Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
The Youtube debates on the Internet seem fine in theory but not in practice. You may think it is wonderful to have the masses drill their leaders on important issues of the day. But the questions are often ill informed, based on false premises (or premises that not universally agreed upon) and therefore biased, rhetorical (that is they ask "you are evil. Don't you know?), based on an ignorance of America being a federal state and having a separation of powers, and plain silly (as a Snowman of America I want to ask....). The worse question is that one from the person who says he can no longer vote because he is disillusioned with democracy and can't trust politicians. Either this person is disillusioned because he does not understand that democracy is about making ugly compromises or this person wants everything done his specific way. American Democracy was designed to be a representative democracy where the wisers and the betters of the community make decisions. Somehow it is evolving in a pandering to the mobs and the ignorant and the know-nothings who made those Youtube questions.
From this article:
Under Mao’s leadership, China threw away all of its social capital—its culture, its philosophy, everything it knew—because Big Brother told it to. China has come a long way since the Cultural Revolution, but what guarantee have we, in a state without opposition and with only patchy caricatures of law, that it won’t do with its ecological capital what it did with its social capital? China has the most wonderful collection of mountains and rivers and forests, but there is little or no attempt to protect these things. Crazy dam projects, deforestation, uncontrolled pollution, and the relentless construction of coal-fired power stations all contribute to the destruction of the Chinese environment, while state-controlled agriculture propels the rapidly advancing desertification of the north. Nor are the towns protected. Old Shanghai is designated a “historic district” not to be destroyed, but street after street is demolished to make room for whatever gigantesque project has captured the whim of the politburo. In the face of decisions made at the top, the ordinary Chinese is powerless, and there is nothing to which appeal can be made that will shield him from reprisals should he protest. Not surprisingly, therefore, the attitude of trusteeship has gone. If one day it returns, it will not be the result of an international treaty but because the Chinese have regained their freedom and with it the respect for the dead and the unborn that is the natural byproduct of freedom.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
No pregnancy update video this week. As a gift to my wife, I will make a video where she is not the star of, or even in, the video. So I have just put together and am currently uploading a video about Mianhua Xiang to Youtube. (Mianhua Xiang is where our apartment is.) The video features footage I took for a video about my journeys to work and back. I now realize that I don't have the time to make a journeys video. I won't have the time to edit and organize what I was thinking to do. What I planned was too ambitious for someone who is going to be a father soon.
So, I will make some shorter videos. The video I made today features the music of Frank Sinatra. If it does not seem to fit in with the video material, I don't care. Sinatra music makes the video classy. And the video is a love song to my wife. As I said, she is not in the video and the music is classic Sinatra: a love song that never becomes sentimental, droopy or vulgar. So, by my way of thinking, the music is entirely appropriate.
I was listening to the highlights of the Youtube Democratic Party Debates. I would take a Republican over any of those people. I will have to quote Anne Coulter who described those debates exactly were all about:
Fox News ought to buy a copy of Monday's Democrat debate on CNN to play over and over during the general election campaign. For now, the Democratic candidates need to appeal only to their nut-base. So on Monday night, the candidates casually spouted liberal conspiracy theories that would frighten normal Americans, but are guaranteed to warm the hearts of losers blogging from their mother's basements.
Of the lot of the Democratic candidates, Clinton would be the one I would vote for if there were no Republicans to vote for instead. Someone asked a question about the president of the U.S. doing a Sadat to the countries of Cuba, North Korea, et cetra. She at least explained that such things should be done after much consideration. Obama thought it was a great idea. To paraphrase him, American foreign policy should involve more jaw-jaw. Why does he want America to lower itself to the level of those thugish countries? It would be sad if this man came anywhere near the presidency because of the color of his skin makes him immune from having his ideas scrutunized.
Monday, July 23, 2007
The wife and I are not that much in disagreement about how long she has been pregnant if you do the percentages. Still, I am more right. By the wife's reckoning, she is 8.5 out of ten months pregnant (Each month being exactly 4 weeks for her) or 85 percent on the way there. By my calculations, she is 7.5 out of nine months preggers or 83.3 percent done with it. Now I will do the math for you Michael Moore fans: 85 minus 83.3 is 1.7. Now being the magnanimous sort when victorious I will begrudge the wife her 1.7 percent.
I will never forget the day we made the baby. We went to the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, Wanfujian, Tiananmen Square, Kunming, Xian, Xuzhou, Suzhou, Taixing, Jiangyin, Chengdu, Abbotsford, Vancouver, Seattle, Chicago, Hong Kong Disneyland, The Taj Mahal and Xihui Park. We also ate Roast Duck and Steak.
I walked home this evening. It did not seem so hot at the start. But of course by the time I arrived home, I had taken a shower in my own sweat.
The wife always likes to do a variation on something I like to eat. For example, I like process cheese slices. So what does the wife do? She buys process Chocolate cheese slices. I taught the wife how to make potato pancakes. She does 'em excellent. But she has to do a variation on it. So tonight she made some tomato pancakes for me. NOOOOOO!!!!!!
Does America need a black or a woman president? Only, if they be Republican. A black or woman president will do America no good if they share the beliefs of Jimmy Carter, Michael Moore, George McGovern, Walter Mondale and the Daily Worker. Better if they share the ideas of Anne Coulter and Thomas Sowell. (Interesting, the spell checker thinks McGovern is a mistake. It suggest misgovern as a replacement.)
Shower in the morning, shower in the evening, shower at suppertime!! Not quite. Two showers a day for a summer is all I have time for.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Iraq had a 2-0 lead in its Asian Cup football match against Vietnam last night. I assume they won.
How Iraq did in the match should have no raminifications as far as the war goes, but someone tried to put an anti-American spin on the game. The "rebels" he said are letting the team play football because Iraq is a football nation. So in no way could an Iraq victory in the Asian Cup be seen as in anyway as a sign that Iraq is capable of normalcy while the Americans are there.
I had to ask why the "rebels" are killing their own people. That is what rebels do said this someone. So the female students who were killed in their dorms were being traitors.
I was told I was part of the 29 percent of that disagrees with the rebels. Better to be right than in the majority.
Friday, July 20, 2007
After much protest, Youtube has brought back its total Video Views Counter. You have to go to the my account page to get it. I am now up to 45,830 Video Views. Thanks to all who have watched my videos. Here is my latest video.
Speaking of which the number of views of th..s myspace blog is growing by week. Thanks to all the rare viewers who visit here.
I just talked to Andreas and his wife. Xia is going back to Germany tomorrow to finish her schooling. She will return to China with all of Andreas's things including his car and appliances. Andreas's company is paying for all this.
Terry, the Ozzie Yank, informed me about this Donald Sutherland spot I have been seeing on Chinese TV. it is a scene taken from a movie Sutherland starred in about an American movie director making a film in China. I will have to ask Luis of Ape Unit fame if he has seen the film.
if the time posted for each entry seems strange, it is because I sometimes forget to add seven hours to the default time. I use the Canadian myspace settings because I hate to see what would happen if I did change to local settings.
The wife says Tony starts kicking her when he hears my voice. He kicks her harder when I make funny voices.
It is the school's network that is blocking my pregnancy update VII video. It can be seen in China after all. But just at HyLite. No big loss really. They aren't the demographic that videos of the sort I take appeal to anywho.
Simon is getting married tomorrow night. The wife and i will of course attend the ceremony.
None of the classes I taught today left me with any sense of fulfillment. Summer School students don't want to be there. Some students are merely there to be babysat. The Wuxi heat also drains me of any desire to talk.
Another day, another fire.
Here is something that Left-Wingers could not believe possible: A black woman who admires the U.S. and even thinks it is the greatest country in the world. Ayaan Hirsi Ali interviewed by Avi Lewis on the CBC. This Avi Lewis reminds of a NDP type I met twenty years ago. At the time, I actually was an NDP voter. But the bigotry of the NDPer towards America seemed a blatant betrayal of the anti-bigotry I thought the NDP was suppose to be about. Avi Lewis is a bigot of the same ilk. There was nothing that came out of his mouth that was not tainted with hatred of America. He basically accused the Americans of doing all the things that have actually been done by Muslim extremists. He could not help but detect a subtext in what he said to Ayaan Hirsi Ali: "I can't believe you are saying this. You are a black woman!"
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Though we were up later than we hoped this morning, we got to the hospital and the wife had the battery of tests she needed done done. The doctors told us the baby is very big: big enough to be ready to come out now if it was an ordinary baby. And because of its Kaulins bigness it may well come early. And so I will take off August 24 to September 7. The wife went to the Ultrasonic department and had an ultrasound test done. I watched the monitor and I saw either Tony's hand or foot. The baby is now placed right-side up so Jenny may be able to have a natural birth. So, good news on the baby front!
I am trying to get the wife to agree to making a Revenge of Jenny pregnancy update video. As it is, I will make a short update video entitled Odds and Sods.
The Conservative Minority Government is still in power in Canada. No election in the next few months because parliament is in Summer recess. The opposition parties may want to force a general election in the Fall. If there is no election in the Fall, the King says there will be no Winter general election because the voters would not like it. "Why would they like it?" I asked the King. "Because it is too cold and the voters may vote against the government to spite them for calling an election in Winter." After telling the King that in my time with the great unwashed, I had never known anyone to think that way (and neglecting to mention that I have only met people who theorize that voters think this way), I suggested that the only people who really did not like Winter elections were politicians because they would have to go out in the cold and fight for their jobs. Employing the King's logic, you would not want to have a Spring election because the weather is nice and voters don't want to be bothered or they are watching the hockey playoffs; you would not want to have a Summer election because it is too hot to go outside; and you would not want to have a Fall election because the Soccer Moms are too busy taking their children to school; and so you might as well not have elections at all and just let the Liberal Party of Canada rule. Truth of the matter is most people don't give a shit about politics. The ones, who do, will vote and involve themselves no matter what. As long as the ones who involve themselves in politics don't become too presumptive in their use of power and leave all of those who can't be bothered alone, everyone could be happy.
I thought it would be a good idea if when I got home tonight to strip completely naked at the front door and then walk into the bedroom to greet my wife. I was hoping to get a rise out of her, as the expression goes. Instead, she looked at me and said I was hot. OOOhhhh!!!! I said. But she just wanted me to take a shower seeing how I was all sweaty.
I had to ask her if she was shocked to see me walk into the bedroom naked. She replied that she did not think I would walk home or to the pub naked.
Andy had phoned me earlier to go to the pub. The pub we went to was Ronnie's (the other choice being the Blue Bar). Unbeknownst to me, because I wasn't paying attention, it was Ronnie's pub sixth birthday. I found out the hard way when they announced they were giving out free beer. Just before the announcement I had bought a bottle of Tsingtao.
The Sixth anniversary night explained why I saw USA WuxiLife Fred at the pub. He told me he was able to get out of the house because he told his wife he had a birthday party he needed to attend. It also explained why the crowd at the pub was more than I had come to expect at Ronnie's pub on a Thursday night.
So, I was able to run into a lot of other Wuxi acquaintances like Lawrence, Connecticut Peter (Wuxi's greatest Expat), Will from the Netherlands, Ronnie Love, What-his-name from England, Melanie Jones (now an acquaintance in person instead of email), Guy from Minnesota, Pinkie and the other Banana Leafers from the Philippines (the baby whose christening I went to had not had a haircut in the interim), and Australian Nick. The big French-Canadian guy was there but I didn't get to talk to him.
It was nice to meet Melanie Jones who could tell by my blabbering to the King of Wuxi that I had to be WuxiAndis. I will have to have Wuxi Jenny meet her. Melanie and her husband Yasser are expecting their child on September 11.
I had asked Andy and then Melanie for an opinion about when I should plan my pregnancy and Tony's arrival vacation. The King had suggested that I take the vacation from August 25 to September 7 till I told him my side of the controversy. He then agreed that September 1 to September 14 would be more prudent. Melanie said the same.
Andy had phone me when I was at Brady company which is in the new district of Wuxi near the Baseball Stadium. I was there to judge in some English language testing. The lady, who won, won because she was able to make a speech without looking at her notes.
Taking the taxi ride back, I noticed the strangeness of the Wuxi skyline from the freeway near the B&Q. There is a big gap of nothing between the tall Kempenski building and the bunch of buildings near the tall Moresky360. As the King said, they would have to take a photo of it from a different angle.
Speaking of the B&Q. The area immediately behind that store is disgusting. There is a big stagnant pond full of lots of green algae. From the front, the B&Q looks like a Home Depot.
In one of my classes today, I had the student say that the one celebrity he would bring to a desert island was Mr. Bean. Why? I asked. He would entertain me! said the student.
The wife and I went to Champion pizza for supper. I ordered a pizza and the wife ordered steak. She got her steak right away. I had to wait 40 minutes for my pizza. Abysmal!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Last week, the thief, after he tried to get away from HyLite staff, was eventually apprehended by an alert taxi driver who had noticed the chase and continued after the prey after the staff had given up.
Saturday morning in AKIC land and I feel groggy. The last two mornings I have felt a heaviness in my head as I awoke.The temperature outside is in the mid thirties. Last night, I walked home and was drenched by the time I was in the apartment. So my summer ritual upon arriving home is to strip right after I take off my shoes.
The wife and I were able to talk to my parents on MSN last night. Jenny was surprised to learn that women can leave the hospital one or two days after giving birth in Canada. She is steadfast that she should be there for a week. I also learned how bad my cousin's condition is. G's cancer has spread to her bones. G is resigned to her time left being short.
My wife's mother is buying a crib for Tony.
The wife is not happy with the landlady. She has not visited us to straighten out the utilities payments for two months. We may have to move in September.
I asked the question "If you were blind, but had three days to see, what would you do?". After many students said they would look at something beautiful, one student said watch television. The whole class exploded in laughter.
I asked the students what they thought of Liz Taylor having seven husbands. One student said Liz must be very successful and so not too concerned about marriage. So true.
I asked other students about Universal Health Care. Most of the students said it was a great idea because health care was so expensive. One said it would mean a decline in quality of the medical care.
The Kedi's (Wuxi's version of 7-11) are notorious for never having cold drinks in their fridges. It seems that they like to turn off the fridges as a cost saving measure. It may also be that they don't know how to rotate. So when I go to buy myself a beverage at Kedi, it is now like a game for me. Meiyou Bingde, Meiyou Bingde, Meiyou Bingde, Bingo! Bingde. (Bingde means cold in Chinese).
Te hhhhh key on my tree year old laptop is becoming sticky.
The thief caught at School last week was apparently making the rounds of all the private language schools in Wuxi. Pretending to be a prospective student, the thief would be lead around schools and so steal things.
I now know, for definite, what the thief looks like. The police just brought him back, in handcuffs, to the school. For five minutes, the thief stood in the lobby of our school with everybody gawking at him as the police were taking pictures of him just inside and outside the entrance. He was then taken upstairs to the office where he was alleged to have stolen a laptop. More photos were taken beside the desk where the laptop had been.
The thief was thin, mid twentyish,had a tattoo at the front below his right shoulder. He looked stunned. It was hard to detect any definite emotion on his face.
It is a sight I have never seen before.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
With it being Thursday in AKIC land, one would think I have a the-week-is-winding-down-feeling. Instead, it really feels like a Monday. I have an accumulation of things to do because all the plans I had made last week were scuttled in a blink of an eye.
What is my opinion of the John Derbyshire piece I just previously published to this blog? I want to say he is wrong but I really don't have enough knowledge of China to vigorously disagree with him. I am also in a situation where I have to hope he is wrong and that the man he quoted who had an optimistic opinion about China's future is correct. From my knowledge of Chinese history, I know one can be plausibly optimistic and pessimistic about its future. Look for instance at Shanghai in 1936, Shanghai in 1966 and Shanghai in 1996: all very different. So I can only say this for sure: Derbyshire is right when he says that whatever China does, there is probably not much we can do about it.
I gave Jenny a massage last night. Her thumb is sore but she is recovering.
John Derbyshire is one of my favorite writers. He is of a conservative temperament and always a thoughtful entertaining read - even when I don't agree with me. He is something of an authority on China, having married a Chinese Women and having studied its language and its literature.
Here is a passage, about China, from an interview done with him on the Internet:
BC: You are certainly a true Renaissance man. Others might not know of your expertise regarding China. Is China slowly but surely becoming a freer and better place in which to live? I was surprised to hear how many automobiles the Chinese are importing at present. Will the free market's success delegitimize the totalitarian structure of the government? Might we see a political implosion like with the Soviet Union?
JD: The only important question about China is what I call the "midwife" one. Can a secretive, authoritarian, corrupt, self-serving party with a disgraceful past serve as the midwife for a genuinely liberal-constitutional order? Most of my Chinese friends believe it can, and Fareed Zakaria, whose new book I have just been reading, agrees. "Sure," these optimists say, "the communists are awful. China is still a poor and backward country, though. It needs an authoritarian dictatorship to get it through the transition to a more modern kind of society, just as Taiwan and South Korea did. Once they are over that hump, democracy will emerge. Don't worry about the communists. In 10 or 15 years they'll be gone."
There is some merit in that argument. For example, one imperative for China right now is to dismantle the old "state-owned industries," the Soviet-style industrial behemoths producing goods nobody wants to buy. This would be impossible under an electoral democracy, at any rate without serious social disorder. There are just too many people dependent on those industries. A reform like that has to be pushed through by major force - though, as a matter of fact, the communists have not yet summoned up the guts to do it!
On the other hand, China is not Taiwan or South Korea. It is a much bigger country, with much greater disparities between large regions where things are pretty good, and large regions where things are terrible. It is also an empire, with Chinese troops and secret police garrisoning vast areas - half the territory of the "People's Republic"! - that are not really Chinese, and whose base populations simmer with religious and ethnic resentments, and with the memories of horrible atrocities against them and their ways of life in the recent past.
Worst and most dismaying of all, China is a country suffused with the most primitive, brutish and atavistic kind of chauvinism - a poisonous mix of resentment against past wrongs both real and imagined, an angry racism, and a belligerent assertion of China's right to do anything she damn well feels like doing, and can get away with.
Economics isn't everything. Mentality counts for something. The current national mentality of China - carefully cultivated by the Communists, of course, as a prop for their own legitimacy, but now out of their control like Frankenstein's monster - hovers on the edge of psychopathology, and seems to get worse with each rising generation. On some important issues, including relations with the U.S.A., the Chinese communist leadership is probably more liberal than the Chinese people, certainly than the young urban intellectuals I myself have had angry shouting matches with.
I got my education as a China-watcher from the old China hands of Hong Kong, who were uniformly pessimistic. Their entire outlook could be summed up as: "Never, never, never be optimistic about China. China will always break your heart." I had not fully internalized that outlook when 1989 came along, and I was optimistic that the student movement might effect real political change. It didn't, of course, and I resolved that I would never again be caught out being optimistic about China.
With that attitude, I have been resisting the "midwife" argument. I wouldn't rule it out, though, and it is a possible future for China. Yes, life in China is much freer and better now that 20, or even 10 years ago. Yes, China might follow the path of Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore. I would rate the probability at no better than 20 percent, though. Other, much uglier futures - some of them ugly only for the Chinese themselves, some ugly for the whole world - are, in my opinion, more probable. So count me a China pessimist.
A hundred years ago Sun Yat-sen, who understood his countrymen very well indeed, identified three areas in which the Chinese needed to change to a modern mentality: economics, politics, and the National Question. The first change has been pretty well accomplished, and the second could indeed follow, on the "midwife" principle. The third change, however, has not taken place. If anything, the Chinese have gone backward in the ability to see themselves as a nation in a world of nation-states. Far from having escaped from the imperial-civilizational mentality, they are sunk in it deeper than ever.
The contradictions inherent in the National Question could destroy all China's progress. They could, in fact, destroy the world. The really bad news is that there is probably nothing at all we can do about this, except to keep yelling in their ears. Events in China have never followed any foreigner's script, and when foreigners have tried to push China in any particular direction, China has generally veered off at right angles, like a gyroscope.
The swimming complex at the Wuxi New Sports Center, though large, is boring. We had to go there on the afternoon of Saturday the 14th for a School Outing.
There were two things wrong with the complex on Saturday: its pools were too shallow and there were too many people. I am about 1.9 meters tall. The six pools are at most 1.7 meters deep. But this is fine for most Chinese. There is a diving area there which has Olympic size diving platforms. When I first saw it, I was overjoyed. Deep water I thought. But then I saw people standing in the middle of the diving pool. The bottom had either been raised or another bottom had been added. Seeing that the deep pool had been turned in a wading pool was very disappointing. So there was no where to dive and no where to swim for a distance. I would have walked out of the place after five minutes. But stay we had to because it was a school outing.
A life guard at one of the pools could have been a former Red Guard. He was blowing his whistle like a mad man at anyone who committed even the smallest infraction. When he kicked out two pretty girls for not wearing swimcaps, the chant of "the referee is a wanker" could heard coming form the foreign contingent.
Emily, a student at HyLite, and her husband brought their little 17 month old boy to the pool. The Child did not like the water. He was screaming all the afternoon. But, I watched with envy seeing the couple with their cute little child, and by doing so, increased the anticipation I have for when my son comes. Taking my little one on outings like that will be quite pleasant. Six weeks to go.
The New Sports Complex is large. Visit AKIC at AKIC Spaces Live to see photos I took. Luis, Bradley and I were able to get into the football stadium. We walked past the Gym Complex which was huge like the swimming area.
Simon managed to get to School after his bachelor party last night. He has iron strength of will comparable to mine.
The wife cut her finger this morning while she was trying to cut a pumpkin. She bled a bit till she could put a bandage on.
I learned this when I arrived home tonight which may have been just as well considering the day I was having at school. They told me to schedule a whole bunch of classes one day before when I usually need a week. The Chinese are not one for planning or foresight.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
I went to the Blue Bar last night for the Beach Party, an affair run jointly by the bar and the school. Not too many students attended the party. And so the spirit of the previous beach party wasn't there. Still, a good time was had when they brought out these light plastic balls and everyone was able to let off tension by throwing them at others. These balls were flying about the bar for a good hour. I hit people in the head about 50 times.
Kelson from Brazil had a birthday yesterday. I gave him a nice kiss. I told him about my baby have four names, and being from Brazil, he approved.
Jimmy from Taiwan is spending his last stint in Wuxi, and he is saying he won't be seen again in these parts. He is a sweet guy and will be missed. Many drinks were bought for Simon.
Terry from Australia has read some TS Eliot poems. It was nice for me to be able to quote from one.
They gave me 14 more classes to schedule next week. No idea of planning ahead - the Chinese. I will have to solve scheduling problems on a day-to-day basis on top of teaching and planning all these new classes. And I have a much-needed trainer in hospital for a few days.
The wife is tired. I went out for a bit last night, but I came back as soon as I could. She wasn't interested in going to a smokey bar. I just want to be by her side the next 6 weeks. It is hot and she will have a hard time of it.
I will talk about the Wuxi swimming pool when I have an opportunity. Now it is chop-chop for me. I have classes to teach and slots to full and a pregnant wife to take care of.
Friday, July 13, 2007
I was a good boy last night to the wife. I stayed away from the computer when I got home. I watched some t.v. instead. I rewatched the Deadwood episode where Will Bill Hickock was shot. I now have to read about the assassination of the internet.
This morning, I will have only have two morning classes because students and teachers will go to Wuxi's New Sports Center. We will have an afternoon Swimming Party there. I look forward to going because I have gone past the Sports Center on many occaisions but have never been in it. It is a big impressive looking building.
Saturday evening, there will be a beach party at the Blue Bar. There was a Beach Party at the Blue Bar a few years ago that was a raucous affair. I can't see tonight's being a repeat. Times have changed and the staff is different. At the party a few years ago, the Trainers dressed up and the students joined in the atmosphere. This time, I don't feel the same buildup and anticipation for the party as there was all those years ago. Also, a stag party will be held concurrently with the beach party for Simon, who is getting married Saturday night. Simon is a low key guy so I don't expect any rowdiness on that count.
Back to work. Here is a brief chronology of what I did on my day off:
--After uploading the latest Jenny pregnancy update video, I spent the afternoon sitting beside the wife in bed. I was either reading or watching Deadwood on DVD as she slept.
--About Five PM, we were up and about getting ready to go out for supper with The King and Steph. We went to the Korean BBQ restaurant which is across the street form the Sichuan Girls restaurant. To get there, the wife and I walked up Renmin Road from Wu Ai Lu. We spent some time in Parkson's looking at clothes, along the way.
--Andreas and his wife Xia (I hoped I spelt it right) joined us. With a party of Seven, including Prince Tommy, we got a private room on the third floor of the restaurant. In the private rooms, staff will cook your food for you. The King, and I agree with him now, prefers cooking the food himself.
--The men walked afterwards to the Blue Bar while the ladies and Tommy took the car with Steph driving (She has her license now). Later in the evening, I asked my wife how Steph drove. Jenny told me "very carefully!".
--There were a lot of men married to Chinese women at the Blue Bar last night. To begin with, there was Andreas, the King, and I. As well there was HyLite Simon, who is having his wedding party on the 21st; and WuxiLife Adam who was happy to say the wife let him out for the night. As well, I saw Douglas MacKinnon from Medicine Hat and a member of the Wuxi Expat group on facebook. Patterson was of course there. He did not have any DVD information to provide me. Luis from Montreal was not there.
--Adam bought me a beer (so I owe him one). Andreas bought me beer (I owe him two). Andy bought us lunch (we owe him)... And as you can see this list will be a long list if I have three "A"'s I owe money to.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Monday, July 9, 2007
The students know a little bit about the Live Earth concerts but none of them watched any of the concerts. I suppose the concert in Shanghai was taped.
None of the students said they would give up their cars to stop global warming. I finally just got mine! said one of the students.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
I will ask my students if they heard about the Live Earth concerts intended to promote panic and fear-mongering over supposive global catastrophes that is said will be brought about by global warming. I knew about it only because media outlets unsympathetic to the movement mentioned it was taking place.
Live Earth like every other charity rock concert or festival before it is an exercise in listening to music with a little thought given to the issue at stake. In the case of Live Earth, it is probably a good thing most people attended for the music. The issue as presented by Al Gore is bogus.
I asked the students if they thought the Bombers in England were mad Jihadists or mad about the Iraqi War. They voted 14 to 5 for the latter option. I can't believe so many thought they were mad Jihadists. They must not have understood the question. Their government pumps them the line about the whole Arab world being angry about the Iraqi war.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Compromise is the essence of democracy. You can't expect to get everything you want from the legislative process. And if you did, you would be a dictator.
But Bi-Partisanship is still a dirty word. It is a way to make compromise seem more palatable to the the voting public. I will do things in the spirit of Bi-Partisanship! says the politician. But saying that means you don't have tell the voters what it is you believe in. It also means you are weak. A politician has to say what he believes in and accept the consequences. Being a nice Bi-Partisan guy may seem a good way to appeal to 90 percent of the population. But the only people who have achieved such pluralities in elections weren't nice guys at all.
When you enter the political process, you have to be a mud-slinging son-of-a-bitch to accomplish anything. Mud-slinging is also the essence of democracy. So, instead of trying to evade this unpleasant fact about democracy, politicians should just get it on and behave in the most partisan ways possible till the compromise has to occur.
A Bi-Partisan Republican may get Democrats to like him but he won't get any money from them.
Friday, July 6, 2007
I asked a salon class about responsibility in the Wuxi Water Crisis. Was the local Wuxi government irresponsible during the crisis?
The students actually shirked the question. The general consensus was that the government should have been more responsible by making laws to make all people in Wuxi more responsible.
Is the Bush presidency dead in the water? It still has 18 months in office. It will have history to vindicate it. But who knows what will happen in the next 18 months? Bush could turn into a pacifist and not earn the acclaim of the Left. Of course, he would then not earn the vindication of history. A writer on the left suggested that since Bush will never earn high favorable ratings for the rest of his presidency, he should just take the moral high road. He could do this, the writer suggested, by forming a committee of prominent advisors from both major U.S. political parties and work them in a bi-partisan manner. Two things wrong with this. First, he has already taken the moral high road. Second, bi-partisanship is a dishonest and cowardly way to avoid taking a stand on any issue.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Walking about town with the wife today, I noticed the local papers had all sorts of photos of flooded streets. One photo showed a couple of taxis barreling through about two feet of water. I got the wife to read the paper for me and she told me the flooding happened on Zhongshan Road near NanChang Market because of the heavy rain that fell Wednesday morning.
I was told that one of the vice mayors of Wuxi said that there was to be a lot of sewer work being done this summer. Yes, all of Wuxi would soon have sewers. I wondered if the flooding was because of some fuck-up on the part of the Wuxi city works. It wouldn't surprise me.
The heavy rain makes a brief appearance in my latest Youtube video:
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
What does it say about the NHO in England if some of the people working in it are incompetent terrorists?
This blog which was intended to be the journal of my Wuxi doings and whatever random stuff I am thinking of has turned into a political blog lately because it can only be gotten to in China via proxy. Since a rare soul in China is reading it, I will say whatever I want political here. If China ever unblocks blogspot, AKIC blogspot will change its focus again.
This is my blog website of choice. I love the layout. I love the look. It is bookish and elegant.
Monday, July 2, 2007
What is happening in England now is proof that there is a movement whether in Islam or in the Middle East that has to be extinguished, not compromised with. A madness has infected a portion of Islamic Arabs that is akin to the madness that affected a portion of the German, Japanese and Italian populations in the 1930s and 1940s. And every culture and nation in the world has it mad portions of the population. We would not need jails if this weren't so. And for whatever reason the madness of a portion of the human race becomes big enough to affect more than just a few innocent bystanders. It affects nations and the very structures of order and civilization. Islamo-Fascism is now that way.
Sunday, July 1, 2007
For the Chinese, July 1 means the return of Hong Kong. Saddam did not deserve the Death Penalty say the students.
The big news for the Chinese students was the anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to China. They were not brazen enough to call it a liberation. They did not give a tinker's tuss about Canada Day.
I asked the students in my Sunday afternoon Speakers' Corner to tell me what came to mind when I said the word Canada. The common responses were: Norman Bethune, Snow, Lots of Land, and I don't know. Another student said that Canada was a way to get to America. I remember back in the day when I was in Canada it was a great joke among Canadians to tell stories about how ignorant Americans were about Canada. Living in China, I see that ignorance of things Canadian is universal. They never mentioned Beavers, Ice Hockey, U.N. peacekeeping, Wayne Gretzky, Pierre Trudeau, the RCMP or Multiculturalism.
In my crime and punishment salon class, I asked the students if Saddam deserved the death penalty. All of them said no. They said the Americans should not have killed the leader of a foreign country. No point in telling them that the Iraqis did it themselves and that no one pined for him since he was dead.