Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Why Do They Hate Us? - Despite all their ranting about diversity and the evils of racism, white liberals seem to have trouble living up to the ideals they preach. Data from the 2000 Census has revealed that the most segregated neighborhoods in Alameda County (CA) are located in none other than that bastion of liberalism, Berkeley. With a population that is only 14 percent minority, the Elmwood and Claremont sections of Berkeley are the whitest neighborhoods in the entire region, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

It's true though, everyone concedes, when they stop to think about it: The neighbors are largely white. All too often, when they spot people of color on their tree-lined streets, it's because they are working in gardens or caring for young children.

“Just because it's white and wealthy here, doesn't mean it's reactionary," said Roger Wicker, owner of a local book shop. It's still Berkeley -- hence, the sprinkling of peace signs and left-leaning politics. All the same, Republicans are few and far between. "I don't think I know any."

Since the point is usually not obvious to liberals, let me make it clear: White liberals hate true diversity. The liberals' actions shout from the rooftops what their lying words deny. In the San Francisco Bay Area where rich, white liberals abound, you will find that they do not live in racially-mixed neighborhoods. They will not send their children to minority-dominated public schools. And they refuse to allow people with opposing points of view (re: conservative) to have a voice in local media, politics and education. Until the liberal hypocrites acknowledge their practice of what they condemn so many people for doing–having the freedom to choose what’s best for themselves and their families – they will continue to divide and inflame our society instead bringing people together.

Monday, May 27, 2002

Busy as a Bee - I love three day weekends. Even though I hardly had time to relax this weekend, I still prefer to be busy at home than to be bored at work. We accomplished a lot over Memorial Day weekend.

On Saturday, I spent most of the day painting the molding in the second bedroom (the baby's room) a bright, blue color according to Jenny's wishes. Without curtains, the moldings look too bright for the room. Luckily, Jenny's homemade curtains tone down the color to an acceptable level. Once again, the paint color did not turn out as we expected--it's much brighter than the color sample at Home Depot. Before painting, I always warn Jenny about two things: 1) The Ralph Lauren paint is over-priced and never matches the color sample. 2) Don't buy too much paint. Despite my repeated warnings, our garage cabinets are still full of unused or extra Ralph Lauren paint that Jenny either didn't like or bought in excess.

My cousin Lei-Lei from San Jose, her husband Johnson, and my newly-arrived-from-China 7th Aunt and Uncle on my father's side stopped by on Sunday for one of my patented 5-hour San Francisco tours. With Jenny staying behind at home, we visited Chinatown, Lombard Street, the Golden Gate Bridge, Cliff House and the Musee Mechanique (museum of arcade games) in that order. This is my aunt and uncle’s first trip to the US. They have a six month visa to stay in the US, so they will be able to help out Lei-Lei when she has her first baby in August. Lei-Lei is my aunt and uncle’s only daughter.

When Jenny and I went to China last year, my aunt and uncle were kind enough to take us out around Shanghai, where they live in a small two bedroom apartment on the campus of Fudan University. My Uncle is a Chemistry Professor and my Aunt is a chemist at a perfume factory. My 98-year-old Grandmother lives with them, and I saw her for the first time in nearly 20 years. Before we left Shanghai, I promised my Grandmother that I would return to see her and that I would bring back another great-grandchild, her fifteenth. I intend to keep that promise.

Jenny’s mother and father came with us for dinner that night at Oakland’s Restaurant Peony. Jenny’s father ordered, and we had a delicious Cantonese-style dinner with Orange Chicken, Scallops in Hot Sauce, Fish Stew, Roast Chicken, Braised Catfish, Lemongrass with Mushrooms, and Barbecued Pork with Skin. The conversation was lively, despite the fact that my aunt and uncle speak a different Chinese dialect than Jenny’s parents, and there was a loud wedding banquet going on at the same time in the room next to us.

Being from southern China, Jenny’s parents speak the Cantonese dialect while most of my relatives are from Shanghai (in the middle of the Chinese eastern seaboard) and speak Mandarin and Shanghaiese. To compound things further, my father’s family is from a village directly south of Shanghai called Xiaoshing, where they speak their own distinct dialect. My aunts and uncles would need to speak Mandarin at work, Shanghaiese among their local friends, and the Xiaoshing dialect with family members. All of these dialects sound very different from one another, so when I was a kid, I would hear my mother and father speak different dialects to their brothers and sisters and Mandarin to each other—it confused me greatly. Luckily for me, Jenny speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin fluently, which was invaluable during our trip to China last year.

On Monday, Jenny’s sister came over to visit Jenny and they had one of those sister-to-sister talks where the younger sister asks the older one for advice and approval concerning relationships. Earlier, Jenny’s mother stopped by to drop off a check for me to invest in a mutual fund that Jenny’s father will know nothing about. Shhh….

Later, Brett stopped by to chat and to have lunch at Vi’s with me when Jenny and her sister went out for a walk to talk some more. When we came back, Jenny’s sister had left and she had us move some furniture to her parents’ house in Brett's massive SUV. Afterwards, Brett and I talked about his business, but I can’t tell you what we discussed, because I promised Brett that I would keep it a secret. Shhh….

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Who’s Afraid of the SAT? - Earlier this year, University of California President Richard Atkinson raised a ruckus with the College Board—guardians of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)—by suggesting that the University of California eliminate the SAT(I) as a tool for undergraduate admission. Towing the liberal line, he cited the test’s "cultural bias" and "educational unfairness" as the primary reasons for his new proposal to remove the SAT (I) from the admissions process at UC.

From the white liberal mind arises the two most common arguments against the SAT as currently constituted:

1) The exam is culturally biased against minorities . . . except that Asian students consistently outscore white students.
2) The use of SAT preparatory courses favors students with wealthy backgrounds . . . except that, according to the latest evidence, there is no correlation between family income and SAT scores for Asian-American students.

Contrary to popular belief, the motive behind this initiative was not to boost the numbers of black and Hispanic students at UC— who historically underperform on the exam. In fact, the overall numbers of black and Hispanic students in the UC system have actually remained steady, even after Affirmative Action was tossed out of the admissions process in 1997 as a result of voter-passed Prop. 209. By focusing attention on black and Hispanic enrollment and issues of fairness with the SAT, President Atkinson—the epitome of the bleeding-heart white liberal—hopes to distract parents and students from his true goal: creating a University of California where white students are no longer outnumbered by Asian students.

Asian students already outnumber whites at flagships UC-Berkeley and UCLA, and at two of the six other campuses. At current rates of student enrollment, whites will be a minority and Asians a majority at all but one of the eight UC campuses within five years. For the same reason why white American families generally choose not to live in predominantly Asian communities—cities in California like Monterey Park, San Francisco and Arcadia come to mind--the mostly white liberals that run the University of California would rather not administer schools with mostly Asian student bodies. Thus, the real reason why President Atkinson would like to eliminate the SAT from the admissions process becomes clear.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Life is Beautiful - I've been meaning to write about the all-day Birthing class that Jenny and I took at the hospital on Saturday. There were around 10 pairs of first-time moms & dads in the class, and at 37 weeks, I think Jenny was the furthest along out of the bunch. While the class was a bit drawn out in length, I actually learned quite a bit about pregnancy and the process of giving birth. Upon hearing how a woman's body changes during pregnancy and labor, I have a greater appreciation for what Jenny is enduring and for life in general. Some people would have you believe that life on earth happened just by chance. But after learning how life is created and nurtured within a woman's womb, I have no doubt in my mind that God exists.

We all watched a real-life video of women giving birth, and by the end of the tape all of the women and many of the men in the class were crying after seeing what these women endured. I also think that Jenny started to get a little nervous about labor—especially after watching the vignette about a woman whose labor lasted 48 hours. By the end of the day, I found out what I needed to know: when to drive Jenny to the hospital and how to make her more comfortable during labor. If anything, the class made me more anxious to be a parent. Only 3 more weeks to go!

Monday, May 20, 2002

Saddam's Pentium II - Good news for you cheapskates out there--my old Iraqi laptop (actually its a Toshiba) now works again. On a whim yesterday, I tried out the laptop yesterday and found that the modem works again! I won't be buying a PC for the time being, thus saving me over $1000 for a replacement PC. I plan to use this PC until it dies, or until Saddam Hussein is removed from power in Iraq.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

Blowin' in the Wind – DemocRATS have recently been touting their political correctness about energy policy, but their actions rarely—if ever—match their words. Limousine liberal poster boys Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) are two of the Senate’s biggest windbags, and its biggest hypocrites, when it comes to promoting renewable energy sources.

Kennedy and Kerry oppose an international consortium’s plan to build one of the world’s largest wind power farms in Nantucket Sound, just off Cape Cod--the stomping grounds of many a limousine liberal. Worried that the nearly two-hundred huge 500-foot tall windmills might spoil the view from his Martha’s Vineyard estate, Kennedy has been working to tighten regulatory rules that will delay and eventually kill the project. Hedging his bets, Kerry—one of the Senate’s biggest backers of wind power and coincidentally, also an estate owner on Martha’s Vineyard--urged that the federal government step in to “safeguard the public’s interest” and to study the possible impact of the windmill farm on migratory birds and fish. Given their opposition to oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), is it possible that Kennedy and Kerry also have summer homes just below the Arctic Circle?

What the two DemocRATS aren't saying is that if the windmills get churning, they would handle half of the Massachusetts coastal area's growing energy needs. This proves that liberals are champions of wind power as a clean and efficient energy source — except when it's blowing in their own back yard.

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Lights, Camera, Action - Virtually every time Jenny and I see a Hollywood film (which is rare now), we walk out of the theatre disgusted (well, I least I am) and vow to be more selective about the movies we pay nearly ten dollars to see. Then, I'll turn to Jenny and say the same thing that I've been telling her the past four years: "I can make a better movie than that."

Jenny usually dismisses my talk with a now-famous flick of the wrist, rolls her eyes and says, “Blah, blah, blah—you’re all talk and no action.”

Now, I’ve apparently caught Jenny’s attention with my raw footage from her baby shower two weekends ago. She’s already watched it five times, and shows her concern when I tell her that I’ll be using the “Rocky” soundtrack as background music for the finished product. Freddy and Sharone were so amused by what I had done that they had me tape their bon voyage party last weekend and borrowed my Sony MiniDV camera to do a little vacation filming themselves.

The first two projects I’m going to pursue once my parental leave of absence starts is to finish editing Jenny’s Baby Shower footage, and to begin filming a documentary about my parents. Although it’s going to cost me an arm and a leg, I’m going to purchase an Apple computer and software for editing and creating my own independent films. It’s an expensive hobby, but well worth the cost, I believe. Who knows—maybe I’ll be the next Ang Lee.

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

I Did Not Do the Lotus Position with That Woman - It must be a slow news day when the San Francisco Chronicle makes a front-page story out of a sex scandal involving a yoga instructor and his students. A yoga teacher from Oakland and several students have accused local yoga guru Rodney Yee of having sex with his students, apparently in violation of the "California Yoga Instructor Code of Ethics".

I never thought ethics would ever be an issue out here in California. After all, voters in this state overwhelming supported the ethically-challenged Governor Gray Davis (D) and Vice-President Al Gore (D) in the 2000 elections. I also find it interesting that the local area liberals seem to be holding yoga teachers to a higher ethical standard than say, the 42nd President of the United States, William J. Clinton (D). Of course, if Yogi Yee were in a position to advance the leftist agenda through policy decisions, then his actions would have merited little or no notice. But that would be stretching the truth, right?

Monday, May 13, 2002

Missing In Action - Last week, Jenny and I decided that I will take a 2 to 3 month leave of absence from work once the baby is born. We're going to be parents in only four weeks and I'm going to be able to spend some time with my son! I told my boss the news on Friday, and he seemed surprised yet supportive of my decision. As many people can tell, I am very burned out at work. The time off will do me good, and I'm probably not going to have many more opportunities like this during my lifetime. I'm happy about my decision. Can you believe that I am going to be a father?

There is so much to do around the house, plus I am going to order an Apple computer to get started on the video projects that I've been thinking about for years. I'm also going to try to go to the gym every day. My weight loss has stalled at between 187 and 189 pounds. I'm sure that taking care of baby will help me to lose weight, too.

Thursday, May 09, 2002

Not Necessarily the News - Our local news rags, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Oakland Tribune recently buried two local news stories deep within the bowels of their papers. What upsets me is that both events occured near my house, one of them only three blocks away. I only found out about them because I car pool every morning and this past Tuesday, I struck up a conversation with the driver during the commute.

Over the weekend, some tried to burn down the local synagogue down the street by pouring gasoline at the base of the building and lighting it. Luckily, there is a fire house only two blocks away from the synagogue, and the Oakland Fire Department put out the fire within minutes. One does not have to be Sherlock Holmes to link this crime to recent events in the Middle East between the Israelis and the Palestinians. But aside from a tiny article in the local paper, I have not heard a single local politician or editorial writer speak out against this apparent anti-Jewish violence. Of course, the Chronicle and the Tribune would merely be following the lead of many national papers--such as the New York Times and Los Angeles Times--that have been accused of playing down violence against Israelis and favoring the Palestinians in their coverage of the Middle East conflict.

The other news item was really a series of separate and distinct events: six homicides that occurred in Oakland within a 48 hour period over the weekend, setting a city record. On Monday, the Chronicle printed a really nice graphic that mapped out the six slayings on a map of Oakland. If you connect the dots, you can see a nearly straight line that runs along Route 580 across Oakland. My house is almost exactly in the middle, between murders #3 and #6. However, if you read the Oakland Tribune or watch the local news, this story was buried behind the Cinco de Mayo parade and mass transit fare hike stories.

Did I mention that both newspapers had the teacher's union-sponsored "Education Rally" in Sacramento splashed across their front pages on Monday morning?

Tuesday, May 07, 2002

Countdown - Only five weeks to go before the baby arrives. Jenny and I have been packing our social calendar for the past several months on the assumption we'll be out of action after the baby is born, and this weekend was no exception.

On Friday night, we celebrated our mortgage refinancing with John and Mary. John works for BayCal, a mortgage broker in Burlingame and he’s married to Mary, who is Jenny’s friend from their Wells Fargo teller days. We had dinner at the House, a once-trendy restaurant in the Sunset district. I had pork chops and Jenny had the ostrich, which tasted unexpectedly like beef. John and I spent much of the evening talking about politics, and by the end of dinner I succeeded in converting him into a conservative. It was the taxes and school situation in SF that clinched it.

Before dinner, we took a tour of their gigantic six bedroom, four bathroom house. I was in awe of the space that they had. The house looks small from the front, but most of it hidden from view as it hugs the side of a hill in the Sherwood Forest section of San Francisco. The house also has three separate outdoor decks, the most I’ve ever seen. It could easily fit 300 people. I’m glad the mortgage business has been good to them.

We finally had our ex-neighbors Bruce and Darrell over for dinner on Saturday night. They are very nice people. I really enjoyed hearing about their take on things, being that they are both Black and single guys (straight, of course) originally from the South. It was funny hearing Bruce tell us about his family in Memphis—they think he’s strange for eating sushi. Black people in the South don’t like sushi or Elvis, I found out. I didn’t get to talk about their political philosophy because we ran out of time and I wanted to be cautious about bringing up topics like Ronald Reagan and Jesse Jackson. But surprisingly, several Black people that I’ve met out here are actually conservatives, but they’re afraid to tell others for fear of being ostracized by their peers. Bay Area liberals are very intolerant, I must say. It’s time to come out of the closet!

I took out my financial advisor’s hat on Sunday when Fred and Sharone came over for brunch on Sunday morning. Jenny made some awesome French toast and fruit salad that we completely finished. Afterwards, we watched the Baby Shower video from last week and lounged around in the back yard for a while talking investments. Taking a page from my own book, I suggested that Sharone put most of her retirement plan money into Dodge & Cox Balanced and Income funds. She selling her house soon, so she also needs a place to park her money for a while. I suggested that she place that money into a money market fund, since she’s going to probably roll over the proceeds into another house within the next two years. Sometime soon, Fred will get the hint and ask Sharone to marry him. I wonder when that will happen?

Friday, May 03, 2002

Selling Us Out- For the past three years, I've been receiving messages from an Asian-American group called the "80-20 Initiative" asking for donations to their Political Action Committee. The organization's stated goal is to enhance Asian-American political influence through bloc voting, much like Black and Jewish voters who typically vote for Democrats in large majorities.

Claiming to be non-partisan, 80-20 endorsed Al Gore for the 2000 Presidential election, asserting that Gore and the Democrats "better represented the interests of all Asian/Pacific Island-Americans (APAs)". This fraudulent endorsement effectively ended any chance of my involvement with 80-20. The premise that a Clintonized Democratic Party was concerned with the well-being of Asian-Americans was ridiculous.

In my view, the Clinton-Gore years were a disaster for Asian-Americans, and for Chinese-Americans in particular. On the positive side, Asian-Americans received a record 2% of all political appointments made by the Clinton administration, greatly exceeding the previous record set by the outgoing Bush administration. But what price did Asian-Americans pay for these apparent political "successes"? Did potential gains in political influence justify becoming involved with a President embroiled in scandal, moral decay and deceit?

My political awakening began in 1993 with the ordeal of a group of Chinese refugees on a ship called the Golden Venture. Seven years before Elian Gonzales became a household name, Bill Clinton's Democrats foreshadowed their contempt for liberty by imprisoning and then deporting nearly an entire boatload of political refugees. That the Golden Venture had run aground within the shadow of the Statue of Liberty didn't seem to impress Bill Clinton, who had recently rescinded a Bush Administration executive order granting asylum for persons escaping China's forced abortion and sterilization policy. For reasons that only became clear later in his term, Clinton seemed more interested in cultivating ties with China's communist leadership, and the tragic fate of the Golden Venture was sealed.

As Bill Clinton and Al Gore shook down Chinese and Chinese-American donors for millions in illegal campaign and Clinton Defense Fund contributions, they approved transfers of sensitive satellite and computer technology to companies controlled by the Chinese military, and ultimately rewarded China with Most Favored Nation status and membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO). When news of the Chinese Campaign Finance Scandal broke after Clinton's 1996 re-election, the Clinton Justice Department ignored the transgressions of its White House masters and instead pointed the finger at donors and their Chinese-American agents such as John Huang (Deputy Assistant Commerce Secretary under Clinton and Democratic National Committee member), Maria Hsia, Johnny Chung and Charlie Trie.

The illegal Chinese contributions were merely the tip of the iceberg as the so-called "Chinagate" scandal burst onto the national scene in March 1999 with front-page stories--by Jeff Gerth and James Risen of The New York Times--about possible Chinese espionage at the Los Alamos nuclear labs. With the tacit approval of Vice-President Gore and President Clinton, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and Attorney General Janet Reno scurried to find a sacrificial lamb or scapegoat of Chinese origin who turned out to be Los Alamos nuclear scientist Dr. Wen Ho Lee. The politically-motivated persecution of Dr. Lee served only to feed a growing stereotype of the Clinton years: that Asian-Americans weren't loyal to the United States and they didn't obey the law.

With Mr. Clinton at the helm, Asian-Americans were dragged through the mud by the Clinton scandal machine and then tossed aside once they had outlived their usefulness. The payoff for their blind loyalty and campaign dollars never materialized during the Clinton years, unless you consider the last minute appointment in July 2000 of Norm Mineta as Secretary of Transportation to be payback. Still, Asian-Americans seem to have forgotten their betrayal at the hands of the Clinton administration, and today continue to be seduced by Democratic siren calls for a place at the political table. By aligning themselves with Bill Clinton's Democrats, Asian-Americans have paid a huge political and ethical price--the equivalent of a pact with the devil. How could Asian-Americans and groups like 80-20 have been fooled so badly?