08 April 2021

free bystander intervention training


 

Hollaback's Bystander Intervention Training is empowering and informative not just for people who want to support our fellow Asians who have been harassed— this is a training that will enable you to help anyone being bullied in any way while staying safe yourself.

It's free and really well done.

07 April 2021

chinese exclusion act of 1882 - free on pbs now



PBS is currently streaming (for free) this powerful film on the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and like most of us, I had no idea this was a part of American history. It's heartbreaking that the Chinese were singled out as the only group in American history to be excluded from immigration while millions were streaming in from the rest of the world and how the Chinese were treated when they did try to settle here, and it's a part of our history that should not be forgotten.

20 January 2021

Amanda Gorman made an incredible day even better

Just when we thought today couldn't possibly have been any better, Amanda Gorman took the stage and blew us all away, delivered some powerful blows, and inspired us all. 

“The Hill We Climb”
Amanda Gorman

When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade? The loss we carry, a sea we must wade. We’ve braved the belly of the beast, we’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace and the norms and notions of what just is, isn’t always justice. And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it, somehow we do it, somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished.

We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one. And, yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect, we are striving to forge a union with purpose, to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.

So we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another, we seek harm to none and harmony for all.

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true: that even as we grieved, we grew, even as we hurt, we hoped, that even as we tired, we tried, that we’ll forever be tied together victorious, not because we will never again know defeat but because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one should make them afraid. If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in in all of the bridges we’ve made.

That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb if only we dare it because being American is more than a pride we inherit, it’s the past we step into and how we repair it. We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it. That would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy, and this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can periodically be delayed, but it can never be permanently defeated.

In this truth, in this faith, we trust, for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us, this is the era of just redemption we feared in its inception we did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour but within it we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves, so while once we asked how can we possibly prevail over catastrophe, now we assert how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us.

We will not march back to what was but move to what shall be, a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free, we will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation, our blunders become their burden. But one thing is certain: if we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left, with every breath from my bronze, pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one, we will rise from the golden hills of the West, we will rise from the windswept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution, we will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states, we will rise from the sunbaked South, we will rebuild, reconcile, and recover in every known nook of our nation in every corner called our country our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful, when the day comes we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid, the new dawn blooms as we free it, for there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.

29 April 2020

lazy din tai fung cucumber salad recipe


So, one of my favorite things to order at one of my favorite restaurants in the world is the cucumber salad at Din Tai Fung, but many of the recipes I've seen online require brining the cucumber and then waiting and rinsing it, and who's got time for that?

So, here's an easier recipe that tastes just as good (to me) without all of the waiting or extra steps.

lazy din tai fung cucumber salad recipe

a super easy yet flavorful starter or side dish

prep time: 2-5 minutes (depends on how long it takes you to chop up your cucumber) :-)
serves 4

  ingredients

  • about 2 c cucumber, sliced (~1 English cucumber or ~8 Persian cucumbers) 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar (or equivalent)
  • 3 tsp/1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 4 fresh cloves or 2 tsp minced garlic 
  • 1 tsp sesame oil and/or chili oil (optional)
  • sesame seeds (optional)

  directions

1. slice cucumber into thin pieces (we like lots of small pieces for more dressing in each bite)
2. sprinkle salt over cucumber and stir to combine
3. add in sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, and oil(s) and stir well
4. sprinkle sesame on top to make it look pretty :-)
5. enjoy!

We had teriyaki salmon and tofu, and this cucumber salad was the perfect side. (Ooh! And we had the leftover salmon and tofu in tacos the next day, and they were great with a new batch of cucumber salad as Asian tacos, too!)

Even our 4-year-old gobbled it up (after declaring she would not eat any cucumbers). I'll call that a win! :-)

Happy eating!

15 March 2020

coronavirus as blessing?



My friend, Vernie, used to always say what our overpopulated world really needs is a new plague that can indiscriminately take out a big chunk of the world's population, and while the coronavirus isn't that, I do think there is a silver lining to this cloud.

Obviously, I don't want innocent people dying or even feeling sick. I don't want to see people I love freaking out and buying hazmat suits because they're so scared of what could happen. My heart goes out to the people who are really stressed about schools closing and wondering how their kids who depend on the free lunches are going to eat— not to mention how they're going to work and make sure their family is both safe and also that all of the bills will be paid.

And yes, it's stressful to go shopping and find that Costco is out of toilet paper and Trader Joe's is out of eggs, and you end up buying a case of bottled water even though your fridge has water because everyone else has carts filled with them. The stress is palpable and heavy, spiking and charging the very air we share, everywhere we go now.

It's hard to wrap our heads around all of the schools being closed and basically everything "normal" being canceled. My daughters' school will be closed for at least a month. My husband's work has given everyone two weeks off for spring break, and everything will happen remotely the two weeks after that. So, that's a month for him to be home, too.

This weekend, my daughter didn't attend Girl Scouts or a birthday pool party. My husband and I skipped a wine tasting party, and I was going to miss my acting class— until it was canceled.

We're canceling our spring break trip to Mexico to explore ruins with cousins and siblings. We're canceling our summer plans to go to Taiwan so my daughters can learn Chinese. I love travel and am sad to let those adventures go, but I also recognize how lucky I am to be "stuck" somewhere pretty nice and continue to strive to find the bright side of all this.

So, as we grapple to find our new normal, here is something to consider.

What if the world's problem is not coronavirus? What if our collective ailment is our competitive go-go-go mentality that has left everyone feeling increasingly isolated and stressed? What if the coronavirus and our now enforced quarantine is the solution?

I know this will not be a popular opinion, but I think maybe staying home and slowing down is just what we all need.

Maybe we were so pigheaded about going forward forward forward (or what we perceived to be forward), unable to even consider slowing down, that it took something as crazy as COVID-19 to literally knock the wind out of us, grabbing both of our arms and stapling us to the floor, to force us to snap out of our whirlwind lives and STOP for a second to look around and consider our lives.

I can imagine someone rising from the dust of being thrown to the ground, shaking their head in a daze as they look around, like Dorothy waking up in Oz. Except this is our real life that we maybe allowed to go on autopilot for too long.

How did I get here? Is this the life I want? Am I giving the world all that I can? Am I on the path that best serves me and my family? Am I pushing myself in the best ways-- growing, contributing, leaving a lasting positive impact on our collective world?

Maybe the coronavirus is actually a wake-up call to live our lives more fully.

If you're an adult, is this the grown-up life you'd dreamed of living when you were a kid?

If you're a parent, I can imagine the dazed head shaking and saying, "Wow, my daughter/son is how old now?" It can almost bring me to tears when I think of my young children— weren't they just babies a second ago? Where has the time gone? Have I done enough and loved them enough as a mama? What if the rest of their childhood passes in a blur, and I miss it? I can't let that happen!

If you're an even more mature adult, have you used your decades on this planet to serve humanity, gather wisdom, and share love and kindness to all? (Because you know, all people are supposed to have done that by the time they're old, right?)

We have more control than we think, and we can all live lives that we want. It's not just a luxury for the ultra rich (who I have not perceived to be happier or more free).

Within our mundane everyday lives, we can find sparkling moments of joy and love and connection and meaning, but we have to create the space and time for them— and many of us don't seem to have even a nanosecond to stop and breathe. (Hi, parents of young children! Hi, entrepreneurs giving our sweat and blood to nothing more than an idea! Hi, caretakers devoting yourselves to someone else's every day quality of life! And everyone who is giving their all to the struggle that is everyday life! I see you!)

Enter: CORONAVIRUS.

Now, even the world's #1 workaholic has an excuse to just sit down for a second and look around. And that's a form of grace and forgiveness. We all get a break.

So, while not glamorous or exciting, my family is doing a deeper cleaning/organizing of our house today-- something we never have time for. All those random doodads (my girls' "art supplies") that have been stashed here and there are now going to be given proper homes or discarded.

We've been looking at recipes we've been meaning to try but haven't had time for.

My 4-year-old says we should snuggle and read stories all day, and for the first time, it's an idea that we could actually consider.

Of course, we haven't even gotten to day 1 of a month of no school, so ask me how I'm feeling again in a couple days, and I might be ready to drop kick my fighting, complaining kids to outer space, but in the meantime, I'm going to try to find my place of peace and love. And remember to be grateful that for whatever unfathomable reason it might be, I'm given a little extra space to breathe right now.

There's something beautiful in stopping and looking around every once in a while, and I'll try to make the most of it.



16 January 2020

andrew yang wins primary debate - without attending it

via
The top four winners of last night’s debate, according to Google searches and the number of tweets about each candidate, were Bernie Sanders, followed by Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and then Andrew Yang. Ironically, Yang wasn’t even on the debate stage.

To read the full Washington Examiner article, click here.

05 January 2020

12 reasons to vote for Andrew Yang


In the Democratic Primary

In the Democratic Primary

Scott Greg

Scott Greg

Dec 30, 2019 · 10 min read

Andrew Yang, a Democratic candidate for President, is making waves as the first candidate to formulate his policies based on data and research, instead of ideology.
He is a decent family man and a patriot, not a politician — who wants a better future for his kids.
Yang believes in “human-centered capitalism”. He cannot be easily classified into a traditional category such as liberal, libertarian, conservative, or leftist. In fact, his two slogans are “Not left, not right but forward” and “Humanity first”.
But should you vote for him in the Democratic primaries? Here are 12 reasons why you should:

1. He is the candidate most likely to beat Donald Trump

Study was done using data from Economist polling data

The candidate most likely to defeat Donald Trump will attract the highest number of voters who voted for Trump in 2016. Although Andrew Yang does not like to talk about Trump and would rather focus on issues and solutions, based on polling data Yang is the best choice to beat him in the general election.
In this analysis of weekly polling data from the highly regarded Economist / Yougov polls, an independent data scientist calculated which candidate would most likely beat Trump. Yang is at the top of the list because of his strength with both former Trump voters (12%) and disaffected voters (53%), both higher than any other Democratic candidate.
Data showing Yang being the only candidate beating Trump with independents (from Jan 1st, 2020)
This matches up with anecdotal evidence that I’ve seen. When I ask Republicans if there are any Democrats they would vote for, the most common answer I hear is Andrew Yang. Yes, many Republicans won’t vote for a Democrat, but the ones that would vote for Yang give reasons ranging from Yang caring about the working class and not playing identity politics to not bashing Trump voters. Well known conservatives Tucker Carlson and Ben Shapiro are fans of Andrew Yang.

2. Innovative Health Care Plan

Universal Basic Health Care lowers costs for everyone, keeps private insurance

When forming his healthcare plan, Yang was careful to examine the policies of dozens of different countries to see what works and what doesn’t. He also is laser focused on fixing the fundamental issues of why our costs are so much higher than other countries
Some aspects of the plan are modeled after the Taiwan health care system, which is rated the number one health care system in the world. Co-pays are low, premiums are income based and are free for the poorest in the country. There is a strong emphasis on reducing drug prices. This plan is offered to everyone, but people can supplement the plans privately. Yang is also the only candidate that has explained in detail how he would lower costs — for example, by using international reference pricing for drugs.

3. Five-pronged climate change plan

Only Yang has put together a five-pronged climate change plan that A) gets us carbon neutral to slow down the rate of climate change, B) ends the influence of lobbyists and oil executives, C) addresses how to deal with climate change refugees, D) has a plan to explore new technologies that reverse the effects of climate change that has already happened, and E) puts us at the center of a new global sustainable energy sector. His entire plan is here.
Yang has also made it a top priority to influence other countries like China and India do their fair share, as the USA is only 15% of global emissions and cannot slow climate change on its own. Since China is actively exporting coal-based power solutions to foreign countries, Yang will have the USA take the lead in offering environmentally friendly alternatives at better prices.

4. The leader in fighting corporate influence in politics

For many voters, reducing the influence of lobbyists and corporations in politics is their number one concern. Yang, with an A+ rating, is rated #1 for democracy reform by equal citizens. Equal Citizens is respected by all and is considered the gold independent standard for rating candidates in this area. View his rating here.



From EqualCitizens.us

The reason for his A+ rating is his flagship policy, Democracy dollars, which gives every US citizen $100 annually to donate to the political campaigns of their choice. This would total a figure 20 times greater than the amount of money being injected by corporate interests. It would effectively wash out corporate and lobbyist money in politics without having to do the nearly impossible task of overturning Citizens Unitedsupreme court case. This policy is considered groundbreaking, and many other Democratic candidates are adopting some form of it.
Yang and many others firmly believe that without solving the problem of corporate and lobbyist influence, passing laws that benefit the entire country will be exceedingly difficult, hence this will be one of his top priorities.

5. Yang is laser-focused on solving the problems of the working class

He wrote a book on it

When you ask people why they are voting for Yang, many of them say it was after reading his NYTimes best-seller book, “The War on Normal People”. (No, I’m not trying to sell the book). In the book, Yang talks about how automation, software, technology and artificial intelligence is rapidly changing the economy and how it is starting to affect the labor market. He explains exactly why Trump was elected, how some of Trump’s solutions to the problems are misguided, e.g. getting rid of all immigrants, and what the real solutions are. Even many of the other presidential candidates like Warren are reading Yang’s book.
To summarize, Yang uses data to demonstrate it wasn’t immigrants, or just trade policy, but artificial intelligence, software, robotics and automation that displaced ten million manufacturing jobs in the midwest. Yang shows there is a direct correlation between these job losses and the states voting for Trump. Yang shows us how some worker retraining programs are misguided as they have high failure rates — not everyone can or should become a coder. Instead, we need a new social contract. We need to take steps to prepare ourselves for a new type of economy that is rapidly forming, one with very few jobs for “normal” people.

6. More complete set of policies than any other candidate

Policies like owning your own data and ending predatory loaning

With over 160 robust policies on his website, Yang has mapped out what he would do as President in much greater detail than any other candidate. Yang has thought through his plans carefully through to their execution. This level of transparency is unheard of in politics, and many voters list his transparency as one of the reasons they are voting for him.
Data as a property right is an example of an innovative policies that the general public is rallying around. Our most personal data is being collected, sold and abused; Yang is committed to putting a stop to this.

7. Yang’s Universal Basic Income would instantly end poverty

Yang points to studies that show people would not stop working with UBI. And it takes the boot off people’s throats.

One of Yang’s flagship policies, a Universal Basic Income (UBI) of $1,000 a month for all US citizens over 18, would instantly end poverty in this country It would also allow families to spend more time with their kids, and helps people avoid exploitative relationships, and would completely revitalize the economies in small towns. It would improve mental health levels, allow people to start small businesses, and it would allow senior citizens to retire with dignity.
Yang’s UBI plan is endorsed by top economists, and paid for by a tax on the winners of the 21st-century economy, like Google, Amazon and Facebook.
In Alaska, residents get an oil dividend check every year because the Oil industry does so well. Yang’s UBI, which he calls the Freedom Dividend, is basically a tech check for being a shareholder in the richest economy on the planet.
Yang concluded that UBI was essential in this country, because of the rapid devaluation of the labor market. Yang mentions 4 main reasons we need UBI — the rapid rise of software, technology, artificial intelligence replacing jobs which is due to accelerate in the next 5 years, the change to a winner-take-all economy, the fact that 90% of new jobs are low-paying gig or contract jobs, and a study that shows 85% of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck at some point in the year.
Yang often points voters to numerous studies on UBI that shows that people on UBI continue to work at the same rate, except for two groups: women who stay at home to take care of their kids, and teenagers who stayed in school longer. It would also grow the economy by 12%.
Critics wonder if UBI would just push up prices all around, but economists generally agree that would not happen because of price competition, except possibly to some degree in the housing market. Yang has pledged that any passage of UBI would include policies to deal with rising housing prices.
Watch this interview to learn more about Yang and UBI.

8. A Candidate that best understands the true problems of the 21st century

The real problems that we will be facing over the next ten years, and our children, include job loss due to technology, software and automation; a new artificial intelligence arms race with China; increased cybersecurity threats; social media addiction; opiate addiction; income & economic disparity due to a new “winner-take-all” economy.
Yang has the best background and experience to fully understand these threats, and having solid plans to deal with them has been a centerpiece of his campaign. Yang ran a health-care technology startup for 5 years, was the CEO of a test preparation company for 6 years, and ran a non-profit called Venture for America for 9 years that created jobs and create fellowship programs for college graduates throughout the midwest.
Yang is not just planning for the present, but for the future of our country.

9. Yang realizes we can’t chase the almighty dollar forever

American scorecard and Human Center Capitalism is where he believes must go as a society

Yang has identified the race to maximize GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as one of the biggest threats our country faces, as it creates all the wrong incentives in all the decisions corporations make.
Our country and corporations have focused on maximizing GDP at the expense of our physical and mental health, childhood success rates our life expectancy (which has actually been decreasing), our happiness, and our environment. Yang has detailed plans on how to address this, including a new American Scorecard, and has promised to give a powerpoint presentation every year to show how much progress we are making towards our new metrics. The American Scorecard will ensure the country focuses not just on economic output.
Yang will lead our country to focus on not just GDP, but these metrics:



Andrew Yang’s “American Scorecard”

Yang’s vision is called Human-Centered Capitalism, which means we use capitalism to benefit ourselves — humans, and not just corporate entities and their shareholders. It means that we must value humans over money. It is a fundamental shift in how we think about our country and our purpose, one that will significantly improve the future for ourselves and our children.

10. Yang is focused on making the country better for your kids

Kids growing up in this country will be facing a harsh reality. 90% of new jobs will be temp, gig or contract work. The cost of a 4-year college is $140,000. Climate change is changing the planet, active shooter drills are the norm. Why are things going so poorly? Yang is laser-focused on solving these problems and leaving a country to our kids that we can be proud of.
Yang’s solution includes the following:
  • Focus on the root causes for the rapid increases in the price of education, housing and health care — ballooning administrative costs at universities, NIMBYism gone too far, and backward incentives and an artificial shortage of doctors in health care.
  • Make health care affordable and take it off the backs of small businesses
  • Research cutting edge technology to attempt to roll back the effects of climate change
  • Focus on improving the mental health of kids by improving home life, reducing social media addiction, and eliminating harmful active shooter drills which Yang believes do more harm than good

11. Yang is focused on Women’s issues

Yang has seen a surge of support from women recently as he has made women’s issues a cornerstone of his campaign from the start. In every speech, he talks about how Universal Basic Income allows women to escape abusive relationships, leave harassing bosses, and choose to be a stay at home mother if they so choose. He also gives frequent lectures on reproductive rights and the importance of giving women equal opportunity in the highest echelons of the workplace.
His policies for women’s issues include putting more women in leadership positions, women’s right to choose, paid family leave, working conditions during pregnancy, equal pay and assistance for single parents.

12. Has a solid plan how to tax the corporations paying zero in taxes

Amazon, IBM, Duke Energy and over 90 other major companies have paid zero in taxes the last couple of years. Only Yang has a detailed policy that ensures these companies pay their fair share of taxes, through a value-added-tax on business to business transactions that make up the bulk of these companies’ revenues.
In this new data-driven winner-take all economy, Yang realized that our citizens cannot benefit if companies don’t pay their fair share.
Here’s a newsweek article on how Yang will give Americans a slice of the 21st century economy in a trickle up fashion.

How to learn more about Andrew Yang

Learn more by watching one of these videos:

Interview with Joe Rogan (2 hours long — great in-depth interview)
Interview with Iowa Press (26 minutes, highly recommended)
Andrew Yang Rising (4 minutes long — a nice way to see what people are saying about Yang)

This article can also be reached by visiting WhyVoteYang.com

Send feedback or ideas to scottg99080@gmail.com



Yang at the CNN presidential candidate debate