30 June 2006
28 June 2006
University of California, Santa Cruz Chancellor Denice Denton committed suicide by jumping off her partner's San Francisco apartment building over the past weekend. Denton was one of the numerous University of California executives at the center of the compensation scandal, in which UC mandarins bypassed the Board of Regents and paid themselves and their friends (in Denton's case her partner) unjustifiably high salaries and benefits.
The Fairbank Report maintains our position that many executives in the UC (and perhaps the California State University) system are excessively compensated and, more significantly, they routinely violate University policies which they themselves impose on their subordinates.
Most university executives come from the ranks of academics and are not professional managers who might command above-market rates.
Editor's notes: The United States, in particular California, is the chief recipient/"beneficiary" of dirty money from both Taiwan and China. Every year, billions of dollars from Greater China are laundered in both California and the United States. One of the unfortunate results of these dirty monies is the vast disparity of wealth between the Greater Chinese community and the native-born American communities. Another problematic effect is hyper-inflation in the real estate market in California, where 86% of the state's population cannot afford to buy a house.
President Chen to stay on despite corruption scandals
Today, Tuesday, June 27, 2006, the Legislative Yuan will vote on an unprecedented motion, calling for a national referendum to recall the president for misgovernment and over corruption scandals involving his family and close aides.
It is a foregone conclusion that the recall motion against President Chen Shui-bian, initiated by the opposition Kuomintang and the People First Party three weeks ago, will not get passed in the Legislature because the opposition, with a three-seat majority, will not be able to muster the two-thirds majority required for launching the referendum in the 221-seat parliament.
Legislators of the ruling DPP are expected to boycott the vote en mass to show support for the native president despite his poor record and corruption allegations.
It is also a foregone conclusion that President Chen has lost the trust and respect of not only his people but also Taiwan's most important ally, the U.S.
Washington has repeatedly warned Chen against his moves to change the status quo that could drag the U.S. into military conflicts with China over Taiwan.
Taiwan's people have been so disillusioned by the Chen administration's poor performance of the past six years that the approval ratings for the president and his party have both sunk to the same 18 percent, according to the ruling party's own survey.
Media polls indicate most people are dissatisfied with the president, do not believe his word or the innocence of his wife and associates implicated in the scandals, and say he is unfit for his office.
Public trust and respect for the president have eroded beyond repair since his disputed re-election victory two years ago, which was made possible by an election eve vote-swaying assassination attempt on the president and vice president that caused minor injuries to both.
His government refused to cooperate with the ad hoc commission authorized to find the truth.
His integrity became a growing public concern after a fugitive business tycoon charged that Chen's wife, Wu Shu-chen, took NT$6 million cash donations from him in 1994 and 1998 respectively. The Chens vehemently denied it, swearing to "quit politics for good immediately" if they were found to have taken bribes from the tycoon, Chen Yo-hao, former head of the Tuntex group now on the most wanted list on charges of embezzlement and fraud.
Last week, the president, in his rebuttal to hit back at the opposition over its attempt to recall him, changed his line, admitting to have received political contributions from the tycoon. "But my wife never met Chairman Chen in private or at public occasions before. And she did receive his wife, accompanied by a friend, at our residence after she and her husband had been placed on the most wanted list."
His wife never met him; if she did, why not admit it? So she couldn't have taken money from him.
On Sunday, the tycoon again held a press conference televised live from Los Angeles, to call both the president and the first lady "liars". "My wife visited the first lady six months before our warrants were issued. A new lie by Ah-Bian to reinforce their original lie."
The tycoon said he had three witnesses, including a former legislator of the DPP, and two chauffeurs who had taken them to Wu's residence.
The legislator, Shen Fu-hsiung, recently admitted he had taken the tycoon to see Wu, but since the president openly denied the meeting he has remained quiet.
And then, the president and his wife have to answer questions about her role in the transfer of ownership of the Sogo department store and the origin of their Sogo gift vouchers worth millions.
The recall motion ends today, not the search for the smoking gun.
27 June 2006
PFC Kristian Menchaca's body is returned to Texas. For full story, see below:
NEW YORK - Warren Buffett's contribution of about $1.5 billion a year to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be used to seek cures for the world's worst diseases and improve American education, Bill Gates said Monday.
"There is no reason we can't cure the top 20 diseases," Gates said while appearing with Buffett during a donation ceremony at the New York Public Library.
The Buffett and Gates families, as well as onlookers, were beaming as the so-called Oracle of Omaha officially made his benevolence a reality.
"There is more than one way to get to heaven, but this is a great way," said Buffett. He presented the biggest gift to Gates, and $1 billion donations to his own foundation and the foundations run by each of his three children.
"It's easy to sign. I just signed, "Dad,"' Buffett joked while handing one of the donation documents, a stock transfer letter, to his daughter, Suze Buffett.
In a letter dated Monday, Buffett had informed Bill and Melinda Gates that the first donation of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. stock would go to the foundation next month.
The foundation, which has assets of $29.1 billion, spends money on world health, poverty and increasing access to technology in developing countries. In the United States, it focuses on education and technology in public libraries.
The money from Buffett, who is 75 but considered strong and healthy, comes with a significant catch. The letter says Buffett wants all his money to be distributed in the year it is donated, not added to the foundation's assets for future giving. The foundation gave away $1.36 billion in 2005, so the Buffett commitment would effectively double its spending.
Buffett had said he would give away 12,050,000 Class B shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock to the five foundations. The shares fell $40, or 1.3 percent, to $3,031.01 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
The gifts would be worth nearly $37 billion, which represents the bulk of the $44 billion that Buffet's stock holdings are worth today. Five-sixths of the shares will be earmarked for the Gates Foundation.
In his letter to the Gates Foundation, Buffett said he admired the foundation and wanted to extend its "future capabilities." Until now, all the money given away by the Gates Foundation has come from the couple.
In a statement over the weekend, Bill and Melinda Gates spoke of their relationship with Buffett over the past 15 years and his influence on their philanthropy.
"Warren has not only an amazing intellect but also a strong sense of justice. Warren's wisdom will help us do a better job and make it more fun at the same time," they said. The couple said they were "awed" by Buffett's decision.
The Buffett pledge also requires that Bill and Melinda Gates remain alive and active in the policy-setting and administration of the foundation. Buffett plans to give each foundation 5 percent of his total pledge each year in July.
Bill Gates, the world's richest man, announced earlier this month that he would be stepping back from his day-to-day responsibilities at Microsoft Corp. in July 2008 so he can spend more time on the Seattle-based foundation. The foundation followed his announcement by saying Melinda Gates would also be taking a more active role in their philanthropic work.
Buffett, the world's second-richest man, said in an interview with Fortune magazine that the timing of the two announcements - one week apart - was just "happenstance."
Buffett's gift is "really significant," not just for its size but for its potential to encourage other giving, said Diana Aviv, president and CEO of Independent Sector, a nonprofit coalition of about 550 charities, foundations and corporate giving programs that includes The Gates Foundation.
"I'm sure there are lots of young, wealthy individuals who have made their fortunes and who are watching this very carefully," she said. "These business leaders are icons."
26 June 2006
Originally Posted on The Fairbank Report on January 27, 2006
From legendary director Ang Lee comes another epic love story between two rancheros. One is a soft-spoken Texan with a troubled past. The other is a former Mexican executive with an extravagant wife.
They met on the plains of Texas, and the rest, as they say, is the stuff of legends. Their love is so intense that the prosaic Texan is willing to sell out his own country to the multinationals and the multiculturalists while his Mexican lover plots to reclaim the northern territories "lost" by his ancestors.
"Brokeback Borders" has it all: romance, intrigue and tragedy. Tragedy because in the end, a once mighty super-power is reduced to Third World status by the uncontrolled influx of illegal immigrants.
This film is not yet rated.
23 June 2006
Innovative and avant-garde radio personality Phil Hendrie has decided to quit the radio business. Tonight will be his last live broadcast, which airs from 7-10 pm on AM 570 in Los Angeles.
Phil's talent is simply amazing. His ability to make up voices and the crazy personalities that go with them is and will be unmatchable in the entertainment business.
Some of my favorite characters/guests on the Phil Hendrie Show include:
Bobbi Dooley, the snotty president of a local Homeowners' Association.
Clara Bingham, the over-the-top teacher at Joyful Union Congregation School (in South Central LA) who constantly accuses Phil of being a "racist."
Lloyd Bonafide, the angry old Korean War veteran from Alhambra, CA.
Margaret Gray, the arrogant Hollywood insider and columnist of "A Little Bird Told Me."
21 June 2006
He taught at least three generations of Keppel students. And for those of us who were fortunate enough to have been taught by him in AP American History, we were forever changed. He loved history, and his love of the subject was infectious.
No, this is NOT an obituary. I don't know the status of Mr. Katz. But as I was Googling, I found an archived letter to the editor of Time Magazine dated October 5, 1962. The writer was Mr. Robert Katz who commented on Time's piece on the Monroe Doctrine. Yes, Mr. Katz made sure that his 1989 AP class thoroughly learned the Monroe Doctrine.
Congratulations on your "The Durable Doctrine" [Sept. 21]. I have assigned my international relations class this article as a "must" reading for an excellent brief history of our Monroe Doctrine.
I noticed one major omission in your article that disturbs me. Monroe's Doctrine also says, "Our policy in regard to Europe . . . remains the same, which is, not to interfere in the internal concerns of any of its powers . . ."
ROBERT KATZ Mark Keppel High School Alhambra, Calif.
See link below for a summary of what we currently know happened last weekend in Iraq.
"The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. "
Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, 1861-1865
20 June 2006
A hood over a terrorist's head is vociferously protested as "inhumane" by the illiberal Left. Yet, they are curiously silent on the beheading of two American POW's at the hands of their crazed and illiberal allies, the bloody terrorists...Yes, Dr Savage is right: LIBERALISM IS A MENTAL DISORDER.
A NOTE TO GEORGE W BUSH AND ALL THE WANKING POLITICIANS PROSECUTING THIS WAR ON THEIR ASSES: IT IS INSTRUCTIVE TO RESTUDY MAO ZEDONG'S FAMOUS QUOTE BELOW. SUBSTITUTE "REVOLUTION" FOR "WAR."
A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.
— From: Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan
19 June 2006
16 June 2006
Congratulations, Bruin Class of 2006!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Because of the size of the UCLA campus, your graduation ceremony, like mine years ago, will appear somewhat impersonal. But rest assured that you have just graduated from one of the most prestigeous and significant universities in the world.
Now go do something good with your excellent education!
For all the revolutionary rhetoric of Aguilar and his ilk, this outfit looks and sounds more like an old-fashioned, Latin-style corrupt bureaucracy.
I don't know how the insane, inept and corrupt LAUSD works, but if I were the director of a public institution or a public company and the fetching Mrs. Fairbank were its co-director, we both would be dismissed in a Bangalore minute...
14 June 2006
Vincent Chin was slaughtered by two unwashed racist pigs in 1982. Yet, it was a fat racist pig in a judge's robe who peed on his grave with the ruling which only required the two murderers to pay the Court $780 in fee. $780 for a man's life!!!!!!
Ever since the Vincent Chin killing and the judicial ruling that justified Chin's murder, Asians in the United States have been prime targets of racial attacks. Even in Los Angeles, which is the most diverse region in the world, Asian-Americans are being physically, emotionally and psychologically abused on a daily basis. I can't recall the number of times that Asian-Americans have come up to me with trembling lips and weeping eyes to recount their personal experiences of abuse at the hands of Anglos, among others.
Not much has changed in 24 years!
12 June 2006
09 June 2006
06 June 2006
An excellent film indeed. The cinematography, especially the final chase sequence, is exquisite. More importantly, the story line--really two vignettes about two boys whose drastically different lives are bound together by a bicycle--is well written, and the characters are well-defined. Some scenes are a bit too long, but that's an insignificant fault when the film is taken in its entirety.
With this film as well as others by Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige, China indeed is the undisputed Center of great and meaningful cinema!
In an interview, BB's director Wang Xiaoshuai stated that China is not "there" yet in terms of making the big box-office action films of Hollywood. And we say thank God for that!
A plea to all Chinese film-makers: Please, please, don't ever go "there." Today's films coming out of Hollywood studios are filthy, crass, meaningless and absurd. We at the Fairbank Report need the kind of films Wang and his colleagues are making for inspiration...
02 June 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Academia Semillas del Pueblo raises the bar of public education for all.
CONTACT: MARCOS AGUILAR, Principle Director of Development and Operations
4736 Huntington Drive South, L.A., CA
Academia Semillas del Pueblo Charter School (Academia) is focused
on organizing an excellent education and producing the highest levels of academic achievement. A culturally relevant education makes academic excellence possible for all students. Academia continues to be focused on a rigorous academic program...
01 June 2006
We publicly question Mr. Aguilar's qualifications for school principal and demand that the school district reveal his academic records and personnel files. Mr. Aguilar is in his thirties. It is very rare for a thirty-something to become principal, especially at Los Angeles Unified. Something does not smell right. It smells like nepotism and favortism at LAUSD...
Is it the LAUSD policy to fill school principal positions with common street gangsters and thugs?
By Evelyn Waugh
In the big scheme of things, the tomfoolery of these reconquistadores is at best amusing. These intellectually shallow reconquistadores do not affect historical currents. They and their activities are mere insignificant sideshows as the world progresses into hyper-modernity. If any one, it will be the Chinese and the people of the Pac Rim region who will be setting very high standards for the global economy. And the Chinese do not brook mediocrity as the Americans had through affirmative action and similar programs.
Yet, it is disturbing and problematic that American taxpayers are funding an anti-American and anti-intellectual school. The link above mentions Marcos Aguilar, the principal of said madrassa.
Senor Aguilar was my contemporary at UCLA. While I was finishing a dual-degree program in four years' time, he was wrapping up his sixth year at UCLA pursuing the useful degree of Chicano/a Studies. From all accounts, he was a C- or D-student and radical Mechista.
Now through nepotism and favortism, Senor Aguilar is principal of a Mechista madrassa, making a six-figure salary, which he never would have attained in a free market economy. We have long known that nepotism and favortism are rampant in the public sector, but this case is simply over the top.