Showing posts from April, 2011

Saigon Anniversary

It's the end of April. Do you know why this month is important in American history? It's the 36th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and the end of US involvement in Vietnam.

The Vietnam war was such a nexus for the internal struggles and cultural changes the US was suffering through. The entire 1960's seemed to have been a real cultural turning point that would have ripple effects around the world.

But what's interesting is that there's not much mention of the annivesary anymore in the media. There was for the 25th anniversary, little mention for it's 30th, and now it seems as it's now been relegated to the dustbin of history. I remember it every April because my father was one of the last ones evacuated from the roof of the US Embassy. He was stationed there from 1974-75 with the "US Agency for International Development" (read between the lines). I was just a little kid then, not really understanding the full impact that my father and others were…

The Clowns At the Gates of Sanity - Pt 1

I’m surrounded by political news everywhere I go. I can’t avoid hearing about it; I’m at ground zero for this stuff, being in the nation’s capitol metro area. I’ve heard a lot of crap from the right and the left, but the conservatives have really become something unrecognizable from the conservatives of yesteryear. There are no more moderates. Instead, you have extremists and manipulators of fringe elements.

The biggest manipulator and biggest joke in all of this has been Donald Trump. He is the biggest, narcissistic clown concerning the recent birther issue and about China. First, let’s start with China, shall we? All I’ve heard from him, in his “thinking about running” for the GOP presidential nominee is his constant whining about and vilifying of China.

Trump has accused China of “stealing” manufacturing jobs from the US. Okay, so that has nothing to do with the big corporations moving jobs overseas? Oh, and of interest as well, is that while he demagogues against the Chinese, a lo…

Go for Broke

From Wikipedia: The 442nd Regimental Combat Team (Japanese: 第442連隊戦闘団) of the United States Army, was an all Japanese Americans unit. They fought primarily in Europe during World War II.[2] The families of many of its soldiers were subject to internment. The 442nd was a self-sufficient fighting force, and fought with uncommon distinction in Italy, southern France, and Germany. The unit became the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the United States armed forces, including 21 Medal of Honor recipients. The motto of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was “Go for Broke.”

Aristocat or Alley Cat

So my family and I were getting lunch at Sizzler's the other day.

Yes, Sizzler's. Because Sizzler's has a great lunch menu with an all-you-can-eat salad bar. Buffets are great when you're eating out with kids.

Anyway, we noticed a family at the register in front of us. The parents were ordering, and the little girl kept interrupting to say she didn't want cheese on her burger. The parents weren't really listening to their daughter, because they were ordering, so they shushed her.

There's an interesting book from Malcolm Gladwell called Outliers: The Story of Success. In this book Gladwell argues that children from a middle class background have an edge over children from poorer backgrounds, because middle class children develop a sense of entitlement. The word entitlement has a very negative connotation. People picture spoiled trust fund brats who constantly whine and demand.

But according to Gladwell, middle class children are "taught how to interact …

Gary Fong, The Accidental Millionaire


Asperger's Among Asian Kids?

So my wife works for a high school in an ethnoburb here in the Bay Area. This ethnoburb has a high number of upper middle class Chinese Americans. Whereas Cantonese is the predominant Chinese dialect in San Francisco, Mandarin is a major dialect in this ethnoburb.
She related that the student population of her high school is predominantly Asian, but the teachers and counselors are predominantly white. Although the staff generally have good intentions, they often times don't consider certain cultural factors when instructing or counseling the Asian students.
One thing that the counselors often do is to apply labels to the students, like depression or Asperger's Syndrome. They tend to interpret the unresponsiveness and the poker face of Asian students in these ways.

My wife believes that most of the time, the Asian immigrant students are simply behaving the way they normally do under the presence of an authority figure. One does not express his or her opinions to a teacher or cou…