The Cultural Glue that Holds China together

August 26, 2015

Under Qin Shi Huangdi, China’s first emperor, who united China in 221 BC, a standardized written language was mandated for an empire that once resembled Europe with many countries and written languages, and this created a unique cultural identity from the rest of the world.

To understand this, I’m turning to a conversation thread from the Yuan-Xiao Festival. Alessandro, a European with a degree in East Asian studies, who lives in China with his Chinese wife, wrote a comment that helped me understand something I’d read years ago written by Lin Yutang.

Writing of the Chinese Mind on page 81 of the 1938 Holcyon House Edition of My Country and My People, Lin Yutang wrote, “The Chinese language and grammar … in its form, syntax and vocabulary, reveals an extreme simplicity of thinking, concreteness of imagery and economy of syntactical relationships.”

I didn’t clearly understand what Lin Yutan meant until Alessandro’s comment. “The Latin alphabet is a phonetic one,” Alessandro said, “and as such, it simply reproduces the sounds of the spoken language, making it more susceptible of changes whenever the spoken language changes. Chinese Hanzi, on the other hand, conveys almost no ‘phonetic’ information by itself … (and doesn’t change much in its meaning as time passes).”

 
Cultural Competence: Managing Your Prejudices

Alessandro went on to say, “Both Europe and China have had political upheavals and long periods in which they were divided, but (China) having a stable writing system that doesn’t change as much as an alphabetic one helped them not to lose an important element of cultural unity, therefore of ‘national’ identity…

“The Chinese concept of ‘nation’ has nothing to do with the ‘nation state’ concept common in Europe (and North America).

“European nation states are more or less based on ethnicity, while in China it was – and it still somewhat is – based on cultural elements.

“You were Chinese because you shared a common culture, because you acted as a Chinese and assumed Chinese customs.

“Europe never regained the unity that existed during the Roman Empire, while China always strove to regain unity after each period of division. The traditional saying 合久必分,分久必合 — means more or less ‘after unity comes division, after division comes unity’.”

While the West—North America and Europe—has many written languages, China has had one for more than two millennia and this has been the glue that creates a sense of unity and what it means to be Chinese. Westerns don’t have that sense or cultural identity or unity.

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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The CIA-KMT Heroin-Cocaine Pipeline to the United States

August 18, 2015

The CIA, in an alliance with the Nationalist Chinese (KMT), addicted millions of Americans on drugs such as heroin and cocaine to finance a covert war against the spread of Communism.

The KMT’s leader was the brutal, authoritarian dictator Chiang Kai-shek of Taiwan that the US still supports, and Chiang Kai-shek ruled Taiwan with an iron fist until his death in 1976.

However, it wouldn’t be until the 2000 presidential election in Taiwan that the KMT’s dictatorial hold on power ended.

I first learned of the KMT-CIA drug pipeline into the US in the early 1980s when I read of Congressional hearings leading to the closing of Air America, a covert airline owned by the CIA that was one of the methods used to move illegal drugs out of Southeast Asia and into the hands of US citizens.

After the Chinese Communists under Mao won China’s long Civil War (1927-1949), a large force of KMT troops in southern China fled to the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia, which is located in Laos, Thailand and Burma. That’s when the KMT became involved in the drug trade with the CIA, and former KMT Chinese generals operating out of Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle cooperated with the CIA during the Vietnam War to supply American troops in Vietnam and drug addicts in the US with heroin and cocaine in trade for weapons. The drugs were sold to U.S. troops and citizens back home and that money paid for the weapons that were traded for the drugs.

For reminding me of this dark chapter of America’s history (which evidence says is still an open book), I thank 21st Century Marco Polo, a committed and experienced human rights and legal education professional with a history of working internationally throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition, Kevin Ryan writing for 911 Blogger.com reviewed American War Machine written by Peter Dale Scott.

Ryan writes, “This book examines a wide-ranging number of covert US operations since World War II, and, among other things, demonstrates that many of these operations were intimately connected with, and dependent on, illicit drug trafficking …”

The Senophobic, American capitalist obsession with everything Communist led the US down this dark path that introduced an expressway of  heroin and cocaine into the US in what may contribute to the eventual failure of the most successful and powerful democracy in the history of humanity.

The following embedded videos are a four part series of an audio transcript of a 60 Minutes broadcast about the CIA controlled drug trade.


60 Minutes on CIA Drug Smuggling – Part 1


60 Minutes on CIA Drug Smuggling – Part 2


60 Minutes on CIA Drug Smuggling – Part 3


60 Minutes on CIA Drug Smuggling – Part 4

To understand the impact on US society, Drug Rehabs.org says, “The trafficking of illicit drugs burdens various components of domestic financial sectors as individuals and organizations frequently engage in illegal activates to generate income in order to purchase drugs or finance drug trafficking operations. Mortgage fraud (think 2008 financial crises which originated in New York), counterfeiting, shoplifting, insurance fraud, ransom kidnapping, identity theft, home invasion, personal property theft, and many other criminal activates often are undertaken by drug users and distributers to support drug addictions …”

Did you know that Mao, after winning the Chinese Civil War (1926 to 1949) between the Communists and Nationalists, ended drug trafficking and drug use in China in about 24 hours?

Illegal drugs wouldn’t return to China until after Mao’s death when China joined the WTO in 2001, and opened its doors to world trade and capitalism dominated by neoliberal Milton Friedman economics that thinks “Greed is Good!”

Today, there are over 900,000 registered drug addicts in China, but the Government recognizes that the actual number of users is far higher. Some unofficial estimates range as high as 12 million. Of the registered drug addicts, 83.7 percent are male and 73.9 percent are under the age of 35.

But it’s a lot worse in the United States where it is estimated that 23.5-million Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs. That’s approximately one in every 10 Americans over the age of 12 – roughly equal to the entire population of Texas, and only 11 percent of those with an addiction receive treatment in the U.S.

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Korean War POWs compared to America’s Illegal Wars in Laos and Cambodia

August 5, 2015

Chinese history shows that since the time of Qin Shi Huangdi, China’s first emperor (221 – 207 B.C.), the standard practice in war was to execute POWs because they were a burden that might lead to defeat.  An army that doesn’t have to feed and guard POWs is more effective at fighting and winning.  Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan knew this fact too.

Some time ago I watched a documentary on the Korean War that mentioned that 87% of United Nations (U.N.) troops captured by the People’s Liberation Army or North Korean troops during the war died in captivity, but it doesn’t explain how they died.

In fact, while there was strong evidence that North Korean Troops executed U.N. POWs, the Chinese rarely executed prisoners like their North Korean counterparts did. Instead, mass starvation and diseases swept through the Chinese POW camps during the winter of 1950-51. “About 43 percent of all U.S. POWs died during this period.” The Chinese defended what happened because Chinese troops during this period also suffered mass starvation and diseases due to an incompetent logistics supply system. Even the civilian population behind the Communist lines didn’t have enough to eat. – wikipedia.org

Surviving U.N. POWs, however, have disagreed with this claim. Click on the previous link to see what the POWs had to say.

Even though the Wiki piece claims “both the Communists and United Nations forces were committed to the terms of the 1949 Geneva Conventions III, regarding the treatment of POWs,” China didn’t join the United Nations until October 25, 1971 — twenty years later, and North Korea wouldn’t become a member of the U.N. until September 1991.

The International Treaties on the Laws of War written in Geneva and the Hague in 1938 by the League of Nations was meant for the “Protection of Civilian Populations Against Bombing from the Air in Case of War,” but during World War II, the US Air Force killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Germany and Japan. Many of the bombs dropped were napalm (jellied gasoline) and the innocent along with enemy troops were roasted alive and that included the elderly, women and children.

In addition, the Geneva Convention for the treatment of Prisoners of War was written in 1949, the same year the Chinese Communists won the Civil War in China, but the U.S. had been an ally of the Nationalist Chinese since well before World War II and protected Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists in Taiwan after 1949 in spite of the fact that Chiang Kai-shek was a brutal dictator who ruled Taiwan with martial law and was responsible for the killing of more than thirty-thousand civilians in 1947 in the 2/28 Massacre in Taiwan.

While the behavior of Chinese and North Korean troops when it came to POW’s was unacceptable by Western humanitarian written standards, US forces are just as guilty when it comes to killing innocent civilians. It is estimated that the US killed between 1.5 and 3.6 million people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (note that the US bombings in Laos and Cambodia were illegal and were not approved by the U.S. Congress), and left behind a horrible legacy due to the use of Agent Orange.

“Not only did Nixon and Kissinger not seek the necessary approval from Congress to bomb Cambodia, (and Laos 1962-1969) they tried to conceal the bombing not only from the American public but Congress as well.” – Third World Traveler

In conclusion, written agreements seldom are practiced in war, and it is obvious these agreements do not save innocent lives. To learn more about the illegal US bombing in Laos, read National Geographic Magazine’s recent Life After the Bombs. “The total weight of the bombs dropped was many times greater than the weight of the people living in Laos, which at the time had a population of perhaps two million. It worked out to as much as a ton of bombs per person. … The bombs didn’t distinguish between communists and anticommunists any more than they distinguished between soldiers and children.”

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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a democracy in name only – a bumbling empire for sure

June 17, 2015

The China Mirage, supported by overwhelming factual evidence that was willingly suppressed or ignored for decades, clearly reveals that America is not the peace loving democracy that most Americans think it is.

The reality is that the U.S. is a global empire that took its first step toward World War II in the Pacific on July 8, 1853, when Commodore Matthew Perry commanded a U.S. Navy squadron that sailed into Tokyo harbor. Perry—under orders from President Millard Fillmore—demanded a treaty permitting trade and the opening of Japanese ports to U.S. merchant ships. The reluctant Japanese leaders, who wanted to be left alone, were not given a choice if they wanted to avoid the same invasions China had suffered mainly at the hands of the British and French during the Opium Wars.

After being forced to open its doors to Western trade so American corporations could profit—to protect itself in the future—Japan industrialized and built a powerful and ruthless modern military.

The second step toward war in the Pacific took place about fifty years later when President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt started to meddle in Asia’s affairs. The book reveals that Teddy urged Japan to invade Korea leading eventually to Japan’s invasion of China, because Teddy was obsessed with the Japanese and felt strongly that Japan’s role should be to protect Asia from being colonized by the European colonial powers even if it meant Japan’s military would dominate all of Asia.

The third step toward war in the Pacific would be the bumbling, ignorant, secretive, back-stabbing, dysfunctional and manipulative administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt—with help from the powerful and wealthy lying Christian China Lobby that based its thinking on a faulty premise that the Chinese loved democracy and wanted to become a Christian country just like the United States.

The powerful China Lobby’s ignorant and severely flawed agenda would cause the deaths of more than 25 million civilians (mostly Chinese) and 6 million troops (mostly Chinese) in addition to the bombed out devastation of Southeast Asia, China, Korea and Japan.

Following World War II and the Korean Conflict, the same ignorant and arrogant thinking led to the Vietnam War where U.S. troops fought for almost 20 years, and the United States dropped more bombs on Southeast Asia than it did in all of World War II.

Readers will discover that Henry Luce, the publisher of Time and Life Magazines, who was called the most influential private citizen in America at the time, was a perfect example of how anyone who has too much power and wealth can create their own reality based on lies that often evaporate later leaving future generations to deal with the damage caused by these fools.

Today, Henry Luce had been replaced by other ignorant, arrogant, wealthy and powerful fools, and they go by the names of, for instance, Bill Gates, Eli Broad, the Koch brothers, and the Walton family. I think if we looked at history closely we would discover that the rich and powerful have often meddled with the lives of others and then either die or refuse to admit they were wrong.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that protects the media from government intervention and meddling does not mean the media is balanced and honest. In fact—most of the time—the opposite is true. The so-called free U.S. media is often a propaganda machine that churns out fictions masquerading as truth—mostly owned and controlled by six corporations and at the top six powerful dictatorial oligarchs just like Henry Luce.

To be clear, those media corporations might be doing business in a democracy, but they are not democracies, and they have the power to fool and manipulate the people, the U.S Congress and even the President of the United States.

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

IMAGE with Blurbs and Awards to use on Twitter

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Nixon Opens the Door to China—Viewed as Single Page

June 9, 2015

In 1969, the Soviet Union was planning a nuclear attack on China. The USSR only backed down when President Nixon’s administration warned Moscow that such a move would start World War Three since the US would bomb Russia in retaliation.

The United States, under President Nixon (1969-1974), clearly indicated that China’s interests were closely related to America’s. – Free Republic

At the time, I’m sure President Nixon had no idea how close those relations would become.

More than 43 years ago in February 1972, President Richard Nixon went to China and changed the course of history a second time. His motives may not have been meant to encourage China to become the economic powerhouse it is today.

However, if it weren’t for Nixon, the odds say the Soviet Union would have bombed China with nuclear weapons and China would have retaliated.

While flying to China, President Nixon made notes. Here are a few.

What they (China) want? Build up their world credentials, Taiwan, and get the U.S. out of Asia (In 1968, Nixon ran for President promising to get the U.S. out of Vietnam).

What we (the US and China) both want? Restraint on USSR

The BBC reporter in the embedded video says that Nixon’s trip to Beijing wasn’t to see if China would help get the US out of Vietnam. Instead, the trip was designed to put pressure on the USSR with a goal to make them agree to strategic arms limitations.

Soon after Nixon’s China trip, the Soviets were forced to negotiate and within three months signed two arms control agreements.

What I find interesting is how often US Presidents (and politicians) have been wrong about China.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy said if China had nuclear bombs, it would swallow Southeast Asia. That never happened and today China has more than three hundred nuclear bombs with the missiles to deliver them to targets thousands of miles distant.

In 1965, China successfully tested its first nuclear bomb. President Lyndon Johnson said it was “the blackest and most tragic day for the free world”.

How was that day the “blackest and most tragic day for the free world”?

After all, China has never used a nuclear weapon on another country as the US did on Japan to end World War II by bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing about a quarter million people.

In fact, about 25 American POWs were also killed in the first blast. Most of the Japanese dead were noncombatants—the elderly, women and children.

Di Text.com reports that the US firebombed (with napalm) 67 Japanese cities in World War II.  More than half of Tokyo (one of the 67 cities) was destroyed. Estimates of the number killed in Tokyo range between 80,000 and 200,000.

Robert S. McNamara was reported to have said, “If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.”

Has Communist China inflicted that many casualties on another nation’s civilian population? Don’t forget that Japan killed about 30 million Chinese during World War II.

When President Nixon went to China, he met with Chairman Mao, who was suffering from poor health. In four years, he would die, and Nixon would be the only president in US history to resign while in office due to the Watergate Scandal.

After Nixon resigned as the US president, the Chinese offered him a home in China where he would be allowed to live in peace away from his political enemies.

Two months before his meeting with Mao in Beijing, Nixon had approved a bombing operation in North Vietnam.

Many called it the Christmas bombings since it took place over the holidays. It was the first continuous bombing in Vietnam since President Lyndon Johnson had halted bombing in 1968.

Over 20 thousand tons of bombs were dropped during the campaign. That’s forty million pounds of explosives.

Ironically, Nixon ran for election as the “Peace Candidate” in 1968. Can you think of other US politicians that have used similar promises (later broken) to win elections?

Because of Nixon’s record of being an anticommunist, no one would have thought that he would have unexpectedly gone to China to meet with Mao and the CCP’s top leaders.

“Newly released audiotapes and secret documents from the Richard Nixon Presidential Library show a president obsessed with controlling the media and his public persona during the latter stages of his doomed administration.”

I find it ironic that this comes from a former president of a country that often criticized China’s control of its media. Is it possible that US politicians are jealous and want the same control over the US media?

While in China, President Nixon gave a speech in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

This was the first time a U.S. president had visited the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and China was considered one of America’s greatest enemies.

While in China, Nixon would meet with Zhou Enlai, who was the first Premier of the PRC. Zhou Enlai (along with Deng Xiaoping) played an important role in the future development of the Chinese economy and restructuring Chinese society leading to the China of today.

In fact, Zhou Enlai not only avoided the purges of high-level Chinese Communist Party officials during the Cultural Revolution, but he also attempted to contain the damage caused by the teenage Red Guard and to protect others from them. This made him very popular with the people near the end of the Cultural Revolution.

Zhou Enlai supported peaceful coexistence with the West.  He would die eight months before Mao.

It is ironic that one of the main reasons Richard Nixon became the vice-president of President Eisenhower was due to his strong anti-communist stance.

If you listen to Nixon’s speech in Beijing carefully, you will hear how he managed to slip in a veiled criticism of the fact that the media was free to report what they wanted in the US.

Nixon says of his visit to the Great Wall, “As I walked along the Wall, I saw the sacrifices that went into building it. I saw what is showed about the determination of the Chinese people to retain their independence throughout their long history. I thought about the fact that the Wall tells us that China has a great history and that the people who built this wonder of the world also have a great future.”

I wonder if Nixon realized how true his statement was.

Is it possible that Nixon’s trip to China provided Deng Xiaoping the support needed to reject revolutionary Maoism and launch China’s capitalist revolution a few years later?

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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China’s eBook Explosion

May 20, 2015

The first time I visited China in 1999, we visited Book City in Shanghai. It was the largest bookstore I’d seen—ever! Book City had several floors with elevators and escalators, and at each floor I had to wait in line to get on the next escalator up.

It was that busy. Bookstore owners in the US only get to dream of such traffic.

Most of the books were by Chinese authors and written in Chinese. One small segment on the fourth floor offered books from the rest of the world and most were in English.

Then, for a few years, bookstores owned by private companies—not state owned—sprouted like mushrooms, but today, as in the United States, those brick and mortar bookstores may be struggling to survive.

The Independent in the UK said, “Hard times for traditional books as China’s digital publishing industry grows. Pity the poor paperback. The days of the traditional book in China are numbered, according to figures just released by the central government, it seems more and more people are now turning their attention to digital forms of publishing.”

And the Chinese are buying eBooks with a passion, as you may witness from the next embedded video.

It you have never been to China, you should not be surprised, because China has had a thriving publishing industry for longer than a thousand years and more than 95% of its population is literate.

Vearsa.com reported (March 30, 2015), “The eBook market, and in particular the English language eBook market, in China is still in its infancy but the scope and impact of eBooks in China is evolving at an incredible pace.” In addition, Digital Bookworld.com says, “China’s book market is growing fast. And ebooks in particular are on the rise thanks largely to the worldwide mobile boom impacting publishers everywhere.”

After all, the Chinese invented paper and the printing press centuries before it appeared in Europe. In China, the printing press was invented during the Tang Dynasty between the 4th and 7th century AD. In Europe, Gutenberg’s movable type press didn’t appear until about 1450 AD—the Chinese beat the West by about a thousand years with this innovation (hundreds of other). Computer Smiths.com

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

2015 Promotion Image for My Splendid Concubine

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Chinese long history is rich in calligraphy, music, poetry, and painting

May 13, 2015

UNESCO says the Guqin represents China’s foremost solo musical instrument tradition. Legend says that the Guqin has a 5,000 year history compared to Chinese writing that dates back nearly 3,000 years.

The body of the Guqin is a long and narrow sound box made of Catalpa wood with two holes, one large and one small. The large hole is called the “phoenix pool” and the small one the “dragon pond”.

This seven-stringed instrument was played by noblemen and scholars and was not intended for public performances. Twenty years of training were often required to become proficient.

Since it is known that Confucius played the Guqin, the instrument is sometimes referred to by the Chinese as “the father of Chinese music” or “the instrument of the sages”.

For millennia, the strings of the Guqin were made of various thicknesses of silk.

However, in recent times, the silk has been replaced with nylon wound around steel strings. Some say without silk, the Guqin doesn’t sound as rich.

The Guqin was one of four subjects the ancient scholars perfected. The other three were chess, calligraphy and painting. For centuries many Chinese felt China was so civilized due to these practices that no other country would bother them. Why bother to study how to fight wars? Why spend what it would take to keep the military modern and strong?

Then in 1794 came the White Lotus Rebellion (100,000 rebels killed), followed by the Opium Wars (50,000 killed), the Taiping Rebellion (20 million killed), The Nian Rebellion (75 thousand killed), Punti-Hakka Clan Wars (500 thousand killed), Miao Rebellion (75,000 killed), Hui Rebellion (millions killed), the Du Wenxiu Rebellion (1 million killed), the Dungan Revolts (8 to 12 million killed), the Boxer Rebellion (more than 100 thousand killed), the Sino-Japanese War (10 thousand killed), the Xinhai Revolution (almost 200 thousand killed), China’s Civil War between the Communists and Nationalists (8 million killed), and Japan’s invasion of China during World War II (15 to 20 million killed).

Compared to what China suffered, during the 8-year long American Revolution, total casualties were less than 60 thousand, and in the 4-year long American Civil War there were 620 thousand casualties.

That explains why—when the gunpowder settled in 1949, after 155 years of revolution, civil war and war—after Mao came to power, he launched a series of reforms with the goal to make China strong again to stop the revolutions and invasions. These reforms ended with the Cultural Revolution—1965 – 1976, with about 1.5 million killed and millions of others suffering imprisonment, seizure of property, torture or general humiliation.

During this period, the Guqin fell out of favor as the literati were persecuted as the scape goats of China’s long suffering.

______________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

2015 Promotion Image for My Splendid Concubine

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