Las Vegas photo album

OK, I finally got my hands on this project. This is an online photo album for the highlight of my first visit to Las Vegas in early October. The main purpose of the trip was to see my dream star Celine Dion on stage for her 1,000th concert.

Photo album with Chinese caption:

If you want to read an account about my trip, here is the travelogue:

A little preview, I’ll revisit Las Vegas next Feb for a trip to Grand Canyon. Wow, I’m so psyched about it!  More to come. . .


The Price of Democracy, or what?

It has been four days since my first vote for the U.S. presidential election was counted, my heart is still heavy. So heavy that I am unable to use my second language to describe. I remember on Wednesday at my French class, our teacher who is Belgium-American made a sentence with a new French word: amusant. She wrote on the white board:

“Le résultat des élections est amusant.”

I chuckled. To me, and perhaps to millions of American voters, the result is more than fun, in a sarcastic way. It’s surprisingly heart-wrenching.

The weather on Wednesday morning matched the mood of the Clinton faithful in northern Virginia and District of Columbia after the electoral disaster–gloomy and gray. The morning shower added a feeling of sadness as if God was crying for the U.S..  I went to work at 5:30AM as usual. On the commuter bus and metro train, only the engine and the heater were moaning and groaning. Riders were dead silent. They could be too weary to utter a word for they stayed up the night for the election. Or they were too disappointed about the result to express the emotion.  No wonder the newspaper man who handed out metro paper every day at the entrance of Vienna metro station said to his patrons, “Have a happy day!”

Can we really be happy that day? Or even in the next four years under the unpopular president-elect? I don’t even want to say his name.  On Wednesday morning, my best friend in London texted me and asked, “What is the mood there?” I texted back: “Like Brexit.” She replied, ” According to the news, the Canadian immigration site is crashed.” “Yes,” I texted, “my friend in Canada said the same thing.”

On Wednesday evening, I went to my French class as usual. Our French teacher was talkative about the election in Belgium comparing to that in the U.S., and about the preposterous promises that the U.S. president-elect has made during his election campaign. I didn’t know our French teacher was so into the U.S. politics. Who wouldn’t?

Any U.S. citizen who loves this country and any human being on this planet will live with the consequences of any decision or change made by the U.S. president-elect. The future of the U.S. is uncertain and alarmingly worrisome.

With my two-year-old toddler’s mind as a U.S. citizen to understand the election process in my country, I have truly witnessed the power of democracy. Or is it fairer to say it is the price of democracy, or what?

God bless America, as the U.S. presidents always say.

In God We Trust, as it appears in the US money.

The shower on Wednesday morning echoed—-

the U.S. 45th President's mein kampf

Letters to the editor at the Economist

I sent out two opinions to the editor at the Economist today. I doubt they will be published in the print version. Anyway, this is really what I think:

Dear Editor,

Your article on plebiscites in Europe (Referendumania, May 21, 2016) was spot-on. The reason for initiating an EU referendum in the UK and for its decision on Jun 23 to leave the EU is more political than economic. It’s saddening to see the EU, which was build on postwar economic cooperation and the integration of Europe, lose its key member the United Kingdom, whose majority of young voters in fact voted to remain in the EU. If the future is now and the voices of Britain’s future have spoken, how will Westminster react to it? Alas, the future of the UK is so uncertain that even the passionate “Vote Leave” campaigners are dodging questions about how to steer the ship of Britain’s future without EU membership.

Your description of the ritual that follows a mass shooting in America (Guns in America: Control, alt, delete, Jun 25, 2016) cannot be more apt. If the gun lovers in America see the Second Amendment as their mantra, they should know with fundamental understanding that the prerequisites for the people who keep and bear arms must be “well regulated” and in a “militia”. In none of the recent deadly mass shootings, from Sandy Hook to Orlando, did the gunman meet the prerequisites as “well regulated” and being a non-professional soldier to defend “the security of a free State”. If only a complete U.S. Supreme Court will revisit the controversial Second Amendment  and the last majority opinion written by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

An Open Letter to the American People

I spotted this headline today and couldn’t help reposting here: