Vatican Uses Donations for the Poor to Plug Its Budget Deficit

WSJ News Exclusive 2019.12.11

Only 10% of donations to the Peter’s Pence collection go to charitable works
VATICAN CITY—Every year, Catholics around the world donate tens of millions of dollars to the pope. Bishops exhort the faithful to support the weak and suffering through the pope’s main charitable appeal, called Peter’s Pence.
What the church doesn’t advertise is that most of that collection, valued at more than €50 million ($55 million) annually, goes toward plugging the hole in the Vatican’s own administrative budget, while as little as 10% is spent on charitable works, according to people familiar with the funds.
The little-publicized breakdown of how the Holy See spends Peter’s Pence, known only among senior Vatican officials, is raising concern among some Catholic Church leaders that the faithful are being misled about the use of their donations, which could further hurt the credibility of the Vatican’s financial management under Pope Francis.
The Vatican is currently embroiled in a scandal over opaque real-estate investments in London, which has triggered a power struggle within the Vatican’s bureaucracy and led to the dismissal of its chief financial regulator. Last month, the Vatican was suspended from an international network of anti-money-laundering watchdogs.
Meanwhile, the Holy See is struggling with a growing budget deficit, with the pope warning cardinals of the “grave impact” on the body’s economic future. The Vatican’s continuing financial problems reflect a lack of progress on improving its management and finances, which Pope Francis was elected in 2013 with a mandate to overhaul, following allegations of corruption, waste and incompetence there.
Under church law, Peter’s Pence is available to the pope to use at his discretion in any way that serves his ministry, including the support of his administration. The collection’s website says that, to support the pope’s charitable works, “Peter’s Pence also contributes to the support of the Apostolic See and the activities of the Holy See,” emphasizing activities that help “populations, individuals and families in precarious conditions.”
The assets of Peter’s Pence now total about €600 million, down from about €700 million early in the current pontificate, largely on account of unsuccessful investments, said the people familiar with the funds’ use.
The use of Peter’s Pence donations mostly to plug the budget deficit is particularly sensitive for Pope Francis, who began his pontificate by calling for a “poor church for the poor,” and has continually emphasized the church’s mission to care for and advocate on behalf of the most vulnerable.
The head of the Vatican’s press office didn’t respond to a request for comment on the use of the funds.
Peter’s Pence, a special collection from Catholics around the world every June, is billed as a fundraising effort for the needy. The Vatican’s website for the collection, www.peterspence.va, describes it as a “gesture of charity, a way of supporting the activity of the Pope and the universal Church in favoring especially the poorest and Churches in difficulty. It is also an invitation to pay attention and be near to new forms of poverty and fragility.”
A section of the website dedicated to “works realized” describes individual grants, such as €100,000 in relief aid to survivors of last month’s earthquake in Albania or €150,000 for those affected by cyclone Idai in southeastern Africa in March.
Local church leaders echo the Vatican’s line when soliciting contributions. According to the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: “The purpose of the Peter’s Pence Collection is to provide the Holy Father with the financial means to respond to those who are suffering as a result of war, oppression, natural disaster and disease.”
But for at least the past five years, only about 10% of the money collected—more than €50 million was raised in 2018—has gone to the sort of charitable causes featured in advertising for the collection, according to people familiar with the matter.
Meanwhile, about two-thirds of the money has been used to help cover the budget deficit at the Holy See, these people said. The Holy See consists of the central administration of the Catholic Church and the papal diplomatic network around the world. In 2018, the budget deficit reached roughly €70 million on total spending of about €300 million, reflecting chronic inefficiencies, rising wage costs and hits to investment income.
Donations to Peter’s Pence have dropped notably in recent years, to over €50 million in 2018 from over €60 million in 2017, these people said. Concern among ordinary Catholics over the church’s clerical sex-abuse crisis, as well as about the Vatican’s financial transparency, have weighed on donations, these people said. Another decline is expected for 2019.
The Peter’s Pence fund, which is managed by the Secretariat of State, the Holy See’s executive, has been under increased scrutiny since October, when Vatican police raided the Secretariat’s offices and those of the Vatican’s financial watchdog as part of an investigation into a large investment in a building in London’s upmarket Chelsea district. Vatican officials familiar with the secretariat’s operations believe at least some of the money for the controversial investment came from Peter’s Pence.
In November, Pope Francis said that he had authorized the raids because of apparent corruption, but he defended the practice of investing Peter’s Pence donations in real estate and other assets, rather than using it for charity immediately.
“When the money from Peter’s Pence arrives, what do I do? I put it in a drawer? No. This is bad administration. I try to make an investment and when I need to give, when there is a need, throughout the year, the money is taken and that capital does not devalue, it stays the same or it increases a bit,” the pope said last month.
But no more than a quarter of the annual Peter’s Pence contributions is available for investments, after the bulk is spent on the Vatican’s operating costs, according to the people familiar with the fund.

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Are the knights of 9/11 heroes?

Who’s he (wiki & zh wiki) and what does “spend ¥1 and come in…” mean? Like a peepshow at Amsterdams or former Times Square in New York?

On top of his Weibo, are prices: ¥388, ¥688, ¥988 for various services.

… and there is this post, asking, if “911的那些英雄们, 算不算侠客?” Google translates to “are the heroes of 9/11 heroes?”

Is he kidding???

Reading through a few of his recent posts, I think the ‘heroes” he meant the hijackers. I looked him up, he’s Beijing University’s professor.

接受再教育时间:请问 “大家快来花1元围观” 是啥东东?
花1块钱才能进去看?

北大教授值1块钱?!

好奇 … 找到这个孔老二后人的微博. 顶上是

普通问答388元,私信咨询688元,复杂问题和文章辅导988元!… 加入劝学群或报名人民研究生,…,让知识有价!”

世界小 但是奇人怪事 日日不断

阿姆斯特丹的红灯区也是便宜 丢点钱就可以进去看美眉 … 纽约以前在时代广场也有,丢钱就可以进去看美女 [呲牙] 特此小怀念一下

牛津教授值多少镑?哈佛教授值多少💲?

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When a DNA Test Says You’re a Younger Man, Who Lives 5,000 Miles Away

2019.12.07 NYT

After a bone marrow transplant, a man with leukemia found that his donor’s DNA traveled to unexpected parts of his body. A crime lab is now studying the case.

Three months after his bone marrow transplant, Chris Long of Reno, Nev., learned that the DNA in his blood had changed. It had all been replaced by the DNA of his donor, a German man he had exchanged just a handful of messages with.
He’d been encouraged to test his blood by a colleague at the Sheriff’s Office, where he worked. She had an inkling this might happen. It’s the goal of the procedure, after all: Weak blood is replaced by healthy blood, and with it, the DNA it contains.
But four years after his lifesaving procedure, it was not only Mr. Long’s blood that was affected. Swabs of his lips and cheeks contained his DNA — but also that of his donor. Even more surprising to Mr. Long and other colleagues at the crime lab, all of the DNA in his semen belonged to his donor. “I thought that it was pretty incredible that I can disappear and someone else can appear,” he said.
Mr. Long had become a chimera, the technical term for the rare person with two sets of DNA. The word takes its name from a fire-breathing creature in Greek mythology composed of lion, goat and serpent parts. Doctors and forensic scientists have long known that certain medical procedures turn people into chimeras, but where exactly a donor’s DNA shows up — beyond blood — has rarely been studied with criminal applications in mind.
Tens of thousands of people get bone marrow transplants every year, for blood cancers and other blood diseases including leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia. Though it’s unlikely that any of them would end up as the perpetrator or victim of a crime, the idea that they could intrigued Mr. Long’s colleagues at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department, who have been using their (totally innocent) colleague in IT as a bit of a human guinea pig.
Chris Long agreed to serve as a guinea pig for his colleagues’ experiment to help them understand how a bone marrow transplant could confuse a criminal investigation.
Tiffany Brown Anderson for The New York Times
Where will the DNA go?
The implications of Mr. Long’s case, which was presented at an international forensic science conference in September, have now captured the interest of DNA analysts far beyond Nevada.
The average doctor does not need to know where a donor’s DNA will present itself within a patient. That’s because this type of chimerism is not likely to be harmful. Nor should it change a person. “Their brain and their personality should remain the same,” said Andrew Rezvani, the medical director of the inpatient Blood & Marrow Transplant Unit at Stanford University Medical Center.
He added that patients also sometimes ask him what it means for a man to have a woman’s chromosomes in their bloodstream or vice versa. “It doesn’t matter,” he said.
But for a forensic scientist, it’s a different story. The assumption among criminal investigators as they gather DNA evidence from a crime scene is that each victim and each perpetrator leaves behind a single identifying code — not two, including that of a fellow who is 10 years younger and lives thousands of miles away. And so Renee Romero, who ran the crime lab at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, saw an opportunity when her friend and colleague told her that his doctor had found a suitable match on a donor website and he would be undergoing a bone marrow transplant.
“We need to swab the heck out of you before you have this procedure to see how this DNA takes over your body,” she recalled telling him.
Mr. Long agreed. He welcomed an intriguing distraction from his diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes, both of which impair the production of healthy blood cells.
At the time, he said, “I didn’t even know if I would live.”
Four years after the bone marrow transplant, Mr. Long’s semen contained 100 percent of his donor’s DNA.
Tiffany Brown Anderson for The New York Times
Four years later, with Mr. Long in remission and back at work, Ms. Romero’s experiment persisted, aided by her crime lab colleagues. Within four months of the procedure, Mr. Long’s blood had been replaced by his donor’s blood. Swabs collected from his lip, cheek and tongue showed that these also contained his donor’s DNA, with the percentages rising and falling over the years. Of the samples collected, only his chest and head hair were unaffected. The most unexpected part was that four years after the procedure, the DNA in his semen had been entirely replaced by his donor’s.
“We were kind of shocked that Chris was no longer present at all,” said Darby Stienmetz, a criminalist at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.
If another patient responded similarly to a transplant and that person went on to commit a crime, it could mislead investigators, said Brittney Chilton, a criminalist at the Sheriff’s Office forensic science division.
And it has misled them, Ms. Chilton learned once she began to research chimerism. In 2004, investigators in Alaska uploaded a DNA profile extracted from semen to a criminal DNA database. It matched a potential suspect. But there was a problem: The man had been in prison at the time of the assault. It turned out that he had received a bone marrow transplant. The donor, his brother, was eventually convicted.
Abirami Chidambaram, who presented the Alaska case in 2005, when she worked for the Alaska State Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory in Anchorage, said she had heard about another disconcerting scenario since then. It involved police investigators who were skeptical of a sexual assault victim’s account because she said there had been one attacker, though DNA analysis showed two. Eventually the police determined that the second profile had come from her bone marrow donor.
Similar scenarios could also create confusion around a victim’s identity — and in fact it has, said Yongbin Eom, a visiting research scholar at the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification. In 2008, he was trying to identify the victim of a traffic accident for the National Forensic Service in Seoul, South Korea. Blood showed that the individual was female. But the body appeared to be male, which was confirmed by DNA in a kidney, but not in the spleen or the lung, which contained male and female DNA. Eventually, he figured out that the victim had received a bone marrow transplant from his daughter.
The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in Reno, Nev., ran an informal experiment that could have broader criminal implications.
Tiffany Brown Anderson for The New York Times
The specifics of Mr. Long’s situation raise an inevitable question: What happens if he has a baby? Would he pass on the genes of his German donor or his own to future offspring? In this case, the answer will remain untested because Mr. Long had a vasectomy after his second child was born.
But what about everyone else? Three bone marrow transplant experts who were surveyed agreed that it was an intriguing question. They also agreed that passing on someone else’s genes as a result of a transplant like Mr. Long’s was impossible.
“There shouldn’t be any way for someone to father someone else’s child,” said Dr. Rezvani, the Stanford medical director.
That’s not to say that other forms of chimerism haven’t created comparably confusing scenarios. Fraternal twins sometimes acquire each other’s DNA in the womb; in at least one case that led to unfounded fears of infidelity when a man’s child did not seem to be his. In another case, a mother nearly lost custody of her children after a DNA test.
But a donor’s blood cells should not be able to create new sperm cells, Dr. Rezvani said. Dr. Mehrdad Abedi, the doctor at the University of California, Davis, who treated Mr. Long, agreed: He believed it was Mr. Long’s vasectomy that explained how his semen came to contain his donor’s DNA. The forensic scientists involved say they plan to investigate further.
Everyone who has reviewed Mr. Long’s case agrees on one thing: He is a living, breathing case study of one, and it’s impossible to say how many other people respond to bone marrow transplants the same way he did. It’s simply one of those curious possibilities that forensic analysts may want to consider when DNA results are not adding up.
For his part, Mr. Long said he hopes to meet his donor during an upcoming trip to Germany and to thank him in person for saving his life.
DNA and Bone Marrow Transplants
One Twin Committed the Crime — but Which One? A New DNA Test Can Finger the Culprit
March 1, 2019
DNA Double Take
Sept. 16, 2013
A Pregnancy Souvenir: Cells That Are Not Your Own
Sept. 10, 2015
At 71, She’s Never Felt Pain or Anxiety. Now Scientists Know Why.
March 28, 2019
Five Blood Transfusions, One Bone Marrow Transplant — All Before Birth
May 25, 2018
Can Biology Class Reduce Racism?
Dec. 7, 2019
Heather Murphy is a general assignment reporter who often writes about advances in DNA technology.
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A few good men – movies

In November, I saw three great movies: Midway, the Irishman & Ford vs Ferrari. They’re all historically accurate, and I enjoyed all three very much.

The battle that sealed the fate of Japan in WW II. The storyline is gripping with equally good acting and actions.

The Italian mobsters/Hoffa (who killed President Kennedy, really?), the subject is less relatable, dark and depressing and is long, @ 3:30 but the acting is beyond great, especially Joe Pesci – hope he’ll win an Oscar – De Niro (Raging Bull in 1981) and Pacino (Scent of a Woman in 1993) each had won a best actor award. I did feel I was watching a movie.

A few memorable scenes, like the flag (Hoffa/Pacino), the coffin (Sheeran/De Niro), and if we can do the president of US, we certainly can do the president of a union (Russell Bufalino/Pesci).

The Ken Miles, Carroll Shelby and Ford movie, showed that the dull and crummy Ford had a such glorious past, winning four 24 Le Mans in a row (1966-69). The first one was under Carroll Shelby (an American who had won it in 1959 with Aston Martin) and Ken Miles, which is the story of the movie. Ford’s second win was also with Shelby (Miles died two months after the 1966 race, in August 1966).

The 1966 race was great for Ford teams, winning #1 #2 and #3 spots but heartbroken for the leading team … The winner of that race Bruce McLaren went on to form his own team and dominated F1 world (Lewis Hamilton just won his 6th championship earlier this month, one shy of Michael Schumaker).

I went to Champion Spark Plug 500 at Pocono Raceway (1992.6.14) in PA, where and when Alan Kulwicki won.

In 1966 race, Ford had another driver who later reached great success, Mario Andretti, (he shared drive with his two sons in 1991…) Another interesting anecdote was, when Mario was hurt beside his car, he was carried to an American doctor bec they generally avoided the French dr.

Shelby died in 2012 at age of 89. On and off, Ford made high performance cars that bears his name, with the strips on the hood, which made them striking and easily recognizable. Shelby only built two Super Snakes cars in 1966, one was drove off the cliff on the Pacific Ocean (yes, the car and driver all disappeared …) and the other one sold for $5.1 mil in 2015. The used Shelby cars generally sell for about $50,000.

In real life, Ferrari asked to be purchased by Ford. However, the negotiation fall apart therefore came the four glorious years of Ford. Half a century later, Ferrari is known as the designer’s car perches at the top of the food chain while Ford is still for the masses, at the bottom.

Now, what December will bring to the movie theaters?

Midway is pretty good
新鲜出炉的抗日神剧 Midway

这个2019的新电影(重拍)关于二战中一个具体战役 the Battle of Midway 1942 六月 4-7号 非常值得看 历实+动作

小日本的海军是英国人的功劳 – 和咱们晚清几乎同时 … 这里节省几万字.

鬼子偷袭珍珠港 是美国自己咎由自取 – 谁让你断了人家的石油呀 …
另外一个原因是小鬼子已经把中国制裁的服服帖帖,伸延 觉得他们可以打赢美国 所以偷袭 (希特勒也觉得他可以拿下俄国喔 … 咱毛主席说过 蚍蜉撼树谈何易… 节约一千字)
好运 美国的航母都不在珍珠港 – 所以才会有六个月后的底气
美国想教训一下日本 重振士气
日本下好圈套坐等既不勇敢又傻乎乎的美国大兵
… 王熙凤 … 机关算尽
结果是鬼子自投罗网
美国的赢也来之不易 频频失误;损失一个航母
但是最终还是歼灭了鬼子全部航母 – 四个
从此 鬼子只能从进攻变成防守
… 美国将军会为明天保留点实力; 鬼子相反是破釜沉舟 (他们殉情的倾向可圈可点)… 所以然后就没有然后了.
美军15架飞机轰炸了东京 (看的俺这眉开眼笑的) 所有的飞机都没有了 – 没有油了. 飞行员跳伞有的进到中国 有的进到俄国 … 小日本为了报复 杀死了一万多中国人
在二战中 美国就知道被日本俘虏了 除了虐待就是折磨
… 不过半个世纪,日本变得文明 受人尊敬和欢迎 – 值得我们思考…
话说Midway战役后 没有航母了, 鬼子开始挖地洞 打游击… 美国大兵还在不断的死
老杜忍无可忍,tnnd 原子蛋 the 狗日的
一颗炸了 不行
只能再丢第二颗
这才迎来二战的胜利

… 二个战败国 没几年变成了第二和第三经济体… 哎… 大概命运不同吧

这个抗日神剧 拍的真不错

~.~

The Irishman – I heard you paint houses

爱尔兰人 (2019)
是根据 “我听说你是刷房子的” (刷房就是杀人.) 一书改编的. Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro 德尼罗饰演 )是少有的几个爱尔兰人参与到意大利黑手党家族. 据他自己临死前说, Jimmy Hoffa 是他杀的. 甘迺迪总统是黑手党杀的. …

三个半小时的电影有点长 尤其是三个老男人挂帅 但是确实有 “看电影” 的感觉
因为导演+演技好
Joe Pesci 乔·佩西演的特别好

Goodfellas (1990; 好家伙?)也是 Martin Scorsese 马丁·斯科塞斯 导演的 … 这二部电影相差29年.
有的一比

~.~

Ford vs Ferrari

福特 对 法拉利: 即闷又大众化的福特曾经有过如此光荣的过去 – 连续四届赢得勒芒一日赛 (1966-69)。

福特第一次赢是卡洛尔·谢尔比(Carroll Shelby)(一个美国人开着阿斯顿·马丁(Aston Martin)赢了1959的勒芒一日赛 )和迈尔斯(Miles)的故事。福特的第二次胜利也是与谢尔比一起(米尔斯在1966年比赛后的两个月即1966年8月去世)。

1966年的比赛对福特车队来说是一鸣惊人的,赢了#1、2和#3,但对于领先的车队却伤心欲绝…那个比赛的获胜者布鲁斯·麦克拉伦(Bruce McLaren)后来组建了自己的车队并统治着F1世界。路易斯·汉密尔顿(Lewis Hamilton)本月早些时候刚刚获得了他的第六个冠军,只比舒克梅尔(Schumaker)少了一个。

1992年我在宾夕法尼亚州观看了一次比赛,Alan Kulwicki赢赛。在1966年的比赛中,福特有另一位车手马里奥·安德雷蒂(Mario Andretti),他后来不仅赢得多种冠军 更在1991年与他的两个儿子同开一车. 另一个有趣的轶事是,当马里奥在车旁受伤时,他被送到一名美国医生 – 因为他们都尽量避开法国医生。

谢尔比(Shelby)于2012年去世,享年89岁。福特公司制造了以他的名字命名的高性能汽车,引擎盖上的条带使它们引人注目且易于识别。谢尔比在1966年亲自制造了两辆“超级蛇”汽车:一辆从悬崖上掉进太平洋里车和司机都失踪了,另一辆在2015年以510万美元的价格售出。二手的谢尔比汽车通常售价约为5万美元。

在现实生活中,是法拉利要求被福特收购。合同没有谈拢所以才有福特的四年好时光。这么多年过去了 法拉利仍然栖息在顶 而福特汽车仍位稳压底,是大众的首选。

马特·达蒙 和克里斯蒂安·贝尔都演的好; 贝尔的 beatnik 演得挺淋漓尽致的。 不知道如果他碰上一个好牙医 形象会不会好一些?(Ralph Fiennes 拉尔夫·菲恩斯, Hugh Grant 休·格兰特 。。。 妈妈咪呀, 难道英国没有像样的牙医?!)

这个11月,三部精彩的电影:《中途岛》,《爱尔兰人》。 《福特对法拉利》。 都是史实且精彩, 不知道十二月的电影院会有些什么好戏?

不八了,冰球赛🏒️开始了。

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Three amigos

I bought three orchids but only two made it.

 

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1966年: “文化大革命”十年内乱开始

A very unusual byline on Xinhua News (hope it is real!) even it’s anonymous, commenting on the Cultural Revolution, which Google translates: Practice has proved that the “Cultural Revolution” is not and cannot be revolutionary or social progress in any sense.


新中国峥嵘岁月|1966年:“文化大革命”十年内乱开始
新华社 2019-09-27 18:01:25
新华社北京9月27日电题:1966年:“文化大革命”十年内乱开始

1966年,正当我国基本完成调整经济的任务,开始执行发展国民经济第三个五年计划的时候,“文化大革命”发生了。

“文化大革命”是由毛泽东同志发动和领导的。他发动这场“大革命”的出发点是防止资本主义复辟、维护党的纯洁性和寻求中国自己的建设社会主义的道路。但他当时对党和国家的政治状况的错误估计,已经发展到非常严重的程度。

“文化大革命”历经从发动到1969年4月中共九大、从九大到1973年8月中共十大、从十大到1976年10月结束这样三个阶段。中共九大加强了林彪、江青、康生等人在中央的地位,使“文化大革命”的错误理论和实践合法化。1971年9月林彪事件的发生,客观上宣告了“文化大革命”理论和实践的失败,但中共十大仍然继续九大的“左”倾错误,并且使江青反革命集团的势力进一步得到加强。1976年9月毛泽东逝世后,江青、张春桥、姚文元、王洪文加紧夺取党和国家最高领导权的阴谋活动。同年10月,中共中央政治局执行党和人民的意志,一举粉碎“四人帮”,从而终止了“文化大革命”这场灾难。

实践证明,“文化大革命”不是也不可能是任何意义上的革命或社会进步

在“文化大革命”时期,党和人民同“左”倾错误和林彪、江青反革命集团的斗争虽然艰难曲折,但一直都没有停止过。在这十年中,我国国民经济仍然取得了进展,对外工作也打开了新的局面。但是,如果没有“文化大革命”,我国的社会主义事业会取得大得多的成就。(完)

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Listen, Amex

Amex sent me this love note, asking if I didn’t verify my User ID or reset the password, then I call them immediately at 1-800-297-1234.

I didn’t change so I called.

The automated female voice is lovely but it did nothing to address my need: there isn’t an option for me to choose from and when I said fraud, repeatedly, she answers, I don’t understand. When I said, “representative,” she’ll say I need more information from you

After 10 minutes, a rep finally took the call.

Please, give me, the average consumers, a good reason to help you. Like, clickable Yes and No imbedded in the email so we could easily letting you know? Time is money right? And provides us with a more appropriate and responsive phone system … 1-800-297-1234 is clearly not for this kind of call.

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Truth, nothing but truth

A book review (Apple News) on Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers (coming out on Sept. 10). Gladwell explains why we don’t spot lies well, is because we’ve a default to truth. Our operating assumption is that the opal we are dealing with are honest.

I thought about many people would not contradict themselves too, keeping on to believe a lie, and FOMO, fear of missing out.

Recently I’ve just listened to the six-episode podcast The Drop Out, on the famous Stanford drop out Elizabeth Holmes and her company Theranos. I remembered reading about her and event blog here in 2014, was impressed with her board, which was staffed with who’s who, from Henry Kissinger and on down. How did a girl get iii contact with these powerful men?

“George Shultz,” Holmes said. An alumni of the Secretary of State of the United States.

George (1920-) has a grandson, Tyler who met Elizabeth at his grandfather’s home, which is on Stanford campus. He was so taken with her, he worked for her. However,  when he found the things were fishy he resigned and became the whistleblower. This process was long, painful and costly, with his future and reputation at stake. His grandfather, defended Elizabeth. His parents spent $500,000 on legal bills.

The point I’m making is, people (as smart as capable as George Shultz), often times, don’t like to be proven wrong. And they often rely on the assumption that someone they trust, trusted a company or a person, therefore, they, by default, put their trust in this company or this person.

By the way, Holmes is posed till the end, even in denying “I don’t know…” or “I’m not sure … ” more than 600 times …

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Wallace n Clinton and 9/11

pub in 2004, won 2005 Pulitzer Prize

Ghost Wars was published by Steve Coll in 2004, and won 2005 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. It would be an older book, kind of, in 2019. But nevertheless, I’m  glad that I began to read.

9/11 was a wake up call.

On page 245, Coll  wrote, (James, Jr.) Woosley who the CIA director but had never met with the ex-president who appointed him. Because Clinton and his team was so keen on the domestic politics (Yeltsin was a friend of U.S. and not too touch on China …). This, brought me the memory of that 2006 interview on Fox News by Chris Wallace, that had everyone talking, including President Bush (at the time) and Mrs. Clinton. ( NYTimes; Rose; The Path to 9/11.)

Chris Wallace

The Host Wallace asked Clinton if he had done enough during his presidency on terrorism, to everyone’s surprise (including Wallace), Mr. Clinton jumped out of his seat (almost) and pointed his finger forcefully to say otherwise, looking like someone being hit on the spot, wounded and is fighting back.

At time of watching it, I thought, oh, Wallace must have hit a home run, to elicit such reaction from his interviewee. Later, Mrs. Clinton defended her husband… and was nominated to run for President of the US by the Democratic Party in 2016 … which brings me to think of, Jenny Sanford (who was clearly more dignified) and Silda Wall Spitzer. Being one of the 99%er, I couldn’t fathom the saying that marriage should be operated, and disagree that a person should be elected only base on the gender. We should elect a qualified person. Navies, maybe but don’t we live by our own principal?

文盲说书: 婚姻不该经营

幽灵战争由史蒂夫科尔于2004年出版,并获得2005年普利非小说普利策奖。这将是一本较旧的书在2019年。不过,我还是很高兴现在才开始看。

9/11是一个警钟。

在书的第245页,科尔写道,沃斯利是中央情报局局长,但从未见过任命他的前总统, 因为克林顿和他的团队如此热衷于国内政治(叶利钦是美国的朋友而且对中国不太感兴趣…).这让我想起了2006年福克斯新闻的克里斯华莱士采访克林顿的回忆 – 一个让所有人都在谈论,包括布什总统(当时)和克林顿夫人。
主持人华莱士问克林顿,在他期间 是不是对恐怖主义防范做得不够。 让所有人都感到惊讶(包括华莱士),克林顿(差不多)跳出座位,用手指大力指责说不是 – 那画面至今难忘。要是没有被击中要害 有何必这么激动?克林顿夫人也出来为她的丈夫辩护… 后来,她成为2016年民主党的总统竞选候选人. 这让我想起了珍妮桑福德(Jenny Sanford 显然更有尊严)和Silda Wall Spitzer。 作为99%群人之一,我无法理解婚姻应该被经营的说法。做人需要有尊严。

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A concubine

Oh boy…

It looks so odd, especially in today’s climate. I’m not going to comment on Thailand and its king but on the Times of London.

In 1979 when I first arrived in HK, learning English was one of my priorities. And I remembered clearly how haughty the male teacher said that he “only read South China Morning Post.”

Back to my point. After that male teacher’s declaration, soon I found New York Times and Times of London are two leading newspapers in the world (side leaning isn’t the point of discussion here). SCMP is a good paper but I suppose, how small Hong Kong is, how big is the scmp.

Now, upon reading the title, I wondered, is Times in the race with the gossip dailies for the eyeballs? Shame and sad.

女人,您能…不这样吗?

初去香港学英文… 记得清清楚楚那个男老师骄傲的说 “我只看南华早报” 虽然他那港音英文挺难听的 (香港有多小南华早报就有多大)

后来知道纽约时报 伦敦时报是报业的佼佼者 (偏左或右不在这个讨论之中)

… 这是伦敦时报的报道.
泰国国王是啥东东?值得报道吗?
和街边小报强眼球?

OMG

嗯 俺舔了国王的…

笑一笑 世界好美妙

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The presidential scholars

Since 1964 (ed.gov), each year the brightest high schoolers in the nation get to visit White House and the president, to honor their achievements. Among 161 kids in 2019, I counted 50 Asian-ish last names (36 Chinese). I think it’s a lot given our small percentage as whole in the U.S. (Forbes; FB and more fm ed.gov).

A Chinese friend shared this photo (I didn’t verify), with the caption: … 71 years old president stands while the 18 years olds are seated. If you don’t know China, you won’t see the reason. I thought of Karamay fire in 1994 that killed 325, of which 288 were kids: when the fire broke out, students n teachers were told to sit still, so the CPC officials could escape first, which is widely known in Chinese as 认领导先走. I thought of World Cup 2018, when Putin was the only one had an umbrella, while Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović n Macron were drenched… and Putin complained in 2008 that people (the developed countries) think they just climbed down from tress, and still have the dirt. To that, I’ll say, you know what Putin, you’re still on the tree.

 

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Misfits Market

This is my first order – small ($19.99 + $4.50 shipping), and find their quality is so so.

 

They voluntarily sent a replacement yesterday (Aug 6 – left ): when I canceled my subscription, they asked why …

I’ll give it another try – the customer service is pretty good, and the quality is better this time.

The fact I took it in quickly and the weather was cooler may play the role in the better shape of the produce.

I was home when it was delivered, and saw two guys working the truck.

The internet, changes almost everything.

Today UPS announced that it will divorce Amazon. From the time the little start up began in late 1990s, the delivery is central to its survival. What had happened and why they break up now, maybe some very interesting stories took place.

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DR orchid, II

My second orchid from Duran Reade @ Penn Station. Here is my first, the lime green.

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The size of Timberland boots

 

The sizes … why is the 6.5 smaller than 6.0 – the bottom one is 6.0.

I uploaded the photos for them to view – they CAN’t. I posted these photos on my blog and give them url – they still CAN’T view. I’m wondering, what kind of service they actually have?? For my problem, I’ve to repeat several times … WHY is the size 6 larger than six 6.5 for the identical boots Carnaby? Here is the blog that contains the photos – can you view it now? http://www.ireneeng.com/?

..

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Timberland or Wolverine?

I’ve been a happy Timberland camper but this last order made me bewildered.

First, are the insoles: are they being chopped off?

Upon checking with them, I’m told it’s the design.

Hmmmm… I think I much prefer the full length rather than just the heels (and arches). Sole cushioning is as important. Do you prefer to have full length? Or half as in this photo?


I truth them very much, so didn’t check anything when I checked out.

Now looking at the invoice did I see the shipping charge of $14. I was under the impression that the shipping is free. 

So upon checking (again … ) I was told the $14 is the discount.

They do have an odd way to label their services and merchandises. 


Third, the delivery date. 

I ordered one item today and picked the 3-4 business day delivery. Today is Monday, July 8, the item should be here by Friday the lattes, which would be July 12. But on their site, it says the estimate date is July 15. I give up on trying to count. Chinese isn’t known for good math skill, I think -:)

So … I’m wondering, if it’s time to try Wolverine boots? 

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The 2020 census

Don’t know what the fuss is all about: I’ve received my questionair a long time ago. Then began to hear in the news that the government is fighting if to add certain questions into the census.

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Purple flower

They’re cut flowers from supermarket … very lovely. The dried ones are from July 24.

 

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The Lives of Others

A wonderful film.

This German movie was made in 2006, by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. It had won Oscar’s Best Foreign Language Film in the same year. $2 mil budget and grossed $77 mil. Well done.

In the beginning, the Stasi – secret police – officer Captain Gerd Wiesler is rather hateful … but as the story unfold you’ll be surprised. I though the ending is very moving.  … They had prostitutes in East Germany? Could a brain-washed adult change to the better – normal and sensible? I truly wish …

Also, there are two quotes I find interesting:

  1. Stalin’s Engineers of the human soul (Инженеры человеческих душ; 人类灵魂的工程师) … which has a wiki page devoted to it.
  2. Lenin’s If I keep listening to it, I won’t finish the revolution. It referred to Beethoven’s Appassionata/passionate (by Daniel Barenboim here).

德语 2006 电影 Das Leben der Anderen 他人的生活 很好看. 赢了2006 奥斯卡最佳外语片. 一开始是些熟悉的画面: 一个斯塔西警察逼供 … 马不停蹄的逼供 – 另人生厌 … 但是接下来他在执行任务 – 偷听监视 – 期间 发生了变化 … 结尾非常感人.

东德有妓女?

另外, 洗脑后的人可以变得正常 (好/有人性) 吗?真希望 …

另外2: 用了二个摘引 – 斯大林的是人类灵魂的工程师 和列宁的 如果继续听贝多芬的钢琴奏鸣曲第23号 我不会完成革命了.  

有些好奇 … 结果发现 二个都有争议喔.

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