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April, 30, 2016

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Commentary > China Post > Daniel J. Bauer
It is good to be back after a week away for medical care. If you missed me last Sunday, I am smiling now. And if you did not, I'm here today to wave a friendly hello just the same.
 
No two words come even remotely close to "the kind of ugly," we might say, that we find in the term "revenge porn." The two words linked together are the verbal equivalent of the highest grade of coarse-grain sandpaper. And that is an incredibly mild metaphor for what we're talking about.
 
The horrible pain Taiwan is still feeling so keenly over the murder of the toddler now popularly known as "Xiao Deng Pao" (Little Light Bulb) is sure to stay with us for some time. Pundits of every sort have literally pounced on this tragic event, and I myself struggled over the question of whether to address it here today.
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As far as I can recall, today marks the second time that the famous doll -- cartoon character Hello Kitty is making an appearance in this space.
 
Comparisons between situations political in nature may be frustrating because they tend so easily to lack analysis and depth. Yet, there are times when I find myself falling for that very temptation, wanting to talk about politics from a comparative point of view.
 
Perhaps more than the average Joe (which is my middle name), I take a great interest in words. This may be partly due to a problem I've since largely overcome. As a child I stuttered rather badly at times when I spoke. To this day, I do not imitate stutterers to get a cheap laugh when story-telling. I am incredibly sympathetic to people who fight to get their words out because of this affliction. Anyone who laughs at a stutterer is a bully.
 
Surveys and their results are not divinities, and so we'd be foolish to worship them. Still, a recent survey about abuse in relationships in Taiwan is worth notice.
 
Our newspapers continue to publish one report or opinion piece after the other about the frightening condition of present day higher education here in Taiwan. An obvious mood of pessimism hangs in the air like a sand storm we cannot shake.
 
A few minutes ago a friend corrected me on my pronunciation of "Scalia," the surname of the U.S. Supreme Court judge who passed away February 13. I had been putting the emphasis on the first vowel and syllable, and he reminded me that Italians do not do that. "Come down hard on the 'li'," I am now reminding myself.
 
An Australia-China-based story about a gift of luxury watches running amok resurfaced this week, and got me to thinking about the meaning of trust. And about losing trust.
 
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