Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Christmas Story

via Donny Tran's Viet Q.

Article by Mai Tran and Christopher Goffard,
L.A. Times Staff Writers
December 19, 2006

She arrived in Los Angeles with $600 in borrowed cash, a failing heart and arthritis in both knees. She spoke no English. She had not seen her firstborn son, Tuan, in the 20 years since he fled Vietnam for the United States as a teenager. Judging from the letters he sent home, he had prospered here. He was repairing watches, living in Santa Ana. Inexplicably, four years ago, his letters had stopped coming. Now, Hai Nguyen had crossed the ocean herself, hoping to find her son before she died.

She had one lead, the address in Santa Ana. She took a cab there from the airport. She went to the door to find that her son was long gone, leaving no clue behind. She shuffled away with her single suitcase, not knowing what to do next. He could be anywhere. She had no grasp of America’s immensity, though a friend who knew the country tried to warn her: It would be like finding a needle at the bottom of the sea. Where would she start looking, in a country of 300 million strangers? Still, how could she go to her grave without trying?

So in September, a tiny 57-year-old woman began stubbornly pushing a pair of green, worn-out plastic flip-flops along the sidewalks and strip malls and alleys of Southern California, past street signs she couldn’t read and storefronts she couldn’t fathom. She didn’t have long — just a few months before her visa expired in January, maybe less before her legs buckled or her heart quit or her cancer returned. Or her money ran out. She found her way to Little Saigon in Westminster, the country’s largest Vietnamese American enclave. There, people sympathized. They gave her couches to sleep on, bowls of soup. (snip)

He was 16 when she sent him to the boat. For his passage out of Vietnam, the price was two bars of gold that she spent a year buying on layaway. It was 1986, and Ho Chi Minh City was a desperate place. Everyone she knew was starving.

She knew Tuan’s escape would be risky. Once before, the scrawny, gap-toothed boy had tried to flee the country only to be seized by police and thrown into jail for six months, to return home even more haggard and emaciated than before. Now, around midnight at a big marketplace, she handed him to the boat captain who would smuggle him away. (snip)

Soon Tuan’s letters started arriving. He wrote of many days at sea, of running out of food and water and then being rescued by a commercial fishing boat that took them to Malaysia. Of how he found his way to the United States, to Minnesota, which was so cold he moved on to Denver, then farther west, to Southern California.

His letters came steadily for years. He wrote that he was doing well, learning to repair watches. He said nothing to worry her. He sent a picture of himself, smiling. His muscles were thick. His cheeks were full. America had been good. In Vietnam, where a mother’s worth is largely defined by the accomplishments of her kids, to say “I have a son in America” conferred instant pride and status. Everyone understood that fate had smiled on the family.

In 2001, doctors diagnosed Nguyen with ovarian cancer and gave her two months to live, a prediction she was able to defy with chemotherapy and surgery. Tuan sent $500 and spoke of visiting. Then his letters stopped coming. Twice, medical bills forced her to move to smaller quarters, so she thought perhaps his letters were getting lost. A year passed without word from him, and another, then a third and a fourth. Her cancer seemed to be in remission, but her overall health was poor. She had developed a heart condition, osteoporosis, arthritis. She knew she was dying, and her final wish was to see him.

She gathered her savings, which had been meant to buy her burial plot. Her younger son, who worked as an ambulance driver, and her daughter, who sold clothes out of a small shop, scraped together loans. Finally she had $1,400, enough for a ticket to California. It was her first time on a plane outside the country. Crossing the ocean, she couldn’t eat or sleep.

She was not in America long before her money ran out. She had covered mile after mile on foot, stuffed fliers into hundreds of hands, and still there was no sign of him. At wit’s end, she pleaded with Nguoi Viet, the country’s largest Vietnamese-language paper, based in Little Saigon. It published her story and a 5-year-old picture of Tuan, the one of him smiling with full cheeks. Soon, local radio picked it up. Donations started pouring in, as well as tips.

One led her to the Westminster Police Department, where she learned two things that shocked her, upending her image of the solid, prosperous life Tuan had lived in the States. At some point, she learned, her son had been incarcerated for robbery. At another point, he had stayed at the Los Angeles Mission. That meant he had been homeless, the orphaned beggar from the proverb. (snip)

She took a cab to the mission, but he wasn’t there. She printed and distributed more fliers, this time offering a $1,000 reward. It was money she didn’t have, but she was desperate. She got word that a man who looked like her son dug up recyclables in the trashcans at John Wayne Airport. For a week, she went there every day, waiting. No luck. She had reconciled herself to the possibility that she would find him dead. But even that, she reasoned, would be some consolation, better than not knowing.

Chasing every lead, she took cabs to the Asian Garden Mall and Chinatown and across the San Gabriel Valley. She searched homeless shelters and alleys, parks and strip malls. All through the land of promise, to her astonishment, the concrete was littered with human shapes crouched under reeking blankets. She went from shape to shape, slowly lifting the blankets off ragged, hollow-eyed faces that smelled of beer, off men with tangled hair and dirty hands. They cursed in words she couldn’t understand and yanked their blankets back, many of them, sinking back into their covers. Some just looked at her in bewilderment. She looked into dozens of hopeless faces. There were other mothers’ sons, but not hers. Sorry, she said, over and over. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. It was one of the few English words she had learned. (snip).

Finally, in November, there came an improbable call from a restaurateur in San Jose, a woman named Huong Le who had seen Nguyen’s story on Vietnamese-language television. She said Tuan had been living behind her restaurant for the last couple of months at the Lion Plaza shopping center on King Boulevard. He slept on the sidewalk on a patch of cardboard. On Nov. 19, a woman moved by her story offered her a ride from Orange County to San Jose. It was about noon when she found the restaurant. Her son wasn’t there, but restaurant employees said they had been taking care of him. When he was hungry, he’d knock lightly on the rear kitchen door and they would pass him beef noodles and rice, bread and pork. He rarely spoke, they said, and often stood completely immobile. But they found him polite, unthreatening. Look for his blanket, they told Nguyen. It’s blue and yellow fleece. We gave it to him.

After three hours of searching, there in a parking lot across the street, she spotted the blanket. It was just another filthy shape, curled upon a sheet of blue vinyl against some bushes, beside castoff rolls of iron fencing and rusted steel bars. From the blanket protruded one shoe with a gashed sole. On the ground were takeout containers filled with rotting Vietnamese food.
She had been searching in the United States for three months, lifting blankets off men and women who had somehow fallen into its sewers. Now she knelt and lifted one more.

Right away she knew it was him, even through his thick, tangled beard and his long, unkempt hair. He was sleeping, curled in a fetal position, and she startled him awake. She knelt, looking closer. She recognized his overbite, his eyes that were so much like his father’s, the scar on his left brow he got as a kid, jumping on a bed with his brother. She was shaking. Looking at him, she couldn’t speak. When words came, she told him through her tears who she was and that she had come across the world to find him. You have the wrong person, he said. You’re not my mother. My mother is sick in Vietnam and ready to die. She begged him to let her hug him, but he refused. His only possessions were his blanket, a windbreaker, a pocketknife, and 69 cents. Why would you want to hug a homeless man? he said. Wouldn’t you be ashamed?

She planted herself on the pavement, refusing to budge. Afraid he would run away, she grabbed his collar and held him. He kept saying, Let go of me, woman. But she had not flown 8,000 miles and walked for three months to go home without him. She talked the restaurant into calling the police, hoping they would hold him.

They took him to the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center for observation in the psychiatric unit. They shaved him and cleaned him and gave him a room. She came every day, to sit with him. He said little. Mostly he sat slouched forward, staring at the floor, his hands folded in his lap. He seemed to recognize her but would not acknowledge it. Perhaps he just could not grasp the improbability of a poor woman from Vietnam coming to find him in a land so large. When he did speak, he told of having been chased by men who meant to harm him. She did not know what it meant, whether it was a real memory or part of what doctors called his mental illness. They had diagnosed him with an unspecific psychotic disorder.

There were details of his time in the United States that she didn’t ask about. So she would not learn that in 1995, he and several other men had burst into an Arcadia home and used a rope to tie up a man and his wife before making off with their cash and jewelry. That police had labeled him a gang member. That a judge had sentenced him to 10 years in state prison, though he was released in five. That he went to prison three more times on parole violations, finally going free in January. I’m nobody, he kept saying. You don’t want anything to do with me.

Hoping to break through, she brought him photos of his brother and sister back in Vietnam, of aunts and nieces and nephews. She spoke of taking him home to Vietnam. She did not dwell on whether such a trip was even possible. She had to return in January, when her visa expired. It was not clear whether authorities would let him go too.

For now, though, she had arranged a place for them to stay, at the Cao Dai Temple in San Jose, when the hospital released him. She ran her hand up and down his back and promised she wouldn’t leave him. She would take care of him from now on. She told him that it didn’t matter to her, whatever had happened, whatever he’d done. She blamed herself for sending him across the world with no one to watch over him.

Five days had passed since she rescued him from the streets, and all he would call her is “aunt,” a generic Vietnamese term for an older woman, not necessarily of blood relation. Now, he spoke a word she had not heard him utter in 20 years.


Sorry for this overly sentimental story and the obviously posed photo. But it has everything: a dying mother, a quest across the oceans, a compassionate community and finally a mother and son reunion. And it's Christmas, you heartless bastards!!!

Here's your Christmas present: . Click on the link and go down the list until you find: «Long Me». Hehehehe....

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Out With A Bang - Part Deux

A couple of friends from Alberta came to visit, so last night, we went for supper at Bill Wong's (It's Christmas time and I'm out of money). We had great food and a great time.

Our guests were very impressed and amused by the cook's antics, who was juggling his cooking ustensils, flipping food on the grill, making lame jokes («Hot sauce! Japanese ketchup!», «Be a man, do the rite fing!» -- no, kidding, that's Russell Peters.).

Anyhoo, during the meal, people from another table came to shake hands with Earl and tell him how much they love the food at Bill Wong's and wish him a good life after the restaurant closes. Earl was very touched and pleased.

This is what we had for supper: a potful of puppies with ginger and scallions. Hum, yummy!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Out With A Bang!!!!

Bill Wong's, one of Montreal's landmark restaurants, is closing its doors next month. According to The Gazette on Friday 15 December, the eatery on Decarie Blvd. just north of Jean Talon St., a fixture among Chinese restaurants since it opened in 1963, will cease to exist after Jan. 7, said owner Earl Wong, Bill Wong's son.

"There's no one to take over," said Earl Wong, 55, who has been running the restaurant since 1988, when his father was supposed to have retired. The elder Wong finally retired five years ago, at age 81, his son said. "I don't want to do the same."

Of course, such a historical event cannot go unnoticed and unmarked. B-Girl and Entrepreneur Lynx has organized a monster breakdance event to be held on the last day of the restaurant.

It's called BREAK SURVIVOR and it's a 2 VS 2 Break battle. First place prize is $300. It's on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007 at Bill Wong's restaurant on Decarie (7965 Decarie, cross street Ferrier, metro Namur).

Some of the top b-boys and b-girls of Montreal will be battling at this event so come and check them out. This event is for all ages, so kids are welcome to come.

The way this event works is that breakers enter individually, not as a team. Each person's name gets put into a hat and then we draw the teams out randomly.
After the first round the names of the winners get put back into the hat and we draw new teams. So 2 people could be on a team one round and then the next round they could be battling each other. Each round we do this until the finals and a winning team comes out. But, the prize money only goes to one person so the 2 winners have to battle each other to see who gets the money. It's a crazy concept. I hope you'll like it.
For the event: One of the reasons we're having this event at the conference hall at Bill Wong's is because that restaurant will soon close so we want to enjoy the good food there while it's still around. There is a special ticket for the buffet at the restaurant and the event for those who want to chill and have dinner before watching or participating in the battle.

Here's the detailed price scheme:
Dinner & event: $25
Event only at door: $15
Event only advance tickets: $10
Battlers: $5 or $20 with dinner
Cameras: $10 extra
Tickets are available from me personally [ ] or at Off the Hook, 1021A St. Catherine W.

Doors open 6pm, everyone can come and chill and eat...
Live band 'Sukoshi Yoshi' will perform at 7pm. Here's a sample of their repertoire on YouTube. As a commentator said: «They are SICK! SICK! SICK!!!» (I think it means they're good).

Battle will start at 8pm
Featuring: DJ Darrell C ( & MC Rawgged

Disclosures: Earl Wong is my ex. Lynx is a very close friend. My son Asparagus is the drummer in the band Sukoshi Yoshi. My other son Darrell .. I mean B-Boy W.D. Forty will probably be among the battlers.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Still waiting for my new modem.... Sigh...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bear Blessing

A friend forwarded to me another one of those inspirational messages. Normally I would delete the message, while cursing the sender under my breath, but the pictures included show polar bears, and I have a special weakness for polar bears. So I am in turn inflicting them on you. Enjoy!

The Bear Blessing

Wishing you in your busy life
... Time for Relaxation

Good Sleep

Good Health with Exercise

Someone to Dance With

... a Bit of Adventure

Good Looks

But Most of All ...

I Wish You Lots of Bear Hugs

And The Comforts of Real Love

Many Blessings...

May you always have love to share, health to spare, and friends that care.

But watch out for those darn penguins!

The perfect hard-boiled egg

I know it's hard to believe, but I actually have some cooking skills, albeit very limited, I admit. One of my specialties is the hard-boiled egg, which is harder to cook than you might think. Most of the times, if you're not careful, the egg shell cracks during the cooking process and the inside oozes out and congeals into a gross goiter. Beurk! Or the yolk turns green and tastes like sand and sticks to the roof of your mouth.

With time, and after many, many disappointing results, I managed to develop the perfect recipe, which I was going to take with me to the grave. But this morning, lo and behold, I found in today's Le Monde a recipe by Christina Blais, of the Université de Montréal, that's similar to mine. Since the cat is out of the bag, I might as well post it here, as my contribution to the improvement of human civilization.

Hardboiled eggs on a stick - Laos

Blais' method (copied on mine, no doubt):
Il faut d'abord, avec une aiguille, percer un petit trou dans la partie renflée de l'oeuf pour permettre à l'air de s'échapper pendant la cuisson. Pas d'eau bouillante, car le blanc d'oeuf cuit à 64 0C ; au-delà, il devient caoutchouteux. Le problème est que le jaune cuit à 68 °C. Au-dessus de cette température, il devient sableux. Solution : cuire l'oeuf à 69 °C. "Mais cette température est presque impossible à maintenir dans une cuisine domestique", dit Christina Blais. Le compromis, à la maison, consiste à placer les oeufs dans une eau froide salée et à porter doucement à une première ébullition, couvrir et laisser reposer pendant une dizaine de minutes. On prendra soin, pendant la cuisson, de faire rouler l'oeuf dans la casserole pour obtenir un jaune bien centré. Le résultat est un oeuf assaisonné (par le sel), au blanc moelleux, bien équilibré autour du jaune pour obtenir de belles tranches, à la double texture idéale.

First, you must use a pin and pierce the shell at the round (not pointy) end of the egg, to allow air to escape during the cooking process. Do not let the water boil, since the white cooks at 64 degrees Celsius and turns rubbery at a higher temperature. The problem is that the yolk cooks at 68 degrees Celsius and turns sandy at a higher temperature. The solution is to cook the egg at 69 degrees. According to Christina Blais, «such temperature is impossible to maintain in a normal kitchen». The compromise solution, if you cook at home, is to put the egg in salted cold water which you will slowly bring to a boil. As soon as the water starts to boil, turn off the heat, cover the pot and let the egg continue to cook in that water for ten minutes. Blais recommands that you roll the egg around while it cooks so that the yolk is centered, but I find that the boiling water is already doing that rolling job for you, not to mention that the yolk centering doesn't really matter unless you intend to slice the egg for sandwiches, because really who gives a sh*t if the yolk is slightly off center? Anyhoo, back to the translation. The result will be a nicely seasoned egg (by the salt), with creamy white, equally distributed around the yolk to yield beautiful slices, and with perfect texture for both the white and the yolk.

Hard boiled egg origami

Monday, November 27, 2006

How Green Is My Thumb

I have two poinsettia plants in my office: a red/pink one and a white one. The white one, I retrieved from a garbage can a few years ago. The red/pink one I bought, because it had many branches with pink flowers and one branch with red flowers, and I've always been attracted to mutants.

Normally, it's very hard to make poinsettias reflower and since they are relatively cheap seasonal plants, most people just ditch them, once they stop flowering. Last year, I managed to make them reflower, but this year, they decided that they don't need my help and are now beginning to rebloom all by themselves, just in time for Christmas.

Am I good or what?

Cool People in Vietnam

HANOI, Vietnam (Reuters) -- Hollywood superstars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie doled out candies and toys during a surprise visit to an orphanage in southern Vietnam, a state-run newspaper said on Saturday.

The couple went to Tam Binh orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City and had lunch there on Friday, the director of the charity facility told the Saigon Giai Phong (Liberation Saigon) daily.

Posted by: Anonyme [Merci, A.]

Friday, November 24, 2006

What Gender Is Your Brain Quiz

Your Brain is 13% Female, 87% Male
You've got the brain of a manly man
Feelings, schmeelings... tears aren't for you.
You could break both legs and not get misty eyed.
A great problem solver, nothing ever phases you.

Now you know why I'm weird....
What Gender Is Your Brain?

Christmas shopping list for your Dog

Political Toys for intellectual dogs!!!


Choose your favourite (or least favourite) political/controversial figure and give it to your dog to decide their fate. Seeing your dog happily drag this personality around the garden will give you similar satisfaction of ‘getting even’. The chewable pet toys are made from long-lasting PVC so dogs can have years of fun and soft rubber so chewing is not harmful for their gums. About 20.00$.

Wife beaters for redneck dogs!!!


Totally rough punk rock gear for your pets! With 12 sizes available in this cool tank design, dogs large and small can look tough. About 24.00 US$.

Bling blings for gangsta dogs!!!


Sparkling diamonds and sapphires. Stunning 14k white gold and yellow gold. The kind of quality workmanship we've always hoped to see in jewelry for dogs (and dog jewelry for owners, for that matter) combined with a company determined to do things differently. Priceless.

And if your dog should get married, there's only one place to go for the bride and groom:

They have apparels (day and nightwear), jewelry, accessories, eyewear, colognes, furniture, etc..

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Mount Rushmore

From questions submitted by Vietnamese people to the U.S.-Indochina Educational Foundation for its “FAQ About America” project. Originally from Harper's Magazine, January 2005.
  • When did your culture form? [You all know about this anecdote, I'm sure: Asked «What do you think of the US culture?», Mahatma Gandhi allegedly replied: «Oh, that would be a good idea».]

  • What does a typical American look like? Do actors and actresses in Hollywood movies possess characteristics of a typical American?

  • What is Hollywood?

  • There are many sexy scenes in American movies. Does that reflect the daily lives of Americans?

  • How many people in the U.S.A. like to drink Coke?

  • Why are American presidents so bellicose?

  • Does the U.S. really wish for peace and happiness for other countries, as they always announce in public?

  • What do Americans think about Communists?

  • People say that Americans look down on people of color and people from Third World countries. Is that true?

  • Are Americans extravagant?

  • Americans are very combative, aren’t they?

  • Why do many Americans like to be single nowadays?

  • Americans seem to be superficial and not sincere. What do you think about this?

  • Do you think using an excessive amount of slang will gradually destroy the beauty of the English language?

  • What will happen if the American president doesn’t carry out the promises that he made in the campaign?

  • What percentage of the U.S. population wants to be a good friend of Vietnam in all fields?

  • How can the post-traumatic stress disorder be solved? What are the U.S. responsibilities in solving it?

  • Why does America appear to be the major factor of almost every war?

  • Which aspects of life are American people most interested in?

  • I have learned America is a free country; what is the real freedom in this country?

Educating George

From Crooks and Liars [], Keith Olbermann delivers a master lesson to Bush.

It is a shame — and it is embarrassing to us all — when President Bush travels 8,000 miles, only to wind up avoiding reality, again.

And it is pathetic to listen to the leader of the free world, talk so unrealistically about Vietnam, when it was he who permitted the "Swift-Boating" of not one but two American heroes of that war, in consecutive Presidential campaigns.

But most importantly — important, beyond measure — his avoidance of reality is going to wind up killing more Americans.

And that is indefensible — and fatal.

Asked if there were lessons about Iraq to be found in our experience in Vietnam, Mr. Bush said that there were — and he immediately proved he had no clue what they were.

"One lesson is," he said, "that we tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take a while."

"We'll succeed," the President concluded, "unless we quit."

If that's the lesson about Iraq that Mr. Bush sees in Vietnam, then he needs a tutor. Or we need somebody else making the decisions about Iraq.

Mr. Bush, there are a dozen central lessons to be derived from our nightmare in Vietnam, but "we'll succeed unless we quit" is not one of them.

The primary one — which should be as obvious to you as the latest opinion poll showing that only 31 percent of this country agrees with your tragic Iraq policy– is that if you try to pursue a war for which the nation has lost its stomach, you and it are finished. Ask Lyndon Johnson.

The second most important lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: if you don't have a stable local government to work with, you can keep sending in Americans until hell freezes over and it will not matter. Ask South Vietnam's President Diem, or President Thieu.

The third vital lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: don't pretend it's something it's not. For decades we were warned that if we didn't stop "communist aggression" in Vietnam, communist agitators would infiltrate and devour the small nations of the world, and make their insidious way, stealthily, to our doorstep.

The war machine of 1968 had this "Domino Theory."

Your war machine of 2006 has this nonsense about Iraq as "the central front in the war on terror."

The fourth pivotal lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush: if the same idiots who told Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon to stay there for the sake of "Peace With Honor," are now telling you to stay in Iraq, they're probably just as wrong now, as they were then… Dr. Kissinger.

And the fifth crucial lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush, which somebody should've told you about, long before you plunged this country into Iraq — is that, if you lie us into a war — your war, and your presidency, will be consigned to the scrapheap of history.

Consider your fellow Texan, sir.

After President Kennedy's assassination, Lyndon Johnson held the country together after a national tragedy — not unlike you tried to do.

He had lofty goals and tried to reshape society for the better. And he is remembered for Vietnam and for the lies he and his government told to get us there and keep us there… and for the Americans who needlessly died there.

As you will be remembered for Iraq and for the lies you and your government told to get us there and keep us there… and for the Americans who needlessly died there — and who will needlessly die there tomorrow.

This president has his fictitious Iraqi W-M-D, and his lies (disguised as subtle hints) linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11, and his reason-of-the-week for keeping us there when all the evidence has, for at least three years, told us we needed to get as many of our kids out, as quickly as we could.

That president had his fictitious attacks on Navy ships in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, and the next thing any of us knew, the Senate had voted 88-to-2 to approve the blank check with which Lyndon Johnson paid for our trip into hell.

And yet President Bush just saw the grim reminders of that trip into hell:

– Of the 58,000 Americans and millions of Vietnamese killed;
– Of the 10,000 civilians who've been blown up by landmines since we pulled out;
– Of the genocide in the neighboring country of Cambodia, which we triggered;

Yet, these parallels — and these lessons — eluded President Bush entirely. And, in particular, the one over-arching lesson about Iraq that should've been written everywhere he looked in Vietnam, went un-seen.

"We'll succeed unless we quit"?

Mr. Bush, we did quit in Vietnam! A decade later than we should have; 58,000 dead later than we should have; but we finally came to our senses.

The stable, burgeoning, vivid country you just saw there is there, because we finally had the good sense to declare victory and get out!

The Domino Theory was nonsense, sir. Our departure from Vietnam emboldened no one. Communism did not spread like a contagion around the world.

And most importantly — as President Reagan's Assistant Secretary of State Lawrence Korb said on this newscast Friday — we were only in a position to win the Cold War because we quit in Vietnam.

We went home. And instead it was the Russians who learned nothing from Vietnam, and who repeated every one of our mistakes when they went into Afghanistan. And alienated their own people, and killed their own children, and bankrupted their own economy, and allowed us to win the Cold War.

We awakened so late — but we did awaken.

Finally, in Vietnam, we learned the lesson. We stopped endlessly squandering lives and treasure and the focus of a nation on an impossible and irrelevant dream.

But you are still doing exactly that, tonight, in Iraq.

And these lessons from Vietnam, Mr. Bush, these priceless, transparent lessons, writ large as if across the very sky, are still a mystery to you.

"We'll succeed unless we quit."

No, sir. We will succeed — against terrorism, for our country's needs, towards binding up the nation's wounds — when you quit — quit the monumental lie, that is our presence in Iraq.

And in the interim, Mr. Bush, an American kid will be killed there, probably tonight — or, if we're lucky, not until tomorrow.

And here, sir, endeth the lesson.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Mea Culpa

Décidément, ce n'est pas ma journée aujourd'hui. Après la fessée (verbale) de KCA, ne voila t-y pas que Stalker me signale une photo de Bush que j'attendais et dans laquelle mon nemesis est, non seulement pas ridicule du tout, mais même presque beau.

Princes and Princess of Bac Lieu (OK, c'est la dernière fois )

Bush: 2 - Lenga/Bouddhiste: 0

Moron in Chief

From Informed Comment []
«Bush went to Vietnam and boasted about how we would have won if we had not quit. This was, he said, the lesson for Iraq of the Vietnam War. He managed to be wrong about two wars at once and to anger both his hosts (how churlish!) and the Iraqi public. The American Right never admitted that they lost in Vietnam, thus the Rambo movies and, Melani McCallister argues, the US admiration for Entebbe. Iraq was their chance, they thought, to get it right. Bush had also said insulting things to the Philippines about how wonderful it was that we had colonized them (and killed 400,000).

Colonialism is over with. When will they get that through their heads?

At 1:18 PM, Boo said...
He boasted we could have won Vietnam IN VIETNAM??!!
Do they think he's been drinking again?»

Update 19 November
In the comments, KCA explains convincingly that Bush was misquoted, misunderstood, etc., so I'm withdrawing the finger and posting something nicer below. The title of the post stays, though, cause it's intrinsically true.

Duh.. Soooorry!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Russell Peters Special

Back by popular demand! Forty five minutes of pure hilarity! Or my name ain't !xobile.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Important News

Associated Press - BOGOR, Indonesia - A renowned black magic practitioner performed a voodoo ritual Thursday to jinx President George W. Bush during his brief visit to Indonesia. Ki Gendeng Pamungkas slit the throat of a goat and a small snake and stabbed a black crow in the chest, then stirred their blood with spice and broccoli before drinking the potion and smearing it on his face.

He said the jinx would send spirits to possess Secret Service personnel guarding Bush and put them in a trance, leading them into falsely thinking the president was under attack, thus eventually causing chaos in Bogor Presidential Palace, where the American leader was scheduled to meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday.

"I am doing voodoo, because other rituals would not work," Pamungkas told reporters at the end of the gory ceremony performed 1 kilometer from the palace.

Obviously, the voodoo priest did not know about the warning on bird flu.

Reuters - Benin - Priests who tear out the throats of live chickens in ritual sacrifices to voodoo gods may risk contracting bird flu now that the deadly virus has reached Africa. Voodoo priests in Benin, which borders Nigeria where an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 virus was found in poultry last week, sacrifice animals to invoke blessings or favours from the gods.

Benin Voodoo Priest ... Not the Prince of Bac Lieu

And speaking of voodoo,

Westmount, QC - Canada - All my phaenelopsis are in bloom or producing multiple bud spikes. There are so many of them that I'm running out of room on the window sills. But I'm not complaining. At least I don't have a voodoo curse on my ass.


Bush and Uncle Ho
Photo «submitted» by Stalker

My reply (to Bush, not to Stalker)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tout est impermanence

Ma tartine!!!

Piqué sans permission à Cynical C []

Who Gives A Sh*t

NBC News - Today, President Bush visits Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, “looking to burnish his foreign-policy credentials.” He’s off to a miserable start.

Yesterday, the White House website featured a graphic with the flags of the three countries he’s visiting on his trip — Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. One problem: instead of displaying the Vietnamese flag, the White House graphic featured the old flag of South Vietnam. That flag hasn’t been the official flag of Vietnam since South Vietnam surrendered to North Vietnam in 1975.

This flag, stupid!

Not this one

You think it's because Bush is an idiot and his Administration is populated by incompetent and ignorant yahoos? Noooo! I mean, yes, the present President of the United States of America has no interest in the world outside of his small circle and his staff are hired for their loyalty to the Party and not for their competence, but still, the main reason is because it's about brown people, so nobody really gives a sh*t.

When the Prime Minister of Vietnam came to Canada last summer, Jean Charest greeted him in Quebec City. In his speech, Charest announced that Quebec City will sign an agreement to become the twin city of Huê, Vietnam's ancient imperial capital. Charest kept calling it the City of Hew (the correct pronunciation is: Huey). He didn't bother to check the correct pronunciation of Quebec City's twin sister, nor did his staff bother to tell him. After all, the only people who would care are ...well, brown people, and we all know how their opinions matter, right?

And by the way, the Vietnamese Prime Minister did not mispronounce the name Quebec. That would be a major, major faux pas in protocol affairs and in simple courtesy, even for brown people.

Temple in Huê

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ace Ventura is my hero

As I was cleaning my bookmarks, I found out that I'm a member of a feminist group, the Heartless Bitches []. Each member was supposed to tell a true story about herself, that would be characteristic of her attitude as a feminist. Here's the story I told, which I completely forgot about:

«Once at work, a guy saw me walking by and said: "Hey, why so serious? Come on, give me a smile, it can't be that bad" and I bent down and did the Ace Ventura butt-talking bit, saying: "Here's your smile!"»

And it's a true story too! The guy's not working at my office anymore. Good times, good times..

Russell Peters Double Feature

They talk about him in the newspapers today. He's a favourite at our home.