Zulu plus 8 — Life in The Middle Kingdom

– an American Catholic in The Peoples Republic of China

Closing Time

You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here, as the song goes. We’ve moved and consolidated contents with another effort. Find it all (shudder) at http://kententen.com.

Excellent article regarding computer security…

I know this is supposed to be a blog about my life in the Middle Kingdom and all, but there’s just too much interesting stuff going on back home to ignore it.

Here is an article from the Silent Circle folks about trusted computing. Essentially, at the absolute bottom, unless you mined the ore yourself you can’t be absolutely sure you’re not bugged.

I wonder about his remarks on microcode–that stuff built into the foundation of the computing hardware we all use. How many of these little black plastic components are built in this country, and what do you suppose the odds are that some little bit of nefarious code could be installed–and not detected because we’re not looking for it? Given that there is such a thing as a State Owned Enterprise, “a corporation acting like a country” could it seems to me be in a perfect position to modify what it produces for the world market. Who in the world will take the time and effort–and the bill–for such an investigation? Oh, my.

Twitter / KenTenTen: Excellent article regarding ….

via Twitter / KenTenTen: Excellent article regarding ….

Benlog | software, security, policy

What a wonderfully thoughtful letter. The writer says eloquently what many of us in the unwashed masses have been thinking for some time now.

Benlog | software, security, policy.

In God We Trust, For Cloud We Pass


That email you just received…how can you be sure it came from the person you think sent it?

Originally posted on BusinessLeadershipManagement (BLM):

Study Shows that More than Three-quarters of Americans Do Not Trust Cloud Security to Save their Emails, Photos and Files

Executive On Email





Security survey reveals Americans’ overwhelming concerns about Cloud and email security.

Halon, the technology leader in email security, routers, and load balancers, today announced the results of its 2013 Security Survey. The survey found that the majority of Americans are wary about cloud and email security. In fact, over three-quarters of Americans (76%) have concerns about storing emails, photos and files in the cloud, while 94% say there are specific triggers within an email that would cause them to doubt the credibility of the sender.

Concerns about storing in the cloud include:

Losing files (35%)
Files not stored securely (34%)
Loss of control (30%)
Embarrassing files made public (28%)
Computer viruses (21%)

Surprisingly 25% of Americans say they do not understand what the cloud is, and…

View original 260 more words

I have nothing to hide from people I trust. Ummm…

and my PGP public key is 0xE2557AA7 which you can find on the public keyservers, or I’ll send it to you for your use later, whenever you want. 


Eric X. Li: A tale of two political systems

Eric X. Li: A tale of two political systems

Having been here in China for almost three years now, I’ve had a bit of time to get to know the locals and to become somewhat familiar with the way of life–daily life, work ethics, personal behaviors–general experiences of the culture. It was quite interesting to watch this video on TED recently; the speaker was making a case for the government here in the Middle Kingdom. Most interesting as he brushed aside the charges of rampant corruption and cronyism at every level, to insist instead that the members of The Party only arrive at the highest levels by being the best there is.

Competency Rules.

And while there are more engineers and scientists in Chinese government than are elected in my own, or so I’m told, I’m just not convinced that a one-party system can be all that self-correcting, as the speaker claims. I don’t notice the world striving to emulate the Chinese way of life, but I do see a rapid adoption of the Western culture here. So, if this is a self-correction, why has it only become necessary after the opening of China to the world? Seems like it’s very much driven by outside economic and political forces, not internal retrospection.

I think the Chinese government is much more highly skilled in followership than in leadership.

(Oh, there’s that knock at the door again…)


Moving on…

I found out last week that my contract will not be renewed here at school. It was a surprise, but not a shock. I’m old enough to know that even though someone says something about their intentions for the future, sometimes the future has plans of its own. The idea of remaining here until the end of time, while slightly attractive, was also mildly discouraging: was there nothing else for us to do except teach these kids in this school on this island? (Cue Peggy Lee: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe9kKf7SHco ) So when the headmaster’s assistant brought up the news as we were chatting in her office at the weekly one-on-one English conversation practice, it wasn’t like the sky fell. Opportunities abound. I think.
She mentioned this week at our little conversation session that my teaching schedule will be curtailed severely beginning Monday. To make a long story short ((Don’t tell it!!)) the time periods I had been using for Oral English were on the school’s master schedule as PE periods, but instead of exercising their bodies, we were training their minds for forty minutes. Except now we have a class of weaklings (I guess) according to her. Not too sure how much of this is truth and how much is convenience, but nevertheless, my classes have been essentially canceled for the rest of the term. That’s a little more than a month, so it’s not like there will be this massive backslide in oral abilities or anything, but still…when I was standing in the classroom, knowing that it was the last time I’d see these classes of 40 noisy 16-year-olds I was quite moved. The place has become comfortable, and the kids have almost become a family to us. It has been quite a ride, now brought into focus as the end comes into view.
The assistant headmaster has helped us a great deal by making this schedule change, and I suspect she knows it. We had been worry-planning about how we were going to continue in country–what to do next to keep body and soul together looms large on the horizon–and now we have been given more than a month to travel and secure employment or begin a new business venture before we are destitute unemployed. Sure enough, God never closes a door, but that He opens a window.
So we’re off to the Next Big Thing whatever it is. Goodbye Bu Zhen, it was nice to know ya’.

It’s a beautiful day in the (cough, cough, wheeze) neighborhood.

I’ve never lived in Seattle, but a vacation there several years ago, coupled with a brief stop at Fort Lewis even further back in history firmly planted the allure of the Great Northwest in my brain. Currently, I live outside of Shanghai China; this news article from where I hope to be, about where I am, caught my eye: China career boost can come with health risks
My home is now on an island just north of the city of Shanghai, in the estuary of the Yangtze river. By central plan, this island is becoming an ecological haven. There is zero heavy industry these days, the area having been cleared of it several 5-year-plans ago. Still remaining are the empty shells of factories which once belched out the smoke of progress, as the article from the Post-Intelligencer mentions. These are methodically being razed to make room for parks and gardens and, of course, housing, as the island becomes more attractive to Shanghai’s workers.
So I think it’s incorrect to say that the central government has no concern over its residents’ health, but it certainly isn’t paramount; China is a global corporation masquerading as a nation: its policies are those of any large company. Opportunity abounds for those willing to assume the risks.
That said, let’s hope that China’s national policies move with greater determination toward clean air and water as the country’s development continues.

China career boost can come with health risks – seattlepi.com.

Go ahead; Make my day. Or, perception is reality.

Go ahead; Make my day. Or, perception is reality.
Jan Morgan media recently sent a note about signs. The right sign to put on the school is not an invitation to catastrophe, as in “This is a gun-free zone.” It is, rather, just the opposite. Something along the line of the “Never mind the dog; beware of owner” signs we’ve seen printed just above the outline of a large caliber sidearm.
Such things are not foolish. Ask any home security expert about the efficacy of a yard sign. Doesn’t matter if you actually have the world’s best burglar alarm installed on every window and every door, or if your alarm system has a name and needs to be walked and fed, or if you have nothing but that yard sign attesting to the presence of a security system; the sign will discourage bad guys. The sign is the system. Who knows what might be in store for one who proceeds?
It’s behavior modification we’re interested in, not actually hearing the alarm siren, or the dog snarling, or ultimately, the report of a firearm.
Look up deterrence. You’ll find it in the dictionary under Bad Things that Didn’t Happen.
So what if we can’t afford (this year) to put a trained, armed guard at every schoolhouse door? Do it to ten percent of the schools and change the signage on all of them. Make it an unattractive location for a crazed killer. The message at the schoolhouse door no longer welcomes armed idiots. It then becomes reminiscent of Dirty Harry’s challenge to the punk: “Well? Do ya’?”

What’s it all about? (apologies to Alfie)

Matthew Warner has done a wonderful thing recently; he’s begun a year-long effort to encourage us to read, yes read, actually read the Catholic Catechism. You know, the rulebook. What is, and what isn’t Catholic teaching. It’s all there, full of footnotes, sidenotes, Scripture references galore. It’s big. Some may think it’s too big. So Matt has decided to make it easy on us.

Hie three to flocknote and sign up http://www.flocknote.com/catechism It’s free and it’s a grand idea. Daily emails. It began on Oct 11th, so hop on the wagon quick. You can catch up easily, or just jump on where you find yourself.

God bless you. This is the easiest was to discover What The Church Teaches from the source.

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