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Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending

Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander. I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives ____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I have been meaning to write about this for many many months and have finally decided to do so.

The Hong Kong government is planing to build a gigantic edifice on a Hong Kong waterfront site called Tamar intending to house their governments offices there. This has become a controversial project since the land is prime real estate, maybe better suited to more public space uses and the grossly overpaid civil servants that this complex is intended to house are remarkably unpopular in this city.
The problem with being a city-state is that the government forgets the city and concentrates on being a state. The current Tamar debate is a perfect example of this selective amnesia.

At the moment, Tamar sits as the most expensive piece of concrete in the world.
Many think that this is too much and not appropriate use of the land.

Simply, however, Tamar is the landfill created for the Prince of Wales barracks that replaced the HMS Tamar supply and troop ship that was used as the British base for years and what the shore space was named after...

This land is worth lots of money due to development potential but is also beautifully located for public space. But more interesting to me is that the name Tamar has interesting biblical roots. In Genesis 38, Judah sells his brother into slavery and arranges for his son Er to marry Tamar. Er died and was married to Onan who refused to impregnate her. He died too, apparently God wasn't too pleased with these two and struck them dead. So as was custom, Judah promises his youngest son, Shelah to her when he comes of age but Judah reneged on the promise. Tamar just didn't want to wait any longer, so she dressed up as a prostitute and attracted Judah to her and he impregnated her with 2 sons.

Some nasty story. All kinds of stuff going on here, slavery, death, prostitution, trickery and incestuous relationships, bleech. Messed up family life it was. Messed up government relationship with the people here too.

The other interesting biblical story is that of Tamar (a different one), Amnon and Absalom, the future king of Israel. This nasty story, in 2 Samuel 13, Absalom, the 3rd son of King David, regarded as the most beautiful man in the kingdom ended up killing his step brother Amnon in revenge. He loved his sister Tamar but David's second son, Absalom's step-brother, Amnon, was sexually obsessed with Tamar. He feigned illness and requested a visit by Tamar from his father King David. When she came to feed him, he asked her to join him, but she refused since to be defiled meant to destroy her life. His desire consumed him and he raped Tamar. Afterwards, he hated her since she requested that they marry but she was now tainted goods and therefore undesirable to him.
In the above story there were at least seven evils which took place:

Amnon succumbed to lust.
Amnon lied to his father David.
Amnon practiced deception.
Amnon committed an act of rape.
Amnon committed an act of incest, a crime punishable by death.
Amnon having taken away Tamar's virginity refused to take her as his wife.
These 2 stories illustrate the screwed up relationships in families as they existed thousands of years ago in the Middle East. These stories also remind me of the convoluted arguments that government officials have been using in an attempt to sway public opinion to their narrow aims. Government officials against their own family members here, lust and desire to build a monument and edifice to themselves at Tamar. They have practiced deception to try to move public opinion towards this plan. They are taking property that does not truly belong to them but to the people here for their own obsessive desires. They are trying to ignore the public's needs and desires in order to fulfill their own narrow aims.

Although these stories do not parallel the Tamar building site fiasco, the taint of the Tamar name and the human element of consuming desire and deception are very prominent in this case.


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