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Hang With Friends

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Picture yourself spending some time with congenial friends, sharing your lives and pictures from your cell phones." They're curious about that cool game, song, movie, camping trip, art show, or other event that fascinated you. You talk about all kinds of stuff, poetry, styles, personal achievements, relationships, and bad days. You can share your inner child, and laugh together. They sympathetically listen to your feelings about serious topics like politics or climate change, even when they don't agree.

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Discussion Forum

10 Tricks from 46 (Betty Bowers)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Nov 6. 3 Replies

Apparently, Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian, has been slumming.  That is to say, she's been talking to Mike Pence [gasp!].  It would seem as though Mike has offered some of his not-so-personal tricks of the trade on how to be a 21st century…Continue

Tags: tricks, Mike Pence, America's Best Christian, Betty Bowers

Surreal, I haz it

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Oct 19. 99 Replies

Surreal, not just found in art.Continue

Tags: surreal

A Powerful Message from an old wise teacher :

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Plinius Sep 28. 8 Replies

I received a gift this morning from a virtual friend, Pamela Smith:A Powerful Message from an old wise teacher :" One day an old wise teacher was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him. "You have…Continue

Speak English? YOU FIRST! (Betty Bowers)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Donald R Barbera Sep 27. 5 Replies

Honestly, the title to this piece is badly under-representative of the content.  To be far more accurate, what we have here is Mrs. Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian, going on a rant.  Before you say it ... Say WHAAAA?  Betty Bowers ranting? …Continue

Tags: America's Best Christian, Betty Bowers

10 Things About Patriotism (Betty Bowers)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Plinius Sep 26. 2 Replies

It seems as though lately, Mrs. Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian, is evolving into America's Best Patriot.  She has recently been taking some fairly well-aimed shots at a certain Orange Nightmare and his sycophantic hangers-on, regarding the…Continue

Tags: patriotism, Donald Trump, America's Best Christian, Betty Bowers

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Comment by Idaho Spud on November 14, 2017 at 12:16pm

Randy, I hope you don't mind me quoting you:  "I'm looking forward to seeing greenery in parks, gardens, fields, etc., while in China. Most of my "free time" will be spent walking through parks."   

http://atheistnexus.org/group/godlessinthegarden?groupUrl=godlessin...

Comment by Idaho Spud on November 14, 2017 at 11:56am

I remember Randy saying something about wanting to see gardens in China.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 14, 2017 at 11:50am

I don't understand Chris' botany question either. I saw no reference to it in your preparation to go to China nor in your reports of China. 

Thanks for your comments about China's right of Eminent domain. An interesting difference of perspective which may explain some of the confusion we westerners have about China's culture.

Comment by Randall Smith on November 14, 2017 at 7:06am

I don't mind the questions and comments (Joan and Chris). I'm happy to share my experiences.

The "botany" part (Chris), I don't understand. Like I said, I would have liked to see more of rural China, but so be it. The temples, etc., were part of the package--just a wee bit too much for my atheistic taste. I refrained from taking tons of photos of religious places and things.

And to Thomas, I sorta forget what that middle picture was. Sorry. 

Joan, some peanuts, watermelon served commonly as dessert. And I read "The Ugly American" years and years ago. From what I could tell, Chinese people really admire and want to copy American culture. And I think black is their favorite color!

A few words and photos regarding "relocation" due to new buildings and the 3 Gorges Dam project.

World view of the Chinese government running roughshod over the people in order to modernize, etc., was negative. Eminent domain is a priority over there. But, it works. The people are heavily compensated for being forced to move. New homes/apartments are built and lots of money is given to those relocated. They grumbled at first, but now seem happy with their lives much improved. Below is a photo of a 60 yr old grandmother who we "interviewed" about her life then and now.

I've also added a photo or two showing "new" cities (within the last 20 years). The last photo is of Shanghai (not "relocated")

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 13, 2017 at 10:46pm

Randy, I am truly sorry if I am pushy about hearing of your experiences in China. I would love to sit down and have a face to face conversation and compare notes. It seems China has changed a great deal since the early 1980s. I am sad to think you didn't see the surprise and excitement the Chinese of my time had; on the other hand, perhaps seeing "round-eyed, fair-skinned people may be common everyday events for them. I hope the "Rude American did not change their happy welcome. 

By the way, I hope you read "The Ugly American;" it is a reminder of our historical legacy of American pompousness, ineptitude, and unscrupulousness in Southeast Asia. Not a very honorable image to carry. 

I have another question, we had peanuts served at every meal, did you? 

And one more, I was in China in late summer and the streets were piled high with watermelon rinds. Trucks hauled the rinds away and yet the piles kept growing. It was an amazing sight. Did you see such a events?  

Comment by The Flying Atheist on November 13, 2017 at 8:22pm

I like your photos, Randy.  Thanks for sharing.  I can imagine that seeing temple after temple could become boring, if not irritating.  But I hope you had positive experiences with the people and the culture.  How's your cold doing?

Comment by Chris on November 13, 2017 at 8:10pm

Sorry If I'm picking on you Randall Smith.

Was the oblective of xploring of China botany?

The tour you took sound inappropriate for you goals.  It sounds as though you took a tour of  "exploring eastern religions" 

I don't thing Asians are anti-religious in an European dominance way.  It's a different phylosophy.   Perhaps if you continue your studies you will find methods of botany that may enlighten you.

Sorry, If I'm making too many assumptions.

Comment by Thomas Murray on November 13, 2017 at 2:58pm

Randall,

The middle pix of the shrine with a mannequin (?) or mummy (?), is that the 14th Dalai Lama?

Comment by Randall Smith on November 13, 2017 at 8:28am

Regarding the posted photos: The first is a "monk student" I met when I was roaming the streets of Beijing. Nice young man.

The last photo is in a Buddhist temple with a guide on the right (a modern Buddhist) and two curious native Tibetians wondering what the heck the guide was talking about. 

The middle photo is of just another alter. 

Comment by Randall Smith on November 13, 2017 at 8:20am

Back to China and religion (sorry).

I'm not sure why Road Scholar deems it necessary to highlight religious places as prime tourist attractions. Despite China being "anti-religion", there are a lot of worshipers of the 3 main religions, especially Buddhism. We toured our fair share of temples and monasteries. Really, I was repulsed by the plethora of sites we attended and icons we "had to see". And there were great numbers of worshipers, especially in Lhasa. Of course, the Dalai Lama is banned there, but, if anything, that increases the devotion to him. Like Mecca, the masses come from all over to "pay homage" to their Buddha and exiled leader. (Hope I'm describing this properly.)

PS , Spud: those two students in my photo were from Xi'an, not Tibet. They were learning English (as do most students) and we got to "converse" with them--not easy!

 

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