Monday, August 30, 2010

老美談百萬口號 ◎ 丹布隆 .........[養小孩,只鼓勵華語族群嗎?]

◎ 丹布隆 ...[ Dan Bloom ]

email contact:











內政部拼口號,端政策牛肉,但有沒有效? 還是要看台灣其他各族群的年輕夫婦能不能接受這種帶歧視味道的政策牛肉!除非…。


The Digirata - An Ode to Cyberspace (and a Warning, Too! - BE CAREFUL!)

FULL TEXT , click above link



◎ 丹布隆 ...[Dan Bloom] OR LEAVE COMMENTS BELOW




內政部拼口號,端政策牛肉,但有沒有效? 還是要看台灣其他各族群的年輕夫婦能不能接受這種帶歧視味道的政策牛肉!除非…。

An Interview with David Bader, author of THE BOOK OF MURRAY

In a recent interview with this blog, David Bader, author of "THE BOOK OF MURRAY", kindly took some time out of his Internet time and did this email interview with us. Enjoy the Q & A and then read the book. It's a keeper. Links and website connections below.

Just to set the scene, THE BOOK OF MURRAY tells the story of the Old Testament's most unlikely prophet, Murray, son of Irving, of the Tribe of Levi (Relaxed Fit). "As ancient scrolls go, I think it's the best one I've written," Bader told us in an aside.

You can read excerpts at:

And if you want to Amazon it, try here:

And there's the library stuff: THE BOOK OF MURRAY: The Life, Teachings and Kvetching of the Lost Prophet published by Harmony Books in August 2010 Anno Davidus ISBN: 978-0307453242 (whatever that is!)

DANNY BLOOM: We started off the interview with a general question, like where do you live, etc. David replied, well, read his first answer below:

DAVID BADER: I live in Manhattan, not far from Central Park. I spend my time quietly, working, writing, exploring the city, and trying to avoid film crews shooting "Gossip Girl." I do some copywriting and freelance projects to remain sane and solvent. Strange, because I was always told that haiku writing was where the money was.

When asked where he went to college and what he studied there, David replied:

"I went to Harvard College, where I was educated way beyond my intelligence. I studied history and literature. I had some great professors there, but I can't think of any who directly shaped my writing. I'm not even sure they would approve of it. Possibly, they might try to deconstruct it and present their analysis at a meeting of the Modern Language Association. I think I was influenced more by my high school English teachers than by my professors at Harvard."

David is a lawyer, former lawyer that is, so we asked him about this, and he replied:

"I practiced at a large firm in Manhattan, working mainly on corporate and securities law, with some dabbling in other areas. My two particular areas of expertise were pulling all-nighters and being miserable. People told me that the problem was that I was a small cog in a large machine and that I should move to a smaller, more collegial firm. I did that and became a small cog in a smaller, more collegial machine. (That firm was later swallowed up by a bigger firm anyway.) I wouldn't have minded any of it if I had found the work satisfying. It wasn't evil or wrong, just very dull and always done under extreme time pressure."

When asked about his views on religion and his education as a Jewish man in America, David said he comes out of the Reform Judaism tradition, which is different from the Orthodox tradition and the Conservative tradition. When asked how Reform he was, David replied:

"Very reform. At the traditional age of 13, I was bar mitzvahed in a somewhat non-traditional service. There were the usual Torah and Haftorah portions, but it was held in my parents' living room under the aegis of a very kooky rabbi. Today, as an adult, I'm always reading and trying to get a better understanding of Judaism, and I do try to be aware of the mitvot [commandments] I am not following. I don't attend services regularly though."

When asked how THE BOOK OF MURRAY came about, what is genesis was, etc., David explained:

"I really enjoyed writing the short Jewish account of the life of the Buddha in my earlier book titled 'Zen Judaism', and I wanted to do something longer, a life of a prophet. And I really liked the idea of a biblical prophet who anticipates and comments on modern Jewish idiosyncrasies. I thought it would just be fun to do my own version of an Old Testament prophet -- Jeremiah, but funnier. I came up with an introduction, a few sample chapters, and an outline for the rest. My agent, John Boswell Management, sent it to an editor at Harmony Books, publisher of two of my previous books. Harmony bought the book, although it was just a one-book deal for now. I do hope there will be interest in others if I come up with something good."

DANNY BLOOM: David, will there an extensive book and media tour for the book? GMA show, NPR, CNN, BBC? What are the media plans for book's promotion, Jewish media included?

DAVID BADER: Media tour? So you're a humorist, too. I think this is the media tour [my being online with you in the blogosphere here, and my website]. As you know, Danny, it's very hard to get media attention for humor books. I'm hoping for some bookstore display and word of mouth. It has worked for some of my books, not for others. For example, "Haikus for Jews" sold extremely well. With any luck, people will see that 'The Book of Murray' is a fun read, a good holiday gift, and an excellent year-round gift for anyone named Murray."

When asked how long it took to write the book, David replied:

"Hard to say. The idea was kicking around in my head for a few years, and when I finally started to write it, it took several months to write the first few chapters and proposal, though I only worked on it sporadically. Then maybe a couple of days and evenings each week over 6 or so months to write the whole book. I was doing other things at the same time and I didn't keep track of my hours."

When asked which writers have influenced him, David said:

"Hmm... I think for anyone writing Jewish humor, Woody Allen and Mel Brooks loom large, though I really love a lot of non-Jewish writers. Stephen Leacock, James Thurber, P.G. Wodehouse, Douglas Adams, Bill Bryson, the list is pretty long. For this book, I spent a lot of time reading and re-reading the Bible."

DANNY BLOOM: Who is your target audience for the book? What age group is the target group of readers? Male, female? Dish.

DAVID BADER: "I would like to think there is something for every generation, gender and even religion. There are some Jewish references, obviously, but it's aimed at anyone with a sense of humor."

DANNY BLOOM: David, have you gotten much feedback already from readers, early reviews, etc?

DAVID BADER: "The book hasn't been out long, it just came out in late August, summer of 2010, but so far the feedback and early reviews have been quite positive. Jewish Week and the Jewish Chronicle both said very nice things about it, as have readers who have e-mailed."

DANNY BLOOM: This blog is anchored in Taiwan. Most Taiwanese people cannot read English and they know very little about Jewish people. What would you like to say to potential Taiwanese readers of your book, in the odd chance that it gets translated one day into Chinese characters here? Many books from the USA are translated for Taiwan's 3000 active English readers, from books by Noam Chomsky to Bill Gates.

DAVID BADER: "The main thing potential Taiwanese readers need to be told is that even my worst writing is funnier than Noam Chomsky's. Though his 'Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory' had me rolling on the floor. As for 'The Book of Murray', it's scary to think of it as a Taiwanese person's first introduction to Judaism. I hope something else is translated first." [Ed Note: In fact, Elliot Tiber's TAKING WOODSTOCK was translated into Chinese for the Taiwan market a year ago and sales were good.]

When asked about future plans, his next book, David mused somewhat stoically, somewhat mystically:

"I have a couple of ideas, but it remains to be seen whether I can execute them successfully. I'm currently hoping that another ancient scroll turns up somewhere."
DANNY BLOOM: David, thanks for your time and for answering this questions in Internet time.

DAVID BADER: Thank you. I hope you enjoy the book, too.

- 30 -

Sunday, August 29, 2010

In Taiwan, The Age of Information Accountability and Liability Has Begun

The Age of Information Accountability and Liability Dawns Worldwide as Well

webposted: September 1, 2010

TAIPEI -- When Taiwan's Revised Personal Data Protection Act takes effect in early 2011, one could say that the age of information liability will have truly begun
in this country. According to Benjamin Chiang, writing in
the Chinese-language CommonWealth Magazine, the "strict new stipulations will put virtually everyone in Taiwan at risk of unknowingly breaching the Personal Data Protection Act, with possible fines of up to NT$200 million."

Before the revisions, the Personal Data Protection Act applied only to eight specific industries, Chiang noted in his report, but the revised act applies now to all industries and every individual in Taiwan. In particular, cyberbullying and cyberstalking (and cyberflaming) will no longer go unpunished, and such things as osting an article or photo of someone else on the Internet or in a personal blog will be considered, under the law, to be ''leaking'' personal data, if the person concerned has not given his or her approval.

In adddition, such things as "human flesh searches" -- a growing phenomenon worldwide in which groups collectively investigate, expose and sometimes harass individuals perceived of wrongdoing, and which entail the unauthorized posting of private information on the Internet "in the name of justice," will be seen under the new law to be a violation of the Personal Data Protection Act. Those who engage in "human flesh search" campaigns to expose others over the Internet (and in so doing reveal the contact information of people on the Internet, without their permission) will be subject to legal action.

For example, once the act is enforced, it won't be a good idea to post articles or photos of other people anywhere on the Internet without their express permission. According to Chiang,
"if the content of articles or photos posted on the Internet pertains to other persons, they must be notified and asked for prior approval."

Given the provisions of the act, lawyers representing people who try to fight cyberbullying and cyberstalking will have have more artillery in their arsenals to fight such
cyber-crimes. Even flaming other people in forums and blogs will be subject to legal action, if those flamed wish to press charges, according to sources in the legal field.

All this is a good thing. For too long, the Internet has gone unchecked and unmoderated, allowing anyone to post anything about anyone else online, with fear of repercussions or legal action. Now, the laws against cyberbullying will have teeth and cyberstalkers and forum flamers will not be able to operate freely anymore.

In this new climate of trying to protect people (especially teenagers and elementary school children) from Internet harm and malicious rumors and photos, a document has begin to circulate worldwide in English to call attention to the perils of cyberbullying and cyberstalking. Called the "Digirata," and with no specific authorship credited, the prose poem states that "as far as possible [Netizens should] be on good terms with all persons online and never ....flame others or engage
in any kind of cyberbullying or cyberstalking."

The "Digirata" further counsels Netizens to "avoid angry and aggressive flamers and out of control cyberbullies,
for they are vexations to the spirit of the internet."

To read the entire text of the Digirata, go here.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Digiratum - A Desiderata for the Digital Age - "found on the internet" - written by "Anonymous" - August 2010

◤ GO placidly amid the hot links and the cold hard distractions and remember what peace there may be in unplugging. ◤ As far as possible be on good terms with all persons online and never never flame others or engage in any kind of cyberbullying or cyberstalking. ◤ Key in your truths quietly and clearly; and read what others have to say, too even the dull and the ignorant; for they too have their stories and ideas to impart, even if you disagree. ◤ Avoid angry and aggressive flamers and out of control cyberbullies, for they are vexations to the spirit of the internet. ◤ If you compare your blog with other blogs that are better and have more visitors, you may become vain and bitter, so just enjoy your own blog for what it is and don't worry abut the big guys. ◤ Enjoy your online achievements, as well as your plans for future downtime. ◤ Keep interested in your own blogging, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. ◤ Exercise caution who you give your personal details to; for the world is full of trickery and Nigerian scams waiting to part you from your money.◤ Be yourself when you are online, or, if it so pleases you, adopt a persona. ◤ Use your real name or a pseudonym for your userid, and let no one steal your password, especially those pesky phishers. ◤ Take kindly the counsel of your fellow bloggers and gracefully chat with your Facebook friends in real time. ◤ But don't over do it, and always take time out to unplug and enjoy a weekly internet sabbath. ◤ You are a child of the Digital Age, no less than the spam and the pixels; and you have every right to blog to your heart's content. ◤And whether or not it is clear to you,no doubt cyberspace is unfurling as it should, well, sort of, and you are part of the great equation, whatever that might turn out to be.◤ Therefore be at peace with Amazon and Yahoo,and make of your Kindles and your nooks what you will. ◤ E-readers to the fore! ◤ Whatever your labors and your aspirations, in the multitasking distractions of cyberspace keep peace with your soul -- if you still have one.◤ Remember: With all its sham, mattdrudgery and squeaky keyboards, it is still a beautiful online world. ◤ Be cheerful. Be careful. ◤ Use the smilely emoticon as much as possible and strive to be a happy camper. ◤ Unplug often.◢

''Go placidly amid the lawsuits and the countersuits...'' -- Famous "Desiderata" poem said to be without copyright, anyone can reproduce it as poster, CD, book


by staff writers

August 31, 2010

''Go placidly amid the lawsuits and the countersuits...''

Famous "Desiderata" poem said to be without copyright, anyone can
reproduce it as poster, CD, book

NEW YORK -- The "Desiderata" was never copyrighted. Who knew? Who cares?

Anyways, be cheerful and feel free to sell it as a poster, t-shirt or
book, courtesy of the genius of Max Ehrmann (1872-1945).

Yes, according to new files unearthed in the ongoing legal battles for
ownership of the "Desiderata" (which in Latin means "things which we
desire, such as money,
profits and fame"), Ehrmann's iconic prose poem, which was written in
1927 but did not gain traction until the 1960s, there never was no
copyright attached to the text after WWII,
and anyone can reproduce it for whatever purpose they want.

Copyright concerns are no longer an issue, according to Jo Kline
Cebuhar, an Iowa attorney who quotes the ''Desiderata'' in a new book
titled, ''So Grows the Tree: Creating an Ethical Will.''

According to Cebuhar, Ehrmann allowed a friend during World War II –
U.S. Army psychiatrist Merrill Moore – to hand out more than 10,000
copies of the poem to his patients, free of charge and without any
stamp of the copyright Ehrmann had rightfully secured in 1927. In
1976, a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Ehrmann had basically
forfeited the copyright by allowing Moore to freely distribute
''Desiderata'' without copyright notations, according to Mark
Bennett, writing recently in the Terre Haute Tribune Star.

Iowa attorney Cebuhar is even more forthright, saying: "It's
absolutely public domain."

One good example of the legal issues involved with the prose poem is the case of Les Crane's 1971 recording, on a 45rpm platform, of the Desiderata. It was so popular that is reached #8 on the Billboard charts. It had a great influence on mainstream society and became a counterculture anthem of sorts, and in particular introducing many to the culture of prose poetry and spoken word recording. The recording was considered inspirational and positive during a somewhat negative time. It won him a Grammy, in fact. However....

....although Crane thought the poem was in the public domain when it was recorded, the rights allegedly in fact belonged to the family of author Max Ehrmann, and royalties were distributed accordingly.

A parody of Desiderata by National Lampoon on their comedy album, Radio Dinner (1972) also went on to fame via the Dr. Demento and Howard Stern radio shows. Called Deteriorata and voiced by Norman Rose, the parody declared to listeners: "You are a fluke of the universe. You have no right to be here. And whether you can hear it or not, the universe is laughing behind your back". [Melissa Manchester, then a little-known session singer, performed the gospel-tinged background vocals.]

When asked about his 1971 recording during an interview by the Los Angeles Times in 1987, Crane replied, "I can't listen to it now without gagging." He admitted to being more fond of the National Lampoon satire.

- 30 -


Is Desiderata in the Public Domain or Copyrighted?

Max Ehrmann obtained a federal copyright for Desiderata in 1927 (No. 962402). [2] It was also printed in a collection of his poems published in 1948. The copyright was bequeathed to his widow, Bertha, who renewed the copyright in 1954. At her death in 1962, she bequeathed the copyright to her nephew, Richmond Wight. Wight assigned the copyright (for an undisclosed fee) to Crescendo Publishing Co. in 1971.

The poem was published in the August, 1971 issue of Success Unlimited magazine, and Robert L. Bell, the owner of Crescendo Publishing Co., filed a copyright infringement suit against the publisher, Combined Registry Co. [3]

The defense argued that the copyright had been forfeited and abandoned. Three instances of distribution were alleged to support forfeiture:

(1) In December 1933, Ehrmann used Desiderata as part of a Christmas greeting to his friends.

(2) In 1942, Ehrmann corresponded with Merrill Moore, a U.S. Army psychiatrist serving during World War II. Moore told Ehrmann that he had distributed an estimated 1,000 copies of Desiderata over the years while he was in civilian practice in Boston . Letters attest to the fact that Ehrmann gave permission for Moore to distribute copies of the poem to soldiers as part of their treatment. As late as 1944, Moore confirmed to Ehrmann that he continued to use the poem in his work in the South Pacific. [3]

After Ehrmann's death in 1945, reports of his correspondence with Moore appeared in several publications, each of which included the text of Desiderata without a copyright notice.

(3) As noted above, about 200 copies of Desiderata were distributed by Rev. Kates to his congregation around 1959. (The court stated that this occurred in 1957, but most other accounts report that it happened in 1959.)

The Copyright Act requires copyright notice on materials that one seeks to have protected. [17 U.S.C. Section 10] Forfeiture occurs when the copyright holder authorizes general publication without the correct notice.

The 1933 Christmas cards were not a "general publication" that would divest the copyright holder of his rights. Nor did the distribution by Rev. Kates or the later copies, since there was no evidence of authorization by the copyright holder.

However, the court concluded that the correspondence between Moore and Ehrmann was credible evidence of a general publication authorized by the copyright holder. "Permission to use the work was given gratuitously," and nowhere was a copyright or copyright notice mentioned. Ehrmann had therefore forfeited his right to have the copyright protected. [2]

The federal district court found in favor of the defendants, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that decision, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case. [See citations below]

However, Mr. Bell has been successful in pursuing his copyright claim in other jurisdictions of the United States. One can argue that Mr. Ehrmann tried to protect his copyright, as evidenced by a copy of the poem published by the Indiana Publishing Co. that clearly bears the 1927 copyright notice.

It seems that the courts cannot agree on this issue. Thus, whether or not this poem is in the public domain depends upon your point of view and your place of residence.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Climbing the SEO Ladder

Ground Zero mosque
Paris Hilton
Sarah Palin
Glenn Beck
Bill Gates
Danny Sullivan
David Pogue
(more to come tomorrow)

Bronze Statue of Max Erhmann, 1872-1945, who wrote the Desiderata, unveiled today, August 26, 2010, in Terre Haute, Indiana

Max Erhmann, 1872-1945, who wrote the Desiderata had a bronze

statue of him unveiled Thursday, August 26 at 4:30 pm, in Terre Haute,

Indiana, USA, his hometown, with segments from his 1927 poem on the

sidewalk as well. A big day in Terre Haute it was ......
honoring the guy who told us to take it easy.

from the Terre Haute paper by Mark Bennett

August 26, 2010

B-Sides: Be careful when you’re being cheerful

Mark Bennett

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — One word can make a big difference.

To a court defendant, the difference between “guilty” and “not guilty” could be a lifetime. If you tell a friend to “share your truffles” but they hear “share your troubles,” you might get an earful of bitterness instead of a mouthful of chocolate.

Today, as Terre Haute commemorates the work of hometown poet Max Ehrmann with the unveiling of a statue and plaza at the Crossroads of America, the closing lines of his masterpiece remain misunderstood by millions of adoring fans worldwide, thanks to one word.

In his 1927 poem “Desiderata,” Ehrmann offered advice, consolation and encouragement, using just 314 words. The confusion centers around the 310th.

Ehrmann ended “Desiderata” (which means “things desired”) with a harsh reality followed by a surge of hope: “With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” Sounds like a call to carry on joyfully and smell the roses, in spite of it all, right?

Unfortunately, that’s not the sendoff many “Desiderata” admirers remember. Instead, the version that adorned their college dorm room wall in the 1960s concluded with: “Be careful. Strive to be happy.” That sounds like a warning to look over our shoulders and around every corner as we pursue happiness.

So which word did Ehrmann actually use?


The “be careful” line emerged from one of the biggest mixups in literary history.

Ehrmann had “Desiderata” copyrighted in 1927. In Terre Haute, the poem soon became well-loved, but obscure to the rest of the world. Three years after Ehrmann’s death, his widow, Bertha Pratt King Ehrmann, published “Desiderata” and many of his other works in a 1948 compilation book, “The Poems of Max Ehrmann.” Critics raved about it, but fame and fortune eluded his family.

Instead, the watershed moment in the popularity of “Desiderata” happened unwittingly in Old Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore.

The rector at the church in the late 1950s, the Rev. Frederick Ward Kates, often placed mimeographed booklets containing his favorite poems and stories in the pews for the parishioners. In a 1976 interview with the Washington Post, Rev. Kates guessed he probably found “Desiderata” in a magazine while reading in a Baltimore barbershop. He retyped “Desiderata,” put it on the cover of one of his booklets and distributed it to the congregation.

The booklet’s cover also carried the church’s letterhead, which included its founding date: “Old Saint Paul’s Church, A.D. 1692.”

That mimeographed copy of “Desiderata” soon spread beyond the church. Copies of that copy did not include an Ehrmann byline, and instead read, “Found in Old Saint Paul’s Church, Baltimore; dated 1692.” Those copies also transposed “be cheerful” into “be careful.”

In the tumultuous 1960s, the misattributed “be careful” version became a mantra for the counterculture movement. Greeting card companies used it. Ann Landers quoted it. It reached iconic status in 1971 when a disc jockey, Les Crane, recorded a Top 10 hit single of “Desiderata,” complete with a musical score and soaring background singers. It won a Grammy Award.

And it ended with Crane calmly advising the world to “be careful. Strive to be happy.” Crane apparently read from that copy-of-a-copy version, and assumed, like millions of others, that it had been written by an unknown 17th-century poet and passed down from one generation to another in Old Saint Paul’s Church.

Eventually, a copyright court case reaffirmed to the masses what Terre Haute and the literary world already knew: Max Ehrmann penned “Desiderata.” Unfortunately, the “Old Saint Paul’s Church” version persists, especially on the Internet. Punch up YouTube and you’ll find actors Richard Burton and Leonard Nimoy, among others, reciting “Desiderata” and urging us to “be careful,” instead of “be cheerful.”

There should be no doubts. During the “Max Ehrmann: A Recognition” celebration on June 24, 1945, at the Swope Art Gallery in Terre Haute, Ehrmann’s friend, Harry V. Wann, read the full text of “Desiderata,” with Max sitting and listening. A copy of Wann’s speech shows the final lines were, “Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

Then, as Wann wrapped up his comments, he told the audience, “Terre Haute needs, for her own soul’s good, to cherish her gifted children and to reflect upon what they have done to make her just a little better, a little finer than she would have been without them.” Ehrmann died three months later.

The city will do just what Wann recommended at 4:30 p.m. today, with the unveiling of the plaza at Seventh and Wabash, featuring Ehrmann’s likeness and words cast in bronze. On a plaque embedded in limestone, visitors will read the words “be cheerful.” The site, created completely through donated money, time and materials, should make Ehrmann’s fellow Hauteans proud …

And cheerful.

Read more:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Father Founded Helps Re-unite Amerasian son with American father - TV segment thanks to Brian Hjort§ion#global

national Book Tour for '''Digirata'' - The Desiderata for Our Digital Age

The anonymous authors (all three of us) are hitting the road August through
October 2011 to put on a book tour for The DIGIRATA.

Come say hello! We''ll sign the books but "anonymously yours," okay?

August 2011
Tuesday, 8/3 - 2011 — The Digirata book is released nationwide!

New York City, NY : Launch Event
Thursday, August 5 2011, 07:00 PM
Borders, 10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

Portsmouth, NH
Thursday, August 12 2011, 07:00 PM
RiverRun Bookstore, 20 Congress Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Boston, MA
Saturday, August 14 2011, 02:00 PM
Borders Back Bay, 511 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116

Philadelphia, PA
Tuesday, August 17 2011, 06:00 PM
Borders Philadelphia, 1 S. Broad, Suite 100 , Philadelphia, PA 19107

Washington, DC
Thursday, August 19 2011, 06:30 PM
Borders Books, 1801 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006

Virginia Beach, VA
Sunday, August 22 2010, 02:00 PM
Borders Hilltop, 1744 Laskin Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23454

Charlottesville, VA
Tuesday, August 24 2011, 12:15 PM
New Dominion Bookshop, 404 E. Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Pittsburgh, PA
Thursday, August 26 2011, 06:30 PM
Barnes & Noble Booksellers – Waterworks, 926 Freeport Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238

Cleveland, OH
Saturday, August 28 2011, 02:00 PM
Barnes & Noble Booksellers – Crocker Park, 198 Crocker Park Boulevard,
Westlake, OH 44145

Chicago, IL
Monday, August 30 2011, 07:00 PM
Borders Books, 2817 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60657

Madison, WI
Wednesday, September 1 2011, 07:00 PM
Borders, 3750 University Ave , Madison, WI 53705

Minneapolis, MN
Sunday, September 5 2011, 04:00 PM
Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Omaha, NE
Tuesday, September 7 2010, 06:30 PM
Bookworm, 8702 Pacific St., Omaha, NE 68114

Kansas City, MO
Wednesday, September 8, 2010, 6:30 PM
Rainy Day Books event at the Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch
4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64112

Denver, CO
Friday, September 10 2010, 07:30 PM
Tattered Cover Book Store, 9315 Dorchester St, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129

Seattle, WA
Tuesday, September 14 2010, 07:00 PM
Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98115

Gresham, OR
Wednesday, September 15 2010, 07:00 PM
Borders, 687 NW 12th Street, Gresham, OR 97030

Portland, OR
Friday, September 17 2010, 07:00 PM
Borders, 2605 SW Cedar Hills Blvd , Beaverton, OR 97005

Eugene, OR
Saturday, September 18 2010, 03:00 PM
Borders, 5 Oakway Center, Eugene, OR 97401

San Francisco, CA
Monday, September 20 2010, 07:00 PM
Borders, Stonestown Galleria, San Francisco, CA 94132

Pasadena, CA
Thursday, September 23 2010, 07:00 PM
Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101

Virginia Beach, VA – Book Conference
Saturday, 9/25 @ Hampton Roads Writers’ Conference

Wichita, KS
Monday, September 27 2010, 07:00 PM
Watermark Books, 4701 East Douglas, Wichita, KS 67218

Dallas, TX
Tuesday, September 28 2010, 07:00 PM
Borders, 10720 Preston Road, Suite 1018, Dallas TX 75230

Houston, TX
Saturday, October 2 2010, 02:00 PM
Borders, 3025 Kirby, Houston, TX 77098

New Orleans, LA
Tuesday, October 5 2010, 07:00 PM
Borders, 3338 Saint Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70115

Fairhope, AL
Thursday, October 7 2010, 06:00 PM
Page & Palette, 32 South Section Street, Fairhope, AL 36532

Tampa, FL
Saturday, October 9 2010, 02:00 PM
Inkwood Books, 216 South Armenia Avenue, Tampa, FL 33609

Atlantic Beach, FL
Monday, October 11 2010, 07:00 PM
Book Mark , 299 Atlantic Blvd., Atlantic Beach, FL 32233

Decatur, GA
Wednesday, October 13 2010, 07:15 PM
DeKalb County Public Library, Georgia Center for the Book Auditorium,
215 Sycamore St., Decatur, GA 30030

Nashville, TN
Friday, October 15 2010, 07:00 PM
Davis-Kidd Booksellers, 2121 Green Hills Village Drive, Nashville, TN 37215

Lexington-Fayette, KY
Saturday, October 16 2010, 02:00 PM
Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 161 Lexington Green Circle, Lexington, KY 40503

Cincinnati, OH
Monday, October 18 2010, 07:00 PM
Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 2692 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45208

Columbus, OH
Wednesday, October 20 2010, 04:00 PM – signing only
Book Loft, 631 South Third St, Columbus, OH 43206

Albany, NY
Sunday, October 24 2011, 02:00 PM
Book House, 1475 Western Avenue, Stuyvesant Plaza , Albany, NY 12203

Manchester, NH
Tuesday, October 26 2011, 07:00 PM
Barnes & Noble, 1741 South Willow St. Manchester, NH 03103

Hanover, NH – Tour Grand Finale
Thursday, October 28 2011, 06:00 PM
Dartmouth Bookstore, 33 South Main Street, Hanover, NH 03755

'Digirata' Was A Product Of an Obscure Blogger Addressing Internet Etiquette and Life Online

The WashingtonPost - Metro - Local News

Sunday, November 27, 1977

'Digirata' A Product Of an Obscure Blogger
By Elearnor L.  Batz, WP Staff Writer

Coumnists have quoted it in their syndicated advice columns. Millions ofAmericans and others around the world have seen it online on blogs and forums.

"Digirata", an inspirational prose-poem of gentle language has been heralded as a beacon of light

illuminating modern-day Internet manners, or lack thereof, and the need to unplug from time to time. Offering

common-sense advice for enjoying life ("Go placidly amid the hot links and

the distractions... ") it has become world-famous in the blogosphere

as a credo for living joyfully and peacefully online in this Digital Age.

The Digirata has no claimed authorship, but this reporter discovered that it was in fact written by an obsure

blogger concerned about cyberstalking and cyberbullying and other pitfalls of the online life. He said

he preferred to remain anonynous as the author fo the Digirata because the ideas come from many people,

and he merely took the current zeitgeist and tried to write a poem around the ideas that should guide

Internet life, while using the basic format of the old Desiderata as his template. He made no copyright claims

on his poem either, he said in a recent email, and offered it as gift to anyone online to use it at they wish.

The man said his real love was writing, especially philosophical poems

and plays. He composed "Digirata" in a few hours on August 13, he said, his late father's birthday, by

coincidence he noted. He said he wrote the Digirata out of need to remind himself how he wanted to live his

life. (The title of the original Desiderta poem is Latin and means "things to be desired.")

In the meantime, the Desiderata's current publisher, Robert L. Bell of

Florida, is doing all he can to keep things kosher. Bell, who

bought the rights to Max Ehrmann's poems from a nephew, says he spends much

of his time "chasing infringers," both in and out of court rooms. At

stake is not only Max Ehrmann's reputation as the author of the Desiderata, but the royalties on a

"Desiderata" retail market that bell estimates runs around US$1 million


What impact the new Digirata of 2010 will have on the old Desiderata of 1927 is not possible to fathom yet,

but since the Digirata's anonymous author claims no copyright and has no desire to receive any payment

or royalties from its publication, it will probably not affect the Desiderata empire, according to publishing sources.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Live and unplugged, there's no real disconnect

Jules Quartly, writing for the (China Daily) in Beijing, opines:

Updated: 2010-08-25

It's received wisdom that social networking tools, multitasking and online distractions have led to a loss in productivity at work.

In response, some bosses limit instant messaging or use spyware to keep an eye on our screen lives, issuing threats of freedom to their cubicle captives if they stray from the task at hand.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, I have the opposite opinion. Work has spilled over into our private lives, and what used to be "me time" is now work time.

Whether it's at home or at the office, logging on is much the same experience, keeping up with correspondence and dealing with an avalanche of networking options. Online, there are no degrees of separation between work and leisure time. It's the same deal.

My brother, who is clearheaded when it comes to the work-home divide, has banned computers on the weekend. He and his wife hide their laptops beneath their marital bed and will metaphorically cheat on each other by going online when the other's not looking. She has a Blackberry and will guiltily meet her clients' needs when he's not around.

Anyone born after the 1980s will probably be twittering, "What the hell is he on about?" by now, so a history lesson is required.

BC (before computers) people did not spend all their time staring at screens. The world was not a virtual feed into their brains. Most communication was face-to-face, not interface.

In the "old days" parents used to fear the influence of television and worried their brood would become addicted to the screen, unable to deal with the real world. My mother called us "goggle boxes" if we wanted to watch the TV on weekdays, and we were limited to weekend programs. Nowadays, moms are concerned their kids will be "Google boxes" and are similarly worried about the effects of too much screen time.

But this is the reality. Most people do spend their working and leisure lives buried in one screen or another, whether it's the computer, TV or smart phone, or some merged version of the three. Thirty years ago, life was very different and it's obvious there has been a revolution in the way we think and act.

It's similar to the "Gutenberg Revolution", which refers to Johannes Gutenberg, his invention of the printing press in the 1440s and its incredible influence upon our lives - though technically the first printing press was introduced in China 400 years previously by Bi Sheng.

Computers are even more revolutionary. Our lives have transformed, and the proof is we can hardly imagine what life was like just 30 years ago.

Which leads us, serendipitously, to the Desiderata (Latin for "desired things"). The poem by the German-American writer Max Ehrman was written in 1927 but is a kind of New Age script that ends with the lines: "With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world."

A blogger friend of mine has updated it for the 21st century and calls it The Digirata. It begins, "Go placidly amid the hot links and the distractions" and ends "With all its sham, matt-drudgery and broken keyboards, it is still a beautiful online world. Be cheerful. Use the smiley emoticon as much as possible. Strive to be a happy camper and unplug often."

With apologies to my blogging friend, I doubt his rewrite of the Desiderata will be a hit because being plugged in is the reality.

Book reviews for "THE DIGIRATA" -- coming soon from Crown Books in 2011

THE DIGIRATA: A Poem for An Internet Way of Life (The Desiderata for the Digital Age) [Hardcover]

[Anonymous, no author credited]
Royalties go to UNICEF

Publisher: Crown
Published: September 5, 2011 -- $14.99

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

Editorial Reviews
Product Description

With new illustrations on virtually every page and a striking new jacket, this is a Desiderata for the Digital Age. This poetic book of inspiration has sold more than 190,000 copies and continues to give comfort and cheer to new readers year after year. Line drawings.

Product Details
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Crown; 1st edition (September 5, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 880517701839
ISBN-13: 88978-0517701836
Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #31 in Books > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > United States > Poetry

Inside This Book (learn more)
First Sentence:
Go placidly amid the hot links and the distractions and remember what peace there may be in unplugging.

Read entire text here:

READER comments:

"A great way to rethink what we are doing every day on the Internet when we go online!"

"An home to the original, that takes us into the Internet Age. Well done, and "Anonymous" seems to have done his or her homework well. Bravo!"


Question: What inspired or motivated you to write this updated Digirata version
of the famous Desiderata?

Answer: I was thinking recently about how the internet has taken
over our lives in many ways, and of the need
to unplug from time to time, to get off the internet and interact with
people face to face, to get out into nature,
and I was inspired by two very good books out this summer by William
Powers and Nicholas Carr about the
need to unplug from time to time. So the feelings came out from there
and I began looking for a way to express them,
and the first line of the famous Max Erhmann poem came to mind. I just
started jotting my thoughts down, but it's
really a rewrite, an updating, the words really belong to Mr Erhmann,
so I am not signing my name to the new version,
and there is no copyright, anyone can freely print or reprint it as
they wish, on paper posters or blogs. This belongs to
the culture at large, not to me.

Question: Who are you?

Answer: Oh, you don't know me, I am sure. Just an honest bloke passing
through life one
day at a time. Don't have a job, don't have a career.
Just an observer of life as it goes along. You could call me a
middle-aged dreamer, who still has ideals. A poet. Unpublished.

Question: What was the purpose of writing this ''Digirata'', and why did
you choose that name for the title?

Answer: A couple of reasons. First, mostly to give readers a quiet
chuckle and a smile. Secondly,
to underline the very real issues of cyberstalking and cyberbullying, among
teenagers, and adults, and about the need to be civil online and in
forums, without
the constant flaming and name-calling! Thirdly, to remind people it's
okay to unplug
from time to time. That's important.
And fourth, to remind people that online life is wonderful, too, yes. Enjoy
it while it's here. Something new might replace the Internet in the
future, and email and Facebook might be dinosaurs in 25 years.
Technology moves fast.

Question: What's your favorite line in the original Desiderata?

Answer: All of them!

Question: What's your favorite line in the new Digirata?

Answer: All of them!

Question: Why did you post this anonymously?

Answer: The ideas in the Digirata belong to many people, to the
culture at large,
and especially to the original words by Mr Erhmann. So my name is not important.
I like standing in the background on things like this. My main work
here is with PR.

Question: Who is the target audience for the Digirata?

Answer: College students, grad students, techies, bloggers, the New
York Times, everyone!

Question: Do you think the Digirata willl go viral -- and maybe have
an impact on people?

Answer: No. And no. It won't even get noticed, unlesss the New York
Times writes about
it. So basically, the Digirata has no future and will
get very few readers. Still,
it was something that called out to be written. So it's done. We shall
see if anyone bites.

Question: Ever been to Terre Haute, Indiana, the home of Max Erhmann?

Answer: Can't say that I have. But I did hear recently that the city
there unveiled
a bronze sculpture of Max Ergmann (1872 - 1945) who was a native son
of Terre Haute -- something like an $80,000 civic renewal project,
with the sculpture done by a man named Bill Wolfe. I hope to visit
that place one day and give me respects to Mr Erhmann in person.

Question: In a recent Los Angeles Times article, Eric Goldman, who
teaches Internet law at
Santa Clara University in California, was quoted as saying: "Most
people have no idea of the liability they face when they publish
something online. A whole new generation can publish now, but
they don't understand the legal dangers they could face. People are
shocked to learn they can be sued for posting something that says, 'My
dentist stinks.' " And while it's true that under federal law,
websites generally are not liable for comments
posted by outsiders, they can, however, be forced to reveal the
poster's identity if the post includes false information presented as
fact. So calling someone a "jerk" and a "buffoon" may be safe from a lawsuit
because it states an opinion. Saying he wrongly "pocketed" public
money could lead to a defamation claim because it asserts something as
a fact. A lot of people don't know how easy it is to track them down once a
lawsuit is filed, according to Sara Rose, an American Civil Liberties Union
lawyer in Pittsburgh. What's your take on all this.

Answer: Everyone should read the Digirata first!

Question: The Supreme Court has said that the 1st Amendment's protection for the
freedom of speech includes the right to publish "anonymous" pamphlets.
But recently, judges have been saying that online speakers do not
always have a right to remain anonymous. In fact, recently, the U.S.
9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Nevada
judge's order requiring the disclosure of the identity of three people
accused of conducting an "Internet smear campaign via anonymous
postings" against Quixtar, the successor to the well-known Amway Corp.
The judge ruled: "The right to speak, whether anonymously or otherwise, is not
unlimited." Quixtar had sued, contending the postings were damaging to its
business. The judge who first ordered the disclosure said the Internet
had "great potential for irresponsible, malicious and harmful
communication." Moreover, the "speed and power of Internet technology
makes it difficult for the truth to 'catch up to the lie,' " he wrote.
What's your take on this?

Answer: More reason to read the Digirata every day before you go
online. We live in a free country, but we aren't free to anonymously
and maliciously hurt innocent people online. It's getting scary out
there. Someone has to draw the line, and there must be some rules.
More than etiquette. Laws, legal rules. Otherwise, it's going to get
worse and worse.

Question: You sound like a lawyer.

Answer. No, I never studied law or went to law school. Like I said, I am just
an observer. But cyberbulling and things like that have led to
teenagers committing
suicide in despair, in over a dozen cases so far, maybe more that we
have not heard about. I worry about the future of the internet for
young kids today. Adults can handle it. But this online cyberbullying
in junior high school and high school is getting bad. Someone must put
a stop to it.

Question: You?

Answer: No. The courts must establish online boundaries and teachers
must enforce them. It;s a legal issue, and a societal issue.

Question: According to Kimberley
Isbell, a lawyer for the Citizen Media Law Project at Harvard
University: "There's a false sense of safety on the Internet. If you
think you can be anonymous, you may not exercise
the same judgment" before posting a comment..
Not surprisingly, the target of the online complaints may think he or
she has no choice but to take legal action if the comments are false
and malicious. But thesse can be life-changing lawsuits. They can go
on for years and
cost enormous amounts in legal fees.
Many are concerned about teenagers and what they post
online. Teenagers do what you might expect. They say things they
shouldn't say. They do stupid things. We don't have a legal
standard for defamation that excuses kids. What's your take on this?

Answer: Very big issues. Need to be addressed. Now.

Question: Agree or disagree with this statement: "The first thing
people need to realize, they can be held accountable
for what they say online. Before you speak ill of anyone
online, you should think hard before pressing the 'send' button."

Answer: Agree!

Question: Thank you for your time today, sir.

Answer: My pleasure. Thank you for your good questions. Although the
Digirata is a humorous piece of writing, and really just an homage to
the real Desiderata of 1927, I sort of hope that all this might help
foster national discussions about these issues, balanced discussions,
all sides of the issues. As I said, I am not a legal expert, but I do
think we have entered uncharted waters that need to be charted and the
sooner the better.

Albert Einstein in Taiwan: When do copyright and trademark issues interfer with a good tipple? Stay tuned. Meanwhile, bottoms up! L'chayim!

Dear Bloggerman,

Thank you for bringing this ad to our attention.We are currently evaluating the situation and it will take some weeks
before we have a formal assessment of if this is a copyright issue or
The photo was not licensed from us, so we have no viewpoint on the
license as it relates to the photo. There may be an issue in relationto the personality rights, which our sister company
represents, however we are evaluating this at this time.
I have no further information that we can provide at this time, but I am
happy to keep you posted as we analyze this further.Many thanks.


Albert Einstein image and personality used in an ad for Taiwan Beer: but is it copyright infringement? Only your trademark lawyers know for sure. Stay tuned. Meanwhile......Bottoms up!

Monday, August 23, 2010

''Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption'' - The American Simon Family Adopt Two Children from China (and the American couple pen a well-received book about their experiences)

Cast of characters: Scott Simon, Caroline Simon (middle-aged husband and wife)
Elise Simon and Lina Simon, the couple's two cute, adopted children from the PRC

Scott Simon wrote the book but his wife Caroline is part of the story the whole way, too, so it's really a family-written book. Simon, who hosts a popular radio show in the USA, recently told reporter Steve Inskeep how the adoption process began.

"We'd both been in places where there are a lot of children who'd been abandoned," Simon said. "[Caroline and I] just looked at each other and said, 'Why are we doing this? There are children in the world now who need our love, and we sure need them.'"

In the book, now getting good reviews across the USA, the Simons share the journey — from Caroline struggling to conceive a baby but to no avail, to deciding to adopt, to traveling halfway around the world to communist China — that ended them to finally adopt two girls from the fabled Middle Kingdom, now ruled by the Chinese Communist Party currently headed up by Hu Jintao.

The book, published in English by Random House, is 192 pages.

Simon told Inskeep that one reason he and his wife wrote the book was because they wanted to help potential parents in the USA -- and in any country, for that matter -- to see the natural beauty in adoption.

"I would like to open that door for people," Simon said. "The instinct to adopt — to take children into our lives — is, I think, practically as old as childbirth."

The couples instinct was so strong, they said, that it basically drowned out any concern they may have had about there being any ethnic barrier between them as white Americans and their darker-skinned adopted children from the Asian mainland.

"That baby is so much more to you than its ethnicity," Simon told NPR. "First of all, they're hungry, they're thirsty, they're crying, they need sleep — all of these kinds of things that have nothing to do, certainly, with ethnicity."

The Simons said that are, of course, determined to expose their daughters to Chinese culture through history and travel. The children's ethnicity and skin color is only a feature of their personality, not a defining trait, they believe.

In the USA, some people have reacted strangely to the Simons' act of generosity in adopting two kids from China. It's hard to believe, but not everyone in America sees it all the way the Simons did. Scott Simon said he was shocked when a friend asked his wife Caroline if she felt guilty for taking her two adopted daughters away from their native culture in China.

Simon told NPR: "My wife just answered, 'No, not really.' I think I would have had a tougher time holding my tongue."

At seven years old, the Simons' daughter Elise is at an age where she's starting to ask some pretty difficult questions — like why her biological mother gave her up — and the answers aren't always easy for her to understand, NPR reported.

"We tell her, 'Your mother loved you and she wanted to take care of you for the rest of your life and she wanted to be a mother to you but she just couldn't,' " Simon told the NRP interviewer. "Yet it's hard for a 7-year-old to understand. How do you explain [communist] China's one-child policy?"

What's important, Simon says today in 2010, is that the couple's children are comfortable with being adopted and that they know the truth about it — sad though it may be.

"There is no way that we're going to spare them the sting and the hurt of feeling that at some point there was someone who gave them up," he told NPR. "We learn from hurts in life, don't we? We put something over them and we keep on going. And I think our two daughters are going to be very strong, in part, because of that."

Here's an excerpt from the Simons' wonderful, heart-warming book.

"Adoption is a miracle. I don't mean just that it's amazing, terrific, and a wonderful thing to do. I mean that it is, as the dictionary says, "a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of divine agency."

My wife and I, not having had children in the traditional, Abraham-and-Sarah-begat manner, have learned to make jokes about the way we've had our family. ("Pregnant! Why would you do that? Those clothes! And you can't drink for months!") Jokes are sometimes the only sensible answer to some of the astoundingly impertinent questions people can ask, right in your children's faces. "How much did they cost? Are they healthy? You know, you hear stories. So why did you go overseas? Not enough kids here?" But we cannot imagine anything more remarkable and marvelous than having a stranger put into your arms who becomes, in minutes, your flesh, your blood: your life. There are times when the adoption process is exhausting and painful and makes you want to scream. But, I am told, so does childbirth.

We also know that the hardest parts are still ahead.

Raindrops rattled the roof of our small bus, seeped through the windows, and pitted the windshield with great wet gobs. "A sad day," sighed Julie from Utah, while the cityscape of Nanchang, China, slabs of brown and gray with wet laundry flapping, rolled by our windows. Five sets of strangers were together on the bus, about to share one of the most intimate moments of our lives. We had Cheerios, wipes, and diapers in our hands.

"A happy day," Julie added, "but also sad," and then we just listened to the ping of raindrops. A month before, this moment couldn't have happened fast enough. Now it was here; and we weren't ready.

We had endured three days of what we had come to call "adopto-tourism" together ("You will now visit the Pearl Museum and Gift Shop! Then the Great Wall and Gift Shop! Tomorrow, the Silk Museum—and Gift Shop!"), during which we talked about the sundry things strangers do to be companionable. "And what do you do? What kind of crib did you get? Aren't they impossible? Do you know that little Indian place just off Thirty-second?"

Over careful conversation between stops, we began to make some fair assumptions about the meandering paths of hope, frustration, and paperwork that all of us had navigated to get here. Most of us had probably tried to start families in the traditional manner. For one reason or another, the traditional result was not achieved. There are all kinds of wizardly things that can be done in laboratories these days; most of us had tried one or two. But wizardry does not always deliver. At some point, after all the intimate injections and intrusions, and the hopes that rise and deflate, many spouses look at each other across a field of figures scratched on the back of an envelope and ask, "Why are we doing this? There are already children in this world who need us right now. We sure need them."

A few weeks before, we had received a few photos in an envelope: a small girl with rosebud lips, quizzical eyebrows, and astonished eyes. She was about six months old at the time of the picture. A dossier prepared by Chinese adoption officials told us that she was smart, active, funny, hungry, energetic, and impatient (all of which remain a good description to this day). The officials had given her a name: Feng Jia-Mei.

A little girl named Excellent-Beautiful. From the Feng township.

We made copies of the photos, slipped them into our wallets, sent them around to friends and families, and doled them out like business cards, often to total strangers. "Jia-Mei Simon" was imprinted along the bottom, like the name under a photo in a class yearbook. Feng Jia-Mei, Jia-Mei. Excellent, Beautiful, Jia-Mei Simon.

Friends looked at her photo and wept. Something in her face, and in her tiny, tender shoulders, seemed to call out. We told people that the look of surprise in her eyes was because she had just read our dossier and said, "I thought you said that I was going to first-rate people!"

Our small bus pulled up before a great gray file cabinet of a building in central Nanchang. So: this is where we are going to become parents. You walk into the building as a couple, and leave a few minutes later as a family. You walk in recollecting long romantic dinners, nights at the theater, and carefree vacations. You leave worrying about where to get diapers, milk, and Cheerios.

Grinning bureaucrats received us and showed us to a staircase. They took us down a flight and into a room. We saw smiling middle-aged women in white smocks holding babies, cooing, singing, and hefting them in their arms. We shucked raindrops from our shoes and coats. We checked cameras and cell phones. We looked at the women in the smocks and then realized — they held our children in their arms.

We saw Elise. She was five months older than in the picture we had, but still recognizably the little girl in the thumbnail portrait. Pouty little mouth, tiny, endearing little downy baby duck's head, fuzzy patch of hair, and amazed eyebrows, crying, steaming, red-faced, and bundled into a small, puffy pink coat. We blinked back tears and cleared our throats.

"Feng Jia-Mei?" we asked softly. The woman in the white smock looked down at a tag — as if checking the size — and smiled.

"Ah, yes. Feng Jia-Mei!"

She put her into my wife's arms. I tried to point a video camera, snap pictures, roll audio, and hug them, all at the same time. Our little girl's tears fell like soft, fat, furious little jewels down her face. As Caroline lifted her slightly from her lap to hold her, Elise soaked her own tufted little legs with a hot surge of pee. And then, as we laughed, cried, and hugged her even more fiercely, Feng Jia-Mei opened her small robin's mouth and burped up a geyser of phlegm, fear, and breakfast. Baby, baby, our baby.

Back in our hotel room, Caroline zipped, snipped, and unbuttoned four layers of Chinese clothing. Our daughter looked up into Caroline's unfamiliar face without warmth or disdain; one more stranger was handling her. First the puffy quilted pink coat came off. Then a black quilted coat. A mustard-colored crocheted sweater. A little red and white shirt. A tiny white T-shirt. Four pairs of pants, white, black, gray, and pink, each with a cunning little slit in the backside (among the greatest Chinese inventions since the compass and printing). And finally, pink socks that had been tucked beneath red socks: as tiny and dear as a kitten's paws. Each layer smelled of coal smoke and pee. We laid those small clothes aside to keep for the ages.

Shigu, our trip coordinator, came by our room. We told him that our daughter seemed inconsolable. Well, he had seen that several hundred times before.

"You should go downstairs," Shigu advised. "Get something to eat."

Our baby was famished. She inhaled a soft egg custard and plain white rice and stopped crying for a few moments, sobbing being hard to do while you are swallowing (though she tried, she tried). She sat in Caroline's lap, then mine. Her eyes were dull, defiant, and blistering. Her small cheeks burned so, I wondered if her tears would sizzle.

We looked at the other happy new families across the room. They smiled back wanly. They were having as much fun as we were.

I don't remember what we ate. Not much of whatever it was. I had a glass of wine, my wife had a beer, and we toasted our daughter. The drinks flashed through us like tap water. We ate and talked and tried to amuse, divert, and win over our daughter with songs, food, and funny voices, leaving her sullen and unmoved, all the while asking ourselves, "What have we done? What were we thinking? We've ripped a baby away from the only place she's ever known, to bring her some place on the other side of the world that might as well be the moon. What kind of people are we?"

Excerpted from Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other by Scott Simon Copyright 2010 by Scott Simon. Excerpted by permission of Random House, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved.

PHOTOS of the Simons and their two children here:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Taiwan still waiting for an apology from Japan that might never come - OPED - Taipei Times -- guest commentary

Taiwan still waiting for an apology from Japan

By Dan Bloom
Aug 18, 2010

Japan recently apologized to South Korea for its colonial rule from 1910 to 1945, seeking, an Associated Press report said, “to strengthen ties between the two countries ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Japanese annexation of the Korean Peninsula.”
During Japan’s occupation of Korea, many Koreans were forced to fight as frontline soldiers for Japan’s Imperial Army, work in slave-labor conditions or serve as prostitutes in brothels operated by the Japanese military. Sound familiar?

Substitute “Taiwan” for “Korea” in the news reports, and the picture becomes clear. Japan also owes an apology to Taiwan for drafting young Taiwanese men to fight as frontline soldiers for Japanese military campaigns and for forcing thousands of Taiwanese women, many of them Aboriginal girls, to serve as “comfort women” in Japanese military brothels. Just as many older Koreans still remember atrocities committed by Japan, many older Taiwanese also remember.

Although the issues do not remain as sensitive here in Taiwan all these decades later, the mental and psychological toll of the Japanese colonial rule of Taiwan cannot merely be airbrushed away by Japanese spin doctors.

“For the enormous damage and suffering caused by this colonization, I would like to express, once again, our deep remorse and sincerely apologize,” Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan told the Korean people earlier this month.

His statement was intended specifically for the ears of South Korean people, in contrast to earlier apologies by Japan for wartime actions made broadly to the Japan’s Asian neighbors, including Taiwan.

Kan also said Japan plans to return some “stolen” Korean cultural artifacts, including historical documents that it “acquired” while ruling the Korean Peninsula.

History is a cruel reminder of what some nations do to other nations, and while many South Koreans were glad to hear of Kan’s remarks, many older people in Korea told reporters covering the story that Tokyo’s most recent apology was insufficient, saying it should be backed up by specific measures, such as reparations for victims, prosecution of wrongdoers and a record of the Japanese military’s history of sexual slavery in Japanese textbooks.

After Kan’s remarks were publicized, a small group of activists protested in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, urging Japan to offer a more sincere apology and return all Korean cultural artifacts in its possession.

One activist said: “We no longer welcome apologies of words without action.”

Kan’s apology comes ahead of the 100-year anniversary of Tokyo’s annexation of the Korean Peninsula on Aug. 29. The 100-year anniversary of Tokyo’s forced annexation of Taiwan occurred in 1995.

Will Japan also agree to return some of Taiwan’s cultural artifacts that were also transported to Japanese museums during the colonial days and also apologize in a humble and heartfelt manner for forcing young Taiwanese women into sexual servitude for Japanese soldiers during the war years, some as young as 16 and 17?

Certainly, war is terrible and ugly, and unspeakable acts often occur, but where are the apologies from Japan. Germany, after World War II, apologized to the world, and it has been in apology mode ever since. Has Japan ever really apologized for the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, for the atrocities committed all over Asia during what it calls the Pacific War, for the unspeakable horrors that the Taiwanese, Dutch and Korean comfort women had to live through?

Will Taiwan ever get a similar apology from Japan? Only history knows, and for now, history’s not talking.

Dan Bloom is a US writer based in Taiwan who lived in Japan in the early 1990s for 5 years and worked for a newspaper there.

This story has been viewed 5,134,425 times.


Should Japan apologize to Taiwan for colonial rule?

Recently, the island nation of Japan apologized to South Korea for

its colonial rule (1910 - 1945), seeking, according to an Associated

Press report, "to strengthen ties between the two countries ahead of

the 100th anniversary of the Japanese annexation of the Korean


During Japan's occupation of Korea, many Koreans were forced to fight

as front-line soldiers for Japan's Imperial Army, work in slave-labor

conditions or serve as prostitutes in brothels operated by the

Japanese military. Sound familiar? Substitute "Taiwan" for "Korea" in

the news reports, and the picture becomes clear. Japan also owes an

apology to Taiwan for drafting young Taiwanese men to fight as

front-line soldiers for Japanese military campaigns and for forcing

thousands of Taiwanese women, many of them Aboriginal girls, to serve

as "comfort women" in Japanese

military brothels. Just as many older Koreans still remember

atrocities committed by Japan, many older Taiwanese also remember.

Although the issues do not remain as sensitive many decades later here

in Taiwan, the mental and psychological toll of the Japanese colonial

rule of Taiwan (1895 - 1945) cannot merely be airbrushed away by

Japanese spin doctors.

"For the enormous damage and suffering caused by this colonization, I

would like to express once again our deep remorse and sincerely

apologize," Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan told the Korean people

in early August. His statement was intended specifically for the ears

of South Korean people, in contrast to earlier apologies by Japan for

wartime actions made broadly to the island nation's Asian neighbors,

including Taiwan.

Kan also said Japan plans to return some "stolen" Korean cultural

artifacts, including historical documents, that it "acquired" while

ruling the Korean peninsula in the early half of the 20th Century.

Will Japan also agree to return some of Taiwan's cultural artifacts

that were also transported to Japanese museums during the colonial

days and also humbly and heartfeltly apologize for forcing young

Taiwanese women into sexual servitude for Japanese soldiers during the

war years, some as young as 16 and 17?

History is a cruel reminder of what some nations to do other nations,

and while many South Koreans were glad to hear of Kan's recent

remarks, many of the older people in Jorea told reporters covering the

story that "Tokyo's [new] "apology was insufficient, saying it should

be backed up by specific measures such as reparations for victims,

prosecution of wrongdoers and a record of the Japanese military's

history of sexual slavery in Japanese textbooks."

After Kan's remarks were publicized in Korea, a small group of

activists protested in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, urging

Japan to offer a more sincere apology and return all Korean cultural

artifacts in its possession. Said one activist: "We no longer welcome

apologies of words without action."

Kan's apology comes ahead of the 100-year anniversary of Tokyo's

annexation of the Korean peninsula on August 29. Did Japan offer a

similar and yet specific apology to Taiwan in 1995 to mark the

100-year anniversary of Tokyo's forced annexation of this island? If

it did, I am not aware of it. And has Japan really ever made up for

what it did to the so-called "comfort women" of Taiwan who were forced

to "comfort" Japanese officers and soldiers in military brothels as

unpaid prostitues, sometimes servicing as many as 20 men a day?

Okay, war is terrible, ugly, and unspeakable acts often occur. But

where are the apologies from Japan. Germamy, after World War II, did

apologize to the entire world, and has been

in an apooogy mode ever since. Germany saw the light and humbly said

the Nazi era was an abomination. Has Japan ever really apologized for

the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, for the atrocities committed

all over Asia during what it calls the Pacific War, for the unspeakble

horrors that the Taiwanese, Dutch and Korean "comfort women" had to

live through?

In his statement in August, Kan expressed "deep regret over the

suffering inflicted" during Japan's rule over Korea, and his official

cabient endorsed the statement.

Saying that Japan will hand over some important cultural artifacts

that South Korea has been asking for, including records of an ancient

Korean royal dynasty, Kan tried to own

up to his country's past, including the unsavory history of Japan

forcing some 200,000 non-Japanese women, mainly from Korea, Taiwan and

China, to service

the Emperor's soldiers as prostitutes.

How did South Korea's ruling party react? A party statement said Kan's

speech was "a step forward" from past statements, but "not enough to

allay" Korean anger.

The Korean government said that Kan's words did not contain "[any]

mention of illegitimacy of the forced annexation and Koreans forced to

work as sex slaves or manual laborers by the Japanese army."

So where does Taiwan stand in this developing story? Will Japan

someday offer a similar apology to this country's people?

As the Taipei Times reported ("Protesters demonstrate for Japan's

'comfort women'", p. 2, August 12), "Japan still refuses to admit it

ever recruited women [from Taiwan] for use as sex slaves by its

Imperial Army, let alone apologize or compensate them."

"As part of a globally coordinated action, activists for former

comfort women's rights .....staged a demonstration outside Japan's

representative office in Taipei, ahead of the 65th anniversary of

Japan's surrender [at the end of WWII], demanding Japan apologize for

the recruitment of [Taiwanese] comfort women," the Taipei Times

reported. "Holding up signs that read 'I won't forget until I die' and

'Japanese government, apologize,' dozens of demonstrators ...chanted

slogans as they demonstrated outside ...the Japanese representative

office in Taipei."

Kang Shu-hua (康淑華), director of the Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation,

noting that even 65 years after Japan surrendered, said : "We would

like to urge the Japanese government to honestly admit its wrongdoings

in the past, so that the mistakes won't be repeated again." According

to Kang, Japan still refuses to even admit it ever recruited ''comfort

women'' and has declined all demands for an official government

apology or compensation.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Sue-ying (黃淑英), who also

attended the protest, told reporters: "I don't remember how many times

I have demanded Japan's apology. If Japan can apologize to South Korea

for its invasion of that country, it should also apologize to those

Taiwanese who suffered under Japanese imperialism."

At issue here in Taiwan is not only the "comfort women." Chung

Sheng-huang (莊盛晃), director of the Kaohsiung City Association for

Taiwanese Veteran Soldiers, noted: "In fact, Japan not only recruited

'comfort women' during World War II, it also deployed more than

200,000 Taiwanese [young] men to serve in the Japanese Imperial Army

in Southeast Asia and China. We should not forget the history." Not

all of them came home, Chung might have added.

There's a telling coda to the story of the recent protest outside the

Japanese trade office. When the demonstrators went to the Japanese

trade office to deliver a letter of protest, it was duly accepted by

someone from the Japanese representative office who nevertheless

refused to give his name or title. What could this man, an officer at

the trade office, be afraid of? He works for a major world power --

Japan, third leading ecnomy in the world -- and he wouldn't tell

reporters his name or position?

There's more: When the demonstrators asked the Japanese man if could

please place a final puzzle piece into a map of Taiwan with pictures

of victims of Japanese imperialism and colonialism, he refused,

according to the Taipei Times.

Kang's response to Japan's silence on these issues sumed up the

current state of affairs between Taiwan and Japan in terms of ever

getting an official apology from Tokyo. "The puzzle symbolizes the

historical memory, which can only be full if the Japanese government

faces history," she said. "We regret that it could not be completed

because the Japanese government was reluctant to join."

So will Taiwan ever get a similar apology from Japan that

Tokyo recently issued to South Korea? Only history knows, and for now,

history's not talking.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bill Geist of CBS News TV says: "I would suggest that people treat 95% of what they see and hear online and in newspapers and on TV as news much the same way they view professional wrestling"

Mr Geist told this blog in a trans-Pacific Facebook note:

"Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see!" -- that's what my dad, who owned a country newspaper, told me. I would suggest that people worldwide treat 95% of what they see and hear as news -- online and on TV and in newspapers -- the same way as they view professional wrestling."

Friday, August 13, 2010

::::::::: Night of European Songs 歐風之夜 :::::::::

::::::::: Night of European Songs 歐風之夜 :::::::::

Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 9:00 PM at Sappho,
B1, No. 1, Lane 102, An-He Rd. Sec. 1, Taipei
Tel: 2700-5411

Faubourg 116 (法步一一六) [10:30 PM]

& Kaa singt Mich (卡 自吟) [9:30 PM]


Faubourg 116 (法步一一六)

Discover the beauty of French Chansons!

Faubourg is the French word for suburbia, and 116 is the postal code of the Wenshan District in Taipei, where Lio and Kaa, the founding members of the group, live.

Faubourg 116 is a trio with vocals and guitar, accordion, and double-bass. Singer Kaa (aka saxophonist Klaus Bru), while he sings in French, is German, American bassist Brian Alexander comes from Tampa, Florida, and French accordionist Lio Pinard grew up in Paris. Three different nationalities, three experienced musicians, diverse musical backgrounds, and a common love for the beautiful melodies of French chansons with all their passion, humor, melancholy, and romance.
Faubourg 116是由人聲、吉他、手風琴與低音提琴所組成的三人樂團。主唱法文歌曲的吉他手 --Kaa其實來自於德國 (另一身份是蕯克斯風手Klaus Bru),貝斯手Brian Alexander來自美國佛羅里達,惟一的法藉團員 --Lio Pinard則是在巴黎長大的手風琴家。來自不同的國度、背景素養各異,三名樂人同樣地被法國香頌的優雅旋律觸動,為著人們總能在曲中瞥見自己的故事-- 無論曲中呢喃輕訴的是人生的痴狂、幽默、憂鬱還是浪漫。

Faubourg 116’s core program consists of classic and recent songs by the crème de la crème of French singers and songwriters: Charles Aznavour, Gilbert Bécaud, Jacques Brel, Julien Clerc, Joe Dassin, Jacques Dutronc, Serge Gainsbourg, and many more.
Faubourg 116的演出曲目皆為一時之選,以當紅的法國歌手及作曲家之作品為主,包含: Charles Aznavour, Gilbert Bécaud, Jacques Brel, Julien Clerc, Joe Dassin, Jacques Dutronc, Serge Gainsbourg等等。

With lead singer Kaa on soprano saxophone, Faubourg 116 will also play some French instrumental music, notably Musette (accordion music) and Tango.

Kaa singt Mich (卡 自吟)

As the opener of the evening (21:30!), Kaa performs some of the songs he has written for the hero of his upcoming novel. In German!
作為21:30的暖場秀,Kaa特地獻出私房音樂 –那是他為了即將問世的小說的男主角所創作的德文歌!

養小孩,只鼓勵華語族群嗎?◎ by [ 丹布隆 ] ...[ Dan Bloom ] LIBERTY TIMES forum



◎ by 丹布隆 ...Dan Bloom



內政部拼口號,端政策牛肉,但有沒有效? 還是要看台灣其他各族群的年輕夫婦能不能接受這種帶歧視味道的政策牛肉!除非…。


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Search for Amerasians from Vietnam War extends worldwide, led by Brian Hjort in Sweden


Brian Hjort didn't plan on going to Vietnam in 1992,
but the trip changed the Danish man's life.§ion#global

In a chance meeting with an Amerasian

he met in Ho Chi Minh City, an idea -- and a personal

mission -- was born: helping to bring Amerasian people from all over

Asia in touch with their American fathers or other relatives.


Internet outreach and a dedicated website,, coupled

with frequent trips

to Vietnam, Hjort has become a kind of accidental angel helping to

bring peace of mind to the adult children of American fathers who

fought or served in the military in Southeast Asia and Japan.

"Amerasian" is a word coined by Pearl S. Buck, the American

novelist, who first used the word in 1964 when talking about children

fathered (and often abandonned) by American soldiers in South Korea

during the Korean War in the 1950s. The term today refers to some two

million mixed-race

children and adults born in such countries as Vietnam, South Korea,

Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and other Asian nations, including

Laos, Cambodia and Thailand, according to Hjort.

During the prolonged Vietnam

War, unofficial figures note that from 40,000 to 100,000 Amerasian children

were sired and often left to fend for themselves in a post-war Vietnam that

did not take kindly to these "childen of the enemy" kids, Hjort said.

Taiwan has a small population of Amerasian adults -- mostly invisible

and blending in with the nation's 23 million people -- whose mothers

were Taiwanese and

whose fathers served with the U.S. military in Taiwan during the 1960s

and 1970s. Hjort would like to visit Taipei and see if he can help

Amerasians here.

Lam Goc Mai is an Amerasian woman from Vietnam, in her early 40s now,

who came to Taiwan ten years ago to marry a middle-aged Taiwanese bachelor. In

Chiayi City, where she lives and works in a popular hot pot restaurant

near the central train station, the lanky, now-divorced Lam cuts a

singular figure with her blond locks and fair-skinned, freckled features.

She speaks pidgin English with a Vietnamese accent and has, of

course, learned to speak Chinese and

Taiwanese here while raising a daughter, now seven.

When a reporter asked Lam if she ever knew her American father, a U.S.

soldier during the Vietnam War, she explains that he went back to his

native land before she was born and has never contacted the family


"I have never even seen his photograph," she says. "My mother

destroyed all his photos after he left her, so I have no idea who he

was or where he lives today, or even if he is alive. Sure, I would

love to find out someday who my father is. My life is okay, but there

is one part still missing. I am afraid I will never find it."

Although Hjort has not yet visited Taiwan, he is aware of Amerasian

adults like Ms. Lam in Taiwan, and has been in contact with a few of

them by email, he said. A website he runs,,

solicits queries and questions from around the world.

His mission began

without a real plan over 15 years ago, he says, and now Hjort -- who is not an

American and was only four years old when the Vietnam War ended in

1975 -- hopes keep his non-profit mission alive for the rest of

his life.

When asked how many Vienamese Amerasians there are, Hjort said he was

not sure of the exact number, "since no official records or figures

exist, no one has ever accounted for ths exact figures." Unofficial

estimates, however, range from 40,000 to 100,000, according to


In addition, a study by the U.S. Office of Refugee Settlement found

that contrary

to many media stereotypes of Vietnamese Amerasians

being the children of bargirls and prostitutes, most mothers were poor

women who worked on or near U.S. army bases to earn money to help

support their families. When they became pregnant and had a baby,

these mothers tried to set up support groups on the base with the

fathers, but the soldiers were often transferred to other bases or

back home to America and all contact was then lost, the study said.

In daily life in Vietnam after the war, many Amerasian children were

referred to as

"con cua ke thu," or children of the enemy, and the epithet stung.

They were said to children of the "bu doi" (the dust of life), and were

looked down upon by relatives and classmates.

Hjort is the most unlikely of independent international aid workers.

He studied to be a blacksmith in Denmark as a teenager, but an

accident that later damaged his eyes made that line of work impossible

to take on. His current day job is in a furniture factory in Sweden,

painting chairs and tables, and the salary allows him to

provide for his wife and daughter while also keeping his dream of

reaching out to Amerasians alive.

When asked what drew him to work first with Amerasians in Vietnam,

Hjort explained that he knew very little about the Vietnam War or the

U.S. role in it since he was born in Denmark just four years before

the war ended in 1975. But on a backpacking trip through Thailand in

the early 1990s, Hjort decided to visit Ho Chi Minh City.

"I met a lot of Amerasians right away in Vietnam then, but one guy I

met, an Amerasian with an American passport, started me off on my

mission, in an indirect way," he said. "His name is Doan

Thanh Vu, or Arnold Doan, and I first met by chance outside the

Amerasian Transit Center in Ho Chi Minh City. He became my friend and

helped me navigate the side streets of old Saigon.

When asked what keeps him going in his outreach work, a religious

faith or a personal philosophy, Hjort said the inspiration

comes from his parents.

"For me, all this is about a love for mankind, a caring for those who

have very little and got a rotten start in life, and a feeling that

one can change things from bad to good," he said. "So

instead of getting angry at all the

sadness and injustice I saw in Vietnam in 1992, all around me, I

decided then and there to try to change things for the better, and I

found that even as just one person, I could make a difference. I found

out what I could do as one person."

"Amerasians need to know their fathers, need to try to find their

fathers, and that's where I felt I could try to help, fill in the gaps

somewhat. I can't save the world, but maybe I can help work with a

small part of it and do my bit, and that's what my mission and

outreach is all about. I hope I can help make the world

at least at little bit better of a place to live in," he said.

"I'm just a rather normal person, I grew up in Denmark, and am living

now in Sweden, married to a Peruvian woman and we have one

daughter," he says. "I treat the Amerasians that I help like family and

friends, and I try to listen to their life stories without judging them."

"I'm Danish, but I've lived outside Denmark for a long time, so I

don't think my being Danish has much to do with my work

with Amerasians," he said. "But I believe I got this attitude,

this philosophy of trying to make the world

a better place, from my parents. When I was a kid in Denmark, they

were always helping out those less fortunate than us, so they were

always my main inspiration."

"My work is to help Amerasians, especially those from

Vietnam to try to track down their American fathers in the United

States, and sometimes it works out and the father and the son or


can reconnect, if both parties wish to, of course. When am in Vietnam,

I meet with Amerasians in Ho Chi Minh City and conduct

information-gathering interviews with them, trying to find all the

information I can about their fathers, including photographs."

When asked how his website works, and how Amerasians can use it,

including those in Taiwan, Hjort

said: "I run the website by myself and when I need a translator for an

email from someone in

Vietnam, for example, I use some online translations programs

online, or one of my Vietnamese friends or acquiantances

will help me with translations."

"Any day of the week, I get anywhere from five to

twenty hits on my website, sometimes more, sometimes less, it all

depends," Hjort said, explaining that he started the website around

ten years ago. "Most of the hits come from America

and Vietnam, and the Philippines, Canada, Germany and Britain as well.

While the number of people who access my site and find their fathers

this way is small, and they really need luck on their side, of course,

many of the cases on my site are wild cards and one never knows what


happen. It's mostly hit and miss. The website itself, just by being up

and out there, serves a

purpose that way."

Hjort estimates that he has been in communication through his website

and visits to Vietnam with around 700 Amerasians since 1995, but that

only 20 Amerasians have met their fathers through the project so far.

But sometimes Hjort and his team get lucky, he said.


recently, I was able to help an Amerasian woman of Vietnamese

heritage, now living in Arizona, locate her father who, it turns out,

lives in Oregon," he said. "One of my assistants who lives in Florida,

Joseph Skalamera,

called the father to make sure it

was okay to initiate the contact, and the father took the call and

cried like a baby when he heard his daughter was searching for him."

"The two now plan to have

a face to face meeting soon, and I can't wait to see the photographs

and post them on my website," Hjort said. "Skalamera is a Vietnam vet,

and he's also trying to locate his brother Anthony's son,

who is an Amerasian Vietnamese, but they can't find him yet. The two

brothers served together in Vietnam during the war. He's trying to locate

an Amerasian nephew, his brother's son, but no luck so far. But at the

same time, he's

been helping me on other cases for the past two months from his home

in Florida."

Skalamera served two military

tours in the 1960s in Vietnam during the war, he told the

Taipei Times in a recent email. He goes back to Vietnam from time

to time with a veterans humanitarian group, Vets with a Mission.

Skalamera said his brother Anthony, who passed away four years ago,

told him of a child

he had fathered during a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967. The

Amerasian man would now be about about 43,

Skalamera said.

"For my brother's dying wish, I will try to find this man," he said.

"I will be going back to Vietnam as part of this group in September,"

he said. "I've been working with Brian for about two months now, and I

was forunate enough to locate a former soldier who lives in Oregon who

did not even know that he had a Amerasian daughter. She lives in

Arizona, and now they are in touch. I can tell you, I was as excited

as he was once he found out!"

"But most of the cases that Brian has given me are a lot more

difficult," Sklalamera said. "Some guys deny that they even had sex

over there with a Vietnamese girl during the war, and of course, some

vets are dead and it's difficult to locate family members."

Hjort hopes to visit Taiwan in the near future, to meet with

Amerasians here, he said,

although he has not fixed date yet and is still raising travel funds.

For Lam Goc Mai in Chiayi, Hjort's visit might help answer some of her

questions, too.