Corruption Culture

Standard practice?

Ex-New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver convicted on all corruption charges yesterday.  Hong Kong's former leader Donald Tsang charged over corruption allegations earlier this year.  And, Tsang's former deputy Rafael Hui, was jailed for 7.5 years for taking bribes from a property tycoon last year.  And, these are only what we know.


Tsang's former deputy Rafael Hui, was jailed for 7.5 years for taking bribes from a property tycoon last year.

Tsang's former deputy Rafael Hui, was jailed for 7.5 years for taking bribes from a property tycoon last year.

From Animal Rights to Easing Traffic

I tried to understand the issue that Mayor de Blasio and certain animal rights activists are so passionate about.  So, I spent hours observing and photographing how these working horses are treated in Central Park.  Nothing came to my attention that I would consider inhumane.  Instead, I saw the coachmen cared for their horses, fixed their shoes, fed them, etc. during down time.  I read somewhere that there are strict guidelines for them to follow, including working hours of the horses.

One of the key points of the new proposal by the Mayor yesterday is to MOVE the horses' current home owned by the coachmen from the West Side of Manhattan to a stable inside Central Park to ease traffic.  Additionally, over a hundred of licensed coachmen would lose their job, as a result of the cut.

Let's follow the money.  The potential move will leave three West Side building lots open for the possibility of yet another highrise building projects.

$$$ >> animal rights activities >> the well orchestrated Anybody But Quinn political campaign >> Bill de Blasio won the NYC mayoral election

Didn't Mayor de Blasio say before that he "had bigger fish to fry than the banning horse carriages"?  Ah, he is also up for re-election soon and perhaps, money talks again!  Over 60% of New Yorkers did not like his previous plan of banning horse-drawn-carriages in NYC.  Despite the tweak, Mayor de Blasio's new proposal just leaves a bad taste in the mouth -- animal rights appears to be not relevant to Mayor de Blasio any more as he now wants to keep the carriages but to reduce the number from 200ish to 70.  The "easing traffic" reason this time for the move and cut feel a lot like his plan to curb the growth of Uber that threaten the yellow cab companies and city revenue from the grossly overpriced taxi medallion earlier this year.

Trying to get by

"Half of New Yorkers say they are barely or not getting by, poll shows."  We don't need polls to tell us. Just take a walk in the City, you will see scenes like this image in my book every other corner.  Somehow, our policymakers fail to see the obvious.  They also fail to see the correlation between inequality and civil unrest in recent history.

Gentrified Neighborhoods

After I took this image of the massive site where three buildings collapsed in East Village on March 26 of this year for my recent photojournal book, a building collapsed in Brooklyn in July and another one in midtown last week.  City transformation continues, but at what cost?

The "developing story" version of this New York Times article described how the deluxe hotel developer of the site sued Havana NY (a small popular local restaurant) located at the ground floor of where the midtown building collapsed.  The small restaurant won the first case that the developer tried to get them out, while the second one claiming Havana NY $10 million for delaying the building demolition is ongoing.  However, the reference to these cases was removed in the final version of the Times.  Regardless of who's right or wrong, we can catch a glimpse of what mom-and-pop shops are facing through these cases.

Generalization, Discrimination, and Stimulus Control

Protesters were against "police brutality" not the "police" as shown in this image of my new photojournal book.  For those who intentionally or unintentionally mix the two, take a quick read of the story about a boy and seal hunting (p. 300) in Chapter 10 Generalization, Discrimination, and Stimulus Control, of Learning and Behavior by Paul Chance.

It isn't just a test!

In this image from my new photojournal book, a girl was protesting for her teachers!  There seems to have way too many problems in the U.S. education system: too much tests, teachers' performance, failing schoolscharter schools, U.S. students falling behind, Common Core Standard, high tuition, student loans, etc.  It isn't easy to be students these days, so as the U.S. Presidential candidates (Democrats and Republican) and New York City Mayoral candidates.

Every 1 out of 3 elderly in Hong Kong lives in poverty

Similar to the data point that half of New York City is living near poverty, Hong Kong elderly poor is on the rise.  Not a surprise to me given what I saw in Hong Kong when I was working on my new book, the Beyond the Pale of Two Cities.  The new statistic about one out of three senior citizens in Hong Kong falls under the poverty line has just quantified an obvious problem.  The governments can choose to either deny these facts or do something about it before the term "middle class" can only be found in history books.