Daggers keep dropping hints that I should give a Southeast Asian expat perspective on what’s happening in Egypt. By dropping hints, I mean that they keep emailing me and telling me to write a Southeast Asian expat perspective on what’s happening in Egypt. I’ll think about that some more and get back to you.
ArtAppraiser asked for my thoughts on a New York Times article about the relationships Indonesia is forging with the United States and China. I have to admit I haven't been paying that much attention to politics and economics over here. There isn't much in-depth analysis in the English-language press and my friends are mostly fellow teachers, so we talk more about grammar and culture than geopolitical manuevering. But, for what's it's worth, I do have some thoughts.
You'd think for the kind of money President Obama is spending on travel in Right-Wing Fantasy Land, there would be at least one public event during his time in Indonesia. I mean, it's not like there are occasional attacks of terrorism in a city that is beyond impossible to secure.
Except it is exactly like that. Oh, well. I know somebody who knows somebody who is invited to dinner with the President this evening. Him and a few hundred other more important expats. Not that I'm bitter. But for $200 million a day, you'd think anybody holding a U.S. passport would be invited.
I didn’t have internet service at my house this week. There was nothing wrong with the service. I paid the bill and magical signals were coming through the cables hanging high up above the street. I say magical because I don’t understand the ins and outs of how I can sit down on my couch in Jakarta and communicate with people all over the world through invisible electrical impulses. What’s more, I don’t really care how it works, just that it does. And when it fails, I get the tiniest bit cranky.
Lebaran is this weekend which means I have successfully completed my first Ramadan in a Muslim country. I wasn't affected much. My area of the city has almost as many Christians as Muslims, so the restaurants were still crowded at lunch time. I was more careful about eating, and drinking alcohol, outside during daylight hours and I didn't eat in front of my Muslim co-workers prior to sundown, but other than that, life went on normally.
Bukit Lawang is a village in North Sumatra, on the edge of the jungle. The Bohorok River plays a central role in village life, providing a place to wash bodies and clothes, to cool down during sweltering days, and to have a little fun, running smallish rapids on tubes and in rafts. The village exists almost entirely due to tourism.
There is a report in the Jakarta Post this morning announcing that the city will begin construction on a sewage system next year. The first phase of the project will take almost 10 years and only serve about 10 percent of the city, but it's a start. In 20 years, a projected expansion plan will reach a quarter of the population.
On my way to Jakarta, I had a nine hour layover in Seoul, Korea. As I was planning my trip, I considered spending that time sight-seeing or finding a restaurant with some excellent bi bim bop. But then I realized I would be tired and grimy, so then I decided to try to find out if there was any place at the Seoul airport where I could take a shower. I was explaining this idea to a friend who frequently travels to India and she made a suggestion that changed my entire trip. She said, “Why don’t you look for a day-rate hotel?” Whichever hotel maven thought up this idea was a genius.
Ignoring targeted voter suppression really is one of the scandals. Argument: "Why didn't you win? 97% of your voters were allowed to vote"
Other takeaways are the overreliance on TV ads still, and this:
When presidential candidate Donald Trump says, ” You know we are going to take back our country. Yes, we absolutely are going to take back our country, believe that,” he is having a racial conversation. Our response to that conversation can’t be, “We are going to raise your minimum wage.”
The gun was fired in the United States. The bullet stopped 60 feet away in Mexico — tragically, in the head of a 15-year-old boy named Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca.
Border patrol agent Jesus Mesa Jr. pulled the trigger that day six years ago in the wide concrete culvert that separates El Paso from Juarez, Mexico. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will consider whether the Constitution gives Hernández’s parents the right to sue Mesa in American courts for killing their son.
For 10 years, he laid cables for service companies doing seismic testing in the search for the next big gusher. Then, powerful computer hardware and software replaced cables with wireless data collection, and he lost his job. He found new work connecting pipes on rigs, but lost that job, too, when plunging oil prices in 2015 forced the driller he worked for to replace rig hands with cheaper, more reliable automated tools.“I don’t see a future,” Mr. Velazquez, 44, said. “Pretty soon every rig will have one worker and a robot.”
Donald Trump rode into the White House on a promise that he’d be a strong leader who could run the government with the efficiency of a CEO.
The reality has been much different.
Management experts view Trump’s tumultuous style as unlikely to produce the type of helpful internal debate that can solve difficult problems. And the president’s impulsiveness and reliance on his own gut reactions don’t appear to have any real check within the system he’s created.
Given the limitations of a newspaper column, It's hard to imagine a clearer or more comprehensive explanation of our current modernist predicament - one that we have been confronting for several centuries now.
Dostoyevsky grasped the conflict . . . during a visit to Paris . . . [he] caustically concluded that "liberte" was just for millionaires, "egalite" did not exist for the poor in French justice and "fraternite" was a joke in an atomized, isolationist society.
What the removal of Flynn as the national-security adviser reveals about Donald Trump’s White House.
Paragraph after paragraph after paragraph of gobsmacking stuff; the mind reels trying to go from one paragraph to the next. Way more bizarro than Dr. Strangelove. As difficult as it is to read, it quickly rocketed to #1 on their "most popular" list of articles.
The Pakistani army on Friday arrested or killed dozens of suspected militants and launched artillery rounds at targets in neighboring Afghanistan a day after a suicide bombing at a Sufi shrine killed at least 88 people.
Residents in Pakistan’s Khyber tribal district said security forces fired barrages into Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, where militants loyal to Islamic State have often found sanctuary.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has reassigned a majority of the staff meant to work most closely with the top US diplomat in what career officials at the State Department fear is the start of a major reorganization.
Cambridge Analytica touted its ability to target voters through psychological profiling — a service for which Trump’s presidential campaign paid millions of dollars. Now, its parent company is pitching its services to the Pentagon and other national security agencies.