Central, Hong Kong Pretty Girls – courtesy of HK newspaper Apple B.B. Daily (a lesson about freedom of press)

Friday, 5 August, 2011

*** Hong Kong Pretty Girls ***

Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girl - pix 13

I am a keen observer of pretty girls in HK and around the world. Unfortunately today, against my better judgement, I will argue the Hong Kong newspaper Apple B.B. Daily should voluntarily stop taking photos of some of these pretty girls (中環我至靚) in Central, Hong Kong. Yes, some of these photos taking and publishing has to be stopped!  Especially many of the photos that I love the most. Isn’t this paradoxical?

Lets look at some of the photos of the pretty girls in Central, Hong Kong as reported by Apple B. B. Daily. And see if you notice a very important pattern.

Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girl - pix 01Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girl - pix 02

Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girl - pix 03Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 04

Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 05Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 06

??? Have you noticed a pattern yet? Lets look at some more pictures.

Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 07Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 08

Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 09Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 10

Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 11Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 12

If you read Chinese, you can see the full Flickr set which I also posted the original Apple Daily text that goes with the photos for added context.

*** Observations ***

As you may have noticed already, the pretty girls in only 3, yes three, out of the above 13 photos actually post for the photos! And as you can read from the Flickr set, only those 3 photos have people’s names attached.

As you see, the other photos are of people talking on the phones or walking on the street simply going about their businesses. I have no indication that these people actually has or has not given Apple B.B. Daily permission to publish their photos on a column dedicated to photos of pretty girls in Central, Hong Kong!

Is this ethical behaviour? How will you react if this is your newspaper? Or if this is practiced in your city/country?

And if you live in Hong Kong, what do you think about this?

*** The Freedom of Press Paradox ***

While I don’t know the specific Hong Kong law but I suspect what the photographers of Apple B.B. Daily have done here are safely within the boundary of Hong Kong law. And I bet a Canadian dollar that a Canadian newspaper can legally take and publish photos of pretty girls standing on a public street too (although I can’t be sure).

The brave men and women of Apple B.B. Daily are truly the pioneers of newspapers and poor-tastes. At the end of day, no one can blame them for their total pursuit of making money through sex and smut at the same time as speaking truth to the powerful Chinese Beijing and HK governments.

Yes, seriously, Apple B. B. Daily do fight for democracy at the same time as they insert B. B. (bouncy breasts) of ladies in bikinis into completely serious news article!

*** Concluding Thoughts ***

Hong Kong is a really vibrant and strange market for newspapers, for both paid and recently free newspapers. Apple B. B. Daily bossman Mr. Jimmy Lai is one of the most intriguing and interesting entrepreneurs in Asia unfortunately the way he runs his newspapers (or allowed his newspapers to be run) just make me sick.

Ghosts of Calgary Stampede Past, Present, and Yet to Come – Remembering Animals died unnecessary to entertain us

Thursday, 21 July, 2011

Second chuckwagon horse death - Does Calgary Stampede get it? - Doing your part to help change Calgary Stampede


Ghosts of Calgary Stampede Present (2011)

If you attended 2011 Calgary Stampede rodeos and/or chuckwagon racing, the following two chuckwagon racing horses were killed (“euthanized”) after accidents, in order to entertain *you*.

1. H. Cliff Cunningham (died on Stampede opening night, “Rookie driver Cliff Cunningham’s right wheel horse went down with a broken leg entering the tracks second turn“)

2. Shooter H. Jim Knight (Cliff Cunningham was fined $12,500 for “wagon interference after his wagon collided with Knight’s horse during the opening portion of the Rangeland Derby bout“)


Ghosts of Calgary Stampede Past (2010)

If you attended 2010 Calgary Stampede rodeos and/or chuckwagon racing, six horses died (including four chuckwagon racing horses) after accidents, in order to entertain *us*.

1. Name unknown pending research (heart attack)

2. Name unknown pending research (heart attack)

3. Name unknown pending research (“euthanized after various injuries”)

4. Name unknown pending research (“euthanized after various injuries”)

5. Name unknown pending research (“euthanized after various injuries”)

6. Name unknown pending research (?)


1) The names of the six horses and other details to be added later when more information are available.

2) Yes, entertain *us*. I attended the 2010 Grandstand show (with different competitions, including chuckwagon races). It was fun watching the show last year but the fun stopped with the knowledge that the accidents were not totally unavoidable.

3) Toronto Star, 2010 July 19th, “Horse deaths have many questioning Stampede Chuckwagon races

It is an unusual number,” admitted chuckwagon racer Rae Croteau Jr. of Bonnyville, Alta.



I eat meat and I’m not an “animal welfare advocate” but as I get older, I also don’t like Read the rest of this entry »

Multi-million dollars Calgary Glenmore and MacLeod Trail interchange “engineered” to flood every year @nenshi ?

Thursday, 21 July, 2011

Calgary-Alberta highway engineering joke - pix 02

I live in Calgary southwest and often use the Glenmore Trail and MacLeod Trail interchange (SPUI). I would like to have a chat with the engineers in-charge of the highway engineering of this interchange project.

Given the yearly (and multiple) flooding we have experienced at this interchange since opening, why should they be allowed to keep their iron rings?! You see, flooding on a highway, especially in a section where drivers can’t really see the water clearly until it is too late, can be seriously dangerous.

This interchange caused taxpayers multi-million dollars to build and lots of inconvenience during construction. I want to ask if the engineers want us to simply accept this major road to be flooded every year? For one, who are the engineers that did the original calculation/modelling for maximum stormwater flow? I have seen puddles of water (of varying sizes) accumulated on the Glenmore east bound exit to MacLeod Trail under different size of storm conditions. These puddles are enough to damage cars if they need to stop at the water.

In the mid-90s, I learned some important lessons from reading Henry Petroski’s “To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design“. In this case, may be the politicians (and engineers) can have a read of the book. They need to recognize the failures in the original engineering design and fix the interchange as soon as possible.

Alberta Premier & Calgary Mayor: i don’t know when but do you want to one day open up a newspaper and read this headline, “Five people from two families killed in accident after car stranded by flood at Glenmore interchange“? Any experienced lawyer will have strong and reasonable ground to include city of Calgary and province of Alberta in a law suit claiming negligence in highway engineering design.

Here are some text from Amazon about “To Engineer Is Human” (emphasis added)

The moral of this book is that behind every great engineering success is a trail of often ignored (but frequently spectacular) engineering failures. Petroski covers many of the best known examples of well-intentioned but ultimately failed design in action — the galloping Tacoma Narrows Bridge (which you’ve probably seen tossing cars willy-nilly in the famous black-and-white footage), the collapse of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel walkways — and many lesser known but equally informative examples. The line of reasoning Petroski develops in this book were later formalized into his quasi-Darwinian model of technological evolution in The Evolution of Useful Things, but this book is arguably the more illuminating — and defintely the more enjoyable — of these two titles. Highly recommended.”

Calgary-Alberta highway engineering joke - pix 01

Corporate America Will Miss Munger-As-Mencken by Alice Schroeder

Wednesday, 20 July, 2011

Here is an excerpt from Bloomberg “Corporate America Will Miss Munger-As-Mencken” by Alice Schroeder,

A man who speaks this way is going to make enemies. Buffett, 80, has made his share, but Munger has a higher tolerance than Buffett for being disliked. He has come to play a role in the business world not unlike that once played by the critic H.L. Mencken, who stabbed the puffed-up preservers of the status quo with the sharp needle of searing, unforgettable prose.

I’ve heard Munger called hypocritical, heartless and pompous. Munger describes himself as imperious, irreverent and arrogant. It’s good to have somebody like that around. The business world is better off with a Munger to point out how far it has strayed. The people who control the world’s commerce need to hear it from one of their own.

Raisins and Turds

Besides, nobody else would say a lot of the entertaining things that Read the rest of this entry »

Guardian Nick Davies: Death of a Reporter – Sean Hoare knew how destructive the News of the World could be

Tuesday, 19 July, 2011

Here is an excerpt from a very insightful and moving piece by Guardian Nick Davies, “Sean Hoare knew how destructive the News of the World could be – The courageous whistleblower who claimed Andy Coulson knew about phone hacking had a powerful motive for speaking out

“At a time when the reputation of News of the World journalists is at rock bottom, it needs to be said that the paper’s former showbusiness correspondent Sean Hoare, who died on Monday, was a lovely man.

In the saga of the phone-hacking scandal, he distinguished himself by being the first former NoW journalist to come out on the record, telling the New York Times last year that his former friend and editor, Andy Coulson, had actively encouraged him to hack into voicemail.

That took courage. But he had a particularly powerful motive for speaking. He knew how destructive the News of the World could be, not just for the targets of its exposés, but also for the ordinary journalists who worked there, who got caught up in its remorseless drive for headlines. Read the rest of this entry »

Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger: How We Broke the Murdoch Scandal

Monday, 18 July, 2011

Here is an excerpt from Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger Newsweek article: How We Broke the Murdoch Scandal - Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger on his dogged reporter, a U.S. ally—and a gamble that finally paid off,

The tipping point came some time around the new year. The stream of civil legal actions became a torrent. The police became seriously engaged at last, appointing a new 45-strong team to do what had so glaringly not been done back in 2006. It has so far said that it has informed 170 out of nearly 4,000 targets. The regulator ripped up its old report as worthless. And then came the revelation by Nick Davies that NoTW had hacked into the phone calls of the missing teenager Milly Dowler, deleting her voice messages so that it could listen to new ones. That single action—which had given Milly’s parents hope during the dark days before it was confirmed that she had been murdered—caused a surge of revulsion from which NotW found it hard to recover.

Rarely has a single story had such a volcanic effect. Suddenly you couldn’t keep the politicians, journalists, police officers, and regulators off the TV screens. Police officers lined up to apologize for oversights and errors of judgment. M.P.s were suddenly saying very publicly things that, a fortnight earlier, they would only have whispered. Read the rest of this entry »

Webcast of Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch testifying in front of UK Parliament Committee on Tue 19 July 0730MST/0930EST

Saturday, 16 July, 2011

FYI. Assuming Canada hasn’t been geo-blocked for viewing by UK Parliament (which I think shouldn’t and I hope wouldn’t). [HT Jeff]

UK Parliament HOC CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT COMMITTEE Tuesday 19 July - Meeting starts on Tuesday 19 July at 2.30pm [7:30am MST , 9:30am EST]

“Phone-hacking Witnesses:

Rebekah Brooks, Chief Executive Officer, News International Ltd, Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, News Corporation, and James Murdoch, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, International News Corporation”

Second chuckwagon horse death: Does Calgary Stampede get it? – Will you let Calgary Deathpede bring you yearly horse death for the next 30-40 years? – Doing your part to help change Calgary Stampede

Saturday, 16 July, 2011

Second chuckwagon horse death - Does Calgary Stampede get it

Last Sunday I somewhat defended Calgary Stampede here and in this article plus comments after the first horse death on opening Friday. Today, six days later after watching CTV News report “Stampede probes second chuckwagon horse death” and reading CBC News “Second horse dies at Calgary Stampede“, in particular this excerpt, I have no choice but change my mind. (note: the “record fine” is now at $12,500. Of course, the horse is just as dead whatever the “fine” was.)

“”In general terms, we’ve had a relatively safe event,” Fraser said Friday. “Unfortunately, we’ve had these two horses die and we have to continue to try and improve our system. It’s not just a one-year fix.”

He said the goal is always to have no animal deaths, but pointed to comments recently made by noted animal science expert Dr. Temple Grandin who argued rodeos themselves are not at fault.

“It’s the way breeding has taken place over the last 30 or 40 years,” Fraser said, summarizing Grandin’s argument. [Kempton's note: WTF? Is Fraser doing "expectation control" and conditioning us to expect to see animals died unnecessary to entertain us for the next 30-40 years to come? Is he serious?"] “These horses are bred so that they’re big and powerful but not necessarily as strong as they could be.””

You see, I don’t think Calgary Stampede gets it. Calgary Stampede is trying to use Dr. Grandin’s explanations to repeat the old PR explanation, “It’s not just a one-year fix.” Kinda like the same old BS that Calgary Stampede has been feeding us every time after horses or animals died in accidents in Calgary Stampede.

What I am seeing today is that Calgary Stampede is unwilling/incapable of seeing the need for urgent changes, yes urgent changes now, not the next 10-20 years. Urgent changes now! So that fundament differences are made and results be seen in 2012!

For me personally, until I see Calgary Stampede‘s willingness to stop feeding us PR BS, I have no choice but avoid attending any more Calgary Stampede rodeo or chuckwagon races in the future. And I will actively tell my relative, friends, and people I know to avoid Calgary Stampede rodeo or chuckwagon races unless they want to participate in contributing to the Calgary Stampede‘s leisurely pace to change while letting animals die unnecessary year in year out.

Given this kind of yearly unnecessary animal deaths, Calgary Stampede might as well be renamed Calgary Deathpede! Yes, Calgary Stampede renames to Calgary Deathpede to memorialize the animals that die unnecessarily for the lack of urgent changes now. Calgarians and the tickets buying public have a lot more convincing power than Calgary Stampede is seeing.

Doing your part to help change Calgary Stampede

Take a minute to give “distinguished” Calgary lawyer Michael Casey, president and chairman of Calgary Stampede a call at his office (phone: 403-260-8505) , email ( mcasey@fieldlaw.com ), or leave him a comment at his blog to tell him exactly how you feel about the unnecessary animal deaths and Calgary Stampede‘s leisurely pace to change. Demand nothing less than fundament differences made and results seen in 2012!

As Margaret Mead puts it in one of the quotes I love,

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Richard Sambrook, Global Leader of Edelman Crisis and Issues Management, former BBC’s Director of Global News confirms zero involvement in Rupert Murdoch PR file

Saturday, 16 July, 2011

Edelman PR handles Rupert Murdoch's phone hacking scandals

Since Edelman was hired to handle Rupert Murdoch‘s phone hacking scandals, news media like Guardian and I had openly wondered if news insiders like former BBC’s Director of Global News Richard SambrookGlobal Leader of Edelman Crisis and Issues Management (link), has been involved in the Murdoch file.

Today Richard kindly confirmed in response to my earlier tweets,

@tom_peters will see if the global contagion can be halted by PR firm Edelman w brains like @richardwedelman @sambrook #fail #disgust #world

PR: Rupert Murdoch meets with family of murdered schoolgirl. #fail Love to be a fly at Edelman / inside minds of @richardwedelman @sambrook

with Richard saying in a tweet,

@kempton sorry to disappoint you but Im not actually working on it!

I am not disappointed at all that Richard isn’t working on Murdoch‘s phone hacking scandal file. In fact, as someone who used to read Richard‘s blog and respect his opinions, I am actually relieved/happy that Richard is NOT working on Murdoch’s phone hacking scandal PR file!

Of course, as a reporter, I have to wonder why not?

May be Richard has another more important and urgent file that he is working on at Edelman?? But wait, the Murdoch‘s phone hacking scandal is the talk of the whole wide world. Easily the largest “crisis” any corporations have ever seen. A multi-billion dollars deal was killed because of this. Some suspect the scandal has the potential of bringing down or severely weaken Murdoch‘s media empire (a media company without trust or respect is not much if anything). And even capable of bringing down a government (just look at David Cameron’s recent damage control and tell me he is not worried)!

So as Global Leader of Edelman Crisis and Issues Management, yes Global Leader, why is Richard NOT involved in this most important and high profile Edelman file? I hate to put Richard on the spot because I used to admire him a lot and hope I can still admire him (but, what can I say, he is a “PR man” now). Will Richard be involved in the Murdoch‘s phone hacking scandal later, just not now? Or is Richard NOT involved by choice, quoting his own words when he joined Edelman,

I don’t expect to check my values in at the door…

The creditability of a man, especially a newsman, takes a lifetime to earn. I hope Richard‘s creditability and reputation can remain intact after the Rupert Murdoch‘s phone hacking scandals have passed with whatever outcome it will result in.

I want to close with Jeff Jarvis’s point, which I still think is right on, “Murdoch hires Edelman PR. This ain’t a PR problem, folks. It’s a moral problem.


Murdoch apology - Is it enough

11:48am Update: I added the following comment in a CBC News Facebook poll “Murdoch apology: Is it enough? – Your Community” asking,

No, we shouldn’t let the handy advice by global PR firm Edelman fool us so easily. Saying sorry in every single UK newspaper for ONE DAY can’t compensate for the news media culture established *personally* by Rupert Murdoch for close to *60 YEARS* since 1953.

12:24pm, 16 July 2011 update: Here is a video interview with President & CEO of Edelman, Richard Edelman. Have a watch of what he thinks as he is the man leading the PR firm that is advising Murdoch on his handling of the phone hacking scandals.

[HT John]

Here is an interesting official Edelmon London video of Richard Edelman talking about trust, especially interesting in light of Edelman‘s role in Murdoch‘s scandals. And it is unfortunate that I come across a claim of a quote that Richard Edelman said in a media training session, “Sometimes, you just have to stand up there and lie. (See AdAge 2008 Feb, “Blog Wars: Gawker vs. Edelman – Blog Suggests PR People Lie; PR Chief Takes Umbrage”)


For the record, Feb 2010 press release “BBC’S RICHARD SAMBROOK JOINS EDELMAN” (emphasis added),

Richard Sambrook, the BBC’s Director of Global News and a member of the BBC’s Management Board for the last ten years, will be joining Edelman, the world’s largest independent PR firm, as Global Vice Chairman and Chief Content Officer in May. Read the rest of this entry »

The Beginning of The End of Rupert Murdoch? – Rebekah Brooks resigns over phone-hacking scandal

Friday, 15 July, 2011

Rupert and James Murdoch make Commons U-turn - PR problem or Moral problem

Given the business smart of Rupert Murdoch and the firepower one can buy from hiring Edelman, the largest global PR firm, it may still be too early to say this is the “Beginning of The End of” of Murdoch. But at least it is easier to say this may be the beginning of the end of Rebekah Brooks.

Guardian, “Rebekah Brooks resigns over phone-hacking scandal – News International chief stops short of full apology, saying she no longer wants to be ‘focal point of the debate’

Guardian, “Rebekah Brooks resignation: the key quotes – We look at today’s key quotes on phone hacking and Brooks’ resignation as chief executive of News International

Guardian, “Rebekah Brooks: where it all went wrong – News International chief executive resigns after criticism from second largest shareholder and Rupert Murdoch’s daughter

BBC, “Phone hacking: News International chief Brooks quits

BBC, “Profile: News International chief Rebekah Brooks

Rupert Murdoch hires PR firm Edelman – PR problem or Moral problem?

Thursday, 14 July, 2011

Rupert and James Murdoch make Commons U-turn - PR problem or Moral problem

July 16th update: “Richard Sambrook, Global Leader of Edelman Crisis and Issues Management, former BBC’s Director of Global News confirms zero involvement in Rupert Murdoch PR file


From Guardian, “Phone hacking: Rupert Murdoch calls in PR firm Edelman - PR company will report directly to general manager of News International

Jeff Jarvis has a point in saying, “Murdoch hires Edelman PR. This ain’t a PR problem, folks. It’s a moral problem.

In case you care, Edelman’s Global CEO and President Richard Edelman blogs here.

On a personal note, I started paying attention to global PR firm Edelman probably around the time Richard Sambrook (former BBC’s Director of Global News & member of the BBC’s Management Board) joined Edelman in Feb 2010.

As you can see in my 2010 Feb comment left in Richard Sambrook’s blog entry, while I congratulated Richard on his move, I expressed my serious concerns and reservations of seeing a respected newsman joining a PR company. While we don’t know if Mr. Sambrook is involved in this engagement personally according to Guardian,

Edelman last year hired the BBC’s former director of news, Richard Sambrook, to head up its “crisis and issues practice”. It is unclear whether he will be part of the firm’s News Corp team.

I will not be surprised if his insights have a very strong influence in the Murdoch file. This is why big bucks are paid to hire Edelman to have access to people like Mr. Sambrook.

More excerpt from “Rupert Murdoch calls in PR firm Edelman” (emphasis added), Read the rest of this entry »

Smart or Stupid: Murdoch defies U.K. parliament in hacking probe – Breaking: Rupert & James Murdoch will appear before Commons committee on Tuesday

Thursday, 14 July, 2011

11:0 am MST update: see breaking news update:

Guardian, “Phone hacking: Rupert and James Murdoch make Commons U-turn – Murdochs will join Rebekah Brooks in being questioned by MPs on the Commons culture select committee


I don’t know enough about the rules of UK parliamentary committee hearings or US’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act but I think “Murdoch defies U.K. parliament in hacking probe” may be neither smart nor stupid, and simply legal moves to keep the old man and the company out of more trouble. While I don’t think Murdoch is going onto the same path as Lord Black (yet), I am openly wondering whether it would get to that one day?

News references worth reading (including breaking news):

Guardian, “Phone hacking scandal – live coverage

“[breaking news update] * Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks will all appear before the Commons culture, media and sport committee on Tuesday. The Murdochs originally refused to appear, but pressure appears to have forced them to reconsider (see 4.45pm). [...]

2.42pm: Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York, who resigned over reports that he was a client of prostitution ring, claims at Slate that it is “unlikely” News Corporation’s “shoddy ethics were limited to Great Britain”. Furthermore, he argues that US law may have been broken on the facts we know already. He refers specifically to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars American companies from paying bribes abroad.

So acts in Britain by British citizens working on behalf of News Corp. create liability for News Corp., an American business incorporated in Delaware and listed on American financial exchanges. Read the rest of this entry »

Canadian Census decision a slow-motion train wreck

Wednesday, 13 July, 2011

Have a read of the insightful G&M article “Census decision a slow-motion train wreck“, here is an excerpt,

The census story is a train wreck in slow motion; the latest car to pile on the flaming ruins is the recent report that Statistics Canada has resigned itself to accepting incomplete responses to the National Household Survey (NHS). [Kempton's note: Sadly, this first tran]

Many readers may have thought that the census issue was settled last summer; it wasn’t. We haven’t even begun to deal with the consequences of the decision to replace the mandatory long-form census with the voluntary NHS. As Economy Lab contributor Kevin Milligan and his UBC colleague David Green note in Canadian Public Policy, one of the most striking features of the census is its ‘hidden ubiquity’. [Kempton's note:  Milligan & Green's research note is highly recommended reading. Download the free note and read.] The census is an invisible — and yet essential — element Read the rest of this entry »

Zooey Deschanel’s Open Letter to Los Angeles Times writer Patt Morrisson

Tuesday, 12 July, 2011

Have a read of Zooey Deschanel @therealzooeyd‘s An Open Letter to Los Angeles Times writer Patt Morrisson It seems like a case of @latimes #fail #factcheck #journalism!

After reading the two articles, I felt like listening to Zooey‘s song In the Sun to cheer myself up. Enjoy.

Full interview with Temple Grandin on Animal Care – Plus my note to thank Professors Grandin and Ed Pajor

Sunday, 10 July, 2011

July 16, 2011 update: “Second chuckwagon horse death: Does Calgary Stampede get it? – Will you let Calgary Deathpede bring you yearly horse death for the next 30-40 years?


Temple Grandin at Calgary Stampede, 2011

Check out this insightful full interview with Temple Grandin on Animal Care – posted by Calgary Stampede.

I want to share my thank you email to Prof. Ed Pajor because I think it is important to me. I sent the email originally as my private “thank you” to Ed but now I want to thank Ed publicly. I truly think Calgary Stampede, and we Calgarians, lucked out to have the independent and respected Prof. Temple Grandin in Calgary at this critical moment in the history of Calgary Stampede. Yes, I believe we were very close to an unavoidable PR nightmare that could have done Stampede some serious worldwide reputational harm after the positive publicity generated from Will and Kate’s visit.

NOTE: In case someone wants to accuse me as a total Calgary Stampede fan who will defend all things Stampede, well, have a read of my “Calgary Stampede Inhospitality Survival Guide” from last Friday! Yes, an “Inhospitality Survival Guide“. You see, our special long awaited evening with Will and Kate was totally spoiled by Calgary Stampede when they towed my car after I parked it as instructed by the traffic directing person! So one thing you can’t truthfully call me is a “Calgary Stampede fan”. Right now, I am as un-fan as anyone can be. Actually, I am still waiting for Stampede to correct the wrong in spoiling our royal experience plus an apology from the people in charge! Calgary Stampede, I am waiting, you know how to reach me! [Update: Stampede has replied with an offer that is not useful to us. I've written back, if we cannot resolve this, I will make sure this becomes a learning experience to me and to Stampede. Because I won't give up my expectation of excellent services easily without trying to improve things as much as I can.]


Here is my thank you email to Prof. Ed Pajor, for the record.


Dear Professor Ed Pajor,

I saw the news of the horrible death of the Stampede chuckwagon horse last night. Initially, the extensive damage to Stampede‘s reputation and PR nightmare seemed totally unavoidable until I read and watch the comments by Prof. Temple Grandin.

I can’t speak for others, but to me, the credibility that comes behind this little paragraph of news article has definitely saved Stampede from an even worst nightmare,

“Grandin is visiting Calgary at the invitation of the University of Calgary and animal welfare professor Ed Pajor — who advises the Stampede through its Animal Care Advisory Panel. The university picked up the tab for her travel costs, but she’s not being paid by the Stampede.

For that, I want to thank you for personally inviting Temple to Calgary.

As I wrote in “Calgary Stampede horse death; Selective breeding; Advices from Temple Grandin“, I hope there can be a way to independently fund Temple to help Calgary Stampede find a workable solution to force/create a new standard (at least re selective breeding) for all horses that are to be raced in Calgary Stampede.

Please kindly thank Temple for speaking out on the sad tragedy and sharing her views re the problems she sees.

Again, thank you so much for inviting Temple to Calgary. I think you deserved to be singled out for thanks.

Have a wonderful day,

Kempton Lam
blog: http://kempton.ideasRevolution.com

Phone hacking scandal: Is this Britain’s Watergate? Is this the beginning of the end for Rupert Murdoch?

Saturday, 9 July, 2011

Excerpt from UK Independent, “Hacking scandal: is this Britain’s Watergate?

“David Cameron was forced to cut Rupert Murdoch and his newspaper empire loose from the heart of government yesterday as he tried to deflect public anger about his failure to tackle the phone-hacking scandal.

Mr Cameron turned on Mr Murdoch’s son James, saying there were questions “that need to be answered” about his role during the phone-hacking cover-up, and criticising him for not accepting the resignation of News International’s chief executive Rebekah Brooks.

He also admitted that his desire to win support from the company’s newspapers had led him to turn “a blind eye” as evidence grew of widespread illegality at the News of the World.”

I still won’t bet against Rupert Murdoch yet. But I am asking, “Is this the beginning of the end for Rupert Murdoch?

* Guardian UK LIVE update report, (warning: this Guardian link is giving me some strange warning in Chrome, I hope it is not hacked!) “News of the World phone-hacking scandal – latest updates – Reaction and developments as Rupert Murdoch is due to arrive in the UK as the phone hacking crisis threatens to turn into a crisis for his global media empire

* NYT (and yes, New York Times is owned by Murdoch), excerpt from “Phone Scandal Poses Defining Test for a Murdoch Son” (emphasis added),

“On Thursday afternoon, James Murdoch assembled senior executives in the top-floor boardroom in the News Corporation’s London headquarters and told them of a momentous decision: to shutter the 168-year-old tabloid at the center of a deepening phone-hacking scandal and the original heart of the Murdoch media empire in Britain. Read the rest of this entry »

Damage Control: Are Rupert Murdoch and David Cameron too late? – News of the World shutdown this Sunday

Thursday, 7 July, 2011

Breaking news:

BBC, “News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Guardian, “News of the World to close on Sunday – live coverage

UK Telegraph, “News of the World phone hacking: live

CNN, “News of the World shutting down after Sunday edition

CBC, “BreakingMurdoch closes News of the World

Damage Control: Are Rupert Murdoch and David Cameron too late? I hope so. But I don’t want to underestimate Murdoch as it is a dangerous thing to do.

UK Telegraph Oborne: David Cameron is ‘too close’ to News International

[HT Calgary Herald]

Update: Andy Coulson, Ex-communications director or Prime Minister David Cameron and ex-News of the World Editor has been arrested.

* Bloomberg, “Cameron Tainted by Arrest of Former Aide Coulson in Phone-Hacking Scandal

British government’s post Fukushima PR campaign

Thursday, 30 June, 2011

Is there a line to draw in wrong PR? Have a read of Guardian “Revealed: British government’s plan to play down Fukushima – Internal emails seen by Guardian show PR campaign was launched to protect UK nuclear plans after tsunami in Japan”. Here is an excerpt (emphasis added),

British government officials approached nuclear companies to draw up a co-ordinated public relations strategy to play down the Fukushima nuclear accident just two days after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and before the extent of the radiation leak was known.

Internal emails seen by the Guardian show how the business and energy departments worked closely behind the scenes with the multinational companies Read the rest of this entry »

Virtual Prisoner’s Life in Freedom City, China

Monday, 27 June, 2011

From CNN, “Chinese activist Hu promises parents he will be ‘careful’ in future

“In a phone call to CNN affiliate iCable News in Hong Kong on Sunday, Hu [Jia] said his parents had asked him to not clash with the system.

“Once I saw my family, I understood how much I owe them, especially my parents, my wife and my kid. I realize I’ve done nothing for them. There is a Chinese saying that ‘patriotism and filial piety don’t go hand in hand,’” he said in the phone call.

“They told me to be a good citizen and don’t clash with the system. This system is very brutal. It uses government’s power to violate people’s dignity. I can only tell my parents, I will be careful.”

[...] “Hu Jia told me that he won’t change, and police told him they may put him under house arrest in that case,” she said. “I’m prepared for it.”

“As long as there’s no democracy or the rule of law in China, our situation won’t change at all.”

Last year’s Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, also a rights activist, was convicted of the same crime as Hu. Liu is still serving an 11-year jail term.”

Ai Weiwei’s “Good Attitude” – Disappeared Apr 3rd, Released June 22 into Soft Detention (?)

Wednesday, 22 June, 2011

2:28pm update: From Guardian,

“”I’m fine. I’m out,” the 54-year-old artist told the Guardian in a telephone call shortly after his release on bail. “I’m back with my family. I’m very happy.

[...] Speaking from his home in north Beijing, the usually outspoken artist said he could not comment any further, adding: “I’m on bail. Please understand.”

Ai’s sister Gao Ge said: “I’m very, very happy … we thank everyone, including our media friends, for all their help and support so far.”

His mother, Gao Ying, told NPR that the family “won’t sleep tonight”.

[...] Catherine Baber, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific deputy director, said: “Ai Weiwei must now be granted his full liberty, and not be held in illegal house arrest as has been the pattern with so many others recently released from arbitrary detention.

She also called for the immediate release of his four associates – Wen Tao, one of his friends, Zhang Jinsong, his driver and cousin, Hu Mingfen, an accountant, and Liu Zhenggang, a designer – who went missing shortly after him. Wen’s girlfriend Shi Jing, who had volunteered at Ai’s studio, said: “For both [Ai's] friends and family, it is positive news.

“As for Wen Tao, his family hasn’t got any information so far … I still feel anxious, but since Ai is going to be bailed, there will probably be information about the others. They got into this because of Ai’s case, so there should also be news about them.””


Weiwei sent a message to the police back in China,

Some photos, at the right moment, completely change the history. - part 1

According China’s state-controlled Xinhua news agency report (emphasis added), Ai Weiwei is released on bail because of his “good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from“. In case they delete the news, here is the report in full, for the record.

Ai Weiwei released on bail
English.news.cn 2011-06-22 22:15:25
BEIJING, June 22 (Xinhua) — The Beijing police department said Wednesday that Ai Weiwei has been released on bail because of his good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from.

The decision comes also in consideration of the fact that Ai has repeatedly said he is willing to pay the taxes he evaded, police said.

The Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., a company Ai controlled, was found to have evaded a huge amount of taxes and intentionally destroyed accounting documents, police said.”

According to AFP,

“[Ai Weiwei] has not come back yet. The police haven’t told us he has been released. Journalists called us and told us about the Xinhua report,” Ai’s sister Gao Ge told AFP late Wednesday.

Ai’s mobile was switched off. His wife and lawyer could not be immediately reached.

From Guardian (emphasis added),

“Ai’s younger brother Ai Dan told the Guardian he had no information on his brother. The artist’s wife and mother could not be reached immediately and Ai’s phone remained switched off.

Earlier in the day, after a rumour that he might be released circulated on websites, his family said police had given them no information on Ai’s case.

The article gave no details of what has happened to several friends and colleagues of Ai, who went missing shortly after him.

Hung Huang, Beijing publisher and blogger, made this observation about Weiwei in PBS short documentary “Who’s afraid of Ai Weiwei?“,

“Most of the other Chinese artists I know have gone on to having very nice houses, fancy cars, and I don’t think they would do anything to damage their lifestyle. Weiwei would put his life on the line for something that he believes in.Read the rest of this entry »


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