Poem of the Week

A poem for Labor Day

Spittoons

by Langston Hughes
Clean the spittoons, boy.
      Detroit,
      Chicago,
      Atlantic City,
      Palm Beach.
Clean the spittoons.
The steam in hotel kitchens,
And the smoke in hotel lobbies,
And the slime in hotel spittoons:
Part of my life.
      Hey, boy!
      A nickel,
      A dime,
      A dollar,
Two dollars a day.
      Hey, boy!
      A nickel,
      A dime,
      A dollar,
      Two dollars
Buy shoes for the baby.
House rent to pay.
Gin on Saturday,
Church on Sunday.
      My God!
Babies and gin and church
And women and Sunday
All mixed with dimes and
Dollars and clean spittoons
And house rent to pay.
      Hey, boy!
A bright bowl of brass is beautiful to the Lord.
Bright polished brass like the cymbals
Of King David’s dancers,
Like the wine cups of Solomon.
      Hey, boy!
A clean spittoon on the altar of the Lord.
A clean bright spittoon all newly polished—
At least I can offer that.
      Com’mere, boy!
Advertisements

Breaking News: Shandong

The president of the university I worked at has been tried and convicted for corruption. They found he had gotten 390,757,871 yuan (roughly $57,323,781 USD) illicitly. He’s sentenced to 12 years in prison. My reading of this story doesn’t make it clear whether he’ll pay all the money back. He should. I also think this fine of $117,300 is too low. I’m strict about these things and think that his family, the adults who benefitted from his ill-gotten gains should face consequences. They should have spoken up or stopped him.

Here’s the story:

任廷琦(Ren Ting QiRen is the last name

In February 2018, according to Shandong Provincial Discipline Inspection Commission news: Ren Tingqi serious violations of law and suspected job-related crimes to conduct a case review (investigation).

After investigation, Ren Tingqi violated the spirit of the Eight Provisions of the Central Committee and exceeded the standard to use office buildings; violated organizational discipline, failed to explain the problems in organizational letters, and used his position to facilitate the selection and appointment of cadres to seek benefits for others and to collect and receive property; violated honesty and discipline, accepted gifts, and used his power to occupy non-capital. People’s property management; violation of work discipline; intervene and intervene in project bidding; violation of life discipline. Taking advantage of his position to seek benefits for others and obtain and receive property, he is suspected of taking bribes.

As a leading cadre of Party members, Ren Tingqi lost his ideals and beliefs, seriously violated the Party’s disciplines and national laws and regulations, and was suspected of crimes, and did not converge after the Eighteenth National Congress of the Party, and did not stop, with a bad nature and a serious plot. According to the Regulations on Disciplinary Punishment of the Communist Party of China and other relevant provisions, after studying and reporting to the Shandong Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China at the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Shandong Provincial Disciplinary Commission and the meeting of the Shandong Provincial Supervisory Commission, and with the approval of the Shandong Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, he decided to give Ren Tingqi the removal of his party membership, dismissal of his public office, collection The procuratorial organs deal with them according to law.

任廷琦,男,教授,博士生导师,196010月出生,山东牟平人,19827月参加工作,19827月毕业于山东师范大学物理系理论物理专业。曾任山东科技大学校长。

2018815日,任廷琦因受贿罪判处有期徒刑十二年,并处罚金人民币80万元;对被告人任廷琦受贿犯罪所得赃款390.5949万元予以没收,上缴国库;继续追缴被告人任廷琦受贿犯罪所得赃款390.757871万元,上缴国库

20171110日,山东省纪委监察厅消息:山东科技大学党委副书记、校长任廷琦涉嫌严重违纪,接受组织审查

依法双开

20182月,据山东省纪委消息:任廷琦严重违纪违法涉嫌职务犯罪问题进行立案审查(调查)。

经查,任廷琦违反中央八项规定精神,超标准使用办公用房;违反组织纪律,在组织函询时不如实说明问题,利用职务便利在干部选拔任用方面为他人谋取利益并索取、收受财物;违反廉洁纪律,收受礼金,利用职权侵占非本人经管的财物;违反工作纪律,插手和干预项目招投标;违反生活纪律。利用职务便利为他人谋取利益并索取、收受财物,涉嫌受贿犯罪。

任廷琦身为党员领导干部,理想信念丧失,严重违反党的纪律和国家法律法规规定,并涉嫌犯罪,且在党的十八大后不收敛、不收手,性质恶劣、情节严重。依据《中国共产党纪律处分条例》等有关规定,经中共山东省纪委常委会会议、山东省监委委员会议研究并报中共山东省委批准,决定给予任廷琦开除党籍、开除公职处分,收缴其违纪所得,将其涉嫌犯罪问题及所涉款物移送检察机关依法处理。

提起公诉

20185月,山东科技大学原党委副书记、校长任廷琦(正厅级)涉嫌受贿罪一案,经山东省人民检察院指定管辖,由泰安市人民检察院向泰安市中级人民法院提起公诉。

检察机关在审查起诉阶段依法告知了被告人任廷琦享有的诉讼权利,并依法讯问了被告人任廷琦,听取了其辩护人的意见。泰安市人民检察院起诉书指控:被告人任廷琦利用担任烟台师范学院院长,曲阜师范大学党委副书记、校长,山东科技大学校长职务上的便利,收受他人贿赂,为他人谋取利益,依法应当以受贿罪追究其刑事责任

法院判决

2018815日,山东泰安市中级人民法院公开宣判山东科技大学原校长任廷琦受贿案,以受贿罪判处被告人任廷琦有期徒刑十二年,并处罚金人民币80万元;对被告人任廷琦受贿犯罪所得赃款390.5949万元予以没收,上缴国库;继续追缴被告人任廷琦受贿犯罪所得赃款390.757871万元,上缴国库。
  经审理查明:20053月至201710月,被告人任廷琦先后利用担任烟台师范学院院长,曲阜师范大学党委副书记、校长,山东科技大学校长职务上的便利,为相关单位及个人在承揽工程、拨付工程款、升学就业、调换专业、职务晋升等事项上提供帮助,直接或通过其特定关系人54次索取、收受相关人员给予的现金、银行卡、房屋等财物,共计折合人民币781.352771万元。
  泰安市中级人民法院认为,被告人任廷琦的行为构成受贿罪。鉴于被告人任廷琦到案后主动供述监察机关尚未掌握的大部分索贿、受贿事实,具有坦白情节,赃款已部分追缴,具有法定、酌定从轻处罚情节,依法可对其从轻处罚。法庭遂作出上述判决。

On August 15, 2018, the Shandong Tai’an Intermediate People’s Court publicly sentenced Ren Tingqi, former president of Shandong University of Science and Technology, to 12 years’imprisonment and a fine of 800,000 yuan ($117,300 USD) for bribery, confiscated the proceeds of Ren Tingqi’s bribery crime and turned them over to the state treasury. Ren Tingqi, the defendant, recovered 390.757871 yuan of illicit money from bribes and turned over to the state treasury.

From March 2005 to October 2017, the defendant was appointed President of Yantai Normal University, Vice Secretary of the Party Committee and President of Qufu Normal University, and President of Shandong University of Science and Technology. The total amount of money, bank cards, houses and other property obtained or received from the relevant personnel, directly or through 54 times of their specific relatives, is RMB 781.35 2.771 million.

The intermediate people’s Court of Tai’an held that the act of defendant Ren Tingqi constituted the crime of accepting bribes. In view of the fact that the defendant, Ren Tingqi, voluntarily confessed most of the facts of bribery solicitation and acceptance that the supervisory organ had not yet grasped after his arrival in the case, he had a frank plot, the stolen money had been partly recovered, and he had a statutory and discretionary circumstance of lenient punishment, and could be given a lighter punishment according to law. The court made the decision.

NEWS

 815,山东泰安市中级人民法院公开宣判山东科技大学原校长任廷琦受贿案,以受贿罪判处被告人任廷琦有期徒刑十二年,并处罚金人民币80万元;对被告人任廷琦受贿犯罪所得赃款390.5949万元予以没收,上缴国库;继续追缴被告人任廷琦受贿犯罪所得赃款390.757871万元,上缴国库。

  经审理查明:20053月至201710月,被告人任廷琦先后利用担任烟台师范学院院长,曲阜师范大学党委副书记、校长,山东科技大学校长职务上的便利,为相关单位及个人在承揽工程、拨付工程款、升学就业、调换专业、职务晋升等事项上提供帮助,直接或通过其特定关系人54次索取、收受相关人员给予的现金、银行卡、房屋等财物,共计折合人民币781.352771万元。

  泰安市中级人民法院认为,被告人任廷琦的行为构成受贿罪。鉴于被告人任廷琦到案后主动供述监察机关尚未掌握的大部分索贿、受贿事实,具有坦白情节,赃款已部分追缴,具有法定、酌定从轻处罚情节,依法可对其从轻处罚。法庭遂作出上述判决。

On August 15, the Shandong Tai’an Intermediate People’s Court publicly sentenced Ren Tingqi, the former president of Shandong University of Science and Technology, to 12 years’imprisonment for bribery and a fine of 800,000 yuan; confiscated the proceeds of Ren Tingqi’s bribery crime and handed them over to the state treasury; and continued to recover. Defendant Ren Tingqi received 390,757,871 yuan of illicit money from bribes and turned over to the state treasury.

From March 2005 to October 2017, the defendant was appointed President of Yantai Normal University, Vice Secretary of the Party Committee and President of Qufu Normal University, and President of Shandong University of Science and Technology. The total amount of money, bank cards, houses and other property obtained or received from the relevant personnel, directly or through 54 times of their specific relatives, is RMB 781.35 27.71 million.

The intermediate people’s Court of Tai’an held that the act of defendant Ren Tingqi constituted the crime of accepting bribes. In view of the fact that the defendant, Ren Tingqi, voluntarily confessed most of the facts of bribery solicitation and acceptance that the supervisory organ had not yet grasped after his arrival in the case, he had a frank plot, the stolen money had been partly recovered, and he had a statutory and discretionary circumstance of lenient punishment, and could be given a lighter punishment according to law. The court made the decision.

The Wings of the Dove

th

It seems like I’ve been grudging through The Wings of the Dove by Henry James forever. Every summer and winter my friend Bill and I read a classic novel and discuss it online. Our last book was Zola’s Germinal, which was full of blood, sweat and tears. James’ writing is the opposite in every way imaginable. Zola was earthy and real. James is ethereal and intellectual. Zola crafted characters with whom I sympathized, even his villains had their reasons and adversity. I don’t like a single character in The Wings of the Dove.

I haven’t finished and though I’m just 30 pages from the finish line and have now given myself permission to skim, I dread my daily reading. The situation in Wings of the Dove is that Kate Croy can’t marry her love Merton Densher because he’s too poor. She lives with a rich aunt who’s going to marry her off well. When Milly, an orphaned American heiress with a terminal mystery disease arrives, Kate plots to get her lover to cozy up to Milly. She figures if Milly leaves Densher her fortune, then after Milly dies, which hopefully will be soon, Kate and Densher can marry. How charming.

It bugged me that we never know what Milly has. If it’s in the book it’s hidden amongst the long-winded writing that includes few concrete description. James wanted to convey the psychology of his vapid characters. I could not care less about what they thought. Also, I don’t think he succeeded in conveying true consciousness since most the time when I’m thinking, my mind is wandering. I may think about a work situation when I’m bored in a conversation or unable to listen at church. Whenever we’re privy to Kate or Milly or some other characters’ thoughts, they’re in the situation.

I thought Densher was weak, and hence unattractive, for buying into this insipid plot. I’d say the same for Kate, who didn’t realize her plan might not go as she figured. Had she never heard the cliché, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”? Evidently not. Milly seemed like a will o’the wisp who floats through the story allowing herself to naively be taken advantage of.

I thought watching the movie would make reading easier or the characters more sympathetic, but it didn’t. I didn’t like the movie much either. While I read, I often just plowed through content to miss a lot. Sometimes I’d consult a reference on the story to see if I was missing something, but my take on the chapters captured all the key events.

I can’t wait to read something else. I know some people must love James or his work  wouldn’t be considered classic, but I don’t care for him at all.

Zzzzzzzz.

Eugenie Grandet

By Honoré Balzac, Eugenie Grandet had a plot that surprised me. A friend suggested reading and discussing this novel online and I’m glad he did. For most of the book I wondered why it was entitled Eugenie Grandet because for 85-90% of the book is dominated by her father’s character.

Set in the provinces, early on readers meet Monsieur Grandet a miser who counts every egg and sugar cube in his pantry. He’s a shrewd businessman who constantly cries poor constantly. His neighbours distrust and dislike him and pit his wife, daughter Eugenie and servant Nanon, who live like peasants in a cold, dark house eating meagre rations and going along without complaint as justified as it would be.

Since Eugenie is of marriageable age, and clearly would inherit father’s fortune, two families compete so their son will win her hand — and possibly heart. The marriage race is neck and neck and Papa Grandet enjoys the futile race, which he knows no one can win since he has no plans to agree with either proposal.

When a rich Parisian cousin Charles comes to visit, Eugenie falls in love and her father wonders how the Parisian social status can help him. When papa gets a letter from his Parisian brother admitting that he’s lost all his money and since he’s bankrupt will commit suicide, the Grandet’s household is turned upside down. Eugenie, whose grown up more or less in seclusion sympathises and falls for her cousin (marrying cousins was okay back then). Though he’s got a high class love back in Paris, he’s struck by Eugenie’s pure love. Still Charles must go to the New World to earn some money and restore his father’s reputation.

Balzac gives us a witty insider’s view of each character taking us down an original story path. Monsieur Grandet dominates the story and his daughter’s life even after he’s dead.

Though Papa Grandet is a one dimensional character, the story is witty and absorbing, well worth reading.

A Few Favorite Quotations:

“Financially speaking, Monsieur Grandet was something between a tiger and a boa-constrictor. He could crouch and lie low, watch his prey a long while, spring upon it, open his jaws, swallow a mass of louis, and then rest tranquilly like a snake in process of digestion, impassible, methodical, and cold.”

“The grain of gold dropped by his mother into his heart was beaten thin in the smithy of Parisian society; he had spread it superficially, and it was worn away by the friction of life” (About Charles)

“It is part of the French nature to grow enthusiastic, or angry, or fervent about some meteor of the moment. Can it be that collective beings, nationalities, peoples, are devoid of memory?”

A Whisper to a Newly-Married Pair, Part 1

From Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1860
A Whisper To The Husband On Expenditure

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 11.18.01 PM

“You give your wife a certain sum of money … I really cannot see the necessity of obliging her to account to you for the exact manner in which she has laid it out. Pray, do allow her the power of buying a yard of muslin, or a few pennyworth of pins, without consulting the august tribunal of your judgment whether they shall be quaker-pins or minikins. ”

“In pecuniary matters, do not be penurious, or too particular. Your wife has an equal right with yourself to all your worldly possessions. “With all my worldly goods I thee endow,” was one of the most solemn vows that ever escaped your lips; and if she be a woman of prudence, she will in all her expenses be reasonable and economical; what more can you desire? Besides, really, a woman has innumerable trifling demands on her purse, innumerable little wants, which it is not necessary for a man to be informed of, and which, if he even went to the trouble of investigating, he would hardly understand.”

“You give your wife a certain sum of money. If she be a woman of prudence, if your table be comfortably kept, and your household managed with economy and regularity, I really cannot see the necessity of obliging her to account to you for the exact manner in which she has laid it out. Pray, do allow her the power of buying a yard of muslin, or a few pennyworth of pins, without consulting the august tribunal of your judgment whether they shall be quaker-pins or minikins. ”

“How often is a woman grieved by the foolish extravagance of her husband! Among other absurdities, will he not sometimes give for a horse, or a dog, or spend at a tavern or a club, a sum of money absolutely wanted for the necessary comforts of his family; thus squandering, in a moment of simple folly, what perhaps has cost his wife many a hard effort to save.

“When once a man has entered the marriage state, he should look on his property as belonging to his family, and act and economize accordingly. I remember being acquainted with a gentleman who was constantly saying, “It is true, my property is large, but then it belongs not to myself alone, but also to my children: and I must act as a frugal agent for them. To my wife, as well as these children, I feel accountable either for economy or extravagance.” Another gentleman of my acquaintance, who was in stinted circumstances, was constantly debarring himself of a thousand little comforts, even a glass of wine after dinner, sooner that infringe on what he used to call his children’ birthright.”
Continue reading