Thursday, April 27, 2006

Is the Pope a sex expert?

Vatican seems to be very interested in sex issues. But their statements about sex are usually ridiculous. If they do believe that the use of condoms can provide safe-sex, then, before they make such a statement (see the following article), they should apologize for their discouragement of the use of condoms before. Otherwise they are just behaving arrograntly to those issues about which they know nothing (bishops are not allowed to have sex, if my information is correct.)

What do they really know? How can they judge whether using condoms is right or wrong, or same-sex marriage is moral or immoral? Their ideas are hundred years behind the modern world. Who really cares about what the nonsense those old men say?

The Pope considers a life-saving new policy
Apr 26th 2006

Pope Benedict XVI has asked a team of experts to prepare a statement on
the use of condoms by married people who carry infectious viruses such
as HIV. Even the most cautious discussion of this subject marks a
encouraging change in approach by the Vatican, which has long opposed
the use of condoms under any circumstances. The review coincides with
the 25th anniversary of the discovery of AIDS and a record of dismal
failure in stopping its spread.

THEOLOGIANS used to ponder how many angels might fit onto the head of a
pin. Now experts in the Vatican are to consider something more
practical, though perhaps just as difficult for non-Catholics to
understand. The head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Health and
Pastoral Care confirmed in an interview with an Italian newspaper, La
Repubblica, that the council had been asked by Pope Benedict XVI to
study whether those infected with HIV (and other grave infectious
diseases) should use condoms. Although the Catholic church opposes
contraception, some liberal cardinals now argue that the fight against
sexually transmitted illness—notably AIDS—is so pressing that the use
of condoms, in some circumstances, should not be condemned. It might be
justified, for example, if the intention were not to prevent conception
but to stop the spread of a virus from husband to wife.

It is now a quarter of a century since scientists identified a
mysterious disease that killed people by destroying their immune
systems. In the years since it has become clear how one might
discourage the transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Nobody
claims this is easy to do, but it is known to spread mainly through
unprotected sex. Consequently an “ABC” of combined approaches is
thought to help: abstinence (or at least postponing the age of one's
first sexual experiences); being faithful to one’s partner; and condom

It may be that Pope Benedict is now willing to shift, if only for
couples, the church’s opposition to the third part of this mantra. This
matters, especially in Africa, Latin America and Asia, where AIDS is
increasingly prevalent and the views of the Pope are held in high
regard. Last week a retired Archbishop from Milan, Cardinal Carlo Maria
Martini, suggested that married couples where one partner has HIV might
use condoms against infection. Although this contradicts the idea that
contraception is against God’s will and natural law, this is, he
suggests, “a lesser evil” than passing on the virus. “This person has
an obligation to protect the other partner and the other partner also
has to protect themselves”, he says. It may be that Cardinal Martini,
along with a small minority of like-minded cardinals, is testing the
waters to see the reaction of more conservative church leaders.

Something new certainly needs to be tried. The death toll from AIDS is
appallingly high. Some 25m people have probably died of it; another 40m
may be infected with HIV, mostly in Africa. In countries like Botswana,
Swaziland and Zimbabwe, in southern Africa, roughly a third of adults
are infected. Life expectancy for many Africans is now well under 40
years. And though drugs exist to treat the symptoms of AIDS, and there
is hopeful talk of a vaccine being created one day, the disease will
not be beaten unless transmission is reduced.

A change in policy by the Vatican, where the Pope has been installed
for only a year, could be influential. It is not only the church that
has discouraged the use of condoms. The American government, one of the
largest donors to anti-AIDS campaigns in the developing world, has
proved increasingly unwilling in the past few years to fund programmes
that promote condoms. Some African presidents are also sceptical about
their use. And too many ordinary Africans, often suspecting that
outsiders want to prevent them from having children, are suspicious
about the use of condoms. If the Pope were to shift the Vatican’s
position that, perhaps, might encourage a change in attitude elsewhere,

Let's talk about sex
Whether that would translate into lives saved is harder to say. There
are many messy reasons why safer-sex campaigns have failed to do more
to halt the spread of AIDS. Sex in many countries is a taboo subject
and not easily discussed. Women are typically victims and too often
lack the power to control how it takes place. Some poorly-educated
Africans (and others) still do not understand what AIDS is and how it
is passed on. Yet others have been subjected to so many years of dire
warnings about the disease that they have grown fatalistic, each
assuming he is already infected and thus has nothing to gain by taking
precautions. Still others are naturally suspicious when foreigners or
their governments deign to give instruction on the most personal of
topics. And in many places elders consider it shameful for the young to
carry condoms, especially for young women, as this may indicate a
promiscuous sex life.

But, at the least, the Pope’s review may encourage wider discussion of
how best to tackle AIDS while raising awareness of it among potential
victims. In rich countries he might help counter an increasing
weariness with the topic. And in the field, for example in the remotest
corners of Congo or Mozambique or Angola, Catholic missionaries may
find it easier to give more comprehensive help to those who must live
with AIDS.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 K219

My current feeling is like Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 K219: nervously waiting for an uncertainty in the future. With patience and hard working, then hopefully the sunshine will illumine my heart again very soon.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Why does love contain pain?

I thought love always makes people happy, but now I know it sometimes also delivers pain. There must be something wrong with that kind of love. Otherwise, a love should never hurt one's heart.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The should-list to discuss with Mr Hu

Who still believes that the Chinese communist government can understand the definition of "human right" or "democracy"? Millions of Chinese were killed for just a single desire of democracy. Why does the world still believe in China's lies?

Apr 20th 2006
From The Economist print edition

America should not hesitate to press China over human rights

IT'S easy to be mesmerised by China: the double-digit growth, the ambitious space programme, the shining new cities along its teeming shore, the prospect of selling to the largest and one day perhaps the richest market on earth. And it is equally natural, too, to try everything from flattery to threats in the hope of enlisting its leaders as partners in the struggles with terrorism, nuclear proliferation, people-smuggling, carbon emissions and spiralling macroeconomic imbalances. Both these temptations will have been much in the minds of America's policymakers this week, as they welcomed China's president, Hu Jintao, to Washington, DC. But there is a danger here. The wish-list of things America wants China to do for America's sake has become so long that the “should-list” of things America should ask China to do for the sake of the Chinese people no longer gets serious attention at all.

The should-list has only one big item: China should abide by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, much of which is echoed in its own constitution. At present it doesn't. It is true that in many ways, life in China has become freer: the state interferes far less in people's personal and economic lives than it used to. Speech and the press are less controlled than they once were. Yet China remains a deeply authoritarian state, brooking no possibility of organised opposition to the Communist Party. Media control, having relaxed over many years, is now tightening under Mr Hu. Experiments with allowing a free vote (for individuals, not for opposition parties) in local elections have remained just that. The judicial system is a travesty, with alleged wrongdoers sometimes held for months or years without charge. Less than half of one per cent of convictions are overturned on appeal. Beatings in custody with sticks and electric batons remain widespread, according to the UN. Human-rights groups say at least 50 people are still in prison because of their involvement in the peaceful Tiananmen demonstrations of 17 years ago. In 2004 an official said some 10,000 people are executed in China each year. And, of course, in China's recent acquisitions, Tibet and Xinjiang, repression is far worse than in the Han areas. All this is as much part of China today as are the nightclubs of Shanghai's Bund.

It is sometimes argued that there is little America can nowadays do to promote human rights in China. After all, in 2000 it surrendered the single most effective lever it had when it ended the requirement for an annual review of China's most-favoured-nation trading status, a regular occasion for scrutiny and pressure. A year later, another lever was lost when Beijing's bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games succeeded. On top of this, many would add, its own abuses at Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib have robbed America of whatever moral authority it once had to lecture others on human rights.

Both arguments are misplaced. America still has a hold of sorts over China. Mr Hu craves respectability: he wants very much for a rising China to be treated as an equal, respected member of the world community. The West can make it clear that, for all its friendly intentions towards China, full acceptance will not come until China takes human rights seriously. As for Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib, these were indeed dreadful unAmerican aberrations for which America should make amends. But they are mistakes that would hurt human rights twice over if they deterred the United States from continuing to speak up for freedom and dignity in every country—however potentially powerful or lucrative it might be.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Unspeakable love

What will you do if you're into an unspeakable love? Keep it, or let it go?

What will you do if you're under an unspeakable situation of an unspeakable love? Accept it, or ignore it?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Time and waiting

Joy comes very fast but stays short. Next time we can meet each other again will be in fall. The time seems never to run in the appropriate speed. Am I waiting for the time, or the time is waiting for me?

The temporary goodbye will last for two seasons. How can you bear that?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Boston does not have a real spring, in my opinion. At least this is not the spring which I've known from my country.

Monday, April 17, 2006


What does Easter mean to me?

No idea, at least for this year.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Tug of war

Apr 6th 2006
From The Economist print edition

Despite his peace overtures to Tony Blair, Gordon Brown hasn't let go yet

NOT for nothing are pensions often called the third rail of politics: touch them at your peril. In America, George Bush lost authority last year as his proposed reforms to Social Security went nowhere. Now, in Britain, a plan to rebuild a crumbling pension system has been causing trouble at the very top of government.

Pensions have become the latest high-voltage dispute in the long-running struggle between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. The prime minister and the chancellor of the exchequer have been feuding over a reform plan laid out in November by the Pensions Commission, a government-appointed body.

Chaired by Lord Turner, a former director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, the commission had already established in 2004 that the existing pension system would be unable to deal with an ageing population. Britain has historically relied upon a partnership between employers and the state. Voluntary occupational and personal pension plans buttress meagre state pensions, which are topped up for more and more pensioners with means-tested benefits.

That partnership has been crumbling, however, as companies cut back their pension plans. New figures presented by Lord Turner on April 4th show that corporate retrenchment continues apace (see chart above), while public-sector workers inhabit an increasingly privileged pension world. Yet the need for adequate pensions for employees, wherever they work, has never been greater as the post-war generation of baby-boomers heads for retirement.

In November 2005 the commission moved from diagnosis to remedies. It made four main recommendations. First, the state-pension age—already due to rise for women from 60 to 65, the present age for men, between 2010 and 2020—should increase to 68 by 2050 in line with increasing longevity. Second, there should be a new low-cost national savings scheme, in which workers would be automatically enrolled, but with a right to opt out. Third, employers would be obliged to contribute to this scheme if workers decided to stay in it. And fourth, taxpayers' money would have to buttress the basic state pension (BSP), the main—and not means-tested—benefit for pensioners.

The commission's proposals won a warm welcome in most quarters, including 10 Downing Street. Crucially, however, that consensus did not include the Treasury. Mr Brown made clear that he disagreed with the fourth proposal. Since 1980, the BSP has generally been uprated each year with prices rather than earnings. Lord Turner called for the earnings link to be restored from 2010. Since earnings rise faster than prices, this will gradually raise public spending on pensions compared with current policy.

On April 4th Mr Brown appeared to soften his opposition to Lord Turner's plans, saying that he and Mr Blair were “90-95% of the way there with Turner”. That was interpreted by some as a cave-in by the chancellor. Yet Mr Brown insisted again that the cost to the exchequer remained a stumbling-block, saying that he wanted “to avoid a tax consequence” from Lord Turner's recommendations. If that remains the case, the commission's proposals will not be fully implemented. Under current government policy, state spending on pensioners will fall from 6.2% of GDP in 2010 to 5.9% by 2020 (see second chart), as women's pensionable age rises to that of men. Under Lord Turner's proposal, however, spending rises from 6.2% of GDP to 6.3% over the same period.

The cost of the commission's plan can thus be represented as large or small. Compared with existing policy—the perspective adopted by Mr Brown—the proposal would cost an extra 0.4% of GDP in 2020. That's equivalent to £5 billion ($8.7 billion) in today's money, or nearly 2p on the basic rate of income tax. Compared with projected spending on pensioners in 2010, on the other hand, the additional cost would be just 0.1% of GDP: £1.5 billion in today's money or 0.5p on the basic rate of income tax.

Lord Turner insists that restoring the earnings link, despite its cost, is vital in order to arrest the spread of means-testing which discourages saving. Already, 40% of pensioners are eligible for the means-tested pension credit that Mr Brown introduced in 2003. Without a change in policy, the commission expects this to increase to around 75% of pensioners by 2050.

The central message from the commission this week was that its prescriptions ought to be treated as "an integrated package". Presenting a final follow-up report, Lord Turner spelled out why the earnings link should be restored: "If the state pension system is not reformed in a way which limits the spread of means testing, the success of the proposed new system of private pension saving will be undermined." In particular, it would no longer be clear to middling earners that they would be better off staying in the new savings scheme. This would add to costs by making financial advice necessary.

The government is due to make its formal response to the commission's proposals in two months. Mr Blair and the chancellor may have agreed a truce, but it is premature to conclude that Mr Brown has really come into line. The chancellor knows that money will be extraordinarily tight around 2010. The Turner reforms are not in the bag yet.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Mr Hu finally goes to Washington

Why do Americans welcome a dictator? Are people so blind to see that the Chinese Communist Party has killed millions of people in China? Shame on democracy of the western countries.

Apr 12th 2006 BEIJING
From The Economist print edition

A state visit in Chinese eyes, but not in America's. Don't expect a love-in.

"VERY positive and complex." That is how George Bush ambivalently characterised his country's relations with China this week. When his counterpart, Hu Jintao, pays his first presidential visit to the White House on April 20th, Mr Bush will struggle to manage a relationship that many in Washington view more simply as negative. The two leaders are anxious to avoid letting their disputes seriously damage ties. But much will depend on how they manage opinion at home.
This is a particularly sensitive time. The approach of America's mid-term elections in November is encouraging both Democrats and Republicans to play to voters' concerns about the threat China's rapid economic rise is said to pose to American jobs. The administration wants China to help check the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea. China wants America to restrain Taiwan, where the approach of presidential elections in 2008 is already threatening to whip up new turbulence in the island's uneasy relationship with the mainland. Neither side thinks the other is delivering enough.

Mr Hu is especially keen for this visit, his first to Washington since he became Communist Party chief in 2002 and president in 2003, to establish his credentials at home as a statesman. He should have gone last September, but the trip was blown off course by Hurricane Katrina. However, Mr Bush, anxious not to appear too friendly with a country that so many Americans view with suspicion, is not laying out the full red carpet. Chinese officials insist on calling this a state visit. The White House is not using that level of protocol. State visits involve a formal dinner; Mr Hu will only be given lunch.
Such niceties are important to Mr Hu. Like Mr Bush, he is under pressure at home. The party is beginning to gear up for its five-yearly congress next year and Mr Hu needs all the authority he can muster to ensure that he succeeds in placing his protégés in key positions. As in America's Congress, there is growing anxiety in China about the impact of globalisation. Mr Hu wants to look strong in the presence of Mr Bush. This means not appearing to capitulate to America's trade demands.

But Mr Hu is making conciliatory gestures. China does not want a trade war that could damage its biggest overseas market. To help reduce America's record trade deficit with China, valued by the Americans at $202 billion last year (see chart), a Chinese delegation last week embarked on a buying tour in America that is expected to result in some $15 billion-worth of deals. As part of this, on April 11th, China signed a deal agreeing to buy 80 Boeing planes worth $4.6 billion, and said it would resume buying American beef, banned since 2003 because of mad-cow fears.
In response to American concerns about rampant violations of intellectual-property rights in China, the Chinese authorities have staged a show of resolve in recent weeks. Some shops in Beijing selling pirated DVDs have been closed. Banners have appeared on the streets urging citizens not to buy them. In late March the government ordered computer manufacturers to pre-load licensed operating-system software onto machines to prevent retailers using pirated versions.

Such shows of goodwill are unlikely to have much impact. Mr Bush has urged Mr Hu to use his visit to make some announcement on China's undervalued currency. But there is little likelihood that Mr Hu will say anything important about this. In recent weeks, China has allowed the yuan to appreciate a little more quickly, but shows no desire to take the big steps demanded by those American politicians who argue that it is as much as 40% undervalued. Mr Hu's primary concern is about stability at home, and a rapid revaluation would threaten this. Fortunately for him, Mr Bush, unlike some members of Congress, appears disinclined to take up cudgels. The release of a Treasury report, which could accuse China of manipulating its currency, has been delayed until after the visitor leaves. Even in Congress cooler heads might still prevail. Last month two senators withdrew a bill that threatened 27.5% tariffs on Chinese imports if China failed to revalue its currency by a large margin.

Other fence-mending exercises are under way. Mr Hu's officials have responded with a show of enthusiasm to the Bush administration's suggestions, first made last year, that China's role in the world should be one of "responsible stakeholder". China likes to draw attention to its mediating role in efforts to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear-weapons programme. It tried to take advantage of a private forum in Tokyo this week, which senior North Korean and American officials attended, to persuade North Korea to resume negotiations. But these efforts appeared unsuccessful. Likewise, China says the Iranian nuclear dispute should be resolved without sanctions or force. But it has not publicly threatened to use its UN veto to block any American attempt to escalate pressure on Iran.

In recent months, China has even shown tentative signs of wanting progress in talks with representatives of the Dalai Lama and of the Vatican. Few expect breakthroughs soon. But in a gesture clearly aimed at pleasing Mr Bush, China last month allowed a Tibetan nun who had been imprisoned for 14 years for her outspoken support of the Dalai Lama to go to America for medical treatment. Still, Mr Hu has shown no real willingness to ease his suppression of dissent. Worried that rapid economic and social change could trigger instability, he is tightening controls. Mr Bush recently described China as a "big opportunity for democracy". On this, Mr Hu will disappoint him.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Frank Hsieh gives three lectures at Harvard University and MIT

Frank Chang-Ting Hsieh, Former Premier of Taiwan, Senior Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, will give three lectures in the next week. All are welcome.

*** Speech One:Wednesday, 19 April, 3:30-5:00 pm [Gong-Sheng (Mutualism): The Responsibility for Political Leaders of Our Time] Room 113; Sever Hall, School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Yard

*** Speech Two:Thursday, 20 April, 5:00-7:00 pm [The New Identity of Taiwanese People] Room S030, 1730 Cambridge St. (Fairbank Center)(This is a farewell party for Mr. Hsieh, hosted by the Kennedy School of Government. A reception will follow. Local Taiwanese community leaders will present.)

*** Speech Three:Friday, 21 April, 5:00-7:00 pm [Identity and Openness in Taiwan's Grand Strategy] 10-250 (Great Dome), MIT (This event is sponsored by the Taiwanese student groups in the greater Boston area.)

All three lectures are open to public. Note Speech One is an academic presentation and will be conducted in English. The other two will be given in Taiwanese/Chinese.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Good news...

Finally I talked about my problem with the Dutch university to the department secretary. Her reply and answer relieved my worries. Now I can choose to ignore the Dutch or fight with them. It will depend on whether I'll have time after the exams.

Actually, I don't give a damn on the Dutch diploma. But I can't just let them get rid of me without taking their responsibility. If someone has to be blamed, it definitely has to be the Dutch program director.

My only task for now is the exams. I must study hard to pass the exams so that I won't waste the precious opportunity from the Department of Economics at BU. Everyone is so friendly and supportive here. I know I won't regret to study here.

Thanks to everyone. Thanks to God.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Love doesn't ask why

This is one of my favorite song performed by Celine Dion, written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Phil Galdston. I didn't realize that song until today.

Love doesn't ask why
It speaks from the heart
And never explains
Don't you know that
Love doesn't think twice
It can come all at once
Or whisper from a distance

Don't ask me if this feeling's right or wrong
It doesn't have to make much sense
It just has to be this strong
'Cause when you're in my arms I understand
We don't have a voice
When our hearts make the choices
There's no planIt's not in our hands

Love doesn't ask why
It speaks from the heart
And never explains
Don't you know that
Love doesn't think twice
It can come all at once
Or whisper from a distance

Now I can feel what you're afraid to say
If you give your soul to me
Will you give too much away
But we can't let this moment pass us by
Can't question this chance
Or expect any answers
We can try
But love doesn't ask you why

So let's take what we found
And wrap it around us

Love doesn't ask why
It speaks from the heart
And never explains
Now I know that
Love doesn't think twice
It can come all at once
Or whisper from a distance

Love doesn't ask why

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Health care for everyone

Apr 6th 2006 WASHINGTON, DC
From The Economist print edition

Hillary Clinton couldn't do it. Can Mitt Romney?

AS WAS discovered by Hillary Clinton a decade ago, it is politically impossible to fix America's health-care system all at once. Congress is too angrily divided, and the federal government lacks the muscle to impose a grand vision on unwilling states. The riddle of how to provide health insurance for the 46m Americans who lack it will have to be solved by trial and error in the states. This week, Massachusetts offered an intriguing proposal.

The state legislature passed a bill that would make health insurance compulsory. Just as everyone who drives a car must insure it, so everyone with a body must insure that, too. The only exceptions are those who can prove they are so rich that they can pay for major surgery themselves. The bill had near-universal support. Governor Mitt Romney, on whose proposal it is based, says he will sign it.

To make the plan work, Massachusetts will offer a mix of penalties and subsidies. Individuals will be allowed to buy health insurance with pre-tax dollars, just as firms currently can. Those who don't will be penalised through the tax code, and then fined. At the same time, private insurers will receive subsidies to offer bare-bones insurance to those who cannot afford fancier packages.

Of the 6.2m people in Massachusetts, about 500,000 lack insurance. They fall into three overlapping groups. Some are poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, but have not enrolled. Some are not quite poor enough for Medicaid, but get no insurance from their employers and cannot afford to buy it themselves. Others could afford it, but just don't buy it, perhaps because they are young and healthy.

Massachusetts has already done a good job of reducing the size of the first group. A new computer system uses the Social Security numbers of those who show up at hospital to see if they qualify for Medicaid, and automatically enrolls them if they do. The other two groups will be shrunk by imposing a levy on firms with more than ten employees that do not offer health insurance, and by forcing everyone who still lacks insurance after that to get some.

With more healthy people in the pool, average premiums should fall, or at least rise less quickly. The burden on emergency rooms should be reduced, because insured people are more likely to go to a doctor before a problem becomes critical. Overall, the plan will cost no more than the state currently spends on the uninsured—about $1 billion a year, says an optimistic Mr Romney.

A novel aspect of the plan is the creation of a health insurance "exchange", to relieve small firms of the need to conduct complex negotiations with insurers. Employees will be able to choose any plan approved by the state-backed exchange, and their premiums will be deducted from their pay cheques.

If the scheme works, other states will copy it. But that will depend on how much it ends up costing. No one wants to use the word "rationing", but this is what happens in every country with universal health coverage. That said, Mr Romney's plan has more chance of success than Hillarycare ever did—which could help Mr Romney in 2008, when he will be seeking the Republican presidential nomination and then, perhaps, facing Senator Clinton.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Dirty politician

Some politicians are really disgusting. They seek more efficiently for their own benefits more than for people's. It's so ridiculous. The following is excerpted from

Germany's former chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, has left Berlin's corridors of power, but he reappeared in the city's headlines in early April. He was caught defending his new post as the chairman of a Russian-led consortium to build a gas pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany. German opposition politicians complain of a conflict of interest, as Mr Schröder not only helped to launch the consortium—the North European Gas Pipeline—last September while he was still in office, but also his government approved a €1 billion ($1.2 billion) loan guarantee for the project. Many also worry about Germany growing too dependant on Russian oil.

The former chancellor insists that talks for him to take over the consortium took place after he left office, and that he did not know of this guarantee (a claim his critics said is "hardly believable"). He has won a court order to prevent criticism of his new job, but politicians are still calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the matter. Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, worked with Mr Schröder to create the consortium, which is fronted by Gazprom, Russia's gas giant, together with E.ON, a German energy firm, and BASF, a German chemical company. Work has already begun on the pipeline.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Dreams of life

After a sequence of nonsense dreams, I woke up and couldn't fall asleep again. This is not the first night at which I couldn't sleep well since the beginning of the semester. In fact, it happened almost every night.

It seems I am facing the unparalleled challenge in my life. It's surely my own decision to take it. However, in some way, I feel it's God's intrigue. He set up such a trap by offering me a hope which I couldn't resist. He knew exactly that my romantic fantasy would entice me to accept it regardless of the price. But, what was His motive? Is He trying to disillusion me when I think I can make it?

It's not a matter of success and failure. My life is full of color after all.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


A love should be beautiful. If not, then it is not love. And if we can make it, we don't deserve it.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Party night

The department held a party tonight. Both of the first-year students and the professors did very funny plays. My impression is that economists also have to entertain people.

After the boisterous party, I return to my stressful and solitary life. Behine the scene, I am myself.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Are you there?

Sometimes you are very close to me, but sometimes you are suddenly far away from me. My emotion goes up and down in proportion to the distance between us. You move around, and I always overcome all difficulties to follow you. Whenever you are away, I always wait patiently for your return.

You are here, but why can't I reach you?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Forbidden Nation: The History of Taiwan

I haven't gotten this book yet, but I plan to order it soon after I read the review by Bradley Winterton in Taipei Time. The author is Jonathan Manthorpe. A few extracts from the review might give you a quick reason why this book is worth reading:

The handover of Taiwan to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) by the international community in 1945 was, Manthorpe argues, in essence illegal. This is probably this book's most original point. "China's claim to own Taiwan and its citizens is based on historically frail arguments and outdated legal concepts," he writes.


Nonetheless, this book' s funda-mental position is strongly and unambiguously pro-Taiwanese. "The only people who have established sovereignty over Taiwan are the Taiwanese, no one else ... They do not see why they should be expected to give up their current well-established independence, based on democracy and a vibrant market economy, as a pre-condition for talks with a despotic and repressive regime that has little evident political legitimacy beyond the use of force on its own people ... They have only recently extricated themselves from the coils of the corrupt and dictatorial one-party [KMT] state, and see no reason to jump into the arms of another one, the Communist Party of China."

This book is definitely beneficial if you want to know about Taiwan.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Shame on news media

My good friend Jennifer gave an excellent critic on the misbehavior of Taiwanese reporters on her blog: Can some reporters be inaner?

In my simple opinion, 99% of news reporters in Taiwan are either idiots or assholes. People should turn off TV or throw newspapers away and go hiking instead.

Monday, April 03, 2006

A bench

A bench stands there alone, waiting for a couple, or just a person, to greet him. He witnesses joyful love of couples as well as melancholy of lonely people. "Sunrise always comes after the darkness, " he told them, "and the dusk arrives in a moment when you waste the day." Be brave to speak out your love, and cherish the love around you.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


I couldn't concentrate on my study very well at this weekend. My mind is occupied by chaos. It might be better to go to bed and have nice sleep.

Why does my heart become so weak?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Spring evening

Yesterday was very warm, so I took a walk along Charles River. Everyone said the spring has come, but why does my heart still feel cold and lonely?

I know my spring will come in June, only if I can pass the exams. I need good luck as well as super energy!