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China quietly reshapes the world order October 29, 2017

Posted by hslu in China, 美國, Economics, Global Affair, Globlization, One Belt One Road, Xi Jinping, 一帶一路, 中國.
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China Is Quietly Reshaping the World

http://flip.it/Gsue71

Source: Flipboard, The Atlantic

China is bringing hope and prosperity to millions of people who have been sadly left behind by America’s world order over the past seven decades.

China’s Xi Jinping is working on One Belt One Road while America’s Trump tweets petty insults to others.

A new world order is emerging and the Middle Kingdom has returned.

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1.34 million October 26, 2017

Posted by hslu in China, Shanghai, Xi Jinping, 民主, 中國.
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That’s number of officials at every level of the Chinese government who have been arrested, tried, jailed and stripped of power by Xi Jinping since 2012.

The extensive nature of this anti-corruption purge was necessary because graft in the Chinese governments and military forces prior to 2012 were so severe that Chinese citizens have lost confidence in the Communist Party. 

Bribery, embezzlement, kickback, hush money, shaddy conducts, extortion and cash for stars (rank) in the military were so rampant that the entire nation was mired in severe materialistic satisfications and unchecked addictive buying. 

The materialistic mindset affected the psysche of the Chinese people who, with their new found fortune, have blindly pushed up prices of luxury goods all over the world. Aquisitions of LV bags, Hermes, Cartier, Gucci, Chanel, Armani, Tiffany, Rolex, wines from Château Latour, maotai (茅台酒), western and Chinese artworks, Ferrari, Porsche, Benz, BMW, and luxury apartments in cities all over the world were all the rage of the entire soceity.

Previous leaders have their hands tied and have lost control of the Communist Party. It was widely recognized inside and outside of China that something has to be done to right the ship before it rocked the foundation of the nation.

After five years working tirelessly at this thorny issue, Xi Jinping at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China can point to these 1.34 million criminals and show the Chinese people this unprecedented accomplishment in recent Chinese history.

Call it whatever you want, power grabing, purging of the opposition, one thing which can’t be denied is that the mindsets of common Chinese people have changed. Gone is the mindless pursuit of materialistic satisfication which I have observed first hand in Shanghai and cities I have traveled. In its place has been a return of sensible life style and a living within your means and saving for the raining days attitude. Binge buying still exists but it certainly isn’t widely spread like it used to. Government officials have pulled their horns for fear of being reported by regular people. Luxury hotels and 5-star restsurants all over China have gone out of business. Prices of fancy goods have dropped because of lack of demand. Even the officials of the central government have reduced un-necessary wasteful spending when treating foreign diginitaries. 

One has to wonder that can this kind of success be achieved in a democratic system in such a short period? With 關係and 關說 so prominent in Taiwan, can this kind of purge be done in Taiwan?

Highly unlikely.

The U.S., Iraq, the Kurds and Iran October 24, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Democracy, Global Affair, Islam, Middle East, Military, Muslim, Obama, U.S. Foreign Policy, 民主.
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The United Stated has turned Iraq upside down and then shoveled the country America built into the arms of Iran.
Nice job.

The U.S. insisted that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein had WMD.

The U.S. invaded Iraq and killed Saddam Hussein. Some speculated that Hussein got himself eliminated because he traded Iraqi oil for Euro instead of the USD. The U.S. couldn’t tolerate that.

The U.S. dismantled the Iraqi army and sent all Hussein’s soldiers home.

The U.S. built a new Iraq, selected Al-Maliki the  leader of the new government, gave him a ton of American tax money and fooled the Iraqi people to vote him in as Iraq’s first prime minister.

The U.S. called the outcome the will of the Iraqi people, patted itself on the back and called it a shinning example of democracy for all Muslim countries to see.

The U.S. claimed that the democratic Iraq a trusted friend in the all important Middle East region.

The U.S. believed that the new, pro-America Iraqi government established a geopolitical equilibrium between Iran and Iraq.

The U.S. military forces were completely kicked out of Iraq by the democratic Iraqi government America built. Obama called it the will of the American people. The withdraw of American soldiers helped the insurgence of ISIS.

The U.S. wanted to get rid of Bashar al-Assad of Syria and formed a pro-America government but couldn’t decide whom to support.

The U.S. created a power vacuum in Syria, Putin saw the opportunity and established a military base in Syria. Russia has entered the Middle East and popped up al-Assad’s government.

The U.S. president’s (Obama) indecision in Syria allowed ISIS to strengthen which occupied part of Syria and a big chunk of Iraq.

The U.S. decided to go back to Iraq to clean up the mess it left behind. American special forces supplied the Iraqi army with American’s advanced weapons and trained the Iraqi army to use these weapons.

The U.S. supported the Kurdish Peshmerga forces because they knew how to fight the ISIS while Iraqi army ran in panic and fled in their humvees from the battle field.

The U.S. doesn’t want Iraqi Kurds to declare independence because it will make Turkey and Iraq mad at the U.S.

The U.S. couldn’t do anything when people in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq voted in a referendum and declared independence.

The U.S.-equipped Iraqi army decided to get rid of the Kurds and took over the Kirkuk oil field from the Kurds in a matter of two days. The Irancbacked militias helped.

The U.S. asked Iraq to disband the Iraqi militias because the fight against the IS in Iraq was almost over.

The U.S. is ignored by the Iraqi PM who called the Iran-backed militias, called Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisatio,) the “hope of Iraq and the region”.

The U.S. lost trillions of dollars and the lives of thousands of American soldiers for nothing. The Iraqi government America built became an ally of Iran. A new equilibrium has emerged in the Middle East thanks to American’s nations building efforts.

What an irony.

中國人有句話描述這個情形:賠了夫人又折兵。

你又可以說:偷雞不成蝕把米。

Eataly Caffe, NYC October 22, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Food, Travel.
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Our son told us about this place when we were out walking in NYC.

This is an iconic eatery in NYC and it offers thousands of import goods from Italy. It’s huge, it is clean, it is fun to browse, it is inviting and it isn’t cheap. Additionally there are several restaurants offering a wide range of Italian dishes for customers to try.



$15.95 for a hand full of spinach and a few slices of apple.


$16.95

$40 to walk out of the restaurant.

真麻煩,半路殺出一個哎娃納 October 21, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, 川普.
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臺灣的總統沒先生,美國的總統有三個太太。不是同時有三個太太,是有過三個太太。不然也不會搞出這個問題出來:爭皇后的問題。就好像有錢人死了以後,大房,二房,三房,四房打官司,分財產一樣。說不定還要搞個DNA什麼才能弄清楚。說不定還有小五和小六之類的從什麼地方鑽出來。美國人離婚跟家常便飯一樣。當然,美國人離婚也不是有錢人的專利。沒錢一樣離婚。哥哥姐姐弟弟妹妹是誰的都搞不清楚。

不知道 Trump 家裏是不是要爭誰是第一女兒和誰是第幾兒子的事。當然還有可能爭第幾女婿和第幾媳婦的問題。

七老八十娶個年輕(打扮一下有時候)貌美的媳婦,你不覺得有點怪嗎?一個白頭髪臉上都是皺紋。一個年紀輕輕,(現在年輕,不過以後要打波它可施的)跟他的女兒差不多。這是美國文明進步的特徵。這也是有錢人的專利。如果一個男生是一個窮光蛋,他離婚還是會離婚,不過他的二太太和三太太就大概不會這麽好看了。

有可能,一個美國男人的後妻(以後娶的妻子,不知道是不是這麽稱呼。以前的妻子叫前妻。以後的妻子就叫後妻應該是说的通的)的美麗程度跟這個男人口袋裏的鈔票多少成正比吧。錢越多,後妻就越好看。錢更多,那就可以打模特兒的主意了。

麻煩你划到上面跟他的妻子們比較一下。

What’s going on in U.S.A.? October 20, 2017

Posted by hslu in Culture, 美國, Racial Bias, Trump, 川普.
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The following screen shots from major news outlets give you a fair representation of what goes on in today’s America, arguably the most powerful nation in the world according to Trump and many far right people in this country.

I can tell you that it isn’t the same country I came to forty some years ago.

There is no doubt that American weapons are more advanced, fighter jets are more powerful, aircraft carriers are bigger and missiles are much more accurate. 

But, are people in this country happier and better off than before? 

Are people in this country more united for common good than before?

Are people in this country more positive about their future than any time in the past?

Are people in this country more confident that the nation is headed to the right direction?

Take a look of these screen shots and decide for yourself. They were all taken on the same day,  October 20, 2017.

American dirty politics October 19, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Democracy, Liberal Media, Military, Politics, Trump, 川普.
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All out in the open for everyone to see. 

Conservatives: The Fox News

It’s intetesting to see two completely different view points spun by conservatives and liberals.

The liberal: The New York Times.

Trump said he had proof. White House later said that there was no tape.

Let it rip and see where the chip falls. This is democracy Americans are proud of.

理髮 October 19, 2017

Posted by hslu in China, Life in Taiwan, Shanghai, Taipei, Taiwan, 台灣, 林口, 浦東, 中國.
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理髮這個事是每一個人都免不了的。

男人每隔四到六個禮拜就要去理髮廳報到一次。不管你要長一點,短一點,不要太長,不要太短,剃光頭,留一小撮在腦後勺,頭上頂個鍋蓋或者頭頂紥個小辮子什麼的,理髮師傅都能夠辦到。

女人嗎,不一定。長一點,短一點,厚一點,薄一點,劉海,邊上多留幾根,燙髮,捲髮,染髮,染幾撮,陽春麪,下面捲個邊,實在懶得弄那就捲起來頂在頭上也可以,一切都看自己的喜愛而定,至於什麼時候去理髮或燙髮廳那就說不一定了。

上大學以前在成功嶺受訓,大家一起剃光頭,好像每隔幾個禮拜就被剃個精光,大家一樣,也沒有什麽可說的。

上了大學以後,我的頭髮留的可長了。老師管不著,教官看到我的長到肩膀,自然捲頭髮,心裏就不舒服,狠我狠的癢癢的,恨不得親自拿把剪刀給我剪個精光。我的大紅上衣和那漆黑,窄窄又貼身的黑長褲更是教官的眼中釘。結果大學四年下來我的軍訓不及格:59分。這個前所未有,滑天下之大稽,僅此一家別無分號的成績當然是教官故意整我的結果。

你別以為軍訓不及格有什麼大不了。你說:誰會在乎我的軍訓成績及格不及格,是不是?教官高興,讓他去高興吧。他忍氣吞聲,忍了四年,就讓他高興這一次好了。

你錯了。

軍訓不及格,大學畢業不能當預官,只能當大頭兵。這可不是開玩笑的:準少尉不能當只能當二等兵。副排長不能當只能當二等兵。軍餉都少拿一大堆。Well,這是另外一個故事。

當兵就當兵,有什麽了不起?三個月的大頭兵訓練以後,我被分到高雄覆頂金的運輸營做油料官。輕輕松松過了一年半也可以說是因禍得福吧。在運輸營當兵,日子很好過,頭髮長一點也沒什麽大關系,只要把帽子拼命的往下蓋,遮住頭髮根就行了。平常沒什麽大官來視察,我的士官長跟我住上下鋪,他和連長不講話就沒事了。做油料官還有一個責任:每天早上要起來放起床號,把全營的官兵叫起來。禮拜天放假哦,起床號是臺灣的流行歌曲,夾雜著英文歌。這也是我的責任。當然,油料官最主要的工作是管理全營汽油的補給,和每一部汽車,大卡車和十八輪雙節車的油料記錄。我每隔兩,三個個禮拜就要帶一部大卡車,載著空油桶去高雄的的煉油廠拿油。後來,營長知道我是大學畢業生,對我也沒什麽特殊要求,還鼓勵我唸英文,讓我請假去台北考托福。這是後話。

七十年代初來美國以後,剪頭髮就要克難了。那個年代的留學生個個都是苦哈哈的,那個人有錢給理髮店的師傅理髮,大家都是同學互相剪頭髮。剪的跟狗啃的一樣也沒人笑,反正大家都差不多。我唸書的鄉下學校小,沒見過年輕貌美的女生,我們這些沒有女朋友的,只有拿著鈍鈍的剪刀,互相剪來剪去。我有一次把同學的脖子都剪出血來了還不知道。

如此這般剪了幾年以後,手法熟練了,狗啃的髮型也少了,馬馬虎虎的也看過得去,不過後腦袋有些坑坑洞洞的,總是免不了的了。

結了婚以後,升級了。一要剪頭髮,就請出我專用,無照,半路出家,從來沒有剪過頭髮的美女理髮師:太座大人。她左看右看,前看後看,噴一口水,剪刀一揮,梳子一比,三下兩下,地上就是一大堆頭髮。至於好不好看我也不知道,反正後面是看不到的。

慢慢的,太座大人不想兼差,拒絕拿剪刀了。我的專用理髮小姐有時候還罷工。理由很簡單:老娘不幹了。

Well, 幾十年下來,一毛工資都沒有給她,小費也沒給過,到這個地步,我也沒有什麼可以抱怨的了。

再說,一個師傅剪了二十年,也該換一個了。嗯,是不是可以找一個年輕貌美的姑娘呢?

從此以後,我只有在外面剪頭髮了。我剪頭髮的的原則:便宜的理髮店就是好的理髮店。

在 Northern Virginia, 我有時候去 Hair Cuttery. $14 剪一次。不洗頭。不過要給小費!$5一次。

後來我都去 Chantilly 的 Lotte Market。它裏面有一個韓國人開的理髮廳。韓國老媽媽剪一次頭髮 $9,小費 $5。比 Hair Cuttery 便宜。

有一次,我們在 Bali 的 St. Regis 玩,我去 Bali 的市中心剪頭髮,$3。 

去 NYC 剪頭髮,我也是找最便宜的。結果在紐約唐人街找到好幾家,$7一次。

紐約唐人街理髮店。

當然,紐約有許多比較貴的,像在 SIHO 靠近 Clinton Street 那裏有許多理髮店。理一次頭髮要 美金$40。你要洗頭髮,對不起,再加 $20。加上小費,出門以後口袋就輕了許多。女生剪頭髮比男生貴,至於貴多少 我沒敢問。

紐約唐人街理髮店

到台灣以後,我在林口剪頭髮很便宜:新臺幣 $100 一次。不洗頭。理髮廳門口有一個機器,你塞 $100 進出,一張單子出來。給個號碼,按順序剪頭髮。不洗頭。一次差不多美金 三塊錢。不用給小費。我頭髮少,不到十五分鍾,頭髮剪完了,吸塵器吸一吸,梳子梳兩下,清潔溜溜,就把我趕出來了。台灣人工便宜,從理髮都看的出來。不知道這是可悲,還是可喜。

台灣林口家樂福商場地下室理髮店

在上海浦東,我試過好幾家,每一家都比臺灣的貴。我們在浦東的公寓邊上就有三家理髮店。三家店面對面,只不過隔個街而已。最便宜的¥35一次;剪髪,洗頭,吹風,堅持不收小費,就是我去的一家。我們習慣給小費,中國沒這個規矩。不過後來我塞小費給他,店長不在的時候,他還是收下來了。這一家店面小,只有四個位子,兩個年輕的男生理髮師傅,外加一個專門洗頭髮的年輕人。幾個人都只有二十幾歲,全是江蘇或安徽鄉下來的。給我理髮的男孩還跟我說,大陸在外打工的有很多都是四川來的。這些人肯拼,自成一派。老闆對這些人比較沒折。店長看起來只有三十幾,不喜歡說話,有點老氣。

另外兩家規模大多了,我們花枝招展的,不過我沒敢進去。剪一次頭髮¥69塊。理髮師傅大部分都是年輕,貌有點美,身材奇佳的年輕姑娘。每一家都有七,八上十個。不過,也有幾個年輕的帥哥點綴,點綴。姑娘個個身著緊緊的黑衣,貼著腿的黑長褲,打扮的清清楚楚。有一家是新開的,生意很好。每天早上十點鐘,店長在門口把大家集合在一起,排成三排。店長照例先訓話一番,差不多五分鐘。店員不時要喊喊話,表示會爲理髮店盡忠職守。訓話完就是跳舞,
沒多久,¥35人民幣的那一家關門大吉了,因為另外兩家做活動,剪一次頭髮只要¥9人民幣,還有年輕的姑娘服務。給我剪頭髮的那個年輕人都說他也要去試一試。不過,你需要參加他們的會員,先給它一筆錢,我不知道多少,可能要幾百塊錢吧。等到¥35的那一家關門以後,活動也不做了。

下面照片裏的這一家理髮店是新開的。它是一家連鎖店。據說是台灣人開的。非常成功。只要是下班時間就有人排隊,週末更是忙,出來椅子全滿,客人不停以外,還有好幾個理髮師在邊上嚴陣以待,按時替換下來站了許久的理髮師。

理髮店明亮,乾淨,新穎,

新客多快剪:新開的。在匯智廣場地下室。就在金科地鐵站一出來的邊上。對面是 Auchan菜市場。每天大概有幾千人來來往往。

這些人在掃描理髮店的二維碼,排隊等理髮。

¥38一次。你可以選擇髮型。面板上告訴你有幾個人在你的前面。你也可以預訂時間或理髮師。

¥35 塊剪一次的理髮店關門以後,我就來這剪頭髮了。很方便,不用鈔票,只用支付寶或微信付錢。一次¥38塊人民幣。

最早開張時,它採取動態收費:越忙的時候越貴。不忙的時候反而便宜。不過差別不大,只有¥8人民幣左右:¥42 vs ¥34。後來取消了,統一價,¥38。男女老少一個價錢。只剪,不洗。

當前一個客人離開以後,理髮師把長圍巾折好收起來,把剪刀和梳子放在他腰上掛的皮袋子裏收好。用吸塵器把椅子上,架子上和地上的頭髮吸乾淨。拿出他的手機,看一看下一個客人是誰,走到外面,堆起一臉的笑容,叫客人的名字,跟他鞠個躬,問他好,然後請他到椅子上坐好,披上長圍巾,然後問他要如何剪頭髮。

15分鐘以後頭髮剪完了,他拿出一面鏡子照一照後面,問客人滿不滿意。如果客人點頭,他就拿出吸塵器把頭髮吸一吸,然後用梳子把頭髮理一理,解開長圍巾,請客人下來,然後又堆起一臉的笑容,謝謝客人,跟他鞠個躬,請他好走。

當我的那位年輕的理髮師跟我做這些時,我嚇一大跳,心理想:大陸什麼時候變成這樣了?那個笑容是什麼時候開始的?看來有錢能使鬼推磨,資本主義在大陸也能改變店員的服務態度。價錢便宜重要,大陸也明瞭服務態度也很重要。

張江高科有十幾萬人在這裏上班,張江高科的金科路地鐵站每天有許許多多的人進進出出。星客多以全新的姿態打入大陸市場,前途無量。

盒馬, a house in a box? October 19, 2017

Posted by hslu in China, Food, Shanghai, 台灣, 浦東, 中國.
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“Have you seen it?” My wife asked.

“What?” I said.

“he ma.” She said to me, somewhat agitated, “I lined it to you yesterday.”

“No.” I replied. “There isn’t much to see. I have seen 河馬 (he ma, hippos) before. They aren’t exactly pretty.” I said to myself.

“I told you to check it out yesterday. How come you haven’t done it?不乖.” She raised her voice and starred at me.

“Okay. Okay. I’ll do it right after I finish reading Trump pissing off at someone again.” I promised her.

Well, this is what she sent to me which was almost trashed by me because I seldom watch vedio sent to me by all my friends.

Well, now that you have seen it like I have, you know that this “he ma” isn’t “hippos” (河馬) and it isn’t “a horse in a box”, as in 盒馬, either.

We are talking about a brand new way of “fresh and live” grocery shopping in China; developed and operated by Alibaba: 盒馬鮮生, thecinstitue.net.

http://www.thecinstitute.net/hema/

https://baike.baidu.com/item/盒马鲜生/22035088?noadapt=1

~$120 USD each at 上海盒馬鮮生

Well, we just have to check it out next time we visit Shanghai next spring.

And, wouldn’t you know it, there is a 盒馬鮮生 at 長泰廣場 which is about 15 minutes from my apartment in Pudong, Shanghai.

Wonderful!

I already have alipay on my cellphones. All I need is to download 盒馬鮮生 app, set it up and start eating. Or shopping.

Yes, you can buy fresh seafood at 盒馬 and 盒馬 (盒馬) will cook for you right there, just like 龜吼, except it’s indoor and probably cleaner. 

I hope 盒馬 served cold beer too.

I can’t wait.

Oh, yes, if it is raining outside and we don’t want to go out, I can place an online order using my phone app and it will show up at my apartment within 30 minutes.

China or the U.S.? October 19, 2017

Posted by hslu in China, Cold War, 美國, Economics, Global Affair, Globlization, 中國.
Tags: , , , , ,
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We are talking about the largest economy in the world here. And the answer, according to Noah Smith, is China.

https://www.google.com.tw/amp/s/www.bloomberg.com/amp/view/articles/2017-10-18/who-has-the-world-s-no-1-economy-not-the-u-s#ampshare=https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-10-18/who-has-the-world-s-no-1-economy-not-the-u-s

I started talking about the downfall of the U.S. in 2009. Finally, some one agreed with me eight years later.

What’s even more surprising to me is this: Noah Smith believes that China will eventually come out on top if these two countries engage in a conventional war. He cites China’s advantages in population and manufacture prowess.

I am glad that I get to see this happening in my life time. 中國, The Midfle Kingdom, has come back to glory from the humiliation it suffered after 甲午戰爭, the First Sino-Japanese War, and the signing of 馬關條約, Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895.

Source: The wikipedia

Source: The wikipedia

Well, 甲午戰爭 and 馬關條約 are history now and, finally, a brand new chapter in 中國近代史 has begun with China’s 十九大, the 19th Communist Party congress, and its 十三五, China’s 13th Five-Year Plan.

While Trump is writing a $25,000 check from his personal account to the father of a dead soldier and arguing with a Democratic Congresswoman about what Trump said to another dead soldier’s family, China is walking its own path and carrying out its expansion plans systematically.

Yeah, let Trump tweets and pisses off at everyone who disgrees with him, McCain, Tillerson, Muller, McConnell, Schumer, CNN, NBC, NFL players and many others, the family feud makes good drama for the world to enjoy. 

Source: Fox News

Source: The Daily Mail.

Source: The Daily Mail.

I am not complaining at all. It’s entertsining and fun to see when the s**** hits the fan.

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