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Fish Skin Soup

I'm starting a new category of post for my aunts, uncles, cousins and relatives to see a bit of what I see in Taiwan.

This year I discovered fish skin soup when a sister in the church got some for my mom.

Kaohsiung is a seaport with an abundance of seafood, but growing up we never particularly sought it out because of all the fish bones, which we didn't know how to spit out as dexterously as the Asians, though we happily ate it when served.

Fish skin soup has no bones, and at 50 NT ($1.60) per bowl it's a great breakfast deal. Finish it off with a quarter of a pineapple and you will also stay regular ^o^

It must be fresh, if he's deboning it!
Grey gas tanks for cooking in the background.

Carefully ladling it into the takeout containers.

Complete with clams, and julienned ginger.

I think it's that cheap because these fish soup places are usually just tables and chairs under a roof with no door. I'm thankful to God for something so wholesome and delicious so cheap, though I wish I knew what to do about the risk of mercury. Read a news article saying the rich get mercury from fish while the poor get toxic chemicals from air-pollution and living closer to landfills. Kaohsiung's already got the air pollution!

The day I wrote that last post, I had just spent 3 days learning to read 1 Samuel 17 (David and Goliath) in 3 different Chinese versions. I don't believe in writing a new character 20 times in a row like a schoolchild in a copy book, but I do have to look up the story behind its hieroglyphics on, and be able to write it without looking and be satisfied with my calligraphy at least once.

I had just finished all three versions and was speed reading through the texts one last time, not having to look things up anymore but having fun jotting down any word I suspected I couldn't write from memory yet.

That still slowed me down a bit to notice things I'd never felt before in the story.

And it occured to me that David at some point finally decided, “This is not happening.”

When he arrived at the front line to find his brothers, he had this crucial cultural background, his head would have been full of the stories of the past (all that time composing things on his harp while out with the sheep).

It says David RAN to the front line to find his brothers. He probably thought it was his lucky day to be there when something finally looked happening. Like most young men who aren't preoccupied with their own mortality he would probably would have been more excited than not at the shouting as the battle lines were being drawn up.

And then Goliath walks out, and David hears what he says, and he sees the melee it's producing, and his course of action is practically handed to him by what everybody's saying, but I feel like he got mad. Yes, he heard all the other stuff about a wife and no more taxes, and yes he was lucky to have the experience under his belt that enabled him to do something about his anger, but it feels like Goliath's insult to God is what stuck under his skin.

And if he was even a little bit mad, it would have been an anger that burns away fear, that makes it a relief to speak up, but at the same time he's not enraged beyond thought, he's actually a little cool-headed asking the people around him a couple of times to make sure what the situation is. When his older brother accuses him, he has the swiftness of mind to defend himself immediately, “I didn't come up here for no reason,” as one version puts it. (Dad did send me here.)

But I think he mainly got mad, and decided it wasn't going go on anymore, because when he's telling Saul about rescuing the lamb from the lion or bear it felt like he would have been thinking, “Oh no you don't. Not on my watch.”

And for the first time in reading that story my heart started to pound as he took off the armor and picked up five smooth stones.

News Link: Fractional Reserves and the Fed

A tough read, but if you put even three-quarters of your mind to it, awesome! So what does it have to do with my daily life? Almost every single day I think about it because I have to do the grocery shopping for my family, and every time I see something I would dearly love to eat, and notice that it is now 4x the price it used to be, in my mind I lay that squarely at the door of whoever is printing up the money supply, but whenever I sigh and say, "Inflation :P" to the clerk, I have not met one person who does anything but stare at me blankly. Anyway, I remember when durian cost 30-something (TWD, not USD, LOL) a jin and how one year I refused to buy it when it went up to 40-something a jin, and today it is 139 a jin. Yes, the Fed is responsible for me not having durian to eat, and so am I for not finding a way to step outside that game.

So why read the article? What can I do about it? So that (1) when I hear about the State of Texas thinking about making it's own gold-backed currency, I realize what a huge deal that would be ... so that (2) I don't contribute to the morass of ignorance that might kill a deal like that ... so that (3) did I ever find a way to use an alternate form of currency in my daily life with impunity, I would do my part to step outside the game, the game beauracrats play with what I think of as my money but in reality is a pile of fiat money, paper that can lose half its power with a flip of the switch on the printing press.

But I wouldn't even be thinking those things or be ready for those things, if I didn't know what that article was talking about.

So yes, I feel a deep CONNECTION to this article, right in the area of my stomach, every time I see durian no less.

Postscript (2019.04.19):

Actually it wasn't the durian that got to me first.

For years, every time I passed little old grandmas pushing recycle carts on the road picking up scraps to sell I'd think about inflation, about how they were the ones that inflating the money supply was hurting the most when they needed their pennies to go the farthest.

And ordinary people, unable to afford non-junk food and non-poisoned food. Because that's all organic food is, food that hasn't had a dropper bottle of poison held over it. Call a spade a spade. There's poisoned food and then there's non-poisoned food.

Managed to start commenting over on the sidebar, not just linking to articles. But I'll still link with no comment if the only other choice is not linking at all.

A couple months ago a friend mentioned to me how he thought that all God's changes in law made it seem like he was experimenting on us like lab rats.

I wrote him afterward (edited for typos and readability):
“I don't think all the changes in God's instructions through history are God experimenting with us. I think it is like a parent guiding a child through different exercises in math, for instance.

For instance, God knew when he let the first people live into their 900's that he would have to reduce their lifespan [...] after Noah's flood because they had only used their long lives for evil.

But he still let mankind go through that experience and find out for themselves, otherwise we would be telling God, “God, how do you know we can't handle longer lifespans?”

Now he can say, “I DID give you longer lives at the beginning so you would understand why I gave you shorter lives later.” Because mankind really likes to find out the hard way (or you could say the concrete or experiential way) what is right and wrong. “Don't tell me, show me.” God: “OK, I'm showing you.”

So anytime you think God could be experimenting, please leave room for the possibility that he already knew the outcome, he is just working through the steps anyway for [the sake of] our knowledge, not his.”
He sent this back:

Number 2 I felt was unfair of Epicurus, and wrote back:
“Is he able but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.”

Every parent puts things into 2 groups:

Group 1: Things you have to let your child learn to take care of on his own or he will [grow up] weak. (Children who learn not to care when idots mock them - good. Children who were protected so much that when they grow up and go to college, they don't know how to wash their clothes or feed themselves - bad. Or children who can't deal with anybody who has a different opinion from them - bad.)

Group 2: Things you have to step in and protect your child from because to let your child try to learn to deal with it would put him at too high a risk of death.

Every parent has to decide what level of suffering/challenge they will let their children go through for the sake of their future health and independence, and what suffering/challenge would be too dangerous to allow.

Nobody calls parents [malevolent] for making their children face painful but healthy challenges.

What if everything we consider Group 2 [things too dangerous to let us learn to deal with], God considers Group 1 [things we have to learn to deal with anyway]?

2019 USA Trip - Day 1

It had been a full 8 years since I last saw my relatives in 2010. Recently I'd been wondering how to set up another visit, and then my Gramma developed cellulitis (festering oozy sores all over her lower legs) and there was no more dilemma. In March 2019 we were finally able to fly to the States for a 30-day stay... my mom, my younger sister and I.

We're back now, so I'll try to do a better job of blogging the trip this time around, and if I succeed I may tackle the 2010 trip too!

Day 1 - March 5
第一天 - 3月5號

Thank you for your prayers! Shortly after takeoff the pilot announced that there would be turbulence for the entire flight. I hate roller-coasters and certainly didn't want to be stuck on one for 10 hours! Thankfully it was not as bad as we feared.
感謝神!起飛不久, 飛行員公布說我們一路會有氣流。我已經很怕過山車,十個小時怎麼忍耐?感謝神,不是我想的那麼可怕。

My Uncle George (seventh child in my mom's family) and his wife, Aunt Melissa, picked us up at the airport, and we had supper at Cracker Barrel on the way to their house.
George舅舅(老七)和 Melissa舅媽,去飛機場接我們,回他們家的路上,吃晚飯。

8 years since I last ate at Cracker Barrel
已經八年沒吃 Cracker Barrel 餐廳

Uncle George (seventh child in my mom's family)
George 舅舅(老七)

When he was young

No. 5 Uncle Tim, No. 6 Aunt Jeannie, No. 7 Uncle George, No. 8 Aunt Martha, No. 9 Uncle Robert
老五Tim舅舅,老六Jeannie阿姨和她女兒Keri, 老七George舅舅,老八Martha阿姨,老九Robert舅舅。

Day 2 coming next...

News Link: Sleeping is Now a Crime

What about all those awesome youtubers living in their cars and blogging about it? What about people who can't afford Tiny Houses but do just fine in their cars? Even my uncle who has a house will sometimes study and nap in his car in the beautiful outdoors.

A bad law like this is what jury nullification is for.

... the most powerful vote ... is when you are acting as a jury member during a courtroom trial. At this point, “the buck stops” with you! It is in this setting that each JUROR has MORE POWER than the President, all of Congress, and all of the judges combined!

Congress can legislate (make law), the President or some other bureaucrat can make an order or issue regulations, and judges may instruct or make a decision, but no JUROR can ever be punished for voting “Not Guilty!” Any juror can, with impunity, choose to disregard the instructions of any judge or attorney in rendering his vote. If only one JUROR should vote “Not Guilty” for any reason, there is no conviction and no punishment at the end of the trial.

Thus, those acting in the name of government must come before the common man to get permission to enforce law. (Citizen's Rule Book)

Is this legal?


“The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.” John Jay, 1st Chief Justice U.S. supreme Court, 1789

“The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts.” Samuel Chase, U.S. supreme Court Justice, 1796, Signer of the unanimous Declaration

“The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, U.S. supreme Court Justice, 1902

“The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided.” Harlan F. Stone, 12th Chief Justice U.S. supreme Court, 1941

“The pages of history shine on instances of the jury’s exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge...” U.S. vs. Dougherty, 473 F 2nd 1113, 1139. (1972)


The general misconception is that any statute passed by legislators bearing the appearance of law constitutes the law of the land. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and any statute, to be valid, must be in agreement. It is impossible for a law, which violates the Constitution to be valid. This is succinctly stated as follows:

“All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.” Marbury vs. Madison, 5 US (2 Cranch) 137, 174, 176, (1803)

“When rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda vs. Arizona, 384 US 436 p. 491.

“An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.” Norton vs. Shelby County 118 US 425 p. 442

“The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it.

“No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.” 16 Am Jur 2nd, Sec 177 late 2d, Sec 256

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