Sunday, February 17, 2019

Europeans Express Their Disgust at Trump Regime

Vice President Pence and other members of Trump's administration and family are getting the cold shoulder in Europe. America' which once created the Marshall Plan, with money that helped European countries rebuild after the Second World War, is no longer thought about as the American Way.
The American Way is now represented by our dunce of a president, a man considered odious and stupid by many Europeans. Ever since our involvement in seemingly unending wars in the Middle East we've been less admired, but Trump has taken Europe's view of America to a new low. I wouldn't wear a Make America Great Again hat if you're visiting the Continent. You just might get spit on.

Friday, February 15, 2019

The Mueller Brace that Keeps My Head Straight

As you've probably read I'm disabled, but there are things that help me get through the day. Because my wrists are shot, I use braces to exercise my arms. One of my braces says "Mueller" on it. When my anger at Trump runs high, I look at this brace and think we'll get our country back. Of such small things is hope composed of.

as you've

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The College Board Gets It Right

In Thomas L. Friedman's column in The New York Times he talks about important changes to the College Board Exams. This can replace all the Advanced Placement Classes students cram for and then forget. I am speaking as a professor emeritus from a Cal State.
1. The knowledge test on our constitution. Most of my students didn't know how many senators California had. much less the concept of presidential succession when a president dies, much less what's in the Bill of Rights. And yet these people are allowed to vote. If you're going to be tested on this, that will make up for what they didn't learn in  the Los Angeles School System( I had students who couldn't read)

2. The second test will involve computer science and coding. If they aren't forced to learn about computers before they go to college they may never learn and they'll be unemployable (In the CSU I taught at the math requirement could be filled by taking an advertising class).

Since all students in China have to know calculus to get into a university. this is not too much to ask.

Monday, February 11, 2019

The True Degradation of the Trail of Tears

One of worst thing about reading American History is finding out the country you love was capable of extreme cruelty to those Americans who were not white. Mary Glickman has written an incredibly moving account of Trail of Tears, called an Undisturbed Peace. Andrew Jackson was an evil President and it’s no surprise that another evil President, Donald Trump, made a joke about it the other day . The Cherokee dressed like white Americans and had a city called Echota where the homes looked like those in Boston or Philadelphia. Despite this their land was taken and they were driven across the Mississippi,with many of them dying along the way.Other tribes had children and adults set in burning piles as they succumb ed to Cholera. This barbarity continues today as I saw the Onondaga, a tribe of the Iroquois demeaned outside the reservation by being called “chief.” Just as the racists call blacks “Dr.” this designation demeans the American c  called by this slur.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

El Paso is a safe All American City

The people in El Paso love their city which is one of the safest in th United States. I once was visiting El Paso to visit a family there. The father insisted I be given a tour. The pride in his voice for the city, as we saw almost every thing there was to see, ended when we looked at the beacon on the mountains behind the city. I have seen the statistics on the town I love, Syracuse, New York, and El Paso is a much safer place to live. Don’t believe Trump when he shits on towns near the border. I would be proud to live there.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Google Never Cared Much About Google Plus

This story may be apocryphal  but I believe I read it. Zuckerberg heard about Google Plus and hurried over to Google headquarters. He expected to see all the lights on. When the facility appeared to be empty of high levels of activity,he stopped worrying. A significant start up doesn’t look like that. Google is closing the doors by April on plus. No surprise; they never really cared about it ,anyway.

You Voted For Trump: Now Pay Higher Taxes

If you’ve incorporated yourself as a business or live in a state without a State Tax, you can pass this blog and go back to your video game. However if you live in a place like Oswego, N.Y. You might want to keep reading. Your county voted for Trump in 2016 and now your income taxes are higher than last year. Trump and the Republicans lowered taxes on the very rich, but raised them for you. You can’t write off your state income tax or property taxes against your federal tax, so you’re screwed. This county was where I lived on a farm, and loved going to the Pulaski and Sandy Creek Methodist Churches. I was a counselor at Camp Zerbe, the Boys Club camp, and loved the Salmon River ,going to its source. It was a great place to live. Now, for ordinary people, it’s a little more expensive place to live.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Songs to Assist Meditation

These pieces were picked out by sound engineers:
Enya Watermark
Enya Orinoco Flow
DJShah mellomaniac (Chillout mix)
All Saints Pure Shores
Rue de Soleil  We Can Fly
Marconi Union Weightless
Coldplay Strawberry Swing
Rebecca Newman. Canzonetta Sull’Aria 

Monday, February 4, 2019

The ABC Murders on Prime:They Have Murdered Hercule Poirot

I suppose there are people who think that turning Agatha Christie on her head and showing how ghastly the world really is adds something to literature (or in this case, the silver screen) . I am not amongst them. I still can’t believe I sat through the whole ghastly production. If you are the kind of person who think there should be Nazi Stormtroopers in “My Fair Lady” than this is something you might like. If you can believe Poirot was a priest in the Great War than this could be your cup of Earl Grey. There are detectives who who lead us into the London world of Jack the Ripper, but Agatha Christie took us into country houses where many people were Lords and Ladies. After I finished my dissertation, I read as much Agatha Christie as I could. I wanted to escape into this idealized England as far as I could (you know from my latest blog that would be too hard for me to do today.) Agatha Christie doesn’t represent enlightenment, she represents pleasant escape.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Brexit and Chinese Opium

Every time I start to feel sorry for the position Great Britain faces with Brexit, I go back to my reading of Chinese History and the Chinese Opium Wars. In Great Britain opium was illegal, with the prospect of death for possession. Despite this the British Navy forced opium on China and engaged in  two wars to force it on the Chinese Government, therefore increasing the number of opium addicts. Any attempts by China to limit access to opium was illegal and could be countered by the British with the use of force. If you look at how the British treated the Irish or the Indians when they enslaved them, you have to think it’s time the British were paid back for their arrogance and brutality. The upper classes never acknowledged citizens of these countries as their equals. Maybe it’s time for the sunset on the British Upper Class which were incompetent in the First World War and allowed so many men to be slaughtered in the trenches. Maybe the Union Jack should be lowered and embalmed.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Only 2 phrases in Chinese a guy needs

The first phrase is Ni hen mei li. This means you’re telling a Chinese  girl she’s beautiful. Don’t worry about the use of the word “girl”  In China a woman can be called a girl until she’s 30.

The second phrase shows how well your first phrase worked: Wo ting Tai Tai de. That means I listen to my wife. You should be prepared to say that frequently.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

No Porches in Southern California

When folks moved to Southern California from the Midwest the first thing they built was a house with a great porch. (This was when the Iowa Picnic was the largest event in the state). They soon came to regret this, because Southern California does not have twilight. If you’ve never been here you can’t imagine how cold a concept that is. You and your friends can’t sit in the evening twilight and discuss the kids or the folks left behind in Des Moines.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Jill Lepore Keeps Helping Me Refine My Perspective on America

The thing I’ve always hated about American History is the incidences of cruelty. I’ve never wanted to spend much time reading about Andrew Jackson because there was so much cruelty then. I always have two or three books going at the same time and one of them is Jill Lepore’s one volume American History. I’m a Mayflower descendant(for all that’s worth) and my relatives all may have their place in the barbarism (John Brown caused a lot of deaths at Harpers Ferry and he clearly didn’t have all his marbles). We all celebrate Columbus Day and many seem to think it’s part of American History (When Columbus landed on Hispaniola there were 3,000,000 people. 50years later there were  500. )These are truths Lepore brings out. She says we just might as well start with 1492 because “the Nation’s founding truths were forged in a crucible of violence, the products of staggering cruelty and slaughter.”
In my mind I can see Trump as a cruel slaveholder with a whip. It would be easy for him because he only cares about himself. This is not a man who could write “Amazing Grace.”

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Netflix Will Do Anything for Money

I’ve been out and about in West Los Angeles, where Netflix is promoting an interview with Ted Bundy, a man who has killed countless number of women. He has to be a very sick dude who will just show us how he thinks. We need to know this, why? So copycats can begin their plans for their multiple killings of women? I will never look at this and the fact that Netflix has done this shows that there are people at Netflix who will do anything for money. What’s next a collection of beheaings of missionaries.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Let Them Eat Cake

If it wasn’t bad enough that federal employees were working without a paycheck or furloughed without an income, they had to listen to a billionaire, Secretary of Commerce Ross question why they went to food banks, when they just could have gotten a loan (loans from the Commerce credit union had a rate of 8.98 percent). Everyone has awakened to the fact that Trump and his minions can’t relate to a TSA employee making $35,000 a year. Trump’s people believe in right wing ideas you can only afford to have if your daddy is always giving you large amounts of money. Fitzgerald once said “the rich are different from you and me.” Ain’t it the truth.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Girl From the North Country

When I go out and test my disability with a walk in the Neighborhood, I always hear a song I didn’t know I had. At first it was a country playlist. Then I added the rock I loved growing up. After that I added the singers I loved from popular music; Nat King Cole, Rosemary Clooney( before White Christmas) Jo Stafford (what a voice) and some others I can’t forget. Today, although I probably had it there for a long time, thanks to APPL music, I heard Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan singing “Girl from the North Country. I gues that’s enough to take my mind off the pain as I wonder what’s next.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Trump Doesn’t Want a Deal with China

Trump doesn’t want a deal with China. He just called off an important meeting between the two powers. What he wants is headlines while he fiddles while Rome burns. His negotiator, Robert Lighthizer believes, like Trump, that China is a potentially existential threat to the American economy. Only America has the right to be a world power. China promised to buy American goods that would even up the trade balance, so China is trying to get an agreement. China will soon have 5G, which we won’t have. That is 100 times as fast as 4G. They couldn’t have stolen that from us because we don’t have it. If APPL only has 4G, who in China will buy their phones? Assuming the Chinese are a bunch of dopes who can only steal from us, is writing off 5,000 years of history, where to move up you had to pass hard exams. The Shanghai school district has the best students on the planet. American students aren’t even  in the same league. When you have taught college students who can’t really read, as I have, you know where we stand as a country.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Trump’s Bullshit on DACA

Trump, the Antichrist, did a very nasty thing in his recent attempt to put an end to the shutdown that’s making America look like a joke to the countries that used to respect us. Obama, who had an adult heart capable of compassion, created DACA to help the children who were brought here illegally and have thrived here. Implicit in this program was that it lead to citizenship. Trump offered to not deport them for three years.
Oh great, they can hang in limbo for three more years before we toss them out, especially if the Republicans remain in office. There are few Republicans that have anything approaching a heart.(When they do an autopsy on them will we find out where they have hidden the 666)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

My Wonderful Chinese Friends

Now that we’ve heard from Kai Fu Lee and his glorification of these take no prisoners internet entrepreneurs, I’d like to talk about the wonderful Chinese friends who have made my life better. Chinese that I know take friendship very seriously. One of my friends made me The Godfather to his son, Ethan. When I couldn’t get to Beijing to see him, he flew to Nanjing and we talked for a couple of hours.
Some friends just came to visit us and, because she knew I loved it, brought me a lot of Long Jing Cha (Dragon Well Tea). It was great to have them here and because she teaches acupuncture at a prestigious university, took out the disposable needles she travels with and worked on me because my disability involves a lot of pain.
I won’t be able to travel anymore, I hope you’ll find the joy I felt visiting China. You should always bring a gift when you visit the home of a friend. The most common gifts are tea or scarves (so they probably have a closet full already) so come up with something original. Be yourself, it has worked very well for me, and you can get close to someone Chinese much faster than in America where many people have different masks to put on to protect themselves . Friendships are formed quickly. If you know how cold Los Angeles is, be prepared for a different world.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Chinese Don’t Care What They Have To Do To Get Rich

People who know China know that most businessmen in the Middle Kingdom will do anything to make money. Now the former head of China Google extols the mindset that says  making money is the only thing that matters to the entrepreneurs who are working on Artificial Intelligence and creating new internet platforms.
Kai Fu Lee says “they are first and foremost market-driven. Their ultimate goal is to make money, and they are willing to create any product, adopt any model or go into any business that will accomplish that objective.
“It doesn’t matter where an idea came from or who came up with it. All that matters is whether you can execute it to make a financial profit. The grand prize is getting rich and it doesn’t matter how you get there.”
He states this in his new book”A1 Superpowers:China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order”
I personally know many Chinese people with tremendous ethics and a strong moral sense, but Lee is not talking about my friends, but of some amoral entrepreneurs he believes will get to run the world’s internet because they will do anything to win.
I’m glad I bought this book because  now I am scared shitless about what happens next between our two countries. This book does not make me sleep easy.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Is Trump a Russian Agent?

Trump and Putin have met five times. We’ve never been told what they talked about. In fact, on one occasion Trump took the interpreters notes away from him/her. The FBI has been trying to find out if he’s an agent. So, the Republicans try to demean the FBI and question the agency’s integrity. We need to know why Trump is always praising Putin. Is it because he’s a traitor?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Fang Pi

Like a lot of us, Chairman Mao didn’t trust Russia. He famously said that when Russians open their mouths Fang Pi comes out. In Chinese fang pi means farts. We don’t know whether Trump was acting as a Russian agent or not, but Many of us agree that when Trump opens his mouth fang pi emerges.

Trump is incapable of speaking without lying or blaming others for problems he created. So the next time Trump appears on the television , say fang pi and switch to another channel.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

S.W. Hubbard and her Adirondack Mysteries

A great novelist, S.W. Hubbard, has create an Adirondack mystery series featuring Frank Bennet, a small town sheriff as mortal as the next man, but full of warmth (most of the time) for his fellow man. You go along with a character who suddenly turns out to have hidden depths.  You make assumptions that are proven untrue. I’ve read the five books in the series and wonder what I’ll do now that I can’t live near the park anymore. My grandmother was a Whitney from Lake Placid and I am related to the John Brown who led the raid on Harpers Ferry, so this would be my kind of world. However, with a heavy heart I say goodbye. Now it’s your turn to read these books.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Lawyers Show Manafort is a Traitor

Paul Manafort, who was once Trump’s campaign manager, shared political polling data with a business associate with ties to Russian intelligence. This sleazy information was mistakenly included in a court filing by Manafort’s lawyers. It was a formatting error in a document which was supposed to respond to charges Manafort lied to prosecutors after he agreed to cooperate with them. It reminded me of Hamlet where they say first let’s kill the lawyers. Manafort’s legal team should have been hit by a bus in order to not bring this evidence so close to Trump’s hierarchy. There are so many of the Presidents cohorts and children under investigation it resembles cleaning a cesspool.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

How We Ended Up With Trump

I held my nose in 2016 and voted for Hillary. It’s clear that the people running the DNC wanted her to be the candidate, but would another Democrat have lost to Trump and started this long national nightmare. I personally don’t believe it. Her husband cheated on her with many women and she was mute about it. She and Bill always wanted to be both politically successful and rich. She knew she was going to be running for President after she stopped being Secretary of State, but she accepted invitations to speak to banks for a lot of money. The Clintons always thought they were entitled to both money and power. It ended badly, but it wasn’t just Trump’s fault. I despise him and call him the Antichrist, but the Democrats provided him with enough help that they can’t be held blameless.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Apple’s Incredible Arrogance

I wrote a blog earlier about how the most highly rated analyst said the AAPL phones were too expensive to sell at the price AAPL had listed. Let’s look at the reasoning behind their decision making. When Steve Jobs died he didn’t leave one cent to charity. There has always been the assumption at AAPL that we are better and can charge what we want. It’s not important how we treat our customers because they will always come back. Let’s see how that worked. Since October 13, 2018, AAPL stock has lost 39.1 percent of its value. Out of the S and P 500, 496 stocks are worth less in total than the amount AAPL lost. I love their operating system, but hate that I’m linked to a company that doesn’t give a shit what I have to pay to stay in it.

We Need Hope to Survive Trump

As a Mayflower descendant I care just about as much for our country as I’m sure you do. Because I truly beleve that we were all created equal I can see a time in which we all work together to undue the destructive moves Trump has made to injure our environment and pit citizen against citizen. Remember those few days after 9/11 when we all felt like one people and we treated strangers as if they were friends? I hope we can experience that again, because with all Americans working together there isn’t anything we can’t do.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

If you’re disabled, don’t Fly Alaska

I wonder who puts these Airlines evaluations together. Let me state the facts. Because of my disabilities, my wife and I decided to fly first class for the first time in our lives. Our daughter is an MD in Hawaii and we knew this was the last long airplane trip I would ever take. United checked our bags at the curb and showed up with a wheelchair. Later we would be met with a wheelchair in Hawaii where you get up to the exit ramp. We were surrounded with extra long blanket pillows and I could recline so the piriformis wouldn’t press on my sciatic nerve.
The return was very unpleasan. Although they knew I was disabled, I and my wife had to carry five bags to the counter. Before we got there, we put the bags through the agricultural check required by Hawaii. I saw an Alaska employee and asked for help. He took our bags and put them through the agricultural check again and then walked away. No one would help us get our bags to the counter. When we got there I handed the woman my California proof of disability and they finally issued me a boarding pass. Their first class was like business class on other airlines. The entire trip my piriformis pressed on my sciatic nerve and I really wanted to die. The difference between the two airlines was stark and I should have flown coach home. Never believe the airline rankings.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Trump and the Republican’ts

For two years the party of Trump has failed to exercise any control over the executive branch, especially the corrupt personage of Donald “lying scumbag”Trump. More and more of the people, who are more angry than intelligent, have started to realize they’ve been sold out by the tax cuts for the rich and the the new silos filled by soybeans they could’t sell to China. His lies pile up on other lies creating a mountain of trash talk. John McCain called him out and you get the feeling Flake and Cornyn would like to. However, everything the Republicans used to stand for have been thrown over the side of the GOP boat. Will the Republican Party survive their cowardice. I sure hope not. I’m a Mayflower descendant who wants his country back.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Sorry Melania, You’re Off My List

I was once in this swimming program for the disabled. One family there was Black and I came to look forward to their being there because they picked up my spirits. One day I dumped on Melania Trump and they came down on me like a ton of bricks. When they expressed their feelings, I felt shame.If there was any group that had nothing to gain from Trump’s presidency, it was these good people. So I wrote a blog asking people to give her some slack. However, the only reason anyone would marry a cheating, malodorous scumbag like Trump was because he was rich. She had to sit there while newspapers listed his affairs and stick with him for one reason: money. Who in their right mind would put up with being married to this sleazeball. Only someone who was concerned with being dressed in the newest fashion would allow herself to being laughed at by a nation. The only reason someone gets married to a scumbag is for his money.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

How to Deal With Certain Forms of Disability

I’ve been legally disabled for four years and was headed for a wheelchair. But I was lucky enough to meet Dr. David T Yu. He got down on his hands and knees and taught me 35 exercises. What was really impressive is that he’s a 75-tear-old UCLA professor emeritus. I started on these exercises and some days the exercises had me in excruciating pain. I realized that if I wanted to continue to walk I had to suck up the pain and embrace it. Now I wake up and get on the floor. I’ve got(among other things) cervical spondylosis; stenosis, radiculopathy and other stuff. I have piriformis syndrome where the piriformis presses on the sciatic nerve. I think to myself “suck up the pain” and turn off the TV when Trump’s image comes on the screen. I’m a Christian, which helps a lot. So if you get disabled and there is a way to deal with it, try your best, if there are doable responses. There are some disabilities that no matter what you do you can’t change this. Believe me, you have my respect and Know I am praying for you every day. God bless you.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Will America Survive Until Christmas 2019

The stock market is in bear territory. The one Adult in the room, Marine General James Mattis, who planned to stay as secretary of defense until February, is leaving at the end of December because Trump didn’t like the way he said goodbye. Mattis didn’t like the way we were deserting the Kurds, the one group we’ve been able to count on in Iraq. The Kurds will now be decimated by the Turks. The blood will be on Trump’s hands, because he’s pulling our troops out  of Syria where we backed up the Kurds. Trump is the kind of person who’d pull us out of Bethlehem when he knew King Herod was heading that way. I can hear him saying “did Mary and Joseph expect us to stick around forever. I need those troops at the Mexican border.”

Friday, December 21, 2018

Facebook Stock Falls to 52 week low. Yippee

Ever since he was at Harvard and he was caught giving away private content, Mark Zuckerberg has been talking about the importance of privacy. The New York Times has been telling us in investigation after investigation how much bullshit those talks about the importance of privacy were. Today we’re presenting Zuckerberg with the Donald Trump honesty award. Google and Microsoft got all your private in formation on Facebook all the time. Facebook would sell your information to anyone willing to pay for it. Wednesday Facebook stock was down 10. Today, Facebook is down 8. Remember, Zuckerberg is Trump who knows how to add. I hope he also knows how to subtract so he can monitor his company’s worth.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Has Giuliani Lost His Marbles?

Every time Rudy Giuliani goes on television to defend Donald Trump he makes the President’s moves look more suspect. It’s as if Clinton had hired Bozo the Clown to fight impeachment charges.
He’ll first say Trump didn’ t do it; then he’ll say he didn’t mean to do it, then he’ll say he did it, but it’s not important. He was once called America’s mayor, but now he seems to be showing why Medicare needs to have mental health services.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

What Trump and His Cronies Have Never Felt

The realization that your eyes are wet when you’re singing the national anthem;  The joy you experience when someone from a minority group who has had the odds stacked against him/her becomes someone we admire and respect; The admiration you feel for a single mother who, despite poverty, raises a child to become a hero who has great compassion.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Guess Whose Pictures Show Up Under Idiot

Today Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in jail for crimes he committed at Trump’s direction. However yesterday Republicans wanted to know why Trump’s pictures show up when you type in “idiot” under images. You should try it when you search Google under images. The Google head explained that everything is decided by algorithms. Probably the Republicans didn’t understand that, but shouldn’t they be concerned an idiot was destroying our country?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Only America is Allowed to be An Important World Power

The arrest of Meng Wenzhou, the chief technical officer of Huawei and daughter of its founder, by Canada, at the request of the US says one thing to the world: Only Trumps America is allowed to be a great power and China needs to be prevented from growing in certain areas. I’m a Mayflower descendant who loves his country, but I don’t think we have the right to stop other countries from trying to improve their economy. We allege that Huawei has a secret chip that will allow China to hack other countries. America has been hacking Huawei for seven years and has never been able to find this special chip. We used to have an agreement with Iran, but Trump killed it. So now we say we have the right to say which foreign country can sell things to Iran. This is specious thinking and absurd. China is really pissed about this arrest. If you were the head of a foreign power wouldn’t you be angry that America could tell you how to run one of your domestic companies?

Monday, December 10, 2018

Everybody Hates the Little Drummer Boy

A columnist for the Washington Post recently picked The Little Drummer Boy as the worst Christmas song ever written. Everyone who I’ve discussed it with hates it. Isn’t there a way to keep it off our radios. Let’s spread the word that it’s Trumps favorite song. That way we could get it banned from stations that serve intelligent people, and all those people who operate with only a brain stem would think they had to listen to it.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Create a Great Christmas Album

I’ve created what I think is a great Christmas Album. Here are some of my suggestions which could form the base for your combination. I downloaded all of these from AAPL and all are special Christmas albums:  pentatonix (2 albums); The A Strings; Carpenters (2 albums); Gene Autry; Beach Boys; Michael Buble; Nat King Cole; Alan Jackson; I’ll Divo; Andrea Bocelli. You may not like some of my selections, but you might want to include some of them to get a well rounded collection.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Was Bush’s Funeral A Farewell to the Good America?

l watched the funeral of George Herbert Walker Bush today and found it uplifting. To think we once had a president who was honest, noble and brave. The comparison to Donald Trump was extreme and scary. The kind of Republican Bush represented has mostly disappeared. I voted for him despite my liberal leanings and there were other Republicans who still had integrity. I, of course, today, could never imagine voting for a GOP candidate in any election. Trump does horrible things and his party rushes to support him. I loved and admired John McCain, but he was the last of the Good Republicans. God bless America and please save us,Lord.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Zhong Yimou Once Again Captures The Brutality of Chinese History

Zhong Yimou is the best director at capturing the brutality and the devious character of Chinese courts (thrones) where a brother or relative of an Emperor can kill them and place themselves on the Dragon Throne. In China the length of any leaders rule depends on the skill of those who plot against him. In Shadow, his most recent film, the brutality of the killing and height of betrayal reach their zenith. You know his films will leave you with the feeling you spent some time in an abattoir. Over the years of watching his films you’ve come to expect unsavory experiences, but this has more blood and gore per celluloid frame than any other. There is a darkness like the paintings we have learned to identify with certain periods of Chinese history. I usually don’t recommend pictures that can gross you out. But just think how  Xi Jinping had to fight his way up to the premiership, while Donald Trump had everything handed to him. If you put the two of them in a locked room I have no question who would emerge alive. And it wouldn’t be the guy with the biggest mouth. See this movie and gain a little insight into the “Middle Kingdom.” We will end up shining their shoes.

Monday, November 26, 2018

How American Parents Help China Become Stronger

In order to be accepted into a good Chinese University you have to be proficient in calculus. I once worked at an American university where the math requirement could be satisfied by taking an advertising course. I once heard a professor say “our students don’t have the minds for math.” The only way we can do medical research in this country is to hire Chinese post docs to help. New York State recently tried to toughen up its high school curriculum, but the parents complained the kids didn’t have enough time to be kids. It was like they wanted their children to spend more time at the malt shop with Archie and Veronica. If this continues we will be our digging our own way to a second class power. We will have no one but ourselves to blame for our failure as a nation.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Most Important Book I’ve Read

You would think a guy with a PhD, who reads The NY Times and the Washington Post every day would know what the world was really like. Not True. In the book Factfulness by Hans Rosling I learned that my world view was trapped in  1965. So did Nobel Laureates and Captains of Industry. If you didn’t know that 88 percent of the worlds babies are immunized this book is for you. If you still think of the world as “us vs. them” with a large gap between us, then you must read this book, strongly recommended by Bill and Melinda Gates, two of ny heroes( in addition to John McCain).Please read this book.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Trump is Afraid to Visit Our Troops

Donald Trump is the only Modern American President who hasn’t traveled overseas to visit our troops. He got out of serving his country because he had bone spurs. People in the know say he’s afraid he might be killed. What is interesting is that the posse  comitatus act says that American  troops can’t operate within America’s borders. Despite that he was stopped from telling these troops they should use lethal force against the caravan moving toward our borders. People who stopped him from doing this allegedly are in danger of being fired. A coward who refused to serve wants to break American law to have our troops massacre people fleeing dangerous situations.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Where Did Facebook Think They Use Rubles: North Dakota?

In the impressive analysis of Facebook’s determination to put money over patriotism that the New York Times released yesterday I was surprised that being paid in rubles didn’t raise RED flags. Facebook,especially Sandberg, worked hard at looking the other way and trying to keep these Russian lies hidden.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Bone Spurs Are Worst When It Drizzles

When I tried to get in the Air Force in 1966 I flunked my physical because I had a chronic respiratory illness. Trump got out of serving his country because he had bone spurs (oh no). In actuality Trump sr. gave the podiatrists lower rent for falsifying his son’s medical record.
Today he didn’t show up to celebrate the American role in WWI because he worried there might be sprinkles. I guess bone spurs are worse when it drizzles. However, Macron, Merkel and all the other world leaders showed up at the American Cemetery to honor America’s ability to turn the tide in what was the most stupid war ever fought. While at first Americans had to fight under some British dopes, eventually General Pershng got control of his American troops who performed with great honor and bravery and ended the war. From Sergeant York to many others we had great heroes. Trump clearly didn’t give a crap about them.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Why I Love Syracuse

When I was in High School I sold hot dogs in Archbold Stadium as Ernie Davis ran for the Heisman Trophy. I already loved Syracuse before I gained admission. Once at Syracuse I was taken under the wing of Jim G. Carleton, the Vice Chancellor of student affairs, a man it was easy to admire. When the University of Oklahoma admitted a Black student, Jim was the only guy who’d bring him his meals. For four years he’d bring the meals and then sit down and talk with him when he finished eating. Jim was his link with decency as others pretended he wasn’t there. Jim taught me how much ethics mattered. When I went for my doctorate from the Maxwell School he was there for me. He eventually became Vice President at Nortwestern and continued to help me make the tough decisions over the phone. Syracuse has gone a long time without being ranked in th top 25 in football. But with Dino Barbers, Syracuse has found a coach with heart who represents the goodness of the school I love. Syracuse is first in my heart and I’m glad I stuck around long enough to watch it recover football greatness

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

All American Voters Aren’t Equal

America has sold the concept to the World that all Americans have the same right to vote. But, in truth, it depends on where you live that makes a difference. For example, while Hilary Clinton got more votes, Trump won the presidency because we have the electoral college, originally created because many Americans didn’ t  trust the people to directly elect the president. It’s a barrier which changes election results. The second impediment to voting is the ability for state legislators to change electoral districts to favor their party. It’s named after a man named Eldridge Gerry and is called gerrymandering. This means you may be put in a congressional district in which your party is in the minority and your candidate has no chance in winning a congressional seat. With right wing control of our Supreme Court there is little chance of either problem being fixed. So let’s stop telling the world everyone has the same right to vote in this country. To use the language in use when these frauds were created: That’s a lot of hokum.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Baldacci Reifies Trump’s World View

The word reification means to come up with an example of a theory. When I first started reading David Baldacci I thought that some of his plots were too far out. I loved reading his books but had to use the concept of “suspension of disbelief” in order to enter into the concept behind some of his plots. Since I loved reading them, I was quite willing to do this. Then Donald Trump became our President and I realized Trump was quite capable of instituting federal government behavior that would have been impossible under a rational, decent head of state.These absurd plots began to scare me because I could see Trump implementing them. Baldacci is a great writer, but now I can see some of his plots coming true.

Friday, November 2, 2018

AAPL’s phones are too expensive

As AAPL’s phone price heads towards the stratosphere, the #1 AAPL analyst says the phones are too expensive. Tony Sacconaghi of Bernstein’s says the phones aren’t going to sell at present prices. Tim Cook doesn’t worry about the prices because, after all, who is this guy anyway? The bottom under the arrogant company’s stock dropped 14% today because I guess Tim Cook believes AAPL can charge any price they want and shouldn’t worry about what they charge simply because they’re AAPL. Sales figures don’t support this assumption. The people who run AAPL better wake up before the only person who can afford it is Donald Trump, and he doesn’t know how to use it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Anti-Semitism is the Most Unchristian Act

As we discover that the Pittsburgh synagogue killings were the worst in American history, it is time to look at the vicious racist tone of our President and his fellow Republicans. There are times when our country has been more at peace with a leader who respected his fellow Americans, no matter their color or religion. Many of our presidents have been real Christians who’ve understood that Jesus was about love and compassion. When we get political outliers (Woodrow Wilson hated blacks with a ferocity that was really over the top) or Donald Trump who uses hatred as a political philosophy, only terrible trouble follows. I pray that all my Jewish friends will survive Trump’s presidency. It is very scary to see how a country can change in ways you never wanted or expected.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Trump is the Antichrist

Trump once made a comment about Norman Vincent Peale and it seems he had attended Marble Collegiate Church in New York. Before Dr. Peale had moved to New York, he was the pastor of Syracuse’s University Methodist Church and my grandfather, Rich Dean Whitney, was his lay leader. After my father died when I was six, every week Dr. Peale would send us copies of his sermons. My mother would put them in the bathroom where I had the choice of reading them or the ingredient label on Old Dutch Cleanser. Given the years I spent with Dr. Peale I learned a lot about his views. I don’t remember reading that hating Blacks was good for getting into heaven. The White Pentecostals hate Blacks and follow Trump. Throughout history there have appeared Antichrists who’ve hidden their tail and three forked staff under their clothing. The White Pentecostals have given Trump free rein on morals and he has used this. It’s very scary that this man is forgiven by these haters. He’ll get rid of abortion and they’ll approve of anything he does. Our problem is this lying slimeball was made our President because he leads them in their hatred. I find it interesting that the Editor of the Christian Century (who created th word “Pentecostal”) informed them they no longer deserved this appellation after they came out for Trump. I have some news to break to these people: Jesus, my strength and my redeemer is about love, not hatred.

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Death of Jamal Kashoggi

For decades America has done special favors for a country mired in the 8th Century. In the wake of 9/11 the US put the Bin Laden family on a special jet to get them out of the US. Over and over the American government has kissed the robes of the Saudi Arabian arisstocracy. Now it seems 15 saudis went into the Saudi embassy in Turkey where they killed and then dismembered Jamal Kashoggi, a reporter for the Washington Post. Today America can produce all the gasoline it needs, there’s no reason to fear Saudi Arabia cutting off its oil, we can frack our way to energy independence. The Turks know what went on. Get them to tell us. Take away Trump’s son in laws’ travel vouchers. We can relate to countries that live in our century,  Not counties that get away with draconian laws from th 8th century

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Hey Yellowhair, the Fed is Independent

Almost all presidents have realized the Federal Reserve was created as an independent body. They never would have spoken out against the bank. Trump, however, has described the bank as “Out of Control.” The market is falling like a rock because Trump threw tariffs on everyone so he could look good when the country came to an agreement with them. He has disrupted free trade and a lot of folks are scared things are going to end badly. I used to go to China and had wonderful, heartwarming experiences. Chinese tell me now is not a good time when we have such a dangerous president. A couple of months ago, I moved all my money(that was not in bonds) into prime money markets paying interest of 2.16. Sounds unimpressive right now, unless you look at the DOW or NASDAQ. The dope with yellow hair is looking for a scapegoat. Try acting like a President for a change.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Trump:The Man In The High Tower

While Amazon runs The Man In The High Tower with its glorification of Nazis and Shabu Shabu, we have Trump acknowledging to the UN who his hero’s are. He gets along really well with Kim Jung UN and Putin the Poisoner. Maybe he’s hoping he’ll get to run part of the Ukraine after Vladamir the Impaler gets done with acquiring it. It seems Trump gets upset when he can’t run a country any way he likes. Think of all the Kavanaughs who’ve been trained by right wing enthusiasts to be Trump’s enforcers. “Can you hurry up and tap that keg, Judgie?” 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Where Did Lindsay Graham’s conscience Go?

Graham went after the testimony of Mrs Ford, the courageous woman who came forward to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Cavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when she 15 years old. If you recall, John McCain, my hero, used to have Graham as his wingman. After McCain went off to Valhalla, Graham, who was worried he’d have tough opponents in 2020, decided to stick his nose so far up Trump’s ass that he’d be safe.
Now that he’s shown his true colors, I would be surprised if McCain was saving a place in Heaven. McCain was a true hero. Graham is a slimy opportunist.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

America Debuts International Comedian

Donald Trump looked like Donald Duck yesterday as he filled the United Nations with laughter as his boastful comments on having one of the most successful administrations in American history had UN delegates rolling in the aisles. Most of his comments showed him to be narcissistic and tone deaf.
In America so many of us are worried he’s going to destroy America or start a nuclear war that he doesn’t touch our funnybone anymore. As he told Germany they were headed down the tubes, the Germans had a great laugh. All the countries we saved with the Marshall Plan no longer have to feel grateful because the world has moved on. America is no longer the bulwark of democracy. Now we are a world class joke.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Trump or Cosby: Who’s Worse

I have to set everyday and read about the horrible things that have to happen to Good Blacks in this country. Every day I hear more disturbing stories that I thought stopped happening in the 60s.
I was lucky to have great Black friends while I was teaching. Now I live in a white neighborhood near UCLA and because of disability am more isolated. (I know I can’ say Happy Kwanzaa anymore because it just makes Black people look at me funny.) Today, Bill Cosby, a scumbag predator got sentenced to 3-10 years. I listened to Trump’s comments on that bus and it sounded disgusting except to the white evangelicals who Jesus no longer listens to anyway. I’m a Christian who goes to UCC Church where everyone is welcome, so that will allow the evangelicals to write me off. Trump’s comments about women could have been made by Cosby. Unfortunately Trump is white so he will never have to pay. I despise Cosby, but I feel the same way about our President.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Do the Republicans Care about America?

Let’s look at some facts: when Roosevelt was dealing with the Nazis and Japan, everyone assumed one of two isolationists would get the Republican nomination, either Taft or Dewey. Instead after a bunch of failed chances, the nomination went to Wendell Willkie, who luckily was more liberal than Roosevelt and supported the War effort and we found out about the Holocaust where the Nazis killed six million Jews.
After the war Joseph R Mcarthy practically shut the Capital down with made up stories about communists in the State Department without providing a list of any one guilty individual. This Senator is enshrined in the Republican hall of fame for his drunk ramblings and stupid comments.
We had some good presidents (although inept) for a while, until Donald Trump took over the Presidency and everyone but John McCain rolled over and were afraid to criticize him. He’s being investigated for selling America out to the Russians to the cheers of White Pentecostals. So that’s the record folks. One might wonder why they never went the way of the Whigs.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Joy of Being Irish

My father died when I was six and my mother did her best to make sure we had as little to do with my father’s family as possible. My father’s brother was his best friend and he wanted to help bring me up, but I wasn’t allowed to see him. Everything in my mom’s family concerned being Mayflower descendants.
At the same time I would go with friends to the Irish Clubs in Syracuse and I’d love singing about “Molly Malone” and “I’ll take you back Kathleen.” I would have given anything to feel equal to all my Irish friends.
One day I recently swabbed my mouth and sent it in to a DNA testing service. I was on pins and needles waiting for the results. It turns out I was 26 percent Irish. Not only that but my father’s family told me my great grandmother was born in the Emerald Isle. If I wanted I could go and drink some Bushmills and Guinness at the Rose of Killarney or the Syracuse bar on Tipperary Hill where the Green light is on the top of the traffic light. I can also leave this world understanding why those songs bring tears to my eyes.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

What we should expect of America’s legislators

Reading American history is a daunting proposition. You start with the Declaration of Independence written by a slaveholder, Thomas Jefferson. Then you move on to a constitution which never mentions God and in which Negro slaves are counted as a percentage of a person in order to decide how many representatives a state is allowed. It is a wholesale abomination. Next we spend 100 years taking land away from Native Americans and killing as many as possible.
So one day we wake up with Trump as President and almost all the Republicans trying to prove how racist they are. I got a PhD with a concentration in American Studies only to discover we’d made a pig a president who appealed to the  basest feelings of Americans who hated Obama, black people and American immigrants. I should have remembered what I’d read and raised my head out of the sand.There are a lot of people who hate everyone who isn’t white and Christian like they are. I’m a Mayflower descendant ( Elder William Brewster) and a Christian who has looked and not really seen the evil men represented by Trump (whose original name was Drumpf and who refused to rent to Blacks)
It’s now time to see the evil rampant in the Republicans and their leader and attempt to take the country back from those who only know Jesus a a convenient weapon.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Jill Lepore, a great writer,writes a great, one volume American history

Jill Lepore, a Harvard Professor, and New Yorker writer has written a wonderful one volume American history. As a man whose father died when I was six when he caught my polio and died (he had osteomyelitis) an open sore on the leg from those who got it before penicillin came along to close it up) I lived for years on social security. Without it I wouldn’t have survived. Somehow I ended up with a PhD and became a college professor
The sadness I feel in reading this beautiful book is that while 90 percent of my Syracuse students could read it, 90 percent f the students I taught at Cal State would be completely lost in this tome.
Having great writers and professors does little good if an undergraduate degree has become a joke.
The degradation of the college experience hides behind the few outstanding scholars we produce.Students in Shanghai are so far above the level of our students that it’s clear the American century was over even before we made a pig our president. I love this book, it’s too bad I don’t know a lot of Americans smart enough to read it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The liar in chief Trump drags down America’s image into the dirt

The liar in chief Trump drags down America’s image in the world
It will soon be necessary to rebuild our country. It may take ten years to undo everything trump has ruined by being a climate denier. The evil he has done has cast a pall over the presidency. We never thought an evil man would bring us down so far, so fast.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Jon McCain and the antichrist

Throughout history there are examples of the Antichrist. Jim Jones made his followers drink poisoned kool. Donald Trump has used white haters among the evangelicals to secure his.
John McCain has always spoken truth to power and one of the few Republicans who have stood up to Trump. McCain is the only republican I would have voted for. He stood up for what was good in America despite Trump’s efforts to destroy us. He was a war hero, who, after he was released from a Vietnamese prison, never could raise his hands above his neck. He never let his pain prevent him from being a man with exceptional honor. With his death, we have lost a hero and I have lost someone I could always trust. If you’re watching from above I can’t  tell you how much I miss you and how much so many others feel the sames

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Evil People Who Are Called Congressman

My friends who are humanists, and people like me who try to live Christian lives, are appalled at what the house has done to Obama care.

It isn't just that so many poor people will be left without healthcare. It isn't just that all the states that expanded Medicaid to deal with more low income individuals will lose financial support.

No, all those things are bad, but I just noticed they've taken away support for special education.

That means if you have a child who has autism, tough luck. If you have a child with a twisted spine, get over it.

This bill is the product of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. It's fascinating how many evil people are called Congressman.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

America: Run By The Rich, for the Rich

America's new slogan should read: run by the rich, for the rich. After winning power by tricking white voters from the countryside, Trump showed just who he cared about in yesterday's announcement about tax cuts. When he stated that he was going to drop the tax on corporations to 15% he didn't acknowledge that rich people have already incorporated themselves to take care of of this new classification.

Trump has put more billionaires and multimillionaires into his cabinet than anyone in history. They all will love this new tax plan because it benefits them. If there  already weren't already hundreds of different ways in which they can cheat the system, Trump helped by  providing some more.

This tax plan will put more rich people on top, while leaving the poor further away from any tax equity. The alarming distance between the rich and the middle class in this country is destroying America. Instead of providing the help that white rural voters wanted, he's made things much worse.

My family's been here since 1620, but apart from the time when John D Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan controlled a large part of the money, this is the worst of times.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

United and American Don't Care About Their Passengers

As you may have heard, United airlines forcibly removed a passenger from a plane because they had overbooked the flight. The anger towards United has cursed through the Internet and the stock is falling. Because the passenger was Chinese, Beijing is very angry and many Chinese-Americans are cutting up their United cards.

But this could just as easily happened on an American flight. Because the National Institute of Health was paying for my wife to lecture on Alzheimer's at a conference at the Max Planck Institute she had to fly on an American flag carrier. I bought a ticket and accompanied her to Europe. American stranded us in Berlin. Then they stranded us at Heathrow and I was threatened with arrest as I managed to get my wife and I on a US bound plane. American couldn't care less.

I'm disabled and in a few weeks I'll be flying to Syracuse to see my brother who's ill. My only choices are United and American. I need to have a wheelchair waiting where the Sky Caps meet passengers so I can be loaded on the plane. United and American don't care. Maybe they will have the wheelchair there or maybe they won't. Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Fatherhood and the Presidency

Fatherhood has an impact on the presidency. Barack Obama was a good man, and there is not been a stain on his eight years in office. He was also a great father who helped produce two  fine young women.

Donald Trump doesn't have the same integrity. He lies easily and is surrounded by a lot of suspect individuals. But he, too ,is proud of being a parent. Because of this, when he saw the "dead babies" he was infuriated that anyone could do something like this.

The low point of Obama's administration was after he had drawn a line in the sand, and after Assad had used poison gas on ordinary people, he wiggled out of the situation.

When people, like Trump, are used to taking action they respond quickly to horrendous acts.

When someone comes out of academia and they see something bad, they form a committee.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Why weren't Chairman Xi's Comments Translated Into English

When the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party come to visit America he's usually greeted at the White House. Afterwards, both he and the president speak outside and translations are provided for the chairman's comments.

Because Trump always spends his weekends at one of his golf properties (costing America a fortune) these talks took place at his Florida golf course.

Trump said what he thought about the dialogue. Xi, speaking softly in Mandarin, made his comments. Trump, who hopefully had a translator, said he agreed with Xi's comments.

My Mandarin is bu tai hao. I can't give you the translation from putonghua into English. Nobody translated it. You still can't find a translation on the Internet. Something smells to high heaven.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

People in Boxes vs. Sociopaths

Many people put themselves in boxes. For example, evangelicals may think of themselves as Christians, but may only care about whites who think like they do. The head of the Christian Century, an important publication, had created the word evangelical to describe certain Christians. After this group went overwhelmingly for Trump and his racist message, this distinguished theologian said they no longer deserve that designation.

In addition to those who put them themselves in boxes and only care about others in their box, there are the truly dangerous people.

These are people like Donald Trump and El Chapo, and other drug kingpins, who are incapable of compassion for anyone that is not in their family. Because they can't empathize with others they are more dangerous than those in boxes. Under no conditions would they ever understand what others are feeling. Therefore they are incapable of changing, or growing. Putin is like this, so of course he'd want an American president who was as soulless as he was.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Uber: The Dark, Falling Star

Uber, the ride hailing company, seems to look more like a loser every day.

It isn't just that its CEO, Trevor Kalanick, was first on Trump's Team and then was not, or that a viral video taken of him by an Uber driver made him look like a clod. No, it isn't just that his idea of successful public relations is to place his foot where the sun don't shine. It's the company itself.

I left the doctor's office the other day and checked my Uber options. I could either choose a four dollar ridesharing opportunity or order a $20 car. I chose the ridesharing and learned a lot about how certain Uber drivers feel about the company.

My driver said he had always been and Uber x driver, the kind or transportation I usually choose. He had been told he now drove an Uber pool car and the reason there were no Uber x's available is because they all had been put into the ridesharing program

He said he'd heard many good things  about Lyft and would soon be joining them. While he said he at first made money, being forced into ridesharing cut his income in half. He had no respect for  Uber and wanted out.

The ride wasn't bad because I got to have a conversation in Chinese with one of my fellow passengers.

I'm going to have procedure done in an operating room very soon. In order to get home I will call a yellow cab.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sacagawea and the Teachers' Union

I was hungry for a peanut butter cup so I stopped at Bronco Krakowski's candy store next  to the high school. I pulled out some change to pay for it and realized I had a Sakagawea dollar among my other coins.

"Just give me that other quarter," Bronco said.

"It's not a quarter it's a Sacagawea dollar," I said.

"Don't be a sack of shita," Bronco said." Just give it to me."

I pulled out a dollar bill and handed that to Bronco.

"Why'd you do that? Bronco asked.

"The Sacagawea dollar was created to honor the Native American woman who helped guide Lewis and Clark on their expedition to see the Louisiana purchase."

"You mean they made a dollar after some Indian?"

"Yeah without her and her ability to get along with various Native American tribes, Lewis and Clark might never have made it."

"Sounds like a lot of bull shit. Are you talking about the Lewis and Clark that appeared at Trump's party?"

"Didn't you study American history in high school?"

"Nah. The teachers union was always having special meetings or trying to get rid of the principal, so we played dodgeball.

"Why didn't they like the principal?"

"She wouldn't bow down to the head of the teachers union, so they were trying to get her fired," Bronco said.

"So you didn't learn a lot in high school?"

"No. But I got really good at dodgeball."

Saturday, March 11, 2017

South Korea is Not a Democracy

South Korea is not, and probably has never been, a democracy.  Prior to the 20th century Koreans would take their wares to an island off the coast and trade with foreigners. Back then, Korea was  considered the little brother of China. It was a strange situation in which the Korean ambassador to China could go anywhere in China. However the Chinese ambassador to Korea, a hermit kingdom, would go through the streets with the windows closed on his jiao zi.

Korea had always been run by the yang ban, the aristocracy that controlled 86% of the land in Korea. Japan took over Korea in the early part of the 20th century. The local power was in the hands of the yang ban, who cooperated with the Japanese. The richest yang ban was placed by Hirohito in the Japanese House of Lords. He committed suicide at the end of World War II.

The only patriot fighting the Japanese was Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of North Korea's present dictator. Americans were frightened of communism of any type. The House un-American Activities Committee was running a pre-Joe McCarthy witch-hunt in America. Americans decided that the yang ban, who had been working with the Japanese, could be counted on not to be communist. Syngman Rhee, who had been living in the United States during the war, was brought in to be a front man for the yang ban. They had no interest in freedom or democracy but the Americans considered them safe.

But the power of the yangban didn't last forever. Large corporations like Samsung were called Chaebol and the ruling family members were also called Chaebol. Slowly but surely they began to decide what happened in South Korea. In fact, one chaebol showed his power by divorcing Korea's most popular actress and never allowing her to see her children. There was a brutality to their power which also accompanied bribes of government officials to create the South Korea we see today. At the moment the president has been thrown out and the head of Samsung indicted for bribing her. Money and social position decide everything in Korea, where chaebol act like Marie Antoinette or George III.

Since America created this fictitious democracy they have much to answer for. There are a lot of things in the world more frightening than communism. One of those things is a country that pretends to be a democracy, but where the rich control everything.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Bye Bye American Dream

"Bye, Bye The American Dream. All you are now is a Republican scheme"

The American Dream was real for me. My father died of polio when I was seven. My mother and her three sons lived on Social Security which back then even paid for college. I always had a job and  a scholarship. I ended up with a PhD and an assistant professorship at Syracuse University.

That was the old story. I follow the lives of my students and it doesn't happen today. The 1% get all the money, and the rest are crawling around for petty change. America stopped being a country with upward mobility. It's much more real in Canada and parts of Europe. And the powers that be in this country don't care.

If you inherit all your money like Trump then people like my students don't even register in your world. You fill your cabinet with billionaires and take away the protections created for poor Americans who needed to be aware if they're being cheated.

I could've ended up pumping gas in Sandy Creek New York. Instead I got to be a university vice president. It's a nice story, but it couldn't happen today. Rich people run our country to reward themselves. America was once a great place to which people wanted to immigrate. Now the number one country people dream of moving to is New Zealand. Chinese believe they or their children won't get shot if they move to New Zealand. They have no such expectation about America.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Trump Tweets His Staffers and the Russians Were Trading Dolls

Donald Trump today tweeted about  why so many of his staff were in touch with the Russians during the 2016 election campaign. "They were trading Russian dolls. I think there called Matryoshka dolls. The reason nobody's been coming out with that information is Republicans don't want to look like sissies. But you know these styles, the ones that have all the other little dolls inside them,  are really fascinating. I know Jeff Sessions really likes lime green ones."

Trump went on, saying: "you know the Russians always have the best ones so it's pretty normal to go to them to pick up something special."

While not everybody was buying this explanation, the speaker of the house, Paul Ryan, says this explains everything. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was jumping  for joy when he heard the news. Republicans decided there was no need to hold these bothersome committee meetings, now that Trump had come clean.

Sen. John Mc Cain wasn't buying it. "Real guys don't play with dolls. These Dolls don't fit together."

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Reality of Politics

In my life I'd been a reporter for UPI covering presidential candidates. But it was in my role as vice president for state University that I got to see politics as it may frequently operate. At our university we had the support of a Democratic congressman who was the chairman of a very powerful House committee. He was a pleasant man who at one time had been the youngest mayor in the United States. He'd been lieutenant governor of California and a polished politician. Unfortunately, although he was still chair of a powerful House committee, he had Alzheimer's.

His wife was very brilliant and she moved through his congressional area in a Rolls making sure his constituents were taken care of. She was the ultimate boss of the entire operation. I liked her and believe she had the best interests of his constituency at heart.

I once spent some time with the Congressman in his Washington office. Everybody was keeping  an eye on me because they didn't want me to talk him into something for the University that might not be in their best interest. We were sitting there and he was talking about the high point of his life when he had been a motorcycle courier for the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. He was well spoken  and I enjoyed listening. All of a sudden his Chief of Staff walked over and said "Look you've gotta go down on the floor and vote like I told you to. Remember how I told you to vote?"

After that incident, I I've always wondered how often that occurs in our democracy. A couple of years later they took the committee chairmanship away from him. He was still in Congress but everyone made sure he was not causing any trouble. Since Avalon, the island off California, was in his district they kept him there with folks knowing t they should take care of him. One day he somehow got on the ferry to the mainland and they had to hunt all over until they found him.

American politics frequently involves situations of which we have no knowledge. I frequently question what I'm told  unless it's in the New York Times.

Monday, February 20, 2017

John McCain: Our Greatest American Hero

John McCain is the greatest American hero alive today. Although I've questioned his belief that every war of ours was right or even functional, I've never questioned his personal gallantry and high standards.

When he left the prison (or cage) where he'd been tortured  in Vietnam he could not raise his hands higher than his shoulders and still cannot comb his own hair. He could've been freed from captivity a long time before, but he knew the Vietcong would be doing it because his father was in command of a Navy fleet. So he had more beatings and lived in ghastly conditions because he did not want to be used in a political way against his country.

There were many times he spoke out in the Senate where others of his colleagues were silent. He is doing that today.

He knows that Trump is a potential dictator who would like to diminish the press and bend the federal judiciary to his will. McCain suspects there was Trump complicity in Russia's attempts to destroy our election process. He speaks truth to power, with only his wing man, Sen. Lindsey Graham, at his side. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are cowering before Trump because they believe more in holding onto political power than standing up for America.

I thank God that John McCain is there speaking up about the ghastly mistakes Trump has made. Let's see if he and our judiciary can prevent our being turned in to a banana Republic.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

James Garner: The Cherokee We All Wanted to Be

I grew up in Onondaga County in upstate New York. Back then people would call Native Americans "chief" because we had a reservation for the Onondaga Indians. It disgusted me, but I never knew just how much I admired an actor with Cherokee blood. When I was young most guys wished they were James Garner.

From the time we first saw him as Bret Maverick, and even while we suffered through his movies with Doris Day, he was probably the coolest guy on the big or the small screen. He made acting look effortless. His likability factor was really high. Even in the movie where he had to tell Sally Fields he was 60 years old, he was my hero.

I think it's both hilarious and horrible that we abused the Native Americans who lived  on the Onondaga reservation, while we all longed to be a man with Cherokee blood.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Will Trump Become Il Duce (Mussolini) or just Turkey's Erdogan

The question we need to ask is whether Trump will end up like Ill Duce (Mussolini) or Turkey's Erdogan?

Ruth Ben-Giat has studied fascism from her position as Professor of History and Italian studies at NYU. She recently outlined on CNN what you can expect from authoritarian individuals like Donald Trump.

1. Because he's the kind of leader who cultivates a special bond with some of his followers, he can be expected to adapt the presidency to fit his needs.

2. He sees the fact that he lies and acts aggressively towards the press as a good thing, something to be lauded. When he refused to let Jim Acosta of CNN ask a question, and said "fake news," he acted very proud of what he'd done. Because Erdogan has jailed thousands of journalists, he praised Trump for putting Jim Acosta "in his place." We have to hope that Trump will not move to criminalize the media.

3. Beginning with the judge who was to hear the Trump University case, Trump is not afraid to belittle members of the judiciary who get in his way. Judge Gonzalo Curiel will not be the last judge to face Trump's wrath. Faith in our judiciary is a prime component of the formula that has made America "really great" over more than 200 years.

If the Republicans let Trump turn America into a Banana Republic, America will no longer be the leader of the free world or the place to which people want to immigrate. Denigrating representative John Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement, means he doesn't understand the country he's supposed to run and the heroism it takes to preserve it. It will take all of us to stand up to his brazen lies in his attempts to weaken our democracy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Rolling Odor of Corruption

The rolling odor of corruption has begun to fill the office of the presidency before Trump even takes his place as our new leader. If you read the 35 pages on Buzz Feed you find them easy to believe. What is the difference between the comments made by Trump to Billy Bush on the bus and the story about our new president's indulging his perversions in Moscow. Is it really hard to believe that for five years Putin was creating Trump to help bring down our democracy?

When they asked  Trump voters if they believed everything he said or felt he was innocent of the perversions implied in his soliloquy on how women will let him do anything, they said no, they didn't necessarily like what he did; they just wanted a change.

And so now every day there is a new national obscenity. The American people decided they didn't care if they elected someone who represented decency or strength of character. Like some hissy fit, they just wanted a change.

Now we may have the real Manchurian Candidate in our White House because no one thought an election was a serious thing. No one believed that a blowhard could be Putin's agent.

Monday, November 28, 2016

If you think Americans Can't Compete Now, You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

H1b visas are the vehicles by which Silicon Valley obtains the workers they need to create products and services for the Internet. We don't know for sure whether Trump will drastically cut them back or not. But the reality is that if he does, there won't be Americans to replace these foreign workers.

The white people who put Trump into office certainly can't replace these foreign workers and neither can their children. The teachers unions have done their best to dumb down K-12 in America. People can graduate from high school without being able to do algebra. Then they can go to a university that is unexceptional where they can fulfill their math requirement by taking an advertising class. (this is not a joke. I can send you there.)

America has done its best to destroy its school system. Our universities, with their grade inflation, never test their students to see if they can compete with these foreign visa holders. People have decided it's better not to know how useless the skills are that these students have.  This way they can blindly complain that they're being left out of America's future.

What passes for higher education in America is what used to constitute a high school education 40 years ago. If you haven't been a teacher, you have no idea how bad things are.

On this planet the students who test best go to school  in the Shanghai school district. They are better than any students in the world. And if you're looking for students to compete against them, you should look at Singapore and Korea. Americans don't even rank among the top 10 in any discipline tested.

The new administration will be getting rid of any national standards for education in America in the name of state's rights (a perennial  Republican weapon to prevent our country from aspiring to produce world-class students)

30 years from now there will be more angry white people. These people never think they should demand hard work and studious effort from their school districts and their children. The quality of the high school football team is their most important concern. In 30 years we will be creating even less than we do now. There are only so many jobs that require an ability to use a forklift and box cutters. The boxes will all be covered with Hanzi (Chinese characters) anyway.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The greatest heroes in American history

The greatest example of the dysfunctionality of discrimination was seen in how Japanese-Americans were treated during the Second World War. Earl Warren, Governor of California, sent the Japanese in California to prison camps in deserted pockets of the Western US. At first the Hawaiians (Hawaii was not yet a state) talked about putting Hawaiians of Japanese ancestry into such camps.

Instead they allowed men of Japanese ancestry to form the 442nd regimental combat team (also called the 442 infantry Regiment).. These men went to Europe with a force close to 4000 men. In battle after battle they showed themselves to be the bravest group of American soldiers in history.

Because of the horrific battle conditions in which they fought,  the original 4000 had to be replaced 2.5 times. The members of that unit eventually  involved 14,000 men, who earned a total of 9486 purple hearts.

The unit had eight presidential citations (with five of them earned in one month). This group, which was known as the Nisei Regiment, had among them 21 recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, our nation's highest decoration.

Their bravery is hard to believe. I remember seeing Sen. Daniel  Inouye from Hawaii who only had half an arm because of his service in this Regiment. As I watched the Watergate hearings, I listened  to how Nixon's men tried to get support for their embattled chief. One of the conspirators said of the pronunciation  of Sen. Inouye  name, "ain't no way" he would ever be compromised.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Do You Have to Be Educated to Be a Good American?

No matter what everyone is saying these days, having a good education doesn't make you a better American. When George Washington realized his Continental Army didn't know left from right he put hay in 1 foot and straw in the other. Therefore, when his men marched you heard the cry "hay foot, straw foot."

These probably were the most committed men to the American democracy we ever had. They survived the winter at Valley Forge and beat the strongest army on earth at that time. Apart from Audie Murphy and Sgt. York they were probably the finest men we ever send into battle.

So we need to be careful in an election year where the whites without a college degree are considered in Trump's pocket. Decency and openness have always been the hallmarks of good Americans. In this coming election, you can't assume a guy with a high school education can't discern if someone's a  blowhard and a liar.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Amazon Changed My Life

This is a day I never thought would come. I only own 20% of the hardback and paperback books I used to keep in my home. I've saved all my reference works, including the 20 volume Oxford English dictionary.

However, when I got disabled, I bought a stand for my iPad and read all my books on its screen. This would have, once, been unthinkable. I bought a paperback at Costco months ago and haven't read it. Instead I go to Book Bub and buy books for $.99.

You have to understand that books made me who I am. With serious ADHD, the only break I got from the runaway train inside me was when I was caught up in a narrative. It was always my desire to own more and more books so I could show off my love for them.

Amazon changed all that. I have so many books saved in the cloud that sometimes it surprises me.

The next time I move, I'll have even less books with a spine or stitching. Amazon changed my life.

When people come into my home in the future, they'll have no idea how much I celebrated reading as one of the best things in my life. I don't love books less, but my concepts of how to keep them has morphed into a new reality.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Saving Speaker Ryan

The plot of "Saving Private Ryan" revolves around the concept of the Gold Star mother. Private Ryan's mother already had three gold stars in her window. She had one son in combat who was still alive. It was the job of Tom Hanks and his men to extricate him from combat and send him home to his mother.

Ghazala Kahn lost her son, Army Captain Humayan Khan, when he died in Iraq while saving other members of his unit from a bomb attack.

She was silent when her husband, Khizr, asked Donald Trump if he had ever read the American Constitution. She later wrote that when she sees a picture of her son it disturbs her so greatly that she can't  speak because she gets so upset. A large photo of her son was displayed in the background at the Democratic National Convention when her husband spoke.

Trump implied she wasn't allowed to speak, which was some kind of  snarky allusion to Muslim women, a group Donald Trump, as in most things, doesn't know shit about.

Khizr Kahn had asked the speaker of the house, Paul Ryan, to make a statement of how wrong Trump's comments were. He also asked for comments from the Senate majority leader.

Paul Ryan is silent. He has allowed his party's candidate to make fun of a Gold Star mother. She, and her son, made the ultimate sacrifice. Trump, who seems to possess no empathy for other human beings, showed himself to be a narcissistic sociopath who only cares for Donald Trump.

In the end, speaker Ryan seems to be a career driven politician with no spine. When someone attacks a Gold Star mother, good people have to stand up and be counted. I'm sure there will never be a movie about Paul Ryan's integrity. His silence guarantees the demise of his treasured career.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Trump is a Traitor

Donald Trump is a traitor. When he called on Russia to hack into the former Secretary of State's emails he finally stepped over the line.

He admires Putin. He recently said that if the Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia) didn't cough up more money he was not going to defend them.

If Trump became president this would be an open invitation for Putin to invade and seize  back the three countries that finally were released from control by Moscow after the Cold War was concluded.

This is heartless. This is cruel. This is the heinous mouth of a traitor to my country.

God bless America.