Monday, November 7, 2011

Shut-Up Toy

  • Shut-Up Toy: a toy bought for the purpose of making a child shut up. A shut-up toy is not readily given but held back until the parent thinks that aren't any options to get the child to be quiet.
  • I bought a shut-up toy for Tony yesterday, and I was able to hold off giving it to him for about 30 minutes.
  • Marxism makes whole classes of people illegitimate irregardless of whether as individuals they are good or bad. I know a Thatcher-hater saying she was from a certain class. I remember a self-described Democratic Socialist telling me that a Venezuelan critic of Hugo Chavez, who I had met in China, was probably from the wrong Venezuelan class.
  • Walking with Tony at the People's Square near Casa Kaulins, I saw a man practicing his trumpet playing, another man roller blading with tiny pylons, a woman practicing a goose-step style of sprinting, and the moon shining through the clouds.
  • The infrastructure around here is crumbling so easily. Everything quickly becomes cracked and crumbled.
  • I spent three hours on Monday listening to some very interesting WGN Extension 720 podcasts about Stalin and the Soviet Union. It is hard to wrap my head around how evil Stalin was and how some people in Russia today still think of him as being a wonderful man -- I use the word "wonderful" instead of "great" purposely.
  • Stalin was a man of the Left whose actions were a result of the logic of Marxism. One author said he was an Islamic Fundamentalist in his Marxist zeal. Stalin knew that building a Socialist society required lots of bloodshed. I have had people tell me about "the crimes of America" and they were never as bad as what Stalin as a Leftist did in the Soviet Union.
  • One more thing. The Soviet Union never redeemed itself. Russia hasn't either. America has.
  • The logic of the people who take the Palestinian side of the Israel -- Palestine conflict hold that view, it seems to me, that Israel is not perfect and should be condemned for being so. They never seem to have anything positive to say about the Palestinians. They never say that Palestine is capable of running its own state. They further state that Israel supporters see Israel as doing no wrong -- I can't imagine any Israel supporter readily saying that Israel is perfect, but then the people who are against Israel are engaging in the typical Leftist tactic of saying something, they don't like is not perfect and so it is no good. Israel is the better country in this dispute. Israel is Civilization. The Palestinians have the victim mentality and few, if any, virtues -- a deadly combination.
  • I make the previous point after having listened to this Slate Political gabfest podcast. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the podcast participants said, was a lout. They didn't mention his recent prisoner exchange with the Palestinians -- proof positive that Israel is civilized and Palestine isn't. They then speculated about why the Palestinians haven't tried to further their cause through non-violent means and protests. They shrugged off that thought by saying that Palestine was the product of a culture that was violent. So much in that to make an Israel supporter shake his head.
  • Another smashing column from David Warren. I quote this passage from it: There was no point in arguing with the workman about what he was being paid to do. On near approach one could anyway see he has attitude problems. I would, too, if I had his job; especially if I was as incapable of performing it as he is. For on closer inspection he'd been making a dreadful mess. A tremendous pile of waste rock was accumulating; it took him four or five tries to make any stone fit; and those already laid had irregular gaps between them. I can make similar observations about the quality of the work I see here in China -- Warren observed workers in Canada. Warren's point of describing the worker with the rock is that our current view of Economics is statistical and not practical. The workman had been using a power tool to do his work ineptly when in the past a workman could have done it with a chisel and with great skill. The older workman probably would have added little to the GDP. The modern workman would have had added multiple times more to the GDP. Becoming statistical ciphers instead of true workman instead interested in making durable things, people then go for a tacky consumerism which involves endless acquisition of useless crap. Warren so concludes that the Tawdry Consumerism of today, which has gone gangbusters in China, has stripped labour of its dignity. In my school, I see that most students would consider it beneath them to be a craft worker, but they want all the latest stuff. The workers on all the construction projects in China want the same consumerism, and they have no problems with cutting corners -- put it up as quickly as possible, whatever happens after that isn't our problem.
  • I find many of Warren's columns to be sobering in that I look at myself and become so much more aware of my limitations. I would be more inept that the worker Warren observed. I would be more slip-shod than the workers I observe here in China.
  • I talked to my mother and sister on the phone last night. Dad, I heard, spends most of his time in bed and hasn't been eating. Mom is back home but we worry if she will be able to look after herself over the winter. Chances are they will be selling their house in Spring so they can move into an apartment.

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