Archive for June, 2011

MIJN LEREN IS SPELEN & OMGEKEERD: het was bijna spelenderwijs dat eindexamen halen begrijp ik – hoera! – en dan te bedenken dat leren iets is dat niet in tijd en ruimte valt af te perken….

MY LEARNING IS PLAYING & VICE VERSA: I understood it was almost a playful act doing your  final exam – hurrah! –  and then realising that learning is something that can not be confined, neither in time nor space…

Een Montessori-kind de hele weg van 4 tot 18 jaar ~ A Montessori-child all the way from 4 to 18 years.

Tjebbe van Tijen just hearing the good news in Hong Kong, June 16th 2011, 23 hrs. 

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晚安 香港 = Maan On Hong Kong / Good night Hong Kong (maan6 on1; in Cantonese tones, middle rising and high) with an authentic boxman sleeping in the arcade of the Hong Kong Cultural Center in Kowloon and a view from the Peak on Hong Kong Island over Victoria Harbour at Kowloon… taken just before midnight on Tuen Ng festival day in the city with the biggest poor rich divides in Asia.

Hong Kong's rich-poor divide still the world's worst as gulf widens

Hong Kong – Hong Kong’s rich-poor divide has widened, cementing the city’s global top spot for wealth disparity, a news report said Wednesday.

Official statistics published by the South China Morning Post show the city’s top earning families now have an income 25.7 times more than the lowest earning families.

The average monthly income of the top earning 10 per cent of the population was 77,000 Hong Kong dollars (9,900 US dollars) in 2010, up 7,000 Hong Kong dollars or 10 per cent from 2006.

However, the poorest 10 per cent saw their monthly income drop more than 3 per cent to 3,000 Hong Kong dollars, a fall of 100 Hong Kong dollars, according to figures from the Census and Statistics Department.

The middle income group fared slightly better than the poor but not as well as the rich, with their monthly income increasing by 3.3 per cent to 15,500 Hong Kong dollars a month.

Hong Kong’s Gini coefficient now stands at 0.533 compared to 0.518 in 1996, meaning the city still holds the title of having the world’s starkest wealth disparity.

The Gini coefficient measures disparity on a scale of 0 to 1, with zero showing perfect wealth distribution, and 1 maximal inequality.

The United States had a Gini coefficient rating of 0.468 in 2009.

Hong Kong has some of the world’s richest people, with three of its resident billionaires appearing in the top 30 of the Forbes rich list for 2011.

A Run Run Shaw movie of the eighties of last century re-broadcasted a few days ago on the Hong Kong channel of Celestial Movies: "The lights of the city" of a totally poor Mainland China illegal migrant family and their ordeal in surviving in Hong Kong. Misery as burlesque entertainment. Here another 'Good Night Hong Kong' scene of the family going to sleep in two cupboards they found it the street; the kids were promised that one day they would go to "the Peak" and see all the marvellous lights of the city...

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The number of civilian death as result of the Allied bombings has according to the propaganda machine of Gaddafi reached 718 or so. The NATO bombing machine does give us nice numbers of strikes and the objects that have been struck but NO number of victims. Other sources say that there may be a total number of 10.000 violent death since the rising in Libya in February 2011. All numbers remain vague and contested from this or the other side in the conflict.

But let us be clear about something when it comes to mapping human violence. The total number of people that found their lives ending suddenly counts in the thousands. The factor may be 5 or 10 of thousands, but thousands for sure. The number of victims – collateral or not – as result of the NATO interventionist enforced change of regime, counts in the hundreds at least and the factor may be 7 or more. The number of soldiers and insurgents falling in this Civil War mixed with Western intervention is not given by any of the warring parties. And each human life should be considered as sacred – at least that is what my system of ethics says to me.

The Guernica of Picasso was painted after the Nazi bombing of this little town in Basque country  in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War and the involvement of German and Italian military airplanes was a clear interventionist action on behalf of the Nationalist Spanish government of General Franco, who was fighting the Republican Spanish Government. The number of victims that fell has never been firmly established, according to different sources in different times, between 400 and 1600 people are said to have been killed by this Luftwaffe bombardment, which was at that time described as a barbaric act unto a defenseless population.

So what about people dying unwanted by high tech destructive devices thrown from the air in the year 2011? Is their inflicted death a barbaric act or is it not? Where is the public outcry against it. Or are we lead to believe that there are either no victims at all of NATO bombing, or that each victim is a soldier supporting dictator Gaddafi, so it is a victory for democracy when such a ‘stand in the way of democracy in Libya’ will be blasted away from the air?

Comparative interventionist historical policy studies should be undertaken to answer this question.

Painting by Pablo Picasso. It was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, Basque Country, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces, on 26 April 1937, during the Spanish Civil War.

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