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Monthly Archives: June 2016

March 1 was my last post. That’s more than 3 months ago and I guess I’m not ready to throw in the towel. Blogging on a regular basis is tough. I used to do it daily but that was mostly bitching. Now I do it about once a week (until now) and that’s more normal. I have stories that aren’t complaints and occasionally I have important things to say. (Important to me anyways).

This post will be in 3 parts. Part one is what I’ve been up to (and Shujie too), part II is a little bit about the “greatest”, Muhammad Ali. Part III is about the U.S. and the thing whose name I won’t repeat.

My well-paying job in Beijing didn’t exactly work out. The money was good but work was like “work”. I didn’t come here to work. I came here to share knowledge and not feel like I had a job. If I wanted a job I could have stayed in Canada and worked I.T. and made big bucks. I didn’t have to come to China to make little money and be annoyed. However you never know how school will go until you go there.

I didn’t think I got along well with the people whose jobs touched mine. I found the principal to be a HUGE liar (“I have no say in who is hired or fired”). Who is he kidding? The vice-principal was useless,. Some of the other teachers in the same department were rude. I know a Chinese teacher has it much harder than a foreign teacher, but I forget things sometimes, and other times I’m never even told. It takes a minute to answer a question, but it maybe takes a little longer to tell me that you’ve told me before, insinuate I’m an idiot, and walk away. You know those things you might have heard about how Chinese respect their elders. It’s a lie. I also think Grade 7’s and 8’s are too young for me.

The course was crap. I taught history and their projects always seemed to be group posters. (Or you had 2 days to teach WWII). Who knows who did the work in the group? What is with these posters? I don’t get it. In fact, I didn’t get the whole program. It’s an IB program (International Baccalaureate) . What is that? Beats me. You can look up how brilliant it is because it teaches students to think, but I always thought any decent teacher helped students to learn how to think. I just don’t think they really cared about what they were delivering as long as the money comes in. These “International” schools in China are big business and if you have money, you can get your dummy kid who doesn’t give a damn into a school. They’re not cheap and this was a pretty school but I learned that a lot of teachers were going to leave at the end of the semester because they had had enough.

I made it to the end of my probation (2 months). I have a big mouth at times. I was happy to be let go but I could have used the money. We lived on the edge of nowhere and I wasn’t having any fun (it’s important to have fun). So I was terminated and I really wasn’t offended and I really didn’t care. There are better places to be annoyed.

We came back to Baoding (had to go somewhere) and Shujie keeps busy. I mostly just sit in the apartment reading or finding things on Netflix to watch (I’m in season 4 of Dexter and I love it). I’m bored beyond belief but this is what I sowed, so I am reaping it.

Shujie seems to find places to go all the time but I really don’t tag along because her friends only speak Chinese and I don’t and there is only so long I can sit there and smile. If she’s happy, that’s good.

We are heading to Toronto in less than 3 weeks to see family, then we’re going to N.Y. for 3 days to see Elana and then we’re going to Kalamazoo because who doesn’t want to go to Kalamazoo. We made a friend a few years ago so it will be nice to see her. She’s put China in her rear-view mirror so we’re happy about that. I can’t wait to blow this pop-stand.

We have jobs for Sept. 1 working at an “International” high school in Nanchang. The money isn’t great but there is a job for both Shujie and I, which is great. They’re thrilled to be hiring a couple so maybe they are smarter than the average bear. It’s high school and I might like it. Shujie will like it because it’s new to her and she wants to learn about running a school so she can build her education empire here in Baoding. She’ll be a home room teacher and teach English to those having problems. When she returns to Baoding to build her empire, it will serve bagels, be a bar, and do schooling. I wish her luck. If you’re going to dream, dream big.

So that’s where we are now. Now on to my next topic.

Muhammad Ali is dead. That is unbelievable to me. I think he first became a part of my consciousness in 1962 when I was 7. I knew nothing about boxing but I knew that Sonny Liston was going to destroy him. There were 2 sure things in my world. My parents loved me and Sonny Liston was going to kill Cassius Clay.

I guess 1 out of 2 isn’t bad. My parents loved me every day but Clay beat Liston. He then declared he was a Black Muslim. I don’t think I even understood that, but it didn’t matter. If he wanted to call himself Howdy Doody that was okay with me and it was none of my business.

Most people have an opinion about boxing. It’s interesting or it’s evil. Why should 2 men try to destroy each other? But the whole idea of Muhammed Ali isn’t about how great a boxer he was (and he was). It was that he did what very few of us would have done. He walked away from millions of dollars, which I doubt few, if any, of us would have done.

When Michael Jordan, probably the greatest basketball player ever, had a chance to endorse a candidate to be the Senator from North Carolina and defeat the racist Jesse Helm, Jordan showed his true colours by stating, “Republicans wear running shoes too”. You can do something for your people, or you can count your money. We all saw what was most important to Jordan.

Now the American army wanted to draft Muhammad Ali to fight in Viet Nam. Originally he failed the exam to determine whether he was eligible for the draft. Then they changed the rules and now he was eligible. It seemed like he had 2 choices. He could go fight the Vietnamese or he could go to jail for not killing these people ½ way across the world who had nothing to do with him or his life. Of course, if he chose not to fight he could go to jail and he could pass up millions of dollars in paydays. How many of us would make that choice? Honestly.

“I got nothing against no Viet Cong. No Vietnamese ever called me a nigger.”

“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality.… If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”

 

“I strongly object to the fact that so many newspapers have given the American public and the world the impression that I have only two alternatives in taking this stand: either I go to jail or go to the Army. There is another alternative and that alternative is justice. If justice prevails, if my Constitutional rights are upheld, I will be forced to go neither to the Army nor jail. In the end I am confident that justice will come my way for the truth must eventually prevail.”

 

Those are the words of a man. A man of beliefs who understands the difference between right and wrong. And to walk away from all that money and the best 3 years of his sporting life is beyond amazing. How many people do you know who would do that? The answer is probably zero.

Sure he had his flaws. He could be cruel and mean and insulting. He fought bums for a payday. He screwed around on his wives. But on the BIG thing, he was a true man who stood up for his beliefs. This, more than anything else amazes me.

It is this one act that made Muhammad Ali truly a great man. It is this one act that has always gotten my respect and made me an Ali fan. Sure, I like boxing, and I thrilled to many of his fights. But nothing was as thrilling as standing up to the government and doing the right thing. As I get older, I appreciate what he did more and more.

In many ways he was what he said, “The Greatest”. He wasn’t the greatest because he was a great boxer; he was the greatest because he was truly a man of his convictions.

The world is truly a little poorer without him.

And now for the one who shall remain nameless. I’m a Canadian, as most people know. Many people think Canadians are Americans Lite. We are different from Americans. Many people around the world hate Americans but very few hate Canadians. I always said that the reason people hate the United States was because they were jealous. The United States was formed on some pretty decent principles (which aren’t always followed), has a good form of government (which doesn’t always work), and most Americans I have always found to be pretty decent people.

Now something has come along that has made Americans (for lack of a better word) insane. In the thirties in Germany many said, “let’s vote for this guy Hitler. He’ll get things done and he doesn’t really mean it about the Jews”. Six million Jews died but he was a good guy to vote for because he would get things done.

Now the Americans have a choice. Many of them are angry about how the government is working but electing an insane lunatic to be President is not the answer. I don’t believe he’s a Hitler, but the whole thing is operating on the same principle.

The one who shall remain nameless is a self-absorbed piece of s shit (and that’s the most positive thing I can say about him). Let’s kick out the Muslims and the Mexicans (maybe it’s the letter “M” that bothers him). Sounds very Hitler like to me.

He campaigns by complaining about judges who are hearing a court case against him because they are Mexican. Geez, I must be stupid but I thought they were American. He is evil and can only bring bad times with him.

But what is saddest of all, are the people who support him. First off, you have the lowlifes who like to hate others because it makes them feel better. They are pathetic. But then it gets worse. It’s okay for Democrats to not like Republican values and vice versa. I thought that’s why there were elections. But people I personally don’t agree with have no balls (man or woman). Paul Ryan (who I am no fan of) was not going to give his support to he who shall remain nameless. Now he is. Oh, he’s not so bad. I heard Hitler wasn’t so bad either. You have all these people who were dead set against this poor excuse for a man say, “We won’t support him”, and one by one they decide “he’s got to be better than any Democrat”. What’s wrong with having principles? If the Republicans hold on to the House and the Senate, it kind of limits what a Democratic President can do. The Supreme Court is there to balance things out. It’s called a system of “checks and balances”, not a system of weak-kneed pour excuses for Human Beings.

I remember when John McCain was someone who you could respect. You might not agree with him, but he was worth listening to. Now he’s just another one of these morons who can’t see beyond being elected. Are you really going to lose your election by standing up for yourself and your principles? If you are going to fold to a group that supports he who shall remain nameless, then maybe you should lose and shouldn’t be running for government.

I see the Bushes (even George W.) are not supporting he who shall remain nameless. Maybe George W. is a little bit better than we all thought. Paul Ryan had a chance to show his balls, but I guess they got caught in his zipper. Chris Christie is a whore just like McCain and the rest of them.

When you run for President, you run to represent certain beliefs. It seems to me that he who shall remain nameless is running on his own personal agenda. It’s not to make America “great again”. Everyone who runs says that. It’s so he can have all the toys to play with.

When all this started most people thought it was a joke that he who shall remain nameless was running. No way could he win the nomination. I guess they thought that about Hitler too. Guess what? You were all wrong. The joke that was him, was us. Let’s beat up the people who don’t agree with him. Maybe he can start his own Gestapo. It looks like there are a lot of people out there auditioning for the job of Himmler. Don’t kid yourself; nothing is so awful that it can’t happen.

I’m ashamed to have believed in the United States. There are too many evil people there. There are still plenty of good people, but there are just a bit too many evil people for my taste. And yes, if you have no balls, you are evil. John McCain is evil. He’s like Michael Jordon. Even Arizonans have their own haters and we must pander to them. Shame on you!

I’m sickened by what is happening and I would never have believed it. Stupid me. Hitler gave the world a great lesson but it seems it didn’t quite take. I’m not saying that he who shall remain nameless is just like Hitler, but the idea and lack of principles are the same.

So I’m back.