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Detroit Debacle: Missing Party at Bargaining Table July 30, 2013

Posted by hslu in Congress, Global Affair, Military, Obama, Politics.
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All along the painful decline of the once thriving Detroit, one party was consistently missing at the bargaining table: the tax payers.

The elected representatives gave Detroit tax payers’ money away until they were no longer able to afford the endless fat checks to public sector labor unions.

This is called “况慷他人之慨.“ Of course, “费别姓之财,於人为不利,於己甚无谓乎?”

The ones who have generously spent other people’s money buying votes got re-elected again and again. This amounted to “legalized bribery” disguised as democracy, even though the other 49.99% might disagree with the so-called “majority.” The only recourse those disgusted tax payer had was to vote with their feet and move to other communities. In the end, the ones without any means got totally screwed.

I hope the bankrupted judge is able to see through this legal but unethical practice and reduced pensions to union members. It is only fair, isn’t it? I also hope that the disguised tax payer file a class action law suit against current and former city officials who failed miserably to protect tax payers’ interests for so long. Someone or some people have to be held accountable for their mistake.

Of course, this didn’t just happened in Detroit. It has been happening up and down the entire political spectrum for decades in the United States: from the president of the United States on down to the Senators, the Representatives and to many if not all elected officials in the State and local levels.

For sixty or seventy years, America repeatedly declared itself the “sole defender of democracy” in the world. The United States gave itself the license to wave the “flag of democracy” in the faces of others nations. It also repeatedly called on other nations to change and constantly told them that this was the only way to go.

In the mean time, the U.S. government either covertly via secret CIA operations or overtly in the form of wars, interfered in other nations’ internal affairs or engaged in nations building. It then installed a so-called “Democratically elected” government. Once again, those elected representatives spent our tax money on other nations often without our input. Of course, in the case of Mursi of Egypt, democracy decidedly took a back seat because the United States didn’t like the policies the elected president tried to do. Obama looked the other way while a military coup removed Mursi, free election can wait.

I call this Hypocrisy of epic proportion because the flag of democracy was conveniently folded for Mursi.

Well, our tax money to Egypt is still on because a coup is not a coup when America doesn’t like the free-elected president.

Sorry, Mursi and millions of Mursi and Muslim Brotherhood supporters. It was not America’s fault because Obama has been tired of playing the role of the leader of the world. As far as Obama is concern, someone else can take it.

Here is the new definition of Democracy:

“Generously spending tax payers’ money for the benefit of publicly elected representatives.”

Again, the tax payers are not at the bargaining table. In the end, the ones who get screwed are the tax payers.

Royally, every time!

 

 

 

 

BRIC Development Bank July 28, 2013

Posted by hslu in China, Economics, Euro, Global Affair.
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The details of the BRIC Development Bank are being discussed among five founding members of the bank: China, Russia, India, Brazil and South AfricaEach country has pledged $2 billion initially to get it off the ground. It will be ready in 2015 according to news reports. Of course, $10 billion is a minuscule amount compared to what IMF has inits war chest. But, given it sometime, like a decade or two, it will give IMF and World Bank some competition when it comes to lending emergency funds to troubled countries.  Many countries didn’t like the tough conditions tied to the emergency funds that came from the IMF but they had no choice because it was the only game in town. Commercial lending was mostly shut out to these debt laden countries.

Competition is always good for consumers even when we are talking about lending billions of dollars or Euros to bankrupted countries.

I am sure that one of the items on the table is the depreciation of the U.S. dollar. It is also reasonable to assume that another topic under consideration is the possibility of using Renminbi, instead of US dollar, as the preferred common currency for inter-country trades. Funding commitments based on each country’s GDP will also be discussed.

Will BRIC Bank lend its money without string attached?

We shall see how it evolves about 18 months from now. 

Clinton told Weiner to quit. Just kidding. July 28, 2013

Posted by hslu in China.
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Clinton on the popular Sunday TV talkshow “Face Your Conscience” said that Weiner should get out of the NYC mayoral race. He said that Weiner lied to the public and lied to his wife and their kid. He is not qualified to be the mayor of the second most liberal city in the U.S.

When asked about his “you-can’t-tell-your-kids-but-every-kid-knows-about-it encounter with Lewinsky in the WH, Clinton said that he knows he is partially responsible for the moral decline in America. He confessed that he wanted to resign when he got caught with the blue dress but Hillary told him to stay. He said that he is the kind of man who is scared of his wive. He stayed in to have some peace at WH dinner table because they were running out of tax-payerd-paid fancy plates. He concluded by saying that “I love Hillary and Hillary loves me. Nothing else matters. Period.” He was so serious about the whole thing that he wagged his finger again just like he did to American people more than a decade ago.

Just kidding.

But look where Bill and Hillary are now. You have to agree that Hillary did the right thing.

特等坐,大陆高铁和谐号 July 28, 2013

Posted by hslu in China, Travel.
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We once had a chance to ride 大陆高铁和谐号 from Shanghai to嘉善南。 We bought 特等坐 just for the heck of it 

We ended up in car No. 1 right behind the cockpit. (駕駛艙)

Here is what you get:

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That's all you get other than more comfortable seats.

That’s all you get other than more comfortable seats.

Bali July 28, 2013

Posted by hslu in Travel.
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Bali is a famous tourist destination but away from the St. Regis the city looks old and backward. Streets need improvement. Very few high rise buildings and houses along the streets look like houses in Taiwan decades ago.

The entire economy of Bali is supported by tourism and the tourist business suffered 40+% drop after the bombing more than 10 years ago. It has slowly recovered. Lately they saw more tourists from China. Since Bali isn’t very famous for shopping, few Chinese tourists are coming here.

Exchange rate was 9100 Rupiahs to $1 when we were there. It has depreciated to 10255.9 probably because the once hot economy is cooling down.

We shall take a tour of Bali now:

Inside of an Indonesia restaurant.

Inside of an Indonesia restaurant.

Bikes are popular.

Bikes are popular.

Street in a mostly small business area.

Street in a mostly small business area.

Local food.

Local food.

This stop is included in the tourist package. The restaurant is doing great with hundreds of tourists stopping by for a quick meal. I didn't like it though.

This stop is included in the tourist package. The restaurant is doing great with hundreds of tourists stopping by for a quick meal. I didn’t like it though.

A local shopping center. Small.

A local shopping center. Small.

Saw this picture on an ad inside the mall.

Saw this picture on an ad inside the mall.

Narrow street filled with tourists.

Narrow street filled with tourists.

Tours attraction: Use fish to eat out dead skins on your feet. About $1

Tours attraction: Use fish to eat out dead skins on your feet. About $1

A famous statute near the airport in Bali.

Another view of the same statute.

Another view of the same statute.

Our tour guide.

Our tour guide.

定食 at Sushi Zen。Included in the tour package.

定食 at Sushi Zen. Standard issue。Included in the tour package. The restaurant is huge; probably can accommodate 200 tours at a time. Everything is streamlined for efficiency. Quality is secondary.

Scenery at Bali 海神庙。

Scenery at Bali 海神庙。

海神庙。We can't go in. You have to 沐浴更衣 and do the god‘s business。

海神庙。We can’t go in. You have to 沐浴更衣 and do the god‘s business。

We have to dress like the locals to show respect to their god.

We have to dress like the locals to show respect to their god.

 

You see this in various sizes in front of businesses or people's houses.

You see this in various sizes in front of businesses or people’s houses.

Streets in residential are are narrow and many are in need of repair.

Streets in residential are are narrow and many are in need of repair.

souvenirs.

souvenirs.

Exchange rate fluctuates a lot.

Exchange rate fluctuates a lot.

This is the busiest street in Bali.

This is the busiest street in Bali.

A statute in a park.

A statute in a park.

Big sighs with color pictures to attract tourists.

Big sighs with color pictures to attract tourists.

McDonald's are everywhere. 无孔不入。

McDonald’s are everywhere. 无孔不入。

Not sure the cost。

Not sure the cost。

More souvenir shops。

More souvenir shops。

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entrance to a local beach park. Please note the unique design of the gate. You see this everywhere in Bali.

Entrance to a local beach park. Please note the unique design of the gate. You see this everywhere in Bali.

Another entrance.

Another entrance.

These are the locals. They are getting ready to enter the beach park.

These are the locals. They are getting ready to enter the beach park.

Kuta Beach.

Kuta Beach near city center.

Kuta beach is a popular place for tourists and locals alike.

Kuta beach is a popular place for tourists and locals alike.

Departing are of the Bali Airport.

Departing are of the Bali Airport.

Bali Airport. Hope you had a good time.

Bali Airport. Hope you had a good time.

St, Regis, Bali July 28, 2013

Posted by hslu in Travel.
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This was a beautiful and spacious compound. Trees and tropical flower filled the garden. Water in the swimming pools was warm and the weather was nice when we were there in late September. Beach was like the one you see in the movies. Our tour company and local tour guide made an arrangement with the hotel and offered us a honeymoon suite and boy was it nice! The hotel even gave us some gifts to go with the room.

There is no question that St. Regis tried its best to please us even though we were just an ordinary tourists from the US. My tour guide told me that they had many tourists from Taiwan and Australia. Few from the U.S. because it is very far away. They have seen a surge of tourists from China but few stayed at St. Regis. Probably because it is far away from the city and the shopping area.

Bali is still a very poor place but the streets looked a lot like those in a farm county in Taiwan. Many Chinese lived in Bali and Indonesia and have been there many generations. The locals don’t like Chinese because they work hard and saved a lot of money.

St. Regis is located in a region called Nusa Dua far away from the city center and airport. When we arrived here, our hosts welcome us and offered us water or soft drinks. After we finished registration, a Chinese speaking woman, probably the marketing manager for Chinese tourists took us to our room and went over the honeymoon suite with. We also got free gifts to go with the beautiful room.

See link here:

The restaurants we went to are in separate posts.

Take a tour of the beautiful St. Regis compound with us:

Lobby and our hosts.

Lobby and our hosts.

 

 

I wished I had more time to watch their performance.

I wished I had more time to watch their performance.

There are three levels of fresh flowers here.

There are three levels of fresh flowers here.

This is 玉蘭花 and it sure brings back a lot of memory from Taiwan. They are very popular in Taiwan and you can buy them at street corners usually from an old lady carrying a basket made from bamboo. They are very fragrant and last a long time. They really sooth your feelings and  clam you down.

This is 玉蘭花 and it sure brings back a lot of memory from Taiwan. They are very popular in Taiwan and you can buy them at street corners usually from an old lady carrying a basket made from bamboo. They are very fragrant and last a long time. They really sooth your feelings and clam you down.

Many small pavilions are located through out the garden.

Many small pavilions are located through out the garden.

Many places in the garden for you to relax.

Many places in the garden for you to relax.

You get this when you book a honeymoon suite.

You get this when you book a honeymoon suite.

Kayuputi is in the background. It overlooks the beach.

Kayuputi is in the background. It overlooks the beach.

胖了!

胖了!

Water is everywhere through out the St. Regis, Bali。

Water is everywhere through out the St. Regis, Bali。

In the back of the lobby. You'll see this once you enter into the garden.

In the back of the lobby. You’ll see this once you enter into the garden.

Outdoor dining.

Outdoor dining.

Inside of an elevator.

Inside of an elevator.

Petty lotus plant is very cute.

Petty lotus plant is very cute.

Flowers are everywhere.

Flowers are everywhere.

Sand and rocks.

Sand and rocks.

We played with this kind of flower when we were kids in Taiwan.

We played with this kind of flower when we were kids in Taiwan.

Kayuputi.

Kayuputi.

Nice beach. Soft sand. No rocks.

Nice beach. Soft sand. No rocks.

Very nice place for wedding pictures.

Very nice place for wedding pictures.

Another hotel under construction just east of St. Regis. The blue things are statues.

Another hotel under construction just east of St. Regis. The blue things are statues.

At Kayuputi.

At Kayuputi.

After a long walk on the beach.

After a long walk on the beach.

乘凉的好地方。

乘凉的好地方。

I like to have one in my pond。

I like to have one in my pond。So lively。Did you miss the lotus flower?

Inside the Bordeka restaurant。

Inside the Bordeka restaurant。

Inside the hotel lobby。

Inside the hotel lobby。

Good place to take an afternoon nap。

Good place to take an afternoon nap。

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner Buffet at Bordeka, St. Regis, Bali July 28, 2013

Posted by hslu in Food, Restaurants, Travel.
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Candle light, plenty of carefully prepared food, wide selections, soft lighting, wonder desserts, spotless service and eat all you want just about sums up our dinner buffet at Bordeka, St. Regis in Bali. Wines (champagne in this case) were expensive though: about $27 per glass or $150 per bottle.

Take a look of what we had:

DetaiIs.

DetaiIs.

 

Classic.

Classic.

Our outfits match the color of furniture.

Our outfits match the color of furniture.

Looks nice. Tastes good. i was hoping i could get 1/2 portion so that I could try

Looks nice. Tastes good. i was hoping i could get 1/2 portion so that I could try

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Standard issue Caesar salad, Good cheese though.

Standard issue Caesar salad, Good cheese though.

 

Shrimp Tempura on a bed of fried rice.

Shrimp Tempura on a bed of fried rice.

A small lobster. Not sure where it came from. Probably Australia.

A small lobster. Not sure where it came from. Probably Australia.

Boiled salmon.

Boiled salmon.

Oysters on the half shell.

Simple yet very tasty. Right amount of sauce.

Simple yet very tasty. Right amount of sauce.

Chicken kabot with spring mix.

Chicken kabot with spring mix.

 

Some kind of seafood and clam.

Some kind of seafood and clam.

Dessert and fruit table.

Dessert and fruit table.

Tapas.

Tapas.

More choices.

More choices.

Open kitchen but only a few chefs working at dinner time.

Open kitchen but only a few chefs working at dinner time.

Not sure what that was. Didn't try.

Not sure what that was. Didn’t try.

Definitely more than anyone can eat.

Definitely more than anyone can eat.

Soup was okay. Warm but not hot. Too much stuff inside. Too filling.

Soup was okay. Warm but not hot. Too much stuff inside. Too filling.

Fresh local fruits.

Fresh local fruits.

I will stop here.

I will stop here.

 

Afternoon Tea at King Cole Bar, St. Regis, Bali July 27, 2013

Posted by hslu in China.
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The afternoon tea is also part of the package. We ate about half of what we usually ate at lunch so that we can enjoy the tea. Well, it was too much. When St. Regis say afternoon tea, they mean an “eat until you drop” meal in the afternoon before your dinner buffet.

还没吃就抱了!This was just the beginning.

还没吃就抱了!This was just the beginning.

Very filling.

Very filling.

Very crunch on the outside. Spicy on the inside.

Very crunch on the outside. Spicy on the inside.

More choices.

More choices.

View from the bar.

View from the bar.

唉!我晚上还有个吃到饱要去呢!

唉!我晚上还有个吃到饱要去呢!

More than 200 calories each!

More than 200 calories each!

受不了!

受不了!

Can I take a break?

You want more?We have more。

You want more?We have more。

Great view。Comfortable!

Great view。Comfortable!

IMG_3637That’s about all I can eat!

Couldn't stop。

Couldn’t stop。

This is it!

This is it!

Breakfast Buffet at Bordeka, St. Regis, Bali July 27, 2013

Posted by hslu in Food, Retirement, Travel.
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Breakfast Buffet at Bordeka

Top quality breakfast and dinner buffet. There was simply more food than you possibly eat. Hundreds of items and you can order from your waiter or waitress too. Make sure you skip a meal before you go. The food was fresh. The selections are endless. The service was great and attentive. You can also order off items from the menu as well. The interior of the restaurant was beautiful. It was one of the nicest breakfast buffets we have ever had.

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I like the color combination. It made me feel a few years younger.

If you want to order wine, expect to pay a hefty price for it. This glass of wine was $27 when we were there.

If you want to order wine, expect to pay a hefty price for it. This glass of wine was $27 when we were there.

 

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Many tourists came from Taiwan and China. You can have 炒饭 for breakfast too.

Many tourists came from Taiwan and China. You can have 炒饭 for breakfast too.

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One of the best Egg Benedict we have ever had. The yolk was a tad harder than the one we once shared at a small restaurant in downtown Richmond, Virginia. The presentation at Borneka was a lot better though.

One of the best Egg Benedict we have ever had. The yolk was a tad firmer than the one we once shared at a small restaurant in downtown Richmond, Virginia. The presentation at Borneka was a lot better though.
A great combination. You just have to try it yourself!

A great combination. You just have to try it yourself!

A little over-cooked.

A little over-cooked.

 

 

 

Some plates are from the second day. We didn't eat that much in one meal! More choices and some are different from the ones we had yesterday.

Some plates are from the second day. We didn’t eat that much in one meal! More choices and some are different from the ones we had yesterday.

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Steamed!

 

More eggs if you want them.

More eggs if you want them.

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Herb made this simple dish great! Light and healthy!IMG_3702

Newly wed?
Newly wed?

I lost count.

I lost count.

A spicy curry soup.

A spicy curry soup.

Tofu soup Japanese style.

Tofu soup Japanese style.

I skipped this one. Looks like curry.

I skipped this one. Looks like curry.

Colorful display. Open kitchen in the back. many chefs working and waitress and waiters taking orders and serving drinks and special dishes not on the menu.

Colorful display. Open kitchen in the back. many chefs working and waitress and waiters taking orders and serving drinks and special dishes not on the menu.

 

I will stop soon.

I will stop soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Kayuputi – St. Regis, Bali July 27, 2013

Posted by hslu in Retirement, Travel.
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Great restaurant. Fresh ingredients. Excellent food. Warm service. Romantic ambiance. Great view. Open kitchen.

And very, very expensive wine. Bali adds at least 200% tax on imported wines.

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