Vacation in the South

We have come down to the south to spend the Thanksgiving break, visiting friend and just spend some time doing not much of anything.

This is written on a iPod Touch -- to see if I could do anything serious other than reading and simple searching. Obviously I can. But it is extremely slow, even with the very helpful design of the iTouch keyboard.

We visited CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia. At the end of the tour, I asked Georgia, our guide, whatever happened to Aaron Brown. She very diplomatically said, "I don't know. Everybody asks that question. But they don't tell us why they leave CNN." I asked if he just left CNN. To that, she answered, "I don't know." Throughout the building there are images of the current program anchors, which makes me realize how much CNN has been successful as a pop culture brand rather than a news organization. Aaron Brown's disappearance from the scene isn't surprising.

We went to Savannah today, late in the day. It is a very charming old town. We had dinner at the River House on the River Street. The food was very rich. The people are friendly. The whole place is much friendlier to visitors than Anlanta. Too bad we didn't get to spend more time there. This vacation is short, we should be able to come here for a whole week some time.

Enough with iTouch already. I think I would have to have something like a EEE PC class of device at the minimum. But for the ease of carrying around, the iTouch is hard to beat.



大选之后直到今天,莎拉·佩林还是在媒体上不断出现,晚间电视上说笑节目也对她热情不减。CNN 几个节目都说道许多共和党人把她看作共和党未来领袖。昨晚看 HBO 的«Real Time with Bill Maher», Paul Begala 说 60% 的共和党人希望莎拉·佩林成为他们未来的领袖,100% 的民主党人也这么希望。:-)

不过,我想保守派中不乏有头脑者,如果莎拉·佩林继续坚持作一个“抹唇膏的 pit bull”,共和党不见得会继续认同她作为领袖。从个人角度来说,我到很希望看共和党一意孤行下去,直至消失于荒野。但是对这个国家那并不是一件好事。


Proposition 8 in California

Personally, I must admit that I am not completely comfortable with homosexuality. I like the movie «Brokeback Mountain» as a nice piece of art work, but I don't care much about the same sex relationship in there either. Maybe that doesn't make much sense. But it is what it is.

Yet the passing of Proposition 8 which amends the state constitution of California is wrong to me. I agree with Bill Maher that religion has a lot to do with it. Most of the people who voted for the proposition are minorities in the traditional sense. They probably don't associate gay rights with other human rights related to race, gender and so on. I guess religion, like any herd mantality, promotes ignorance, although the same religions did promote equality between races in the past.

On the other hand, I am pleasantly surprised that both Proposition 1 and 2 passed in Michigan, allowing medical use of marijuana and embryonic stem cell research. Especially with so many signs and letters against Proposition 2 prior to election, I was afraid that it would be defeated. Its passing is a good thing for the state of Michigan.


John McCain is Wrong

John McCain's concession speech was graceful. But I think he is wrong in at least two counts.

He said that "the failure is mine." The failure is not all his, W, the Republican Party must bear part of the responsibilities.

He said that "This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight." The election of Barack Obama is much more than that. Barack Obama is much more than an African-American President. It is a victory of hope against fear and despair.

The Election is Over

The election is over (finally!): Obama 338 vs. McCain 160 on CNN as of now. Senator John McCain has given a graceful concession speech. President elect Barack Obama has given a somber victory speech to a huge crown gathered in the Chicago Grant Park.

Now the real work begins.

Notes from yesterday evening:

I voted today, for the first time in a presidential election and for the second time since I am eligible to vote.

I guess I mostly voted for the Democrats, as I don't know much about the other candidates in the local races. Even though I have studied the local issues a bit, I still didn't feel that I had spent enough time to really understand all the candidates. So I had to leave some blanks in the ballot. I guess it just shows that democracy is not easy.

As the day gets darker, polls start to close. We will know who is the next US president tomorrow morning, hopefully. So far, it looks like that the Republicans are going to get a shock and awe, which is what would delight me.

However, if Barack Obama wins the election, Americans still need to set the expectations right. Even if the Democrats gains significant number of seats in the Congress, human nature will determine that there will be disorder in their collective actions. The Republicans will try as hard as they can to assert their conservative convictions. Progress will not be easy. But whatever happens, hope is more uplifting than fear.


Election Day is Here

It is election day '08.

CNN has reported the first poll result in the country from Dixville Notch, New Hampshire: 15 Barack Obama, 6 John McCain, 0 for Ralph Nader.

On last Sunday's Meet the Press and a Fox News program, all predictions including one from Karl Rove gave 300+ electoral votes to Barack Obama, with landslide gains for Democrats in both the House and the Senate. Barring any disaster, Democrats will likely win both the White House and the Congress. That would be a historically significant shift of power and a sound rejection of Republican policies of the last eight years.

There was a letter to the Ann Arbor News a couple of days ago, in which the writer commented that the current and the last two economic recessions in the US all had been preceeded with eight years of Republican presidencies. I didn't know the US history that well. So here is a quick googling of US presidents: Calvin Coolidge (1923-29), Ronald Reagan (1981-89) and George W. Bush (2001-08) are indeed Republicans. The end of William Jefferson Clinton presidency (1993-2001) also saw a recession. But over all, the US economy grew significantly over the Clinton presidency. History never guarantees the future. But history is a good indicator.

The end of the election day is now only 16 hours away. Hope is within grasp.

Notes from 2008-11-01:

There is an article on Ann Arbor News today, front page, about McCain/Palin supporters being harrassed in Ann Arbor. I think I understand why those who did those things did them. Afterall, I myself have felt depressed for the last eight years by the stupidity, ignorance and arrogance so rampant in the administration. Then there are all those lives lost in the Iraq war. It's understandable that some people may have an ax to grind. However, such harrassing actions against individual are obviously just as stupid. Such stupidity only serves to divide the people in this United States.

On our way out of the house today, two senior African American Obama volunteers came to our door to remind us to vote. I told them that I was prepared to vote. I have been ready for a few years. This country is a bit too radical for me personally -- although they label themselves conservative. There is nothing conservative about racking up national debt in trillions while the individuals pocket hundreds of millioms a year. There is nothing conservative about going into a country, killing tens or even hundreds of thousands of people and then just calling them collateral damage. There is nothing conservative about labeling themselves compassionate conservative to fool the voters and turn around leaving them hanging in the wind to dry when disasters strike. Their behaviors have shown themselves to be radicals, repeatedly. As W himself quoted, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." A third time would be bryond shame for all.


«Cheap Vs. Chic Laptops»

Just read this article «Cheap Vs. Chic Laptops» on Forbes. I never liked Apple products much, not even the much hyped iPods or the iPhone. One reason is that their prices just don't make much sense. But I guess it is OK if one has the money to spend on chiciness.

«Hacking Democracy»

Watched the documentary on HBO last night. Shocking stuff.


Reading Joe Klein's Article in Time

Read Joe Klein's article in Time today. The title is «Why He's Winning -- The evolution of Barack Obama». I hope he is right -- since I do agree with pretty much all he wrote in the article.

People may be cynical about Obama, about politics. John McCain seems to reenforce that cynicism. Barack Obama's vision of an "Apollo Project" to create an alternative energy based economy encourages me greatly. It is an idea much more creative and productive than tax cut and war, those have been basically all what the Republicans have been feeding to the American public for the last eight years.

I will vote for the Proposal No. 2 on the Michigan ballot on the election day. I disagree with the Conservatives' view of pro-life. They kind reminded me the ancient Chinese belief that every minute piece of your body, down to every single hair, is from your parents and therefore linked to your ancestors. If you believe in that, then cutting your hair would be a crime against your heritage.

I am pro-life, especially of those who are living through it. All those letters against Proposal 2 carry one message: fear. Fear of what may go wrong. But fear before any action seems to be counter-productive to me. I am not for human cloning. Even further, cloning of any living being makes me less than comfortable. However, embryonic stem cell research for the understanding of human body and human life is far from human cloning. Linking those two together, or any implication of that, makes me suspicious of those letters.

On CNN, ads from right-wing 527 groups have started to pop up for the last week or so. Some of them call Obama a socialist, which makes me want to laugh. Isn't "socialist" a label some conservative economists pinned on W, Ben Benenke and Henry Paulson? Based on what have happened in the last month or so, the current administration is becoming the most socialistic gang in the history of the United States of America. Actually, I feel that labelling the current administration "socialists" is an insult to the word itself. All who have any progressive social ideals should protest that.


Election Day is Coming

Today on the way home from Chinese school, we drove passed the Obama campaign office outside down town. I stopped the car and took the kids for a little walk. We went into the office. There were quite a few people in there. But the atmosphere did not smell like battle ground.

That didn't surprise me although Michigan is called a "battle ground state". John McCain has pulled out his troops and given up Michigan. Elsewhere in Michigan may be different. Ann Arbor, however, is definitely covered with Obama-Biden signs with McCain-Palin dotted here and there. A week of two ago Lynn came home and told me that the first house entering the neighborhood had a McCain-Palin sign in their front yard -- sort of a news story. One morning I drove by the house, the sign was gone. In the evening it was back out again.

There was a letter in the News a week or two ago about a missing McCain-Palin sign. I would suspect that it was a kid's prank. But the letter writer seemed to suspect some Democrat had stolen the sign. The letter was a bit hysteric.

Driving in and out of the neighborhood, seeing that McCain-Palin sign makes me smile, every time.



HBO showed the movie «Recount» earlier.

It is a somber reminder that every one's vote does matter -- may be not down at the individual level, but collectively, yes, definitely.

That fateful 2000 election gave the country W and eight years of misery. To think about it otherwise, that the US would not have invaded Iraq, the US economy might not be in such deep trouble, people of the world might not have to endure so many -- seemingly endless panic attacks, one has to imagine, the world could have been a much different, even much better place than it is today.

But in that fateful month, the Americans collectively decided that the country's path down towards hell for the next eight years. There were enough blames to spread around. If Clinton were not stupid enough to let loose his zipper, the election result could have been different. If there were a little less ignorance in the country, the election result could have been different.

But history is what it is. We are all just humans, even the judges in the Supereme Court.

In a little more than two weeks, the country will have another chance to choose its path forward. And this time for the first time, I will be able to vote.

I wish that the country will choose wiser. We must all learn something from the last eight years of sufferings.

John McCain said in the last debate last Wedensday that he was not "President Bush". Fine. But he is still a Republican. He may be able to be a "maverick" sometimes, but he is still a Republican in the end. A commentary in the News wrote the other day, Republicans seemed to be anti-intellectual. I think they are more than that. They are anti-thinking. For that reason alone, I will not vote for a Republican.


Pigs with Lipsticks

The Republicans leave me with no other words for them.

Putting Lipstick on a Pig

You put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig.

John McCain calls that saying sexist? That's really pathetic.


Sarah Palin

This woman is a bulldog.

Watch out, Democrats!

Rudy Giuliani

"True American here". I guess Rudy counts himself as one of those?

"The American people", not the "Hollywood celebrities". So I guess Hollywood is not inside America.

"America comes first"! And then American media criticizes the nationalism of the Chinese.

I am waiting for Rudy to say that John McCain will get rid of taxes once and for all. No one will have to pay tax anymore and everyone will live happily ever after.

"Shake up Washington" -- Yeah, right.

"A beacon for the world" -- maybe back in the days when the twin towers were still standing.

Hearing Mike Huckabee

There are decent people among the Republicans. When Mike Huckabee talks about the evil of big brother government taking away our liberty, I trust that he is sincere. That is exactly what all the Americans need to do: Kick out the government that is taking away our liberty.

But are all the poor people "waiting for the government to rescue" them? It makes me think of the white-haired gentleman holding a sign at the south-bound exit 41 on US-23 these days. The sign says:Exit 41

Vietnam veteran

John McCain is a respectable person. But that doesn't automatically make him a president. If he kicks GWB's behind in public, I may consider give him my vote.

Is Romney Mocking McCain?

He says America needs to get ready to look to the west for the Sun.

Do all Republicans follow that logic? Somehow it looks that way.

Meg Whitman Speeks ...

"The government should not spend more than it takes in".

How true!

That tells the urgency to push the current government out and keep it out.

The "John McCain Story"

The Republicans talk so profoundly about the John McCain story. They don't seem to have any memory that they are the same people who dumped shit on their dear John McCain in 2000.


"Federal government involved in raids on protesters"


CNN today also showed a little bit of footage of people getting tear-gassed in St. Paul.


The "angry left"?

How stupid is Georgie? He think he is still "the man"?

I am reducing my contribution to 1/2 cent per day to the big plan now. He is not worth my money.


Wolf Blitzer of CNN just said on TV that John McCain's campaign complained about the questions that Campbell Brown asked the McCain representative the other day.

That is hilarious. No. That is SAD!

Do you believe Joe Lieberman?

I don't.


It's Fun to Watch the Republicans Dance

CNN is not really well-known for playing political hardballs. Therefore it is particularly humorous to watch those republicans doing their dances around simple questions from those CNN anchors. It seems somehow anyone question the qualifications of Sarah Palin is trying to belittle women as a whole, according to the Republicans. Like when Campbell Brown asked the McCain representative to give one example of Sarah Palin's executive decision, the guy did such a tap dance that the whole conversation sounds really like a good joke. After Campbell Brown repeatedly asked the same simple question, the guy tried to pin it on the CNN anchor woman that somehow she was trying to knock the Alaska governor down.

I guess even the Republicans are not ready to take her seriously as the Vice President of the United States.



今天下班回家,打开电视,CNN 上报道 John McCain 的副总统人选 Sarah Palin (莎拉·佩林)。

刚才想起来写点什么,到网上“古狗”了一下“约翰·麦肯”,结果找到一堆“约翰·麦肯罗”、“约翰·麦肯兹”,到新华网上看了一眼,McCain 翻成了“麦凯恩”。

麦凯恩这招挺聪明的,显然出乎民主党这边的意料,至少这边的这些电视评论“头”们似乎没有什么有深度的话可说。显然这位阿拉斯加女州长不是一个毫无建树的“漂亮脸蛋”,从电视上有限的介绍来看,此人不是一盏省油的灯,对共和党内部的腐败份子也不手软,在阿拉斯加很有人缘。前面在 Larry King 节目上那个共和党女 talking head 拼命鼓吹说她是全国最受欢迎的州长。如果民主党那边一味轻视此人,最终一定会吃亏。

我想,麦凯恩这招势在调动共和党人的热情,至少在一定程度上是会有所成功,至少一个年轻漂亮的女副总统会让人眼睛一亮。不过,就我个人而言,此次总统选举的候选人个人并不重要,党派也在其次,最重要的未来四年我们自己的生计如何。全民医保是最关键的一件,其次能源政策,综合经济政策,伊拉克战争的走向,这与我们每个人的每日生活都息息相关。就 John McCain 数不过来的家居、一年五百万等等,他将来的政策能够有益我们这些离“五百万”相去甚远的人群吗?我想等我一年挣到五百万的时候我或许会支持 John McCain 做总统。

Larry King 之后是 AC360,安德森又出现在新奥尔良。三年前卡特琳娜飓风来袭的时候他也在那里,三年之后飓风古斯塔夫(Gustav)又“兵临城下”。三年前新奥尔良的悲惨画面而今尚历历在目,如果今年再受灾害,就是苍天瞎了眼了。如果真的噩梦又来,共和党的末日政府能够指望得上吗?或许我们都该“吃一堑长一智”吧!


I Pity John McCain

John McCain is a tragic figure of sort.

He spent decades building a reputation as a maverick of Republican. He was winning in the 2000 Republican primaries before he was tared and feathered by Bush and his cohort of scum bags. Then he has to swallow all that defeat and resentment of Bush to hug him. Does anything get more disgusting than that? All just for this one and only chance to get into the White House? What a shame.


The 29th Olympiad Closed

The games have ended. The closing ceremony is done. I have just done watching the closing ceremony thanks to the monopoly of NBC on the TV broadcasting rights in this country. I believe it when the NBC host said the Beijing Olympics was the most memorable among the many Olympics he had been involved -- at least it should be as memorable as any one of them.

All in all, it has been a very successful Olympiad. I didn't realize that Ann Arbor, this small mid-western college town, had so much to do with the Olympics. There are many memorable moments even for me who don't care much about sports. Particularly, Michael Phelps will be remembered for his 8 gold medals in swimming. Usain Bolt will be remembered as the fastest running man. The US has won the most number of medals, while China has won the most number of gold medals. As some NBC commentator said on the screen, everybody won.

Then of course, not everybody has won. I hope that people would also remember Liu Xiang. He is a hero who went down on his battleground. Beijing and its people have endured a lot to make the whole event a success. Then there are those who got swept aside by the enormous force pushing the Beijing Olympiad. It's one big world, but people definitely still have different dreams.

I believe people with the kind of patriotic opinions like Nie Weiping are in the minorities. In that respect, I admire what Lang Ping has been able to do after her career as a player.

China has impressed the world. But on the other hand, the effort to impress has been obvious -- that may or may not be the intension. Also impressive is that China has tried too hard. Especially their effort to project an image of torleration is silly: They tell the world that they allow protest but then make sure no one is capable to follow through with the registration.


第二十九届奥林匹克运动会 · 北京 · 二零零八











晚上电视历史频道播放《China's First Emperor》,现在正演到秦始皇焚书坑儒一段。




看 CCTV-4 的新闻联播节目,不知一次听到“多难兴邦”这个词汇,不知怎么,听得心里面很不舒服。说这种话的人立场似乎是在统治者那边,对于百姓而言,平平安安才是真的。灾难对于人性是一种检验,然而没有人希望靠灾难来给人性的坚强和民族的团结加注脚。尤其是共产党政府说这句话,让我觉得他们的心与受灾百姓的距离。他们身居庙堂高位,行事之间总是把形而上放在首位,这是所有政府都有的问题,而共产党的这种倾向比别人尤甚。


四川地震已经三个多星期了,“抗震救灾”早已经从救人转入对灾民的安置状态。都江堰等一些地方开始有一些因学校教学楼倒塌而死亡的学生家长开始聚集,手举着死去儿女的照片在政府楼前抗议。纽约时报的 Nicholas D. Kristof 在他的《Earthquake and Hope》一文中还说看到中国有希望变得更加开放和自信。然而时隔不久,中国政府却又回到以前那种自闭状态里,开始用对付上访者的办法来对付这些家长,同时又开始对国外记者的采访加以限制。本来中国政府的行为和形象在此次地震后受到民间自发的救灾活动的影响开始有所向开放转变,但是稍遇挑战,马上就表现出自闭症状,看来距离真正自信还远。



Experiencing AT&T High Speed Internet Services

I have been an AT&T high speed Internet (ADSL) customer for a number of years. Back in 2000, I was excited when Comcast, the only cable TV company in town after a number of years of consolidation in that industry, started to provide residential high speed Internet services. I was a cable TV customer then, so it was natural for me to take their offer immediately when it became available in our subdivision, then a relatively new development of some 200+ houses. The next year, Ameritech, then the mid-west baby Bell, pulled DSL near our subdivision and started to advertise their ADSL service for $14.95 a month or something like that. Cable Internet was something like $39.95 so it only took one call from an Ameritech salesman to convince me to switch. Over the years, Ameritech became SBC, which became AT&T -- which by the way says a lot about the value of the AT&T brand. The original 768/128Kbps ADSL service has evolved a number of offerings going all the way up to 6/1.5Mbps, comparable to cable's advertised data rates. I have stayed, in fact, upgraded my subscription along with that evolution.

Over the years, I have always wondered about, and posted the question to AT&T sales people, why they do not offer voice over IP phone service. I guess it is only a rhetorical question as I do understand the implication of that to the existing business structure in AT&T. AT&T has the resources to play catchup or buy up an upstart to offer VoIP. Anyways, when I learned that AT&T started to offer ADSL service without attached phone service, I decided to switch again.

I called up AT&T customer service, inquired about the high speed Internet service without home phone service attached. They told me to call the AT&T high speed Internet service and to ask for Dry Loop service. So I did. The lady on the phone was very nice. She gave me a 10-digit account number and told me that my phone service would be stopped in about a week or so, and the Internet service might also be interrupted for up to 24 hours. I was a little surprised that it would take that long for such a simple change which should take a computer probably 5 seconds to complete. But then again, I was not too surprised either given my past experiences with the phone service giant.

That was more than a week ago. Yesterday, my home phone service went away but the ADSL link stayed up. I was again a little surprised. I thought may be I was lucky.

But it happened today. Lynn called me at work and told me about an error message saying that there was a problem with my AT&T high speed Internet connection.

I called AT&T DSL tech support, gave the lady my 10-digit account number. She asked back if I was Mr. so and so. I was confused but said no, I was not. After a short conversation she realized that my account number was wrong and she has no way to pull up my information on her computer. She had to transfer me to another department to get the account information sorted out. A gentleman picked up my case and we started trying to figure out what was wrong with the 10-digit account number. He had to pull another person from another department in to help with the mystery. When we finally dug up my information form AT&T's database, my account number was nothing like the 10-digit given to me and written down a week ago. The AT&T gentleman told me that there was a problem on my line and AT&T would have to dispatch some one to my house on Sunday.

Came home in the evening, I tried to get online and up on the browser came this error 102 message saying something like AT&T has found a problem with your high speed Internet connection. I realize that the error actually means that my DSL link does not have a problem. There is obviously something missing in the setup of my DSL line that AT&T is blocking my outbound IP traffic. That AT&T should be able to fix over the phone.

So I called up AT&T DSL tech support line again since the error message said they were available 24x7. After fighting with the nice female computer voice for a while, I finally got through to a gentleman. His name was Kevin. He spoke with a slight Indian accent.

Kevin started very nicely, talking to me like he was talking to a 300-year old man who never touched a computer in his life. After I told him about the error message, he started asking me questions. It was all the usual stuff, did I have a MAC or a PC, what operating system was I running, how did I connect to the Internet, etc. Then he asked if I had a router. I did but I was not going to get into that kind of complicated situation. So I decided to lie. I told him that I did not have a router. It had to be something simple that had nothing to do with the router.

Kevin told me to open the Control Panel. That suggested that he had enough technical details to troubleshoot the problem. So I played along. He asked what I had in Network Connections. I told him that I had a Local Network Connection and nothing else. Kevin said "Aha!" excitedly. He started telling to Add a New Connection. I was going to play along but I had to put a PC running Windows on the modem. That took a minute or two and Kevin grew impatient with my slow response to his instructions. Finally I got the PC ready. Kevin told me to connected to an IP address, use attyahooreg@sbcglobal.net in there as the user id and my 10-digit account number as the password. It dawned on me that it was a registration process. After that was done, I got to choose my user id and password. My ADSL service was restored. Kevin was quite excited that my problem was resolved and asked me repeatedly if I was completely satisfied with his service. Honestly, I was quite satisfied. However, this whole issue was caused by this simple registration process that no one at AT&T told me about. AT&T ADSL service apparently was able to connect me to their web server to display an elaborate error message, which means that they could probably told me to register my account then and there. Then again, this registration process makes sense to a new AT&T ADSL customer. For an existing customer making a change in the service, this whole process could have easily been taken care of by a computer.


Presidential Election Primaries Coming to End

The 2008 presidential election primary season is coming to its end today. It looks like Barack Obama is going to win the Democratic Party nomination. It's too bad for Hillary Clinton. She was so far ahead of the rest of the Democrats in the beginning. I guess she didn't have an adequate plan to deal with Obama's win ever since Iowa.

However, to me, this extended primary season, at least on the Democrat's side, is a good thing. There are reports of the candidates visiting Montana on NPR today. To think of it, since Montana has always had its Democratic primaries in the end of the season, its choices have not been counted as much. Is that a good thing? Not to me, at least. So I really don't get all those cries for an early ending of the contest. Maybe people in Montana don't care who gets the nomination. But permanently exclude the later primary states from the nomination process can hardly be called democratic.

With all Obama's change slogans, I still don't know if he has the real ability to get things done when he gets elected. There has been op-ed articles in the News on the similarities between Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. I admire the 39th president of the United States as a person. But today's world demands more than good qualities from a president, especially after Bush leaving this country in such bad shape.

There is also a danger of putting ideology before getting things done. My wish is that people in this country will get universal health insurance coverage during the next four years. Withdrawing from Iraq should not be the first priority of all, even thought that is an extremely important issue.


Tibet (9)

Many of you Chinese think Americans are innocent and simple minded. I must say that those of you who think so are in fact ignorant or misinformed. Reading this article titled «China represses rights of Tibetans while exploiting Olympics», you have to admire how easily an American simplifies a matter like Tibet that has confounded all you Chinese for that many hundreds of years. Especially the current Chinese government. How naive! They think they could change lives in Tibet by pouring money in there.

All you Chinese should step down from your high horse of pride, unload the burden of your thousands years of history, and embrace the wisdom of Americans. Learn from the way the natives who used to roam this continent have been dealt with: Kill them off! Or at least keep them in their own corners so that no one hears a peep from them. Keep them impoverished. Trying to improve their living? You dumb Chinese are only creating trouble for yourselves!

Learn to build a democratic society! Learn the sophistication of manipulation. Look at the Chinese government and compare them with the sophisticated American politicians. You Chinese are so primitive that you are the ones should be treated as barbarians. Why use guns when you could manage with some paper printed black on one side and green on the other? Why keep the world out? Trying to hide something? Why? Fear that you can not manage a few journalists? Then shell them to death! Why jail someone when you could simply make a scene and then put him to sleep permanently? Afraid that the world would be outraged? Rest assured! The world does not have the attention span to stay outraged. Besides, how hard could it be to say "sorry, mistake"?

See, all you Chinese? See how simple everything could have been?


Tibet (8)

I read both Nicholas Kristof's Thursday column and Sunday column on Tibet. He is probably as close as one can get for an American journalist that actually goes out to Tibet and try to understand the situation. However, his reporting leaves a lot to be desired, even not to tell the complete truth but for the sake of his readers' sanity.

Anyway, I find this comment highly offensive:

#2. May 15th, 2008 12:46 am

I could not help but think, maybe the recent earthquake in China is nothing else but karma for the brutal way China has and continues to treat Tibet.

Maybe, for once godless China ought to at least stop and listen to the laws of karma. The days of Mao and the gang of four is way are long over, China should open its eyes and free Tibet. It’s also doubtful if it’s going to be a superpower, what with all the substandard Walmart products it produces; besides, maybe what happened is nature’s way of saying 1 billion plus Chinese in this world are more than enough.

— Posted by M del Rosario

That is some cold-blooded karma!

My response to that piece of crap probably is not going to show up any time soon. So I repeat myself here:

I am a Chinese and I am an atheist. I have always respected and always will respect other people and their religions. But that commenter and his/her cold-blooded karma can go to hell as much as I care.






昨天从 NPR 广播里听到四川地震的消息,好生担心。不光是有朋友在那边,就只死伤人数过万这一条就使人震惊。而且死伤的数字随这通讯于交通的逐渐恢复只会继续增加。

这段时间广播里面一直听到缅甸的军方政府拒绝接受西方的援助。我能明白这些人担心什么,却替那受灾的几十万百姓不平,真正受这种政策所害的只有他们。所幸中国已经不再是那种闭关锁国的状态了,至少中国政府公开表示欢迎援助,这与 76 年唐山地震之后的情形大不相同。



Natasha Yefimov of the New York Times selected some comments on Nicholas Kristof's blog entry «Grace Wang and Chinese Nationalism», my comments included. (无忌 thinks there’s an intentional distortion of truth in the Western media coverage.)

Nationalism has been used to describe Chinese a lot lately. So it was interesting to read «The Color of Loyalty» in the latest issue of the Time. In this viewpoint article by Michael Eric Dyson, a sociology professor at Georgetown University, I read for the first time that Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's former pastor, "surrendered his student deferment in 1961, voluntarily joined the Marines and, after a two-year stint, volunteered to become a Navy corpsman. He excelled and became valedictorian, later a cardiopulmonary technician and eventually a member of the President's medical team. Wright cared for Lyndon B. Johnson after his 1966 surgery, earning three White House letters of commendation."

In the case of Grace Wang, I have not gone reading much on Chinese websites to see what have been posted. I believe there are probably death threats to her and her family -- there are shameless people in China just like anywhere else in the world. But I seriously doubt that any of those posters, many likely anonymous, has the guts to act on the threat. I have, just for the heck of it, gone on YouTube to read a couple of pages of the comments on some Jeremiah Wright videos posted there. I don't want to repeat any of the trash I have read. It suffice to say there are threats there as well.

In the same issue of Time, there is also an article by Simon Elegant from Beijing. The author also writes on Time's China Blog. In the article, Mr. Elegant painted the nationalism of China so imminently dangerous, I couldn't help but wonder, why has he not pulled his family out of there yet? His resentment of Chinese shows clearly in his writings. It is hard to fathom why he lives there. After all, the salary he is paid does not possibly make it worthwhile living among "goons and thugs" (Mr. Jack Cafferty of CNN) and risking his life.

A comment on the Grace Wang incident from Yoshi, who sees a victim complex may have some truth to it, even though it may have come from a Japanese. It is probably much easier to see a victim complex from a victimizer's stand point than the other way around. But I have a hard time accepting the argument that the Chinese should just "put their past behind them" when much of Japan to this day does not even acknowledge what had happened in Nanjing 72 years ago. I for one, would not likely to forget the "Eight-Nation Alliance", as I am reminded of it every time I go to the Palace Museum in Beijing.


Rethinking "Human Rights"

First thing first, the guy in this image I saw earlier today stole my idea. Now it's out there, I can only say, if some one starts a fund for the cause, I will donate 1 cent a day.

The events and media reporting in the last few weeks got me reading a lot and thinking quite a bit at the same time. Today, a bunch of friends had a dinner party. The gents naturally leaned towards discussion of politics and social issues. It makes me rethink the term Human Rights a bit.

A lot has been discussed. Human rights is often spoken as an absolute term, somewhat like the word God. Yet, like most, if not all, things of the human world, rarely do we see anything that is absolutely this or that. It could be my ignorance. But it seems worth rethinking about human rights itself. There will need to be a lot of research. I think I could get bored and simply let go of what I want to write about.


Listening to the Dalai Lama

I went to the Peter Wege lecture today at the University of Michigan Crisler Arena today. The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was the guest speaker. At first, I was underwhelmed. In the end, he came across to me as a decent human being judging from what he said in the two hours.

It got me thinking, how has this old Tibetan monk, with his incoherent English with no "grammar rules" as he admitted, become such a spiritual figure to so many people? The mystery of Tibetan Buddhism is part of it. His simplified messages about Buddhism and human nature are the other and larger part. His talks present him as a human that a lay person can easily accept, more so than any propaganda from the Chinese leaders or the lies and media spins from the American leaders. At the very least, he obviously has learned the happenings in the modern world. Today, He talked about global warming, overpopulation, over consumption, Christianity, even the poor in Washington D.C.

There were a large number of Chinese protesting outside the arena. I admit being on that side, agreeing the Beijing Olympics should not be taken hostage by any political group, and Tibet should remain an integral part of China. So my thoughts may be considered biased.

Thought one: Media in the west just don't get it. Not to mention the right wing extremists, even NPR does not quite get it. It may be hard to understand how a nation can get so emotional when others threaten to take the moment away from its people. But it is not impossible. One just need to go to the country and observe with an open mind how much effort ordinary people have put into the preparation for the games. Many may disagree with the government about hosting the Olympics. Many would rant and express their strong disagreement because the hardship of hosting the games bring to the people. But all that changes when others try to take the Olympics away from them. That is different. Call it nationalism or whatever, taking something away from a people that they believe (rightfully) is theirs can only meet with resentment. The gentleman in blue shirt was telling someone, "Most of these people (the protesters) don't even know why there are here." He didn't know how wrong he was. Most of the passers-by probably don't care much about right or wrong either in this matter.

Thought two: China needs to open up more. Be tolerant of political dissent. There is really no benefit for the government to shut people up. There is no shame in letting the world know about the problems in the country. When the outside world learn about China, they don't just see the dark side, they will learn the bright side, too. I think that is also part of why China is hosting the Olympics this year.

Thought three: The western media really need to clean up their act. I guess it may be difficult for them to get to Tibet. But has any media outlet made a serious effort to get there? Why would they rather rely on what the Tibetans outside the country told them what happened there? It is obvious to me that Tibet is not important enough for most of them to get the facts right. The person in this picture repeatedly screamed, "Open the door!" There were foreigners in Lhasa at the time of the riots, including jornalists, just not enough of those who can stand on their own to tell what truly happened.

Thought four: The 14th Dalai Lama is a capable and smart politician, maybe even more so than he is a spiritual person. I admire him for that. I think I can understand his frustrations: He is getting old, old enough for him to see death coming. He has been in exile for almost half a century. As a human being, he wants to go home. I believe he also sees reality. I am guessing it's probably those surrounding him that can not let go of the past and dream to go back to Tibet one day to rule over the people like they did in the past. The Dalai Lama talked much about "sustainability" -- although he admitted he could not pronounce that word, -- I don't believe the Tibetan society can sustain the monastery ruling structure. Tibetans may have changed enough that the monks will no longer be able to put much of the population under serfdom/slavery. On one hand, if the Dalai Lama dies in exile, the whole Tibetan exile community will face a huge dilemma. On the other hand, it is in the interest of China to find a political solution to the Tibet Question given the fact that many Tibetans do take the Dalai Lama as their spiritual leader.

Last thought: Tibetans are humans. They should be treated as humans with all their good, bad and ugly qualities. I don't buy the claim that any particular ethnicity is born peaceful, cruel, honest or untrustworthy. This person in Tibetan clothing in the center of this picture told me, in fluent English, that he was born in Tibet to a very poor peasant family, that he had been in exile for five years and he learned English in India and here in the US. I don't want to judge him in anyway. But I must say he is a lot smarter than I am. He must be super lucky to have such radiant skin tone after at least 15 years of harsh life in Tibet.


International Night

Went to the International Night at kid's elementary school. It was quite fun for the kids. I met an old gentleman from Pakistan who worked in their Embassy in Beijing in the 70's. He had good feelings towards China.

An old couple, likely from Palestine, asked the small group of us Chinese there, what is that China want from Tibet. I honestly could not think of anything materially significant. We told them that China just wants Tibet since Tibet was a part of China. Even though there have been many variables in the history between the two peoples. But the history is not like that of the Middle East, between Palestine and Israel. After hearing us, they said that side of the story had not been told. Indeed.

Tibet has been part of China since the 1300's. I am guessing the weakness of that society of the past probably had much to do with its structure besides the harsh natural environment conditions. I can only guess how much it took the whole society to feed all those number of monks. For those who were in the monastery system, life might not be bad. But for those at the bottom of the society who had to carry all the burden for producing, feeding and caring for the monasteries, I can not even begin to imagine how heavy the load must have been.

It simply is no surprise that one would prefer to sit on his butt and pray all day if all possible. It is no surprise that there are people who want a "free Tibet" that allow them to do just that. But judging from history, a "free Tibet" is simply an open invitation for the world powers to go in there to assert their influence for their own interests instead of Tibetans'. Just look at what the CIA did in Tibet in the 50's, I really wonder how the Tibetans in exile could bring themselves to seek support in the US government. They are so obviously expendable in those Americans' eyes.

It is also no surprise that, while much of Europe are joining the Union, the west is so bent on splitting China apart. Like we Americans say, "united we stand". That same thing is true for any people of the world. Imagine if the nations of the Middle East were united, would the Iraq war happen? Maybe yes, but more likely not.


"China demands apology from Cafferty"

Reading «China demands apology from Cafferty» is like reading a bad joke which is supposed to be funny but really not.

Mr. Jack looks depressed on TV lately for some unknown reason. He is on CNN to be a foul mouth, probably, to offend anyone he happens to want to for the day, sometimes for no apparent reason as I have seen him being rude on camera to his female colleagues. Otherwise, it defies logic that CNN would let him on the air.

The piece on CNN linked above shows the level of arrogance an American establishment could possibly reach. I don't know "where you can pay workers a dollar a month to turn out the stuff that we're buying from Wal-Mart." Certainly not anywhere in China that I know of.

CNN states:
He issued a clarification of his remarks on Monday's "Situation Room," saying that by "goons and thugs," he meant the Chinese government, not the Chinese people. It was unclear whether China's Foreign Ministry was aware of the clarification when it held the Tuesday news conference.
Nice try on CNN's part to play the victim here. But such word manipulation sounds to me like calling the thousands and thousands Iraqi civilians killed collateral damage. They are dead. Does it really matter what you call them?

I don't watch much TV. But I have kept CNN on my Dish Network subscription. Maybe it is time to cancel that subscription.


"An Incovenient Truth"

I watched Al Gore's movie yesterday. It was very interesting, informational and inspiring.

In the movie, Al Gore made the now famous joke, which went like this:
I am Al Gore. I used to be the next president of the United States.
Come to think of it, the joke is on us. We had a chance to make an intelligent choice, to make certain progress in the society. Yet, the opportunity passed us by. We ended up in a totally different direction. Now thousands are dead, tens of thousands are wounded, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are killed, many hundreds of thousands are rendered into refugees. The US economy is in the ditches. People are being foreclosed out of their houses bought in those boom years. What an enormous joke!

Critics of Al Gore seem to come from all corners of life. I remember reading in an IT magazine an article from an editor, calling Al Gore a hypocrite because he has a big mansion in Tennessee. But then it seems that not many people question the data Al Gore presented in his slide show. So even if Al Gore is a hypocrite as his critics claim, that is irrelevant to the ugly truth we all have to face: The climate has been and is being changed dramatically. We will all be affected if we sit on our hands and just let things happen the way corporate America wants.


Tibet (7)

Just read «The Snow Lion and the Dragon -- China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama» by Melvyn C. Goldstein. A great narrative of a brief history of Tibet and its relationship with China.

When Dalai Lama comes to Ann Arbor, I would really like to ask him two questions:

  1. He has announced to the world his aim for Tibet, which is not to seek independence but more (a lot more) autonomy. What is his strategy to reach that end goal?

  2. The United States prides itself for its diversity as a national strength. Does he think that is also true for Tibet?


Tibet (6)

Got to Calling China by Nicholas D. Kristof somehow. I was going to read all the comments. But there were so many of them, I only got as far as number 40 after a whole day. :-)

It's a hot discussion.

Then there is Tom Doctoroff's Tibet, Beijing and Olympic Sponsors: To Boycott or Not. Haven't read the whole thing yet but it seems to be an interesting piece.

Looks like my Tibet study is going to continue.



Chinese Netizens versus Western Media is not bad. It is not an every day affair that you see a western media on the defensive. On the other hand, the author is still trying to imply, however subtly, somehow all these bloggers are linked to the Chinese government -- maybe that is just my impression after reading the article.


"A Little Understanding, Please"

"A Little Understanding, Please" is kind of an interesting article. It is amusing to see those media dudes wonder why all of a sudden "the Chinese" hate them so much.

Indeed, a little understanding, please!

People in the west (that includes me) have much shorter attention span which seems to lead to shorter memory span. Nobody seems to deny that the CIA was involved in Tibet back in the 1940's and 1950's, but everybody seems to choose to forget or ignore that bit of history. When the US (although it is the government not the people) did and continue to do bad things all over the world, these American journalists wonder why their words are not being trusted? They are not really that, well, simple minded. Are they?


Now these are some believable accounts.


Will you vote for John McCain?

As much as I respect John McCain -- I trust him to be an honest person, I will not vote for him. Republicans may all be respectable individually. Yet the party is simply not. I have no respect nor trust in them whatsoever. I am not a Democrat, not even an independent. I am just me.

I am curious where those 19% of Obama supporters, or the 28% of Clinton supporters, who would vote for McCain live.

I guess I may donate to Hillary Clinton's campaign, just for the sake of supporting her staying in the race. It is supposed to be a competition. Is it not?

"Western Media Bias or outright fabrication on Tibet Riots"

Lies don't help anybody: Western Media Bias or outright fabrication on Tibet Riots

Pictures linked in the original posting, just in case that posting disappears:

"Journalism in China: Reality and Patience"

Mouthpiece, propaganda -- the Chinese government obviously has much to learn about western political correctness.

I find the term "patience" realistic, and "procrastinating" unfair.

I believe that China should have invited reputable media outlets like BBC and CNN into Tibet so that they can report on the "protects" "protests" as well as ordinary Tibetans -- not just those who beat people up in the streets. They don't need to worry about the safety of reporters in Tibet any more than the Americans in Iraq. I can understand why the Chinese government is so timid but don't see a reason for them to be.

Journalism in China: Reality and Patience



今天在 Google Reader 上读到《Root causes in Tibet》跟着读到华盛顿邮报上 Abrahm Lustgarten 的《What They're Really Fighting for in Tibet》,写得还有点意思。

“The Chinese had taken sledgehammers to large swaths of Lhasa's historic streets -- narrow cobblestone alleys pinned in by 400-year-old whitewashed buildings. They replaced entire neighborhoods with hastily built office buildings and dreary shops with all the hospitality of self-storage units. A $10 million shopping complex, its five stories bedecked in glass and billboards of scantily clad underwear models, opened blocks from the Jokhang. (The complex was torched in the protests.) Chinese dominated all sectors of the economy; they sold all the fruit, drove most of the taxis and mined all the minerals. And finally, in July 2006, the acclaimed Qinghai-Tibet railway opened for service, a transformation that released the floodgates.”
不知道别人的感觉如何,我读完这段的印象是全中国的人民(The Chinese)都扛着大锤到拉萨去砸那儿的街道去了。先不说在中国藏人也是 Chinese,他们还享有一些一般的汉人没有的权益,现在在中国并非只有汉人去拉萨,在北京的街上也同样有新疆人卖烤羊肉串、开店,即使汉人在拉萨垄断了水果和计程车生意,这也都是“Chinese”的错吗?不尽然吧?中国不应该修青藏铁路,而应该让西藏在高原上呆着,让藏人永远生活在与世隔绝的“香格里拉”幻境?

也许有很多在西藏发生了的事情不应该发生,拉萨的街道应该保有西藏的人文风格,但是这恐怕是当地政府的失责更多些。许多事按照美国这个民主社会的准则应该靠法律法规来解决,而不是靠杀人、放火。否则的话,北京人也可以到前门大街上放火烧了 KFC 的店了。中国有无穷多的事可以做得更好,包括政府对于人权的态度,急待改进。但是,杀人放火就是杀人放火,怎么修饰也还是杀人放火。
“China has consistently pursued a policy of "taming" its far-flung western regions through economic and ethnic assimilation. It has crafted tax incentives to encourage Han business owners to move west from eastern cities and has loosened migration rules. "Go West, Young Han" is the clarion call of the times. Chinese state-run firms have staffed large construction projects such as the railway and even local road building with Han Chinese contractors and crews, who send their earnings home.”
不知道文章的作者有没有跟汉人聊过这个问题,不知道有多少汉人愿意离乡背井到西藏高原去生活。至少我这个 Chinese 如果要下决心到西藏去安家的话,绝对不会是一个轻易的决定。中国是有鼓励去西藏投资的政策,不过即便如此,我想这种政策鼓励的不是“汉人”而是“资本”。如果西方真的关心藏人的福祉,在高喊人权和宗教自由口号的同时,不如也鼓励一下外面世界的资本到西藏去。我想那才是真正对于生活在西藏的藏人的关爱。



今天是美军入侵伊拉克第六年的开始。CNN 在播一个片子《Shock and Awe -- 5 Years Later》,刚刚播完,Anderson Cooper 说,五年前谁也没想到这一战会打这么久,而五年之后我们又会怎样,谁也无法预料。我反感这种说法。真的没有人预料到五年之后会是今天这种样子吗?事实并非如此,至少 NPR 就报道过几个前 CIA 分析师的预测分析,其准确程度让人吃惊。

翻看我自己的笔记,2004 年 4 月 9 日有这么一段:
“ 猜测一下伊拉克的未来,不难看到最好与最坏的结局。最好的结局,就是伊拉克再出现一个强人,能够镇住暴乱的各方,然后出现的伊拉克国家或许分裂,或许保持统一,或许变成伊斯兰国家,或许真的出现民主——尽管可能性极小。而最坏的结局,恐怕伊拉克斯四分五裂,内战云起,而伊斯兰极端份子乘虚而入,建立基地,制造事端。”
今天看伊拉克的局势,似乎介于我估计的最好与最坏之间,但是偏坏的一端更多。美军在伊拉克的数量尚足够维持大的局面。但是今年总统大选民主党胜出的机会极大,这样明年开始美军从伊拉克开始减防势在必行,如果 Obama 当选,撤军的速度大概会更快一些。这样一来,伊拉克目前的政府能否控制局面,看好的人大概不多。




早上从 BBC World 的广播里面听到一点西藏的消息,有目击报道中国的武警紧急反应部队大量往西藏和边缘省区增兵。BBC 的报道说甘肃也有藏人抗议活动,但是 BBC 报道本身似乎平淡一些了。


昨天和今天,断续读完了 Michael ParentiFriendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth。确实是很值得一读的文章,不过他整篇的叙述、评论,与他最后的结束语却有极大的矛盾:“If China is the great success story of speedy free market development, and is to be the model and inspiration for Tibet’s future, then old feudal Tibet indeed may start looking a lot better than it actually was.” 也许是他对中国不顾一切的急速发展带来对自然与人文环境的破坏有切齿痛恨,“But still, a gouged eye is a gouged eye; a flogging is a flogging; and the grinding exploitation of serfs and slaves is a brutal class injustice whatever its cultural wrapping.” 这些都是他的原话。

今天也读了 Joshua Michael Schrei 写的《A Lie Repeated - The Far Left’s Flawed History of Tibet》,觉得水平很低。首先,他卷首引用的那句“谎言重复一千遍就变成真理”不是“毛主席语录”,一上来就这么生搬硬套,后面能有什么高见也就可想而知了。



西藏的情形今天不知道怎么样了。前几天在 BBC 网站上看到一点视频,感觉悲哀。这件事挑头的不知道是什么人,但是从 BBC 看到的藏人满街追打汉人,抢东西,烧商店,觉得这种“抗议”无疑是挑动共产党出动军队,而挑起这种“抗议”活动的人别有用心。当时在 BBC 的 Have Your Say 页面上发了一番评论。不知是我没有登录还是怎么,我的评论没有登出来。当时写了老长,今天没兴趣再去写了。

BBC 的《Q&A: China and Tibet》里面有这么一段:“Many Tibetans are angry at the increasing numbers of Han Chinese migrants arriving in the region, accusing them of taking the best jobs.” 估计在拉萨街头被追打的汉人就是藏人这种“angry”的发泄对象。如果这样,这些藏人更不知是受了什么人的蛊惑。我想,在街头开店的汉人不是到西藏去抢藏人工作的,他们大概也是为生计所迫,或者是为机会所吸引的普通生意人。

那天就在心里对达赖喇嘛对拉萨“抗议”活动的一面之词有些疑惑,今天在 BBC 果然看到达赖喇嘛出来表示如果拉萨的暴力活动不停止,他就辞职。达赖喇嘛的政治手腕果然圆滑,而中国政府相对之下显得愚笨而蛮横。中国嚷嚷“与国际接轨”许多年了,却对国际舞台上的游戏规则如此生疏,让人只有为他们遗憾。

在评论中看到有人推荐两篇东西,一是《Tibet Through Chinese Eyes》,一是《Friendly Fuedalism - The Tibet Myth》。看了看,还真的是有点意思。

Peter Hessler 在《Tibet Through Chinese Eyes》里写道:“ Talking with these young men was in many ways similar to talking with an idealistic volunteer in any part of the world. Apart from the financial incentive to work in Tibet, many of the motivations were the same -- the sense of adventure, the desire to see something new, the commitment to service.” 我自己也曾有过这样的经历。曾经遇到过一位女孩,当年她的美丽让二十岁的我几乎不敢直视,至今记忆尤深。第二次见到她的时候,她送他的新婚丈夫去西藏支教。他们两人让我感受到的是一种自知自觉的献身与涉险的精神。

...... To be continued ......


Media Bias and Objectivity

Media bias was the topic of discussion on CNN last night. Biased or not, is not really the most important issue. To be completely without bias is likely extremely difficult if not impossible. The most important aspect of a media outlet is its objectivity.

Here is an example of what I mean by objectivity: I have been watching CNN for the last hour or so. Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room repeatedly used the word desperately, as in "desperately desperately", in describing one of the Democratic candidates. That goes against my understanding of objectivity. What I want from the media, CNN included, is the facts -- nothing more, nothing less. Desperate or not, I believe I can make that judgement myself.

Be objective first. Then talk about bias. No dramatic entertainment necessary.


Change is not enough!

Barak Obama's motto for his campaign is Change. That has attracted much of the votes to his camp. Yet for me, change is not enough. I want progress.

Change is not necessarily progress. It only means to be different. Dramatic changes often brings swing motion, slowing down progress forward. This country needs moderation at this point. That may sound counter-intuitive, but is a core concept in the Confucius philosophy.

Maybe I am showing my age. Maybe it's because I have seen charisma induced disaster. I have become wary of people with flashy words. The wisdom of Confucius shows through his plain spoken language.

Anyway, the two Democratic candidates are both capable people to me. Even John McCain could make a good president. Too bad that he is a Republican.






今天(现在是昨天了)晚上,带着一家人去参加了上海交大校友的新年庆祝晚会。这次是与密西根上海协会、上海大学北美校友会一起,好几百人将一间大厅坐得满满当当,场面热闹。平时认识的人当中,居然有好几个交大的校友,没有想到。今天是第一次参加交大校友的活动,还赢了一个 raffle 的奖品,运气不错。






Ann Arbor Orchestra Night

Last night saw orchestras from all Ann Arbor middle schools and high schools in the Hill Auditorium. It was quite a night of pretty good performance, especially the high schoolers.

Next year, we'll probably see yet another orchestra from Skyline, the new high school that's going to open in the Fall.













今年是美国大选年,从去年忘了几月份开始,竞选活动就开始热闹起来了。随着各州两党候选人初选活动的开始,全国上下就不亦乐乎起来。当然主要是各大媒体,大家都在绞尽脑汁地抓住每一点小小的事情拼命大作文章,一会儿谁要哭了,一会儿谁的声音哑了。本来我还一直看 CNN 的新闻,现在都有些烦了。

共和党的候选人不管是谁,我是不会投他们的票的。John McCain 人是个正直的人,但是他终究还是个共和党人,一旦上台必然还是执行共和党人的政策,尤其是在伊拉克战争这个主题上,他的立场我无法接受。美国在伊拉克是最终要失败的,早认识到这一点,早做打算,或许还可以早一日从泥潭里脱身。如果还一味要追逐“胜利”的幻影,最终只有落得白白丧失更多的人命和钱财。共和党只知道追逐一党私利,基本到了着魔的程度,与中国共产党、甚至台湾的民进党已经没有多少区别了,令人不耐。








不过,反观 Blogger.com,似乎他们也没有什么大的改变。是 Google 对他们不看好吗?或者是我自己来这里太少,没有看到他们的变化?我一直想找一付不是固定宽度的皮囊(theme),就一直没有看对眼的。

【编辑】:Blogger 叫做模板(Template)。换了一个可以拉伸的,试试看。