Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wednesday Randoms

  • The wife, as I type this sentence, is going to the police station now to start the process of getting Tony's visa.
  • I took Tony for a walk at 1000 am this morning. The humidity was unbearable. Both of us were sweating like buggers.
  • Tony gets excited by the presence of other children. Though, they don't seem excited by him.
  • David Warren writes a depressing but all too true assessment of the New America, that is the Obama of America. And he fears it may be too late to do anything about it. Conservatives are split along the lines of strongly opposed and those wanting to get along. The thing is that the people who take the attitude that "Oh come on! Obama isn't that bad!" are contemptible. It is not worth the trouble to get along with these people - they are only concerned with appearing to be morally correct while having the fashionable moral smugness that goes along with it. It is enough to make this fallible being of a blogger fall into despair.
  • The wife now tells me that the police told her Tony is Chinese till he goes to Canada. Then he is Canadian when he comes back. And so he doesn't need to get a visa now.
  • I wore my Brandon Wheat Kings shirt to the Canadian Consulate yesterday. Brandon is a small city in the province of Manitoba. The Wheat Kings are the city's hockey team and play in the Junior Western Hockey League. A man from Virden, Manitoba was also in the consulate yesterday and he asked me if I played for the Wheat Kings. Embarassingly, I had to say no. I can say I played hockey but I was never anything to write home about. My greatest accomplishment was to once score two goals in a game. However, the accomplishment was tainted by the fact that I could have had a hat trick. I had an open net, the puck was three feet from the goal line, but managed to raise or loft the puck so that it was five feet above the cross bar! I could hear team mates asking who did that. I kept quiet. The game ended in a six-six tie if I remember correctly.
  • Reading The Mill on the Floss brought tears to my eyes yesterday.
  • I should mention that the man from Virden was teaching English in Suzhou. He was curious about how I bought the apartment here in Wuxi. I told him the process was done in Jenny's name. He told me that a Chinese lawyer told him he could buy a property here in his name. But, only one.
  • WTU 364 is on my Youtube channel
  • Another column from David Warren full of choice quotes including this one: The "global warming" environmental movement ....assures an ever-heavier hand for .... statism in the future, which is why it is so evil. Statism (government), while necessary for some things, is always evil when it goes beyond what should be a narrowly proscribed role. Governments for instance should have nothing to do with food. As a student here told me when asking him if China needs a government run medical system, when the government run the restaurants here, there were no restaurants. And often people starved.
  • In the column cited above, Warren has praise for Thailand. He cites it as one third-world country that never succumbed to Western imperialism and did not fall prey to London- and Paris-educated "cool" socialist politicians. So in Thailand, there are fewer mental obstacles in Thailand to letting the people solve their own problems. Warren then correctly states that Thailand has been a bust as a democracy. And yet, It may be precisely because the politicians rendered themselves so ineffectual in Thailand that the country has prospered. All he says is music to my ears, for it is the antidote to those who say they believe government has a role to play. It is also shows a paradoxical and illogical trait of Socialist thought. Socialists love to go on righteously about the evil effects of Western Imperialism, and yet it is the spread of the Socialist creed that was probably the worst effect of Western Imperialism. That and the hypocritical intolerance of the Left (witness Sarah Palin) and you can see why I don't want to be near this people or even want to meet them halfway, finding common ground.
  • I won't be taking Tony for an afternoon scooter ride. Too bloody hot.
  • I buy Tony a new toy but he is more intrigued by an empty milk formula can. It is a good thing I say because it shows he has his own imagination and ways of amusing himself.
  • Going to the Foreign Language Bookstore in Shanghai yesterday, I was on a budget of 20 rmb. I searched high and low for one suitable volume. I was almost going to buy another George Eliot novel (but the blurb had to have a recommendation from Virginia Woolf). I was also leaning towards buying a Sherlock Holmes anthology but having some Holmes already, I didn't want to make the mistake of buying something I already had. I came across a copy of Under Western Eyes that was unfortunately water-logged. I saw a copy of Wealth of Nations for 35 rmb. I even thought to break my rule and buy a 70 rmb copy of the Monkey, a Chinese story translated by the great Arthur Walley. But then I found a copy of A Connecticut Yankee in King's Arthur's Court by Mark Twain for 16....
  • Why is it asking a simple question can be more trouble than it is worth?
  • Tuesday is free day at the Shanghai Museum. I killed a hour yesterday by wandering it. The coin section was interesting as was the Chinese painting section. I love those paintings with the mountains and trees, looking simple and yet elegant.
  • My scooter tire was fixed yesterday. They had to put in a new intertube. The flat tire was caused a tire gremlin that managed to puncture the sidewall with a nail that had originally been under the tire.
  • In the country of my ancestry, Latvia, souls are being used as collateral in loans. I don't think that would go over in Wuxi. And there isn't a Wuxi Expat I know whose soul I would accept as collateral if I was a bank manager. Talk about toxic assets!!!
  • Caritas in Veritate is here! Caritas in Veritate is here! Here is Spengler's take on it
  • The leader who caused the riots in Urumqi lives in America. So I read in the China Daily yesterday. Will, Oprah give him up to the Chinese in a bid to find common ground?

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