Barack Obama

Public Eye

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 May, 2011, 12:00am

Attack dogs put on a leash - for now

Maybe now all those rabid right-wingers will call off their attack dogs. Maybe now they will move beyond their gutter politics. But don't bet on it. These people are bent on dirty tricks. They manufactured a controversy about Barack Obama's birthplace to question his legitimacy as US president, forcing him to prove over and over again he is US-born. Both The New York Times and The Washington Post agreed this would never have happened if Obama was white. The attack dogs cast him as a closet Muslim. Even evangelical leader Franklin Graham, son of famed pastor Billy Graham, questioned Obama's Christian credentials. But in the end, it was Obama who got Osama bin Laden. His swaggering predecessor, George W. Bush, couldn't do it in nearly eight years. Obama did it in less than three. Now why would a closet Muslim who supposedly sympathises with bin Laden order him killed? Obama's nailing of bin Laden should end the nonsense about him being a foreign-born closet Muslim, not that it should matter whether or not he is Muslim. But the attack dogs will pounce again soon enough with more fakery.

'Long hair', meet 'collapsed souffle'

Move over, 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung, you've got competition. He doesn't just hurl bananas at those he doesn't like, he hurls expletives. Just the other day, he called China's leaders 'motherf******'. His name is Donald Trump, the puffy-faced tycoon who wants to run as president of the United States. The New York Times calls him a cartoon candidate. He is rather cartoonish. Some people here think that of you, too, 'Long Hair'. The big difference, of course, is you have an unkempt mass of hair. He has a carefully coiffured comb-over to cover his balding pate, a hairstyle that a British reporter likened to a collapsed souffle. Trump says as president he will slap a 25 per cent tax on mainland imports. But as Hong Kong's champion of the underclass you know very well that such a tax will also hurt grass-roots Americans who can only afford to shop at discount stores. Make Trump understand that, but be warned - cartoon characters are not known for their intellect.

A lesson in basic logic for our lawmakers

This just in ... smoking kills poor people, too. Actually, that news came in years ago. But it has yet to penetrate the bricks that double as brains for some of our legislators. These legislators will today try to derail the 41 per cent tobacco tax rise. They say smokers from the grass roots can't afford yet another cigarette price rise. Public Eye has a simple suggestion for our lawmakers. Instead of making cigarettes cheaper to help grass-roots smokers save money, why not price these smokers out of the market? Let's force them to quit with unaffordable cigarettes. This way, they will save even more money than making cigarettes cheaper. And it will save their lives, too. Is this logic elementary enough to penetrate brick-brains in Legco?

Super-rich resort to super-mean tactics

Nearly 300,000 workers will benefit from the new minimum wage law. They are now guaranteed at least HK$5,824 a month. Roll those numbers in your head. What is the first question that pops to mind? That's right, how come super-rich Hong Kong has nearly 300,000 people earning less than HK$5,824 a month? The answer is simple - much of this super-wealth is based on slave labour. Don't just take it from Public Eye. Take it from McDonald's, Cafe de Coral and other chains that have been paying staff well below HK$5,824 a month. All these chains have super-rich bosses, right? How did they get super-rich? Think slave wages. Now that they must pay at least HK$5,824 a month they have devised other ways to make up the difference. Some have raised prices, others have ended paid rest days and meal breaks to lock in slave wages. A union leader says one boss has even cut paid toilet breaks for staff by slicing 30 minutes of pay per employee. But let's put ourselves in the shoes of the bosses. How else can they stay super-rich?