Skip to comments.HK Is Land Of The Free (Blasts US, Bush, New York, American crime-culture...)
Posted on 02/23/2005 5:29:32 PM PST by srm913
HK is land of the free
February 24, 2005
Two shooting incidents within a month have Asia's world city in an uproar. Gun violence rarely occurs here.
New York, America's world city, had 3,286 major felonies last year just in its subway system. In the United States easy availability of guns encourages crime and makes murder an almost expected accompaniment of mugging or rape.
No American, taking armed robbers for granted, would have resisted handing over his watch as did the businessman Sunday. In America innocent children and adults get killed or wounded by stray bullets in every major city almost routinely.
In Hong Kong, where population size, density and poverty exceed nearly all American cities, when was anyone shot in crossfire?
I recall only once in the past 18 years when that happened here.
For astonished US readers, let me repeat that. When was someone killed in accidental crossfire from guns in Hong Kong, a city of seven million people? Once in a generation.
I see women jogging alone late at night in a country park or routinely walking by themselves in the early hours through a deserted parking lot. No woman, and few men, in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles would dare such a thing. At least, not unless they had a pistol strapped on.
The consequences of America's so-called freedom to festoon everyone with firearms are obvious. Anyone unwilling to go about armed and dangerous barricades themselves indoors and keeps their head low in this ``land of the free and home of the brave.'' Here in Hong Kong, where only police are permitted to carry guns, nearly everyone, male and female, young and old, child and adult, wanders around freely at all hours. That's real freedom. I have cited this before as evidence that at least certain aspects of freedom are greater in a Hong Kong run by the Chinese Communist Party than in an America run by the National Rifle Association, the Republican Party and George Bush.
Now, astonishingly, growing evidence indicates even freedom of the press is also healthier in Tung Chee-hwa's ``communist''-run Hong Kong than in Bush's United States.
For the sixth time the Bush White House has been caught either buying the services of, or outright faking, journalism.
In the latest scandal, a ``Jeff Gannon'' whose real name turned out to be Jim Guckert, interviewed Bush and other high government officials while posing as a credentialed journalist. Apparently, the White House was complicit with this ploy just as it had been in other cases where it paid journalists to write favorable stories.
This White House has a routine habit of limiting ``news'' of the president to so-called town meetings where every member of the audience is hand-picked and every question cleared beforehand by aides.
The Government Accountability Office designated some such so-called news packages put out by the White House as ``covert propaganda'' and hence an illegal expenditure of public funds.
The Bush Pentagon even runs its own propaganda ``news'' service, the Pentagon Channel, now broadcast via satellite television on the Dish network. With Fox that makes two propaganda channels.
Bush's Justice Department is even attempting to jail real journalists protecting confidential sources who leaked details of how the administration revealed a CIA agent's name.
Revealing agents' names is illegal, but Robert Novak, a right-wing journalist who first did, has yet to even be charged. Meanwhile, highly respected, sometime critical journalist Judith Miller of The New York Times faces 18 months' imprisonment for merely researching a story, which she never published, about who revealed the covert agent's name.
Regular readers know I am no fan of the Tung administration.
But at least his Information Services Department arranges for visiting journalists and other dignitaries to occasionally get an alternative view, even from yours truly.
RTHK, government-run radio and television, airs all views.
In contrast, in yet another incident indicating its disdain for press freedoms, in 2000 the Bush regime stripped Maureen Dowd, another New York Times journalist and frequent Bush critic who had a White House press pass from 1986, of her credentials. Entering Bush's fifth year in the White House, she has yet to get her credentials back. When next the United States brings up China's human rights record, China should retort that in the one world city on its soil, Hong Kong, freedom shines brighter than in New York.
Perhaps we should offer the Statue of Liberty a new spot at Green Island, just outside the harbor. That bearer of freedom's torch would feel both safer and freer here.
Michael DeGolyer is an associate professor of the government and international studies department at Hong Kong Baptist University
Penn and Teller could build an episode of
around this article.
Ive never been robbed or seen a shooting.
Make sure you email the pinhead your views.
Another self-proclaimed expert living safely within the physical and mental confines of the Ivory Tower.
I will. You do likewise.
This pinhead deserves a piece of our editorial minds.
I don't see any immigrants dying to get into China. I also love the idea that a State-run program gets all opinions out in the open. How do you KNOW what all the opinions are if you've no other source? They don't even let their people look at all the internet, for pete's sake!
LOL, yeah, we have an unhealthy crime culture.
Our mafia is out of shape, kind of flabby, and they sure as heck don't know kung fu. :P
Well the author of that piece is certainly a lot less safe if he ever shows his face in NYC.
That reminds me. I met several members of the triads in HK, too, and they all bragged to me about how many people they had killed.
Hey - cut the guy some slack. Imagine where he would be today if he wrote something critical of the ChiComs. He would probably be praying he had a 9mm so he could blow his brains out.
NYC THE SAFEST LARGE CITY IN THE U.S.
Crime Rate, Including Murder Rate, Drops to Lowest Level Since 1960s, According to New FBI Statistics
New York City is the safest big city in the country, according to a report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBIs 2002 "Crime in the United States" indicates that while crime increased nationwide, New York Citys crime rate actually decreased 5% to the lowest level since the 1960s. In addition, the citys murder rate dropped 9.6% in 2002 to reach the lowest level since 1963.
The FBIs ranking of New York City as the safest large city in the United States means that, of all American cities with populations of 1 million or more, New York City has the lowest rate of total crime committed.
"These statistics are terrific news for New York Citys visitor industry," said NYC & Company President & CEO Cristyne L. Nicholas. "With winter approaching, millions of people and families from around the world will consider a trip to New York City to see its many magical holiday attractions. New York City is one of the worlds foremost family destinations and these new FBI crime reduction figures reinforce what a safe place it is to visit."
UPDATE: DECEMBER 15, 2003:
According to FBI crime figures released December 15, 2003 for the first 6 months of 2003, New York City remains the safest big City in the United States. Year to date, crime is at its lowest level since 1968. Total crime in the City has declined almost 5.5% from last year.
Of the 210 cities reporting with populations greater than 100,000, New York City was ranked 194th, between Ann Arbor, Michigan and Orange, California. Of the nine cities with populations of more than one million reporting to the FBI, New York City had the lowest crime rate during the first 6 months of 2003.
Over the course of the past year, the crime rate continued to decrease from what were already record lows at the end of 2002. The FBI reports that New York Citys violent crime rate is down 3.3% in 2003 compared to a nationwide reduction of 3.1%, and the Citys property crime rate is down 8.7% compared to a nationwide reduction of only .08%.
You got mugged several times? What were you doing to bring on that kind of trouble? Ive been living in Hong Kong for 15 years and have never had any problems at all, even walking the streets of Mongkok after midnight. While its true there is a lot of organized crime, on a personal level its a lot safer here than most large North American or European cities. Other than that, I agree, the article is a load of hogwash. Press freedom is a joke and has been getting steadily worse as any journalist here will tell you off the record.
This doesn't even fall under the description of rhetorical excess, it's an outright lie.
In answer to your question, I'm a Mormon and I was in Hong Kong as a missionary from 2000-2002.
One factor is that a couple of my areas were far from touristy. I served in five different places (missionaries are often transferred), including Tai Wai, Shau Kei Wan, Tin Shui Wai, Cheung Sha Wan, and Sham Shui Po. I don't know if you have ventured to Shau Kei Wan, Cheung Sha Wan, or Sham Shui Po before, but I wouldn't recommend it.
I originally thought that our particularly long periods of in-your-face street exposure made us more vulnerable, but the most violent mugging occurred when I was in plainclothes; it was the weekly holiday. While I was walking with my companion in Prince Edward, a man punched me in the face and stole my sunglasses.
Another time, I had my camera stolen by a bagslasher in Shau Kei Wan, and another missionary I know was playing basketball with some young boys in Kwun Tong when a gang started roughing up the team. The missionary (Roper by name) tried to intercede, and a gang member slashed a switchblade at his chest, just grazing his skin.
Another sister missionary was tracting when she was chopped with a meatcleaver and had to be hospitalized.
I used to think this was common in all missions, but some friends who served in the USA (including the Bronx and south Chicago) had no problems whatsoever, and neither did a friend who served in Chile.
Coincidence? Maybe. But I always smell a rat whenever the HK authorities brag about the stellar crime statistics. A Mormon policeman in HK also told me to be particularly careful due to my innocent "boy-next-door" countenance (check my profile).
I used to be an incredibly naive individual; two years of this brought an end to that. After unintentionally meeting with a few triad members who gloated about past murders, I "lost" their phone numbers and steered clear of their turf.
I'm sorry to have rambled so long; I meant for this to only be a short post. Needless to say, life as a missionary in HK (as opposed to the USA or Latin America) is extremely difficult. Hong Kongers treat us rudely, and the Brits act like we are bits of street trash in their presence. If you encounter the Elders in HK, at least give them a smile and a howdy; it'll make their day.
Okay. Sermon's over. Thanks for listening.
No chip on the shoulder here...
I should have asked about you. What is your job in HK? Are you enjoying your time there?
It should be 1:00 in the afternoon there, if I'm not mistaken. Be sure to relax and take a breath every once in awhile; the pace of life in HK is pretty overwhelming.
In the midst of my tirade I forgot my manners. Take care of yourself and your family, if they're with you.
"In America innocent children and adults get killed or wounded by stray bullets in every major city almost routinely."
You know, until he mentioned it I hadn't given it much thought, but he's right. I lost two or three friends just last week, and a couple kids too. I'll try to stop by their funerals if I can remember to ask for time off from work.
Hi Shaun -- I've sent you a private message.
From: Michael DeGolyer
To: "Jay C."
Today 7:44:28 pm
The column was about violent crime, esp murder and even more particularly,
gun crimes, not all crime or crime in general. Read a little more carefully.
I guess he chooses to ignore the chineese gangs that ravage the backstreets of HK, and the residents are too terrified to report..
Perhaps he need to THINK a little more carefully.
"In Hong Kong, where population size, density and poverty exceed nearly all American cities, when was anyone shot in crossfire?"
This is an interesting question. I would like to hear the response from the HK offices of the DNC,ACLU, NAACP,and other agencies who oversee their criminal groups