Monday, June 27, 2016

Google Stole My Novel


In 2010, before I was disabled, I wrote a novel called "Tommy Babcock, A WWII Thriller." I obtained a copyright and gave Amazon the right to sell my book. Today Google fusiontables DataSource is givimg the book away free in pdf form.

I can no longer type on a computer, so I dictate blogs. It seems really sleazy that Google would do this to a disabled guy. I'm not going to write any more books. I could, perhaps, dictate another book, but the editing would require the use of my hands.

Amazon told me to get a lawyer. I don't think I want to spend the money, especially in a book that is six years old.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Unemployed Coal Miners Can Repair our Disintegrating Infrastructure


There is an urgent need for something to be done for the unemployed coal miners. While white men without a college education tend to vote Republican, the Republicans work on deals for the 1%. They are for free trade, only want jobs that are created in the private sector and  are oblivious to the needs of many of their supporters.

Let's look at Wyoming. Every day more coal miners are losing jobs as Wyoming seeks to become the largest wind farm in the world. We know there aren't enough jobs in the wind farm business in Wyoming to employ these people. Many of the windmills are being built out of state.

And while Yellowstone National Park is mostly in Montana, the national parks brought into existence by the Rockefellers cover the Northwest of Wyoming.

All across the nation our infrastructure is crumbling. National parks are just part of the America that is disintegrating. During the depression, Franklin Roosevelt sent large number of unemployed men across the country to rebuild America. Republicans are making sure that this won't happen again.

We need to deal with our national problem. When you go to China, you see these magnificent cities that are so much more impressive than ours. They have a superhighway system in which the signs are in English. Coming back to Los Angeles from Shanghai is like returning to the Third World. Help the coal miners. Help all the others that have been put out of work because of our treaties. If only the Republicans really cared about the people who vote for them. If they did, there would be an army of Americans making our country strong again. Provide good honest work for men and women who make up the backbone of our country. Don't lie to them, get their votes and then fix fancy deals for the 1%. I don't understand how you men and women can look at yourself in the mirror and not feel like a giant fraud.

Friday, June 17, 2016

The End of Apple in China?


Today we learned that a Chinese court ruled that Apple was in violation of a local Chinese patent and could be prevented from selling iPhones in China. Apple has appealed the decision, but this move has been talked about on Chinese social media for at least a month.

Despite how things work in the rest of the world, we have to look at Chinese tradition, going back to the Han dynasty, to see how China deals with advisers and companies that are outside the Middle Kingdom.

Jonathan Spence, in writing his book, "To Change China," takes us back to the Han Dynasty to show how China operates. It was important for the Emperor to understand astronomy in order to make predictions. A group of Jesuits went to China, and spent three years in seclusion with Chinese teachers learning the language. They then offered their considerable knowledge of the heavens to the Han Emperor.

For quite a while, they contributed their knowledge of astronomy to help the Emperor. Finally, they asked the Emperor for permission to proselytize for Catholicism in China. The Emperor replied by thanking them for their help. Thus ended the collaboration between the Jesuits and the Han Dynasty.

This is a pattern which has continued throughout Chinese history. Individuals or companies will go to China with the hopes of becoming part of the Chinese system. They always are thanked and sent away, once China has become able to use the information themselves.

General Electric has been building an airplane for China. I wonder what will happen when the plane is completed, the military has taken all that knowledge, and China can build their own passenger planes. We will have to see how that ends. As for Apple, they made some money selling iPhones in China. It will provide a good experience for Tim Cook in learning how little he understood China.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Chinese Have More Fun With Their TVs Than We Do


I hate to break the news, especially to the millennial's, but Chinese have a lot more fun with their television's than we do. Imagine, if you can, streaming a television show that has its own  embedded Twitter line running across the top of the screen. In Mandarin it's called Tan Mu and it provides a running commentary on the TV show you are streaming from a Chinese site that is like Hulu or Netflix.

Many of the Chinese shows are about the Chinese Communists and the Kuomintang, who are allegedly fighting the Japanese. In fact, we know that Jiang Jia Shi (Chiang Kai Shek) was a corrupt official who was kept in office by Shanghai  gangsters. That's why, in movies like this, you look for the most beautiful actress, because she is the communist spy hidden in the structure of the Kuomintang.

In a recent episode, another communist spy refused to have an affair with this beautiful woman because he was concerned about her safety. Across the top of the screen you had men offering to take her off the guys hands. "If he doesn't want her, I'd like to help out."

Another guy complained that the women on the show had faces that were too long. "I want round faced women," he said.

When the show gets slow all sorts of people complain about it. "This is terrible. I'm falling asleep here."

The other night as it grew late, one women complained, "where is everybody? This  is  really boring."

A man who follow the show is called  a zai nan (guys who don't leave their house, but watch TV all day). So they've introduced a social aspect to watching television. You can complain about the stars, the story line, the slowness of the plot, etc.

 Imagine when Alias had lost its plot line. You could comment on the ineptitude of the producers who hadn't bothered to know where the plot was going, and hadn't planned how it would end. We could have saved Sydney Briscoe from flowing down the TV drain.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Professors and Sick Students


UCLA is in the news today because yesterday a former student shot a professor, a man noted for his kindness and concern about his students. What is even more  senseless is that this professor allegedly moved heaven and earth to help this student completed his PhD.

Unfortunately, this is not as bizarre as it appears to be. I once had a student from Guam who was equally unsettling, but thankfully, not armed.

This student, who was of mixed race, must have had a difficult time growing up on Guam. This of course is only my supposition, since you can't ask a student, "how did you get so crazy?"

A couple of years after he'd been my student this man came into my office and asked me to stop getting him fired from his jobs.

I remembered him but had no idea how  he'd been faring the last two or three years. Apparently he hadn't been successful in the real world.

I tried reasoning with him and explained that I hadn't been following his career, but he did not believe it.

Every once in a while, in the next year or two,  he would stop by at the University and beg me to stop controlling his life.

This guy really attributed powers to me I didn't possess. One day he stopped coming in and I never saw him again. Thankfully, he never became a Republican or joined the NRA. Of course, that's just my wishful supposition.