Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Andis Kaulins in China Weekly: November 4 to November 10, 2013

Gratitude:  Thank God, colds, like the one I had this past week, are not fatal.

Acknowledgement: I can't help but think that everything and everyone is a joke, and so I can't help but treat everyone and most things with irreverence like I am unfunny version of Don Rickles.

Requests: If there are readers out there who have a mixed-blood child in a Chinese Public School, especially a primary school, I would like you to email me at so we can exchange experiences. Read the AKIC diary for November 4 to 10 and you will learn about my mine.

The AKIC Week in Brief: The highlights of the week were really lowlights. I moved office at work, but the night before I did, a thief came to our school, and my desk was broken into and the paper money was taken from the can I use to save for Tony's toy fund. And for most of the week, I had a bad cold and a very bad cough which worsened as the week went on. I also got out of the habit of watching movies on my Ipad – I spend more time reading.

About AKIC: If you want to learn what Andis & AKIC are all about, you can visit here.

If there are things about AKIC you don't know about, like places and people I mention in the entries below, you can go here to find out what they are all about.

AKIC Weekly Features:

I in in China!  这个星期,我有很快感冒,但是我去了工作。这个星期,一位贼偷我的钱在我的学校。这个钱是我孩子玩具的钱。

I am Canadian! SJAM was the first PM of Canada. Who is SJAM? Sir John A McDonald. I wonder if I am the first to use the acronym to describe him.

I find myself hoping that Toronto mayor Rob Ford doesn't resign. I know this brings up the question then of how I felt about Clinton, for it can be said that Clinton was hounded by his political opponents in a manner that was similar to how Ford has been hounded more recently by the Leftists who nearly a year ago, almost pulled off a legal coup and had Ford removed from office .

Both politicians could use the defence of competence in doing their jobs. Ford has done a lot for Toronto. Clinton balanced the budget.

So, if I think Ford shouldn't resign while thinking that Clinton should have resigned, I could be labelled a hypocrite.

Were the Republicans right to pick on Clinton? Of course they were. I think there was so much more that was bad about Clinton than there is about Ford. For one thing, Ford is a right-winger and can at least claim to possess some virtues. On the other hand, Clinton was saved from becoming a left-wing disaster by the fact that he had a vigorous opposition, including Rush Limbaugh, that stopped him from enacting a blatant left wing agenda. The fact that he was able to balance the budget was because he had a Newt Gingrich led congress to force him to do so. Ford is doing similar things in Toronto without the benefit of a helping leftist opposition.

Ford's vices are those of the common man; Clinton's were those of a man abusing his position of power that a way that was the reason Feminism had any legitimacy in the first place. If Clinton's only sin was to have masturbated on the dress of an intern, he could have been forgiven. But he did very unethical things, and since leaving the presidency has had quite the lucrative racket playing on the fact that he was a president. Clinton is a shyster politician and a rapist to boot.

Clinton did have common man's vices, of course, but he was able to get away with him. Ford, being a right-winger, is getting crucified. There is no justice in this world, I tell ya.

I am also quite aware that it is Remembrance Day in Canada. A day to mark the sacrifices of Canada's soldiers has probably evolved into a festival of pacifism. Give me a break!!

I am Latvian (sort of)! I am not much of a Latvian really, but I still have a healthy distrust and hatred of Russians. Though there are many Russians, particularly classic authors and dissidents, I admire.

Wuxi Peach Maoists Update: Visit here to find out how if your Peach Maoists (0-8-1) have finally won a match-up.

Politically I am Conservative/Reactionary! I don't think gays should be persecuted, but I don't think they should be married.

I teach English! Most of my classes, however, are conversations. I really go in, hoping to learn things from the students. Often, I get inadvertent Chinese vocabulary lessons. I teach when an opportunity arises, but the students don't give me many because they are so shy to speak or are just very unimaginative in making sentences.

I am not a freak! What do freaks do? Freakish things, I would suppose. Like what? I don't know.

I like to Read! Here is what I had been working my way through the past week:

Don Colacho's (Nicolas Gomez Davilla) Aphorisms.  There are 2,988 of them in this book that I compiled for myself.  I try to read at least one aphorism a day.  I cut and paste the better ones -- they are all profound actually -- and I put them in the AKIC Weekly. (See below)

The Niomachean Ethics of Aristotle. Now that I have finished the Catechism, I will read this and then begin to read the Summa. I have cut and pasted a quote below that I very much need to heed.

Ulysses by James Joyce.  I am following along with Frank Delaney as he slowly guides podcast listeners through Joyce's hard-to-read novel.  Delaney figures he will have the whole novel covered in about 22 years.  Delaney completed episode #178 this week and is working his way through the chapter that introduces Leopold Bloom. I am getting ahead of Delaney as far as reading the book.  I will be finished my reading of it, I figure, in a year. I read the novel despite its many blasphemies. It is best to be aware of this stuff because the world is full of it, and the world will always find a way of slapping you in the face with it

The Holy Bible (RSV-C2E version, aka the Ignatius Bible, and Douay-Rheims version).  I will read the two versions in conjunction. Last week, I was reading the Book of Genesis.

Mao Zedong: Man, Not God by Quan Yanchi. A Hagiography given to me by a local.

Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson. Finished. This book is the basis of a Killer App lecture that Ferguson did on TED. Like most TED things, it is clever but doesn't leave one feeling fully nourished. The book is more a collection of interesting anecdotes and ideas than a fully thought out and consistent thesis. Be that as it may, it is far better then anything Paul Krugman could write.

Iron Curtain by Anne Applebaum. Finished. Good Book. Sad Story. In my mind, the book raises the following question: During the Cold War, who were more stupid: the Communists or the anti-anti-Communists?

Gulag by Anne Applebaum. I just happened to have found two e-book copies of Applebaum's books.

The Day of Sir John Macdonald: A Chronicle of the First Prime Minister of the Dominion. Finished. Too short a book in my estimation. Who says Canadian history is boring? Well, it would be for foreigners. But for Canadians who have a love or even a liking for their country, the history of Canada is the sort of history one would wish most countries to have. This book was published in 1914 and referred to Canada as a Dominion – the Dominion being established on July 1, 1867. Before that date, Canada was a single province, a union of what are now the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. And before the province of Canada there was Upper Canada and Lower Canada. So, Canada was not established on July 1, 1867. Because of confederation it became a Dominion on that day. The parliamentarians who chose to change the name of Dominion Day to Canada Day were ignorant.

I like to take photos
I publish them in the following blogs:  AKIC wordpress , TKIC blogspot, TKIC wordpress, Views of China from Casa Kaulins Blogspot and Views of China from Casa Kaulins Wordpress. It is my habit to take a least one photo of Tony a day and publish it in TKIC wordpress. I also try to capture interesting things that pass by the Casa Kaulins apartment, either on video on still image, and publish them in Views of China from Casa Kaulins.

I like to make videos

I like to cut, paste, and sometimes give my take on quotations:
Nicolas Gomez Davilla
464 A youth takes pride in his youth as if it were not a privilege enjoyed by even the most idiotic.
482 Let us not speak badly of nationalism. Without the virulence of nationalism, Europe and the world would already be ruled by a technical, rational, uniform empire. Let us give credit to nationalism for two centuries, at least, of spiritual spontaneity, of free expression of the national soul, of rich historical diversity. Nationalism was the last spasm of the individual before the gray death awaiting it.[The problem with Canadian Nationalism is that it is a socialist enterprise. The original Canadian Nationalism was loyal to Crown of England and the British Empire.]
488 In silent solitude only the soul capable of conquering in the most public disputes bears fruit. The weakling begs for commotion. [So, in one sense, I am strong]
492 The reformers of contemporary society persist in decorating the cabins of a ship that is going under. [There is a sort of prettiness to government pamphlets and reception areas. And I think of the absolutely elaborate uniforms of the major sports leagues. A stronger society with a purpose wouldn't bother much about those things... Rambling thoughts, I know...,]
493 Modern man destroys more when he constructs than when he destroys. [Is is so true in Wuxi where the modern developers have destroyed and bulldozed over so much. Old Wuxi is gone forever. And I mean even the Wuxi that was before the Commies took over.]
495 If we demand that the object have only the form with which it best fulfills its functions, all objects of the same species converge ideally in a single form. When technical solutions become perfect, man will die of boredom. [There is something to be said for the artistic flourish.]
496 Let us replace all those definitions of “the dignity of men,” which are only short, ecstatic prayers, with a simple plain one: to do everything slowly. [I have a tendency to rush through things which I should stop. I should read, for example, every passage of Aristotle very slowly.]

In my experience, TV people are as lying, insincere, obsequious, unscrupulous, fickle, exploitative, shallow, cynical, untrustworthy, treacherous, dishonest, mercenary, low, and untruthful a group of people as is to be found on the face of this Earth. They make the average Western politician seem like a moral giant. By comparison with them, Mr. Madoff was a model of probity and Iago was Othello’s best friend. I am prepared to admit that there may be—even are—exceptions, as there are exceptions good or bad in every human group, but there is something about the evil little screen that would sully a saint and sanctify a monster. [Dalrymple is definitely right about TV people. That is why TV is a Liberal Progressive medium. However, Dalrymple says TV is an unmitigated evil. I don't know if I can agree with that. For example, televised sports can be interesting. I think of what Orwell said about books. During a year, Orwell said, a lot of books are published and most of them are garbage. The same can be said about television, it is mostly trashy and garbage. However, there are a few television series that redeem the medium like that are a few books that redeem publishing... Be that as it may, one is better off reading than watching television.]

An Excerpt from Sir Joseph Pope's The Day of Sir John Macdonald / A Chronicle of the First Prime Minister of the Dominion:
This gave Sir Richard one of those opportunities to attack Sir John of which he never failed to take advantage. After saying some disagreeable things, he concluded thus: 'However, Mr Speaker, I am bound to say that I think it quite fit that a gentleman who in his day has done justice to so many John Collinses, should at last have a John Collins to do justice to him.' To the uninitiated it may be explained that 'John Collins' is the name of a rather potent beverage. [I should put this quote in context. I was reminded, in the wake of the Toronto Mayor Rob Ford controversy, that the first Prime Minister of Canada, Sir John A MacDonald (SJAM) was quite the drinker. David Warren says that half of his cabinet would be pissed in meetings. Now, Sir Richard was remarking on the fact that the author of a contemporary biography of SJAM was named John Collins. John Collins was also the name of a potent beverage which SJAM was sure to have had a not passing familiarity with.]

An Excerpt from Anne Applebaum's Gulag: For here, the lesson could not have been clearer: while the symbol of one mass murder fills us with horror, the symbol of another mass murder makes us laugh. [I will have to put this quote in context as well. Applebaum, when visiting the liberated countries of Eastern Europe, observed that after the fall of the Iron Curtain, it was not considered in bad taste to sell Communist memorabilia while it was considered very improper to sell Nazi memorabilia. I have noticed this phenomenon in China where Red Guard badges can be purchased at Nanchang Market.]

The AKIC List of the Week: AKIC's Top Ten Chinese Things
  1. Chopsticks. What an exotic way to eat food. Gives one the same satisfaction that one gets driving a manual transmission car.
  2. Bridges. I love bridges.
  3. Barges. I love to stand on a bridge and watch the canal traffic.
  4. Bruce Lee & Kung Fu. China's greatest contribution to popular culture.
  5. Tai Chi. When done well, Tai Chi is jaw-dropping to watch. I think it is great exercise – much better than pumping iron.
  6. Revolving Table Tops. The food is on the other side of table and there is no need to have to ask someone to pass it.
  7. Slim Women. I tell the female students, who think they are fat, that they would abandon the worry if they went to Canada.
  8. Easy availability of beer and cigarettes. Funny how in the land of Communism, the authorities wouldn't dare control cigarettes and alcohol that way in they do in my country.
  9. Chinese writing. To try and decipher it is now a hobby of mine.
  10. Chinese painting. There is a certain style of Chinese painting I like. It is very minimalistic without being abstract.

I fashion myself to be a 21st Century Pepys

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