This is good. LINK
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
This is worth reading.
“When children aren’t given the space to struggle through things on their own, they don’t learn to problem solve very well. They don’t learn to be confident in their own abilities, and it can affect their self-esteem. The other problem with never having to struggle is that you never experience failure and can develop an overwhelming fear of failure and of disappointing others. Both the low self-confidence and the fear of failure can lead to depression or anxiety.”
Sunday, October 23, 2016
He is not well-spoken or intelligent. He is not a very good businessman. He knows nothing about foreign policy. Anything he says, he will contradict in time. He is proud that he wiggled out of military service and dodged paying tax. He holds those who have sacrificed for the country in contempt, and probably secretly thinks they’re stupid to have done so. He has no respect for Democracy or the Constitution. He displays no principles or morals, no love or esteem for anyone. He betrays his wife, lusts after his own daughter, assaults women, and is exactly the same as every bully you ever knew in grade school, but he’s seventy years old. He blusters and threatens, but his deep seated cowardice is obvious. He is not even honest with himself, the only person on this planet he loves.
The funny thing is, even those who are voting for him recognize instantly who I’m talking about. Anybody can see that he is a vile scoundrel, so why would anybody vote for him?
Why do we do things? As often as not, we hide our real motives from ourselves and overlay them with rationalization upon justification. I suspect that Trump followers, aside from the outright white supremacists and lunatic fringe, are distressed deep down that for eight years the country has been led by a black man, and now it looks like a woman will be President. Deep down, they yearn for the “good old days” when the President was a white man: a male.
I believe that if Hillary Clinton were a white man named Clint Hilton, and had exactly the same past (well, aside from giving birth to a daughter), done exactly all the same things, said the same things, made the same deals, and so forth, the election would be a shoo-in, and the only question would be whether Trump would manage to carry any state. But a woman in the White House?
In any event, I will be happy when the election is over and we are done with all this trumpery.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Monday, October 17, 2016
This is so prophetic, it’s spooky. For everybody’s sake, let’s hope it doesn’t come true:
“As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts’ desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
– H L Mencken (1880 – 1956)
Sunday, October 16, 2016
淡定True composure: English follows: 魏晉雅士，重儀態、務治心，泰山崩于前而色不變，麋鹿興于左而目不瞬。西元四七二年，劉宋明帝三十四歲病篤，太子才五歲，「慮晏駕之後，皇后臨朝，江安懿侯王景文以元舅之勢，必為宰相，門族強盛，或有異圖。己未，遣使寄齎藥賜景文死，手敕曰：「與卿周旋，欲全卿門戶，故有此處分。」敕至，景文正與客棋，叩函看已，復置局下，神色不變，方與客思行爭劫(案：行、埋伏；劫、制裁埋伏)。局竟，斂子(案：棋子)內奩畢，徐曰：「奉敕見賜以死。」方以敕示客。中直兵焦度趙智略憤怒，曰：「大丈夫安能坐受死！州中文武數百，足以一奮。」景文曰：「知卿至心；若見念者，為我百口計。」乃作墨啟答敕致謝，酌酒謂客曰，此酒不可相勸，飲藥而卒。
China knew little peace from the third through sixth centuries CE. The gentry placed great emphasis on keeping your calm; if there is a landslide right in front of you, you should be able to keep your expression calm, if an elk starts up just to your left, you shouldn’t even blink. In the year 472CE, the emperor Ming of the Liu Sung dynasty died at the age of 34. His heir was only five years old, so the emperor was worried that after he died, the queen would handle court matters for their son; her brother Wang Jingwen would certainly be appointed Prime Minister, and their family would become so powerful that they might take over the dynasty. So the emperor sent a jug of poisoned liquor to Wang Jingwen, with a handwritten letter saying, “I have dealt with you for a long time, and I want to protect your family, so I have to do this.” When the imperial command arrived, Jingwen was playing weichi (weiqi, go, a board game) with a guest. He reverently accepted the letter, read it, and stuck it under the board. His expression never changed. He concentrated on his game. When the game was over, he put the players in a box, and slowly said, “The imperial order I just got commanded me to die.” He showed his guest the letter. Another guest, a general with troops, was angry and said, “How can you just die like that! We have troops, we can put up a good fight!” Jingwen said, “I appreciate your sincerity, but if you really care, please give a thought to the survival of my family.” He wrote a letter to thank the emperor, poured out the liquor and told his guests, “I’m not going to invite you to share this with me.” He drank the poisoned liquor and died.
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Friday, October 14, 2016
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize? What have those Swedes been smoking?
I suppose I ought to explain my disdain for a popular idol. It goes back to LA in the 60s. Who had time to listen to Bob Dylan? We listened to Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, the Mothers, the Fish, Simon & Garfunkel, Jefferson Airplane, endless acid rock and buckets of soul. Even the Mommas and Poppas, in a pinch. Dylan resonated with (white) football players and cheerleaders who wanted to show how hip they were by listening to Dylan and the Dave Clark Five. Their parents liked Dylan, too, because he was a palatable way to show that you were in the groove with young people. My Black Power friends thought Dylan was a condescending phony, and the Chicanos listened to their own stuff, really, really heavy on the bass. (Every time you thought it was another earthquake, it’d be a lowrider coming.) Dylan? He may have been a commercial success, but I’d take Ace of Cups any day, thanks.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
今天阿超有團體，我也跟去，想在附近找地方坐下喝咖啡看書。真奇怪，附近所有預計的餐廳與咖啡廳都公休，連附近的博物館也休館。幸好，有空教室，我就準備好好看書。還沒坐好，走進來幾個阿美族語班的學生，幸好我會那麼幾句阿美語，很快就熟了。但是我發現他們竟然以為只有泛泰雅有虜布(口簧)，卻不知阿美有datok，所以我就教他們彈(當然隨身攜帶虜布！)順便糾正男生的馬步。等他們上課時間到了，上課去了，但時常回來再要我讓他們彈虜布、練馬步。好個「找個咖啡店看書」！哈哈哈 Chao had a group, so I tagged along, thinking I would find a coffee shop where I could read until she finished. As luck would have it, all the coffee shops and restaurants Google told us were in the area were closed for the day, and even the nearby museum was shut! Probably due to the lousy weather. Fortunately, they found me an empty classroom, so I pulled up a chair and sat down to read… and in streamed the kids waiting for their Amis lesson (aborigine children are given token lessons in their tribal languages). Fortunately, I was able to come up with some Amis, and soon we were all getting along just great. I discovered that they thought the lubu (jew’s harp) was exclusive to the Tayal tribes, and didn’t know the Amis play the datok, almost the same. Of course I always carry a couple lubus, so I taught them how to play. They were tickled pink. Soon they went to their lesson and I got out my book, but from time to time a couple would drop in the classroom to see if I would let them play the lubu some more. So you think you’re going to have a quiet afternoon reading, hmm?
Sunday, October 09, 2016
Has there been a woman in your life you love or respect? It may be your mother, your sister, an aunt, your wife, maybe a teacher who inspired you, maybe a nurse who helped you during bad health.
It is no secret that powerful men have trouble keeping their pants on. Washington, Franklin, Harding, JFK, Kissinger, Governor Mark Sanford, and many other powerful men have had their share of adventures with women, but for the most part, they maintained a modicum of decency and discretion. As far as we know, Thomas Jefferson never bragged about raping Sally Hemings. If Monica Lewinsky hadn’t blabbed, the world would never had heard from Clinton about his exploits with her, and no matter what, he has never been divorced, unlike say, Newt Gingrich. Even Senator David Vitter, co-sponsor of the proposed Marriage Protection Amendment, did not brag that he liked prostitutes to dress him in adult diapers.
Think about the women in the first paragraph. How would you feel if someone felt entitled to grope her simply because he considers himself a celebrity?
If Trump were a policy genius, his attitude towards women would still be reprehensible, and his continued keen interest in his daughter’s sexuality would be repulsive. On top of all his other failings, Trump is a man who has only slogans and shouting for domestic problems, makes very little attempt to conceal his racism and contempt for others who have not inherited fortunes from their fathers, and has no concept whatsoever of foreign policy. There is a foul reek to this man that no amount of Tic Tacs can ever cover.
Again, think of the women in the first paragraph. Only a man who is willing for Trump to grope them at every chance can in any good conscience vote for him.
Saturday, October 08, 2016
Friday, October 07, 2016
Thursday, October 06, 2016
Wednesday, October 05, 2016
You simply cannot make something like this up. On his Instagram account, Ramzan Kardyrov, the Head of the Chechen Republic, has posted a photo celebrating his party’s overwhelming victory in the recent elections. The overwhelming victory is not surprising, when you consider the long list of accusations of torture and murder leveled against Kardyrov. What struck me as somewhat bizarre, to say the least, is that in the photo accompanying this delighted announcement, he is dressed in medieval armor.
Of course, much of his thinking is medieval, endorsing honor killings and polygamy, and one of his aides said he “acts like a medieval tyrant.” But he knows his place. He assiduously licks Putin’s boots: “Putin is gorgeous,” he proclaims. That puts him fair square in company with another of Putin’s great admirers, our own home grown Donald Trump.