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I feel so embarrassed to be an American, learning that so many American corporations gutlessly succumbing to Chinese for the money.  “It’s more than a little ludicrous for everyone from Ted Cruz to Beto O’Rourke to suddenly hand the NBA and the Rockets the tab for American toadying to authoritarians in Beijing.  (Shelly Jenkins, Washington Post, "Don’t be mad at the NBA. Hundreds of U.S. companies have sold out to China’s regime", 7 Oct. 2019)

 

Indeed, all these American corporations bowing obsequiously at China are nothing but lickspittles.  The title should not be “Don’t be made at the NBA”.  It should be “Get mad at the NBA and all those toadies who cannot wait to curry favor with the Chinese” instead. 

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柯文哲的政治精算 Ko Wen-je's political calculation

I kept thinking about what the best word would be to describe 柯文哲.  He doesn’t look like a fence-sitter (牆頭草) to me.   A fence-sitter is someone who does not make decisions or take sides because he or she doesn’t want to offend either side.  He definitely is NOT that type of person.  He has his own agenda from the start.  He is very good at manipulating people and giving the false appearance of being honest or sincere.  You can definitely call him phony, double-faced, or a back-stabber or a double-dealer who practices the work to people's disadvantage behind their backs.  Then I found the world “political chameleon”.  Wow!  That’s the perfect word to depict him.  A political chameleon (政治變色龍) is a person who changes their opinions or behavior according to the situation.   

 

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唇亡齒寒

Share a common fate;  Lips and teeth relationship

 

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Throw shade 指桑罵槐,拐彎抹角的罵人

Plausible Deniability 似是而非的否認, 合理推諉

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I found a pretty interesting website. Like me, the author is also full of sarcasm and good at throwing shade. :)  I will talk about throwing shade next time. http://blog.udn.com/grotius6033/128382338

There is one more interesting site I would like to share with you. https://www.facebook.com/BDP.Taiwan

Elisa English

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Pardon my ignorance!  What exactly is “擦槍走火”?  I wanted to be sure that I am not judging people like some hypocrite, so I look up the dictionary.  The Chinese definition of “擦槍走火” is “做事因意外而導致預料之外的結果”.  Therefore, in the case of the Hong Kong police shooting at a teenager, what 柯文哲 meant was that the policeman was just cleaning the gun but somehow a gunshot was  ACCIDENTALLY fired without the trigger getting pulled, which pierced through a teenager’s lung, only a few inches away from piercing his heart.  It wasn’t meant to be.  The gun was not supposed to be loaded.  The policeman’s finger was not supposed to be near the trigger.  (Sorry, I can’t help getting sarcastic)


The English definition of “擦槍走火” is “a minor incident that sparks a war”.   In the case of the Hong Kong police shooting at a teenager, what 柯文哲 meant was that it was just a MINOR accident even though the teenager was shot through his lung, only inches away from his heart and was still hospitalized in intensive care.  Getting shot was ONLY a MINOR accident!  Indeed, a boy's life (in fact, any human life) is so miniscule in the eyes of the Communist Chinese and the pro-Beijing people.  

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狐貍露出尾巴

Give oneself away

Let the cat out of the bag

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Most people have the same eye and hand dominance.  I was surprised to find that I am left eye dominant last year when my eye doctor was thinking of prescribing me contact lenses that correct distance vision in one eye and near vision in the other. It explains why I putted and swung left handed even though I am right handed.  It could also be the reason of my poor sight alignment in my shooting class in high school because I was not using the right eye to aim. I mean the “left” eye which should be the right eye. 

 

I just came across an article regarding cross-dominance.  It stated that someone is cross dominant if he is having a dominant eye on the opposite side of his dominant hand, as in my case - I am right handed but left eye dominant, which could make using the iron sights of a rifle or shotgun a real challenge.  So for someone like me, who's right handed but left eye dorminant, if I shoot with my right eye, my shots will stray to the right.  I would have to shoot with the rifle from my left shoulder instead of my right shoulder to get a more accurate shooting.  Not that I am interested in hunting, I am just illustrating the impact of cross dominance.  By the way, I don't own any firearm and I am strongly against people owning one.  It creates more gun violence and accidental deaths. 

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I dislike Trump greatly.  Bill Prickett took the words right out of my mouth.  I couldn't have said it better myself.  Below were what he said in his article "Do I hate Trump?"

I find his egomaniacal superiority insufferable.
I detest his snide condescension and arrogance toward those who disagree with him.
I’m appalled at the way he demeans others.
I am disgusted by his obvious misogyny and blatant sexism.
I despise his racism and his blasé acceptance of white supremacy.
I loathe the extreme nationalism he promotes.
I am terrified by his petulant, unstable temperament.
I am sickened by his complete ineptitude to hold the office POTUS.
I think he’s uncouth, coarse, bad-mannered and crude.  

That said, I kind of support Trump’s action in his trade war with China, though it might come back to bite me as a consumer for which inflation might be triggered.  However, looking at a bigger picture, to me, national security is more important.  I can’t tolerate big corporations eyeing only for their own selfish short-term profits, giving into Chinese demand, nurturing a snake in our bosom (養虎為患), and letting China get whatever they want, stealing all the intellectual property. 

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The phrase “rose-colored/rose-tinted glasses/spectacles” is used to describe an optimistic, cheerful way of looking at things. 

When one looks through rose-colored glasses, things may look rosy but far from the truth.  He might be too optimistic, looking only on the bright side.  In reality, things might be worse than one can imagine.

只看到事物好的一面;過於樂觀地看待問題

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I have a twitter account but I have only tweeted 4 times since 2009.  I still struggle to find the reason to tweet and the benefit of tweeting. 

 

Elisa English in Mineapolis

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I was reading something online which happened to talk about first love and why first love was unforgettable.  It brought up a theory in psychology, known as the Zeigarnik effect (蔡氏效應), which states that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks.  Thus, interruption of a task requiring focus could somehow improve one’s ability to remember it afterwards.   Isn’t it interesting?  I don’t know if it is true or not.  Maybe when you have unfinished business, you tend to become more anxious which leads to more constant thought of the incomplete tasks and in turn causes it to retain more in memory.  However, if you are not motivated enough to finish a task, the Zeigarnik Effect might not work as much.  We will see if this makes any difference in my son's study. 

Written by Elisa English

On August 6th, 2019 in Minneapolis

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Reading through some of my blog entries in the past, I found a response to my reader interesting.  I will post it here to share with you all.  It was related to “true blue will never stain” 清者自清,濁者自濁.  My response was that I do not care to be a true blue.  I am not a saint.  I react when attacked.  Though with history the final judge of our deeds, I do not live long enough to the judgement of the history.  I live the way I know how.  I have a lot of things that I don't agree with others. I speak what’s on my mind.

 

    It might seem meaningless arguing with someone.  Maybe life is too short to sweat over nonsense.  Like the book "The unbearable lightness of being", in any particular moment in time, our action is so transitory that it is light and meaningless.  However, the responsibility in each and every choice and action, over time, leads to everlasting consequences regardless of life’s transience.  

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    I was really surprised when I heard the hostess of a Taiwanese variety show "2分之一強" stating that her daughter had tree nut allergy because she could not eat sesame seeds.  I am well aware of what tree nuts are and what it means to have tree nut allergy.  My kids had gone through skin prick tests to determine what they are allergic to after some food allergic reaction.  Each year, we spend over thousands of US dollars to purchase the required Epi-pens for our kids.   It cost roughly US$600 for a twin pack of Epi-pens.  Each year, we have to purchase 6 twin packs, 3 for each of my kids - one for the school, one for after school care and one at home for ourselves.  So, a total of close to US$4,000 a year, just for the Epi-pens, which we have never used.  Anyway, this is to say that I am not a stranger to tree nut allergy and what tree nuts are.  We always look at the food label and ask before our kids taste any food to ensure that there are no tree nuts included. 

    That said, back to the show, we never consider seeds as tree nuts.  Her daughter could be allergic to sesame seeds (seeds allergy 種子過敏) but not tree nuts (tree nut allergy 堅果過敏). To state that her daughter has tree nut allergy because she is allergic to sesame seeds is incorrect and misleading.  Tree nuts include almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, filberts, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts.  While seeds include chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, moringa seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, papaya seeds, hemp seeds, fenugreek seeds, cilantro or coriander seeds, apple seeds, marijuana seeds, and mustard seeds.  Though our kids are allergic to tree nuts, they are not allergic to all tree nuts and definitely not to seeds.  They cannot eat pecans and walnuts, but they have tried pistachios, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts without problem.  I like walnuts a lot though. 😊  Some people have confused tree nut allergy with peanut allergy.  They are not the same.  Peanuts are legumes (豆科植物).  Our kids can eat peanuts without any problem.  So as pine nuts, which are considered as seeds.  By the way, what are types of legumes?  Well, legumes include alfalfa, clover, beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soybeans, peanuts, and tamarind.    

    Since we are on the subject of allergy, my husband has a different type of allergy, fruit allergy.  Pollen food syndrome usually occurs in people who are already allergic to pollens and suffer from hay fever, which is the case with my husband.  People, like my husband, have pollen food syndrome experience allergic symptoms when they eat certain fruits or vegetables. This is due to the similarities between the proteins found in pollen and those present in the fruits and vegetables. In the case with my husband, he is allergic to Birch pollen.  He has been eating apples for years but a few years after he developed hay fever, he can no longer eat raw apples.  There goes an apple a day keeping the doctor away.  However, he can still eat them if cooked, such as apples in apple pie or apple sauce.  Fruits that he can no longer eat now are apples, wax apples, cherries, jujubes, peaches, pears, plums, prunes and apricots.  The list continues to grow.  One time, he was offered a dried jackfruit snack and developed a allergic reaction right away.    

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I recently stumbled on an article regarding fate.  There is no such thing as a coincidence in this world, only the inevitable. 世上沒有偶然,只是必然

However, philosophy isn’t a subject I want to dwell upon.  What I want to bring up here is the phrase “when stars align”.   It might seem a quantum leap to jump from inevitability to star alignment.  Anyway, they are all somewhat related to fate.  When will the stars align?  The actual answer is probably “Never”, not even once in a blue moon.  When stars align, it would be highly unlikely, unexpected and impossible.  So, it must be fate if the stars align.命運使然  

 

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