , 反 對 動 用 外匯儲 備 參 與 國 際 救 市 行 動 , 特 別 是 反 對 增 購 美 債 、 反 對 注 資 IMF 籌 設 的 一 萬 億 美 元 救 市 基 金 , 中 國 持 有 大 量 美 債 更 頻 遭 炮 轟 。 根 據 美 國 財 政 部 10 月 16 日 公 佈 的 數 據 , 中 國 至 今 年 8 月 持 有 美 國 國 債 5,410 億 美 元 , 居 第 二 位 , 僅 次 於 日 本 的 5,859 億 美 元 。
中 國 官 方 新 華 社 旗 下 《 瞭 望 東 方 周 刊 》 也 質 疑 「 金 融 危 機 是 一 次 合 謀 」 , 並 引 述 金 融 界 人 士 說 : 「 無 論 美 國 怎 麼 救 市 , 它 的 根 本 目 的 是 發 動 一 次 貨 幣 戰 爭 , 通 過 美 元 貶 值 、 國 債 估 值 下 降 , 到 時 候 由 日 本 、 中 國 這 些 與 它 金 融 聯 繫 比 較 多 的 國 家 買 單 。 」
這 種 以 貨 幣 戰 爭 看 待 金 融 海 嘯 的 陰 謀 論 , 顯 然 深 受 去 年 6 月 出 版 的 暢 銷 書 《 貨 幣 戰 爭 》 影 響 。 這 本 書 以 陰 謀 論 分 析 國 際 財 團 透 過 搶 奪 貨 幣 發 行 權 , 操 縱 國 際 金 融 、 經 濟 、 政 治 運 作 , 在 內 地 引 起 廣 泛 關 注 。 據 稱 , 主 管 金 融 工 作 的 副 總 理 王 岐 山 讀 後 還 批 示 , 要 求 所 有 財 金 官 員 研 讀 。
與 陰 謀 論 同 時 大 行 其 道 的 是 機 遇 論 。 一 些 學 者 、 官 員 認 為 , 金 融 海 嘯 是 中 國 參 與 重 整 國 際 金 融 秩 序 的 機 遇 , 對 胡 溫 裹 足 不 前 甚 為 不 滿 , 呼 籲 政 府 採 取 更 具 力 度 和 規 模 的 救 市 行 動 , 大 有 取 美 國 而 代 之 、 趁 其 病 (手羅) 其 命 的 氣 概 。 《 貨 幣 戰 爭 》 的 作 者 宋 鴻 兵 更 明 言 : 「 中 國 應 該 考 慮 如 何 在 即 將 到 來 的 國 際 金 融 戰 爭 中 贏 得 戰 略 主 動 權 , 最 終 實 現 在 一 個 國 際 『 後 美 元 體 系 』 中 的 貨 幣 霸 主 地 位 。 」
在 華 爾 街 五 大 投 資 銀 行 同 時 受 損 之 際 , 金 融 海 嘯 的 陰 謀 論 難 有 說 服 力 , 機 遇 論 則 未 免 太 過 自 大 。 陰 謀 論 、 機 遇 論 對 是 否 參 與 國 際 救 市 的 主 張 不 同 , 但 又 是 一 脈 相 承 , 都 是 基 於 中 國 龐 大 的 外 匯 儲 備 而 引 發 的 民 族 主 義 情 緒 , 都 是 要 求 胡 溫 向 美 國 說 不 。 截 至 今 年 9 月 底 , 中 國 外匯儲 備 達 1.9 萬 億 美 元 , 雄 居 世 界 首 位 , 在 金 融 海 嘯 襲 擊 環 球 之 際 顯 得 格 外 耀 眼 , 也 為 胡 錦 濤 、 溫 家 寶 在 任 期 屆 滿 前 建 功 立 業 創 造 了 條 件 。
但 是 , 以 中 國 現 行 一 黨 專 政 的 政 治 制 度 , 注 定 中 國 不 可 能 取 代 美 國 成 為 世 界 領 袖 。 何 況 , 論 經 濟 實 力 、 科 技 實 力 、 軍 事 實 力 , 中 國 現 時 都 不 足 以 充 當 世 界 領 袖 。 由 於 參 與 國 際 救 市 的 策 略 , 涉 及 中 國 外 交 戰 略 、 貨 幣 戰 略 的 調 整 , 貪 功 、 貪 快 , 並 不 足 取 , 保 內 地 經 濟 增 長 , 遠 遠 重 要 過 參 與 國 際 救 市 。
中 共 元 老 鄧 小 平 在 1989 年 六 四 事 件 後 提 出 24 字 外 交 戰 略 「 冷 靜 觀 察 , 穩 住 陣 腳 , 沉 著 應 付 , 韜 光 養 晦 , 善 於 守 拙 , 決 不 當 頭 」 , 放 諸 今 日 金 融 海 嘯 的 局 勢 , 顯 然 並 未 過 時 。

An Original Poem: Who's on Board the Straight Squawk Express?

I'm leaving today for the Keene State College Children's Literature Festival in New Hampshire. I'll be back on Sunday.

Here's my final, I think, political poem of the 2008 presidential campaign:

Who’s on Board the Straight Squawk Express? or Joe the Plumber Et Al
by Elaine the retired teacher

Joe the plumber,
Mack the Knife,
Hal the husband,
Val the wife,
Don the dentist,
Dick the doc,
Phil the farmer,
Hank the hawk,
Gail the grocer,
Ken the catcher,
Pat the daft
Police dispatcher,
Val the vet and
Babs the baker,
Chad the chocolate
Candy maker,
Al the actor,
Sal the singer,
Greg the guy
Who sniffs his finger,
Bud the butcher,
Mike the mayor,
Steve the hunky
Land surveyor,
Peg the pilot,
Bill the banker,
Nell the nightly
News-hour anchor,
Vic who drives
the old age van,
Rob the Roto-Rooter man,
Will the waiter,
Gil the gilder,
Bo the brawny
Body builder
Ted the teacher,
Don the drummer,
George and Sarah--
Dumb and dumber…
Driving over
Hill and dale
Busy on
The campaign trail.

At Blue Rose Girls, I have a poem entitled Halloween written by Mac Hammond.

Sylvia has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Poetry for Children.


Bone Soup: A Great Halloween Read-Aloud

Written & illustrated by Cambria Evans
Houghton Mifflin, 2008

When I was an elementary school teacher and a school librarian, I was always on the lookout for picture books to read aloud in my classroom or in the library in October. My students loved it when I turned off the overhead lights, switched on the electric jack-o’-lanterns, and began reading spooky or creepy tales to them. Here’s a review of Bone Soup, a book I recommend for reading aloud on Halloween.

Bone Soup is a retelling of the traditional tale Stone Soup--but this version is set on Halloween--and is replete with all manner of creatures, including zombies and a witch.

The Story: The main character, a ghoulish figure named Finnigin, is known far and wide for his ravenous appetite. Finnigin, a vagabond with no family or home, lives by his wits. Everywhere he goes, he takes along with him three things: his eating stool, his eating spoon, and his enormous eating mouth.

One Halloween, Finnigin sets off for a new town. He hopes that he’ll be invited to take part in the great feast. But a witch sees him on route, heads back to town, and warns the beast that “The Eater” is coming. Word spreads--and soon the zombies and mummy and all the creatures of the village are “talking about the impending arrival of Finnigin the Eater.” In a trice, the villagers stash their edibles:

In a panic, the witch booby-trapped
her jars of eyeballs,
the beast locked his bat wings in a cupboard,
the zombies put their frogs legs in the cellar,
and the mummy and other towns-
creatures hid all they had to eat.

The rest of the tale follows the storyline of the traditional tale. Finnigin knocks on doors and windows and requests food. Time and again he is told by village creatures there is no food. Undaunted, Finnigin makes a fire, fills the largest town cauldron with water, and sets it to boil. Then, he ceremoniously opens his cloak and pulls “out a magnificent piece of bone” and drops it into the cauldron. While stirring his bubbling concoction, Finnigin sings:





The townspeople are intrigued. One by one, they open their doors and head toward Finnigin and his pot of soup. And, one by one, Finnigin tricks the villagers into adding their tasty edibles to the pot: stewed eyeballs, bat wings, frog legs, etc. There’s a fabulous double-page, close-up spread of the gross greenish concoction floating with the aforementioned ingredients. In addition, there are spider eggs, dried mouse droppings, dandelions, and toenail clippings--all labeled for the reader lest he/she wonder what else is being stirred about in the cauldron. Of course, the villagers all concur that Finnigin’s bone soup is a hit.

Once the Halloween feast is over, Finnigin sets off again with his eating stool, his eating spoon….and his gigantic smiling mouth.

The Illustrations: Cambria Evans chose just the right palette for her tale set on the last night of October. Grays, browns, black, and ghoulish green provide a spooky atmosphere. Evans also added just the right touches of pink, yellow, and other colors for contrast. Her round-faced creatures aren’t really frightening--but just Halloweeny enough to send delightful shivers down the spines of young children who are sure to enjoy this new take on a familiar old tale.

Enjoying God's creations and photography : My therapeutic hobbies

Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for your prayers and encouragements.

♥ I am so thankful to God that I am able to go for an outing today with 2 church friends. We went to Changi Airport to see some flowers exhibition. We had a good time of fellowship.

♥ Thank God for the joy of enjoying His creations. God's creations always remind me of His majesty and power. He Who creates us will also take care of us.

♥ Thank God for giving me the joy of photography and to be able to capture some of the beauties of God's creations. These are the flowers I took at the exhibition today.

♥ Thank God for His love for us and His instructions to us on how we are to reflect His love in 1 Corinthians 13.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (KJV)

4 Charity suffereth long,
and is kind;
charity envieth not;
charity vaunteth not itself,
is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly,
seeketh not her own,
is not easily provoked,
thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity,
but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things,
believeth all things,
hopeth all things,
endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

4 Love is patient,
love is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.
5 It is not rude,
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects,
always trusts,
always hopes,
always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.

May God continue to bless you with His love in many wonderful ways every day :)
Thank you for stopping by. Take care and may God continue to bless you through this week!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Catching Up With the Roamers (part 4)

Time for a few more Roaming Penguin stories today! First up, because of the multiple Roamers posts, a lot of new Friends have been writing to find out where they can get their hands on one of these little guys. You can get all the order info here - and don't forget a portion of each sale goes to the Mario Lemieux Foundation!!!

Now, back to the matter at hand: Sidney Penguin went to Eastern Pennsylvania to spend some time with Friend of The Show April H. (click all pictures to enlarge):
Here are some of the adventures SP went on after he arrived at my home in New Holland, PA. I live in Lancaster Co with the Amish, but I am not Amish.

Piano: SP found the piano in my house and wanted to sing a few songs ...

Lunch Box: SP went along with my friend and I to Akron Park in Lancaster County PA to watch us play Frisbee golf. We had him facing the opposite direction of where we were throwing because the throws were too embarrassing to have him witness them. He was carried through the course in his special SP carrying case so as not to get souvenirs on his feet from all the ducks ...

Ducks: Sid enjoyed watching the ducks with us after the game ...

Apple: I introduced the art of making applesauce to SP and noticed a Siamese apple just about as big as he was!

Covered Bridge: On my day off doing errands around the county we stopped by a covered bridge (most if not all are red) and most are one lane across. SP is in the lower left corner on the stone in front of the bridge.

Cat's Back Sign: The road with the covered bridge is called Cat's Back Road (there is a hill nearby called Cat's Back). The writing under the sign is "Pennsylvania Dutch" which is ironic since most Amish did not come from Holland .. they came from Germany .. and speak "low German" .. but I gave Sidney a speech lesson on how to "Dutchify" the English language to sound like an Amish person.

Mennonite Buggy: I pointed out the many buggies (MANY buggies) to SP and explained to him the difference between the Amish and Mennonite buggies. (Amish are gray, Mennonites are black) And Sid being the tourist he is wanted to get a pic .. so I drove at 2 mph to get a good shot and so as not to hurt him while trying to get this pic. Good thing Mario P wasn't there or I'm sure he would have gotten a lecture on being more careful ...

Seatbelt: SP wore his seatbelt for the trip except for when he wanted the buggy pic ... just like a good little penguin

Mascot Mill Sign: SP had this bad habit of wanting to be on the tops of high signs and had fallen once off this sign before I had a chance to take this pic ...

Mascot Mill Bench: Since SC likes to fish, I took SP to the place where I was taken to go fishing when I was growing up. It was a nice break from our busy errand running and we got to enjoy the leaves and the river for a little before it was time to continue our journey ...

Intercourse, PA: Ah the mecca of all Amish touristy things ... I got a pic of him with the sign for him to show to his friends back home.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed them! [snoop: I absolutely did, April!]
Sidney Penguin is a busy bird! He then headed back up north to visit Friend of The Show Evans87 in Kemptville, Ontario:
I was delighted to receive my penguin! There is one picture of Sidney Penguin with my Sidney collage as the backdrop...

...and also one of myself with my penguin.

I go to school every day, so I may not do as much interesting things with my penguin as the next person, but Sidney Penguin still needs his sleep.

Sidney Penguins also loves my Sidney T-shirt! GO PENS GO!

Kemptville, Ontario, got our first snow fall of the season, and Sidney begged me to take him out to play! So out we went!

How can I say no to that face?

Haha, the shots of S.P. making snow angels are classic! Thanks so much to April and Evans87 for sharing their great pictures. I've got one more Catching Up With the Roamers post to go and then I'll be back on top of the Roaming Penguin situation. After that, I'm going to start tackling the game day pictures I've gotten over the past few weeks. There are some AMAZING shots to share - I can't wait for you to see them! (I'm slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things...)

I'll close today with a big announcement involving good Friend of The Show Tony F., whom you probably know from The Confluence of The Three Rivers. As of today, he's now part of the legendary Kukla's Korner team!!! Many congratulations are in order! He'll be providing the same great Pens coverage at The Confluence on Kukla's Korner. To make it easy for you to find him, I've already changed his link in the blogroll, too. :) Sláinte agus táinte, Tony!!! :)

The Pens lost 1-2 to the San Jose Sharks last night. >:( They have the night off tonight to travel to Pheonix to face the Coyotes tomorrow night at 10:00pm Eastern.

GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sherman Alexie on The Colbert Report

I don't read too many YA novels. This summer I did read Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and absolutely loved it! Last night, Alexie was on the The Colbert Report, one of my favorite TV programs. Alexie was a great guest--and kept pace with the witty Colbert during his interview. Here's a link to the Alexie segment:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

China's dynasty cycle

hat-tip: mutant palm

This is well known among Chinese historian. We call it a 'metastable cycle' -- referring to the peak as metastable. It had been brought to the mass in the late 1980s by the famous TV documentary "River Elegy" before the tragedy in 1989. It is nicely presented in English below.

Why such cycle does not occur in other part of the world? I suspect there are a few reasons
  1. China is "isolated" geographically
  2. China is homogenous (culturally/"linguistically"(the characters)/economically/etc) so that it is easy to 'unify'
  3. The Confucius teaching values of a single authority (supports unity and maintains the metastable stage until a major natural disaster comes as the trigger)
There had actually been some efforts to re-create the Roman Empire in Europe. e.g., the Holy Roman Empire which has been famously ridiculed as neither Holy nor Roman nor Empire -- because Europe lacked ingredients 2 and 3 above.

The Cycle helped China to remain as the 'largest country' in the world for most of the past 2 millenia while also prevented China from any revolutionary ideas in thinking (scientific/technological, cultural, political/social) like what happened in Europe during the Renaissance. A unified country means relative long period of peace for development, the flip-side is that the absolute authority such as Confuciusm prevents diversity and competition like China enjoyed during the Warring States Era.

ZT: Mongolia and China

I copied the article here since the source is blocked by the GFW

(update: inside the GFW - here)

蒙古人如何看中国:"回归已经没有可能"(组图) 世界博览







Idre’s Guest House酒吧的老板曾经对我说:“我从不接待中国人,因为你分不清谁是生意人,谁是旅行者。”他很坦诚地当着我的面表达自己对中国商人的厌恶感。

中 国在蒙企业是这种抵触情绪的最大受害者。山东正元公司相关负责人曾向我提及,2003~2005年间,正元公司在苏赫巴托省开发金矿时,当地的环保警察与 县长经常会来找麻烦。2006年在公司另外一个项目场地,地方环保警察让所有中国工人站成一排,在太阳底下站着,自己则坐到蒙古包里喝起酒来。“这是一种 侮辱,但我们又不得不忍气吞声,其他的外资企业便不会受到这样的对待。”正元公司负责人李德亮对此表示无奈。




蒙 古人对中国人的种种不友好,蒙古媒体无疑起了推波助澜的作用,他们往往将集于一点的事情渲染成一个面,以至于中国大使馆不得不做一些公关工作来维持中国在 蒙古的形象。然而,如果当地报纸做了关于中国的正面报道以后,往往不久就要再做对应的负面报道进行中和,由此可见其国内读者的社情民意。蒙古的政党同样如 此,在议会选举中,反华往往成为选举的政治筹码。在一个民主国家,这至少反映了当地民众的好恶。


2006 年,是对中蒙关系颇具考验的一年。只因这一年是大蒙古国建立800周年。前中国驻蒙大使高树茂出于淡化历史、搁置争议、共同发展的考虑,说出了“成吉思汗 是你们的,也是我们的,既然我们都是成吉思汗的子孙,就要共同发展”的话,结果依然被蒙古媒体列为最不受欢迎的外国人之一,说这是大国沙文主义的表现。


驻 蒙使馆工作的多位朋友在谈及中蒙当前的主要问题时,都不约而同提到“增信释疑”这四个字。的确,如果做一下换位思考,小泉去靖国神社参拜,中国人尚且暴跳 如雷。当蒙古懂中文的人打开中国网站,看到的都是要求收回蒙古的言论时,蒙古人会怎么想?这个问题绕不过去,中蒙民间就不可能有真正的友好往来。


中国人对蒙古特殊的情感,全因我们的“海棠叶”情节。而蒙 古人对中国人的种种不友好,也起源于这片“海棠叶”。不同的是,中国人对这片海棠叶充满向往,蒙古则充满厌恶。二者的根本分歧在于中国将蒙古建国看作国家 分裂与领土缺失,蒙古则看作是民族解放与国家独立,看成自己在苏联红军的帮助下,彻底摆脱了中国将近300年的“殖民统治”。


蒙 古人这种史观的叙事范本,全部躺在它的国家博物馆里。位于首都乌兰巴托市中心苏赫巴托广场西北的国家博物馆共由10个分馆组成,记录了从匈奴王朝到蒙古国 长达两千多年的历史。通过展品的内容、陈列样式与展馆大小等细节,我们可以了解蒙古人对自己的历史究竟是持怎样一种态度。

与 中国民族大一统史观不同,蒙古国人并不认为自己是中华民族的一部分。在蒙古国家博物馆的墙上,这一点被特别强调出来。蒙古国家博物馆在不同展厅里是这样叙 述自己国家历史的:匈奴帝国,鲜卑帝国,柔然帝国,突厥人建立的突厥帝国、蓝突厥帝国、维吾尔帝国及最后的蒙古帝国、满族统治之下的蒙古、革命前夜的蒙 古、共产主义时期的蒙古与民主化后的蒙古。

世界上所有的国家博物馆,在看似千奇百怪种类繁多的展品背后,实际上 都有一个相同的目的,即向参观者证明自己国家民族的正统性与唯一性,蒙古国家博物馆也不例外。蒙古国家博物馆展厅的历史排序,无疑是想告诉参观者,蒙古国 是自古以来中亚各个帝国的合法继承者,历史上各个帝国的统治者或是蒙古人的直接祖先,或与蒙古人有着千丝万缕的联系。两千多年来,中亚的居住者、建国者与 统治者的后代,便是现在的蒙古人。蒙古国家博物馆告诉人们的,并不只是蒙古人对国家正统的申述,还有他们对外来统治者的态度。满族或者中国,在这里被当成 一个侵略者的角色,用来批判。


照 理说,从1636年清军入关前征服内蒙开始算起,到1911年清朝灭亡,有清一代对外蒙古统治将近300年,比起后来苏联70年的间接“统治”要长出很 多。但如果你到蒙古国家博物馆就会发现,300年历史的第五展厅“满族统治下的蒙古”,不及“共产主义时期蒙古”展厅的三分之一,是10个展厅中空间最小 的。


1921 年苏联控制蒙古以后,没收佛教寺院的财产,摧毁庙宇,逮捕喇嘛,基本上毁灭了藏传佛教。在1932年蒙古出现反抗苏联的行动后,苏联当局开始在蒙古进行清 洗迫害。从1933~1953年,有36000人死亡或失踪,而当时的蒙古只有73万人。短短20年间,这个国家将近5%的人非正常死亡。在文化上,蒙古 遭受了与越南同样的命运,传统蒙文被改为俄罗斯式的斯拉夫文字,隔断了他们自身文化的传承。

以上数据都来自蒙古 国家博物馆,对比便知,第五展厅描述清朝对蒙古的残暴统治,只是大而空的宏观论述,缺少历史证据的支撑,却几乎占到整个第五展厅的三分之一;而苏联统治下 对蒙古货真价实的残暴统治,却隐藏在共产主义时期蒙古工业化大生产的成就展品中,被轻描淡写般带过。这分明是用政治来解释历史,用当下来诠释过去,印证了 克罗齐那句“一切历史都是当代史”的名言。

在第七展厅“革命前夜”里,有一段描写更是赤裸裸地表现了蒙古人对中 国商人的愤恨,现照录如下:“中国商人充斥乡间,从牧民手中以低价收购皮革、羊毛、骆驼毛等商品,再将这些商品高价卖出,迫使蒙古人负债累累,由于牧民不 能读懂中国商人的账本,中国人因此很容易耍花招,蒙古人经常反抗他们的压迫。”





其 中一幅1919年徐树铮与蒙古王公贵族的合影或许可以印证我的想法。照片中立者为徐树铮与蒙古贵族,右侧与后立者为北洋诸将,背后是各国国旗。这至少表 明,当时徐的介入与取消蒙古自治,是得到部分蒙古上层与国际支持的,这或许颇让现在的蒙古人感到难堪,因此英文介绍便被隐讳不提。




中 国敞开国门以后,一批中国商人裹挟着伪劣商品来到蒙古淘金。这些人在蒙古人眼中的形象,与蒙古国家博物馆里描绘的中国商人并无二致。这部分人是抹黑中国的 先锋队。随着中蒙经贸往来的加深,淘金的大部队纷至沓来。据中国使馆统计,去年一年中国公民赴蒙人数达20万人次。在人口只有280万人口的蒙古,这个比 例相当大。这20万人次,又大多集中在人口只有130万的乌兰巴托,难怪蒙古人会惊呼:“中国人来了!”

如今在 蒙古国,中国人几乎涉足到了所有的商业领域。其中最主要集中在矿产与基础设施建设方面,以至于很多蒙古人会抱怨说,中国人正在掠夺他们的资源,抢夺他们的 饭碗。很多富裕起来的中国人在蒙古偏偏又不注意自己的形象,将自身的恶劣品行带入蒙古。一些华侨向我反应,有些中国老板在当地一掷千金,随意追求蒙古女 人,在公共场合大声说话,这些都造成了极坏的影响。


除 了嫉恨,在蒙古国人最深层的心理层面上,还有对中国的恐惧。如果你有机会站在博格达山顶俯视整个乌兰巴托,你就会体会到蒙古人的这种恐惧。蒙古国全国人口 只有280万,只相当于北京市东城区的人口。当一个国家一半的人口可以被一眼望穿的时候,当一个国家主要的经济、政治、文化都夹在几山之间的时候,又有谁 会对旁边这个拥有13亿人口的大国放心呢?驻蒙大使馆政治部主任孙洪量说的更为到位:“与其说蒙古恐惧,不如说他疑虑,包括蒙古在内的大多数国家,都不知 道中国以后要走向何处。”

给两个大国当了几百年夹心馅饼的蒙古,当然深知自己的境遇。300年前,在中国与俄国 之间,蒙古选择了前者;1911年,蒙古则选择了后者。在蒙古人看来,这两次选择都是处于被迫,结果也不尽如人意。因此在1989年苏联解体,蒙古再一次 获得选择权的时候,变精明的蒙古选择了“多支点”外交:用合纵连横之术来对付中俄,这使得它有越来越多的资本与这两个国家叫板。

中 国人在乌兰巴托的得到不友好待遇,与这个城市无度失衡的城市化也有关系,这是更深层次的一个原因。据孙洪量介绍,原来乌兰巴托只有80万人口,且多是受过 良好教育的阶层。随着牧区经济的不景气,大量牧民进入城市,却又找不到合适的工作,于是便聚集在乌兰巴托周围,形成了现在城市周边的棚户区。




在乌兰巴托最时尚的迪厅METRO POLIS,我亲眼看到过蒙古人挑衅欧美人的场面。在乌兰巴托的大街上,你会发现,几乎找不到一辆没有划痕的汽车,他们开起车来像参加那达慕。韩国人、日本人在蒙古也有过不敬遭遇,只不过中国人的不幸更为普遍而已。


否极泰来,事分两面。在蒙古国旗里有 一个中国道家的阴阳图案,这表明蒙古人也相信阴阳转换的道理。中蒙民间的友好往来,虽说任重道远,但在某些地方,这种转换已经悄然发生。蒙古人对中国人的 缺乏善意,从另一面分析,正是中蒙民间交往不断加深的表现。我接触到的蒙古人中,凡是去过中国特别是北京上海这样大城市的,对中国的态度便明显积极。据统 计,去年一年蒙古公民赴华人数已经达到60万人次。


(文字作者:本刊特派记者 王颖春 图片作者:本刊特派记者 王颖春)

Catching Up With the Roamers (part 3)

I need to start this post with an apology to good Friend of The Show Alyse. She was the one who provided the recent translations of Mad Max Talbot's RDS blog. I misidentified her in all three parts, and I feel so bad about it! So a pair of thank yous go out to Alyse for those translations and to Ali W. for pointing out my error! :)

Now back to our Catching Up With the Roamers. (Click all of the following pictures to enlarge them.) Recently, Sidney Penguin headed up north for some fun with Friend of The Show Amanda T.:
I'm from Buffalo, and I've had my Sidney Penguin for a few weeks now, but I'm pregnant, so I had to make hay while the sun shone and do stuff around the house for the arrival of the baby. Anyhoo, today I finally got out with my friend Stacy. We took Sidney to Niagara Falls.

Pic471: He's arrived! Sidney Penguin waits patiently until Amanda checks her mail.

Pic472: Sidney is all buckled up and ready to go on his first adventure!

Pic473: Sidney waits for his food before driving up to Niagara Falls. It took a long time to find an adequate supply of fresh shrimp, squid, and fish for him, but he said it was worth the wait!

Pic474: We finally arrive at Niagara Falls State Park and Sidney excitedly looks over what there is to do.

Pic476: Sidney checks out the points of interest from the big map inside the Visitor's Center.

Pic477: On our way out to the Falls, Sidney begs us to stop and make a souvenir penny. He turned the crank all by himself!

Pic479: Sid balances his new penny on his stick to show it off.

Pic480: Sidney is so excited to see the Falls for the first time, he can hardly contain himself!

Pic481: Sid takes a reflective moment to gaze at the wonder and beauty of the Falls.

Pic482: Sidney wanted a closer view of the Falls, so we let him look through the observation tool which magnifies everything so you feel like you're right there!

Pic483: Sidney wanted to take a boat ride on the Maid of the Mist, but we were afraid they wouldn't have rain coats small enough to fit him. He insisted he would be fine, since he is a water bird, after all, but we didn't want anything bad to happen to him, so we stayed on shore.

Pic484: While we were in the gift shop, Sidney found a friend to talk to!

Pic486: When he saw this New York State license plate with his name on it, Sidney asked us nicely to buy it for him as a memento of his wonderful visit to Niagara Falls!

Also from the Buffalo area, Friend of The Show Carlie D. snapped a picture of Sidney Penguin after the arrival of his new friend, Jordan Penguin:
I got a Jordan penguin! I took a picture of Jordan and Sidney sitting on my fuzzy Sabres hat that just so happens to be in the Winter Classic mural!

S.P. then headed south to catch a special game with Friend of The Show Heidi S.:
Tonight Sidney Penguin went to see the Baby Pens play in Wilkes-Barre! Unfortunately the boys lost in the overtime shootout on the very last shooter of the five round shootout. But he did see Janne Pesonen score an awesome breakaway goal (he also scored the only goal for the Pens in the shootout)!! Another familiar name, Jeff Taffe, added a goal as well, as did Chris Minard. It was a little hard to find somewhere to pose, but this is Sidney in front of center ice at the Wachovia Arena.

Many thanks to Amanda, Carlie, and Heidi for sending in these pictures! (And congrats to Amanda for the impending arrival!!!) Stay tuned! I've got more Roaming Penguins pics to share with you this week.

The Pens face the San Jose Sharks tonight. Since this game will not even start until 10:30, I will not be recapping this one. I suggest checking out a recap from one of these fine sites:

Empty Netters

The Flower Shop

The Suburban Rob Rossis

GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!