Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A rose by any other name, case #17,643

The madness continues. This Reuters story today out of Washington says it all.

And this one from The Kansas City Star.

And even this one out of the People’s Republic of China, complete with a masthead that mentions the 100th anniversary of the birth of Deng Xiaoping.

According to Wikipedia, Deng Xiaoping said the following:

不管黑猫白猫,能捉老鼠就是好猫 (Translation: “It does not matter whether the cat is black or white; as long as it catches the mouse, it is a good cat.”) -- commenting on whether China should turn to capitalism or remain strictly in adherence with the economic ideologies of communism, and

摸着石頭過河 (Translation: “Wading across a river by feeling the rocks.”) -- referring to the fact that China had absolutely no experience with modern capitalism, and

小朋友不聴話,該打打屁股了 (Translation: “It’s time to smack the bottom of unruly little children.”) -- while talking to president Jimmy Carter during his [Deng’s] brief visit to the United States, thereby informing the USA that China was ready to go to war with Vietnam.

One can only trust (a) that the swine flu has nothing to do with swine and (b) that Deng Xiaoping was referring to Vietnam and not to Jimmy Carter.

If one cannot trust one’s government, whom can one trust?

As I said, the madness continues.


  1. I, myself, am dining on pork chops, bacon, pork roast, and hog jowls (not all in the same meal, of course... but I guess it would be possible)in support of the pork producers. In the meantime, I am avoiding children with runny noses, and will speak harshly to anyone who sneezes or coughs without covering his/her mouth, and wash my hands thoroughly after any contact with the outside world.

    My word verification is "ratess." Is that a female rat?

  2. Thanks for the links to the flu info. I'm stealing one to add to my post. Yeah, hog farmers in Iowa are not happy about the name "swine flu", either.

    I was thinking of Jimmy Carter earlier this morning as I recalled getting a "swine flu" shot back in the 70's. It must have occurred around election time when Gerald Ford lost. I still remember standing in line at the high school to get the shot.

  3. the comment on how to treat unrully children is no excuse to go to war with any one....

  4. A government based on old sayings can't be all bad.

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  6. As you know I am fluent in Cantonese and the given translations are utterly and completely wrong! The first statement by Deng Xiaoping should actually read "Shit! I knew I should have put on new underpants this morning" and the second one means this "Not only is this guy a peanut farmer, he smells like one too" and the third line is this "But through it all when there was doubt, I ate it up and spat it out". Honestly Mr Brague -you should check your content more carefully before posting it!

  7. Pat in Arkansas - You send a mixed message. I'd say you like to live dangerously, and yet you don't like to live dangerously. Yes?

    Jeannelle - Ah, yes, the seventies! Can anyone say Spiro Agnew?

    Putz - I think you missed the point, perhaps?

    Dr. John - I am especially fond of the one based on "E pluribus unum."

    Yorkshire Pudding - I am forever in your debt for your remarkable ability and willingness to translate from the Cantonese. Perhaps it is time for you to leave the British education system once and for all and move to the U.S., as with every day that passes we are more and more in need of your services.

  8. YP -

    P. S. - Re Deng Xiaoping, boxers or briefs?

    P.P.S. - Some peanut farmers smell like Annapolis-graduate naval officers with degrees in nuclear physics and vice versa.

    P.P.P.S. - I didn't know Deng Xiaoping was a Frank Sinatra fan.

  9. Y front briefs of course but in all things Chinese the slit runs the other way.

    Yes. The guy had a big collection of Sinatra records. He was also into Tiny Tim. Remember him? With his lttle ukelele. Deng had a little ukelele too and he would often play with it in the men's room.