Friday, October 27, 2017

What is Time, Anyway?

by Madeleine Kando

My mother died a few weeks ago, 2 days shy of her 104th birthday. She fell and broke her leg, which in itself would not have caused her death, but it sure made her decision not to stick around, very clear, both medically and personally.

Since then, I have thought a lot about the passing of time. Where is my mother now, I wonder? My mother Ata will live forever in the past, in my past, my memories. But since she no longer lives in the present and the present constantly morphs into the past, those ‘Ata pages’ are now blank and since the future is constantly collapsing into the present, her pages no longer materialize in the present. Ata’s time has stopped.

But why do I think of time as ‘passing’? Is it like a train that passes me by? A river whose water flows as I stand on its shore? And why does time flow only in one direction? According to experts, the reason for the arrow of time is the second law of thermodynamics (the law of entropy). There was only one way Ata existed and putting Ata back together again would violate the second law of thermodynamics. That’s why Ata no longer exists as Ata. Read more...

America, here is a Mirror. Is this You?

By now, most informed people have heard about this: The flap over a botched condolence phone call made by Trump to the widow of La David Johnson, one of four US soldiers recently killed in Niger.

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who happened to be present when Trump called, proceeded to accuse the president of insensitivity. Thereupon, White House chief of staff John Kelly attacked the black congresswoman viciously, fabricating accusations which were promptly shown to be lies. Wilson then demanded an apology from Kelly for character assassination. The following day, lynching threats against her began to appear on the internet.

The facts are clearly on congresswoman Wilson’s side: Fact #1: She was NOT eavesdropping on Trump’s phone call. The call was picked up on Bluetooth in the car in which she and the Johnson family - close friends for many years - were driving together. Fact #2: General Kelly spewed all sorts of lies about Wilson. One of his fabrications was that she had been angling - inappropriately - for some government handout back in a 2015 speech, when in fact she did no such thing, but instead expressed deep patriotism and support for the military and the FBI. Fact #3: Kelly also took a swipe at President Obama, accusing him of NOT calling him after his son had died in combat, conveniently omitting that the former president (later) had him over for dinner at the White House. Kelly’s entire performance was a sharply biased defense of his boss. It was Trump and Kelley who politicized the death of La David Johnson, not Wilson. Fact #4: Wilson is a 74-year old black woman, and she wears a colorful cowboy hat. Her appearance is “unconventional.” Read more...

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Are you a Liberal, Conservative or Modereate?

Here are 18 statements. Check whether you agree or disagree with each of them.
Try not to look at the bottom of this post until you are done.
After you are done, compare your True and False  choices with those which are right according to me, listed at the bottom.

1. The more guns people purchase, the safer they are

2. Hillary Clinton committed crimes in re Benghazi          

3. There would be less war and violence  if women had more power

4. The US Government is more corrupt and inefficient than the private sector    

5. There is no such thing as Reverse Discrimination

6.Terrorism is the most serious problem we face

7. Donald Trump has no business being President

8. The high-speed bullet trains are  a boondoggle, a waste of money

9. Hillary Clinton would have been the most competent, honest and  graceful president

10. The more people you lock up, the safer society is

11. The Republican Party should be abolished

12. Capitalism and free-market economics  make society prosperous and equal

13. It’s not the people who vote that count, it’s who count the votes

14. It should be illegal to sit or kneel during the national anthem                                                      

15. Gays can be cured of their illness

16. Americans’ taxes are too high

17 American leadership has benefitted the world

18. Climate change is real and it is man-made

Right choices, according to me:
False: 1,2,4,6,8,10, 12, 14, 15, 16      
True: 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 17, 18

A perfect left-wing score  is 18.
The higher your score is, the more left-leaning you are.
The lower your score is, the more conservative you are. An avid Trumpite would score 2. He would miss every right answer except statements #13 and #17.
A score of 10  or thereabouts  indicates that you are a moderate. leave comment here

© Tom Kando 2017;All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Well Done!

by Anita Kando
September 17, 2017

We arrived a few days ago to celebrate Ata's 104th birthday, only to get the shocking news of her fall and likely demise. At first, my natural reaction was that lifesaving measures should begin immediately – after all, a person does not die from a broken leg, right? We wanted to make sure Ata was not in any pain, that she was hydrated, etc, Dr. Laarhoven gently explained that Ata's wishes were being honored, they had already begun pain relief, and that she would remain at home as she had wished. It took only a moment to realize that this was as it should be, as Ata wished, and it was indeed the best course of treatment.

The health care team of doctors and nurses began their daily visits of every few hours. They were supporting Ata's wishes with their gentle care, and they were also supporting her adult children's needs at the same time. Read more...

The Broken leg - Life is a Whore

Juliette Kando,  September 2017

Libère toi maman
de cette vie méchante, 
injuste, horrible et dégoutante 
qui nous séduit par sa beauté 
Comme une PUTAIN! 
Cette putain de vie 
que je déteste aujoud'hui 
Jusqu'au moment 
Ou, de nouveau, 
Elle me séduira par sa beauté 
Une fois libérée tu sera encore avec nous 
Tu brillera dans chaque diamant qui etincelle 
 au couché d'soleil à la plage 
Sous chaque pleine lune 
je te verrai sourire 
Et puis bientot, quand ca sera 
mon temps pour ma putain de vie 
de s'expirer, je te joindrai 
parmi l’eternité de nos ames. 

English Translation: ( Doesn't sound as nice as the French version but you'll get the gist.):

Liberate yourself Mother
of this wicked life,

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Thank you Madeleine, for your beautiful piece about Ata’s departure.

I will now add my own eulogy.

Just in case, here is a brief explanation: Our mother died in the Netherlands about four weeks ago. The weeks that followed were enormously hectic. There was a funeral to organize, obituaries, real estate transactions, dealings with banks, packing, dispatching, all of this in a land six thousand miles away from my home and my office. I have now finally returned home, exhausted. The flight to Los Angeles alone took over thirteen hours, before connecting to Sacramento. Writing and posting a brief eulogy for my mother for the blog was something I simply couldn’t get to until now.

This essay is basically a description of what happened, along with some musings about families and life.

But first, a brief comment about my “feelings:” Since Ata’s death on September 15, just two days shy of her 104th birthday, I have felt curiously numb rather than devastated. This is possibly due to how very busy I have been ever since. Read more...

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Ata is gone


I usually skyped with Ata on Tuesday mornings. My 103 year old mother and I established this routine, since she lived in the Netherlands and I live on the other side of the ocean, in Boston, Massachusetts.

During what turned out to be the last skype conversation we had, we talked for quite a while about her upcoming 104th birthday and about more ‘philosophical’ subjects. She always had ‘big’ questions, whether the universe is infinite and how bees know how to find their way back to the hive. As she got older, Ata’s curiosity about the world had only increased. Her eyesight had deteriorated and she could only see blobs, but her photographer’s eye amply filled the blanks. A black blob in the sky turned into a beautiful phoenix, the clouds were angels floating by. A flock of birds were there to carry a message to her mother, who died at age 98.

The less she could see, the stronger her imagination became. She could no longer read about science or world events, but kept asking herself those big questions, marveling at the world as if she was just discovering it. She had turned her mind into a kind of perpetual mobile, which did not require outside sources for input, since she could no longer rely on them, other than talk to us and her numerous friends.

Both my brother Tom and my twin sister Juliette were going to fly over to celebrate her birthday. In fact, Tom was already sitting in an airplane. I had just returned from another trip a week before and felt I could wait till November to visit. We liked to ‘stagger’ our visits, so Ata would have more time with her three children. Read more...