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The Thanksgiving table, 2006 at my mother's home.I will miss Thanksgiving this year, as I am in China.But, I will remember family and friends, and give thanks, present and past.

We had a nice time in Hong Kong: site seeing, shopping, dining and walking up and down the Victoria Harbor waterfront.





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I am sad to have to say,
That you force my hand today,
I gave you a good start,
But you promised too much,
And broke my heart

To be lied to and cheated by,
The one that I thought to trust,
This time I must,
Say Goodbye
Because you lie
Wordle: Goodbye
I worked in the area of Wan Xiang Cheng (the Di Wang Building, MixC Shopping Center) area today. I went from this glitzy area, from Gucci, Mercedes, HSBC, LV, etc. Just next to this place is the real life of Shenzhen and China. Dog meat restaurants, seafood restaurants, salacious hotels, side alleys, side streets, spicy duck neck, chicken girls, la mien noodles, and walking with my girl; all was in this evening's agenda and all random.

The goings on: chicken girls are waking up and going for breakfast as we have dinner. At the Uyghar noodle restaurant, a "CG" comes in for breakfast as we are having our dinner (noodles and noodles); high heels for her, brown boat shoes for me; the rain is falling lightly, people are walking by on the sidewalk at the Guangdong seafood restaurant, and the owner sips tea as he watches his business just across the sidewalk. A counterfeit money changer comes by, and hawks his fake RMB. Chairman Mao is much too small, methinks. He continues to accost passersby, taking out his artistic forgeries from his off white leather billfold (long, so as not to fold the bills). He is balding, with a big nose, and was trying to pay for his dinner. Finally, hands on hips, the owner took the most credible bills, 300 RMB, to pay for his 50 RMB dinner.

The dogs were hanging in glass cases, bereft of friends, shaved, and bleached white of skin. One was a bitch, nipples protruding (she had been lactating, her nipples were protruding, one wondered if the puppies were consumed), and another boy halved and ribs and meat showing. This was the first time in Shenzhen that I have seen this in nearly three years (admittedly, I don't always get out to this part of town). I am not making value judgments here, and forgive me that I use language that seems so, I am only thinking of my audience from western countries. It didn't affect me, and I wish I had a camera with me, but didn't. My mental image has been recreated here in words. I must say, the dogs were hung immaculately, and 'dressed' with care, just as a side of beef or lamb or any other meat that we eat would be (except for the paws, which were a giveaway). But why should we think the feet of an animal would make them less palatable?

Ah, it is late. I have to work tomorrow.

But one last note: duck neck. This is one food that I thought was totally pointless when I first had the chance to eat it. Spicy duck neck. In the past three years, I went from the former idea to, "not bad", to 'spicy duck neck with beer', to "super spicy duck neck". Oh man! We found a place called "Qin Shi Huang's Barbecue Duck Neck Sauce"......Qin Shi Huang was the Terra Cotta Warrior first emperor of China, who united the country for the first time and died in 221 BC. "Qin" is pronounced "chin", and it is for this tyrant that China is named. Anyway, his duck neck is really f'ing spicy, both "ma" and "la", but really "jia la". Really spicy, I love it! I'm munching on it and having a Czech beer to wash it down (I went shopping in the glitzy shop).

Wan an............James P. Zaworski

The Republicans have taken control of the United States House of Representatives, but the Democrats retain control of the Senate.  Barack Obama's next 2 years are going to be interesting, as the Republicans will block his agenda and attempt to repeal some of the laws that were passed in the previous session of congress, mainly, healthcare.

However, there will be a lot of gridlock in congress, the president has veto power, and I predict no significant moves on legislation in the next 2 years.  The blame game will ensue, and no real agenda will be effectively put forward by either party.  Obama will run for a second term against a now, unknown Republican (and possibly Democratic) challenger(s). 

I predict Obama can blame the congress as a "do nothing" congress over the next two years, and will squeak out re-election in 2012.  The congressional races will be close, and the Dems will retain Senate control in 2012, and will win back some of the seats lost in 2010, but to no majority.

It's probably healthy for the government to have the checks and balances in place, as when one party dominates the government and rams through their agenda, hard feelings result and there is little or no dialogue.  Hopefully, we will get dialogue in this congress, cooperation, and compromise.  It has been done before in the American government, and reaching across the aisle should be the tone rather than demonizing the opposition.

But, it's Washington D. C., and it's "business as usual".  Let's just hope that unemployment goes down, we create sensible jobs and prepare for the future.  Let's stop outsourcing jobs to other countries, produce goods in America, and get down to the business of educating our children, creating jobs, having a safe and clean environment, and maintain a pre-eminent place in the international community.

--James P. Zaworski