Category Archives: Leadership

A Warrior for the US

Source: TheVetsProject, May 2017

The Green Berets have a motto “De Opresso Liber,” or “To Free the Oppressed.”  I was the oppressed growing up in Vietnam. I had my freedom ripped away from me. I had no hope. If I’d stayed in Vietnam I might be in prison, dead, or be just another communist, content with a terrible lifestyle. I was the people without hope. God has given me hope. My mom sacrificed everything she had so I could become an American. When I became an American I saw a higher calling. I had certain natural talents in my thinking and in combatives. I realized that I could take that mindset and I could use that mindset in other countries to help out

What happens when you have internal conflicts within a family? You fail to sustain growth. If you’re fighting internally how can you defend your country?

What’s going on in America right now? The generations that are behind us are of the entitlement attitude. “What can you give me?” “What can my country do for me?” These are the questions that are now being asked versus, “I’m of a warrior class and I’m going to protect my country no matter what,” or “I’m a civilian and I’m proud of my country.”

We have this new issue with a generation of entitlement and that’s the future.

The biggest issue in our culture is patriotism. When I was young we put our hand over our heart as we raised the American flag, as one nation under God. We recited the National Anthem and we were proud to be Americans.

Nowadays most schools don’t even pay tribute to the American flag or our God. You’re starting to see more of the entitlement attitude in today’s society, versus worrying about what you can do to protect this country and protect the things you love. A lot of people in our country now are completely disconnected from what’s going on overseas, nor do they even care to defend their own lifestyle. That’s the difference in our society nowadays as compared to back when I was young.

The military will give you a higher education and it gives you principles as a human being. They give you ethics and morals. When you leave the military you should be a much better person than when you joined. The amount of knowledge you gain while serving far supersedes a Master’s or Doctorate.

The military teaches you about life and allows you to make the greatest possible difference in our world. You not only get to make a difference in your own life, but you get to create effective change in the lives of others. It’s a higher purpose and higher calling. We don’t join because we don’t have anything else to do. Most of us join because we have great direction in our lives and we are driven individuals who seek to create change in our world.

Be the person that you’ve always wanted to be.


HKG Protests: Creating New Chinese Characters

Source: LanguageLog/UPenn, Sep 2019

Among the new polysyllabic characters (called hétǐ zì 合體字 [“compound / synthesized characters”] in Chinese) created by the Hong Kong protesters is this one (see below in the “Readings” [especially the first item] for other examples).  It is preceded by this note: “Hongkongers will remember 721 & 831”, which are references to the extreme brutality wreaked on the people of Hong Kong by hired gangsters on July 21 and by “police” on August 31, for which see 721 Yuen Long Nightmare and #831terroristattack (also here).  This new polysyllabic character is widely circulating on the internet and has come to me from many sources (here’s one).

This composite character consists of elements of the following three Sinographs:

ging2 警 of ging2caat3 警察 (lit., “alert / vigilant observe / examine / inspect”, i.e., “police”)

hak1 黑 of hak1 se5wui6*2 黑社會 (lit., “black society”, i.e., “organized crime; the triads; gangsters”)

tit3 鐵 of tit3lou6 鐵路 (lit., “iron road”, i.e., “railway; railroad”)

It alludes to the collusion of police, hired gangsters, and railway authorities in the notorious beating of passengers described here:

The 2019 Yuen Long attack was a mob attack that occurred on 21 July 2019, in Yuen Long, Hong Kong. A mob of over 100 armed men dressed in white indiscriminately attacked civilians on the streets and passengers in the Yuen Long MTR station including the elderly, children, black-clad protesters, journalists and lawmakers. At least 45 people were injured in the incident, including a pregnant woman. The attack happened following an anti-extradition bill protest in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong and was an act threatening the pro-democracy protesters who were returning home to Yuen Long.

Despite thousands of reports made to the 999 emergency hotline, the police did not arrive for more than 30 minutes and finally arrived one minute after the mob had left the station. No arrests were made that night. Many accused the police of failing to protect citizens from being attacked, with some even alleging that the police colluded with the mobs.

One of the strongest weapons of the Hong Kong protesters against the armed might of the police, thugs, and increasingly military infiltrators from the north is language, both spoken and written, as described in this post and in the following earlier posts.

From the Comments:

SP said,

September 1, 2019 @ 3:16 pm

There’s yet another thing that’s hidden. In 黑, you can see the logo of the MTR, Hong Kong’s subway system. The attacks of 721 and 831 took place in the MTR

Boris Johnson on Winston Churchill’s Oratory

GM Drives to the Moon

Source: Fast Company, Jun 2019

Romano and Pavlics, by sheer will and their captivating motorized Moon car, had just changed the history of space exploration.

Just weeks later, von Braun created a project office to oversee the creation of a lunar rover.

It was April 1969, just three months before Apollo 11, ridiculously late to imagine adding something as complicated as a car to the Moon flights. Spaceships, spacesuits, experiments, procedures—not only were they all designed, built, tested, and flight-qualified, but the astronauts had been practicing with their Moon equipment for months or years.

The rover brought exuberance, even joy, to lunar exploration. Within minutes of heading off on their first expedition, Irwin and Scott were laughing with the sheer fun of driving on the Moon. “Man, this is really a rocking-rolling ride,” Scott said to Mission Control.

In 15 minutes of driving on that first trip, Scott and Irwin went farther than any of the previous three Apollo landing crews had been able (or allowed) to walk in hours on the surface.

On that first jaunt alone, one of three using the rover, Scott and Irwin stayed out for two hours, driving around, getting out, gathering specimens, filming geological features, then hopping back in the buggy and racing off to the next place. They not only covered terrain; the pair gave a nonstop narration of the geology they were seeing and that the rover’s camera was transmitting in real time back to Earth.

The live TV coverage had a rapt audience of, among others, geologists and scientists who felt like they were looking over the shoulders of the lunar astronauts from the back seat, as it were, seeing an astonishing display of never-before-seen alien geology.

“Keep talking, keep talking,” Mission Control’s Joe Allen said. “Beautiful description.”

The Most Successful Teams

Source: HBR, Apr 2018

In the Generative quadrant, we find behaviors associated with learning, experimenting, and confidence. Together they facilitate high quality interaction. Interestingly, “forceful” appears here too, which at a first glance might seem surprising. Exploring this further, participants were identifying the assertive expression and vigorous analysis of ideas. “Forceful” therefore relates to having the confidence to persist in expressing what you think is important.

Psychologically safe environments enable this kind of candour without it being perceived as aggressive. Note that we also see more positive emotions in the generative and uniform quadrants.

Yahoo – Internet Icon

Source: Fast Company, Mar 2018

Before Google or Facebook, Yahoo was the king of the internet.




In 1998, Yahoo had a chance to license an innovative new search technology created by a pair of Stanford grad students for $1 million. Instead, David Filo convinced Sergey Brin and Larry Page to strike out on their own, and introduced them to one of Google’s earliest investors, Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital.

As Ring writes, “That $1 million price tag was probably the best deal offered in the history of Silicon Valley, California, the United States, planet Earth, and the Milky Way Galaxy.”

In 2002, Yahoo had a second chance to buy Google. This time, CEO Terry Semel offered $3 billion for the company; Page and Brin turned him down, reportedly holding out for $5 billion.

But even that’s not Yahoo’s most famous missed opportunity. That came in July 2006, when Yahoo tried to buy Facebook, then a college-oriented network with roughly 7 million members, for $1.1 billion. Internet lore has Mark Zuckerberg walking away from the deal when Semel cut the offer to $800 million after a drop in Yahoo’s share price. According to Peter Thiel, one of three members on Facebook’s board at the time, Zuckerberg never seriously considered selling.


Everyone has a different theory as to why Yahoo failed, and to some degree they’re all probably right.

Ring says Yahoo’s biggest mistake was not allowing paid search ads to coexist with organic search results. For the first years of its existence, search results were considered editorial content, not to be sullied or diluted by advertising. By the time Yahoo realized its mistake–and acquired Overture, the company that invented paid search advertising, for $1.6 billion in 2003–Google was already steaming ahead.

Instead of fine-tuning Overture to compete with Google’s more sophisticated system, Yahoo decided to build its own advertising platform mostly from scratch, says Flake, who came to Yahoo as part of the Overture acquisition. Code-named Project Panama, the new platform took nearly three years to complete. By then, the search wars were over; Google had won.

Steve Jobs: Think Different

Source: Wikipedia, date indeterminate

Jobs said the following in an interview for PBS‘ ‘One Last Thing’ documentary:[11]

When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your job is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money.

That’s a very limited life.

Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is – everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.

The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it.

I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.