My Country Right or Wrong

 Soon after I wrote my previous post, right on cue, I read an article stating China is now not allowing smaller cities to build skyscrapers.  What bothers me about this is not the admission that market forces in China have not been behind the rise in skyscrapers, but rather what bothers me about this is that a government entity can make such an order, and it make sense.  Thomas Paine in 1776 said "these are the times that try Men's Souls".  He was talking about America.  It was the first time I'd seen the phrase "sunshine patriot".  But it can be anyone in any other country, too.  I increasingly am finding myself admiring what China is doing, and I find it most alarming.  Not allowing the market to decide who makes winners and losers is in a way, comforting to me.   In some areas, it is a fraud.   I remember I was sitting in a Dunkin Donuts in Beijing.  Next to me was an American teacher with a translator at a table and several prospective Chinese students.

This is not the Land of Milk and Honey

 Happy to finally be able to post.  It's been awhile for me.  Quite a while actually, the longest break from a post I've ever taken.  Not on purpose.  When working upwards of 60 hours a week, it's just hard.  I manage Chinese operations for my company.  Thus I am literally working night and day.   Later tonight I have another call to make, this one with Guangzhou.  Tomorrow I have a call with Ningbo.  It just doesn't stop.  Yeah, I make good money.  I don't complain.  But work has the effect of simply draining one's passion from you to do other things.  I've found a gradual lack of interest in my main hobbies, ie exercise, photography, and my blog.    I've not given my blog more than ten seconds thought over the past several weeks.   The energy isn't there.   But I'm still allowed to observe.  I still read at night, and I struggle to pay attention to the day's events. I wanted recently to write a post about what learning Mandarin has done for

More Like China

 I don't know where to start with this.  Everyday seems to have a new, "didn't see this coming",  take from the Heavenly Kingdom.   It is a marvel to observe.  Before our very eyes we are seeing social engineering in action, and on a national scale. First tutoring schools are banned from making profits.  Now kids cannot play video games. Ok.....but then the "niangpao" are not allowed to be on TV anymore.  These are effeminate looking and acting men.  Feminine Boys, if you will.    Famous actresses have been banned from TV, and actresses guilty of tax evasion have been hauled in. I have a few thoughts here..... What the hell is going on?  And.... I like it. Ignore the chaff, folks.  Admire the method.   If China was an American company, the CEO would be fired for political incorrectness.  For "shaming".  China's "get shit done", mantra is refreshing.   To hell with the feelings of others.  It really is all about the result folks.  Don&

"Don't we all......"

 I am the Senior Director of  small company.  Maybe this year a bit less than $200 million in revenue. Yet I have a China Team of around twenty staff.  I have a few American Staff as well.  And I am finding myself increasingly frustrated when I want stuff done. In America. Why is that?  I know my American staff may not get to it right away.  Or even my coworkers for that matter.  And if they do, it won't necessarily be as thorough as I prefer.  Right now we are having a hell of a time getting containers in China.  It is literally just one crisis after another.  First Covid slammed us, now the inability to ship product ontime is nearly the final damn nail in the coffin.  But my logistics manager works on weekends to get the job done.  She is dedicated, and task oriented.  She has even worked on holidays.  Do I care? Yeah, I do.  Does she ask for permission?  Nope.  She just gets it done.  And our products ship.    Last week I had samples that had to go out.  It wasn't necessaril

Rock on Man

Chinese need approval. They seek acceptance.  They crave validity.  Watching WeChat "channels" has shown me this trend is alive and strong.  WC as such has now become not just a venue for talking with friends, banking etc, but now is the premier avenue for the masses ability to  showcase China while also skewering the decline of the West.  This is popularity driven.  It's just a cool thing to do.  And I must admit, I like watching the videos on WC that do just that.   But before you begin thinking I'm just gonna call out WC as a tool for belittling everything Western, you need to know WC is far more open minded than one might think.  Only a few days ago I saw a video of Fauci and Rand Paul having a near brawl on WC.  The topic  of their conversation is very sensitive to China.  Frankly, I was surprised it was posted.   Surely I wasn't the only one wondering why China doesn't have such blunt political debate as well? I often surf WC before going to bed.  It tak

You will always be able to read the menu.....

 Yeah, I've been away awhile.  Sorry about that.  My job is crushing me, and when I'm dead tired keeping up with a blog just isn't easy to do.  Onward.... Only a few days ago I was listening to "The Pacific Century Podcast ".  It is a decent podcast hosted by scholars, primarily about China.  While driving to work one of the hosts lamented America's lack of people that can speak and read Chinese.  In particular the newspaper.  While he is an up and coming China Expert, if you will, he is quick to note he himself cannot speak Mandarin.  I've had readers ask me about how they can utilize their Mandarin to get a good job, or how to leverage it into a bright future.   And my answer has always been through one's own initiative, or through the private sector.  The American Government will not come and find  you.  There is no organized method to find, filter, let alone mentor and groom young American Mandarin speakers for a future in US Government.  None. Sh

The Yongle Emperor writes a book

I want to talk about Yongle.  He was the Third Emperor of the Ming Dynasty.  He  reigned from 1402-1424.  In my feeble mind he is one of the greatest of China's Emperors. However, by taking a look at any "Top Ten" list, he is not mentioned. However, if that list was to simply include "modern day" emperors, of say the Ming onward, or of the past millenia, surely he would be one of the greatest emperors during that period. Yongle did many things, so let's simply start off with what he is most famous for;  the building of the Forbidden Palace.   He also expanded upon the Grand Canal, as well as obviously moving the capital to Beijing.   He kept good relations with Tibet, as well as building the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing.  He also codified the Imperial Exam System, making it more selective by the actual passing of a test than by appointment. Oh, and he also funded the voyages of Zheng He as well.  Yongle was not perfect, and of course he did unpopular things a