Gary Hart, the personal lives of politicians, and the death of nuance


There’s a great article in the NY Times Magazine about Gary Hart, written by Matt Bai: How Gary Hart’s Downfall Forever Changed American Politics. I remember how Hart’s fall was a big thing. I remember the old joke: What do Gary Hart and Chinese people have in common? They both like Rice.  The article itself is interesting because it seems clear that Hart had no idea that the entire media’s relationship to politics was about to change–before his scandal, it was never a big deal. He expected it never to be a big deal. And then everything came down.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (Review)


If you’re looking for a new Asian American novel, I just finished Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. It’s the story of a mixed-race family (Asian father, White mother) during the 1970’s and the mysterious death of one of the daughters. The novel delves into issues such as racial assimilation, adolescent sexuality, and Chinese-style parenting (which the extreme liberals say is just a myth, but we all know better). I usually don’t read books of this genre, but much of this work of fiction rings true with respect to culture.

Corporal punishment

The news media has been busy with the news of NFL players and domestic violence–Ray Rice and Greg Hardy are in trouble for beating their significant others, while Adrian Peterson is in trouble for beating his four-year-old son. I think it’s obvious to most that if the allegations are true, Ray Rice and Greg Hardy are in the wrong. It’s never right for a man to hit his wife or girlfriend. Most people would probably also feel that Adrian Peterson is in the wrong–he beat his son with a switch and left scars on his buttocks and scrotum. But with Adrian Peterson, the question of corporal punishment is more complicated and has raised some complicated questions in the news media.

Show me the money (but not in Portland)!

Hilarious article on Portland here: Will Portland Always Be A Retirement Community For the Young?

David Albouy, an economics professor at the University of Illinois, has created a metric, the sacrifice measure, which essentially charts how poor a person is willing to be in order to live in a particular city. Portland, he discovered, is near the top of the list. Even when college-educated residents get jobs there, they earn 84 cents for the average dollar earned in other cities, according to Greg Schrock and Jason Jurjevich, professors of urban studies at Portland State University. In 41 of the country’s 50 largest cities, young, educated people earn more than they do in Portland. “It’s a buyer’s market for labor,” Schrock says.

An Honest Conversation on the Traditional Chinese Work Ethic and Affirmative Action (Podcast)

Our latest podcast with GuitarDude and ChineseMom can be downloaded here, or you can hear it here:

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If you asked me what bigWOWO’s greatest contributions to the internet are, I’d list two things:

a. This is one of the few blogs that has good, honest feedback on Asian American literary works, and

D.C. school goes after Asian American “truant”

Meet 13-year-old Avery Gagliano. She is a piano and concert prodigy, the daughter of a Chinese mother and Caucasian father. She travels the world, entering and winning competitions, playing before large audiences. Last year she played at a prestigious event in Munich. She’s a straight-A student.

But no longer. The problem was that she missed a lot of school in order to pursue her musical education. In the D.C. public school she attends, that’s a big no-no. After she missed ten days, her record was permanently marked: Avery was considered a truant for missing school.

No such thing as a free lunch

Over the next week or two, I’d like to discuss some principles behind reasonable arguments and what the preconditions of a reasonable argument are. I think many on the far extremes of the political spectrum tend to prefer emotion over logic and fact. Many people get emotional during debates, of course, but a principled debater will rarely let his or her emotions get the best of him. It is possible to use logic while engaged in a heated debate.

Kei Nishikori, first Japanese man in Grand Slam finals


Kei Nishikori, Photo credit: Matthew Stockman, Getty Images

Kei Nishikori beat Novak Djokovic yesterday in the U.S. Open semifinals to become the first Japanese man ever in a Grand Slam final. Japanese tennis fans are going crazy. He’s also the first man from Asia to be in that position. I think he’s the second man of Asian descent, the first being, of course, Michael Chang, who actually won a Grand Slam title with that famous underhand serve against Ivan Lendl. Michael Chang is actually Kei Nishikori’s coach. In the finals on Monday, Nishikori will face Marin Cilic, whom he has beaten previously 5 out of 7 times.

Black Values and Education (Podcast)

Thank you to Snoopy Jenkins and King for the fun and lively podcast tonight. You can download it here, or you can hear it here:

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What to do about ISIS

ISIS beheaded another American journalist with a knife.

I understand all the talk about how America is a big country with a big military. I understand how some people around the world don’t like America. But beheading unarmed American journalists and then posting the videos on the internet? I just don’t see how our values can coexist. Biden says that the U.S. is going to pursue these vicious murderers “to the gates of Hell.” I hope we do. I don’t think we have any other choice in the matter. At some point, it’s either us or them. We either continue to allow them to murder our journalists, or we stop them.