Umbrella Revolution Wall 2014

Umbrella Revolution Wall 2014
Admiralty, Umbrella Revolution 2014

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Keohi went to the downtown Mui Wo Halloween parade here and then on to the celebration at the playground--the latter briefly. He did his usual thing and ran away from the large group and ended up on the beach. We went there this AM and it's been a rather frequent outing as he likes the huge plastic orange floats "FLOAT FLOAT" and the weather is nice.

Tomorrow Stephen and I go to see "Waiting for Godot" which I've never seen performed live. An Irish rep company on tour in HK. Should be good.

This past week was my birthday--went to the FCC cocktail on Tuesday PM and Wednesday, the actual day, was rather low key--Stephen took the day off. So tomorrow is kind of a celebration. Dad emailed me and told me that on my first birthday, he took me to the Sound of Music. Funny how I now sing that old soundtrack to Keohi as we go down the Luk Tei Tong bike path.

My second to last class was on Thursday PM and I'm starting to do some other freelance work. I registered a company here in HK--they are really set up for business in this town. The paperwork took all of 30 minutes tops; in terms of efficiency it's quite amazing.

Keohi's recent words: seat, whale, doo doo (rooster), bear, quack, mow (meow), pea, lemon, shoe, baby book, fruit, roll, lala (glasses).

Okay, time to look at some student essays.

Keohi and McDull the Pig and Apple Juice

End of the Mui Wo swimming season, the public pool closes on 11/1. It's warm enough that you could swim this entire month at least, but HKers have thin skins and so weather in the 80s is freezing to them...oh well.

So Keohi smiled when he saw the big cardboard cutout of McDull the Pig. That's right, McDull the anti-poo-poo-in-the-pool pig.

Having completely sheltered Keohi from a vast degree of commercialism, I was kind of surprised, but then again, he enjoys that McDull the Pig pamphlet on why one should not poo in the pool. So we've read it numerous times. Keohi has 3 Winnie-the-Pooh items (trike, floor mat, and stuffed bowling pins), 1 Cookie Monster toy, 1 Dora the Explorer book, and Thomas the Train flip flops. But he can't identify any of them. I had learned that any product your child gets hooked on before age 12 usually results in the child getting so hooked that s/he will become a lifelong consumer of such product. And I didn't want this to happen. So we never have shown him any Disney products and have never reinforced any memorization of TV character animals like Cookie Monster. The end result is that Keohi doesn't know any of that (good) but seems to have a strong fondness for MCDULL THE PIG. The HK government poo-poo spokespig.

Stephen found this rather amusing.

I guess it's better than liking Mickey Mouse.

We just had a bad 4 day run with apple juice. It was like living with someone who was on drugs and then going through a bad withdrawal--cold turkey. Post BBQ there was a big carton kicking around and Keohi went totally crazy for it to the point where he was yelling for it and hanging out by the fridge and whining and doing strange sort of well, junkie behavior. Moaning. Crying. Repeating the word APPLE so many times with a sense of disillusionment and loss. Geez. Sugar, I think. Since he's only had sweetened biscuits or cookies outside the home and apple juice now and then at the cafe, I hadn't tracked how he behaved with a good influx of sugar. He doesn't get any at home. He went through that carton and the entire time, he really was so out of it. At first I was wondering what was up with him, not thinking or remembering that I had let him have several cups on Sunday. Then he got two cups on Monday. He got aggressive and moody. He was crying for the stuff. He needed a fix. Tuesday he was moping around for it. I drank the last of it on Tuesday night. Wednesday he kept wanting me to open the fridge almost in disbelief that there wasn't anymore left. I can't even imagine what it would be like to be around him if I gave him a cup a day. I could never take it! Today he was finally back to normal. He's forgotten about it. But god, he really was a different person. So he's back to his usual ration of milk, water, breastmilk, and 5 ounces of OJ a day. He's forgotten about apple juice. I figure he can have some when he a) figures out how to brush his own teeth and b) I am not at home with him most of the day...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Check out the SCMP online 10-21-2008

The South China Morning Post published my letter to the editor (10-21 Monday) on free distribution of infant formula at hospitals after all. It was on p C2 in the Talkback section of the City pages. It looked pretty much like what I posted except they changed stuff from the American English to British English spelling. That's okay. Doubt anything will change, though. It takes more than a letter to the editor to stop people from taking advantage of others through advertising.

Had a BBQ today at Luk Tei Tong Village. Our yard was fully used for the first time by our neighbor kids. It was a neighborhood thing, mostly people who live right around the corner. Plus a few Obama supporters I met earlier and a few old old HK people I knew from 2002, which seems to be a lifetime ago although it was only 6 years. I have about 7 mosquito bites. Guess that's better than 60.

Trying to decide where I should spend the historic moment when he's elected. I should drag Keohi to the event. I can't believe that I actually like and respect a candidate running for political office on this level. It's never happened before.

Keohi is sick now with a cough. My real concern is that whatever his illness is may be, or probably is compounded by the air pollution levels here. Right now the HK government sets its own standards, well below the recommended levels of the WHO for air quality. What I don't get it this: why would those who would seemingly benefit financially from not cleaning up their industrial acts want to pollute the very environment they live in? I just don't get it.

Home news flash: Yep, hung up one picture.

Actually the handyman did. About the workmen. Well, what can I say? I think the inefficient handyman is an international phenomenon. You know, show up without a tape measure and say that they are going to give you an estimate about something that requires measurement, piss in your front yard, stomp around and get mad and yell when you pay them when they say that you can pay them whatever you want to pay and you pay fairly. I could go on. So this guy had to build new cages to go around the extractor fans that ran out of our house due to the numbers of large large insects that had been wandering in lately. The last cage or square wood net frames that were built didn't fit and kept falling off. He did a good job but I think I was pressing my luck though asking him to put the BBQ together as of course, he failed to put part of the screws in, and now those screws are lost and gone. And I had paid him extra. I couldn't summon the greater IKEA in me to put the BBQ together although I should have risen to the challenge for a number of reasons, the main one being that you can't rely on anyone to put something together for you.

Speaking of IKEA I will have to go there to get the case for my oven. AUGH. I hate IKEA. IKEA is not really that much different in HK--much smaller, but the same feeling pervades every time I go: why am I looking at a kelly green shoe bag in the shape of a tortoise, anyway? Do I need that small footstool called EVVISKU? Are those the same Swedish meatballs that they have in LA and every other IKEA location? I don't like meatballs...

There are so many ways that IKEA annoys me. I think I could write a sonnet about it. But I am going. The main reasons are that it is cheap and they actually deliver to Luk Tei Tong.

Actually, it's not just IKEA. When you get right down to it, I really don't like malls. It makes HK a bit difficult. HK is about malls and shopping. My idea of shopping, unless I am doing it with visitors is this: figure out what you need, get there when it opens, buy what you need, and get the hell out. I would show up at the mall in LA at 10AM outside the door, run in (no joke, pushing the stroller really really fast), pick up what I needed and get out by 10:45AM at the latest. That was how I shopped for 3 years in LA.

I'm not into malls. I like food stalls. But not food courts. I like open air markets, like the kind in Asia where everyone is out on a Friday night in the village, food is being cooked, crafts are being sold, everyone is out laughing and having a good time. I don't like malls. The only thing I like about malls are that there are usually decent restrooms.

For example, the only reasons I enjoy the IFC are as follows: clean restrooms/baby changing rooms and the chocolate mochi ganache at City Super.

Enough--have to go....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Six months in Mui Wo, Luk Tei Tong Village

So, it will soon be 6 months in Mui Wo-Luk Tei Tong Village. April 23 Keohi and I left Memphis to join Stephen. Mui Wo is now our town--people are familiar, there are the same faces on the bike path and in the shops. I know the bend and curves of the bike path, which dogs bark, where the snakes might appear, and the hours of the trash collecting old ladies. With 3000 people, you do get to know people along with the patterns of the bugs and birds.

Mosquitos are dying. HOORAY. This is probably one of the more thrilling aspects of fall coming. Now you can stay out til around 6:15 without too many bugs, although the little playground starts to host the mosquitoes at around 5:45. Like I said, I know the pattern of this bug stuff down to the minute.

Today was a nice leisurely day. I took Keohi to the pool in the AM--it unfortunately will close for the winter season on November 1, although really, it is still warm here. Then was lunch of pasta salad, and for Keohi, kiem and rice (seaweed). KIEM is his favorite snack/meal accompaniment and is now yelled for on a daily basis. Really, the already made stuff has too much salt on it--it's Stephen's substitute for potato chips when he drinks beer and no chips are around. I guess I somehow allow this because it is Korean food. I'm a nutrition obsessed mom with strong ethnocentric tendencies.

This afternoon was the first that we did not turn on the AC. It was breezy; nights now are balmy and warm. The smell of clean grass...and now COW POO, well that's of last night because the herd is wandering around and leaving crap, literally, all over the place. In the bog I saw pink lilies in bloom and mom noticed the plethora of white ginger flowers. There's also the Rose of Sharon, moo-goonghwa, Korea's national flower. I was pleased to see this. Stephen told me I was being a raving nationalist.

The Namkoong family--this is my grandma's twin sister Marie's husband, Peter Namkoong, Paul and Joan's parents, were known in Korea historically, as being ardent nationalist and outspoken critics of the Japanese during the colonial era. The Namkoong's ran newspapers and one from the Namkoong family (only one branch--2 syllable Korean last name, rare indeed), was actually killed by the Japanese for growing the Rose of SHaron in his garden. There is something utterly tragic about being killed for growing a flower, but that is the strength of the symbol in Korea.

Mom left early in the week--she's our last visitor for the year, unless Dad makes a trip out again. As you can see from the photos, we did some tourism stuff. We went to the jade market and then right around the corner our temple was decked out for a funeral. The paper figures and boats and all of that were out--ready to be burned to give the deceased a nice lifestyle in the next life that s/he has. The day before we heard the drums going down the path and people were dressed in white clothes. The square of Luk Tei Tong village was decorated with different colored banners. Keohi's having an interesting childhood.

The other day in Central, I was walking through an old neighborhood and I got this whiff of what I think of as real HK. The top note smell was incense, then there was the smell of dried fish and oranges. Around these smells was that of veggies being unpacked, boxes--paper, slightly damp. It was cleaner, probably due to a recent rain. Of course, there was hovering the ever-presnt diesel fuel smell, but very faint and the breeze felt pleasant against my skin and for a few minutes, it seemed more livable and human, not the mass of concrete and gray air. I remembered walking home at night through the empty alleys and streets of Sheung Wan in 2002. The yellow lights and squares of red--paper fluttering or bits of wood or paint. Gunmetal door gates with rust on the edges carved in patterns--rare now, but there are still some functioning. Uneven stone. Mold and mossy corners.

HK...

More later

New words: pepper, quack-quack (duck), king, roo (kangaroo), float, seat (Stephen's removable bike seat that Keohi gets to ride on the weekend), bear,

Friday, October 17, 2008

Momo died

I thought I should spread the word that Mom and Dad's little Maltese dog Momo died. Mom was a devoted and smart dog with a high yelp and bark. A very sad day for Mom, Dad, and Momo's pal Pico.

TALKBACK to the South China Morning Post

It is highly unlikely they will publish this. And, I should add that my pitch to the SCMP about HK and breastfeeding bore an uncanny resemblance to the articles that have since appeared.

Well, at least the discussion is being had. This below I submitted to the question posed in the SCMP talkback forum.


Should Free baby Formula be given out in hospitals?

Free Baby Formula should not be given out in hospitals for one reason only: it discourages breastfeeding.

Hospitals accept free samples claiming that it is for the purposes of those mothers who are medically unfit to feed their babies, but the truth of the matter is this: the vast majority of all mothers who give birth are physically able to nurse their children. They simply need the physical, emotional, and mental support to do so.

One of the most disturbing, but hardly surprising aspects of the infant milk formula scandal is the failure of authorities to acknowledge that the advertisement of formula and the ready distribution of formula by places such as hospitals undoubtedly contributed to this tragedy. Without free samples and advertisements touting the benefits of formula, would families have opted for formula over breastmilk?

Instead of accepting free formula, the hospitals and local government should be concentrating on providing pre-natal education about the cost of formula, both nutritional and financial, and the benefits of breastfeeding for the baby's and mother's physical health. Hospitals should work to ensure that their facilities support rooming-in so that mothers can easily nurse their babies after delivery, and should staff not only lactation consultants, but nurses who can assist new mothers with breastfeeding, and doctors who heartily support such efforts.

Finally, this is a community responsibility. Women are more likely to breastfeed if laws mandate that workplaces provide facilities other than the restroom to pump. Women are also more likely to nurse if private and public facilities are readily available, and their decision to nurse their babies is viewed as natural. The embarrassment or discomfort supposedly suffered by unenlightened individuals who are unable to view breasts as anything but sexual objects has the tragic effect of discouraging mothers from providing nutrition for their babies.

People can privately despair over the health of thousands of babies, but until hospitals, government, workplaces, and individuals truly prioritize the welfare of mothers and children by enacting legislation and changing policies and opinions, nothing will change. Formula companies will make huge profits, more babies will be sick, and some will needlessly die.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Human Interest Story

http://www.unplggd.com/





Mary Menth Andersen was 31 years old at the time and had just married Norwegian Dag Andersen. She was looking forward to starting a new life in Åsgårdstrand in Vestfold with him. But first she had to get all of her belongings across to Norway. The date was November 2nd, 1988. At the airport in Miami things were hectic as usual, with long lines at the check-in counters. When it was finally Mary's turn and she had placed her luggage on the baggage line, she got the message that would crush her bubbling feeling of happiness.

"You'll have to pay a $103 surcharge if you want to bring both those suitcases to Norway", the man behind the counter said.

Mary had no money. Her new husband had travelled ahead of her to Norway, and she had no one else to call.

"I was completely desperate and tried to think which of my things I could manage without. But I had already made such a careful selection of my most prized possessions", says Mary.

Although she explained the situation to the man behind the counter, he showed no signs of mercy.

"I started to cry, tears were pouring down my face and I had no idea what to do."

Then I heard a gentle and friendly voice behind me saying, "That's OK, I'll pay for her."

Mary turned around to see a tall man whom she had never seen before.

"He had a gentle and kind voice that was still firm and decisive. The first thing I thought was, Who is this man?"

Although this happened 20 years ago, Mary still remembers the authority that radiated from the man.

"He was nicely dressed, fashionably dressed with brown leather shoes, a cotton shirt open at the throat and khaki pants", says Mary.

She was thrilled to be able to bring both her suitcases to Norway and assured the stranger that he would get his money back. The man wrote his name and address on a piece of paper that he gave to Mary. She thanked him repeatedly. When she finally walked off towards the security checkpoint, he waved goodbye to her.

The piece of paper said 'Barack Obama' and his address in Kansas, which is the state where his mother comes from. Mary carried the slip of paper around in her wallet for years, before it was thrown out.

"He was my knight in shining armor", says Mary, smiling.

She paid the $103 back to Obama the day after she arrived in Norway. At that time he had just finished his job as a poorly paid community worker* in Chicago, and had started his law studies at prestigious Harvard university.

In the spring of 2006 Mary's parents had heard that Obama was considering a run for president, but that he had still not decided. They chose to write a letter in which they told him that he would receive their votes. At the same time, they thanked Obama for helping their daughter 18 years earlier.

In a letter to Mary's parents dated May 4th, 2006 and stamped 'United States Senate, Washington DC', Barack Obama writes**:
'I want to thank you for the lovely things you wrote about me and for reminding me of what happened at Miami airport. I'm happy I could help back then, and I'm delighted to hear that your daughter is happy in Norway. Please send her my best wishes. Sincerely, Barack Obama, United States senator'.
The parents sent the letter on to Mary.

This week VG met her and her husband in the café that she runs with her friend Lisbeth Tollefsrud in Åsgårdstrand.

"It's amazing to think that the man who helped me 20 years ago may now become the next US president", says Mary delightedly.
She has already voted for Obama. She recently donated 100 dollars to his campaign. She often tells the story from Miami airport, both when race issues are raised and when the conversation turns to the presidential elections.

"I sincerely hope the Americans will see reason and understand that Obama means change", says Mary.


*Not at all sure about this part of the translation. The Norwegian word used is 'miljøarbeider', I don't know what the exact English word for that is or even if there is one, and I don't know enough about Obama to say what job of his they're talking about.
**This is my translation of the reporter's translation of the letter. From English to Norwegian and back to English. So obviously it is not correct word for word.


Via http://leishacamden.blogspot.com/2008/10/not-that-it-matters.html (a translated story originally covered here: http://www.vg.no/nyheter/utenriks/presidentvalg-2008/artikkel.php?artid=527005 )

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Aging Rockers Put On Good Show

Forgot to mention that Stephen and I went to the Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) ball-- a fundraiser for a children's home about six weeks ago. It was for his work, but it was a fun event. The band was World Classic Rockers or something like that, basically band members from all of these groups from Santana to Toto to Boston to Lynard Skynard. It was a weird thing hearing all of the tunes that were familiar from the radio or just popular at that time in the 70s or early 80s, and the band were pros, really, they did a great job. Some songs I noticed I had specific memories attached to, others, were more of a frame of mind that was brought back. Unfortunately, some of the songs brought back bad memories. Like a boring aerobics class that was a gym requirement my freshman year in college. The instructor never changed the tape. A scratchy version of 'Rosanna' playing all semester long at 8AM in a cold gym floor that smelled like sweat in the middle of winter. Yuck.

People were going CRAZY for these guys. It was kind of funny really, these rockers in their late 40s to nearly 60, and the audience filled with women who were 30 plus who were screaming like teenagers. It was like watching a bunch of people relive their teenhood--at last they had the chance to see XXXX band member as when they were 15 and the band came to town, their parents wouldn't let them go to the concert. Security had to tell the women to get off stage as they kept going on and trying to sing in the mike and all of that.

Undergarments in HK

A note about underwear in HK.

Okay, here's the scoop. First of all, Kath found out that most of the bras are the same size. They just stuff them more to get them to fit. So you can be one size too big for a bra, and I guess they just take out the extra padding. This was really annoying to me the last time I was here and trying to buy a bra. First of all, not everyone wants to wear 3 inches of padding in her bra. Padding exists for a few reasons--to make one's chest bigger, or to cover up the nipple area. Unlike in Europe and in most parts of California, there are absolutely no outlines of women's nipples in HK. I support free nipple exposure for those who don't care about wearing padding. Why not? Who cares? I bought a bra here the last time from a store, from something like the Triumph bra shop (what a terrible name, right? since when are bras triumphant?) and as I was leaving, the saleswoman tried to shove padding into my bag. When I said I don't want the pads for the bra, she shook her head and insisted that I take them. I was so annoyed. Years and years ago, Stephen actually did the copy for the Diamond A Day bra giveaway for Triumph bras. Pretty funny. And then a few years ago, I read that the Filipino women in the factories that make Triumph bras had organized a union and were protesting against really terrible working conditions. Knowing that women were miserable sewing these bras might make one feel less triumphant marching around in a Triumph bra. My one Triumph bra got left behind in LA.

Okay, then there's the underwear issue. There seems to be a dearth of bikini or g-string underwear that you might wear under a dress or thin pants or any clothes that fall low on your hip. In fact, the only place that I saw such underwear was in the box shop the last time I lived here next to the Parknshop grocery in Sheung Wan. This time, I was really desperate before the black tie deal we went to a few weeks ago and resorted to buying some that one woman had a bunch in a little stall on Queen's Road.I didn't even end up wearing it because the thing was a one-size fits all number and it cut off the circulation of my hips. Drag. So does everyone wear big ole underwear? Jeans and pants are often rather low on the hips these days. What are local women wearing? Where are they buying it? I had luckily bought some undies right before coming, but still, had been spending random moments in HK looking for some underwear to no avail. Imagine my level of excitement at finding a box shop of French undies designed for the US market that did not resemble girdles. I bought 7 pairs.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Visitors...

Asau came and left. As predicted, he was here waiting when I biked up to get him from the ferry terminal at 8:05AM on Thursday. We had to hoof it back, unfortunately, as the combo lock on the big rickshaw-like tricycle with umbrella that I rented was off! I was a little concerned, but he had his good walking stick and we made it back in about 20 minutes or a little more. He liked Mui Wo, I knew that he would. It's different from most places that people see in HK. I think nearly 80% of HK is actually designated park land--but people only view HK as a big city. There's great hiking trails here--but if anyone wants to do the lot, remember to come in the fall, or early spring. The weather has turned now--slightly cooler and I turn the AC on later in the day...about 11AM now. Whoopee! But seriously, the weather change is a relief.

When Asau got to our place, I sent Cecilia, Keohi's nanny, out to get the big trike/umbrella as I got the new combo from Leo, the bike shop guy. Poor Leo, I got his mobile on the card so I'm calling him in a raw panic for the bike combo for the trike locked outside his shop by the pier. Leo's the Merida bike shop owner. I always forget the name of the business establishments here. You just go by the name of the person who owns the place, at least most of the time, as it's such a small town. We're Merida bike customers. Very loyal. They always fix our stuff, do a good job, and he gives us discounts as we do all of our bike accessories shopping from him. We tell Keohi to call him Uncle Leo.

Then yesterday I met Asau at the FCC for a long lunch. He's going to be 78 next year. I can't believe it!

BIG NEWS UPDATE:

Yes, we TRASHED the two suitcases so have officially moved in after nearly 5 months! One suitcase was full of Keohi's toys (the random toys have now moved to a smaller suitcae which is serving as his toy box) and the other suitcase was this terribly old soft shell square Samsonite number circa 1995 that I swiped from the upstairs closet in Memphis. It had seen better days and was only used to haul stuff from the States and was supposed to be dumped, but we never ended up getting any drawers so the ugly functional suitcase served as my storage for my clothing. And yesterday--we threw it out. Wow. What a relief.

Ophelia is my Filipino neighbor whose husband is also a Brit, her daughter is Keohi's age and they are great pals. Keohi heads right out the gate and knows to turn the corner to go to Bella's house. Anyway, thanks to Ophelia, we now have drawerw. And then Cecilia had a friend, a Turkish pilot who is moving to Shanghai who was getting rid of his apartment and we just made out with his storage stuff. That was just tonight. We're not so much living out of boxes anymore. It feels a little better. Not so temporary, though of course, we are already nearly halfway through our lease. It's such a pain to haul stuff to our village even from Mui Wo that we agreed not to buy anything as this place was mostly furnished when we moved in. Getting furniture or any kind of stuff from HK Island to Mui Wo is difficult enough, but to actually get it to Luk Tei Tong means you have to call the gas company (they have a sideline moving business going) and then these little motorized 3 wheel trucks wheel your stuff down the bike path. So whatever you move, even some cheap crap from Ikea, will cost you an extra $100USD to get it to Luk Tei Tong, on top of the regular delivery fee. I hate coordinating and doing that stuff and even worse, hauling and unpacking. Having spent the good part of 2 months this past year packing and unpacking and sorting things for storage, or to dump or to take to HK, I am really sick of doing any kind of moving or home improvements or anything along those lines. STephen and I have moved a ton during our nearly 11 years together.

First I was moving from Korea to LA, then he moved to LA from HK, then we moved to another flat after he arrived to LA. Then we moved to the Bay Area, then we moved to HK, then to Tucson--in that city we moved twice, then we moved back to LA--again moved twice, and now we are back to HK. I can't remember all of my addresses or phone numbers. I'm sort of thinking that I'd like to stay in one city, maybe one geographic location for a while. Moving is such a pain. We lived in a total of 9 places in 11 years.

I really have to open my Cantonese book. I have no command of the language and can barely say anything and it's really embarrassing. The last time I had made an effort to study the calligraphy and I brought my notes to review but haven't done a thing.


Keohi's words: Paul, goat, doo doo (rooster--cock-a-doodle-doo), whale, bear, knee, eye, row-row book (nursery rhyme book), pop book (Dr. Suess Hop on Pop). The words are starting to come now. I notice he may say them for a few days, but doesn't necessarily retain them. His comprehension however, is quite high. It's fascinating watching the development of speech.

Watch this Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QIGJTHdH50

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Insomnia in Hong Kong

I think this could be a new title for an international blockbuster movie. Kind of like Sleepy in Seattle or Sleeping in Seattle or whatever that terribly dull movie was.
The Hong Kong film would feature people peering out of their 23rd story windows at 2-4AAM with big bags under their eyes from watching Bloomberg TV or some other stock market reporting show. Or maybe the people would be madly surfing the internet for cheap deals that they could get on XXXX that they could cut their cousin in on, the cousin that they owe XXX dollars to for some rotten deal that nearly cleaned out their savings a few years back...

As you can see, I am starting to get the HK Insomnia thing...HELLPPPP.

I am not, however, turning on the telly for financial news...but turnin' on to the ole blog...

Have to be up early to hoof it to the ferry. Then do ala rickshaw driver with Asau tomorrow AM. Stephen is now in out of town, so it's just Keohi Boo and moi.

His first full full sentence: The moon is there.

Not bad! Of course, there was no moon. It was day. He was pointing at a round outdoor lamp. But that is just a matter of technicality. A sentence! He also managed to yell GOAT GOAT at Holly to whom I was chatting on skype.

Tomorrow's poetry lecture: Emily Dickinson, Yeats, Lucille Clifton. Mixing it up a bit. The best part of teaching at this job is that there is only ONE PAPER to GRADE. HOORAY. God, the grading just killed me before. I forgot how much it drove me crazy.
I'm trying to figure out a way to minimize the grading that I do in my life...

Signing off from the house with runny nose baby--
Steph

New York Times

Please be warned: McCain ads are LIES. For example, the one about Obama supporting sex ed for kids who can't read? Give me a break. THIS IS AN OUTRIGHT LIE.

I am assuming people who are voting are actually READING the information put forward by each candidate on his policies and are not solely relying upon the TV NEWS.

This is from the NY Times. For those who blather on about how the NY Times is "liberal media" this is ridiculous. The Times embedded journalists in Iraq, previously wrote favorably about Reverend Jerry Falwell who supported segregationist policies in his university, and therefore, the Times, as I have always thought, since reading it from the age of 17 on and off, is VERY conservative by any international newspaper standard...

so this below is quite radical from the NY Times in my opinion...


September 30, 2008, 4:07 pm
The Republican Party, Having Brought You the Meltdown, Now Blames Obama

By The Editorial Board

Well, that certainly didn’t take long.

John McCain had barely finished pompously proclaiming his commitment to non-partisan solutions to the Wall Street meltdown and giving himself credit (where none was due) for producing the compromise that got voted down yesterday. And then the Republican National Committee produced an ad accusing Barack Obama of plotting to make the crisis worse.

We won’t pretend to be shocked at Mr. McCain’s hypocrisy. But this ad is low even by the standards set in this campaign (mostly by the Republicans).

We’d tell you which parts are true and which ones are not, but, basically, it’s all nonsense, especially the implication that Mr. Obama wants to add a trillion dollars to the bailout plan. The one true thing is Wall Street is in a world of hurt. The ad just does not mention that it developed on the watch of President Bush and the Republican majority in Congress:

Just to make sure no one thought he was farming out all his mindless attack ads to the party machine, Mr. McCain issued his own ad accusing Mr. Obama and the Democrats of creating the problems on Wall Street.

This ad is just as misleading and propagandistic as the RNC ad, hewing to Mr. McCain’s line that the whole thing is the fault of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That’s nonsense, of course. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were badly mismanaged. That’s obvious. And they should have been more carefully regulated. But the idea that Fannie and Freddie on their own caused mortgages to soar and created the real estate bubble, as Mr. McCain says in his ad, is false.

Fannie and Freddie certainly had a part in the mess that led to the turmoil on Wall Street. But the greatest measure of blame lies with the federal government’s failure to exercise its regulatory powers, and the systematic shredding of other regulations by Mr. Bush and his party.

Among other things, the Fed, under the man Mr. Bush chose to run it, could have exercised more control over banks and non-banks that lent money to buy homes to people who could not afford them, and to the financial institutions that turned those loans into investment instruments and recklessly traded in them. All in the name of those eight, nine and 10-figure annual bonuses. Those would be small institutions, like Citibank, and Merrill Lynch, and Goldman Sachs and, well, you get the idea.

The very idea that Mr. McCain is quoting former President Bill Clinton (apparently quite selectively) is rich, especially because the McCain folks only showed part of what he said. Asked what responsibility the Democrats have in the current mess, Mr. Clnton did talk about their resistance in the 90’s to tightening regulation of Fannie and Freddie. But then he goes on to say that much bigger contributing factor to today’s turmoil was the elimination of the “uptick rule” that had been in place for many decades to stop traders from “short selling” a stock whose price is falling. That was a move by the Securities and Exchange Commission … during the Bush administration.

Mr. Obama’s new ad, in sharp contrast, talks about his own plans for the economy if he wins.

Mr. Obama criticizes the Republicans for the failure of their trickle-down economic theories, but does not talk directly about Wall Street. And the failure of trickle-down economics is inescapable and indisputable. That’s why the Republicans are having such a hard time with the bailout. It undercuts their ideology, a well as everything they have been saying to their constituents to get elected.

As we watched Mr. McCain’s ad, we wondered why he is so intent on blaming Fannie and Freddie for everything bad (except perhaps global warming)? We suspect there are two reasons. One is that Mr. McCain did indeed push new regulations for Fannie and Freddie during the Clinton administration and they did not pass. It is about the only form of regulation of the financial sector that Mr. McCain was not involved in blocking.

The other, more insidious reason, is that the two mortgage giants were created to help lower-income people buy homes, especially minorities. In the Republican view of politics, that makes them the enemy.