The Strategic Retreat

Astrology is a lie

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botanic garden gates

I hate astrology. There are few things I hate more. That may seem a bit odd and petty but I mainly hate things that impact my life directly. I mean, I also hate slavery, and hunger and animal abuse but those things don’t pop up at social gatherings and call me “close minded”. In a real sense, I hate things that impact me more than things that don’t. It’s not that I think those things are more important in an overall sense but I’m this clothed hairless-monkey water monster that lives in California. I’m not some theoretical presence. In… Read the rest

Y’all need to calm down about Affirmative Action

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Jeff Graduating

There’s been some recent hubbub on the internet about a Black kid who got accepted to all the Ivy League schools. Most of the people who seem to be offended by this are white. Many white people feel that they are denied admission to elite colleges because of their skin color. They aren’t. Affirmative Action, as it applies to elite college admissions, has nearly no impact on white people. Underrepresented minorities benefit, a group that’s in the subset of ‘white’ benefits and non-URM Asians are harmed. For white people, as a whole,… Read the rest

Scams in Thailand

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My previous posting was on Red Fanta at Thai shrines, in which I mentioned asking many people about the why of the red soda. The reason I frequently asked people this question was because people tried to trick, cheat, con, manipulate and exploit me so often in Thailand that I learned to enjoy messing with the people who messed with me. Thailand is the land of smiles, smiles which often disguise a second set of sharpened beat colored fangs. I’m sure many Thais are fantastic people, but… Read the rest

Red Fanta at Thai Shrines

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red fanta hat yai

The most common question I asked in Thailand was, “What’s with the Red Fanta?” Which probably seems like a weird question so I’ll explain myself.

There are a lot of shrines in Thailand, with the most common being Spirit Houses. When land is cleared and buildings are put up, Spirit Houses are erected to house the displaced earth spirit, called Chao Thi(Land lord). Although Thailand is 95% Buddhist these are not shrines to Buddha or Buddhist shrines at all. The concept of a Spirit House is rooted in… Read the rest