I never thought I'd hear it from James. But I did. I've already started the week off with a headache at work... guess bad news keeps accumulating regardless.

I don't know what else I can tell James. He's 17, quite mentally mature for his age. I'm neither a very good big brother nor a very good family member. Here I am, alone in Boston, doing my own thing. Taking full advantage of my parent's willingness to let me live free from them. I care about all of them in Hong Kong. But the bottom line is that I would not want to go back now. I want to finish my AG career, go to graduate school, find out who I am, find out what I want to do, and find my path for my life. At the same time, I want to be a "hau suen" son. Maybe that's an impossible proposition. Fuck.

When James told me that he is very sad and misses Alan very much, and that mom cries all the time, I almost feel ashamed that I am one who is not too sad, doesn't miss him too much, are rarely cries. Maybe I have truly understood Alan and life. Maybe I'm just one cold blooded bastard. Parts of me believe I am the former. Parts of me believe in the latter. Life is full of these dilemma.

And my ultimate advice to my youngest brother? Is to be selfish and think about himself first. ah, the circles in life.

So... I have the responsibilities of an associate, but not the resources. How do I express this to managers and other people who supposingly have a higher rank than me? I don't know. I will voice up though. Hopefully help will arrive and I won't have a headache at work. So this is how stress builds up. One thin leads to another.

Taiwan is a mess. Two things I learn from this. One is that our so called free press in everywhere is not free. Wait, I learned this a long time ago. Two is that democracy does not come easy.

Every person from Hong Kong I speak to thinks the shooting is staged and fake. The basis of their conclusion? The evidence that Ah Bien has benefited from the shooting, there are many grey areas surrounding the injury, and that the injuries aren't life threatening at all. Where do they get this kind of evidence and conclusions? From the HK press, the Chinese press, and, most important of all, their pre-installed perception that Taiwan independence, directly linked to the PPP and Ah Bien, is bad. The last point fuels the first two.... or maybe the first two fuel the last. Either way, the evidence to conclusion path is seriously flawed and biased. To the three points of evidence above, I say: the injuries COULD be life threatening... they are, afterall, right in the stomach and could easily have hit other more important organs; the grey area of the aftermath of the assassination comes with the health of the head of the state; the fact that Ah Bien has benefited from the assassination is no evidence that he staged it himself.

On other hand, it's hard to believe the assassination attempt was a clear assassination. Doesn't assassination mean the taking of ones life? It seems that the shooter knew exactly when the fireworks would go when the car was where. That sounds like an insider knowing exactly the parade and the accompanying functions! Furthermore, an attempt on Ah Bien's life would be fruitless if the shooter shot at the stomach, since presidents are supposed, as we are told later, to wear a bullet proof vest at all times. Also, from the release of information, the shooter seemed very close to the car. Couldn't he or she have attempted a shot at the head? Anyway, evidence exists on both sides of the argument. If you are a truly reasonable person, you would need to consider all this evidence... and it would tell you that it's unclear who shot Ah Bien and why. If it is unclear who the shooter is, how can you conclude it is staged? Unbelievable. People always let their preconceptions of a situation get the best of their judgment.

You call this democracy? No, not the 'staged' (or whatever) assassination to get more sympathy votes. The fact that people are voting not based on what the presidential candidates can do for the people, but based on solely the colors (blue and green). You think Republicans always vote for Republicans? No. Much of the party is moderates and they could easily switch to the Democratic camp if George Bush fucked up. Ditto for the Democrats. No votes are taken for granted. In Taiwan, votes seem to be taken for granted. If you are green, you must vote for green and vice versa. That is not quite democracy.

To some extent, I feel that Hong Kong people are more suitable for democracy. Most people are moderates and they indeed will judge a politician by his or her performance. There are of course contingencies that will support their own party no matter what. But I'm willing to say that the vast majority of the people are not that way. The leftists who have been so critical of the Democratic Party are a perfect example of being extreme. Whatever the DP does, they oppose. Now... how is that different from the DP opposing whatever the government does? I don't know. So many things in the world not going right. It's a depressing world, from Taiwan to Hong Kong to the USA to Iraq to Israel to Madrid to Afghanistan. I hope I can do something to help when I grow up.

Yet tomorrow will be just another day... and I will have to deal with my own issues again.

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