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Good advise for everyone in a relationshio September 24, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, education, Knowledge, Trump.
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Ray Dalio’s advice for Donald Trump

Image source: Yahoo Finance

https://www.yahoo.com/newsroom/vibes/donald-trump/v-88cfc604-82db-3595-984d-76ff5706bcff_c-394b1c40-3300-3f60-9027-2d5ef3f5e651_a-394b1c40-3300-3f60-9027-2d5ef3f5e651

Source: Yahoo Finance.

Source: Yahoo Finance

I’ll let you in on a little secret: my son used to work for Bridgewater and that’s how I knew who Dalio was. Several years back, we were at Bridgewater’s Connecticut HQ picking up our son from work. 

Bridgewater’s HQ was located at a very seclusive site. There was no sign on a narrow and winding country road to indicate where the HQ was. You had to know where to turn or you’d miss the small road leading to the front entrance of the building. We parked our car at the parking lot about 100 feet from the entrance. We couldn’t see the entire building because it was hidden behind lots of huge trees. We also saw several security guards who were dressed in black along with a few black SUVs in front of the building. My son told me that they were used to transport workers to local hotels or bus stations when they missed their buses to NYC because they had to stay behind to finish work for the day. 

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Trump tears America apart from the inside September 24, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Muslim, Racial Bias, Trump.
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Trump has managed, quite successfully, to make himself the enemy of the world and now he is doing the same for himself for the American people. He has antagonized blacks, Latinos, muslims, LGBT, media, liberals and many white women. 

Now, he is making football players, coaches, owners and fans mad at him. 

Great! Keep at it, Trump. 

Keep your divisive tweets coming. Don’t just limit your tweets to the NFL only. There are NBA, MLB, NHL and college sports too. Curling is coming in a few months if not weeks.

Will college football players revolt too?
America needs 階級鬥爭 so that it can defeat itself from the inside. Trump is the perfect guy to lead the charge because Hillary would be status quo for the next four or even eight years.

I believe that McCain voted against Republican party’s efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare simply becuase he didn’t want Trump to succeed.

The more Americans fight with each other under Trump, the more other world powers benefit.

So, keep at it. The hegemony of the United States is waning.

Taiwan is still a developing country September 24, 2017

Posted by hslu in China.
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TAIWAN’s GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP)  was $44,975.71 USD in 2015; a hefty increase from $31,834.12 USD in 2009, according to IMF publication.

Based on this piece of information I would include Taiwan in the developed country catagory.

But, this impressive number can be deceiving because after 40 years of economic development, Taiwan is still mired in typical developing country practices by scrupulous citizens and greedy businessmen. On top of this, government officials are just as bad and corrupted as before.

Here are just a few examples of corruptions which had happened in recent years:

It is apparent to me that two generation worth of transformation just isn’t enough for Taiwan. 

Before I left Taiwan forty some years ago, these types of shady and suspicious deals took place at “jiu jia 酒家” where business men or government officials were entertained by scantily clad female companions called “jiu jia nv 酒家女”. 

Nowadyas, deals take place at coffee shops, fancy restaurants, 5-star hotels and high speed railroad cars. There is even a term for people who act as go-betweens connecting businessmen and government officials: the white glove, 白手套. Of course, 白手套 gets paid too: the bigger the envelop, the bigger the commission. 

Another difference was the amount of money involved. Back then, Taiwan was a third world country with no technical advances to speak of. Practically the only things which could earn Taiwan some U.S. dollar or Japanese yen was banana exports to Japan and Christmas lights for American companies. Kickbacks on government projects or business dealings ranged from thousands of NTD (新臺幣) to hundreds of thousands of NTD. These days, hundreds of millions of NTD in kickbacks are routinely sought by government officials and corrupted businessmen.

Time has changed since I left Taiwan in the early 70’s on a China Airline airplane. Unfortunately, it seems that the mentality of any business dealing requires kickbacks, bribery or commissions hasn’t changed a bit. 

As Trump would say: this is very very bad. very sad. 

I agree.

You need to read this article September 24, 2017

Posted by hslu in Food, Health, Knowledge, Science.
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8 Myths About Sugar You Need to Stop Believing

http://flip.it/wgVaTk

Give me two pounds of jelly beans, please.

Pokespot, Manhattan, NYC September 22, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Food, Restaurants, Small Business.
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We came to New York City to see our first grand child: 浩梅, who was born on 8/12/2017. We have been to New York more than a dozen times since 2000 and have enjoyed a diverse collections of food from different regions of the world every time we were here. 

This time we had “poke” for the first time and we liked it a lot. It was health, refreshing, appertizing, flavorful and simple to make. After we had it, we found out that New York has probably hundreds of poke restaurants in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. Prices varied from $9 in Queens to $13 in Manhattan.

Poke is a bowl of warm rice topped with cold raw fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and toppings such as seaweed salad, sesame seeds, dry fish flakes, Japanese spices and/or aioli. Chicken and tofu are other options if you don’t like seafood. Crab meat and ells are more expansive versions of poke.

So, take your picks and enjoy. You miggt want to open one at places frequented by young men and women. A small glass of cold sake or Korean rice wine goes very well with any poke. You don’t need big space to ooen one: 800 sq ft should be big enough to start with. Keep it clean, bright, colorful, and pleasant. Hire high school kids and pay them 10% higher than minimum wage will get you started. Sell ice cream in a cone for 50 ¢ each will not only pay for the rental of the ice cream machine but also add enough revenue to help pay for the overhead too. No need of expensive kitchen equipment or exhaust fan for woks. Keep the initial investment low so that it is easier to survive the start up period.

What’s like to be called a Dotard September 22, 2017

Posted by hslu in Trump, U.S. Foreign Policy.
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       Rocket Man                        Dotard

“Very very bad.”

Don’t listen to what Trump has to say at UN September 17, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Global Affair, Trump, U.S. Foreign Policy.
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Don’t listen to what Trump has to say at the UN. 

Instead compare what Trump has done since January 20, 2017 to what he said on the campaign trail.

Of course, someone is taking Trump very serious.

We’ll see which Trump will prevail: the big mouth, juvenile Trump or the hasn’t-got-anything-done Trump.

Atlantic City September 14, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Travel, Trump.
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我們從2000年開始,前後來 Atlantic City 大西洋城大概有二十多次了。多數都是從維吉尼亞州開車來,停個一,兩天,再開車去紐約或者回維吉尼亞州的家。

這一次是我們第一次坐巴士從紐約去大西洋城。來回車票$25,在紐約唐人街搭車,班次不少,每天有六,七班車去大西洋城的 caeser 賭場。紐約的 Flushing 和 Brooklyn 也可以搭車去,不過班次不太多。

到了 Caeser,可以拿一張 $25 的賭卷,不過只能在賭桌上玩,限當天有效。賭卷不能換成現金然後拿去玩 slots。

在台灣很少看到胖子。在美國到處都是。

在大西洋城著名的木板道上走路是我們一定要做的。

Trump 的 Taj Mahal 早就宣告破產了。在美國破產並不表示不開門,不做生意了。Taj Mahal 破產以後還一直開門,可是最終還是無法維持,關門大吉了。

Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, Showboat, Atlantic Club, 和 Revel 都關門大吉了。

我們最喜歡的 casino Revel 也關門了。剛開門時,Revel 很新,很時髦,很新潮,很漂亮,很有生氣。Revel 裏面所有的餐館我們都吃個。關門前,餐館的員工表示無奈,可是 capitalism 就是怎麼無情。不賺錢,就是不賺錢。大趨勢改變,再好的公司都無法避免關門的命運。

大西洋城已經穩定了。從 Taj Mahal 開始到 Revel 都看不到什麽人。

洗窗戶的工人還在慢慢的洗玻璃。

遊樂場也沒有什麽人了。

一片 pizza 要五塊錢。在紐約的 East Village,一片 pizza 只要一塊錢。大西洋城的冬天根本沒有多少人來。太冷了。這些餐館必須靠夏天的生意來維持。

衣服便宜。

美國人的早飯多彩多姿,不過太甜,太肥,太鹹。一面吃,一面彈三高進行曲。

Pier Shopping Center 已經沒落了。三層樓只有一層還有生意。後面一半都沒什麽人來了。這是三樓的景色。

Pier shopping mall 好多空店面。

Pier Shopping Center 內部一角。

大西洋城的海灘還不錯,就是水太冷了。

不少算命的。

一些麪粉,一些白粉糖,油鍋裏炸個幾分鐘,七塊錢一個,你要不要?吃完了離三高也不遠了。

我們最喜歡的 Revel。

這一張贏了六百塊。

吃過一次,東西給的足,料子好。

我們家的小鳳凰搖搖翅膀就送大錢了。一分錢的 slot 贏了五十七塊錢也是難得了。

Tropicana 的後面。有好幾家餐館和商店。

少有的一家中國餐館能在木板道上熬過來的。

大太陽下裝模作樣,比瀟灑。

廣告做到木板道上了。很有效。

大西洋城是美國小姐競選的地方。現在還有。

賭場裏面的酒吧。

Tropicana 是我們比較喜歡的賭場。年輕人很少。年輕人喜歡 Bogarta。

Tropicana 花了不少錢更新賭場的內部和外面。現在這裏熱鬧多了。晚上燈火通明,許多人在木板道上流連忘返,飲酒作樂。

美國小姐雕像。

賭場內部一景。

大西洋城的早上有許多人在這裏享受美麗的陽光。

Caeser 賭場一角。

大西洋城的地圖。

Caeser 的大門。一進大西洋城就看到。

這是 Trump 的 Trump Plaza。又老又舊。早就宣告破產,關門了。

700 個 free game,贏了$700。

video slots 一個比一個精彩。就是要你來花錢。

以前 Bally’s 和 Trump Plaza 還在的時候,我們常常住那裏,後來 Bally’s 和 Trump Plaza 舊了,老了,老闆又不肯裝修,在 Bogarta,Harrah 和 Revel 等等這些新的 Casino 的競爭下早就關門了。我們大多數住在 Tropicana,因為我們幾乎都不用付錢就可以住一兩個晚上。

以後有機會還會再來看看。 

Conservatives are seriously f%&¥#* by Trump September 13, 2017

Posted by hslu in Congress, 美國, Democracy, Economics, Election, Health Insurance, Military, Obamacare, Politics, Trump, US Government.
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Trump pushed Mitch and Paul under the Chuck-Nancy bus and, with a sneer on his face, folded his arms and declared that he was the boss whether they liked it or not.

All the sudden, thanks to Trump’s betrayal, Republicans was royally f%&¥#* from behind, couldn’t utter a word of rejection and lost all chips on the table to deal with the Democrats.

Trump ran as a Republican not because he was one but because it was convenient for him. He couldn’t run as a Democrat against Hillary because she was favored to win the election before the electiin got started. Don’t forget Trump gave Schumer a lot of money over the years too.
As for tax reform, Democrats will push for no tax breaks for the top 10% and any tax cut has to be revenue neutral. Corporate tax reform (e.g., decrease corporate tax rate to 15% level) will face an uphill battle too because the current personal tax rate is higher than the proposed corporate tax rate. If the new corporate tax rate is indeed lower after the reform, people will form corporates and report their incomes as a corporate instead of a person.

Besides, revenue neutral under any scenario is almost impossible considering all the welfare obligations of the federal government. On top of that, defense spending increae sought by Trump and Republicans, Trump’s beautiful wall, hurricane relief fundings and more troops to Afghanistan are hot items on Democrat’s rejection list. The fact that Republican can’t get 60 votes on Senate for any subject spells trouble for Republican’s effort before it begins.

No tax reform legislature this year. Repeal and replace Obamacare is almost dead after seven years. If the Republican can get tax reform early next year, look for a new speaker in the house and a new majority leader in the Senate after 2018 mid term election.

National Harbor MGM casino, Washington D.C. September 13, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Travel.
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We have been anticipating the opening of National Harbor MGM Casino for about five years. The whisper of a casino at the Gaylord Conventional Center south of Washington D.C. in Maryland started a while back but Maryland legislature didn’t pass a bill authorizing its operation until about two and half years before we moved away from Northern VA. 

When we heard that the casino has opened about nine months ago, we just had to check it out when we came down to VA from NYC.

National Harbor street scene.

This is Gaylord Conventional Center. When it first came to NH, there were only a few businesses here.

National Harbor street scene.

What a nice paint job.

Townhouses behind the commericial section of the National Harbor. They were in the high $500’s when constructions started about 3 years ago. Must be in the $600’s range now.

The MGM casino is a full service casino completed with thousands of slots, table games, roulettes and a small (10 or so tables) poker room. Restaurants (Chinese, steakhouse, seafood, etc.) generally don’t have very high ratings on Yelp and selections at foodcourt were limited to the usuals: hamburgers, pizzas, pastries, sushis, tacos and hot dogs. 

The casino is new but the interior isn’t extravegant at all. The odds on slot machines weren’t as good as those at Tropicana’s in Atlantic City. With MGM ‘s opening in Washington, D.C., Hollywood casino in West Virginia and Maryland Live! Casino in Glen Bernie, Maryland, must have seen a big drop in their gambling revenues. Even casinos in Atlantic City might see some negative impact as well.

Food Court.

Looks great but only earned 3 stars on Yelp.

The casino business is a zero-sum business. The pie won’t get bigger when a new casino opens up. Some casinos have to suffer and some may have to close. This is capitalism at work and it works very well in the gambling business.