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Malaysian Travel Journal: Sadness

This afternoon, as I was driving along, I saw a monkey. In my new surroundings, there is nothing remarkable about seeing monkeys on the side of the road. Nonetheless, I still find it super cool. The monkey I saw today was acting strangely, just sitting there, shoulders hunched, back to the road. It looked almost like it was in shock. I had about 50 yards to wonder why. That's when I saw the second monkey. Same size, same color, decidedly less alive, sprawled across a highway lane, having very recently succumbed to death by logging truck.

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Malaysian Travel Journal: Elephants are Cool!

I'm not an animal lover. I've had pets that I've loved, but I've never referred to them as "my children." I don't eat much meat, but I'm not opposed to animals as food. Like most normal people, I balk at animal cruelty, but I balk more at people cruelty. And, when it comes down to it, I'd rather we spent our resources taking care of children than stray dogs and cats.

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Indonesian Travel Journal: Disappearing Acts and Reflections on a Year-Long Adventure

 

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.

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Dagbooks: Blowing Smoke - Chapter Two - Weep for Your Children

In Chapter 1 of Blowing Smoke, author Michael Wolraich (Genghis) introduces what he terms “Persecution Politics,” or the way in which the right wing has employed a trinity of unreality-based ideas to instill fear in the populace. 

Those three things are: 1) the slippery slope; 2) the secret plot; and 3) persecution of you and people like you. 

In Chapter 2, Wolraich lays out starkly the history of the birth of Persecution Politics. 

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Dagbooks: Blowing Smoke – Chapter One - How Bill O'Reilly Saved Christmas

I am very excited to be hosting Dagblog’s very first book group for various reasons, not the least of which is that we get to discuss a book written by our very own Genghis (Michael Wolraich, for those of you who are new to Dag). We’ll get to the meat of the discussion in just a moment. But first, some ground rules:

1. The plan is to take the book chapter by chapter, discussing the salient points of each chapter as we work our way through. However, this is meant to be a free-flowing discussion so jumping ahead is fine if you feel it helps you make your point.

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Is Indonesia Positioning Itself Snugly Between the United States and China?

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.

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Two Hundred Million a Day

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.

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Dagbooks: Blowing Smoke

I’ve been reading a terrific new book. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It’s called Blowing Smoke: Why the Right Keeps Serving Up Whack-Job Fantasies About the Plot to Euthanize Grandma, Outlaw Christmas, and Turn Junior into a Raging Homosexual, by Dagblog’s very own Michael Wolraich!

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President Takes Page from Pope, Issues "Non-Apology" Apology

I've been somewhat detached this political season, what with my commitment to stay away from the crazy for a while, but I have been reading the post-election blogs at Dag with interest. I have the same feeling now that I had in January 2008--Obama is going to be fine. Of course, I don't have a crystal ball and a lot is going to happen between now and then, including a sure-to-be nauseating 112th Congress.

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Biography
Orlando is a teacher and aspiring novelist, living a mysterious and reclusive life somewhere in Asia. She used to live a reclusive and mysterious life somewhere in Indiana until Mitch Daniels and Mike Pence became national figures, making it far too humiliating to continue residing there. In her spare time, she travels the world--or her small part of it--snapping pictures and writing down random thoughts to share with the dagblog crowd.

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