My Facebook 新增面書 心空海嶽 by the inner space 歡迎光臨 Welcome in

「我離港前到過一間精神科醫院。當時有位病人禮貌地問,一個以作為世上最悠久民主政體而自傲的國家,如何能夠將此地交給一個政治制度非常不同的國家,且既沒諮詢當地公民,又沒給予他們民主的前景,好讓他們捍衞自己的將來。一個隨行同事說,奇怪,香港提出最理智問題的人,竟在精神科醫院。」彭定康 金融時報

“During a visit to a mental hospital before I left Hong Kong, a patient politely asked me how a country that prided itself on being the oldest democracy in the world had come to be handing over his city to another country with a very different system of government, without either consulting the citizens or giving them the prospect of democracy to safeguard their future. Strange, said one of my aides, that the man with the sanest question in Hong Kong is in a mental hospital.”Chris Patten Financial Times

Non Chinese literate friends, please simply switch to English Version provided by LOUSY Google Translation

Please participate in the unregistered demography survey of visitors at the right hand side bar. You are: ?

敬請參與在右下方的不記名訪客分佈調查問卷,你是: ?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

向梅姨姨致敬

向梅姨姨致敬



很多的英國評論包括英國首相卡梅倫質疑電影“鐵娘子~戴卓爾夫人傳”是否過早推出?因由,戴卓爾夫人仍然在世,在電影中有一半時段,是描寫她晚年患有初期腦退化症產生的幻覺,而另一半時段,描寫壯年的戴卓爾夫人,如何帶領衰落中的英國走向中興。




【The Telegraph】Mr Cameron praised Meryl Streep's performance in The Iron Lady as "fantastic", but questioned the decision to make the film while Baroness Thatcher is alive.

i.e. David Cameron has suggested that a controversial film about Margaret Thatcher should have been delayed until after her death.




【NME】Prime Minister David Cameron has said he wishes the Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady had been delayed and focused more on her leadership skills rather than her health.

David Cameron: 'I wish 'The Iron Lady' hadn't been made yet'



The Iron Lady 三月八日在香港上映



【維基百科】The Iron Lady is a 2011 British biographical film based on the life of Margaret Thatcher, the longest serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the 20th century.

The film begins circa 2008 (opening against the backdrop of news of the Islamabad Marriott Hotel bombing) with an elderly Lady Thatcher buying milk unrecognized by other customers and walking back from the shop alone.

Over the course of three days we see her struggle with dementia and with the lack of power that comes with old age, whilst looking back on defining moments of her personal and professional life, on which she reminisces with her (dead) husband, Denis. She is shown as having difficulty distinguishing between the past and present .......





Starring

Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher
Jim Broadbent as Denis Thatcher
Anthony Head as Geoffrey Howe
Richard E. Grant as Michael Heseltine

Directed by Phyllida Lloyd




演技派女星 梅麗 史翠普,於29年後,憑電影 The Iron Lady 再當上 金球獎金像獎雙料影后,港譯:鐵娘子~戴卓爾夫人傳。



故事:
既然是傳記片,便需要忠於歷史事實,故事開始在2008年,晚年的鐵娘子被轟下台經已18年,丈夫丹尼斯戴卓爾也經已逝世5年,她記憶起由過去到牛津讀書,參政,結婚生子,及達到頂峰當起英國首相。改革英國社會鞏固了她的權位,收復福克蘭群島加添了她的權威,可惜輝煌的日子是短暫的,戴卓爾夫人新加人頭稅項,民心的轉向迅速,被黨友逼宮,讓出相位黯然下台。年邁的鐵娘子在現實和回憶中,交織成整部電影。


我見:
表達形式有些舞台劇的感覺,是我敏感還是導演真有這個意圖呢?故事大都忠於歷史,梅姨姨的演出卓越,我入場看電影是要向她致敬!


需要挑剔的話,可能就是如現任英國首相所言:A controversial film about Margaret Thatcher should have been delayed until after her death. 因為年老的鐵娘子仍然在世,即是還未能有蓋棺論,電影中有的煽情位置,未能去得更盡。不過,這只是我個人的感覺。



補記:
【維基百科】 Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS (née Roberts; born 13 October 1925) is a British politician and longest-serving (1979–1990) British prime minister of the 20th century, and the only woman to have held the post.

Dubbed the "Iron Lady" for her firm opposition to the Soviet Union, she implemented a number of conservative policies that have come to be known as Thatcherism.

Originally a chemist, and then a barrister, Thatcher became Member of Parliament (MP) for Finchley in the 1959 general election. Edward Heath appointed her Secretary of State for Education and Science in his 1970 government.

In 1975 Thatcher defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election and became Leader of the Opposition, as well as the first woman to head a major political party in the United Kingdom. She became prime minister after winning the 1979 general election.

After entering 10 Downing Street, Thatcher introduced a series of political and economic initiatives to reverse what she perceived as a precipitous national decline in Britain.

Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation (particularly of the financial sector), flexible labour markets, the privatisation of state-owned companies, and reducing the power and influence of trade unions.

In her first years in office Thatcher's popularity waned amid recession and high unemployment; then economic recovery and the 1982 Falklands War brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her re-election in 1983.

Thatcher was re-elected for a third term in 1987, but her Community Charge was widely unpopular and her views on the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet. She resigned as Prime Minister and party leader in November 1990, after Michael Heseltine launched a challenge to her leadership.

Thatcher holds a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher, of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire, which entitles her to sit in the House of Lords.



當然電影沒有包括 1982年,戴卓爾夫人戴着福克蘭戰役的勝利光環,又去到北京會見鄧小平,為香港作前途談判,結果碰得一面灰,她還在人民大會堂梯級摔了一跤!


後記:
2013年 4月 8日 戴卓爾夫人中風去世,17日在倫敦舉行《禮葬》儀式,英女皇及皇夫皆有出席。




但反對者卻慶祝她的離世,高唱 Ding Dong The Witch is Dead!




除了解決煤礦工潮,戴卓爾夫人 把衰落的英國恢復尊嚴,阿根廷 入侵 福克蘭群島,戴卓爾夫人 派遣遠征軍南下,用武力奪回群島。




戴卓爾 乘勝追擊,為殖民地香港的主權與中國攤牌,但最終經過談判,1997年 7月 1日歸還中國,主權換治權方案無效,鄧小平 堅決回收香港,若有必要提早收回。




曾經處於權力高峰,但最後黯然離開唐寧街 10號!




2013年 4月 17日 倫敦 (CNN)


and





伸延閱覽:

Meryl Streep 維基百科

David Cameron: The Iron Lady should have been delayed telegraph.co.uk

David Cameron: 'I wish 'The Iron Lady' hadn't been made yet' nme.com The Iron Lady 維基百科

Margaret Thatcher 維基百科



我的舊文:

演技的切磋 前者:Doubt 港譯:聖訴,後者:Frost/Nixon 港譯:驚世真言

梅麗史翠普的變臉:Doubt 聖訴

當兩個女人遇到兩個好男人:Julie & Julia 茱莉對茱莉亞-隔代廚神

三個 Aunties + 三個過期型男 + ABBA's hit songs = Mama Mia!



Friday, March 16, 2012

Tony Nicklinson

Tony Nicklinson



【BBC中文網】現年58歲的 Tony Nicklinson 2005年因中風患上了「閉鎖綜合症」。這種疾病使他雖然神智清醒,卻全身癱瘓,無法自殺。他一直尋求法庭保護任何願意幫助他結束生命的醫生。

英國司法部認為,如果法庭做出這樣的裁決將改變英國涉及謀殺的法律條規。英國高等法院的裁決意謂著尼克林森的「求死權」案將展開全面的聆訊,其間醫學方面的證據也將提交給法庭。

在法庭做出這一裁決後,尼克林森的妻子在BBC一個電台節目中宣讀了他的聲明。聲明說,非常欣慰地看到法庭將審理協助他人死亡的問題。

「21世紀的醫學仍然轄制於20世紀的死亡觀念再也不能讓人接受了。」

尼克林森通過一個特製的電子板與人溝通,他說在這一裁決之前,他的生命「乏味、痛苦、剝奪了意義、沒有尊嚴、無法忍受」。

當他被問及接下來的打算時,他通過電子板說,「時機恰當時我可以找醫生了。」他還寫道:「我現在覺得還可以應對生命,可是不可能永遠這麼下去。」

尼克林森描述自己的生活「枯燥、悲慘、無謂、沒有尊嚴、不堪忍受」,希望找個醫生,能了斷自己的生命。但是,英國法律禁止這種「安樂死」,尼克林森痛不欲生,為了尋求出路和維護自己「死的權利」,他訴諸公堂。

英國高等法院周一(3月12日)裁決,尼克林森提出的要求免除對結束他生命醫生的法律追究可以繼續舉行聽證。

這雖不意味著法庭同意尼克林森的「求死」要求,但也沒有完全關閉這條渠道。法庭同意就此案繼續舉行聽證,表明當事人的訴求尚站得住腳,可以繼續將此案推進。

裁決後,尼克林森的夫人宣讀聲明說:「我很高興法庭能聽取有關協助死亡的問題。法庭提供了一個辯論的場所,政府不應該再繼續忽視今天我們社會的一個最重要的問題。」

她說:「用20世紀的對待死亡的態度來管理21世紀的醫學是不能接受的。」

痛不欲生
尼克林森患的是「閉鎖綜合症」(locked-in syndrome),他的頭腦和意識和正常人一樣,但全身癱瘓,僅能通過移動眼球進行交流。

醫護人員給他準備了一種特殊的電子板,上面有英文字母,尼克林森就通過眼球移動來找這些字母,然後醫護人員拼出他想表達的單詞和意思。

裁決後,尼克林森通過這一特殊交流方式表達自己的看法。在被問到他下一步希望怎樣時,他表示「希望能在合適的機會找醫生(結束生命)」。他接著表示:「我現在還能應付生活,但不會長久。」

尼克林森的夫人說,丈夫只想知道,「當這一時刻來臨時,他能有條出路」。她說:「我也不知道我丈夫什麼時候想死,我想是在他再也受不了的時候吧。」

尼克林森提出法律訴訟,就是希望能獲得醫生的幫助,結束他「沒有尊嚴」的生活,讓醫生免受謀殺的指控。英國司法部表示,如果法院做出這一裁決,這意味著必須修改謀殺的相關法律。



這位先生求死不能,但可否要求先捐出他仍然 functioning 有用的器官呢?例如:心臟、肝臟、腎臟、眼角膜 etc etc! 昨晚偶然看 TVB 師奶劇集:《憨Call36小時》說一個人捐出的器官,可以救返八個人!



伸延閱覽:
英國病人「求死權」案 BBC 中文網
英全癱患者求死「有門」? BBC 中文網


Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone



從網友 Holly姐處讀到:


天上的星星 為何像人群一般的擁擠呢
地上的人們 為何又像星星一樣的疏遠


每天上班要擠地鐵,本來互不相識的人們,因為要在同一時間 9:00 AM,回到同一在目的地中區上班,不得不放棄私人的 comfort zone,就像罐頭沙甸魚般逼入地鐵車廂。


【維基百科】The comfort zone (舒適區)is a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk.

A comfort zone is a type of mental conditioning that causes a person to create and operate mental boundaries. Such boundaries create an unfounded sense of security.



人可以走出自己的 comfort zone,去接觸其他人。也可能被別人入侵了你的 comfort zone,企圖接觸你。




伸延閱覽:
Comfort zone 維基百科


我的舊文:
心中的一把尺
擁抱




Thursday, March 15, 2012

Looking for Scapegoat

Looking for Scapegoat



為何中國繼日本之後,美國總要將國內:經濟不景,失業高企,諸多政府施政失誤,諸如此類 etc etc 遷怒於中國呢?


世界上經已沒有了蘇聯,其他:俄國,巴西,南非 和 印度暫時又未成氣候,日本則越過了高峰走向下坡,剩下便是今年成功改革開放的中國。兼且,中國的北京中南海諸公,仍然存在着殘舊狹窄的”GDP思維“,總愛把國民生產總值,當作國力的指標,時刻力爭 GDP 在數字上追趕過日本,成為全世界的老二,如今跟在老大美國之後,對美國亦步亦催。


這即是犯了:『寧當老三老四不當老二』之“大忌”也!


【明報專訊】美國總統奧巴馬,昨發表大選前最後一份國情咨文,高舉在經濟上「還美國人公道」的旗幟,對內強調向富人加稅、扭轉稅制不公,對外則5次提到中國兼處處針對,矢言要打擊像中國等國家的貿易補貼和侵權等行為。

又增設機關,調查像中國等國的「不公平貿易手法」。但有美國商會質疑,新措施無助扭轉美中貿易逆差,也改善不了製造業萎縮。(圖片:gstatic.com)


五度提中國 指不守規則
奧巴馬在國情咨文5次提到「中國」,均與經貿有關﹕

一、演說開始幾分鐘,奧巴馬就談到中國,他鼓勵美國企業把轉移到海外的產業和就業機會帶回美國,「我們不可能收回所有轉移到外國去的工作,但現時在中國這些國家做生意的成本代價愈來愈高,反而美國的生產能力則愈來愈強」。

二、他批評中國等國家,給本國企業提供低息貸款和補貼。「為了給美國產品打開新市場,我願意到世界任何地方去。當我們的競爭對手不按規則行事時,我不會袖手旁觀。我們針對中國提出的貿易案,幾乎是上任政府的一倍。」奧巴馬上任3年五度向世貿投訴中國,小布殊任內8年共有7次。

三、他聲稱「我們阻止了蜂擁入口傾銷的中國輪胎,使千多名美國人今天得以有工作。但我們還需再接再厲」。

四、奧巴馬宣布成立一個貿易執行小組,「專責調查像中國等採取不公平貿易措施的國家」。

五、就著清潔能源政策,奧巴馬強調「不會將風能、太陽能或(高科技)電池行業拱手讓給中國或德國」。

美國對華貿易逆差,2010年為2730億美元,估計下月公布的2011年數字,將達3000億美元。美國一些政商界人士向來批評奧巴馬政府,在與中國競爭上做得不夠,又指控中國壓低人民幣匯率,損害美國產品出口。美國太陽能業界也指控,北京政府給本國太陽能公司提供大量現金補助、原材料折扣、貸款和稅收優惠。

指對華貿易案為上任一倍
縱觀奧巴馬近3年國情咨文,提及「中國」的次數逐年上升,從2010年的2次,增至去年的4次,再到今年的5次。他在對華貿易的態度也明顯轉硬,由前年強調要面對中國的挑戰,「不接受美國淪為第二」,變成現今一味批評中國「不守公平貿易規則」。

但代表近240家在華經商美企的「美中貿易全國委員會」,不贊同奧巴馬主張,尤其質疑向中國低檔車胎,徵高關稅能助美國就業。

主席傅強恩(John Frisbie)說:「所有證據都表明,受惠的會是別的亞洲國家,和墨西哥的低檔車胎生產商。美企已由生產低檔車胎,改為價值更高、反映我國生產和技術優勢的產品。」他指出,自2000年以來美國對華出口年均增長達15%,中美應以談判解決貿易摩擦。

Obama:"I will go anywhere in the world to open new markets for American products. And I will not stand by when our competitors don't play by the rules. We've brought trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate as the last administration - and it's made a difference."

「為了給美國產品打開新市場,我願意到世界任何地方去。當我們的競爭對手不按規則行事時,我不會袖手旁觀。我們針對中國提出的貿易案,幾乎是上任政府的一倍,而這帶來了不同。」

奧巴馬昨在國情咨文中,5次提到中國,將中國描繪成是「不守規則」的競爭對手,鬥爭味濃。



奧巴馬貴為一國的總統,一方面要求中國協助將朝鮮半島無核化,又派財長 蓋特立先生來華商討制裁伊朗,而副總統拜登則邀請中國國家副主席 習近平 訪美。 卻反轉豬肚,將中國無限地五度“妖魔化”,扣下五頂大帽子給中國!

奧巴馬當然不是思覺失調,奧巴馬不是人格分裂,奧巴馬是為自己過去的幾年執政失誤,找個容易過容易的“代罪羔羊!”


後記:
Full Text:Obama‘s State of Union Address 2012

【National Post Jan.25】Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq. Together, we offered a final, proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought — and several thousand gave their lives.

We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world. For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Most of al Qaeda’s top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban’s momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home.

These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness and teamwork of America’s Armed Forces. At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They’re not consumed with personal ambition. They don’t obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together.

Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example. Think about the America within our reach: A country that leads the world in educating its people. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs. A future where we’re in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren’t so tied to unstable parts of the world. An economy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded.

We can do this. I know we can, because we’ve done it before. At the end of World War II, when another generation of heroes returned home from combat, they built the strongest economy and middle class the world has ever known. My grandfather, a veteran of Patton’s Army, got the chance to go to college on the GI Bill. My grandmother, who worked on a bomber assembly line, was part of a workforce that turned out the best products on Earth.

The two of them shared the optimism of a nation that had triumphed over a depression and fascism. They understood they were part of something larger; that they were contributing to a story of success that every American had a chance to share — the basic American promise that if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement.

The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of Americans barely get by, or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. What’s at stake aren’t Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. And we have to reclaim them.

Let’s remember how we got here. Long before the recession, jobs and manufacturing began leaving our shores. Technology made businesses more efficient, but also made some jobs obsolete. Folks at the top saw their incomes rise like never before, but most hardworking Americans struggled with costs that were growing, paychecks that weren’t, and personal debt that kept piling up.

In 2008, the house of cards collapsed. We learned that mortgages had been sold to people who couldn’t afford or understand them. Banks had made huge bets and bonuses with other people’s money. Regulators had looked the other way, or didn’t have the authority to stop the bad behavior.

It was wrong. It was irresponsible. And it plunged our economy into a crisis that put millions out of work, saddled us with more debt, and left innocent, hardworking Americans holding the bag. In the six months before I took office, we lost nearly 4 million jobs. And we lost another 4 million before our policies were in full effect.

Those are the facts. But so are these: In the last 22 months, businesses have created more than 3 million jobs.

Last year, they created the most jobs since 2005. American manufacturers are hiring again, creating jobs for the first time since the late 1990s. Together, we’ve agreed to cut the deficit by more than $2 trillion. And we’ve put in place new rules to hold Wall Street accountable, so a crisis like this never happens again.

The state of our Union is getting stronger. And we’ve come too far to turn back now. As long as I’m President, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum. But I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place.

No, we will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits. Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last -– an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.

Now, this blueprint begins with American manufacturing.

On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen. In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. We got workers and automakers to settle their differences. We got the industry to retool and restructure. Today, General Motors is back on top as the world’s number-one automaker. Chrysler has grown faster in the U.S. than any major car company. Ford is investing billions in U.S. plants and factories. And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs.

We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back.

What’s happening in Detroit can happen in other industries. It can happen in Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Raleigh. We can’t bring every job back that’s left our shore. But right now, it’s getting more expensive to do business in places like China. Meanwhile, America is more productive. A few weeks ago, the CEO of Master Lock told me that it now makes business sense for him to bring jobs back home. Today, for the first time in 15 years, Master Lock’s unionized plant in Milwaukee is running at full capacity.

So we have a huge opportunity, at this moment, to bring manufacturing back. But we have to seize it. Tonight, my message to business leaders is simple: Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country, and your country will do everything we can to help you succeed.

We should start with our tax code. Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas. Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and everyone knows it. So let’s change it.

First, if you’re a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it. That money should be used to cover moving expenses for companies like Master Lock that decide to bring jobs home.

Second, no American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas. From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax. And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here in America.

Third, if you’re an American manufacturer, you should get a bigger tax cut. If you’re a high-tech manufacturer, we should double the tax deduction you get for making your products here. And if you want to relocate in a community that was hit hard when a factory left town, you should get help financing a new plant, equipment, or training for new workers.

So my message is simple. It is time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America. Send me these tax reforms, and I will sign them right away.

We’re also making it easier for American businesses to sell products all over the world. Two years ago, I set a goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years. With the bipartisan trade agreements we signed into law, we’re on track to meet that goal ahead of schedule. And soon, there will be millions of new customers for American goods in Panama, Colombia, and South Korea. Soon, there will be new cars on the streets of Seoul imported from Detroit, and Toledo, and Chicago.

I will go anywhere in the world to open new markets for American products. And I will not stand by when our competitors don’t play by the rules. We’ve brought trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate as the last administration –- and it’s made a difference. Over a thousand Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tires. But we need to do more. It’s not right when another country lets our movies, music, and software be pirated. It’s not fair when foreign manufacturers have a leg up on ours only because they’re heavily subsidized.

Tonight, I’m announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trading practices in countries like China. There will be more inspections to prevent counterfeit or unsafe goods from crossing our borders. And this Congress should make sure that no foreign company has an advantage over American manufacturing when it comes to accessing financing or new markets like Russia. Our workers are the most productive on Earth, and if the playing field is level, I promise you -– America will always win.

I also hear from many business leaders who want to hire in the United States but can’t find workers with the right skills. Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job. Think about that –- openings at a time when millions of Americans are looking for work. It’s inexcusable. And we know how to fix it.

Jackie Bray is a single mom from North Carolina who was laid off from her job as a mechanic. Then Siemens opened a gas turbine factory in Charlotte, and formed a partnership with Central Piedmont Community College. The company helped the college design courses in laser and robotics training. It paid Jackie’s tuition, then hired her to help operate their plant.

I want every American looking for work to have the same opportunity as Jackie did. Join me in a national commitment to train 2 million Americans with skills that will lead directly to a job. My administration has already lined up more companies that want to help. Model partnerships between businesses like Siemens and community colleges in places like Charlotte, and Orlando, and Louisville are up and running. Now you need to give more community colleges the resources they need to become community career centers -– places that teach people skills that businesses are looking for right now, from data management to high-tech manufacturing.

And I want to cut through the maze of confusing training programs, so that from now on, people like Jackie have one program, one website, and one place to go for all the information and help that they need. It is time to turn our unemployment system into a reemployment system that puts people to work.

These reforms will help people get jobs that are open today. But to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, our commitment to skills and education has to start earlier.

For less than 1 percent of what our nation spends on education each year, we’ve convinced nearly every state in the country to raise their standards for teaching and learning — the first time that’s happened in a generation.

But challenges remain. And we know how to solve them.

At a time when other countries are doubling down on education, tight budgets have forced states to lay off thousands of teachers. We know a good teacher can increase the lifetime income of a classroom by over $250,000. A great teacher can offer an escape from poverty to the child who dreams beyond his circumstance. Every person in this chamber can point to a teacher who changed the trajectory of their lives. Most teachers work tirelessly, with modest pay, sometimes digging into their own pocket for school supplies — just to make a difference.

Teachers matter. So instead of bashing them, or defending the status quo, let’s offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. And in return, grant schools flexibility: to teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren’t helping kids learn. That’s a bargain worth making.

We also know that when students don’t walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma. When students are not allowed to drop out, they do better. So tonight, I am proposing that every state — every state — requires that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.

When kids do graduate, the most daunting challenge can be the cost of college. At a time when Americans owe more in tuition debt than credit card debt, this Congress needs to stop the interest rates on student loans from doubling in July.

Extend the tuition tax credit we started that saves millions of middle-class families thousands of dollars, and give more young people the chance to earn their way through college by doubling the number of work-study jobs in the next five years.

Of course, it’s not enough for us to increase student aid. We can’t just keep subsidizing skyrocketing tuition; we’ll run out of money. States also need to do their part, by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets. And colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down.

Recently, I spoke with a group of college presidents who’ve done just that. Some schools redesign courses to help students finish more quickly. Some use better technology. The point is, it’s possible. So let me put colleges and universities on notice: If you can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down. Higher education can’t be a luxury -– it is an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford.

Let’s also remember that hundreds of thousands of talented, hardworking students in this country face another challenge: the fact that they aren’t yet American citizens. Many were brought here as small children, are American through and through, yet they live every day with the threat of deportation. Others came more recently, to study business and science and engineering, but as soon as they get their degree, we send them home to invent new products and create new jobs somewhere else.

That doesn’t make sense.

I believe as strongly as ever that we should take on illegal immigration. That’s why my administration has put more boots on the border than ever before. That’s why there are fewer illegal crossings than when I took office. The opponents of action are out of excuses. We should be working on comprehensive immigration reform right now.

But if election-year politics keeps Congress from acting on a comprehensive plan, let’s at least agree to stop expelling responsible young people who want to staff our labs, start new businesses, defend this country. Send me a law that gives them the chance to earn their citizenship. I will sign it right away.

You see, an economy built to last is one where we encourage the talent and ingenuity of every person in this country. That means women should earn equal pay for equal work. It means we should support everyone who’s willing to work, and every risk-taker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs.

After all, innovation is what America has always been about. Most new jobs are created in start-ups and small businesses. So let’s pass an agenda that helps them succeed. Tear down regulations that prevent aspiring entrepreneurs from getting the financing to grow. Expand tax relief to small businesses that are raising wages and creating good jobs. Both parties agree on these ideas. So put them in a bill, and get it on my desk this year.

Innovation also demands basic research. Today, the discoveries taking place in our federally financed labs and universities could lead to new treatments that kill cancer cells but leave healthy ones untouched. New lightweight vests for cops and soldiers that can stop any bullet. Don’t gut these investments in our budget. Don’t let other countries win the race for the future. Support the same kind of research and innovation that led to the computer chip and the Internet; to new American jobs and new American industries.

And nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy. Over the last three years, we’ve opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration, and tonight, I’m directing my administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources. Right now — right now — American oil production is the highest that it’s been in eight years. That’s right — eight years. Not only that — last year, we relied less on foreign oil than in any of the past 16 years.

But with only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, oil isn’t enough. This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy. A strategy that’s cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs.

We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years. And my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy. Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade. And I’m requiring all companies that drill for gas on public lands to disclose the chemicals they use. Because America will develop this resource without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk.

The development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don’t have to choose between our environment and our economy. And by the way, it was public research dollars, over the course of 30 years, that helped develop the technologies to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock –- reminding us that government support is critical in helping businesses get new energy ideas off the ground.

Now, what’s true for natural gas is just as true for clean energy. In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries. Because of federal investments, renewable energy use has nearly doubled, and thousands of Americans have jobs because of it.

When Bryan Ritterby was laid off from his job making furniture, he said he worried that at 55, no one would give him a second chance. But he found work at Energetx, a wind turbine manufacturer in Michigan. Before the recession, the factory only made luxury yachts. Today, it’s hiring workers like Bryan, who said, “I’m proud to be working in the industry of the future.”

Our experience with shale gas, our experience with natural gas, shows us that the payoffs on these public investments don’t always come right away. Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail. But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. I will not walk away from workers like Bryan. I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here.

We’ve subsidized oil companies for a century. That’s long enough. It’s time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that rarely has been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that never has been more promising. Pass clean energy tax credits. Create these jobs.

We can also spur energy innovation with new incentives. The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now to pass a comprehensive plan to fight climate change. But there’s no reason why Congress shouldn’t at least set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation. So far, you haven’t acted. Well, tonight, I will. I’m directing my administration to allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power 3 million homes. And I’m proud to announce that the Department of Defense, working with us, the world’s largest consumer of energy, will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history -– with the Navy purchasing enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year.

Of course, the easiest way to save money is to waste less energy. So here’s a proposal: Help manufacturers eliminate energy waste in their factories and give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings. Their energy bills will be $100 billion lower over the next decade, and America will have less pollution, more manufacturing, more jobs for construction workers who need them. Send me a bill that creates these jobs.

Building this new energy future should be just one part of a broader agenda to repair America’s infrastructure. So much of America needs to be rebuilt. We’ve got crumbling roads and bridges; a power grid that wastes too much energy; an incomplete high-speed broadband network that prevents a small business owner in rural America from selling her products all over the world.

During the Great Depression, America built the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge. After World War II, we connected our states with a system of highways. Democratic and Republican administrations invested in great projects that benefited everybody, from the workers who built them to the businesses that still use them today.

In the next few weeks, I will sign an executive order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects. But you need to fund these projects. Take the money we’re no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building right here at home.

There’s never been a better time to build, especially since the construction industry was one of the hardest hit when the housing bubble burst. Of course, construction workers weren’t the only ones who were hurt. So were millions of innocent Americans who’ve seen their home values decline. And while government can’t fix the problem on its own, responsible homeowners shouldn’t have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get some relief.

And that’s why I’m sending this Congress a plan that gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage, by refinancing at historically low rates. No more red tape. No more runaround from the banks. A small fee on the largest financial institutions will ensure that it won’t add to the deficit and will give those banks that were rescued by taxpayers a chance to repay a deficit of trust.

Let’s never forget: Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that do the same. It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom. No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts. An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody.

We’ve all paid the price for lenders who sold mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them, and buyers who knew they couldn’t afford them. That’s why we need smart regulations to prevent irresponsible behavior. Rules to prevent financial fraud or toxic dumping or faulty medical devices — these don’t destroy the free market. They make the free market work better.

There’s no question that some regulations are outdated, unnecessary, or too costly. In fact, I’ve approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his. I’ve ordered every federal agency to eliminate rules that don’t make sense. We’ve already announced over 500 reforms, and just a fraction of them will save business and citizens more than $10 billion over the next five years. We got rid of one rule from 40 years ago that could have forced some dairy farmers to spend $10,000 a year proving that they could contain a spill — because milk was somehow classified as an oil. With a rule like that, I guess it was worth crying over spilled milk.

Now, I’m confident a farmer can contain a milk spill without a federal agency looking over his shoulder. Absolutely. But I will not back down from making sure an oil company can contain the kind of oil spill we saw in the Gulf two years ago. I will not back down from protecting our kids from mercury poisoning, or making sure that our food is safe and our water is clean. I will not go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny your coverage, or charge women differently than men.

And I will not go back to the days when Wall Street was allowed to play by its own set of rules. The new rules we passed restore what should be any financial system’s core purpose: Getting funding to entrepreneurs with the best ideas, and getting loans to responsible families who want to buy a home, or start a business, or send their kids to college.

So if you are a big bank or financial institution, you’re no longer allowed to make risky bets with your customers’ deposits. You’re required to write out a “living will” that details exactly how you’ll pay the bills if you fail –- because the rest of us are not bailing you out ever again. And if you’re a mortgage lender or a payday lender or a credit card company, the days of signing people up for products they can’t afford with confusing forms and deceptive practices — those days are over. Today, American consumers finally have a watchdog in Richard Cordray with one job: To look out for them.

We’ll also establish a Financial Crimes Unit of highly trained investigators to crack down on large-scale fraud and protect people’s investments. Some financial firms violate major anti-fraud laws because there’s no real penalty for being a repeat offender. That’s bad for consumers, and it’s bad for the vast majority of bankers and financial service professionals who do the right thing. So pass legislation that makes the penalties for fraud count.

And tonight, I’m asking my Attorney General to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorney general to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis. This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans.

Now, a return to the American values of fair play and shared responsibility will help protect our people and our economy. But it should also guide us as we look to pay down our debt and invest in our future.

Right now, our most immediate priority is stopping a tax hike on 160 million working Americans while the recovery is still fragile. People cannot afford losing $40 out of each paycheck this year. There are plenty of ways to get this done. So let’s agree right here, right now: No side issues. No drama. Pass the payroll tax cut without delay. Let’s get it done.

When it comes to the deficit, we’ve already agreed to more than $2 trillion in cuts and savings. But we need to do more, and that means making choices. Right now, we’re poised to spend nearly $1 trillion more on what was supposed to be a temporary tax break for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households. Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Or do we want to keep our investments in everything else –- like education and medical research; a strong military and care for our veterans? Because if we’re serious about paying down our debt, we can’t do both.

The American people know what the right choice is. So do I. As I told the Speaker this summer, I’m prepared to make more reforms that rein in the long-term costs of Medicare and Medicaid, and strengthen Social Security, so long as those programs remain a guarantee of security for seniors.

But in return, we need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes.

Tax reform should follow the Buffett Rule. If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes. And my Republican friend Tom Coburn is right: Washington should stop subsidizing millionaires. In fact, if you’re earning a million dollars a year, you shouldn’t get special tax subsidies or deductions. On the other hand, if you make under $250,000 a year, like 98 percent of American families, your taxes shouldn’t go up. You’re the ones struggling with rising costs and stagnant wages. You’re the ones who need relief.

Now, you can call this class warfare all you want. But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.

We don’t begrudge financial success in this country. We admire it. When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it’s not because they envy the rich. It’s because they understand that when I get a tax break I don’t need and the country can’t afford, it either adds to the deficit, or somebody else has to make up the difference — like a senior on a fixed income, or a student trying to get through school, or a family trying to make ends meet. That’s not right. Americans know that’s not right. They know that this generation’s success is only possible because past generations felt a responsibility to each other, and to the future of their country, and they know our way of life will only endure if we feel that same sense of shared responsibility. That’s how we’ll reduce our deficit. That’s an America built to last.

Now, I recognize that people watching tonight have differing views about taxes and debt, energy and health care. But no matter what party they belong to, I bet most Americans are thinking the same thing right about now: Nothing will get done in Washington this year, or next year, or maybe even the year after that, because Washington is broken.

Can you blame them for feeling a little cynical?

The greatest blow to our confidence in our economy last year didn’t come from events beyond our control. It came from a debate in Washington over whether the United States would pay its bills or not. Who benefited from that fiasco?

I’ve talked tonight about the deficit of trust between Main Street and Wall Street. But the divide between this city and the rest of the country is at least as bad — and it seems to get worse every year.

Some of this has to do with the corrosive influence of money in politics. So together, let’s take some steps to fix that. Send me a bill that bans insider trading by members of Congress; I will sign it tomorrow. Let’s limit any elected official from owning stocks in industries they impact. Let’s make sure people who bundle campaign contributions for Congress can’t lobby Congress, and vice versa — an idea that has bipartisan support, at least outside of Washington.

Some of what’s broken has to do with the way Congress does its business these days. A simple majority is no longer enough to get anything -– even routine business –- passed through the Senate. Neither party has been blameless in these tactics. Now both parties should put an end to it. For starters, I ask the Senate to pass a simple rule that all judicial and public service nominations receive a simple up or down vote within 90 days.

The executive branch also needs to change. Too often, it’s inefficient, outdated and remote. That’s why I’ve asked this Congress to grant me the authority to consolidate the federal bureaucracy, so that our government is leaner, quicker, and more responsive to the needs of the American people.

Finally, none of this can happen unless we also lower the temperature in this town. We need to end the notion that the two parties must be locked in a perpetual campaign of mutual destruction; that politics is about clinging to rigid ideologies instead of building consensus around common-sense ideas.

I’m a Democrat. But I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed: That government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more. That’s why my education reform offers more competition, and more control for schools and states. That’s why we’re getting rid of regulations that don’t work. That’s why our health care law relies on a reformed private market, not a government program.

On the other hand, even my Republican friends who complain the most about government spending have supported federally financed roads, and clean energy projects, and federal offices for the folks back home.

The point is, we should all want a smarter, more effective government. And while we may not be able to bridge our biggest philosophical differences this year, we can make real progress. With or without this Congress, I will keep taking actions that help the economy grow. But I can do a whole lot more with your help. Because when we act together, there’s nothing the United States of America can’t achieve. That’s the lesson we’ve learned from our actions abroad over the last few years.

Ending the Iraq war has allowed us to strike decisive blows against our enemies. From Pakistan to Yemen, the al Qaeda operatives who remain are scrambling, knowing that they can’t escape the reach of the United States of America.

From this position of strength, we’ve begun to wind down the war in Afghanistan. Ten thousand of our troops have come home. Twenty-three thousand more will leave by the end of this summer. This transition to Afghan lead will continue, and we will build an enduring partnership with Afghanistan, so that it is never again a source of attacks against America.

As the tide of war recedes, a wave of change has washed across the Middle East and North Africa, from Tunis to Cairo; from Sana’a to Tripoli. A year ago, Qaddafi was one of the world’s longest-serving dictators -– a murderer with American blood on his hands. Today, he is gone. And in Syria, I have no doubt that the Assad regime will soon discover that the forces of change cannot be reversed, and that human dignity cannot be denied.

How this incredible transformation will end remains uncertain. But we have a huge stake in the outcome. And while it’s ultimately up to the people of the region to decide their fate, we will advocate for those values that have served our own country so well. We will stand against violence and intimidation. We will stand for the rights and dignity of all human beings –- men and women; Christians, Muslims and Jews. We will support policies that lead to strong and stable democracies and open markets, because tyranny is no match for liberty.

And we will safeguard America’s own security against those who threaten our citizens, our friends, and our interests. Look at Iran. Through the power of our diplomacy, a world that was once divided about how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program now stands as one. The regime is more isolated than ever before; its leaders are faced with crippling sanctions, and as long as they shirk their responsibilities, this pressure will not relent.

Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.

But a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible, and far better, and if Iran changes course and meets its obligations, it can rejoin the community of nations.

The renewal of American leadership can be felt across the globe. Our oldest alliances in Europe and Asia are stronger than ever. Our ties to the Americas are deeper. Our ironclad commitment — and I mean ironclad — to Israel’s security has meant the closest military cooperation between our two countries in history.

We’ve made it clear that America is a Pacific power, and a new beginning in Burma has lit a new hope. From the coalitions we’ve built to secure nuclear materials, to the missions we’ve led against hunger and disease; from the blows we’ve dealt to our enemies, to the enduring power of our moral example, America is back.

Anyone who tells you otherwise, anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

That’s not the message we get from leaders around the world who are eager to work with us. That’s not how people feel from Tokyo to Berlin, from Cape Town to Rio, where opinions of America are higher than they’ve been in years. Yes, the world is changing. No, we can’t control every event. But America remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs –- and as long as I’m President, I intend to keep it that way.

That’s why, working with our military leaders, I’ve proposed a new defense strategy that ensures we maintain the finest military in the world, while saving nearly half a trillion dollars in our budget. To stay one step ahead of our adversaries, I’ve already sent this Congress legislation that will secure our country from the growing dangers of cyber-threats.

Above all, our freedom endures because of the men and women in uniform who defend it. As they come home, we must serve them as well as they’ve served us. That includes giving them the care and the benefits they have earned –- which is why we’ve increased annual VA spending every year I’ve been President. And it means enlisting our veterans in the work of rebuilding our nation.

With the bipartisan support of this Congress, we’re providing new tax credits to companies that hire vets. Michelle and Jill Biden have worked with American businesses to secure a pledge of 135,000 jobs for veterans and their families. And tonight, I’m proposing a Veterans Jobs Corps that will help our communities hire veterans as cops and firefighters, so that America is as strong as those who defend her.

Which brings me back to where I began. Those of us who’ve been sent here to serve can learn a thing or two from the service of our troops. When you put on that uniform, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white; Asian, Latino, Native American; conservative, liberal; rich, poor; gay, straight. When you’re marching into battle, you look out for the person next to you, or the mission fails. When you’re in the thick of the fight, you rise or fall as one unit, serving one nation, leaving no one behind.

One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden. On it are each of their names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn’t matter. Just like it didn’t matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates — a man who was George Bush’s defense secretary — and Hillary Clinton — a woman who ran against me for president.

All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves. One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn’t deserve credit for the mission. It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job — the pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs. More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other — because you can’t charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there’s somebody behind you, watching your back.

So it is with America. Each time I look at that flag, I’m reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those 50 stars and those 13 stripes. No one built this country on their own. This nation is great because we built it together. This nation is great because we worked as a team. This nation is great because we get each other’s backs. And if we hold fast to that truth, in this moment of trial, there is no challenge too great; no mission too hard. As long as we are joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve, our journey moves forward, and our future is hopeful, and the state of our Union will always be strong.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.



伸延閱覽:
強硬對華國情咨文向中國開刀 雅虎新聞網
奧巴馬:我不袖手 新浪新聞網
Full text of Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address National Post


我的舊文:
茶聚閒談匯率戰



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

倫敦橋

倫敦橋





歌仔都有得唱:

London Bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down.
London Bridge is falling down,
My fair lady .................


而在香港改成了《有隻雀仔跌落水!》相信各位都有唱過。而幾代的倫敦橋,相繼纥立在泰晤士河上,經已有上千年。


【維基百科】By the end of the 18th century, it was apparent that the old London Bridge — by then over 600 years old — needed to be replaced. It was narrow and decrepit, and blocked river traffic.

Old London Bridge Source: wikipedia




古老的倫敦橋,原來是有屋子建在橋上的。之後起了 Rennie's Bridge 新倫敦橋。


【維基百科】In 1799, a competition for designs to replace the old bridge was held, prompting the engineer Thomas Telford to propose a bridge with a single iron arch spanning 600 feet (180 m). However this design was never used, because of uncertainty about its feasibility and the amount of land needed for its construction.

The bridge was eventually replaced by a structure of five stone arches, designed by engineer John Rennie. The new bridge was built 100 feet (30 m) west (upstream) of the original site by Rennie's son of the same name. Work began in 1824 and the foundation stone was laid, in the southern coffer dam, on 15 June 1825. The old bridge continued in use while the new bridge was being built, and was demolished after the latter opened in 1831.


New London Bridge(Rennie's Bridge)Source: wikipedia




到了 1967年倫敦市政府,又打算建造更新的倫敦橋,而舊橋 Rennie's Bridge 就賣了給美國!


【維基百科】In 1967, the Common Council of the City of London placed the bridge on the market and began to look for potential buyers. Council member Ivan Luckin had put forward the idea of selling the bridge, and recalled: "They all thought I was completely crazy when I suggested we should sell London Bridge when it needed replacing."

On 18 April 1968, Rennie's bridge was sold to the Missourian entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch of McCulloch Oil for US$2,460,000. The claim that McCulloch believed mistakenly that he was buying the more impressive Tower Bridge was denied by Luckin in a newspaper interview. As the bridge was taken apart, each piece was numbered to aid re-assembly.



Rennie's Bridge in Arizona Source: wikipedia




拆卸後的倫敦橋,被運往美國阿里桑那州的哈蘇城,1971年重新架了起來。


【維基百科】The bridge was reconstructed at Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and re-dedicated on 10 October 1971. The reconstruction of Rennie's London Bridge spans the Bridgewater Channel canal that leads from Lake Havasu to Thomson Bay, and forms the centrepiece of a theme park in English style, complete with a Tudor period shopping mall. Rennie's London Bridge has become Arizona's second-biggest tourist attraction, after the Grand Canyon.

The current London Bridge was designed by Mott, Hay and Anderson. The senior engineer was Alan Simpson[citation needed], the superstructure was designed by a team led by Michael Leeming, and foundations by a team led by Keith Pontin. The bridge was constructed by contractors John Mowlem and Co. from 1967 to 1972, and opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 17 March 1973.



泰晤士河流經英格蘭首都倫敦市,幾百年來水流不盡,但 倫敦橋 London Bridge,就經已經歷了幾代!


落戶美國阿里桑拿州的倫敦橋

點擊上面地圖後,再把小人拉到橋上,就可以看到倫敦橋。




【維基百科】London Bridge is a bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, United States, that is the reconstruction of the 1831 London Bridge that spanned the River Thames in London, England until it was dismantled in 1967.

The Arizona bridge is a reinforced concrete structure clad in the original masonry of the 1830s bridge, that was bought by Robert P. McCulloch from the City of London. McCulloch had exterior granite blocks from the original bridge numbered and transported to America, to construct the present bridge in Lake Havasu City, a planned community he established in 1964 on the shore of Lake Havasu.

The bridge was completed in 1971 (along with a canal), and links an island in the lake with the main part of Lake Havasu City.







嗜悲 恭逢一次在北美作自駕遊,去玩胡佛水壩,後本來就是想去看倫敦橋,卻應為在路上看見 “大峽谷祕境” road sign 轉了如一條本來 paved 的小路,怎知愈行愈入變成了石仔路,煙塵滾滾上高落低,卒之看到了所謂 “祕境”,回程已經沒時間再去 倫敦橋,於是折返 拉斯維加斯 投棧。


隔天才到 哈蘇城 看 倫敦橋 。。。。。。回憶中原來已經十多年前的往事。


世事變人情也在變,人生有生有死,硬體卻能保存着!




伸延閱覽:
London Bridge 維基百科
London Bridge (Lake Havasu City) 維基百科



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

杜奧巴的第一百個英超入球

杜奧巴的第一百個英超入球



圖片來源:明報




今天度過34歲生日的車路士前鋒 杜奧巴(上),昨晚他以入球提早為自己賀壽,他在入球後更跳起「Chok樣」慶祝。


【維基百科】迪迪亞·杜奧巴法語:Didier Yves Drogba Tébily,1978年3月11日生,外號「魔獸」。

杜奧巴生於象牙海岸,全家從事於金融業,生活環境不俗,但5歲時因內戰移民到法國,由於其叔父亦是職業足球員,故杜奧巴亦開始學習足球。杜奧巴在開始足球生涯時擔任右後衞,但後來在當地球會 Abbeville效力時,開始改任前鋒,而且証明杜奧巴具有擔任前鋒的天份。

杜奧巴於 2004年以 2400萬英鎊由馬賽加盟車路士,自加盟車路士後,杜奧巴就成為前鋒的主力。杜奧巴在球會的戰衣是11號。



第一百球不是 杜奧巴 的最經典入球,但看出「魔獸」除了體力化的勁,還是有其粗中帶幼的一面。


【維基百科】Drogba is married to Diakité Lalla, a Malian woman whom he met in Paris, and the couple have three children together. His wife is Muslim and Drogba is Catholic.

Drogba is credited with playing a vital role in bringing peace to his country. After Côte d'Ivoire qualified for the 2006 World Cup, Drogba made a desperate plea to the combatants, asking them to lay down their arms, a plea which was answered with a cease fire after five years of civil war.

Drogba later helped move an African Cup of Nations qualifier to the rebel stronghold of Bouake; a move that helped confirm the peace process. In September 2011, Drogba joined the Truth, Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission as a representative to help return peace to his home nation.

His involvement in the peace process lead to Drogba being named as one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine for 2010.



07年度的英國足總杯決賽:
藍色的車路士隊 對 紅色的曼切斯特聯隊



兩隊本來拿著三個冠軍來爭,首先車仔腳軟﹐英超冠軍讓了給曼聯,跟着兩都隊因為英超賽程頻密,在歐聯賽事中變成有心無力,雖然在四強首回合領先,但雙雙在四強次回合,被對手淘汰出局,現在最後一個冠軍,究竟鹿死誰手呢? 九十分鐘法定時間,窿對窿互交白卷。


加時再賽,第一個加時十五分鐘,還是平手,116th min,車仔卒之先入球都幾靚,象牙海岸的國腳 杜奧巴 乖巧的,將個波輕輕地挑射,剛剛好越過出迎的曼聯門將雲達沙,這指出 杜奧巴 並非死衝死撞的﹐他也有其幼細的一面。

【維基百科】On 24 January 2007, Drogba was appointed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a Goodwill Ambassador. The UNDP were impressed with his previous charity work and believed that his high profile would help raise awareness on African issues.

Drogba's charity work continued when, in late 2009, he announced he would be donating the £3 million signing on fee for his endorsement of Pepsi for the construction of a hospital in his hometown of Abidjan. This work was done through Drogba's recently created "Didier Drogba Foundation" and Chelsea announced they too would donate the fee for the deal toward the Foundation's project.

Drogba decided on building the hospital after a recent trip to the Ivorian capital's other hospitals, saying "...I decided the Foundation's first project should be to build and fund a hospital giving people basic healthcare and a chance just to stay alive."



我不是 車路士 的擁躉,只是欣賞 杜奧巴,他有入球我會鼓掌,但不會理”車仔“輸贏,因為足球不是一個人的運動!


又是 杜奧巴 打救了 車路士,4-1 反勝 拿波里。
杜奧巴頭球先開紀錄,繼而杜奧巴掩護泰利再頂入第二球,第三球是林帕特的十二碼,最後一球是杜奧巴的助攻,他傳給依雲諾域射入。



後記:
2011/12年的英超,車路士 班主油王 艾巴莫域,花重金招來 波圖 的 韋拿斯保亞斯 執掌 車仔,不過英超的開局不好,兼且 杜奧巴 在一場英超對 諾維治 的比賽中衝門,被對方門將 Ruddy 打了一拳昏迷倒地,被送上救護車入醫院,幸運地休息兩場,就可以恢復比賽。


車路士 在 韋拿斯保亞斯 領導下失分太多,太年輕的 主帥(34歲),未能結合球隊中的老大哥優點,戰績低落。季中 杜奧比 又要參加 非洲國家杯決賽週,可惜雖然將士用命,入到決賽在互射十二碼點球時,杜奧巴 射失了 科特迪瓦 負于 贊比亞。

賽後回歸英超後,車路士 班主炒了 韋拿斯保亞斯 的魷魚,由 迪馬瑅奧 暫代領隊。 迪馬瑅奧 重用一班老臣子,車路士 漸漸有了起色。 結果 放棄了聯賽爭取第四名,專心打敗了 利物浦 贏了 足總杯,可以參加歐霸。再在歐聯四強主客賽中,把地上最強 巴塞隆拿 淘汰,杜奧巴射入關鍵入球。

總決賽在德國的安聯球場,對有主場之利的 拜仁慕尼克,杜奧巴先為 車路士 攀平 1-1,最後憑十二碼點球 4-3 勝出,杜奧比更射入最重要的一球點球,捧起了歐聯的獎杯 Big Ears,以衛冕冠軍,下季仍能參加歐聯。


至此,杜奧比 完成了心願,完成了任務,功成身退!


【明報專訊】科特迪瓦前鋒杜奧巴落實離開效力8年的車路士,但他否認是被「藍戰士」放棄,並強調自己永遠流着「藍血」,而杜奧巴亦表示很放心把未來的入球重任交給費蘭度托利斯。

杜奧巴8年來助車路士贏得10項錦標,並於341場比賽攻入157球,他透露離隊是其個人的決定﹕「若果我們在歐聯決賽不敵拜仁的話,我將會繼續留隊 ,因我不想留下遺憾地離開,但追逐了8年的歐聯冠軍終於到手,我認為是時候尋找新挑戰,球會曾經想挽留我,但他們最終亦尊重我的決定,我不會為其他英格蘭球隊效力,因為我的血液是藍色的。」

至於杜奧巴未來的去向,除了上海申花的班主朱駿表示雙方討論進展良好,更有傳沙特球會開出每場17萬鎊(208萬港元)的條件利誘杜奧巴來投。

寄語費托接班
另外,杜奧巴有信心費蘭度托利斯可成為其接班人,前者說﹕「我當年加盟後也要3年時間適應,不過我已成為過去,托利斯才是球隊的未來,我相信他於來季能以入球證明自己的實力。」




伸延閱覽:
迪迪亞·杜奧巴 維基百科
Didier Yves Drogba Tébily 維基百科
杜奧巴﹕離隊因為勝利 雅虎新聞網


我的舊文:
07 英足總杯決賽




Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mr. Talkative cannot face the Truth

Mr. Talkative cannot face the Truth



The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan


【維基百科】"The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come" is a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan and published in February, 1678. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature, has been translated into more than 200 languages.

Christian, an everyman character, is the protagonist of the allegory, which centers itself in his journey from his hometown, the "City of Destruction" ("this world"), to the "Celestial City" ("that which is to come": Heaven) atop Mt. Zion. Christian is weighed down by a great burden, the knowledge of his sin, which he believed came from his reading "the book in his hand", (the Bible).........

Characters
CHRISTIAN, whose name was Graceless at some time before, the protagonist in the First Part, whose journey to the Celestial City is the plot of the story.

TALKATIVE, a hypocrite known to Christian from the City of Destruction, who lived on Prating Row. He talks fervently of religion, but has no evident works as a result of true salvation.




John Bunyan 寫的 "The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come" 我沒讀過,而是坊間有個傳聞,末代港督 肥彭(彭定康 Chris Patten)曾經為 曾蔭權 灌名:Talkative!


用 Google Search 有以下的一段:
『商台節目「光明頂」,聽到朋友劉細良道出一段軼事,說當年在一個我下場合閒聊, 講到對曾蔭權的評價時,肥彭給了他一個形容詞;「TALKATIVE」。』


原來 蔡子強 也曾提起這段軼事:

【別人的網誌】作者蔡子強寫專業政客彭定康的英式幽默,罵人、窒人也好有文采。書中引述,已被曾蔭權吸納入中策組,的劉細良曾經在電台節目講了一個小故事,在一個私人場合,劉細良問彭定康,對曾蔭權的評價,肥彭給了他一個形容詞 "Talkative"。

肥彭指煲呔能言善辯?口才出眾?(無可能吧?專業政客無理由看錯人)

飽讀英國文學的陶傑,在節目中提供了另一個解讀,認為肥彭可能另有所指。英國宗教小說《天路歷程》,主角Christian 找尋天國的歷程,途中遇上很多奇人異士,其中一個叫做 Talkative,他亦聲稱自己在尋找天國,於是與 Christian 一起上路。

作者蔡子兄說:「但是 Talkative 是那些口口聲聲,聲稱自己如何虔誠信奉基督,但多講兩句便見真章,最後都很快縮沙,不肯和你共赴患難的人 。。。亦即是香港人譏諷為講就天下無敵,做就有心無力的人。」

看罷,你會否會心微笑?肥彭講那句話,劉細良引述那個故事,以至蔡子寫這篇文章,煲呔還未當上特首,我們今天在看是否特別具時代意義呢?



如今煲呔的仕途,已經到了末日,尚有不夠半年就可以退休,董建華辭職後榮陞“中國政協副主席”,畀英國 Knight 咗成為武士 KBE 的 曾蔭權 talkative 可否更上一層樓,體面地也撈得到一些中國國內函頭呢?


近日曾特首被揭發,曾接受富商提供坐遊艇坐私人飛機外遊,受到議員們非議。另外又加上曾特首在深圳租下 6000呎豪宅三年,好讓自己和太太在七月份退休居住,剛巧業主黃楚標是香港數碼廣播,特首曾經審批發牌,涉嫌利益輸送。凡此事件令到不論左中右的政黨,紛紛出來要求曾特首去到立法會解畫。曾特首兩次上電台作出澄清,又話自己45年的公僕生涯,自問對得着良心,亦從沒有過“貪”的念頭!


【AM730】面對社會連日指控有利益衝突,特首曾蔭權昨日再就接受富豪款待解畫,並就引起利益衝突指控的源頭作較詳細交代,包括4次乘坐朋友私人遊艇及飛機外遊所支付的交通費。曾蔭權重申自己無違規及貪污,對社會質疑他有誠信問題感到「好傷」,但願意配合廉政公署的調查。

曾蔭權昨日出席商台節目時表示,過去數天經過多次反思後,發現自己所緊守的規矩,與今日市民的期望有落差,「一直自以為是,自以為滿意嘅時候,特別係我做咗幾十年公職,識得分到公同私,香港人應該可接受到呢樣嘢,實情唔係,你根本要日日都證明到係咁」,並對近日造成公眾人士失望,甚至質疑他出現誠信問題感到「好傷吓」。他重申,自己擔任公職45年以來,均按本子辦事,否認「有所謂貪嘅情況出現」。

特首曾蔭權卸任後,租住香港數碼廣播大股東黃楚標旗下的深圳豪宅,被質疑有利益衝突。曾蔭權昨日親口承認,行會審批香港數碼廣播發牌時,無申報二人相識,以及或將成為業主和租客的關係。他稱,二人關係曲折,要申報「好牽強」。曾蔭權又指,租住逾6,000方呎大宅,是因為太太「做女嗰時啲衫都會留響度」,有很多衣服雜物需要存放。

曾蔭權承認,在審批香港數碼廣播發牌時,無申報有意向該電台大股東黃楚標租住物業。他解釋當時並非於深圳租屋,而且審批時亦未曾租住該單位,加上只屬短期租約,所以「當時的的確確冇意會到要申報」。他說:「如果要申報,實情好牽強,(有租屋意向)唔會影響到個(審批)決定。」曾蔭權又指,現行發牌機制嚴謹,行政會議的參與不多,而當時廣管局撰寫的報告,亦一致支持發牌,強調自己沒有申報不影響該電台獲發牌的決定。



委任退休大法官李國能等五人特別委員會,將會檢討現行申報制度程序,對象包括行政長官、所有問責官員及行會成員,並於兩至三個月內可提交報告。這個只是給將來的行政長官、所有問責官員及行會成員,去嚴格遵守的規則。


特首沒有半點實質行動去企圖改正修正,至今仍然只是得個講字。既然曾經坐富豪遊艇坐富豪私人飛機,可以立刻查詢依照所需費用,將差額補回給提供遊艇和飛機者。至於在深圳租屋所簽下的合約,可以依照法律盡快解除租約,有關賠償當然由曾蔭權私人負責,以示曾蔭權真正深切反省,起碼讓人覺得他有悔意,而不是來來去去得個講字。


Mr. Talkative cannot face the Truth! 還在死撐,毫無歉意悔意,屬死不悔改,量你們市民議員也耐不他甚麽何!



後記:
曾蔭權應允在三月一日週四下午到立法會接受議員們質詢,另外廉政公署接受舉報,將對曾蔭權事件作出調查。最後消息,立法會議員謝偉俊牽頭尋求十五位議員簽名,啟動機制動議彈劾曾蔭權。


後後記:三月一日曾蔭權到立法會解畫,仍然是 talkative 本色,諉過特區只有公務員和司局長的守則,沒有行徵長官的守則,只承認所作之事與市民期有落差,利用已經指派李國能成立委員會,草議有關特首的守則做擋箭牌。市民議員耐他不何,想來若議員們仍然有“吉士”,應聯署彈劾曾特首。


【明報社評】『款待門』事件的性質,反映一名優秀公務員不自覺地異化的結果。對於公職人員,應該視『款待門』為一次自我警惕的機會教育,銘記教訓,切勿重蹈覆轍。

特首曾蔭權在立法會答問會,就他接受富豪款待,引起市民憂慮,動搖市民對廉潔管治的信心和使公務員惆悵,向公衆道歉。事態發展,乃曾蔭權首次在立法會正視問題;但是他的道歉,並非基於承認錯誤;對利益輸送質疑的重要資料,也不予交代,顯示他仍然採取拖延策略。

所以,答問會後部分議員表示不接受他的解釋,分別提出開啟彈劾程序和推動以權力及特權法例,徹查事件,個別公務員團體也不「收貨」。看來,先不說廉政公署的調查,單就社會層面,曾蔭權仍然未能從「款待門」脫身。

公職生涯污點烙印 曾蔭權長留市民記憶
曾蔭權在答問會,神情肅穆,語調低沉,一度面容扭曲,好像強忍淚水和些微哽咽,要停頓調整情緒,使人有情何以堪之感,他的表現,感染了議員,整體表情也變得嚴肅起來。老實說,以曾蔭權45年公職生涯,還有4個月就正式退休,在此最後歲月,卻被質疑公職人員最珍視的廉潔和誠信有問題,廣泛激起10多萬公務員和市民普遍憤慨,昨日會議廳一幕一幕,在曾蔭權的人生,會成為永不磨滅的烙印,也會長時間留在香港市民的記憶裏。

除了鄭重道歉,曾蔭權透露決定取消租住深圳東海花園的6700方呎豪宅,這個單位,最能使公衆聯想是否涉及「延後利益」,他斷然斬纜,是明智決定;事實上,這間超級豪宅,許多市民已經將之與「貪」字掛鈎,曾蔭權若堅持入住,日後難免備受評頭品足,設備再豪華,也不可能住得身心舒泰。

不過,即使道歉和放棄豪宅,不等於曾蔭權已經深切反省,因為他並未承認錯誤,更準確地說,他不認為自己犯了錯誤。曾蔭權的最新說法,是特首接受富豪邀請,並無守則規定,也無機制處理,於是自行制定一套內部規矩,按自以為是的準則,自行判斷沒有利益衝突前提下,給回一些行程費用,接受富豪款待就無問題。

曾蔭權說,近日事態,反映市民不接受他的做法,令市民質疑,令立法會擔憂,故此已請前任大法官李國能負責檢討有關指引。另外,曾蔭權仍然說「忽視時代變了,公衆期望也跟着改變,對公職人員有更高要求」云云。

曾蔭權這些說法,其實在說「我並無犯錯」,只是市民不接受而已,而且「我的廉潔奉公並無改變」,只是市民的期望改變了而已。這就是曾蔭權「鄭重道歉」背後的真實心態。

曾蔭權所說沒有機制處理特首可否接受利益,符合事實;但是若說沒有守則,則值得商榷。因為問責官員受守則規管,有需要時,可要求特首給予指引,規管下屬的守則,對於上級來說,應該是最起碼要求,由於特首權力更大,有關守則只應該更嚴格,而非更寬鬆。這是基本道理,現實上,也應該如此體現。

不過,曾蔭權卻以並無明文規管特首為由,閉門造車,自行制定收受利益規矩,而規矩卻是寬鬆而非更嚴格,曾蔭權自難洗脫為自己度身訂做收受利益之嫌;另外,曾蔭權推諉市民改變了期望要求,我們一再說了,市民要求公職人員廉潔奉公,一直並無改變,曾蔭權的說法,是諉過市民,推卸責任。

另外,曾蔭權在答問會迴避一些問題。連日來,輿論、公務員都提出一點,就是曾蔭權獲得富豪款待的內容,若有問責官員和公務員向他尋求指引,可否接受?曾蔭權是批准還是否決?昨日,有議員就此向他當面提問。

曾蔭權不直接答問,只說「如他們(公務員)對接受邀請的款待有懷疑,需要向上司申報,如獲批准,行程毋須付費,如不批准,就不能出席」。但是個案向他申報,會怎樣批覆,曾蔭權避而不答,反映他迴避是非對錯,以這種心態批准自己接受富豪款待,怎會不犯錯誤?

「款待門」 事件 公職人員應引以為鑑
曾蔭權迴避的另一個問題,是不透露款待他的富豪名單,理由是朋友們不想曝光。其實,曾蔭權接受款待,前提是沒有利益衝突,若符合事實,即是他與富豪的私人交往坦蕩蕩,並無需要隱瞞之處,這樣的話,事無不可對人言,曾蔭權應該盡量說服富豪朋友,讓公衆知道他們之間的交往,光明磊落,以匡正官商勾結的認知與聯想。曾蔭權遮遮掩掩,難釋市民疑竇。

曾蔭權公職生涯45年,在前朝港英官員調教下平步青雲,官至特首,港英政府對公務員的廉潔和誠信,極其重視,相關考核,視為官員升遷首要參考,曾蔭權過去能夠通過公職生涯無數考核,他在廉潔和誠信方面,應該無問題。但是在「款待門」所見到現實的曾蔭權,為何廉潔和誠信疑竇重重?這個問題,只有他可以回答。

曾任保安局長的葉劉淑儀,昨日在休會辯論曾蔭權「款待門」事件發言時,透露她1975年入職政府當政務官,她的英國人上司一再對她說,做公務員不會成為百萬富翁(相信是富豪的通稱),但是政府工作,可以給公務員帶來滿足感和不錯的物質生活。

葉劉淑儀的行內人語,可能說出了「款待門」的深層底蘊。她的話,可以解讀為以公務員的收入,不會過富豪生活;若公務員要過富豪生活,可以選擇辭職,到社會打拼,發大財之後,就算住10萬方呎大屋,是因其本事。但是做公務員,卻想過富豪生活,則如何可以如願以償?除了靠權力達至目的,還有什麼選擇?所以,「款待門」事件的性質,反映一名優秀公務員不自覺地異化的結果。對於公職人員,應該視「款待門」為一次自我警惕的機會教育,銘記教訓,切勿重蹈覆轍。



權力能使人腐化,此又是一次鐵證,絕對遺勘遺憾的是,今次發生在我土生土長的香港!




伸延閱覽:
The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan 維基百科
肥彭給了曾蔭權一個形容詞:TALKATIVE 谷歌搜尋
煲呔~~~Talkative 別人的網誌 粒沙在大海
曾蔭權披露坐私人遊艇飛機費 AM730
曾蔭權認無申報與黃楚標關係 AM730
麥理灝的廉政公署 香港雜評
銘記一名優秀公務員異化的教訓 雅虎新聞網