16
Dec

Ode to Joy – Part II

   Posted by: Chen   in Journey of life

 

A Celebration of Life – On Beethoven’s Birthday

As the century was about to turn, the entire Europe was rattled by the French Revolution politically. But that didn’t seem have much immediate impact on the music world in Vienna. Music enthusiasts were still consumed by the fertile variety delivered to them by the classical masters. In 1788, the three “Great” symphonies of Mozart, the E-flat (K.543), the G Minor (K.550), and the “Jupiter” Symphony, Symphony in C Major (K.551), were premiered. In 1795, Haydn completed the 12 London symphonies. Those were the finest artistic expressions in the symphonic repertoire of these maestros.

Prelude To A Storm

On the second of April, 1800, a benefit concert was announced in Vienna. Tickets and stalls were to be had of “Herr van Beethoven at his lodgings im tiefen Graben, No. 241, third story, and of the boxkeeper”. Concert programs, as printed on the announcement, included

A new grand symphony for full orchestra by Beethoven.
A symphony by the late chapel-master Mozart
An aria and duet from Haydn’s Creation
A grand concerto for pianoforte, played and composed by Beethoven, and
A septet for four strings and three wind instruments, composed by Beethoven

Young Beethoven

Young Beethoven

Unlike his fellow musicians in Vienna, “Beethoven is the friend and contemporary of the French Revolution, and he remained faithful to it even when, during the Jacobin dictatorship, humanitarians with weak nerves of the Schiller type turned from it, preferring to destroy tyrants on the theatrical stage with the help of cardboard swords. Beethoven, that plebeian genius, who proudly turned his back on emperors, princes and magnates – that is the Beethoven we love for his unassailable optimism, his virile sadness, for the inspired pathos of his struggle, and for his iron will which enabled him to seize destiny by the throat.” – Igor Stravinsky

It never was doubtful in Beethoven’s mind that he was about to transform music. In his first symphony, he tried to respect the forms and standards of Haydn and Mozart, restrained himself to confine in their mold. But even with his first entry to the symphonic repertoire, the C major symphony clearly revealed the cloven hoof of the revolutionist beneath. Though the third movement of the symphony retaines the name of the Mozartian minuet, it is obvious a suggestion of something much more energized – a Scherzo.

Born on December 16th, 1770, in Bonn

Born on December 16th, 1770, in Bonn

Compare to his later symphonies, the C major is hardly a “major” piece in his music output. But, in 1800 this was nothing short of major, because even his contemporaries realized that this piece changed the conception of the genre, that this symphony represented Beethoven at the height of his Classical powers, building on the achievements of Haydn and Mozart while not hiding his debt to them. The First Symphony, as described by his contemporaries, is “a masterpiece that does equal honor to [Beethoven's] inventiveness and his musical knowledge. Being just as beautiful and distinguished in its design as its execution, there prevails in it such a clear and lucid order, such a flow of the most pleasant melodies, and such a rich, but at the same time never wearisome, instrumentation that this symphony can justly be placed next to Mozart’s and Haydn’s.”

But, still, no one realized this would actually put a period to their beloved classicism.

Despite his deteriorating hearing, and the suicidal thoughts he expressed in an unsent letter to his brothers, Heiligenstadt Testament, Beethoven injected boundless humor and vitality into his second symphony, the D major written in 1802. “This Symphony is smiling throughout”, as Hector Berlioz later remarked. In this symphony, the Minuet is officially replaced with the Scherzo. It might be Beethoven’s way of seeking refuge in the charm of music at the time of his personal struggle. 

Nevertheless, maybe by now his contemporaries began to realize that the music language of Beethoven and the energy he exerted in his symphonies, so far only two, were not temporary experiments but, indeed, a representation of a revolution they were not ready for. The reaction to the second symphony, shockingly, was politely dissenting: “It is a noteworthy, colossal work, of a depth, power, and artistic knowledge like very few. It has a level of difficulty, both from the point of view of the composer and in regard to its performance by a large orchestra (which it certainly demands), quite certainly unlike any symphony that has ever been made known. It demands to be played again and yet again by even the most accomplished orchestra, until the astonishing number of original and sometimes very strangely arranged ideas becomes closely enough connected, rounded out, and emerges like a great unity, just as the composer had in mind.” 

But, Beethoven had determined to recover from his depression, to throw himself with renewed vigor into the work of musical creation. He did the unthinkable. He turned his deafness, a catastrophe for a composer, to motivation. He turn the criticism into challenge. He’s about to storm the world with the historical Eroica.

Was the world ready?

French Revolution

"Liberty leading the People" by Eugène Delacroix

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15
Dec

Ode to Joy – Part I

   Posted by: Chen   in Journey of life

 

A Celebration of Life - On Beethoven’s Birthday

A few individuals extraordinaire with their will of change steered the history away from the path it was on.

I am not referring those exceptional scientists. Science is a pursuit for understanding of the natural law, which can only be discovered but not changed. Of course, then there’s case of Albert Einstein, who at least shortened a great deal the enlightening process with his disclosure to the certain physics laws.

Here, the topic is regarding the humanities and social progression, along the lines of politics, literature, law, philosophy, and, of course, music.

The Background

Giuseppe Torelli

Giuseppe Torelli

Emerging from the Renaissance, together with its siblings in the forms of art and architecture, western music was reborn with a new life. Specially in the next two centuries since the beginning of the 17th century, western music had endured a pleasant, progressive transition, from the introduction of the textured Polyphony, to the delightful Baroque period, finally arrived in the glorious Classical Era. The beginning of this transformation can be characterized with the following revolutionary breakthroughs: in music language, the beginning of a new structure of the vertical aspect of music which is essentially the foundation for harmony, distinguished from the horizontally compiled melodic line as the only aspect existed previously (let me point out that even today oriental music is still predominantly horizontal); the breakaway of instrumental music to become an independent performing form, instead of a mere companion of vocal music; and the addition of opera. Even through the existence of opera can be traced back to the last decade of the 16th century, it only became a popular form with the opening of the first public opera house in Venice in the 1630s.

Together, these elements elevated music to a new domain what we call today the Performing Arts, and marked the dawn of the Age of Harmony. Great composers emerged during this transition, provided their contributions in formulating the new structure for music. The first testimonial of the beauty of this new Age of Harmony was the appearance of the concerto grosso, which was evolved at the end of the 17th century by the Italian composers Torelli (1658 – 1709) and Corelli (1653–1713), with a structured usage of three or four movements. The form reach its fullest expression in the works of Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741), George Frideric Handel (1685 – 1759), and Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750).
Bach

Bach

The word sinfonia began to appear in the early 18th century. At the time sinfonia functioned as an introductory passage or overture before the scenes of an opera. It was Alessandro Scarlatti (1660 – 1725) who standardized the form with three movements, and advanced it with its own sufficiency to be performed as separate concert pieces, which, as we can imagine, eventually led to the full scale symphony.

Joseph Haydn

Joseph Haydn

Even through Baroque music reached its grand climax in north Germany in the works of J.S. Bach, it was the composers in south Germany who embraced the influence from Italian and France that began the search of something new, something almost intangible, something with an evanescent beauty, something in the style of the French Rococo architecture, something no longer calculated or constructed as it was with Baroque music. This search which resulted in a grand reformation led to the evolution of a new musical language we call Classical.

Composers who pioneered this transition include the Italians resided in Vienna, the Bononcini – Giovanni brothers – Battista (1670 – 1747) and Antonio (1677 – 1726), Antonio Caldara (1670 – 1736), Giuseppe Porsile (1680 – 1750), among others, and Georg Philipp Telemann (1681- 1767), Domenico Scarlatti (1685 – 1757) , Franz Xaver Richter (1709 – 1789), Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714 – 1787), C.P.E. Bach (1714 – 1788), J.C. Bach (1735 – 1782) .

The emergence of the new classicism coincided with that of the middle class as an influential segment of society. As this increasingly wealthy bourgeois class pressed for recognition and demanded for participation in the music life, the scale of music reached its new extent, both in the size of the orchestra and in the volume of the instruments. Symphonic orchestra evolved as the predominant performing ensemble, and pianoforte gradually replaced harpsichord. Music, no longer exclusively performed in courtly circles, became the public concert to satisfy the appetite of the large audience.

Mozart

Mozart

The glory of the classicism was exemplified in the creations of two great masters, both with significance and relevance to our featured hero, Franz Joseph Haydn (March 31, 1732 – May 31, 1809) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791). While Haydn is often called the “Father of the Symphony”, it was Mozart who sought greater diversity, charm and sweetness of sonorities, who was the first to make the symphony sing by introducing into the initial allegro an elegiac element conceived in the spirit of the adagio. Both men enjoyed enormous popularity. Their prolific compositions became constant celebrations.

Music had never gained this kind importance before in people’s life. In fact, it was pretty much the life in the city of Vienna. Music lovers and critics alike (most residents of Vienna at the time probably qualified both categories) were thoroughly enthralled by the enchanting joy of their musical surroundings. No one expected change. No one wanted change.

It was recorded that in their brief meeting in Vienna in 1787, Beethoven brilliantly improvised on a theme suggested by Mozart. Astonished, after having listened to him, Mozart said, “watch out for that boy. One day he will give the world something to talk about”.

Was Mozart sensing what was about to come?

Was that the forecast for a storm in the making?

A French Painting in the Classical Era, The Swing, by Jean Fragonard (1732-1806)

A French Painting in the Classical Era, The Swing, by Jean Fragonard (1732-1806)

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11
Dec

His Holiness The Dalai Lama

   Posted by: Chen   in Journey of life

Peace, in the sense of the absence of war, is of little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold. It will not remove the pain of torture inflicted on a prisoner of conscience. It does not comfort those who have lost their loved ones in floods caused by senseless deforestation in a neighboring country. Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.

- His Holiness The Dalai Lama

17

There ware gatherings yesterday in various parts of the world commemorating 20th anniversary of the conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Dalai Lama. Reading these news brings back profound memories of my first acquaintance with His Holiness.

It was in the fall of 1989. The Chinese Independent Union at the campus of UW-Madison extended our invitation to His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. This gesture alone was of great significance, because all of us grew up brainwashed by the propaganda that views the Dalai Lama a separatist and traitor. This territory, as I was told, that a large group of students from mainland China openly embracing His Holiness was never acrossed before. Soon we received the response from his office stating that His Holiness is delighted to have an open dialog with the Chines tudents.

This was the second time the Dalai Lama visited Madison. In 1981, His Holiness came to Madison to perform a special religious ceremony for world peace in the Deer Park Buddhist Center, about 10 miles south of Madison. The Center, opened in 1975, is the only full-scale Buddhist monastery and teaching center in the Midwest.

withdalai_72That’s where our meeting took place. I could tell some of us were curious, even somewhat nervous. But all of us were in awe of the historical moment. I started with a humble, sincere welcome, introduced His Holiness to the fellow students. They gave him a warm standing ovation. Then the Dalai Lama began his speech…

Oh no, I said to myself, we are in trouble! Because it was in Tibetan.

Just as I became increasingly nervous, we heard His Holiness explaining, in Chinese, that it is the tradition to show respect to the culture and religion to begin a speech in Tibetan.

Sigh. And, His Holines told us, it is to show respect to us to say a few words in Chinese, now starting in English.

By that time, the place became alive. His kindness just brought us closer to him.

In the one and half hour address, His Holiness expressed deep sadness towards the tragedy took place in June in China, strongly condemned the Beijing regime’s oppression of the students peaceful demonstration. We were still at a stage of heartbreaking of the massacre. Many of us started sobbing.

Then His Holiness discussed the human rights situation in Tibet in the past 40 years, and his love to peace, and to the Chinese people, stressed the way to resolve conflict should be through dialogue and discussion.

It was heartwarming and enlightening. Many of us began to understand the suffer the Tibetan people had endured, and to realize that it was in our common interests to defend human rights and pursue justice. With his ever-hopeful and forward-looking perspective, we all felt the encouragement and hope within.

It was an unforgettable get-together. Many participants expressed their gratification for the opportunity. I was extremely thankful.

The story just got better.

A coupe of days later, while His Holiness was still in Madison, we heard the news that the Dalai Lama was the finalist of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize. We were overjoyed, and the news that His Holiness was actually in Madison flew quickly.

I got a call from our Chancellor Donna Shalala, now the president of the university of Miami. She said the university would like to host a ceremony for the Dalai Lama. I, of course, was completely thrilled.

Held in the Field House, the ceremony was nothing short of spectacular. The energy changed when the Dalai Lama entered, as one of the attendance recalls, “it was a quantum shift. He seems to radiate compassion – it’s a wonderful thing.”

That evening, the Chancellor’s office hosted a banquet to honor the Dalai Lama. On behalf of the Chinese Independent Union, I presented His Holiness a plaque with the following words engraved:

Freedom, Peace, and Justice Are Our Common Goals

 

X4EZB8DXZSGC

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9
Dec

Make a Positive Impact

   Posted by: Chen   in Community


The Internet is in its new era. “Everyone is now in the position to realize his or her own dream,” I offered my interpretation of Web 2.0 in a conference early this year, “whether it’s being a Journalist, a Writer, a Photographer, a Movie Producer, or a Musician. It puts the context of freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly on a brand new level that was never possible before”.

The Web 2.0 Social Networking has demonstrated its capability of erasing all sorts of boundaries and connecting people across the globe regardless of their gender, age, belief, and ethnicity. The level of participation and creativity among members is nothing short of revolutionary.

If such a powerful platform can be engineered for lifting the tendency of “being good” and “doing good”, and sensed by its members as a community that the platform is truly by-the-members and for-the-members, the positive impact that each participant brings to the world is enormous. It offers a natural mechanism for the enlightening process for civic engagements that will ultimately enhance the realization of the responsibilities of the world citizenship, and enrich the social capitals that have been depleting over the past half century.

This is why I am so passionate about the social communities.

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9
Dec

Human Rights Day

   Posted by: Chen   in Journey of life

Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day

Tomorrow, December 10th, is the annual observance of Human Rights Day. On this date in 1948, one of the most important document in the history of mankind was adopted by the general assembly of the United Nation: 

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The creation of this Declaration marked the beginning of new era: the recognition of the universality of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.

61 years late on this date, can we declare these universal values are now embraced and celebrated in every corner of the world? Can we relax our pursuit for the cause of human rights because we think it is improved?

Well, we turn on the TV, we open the new paper, we browse the Internet – even the most abstractive summaries will demand a dedicated consumption, and, by no means, these brief headliners can even scratch the surface of the real happenings.

The UN has set the focus for Human Rights Day 2009 on non-discrimination. We certainly applause this noble cause for its recognition of the existence of discrimination and dedication to end such shameful acts. But, not for single moment should we lose sights of the oppression, persecution, and abuse that people under repressive regimes suffer each day.

In the Amnesty International Report 2009, it is stated that “IT’S NOT JUST THE ECONOMY, IT’S A HUMAN RIGHTS CRISIS”.

This extensive report reveals shocking realities of human rights abuses around the globe:

I have place a link to each region above, and hope you’ll spend some time to read through them.

On March 31, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Susan Rice announced that the United States will seek a seat this year on the United Nations Human Rights Council with the goal of working to make it a more effective body to promote and protect human rights. On April 27, 2009, the State Department released the US Human Rights Commitments and Pledges.

This is certainly an encouraging step forward for the administration in demonstrating its commitments in defending the universality of human rights.

We hope these commitments become the guiding core principles in our policy making process, whether it’s foreign relations, or trade practices. We must urge the administration to keep its Pledges.

And we should never become silence on human rights abuses.

Human rights education is much more than a lesson in schools or a theme for a day; it is a process to equip people with the tools they need to live lives of security and dignity. On this International Human Rights Day, let us continue to work together to develop and nurture in future generations a culture of human rights, to promote freedom, security and peace in all nations.”

– Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretaries-General

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2
Dec

First Snow

   Posted by: Chen   in Journey of life

Snow

Daddy, it’s snowing!” exclaimed Macy, woke me up early in the morning.

I quickly rolled out the bad, peeked out through the mini blinds. Wow, this is unbelievable! I said to myself, seeing beautiful white snowflakes dancing through a shallow space of sight. This is not just the first snow of this year. This is the first snow in two years! No wonder Macy is so excited. It is always a majestic moment when a kid sees the first snowfall of the season.

I got out, standing inside the swirling ballerina of this gracious choreography of nature, completely absorbed by the tranquility of the moment. Feeling the tiny crystals melting on my face, I could sense the spontaneous joy in the surroundings.

I was told, long time ago, that each snow flake is uniquely crafted with its own unmistakable intricacy of beauty. Its moment comes when it joins countless others to make this magnificent display of the motion in harmony. I am sure that each sparkling being knows its role in the grand performance, and together they make the world pristine and full of life.

We each came to this world like a snowflake. Our moments become glorious too when we graciously celebrate with our fellow snowflakes to bring harmony and peace to the world.

29
Nov

“I just want to go home”

   Posted by: Chen   in Journey of life

Hanging Christmas lights with Macy. It’s a bit chilly, but we are having a lots of fun. Seeing her joyfully examining the twinkling display, my mind keeps showing this strange, remote scene of a man sitting on a bench in an airport hall, waiting to be allowed to go home.

terminal-tom-hanks

Tom Hanks in "The Terminal"

No, It’s not Tom Hanks in “The Terminal” floating in the virtual screen, though this one is more dramatic yet with profound simplicity. To better tell the story, I’ll just use the report by John M. Glionna and Catherine Makino from the Los Angeles Times:

He is a man caught between two countries, a political protester who has stubbornly steeled himself inside the sterile purgatory of Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.
 
Each day, Feng Zhenghu sits on a bench in front of the Japanese customs booths, calmly looking on as tens of thousands of arriving passengers pass him by, resigning himself to residence in a diplomatic no-man’s land.

He refuses to pass through government customs because that would mean entering Japan – something Feng has decided he simply will not do. He wants to go home to China.

Eight times since June, the 55-year-old activist has been rebuffed by Chinese officials in attempts to reenter his homeland.

On four occasions, airlines in Japan didn’t allow him to board. On four others, he got as far as Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport before being dispatched back to Tokyo.

During the last go-round Nov. 2, a defiant Feng drew the line: Arriving back at Narita, he refused to enter the country.

Feng, an economist turned human rights author and blogger, was sentenced in 2000 to three years in a Chinese prison for writing a book that he said criticized Chinese regulations against foreign company investment.

He also believes a speech he once gave criticizing the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown is being held against him.

Still, he says, officials cannot banish him on mere pretense. Speaking on his cellphone recently, Feng said he would prefer to languish in a Chinese jail than live as a free man in Japan or anywhere else.

Although he is angry at his government, Feng misses his homeland – his family, friends, the feel of the place he has spent most of his life.

I just want to go home,’’ he told a reporter in a face-to-face interview, tears welling in his eyes as he discussed his desire to return to China. “I’m Chinese. Why can’t I go home? I didn’t do anything illegal. I just wrote a book that didn’t meet with the regulations of the Chinese government.’’

Feng’s plight is reminiscent of the Tom Hanks character in Steven Spielberg’s 2004 film, “The Terminal.’’ But this unlikely sojourner has no access to food courts or hot showers.

He has kept a lonely vigil at the south arrival wing of Narita’s hyper-busy Terminal One. Many workers and travelers don’t even know he’s there, staging a protest in a nation where, traditionally, few people question authority.

Feng inside Narita Airport

Feng inside Narita Airport

Now you get the picture. You must be wondering, just as I have been wondering ever since I heard the story 3 weeks ago, how is this possibly happening in real life?

I don’t know Mr. Feng. I could only imagine how devastated his loved ones at home mus be, and how much Feng wants to be with his son or daughter.

As the World Human Rights Day is approaching, the mere fact that someone does not even have the bare right to return his own home is a disgrace to the entire mankind. 

All Mr. Feng just wants is to go home so he too could hang up Christmas lights with his kid!

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25
Nov

Be Grateful

   Posted by: Chen   in Journey of life

My first Thanksgiving dinner was also my first dinner with an American family. I was quite adventurous when it came to food. In the very first few months in Madison, I had already tried burger, pizza, taco, french fries, spaghetti, you name it. But, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie? Those were all eye opening (and mouth watering) . I got to admit that I immediately fell in love with the Thanksgiving feast. 

thanksgiving

Being the first real interaction with a local family, I was eager to make a decent conversation with them in my broken English. It was a nice family. A middle aged couple with 2 lovely kids, Jake and Kelly, 7 and 9, respectively. They were curious about me as much as I was about them. The couple were both working for the state at the time. They had a farm north of Madison (I did visit their farm later). They told me where and how the Thanksgiving tradition came from, and said, among another things, they were very grateful

I stopped them there and asked the meaning of the word grateful. It took some struggling for them to explain. It finally registered. I quickly searched my Chinese vocabulary bank to try to find an equivalent, but realized there was not an expression in my native language that would precisely describe it. 

The dinner was fabulous, the experience was invaluable. And more than anything else, I learned a new expression: be grateful

You see, being grateful is not just a simple reaction to some occurrence. Being grateful is an attitude towards life. It can be just the missing link between tribulation and happiness, between agony and peace, between anxiety and content. 

Furthermore, as research indicates, being grateful is good for one’s health. Studies by the Research on Unlimited Love (IRUL) founded by Dr. Stephen Post revealed that, Gratitude 

Defends – Just 15 minutes a day focusing on the things you’re grateful for will significantly increase your body’s natural antibodies. 

Sharpens – Naturally grateful people are more focused mentally and measurably less vulnerable to clinical depression. 

Calms – A grateful state of mind induces a physiological state called resonance that’s associated with healthier blood pressure and heart rate. 

Strengthens – Caring for others is draining. But grateful caregivers are healthier and more capable than less grateful ones. 

Heals – Recipients of donated organs who have the most grateful attitudes heal faster.

On this thankful Thanksgiving holiday, we ought to be grateful for the fact that we are born to this world, the fact that we are living in this land of freedom and opportunity, the fact that each of us is uniquely created with a sense of purpose – the Gift Of Diversity

I am grateful.

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19
Nov

Rob Wasinger

   Posted by: Chen   in Community

Rob Wasinger

Rob Wasinger

Spent a good chunk of quality time yesterday with Rob Wasinger. Rob is running for the US Congress representing the First District of Kansas. I got a chance to know Rob better, and to discuss with him on a variety of issues that we both care.

I was extremely impressed with Rob’s openness, and his commitment to bringing jobs back for the people in Kansas. Prior to our meeting, actually for the last couple of months, I have been following his well-organized Campaign, and the core messages why he’s running. My admiration and support progressively grow. After our meeting yesterday, I am convinced that not only Rob is the best qualified candidate, he will bring a breath of fresh air to our nation’s capital if elected.

The nation is facing unprecedented challenges. In a recent joint statement issued by the Economic Policy Institute, the AFL-CIO, Center for Community Change, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, NAACP, and National Council of La Raza, An Urgent Call for Action to Stem the U.S. Jobs Crisis, a harsh reality is presented:

The U.S. unemployment rate exceeded 10% in October for the first time in a quarter century. Nearly 16 million Americans who are able and willing to work cannot find a job. More than one out of every three unemployed workers has been out of a job for six months or more. The situation facing African American and Latino workers is even bleaker, with unemployment at 15.7% and 13.1%, respectively.

These grim statistics don’t capture the full extent of the hardship. There are another 9 million people working part time because they cannot find full-time work. Millions of others have given up looking for a job, and so aren’t counted in the official unemployment figures. Altogether, 17.5% of the labor force is underemployed—more than 27 million Americans, including one in four minority workers. Last, given individuals moving in and out of jobs, we can expect a third of the work force, and 40% of workers of color, to be unemployed or underemployed at some point over the next year.

Despite an effective and bold recovery package we are still facing a prolonged period of high unemployment. Two years from now, absent further action, we are likely to have unemployment at 8% or more, a higher rate than attained even at the worst point of the last two downturns. 

Joblessness on this scale creates enormous social and economic problems—and denies millions of families the ability to meet even their most basic needs. It also threatens our nation’s future prosperity by casting millions more children into poverty, foreclosing educational opportunities for many, limiting the investment and innovation that will fuel future growth, and dimming long-term labor market prospects, especially for younger workers. 

Americans throughout the history have risen to the challenges in harsh times, through hard work and sheer determination. They have also learned to call on our own past experiences as a nation for lessons in fortitude, courage and creativity. They have demonstrated repeatedly the ability to take it upon themselves in overcoming adversity, instead of waiting for help. 

I share with Rod that this is a time that only through a great grassroots campaign that will bring back the pride to the people and prosperity to the country, a campaign that converts the pain, the cry, the outrage into vitality, energy, and united strive, a campaign that reclaims Americans freedom to prosperity, a campaign that brings jobs lost in exportation back to the American heartland, a campaign that history shall call it one of the greatest civic movements. 

It is also in time like this, a new breed of leadership emerges. I see the leadership quality in Rob, the quality puts the people first and acts with integrity, the quality embodies the values of the fundamental rights, the quality embraces the spirit of putting country before party.

I’ll end here with Rob’s own words to help you to know more about him:

I have been busy travelling across all 69 counties in the 1st District of Kansas recently, meeting Kansans, renewing old friendships and making new ones. I hope I will see many of you on my journey, but I want to take a moment to introduce myself to the Kansas blogosphere, as well.

I want you know what I stand for, and I hope you will stand with me.

My name is Rob Wasinger, and I believe I am the right person to succeed Jerry Moran to represent the people of the First District of Kansas in Congress. Let me tell you what I would fight for as a Representative, and explain why I am uniquely qualified for fight for it. 

Many boomtowns across America are experiencing for the first time the despair that comes with seeing once-promising communities emptied out before their eyes. What some of these big cities are feeling as a sudden shock, rural America has suffered as a slow bleed for far too long. 

The good news is that while the boomtowns were built on sand, our homes were raised on good land and solid foundations. But under the old, failed policies of high taxes and burdensome regulation, our communities have fallen into disrepair.

I have a vision of how conservative values and policies will refresh our country, allowing rural and small town America to build upon our strong foundations and lead the way to a thriving and competitive economy. I believe in a set of policies aimed at breaking down the barriers to prosperity for rural America, unleashing the ingenuity and productivity of the American worker.

Central to this vision is a New Homestead Act, a spiritual successor to the Homestead Act that Abraham Lincoln signed and which helped to populate the rural areas of the Great Plains. Today, it is clear that we need bold new initiatives to reinvigorate our heartland.

Where growth and opportunity have been choked off, we should cut back the weeds of government, allowing skilled individuals, small businesses and new investments to plant roots and thrive.

With some simple but well-targeted measures for our rural communities, we can help existing businesses to survive and develop while attracting new businesses and high-tech ventures. We can reward hard work and responsibility by making it easier to build savings and gain access to credit. We can make it easier for the next generation to return to their rural roots after they graduate. 

I know the value of this. After finishing college, I returned to my home in Kansas. I want my children and yours to stake their future in the heartland, as well. In order to accomplish that, we must have policies that ensure prosperity for rural America, not just policies that create prosperity for Washington, DC.

I believe that I am uniquely qualified to fight for Kansas from day one, to make this positive vision a reality. I have worked for representatives of the people of Kansas for almost 15 years – both in Kansas and in the nation’s capital. I have become well-versed in how the federal government affects all our lives, and especially those of the rural communities we have in Kansas. I have seen first-hand how Washington works, and I have seen why it fails.

More fundamentally, I am a husband, and a father to 9 wonderful children to whom I hope to leave a vibrant heartland and a better country. I am a conservative, because I believe it is the conservative values of freedom, responsibility and virtue that will make our world a better place for my children. 

That is who I am and why I am here. I hope you will give me the chance to prove my values, my conviction and my vision as the Representative from Kansas. I hope you will join me in the fight we have ahead.

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3
Nov

THE TYGER TEAM

   Posted by: Chen   in Journey of life

This is Bob’s favorite phrase. Bob is very proud of his “patterned invention”.  What does it mean? You ask.

The acronym stands for

Total Harmony of Enlightenment

Thank You God Every Race

Together Everyone Achieves More

Bob Hall is a dear friend. Our relationship started as business partners dates back to the mid 90s. But soon we discovered that the foundation for our long lasting friendship is our endured respect for each other, and expanded respect to all human beings.

Bob has a non-restrained tendency of helping others. He’s like a rescuer to many failing businesses. They call him when they are in trouble, offer him such titles as COO, CEO, or whatsoever. His softness in his heart prevents him from saying No, even though he knows often times those glorious titles have no financial substance to himself. “Screw them,” he complained to me, “I’m not going to offer FREE services anymore!” Then the next thing I notice is that the phone rings, and he is saying “OK, I’ll see what I can do.”

Many businesses Bob helped taking off are still flying high. His failure of locking up a lucrative package with any of them leaves him with no equity for his contribution. I told him, jokingly, “You are a bad business man.” “I am good to them,” he confessed.

But, it really hasn’t bothered him that much, because there is something much more important than being successful in personal business, something occupies a great deal of the capacity in his daily life, that is the belief embedded in the concept of The TYGER TEAM: All members of the human family are with “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights”.

Alright, one might argue there is nothing new to this (however, you ought to admit the acronym is pretty clever). It was certainly implied in the Declaration of Independence when Thomas Jefferson wrote down “All men are created equal”.

I can even trace back to a dialog recorded in one of the academic collection taught in the ancient Confucius schools. It is stated in the Classic of Rites《礼记·礼运·大道之行也》that

 The ultimate universal principle revolves around the truth that all men under heaven are created equal.

Thomas Jefferso

Thomas Jefferson

But, it took “four score and seven years” and the extraordinary leadership of Abraham Lincoln to end slavery. It took almost 2 centuries of generations of civil rights movement to end racial segregation. The “I Have a Dream” address delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King marked the brightest spotlight in this journey.

The vision and relentless struggle the great men and women in America demonstrated in defending human rights has inspired the entire world. Now even in the most repressive regions the outcries for human rights, justice, and equality are loud and clear. These values are no longer just the American values. They are UNIVERSAL VALUES.

So, “let us celebrate!” as Bob often says.

Yes, let’s celebrate our human family of great diversity with rich heritages; let’s celebrate who we are and what we are with dignity, a sense of purpose, and respect to others; let’s celebrate our dedication to let freedom ring from every corner in the world.

Let’s recognize that “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

One day, we’ll all sing in unison and Total Harmony of Enlightenment:

Thank You God!
~Every Race

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