Friday, November 6, 2015

A more accurate look at Asians in the USA - no "Asian Advantage"

The New York Times isn't the quality newspaper it used to be in its glory days (the days in the far past when it was truly great). It did not adjust well to the development of the internet and has lost many of its best journalists. Many of the pieces I read in the Times (when I bother to read it) are not especially well-written or thought-provoking. Some articles are really bad.

Recently someone who writes for the NY Times stupidly asserted that "Asians" as a group had an 'advantage' over other races in the USA and he provided various statistics to 'prove' this. Asian folks, themselves, have responded by saying he is merely promoting a harmful stereotype about Asians.

A stereotype is an image or belief about a certain group of people based on a few examples. As other Asians have pointed out, there are many Asian people who are suffering in the USA. Certain Asian groups in the USA are doing well, but this does not mean that a racist stereotype should be created. But that's what the NY Times did. 

The Economist also did this by calling Asians 'the model minority group' - meaning the perfect group of people in the USA who do not represent the 'dominant' group...but everyone knows the Economist is a piece of garbage conservative magazine.  (A conservative person or magazine does not like to see things change and supports businesses over people. George Bush was a conservative in the USA.)

This article below is just wonderful - so intelligently written. It points out that there were two basic 'waves' recently of Asian immigration to the USA. In the first wave highly educated Asians were allowed into the country and in the second wave people escaping from war were let in. Yet, when some people look at 'Asians in the USA' they only look at the first wave of immigrants and ignore the second wave. Then they look at the first wave and say, "Look at how well they are doing! There must be something in Asian culture to make Asians so successful. maybe it is Confucianism!" This is, basically, racist and encourages non-Asians to look at Asians the wrong way. What a great article! Thank you CNN.

An article about this (this is a GREAT article):

Vocabulary to help you understand the story:

to be ignored - if something is being ignored, attention is not being paid to it

troubling - if something is troubling it makes you feel concerned, worried

the numbers are compelling - the statistics make it seem as if what they are saying is true. If something is compelling it holds your attention and seems to be true.

when you dig a little bit - when you investigate a little further

diverse - wide, not uniform, not the same, a variety

he penned a response - he wrote a response

perpetuates - continues

garment workers - people who make clothing under terrible conditions

disproportionally stars - there are more 'stars' among Asians than other groups

to air their discontent - to express their anger and how upset they were

to elide it - basically he used the wrong word here. He should have used 'avoid' - to elide is to not pronounce a sound that is supposed to be pronounced in a word. God the NY Times sucks.

trauma - if you experience trauma you have had a terrible experience and still feel the psychological effects of it

war-torn countries -  countries where there is war occurring

tenet - assumption or belief

to fuel something - to keep it going

devastating - shocking, psychologically harmful

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A woman was fined for a nasty and malicious Yelp review

For some reason, people think they can post anything they feel like saying on the internet. Well, one woman learned (the hard way) that you simply can't do this (according to the judge who fined her).

She felt it was her 'freedom of speech' to attack a business owner whom she didn't like on the website "Yelp".  Indeed, Yelp does not seem to have any guidelines posted for its users about what is freedom of speech and what isn't, so I think Yelp should be sued by the business owner as well.

Unfortunately, this is impossible because of a 1998 law that was passed by the US Congress. According to this law, no internet company can be held responsible for postings placed on it. So if I own a website that allows comments by anyone, and someone writes something horrible about another person which is not true or which is meant to harm the person, according to this law the person who posted the statement can be sued but I who own the website can't.

This law was passed during the early stages of the internet and is clearly a bad law.  Why? Well, if someone who doesn't like you goes to a site and attacks you, and you write to the site, it will basically simply tell you that they don't care. Congress passed a law which absolves them of responsibility (says they are not responsible for what is on their site) and so they won't remove nasty, false and malicious comments even if it is readily apparent that the statements are false and that any decent company would remove them. You have to sue the person who posted the content.

Their attitude seems to be: "OK, this is horrible, it might destroy an innocent person's life, but we don't have to remove it and so we won't. It's too much trouble for us and we don't want to hire a few more employees to help make sure that innocent people are not hurt." The 1998 law was meant to protect these companies from crazy comments users might make, but the companies have been using the law to justify these harmful comments and the cyber-bullying that goes on on their sites. Why? Money makes the world go around. A responsible company would remove anything harmful and malicious, but the current internet companies simply refuse to do this.

So this woman learned a big lesson and she was lucky. The judge probably should have, in my opinion, fined her more for her attack on the guy. 

The article:


for bashing floor refinishing business; for attacking a business that makes older and stained wooden floors look better

a fine - this is a type of punishment in which a person has to pay the other person or the government money

Staten Island - this is one of the 5 boroughs or areas of New York City

the reviews are in - the journalist is joking a little...after a play the actors will wait for reviews by theater critics and when the papers arrive they'll say 'The reviews are in!'  In this case the review relates to what the woman from Staten Island wrote about the floor refinishing business

to bash, bashing - to attack, attacking

a judge - someone who is in charge of a courtroom

a con artist - 'con' comes from the word 'confidence' - a con man or con artist is someone who gains your trust or confidence only to try to get money from you illegally. If someone keeps promising something and keeps stealing money based on that promise, he is a con man or con artist.

a scathing review - a very, very nasty, harsh, severe review which is critical or attacks someone

rants - negative, nasty, mean and aggressive comments

crossed the line - she went too far, what she did could no longer be considered freedom of speech

to refinish a floor - usually the floor is sanded with an abrasive or rough material ad then varnished so that it looks new

green chemicals - chemicals that will not hurt the environment

peeling - she meant the surface of the floor was coming up in curls

she was unable to contain her  anger in a coherent sentence - she was so angry she wrote in badly broken English; her English didn't really make sense because she was so angry

the guy mat the owner - should be: the guy Matt, the owner, 

coherent - meaningful

is a scam - she meant, is a scammer (someone who steals money from people through scams - illegal plans

to rob - to steal from

BULL-----ER - a bullshitter, someone who lies (this is a dirty word)

urging - encouraging

libel - lying about a person to hurt him/her

personal in their invective - she made very personal comments in her attack on the owner

to impugn his integrity - to call his integrity or honesty into question; to make people believe that he has no integrity

her bid - her attempt

I'll fight you tooth and nail - I'll fight against you with everything I have (like an animal, with my teeth and nails)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Obama restricts immigration of 'legal' highly educated foreigners, but wants to harbor (protect) minimally educated 'illegals'

Sometimes it's been hard to understand why the current president has made various decisions which he has made. There's been little logic and no vision for the past 6 years. Instead of showing leadership, he's been hiding and reacting. At times, internationally, Vladimir Putin has made him look like a boy playing a man's game. Right now in Syria Putin is taking action and all Obama can do is complain like a spoiled child. Even his great accomplishment - Obamacare - is a badly flawed system that many people do not like and which may be eliminated if a Republican becomes president.

Now it seems he has made a decision which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. There are many many many highly educated foreigners who were lead to believe that they could enter the USA and gain green cards (the ability to work and live in the USA). Obama has changed his mind. Yet, he doesn't seem to have a problem with the 12 million minimally educated illegal immigrants who are in the country and often using government services for free without paying one penny of taxes.

Within a short time Latinos will be the largest segment of the US population, yet statistically Latinos under-perform every other racial and ethnic group in the country educationally. It seems as if we are going to need highly educated and skilled people from outside our borders. 

An article about this issue:


to undo something - to reverse something, to take something that has changed and change it back to its original state

a green card - this is a card which gives the holder of the card the ability to stay and work legally in the USA and to possibly become a citizen some day

an order - something which must be executed, a command

a federal judge - a federal judge works for the US government, not a state or city government. A judge is the person you see in a court room.

to decline - to reject something, to say 'no' to something

permanent residents - people who can legally stay for a long time in the USA without being citizens

initially - at first, at the start, earlier

in the public interest - the judge said it would not benefit the American people if educated foreigners came into the country (we need more uneducated people - because they will stupidly vote for the most corrupt candidates of the Democratic party...don't worry, I hate Republicans too)

to sue - to go to court and try to get money from a person or to go to court to get an order from a judge

revised - changed

class-action status - this means that many people were being represented in this court case

curtailing - limiting

a temporary restraining order - an order by the judge that something has to stop immediately until it can be better looked at

blocking - stopping

backlogs - when work backs up and you fall behind on your work, you get a backlog; when something piles up

streamline - to make it shorter and less than it was

urging them to abide by... - these major companies desperately need qualified workers and are upset that Obama is streamlining this process; to urge is to abide by means to obey or follow

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Can you get these 12 useful, common words?


cockroaches, to suck, an election, quid pro quo, a scumbag, prestigious, absurd, remote, ballistic, fishy, to sponsor, moral

Joe told me about a plan he had to make a lot of money for both of us, but the plan seemed _____________ to me and I rejected it.

Mary had a dilemma: she could go to a pretty good school on a full scholarship or a ____________ school but only by taking out a lot of loans.

I tend to avoid going to see Hollywood films and I go to see films from around the world. Yes, Hollywood films are generally bad so I would say that they ___________.

One of the first problems you might experience in a New York City apartment is ________________. These ugly and annoying bugs seem to be everywhere.

There are many talented foreigners who come to the USA who hope to find permanent jobs here. They need to find employers who will ________________ them for green cards, however, and not many companies want to support immigrant workers  to this expensive level.

When Bill told his father that he had crashed his dad’s car into a tree, Bill expected his father to go _________________. Instead, his dad began crying.

Roger was a very handsome guy and women were always flirting with him. He was very ______________ however, and felt it would be wrong to cheat on his wife.

I expected this lawyer to help me, but he turned out to be a _________________. He was  totally unethical and was charging me for work he never did and then he threatened to sue me when I complained!

Many Americans look forward to the next presidential ______________ which will be held in 2016. They are hoping for fresh ideas and new vision.

After 15 years in New York City I really began to hate this place. I started to think of living in a ____________ area far from any cities.

Life seems dominated by _________________ relationships. People are always offering to help you so that you will have to help them later. Or they will help you only if you promise to help them later.

Matt seemed kind of nuts. He claimed to be a police officer and a spy, but I found his stories to be ________________.


quid pro quo, 

Can you get these 15 often-used English words?

This is the type of vocabulary exercise in my book: New York City Sucks, But You'll Still Wanna Come Here!  Please buy my book, it's pretty good!

Words to choose from:

scruples, rotten, shady, evidence, verifiable, to retract, to tell, to sue, livid, incompetent, outrageous, corrupt, elegant, inspiring, compromised


The MTA subway system is so bad. It is crowded and expensive and unreliable. I wake up in the morning feeling pretty good, but after riding the subway I feel _____________.

It is hard to find political leaders who are so honest and so kind and have such a great vision that they are _______________. Instead, I often feel depressed looking at the leaders around me.

The journalist was sure what he had written was true, but then he learned he was wrong and he had to _____________ his article.

I wanted to use our savings for several great vacations. My wife wanted to buy a house. So we ________________ and decided to put some money down for the house and to save some for travel.

I didn’t have much money but I really needed at least one ____________ dress that I could wear to art gallery openings and formal parties.

I may not be handsome, I may not have money, but nobody can honestly say that I don’t have ______________: I really care about doing the right thing and acting with morality.

Which street is this?  I didn’t wear my glasses today and I can’t __________ where we are.

Joe was in a terrible car accident. It was the other guy’s fault and so Joe decided to ____________ him. He won $50,000 in court.

Although this politician has a very good reputation, in reality she is very _____________. The newspapers will not write the truth about her, for some reason.

Initially he seemed like a very honest businessman, but as his accountant I began to see that he was doing many illegal things and I realized how ____________ he was.

The _____________ seemed to indicate that Bill had killed his roommate’s dog because the stupid thing wouldn’t stop barking. There was no real proof, however.

When Debbie learned that Bruce was cheating on her, she became ______________ and demanded that they break up.

Most people who work for the State of New York are ______________. They don’t know what they are doing and can’t do their jobs but get these jobs for political favors they have done for shady politicians.

When I went to get my driver’s license, the conditions at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) were _______________. The employees were lazy and stupid and I had to wait 7 hours.

I felt that his theory was really good but I didn’t think it was _______________; therefore we may never know the truth.

Answers are below:


corrupt or shady,  
shady or corrupt, 

Friday, September 25, 2015

The perfect penis size?

Esquire has reported that researchers have used 3-D printing technology to provide sample penises to women to determine what the 'perfect' male penis might look like. Actually, the researchers are interested in the length and width that women seem to prefer.

So I guess if this study has any value, the value would be in debunking (disproving) that women like huge penises. Of course, this makes sense since a huge penis will, obviously, hurt the woman during sex.  Women like 'average' size penises, which, again, seems to make sense since an average size penis evolved to coincide with what might work most effectively in conjunction with your normal, everyday vagina.

Here's the Esquire story:

Vocabulary from the article:

a phallus - another term for the male sex organ (penis)

to ascertain - to find out

to chill - to relax

an anaconda - a very large snake

a stack - a collection of something piled one on top of the other

peer-reviewed - fellow scientists read and comment on the article before it is published. If an article is peer-reviewed, it has the support of a number of scientists before it is published.

enormous - huge

erect - hard

disembodied - the penises were not connected to any men

dongs - slang for penises

skin color cues - apparently the fake penises were blue so that there would be no racial prejudice involved in selecting the best penis

a one-night-stand - having sex one time with someone and never seeing the person again

the character of the penis-haver - the author means that the personality of the guy having sex with the woman is more important than the size of the penis

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Republicans prefer an idiot to a brain surgeon (Trump vs. Carson)

Ben Carson - a former brain surgeon who is running for the presidency

America has two political parties - the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. What's the difference? I like to joke and say that the Republicans are evil and the Democrats are corrupt (dishonest).

That's true. But ideologically, Republicans believe in low taxes and unregulated business; Democrats believe in regulating business and creating social programs. For example, in NY State the government is going to force businesses to pay their workers at least $15 per hour - this is a good example of the government regulating business. Republicans would never think such an idea is a good thing.

So now both the Republican Party and Democratic Party are in the process of choosing who their candidates will be for the 2016 presidential election. 

Right now, the top Republican candidate is Donald Trump.  This is due to the fact, however, that there are so many Republicans running for the office of the presidency. Trump only has about 25% of the total Republican vote because there are so many candidates to choose from.

Personally, I think Donald Trump is a total idiot. He has insulted Mexicans, guys who fought in the Vietnam War and recently he basically said the female Republican candidate was too ugly to be president. Honestly, I think he is not only an idiot but mentally ill.

Another candidate is Ben Carson. He used to be a brain surgeon - he was a highly skilled doctor who knew a great deal about the human brain and who saved many lives as a doctor.  Right now Carson is second to Trump.  This means, of course, that Republicans prefer an idiot to a brain surgeon.

Welcome to America, my friend.

Here's an article about Trump and Carson:

Vocabulary from the article:

to catch up to - a person who has been losing in relation to another person catches up to this person when they are finally equal

a poll - this is when a polling company calls people on the phone and asks them questions about who or what they prefer

a steady rise - a continual and predictable rise

neurosurgeon - a brain doctor, or a doctor who engages in surgery on the human brain

within the margin of error - every poll has a margin of error, meaning that if it looks as if I am receiving 45% of the votes in the poll, and the margin of error is 5%, I could be receiving from 40 to 50% of the actual votes that might be cast (made) by real people in a real vote or election.

over the Carson - this is a typo should be "over Carson"

an 17 point jump - this is another should be "a 17 point jump" - come on Politico, edit and proof-read these damn things! I write art gallery reviews and I make sure there are no crazy typos in my pieces:

the gulf widens considerably - the gap or the margin between candidates is getting larger

Gov. - Governor, the leader of a state

Sen. - Senator, one of two people per state who serves in the Senate for 6 years at a time and helps make laws

dropped out of the race - he quit competing in the attempt to become president; it's called a presidential race sometimes

made up their mind - they made a decision or they decided

primary voters - every state will have an election for both parties so that members of each party can choose their candidate through this process. After the primary elections determine who will be the one candidate for both parties, there is the real or general election between the Democrat and Republican candidates.

My amazing book: New York City Sucks!!!